Day 10. Or is it 11? What happened on Day 9? I’m not sure. I do know that at some point in the last few days, Piers Morgan asked Donald Trump how many times he would have said “You’re fired!” by now if he were the CEO of Washington, Inc. Donald Trump, would you hire or fire Obamacare? What about John Boehner? President Obama?
What Piers Morgan failed to ask is whether anyone cares what Donald Trump thinks. I’m sorry, I’m too busy thinking about whether I should apply for unemployment, because my tutoring job won’t pay me until next month. Someone ask him what he thinks about that. No, wait– you know what? Don’t. Don’t anyone ask him anything again, ever. Time for a Donald Trump shutdown.
Day 9-10ish: People looked around and realized that death benefits were not being paid to the families of fallen soldiers. Everyone is horrified by this; no one can explain why it happened; a law was passed to fix it. In the afternoon of day 10, Republicans and Democrats met with the president. After the meeting, people seemed to be saying more positive things. Things like ‘useful’ and ‘productive’ and ‘good’ and ‘constructive.’ Better things than ‘no’ and ‘here’s more no’ and ‘no to you and the health care you rode in on’ and ‘no to everything you say until you say yes.’ The stock market got drunk-stupid-happy about this small bitty bit of positivity. Joe Biden was at this meeting, which was a new development. His absence had been noted previously, as a sign that no real negotiating was happening.
The Republicans seem to have come to the meeting to offer a 6-week extension of the debt ceiling, but intended to leave the government closed. Dana Bash reported later that by the end of the meeting, the President had introduced the idea of reopening the government too. It looks like the President and Sen. Reid are not (at this moment) willing to lift the debt ceiling without re-opening the government. The message seems to be: Open the government first, and then we’ll negotiate. But so– what’s left to negotiate after you open the government and lift the debt ceiling? I’m assuming it’s the approach to the next debt ceiling crisis. But is it also further cuts in the federal budget, even if we re-open under a continuing resolution that preserves the sequester? And maybe…Obamacare?
It seems like the Republicans would need to get something in return for re-opening the government, but I don’t know what that would be. Maybe re-opening Donald Trump. Oh, but I’m not sure that’s worth it.
Yesterday (Day 10?) I heard Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) in an interview with Jake Tapper. Rep. Lankford (who has a bit of the HJ about him in this picture) was impressively straightforward. He said that at this point, defunding Obamacare is “off the table.” As in, not something the Republicans were going to keep asking for. Not because they suddenly love it, but because insisting on defunding it is not a realistic way forward at this point. Say whaaaat? For real? Progress! He also said one of my favorite things anyone has said during the shutdown:
“Ultimately, everybody’s mad at everybody.”
However, later, Anderson Cooper asked Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) whether defunding Obamacare was off the table. Rep. Wagner, who was at the White House meeting, told Anderson Cooper that “nothing” had been taken off or put on the table. She also dropped in references to entitlement reform and tax reform. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) told Erin Burnett that he did not come away from the meeting with the sense that anything was “quote-unquote off the table.” Does that mean…everything is…on it? Or, off it? Someone tell me what’s on that table. It looks like we have:
- Main dish: Lifting the debt ceiling, at least for 6 weeks, because oh heeeeyyy, October 17 (or thereabouts) is coming
- Side dish: Maybe re-opening the government
- Dessert: Entitlement and tax reform
- The elephant: Obamacare
Well, if the elephant’s in the room, why can’t it sit at the table? It’ll probably end up eating the dessert.
Piers Morgan recounted a bit of his who’s-fired-in-Washington conversation with the Donald during an interview with Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT). In response, Rep. Himes said that he does not look to Donald Trump for “what is true and good in this world.” This visibly peeved the Piers. Bravo!
Do you like cupcakes? Click this link for a Government Shutdown Cupcakes recipe! Ingredients include indecision and bickering; mix until you end up with nothing.
Maybe you don’t like cupcakes, but you do like booze. In that case, you should drunk dial congress through www.drunkdialcongress.org! They have some pretty great-sounding cocktail recipes (I think I might try the Bad Representative), as well ready-made nuggets of outrage for you, including:
- I can’t watch the panda!
- Why don’t you make yourselves useful and at least mow the lawn!