Morning Must Reads: October 8

In the News: Government shutdown continues, ObamaCare on the defense, Debt crisis threatens Puerto Rico, and why we should fear the debt ceiling

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Nicholas Kamm / AFP /Getty Images

The US Capitol in Washington is seen on September 30, 2013 , a day before the government shutdown began.

  • Boehner Holds Weaker Cards In High-Stakes Political Poker:  “President Barack Obama says he will not pay House Republicans a ransom in exchange for re-opening the government or raising the debt ceiling. House Speaker John Boehner insists he doesn’t have the votes to do either without any White House concessions. Both men are bluffing. And while Obama’s play is a risky one, Boehner’s bluff is worse: it just doesn’t look very credible.”   [TIME]
  • Washington Isn’t Working: “There are two Americas, all right. There’s one that works — where new and creative things happen, where mistakes are corrected, and where excellence is rewarded. Then there’s Washington, where everything is pretty much the opposite. That has been particularly evident over the past week or so. One America can launch rockets. The other America can’t even launch a website.” [USA Today]
  • Obamacare Chief Defends Rocky Start on The Daily Show [TIME]
  • Five Reasons to Fear the Debt Ceiling [Bloomberg]
  • Worsening Debt Crisis Threatens Puerto Rico: “Puerto Rico has been effectively shut out of the bond market and is now financing its operations with bank credit and other short-term measures that are unsustainable in the long run. The biggest concern is that the territory, which has bonds that are widely held by mutual funds, will need some sort of federal lifeline, an action for which there is no precedent.” [NYT]
  • Will contractors receive backpay for government shutdown?: “The House on Saturday unanimously passed a bill to pay all federal employees retroactively for the government-shutdown period, however long it might last. If the Senate approves that legislation, hundreds of thousands of public servants will be compensated for time they were forced off the job during the funding lapse. But what about the army of contractors who provide a long list of services for the government ranging from safeguarding computer networks to building military machines?” [Washington Post]
  • Eric Holder’s 2014 Racial Politics [WSJ]
  • Government Shutdown, Canceled Asia Trip Leaves Obama Schedule Empty: “With his trip to Asia canceled, staffers furloughed and a declared refusal to negotiate with Republicans until the government reopens, the White House is left with a week-long hole in the president’s public schedule.” [Politico]
  • TV Ad in Wyoming Senate Race Hits Liz Cheney on Gay Marriage [LA Times]
  • California Governor Jerry Brown Vetoes Measure Allowing Non-Citizens on Juries: “The governor’s action runs counter to his recent approval of bills expanding the rights of immigrants, including legislation allowing those in the country illegally to apply for driver’s licenses and practice law. Brown said serving on a jury, however, was a high civic duty that should be exclusive to citizens.” [LA Times]

More on TIME.com: 

889 comments
retiredvet
retiredvet

Jon Stewart: "Don't fart and point at the dog!"

notsacredh
notsacredh

Before I leave for work, here's a final thought. During the last shutdown, the GOP was being run by the evangelicals. Now it's being driven over the cliff by the Tea Party. They're always being run by a group that they tried to use and wound up being used by them instead. Will they ever learn? Apparently not.

retiredvet
retiredvet

Avengers, Assemble!

The Warren Commission? A fiction.

The Tower Commission on Iran-Contra? A whitewash.

The Gramm-Rudman Budget compromise? A delusion.

The previous SuperCommittee? Sucked. Made me agree with N. Leroy Gingrich.

Simpson-Bowles? Don't even get me started. Feeders of Vaal.

And now, this. The institutions of self-government have been sabotaged by a collection of vandals and so, now, it's time to give Bob Rubin or someone another chance to mingle the financial services industry with the operations of government because that always has worked out so well for the rest of us. First of all, we shouldn't be talking about Teh Deficit now -- or later, but that's another gin fizz entirely -- and the Democrats at last seem to have become aware of this simple fact, although they still talk very much as though they'd like to get the current unpleasantness out of the way so they can get back to being "serious" about Teh Deficit, thereby continuing to ignore the blog's First Law Of Economics, and acting as though the Republicans are going to be any more reasonable after the possibly apocalyptic denouement of the current unpleasantness as they were before. Steve King, I am sure, is desperate to get back to sanity again.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

Oct 2008: "You'll never get elected and pass healthcare."
Nov 2008: "We'll never let you pass healthcare."
Jan 2009: "We're gonna shout you down every time you try to pass healthcare."
July 2009: "We'll fight to death every attempt you make to pass healthcare."
Dec 2009: "We will destroy you if you even consider passing healthcare."
March 2010: "We can't believe you just passed healthcare."
April 2010: "We are going to overturn healthcare."
Sept 2010: "We are going to repeal healthcare."
Jan 2011: "We are going to destroy healthcare."
Feb 2012: "We're gonna elect a candidate who'll revoke healthcare NOW."
June 2012: "We'll go to the Supreme Court, and they will overturn healthcare."
Aug 2012: "American people'll never re-elect you-they don't want healthcare."
Oct 2012: "We can't wait to win the election and explode healthcare."
Nov 2012: "We can't believe you got re-elected & we can't repeal healthcare."
Feb 2013: "We're still going to vote to obliterate healthcare."
June 2013: "We can't believe the Supreme Court just upheld healthcare."
July 2013: "We're going to vote like 35 more times to erase healthcare."
Sept 2013: "We are going to leverage a government shutdown into defunding, destroying, obliterating, overturning, repealing, dismantling, erasing and ripping apart healthcare."
Oct 2013: "WHY AREN'T YOU NEGOTIATING???"

