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Thomas Friedman And American Democracy At Risk

New York Times columnist Tom Friedman on gerrymandering, the shutdown, and our democracy, he says, on the line — right now.

With the federal government out of money and out of time, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., center, meets with House GOP conferees as the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate remain at an impasse, neither side backing down over Obamacare, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. (AP)

With the federal government out of money and out of time, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., center, meets with House GOP conferees as the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate remain at an impasse, neither side backing down over Obamacare, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. (AP)

In the midst of a federal shutdown that now looks as if it could go on for weeks, House Speaker John Boehner came out of the White House last night saying just talk to us, Mr. President.  Just negotiate.  So far, President Obama is saying no – not under these circumstances.  Not as a hostage.  New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman is saying hang tough, Mr. President – our democracy itself is at stake.  Big money politics, partisan media and ideologically-rigid redistricting, he says, are threatening to blow up majority rule. Up next On Point:  Tom Friedman, shutdown, and American democracy.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Thomas Friedman, three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist and author of “That Used To Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back” and “Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution—And How It Can Renew America.” (@TomFriedman)

Robert Costa, Washington Editor at the National Review. (@RobertCostaNRO)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Our Democracy is At Stake — “When extremists feel that insulated from playing by the traditional rules of our system, if we do not defend those rules — namely majority rule and the fact that 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 — then our democracy is imperiled.”

National Journal: The GOP Keeps Getting Whiter –  ”In the process of quarantining Democrats, Republicans effectively purged millions of minority voters from their own districts, and that should raise a warning flag. By drawing themselves into safe, lily-white strongholds, have Republicans inadvertently boxed themselves into an alternate universe that bears little resemblance to the rest of the country?”

The Weekly Standard: Stand Pat — “The best thing Speaker Boehner could probably do now is to say it’s obvious Senate Democrats aren’t going to negotiate, that the House GOP remains ready to talk (and the GOP conferees are in town and ready to confer), but that he’s sending the rest of the Republican congressmen home for the next few days in order to talk with their constituents. The members would be liberated from the Beltway bubble, free to make their case where they can best make it, able to fight back against media attempts to exaggerate the consequences of the shutdown, and would have a chance to remind voters, in the exchanges’ first week of operation, of just how bad in how many ways Obamacare is.”

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  • http://freeourfreemarkets.org/ Steve Banicki

    Not only is how we govern at stake, but so is our status in the world order.

    If you were living in or overseeing an emerging country like Brazil, Mexico, Kenya or South Africa how comfortable would you be to have your nation solely rely on your affiliation with the United States for your future?

    From afar you see the U.S. having a difficult time taking care of its own business. You see a group of politicians threatening to shut down their government in order to prevent the enactment of a healthcare program that was passed according to law and a Supreme Court ruling it is constitutional. These politicians are willing to risk the credibility of their government in the eyes of the world for the sake of remaining in good standing with a splinter group called the Tea Party.

    You see a congress and senate not willing to support a president who wants to punish Syria for using a weapon of mass destruction as defined by the United States and the United Nations. You also see other leading nations of the world not willing to protect civilians from chemical weapons.

    You see the infrastructure of the largest economy of the world crumbling while there is a significant labor pool begging for work. You further notice that relative education levels of its citizenry is slipping when compared to other nations…. http://lstrn.us/1ap2Gev

  • TomK_in_Boston

    “Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events.”—A. Lincoln, Cooper Union, 1859.

    Sound familiar?

    Please, re-secede. You can go this time.

    • Don_B1

      That was one of Abraham Lincoln’s finest speeches (of many, but only a few more important, like the Gettysburg Address and his Second Inauguration Speech).

      It deserves a lot more attention and respect.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Waiting for the sequel to “Hot, Flat and Crowded”

    The next one will be just: “Flat and Crowded”

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      “Global warming pause…” ; nice BBC news article, with a good chart midway through.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24173504

      A person does have to wonder, though, if the Swedish company, HydroInfra Technologies, plays a factor in Sweden’s push to deal with global warming. This is not a bad thing, if they do. Why not, if HydroInfra is on to something? !

      http://revolution-green.com/2013/08/31/hydro-nano-gas-or-hng-an-answer-to-greenhouse-gases/

    • Ray in VT

      Why? Are we now having too much global cooling, like Cato’s climate guy said that we would back in the early 1990s?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        It was meant as a joke.

        But ole Tom was calling for $billions to be spent on green technologies to solve all our woes. The money was spent but I don’t see the jobs, etc.

        • Ray in VT

          I just thought that you were making a climate change shot. My apologies.

          Green tech and jobs aren’t a cure all, but they offer some good options and benefits. Has the initiative worked out as expected? No, but we’ve seen an expansion of green jobs, increased generation and some drop in cost of technology and production.

        • Don_B1

          Tom Friedman correctly called for spending in support of green technologies as part of the recovery.

          But as has been shown time and again, the “$billions” spent in the ARRA was more than counteracted by the CUTS in government spending by the states collectively to meet their mandated “balanced budget” requirements. Thus while private sector job growth is slowly regenerating some of the economy, the continuing loss of (mostly state) government jobs due to slow revenue increases not spent on job growth is acting as a brake on middle- and lower income jobs.

  • Vic Volpe
    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Interesting blog, thanks.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    “The largest U.S. health insurers collected some $650 billion in premiums in 2009… “.

    http://health.usnews.com/health-plans/national-insurance-companies
    ——————————————————–
    101 Million Americans do not have a job ?

    http://www.infowars.com/more-than-101-million-working-age-americans-do-not-have-a-job/
    ——————————————————–
    “76% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck“

    http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/24/pf/emergency-savings/index.html
    ————————————————————-
    Average hospital stay cost in 2010 was: $9700.00.

    So if you had a $4000,00 deductible with an 80/20 plan, your cost would have been $4000 + .2(5700) = $4000 + $1140 = $5140. That would be $5140/24 months = 214.xx per month for 2 years + the continuing cost to carry your insurance premium (for the rest of your life). Now let’s see, if we allow for the 76 percent of Americans that have zero free play in their paycheck and a hundred million people without any paying job at all, …. Let’s see here, ahhhh, ummmm…. let’s see here…ahhh…..ummmm……

    Wooooooooooooops !

    http://www.hcupus.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb146.pdf

  • Yar

    “We can’t make money without slavery.” This is our history, nothing has changed, slave owners think they are the source of productivity. Holy scripture is full of examples of cycles of slavery and slave rebellions. It is human nature to exploit, rationalize, and test limits. I am sure each thinks the other is wrong, but the fight continues because one side can’t accept right. Slavery was race based, economic slavery continues as a form of class oppression.
    Calling healthcare a job killer is more of a personal prediction for republicans instead of a national fact. Inflation is artificially held down while shifting responsibility of debts from private to the pubic, think bank bail outs. We are in for a period of hyperinflation, it is not a redistribution of wealth, it is simply new accounting, the wealth is already redistributed when economic slaves worked for less than a living wage. This is the root of the fight over healthcare. Ponzi could not see limits to his economic model. Slavery, economic or otherwise can’t expand indefinitely.

    • HonestDebate1

      Health care is not job killer but Obamacare sure is. That’s not really debatable.

      I understand you are trying to make a broader point but the comparison to slavery is way off base.

      • Ray in VT

        Not debatable on talk radio and in the Tea Party maybe, but debatable among economists:

        http://money.cnn.com/2013/09/30/news/economy/obamacare-jobs/index.html

        • HonestDebate1

          I read it, it doesn’t look like much of a debate to me.

          • Ray in VT

            Perhaps you merely used your magic dictionary glasses to read what you wanted?

          • HonestDebate1

            Fine Ray, whatever.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m still just trying to squint really hard to find the words in the definitions that you claim are there but which I cannot see.

          • HonestDebate1

            You would have a point if you could cite this alleged word. You can’t. You’re just stewing about something no one cares about. I suppose you must have replied to a comment from yesterday but I have no intention of scrolling that far back. I’ve said all I need to on this. Live under whatever illusions you choose.

          • Ray in VT

            I have cited it many times. Maybe you just don’t like the dictionary when it disagrees with you. I believe that words have meanings. People should care about that, lest liars misled them with that which is blatantly false.

          • HonestDebate1

            Dodge dodge Yadda yadda,

          • Ray in VT

            Nope. Just not playing your idiotic games so that you can either claim that words that are clearly not there are there or that next week you can just claim that I have never provided any references.

          • HonestDebate1

            Bizarre, just let it go. You’ll sleep better.

          • Ray in VT

            I sleep very well, but I see no need to let something go where I am clearly right and repeatedly lied to. I will also not accept your inalienable/unalienable contention. It lacks factual backing, although it does not seem that you require that to steadfastly hold and espouse a position that is clearly within the realm of fact and not belief.

      • Yar

        Honest debate does not want to debate the job killing aspects of obamacare? Not covering health care either through a living wage or as a society is a form of slavery. Personal responsibility is paying for the services you use. So when you buy a Big Mack, you should pay for the server’s healthcare with that purchase. This is the same fight we had in 1864, we can’t grow cotton without the labor of slaves. Today it is we can’t sell big Mack’s if we have to cover health care. I am happy to replace the ACA with single payer. Let’s debate the most efficient system, not that some workers don’t deserve access.

        • HonestDebate1

          The unions are lining up against it, why? It’s a job killer. Part-time employment is at an all time high, why? Because business does not have to comply for employees who work under 30 hours. Why would anyone create a job in this climate?

          And no, not covering health care either through a living wage or as a society is NOT a form of slavery. That’s highly insulting to the reality of the horror of slavery.

          • John_in_Amherst

            Job killing is only part of the picture. Another is that many unions did not get waivers (yes, the waivers that conservatives assert are supposed to be favoring Obama supporters), because their health plans did not comply w/ ACA guidelines.

          • HonestDebate1

            I agree, the tentacles reach into all kinds of nooks and crannies.

          • John_in_Amherst

            another cranny: there are 5-10% of the people polled who don’t want the ACA because it did not go far enough, especially after all the compromises made to pass it. Universal coverage, single payer would be best.

          • HonestDebate1

            One of the most dastardly aspects of this debacle is that it is not supposed to work, it’s all a ruse. This is a stepping stone to single-payer and nothing else. Obama laid out the plan years ago.

            By any means necessary

          • John_in_Amherst

            Big Business would like to be on equal footing with the rest of the developed world by the US also having single-payer universal coverage NOT tied to employment. The rest of the world recognizes that the “free market” cannot function in healthcare because buyers (aka patients) don’t have the time or expertise or options to make free market choices.

          • HonestDebate1

            NHS is such a great example of the standard.

          • Yar

            I agree those who work less than 20 hours should have healthcare, and the mandate is that they will. Now how do we make their wages high enough to pay for it? I am even for the poor paying taxes, only to do so we have to raise wages to a level that they are no longer poor. Economic slavery is a horror. Actual locked door slavery also exists today in America. Read Tomatoland. You can’t put a tomato on your Big Mack without contributing to some form of slavery. Don’t say it isn’t that bad (highly insulting), for those who live in conditions of slavery, it is worse, because it is happening today to them and nobody seems to be doing anything about it. The first step is to acknowledge we exploit.

          • HonestDebate1

            The way we make their wages higher is to have a vibrant economy and encourage profit in the market place. Higher taxes and arbitrary wages are both antithetical to that.

          • Yar

            I agree wages should not be arbitrary, they should be tied to cost of living, read the parable of the laborers. Every employee was paid a day’s wage regardless of when he was recruited. The concept is that everyone requires a meal in order to be fit for work tomorrow. Looking at only one side of the problem never gets to justice. Work should feed and care for the worker. Our global economy has lost the connection between work and value. Someone somewhere will do your job for less than you, and maybe even better than you. That does not mean you are over paid, it means you live in a local economy that values you as a member. A living wage is connected to value of neighbor. If you don’t have productive work then our society has made poor choices and is ignoring our neighbors. Hope is tied to value created through productive work.

  • Coastghost

    “On Point” editor(s): surely your guest from National Review would appreciate having his surname spelled properly (at 5:45 am ET shown as “Coasta”): whenever I spy the name “Costa”, I see but a single “a”.
    (Congratulations, though, on displaying his Twitter link correctly.)

  • Coastghost

    As long as Jeff Bezos benefits from having WaPo content featured prominently in NPR productions, “On Point” listeners might also find this recent post informative:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/01/why-boehner-doesnt-just-ditch-the-right/

    • JGC

      That is a great interview. And very bleak.

  • StilllHere

    Democracy is imperiled? Seriously? I get that it’s a slow news day and we have to cycle through the same tired talking heads from NYT,WaPo … but come on. This is not our first shutdown. There were no long-term impacts from the last one that occurred 17 years ago and lasted 22 days. Like any form of government, democracy can be messy but there’s no point in the hyperbole unless you’re trying to sell advertising.

    Gerrymandering is an excuse people use for not winning elections.

    • John_in_Amherst

      gerrymandering is a tool used by nefarious pols to insure they do win. And the democratic process and the shut-down are different topics.

      • newsfan46

        The guest in the interview brought it up. Not Stillhere. They were just responding.

  • Bluejay2fly

    The north once had livable union jobs but it was the South that began courting business to come down there in a non unionized states. Soon the lure of cheap labor caused many industries to move South. Now these same companies are moving to China or Mexico again in the hunt for cheaper labor. That is vulture capitalism traveling from host to host.

    • Don_B1

      Tim Proksch
      ——-

      Bluejay2fly:

      You beat me to this important point.

      Tim needs to think about whether he thinks what is all right for his predecessors to have done is now somehow wrong for others to do when it is in their interest.

      What also needs to be considered is that Northerners did step up and support (though not strongly enough) efforts to retrain workers and develop new industries to replace the lost jobs. Now the “South” needs to do the same, but unfortunately that takes government action which he apparently rejects out of ideology.

      • Bluejay2fly

        They also used energy costs as an excuse and that justification caused many military bases to close and move south. If people are relying on this bought off gov to do the right thing then they might as well play powerball and hope to save themselves.

        • Don_B1

          The odds of winning at Powerball (or any other “lottery”) are worse than the odds of finding a gold needle in a 5000 cubic yard pile of gold-colored hay, so they shouldn’t have great hopes.

  • John_in_Amherst

    Obama care super packs? What of The Kochs, Adelson, Murdoch and crossroads GPS, who is , well, who the hell knows… What does it say about a party when thier top sugar daddies are a couple petrochemical libertarians and a casino magnet will to throw hundreds of millions each into the party coffers, and a tabloid journalist who is best known for dumbing down political discourse throughout the English speaking world, and runs his holdings as a propaganda arm of the party?

  • HonestDebate1

    It’s the people who empower politicians to gerrymander districts. It can get ridiculous, just look at NC’s 12th district in the 90′s. Of course no one made a federal case of it because it favored democrats.

    • Ray in VT

      I’m surprised that the esteemed civil rights group the NAAWP didn’t sue.

      • HonestDebate1

        Nice analogy but there is no comparison between the KKK and the NAACP. I certainly never made one. All I did was ask what we would call the National Association for the Advancement of White People. Then your head exploded.

        • Ray in VT

          So you no longer wonder why they are not seen in the same light?

          Correct, there is no comparison. One is a civil rights group that has worked to secure equal rights for a long discriminated against minority. The other is a racist, violent hate group that has sought to keep said minorities down.

          • HonestDebate1

            Your description of the NAACP is a bit outdated. This is not the same organization that the white Republicans founded all those year ago. They no longer give a damn about blacks and policies they have supported have been devastating to the black community.

          • Ray in VT

            Thank you for sharing the view from Whitesouthernconverativeopia. You’ve made me very familiar with it.

          • HonestDebate1

            When the white Republicans founded the NAACP is 1909 there was a great need. This is 2013.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup, and the groups goals of attaining an equal place at the table have been totally achieved, so they should just close up shop and let many African Americans go back to the one group that really has their best interests at heart currently and historically: southern white conservatives. Southern African Americans seem to really like them and their agenda.

          • HonestDebate1

            Under the law, yes. The work is done. Any attempt to legislate equal outcome on the basis of race is hideous and racist. We have equal opportunity under the law. There is no law that gives advantage to whites and in fact if anything it goes the opposite way. Some of us believe very strongly that blacks are capable and intelligent. Others believe they need whitey’s help to represent the most basic civic responsibilities.

            The NAACP doesn’t have to close shop but they should embrace a few, maybe just one, black conservatives who are great role models for the disenfranchised black youth.

            Why the South hate? There are plenty of Southern black Conservatives. Where’s the love? You really do live I’m the past. Are there any blacks in Vermont? If so do you know any?

            [edit] Actually, never mind. We are way off topic and the blog probably does not appreciate it. I should not have taken your injected race bait.

          • Ray in VT

            Oh yeah. They get treated totally the same under the law. I could cite the statistics again regarding higher arrest rates for the same crime and longer sentences for the same crimes, but you don’t believe that, so I guess that that settles it.

            Thank you for bringing up once again the straw man of equal outcomes. I know, people all over are just clamoring for that, except that they are not.

            Maybe the NAACP could embrace the conservatives who denigrate them by comparing that racist hate groups or who support laws that disproportionately affect African Americans. That sounds like a great approach.

            It’s funny that those who seem to claim that they believe great things about African Americans often talk a very different talk when it comes to many African Americans. Them whities claim to believe a lot of good things while saying some very different things. I give you funny numbers on race, crime and rape for instance.

            No, we have no black people in Vermont. I might be wrong, though. My vision has become pretty bad from all the squinting due to trying to see all the invisible words. If there are plenty of black conservatives, then how come there seem to be so few of them. One would think that the GOP and the Tea Party could attract a much larger percentage of the African American community if they and their policies/agendas were so great.

    • John_in_Amherst

      so it sounds like you recognize there can be problems w/ gerrymandering. let’s get rid of it so it doesn’t favor either major party.

      • HonestDebate1

        I agree it’s a problem but as with most things, we the people have the power to fix it with our vote. Otherwise we have to amend the Constitution.

        • John_in_Amherst

          So are you arguing in favor of it? as you know, the problem w/ gerrymandering is that it dilutes individuals’ votes by aggregating voters together in ways that favor a party, and not just a party, but its more extreme wing. Voters can vote, but gerrymandering weakens individual votes. I’d like my vote to be “full strength”, not weakened by gerrymandering

          • HonestDebate1

            No, I’m just saying it is what it is. I don’t like it but I think the issue is being overblown because it seems to be favoring Republicans at this point. Other than that I agree with you.

          • John_in_Amherst

            there is no one answer. so unless we chip away at all the parts of the problem, we get bupkiss. Gerrymandering is low hanging fruit.

  • John_in_Amherst

    How to restore democracy? Limit money in politics (overturn Citizens United & give democracy back to people, period), implement national redistricting that dilutes the effects of extremism brought about by gerrymandering, shorten campaigning to a month or two (to sharpen the public’s focus and limit the effects of spending) and bring back critical, in-depth reporting by the media.

  • jimino

    You comment is a perfect example of the misdirected anger that fuels our democracy’s current troubles, and which I can only conclude stems from an utter ignorance of how you and our country got to the place you so bitterly complain about.

    Hasta la vista baby. Maybe you will find Galt Gulch wherever you end up.

  • Fredlinskip

    Definition of Conservative: “holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation”
    They have a long proud history of being on wrong side of issues and then to have collective amnesia about it.

    Conservatives were willing to fight to the death to continue practice of Slavery.
    They fought to prevent workers having rights or minimum wage.
    They fought vehemently against Woman’s right to vote- womans role is in house after all.
    They fought against civil rights and founded Ku Klux Klan.
    They fought against Social Security and Medicare

    Should it be a surprise they are willing to severely damage our nation simply to prevent a law to take effect that calls for more inclusive health care practices?

    Unlike the real Boston Tea Party, Conservatives during American Revolution were known as “Tories” who supported British rule.

    Nor should it surprise that they may be willing to die as long as the wealthy few become wealthier at the expense of everyone else.
    This is the Conservative “American Way”

    • Bluejay2fly

      A true conservative sees everybody in the country as valuable and does not turn his attention only to the elites. Unfortunately, like Christianity which teaches peace and love we have an imperfect practice of both. You cannot be Christian and be a war mongering racist anymore than you could be conservative and serve the needs of the wealthy at great expense to the many. We need a revolution of thought in this nation. PS One footnote you forgot to mention how those “Tories” departed the USA in droves and built Canada!

      • John_in_Amherst

        True Christians do more than borrow His name, they practice the teachings of Christ. They care for the sic, poor and imprisoned. see http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25%3A31-46&version=ESV
        How most Conservatives of today have the gall to call themselves Christian is beyond understanding.

      • Fredlinskip

        I agree we need a “revolution of thought in this nation”. There is lots of historical precedence to guide us on present issues that is willfully ignored.

        Not surprised “conservatives” disliked my comment.

        Regardless, I don’t see anyone denying that Conservatives were on the “wong” side of issues mentioned.

        You’re also right many conservative tories moved to Canada. French had a bit to with “building Canada”. French also had a lot to do with winning American revolutionl- to their short-term detriment as we were not particularly good at repaying our War debt.

    • Fredlinskip

      oops- posted wrong spot

  • JGC

    I am interested to hear the viewpoints from the Millenial generation (roughly born between 1983-2001). It seems like there is no lack of perspective from the older folks, who tend to control the system and the conversation, and yet it is the Millenials who are the most squeezed and have the most at stake.

    What in the government shutdown resonates for you, Millenial, and how will you use your power to affect change?

    • newsfan46

      They don’t care. They will. But right now, they don’t.

      • JGC

        Thanks, newsfan46. I’ve been waiting all day for a reply. I know they care deeply, and that I am probably on the wrong forum to connect with them…I did find there is a Millenial Action Project, which is non-partisan and has youth congressional leaders from both parties. The sad truth is that there are only a handful of Millenials in the elected Congress ( something like only 20 or less out of over 400ish) It is very hard for them to have their voices heard against numbers like that.

        But I have no confidence in the current entrenched leadership. I am really looking for younger folks to step up and turn this around.

        • newsfan46

          I really don’t think they do. Some do of course. And the ones that don’t know they should. But the effort that it would take to be informed is just not a priority for them.

  • John Cedar

    Our founding fathers purposely and ingeniously vested veto power in both the upper and lower house, as well as in the White House, specifically to limit governments power to act in the affirmative but allow it great power to act in the negative. Now some pompous inept pseudo-intellectual naive misinformed ignorant NYT’s writer wants to redefine how things are supposed to work.

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      And to enable idiotlogues to hold the country hostage with no sense of responsibility except to their commitment to destroy federal power and unshackle their wealthy donors from any regulation, responsibility or accountability.

    • John_in_Amherst

      so how do you really feel about TF?
      And can you seriously believe that the framers of the constitution intended their creation to be so unworkable?

  • Ed75

    If God has to bring down the country to stop abortion … he will. As the Civil War, with its tremendous damage, stopped slavery.

    • Ray in VT

      Shutting down the government won’t stop abortion, and many of those who sought to uphold slavery certainly claimed the support of God and cited the Bible.

      • Bluejay2fly

        The bible can justify anything.

        • Ray in VT

          It certainly has been used to support just about any position that one wants over time. It’s easy to pick out the bits that one wants. For instance take these passages from Exodus:

          http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+21%3A1-11&version=KJV

          It seems that I can sell out my daughter as a servant.

          • TFRX

            Whaddya asking. I’ll offer two goats and a milk cow.

            Actually, I should check the Bible to see if that’s a fair trade.

          • Ray in VT

            Throw in a couple of chickens and maybe I’ll think about it. Oh wait, the evil government violates my liberty to follow that holy book as my faith might compel me to.

          • 1Brett1

            A couple of chickens?! I would have never pegged you the greedy sort…

          • Ray in VT

            Just trying to maximize profit. Maximum profit is the only consideration.

          • 1Brett1

            “It seems that I can sell out my daughter as a servant.”

            One can assume by your comment that you are not currently doing so…how un-Christian-like…I suppose you won’t trade her for a couple of goats, either! Jeesh!

    • nj_v2

      Maybe The Onion is hiring. Ed could freelance.

    • J__o__h__n

      The debt limit is hardly a civil war. Perhaps his powers are diminished.

    • Bluejay2fly

      If God hates abortion so much why is he against gays and lesbians? Seems like nobody has fewer abortions then them.

      • TFRX

        And, to tangent, don’t gays and lesbians also do a disproportionate amount of adopting children, compared to heteros?

        (I’m going on the unproven idea that more adoption means less abortion. It’s a popular slogan.)

  • William

    Friedman has a sick love affair with benevolent authoritarianism. Big government is always right and don’t dare question it.

    • John_in_Amherst

      examples/evidence?

      • William
        • John_in_Amherst

          Congrats! You have proved that tongue-in-cheek satire is lost on some people.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Friedman said he was envious of the Chinese system –dictatorship — so he could quickly realize his goals. He went as far as wishing for a suspension of the Constitution — just until his green infrastructure was built out.

    • OnPointComments

      Inside every liberal is an authoritarian dictator.

      • TFRX

        Tom Friedman is your idea of a liberal?

        • Jim

          not even close… he is a fake conservative.

          • TFRX

            Hmm. I’d say he’s more that than liberal.

  • alsordi

    “congress is concerned for the effects the shutdown has on veterans”

    Most americans would get warm and fuzzy from a such news headline, but most non-americans clearly see through the hypocrisy. Because if the US congress was so concerned about veterans, they would have never sent them off in the first place to fight imperialist wars based on lies, only to come back maimed for life.
    History shows that US soldiers lives and limbs have always been all too expendable as are those of the millions of their foreign victims.

    • Bluejay2fly

      22 yrs USNR retired. You are correct. Interestingly, the military is the only government job where if you retire and have a disability they will not compensate you for it. They may give you 500 a month for loss of hearing but then they reduce your pension by the same amount. At least that was the case when I retired I doubt it has changed.

  • 65noname

    typical of this spin program; How about simply providing some honest analysis? Or if you’re going to do this farce of pretending to provide “fair & balanced”, how about real a “progressive” analyst instead of a right of center neo-lib and an extremist right winger.
    Friedman, the dude who promised that Iraq had WMD; who assured us that he just knew that the bushie administration would do a great job of turning iraq into a flourhsing democracy; who filled pages and the airwaves with tens of thousands of words about how India was a great, thriving democracy, apparently ignoring the forced labor, selling women into slavery, the forced taking of the land of whole villages for the economic profit of large corporate entities, the rampant culture of violent rape, the people starving to death in the streets of all the major cities, yea, just the guy to provide some more insightful and intelligent analysis.

    You go government radio!!!!!!! Don’t forget to demand that we send money to you because of the “news that you can’t get anywhere else”

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      And to think some call this anti-American, communist, socialist, leftist radio!

      • jefe68

        Correction: it’s anti-American, communist, socialist, fascist, intellectual, elitist, leftist radio.

        • lobstahbisque

          Hey you forgot “latte swilling”…..socialist, fascist…….

          • HonestDebate1

            Actually “liberal” is all that needs to be said, the rest just follows.

          • nj_v2

            Something about yacht parties too, i think.

          • 1Brett1

            And “limousine-riding…”

          • 1Brett1

            What about “limp-wristed, latte-swilling…”?

          • HonestDebate1

            Easy now, don’t be intolerant of Lobstah’s sexuality.

          • 1Brett1

            Figures you would pretend to read it that way. Why don’t we talk about your views about how there shouldn’t be any same-sex marriage? We could find out who the real bigot is here.

          • Ray in VT

            Hey, they can have their separate but equal thing.

          • lobstahbisque

            Now your (sic) talkin’! That’s MY territory, you Commie pinko you!

        • Bluejay2fly

          That’s why I just stick to the comment board.

    • jefe68

      I’m not a fan of Mr. Friedman. But if you read his article you might find that he makes some good points.

      I agree, it would be more interesting if they had on Noam Chomsky or someone who could strip the artifice of the plutocracy we now live in bare.

      Friedman is a millionaire married to a billionaire, he’s hardly in a position to understand a federal worker making 40K a year that has been furloughed or the elderly who will lose their meals on wheels.

      • HonestDebate1

        The furloughs amount to paid vacations and the elderly are fine, that’s just an emotional tactic. If you have a problem then blame Obama, this is his doing.

        • Bluejay2fly

          Even if they could use vacation time what about workers who do not have any? They get unpaid time off from work. Those who can use their vacation time now cannot used to when they want so they get screwed too.

          • HonestDebate1

            They will be paid.

          • Bluejay2fly

            I have 15 years government service I doubt it. I got 9 days last year of UNPAID time off.

          • HonestDebate1

            There was no shut down last year. Are you furloughed?

          • Bluejay2fly

            Since all gov. contracts are different some if not many will be unpaid. All pay and benefits are different among the different agencies in the gov ( e.g. the US military is not subject to overtime rues).

          • HonestDebate1

            Back pay will be the first bill passed after the charade is over.

          • Bluejay2fly

            Maybe, but some with crappier contracts will be left out. I have a friend who is a Federal Prison Guard for many years they made him work an 8 1/2 day because of lunch. You do not get to walk away from your inmates and return in a half hour so he had to work the entire shift with no break. The guards eventually sued wanting to be paid for the 1/2 hour they worked everyday. The Gov response was to create this thing called lunch reliefs so you can get your half hour. Because of the shortage of reliefs you may get your lunch break as soon as your shift started or at the end. Many never got it at all and yet the gov refused to pay them or change the hours worked. That is how the gov. treats its employees.

        • jefe68

          You sure have a limited abilities to parse the complexity of our 21st century world.
          Furloughs are not paid vacations.
          And the elderly are not all fine.

          • HonestDebate1

            They will be paid, period. The elderly are not adversely affected by the shut down.

      • 65noname

        Even a broke clock is correct twice a day. The fact vis that he spouts his neo-lib economics all over the place (ffor great profit) espousing globalization, support for horrific working conditions in third world countries, demanding that amerikan workers get with the program and give up their hard earned right to a livable wage and pensions, etc, all the while romantizing the financiers and economists who brought on the recession while making billions themselves.
        And if he’s not in a position to understand moderate and low income workers, then government rafio should stop presenting him as an analyst who understands the ecoonomy when, in fact, he is a paid spin dude for a neo-lib economy.

    • Bluejay2fly

      100% Correct. Nice Job!!!

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Exactly. No consequences for being wrong for the media elite. Wrong time after time and the respect never diminishes Amazing.

  • Bluejay2fly

    George Carlin said it best “The reason we have greedy, selfish, unenlightened leaders in this country is because we have greedy, selfish, unenlightened Americans.Our leaders did not come from space and they were not born in a vaccum. They are the product of American schools, were raised in American families, and prayed in American churches, and worked in American businesses”. Maybe we should start there.

    • lobstahbisque

      I wish that were still the case but it has gotten worse since he died. Now it’s the politicians who choose their constituents, not the right way around as he described…

      • Bluejay2fly

        We need to start by creating a society not hell bent on self interest at the expense of others.

    • myblusky

      I’ve met numerous people from the Middle East and India, and every single one of them tells me I don’t know how lucky I am to have this government. That makes me incredibly depressed for the rest of the world because our system is effed up!

      • Bluejay2fly

        How about this. If every nation on earth wasted resources like the USA how long would the planet last? We are not only showing the world how incompetent we are at social engineering but also economic engineering. A model of continuous economic growth through over consumption is a great legacy to hand over to India and China.

  • jefe68

    Where has Tom Friedman been? Our “democracy” has been bought and sold for and we are really a plutocracy.
    George Carlin had it right, the owners of this nation are want it all, and they are getting it.

    • Bluejay2fly

      We have been bought off with too many gizmo’s and distractions.

    • HonestDebate1

      I own this nation, you own this nation.

      • Bluejay2fly

        Just like you have Rights? It’s an illusion. A revocable privilege.

      • lobstahbisque

        “This land is your land, this land is my land….
        From California, to the New York Island…..
        From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters….
        This land was made for you and me.”
        Who was that socialist who wrote this?

        • HonestDebate1

          Arlo’s dad of course, but that socialist was talking about land.

          • lobstahbisque

            Metaphorically…. You went to public school I take it? Where they preach Amerikan exceptionalism and nothing else. You do know what metaphor is don’t you, or don’t you?

          • HonestDebate1

            I went to a private school in the 2nd, 4th, 5th and have of 6th grade. The rest was public. I don;t remember ever being taught much about American exceptionalism in either.

            Artist are suppose to be hungary. They are supposed to make their own way. We should not be funded by government, it ruins everything and dilutes the art.

          • lobstahbisque

            Tell it to Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. They all had support from what was then the government. Only Haydn was “hungary” in that his great Patron, Prince Esterhazy was himself, “Hungarian”.

          • HonestDebate1

            You are talking about kingdoms, we are not a kingdom. I’m all for patrons. Tchaikovsky had Nadezhda von Meck.

          • lobstahbisque

            So did Debussy by the way, that’s not much known.

