You Don’t Have to Go Home but You Can’t Stay Here

Predictions are hard, especially about the future, but I don’t see any pressure on the House that gerrymandering built pass a clean CR anytime soon, and as Peter King showed yesterday, it’s tough to find enough “moderate” Republicans (i.e., Republicans scared of a Democrat beating them in 2014) to vote for a clean CR, even if Boehner would bring it to the House floor. So protests outside Republican district offices can’t hurt and might help, especially if their last election wasn’t a 70/30 rout.

That said, the seven and nine Democrats who voted with the Republican majority on the last two House roll calls aren’t making things better. One of the names on both those lists is Dan Maffei, NY-24, who represents the Syracuse area. He was beat in 2010 by Teahadi Ann Marie Buerkle, and won his seat back in 2012. Apparently that experience has him running scared, even though he’s in a district that was improved in 2012 by gerrymandering. Maffei is the poster child for weak Democrats who can only be counted on to weasel around and try to find some sweet spot of completely unaccountability. If you live in his district, or the districts of the 6 or 8 other weasels, today would be a good day to give them a call and ask why they’re supporting Republican insanity.

147 replies
  1. 1
    Figs says:

    I keep seeing people saying they don’t think it’s going to last long, but I don’t know what the pressure is going to be to make that happen. It’s going to have to be Republicans who buckle, because the Democrats can’t afford to establish the precedent that this is a valid way to get what you want. But what is it that makes the Republicans buckle if they haven’t yet? They went into this with their eyes open.

  2. 2

    I think today and tomorrow are going to be weird in the Capitol. From their statements, it seems like the House GOP are pulling a Clint Eastwood. Right now they’re lying in bed blissfully thinking about how Obama is going to come crawling to them today as massive public backlash against Obamacare and his own cowardice forces him to let them repeal it. It may take awhile for them to realize this isn’t happening. They really do live in a fantasy land ruled by an imaginary Obama made out of their projected insecurities.

    EDIT – I make no projections as to what they’ll actually do when reality punches them in the face.

  3. 3
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Barrow of Georgia is another. I’m not in his district but it wouldn’t much matter if I were. Where he found that “D” to put after his name I do not know.

  4. 4
    MikeJ says:

    The nine:
    Barber, Barrow (GA),Horsford, Maffei, Sean Maloney, Matheson, McIntyre, Ruiz, Sinema

  5. 5
    MikeJ says:

    BTW, anyone know the section of the bill the Grassley Amendment went into? I want to cite chapter and verse to a wingnut claiming congress is exempt.

  6. 6
    Comrade Jake says:

    Just found out that the slate of NSF proposals I was about to receive for review has been delayed due to the shutdown. Good times.

  7. 7
    Belafon says:

    Call them on your cell phone from the protests.

  8. 8
    Elizabelle says:

    The following editorial appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (in Misery) on Sunday, Sept. 29:

    Just once we’d like to know how it feels to be a Republican extremist in the second decade of the 21st century. Just for a day.

    It must feel good to be so sure of things, to be so certain in our beliefs that we can ignore data from science, economics and history, to say nothing of religious teachings. It must be great to be free of doubt.

    Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/201.....rylink=cpy

  9. 9
    Punchy says:

    ask why they’re supporting Republican insanity.

    He wants to keep his job.

    SATSQ

  10. 10
    Anya says:

    @MikeJ: Barber and Barrow are horrible. They were also part of the 17 dem cowards who voted to hold Eric Holder in contempt.

    Didn’t Tommy Duckworth also vote with the lunatics on defunding ACA?

  11. 11
    raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I said this last night. I talked with the former head of the Ga Democratic party about his sorry ass this summer. She said he is the only white democratic congressman in the entire south and that he votes party line 90% of the time. I personally loathe the fucker, he was on the Athens city council for years and his X is our doggie eye doctor. Does it matter how he voted on this? I don’t know, maybe in the long run it’s the best we can do.

  12. 12
    MattF says:

    The magic words are “I voted for you last time because you’re a Democrat.” Repeat until you get a reply.

  13. 13
    Burt Hutt says:

    Also, too, every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

  14. 14
    Punchy says:

    @raven: Wait…what? Dogs have specialized eye doctors?

  15. 15
    jibeaux says:

    @raven:
    only white Democratic congressman in the entire south? only if NC, VA, TN, FL aren’t in the south anymore…

  16. 16
    Elizabelle says:

    @Punchy:

    Cats too! My mom took “Boots” to an eye specialist in the 1980s.

  17. 17
    raven says:

    @jibeaux: beats me, that’s what she said.

  18. 18
    Redshift says:

    @Figs: As far as I can tell, the best we can hope for is that they feel like they’ve “accomplished” something by shutting down the government, like when they talk about their “successes” voting to repeal Obamacare in the House. A lot of these clowns campaigned on shutting down the government — not as a tactic, not to extort anything in return, just to do it.

    So maybe, just maybe, they’ll let it run for a few days or a week, and then allow a vote on a CR, saying “look what I did!” like a toddler who’s used the toilet for the first time, smiling at the cheers from inside the bubble and completely oblivious to everything outside it, like always.

    Everything they’ve done has been insane. We shouldn’t expect their climbdown to make any sense.

  19. 19
    Patrick says:

    @Anya:

    Didn’t Tommy Duckworth also vote with the lunatics on defunding ACA?

    Wow! That sure would be disappointing. I donated money to her campaign. Well, never again.

  20. 20
    raven says:

    @Punchy: Veterinary Ophthalmology. She is great and has done wonders with Lil Bit. There are people that come from all over to see her. Last time I was there she had a pot belly pig and a rooster in the house.

  21. 21

    @Figs:

    But what is it that makes the Republicans buckle if they haven’t yet? They went into this with their eyes open.

    I don’t think the Republicans did go into this with their eyes open. They were expecting the Democrats to back down and give them at least some concessions. When that continues to fail to happen, they may be forced to change their expectations. Then again, these are teabaggers, so changing in response to reality is not a strong suit.

