Saturday, August 17, 2013

Last Call For Shutdown Countdown

If House Republicans really are buying this narrative, I'm going to enjoy hearing the words "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi" sooner than I thought.

House conservatives say grassroots support is building for their effort to risk a government shutdown to defund ObamaCare.

Conservatives who back the strategy said their spines have been stiffened by support at town-hall meetings.

“I have not heard, 'Don’t shut down the government over ObamaCare,'” Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) said, referring to meetings with his constituents over the recess. “I have heard, 'This law is not ready for primetime, and we need to do anything we can to stop it.'” Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) has held six events in his north Texas district so far in August and is leaning toward backing the shutdown threat.

He also said the federal government’s move this month to subsidize health insurance for lawmakers and staff required to enter ObamaCare’s exchanges is acting as an “accelerant” and “driving people into a froth” about shutting the government down over ObamaCare funding. 

“I'm hearing a lot of anger that is right beneath the surface, ready to erupt,” Burgess said. At one town hall, Burgess said support for the defunding threat was "virtually unanimous" when he asked for a show of hands. 

"Grassroots anger" will occur when the House GOP follows through on this mess and Grandpa finds out he may not be getting his Social Security check on time, Grandma may not be getting her Medicare reimbursement for this visit to the doc, Uncle Ted's delayed in getting his VA benefits, and Aunt Molly's not able to take the cousins to Yellowstone because the park's closed indefinitely.

But go ahead, guys.  Obama's already been re-elected, but guess how many House Republicans are facing re-election in 2014?

Why, all of them.

Roll the bones, boys.  Roll the bones.

Romney Goes Through The Reince Cycle

RNC chairman and 35 MPG highway sedan Reince Priebus just ran over Mitt Romney's immigration position, and Benjy Sarlin wonders if the wily(ish) head of the GOP truly understands the 55-gallon drum of lombrices that he's opened.

Using the word ‘self-deportation’ — it’s a horrific comment to make,” Priebus told reporters, according to Business Insider. “I don’t think it has anything to do with our party. When someone makes those comments, obviously, it’s racist.”

Priebus has been working hard to push the party to the center on immigration ever since President Obama dominated the Hispanic vote in November. But his latest comments put him on dangerous ground.

For one thing, there’s nothing obviously “racist” about the phrase “self-deportation” itself. It was actually a pretty accurate description of Romney’s preferred policy as championed by Republican officials like Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Their position was that if you pass state and federal laws to make life difficult for undocumented immigrants, then hopefully they’ll leave. You might disagree with the policy, but there’s nothing explicitly racial in Romney’s description of it.

But here’s where Priebus really runs into trouble. If Romney was “racist” in 2012, so was practically the entire Republican party. Romney’s position was such standard fare at the time that it made it into the RNC’s party platform—you know, the platform Priebus oversaw as chairman.


Of course, an even bigger is the actually racist immigration positions of Republicans like Iowa's Steve King, who seems to think undocumented Latino immigrants are all drug dealers with huge calves.  But hey, Drive The All New Reince Priebus seems bound and determined to make sure that everybody blames the GOP when the immigration bill dies screaming in the House.

I don't have a problem with that.

Your 2016 Worst Kasich Scenario

I have no idea what either Ohio GOP Gov. John Kasich or the Columbus Dispatch has been smoking, but this isn't happening under any circumstances.

Gov. John Kasich awoke to a front-page story in the Wall Street Journal yesterday that not only mentioned him as a possible White House contender for 2016, but as someone who could “rebrand the Republican Party.”

After that piece, Kasich’s press office announced by 11:30 a.m. that Kasich would lead a national push to produce a federal balanced-budget amendment.

And about an hour after that, in a speech to the Franklin County Republican Party, he said the Affordable Care Act is “not Obama’s plan; it’s Hillarycare.”

It was quite a sequence ... but for a governor seeking re-election next year or of someone thinking bigger?

Hillary vs Kasich?  So the Republican 50-state strategy is "give 50 states to Hillary?"  C'mon, guys.  First of all, Kasich has the charisma of a moldy couch.  Second, he just signed into law one of the most ridiculous abortion laws in the country.  Third, Ohio is completely controlled by the Tea Party, and fourth, the Tea Party is about to force an unconstitutional fetal heartbeat abortion ban bill that would end all abortions after just six weeks.  If Kasich signs that, he's done.  If he doesn't sign it, he's done.

And as the Plunderbund crew reminds us, there's a reason number 5.

[Friday] morning, the July jobs report came out. The good news? Ohio gained 5,300 more jobs as private sector gains (+9,100) but lost 3,300 in the public sector (losses employment in federal and local government outpaced gained in state government). 3,100 jobs were lost in construction last month which has seen 6,300 lost jobs since last July. Roughly half of the private sector gains last month came from the typically low pay/low benefits leisure and hospitality sector. Ohio’s job gains in July only erased less than 59% of the jobs lost in June.

That’s all the good news. The rest is bad news. Ohio’s unemployment rate stayed at 7.2% as the unemployment rate nationally dropped .2% last month. The only “miracle” in Ohio’s economic news last month is that Ohio’s unemployment rate didn’t go up. But over the past twelve months, Ohio’s unemployment rate hasn’t moved. Like, at all. And the trendlines over the past months strongly suggest there’s far greater pressure that will drive Ohio’s unemployment rate up than down.

For the THIRD consecutive month in a row, the number of unemployed Ohioans grew. In July, three thousand Ohioans joined the rank of the unemployed. That means there are 1,000 more Ohioans unemployed today than there were a year ago. Although the CES survey of employer’s payrolls showed a gain of 5,300 jobs, the LAUS survey of households (which actually determines the State’s unemployment rate) showed 14,000 fewer Ohioans reported being employed, so there is a disparity between what company payroll records are reporting to what Ohio households are saying.

So no, John Kasich is not going to be the 45th President of the United Anygoddamnthing.  Trust me on this.
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