Just for spite, Nancy Pelosi should propose another House vote on repeal of Obamacare

Now that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay, it would be sweet to watch the Republican obstructionists in the U.S. House go through another foolish and meaningless effort to repeal the measure. I’m sure that would bring Weeper of the House John Boehner to tears. Meanwhile, the rest of us can wallow in schadenfreude as we contemplate...

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Boehner and his staff have no evidence to support their lies about Obamacare

House Speaker John Boehner is fully aware that the best way to appease his party’s right-wing base, which often expresses distrust of him, is to feed them the kinds of nonsense they want to hear. As Steve Benen puts it HERE, “This isn’t about what’s true; it’s about what people can be made to...

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How John Boehner saved the Democrats from having their own civil war

For once, House Speaker John Boehner  has a good reason to shed a few tears. Alex Seitz-Wald EXPLAINS: While there are plenty of forces working against Democrats heading into this year’s election, one thing party strategists say they do have going for them is unity, especially compared with the fractious Republican coalition. There’s only one competitive Democratic Senate primary this year (in Hawaii, a state expected to vote blue regardless), and apart from a few lower-profile issues such as education policy and trade, Democrats have largely coalesced around a common economic and social policy agenda. At House Democrats’ retreat last week, President Obama thanked the lawmakers for their cohesiveness on the recent debt-ceiling fight, saying, “When you guys are unified, you guys stick together, this country is better off.” But it’s worth noting just how close Obama came to tipping off a potential civil war in his party not too long ago, and recognizing the unlikely hero they have to thank for sparing them a great deal of pain (at least if you believe the White House’s version of events). For this alternate history, we have to go back to July 2011, when the prospect of a “grand bargain” felt as real in Washington as the summer humidity. Obama wanted Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans to agree to new tax revenue and, in exchange, was willing to put on the table meaningful cuts to entitlement programs, Democrats’ most sacred of cows. It would be a while before we learned the exact terms of the prospective deal, but when journalist Bob Woodward a year later published a confidential internal memo laying out the White House offer, liberals were furious. The president was prepared to put all the three major entitlement programs on the chopping block: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, along with Tricare, the military’s health plan. “Take that, Democratic Party brand,” the liberal AmericaBlog  responded at the time, wryly thanking the tea-party wing of the GOP for scuttling the deal. “I don’t think we can count on that kind of help” again. There’s some debate as to who poisoned negotiations that summer—the White House or Republicans, with each side blaming the other—but either way, the collapse of the prospective deal spared Democrats from what surely would have been a bitter internal reckoning over entitlements. “Had the speaker taken the deal, it’s likely that debate inside the Democratic Party would have become a real battle,” says Matt Bennett, senior vice president at the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way, which believes entitlement reform is an inevitable necessity. “When he walked away from the table, Boehner deferred that debate and unwittingly helped to unify Democrats as we went into 2012 and thereafter.” Those cuts would have been anathema to liberals, and cause for revolt. When Obama later showed willingness to trim some Social Security benefits by changing the way inflation adjustments are calculated, liberals on and off Capitol Hill threatened mutiny. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid literally tore up a proposal to end the fiscal-cliff standoff that included the change and threw the shreds into a lit fireplace in his office. “I am terribly disappointed and will do everything in my power to block President Obama’s proposal,” independent Sen. Bernie Sanders said when Obama included the Social Security tweak in the...

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Regarding Boehner’s warning that Obama’s executive orders will hit a brick wall

For the past few years, the Republican noise machine has been spewing tons of nonsense about the executive orders issued by Obama — both in terms of the number of them and their constitutionality. Obama actually has issued fewer executive orders than many of his  predecessors, including the sainted Ronald Reagan. Moreover the tradition of executive orders began with the first of our presidents, George Washington — a fact that belies the notion that such orders invariably are at odds with the Constitution. But Republicans seem to figure that their dishonest rhetoric on the matter will rile the low-information voters on whom they depend for support. Just yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner issued a public warning to Obama that he will “run into a brick wall” by using his executive power and bypassing Congress, as the White House has signaled the President intends to do. Ed Kilgore DEBUNKS Boehner’s bluster: Somebody needs to explain to Boehner that executive orders typically flow from laws authorizing the president to issue them. He can fight that in court if he wants, but there’s not some plenary constitutional ban on executive orders. As for the “brick wall,” it should be fairly obvious that the inertia produced by divided control of Congress and exceptional levels of Republican obstruction will not be Boehner’s ally when it comes to overturning executive orders. That “brick wall” has two sides, and at least so long as Democrats control the Senate, they’re not going to be participating in any crusade against Obama’s agenda.  ...

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Boehner says W. Va. chemical spill is no cause for new regulations

THIS should come as no surprise: House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) doesn’t believe the GOP should reconsider its deregulation agenda after a massive, coal-linked chemical spill left hundreds of thousands of West Virginians without tap water at a site state regulators last fully inspected in 1991. “We have enough regulations on the books. What the administration ought to be doing is their jobs,” Boehner said at a weekly press conference on Capitol Hill. While Boehner said that somebody ought to be held accountable for the failure in oversight, the Speaker explained his party was focused on eliminating “cumbersome, over-the-top” regulations that were “costing the American people jobs.” The site’s tanks, owned by Freedom Industries, don’t fall under an inspection program and the chemicals stored there weren’t considered hazardous enough to require permits before they leaked into the Elk River nearby. West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin told CNN he was considering tightening the state’s regulations in response to the spill. “We need to do what we can to see that this kind of incident never happens again. There’s no excuse for it,” he...

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