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Reading freeper diaries I stumbled upon a link to this;

Michael Needham: The Strategist Behind the Shutdown

First things first.  The author of the WSJ article is Stephen Moore.  He is one of them and he also worked at the Heritage Foundation, Michael Needham is the CEO of Heritage Action, the front lines arm of the foundation in existance since 2010.

I understand the influence of the Koch bros on the Tea Party and even the work of people like Edwin Meese.  The Kochs donate to Heritage and Edwin Meese has been involved with the foundation since 1988.

This Faux News article sums up the initial shutdown brainstrorm;

Government Shutdown Was Planned For Months By Ed Meese, Koch Bros

The Heritage Foundation is a pervasive influence on the Tea Party/GOP.

So from the article above about Needham;

Though Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is the public face of the high-risk strategy to "defund" ObamaCare, the masterminds behind it are a new generation of young conservatives, chief among them Mr. Needham. From a tactical view, the strategy has been deployed with precision. In August, only Mr. Cruz and a band of renegade tea-party Republicans in the House favored this approach, and the media collectively scoffed. But by September, House Republicans couldn't pass a budget without attaching the defunding rider that has grounded much of government.
If the right wing of politics were a football team, Heritage Foundation would be the coach and Heritage Action the quarterback.

Here he is explaining the whole strategy and American conservatism;

But things have not worked out like he planned.  He gave the ball to Ted Cruz and Cruz fumbled.  Obama picked up the ball and is running to the goal line and he is at the 5 yard line.

We are not talking about Obamacare anymore in spite of Needham's claim;

"We just spent the last three months talking about nothing else but ObamaCare. It has been on the front page of every newspaper. The polls show ObamaCare's more unpopular than ever. People are starting to wake up that it isn't going to work at all," he says. "Even Jon Stewart of 'The Daily Show' is making fun of the law." On Monday, Mr. Stewart had Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as a guest, Mr. Needham notes, and the host "bet that he could download every movie ever made before she could log on to the ObamaCare website."
The Tea Party/GOP is in disarray.  In desperation they went after the debt limit which made things worse. And the Dems are running behind Obama blocking any attempts to tackle him.

But Needham doesn't get it;

Mr. Needham thinks, by the way, that the stalemate may drag on well beyond Oct. 17, the day the U.S. Treasury may reach the federal borrowing limit. He has little problem with the latest strategy to pass a temporary debt-ceiling extension, viewing the debt-default debate as a distraction from the battle over the future of ObamaCare funding.

President Obama is the one in an "untenable position," Mr. Needham says. It is "totally unfair to say, 'We're going to give a delay of the employer mandate, but we will not give that same delay to the individual mandate, and we're going to exempt members of Congress.' A united conservative party making the case, day in and day out, about the fundamental unfairness of the way the president is implementing this law is a winning argument," he says. And it "inspires people and gets them on our side."

Untenable? I believe that Needham is the one in the untenable position.  I wonder if he will still be there next year.  And I believe that October 17 is the day Obama crosses the goal line and scores a touchdown for the ages.

So how did this 31 year old know it all get to such prominent position? He and Ted Cruz will be the scapegoats.  But who cares. It's the end of Heritage Foundation conservatism in America.  This is the superbowl of politcs.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Money outlives everything, so this is hardly (17+ / 0-)

    "the end of Heritage Foundation conservatism".

    Thanks for this, though. As Republicans have gotten dimmer and dimmer they've become more inclined to believe anyone who is articulate, however daft.

    He'll have a long and successful career as a mouth for money.

    Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . UID: 8519

    by Bob Love on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 04:05:51 PM PDT

  •  I bet one of this guy's ancestors was with the 7th (16+ / 0-)

    and Custer at the Little Big Horn, who told Custer that they didn't need artillery and Gatling guns slowing the column down.  He was also the one who told Custer to not accept reinforcements because then he would have to share the glory.

    Next, he was the guy who told Custer the heck with sticking to orders and scouting out enemy positions when an attack and victory would deliver him the WH.  He was also the one who told Custer to ignore the early contacts with Lakota and Cheyenne scouts and small parties.

