There’s that number again

From WaPo:

Gallup: GOP’s favorability sinks into Clinton impeachment territory

Lots of chatter about today’s Gallup poll finding that the favorability rating of the GOP has plunged to 28 percent, its lowest point ever, and the lowest point ever for either party:

Self-identified Republicans are more than twice as likely to view their own party unfavorably (27%) as Democrats are to see their own party unfavorably (13%). The GOP’s unfavorable rating among Republicans is up eight points from September, compared with a one-point rise in Democratic Party unfavorables among Democrats. These findings may be consistent with the widely circulated narrative that the Republican Party is internally splintered on how best to handle the budgetary negotiations.

Independents, meanwhile, remain unimpressed with both parties: Thirty-two percent view the Democratic Party favorably, while 27% view the Republican Party favorably.

Given the margin of error of these polls (typically +/-2-3%) we are right where the estimable John Rogers said we’d be.

As for that last part, I don’t worry so much about how self-described “Independents” view anything.  A LOT of them anymore are really Republicans who will reliably vote for the next crazy bastard their party puts up.  I’m far more interested in what self-described “Moderates” say, and there has been some recent positive movement on that front.  I think one of the other FPers covered that recently, but I’ll try to find something to back that up.  Or not.

Open Thread

UPDATE: Reports of a white male shooting at the Federal Building in Wheeling, WV.  Unconfirmed reports that police engaged and wounded him.  UPDATE II: H/t to VDE–he’s dead.

128 replies
  1. 1
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The update says that the shooter is dead.

    So, we’ll have to wait a bit for the official word from Alex Jones on false flag action of the day.

    It’s so fucking obvious that he’s some race traitor out to make white men look bad.

  2. 2
    Feudalism Now! says:


  3. 3
    Eric U. says:

    as the saying goes, the gears of freedom are lubricated by the blood of patriots or somesuch

  4. 4
    Joe Max says:

    The shooter in W. VA is reported by U.S. Attorney Bill Ihlenfeld as a former Wheeling police officer.

  5. 5
    👾 Martin says:

    You can rely on some group of people always being ready to snap, if you just crank up the tension a little bit more.

  6. 6
    LittlePig says:

    Let’s play the Great American Game Show, Suicide By Cop! Today’s contestant, a former Police officer from Wheeling West Virginia, is, er, well, was real excited to be playing on our show today…

  7. 7
    Botsplainer says:

    The Florida Democrat pointed to a Public Policy Polling survey that found that Congress had an 8 percent approval rating. And to infuriate Republicans further, he read out of the each items that the American people found more likable than Congress.

    “What do you have a higher opinion of, Congress or witches? Congress, 32 percent; witches, 46 percent,” he said. “What do you have a higher opinion of, Congress or hemorrhoids? Congress, 31 percent; hemorrhoids, 53 percent. What do you have a higher opinion of, Congress or dog poop? Congress 40 percent; dog poop 47 percent.”

    At that point, Womack cautioned Grayson to confine his remarks to an explanation of why his resolution was privileged under Rule IX. But the congressman continued citing the poll, comparing Congress to toenail fungus, cockroaches and zombies.

    Can somebody please shove a sock into this asshole’s mouth?

  8. 8
    BGinCHI says:

    Of all the shit going on right now caused by the GOP to fuck up the country and themselves, I still think messing with voting rights is going to have the biggest effect.

    All of the shenanigans and lack of competency (and willingness) govern is pushing many people to see the GOP for what it really is. But it’s getting those people to vote that will make a change. And nothing is keeping that on the front burner more than trying to take people’s rights away.

    Keep fucking that ballot box, Republicans.

  9. 9
    Tone in DC says:

    Crazed person goes off. Again.

    I’m just relieved no one else was hurt.

  10. 10
    Tone in DC says:


    I like Grayson’s antics. He says whatever he wants to say. Would that the other Democrats out here were so bold.

  11. 11
    dedc79 says:

    I anticipate the number will sink significantly below 27% if/when Boehner allows a clean CR or debt ceiling vote. At that point they’ll have succeeded in ticking off whatever few moderate GOP voters were left by going to the brink, plus they’ll have alienated the rabid tea party base by caving. Worst of both worlds (for them).

  12. 12
    Comrade Jake says:

    Just finished watching the “League of Denial” doc from Frontline. The whole thing is online via PBS.

    I’ve been a football fan for many years, having grown up in New England and watching the Patriots. I have the team sweaters, various paraphernalia, etc.

    I’m reasonably certain I won’t be watching football any longer. Pro, college, you name it. I’m out.

  13. 13
    👾 Martin says:

    @Tone in DC: The only people that like assholes are Republicans, and they only like Republican assholes.

  14. 14
    sparrow says:

    @Comrade Jake: Sadly, I agree. Can we switch all the college teams to Rugby? Is that even better?

  15. 15
    Hal says:

    I’m now really worried. According to newsmax, an OK suit may end Obamacare and Dick Morris is always, always right.

  16. 16
    Mike in NC says:

    Self-identified Republicans are more than twice as likely to view their own party unfavorably (27%)

    These are the dead-enders for whom the GOP could never ever be extreme enough. If they had their way, non-whites and females couldn’t vote, all forms of birth control would be illegal, and gun ownership would be mandatory (except for those non-whites and females, of course).

