Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Last Call For Shutdown Watch '15

Forbes's Stan Collender ups his GOP government shutdown forecast to 67% from last month's 60%, saying that President Obama getting the 41 votes he needs to filibuster the GOP's attempt to derail the Iran nuclear deal makes it all the more likely that Republicans will exact revenge.

Because the CR will include appropriations for all cabinet departments, it’s very likely – if not almost certain – that there will be at least one attempt in the House and Senate to include language that prevents from using any of the funds to implement the deal. 
That’s not to say this proposed language will survive, but the process will further slow down a debate on the CR that already was pushing against the time limit. 
Even more important is that an effort to stop the Iran deal in the CR will provide a second take-no-prisoners issue that will further intensify the politics for many Republicans. When combined with the expected efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, it will add significant highly emotional fuel to the partisan fire and make a government shutdown far more politically palatable. 
If that wasn’t enough, neither Iran implementation nor Planned Parenthood funding has anything to do with the big budget issue — military vs. domestic spending — that still must be resolved in the continuing resolution. There doesn’t seem to have been any progress whatsoever on the dispute between Republicans, that want to increase military and cut domestic programs, and the White House, that wants to increase them both.

And somehow this all has to be worked out quickly. Yes, there are only three weeks between now and the start of fiscal 2016, but the debate and votes on the CR have to be completed in the 10 days Congress will be in session before October 1. But because several of these days will be devoted to the Iran deal and Pope Francis’ visit to Washington, Congress and the White House really only have about seven days left to get all of the work done.

I would put the likelihood at 90% or higher.  Once again, there's no way John Boehner will be able to deliver his caucus for a continuing resolution in the House, and with Sens. Cruz, Paul and Rubio all looking for a way to get back into the race, whoever shuts down the government first wins in the Age of Trump.

It's going to be a meltdown, and Republicans will get blamed again.

Whether or not that actually hurts the GOP, well, who knows.  It certainly didn't hurt them in 2014.

Bush Tax Cuts Forevah

Jeb Bush is tired of getting 5% in the polls, so he's going to amaze people with something they've never seen before:  more Bush tax cuts!

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush convened an hour-long gathering in Manhattan on Tuesday morning with three longtime advocates for sweeping tax cuts, seeking their counsel at the office of New York Jets owner Woody Johnson and sharing the details of his campaign’s economic plan, which will be formally unveiled Wednesday in Raleigh, N.C. 
The trio of supply-side conservatives — Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore, publishing executive Steve Forbes and CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow — met with Bush alongside Johnson, Bush’s national finance chairman, according to two Republicans familiar with Bush’s schedule. 
Those Republicans, who requested anonymity to discuss the private session and the Bush campaign’s outlook, said the former Florida governor hopes his tax offering will jumpstart his candidacy, which has lagged behind GOP front-runner Donald Trump for months, by proposing lower corporate and personal tax rates while also eliminating a number of deductions that favor Wall Street investors.

Courting the party’s tax-cut enthusiasts Tuesday was the first step in that effort, the Republicans said, calling it a gesture of goodwill and a signal to the party’s business wing that in spite of the rollicking race so far, Bush is mounting an aggressive fall campaign built around traditional GOP principles. Later Tuesday, Bush will visit the offices of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, whose writers have for decades been ardent proponents of smaller government and lower taxes.

Yay tax cuts for the rich!  That'll totally fix all of America problems.

Well, it will for the rich.  Until the economy collapses again, but hey, rich people can survive that, so no problemo, dude!

Seriously, do you get the feeling that the Jeb Bush campaign might be out of ideas?

Jailhouse Rockhead

Judge David Bunning has released Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis from jail for contempt with the instructions that she no longer interfere with her deputy secretaries in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Guess who's bad at instructions?

Just minutes after a judge ordered Kim Davis released from jail on Tuesday, her lawyers told CNN that she would violate a court order by forcing her clerks to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

An order from U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning said on Tuesday that Davis would be released after serving six days in jail on the condition that she “shall not interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.”

CNN correspondent Martin Savidge, who was at the jail, explained following the order that her attorney, Harry Mihet, said that the judge had ordered the release because her office had satisfied the court by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples while she was behind bars.

“The problem here is that the attorney says she has not changed her mind, that Kim Davis is adamant that as long as her name appears on those marriage licenses, she objects and she will attempt to stop those licenses from being distributed,” Savidge reported. “Which means if she goes back on the job as is expected, she will bring the process to a halt. That’s what her attorneys believe.”

“They have said they expect her to go by her conscience which means we may go through this all again,” the CNN correspondent noted.

If that actually happens, well, we'll find out pretty soon should Davis burst forth from her office like the evil Kool-Aid Man and tackle the next same-sex couple that comes in the door.

Which necessitates the question being asked: if it's so obvious to Davis's lawyers that she'll violate the court order, how did she get released in the first place?

Won't last long, I'm thinking.

Meanwhile both Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz showed up at the County jail, and Huckabee especially went on with dangerous rhetoric about openly defying the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage.

"We do not want this country to become the smoldering remains of what was once a great republic, where the people rule," the former Arkansas governor told the crowd. That vision of America should not be "exchanged for a place where five unelected lawyers think that they can rule," he said.

"We're here to say, 'No, they cannot,'" Huckabee declared.

Once again, Republican running for President openly saying that Supreme Court rulings he doesn't like are simply invalid.  Somehow, it's  Democrats who are the extremists.  Probably something about Black Lives Matter, I'm sure.

Nodding to the separation of powers and "the genius of our Constitution," Huckabee told Davis supporters on Tuesday that the Supreme Court's power is "limited" and that it "can only review a law." Reasonably true.

But then came his warning that "the founders never gave that one branch of government the power to make a law."

Huckabee added, "That is reserved for the representatives of the people. Our founders were so concerned that they said that should we ever come to the place that we allow a court to run amok of its purpose, then we would be living under what is no less than judicial tyranny."

That's not how it works, the Supreme Court is the final arbiter over what is Constitutional or not, and they have found that laws banning same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.  What Huckabee is proposing, that the Executive Branch can simply ignore the Judicial Branch, is actual tyranny.

And yet, he's still considered a serious candidate for the GOP nomination rather than a dangerous lunatic.

Spoilers: he's not alone in this view, either.


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