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The Washington Post's Jonathan Bernstein:
Do Republicans believe that Obamacare is a disaster in the making? Or is it such an appealing program that they have to take extraordinary steps to undermine it? Reuters reports today that conservative groups are taking their campaign to undermine the law to ever new heights. As the Tea Party group FreedomWorks puts it: “We’re trying to make it socially acceptable to skip the exchange.” [...]

At the same time they’re trying to undermine it, Republicans are loudly insisting that the program just won’t work — it will “collapse under its own weight,” as the talking point has it. For example, see the apparent attempt by Republican state governments to hype “rate shock” well beyond any reality. As Sarah Kliff argues today, Republicans have set expectations for the program so low that “if Godzilla doesn’t march in on Oct. 1 and gobble up our health insurance coverage and legions of IRS agents fail to microchip the masses, that could plausibly look like a success.”

If they really believe that the Affordable Care Act will collapse on its own — that premiums will skyrocket, that people will lose what they have now, or whatever other horrors they’ve been asserting — then there’s no reason at all for any campaign to spread misinformation about the law or to encourage anyone to “skip the exchange.” Consumers would do that on their own. But Republicans apparently think they can’t take the risk that Obamacare will work out just fine.

Jay Bookman at The Atlanta Journal Constitution makes a similar point:
ObamaCare is going to be a disaster, a trainwreck, a total mess. In fact, it's going to be such a trainwreck that if we allow it to be implemented, the American people are going to absolutely love it and will never allow it to be repealed.
Robert Schlesinger at US News & World Report:
The GOP again faces a choice between narrow political needs (pleasing the base) and broader ones (the need to appeal to swing voters and win national elections). Right-wing ideologues try to square this circle by insisting that the country as a whole secretly yearns for their rigid brand of conservatism, but polls and real life experience indicate otherwise.
More on the day's top stories below the fold:

Switching topics to the economy, William Greider at The Nation says no more second chances for Larry Summers:

Among his other outstanding attributes, Lawrence Summers is perhaps most distinguished by his mendacity. I have encountered this up close over the years in interviews. He bristles and turns nasty when his assertions are challenged. I am not naïve about untruth in politics—I know it well—but Summers takes it to extremes. Three years ago, he made an appearance on the PBS NewHour that blew out my tolerance. I posted an exasperated blog titled “Professor Pants-on-Fire.”

“How can I say this nicely?” I wrote. “Larry Summers is a clumsy public liar. His noxious, condescending manner helps explain why he failed as president of Harvard. But it is the crude mendacity that ought to bother people now. The man is President Obama’s top economic adviser.”

I ticked off some of the self-serving lies he told to cover up his own role in destabilizing the financial system when he was Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration—when he personally blocked tougher regulation on the financial time bombs known as derivatives, when he collaborated with Republicans and the Federal Reserve in dismantling Glass-Steagall and other New Deal protections. Larry and Bill, Robert Rubin and Alan Greenspan paved the road to financial collapse. Afterwards, nobody went to jail.

Matthew O'Brien at The Atlantic points out that Janet Yellen is a far better choice than Summers:
It's not that Summers isn't a brilliant economist -- he most certainly is -- but rather that he doesn't have, well, any of Yellen's central banking expertise. She's spent much of the past 20 years at the Fed. He's barely said anything about monetary policy. Now, he might be as good as we know she would be, but that's the thing: We know she would be good. Very, very good. [...]

It isn't clear what Larry Summers actually thinks about monetary policy. He probably wants to keep rates low for a long time, but that's about all we know. He hasn't been a central banker. And he hasn't written much about it. But the few things he has said aren't encouraging. For one, he doesn't think much of quantitative easing. As Robin Harding of the Financial Times reports, Summers recently said that he thinks "QE is less efficacious for the real economy than most people suppose." But more than that, Summers seems to share the Wall Street view that more bond-buying might just risk another bubble or mal-investment

Turning to the president's speech on the economy, Ed Kilgore:
[T]here are several different negative perceptions out there about Obama’s lack of “new ideas.” One, frequently discussed by MSM observers, simply assumes that novelty is a virtue in itself, or is owed to their own selves because they are bored about writing about the same old same old. Today’s Dana Milbank WaPo column is a good example of that rather empty and self-centered complaint.