  17. 17
    BGinCHI says:

    @Hal: I never know what shoes to wear with an OK suit.

  18. 18
    Botsplainer says:

    @Tone in DC:

    I like Grayson’s antics. He says whatever he wants to say.

    He does say what he wants to say. Sadly, he has the sort of a demeanor and a face that makes me wish I could be in a position to ram a fist into it repeatedly.

    The guy just rubs me the wrong way, even though I tend to agree with him on a lot of stuff. I get that feeling about Maher, too.

    They remind me of the kind of guys that crop dust an elevator.

  19. 19
    NotMax says:

    Open Thread TV alert.

    Two riveting classics with acting nonpareil showing back-to-back this Friday, Oct. 11, on TCM (all times Eastern):

    1:30 p.m.: Inherit the Wind – Spencer Tracy & Fredric March sparring, as the two old masters deftly employ subtlety of expression as a counterpoint to the crescendo of vociferous oration. (128 min.)

    3:45 p.m.: Ship of Fools – Melodramatic? Yes. Flawed? Indeed. Memorable? Absolutely. All-star cast promenades their considerable and eminently engrossing acting chops aboard an ocean liner that’s a microcosm of a world on the precipice of chaos. (150 min.)

  20. 20
    Mark B. says:

    To be honest, I think you would find that a lot of the Republicans that disapprove of their party are doing so because they feel they haven’t gone far enough in trying to destroy the Obama presidency. There are large numbers of people that believe that there needs to be a military coup to take Obama out of office before he starts rounding up and shooting the white people. It sounds crazy, but that’s because it is. And it’s pretty common among rank and file Republicans.

  21. 21
    BGinCHI says:

    @NotMax: Both titles could be epigraphs for the GOP’s consequences for the Gov’t shutdown.

  22. 22
    cathyx says:

    Another unhinged male with a gun. What’s wrong with you men?

  23. 23
    Trinity says:

    @Comrade Jake: I watched it this afternoon too. Deeply disturbing. I am a football fan but I just do not know how I can continue to watch the sport in good conscience. The story about the high school player floored me.

  24. 24
    kindness says:

    Hey Soonergrunt, How is the shutdown affecting Veterans services in Oaklahoma?

  25. 25
    Comrade Jake says:

    @sparrow: I don’t know. I’m just going to stick to watching baseball and try not to think too much about which players are probably juicing.

  26. 26
    cathyx says:

    @sparrow: No, because what they are finding is that it’s the repeated blows to the head that causes more damage than even a concussion.

  27. 27
    MikeJ says:

    UPDATE II: H/t to VDE–he’s dead.

    Our commenters get around. Congrats for stopping it, Villago.

  28. 28
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Trinity: Yes. I am encouraging friends to be sure to watch it all the way through to the end.

    My sister-in-law is really into football with her high-school sons. I’m hoping to get her to watch the doc. If we can just get 10% of mothers…

  29. 29
    sparrow says:

    @Mark B.: Yes. Many people on the right, being totally consumed by fears of various sorts, only pay lip-service to the words “democracy” and “freedom”. Think about the way they mindlessly shout about communism and socialism without having the contact with reality to realize that they probably enjoy the benefits of many socialist programs. That’s the scary thing to me, the lack of contact with reality. Words stop having their real meanings with these people. They’d be happy with a military dictatorship that called itself “the democratic republic of the US” as long as it had the “right” guys in charge, and would be happy to look the other way if liberals, blacks, feminists, and other udesireables were disappeared in the process. It’s stagnancy at any cost.

  30. 30
    SixStringFanatic says:

    @Mark B.: “Coup Coup Ca-Chou!” There’s a good title for a Doug J post or a tag.

  31. 31
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Mark B.: Also a good reminder from Digby today about what even record low approval does and doesn’t mean, writing about that previous GOP low of 31% during the impeachment:

    They were very unpopular for doing this and suffered some losses in the congress in the 98 midterms as a result, although they did not lose their majority. Newt Gingrich resigned from congress. And from that low point they recovered within a year and got themselves close enough to a victory in the presidential election that they were able to finesse a win with the help of the president’s brother and a conservative Supreme Court. Let’s just say their irrational behavior didn’t exactly destroy them. And four years after that they held all three branches of government…

    I think it’s different now in a sense, demographics are doing to do them in before too long, in other words staging another comeback like that won’t be as easy. Still, a good reminder that they’ve gotten where they are by gerrymandering and so on, that is, despite not having public approval, not because of having it.

  32. 32
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mark B.:

    a lot of the Republicans that disapprove of their party are doing so because they feel they haven’t gone far enough in trying to destroy the Obama presidency

    This is most likely true.

    It’s like polls about ACA (aka, thanks to the Rethugs, “Obamacare”. A majority “disapprove” but WHY they disapprove isn’t clear. A lot of those didn’t think the ACA went far enough.

  33. 33
    Botsplainer says:

    God damn him.

    “If they had three years to get this ready, if they weren’t fully ready, they should accept the advice Republicans are giving them, delay it for a year, get it to work there are health insurance sites that work great,” Blitzer said. “If they didn’t get it ready in time, make sure to get it right.”

  34. 34
    Tone in DC says:


    I only see Bill Maher when I’m channel surfing. Occasionally, I’ll watch if he has guests that I want to hear from. Other B-J commenters have mentioned their distaste for Maher. His attitude has never bothered me. Grayson’s sensibilities don’t grate on me.

    The progressives/liberals I dislike are purity trolls and firebaggers (that is probably redundant). Always despised holier-than-thou folks. They’re usually hypocrites, like the televangelists they watch on TV.

  35. 35
    sparrow says:

    @cathyx: Yeah I know Rugby has some roughness to it, but from the few games I watched (a long time ago now) I felt like there was a lot less direct contact. More like soccer. But maybe not.

    On the other hand, as much as I love college sports, there are also *really* good arguments against having sports and education tied together at all. See the way they do it in Europe where it is clubs from kindergarten all the way up.

  36. 36
    JMG says:

    I admire Digby’s writing a great deal, but she’s very much of the fretting liberal we’re-always-gonna-lose school. Past performance is no guarantee of future results, which to be fair, she pretty much stated at the end of her post.

  37. 37
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Botsplainer: Yeah I saw that too. Pretty much why I avoid CNN.

  38. 38
    BGinCHI says:

    @Botsplainer: Ps, said Wolf, fuck all those people who need health care but don’t have it. I have it, so I don’t care.


  39. 39
    jl says:


    @NotMax: (Inherit the Wind, Ship of Fools)

    Conservatives Furious That Ryan Didn’t Address Obamacare In Debt Proposals

    GOP Splinters Over Hostage Strategy As Default Looms

    ” The GOP is splintering over its strategy to force conservative reforms by sustaining the government shutdown and threatening default.

    Republican leaders don’t know what they want, other than for Democrats to accede to some sort of policy concessions in order to avert the crises. And they’re divided on which of the two must-pass bills is the better one to hold hostage. “

  40. 40
    piratedan says:

    @Botsplainer: it’s cool Bot, there’s no way that Wolf could ever comprehend just how laughably tragic it is that the same day that the government rolls this out that the entire IT infrastructure behind it gets furloughed and that somehow that might have an effect in identifying issues and implementing solutions.

    He’s completely context free

  41. 41
    cathyx says:

    @sparrow: I used to play rugby in college. It’s very rough with much contact. If I were a man, I never would have played it since they hit much harder and with more weight behind it than women do, but our bones and bodies break the same with the same amount of force.

  42. 42
    Soonergrunt says:

    @BGinCHI: shit kickers.

  43. 43
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    I don’t know. This guy was most likely in my demographic, except for the college educated part.

    Of course, I’m not all that concerned about my dick size, having been reassured by a number of women that it was perfectly adequate, if not more so, for their purposes.

  44. 44
    EconWatcher says:

    I’ve seen a lot of talk about what this means for the midterms, whether the public will have forgiven and forgotten by then, etc.

    I think all of that talk misses the point. The real issue is, as long as the Dems hold firm, I don’t see how the GOP gets out of the corner they’ve put themselves in without triggering an intraparty civil war.

    That’s what makes the current scenario so different from 2010. They were completely united then in their opposition to Obamacare, and used their unified rage to pick up seats. I’m trying to imagine a scenario resolving the current impasse that would leave a unified GOP for the 2014 elections, and I’m not seeing it.

    If that’s right, they could get a shellacking.

  45. 45
    John O says:

    Wolfie, I’m sure, is also worried about his portfolio.

  46. 46
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @JMG: Shrug. I thought the points were valid ones. Filtering that evaluation according to whether she’s too pessimistic or optimistic as a matter of habit seems pretty much beside the point.

    Edit: Oops, looks like I linked to the wrong post at her place.

    This is the one I meant:

    Something about hers, the link at the bottom sometimes throws me off, I seem to remember doing that before. Best to check of course but I didn’t.

  47. 47
    Jose Arcadio Buendía says:

    The head injury thing is an existential threat to the NFL in a way that the steroid thing is not and never has been to baseball.

    Anyway, the way out of this political gridlock we have is simply to prove to the 27% that they needn’t bother with politics. They need to just be out of the system. Ungerrymandering districts won’t do it for basically the same reasons Digby points out, but basically because in a two-party system the second party always at least has a chance.

  48. 48
    jl says:

    My comment is in moderation. In response to the comments on Inherit the Wind and Ship of Fools, I posed links to two TPM stories:

    The crazy GOP base is furious that Ryan did not mention destroying ACA along with SS, Medicare and Medicaid in his WSJ column this morning.

    GOP House crazies cannot agree on what their demands are, and whether CR or debt limit, or both, should be held hostage.

    The House GOP just cannot ‘maintain’ anymore. I don’t see how the media can cover up the fact that both sides are not equivalent. There is just not nearly enough material on the Dem side right now. I mean, if you just show a couple of seconds of House GOP you got a destruction derby driven by maniacs on bad meth, narrated by crazy GOP House leaders who sound like drunken cats in heat, and attended by a base of antic zombies.

