Wednesday December 04, 2013
Archive - Oct 2013
While the tea party faction of the Republican Party licks its wounds and strains to put a positive spin on its abysmal failure to defund Obamacare, President Obama emerges with a stiffened spine for the budget and debt limit battles ahead.
Virtually overnight, the resolution of the debt limit impasse, combined with the cooling off of the peril of military action against Syria, has enabled him to look ahead with an unexpected political tailwind behind him.
President Obama's victory this week was as complete and devastating as Sherman's march through the South. But there is no early sign that the zealots of the anti-government far right have learned the lessons of their defeat -- which means that more battles lie ahead.
As some in Congress have groped for a way to avert economic Armaggedon, House Republicans have continued to chase their mirage -- the repeal or defunding of "Obamacare" -- at the expense of the nation's much more serious problems.
If Tuesday's argument before the Supreme Court is any indication, a Michigan law prohibiting "preferential treatment" is on its way to being upheld by the United States Supreme Court. The law was held unconstitutional last year by a panel of judges on the United States Court of Appeals because, in their view, the primarily white electorate was taking away from minorities the benefits of an admissions policy that supported racial diversity in the state college and university system.
Organizers of the "Million Vet March" on Washington insist they had nothing to do with interlopers who try to score political points off their event. But, sorry, guys. We are judged by the company that we keep.
Reviewers are raving about "Captain Phillips," the new film that tells the real-life story of an American cargo-ship captain taken hostage by Somali pirates. Having seen it, I can confirm that this flick's got everything: suspense, high-seas adventure and brilliant acting by Tom Hanks.
I'd heard about a medical malady you can get from watching too much cable news. You start feeling jittery and apprehensive about the future.
But I'd never experienced it until a recent night, when I had to turn off the rant-around-the-clock shows reporting on political vandals vitiating the good name of a country they claim to love, scrapping in the weeds over nothing while dancing on the precipice of an international financial collapse.
"Thank you, Mr. President. Signed, John Boehner."
Deep beneath the year-round tan, the Camel Ultra Lights and the merlot, there beats a grateful heart. Somebody had to take on the tea party that has turned Boehner's tenure as House speaker into a living hell.
Robert Laszewski is president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, a policy and marketplace consulting firm that has him working closely with many in the heath industry as they try to navigate the Affordable Care Act, as well as the author of the excellent Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review blog. As such, he has a unique view on how the rollout looks from the industry side. Here is an edited version of an interview he gave Monday: