That’s right—the House Republicans will get even more conservative, something you may not have thought possible. In some districts, Republicans have found success by running against that lily-livered liberal John Boehner. But it may turn out that, despite presiding over an even crazier caucus, Boehner could find that the pressure on him is dramatically lessened if Republicans take the Senate.
When, back in July, Speaker John Boehner secured House authorization to file suit against President Obama for “changing the health care law without a vote of Congress, effectively creating his own law,” cynical Democrats derided the planned litigation as a “political stunt,” a talking point for the fall campaign playbook. But a report by the apolitical Congressional Research Service (CRS), completed on September 4, but never released by the member who sponsored it, nor mentioned in the press, indicates that the Democrats were not cynical enough.
Now, three months after the party-line House vote to green-light the lawsuit, no complaint has yet been filed. If this stretched out delay means that Boehner has actually redirected his sue-Obama gambit toward oblivion, the reason may be this unnoticed six week old CRS report. While bearing an opaquely generic title - “A Primer on the Reviewability of Agency Delay and Enforcement Discretion,” the report actually targets a single instance of alleged agency delay and exercise of enforcement discretion - the Obama Administration’s adjustments of effective dates for the Affordable Care Act’s so-called employer mandate to offer employees ACA-complaint health insurance or pay a tax. This delay happens to be the basis - the sole basis - for the legal action against the President that Boehner outlined in July. Although shrouded in twelve pages of fine print and protectively bureaucratic phraseology, the report’s bottom line is clear: not merely are the legal underpinnings of the Republicans’ planned lawsuit weak; the report turns up no legal basis - no “there” there - at all.
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) #5pts4jobs -> http://t.co/DR9MAb4X5d
In a tweet linking to his “5 Points for Resetting America’s Economic Foundation,” Boehner ended up leaving the five bullet points blank, ready for any mischievous Twitter rascal to submit their own
The US Treasury has warned Congress that the debt ceiling raising time again, and as before, the Republicans are dancing around trying to tie the debt ceiling to one or another of their pet causes.
Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew says the day of destiny this time is Feb. 27.
The last debt ceiling showdown hurt economic output, employment, and America’s standing among global investors, experts say.
Flirting with default comes with costs, even if the government never misses a single payment, experts said. A new study from the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a research group based in Washington, suggested that the cost of last year’s fiscal standoffs lopped roughly a percentage point, or $150 billion, off economic output and cost 750,000 jobs.
Around the world, the perception of Treasury debt as being absolutely safe has shifted, said Adam S. Posen, president of the Peterson Institute and a former central banker at the Bank of England. Managers of sovereign-wealth funds in countries like Norway and Singapore are rethinking their exposure to the dollar, he said.
“The dumb money says, ‘Every time I reacted to a debt deliberation in the United States, I overreacted and lost money,’ ” he said. “But the smart money knows the market has been changed by this uncertainty.”
Bipartisan gay-rights advocates have expressed renewed enthusiasm about prospects for the Senate passage of legislation that would bar employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The outlook for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) reflects the nation’s growing tolerance of homosexuality and the GOP’s political calculation as it looks for supporters beyond its base of older voters.
Federal law currently prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, religion or national origin. But it doesn’t stop an employer from firing or refusing to hire workers solely because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
The bill would bar employers with 15 or more workers from using a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity as a basis for making employment decisions, including hiring, firing, compensation and promotion.
The first test vote of ENDA was scheduled for Monday.
“I think society continues to evolve on the issue of gay rights,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a co-sponsor of the measure. “As more and more gay individuals are open about their sexual orientation, people come to realize that they are their neighbors, their family members, their friends, their co-workers. That’s made a big difference.”
Opinion polls underscore Collins’ assessment.
A Pew Research survey in June found that more Americans said homosexuality should be accepted rather than discouraged by society, 60 percent to 31 percent.
Although the same survey shows the U.S. trails other Western countries, including Germany and Canada, opinions were more evenly divided 10 years ago.
In a sign of the times, the anti-bias legislation has traditional proponents like the Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay and lesbian advocacy group, as well as the backing of a relatively new group, the American Unity Fund. That organization has the financial support of big-name Republican donors — hedge fund billionaires Paul Singer, Cliff Asness, Dan Loeb and Seth Klarman — and former GOP lawmakers Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Tom Reynolds of New York.
“Most conservatives believe people in the workforce should be judged on their merits,” said Jeff Cook-McCormac, a senior adviser to the fund, which has focused on gay-rights initiatives in New Jersey, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Delaware. “They shouldn’t be judged on characteristics that are irrelevant in a productive employee.”