    What can you say? It’s like a daily loop of McCain’s and Palin’s worst moments in the 2008 campaign.

    Maybe the whole House GOP will have to be put on 72 hours observation as a danger to themselves and others, and we can get the mess cleared up in the meantime.

  49. 49
    IowaOldLady says:

    Since many states delayed their decision on whether to run their own exchanges, I’m not sure it’s fair to say the administration had 3 years to set up the Federal Exchange, which had to be tailored to all sorts of local demands. Not saying the site is wonderful. Just saying Wolf is rewriting history a little.

  50. 50
    Patrick says:


    “If they had three years to get this ready, if they weren’t fully ready, they should accept the advice Republicans are giving them, delay it for a year, get it to work there are health insurance sites that work great,” Blitzer said. “If they didn’t get it ready in time, make sure to get it right.”

    Goodness. So out of touch! I take it Mr Blitzer has an answer as well for those people who would be without insurance for yet another year…

    And hell, doesn’t Blitzer realize there might be better answers. How about simply extending the deadline for signing up???

    F*** CNN!

  51. 51
    Comrade Jake says:

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have been reasonably impressed by just how steadfast the Dems have been holding.

    Meanwhile we have Cantor and Ryan running op-eds in which they don’t even bother to bring up Obamacare.

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    One has to remember that Leslie here is the guy that during the “balloon boy” incident in Denver was arguing with his on air experts in aerodynamics that surely it was possible that the balloon boy was floating over Denver.

    Leslie, it’s not a question of whether or not he can fit in the box under the balloon. It’s a simple question of weight ratios…

  53. 53
    joel hanes says:


    Coup Coup Ca-Chou!

    NICK : Gesundheit!

    CATHERWOOD : Yes. [sings to himself] I’m soo-oo tired, I haven’t slept a wink … [exeunt]

    NICK: All right, Nancy. Go on with your story. Start with your dreadful secret.

    MRS. HABER : [weeps] Oh, Nick — I can’t, I can’t — I’m so confused!

    NICK : [privately] Why don’t you just hold your thumb by your lines, like I do?

    MRS. HABER : What?

    NICK : [privately] That way I don’t get confused, don’t lose my place

    MRS. HABER : I feel faint! The whole world is spinning!

    NICK : Why that’s lucky for us, Nancy — if it were flat, all the Chinese would fall off.

  54. 54
    Gene108 says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    They might survive because of gerrymandering but this is not the 1990’s. people are not doing well.

    The impeachment was all fun and games, but this shit is hurting real people.

    People will notice.

    The question is will they turn up to vote in 2014.

    Edit: plus Obama is not Clinton. Obama does not have scandals dogging him.

  55. 55
    jl says:

    @Jose Arcadio Buendía:

    I guess the rules could be changed to reduce the dangers of head trauma. I kind of like watching Rugby better than NFL these days. Nicer flow to the game.

    But did a search, looks like head trauma is big problem in Rugby too.

    The games may have to totally changed. I’ve lost enough interest in watching NFL that for me, the changes might be an improvement. Might watch with some interest again.

    My problem with NFL is that for me the rules have gotten so gimmicky and complex, it starts to remind me of bogus stuff like rollerderby.

  56. 56
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    One of the problems with American Football is that these guys are basically covered in armor that is itself used as a weapon in the routine play of the game, exacerbating the trends that are already there.

    I’m not sure it can survive serious medical scrutiny, but that won’t stop it as a cultural rite of passage in much of the country. It seems Moloch demands we sacrifice our youth to his pigskin minions.

    If we can convince 10% of football moms and dads, we might make some headway.

  57. 57

    @Villago Delenda Est: IT COULD GRIP IT BY THE HUSK!

  58. 58
    Soonergrunt says:

    @kindness: Well, the Muskogee Regional Office was furloughed yesterday, along will all the other regional offices of the Veterans Benefits Administration, so there is a total halt on processing Veterans Benefits claims, nation-wide.
    The Fort Sill National Cemetery is managed by the National Cemetery Administration, and has furloughed all but one employee. Burials must now be scheduled one week in advance, minimum. Veterans Health Administration is fully funded for the current fiscal year. The OKC VA Hospital, and the Muskogee VA Hospital and their regional clinics are all operating normally. The VA Office of Information Technology (my part) is working at reduced staffing, having furloughed 31% of the IT staff and a significant number (but I’m not saying how many) of the Information Security staff in VA Region 2. Region 2 is the central region in the map at the bottom of the page, consisting of VISNs 11,12,15,16,17, and 23. We are assured that more staff will be furloughed each week.
    Roll-out of the Windows 7 upgrade from Windows XP SP3 is on indefinite hold at about 68% complete in my facility.
    There is no money for parts for computers, switches, or other IT assets at this time. If it breaks and it’s out of warranty (as a significant number of our computers, printers, and network equipment is,) it’s not getting fixed.

  59. 59
    Gex says:

    @BGinCHI: I know that when my car doesn’t start the first time I try to start it, I want to bring in people who don’t believe in the internal combustion engine to help fix the problem.

