In the USA...United Surveillance AmericaThe Reasons Why Ted Cruz Dreams of Economic Armageddon
By: Adalia Woodbury
Monday, October 21st, 2013, 8:51 am
Ted Cruz and the sedition caucus never intended to raise the debt ceiling. The 144 Republican House members and 18 Republican Senators voted against reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling because default was their goal. Sure, they wanted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. However, that was an added sugar coating to their objective of destroying our credit rating and ultimately, repudiating our debt.
Debt repudiation originated with Confederates who resented taxation to repay the Union’s war debt, while the Confederate debt was repudiated. That resentment is why section 4 was added to the 14th Amendment of the Constitution that the Tea Party always says it loves, but prefers to ignore.
Bruce Barlett explains the connection between the post-war South and today’s debt repudiators.
The Columbia University historian Eric Foner, an expert on the Civil War, recently recounted the debate over the postwar debt and demands by Southerners for repudiating the Union debt, which are echoed by many default advocates today. In those days, it was Democrats who supported default while Republicans opposed it; today it is the reverse.
There are still many in the South, where the Republican Party is now based, whose hostility to the national debt traces back to those days.
Cancelling the debt was always popular among far right wing economists and members of the fringe. Default enjoys support from 69% of the Tea Party.
In 1988, Pat Robertson used religion to advocate for debt repudiation. He wanted to declare a year of jubilee in which the debt would be cancelled. Newt Gingrich advocated default when he tried to crash the economy during the Clinton years. When Dick Cheney said the debt doesn’t matter, he was chanting the debt repudiator’s mantra.
The idea of debt repudiation enjoyed a dramatic increase in popularity when Barack Obama won the presidential election in 2008. Aside from achieving economic Armageddon, the debt repudiators fantasized about history blaming the black guy.
In fact, Donald Trump said it during a 2011 interview on Fox and Friends.
When it comes time to default, they’re not going to remember any of the Republicans’ names. They are going to remember in history books one name, and that’s Obama.
The idea gained legitimacy within the Tea Party because, according t0 Bartlett, it was espoused by Nobel Prize winning economist James Buchanan. Buchanan asserted that much debt based government financing and taxing people to pay for it is immoral. The Tea Party got its argument that default would force the government to balance the budget from Buchanan.
In his essay on The Ethics of Default Buchanan made an argument often repeated by libertarians and Tea Party members: if the Treasury were to default, no one would ever lend it money again, thus imposing a balanced budget; the government could only spend as much as tax revenue permitted.
That’s why Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and their House counterparts are trying again. They will keep trying just as their predecessors did as long as they are in Congress.
Ted Cruz and the sedition caucus are the latest to try to achieve what Gingrich couldn’t and what Robertson and Trump dreamed about.
There is nothing new about Ted Cruz or his approach. Cruz claims to be fresh and bold. However, he exploits ideas and resentments dating back to the Civil War. With these old ideas and resentments, he justifies his equally dated strategy of sedition.
***************Of Reasons and Treasons – Why Ted Cruz is the Common Enemy of Humanity
By: Hrafnkell Haraldsson
Monday, October 21st, 2013, 7:44 am
We may never know with any certainty what makes Texas Senator Ted Cruz tick, but by his actions it seems pretty clear that he cares only for making a name for himself and that he will put his overweening ego over the welfare of any one person, or even any country.
And when he says he is going to shut down the government and then shuts down the government and then says he never shut down the government but he will do it again, dammit, you better listen.
Because sometimes you just need to laugh, I laughed the other day at Andy Borowitz’s quip in The New Yorker about Cruz finally getting around to actually read the ACA and oh by the way the U.S. Constitution. But laughter won’t protect us from our shared reality. It won’t save Ted Cruz and it won’t save us FROM Ted Cruz.
The fact that Cruz seems bound and determined to destroy the American economy over a single law that has been upheld by the United States Supreme Court, ought to outrage every American. We’re out $24 billion we’re never going to see again and he plans to spend more money he says we don’t have when February rolls around. And he’s not planning to use even a single dime of it to create a by-God-actual-job.
Nossir. And given the threat to the world economy, Cruz’s antics ought to outrage every citizen of every country in the world. Cruz and his tea party seditionists threatened the health, wealth, and livelihood of not only every American but of EVERYONE so he could be a hero to a few gun-totin’ homophobic, Islamophobic, racist whack jobs who have lost the last two national elections.
The Cuban anarchist, who, by the way, owes Americans that $24 billion he squandered through petty self-aggrandizement, spoke Saturday at the Texas Medical Association’s fall conference about his “(t)reasoning.”
What you don’t know CAN hurt you. But as the old saying goes, it’s not what you don’t know that will get you but what you THINK you know, and the tea party Republicans think they know an awful lot of things that are pretty much all in their own minds. The trouble is, those things they think aren’t supported by facts.
