Shutdown Open Thread

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Jason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is a research fellow at the Cato Institute and contributor of Cato Unbound. He's on twitter as JasonKuznicki. His interests include political theory and history.

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  1. Avatar David Patrick
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    says:

    The POTUS does not and should not negotiate with terrorists.Report

    • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to David Patrick
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      says:

      If they are terrorists, then obviously we should kill them all.

      Tiresome rhetoric. Next?Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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        says:

        I find the hostage taking metaphor to apply to the debt ceiling stuff more than a government shutdown.

        I wouldn’t use the word terrorist, even if it hadn’t been loaded with all sorts of connotations over the last decade or so. But hostage taking is at least applicable on the surface and and gives a workable metaphor for the debt ceiling bit.

        Government shutdown ranges from irreconcilable differences to sheer partisan stupidity, depending on the circumstances. This year, I’m leaning a bit more to the stupid, since it’s effectively a minority of one house of Congress* trying to dictate to the rest of government which historically isn’t gonna end well.

        *The votes to pass a simple CR in the House exist. It would just require ditching the Hastert rule, which is an internal political rule used solely by one party and not a parliamentary rule or anything like it. There are enough R votes with the D votes to pass a CR in about five minutes. It’s just not being brought up for a vote, exactly because it would pass.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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        says:

        Hostage taking is too dignified. They’re brats throwing a tantrum, breaking everything in the house and insisting it’s their parents’ fault for not buying them the pony they wanted.Report

      • Avatar LWA in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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        says:

        “If they are terrorists, then obviously we should kill them all.”

        Welllllll….Hmmm.

        Naw, I guess not.Report

    • Avatar NotMe in reply to David Patrick
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      says:

      Funny thing, Obama will talk to the Iranians and North Koreans but not the Republicans.Report

      • Avatar Cascadian in reply to NotMe
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        Republicans can’t even talk amongst themselves without purity checks. Why would anyone engage what is the curent Republican party. I gave up right around Kenneth Star, and those were the good ol’ days compared to the fever that informs today.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to NotMe
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        says:

        Obama’s not talking to the North Koreans. He’s talking to Iran because they’re not shouting “Death to America” just now. Seem to have someone with a clue in charge for a change.

        The Republicans are in the same camp as the North Koreans. Still shouting “Death to America” Maybe if these sons of bitches would quit shrieking for a while and admit they live in a democracy, where elections have consequences and so do court decisions, we wouldn’t have to deal with this fucking jihaadi mentality on a constant basis.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to NotMe
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        If the North Koreans were demanding concessions in exchange for not nuking us, they’d get the same results the Republicans are getting: no concessions, a warning about what will happen if they follow through, and crossed fingers while everybody hopes they’re not crazy enough to do it. And if he did negotiate on those terms, he’d rightly be excoriated for giving the North Koreans carte blanche to threaten us whenever they want something.

        So yeah, not a terrible analogy.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to NotMe
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        says:

        Jon Stewart said, “If it turns out that President Barack Obama can make a deal with the most intransigent, hardline, unreasonable, totalitarian mullahs in the world, but not with Republicans, maybe he’s not the problem.”Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq
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    says:

    Yeah, I’m not pleased about it. I’m an immigration lawyer for living so my job depends on a functional federal goverment. If the shut down is a short one than only a few clients are screwed. If its pro-longed than many clients are going to be pissed. Either way its bad for me.Report

  3. Avatar David Patrick
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    says:

    If comments won’t show up no point commenting on this libertarian group wank site.Report

  4. Avatar morat20
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    says:

    These things always cost so much money. And it appears the civil servants are actually likely to demand back pay this time (in the past, they’ve often compromised and used up some paid-time-off pay to defray the costs) but apparently their salaries have been squeezed hard enough the last few years.

    Not that I can blame them. Being told “Hey, don’t come to work until this is fixed. Charge your vacation and comp time, and when that runs out…um, yeah. You’re on your own. We might give you some backpay to fill it in, but basically you’re just gonna have to hope” is pretty crappy, especially when the reasons are political.

    Worse yet when the private contractors you work with ARE paid — the ones who work on a government site might not even come into work — because the companies that employ them know for certain the government will eventually cough up the contracted money they’re owed, well — that’s just adding insult to injury.

    Still, it’s less stupid than a debt ceiling failure. At least shutting down the government is vaguely understandable, if more expensive than not shutting it down.Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to morat20
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      says:

      Actually . . . in the 1995 shut downs, federal civil servants who didn’t work were back paid by an act of Congress, not because they “demanded IT.”. And legally we CAN NOT charge leave, comp time or any other form of pay during the furlough. Even the folks who HAVE to work are not paid during the shutdown – only after.

      As to contractors – read the various plans posted on various federal web sites. The only contractors who can work are the ones already paid, or the ones who support the minimal functions that the federal government are legally required to continue performing. Otherwise, they sit down too.

      And no, shutting the government down because you 1) lost an election, 2) lost a Supreme Court ruling and 3) don’t want to see a Democratic Administration implement your own Party’s ideas is not understandable – not in the least. Explainable, sure; understandable, no.Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to Philip H
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        says:

        As to contractors – read the various plans posted on various federal web sites. The only contractors who can work are the ones already paid, or the ones who support the minimal functions that the federal government are legally required to continue performing. Otherwise, they sit down too.

        Nope. Most of them go to work. Because, say — Lockheed knows that they’re contractually owed X amount per year, of which Y goes to labor on a given contract. A government shut down might interrupt the checks for a few weeks, but won’t change the actual amount Lockheed will eventually get paid. So as long as the contractors working for Lockheed can do their job, they’ll go to work and get paid from Lockheed because unlike civil servants, Lockheed knows it’s gonna get that money in the end.

        Now, contractors that physically work at a government building that will be shut down? No. Contractors who actually can’t do work with the shut-down folks gone? Generally not.

        But contractors, again, are lucky. Their bills will be paid, so they show up to work.

        I know this for a fact since I’m personally aware of a large aerospace firm with a 1200 person contract whose workers will continue to work and get paid even when the government agency they work for goes into shutdown.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Philip H
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        says:

        Yeah, well, at least they got paid.

        My company has already had furloughs, and if you don’t have enough vacation time, it’s time off WITHOUT pay. We’re due for more furloughs in the upcoming months.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Philip H
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        says:

        @morat,
        They can only continue to work and get paid if their company has already been paid for the work, or if they are deemed Excepted under OPM and OMB guidiance. Otherwise, they are creating a financial liability for the federal government, which isn’t allowed under the Anti-deficiency Act. My guess is your folks are in the “the company already has the money department.

        You are correct that contractors who can work MAY be excluded from federal facilities.Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Philip H
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        says:

        “Yeah, well, at least they got paid.

        My company has already had furloughs, and if you don’t have enough vacation time, it’s time off WITHOUT pay. We’re due for more furloughs in the upcoming months.”

        Perhaps you should join together, in some sort of collective force, and give a person among you power to err, let’s see, bargain a better contract for all of you. I mean, I think something like that has helped worker’s before.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Philip H
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        @jesse-ewiak
        Perhaps you should join together, in some sort of collective force, and give a person among you power to err, let’s see, bargain a better contract for all of you. I mean, I think something like that has helped worker’s before.

        From a quick search of the internet, I believe what you are referring to is called COMMUNISM. (Spelled in all caps like that.)Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Philip H
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        that was Gwen Ifill in the New York Times. She’s kind of a big deal.

        It’s reportage. “Clinton said this. Clinton said that.” Ifill doesn’t say he was right.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Philip H
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        There’s also this editorial

        and this one

        (both are paid, and I haven’t looked at them

        Really? You’re someone I expect a lot more from than that.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Philip H
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        @mike-schilling meaning I haven’t paid the 2.95 to read the full articles. But I did look at the free excerpt at each link and got the gist from the lede. I just allowed the possibility that there’s something buried in each that may deviate from the apparent thesis. (“George HW Bush’ budgets create deficit monsters, like Reagan did” / “Bush has the power to reduce the deficit but refuses to do so”)

        To accept your point about Ifill’s reporting, a lot of people should owe Chuck Todd an apology.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to morat20
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      says:

      “Still, it’s less stupid than a debt ceiling failure”

      Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.

      -said some U.S. Senator in the minority, who only knew that, as long as the President was for something, he was against it.Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        If you can’t tell the difference between a token vote in an assured to pass bill — which both parties cheerfully did as soon as there were enough votes to pass — and actually hitting the debt ceiling, you probably shouldn’t be on the internet without supervision.

        The debt ceiling was completely ignorable as long as raising it as needed was a given. Ever body in both parties made sure it passed (because, really, they’d already spent the money. It’d be pretty stupid not to) and a lucky handful got to cast token votes and make speeches about the deficit.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        Kolohe, he did say that he supported Pay-Go, tho. I believe that the CBO socred the ACA as deficit neutral. So maybe the inconsistency can be pinned more on the context, than on partisanship or power.

        Not that I’m completely discounting partisanship and power!Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        He’s also cut the deficit in half since he took office in 2009, so you know — he’s apparently walking the walk better than his predecessor did.Report

      • Avatar David Patrick in reply to Kolohe
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        It’s hard to cut the deficit when you are still paying trying to clean up the mess(es) your predecessor left behind.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kolohe
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        “He’s also cut the deficit in half since he took office in 2009”

        Oh, yeah thanks for reminding me. Democratic Presidents can only receive credit. Republican Presidents can never receive credit. Republican Congresses can only receive blame. Democratic Congresses can never receive blame.Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        Aww, was someone’s partisan feelings hurt?

        Please, try that line on someone who wasn’t following politics for the last 20 or so years, and maybe they’d buy what you’re spewing.

        I saw Clinton force tax hikes on a GOP Congress (which yes, indeed, they shut the government down trying to stop) and willingly sign off a lot of reform — including some sacred Democratic cows — and balance a budget.

        Then I watched Dubya run on a platform that counted the same money three times and then proceed to blow a hole in the budget the size of a monster truck, as he cut taxes and hiked spending and then decided to add a few wars to the charge card. One that was entirely by choice.

        Then I saw Obama come along and practically beg Republicans to help him cut Social Security, and — again — force tax hikes over GOP resistance and agree to massive spending cuts.

        So yeah, I give Democrats credit. They may be ‘tax and spend’ but they at least grasp the connection between ‘money in’ and ‘money out’ whereas the GOP still insists that the more they cut taxes, the more they can spend.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        Aww, was someone’s partisan feelings hurt?

        Do we want to establish that we don’t care about the feelings of partisans?

        I’m asking for a friend.Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        Nah, there’s a difference between “partisan feelings” and “the feelings of partisans”.

        For instance, if — say…Dick Cheney’s best friend died, I would feel bad for Dick Cheney. I would be all “Dick, I really loathe you politically, but that kind of pain — I wish this was a world where nobody had to suffer that”. But if Dick Cheney’s preferred tax bill died, I’d be all “Dick, I really can’t find it in myself to care.”

        And then I’d probably try to work in a joke about how he shot an old guy in the face and then that guy apologized to Dick, which still seems wrong. I mean, if I shot a guy in the face? I don’t care if he was dressed like Freddie Kruger and lept out at me at night as a prank — I’d feel awful.

