Sep 302013

There is a tendency in the American media, whenever something goes wrong with government, to report that both sides are equally to blame. Nope, not this time. The United States government will shut down in about half an hour, and this one falls squarely on the backs of the Republicans.

Q: who’s to blame for government shutdown? A: the Republican party

There is a frustrating tendency in American political reporting to adopt a position of “both sides-ism” – as in, “both sides” are equally to blame for the nation’s chronic political dysfunction. Sometimes, it must be said, this assessment is correct. After all, the US political system was practically designed to breed legislative gridlock.

Not this time, however.

There is one party that is solely to blame for the first government shutdown in 17 years. And it’s the Republican party.

Indeed, the debate happening in Washington right now is not even between Democrats and Republicans. It’s not even about the deficit, or the budget, or government spending priorities. Rather, it is one strictly occurring between Republicans who are trying to find some magic bullet to destroy “Obamacare” – the country’s fiscal health be damned.

In the House of Representatives, bills that would allow the government to continue to operate were amended with provisions defunding or delaying Obamacare. This is, for Democrats, a nonstarter. The reason is obvious: the Affordable Care Act is the president’s signature achievement and he is not going to sign a bill that undoes or even delays it.

Nor should he. Obamacare is the law of the land. It was passed by Congress, signed by the president, upheld by the US supreme court, and it is already going into effect. There is no reason for President Obama to be cowed by such legislative extortion.

Yet, rather than accept the reality of Obamacare, Republicans are using the prospect of a government shutdown and/or a default on the nation’s debt to try to stop it.

Click on the article’s title to continue reading.

Sep 302013

President Obama spoke this afternoon about the Republican/Tea Party shutdown of the federal government that will likely occur at midnight tonight. Here is part of what he had to say. A full video of his statement follows the quote.

“One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government doesn’t get to shut down the entire government just to refight the results of an election.

“Congress needs to keep our government open, needs to pay our bills on time, and never, ever threaten the full faith and credit of the United States of America.

“Time is running out. My hope and expectation is that in the 11th hour once again, that Congress will choose to do the right thing and that the House of Representatives in particular will choose the right thing.

“Unfortunately, right now, House Republicans continue to tie funding of the government to ideological demands like limiting a woman’s access to contraception or delaying the Affordable Care Act, all to save face after making some impossible promises to the extreme right wing of their party.”

Full transcript follows the break.

Continue reading »

Sep 302013

Ted Cruz said “jump” and John Boehner asked “how high?”

It is starting to appear more and more likely that the extremists who have taken over the Republican party are going to get the government shutdown they so badly want. And it’s all over a law they do not like. The Affordable Care Act was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives and signed by the President of the United States. It is the law of the land. Period. The Republicans can throw all the temper tantrums they want and that fact will not change. Health care is here to stay.

If a government shutdown does occur tonight at midnight, the Republicans are going to get the credit blame they so deeply deserve…

CNN Poll: GOP would bear the brunt of shutdown blame

If the federal government shuts down starting Tuesday because of a bitter partisan battle over the new health care law, more people say congressional Republicans rather than President Barack Obama would be responsible, according to a new national survey.

A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday morning, hours before funding for the government is scheduled to run out, also indicates that most Americans think Republicans in Congress are acting like spoiled children in this fiscal fight, with the public divided on whether the president is acting like a spoiled child or a responsible adult.

And six in 10 questioned in the survey say they want Congress to approve a budget agreement to avoid a government shutdown, and if it happens, most people say a shutdown would be a bad thing for the country.