Over in the House of Representatives, Boner of Orange says otherwise:
As reported by Politico, Boehner will oppose the measure.
“THE SPEAKER BELIEVES THIS LEGISLATION WILL INCREASE FRIVOLOUS LITIGATION AND COST AMERICAN JOBS, ESPECIALLY SMALL BUSINESS JOBS,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in an email Monday. …
Senior House Republican aides say the bill is unlikely to come up in the chamber, as they believe existing law provides these protections.
As blogger Andrew Sullivan noted on Sunday, the threat of “frivolous litigation” has not been borne out in other instances when non-discrimination policies have been expanded. Nor is it the case that existing law affords the protections that would follow from ENDA. While there are local and state provisions, there are still 29 states that have no such policies, according to Human Rights Campaign.
The issue, unsurprisingly, has become a benchmark for conservatives. The conservative Heritage Foundation, largely focused on right-wing economic policy, demanded a vote against the bill, saying it “threatens fundamental civil liberties” by “coerc[ing companies] into accepting the federal government’s set of values.” It then explains why laws banning Jim Crow were an acceptable type of coercion.
This segment is long, but the best part begins at 7:33 as Rachel traces the Republican strategy to drive a stake through the heart of Obamacare beginning from when they took over the House in 2011, through their initial demands to defund the Affordable Care Act last month, lest the government shut down.
Then their demands got smaller, and smaller, and smaller…
And the only ones they got…were already IN Obamacare.
There are brief, fleeting moments in which I feel something akin to sadness regarding John Boehner, the orange-hued political castrato currently engaged as The Maitre d’ In Bedlam. It is not his fault that he is so terrible at the job of wrangling the insane. Not everyone has that peciuliar gift. He was handed the gavel in 2010 as leader of the worst Congress elected in the history of the Republic. In return, he placed his balls snugly in a Mason jar that is buried somewhere on the grounds of the Heritage Foundation, and then a substantial portion of his Congress threw a hooley and burned the map that showed where the jar was.
Then, I think to myself, hell, fk, no. You asked for this.
In meetings with Democratic and Republican Congressional leaders on Thursday after a session with Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew on Wednesday, Mr. Boehner sought a resumption of negotiations that could keep the government running and yield a deficit-reduction deal that would persuade recalcitrant conservatives to raise the government’s borrowing limit. Much of the federal government will shut down as of Oct. 1 unless Congress approves new spending bills to replace expiring ones, and by mid-October, the Treasury Department will lose the borrowing authority to finance the government and pay its debts. “It’s time for the president’s party to show the courage to work with us to solve this problem,” said Mr. Boehner, who argued that budget deals have been part of past agreements to raise the debt limit.
The Democratic party has been derelict in so many areas over the last 30 years that listing them all would take us well past the four o’clock NFL games on Sunday. But one of the primary areas has been the Democratic party’s curious reluctance to make the Republican party pay the fearsome price it ought to pay for having become, root and branch, utterly demented. Since this country has decided, through decisions large and small, to have only two major political parties, when one of them sails gleefully around the bend, it is the solemn and vitally important obligation of the opposition to beat the crazy out of that party until it comes back to the pack. There has to be some serious political price to be paid for allowing people like Jim Infofe and Steve King to become persons of actual influence. There has to be some serious political price to be paid for the OCD regarding the Affordable Care Act. There has to be some serious political price to be paid for one party’s refusal to help govern the country simply because said party is walking around with a rubber nose, floppy shoes, and a bird on its head. The Democratic party has been negligent in the extreme in its duty in these regards.
This is something of a chance. John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, has come to Democratic politicians to ask for their help because enough members of his caucus are insane enough to send the national economy hurtling over a cliff rather than admit that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. (Passed by Congress, Signed by the President. Upheld by the Supreme Court. That’s the Civics Class Slam, children.) Witness the twist in this cluck’s Underoos:
“Obamacare is the most dangerous piece of legislation ever passed in Congress,” said Representative John Fleming, Republican of Louisiana. “It is the most existential threat to our economy” that the country has seen “since the Great Depression, so I think a little bit of additional deficit is nothing,” he added.
This kind of raving lunacy was the driving force behind the 2010 midterms through which John Boehner got his job. Appeasing this kind of raising lunacy is the means through which John Boehner keeps his job. He knows it. They know it. The Democrats know it. So here’s what the latter should do.