  22. 22
    MikeJ says:

    @Patrick:

    Wow! That sure would be disappointing. I donated money to her campaign. Well, never again.

    Her name isn’t on that list. Don’t write off somebody because of one anonymous comment on the internet.

  23. 23
    raven says:


    Last white House Democratic congressman in the Deep South fights for political survival

    “If Barrow loses, every Democratic congressman from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia will be black. Every Republican will be white, save Rep. Tim Scott of South Carolina, who was elected in 2010 with Tea Party backing.”

  24. 24
    Redshift says:

    Paging DougJ: I guess we’re still waiting for Ron Fournier to live up to his promise to you. Quelle surprise.

  25. 25
    Cacti says:

    Today would also be a good day to call your Dem Senator and thank them for holding firm, despite early Judas efforts from Joe Manchin.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    jibeaux says:

    @raven: Ah yes, specific states. So the MOST compelling reason they can give you to vote for the guy is tokenism?

  28. 28
    MikeJ says:

    @Patrick: Duckworth when asked: “Do you favor repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which President Obama signed into law in 2010?”

    “No. I support the Affordable Care Act and, in fact, I believe that it didn’t go far enough. Ultimately, I favor a move towards single-payer and will work in that direction while protecting the ACA and the improvements it made to the Medicare system.”

  29. 29
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @raven:

    [Barrow] is the only white democratic congressman in the entire south

    David Price (D NC-04) will be surprised to hear this :-)

    But I do take your larger point.

  30. 30
    Belafon says:

    @Anya:
    @Patrick:
    You two might want to check the rolls actually LINKED IN THE POST by mm.

    As for you, Patrick, make sure you are in between me and the zombies when the zombie apocalypse comes.

  31. 31
    Elizabelle says:

    @raven:

    John Spratt of South Carolina was defeated in 2010, after 28 years in Congress.

    A great American, then and now.

  32. 32
    gene108 says:

    Watched CSPAN this morning. They had some Todd guy from The Takeway to talk about health insurance, but since their first open phones segment was on the government shutdown they kept on that theme related to Republican demands for Obamacare.

    Todd had the best – and I guess I should’ve seen this coming but didn’t see this exact argument – reason why Republicans should be given credit for the ACA succeeding: Senators Grassley and Snowe (and maybe a few others) were negotiating with Max Baucus over the law, thus despite the ACA becoming law without a single Republican vote they should be given credit because they were in on the Senate negotiations.

    He was camped outside Senate offices, but has no idea what was actually discussed by the Senators. But he is sure the Republicans deserve partial credit for the good things in the law and that the conventional wisdom and basic recent history that the ACA is purely a Democratic idea needs to be rewritten.

    I knew at some point Republicans would start wanting credit for a popular law, but I figured that’d start around the 2016 election cycle or maybe 2014, after the law went fully into effect. I figured their arguments would be the law is based on a Republican plan from 1993 and Romney’s plan in Massachusetts.

    The argument for Republicans helped draft the bill, so they deserve credit for the good parts, is a new one I didn’t see coming.

  33. 33
    Anya says:

    @Patrick: I did too. I was really dissapointed with her vote. I think it has something to do with taxes on medical devices or something.

    Who Broke Party Line in the Budget Votes Last Night? (September 29th)

  34. 34
    Soylent Green says:

    Fournier’s column says “More than seven of every 10 voters disapprove of the way Republican lawmakers are doing their job.”

    I reckon the actual number is 7.3.

  35. 35
    raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: It wasn’t MY point. The guy could vote 100% dem and he’d still be a fucking asshole.

  36. 36
    Soonergrunt says:

    @MikeJ: Also, the OPM ruling only states that Congress is exempt from the exchanges for the same reason that the US Government provides health insurance to employees. That is something that individual Congresspersons don’t get to decide. Anyone who has employer-provided health insurance available (like Congress and their staffs) is exempt from the exchanges.

  37. 37
    Baud says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Congress isn’t exempt from the exchanges.

  38. 38
    Elizabelle says:

    @gene108:

    Yeah well, the fact that Republicans did not vote for the Affordable Care Act trumps that little factoid.

    Ted Cruz and his cruzathon pals informed us over and over that Obamacare passed without Republican support.

    I hope to see that in Democratic campaign ads next fall.

  39. 39
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    There is something cosmically delicious about the fact that today, October 1, is the Feast Day of Saint Dodo.

    No, really.

  40. 40
    gene108 says:

    @Anya:

    taxes on medical devices or something.

    The medical device tax is something that’s probably not going to survive and will go down in a showing of bipartisan good will.

    Even liberal Congresscritters in deep blue states / districts may have medical device manufacturers as large employers, who provide good paying jobs to their constituents and / or those companies are throwing a lot of money at said Congresscritters to over turn that part of the law.

  41. 41
    Belafon says:

    @Soonergrunt: Grassley’s “contribution” to the ACA was that it forced all of the Congressional staff onto the exchanges. The stink was that there was nothing that said how Congress could help the staff pay for the exchanges. Republicans, showing how much they even care for their own people, have been preventing a change that would allow the government to contribute to their staff’s exchange based health insurance plan.

  42. 42
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Redshift: my prediction still stands. There will be no government running until the elections next month. That will include a default. The republicans have convinced themselves that this is the noble cause against slavery. How are they now supposed to let it pass if it is the gas chamber?

  43. 43
    Baud says:

    @Belafon:

    Republicans, showing how much they even care for their own people, have been preventing a change that would allow the government to contribute to their staff’s exchange based health insurance plan.

    OPM issued a reg yesterday that would allow for government contributions to congressional staff and members of Congress.

  44. 44
    gene108 says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Yeah well, the fact that Republicans did not vote for the Affordable Care Act trumps that little factoid.

    They may not have voted for it, but come on the ACA / Obamacare has the Grassley Amendment in it for Christ’s sake!

    They helped make the law fair and equitable, so it wouldn’t be a give away to those people.

    I can see the Republican ads and carpet bombing of the media with this talking point happening, once the government gets funded and assuming we do not default on the debt.