America does not exist in a vacuum. America is tied to a complex global economy. If the United States economy had crashed, it would have dragged the world economy down with it. Cruz’s demagoguery is a threat to the whole planet. And he promise us he is not through.
But Republicans – especially tea party Republicans – don’t think about basic facts like this. Cruz scared not only people – liberals AND conservatives – but fake people – organizations and corporations. He scared the staunchly Republican U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has responded by saying, “Enough silliness.” Scott Reed, who is senior political strategist for the chamber said Friday that, “The need is now more than ever to elect people who understand the free market and not silliness.”
Gee. Ya think? Good luck with that, by the way. We’ve been dangerously exposed to your talent pool.
Republicans say they want to run the United States government like a business – after they sell most of it in a yard sale – but Republicans don’t understand business; they don’t understand the free market.
So now we have Ted Cruz saying he “would do anything” to stop Obamacare and we have John McCain and Mitch “Hey, I got a 2-week paid vacation out of it” McConnell saying there will not be another shutdown over Obamacare. It’s not that McCain and McConnell like Obamacare; they don’t. But in their odd little ways they seem to like America more, at the least understand that if Cruz succeeds in his Cruzade to destroy the federal government they won’t have paying jobs anymore.
Cruz is doing what the American people want him to do, he insists. MSNBC put it thusly:
Cruz insisted he was acting on behalf of Americans who share his position. While his statement is not necessarily supported by national polls, he is able to assert enough anecdotal support, particularly in Texas, to form the basis of a critique of some of his Washington colleagues.
But even Texas Governor Rick Perry, who sought Obamacare funding for Texas before calling Obamacare a criminal act before finally encouraging Texans to enroll in Obamacare, is now essentially endorsing Obamacare and there is anecdotal evidence that Texans LIKE Obamacare.
If he really wants a war, shouldn’t Cruz instead begin his Cruzade in Texas, if all his evidence (sorta) comes from Texas?
Besides being gratuitously greedy and selfish, Cruz is being childish. Not only is he ignoring facts but he is painting himself as some sort of fearless messiah-like character persecuted on all sides not only by his enemies but the allies that have betrayed him.
Why those terrible liberals are even threatening to kill him, he says, and each Republican who says no to him only raises himself higher, at least in his own estimation. He says things like “I don’t work for the party bosses in Washington” and “I’m not serving in office because I desperately needed 99 new friends in the U.S. Senate.”
He’s not even doing it because the American people want him to do it because he knows how to read as well as the rest of us, and the polls clearly demonstrate that the American people do not want him to do it. He is doing it for himself, pure and simple, because in his twisted way he thinks this will somehow position him for the presidency in 2016.
We know this won’t happen because unlike Ted Cruz, we don’t reject the world of facts, but another old adage is to never underestimate the stupidity of your enemies. Yet another even more important adage is, never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake.
****************An Insane Ted Cruz Claims He Had Nothing to Do With the Government Shutdown That He Caused
By: Jason Easley
Sunday, October 20th, 2013, 2:22 pm
Seeing disaster and falling poll numbers, Sen. Ted Cruz is changing is story and claiming that he had nothing to do with the government shutdown that he caused.
Transcript via ABC News:
KARL: People hated this shutdown, they hated this impasse and this was seen as the Ted Cruz shutdown. You more than any single individual were seen as the one that triggered this crisis to begin with.
CRUZ: Jon, I agree that a lot of D.C. politicians tried to call it that and a lot of the media did, too. But –
KARL: We’re talking about public opinion nationally.
CRUZ: But look, I — I — let me be very clear. I said throughout this, we shouldn’t have a shutdown. I don’t want a shutdown. I repeatedly voted to open the government.
KARL: But there never would have been a shutdown if you hadn’t gone with the strategy of saying we’re not even going to fund the government for six weeks –
CRUZ: And you know what?
KARL: — unless we can defund ObamaCare.
CRUZ: — you know what, John, there never would have been a shutdown if Harry Reid and President Obama hadn’t said we will not compromise, we will not negotiate, shut the government down.
KARL: How much do your colleagues just despise you right now on the floor? I mean, I hear some really strong language from your own fellow Republican senators.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZ.: I think it’s obvious that we are now seeing the end of this agonizing odyssey. It’s one of the more shameful chapters that I have seen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: Listen –
KARL: You made — you made some enemies in this battle.
CRUZ: There is an old saying that politics, it ain’t beanbag. And you know, I’m not serving in office because I desperately needed 99 new friends in the U.S. Senate. Given the choice between being reviled in Washington, D.C., and appreciated in Texas, or reviled in Texas and appreciated in Washington, I would take the former 100 out of 100 times.
KARL: You did a radio interview where you compared Senate Republicans to an Air Force going over and bombing their own troops, bombing conservatives, bombing House conservatives.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CRUZ: And when you have got half the Senate Republican caucus firing their cannons at the House Republicans, it sabotages the effort.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CRUZ: The reason this deal, the lousy deal was reached is because, unfortunately, Senate Republicans made the choice not to support House Republicans.
