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Impasse In Washington: Shutdown And Beyond

We look at the great age of dysfunction in Washington, D.C. Shutdown and beyond. What’s making the House divided?

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, walks to the House Floor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. (AP)

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, walks to the House Floor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. (AP)

And so it’s a shutdown.  The United States Congress does very little for a long time, then it shuts everything down – or a whole lot of the federal government anyway.

The man and woman in the street interviews on television show Americans bewildered, disgusted.  Confused and appalled at the dysfunction or deadlock or whatever you want to call it.  But somehow we’re all in on this.

Something’s not working.  Blame the Tea Party.  Blame the health reform.  Something deeper.

This hour, On Point:  the paralyzing division in Washington, and what’s going on with our democracy.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ron Fournier, national Correspondent and editorial director of National Journal. His new piece in National Journal is “The Beginning of the End for Washington.” (@ron_fournier)

Nolan McCarty, professor of politics and public affairs at Princeton University. Author of “Polarized America: The Dance of Ideology and Unequal Riches.” (@nolan_mc)

Charles Bass, served as president and CEO of Republican Main Street Partnership from 2007-2010. Representative for New Hampshire’s 2nd congressional district from 1995-2007 and again from 2011-2013. (@repcharlesbass)

From Tom’s Reading List

CNN: Government shutdown: Get up to speed in 20 questions – ”Let’s start with the obvious question: Will the government shut down this week? Most likely. Republicans and Democrats can agree on that. It’s everything else that has them bickering and blaming. And unless they strike a deal on a spending bill Monday, the government will begin closing shop at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.”

The New York Times: The Path to Dysfunction – ”There are many good articles explaining what might happen if the government shuts down next Tuesday. There are fewer on the impact of breaching the debt ceiling, but that is only because we have never been crazy enough to do so.  But at least from what I’ve seen, there is not much on why we are in this mess in the first place.”

The Wall Street Journal: The International Perils in Washington’s Dysfunction – ”Let’s face it: A superpower that isn’t sure it can fund its government or pay its bills, overseen by a president who recently found that members of Congress from both parties were unwilling to follow his lead on military action in Syria, isn’t in a great position to work its will abroad.”

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  • Mike_Card

    Boner is far more interested in retaining his perks as Speaker than he is in leadership. That’s why he panders to the brain-damaged crack-heads in the tea party.

    • Don_B1

      He supposedly is also trying to make sure that the current Teapublicans get reelected. One would like to think that creating this type of dysfunction would end their reign, but because of gerrymandering, the districts are selected to ensure the majority of voters in them like dysfunction and hate government.

  • Roy-in-Boise

    The definition of crazy, is to do the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome each time. A prime example of this sort of crazy behavior, is the GOP’s 40 separate votes to repeal Obamacare … So here we are again; Crazy is what crazy does!

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Maybe this time Obama will listen to the American people.

      • NewtonWhale

        The problem with some Republicans (not all) is that they only believe in Democracy when they win an election. When Democrats win those Republicans talk of nullification and secession.

        Here is the more responsible Republican view:

        McCAIN: I’d remind my colleagues that, in the 2012 election, Obamacare, as it’s called — and I’ll be more polite, the ACA — was a subject that was a major issue in the campaign. I campaigned all over America for two months, everywhere I could. And in every single campaign rally I said “we had to repeal and replace Obamacare.” Well, the people spoke. They spoke, much to my dismay, but they spoke and they re-elected the President of the United States. No that doesn’t mean that we give up our efforts to try to replace and repair Obamacare. But it does mean elections have consequences and those elections were clear, in a significant majority, that the majority of the American people supported the President of the US and renewed his stewardship of this country. I don’t like it, it’s not something that I wanted the outcome to be. But I think all of us should respect the outcome of elections, which reflects the will of the people.

        http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/09/25/2679001/john-mccain-defends-obamacare/

        • John Cedar

          You apparently conflate “democracy” with “mob rule”.

          There were many elections held over the years and some of the consequences of those elections is the make up of the lower house.

          You should count yourself lucky that you big government types need a mere 50% in the lower house. Too bad it isn’t set up like the united nations where any one of five holds veto power. I look forward to reading your outrage over the UN charter’s lack or “democracy”.

          • John_in_Amherst

            no irony in support for the tea party while decrying “mob rule”….

          • Don_B1

            Actually, 48% of the Teapublicans in the House were first elected since President Obama’s election in 2008.

            Mind boggling! A real indictment of what term limits could achieve.

          • NewtonWhale

            House Democrats won majority of 2012 popular vote

            House Democrats out-earned their Republican counterparts by 1.17 million votes. Read another way, Democrats won 50.59 percent of the two-party vote. Still, they won just 46.21 percent of seats, leaving the Republicans with 234 seats and Democrats with 201.

            It was the second time in 70 years that a party won the majority of the vote but didn’t win a majority of the House seats, according to the analysis.

            The National Republican Congressional Committee did not dispute these findings.

            Cook’s House editor David Wasserman pointed to two “unprecedented” factors that explain the phenomenon: the thick concentration of Democratic votes in urban areas and the GOP’s wide control of drawing congressional districts in 2010.

            http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/feb/19/steny-hoyer/steny-hoyer-house-democrats-won-majority-2012-popu/

          • John Cedar

            {chuckle} …they forgot to mention the lack of voter ID laws, along with extended voting time frames, allows ACORN to steal the elections with voter fraud.

            Sounds like your argument is with the Constitution and the founding fathers. It is not set up for majority takes all. (Maybe you should offer up an amendment?) Instead of majority takes all, they set it up with an executive, along with an upper house and a lower house (or as Chuck schmoozer calls it, “the three branches of government”)

          • TFRX

            More ACORN sht?

            Where do you think you are? FoxNation?

      • Shag_Wevera

        The elected president and legislature passed the affordable care act. What is wrong with you that you don’t understand this?

      • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

        What’s unworkable is not any one specific law, but the concept of the Rule of Law itself.

        • Wm_James_from_Missouri

          You might be interested in looking a stock option strategies as structures that could be applied to political theory.

          Strips, straps, straddles, butterfly spreads, etc..

          Think of buy and sell as accept and reject.

          http://www.theoptionsguide.com/butterfly-spread.aspx

      • John_in_Amherst

        which people? The people that elected him twice? The people who votede for him and his ACA by a 5 million vote margin in 2012? The majority on the Senate? The majority who say they do not want a shut-down? Or the minority who have been grossly misinformed by FOX and the GOP? The minority who would sabotage the functioning of the government and the economy to get what was denied them in free and fair elections? (BTW, check the dictionary definitions of treason and sedition)

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Hey Roy,

      For years now, I have been seeing and hearing people quote, “the definition of crazy” phrase to people, hoping that all of the people the person was quoting to; would somehow change to be more like the person quoting. Well, I’ve yet to see it happen. I hope you find this as funny as I do? Be cool, I’m just having some fun with you! Have a nice day ! :)))))))))

      • John Cedar

        Having seen that platitude repeated so many times, you would think he wouldn’t have made the mistake of substituting the word crazy for insane.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    I’ll bet the “bloods and crypts” gangs in Washington’s taxpayers paid housing didn’t shut down all of that non essential spying on Americans by the NSA, did they ?

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Personal note:

      My browser sent me a message that my email account has been compromised. Wonder why ? Duh !

  • b smart

    will friday’s jobs number include the 800,000 that republicans have furloughed?

    • JGC

      There will be no Friday job numbers: the Bureau of Labor Statistics has been furloughed. (Really.)

  • b smart

    its obvious that many who say they care about the nation are liars and only care about ideology and being reelected. if we had term limits people would be able to make hard decisions and not worry about losing skin in the game

    • Jasoturner

      Either that, or these slime would work all the more quickly and blatantly to line themselves up for sweet lobbying gigs after their terms were up…

  • Jasoturner

    You poke the bear too many times and eventually he wakes up. Will American voters finally open their eyes and see the scam that’s being run against us? These people are our employees, yet they shut down the government because they personally don’t like a legally enacted law? Time for them to go. I know they’d be fired in my workplace for inflexibility and incompetence.

    • HonestDebate1

      The last thing Obama wants is to implement the legally enacted law. He’s running from it.

      • John_in_Amherst

        Obama was elected twice, last time with the ACA as a major election issue, and he won by 5 million votes. The law passed Congress, was upheld by the scotus, and it’s not “legal”, while shutting down the government and throwing the world economy into fits to suit the whim of the minority of the minority party is legal?

        • HonestDebate1

          Then Obama should implement the entire law as enacted without regard to his whims.

      • Don_B1

        You need to explain how working to implement the law with no help from states with Republican governors or legislatures and the refusal of the Teapublicans in Congress to fund the federal government’s needed efforts to inform the public about the law and how to access its provisions.

  • Yar

    Processing apples with a sister who is a federal government employee. I thought it the best way to spend the day. We are in a sad time, framed as us against them. God sees us all as his children, there is no them. Why can’t we learn what we are called to do? Spread a little love today, emotionally we are having a difficult time. If God believed in efficiency, the sun wouldn’t’ be 93 million miles away. The earth needs only a two billionth of its energy. A balanced budget with God is visiting the prisoner, feeding the hungry, and loving the world. Forgive us for selfishness.

  • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

    The shutdown of the Federal Government renews attention to the topic of Gaming the System.

    This topic has been around for a long time. I first wrote about it six years ago, when three economists won the Nobel Prize for devising a remarkable system in which it was not possible to unethically game the system by cleverly turning the rules against themselves.

    It’s long been a cliché to characterize the government as dysfunctional. Now we’ve transitioned to a nonfunctional state of paralysis.

    A system that ties itself up in knots by means of its own bureaucratic red tape is called a Polionic System. The US Government has contracted Polio — Infantile Paralysis.

    There is a way out of Polionic Paralysis, but the solution is technically sophisticated and almost surely beyond the limited mental capacity of politicians who are unschooled in 21st Century concepts in the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

    At my age, I don’t expect to live long enough to witness the advent of functional models of government on this troubled planet.

    Color me glum.

    • brettearle

      You are, in the end, implying almost the obvious– without, perhaps, intending it:

      It sounds pathetically Quixotic and Adolescent–but I think it might be true:

      Maybe not right way……but eventually….some years from now…but we can’t count the years in decades…it may be sooner than that…..

      [Washington and the Public simply do not have the capacity to accommodate your strategies, as you point out]

      And, again, as ridiculous as this sounds, it is becoming more and more possible:

      A Political Revolution.

      The half-way alternative would be the emergence of a Third Party.

      Unlikely. Even though Thoroughly Ambitious Rand Paul sees it differently.

      A guy like him is a Political Zealot, of the First Order, and might very well NOT be a fair compromise to the political crisis in this country.

      • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

        The “Revolution” amounts to a long-awaited paradigm shift from a 4000 year old governance model (that was fundamentally flawed and obsolescent the day it was introduced) to a 21st Century governance model, grounded in the STEM disciplines.

  • LinRP

    Here’s what “normal” political parties don’t do:

    Normal political parties do not engage in deliberate sabotage of existing law, nor do they risk the economic destruction of their country in order to advance a narrow ideological agenda devoted to a tiny plutocratic elite.

    Normal political parties do not design their appeal to attract the most regressive, reactionary and ignorant elements of society.

    Nor do they regularly engage in tactics of voter suppression, blackmail and extortion.

    Nor do legitimate political parties believe they can “win” by deliberately wrecking both government and the economy.

    Tea Party Republicans have no interest in governing on behalf of the public, and welcome economic chaos and anarchy, which they believe advances their “cause”. They are essentially seditionists and economic terrorists, living in a fantasy world created by the echo chamber of talk radio blowhards and Fox News. They are buoyed by their ignorant followers like those standing outside the White House dressed as patriots holding signs that say “Shut ‘Er Down,” making it clear that these people have ZERO idea what that means and the hige implications therein. .

    • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

      It’s been barely a century since the brilliant mathematician, Henri Poincaré, first demonstrated that rule-based systems are inherently chaotic.

      But theologians had perceived that insight at least 3800 years ago, shortly after humankind first invented the Rule of Law.

      There is a solution, of course. The same mathematics that reveals precisely how and why rule-based systems are structurally chaotic also provides the tools for thought to construct high-functioning and smooth-functioning systems of governance.

      But we are at an impasse because, as far as I know, the community of politicians are unfamiliar with the concept of applying the STEM disciplines to the art of crafting a functional regulatory mechanism.

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        Do blind rage and zealous ignorance sound like ingredients of this recipe for disaster?

        • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

          Fear and Ignorance add up to a powerfully toxic cocktail, especially when mixed by politicians.

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        The coming intelligence is sure to replace all human failings.

    • William

      No budget is economic destruction.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    After accumulating $17 trillion in debt, it’s time to stop the madness. Everyone knows that Obamacare will add trillions to that number after getting Americans hooked just as a heroin addict gets hooked. The Dumbocrats have given certain exemptions (illegally) such as exempting big business and not verifying incomes for the taxpayer-funded subsidies. Rather than cherry pick important parts of the legislation that aren’t in place yet and ignore them while allowing other parts of the program to continue on, the whole monstrosity should be delayed a year. But Dumbocrats, always eager to add bloated social programs, would rather rush in and create an unstoppable addition to more deficit spending than admit that the program is not ready to roll out and delay it. It would be better to shut the government down for a while than continue down this road leading to financial ruin.

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      The basis of your republican theory that our debt is a serious problem is based upon a flawed study which republican thought leaders used to prove that our debt is killing us… Have you seen the news?

      Math errors were found in Reinhart And Rogoff’s Study disproving the conclusions and the political position of the mad hatters in the t party et all.

      So if you have a problem with our debt, let’s raise taxes on the folks who went to the party to pay for the clean up, namely the wealthy who pay 1/2 of what we pay in taxes dollar per dollar because their income is not taken as wages but as capital gains.

      • HonestDebate1

        The debt s a problem, it’s not rocket science. The rich are paying more than ever.

        • J__o__h__n

          Rocket science won’t be funded for a while.

          • Wm_James_from_Missouri

            It’s ironic that not funding achieving and affordable rocket technology, is preventing us from capitalizing on all of the many trillions of dollars in wealth available for “free” in space. More wealth than there is debt !

        • Ray in VT

          It must be tough for them to be paying lower rates than they did under Reagan. I wonder how they get by.

          • HonestDebate1

            They pay a larger percentage than ever, how much is enough?

          • Ray in VT

            They are also taking in a much larger share of the nation’s income. If the Reagan was so great, then why not his rates?

          • HonestDebate1

            The rich are paying more now than ever before. You have switched from saying they are not to saying they are but it is justified. Which is it?

            I doubt you will get much support for Reagan’s 28% top bracket and putting 6 million of the poorest back on the rolls. Do you really want his rates?

          • Ray in VT

            I think that my comments have pretty consistently said that they are paying at lower rates now, despite your repeated attempts over time to alter the meaning of what I have said.

            I wouldn’t care for that 28%, which only existed for 1 year under Reagan, although, considering that capital gains was also 28%, I might be willing to take that trade, given that, for instance, someone making millions by not working would pay more.

            Are you now opposed to Reagan having gotten more people to have skin in the game? Are you now some champion of the reviled 47%?

          • HonestDebate1

            We already raised the top rate. The rich are paying more now, much more. The top rate that you are obsessed with is irrelevant.

            Yes I would like to see less than 47% paying zero federal income tax. Futzing with the top rate in meaningless. If you want Reagan’s tax policy then understand that you are talking massive tax increases for the poor and everybody else.

          • Ray in VT

            Yet it is still below what they suffered under for 7 of Reagan’s 8 years, and even in that last year the capital gains rate was double or more. So, they’re paying less now than they did under Reagan. If the top rate is so irrelevant, then why fight to keep it at historic lows tooth and nail, unless you have a different definition of irrelevant that differs from the ones that I’ve seen in the dictionaries.

            So Reagan was some sort of super taxer, as opposed to our current low tax President?

          • HonestDebate1

            Do you advocate putting 6 million of the poorest back on the rolls? That would actually make a difference. Obama is a huge taxer.

            It’s all silly, the tax code won’t fix this. I don’t care what the rates are, any of them. It’s a shallow talking point. We need more taxpayers as a result of more jobs. That cannot happen as long as Obamacare is in place.

          • Ray in VT

            Like Michelle Bachmann, I think that everyone should pay, not matter how poor they are. I mean, my mom’s living the dream on her Social Security, so she should kick in more after a lifetime of work.

            If we need more taxpayers, then why do you seem to be advocating for policies now that remove people from the category of federal income tax payer? Why are you supporting the taking 47%?

      • thequietkid10

        The idea that we can continue on the path that we are on, without consequences, defies logic. No other institution can continue to grow their debts without consequences. It used to be that money had value because it was backed by something solid. Now it has value because we treat it like it has value. If our debt means nothing, then our money means nothing.

        Further more then idea that we can tax our way out of this by ending the “capital gains lopehole” defies logic when our debt is near 100% of our yearly GDP. Especially when the rich already pay most of our taxes with or without capital gains.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        Obama should show some leadership and backbone and propose a plan for balancing the budget rather than just kicking the can down the road yet again by raising the debt ceiling.

        • Don_B1

          President Obama has shown that leadership in several attempts to get Republicans to agree on a “grand bargain” of $4 trillion in spending cuts and tax increases.

          It is a shame but Republicans simply could not take success and walked away from the process, doing immense harm to the economy in the process.

    • Shag_Wevera

      I’d say a political minority shutting down the government IS madness.

    • MrNutso

      I know what you say is false regarding the ACA adding trillions to the debt. Therefore your statement that everyone knows this is false.

      I make this post not to nit pick, but to demonstrate that that mere rhetoric to support what you want to be true does not make it so.

      As of my last investigation, the ACA is expected to reduce the deficit by about $100B per year.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        If you really believe that Obamacare is going to reduce the federal deficit, I have several bridges that i would like to sell you.

  • StilllHere

    The lesson from the sequester is that we can certainly tolerate a government that wastes less taxpayer money. The shutdown will show that the waste is even bigger than we imagined. It’s time to envision a new size of government. One that serves the people, not one that employs us to push paper to each other.

    There is no dysfunction in Washington except that which has been brought by government growing beyond its natural size and scope. The disarray we are witnessing is the result of an ever-growing government trying to justify its size by engaging in increasing amounts of busy work and bureaucratic territorial disputes. Politicians and lifers endeavor to appear to be doing something for the sake of the appearance.

    The shutdown will make us realize that the big things government needs to do have been accomplished. As a result, government should shrink and Congressional/Executive recesses should be extended significantly.

    • Shag_Wevera

      How about no government at all? Walled communities populated by the well-to-do and gaurded by ex military security contractors. Fee based law enforcement, fire, and of course medicine and education. Hell, it ain’t far from what we have now.

      • StilllHere

        Thanks for the strawman.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Two different monikers describe the Tea Party congress: Mad Hatters & Economic Terrorists.

  • Shag_Wevera

    All I ask of Democrats is that they remember these tactics the next time they are in the minority.

    • J__o__h__n

      .

  • Shag_Wevera

    House republicans are trying to harm this country intentionally for their own benefit. I’d be okay with them being lined up in front of the capitol and executed for treason.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Kind of like blatant support of illegal immigration and construction of massive federal bureaucracies are intentional actions for the benefit of Democratic politicians and their tribe?

      • MrNutso

        Yeah kind of. If only Republicans didn’t vote for laws or ever held the Presidency.

      • Shag_Wevera

        Republicans like illegal immigrants as much or more than democrats. Everyone is guilty on that one.

        • Government_Banking_Serf

          That’s why we should vote Rule of Law and not the two-party line.

          • TFRX

            Hilarious. Another Libertarian has come to save me from my Social Security and my southern sister-in-law from her abortion clinic.

          • Don_B1

            So what does “Rule of Law” mean to you?

            The U.S. Constitution was built on the assumption of majority rule with strong provisions against that majority running roughshod over minorities, granting freedom of speech against government intimidation, freedom from unreasonable searches, self-incrimination, freedom from government intrusion in religion, captured in Thomas Jefferson’s statement about Separation of Church and State, etc.

            But where does any of that allow a small minority to dictate to the majority on how the majority’s major problem will be solved without letting that majority even influence how that problem solution is constructed? That fits the definition of “Tyranny of the Minority,” which is worse than any “Tyranny of the Majority.”

  • Ed75

    Obamacare is the largest entrenchment of abortion in our society since Roe v. Wade since every healthcare plan must cover it. They estimate an annual increase of around 100,000 abortions. Is it a surprise that the government would shut down the very day it was implemented?

    One has to think that the intrenchment of abortion was one of the main purposes of Obamacare.

    • anamaria23

      I am not sure of your numbers, but making abortion illegal will not stop abortion. it will merely increase the number of back alley practitioners as were in days before Roe when thousands died at their hands, while the well connected found ways for safe abortion.
      The one sure way to decrease the number of abortions is to make contraception more available.
      Let us work to find ways to make abortion safe but rare.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        While I am personally pro choice, this logic doesn’t really stand. Since most adult murders take place in “shady” places, should we make it legal so its done in a safe manner?

        All how/when you define life, which is a valid debate and difference in philosophical world view.

        I personally view choice as a libertarian right of a woman in early term.

        • TFRX

          Another fake “pro choicer” who’ll let the fake Christians worm their way into making bad anti-science law. Just what this country needs.

        • J__o__h__n

          You aren’t personally pro-choice in any substantive way. You would leave the matter up to the states which is the same position of almost all anti-choice organizations.

    • J__o__h__n

      Even the Pope says to give it a rest.

      • Ed75

        Yes, but who listens to the pope?

        • J__o__h__n

          Reactionaries are the new cafeteria Catholics?

          • Ed75

            Sometimes. Something to avoid.

        • John_in_Amherst

          not you, apparently

    • Renee Engine-Bangger

      That is utter nonsense. Go peddle your abortion pørn somewhere else.

    • JeffC

      Has anyone studied a technology based all inclusive based democracy vs. a representative democracy ?

  • 1Brett1

    The two shutdowns in the ’90s are estimated to have cost $1.4 billion. The 42 times Republicans in Congress have tried to repeal the ACA have cost close to $60 million.

    We run the genuine risk (and it has already started) of destabilizing the stock market. Our credit rating might also get further downgraded…on and on.

    …And Republicans accuse Democrats of being fiscally irresponsible! Jeesh!

    The ACA was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, constitutionally challenged, and upheld (all three branches of government have approved the ACA); it has also, as mentioned, had 42 unsuccessful attempts initiated by Republicans to repeal it, yet the Republicans persist in these stunts…and necons think this is principled!?! This reveals so much about Republicans, and it reveals even more about their supporters.

    There will be political fallout for Republicans. Mark my words.

    • HonestDebate1

      When Newt shut down government good things happened as a result. There was no fallout when Tip O’Neal shut it down 12 times. As far as I’m concerned we can keep it closed for a while,

      • jefe68

        Yeah that will work out well for the economy.

        • HonestDebate1

          We would not have gotten welfare reform and balanced budgets without the shutdown in ’95.

          • jefe68

            If it goes on for long the economy will suffer. If they don’t raise the debt ceiling, well that will make markets around the world take huge nose dives and could potently drive our economy back into a recession.

            As bad as those other shut downs were, and some of then were pretty awful, they were not about using a shut down to get the entire agenda of a failed bid for the White House. Which is what this is about.
            They also aways came to some kind of an agreement. I’m not sure there is one for this other than the pressure of businesses and Wall Street.

      • J__o__h__n

        O’Neill

        • HonestDebate1

          Thanks.

      • TFRX

        Yes, let’s talk about all the good things that happened with Newt. You go first, you Facist, Racist, Sexist, Gay-Bashing, Traitorous, Coward, Wimp, Draft-Dodger, Tax Evader.