        Don’t get me wrong — I’d argue shooting him was understandable, and that what he did was idiocy and the sort of thing that gets people shot in the face — but I’d be all “Dang, man, buckshot to the face. Gotta suck”.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Kolohe
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        Republican Presidents can never receive credit.

        Nonsense. Bush pere gets lots of credit for having a sense of fiscal responsibility, unlike his predecessor and his son.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        This is what I’m talking about. Gore ran on tax cuts too. Every Obama Administration Secretary of State voted for those same deficit busting wars. Yet, these people are all lauded by the Democratic establishment, and on these very pages – one commenter on this very post can’t wait until H. Clinton cleans Ted Cruz’s clock.Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        Again: I suggest trying that on 14 year olds. They probably weren’t paying attention.

        Everyone here? We sorta watched it happen. Not ancient history. We know who supported what and who didn’t.

        Heck, we’re even smart enough to tell the difference between a tax cut that’s revenue neutral (one balanced by tax hikes elsewhere) and one that’s not.

        And better yet? We remember who controlled Congress when it used PAYGO rules — and who got rid of them every time they took power.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        Aww, was someone’s partisan feelings hurt?

        I don’t think Kolohe is a Republican, so I don’t think his feelings are hurt.

        He is trying to make a point (I think anyway) about how partisanship corrupts principles. I’m not amenable to his “both sides do it” claim as he apparently is, but it’s a point worth responding to. It seems to me anyway.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kolohe
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        “Bush pere gets lots of credit for having a sense of fiscal responsibility”

        That’s complete horse hockey. Maybe in 2 decades of hindsight, but not back then. Bush Sr was widely blamed for a then record setting* 1992 deficit. *And* was blamed for breaking his no new taxes promise

        (Plus this blast from the past)

        *which was projected to be 400 billion, but only came at about 290 billion – a downward revision that didn’t get any play at the time. (I thought the figure was 400B until I looked it up)Report

      • Avatar David Patrick in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        When Reagan raised taxes, it was demanded by the DEMOCRATS in Congress for the purpose of NOT RAISING THE NATIONAL DEBT AND DEFICIT.

        The GOP can never get a handle on that. If they ever admit Reagan raised taxes for reasons of fiscal responsibility their heads would explode.Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        And I’d be happy to engage him — but not on blatant revisionist history. RECENT revisionist history.

        I mean, come on, if you’re gonna change history to suit yourself at least pick an era that doesn’t require your audience to have only a year or two’s worth of working memory.

        I give Bush Senior credit for his deficit work. I give Reagan credit for his — sure, he screwed the pooch in the early eighties with his dip at the “Laffer curve” but at least he realized it was going pear-shaped deficit wise and actually moved to hike taxes.

        Since then, though — both Clinton and Obama spent a great deal of political capital to reduce the deficit — successfully. Clinton faced down Republicans over it, and Obama infuriated his own base with his willingness to cut programs and compromise with the GOP — as I said, he was practically begging the GOP to slash Social Security — in exchange for moderate tax hikes, he was wiling to take a knife to the biggest sacred cow of the Democratic party.

        But the GOP? They keep going back to “Tax cuts will increase revenue” and “tax cuts are the solution to all things” and the deficit balloons like a whale under them, because they don’t actually cut spending to match.

        So yeah, I can’t really take him seriously. I lived through all that — so did everyone here. Republicans talk a good deficit game, but they haven’t bothered to play one since 1991.

        So yeah, if he wants to pick an actual example of partisan hypocrisy — and there are plenty — more power to him.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kolohe
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        Well, the truth is is that overall economic conditions are the prime mover of deficits.

        The only thing Obama gets credit for now in deficit reduction is the sequester, which was a poison pill nobody wanted.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kolohe
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        Heh. When the economy’s doing well, tax revenues go up. Shocking correlation.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Kolohe
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        If we’re lowering the bar for blame to “got unfairly criticized by his opponent during a campaign” then you need to adjust (by which I mean blow to smithereens) “Democrats get only credit”.Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to Kolohe
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        Well, the truth is is that overall economic conditions are the prime mover of deficits.
        Ah, yes. This song and dance. It’s to your credit you avoided the classic “Actually the Clinton boom was caused by Reagan” (and of course the Bush recession was caused by Clinton) — I mean, it’s amazing the decade long economic lag at times, isn’t it?

        But still, back to fundamentals. So if the deficit is no one’s fault — it’s just a thing that happens, like the wind or the tide — then why were you so keen that Congress was responsible when a Democrat was President?

        And why, if the deficit is such a slave to the economy, were you so happily indulging in revisionist history? If Clinton’s tax hikes and Obama’s tax hikes — and their spending cuts — didn’t matter (and, fyi, the sequester was “a” spending cut. I’m sure you’re not forgetting the much, much larger one Obama negotiated before that? The sequester was the GOP’s way of forcing Round 2 of deficit cutting) — but if they didn’t matter, why were you so busy explaining how it was really the Republicans that did it?Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kolohe
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        Anyway, going back to how this whole thing started – what I’d like is some kind of quick reference to more easily determine which statements by President Obama are just for show to please the rubes, and which are statements of things he actually believes, and thus I should pay attention to. Because heretofore I guess I was just one of the rubes.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kolohe
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        some kind of quick reference to more easily determine which statements by President Obama are just for show to please the rubes, and which are statements of things he actually believes

        Is there a mind-reader in the house? A psychic, perhaps? A criminal profiler? Surely someone must have a view into Obama’s heart of hearts, distinguishing between the intrinsic compromise of politics and the great Easter Island-eseque monoliths of his true beliefs.

        Me, I don’t think Obama has very many true beliefs. Maybe he believes in his marriage, his kids, probably a good deal of Niebuhr’s old maxim: Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. Beyond that, why even bother trying to dissect the man’s mind? We have his track record, recorded in more detail than’s good for anyone, in every day’s newspapers.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kolohe
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        Kolohe, I hear ya on that. But let’s suppose that a libertarian congressperson was making speeches about particular policies, and in particular, wanted to support policies that furthered their libertarian goals. Would that person phrase their support/rejection of particular policies explicitly because those policies were consistent with their principles? Or would they phrase they’re support in a politically convenient way to garner support for those their decisions fully well knowing that support for their policies – irrespective of the reasons employed – furthers their policy goals?

        I mean, what I just described is called “politics”. It seems to me your criticism at this point isn’t with government and governance, but with politics?

        So: is there a way to eliminate politics from our political systems? What would that even look like?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kolohe
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        Wow, sorry about the garbling. Do me a favor and just read the right words into those confusing sentences, OK?Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kolohe
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        @mike-schilling that was Gwen Ifill in the New York Times. She’s kind of a big deal.

        There’s also this editorial

        and this one

        (both are paid, and I haven’t looked at them, but neither seems to be lauding George HW Bush for his fiscal prudence. A google news search from jan 1992-Oct 1992 have a few others on a similar vein, but I’m at my 2 link limit)

        @morat20 got it. The fact that recessions are the primary cause of deficits and economic booms reduce or eliminate them is a ‘song and dance’. Not a near tautological fiscal fact. Thanks for correcting my misconception.Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        what I’d like is some kind of quick reference to more easily determine which statements by President Obama are just for show to please the rubes, and which are statements of things he actually believe

        Which brings us right back to the beginning — wherein you implied Obama was a hypocrite because he used the debt ceiling to cast an entirely token vote (as had many before him, doing so only when passage was assured) to object to the deficit in general.

        A deficit he has seen cut in half over his tenure as President.

        So where exactly is your confusion? Obama used the debt ceiling — which itself is symbolic of the deficit, but in no way responsible for it (after all, the budget is what sets spending — the debt ceiling is merely an indicator of how much total borrowing has been done, and has nothing at all to do with how much is spent) — to illustrate something he had a problem with.

        And when, upon becoming President, he tackled rather enthusiastically as soon as the economy had recovered from “Trying for Great Depression 2.0” — up to and including placing the most sacred of Democratic spending on the table for cuts.

        So where lies your confusion? Obama said he wanted to reduce the deficit and the debt. He has spent a good portion of his Presidency doing just that.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        Anyway, going back to how this whole thing started – what I’d like is some kind of quick reference to more easily determine which statements by President Obama are just for show to please the rubes, and which are statements of things he actually believes, and thus I should pay attention to.

        The serious answer: Until recently, everything ever said about the debt ceiling was for the rubes. The very existence of the debt ceiling was for the rubes. It gives the minority party a stick to swing around while they grandstand about what a terrible job they’re doing, and it gives members of Congress cover for their general irresponsibility because they can always point back to their symbolic votes.

        Unfortunately, its use has now mobilized enough rubes that they’re starting to be elected to Congress. So now we have a bunch of Congressmen who believe that the debt ceiling is an actual lever they can pull rather than a Wizard of Oz type smoke and light show used to manipulate the feelings of rubes like themselves.

        Hope this helps.Report

      • Avatar NotMe in reply to Kolohe
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        Morat20:

        So was Obama lying then when he was against increasing the debt ceiling or now when is for it?Report

      • Avatar Cascadian in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        Or the person that started out as “a uniter not a divider” but morphed into the ultimate decider with personal pep rallies where anyone that hadn’t drank the cool aid were forcefully removed.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        So was Obama lying then when he was against increasing the debt ceiling or now when is for it?

        He was lying the first time. See my post above re: the rubes.Report

  5. Avatar Tod Kelly
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    Schadenfreude moment I am ashamed to admit I am most looking forward to:

    The moment when the government has been shut down, the country (after a week or so) freaks out, lashes out against the GOP, they tank down to the very, very low twenties or teens in % of registered voters, begin to fall behind in many traditionally red districts coming up next fall, the RNC inevitably caves with egg on its face, and I get to do a post on how the conservative media is treating it as both a victory and yet another indicator of how much the country hates Obama and is calling for a GOP-run national government.

    Because this is all definitely going to happen.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to NewDealer
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        I think Lizza is probably correct that those most responsible for the suicide pact will go unscathed; indeed, I’m pretty sure Ted Cruz goes into 2014 as the presumptive 2016 nominee because of it.

        It will be others who are in less rabid districts who feel the wrath next year, I believe – even if they didn’t support a shit down.Report

      • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to NewDealer
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        Assuming crass self-interest as a motive, the narrative just doesn’t work, though.

        Given that the so-called “suicide caucus” lives in Republican-heavy gerrymandered districts, those districts are probably also safe for Republicans who are willing to make smallish compromises.

        And if that’s the case, then these members’ seats are safe, and the only question they face is: do I want to be in the minority or the majority?

        They can hold a very safe seat for a permanent minority party, or they can help their own team and maybe get a majority. Seems obvious what they would do — if any of this demographic data explained their motives.

        Result: I’m afraid it’s not demographics. It’s ideology.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to NewDealer
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        James,

        I think “suicide caucus” means they are willing to go full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes for the Republican Party, not their own districts.

        You are right that they are safe. How many other Republicans are? Or will they splinter off and form a new “conservative” party.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to NewDealer
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        I’ll be watching to see how that district centered on Colorado Springs, CO plays out. Lots of military families there. Lots of small military contracting firms. Most of whom stop getting paychecks tomorrow.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to NewDealer
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        Tod,

        I sort of get the appeal of someone like Rand Paul. I agree with him on almost nothing but I can fathom why he is popular.

