Archive for U.S. Congress – Page 3

"Suspending #Obamacare penalties is tantamount to delaying the mandate"


chill pill

All day, I've been watching, hearing, and reading news reports like this one: More Senate Dems call for Obamacare enrollment extension and lifting the penalty for those who are uninsured.

Well, others, including me, are saying enough already. Seriously, I've had it with all the 24/7 sky-is-falling yakety-yak. I'm talking to you, Senator Feinstein-- who happens to be my senator-- as well as Jeanne Shaheen, Kay Hagan, and Mark Udall, and a few others mentioned at that CNN  link. Calm down and breathe. Or drink. Or smoke. Anything to chill you out and start using your head instead of your emotions, or your donors' money or your own self-interests.

First of all, the Affordable Care Act website at, should be running smoothly by the end of November, according to the official now in charge of fixing it. So how about waiting and seeing instead of panicking? We all know things have started off badly, but it's only been three weeks. Chill.

An editorial in today's Los Angeles Times explains why the requirement that adult Americans get covered next year should not be scrapped, and they make a lot of sense. They start out by reminding us that there is still time to make the necessary corrections before the first of the year and to focus on that, as well as on signing up more people for insurance:

Some have responded by suggesting that the administration suspend the penalties for those unable to sign up for subsidized policies, which are available only through the exchanges.

Suspending the penalties is tantamount to delaying the mandate. And if there's no enforceable requirement to buy insurance, many Americans who don't need healthcare immediately won't do so.

The Times goes on to explain that by succumbing to a mandate delay, as the GOP has demanded, an "ever-sicker, costlier pool of customers, ... would cause premiums to spiral upward. Suspending those penalties would only make that result more likely."

The variations being floated by Democrats are just as bad. If can't be whipped into shape within the next month or so, the federal government may have to pour resources into other enrollment efforts, such as the phone banks and in-person "navigators" who guide people through the sign-up process. But we're not at that point yet, and won't be for several weeks.


relax a little


VIDEO: Creepy Uncle Sam Anti- #ObamacareGuy is ba-ack


they're back

obamacare scary ad

fear cartoon dog phobia

Okay, first things first. "Chad"? Chad?? Really? They're trying to appeal to young consumers by naming the star of their totes adorbs little cinematic effort after... a TV star from the 1970s?

chad everett tv guideHow relatable. How hep. How groovy.

And then they torture us with two minutes of amateur mini-horror flickitude intended to convince us that we're in mortal danger because of-- dun dun dun-n!-- the Affordable Care Act! The very same health care law that saves money and, oh yeah, lives.

And they say irony is dead.

Well, at least they didn't cast the U.S. as a rapey gynie again.

So let's recap: They say we are being worked up into a panicked frenzy by Grotesque Paper Mache-Masked Uncle Sam McBigGovernment bursting into our homes apparently scaring us into buying Obamacare...

obamacare creepy uncle sam

... while trying their best to work us into a panicked frenzy by scaring us out of buying Obamacare.

Nothing hypocritical about that.

Yes, this is just one more in a series of laughably desperate attempts to scare us away from the Affordable Care Act.

More here.


Flashback to GOP 2005: Don't pre-judge! Give Bush time to fix Medicare Part D glitches!


I see hypocrites

The same old Republican frauds are at it again, going after the Affordable Care Act-- indefinitely-- milking the website issues as long as they can... because that's all they've got. They have nothing of substance to offer. They're desperate, and they're losing.

They have no jobs bills, no viable alternative to Obamacare, no nothin'. Actually, a whole lot of nothin'.

Meanwhile, the new health care plan's popularity is rising as the Republicans' poll numbers are tanking. Did I mention insurance giant WellPoint, a key player in  the Obamacare rollout, is upbeat about the exchanges?

But that doesn't faze those on the right. I called them frauds earlier, but I could have easily said "hypocrites." Think Progress elaborates:

Millions of Americans try to enroll in health care benefits during the first days of a new government health care program. They rely on indispensable government website that had been “pitched as a high-tech way” to sort through available coverage options. They’re encountering countless glitches and technical errors: the website freezes, displays incorrect plan information and sends insurers erroneous reports.