    Also, it is not a lie, if you believe it is true and if you say something often enough, you can believe it is true. Thus repeating that Republicans wrote the bill will become true.

    There’s a large chunk of the population that believes Republicans wrote the Civil Rights Act and the Democrats are the real racists, because Strom Thurmond filibustered something in 1957 and then changed his party affiliation to Republican, by 1964.

  45. 45
    joes527 says:

    The google doodle is … ironic this morning.

  46. 46

    Someone throw me a lifeline:

    I walked Ron Barber’s district last fall, on my kid’s 13th birthday, to make sure he held Gabi Giffords’ seat after he barely won the special election the previous spring. Knocked on 135 doors, personally delivered 14 votes (AZ has drop-off absentee, it works to get votes from oldsters, quelle surprise). The next day I spent 4 hours on the dialer and got 15 more votes to the polls.

    What can I say to whoever is answering that little weasel’s phone this morning that won’t get me a visit from Eric Holder’s staff? The sumbitch took a bullet (7, actually) for democracy but isn’t willing to stand with his party against nihilists.

  47. 47
    Redshift says:

    @Soonergrunt: It’s hard to wrap a non-wingnut brain around how delusional the “Congress is exempt” talking point is.”

    Wingnut propaganda: “Obamacare will mean you’ll lose your employer-based health insurance! And a government takeover of health insurance!”

    President: “If you like your employer coverage, you get to keep it.”

    Wingnut propaganda: “Congress getting health insurance from the government is unfair! They should lose their employer-based health insurance or else they’re exempt and getting special treatment!”

  48. 48
    PurpleGirl says:

    According to the linked vote tallies, Duckworth voted Nay on both votes. Who are you going to believe… Daily Kos or the House Clerk?

  49. 49
    Redshift says:

    @Baud: Right; they’re trying to block it in one of the versions of the CR, but they haven’t yet.

  50. 50
    Belafon says:

    @Baud: Thanks. Actually, I got it backwards:

    But the language in the law was unclear as to whether lawmakers and their aides would be able to keep using government money to purchase heath insurance. To clear this up, the Obama administration issued a proposed rule in August stating that the government would continue to cover 75 percent of congressional health benefits. The GOP latched onto this new regulation as an “outrageous exemption for Congress” and a “big fat taxpayer funded subsidy.” Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.), introduced bills that would strip out those employer contributions.

  51. 51
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Not sure that’s correct. Al and Frannie franken will be participating in MNSure (Per Al’s statement from the floor of the Senate).

  52. 52
    Baud says:

    @Belafon:

    That’s it. I thought they finalized it, but it looks like they haven’t yet.

  53. 53
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @gene108: I did. You can thank cowardly democrats and the useless left for not taking full ownership of the law from the get go. I swear every time some dumbass dem or leftist cried or bragged about this being a “GOP” health plan I wanted to punch them in the face and tell them to stfu. This law will work and you can guarantee that the repugs will be taking credit for all the good stuff claiming even the the liberals admit it was a republican plan.

  54. 54
    Punchy says:

    @gene108: From your post to Durbin’s pie hole.

    Hey, if this nothingburger tax change makes the Dems look even more flexible and thus the GOP more obstinate, I’m all for it.

  55. 55
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @raven: No, I understand you were quoting (I assume) Jane Kidd. It just seems odd that she would define “the South” so selectively.

  56. 56
    Hawes says:

    There is no reason for a red district Dem to vote for a clean CR until there is a clean CR to vote for and win. If Pete King can ever find those alleged sane Republicans, then there vote matters.

  57. 57
    piratedan says:

    Barber and Sinema are part of the Arizona Conundrum…. Barber won by essentially 2500 votes (out of 290K total votes) in the last election (McSally) post the special election where he beat Gifford’s old challenger (Jesse Kelly). imho his vote is more of a political calculation than a reflection of who he is and he’s atop the flip list for the GOP (as this seat has been for the last six years. Do I wish he had the nads to stand up and vote his conscience? Yes yes I do. Do I plan on making a stink about it, probably not due to the fact that he was nearly killed by Loughner, it lends itself to a certain unseemliness and awkwardness. Sinema is in her seat only because there was a Libertarian Party candidate that peeled off 6.5% of the vote allowing her a plurality in her district.

    Do I wish that they had some foresight to stand with the President…. yes, are their votes likely to come back and haunt them after people start to appreciate the ACA? unlikely considering that I doubt that any of their challengers from the right will make a point of it.

  58. 58
    Ash Can says:

    @Anya:
    @Patrick:

    According to that DK link, Duckworth broke ranks only on the medical device tax, not on the substance on the ACA itself. Especially in light of what she’s on record as saying about the ACA (e.g., see MikeJ @ #28), it would be supremely foolish to go all puritanical on her over this.

  59. 59
    eric says:

    @MikeJ: what? unpossible…it must be true

  60. 60
    IowaOldLady says:

    I could accept the loss of the medical device tax if I had to, but it annoys me. Unlike the Rs with war and Medicare Part D, the Dems did their best to pay for the ACA. Predictably everyone likes the benefits but wants to get rid of paying for it.

  61. 61
    Cacti says:

    Let’s not lose sight of what this shutdown is really about.

    The ACA is just a symptom of the problem. The GOP is trying to repeal the elections they lost in 2008 and 2012. They’re punishing the country for not being on board with their vision of how it should be.

  62. 62
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    It just seems odd that she would define “the South” so selectively.

    Dunno why. That’s been considered the Real South for an awful long time. Has something to do with the others being late to the secession party and the number of snowbirds in Florida.

  63. 63

    @piratedan: How many doors did you knock on?

    Ron Barber isn’t dumb enough to think that ACA can work without the mandate, so he voted for a CR that would have stopped my wife from getting insurance next year.

    He seemed like a good guy, and tough enough to be a Dem in Southern AZ. Guess not. There are some things more important than keeping (D) next to the name on the seat, and a functioning government is one of them. His and Krysten’s votes handed leverage to the Tea Party nuts’ caucus inside the GOP, and neither of them is stupid enough not to get that.