In Ted Cruz’s mind the people who are to blame for the government shutdown are Harry Reid, Barack Obama, Senate Democrats, Senate Republicans, and Mitch McConnell. Cruz has never blamed himself, and the tea party House Republicans that he advised for causing the shutdown. Ted Cruz spent all of August and September traveling the country urging a government shutdown. Sen. Cruz made speeches on the Senate floor calling for a government shutdown. Cruz was caught holding multiple secret meetings with tea party House Republicans where he plotting the government shutdown strategy.
The government shutdown belongs to Ted Cruz, and the Republicans who caused and enabled it. Sen. Cruz is demonstrating sociopathic behavior. The Texas Senator has shown no sense of responsibility or conscience over the damage that he has done. His blame of everyone that isn’t Ted Cruz or his allies reeks of a dangerous personality.
Sen. Cruz doesn’t care that he put millions of people in economic jeopardy and cost the US economy $24 billion. He only seems concerned with personal enrichment and growing his anti-government cult. Like all sociopaths Ted Cruz is never going to take responsibility for his actions, and he isn’t going to stop trying to destroy the government as long as he that this behavior is his ticket to the White House.
***************Ted Cruz Is Just the Figurehead of The Koch/DeMint Destroy Government Conspiracy
Sunday, October 20th, 2013, 10:22 am
It is completely normal for human beings to focus their rage and anger at one person whom they feel assaulted them; especially if they think the person jeopardized their country’s economic health and shut down their government. It is doubtful there are many decent Americans who are not outraged at Ted Cruz for his role in the government shutdown, and it is likely he relishes the increased attention as conservatives’ messiah. Cruz appeared to be the de facto Republican leader who shut down the government and threatened a credit default as leverage to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, but the teabag hero was little more than a figurehead of a much larger conspiracy whose real leaders are teabaggers Charles and David Koch and Jim DeMint.
While Cruz-led Republicans are plotting their next fiscal crisis to avenge their failure to tank the economy unless the President and Democrats paid a ransom, the Koch brothers and DeMint have been waging a ferocious battle to take the health law down in the states as well as in Congress. Americans should make no mistake that Republicans and their masters the Kochs and Jim DeMint will go to any lengths to derail the health law, because when all is said and done, they intend to deprive Americans from having access to healthcare regardless the cost to the nation’s economy or the people they lust to dominate.
Americans have a two-and-a-half month respite until Republicans in Washington enact their next fiscal crisis to eliminate the health law, but Virginia residents are feeling the full effect of the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity crusade to stop a key feature of the health law, Medicaid expansion, to deny poor Virginians access to healthcare. The primary target of the Koch-funded AFP is a long-time Republican tasked with leading a commission to decide if Virginia will expand Medicaid and provide the poorest residents with basic health care services. The man, Republican state senator Emmett W. Hanger Jr. reports he is coming under heavy fire from Americans for Prosperity and their army of operatives deployed to spread Koch propaganda that expanding Medicaid is tantamount to ceding America to Adolf Hitler.
Hanger said the Koch acolytes are waging what he called “an attempt to intimidate me in Richmond and at home,” and he reported that AFP operatives have telephoned his constituents, distributed leaflets, and knocked on 2,000 doors in his rural district to warn of the impending disaster if poor Virginians get access to healthcare. Hanger also said when the Republican town committee met Monday night in his home county, Augusta, Americans for Prosperity was there. On Tuesday, AFP field organizers bused in hundreds of volunteers in green shirts and provided Subway sandwiches for lunch as recompense for attending the Hanger-led commission hearing on the benefits of expanding Medicaid.
The president of Americans for Prosperity, Tim Phillips, said “This has been one of those trench warfare kind of efforts for a year now, and I think it is one of those hidden stories of the whole fight against Obamacare. It’s not flashy; it’s just in a whole bunch of state capitals and in the districts of a whole lot of state legislators, but it’s such a crucial aspect of the overall long-term effort to destroy Obamacare.” The war plans to go state-by state is a shift from co-conspirator Jim DeMint and the Heritage Foundation’s tactics that drove the shutdown and default effort in Washington DeMint said “will now be the issue for the next few years,” and the Koch’s Americans for Prosperity concurred that Americans will be lambasted with anti-Obamacare propaganda for years. The Pennsylvania leader of AFP said “this is going to be an issue all through 2014 for us. I don’t believe this fight is in Washington or ever was. I think this is a street fight. It’s a man to man, so to speak, fight of going door to door.”
