The president rebutted the GOP claim that a default is no big deal on Tuesday but left a little wiggle room for Boehner, insisting he’s ‘compromised my whole political career.’ Eleanor Clift reports.
With the shutdown in its second week, President Obama chose the White House briefing room to lay out, once again, his strategy of no negotiations until the government is opened and the threat of defaulting on the debt removed. But he did leave a little wiggle room for a possible way out of the stalemate. He urged House Speaker John Boehner to put a resolution on the floor that would fund the government if only for a short time, a measure the president believes could pass with the necessary 218 votes.
A growing number of Republicans believe that we can survive a debt limit breach with little trouble. Yeah, that’s incredibly troubling.
During the first debt limit stand-off, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell designed a scheme that would end the then-crisis and preclude another one. Instead of waiting on congressional authorization to lift the debt ceiling, McConnell’s proposal would allow the president to do it himself. Congress could block the extension, but only with a two-thirds vote.It’s a good idea. As former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson told CNBC, the whole idea of a “debt limit” is redundant.
From the CIA to Treasury, the shutdown has crippled key national-security functions. But John Kerry’s State Department barely has a scratch. Josh Rogin and Eli Lake report.
Until yesterday, 400,000 Defense Department employees were furloughed without pay due to the government shutdown. At the Treasury Department, the offices that enforce and monitor sanctions on North Korea, Syria, and Iran have been reduced to a skeleton crew. And large numbers of CIA analysts and logistics officers—including, until last week, 72 percent of the civilian workforce—have been told to stay home until the government has a 2014 budget.
In budget crisis.
So the GOP is not really winning hearts and minds during the budget battle. Seventy percent of Americans disapprove of the way congressional Republicans are handling the crisis, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll. What’s more, 51 percent of those said they disapproved “strongly” of the GOP’s actions. Congressional Democrats didn’t fare much better: 61 percent disapprove of their actions. President Obama’s approval rating, meanwhile, ticked up slightly, with 45 approving of the way he has handled the negotiations, up from 41 percent last week. He still has an overall 51 percent disapproval rating, with 39 disapproving “strongly.”
Flaws in site’s architecture, traffic cause glitches.
One week after HealthCare.gov went live, the world hasn’t ended—but the website still has glitches. The White House insisted that it is working hard to fix the site where Americans can sign up for new coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The site has had an estimated 8.6 million unique visitors in the past week. But IT specialists told Reuters that the glitches could also be linked to flaws in the site’s architecture. White House spokesman Jay Carney insisted that although they are “increasingly moving more users through the system,” they are still “not satisfied with the performance.”
Brian Beutler of Salon reports on a new card that Harry Reid is about to play. It's a little complicated, so I hope I'm explaining this clearly.Back during the 2011 debt fight, Mitch McConnell of all people proposed that the president should have the authority to increase the debt limit unilaterally unless two-thirds of both houses of Congress objected. McConnell's idea is explained more fully here. Why would McConnell have given Obama that authority? Not because he wanted to do something nice for him.
Shaun McCutcheon is trying to upturn America’s campaign finance system. Ben Jacobs on the man at the heart of the Supreme Court battle.
Shaun McCutcheon is about to become a political celebrity.McCutcheon is the plaintiff in a case of McCutcheon v. FEC which will be heard by the Supreme Court on Tuesday. In this case, the Court will hear the latest significant challenge to campaign finance laws in an attempt to invalidate aggregate campaign finance limits, which limit the total political contributions that a person can make in a given two-year period. In the most recent period of 2011-2012, an individual could give no more than $46,200 to all federal candidates and another $70,800 to federal political action committees and political party committees.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia believes in the devil. Do you? Religion professor Candida Moss on why the justice’s admission is common—and what the Bible says about devilry.
In an interview in New York Magazine, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia declared that he believes the Devil is a “real person.” Scalia went on to say—in a statement reminiscent of Baudelaire and The Usual Suspects—that the Devil is actively engaged in “getting people not to believe in him or in God. He’s much more successful that way.” Many, like Scalia’s interviewer, were surprised by his boldness. But the feisty and controversial Justice is on sure footing when he says that this is “standard Catholic doctrine.