    I expect more.

  64. 64
    mai naem says:

    @piratedan: I disagree on Sinema. If you look at her district it pretty takes in the ASU area, central Phoenix and low incomes areas. I just don’t think its as purple as it’s purported to be. Barber is in a true purple area because his district has very little of the prototypical Dem stronghold areas – just the reputation of Tucson being the blue part of AZ.

  65. 65

    @Cacti: Wrong.

    I took my kid to a forest service campground last week and they’re down to 1 trash collection every 8 days. (I asked the ‘campground host’, who’s living in his truck at public lands around the region–no rangers, we can’t afford them.)

    This isn’t about Obamacare. This is about locking in the inadequate funding for running this nation that was provided by the sequester budget….and calling it a loss for Tea Party extremists and a win for Dems.

  66. 66
    Patrick says:

    @MikeJ:

    Her name isn’t on that list. Don’t write off somebody because of one anonymous comment on the internet.

    With just hours until a government shutdown kicks in, the GOP-led House approved a stopgap spending bill over the weekend that would temporarily fund the government on the condition that the Affordable Care Act is delayed for a year and a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices is repealed. The medical device tax is meant to pay for some of the costs associated with ObamaCare.

    The Senate is set to take up the House spending measure, which would fund the government through December 15, later today. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the bill is dead on arrival, and the White House has also threatened to veto it. Reid is expected to scrap the amendments related to the health care law and send, for a second time, a clean spending bill back to the House.

    Congress has to come to an agreement on a continuing resolution to temporarily fund the government by midnight Monday in order to avoid a government shutdown.

    The House vote to repeal the medical device device was 248 to 174. House Democrats from Illinois who voted yes include U.S. Reps. Tammy Duckworth (IL-8), Brad Schneider (IL-10), William Enyart (IL-12) and Cheri Bustos (IL-17).

  67. 67
    Patrick says:

    @Ash Can:

    According to that DK link, Duckworth broke ranks only on the medical device tax, not on the substance on the ACA itself. Especially in light of what she’s on record as saying about the ACA (e.g., see MikeJ @ #28), it would be supremely foolish to go all puritanical on her over this.

    OK – So where are you going to take money from instead if there is no medical device tax?

  68. 68
    piratedan says:

    @PhoenixRising: i worked the phones for him and Giffords, so no purity test failure for me, tyvm. Am I happy with his vote, no… but that’s part of my issue with Dems as a whole… and there are some questions here that I would like to have answered by Ron himself, did he go against the party? did Pelosi release him? is this a purely calculated move and if so, why did he feel that he had to make it? Myself, I would like to think that if I’m gonna fall on a sword, it damn well better be for what I believe in not because the breeze touched my newly moistened finger trying to calculate the wind direction.

    @Mai Naem: You can disagree on Sinema… just look at the numbers from the last election… unless there’s been a helluva lot of voter registration in her district that is mostly blue, she’s an anomaly just based on who actually shows up to vote.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.....zona,_2012

  69. 69
    Patrick says:

    @Belafon:

    As for you, Patrick, make sure you are in between me and the zombies when the zombie apocalypse comes.

    And make sure you are never on my side when the going gets tough. Since you apparently want to repeal the medical device tax, where are you now going to take that funding from? This is exactly why it is important for the party to stick together 100%. She and a few others chose not to.

  70. 70
    Ash Can says:

    @IowaOldLady: According to Punchy’s link, Dick Durbin is saying the medical device tax can be put on the table if the funding can be made up from other sources. I for one can live with that approach.

  71. 71
    Jamey says:

    FORGET YOUR LOCAL REPUBLICANS, CALL DICK DURBAN’S OFFICE AND SAY, NO DEALS.

    Make this happen, and fast. Here’s Dickie’s number. (202) 224-2152 – phone
    (202) 228-0400 – fax

  72. 72
    Angela says:

    @Jamey: just tried that. High call volume. Have to try again. I hope that is good news.

  73. 73
    Angela says:

    @Jamey: just tried that. High call volume. Have to try again. I hope that is good news.

  74. 74
    NotMax says:

    One of the pithiest posts read on Monday (found it on another blog):

    “House Republicans will not fold. How do I know that? Because Dick Morris was just on CNN confidently predicting they would.”

  75. 75
    Ash Can says:

    @Patrick: See my #70 for a likely answer. I suspect the IL pols were talking among themselves last night.

    ETA: This doesn’t mean, however, that Jamey’s idea above is anything short of excellent.

  76. 76

    @piratedan: My point wasn’t purity test. To clarify, I don’t even live in the district. We were visiting for my kid’s tournament.

    My point was, my pragmatic support in the form of getting votes logged is worth more to him keeping the seat than trying to convince some gun-worshiping whacko in Bisbee that he’s not one of the bad kind of Dems. And he’s not dumb enough not to get that…I don’t think.

    Sorry the district was drawn to make it so easy for any R to win, but it was, and this vote was bad politics all the way around. Don’t care what Nancy Smash told him, or what his advisers recommended–pissing off the folks who put you in the seat with a gesture, trying to appeal to folks who aren’t going to vote for you unless you change parties, is dumb.

  77. 77
    Punchy says:

    @Jamey: People are pissed at both sides (yes, that’s unfortunate, but reality). In order to come off as genuine, the Dems must offer something to look reasonable. The fucked up MSM won’t have it any other way. Experienced Dems know this, and are throwing a nothingburger fig leaf out there to look like they’re negotiating.

    It’s not capitulation, it’s shrewd negotiating in a hothouse media environment.

  78. 78
    Angela says:

    @Punchy: people are not pissed at both sides. Polling is 77% blame house repubs. Stop with the both sides BS.

  79. 79
    Steve says:

    The last poll I saw said 22% of respondents support the shutdown. They couldn’t even get the full 27%!

  80. 80
  81. 81
    Felonius Monk says:

    Well, who coulda noed. Govt. shutdown combined with opening of the ACA insurances exchanges = clusterfuck.

