Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

Friday Flashback: Filibusters, Obamacare, Trey Radel and more

by Take Two®

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Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) answers questions during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol November 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. During his remarks, Boehner said that Rep. Trey Radel's (R-FL) guilty plea on charges of possession of cocaine were "between Rep. Radel, his family, and his constituents." Win McNamee/Getty Images

It's time for our weekly analysis of the news, the Friday Flashback. Joining us today is Nancy Cook of National Journal and James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times. 

They called it the nuclear option. Yesterday, Harry Reed hit the red button, and, well, so far, we are all still standing. Of course we are talking about the vote in the U.S. Senate to limit filibusters. What's the background on this?

Republicans are really angry about this, or at least acting like they are. But if they end up controlling the Senate, and the White House, won't they will find this very convenient?

Some are saying that this is going to set of a new level of partisan rancor, beyond anything we've seen before. Hard to imagine how that is possible. The other view is that this will make it easier for the President to achieve some of his goals.  

Meanwhile, Obamacare. This week, Republicans released a "playbook" that outlines ways a GOP candidate can tar a Democratic opponent with the stain of the health care mess. It includes talking points, such as premiums are increasing, more people will be uninsured, and taxes are going up. How effective is this going to be back in local districts, and how worried are Democrats?

We are about a week away from the President's deadline. He promised that the healthcare.gov website would be fixed by the end of this month. Any indication that will actually happen?

An Ohio man and former small business owner named John Boehner wrote about his troubles trying to get signed up for Obamacare on his blog. I guess the Speaker of the House had a little trouble with the DC healthcare website?

Here in California, the board implementing Obamacare voted not to allow insurance companies to continue offering those so-called sub-standard policies. This was after the President reversed himself last week, and said insurance companies could continue to offer these plans to policy holders who liked them.  

Yesterday freshman Congressman Trey Radel of Florida said he was taking a leave of absence, after attempting to buy cocaine from an undercover DEA agent. He claims he was suffering from a disease, and told reporters he will undergo treatment...

Radel was a rising tea party conservative, and among his favorite reforms, drug tests for food stamp recipients. Your thoughts?

We have to talk a little about the stock market. Yesterday, the Dow closed above 16,000. The blue chip index is up 22 percent so far this year, making this the longest bull market in ten years. Somehow, with millions of people still unemployed, or working and barely able to survive, it seems out-of-whack, maybe even cruel. What's behind the rally, and will working people ever see any of the wealth this stock run up is creating?

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