Democrats

Note to Republicans: Obamacare Is Working

Jim Jaffe

The relentless flow of good news about Obamacare may explain why a growing number of elected Republicans are walking away from the issue.  Two new bits of insurance news suggest progress that backers of reform find quite encouraging. The first explains how governments are competing in the insurance exchanges, simultaneously giving shoppers greater choice and potentially providing profit that can help fund services to indigent Medicaid recipients.  In essence this is the public option that liberals fought hard for, but failed to get into the legislation that was enacted.

 

Will Chris Christie Emerge a Winner?

Jim Jaffe

The echo chamber created by Washington’s Beltway wonders how seriously New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential plans have been harmed by revelations that his henchmen took revenge on Democrats by causing traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge. It is far too early to tell, but based on current information it is fairly easy to shift perspective and see how this could accelerate rather than impede his political career.

The Grinches Who Stole Jobless Benefits

Imara Jones

While the week before Christmas is a time when most Americans begin to pay less attention to the outside world in order to focus on friends and family, 1.3 million people will find that nearly impossible. That’s the number of the long-term unemployed—individuals who’ve been jobless for more than six and a half months—-whose unemployment benefits will expire just days after Christmas. The long-term unemployed are disproportionately people of color.

A Return to the Political Center

Jim Jaffe

The center is holding.  Despite the enormous stresses of responding to a deep, painful recession while awkwardly implementing a long-sought national health insurance program, America’s politics are moving back toward the middle, fueling frustrated responses from fringe elements who see opportunities for fundamental change evaporating. The economy is coming back.  Threats of a government shutdown – or even default – seem to be receding. 

The GOP’s 'No Win' Strategy

Bob Neuman

Here is a bold and risky conclusion:  the Republican Party, as now constructed, knows it cannot win the White House.  It probably cannot get a majority in the Senate.  But it can continue its hold on the House of Representatives and thus continue its strategy of blocking legislation rather than acting on the needs of the nation. Looking at current polling numbers, the GOP is at a historic low in public opinion.  

The Government Shutdown Ended. What Now?

Bob Neuman

The shutdown has ended…and now for the showdown. Recent polls show the great majority of Americans are unrepresented in the Congress. And it is time for them to exercise their muscle. The problem is that the hard right and the hard left have an advantage because of unfettered campaign funding in controlling the purchase of advocacy advertising and lavish funding given to candidates of their likemindedness, left and right, far extreme from the center.

Dueling Political Agendas and the Government Shutdown

Dave Helfert

The government shutdown serves no discernible purpose beyond setting a very dangerous stage for competing political interests to try to advance their agendas and, of course, giving the news media and political commentators an urgent issue to cover and interpret. Yet it’s a fascinating time to be a student of political communication.  During these epic battles, we get to analyze rhetorical weapons while they’re still being fired.  We get to take a close look at who’s saying what and how what they’re saying is evolving.  

Who Is Affected Most by the Government Shutdown?

George E. Curry

More than 2 million civilian workers and 1.4 million active-duty military serve in all 50 states and all around the world. In the event of a government shutdown, hundreds of thousands of these dedicated public servants who stay on the job will do so without pay — and several hundred thousand more will be immediately and indefinitely furloughed without pay.” According to a report published Sept. 23: “A federal government shutdown could have possible negative security implications as some entities wishing to take actions harmful to U.S. interests may see the nation as physically and politically vulnerable,” the report stated.

What Other Media Are Saying About the Government Shutdown

Staff

No progress was made to end a budget impasse that resulted in a government shutdown since 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday. News of the shutdown, which includes the closure of all national parks and a work furlough for 800,000 federal employees, generated a big response in the ethnic press. Key areas of concern included the shutdown’s effect on federal workers, loss of funding for social services, ramifications for immigration reform, and environmental impacts. 

 

Government Shutdown: A Win for Obama (and Cruz)

David Swerdlick

For the moment, Obama  now has a foil who's making it easier for him to stand up for his health care initiative and outline his budget priorities. And Cruz gets to show that he's first among equals when it comes to opposing anything linked to Obama. Meanwhile, federal employees will be furloughed, any salary that they forfeit won't be spent in a still-fragile economy, and Congress's inability to make a deal will eventually threaten another loss of confidence in the markets.

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