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Oct 18, 2013
Analysis: Republicans Reassess After Shutdown DebacleBy Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post
The GOP establishment has embarked, once again, on a round of soul-searching. But this time, the question is: What will it take to save the Republicans from the self-destructive impulses of the tea party movement?Read more
Winning!By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine
At his Thursday press conference, President Obama declared, "There are no winners"—just before he proceeded to act like a man who had just won. The morning after the budget crisis ended, the president's remarks were extensive and clear about who was to blame for the 16-day standoff that cost the economy roughly $24 billion, by one estimate.* The president outlined all that had been sacrificed—from slowed economic growth and higher deficits to America's damaged credibility in the world. He suggested his opponents were too witless to avoid being cowed by bloggers and talk radio, and had risked the very American experiment our predecessors spent two centuries building. The public, which had overwhelmingly blamed Republicans, no doubt knew who he was talking about and who to blame. If it wasn’t clear, the president had a piece of advice for those Republicans: Rather than trying to "break" the government because they disagreed with him, they should "go out there and win an election."Read more
The Ties That BindBy Todd Purdum, Politico
Some first-blush post-mortems of the Great Seinfeld Shutdown of 2013 have missed one bigger point.
John Boehner may have got next to nothing in his 16-day standoff with the White House — except a reprieve from the red-hots in his own caucus who are grateful for the rope he gave them. But Barack Obama got not much more. The president’s “victory” is so far only a ticket to fight the same battles all over again early next year.
Oct 17, 2013
Government Reopens After Shutdown; Obama Urges Congress to Resist ‘Extremists’By Lori Montgomery and Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post
Federal agencies, parks, museums and monuments began to reopen Thursday morning, after a chastened Congress ended a bitter funding standoff that triggered a 16-day government closure and drove the nation toward the brink of default.Read more
Obama WinsBy John Dickerson, Slate Magazine
President Obama said he wouldn’t negotiate with Republicans over raising the debt limit and funding the government, and he never really needed to pick up the phone. The deal that passed both houses of Congress Wednesday achieves both goals, with minuscule concessions from the president's side. In the crude analogy of two cars playing chicken, the president's opponents pulled over. After 16 days of a government shutdown, the Republican Party has achieved its lowest approval ratings in recorded history, the president's health care plan is unscathed, and the GOP’s civil war still roars. Proof was on the cable television split-screens. As Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was announcing the bipartisan deal that ended the standoff, Sen. Ted Cruz was holding his own press conference denouncing the Senate establishment that had caved.Read more
Boehner's Jam: Caucus Loves but Won't Follow HimBy Charles Babington, Associated Press
Congress' debt-and-spending breakthrough crystalized a political contradiction.
House Republicans refuse to let their supposed leader, Speaker John Boehner, steer them toward big policy decisions, leaving him to endure repeated public embarrassments. Yet they rally around Boehner as much as ever, affirming his hold on the speakership Wednesday even as they choked down a Democratic-crafted bill to reopen the government, lift the debt ceiling and give Republicans only a few small concessions.Read more
Can Congress Get Past Political Differences?With John Harwood, CNBC Watch more
The Conservative War on the GOPBy Molly Ball, The Atlantic
On his radio show recently, Glenn Beck urged his listeners to “defund the GOP.” Sarah Palin has threatened to leave the Republican Party; Rush Limbaugh calls it “irrelevant.” The Senate Conservatives Fund has targeted mainly incumbent Republican senators for defeat. Erick Erickson, one of the right’s most prominent commentators, wonders if what's coming is “a real third party movement that will fully divide the Republican Party.”
Conservatives have declared war on the GOP.Read more
Shutdown Resolution May Just Push Washington’s Dysfunction into 2014By Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post
Washington, once again, has stepped back from the brink. But does the rout of tea party Republicans suggest an end to the dysfunctional cycle in which governing consists of lurching from crisis to crisis?
Don’t count on it.Read more
Oct 16, 2013
Signs Indicate That Obama’s Debt Ceiling Gamble May Be Paying OffBy Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
More than two years ago, President Obama was still in the thick of his previous showdown with Republican House leaders over the nation’s debt limit when he called five senior advisers into his office. He did not ask their advice, one said. Rather, he told them, in a way that brooked no discussion: From now on, no more negotiating over legislation so basic and essential to the economy, and the country.Read more
Top House Democrat Warns: ‘Economy Is On The Edge Of A Waterfall’By Jeff Zeleny, ABC News
Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, issued an urgent warning Tuesday night about the consequences of a partial government default, declaring: “The economy is on the edge of a waterfall.”Read more
The Standoff on the Hill Foreshadows Another Standoff in a Matter of MonthsBy Dan Balz, The Washington Post
The American people have witnessed a dizzying series of legislative maneuvers along with political posturing of a high art over the past few weeks. The fact is that little of it has had anything to do with resolving substantive differences about the federal budget.Read more
McConnell delivers; Boehner can'tBy Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
God bless Mitch McConnell.
The Senate Republican leader isn't an especially lovable figure. Even many of his fellow conservatives are lukewarm about him.Read more
Health-Care Law’s Fate Could Hinge On Political Climate in Individual StatesBy Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post
The greatest threats to the ultimate success of the new health-care law come not from the technical problems that have plagued its rollout, but from a hostile political climate in many individual states and from potentially serious weaknesses in its design.Read more
Supreme Court Takes On Affirmative Action in Michigan Ban CaseBy Pete Williams and Daniel Arkin, NBC News
Demonstrators crowded the sidewalk outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday as the justices took on the hot-button issue of affirmative action, hearing oral arguments in a case about Michigan's voter-backed ban on using race as a criterion in college admissions.Read more
In U.S. Top Court Race Case, John Roberts is Chief PhrasemakerBy Joan Biskupic, Reuters
As U.S. chief justice, John Roberts has sought to rein in laws he insists have gone too far on race. At the Supreme Court on Tuesday, he matched rhetoric to action with a pithiness that underscores his opposition to racial preferences.Read more
Oct 15, 2013
Senate Nears Debt DealWith John Harwood, CNBC Watch more
Senate Leaders Within Striking Distance of Deal to End Shutdown, Raise Debt LimitBy Lori Montgomery and Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post
Senate leaders said late Monday that they were closing in on a deal to raise the federal debt limit and end the two-week-old government shutdown, just days before the Treasury Department exhausts its ability to borrow.Read more
Why Harry Reid Won’t Take Yes for an AnswerBy John Dickerson, Slate Magazine
Majority Leader Harry Reid moved the goal posts. On Saturday, when Republican Senate negotiators came to work, they thought they were close to a deal with Democrats based on the proposal offered by Republican Sen. Susan Collins. The government would be reopened for six months in exchange for a delay of the medical device tax that helps fund Obamacare, flexibility in managing sequestration cuts, and new requirements to verify income for those entering the federal exchanges as a part of the Affordable Care Act. But the Senate Democratic leader didn't like the six-month date, so he called it off.Read more
Panetta to Obama: Get Out and Schmooze MoreBy Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
Leon Panetta has some tough advice for the president he worked for until early this year: If you want to break Washington’s cycle of crises, you need to spend more time with members of Congress, especially Republicans.Read more