The hot talk around the political world on this Friday morning:
• “If this Congress truly wishes to recognize the sacrifice and bravery of our World War II veterans and all who’ve come after, it will end this shutdown and re-open our government now. The current shutdown has slowed the rate at which the government can process veterans’ disability claims and...it is negatively impacting other services to our nation’s veterans.” — former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole, a Republican, and Michigan Rep. John Dingell, a Democrat, in a joint statement Thursday.
The pressure continues to mount on Republicans to end the shutdown. Dole has been out of the Senate since 1996, but is still a revered figure on Capitol Hill. Playing the veterans’ card is always a strong play.
• “You would think with three years to prepare, President Obama and Kathleen Sebelius could deliver an operational website — at least in the home state of the former Kansas governor. Obamacare was and is not ready for prime time. 356,000 uninsured Kansans – and not one single report to my office of a Kansan successfully signing up for ObamaCare.” — Kansas Congressman Tim Huelskamp, a Republican.
You could have predicted these glitches a year ago, right? Huelskamp himself said he’d been trying for days to sign up. Give it some time, congressman.
• “The speaker has always been clear that a default would be disastrous for our economy.” — Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner to The New York Times on reports the speaker has told colleagues that he is determined to prevent a federal default and is willing to pass a measure even if it lacks a majority of GOP votes in the House.
If true, such a development could be a breakthrough in the congressional impasse on the debt ceiling. But that would break the informal Boehner rule of not bringing to the floor any measure that does not have a majority of Republican votes. How that would affect Boehner’s speakership and even his own tenure in that job would remain to be seen.
• “Barrycades.” — Sarah Palin’s nickname for the barricades surrounding the World War II Memorial in Washington.
She’s a clever one, that Sarah.
• “Save us from the madness.” — Senate Chaplain Barry Black in an opening prayer Thursday that blistered Congress.
How can you argue with that?