          • HonestDebate1

            Lots of them did. BTW I am a big fan of both. I love the Romantic era music from Liszt to Chopin to Debussy.

            Right now I’m working on a project about the medieval period. It’s a lot of work and research. I’m a bit hungry. It’s a gamble for a future payday… as it should be. My contract says I get zip until a profit is made on the film.

          • Ray in VT

            You’re a bit hungry? Did you give your last $20 to Newt again?

          • HonestDebate1

            Yea.

          • Ray in VT

            Is he fundraising for the moonbase or gearing up for another divorce?

          • HonestDebate1

            Both.

          • Ray in VT

            Callista better keep an eye on him. That should be pretty easy, considering that I have never seen her blink.

          • HonestDebate1

            She never blinks.

          • Ray in VT

            My theory is that she, like Steve Forbes and Michelle Bachmann, are robots. If not, then they are certainly lizard people from Dimension X.

          • TFRX

            In all seriousness, let us know when this film comes out.

          • HonestDebate1

            Alright. If it does, I will. I’m not the only one taking a gamble.

          • lobstahbisque

            Debussy is an Impressionist, not a Romantic. Hey, don’t quit your day job, whatever it is.

          • HonestDebate1

            Sure he was. He was an impressionist of the Late Romantic era. Chopin and Liszt were Early Romantic. Some even call Beethoven the first Romantic Era composer. I was just speaking broadly, relax.

            Either way I can work up a tear just by playing Claire De Lune. Ditto Liebestraum by Liszt but part of that is because my fingers hurt and I’m exhausted after doing so.

            My day job is as a musician. I’m in my studio as we speak… but I’m not getting much done. I don;t claim to be a historian though.

          • lobstahbisque

            I smell bull pucky and wikipedia but I’ll play along for sitz and giggles.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t care about labels, I just like the music. That’s all.

          • HonestDebate1

            And then we had the revolutionary war to escape the madness. But the outfits were cool.

          • 1Brett1

            “If kids want to be in the school band, let them starve to be there; that’ll teach them to value art AND a dollar!”
            -EbeneezerDishonestMasterdebaterOne

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t know about Mr. Ebeneezer but we once put on a concert at a minority charter school in Gastonia, NC. It was in a very poor part of town. We worked with the choir director for 3 months. We had maybe 40 or so students featured. Some sang solo, some in groups. There were also combinations. For example, we did “Midnight Train to Georgia”. A student sang lead and a group of 10 or 15 did the Pips part. The hall was packed. Many (most if not all) of the kids had never imagined being in front of a crowd like that and performing to the adulation. And it wasn’t cheese, it was good. We rehearsed hard and held the expectation bar high.

            I am sure a lot of kids were inspired to pursue a vocation they never dreamed would be there. It was an amazing experience and I was privileged to be a major part of it.

          • 1Brett1

            You’re a true patriot. Send this story in to O’Reilly, he’ll say so.

            I guess we don’t need gummit money for music in schools, then; problem solved.

          • HonestDebate1

            Please don’t tell me what I think. What I am against is the NEA.

            And I left out something. We made money, if not for that the glorious inspiring event would not have happened.

          • lobstahbisque

            You’d think that conservatives, by definition, would be up on their history, since that’s where they live— in ze past….

          • sickofthechit

            Read all the verses of the complete song, not the watered down one we all hear. You drive on “Socialist” roads, go to “socialists” ball parks, etc. etc.

        • Bluejay2fly

          That was the 1940′s we used to have jobs and a middle class then.

        • sickofthechit

          Woody Guthrie? and the 60′s, 70′s banjo picker folk singer really spread it (I can’t remember his name). But you need to read all the verses not just the “popular” ones. He says a whole lot more in there than the words we (50 somethings) are used to from grade school. charles a. bowsher

          • lobstahbisque

            Correct for $500. “ding ding ding”.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Pete Seeger – and he was around with Woodie Guthrie.

      • sickofthechit

        Not so much anymore…

        • HonestDebate1

          Point taken.

  • John_in_Amherst
  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Republicans complain that the government is incompetent and every time they seize power, they prove themselves right.
    (From Will Rogers or Mark Twain… I tried but could not verify who said this many years ago.)

    • J__o__h__n

      “The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it.” – P. J. O’Rourke

      • Bluejay2fly

        “The nine scariest words in the English language are: I am from the government and I am here to help” Ronald Reagan

        • J__o__h__n

          fuzzy math

        • StilllHere

          It’s I’m, but do not let that get in the way of your tired narrative.

          • Bluejay2fly

            It still grammatically correct. Also, what brilliant, fresh, new, insight do you have to offer?

      • hennorama

        Ya beat me to it. Well done.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Why did John leave off the Dem side of the quote?

          • J__o__h__n

            That was the part that was originally quoted. I didn’t edit the sentence. It was from an entire book. I didn’t quote the entire book either.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Got it. Thanks.

      • HonestDebate1

        I remember him writing an expose on the drug Ecstasy years ago. He scoffed at the comparisons to LSD. He called it St. Joseph’s baby acid. He recalled the time when the acid Gods peeled his head like an orange and vomited the Encyclopedia Britannica into it.

        No point really.

    • hennorama

      MMTCW — here’s one that’s close:

      “The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it.”

      – P. J. O’Rourke

      Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/pjorour107305.html#vfOOeaEJZIKHjJCL.99

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Gotta love PJ. Thanks for the entire quote.

        • hennorama

          WftC — as you no doubt know by now, I’m a stickler for accuracy and reporting ALL of the facts, omitting nothing.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s funny!

          • hennorama

            Bonehead Test — Yet another display of your nonsense of humor.

          • HonestDebate1

            Actually you are right. It’s not funny when you cite a terrorist saying GWB said he was on some kind of religious crusade handed down from God and don’t point out that everyone in the room denies it having been said,

          • hennorama

            Bonehead Test — Yet another display of your nonsensical non sequiturs.

          • HonestDebate1

            Nope, just rebutting you ludicrous claim about omitting nothing. I could go on.

          • hennorama

            Bonehead Test – your obsession with this nonsense is worrisome to a casual observer. You might want to get checked by a health care professional.

            [Insert usual disclaimer here]

          • HonestDebate1

            Nonsense? Have you read your silly poems, anagrams, alliteration, German and French? Have you read you list of silly symptoms?

          • hennorama

            Bonehead Test — internally illogical questions, both. And please define your term “you list.”

            Perhaps you are unaware, but I only slightly exaggerated when writing about PTERSD. You were of course the first sufferer noted.

            How are your favorite so-called election experts Rove, Barone and Morris faring these days?

            See:

            “Post Election Stress Disorder” Published on November 4, 2008 by Steven Stosny, Ph.D.
            http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/200811/post-election-stress-disorder

            “Understanding the Psychology of Post-Election Stress Syndrome” By Dwight Bain Published: November 6, 2008
            http://ezinearticles.com/?Understanding-the-Psychology-of-Post-Election-Stress-Syndrome&id=1649590

            Post-Election Stress Disorder November 7, 2012 by Dr. Stephanie Smith
            http://www.drstephaniesmith.com/post-election-stress-disorder/

            FTA: :*Disclaimer: I made up Post-Election Stress Disorder – it is not a real psychiatric diagnosis. However, the stress, worry, and anxiety that folks feel around this time every 4 years is very real. If worry and anxiety about this (or other) issues are negatively affecting you, please contact your health care provider.”

            “Pre-Election Stress Disorder: Tips for Coping October 25, 2012 by Dr. Stephanie Smith
            http://www.drstephaniesmith.com/pre-election-stress-disorder-tips-for-coping/ (similar Disclaimer as above)

            “Election stress researched” By Caroline Hong May 20, 2004
            http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2004/05/20/2003156220

            FTA:
            “The number of patients being examined for depression and anxiety in the nation’s hospitals in March and last month was about 10 percent higher than for the same period last year, Lii Shuenn-ji , vice director-general of the Department of Health’s central Taiwan office, told a forum hosted by the Broadcasting Development Foundation.

            “Many people, he said, were attributing the increase to a general malaise nicknamed “post-election stress syndrome” by the press.

            “The syndrome refers to physical disorders, anxiety and depression caused by worry and stress in those concerned about the post-election crisis.

            “Andrew Cheng, a research member from the Institute of Biomedical Sciences, said that the syndrome should be seen as an adjustment disorder, a medical term for mental distress caused by a disruption in one’s view of reality.

            “The murky election results were a blow to many people’s `cherished ideas,’ or concept of the way things should be. Depending on one’s personality, one might have an extreme reaction to such a blow and experience a loss in their sense of security or feel like they’ve lost their life purpose,” Cheng said.

            “Cheng said that people who may have trouble adjusting were those who felt the election results would have a major impact on their future. Such people, he said, were likely to identify themselves as being either a staunch pro-blue or pro-green supporter.

            “The multiple manifestations of the disorder, he said, could be seen as socially shared pathology, a psychological concept which proposes that negative emotions can be socially contagious.

            “Media reporting exacerbates socially shared psychopathology,” said Wu Yin-chang, a professor of clinical psychology at National Taiwan University.”

          • HonestDebate1

            Evidently you understood what you list referred to, now didn’t you?

            You have no standing to tell people, especially my deep and thoughtful self, about making silly, inane comments. The above is yet another example. Even if you did, contrary to your opinion, this is not your blog.

          • hennorama

            Bonehead Test – actually, I inferred your reference from the context of your use of the word “symptoms,” as it was exactly the same word used twice in my post about PTERSD.

            Thank you for the comic relief of the hilarious irony of you complaining that “this is not your blog.” One giggles each time you refer to this forum as a “blog,” and each time you self-righteously and self-importantly spout off that “this is not your blog.”

            Thanks everso.

            My request that you define your term “you list” is hereby renewed, based on its second occurrence in your comments.

          • HonestDebate1

            This time it was on purpose, I’m not obsessive about quotation marks.

            It’s not your forum either. you’re so funny.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    The minority of the minority party have been promising a government shutdown since well before the last election. Who was it said they want to drown the government like a puppy in the bathtub?

    They don’t care enough to actually have a reason, or what the country needs. They don’t really care about the debt – this shutdown is costing us *at least* $200 Million a day, and will have a large effect on the economy. The deficit is actually largely coming down because of the recovery (such as it is) and by strangling the government, they are driving up the deficit.

    If they get as far as threatening the debt ceiling, then the interest rates we are paying on our debt will go way up.

    They want to break President Obama, and they don’t care two shakes about the country, or the effects their obstructionism is having.

    Neil

    • William

      Strangling the government? Where? The government is strangling the economy…it takes is 2.5 trillion a year and is spending 3.5 trillion….

      • hennorama

        William – as stated in a reply to you only yesterday, your info as to Federal Revenues and Spending are a bit off. Please stop repeating erroneous information.

        Per the CBO’s Monthly Budget Review for August 2013:

        Preliminary Fiscal Year 2013 (which ended Sept. 30, 2013) data:

        Revenue $2.472 Trillion
        Spending $3.225 T
        Deficit – $0.753 T

        The figures above are in current dollars, and are not inflation-adjusted. When converted to Constant (FY 2005) Dollars (using a Composite Deflator of 1.194), the figures would be:

        Revenue $2.070 Trillion
        Spending $2.701 T
        Deficit – $0.631 T

        See:
        http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44552

        • William

          600 billion no big deal right? just a rounding error?

          • TFRX

            Fix that rounding error when a Republcan gets into the White House. From what you keep telling us, it’ll be easy.

          • hennorama

            William — the data are the data.

            Your repeated misstatements implied a $1.0 Trillion deficit, which is clearly erroneous. You were off by nearly one-third in current dollars, and by nearly three-fifths in Constant FY 2005 dollars.

            No big deal, right?

          • Ray in VT

            But I hear that liberals have math problems, so how can this be? Please explain.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — of course, the cited information was from some damned liberal gummint source, so it must be incorrect and skewed to support the damned liberal illegitimate Socialist Kenyan impostor in the Oval Office.

            Get the private sector to report all this, and everything will be just peachykeen, unbiased and full of liberty!

          • TFRX

            To paraphrase GWB on an actual government white paper, “You read the bureaucrat’s report”, dintcha?

          • Ray in VT

            Well, we know that those numbers, like the jobs ones before the election, as well as the polls, are all just juiced and totally inaccurate. Everything points to a Romney landslide except for the polls.

          • hennorama

            There are many sufferers of PTERSD (Post-Traumatic Election Results Stress Disorder) present.

            Symptoms include:

            Whining
            Stomping of feet
            Holding of breath until face turns blue
            More whining
            Delusional thinking
            More whining
            Petulance
            Verbal flatulence
            Taking the ball and going home
            All followed by more whining

            PTERSD is a newly-recognized disorder, and coverage for care is included in the policies offered under Obamasurance.

            One hopes the sufferers seek professional help, and soon, as this disorder tends to morph into PETSD (Pre-Election Traumatic Stress Disorder).

            [PS] Other PTERSD symptoms are similar to some PTSD symptoms:

            Flashbacks
            Hopelessness about the future
            Memory problems
            Irritability or anger
            Being easily startled or frightened
            Hearing or seeing things that aren’t there

            Apologies for the prior exclusion.

          • Ray in VT

            I prefer citing market and job losses for days after the election to show how the election result was a disaster.

  • 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.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Barry, I like your post. Please elucidate.

  • toc1234

    “In Russia, Turkey and today’s Egypt, we have seen mass demonstrations to protest ‘majoritarianism’–ruling parties that were democratically elected (or ‘sort of’ in Russia’s case) but interpret their elections as a writ to do whatever they want once in office, including ignoring the opposition, choking the news media and otherwise behaving in imperious or corrupt ways, as if democracy is only about the right to vote, not rights in general and especially minority rights.”–Thomas Friedman, New York Times, June 30
    “What is at stake in this government shutdown forced by a radical Tea Party minority is nothing less than the principle upon which our democracy is based: majority rule.”–Thomas Friedman, New York Times, Oct. 2

  • nj_v2

    Tom Friedman…

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

    How many times does someone have to be totally wrong about something before one’s bloviating punditry credentials get pulled?

    I guess TF hasn’t reached On Point’s threshold yet.

  • HLB

    American democracy CAN’T be at risk. Wake up, Tom: there’s an olive in the Lexus. There’s a Nexus in the olive grove. Caoitalism is a flattened-earth policy. E-I-E-I-O.

    Dude! Read your own books. {what a load of hog wash}

    Thanks much. Hoober Doober

  • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

    While Tom Friedman is bleating on about political games being played between the two establishment parties, he’s ignoring the very real threats to liberty associated with government overreach, like the farce outlined in this story:

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/10/lavabit_unsealed?ref=cm

    Can we please ignore the circus for a moment and focus on the real danger posed to our liberties by our own government?

    • Marc Prufer

      They voted over 40 times and failed to move legislation — that is the very essence of liberty — are you so narrowly focused that you don’t understand the most basic tenets of our Democratic process? You think your liberty is at stake – then win the Senate, House and Presidency and do your thing — you won’t win your liberty by proposing a Coup d’Etat.

      • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

        Democracy and liberty are opposing concepts. As Ben Franklin said, democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner, while liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. Please stop reacting with talking points and actually read a message before you reply to it.

    • OnPointComments

      Every once in a while I consider that everything that’s happening is exactly what President Obama wants to happen. The Syria distraction didn’t last long enough, so now the shutdown. Have reporting and discussion increased, or decreased, about the government seizing reporters’ records, NSA spying, the IRS targeting the president’s opponents, what happened in Benghazi, the hacking of CBS reporter Sharyl Atkinson’s computer, Fast & Furious and Holder’s perjury, the administration circumventing FOIA requirements, and on and on.

      • TFRX

        All the fake litany of failed “scandals”. Well, that didn’t take long to come up.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    “We’re not going to be disrespected,” Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) told The Washington Examiner. “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

    That’s what we’re dealing with. Time to sequester the knuckle draggers in a new CSA.

    • toc1234

      sounds like something Nancy “We have to pass this bill to find out what’s in it” Pelosi would say…

      • TomK_in_Boston

        But it’s actually what the righty bozo said.

    • rich4321

      I think any sensible voters will stay the hell away from the Republican in 2014. that’s what he got out of it.

  • TFRX

    “Republicans have this precedent, at least in their mind…”

    Truer words…

  • StilllHere

    Suggestion Box: Once the bloviating on the pointless stops could On Point address concerns that vehicle engines and components could be damaged by higher ethanol blends in gasoline required under the Renewable Fuel Standard. As Americans second largest expense, this issue is relevant, unlike this hour.

    • manganbr

      Turn your radio off? (and go to a different webpage?)

      • StilllHere

        I take it back, democracy is broken. Have at it Toms.

    • 228929292AABBB

      Totally agree. On Point has started going over the same three topics endlessly. It used to be the bright light on NPR, now it’s starting to seem more like the vacuum-chamber rest of it.

  • twenty_niner

    The ultimate problem is that you have an economy that is growing linearly, if at all, and government expenditures that are growing geometrically. Until these two trends are reconciled, you’re going to have a government that is increasingly fractious and dysfunctional.

    • HonestDebate1

      Exactly.

    • Bluejay2fly

      How much of private industry relies on government spending? IE Military contractors building tanks, planes, drones, missiles, aircraft carriers, etc

  • Labropotes

    Friedman is politicking. I don’t like the way the Repulicans are using the power of the purse, but they have a right use it, and be voted out next time. Friedman saying that it’s the end of democracy undermines our constitution.

    • manganbr

      Absolutely, but I suppose situations like this one reveal how much the relative stability of the government over the last century has depended not on politicians doing what they have the “right” to do, but acting with some amount of responsibility to norms beyond that. There are all sorts of things that politicians have the right to do that could cause immense harm. The question your comment raises is this: is it possible for politicians to do what they have a “right” (according to the constitution) to do, and, at the same time harm the democratic process? Are these two things really mutually exclusive in practice?

      • TFRX

        Yep. When it comes to “relative stability of the government”, I just wonder why nobody was talking about breaking up the Union when George W. Bush was President and if one didn’t have enough of those support the troops magnets on your car, you weren’t patriotic.

      • Give_Me_Liberty_92

        they are mutually exclusive when laws are passed without bipartisan support on strict party lines, as for the ACA. things always go downward from there…it is the case in any political system.

        we have no “democratic process” in the strict sense. You don’t govern a diverse country like the US with the 50%+1, we never have. we have a constitutional republic with a separation of powers and parliamentary procedures that balance majority rule and minority rights, and often the calculated outcome is gridlock, if things are not done in a bipartisan fashion. nothing new. it is in the nature of the system, in the assumption that gridlock is better that laws despised by the other 49%.

      • Labropotes

        We put “right” in quotation marks now? I am not afraid until congress is no longer controlled by the “constitution.” /sark

        I was taught that the ability of a minority to impede the will of the majority is a strength, not a weakness, of our system of government. Friedman agrees, as he proposed a third party, that with 8 senators and 30 representative could now be controlling the process. He just wants the ruling minority to agree with him.

        • TFRX

          I was taught that the ability of a minority to impede the will of the
          majority is a strength, not a weakness, of our system of government.

          Until the firehose of anonymous holds and penny-ante filibusters the right has used as weapon number one against a Dem president, I would have agreed with you in principle.

          We’re not looking at the tyranny of the majority here. The GOP has all the time and opportunity to help craft this law.

          We’re a lot closer to tyranny of the tantrum-throwing minority now.

          • Labropotes

            Holds and filibusters aren’t in the constitution. Dems control the Senate and can eliminate them today

            But the people supporting this shutdown honestly feel subjected to a tyranny of the majority. Leveling the charge of being undemocratic at folks using the tools provided in the constitution to resist it will not affect their opinions unless to harden them.

        • manganbr

          Maybe the quotations marks were unnecessary . . . sorry if that distracted you from my point.

          Yes, of course I agree that it’s a good thing to have checks and balances, and to give certain powers to the minority. But at what point does it make the idea of majority rule irrelevant–that is to say, shouldn’t the majority have some advantage? You don’t really respond to the question I’m posing. Is it not possible for politicians to do things they have a legitimate constitutional right to do, and still harm that constitution or, in some subtle way, the democratic process? There’s no divine aura protecting the constitution from itself–and it’s why ideas like “honor” used to be important–now you speak of honor and people might laugh. I’m not disagreeing with the right of Republicans to fight for their beliefs, I’m just saying, the way they’re going about it is, frankly, dishonorable, and that the health of democracy requires more than politicians pushing the limits of their constitutional rights.

          • Labropotes

            I agree that almost all our problems, including this one, arise from dishonorable acts. We are where we are in congress, in our spending particularly, due to the willingness of members of both parties to tell Americans that we can make good on all the promises we’ve made (eg, SSI, Medicaid, state pensions, etc)

            To further support your point, I say congress was within its rights to authorize Bush, and now Obama, to run amuck around the world. Possibly the act most damaging to our democracy of all time.

  • JamesG

    Nothing is ever settled in a dynamic democracy. Otherwise we would still have slavery and only white land owning males would have the vote. That sword cuts both ways.

    This is our systems of checks and balances in action. Mr. Friedman should know better, but he is too busy pushing an editorial agenda.

  • TFRX

    “Any minority, left, right or center…” could hold the government hostage.

    Time to guess what the media would say if the minority left did this.

    Hint: Don’t bet on the panapoly of “BothSides” media headlines.

    • toc1234

      That’s easy.. the MSM would swoon over it like they did with occupy wall street…

      • StilllHere

        What’s occupy wall street?

        • toc1234

          it was a pathetic mob of unwashed complainers looking for handouts that was fueled through the adulation of ej dionne, komrade krugman, some guy name tom aschroft, et al…

          • StilllHere

            So one of those MSM completely scripted “reality” shows?

          • fun bobby

            that’s what the 1%er media portrayed and you ate it up apparently

          • toc1234

            actually I had to avoid the losers while walking around my neighborhood and saw first hand..

          • fun bobby

            it went from being a protest against the theft by the banks to becoming this whole commie thing. in my city the occupy and tea party protested together. it certainly did go downhill but there was a lot of bad actions by the media and police as well. I think it was doomed to fail from its inception. they failed because they called it occupy. no one likes to be occupied that’s why they inevitably fail. the 1%ers are lucky they did not call it “liberate”

      • TFRX

        Wow, you don’t remember things well.

  • Coastghost

    Tom Friedman, serene hyperbolist.

    • StilllHere

      Book pushing? Momma needs a new pair of shoes.

  • Adam Philipps

    Why do people say things like, “people are playing games”. When it’s
    just the republican extremest’s trying to kill a LAW. Sorry if you want it
    gone win an election, don’t threaten to take down the country.

  • MarkVII88

    The shutdown has nothing to do with Obamacare…it’s the law of the land that’s been validated by the Supreme Court. The shutdown has everything to do with the Republican/Tea Party agenda to cut spending and get concessions on taxes and the programs/entitlements they want to see cut.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Under Tom Friedman we’d still be stuck with Dred Scott since that was settled.

    Friedman is full of crap.

  • William

    So, Tom, if the President decides to not enforce certain laws that he does not agree with, even though he is a minority, that is ok?

    • Give_Me_Liberty_92

      but that is exactly what the prerogative of the executive is. In practice they can chose at any time to enforce one part of the law or ignore another. it happens every day and it is normal part of the policy priority process of an executive…think of DOMA or the application of federal guidelines, or the ever changing modifications of the list of deportable crimes for aliens. the law does not change, the enforcement does. thousands of examples exist. do you think they strictly apply always every day all the 100000 federal laws in the books???

      do you guys do your civics at school or you just force that stuff down the throats of people trying to become naturalized citizens? I’m always surprise at the general naiveté about our constitutional system….

  • 228929292AABBB

    I like On Point but I think it’s getting really myopic. Almost every episode involves the same three topics. There is a lot more to life than our education system and the daily Washington comedy, despite the importance of those things. A few years ago On Point might have covered the America’s Cup, or some new musicians, or some other topic I can’t think of, the introduction of which to those who would never have considered it was one of the best aspects of the show.

    Washington, education, and inequality are all depressing. If you’ve got a solution then great. Otherwise mumbling about them over and over just makes for a depressing program.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      I’d also like to hear bold new ideas. The media has tried to sell us on the concept of two parties, as if there are only two possible ways of doing things. New topics can help us to consider new techniques and views. Looking back over the years, there were times I thought we would be much further along than we are now. There is just too much mediocrity. Some time ago on an NPR show I posted, “think outside the N- dimensional construct”, hoping that someone would build on my play on words. Alas, they are still trapped with, “thinking outside the box”. totally unaware that they are trapped inside the box and dancing with their own shadows.

  • rich4321

    Democracy is good, no doubt about it. But when you have these
    GOP jerks abuse democracy for their own party gains or personal gains, this is very very bad. Nothing is ever done in the good of the nation. Look how many uphill battles president Obama faces

    in every single issue, from immigration reform to gun control to health care. As far as I concern, these GOP A$$****s are a bunch of hooligans hold us hostage for ransom, just like the Mafia!

    • fun bobby

      and you feel that obamas motivation is “the good of the nation”.

  • Ed75

    It reminds me of the Hundred Years War – each side had a legal argument that made sense, it just depended on which one seemed more powerful.

  • TFRX

    Liberal media, like MSNBC?

    Call it that when Morning Joke and Upchuck Todd aren’t treated as “savvy”.

    MSNBC, for its problems, commits some real journalism. Fox News was designed as a propaganda organ from day minus one.

    And I await Tom Friedman talking about what the “center” used to be. CNN is a farm team for Fox.

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

    Antinomy and Antagony

    Most people conflate Democracy with the Rule of Law.

    In Democracy, everyone gets an equal say.

    In the Rule of Law, that which is ‘said’ is expressed in the form of a rule, regulation, law, or statute.

    Our Democracy is dysfunctional (now verging on nonfunctional) because the Democratic Process is operating in the framework of the Rule of Law.

    That’s a mathematically silly framework to be operating in. We should be operating in the framework of System Functions instead of rules, regulations, laws, and statutes.

    If you want to build a well-regulated high-functioning system, you don’t build it out of rules. That’s a silly, juvenile, idiotic, unscientific thing to do. Rather you build it out of functions. And not just any haphazardly chosen functions. You have to build it out of functions that mathematically solve the System Model for ethical best practices to reach (democratically chosen) goal states.

    If you try to build your regulatory system or guidance system out of rules, regulations, laws, and statutes, you will inevitably end up with an erratic, chaotic, dysfunctional, nightmarish regulatory/guidance juggernaut, flush with antinomy and antagony.

    Antinomy, in case you didn’t know, is a term used in logic and epistemology. Antinomy is “the mutual incompatibility — real or apparent — of two laws.”

    Antagony is either a blackened death metal band or John Milton’s idea of an epic battle between Christ and Belial.

    Antagony” by Robert Steven Connett is a painting of antagonism, disaffection and hostility which, according to the artist, illustrates addiction, sickness, symbols of war, insanity and people watching too much TV.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

    If it weren’t obvious before, there can be no doubt now that Tom Friedman is an arrogant, hyperbolic PoS. This is shocking even to me.

  • Coastghost

    Tom Friedman: YOU don’t know what the future consists of any better than my cat does. The Affordable Care Tax Act may very well die the death of its own sheer weight within five years if millennials opt out of enrolling, even if House Republicans abandon their present course.
    DOMA was “the law of the land” for almost fifteen years after President Clinton signed the sponsoring legislation. DOMA is not the law of the land today, however. No one alive today has any reasonable expectation that ACTA is going to survive even for five years.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Friedman is whining about the partisan media?

    Hilarious. I never heard him complain about the partisan MSM like the NYTimes o’er these many years.

    • TFRX

      Yep, home of Judith (Trust Me) Miller and Bill Keller.

      Liberal.

      Bill Keller on the Obama “scandals”:

      The president should announce that he has told the Justice Department to appoint an independent investigator with bulldog instincts and bipartisan credibility. The list of candidates could start with Kenneth Starr, who chased down the scandals, real and imagined, of the Clinton presidency.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Are you claiming Bill Keller isn’t a liberal?

        Maybe he simply believes the Obama scandals are hurting the liberal brand. You are confusing rooting for the ‘team’ with ideology.

        • TFRX

          No, Keller is a Beltway Inbred. He can’t pull his head out of the beltway long enough to see that Kenneth Starr was a hack in the 90s, and Keller took some stupid advice or got a very stupid idea that Starr is what a government needs now.

          Now, to investigate a Democrat. Big surprise.

          Some “liberal”.

          • toc1234

            the reason lefty Bill wants a big investigation is b/c that would take years and no one in the meantime could discuss it “due to the on-going investigation”. ie it gets forgotten about until sometime in 2015… (btw that keller isn’t a liberal may be the biggest whopper I’ve read on this board in awhile. congrats)

          • StilllHere

            Stick around, he’s got more whoppers.

          • TFRX

            You’ve got some fantasy, thinking that no one in the meantime could discuss it “due to the on-going investigation” will stop the bloviating feces-throwers of the right’s advocacy media.

  • geraldfnord

    Right now, most boroughs are rotten.

    We need more, smaller, congressional districts drawn algorithmically—and with a simple algorithm not subject to amendment that often. Amusingly enough, this should be easier now that the Voting Rights Act’s largely gutted.

    Also:
    Index the debt ceiling…and stop continuing resolutions gaming by doing away with the current budget process—note that the Constitution does not require a budget, that’s a recent excrescence that’s within the law, but bad
    for us.

  • thequietkid10

    So unlimited spending on campaigns is bad because it allows politicians to stick around longer, and allows them to express their ideas to more people. And this a bad thing in Mr. Friedman’s eyes.

    It would have been better for that Newt Gingrich had gotten out of the race, so that Mitt Romney can start acting like a moderate, irregardless as to what Mitt Romney’s real political values are.

    • StilllHere

      That sounds like it would be good for the economy and the democracy.

      • 1Brett1

        I agree. If Newt got out of politics, everyone would be better off!

    • J__o__h__n

      Mitt claimed he was a “severe conservative.”

      • Ray in VT

        Politicians claim a lot of things.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Newt was the guy who tried to shut down the government before – it was a stoopid idea then and it is a stoopid idea now.

      • thequietkid10

        for the record it’s “stupid”

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Ya, I know that…

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Yup, I’m too stoopid to spell stupid correctly.

      • fun bobby

        yes but he would have built a moonbase by 2020 and then we would have a utopia

        • HonestDebate1

          The moon base was just a place to send the liberals.

          • fun bobby

            I am not kidding about the moon base. if we had such a base we could mine H3 and then have unlimited pollution free energy. enough for us and to sell to the rest of the world.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m in but let’s let the libs do the mining.

          • fun bobby

            then it will never get done. this is important work. in reality, we could use robots. the “libs” will be free to community organize 24/7 or follow their bliss or whatever they would do if they were not complaining about inequity and pollution or asking for handouts. my fear is that they would spend all of that time trying to take my guns, but we will have all our time free to advocate for our rights so I think we will prevail.
            of course that assumes we do it right and don’t privatize the H3 mines but instead sell the energy to the world and make enough to have both a socialist paradise and complete individual liberty, almost like Alaska

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Now that Boehner is recycling Newt’s shutdown idea – is it still wrong?

          • fun bobby

            perhaps the compromise could be that we continue to fund obomacare but also commit to building a moonbase by 2020. too bad Obama does not want to negotiate

      • HonestDebate1

        The government did shut down, blame Newt if you want. The Republicans lost a few House Seats but kept control. They gained 2 seats in the Senate. It set the stage for real progress. Bill Clinton to his great credit rolled up his sleeves and got to work. He had to submit 5 or so budgets before one passed. He vetoed welfare reform 6 times, I think. But he and Newt kept at it and 6 million welfare recipients became contributing taxpayers. Balanced budgets and surpluses ensued. None of it would have happened without the shut down.

  • Charles B

    The behavior of minority Congressmen holding everything up and screaming because they aren’t getting what they want reminds me of a three-year-old child throwing a temper tantrum. Modern parenting would call for a time-out, but we don’t have time for that right now. More traditional parenting would call for spanking.

    • optimisto1 .

      This is not a minority. And how about living within your means? How do you run your household?

  • Coastghost

    I posed the question yesterday, I pose it again today: who introduced vast uncertainty to the US economy but Obama and his Democratic enablers with their unilateral ACTA powergrab?

    • Bluejay2fly

      The Trillions of debt accumulated under prior administrations probably did not help.

      • Ray in VT

        Come on, everything bad started in January of 2009. Late January.

        • hennorama

          Ray in VT – As the ESPN football analysts are so fond of saying — C’mon man! It all started on June 3, 2008.

          “Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States.” – then-Senator Barack Obama

          See:
          http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/03/election.democrats/#cnnSTCText

        • 1Brett1

          Naw, you know it all started on August 4, 1961 in Kenya!

    • Ratsandwich

      Bush. Right?