    He was also the guy who told Custer to split his column into three to make sure no tribesmen escaped from the assault.  No doubt he was the one, when they crested the ridge and saw the extent of the Lakota and Cheyenne camps, to urge Custer to cross the river and attack.

    When the frontal elements of the 7th were rebuffed, he was the one who encouraged Custer to dismount and fight instead of riding hell for leather the heck out of Dodge.  Finally, he had to be the one who was yelling, as the survivors from the other two redoubts were falling back to their final position, "We got them where we want them now"

    The only question in my mind is the relationship between the family names of Custer and Cruz  

  •  Hey, somebody's got to be the goat. (9+ / 0-)

    The Koch off-sites in Aspen or Scottsdale or where ever they meet is where these strategies are made and guys like Needham are just their version of OFA.

  •  Talk about clueless (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, themis, Just Bob, paradise50

    He thinks "the debt-default debate as a distraction from the battle over the future of ObamaCare funding". He surely hasn't been paying attention, or hasn't been able to read the public pulse if he has. Maybe it is about Obamacare in his mind, but it wasn't for many Rs from the get-go, and for even fewer now.

    On the other hand, you are going overboard with your hubristic glee with "It's the end of Heritage Foundation conservatism in America". This is just one battle, and not the decisive battle in this war.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 04:13:34 PM PDT

  •  yeah, "brain" (8+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 04:14:09 PM PDT

  •  He's got one thing right. (10+ / 0-)
    It is "totally unfair to say, 'We're going to give a delay of the employer mandate, but we will not give that same delay to the individual mandate, and we're going to exempt members of Congress.'
    Neither of those should have been given.
    •  Agreed (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      themis, paradise50, quill

      Like a stopped clock they are right twice a day.

      Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

      by Shockwave on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 04:20:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The mandate is the issue, but it is neither the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave, paradise50

      employer mandate nor the individual mandate that's got Congress' knickers in a twist. The individual mandate is unenforceable and, therefore, merely hortatory. Delaying enforcement actions against large employers makes sense because, as is the case with the whole internal revenue system, it's voluntary. We rely on people doing the right thing even though it is clear that some are going to cheat -- which is not something we can prove until the data are in. Congress is going to be treated like any other large employer which can organize its own plan.
      So, since the particulars don't match the claim, we can conclude they are lying and yet they have a valid beef. Once it is up and running, the "pea-packer" (PPACA) will, just like Social Security, Medicare and Unemployment Compensation, run on automatic, without any input or jiggering by Congress critters. That is, it will be another mandatory, rather than discretionary program and not available for members of Congress to employ to reward or punish the electorate.
      In a sense, members of Congress are being hoist by their own petard. The insistence that programs pay for themselves has had the consequence that Congressional input is shut out. If they can't use the money to reward and punish, how will they keep getting elected?

      Yes, they don't like mandates because they restrict Congressional options. At a minimum, they want to be able to threaten to destroy programs so they can then get credit for not doing that. Not doing is one of the strategies of the party of no. Think of the dad who doesn't beat the kids like mom promised. Familiar family values they learned at home.

      •  If one were ironic or cynical enough, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shockwave

        one could say that the Heritage people are simply watching their own 1993 proposal pan out and how badly it works. We are in the private enterprise mode not because it works best but because it eliminated the 'socialist' 'big government' howl which was otherwise inevitable. And now, of course, they and we are both complaining about how badly that works, how hard it is to get doctors used to being independent all get with the same computer programming for their various business activities, and the like.

        And of course, the Heritage types are not yet  saying literally that the entire Federal health system is unfair, just the one for Congress, although the unfair system they refer to there is the general  Federal Healthcare system. So it is only a matter of time for Rs to expand their "Unfair of Congress to get a better deal' argument to the entire Federal system, rather than simply recognize that ACA care was intended to leave employer sponsored systems in general intact, and the Federal government is an employer like any other in that equation. What they want is for no Federal employees to have an employer system and all of them forfeit employer coverage and have to head into the ACA system, another swamping of the system given the number of Federal Employees and another way of making Federal employment even more undesirable than that in the private sector.

