Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Blinks and Winks

First McConnell, then Boehner and finally Cruz turns away from the staring contest with the White House, and the 16-day government shutdown is over.

The little clocks in the corner of cable TV screens are gone, and pundits go on to the political postmortems. Next week: the World Series, where there will be only one winner and one loser.

In Washington, nothing is that simple. Paul Ryan voted no and will lead four Republicans on the conference committee on budget resolution with the Senate. Score him eyes wide open for 2016.

Mitch McConnell, facing a tough reelection campaign, did bat his eyes but only after a wink to his constituents by getting a $3 billion earmark for a Kentucky dam.

Other pork consolations, however, vanish as the final vote failed to eliminate an Obamacare tax on medical devices, which gives makers and doctors a license to steal an estimated “$26 billion in excessive spending a year.”

A New York Times editorial tallies the score: “The Republican Party slunk away on Wednesday from its failed, ruinous strategy to get its way through the use of havoc. Hours away from an inevitable market crash, it approved a deal that could have been achieved months ago had a few more lawmakers set aside their animus. President Obama signed the bill reopening the government and lifting the debt ceiling early Thursday morning. 

“The health care reform law will not be defunded or delayed. No taxes will be cut, and the deal calls for no new cuts to federal spending or limits to social welfare programs. The only things Republicans achieved were billions of dollars in damage to the economy, harm to the nation’s reputation and a rock-bottom public approval rating.”

But Boehner is still asking for instant replay: “We fought the good fight. We just didn’t win.”

No, sanity did but, like the World Series, the games will go on but without a limit to how long they will last.

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