If Americans thought pundits’ assertions that Republicans are waging war for domination to hurt Americans were exaggerations, the language the Koch and Heritage acolytes use are war parlance. Trench warfare, fighting door-to-door, and street fighting are war terms that make the point that picking on hapless Ted Cruz as the be all, end all, target for his role to eliminate the healthcare reform law is erroneous. Without the money, fear-mongering, and electoral pressure from the Koch brothers and DeMint, it is likely more Republicans would abandon the seditious conspiracy to prevent, obstruct, or delay execution of an established law like the ACA. It is true the great majority of Republicans harbor enough hatred for the American people, especially poor American people, to drive their anti-healthcare crusade, but few of them would risk enraging voters with a shut down and credit default without the support, funding, and direction from Koch and DeMint’s anti-American organizations.
The effort to eliminate the established healthcare insurance reform law is a conspiracy, and not the act of one man or even one faction of the conservative movement. Every Republican in Congress who voted to keep the United States government shut down and crash the economy are just as culpable as Cruz, the Kochs, and DeMint’s Heritage Foundation, and every last one deserves the people’s wrath because they were elected to help Americans, not keep them sick, shut down their government, or tank the economy.
The media and many pundits are wont to excuse incompetent Speaker John Boehner because he cannot rein in recalcitrant teabagger extremists in the House, but it was Boehner who allowed 40-plus votes to repeal the ACA that he asserted “was the law of the land” after President Obama’s re-election last November. It is important to remember that seditious conspiracy is two or more persons preventing, hindering, and obstructing execution of a United States law, and as such it means nearly all Republicans in Congress are guilty of a crusade that has no goal other than preventing Americans from having access to health care.
It is easy to focus on one man like Cruz as the culprit in the fight to eliminate the healthcare law, and he certainly is worthy of Americans’ rage for his role as spokesman and de facto leader of the anti-Obamacare movement, but losing sight of the effort’s real masterminds is why there is no public outcry against the Kochs, Americans for Prosperity, Jim DeMint, or the Heritage Foundation. In fact, in an unscientific survey over the past three weeks, only one person out of 22 had ever heard of the Koch brothers, AFP, Jim DeMint, or the Heritage Foundation and it is why they wield inordinate power over Republicans; they are virtually invisible to the public. There is no doubt whatsoever that if the American people knew who controlled Republicans in Congress and the states, and what their agenda for this country entails, they would abandon the Republican and teabag party en masse and frankly, that is the only scenario that is going to save this country and help all Americans have access to healthcare.
**************Sen. Ted Cruz Holds Wheeler Appointment Hostage to Protect Koch Money
By: Adalia Woodbury
Saturday, October 19th, 2013, 2:47 pm
Since holding hostages to get what the far right wants worked so well for the Koch brothers and their corporate allies when they tried to deny Americans access to affordable Healthcare by blowing up the economy, they’re trying it again. This time, the Kochs’ lead hostage taker in the Senate is blocking Tom Wheeler’s nomination to be chairman of the FCC. Ted Cruz’s office confirmed that Cruz would release Wheeler’s nomination in exchange for a stop to transparency in spending on political ads, like that creepy Uncle Sam ad the Koch Brothers bought in their failed attempt to deny Americans access to doctors.
Of the secret $311 million dollars spent on campaigns in 2012, 85% favored the Republican Party.
Cruz first demanded the ransom during Wheeler’s confirmation hearing back in June.
Transcript from 6:11-7:36 of the video
Cruz: As you know there are few if any issues that inspire more passionate partisan divisions in this body this body has repeatedly failed to pass the DISCLOSE Act because a substantial number members of this body believe it is unconstitutional and bad policy in your judgment does the FCC have the authority to implement the DISCLOSE Act heard otherwise regulate political speech
Wheeler: I’m as I have said before on that’s an issue that I look forward to learning more about there is a pending proceeding on that exact question arm and and I need to look at that proceeding and become informed but I do not miss the expression on both sides love this DS as to the strong feelings and I know this is that this is an issue of tension
Cruz: Well mister wheeler as you know every Republican on this committee along with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sent a letter to your predecessor on this issue and you and I visited in my office you said you need to study the issue more I would ask you to submit in writing an answer to this question and I would notice you and I visited privately this is the one issue that in my opinion has the potential to derail your nomination
Wheeler’s nomination was on the Senate’s calendar Thursday, but remains blocked because Ted Cruz is protecting the Koch Brothers and their use of dark money for deceptive political ads. Cruz’s office confirmed that he was responsible for the obstruction. His spokesman, Sean Rushton, admitted the reason was to protect the Koch brothers from ad funding transparency.
Yes, the Senator is holding the nominee until he gets answers to his questions regarding Mr. Wheeler’s views on whether the FCC has the authority or intent to implement the requirements of the failed Congressional DISCLOSE Act
In other words, Wheeler handed the Koch’s and Ted Cruz another fail by refusing to meet their ransom demand so they’re going to retaliate by stalling the FCC’s ability to decide on issues like a planned auction of government television airwaves.