        Ted Cruz baffles me. I don’t understand why is popular at all*. He seems snide, arrogant, condescending, hypocritical**, etc. From what I read, he has always been an asshole who thought he was the smartest person in the room:

        http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/me-ted

        *I guess conservatives would say the same for Barack Obama, Paul Wellstone, Elizabeth Warren, etc.

        ***He went to Princeton and Harvard Law and is somehow not an elitist while any Democratic politician with similar or identical credentials would be an insufferable elitist. This is what annoys me most about the Republican Party cultural politics, the rank hypocrisy of it.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to NewDealer
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        ND- Yeah he is arrogant and condescending, but he is arrogant and condescending at the right kind of people which makes him good people. He is also an ideologue which people nowadays confuse with purity and principle.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to NewDealer
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        says:

        Greg,

        Well said but it does not explain Republican/Conservative hypocrisy on educational credentials* (which might be the perfect example of being the authoritarian mindset)

        But you are right that American culture war politics seems to be a kind of constant sneer and jeer.

        *As far as I can tell: conservatives going to the Ivy League=Good, Liberals going to the Ivy League=Bad and Aristocratic and Elitist.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to NewDealer
        Ignored
        says:

        ND- Yeah, so i’ve never really thought much of the complaints about the Ivy’s or other elite places were about the elite places per se, they were much more just proxies for complaining about evil liberals. There is a strong strain in conservatism that is fine with elites just as long as they are the elites ( you could say the same thing to a degree about liberals and libertarians and just about any group).Report

      • Avatar Michelle in reply to NewDealer
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m pretty sure Ted Cruz goes into 2014 as the presumptive 2016 nominee because of it.

        I agree. And I can’t wait to see Hillary beat his pompous, narcissistic ass into the ground. The guy makes Romney look likeable.Report

      • Avatar Michelle in reply to NewDealer
        Ignored
        says:

        It will be others who are in less rabid districts who feel the wrath next year, I believe – even if they didn’t support a shit down.

        Tod–this typo made my day. Especially as I can picture Cruz as the head chimp slinging his poo at everyone.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to NewDealer
        Ignored
        says:

        Ted Cruz is a bully in the Joe McCarthy, Pat Buchanan, Rush Limbaugh mode. Right-wingers eat that up.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Tod Kelly
      Ignored
      says:

      We’re a center right nation, Tod. It’s Who We Are As A People.

      History, or Conservapedia anyway, will view Teddy Cruzer as a hero.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Tod Kelly
      Ignored
      says:

      See, I’ve got this weird idea that Obamacare is, in fact, bad and will hurt more people than it helps, and help the “wrong” people when it does help them and this is something that cannot be blamed on the Republicans once it kicks in.

      SO LET IT GO THROUGH!!!

      What will the Democrats say? “It’s the Repulicans fault Obamacare looks like this”?

      It’s the biggest one-party program, like, *EVER*. And Republicans couldn’t attach themselves to it IF THEY WANTED TO.

      Surely the Democrats think that it’s a good, necessary, and vital piece of legislation that will save hundreds of thousands of lives, save people money, and generally make everything better so it’s not like there aren’t a huge number of quotations to throw in their faces when the real numbers come in. “You said that X lives would be saved but actuarial tables don’t reflect that. You said that Y dollars would be saved but dollars spent don’t reflect that. You said that Z people would have insurance but the insurance numbers don’t show that.”

      What will the counter-argument be? “You don’t know what the numbers would look like if we didn’t pass the bill?”

      Instead they’re trying to shut down the government and will likely impale themselves in the process. Sigh.

      Ah, well. If we’re lucky, the American people will not notice the shutdown and actually ask “what are we getting in exchange for our tax dollars that couldn’t be better spent by private individuals?” And maybe we’ll all get ponies too.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        You seem to be a better political stratgiest than they are.

        However as a dissent on your ideas:

        http://www.newrepublic.com/article/114870/obamacare-exchanges-start-tuesday-oct-1-heres-why-theyre-worth-itReport

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        See? That’s one of the articles that they can use. “THIS IS WHAT THEY SAID WOULD HAPPEN!!!”

        Then, when it doesn’t, what can be said? “This would have worked if the Republicans weren’t wreckers/limiters.”Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        You’re more confident in your ideology than they are. Some of these guys have said outright that they need to prevent Obamacare from getting fully implemented because once it is in place, people will like it and not want to get rid of it.Report

      • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        The fact that people will like it does not mean they will be correct to like it. But that’s politically a hard sell.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        “Correct” in what way, Jason? If they perceive that it improves their lives – gives them better and more affordable access to medical care – they’ll like it. Just as they liked social security and medicare. This strikes me as an entirely reasonable public attitude. The Republican Party appears to oppose Obamacare so strongly because they fear this will happen.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        If the people are pleased that the chocolate ration has increased to 15 grams, why does it matter what the number of grams were last year?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        The fact that people will like it does not mean they will be correct to like it. But that’s politically a hard sell.

        No offense, but I don’t even know what claims like this mean. Is it that there are objective arguments which people are ignorant of but which they would accept if they were aware of them?

        Or is it that even if they’re aware of those arguments and disagree with them, they’re still wrong?

        Something else?Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m not getting the relevance of your Nineteen Eighty-Four quote, you’ll have to elaborate.

        If people who previously couldn’t afford health care can now get it, and people who previously couldn’t get a health insurance plan to cover their medical needs are now able to do so, and they consider this a good thing, are they wrong? On what basis are they wrong?Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        @jaybird : here’s what’s happening, from what I’m hearing from the health insurance community. Caveat: (anecdote * n) does not equal data. They’ve largely reconciled themselves to Obamacare. They got pretty much what they wanted. Single payer is off the table. They’ve actually garnered more customers by fiat than they could have ever gotten on their own. Not all of it is to their liking, but on whole, they’re quite pleased with how much they did get and they’re looking forward to breaking several onerous logjams: they don’t like cherry picking and part of Obamacare gets them out of the vicious cycle they’ve been locked in for almost two decades.

        Problem is, they’ve created a situation they no longer control. While Obama was making noises about health care reform, early on, they sicced the GOP dogs on him. Now those dogs are running around, growling and biting all the wrong people. And they can’t be stopped. Long after the fight is over, all the spoils sorted out, with the insurance firms getting most of what they wanted, more in fact, the GOP is using this issue to their own ends.

        Doesn’t matter what anyone thinks about Obamacare at this point. The insurance firms can’t get this genie back in the bottle. Again, this is just what I’m hearing. The specific phrase I heard was “political arson”.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        If people who previously couldn’t afford health care can now get it, and people who previously couldn’t get a health insurance plan to cover their medical needs are now able to do so, and they consider this a good thing, are they wrong? On what basis are they wrong?

        You’re making a leap that I haven’t.

        When discussing “If they perceive that it improves their lives”, I don’t know that we can necessarily reach the conclusion from that that “it has improved their lives” apart from the whole “you can’t really argue matters of taste” thing that might mean that people are happier with One Direction than they would be with The Three Tenors and you can’t say that the One Direction people are wrong when they say that they’re happier.

        The stuff that is measurable? That’s the stuff that I think will, ahem, “will hurt more people than it helps, and help the “wrong” people when it does help them”.

        Sure, I imagine that supporters will go on to point to the “wrong” people and talk about how it’s helped them and then go on to dismiss the people that it hurt (“you can’t make an omelette when surrounded by wreckers/limiters”) but we can measure these things. We can look at the numbers. We can compare before to after and then compare the after to what was promised.

        And then, if we find that the discussion has changed back to perception (and away from measurables), we can agree that something is up, no?Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Katherine,

        Exactly right. Jaybird and Jason have a political ideology that opposes the idea of government healthcare in general and an further idea that social welfare makes it easier to erode civil liberty.

        Jaybird’s belief if that Obamacare is bad policy might be in good faith but it cannot also stand the potential success of Obamacare as a government program. Hence they have to say it is ideologically bad even though people might consider it good. The success of Obamacare would spell disaster for the libertarian/Republican small government world view.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        When discussing “If they perceive that it improves their lives”, I don’t know that we can necessarily reach the conclusion from that that “it has improved their lives”

        Excellent. What you’re saying is there are objective values and goals which utility ought to be measured by. I’ve been making that argument for a long time, myself, but it always seems to meet with great resistance.

        So, to be clear, you’re saying that objective – rather than subjective – metrics determine whether a person is rational to express their preference for A over B. Which in turn presupposes an objective conception of rationality, too. Nice.

        What do we do with subjectively determined utility functions, then? Just put them in their appropriate place?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Stillwater, did you leave off some of my quotation? It might be an important part of what I said.

        But, to answer your question, I’d probably want to explore whether we actually were dealing with matters of fact as opposed to matters of taste and, insofar as we were dealing with matters of taste, you shouldn’t legislate them.

        Matters of fact are somewhat easier insofar as we can say “if we pass this law, this measurement, which is now measured as being X, will become X-minus-five-percent!” and then we can look at the law passing and then look at X.

        If X is ten percent higher and we suddenly are talking about whether people “feel” better about it, and whether they “feel” like it’s five percent less and how important that actually is compared to X as it is measured… well, again, something is up.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Man, I wish I could figure out how that comment responds to what I wrote.

        If you think I misunderstood you, then say it. Explicitly.

        And say what you mean explicitly so I don’t have keep playing the Guess What Jaybird Actually Means game.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Well, then, let me add this:

        I am unsure to the extent that “utility” contains measurements of matters of taste… and matters of taste are notoriously fickle. So if someone says “What you’re saying is there are objective values and goals which utility ought to be measured by”, I’d say “no, there are merely subjective values and goals which utility will inevitably be measured by and then, next year, tastes will change, as tastes do, and we’ll be measuring things that are no longer appropriate to measure and not measuring new things that we should but that probably won’t matter because it’ll change again a few years after that and we’ll find ourselves in a similar conundrum.”

        So when you ask “What do we do with subjectively determined utility functions, then? Just put them in their appropriate place?”

        I imagine that we’ll tell people that we know what’s good for them and stuff things down their throat. Eventually, we’ll be unable to ignore that we’re doing more harm than good and talk about the importance of changing everything except for the part about how we’re running it centrally all over again.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        I imagine that we’ll tell people that we know what’s good for them and stuff things down their throat.

        Which pretty much makes my point. you’re doing the same thing when you tell people that their subjectively determined ideas about what improves their lives don’t necessarily improve their lives.

        If you’re just agreeing to disagree with them, then that’s fine. But if you’re saying they’re actually wrong to think that acting on their preferences will improve their lives, then you’re stuffing things down their throat.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Not exactly. If people are pleased that their chocolate ration has increased to 15 grams, that’s great.

        But there is a very real sense that it’s important whether the ration was 10 grams last year or 20.

        The 20 gram possibility, if it does nothing else, demonstrates how little “measurables” are important when compared to *PERCEPTION*.

        And if we agree with that, we’re back to asking such things as how important consent is.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Not exactly.

        Hang on to that slight difference for all it’s worth!Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Not exactly. If people are pleased that their chocolate ration has increased to 15 grams, that’s great.