  60. 60
    Regnad Kcin says:

    @sparrow: rugby is by far a less violent sport — no damn padding (except for the occasional number 8 who tapes his ears)

  61. 61

    My reaction to the NYT story about the GOP congress critters saying that the Default is no big deal.
    It is a big deal you idiots, because risk free rate is no longer risk free, thanks to you.

  62. 62
    jl says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I might watch an NFL game with big rule changes that give the game more continuity and flow, and pits two actual teams with the same players against each other for more than two minutes at a time. All the substitutions and special situations, two minute this and that, I just find it irritating now.

    Like baseball, basketball and hockey better (and I watch football seldom enough now that I understand it about as well as hockey, so no loss there).

    Can we have a real right of American manly passage and social ritual without bashing peoples heads together? How about flag football, with one flag, hanging down in front. (just a suggestion).

  63. 63

    @Botsplainer: Wow GOP bots in the media are not even hiding their allegiance any more.

  64. 64
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    The crucial difference between rugby and football is that in football, 10 or so extremely large (300-pound) men slam into each other as hard as they can at the line of scrimmage on every snap. Rugby is certainly violent and has its big hits and whatnot, but nothing that approximates line play in the NFL.

  65. 65
    Comrade Jake says:

    This is a pretty good Grantland piece on The League of Denial.

  66. 66
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Botsplainer: I just checked into my states website. I had no problems getting into either the site or my state’s site. I also found a variety of plans that would offer me rates that would cost half as much as my current cobra plan. But of course they are too damn lazy to try the websites themselves. Cant let their precious lies be reexamined.

  67. 67
    jl says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Well, hell, they can’t even show the House GOPers or Senate GOP deadenders on TV anymore (they only take a few seconds to discredit themselves), so their media tools have to start delivering the pitch themselves. Blitzer, being quite dimwitted, is not the best spokesperson though.

    The TPM piece said Cantor had an op ed Today that did not mention ACA. I think this is the piece the TPM story refers to. Cantor wants negotiations for reduced nominal spending.

    Eric Cantor: Divided government requires bipartisan negotiation

  68. 68
    Botsplainer says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Wow GOP bots in the media are not even hiding their allegiance any more.

    I’d pay good money to see some contract stringer struggling with health insurance issues for a spouse or a child beat the living fuck out of him right on the air.

  69. 69

    I was listening to the Diane Rehm show this morning, and they were talking about, among other things, the federal debt. It’s $17,000,000,000,000, and, needless to say, Republicans think this is a huuuuge thing, an outrage, a crime against humanity and our unborn children, and so on and so on (though it’s worth bringing up that they had nothing to say about the debt when Bush was running it up). Anyway, one of the guys on the show said that the debt is, essentially, treasury bonds that we’ve sold and that will come due some day, and that much of the debt, maybe most of it, is what the U.S. owes to its own people, that is, what it owes to itself. Anyway, he said that Republicans love to beat the dead horse that we’re “leaving this debt to our children,” when we could as easily say that “we’re leaving a buttload of treasury bonds to our children,” which, one could argue, is a good thing.

    So I don’t understand much about economics, but this seems to make sense to me. Does anybody here understand this any better than I do, and if so, could somebody tell me whether this holds any water?

  70. 70
    piratedan says:

    @jl: it’s pretty amazing, all of these budgets have already been passed by the House previously, amended by the Senate, keeping their budgetary (GOP) number in place, they agreed to it and now it’s now good enough and somehow, no one in the MSM outside of MSNBC nighttime and AlJeezera is able to bring themselves to say that the Republicans can’t even be made to honor the agreements that made to begin with.

    somehow, the R’s pulling this constitutional crisis hostage taking is given a pass by the cocktail circuit with nary a thought to the actual repercussions. These fuckers could be replaced by a microphone stand taped onto a roomba for all the analysis that we get.

  71. 71
    Peter says:

    @Botsplainer: The cafeteria at my university has TVs running on mute, one of which is always set to CNN. So many times over the past week I’ve seen Blitzer wedged in between two other speakers. I never know what he’s saying, but he always looks like he has a monumental sad.

    It’s a great sight. Fuck’em.

  72. 72
    IowaOldLady says:

    Also, as I look at pics of the Rs saying stupid stuff, I’m remineded of an art project I saw several years back in which the artist altered the front page of the NY Times in various ways for a year. She eventually had a stamp made saying “Buncha White Guys” because she needed to make that comment so often.

  73. 73
    👾 Martin says:

    In addition to Wolf only pouring gasoline on this fire is that the ‘delay Obamacare’ bullshit is just flat out underhanded. Obamacare has been in effect for 3 years now. What part are they delaying? The mandate? The coverage under parent’s insurance? The pre-existing conditions protection? The rebates?

    Do they really want to throw the several million people off of their insurance that got it under ACA because a website is having some issues in the first week?

  74. 74
    Eric U. says:

    I grew to hate Blitzer during Desert Storm because he was so clueless. And he would stand outside with air raid sirens going. I didn’t mind if the scuds got him, but losing the cameramen because he should have sought shelter was infuriating. “Wolf, isn’t that an air raid siren? Shouldn’t you seek cover” and he would ignore and keep going with his inane story. This was before I realized what a Republican tool he is, he’s just generally clueless

  75. 75
    jl says:

    @👾 Martin:

    ” Do they really want to throw the several million people off of their insurance that got it under ACA because a website is having some issues in the first week? ”

    Yes, they do. Kristol told them a functioning health insurance and provider market would remove a huge part of their economic class resentment wedge issue 20 years ago.

