What others say: Public pressure will break deadlock in Congress

The government shutdown seeks to refight battles that have already been decided.

It seeks to defeat the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, which already passed by both houses of Congress and was upheld by the Supreme Court. It is the law of the land.

On a deeper level, instigators of the shutdown seek to combat President Barack Obama, who won re-election fair and square.

Does Congress have an obligation to fund a program that it has enacted? Of course. Why launch a ship and then refuse to put a crew aboard?

The straightforward approach would be to repeal the law, but that would require a majority vote in each house. There aren’t enough opponents to win repeal, but there are enough to lock Congress up and prevent any action at all.

Still, the Affordable Care Act is not quite stopped in its tracks.

The new federal fiscal year begins today, and with it the reform measure’s Health Insurance Marketplace. The Web-based exchange lets people sign up for medical plans and see whether they qualify for subsidies to help buy policies.

Uninsured people in their 50s and 60s who are prone to pre-existing conditions are among those who will benefit most.

As people become more familiar with the law and have their own experiences with it, it seems likely to become more popular. And people in their 50s and 60s are prone to vote.

In the end, public pressure is likely to be the hammer that breaks the stupid deadlock in Congress.

— Paris (Tenn.) Post-Intelligencer,

Oct. 1

More

Op-ed: Trump won the news conference

Donald Trump should do press conferences more often. Not for the country’s sake, certainly not for the media’s sake, but for his. He really shouldn’t have waited 167-plus days to hold one, because the man gives great sound bite. Although I’ve participated in probably thousands of these staged encounters as a reporter, they’re not my favorite way of getting news — you almost never get any. The guy at the podium controls the proceeding. He can get his message out with little challenge from the assembled journalists who are limited to a question and a follow-up, maybe. Politicians can bob and weave through that without any of us landing a blow. And that’s our job: to penetrate the canned responses to their version of the controversy du jour and get at whatever truth they are hiding. Besides, Trump — who uses contempt for the media as a weapon, his preferred way to discredit reporting that displeases him —has a wonderful forum to do that. At the very least he should hold these confrontations as a supplement to his Twitter tirades. And frequently. It’s his opportunity to hold the media hostage as they cover live his rain of abuse on them.

Read more

Good luck in Juneau

The 30th Alaska Legislature gavels in on Tuesday, and we’d like to take a moment to wish our Kenai Peninsula legislators good luck over the coming months in Juneau.

Read more

Ready to weather the storm

If there’s a bright spot in the recent headlines regarding Alaska’s economy, it’s this: on the Kenai Peninsula, the bad news isn’t nearly as bad as it could be.

Read more

Letters to the editor

Chuitna mine threatens Alaska way of life

Read more