Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

Boehner Protects GOP Homophobia Reputation

Speaker of the House John Boehner has vowed to block the House from taking up Senate-passed legislation protecting gays from job discrimination because it's bad for business. 

He insists he's not a homophobe or a bigot, just looking out for business interests. Besides, he doesn't see any need for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (EDNA), which the Senate approved last week by a 64-32 bipartisan majority.

Toss Out The Bums But Save The Baby

Throw the bums out but don't toss out the baby with the bathwater.  That's the difference between elections and term limits.

Term limiting members of Congress is an inviting answer to a body deservedly held in record low esteem by the American public, but it is an arbitrary, ineffective and unconstitutional method of cleaning house.  

Kerry Off To Jerusalem Again

In an apparent confirmation that Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are making little if any progress after three months and 15 sessions, Secretary of State John Kerry is going out next week to try to give them a boost that is expected to include a face-to-face meeting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.  The Palestinians have been complaining that the only thing Israelis want to talk about is security, and the Israelis say that is the most essential issue and, besides, the Palestinian positions on other topics are unrealistic. 

Obama Calls Bibi; What Does It Mean?

It was one of those routine, periodic phone conversations between government leaders, but this one will make the Israeli papers because the recipient of today’s presidential call was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  Presumably the NSA knows what was said, but the White House isn’t saying, merely issuing a news release – called a “readout” – saying:

Israeli Spy Captured

Those clever Mossad spies have been infiltrating Arab countries disguised as eagles, storks, kestrels and even sharks.

The latest to reveal the nefarious Zionist plot are the watchful spy catchers of Hizbullah.  They are holding prisoner an Israeli eagle captured flying over Lebanon carrying electronic spying gear.

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.

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