"I got overrun, that's what happened."
That was House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, explaining to President Barack Obama how he wound up at the head of a party that pushed the government into a two-week-plus shutdown amid an ideological scuffle over the Affordable Care Act, according to a behind-the-scenes report in Politico.
Boehner emerged — once again — as a tragic figure this past week as he tried to lead his party to water only to realize — once again — that it would rather go thirsty.
Sensing that the compromise being brokered by the Senate to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling was going to be well short of what House Republicans wanted, Boehner rolled out a proposal Tuesday morning that would have, among other things, eliminated the employer contribution for congressional staffers under the health-care law — a move that would have allowed House Republicans to declare a minor victory in the shutdown.
It turned out that they didn't want even that win. After Boehner spent a full day lobbying his conference to back the bill and promising a vote by late Tuesday, the legislation was pulled from the Rules Committee in the late afternoon, and the leadership admitted defeat.
That left the speaker with one option: to bring the deal worked out by the Senate to the House floor for a vote, the very scenario he had been hoping to avoid. The legislation that ended the shutdown and raised the federal debt limit passed with just 87 Republicans voting for it — the fourth time in 2013 that Boehner has brought a major bill to the floor that was approved with a minority of Republican votes.
It wasn't all bad news for the speaker. His consistent support for the tea party conservatives' desire to defund or delay Obamacare over the past month strengthened his hand among the four dozen or so lawmakers who had long been restless under his leadership. But that was a small victory in a larger war that Boehner lost.
John Boehner, for getting run over by your party, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.
"I got overrun, that's what happened."
President Obama’s irresponsible budget
President Obama recently released his fiscal year 2015 budget proposal. While Congress ultimately has jurisdiction over drafting the budget and appropriating funding, the president’s budget serves as a blueprint and sets his administration’s agenda for the upcoming year. Sadly, the president has offered a plan to Congress that adds to our mounting debt, hikes taxes and makes indiscriminate cuts to our national defense.
Daniel writes of growing pains
Richard Daniel is an Oklahoma native who has recently returned to the state after retiring from a 28-year career in law enforcement in California. He also served in the U.S. military and acted in several movies and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
Daniel has recently written a memoir of his upbringing in Oklahoma that is titled “Momma Loves us, This I Know.” In that work Daniel tells a harrowing tale of how he and his brother and sister lived in extreme poverty and experienced abuse at the hands of his alcoholic father and stepfather.
County budget issue drives away road improvements
I am interested in working with other local officials to present a town hall meeting about the earthquakes that have been torturing area residents during the past few weeks. The forum would allow local residents to ask questions of the energy sector and state geological professionals. Would you have an interest in attending an event like this? If so, please let me know. If there is enough interest, I plan to help coordinate the effort.
A bailout for Ukrainians, by Ukrainians?
Like the reigns of many corrupt leaders, that of Viktor Yanukovich ended in farce. But there’s nothing farcical about Ukraine’s situation.
Russian troops have taken over its Crimean region, and President Vladimir Putin last week said that Russia “reserves the right to use all means at our disposal to protect” Russian-speakers in Ukraine.
Los Angeles Times: Supreme Court, don’t tread on small investors
For more than a quarter of a century, investors have been able to bring class-action lawsuits against companies that have fraudulently inflated their stock prices without having to prove that each buyer of the stock had been individually duped. Now, industrial giant Halliburton Co. is trying to persuade the Supreme Court to make such lawsuits significantly harder, if not impossible, to bring. That would be a fantastic result for publicly traded companies, but a terrible one for the average investor.
HEY HINK: Obama loses vote in Democrat-controlled Senate
This week, the Senate dealt President Obama a humiliating defeat. His nomination of Debo Adegbile to head the Justice Department’s civil rights division was derailed by a 47-to-52 talley with eight Democrats among the “no” votes. This outcome is tragic for all concerned; the president, the nominee, the Senate and the American people.
CONSIDER THIS: Why does American Indian Cultural Center matter?
We can fulfill an obligation to our Native American brethren, cultures, histories and ourselves by completing the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum.
Women raise their voices for peace, security
International Women’s Day has been observed on March 8 since the early 1900s. From factory workers to abolitionists, women began to speak out against women’s oppression and inequality. They organized to demand better working conditions, equal pay and the right to vote. As 50 percent of the world’s population, our foremothers realized they had a critical role to play in the political, social and economic life of their society and it was time for their voices to be heard.
Education Savings Accounts are worth the fight
Throughout the course of a legislative session, many bills are proposed, discussed and voted on. Lots of times, good bills pass and become law. Sometimes, good bills focused on important topics do not make it to law. For one reason or another, it just didn’t receive the votes. That can even happen to measures that have widespread support.
Shotgun homes stand in Oklahoma
In 1791 a slave rebellion broke out in what was then the French colony of Haiti and over the next several years French citizens fleeing the conflict made their way to New Orleans. Those refugees brought with them traditions that were to have an impact on their new homeland.
They included the custom of constructing small homes that were one room wide and featured several other rooms behind the front one with doors at both the front and back of the structure that in time became know as “shotgun houses.” The term shotgun is said to reflect the fact that a bullet could be fired through the front door and go through every room in the house.
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