Administration officials — clearly caught off guard by the surge of technical difficulties — respond to “tens of thousands of complaints” from angry beneficiaries and promise to “fix every problem as quickly possible.”

Oh noes! What a mess, right? President Obama should be impeached and his idiotic health care reform plan should be scrapped NOW!

Except for one thing.

That all happened in 2005 and 2006 when the Bush administration tried to implement the Medicare prescription drug benefit.


And some of the same hypocrites who are pointing fingers and screaming for repeal today "gave the Bush administration a pass and urged Americans not to pre-judge such a complicated process." Reps. Joe Barton, Tim Murphy, Michael Burgess, and Phil Gingrey for example.

Maybe they should substitute the name "Obama" for "Bush" in the sentence below and rethink their painfully obvious duplicity:

Ultimately, the Bush administration fixed the law’s technical glitches, but more than half of the beneficiaries who ended up signing up for insurance didn’t do so until after the first of the year. Significantly, they signed up for coverage despite the Bush administration’s well-publicized initial glitches in extending coverage to low-income beneficiaries.


GOP myth-information debunked... again: #Obamacare and part-time jobs


myths debunked

chart part time workers not due to obamacare

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Michael Hiltzik has been on a roll lately. I may post two of his Los Angeles Times columns today, because he keeps hitting on points that seem to get very little coverage elsewhere, except as you can see above, on "All In with Chris Hayes":

Obamacare also provides a convenient scapegoat to blame for all sorts of economic ills that either pre-existed or have nothing to do with the health care law. Thanks to a new jobs report today delayed by the government shutdown, tonight we have facts. And one bit of data in particular that might put one of its most insidious lies out of its misery: That Obamacare is a job killer.

...Luckily, we don't have to rely on politicians, pundits and anecdotes to tell us what's going on in the economy, we also have data. Today we learned that full-time employment is up. And the number of people working part-time involuntarily is down since June, and down even more since last year when Obamacare wasn't a factor.

In other words, the trend is moving in the opposite direction of the talking points. And when you zoom out a couple of years since the start of the financial crisis, you see the rise in part-time work starts after the crash and has since gone down. in part, while Obamacare has been the law of the land.

Hiltzik takes it from there:

The report's most notable nugget is the change in part-time work. Over the last month the number of workers in part-time jobs for economic reasons--slack demand, cutbacks in hours--has remained stable. Over the last year, however, it has fallen by 681,000. ...

That puts the lie to the popular conservative meme that Obamacare has transformed America's workforce into part-timers. ...The shorthand about this provided by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), that one-stop shop for Obamacare disinformation, was "single parents who have been forced into part-time work."

Previous employment reports have shown no evidence for that, and the new report undermines the myth further. Moreover, the monthly report defines "part-time" more loosely than the Affordable Care Act -- 35 hours a week or less, compared to the ACA's 30 hours--which means there's even less evidence for the Obamacare/part-time meme.

More at the link.

The GOP can continue to deceive us, but facts are facts, and they only make themselves look dishonest and downright stupid. They repeat their lies often enough to make some of the less informed and more gullible believe they are facts, but eventually it comes down to the same 30-or-so percent who blindly follow anything they put out there.

The rest of us are wising up, as you can see by the latest poll numbers.


La Cucaracha-- "You're undocumented and working as a Congressman?"


nowhere to go but up

A major advantage of having a Twitter pal like the wonderful Lalo Alcaraz (@LaloAlcaraz) is that he generously shares his work with us.

In his comic strip today, Lalo zeroed in on the inept, increasingly frustrating, irrational members of Congress ::coughTeaParty!cough:: who are so despised that they have nowhere to go but up. His point is buttressed by the latest poll numbers.

It would be novel if the people we elected would start representing all of us, not just those who put money in their pockets.

