Douglas Bloomfield's blog

Can Congress Hold Useful Hearings?

In their inept and failed effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act by holding the federal government hostage for 16 days, Republicans actually succeeded in making the President's health reform law more popular.  The badly bungled rollout of the program's website was overshadowed by the shutdown, but with government back in business, that is changing.

But if the past is prologue, look for Republicans to go overboard once again.  The rollout was poorly done and those responsible should be held accountable and the reasons why exposed to public scrutiny. 

Bibi, Kerry To Meet In Other Holy City

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Secretary of State John Kerry next week in Rome "to discuss ongoing final status negotiations with the Palestinians, along with Iran, Syria and other issues of mutual concern," the State Department announced this afternoon.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is apparently not on Kerry's schedule but the secretary will be meeting in Paris with representatives of the Arab League's Arab Peace Initiative Follow-up Committee to update them on Israeli-Palestinian talks. 

Shutdown Fallout And Jewish Vote

John Boehner and the Republicans ran up the white flag and the government began reopening this morning as experts began assessing the damage from the GOP's disastrous shutdown strategy. 

Standard & Poors said it cost the national economy $24 billion.  Economists report the shutdown will affect unemployment (up), business earnings and hiring plans (down), borrowing costs (up), consumer confidence and international economic standing (down).

Shutdown Showdown: Fat Lady Only Warming Up

The two men most responsible for the shutdown debacle ran up the white flag today.  Both come out of this big losers in stature and influence.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has spent weeks pressing for the shutdown showdown; after failing to get his Senate colleagues to follow his lead, he turned to his fellow Tea Party followers and ultra-conservatives in the House.  And they followed him toward the cliff, putting partisan politics above the national interest. 

Back To The Barricades

As their 41st attempt to repeal Obamacare died in the Senate today, House Republicans unveiled their 42d tilt at that windmill.

The Senate stripped from legislation needed to fund the government when the new fiscal year begins October 1 the House provision to defund the Affordable Care Act.  If the House tries to tack it back on when the bill goes back there in the next several days for final passage the likely result is a government shutdown that many in the GOP feel  -- and the polls affirm -- would be disastrous for their party.

Obama On Israel, Iran At UN

President Barack Obama focused primarily on Syria, the nuclear dispute with Iran and Israeli-Palestinian peace in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly.  You can read the full text here.

Obama On Israel, Iran At UN

President Barack Obama focused primarily on Syria, the nuclear dispute with Iran and Israeli-Palestinian peace in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly.  You can read the full text here.

Jews Follow 'False Religion," Says Virginia Candidate

In the Virginia governor's race, the Republican ticket is balanced between the far right and the extreme right.

It had been widely assumed the Virginia GOP couldn’t pick anyone more conservative than Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, an anti-abortion crusader who had proposed intrusive exams for women who want to terminate their pregnancy; wants to reinstate Virginia's unconstitutional anti-sodomy laws and has subpoenaed the research papers of scientists who had the audacity to claim humans are responsible for global warming.

Hopes, Threats And Bluffs

Since the latest iteration of Israeli-Palestinian peace began, several Palestinians and two Israeli soldiers were killed, and on each side politicians quickly declared the deaths as proof that the other side isn't really interested in making peace.

Really?  Or are they just looking for excuses to scuttle the talks?

GOP To Poor: Let Them Eat Cake

If there ever was such a breed as compassionate conservative it appears to be extinct.  If you needed any evidence just look at what the House of Representatives did this week.

By a narrow 217-210 it voted to eviscerate the food stamp program by cutting nearly $40 billion from this valuable food assistance program for the needy. The Congressional Budget Office estimated 3.8 million Americans will lose their benefits as a result.

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