Obviously, preserving dark money advertising is so important to the Koch brothers, even the complete collapse of Republican and Tea Party support isn’t going to stop them.
*************The Debt Ceiling Hike was Just a Pause in Right Wing Anti-Government Efforts
By: Dennis S
Sunday, October 20th, 2013, 7:55 pm
Tearing myself away from “Nashville” and Deacon’s latest conquest and the question of whether Rayna Jaymes voice would be restored, I watched the obscenity Wednesday night called the House of Representatives vote on the bill to reopen government and hike the debt ceiling through next February 7th. We all know the final tally; 285 in favor, including, to their credit, no matter their motives, 87 Republicans.
A total of 144 Republicans felt that kicking hundreds of thousands of government workers, plus an additional number of those working for government contractors to the curb and savaging various agency services was a wonderful reflection of democracy. The Senate vote was 81-18 with the predictable likes of Republicans Cruz, Coburn, Lee, Rubio, Paul and Scott among those balking at the idea. The final deal was shamefully struck about 100 minutes before assorted government defaults became a very real possibility. For Republicans, it was poll-struck, not a matter of civic conscience. The president and Harry Reid had held their ground.
But know this is in no way a victory. It’s a political pause. Knowledgeable observers recognize that this is the briefest of fixes extending a few months that are bound to be as contentious as the three year span since the Tea Party took over an arm of our government with a minority of the vote. Yes, a minority. As pointed out by a feature in The Nation magazine, Republicans took over the House even while losing the total margin by 1.7 million votes to the Democrats. District gerrymandering had carried the day for the radicals.
As early as January 2014, Tea Party shutdown and debt ceiling fecal matter will once again hit the fan and, on schedule, as they have done before, the radicals will parade out a series of heartless and senseless cuts trying to barter the continued demolition of the federal government. Then things will get worse.
In case you missed it, here’s the Tea Party strategy. Mess up the government to the extent it’s unrecognizable as a democratic institution. That would entail withholding funding from every worthwhile program and agency in DC. In addition to ACA, the other targets for elimination or virtual worthlessness are the Department of Education, the Energy Department, the Commerce Department and certainly the EPA and any other departments or agencies that have anything to do with regulation and oversight, especially financial and environmental. The National Labor Relations Board is also in the political crosshairs.
Destruction of the Postal Service continues unabated with no citizen pushback. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be (already is) weighted down with so many demands, restrictions and requirements as to be unworkable for most. Billions are being diverted from SNAP by religious zealots who see nothing unholy in letting children and the elderly go hungry.
Let’s not forget continued tax cuts for the wealthy so there are no revenues save the lucre to keep our military machine oiled with, ironically, veterans as victims hugely underserved. So what are we left with going into the 2014 and 2016 elections? A chaotic mess that’s what. A mess of the doing of one party, or more correctly, an extremist faction of one party. Follow closely the strategy these extremists hope to pull off. After they destroy the federal government and for all practical purposes grind it to a halt, they’re going to BLAME THE DEMOCRATS. That’s because they have several things going for them at the polls. The first is a low-information constituency that can’t see beyond Rush and Fox News.
Then there’s the icing on the sleazy Republican contribution cake compliments once again of the right-wing Supreme Court. In McCutcheon vs. the Federal Election Commission, currently before the court, an attempt is being made to raise the two-year limit of an individual contribution from the current $123,200 to as much as $3.5 million or thereabouts. FOR SALE! Every election in America. An earlier similar case brought in September of 2012 before the U.S. District Court for DC by Shaun McCutcheon (an Alabama businessman) and the Republican National Committee (RNC) was dismissed.
But with the right-wing cuckoos sitting on the Supreme Court bench, the next obvious move was to bump the case up a judicial notch to the Supremes. And one of the guys making the decision believes the devil is a smart and successful “real” person. Do you suppose Antonin Scalia makes his decisions based on his perceived input from “SAAATAN!!! (as Church Lady used to say)?” Having read some of his decisions, I’m absolutely convinced the devil is a real person. And how about Clarence Thomas, the strong, silent type who is married to a woman who works 24/7 to rip apart ACA? No conflict of interest there in cases relating to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or health care in general.
No matter the outcome, we’re in for at least a couple of more years of ludicrous political turbulence on the federal and state levels. Until the Republican Party rids itself of any meaningful Tea Party influence, nothing the GOP does matters. By that I mean their platform will have no positive influence on the country or its people. Keeping minorities, the poor and the LGBT community in their places isn’t public service for the people, it’s bigoted repression. Bowing to the demands of billionaires has nothing whatsoever to do with Democracy. Obsession with entitlement cuts to deflect a percentage of SS money to Wall Street and trashing Medicare and Medicaid will do great harm to the majority of citizens and ignoring the fact that government cannot function without revenue is just plain stupid.
The “new” Republicans have done this nation an enormous disservice. In my next submission I’m going to give you an example of what a number of members of one profession are going through that would make the most rabid of fascist proud. And the horrific consequences can all be traced back to the right-wing.