    • Ratsandwich

      Was I not right? The answer was Bush right?

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Tom Friedman — “this is what we are up against”

    Yes Tom, it is called a Democratic Republic.

    Where was Tom’s outrage when one party rammed this monstrosity through using legislative tricks.

    • Ray in VT

      Yet they still managed to pass the bill with majorities in both Houses, get a President’s signature and have it upheld in the courts.

    • manganbr

      If the country hated the ACA so much, they could have voted out the president, or voted more Republicans into the Senate. They didn’t. If the Republicans want to repeal the ACA they should wait until they’ve won more than one half of one branch of government. It’s not much leverage, and the opinion polls at the moment reflect it. However much you dislike the ACA, this is bad strategy–it won’t stop the ACA and won’t help Republicans win more seats or the white house.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        These are just political tactics. It is apparent that Reid and Obama want the shutdown now because the GOP have weakened their ‘demands’ to a couple of popular provisions and Obama could end this in an instant.

        It isn’t clear if this will hurt the GOP in 2014. The UoVa did a detailed analysis -district by district — that said if it does hurt the GOP it will only hurt the moderates. It will strengthen the Teap Party members.

    • Give_Me_Liberty_92

      It’s called a constitutional republic…in a majority-run democracy you would not have a senate with 2 senators per state, no matter their size. but I agree on your overall point. lack of bipartisanship is the original sin here. we can debate who’s to blame for that, but passing a complex law like the ACA by strict party lines give us what we see here, gridlock and lasting bitterness. any time any place.
      I also agree that the tactic is wrong, even if constitutional and lawful. I would just wait for the ACA to take effect and let it play out. I doubt the outcome will be OK for the majority of those with a current coverage: we in the private sector with good plans will be pushed slowly in the exchanges…it already started.

      • TFRX

        Bitterness?

        The opposition was bitter about anything Obama said he might do. This was made clear before Thanksgiving 2008.

        There’s a litany of politically moderate, policy-plausible GOP-created ideas from the last 30 or so years that Obama would say “THis sounds good. Let’s talk about it” simply to watch the right spin on a dime and soil their pants about how whatever idea it is is now evil and unAmerican.

  • William

    So when Pelosi was the leader of the house she tolerated dissent within her party?

  • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

    Why are you giving Friedman an hour of public airtime to grind his own personal axes about Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and whatnot, and insult 50% of the populace? This is possibly the least interesting hour of On Point I’ve ever heard, and I’ve even sat through some of the terrible author interview love-ins.

    • StilllHere

      You are a braver man than most.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Friedman has jumped the shark. It is amazing.

    • Charles Klinetobe

      This doesn’t represent 50% of the American public but it is 85% of the nonsense and magical thinking that is being projectile vomited into the air. Don’t confuse the two.

  • Yar

    To steady the boat, first step is to realize we are in the same boat. Pass a budget, forget a CR, lets do this for the year, does the incumbent party really want these fights all during the campaign season? I believe this can be done in two weeks.

  • Ratsandwich

    I still think ashbrook is a liberal bitch. like hannity but on the far left. Massachusetts, what a scumbag filled with scum. I want that funky segway music as my ringtone.

  • toc1234

    Tom n Tom why not discuss the medical device tax? even pro-tax Franken and Warren are for ditching it (strictly for personal gain, of course) yet Reid at the behest of the WH wont let it pass…

    “In March, the Senate voted to repeal the 2.3% excise tax on medical devices, with 34 Democrats joining in the repeal. However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Max Baucus, who chaired the committee that drafted the tax, voted to maintain it.”

    • Yar

      Because it is a distraction in a CR. Talk about taxes as part of the budget.

  • optimisto1 .

    Just wondering if Tom Friedman and John Ashbrook who defend ObamaCare themselves signed up into it? Hypocrites.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      If they already have insurance, then they don’t need to.

      • TFRX

        Now Neil, you’re talking reason to the wrong argument again.

        If (school lunches, the VA hospitals) are such a good idea, why aren’t you getting a school lunch and going to a VA hospital?

    • Ray in VT

      If they are eligible for health insurance through their employers, then I do not believe that they can go to the individual exchanges.

    • Elizabeth_in_RI

      I suspect like the majority of Americans that both Toms have employer supported health care. It wouldn’t make sense for them to sign up for health care under the ACA. The migration of people from employer provided health care (like what Congressional staff as federal employees currently get) to the Exchanges is one of the “dooms” that the Republicans claim the ACA will cause – while demanding that it happen. Wanting our country to be able to provide health care for all of its citizens (like most other industrialized nations) doesn’t make one a hypocrite or unpatriotic!

      • fun bobby

        several large employers have dropped their plans and sent their employees tot he exchanges

        • TFRX

          And those employees are getting healthcare that’s not tied to a job, because the employers realize that the often-crappy plans they have to rekajigger every single year can’t compete with the ACA.

          You’re making Eliza’s point for her.

          Unless you’re going to ret-con about how every employer HC plan was all roses and gravy up til now. That’s gonna take a lot of denial.

          • fun bobby

            time will tell

      • optimisto1 .

        Most other industrialized nations do not have 300+ mln people half of whom do not pay taxes at all, and do not have so many sick and poor. And aren’t we supposed to be “exceptional” and strive for personal responsibility and other values that make America to be America? We are not Canada or Europe, isn’t it? So your argument is flawed.

        • Ray in VT

          I think that many people would be surprised to learn that they pay no taxes at all.

          • optimisto1 .

            I know in Vermont it’s hard not to pay taxes. But how about federal/state income for those who do not work. See, during the founding fathers only the breadwinners were allowed to vote. It makes lots of sense.

          • Ray in VT

            Even people who don’t earn enough to pay federal taxes sure do pay taxes if they work, drive, shop (most states) or even eat.

            Voting qualifications in early America varied widely, with some having very restrictive requirements that only allowed society’s “betters” to have a say. It doesn’t sound that great to me.

          • optimisto1 .

            If it doesn’t sound great to you, then why don’t you bring a stranger to live into your house, not paying a dime and having him/her a say about your annual household budgeting decisions?

          • Ray in VT

            You’re right. I guess that the poor shouldn’t have a say in national affairs. Maybe we can cut down their share to maybe 3/5ths or just get rid of it altogether. Democracy was so much better when it was so much more limited.

          • optimisto1 .

            Yes, they voted for Obama because he promised them a lot of “Hope and Change” for THEIR communities at the expense of ALL taxpayers. But what have you (living in Vermont) gotten in common with them? Are you in the “charity” mode? I am not. I am not like Warren Buffet or George Soros yet.

          • Ray in VT

            When why is it that in general the blue states are the ones that contribute more the to federal government, get less back and have less of the much maligned 47%?

            I guess that what Vermont has in common is that we realize that we’re all in this together, and people here generally don’t care for attempts by the GOP to get rid of abortion, bring religion into the science class (in places), continue to discriminate against gays and lesbians and favor the sort of tax and economic policies that have contributed so much to the great and growing income and wealth inequalities that exist in our society.

          • optimisto1 .

            1. Texas is the most growing state. And red states have lots of oil/gas resources and farms/food production.
            2. What issues are more important for you? For me the economy, unemployment, security, deficit, debt are much, much, much more important than BS like gay, lesbian rights, abortion, etc. you mentioned. With Dems tax and spend policies we together will be broke. Oh, we are already broke. So let’s borrow more money from our future generations who will pay, and give Chinese the upper hand…

          • Ray in VT

            So, are you conceding that in fact when it comes to what states are the “takers”, it is the big government hating red states that take way more than they contribute?

            If Texas wants to grow by being low tax, low service, then let them. I don’t care for their environmental record, and I think that some of their education policy is crazy, given that science in the science books is controversial to the Texas Board of Education, or whatever they call it. I’m fine with my state’s attempts to have jobs, services and clean and water.

            There are many things that are important to me, and were I to be gay, as some of friends are, or a woman, which many of my friends and family are, then I would be even more concerned with the positions of the GOP in areas such as gay rights and abortion. Maybe I just shouldn’t care about gay rights because I’m straight.

            Hey, how did all of that taxing and spending stuff go when the GOP controlled both houses of Congress and the White House. I bet that they did a real bang up job of things.

          • optimisto1 .

            Look, Burlington, VT pays more then it receives. So it wants to secede to New Hampshire. When GOP controlled both houses of Congress and the White House taxing and spending was much less then today. But people like Barney Frank and Ted Kennedy were very much in charge of the things that influenced the economy.

            And now you are talking about state rights. So why don’t we let the states manage their own health care policies as they wish, instead of shoving down the throats to the whole country to the states who despise it? Barak Obama is very much a divisive president unlike Bill Clinton or any one else. And how is the Vermont economy going in the last 5 years? And if you want to be a giver and pay more taxes – do it yourself, don’t force it on other people. Leave others alone. That is my position.

          • Ray in VT

            So it wasn’t the GOP’s fault that Bush & Co. p*ssed away the surplus, ran up trillions in debt and then left town as everything was going to hell?

            My position against states rights, in some cases, is that some states have shown historically that they are either unwilling or unable to secure and protect the rights of all of its citizens.

            I fail to see how it is Obama’s fault that conservatives went crazy when he got elected, although no one has seemed to anger white conservatives, especially southern ones, so much as Obama, but I tend to think that that is more on them.

            Vermont’s economy is going fairly well. We’ve weathered the storm and have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. I don’t think that a go it alone sort of position works when it comes to national, or even state or local, policy, although I would be willing to give it a shot on a trial basis if it would show the red states just how dependent they are on the federal government that they claim to hate so much.

          • optimisto1 .

            Well, and you call it a democracy when you want to impose your values and policies on others when you are not in their shoes? This is very ignorant position which is typical for liberal democrats living in remote all-white Northern states. Of course you don’t care about safety of people of Arizona living along the border. Of course, the whole country is so divided because of Dems ignorant policies who want to impose a dictatorship of their “values”. Try to impose your values on Saudi Arabia instead.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, we could always give the states the right to treat the brown people or the homersexuals as second class citizens. Those are some good traditional, conservative values for much of the country.

            I don’t call providing people with equal rights and the equal opportunity to access things like education and services to be imposing values on others, unless you are opposed to equality. Maybe you are, I don’t know.

            Maybe we’d be better off with ignorant conservative policies like allowing some groups to be discriminated against (just so long as they’re the “right” ones), unnecessarily wanding the private bits of ladies and engaging in the sort of everybody for themselves, race to the bottom sort of approach as envisioned by the acolytes of Ayn Rand and the proponents of right to work for less. Maybe we can take a stand for child labor and against OHSA while we are at it.

          • optimisto1 .

            So if majority of a red state including women overwhelmingly opposes abortion. Why do you still need to impose your will on them? No time for pointless discussion. I have to work for a living. That is a conservative way. The other crap – I care less. Republicans in Congress are standing firm to keep your taxes low. And you don’t want to appreciate it. You are so unappreciative character.

          • Ray in VT

            So the rights of a minority should rely upon the will of the majority? That sounds like a tradition that is fully in line with how many states have operated over time to violate the rights of some groups. I guess that maybe the solution is to either just not be in the minority or just shut up and don’t complain if you feel that your rights are being violated.

            If the majority of voters is a state want to ban inter-racial marriage or re-introduce segregation for instance, should the will of those people not be violated?

            I work for a living too, and I more than willing to bet that I work harder than you do. Hard work is the conservative way. Yet another fairy tale believed in by the self-righteous right. I appreciate a lot, but I’m not going to appreciate it when someone p*sses on me and tells me to enjoy the rain.

          • optimisto1 .

            Or that minority people who disagree with majority rule should move into other state like California where they will enjoy all kinds of rights. I don’t agree that majority should be suppressed in order to make minority happy. Isn’t it a Democracy after all? Or is it a dictatorship of PC liberals people like you? It looks like you want to keep those red states in the Union, but you want to deny them to be represented in Washington at all.

          • Ray in VT

            Got it. If, for instance, black people, don’t like having their rights violated in one state, then they shouldn’t try to do something about it there. They should just move to another state. That sounds like a great solution. Do you have a problem with minority rights? The rights of the minority are a key part of our system. The Bill of Rights was not designed, in a sense, to protect the majority and highly popular opinions. It protects us all in part by protecting the rights of minorities to say, publish or worship as they please without fear of persecution or exclusion, but maybe those people should just move.

            Allowing two people to marry, or a allowing woman to make the decisions that she (and whomever else she chooses) to make decisions about her body, or making it illegal to discrimination against people on the basis of race, religion or whatever else (you know, protecting individual rights), doesn’t take away the rights of others, unless one contends that being able to limit the abilities of others to do such somehow violates their liberty. A bunch of Muslims building a Mosque in Tennessee doesn’t in any way take away from the rights of Christians there, just as my two lesbian friends tying the knot doesn’t take anything away from anyone, except, maybe, the ability to discriminate, which I don’t think is a right.

            Oh yeah, the red states get no representation in Washington. Have their representatives been turned away from their seats, or are some of them just throwing a hissy fit because they aren’t getting their way?

          • optimisto1 .

            Great solution. See, I live in Massachusetts and some people (who are in minority) who got sick and tired of it, like paying taxes – they move into New Hampshire. Problem solved.
            Yes, those red states have their senators and congressmen in Washington, but you want them to keep mouth shut, to have no say. You want them to be formally present, but you want to suppress their voice.

          • Ray in VT

            So, were I to be denied the right vote or the right to free speech or were I to be required to support an established church in a given state, then I should just shut up and move? Great solution. Maybe all of my rights should be decided by a simple majority of an elected body.

            Wow, I didn’t even know that I was trying to shut them up or to suppress their voice. I’m glad that you’ve been able to provide me with such a great insight into my position, and here I was thinking that I just wanted minorities to have their rights protected. I am, though, very much in favor of idiots, such as those that fill the ranks of the Tea Party Caucus, voluntarily shutting up, although it is quite apparent that some of the most ignorant and arrogant tools feel the need to be very out and proud with their nonsense.

          • optimisto1 .

            Yes, it appears so based on your position you honor of Bill of Rights is selective based on what type of minority. Just wondering what would you say to those constituents who fully back their “Tea Party” congressman? Yes, it’s a joke to call this country united.

          • Ray in VT

            Please tell me how my comments entail the selective application of the Bill of Rights based upon the minority.

            People can tell their Teabagger congressman or congesswoman whatever they want. My general experience, though, is that many of the positions favored by such individuals are highly questionable, based upon history and facts.

          • optimisto1 .

            And why they should care about your “general experience”? Who are you to judge them? Do you have more rights then they? Who are you to dictate how they should live? Your arrogance is beyond me.

          • Ray in VT

            Thanks for the morning JAQ off. Feel better?

            Well, they often don’t seem to care about thinking, science or facts, so they probably don’t care about my “general experience”, and I couldn’t care less either way.

            I’m sorry. Do my opinions offend you? Should I not exercise my right to free speech? If they want to be a bunch of morons, then fine, but if it comes down to attempting to influence aspects of policy that affect my life, then I’m certainly going to speak out. For instance, if Tennessee Teabaggers want to downplay the fact that many Founding Fathers owned slaves, which stands in stark contrast to many of the ideals of the Revolution, then fine. That is their right to be twits. However, when they start attempting to have textbooks altered so as to make history reflect that dim view of reality, then I have a problem with that. Sorry if liking history and facts gets in the way of the freedom and liberty of some dopes to reshape the past to fit their ideology.

          • optimisto1 .

            Let them exercise their freedoms too. You can teach your kids in Vermont schools about homosexuals since whenever you want, 1st grade – I don’t care. Just like I don’t care what they want to teach. Luckily the parents are there to send their children in any school they wish or even do homeschooling to keep them away from educators like you.

          • Ray in VT

            The freedom to distort the facts? Well, facts do have a well known liberal bias, so we can probably just get rid of them when they don’t fit one’s ideology. Given my general experience with students who are homeschooled due to religious reasons, I don’t think that parents are doing their children any favors, because those kids will someday have to go out into a world where the Bible isn’t the answer to everything, and it is my general experience that those kids are in for a rude awakening when they have to confront those facts that run contrary to religious belief.

            Kids could do far worse than someone like myself. For instance, take the books in some Louisiana schools that Bobby Jindal has tried to send state money to:

            http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2012/07/photos-evangelical-curricula-louisiana-tax-dollars

            The future isn’t bright for kids so educated, nor for a country whose population is misinformed in such a way. I’m for good education, and oppose attempts to attack facts and science, because I don’t want to live in a country of stupid people.

          • optimisto1 .

            Most stupid people come from public school or drop-offs out of it. And home-schoolers make-up a tiny percentage. So wake-up and smell coffee or stop spreading misinformation. Read stats. And as far as homeschooling goes, academically they are far more superior then in public school (even I personally don’t support this idea because of it’s lack of social life). In Mass, I know some parents who do homeschooling, but not because they are religious, it;s because they want to give their kids better academic education as well as shield them from all public school negatives – bulling, drugs, drinks, unrully messy env, boring, junk-food, pc propaganda, etc.

          • Ray in VT

            Pray tell, what misinformation was I spreading? And what pc propaganda are you referring to? I specifically cited where I think that Tea Party groups and conservatives have gone off the rails in attempts to manipulate or misinform children.

            There are plenty of drawbacks to public school, and it certainly does vary greatly from place to place. I think that the ones that I went to were very good. Of course mine taught science in the science class and didn’t use the sort of texts to which I referred.

            My experience with home schooled kids, at least the ones who were home schooled for religious reasons, are really good at citing the Bible, but they don’t seem to know much else.

          • TFRX

            Hiliarious.

            You really jumped the shark on that.

        • Elizabeth_in_RI

          1) the ACA pushes for personal responsibility by providing people better opportunities to purchase health care insurance. 2) Perhaps what really separates us from those countries is that while combined France, Germany, Britain and Canada have about the same population as the US their health care spending ranges from 9.3 % of GDP (Britain) to 11.6% (France). Where as in the US our spending on health care is 17.9% of GDP, without better health care outcomes. Highest in the world – how’s that for “exceptional”?!
          (http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.XPD.TOTL.ZS)

  • Coastghost

    And the extortion wrought against Americans courtesy of the Affordable Care Tax Act? Punitive fines for failing to enroll? Let’s save the bureaucracy at all costs, says Tom Friedman.

    • Elizabeth_in_RI

      “pu·ni·tive (py n -t v). adj. Inflicting or aiming to inflict punishment; punishing”

      $95 per year is punitive?? That’s not even the cost of the average monthly cell phone bill. And even that fine doesn’t apply for the income level where $95 a year IS punitive. The mandate is an issue only because it is government telling us what to do – which in this case is being responsible and stepping up to buy health care insurance.

      • J__o__h__n

        Don’t bring up cell phones. That will start them whining about the so-called Obama phones.

        • Ray in VT

          Man, I’m still using my free Tyler Telegraph.

          • TFRX

            Loser! I’ve upgraded to the Wilson Wireless.

            Once I find a store that sells oatmeal in those round boxes instead of the little packets, I’m good to go!

          • Ray in VT

            The Wilson Wireless is just a big government give away to undeserving people. Probably minorities, don’tcha know.

          • TFRX

            Sounds like someone is getting left behind because they can’t figure out how to tune a station in with a cat’s whisker on a galena.

            Not my fault that you’re not adaptive.

          • Ray in VT

            Adaptation is too much like evolution, and we all know where that comes from.

          • hennorama

            And pirates. And foreigners. And possibly foreign pirates. And all by Executive Order! Will this tyranny of Executive Power never end?

            Woodrow Wilson: “Executive Order 1988 – To Require Ocean-Going Vessels to be Fitted With Wireless Apparatus,” July 9, 1914.

            Woodrow Wilson: “Executive Order 2006 – Establishing a Wireless Telegraph Station in the Canal Zone for Use of the Navy,” July 30, 1914.

            Both of the above are available online, by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.

            See:
            http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=75359#axzz2ggCB9EnF

            http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=75363#axzz2ggCB9EnF

        • fun bobby

          it is an undeniably catchy tune.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AZNb-UpwNU

      • fun bobby

        you are paying $95 a month for your cell phone? you know its $95 or 1% and that that percent increases yearly right? I am going out on a limb and assuming you make more than 10k a year

        • StilllHere

          Who pays? Everyone I know has a free Obama-phone, comes with Jay-Z ringtones. Sweet!

          • fun bobby

            do you live in Cleveland?

        • Elizabeth_in_RI

          Yes – and as stated, for those who make less than 10K they won’t have to pay the fine for not having health insurance. But if they live in one of the states that opted to expand Medicaid they actually might be able to get health insurance – and that’s a good thing. If they live in Texas or Fla they get nothing!

          • fun bobby

            and what is the fine for someone who makes 100K? how much will it be next year and the year after. you seem to have left out the part where the fine goes up yearly and is based on income

          • Elizabeth_in_RI

            So it’s okay for someone who makes $100K to free load when they their appendix bursts or they get hit by a car or whatever and can’t afford their +$30K hospital bill because they don’t want to be told what to do?

          • fun bobby

            did I say that anything was “okay”? I just asked a question and made a simple observation.

  • optimisto1 .

    Democracy, shmocracy. What Democracy if half of people who vote depend on the government, if 97% of blacks voted for Barak Obama just because of his skin color?

    • tbphkm33

      Ah, I see that the Nopublican racists are already on the discussion forum this morning…

      • TFRX

        Hey, let’s not leave off the scorn for where optomisto called plenty of white people moochers because of that failed “47%” belief.

      • optimisto1 .

        I just speak up the facts. What is racist about it? In fact, people like you are more racists and hypocrites

        • Shag_Wevera

          You take too many liberties with your numbers and assumptions.

          • optimisto1 .

            show me your statistics

    • Charles Kaplan

      racist…

    • optimisto1 .

      If stating the facts makes me racist, so be it.

    • Ray in VT

      The exit poll number that I saw was 93% in 2012. Kerry got 88%. Gore got 90%. Did black people vote for them just because they are black?

      • optimisto1 .

        You are talking percents. How about absolute numbers of blacks when they voted for Kerry, Gore vs Obama? And how about asking those blacks “why did you vote for Obama?”

        • Ray in VT

          I’ll get right on asking all of them. It may take me a while, but I’ll get back to you.

          The participation rate for African Americans in 2012 was 66.1%. If there was a massive increase in that number, and that number was because of race, would one not expect to see that number edge up by more than the 3 points when comparing Obama and Gore?

          • optimisto1 .

            I bet it was much more than 3 points. If it was only 3 points, as well as for Hispanics, and if demography in 2008 was the same as in 2000, Obama would not win the election. And yes, majority of white people voted Republican, but not 90%. Maybe 65%. Why?

          • HonestDebate1

            I agree with you but the bigger question is why do blacks vote for Democrats?

          • optimisto1 .

            I hope you know the answer to this question. And I am sure it’s not because of same-sex marriage or abortions.

          • HonestDebate1

            As destructive as their policies have been for blacks, and it’s only gotten worse the last 5 years, I really can’t understand it.

          • optimisto1 .

            What destructive? Give me an example.

          • HonestDebate1
          • optimisto1 .

            So it looks like the liberals are the ones who are destructive. I am not one of them. Look, if you are sick and poor – it’s not my fault or the whole society’s fault. It’s your own fault. So don’t take whole society hostage for paying your medical bills. We will go broke, or we are already broke. Ok, let’s borrow more money which we don’t have…Is it $16+ trillion now?

          • HonestDebate1

            Are you under the impression we disagree?

          • optimisto1 .

            Sorry, I misread. Looks like we are on the same page. And it’s good to know.

          • Ray in VT

            Agreed. Republican policies are destructive for blacks. Thanks for coming around.

          • HonestDebate1

            Only if you consider blacks inherently inferior. I don’t.

          • Ray in VT

            So, given your history of running down poor people (who are disproportionately black), as well as your use of stats from white supremacist groups and such, do you just consider them to be just culturally and/or socially inferior? For instance, given that you have said that Mitt was right about the 47%, and given that no matter if he was talking about the 47% who don’t pay taxes or some other 47% that reliably vote for the Democrats, it would seem that African Americans would be disproportionately over-represented there. How do you account for that?

          • HonestDebate1

            I’ve never run down the poor, I have maintained income is a choice and it is. I’ve never used stats from white supremacist sites but I have used FBI stats.

            Mitt was right. Am I supposed to deny reality? His comment had zero zip nada to do with race.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, right. Income is not a choice. Yet another of your foolish, over-simplified statements that would be great for a bumper sticker but not reality.

            You have indeed cited stats that I have traced back to white supremacist sites, and you have certainly misused FBI stats, or maybe you would just like to claim ignorance in not knowing the meanings of terms used in those reports?

            “Am I supposed to deny reality?” You do all of the time anyways. So what is that 47%? Inquiring minds want to know.

          • HonestDebate1

            Then who determines how ethical you are? Or industrious? Or responsible? Or how hard you study? Or whether you do drugs? Or whether you have kids before you can afford them? Who determines your chosen vocation? Who decides how you spend your time? Who tells you where to work? Who is it? Who?

            I can’t be responsible for what FBI stat’s every site uses. It does not surprise me that some hideous people with ]nasty agendas used those stat’s to imply blacks were evil. I never did. I just posted the facts.

            47% of the population pays no income tax. Is that wrong? Please correct me. But Mitt was conflating them with the roughly 47$ who wouldn’t vote for him and the 47% who are receiving aid. That was his mistake.

          • Ray in VT

            You’re right. I just went up to my boss’ office and told him that I choose to make twice as much, and presto. It magically changed. I should advise my brother to magically alter the milk market in the same way. Gotta get one of them magic liberty wands.

            You presented one years stats and presented the numbers on there in a way that is not in line with the actual meanings behind those terms. Maybe you magically altered the definitions of those terms too. I have to get that power.

            So, are the losers that he was talking about the 47% who don’t earn enough to pay federal income taxes?

          • HonestDebate1

            Is it you believe the answers to my questions are irrelevant to income? Or did you miss the point? Your boss (if you chose to have one, I don’t) decides how much he will pay you but you decide who to work for based on the skill set that you have nurtured.

            I presented the whole thing. And yes it was 2005 but I did not represent it as anything it wasn’t. It was 37,460 to 0. The same methods were used to determine both numbers. The methods were in the link I provided. Listen, if you want to try and say 37,460 is a rounding error then fine but don’t act like the point I was making was not valid.

            The 47% don’t pay because of the Bush tax cuts, blame him for helping the poor at the expense of the rich. That’s why the rich are paying more now than ever. That doesn’t make them losers. Did Mitt use the word losers?

          • Ray in VT

            That’s bizarre. Where did I say that. I said that income is not a choice, and given that one cannot simply choose to have any income that they want (except zero), then I think that that is correct.

            No, you, on a number of occasions, made remarks regarding the meaning of the asterisk contained in the report and said that it meant that there were between zero and 9 (or 10) incidents nationwide that year. That is not what it means. Considering that it appears that you have little understanding of the terms contained in that report, as well as how small sample numbers cause (relatively) infrequent crime numbers to vary wildly from year to year, I think that your position is not valid.

            So Bush created the 47%? He took their skin out of the game and gave them a free ride? But he was a true conservative? Why would he do such a thing?

            The rich pay lower rates now than they did under Reagan, so what’s their gripe?

            That’s right. Mitt didn’t call them losers. You called people who only make minimum wage losers. Mitt said this:

            “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no
            matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are
            dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who
            believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who
            believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to
            you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give
            it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what… These
            are people who pay no income tax…”[M]y job is is not to worry about
            those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal
            responsibility and care for their lives.”

            So, who comprises that 47% of which he spoke?

          • Ray in VT

            I wonder if it has anything to do with the Southern Strategy and the sorts of “principled” opposition that some Republicans have voiced to things such as the Civil Rights Act.

          • Ray in VT

            Those were the numbers that I found, but feel free to look up numbers for yourself. Demographics are changing, and considering many of the positions that the GOP has, it is not really a surprise that they have a hard time attracting minority votes of any sort.

          • optimisto1 .

            what GOP positions, like freedom, personal responsibility, self-reliance, independence, living within your means and love your country, just to name few?

          • Ray in VT

            How about like their laissez-faire economic policies that have harmed so many blue collar workers, their demonization of unions, the fear mongering and demonization of minorities in various outlets, the statements of some politicians opposed civil rights and voting rights legislation, and the portrayal of so many working people as lazy moochers.

          • optimisto1 .

            Oh, give me a break, please. I am also a worker for an employer, but I am not a member of any union. And I don’t see any demonization going on of minority employees on my work. It’s people like you who want to keep “demonization” going for political gains.

          • TFRX

            Wow, that’s weak.

            Can’t you have held off on the “Dems hate America” crap for a couple of minutes?

            All it does is bring up wonderful memories of how if I didn’t love Shrub and want to go to Iraq, I was a pacifist weenie.

  • Give_Me_Liberty_92

    they don’t sidestep anything. they play within the rules like others have done before. nothing unconstitutional has happened so far…

    if you want a simple vote in the House and you think the speaker is obstructing, that is a matter of House rules, not the constitution.

    stop the drama and get your civics right

    • Marc Prufer

      Laughable. “Pass what we want or else,” is your idea of correct civics? Delusional you are — give it up.

  • Charles Klinetobe

    The Madisonian system of checks and balances depends on parties not using every potential choke point to function. This precedent has to fail for our system to succeed

  • Marc Prufer

    We keep hearing from the Republicans that this happens all the time, yet they can’t point to one other time when repeal of a law has been tabled by either party over budget negotiations and more importantly the debt ceiling increase. Can you imagine the outcry if we on the left told President G.W. Bush that Democrats wouldn’t agree to a debt limit increase unless he and the Republicans agree to repeal the Patriot Act, End the Iraq War or even repeal the 2nd Amendment? Would he and they negotiate over these laws and elements of the constitution that we Democrats don’t like and feel infringe our liberties?

  • IowaGerry

    Thomas Friedman is right. Listen up. Democracy at stake.

  • Ray in VT

    Whereas I don’t like so much of the current state of political debate and the ways in which many politicians and the parties conduct themselves, I think that the position that American democracy itself is at stake is quite overblown.

  • onpoint080

    Yay, Tom Friedman. At last, someone is telling it like it is. We have a constitutional process to amend laws. The Affordable Care Act is law – which can be amended through process which does not include shutting down the government. This is something you’d expect in a revolutionary government.

    As far as negotiation, the Democrats were ready to negotiate the budget for six months – but, not when a clear vote on a budget is due in order to achieve a goal of defunding a law that is on the books.

    President Obama must stand tough; he is our best hope for keeping the Consitution as a viable document.

    • StilllHere

      Unfortunately we have no “Constitutional scholars” involved in the process. If only …

      • Shag_Wevera

        Who are you to ratify constitutional scholars?

    • IowaGerry

      Thank goodness for clear thinkers like you!

  • cuyahogacat

    Mr Friedman is a little late. Democracy has been dead for at least 20 years

  • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

    This stuff is the kind of problems when you are dealing with fundamentalists.

    • StilllHere

      Are you saying Democrats are fundamentally evil? That’s how I’m reading it.

      • Pete

        You’re still here?

  • Casey Reyner

    Hey Lana- I want Obamacare.

  • OnPointComments

    Again with Citizens United. Geesh. Has the free speech engendered by the Citizens United case caused anyone commenting here to vote differently than you would have if the Supreme Court decision had gone the other way?

    • StilllHere

      It’s strawman hyperbole.
      Citizens United has had no impact on any election to date.

      • fun bobby

        it has impacted fundraising and who ever raises the most funds wins every time

        • StilllHere

          Let’s do away with elections then and just have fundraisers. I’m busy most Tuesdays anyway.

          • fun bobby

            I was thinking it would be better to auction off the seats to the highest bidder and use the billions for charity. same exact result but the money could be used to do good

  • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

    I love how he says “Nothing would ever be settled” like it’s a bad thing: buddy, that’s not a bug, it’s a feature!

    • Marc Prufer

      Anarchist much?

      • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

        Proudly. That is also a feature, not a bug.

  • Elizabeth_in_RI

    Hey Lana – we HAVE death panels – they are called insurance companies.

    I want ObamaCare and I’m one of “the People”

    • LinRP

      That’s brilliant, Elizabeth. Brava!

    • StilllHere

      No doubt, and the ones run out of the post office are going to be much better.

  • http://argonnechronicles.blogspot.com/ Dee

    Alana says “the people have spoken.” When? I never voted on a healthcare referendum (and I would vote for ACA, btw).

    • StilllHere

      That sounds democratic.

      • TFRX

        Direct referenda, over the entire country?

        That would stink. It doesn’t work worth crap anywhere, and results in badly written law.

    • TFRX

      I had problems hearing the show. Did someone call in to say “let’s have a direct referendum on the ACA”?

      (PS Is anyone else plokking on the WBUR site, or is it my connection?)

