Friday Open Thread [1.4.13]

Filed in National by on January 4, 2013

“It’s a little bit like being the head caretaker of the cemetery. There are a lot of people under you, but nobody listens.” — Rep. Hal Rodgers (R-KY), quoted by the New York Times, describing House Speaker John Boehner’s leadership.

John Judis notes “there is a regional division in the party between the deep South, which contains many of the diehard House Republicans, and the Republicans from the Northeast, industrial Midwest, and the Far West. In the House vote on the fiscal cliff, Republican House members from the deep South opposed it by 83 to 10, while Republicans from the Northeast favored it by 24 to one, and those from the Far West by 17 to eight.”

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  1. bamboozer says:

    The deep south Republicans still hate the north, Republican or not. The majority of the no votes for aid to New Jersey and New York for hurricane Sandy aid came from these same far right politicians. The Civil War is alive and living just below the surface in America, the south still wants revenge, one vote at a time. No, “we are not all just Americans”. On the plus side at some point it’s going to shatter Republican unity and peel away yet more of the rest of the country from the party. Ya’ll.

  2. socialistic ben says:

    let us not forget the number of times the entire country has happily given clean up money to THEIR piss-poor states. I’d say dont help the Gulf Coast next time, but I think the Confed CongressLOLpeople would enjoy it even more to see their own “fake American” constituency suffer.

  3. Andy says:

    DIdn’t OC Maryland get some Sandy relief?
    If so their Rep Andy Harris Voted no for NJ/NY Relief
    Maybe the folks on the MD Eastern Shore should consider that if God forbid something happens to them

  4. Rustydils says:

    As George Bush gets ready to start his fourth term as President, another dismal jobs report . Unempliyment stuck at 7.8 percent. And to think, some crazy conservatives are starting to blame your friendly neighborhood socialist, Barack Obama. But remember, Bill Clinton created 23 million jobs

  5. puck says:

    For a few months I thought Obama might follow Clinton’s lead on economic policies and prosperity. But instead, Obama traded the cliff’s tax increases on wealthy investors for a handful of temporary spending. Liberal yes; progressive no.

    The opportunity for real structural change in the job creation environment was won but incredibly, surrendered after only 36 hours. Therefore no jobs boom and no end to the jobless recovery. The spending ends up in the pockets of the rich and income inequality expands.

  6. jason330 says:

    dils and Puck finding some common ground.

  7. JConnor says:

    The Commissioner does her job, yet again!

    As you know, in 2012, the Delaware Compensation Ratings Bureau proposed to increase workman’s compensation rates by 45.53% in the residual market and 38.27% in the voluntary market (on top of a pending 5% increase). The Chamber strongly opposed these increases, given their damaging effect on Delaware businesses.

    Today, we share the news that those onerous rate increases will not be going into effect. However, workman’s compensation rates will increase in 2013 by 19% in the residual market and 14.6% in the general market. The News Journal reports that this increase will cost Delaware businesses $22 million less than would the original proposed increase.

    We believe that the approval of this lower increase is, at least in part, thanks to the phenomenal response by our members and the business community to the Chamber’s Legislative Alert sent December 19. Over 240 New Castle County businesses co-signed our petition to stop the rate increase, many of those adding individual messages to the Insurance Commissioner regarding the effects this would have on their business.

    We thank you for making your voices heard in this important matter to Delaware businesses, and we look forward to serving your interests at the County, state and federal levels as the year progresses

  8. jason330 says:

    “The Commissioner does her job…”

    That’s what she is supposed to do. She should get a medal or something? Anyway, your press release actual suggests that thre Chamber of Commerce did the heavy lifting.

  9. SussexWatcher says:

    So did Joe steal that text from the Chamber or what?

  10. puck says:

    The real test will come when she does something on behalf of consumers that business interests oppose.

  11. jason330 says:

    The insurance industry writes the IC’s policies, so why shouldn’t the Chamber write the press releases?

  12. JConnor says:

    I got the release in my email and it expressed the key points. The Commissioner worked with stakeholders who in this case are small business folks to cut a requested rate increase by over 50%. In that most people are employed by small business and costs are passed through this is a major win for Delaware Consumers. The fact that is greeted with carping and nit picking here demonstrates Karen is on the right track.