    A number of reports this morning already that there are huge problems at the healthcare.gov website. Possibly even denial of service attacks. In any event it seems that HHS was not really prepared and one has to wonder that with a govt. shutdown they will be able to remedy situation.

    People already complaining that to just find out what plans are available you have to register and give very detailed personal information. Very poor website design, etc.,etc.

    I really want this whole ACA thing to work. People need affordable health care insurance.

  82. 82
    eric says:

    @Angela: that poll is of voters, not members of the msm ;)

  83. 83
    TS says:

    @IowaOldLady:

    Predictably everyone likes the benefits but wants to get rid of paying for it.

    The GOP likes to be able to talk about the cost of the ACA – so of course there can be no taxes to offset that cost.

  84. 84
    piratedan says:

    @PhoenixRising: agree we’re on the same side here, just trying to take a pragmatic view to it and (hey, ty for walking the district!) trying to lend a POV as to why its hard for me to call Barber out on his political choices/cowardice considering his history and the district (and yes, I live in his district). Wishing/Hoping/Working to keep AZ trending blue but as you well know, there are some very deep Red threads that run through the state and its an ongoing battle to keep it trending blue especially with the duplicity that trickles down from the statehouse and the governor’s office.

  85. 85
    TS says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    It is impossible to be 100 % pperfect for such an event – especially then the GOP refused to fund preparations for the ACA. I’ve never yet been involved with a new computer system – public or private that worked on everything first day. No doubt the left who campaigned to keep democrats away from the polls in 2010 will now start screaming about how terrible is the implementation of the ACA. Until ALL democrats STOP criticizing everything their party does – the GOP will be defunding every democratic government from now until the next century.

  86. 86
    Alexandra says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    People already complaining that to just find out what plans are available you have to register and give very detailed personal information.

    How can you provide costing and a range of suitable plans — effectively quotations — for subsidised medical insurance without the customer providing personal information such as personal circumstances, income and medical history and so on?

    You sound very concerned.

  87. 87

    @raven: Yeah, Barrow votes with the Democrats when naming post offices and on defense spending. That’s about it.

  88. 88
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    People already complaining that to just find out what plans are available you have to register and give very detailed personal information. Very poor website design, etc.,etc.

    The poor design I’ll grant. I haven’t had to give out much personal info yet in my attempts to get in, just an email address and state of residence. I hope to know more soon, but I do have to spend some more time trying to corner my home insurance claim rep. Very tempted to claim that because of the shutdown, I now have lots of time to keep calling him….

  89. 89
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    I called Sen. Mark Kirk’s (IL) office and told him that I’m an Illinois constituent that will need to sign up for Obamacare in a few months when my current job ends. I’ve worked for the company for 17 years but it was bought by a Bain Capital clone about 12 years ago and run into the ground. I went ahead and created a job for myself by becoming a licensed taxi driver/chauffeur and would like to sign up for healthcare through the exchange. My wife just had surgery last week and I can’t go without affordable healthcare for a year because the Republicans hate Obama.

    By the way, I’ve been trying to register with the exchange in Illinois all morning but the website keeps coming up with errors. First it wouldn’t provide the options for the security questions and now it isn’t completing the account registration process.

  90. 90
    weaselone says:

    The votes a handful of Democrats have cast alongside the Republicans probably says far more about the nature of their districts than it does about their actual policy positions. The votes are essentially meaningless as the Republicans have sufficient votes without any opposition party support. There’s no point in these dem representatives voting with their party if the only result is to provide fodder for adds against them during the next election cycle. When the Republicans crack and we either see a clean bill, or Republicans voting against a bill defunding Obamacare then it will be time for them to step up and vote with the rest of the Democrats.

  91. 91

    We don’t live in southern AZ anymore. I’m not as tough as you.

    I’m from the scorched-earth school of politics: If we (and I mean everyone who GOYAKOD*) can’t get reliable Dem votes out of the Dems we carry on our backs in “tough districts”, may as well let the seat go & recognize that the worst extremists in the Tea Party are taking a message from the weaseling. And it ain’t ‘go screw yourselves’, which is the only message they would benefit from hearing.

    *Get Off Your Ass and Knock On Doors

  92. 92

    @PhoenixRising: Sinema is an idiot. How do I know? She joined some “Bipartisanship is the holy grail” caucus. Okay, that’s not really the name of it but it’s close. The more disturbing thing is who the GOP members of that caucus are. Domestic terrorists like Steve Stockman. Yes, buddy of Tim McVeigh and one of the louder Birthers in Congress.

  93. 93
    Alexandra says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    By the way, I’ve been trying to register with the exchange in Illinois all morning but the website keeps coming up with errors.

    When a crowd of people rush to get through one door, it gets jammed. Check the site in a few days or a couple of weeks. You’ve got until Dec 15 to sign up for coverage that starts in January. Registering earlier won’t make any difference.

  94. 94

    @PhoenixRising:

    This isn’t about Obamacare. This is about locking in the inadequate funding for running this nation that was provided by the sequester budget….and calling it a loss for Tea Party extremists and a win for Dems.

    Bullshit. They could lock that in, at least for the term of the CR, just by passing the Senate’s version and claim that accepting a clean CR is a major concession. Instead, they’re trying to extract additional concessions, mostly about shutting down ACA. They appear to care more about shutting down ACA than they do about locking in sequester.

  95. 95
    Felonius Monk says:

    @TS:

    I’ve never yet been involved with a new computer system – public or private that worked on everything first day.

    Neither have I, but it sounds a little like this was put together by a couple of high-school kids in their basement. I’ve seen reports that it does not work correctly with Firefox, for example.

    I just don’t want to see people that need this insurance get frustrated and give up. That will set this whole thing back and play right into the gopers hands.

  96. 96
    Punchy says:

    @Angela: Local news reported a CNN poll (too lazy to go to CNN to link) that said 69% blame the GOP, 58% blame the Dems. Yes, it’s skewed slightly towards the GOP at fault, but there’s a non-insignificant amount who wrongly blame the Dems. Thank Fox Noobs for that.