  • toc1234

    Check out Barney Frank’s old district in MA – classic example. I think Tom lives in it, not surprisingly…

    • StilllHere

      Democrats gerrymander, oh my, democracy is dead!

  • ianway

    Wow. Reading these comments I think there is no hope for this country’s future. This is nothing short of hostage taking, some 30 people holding a gun to the head of an entire country making absolutist demands and no possibility of taking the gun away unless the President and Congress deliver on their demands, and people think that’s OK? Just do me one favor, stop doing your terrorism in my name. I’m an American too.

    • StilllHere

      Why do you hate democracy?

      • Shag_Wevera

        Dolt.

        • Shag_Wevera

          Sorry, I meant “vote”.

          • Yar

            Vote dolt.

          • Shag_Wevera

            That was GW’s re-election slogan…

    • fun bobby

      no hope with hyperbole like that

    • Mandala8

      CHEERS! Couldn’t have said it better myself! Since when does one or 100 Americans get to decide that they speak for all Americans. What happened to respect for differences – that’s how we grow. That’s how we find the very BEST solutions. No one view has a monopoly on the Truth. Of course, I have to remind myself of that periodically. :)

  • Ratsandwich

    Bwah ha ha ha. IN FLAMES. that’s how I hope this all goes down. I hope they fight until people stop voting out of disgust and then megalomaniacs and ingnorati will rule the earth. More. seriously where do we find the time to blather about this crap in the middle of the day when we should be working.

    • fun bobby

      you are speaking in a future tense?

    • Mandala8

      I am a therapist. I work 11 – 8. Open your mind and heart – you’ll be happier = live longer and healthier.

  • keltcrusader

    where do they get these people who say the “Country” doesn’t want the PPACA. Have they been living under a rock for the past few years. The “People” overwhelmingly voted for the President and Party who ran on PPACA.
    You lost, get over it and wake up to reality.

    • Shag_Wevera

      They should, but they won’t.

      • keltcrusader

        All I can see is those monkey statues “see no, hear no, say no” but the “evil” is the really in their own heads.

    • manganbr

      Well, it’s complicated. Polls show a majority does not support the ACA, but within that number includes a big chunk of liberals who didn’t think the ACA went far enough. These polls allow Republicans to say, look, “the will of the people” is on our side. But the lack of nuance in these polls also masks why Obama won re-election: 55 percent of Americans don’t like the ACA, but most of them don’t dislike it passionately, and many of them are liberals who want a single payer system.

      • keltcrusader

        Single payer would have been the way. Separating health care from your job would free up many people and businesses alike.
        Are these polls like the Jimmy Kimmel poll that asked if people prefer PPACA or Obamacare? Who are they calling, people with landlines?
        Over 5 million people crashed the website the first day it opened because they were so excited to finally be able to get health insurance. Overwhelmingly, people like many parts of the PPACA that offer protections to consumers.

        • manganbr

          I’m not sure how the polls were done, but if there were more favorable polls on the ACA out there, I’m sure democrats would have called them to our attention. I don’t think that you could really conduct a poll, yet, that would give you favorable ratings of the ACA. But I’m also saying that, when you start to break down the numbers into the reasons why people disapprove, a totally different “will of the people” emerges.

          • TFRX

            The press corps is so tilted to whatever is spewn up out of Fox and the like that a Democrat spending a lot of effort saying “No, it’s more popular than they say” just doesn’t sound good.

            It’s the “when did you stop beating your wife” question. “Obamacare is unpopular” is so etched into our media’s eyelids that the facts about it can’t make a dent.

            (PS Agree with the fact that the media is ignoring millions of people who’d want this act–like many things Obama does–to be more left-wing. For our press corps it’s all “Obama needs to be more centrist than Clinton”, or he’s not doing it proper: Still more mediafail.)

    • Coastghost

      Kelt: you treat the Affordable Care Tax Act as if, once enacted, it remains the law of the land until the Second Coming. Its chance of surviving even to the year 2020 is by no means certain.
      Only one political party, the party of a numeric minority of Americans, passed the legislation for a Democratic President to sign. I see no sign at all that Americans are flocking to the Democratic Party as a sign of gratitude.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        How are those repel efforts going?

    • fun bobby

      overwhelmingly? 51% is really not “overwhelming” especially because the other choice was romney

      • keltcrusader

        sorry, its their own fault that the republicants put up an unwinnable candidate

        • fun bobby

          to characterize a slim victory as overwhelming is disingenuous at least

          • keltcrusader

            who won with the most votes?

          • fun bobby

            to characterize a slim victory as overwhelming is disingenuous at least. you sound like bush when he won a similar narrow victory and then pranced around talking about how he had a mandate. did you think bush was right?

          • keltcrusader

            geez, trying to get the image of bush prancing around out of my head now :(

          • fun bobby
          • keltcrusader

            thanks, thanks alot

          • fun bobby
          • keltcrusader

            your. killing. me.

            (you really aren’t, you are making me laugh hysterically)

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        It also doesn’t help when the other side spends $1B smearing and lying about your opponent and then gets an assist from the media.

        • StilllHere

          Assist? Really, the heavy lifting. Hillary was right.

        • TFRX

          Hey, let’s leave AFP and the Kochheads out of this.

  • StilllHere

    Polling data clearly indicate Americans don’t want Obamacare. That’ll have to do until we have a referendum.

    • Pete

      We had a referendum. The election in 2012. Remember, the one where Romney ran on repealing Obamacare and lost by over 5 million votes? As they say, the only poll that maters is the voting booth.

      • StilllHere

        No, but nice try.

        • TFRX

          That, from the person who want a nationwide referndum on a national law?

          Please point to where all the right was saying “Let’s have a referendum” after 2004.

          Give it up, bub.

        • Pete

          No, you DON’T remember?

    • tbphkm33

      Ah, another Nopublican living in the altered reality of FOX (entertainment) “News.”

      • StilllHere

        Pathetic.

        • Pete

          Yes, you are.

    • Ray in VT
    • jimino

      Pathetic.

  • Mandala8

    So refreshing to hear someone willing to speak Truth, call a spade a spade!!! How do we get rid of gerrymandering AND the Hastert Rule. If legislation passes one House, there needs to be some point at which the House needs to give an up or down vote.

  • shapeintheclouds

    It’s time for the adults. I’d like to solve the government shutdown. If the Essential Gov’t employees announced that tomorrow at 9am, they would stand with the Non Essential Employees and declare a general strike, this would be over in five hours. (Yes, I mean those who run very important things that would break without staffing.)

    • fun bobby

      or maybe we would realize that we don’t need them at all

      • StilllHere

        We’re getting there.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        I’m sure you are forgetting some things you benefit from the federal government. If you can’t think of anything, you’re lying to yourself.

        • fun bobby

          i do love the highway system and the post office. the post office supports itself despite congress. if we stopped spending a trillion on war and however many billion we spend on DHS and DEA and FBI and the dept of ED ect we could pave all the roads in gold. maybe even use diamonds in the gold, for traction you know. I can’t think of anything else right now. maybe you could tell me how you benefit from the feds?

          • TomK_in_Boston

            I like the R&D funding that produced biotech and the internet.

          • fun bobby

            oh? I heard it was al gore. what “biotech” was produced by the government? are you referring to how they created Lymes disease?

          • TomK_in_Boston

            I know you’re prob’ly joking, Bobby, but the development of the techniques to cut up and recombine pieces of DNA were developed with NIH funding at UC and at Harvard. They are the basis of the biotech industry. Genentech the first biotech co came out of the Berkely Lab and Genzyme from the Harvard Lab. Pressy spectacular payoff, huh?

            Going back to the beginning, Watson had a Gvt fellowship to visit Crick’s Gvt (UK) funded Lab.

            The internet was developed with ARPA support at MIT and UCLA.

          • fun bobby

            meh, great for the corporations that have benefitted. i feel like all those things could have been done without federal funds. Those universities would still exist and be well funded. some say without WW2 bombsights we would not have TV, or maybe it would have just taken a few more years to develop or it would have been developed at the same time or sooner without all the money being spent on war and a high peacetime demand for entertainment. Its hard to say what may have happened. I cant remember who wrote it but i read a critique of the moonshot that outlined how may schools and universities could have been built and students educated for the amount of money that cost.
            if i had lymes disease i might have a more vehement position. what form of government is a merger of government and corporations?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            The Internet comes to mind. The EPA, FDA, FAA, and NASA, and NOAH, and the weather satellites, and FEMA, and port security, etc. – the list is long.

            I would rally like to see a greatly scaled back military – new weapon systems in particular seem like very poor ways to spend our money. They need to actually take care of all our veterans, quickly and well and for as long as they need it.

          • fun bobby

            I was looking for a list of things we do need not things we don’t need.
            your internet is provided by the federal govt? is there now also an Obamanet to go along with the Obamaphones? learning about mars is magical but somehow we managed to survive without robots on mars. do you really think the FDA benefits you? it must be very valuable to you to know that they are on the job keeping you safe. they are doing such a good job I see a host of different ads for drugs or devices they approved that turn out to be horrible. if they were really doing a good job I would not even know the term vaginal prolapse much less have to hear about it every day. meanwhile the federal govt suppresses cannabis which has never in 10,000 years of continual use by humans caused an overdose. weather satellites are great. the weatherman is right almost half the time now. I don’t own an airplane so I don’t benefit from the FAA their job could be done by an organization sponsored by those who do own airplanes. it might make ticket prices more expensive. that’s fine with me because I don’t get a lot of benefit from people going to Bermuda anyhow. I am with you on the weapons and military spending and taking proper care of veterans and perfectly willing to agree to start there. I am not an anarchist I think there are some legitimate roles of federal govt. for the military we should go back to just having the coast guard.
            FEMA? they did a heck of a job Brownie! you know what organization showed up first after Katrina? it was walmart. I think other legitimate govt roles should be performed at the state or local levels and not replicated on the other levels.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            The Internet was started and developed by the government. Just like the railroads, and highways and the FAA and the CDC and weather satellites – lots of critically important things have come from our government.

      • Pete

        Tell that to my son, a civilian DoD employee whose job is deemed important enough that he has not been furloughed and has to go to work, but isn’t getting paid.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          He’ll get paid. Or do you think otherwise?

          • Pete

            As of now there is no guarantee. Until he does (hopefully) get paid, how is he supposed to pay his rent and feed and clothe his three kids (and another on the way) and pay for gas to get to work? Especially if this goes on for weeks or months? (Answer: I’ll do as much as I can to help, but I’m not wealthy by any means.)

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Really?
            No one believes this will go on for months.
            Should he really be having another kid if he is truly living hand to mouth and has no reserve?

            What about those 4 kids and the $17T debt we are leaving them? What about the $100T in unfunded liabilities? Maybe we should be working on the big issues.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            1 day is too long. Should’na happened at all.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Tell Obama and Reid to go to the table. It would be over in 5 minutes.

          • OnPointComments

            It’s been reported that Boehner and Reid got together to fix the ACA for the Congress, yet they won’t get together for the country.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Amazing.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            I refer you to the post by lobstahbisque:

            Can I burn down your house?

            No.

            Just the 2nd floor?

            No.

            Garage?

            No.

            Let’s talk about what I can burn down.

            No.

            YOU AREN’T COMPROMISING!

          • Pete

            I hope you’re right about it not going on too long. When it comes to the kids, I stay out of that. He lives in another part of the country from me and is a conservative Christian—I am far from being one of those. We respect our differences, and don’t really get into it because we know that neither of us is going to change our views. As for the debt, I really don’t know.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Well, good luck with everything. I’m sure it will work out.

            There is a great site that tracks debt/spending and many other metrics.

            You can see your share of debt and unfunded liabilities any time. The unfunded liabilities is a financial measure of broken political promises and that our entitlements are not sustainable given the demographics.

            http://www.usdebtclock.org/

          • anamaria23

            When?

        • fun bobby

          i don’t know what he does but i feel like i will be fine if he quits or goes home.I don’t mind breaking the news. is it a situation where they are not allowed to strike like police? if so he should consider a case of the “blue flu”

  • Shag_Wevera

    I think Mr. Friedman has been wrong often enough on important issues that he ought be ignored moving forward.

    • Marc Prufer

      When was the last time that you won a Pulitzer Prize?

  • MuddyLee

    The Bush tax cuts of 2001 – didn’t they become law without any votes from Democrats? Pushed by a President who didn’t even win the popular vote in 2000? And they are the biggest source of the deficits that Republicans claim to care about. What would Republicans think now if Democrats were to say put the Bush tax cuts on the table instead of ACA? I realize there was a change for the people making over $400,000 annually under President Obama, but the Republicans are playing with fire. They are in revolt against our constitutional system of government – why not arrest a few of them? McConnell, Boehner, Cantor all agreed to obstruct everything that Obama would propose at the time of his FIRST inauguration – this has been widely reported. Then the 2012 Republican candidates actually were dealing with birther nonsense – they do not recognize that Obama is a legitimate POTUS.

    • TFRX

      The rule of Bipartisanship is that only a Democratic president has to worry about it.

    • OnPointComments

      Dateline: May 27, 2001

      “Meeting in a rare weekend, pre-holiday session, Congress on Saturday gave its final approval to the deepest tax cuts since 1981. The compromise bill reduces all income tax rates by three percentage points by 2006.

      “In the House, the bill won the votes of 211 Republicans, 28 Democrats and one independent. One independent and 153 Democrats voted against it.

      “In the Senate, 12 Democrats voted for the bill, as did 45 Republicans and newly independent Sen. Jeffords of Vermont. Republican Senators McCain of Arizona and Chaffee of Rhode Island joined 31 Democrats in voting against the bill.”

      http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/aa052701a.htm

    • OnPointComments

      It never ceases to surprise me that a commenter can post a statement that is simply flat out wrong, and hordes of people vote that they like it.

    • HonestDebate1

      Nonsense, the vote had bi-partisan support just as it did when Obama extended them.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    The caller had a reasonable suggestion to end the impasse.

    Simply have the vote include having Congress and political appointees to have to live with Obamacare.

    Tom Friedman’s response — NO. It is settled law.

    Well Tom, that provision is something that IS in the ACA but Obama undid it with an executive order. You seem to be the unreasonable one.

    • Elizabeth_in_RI

      So you want people who currently have employer supported health care – which the majority of Americans have (except for low wage earners typically) – to be dropped by their employer and forced into the Exchange simply to make a statement?? Or to be able to say, “see, we told you employers would drop their coverage??”
      The Exchanges that you all seem to be fussing over are simply places to sell PRIVATELY managed health insurance policies! That’s why some many liberals oppose the ACA – it didn’t include single payer (aka government) health care.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        I thought it was ‘settled’ law. The President can’t change a law after it was passed and signed. He has done this 19 times with the ACA.

      • OnPointComments

        I’ll settle for having the ACA cheerleaders drop their insurance and go on the exchanges to prove that the plan is as good as they say it is; have them put their money where their mouth is.

        • Elizabeth_in_RI

          You are missing the point of the ACA – in deference to the Republicans it was never supposed to replace the current employer based approach. It was supposed to provide an opportunity for those without. Are you suggesting that you want single payer health care?

          • OnPointComments

            Having the cheerleaders join the exchanges would be a statement to show that having the government mandate that its free citizens purchase a service is a wonderful thing.

        • jimino

          And I will settle for its opponents to demand that employers no longer be able to deduct the cost of health insurance they provide to their employees while those employees do not have to count it as income (this is the single biggest tax loophole in existence). Then every single person can go out on the open market,with their preexisting conditions, and buy their own insurance. (if an insurer will sell it to them, which many would find not to be the case)

          Isn’t that really how a market would work? And it would be a huge wake-up for the ignorant and an utter disaster for providing, paying for and controlling the costs health care.

          • Elizabeth_in_RI

            I agree with you 100%! If we want to talk about “fair” that is what we should do.

        • TFRX

          This the best you got?

          I can prove it’s as good as they say by Keeping my own Doctor. Having preexisting conditions. And not worrying about getting stuck in a crap job because any new one might not come with any or worse insurance.

    • Marc Prufer

      Your proposition is unclear and then you use your vague wording again when a response by Friedman is directed at something other than what you claim after the fact. Be clear when you make statements if you want a clear answer otherwise don’t complain when you are misunderstood.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        You sound confused.

        Friedman didn’t say he was confused by the callers proposal. He then launched into a emotion-laden attack that is a classic debate killing tactic used when the other side has a reasonable argument.

        • StilllHere

          It was a sad display by Friedman. No clothes there.

          • Ray in VT

            Talking about your daydreams again?

  • cre8meaning

    that chick that called in “Alana” was reciting straight from Faux News

  • camisu

    I certainly hope that you set that woman straight about “the people have spoken” garbage that she was spouting. The lies are the “death panels” that she speaks of. We ALREADY HAVE THOSE! They are called insurance companies that refuse to cover treatments and find any way that they can to call something a “pre-existing condition”. Yes, we spoke. We WANT ObamaCare. It is the law. Stop taking hostages and accept that you have lost. Of course, the GOP of late has not been good at accepting that, and have tried any way that they can to turn things to their way, from keeping a vote open past closing time so that they could twist the arms of REPUBLICANS who had voted their constituents’ desires rather than the way the party wanted them to do. Cheating? Sure. But it is their modus operandus. They have lost this battle. Now shut up and do what the majority wants.

    • keltcrusader

      bullies hate to lose. they just can’t handle rejection.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Bullying is how the ACA was passed.

        • Marc Prufer

          It was debated for two years at least. It had thousands of pages of Republican comments and many of the provisions of it are Republican even beyond the fact that the whole law is a republican idea. Stop listening to Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. Learn the facts and then speak otherwise, frankly, you appear to be unintelligent and uniformed on the subject.

          • lobstahbisque

            But she makes a killer s!@t sandwich.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I could respond by telling you to stop listening to MSNBC, NYTimes, TPM, etc. I won’t.

            The “whole law is a republican idea”. Yet, it didn’t get a single GOP vote. Could there be something wrong with the process? Could it be a bad law?

            It is often compared to Romneycare. Yet Romneycare was only 60 pages and this beast took 2700 + 10s of thousands of pages of additional regulations.

            Now we see small businesses in MA who were OK with RC suing the Feds over Obamacare — so no it isn’t the same.

          • Marc Prufer

            Their goal was to not allow Obama a single victory if possible. And afterall Republicans have been killing Democtratic attempts for universal health care for the last 50 years. In the pocket of the AMA and Insurance Companies that before this plan built them into the equation for making money — were hugely against any universal coverage for all Americans. Question: Are you denying the facts that the ACA is in fact a Republican idea and one that Romney passed in Mass.? Were you for it before you became against it? Like so many of your lying republican tea party commrads?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Frankly, I don’t care who’s idea it was. I’m not a republican.

            btw – the original Heritage foundation idea was to ‘mandate’ catastrophic coverage only. This is a far more invasive top down overreach.

          • Marc Prufer

            Not republican? Let me guess, you’re in the Tea Party? Tell it to Mitt Romney who passed the exact language of the Heritage Foundation and where the individual mandate is the core component to the law there.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I live in MA and therefore have lived with RC for 6+ years. No, it is NOT the exact language as Heritage. Also, Romney will tell you that there are many things that need to change in MA. MA has the highest insurance rates in the country but they did before RC too. In MA they limit competition and therefore drive costs UP.

            But the MA situation is vastly different than much of the country. RC only impacted 4% of the population. Health care programs should be left to the States — not the Feds.

          • Marc Prufer

            Stuart Butler’s lecture describes what the Heritage’s mandate would look like:

            We would include a mandate in our proposal–not a mandate on employers, but a mandate on heads of households–to obtain at least a basic package of health insurance for themselves and their families. That would have to include, by federal law, a catastrophic provision in the form of a stop loss for a family’s total health outlays. It would have to include all members of the family, and it might also include certain very specific services, such as preventive care, well baby visits, and other items.

            Taranto points out that the Heritage mandate was less onerous than the Obamacare one, as it focused on coverage for catastrophic illness, rather than the comprehensive health plans that Obamacare requires. “On the other hand, Butler’s vague language—‘it might also include certain very specific services…and other items’—would seem to leave the door wide open for limitless expansion,” he writes. “Whatever the particular differences, the Heritage mandate was indistinguishable in principle from the ObamaCare one. In both cases, the federal government would force individuals to purchase a product from a private company—something that Congress has never done before.”

            Forbes magazine: PHARMA & HEALTHCARE

            10/20/2011 @ 8:26AM |31,722 views

            How the Heritage Foundation, a Conservative Think Tank, Promoted the Individual Mandate

            Avik Roy, Contributor

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Well I guess the devil is in the details, eh?

          • TFRX

            Yep. Nobody on the right here is a republican.

            It’s likethis board holds every “not a Republican” “True Principled COnservative” in the world.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I can’t speak for others.

            I’m fiscally conservative but more libertarian on social issues. I also believe the growing Federal government is problematic for our long term survival.

            Many in the GOP are happy with the size of the State (as long as they are in control).

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes, the Heritage mandate was nothing like the Obamacare mandate… as if it mattered anyway.

          • Pete
          • hennorama

            WftC — again with the page number comparisons? Repeating from a prior post:

            Romneycare was for one state. 50 states X 60 pages = 3000 pages, so by your measure, Obamacare is 10 percent simpler than Romneycare.

            And that excludes DC.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Sorry but that was lame before and it is still lame.

          • hennorama

            WftC — Your point about the relative lengths of two pieces of legislation has no merit. The value of legislation cannot be measured by the number of pages taken up by its language.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            It is one metric of complexity. Yes, it is simplistic and not determinative but the simplicity gives it power. There are other metrics but let’s start with this one.

          • hennorama

            WftC — as you wish.

            Perhaps you can begin with an accurate statement of the number of pages in the PPACA, then compare that to the total number of pages in all other U.S. state, territorial and district laws related to health care and health insurance extant prior to the passage of the PPACA.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            One other corollary. More simplicity and transparency should be required as you up the chain of central government because there is less accountability as you move up.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Oh, I’ve actually understated the page count. Why? Because all the complexity that is spawned by the legislation should be included. Otherwise, clever hacks could write a ‘lean’ bill that spawns 10s of thousands of pages of complexity.

            We have to watch out for these tricks of the trade. They are good. Very good.

          • HonestDebate1

            When it is so long that no one who votes on it reads it then it matters.

          • hennorama

            Debates Not, He — Oh the irony … such a comment coming from someone who repeatedly complains about lengthy posts, and repeatedly writes (paraphrasing from memory), “Too long didn’t read,” “I’m not reading all that,” “If you’re going to compose a long reply, don’t bother; I won’t read it,” etc.

            Keep that comic relief coming, sir. Well done

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s not my job to read your diatribes. It is the Congress’ job to know what they’re voting on. See the difference?

            You also seem to be a bit confused. I love reading… a lot. Big long tomes with no pictures. But your stuff in nonsense and riddled with homework assignments. Your cutsieness amounts to a tons of beating around the bush. You never take a stand one way or another. I’m not reading all that. Why should I?

            But you are on record, there is no need for the 535 politicians in Congress to read the bills they impose on us.

          • hennorama

            Debates Not, He – Wrong, again, as usual.

            I am in fact “on record” as having written the exact opposite of your words:

            “We can and do always ‘expect our representatives to read the bills before voting’ regardless of their length.”

            See:
            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/09/24/obamacare-shutdown-threat#comment-1057810039

            There is no confusion. No one has said it is your job to read anything. However, you certainly have complained about lengthy posts, and the paraphrased recollection of your comments is accurate as written. You are of course free to read or not read any or all of the comments in this forum.

            If you dislike my comments so much, or, as you have repeatedly claimed in the past, that you don’t care what I think, please simply click the little [Collapse] minus sign to the right of my moniker. It’s quick and simple.

            You are also completely free to never reply to any of or all of the comments in this forum.

            [PS] I again renew my polite request that you define your term “cutsieness.”

          • HonestDebate1

            Do you understand anything?

            If you think Congress should read bills then where is the alleged irony? And I have not complained about lengthy posts, I have complained about YOUR prattling diatribes. I don’t care what you think but I do care about the propaganda you parrot. Why does that hurt your feelings so much?

          • hennorama

            Debates Not, He – repeating:

            You can lead a G D Smith to logic, but you can’t make him think.

            Again, you may avail yourself of some local help, here:

            http://rese.appstate.edu/

          • HonestDebate1

            The US Constitution is 4,345 words which if printed single-space in 12 point arial comes to about 10 pages.

            But don’t forget Obamacare’s other 2.8 million words for the regulations.

          • hennorama

            Debates Not, He — Avocados and olives.

          • HonestDebate1

            Alrighty then.

          • JGC

            I was listening to Limbaugh today. He was telling people not listen to the usual suspects (NYT, WaPo, CNN, etc) but he also through in FOX and the AP: he said they are all making the Republicans look like losers. Apparently all the media are in a conspiracy against the Republican Party. Only Rush knows the real truth…

          • Ray in VT

            Of course. Doesn’t have always have the Truth, even if it isn’t true.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Well, he says he is the “all powerful “…

          • HonestDebate1

            Good for you JGC, your mind is more open than most.

          • fun bobby

            why would you be in favor of a republican idea designed to help big business?

          • Marc Prufer

            Any plan is better than was the status quo. Apparently, you like the regular increases to your insurance and the fact that you’re paying for people that don’t pay?

          • fun bobby

            that’s mighty optimistic.

          • HonestDebate1

            “Any plan is better than was the status quo.”

            Obamacare has made things much worse. The “we must do something, anything” argument is vacuous.

        • keltcrusader

          Wrong, but then you always are.

          How is Romney working out as President? oh yeah, he lost.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Yeah, it is the country’s loss. We missed out on Romney’s service.

            We are going through some major election regret right now.

          • keltcrusader

            only in your world

          • hennorama

            WftC — you’re referring to PTERSD (Post-Traumatic Election Results Stress Disorder).

            See more in my earlier post on the topic here:

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/10/03/american-democracy-friedman#comment-1068830325

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Actually it is much simpler.

            We elected Obama even though he had a thin resume and no leadership experience.

            We saw Obama’s failed leadership for 4 years and yet he was re-elected. Mostly because the media failed in their duty.

            Now we are seeing Obama’s continued failed leadership. Why should we be surprised? I guess we collectively get what we deserve.

          • hennorama

            WftC — Thank you for your opinions.

          • gossipy

            Right! He’s the real bully here. He continually says that he will not negotiate, then expects congress to. A real leader would be leading, not bullying.

          • anamaria23

            Actually, he has negotiated more than any President in recent history.
            The Senate sent a budget to the House in May and asked 18 times for conference and were refused by the Speaker. Even after the budget was reduced down to the level the Repubs asked for, in the high 900′s, they refused to go forward.

          • HonestDebate1

            We go back a ways WFTC. You were a Romney supporter very early on and at one time we butted heads (a little) about it. I think there is something to the notion that he was too mushy middle and not Conservative enough. However, by the time election day arrived I was not just voting against Obama, I was voting for Romney. I think he is a good, decent and extremely capable man. IMO he would have been a great President and I don’t mean that in the context of “better than Obama”. It truly is America’s loss.

          • StilllHere

            Very classy.

        • lobstahbisque

          Now majority rule is called bullying. Mr. Sistah, that’s downright Orwellian!

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I’ll raise you a corn-husker kickback.

          • lobstahbisque

            Maddow blog says it doesn’t exist so it must be true. Whew—- for a minute there I thought you meant a euphemism for gay sex. Now, you would NEVER do such a thing, would you?

      • lobstahbisque

        But they’re fabulous at denial.

  • fun bobby

    should one not vote according to their ethics?

  • anamaria23

    There were at least 5 and maybe more, bipartisan meetings in the crafting of the ACA. It is publically available the 10 conservative ideas in the ACA. There is a large swath of “The American People” who would like Medicare for all. How about we implore our Congress people to hold up the debt ceiling approval until we get what we want or we will see to it that they lose their seats.
    The for profit health care with CEO’s earning millions in compensation, some up to $11,000,000 per year with costs skyrocketing each year is no longer tenable. It is not working.
    ACA is a first step to amend this travesty.
    The Repubs have had generations to improve the system.
    Let them, by rule of law, present a plan. And, no the Paul Ryan plan is not something the average person could accomplish.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      They have offered many alternatives. The latest is by a medical doctor — Dr. Tom Price.

      • anamaria23

        Presented in June of 2013. Seven years after coming to Congress.

    • Marc Prufer

      Correct. They’ve had no plan for universal health care for the last 50 years other than the one that became law — the ACA (aka Obamacare).

  • fun bobby

    seeing as they view our government as corrupt perhaps they would like to demonstrate that we do not in fact need this corrupt govt

  • Aaron

    For those that think we should be making policy decisions based on polls I would like to refer you to a few others. While i don’t think this is the best way to make policy, we will need to do it for everything, not just your cherry-picked priorities.

    54% support stricter gun control laws
    55% support allowing same-sex couples to marry
    58% support abortion remaining legal in most or all cases

    And…

    72% oppose current Republican strategy of shutting down government to stop the ACA.

    Obviously there are more. I concede many of which I wouldn’t agree with so don’t bother listing them all. I’m just saying that if we’re going to do it we have to do it for everything.

    • fun bobby

      in that case drugs would be legal. I guess you could make any laws you wanted if you based them on polls since poll results are based on how the question is phrased and who is polled

      • StilllHere

        A recent poll indicated 50% of people lie in their responses when polled?

        • fun bobby

          that drugs would be legal or that polls are baloney?

  • MaxEntropy_Man

    mr.president — don’t cave, DO NOT CAVE. don’t give an inch. this is political terrorism pure and simple and we cannot acquiesce to a small group of suicide bombers in the house. there is migraine in the short term, but if you cave there will be cancer in the longer term.

  • optimisto1 .

    The Tea Party is just asking to live within our means. How do you run your own household? Do you continue to borrow more and more money? Sorry, it’s not my style.

    • MaxEntropy_Man

      the tea party is breaking america’s economy.

    • Pete

      Regardless what they tell you on Fox News, a government and an economy are NOT the same as a household budget.

      Paul Krugman: ” The key point is realizing interdependence: your spending is my income, my spending is your income, and if we all try to slash spending at the same time the result is a depression. Somebody needs to step up and spend when others won’t — and the government can and should be that somebody.

      That said, the funny thing is that real individuals and businesses don’t behave the way the balanced-budget scolds claim. Businesses often borrow and spend when borrowing is cheap or they see high payoffs to investing; so do families.”

      • jimino

        The typical household with a mortgage owes way more than their “household GDP”, but no one sees that as economically disastrous. Because it isn’t.

        • OnPointComments

          The typical household with a mortgage doesn’t borrow money every month to make the mortgage payment.

          • HonestDebate1

            Bingo.

        • gossipy

          Apparently jimino you’re not one of the many who lost their homes because of the big banks rotten rules.

          • jimino

            What are you talking about?

        • HonestDebate1

          Only if you like your house.

      • OnPointComments

        The debt and deficit don’t matter, unless it’s liberals talking about tax rates on the wealthy, then all of a sudden the effect on the debt and deficit is paramount.

      • Bluejay2fly

        Why doesn’t Krugman complain about the Billions our military spends in other countries on over seas bases. That does not stay in our economy. These people ignore facts and are nothing more than paid propagandists.

    • TFRX

      Fine. When the right gets back in the White House, do it.

      Just like the last time a conservative Prez (ask CPAC) passed all those balanced budgets.

      Oh, wait…

    • anamaria23

      ALL of the money for the Iraq War and Medicare Part D was borrowed. That helped contribute to the current debt along with tax cuts. At least this President includes the wars in his budget.
      Deficits have risen under every Republican President. Not so much with Democratic.

  • sickofthechit

    Wait a few weeks. Call the 800 number and see what the truth is about how much healthcare will actually cost you instead of swallowing whatever you are told on Faux or news radio.

  • MaxEntropy_Man

    you want to talk about living within your means? cancel all the oil subsidies, cancel the subsidies to farmers, cancel aircraft building programs in republican districts that the airforce doesn’t want, ships that the navy doesn’t want and weapons programs that are still being run as if we are in the soviet era. weapons that are never going to ever be used. let’s do all that. then we’ll talk.

    • fun bobby

      would mass companies get to keep the 9 billion a year we get in defense contracts?

    • hdesignr

      How about adding this to the list…

      Politicians taking a pay cut.

  • lobstahbisque

    My disability check came through despite the shutdown, the sun is shining, and I get to play whack-a-troll all afternoon. God it sure beats working for a living I tell you.

    • HonestDebate1

      You have lots of company.

      • lobstahbisque

        Well yeah, that’s a truckload a’ trolls. Duh.

        Fun to make fun of the disabled isn’t it?
        It shows how much compassion and empathy you have. And on Sundays you pray to Jesus, right?

        • HonestDebate1

          I would never make fun of people with hardships. The disability rolls have skyrocketed under Obama. There aren’t that many people unable to work. And no I don’t pray.

  • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

    Fundamentalists are not necessarily evil, they’re fundamentalist. Someone refereed to them as “American Taliban”.

    • Ray in VT

      Yeah, I’ve never liked that term. I think that it, along with playing the Nazi card, goes too far.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    This shutdown must be killing Ashbrook.

    He must be dying to get to the latest IPCC report and this kerfuffle is keeping him away.

    • Elizabeth_in_RI

      The United Nations isn’t impacted by the shut down. Since you’re so worried here’s that link: http://www.ipcc.ch/

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Yeah, it’s a bummer that they are still open — spending our money on nonsense and propaganda.

      • fun bobby

        they must be an essential service like military football

        • StilllHere

          Are you taking Navy and the points?

          • fun bobby

            I would rather see the game cancelled the team disbanded and receive a tax rebate for the tenth of a cent or whatever that costs me

  • Kathy Keogh Noel

    YIKES! I heard the show on my car radio and almost exploded. I couldn’t wait to get home and write in to ask how you could let that woman get away with saying something close to : congress is advancing the will of the american people who already have the best health care possible and don’t want to have to pay any more money. WHAAAAAAT! A. Please tell me where the poll, any poll, exists showing that the majority of americans don’t want Obamacare/the AFA/whatever. B. The idea that we have excellent or even decent health care is a lie. C. Is she completely unaware of the poor and the people w/ prexisting conditions for whom healthcare is virtually unattainable now?
    Friedman specifically said that Fox News is making people stupid and there was exhibit A waiting to be set straight,and neither Tom took the opportunity to try. ARRRGH

    • OnPointComments

      Here are a few.

      • Matt MC

        Except some people don’t like it because it doesn’t go far enough. Nice try, though.

        • OnPointComments

          The question is about the Health Care Law, not what people wish they had instead.

          • Matt MC

            Except you were trying to imply that everyone didn’t like it the same way Republicans did. Nice try, though.

          • jimino

            You are correct that it’s all about politics and has little to do with actual health insurance and health care.

        • fun bobby

          yes there are several reasons to not like obamacare. the majority of Americans seem to have one

          • StilllHere

            Some don’t like it cuz is don’t come in different colors like a 5C!

      • OnPointComments

        CNN/ORC Poll, September 27-29, 2013

        “As you may know, a bill that makes major changes to the country’s health care system became law in 2010. Based on what you have read or heard about that legislation, do you generally favor or generally oppose it?”

        Favor 38%; Oppose 57%; No opinion 4%.

        • Labropotes

          That’s a lot of examples. I think Kathy, like me, listens to a lot of NPR. I was dim to those poll numbers until now.

      • OnPointComments

        From the NYT and CBS: “Opinions of the health care law overall continue to be negative. With health insurance exchanges set to open up for enrollment on October 1st, 39% of Americans now approve of the health care law, but more – 51%- disapprove, similar to views in July. Since the law was enacted in 2010, more have disapproved than approved of it.”

    • OnPointComments

      Kathy Keogh Noel must have been living in a cave if she needs to be told of “where the poll, any poll, exists showing that the majority of americans don’t want Obamacare/the AFA/whatever.”

      • Kathy Keogh Noel

        not living in a cave but in 2 different states — family in 5 others. It may be worth noting that none of us live in a gated community, subscribe to Fox news or attend evangelical churches.

        • OnPointComments

          My point is that there have been numerous, myriad polls for years that show Americans oppose the ACA, and I don’t know of a single one, ever, that has shown a majority supports the health care bill.

          • Kathy Keogh Noel

            except the 2012 presidential election.

          • OnPointComments

            While the ACA was discussed during the campaigns, the ballot was for candidates, not the ACA.

          • Kathy Keogh Noel

            baloney.

      • jimino

        I doubt that, but she probably is intelligent enough to know that the outcome of a poll can be easily manipulated by how the respondents are asked the question, and that polls regarding the ACA are predominantly responded to by people who have no idea what the provisions of the law actually are.

        The phrase “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics” comes to mind.

        • OnPointComments

          Is it your belief that it is likely the New York Times & CBS phrased their question so that results would be skewed against the ACA?

          • Ray in VT

            Like how you can get Republicans to like the ACA less by calling it Obamacare?

            http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/republicans-affordable-care-act-obamacare-article-1.1459061

          • OnPointComments

            From the looks of the polling in the link you provided, it might change the results slightly depending on what you call the ACA, but no matter what it is called, the majority don’t like it.

            Obamacare: 34% favorable, 60% unfavorable

            Affordable Care Act: 39% favorable, 55% unfavorable

          • Ray in VT

            And what is the percentage who want it repealed, defunded or delayed? From what I have seen it is nowhere near 50%, and polls also suggest that the public is pretty significantly against such a tactic.

          • HonestDebate1

            It makes you wonder why Obama embraces the name Obamacare. Narcissism?

          • HonestDebate1

            Dude, that was a Fox poll. they can’t be trusted.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sx2scvIFGjE

          • Ray in VT

            Well, we can find out 100% if it is the truth. We just have to ask Rush. Rush knows all, except about the LRA. I wonder if he criticized Obama for pledging to help Nigeria deal with Al-Shabob, thinking that maybe it’s just a fast food chain.

          • HonestDebate1

            I have no idea what you are pin balling off to now. Whatever.

            BTW, Rush is documented to be almost always right only 99.7% of the time not 100%.

            I just think it’s funny how some people hate Fox except when they don’t.

          • Ray in VT

            It’s called referencing your history of stupid and/or inaccurate statements. I’m sorry if you have trouble following complex arguments.

          • HonestDebate1

            You’re right, when I’m accused of saying something I’ve never said then it’s to complex for me. I have no idea who Al-Shabob is.

          • Ray in VT

            Actually, in this case, I am merely citing a stupid comment from someone whom you fairly often cite.

            Al-Shabob: Rush’s favorite ethnic food joint.

          • HonestDebate1

            Sorry, I don’t follow, too complex.

          • Ray in VT

            Not a surprise. Maybe Rush can explain it to you, although gemworld might be a better source. They’re top notch on stuff, right?

          • jimino

            Most people are obviously not familiar with the act’s provisions. By A significant margin, the majority of Americans favor every single component of the ACA with the exception of the individual mandate/penalty.

            http://www.kff.org/kaiserpolls/8425.cfm

          • HonestDebate1

            That doesn’t make it right. Of course people like not having pre-existing conditions matter but it turns the math on it’s head for everyone. That’s a big reason premiums are going through the roof. It’s like wrecking your car without insurance and then buying insurance to fix your car’s pre-existing condition. It’s no longer insurance.

            Or why wouldn’t a loser 25 years old want to be covered on their parents policy? But that can’t happen without raising costs for everyone.

          • Ray in VT

            I guess that those kids born with heart conditions ought to just pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Moochers.

          • HonestDebate1

            Anytime you start a comment with the words “I guess” a non-sequitur Evel Knievel leap follows.

            We could by new hearts for every kid who needs one and save trillions with the money wasted on Obamacare. But don’t worry, it’s all for not. If the history of socialized healthcare is an indicator the kid will be long dead before he can get the surgery scheduled.

          • Ray in VT

            So I guess that the free market has taken care of that, just like with everything else, so no need to worry.

            I know, just look at how bad the rest of the First World countries have it. It must be terrible there, what with their health coverage for all, their longer life expectancies and their lower infant mortality rates. Those poor people.

          • HonestDebate1

            Ditto “so I guess”.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, it did solve acid rain, segregation and a host of other ills. It really does fix all things.

          • HonestDebate1

            No it doesn’t, we must have government too….one that actually works and is prudent.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup, gotta love the EPA and the power of the Feds to eliminate the rat of people to hang a “no coloreds allowed” sign.

          • jimino

            I’ll listen to your “math” when you can explain why we shell out for health care more than twice what every other country, all of whom cover EVERYONE, pays for health care.

            And if people refusing to get their own insurance yet expecting to be treated when sick bothers you, the mandate would be right up your alley. Unless, of course, you prefer that they just go untreated and die, if that’s the result. What other options are there?

            Just what in the hell do you want?

          • HonestDebate1

            Twice? is that all, just wait.

          • jimino

            So are you going to try and explain why we pay more than twice what everyone else pays, and why that so satisfies you, or not?

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t defend the way it was, I’m just saying its worse now. We will pay more for care that is worse.

      • Vic Volpe
    • fun bobby

      I have always had excellent healthcare. much better than my experience with Canadian socialized medicine. sometimes dealing with the insurance company is a headache. too bad they did not get rid of those scumbags.

      • Kathy Keogh Noel

        Do you know anyone who has been denied coverage for pre-exisiting conditions? Ask around, I’ll bet you do know some in that situation.

      • TFRX

        Yeah, so? (Provided you’re not just spinning tales.)

        One: anec (!=) Many: data.

        I have always had excellent healthcare in Canada, and it’s always stunk here.

        • fun bobby

          Why call someone a liar for no reason? your accusation seems rude and uncalled for.
          I had cold/flu/pneumonia (never did find out what exactly) and when I tried to get a doctors appointment in Canada they said I had to wait two weeks. its a great system because by then most people will be dead or better. on the plus side codeine cough syrup is available from the pharmacist.
          In America I have always gotten the western medicine I needed in a timely manner.
          Kathy said “The idea that we have excellent or even decent health care is a lie.”

          I have decent healthcare and I always have. sometimes the paper work/ billing thing can be a hassle. too bad Obamacare did not get rid of the insurance companies. I am sure the government will make the paperwork/billing much less of a hassle. I wish they paid for alternative medicine but I understand why they do not and obamacare would not cover it either. what’s your gripe with our care here and what experience did you have in Canada?

    • Bruce94

      Yes, stupid and a bit crazy. In the “wacko bird” universe of the Tea Party zealots, lines from Jabberwocky are put forward as reasoned argument and so it follows that, according to the perverse logic of these Mad Hatters, the pre-ACA reality of 40 million uninsured Americans is indicative of the “best healthcare system possible;” or the ACA was “passed by one Party unwilling to compromise” in spite of the fact that single-payer was off the table, the public option was quickly removed, and the
      Individual Mandate was derived from the conservative Heritage Foundation; or the “Dems shut the GOP out of the legislative process” in spite of the fact the
      GOP leadership’s avowed purpose was to make healthcare reform “Obama’s Waterloo” and they’ve used the filibuster in perverse, unprecedented ways to obstruct, or the pain inflicted by the sequester (which was engineered by GOP hostage taking during the 2011 debt limit debate) is somehow the President’s fault; or the pain inflicted by the subsequent credit downgrade was the President’s fault even though the record shows that it was Boehner who caved to the Mad Hatters in the eleventh hour of the Grand Bargain negotiations.

      And now the Tea Party “wacko birds” are at it again whining about how the govt. shutdown is the fault of a President who is allegedly unwilling to negotiate. Never mind that the Senate passed a budget 6 months ago and the spineless GOP leadership once again caved to the Tea Party and blocked formation of a budget conference committee that wouldhave worked in a bipartisan manner toward a real, long-term budget agreement.

      And to the guy with the chart below: the polls that really count are the last Presidential Election, Senate Election and SCOTUS decision upholding the
      ACA. After years of disinformation and fear-mongering (bankrolled by a few billionaires) about the ACA and the dissatisfaction of those who wanted something akin to single-payer, his charts are not all that
      revealing.

      In any case, we can all agree that the overwhelming
      majority of Americans surveyed disapprove of shutting down govt. or threatening a debt limit breach to defund or delay the ACA.

      • Kathy Keogh Noel

        word.

    • newsfan46

      When did healthcare and health insurance become synonymous?

      • hennorama

        newsfan — a good question indeed. It’s a bit like “tax return” and “tax refund.”

        I submit that a better nickname for the PPACA is “Obamasurance.”

        BTW, the domain names OBAMASURANCE.NET, .INFO, .ORG, and .CO are all available. Cheap, too.

    • Eliza_Bee

      Lana sounded suspiciously like Michelle Bachmann.

  • lobstahbisque

    Can I burn down your house?

    No

    Just the 2nd floor?

    No

    Garage?

    No

    Let’s talk about what I can burn down.

    No

    YOU AREN’T COMPROMISING!

    • Ray in VT

      Why be so closed minded?

    • Matt MC

      Love it.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      You are comparing forcing Congress to live within the ACA as was written into the original law with burning down part of the house.

      Therefore the original law burned down part of the house — n’est pas?

      • lobstahbisque

        You just delivered a text book definition of sophistry.
        – tant pis

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Channeling a little Friedman?

          • lobstahbisque

            Who is Friedman? Wanna pick some nits off a’ me. Go ahead…. You see, our local affiliate is having a fund drive so we don’t listen when they’re begging for the money that should have been provided by the government.

          • HonestDebate1

            I prefer the Milton version.

    • fun bobby

      in the mean time we are locking the doggie door until we can agree!

    • HonestDebate1

      You’ve got it bass ackwards.

      Can I buy you a mansion on a 1000 acres? Yes.

      Can I buy you just the mansion? No

      Can I buy you just the land? No

      Can I by you a car? No, why are you so selfish?

      • lobstahbisque

        Bass ackwards is one of my favorite positions.

        Now— there is a reason why conservatives aren’t funny. I take that back. Ole’ Nixie on the beach in his wingtips, was funny.

        • HonestDebate1

          I can see that, you must be proud.

          • lobstahbisque

            Oh Mary Contrary, you have NO idea!

          • HonestDebate1

            God bless you. Did you have a point?

          • lobstahbisque

            We were conversing about how conservative humor is an oxymoron.
            [note to self--- don't truck with the terminally literal]

          • HonestDebate1

            No, we were conversing about your flawed analogy that confused funding certain aspects of government with burning them.

            Then you got all sexy for some reason. I just didn’t get your point, that’s all.

          • lobstahbisque

            Sorry, I fell asleep from boredom….my…. flawed……..analogy….ZZZZZ grunt.
            Oh you mean the JOKE!
            “I’m too sexy for this blog, too sexy for my dog, so sexy it hurts…..”

    • optimisto1 .

      No, it’s “can you downsize if you can’t afford to pay for your house with a garage to the bank”? Just move into 2 bedroom apartment.

    • StilllHere

      Dude, stop the navel-gazing, look up. The roof, the roof, the roof IS on fire! $17 trillion and still going.

      BTW, your Tesla’s on fire too!

      • Ray in VT

        Nice Bloodhound Gang reference. Did you know that they got booted out of Russia back in August (I think).

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Friedman is one of these faux intellectuals who has never had an original idea and just recycles whatever you could find on any blog, including this one. He does parrot the conventional wisdom with a very thoughtful air, you have to give him that. It wd be nice if all his mistakes were counted when the media decides to consult his wisdom. He doesn’t understand the world very well, based on track record, but apparently that doesn’t matter once you’re in the club.

    The current situation does not require deep analysis. The red states have gone off the rails again like in 1860, and it’s time to let them go.

  • jsmetz

    I agree with the guy who says “…the red states are going off the rails,” but I disagree with the idea that “…it’s time to let them go.” We fought the civil war once, I don’t want to see the country fight a civil war a second time. On the other hand I would have to say that the Tea Party Caucus (they are the ones getting campaign funding, PR and media support, and encouragement in general from the anti-government billionaires aligned with them) are just the new name for the same kind of people who, in 1861, decided to fire on Fort Sumpter. The number of Tea Party caucus members in the US House seems to vary between 30 and 50 but I think it will be worth everybody’s time to find out who they are, and start talking to them (or the voters in their districts) one-to-one to get a few of them to start breaking away from this idea that a collapsed federal government is a good idea to anybody except the anti-government billionaires who are financing the process of making it happen.

    • optimisto1 .

      Hey, have you already signed up for Obama care? The Republican Congress have been twice democratically elected in the past and represents the majority of American voters. And it said “NO” to it. Can Dems listen to those American people?

      • lobstahbisque

        “gerrymandering”repeat x 10,000,000.

    • William

      Are you concerned how people in government turned the IRS against the TP groups?

      • Ray in VT

        Still drinking the Kool-Aid that the IRS was only going after conservative groups that might be abusing non-profit status?

        • Gatortrapper

          The best you can do is say that a similar review was done of a much smaller handful of progressive groups and this makes it equal even though they were routinely approved while the larger group of Tea Party groups languished for years. Okay. You win. What an idiot.

          • Ray in VT

            Thanks for your input. I’m glad to see that you were able to contribute without needing to jump the gun and start calling names.

            If you dislike the fact that liberal groups got targeted, and some outright rejected, because it is not in line with the narrative that Issa tried to create by purposefully ignoring the targeting of liberal groups, then too bad. This is just another example of the GOP trying to gin up a scandal against the White House. There’s actually an issue here, it’s just that they chose to try to present it in the most partisan light possible, perhaps thinking that the fuller truth wouldn’t come out or than even if it did enough of their fans would just ignore the inconvenient facts that didn’t fit that narrative.

          • Gatortrapper

            Provide a cite to a progressive group that was rejected. The IG even rejected the notion that progressives were targeted in the same manner, to the same degree or with the same outcomes. Now that is public record that has been repeated in even some of the liberal MSM. So if you going to allege that this is wrong, then give me cite or crawl back into the defunct blog you maintain.

            The difference between the Tea Party and the Progressives is that we admit it when a point is made that is true. The Progressives double down on the propaganda when they get called on it. Right out of the radical playbook and something that Goebbels would applaud.

          • Ray in VT

            Here is an article citing the IRS’s IG regarding liberal terms on the BOLO list:

            http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/18/politics/irs-scandal/index.html

            It is possibly not presently possible to say whether or not they were targeted in the same way and to the same degree, as the IG report into the matter was directed to look for the targeting of conservatives.

            It should also be noted that that article also contains a statement from Issa stating that after two months of investigating there is no evidence that any of this was directed from the White House, as the faux scandal machine has and continues to report or suggest.

            This article cites a couple of groups that got hassled or denied tax exempt status:

            http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/irs-scrutinized-liberal-groups-94556.html

            Thanks for playing the Nazi card, but given the knuckle-dragging, right wing and sometimes racist nature of the teabaggers and their ilk, I think that the concept of repeating lies until they become the truth is very much alive and well in God’s Own Party and the sorts of media outlets that continually fluff them.

          • Gatortrapper

            Nothing better than the horse though:
            From http://washingtonexaminer.com/treasury-irs-targeted-292-tea-party-groups-just-6-progressive-groups/article/2532456

            “Based on the information you flagged regarding the existence of a
            ‘Progressives’ entry on BOLO lists, TIGTA performed additional research
            which determined that six tax-exempt applications filed between May 2010
            and May 2012 having the words ‘progress’ or ‘progressive’ in their
            names were included in the 298 cases the IRS identified as potential
            political cases. We also determined that 14 tax-exempt applications
            filed between May 2010 and May 2012 using the words ‘progress’ or
            ‘progressive’ in their names were not referred for added scrutiny as
            potential political cases. In total, 30 percent of the organizations we
            identified with the words ‘progress’ or “progressive” in their names
            were processed as potential political cases. In comparison, our audit
            found that 100 percent of the tax-exempt applications with Tea Party,
            Patriots, or 9/12 in their names were processed as potential political
            cases during the timeframe of our audit.”

            According to this article, from which the above quote was lifted as being a direct quote, “[t]he letter from the Treasury Department Inspector General for Tax
            Administration revealed that there just weren’t many progressive groups
            who even sought special tax exempt status. A total of 20 sought it, and
            six were probed. All 292 Tea Party groups, meanwhile, were part of the
            IRS witchhunt.”

            Note the scale difference: 30% of 20 applications by liberal groups, which I understand were all approved some time ago, compared to 100% of 292 conservative groups, most of whom were delayed for years and some are still waiting.

            No one says that Hitler approved the design of the concentration camps or the gas chambers used, but no one discounts the notion that those acts were consistent with his wishes. That’s the way it is large organizations, people take their cues from larger pronouncements and act accordingly. “I didn’t order him killed, I merely said his being around talking was inconvenient.”

            I’ve never said that Obama ordered it. That doesn’t mean that his political appointee, the IRS General Counsel, didn’t commit malfeasance or nonfeasance. And under our form of assignment of responsibility that should be attributed to the President.

          • Ray in VT

            I did not necessarily mean to imply that you did suggest a collusion between the IRS and the White House, although it has often been suggested, and William’s comment I felt led in that direction. That has generally been my main objection to the spin that has been put on this “scandal” by the GOP and conservative media. For instance, USA Today ran this story:

            http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/09/17/irs-tea-party-target-list-propaganda/2825003/

            They link to 162 groups, and the agents looking into tax exempt status appear to have concerns regarding the election activities of a good number of the groups.

            The scale certainly is different. Although, given the murky rules on tax exempt status and the highly partisan nature of the Tea Party it is not surprising that such a new movement would get scrutiny. I would expect such scrutiny if Occupy had spawned similar tax exempt speakers.

            So, but you are saying, or suggesting, that maybe Obama didn’t order this done, but that the IRS sorta knew what he wanted and acted accordingly? Is that the take away that I should have from your second to last paragraph? If so, then I think that you’re barking up the wrong tree on this one. Are you also saying that any mistakes made by IG Russell should be Obama’s fault? Also, it appears that he was appointed by Bush, not Obama, as you suggest:

            http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/about_ig.shtml

          • Gatortrapper

            I haven’t suggested that the IG made any errors. I haven’t read his full report or had the benefit or the additional information gleaned by the Issa committee. I do note that he was a classmate of Michelle Obama’s and apparently dated her at least once in law school. As to his appointment by Bush, I think this is of little moment. I don’t think the ideological litmus test applied by Administrations can extend that deep, mainly because the nature of culling from large groups results in the sore thumbs being identified rather than the sympathetic, regardless of which direction that sympathy flows, because it would be so very difficult to assess.

            Indeed this could extend the Commissioner of Internal Revenue Service under whose watch this occurred. He was appointed by Bush but it comes to pass that his wife is well known to be an employee of Common Cause, a group that actually called for an investigation by the IRS of these very groups. Although this does not make Bush a good executive by itself, I do note that most of our nations best executives have been lauded for their inclusiveness of those with opposing viewpoints in their inner circles. It is not an attribute that has yet been ascribed to President Obama, and probably will not be. But I digress.

            The fact that Obama has created an adversarial atmosphere cannot be seriously debated. Prior to the current crisis, well back in his first term he was known for mirroring the “take no prisoners” attitude of his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, famously saying that we reward our friends and punish our enemies. http://hotair.com/archives/2010/10/25/obamas-turnout-pitch-to-latinos-get-out-there-and-punish-your-enemies/

            http://www.freestaterevolution.com/?p=1311

            http://washingtonexaminer.com/examiner-editorial-on-energy-obama-rewards-friends-and-punishes-enemies/article/2505755

            Coupled with direct and indirect calls for scrutiny by members of the Democrat Party the environment was certainly one in which the IRS, including the office of General Counsel, would be inclined to ramp up scrutiny, or double down on on going “investigations.” For example a group of Democrat Senators demanded in a 2012 letter to the IRS that they examine Tea Party groups.

            The letter was signed by Senators Charles E. Schumer, Michael Bennet,
            Sheldon Whitehouse, Jeff Merkley, Tom Udall, Jeanne Shaheen and Al
            Franken. – See more at:
            http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2013/05/flashback-2012-dem-senators-demand-irs-audit-tea-party-groups/#sthash.W03lCzrw.dpuf

            So it is not beyond the pale to suggest that improper action by the IRS was undertaken without a direct mandate from the White House. It was a pregnant request that did not have to be made formally, it only had to be known that it wouldn’t be frowned upon.

      • jsmetz

        I’m always concerned about how the IRS decides who to audit, and which application for tax exempt status (eg., 501c(3) or 501c(4)) needs more information about what the applicant organization actually does with the money that will not come to the US Treasury if the tax exemption is granted. I think that IRS review of applications for tax exempt status is one of the most important, and most politically touchy things the IRS does. As I understand what you might be referring to, there were a lot of Tea Party groups around the country who decided to apply for tax exempt status around the same time. Because there were so many of them all at once, some low-level functionary probably decided to classify and sort the piles of applications so they could be processed by a limited number of IRS staff available to do the reviews. At some point there was a poor choice of words, and the press jumped on what they hoped was a real issue. Congress looked into the issue, didn’t find a problem, apparently, because no more was said about how the IRS handled their reviews, even by the Tea Party. Case closed as far as I am concerned.

  • keltcrusader

    Try this on for size:

    Scene: A suburban house on Halloween, shortly before dark. Two men walk to the front door and knock. A woman answers…

    Woman: Can I help you?

    Man 1: Hello ma’am. We’ve come for your things. Oh, and trick or treat!

    Woman: I’m sorry? My things?

    Man 1: Yes, ma’am.

    Man 2: Your TV, laptop, maybe some jewels.

    Woman: I don’t understand.

    Man 1: We’re burglars, ma’am, but instead of breaking in and getting what we want the traditional way, we thought it would be best to negotiate with you about what we’ll take.

    Man 2: Yes. We’re willing to compromise.

    Woman: But…what? These are our things. Why would we give them to you? If you want things go out and buy them yourselves.

    Man 2: Are you saying you won’t even negotiate?

    Woman: Negotiate? About what?

    Man 1: Ma’am, as we explained, we’re perfectly willing to compromise, but if you won’t even negotiate with us we’ll have no other choice than to shut you down.

    Woman: Shut us down?

    Man 2: It’s Halloween, ma’am. No trick-or-treaters in, no candy out.

    Woman: You wouldn’t!

    Man 1: We don’t want to, but you’re giving us no choice. Be reasonable. All we’re asking for is a compromise.

    Woman: This is absurd. The law is the law. You have no right to any of our things. Compromise? About giving you our legally-purchased things? This is absurd.

    Man 1: Have it your way.

    A van appears. Several men get out and wrap yellow tape emblazoned with elephants around the house. Just then a large group of trick-or-treaters approach.

    Man 1: Sorry, kids. We’ve approached these people with a very reasonable request, and they won’t even sit down to negotiate with us. So we think it best that we shut them down.

    Trick-or-treater: But they give the best candy in the neighborhood! And the most!

    Man 1: I understand. But they’ve shot down every one of our attempts to have a serious discussion about a reasonable compromise. They’ve brought this upon themselves. And all of you are victims of their arrogance.

    The trick-or-treater crowd grows larger. Some trick-or-treaters in soldier costumes push against the tape but it holds fast. They glare at Man 1. He walks back to the house.

    Man 1: How about if I let you give candy to just the trick-or-treaters in soldier costumes?

    Woman: But I don’t think it’s fair to pick and choose who gets candy and who doesn’t!

    Man 1: I don’t understand why you keep rejecting my sincere attempts to make this situation work for everyone. It’s like you think you know what’s best for all of us…

    Woman: YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO ANY OF OUR THINGS AND NO STANDING TO NEGOTIATE!

    Man 2: Now, now. Stubbornness isn’t going to get us anywhere. That’s what’s caused this whole situation.

    A TV satellite truck pulls up to the house. A reporter and a cameraman clamber out. They talk to some of the trick-or-treaters, then to Man 1 and Man 2. The Woman leaves the house and walks toward them. The reporter sees her.

    Reporter: Whose fault is this?

    Woman: His. (Pointing at Man 1.)

    Man 1: Her’s. (Pointing at the Woman.)

    Reporter: How come you both can’t reach some sort of compromise that will make these trick-or-treaters happy? Shouldn’t they be the top concern?

    Man 1: That’s all we’ve asked for. I want these kids to get their candy.

    Woman: So do I!

    Reporter: And yet there they are with no candy.

    Man 1: If she was only willing to negotiate we could have avoided all of this.

    Woman: But…there’s…nothing…to…negotiate!

    The reporter and cameraman move away to set up their live shot. The cameraman counts 3, 2, 1…

    Reporter: A sad situation today that left a lot of trick-or-treaters with empty baskets and broken hearts, all because two parties couldn’t resolve their differences…

    http://cognoscenti.wbur.org/2013/10/03/halloween-nightmare-jim-borghesani

    • OnPointComments

      That was a long way to go for not much of a reward. Here’s a picture of a suburban house shortly after dark on Halloween:

      • lobstahbisque

        yuk yuk

    • Bruce94

      Yeah! If the Tea Party burglars succeed in crashing our economy by causing a default on the debt, I can retire my “I’m not a crook” Pres.Nixon mask and don “I’m not a chump” Speaker Boehner mask for this year’s Halloween Party.

  • Sy2502

    I wonder if Mr. Friedman would say the same things if he was in the minority. My guess is that his idea of Democracy then would be that the majority should compromise and cooperate. Democracy means giving a voice and representation to the largest number of people, including, I am afraid, those who don’t agree with Mr. Friedman.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Friedman showed his stripes a few years ago when he said he said he was envious of the Chinese system of dictatorship.

      • Sy2502

        So why is he still here, one wonders…

  • OnPointComments

    Reporting right now: capitol police report shots fired, several people injured. Capitol on lockdown.

    • Ray in VT

      Geez. Not again!

    • fun bobby

      Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany on Jan. 30, 1933. Immediately, he set in place a plan to take full control of the country’s political and economic institutions using a policy called “Gleichschaltung,” meaning a switch to the same wavelength.

      On Feb. 27, the Reichstag building, home of the German parliament, was set on fire. Dutch communist Marinus van der Lubbe was found inside, and the Nazis claimed that he was part of a communist plot to overthrow the government.

      The following day, Hitler issued a decree “for the Protection of the People and the State,” commonly known as the Reichstag Fire Decree. It stripped citizens of their constitutional liberties and allowed the Nazi government to arrest communist leaders. Many historians believe that the Reichstag fire was started by the Nazis to justify the decree.

      • OnPointComments

        Godwin’s Law again. I think it always kicks in when the comment count is greater than 600.

        • fun bobby

          I am going to bring it up every time the capital gets locked down.

        • Bluejay2fly

          Did you ever wonder who the Nazi’s replaced as the embodiment of evil? I am thinking the Romans.

      • Ray in VT

        I hope that you are not suggesting a possible false flag operation. Also, I don’t know about “many historians”. Ian Kershaw’s assessment of the historical thinking is that the Nazi’s having done it isn’t all that likely.

        • fun bobby

          too early to tell. maybe it was just some DC gangbangers shootout that spilled into the capital area. if so it will not be news by tonight or tomorrow. whether or not they burned the Reichstag its hard to dispute what they did the next day

          • Ray in VT

            Your last sentence is certainly true.

      • lobstahbisque
    • OnPointComments

      MSNBC reports that an AK47 Saturday Night Special shotgun pistol was used. Dianne Feinstein scheduled a news conference to push for gun control. CNN confirmed that while it is uncertain as of now as to the race of the woman, the car she was driving was definitely probably white or part white. Melissa Harris-Perry opined that the gate at the White House would not have been rammed if the president was white, and Chris Matthews agreed that it was blatant racism. Sean Hannity will interview Rudy Giuliani and Ann Coulter about the shooting tonight at 9:00.

  • MsAbila

    Friedman correctly states in the program that the ‘republican party is off the rails’. They are and they try to drag the rest of the country with them. This is a very serious situation.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Despite Friedman’s ravings and rantings there appears to be very little coverage of the CBS poll that shows:

    “76% of the American people want Obama to negotiate with the GOP”

    Gee, that goes against the Dem narrative.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/10/03/Shutdown-live-blog-day-3

    • hennorama

      WftC – DullLisa.com is feeding you more crapola, and you should stop swallowing this disinformation whole, especially when confirmation is so simple.

      The CBS poll question at issue ASSUMES that there are negotiations, which is not the case, and asked about COMPROMISE. None of the questions detailed in the release asked “Do you want President Obama to negotiate with the GOP?”

      From the ACTUAL POLL:

      “Most Americans want compromise. Majorities think the President and the Democrats in Congress and the Republicans in Congress should compromise in order to come to an agreement on the budget.

      “Budget Negotiations: Compromise or Stick to Positions

      ………. Pres. Obama . Cong. Reps
      …..…. & Dems should .. should

      Compromise 76%……… 78%

      Stick to positions 21……18

      “CBS NEWS POLL
      Republicans Get More Blame for the Shutdown
      October 1-2, 2013

      “Q4. In negotiations about the federal budget, which do you think Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress should do — compromise some of their positions in order to come to an agreement, or stick to their positions even if it means not coming to an agreement?

      TOTAL RESPONDENTS

      ……………………Total Rep Dem Ind

      Compromise……..76…90….61…80

      Stick to positions. 21….6….36…18

      Depends 1 1 1 1
      Don’t know/No Answer 2 3 2 2

      See:
      http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57605822/poll-americans-not-happy-about-shutdown-more-blame-gop/

      http://www.scribd.com/doc/172998697/Oct13a-CTM-Shutdown (pgs. 2 & 3)

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        There is only one side blocking negotiations.

        Reid and Obama.

        Why do you give so little credit to the intelligence of the people? Despite the media/Dem narrative they know what is going on.