Then there is the objection offered by conservatives, based on the presumption that “new ideas” mean their ideas. So the only way for Obama to come up with any “new ideas” on the economy is to surrender or at least offer to compromise (with the latter option being undermined by what has happened every time he’s done that in the past). [...]

“New ideas,” or even the much-desired “competition of ideas,” require agreement on the problems to be solved and the legitimate range of instruments that can be used to solve them. We don’t really have that in the “debate” over American economic policy right now. Maybe we will again at some point in the near future, and then it will be important that “new ideas” blossom in both parties. Right now, we’re still trying to decide which broad vision of the economy will guide our government, and in tying his own vision to the upcoming fiscal fights, Obama’s doing just what the doctor ordered.

Eugene Robinson:
The Democratic Party seems likely to grow ever stronger nationally while the GOP remains firmly entrenched locally. This means the stubborn, maddening, unproductive standoff between a Democratic president and a Republican majority in the House may be the new normal.

 [...] Republicans know they cannot repeal the Affordable Care Act, for example, but they can hamper its implementation. They cannot impose their vision of immigration reform — all fence and no citizenship, basically — but they can ensure that no reforms are approved. They cannot choose their own nominees for federal judgeships, but they can block Obama’s.

Commentators who criticize the president for not hosting enough cocktail parties or golf outings for Republicans are ignoring political reality. He has tried being nice, he has tried being tough, he has tried offering to compromise, he has tried driving a hard bargain. Nothing works if Republicans are committed to blocking every single thing he seeks to do.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good Morning America (20+ / 0-)

    You are under siege.

    No... not by "terrorists".

    By your republican neighbors.

    My take on Eugene Robinson here

    I am not as remotely impressed by him as others seem to be. So maybe don't go read that.

  •  Today, remember the sequester's impact on air (15+ / 0-)

    travel and just how quickly your esteemed leaders fixed that.

    It is a window into what they can do when they want to.

    That "gridlock" is completely fake.

    •  Well, air travel impacts "bidness", donthcaknow, (10+ / 0-)

      and dog forbid oil and insurance execs travelling first class on frequent flier points be held up because of sequestration.

      I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

      by commonmass on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 04:55:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They still made it happen (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, shoeless

        ergo they can do whatever they want and in the blink of an eye.

        •  Absolutely. In fact, the President has (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xxdr zombiexx, salmo, mmacdDE, shoeless

          demonstrated time and again a sweeping willingness to compromise with the GOP. If they behaved like honest opposition partners in governing, they would likely get all kinds of concessions. They already have. They are cutting off their noses despite their faces with all this obstruction. If they worked with the President, they'd be surprised how much of their agenda they could get passed, and take credit for, too.

          Of course that would also mean that the President and Democrats would get some of what they want passed, too. Which is what they simply cannot abide.

          A lot of this is clearly about race, but I am fairly confident that they would obstruct Hillary this way, too.

          I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

          by commonmass on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:06:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hillary will be exactly the same thing. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass, salmo, maryabein, shoeless

            As it was with Bill.

            •  They are nastier to Obama, and frankly, (5+ / 0-)

              I think they would be impeaching him today for anything they could cook up had the impeachment of Clinton not damaged them so much. That's the one lesson I can see that the GOP has learned.

              I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

              by commonmass on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:16:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But not much nastier than Hilary will get (5+ / 0-)

                A lot of the nastiness towards Bill Clinton used Hilary as the excuse (Whitewater, health care, killing Vince Foster, the whole wicked witch meme). I would expect the current GOP to be as nasty and obstructionist in a Clinton Presidency as they are currently being to Obama -- sexism not racism, but equally virulent. And because she served in Obama's Administration, they get to keep the racist nastiness ginned up by showing photo after photo of them together.

                I assume she and Bill recognize this, and are weighing it in the decision whether she really wants to put them through that (again).

                •  I'm sure Hillary was well aware in 2008 (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  commonmass, shoeless, micsimov

                  that if she had won it would be a 90s redux. And honestly I dont think there is much worse that the GOP could throw at her than what they have already. I mean, they've already told her to go home and back cookies while simultaneously saying she murdered Vince Foster. Meanwhile, she's incompetent for being Sec. of State when a terrorist attack happened abroad, but at the same time some sort of Machiavellian puppet master sticking Muslim Brotherhood double agents in positions at Foggy Bottom.