There is an obvious answer that I’ve repeated in my PoliticusUSA offerings over and over. GOTV! Get Out The Vote, then get out AND vote. Get your kin, friends and neighbors out to vote and your fellow workers and every other Democrat and moderate Independent and moderate Republican. Explain in easily understood terms what a continuation of Tea Party dominance is doing to them, their families and future generations. Reasonable, informed votes trump huge, dirty money every and radicalism every time.
****************Graham opposes Obamacare because his ‘friend’ owns 52 Wendy’s and has to insure employees
By David Edwards
Sunday, October 20, 2013 14:38 EDT
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said on Sunday that he opposed President Barack Obama’s health care law because a “friend” would have to pay more to insure the employees at his 52 Wendy’s restaurants — but the South Carolina Republican did not offer another solution to provide heath care for the 60 percent of those workers that did not currently have insurance.
Speaking to CBS host Bob Schieffer, Graham admitted that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-SC) had hurt the Republican Party by pushing the government shutdown as a tactic to defund the Affordable Care Act.
“But Ted Cruz can’t shut the government down,” he added. “What shuts the government down is when the House and the Senate can’t agree on a funding number. And our president has been virtually AWOL. This idea, ‘I won’t negotiate.’ The president of the United States needs to get involved with [House Speaker John] Boehner and [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid to try to bring us together.”
Graham continued: “After this debacle called the shutdown, our party’s been hurt, our brand name is at the lowest ever, Obamacare actually got a bump in polling and we got in the way of a disastrous roll-out. So from my point of view, this was a tactical choice that hurt us. But the good news is for the Republican Party is the debacle is over — if we don’t do it again — and Obamacare is a continuing debacle.”
To make his point, the South Carolina Republican told a story of a “friend” who had been personally impacted by the health care law.
“Friend of mine owns 52 Wendy’s, he’s put pen to paper, he has 40 percent of his workforce insured today,” Graham explained. “Under Obamacare, if 20 percent choose insurance, his insurance costs will double. That story is repeating itself throughout the economy. Obamacare is a debacle that will go into 2014.”
October 20, 2013 06:00 PMTo GOP and Media, Obama's Lack of 'Leadership' Means Lack of 'Capitulation'
By Nicole Belle
No matter which of the Republican-dominated Sunday shows you opted to subject yourself to, there was a common refrain: no matter how seditiously the Republican Party acted, the problem was the lack of leadership on the part of President Obama.
Of course, on Meet the Press, where no Republican meme is too inane or self-serving to not parrot as conventional wisdom, that was a recurring variation on a theme, brought up over and over again.
While interviewing Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, the intellectually lazy David Gregory uses Ron Fournier's article criticizing President Obama for the shutdown to ask if Obama needs to "absorb" his part of the governing by crisis, as if he's doing this all on his own and it has nothing to do with Republican obstruction.
DAVID GREGORY: Well, to that point, the National Journal has a headline, piece has a headline says, "Obama Wins! Big Whoop. Can He Lead?" Isn't the crisis management that the president decries, isn't that a lasting part of his own legacy here? Doesn't he have to absorb a big part of the responsibility for that?
Right, Dancin' Dave. Ron Fournier (who has NEVER been anything but a spin doctor for the Republican Party and who shrugged off criticism for once telling Karl Rove to "keep up the fight") is worried about Obama's legacy, donchaknow? The overwhelming suicidally stupid tendencies of the tea party-enslaved Congress should not be of concern nor should they worry about their legacy, right?
But bless EJ Dionne, who took up Gregory's promotion of right wing memes later during the roundtable and called it for what it is:
The president, a lot of times, though, when people say the president should lead, what they want him to do is adopt Republican positions and then push for those. That's not leadership, that's capitulation. I think we should stop talking about a grand bargain and try to have normal government in the next two months. Let's just get rid of some of this sequester, which is hurting the economy, and which a lot of Republicans don't like.
That's it in a nutshell. The call for "leadership" by concern trolls like Fournier and Gregory means nothing more than capitulating to the temper tantrums of the Republican Party. And we all know what happens when you give into temper tantrums, right? Unmanageable brats who make everyone miserable.
If it's all the same to Fournier and Gregory and their miserable excuse for journalism, I'll pass. No one will be better off with their version of "leadership".
*************Rep. Edwards schools ABC analyst who says Obama poisoned tone by blaming GOP for shutdown
By David Edwards
Sunday, October 20, 2013 13:11 EDT
Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) on Sunday pushed back against President George W. Bush’s former chief strategist Matthew Dowd, who now works as an analyst for ABC News, after he accused President Barack Obama of poisoning the tone in Washington, D.C. by faulting Republicans after they forced a government shutdown.
