Political Warning Signs

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Mid-term prognostications courtesy of Andy Borowitz/The Borowitz Report/New Yorker 10.29.14:

• With just one week to go until the midterm elections, a new poll indicates that billionaires are likely to retain control of the United States government.

• Davis Logsdon, who supervised the poll for the University of Minnesota, said that next Tuesday should be “a big night for oligarchs” and that both houses of Congress can be expected to grovel at the feet of their money-gushing paymasters for at least the next two years.

• Calling the billionaires’ upcoming electoral romp “historic,” Logsdon said, “We have not seen the super-rich maintain such a vise-like grip on the government since the days immediately preceding the French Revolution.”


Mid-term prognostications courtesy of www.vox.com 10.26.14

"What will the GOP Senate do?

  • According to forecasts, the Republicans have about a 68 percent chance of retaking the Senate.
    [Vox / Andrew Prokop]
  • The case that it'll amount to absolutely nothing: "The political roadblocks that have made legislating all but impossible during Obama’s second term aren’t going away. The 114th Congress will probably look a lot like the 113th."
    [New Republic / Danny Vinik]
  • The case that it'll amount to something: "There's one big thing that changes the moment Republicans win Senate: nominations."
    [Vox / Ezra Klein]
  • The House's #2 Republican, Kevin McCarthy, wants to start before the GOP Senate's even in office: "He would like to use the lame-duck session to pass a long-term government-funding bill, so Washington can begin focusing on big-picture legislating, instead of just trying to keep government’s doors open."
    [Politico / Jake Sherman]
  • But Ramesh Ponnuru thinks that's nuts: "McCarthy will be asking Republicans to give up some of their control over the budget in that period by working with a Democratic Senate that's on its way out. Does that sound like something that conservatives in Congress will meekly accept?"
    [Bloomberg / Ramesh Ponnuru]
  • Jon Chait is doubtful: "As the Senate majority leader in 2005, McConnell himself threatened to eliminate the judicial filibuster when Democrats started blocking George W. Bush’s federal court picks."
    [NY Mag / Jonathan Chait]

  •  Meanwhile, anonymous Democrats are worried the GOP will lock up the House for the rest of the decade: "if the Republicans pick up 10 seats or more, then we will have no chance of getting the House back in 2016, and that means we are done until 2020."[Financial Times / Richard McGregor]"

(Thx Jim Palam for "Enough Already" no-bull signage)

Losing Their Minds on Capitol Hill

• Andy Borowitz writes for  The New Yorker

• Andy Borowitz writes for The New Yorker

• Video below: Stephen Colbert's jabs at the least productive Congress in American history

• "Face it, folks, we are a divided nation — divided by those who think with their head, and those who know with their heart.” — Stephen Colbert

• Below: Red states (GOP) and blue states (Dems) 2013

• Below: Hotbeds of discontent and willful ignorance:

gallup poll congressional approval 1974-2014.png

• Above: "The 435 House members and one-third of the Senate who face re-election could do so amid the lowest congressional approval ratings for a midterm election in modern political history. Gallup historically has found that low congressional approval ratings are associated with higher congressional turnover." — Gallup

•  “Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad name.” — Henry Kissinger

Strange Dream About Health

• "Taking all existing coverage expansions together, we estimate that 20 million Americans have gained coverage as of May 1, 2014 under the Affordable Care Act." — David Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.P., and Sara R. Collins, Ph.D., New England Journal of Medicine, July 2, 2014

• "It’s a remarkable thing — an immense policy success is improving the lives of millions of Americans, but it’s largely slipping under the radar." — Paul Krugman, NYT, 7.14.14

• In September 2013, "Obamacare" was mentioned in floor speeches by members of Congress 2,753 times. In June 2014, "Obamacare" was mentioned just 171 times." — Sunlight Foundation

13.4% of Americans were uninsured as of June 2014, a 4.6% drop from September 2013, when anti-Obamacare rhetoric hit its peak. — Gallup (per Jaime Fuller, W. Post)

• "The GOP tears sustain me." — reader comment (derpington) re: article about the success of Obamacare

• Below: Watch Stephen Colbert's take on House Speaker John Boehner's pathetic lawsuit against President Obama over Obamacare