                •  In 2008, I didn't vote for either of them in the (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  shoeless, Hoghead99, pelagicray

                  primary. I would have voted for either of them in the general (and did vote for the President, twice). I will say that the more I look at it, the more I agree that Hillary would probably be just as vicious back to the GOP. Which I'm not sure would work, but if she runs, I'm willing to give her the chance.

                  Frankly, I don't see why Hillary would want to run. She was, in my opinion, one of the best Secs of State in recent memory (if not a bit hawkish for my taste, which made me a bit wary of her in '08) and if I were her, I'd join her husband in his work or go my own way to work globally for good goals. Bill is a much better ex-President than he was President (let's face it: he and the GOP and many congressional Dems are partly responsible for some of the mess we find ourselves in).

                  The problem with Hillary is that so far, she's the best bet for '16. On the other hand, Bill kind of came out of semi-obscurity to win the nomination in '92. We might be surprised by who ends up getting the Democratic nomination.

                  Any of them are better than the field of buffoons, poltroons and lilly-livered whelps that made up the GOP field last year.

                  I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

                  by commonmass on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:46:59 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Hillary would have a HUGE resource in Bill... (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    xxdr zombiexx, commonmass, Hoghead99

                    During the run up to the election, Bill would not only be campaigning for her but also many Congressional and Senatorial candidates.  Hopefully he would them enough of a boost to make sure Hillary had a Democratic House and Senate.

                    Holy Cow!!! 06/18/2013 and I've got my mojo back!!!! A new signature will be written shortly.

                    by Josiah Bartlett on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:57:49 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, if he gave the same kind of speech at the (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Josiah Bartlett, xxdr zombiexx

                      '16 convention that he gave last year, and gave it a hundred times on the stump, well, you're right.

                      I believe everything Clinton says when he's giving a speech. He fires me up. Then I feel all dirty about it, because he himself governed neocon-lite.

                      I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

                      by commonmass on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 06:09:40 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  "It seems an 'opeless business," as Mr. Bennett (12+ / 0-)

    (Elizabeth's father) is alleged to have said.

    This:

    He has tried being nice, he has tried being tough, he has tried offering to compromise, he has tried driving a hard bargain. Nothing works if Republicans are committed to blocking every single thing he seeks to do.
    What I don't understand is why the Obama Administration isn't getting out there with a long list of talking points about how much better Obamacare is going to be than what the uninsured have now.

    Thanks for the roundup, Georgia!  

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 04:45:55 AM PDT

    •  Barack Obama appears to be committed (4+ / 0-)

      to being the Mr Rogers of Presidents.

    •  His talking point(s) in Jacksonville yesterday (12+ / 0-)

      didn't sound so "nice"...

      “Shutting down the government just because I’m for keeping it open, that’s not an economic plan,” Obama said in a speech to cheering supporters. “Threatening that you won’t pay the bills in this country when you’ve already racked up those bills, that’s not an economic plan. That’s just being a deadbeat.”   ~ Source
      I think we'd all like the president to take the gloves off more often.

      As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

      by JaxDem on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 04:58:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He's got people doing that right now. (10+ / 0-)

      Hard to get the word out when the press won't cover it, or does the false equivalence thing as they do.  The blogospere's not much better, so short of door-knocking I'm not sure what more he can do.  

      This is not a communication problem on his part it's a deliberate sabotage on the other side.  I tell my friends everything I learn about it, and they'll talk it up as they get the benefits.  I hope more progressives take action.  

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:04:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  twitterstorm. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, I love OCD
        •  That won't reach the right people (4+ / 0-)

          But mail will.

          A short pamphlet to every address in the country. Business, residence, local govt buildings, everything.

          Blanket the country with them. Put piles of them in the post offices. Send stacks of them to senior centers, schools, every fed office, send boxes to every college.

          They should be so ubiquitous that people are using them for toilet paper. And run short ads telling people to look for them on the tv and radio.

          That's the only way you can be sure people will know. And even that's not perfect.

          •  You are correct. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass, Mr MadAsHell

            I forget about snail mail

            The GOP remains KING of direct mail.

            Thunder ripe for stealing.....

            •  I think we should use push-polling. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              xxdr zombiexx, Dont Get MAD, micsimov

              "Would you be more or less likely to vote for Republican x if you knew that they wanted to take away your healthcare?"

              Sometimes, you have to get down in the mud with the opposition, but you have to do it right and you have to do it aggressively, and you have to do it better: as my grandmother used to say, "Never stoop down and pick up nothing".