“It’s really easy to cast this off on the president, but the fact is when you have now what looks to be a majority of Republicans in Congress who stop the president at any point, who want say, you know, ‘We want to undo your signature health care act and shut down government over that and not pay our bills over that,’ I mean that really is very extreme,” Edwards explained. “And this president, in my view as a progressive Democrat, has bent over backwards to try to accommodate the Republican Party and try to construct support.”
Dowd, however, argued that the “real problem” was that “we need to redefine winning differently.”
“We define winning today as ‘us vs. them… I’m going to score points and if I don’t score points, I’m going to decide who the winner and loser is,’” Dowd said. “We just define everything as a battle, everything as a civil war. The president, I think, has tried to balance this tension, but I think he constantly falls into — I think he wants to bring the country together and be accommodating and do all that. He ran on that just like Bush ran on that. The end result of Bush’s didn’t turn out well, the end result of President Obama’s didn’t turn out well.”
He continued: “But I think President Obama lapses back into this sort of dualistic thing that, ‘Okay, I wasn’t able to do it, I’m going to point fingers.’ And you watched his speech last week. And his speech last week was a perfect microcosm of it.”
“Let’s change the tone but maybe not?” ABC’s Martha Raddatz asked.
“Let’s change the tone but they’re at fault!” Dowd agreed. “Whenever you say ‘they’re at fault,’ you can’t fix it.”
“Come on,” Edwards interrupted. “It is really important here, we don’t want to do a rewrite here. And in order not to do a rewrite, you have to actually understand who was at fault and there was real fault here. We had a majority of Republicans and Democrats who wanted to keep the government open.”
***************Rubio: House Republicans ‘deserve’ to dictate immigration reform after government shutdown
By David Edwards
Sunday, October 20, 2013 11:50 EDT
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Sunday said that President Barack Obama must cave to House Republicans’ demands on immigration reform because he had “undermined” the effort by refusing to defund his signature health care reform law.
During an interview with Fox News, Rubio reasoned that since the Obama administration had delayed parts of the Affordable Care Act, it could also decide to selectively enforce parts of any new immigration reform law.
“Certainly, the president has undermined this effort because the way he’s behaved over the last three weeks [during the government shutdown],” he explained to Fox News host Chris Wallace.
But even after House Republicans shut the government down in an attempt to defund the Affordable Care Act and took the country to the brink of default by threatening to raise the debt limit, Rubio argued that those same lawmakers might have the best immigration reform solution.
“This notion that they’re going to get into a room and negotiate a deal with the president on immigration is much more difficult for two reasons,” he explained. “Number one, because the way the president has behaved towards his opponents over the last three weeks as well as the White House and the things that they’ve said and done. And number two, because what I have outlined to you… So, I certainly think that immigration reform is a lot harder to achieve today than it was just three weeks ago because of what’s happened here.”
“Again, I think the House deserves the time and space to have its own ideas on how they want to move forward on this, let’s see what they come up with. It could very well be much better than what than the Senate has done so far.”
***************JPMorgan Reaches Tentative $13 Billion Settlement With Justice Department: WSJ
The Huffington Post/Reuters | Posted: 10/19/2013 2:44 pm EDT | Updated: 10/20/2013 3:34 am EDT
JPMorgan Chase has reached a tentative $13 billion settlement with the Justice Department over a number of investigations related to to the bank's residential mortgage-backed securities business, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Tweets from The Wall Street Journal and CNBC broke the news Saturday.
Breaking: J.P. Morgan has reached a $13 billion tentative deal with the Justice Department. http://t.co/tYCeELTJqc
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) October 19, 2013
BREAKING: J.P. Morgan Chase has reached a $13 billion tentative deal with the U.S. Justice Department. (via @JohnJHarwood)
— CNBC (@CNBC) October 19, 2013
News of the deal comes just a day after a JPMorgan was reported to have reached a tentative $4 billion settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency over claims it sold bad mortgages to government agencies ahead of the financial crisis
At $13 billion, the potential settlement with the Justice Department exceeds estimates in September that JPMorgan would end up paying as much as $11 billion over the allegations. If finalized, the settlement would be the largest the U.S. government has ever made with a single company, according to WSJ.
JPMorgan may still also face criminal charges, according to a tweet by CNBC reporter John Harwood:
Source familiar w/negotiations: JP Morgan $13-B tentative settlement w/Justice Dept does NOT absolve company of potential criminal charges
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) October 19, 2013
More from Reuters:
WASHINGTON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co has reached a tentative $13 billion agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to settle government agency investigations into bad mortgage loans the bank sold to investors before the financial crisis, a source said on Saturday.
The tentative deal does not release the bank from criminal liability for some of the mortgages it packaged into bonds and sold to investors, a factor that had been a major sticking point in the discussions, the source said.
As part of the deal, the bank will likely cooperate in criminal inquiries into certain individuals involved in the conduct at issue, the source, who declined to be identified, said.