        But there is a very real sense that it’s important whether the ration was 10 grams last year or 20.

        Sure, there are cases where people think they’re better off when in fact they’re worse off as measured by the objective function they claim to be using, but they should be edge cases. If not, things like “free markets” that require people to express coherent, meaningful preferences would be a total bust. We’d be in a hopeless mess if it was the norm.

        If it was normal for the average person to needed someone else to tell them whether they’re better off, what kind of government would that state of affairs recommend?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        If it was normal for the average person to needed someone else to tell them whether they’re better off, what kind of government would that state of affairs recommend?

        Well, in this case, we’re dealing with one hell of a collective action problem.

        We’re spending X dollars and we feel we should be spending some fraction of that. We’ve got corners of the country that have third-world life expectancy rates, infant mortality, and medical care access problems. To resolve the problems felt by the troughs looks like it will require some of the smoothing of the peaks.

        Fair enough, I’m sure that everybody would be cool with that.

        Now we just have to figure out exactly whether we should believe the politicians who tell us that, despite the fact that we, personally, might not feel better off, there are, seriously, *TONS* of people who have improved their lot.

        And I’d say that “zero sum” all around is the lower level of getting the average person to agree that “we” are better off.

        Because any given person can tell you, quickly and easily, if she’s better off this year than last. It’s the whole “we” thing that she needs information for.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        @jaybird, I’ll tell you this: I will be better off purchasing health insurance under Obamacare.

        Health insurance wise, I occupy one of those troughs you speak of; I have to purchase it on the individual market on one of the most expensive states and I’m over 50. For the last year, we’ve been on an employee-provided plan; this year, we’re back in the individual market. Last time around, it cost us $450/month for a $15,000 deductible. This time, (I’ll find out tomorrow,) it will cost about the same for the $6—- deductible, and preventative care will be included.

        I doubt I’ll qualify for a subsidy; but that’s okay. I’m still a whole lot better off under Obamacare.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Zic, that’s great. I’m surrounded by people who say stuff like “my plan this year sucks compared to last year and that sucks even more than it sucked two years before that!”

        As someone who thinks that zero sum is about as good as we can hope for, knowing some of the beneficiaries (even only as little as one can know another over the internet), that helps deal with the anecdata that I’m constantly inundated with.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        If it helps Jay than i’ll let you know my wife will be immensely helped by getting rid of pre-exisiting conditions as a reason for not insuring someone. She has chronic health problems that mean she will always cost insurance companies money. They will always be paying out for her and for that matter even lumping in what i pay, she costs them money. Knowing she will always be able to get insurance/health care, which she has to have, is huge.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Jay, one other thing: I would be eligible to purchase as a small business, also. Previously, when I had the $15,000 deductible plan, I’d investigated; rates were the same as simply purchasing an individual policy.

        Which leads me to believe that most of the small business and self-employed people I know in this state will also be better off. We’re getting a lot more coverage for a lot less money, and we’ll still be one of the most expensive places to purchase insurance.

        So what’s going to be shocking is places where it’s cheap and will go up; mostly because the insurance was cheap because it didn’t cover people who were already sick.

        And it will be shocking to people who haven’t bothered to purchase insurance, too. I know good numbers of folks who are planning to pay the penalty and continue on as if nothing has changed. They’ll pay out-of-pocket for what care they do get, and risk financial ruin or bankruptcy and public assistance for care they cannot afford or simply opt to remain ill and even to die.

        That choice remains, too.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m surrounded by people who say stuff like “my plan this year sucks compared to last year and that sucks even more than it sucked two years before that!”

        Did they just start saying that after the ACA passed? I don’t think that’s really a new trend. Hearing anybody at all say that their plan improved over the previous year would make me sit up and take notice, because I haven’t heard those words since I started getting grown up jobs about ten years ago.

        The only time my health plan improved without changing jobs was when the startup I worked for grew up and became a big company, which really only serves to highlight the perversity of our system.Report

  6. Avatar NewDealer
    Ignored
    says:

    I don’t think we should have one but I suspect it is going to happen.

    I will ask an open and sincere question: Why do you think we should have a shutdown? Do you believe the rhetoric of the Republicans who are constantly opposed to Obamacare and think it is the worst attack on freedom, liberty, and the economy in all of American history? Or do you want these people to be kicked out?

    Elections have consequences. Here were the results of the 2012 elections: Obama easily and handily won reeelction despite constant attacks on Obamacare. This was not because Romney was a failed messanger but perhaps because people believe in social liberty and economic justice despite what Republicans and some Libertarians believe. The Democratic Party also held onto the Senate quite easily or because the Republican party couldn’t but help nominate people like Todd Aiken as Senate Candidates. The Republicans did hold onto the house but largely because of gerrymandering, not because Republican house candidates won more votes than Democratic house candidates. They did not and this is objective truth.

    Also the Tea Party was quickly shown the door in places like New Hampshire.

    The Republicans do get to negotiate because of their position as the House majority. They do not get to pretend to be in lala land about the rest of the 2012 election. However, there is a strong minority of Republicans in the House and Senate that want to do just that. Did you see the demands? It is basically the Romney platform and some people said it is still not conservative or drastic enough?

    As my brother said in another place, Republican politics has become fantastical. This is not how a part should operate.Report

    • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to NewDealer
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      says:

      If I’d been in the House, I’d have voted against Obamacare every single time. But I would not have voted to shut down the government over it. It’s a step too far, because it sets a bad precedent for how laws are to be approved. I don’t see the Constitution granting the lower house of Congress a veto all on its own, which is what this amounts to.

      As I have said before, I think Obamacare makes several of the problems we had with our mixed-market healthcare system even worse. I think it will make medicine cost more while not improving health outcomes very much. I think that in light of this, it’s a joke to say “oh, at least people are insured” — which then means “oh, at least we are giving out bigger corporate subsidies.”

      Is it the worst legislation ever? No. But it’s definitely bad. I oppose it, but not at any price. Certainly not at the price of constitutional government.

      It’s also bad politics. There is zero chance to my mind that the Democrats are going to back down here. Without Obamacare (and without Obamacare working very, very well), Obama’s legislative accomplishments will have been few. His presidency will be remembered as W part II, a reign of drift, fecklessness, behind-the-scenes power grabs, and ho-hum scandals, punctuated only by Edward Snowden.

      So Democrats have way too much to lose here, and they know that the poll numbers support them, not the Republicans. Americans don’t want the shutdown, and Republicans are going to get the blame for it. That won’t be fun at next year’s elections.

      Worst of all, there’s no graceful way out. I keep asking people who support the shutdown – what do they imagine will be the good policy (or political) outcome here? I haven’t gotten any good answer.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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        says:

        I think we will have to agree to disagree about Obamacare but I agree about everything else.

        The constant House votes for repeal seem to be highlighting the worst aspects of the Congressional system.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Jason Kuznicki
        Ignored
        says:

        They can’t give you an answer for two reasons. First, the Republican Party is fighting to block implementation of legislation that contains mostly Republican ideas. This is why they never answer what the would Repeal and Replace with. Second, much of that fight has been carried out using great sounding rhetoric that’s more often built on lies then the truth. Get caught lying, and it’s hard to answer truthfully.Report

      • Avatar Cascadian in reply to Jason Kuznicki
        Ignored
        says:

        The Republicans should have showed up to improve on National Health legislation. Instead they played the same silly games when it was debated. They chose not to be part of the process then as they are now. No pity.Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to Jason Kuznicki
        Ignored
        says:

        Cascadian,

        They can’t. Ideologically speaking, the closest thing they have to an acceptable solution is the ACA. (After all, it was originally their idea). But since a Democrat proposed it and Democrats voted for it, it’s become ideologically tainted.

        They’re now stuck — the status quo is untenable and disliked, Americans — even the base — won’t accept “Pass a credit check before treatment” as a solution, and the GOP just finished running on “protecting Medicare”.

        There’s no room to the right for a plan that’s not laughed out of the room, they can’t go to the left, and they can’t accept the ACA at all because Democrats and Socialism.

        Which is why you’ve heard “repeal” endless times, but “replace” never has any details. They’ve got nothing. They boxed themselves out of the entire acceptable solution space, and then stupidly made it a centerpiece issue.

        It takes a certain brand of genius to manage that. I’m not sure anyone else has ever tried the “Let’s make a problem front and center, but not after making sure we don’t have and can never have any solution for it!”.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jason Kuznicki
        Ignored
        says:

        Which is why you’ve heard “repeal” endless times, but “replace” never has any details. They’ve got nothing. They boxed themselves out of the entire acceptable solution space, and then stupidly made it a centerpiece issue.

        It wasn’t ‘them’, per se. It was the right-wing media that stabbed them in the back in 2008, creating a Tea Party to constantly attack from the right.

        Granted, they _created_ the right-wing media, but this is more ‘Dr. Frankenstein attacked by his own monster’ than they shooting themselves in the foot.

        But if not for the right-wing media, they could have pivoted and said ‘Hey, we’re glad you’re using our idea, the idea we’ve always wanted it use.(1) BTW, we’re the experts in that, so you better use our ideas.’

        And it would have been the media reporting ‘Democrats agree to Republican health care plan.’

        But the ‘Tea Party’ went STAB STAB STAB.

        1) This requires the American people to have the attention span of gnat to fail to notice the Republicans didn’t do it while they were in power…but the American people do not have the attention spans of gnats, they have…this sentence is pointless, the American people can’t possibly make it to a footnote.

        It takes a certain brand of genius to manage that. I’m not sure anyone else has ever tried the “Let’s make a problem front and center, but not after making sure we don’t have and can never have any solution for it!”.

        The phrase you are looking for is ‘epic fail’. It’s actually rather astonishing.Report

      • @jason-kuznicki

        I don’t see the Constitution granting the lower house of Congress a veto all on its own, which is what this amounts to.

        Strangely enough (or not), while I agree with you that a shutdown is a bridge too far, and I have a problem for numerous reasons with what the House GOP is doing (not the least of which is that I support ACA), I think that Congress’s authority to appropriate funds and its resort to that power to challenge policies it doesn’t like is pretty much one of the things that that power is designed for. Practical considerations aside, I admit there is definitely something wrong about going to this particular extreme to challenge a law that has passed after so much debate and survived a robust court challenge (and I hope I’d say this even if I thought the ACA was bad policy). But I do think the power of the purse needs to mean something, and that can in some cases mean defunding the government.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Jason Kuznicki
        Ignored
        says:

        @pierre-corneille
        I think that Congress’s authority to appropriate funds and its resort to that power to challenge policies it doesn’t like is pretty much one of the things that that power is designed for.

        But Congress passes laws that call for funding; so that creates the weird effect of 1) passing a law that creates budget items and 2) saying you won’t fund those budget items.

        This creates mandates on government agencies while failing to fund those mandates; something that local school districts deal with all the time, something that peeves voters in those districts to no end.

        There is an element of responsibility here; does the budgeting process begin at the level of passing legislation, or does it simply apply to the budget? This is a complex discussion, but at the end of the day simply saying it rests with budgeting seems the wrong way to think of it.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jason Kuznicki
        Ignored
        says:

        @zic
        There is an element of responsibility here; does the budgeting process begin at the level of passing legislation, or does it simply apply to the budget? This is a complex discussion, but at the end of the day simply saying it rests with budgeting seems the wrong way to think of it.