              I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

              by commonmass on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 06:21:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Our side is lacking an important component. (0+ / 0-)

            A part of that is the heavily invested corporate backers of the TP/GOP message which is very self interested in gutting all regulation and even examination of their business practices and not adverse whatsoever to harnessing racism or any other "ism" to that wagon. Those players and the foundations and "think tanks" they created long ago to gut the New Deal have bent the flow of politics since well before Reagan. They have a very coherent core message of "let business be business" with a full court of social sides to please the base.

            Our side is more diverse in more ways than one. We don't seem to have a "good business" core that funds and supports messages that business is best when we all do well and our country has the infrastructure and regulatory environment to keep the cheaters from devaluing the honest businesses. We have allowed our foundations and "think tanks" to not only atrophy but become slurred by the right. We all have our own interests, race, environment, gender and so on, and too often fail to stand together against a common enemy.

            One thing that "we" should do, but like Robinson says about getting out "our" vote next year—"I wouldn’t bet the mortgage on it"—is put together a better standing "war room" pooling assets into a better standing counter message organization. We have lots of groups. Too often now they are just circulating "petitions" that are just new guise fund raising trying to tap an often almost tapped out audience to keep their own fiefdoms going. That needs to change.

            The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

            by pelagicray on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 08:03:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Don't need private funding (0+ / 0-)

              I'd bet there's a communications budget in the mandated funding for the ACA.

              Use that. It doesn't have to be a big or expensive piece, just have a good bit of info, maybe a FAQ type thing, with phone numbers to call and a website to check.

              We're not talking rocket science here. And it's a blanket 'resident' type mailing. The govt has pretty much every address already, from the census records.

              TV/radio spots might be a bit more expensive, but if they do blanket mailings, and literature drops, they might not even need those.

              Remember, they were talking about getting NFL/NBA stars to do some TV spots - this would be even cheaper.

              •  I am thinking much larger issues than the ACA and (0+ / 0-)

                "government" mail will often be discounted, even the subject of an attack line, from the well organized right wing.

                I find it interesting you are advocating this line even as sequester and TP/GOP stonewalling spending is well underway, even to grounding some USAF units they just love (though they did get some "airshow" groups back in the air!).

                The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

                by pelagicray on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 09:02:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Direct mail may work for seniors, it goes (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  pelagicray

                  direct to the wheelie bin at my post office.  The best approach seems to be to let the early adopters spread the word.  I heard a great 15 minute segment on our local NPR station- very articulate young man who disassembled every RW talking point as the interviewer brought them up.  It was powerful mostly because the interviewer ended up fairly impressed with the ACA.  

                  I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                  by I love OCD on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 01:33:43 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  "Obamacare And The Apocalypse"...by Mike Lee.... (4+ / 0-)

    buy it now from Fox Nooz Publishers.

  •  GOP can say they're not racist til the cows come (7+ / 0-)

    home.....Everybody I know would disagree....Ya gotta get out of that bubble guys.

  •  Ah, the GOP always facing choices (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, rl en france, skohayes

    Always making the wrong decisions.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 04:49:58 AM PDT

  •  And what will the GOP say when the only states (13+ / 0-)

    with outrageous rate shock are red states that did nothing to get people into the exchanges, blocked the medicaid expansion, and otherwise tried to fuck up the implementation? When blue states see their rates drop precipitously because of increased market participation, what will be their rationale? That Obamacare is unfair?

  •  I am hoping that at some point in the not too (14+ / 0-)

    distant future, that American voters will wake up to the fact that the GOP values ideology and power over the welfare and rights of citizens--the very citizens who often vote for them will likely benefit in one way or another from Obamacare. Not to mention the fact that the ACA is, essentially, a re-working of a Republican bill proposed in counterpoint to health insurance reforms the first Clinton administration was proposing. Not to mention that it bears great similarities to the bill Mitt Romney championed in Massachusetts, the individual mandate especially.

    The cognitive dissonance here is deafening. It makes Augenmusik by Anton v. Webern look as sweet and melodious as a sweeping melody by Brahms. The fact that the GOP feels that they have to systematically undermine the implementation of Obamacare because they know it will be popular. Aspects of it already in place are already popular. For whatever reason, these people are willing to throw their own voters under the bus to defeat health insurance reform. Governors of relatively poor, rural states like Maine's Paul LePage, in refusing Medicaid expansion, are actively harming millions of people around the country who stand to benefit the most. It's disgusting, but predictable.

