Monday, November 18, 2013

Last Call For The End Of Obamacare, Version 92734

National Journal's Josh Kraushaar lands in the Future Stupidity files with his predictions of the repeal of Obamacare:

Unless the website miraculously gets fixed by next month, there's a growing likelihood that over time, enough Democrats may join Republicans to decide to start over and scrap the whole complex health care enterprise. That became clear when even Obama, to stop the political bleeding, offered an administrative fix that threatened the viability of the entire individual exchange market to forestall a House Democratic mutiny the next day. It was as clear sign as any that the president is pessimistic about the odds that the federal exchange website will be ready by the end of the month, as promised.

More than anything, politics is about self-preservation, and the last two weeks provided numerous examples of how public opinion has turned so hard against the law that even its most ardent supporters are running for the hills. It's not just red-state Democrats, like Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, distancing themselves from the law. It's blue-state senators like Oregon's Jeff Merkley and New Hampshire's Jeanne Shaheen -- and top blue-state recruits like Michigan's Gary Peters and Iowa's Bruce Braley, who voted for GOP legislation Friday that the White House said would "gut" the law. Nearly every House Democrat in a competitive district joined with Republicans to threaten the law. Without a quick fix, those ranks will grow.

This tsunami of blowback, which built in just the last month, is unsustainable for Democrats over the long haul. The president isn't just losing his skeptics from the chaotic Obamacare rollout but his allies who stood to gain from the law's benefits -- namely Hispanics, whose approval of the president has dropped more than any demographic subgroup since the problems began. The simplest solution -- if only to stop the bleeding -- is to get the website fixed. (When former DNC Chairman Howard Dean's proposal is to hire tens of thousands of young phone operators to sign people up for insurance -- straight out of a Jerry Lewis telethon -- as he suggested on "Morning Joe," it's clear the website problems are really bad.).

And yes, if the website remains broken (which it's not going to) Kraushaar has a point.  But then he goes way off into the stratosphere:

Would President Obama sign a death warrant on his own signature legislation? That's almost impossible to imagine, but it's entirely reasonable that he may not have a choice in the matter. Consider: Despite the White House's protestations, 62.4 percent of the House voted for Michigan GOP Rep. Fred Upton's legislation (261-157), just shy of the two-thirds necessary to override a veto. And consider the House Democrats who voted against Upton's bill but nonetheless released harsh statements criticizing Obamacare. Maryland Rep. John Delaney, in a statement, wrote: "The problem we have currently is that the Affordable Care Act is not working." Added Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick: "The stunning ineptitude of the ACA marketplace rollout is more than a public relations disaster. It is a disaster for the working families in my Arizona district who badly need quality, affordable health care." Add them into the mix -- the dozens more members who were poised to split with the president until his face-saving press conference -- and you've got all but the hardy Obama loyalists who could end up bolting if the political environment doesn't improve.

And if that happens, the Democrats all but deserve to be politically wiped out.  That will leave us with of course even more Republicans in power, and that's not acceptable.  But this article assumes that "Obama loyalists" have zero influence in the party, or over Democrats in Congress, and that's not true.

Only if you believe that the millions of people who support the ACA have no voice is this scenario accurate.  I'm telling you that's just not the case, and Kraushaar should know better than to just troll like this.

Or as Jamelle Bouie puts it:

Fantasy indeed.

Pick Up Our Ball And Go Bomb You With It

Apparently the concept of US Secretary of State John Kerry making any sort of deal with Iran is so utterly terrifying to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu that our erstwhile ally in the Middle East is now actively trying to destroy the 5+1 talks with Tehran.

"This is a bad deal," Netanyahu said on CNN's "State of the Union."

He said that global leaders should increase sanctions on Iran, not loosen them.

"I think, if you want a peaceful solution, as I do, then the right thing to do is ratchet up the sanctions," he said. "Iran is practically giving away nothing. It's making a minor concession, which they can reverse in weeks, and you endanger the whole sanctions regime that took years to make."

Netanyahu argued that an imperfect deal could backfire and force the U.S. and other to used the military option.

"If you do a bad deal, you may get to the point where your only option is a military option," he said. "So a bad deal actually can lead you to exactly the place you don't want to be."

Beginning to see why the 5+1 countries are the five UN permanent Security Council members and Germany, and not Israel.  The Iranians want lessening of sanctions as part of any deal.  Any deal that lessens sanctions on Iran is a bad deal according to Israel.  Any bad deal could lead to Israeli military action.  You see where Bibi is going with this.

The question is why?  That's easy, nobody likes getting left out of the party.  Israel doesn't think anyone should be having talks with Iran at all, and they're making it clear to the US that these talks shouldn't continue.

Look for increasing pressure from Republicans demanding to walk away from talks and simply increase sanctions ad infinitum.

Stormy Weather Ahead

Devastation from last week's Super Typhoon Haiyan has prompted the Philippines to take a scheduled UN climate change meeting and start asking some very tough questions about how poorer nations are supposed to survive rising oceans and super storms when the big boys are dumping most of the carbon into the atmosphere.

Calling the climate crisis “madness,” the Philippines representative vowed to fast for the duration of the talks. Malia Talakai, a negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States, a group that includes her tiny South Pacific homeland, Nauru, said that without urgent action to stem rising sea levels, “some of our members won’t be around.” 
From the time a scientific consensus emerged that human activity was changing the climate, it has been understood that the nations that contributed least to the problem would be hurt the most. Now, even as the possible consequences of climate change have surged — from the typhoons that have raked the Philippines and India this year to the droughts in Africa, to rising sea levels that threaten to submerge entire island nations — no consensus has emerged over how to rectify what many call “climate injustice.” 
Growing demands to address the issue have become an emotionally charged flash point at negotiations here at the 19th conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which continues this week. 
At a news briefing here, Farah Kabir, the director in Bangladesh for the anti-poverty organization ActionAid International, described that country as a relatively small piece of land “with a population of 160 million, trying to cope with this extreme weather, trying to cope with the effect of emissions for which we are not responsible.”

So yeah, these island and coastal nations are pretty pissed off.  While the large nations of the world continue to bicker over who will make the most profit off the twilight of fossil fuels, it's the little guys who are the first up against the wall when the rising seas come.  But hey, say the deniers, if it doesn't affect the US heartland, well, who gives a damn?

I'm sure it's just a coincidence.  Drill baby drill.


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