Take Two for September 20, 2013

Friday Flashback: Federal budget, Obamacare and more

Boehner Holds Press Briefing At The Capitol

Alex Wong/Getty Images

U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) speaks to members of the press during a news conference September 12, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Boehner held the news conference to discuss House Republican agendas.

Time now for the harvest moon edition of the Friday Flashback, our weekly analysis of some of the big stories making news. Happy to be joined again today by Nancy Cook of National Journal and by James Rainey of the L.A. Times. 

Let's start with the looming government shut-down. The Congress needs to pass legislation to fund the government. They've got one more week to do it, and it's all wrapped up in the GOP's determination to kill what many believe is President Obama's greatest achievement. 

The House passed a funding bill today that does just that, eliminates money for Obamacare, and will keep the government running until mid-December. What might happen when it gets to the Senate?

Republicans in general don't like Obamacare, but there are some in the GOP who seem to think it's more dangerous than the ebola virus. Why do Republican's focus so much attention on Obamacare? Is it more about ideology, or politics?

The President has vowed to veto any bill that tries to gut the health care reform, and as we noted, it's not clear this could get through the Senate anyway. But even if the House backs down, they'll soon have another chance. 

House Speaker John Boehner is gearing up for that fight, and he produced a little Web ad that tries to make a specific point: The President says he won't negotiate with Congress over the debt ceiling, but he will negotiate with Russia over Syria. 

Meanwhile the House passed a measure cutting billions of dollars from the food stamp program. That means almost 4-million Americans wouldn't qualify for food aid. As several have pointed out, this is ironic because the vast majority of food stamp recipients are from red states, GOP strongholds. What's going on here?

There are reports today that, after President Obama and the new president of Iran exchanged letters, that Iran is now interested in talking about dismantling its nuclear program. That's a rare bit of good news for a President who has not had a good few months. 

Probably most disturbing to the White House is that some of this traditional supporters seem to be turning on him. Loyal Democrats are distancing themselves. 

Meanwhile, the administration might have made some environmentalists happy, and some industrialists pretty grumpy. Yesterday it announced aggressive new regulations that will limit carbon emissions on new natural gas and coal fired power plants.  

In the aftermath of Monday's mass shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington there has been a lot of talk about security, and about the failure of our mental health system, but not really any talk of reforming gun laws. Why not?

There was lots of criticism of the media for making more than a major mistakes in the breaking news coverage. We've seen this a lot, lately. The traditional media rushing to get things out before they've done the kind of confirmation they would have done in the past.  


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