        At least this was so until private employers started very publicly dropping their insurance plans  the way they have dropped other benefits at the first opportunity in this iteration of employer ethics, or cutting hours so as to make themselves exempt as to the employees whose time was cut, from insurang them, or at least bringing some of their aggregate number of employees below fifty.  ACA assumed that most employers offering plans would continue to do so, not use the opportunity to bail, and increase profits by eliminating their share, and balancing the fiine, a businesse expense after all, over against the cost of continuing the policy.

        There is also now a diary up about United Healthcare firing doctors, which undercuts the claim that if one stayed with one's employer, one could keep one's doctor. I personally expect that this firing doctors stuff will be one of the tweaks to ACA to fix the problem but that's just my guess. There's not way ACA can work if a huge number of the alreaedy inadequate number of doctors and nurse pracs who may be consulted are reduced, because the rest who survive will be trampled to death by patients.

        •  Why employers should compensate workers (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shockwave, happymisanthropy

          with health insurance is a puzzlement. Necessry medical care, as opposed to purely cosmetic surgeries such as face lifts, is not a benefit; it's a lesser evil or disutilities. As a disutility, it has the same characteristics as, for example, fire suppression or flood control or military force -- success is measured by less. That is, the less need, the better the program works.
          Success = less is the reason why the market is an inappropriate delivery system. The market is always aiming for more and more profit.
          Eventually, this reality will become inescapable and the funding of medical services will be centralized. First, we may have to get rid of the preconceived notion that "he who pays the piper calls the tune."  The payer can call all he wants, but the piper can only play what he knows.
          We also need to elect a Congress that knows dollars are worthless tokens of obligation (certified IOUs) and using them as tools of social manipulation is inappropriate.

          "single payer" is probably not the best phrase.

          •  That's where you run up against the ideology of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Shockwave

            'freedom'.  'Freedom' or 'free will' is the ability to do things that aren't logical, that often result in self-damage, damage to others, or harm to both.

            While 'less is more' in healthcare, allowing people 'freedom' means allowing them to continue to do things that will cause healthcare costs to rise, such as shoveling candy bars and 'large gulp's down.

            In general, in government, we've been able to begrudgingly get many/most people to accept that behaviours that obviously damage or kill other people can be controlled or even banned by government, but they fight tooth and nail to retain their right to self-damage.  And I don't see that changing until humans evolve into something else.

            •  You're blaming the victims for getting sick. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Shockwave

              It would probably be more fruitful to consider that corporate agriculture and food processing and industrial medecine are self-reinforcing enterprises engaged in human husbandry, the exploitation of people by their own kind to their detriment.
              That soda machines have been plugged into school hallways instead of water fountains is not the responsibility of those who thirst. I'm just using that as an example.

              •  Well, I chose the low hanging fruit (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Shockwave

                - I could just have easily have said gone mountain climbing or windsurfing, as eating poorly.  You can do self-harm or increase your chances for self harm in all sorts of ways, even those considered 'healthy' activities.

                You're not going to fall off a mountain unless you climb one.  But if you do fall off a mountain, you're probably going to need a lot more health care than someone who never climbed that mountain, and thus could never fall off.

        •  Erm (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shockwave, ranton
          ACA assumed that most employers offering plans would continue to do so, not use the opportunity to bail, and increase profits by eliminating their share, and balancing the fiine, a businesse expense after all, over against the cost of continuing the policy.
          Who on earth in Congress was actually that naive, as to believe that would be the case?  A few Dems, maybe, but surely the vast majority of people with any exposure to modern american life would have instantly predicted that given the slightest opportunity to slash costs, business would do so, no matter the cost to the human employees.
          •  I have long since given up on figuring out what (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Shockwave

            Congress or the 'insurors' think. There was a diary up last night which discussed the oddity that insurors are now 'firing' doctors, dumping them from their networks, for something which shows up in algorithms,  and another where a hospital system was dumping doctors because the doctor was (also) in a network which competed with a network the hospital was running as an additional business.

            Around where I am, many doctors try to be in every network available so that patients have insurance when they need services, no matter which insurance they have.