  76. 76
    BGinCHI says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Mumphrey, et al.): Next time you hear folks from the right, or TV talking heads, or op-ed writers talk about the debt, see if they mention investment.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting though.

  77. 77
    PopeRatzo says:

    Should I be comforted by the fact that despite the stubborn government gridlock, congressional Republicans, Democrats and President Obama are all in agreement with fast-tracking the Trans Pacific Partnership, which will inevitably cost middle and working-class jobs and cause worker wages to continue to decline?

    I wonder if all this shutdown stuff isn’t just misdirection for the real ugliness that’s going on. Oh, and the details of this fast-tracked treaty are still secret (unless you happen to be one of the corporations who are involved and stand to benefit.

    Nice to know that our divided government is in full agreement that corporations need to be taken care of first.

  78. 78

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Mumphrey, et al.): Another point, the interest rates on the treasury bills and bonds is at an all time low. If you were getting a loan practically without any interest wouldn’t you take it?

  79. 79
    jl says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Not if the loans help the wrong sort of lesser U.S. citizens, including the GOP dupe base.

  80. 80
    👾 Martin says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Mumphrey, et al.): Well, the future bonds will mostly be redeemed by us when we retire, and that debt will be paid in taxes by our kids. So, it’s not quite right. But so long as economic growth is ahead of the cost of the debt (which it is, by a LOT) then the cost of the debt goes down.

    But a good talking point for Democrats would be to ask whether every time a grandmother bought a savings bond for their grandchild, they really believed they were selling their grandchild into some sort of economic bondage? Because that’s the argument the GOP is making here.

  81. 81
    brettvk says:

    @jl: I will freely admit to less than no interest in football and pretty much any professional sport. The Frontline documentary was horrifying if unsurprising, but my takeaway is this: As the link between football and brain damage becomes as evident as the connection of smoking and cancer, wealthy people will protect their sons from the game. The players will be entirely recruited from the peasant classes – the same young men we use as cannon fodder in the volunteer army. The rewards will be richer for those who succeed, but there will be even less sympathy for the casualties because “Hey, stupid jocks knew what they were getting into!” If anything, the NFL and society in general will probably treat ex-players worse than they do now, because the players will self-evidently be jumped-up poors who gambled with their health, and thus deserve both contempt and their fate.

  82. 82
    Blueskies says:

    @cathyx: @cathyx: @cathyx: having played both football and rugby for many seasons, I can tell you that rugby is much, much less dangerous.


  83. 83
    jl says:

    @brettvk: Sort of like boxing, except far worse?

  84. 84
    Kay says:

    @👾 Martin:

    In addition to Wolf only pouring gasoline on this fire is that the ‘delay Obamacare’ bullshit is just flat out underhanded. Obamacare has been in effect for 3 years now. What part are they delaying? The mandate? The coverage under parent’s insurance? The pre-existing conditions protection? The rebates?

    It’s appalling. He could be talking about 100k people by now. It’s almost cruel. They were so close.

    I love the cavalier, careless nature of our media millionaires, don’t you? He’s just roundtabling solutions, Wolf.

    Just throwing his half-ass, completely clueless opinions out there. Like ANY of them have ever purchased health insurance independent of an employer, in ANY fashion. I got news for him. It takes longer than ten minutes to purchase state minimum car insurance online, and that’s a thriving commercial industry.

  85. 85
    shelly says:

    Boehner: Obama won’t negotiate. He won’t even talk to us!

    Obama invites the entire Republican Congress to the White House.

    Republican response: Um,,um,,,we’re kinda busy. We’ll send 18 people. Maybe.

  86. 86
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: The big problem rugby had in the past with serious on-the-field injuries was the scrum collapse which reflexed the necks of the front line and resulted in cervical fractures, paralysis and the occasional death. The authorities rewrote the rules to make collapsing a penalty offence, the refs now come down hard on any side trying it as a tactic and clubs train the scrum to stay upright.

    There’s still a lot of sprains, broken limbs, smashed fingers etc. but the lack of armour and helmets means the body-to-body impacts are limited in intensity compared to American rules handegg. Head-to-head contact tends to happen in scrums with no forward motion; the old rule of “severed body parts must be returned after the match” still applies. If you want a real blood sport try hurley/shinty where everyone has edged weapons.

  87. 87

    @Kay: The MSM have enabled the GOP, no matter what stunt they pull, the media spin is, both sides do it. People who are not political junkies like us buy that.

  88. 88
    brettvk says:

    @jl: I predict there will come a day where the only white people in football will be safely on the sidelines, directing the brown people. At least the question about black quarterbacks will be settled.

  89. 89
  90. 90

    Forget football we should play the ultimate gentleman’s game, cricket.

  91. 91
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Michele Bachmann says constituents have been calling her office, worried that she is actually in that SNL video. No wonder she’s in Congress: people too stupid to realize that’s Miley Cyrus are allowed to vote.