        You lie down with Newt, you get up with his rulebook.

    • William

      Obama phones suck up 4 billion a year from the taxpayers. 1.4 billion is a rounding error. 60 million? PBS/NPR sucked up 400 million a year, 4 billion over the next ten years, despite admitting they don’t need the welfare check from the taxpayers. Who cares about 60 million?

      • keltcrusader

        ” Low-income households have been eligible for discounted telephone service for more than a decade. But the program is funded by telecom companies, not by taxes, and the President has nothing to do with it.”
        “The President has no direct impact on the program, and one could hardly call these devices “Obama Phones,” as the e-mail author does. This specific program, SafeLink, started under President George Bush, with grants from an independent company created under President Bill Clinton, which was a legacy of an act passed under President Franklin Roosevelt, which was influenced by an agreement reached between telecommunications companies and the administration of President Woodrow Wilson.”

        http://www.factcheck.org/2009/10/the-obama-phone/

        • Ray in VT

          Do you really think that facts and reason will have an impact? If you do, then you have more faith than I do.

          • TFRX

            At some point it’s so some well-meaning NPRer doesn’t think that some no-knowthing like William has a point.

            Every time Kelto corrects someone, I hear the yawn in his or her voice. It’s like watching someone play chess against an opponent who starts 1) P-KB3… 2) P-KN4: The outcome is preordained.

          • keltcrusader

            No, just trying to put the truth out there to counteract the false statements.

        • TFRX

          Those goddamn Wilson Wirelesses! I knew they were a cheesy giveaway to the poor the moment I learnt about them in history class.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Great Age of Dysfunction?

    How dare we resist!

    Welcome to the Great Age of Unlimited Government!

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/2013/10/01/welcome_to_the_age_of_unlimited_government_316836.html

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Oh, the irony of yesterday’s Pink Floyd fans so eagerly embracing the machine today….

      NSA, IRS, Socialized (ahem, Health Insurance company give-away, but with price controls, and THEN move to full socialized) Healthcare.

      The myopic partisan behavior of committed liberals/democrats is astounding. When the outrageous federal and executive power that has been amassed, and protected by an intellectually bankrupt Supreme Court, is back in the scumbag GOP hands, the Dem boobs will be screaming bloody murder.

  • William

    It is an issue of equality and holding the Washington elites to the same standards they are applying to the American people. Obama gave his business buddies a 1 year exemption but is demanding the individuals pay up now. Then he gave Congress a exemption and is making the taxpayers pick up their costs.

    • keltcrusader

      Congress is not exempt:

      And the controversy over Congress seeking an Obamacare exemption isentirely manufactured. In reality, the issue stems from a Republican-sponsored amendment to the health law requiring lawmakers to get their insurance on the new marketplaces, just like uninsured Americans. The GOP senator who offered the amendment expected Democrats to turn it down, but it made it into the final version of the law anyway. Now, the administration is simply trying to deal with the mess that created — since the marketplaces were always intended for uninsured people, not people who already have access to health care through their employers.

    • jimino

      The reality is that Congress, in what was initially intended to be a political stunt, directed that it be treated different from every other employer in the way it provided health insurance to its employees. They did the exact OPPOSITE of what you complain about. But don’t let the facts get in the way of the story that fits your agenda.

      • Don_B1

        He won’t!

        He has made that false claim before and been given the correct information and he still has not changed his story one iota.

  • J__o__h__n

    Boehner should not be Speaker. He doesn’t have the support of enough of his party to be effective. He cannot make deals with the other party as the most extreme members of his party won’t back him. The Hastert rule doesn’t work when the party is that divided.

    • Don_B1

      But right now there isn’t anyone who can be a good Speaker. Senator Ted Cruz is “acting” Speaker right now.

  • MrNutso

    I actually blame more establishment Republicans who in effort to fill their campaign coffers have scammed Teabaggers with their rhetoric of how the ACA will destroy healthcare, individual freedom and the nation.

    Now it’s come back to bite them on the @$$.

  • Yar

    Learned what an SF 50 is.

  • ChevSm

    Amazing that Congress is still getting paid during this.

    All these bums should be kicked out!

  • Coastghost

    WHAT? THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS SHUT DOWN, and WBUR is broadcasting?
    Is public broadcasting exempt? Or has it become the case that “public broadcasting” has inexorably morphed into “private broadcasting with nominal public support”, which for NPR still amounts to an annual operating budget of c. $190 million in Federal funds courtesy of the CPB mothership.
    Sounds like a great time to trim public broadcast production budgets, clear out some of the feeble entertainment offerings, et cetera.
    Or could it also be the case that public broadcasters have wildly exaggerated the extent of “FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN” in a laughable attempt to project credibility and retain a negligible market share of only 25 million weekly listeners?

    • Shag_Wevera

      Why come then?

      • Coastghost

        Obviously, I’m celebrating: I am assured by NPR that the sky has fallen completely to earth, and yet I look up and see blue and blue and more blue. I don’t even see clouds at this latitude and longitude.

    • John_in_Amherst

      most of the funding for NPR comes from private support. Have you ponied up lately? Or are you just freeloading?

      • Coastghost

        But “N-P-R” we’re told stands for “National Public Radio”. What is the proportion of private support to public support for “public broadcasting” today? If the public of 25 million is not providing the support necessary to maintain operations, then truth-in-adverstising seems to have become an unspoken casualty of NPR’s practice some time long ago.

        • John_in_Amherst

          NPR’s operations, purpose and funding are transparent, which cannot be said these days of most of the shadowy organizations that fill the heads of the teabaggers and Luddite right with vitriol and fluff.
          This is a synopsis:

          The original purposes of NPR, as ratified by the Board of Directors, are the following:
          Provide an identifiable daily product which is consistent and reflects the highest standards of broadcast journalism.
          Provide extended coverage of public events, issues and ideas, and to acquire and produce special public affairs programs.
          Acquire and produce cultural programs which can be scheduled individually by stations.
          Provide access to the intellectual and cultural resources of cities,
          universities and rural districts through a system of cooperative
          program development with member public radio stations.
          Develop and distribute programs for specific groups (adult education,
          instruction, modular units for local productions) which may meet needs
          of individual regions or groups, but may not have general national
          relevance.
          Establish liaison with foreign broadcasters for a program exchange service.
          Produce materials specifically intended to develop the art and technical potential of radio.

          In 2009, member stations derived 6% of their revenue from federal,
          state and local government funding, 10% of their revenue from CPB grants, and 14% of their revenue from universities.
          While NPR does not receive any direct federal funding, it does receive a
          small number of competitive grants from CPB and federal agencies like
          the Department of Education and the Department of Commerce. This funding
          amounts to approximately 2% of NPR’s overall revenues.

          During the 1970s and early 1980s, the majority of NPR funding came
          from the federal government. Steps were taken during the 1980s to
          completely wean NPR from government support, but the 1983 funding crisis forced the network to make immediate changes. Now more money to fund the NPR network is raised from listeners, charitable foundations and corporations instead. According to CPB,
          in 2009 11.3% of the aggregate revenues of all public radio
          broadcasting stations were funded from federal sources, principally
          through CPB.

          • Coastghost

            NPR “transparent”? Have YOU, John, ever heard of ICUC? Nor had I, not from NPR itself, that is: but it turns out that ICUC is an NPR contractor entrusted with Disqus-forum “moderation” (which some read as “censorship”, when applicable).
            “Highest standards of broadcast journalism”, I assure you as a former television news producer, are never terribly high to begin with.
            “University support” entails contributions from both private and state-supported universities, I am sure. So “public support” as construed is coming from — other public institutions!! How grand!!
            The Federal Departments of Education and Commerce are existing Federal (hence, public) bureaucracies and again constitute public bureaucracies providing support for other public bureaucracies. Begins quickly to sound like an elaborate Federal shell game.
            And so at the end of your own convoluted argumentation, how much of NPR’s annual operating budget comes from Federal and public sources (also and including “listener contributions” coughed up at pledge time) and how much comes these days from generous corporate sponsorships and philanthropic outfits (whose funds were derived in the private sector: think “Bill and Melinda Gates”)?

          • John_in_Amherst

            how strict can the moderators be? They don’t seem to deter the postings of a lot of right wing bile and nonsense. I believe WBUR went to Discuss to moderate the chat a while back, as the diatribes started to include immoderate amounts of lunacy and profanity. As for the budget numbers – add them up. Oh, and tell me about the funders of the Heritage Foundation and ALEC and Crossroads GPS while you are at it….

          • Ray in VT

            On The Media had a nice piece on the group behind those creepy Uncle Sam ads. It was funny listening to that group’s guy avoid talking about where their funding was coming from. He avoided it the first time, so Bob Garfield asked him the same question again.

          • J__o__h__n

            I love On the Media. They aren’t afraid to ask follow up questions.

          • Ray in VT

            I have heard Bob Garfield really go after people from time to time when they try to weasel out of direct questions. I think that it is something that the press should do more often.

          • TFRX

            As far as it goes, that’s great.

            However, when is this smartness going to work its way into the top-of-the-hour news?

          • Ray in VT

            Not too soon. Cable news has too many ambulances to chase.

          • Coastghost

            The Heritage Foundation, ALEC, and Crossroads GPS get partial funding from CPB, the Dept. of Education, the Dept. of Commerce, state universities? I had no idea.

          • John_in_Amherst

            funds from billionaire rightwingers like the Kochs have no strings attached? I had no idea

          • Don_B1

            From the way you created a false interpretation of John_in_Amherst’s post, I can easily understand how you are so misinformed about every issue in your posts.

    • nj_v2

      Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

  • John Cedar

    This shut down something that should have been done over a year ago. It is kind of late to do it in the last hours before the mandate.

    Healthcare was too expensive and so the answer was to pass Obamcare which requires even billions more than we were already spending from a spendthrift congress every year.

    The whole idea of an omnibus budget is ludicrous. The lower house should take the entire budget and send over pieces of the budget a la carte for the libtards to take or leave. By sending over the entire budget minus just Obamcare funding, it gives the evil party of democrats too much ammunition to spin in the MSN.

    • northeaster17

      Libtards? Class act for sure.

      • John_in_Amherst

        Cedar working hard to get a “Rushism” into the next OED…

  • Coastghost

    John Hockenberry on “The Takeaway” just finished saying that the Affordable Care Tax Act “takes effect today”. Apart from the generous mischaracterization (the ACTA does NOT take effect today, enrollment possibilities just become available technically today), implementation of ACTA seems to be proceeding apace. So: WHAT “Federal government shutdown” are we discussing?

    • MrNutso

      Funding for the ACA was locked in, so that program does not have to shut down. There are other “critical” functions of the government that keep operating at full or partial level.

      • Coastghost

        Are you saying, then, that “government shutdown” is somehow a misnomer, somehow a vast exaggeration? But “On Point” and WBUR and NPR have all been shouting “GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN” for weeks.
        You think they were a tad inaccurate? Maybe all these sponsoring public institutions can simply cut out all the fraudulent and inaccurate content from their programs, that should help their budgets however they’re derived.

  • William

    It is a issue of equality. Congress and big business got an exemption but we the people got the slammed. Treat us equally.

    • keltcrusader

      Why does this fallacy that Congress is exempt keep cropping up over and over. A quick search shows it to be a lie.
      Could it be there are those who knowingly keep spouting it even though they know it is a lie and they just don’t care because it serves their narrative?

      • William

        Equality is a right. We should all be treated equally under the law and that is not happening.

      • Don_B1

        William is nothing but a troll in service of those who wish to do 95% or more of Americans immense damage.

        The total fallacy of his post above has been pointed out to him numerous times, and he just keeps repeating the lies, like an automaton capable only of one-way communication.

        That makes his “contribution” to this website useless for any constructive exchange of ideas. It is attitudes such as his held by too many posters that apparently led Popular Science to stop having a comments section to its articles online, with occasional exceptions for some subjects.

        • keltcrusader

          Very true Don_B1, but I see this blatant lie being spread all over the the place.

          It would be really nice if the “Media” would debunk some of these awful lies that keep spreading unchecked, but I suppose that would mean that they would have to do their jobs, and I just don’t see that happening. Conflict sells.

          Even Tom, whom I like, doesn’t correct things people say on his show that aren’t true or are outright manufactured lies and deceptions. There comes a point that the “everyone deserves equal time” theory is used to just perpetuate these lies and that really needs to stop.

  • Markus6

    ACA, Obama, abortion and all the rest didn’t create this polarization – they’re byproducts. Somehow, we’ve created a lot of people on both sides who can only think in binary. In this forum, it’s usually that republicans are evil, the Koch brothers are constantly scheming, etc. On other forums, you get completely the reverse. I’m no longer surprised when I meet people who can only see one side of an argument.

    Are there more of them or are they just louder? In the past, people who weren’t that bright just seemed easier to ignore. Or at least, there were adults in the room to calm them down.

    One factor may be that with all the new media, each outlet has to cater to it’s niche. NPR has one, Fox has another. And they keep their biased audience coming back by telling them what they already think – conservatives are bad, or liberals are bad. The biased loudmouths then provide the most pressure on politicians.

    Hard to see any way out of this when the “experts” brought in have all become advocates for a specific side. Robert Reich is a good example. Though frequently brought in as an expert, he rarely provides data that supports something he’s against. He’s become just an advocate. My guess is we’ll see the same thing from today’s experts.

    • J__o__h__n

      There have been studies that show that Fox News viewers are significantly more uninformed than consumers of other media. Example – Saddam was behind 9/11. While both sides aren’t perfect, the Republicans are far worse than the Democrats and it is false equivalence to blame both of them equally.

      • Ray in VT

        Consumers of partisan media haven’t done too well with the getting the facts right in a number of polls.

        • TFRX

          Okay, I’m calling your bluff.

          There’s a left-wing partisan media “name” whose readers or viewers don’t score well on factual actuals?

          • Ray in VT

            One survey that I saw showed MSNBC viewers right down at about the same level as Fox viewers. That is to what I am referring.

          • TFRX

            Point taken, as I didn’t see it.

            However, that’s one survey.

            Part of me wonders if it’s the Morning Joe viewers. Whatever he’s doing on the “liberal” channel is beyond me.

          • Ray in VT

            It was the Farleigh Dickinson University poll from late 2011 I think.

      • Markus6

        Sorry, it was not my point that both are to be blamed equally. For example, I think democrats are much more to be blamed for public education problems and republicans for ridiculous defense spending.

        My point was the the loudest people seem unable or unwilling to empathize with the other side. And either there are more of them or they’re louder because the news media is structured to support this.

        Does that make more sense?

        • TFRX

          No, it doesn’t.

          The crazies, the loudest ones, are driving the bus on the right. The leadership of the GOP house has come from the most extreme districts, for example.

          And all we hear from the mainstream press is “if only Obama propsed everything from McCain and Palin’s white paper”.

    • TFRX

      Fox isn’t a media outlet. From day one they’ve been posited as a propaganda outlet. Please don’t pretend.

  • TFRX

    Blame the Tea Party. Blame Health (Care) Reform.

    BothSides? Tom, any time you want to stop playing the BothSides charade, public radio listeners will be ready.

    If we’re going to tangent off the “man in the street interviews”, let’s dig into how half-assed and slipshod our mainstream press have been on this, letting the GOP hostage taking go on.

  • William

    Will the fed keep giving Wall Street 80 billion a month?

    • Coastghost

      The Federal Reserve is wholly independent. Cough cough.

  • MrNutso

    Here’s something related to the question at the top of what’s making the House divided:

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/09/30/20763468-2010-redistricting-yields-new-breed-of-recalcitrant-republicans?lite

    • Markus6

      A wonderful example of my point. This is an article from Rachel Maddow (very liberal) that is highly critical of republicans (they’re more extreme because of gerrymandering). I didn’t read all of it, but I’m guessing there was nothing on how democratic areas have been gerrymandered (ever see a political map of massachusetts?).

      Equivalence is not the point. It may be that the republicans have become more extreme because of this (though do you really expect the entire truth from Rachel Maddow, or Rush Limbaugh, for that matter) It’s that someone on what is generally a left leaning forum, chooses a very left leaning source to criticize the right. People seem incapable or unwilling to see the other side in any meaningful way.

      And, by the way, we play into the hands of politicians who get reelected when the other side gets demonized.

      • TFRX

        The GOP is more extreme because of gerrymandering. And the GOP is still trying to stuff as many black voters in the south into as few CDs as possible. And the GOP’s redistricting has been invalidated in court time and again because it’s unConstitutional. So, yeah, not BothSides.

        Please don’t talk about Maddow and Limbaugh in the same breath. The latter hasn’t a trick in his bag besides fomenting his fleckspittled ignorant fans.

        • Markus6

          I’ll drop out here, but can you at least see that this response makes my point? It’s all one side on every issue.

          • StilllHere

            Well done, but there never was a doubt.

          • TFRX

            Not in the slightest. I’m looking at “compromising” by many GOP -proposed policies over the last 30-40 years, and that’s not enough for the media tastemakers who reiterate that it’s BothSides.

            Fix your crazy right-wing buddies, and I’ll fix my crazy left-wing friends.

            You got soooo much more work ahead of you than I do.

      • J__o__h__n

        No one is denying that both sides gerrymander districts. The Democratic party is hardly pandering to its left wing to the extent that it cannot govern or compromise like the Republicans have with their right.

      • StilllHere

        Lesson: Democrats don’t know to govern at any level of government.

        • Ray in VT

          Not when there’s a determined bunch of Luddites casting their sabots into the gears of government.

          • StilllHere

            Translation: Democrats are really good at excuse-making though.

          • Ray in VT

            It’s not an excuse when it’s real.

      • Don_B1

        If you ignore the details of how the gerrymandering originated you will miss a lot of the difference between the parties. Looking at the path to gerrymandering, at least in its current version, the Democrats did play a role.

        The Democrats looked at the way voting districts were drawn, particularly in the South, and saw that minorities were not able to elect members of their group to office. It was in the interest of making minority groups have the ability to elect a member of their group to office that Democrats pushed for voting district alignments that could allow that to happen.

        The Republicans saw a different objective, that of drawing districts that would create more districts where they could elect Republicans by putting big pluralities of Democratic Party leaning voters together so their votes would be less effective in electing more Democratic Party officeholders.

        A consequence of this is the current House of Representatives, where the Republicans have reached a tipping point level where they can prevent the federal government from accomplishing anything. See the Rachel Maddow program of last night:

        http://www.nbcnews.com/id/26315908/vp/53151808#53151808

  • Coastghost

    OH HORRORS!! The panda cam has been canned! Can our vast Federal government do nothing to protect this vital government function and service?!

    • OnPointComments

      I wonder if the three White House calligraphers, whose annual salaries total $277,000, have been furloughed. Oh, the humanity!

      • Coastghost

        If only they were pandas, their feeding schedules would be immune to interruption.

  • MrNutso

    On a lighter note, I love this picture (from the Road Warrior) used with this blog:

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/10/government-shutdownpocalypse-live-blog.html

    • Ray in VT

      That is awesome.

    • hennorama

      MrNutso — at first glance, I thought you were referring to Speaker John “The Zombie” Boehner’s image, above.

    • TFRX

      New York Mag has been doing some very good work in the last few years.

    • joseph makela

      Bane?

  • Ray in VT
  • Spence Blakely

    It’s not about Obamacare, for or against. It’s about having a trump card that shuts down government.

    • TFRX

      Trump card?

      I didn’t know that “tipping over the Parcheesi board”, a la a losing six-year-old, was a trump card. :-)

      • Ray in VT

        On SNL they said that it was like losing the game and then kicking the ball into the woods.

  • Coastghost

    What would be wrong or evil with devolution of Federal powers to the states? The Federal system has aggrandized political power to the breaking point, is one way to read the current impasse.

    • Shag_Wevera

      I’d like to see the union dissolved. New unions could be formed out of groups of like minded states.

  • StilllHere

    The sun came up, where’s the shutdown?

  • MrNutso

    Aaaaaaaaaaaagh! Both sides are not at fault?

  • StilllHere

    The most representative appendage of government is trying to save us from the rest. Long live the House!

  • toc1234

    Hopefully the Shutdown won’t be as bad as the Sequester…

    • StilllHere

      What sequester?

      • toc1234

        exactly.

      • pete18

        Don’t you remember? People were dying in the streets.

        • StilllHere

          I usually take the subway.

          • pete18

            They were dying there too, bodies strewn all over the tracks. Open up your eyes, man!

    • RolloMartins

      The last major shutdown cost us aprox. $2B. But the GOP is about saving jobs and money, yes? Um, no.

  • AC

    these ‘people’ do not feel the weight of history, that’s why they’ll never be great men (or women). yet, we’re just as bad – i can already guess who on here is saying what. if you guys don’t agree, why expect them too? it’s become a sports event, no real sense of consequence…

    • brettearle

      Is that a Caucus or a Quorum?

      • AC

        that depends on who is attending, doesn’t it?

    • HonestDebate1

      A large group of turkey’s is called a Parliament.

      • nj_v2

        “…turkey’s…”

        From someone who has spent time criticizing other people’s use of English.

        • HonestDebate1

          I’m not a grammar cop, but thanks for the correction.

    • nj_v2

      We’d be better off with actual baboons.

      • AC

        you might be right on that…..:/

  • monicaroland

    I’m furious about the shutdown of the federal government, and I just wrote to Speaker Boehner and my own congressman — again — to say so.

    I blame both parties. Democrats want to spend money that my great-grandchildren (unborn) can never pay back. Republicans claim to be fiscal conservatives, but vote big-bucks projects for their own districts or purposes. None of them will attempt to get together for compromise — such as some good proposals in the ignored Simpson-Bowles Commission.

    In this case I blame the Republicans more. I am no fan of the Affordable Care Act. It’s ill-conceived, convoluted, impossible to understand, and written so that eventually it will cause businesses to dump their own insurance, and thus force what the Democrats really want, which is nationalized health care. Whatever. It’s a done deal, and the GOP has no business hurting everyday people by shutting down the federal government.

    I note that Congress itself will NOT suffer in such a shutdown. These clowns will still get their paychecks. Just like in the Sequester, a stupidity that I attribute to the president. I also note that the president’s staff and the members of Congress were not subjected to the sequester. Only everyday working stiffs had a loss of pay.

    This is shameful, and I am angry.

    (And because I’m disgusted with both parties, I just registered as an independent voter after 44 years. Yes, I disenfranchised myself from a vote in the primaries. But because I no longer sleep with either party, I can live with myself in the morning.)

    • John Cedar

      All indications are that the government did not really shut down. Just to be sure you should check your SNAP card to see if it still works.

    • Markus6

      I could not agree more and for the shut down, I blame republicans more. Some repubs are doing it to throw red meat to their base and get reelected. Others, IMO, think ACA is a disaster and are fighting it on those grounds. Either way, shutting down the government is the wrong way to do this.

    • RolloMartins

      Your children and grand-children do not have to pay this back. That is a conservative lie that everyone seems to have bought into (pun intended). Cf. NewEconomicsPerspectives.org

  • Coastghost

    The “Federal system” itself is on trial, no? Why must Americans labor to make the world a safe place for the dysfunctional Federal system of overreach and incompetence?

    • StilllHere

      Exactly, these disputes arise out of government exceeding its equilibrium size and scope.

    • TFRX

      Hilarious.

      Why do these fake crises never happen when a Republican is in the White House?

      At that point we only get real crises: Iran-Contra, Invasion of Iraq.

      • Coastghost

        Because Democratic Presidents are Cheerleaders-in-Chief for expanding the pretense of philanthropic competence, as managed by government bureaucrats and bureaucracies?

      • pete18

        Except for the eight government shutdowns under Reagan and the one under George H Bush. It’s called competing political values under a democracy.