        And it _certainly_ seems the wrong way to think about it when a certain party in Congress does not actually seem willing to pass a budget, or passes one that is completely unmatched to the level of spending already-passed legislation requires.

        Here is what we should do:
        a) Get rid of the debt limit. The entire idea of that is idiotic.
        b) Have the president state that, as a matter of policy, that if Congress does not pass a budget or a continuing resolution or even a resolution saying he must stop, he will continue spending money exactly as before.

        I.e., he in no way claims a power or the power to spend _against_ the consent of Congress, but from now on, if Congress just doesn’t _bother_ to give him spending levels, he will keep spending exactly as before. If they really want him to stop, they need to pass something that allocates money differently.

        At which point I would argue that, constitutional, he _must_ stop spending, even if he doesn’t agree with it. He can not sign it and shut down the government, or sign it and not, but he can’t keep spending at old levels if Congress clearly doesn’t _want_ him to do that. In fact, Congress could even pass a joint resolution saying ‘You must stop spending’, without a presidential signature, and he would have to stop.

        I’m just saying what he should do, and announce he is going to do, is keep spending at old levels _until_ Congress makes some sort of preference known. Think of it as medical care provided to an unconscious person…doctors are allowed to assume consent for that. The president is allowed to assume old levels of spending until Congress bothers to inform him otherwise. The government must not be allowed to shut down simply because a branch of it is unconscious and not providing directions anymore.Report

      • @zic

        I don’t think I necessarily disagree, especially if we’re focusing on why it’s wrong to defund mandates already imposed by prior congresses, and I especially think doing this as a way to appease a minority faction that wants to do away with the ACA is reprehensible. But at the same time, I do think it’s constitutionally legitimate (as Burt Likko said toward the bottom of the blog comments far below) for the House to defund prior commitments.

        @davidtc

        Your idea sounds interesting, and I’ll need to mull it over.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jason Kuznicki
        Ignored
        says:

        @pierre-corneille
        Your idea sounds interesting, and I’ll need to mull it over

        It’s worth mentioning that this is essentially what we _already_ do, but for some reason just for ‘essential’ services. This has absolutely no constitutional basis whatsoever, nor is there actually any definition of ‘essential’ anywhere.

        So I say the president should just say ‘As far as I am concerned, the entire Federal government is essential. You want it to stop functioning, well, you’re the legislature and you can do that. But you have to actually _do_ that, you can’t just ignore-the-budget into a government shutdown.’

        Actually, I think the president should go the other way, and shut down every single aspect of the government he can. That’s it, it’s over, everyone go home. Then we’d never do it.

        Of course, I’m the sort of person who has argued in the past that, in any hostage situation, the police should give people sixty seconds, and then just shoot through the hostage or storm the bank or whatever. Sure, we’d have casualties at once, but then people would _stop taking hostages_.

        Same with a government shutdown. Let’s blow the place up, leave government buildings unattended for looting, no FBI, no social security, no military pay…and let’s see if it _ever_ happens again.

        But as that is unrealistic, I say the president should just continue to assume the same budgeting as before unless told otherwise.Report

      • @davidtc

        I guess you’re right that that’s how it’s already done. I confess to having a bit of a sentimental attachment to the notion that the King needs to get his funds from the purse-holders before he can do anything, not that there was ever a time when such was really the case.

        As for “shut the whole thing down (as much as possible)” approach. It might work.Report

    • Avatar David Patrick in reply to NewDealer
      Ignored
      says:

      The remaining GOP members have convinced themselves that they are the silent majority. Or actually a really loud, vocal, crass minority that believes the silent majority supports them. Most of this has to do with their either shouting down or cutting ties with anyone that isn’t a froth-mouthed tea partier within their social circles or getting all their daily information from a slow, poisonous, corrupting diet of fox news and talk radio.

      I turned on one of the weekend talk shows locally trying to catch weather and instead got a blast of a bunch of inbred gun nuts talking about how they needed to copy the liberal playbook to eliminate any non-conservative media because the liberal media had obviously targeted Glenn Beck for destruction, which explained how Prophet Beck The Chosen One had been supposedly destroyed which I guess is their phrase for how he went from a vast radio talk-show empire and crappy Fox News talking head and chalkboard show to a vast radio talk-show empire and online subscription streaming television network featuring dozens of immature conservative pundits trying to recreate the Glenn Beck And Chalkboard dynamic so that they can get a show on Fox News instead of The Blaze.

      The more I hear them talk the more my brain wants to commit suicide.Report

  7. Avatar Russell M
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    says:

    as liberal i predict we shut it down because we no longer have a fully functioning government. maybe the President plays hardass this time unlike, say every other time the budget comes up and he gets all debt-fetishist. Maybe the medical device tax thingy could be thrown in as a face saver because my party is dumb and weak all the time.(Democratic)

    If the Dems do play hardball i expect it will all roll til the 17th, and that’s where the real fun is. Boehner has to let something pass at some point that will pass the senate and get signed. otherwise things really do fall apart.Report

  8. Avatar Burt Likko
    Ignored
    says:

    About a week ago, Dennis Sanders found an image that elegantly describes what I see as going on:
    Report

  9. Avatar Michelle
    Ignored
    says:

    The Cruz wing of the Republican Party are toddlers. They’re stamping their feet, plugging their ears, and shouting “NO” as loud as possible. Unfortunately, shouting “no” is the extent of their program. They have nothing to propose other than giving Obama the finger.

    If the government shuts down, they should and will get blamed for it. And I sure hope they lose a lot of elections because of their recklessness.Report

  10. Avatar Russell Saunders
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    says:

    This does make me wonder if the GOP plan to shut down the government every time there’s a Democrat in the White House from now on.Report

  11. Avatar James K
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    says:

    The people I feel most sorry for in the event of the debt ceiling being struck are the Treasury officials, probably because I can most easily see myself in their place. They will be forced to triage government spending with no direction from the legislature. That means nay decision they make will A) have a profound effect on the US economy, B) piss a lot of people off and C) be in some sense illegal.

    I can only hope Obama of the Treasury Secretary gives them some direction, because making calls like that is what the higher-ups are for.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to James K
      Ignored
      says:

      That means nay decision they make will A) have a profound effect on the US economy, B) piss a lot of people off and C) be in some sense illegal.

      Which unfortunately only adds fuel to the political/partisan fires about Who’s To Blame. There’s something for everyone to bitch about! What’s been happening over the last few years is a perfect case study on Why Democracy Sucks.Report

    • Avatar morat20 in reply to James K
      Ignored
      says:

      Offhand, if I were President and faced with this idiocy (debt ceiling, not government shutdown) I’d simply assert that the most-recently passed budget or CR implicitly authorized the government to borrow and order Treasury to borrow as needed.

      I’d point out that a CR or budget authorized a certain level of spending, and that any laws prior to the most-recent CR or budget that restricted the government’s ability to borrow to meet that level of spending were in conflict with the CR/budget, and as is standard — the newer law overrides the older.

      And while only Congress my authorize borrowing, I would then argue that passing a spending bill that exceeds the amount Treasury has is a de facto authorization to borrow.

      Then I’d call it a day.

      Nobody has standing to sue, and even if they did — the Courts won’t touch it. (And even if they did, the President’s argument is quite strong. He is literally faced with two contradictory directives by Congress, choosing to go with the most recently passed — the budget — is merely common sense). Congress won’t impeach him — I mean they could try, but it’d turn out worse than Clinton because at least with Clinton they had a blue dress. Here they’ve got a President who spent the money they told him to spend, and not a penny more or less.

      Killer case there. “Impeach Obama for doing exactly what Congress told him to do. EXACTLY”.

      And the rest of the world? They’d take it, because they know ultimately the debt will be valid and redeemable.

      I suspect that’s Plan B for Obama, though, mostly because he doesn’t want to give the GOP room to act even more like idiots. Letting them know he has a way to prevent catastrophe means they’ll just pull the trigger.Report

      • Avatar James K in reply to morat20
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        says:

        I’m not sure that will work, any risk that the debt might be later ruled illegal would make the bond markets nervous. Best-case that will make borrowing more expensive for the US government.

        I would prioritise repaying debt (so as to avoid total disaster), then start withholding pay for politically powerful groups – starting with congressional salaries. Then wait for the anger to build up.Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        James K:

        What you’re suggesting is illegal. The President lacks any authority whatsoever to prioritize Congressional allocations.

        It has less Constitutional cover than my proposal, because mine at least relies on precedence. Yours requires the President to just flat out seize a power he’s never held.

        Yours is basically “The President should just claim he has a line-item veto and use it” whereas mine is basically “Congress passed two conflicting laws, I should follow the most recent”. (Implementing law is the President’s purview)Report

    • Avatar Russell M in reply to James K
      Ignored
      says:

      Mint the coin! Mint the coin!

      it’s one of the least illegal ways to keep the doors from blowing off.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to James K
      Ignored
      says:

      Obama mints the coin and every trader in the TBond pit will explosively and simultaneously defecate.Report

      • Avatar Russell M in reply to BlaiseP
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        says:

        so no down side then? Cant convince anybody to bail out again(short of Obama using his green lantern powers) so would finally punish the right people for once?Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        If the guilty parties were all tied to light posts up and down Connecticut Avenue and the stupid whipped out of them, very few of them would actually be Congress Critters. We’d have to bus them in from every corner of the nation: the big money morons who’ve put the Tea Parties up to this insurrection.

        This is a revolt against the Republican Party. Perhaps I’m alone in so thinking, but all I see is the Speaker of the House grasping at handfuls of sand. The tighter he squeezes, the more sand falls out. Boehner cannot win this fight and he understands it. Anyone looking at this morning’s market feeds knows it, too. Dow, NASDAQ, S&P, all up.

        Nobody cares. The markets know Boehner is a pussy and the only supporters of this shutdown are far away from Washington. After the last go-round with the debt ceiling, Boehner telegraphed all his punches this time, giving the Far Away Folks time to take positions and avoid any stampede for the exits. This mess was timed to the minute. Obama hasn’t even been hit yet and Boehner knows it, too. A rump constituency of Actual Republicans tried to get some votes to abort this launch but they couldn’t manage the trick.

        It was a narrow scrape, getting ACA through SCOTUS. If ACA was going to be whacked, that’s where it would have happened. It didn’t. ACA is a fact of life now. What, then, is the rationale for the shutdown? To break the back of the organised GOP under Boehner’s leadership, putting the speaker’s gavel in the hand of that doctrinaire maniac Eric Cantor. That’s what’s really going on here.

        If the GOP had any sense, they’d propose some useful changes to ACA, I’ve outlined quite a few myself. The Tea Parties have no intention of proposing reforms. They’re like a dog tugging at a rope. They enjoy the fight more than they want the rope. Obama is just a Paper Devil, the reality is, this is a fight for the heart of the GOP.