  13. jason330 says:

    lol. At this point, you are the one being greeted with carping and nit picking. That’s your accomplishment. Congrats. And for the record, I’m 100% down with a smaller than expected worker’s comp. increase.

    I would have been even more down with a Matt Denn like reduction.

  14. puck says:

    Newt Gingrich of all people says Republicans will have to cave on the debt limit. Maybe, but that won’t stop Democrats from caving first.

  15. jason330 says:

    I get your pessimism, but on this topic it is misplaced:

    “And as I said earlier this week, one thing I will not compromise over is whether or not Congress should pay the tab for a bill they’ve already racked up. If Congress refuses to give the United States the ability to pay its bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic. The last time Congress threatened this course of action, our entire economy suffered for it. Our families and our businesses cannot afford that dangerous game again.” BHO

  16. jason330 says:

    Or as Josh Marshall put it… “Cut Medicare benefits or we’ll gratuitously destroy the economy” isn’t a big winner.

    Even Frank Luntz can’t tart that position up.

  17. puck says:

    There you go again, thinking like yesterday’s Democrat. That holds water IF Obama and the Senate are sincerely willing to defend Social Security and Medicare. But today’s Democrats will cut Medicare and Social Security in exchange for a debt limit increase and call it victory. That is essentially what just happened on taxes.

    The Republican transit to the extreme right has created a vacuum in the center right, which has been neatly filled by Democrats.

  18. puck says:

    Actually, even among today’s center-right Democrats there is a lot of flexibility. Most of them would defend traditional Democratic policies IF the President led them that way. But if the president is center-right, that’s the way Democrats will go too.

  19. jason330 says:

    Given the President’s recent statements, I don’t know how you can continue to think that Debt Ceiling is “Fiscal Cliff 2”

    It isn’t.

  20. JConnor says:

    Jason330: “The insurance industry writes the IC’s policies” Any support for this allegation?

  21. cassandra_m says:

    Probably more support than you’ve got that she’s some kind of “consumer oriented” official. It isn’t as though what comes out of the office isn’t largely oriented towards making life alot easier for the people she should be regulating. And how silly are you to ask that question when we’ve documented reams of occasions where she isn’t looking out for anyone but her cronies.

  22. JConnor says:

    Not one quote from those reams….. not one scitilla of actual evidence. How pissed you will all be when she wins term 3:)

  23. Jason330 says:

    If only an election could confer competence.

  24. cassandra_m says:

    And if only we could impose an OG reading test for certain people to vote. Because apparently if it didn’t come from a press release it didn’t happen.


  25. anonymous says:

    According to News Journal, in July 2011, State Farm informed Delaware regulators it would not renew 509 policies on properties within 1,000 feet of the Atlantic Ocean. The risks were too high, the company said. 1000 feet is a pretty long stretch. I recall development interests fighting for no more than 50 foot setbacks from wetlands, for new construction.

    As a result, State Farm was ordered to pay a $150,000 penalty, suspend coastal non-renewals for a period of 3 years (starting November 1, 2012) and agree to include additional information on future coastal non-renewal notices.

    Talk about a slap on the wrist figure – $l50,000 fine for screwing with 509 property owners. The question is, did State Farm get to dump 509 properties, to limit its’ risks? Seems that way. In any case, $150,000 (less than 1/4 the cost of one modest and distant coastal home,) would be quite the good deal – for the offending State Farm Insurance Co that is. (Imagine the costs, if Sandy didn’t miss Delaware.)

    State Farm, earned $64.3 billion (b) in 2011.

    Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart said, “A resolution such as this demonstrates our commitment to safeguarding Delawareans from any unfair insurance practices. I am extremely happy with this outcome.”

    One can’t imagine that 509 coastal property owners during hurricane season, were feeling as extremely happy as KWS and State Farm corporate headquarters.

  26. Andy says:

    I am curious if the Rich Famous and those who get free beach replenishment in the Bethany Beach area received these notices also

  27. JConnor says:

    In addition to the Fines the Commissioner put in place a program that has brought 9 and counting new Insurers to the Coast line providing policies. Property owners now enjoy a competitive market place for coast line homes and businesses.