        • Ray in VT

          Did the Democrats shut down the government in an attempt to defeat a law that they couldn’t repeal via the legislative process or via the courts?

        • TFRX

          Hack. Try harder. Actually, we’ve seen your best; don’t bother.

          • Karl Prahl

            Why don’t you try to offer facts or sources other than ad hominem attacks which only show that your stance is intellectually bankrupt.

          • pete18

            He’s too busy reading Balloon Juice to formulate factual arguments.

          • TFRX

            Can’t call the Right’s whiny tantrum a whiny tantrum, eh?

          • TFRX

            Can’t call the GOP’s whiny tantrum a whiny tantrum, eh?

          • 1Brett1

            Interesting that he would condemn your “ad hominem attack” with an ad hominem attack…I guess he never looked up the meaning of the word “hypocrisy.” Did you also notice that we have new neo-libertarian on the block in that one?

          • Karl Prahl

            Not at all. If there is some intellectual value of a ad hominem I would like to hear it, otherwise my statement simply pointed out the lack of constructive content as the entire post consisted of a personal attack. But I am glad you’re noting such things! Learn a fallacy a day and in a month you’ll have intellectual self-defense.

  • J__o__h__n

    The Republicans made three offers not three compromises.

    • MrNutso

      Three very similar and in some instance worse offers.

    • pete18

      I’m sorry, what did the democrats offer or compromise on?

      • J__o__h__n

        I didn’t claim they did, but the Republican soundbite is that they made three compromises.

    • John Cedar

      A one year delay is a compromise.

      Plus, they got the idea from the one year delay Obama unilaterally granted businesses.

  • joseph makela

    who is under the thumb of whom?
    Big Biz in all it’s nefarious constructs controls our governments.
    USA is not alone, here in Canada our Con governing party will prorogue our Parliament again! 2 great de-mock-crazies manipulated by big biz. who loves their Country?

    • Karl Prahl

      Does Canada need a government when you have the Power Corp. ?

  • rogger2

    Wow, Ron Fournier not happy with republicans here.

    Didn’t see that coming

    • TFRX

      Ron Fournier is here?

      That’s a downgrade.

      That’s the fellow who, this summer, worked his way to the Green Lantern Theory that “great presidents overcome great hurdles,” and that’s that.

      Once you’ve established “greatness,” then all hurdles are
      defeated. If hurdles remain, then you’ve not established “greatness,” no matter how many hurdles you’ve previously overcome.

      http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/what-if-obama-can-t-lead-20130731

  • David_from_Lowell

    How is Republican opposition to Obamacare anything other than blatant racism. The Heritage Foundation and Mitt Romney as governor of Massachusetts, proposed the same basic system, including the individual mandate. There are fewer publicly acceptable outlets for open racism, but Obamacare opposition is one of the dogwhistle outlets remaining.

    • StilllHere

      That didn’t take long, thanks for throwing in the obligatory race-card.

      • David_from_Lowell

        Well why is the Heritage Foundation now against an individual mandate?

        • StilllHere

          If it’s Tuesday, it must be racism.

          • David_from_Lowell

            Should I repeat the question?

          • jefe68

            Don’t bother. He’s a troll.

    • TFRX

      I don’t think that about that subject.

      There are so many nihilistic Whiny-Ass Baby tantrums thrown by the Right about Obama’s proposals and laws and speeches that they don’t even need to go to the racism about that.

      Not that they haven’t pulled out that “weapon” for so many other things, from Birthers to Voting Rights.

  • Boca Ratso

    If you can’t tell whose fault–you’re missing THE ELEPHANT in the room…

    • keltcrusader

      lol

  • TFRX

    Let’s not talk about gerrymandering and “no center” without talking about how far right the right-wing has gone in the last 30 years.

    • Karl Prahl

      Time to let the states go their separate ways.

      • TFRX

        It’ll never happen.

        Too many “rugged individual” red states feel they need “freedom” after four generations of FDR’s Social Security and two generations of LBJ’s Medicare.

        • Karl Prahl

          It’ll never happen because there will be an executive order to maintain the union as last time.
          How efficient is the Federal Government? How fiscally responsible? Why NOT let the States run their own social programs and not send money to Washington for that final layer of bureaucracy? This is conjecture, but I’d think less bureaucracy would equal more money for care.
          Besides, you don’t have to dissolve the Union to let the States go their own way. Defensive pacts and open borders. We’d be seen by the World in a better light (unless you’re one of those that believe the rest of the world sees the U.S. government as a benevolent force in the world.)

          • TFRX

            You’re utterly hilarious. As a Democrat I’m not going to sit here with a straight face and feel the need to defend the Union to a Libertarian after five years of GOP shatstorming and gobstopping has given you the opportunity to say “Maybe it’s time to end it all”.

            Why doesn’t this “break up the union” stuff ever get any traction when there’s a Republican in the White House?

          • Karl Prahl

            Who claims I’m a libertarian? I’ve never said such things, however I’m glad you base your logic off arbitrary titles and designations like “democrat” “libertarian”. They are not expansive descriptors at all. Thank you.
            And it’s Republicrats! No difference between left and right because they get their money from the same sources. Wallstreet, big industry. Lobbyists. Why do you think they hedge their bets always? Why do you think Citizens United vs U.S. was such a big deal?

            That’s to say George W. Bush and Obama are damn near identical. A continuation of policies REGARDLESS of political promises.

          • TFRX

            Ah, yes, that “all the same” crap.

            Rod Serling would make you a black lesbian rape victim in Alabama with a history of Downs Syndrome.

            Good luck getting that real healthcare in a goober state. But, yeah, states rights trumps all!

          • Karl Prahl

            Go look up Ad hominem if you’d be so kind. It will make a world of difference in your approach to discussion.

          • jefe68

            He’s a nihilist if nothing else.

        • nj_v2

          Make them secede.

      • Shag_Wevera

        You are so right, but it won’t happen.

      • David_from_Lowell

        I think a better solution would be a parliamentary government, rather than two-party dominance. Then, if tea party types want to try to tank our country, moderates could form a centrist coalition government.

        • Karl Prahl

          That would be a great first start. The One-party system just doesn’t work and our elections are all or nothing :-(

  • Boca Ratso

    The GOP: So far-right and so far, wrong.

  • J__o__h__n

    Gerrymandering is a big part of the problem. The Senate isn’t letting Cruz set the agenda.

  • TFRX

    “So many members of Congress worried about being far enough to the left or right (respectively).”

    Please look up the number of Obama-hating card-carrying Republicans who have been primaried by the wingnut Tea Party sorts in the last five years, then tell us with a straight face that it’s BothSides.

    • nj_v2

      And, there’s no meaningful “left” of any significant size anywhere in the current, national, political landscape.

      What the regressive, conservocon whacknuts label “left” is really something somewhere right of center. Obama’s not “left;” most of the Dems are not “left.”

      Goddam dumbass narrowing of the dialog by this kind of mindless, history-impaired characterization drives me crazy.

      • thequietkid10

        What are you talking about?

        No Child Left Behind is a left wing, central government, top down program

        Medicare Part D was an expansion of a government entitlement program

        Obamacare was more of the same

        The last major pro business, pro free market, legislative victory was the repeal of Glass Steagall back in 1999 and Welfare Reform just prior.

  • adks12020

    Anyone that says gerrymandering has nothing to do with polarization is immediately irrelevant.

  • Irving Steinberg

    Concerning lack of leadership on both sides, that is like saying that when a school bully beats up a shy student, it’s a lack of leadership from both the bully’s parents and the shy students parents. Where is the logic in that? It is blaming the victim as well as the perpetrator.

  • J__o__h__n

    Two academics and one politician. Guess which party again.

  • RolloMartins

    The GOP is despicable. (And I’m a Republican…but proud to call myself a RHINO, now.)

    • John Cedar

      There is no H in RINO

      • RolloMartins

        Embarrassed.

  • dt03044

    What’s driving this?? Have we forgotten Mitch McConnell’s number one legislative agenda? To defeat the President. It’s that simple.

    • StilllHere

      He’s in the Senate, but don’t let that stop your tired narrative.

      • jefe68

        Troll.

  • skelly74

    What do we expect? Congress is in session 124 days a year. That is a part-time effort to hash out “the peoples” differences.

    The recess- yes recess is meant for children. The recess is spent playing golf, yachting, sipping scotch, sexting, gorging on steak, flying privately, sipping more scotch, eating more steak, fundraising, basking in the power, sipping even more scotch–with lobbyists.

    Can we try something new?

    • StilllHere

      124 days too many.
      Congress has done all it needs to do.
      We should only have emergency sessions and budget sessions. That way, government will get in the way less.

      • skelly74

        That’s an idea…

        I would rather see them sit in session 220-250 days a year, like the rest of the working stiffs, under the camera and on the record.

        Keep the lobbyists at bay, and the esteemed congressmen on the floor and out of the yacht club, or country club, or private jet.

        The American stiff doesn’t have the time to get into trouble that the esteemed congressmen do.This should be reserved for professional entertainers, not public servants – that’s funny.

        Are you not entertained?

  • Coastghost

    Devolution of Federal powers to the states: would help considerably, need not hurt immensely. Reduce the scale and scope of overweening Federal ambitions. (The Feds have a demonstrated talent for incompetence on a national scale.)

    • nj_v2

      Give examples of 10 specific “powers” to start with. Should be easy since there is so much “overweening.”

      • TFRX

        Ain’t gonna happen.

        Like the married guy who thinks he’s still 25 and was never as attractive as (say) George CLooney, but considers his wife a “ball and chain” getting in the way of his p-ssy-chasing party life, this “give up the Union” dream is easy to have from the comfort of a shared bed.

  • MrNutso

    From Romney and the Heritage Foundation.

  • MrNutso

    Charlie, Republicans do not want to change the law, they want to eliminate it.

    • StilllHere

      You’re clearly not paying attention.

  • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

    In the 90′s the republicians wanted to require everyone to have health insurance. The program was called “Individual responsibility act”. Now they are fighting it tooth and nail. It was their damn idea to start with. They are willing to shut down government because of their own idea. Amazing.

    • creaker

      The funny part it has been shown to work in MA. Maybe that’s why they turned against it?

  • Roberto1194

    Our Civil Institutions merely reflect the emotional functioning of the society in which they operate, and the level of differentiation (emotional maturity) of it’s leaders.
    Murray Bowen called our situation Societal Regression.

    “Society’s emotional reactiveness in dealing with societal problems is similar to the years of slow build-up of an emotional breakdown in a family. When the first symptom appears, the family either ignores it or does enough to relieve the immediate symptom, considering the problem to be solved. Then they continue the usual course until another more serious symptom, which is followed by another superficial effort to relieve the symptom. The process keeps repeating until the final breakdown, which is seen as having developed unexpectedly” (Bowen, Family Therapy in Clinical Practice, 1994, p. 273).

    Welcome to “Separation Nation”!

    • RolloMartins

      I disagree; our elected “leaders” do not represent us, the people. They represent big-money as that is who they work for. They get their lobby money for elections; the lobbyists write regulations (and bills) that are then passed. We are not represented in Congress.

      • MrNutso

        They represent themselves. Reelection is their paramount motivation. They will do and say anything to further their continued election.

      • Roberto1194

        Hi Rollo,
        Actually, I think we agree.
        But these folks are a product of our society and there by ‘popular selection’.
        I agree with you. But I see this alignment with money and power as an indication of unchecked Ego, -selfish, shallow, and materialist thinking.
        Which means they (and ‘we’) are often quite emotionally insecure and driven far too much by ignorance and fear.
        (Bowen describes this as aberrant aspects of ‘anxiety’ in human relationship systems.)

    • Markus6

      The comparison to a family breakdown is interesting. You ignore or place a band aid on the problems because you can and don’t know any better. This forms a pattern. The problems get bigger cause you haven’t fixed them. Then there’s a breakdown. My guess is an attribute of the breakdown is the forming of camps that can’t work together because they lose perspective. If it’s a couple, you get one of those nasty divorces with expensive lawyers making a bundle off the problem. News media could be analogous to the lawyers.

      Can’t go too far with analogies like this, but it is useful. Thanks.

      • Roberto1194

        hi Markus,
        The longer I live and the more I think-
        the more I see that most complex systems (and problems) are NOT what is seen in the ‘surface’ thoughts, words, and actions under common consideration.
        So I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss the remarkable consistencies in ‘human nature’ and the behavior of human systems.
        So much of our thinking and habits are ‘learned’ through time mostly UN-consciously and expressed in life at all levels of relationship systems.
        Bowen’s Work is just one recent very well reasoned understanding of human nature through Natural Systems thinking that is approaching understanding ourselves in a ‘Ecological’ way.
        (Of-course budhism and other ‘native’ cosmologies had already aligned with that wisdom.)

  • fionnmaccumhailus

    I’ve read that the clean CR would pass in the House if it was submitted to a vote. So, I see it as 50 or so Republicans thwarting the will of the overall House membership.

    • Karl Prahl

      Yeah. Not like those good hearted single senators that can freeze legislation indefinitely. The idea of a minority standing up in a Republic is inconceivable.

      • fionnmaccumhailus

        I don’t like it when it happens in the Senate either. If they have to have a filibuster available, I’d like them to go back to old days when a filibuster was really about holding the floor instead of the old man’s dodge they use today.

        • Karl Prahl

          Just pointing out that the whole system is corrupt and broken. It CAN work, but there is no impetus to make it work. It doesn’t benefit anyone but the public.

    • StilllHere

      The ole kick-the-can solution, really?

      • fionnmaccumhailus

        Yeah, well I’m one of those nuts from the #ZeitgeistMovement / #VenusProject so what else can you expect CQTM

    • MrNutso

      Assuming all Democrats vote for it, there are only 17 Republicans blocking it.

    • RolloMartins

      I have heard the same.

    • creaker

      As long as Boehner doesn’t put the clean bill on the floor, it’s being blocked by one Republican.

  • TFRX

    “Pork barrel politics has been replaced by ideological politics”.

    Okay, I’ll try anything once: Which is the far-left ideological politics which is gobstopping stuff now the way the blow-it-all-up nihilistic right Tea Baggers are?

  • TFRX

    “The Democrats are pushing us into a socialist state” the GOP gets to say, says caller James (36 mins).

    Wow. Tom, please find a liberal to smack this jerk down.

    • Karl Prahl

      Define socialist state and look around. Centralized bank. Government protected and managed markets. Centralized social security. Centralized medicare. Centralized education (how are them core studies coming?). Don’t be obtuse.

      • TFRX

        This isn’t socialism. No wonder Libertarians are only listened to when the GOP needs someone to throw feces at Democrats.

        • Karl Prahl

          Because you say it is so? No. Get a dictionary and do some critical thinking. You can call a duck a jumbo-jet. It’s still a duck.

          • TFRX

            Looks like I’m being subjected to more of that all-persuasive Libertarian retail politicking.

            Can’t you find someone to try to persuade who is more gullible susceptible to your message?

          • Karl Prahl

            If you are calling me a libertarian, please substantiate that :-)
            As for susceptibility, I defer to Socrates. The point of argument is not to convince others, but to give proper consideration to ones own beliefs.
            When persons such as yourself rely only on fallacies it makes the exercise much less fruitful :-(

          • TFRX

            Gawd, is this how you try to persuade folks?

          • Karl Prahl

            I don’t try to persuade folks. I suggest you persuade yourself through critical thinking and not simply believing what the pundits/tv personalities/professional politicians/self-serving-entity tells you. Sometimes what they say is spot on. Sometimes it’s a lie. Sometimes people make mistakes. This is where your own ability to critically think and look at a situation from ALL angles comes into play.
            You don’t need to know everything, but you have to have the ability and gumption to learn anything.

          • Ray in VT

            No, because the dictionary says so. The definitions generally call for government ownership and control of the means of production and perhaps no private property. If we were to call our present current situation as socialism, then we would have to have been a socialist country for decades.

          • Karl Prahl

            Yes. I suggest you do some research into the Reece Committee (commission?), the Pujo committee and the Church committee. The First deals with the tax-free foundations and their recorded efforts to take over the Federal Government as part of a socialist program. Congressional records. The second deals with the tax-free foundations and their recorded efforts in bringing the Federal Government and the world government (UN, IMF etc) together into one entity. Congressional records. The church committee dealt with all the intelligence agencies connections to illegal activity the world order, undermining Democracy and our Republic. Congressional records.
            These are on record facts. Look into them and make your own decisions on what they mean together. I believe they mean our government can’t be trusted so long as we have a revolving door between Washington and private business.

          • Ray in VT

            I have done plenty of my own research, both as an undergraduate history major and as an interested professional, and I think that you are quite wrong. If one wants to argue that the government is too tightly aligned with and beholden to the interests of private business, then that gets more towards Mussolini’s definition of fascism. You made the reply that you are not a libertarian, and I don’t know if you are or not, but certainly comments like some of the ones that you have made are very much in line with many of the lines of argument that I have seen from libertarians, which is perhaps what has led others to that conclusion.

          • 1Brett1

            If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…I applaud your patience; I ran out of that yesterday with all of the, “educate yourself,” “employ critical thinking,” “dissolve Federal and State government,” “local government can handle everything,” “If the current political climate on a Federal and State level is dysfunctional, work toward implementing a new government,” “if you don’t like your local government, move,” and so on…It got tiresome fast.

          • keltcrusader

            I think that may be definition of bloviation

          • Karl Prahl

            Hey, that’s good reasoning for the descriptor. Just remember that broad-generalizations are rarely accurate in the detail. I’ll do you the same consideration and not just consider your political views line up perfectly with Nancy Pelosi’s :-)
            As to your studies, I’m glad you have looked into it. Many Americans do not do as much and that, in my opinion, is criminal. Apathy is a huge issue all over the country (and world).
            As for Fascism, it had another name in Germany: National Socialism.
            Now granted, just because someone calls something one thing does not make it so. That said, I’ve never come across any “expert” claiming Nazi Germany was not socialist.
            This is where Antony Suttons studies, along with Carroll Quigleys, help to shed light on the collusion and parallel development of Eastern SOCIALISM and Western SOCIALISM. Tragedy And Hope/The Anglo-American Establishment are professor Quigley’s works while Wallstreet+FdR, Wallstreet+Bolchevik Revolution, Wallstreet+Rise of Hitler are professor Sutton’s contributions.
            Good luck if you chose to look into it.

          • Ray in VT

            I’ve never come across an expert who claimed the Nazi Germany was socialist. I’ve seen Hayek and (ugh) Jonah Goldberg (not to call him an expert on anything). Hayek’s position I chalked up to my conclusion that I listed, and it appears that Sutton may have also been a libertarian. That is the trend/conclusions that I have noticed, although I am not sure why, but, again, I think that it is a mistake to lump them all together, and Sutton’s “corporate socialism” sounds a lot like fascism, as distinguished from socialism as envisioned through the Marxist view.

          • Karl Prahl

            Ah. I wouldn’t suggest his work for his thoughts on the subject. He links financial institutions across different political-spheres back to common sources. The trilogy of books links FDR/Bolsheviks/Nazi Germany back to the same wall-street sources in collusion with London. It’s fascinating stuff and Sutton’s language is very approachable.
            Quigley, Bill Clintons mentor at Georgetown, goes back further to the Rhodes/Milner roundtables and follows them through to his current day (tragedy and hope was released in 1966) via the CFR, trilateral, RAND and other similar groups with non-elected/non-appointed/private membership.
            As for National Socialism, I guess I always assumed, correctly or not, that when Shirer etc referred to national socialism, that socialism didn’t have a different meaning with the same programs (alignment of private industry and government, social security programs, welfare etc)

          • Ray in VT

            Economic organization and ownership was indeed very different under the socialist regimes, including the Nazis, as compared to states like the USSR.

          • Karl Prahl

            Organization between east and west, yes. No argument there, outside of similarities that could be found in ANY organization of humans. The impetus of my post was the linked financial ties to establishment and proliferation of what the public viewed as opposing ideologies. I cannot sum of Sutton or Quigley’s work elegantly or succinctly so I can only urge you to check them out.
            It’s the same idea as the current political parties in America. There are some ideological differences when it comes to moral issues but the monied interests behind both are pushing for the same things. We get to argue about gay-marriage or prayer-in-school instead of focusing on economic and foreign policy.
            I wont challenge that you can find a thousand differences between pre/post war America, Nazi Germany and communist Russia. My challenge is that the same forces were directing all camps and that any differences, at the end of the day, were cosmetic.
            (I will stipulate that cosmetic in the same way same-sex marriage is cosmetic. It may make a HUGE difference in an individuals life, but it wont have a big effect on the American way of life.)

          • TFRX

            “Socialism” used to mean something. Now it’s “leftwards of some arbitrary line that can be changed at the whim of a right-winger”.

          • Ray in VT

            My theory is that in part it gets used by libertarians as a way of lumping all totalitarian/statist systems in together as though they are the same, which I think is a mistake.

          • Karl Prahl

            Or you could address the congressional findings in the committee/commissions listed below.
            We all need to be responsible for our own education. It is your choice to expose yourself to information or not. Good luck.

          • HonestDebate1

            You must be thinking of left wingers and “racism”.

          • Ray in VT

            I was thinking more like inalienable and unalienable or lie.

          • Karl Prahl

            If my inalienable right to pursue happiness does not allow Usury, Avarice, or taxes (I cannot be happy with any of them) are my beliefs supported and backed by the Bill of Rights? :-D

          • HonestDebate1

            I actually believe those words have meanings.

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, you just “believe” that those words have meanings not supported by timely historical definitions or include invisible words not included in the actual dictionary definitions.

          • HonestDebate1

            Liar.

          • Ray in VT

            Please show me where I have lied. Please use your GOP standard on me, and not the much lower Democratic standard. Show me the intent that you falsely claim is required by any definition. To go all schoolyard: it takes one to know one. Please tell me some more of your bald-faced lies. I need a good chuckle this morning.

    • MrNutso

      In the 50′s, Eisenhower Republicans accepted the New Deal.

  • StilllHere

    Thank you James!
    A voice of reason permeates the fog of ignorance on OP this morning.

  • Coastghost

    What if continual assignment of governing responsibility to the Federal system is itself a grave miscalculation and misjudgment? What is wrong with the good ol’ Tip O’Neill canard “all politics is local”? What is the real appeal of this fatuous nonsense that the Federal government is even CAPABLE of imposing “equalized conditions” (however construed) or homogeneous politics upon each of the fifty states and the District of Columbia?

  • MrNutso

    Re: Caller James. Win elections and then you can f@ck the country.

  • Coastghost

    When was Senatorial or Congressional hubris allowed to eclipse Presidential hubris? Hmmm, that’s a tough one . . .

  • Emily311

    If the Republicans don’t like Obamacare, they have an easy solution- try to pass their own law; if that fails there will be an election in 2014, and another in 2016. Get elected and repeal the law. This is the type of thing covered in a 5th grade social studies class.

  • Frank Forkl

    Its my opinion that the root of this issue is how we elect our officials. First-Past-The-Post voting inevitably leads to this type of paralysis. I recommend this video to explain why:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7tWHJfhiyo

  • J__o__h__n

    Bush wasn’t elected which was the source for much of the rancor towards him.

  • MrNutso

    Charlie, cite specific instances of Democratic hate against GWB.

  • TFRX

    My god, somoene’s actually saying “The culture of hating started with the Hunting of President Clinton”, then continued with “the horrible venom against Shrub, the faker who “won” in 2000, became a war criminal, and got me called me a traitor for not going in lockstep into Iraq?

    Yeah, this guy can stop now.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Nice common sense caller, Tim. We can’t handle the truth.

  • Coastghost

    Panda cams, Tom Ashbrook? PANDA CAMS???? FEDERAL PANDA CAMS???????????????????

  • MrNutso

    Caller, do you have cable TV?

