Government Shutdown

Right-wing Populism Could Hobble America for Decades

The tea party is going down. Dysfunction is not.

Even if the Tea Party flames out, right-wing populism could hobble America for decades. 

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It was an awful time. Federal employees had to take unpaid furlough days. Beneficiaries were thrown off of federal programs. Courthouses had to be sold. Federal agencies like the FBI, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institutes of Health strained to meet commitments, leading to more crime, more outbreaks of disease and less basic research, among other horrors. 

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The New York Times story earlier this week on how “Senate Women Lead in Effort to Find Accord,” about a group of five women senators, left a bad taste in my mouth. The central quote, from which the article derived much of its persuasive force, came from Sen.

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In the wake of the government shutdown, it’s clear that Senator Ted Cruz has angered some members of his own party. In a lunch at The New Republic yesterday, Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist compared the last two weeks in the House of Representatives to rumspringa, in which Amish teenagers “go to the big city and do sinful things,” and then come home to more sensible ways of life (which he called “Boehner-world”).

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Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, came to the offices of The New Republic Thursday for a wide-ranging discussion on American politics and the future of the Republican Party. Unsurprisingly, the government shutdown and debt ceiling negotiations came up more than once.

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Thursday morning, hundreds of thousands of federal workers who were furloughed due to the government shutdown awoke to the amazing, awful news that they were expected back at work today because Congress had reached a deal Wednesday night to fund the government (through January 15) and raise the debt limit (through February 7). Here's how they've spent every terrible hour since then:

How Obama, Reid, and Pelosi Stopped Republican Extortion

Three reasons the Democrats won

It’s over. The Senate voted yes. The House voted yes. President Obama signed the bill and, on Thursday, the federal government is open for business again.

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On Capitol Hill, senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell are frantically working to negotiate a deal before the government shutdown becomes a government default. A few blocks away, in the Rayburn House Office Building, a small group of U.S. representatives is occupied with what Doc Hastings, chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, has decided is an equally pressing task: Scrutinizing every barricaded road, traffic-coned scenic view, and chained-off Porta Potty in the National Park Service’s shut-down system.

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Update: The Durst Organization emailed Wednesday afternoon, saying, contrary to what he told me Tuesday evening, “Just learned it won't freeze, it will slow. Interest will continue to accrue.”Atlantis World Media’s building sits at the corner of 6th Avenue and 42nd Street. It is here that the most earnest brand of politics imaginable is practiced on “News Night” by anchor Will McAvoy, champion of sensible moderation.

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Americans who want jobs or mortgages will suffer because John Boehner didn't have the guts to stiff the Tea Party

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