The failures of the health-care roll out were unacceptable, and the President’s speech didn’t offer much clarity. But, writes Michael Tomasky, they're nothing compared to the GOP's disgraceful opposition.
So nobody’s more frustrated than Barack Obama by the problems with healthcare.gov over the last couple of weeks, as he repeated two or three time in his Rose Garden address on Monday? First of all, I doubt that’s true. He has health insurance and, as far as we know, no preexisting conditions. There is bound to be some person out there with no insurance and a body full of cancer who is more frustrated than Obama.Second, if he is that frustrated, I’d really love to know what he was doing about this in August and September.
They love deficit reduction in the abstract—they even risked a second financial crisis over the debt ceiling. But over the next two months, watch them avoid making tough debt choices to avert another shutdown, says Peter Beinart.
The press has spent the last few days tallying the reasons Congress probably won’t forge the big budget deal necessary to spare the country future brinkmanship of the kind we endured last week. The reasons are familiar: John Boehner is still weak. President Obama still won’t fold. Ted Cruz still exists.But there’s another reason, which gets less attention. Most Republicans aren’t really interested in reducing America’s debt. I know that sounds strange.
Among the loudest GOP voices predicting the blowup of Cruz control in the shutdown fight was Joe Scarborough—and the former RNC chairman. Steele tells Lloyd Grove why we’re due for a repeat in three months.
As Republican activists and office-holders survey the wreckage of the past week—including historic lows in public approval and alarming highs in public revulsion (a perilous 74 percent in the most recent ABC News/Washington Post survey)—they might remember the dire premonitions of the “I Told You So” Caucus.Former Republican representative Joe Scarborough, whose Morning Joe program on MSNBC is a coffee klatch for opinion leaders on both sides of the TV screen, is the voluble Cassandra of the caucus.
Turkey may have ratted out Israeli spies to Iran in 2012, but that didn’t stop Netanyahu from mending fences with Turkey’s Erdogan. Eli Lake on the surprising outreach.
Last week, the Washington Post’s David Ignatius revealed that in early 2012, Turkey gave sensitive information about Israel’s spy operations to Iran—specifically, the names of up to ten Iranians who had been meeting with Israeli intelligence officers in Turkey.To many people in the intelligence community, the news was seen as a grave betrayal. “The fact those ten spies were burned by the Turks by purposely informing the Iranians is not only a despicable act, it is an act that brings the Turkish intelligence organization to a position where I assume no one will ever trust it again,” said Danny Yatom, a former chief of Israel’s intelligence service, the Mossad, in an interview.
If Republicans want to win in 2016, they need to start getting smart about appealing to female voters. By Lloyd Green.
For the first time in five years, Hillary Rodham Clinton was back on the campaign trail this past weekend, plugging away for Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee and long-time Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe at a “Women for Terry” gathering. Clinton spoke about “common sense and common ground,” while McAuliffe hammered away on abortion rights and women’s health. According to the polls, McAuliffe continues to lead Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, and is boosted by a 20 percent margin among women.
It’s de rigueur to decry ‘partisanship’ as Washington’s ‘real problem.’ Let’s get real—the most destructive force in American politics today is the Tea Party, says Jon Favreau.
So now that our government is open and able to pay its bills, what soon-to-be-forgotten lessons have we learned from this sorry fiasco?Perhaps most important is the reminder that political temper tantrums in Washington exact a toll that goes far beyond unfavorable headlines and worse-than-dog-poo poll numbers. This decision hurt people. Some families couldn’t pay their bills. Others had nowhere safe to send their children while they worked. Poor women lost vouchers that helped buy food and formula for their newborns.
If we want to fix American politics, leaders need to stop addressing the numerous banalities of partisan politics and start focusing the root cause of all the discord—big money. By Lawrence Lessig.
Dr. Mark Hyman — the great soul who convinced Bill Clinton to radically change his diet, and hence his health — is a believer in “functional medicine.” Rather than separately treating particular diseases, such as diabetes or heart disease or obesity, functional medicine treats the underlying biologic causes.American politics urgently needs a Dr. Mark Hyman. It desperately needs an analogous “functional politics.” The pundit-sphere is filled with analysts diagnosing disease after disease, each offered with its own cure.
The big announcement and lousy follow-through, the technical glitches no one can figure out—not only was the rollout mess utterly predictable, it’s also a sign of our cultural moment.
What a chance the Republicans missed to give President Obama the worst few weeks of his second term. If they had just gotten out of their own way, they could have kept up the media glare on the embarrassing presidential imagery of the Syria episode, swiftly followed by the massively uncool cock-up of the health-care rollout. They wouldn’t have had to lift a finger. Instead they redirected all that lovely negative karma at themselves.Perhaps the most damaging aspect of the Obamacare tech nightmare is how wholly predictable it all was.