  • Karl Prahl

    What if one generation agrees with a decision and later generations disagree? At what point does consent no longer matter?

  • TFRX

    “Can’t legislate a man’s heart”.

    Cable TV? Health Care?

    Tom, how about getting a liberal guest here to correct this guy NOW.

    Medicare is more efficient than the private sector.

    SocSec is more efficient than the private sector.

    A few facts go a loooong way, if someone will say them to callers.

    • Karl Prahl

      Links to studies not linked to the industry. Check out the Reece Committee, the Pujo Committee, the Church Committee. It is impossible to separate our Government from private industry inside the current system. They are married as shown by our own Congressional investigations.

  • joeblaugh

    We are reaping the “benefits” of decades of gerrymandering by state legislatures. By creating so-called safe districts, the states have done their level best to ensure that only the most radical party-line extremists can be elected, thereby eliminating many of the pragmatic centrists who help our dysfunctional system continue functioning. If politicians don’t have to talk to ALL of the people in order to get elected, why should we expect them to talk to each-other once they have been elected. Whatever its flaws, and it has many, the democratic system remains “the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried” as Winston Churchill put it. Unfortunately, the proliferation of safe districts makes our system less and less democratic with every redistricting.

    • TFRX

      Where are the far-left Democratic-solid CDs, and how much more left-wing are they than thirty years ago? Who is getting primaried by genuine, self-described Socialists?

      Do you consider each party having become “more extreme” equally? (There is only one correct answer.)

    • StilllHere

      Only Democrats have pulled this off. They’re extreme beyond reason.

      • TFRX

        Go home, troll.

    • Isernia

      We have ALEC to thank (i.e. blame) for the gerrymandering fiasco…another example of private plutocrats with deep pockets playing the political game to their advantage…while the Know-Nothings (i.e. Tea Party) types harp about “too much government:”,

  • nj_v2

    I guess caller Tim in Cleveland missed that whole “general welfare” part of the “founding documents.”

  • StilllHere

    Thank you Tim.
    Speaking truth to power is very courageous.

  • keltcrusader

    The Republicans are going to own this shutdown, lock, stock & barrel. They manufactured the “crisis” and are acting like 5 year olds throwing a tantrum in the middle of the store aisle.
    Cause it – Own it!

  • Coastghost

    Begin Federal devolution to the states: start today, continue tomorrow.

    • TFRX

      Hey, if this is all going in the crapper, let’s hold off until one ofyour precious “freedom lovers” gets in the White House.

      If it’s such a lost cause, own it.

      • Karl Prahl

        Whose counting the votes again? An electronic machine MIT undergrads showed to be easily hack able that offers no paper trail and is manufactured by a company that makes political donations to both parties?
        Hand ballots, we might be talking.

        • TFRX

          Dude, give it up.

          Diebold, dedicated to delivering Ohio to Shrub in 2004, is now dedicated to making sure that the oncoming third-way tsumani never gets counted at the ballot box?

          • Karl Prahl

            Did you just make my point for me or… You kind of lost me with the third-way tsunami thing. I am not following :-(

  • AC

    isn’t ‘life’ kinda the point of healthcare???

    • jefe68

      Funny how that part is missed by the so called “freedom touters”.

      It is also interesting to note that the tea party folks would hate many of the founders who were scientists, atheists, deist and intellectuals as well as lawyers. Of whom a fair amount of them were all for a strong central government. Even Thomas Jefferson (a lover of all things French as well) when he was president used the power of the office to procure the Louisiana Purchase.

      Ah yes the regressive tea party react to the facts.
      To quote one of the lawyers/founders, “facts are stubborn things.”
      John Adams

      • AC

        so was my fav person Ben Franklin…

        • jefe68

          He was one of the scientist I was thinking of. The other was Williamson.

      • Karl Prahl

        You should look into the Dinner-party compromise and the ideologies that led to it. How many of our founding fathers refused to ratify the Constitution because they feared the same tyranny they just escaped re-establishing itself?

    • MrNutso

      Unfortunately that doesn’t seem the point. We should be free to have or not have healthcare (actually access to health insurance).

    • brettearle

      It’s not a question of what you and I think, unless we find a way to change an antiquated document, known as The Constitution–via an Amendment.

      Chief Justice Roberts couldn’t directly find it in the Constitution.

      So he was able to find a way to include it, as Law, via the 16th Amendment.

  • creaker

    What’s really going on here is war of the lobbyists. The politicians are merely the puppets on the stage.

  • distractedriver

    Tim, my brother is the lead engineer for development of parachutes at the Natick Soldier Center in MA. He was sent back home this morning as a non-essential employee. Are you saying he shouldn’t have a job because he’s “non-essential?”

    • thequietkid10

      Yeah, considering we’re not involved in any major military action.

    • Karl Prahl

      Private industry has proven that they can handle defense. More than adequately I’d say :P

    • StilllHere

      Yes.

    • MrNutso

      If we enact a draft, we would’nt need parachutes. We could just get more people to jump out of planes.

  • StilllHere

    So far, the shutdown is like the sequester. Democrat politicians whining about how bad it’s going to be and nothing happens. The lesson for all is smaller government works.

    • AC

      there are people running around in my office right now trying to come up with multiple alternative solns til this is resolved for work and public meetings….sorry you live in a basement, but there is stuff happening.
      ps-i’m not a democrat.

      • StilllHere

        Wow, that sounds like a terrible inconvenience. Try a municipal building, or have your meeting outside. It’s a beautiful day! Despite the shutdown, the sun is shining.

      • jefe68

        This is what you and I are up against. This kind of mindset that wants everything to fall apart and don’t have a clue on to what to put in it’s place because they are really so small minded and lack any form of imagination or talent to think beyond their small government (whatever that means) slogan.

        You see, that’s his response. Belligerent BS.

        • Karl Prahl

          And you are falling for the fallacy that authority is a necessary facet of life. Authority only works through force. Consent allows partnership.

          • AC

            boy. your scope has the smallest scale ever…

          • Karl Prahl

            Quantify please so that an adequate response. Otherwise, yes. The only scope I own is a microscope from one of those pre-teen chemistry sets. I don’t think it works, but thanks for asking.

          • AC

            how you define ‘authority’. it’s very limited, and prob a little foolish, no? but that may be me, i can be super literal…

          • Karl Prahl

            It is very literal, from parents to employers to government.
            If you have to lie/coerce or use fear of repercussion, whether physical, social or mental to get a desired reaction, you are acting as a unilateral authority.
            If instead you convince me to follow your ways based off merit then it is consentual.

          • AC

            hey, if you want to go back to bathing, eating & depositing waste in your water source, by all means – move to India and do not take the advice given to you by an authority on water. and please, don’t ever live near me, i really don’t want cholera…you may ignore the last comment, since i am somewhat of an authority on groundwater, therefore i have no identity or function for you to respect…

          • Karl Prahl

            Wow.
            You’re clearly upset about something. What did Nietzsche say? Oh yes “Sometimes people do not want to hear the truth because they do not want their illusions destroyed.”
            Do you know more about ground water than I do? However you answer this, know you are making an assumption.
            Now then, what exactly is it about not having blind faith and instead knowing things for oneself that is so hard to grasp? This is not some kind of rejection of Science, it is simply turning science into KNOWLEDGE and not MAGIC that other people understand. Metaphor: It’s not taking the calculator for granted but instead knowing how to use number directly.
            Do you believe human-kind is limited to a set number of disciplines?

          • Karl Prahl

            As an immediate retort (unless you concede all points?) there is Lysander Spooner.
            Lysander Spooner’s life rebuts any argument against anti-didactic anti-authoritative learning and living in my opinion.
            On the shoulders of giants.

          • AC

            yes. i get paid a lot of money to deal with groundwater problems. you?

          • Karl Prahl

            I installed my own plumbing system and water filtration system to collect rainwater, recycle my grey water and keep my produce growing. I also use a composting toilet to cut the black water out. Thanks for asking.

          • AC

            yeah. still not understanding what exactly ground water is; are you…

          • Karl Prahl

            Still not picking up on the overarching questions above? You introduced groundwater as a side-show to the issue of authority. If you believe you are somehow imbued with special knowledge that no other human could possibly understand if they chose to, then you are delusional. Your knowledge is not esoteric! It is not occult! In fact, the very idea supports my argument against authority. You can show how water management practices are BETTER today than in yesterdays by pointing to the developing world. You can share knowledge about WHY you think certain practices are better than others.
            This is all good! Sharing knowledge. Educating. Showing others better ways of accomplishing tasks. Showing others how to keep their water supplies secure. This is consentual leadership. A foundation of society.
            It is different if you, the water expert, tell me what to do and then tell the police or the tax authorities to enforce your will. That is “authority”. Ad Bacculum. Ad vericundum.
            If your leadership does not involve coercion then you’re doing great!

          • AC

            well, i see you purposely don’t want to examine what you’ve just said. i’m glad you are blissful – congrats with the last word!

          • Karl Prahl

            So no answer? Explain when force is justified against a non-aggressive party and I will disavow MLK and Gandhi’s non-aggression principle. Force=authority. You are not an authority without force. If people recognize your wisdom in an area where you have convinced them through consentual belief that you know what you’re talking about. That does not make you an AUTHORITY. It makes you knowledgeable.
            I am glad that you feel secure in your understanding of the world. I am glad you feel secure that your way is the right way. This sort of confidence is lacking in most Americans short of mob-action.
            But don’t think that you have made any kind of intelligent argument against the non-aggression principle or the inherent failures in authority.
            Let me throw out some appeals to emotion and appeals to sympathy so that this can have fallacies for you to reject: Why do you want to hit children? If you support force you support abusing children. (ridiculous, no? That’s how all fallacious arguments should be viewed. Ridiculous.)

          • jefe68

            The more I read your comments the more I’m convinced that you are a misanthrope and a nihilist.
            You must be a lot of fun at parties…

          • Karl Prahl

            Look into work John Taylor Gatto. He released a dvd, available for free on youtube, which goes into the history of our education system. Watch it then re-address this question. Claiming I am some nihilist/libertarian/misanthrope does not address the idea that all authority is force. Leaders are through consent. Authority relies on coercion and force.

          • TFRX

            Hey, misanthropes can be at least entertaining, rather than outright bores.

            Well, if the Misanthrope is French.

          • Ray in VT

            As in Moliere?

          • TFRX

            You got it. So entertaining and incisive that it even works translated into English.

            (And very few things which rhyme in French work when translated to English.)

          • Ray in VT

            I know, how can you translate or properly rhyme hoh-hoh-hoh?

          • TFRX

            I dunno, I don’t think it’s a literal (Romance language to Germanic language) issue, almost a spiritual issue.

          • jefe68

            Lets just go for nihilist.

          • 1Brett1

            Yeah, and who uses a lot of libertarian platitudes, has simplistic answers, drops names of sources like someone trying really hard to sound impressive, pelts with ad hominem attacks then criticizes other comments for “ad hominen” attacks…I tired of it yesterday. “Look, if you don’t like what you see, work to completely dismantle the government and create your own community of like-minded people where you can start your own government.” Oh, how I wish libertarians would just go off and live somewhere away from everybody else; they keep proposing those “solutions,” suggesting everyone else do that, but they never seem to practice what they preach!

          • Karl Prahl

            Why wont you let those wanting to live off by themselves alone?
            Please explain Ruby Ridge, Waco, MOVE in Phili and the A.I.M. recapture of wounded knee along with the corresponding force used by the Federal Government. Thanks in advance.

          • thequietkid10

            Oh, how I wish libertarians would just go off and live somewhere away from everybody else; they keep proposing those “solutions,” suggesting everyone else do that, but they never seem to practice what they preach!

            I bet a lot of them would as well, but where do you suppose they go?

          • Karl Prahl

            Nearly forgot about the thirteen southern states. My great aunt always had horrible things to say about the war of northern aggression

          • jefe68

            Why am I not surprised…

          • jefe68

            I think they are tying to take over the Caiman Islands…

  • Chuck P

    There is nothing good that has come out of our government in a long time, democrats or republicans. There is not one politician in office that I would tell my child to emulate. In fact I would say that lessons that most people teach there children about understanding and working together need to be taught to those that are supposedly running our government.
    I also think with the technology that we have at this point in time why can’t we have instant polls that the people can use to make sure our voices are heard. I am not saying it is a fool proof vote but for Pete’s sake we can vote for idiots on American Idol from our smart phones why can’t we use that to speak out on the web.

  • brettearle

    SCOTUS saw, by direct implication, that ACA WAS affirmed, within the Constitution: to wit, a Tax.

  • creaker

    Why talk about the New Deal? How about Medicare (not even 50 yet)? Or the massive prescription program from just last decade?

  • Joe

    The problem is the so-called conservative Republican party has moved so far to the right that it is a radical, extremist party which would exclude former Presidents like Eisenhower (who supported increasing the minimum wage and union rights), and Nixon (who signed into law the EPA and OSHA) – heck, even Reagan might not be radical enough for this group. The main priority of this government-hating party is to dismantle any social program which helps the middle-class, working people, and the poor.

  • ericd725

    where do I go to get cable TV ?

  • creaker

    A big dishonesty is this “one year delay” thing – as if the Republicans would stand by and just let it go forward after the delay.

    • AC

      i actually agree with this slam against republicans – i too have absolutely NO FAITH they’d just ‘wait a year’ either…you can totally tell…

    • TFRX

      But they pinky-sweared! They wouldn’t lie to us, would they?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      You need to look up the definition of ‘dishonest’ and then review the litany of promises given when Obamacare was passed. You know — “pass it to find out what is in it”.

      • creaker

        That phrase has gotten so much mileage – the reality was that that bill, just like every bill, was available for everyone voting on it to read through.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Yeah, but how is the GOP being ‘dishonest’? They are upfront that they were elected to undo and replace Obamacare. That certainly won’t change after a one year delay.

          They would be dishonest if they offered a one year delay in trade for not trying to kill it in the future. That isn’t on the table because it would be political suicide.

          • Karl Prahl

            Dishonest politicians are the worst.
            If some politician told me they would close an overseas prison and not spy on me, then I found out they lied. That would be the worst. Well, maybe not as bad as having cake with the Nigerians and not inviting me.

          • creaker

            In that case they aren’t offering anything – and there is no more reason for the Senate to agree to this than a bill that kills Obamacare outright.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            The reason delaying the individual mandate for one year is popular is FAIRNESS. Obama gave the one year delay to businesses because the implementation isn’t ready so it is only fair to give the delay to individuals too.

          • creaker

            ra·tion·al·ize
            verb (used with object)
            1.
            to ascribe (one’s acts, opinions, etc.) to causes that superficially seem reasonable and valid but that actually are unrelated to the true, possibly unconscious and often less creditable or agreeable causes.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Tell that to the American people.

          • creaker

            I am the American people – one of them, anyway. There are lots of others that I could tell but they are busy signing up for Obamacare.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            OK. Good luck with that.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    When citizens begin to re-examine the founding principles of our republic, for whatever reason, whether self motivated by current issues, or told to by cable TV, that should be considered tragic?

    We have been so distracted by consumerism and relative ease of life for so long, that barely anyone contemplates why our government was founded the way it was, in a historical context. Based on human nature and the historical realities of corrupt power and tyranny.

    With all due respect, this is not an “alternate reality bubble”.

    Power corrupts, whether you like it or not. Benevolent Dictatorship is a dream, not a possibility.

    Our founders tried to deal with that reality, and gave humanity a brief, never before achieved, gift of liberty and self-direction.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Loving that NSA? Really think you can pick your poison?

      • Karl Prahl

        Rendition and Black Sites. Guantanamo. Hard to find fault in the system. “House of Numbers” is a good documentary on one of those big health scares our Government is pushing. Watch it and ask questions.

  • Coastghost

    Tom Ashbrook: I for one am not willing to rely on the Federal government to disabuse most citizens of the Northeast Corridor of their cosmopolitan provincialism, just as I am not eager to have the Federal government disabuse me of my merely provincial provincialism.
    Id est: you do your job, I’ll do mine. (By the way: I get no Federal subsidy for contributing to the debate here. To whom can I submit my invoices?)

    • J__o__h__n

      The market has set the appropriate value in this case.

      • Ray in VT

        There seems to be a fair amount of sour grapes when it comes to the Northeast Corridor.

        • Coastghost

          I can’t explain just why the Northeast Corridor should’ve become the seat of cosmopolitan provincialism in the US. Maybe the lingering self-righteousness and self-aggrandizement can be traced to your Puritan heritage. (As you know, I’m willing to give Harvard a lot of deserved credit for its own distinct contributions.)

          • Ray in VT

            Maybe it’s the long tradition of top rate educational institutions, the history and legacy of industrial expansion and innovation and the history of being on board early on regarding ending terrible practices like slavery. Maybe it’s just better. Few natural disasters, no big snakes or spiders. Seems pretty awesome to me.

          • Coastghost

            But I hear from NPR an MIT historian points out Ivy League institutional patronage of the slavery trade. (I heard the on-air review only recently, the book is called Ebony and Ivy, sounds illuminating).
            Of course, some historian with some other grand university there still has not written the definitive explanation of how latter-day opposition to slavery yielded the immediate policy of Plains Indian extermination following the . . . War Between the States.
            Maybe something in the air up there induces and engenders smarminess: the legacy of industrial pollution from the northern tier of states, perhaps?
            Watch out, Ray: y’all’re still prone to earthquakes and “superstorm” hurricanes (remember: Sandy was ONLY a Cat One storm when it hit, just wait until you get a Cat Three or Cat Four.)

          • Ray in VT

            I just said better, not perfect. Unfortunately much money was made processing the cotton picked by slaves, but in the long run at least many up here were willing to take the stand against that horrendous institution. We’re also out front on gay rights. Yet another way in which the real ‘Merica is behind the times.

          • Coastghost

            Just as “progress” was “imposed” on the Plains Indians, Ray? (And no, Ebony and Ivy seems to make a case for much deeper involvement in the actual slave trade by Northeastern institutions of higher learning, not just participation in the cotton economy. Perhaps we both could profit from reading a copy.)
            Maybe the Northeast suffers from some kind of temporal dislocation or psychic temporal anomaly: it’s terribly difficult to live in “the future” when the future cannot be said properly to exist. Consult your local physicist (or one practicing in some other climate, for safety’s sake.)

          • Ray in VT

            Like the white man’s burden that the slave owners took upon themselves to lift up the poor, wretched Negroes? Also, although I have repeatedly inquired for sources, you have yet to provide evidence that the destruction of the Plains Indians was wholly perpetrated by the North. How did the “civilized” tribes down South do under the benevolent liberators in the antebellum south?

            I’d rather continue to reach for the future and the betterment of man and society than attempt to live in a past of failed utopian dreams.

          • Coastghost

            Read any competent history of Reconstruction and you’ll soon see that Southerners were in no good position to foist genocide upon Plains Indians in the period 1865 to 1900.
            In the antebellum period some skirmishes and forced migrations did occur, in no small part at the instigation of the burgeoning Federal government of Andrew Jackson. But extermination and genocide seem to’ve been a distinctly Northern competence.

          • Ray in VT

            So were there no Southerners in the Army, or in any cabinet level positions where they surely could have taken a brave stand for the Native Americans? Surely such a liberty loving people could have done something.

            Ah yes, Andrew Jackson, that son of the North. From where did he come exactly? Which region did he hail from? “Some skirmishes and forced migrations”, like the Trail of Tears?

            For all of the ills that befell the Native Americans during the period of the Plains wars, how does that compare to the enslavement, rape, murder and sale of some 4 million slaves?

          • Karl Prahl

            Can you point to anything but outliers keeping slavery in the south alive? It was a dying practice. Is it defendable? No, not at all. Enslaving another human being is despicable. The abolishonists had accomplished a lot though the job was hardly done. It would take another hundred years (with or without a deadly war) to (kinda) end the separation and segregation.

            I’d also point out that during this time northern interests via Boston outfit Russell Co was importing opium into China. Russell and co, through a process outlined in Sutton’s book Skull & Bones, evolved into our current CIA. And still being connected to drugs… huh. Enslave people with whips or slave them with debt and drugs. One is easier to look at, both are despicable.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that the institution was adaptable and adapting. Jefferson found a number of ways to make it highly profitable in the early 1800s, and the will existed among many to keep such a race-based slavery system running despite the very real political trend in the Western world against the practice. I don’t see much of a reason as to why it would have necessarily died out in another 10 or 50 years on its own so long as the will existed to perpetuate it. Your point is very well taken, though, that the promise that emancipation made did not even come close to being realized for at least another 100 years.

          • Karl Prahl

            Humans are nothing if not adaptable :P For an interesting romp through alternative history, Look at the CSA of America on Netflix. It’s outrageous, and then at the end it shows what outrageous alternative history items survived in the real world through much of modern times. I felt a little uncomfortable watching it, but Spike Lee was part of the making… does that make it ok?
            To get back to adaptability, I think we find our ideas for segregation between the races to be the inspiration for South African and Israeli apartheid. So, yes, can’t argue that the war sped up the process of freeing certain slaves, however the ideas of racial hierarchy were embraced by the U.S. establishment and pushed through such outlets as the Eugenics Record Office in NYC.
            That may be neither here nor there. I glean that our leaders (certain enlightened souls like Lysander Spooner aside) believed in white dominance. If they had not, it would not have taken the extra hundred years and we wouldn’t have exported eugenics and apartheid.

          • Ray in VT

            I did hear about that one a while back, and sometimes it is a good thing to be made uncomfortable. Is it right because Lee was involved? That makes for some tricky ground. I think that it is likely that Mel Brooks got away with being able to do the Nazi stuff in The Producers because he was Jewish.

            Looking back at people in the 19th century one could easily conclude that even the more “enlightened” characters in the race debates would be called racists today. They might have thought that slavery was wrong and needed to go away, but some favored relocation of the Freedmen, thinking that the races could not co-exist in the same society. Some of those prejudices got swept into Social Darwinism and the sort of pseudo-sciences that the Nazis, among others, used to develop race-based “rational” or “scientific” views.

          • Karl Prahl

            I’m glad you brought up Social Darwinism ;-) One of the better anecdotes I have for people who quote survival of the fittest and all that junk is the Evolution of Species and Darwin’s take on the Irish. Hard to find many Americans who don’t claim to be Irish in mid-march so it’s a good way of putting those views into the context of their time. (John Taylor Gatto, thank you for the reference)
            As for Lee/Brooks. I don’t know who said it, but comedians and fools are able to speak truth more easily than the rest of us. When someone you consider normal challenges your way of thought, it can be disturbing. When a fool does it, it can be ignored :-)

            (I think that was attributed to Charlie Chaplin and the Great Dictator at a time when public sentiment was split not to mention some of the bigger symbolism he was using.. double crosses anyone?)

          • Ray in VT

            I saw some reference to some comments from Descent of Man having been taken out of context (Darwin paraphrasing another author and then making a rebuttal), but this is the first that I have heard of it, so I don’t really know. I have Darwin at home, but it is one of the many books that I have not gotten to as of yet.

          • Karl Prahl

            I wouldn’t suggest it for casual reading or a good time. Chapter four references the order of the races and Darwin has something like a hundred classifications? It’s been a long time since I’ve looked at it, but it’s not something any modern ‘politically correct’ person would ever back, yet it was the foundation of all kinds of beliefs and systems.
            Sorry to ruin the surprise, but Darwin thought the Irish were just scum by their nature and development and that they, along with less advanced races as identified by Darwin, were actually holding the entire species back because they were outbreeding the good races. Sick stuff. The really disturbing thing is when you look at the Huxley family and Thomas Huxley. That family, along with the Galtons and Darwins, really made a mess of medical science.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, that would be fairly in line with the history of English thought about the Irish, who the British had been mistreating for at least a couple of centuries by Darwin’s time, so such a position would not terribly surprise me.