    As far as Larry Summers is concerned, we should all let our congresscritters know that he's an unacceptable choice for the Fed. He must not be allowed to repeat on the Potomac what he perpetrated on the Charles. There's a good reason he was run out of Cambridge on a rail.

    I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

    by commonmass on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 04:51:39 AM PDT

    •  American voters like the fact that you know where (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, dclawyer06, pelagicray

      Repubs stand.  They have convictions and stick to them or rip their hearts out trying.  As abhorrent as their ideology and policy positions are, as much as it's in the voter's worst interests to vote for them, Repubs are steady and reliable or certainly more reliable politically than are Dems.  For people battered by events out of their control, that's quite comforting.

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

      by accumbens on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:22:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not to me it isn't. To paraphrase Gustav Mahler, (4+ / 0-)

        "I reserve the right to disagree with my own opinion"--that is, to change my mind. As frustrating as the Democratic Party has been in recent decades, I would rather have Democrats than rigid ideologues. You don't solve problems with rigid ideology. If you did, everyone would be a Communist today.

        I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

        by commonmass on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:27:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  oh horseshit... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, pelagicray

        they stick to them when politically expedient, abandon them at the drop of a hat for filthy lucre and have a whoreish media ready to do their bidding

        they are winning the shouting wars...in that they are reliable

        If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. John F. Kennedy ( inaugural address, January 20, 1961)

        by Outraged Mom on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:45:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If you like ideologues (4+ / 0-)

        that are so wedded to their ideology, that binders full of facts will not make them change their minds, that science, mathematics and knowledge are scorned as "elitist", and that celebrate ignorance as a virtue, well, you're probably a Republican.
         photo creationsciencequiz-500x333_zps709b44f2.jpg

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:45:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't like them at all. And the point is that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass, skohayes

          with most voters substance seems to matter less than does being firm and clear in the stands they take.  What you see is what you get.

          The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

          by accumbens on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 06:33:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, I know you don't! (0+ / 0-)

            I did NOT mean to imply that at all. My comment was sort of an addendum to yours.
            My apologies.

            “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

            by skohayes on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 02:39:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Our own "Tribal Areas" problem. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          micsimov, Mr MadAsHell, skohayes

          We definitely have our Tribal Areas with more similarity to those in Pakistan than most would like to admit. From the link and grin—or grimmace—a bit:

          The law was gun and drugs. These people trade in gun and guns only.
          They share the culture, and they all share a very deep, religious leanings. They consider themselves ultra-religious people. Yes, the rest would like to call them the sheer fundamentalists.
          They cannot stand to any notion that the government or army is challenging the people who are religious people, who are religiously motivated people.
          They don't want your schools. They don't want your hospitals.
          Yeah, they have their own American madrassas that perpetuate the kind of bullshit you illustrate here as well as a very "tribal" message. Many work to create this.

          Perhaps they bathe more often, appear more "civilized" and but down deep their brotherhood is with the Taliban and all the rest they likely refer to as "ragheads."

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 08:33:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Dylan Matthews wrote a great post (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Hoghead99

      yesterday, Republicans had a plan to replace Obamacare. It looked a lot like Obamacare..

      It was called the Patients’ Choice Act, it was proposed by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), two of the most influential Congressional Republicans on the issue, and it was a credible way of covering almost all Americans; the House bill got 13 co-sponsors (nine of whom are still in office) and the Senate bill got seven (six of whom are still in office).
      Here’s how it would have worked:
      • States would open health insurance exchanges where individuals and small businesses could buy coverage.
      • Insurance plans on the exchanges would have to provide a base level of coverage set by the federal government.
      • Insurers couldn’t turn down customers, including because of preexisting conditions (guaranteed issue).
      • Individuals and families would get a refundable tax credit to pay for insurance.

      • That tax credit would be financed in part by limiting the tax exemption on employer-provided insurance.
      If that sounds familiar, it should. Those are all sentences that accurately describe both the Patients’ Choice Act and the Affordable Care Act. There are plenty of differences, of course.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:40:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's not contradictory, it's simply that (9+ / 0-)

    the GOP has a deep-seated anxiety over the fact that brown people will get health care.

    And even more simply, "brown people."