Officials at JPMorgan and the Justice Department declined to comment.
Another source close to the discussions characterized a deal as likely, but cautioned that parts of the agreement are still being hammered out, and the settlement could conceivably fall apart.
The record settlement could help resolve many of the legal troubles the New York bank is facing. Earlier this month JPMorgan disclosed it had stockpiled $23 billion in reserves for settlements and other legal expenses to help cover the myriad investigations into its conduct before and after the financial crisis.
The deal is being hammered out by some of the most senior officials at the Department of Justice and the largest U.S. bank. Attorney General Eric Holder and JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon spoke on the phone on Friday night to finalize the broad outlines of the broad deal, the first source said.
The bank's general counsel Stephen Cutler and Associate Attorney General Tony West are negotiating a statement of facts that will be part of a final agreement, the source said.
Long considered one of the best-managed banks, JPMorgan has stumbled in recent years, with run-ins with multiple federal regulators as well as authorities in several states and foreign countries over issues ranging from multibillion-dollar trading losses and poor risk controls to probes into whether it manipulated a power market.
In September, as the Justice Department prepared to sue the bank over mortgage securities that the bank sold in the run-up to the financial crisis, JPMorgan tried to reach a broader settlement with DOJ and other federal and state agencies to resolve claims over its mortgage-related liabilities stemming from the bust in house prices.
Dimon went to Washington to meet with Holder on Sept. 25, and discussed an $11 billion settlement at that point.
Some of the problems relate to mortgage bank Washington Mutual and investment bank Bear Stearns, two failing firms that JPMorgan took over in 2008.
The bank and the Justice Department have been discussing a broad deal that would resolve not only the inquiry into mortgage bonds it sold to investors between 2005 to 2007 that were backed by subprime and other risky residential mortgages, but also similar lawsuits from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the National Credit Union Administration, the state of New York and others.
The broader settlement is a product of a government working group created nearly two years ago to investigate misconduct in the residential mortgage-backed securities market that contributed to the financial crisis. Officials from the Justice Department, the New York Attorney General and others helped to lead the group.
Reuters reported late Friday that JPMorgan and FHFA had reached a tentative $4 billion deal. That agreement is expected to be part of the larger $13 billion settlement.(Full Story)
October 20, 2013 02:16 PMMaria Bartiromo Complains JP Morgan Settlement Will Harm Job Creation
If there is one thing you can always count on from CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo,it's the fact that she is always going to carry water for her buddies over on Wall Street and her appearance on this Sunday's Meet the Press was no exception.
Bartiromo is apparently very distraught about the news that JP Morgan Chase is on the verge of having to pay a $13 billion fine, and may be facing criminal charges and other law suits as well. The reason she gives... job creation. That's right, never mind whether or not they broke the law and the damage that was done by the financial crisis. Laws are for little people, don't you know. According to Bartiromo, this is yet another reason for businesses to sit on their hands and hoard their cash -- they're all afraid of being prosecuted like Jamie Dimon and JP Morgan Chase. Who knew so many more of them had a reason to worry about going to prison or being sued as well?
Bartiromo had some help from her enabler David Gregory, who also did his best to take up for poor downtrodden Jamie Dimon. How terrible that all of the mean old hippies are picking on him:
DAVID GREGORY: I wanted to introduce something, Maria. You know, we talk about big accomplishments in the administration, a second term agenda. Part of that agency we're seeing play out real-time with this big news people are waking up to about JP Morgan. A huge settlement, $13 billion with a B, in a tentative deal with JP Morgan to settle a lot of the civil litigation that responds to whether they sold subprime loans into the marketplace to Fannie and Freddie. But this goes to a larger point, which is this reckoning for Wall Street that's finally happening that a lot of liberals have been cheering for.
MARIA BARTIROMO: Yeah. I think that reckoning continues. This is worse than people expected. A lot of people thought it was $11 billion. It ended up at 13. Also very important here is the fact that they did not do away with the possibility of criminality.
DAVID GREGORY: Criminal-- yeah.
MARIA BARTIROMO: This is a major issue.
DAVID GREGORY: And this is JP Morgan, this is Jamie Dimon as CEO, who was viewed, frankly, as one of the most responsible players in the whole sub-prime mess, did not need federal bailout money, was a leader, did things the government wanted him to do in buying Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns. And yet, they become a big target here.
MARIA BARTIROMO: Well, this has been one of the repercussions of the financial crisis. And that is the pendulum swinging a little far in terms of regulation. And this is the cost on business. And this is one of the reasons business sits on cash and is not creating jobs, because they worry what's around the corner.
As far as JP Morgan is concerned, this is going to be a big negative, I would say, because of that opening up to massive amounts of civil lawsuits, and more lawsuits, as a result of this potential for criminality. But certainly the regulation bite has become a lot bigger. And that has been a big issue for business. And that has kept business in its place in terms of the ability to hire more people.