        • hennorama

          WftC – the only person who isn’t giving “credit to the intelligence of the people” is the author of the inaccurate crapola that you linked to in your post.

          Do you acknowledge the falsity of the contents of what you wrote and cited, that

          “…the CBS poll that shows:

          “76% of the American people want Obama to negotiate with the GOP” ?

          If you believe the quote you cited, please point to the exact part of the CBS poll that shows exactly what is contained in the headline you cited.

          Here’s a hint: The poll shows no such thing. Anywhere.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Oh, please. Are you being intentionally obtuse with your phony ‘precision’.

            Let’s walk through it.

            From the poll 76% want Obama to compromise and 78% want the GOP to compromise. OK.

            Let us also stipulate that the GOP are willing to compromise. How do we know? They have said so. The have already compromised while they were negotiating with themselves.

            Let us stipulate that Obama and Reid are unwilling to compromise. How do we know? Because they have said so — over and over.

            What does that leave us with? The difference between compromise and negotiate. Hmmm. I suppose that Obama could compromise without negotiations. But that isn’t how it works in real life– is it?

            So the original analysis was fundamentally accurate after all

          • hennorama

            WftC – clearly you cannot demonstrate that what you wrote, cited, and linked is either true or accurate. My quest for accuracy is neither phony nor obtuse.

            I renew my polite request, that you please point to the exact part of the CBS poll that shows exactly what is contained in what you wrote and cited.

            Your premise is invalid.

            There has already been significant negotiation and compromise. For example, an offer was made to keep the CR in place as is, with the sequester cuts intact. This offer was presented publicly as recently as Monday:

            “House Democratic leaders said Monday they’ll accept the sequester cuts as part of a short-term spending bill to prevent a government shutdown.

            “The lawmakers framed their concession as a counteroffer to the Republicans’ latest continuing resolution (CR) strategy, which will include language designed to derail President Obama’s healthcare law.

            “Take that [language] off and we’ll accept your number,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a press briefing in the Capitol. “That’s our compromise, that’s our offer. We’ll take your number to keep government open. Give us a chance to vote for it.”

            See:
            http://thehill.com/homenews/house/325573-house-dems-counteroffer-well-accept-sequester-cuts#ixzz2ghrDDwEy

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Your honor –the witness is unresponsive.

            I believe I made the case using simple logic. Feel free to disagree. You disagreed with what the rest of us heard Harry Reid said yesterday. Fine — that is your right.

            So now you offer the Pelosi spin machine into evidence? First off, the House democrats aren’t part of the negotiation. They are irrelevant unless a veto override is required. So now agreeing to what they voted on last year and what the Senate has already passed is some great compromise? My view on this is they were starting to look intransigent so they needed some sort of spin. I’m sure you’ll disagree.

          • hennorama

            WftC – thank you, as always, for your response.

            I agree that the case you made was simple. Logical – not so much. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. ;-)

            Negotiation does not require compromise. Compromise does not require negotiation. They are not the same.

            That is the point.

            That is why what you wrote, cited, and linked to are both inaccurate and false.

            Let’s just quit all this wrangling, acknowledge my complete and total victory, and agree that everything that we have seen and will see out of DC over the next couple of weeks will be, as you described it earlier:

            ‘None of this really matters. It is all a clown show. At this point both sides are jockeying for political advantage.”

            Thanks again for your response.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            btw hennorama — I enjoy debates with you when they are substantive. When it is about nitpicking and word-smithing -not so much.

            But that’s just me :)

          • hennorama

            WftC — I generally enjoy our exchanges as well.

            I’ll agree to stop what you describe as “nitpicking and word-smithing” as soon as you agree to stop posting and citing crapola.

            Deal?

    • StilllHere

      We’re not surprised.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    In 1860 the red states were honest enough to simply try to leave.

    Now they send a bunch of congresscritters to DC who are basically angry children with no agenda but to tear the USA down. To hell with them. I wish they would try to re-secede and we could say “Bye”.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      You really don’t want to admit that Lincoln was a Republican.

      • jimino

        So was Eisenhower. Boy have times changed.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        The point being?

      • Ray in VT

        Why would that be a problem? Throughout the mid to late 19th century, and even into the earlier part of the 20th century, the Republicans were the more liberal party, was northern-based, and it favored a more active role for the federal government.

  • OnPointComments

    This article confirms that my opinion of Harry Reid is reasonable and shared by others.

    WHY HARRY REID LOST HIS TEMPER
    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2013/10/02/why-harry-reid-lost-his-temper/

    “One of Washington’s worst-kept secrets is that Reid’s attitude toward most people ranges from miserable on his best days to uncommonly vicious on his worst. When he describes members of the public as unwashed masses to their face, he isn’t being playful. He holds most people in utter contempt, and despite the best efforts of his staff, he usually tells them so. It’s refreshingly honest in its own way, but it does not exactly grease the wheels of compromise.”

  • TomK_in_Boston

    My biggest fear is that our conservadem President will “win”, declare victory, and we’ll proceed with the sequester and other cuts in place. The only victory for the 99% includes a lot more gvt spending and tax hikes at the top.

    • fun bobby

      more deficit spending?

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Hope so. Deficits don’t matter – the Oligarchs just use them to scare the middle class into giving up more stuff. And as Keynes explains, as it gets the demand side going again it will actually decrease the deficit.

        • HonestDebate1

          Government can’t create demand by passing around other people’s money. Keynes was nuts. Supply comes first.

          • jimino

            What you and your up-voters don’t know about macroeconomics could fill an entire comment section of a radio talk show.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            nonsensical TP

          • anamaria23

            There is plenty of supply.
            There are 420+ billionaires US. China next at 122, then Russia at 110. Wikipedia) 400 families own 40% of this nation’s wealth according to businessinsider.com.
            WalMart family worth 80 billion among the four.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s their money not yours.

          • anamaria23

            Maybe it is not all theirs. Maybe some of it belongs to the underpaid work force at WalMart.

          • HonestDebate1

            Not likely.

          • hennorama

            anamaria23 — there’s also a significant supply of unemployed workers, coal, money in corporate coffers, etc. that are not being utilized.

            Perhaps these particular supplies are exempt from the “Supply comes first” rule.

          • fun bobby

            about 420?

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Which is your fave example of failure of “passing other people’s money around”? The WW2 spending that gave us jet planes, radar, computers, new plastics, great advances in radio, atomic energy etc etc? How about DDEs lower-tech highway spending that was a crucial part of the post-WW2 boom? How about Apollo for cell phones, miniaturization of all electronics including computers, digital cameras, GPS…

            The payoffs are beyond calculation. I expect “low information” arguments from the right, but denying the results of gvt spending when they’re all around you is really too much.

          • HonestDebate1

            Even if we accept the Keynesian premise of demand coming first, the government cannot spend a dime unless it prints, borrows or taxes. In the end they all amount to taking money out of the economy. Redistributing it back into the economy is like dipping money out of the deep end of the pool and pouring back in the shallow end only the bucket (government bureaucracy) is leaky.

            If war created demand then we’d be fine, wouldn’t we? But you are talking about supply, no? There was no demand for digital cameras, cell phones and computers until they were supplied.

          • Gatortrapper

            Every single item you listed with the exception of atomic energy research and the highway system was not due to a government directed instruction but an example of consumption by the government of things that private innovation developed having perceived an niche that needed filling. And the highway system was a result of Eisenhower and others having seen the potential for rapid troop movement using limited access roads which is why it was structured the way it was. According to you we should Washington credit for development of railroad trains technology, or the airplane, or steam engines to replace sails.

        • fun bobby

          we have been deficit spending for a while now when do you think that demand is going to kick in?

          • TomK_in_Boston

            We’ve almost always ran a deficit, doing no harm. The question is how much, and when. Following a giant econ crash spending shd be on the high side, not the low side. Right now we need to be starting new projects re infrastructure and big goals like Apollo, ramping up R&D etc and instead we’re sequestering and cutting. Bad for the 99%, good for the 1%.

          • fun bobby

            we’ve done the shovel ready thing and we gave the banks a huge payday. this seems like about a wacky an economic theory as trickle down. R&D? who bother developing anything if the Chinese are just going to steal it anyways? the moon shot was perhaps the most colossal waste of resources in american history. now that we know moonbase is the most lucrative thing we could possibly do that idea is considered laughingstock

          • TomK_in_Boston

            I listed some spinoffs from Apollo above. Actually going to the moon is irrelevant.

            We didn’t do the shovel ready thing. We did a small amt of infrastructure spending and more phony tax break spending.

          • fun bobby

            for some reason the government largesse seems to always find its way into the hands of their corporate sponsors. I am aware of the case made for the products of the space race. they were overpriced. Velcro and tang are not that great and could have been invented anyways if they were things that anyone actually needed.

          • Gatortrapper

            You have no authority for that assertion. Logic doesn’t command it and you cannot make a cogent argument in support of it. “grow it on trees” would be as availing.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Keynes has been proven wrong repeatedly, but he is still the favorite of the oligarchs and their servants.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            The favorite of the Oligarchs is 1890s austerity, that redistributes all the wealth to them. Keynes has the only working model.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Inflation is the oligarchs best friend. It redistributes wealth most effectively and keeps the hoi polloi to busy running in place to see what is going on.

          • hennorama

            RWB – Long time no read. Welcome back.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Nice to be back. Kind of you to notice.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Keynes advocated running surpluses between recessions. He didn’t say deficits don’t matter -except during the nadir of a recession.

          Modern day Keynesians are only ‘half’ Keynesians — only when it is convenient.

        • Gatortrapper

          You’re an idiot. You can’t point to a single sustained period since that crap was proposed where it was actually fully employed and surpluses used to pay down the debts incurred by deficit spending. To say the the underlying concept is good but never follow the recipe is just as stupid as possibly can be imagined.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Good combination of ignorance and rudeness. “Low information” doesn’t begin to describe this Talking Point Parrot.

  • jimino

    Why doesn’t the House bring the clean CR up for a vote? When that happens and we see an actual vote on the issue you can talk about your side using “voting power” without sounding like an uninformed right-winger.

    • newsfan46

      Right-winger? OK, I’ll take that. But uninformed? What makes me uninformed? What would happen? The same thing that happened in the previous 2 House votes leading up to the shutdown. All a “clean CR” is is a license to carry on spending too much money with an unbalanced budget. Yeah, I guess I am a right-winger. Well, I’ll be darned.

  • HonestDebate1

    No he is not. He is not an emperor.

  • Eliza_Bee

    Friedman can sound a little overblown, but overall he’s
    correct that this situation is a big threat to our democracy. I am seriously worried about what’s going to happen to my retirement accounts when this turns into a battle royale over the debt ceiling. The thought of going through this kind of anxiety year after year is beyond depressing.

    I’m not fond of Wall Street, but am hoping desperately that they
    will step up to the plate. They are the only ones who have a chance at getting through to enough Republicans to overpower the suicide bombers.

    On a side note, the “Hastert Rule” is another big contributor to the current situation.

    • Gatortrapper

      The Tea Party is the only group trying to restore the Republic to its proper role and make sure that it is financially responsible. You have failed to hold their feet to the fire on these issues. We grew tired of promises to do it and do it and do it and it didn’t get done.

      As for your referring to us as “suicide bombers” that is completely immature. Although really offensive and an insult to all Americans who believe in the right to Petition and freedom of speech it really just underscores how weak your position is and the strength of ours.

      • Eliza_Bee

        Do you realize how close the Senate’s budget CR is to Paul Ryan’s budget?

        Have you done any research on what will happen if we default on our debts, as the Tea Party seems willing to do? (The Boehner/TP plan is to roll the budget and the debt ceiling up into one huge crisis.)

        The truth is that Medicare is the big looming problem for our financial solvency. I haven’t yet heard any Tea Party solutions to that.

      • jefe68

        Hogwash.

        • Gatortrapper

          That might be the most persuasive argument you can make but it’s really not very convincing.

  • OnPointComments

    An excellent article with many facts.

    WHO SHUT DOWN THE GOVERNMENT?
    http://www.creators.com/opinion/thomas-sowell.html

    Excerpt:
    The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted all the money required to keep all government activities going — except for ObamaCare. This is not a matter of opinion. You can check the Congressional Record.

    The Senate chose not to vote to authorize that money to be spent, because it did not include money for ObamaCare.

    If Senator Reid and President Obama refuse to accept the money required to run the government, because it leaves out the money they want to run ObamaCare, that is their right. But that is also their responsibility.

    Perhaps the biggest of the big lies is that the government will not be able to pay what it owes on the national debt, creating a danger of default. Tax money keeps coming into the Treasury during the shutdown, and it vastly exceeds the interest that has to be paid on the national debt.

    • tbphkm33

      Ah, the ignorance of the Nopublican.

      • OnPointComments

        Why don’t you enlighten us and point out the factual errors in Dr. Sowell’s column?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Using the left’s rules you can now call tbphkm33 a racist.

          • StilllHere

            That’s a start. It’s a postbot troll.

    • brettearle

      So, in other words, the other way of looking at it –the recognition that all the House has to do is NOT require ObamaCare to be delayed for a year–is totally Invalid.

      But……Instead……. your perception–of delaying the funding of a Law ALREADY in place–could ONLY be THE valid way of looking at it?

      Is that what you are Truly saying?

      • Gatortrapper

        You question is unintelligible. Try again.

        • brettearle

          My question is the OPPOSITE of unintelligible.

          The only reason that you don’t understand it is because YOUR POLITICAL BIAS obscures your motivation to understand it.

          Try again.

  • Jon

    This shutdown is democracy and western virtue (no give-up or give-in) working at its best. Everyone thinks democracy is good and fair but it’s just a way to rule, ruling with benevolence or with malevolence, depending on the religious or philosophical world view of the majority. Nothing is fair and no men are born equal in reality – it’s simply fact.

    • Fredlinskip

      Huh??
      Spoken like a true white supremacist.

      • Jon

        Misunderstood. White supremacists are minority now and they using the power of “checks and balance” to block the majority obamacare. Ain’t that the American democratic system proudly established by the founding fathers?

        • Fredlinskip

          ACA has passed through all possible hoops of “checks and balances” of legislative branches including Supreme Court.
          What GOP is doing now is not just theater- they are threatening to damage America through political terrorism.
          As GOP were first to quip, “you don’t negotiate with terrorists.”

          • HonestDebate1

            No law this sweeping and transformative can survive if it is rammed through on a 100% partisan basis. Pat Moynihan said it, it must be true.

          • Fredlinskip

            GOP had plenty of chance to participate in formation of ACA. They chose to not toparticipate so as to let it be “Obama’s Waterloo”. Remember those days when GOP’s stated goal was not to work to the benefit of the country, but instead the goal was to make Obama “1 term president”? They were not that long ago.

          • anamaria23

            Bipartisan meetings can be viewed on You Tube.

          • Fredlinskip

            Thanks

          • Gatortrapper

            You’re absolutely correct except for the omission of the fact that the drafting was down without the GOP; they were shutout completely; that no amendments from GOP were allowed; and not a single GOP member in either chamber voted for it.

            Add to that the fact this is the first time I have ever heard in my life that a law could not be changed by a later Congress. Based on your position, every law passed by Congress and signed by the President, from the beginning of the Republic until today has never been subject to being changed or even rescinded.

            No threat of violence has been made and the use of the term terrorist is not only offensive it actually justifies action to punish the offender for libel.

          • Fredlinskip

            The law can be changed, and inevitably it will be. And negotiations can occur with GOP just not under threat of inflicting imminent damage to our country.

            Hopefully, sooner or later Congress will adopt legislation that improves the MANY inefficiencies of our health care system.

            “No threat of violence..”
            GOP has threatened to willfully damage our country’s economy if their unreasonable demands are not met.
            That sure looks like terrorism to me. (I like Friedman’s comparison of GOP with Hezbollah)

          • anamaria23

            The GOP were not shut out completely. The first 5 bipartisan meetings can be viewed on YouTube.
            10 of the ideas in the ACA were Republican including the high risk pool and individual mandate among others.

          • Jon

            so what you do – water-boarding them?

    • fun bobby

      God made Man, Samuel Colt made them equal

      • Jon

        No, what Colt gave men made men even more unequal.

        • fun bobby

          how do you figure?

          • Jon

            Do you figure guns make men equal? Colt invented revolver – is that what you meant?

          • fun bobby

            that’s the conventional wisdom. with a firearm an elderly woman can defend herself from a large fit young man. what was your logic when you said firearms make people unequal?

          • Jon

            your logic is right provided you’re sane. your logic becomes deadly wrong when you become insane – that’s when guns make men live or deadly unequal even that ‘man’ was a elderly woman.

          • fun bobby

            “that’s when guns make men live or deadly unequal even that ‘man’ was a elderly woman.”it may just be me but I don’t think you have made a coherent statement.

          • Jon

            let me rephrase – any logic requires a premise. The premise of your logic is that gunman is sane and good. The fact is no man can guarantee he doesn’t even have a moment of insanity. When this happens your logic becomes deadly to defenseless others without guns. Isn’t that what happened to all those school shootings and the like?

            Therefore your premise is circumstantial or hypothesis and your logic is not a sound one.

          • fun bobby

            see my logic assumes that the sane good people vastly outnumber insane people who get ahold of guns against the law and decide to turn them on innocents. like Thomas Jefferson said we not only have a right to be armed we have a duty to be armed so in my model there are no groups of defenseless others. its like voting no one must vote but the fewer people who do their duty to vote the weaker our democracy becomes. the more people are discouraged and prevented from doing their duty to bear arms the less safe and less free we become. have you noticed we are turning into a police state. the police did murder a woman in broad daylight in the capital just this week. obviously school children ought not to have guns but there are many, many adults in schools that should have guns. in the school system I worked in almost all the janitors were ex special forces. Every history teacher I have ever met is a gun owner. What ought to be horrifically obvious is that declaring a place a gun free zone ensures that no good law abiding people will have guns and creates the groups of defenseless others we are both concerned about.

          • Jon

            “see my logic assumes that the sane good people vastly outnumber insane people
            who get ahold of guns against the law and decide to turn them on innocents.” –
            you cannot do a logic with an assumption or hypothesis

            “like Thomas
            Jefferson said we not only have a right to be armed we have a duty to be armed
            so in my model there are no groups of defenseless others.” – and we also have a
            right not to be armed and the state has duty to protect its all citizens (the
            social contract)

            “its like voting no one must vote but the fewer people
            who do their duty to vote the weaker our democracy becomes.” – that is the fatal
            flaw of democracy. Have you ever assumed people voting for a wrong cause? and how
            many voters have you seen voting for others (instead of for their own
            benefits)?

            “the more people are discouraged and prevented from doing
            their duty to bear arms the less safe and less free we become.” – Bearing arms
            can do good and can do evil as well

            “have you noticed we are turning into
            a police state. the police did murder a woman in broad daylight in the capital
            just this week.” – What does this case have to do with our
            argument?

            “obviously school children ought not to have guns but there are
            many, many adults in schools that should have guns. i n the school system I
            worked in almost all the janitors were ex special forces. Every history teacher
            I have ever met is a gun owner.” – One of those armed can flip into a moment of
            insanity. It’s a fact.

            “What ought to be horrifically obvious is that
            declaring a place a gun free zone ensures that no good law abiding people will
            have guns and creates the groups of defenseless others we are both concerned
            about.” – that’s why we have police force in the first place

            There are
            always ways to keep citizens safe. Arming them is just one option that can lead tragedies over and over again as a result of false and deadly logic like
            yours.

            You didn’t prove your logic sound except for citing circumstantial
            or irrelevant cases.

          • fun bobby

            see my logic assumes that the sane good people vastly outnumber insane people
            who get ahold of guns against the law and decide to turn them on innocents.” –
            you cannot do a logic with an assumption or hypothesis
            good call, feel free to substitute “premise” for assumption if it makes you feel better.

            “like Thomas
            Jefferson said we not only have a right to be armed we have a duty to be armed
            so in my model there are no groups of defenseless others.” – and we also have a
            right not to be armed and the state has duty to protect its all citizens (the
            social contract)
            as I explained below your right not to be armed is just like your right not to vote and its your personal decision not to contribute to our society in that way. if you think you are unfit or likely to go crazy or be irresponsible then I support your decision. as far as a duty to protect us that only goes so far. the police for example are not required (or realistically able) to protect you.

          • fun bobby

            “see my logic assumes that the sane good people vastly outnumber insane people
            who get ahold of guns against the law and decide to turn them on innocents.” –
            you cannot do a logic with an assumption or hypothesis

            good call, feel free to use the word “premise” in place of assumption if it helps you.

            “like Thomas
            Jefferson said we not only have a right to be armed we have a duty to be armed
            so in my model there are no groups of defenseless others.” – and we also have a
            right not to be armed and the state has duty to protect its all citizens (the
            social contract)

            as I said below you are free to not bear arms and contribute to society. if you think you are unfit likely to go crazy or be irresponsible with a firearm I support you decision. The states duty to protect you only goes so far. The police are under no legal obligation (and are not realistically able to) to protect you from anything despite what may be written on their cruisers.

            “its like voting no one must vote but the fewer people
            who do their duty to vote the weaker our democracy becomes.” – that is the fatal
            flaw of democracy. Have you ever assumed people voting for a wrong cause? and how
            many voters have you seen voting for others (instead of for their own
            benefits)?

            are you saying the flaw in our democracy would be if everyone voted or the fact that the people vote?

            I assume that everyone votes for what they think is right. why would they do otherwise? sometimes I too think they make the wrong decisions so that’s why I am glad we live in a republic designed to protect our individual liberties. Some liberals would say that every middle or lower class republican voter votes for the interests of others. not sure what you are trying to get at with that one.

            “the more people are discouraged and prevented from doing
            their duty to bear arms the less safe and less free we become.” – Bearing arms
            can do good and can do evil as well

            “have you noticed we are turning into
            a police state. the police did murder a woman in broad daylight in the capital
            just this week.” – What does this case have to do with our
            argument?

            only people can do good or evil,

            I believe there are more good people than bad by a wide margin. The fact we have become a police state is evidence of how many peoples dereliction of duty to bear arms reduces our freedom. if one thinks we are not a police state I would say an unarmed woman gunned down by police in front or her child tends to disprove that.

            “obviously school children ought not to have guns but there are
            many, many adults in schools that should have guns. i n the school system I
            worked in almost all the janitors were ex special forces. Every history teacher
            I have ever met is a gun owner.” – One of those armed can flip into a moment of
            insanity. It’s a fact.
            Oh, I guess anything is possible but can you think of any actual incidents or better yet statistics where teachers have gone on shooting sprees? do you think all that’s preventing that is the gun free zone status?
            “What ought to be horrifically obvious is that
            declaring a place a gun free zone ensures that no good law abiding people will
            have guns and creates the groups of defenseless others we are both concerned
            about.” – that’s why we have police force in the first place
            no its not. they are to here investigate crimes and arrest people. like I said they have no legal duty to protect anyone mostly because it would be impossible. you cannot keep a policeman in your pocket.

            There are
            always ways to keep citizens safe. Arming them is just one option that can lead tragedies over and over again as a result of false and deadly logic like
            yours.
            its funny that you would even think people should be called citizens who are unarmed. I call such people subjects but that’s neither here nor there.
            the surveillance state seems to fail at protecting us constantly. Restrictions on arms seems to be a theme in all the places such attacks take place not allowing them. what do you suggest?

            You didn’t prove your logic sound except for citing circumstantial
            or irrelevant cases
            you have become slightly more coherent but still not actual offered any logic, evidence or cases of any sort to support anything you have asserted.

          • Jon

            “as I said below you are free to not bear arms and contribute to society.
            if you think you are unfit likely to go crazy or be irresponsible with a firearm
            I support you decision.” – We’re not talking specific individuals. You must use
            general terms in logic if you want apply your logic to all people

            “are you saying the flaw in our democracy would be if everyone voted or the
            fact that the people vote? I assume that everyone votes for what they think is
            right. why would they do otherwise?” – Now we’re getting somewhere. Americans
            need to have the courage to admit “I could be wrong.” This shutdown is the
            latest manofesto of American cowdness

            “sometimes I too think they make the wrong decisions so that’s why I am
            glad we live in a republic designed to protect our individual liberties.” – Is
            this another logic? Prove it

            “Some liberals would say that every middle or lower class republican voter
            votes for the interests of others. not sure what you are trying to get at with
            that one.” – Virtually every Americans vote for their own benefit, e.g., voting
            for Obama because his policy would be good for my well being (not people in
            other classes). Do you think it’s an honor or shame?

            “only people can do good or evil, I believe there are more good people
            than bad by a wide margin.” – True. but it takes only one individual to flip at
            a time

            “The fact we have become a police state is evidence of how many peoples
            dereliction of duty to bear arms reduces our freedom.” – Freedom or liberty is
            animal desire and not meant to be bragged about

            “if one thinks we are not a police state I would say an unarmed woman
            gunned down by police in front or her child tends to disprove that.” – I think
            the police did their job to protect the denfenseless (in this case a houseful of
            moronic politicians) from a deranged motorist. They did save the baby.

            “Oh, I guess anything is possible but can you think of any actual
            incidents or better yet statistics where teachers have gone on shooting sprees?”
            - No, not teacher. At navy yard weeks ago (was a vet)

            “no its not. they are to here investigate crimes and arrest people.
            like I said they have no legal duty to protect anyone mostly because it would be
            impossible. you cannot keep a policeman in your pocket.” – If you think America
            is the only police state, what do you think how people in other nations like
            UK (even the police are not armed there) live?

            “its funny that you would even think people should be called citizens
            who are unarmed. I call such people subjects but that’s neither here nor there.”
            - Names are just names. It’s the world view sets voters apart and it’s the
            virtue makes opposed voters fight

            “the surveillance state seems to fail at protecting us constantly.
            Restrictions on arms seems to be a theme in all the places such attacks take
            place not allowing them. what do you suggest?” – be humble and learn from other
            nations models

            “you have become slightly more coherent but still not actual offered any
            logic, evidence or cases of any sort to support anything you have asserted.” – I
            don’t have to have a logic, just an attitude of humility and trying to convince
            you – of course you won’t be convinced.

          • fun bobby

            you have taken a step backwards on the coherence scale but I will address a few points.

            I was actually talking about you but if substituting “one” works better for you feel free. Ironically later on you say ” Names are just names.”
            you might want to look up the word “manifesto”
            are you saying we do not live in a republic designed to protect our individual liberties? how do you explain the constitution’s bill of rights?
            For example I have the right to bear arms.
            Since neither of us have heard of a teacher going on a spree doesn’t your fear seem a little irrational? how can you trust a teacher with children but not a gun? seems like by the time the cops showed up in newtown it was too late. they took so long he could have shot just as many kids with a musket or perhaps killed even more with pointy stick. do you feel confident they will get to your house quicker and be more effective should someone try to harm you? if so, why?
            I never said America is the only police state, that’s silly. As far as England I will say that I am not too interested in a place where the total police surveillance cannot keep people from pulling over and slaughtering people in broad daylight with a machete. BTW its a myth that the British police are unarmed.
            I cant believe you would defend the murder of an innocent unarmed woman. how can you be anti gun but pro shooting unarmed women in front of their children? she was not a threat to anyone, no need to shoot an unarmed woman to death after her car was disabled. most of our lawmakers have guns, Dianne Feinstein actually carries hers around so they are far from defenseless even without the hordes of armed guards tasked to defend them.
            in Germany 2 of the worlds 4 worst school shootings took place despite their severe gun control scheme. handguns are defacto banned in Chicago yet hundreds of people are shot there a year. excessive gun control can only fail.
            At the end of the day one is responsible for protecting oneself because no one else can do it. when your door gets kicked in at 3am how will you protect yourself and your family? will you whip out your humility? you have convinced me that people who are proponents of gun control cannot think or express themselves clearly probably because their notions are not based in sense to begin with so don’t shortchange your ability to enlighten

          • Jon

            clearly neither my spelling nor my argument is convincing to you. You’re pro gun ownership and I’m anti civilian gun-ownership. Democracy can be rule of the jungle and winner takes it all losers have to fall. Democracy can also be compromise – let’s ban the assault weapons? If we can come to a middle way, then we’re wiser than those elite politicians, agreed?

          • fun bobby

            I have already been downgraded from citizen to civilian? how are people supposed to hunt without guns?
            we have 20,000+ federal gun laws. I think many of them are fine, we did ban “assault weapons” for a whole decade. school shootings occurred during the ban. still the people who want to ban “assault weapons” are unable to even define what that means, literally they decide what an “assault weapon” is by Dianne Feinstein looking at pictures of guns in a book and deciding if it looks scary. literally a gun with a wood stock passes muster but if the same exact gun has a black stock she puts it on the banned list. literally she discriminates against guns because they are black. I could not make this stuff up. its too bizarre. What would be the point of banning a subset of guns(so called assault weapons) where the larger set(rifles) accounts for less than three % of homicides? if all rifles of all types were banned we would not have 3% fewer homicides they would just use different guns or purchase them on the black market that would be expanded by a ban or use other weapons or their bare hands. I cant even think of a good analogy right now. I guess it would be like banning samurai swords to try to prevent people from being stabbed. almost no one gets killed with them now and if they were banned and someone still wanted to stab someone they would just use something besides a samurai sword like a Calvary sword so that seems like a silly way to try to prevent stabbings don’t you think? you are aware that the last time we had an ABW that people went out and bought 2x as many little black guns than had ever been purchased in the entire time before the ban? maybe if you can explain what an assault weapon is and why they should be banned I would discuss it with you. in general banning things is the abdication of regulation and has horrendous unintended consequences and seldom the intended consequence. look at the war on drugs for an example of how well banning things works. I have no doubt that either of is wiser than most politicians

          • Jon

            All those regulation and admin details apart, we have boiled down the complicated issue to a simple definition – what is assault weapon? That’s a huge progress, agreed? To me, 5 bullets hand gun is sufficient to defend myself – can have 2 guns if you like. Beyond that is all assault weapons. If you want to a machine gun for hunting pleasure, you can always rent at say a restricted area. How does that sound? “Machine guns to defend against tyranny” is just lame joke, right?

          • fun bobby

            if you want to define an assault weapon as a machine gun then we could stop there. machine guns have been defacto banned for 70-80 years.

            5 bullets may work for you. how many gun fights have you been in to come to that conclusion?

            that does not work for me because even my 1858 Remington revolver holds six and my wife’s self defense pistol holds 10. no full sized automatic (they are called that even though they are actually semiautomatic) pistol holds only 5 rounds.

            machine guns are not currently being debated because they have been banned so long. as far as guns to defend liberty ask the people in Syria if people still need guns in 2013 to defend themselves from tyranny. the idea is that if we all have guns there should never be any tyrant stupid enough to make us use them. an armed populace is a prophylactic against tyranny so that no one ever needs to fight the government. so yes people stating that gun owners want to fight the government is a lame joke.

            do you know that in china the people there have every right we do on paper except the right to bear arms. would you be willing to listen to this Chinese American tell his story?

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

          • Jon

            Im not gun owner and no gun expert and never been in a gun fight. You and other experts can come to a definition of assault weapon if willing to talk. When I say machine gun meaning something like AR-15 semi auto.

            As to that Chinese American on youtube, he sounds more like a Maoist trying to overthrow the govt. The fact is you don’t know for sure if he’d do differently than the communist once in power

          • fun bobby

            I could tell when you were discussing a 5 round pistol when very few exist.

            its scary that you would like to make policy yet you don’t even know what the terms mean. a machine gun is fully automatic they have been basically banned since the 30s.no one is debating that law at this time.
            I have never been in a gun fight either. I hope to never be in one. If i am I would like to survive. People who have say more bullets are better. you may have noticed that no police carry revolvers anymore. Most police have ar15 type firearms, which you and I can refer to as “modern sporting arms” because that is what they are called. The police do not have ar15s and high capacity pistols to murder people with they have them for self defense.(in theory) As an anecdote I know several people who have been victims of home invasion. When your home gets invaded its mostly by multiple people. a home invasion requires manpower if you want any chance of success. in one case it was 3 armed men in the other it was 6 armed men. “.50 cent” was shot 9 times and lived. most of the shots the police take from less than 10 feet in the real world miss. do those facts suggest that 5 rounds is plenty? I think that people who suggest such things always imagine that only one unarmed person will attack you at a time. I am a big guy and well practiced in unarmed martial arts. I could probably defend myself from any one person as long as they are not that much bigger than me and they do not have more fighting experience and they are unarmed. In reality I cannot guarantee any of those things and I am not only tasked with defending myself I am tasked with defending my family. Ar15, according to DHS, are suitable for personal defense. Modern sporting rifles are also very popular for hunting. We in New England don’t have prarie dogs, nutria or wild hogs but when hunting those species more rounds are better. you don’t want to be reloading while a pack of wild hogs are charging you. Modern sporting rifles are almost never used in crimes or homicides. they are extremely expensive, require two hands, and cannot be concealed. that would be a horrible choice to use to commit a crime which is why they are almost never used.
            since he fled communism at great personal risk and has so clearly condemned it and his lament was that his countrymen were unable to act at tienemen square where he actually was at the time that was relevant I find it offensive you would call him a a communist. he is not running for anything so how could he be in power? Mao did say political power issues from the barrel of a gun. does quoting him make me a communist too? why would you want the American people to not have any political power? we don’t know for sure what anyone in power in the future will do. thus the 2nd amendment. do you live in MA? perhaps I could take you to the range and you could meet some gun owners and shoot some guns and learn a little about them.