          • Karl Prahl

            None of it should be surprising ;-)

            I enjoy drawing the lines between groups and ideologies. Seeing who connects where.

            Here is a fun tool. See who knew who. Who influenced who. Then check out the sources and confirm or deny it.

            http://webbrain.com/brainpage/brain/D36749F1-3A40-09FA-957F-41294B88CB70#-417

          • Ray in VT

            That is really interesting visual representation.

          • Karl Prahl

            It’s a great tool for visual learners. I feel it’s lacking in documenting things directly, however just pointing out connections allows the antididactic to dig in.

          • Ray in VT

            I also wonder about strength of connections and how those are established in terms of the documentation. For instance, word webs can show the relative significance of terms, and such a thing would be useful there, but would be bound to be highly subjective.

          • Karl Prahl

            That particular brain was put together by Richard Andrew Grove. I do not all of his references but I think that is intentional as Mr Grove is rather adamant about not injecting facts and having others believe him, rather presenting information, pointing to primary sources and letting others incorporate it into their knowledge.

          • Coastghost

            Ray: at the beginning, middle, and end of the day, suffice it to say that I esteem the Victorious North for its deft concealment of its moral hypocrisy and its manifest ability to advertise its philanthropic pretensions.
            (No, I don’t think many Southerners were recruited for the North’s genocidal campaign, we had to submit to all that Federal political indoctrination and repatriation, and you can begin to judge just how well we took to it.)
            You might want or need to ask one of Phil Sheridan’s favorite dead Indians how bondage compares to genocide. And for questions pertaining to the conduct of the slave trade, again, you may want to consult the institutional histories of some of your locally vaunted establishments of higher education. (In other words: the case can easily be made that the North has blood all over both of its busy hands.)

          • Ray in VT

            I’m not arguing that it doesn’t. I’m in part arguing that when push came to shove what area did away with that practice first and then helped to free the rest. We could always looked to the raped slaves and the records of those who destroyed their property for getting too uppity or disrespectful. I’m willing to bet that the tens of thousands of unmarked slave graves from prior to the war, as well as the graves of all of those lynched thereafter also tell quite a tale.

          • Coastghost

            Yeah, and just think of all the decades of industrial pollution and the contributions to anthropogenic climate change and environmental degradation that Northern industrial policy and foresight permitted, Ray.
            So much for “forward thinking”, hunh?

          • Ray in VT

            Well, at least more people here are looking to do something about it now. If you are opposed to such pollution, then perhaps you should follow your own sage advise and start living in the past technologically. I can get you in touch with some nice Amish guys.

          • TFRX

            Nah, it’s just another “you gotta want it” feint.

            Poor people living in Cancer Alleys all over, or on PCB dumps? That stuff jes happens. Wouldn’t happen in Galt’s Gulch, though.

      • Coastghost

        I don’t know: does ICUC help with Disqus monitoring at WBUR the way it “assists” with NPR Central monitoring down in DC?
        Once we start mixing up all these Federal and public funds with what circulates in the private sector, it’s hard to know who’s connected to what by whatever bonds.

  • StilllHere

    Will the government shutdown extend the Keystone pipeline delay? It’s only at 5 years. Another example of government working for you!

    • jimino

      Why not just let every State build its own pipeline. Why does the federal government need to be involved?

      • StilllHere

        Excellent idea. Unfortunately, that’s not the law; and we are never allowed to change the law, ever.

      • TFRX

        I know you made a joke response, but those of us who live down-river, and down-wind from some slobs don’t trust them not to spratz all over the place. Someone will take your post as serious.

      • fun bobby

        because it goes over an international border?

        • Karl Prahl

          Ah, take a clue from Kuwait era 1990. Dig diagonal tunnels under ground. If they can’t see it pass borders, no harm, no foul.

  • Coastghost

    Senator Reid decries and bemoans the shutdown of the Federal panda cam: what dire straits we are in!! Will no one save the Federal panda cam? (Can’t NPR play its own shell game and shift some Federal funds over to cover costs for this essential Federal function?)

    • hennorama

      Coastghost — what’s your obsession with the “Panda Cam”? This is the third time you’ve written about it, at least.

      For some reason, this camera was seized on as a symbol or sorts, but it seems quite insignificant.

      This feels like when Republicans and their allies decried the cancellation of White House tours back in March, during the last self-inflicted wound — the sequester.

      • HonestDebate1

        Ah, the sequester. Another brilliant Obama idea.

      • Coastghost

        Simply and clearly because it’s laughable that it EVER BECAME a Federal function.

        • hennorama

          Coastghost – TY for your response.

          Zoos using cameras to observe their animals, especially newborns, is neither new nor laughable. Zoos putting feeds from their cameras online is nothing new, and the costs involved are very low. However, the fact that there is some cost means the Federally-funded cameras can no longer be webcast.

          No doubt the on-site zookeepers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo are still using the cameras for observing the pandas, as this is a very cost-effective method. Without the cameras, many more zookeepers would be required, with considerably greater costs.

          Thanks again for your response.

          • HonestDebate1

            Zoos make money, they can operate their own cameras.

          • hennorama

            Debates Not, He — Repeating:

            “No doubt the on-site zookeepers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo are still using the cameras for observing the pandas, as this is a very cost-effective method. Without the cameras, many more zookeepers would be required, with considerably greater costs.”

            The issue is not the operation of the cameras, but the webcasting of the video from them. This is considered to be a non-essential service, while the care and well-being of the animals is not. For someone in the business of animal care, you show a surprising lack of knowledge of the utility of cameras as cost-effective observational tools.

            As to your statement “Zoos make money…” – indeed, SOME zoos generate profits, but these are rare indeed. Few if any public zoos operate without the financial and other support of government, donors, and volunteers. The Smithsonian National Zoological Park is no exception.

          • HonestDebate1

            Then shut it down.

          • hennorama

            Debates Not, Eh? — perhaps you haven’t heard, but both the Panda webcam (plus various other webcams) and the Smithsonian National Zoological Park ARE shut down at present.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s not what I meant.

          • hennorama

            Debates Not, Eh? — thanks for clearing that up. Well done.

      • fun bobby

        it keeps being mentioned by the likes of NPR as one of the terrible consequences of a shut down

    • StilllHere

      You’re going to hear from the panda-haters. Be warned.

    • fun bobby

      we don’t need no stinkin’ federal govt panda cam!
      http://www.sandiegozoo.org/pandacam/

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Direct market between people and doctors for everyday healthcare. Prices would come way down. Health Insurance companies as middleman for routine care is a sick pyramid scheme.

    Catastrophic insurance for chronic or tragic disease.

    Medicaid and Cat. coverage assistance for truly poor.

    Done.

    Take care of yourself, accept mortality, and enjoy your freedom.

    • TFRX

      Hey, get a Republican President to do it, and then maybe we’ll think that you “liberty” types are more than just kept pets of the Right, let out to excrete all over the room when a Democrat’s in the White House.

      Seriously, why is the media so fascinated with “Libertarianism” only when out of power?

      • thequietkid10

        Hey we’ve been trying, but all we get in return is “you are a racist, homophobic, poor hating, John Galt loving, Social Darwinist, plutocrat”

    • fionnmaccumhailus

      That bumps up against the same thing that has stopped any changes in the past, insurance companies and the banks invested in them will lobby it to death.

      • keltcrusader

        Fionn, dia dhuit!

        • fionnmaccumhailus

          Well I had to do an translate first cause I’m just someone that appreciates the myth stories, not someone that actually speaks the old language. But hello to you as well!

          • keltcrusader

            Not a native speaker either, although I have friends that are and are a great resource. I actually learned
            Irish Gaelic in order to appreciate the old myths and legends and to understand
            some of derivations of the names and places. It’s a very interesting language
            with many subsets.

          • fionnmaccumhailus

            I have a daughter that says the same thing. She’s a classics major that is also learning Gaelic and Welsh in order to read that same material. It’s nice to be related to bright people CQTM

    • StilllHere

      Who takes the risk?

  • disqus_fw2Bu1dEsd

    It’s so dreary here when the trolls take over the asylum. The Government shutdown ain’t going to affect me though. When my food stamps come in this month, I’m gonna buy me a two pound lobster at the fish market with my EBT card….

    • TFRX

      You’d better tell us all you’re just kidding, or you’ll be quoted as proof of food stamp moochery. My money is on Michael Weiner or Sean Hannity.

      • disqus_fw2Bu1dEsd

        “When in [troll land] do as the [trolls] do…..” Who is Michael Weiner anyway?

        • Ray in VT

          Michael Savage. Weiner is his real last name.

          • TFRX

            I guess his application for “Michael Butch Manlyman” wasn’t accepted at city hall.

          • Ray in VT

            They saw his scarf and stamped his application “rejected”.

    • HonestDebate1

      Getcha’ some liquor and lap dances while you’re swiping the card.

      • lobstahbisque

        You can’t get either and not because it’s ONLY $16 dollars a month….

        • HonestDebate1

          $16 will do it but you’ll have to go with nasty Vodka and an ugly girl.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    The only reason this showdown is even possible is Harry Reid and Obama’s refusal to pass a budget in each of the last four years. You reap what you sow.

    Obama and Reid now say they won’t negotiate. Another ‘red’ line? Hah! They are counting on a replay of 1995 with their media lapdogs leading the way.

    Some huge differences this time. The GOP is asking for 2 reasonable and POPULAR concessions — 1) Congress living under Obamacare like the rest of the country and 2) a one year delay of the individual mandate. Not even a delay of the entire law.

    Also, Pew had the GOP -19% in the blame game in 1995. This time Pew has the GOP -3% — effectively equal blame. Clinton made efforts in 1995 to be reasonable. Obama — not so much.

    • TFRX

      The GOP is flogging and fluffing this “BothSides” crap. It’s the best weapon they have.

      The wimps in the media can’t help but say BothSides. Many headlines this weekend from “real” newspapers are full of this polite “nobody knows who’s gonna destroy the government” crap.

      That you parrot it is all the confirmation I need.

  • OnPointComments

    Maybe the government shutdown will stop the salaries of federal employees who aren’t actually working anyway.

    How wasteful and incompetent can the government be? Turn to C-Span 3 right now to hear the discussion about John Beale, “A former high-ranking official with the Environmental Protection Agency [who] pleaded guilty Friday to stealing nearly $900,000 from the agency over 13 years by failing to show up for work while falsely claiming to be working for the CIA and for filing bogus expenses.” Beale even got retention bonuses while he wasn’t showing up for work. Oh, by the way, he retired with full credit for the 13 years he wasn’t actually working.

    On second thought, the John Beales of the federal workforce will probably not be deemed “nonessential” and continue to get their paychecks during the shutdown.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/27/john-beale-guilty_n_4003499.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

    • StilllHere

      How many times was he promoted?

      • OnPointComments

        This is epic government incompetence. John Beale’s supervisor had responsibility for 3 employees, including Beale, and didn’t notice that he didn’t show up for work for 13 years. In August 2000, Beale was promoted to a senior-level employee, making him among the highest-paid non-elected federal government employees. He retired in May 2011, however it was discovered that he was still receiving a paycheck through November 2012.

        • thequietkid10

          …and these people are going to be running health care….it’s it great?

    • jimino

      This happens way more frequently in the private sector, so you must therefore believe that the entire private sector is all wasteful and incompetent.

      Or are you just an utterly illogical propagandist whose views have zero to do with the real world?

      • OnPointComments

        Okay, we’ve recorded your vote in favor of defrauding the government. Why don’t you provide us with specific, verifiable examples from the private sector where a supervisor responsible for three employees didn’t notice that one of the employees, who was being paid more than $165,000 each year, wasn’t working, yet received a salary, bonuses, and favorable performance reviews?

        • jimino

          Are you really are so insulated from reality that you aren’t aware of people in trusted positions stealing lots of money from their employers over substantial periods of time? Here’s a couple from my hometown in just the recent past. How is it different in any substantive manner from what you rightly complain about involving government employment?

          http://www.omaha.com/article/20130726/NEWS/130729087

          http://www.owh.com/article/20121019/NEWS/710199916

          • OnPointComments

            Looks like the two cases you cited involve embezzlement by people who actually showed up for work, and were caught in far shorter than 13 years.

            Where is John Beale now? John Beale is currently living in the guest room of Robert Brenner, EPA policy analyst and review director who is testifying in the hearing right now, and who approved his retention bonuses. He also had an investment in a vacation home with Beale. I wonder if either of the people you cited are currently living with the people who supervised them.

            Neither the members of the House committee investigating the Beale fraud, nor the people testifying from the EPA and Inspector General’s office, know if there’s anything that can be done to stop Beale’s federal retirement. The general consensus among them is that the Congress will have to pass a bill to curtail his retirement pay. My bet is that neither of the people you cited are still getting retirement pay from the companies from which they embezzled money.

          • Karl Prahl

            All of Iraq is one big fraud and of a much greater magnitude than Beale.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Zt9BZD7mlc

          • HonestDebate1

            And they are in heap big trouble unlike Beale.

        • Ray in VT

          You seem to be implying that he did not show up to work at all for 13 years, at least that is my take regarding the presentation of some of your comments.

          • OnPointComments

            From in or around 2000, continuing until April 30, 2013, Beale failed to report to work for extended periods of time. Starting in June 2008, Beale failed to report to the EPA offices for about six months, either claiming to be working on the research project or spending time working for “Langley.”

            http://www.justice.gov/usao/dc/news/2013/sep/13-339.html

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, I saw that, but that didn’t seem to be what I thought that you were implying.

      • HonestDebate1

        The private sector goes out of business if they squander resources. It make a difference when you are not spending other peoples money.

        • Karl Prahl

          Not if you’re a bank. Not if you’re too big to fail.
          And we’re not a socialist state, mind you.

          • HonestDebate1

            Or GM, point taken.

    • StilllHere

      How would we know if they weren’t working?

      • OnPointComments

        The tale of John Beale being told in this hearing is far, far more incredible and fantastic than Harry Potter or Lord Of The Rings.

  • StilllHere

    The last shutdown precipitated one of the strongest economic periods in American history. I say, bring it on! We need something to get out of this Obama malaise.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Do you believe this will be a catalyst for pro-growth tax reform and entitlement reform?
      I don’t see it.

      • StilllHere

        I am hopeful that the lessons of such recent history will not be forgotten.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Well, we can all hope but it is clear that Obama has learned nothing about the economy and the importance of economic growth so I’ll stay a pessimist but will be pleasantly surprised if Obama comes around.

        • fun bobby

          if its less recent than yesterday don’t count on it

    • fun bobby

      I was remembering how last time this happened they actually produced a balanced budget and reformed welfare

      • StilllHere

        Democrats were saner back then.

  • ChevSm

    I can’t believe I didn’t see this sooner….

    It’s so obvious….

    Ted Cruz is a Canadian spy sent here to overthrow our government.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      My name is Cruz … Ted Cruz.

      Shaken — not stirred.

      Who knew?

    • fun bobby

      must be revenge for us shutting down their pipeline

    • hennorama

      ChevSm – (apologies in advance to the forum for this repetition):

      Actually, Cuba has infiltrated the US government and is about to crash our economy.

      Cuban sleeper Sen. Ted Cruz, son of Castro revolutionary Rafael Bienvenido Cruz, is attempting to sabotage the economy in order to foment revolution.

      Blame Canada.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Have you seen the size Cruz’s cigars?

        Bigger the Bubba’s.

        • disqus_fw2Bu1dEsd

          Sometimes a cigar is just a penis.

        • hennorama

          WorriedfortheCountry — sir, I am not a cigar gazer.

      • Coastghost

        Tsk and tut: not the first time you’ve posted this, hen.

        • hennorama

          Coastghost — indeed, ergo necessitating a pre-apology. And I certainly won’t be repeating it again TODAY (ahem).

  • fun bobby

    apparently NPR is still getting its federal funds

    • MaxEntropy_Man

      no listener support sustains them mostly.

      • fun bobby

        so has their federal funding been affected by the shutdown?

        • StilllHere

          Didn’t they pay for the hour long commercial we just heard?

    • jimino

      Public funding led to the development of the internet, so perhaps you should get off it in adherence to your “principles”.

      I know yo won’t since freeloading has become a bedrock conservative principle.

      • fun bobby

        what? I thought Al Gore invented it.
        you seem to have read a lot into my simple observation. I can’t say that I know what you are talking about

  • Bruce94

    Govt. shutdown = shakedown of the 99% by the 1%. Once again, a cabal of anti-govt., paranoid, conspiracy theory wingnuts (i.e. Tea Party) is holding the country and the vast middle and working class hostage as they did in 2011 with the debt limit debacle by refusing to compromise and by failing to govern in the interest of the majority of their constituents.

    And in whose interest are these right-wing extremists governing: the usual suspects including the detached, dysfunctional plutocrats; laissez-faire, States’ rights libertarians; nihilistic, Know-Nothing nativists; and flat-earth religious zealots.

    And what agenda are these cretins pursing to the detriment of most Americans: entrenching the power of corporations and wealthy individuals; rolling back equal rights for ethnic & racial minorities, women, and gays; eroding unions & collective bargaining rights; and shredding the social contract in effect since the New Deal.

    Thanks, Rep. Bass (R-NH) for demonstrating my point by arguing that we need to take the doomsday, death-panel critique of Obamacare seriously and suggesting that any sane or sober person should give that critique an ounce of credibility.

    • StilllHere

      I thought the government existed to redistribute wealth from the 99% to the 1%, so a shutdown should be good, no? You guys need to get your story straight. Please return to re-education camp for a download.

    • thequietkid10

      Well, if only Washington could be as open minded, bipartisan and tolerant of other ideas as you. We’d be much better off.

      • Karl Prahl

        This is America. 300million like-minded individuals who will shame you into thinking the way we do! It’s right because we say it’s right. How can you be such a horrible, selfish, uncaring individual and not agree with us? Don’t you want people to be healthy and live good lives? Forget the Iraqi’s. Let um rot on that pile of Depleted Uranium. They deserve it for supporting Saddam

        • 1Brett1

          Yeah, if the Iraqis don’t like it they can move!

          • Karl Prahl

            Damn straight. Just don’t move anywhere Americans might want something or you’re gonna have to move again.

      • Bruce94

        No where have I suggested that Obamacare is perfect. If there are problems with it, fix them. If there are flaws in it, correct them. We don’t need pols like Cruz who would rather pontificate than legislate.

        Nobody now is buying the canard that bipartisanship was absent from the law’s creation and passage. It’s architecture was based largely on the system in place in MA championed by none other then Gov. Romney; single-payer was off the table from the outset of negotiations and the public option was quickly removed; one of its critical features, the Individual Mandate, was derived from the Heritage Foundation and upheld by a conservative SCOTUS (indeed, conservatives who once championed personal responsibility are now running ads urging young people not to be responsible for their health care and not to sign up for insurance).

        You and others on this forum are just giving voice to Obama Derangement Syndrome by seeming to legitimize demagogues like Cruz who haven’t gotten over the 2012 presidential election and who want to continue re-litigating the issues that led to the rejection of their agenda and their candidate for president.

        BTW the Senate passed a budget 6 months ago, and it’s been the GOP LEADERSHIP that has blocked the formation of a budget conference committee to work in a bipartisan manner on budget objectives. And don’t forget it was the GOP and its leadership who gave us the fiscal insanity and rank stupidity of sequestration by sabotaging the Grand Bargain and undermining the work of the congressional “super committee.”

        Given this history, it takes real gall to whine and complain about the alleged lack of bipartisanship from the Dems. side of the aisle.

        • Karl Prahl

          How many poor Senators and Representatives do we have in Washington? How many Senators and Representatives who come from poverty and understand what living in poverty actually means? How many of them are CFR members? How many of our representatives and senators can YOU get face time with?
          No taxation without representation.

        • thequietkid10

          It wasn’t your political view I was objecting too. My advice would be to go outside and come back when you can make a political point without making Rush Limbaugh look civil.

          • Bruce94

            Oh, I see!. Thanks for the feedback. I admit I got up on the wrong side of the bed today, and after hearing the news, a good deal of anger surfaced. I’ve been told I could soften my tone, but when I see who is hurt by the sequester cuts and govt. shutdown, it’s hard to moderate the tone.

            And since Cruz et al. and his apologists on this forum seem obsessed with re-litigating the 2012 Presidential Election, I am more than willing to accommodate them.

            I did go back and edit out the term “cretins” as applied to that segment of the House Republicans :)

  • fun bobby

    good news. we can survive without the feds! enjoy all the panda cuteness you can stand:

    http://www.sandiegozoo.org/pandacam/
    oh man, look at them eating that bamboo ! its adorable

    • thequietkid10

      Oh thank god, heaven forbid we can’t watch Pandas….

      • fun bobby

        I thought I would be stuck with only the Monterey bay penguin cam but thank god there are non federally funded panda cams. its in HD too. those guys really go at those shoots

        • StilllHere

          Are their no vegan pandas we can watch?

          • fun bobby

            ? they are all vegans

          • StilllHere

            You’ve obviously never heard the silent cries of a bamboo shoot being devoured.

          • fun bobby

            yeah it is funny how vegans ruthlessly slaughter plants just so they can live. its as if they think that plants are soulless and have no feelings

    • StilllHere

      Shoot! I think he just went on break. Must be union.

    • Karl Prahl

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpMPu5p_QXU
      Little dated, but it shows the radical differences between the parties.

  • creaker

    50 members plus one Speaker of the House. They could not do it without him.

  • Bruce94

    You’re right. I’d only point out that we sorta had a “decision-making process weighted toward the middle ground” when the two-party system functioned. Now we have essentially a third party within the GOP (i.e. Tea Party) which is utterly clueless when it comes to governing. Moreover, the shutdown and threatened showdown over the debt limit are evidence of the continuing intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the conservative movement in general and the GOP in particular. Until more rational, moderate elements within the GOP clean house, we’re stuck with a Republican Party dedicated to the proposition that “govt. is not the solution, govt. IS the problem”…just elect us Republicans and we’ll prove it.

  • MaxEntropy_Man

    the states where the majority support the ACA bring more to the table in tax revenue and are in general well to do (or at least better to do) states. and by an inexplicable coincidence, they are all blue states. maybe we should let those who don’t want ACA have their way in their own country. maybe it is time to reconsider the idea of the union.

    • Karl Prahl

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDSAu204NLA a comical take on our established freedom.

    • MaxEntropy_Man

      seriously, i am tired of wrangling with folks who need this law more than i do. why argue with folks about an expenditure they don’t want funded by my tax dollars? i am better off transacting business and politics with like minded folks. too much energy fighting mindless people.

      • fun bobby

        sounds like you are in favor of states rights

        • MaxEntropy_Man

          i am in favor of disconnecting myself from people who are like a gangrene on my leg.

          • fun bobby

            congratulations and be prepared to be labeled as an evil heartless right winger

          • Karl Prahl

            Self-interest is a sin. Collectivism is the only way to save that leg! Go wait for a doctor please.

          • MaxEntropy_Man

            it is in my self interest that a twenty two year old who binge drinks and lands herself in the emergency room is not treated using my tax dollars. it is in my self interest that my kid who decides to spend many years in grad school getting a specialized education, can remain on my health plan until such time as she is done with her education and ready to step out.

          • Karl Prahl

            Just one follow up question: Who knows your interests better; you or someone else?

          • MaxEntropy_Man

            i do and therefore i support this law. why do we require vehicle owners to carry auto insurance? answer: so the irresponsible drivers don’t become a succubus on the rest of the people on the road. same idea.

          • Karl Prahl

            I believe that you used a contradiction there. Let me explain why I think that.
            You know the best for you. By that reasoning you must acknowledge that others know what is best for them. If you disagree with that sentiment, do you believe you are elevated above some other humans?
            The auto-insurance reference only works in New Hampshire where auto insurance is optional. Mandated insurance very clearly expresses that you can not be trusted to know what is best for you. It is patronizing.

