Although it's been a week heavy on Obamacare, we're going to (mostly) look forward this week, to the upcoming budget battles. Because buried in the Obamacare stories this week was one very important bit of news.
Wouldn't it be great to have a place where children and adults alike could learn about the sordid history of how American politics really works? If Bruce Rotor has his way, visitors to New York's state capital will indeed have this opportunity, at the "Albany Museum of Political Corruption."
We've been in the midst of crass politics for three solid weeks now, so it doesn't seem that unbecoming to engage in some more of the same at the end of the shutdown/default crisis. The name of this game is politics. Here's who came out a winner, and who bears the loser label.
If there was some underlying "cut deficits" strategy to the Republican shutdown, then why would the House have passed a budget bill on the brink of the shutdown which increased the debt by $29 billion?
They ought to just change the name, really. Leave it as just the "Democrats" versus the "Tea Partiers" -- because the Republican Party of yore is nothing more than a corpse waiting for burial, at this point. John Boehner, in fact, just hammered the last nail in its coffin.
Ted Cruz wanted to be on television. That's pretty much it, in terms of any effective result that he achieved. In fact, it was so obvious that the worst invective against Cruz continues to come from his own party.
Before we get this ball rolling, we have two minor points which relate to the calendar which we feel merit mentioning. First, for the superstitious among us, it's not only Friday the 13th, but it's actually a double-dose, being 9/13/13. Wooo! Scary!
John Boehner tried a diplomatic solution, to allow Tea Partiers to vote for the umpteenth time against Obamacare while still allowing some sort of budget to pass so the government doesn't shut its doors in October. This compromise was just rejected by the Tea Partiers.
Today's big economic news was that the unemployment rate is down to 7.3 percent, the lowest it has been since 2008. In the first year President Obama took office, the Great Recession spiked the rate to 10.0 percent, to put this figure into perspective.
Rather than discussing the pros and cons of striking Syria today, we have to point out something which should be glaringly obvious -- that Congress will be continuing their fifth week of vacation rather than returning to Washington to vote on whether America should go to war.
The true lesson Martin Luther King teaches is the exact opposite of what many take away from hearing the words "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." Because that arc doesn't bend on its own. It takes effort. It takes action.
Dog-lovers will have to wait for their portion of that headline until the awards part of the column; but as for the cats, I was struck this week by a funny comment on an article I was reading on the continuing civil war within the Republican Party.
What it all boils down to is that Ted Cruz is free to run for president, as is just about anyone. Whether he can convince the country that he is eligible or not will likely be a matter of politics. It's open to anyone's interpretation who can and who cannot be president.
The whole Arab Spring movement has woken America up to the fact that we've been propping up some pretty brutal leaders for a long, long time. Which leads us to the uncomfortable position of not having a clear ideological position.
Love him or hate him, call him "patriot" or "traitor" -- it is now absolutely impossible to argue that Edward Snowden's leaks weren't effective, meaningful, and will actually cause the federal government to have a national conversation with its citizens about what it feels it is legally able to do.