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Oct 22, 2013
Obama in Full Bore Damage ControlBy Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics
There’s a reason why President Obama and fellow Democrats insist the Affordable Care Act is more than a website.
A marginally unpopular law now offers in some states a hugely confusing and frustrating online enrollment experience that won’t be fixed tomorrow and has jeopardized the government’s second chance to make a first impression.Read more
Democrats Reach Out to Business After ShutdownBy Janet Hook, Wall Street Journal
At a time when the business community’s ties to congressional Republicans have been strained by recent fiscal crises, Democratic political operatives are trying to move into the breach.Read more
In Texas, Ted Cruz Has AlliesBy Reid Wilson, Washington Post
When Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and his Tea Party allies took control of congressional Republicans’ legislative strategy last month in an ultimately failed effort to defund the Affordable Care Act, veteran Republicans worried their party had been commandeered by a small faction of extremists.
Those who worry over Cruz’s influence, however, would do well to avoid his home state. A little more than a year after Cruz upset establishment favorite David Dewhurst, the Texas lieutenant governor, in his bid to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R), the entire Texas Republican Party resembles the take-no-prisoners, damn-the-torpedoes approach Cruz has taken in Washington.Read more
Poll: Major Damage to GOP After Shutdown, and Broad Dissatisfaction with GovernmentBy Dan Balz and Scott Clement, Washington Post
The budget confrontation that led to a partial government shutdown dealt a major blow to the GOP’s image and has exposed significant divisions between tea party supporters and other Republicans, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The survey highlights just how badly the GOP hard-liners and the leaders who went along with them misjudged the public mood. In the aftermath, eight in 10 Americans say they disapprove of the shutdown. Two in three Republicans or independents who lean Republican share a negative view of the impasse. And even a majority of those who support the tea party movement disapprove.Read more
France joins list of allies angry over NSA spyingBy Deb Riechmann and Kimberly Dozier, Associated Press
Joining a growing list of angry allies, France on Monday demanded an explanation from Washington of a report that the U.S. swept up 70 million French telephone records and text messages in its global surveillance net, even recording certain private conversations.Read more
Meet the New HillaryBy Molly Ball, The Atlantic
On Saturday, Hillary Clinton was a campaigner again.
It had been five years since the former secretary of state last took to the stump when she appeared here on behalf of her former fundraiser and presidential campaign chairman, Terry McAuliffe, who is the Democratic nominee in the Virginia gubernatorial election scheduled for November 5. And her pointedly political speech showed both the new candidate she will be if she runs again and the old tendencies that remain.Read more
Oct 21, 2013
Despite setback, GOP has impressive budgetary winsby Charles Babington, Associated Press
Democrats who gloat over Republicans' bad week in Congress might pause to recall that conservatives still own major victories from past budget showdowns. And these wins may again thwart Democrats' hopes of changing tax-and-spend policies in two-party talks beginning anew in the Capitol.Read more
Bipartisan Deals Can Only Pass Inside a Narrow Window. Here Are the Dates.By Fawn Johnson, National Journal
While Congress now seems entirely at the mercy of its own internal dysfunction, there will come a time next year when, in theory at least, House Republicans will be in the best position to vote on divisive issues such as immigration or maybe even a long-term budget deal.Read more
Government shutdown: Plenty of lessons to go aroundby Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
Obama and the Democrats won; Republicans and the tea party lost. And both sides are gearing up for next time. Now that our recent brush with financial crisis is behind us, it's time to start planning for the next one.Read more
Americans Felt Betrayed by the ShutdownBy Molly Ball, The Atlantic
Could Americans really get any angrier at Washington? Even before the recent government shutdown, congressional approval hovered around 10 percent, a minority thought the country was on the right track, and a “throw the bums out” mentality was rampant. Railing against the toxic mess in D.C. has been a winning strategy for politicians from Barack Obama on down for years now.Read more
You Have Questions About The NSA; We Have AnswersBy Tom Gjelten, NPR
The revelations by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has raised many complicated issues. NPR's national security correspondent Tom Gjelten answers questions submitted by NPR listeners and readers.Listen to the report
Oct 18, 2013
Two Parties Start Work to Avoid Repeat CrisisBy Jackie Calmes and Jonathan Weisman, The New York Times
With the government reopened and a debt default averted for now, Congressional negotiators on Thursday plunged into difficult budget talks to avoid a repeat crisis within months, and quickly agreed to lower their sights from the sort of grand bargain that has eluded the two parties for three years.Read more
The Challenge for Lawmakers to Give Up Their PayWith Jeff Zeleny, ABC News Watch more
Can Obama Seize The Moment And Make Washington Work?By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
It’s rare when a president is given an opportunity to reboot in the middle of a term, but that’s what the end of the government shutdown has provided President Obama. The question now is: What will he do with it?Read more
Obama’s Edge Over G.O.P. Is Still Unclear After Victory in StandoffBy Peter Baker, The New York Times
As the Senate voted Wednesday night on a bipartisan deal to reopen the government and avert a national default, President Obama emerged from the Oval Office prepared to head to the White House briefing room to deliver a televised statement. But he was thinking beyond the moment.Read more
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