    Edit: And yes, I know that adds up to more than 100%. I didn’t make the poll.

  97. 97
    Chris says:

    @PhoenixRising:

    Wat.

    I’d rather have someone who votes with me 50% of the time than 0% of the time. Thinking otherwise is what got the teabaggers to support psycho candidates saying things like “I am not a witch!” over people who could actually win East Coast states.

  98. 98

    @weaselone: You think most members of Congress care about the people of their districts? They only care about them if they can write a check.

  99. 99
    The Dangerman says:

    Cruised over to RedState; some commenters there are of the opinion that if the Republicans can hold out for 3 or 4 months, Democrats will crawl on their knees for a deal.

    These people are certifiable.

  100. 100

    @Chris: So you’d like someone who only voted with you when naming post offices and defense spending? Then you’ll scream when they backstab the party like Ben Nelson & HolyJoe.

  101. 101
    feebog says:

    Just love you guys who are ready to throw a Democratic Congressman or woman under the bus based on one vote. You would love it over at Red State.

  102. 102

    @Roger Moore: but that battle is lost.

    ACA is done, uninsured folks are finding out their new rates, and the President isn’t budging–why would he? They can’t win what they say they’re fighting for.

    I just don’t think they’re running onto the field to shoot the wounded–not that they aren’t mean enough for that to be the agenda, because they are–I think they’re playing a longer game.

  103. 103
    max says:

    @mai naem: If you look at her district it pretty takes in the ASU area, central Phoenix and low incomes areas. I just don’t think its as purple as it’s purported to be. Barber is in a true purple area because his district has very little of the prototypical Dem stronghold areas – just the reputation of Tucson being the blue part of AZ.

    Well, whatever. I gave her some cash last year based on the premise we should try and help as many House candidates as possible. Because having the majority is nice, yes? It avoids things like the current contretemps. Also because the New Republic didn’t like her, apparently on account of her being bisexual.

    Well, it so turns out that the New Republic should be much happier with her than I am (this is just one in a long string of bum votes – she’s putting the red in Blue Dog), and I haven’t given her any more money and I’m not going to. She isn’t worth having in the House given how many crappy votes she’s put up. She may need to lean more ‘moderate’ , but near as I can tell she forgot the part about not crapping on her base that isn’t going to turn out for her.

    Oh, well, win some, lose some. 2014 is not going to be her year, I expect.

    Duckworth occasionally goes right, but not very much, as far as I can tell. Maloney, OTOH, appears to exist solely to send fundraising emails, which is funny, because I never sent him any money. Dick.

    max
    [‘When will Steve Israel be replaced with someone who can win elections, I ask, plaintively?’]

  104. 104
    chopper says:

    gerrymandering really is the variable a lot of people miss in this equation. 90’s goopers were assholes, but that was just the opening act. these guys are not only nuts, they’ve made sure they’re in safe enough seats that they can really let their freak flag fly. imagine the 90’s GOP, now add gerrymandered districts, the tea party and the fact that the president is black. i’m surprised they haven’t killed us five times over by now.

    these guys have, since the 90’s at least, felt that any democratic president is inherently illegitimate and that presidency must be treated like an illegal occupation by a foreign power. they felt that way about clinton but they weren’t crazy enough to blow the world up over it. instead they felt content to investigate everything until they found some small bit to run with.

    obama has the added benefit of not only running a tighter ship but also being able to drive them even crazier than clinton did. which is of course why now the world economy is about to go off a cliff – just so they can point out that obama was behind the wheel when it happened even though they’re the guys that cut the brake line and put a brick on the gas pedal.

  105. 105
    GregB says:

    I registered at the Obamacare website early this morning and I still have a stomach ache.

    Obamacare doesn’t work.

  106. 106
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @PhoenixRising: You may be giving them too much credit for intelligence.

    I used to do that. I just can’t handle the cognitive dissonance necessary to continue believing it.

  107. 107
    Feudalism Now! says:

    Dan Maffei is a cowardly piece of crap. I may campaign for the Greens if his spineless drift continues. No outreach, no education efforts and no defense of Democratic planks guarantee another Buerkle win next year. He barely won with Obama on the ticket because he ran as not crazy lady Buerkle. He stands for nothing.

  108. 108
    Jennifer says:

    Call them and pretend to be someone who is suffering from the shutdown. (Parent who can’t take their kid to HeadStart, fed. employee who won’t be able to pay their mortgage, etc.) Find out what’s been affected in your district (or any other), then call their office and pose as an affected person and ask/demand their help in working out your dilemma. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to pretend you voted for them but won’t be doing it again if this drags on.

  109. 109
    Felonius Monk says:

    @GregB: Take two Obama-Pills and call them in the morning. :)

  110. 110
    The Dangerman says:

    FWIW, in using CoveredCA (California), the website worked far better in IE than Chrome; YMMV.

  111. 111
    MikeJ says:

    @max:

    Duckworth occasionally goes right, but not very much, as far as I can tell.

    Duckworth, like Franken, opposed the medical device tax because MN makes medical devices. I think their position is wrong, but it’s certainly understandable.

  112. 112
    Feudalism Now! says:

    @GregB: Did you call from your Obama-phone? No? There you go.

  113. 113

    @PhoenixRising:

    ACA is done, uninsured folks are finding out their new rates, and the President isn’t budging–why would he? They can’t win what they say they’re fighting for.

    You know that, and I know that, but I don’t believe the Republicans know that. A substantial number of them seem to believe that they can block Obamacare if they just find the right magic formula. All the indications are that they will take the blame for any shutdown. If their main goal is to lock in sequester-level spending, they should have been willing to accept the Senate’s clean CR at the last minute to avoid the negative fallout from the shutdown. That they didn’t is a sign that they either aren’t rational actors or that they have significant goals beyond preserving sequester. Or both, of course.

  114. 114

    @Roger Moore: Okay, we can agree that I’m attributing rationality where none lies. Maybe.