             Another case here was a hospital that dumped a group of MA plans, two out of the only four they accepted for the last two years, since they didn't accept straight medicare, and which plans and doctors they had insisted Medicare beneficiaries use only two years before as a condition of care.

            I am now getting ready to use the next closest hospital and doctor system to the one I had last year and this year, because I can stay with my MA, and the hospital which made me take the MA and then dumped the MA is not a very good hospital anyway.

          •  That is why Congress needs to pass a law (0+ / 0-)

            stipulating that if employers drop benefits, the current level of benefit costs must be added to wages.

            I always assumed that employers rushing to drop health benefits was anticipated and was meant to increase the demand for a public option, expansion of medicare/medicaid for all, or single payer.

            Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

            by ranton on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 07:38:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  How did a 31 year old get in such a position? Easy (17+ / 0-)

    I've worked in the movie/TV/music industry forever, and I've seen it 1,000 times; the wunderkinds start off low with charisma and just enough smarts to seem like they know a lot, and concentrate on glamming up the people above them who can really move them up. Relentlessly make the contacts, become a member of 'the circle', tell the bigwigs exactly what they want to hear, without EVER risking an idea of your own (you can't ever be wrong), and keep getting jobs from buddies in the system, even though you have no qualifications or experience. Eventually you have a fat, padded resume and know all the right people, and organizations will look at that resume and say 'Well, look at all his previous work... he MUST know what he's doing! And look at all these references!"

    This was pretty much the history of most people in the Bush administration.

    And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown... the mysterious. The unexplainable. That is why you are here.

    by Fordmandalay on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 04:27:24 PM PDT

    •  I actually ran into someone just like that. I (6+ / 0-)

      could not figure out how she got to her level in a very large, well known entertainment company.  She cannot manage people, is afraid to make decisions, is unorganized and cannot remember anything.....it blows me away.   Your explanation makes sense except how in the hell do they ever produce a movie or TV show.  A production of any sort takes a great deal of strategy and organization so how does anything get done?

      •  That's what assistants are for (10+ / 0-)

        Not EVERYONE is the first type - there's also the second type who does know their stuff, who Type 1s hire and rely upon for the actual work (and taking the credit).

        Type 1s will always hire Type 2s, but Type 2s will NEVER hire Type 1s, because they actually care about what they're doing.

        And no matter how bad Type 1s are at their jobs, in entertainment and politics there is no such thing as getting fired, only failing upward. Once again, see the Bush Admin. - actually GWB is the ultimate example.

        And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown... the mysterious. The unexplainable. That is why you are here.

        by Fordmandalay on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 06:02:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Budd Schulberg's What Makes Sammy Run? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fordmandalay, Shockwave

      written in 1941 explains all of this also ... the GOP is being ran by Sammy Glick

  •  And yet, they blather on endlessly (4+ / 0-)

    about this being the Dem/Obama/Reid shutdown, without an ounce of recognition.

    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

    by beemerr90s on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 04:34:19 PM PDT

  •  I'm Thinking They Intend Default in Order to Make (8+ / 0-)

    government borrowing more expensive indefinitely, and there may be other effects of default they intend.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 04:54:08 PM PDT

    •  Well...who/what will have the monetary reserves to (5+ / 0-)

      buy government debt (after the default) complete with exorbitantly high interest rates...all required to be paid by taxpayers who lost up to 1/2 of their remaining wealth.  The .01 of the one percent never fail to find another way to screw average Americans.

      Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

      by ranton on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 05:17:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Default won't stop the ACA. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ranton, Shockwave, marina

      It will hinder business and take an ever increasing toll on the recovery, but I don't see how it will stop ACA. ACA transactions are not yet at the magnitude of SS or Medicare, so fiddling with the funding (which won't be tolerated by the Senate or POTUS) won't buy a minute of relief, in any case.

      If the tp tries to set up payment to China for their interest first, they will be blocked by the Senate and the POTUS. The POTUS is the Chief Executive and it's his job to make the payments in any case.