    "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

    by Rikon Snow on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 04:54:19 AM PDT

  •  Snort. (10+ / 0-)
    Right-wing ideologues try to square this circle by insisting that the country as a whole secretly yearns for their rigid brand of conservatism, but polls and real life experience indicate otherwise.
    Experience suggests that experience has no impact on the GOP.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 04:58:18 AM PDT

  •  President Obama tried being tough? (5+ / 0-)
    Commentators who criticize the president for not hosting enough cocktail parties or golf outings for Republicans are ignoring political reality. He has tried being nice, he has tried being tough, he has tried offering to compromise, he has tried driving a hard bargain.
    If he wanted to play hardball, he'd have solved this budget showdown months ago. Hold a press conference and tell the American people the GOP is threatening to tank the US gov't(by not raising the debt limit) in order to force him to slash their Social Security.

    That's playing tough. And it's true.

    •  Once again, someone needs to cover it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass

      Can you imagine the discussions, postspeech?  4 Republicans and a RW moderator, with a national platform, spreading lies and explaining how Obama hates white people and wants a race war cuz Obamacare?  Pretty sure he's smarter than that.

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:10:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They'd cover the fact that the republicans... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        salmo

        are trying to cut folks' social security.

        If I take your comment seriously then President Obama should just resign because he cannot govern. I don't buy that.

        •  No they won't. They'll explain that the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skohayes

          Republicans are REALLY saving SS for the good of our beloved Seniors.  My uterus is packed with Texas Talibanists for my health.  There are no clinics, so I get better care.  It's insane, and it gets media approval, not pushback.  Don't tell me tough talk wins.  Wendy Davis is one tough woman and the media printed all the lies, focused on urine in jars brought in by feminist terrorists (never happened).

          How is it that the only time people here rely on the media is when Obama's "failing to use the media well"?  Why are they corporate mouthpieces until Obama or the Democrats aren't good at messaging?  Talk about cognitive dissonance!  

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:57:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  By the way, your hypothetical is so dumb... (0+ / 0-)

        and so untethered to anything I wrote, I'm curious why you attached it to my comment?

        •  So you say tough talk is all that's (0+ / 0-)

          needed, I say tough talk means shit when the media undermines it with RW lies, and you tell me how silly I am for thinking the media doesn't do their job, and blow me off?  

          Good job!  Now I understand, the press will fawn over Obama if he just goes all Shaft on the GOP.  How could he not get that?  Loser.

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 06:06:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  How could he do this.... (5+ / 0-)

      > Hold a press conference and tell the American people the GOP is
      > threatening to tank the US gov't (by not raising the debt limit) in
      > order to force him to slash their Social Security.

      He doesn't need to be forced to cut Social Security.

      ;~{

    •  I would like to rec your comment a few thousand (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, dclawyer06

      times.  This is absolutely the case.  Obama has never been tough.  He's always "measured", "the adult in the room" (as if being an adult means you never take a stand), and rarely calls it like it is.  For the most part, he's the Repubs most favorite squeak toy.

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

      by accumbens on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:25:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think its a combination of things (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass

        In the first term, I think it had a lot to do with their strategy for winning a second term. He couldn't get pegged as the angry black man and peel off enough moderate whites to win.

        I also think it's his personality to be sort of aloof and professorial, let Congress fight their battles and stay above the fray.

      •  Yes, and when he DOES call it like it is, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Diana in NoVa, MRobDC, accumbens

        it's extremely powerful. I can kind of see what his strategy is: be measured in using that bully pulpit, so that when you do, it has an impact. That would be a great strategy if he were dealing with the mid-90's congress and Newt. But he's not dealing with anyone near that rational (I can't believe I just said that, and I can't believe it's true).

        I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

        by commonmass on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:35:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And this whole budget "debate" is a cruel.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, accumbens

        kabuki occurring within the narrow confines of the right and the ultra-right.

    •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

      We already went through this once. You remember that the press covered it, right?
      You remember the big yawn it got from the American people? And the applause from the right wing?
      Yeah, if Obama was just more of an asshole, things would be better.
      epic face palm photo epicfacepalm.jpg

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:51:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What a strawman... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, aznavy

        President Obama has never framed the budget showdown as a fight over Social Security.

        Never.
        He can't because he also wants to cut the program.

        Funny gifs won't change that.

        •  And I don't quite understand his enthusiasm (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dclawyer06

          for cutting Social Security. It could have something to do with his penchant for cozying up to Wall Street.