  115. 115
    Chris says:

    @Phil Perspective:

    No. I didn’t say “like.” I said “I’d rather.”

    I don’t “like” the ACA either – I want single payer. Unfortunately, single payer was never in the cards, so I’ll take the ACA. I’ll take what’s possible over the “if I can’t have a fantasy politician that agrees with me on everything, then give it to Republicans!” option.

  116. 116
    David in NY says:

    New York probably has fewer uninsured than most places, but its exchange site says this:

    Due to overwhelming interest in the NY State of Health – including 2 million visits in the first 2 hours of the site launch – the health exchange is currently having log in issues. We encourage users who are unable to log in to come back to the site later when these issues will be resolved.

    That’s two million uninsured people in New York alone seeking insurance — I don’t know of a better argument for the ACA.

  117. 117
    weaselone says:

    @Phil Perspective:

    And that has what to do with my post?

    There’s no point for a Democrat in a purplish red district to cast a vote that will serve solely to provide fodder for campaign adds against him or her. When their vote is actually needed to advance the Democratic Party agenda, then I expect these Congressmen to step up and be counted. Until they fail to do that, this is all whining about insufficient pointless displays of purity.

  118. 118
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Punchy:

    Could be overlap if the poll wasn’t exactly ‘do you blame the GOP OR the Dems.’

    Still…yeah, about what I was afraid of: ‘Both Sides Same Thing’ will win the day.

  119. 119
    ruemara says:

    Jeez, reading that Daily Kos link, it seems the DKkoolkids are all set for Obama to cave and Dems to “give away the store” and it will fail because we need a third party. christ on cracker. No wonder we don’t have much cohesiveness. We just repeat the right mantras to the right peer group and stew in collective fever juice.

  120. 120
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @ruemara:

    Bleh. My fear isn’t that Obama and the Dems will cave at this point, as they seem to have reached their breaking point. My fear is that the damage is already done and that ‘Both Sides Same Thing’ will inoculate the GOP from any real tangible consequences.

  121. 121
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Alexandra: look, if the NSA was doing its job properly, the government would have all that information pre populated.

  122. 122
    elftx says:

    law re Congress exemptions: “Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and Congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are — (I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or (II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an Amendment made by this Act).”

    And thanks for posting Durbin’s number, I got through and had a nice chat with a staff member who appreciated the call.

  123. 123

    @David in NY:

    That’s two million uninsured people in New York alone seeking insurance

    Not necessarily quite that many. There are undoubtedly some curious people who are just checking out the site because they want to know how much insurance would cost on the exchange. More important, there are probably people who had trouble logging in the first time who then proceeded to try again a dozen times before giving up. There are clearly a lot of interested people, but I wouldn’t use this as a way of measuring them.

  124. 124
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Alexandra: When you walk in a furniture store to look at a new sofa, do you immediately fill out a credit application or hand them your credit card? I think not.

    The point is: it does not appear that it is possible to just find out what plans are available on your exchange without giving very detailed personal information.

    If you are actually going to submit an application, of course you must supply that kind of information.

    But it appears you can’t even see what the sofa selection is until you fill out the application.

  125. 125
    The Other Chuck says:

    @David in NY: Hold on now, that’s 2 million visits. I visited the site to see what it looked like, and I already have insurance.

  126. 126
    Elizabelle says:

    On Obamacare Day 1:

    A shout out to Joseph Cao, a one-term GOP congressman from Louisiana, who was the one Republican to cross lines and assure passage of the Affordable Care Act on a crucial preliminary vote. 220-215. 39 Democrats voted against.

    Cao voted against the final act (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), which barely had enough Democratic votes to pass.

    Even so, Joseph Cao gets my vote as a genuine profile in courage. He is the first Vietnamese-American member of Congress, and a genuinely liberal Republican (representing a Democratic district).

    Cao defeated Democrat William (cash in the freezer, now in the slammer) Jefferson, served one term as a Republican, and was himself defeated by Democrat Cedric Richmond, currently in office.

  127. 127
    lol says:

    @chopper:

    People are “missing” it because you don’t understand gerrymandering. It makes your seat *less* safe! It’s the other guys you cram all together into a handful of untouchable 80-90% districts.

    Gerrymandering siphons all the “extra” votes you have in your 70-80% districts into the 35-45% districts so that they become reliably winnable. It gets you many more seats that the vote distribution in the state would otherwise suggest.

    The downside is that if the political winds turn against you, *all* of your seats are in danger. You won’t have any “safe” seats to fall back onto because you watered them down to make the other districts winnable.

    If next year starts to resemble 2006, the GOP stands to lose an astounding number of seats in the House.

  128. 128
    Chyron HR says:

    If only every person in America was signing up for single-payer health insurance today, the process would have gone so much more smoothly. THANKS OBAMA.

  129. 129

    @lol:

    People are “missing” it because you don’t understand gerrymandering. It makes your seat *less* safe! It’s the other guys you cram all together into a handful of untouchable 80-90% districts.

    It depends on how you do it. There is some tradeoff between getting the most seats and the safest seats, but as a practical matter a 60/40 split is a very safe district, and even a 55/45 one is pretty safe. If you manage to create a few ultra-safe 10/90 or 20/80 districts for your opponents, you can make a bunch of reasonably safe 60/40 or 55/45 districts for yourself and get both disproportionate representation and relative safety.

  130. 130
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Roger Moore: I thought someone did an analysis of the 80 Tea party members and found that Obama lost in them by 24 points on average. I doubt that they have much fear that the Dems are going to shave 12-15 points off their totals in two years. I mean, demographics favor dems, but that’s a lot of people moving in 2 years.

  131. 131
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @lol: How safe are these safe seats?

  132. 132
    celticdragonchick says:

    Sullivan is shrill:

    I’ve been trying to think of something original to say about the absurdity now transpiring in Washington, DC. I’ve said roughly what I think in short; and I defer to Fallows for an important dose of reality against the moronic coverage of the Washington Post.