Here’s today’s La Cucaracha:

La Cucaracha congress fail


Dem donations surge, but getting GOP donors to write checks is like "pulling teeth"


three stooges pulling teeth

I recently posted GOP donors "horrified," "appalled," "frustrated," "angered" over "Todd Akin-like candidates who blow eminently winnable races."

Republican donors were horrified in November after pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into campaigns for president and Congress with nothing to show for it. A year later they’re appalled by how little has changed, angered by the behavior of Republican lawmakers during a string of legislative battles this year capped by the shutdown, and searching for answers.


If you link over, you'll see how Republican fundraising has been taking a hit. All together now:

bummer Via site

Not so on the Democratic side.


Roll Call:

Not only have the Democratic campaign committees that back House and Senate candidates outraised their GOP counterparts, but unrestricted super PACs that support Democrats have pulled in close to three times what GOP super PACs have so far, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

That’s a dramatic reversal from 2012, when conservative super PACs spent roughly 70 percent of the non-party outside money in the election.

If that's not depressing enough for the GOP, Americans don't want them to control the House, but they do want Boehner to go and Obamacare to stay.

Need another spritz of Eau de Schadenfreude?

One former Republican Party official who tried to organize a Washington, D.C.-area fundraiser for the NRCC on the eve of the government shutdown said it was like “pulling teeth” to get participants to write checks. The message he heard from guests, he said, was: “Why should I give to these guys? They’re going to shut down the government.”

During the shutdown itself, many lawmakers and party officials canceled fundraising events, and they are now struggling to catch up... More ominous for Republicans, however, is the public grousing from donors. “I know a lot of people in New York who are just not going to give again,” said Thomas Scully, who served in the George W. Bush administration...

Oh it gets better. Now some Republicans are concerned that business donors will also defect to Democrats. Did I mention that a new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that 32 percent of those polled have favorable views of Republicans, and 46 percent approve of Democrats?


John Feehery, a former GOP leadership aide and president of a lobbying and PR group, said, “I think the biggest worry for Republicans is the fratricide. When it’s Republican-on-Republican violence, the business community will look at Democrats and say: ‘At least these guys are sane.’”

Boxer Taking Punchoof


Poll-itics: Americans don't want GOP to control the House, do want Boehner to go, #Obamacare to stay


gop fail off cliff

A CNN/ORC poll has some bad news for the GOP as a whole and for John Boehner as an A-hole. Sorry, I'm in "a mood" and couldn't resist that one. Bygones.

But seriously folks, Americans don't think it's a good idea for the GOP to control the House of Representatives, nor do they think Boehner should remain Speaker. Check this out:

Just over half the public says that it's bad for the country that the GOP controls the House of Representatives, according to a new national poll conducted after the end of the partial government shutdown.

And the CNN/ORC International survey also indicates that more than six in 10 Americans say that Speaker of the House John Boehner should be replaced.

CNN Polling Director Keating Holland:

"Sixty-three percent of all Americans think that Boehner should be replaced as Speaker of the House, a view shared by roughly half of all Republicans."

And 54% say no way to a GOP-controlled House. That number is up 11 points since December 2012. Amazingly, 38% still think it would be just swell if they kept control of the House, down a whopping 13 points.

This is the first time since the Republicans won back control of the House in the 2010 midterm elections that a majority say their control of the chamber is bad for the country.

And just as has been the case for a very long time now, Congress's numbers are still in the toidy: They have a 12% job approval:

86% give federal lawmakers a thumbs-down, also near the all-time high.

America is wising up. Now it's up to the Democrats to keep the anti-Republican momentum going and give voters a reason to support a Democratic majority again. Don't blow it, Dems.

By the way, once again, a "majority favor health care law or say it doesn't go far enough":

According to the poll, just more than four in 10 say they favor the law, with 56% opposed to it. But of those opposed, 38% say they are against the law because they think it's too liberal and 12% say it's not liberal enough. That means that 53% either support Obamacare, or say it's not liberal enough.

President Obama on health care: "We did not wage this long and contentious battle just around a website."