        Previously, I alluded to the French Revolution and the Mountain under Robespierre. The Mountain condemned the Girondists to the guillotine, one and all. But the revolution got away from them and eventually the Mountain was condemned to the same fate. The GOP have played with fire. Let them burn.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        @blaisep I think you may be right. This is a remaking of the Republican Party. There’s been a long process of getting rid of the conservative voices. They ostracized Bruce Bartlett, for crying out loud. Perhaps it’s just a continuation of that same game.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP
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        says:

        The speeches of the great orators of the assemblies of the French Revolution are very interesting reading from this point of view. At every instant they thought themselves obliged to pause in order to denounce crime and exalt virtue, after which they would burst forth into imprecations against tyrants, and swear to live free men or perish. Those present rose to their feet, applauded furiously, and then, calmed, took their seats again.

        On occasion, the leader may be intelligent and highly educated, but the possession of these qualities does him, as a rule, more harm than good. By showing how complex things are, by allowing of explanation and promoting comprehension, intelligence always renders its owner indulgent, and blunts, in a large measure, that intensity and violence of conviction needful for apostles. The great leaders of crowds of all ages, and those of the [French] Revolution in particular, have been of lamentably narrow intellect; while it is precisely those whose intelligence has been the most restricted who have exercised the greatest influence.Report

  12. Avatar KatherineMW
    Ignored
    says:

    Your funeral (more applicable to the debt ceiling than shutdown). It’s rather fascinating to observe the most powerful nation in the world holding a gun to its own head and saying “stop caring about whether people can afford medical care, or we’ll shoot!”Report

    • Avatar James K in reply to KatherineMW
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      says:

      Unfortunately a crisis in the US is going to inflict problems on the rest of the world too.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to James K
        Ignored
        says:

        I don’t know if the government shutdown will, but default on the US debt absolutely would. I’m considering whether that’s a price worth paying for the end of the world’s last remaining empire, and am currently leaning towards “yes, it is”.Report

      • Avatar Shazbot11 in reply to James K
        Ignored
        says:

        They won’t default on the debt. It’s an empty threat.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to James K
        Ignored
        says:

        We call it Great Depression II: Revenge of Hoover.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to James K
        Ignored
        says:

        @Shazbot11,
        A LOT of folks thought the Congress would NEVER allow the “poison pill” of the Sequester to take effect either. But they swallowed it rather then make actual decisions. Subsequently some Republicans went around crowing about it as a “victory” after decrying the military cuts in it. Your call, but saying these folks would NEVER do something seems to fly in the face of recent evidence.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to James K
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        says:

        They might default on the debt. I’ve seen no indications that the current far right of the Republican party understands policy well enough to comprehend the implications of defaulting on the debt. They might pull the trigger without grasping that the gun is actually loaded.

        It’s a small percentage chance, perhaps, but it’s there.Report

      • Avatar James K in reply to James K
        Ignored
        says:

        @katherinemw

        I’m considering whether that’s a price worth paying for the end of the world’s last remaining empire, and am currently leaning towards “yes, it is”.

        When empires fall apart, small nations tend to get hit by the shrapnel. A slow decline would be better for everyone.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to James K
        Ignored
        says:

        KatherineMW, when the US goes it doesn’t mean the end of empire. It means that its China and to a lesser extent Russia’s turn to dominate the world and believe you me both nations are really looking forward to it.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to James K
        Ignored
        says:

        There are a lot of behaviors that US hegemony has held in check. If the US, for good reasons or bad reasons, suddenly becomes hardcore isolationist, I imagine that there are a lot of regions that are going to stretch and flex their muscles and turn into hot spots.

        Israel/pretty much everybody else is the first one to come to mind and I don’t know how a 12-day war would turn out. I have a handful of ideas, though.

        Germany seems to have been noticing how the whole “equality” thing in the EU might be less efficient than establishing some countries as “management”. Also: Poland has just been sitting there with the same borders for, like, 50 years.

        Russia is shaking its head like it woke up from a nap and is trying to get rid of cobwebs.

        China seems to have figured out that it, apparently, is sick and tired of being on the wrong end of the trade deficit… and India is a lot closer than the US, all things considered.

        If everybody can just avoid the use of nukes, I’m sure it will work out in the old-fashioned way.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to James K
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        says:

        China doesn’t appear interested in global political power, in the sense of interfering in the internal affairs of other nations or in regional politics outside of East Asia. It’s certainly cultivating economic power, but its definition of its “national interest” is far less all-encompassing that America’s. And neither China nor Russia – especially not Russia – have anything that approaches the United States’ military might (US annual military spending is around $682 billion; China’s is less than a quarter of that, and Russia’s is even less). Russia is a regional power now, not a global one. Germany has zero interest in military power or assertion and seems frustrated by its preeminent position in the EU rather than desirous of greater influence/responsibility. The EU will deal with its internal economic troubles in its own way, but the chances of actual conflict are zero – we’re talking about nations that don’t even monitor their borders any more. A number of regional powers that are limited in their actions and aspirations is far preferable to a global empire that doesn’t know when to keep its military to itself, defines every event anywhere in the world as a pressing national interest, openly asserts a right to use aggressive war as a foreign policy tool, and is has a comprehensive spying network covering not only its own citizens but those of many of its allies.

        And if the US stopped giving billions annually to Israel, being tightly involved with them on weapons development and purchasing, and blocking every attempt in international institutions to criticize their illegal occupation and colonization of the Palestinian Territories, it would change Israeli behaviour a ton. Probably for the better. The Arab states are ready to make peace, and even have an offer on the table that the Israelis have repeatedly rejected. Without US backing, the Israelis would have far stronger incentives to compromise.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to KatherineMW
      Ignored
      says:

      You may find it fascinating, Katherine. I find it humiliating.Report

    • Avatar NewDealer in reply to KatherineMW
      Ignored
      says:

      The problem is that we can largely afford it in other ways that most nations (including very wealthy nations) cannot.

      It will hurt but we can recover. The issue with the debt default is that will be a world crisis and super-problematic.

      I must admit that this makes Parliamentary systems look more attractive because a situation like this would just result in a no confidence vote and early election or nothing like this would ever happen.Report

  13. Avatar BlaiseP
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    says:

    Seems to me we’re pretty much reduced to hostage negotiations with the GOP. I’m told the GOP is now in a state of fervent ecstasy, jihaadi mentality at work.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to BlaiseP
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      says:

      IMO this has been the case for some time amongst a segment of the leadership as well as the base. Perhaps the recent boil has brought them out to the top of the solution, where they can be seen and smelled more clearly.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Burt Likko
        Ignored
        says:

        “At last it grew too dark to fight. Then away to our left and rear some of Bragg’s people set up ‘the rebel yell’. It was taken up successively and passed around to our front, along our right and in behind us again, until it seemed almost to have got to the point whence it started. It was the ugliest sound that any mortal ever heard — even a mortal exhausted and unnerved by two days of hard fighting, without sleep, without rest, without food and without hope…”

        – Narrative of then-Lieutenant Ambrose Bierce, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, XXI Corps, Army of the Cumberland, at the Battle of Chickamauga (Last Union defenses on Horseshoe Ridge, September 20, 1863)Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Burt Likko
        Ignored
        says:

        Concurred. Someone at the NRO tweeted a quip about President Obama negotiating with Iran but not the GOP. Matt Y correctly pointed out that the GOP is more like a nation saying “We will bomb everything unless you give in”Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Burt Likko
        Ignored
        says:

        NewDealer – Hey, it’s how the GOP deals with other nations when they’re in power.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Burt Likko
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m writing a post on Iran, still digging vigorously. The comparisons between Rouhani and Boehner are pretty good. Only one difference. Where Rouhani’s only beholden to one Ayatollah, Boehner is beholden to a mob.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Burt Likko
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        says:

        I think Boehner gave up all semblance of control at this point.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Burt Likko
        Ignored
        says:

        Oh, to be a fly on the wall of the GOP cloakroom. Weepin’ John Boehner has more cause to weep now than ever. The gods have answered the earnest prayers of the stupid, in full. Having made his bed hard, let Boehner lie in it.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Burt Likko
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        says:

        BlaiseP, I’m pretty sure that Boehner is drunk or desperately wants to get drunk at this point. At the end the saner members of the GOP are going to need to violate the Hastert rule and side with the Democratic members of the House to get things done. I hope Pelosi manages to get a lot of concessions out of them and humiliate them to no end.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Burt Likko
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        says:

        @leeesq : if only. This is the opening salvo of a long, long war. I foresee at least six months, perhaps as long as two years, of continued trench warfare. This ain’t going anywhere fast. This fight has been inchoate since Obama was elected.

        Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes his aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces; but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered–that of neither has been answered fully.Report

  14. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    To what extent is the consent of the governed important?Report

    • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      I think the governed have consented to Obamacare. They did elect the people who voted it in a few years back. They did just vote for Obama a year ago in an election fought substantially on that issue.Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      not much if you’re in the Tea Party.Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      How about an answer from you, since you ask the question so much? How does the question of the consent of the governed inform disputes like this exactly, when everyone on both sides of it are among the governed? (That’s not a statement disguised as a question: it’s a real question that I don’t know the (or my or your) answer to.)Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Michael Drew
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        says:

        Michael, the problem here is the vast majority of the governed support keeping the government open and paying the national debt, so the Tea Party is NOT acting with the consent of the governed by shutting down the federal government or causing a debt limit breach. The minority of Americans they represent have, frankly, lost the opportunity to raise this much stink since they’ve supported candidates in national elections who have lost, and since the Supreme Court has ruled the ACA Constitutional. SO yes, that small minority can certainly register its political displeasure, and it can work to either get more people it supports elected, or develop and get passed alternate proposals. What that minority can’t do, even as the governed, is pull down the entire government structure (and cause additional economic hardships) because it has lost those prior fights. That’s not how we roll here in the U.S.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Drew
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        says:

        How does the question of the consent of the governed inform disputes like this exactly, when everyone on both sides of it are among the governed?

        I think that the question of the consent of the governed is pretty fundamentally tied to the validity of any given government. That is: if a government does not have it, then the government is not valid. We got into this in the democracy forum, of course, but even “democracy” isn’t valid in and of itself when neither (or any) choice on the ballot represents an option that would carry with it the consent of the governed.

        Now what do we do when we’ve got a 55-45 (or 60-40, or 70-30, or 80-20) split on the topic? Well, this is why I like federalism. We can have a split and it doesn’t matter because there is likely to be a community out there for anybody where consent is enthusiastic. Massachusetts can be Massachusetts, Idaho can be Idaho, Florida can be, sigh, Florida.