    But there is something more here. How does one party that has lost two presidential elections and a Supreme Court case – as well as two Senate elections – think it has the right to shut down the entire government and destroy the full faith and credit of the United States Treasury to get its way on universal healthcare now? I see no quid pro quo even. Just pure blackmail, resting on understandable and predictable public concern whenever a major reform is enacted. But what has to be resisted is any idea that this is government or politics as usual. It is an attack on the governance and the constitutional order of the United States….

    The president must therefore hold absolutely firm. This time, there can be no compromise because the GOP isn’t offering any. They’re offering the kind of constitutional surrender that would effectively end any routine operation of the American government. If we cave to their madness, we may unravel our system of government, something one might have thought conservatives would have opposed. Except these people are not conservatives. They’re vandals.
    This time, the elephant must go down. And if possible, it must be so wounded it does not get up for a long time to come.

  133. 133

    I am sure that not all safe seats are created equal, there are some seats the Dems are never going to win, no matter what happens but is that true for all the seats held by the Republicans?

  134. 134
    weaselone says:

    @lol:

    That’s not for the most part how the current Republican gerrymander is set up. It’s largely designed to create safe Republican seats and super safe Democrat seats. Take as an extreme example a state with ten districts with roughly 50:50 R:D voters. You could effectively carve that into 7 districts with a 60:40 R:D majority and 3 with an 20:80 R:D minority. A Republican would never win an election in a Democratic district, but it would take a special kind of Republican to lose when the generic Republican has a 20 point advantage.

  135. 135
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: North Carolina? Really?

  136. 136
    Jamey says:

    @Punchy: Punchy: I understand the political calculus, but Durbin seems to look for the middle before the right has even made their opening gambit. I want his office aware that the moderate center wants him to hold his ground till the GOP gets its house in order and provides a rational and committed negotiating party. Then when you’re speaking with the one kidnapper who speaks for the whole cabal, that’s when the hostage negotiation begins.

    Durbin should shut the fuck up and let Team Boner make the first move. And I’m not pissed at both sides … at least I wasn’t till the Senate Majority Whip–the goddamn Whip! Do you know what that is, Punchy?–was unilaterally proposing what his party will give away to Politico scribes.

  137. 137
    David in NY says:

    @Roger Moore: @The Other Chuck: Picky, picky. You left out the possibility of denial of service attempts. Still, in two hours that’s a lot of hits, and suggests that a fair number of the uninsured in NY beyond those who will come under Medicated [ed., heh] Medicaid are looking at this. Total uninsured (Kaiser) is 14% of population, about 2.5M.

  138. 138
    David in NY says:

    @lol: They don’t all have to sign up today.

  139. 139
    feebog says:

    OK, Gerrymandering 101, in this case, North Carolina. As you all know Obama won NC in 2008 and lost it by a very close margin in 2012. NC gained a congressional seat in 2010. Up until then the congressional districts were spilt 6 and 6. After the Republicans gerrymandered the crap out of the state here is what you got: 9 Republicans and 4 Democrats. 2012 vote percentage by district:
    1- Dem, 75%
    2- Rep, 56%
    3- Rep, 63%
    4- Dem, 74%
    5- Rep, 57%
    6- Rep, 60%
    7- Dem, 50%
    8- Rep, 53%
    9- Rep- 51%
    10-Rep-57%
    11-Rep, 57%
    12-Dem, 80%
    13-Rep, 57%

    The Republicans now have 7 very safe seats. there are 2 seats with a smaller R edge, 1 toss up and 4 very, very, very safe Dem seats because all the Dem voters have been packed into them.
    Even in a wave election the best Dems are going to achieve is 5, maybe 6 seats.

  140. 140
    ericblair says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I doubt that they have much fear that the Dems are going to shave 12-15 points off their totals in two years. I mean, demographics favor dems, but that’s a lot of people moving in 2 years.

    Factor in how many of the teatard population will be moving into a 6x6x2 basement efficiency in that timeframe and that evens the odds a bit.

  141. 141

    @feebog:

    Even in a wave election the best Dems are going to achieve is 5, maybe 6 seats.

    Assuming there’s no demographic shift. If the state moves 3% to the left by 2020, that would give the Democrats 3 safe seats, 2 Democratic leaning seats, 1 tossup, 5 Republican leaning seats that might flip in a wave election, and only 2 safe Republican seats. That still leaves the Republicans with an overall advantage even assuming that the state is light blue, but it puts them in big danger if there’s a wave election. It’s a bigger risk if the leftward shift is concentrated in suburban, Republican leaning areas rather than being uniform. It’s a sign that trying to maximize your electoral advantage generally comes with some increased vulnerability when things don’t go your way.

  142. 142
    fuckwit says:

    @feebog: Nope. That chart says something very different to me. It says…. horror of horror… that moderates and pisse-off/disgusted, newly-minted ex-R’s are the key to our survival. Look at those Dem seats. They’re ridiculously safe, WAY safe, undefeatably safe. But look at the R seats. They’re still safer than I’d like, but they are MUCH less safe than the D seats. Like, you get close to 50% in some of them. That’s within winning distance with effort. Recall W’s approval ratings after 9/11…. and his approval ratings in 2006.

  143. 143
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Absolutely! NC was one of the last to secede. VA, NC, TN are held to be just a wee bit better than the fence sitters in KY and MD, but that’s all.

    It’s tribalism all the way down.

  144. 144
    chopper says:

    @lol:

    it makes your seat less safe in the long run. but in the short run, for a few election cycles (enough to spike the whole thing), it works wonderfully.

  145. 145
    Trollhattan says:

    @celticdragonchick:
    It must be Bizarro Day because I agree with every word. Do I start drinking now, or wait ’til I get home?

  146. 146
    Angela says:

    @Punchy: The poll I think you are referring to: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2.....rel10a.pdf .

    I think drilling down gives a different picture. And certainly the trust in R House is decreasing with the trust in D’s is increasing. I still don’t think it is wise, because of the debt ceiling fight coming up, to negotiate in any way.

  147. 147
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Felonius Monk:
    Furniture stores don’t charge for a couch based on your income, age, and number of family members.

    Stop.

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