Did RFK steal it after autopsy?
This is by far the strangest thing you will read today. Or any day, probably. A new book claims that President John F. Kennedy’s brain disappeared after his autopsy—and his brother Robert may have stolen it. According to a new book, End of Days: The Assassination of John. F. Kennedy, Kennedy’s brain apparently wasn’t buried with him, and was instead placed in a stainless steel container with a screwtop lid. The container was reportedly stored in a file cabinet of the Secret Service (…ok) before being moved to the National Archives. In October 1966, it was allegedly discovered that brain and other autopsy materials were missing. An investigation by then-Attorney General Ramsey Clark failed to recover the brain (ever), but some suspected Robert F. Kennedy stole the locker. Conspiracy theorists, go!
The legacy of the 41st president is looking better than ever in an age when passion is trumping reason in politics, says Mark K. Updegrove, director of the LBJ Library.
Modern post-presidencies, it seems, are often designed around vindication or at least a conscious effort toward enhancing one’s legacy. Think of the disgraced Richard Nixon, rising like a phoenix out of Watergate-induced exile to become a foreign-policy sage for Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. Or the humbled Jimmy Carter channeling his prodigious energies into humanitarianism through his NGO, the Carter Center, and winning the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.
An Alabama state legislator wants to castrate child molesters, a South Carolina mayor doesn’t care if you don’t like her anti-‘queer’ views, and Florida’s KKK fights a name change. Caitlin Dickson wraps up another week in fun from the fringe.
South Carolina Mayor Doesn’t Want Gay Marriage ‘Rammed Down My Throat’A North Carolina county official decided this week to accept marriage applications from same-sex couples, despite the state’s gay marriage ban, saying he didn’t find it fair to deny marriage licenses to “upstanding citizens.” The move, predictably, received mixed reactions, but it got Linda Oliver particularly riled up. “What’s it gonna take these queers to realize they don’t need a piece of paper,” the West Union, South Carolina, mayor wrote in a Facebook post that was not deleted quickly enough to avoid screenshots.
Hollywood's take on the Middle East wars has ranged from cerebral to resigned, but its latest is a classic triumphal war movie. Jamelle Bouie on whether it works.
There is a moment, during the post-film discussion, when Lone Survivor director Peter Berg says—with some exasperation—that “it’s notoriously difficult to make a war movie about the Middle East.”It’s not hard to understand why. As a genre, “war movies” focus on the heroism of soldiers and their exploits. For World War II, the war most filmed by American directors, this is an easy lift. After all, to most eyes, the Second World War is morally unambiguous, which allows audiences to fully root for the United States and its allies.
After a long fight, the conflicted governor relented, and ordered state officials to get ready for weddings starting this Monday. By Ben Jacobs.
Same-sex marriages will start to be performed in New Jersey on Monday and Chris Christie, the state’s Republican governor, isn’t standing in the way anymore.The New Jersey Supreme Court voted unanimously Friday afternoon to deny Christie’s attempt to block a lower-court decision allowing gay marriages to be performed in the Garden State starting next week. After the decision was released, Christie announced state agencies will start preparing to implement the ruling.
Rumor has it the president will pivot to immigration reform next. That’s a bad idea, writes David Frum—it’s a path littered with the same obstacles that nearly brought down Obamacare.
Overreach: nobody’s immune to it. Republicans overreached in the debt ceiling fight. Now, by some reports, President Obama is tempted to do the same.Those reports state that Obama intends to proceed from the debt battle to the immigration issue, taking up again his plan to regularize the status of millions of people illegally present in the United States. Let’s leave aside for the moment the policy merits of the president’s immigration proposals.
Tom Foley will go down as the most bipartisan speaker of modern times. And he paid for it. Eleanor Clift on Foley’s legacy, and the wife who governed by his side.
There was a time when partisanship was kept in check and Congress could legislate.Former House Speaker Tom Foley loved to talk about those days and the institution that he loved. He had big Democratic majorities during the five and a half years he was speaker, from June 1989 to January 1995, and though there were danger signals, he had no inkling of what was coming when the Republicans won the House in ’94—and he became the first speaker since the Civil War to be defeated in his own district.
Saturday was the deadline to fix the site. Did they do it, and if so, does it even matter? The Sunday talk shows look at the practical and political future of Obamacare.
What, no government shutdown next year? Patty Murray and Paul Ryan are hailing their bipartisan budget deal as a breakthrough in such a partisan Congress—but it still has to pass.