Shutdown showdown

Tweets of the Day

Featured image Many are critical of President Trump’s Twitter habit, often with cause. But I suspect that those who abhor Trump’s tweets don’t see many of them. Most are unexceptionable, and some are really good. Like this one, honoring today’s Women’s March, which I guess was a thing although we saw no sign of it where I live: Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to »

Thoughts on the Budget Fiasco [with comment by Paul]

Featured image I’m still scratching my head about the results of the omnibus budget that passed last week, in which it appears Republicans snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. About the only tangible victories were the ending of the ban on oil exports, and the torpedoes launched at Obamacare (i.e., cutting off the insurance company bailout, and postponing the “Cadillac” tax on health plans, though I acknowledge the contrary case that »

Paul Ryan — the new center of the Republican establishment

Featured image Marc Thiessen disputes the conventional wisdom that Republicans should accept the Murray-Ryan budget compromise because if they don’t, they will be blamed for an ensuing government shutdown. He notes that unlike with the October shutdown over Obamacare, this time it would be the Democrats who are trying to force a change to established law. I made the same point last week: Republicans received most of the blame for the recent »

For prudence

Featured image Looking back at the shutdown showdown and the intraparty rift it exposed among Republicans, Rich Lowry and Ramesh Ponnuru make the case for political prudence. They call their essay “Against despair.” In taking issue with Senators Cruz and Lee on the shutdown showdown, Lowry and Ponnuru take the high road. I think that the essay makes some elementary and obvious points well. The essay is worth reading and I commend »

Secret history of the shutdown

Featured image The long NRO column by Heather Higgins — “History of a shutdown” — is must reading for those wanting to understand what happened. Heather explains: The developing narrative, whether on talk radio or in these pages and other publications, about the shutdown fight — who was on what side, what the options were, and what was gained or not — often starts from incorrect premises, based on incomplete or erroneous »

Poll shows major dissatisfaction with GOP over shutdown, but how will this translate?

Featured image The Washington Post reports, based on a Washington Post-ABC News poll, that the recent budget confrontation and partial government shutdown “dealt a major blow to the GOP’s image”. The survey results support this statement. 53 percent of poll respondents considered Republicans responsible for the impasse — of which 80 percent disapproved — while only 29 percent blame Obama. 15 percent fault both sides equally. The poll also finds clear evidence »

Tom Cotton’s vote

Featured image Our friend Tom Cotton was one of the 87 Republicans who voted for “compromise” legislation that ended the partial government shutdown. Some conservatives are unhappy about his vote. One of our readers, a very smart activist conservative, has complained in no uncertain terms. I think that Tom did the right thing when he voted “yes.” The partial shutdown was injuring Republican prospects with no realistic hope of forcing the administration »

“We must increase our debt limit so that we can pay our bills.”

Featured image As Tyler Durden notes, this is the “most disturbing sentence uttered during the debt ceiling debate/government shut down.” America is now going on $17 trillion in debt, a level of insolvency that would already be regarded as catastrophic if the Fed were not keeping interest rates close to zero. The federal deficit declined in FY 2013, which ended on September 30. Final numbers are not yet available, but it is »

The closing of the American monument

Featured image The shutdown is over, but the rancor lives on. Who among us will forget the closing of our national open-air cemeteries, memorials and monuments, not to mention the storming of the Barrycades? I declare it another instance of the Gangster Government brought to us by the Obama administration. Earlier this week the Heritage Foundation invited Utah’s Rep. Rob Bishop to address the subject and a panel including former NEH Chairman »

How bad is this?

Featured image Section 1002 of the Senate bill that was enacted last night is entitled the Debt Default Prevention Act of 2013. The text of the Senate bill is posted here; section 1002 begins on page 24. Section 1002 is one of those incomprehensibly formulated provisions full of cross-rerences. It is not exactly straightforward. Moreover, the legislative summary of the Senate bill — posted here — does not include a summary of »

“Compromise” bill passes House, 285-144

Featured image The only drama surrounding the House vote, if you can call it drama, was how the Republican caucus would split. In the end, 87 Republicans voted for the compromise, if you can call it a compromise. One hundred forty-four Republicans voted against it. I’m far from an expert when it comes to the Republican caucus, but I expected less Republican support. Apparently, the Washington Post shared my expectation (“The House »

A Kentucky kickback?

Featured image Mitch McConnell is taking criticism for a provision in the Senate compromise bill that allocates [actually raises the cap for what can be allocated later] almost $3 billion for a project the Minority Leader previously has backed for a dam and lock project on the Ohio River. The dam project reportedly would benefit Kentucky as well as Tennessee and Illinois. As Eliana Johnson reports, this provision has been characterized as »

Ten thoughts about the partial showdown

Featured image What conclusions should we draw from the about-to-end partial government shutdown? Here are my initial thoughts: 1. The partial shutdown wasn’t anything close to a national calamity. Life went on pretty much as normal. No disastrous event occurred as a result of the government running at about 80 percent of capacity. 2. Therefore, even though the public places primary blame for the partial shutdown on Republicans, the partial shutdown won’t »

The Fiscal Deal: A Post-Mortem

Featured image The terms of the Senate “compromise” have been unveiled, and they obviously don’t give the Republicans much. The deal funds the federal government through January 15, and raises the debt limit through February 7. I am not sure what this latter term means; is Treasury authorized to borrow whatever it takes, but only until February 7? Or have they estimated an additional amount that is calculated to last until then? »

Mistakes were made; it’s time to move on

Featured image That’s basically Jonah Goldberg’s take on the Republican Party’s conduct regarding the Continuing Resolution and the government shutdown. And I basically agree with him. Certainly, mistakes were made — either by Ted Cruz and House hardliners (as I believe) or by Republicans who disagreed with Cruz’s approach. And, in principle, it is time to move on. As Goldberg says: Endless internecine screaming about what went wrong is exactly what Obama »

Republicans look to stop bleeding; Dems look to attack sequester

Featured image The Senate reportedly is close to a deal that would reopen the government until January 15, 2014 and raise the debt ceiling until February 14. Under this deal, there would be bicameral budget negotiations through December 15 of this year to try to reach a broad bargain. On the Obamacare front, HHS Secretary Sebelius would have to certify that individuals receiving Obamacare subsidies meet the income levels required by law. »

House Republicans contemplating short-term debt extension

Featured image The House Republican leadership reportedly is seriously considering passing its own six-week extension of borrowing, unless a Senate compromise emerges in the next day or two. A senior House Republican aide told Politico that “there will be a time fairly soon, I think, where the only option to get something done before the deadline is originating legislation in the House.” The legislation contemplated by House leadership reportedly would not be »