  92. 92
    shelly says:


    Thanks, Blitzer, for proving you’re an even bigger twit then we thought.

  93. 93
    NotMax says:

    @Joseph Nobles

    Would be more calling, but 27% of them too intellectually impaired to properly dial a phone.

  94. 94
    drkrick says:

    … wealthy people will protect their sons from [football]. The players will be entirely recruited from the peasant classes …

    This has been true of boxing since forever. It’s no longer the way for a sport to thrive.

  95. 95
    BGinCHI says:

    @Joseph Nobles: Boehner secretly wishing he had the street cred to be in something like that for reals.

  96. 96
    Botsplainer says:


    Wolf has a twitter. Light it up – I’ve been doing it.

  97. 97
    tybee says:


    so one guy is working and the other 3 are watching him work.

    looks like an opportunity to furlough 3 and save the salaries…

  98. 98
    David Koch says:

    Obama’s Bubbie

  99. 99
    beltane says:

    @drkrick: Boxing is no longer the mainstream entertainment it once was. And as for team sports, once high school kids stop playing it, they will not grow up having an interest in watching it. My soccer playing middle schooler wears a Barcelona jersey and is a huge fan of Lionel Messi, he and his friends couldn’t care less about American football.

  100. 100
    Chris says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Yep, that’s the first thing that occurred to me when I saw that.

    The conservative base needed an ideologically acceptable explanation for why their eight years in power (four of them in complete control of every part of the government) ended up in such a fucking disaster instead of an idyllic return to the fifties, and the explanation they were given is “the Republican Party establishment is full of RINOs and secret liberals, so you see, our ideas didn’t fail, they just were failed.”

    And they bought it. Hook. Line. And sinker.

  101. 101
    scav says:

    @Joseph Nobles: Michele totally sees herself as that young to her adoring fans. Starbursts! Piggybacking the buzz!

  102. 102
    David Koch says:

    @raven: welfare queens

  103. 103
    Trollhattan says:


    Wait, you’re just now upgrading from XP? Zounds.

  104. 104
    Amir Khalid says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    Cricket? That former gentlemen’s sport, now taken over by the brown peoples of the Empah?! Perish the thought, ah seh!

  105. 105
    Kay says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    The MSM have enabled the GOP, no matter what stunt they pull, the media spin is, both sides do it. People who are not political junkies like us buy that.

    I think the fake-innocence is disgusting.

    You and I both know that Republicans have no intention of letting this law go thru if it’s delayed. So does goddamned Wolf Blitzer. They all know it. Just cut the bullshit with the “delay”, already.

    Media celebrities are endorsing Republicans overturning a law using threats by a political Party who couldn’t overturn it using electoral process. It’s the same recklessness and venality they showed during the Clinton impeachment. It doesn’t matter if the country is left a smoking ruin, as long as they keep ginning up fake-legitimate “disputes” and get paid for doing it. There’s a way to repeal a law in this country, and this isn’t the process.

  106. 106

    @Amir Khalid: Heh the Aussies, Kiwis and Brits are pretty good at it too as are the South Africans.

  107. 107

    @Kay: You forgot their cheer leading for the Iraq War.

  108. 108
    VOR says:

    Fidelity sells off their US Government Bond portfolio. Um, last time I checked Fidelity was a pretty big player in the 401-k market. Isn’t this a big deal? Cue someone telling me why this is no big deal, just like the US defaulting is no big deal.

  109. 109
    Kay says:


    Wolf has a twitter. Light it up – I’ve been doing it.

    I lurk on Twitter. That’s my role.

    I think it’s a genuinely populist medium, though, which is why I lurk. I love that regular people can harass media celebrities. There’s nothing else like that. I love when they (mistakenly, in my view) engage with the rabble in the cheap seats by responding.

    I think: “sucker. now you’re defending” :)

  110. 110
  111. 111
    Kay says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I work with 90% Republicans. Now, they’re not Tea Party Republicans, but none of them are or were “fighting” the health care law. They hate it, or they think they hate the caricature of it, but they lost at the SCOTUS and they lost again in 2012 and they’re resigned and even curious (now) about how it will turn out.

    Yet Wolf Blitzer is still fighting it. Still in the trenches.

  112. 112
    Mike G says:

    The latest possible debt-ceiling dodge: super-premium bonds —

    Essentially issuing very high interest bonds that would consequently sell at a huge premium to regular bonds, say $275 instead of $100 face value. Since only the face value counts toward the debt ceiling, the government could collect more revenue without hitting the limit.

    Why we might have to go through these stupid contortions in the first place is another issue. Thanks, Banana Republicans.

  113. 113
    Dolly Llama says:


  114. 114

    @Mike G: Destroying the credibility of the United States, one stunt at a time.

  115. 115
    jl says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: The US Treasury has used gimmicks that I think are just as strange before. Better than not paying lawful bills.

  116. 116
    elftx says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I am FB’ing your cat lol and thanks!!!

  117. 117

    @elftx: Thanks, I found the photo on ICHC, the caption is mine.
    @jl: I don’t disagree, on that point.

  118. 118
    Bill Arnold says:


    Wait, you’re just now upgrading from XP? Zounds.