          • MaxEntropy_Man

            i see. so you are also for doing away with mandatory auto insurance in states where they are mandatory?

          • Karl Prahl

            Why should government mandate a subsidy for private business?
            If it is mandated, government should step up. As it is it’s a weird oligarchy which empowers those businesses that can get approved by politicians (read: licensed… nepotism) to collect revenue from the entire population.
            In straight talk. Yes. States should do away with mandatory insurance. Educate people why having insurance is a good idea and hold those that do damage accountable.

          • MaxEntropy_Man

            and do what? a guy without auto insurance hits me and my car is totaled. i have huge medical bills. he has no assets and nothing in his bank account. now what?

          • MaxEntropy_Man

            ideologues make for good theorists. other than that they’re quite useless.

          • Karl Prahl

            Yep. Sucks when things fall apart like that. When there is no recourse.
            Like when hurricanes strike. Tornados. Floods.
            You should probably carry full coverage so you’re covered no matter what. If insurance is your answer.

          • MaxEntropy_Man

            i thought you wanted to hold the other guy responsible. how are you going to do that?

          • Karl Prahl

            Is he a neighbor or an interloper? Was he driving on a public or private road? Lot’s of questions on how I would handle it personally including having myself in that situation to begin with.

          • MaxEntropy_Man

            assume he is a complete stranger and this happened on a public road.

          • Karl Prahl

            Then we already created a situation that, if we had no “authority”, would not exist.
            If there is a public road, there is a public entity overseeing said road. More than likely it’s a road used by the public and maintained by a private interest even if that private interest is an entire town/county.
            If this is not the case, explain how the road is being built/maintain without an authority and if there is an authority, I would point to them as the enforcing agent.
            Since there would be no authority, there is no enforcing agent. If the stranger was utilizing the road without permission and was seen to be causing danger, I would assume myself and others would interact to defend ourselves from this interloper and their actions. If they had permission, they would not be a stranger and social pressures would come into play. If their actions presented deadly outcomes (crazy driver), than deadly force would be required (shoot the sum’bich). At that point I would be held to account by my family, friends, neighbors and PEERS as to whether my action was justified. Action beyond that would be dependent on community, beliefs and circumstance. (should be noted that any action, deadly, friendly, or otherwise would be judged by my community.)

          • MaxEntropy_Man

            see what i mean? ideologues are good at hypotheticals, but provide no real solutions. there is no village, town, city, state, or country in the world which functions like your utopia. you guys call us utopians. guess who the real utopians are!

          • Karl Prahl

            Ah, so because there is no example of it, it cannot be done? We are limited, as a species to the wheel as it has been envisioned so far?
            That’s taking it to an extreme, but it is the sentiment you are delivering to me. I would point again to the A.I.M. actions in the ’70s, Lakota actions to withdraw from treaties in the 2000′s, MAIN actions in Phili, Ruby Ridge, the Freemen in Montana or Waco. These are all examples of American’s trying to make their own utopia’s without the Fed. All are examples of people going away from civilization to set up a life outside a township (or in MAIN’s case, inside the ghetto). Each one was rejected by the Federal Government, most through deadly force. Even the Lakota Nation’s attempt at independence, independence guaranteed by U.S. charters with the Lakota, are ignored.
            If the Federal Government ALLOWED people to opt out, people would in great numbers.

          • MaxEntropy_Man

            go on and construct your utopia. we’ll check in when you’ve made it perfect. meanwhile, i have mortgages and tuition bills to pay out here in the real world.

          • Karl Prahl

            Fantastic! Just don’t ask me to pay those bills for you :-)

          • MaxEntropy_Man

            the gangrene are the low information right wingers.

    • TFRX

      Nope. Let’s let this “destroy the Union” stuff get addressed when a Republican is in the White House and “patriotism” is popular.

  • Roberto1194

    Let’s also not forget that most of these guys were trained to be Lawyers!!! -a practice that can be quite hazardous to equanimity, clear thinking, and compromise.

  • TFRX

    Voters overwhelimingly oppose GOP strategy on ACA, while our press corps can’t help but say BothSides in big headlines

    Every time you hear low-information Women and Men on the Street express frustration over politicians “behaving like children” and having “sandbox fights,” you are hearing a vote for a “compromise” between the disabling of Obamacare and the appropriations status quo (including a sequestration most Democrats oppose) to resolve the “crisis.”

    Every time you hear highly-paid pundits complain about “extremists in both parties” creating “gridlock” and “stalemate” and economic peril, you are hearing the scrape of a chair being pulled up to a table where Republicans will have a “seat” to present their demands as though they are one side of a difference of opinion.

    Since the White House and congressional Democrats have refused to cave right away, and the initial polling looks really bad for the GOP, false equivalence is their best and perhaps only weapon. Watch it fire again and again.

    http://politicalwire.com/archives/2013/10/01/voters_overwhemingly_oppose_gop_strategy_on_obamacare.html

  • fun bobby

    the panda cam is shut down yet Obamas mic and teleprompter are still being funded

  • tbphkm33

    It is amazing that the U.S. federal government has been taken hostage by a minority fringe of an increasingly irrelevant political party. I am all for arresting the Nopublican members of Congress and charging them with treason.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Fascist.

      • Karl Prahl

        Descent is treason.

        • hennorama

          Karl Prahl — decent dissent is not treason, nor is descent.

          Descent might be treasonous for Tibetans, as it would generally mean travel outside their country, and such international travel is heavily restricted by the rules imposed by Chinese authorities in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).

          • Karl Prahl

            heh. Good call ;-) Dissent is treason.

          • Sy2502

            Yes, in all totalitarian states it is. Why don’t you go live in one?

          • Karl Prahl

            I do. It’s called the United States.
            If you mean why don’t I go live in Cuba or North Korea, it’s because the Federal Government will not let a U.S. citizen take their private property to those countries. Not saying I WOULD go (I wouldn’t), but it says something when the Government has to add dis-incentives to prevent such an action.

          • Sy2502

            Yes I can see how our government would want to curb this mass of people who want to live a democratic country to go to totalitarian states. Oh wait, it’s actually the opposite…

          • Karl Prahl

            Could you address the U.S. governments recognition and refusal to comply with the Lakota Nation’s move to withdraw from all treaties and reclaim their land? These were rights guaranteed by contract to the Lakota people and yet our contemporary government will not let them go.
            I do like the whole “Love it or leave it” sentiment (ignoring the fact that I have as much entitlement to this country as you do). The problem is when you look at American Imperialism, the Fed does not let dissenters go. You are with us, or with the terrorists. With us or the boot. If that was not the case much of the plains west of the Missouri would be Lakota.

          • Sy2502

            You must be confused. This discussion is not about “love it or leave it”. It’s about how jailing dissenters is what totalitarian governments do, and how we are not a totalitarian government.

          • Karl Prahl

            We have the largest per-capital prison population in the world. Pretty sure it’s the largest, flat out.

          • Karl Prahl

            To expand: Dissent with your taxes. Dissent with your religious right to imbibe chemicals. Dissent with your right to have two wives or two husbands. There is dissent that “The State” has decided they won’t accept. That’s some God-play there.

          • Sy2502

            What does it have to do with anything?

          • Karl Prahl

            That we imprison those that dare live their life different than The State says to. Dissent by choosing not to consent to this tax or that tax. Dissent by smoking a plant. Dissent by marrying two husbands. Dissent by marrying two wives.
            I’m not saying polygamists are represented in our prisons anymore, but plenty of non-violent drug offenders are. Who gets jailed and what’s ‘illegal’ changes with time. Rebels and criminals are latter day heroes. The fact our government uses force on such a large percentage of the population, larger than any other government in the world, would lend credence to the Totalitarian description. They wouldn’t need force if they didn’t need to impose their will.

          • Sy2502

            I can only shake my head at your complete cluelessness. Clueless about the difference between democracy and legality. Good grief…

          • Karl Prahl

            I appreciate the sentiment. If you could describe the differences as they relate to the United States Prison population and, say, Chinas, I’d love to hear it.
            Just make sure you don’t fall for the idea that certain religious beliefs are more valuable than others. Go! :-)

          • Sy2502

            Democracy. Learn about it.

          • Karl Prahl

            Most enlightening.

            Is this one of those Hitchhikers Guide ’42′ scenarios where you give me the answer and I get to figure out the question? Fun! :-)

            Ok Alex “Words with multiple meanings for $400″ “Form of government, where a constitution guarantees basic personal and political rights, fair and free elections, and independent courts of law or a government where sovereign power is exercised by the whole body of free citizens.” “What is Democracy?” “That’s right!” :-)

          • Sy2502

            The key is somewhere in “guarantees basic personal and political rights”. If you make a bit of effort, you may actually figure out how it applies to “dissenters should go to jail”. But please do put some thought and intellectual effort in it BEFORE spewing some other irrelevant post.

          • Karl Prahl

            Let me point out then that the first definition that you quoted comes from a random .com
            The second one comes from Black’s law.
            The first is some persons opinion. The second is a cited source in court rooms across the country.
            I’m still trying to figure out how you justify our prison population without Totalitarianism.

          • Sy2502

            Are you dense? We are not discussing the judicial system, we are discussing the political system. Try to keep up.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t know, I think “descent” describes the situation fine.

          • hennorama

            Karl Prahl — no worries, and TY for your very kind words.

          • 1Brett1

            I descended into laughter. I had to get down off my high horse to do so, but…

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 – I say neigh, sir, neigh. Remain atop your mount…ainous country.

            At times, my literal nature gets the better of me. Reading “Descent is treason” from [Karl Prahl] prompted an examination of the literal possibilities, et voilà – Tibet!

            Words are fun, no?

      • tbphkm33

        Hmm, time for a bit of education:

        fascism |ˈfa sh ˌizəm| (also Fascism)noun – an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.

        Ah, a “right-wing system of government.”

        You are right, I have been saying for years that the Nopublican’s are flirting with fascism. Of course, being the feeble minded, right wingers always try to label progressives as “fascists,” going right against the definition.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Arresting elected representatives simply because you disagree with their position is fascism.

          Did you also want to arrest Harry Reid during the last 4 years when he blocked passing a budget?

          btw – your ‘right-wing’ argument is an epic FAIL. Embarrassing. Classic conflation.

        • Karl Prahl

          Maybe Fascist wasn’t right. Communist? It’s all semantics and touched on below.
          Regardless it’s anti-American. First amendment? If you don’t like the fact individuals can shut down government, maybe you need to add more checks and balances to the system?
          If you know best, show us. Don’t demand that we listen by threatening us with guns (and that’s all a tax is. a threat of a gun. Don’t believe me? Don’t pay your taxes and see who shows up at your door.)

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          The ‘right wing’ of today’s GOP is represented by both a Tea Party and libertarian coalition. Both are for limited Federal government and are anti-Statist. This is the antithesis of fascism. Try again.

  • TFRX

    Just the lowlights:

    Time: Shutdown: Obama and Republicans Trade Blame as Deadline is Crossed

    Fox: Partial shutdown begins: Can Congress, White House Compromise?

    MichiganLive: Reactions to government shutdown: Is it “wanton destruction” by Republicans or a lack of compromise from Democrats?

    USAToday: House, Senate parry on “Obamacare” as shutdown imminent

    WashingtonPost: In shutdown blame game, Democrats and Republicans united: It’s the other side’s fault

    Note the propogandists at Fox don’t need to say anything more craptacular than the rest of our “liberal media”.

    Tom, let’s have a show about this media fail.

    Jon Stewart nailed it: This isn’t a game a chicken, this is one side driving their car to work and some jackass zooming down the road the wrong way to cause a crash.

  • MaxEntropy_Man

    we have bigger worries than the panda cam. here is one announcement that affects my life:

    “Due to the lapse in government funding, National Science Foundation websites and business applications, including NSF.gov, FastLane, and Research.gov will be unavailable until further notice. We sincerely regret this inconvenience.”

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Hopefully the EPA is down too.

      Do no harm.

    • HonestDebate1

      That’s nothing compared to how Obamacare affects you… or a $17 trillion debt.

      • Karl Prahl

        Our debt equals the money supply. If our government pays off it’s debt and our population gets out of debt, there is no money.
        Check out the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s paper “Modern Money Mechanics”

        • StilllHere

          I’ll believe it when I see it.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          M2 is $60T.

          • Karl Prahl

            I guess I should have clarified that this is currency in circulation, including personal deposits etc. About 3% of that is physical cash.
            This does not take into account derivatives, stock swaps, annuities, or any number of other financial vehicle that is used to further deflate the money supply.
            This is from Bill Stills via “Moneymasters” and “The Secret of Oz” both available on youtube.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Lot’s of good data tracked here (including currency and credit deravatives)

            http://www.usdebtclock.org/

        • HonestDebate1

          The debt will never be paid off.

          • Karl Prahl

            Of course not, but most of the American population thinks nodebt=good. It’s mixed signals, sure (go shop to help the war effort!), but most Americans believe (all conjecture here) that if the Government was fiscally responsible and got rid of it’s debt, we’d be better off.
            The sad fact is the entire system is set of to enslave our economy and therefore us. We cannot escape it without tearing it down. This is why Old Hickory is a bit of a fiscal reform hero. Will it solve everything? Not even close, but it’s a start.

          • HonestDebate1

            Debt is either manageable or it isn’t.

          • Karl Prahl

            Fiat money only leads to fiat debt.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m not smart enough to understand that but I get your initial point. Debt can be good and necessary. A national debt of $17T is neither.

          • Karl Prahl

            You are smart enough. Outside of the few unlucky who actually have mental handicaps, we are all capable of learning the same things. That’s one of the great lingering fallacies of Social-Darwinism, that some people are just “smarter”. Different roads and different strengths and weaknesses, but all capable. But I digress.
            Fiat=fake
            “Modern Money Mechanics” released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is a publicly available document (about 40 odd pages) that describes our current monetary system.
            This is called fractional reserve banking which allows banks to “Create” money by only holding onto a percentage of their deposits. To put it very simply, if a bank has $100, they can loan out $1000. Then they could loan that $1000 to another bank in exchange for a $1000 loan which would allow them to lend out a further $9000. Would this be a good time to mention that most FDIC officers are revolving door bankers? Because our money is not backed by anything material (gold, silver, wigs) it is fiat. When you consider the paper is not backed by anything and banks literally create money out of nothing, then the whole debt just seems a little silly.
            Now consider the stimulus. 85billion a month in treasury bills. Even by the most conservative estimates of 10% reserves (it’s closer to 1-5% depending on the market), you’re looking at 850billion dollars being made available to Wall-street banks. That’s before they start lending it to themselves.
            It’s a broken system. Fiat currency propping up fiat markets that are dependent on fiat stimulus.

          • Karl Prahl

            To expand on that and to put it into real world action: When you go to the bank for a car loan, the bank does not go into their vault and give you the money. They create the money out of nothing and credit your account with the dollars. Through the magic of fractional reserve banking they can justify the new dollars by simply maintaining a reserve ratio above what the Fed has decided.
            North Dakota figured this one out at the turn of the last century and established the Bank of North Dakota. Check them out. North Dakota is one of those states that doesn’t have so many fiscal problems because their budget can stretch near-endlessly.

          • HonestDebate1

            I should have said ignorant because I am indeed smart as many here will tell you. And I don’t discount your premise, it’s just not the issue I was replying to MaxEntropy_Man about. I guess my bottom line lies in the notion that this shutdown is better than alternative which seems to be unlimited spending without accountability. At some point the rubber has to meet the road. The entire economy is fake. The unemployment numbers are skewed. QE umpteen is artificially propping up the market. Energy policy, or lack thereof, is artificially inflating costs. Obamacare is a disaster we can’t afford. Interest Rates are artificially low. And on and on. It’s awful, to my way of thinking the shutdown is a welcome relief. I understand that may be simplistic but I’m happy for the government to take a break from destroying the economy. They’ll redouble their efforts next week.

          • Karl Prahl

            Well said :-)

            I’ll just add this: [I guess my bottom line lies in the notion that this shutdown is better than alternative which seems to be unlimited spending without accountability]
            Regardless of the shut down, this will continue. You don’t need congress’s approval to run up debt. You’ll note we’re still at war.
            We have and will continue to have unlimited spending without accountability. It’s built into the system.

  • HonestDebate1

    The 435 did their job.

  • jsmetz

    Nixon gave us a point of focus on this problem of dis-functional government when he created the “Southern Strategy.” This problem is being driven by the same people who pushed for secession from the Union in the nineteenth century. They want to return to the monarchy, and return blacks to slavery. Now they have joined forces with billionaires who don’t want any of their money to go to any kind of government, and who are so rich that they will never need to interact with anybody outside their spheres of interest. They can hire PR talent like that represented by Karl Rove to push their ideas and program among those who are inclined to think the same way, but never had the juice to have much effect. They can hire the best technical and legal talent necessary to re-mold systems like elections and re-apportionment to carry out a plan for stacking the congress with their hand-picked candidates.

    • Karl Prahl

      You’re lumping a lot of idealists into one group.
      Karl Rove is not a Karl I identify with :-(
      You’re also suggesting anyone who wants small/no government is a racist. Thanks for that!
      You also assume that the alternative all dissenters want is hierarchal in principle (monarchy).
      You also assume that those who want small/no government are wealthy.
      You also link modern secessionists with Nixon? 8-/
      There is more than one side to this debate. Consider America a circle and not a coin. It doesn’t have two sides, it has infinite sides as represented by individual belief.

      Republicrat is a false dichotomy.

      • jsmetz

        Interesting response. Secessionists didn’t want smaller government, or no government, they wanted their own government. I believe that if they had been successful, their government would have been, essentially, a monarchy. Not no government, but total government. Since the money behind southern interests at that time would have been the plantations, I suspect that strengthening the slavery system would have been the first order of business. I agree that individual belief is most important in order to have a well-functioning democracy. I also agree that the shape of America is a circle, but that circle can be manipulated and it’s shape changed by concerted and focused effort. We are in the midst of that kind of manipulation now, and I want to know how it works and who is behind it.

        • Karl Prahl

          Spot on!
          We are being manipulated. We are being manipulated left, right and center.
          I suggest the manipulators are the same ones who run both parties. The ones who continue to profit in this economic tailspin. The ones who make a profit regardless if the president wears a red tie or a blue tie.
          When we focus on the democrats or republicans we are looking at the brushstrokes of our society. We need to step back and look at the entire painting. See who is benefiting from unhealthy americans, uneducated americans, indebted americans, hungry americans. Who benefits from the current situation?
          There is your manipulator.

          • jsmetz

            History will always point us to the manipulators in all eras. The same is true today. I rest my case. Thanks.

    • Sy2502

      “They want to return to the monarchy, and return blacks to slavery.”

      Oh please! Your comment is the perfect example of why this country doesn’t work. Brainwashing taken to idiotic extremes. Partisanship taken to fanaticism. Both inside government and out.

  • StilllHere

    What’s up with this do-nothing Senate?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Run by the party of no.

      • StilllHere

        Why do they hate America?

      • jefe68

        I know, the GOP has been the party of no for 8 years. It’s tiresome.

    • anamaria23

      The Senate has sent to the House budgets 18 times in the last six months requesting conference. Speaker Boehner REFUSED 18 times. He called for one at 11:45 last night.
      Before 2010 numerous bills were passed in Congress. Google it.
      Not ONE has passed since the Tea Party arrived.
      Senator Pat Toomey (R) stated publically that gun control did not pass “because the President wanted it.
      This is insane. John Boehner has problems beyond the Speakership. Something is terribly wrong.
      This country is in deep trouble and it is not because of the ACA.

      • Karl Prahl

        Trying to find consensus among so many divergent individuals is bound to have problems.
        We either have to force sections of society to accept certain rules and laws or let those sections develop as they will.
        We can force or we can educate. We can coerce or we can lead by example.
        Or we can do nothing as a country and let the status-quo continue.

        • anamaria23

          WE have managed to function as a country for generations despite divergent individuals. That is what a mature society does.. It was never easy, not always right, but now it has become impossible.

          • Karl Prahl

            I agree with that, though I think a large part of that is contributed to independence in the old days. The population was independent minded, anti-didactic and literate. Homesteaders settled west of the Appalachians and then all the way to the Pacific. Sure, there was incentives as far as the homesteading act, but the main impetus of that movement was Individualism, independence and the idea that each man was his own sovereign united with others in common defense.
            Very telling is Thomas Paynes “Common Sense” sold something like 600,000 copies in a country of 3million. People read and people made up their own mind.
            Let’s also consider the wealth of news outlets in those days.
            Nowadays everything is controlled by fewer and fewer parties. Corporations get bigger. Countries get bigger. Everything gets bigger and more populated.
            Yet the education is not growing. People don’t think for themselves (most, not all). They don’t make up their own minds. They listen to the experts and the men-in-white-coats and accept whatever is said. They are taught the same things in the same way and then we wonder why we’re losing our edge. Our grasp.
            We’ve lost the ability to trust in our own judgment.

          • Kiep99

            Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” not Payne.

          • Karl Prahl

            You knew who I was talking about! Score one for common grammar symbols.

        • StilllHere

          Sounds like America’s voting for the status quo.

      • StilllHere

        Really? How many budgets has the Senate passed in the last 3 years? How many appropriation bills have made it to the floor this year?
        Check your facts.

        • anamaria23

          How many bills has the House produced?
          None.

          • HonestDebate1

            Bookoos.

          • StilllHere

            That doesn’t answer the question, at least not directly. I think we all get your implied answer. Fail.

        • anamaria23

          These are the facts from multiple sources.

          • StilllHere

            Really? They’ve passed 18 budgets in 3 years. Ok, I’m done.

          • StilllHere

            Show me one.

  • marygrav

    Where is the sound? Why post on the web without sound? Or has OPR also shut down?

    • OnPointComments

      Based on your later post, I suggest that you pull your fingers out of your ears. Or any other orifice where they might be.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        It was the mute button — or when all else fails — reboot. Or as Bill Gates bemoaned — ctrl-alt-del

  • HonestDebate1

    This morning at 12:01 AM.

  • marygrav

    If Obama were not Black, the Republicans would have fallen apart by attacking each other. It is only his race which unites them into a lynch mob.

    What we see in the GOP House members are anarchists. The T-Party sent them to Washington to destroy the US Government, and Obama is the glue that holds them together.

    We have to understand how race has always been used to divide the people. It was more obvious in the South. The Southern politicians never wanted the sharecroppers to unite against them, so they used race–black against white to make the poor white to feel that the only thing holding him back was the black man. If the only the blacks would go away, things would be better. It was/is the same in the North.

    All the Republicans in the House are not T-Party members, but they are all afraid of them because they are backed by big money from the Koch Brothers, Coors, and other Trotskyist calling themselves Neoconservatives. Sound funny. Trace the history of Neoconservatism.

    John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are running scarred afraid of loosing power while the country is falling into the hands of the anarchists. What good are these cowards? Boehner and McConnell should have enough pension money to let them live comfortably. Why won’t they speak the truth to the power that controls them and retire with grace. The Mafia couldn’t give them a better deal.

    The US never lost a dime spending it treasure on the people. The people pay their own freight, and their is no such thing as Entitlements. It is what we worked for.

    If the Soviet Union still existed, there would be no question of Obamacare being accepted as the right of the people. The people only counted when WE–the US was in competition with the Communist.

    For my part, the government can stay closed and the Congress as well as the Republicans can go to …..

    • HonestDebate1

      That’s sick.

      • brettearle

        She thinks she’s on my side of the argument.

        But she isn’t.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      The accusation of racism when no evidence exists is akin to falsely accusing rape. It weakens the cause when actual racism (or rape) happens.