          • Jon

            I surrender!

        • fun bobby

          how do you figure?

      • jefe68

        What inanity.

        • fun bobby

          jefe you have been doing so well. i’ll pin this one on the fact you are posting a 3:55 am

  • HonestDebate1

    Look at the picture of the negotiations featured at the top of the page. Does anyone think the editors at On Point should have posted the rest of the story? The Dems were a no show. Shoddy shoddy shoddy.

    http://www.rushimg.com/cimages//media/images/cantorcropped/1189022-1-eng-GB/Cantorcropped.jpg

    • StilllHere

      Classic On Point! Different story completely. Thanks!

    • hennorama

      Debates Not, Eh? — “the rest of the story” is that it was a phony photo stunt. In other words, not a story.

      • HonestDebate1

        Weren’t you the one writing about the complete facts, omitting nothing?

        So you call it a phony photo stunt, well that’s typical as you will always defend the left. But let’s say you’re right. Why wouldn’t On Point say that and show the entire table, then make the case? They did know the Dems weren’t there because the caption says, ” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., center, meets with House GOP conferees” without saying the Democrats were supposed to be there. Is that journalism with integrity?

        And if this was a stunt then please show me where the Democrats have attempted to find a solution… other than spending money to barricade the WWII memorial.

        No Hennon, the Democrats have no interest in solution.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          She submitted into evidence that Pelosi held a presser claiming she had already made massive concessions and therefore had already ‘negotiated’.

          What were these ‘concessions’? Agreeing to spending at the levels they had already voted for last year.

          You can’t make it up.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s what happens when ideology trumps truth.

          • jefe68

            As you prove day in and day out.
            Over and over again.

        • hennorama

          Debates Not, He — believe it or not, I do not control everything that happens in the world. I do not control On Point’s photo editor, for example.

          The photo caption is completely accurate, and omits nothing. Not every absence is “a story.”

          It’s increasingly likely that the Federal government will remain on partial shutdown for another couple of weeks, and everything that comes out of DC in the interim will be part of what another poster called “the clown show.” It’s ALL political theater, but not every part of the theatrics are, have been, or will be newsworthy.

          If you have a complaint, there’s a very handy [Contact Us] tab to the left of the photo at issue. Perhaps you should direct your comments there, sir.

          • HonestDebate1

            It omits the fact the Democrats refuse to come to the table and compromise.

          • hennorama

            Debates Not, He — with no respect due, no, sir.

            The caption is absolutely accurate, and omits nothing.

          • HonestDebate1

            I choose my words carefully. I did not say the caption was not accurate. I don’t know if OP cropped the photo but they clearly omitted the fact that the Dems did not show up. I expect more for my dollar.

          • hennorama

            Debates Not, He – other than this, responding to your nonsense is not worth the time and effort.

    • fun bobby

      that’s a nice table. I wonder what a table like that sets the taxpayers back

    • anamaria23

      Not mentioned is that the Senate brought to the House a budget in May and asked 18 times for conference and were refused even after the budget was brought down to just what the Repubs had asked for- a number in the high 900′s down from 1.2 trillion and they still would not go forward until 15 minutes before shut-down. This is reported by Congressman Chris Van Hollen.
      But, the Repubs are shocked.

      • HonestDebate1

        Assuming you are correct, does that excuse the On Point manipulation?

        • anamaria23

          I am correct.

          • HonestDebate1

            I assumed that, I went the extra mile. Please reciprocate, I was making another point. On Point was manipulating the truth, do you condone that?

        • jefe68

          You are either woefully ignorant of the facts or you are just refusing to admit to them. Either way you’re wrong.

          Facts are stubborn things.
          John Adams

      • StilllHere

        Except you’re wrong.
        The Senate hasn’t passed a budget in at least three years.

    • Fredlinskip

      “GOP’ers playing with themselves”
      would be good subtitle to above pic.

      • HonestDebate1

        Alright, but shouldn’t the Democrats either come to the table or quit blaming Republicans for refusing to compromise?

        • Fredlinskip

          Compromise on what? The law is the law.
          GOP had years to appoint a committee to meet with Dems to discuss and perhaps compromise on issues and chose not to.
          They now decide to suddenly decide under threat of causing harm to America that Dems should compromise?
          That’s political terrorism.

          • Gatortrapper

            So you’re saying once a law is enacted that it is enshrined for all time and that there is no authority to revisit or modify it. That’s what your saying right. If not, then the only beef you have is the circumstance that they are using. And are you saying that in prior CR negotiations in previous years that there have been no issues raised by the Dims that they wanted a modification of as a condition of support. Is that what you’re saying?

          • Fredlinskip

            Social Security is not “enshrined for all time”. Medicare is not “enshrined for all time”. Laws can be revisited and modified. ACA will have lots of problems. Those who are not simply about their own selfish interests will work to make the law work. In the end, if it doesn’t work, Americans will change it at ballot box. Why are you so set against democracy? Why are strong-armed tactics required? Govern, don’t destroy.

          • Gatortrapper

            What about “the law is the law.”

            We did change it at the ballot box. We control the House. That’s how the democratic republic works. We have leverage to make change and we’re using it.

            This is not a democracy. Indeed great care was taken to avoid a direct democracy for the very reason we are fighting now to pull back from the removal of the safeguards against just that.

            Strong arm tactics get used when you are dealing with the deaf and arrogant who refuse to discuss or modify to address minority concerns. When the civil rights movement wasn’t gaining traction they used civil disobedience to strong arm change.
            Destruction was removing the selection of Senators from the power of the states and pushing it down to the people. Huge mistake. It left a co-equal sovereign without a voice at the national level.

          • Fredlinskip

            GOP “gamed” the system through policy of gerrymandering. Congratulations, you managed to subvert democracy again.

            “Destruction was removing the selection of Senators from the power of the states and pushing it down to the people”
            Do you even think before you write? Can you be so warped as to believe that electing Senators should be handled by a few. I guess it’s harder to gerrymander Senatorial elections since the whole state votes in unison. That must really irk you that Seantors are voted in by majority.

            Go out and march in the streets- no one’s stopping you. Don’t purposely damage a weak economy & job growth for some goofball ideological purpose

          • pete18

            “Don’t purposely damage a weak economy & job growth for some goofball ideological purpose.”

            This is exactly what the argument AGAINST Obama Care has been.
            Goose and Gander.

          • Fredlinskip

            Apparently you’re stance is that one side of ideological gap, the Dems would like to improve our health care system , make it more inclusive, and keep it from eventually bankrupting our nation and this, to you, is a “goofball ideological purpose”

            The other side of the divide would be then, GOP wants to ensure that health costs soar, fewer Americans have access, and our country goes bankrupt, and you find this stance legitimate?

          • pete18

            With the democrats you confuse intent with results, with the Republicans you project intent onto action.

            “The other side of the divide would be then, GOP wants to ensure that
            health costs soar, fewer Americans have access, and our country goes
            bankrupt, and you find this stance legitimate?”

            You are describing the results of Obamacare, why do find this stance legitimate?

          • Fredlinskip

            GOP “gamed” the system through policy of gerrymandering. Congratulations, you managed to subvert democracy again.

            “Destruction was removing the selection of Senators from the power of the states and pushing it down to the people” Do you even think before you write? Can you be so warped as to believe that electing Senators should be handled by a few. I guess it’s harder to gerrymander Senatorial elections since the whole state votes in unison. That must really irk you that Seantors are voted by majority of people of a state.

            Go out and march in the streets- no one’s stopping you. Don’t purposely damage a weak economy & job growth for some goofball ideological purpose.

            (think I posted this comment elsewhere accidentally)

          • Gatortrapper

            What’s sad it that you get a free education and perhaps a college education. You might clutch a diploma but only is evidence that access to education in not a guarantee of learning. Otherwise you wouldn’t be open you mouth and show both the depth and breadth of your ignorance so openly.

            “Can you be so warped…” well I guess you would say I am “warped” then. Seeing as the Founding Fathers of the Nation; the best and brightest who had fought to secure freedom from Britain; who had spent a decade dealing with the failures of the Articles of Confederation to function as an effective national standard bearer to operate on the international level while balancing the need for the individual states to retain their own sovereignty that was superior to the national entity. Yes it is that group of Founders, who after study and debate and discussion settled on the framework that called for the second chamber of the Congress to be selected by a few. So you have elevated me to that level, which you are by your attempt at insulting me you have, and I am humbled, but have no claim of authorship. I merely give attribution to those who did draft it.

            The state of the country is because of ignoramuses like you. People who think they know what they are talking about when they don’t have a clue. You walk around convincing people of your argument but only know sound bites and sweet rhetoric and nothing more. No more depth than an onion skin.

            I pity you folks for not even knowing how stupid you sound when you write things like “warped” for supporting the original selection process of the Senate. That you are so stupid to voluntarily expose yourself by leaving comments like that serve as a testament that the limits of your knowledge and critical thinking are less than marginal. They don’t even support a finding that you are possessed of common sense.

            I cringe thinking that you run into foreigners who are generally much better educated and conversant with American political systems and their origins than natives. I know they have to think “how can we have such a high opinion of the United States when even their educated are so poorly informed. You’re one of those people that we laugh about even as we feel sorry for them because they are pretentious without cause.

            The 17th Amendment was a fundamental mistake that disrupted a carefully crafted balance and was undertaken without full consideration of the consequences of severing the voice of the states in the national government. (Do I have to explain to you the Amendment process or how to find any of them so you can see what was done? I’d do that for a child and given your comments I feel that I must be dealing with one who does have some organic cap on their capacity. so I’m happy to give you guidance. )

            But such things as the purpose of the state selection of senators and the consequence of changing that would escape the perception and cognitive skills of progressives today: just as it escaped your ancestors who pushed for it.

            People who probably thought themselves educated like you. But we know that you aren’t; that you don’t have a ready command of the facts sufficient to know what questions to ask and which weaknesses to point out. And the truth is you know that this is indeed the case because the only other choice is to say that you deliberately omitted thought of the fact that the “warped” source wasn’t me, but the Founding Fathers. That would mean that you were being deliberately dishonest and explains your preoccupation with Obama who is the acknowledged master of intellectual dishonesty.

            In either case it would also mean that you are against the Constitution, which would in turn explain your deep abiding contempt for those of who hold it up as the document to be followed. And you’re scared that we just might get enough people to look up from their iPhones and XBoxes long enough to secure the power to do just that.

            I love it when narcissistic types like you feign intelligence. I only wish I could expose you in public more thoroughly. My only fear would be that you are so stupid that you wouldn’t know enough to know that you’ve been publicly embarrassed and my effort wasted.

          • Fredlinskip

            See Above “new comment”

          • HonestDebate1

            Okay fine, then implement the law in full as written. It’s the law.

        • TFRX

          Pfft.

          The right pissed in the punchbowl and now says “THis tastes funny”.

    • OnPointComments

      A couple of years ago, an award-winning newspaper photographer in the city where I lived enhanced the colors of a sunset picture that was published. When the editor and publisher discovered what he had done, he was immediately fired. The paper said that he had violated the newspaper’s ethical and integrity standards.

    • JGC

      When I look at this photo, my first impression is, there are eight white (mostly old white) guys in white shirts trying to decide my future.

    • jefe68

      Shoddy is the level these men have stooped. What’s even worse is some people fall for this bullcrap.

  • Bluejay2fly

    Thank You, for dredging up the painful memory (W.F.B Jr.) that the republican party once had intelligent and insightful people in it’s ranks.

    • newsfan46

      Good one. He was right of course. Bush, nothing but a liberal in conservative clothing.

  • OnPointComments

    Seems like I remember a directive at the start of sequester for departments to not take any steps to lessen the sequester’s impact or contradict the dire results that the administration said would occur. I wonder if the same thing is happening now — why else would the administration take extraordinary steps to close open air memorials such as the WWII memorial and the Normandy American Cemetery?

    As Jay Leno said the other night, imagine the cost of pulling that tarp over the Grand Canyon. Go away! Don’t look in this hole! We’re closed!

    • StilllHere

      Who listens to the boy who keeps crying wolf?

      The president see a crisis anytime the growth in government spending might slow. Pathetic.

    • fun bobby

      did you see the poster sized signs that said important government shutdown with the statue of liberty? what do those cost? this thing is just a show for those who live in washington

    • HonestDebate1

      The Leno analogy is perfect.

      I understand I am speculating when I say that if Bush had barricaded the WWII memorial it would be headline news, On Point would do a show and it would be plastered on every front page. I feel confident speculating.

      I also understand I am dreaming when I expect the press to do their job.

      It’s really despicable and proof positive Obama wants as much pain as possible secure in his belief Republicans will be blamed and the sad part is he is right.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      The golf course at Andrews AFB is still open. I wonder who plays there.

      • fun bobby

        I wonder if Obama is still able to shoot skeet “all the time” with all these cut backs

  • OnPointComments

    Maybe it’s good that the government has shut down. I’ve heard two stories on the news tonight that highlight the stupidity of government. A 60 year old woman’s insurance policy is cancelled because the policy doesn’t comply with Obamacare. The premiums on a 60 year old couple’s policy go from $800 to $1,400 a month, and the deductible doubles to $4,000. Why the changes in both of these policies? Because for a policy to qualify under Obamacare, it must include maternity and newborn care. 60 years old? Too bad, you’ve got maternity coverage. Single male? Too bad, you’ve got maternity coverage. Everyone now has maternity coverage if they’re covered under Obamacare.

    Excerpt:
    Starting January 1st of 2014, the following “Ten Essential Benefits” must be included under all insurance plans: Maternity care, Mental health and substance abuse treatment, Pediatric care, Vision and dental care for children.
    http://obamacarefacts.com/benefitsofobamacare.php

    Political correctness run amok. Just imagine what the premiums will be when all policies must cover sex change operations.

  • twenty_niner

    Government Shutdown? 36 Facts Which Prove That Almost Everything Is Still Running

    http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/government-shutdown-36-facts-which-prove-that-almost-everything-is-still-running

  • Gatortrapper

    Schoolyard argument. “Johnny did it too!”

    Now come with your “big boy” argument. ….. thought so… you have none

    • lobstahbisque

      Just setting the record straight, there was no need for an argument. It’s rather a large point, since we now live in a “post Keynesian” world. You don’t think record deficits since supply side kicked in is a problem?

      • Gatortrapper

        I’ve never wavered in my view that deficits are almost never justified. Only in a war when the population is being taxed to finance it and made to participate in the the fall out of the conflict in their homes. If the revenues are not sufficient then, and only then is it justified.

        While I understand the argument that intervention can useful in theory, in practice it has rewarded market misbehavior and the political forces have shown they lack the discipline to use the inflow of revenues in excess of spending to pay back the amounts borrowed. Since they can’t be trusted then I’m opposed to trusting them. Sort of like Obama’s promise to negotiate after a clean CR and clean debt limit increase. I can’t think of a single thing that he has said that I can say was absolutely honest after 4.5 years in office beyond minor, insignificant things. No trust.

  • OnPointComments

    Why did President Obama illegally change a law passed by Congress to delay the employer mandate? Why won’t he allow the same delay for individuals? Allowing a delay for individuals would seem to be a perfect compromise to get past this impasse.

    • HonestDebate1

      I agree. The irony is, that compromise would help Obama in 2014, you would think he’d be all over it. The other option is to demand the bill be implemented in full as the law requires, then raise the debt limit and let the chips fall and the pain begin. That seems harsh but it’s the bed he made and the pain is inevitable.

  • Gatortrapper

    According to Freidman this is an attack on the fabric of the Republic because the Tea Party is insisting that the Representatives they sent to Congress actually perform as they promised they would. He makes the simple outrageous claim that this is unprecedented: that a group would hold hostage another group in order to extract concessions. Excuse me… when the debt negotiations went down to the wire the last time didn’t Obama demand a change in existing law as a condition of the the agreement? Some variation of this is present in every negotiation of every bill. Personally I think it should be illegal to tie unrelated issues into a single bill in order to provide cover for quid pro quo vote selling.

    • OnPointComments

      NYT “Our Democracy is At Stake” hyperbole “…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…”

      Add “unless it’s a policy favored by Democrats and liberals, then anything goes.” If you don’t like the constitution, ignore it. If the courts tell you that you’ve violated the constitution, ignore the courts. If you don’t like a Supreme Court decision, ignore it. Appoint a corrupt racist Attorney General and use government agencies to do your bidding in ignoring laws and to persecute those you decide are deserving of persecution. Use the government’s most feared agency to intimidate and harass those you consider to be your enemies.

      Perhaps our democracy is at stake.

      • Gatortrapper

        Very well outlined.

    • Fredlinskip

      “reps sent to congress perform as promised”. Didn’t realize TP’ers mission statement was to damage their country and totally disrespect the constitution.

      “..when debt negotiations last time didn’t Obama demand…” I didn’t realize Obama manufactured that last crisis- I thought like this one, GOP did that.

      “tie unrelated issues…” Isn’t that what GOP is doing, tying the simple act of paying our bills with ACA?

      Get a grip.

      • Gatortrapper

        Where is the Constitution being ignored? In fact the source of spending power is in the House with the Constitution. So they are doing their job. The Senate is saying we don’t want these things tied together and will not support it. So it is the Senate that is causing the shutdown.

        You just want the Tea Party to go away so you can move to socialism unchallenged. Guess what we are only getting stronger and more involved as we see that our work is having an effect. You should really turn up the invective now.

        As for the final point, I stated my view. I’d change it but this is how they are doing it now and I can’t change it unless I run.

        • Fredlinskip

          The constitution allows a clear process in which bills are enacted. ACA went through all the steps outlined in constitution. GOP, through an act of political terrorism, ignores all this and threatens to damage nation’s economy unless Dems agree to undo what has accomplished legally as outlined in the constitution. Of course GOP is attempting to undermine the constitution. And if Dems agree to GOP demands, GOP will have successfully undermined our democracy.

          Is it any wonder that America’s “credit rating” was downgraded during GOP’s last manufactured crisis?

          “socialism unchallenged..” In your view apparently any bill passed with purpose of improving the lives of Americans is “socialist”

          • pete18

            The congress has the Consitutional power to fund or defund bills. There is nothing unconstitutional at all about their action.

          • Gatortrapper

            Oh so your saying that the reconciliation process is the central process used in law making to pass a law and send it over to the other chamber for consideration. You have no clue. The reconciliation process is the end of the procedure. The ACA was added to it by the Senate. It contained matter in it that arguably could only originate in the House and thus were improper. The process was used in order to get around the election of Kennedy’s replacement that enabled the GOP to deny cloture to any measure with the 60 vote threshold needed. Since the Senate no longer had it they had to use a trick to get it through with 51 votes. Now if you are honest you will say thank you, and move along.

            Your vilification of the Tea Party shows the level to which Dims will stoop in order to manipulate public opinion. I’m sure we could find some epithet to attach to Dims but it doesn’t seem honest.

            Unencumbered by principle you can rationalize anything my friend. That’s the ignominy that half wits would shoulder if they had enough self awareness to realize how stupid they sound. You’re apparently blessed with abundant ignorance. That’s your problem, not one that I must struggle with.

          • Fredlinskip

            “unencumbered by principle you can rationalize anything my friend.”

            I am certainly unencumbered by the principle that would justify threatening to and also actually damaging the American economy, because you can’t handle the legislative process.
            Perhaps “you can’t handle the truth” would be more accurate description of your position. Just because everybody on the Fox “News” circuit who you apparently surrounds yourself with, tells you otherwise, does not change the fact that in an unprecedented manner your party in an act of political terrorism is causing real damage to our country. And totally disrespecting our constitution in the process.
            Are you sure you were born in America?

            And please don’t call me your “friend” at the same time you are blatantly handing out insults.

          • Gatortrapper

            A perfect example of the quoted statement. Thank you for providing such ready evidence.

            You have no command of the facts and only a hint of the legal and logical implications yet persist in holding yourself as being a lay expert.

            For any short term damage that “might” be attributed to any shutdown I can point to greater damage being done in the long term by allowing the PPACA to go forward. The difference being that your damage is going to be a statistical value measured subjectively by GDP growth and our measures are going to be the pocketbooks of actual Americans who are finding that the PPACA is really raiding their bank accounts to pay for health care for other people who, for whatever reason, choose not to buy insurance. There are other tangible measures I could allude to but your lack of sophistication and antagonistic approach from the onset made it clear that you are one of the “deaf” Progressives who only hear what they want to hear and never deign to learn the position of the other.

            You are thus relegated to using fancy sounding phrases that merely illustrate the point I make: that you have no command of the facts or the issues so you can’t speak to them at any length before hitting the replay button on the “sound bites.”

            I have a juris doctorate and say I am better read on the Constitution than 99% of lawyers because I’ve actually read it. The vast majority of lawyers cannot honestly say they have. As for citizens the percentage has got to be lower still.

            Have you really read the Constitution from beginning to end? I actually carry a copy with me daily. The Federalist Papers I haven’t finished, but I’m reading them. But we are not disrespecting the Constitution. In fact it is our position it needs to be restored due to the lack of adherence to it by Congress, the President and the Supreme Court.

            You can’t point to any violation other than to repeat some other progressives sound bite comment. Which you adopt and defend as your own. Why not take the time to actually study the thing so you can have a fighting chance in discussions. You might find that what you have heard are selective edits or snippets provided to deceive you. So don’t get made a me for driving home the point that you are not informed, take it as motivation to get informed and then come here and beat my butt with it.

            And yes, I was born here. 5th Gen Floridian thank you. We all wish they would ban air conditioning and let us have our state back.

          • Fredlinskip

            Whoa .. Don’t hold back.
            The reason I chose to comment on this page was in response is my dismay at what GOP, especially in house is doing. GOP continue creating manufactured crisis, threatening to severely damage our economy. Dems during W years, believe me, were terrifically upset about W admin policy, but they never attempted to threaten to throw the nation under the bus because they didn’t like the results of constitutional process.
            How do you think Dems felt when the slimmest of majorities in Supreme court decided 2000 election, even though W significantly lost the popular vote and very well may have not won your home state?
            GOP has offered nothing but the most extremist obstruction to all Democratic policy since Obama was elected by a MUCH larger majority.
            I applaud your efforts to study founding documents.
            There was a time when GOP and Dems congressmen actually worked together. They actually spent time together, respected each other as individuals, listened with an open mind. If Reagan admin met some successes it had much to do with congress ability to attempt to work together amenably.
            You through your “greater than though” insult- driven tirade are an illustration of how difficult it is to work out differences in today’s divided country.
            And how did we get so divided? Well IMO, W had a perfect golden opportunity to UNITE the country after 911 and he chose the opposite track.
            One thing about founding fathers, they disagreed vehemently on many subjects- but they worked through it for the sake of the country. It seems Jefferson’s opinions shouldn’t be deemed as relevant to discussion as he didn’t bother to attend constitutional convention.
            I perfectly understand foreigners who say “how can we have such a high opinion of the United States when even their educated are so poorly informed.”. A very high percentage of Americans never read a book after graduation (42% college). Perhaps their views are from then on informed by sound bites. Believe me these folks do not all live in blue states.
            Gerrymandering is currently a huge problem- this is fairly common knowledge. You think that state legislatures should appoint Senators. So apparently you are for eroding the power of the individual voter even further. I respectfully disagree with you sir.
            Love to spend all day in respectful conversation with you, but I need to get on with personal responsibilities.
            Good day to you.

          • Fredlinskip

            I suppose you are perfectly okay with the unprecedented abuse of the gerrymandering and filibuster practices. Gerrymandering undermine the power of an individuals vote. Why vote in a gerrymandered district? the outcome is pre-ordained.
            Filibuster as it has been abused virtually nullifies the power of majority in the Senate. Filibuster as founders envisioned was meant to be used as Rand Paul did in his drone escapade which I commend him for.

            I am glad Dems found a way past filibuster through reconciliation.

            Impede, obstruct, destroy government- that’s the GOP mantra. How patriotic.

          • Gatortrapper

            Sigh… you must know that you come across as someone who knows just enough to sound like they are knowledgeable but aren’t. Such people can generally pose interesting questions but when they stray outside the very limited ambit or range of their actual knowledge and enter into areas that they are ignorant about they reveal their actual limits, especially when they act like they are masters of the subject. Rather like Obama actually.

            You’d do better to ask questions rather than suggest that you know answers and actually publish them so that you fully expose yourself to ridicule.

            Gerrymandering is too lengthy as subject to try and help you with so I’ll like you live with your delusions that nationwide gerrymandering is a problem. If you say so I guess it is, although I know for a fact that it isn’t in Florida. But it would be a waste of breath of time to argue the point further and you’re just not worth the investment.

            Why don’t you do some research and then post? At least then you would be factually correct even if you didn’t understand the more nuanced aspects of a subject. You’d come across as least making an effort to be correct and failing as opposed to someone just “winging it.” The problem with winging it types is well even when they have good insights they are viewed like the town drunk, they have no credibility because they’re the town drunk.

            If you did research you would know that the founders don’t mention filibuster in the Constitution. Each chamber was to adopt its own rules as they alone determined.

            Unlimited speech being used as a tool to frustrate legislative action was first used by Democrats in the middle of the 19th Century. A rule was adopted early in the 20th Century (called “cloture”) to cut off debate with a 2/3rds vote.

            Democrats continued to use the filibuster as a tool to frustrate the process, most notably to stop passage of the Civil Rights Act. Funny how Democrats now claim the Civil Rights movement as their own but in fact it was the Republicans (and Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican) that got it passed over the objections of the obstructionist Democrats in the Senate. Quite ironic to think about it, even as modern, “educated” people like yourself deny these very verifiable facts. But I digress.

            While you may think it clever that the PPACA was passed using the reconciliation process, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. So I ask why are you complaining now when a similar device is being used?

            Anti-Constitutionalists like you, since you think the Founders were “warped” in conceiving the selection of senators by state legislators you must be against the Constitution, just can’t keep your tune from issue to issue. Like Obama vilifying a vote to increase the debt ceiling because it was “sign of leadership failure” and voting against it in 2006 (and also opposed it in 2007 and 2008 but was only “present” and did not vote on those measures…. now that’s real leadership!!!). The analogy being that you folks are pretty good at changing history to suit your narrative, just like you are complaining about filibusters now. And exactly what filibuster are you talking about anyway? Cruz? That wasn’t a filibuster and if you think it was it is merely an another example of how Democrats only put a toe into the factual waters, and because they did they then claim they know the full depth of the body of water involved.

            This goes for so many libs, progressives, whatever it is you call yourselves. Yell, scream, cast aspersions and toss epithets all you want, but by and large the postings by folks in the Tea Party and by conservatives tend to be pretty accurate. This because you hold us to such a different standard than yourselves we can’t do anything but be accurate or be castigated. In contrast you will forgive your own ignorance without a second thought. But we do know the difference and you know the difference and that’s what’s so sweet, you know we know that you know.

    • hennorama

      Gatortrapper – There’s no such thing as the so-called “Tea Party.” They are not a political party, so let’s call them something else.

      If Republicans and others can use the inaccurate term “Democrat Party,” then the term “Tea Party” is certainly fair game for change

      I prefer TEA Shindiggers. Suggestions are welcome and encouraged, but please keep it clean..

      In addition, no political party “sends” anyone to Congress. Voters have the final say, except in the case of vacant Senate seats filled by appointment.

      See:
      http://www.politics1.com/parties.htm
      http://www.nytimes.com/1984/08/17/us/democrats-find-ally-in-republican-camp.html

      • HonestDebate1

        It’s the Democrat party. Adding the ic is icky.

        • hennorama

          Debates Not, He — Dishonest pontification, as usual.

          In your home state of North Carolina, “STRAIGHT PARTY VOTING” has been allowed, and the 2008 Alexander County sample ballot showed the “STRAIGHT PARTY” voting options as:

          DEMOCRATIC
          REPUBLICAN
          LIBERTARIAN

          Please stop your dishonesty, sir.

          See:
          http://www.ncsbe.gov/downloads/SampleBallots/2008-11-04/Alexander/8GALEX04.pdf

          • HonestDebate1

            So?

          • hennorama

            1Dishonest Pontificator — failure to recognize the obvious is yet another worrisome symptom.

            Please note the last 2 letters of the first “STRAIGHT PARTY” voting option, above.

            The actual name of the political party you have erroneously named is the first on the list.

            Any casual observer would be justifiably concerned about your mental health, based on your comments.

            DISCLAIMER: I am not a health care professional and any advice offered or concern expressed should not be interpreted as medical advice.

          • HonestDebate1

            There is no Straight Party, make up your mind.

          • hennorama

            Debates Not, He – aside from this, responding to your nonsense is not worth the time and effort.

          • HonestDebate1

            You made the rules, don’t whine at me.

          • hennorama

            1Dishonest Pontificator — curious that you fail to note your edited response.

            Everything after the first word is an edit. That’s not exactly “honest” is it?

            Responding again to your question, and your edited reply:

            Given your failure to recognize the misnomer that is your present moniker, it’s completely unsurprising that you would write “It’s the Democrat party.”

            That is false, sir.

            A less charitable observer might call someone who writes such things a liar.

            I of course couldn’t possibly comment.

          • HonestDebate1

            I think you did comment smarty pants.

            If I add a sentence within 30 second of posting then I don’t note the edit. Sue me.

            No, I did not call it the Democrat Party, I called it the democrat party. That is what it is. This coming from the person who says there is no Tea Party. Next you’ll be saying our annual Halloween party for the kids is not a party.

            I am as honest as a person can be, you should try it.

          • hennorama

            Debates Not, He — please allow me to again demonstrate your dishonesty. You wrote:

            “It’s the Democrat party. Adding the ic is icky.”

            See:
            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/10/03/american-democracy-friedman#comment-1069780736

            I await your apology and retraction.

          • HonestDebate1

            I stand corrected, I apologize with all my heart. I will edit it immediately as noted here. What was I thinking?

            This is so important and crucial and I am thoroughly rebuked and humiliated. You have a gift for zeroing in on the most dire issues of the day. Thank you very much.

          • hennorama

            Debates Not, He — dismiss your dishonesty all you want. The added irony of course is that your dishonest comment also contains your words,

            “I am as honest as a person can be…”

            Yeah, right.

          • HonestDebate1

            Did you read my comment?

          • jefe68

            Smarty pants? What are you 10?

          • HonestDebate1

            My pant size is actually 32. Or were you talking about my IQ? If so, you were a bit generous.

          • jefe68

            I don’t think you want to go there.

          • Gatortrapper

            Same here. Registered GOP for decades but have voted all over the place, and regretfully, even for the chief idiot in charge in 2008. Figured that pretty fast though and joined Tea Party political subset (per Hennies… digression above) in early 2010.

          • jefe68

            That figures. Another white guy joining the tea party because they want “their country back”.

          • Gatortrapper

            Racist and ignorant. Stereotypical socialist. That’s what I love about “Progressives” who decry all the hate in world but seem to have an unlimited supply for those who disagree with them. It must be extremely painful for you to wallow about unable to craft any factually accurate argument that can withstand the pressure of close examination. But rather than resort to the tools of desperation, character assassination. Why not take the time to get command of the facts and educate yourself on the Constitution and the legislative process and its history and then try? At least then you would be consistent in your application of tolerance because you wouldn’t be forced into acts of desperation and betrayal of the values you extol.

            The only thing you risk by such an endeavor is encountering the conflict that you are sure to experience when you find that the narrative you parrot fails upon your own evaluation. But you will be better for it and converts are always welcome in the Tea Party, because we are more inclusive than the group you’re with now.

        • TFRX

          Let me run that “use a noun as an adjective” schtick by my “Jew lawyer” and see if he feels it’s kosher.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yadda yadda, I’ll let you in on a secret, I don’t care. It’s a hot button and has been. I’m just pushing it to make Henny do tricks for me. It’s a guilty pleasure.

            I’ve actually been wanting to ask you about the Obamacare internet enrollment. I know you have some expertise on the issue. Do you consider the way it’s set up to be a hacker heaven for personal data? I’m not smart enough to know but it sure seems so. John McAfee did an interview with Cavuto and was quite convincing. I posted it on today’s board.

            And really TF, I understand McAfee’s history and I understand it’s Cavuto on Fox doing the interview, but please indulge me by giving your informed opinion of what McAfee is saying. I think it’s clear he knows what he’s talking about.