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

What must make the Tea Baggers really crazed is that in 20 year they know Historians will have Obama rated much higher than their Senile Icon.

notsacredh
notsacredh

OT, but my avatar is changing on it's own. Sometimes it's Abbey and other times it's Ziggy. WTF?

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

Israel's West Bank control 'costing Palestinian economy billions'

Israel's control of a huge swath of the West Bank is costing the Palestinian economy $3.4bn (£2.1bn) a year, or 35% of its GDP, according to a report from the World Bank.

Restrictions on Palestinian access and movement within Area C, the 61% of the West Bank that is under full Israeli military control, is stunting the Palestinian economy, says the report. Area C and the Future of the Palestinian Economy, published on Tuesday, is the first comprehensive study of the potential impact of land restrictions in the region, according to the World Bank.

"Unleashing the potential from that 'restricted land' … and allowing Palestinians to put these resources to work, would provide whole new areas of economic activity and set the economy on the path to sustainable growth," said Mariam Sherman of the World Bank.

About 180,000 Palestinians, or 6.6% of the population, live in Area C, the report says. Most Palestinians live in Area A, which is under full Palestinian control, and Area B, which is under shared Palestinian and Israeli control.

Agriculture would be massively boosted if restrictions on access and water supply were eased, the report says. Most of the farmland in Area C belongs to Palestinians, 326,400 dunams (80620 acres), compared with 187,000 dunams that are attached to Israeli settlements. All Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law, are situated in Area C.

Access to the Dead Sea would provide opportunities for mineral extraction and tourism. The Palestinian economy could earn $918m (£571m), 9% of 2011 GDP, if minerals such as potash and bromine were harvested from the Dead Sea. The Palestinian tourism sector could be boosted by $126m (£78m) annually or 1% of GDP, by creating Dead Sea hotel resorts, similar to those in Israel and Jordan.

Stone mining and quarrying, construction, and telecommunications industries could develop if Israel lifted restrictions, the report said.

"Access to Area C will go a long way to solving Palestinian economic problems," said Sherman. "The alternative is bleak. Without the ability to utilise the potential of Area C, the economic space will remain fragmented and stunted. Lifting multiple restrictions could transform the economy and substantially improve prospects for sustained growth."

jmac
jmac

@paulejb We lost our triple A Credit rating last time Republicans did this and it cost us 2.1 billion in today's dollars.  Tell it to China and Japan - they are two very unhappy U.S. treasury holders.  

Go ahead and push it paule - you're going to lose Wall Street and that's basically all Republicans have after you subtract evangelicals.  

MrObvious
MrObvious

@retiredvet 

I mentioned that earlier, it's ironic that someone falling all over Goodwin's law looks like an aging Eva Braun.

retiredvet
retiredvet

@fitty_three Total humiliation. No "compromise." You threaten the well being of the US. Take the humiliation and feel lucky it's not much more severe.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@fitty_three 

As long as that full surrender also comes with the speaker limping away. I don't wish him harm but it's time for political harakiri. Done is done. Awful is awful.

Sue_N
Sue_N

Oops, warning – it's a long video, almost an hour. I have yet to make it through the whole thing because that's a lot of Cruz, and the urge to punch my computer screen is almost overwhelming.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@mantisdragon91 And Swampland now has a post saying senators are outraged at this.

Well, what exactly did they think would happen when they shut down the freakin' government? What did they think that meant? What do they think the government does?

This is what happens when you do not know how sh!t works.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@mantisdragon91 There are people here who are still convinced that Dubya is going down in history as a great president.

It's just insane.

notsacredh
notsacredh

@mantisdragon91, and in 30 years it will be the Barack Hussein Obama International Airport in DC and the Ronald Reagan Baggage Claim.

collioure
collioure

@DonQuixotic  

Oh, my!

The Palestinian economy?  WTF do they produce besides terrorism ????

Tero
Tero

@DonQuixotic 

It is all part of Israel's plan to make life so horrible for the Palestinians that they have to leave.

retiredvet
retiredvet

She looks mean but I bet she bakes great arsenic laced cookies.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@Sue_N 

At least it's not 22 hours. Although even at 1 hour it's way to much stupid. So what's childrens story is he mangling this time?

notsacredh
notsacredh

@Sue_N, some senators get outraged when others fail to notice their outrage. It's drama queen central.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@collioure @DonQuixotic 

Here's a clue - if the Palestinians economy tanks, then more young adults want to join the extremists that offer a hot meal and a explosive pack instead of a dysfunctional society.

It's like basic human history. Jesus Christ colli.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@collioure

Olives? Palestinians actually are people.

I know that goes against your ignorance, but what the hey.

notsacredh
notsacredh

@Sue_N, kind of OT, but last week one of my friends at work asked me if I thought he should switch his money out of stock and put it in the safe G Fund at work. I told him that if there was an agreement, the market could spike and he'd lose some profits if he did. Then he asked me what I'd do if it was me. I said I'd switch. He called just a few minutes ago and told me he'd have lost $1500 this past week if he hadn't. I'm getting a free lunch Saturday.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@sacredh @Sue_N If they had any courage, they'd say to their constituents, "This is what you sent us here to do, isn't it? Or didn't you realize that shutting down the government meant stopping your checks, too?"

collioure
collioure

@DonQuixotic @collioure 

There's nothing new there.  That's been going on for decades.

Very little positive is going to occur for these people until they decide to recognize their Jewish neighbors and live alongside them in peace.

collioure
collioure

@DonQuixotic @collioure  

Income per capita is about 1/10 of that in Israel.

These people have been misgoverned for decades.  They depend on foreign aid.

Instead of striking a deal with Israel, they continue to battle while ignoring the development of their own economy.