    Have to, now that Microsoft will be releasing unpatched zero day exploits for it.
    [seriously, many large organizations haven’t gotten rid of or upgraded all their XP boxes yet]

  119. 119
    floridafrog says:

    @VOR – I read the Fidelity story on TPM carefully. They are selling off only those bonds that mature in late October and early November. That is a very far cry from selling off their gov”t bond portfolio. It still makes me nervous but not nearly as bad as it sounded at first.

  120. 120
    NotMax says:


    There is some specialized software (know via anecdote of programs used by realtors and others by architects) that’s been very slow to or still have not produced post-XP-compatible versions.

  121. 121
    taylormattd says:

    Independents, meanwhile, remain unimpressed with both parties: Thirty-two percent view the Democratic Party favorably, while 27% view the Republican Party favorably.

    Once again proving that “independents” are the worst douchebags of all.

  122. 122
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Botsplainer: Well, you know, toenail fungus has been spending a lot on image advertising.

  123. 123
    gene108 says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    It is a big deal, because risk free rate is no longer risk free.

    I guess all the spreadsheets I had to do in finance classes to determine the acceptable rate or return for capital expenditures are going to be useless, since there’s no such thing as a risk free rate anymore.

    I wonder how business are going to handle what to spend on CapEx now? And CapEx is a big economic driver.

  124. 124
    gene108 says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Mumphrey, et al.):

    Anyway, one of the guys on the show said that the debt is, essentially, treasury bonds that we’ve sold and that will come due some day, and that much of the debt, maybe most of it, is what the U.S. owes to its own people, that is, what it owes to itself.


    Has some numbers on who owns our debt

    The U.S. Treasury manages the U.S. debt (among other things) through its Bureau of the Public Debt. The Bureau has broken out the debt into two main categories: Intragovernmental Holdings ($4.8 trillion) and Debt Held by the Public ($11.9 trillion).

    On the public debt, i.e. 11.9 trillion

    Debt Held by the Public – Foreign governments and investors hold 48% of the nation’s public debt. The next largest part (21%) is held by other governmental entities, like the Federal Reserve and state and local governments. Fifteen percent is held by mutual funds, private pension funds, savings bonds or individual Treasury notes. The rest (16%) is held by businesses, like banks, and insurance companies and a mish-mash of trusts, businesses and investors. Here’s the breakout:

    Foreign – $5.311 trillion
    Federal Reserve – $1.66 trillion
    State and Local Government, including their pension funds – $709.1 billion
    Mutual Funds – $864.9 billion
    Private Pension Funds – $605.2 billion
    Banks – $305.2 billion
    Insurance Companies – $259.1 billion
    U.S. Savings Bonds – $184.7 billion
    Other (individuals, government-sponsored enterprises, brokers and dealers, bank personal trusts and estates, corporate and non-corporate businesses, and other investors) – $1.14 trillion. (Federal Reserve as of January 2, 2013; All others as of June 2012. Source: Treasury Bulletin, Ownership of Federal Securities, Table OFS-2)

    This debt is not only Treasury bills, notes, and bonds but also TIPS, Savings Bonds, and State and Local Government Series securities.

    As you can see, if you add up debt held by Social Security, and all the retirement and pension funds, a large part of the U.S. Treasury debt (30%) is held in trust for people’s retirements. If theoretically the U.S. were to default, foreign investors would be angry, but the greatest harm would befall the average U.S. citizen.

    So a default would mostly impact Americans, since we hold most of our debt.

  125. 125
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Hey, is Moody’s really saying the risk of default is a hoax? Because this seems to be the Republican talking point that has achieved sufficient penetration that my cousin is repeating it.

  126. 126
    Matt McIrvin says:

    (I’m guessing what they’re really saying is that if one somehow magically found the cash to keep running completely indispensable government services under the couch cushions, one could keep servicing the debt even without raising the debt ceiling. Which, of course, is the punishing regime that the Tea Party wants us to live under.)

  127. 127
    chopper says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    this is what worries me. as long as the fuckers know that breaching the debt ceiling is a big fuckin deal, the likelihood of them backing off is pretty high.

    but if they’ve convinced themselves that no harm will come from it, we’re boned.

  128. 128
    Glidwrith says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Mumphrey, et al.): Someone (maybe here on BJ sometime ago) once said that we can’t really wrap our minds around numbers that large, so the best thing to do is wack off some of the zeros to bring it down to a number that people can relate to. Their example: If someone was making $160K a year, would you worry at all about their ability to meet their mortgage payments on a $160K house? If the interest rate was actually negative (which the 10 yr bonds are right now, once inflation is factored in), wouldn’t that be an absolute dream situation to be in? It’s the equivalent of the credit card companies paying you for your debt!

    Our economy is making that $160K a year, the next biggest ones are China/Japan at $38K a year. Our economy is more than enough robust to handle our debt, but we have too many screaming, bed-wetting cowards (we’re gonna be just like GREECE) sniveling about it.

    US Treasury Bonds are so secure, so stable that even though people will lose money on them, the bonds can’t be sold fast enough because absolutely no one thinks the US is going anywhere.

    And this stability is what the ‘Thugs are willing to just toss away because they don’t want folks to have health insurance. Bastards.

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