        Now we get into issues where we talk about such things as fundamental rights that become the business of the Federal Government that the Federal Government needs to protect despite the desires of the members of any given community and, of course, from there, we find ourselves in the weeds again.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Michael Drew
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        says:

        @jaybird

        My question about federalism or broader appeals to localism is that we can always get more local until we are simply a collection of individuals. So you say Massachusetts can be Massachusetts, but can Boston be Boston and Western MA be Western MA even if those two things are different? If so, then why bother to recognize Massachusetts? Furthermore, can Beacon Hill be Beacon Hill and Dorchester be Dorchester? If so, why does Boston matter? Then can Boylston Street be Boylston Street and Newbury Street be Newbury Street? Can the 600 block be the 600 block and the 500 block be the 500 block? Obviously, Jaybird’s house can be Jaybird’s house and Kazzy’s house can be Kazzy’s house, but I never quite know what lines matter and what lines don’t beyond that.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Michael Drew
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        says:

        And Texas and North Carolina can be places where folks know perfectly well that people like them aren’t supposed to vote.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m personally a fan of the idea that one’s Mayor has more impact on one’s life than one’s Governor, and that one’s Governor has more impact on one’s life than one’s President… based on the ease with not only meeting with the executive in question but in the ease of getting rid of the executive If It Came To That.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew
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        says:

        To be honest, @jaybird, I’m pretty lost with respect to your thinking on this subject, or should I say term, at this point. You’ve been talking about it here for years, and pretty much nothing you’ve said about it beyond it being an ‘it’ that the government should strive to have, has made any real concrete sense that relates to the actual world to me. I’m inclined to let you think of it your way at this point and I’ll continue to think of it in mine, and if the twain don’t meet, I’m not going to worry about it. I’d point out, though, that, to the extent I do understand what you are trying to do when you bring up the term, getting reactions like this isn’t what it would look like if that aim were succeeding at all. I could be wrong about that.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Michael Drew
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        says:

        Well, in my own view it’s a form of trolling, since everyone on *this* board knows the problems with clearly articulating the parameters of “the consent of the governed”, or what constitutes the “tyranny of the majority” and how all this stuff is embedded in specific conceptions of the role of government and pragmatics and utility and ideological presuppositions and political possibility and whatnot.

        It’s an old dead horse, in my view.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Drew
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        says:

        I’m inclined to let you think of it your way at this point and I’ll continue to think of it in mine, and if the twain don’t meet, I’m not going to worry about it.

        Sounds to me like you’ve got it perfectly.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        Well, in my own view it’s a form of trolling, since everyone on *this* board knows the problems with clearly articulating the parameters of “the consent of the governed”, or what constitutes the “tyranny of the majority” and how all this stuff is embedded in specific conceptions of the role of government and pragmatics and utility and ideological presuppositions and political possibility and whatnot.

        And those that see those problems as painfully relevant for this particular discussion not are not true “everybody on *this* board”.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Michael Drew
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        says:

        No. Of course not. It’s more like this: you throw out an issue about the consent of the governed as if it will stop non-libertarians in their tracks in quizzical wonder. But we’ve all thought of this stuff before. On top of that, your solution to the consent of the governed problem is ideologically driven, so it’s rejected by anyone who doesn’t share your presuppositions.

        And on top of all *that*, you already know all those things.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        But we’ve all thought of this stuff before. On top of that, your solution to the consent of the governed problem is ideologically driven, so it’s rejected by anyone who doesn’t share your presuppositions.

        It seems to me that this particular disagreement on presuppositions is at the root of the problem *AND* that the problem we’re seeing manifest itself in this particular debate is getting worse and not getting better *AND* that it will continue to get worse.

        But saying that to someone of a fundamentally different ideological bent probably would come across as “trolling”.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        But saying that to someone of a fundamentally different ideological bent probably would come across as “trolling”.

        Well, given your analysis, I think the answer is Yes! It's trolling. You know that peopel disagree with you and *also* that you have no hope of changing their minds. So all you're doing is trolling for antagonistic reactions.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew
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        says:

        I’m inclined to let you think of it your way at this point and I’ll continue to think of it in mine, and if the twain don’t meet, I’m not going to worry about it.

        Sounds to me like you’ve got it perfectly.

        So your point of your bringing it up is to make sure people end up not giving a fish what you’re talking about?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Drew
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        says:

        You know that peopel disagree with you and *also* that you have no hope of changing their minds. So all you’re doing is trolling for antagonistic reactions.

        While I might not be able to change their minds, I *DO* hope that when something breaks, we remember to ask the question “did anyone say that this was going to break?” If the answer comes “just the trolls”, I look forward to doubling down and finding out what happens when we ask the question a fifteenth time.

        So your point of your bringing it up is to make sure people end up not giving a fish what you’re talking about?

        Not exactly. I’d rather they settle on something akin to “live and let live” rather than “I should impose what I think would be good for him despite what he thinks because I don’t give a crap about what he’s talking about.”Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Michael Drew
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        says:

        @jaybird

        Were I to be gay and live in NJ, I’m not sure that my mayor could tell me my marriage was invalid and, with it, all the rights and privileges bestowed upon married folks. Christie did just that. That’s pretty damn impactful.

        Do you think that there are some things which shouldn’t be left up to the locals, however that term might be defined?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Drew
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        says:

        Do you think that there are some things which shouldn’t be left up to the locals, however that term might be defined?

        Sure, there are *TONS* of things that shouldn’t be left up to the locals! But it’s not that I think that these things ought to be left up to the states or, god help us all, the federal government.

        Back around 2004-2006, would you have wanted gay marriage to be left up to the states because the locals were so horrible? The feds?

        Heck, when I first started commenting here, I thought that we were in the tail end of barely being able to squeak a Constitutional Amendment “protecting” marriage through. Now we have 13 states that recognize it (window CLOSED).

        But without getting into marriage theory and the proper role of government, manila folders, legal documents, etc, I’d say that in a country with exceptionally broad (if exceptionally shallow) opposition to gay marriage that having pockets where gay marriage is recognized is 100% preferable to One Central Policy.

        The fact that public opinion has swung (and thank goodness!) to vague approval (though I suspect it’s still shallow) of gay marriage makes me personally happy but I’m still vaguely (though shallowly) apprehensive about slamming down One Central Policy. Not because I’d disagree with the policy but because, in a couple of years, we’re going to find ourselves in another situation that I have no idea what it is… but I do suspect that pockets of approval will be better than One Central Policy would be.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        @jaybird

        But surely there are things for which One Central Policy is ideal, yes? I mean, let’s start with what is probably the most obvious example: No murder. Now, it is highly likely that each locale would independently arrive at that meaning it is more of a Unified Policy than One Central Policy, but how do you reach a point where all the locales would do that? Because there certainly exist locales, not in America really, but elsewhere, that do not subscribe to a strict prohibition on murder (and some would even argue that America lacks such stringent objection based on their view of abortion). But one way to get all locales to such a point is to impose the value until it becomes the norm.

        But that’s easy. Surely no one is going to defend murder as we traditionally mean that term.

        What about freedom of speech? Freedom of religion? Ignore for a moment all the ways in which these One Central Policies have been chipped away at and pretend the One Central Policy is true to the words of the Constitution. You and I both know there are places in this nation which likely would not support either of these ideas (with folks on both sides of the aisle taking part). Would you be comfortable saying that Ohio can be Ohio if that meant Ohio was a state that banned the open practice of Islam? Or if it meant Ohio made it criminal to call someone a faggot?

        I’m sure that, somewhere, there exists a line for you (and for us all). I’m trying to get a sense of where you would draw this line, would it be fixed or dynamic relative (e.g., right now SSM is on one side of it but perhaps in 100 years it will be on the other), and by what overall guiding principle would you seek to determine what goes on which side of the line?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Michael Drew
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        says:

        I *DO* hope that when something breaks, we remember to ask the question “did anyone say that this was going to break?”

        When that happens, you’ll get all the credit that you’re do, bro.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        I mean, let’s start with what is probably the most obvious example: No murder.

        Kazzy, is “murder” a Federal Crime or a State Crime?

        Your example is obvious to you but it’s not obvious to me.

        Ignore for a moment all the ways in which these One Central Policies have been chipped away at and pretend the One Central Policy is true to the words of the Constitution.

        Given that it seems to me that the One Central Policy in any given situation is to twist the words of the constitution rather than be true to it, it’s difficult for me to concede the point that this would be a good policy if only we could enact it properly this time.

        I’m trying to get a sense of where you would draw this line, would it be fixed or dynamic relative (e.g., right now SSM is on one side of it but perhaps in 100 years it will be on the other), and by what overall guiding principle would you seek to determine what goes on which side of the line?

        I’d be happy if more people adopted the whole “if this is none of my business, it’s none of the government’s” rule of thumb. I’d be giddy if, prior to that sentence, people said “if it’d be none of your business, by extension it’d be none of mine”.

        Two guys or gals getting married strikes me as something that is definitely, 100%, none of anybody’s business. This is one of those rules of thumb that gets a surprisingly high amount of people agreeing on stuff, I’ve found. Someone drinking == nunya, someone driving drunk == my business. Someone homeschooling == nunya, someone engaging in child abuse == my business. Someone selling tie-dyed t-shirts on the corner == nunya, someone dumping tie-dye wastewater into the storm system == my business. You can come up with complex examples where you can get a bar fight going but it takes a little bit of effort.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        Would you support a One Central Policy that enacted the Nunya Rule?

        I should note that, generally speaking, I support the Nunya Rule. If you remember, I was the guy arguing that I ought to be (and probably am, but who knows) powerless when it comes to how many personal watercraft my neighbor wants to keep in his front yard (I think he’s got 3 right now, among other things), regardless of its impact on my property value. Only should they leak oil into my well or some other such thing happen does it become my business.Report

      • Avatar Cascadian in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        @jaybird Are you arguing a federalist position here? The Feds should go back to a loose umbrella with plenty of state sovereignty?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        It seems to me that such a policy, if official and signed/sealed/everything, is self-contradictory. It’d need to be based in the culture rather than in the government.

        Culture does a *LOT* of heavy lifting. I suspect that the good things that make what (for example) Obamacare aspires to provide possible in the first place will end up changing the culture for the worse (and by “worse”, I mean “unsustainably”). But maybe I’ll be wrong about that.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        I’d be happy if more people adopted the whole “if this is none of my business, it’s none of the government’s” rule of thumb.

        Well, I’ve never been murdered, so whether someone else wants to murder another person is none of my business. Especially if I’m already dead!Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        Are you arguing a federalist position here? The Feds should go back to a loose umbrella with plenty of state sovereignty?

        I’d probably go for a couple layers of federalism and say that the States themselves should be a loose umbrella for their various counties and the counties themselves should be loose umbrellas for their individual citizens.

        It’s sovereignty all the way down.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        Is it any of my business if some factory wants to pump toxic poo into the water in Bama or Colorado; that doesn’t really affect me so is it my business. Is it my business if other people are screwed over or the market leaves them without insurance as long as i have a good deal?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        See, I would think that it’d be obvious how “Murder” would be “my business” (as, say, theft, or spousal abuse, or rape). I think that someone poisoning my well would be “my business”.

        As such, someone murdering you would be “my business”, as would someone stealing from you, or beating you, or raping you, or poisoning your well.