    • brettearle

      We’d be better served if you started your own radical magazine–and opined there.

      That way, we’d have room for commenters who don’t exaggerate issues and motives, far out of whack from reality and go on to pollute the Thread.

      Those who obsess and who do so, zealously, can take a factoid and turn it into a presumed Truth.

      We saw your earlier comments about comparing US politicians to genocidal Fascists.

      The last thing we need, here, are people who wish to through this forum into a dumpster.

      Your bravado is Detritus.

    • StilllHere

      Thanks for providing the Democrat position so eloquently. Lots of room for common ground here.

    • Coastghost

      Requisite specificity, my dear! Obama is not Black or black, he’s not half-Kenyan, technically: he’s half-Luo and seems really to have it in for the Kikuyu leadership of Kenya.
      Republican House members are not anarchists: granted, they may have severe misgivings about the contemporary practice of Federalism, but they’re well within their Constitutional rights to differ with Democratic Party and bi-coastal attempts at political hegemony.
      Northern carpetbagging during Southern Reconstruction arguably bequeathed poisoned race relations following the Northern victory in 1865: id est, you can’t credibly blame Mississippi for the racial segregation that today afflicts the County of Cook, Illinois, just as the South can hardly be blamed for white abandonment of Detroit for the surrounding suburbs. The South can hardly be blamed for inflicting the “race relations” commonly attributed to it onto the rest of the country.

    • fun bobby

      Martha’s vineyard?

    • pete18

      Yeah, Republicans were never united against Clinton, it was a love fest of respect and praise.

    • TFRX

      I dunno, you have some interesting ideas, especially the need for the right to have someone of exaggerated (or faked) foibles to hate as the figurehead of the left.

      Remember when Tom Daschle was the big “oogedyboogedy” man for the right, c. 2002?

      But I just don’t have that nihilistic spirit for keeping the gummint closed. I know too many people who actually use its services. And I don’t think our right-wing, nor our media, will learn anything from eating an entire bag of cookies, then vomiting in their beds.

      I guess that’s my sticking point: This country’s right wing and this country’s mainstream media do not have the ability to learn from their mistakes and ultimatums the way a five year old child would.

  • MaxEntropy_Man

    i hope this shut down pain is also felt by those large corporations that are a succubus on the american taxpayer — manufacturers of big weapons systems, military aircrafts, and oil companies.

    • Karl Prahl

      If they are disrupted, Congress will be in special session to work it out pronto. Just like the Air Traffic Controllers.
      We can fix REAL problems. (there was a little sarcasm in there, btw)

      • MaxEntropy_Man

        right. people working on weapons systems for wars we’ll never fight, against imagined soviet era enemies who don’t anymore exist are working on real important problems.

        (there was a little more sarcasm in there btw).

      • fun bobby

        and helium

    • fun bobby

      they took like a .5% reduction because of the sequester and tried their best to start a war in Syria to make up the difference with their #1 cheerleader leading the charge but still failed. I doubt this will impact them much if at all but if it does get ready for them to try to trump up another war

      • StilllHere

        The Andorrans have been doing some saber-rattling. Might be time to show them who’s boss.

        • Karl Prahl

          Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia! We’ve shown them whose boss and we’ll show them again!

  • MaxEntropy_Man
  • fun bobby

    how much money have all these government closed signs cost us?

    from what I can tell the pandas just eat bamboo all day, it gets old after a few minutes.

    http://www.sandiegozoo.org/pandacam/

    • StilllHere

      I think the gold leaf was a bit much.
      If you pay $5, you can watch some panda action.

      • fun bobby

        somehow someone has found a way to provide free streaming panda without an act of congress and taxpayer funding

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    I tuned into MSNBC and all I got was a test pattern.

    I guess they were considered “non-essential” Government employees.

    • StilllHere

      I’m crying for Madcow. How’s she gonna make her Bentley payment this month?

      • joeblaugh

        so much for the high ground, eh

      • lobstahbisque

        And you think comparing a woman to a lethal disease isn’t hateful?

        • StilllHere

          Sorry, simple spelling error.
          Appreciate the notification.

          • lobstahbisque

            Buck you.

      • lobstahbisque

        I see you corrected the original “Madcow” to “Maddow”. That’s pretty slimy. Wishing a gay person death from an incurable disease isn’t exactly PC nor sensitive to the sufferings of the tens of thousands who died of AIDS.

        • jefe68

          Step away from the troll, it will only get worse.

          • lobstahbisque

            I know… I have a ghoulish fascination with the warped and demented.

    • lobstahbisque

      Congratulations! You are the first person ever to fail a rorschach test. What kind of childhood DID you have?

      • StilllHere

        Wow, ad hominems, trying to convert us with your charm and wit; such generosity of spirit!

        • lobstahbisque

          What! I meant it all! There you go turning a positive comment into a negative. Don’t you just hate trolls?

          • StilllHere

            I don’t do hate. But whatever floats your boat.

    • Ray in VT

      Then why is Fox still on? Are they just a part of the RNC, and not a part of the staff of Congressional Republicans?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Not the Regime Ray.

        You could have used that argument during the Bush years. Had your chance :)

        • Ray in VT

          Yeah, but the Republicans in Congress must have a media (some might say a propaganda) arm. I guess it depends if they work for Congress or the party structure. ;)

      • HonestDebate1

        George Will just went to Fox.

        • Ray in VT

          Much like Sauron in Mordor, Fox is pulling all conservatives too it, at least the ones that don’t regularly bawl on the air.

  • lobstahbisque

    Could a panda eat lobster that just came out of it’s shell?

    • StilllHere

      Only if its EBT card balance was sufficient.

      • lobstahbisque

        Are you making fun of the 47 percent again? That didn’t end well for you the last time…

        • StilllHere

          I’m more concerned about the lobster.

      • Eric Peacock

        What are you doing here? What do you hope to accomplish?

        • lobstahbisque

          He thinks he’s having a salutary effect—- trying to convert us progressives with his charm and wit; such generosity of spirit!

          • Eric Peacock

            It’s a shame there can’t be more respectful discussions on here. All these insults about being in re-education camps and witty retorts like “Fail.” – No one ever got insulted into changing thier position.

          • fun bobby

            hope springs eternal

        • jefe68

          He’s a troll.

        • TFRX

          You ask a reasonable question, and there is always a place for that.

          You’ve asked it of the wrong person, however.

        • StilllHere

          Gee, trying to have a serious discussion about pandas eating lobsters. What about you?

          • Eric Peacock

            I’m puzzled as to your intentions, and my question was sincere; I’m sorry your answer was not. Most well-informed commenters aren’t nearly as caustic as yourself. Are you just here to insult those with whom you disagree? If so, why?

  • joeblaugh

    The argument that gerrymandering is not at the heart of the polarization of federal government in the US ignores the impact that “safe” districts have had on the discourse within the parties. ANY congressperson who does not truly have to answer to voters because the district is “safe” for his or her party is apt to become much more extreme in terms of positions taken. As I argued earlier, it is fundamentally undemocratic to have safe districts due to gerrymandering. Both parties do this, and both are engaging in thoroughly anti-democratic activities when they do so. Some ill-informed discussant here claimed this was only done by Democrats – others seem to think only Republicans… both parties do it and they are both helping to destroy our system of government. Just take a look at some of these examples, some drawn by one party and some by the other (and there is part of our problem – two party systems seem preordained to become extremist).

    http://pjmedia.com/zombie/2010/11/11/the-top-ten-most-gerrymandered-congressional-districts-in-the-united-states/

    http://www.rollcall.com/features/Election-Preview_2011/election/top-5-ugliest-districts-210224-1.html

    Those are all ugly, they are all manipulative, and they are all thoroughly anti-democratic (small D).

    • TFRX

      Don’t downplay the white Southerners cramming as many black (therefore Democrat–nobody’s pretending otherwise) voters into as few places as possible. Lotsa court cases found this to be unconstitutional.

      And read up on Texas’ “anytime we feel like it” redistricting follies from 2000-2010.

      Then maybe I’ll listen to you,

      • Karl Prahl

        Was this more or less influential than ACORN’s Obama-skewed voter-registration methods?

        • TFRX

          I’m assuming you’re kidding. Put a smiley face on that until you’re known better.

          • Karl Prahl

            Sorry dad. I didn’t see your posted, arbitrary rules governing expression when I came through the door.
            And I’m not really kidding… Racists exist. It’s a sad truth and you’ll just have to take my word for it that I am not a racist. That said, using racism or bigotry is not limited to one party or another. I’ll concede it’s more prevalent in certain regions, but not even that is absolute (someone mentioned cook county, il elsewhere).
            This sort of thing is a distraction. “Look! they’re messing with the election process. You can’t select freely between Corporate Stooge #1 and #2. They rig it so #1 wins!”
            You’re still getting a corporate stooge.
            Is it a horrible situation for the individuals involved? Absolutely. They should demand better. Make a ruckus.
            (this argument will have to be modified if we take into account time periods before ACORN.)

          • Karl Prahl

            oh, sorry. :-)

          • TFRX

            Hey, no prob. In person some peole have a killer deadpan, and you might be one of them. But when it’s reduced to pixels, it’s hard to tell.

          • Karl Prahl

            *facepalm*

      • joeblaugh

        You apparently failed utterly to read my post. Did I or did I not say BOTH PARTIES DO THIS. Perhaps you might visit the links to see the example districts which include the “packing” approach to gerrymandering. I downplayed nothing, and your approach to “discussion” appears to be the same sort of “discussion” we get in congress – disparage others and make sure to tell them their positions are entirely wrong (and don’t bother to find out what those positions are first, if you want to play the expert game).

        Gerrymandering on both sides has created an abysmally bad atmosphere for collaboration and compromise, which are part and parcel of effective democratic government. The commentator (didn’t catch his name) who discounts gerrymandering ignores the taint that the practice has spread across the entire conversation within and about government.

        • TFRX

          The GOP has been caught doing this unconstitutionally to clutch on to their power outsized to their population in the south, so badly it’s been often invalidated by the courts.

          Forgive me if I don’t think Dems are equally bad.

          • Karl Prahl

            Lincoln was a Republican. Jefferson Davis was a Democrat.

          • TFRX

            Seriously lame-ass stuff, dude.

          • Karl Prahl

            Agreed. Republicrats are lame-ass

          • joeblaugh

            I never said who was worse. My point is that anyone who engages in that kind of electoral gamesmanship is performing, malice aforethought, an act that is detrimental to a functional democracy. I have lived in a district in Texas that was specifically redesigned to oust my congressman (fortunately it failed), so I know some of the issues you mention. But that anyone would claim to be willing to listen only if someone else repeats his specific talking points is not a good sign for any of us.

          • TFRX

            And I am saying who is worse. One side feels the need to eviscerate voting rights, based on race, of their political enemies.

            (At this point I have to say “Since 1968″ so some dbags don’t say crap about how Lincoln was a Republican and Democrats were the racists running the south 150 years ago, like that matters today.)

  • buddhaclown

    This show was a case of everything that is wrong with the media these days, bending over backward to appear “balanced” just lends credibility to the crazies. I mean, seriously, you just casually laughed at a caller who was calling for us to physically attack members of congress? What is wrong with you? And what is with the disproportionate representation of nutcases screaming about socialism? Get your show back on track.

    • StilllHere

      Yes, please, only views that reinforce my worldview. This is why I come here!

  • MaxEntropy_Man

    all it would take is for boehner to bring the original bill for a vote in the house. it WILL pass. all the dems and the non teaparty wing of the republic party will vote for it. it’s just a question how long he is willing to hold out and kowtow to the tea party folks. there are deep divisions within the republic party.

    • Karl Prahl

      Could put it to a public mandate. Let the American people vote.

      • MaxEntropy_Man

        they did. the result is the ACA.

        • HonestDebate1

          No one voted for this.

          • MaxEntropy_Man

            we voted in the congress and they legislated it. unless our system our govt has changed, this is how we transact politics. did the rules change and did someone fail to inform me?

          • Karl Prahl

            It changed when our representatives started valuing the will of lobbyists and special interests outside of the common-good of their constituents. It changed when control of the political system was usurped away from the people and into the pockets of two private groups: democrats and republicans.
            It’s a rigged game, or are you saying Congress is representative of the American Population? Lots of poor Senators out there…

          • MaxEntropy_Man

            yeah the lobbyists and the special interests become a subject matter of conversation only when things are not going our way. when things ARE going our way, the right thing to do is to quote chapter and verse from the constitution. very convenient.

          • Karl Prahl

            Believe you me, this has been a CONTINUOUS problem for the better part of 100+ years. Bull-moose on through. That is not to say good things and good people have not come out of it, but the system has been suspect for a long long time.
            And the constitution is hardly the magic document Republicans make it out to be. As best I can tell my signature is not on it. When does my generation get to vote for our own Bill of Rights? Why am I subject to the will of a white man born 300 years ago just because I was born in some arbitrary location?
            Republicrats=false dichotomy. To blame the left or the right is to miss the big picture.

          • J__o__h__n

            If we got to vote on the Bill of Rights, we would have even fewer of them.

          • Karl Prahl

            Only if we believe that democracy allows aggression.
            I’m not a big fan of the whole two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner scenario. If the majority voted to strip me of a right I wanted, I wouldn’t accept it. Only force could coerce me and force contradictions the non-aggression principle. Moral high-ground, for the win. And then there is self-defense.

          • fun bobby

            what will your bill of rights leave out?

          • Karl Prahl

            Mine? Not a damn thing. I’d like to add a few things in fact. Right to water. Right to a good life. Right to pursue my non-aggressive dreams.

          • fun bobby

            -how much water?
            -who defines what a good life is?
            -we need to exercise our third amendment rights we already have that right

          • Karl Prahl

            Enough water to survive and thrive while I will define what a good life is for me. So long as the means of obtaining it do not breach the non-aggression principle, who is harmed by me living the good life, however defined?

          • fun bobby

            water rights are tricky as water is a limited resource and there is not enough for everyone to have as much as they want. most municipalities have excellent inexpensive tap water. In MA water is provided at the expense of the landlord for renters. When bectel tried to buy all the water in Bolivia look what happened.
            I guess I just don’t know what you mean by the good life or how you are being prevented from living it now.

          • Karl Prahl

            It’s very much an Eye of the Beholder situation. My good life will not be your good life.
            If I said “Pursuit of Happiness” would that make more sense? It’s the idea that we can live in a way that makes each of us happy so long as that way does not infringe on anyone elses right to pursuit happiness/get the good life.
            You can apply the same principles to water. If your actions are causing others to be denied water, something all living things NEED, then your actions are aggressive in nature. Different water situations will demand different answers and different agreements among those that rely on said source, but there must be consent with the effected parties. No I do not have an answer for drought other than to move :-(

          • fun bobby

            I still don’t know what exactly you are being denied right now. here is why water is difficult say you have one cup of water and two people who need to drink a cup of water to live. if one gets it the other dies if you split it both die and if neither gets it both die. Solomon would struggle with that one.

          • Karl Prahl

            As for what I am being denied right now, I would say nothing as I am not being repressed. I do not think this is true for all Americans (Ademo Freeman, Mumia abu jamal) and I take Niemoller’s warning seriously:

            First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
            Because I was not a Socialist.

            Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
            Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

            Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
            Because I was not a Jew.

            Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

            The “I am Bradley Manning” video is also very timely. My worry is the erosion of those rights specifically HOWEVER I also deny the idea that I am BOUND by the constitution or any other law/statute/regulation that I was not personally part of and a signature to. That is where the “When does my generation get to vote…” comment came from. I’m not saying that the Constitution/Bill of Rights is wrong (not saying it’s right). I’m saying that the very idea that a person born today could be enthralled to a piece of paper signed over 200 years ago is ridiculous and one I reject.

          • fun bobby

            are you a sovereign citizen?

          • Karl Prahl

            That’s a catch 22 ;-)
            According to some common law sources you cannot be both sovereign and a citizen. IMHO it’s semantics.
            I am a free thinking, free living human being (until they use force to kill me or throw me in a cage. Let’s hope for neither).

          • fun bobby

            move to Keene, NH. I am going to go to porcfest next year

          • Karl Prahl

            I’m no stranger to the FreeStateProject. I’ve considered Manchester, but my beliefs do not align completely with true “libertarians”. There is still some internal debate with that one ;-)

          • fun bobby

            manchvegas?
            there are all sorts. you sound like a voluntaryist but I don’t want to pigeonhole you.

          • fun bobby

            democracy is living under the tyranny of the masses. what you are looking for is a republic, that protects the rights of the minority from the coercion of the majority

          • Karl Prahl

            Semantics, my friend. Democracy can mean many things, to include a straight up and down voting public in direct relation to a Republic’s representative model. Both are Democracies.

          • fun bobby

            you can vote with your feet if you don’t like the constitution, where is there a better one?

          • Karl Prahl

            Don’t even go there, Bobby. If you believe that than please explain why we, the United States, don’t honor our treaties. I’d live in the Lakota Nation if the U.S. government would just honor the treaty they signed.

          • fun bobby

            there is a lot of corruption. you said you wanted to vote for your own bill of rights. how would it be different?

          • Karl Prahl

            Ah. It was a loaded question and rhetorical. It was to show how separated we are from those that made these decisions.
            If you are familiar with the Great Works of Western Civilization, there are two fascinating volumes (1&2 or 2&3 depending on the edition) that show how the ideas in western society have grown and built upon one another. It shows how Homer and Euripides’ thinking influenced Plato who influenced Aristotle who influenced Virgil who influenced Copernicus who influenced Dante who influenced Shakespeare who influenced Decartes who influenced Locke who influenced Rousseau who influenced Smith who influenced Kant who influenced Hegel who influenced Marx who influenced Freud etc etc etc.
            If I was actually charged with drafting my own Bill of Rights I would put some real thought into it. In fact, I will. A good exercise, sir.

          • fun bobby

            good luck with it. you seem to have left out St Thomas More. The men who wrote our constitution had read all that and other things and lived under a tyrant. our constitution specifically notes that our rights are not limited to those enumerated. perhaps an amendment saying that corporations are in fact not people. did you hear about the guy who drives in the HOV lane with a copy of corporation papers?

          • Karl Prahl

            It wasn’t an exhaustive list. I think the collection includes 54 volumes? later editions 60 odd encyclopedia volumes. Pretty sure it was intended to be a university education on a shelf, like Harvards five-foot book shelf collection. And no, never heard of that guy. I don’t even know what the HOV lane is :’-(

          • fun bobby

            reading more one can tell that the founders did as well. like Einstein if our founders were able to see father than average men its because they stood on the shoulders of giants.
            in California they have a lane called “high occupancy vehicle lane” during commuting times you may only drive in this lane if you have one or more passengers. some guy keeps his corporate papers in the passenger seat under the theory that corporations are people and thus he has more than one person in his car. he is waiting to get a ticket to make his argument so the govt will have to rule whether the papers are a person

          • Karl Prahl

            That’s funny :-) Good luck to him. It makes perfect sense to me. Always heard it referred to as the carpool lane, but I’ll store HOV for the next time it comes up.

          • fun bobby

            the funny part is he has been doing it for years but has not got stopped for a ticket yet

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes the rules changed. Obamacare was sold as deficit neutral, the cost has tripled. Obama excoriated Hillary for having a mandate in her plan and then enacted his own. Then he swore it was not a tax but argued to the SCOTUS it was and won. He said you could keep your doctor, you can’t. He said premiums would go down, they went up. He rammed it through on a 100% partisan vote and still needed kickbacks, bribes and a meaningless signing statement to pass it. He had to use reconciliation to sign it but that did not apply. He said it would be good for small business and it’s a nightmare. It’s killing jobs.

            No one voted for this.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Obama made 17 changes to the law unilaterally without going back to congress. Lawless.

          • HonestDebate1

            I think it’s up to 20.

          • MaxEntropy_Man

            so why don’t you try and get a constitutional amendment passed to change the way we legislate to take it away from the lobbyists and the special interests?

          • HonestDebate1

            How about our legislators read it before they pass it?

          • jimino

            You mean like they read the omnibus budget bill they pass every year (not)?

            The truth is there probably has NEVER been a similar-sized bill passed by Congress that was more widely read than this one.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Dodd-Frank?
            Senate Immigration Bill?
            Probably in the same category.

            You are passing on faint praise indeed.

          • fun bobby

            perhaps that points to a fundamental flaw in our current practices in congress. they make them too long to read so they can get away with all sorts of things. lets make a limit of ten pages on a bill.

          • StilllHere

            Will cliff notes be available?

          • jimino

            I agree with the principle, although a page limit isn’t necessary. In my State the Constitution prohibits a bill affecting more than one subject and it must be identified in the bill’s title.

          • Karl Prahl

            That’s some of the best thinking I’ve seen all day.
            Get rid of the riders. Get rid of the legalspeak. Limit statutes in scope to one subject. Plain English so even if the public isn’t directly voting, the public can understand and contact their representatives accordingly.

          • fun bobby

            it was a random number but it should be good to keep them honest and focused and not leave room for exemptions , exceptions, pork and graft

          • HonestDebate1

            What budget?

        • Karl Prahl

          Our mostly homogenous white-rich-male representatives did for us. Never mind the lobbyists. When America picked between Obama and Romney it was a clear indicator… /endsarcasm.

          • fun bobby

            which Harvard lawyer do you want with a rombomaneycare plan, the lily white or the off white?

        • MaxEntropy_Man

          and public mandates are not how we legislate in this country. perhaps you are thinking of some other country.

    • OnPointComments

      Why doesn’t President Obama prove how well thought out the ACA is, and show his absolute unfettered support for Obamacare, by rescinding the 1500 or so waivers he’s granted, undoing the special rule for Congress, and undoing the executive orders delaying the employer mandate?

  • tbphkm33

    Lets dispense with the niceties and call it for what it really is… the Republican’s have chosen to commit treason against “The People” and the United States of America. Once again, their true colors are evident for all to see.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Please define ‘treason’.

      I don’t think you understand the meaning.

      • Karl Prahl

        Snowden and Manning are traitors too. It’s ubiquitous among dissenters.

      • tbphkm33

        treason |ˈtrēzən|noun (also high treason) – “the crime of betraying one’s country”
        Hmm, seems to me that the Nopublican’s are betraying the interests of the United States and The People. How else would you define it???

        • Karl Prahl

          Black’s Law Dictionary: Treason: The offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance; or of betraying the state into the hands of a foreign power. Treason consists of two elements: adherence to the enemy, and rendering him aid and comfort.

          • Karl Prahl

            You’ll notice there is no mention of sabotage, the French throwing-the-shoe-in-the-machine, as being treasonous. Holding up the operation of mechanisms, outside of aiding a foreign power directly and with intent, is not treason.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          They would say that they are protecting the country from impending collapse. It is called a political disagreement — not treason.

          If the voters don’t like their tactics or policies they will get voted out. That is how it works. No need for a police State to keep them in line.

          But I think I now understand your world view. You appear to worship the State. Anything that inconveniences the State — even for a few days — is evil.

    • TFRX

      I don’t like the word treason forthis. No October surpise, no drugs for arms for hostages, no fake evidence to spur an invasion.

      Just one tweak, and I’d be there with you.

    • William

      Based on what? The Harry Reid “This war is lost” statement during the Iraq War?

      • Karl Prahl

        Mission Accomplished you mean

        • William

          Or perhaps, “What difference does it make?”

          • Karl Prahl

            That’s the natural progression with our system of government. We’ll find a happy middle ground :-)

    • HonestDebate1

      Obama has you right where he wants you.

  • fun bobby

    so the government is “shut down”. if people are really upset and miss it why no protests, demonstrations or riots?

    • StilllHere

      They couldn’t get a permit …
      The revolution has been postponed.