          • jefe68

            Did he post that?

      • pete18

        Why are you arguing this irrelevant minutia instead of addressing Gator Trapper’s main point?

        • hennorama

          pete18 — if it’s irrelevant, why do you care?

          • pete18

            I care about Gator’s main point, which you seem to be avoiding.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — if you care about it, then please comment about it.

          • HonestDebate1

            You were the one who hijacked the thread.

          • hennorama

            Debates Not, He — I had no idea that a single comment is considered “hijack[ing] the thread.”

            As you note repeatedly, “this is not [my] blog,” and I have no control over the responses of others.

          • HonestDebate1

            I and others admittedly followed you to the weeds. You have successfully hijacked the thread.

          • Gatortrapper

            ROFL… now that is honest…

          • pete18

            There’s nothing I need to add. I was commenting on your energetic non-answer to Gator, which i thought was telling.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — okie dokie.

        • jefe68

          The regressive right wingers are living in Bizarro world, that’s for sure.

        • jefe68

          The regressive right lives in Bizarro world.

        • Gatortrapper

          Because he is here for entertainment. He’ll post something provocative for the sake of irritation, not for advancement of any discussion or debate. I try to ignore him.

      • TFRX

        Hey, I’d stop using Tea Baggers if only for the fact that that was a self-given label by them.

        • hennorama

          TFRX — it is a bit of a conundrum.

          Do they want to be an actual political party? If so, do they call themselves the Tea Party Party?

          That reminds me of a benefactor whose last name was Park. Upon death, land and funds were donated for a municipal area set aside for recreation, ornamentation, and education.

          Naming it “Park Park” was out of the question, so it became “Park Memorial Garden.”

          Apologies for the digression.

      • Gatortrapper

        God forbid a generic reference to describe a subset of a party that everybody understands would be used. Like “yellow dog Democrat” or “Dixiecrat” or “Rino.” Have a nice day.

        • hennorama

          Gatortrapper — you have a nice day as well.

          Replying to your comment was just a convenient way to put the topics of renaming the so-called Tea Party Shindiggers, and the creeping inaccuracy of the term “Democrat Party,” in play.

          Thanks for being the catalyst for the reaction.

          • Gatortrapper

            Always happy to provide an opportunity for you to demonstrate your command of sophistry.

          • hennorama

            Gatortrapper – for some reason, you and happy don’t seem to go together.

            Regardless, thanks again.

          • Gatortrapper

            Right. I guess you have a lock on that too. Boy it must be nice to think you are perfect: if I did I’d look like Obama.

          • hennorama

            Gatortrapper — it’s just an impression, and I sincerely hope that it’s an inaccurate one.

            Best wishes.

  • HonestDebate1

    We just got a letter from our insurance provider. I’m afraid to open it.

    • OnPointComments

      My premium increased 50% two months ago.

      • Shark2007

        That is because you have a pre-existing mental condition.

  • Gatortrapper

    Well maybe, just maybe the “centrists” you want to rule don’t have the support of the voters. It could be that the simple argument and tight principles of the Tea Party have much wider appeal than the group has. Which makes since they have been painted with pejoratives and epithets from the on set by the Left.

  • jimino

    If I can interrupt this right-wing political circle jerk to ask a few questions while you’re all here:

    Why is the Republican House leadership afraid to let the House vote on a clean CR?

    Why does our pre-ACA health care system cost more than twice what any other country pays without insuring anywhere near the portion of the population those other countries do?

    When did proudly resolute freeloading on the health care system become an entrenched so-called conservative position?

    • fun bobby

      1. as an objective observer, I find the newly minted term “clean CR’ somewhat amusing with its inherent implication that anything else would be “dirty”.
      2. insurance companies and government subsidized healthcare
      3. is that a thing?

    • newsfan46

      Clearly you have not seen what the post-ACA prices are. Take a look and let me know if you would sign up.

    • Gatortrapper

      You make no sense.

      Clean CR vote: they want to obtain a result. A clean CR, which would probably pass, doesn’t get the result. And not pursuing an issue of significant importance to a powerful, and growing sector of their party would be ill advised.

      ACA cost before and after: Arguably the heavily funded (Democrat) trial lawyers bar causes tort reform to remain an problem. As a lawyer I see this as a red herring, but it really varies from state to state. In Florida, for example, you have to a doctors written opinion to bring a medical negligence case before you can bring suit.

      But the cost of litigation is solely due to inefficiencies in the legal practice and court management by the judges. Can’t tell you how many times hearings get delayed, rescheduled or short circuited. Figure 1 hour prep for a routine matter; travel to the courthouse 1/2 hour each way; arrive NLT 30 minutes early due to security checks; 30 minutes scheduled for hearing; 15-30 minutes to prepare an order; another hour in transmittal, follow up on execution (if no major objection as to form) and entry and just going to a hearing is 4 hours of billable time X current rates of $200-500 an hour = $800 – 2,000 TO EACH SIDE. Hearing cancelled, delayed or postponed? Uhhh…. it was 3 hours instead of 4 plus you get to charge for it again in a month when it gets on the docket again. That applies to all cases not just the ones relating to the medical practice.

      The other issues as I understand are the excessive testing to avoid litigation; the fact that too many times pharmaceuticals are prescribed leading to the resistance issue that is now emerging world wide.

      The fact not for profit hospitals pay outrageous amounts to their not for profit administrators exceeding any notion of value beyond the importance of hospitals. You know the $8 aspirin; and the $5 bottle of water.

      Read or heard about a few doctors who were shocked (think it was Alaska or Washington State, but in the NW) when they found that a routine circumcision at the local hospital was being billed at $2800. At a competing hospital it was $280. They started offering to do it in their office for $700. That was on NPR as I recall this summer.

      I don’t understand your final question/statement.

      • jefe68

        You sure use up a lot space to say so little.

        • Gatortrapper

          ROFL…. yet it motivates you to read and post. Hmmmm… I guess it just must be more worthwhile than you let on.

          • jefe68

            Well I’ve not read much of your BS.
            But one can see the length of them.
            You sure seem like one hell of a boring guy. Bet you’re a real hoot at parties.

          • Gatortrapper

            Well I don’t spend time at the crack pipe like some do. And thoughtful ideas often require space to provide the proper context, the absent of which leaves the reader the ability to read things into the text and then take issue with it. Especially if they are out to find fault for no other reason than to find fault. e.g. jefe68

          • jefe68

            Your such an annoying little man.
            You think your ideas are thoughtful? And the little man has a large ego to go along with his small mindedness. How quant.

          • Gatortrapper

            Well at least mine thoughts and words require some intellect. I’m flattered that you find my material so bad that it warrants comment. I’ll keep trying to improve…. my ability to annoy. But I must be getting pretty close to perfection given your being relegated to personal character assassination as your only way of expressing yourself.

  • ThinkAboutIt

    You responded to an Oklahoma caller by roughly saying:
    “Show me some proof of how dangerous it is to go against the Tea PartyRepublicans.”

    From the Facebook postings of my State Senator…

    Brian Nieves sponsored three bills that, somehow, made it
    through the Senate. Senate Bill 265 is the fear of the United Nations (Anti Agenda 21). Senate Bill 267 is the fear of Sharia law (Civil Liberties Defense Act). My favorite is HB436 which would mandate state law enforcement not to enforce federal gun laws and made it illegal for federal agents to enter theState to enforce federal gun laws, and officers who tried to enforce these laws would be arrested and prosecuted (2nd Amendment Preservation Act);Nieves even stated that “this bill is arguably the most Hard Core piece of 2nd Amendment legislation in the nation!” and, according to one news report, when the Gov ernor vetoed the law Nieves accused the Governor of “b_____-slapping” the Constitution.

    And here’s the bonus. Here’s how he raises campaign funds according to his Facebook posting: Contribute a $100 and get an opportunity to win the “Exact Same Weapon” as was pictured: Sig Sauer 516 Patrol Rifle AR. My favorite line: Call, email, or shoot me a private message for details!

    p.s., Also for your information, as reported in the “St. Louis Post-Dispatch”, Mr. Nieves appears to have pistol-whipped the
    campaign manager of an opponent in the Republican primary. This wasn’t necessary in the general election since in his gerrymandered district the general election is meaningless as the Republican always wins.

    • OnPointComments

      Brian Nieves sold out too cheaply. He should have followed in the footsteps of Barack Obama, where for a $500,000 donation to his Organizing For Action PAC, the contributor gets the privilege of attending quarterly meetings with the president.

      Maybe Brian got the idea for state law enforcement to not enforce federal gun laws from the Obama administration’s decision to not enforce federal immigration laws.

      • Shark2007

        Obama is deporting illegal aliens at a higher rate than Shrub. That is after Shrub and the deregulation gang sank the economy, making the U.S. less attractive to illegals. But don’t let reality get in the way of your mindless rants.

      • Gatortrapper

        Brilliant retort regarding the immigration unenforcement.

    • fun bobby

      are you pro agenda 21?
      I don’t know how likely it is but I would not want to be subject to sharia law would you?
      do you want federal agents coming to take your guns?
      I wish someone in my state had the cajones and cared enough about our civil rights to write a bill like that.
      What kind of weapon was it? was it something good or was it something that would be legal in MA?

  • OnPointComments

    “Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” –Ronald Reagan

  • Shark2007

    T-party doesn’t think we need any government. They just want to be serfs for the Koch brothers.

    • StilllHere

      I thought the Koch’s controlled the government. You serfs should get your talking points straight.

      • jefe68

        Troll.

        • Gatortrapper

          Now that is the pot calling the kettle black.

          • jefe68

            Ah yeas the regressive right wing peanut gallery adds one more to their minions.

          • Gatortrapper

            Wow, what an astute thinker you are. Name calling is the best you can do.

            Unencumbered by principle you can rationalize anything my friend. That’s the ignominy that half wits would shoulder if they had enough self awareness to realize how stupid they sound. You’re apparently blessed with abundant ignorance. That’s your problem, not one that I must struggle with.

          • jefe68

            I call them as I see them buddy.
            You don’t like, don’t read my comments or respond.
            Funny how you seem to be the one who name calls and insults people but when someone throws it back in your face you don’t like it. What’s the matter, are your regressive right wing feelings getting hurt?
            Poor baby.

          • Gatortrapper

            I don’t consider “a pot calling a kettle black” a pejorative or epithet. If you do, my apologies. It’s a colloquialism that you should well understand, unless the last comment was directly on point.

          • jefe68

            I understood it. I just find all of you regressive right wing tea party to be pretty reprehensible. That’s all. I think the regressive tea party is the one of the worst things that ever happened to this nation in a long time.

          • Gatortrapper

            Well we lament the decline in intelligence across wide sections of the American population but we try and not make it personal; choosing to abide the notion that it is all part of God’s plan and that irritants were given to us to help improve our own performances and to glorify him.

            You just can’t find fault with the inherent logic of most of our positions because it doesn’t involve free stuff for you. We’ve examined that but found that it’s counterproductive to reward substandard behavior and thinking.

          • Shark2007

            Not only delusional about politics but suffering from the god delusion too. Delusions go together for these nuts.

          • Gatortrapper

            It’s unclear whether you’re trying to express an insult or not. Quite amazing the hostility that people have toward the mention of God though. Have a great day.

          • Shark2007

            You might try reading Dawkin’s book “The God Delusion”, or you could explain why your God is more believable than all the many others people believe in to say nothing of the multitude of interpretations people have of any particular imagined God entity.

            In terms of being insulting, you might want to re-read some of your own posts–pure TParty insults aimed at people you know nothing about except what they post on here. It says more about you then them.

          • Gatortrapper

            ROFLMAO @ U…. that’s the best you can do… Any comments that I make that might disparage another are not gratuitously made, but delivered in response to a personal attack. For example your comment about my being delusional. Hmmmm, now what did I do to you to warrant such an attack?

            People who can’t defend their views tend to stray into personal attacks as a distraction. I try to limit it to “proportionate response” but am disadvantaged because most attacks are so poorly constructed and weak due to the source that any response by me is like using a sledge hammer when a tack hammer would do.

          • jefe68

            You keep proving how low you are willing to stoop. I see an huge ego at play here.

            People who can’t defend their views tend to stray into personal attacks as a distraction.
            Which is what you do over and over again.
            Wait, are you a pot calling the kettle black? Says a lot about who you are buddy.

          • Gatortrapper

            Did you even read it for content or just for the very fine and nuanced sharp edges designed to cut when it is deserved? I’ll spare you the indignity given the fragility of your esteem.

          • jefe68

            That’s what I’ve been saying.

          • jefe68

            I never mentioned God. I’m not into myths.

          • jefe68

            I rest my case. Inane is as inane does.

      • Shark2007

        The Koch brothers control you and the tea party serfs. They are hoping to parlay that into doing away with the government.

  • jefe68

    “We’re not going to be disrespected,” conservative Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., added. “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

    This statement sums up the right wing nihilist mindset perfectly.
    What an idiot.

  • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

    The problem is not with the democrats, it’s with the republicians.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    Nice you were able to combine an ad hominem attack with a non sequitur.

  • jefe68

    Nope.

  • Regular_Listener

    I think it is important to look at what is going on behind these aggressive, even slightly unhinged right wing moves. If you look at things from the point of view of an average, white, heterosexual, middle class American, it is not an attractive picture. More and more immigrants are pouring into the country, having lots of children, and expecting your tax dollars to give them medical care, food, and an education. Homosexuality, something specifically banned by scripture, is rapidly becoming acceptable. And that is not even mentioning a steadily growing lower class of native-born Americans and minority groups who have and create a lot of problems as well. The economy has gotten a lot worse. Housing costs have gone way up. Same goes for gasoline prices. Good jobs are harder to find than ever. And the man in the White House has a strange name and is the son of an African Muslim. This kind of thing would make anyone mad, wouldn’t it?

    I’m not saying I agree with all this, not at all. And I think it is bonkers to shut down the government over the ACA. Why don’t Republicans take back the Senate and White House and rewrite the law if they hate it so much? But Democrats would make a big mistake if they continue to ignore the feelings of middle class, white, heterosexual Americans and do virtually nothing for them. If the Republicans weren’t such morons, they could have cashed in on this already.

    • ebonyy

      To the average, white, heterosexual middle class American. It is my humble opinion that your fear of change has created the mess we face today. You have been brought up to believe that you are the only ‘real’ Americans, therefore everyone else living and contributing to this nation should accept the scraps that you leave for us. Now that America’s demographics are changing rapidly you are facing a loss of power. That is understandably frightening for anyone. Rather than facing that fear and participating in the new environment in which you find yourselves, you fight for a yesterday that is unreclaimable. Your first complaint: Immigrants are pouring into the country and we have to pay for their health an education. Immigrants are also pouring into the country and doing the work that allows you to live your middle class lifestyle. Many have come to this country and worked for slave wages, and you have benefited from that, i.e. the food you eat, the hotels you sleep in and so on. The MINIMUM we could do is keep them healthy and make sure their children are educated. Your second point: Homosexuality vs. Heterosexuality. This country was founded on religious freedom, not biblical scripture. Your third point: A steadily growing lower class. The lower class is growing due to the lack of opportunity afforded to them. The middle class is so quick to complain of welfare mothers, and food stamps and prisons. I never hear mention of Corporate welfare, and the billions of tax dollars that flow into their portfolios. They receive this money and create less, and less employment and opportunity. When the economy is bad and jobs are hard to find, a politician with YOUR money falling from every pocket hands you a welfare mother, or an immigrant and says if wasn’t for them, things would be better in this country. And the white middle class American you refer to, is quick to take the bait. While you focus your anger at the people beneath you. “How dare the want to feed their children, or educate them so they don’t repeat the same miserable life.” You are being robbed blind by the very people you support. Things won’t get better until you can look at your NEIGHBOR,the person whose zip code you can access, the person whose fate you share, and care for him as you would yourself (biblical scripture….kind of). Together we stand right? I look forward to working with you toward a better future for all of our children.

      • optimisto1 .

        But anyone who comes from other planet and looks at planet Earth, will tell you – for some reason there is no such highly industrial country which is ruled by majority of ebony or brown people.

        • ebonyy

          Hateful and self satisfying comments from one of our overlords. There is NO difference in DNA between races. In fact someone with brown or very lovely ebony skin can trace their DNA back to Europe, and someone with white skin can trace their ancestry back to Africa or other brown countries/continents. But you knew that already :)

          • optimisto1 .

            Yes, sounds like a very relevant comparison between today and million years ago. The common-sense facts are not on your side. But you knew that already :)

    • Gatortrapper

      Why? They are sacrificing the black population in their pursuit of the illegal alien vote. If they’ll toss aside a major cog in their support base why would they even think about listening to, let alone incorporating, any other demographic?

  • jefe68

  • TFRX

    Where was all this spending stopping when Bush was in the White House? Nowhere to be found.

    That’s because this country’s political right is acting like an alcoholic: Once a Democrat is in power, the GOP gets sober and nobody in a hundred miles can have a drink. But when they’re in power themselves, they’re helpless to stop.

  • http://www.skeeterbitesreport.com SkeeterVT

    Why have there been no legal challenges to these gerrymandered congressional districts? There have been court cases before in which gerrymandered congressional districts were thrown out and new district lines ordered.

    In our polarized political climate, the time has come for the responsibility of redrawing congressional and legislative districts be taken away from the legislatures and given to independent, non-partisan commissions (As is the case in California).

    Eliminating partisan gerrymandering in the drawing of congressional and legislative district lines will go a long way toward the two major parties kicking their extremist factions to the curb and restoring sanity to our politics.

    • Gatortrapper

      Well in Florida the process was carefully examined and conducted to comport with recently adopted state constitutional measures. Measures that made it a requirement to kept the Districts as compact as possible and keep the political units from being divided e.g. cities where ever possible. Citizens were given access to a public database and computer program and invited to prepare their own submission and numerous outside offerings were made. I tried to do it and even with a fairly simple program, the level of detail and attention due to the small population variants made it exceedingly difficult to just craft one without looking a political party registration, let alone trying to work that into the calculus. I’m satisfied Florida did as good a job as you might wish for.

  • Hugh Nevin

    My message to Tom Friedman is simple: “Calm down – choose your words more carefully”. Clearly print is your medium.

    We get it. The shutdown is a problem, but there’s a way bigger problem in store for America and ultimately all of us if we follow the American example.

  • Gatortrapper

    From what I’ve seen it’s really a distorted number like all statistics and numbers can be. For example, if you have a large military reservation with a lot of troops on it then that is a large factor that skews the calculation although its not aid to the state in the sense that they want you to think that it is.

    That is not to say that there are some anomalies. I’d be foolish to suggest otherwise but the allegation that it is anything more than an accident of history such as where they placed bases in WWII less about rewarding political demographics than practical considerations such as training conditions; available land; access to then important transportation systems; and such. And frankly since all the states in the South flipped from Dim to GOP in the last 70 years you could say those decisions, such as where to locate the CDC in Atlanta, GA, NASA in Houston and in Huntsville, AL as well as Cape Canaveral in Florida were to reward the Dims since they were all strongholds for the Dims when the decisions were made.

    In my view people who grope for a rationale for their complaints often grab at these when the roots are pretty loose and come away when pulled.

  • Fredlinskip

    Apparrently my response to Gatorade below some time ago did not upload so I am going to repeat it here:

    The reason I chose to comment on this page was in response is my dismay at what GOP, especially in house is doing. GOP, continue creating manufactured crisis, threatening to severely damage our economy. Dems during W years, believe me, were terrifically upset about W admin policy, but they never attempted to threaten to throw the nation under the bus because they didn’t like the results of constitutional process.
    How do you think Dems felt when the slimmest of majorities in Supreme court decided 2000 election, even though W significantly lost the popular vote and very well have not actually won your home state?
    GOP has offered nothing but the most extremist obstruction to all Democratic policy, since Obama was elected by a MUCH larger majority.
    I applaud your efforts to study founding documents.
    There was a time when GOP and Dems congressmen actually worked together. They actually spent time together, respected each other as individuals, listened with an open mind. If Reagan admin met some successes it had much to do with congress ability to attempt to work together amenably.
    You through your “greater than though” insult- driven tirade are an illustration how difficult it is to work out differences in today’s divided country.
    And how did we get so divided? IMO, W had a perfect golden opportunity to UNITE the country after 911 and he chose the opposite track.
    One thing about founding fathers- they disagreed vehemently on many subjects- but they worked through it for the sake of the country. It seems Jefferson’s opinions wouldn’t as relevant to discussion as he didn’t bother attend constitutional convention.
    I perfectly understand foreigners who say “how can we have such a high opinion of the United States when even their educated are so poorly informed.”. A very high percentage of Americans never read a book after graduation (42% college). Perhaps their views are from then on informed by sound bites. Believe me these folks do not all live in blue states.
    Gerrymandering is currently a huge problem- this is fairly common knowledge. You think that state legislatures should appoint Senators. So apparently you are for eroding the power of the individual voter even further. I respectfully disagree with you sir.
    Love to spend all day in respectful conversation with you, but I need to get on with personal responsibilities.
    Good day to you.

    • Gatortrapper

      I’m going take your comments as a “left handed” extension of an olive branch of sorts.

      Any venom in my remarks was in direct response to provocation and character assassination when all I posted was comments generally responsive to others that I perceived from you. If you say that was not your intent then I will accept it while acknowledging that I tend to respond to a knife display with a larger weapon.

      So rather than engage in a continued exchange of barbs I’ll just ask a few questions in pursuit of the source of your thinking. 1) To your way of thinking what distinguishes a “manufactured crisis” from a policy dispute that is organic or “not manufactured?”

      2) Please define what constitutes the “most extremist obstruction” as it relates to any party bearing in mind that however it is defined is going to be compared to all prior Democrat policy positions and actions to measure the efficacy of your assertion today.

      3) You say that “Obama was elected by a MUCH larger majority.” A much larger majority compared to what? The 2000 elections? Or the 1972 re-election of Richard Nixon? Or some other comparison?

      4) Does you research verify that Tip O’Neal, the Democrat Speaker of the House, presided over numerous government “shut downs” in disputes with President Carter’s (5 times) and President Reagan’s (7 times) administrations or 2/3′rds of the 18 shutdowns since 1976? And how can you reconcile that with your statement that the “Reagan admin met some successes it had much to do with congress ability to attempt to work together amenably?”

      5) Exactly what policies advanced by Bush 43 qualify in your view to be cited as evidence of your comment that he “had a perfect golden opportunity to UNITE the country after 911 and he chose the opposite track?” And are you certain that those policies met with the opposition you claim from the onset or did that opposition evolve from direct support to opposition e.g. Support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq?

      6) Other than articles written in support of a narrative or opinion can you cite to any tangible evidence such as the multiple Department of Justice actions brought by AG Holder to root out the “gerrymandering” that occurred after the 2010 census? These would be like the cases it has brought to contest changes to voter rules or other vote related matters BUT is directed toward the issue of gerrymandering, whether alone or in tandem with another claim of wrongdoing such as “voter suppression.”

      7) Are you aware of the purpose behind the original appointment authority of the US Senate and the reasons why it was later changed to a popular vote? And related to that issue, if it is true that the individual states were sovereign entities on par with any foreign nation then existing in 1789 and if it is true that their intent and mutual agreement amongst themselves and their respective citizens was that this sovereignty be maintained as co-equal powers doesn’t that make the appointment method superior than popular vote?

      I await your responses.

      • Fredlinskip

        1) Manufactured crisis refers to the act of GOP shutting down government and threatening to severely damage our economy, unless their demands are met. This is not governance, this is not political theater. The terms, extortion, political terrorism & dementia come to mind.

        2) A couple of examples of “Extremist obstructionism” would refer to the unprecedented historical abuse of the use of the filibuster and of blocking judicial nominations. Prior to the Obama Administration, 20 executive branch nominees were ever filibustered. Under Obama, 16 have been filibustered. Let’s do the math- 16 in 5 years compared to 20 in 237 years. So exec nominees used to be filibustered once every 12 years (144 months), Since Obama they get filibustered at a rate of once every 4 months. What is that about 35 times the rate than before (did I do that math right?)

        3) Ibelieve I wrote a sentence referring to W election and then followed it with “Obama was elected by a MUCH larger majority”. Does that clear that up any?

        4) Surely the shutdowns under Reagan did not have to do with raising debt ceiling and were not all initiated by Tip & cohorts. Do we have to back and examine them all individually?

        5) I am referring to my opinion that 911, similar to Pearl Harbor (not a perfect analogy I realize), could have been used to unite the country & the World. IMO much greater things could have come out of that tragedy if we only had a less short-sighted leader. I’ll not delve deeply into the hypothetical at present or of ALL the tremendous “mistakes made“ by W admin.

        6) Gerrymandering, which has become extremely more sophisticated, weakens the power of the individual vote and distorts election results. This should be self-evident

        7) Hmm. Interesting question. Maybe we should consider breaking up into 50 individual countries, and then we could elect leaders any way we wanted. It seems obvious to me that allowing appointment of U.S. Senators by state legislatures would disenfranchise average citizen and weaken our Democracy. Is that your intent?

        To me the pattern of unprecedented filibuster, unprecedented gerrymandering, unprecedented obstructionism, the creation of think- tanks whose mission statement is basically to mold opinion by distortion of truth, large media outlets run by political operatives, all lead to a tendency to weaken our Democracy. Where is it all headed? Perhaps a study of Roman history might be in order.

        Later

        • jefe68

          None of the shutdowns or threats of them during Tip O’Niels tenure had anything to do with the debt ceiling nor was it used as a threat.

          This tea party regressive is playing a game of semantics and on top of his selective amnesia on the history of government shutdowns.

          He conveniently leaves out the Newt Gingrich shut down which was done because Newt felt slighted by Clinton. Which points to the the current crop of egomaniacs and nihilist that make up the tea party faction of the GOP.

    • PithHelmut

      You don’t understand how Republicans think, they don’t give a flying fig how Democrats handled anything. They don’t engage in fair play! They were misshapen over Clinton being in the WH and never let up then either. Why voters keep voting them in is a mystery.

  • Shark2007

    Some of the Libertarian Repugs and their supporters want to see a failure to raise the debt ceiling. They don’t like it that the U.S. dollar is the world’s reserve currency and they see the failure to raise the debt ceiling as a way to weaken if not destroy this role for the U.S. dollar. It also helps achieve their goal of weakening the Federal government and moving back to a pre-civil war government structure that some on this board seem to prefer to the current structure. It will be interesting to see if the Koch brothers and their ilk will be able to continue to get the Tea party rabble to vote against their own economic self interest.

    • Gatortrapper

      Dismissal of proposals without a discussion in which the idea is allowed a full hearing and criticisms lodged with an opportunity for rebuttal and cross rebuttal is exactly what you advocate. You are so afraid that the ideas might be superior that you would prefer to abort them before delivery. How is that an example of the enlightened thinking of Progressives?

      • Shark2007

        So you want to advocate defaulting on the Federal debt? Go ahead — just what benefits do you expect to flow from that?

        I am simply pointing out comments I have heard from Tea Party types. You have a problem with what they said? Please let us know.

        • Gatortrapper

          Your comment is far more than “simply pointing out comments I have heard from Tea Party types” but is a complete substitution of your thoughts with assignment of authorship to an amorphous group. It’s simply invalid and a fabrication. Witness you attribution to me of “advocate defaulting on the Federal debt.”

          I’ve never heard or read such garbage but you put it out like the Russian secret police creation of the fictional piece on Zion and attributing it to the Jews. That’s simply intellectually dishonest. Why would I want to engage in a discussion with a person who stoops that level? You’re not worthy of the effort. I’m just calling you out for being a prevaricator and intolerant of those who oppose policies you support: although I doubt that you can even frame an argument to support a policy it that isn’t largely emotional and lacks governing principles to define it.

          • Shark2007

            As a person who puts himself forward as a lawyer, you need to read more carefully and not snip out key elements of what I said. To repeat: “So you want to advocate defaulting on the Federal debt?” Do you know the meaning of “?” at the end of a sentence? So is it safe to say you think threatening to default on the National Debt is a bad idea? Please clarify.

            I am simply reporting on what people who claim to be T Party followers have said either in one on one conversations or on blogs. If you don’t subscribe to those ideas, good for you.

            Out of curiosity, what kind of law do you practice? You seem to have a tendency to make wild emotional charges against people you disagree with. Is that how you perform in the court room?

            In terms of framing a coherent argument, I am still waiting for you to do so. Ad hominem attacks are expected on these blogs; however, you take it to a whole new level.

          • Gatortrapper

            I stand by my comments. No one advocated defaulting on the debt. It was raised as a shibboleth talking point by the left as a distraction and served the purpose well. Anyone who has faced a budget crisis at home has dealt with making hard decisions, which is why some people cancelled cable and cell phone contracts to be able to pay the mortgage. The same situation applies here even though you deny it.

            Civil and commercial litigation.

            As for wild emotional statements and their application in a legal setting, you apparently know little of the legal environment that produces outrageous claims and arguments that defy any relationship with common sense, but are colorable because of some tortured fact in evidence.

            In your case, having falsely attributed positions to the Tea Party you act indigently when that falsity is exposed and cry about being subjected to ad hominem attacks.

            This started with YOUR saying “their goal of weakening the Federal government and moving back to a pre-civil war government structure” along with other claims. I pointed out that you were not even granting a fair forum for discussion of the issues. Your response was to attribute your shibboleth of “national debt default” to me. Again, an example of issue shifting that you employ to avoid dealing with the question at hand. Your apparently not capable of having that discussion, either because you know the outcome and don’t want to admit it, or you lack the requisite ability to have the debate and therefore seek to avoid it and the attendant embarrassment. In either case you are a loser, albeit for different reasons.

          • Shark2007

            Gator boy, Here you go from a member of the Reagan administration:

            http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/14/for-many-hard-liners-debt-default-is-the-goal/?_r=0

            Or has Bruce Bartlett become part of the left wing conspiracy to increase your taxes and take away your semi automatic rifles?

            You may have heard of Grover Norquist’s quote “My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” and he is to the left of such Tpublicans as Cruz.

            http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/361414/norquist-defunders-owe-conservatives-apology-betsy-woodruff

            As many economists have pointed out, the Federal government budget is not the same as an individual person’s budget. If you don’t understand that, then you might try reading more diverse offerings in the field of economics.

            Lets see some more of that high class lawyerly talk like you gave above.

  • PithHelmut

    The experts are always the last to know.

  • superpage

    I don’t agree with everything Thomas Friedman says, but he makes a reasonable case for all of his points. One thing I’d like to point out that he didn’t.

    Obamacare death panels were the 2009 LIE OF THE YEAR.

    The ignorance of anyone who continues to believe this is a slap in the face to the electorate of a democracy. Given the rest of the claims that this woman caller made, I’m not surprised since this fit right in. The tenacity of this urban legend shows the fear mongering influence of Fox “News” and the willingness of its viewers to believe anything anti-Obama. (Not to mention several stories from The Onion that Fox reported as fact.)

  • Robin Harris

    I wish journalists would do their work and provide correct information and correct misinformation. Just letting both sides present their point of view doesn’t move us forward. Folks keep asking about how President Obama can make changes to the ACA. For example, “How can he delay the small employer mandate?”

    It’s because he heads the executive branch of government. The executive branch executes the policy set, know as legislation, by Congress. The Senate and the House of Representatives make up the Congress

    The majority of Congress passed the ACA, While there are some differences regarding whether the majority of American voters currently support the ACA, there are other legitimate ways to seek repeal or revisions. Shutting down the federal government is not only illegitimate, but damages the country and will make it more difficult to do business in the future.

    One legitimate way involves the majority of Congress voting to repeal the legislation–since only one house is willing to do that then the repeal approach is a non-starter.

    Another way would be to make revisions to the ACA. The easiest way to do that is through negotiations where both parties come to the table freely and willingly. A gun to the head puts a damper on, and dooms, a negotiation process.

    • Fredlinskip

      That is well put..
      And late to the table.
      You might consider posting new comment in todays comment page dealing with same subject

      • Robin Harris

        thank you

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

Apr 23, 2014
Attendees of the 2013 Argentina International Coaching Federation meet for networking and coaching training. (ICF)

The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

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Apr 22, 2014
This undated handout photo, taken in 2001, provided by the Museum of the Rockies shows a bronze cast of the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as the Wankel T.rex, in front of the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont. (AP)

As a new Tyrannosaurus Rex arrives at the Smithsonian, we’ll look at its home – pre-historic Montana – and the age when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.

 
Apr 22, 2014
Security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack in the town of Suwayrah, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, April 21, 2014. Suicide bombings and other attacks across Iraq killed and wounded dozens on Monday, officials said, the latest in an uptick in violence as the country counts down to crucial parliament elections later this month. (AP)

We look at Iraq now, two years after Americans boots marched out. New elections next week, and the country on the verge of all-out civil war.

On Point Blog
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The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

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Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
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Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

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