          Which reminds me: I've got my great-grandfather's Social Security card, issued in '36, before they started paying benefits (I believe that started in '37). I must get it framed and put it on my office wall.

          I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

          by commonmass on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:56:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't either... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass

            It's become an article of faith that these programs must be "adjusted."

            •  Well, I'll tell you this: my late husband (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dclawyer06, aznavy

              was on SS disability and Medicaid (MaineCare). It's a mercy that if he had to get sick and die after a long hospitalization, he did it when he did. I'm still getting letters from MaineCare telling me his benefits have been slashed.

              What is happening here is obscene. Congress, the President, and so many governors and state legislators are so disconnected from reality that it's really stunning. But it's nothing really new.

              I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

              by commonmass on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 06:05:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  What the hell are you talking about? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ohkwai, micsimov

          You think that we could solve this debt ceiling crisis by with Obama playing hardball (that was the comment I was responding to).
          I pointed out the last time we went through the debt ceiling debacle, Obama was out on the stump telling people what would happen and "playing hardball" and was met by a huge yawn from the public and the press. How'd that work out for him?
          And for someone who, according to you, wants to cut Social Security, he sure has done very little to do so, besides offer CCPI up as a negotiating tool. In his latest budget, it's attached to $600 billion in new revenues, which not one Republican has endorsed. No new revenues, no chained CPI.
          And just because you asked so nicely:
           photo billsblockedbycongress.jpg

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 06:25:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You keep evading my argument... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass

            Instead, you keep changing it into a straw-man of your own making and then hacking away at it.

            Again, President Obama has never framed this budget showdown as a fight over Social Security and Medicare.

            He hasn't.
            If he had, he'd win.

    •  Tea-baggers are flipping out over (0+ / 0-)

      those Repubs. who aren't backing Sen. Lee's efforts; last night I took a look at RedState and the top 5 articles or so on their front page are all about this, begging their readers to contact their Senators and demand they sign on to Lee's letter.  He's a nut-case; of course, he's from Utah so that's redundant (no offense Utah progressives).

      The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

      by micsimov on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 09:35:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  All around me, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, micsimov

    I see people absolutely convinced that "Obamacare" will be a horrible thing because high taxes and government.  And that's bad.  Meanwhile, their moms and dads are on Medicare and social security.

    This should not be hard:  the Democrats need to make ads and talk about the Republican lies that don't even make sense.

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:23:19 AM PDT

  •  Takedown of Summers today by the Boston Globe's (7+ / 0-)

    new business columnist:

    His risky ways were evident at Harvard, too. He gambled with the university’s operating fund, placing billions of dollars in an aggressive mix of investments. He would have heated debates with Jack Meyer, then the revered head of the endowment, who advocated for a more conservative approach.

    During the good times, it was a lucrative strategy, and the cash from the operating account more than doubled under Summers. The windfall allowed Harvard to fuel his ambitious plan to expand its campus into Allston. But when the market crashed in 2008, Harvard lost $1.8 billion, prompting layoffs, tighter budgets, and an abrupt pullback of the Allston plans. Summers was long gone by then.

    “We all can look back now and say we wish we did something different,” Harvard treasurer James F. Rothenberg would say later.

    The next Fed chairman should not be controversial, or at least not this controversial. If and when the market is in free fall, you want an adult in charge. Larry Summers is not that guy.

    When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

    by litho on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:24:36 AM PDT

    •  Not to mention the fact that Summers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mmacdDE

      is a frank sexist.

      I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

      by commonmass on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:37:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Though, of course (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, aznavy

        she did mention that...

        What finally did him in were his remarks at an economic conference in which he suggested that women lacked the same “intrinsic aptitude” for science as men. Critics seized on the comments. Facing a growing revolt from professors and evaporating support from the university’s governing board, Summers reluctantly resigned in 2006 after five tumultuous years.

        When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

        by litho on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 06:07:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Those who know him best (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, litho, aznavy

      at close working-together range, like him least. The fact that he's lobbying hard for the job is another huge turn-off in my book. The Fed head is a public figure, but anyone with an ego big enough to crave that kind of publicity shouldn't be in charge.

      Hopefully Obama is getting the message and will heed it.