Worried about a default if the U.S. hits its debt ceiling? We can just ‘prioritize’ our payments, say some Republicans. Jamelle Bouie on why they’re wrong—but they’re not even the biggest GOP fantasists.
No one knows exactly what would happen if the United States breached its debt ceiling—an artificial limit on what the Treasury can borrow to pay its bills—but almost everyone agrees it would be disaster. I say “almost” because a growing chorus of Republicans insist the opposite, that hitting the debt limit wouldn’t cause a default, and even if it did, it’s no big deal for the nation or the world.Their main argument is that the Treasury can continue to pay interest and fund critical problems through “prioritization” of key payments.
When it comes to major policy battles, since 2009 the GOP is 0-3. Before it fails again, David Frum offers up seven ways the party is shooting itself in the foot.
Republicans have lost three major fights since 2009. They seem likely soon to lose a fourth—and all in the same way.The three previous losses (in case you’re feeling forgetful) were, in order:(1) The fight over Obamacare. Result: the most ambitious new social insurance program since Medicare, financed—unlike Medicare—by redistributive new taxes on investment and high incomes.(2) The 2012 election. Result: Despite the worst economy since the Great Depression, the reelection of President Obama, Democratic retention of the Senate, and 1.
Even House Republicans who would be willing to vote for a budget without restrictions on Obamacare won't do anything to make that happen. Ben Jacobs reports.
The government shutdown won’t end anytime soon and there is no prospect of House Republicans yielding on their demands to delay the implementation of Obamacare in exchange for funding the federal government. Although Speaker John Boehner claimed in a morning interview on ABC’s The Week that there weren’t enough votes in the House to pass “a clean CR, “which simply continue to fund government at sequestration levels; whip counts based on public statements from Congressmen disagree.
He plays poker, watches Seinfeld, still believes in the Devil—and won’t be officiating any gay weddings any time soon. Caroline Linton with the juiciest bits from Scalia’s New York interview.
Happy 27 years on the Supreme Court, Antonin Scalia! To celebrate, the conservative icon gave us a gift: an interview with Jennifer Senior at New York magazine, where he offered us more insight into his personality than anyone could have ever asked for. From his television watching habits (he’s seen Duck Dynasty?!) to his refusal to sway on gay rights, here are the juiciest bits from the interview.1. Scalia ‘suspects’ he has ‘homosexual friends’Let’s just dive right in.
Wonder why the government is still shuttered? You may have missed this interview, in which the speaker issued talking points from another dimension. Jamelle Bouie has the blow-by-blow.
To watch John Boehner speak Sunday—in a segment with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos—was to watch him issue talking points from another dimension, where legislative hostage-taking is routine and the American public is eager to threaten the full faith and credit of the United States. The interview was rife with dishonesty, but there were five statements—in particular—that stood out for their recklessness and/or brazen disregard for the truth.“[P]roviding—providing fairness to the American people, under Obamacare, is—all we’re asking for.
With declining popularity and growing party unrest, Republicans have backed themselves into a corner. Peter Beinart urges Democrats to seize the moment to negotiate a better budget deal now.
If there’s one thing most liberals agree on, it’s that until Republicans reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling, Democrats shouldn’t talk to them about anything else. “Until we make sure Congress allows Treasury to pay for things that Congress itself already authorized,” President Obama told CNBC last week, “we are not going to engage in a series of negotiations.”“What matters now above everything else,” adds Andrew Sullivan, “is that the president wavers not a jot or tittle in demanding a clean CR.
A new group bent on unmasking ‘leftists in the media’ has its first target—MSNBC’s ‘racial extortionist,’ the Rev. Al Sharpton. David Freedlander talks with the leader of the right’s answer to Media Matters.
A group of conservative activists, tired of what they see as a persistent and little remarked liberal bias in the news media, are set to begin a series of boycotts aimed at advertisers who sponsor what they see as left-wing networks, outlets, and journalists.On Sunday they announced their first target, the Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil-rights leader turned MSNBC talk-show host whose PoliticsNation has grown in influence and audience since making its debut two years ago.
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.
The Texas senator, a quintessential establishment Republican, is facing a new primary challenger in Steve Stockman, who blames Cornyn for ‘making sure Obamacare became law.’