      Sooner or later, once the first SS payments are missed, they (and we) will look back on the last couple of weeks as 'the good old days". The tp will bullsh*t all they want to about how it's Obama's shutdown and Obama's default. I would not want to be a republican in DC or at some townhall meeting when the seniors roll up in their scooters. The National Guard will not be tasing crippled up little old ladies and WWII vets in their scooters.

      This shutdown was imposed on the people by a Republican House coup d-etat. It's the duty of congress to fund the government, not to defund it.

      It's possible that the gotp may be planning to not reopening the government. If so, that probably won't last through Thanksgiving, unless they can come up with some spectacular reasoning about how it makes us all more exceptional.

      For one thing, failing to reopen the government will levy a terrible burden on state UI funds, and the feds won't be able to step in to help. The states will start to squeak, some won't be able to fulfill their obligations.

      I hope the President stays firm in this. He's right, if he bends now this level of brinksmanship will become the new normal. Bad for everyone.

      •  I think Gooserock might be suggesting that this (8+ / 0-)

        planned and fomented shutdown has never really been about the ACA to those who have shaped and funded the current version of the ReTHUGlican Party.  It has taken 30+ years to build the foundations for implementing Paul Weyrich's vision.

        http://www.yuricareport.com/...

        History proves that instability offers "opportunities."  The scenario you paint suggests just some of those possible instabilities.

        Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

        by ranton on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 06:10:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Agree! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shockwave

        Quite right. President MUST stand firm, which he has had a tough time doing.  If he caves, it is lights out, the party's over. Interpret "party" as you will.

        It's just my opinion.

        by OracleFemina on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 08:15:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It would be nice if your premise was fully (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave, NoMoreLies, Sandino

      explained and explored by several MSM columnists/pundits. I would love to see public momentum build for Senate hearings concerning possible "treasonous" activities of Bircher Industrialists/Corporatists and their bought/paid for political hacks.  Further calling into question the motives of those aligned with people like the Koch Bros is one way to fight back.

      This moment in history needs to be seized; it's time to change the conversation and move the Overton Window.

      Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

      by ranton on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 05:55:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ...what a fuck!... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave

    Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences. -7.38; -3.44

    by paradise50 on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 05:19:43 PM PDT

    •  ...I had to stop listening at the 21:19 point... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave

      Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences. -7.38; -3.44

      by paradise50 on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 05:20:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ...at the 21:26 mark he talks of Woodrow... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shockwave

                                        (obviously I listened to more)

        ...Wilson. Wilson was a racist, unfortunately. He was from the south and grew up with segregation. He said in theory...one day there will be equality...but now (when he was president) is not the time.

        This fuck takes that...doesn't explain why Wilson said that...then makes it about "government can fix problems," of course everything else he says is fundie and uber RW.

        This guy is liar and a FOX NEWSesqe sort to twist truth up (truthiness)...

        Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences. -7.38; -3.44

        by paradise50 on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 05:26:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  An eloquent liar (0+ / 0-)

          Sort of like Ted Cruz.

          He probably grew up far from real America, far from poor people, far from minorities, far from working middle class.

          I believe he is history.  His song did not move up the charts.

          Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

          by Shockwave on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 06:00:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Hoping upon hope Obama doesn't cave (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, marina

    I believe this is not about the ACA, and if one reaches back in memory, the worst actors were almost all promoted within the Bush administration. There were a few scapegoats, of course. The banking industry jailed Galleon (not sure that was all during Bush) and the war business nailed Karpinski (sp) for torture rather than Rumsfeld and pro-torture legal eagles. Overall, we no longer have criminal conflict of interest, fraud or anti-trust enforcement. (Enron convictions would never happen today.) Further, I am very fearful that Obama is going to give away the show again. The fact that billionaires of the Koch Bros. ilk are entitled to non-profit foundations underwritten by taxpayor dollars while the proposed killing of the safety net is deemed "essential" is too sickening to grasp. (Unless one understands psychopaths cannot sympathize or empathize.)

  •  These predictions strike me as feckless (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandino

    " It's the end of Heritage Foundation conservatism in America."  Really?  If LOGIC worked, they wouldn't be in positions of power in the first place.

    I think you'll find the same assholes in the same positions next year.  Conservatives are already idiots: they're not about to change horses.

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