  •  gop are idiots over health care (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, micsimov

    the bottom line quite honestly is the bottom line.  if the health exchange is a good deal, people will use them.  sure there will be people who dodge because they feel they can get away with it.  but only a few ideological jackasses will refuse to enter it even though they need it and it's a good deal.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:25:59 AM PDT

    •  They always have been (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, micsimov

      They could have had pretty much anything they wanted as part of the healthcare package under Clinton but they wanted to torpedo it instead to score political points.

    •  The ideological jackass governors who are (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      micsimov

      refusing Medicaid expansion are doing so for purely ideological reasons. They are, essentially, turning down "free" Federal money that greatly benefits millions of working poor who, by the way, are paying taxes.

      I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

      by commonmass on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:39:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Krugman on Republican Health Care Panic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    I examine his NYTimes column and offer some commentary in this post which I invite you to read

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:27:21 AM PDT

  •  Norm Ornstein is at it again (3+ / 0-)

    The Unprecedented—and Contemptible—Attempts to Sabotage Obamacare

    What is going on now to sabotage Obamacare is not treasonous—just sharply beneath any reasonable standards of elected officials with the fiduciary responsibility of governing. A good example is the letter Senate Republican Leaders Mitch McConnell and Cornyn sent to the NFL, demanding that it not cooperate with the Obama administration in a public-education campaign to tell their fans about what benefits would be available to them and how the plan would work—a letter that clearly implied deleterious consequences if the league went ahead anyhow. McConnell and Cornyn got their desired result. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell quickly capitulated. (When I came to Washington in 1969-70, one of my great pleasures was meeting and getting to know Charles Goodell, the courageous Republican senator from New York who took on his own president on Vietnam and was quietly courageous on many other controversial issues. Roger Goodell is his son—although you would not know it from this craven action.)
    When a law is enacted, representatives who opposed it have some choices (which are not mutually exclusive). They can try to repeal it, which is perfectly acceptable—unless it becomes an effort at grandstanding so overdone that it detracts from other basic responsibilities of governing. They can try to amend it to make it work better—not just perfectly acceptable but desirable, if the goal is to improve a cumbersome law to work better for the betterment of the society and its people. They can strive to make sure that the law does the most for Americans it is intended to serve, including their own constituents, while doing the least damage to the society and the economy. Or they can step aside and leave the burden of implementation to those who supported the law and got it enacted in the first place.
    But to do everything possible to undercut and destroy its implementation—which in this case means finding ways to deny coverage to many who lack any health insurance; to keep millions who might be able to get better and cheaper coverage in the dark about their new options; to create disruption for the health providers who are trying to implement the law, including insurers, hospitals, and physicians; to threaten the even greater disruption via a government shutdown or breach of the debt limit in order to blackmail the president into abandoning the law; and to hope to benefit politically from all the resulting turmoil—is simply unacceptable, even contemptible. One might expect this kind of behavior from a few grenade-throwing firebrands. That the effort is spearheaded by the Republican leaders of the House and Senate—even if Speaker John Boehner is motivated by fear of his caucus, and McConnell and Cornyn by fear of Kentucky and Texas Republican activists—takes one's breath away.

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 06:02:56 AM PDT

    •  ALG: McConnell is spiteful, petty and small (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skillet

      ALG decided going "Steel Magnolia" is the only way to confront McConnell.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 07:39:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Several Senators are telling (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aznavy

    President Obama to skip the Larry Summers nomination.

    Even if we're not Senators, we can fire off a phone call or an email to the White House.  

    My hope on this one is that someone on the President's political team swings by the phone bank and asks, "What are people saying about the Summers option?"

    And the phone bank folks say, "Uh, they aren't liking it much at all."

  •  Eugene Robinson was on Mourning Joke on Thurs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    micsimov

    And he Never Once spoke as he writes?

    Why?

    MSNBC allows a 3 hour show to lie, have Nicole Wallace to spew her lies along with Joe Lying Cheating Scarborough to spout out falsehood without any facts to rebut the lies.  Shame.  

    As much as I loathe TeaNN......it's Morning Show has now been doing better.....not that they have screwed over Soledad O'Brien and fired her and they have beefed up the New Day with more Caucasians and have promoted the heck out of it.

    Al Jazeera starts on Aug 20th.......Hopefully, they will keep the Stephanie Miller Show and run a finer Cable News Network, devoting more time to the News and issues that affect Americans......not fake issues.

    I hope they AJA is a better News Network.

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