For all the hyped indignation over GOP "anarchism," there has been remarkable media reticence about the president's intransigence. He has refused to negotiate anything unless the Republicans fully fund the government and raise the debt ceiling - unconditionally.
The thing might be funny, except that somebody died. That part isn't funny at all. But the rest of it, the moments before Justin Valdez was killed, read like some twisted skit on "Saturday Night Live."
His prized possessions were a Stetson hat, a portrait print signed by Kentucky's Col. Harlan Sanders and a putter shaped like a hot dog and autographed by Bear Bryant, though three of his children had graduated from Auburn and he never played golf.
Have a health-related problem? They have a pill for that.
Why another shutdown? Our government has three parties these days: Democrats, Republicans and the new radical Republicans. That "radical Republican" label has some history. The old radical Republicans were the Grand Old Party's progressive wing. They were opposed during the Civil War and through Reconstruction by the party's liberals and conservatives.
The other day Tommy McCann came in with a framed black and white photo of three high school football players. Two players in uniform, each holding a football, flank a teammate, who has a cast on his right arm. McCann is on the right and Mike McRaney is on the left. The player in the middle with the cast and a "Lee High" sweatshirt is unmistakably Billy Brewer.
I once believed that at the end of our lives, relatives and loved ones would take care of us, bring us comfort, break the monotony of long, last hours.
Ask most people on Capitol Hill and they'll say: 50-50. Those are the odds they give for a government shutdown. An alternative to the shutdown would be a proposed delay of the individual mandate, the most painful part of Obamacare, which may seem like a Republican victory but on closer inspection would be a win for President Obama and Democrats.
In the latest polls, just 14 percent of all Americans approve of the job Congress is doing. You might think that number would inspire fear in people who stand for reelection every two years. You might hope that members of Congress would see in such numbers a mandate to do better -- to stop playing games (hello, Ted Cruz) and focus on actually getting things done.
Voices from right field are explaining why they're justified in threatening the United States with default if Congress does not defund Obamacare. The Wall Street Journal's Kimberley Strassel said on Sunday chat TV, "There isn't one poll that shows that Americans approve, as a majority, of this health care law."
News consumers by now have absorbed the message that Republicans are going to defund Obamacare, shut down the government, ruin the economy and starve the poor. This is what Democrats would have you believe and, given the GOP's recent obstructionist history, it would not be a stretch.