      • fun bobby

        lol they could close the office where you go to get a protest permit if they have not already. that ought to keep people off the streets if that’s where they really want to be

    • OnPointComments

      The biggest fear about the government shutdown? People will discover that everything still works just fine even with the government shut down. As one of the anchors on CNBC stated, the stock market loves the government shutdown; let’s have another one after this one.

      • fun bobby

        perhaps this is the stimulus we needed. perhaps next time we should let the ” too big to fails” do so

  • Coastghost

    Just LOOK at this Forum today! All these disparate views, most apparently coming from the bowels of the SAME country. Hard to imagine.
    So let’s look at things this way, at least for a moment:
    the Federal government is losing, or has lost, its ability to impose homogeneous political, economic, and social remedies upon the distinct geographical regions of the country. Modern telecommunications, I posit here, have bewitched us into thinking that geography is no longer a valid or legitimate political consideration. But I’m here to tell you: the differences that can be assessed by traditional measures of latitude and longitude, or contemporary data derived from GPS coordinates, DO in fact and in truth make a difference in human perspective. And we DO NOT all share identical perspectives.
    My sterling conclusion: the Federal government, owing to its clear inability to manage all of our separate affairs, properly needs to devolve many of the powers it has come unconstitutionally to assert and return custody and exercise of those powers to the states where they (perhaps) can be administered at the level of polity where their effects can be popularly assessed. This will clearly NOT result in several kinds of homogeneity: but the current Federal usurpations are not resulting in thoroughgoing homogeneities, either.
    The US has become too big for the Federal government to manage or govern. If we don’t whittle the Federal system before long, it will need to exercise the very kind of onerous surveillance state that historically Americans have professed much loathing for.

    • lobstahbisque

      You are correct, the Federal government IS too small. And with all the problems looming and our enemies surpassing us by virtue of our inertia, we need more not less of it.

    • fun bobby

      I was with you till you referred to the onerous surveillance state in the future tense

      • Coastghost

        I agree: my optimism is uncharacteristic and unbecoming. (Glad you got that far with my assessment, though, grazie.)

    • HonestDebate1

      You’ve made a good argument for the electoral college.

  • careyrowland

    Perhaps this whole debacle will clarify what is essential gov function from non-essential

    • OnPointComments

      If I had the power, I’d vote to fire at least half of the nonessential employees that were furloughed.

      • fun bobby

        Trump is never around when you actually need him

        • HonestDebate1

          Okay, that’s funny… but OPC is dead on right.

          • fun bobby

            at least half? if they are” non essential” we should not be paying any of them in the first place

  • lobstahbisque
    • StilllHere

      More panda.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Excellent essay by VDH today.

    “Obama: Transforming America”

    “Little need be said about Obamacare, an orphan now disowned by most of its parents. The purpose of this vast new entitlement was not to ensure all Americans better health care (if it had been, then pro-Obama business owners, unions, and congressional staffers would have wanted in), but instead a sort of health-care TSA bureaucracy, with more dependents, more federal workers, and higher redistributive taxes — in short, larger government.”

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/10/01/obama_transforming_america_120170.html

    • lobstahbisque

      i respectfully ask—– The canard that “Government is the problem” was spoken by the man who decided to use IT (through tax ‘reform’) to redistribute wealth upwards in the name of ‘growth’. Why not re-democratize that wealth? Doesn’t that spreading of wealth do the greatest good for the greatest number of citizens? Why is the phrase “spread the wealth around” so demonized in regressive circles—-is it some impulse to hold on to the archaic and outmoded and the ‘never worked’?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Really? More Reagan hate?

        We can’t even agree what is a canard and what isn’t. It appears you believe everything in the economy is a zero sum game. Also, the great beneficial State will spread the bounty efficiently amongst the hoards. Bread and circuses. Until Rome burns.

        • lobstahbisque

          I was afraid this would happen. It’s not Reagan hate, it’s Reagan had no clothes. Zero sum game? That your buddies’ modus operandi. Yes we all know the homosexualists in Rome caused it’s downfall, but what caused the French revolution?— lack of bread?!… As we all know it was the concentration of wealth of the few. I say, let them eat lobster.

          • Karl Prahl

            I want to up vote this because it MAKES NO SENSE! I need to go get a lobster and celebrate life.

          • lobstahbisque

            ‘Keeping the forum more surreal”.

      • OnPointComments

        “Spread the wealth around” is demonized because it denotes something for nothing, that someone deserves a “fair share” whether they work for it or not.

        • lobstahbisque

          Hey I worked hard for my 16 dollars a month in food stamps, but it isn’t a very good return on investment.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s my $16. You’re welcome.

          • lobstahbisque

            It was the LEAST you could do, I’m sure. That money is an insult to someone who is as eligible as I am. But there may be an Energy Credit coming my way so you may have to squeeze a few more coins out of that tight sphincter of yours.

    • Bruce94

      To my friends on the right: how is it surprising that extending healthcare coverage to approx. 30 million previously uninsured Americans might entail govt. expansion? I suggest the following links might be useful to you or anyone truly interested in evaluating the potential effects of the ACA, many of which will not be fully understood until the law’s implementation over a period of a year or two.

      http://www.politifact.com/search/?q=ted+cruz

      http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2013/sep/24/top-16-myths-about-health-care-law/

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/ted-cruzs-claims-about-obamacare-in-new-tv-ad/2013/08/31/595e4506-124c-11e3-85b6-d27422650fd5_blog.html

      I’m sure as people examine the evidence as presented by these fact-checking services, they will be better able to identify and reject the unsubstantiated, false claims and scare tactics of Ted Cruz et al. some of which are contained in your quote.

  • HonestDebate1

    That was one petulant, arrogant and loony speech Obama delivered today.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Yeah. He isn’t acting like he is President of the entire country. More like a community organizer.

      • HonestDebate1

        It’s really striking.

    • pete18

      At least he’s consistent!

    • Mike_Card

      But Boner’s was calmly reasoned and persuasively delivered…

      • HonestDebate1

        I’m not all that happy with Boehner but comparatively… yea.

        • Mike_Card

          So…let’s go off-line and have a laugh…ok?

  • fun bobby

    “unrestrained liberalism only makes the strong stronger and the weak weaker and excludes the most excluded”

    • MaxEntropy_Man

      unrestrained ideology of any kind which seeks to obtain through ransom that which it couldn’t through the normal legislative process makes the republic weak.

      • fun bobby

        inform the pope posthaste!

        • MaxEntropy_Man

          the pope fortunately has nothing to do with the US congress.

          • fun bobby

            not officially

    • lobstahbisque

      Unrestrained liberalism is what is called The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. And we have the good sense to love our free healthcare, foisted upon us by that socialist, Mitt Romney.

      • nj_v2

        “affordable health care”

        Ha ha!

        Health-care sickness/injury insurance costs in Mass. rose faster than most of the rest of the country for a decade.

        • lobstahbisque

          A ‘cherry-picked statistic”. After a decade of faster growth, it is now slowing. Plus we haven’t yet had Romneycare for 10 years anyway so……

          • nj_v2

            Anything short of single payer/universal coverage is just wasted effort and money, with private insurance interests siphoning money away from real health care, which should be a benefit of citizenship and not a profit point for private corporations.

          • lobstahbisque

            Siiiiiiiigh. But it’s a start.

  • HonestDebate1

    I think it was Mr. Fournier who made the ridiculous analogy about tax cuts. The Bush tax cuts were passed on a bipartisan basis. Democrats were included in the debate. Add to that he did not seem to mind Obama ignoring many aspects of his own law by decree without Congress.

    The die was cast when Obama rammed through Obamacare without a single Republican vote. His by any means necessary approach meant bribes, kickbacks, legislative gimmicks and outright lies about costs, premiums and freedom of choice.

    Can anyone remember legislation this sweeping and transformational being passed on a 100% partisan basis?

    • OnPointComments

      How many times does President Obama get to thwart the constitution by changing laws he doesn’t like before he is called on it?

      • HonestDebate1

        Evidently, as many times as he wants.

    • Mike_Card

      You don’t think the enormous electoral mandate for the Dems had anything to do with that?

      • HonestDebate1

        No I don’t. I would say maybe if the bill actually resembled what was sold to the public. I don’t think there has ever been a law this sweeping and transformational passed by one party and imposed on the rest of America. I’m hoping someone can educate me about that.

        • Mike_Card

          There you are. You don’t think so, but I think it was a defining moment–I wanted single-payer, as did so many other Obama supporters.

        • jefe68

          If you don’t like a policy passed by Congress, signed by the president and affirmed by the Supreme Court then you have to go out and win an election to overturn it; you can’t just put a fiscal gun to the country’s head and expect this is how our democracy works.

          • pete18

            The extremists were the ones who forced through a law that changed the entire medical insurance system and a huge section of the economy, which was unpopular with the majority of the public and which most of the congress hadn’t read.

          • Ray in VT

            Considering that today, yesterday and tomorrow my insurance situation, as well as that of millions and millions of other Americans is unchanged, then how has it changed the entire medical insurance system? A number of the provisions that require certain coverage levels and ban practices such as gouging or dropping people when they get sick have been banned in some states for quite some time.

          • jefe68

            It’s called fear mongering.

          • Ray in VT

            I heard that one Fox anchor questioned where one could find any of their reporting on the issue that was inaccurate.

          • HonestDebate1

            Can you name a law this sweeping and transformational that was passed exclusively by one party?

          • Ray in VT

            I can name a major piece of legislation that was passed in the face of near unanimous opposition from the Representatives from one region: the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

          • pete18

            The passage of the Civil Rights act was bipartisan and, in fact, when measured by the votes for and against within the parties, a larger percentage of Republican voted for the bill than Democrats did.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964#By_party

          • Ray in VT

            Hence my reference to regionalism. The South voted almost entirely against it, you know, back when southern conservatives still refused to have anything to do with the Party of Lincoln. Take a look at ideological breakdowns. Liberal support far outweighed conservative support, no matter whether there was a D or an R after one’s name.

          • pete18

            That changes nothing about the bipartisan support by party. There are still conservative and liberal branches in both parties, this has always been the case. Nor does it reflect upon the current fight in which a law was passed exclusively by one party against the wishes of the majority of the American people. You might not like what the republicans are doing, because you are part of the minority that supports the law, but they are using legitimate hardball tactics, which are at least more honest and certainly no worse, than the hardball tactics adopted by the democrats to PASS the bill. The much maligned Tea Party wing was created by the large opposition to Obama Care and are following the wishes of those who voted them into office, which is what elected officials are supposed to do. They are not supposed to pass bills that have such a huge impact on society that is NOT supported by their constitutes.

          • TFRX

            Teabaggers: Basically white Republicans who can’t stand there’s Black Democrat in the White House.

            All the moderate and left “bicurious” sorts abandoned the Tea Party four years ago.

            Please don’t pretend.

          • pete18

            I know, this is a comforting trope for un-serious people like yourself. Care to provide us any evidence for this Balloon Juice talking point?

          • Ray in VT

            There is this:

            http://wmpeople.wm.edu/asset/index/rbrapo/republicanfactionalismandteapartyactivists

            Polls and surveys have tended to show that supporters of the Tea Party tend to be older, whiter and more conservative than the population at large or even within the GOP. There also seems to be a lot of Tea Party opposition to gay marriage.

          • pete18

            Of course you realize that you’re indulging in racist thinking (broad brush conclusions based solely on the race and age of a group, using no other supporting evidence) to support an accusation of racism.

            Am I to assume that the majority of African Americans dislike white politicians? Because as a group they also are in opposition to gay marriage. And I guess that President Obama also disliked himself, because he was black, up until he changed his mind about gay marriage, which he previously did not support.

          • Ray in VT

            Please tell me where I said anything about racism on my comment. I merely pointed to surveys of demographics and political positions of Tea Party members.

            How is that stand against gay marriage going in the polls? It looks like a real winner nationally.

          • pete18

            Oh come now Ray, don’t start to back peddle. You weren’t making a random Tea Party observation, you were responding to my specific call for evidence of Tea Party racism.

          • Ray in VT

            The part of TFRX’s comment that I was keying on was “All the moderate and left “bicurious” sorts abandoned the Tea Party four years ago”. Again, my source said nothing about Tea Party and racial views, although there is this:

            http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/06/19/study-uncovers-anti-black-attitudes-among-tea-party-supporters-but-not-members/

            Which, in part, concludes that “Those who had a favorable view of the tea party, on the other hand, were
            in fact more likely to admit to holding anti-black sentiments.” according to the description in the article and that the researchers “did find that negative attitudes towards African Americans and racial stereotypes were linked to disapproval of Obama”, but that they also “found no difference between the racial attitudes of the general white population and self-identified tea party members.” However, Tea Party supporters were more likely to have racial animus views. It is all very interesting.

          • pete18

            Oh please Ray, your post’s primary focus was the race of Tea Party members. How in the world does that relate to the diminishing presence of the “bicurious” (whatever the hell that means) in the Republican party?

          • Ray in VT

            I merely commented upon an observed demographic reality of the movement. Do you dispute that? It was also only one of four characteristic traits or positions that I mentioned, so how is that making race the primary focus. I didn’t even list it first, although I could have, but just didn’t happen to.

          • pete18

            Don’t dig your hole deeper Ray. In the context of my request for evidence of Tea Party racism, you begin your response with, “There is this:” and then posted an excerpt focusing on the race of most tea party members. You’re smart enough to understand context and the need for some other language if you were focusing on something completely unrelated to my question.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, it’s a good thing that I have you here to tell me what my intent and meaning was. Here I thought that I meant something else. I also do not find the article Republican Factionalism and Tea Party Activists to be something that overly focuses on race, and neither did my comments. Again, are you claiming that Tea Party supporters are not older, whiter, more conservative, more highly opposed to gay marriage and, although I do not think that it was addressed in that article, more opposed to the science of climate change, than the general American population, as well as non-Tea Party GOP supporters?

          • pete18

            Context is everything Ray.

          • Ray in VT

            Again, that was not my point. I was addressing lock step opposition to another major piece of legislation based upon region and ideology.

            As for the ACA, the opponents can always try to repeal a bill by winning elections. They ran a guy for President pretty hard on that, and how did that go. So, failing to defeat it in the legislature, at the polls or in the courts, they’re trying a last, desperate tactic to stop it. Fine. I just think that perhaps they should be ready for someday when the shoe is on the other foot. For instance, should a Republican President in the near future face the filibuster of cabinet officials, I had better not hear any grousing out of the GOP, given what has occurred in the Senate these past few years.

          • pete18

            The shoe is already on the other foot, how does it feel to you? Democrats were trying to defund the Iraq War for over two years after winning the mid-term elections.

          • Ray in VT

            And they always backed off, unless you know of a time when they shut the government down when they couldn’t get their way.

          • jefe68

            The bottom line is it was passed was affirmed by the Supreme court.
            It’s done.

            As Tom Friedman clearly points out you want to repeal win an election.

            Romney ran on repealing the ACA and lost. The Democrats retained the Senate and gained seats. The only thing the GOP won was the house of Representatives. This was due to the extensive gerrymandering that virtually guarantees control for the near future.

            You can protest this all you want, the real issue here is that the Republicans fear this will work. Which is bad for their party.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’ll take that as a no. This is the result of hard line partisan politics. This is the result of a press complicit it selling something completely disconnected from reality.

            Your conclusions are whacked. If this was good for America then Conservatives would be on board.

          • TFRX

            Oh noes, Democrats didn’t bring pillows to a political fight!

            And you really should stay quiet about the press, and be thought a fool. Cos when you open your mouth you are a fool.

            It’s the law, chump. “If it was good for America then Conservatives would be on board”?

            Suffer in silence. You had the chance to make it better, but all your lot could do was piss in the punchbowl.

          • jefe68

            Ouch!

          • jefe68

            Yeah, the hardline extremism of the tea party conservatives such as Ted Cruz.
            You can take my answer anyway you please sir. The facts are there for you to see, or not.

            It’s clear that you don’t understand how our political system works, or so it would seem.

            Conservatives want to dismantle everything from the New Deal on up to the ACA. You are disingenuous and wrong.

          • Ray in VT

            “If this was good for America then Conservatives would be on board.” That often hasn’t been the case in the past, so why should now be any different?

  • OnPointComments

    There isn’t enough said about the people who are truly hurt by the government shutdown.

    • lobstahbisque

      I know…. what if my disability check is late? I might have to eat cake.

      • OnPointComments

        You could always become buddies with Pork Chop Patty Murray. I hear she can direct some funds your way.

        • lobstahbisque

          She’s a criminal friend of yours I take it? Sorry if your mean-spirited drivel didn’t drive me over the edge, i’ll try to become enraged. Sorry, can’t. Try harder….

          • OnPointComments

            Lighten up. Not everything is as serious as you think it is.

      • ExcellentNews

        Disability check? YOU must be one of the 47% of moochers and socialists who DESTROY America by sucking the blood of our heroic job-creator bankers and CEOs….

        • lobstahbisque

          Oh I am not a moocher or socialist. Just a meek and mild disabled person. Now sonny would you help me get my chrome walker to the kitchen. Don’t want the lobster to go bad again. When it turns, the cat won’t eat it. Thanks.

    • OnPointComments

      While there is a government shutdown, the fully automated elevators in the Congress no longer have full time employees to push the buttons for the members; the highest paid button-pusher earns more than $210,000 annually.

  • Sandra Robinson

    When President Obama was first elected a Republican, I believe it was Boehner said something like, if we can stop Obama’s program ( and I think it was the Health Care Plan)
    we can take back the White House. They have done everything and blocked everything they could to accomplish that goal. They, the Republicans seem willing to throw the country under the bus to accomplish that goal.

    • HonestDebate1

      It was Mitch McConnell, the most powerful man in the universe. Obama is helpless and completely impotent compared to the minority leader in the Senate.

    • Shark2007

      The Republicans held a strategy session at the very beginning of Obama’s first term and committed to saying no to everything he wanted (This was covered in a Frontline Report on PBS), even if it was for things they had previously supported. They have been systematically trying to sabotage the economy in an effort to undermine Obama. Even though he can’t run for election again, the Republican’s are still trying to sabotage the economy for political gain.

    • hennorama

      Sandra Robinson — pray tell when exactly “…President Obama was first elected a Republican…”. He is and has been a Democrat, no?

      Your punctuation brings to mind the book ‘Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation’ by Lynne Truss.

      Apropos of the “Panda cam” shutdown, a panda “Eats Shoots & Leaves,” while a person consuming a sandwich at a firing range Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

      See:
      http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/854886-eats-shoots-leaves-the-zero-tolerance-approach-to-punctuation

      • brettearle

        Henn….

        Check out Updike. The Post-modern version [not Roger's] from Rabbit on….

        You’ll find a precedent. [Although not one that I necessarily approve of].

        Class dismissed.

        • hennorama

          brettearle – thank you for the suggestion, although I’m not much of a fan of post-modern-post-Rabbit-not-Roger’s-wild-chased-pre-dismissed-semi-classic-Updike-referenced-old-and-yet-not-forgotten geese.

      • OnPointComments

        An English professor wrote the words:
        “A woman without her man is nothing.”
        and asked his students to punctuate it correctly.

        All the males wrote:
        “A woman, without her man, is nothing.”

        All the females wrote:
        “A woman: without her, man is nothing.”

        Punctuation is powerful.

      • nj_v2

        Amazes me that a book about punctuation has a punctuation error in the title (two, actually). Ironies never cease. Like, really, WTF?

        Corrected: “…The Zero-Tolerance Approach to Punctuation”

        My favorite example of the need for the hyphen in compound modifiers:

        She regularly enjoyed extra, marital sex.

        She regularly enjoyed extra-marital sex.

        And while we’re at it, the use of the ampersand is wrong, too. Only appropriate in organizational names and titles, not as shorthand for and.

        • HonestDebate1

          Did you mean It amazes me?

          • nj_v2

            It’s implied. Message-board shorthand. Anyone with half a functioning brain and who isn’t trying to play childish “gotcha” games would recognize that.

            You, of all people, have no legitimacy on matters of grammar, syntax, or style.

            And if you were writing your comment correctly, it would read, “Did you mean, ‘It amazes me?’

        • hennorama

          nj_v2 — one suspects that such discussions of punctuation will become even fewer and further between, as English adapts to accommodate digital language.

          C U L8TR.

          • nj_v2

            I’m no expert in digital-device shorthand, but i’m thinking the T is redundant there.

          • hennorama

            nj_v2 – Touché. Clearly I too am “no expert in digital-device shorthand.”

  • Mike_Card

    So, the tea-crack-head party has decided that the way to reduce the national debt is to put it on the backs of the Federal employees. Is there anything at all with this picture?

  • ExcellentNews

    Our divided society and non-functional government are not accidents. They are the PLANNED result of a class war the oligarchy has been successfully waging on the middle class. The fundamental conflict in our society is not between Republicans or Democrats, believers vs non-believers, progressives vs. conservatives. It is between a small elite of owners, executives and bankers (who do best in an oligarchic banana-republic society) and a working middle class (who does best in a social democracy).

    In that conflict, the oligarchy correctly identified a functioning government as the enemy. Hence, a sustained campaign, funded with big private money to gut a system that made America truly the “shining city on a hill” for the free world in the middle of the 20th century. Doubt it? Look at the data:

    – banking deregulation in the early 90s
    – massive offshoring of unionized jobs in the 90s and 00s.
    – energy deregulation in the late 90s
    – sellout of government functions to “contractors” in the 00s
    – sellout of public lands, gutting of environmental standards
    – consolidation of media, undermining of journalism…etc.

    Who has benefited from these? If you guessed people like Grover Nordquist, the Koch Brothers, Roger Ailes, Mitt Romney,…etc, you guessed right. Since the 90s, it is estimated that over 20 TRILLION in wealth has been accumulated and stashed offshore. Who lost? The 90% of Americans who have seen their income stagnate or drop in the last 20 years (despite working harder and producing more).

    How did it happen? We the people were asleep. We let the oligarchy co-opt and purchase the Republican party
    (and many democrats too). We let them put us in little boxes with non-issues such as gay marriage, school prayer, gun ownership…etc. so that they could get the votes needed to give themselves an inheritance tax cut, a tax cut on profits made by robbing the middle class blind, and shuffle over 5 TRILLION in public funds into corporate welfare. The war on terror and 9/11 were an unexpected bonanza to them – keep the populace scared and distracted while the gutting was going on.

    Unless we the people understand what happened, we will never be able to come together and fix our system. Because the system is not broken by accident – it is broken by an intent that is powerful, well-funded, and smoothly executed.

  • ExcellentNews

    Because they cannot let the popular vote that brought Obama to power succeed. They need the country to crash so badly that people think they made a mistake voting for a progressive, and elect a banana republic president like George W. Bush the Third again. And why they want something like that? Because thanks to their negligent, trickle-down, tax-cutting policies, 80% of Americans did not see any benefit from the 80 TRILLION dollars in new wealth America generated since the 90s.

  • ExcellentNews

    The “Republicans” are funded by a small clique of billionaire oligarchs. In reality, most Republicans are just ordinary Americans who suffer as much as their Democratic countrymen, and but have been co-opted thanks to particular points of belief. So, first please do not lump “Republicans” like that – it is one of the things their paymasters actually want to keep us divided.

    But you are right – the oligarchy sees a good, functioning government as their enemy. During the Bush era, so many government function were gutted or turned over to crony private contractors. In 2008, John Boehner declared the purpose of the party was to “destroy Obama”. This has not changed, and thanks to a gerrymandered congress (courtesy of Tom DeLay), Obama has not been able to govern and the popular will has not been implemented. We are effectively governed by the same policies that prevailed under Bush, because the oligarchy benefits from it.

  • Liberal Reader

    Great show, Tom. I really appreciate the opportunity you give for a more philosophical discussion of the sources of polarization in American society.

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