        Is this *REALLY* that difficult a concept? Or is it just difficult imagining a “libertarian” holding it?Report

      • Avatar Cascadian in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        @jaybird I’ve seen you mention the Constitution in some of your recent comments. Do you believe that this string of umbrellas concept is supported by the Constitution? Maybe ensuring republican government? I don’t believe that this conception of the constitution works with the fourteenth amendment which pretty much abliterates any notion of robust States rights. It also has the problem of hiding ones personal preferences. One often runs into, but the feds should do x that is their proper role. The Feds should be in charge of National Security. True National Security only comes at the will of God, freedom can only be found in the bonds of the church…..Does this argument encourage hiding preference for one more layer? Or, is it just the way you wish it would be?Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        No Jay its really easy to see how many things are my business and yours. So the better question seems to more pragmatic discussions on what to do about them. Saying the gov should stay out of my business if just fine, and i agree, but it doesn’t really say all that much. There isn’t actually a party saying they want to stick their noses in peoples business over things that don’t effect anybody else. Everybody genuflects to privacy and freedom and cuddly kittens but they will still say gay marriage leads to polygamous underage box turtle marriages. Simple statements of principle are great but are usually phrased to lead us to the correct true and banal answer.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        Is this *REALLY* that difficult a concept? Or is it just difficult imagining a “libertarian” holding it?

        No, it’s difficult because of all the background assumptions you’re making that render the claim a truism for you, but which are opaque the way you’ve presented it. Those background assumptions – what they are and where they’re circumscribed – are precisely where the disputes arise. But you want to skip right over them.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        See, I think that actual incorporation of the various amendments would result in a lot more individual sovereignty… but, of course, we also have “general welfare” and “interstate commerce” getting in the way thus allowing for such policies as “The War On Drugs” (which is, pretty much, at the root of plurality, if not the majority, of the problems with crime in the country as well as perpetuating racism in some pretty subtle ways, etc, I’m sure you’ve heard this rant).

        Would it ensure republican (note the small ‘r’) government? Well, that’s not necessarily the goal outside of the goal of assumption of limited interference on the part of the state.

        Does this argument encourage hiding preference for one more layer? Or, is it just the way you wish it would be?

        I don’t understand the questions. Could you rephrase?Report

      • Avatar Cascadian in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        @jaybird Does this argument encourage hiding preference for one more layer? Or, is it just the way you wish it would be?

        I don’t understand the questions. Could you rephrase?

        Sorry about that. I cringed when I reread the post after hitting send. Those two sentences aren’t related. It was basically is this your understanding of the constitution or just your preferred form of government. The first part was just continuation of the previous musing on some of the misuses of the argument.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        I think that my preferred form of government is some weird ana-socialism/ana-cap amalgam.

        Given that utopia doesn’t, and won’t, exist, I like the idea that would allow for the most diversity of cultural and governmental experimentation within the country and allowing for people to vote with their feet when stuff gets too weird for them. An over-arching policy would result in homogeneity and while I love the idea of universal gay marriage, I know that an over-arching policy for gay marriage, in recent memory, would have meant a ban.

        Vigorous incorporation would solve a *LOT* of problems… but we can’t even get the feds to agree to follow the Bill of Rights. Why expect the states to?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        And to bring us back to the shutdown thing, I suspect that the shutdown is what a percentage of the population actually wants. A largish minority. Yay, teabaggers!

        It seems to me that a system like the above would allow for the teabaggers to live in “Let Him Die!” states and the good people to live in the “Womb To The Tomb” states.

        “But what about immigration?”

        Yeah, well.Report

      • Avatar Cascadian in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        @jaybird So, we’re both going to agree that the top umbrella has jumped the shark as to what their jurisdiction is. After Raich there are no limits. How is this reversible? If it were reversible what is the proper role of the Federal Government? What do they get to decide for everyone? Is the value of what you believe should be their role worth the abuse that is reality?Report

      • Avatar Pierre Corneille in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        @jaybird

        Back around 2004-2006, would you have wanted gay marriage to be left up to the states because the locals were so horrible? The feds?

        At that point, up to the feds, because it was already a federal issue because of DOMA, and only the feds or some branch of the feds stood any chance at ever dismantling it (barring a state-convention-initiated, pro-ssm constitutional amendment movement). Even pre-1996 the feds were at least involved by implication because people like to sometimes travel outside their states, and something that one group of people takes for granted was not available to another group of people. Same thing for people who don’t cross state lines but use any form of federal services that discriminate against them based on who they’re married to. I suppose one solution is to end those services altogether, but that probably wouldn’t have the consent of a majority of the governed.

        And even in 2005-2006, the feds having a say might be preferable to locals having a say when the locality is one not only ill-disposed to ssm but in favor of vigilante violence and “gay panic” defenses.

        I do get your point. The feds under Obama are friendlier than (presumably) the feds under Romney. My point is that complications abound, and to ask “local, state, or feds….take your pick” is the wrong question, and “let the mayor have the most influence than the governor, and the governor more than the president…” is only part of the answer. For some issues, the feds need to do it because the mayor and governor won’t, and on other issues, the mayor needs to do it because the governor is a jerk and is buddy is in the White House.

        As for “consent of the governed,” that’s a hard nut to crack. We don’t know know what the governed has meaningfully consented to and what it must consent to because it has to. We have proxies for knowing–polls, elections, demonstrations, civil disobedience, letters to congresspersons, blogs–but we don’t know. Common sense, which can be wrong, seems to suggest that the governed don’t consent to the shutdown. Common sense also suggests that when it comes to support for the ACA, the consent is 50/50 and varied, probably a majority opposing the more controversial provisions like the mandate, and probably a majority supporting the idea of local area pricing (provided they keep prices in control) or rules against discrimination based on preexisting conditions.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        For some issues, the feds need to do it because the mayor and governor won’t, and on other issues, the mayor needs to do it because the governor is a jerk and is buddy is in the White House.

        My general assumption is that in many situations where the above is true, there will still remain pockets where the Mayor *WILL*. Or the Governor will say “this is none of my business, thus I will tell the cops it is none of theirs.”

        Common sense, which can be wrong, seems to suggest that the governed don’t consent to the shutdown.

        My circle seems to have a lot of people celebrating the shutdown. I’m not saying it’s representative, of course, but they loved the sequester, they love the shutdown, and they’re looking forward to the next bit of gridlock. There are pockets out there that love it.

        Common sense also suggests that when it comes to support for the ACA, the consent is 50/50 and varied, probably a majority opposing the more controversial provisions like the mandate, and probably a majority supporting the idea of local area pricing (provided they keep prices in control) or rules against discrimination based on preexisting conditions.

        This strikes me as something that would be a magnificent example of something that could be left up to 50 different cauldrons letting 50/50 splits work themselves out through local tweaking of legislation where the differences are small and self-sorting where the differences are large.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Drew
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        says:

        How is this reversible? If it were reversible what is the proper role of the Federal Government? What do they get to decide for everyone? Is the value of what you believe should be their role worth the abuse that is reality?

        Reverible? Well, there are precedents. I imagine that we agree that just because the federal government (or a branch of it) says X on this particular date doesn’t mean that they have to say X forever. For a while there, there actually was a bit of movement on the Supreme Court to limit Wickard until Scalia was offered the choice between limiting Wickard and punching a hippie and he couldn’t help himself… a 4-5 decision there (even the wrong way) would have signaled a bit of a sea change away from the 9-0 decision held in the past.

        There should be an assumption that stare decisis is not a virtue in its own right, of course… but I’m pretty sure that everybody already agrees with that (at least, there is no shortage of examples).

        If it were reversible what is the proper role of the Federal Government?

        In the absence of time enough to write a proper essay, I’d say that the limitations enumerated in the Constitution provide a fairly decent outline.

        What do they get to decide for everyone?

        I really like the idea of them stepping in to make sure that the states have incorporated the BoR. They should do that a hell of a lot more than they have in recent years.

        Is the value of what you believe should be their role worth the abuse that is reality?

        What are beliefs for, if not making reality’s abuse worth it?Report

      • Avatar Pierre Corneille in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        “My general assumption is that in many situations where the above is true, there will still remain pockets where the Mayor *WILL*. Or the Governor will say ‘this is none of my business, thus I will tell the cops it is none of theirs.'”

        And yet, it would suck to have to relocate not to be in those pockets, and although you’re not saying this, I think that taken to one extreme, that way of looking at it could eventually get us to “if you don’t like it, leave.” But you probably would have a good counterpoint that it’s better to have a system where some independent-ish pockets can exist if the overall nature of things is bad. My main point, though, was that things are very messy, and (although you might disagree) too messy for drawing sharp distinctions between the local, state, and federal, assuming I read you correctly as arguing for that.

        “My circle seems to have a lot of people celebrating the shutdown. I’m not saying it’s representative, of course, but they loved the sequester, they love the shutdown, and they’re looking forward to the next bit of gridlock. There are pockets out there that love it.”

        Well, as I said, common sense can be wrong. But the people in those pockets are not all of the governed.

        “This strikes me as something that would be a magnificent example of something that could be left up to 50 different cauldrons letting 50/50 splits work themselves out through local tweaking of legislation where the differences are small and self-sorting where the differences are large.”

        Yeah, maybe. I’m inclined to be skeptical that much meaningful would be done. But skepticism is not argument, and I can’t insist I’m right on this. I wouldn’t mind an enabling law that facilitates states’ authority to do such experimentation, which would likely intrude on some of Congress’s dormant power to regulate interstate commerce.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Drew
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        says:

        I think that taken to one extreme, that way of looking at it could eventually get us to “if you don’t like it, leave.”

        Believe it or not, I have been told this enough times to make me think that we’re already there.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        @kazzy “But surely there are things for which One Central Policy is ideal, yes? I mean, let’s start with what is probably the most obvious example: No murder.”

        But there is no central policy on murder in the US. Every US state currently has and has always had their own policy. And while the US has an exceptionally high homicide rate for a nation of its GDP level, that rate has dramatically and famously declined over the last couple decades, suggesting central policy on homicide – or lack thereof – really isn’t a factorReport

      • Avatar Pierre Corneille in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        @jaybird

        I don’t think we are there. And to be clear, I’m not accusing you of saying it and I’m not saying that that’s the only or necessary logical conclusion to what you’re saying.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        Part of the decline in the homicide rate can be attributed to the rise of the surveillance state. Fewer cases go cold these days. The days when just changing out a SIM card could guarantee some measure of anonymity are gone.

        The gangs still have considerable power and there’s always been a peculiarly American gunslinger mentality which leads to gun-related crimes. But we’re putting away murderers with greater efficiency and precision than ever before. We’re also capable of tracking weapons as never before: the price of an unregistered gun on the street is rising. Five times the price of the same weapon in the store. Fewer people are attempting straw purchases of weapons for crooks.

        And the prison system is becoming more efficient at identifying trouble. Lots more psych evals, far more intrusive background checks on people entering the penal system. These folks are being cut out of the herd and tracked within an inch of their lives.Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        I dunno, I find the lead hypothesis pretty convincing. (Although even it’s biggest proponents don’t claim it’s ALL the reason, and the consensus seems to be maybe half the crime drop is due to lead abatement).

        Kevin Drum talks about it constantly, but he’s right in that there’s both plentiful research, a well-known mechanism (we know what lead does in the human brain), and quite a number of interesting studies (interestingly enough, one key component of the best studies is the fact that different states phased out leaded gasoline at different times — which means you can run some fun comparisons that yield interesting data).Report

      • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        Support for the lead-toxicity-to-crime hypothesis is my most surprisingly counter-ideological opinion:

        https://ordinary-times.com/blog/2013/01/05/great-fact-little-factReport

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        I’d probably go for a couple layers of federalism and say that the States themselves should be a loose umbrella for their various counties and the counties themselves should be loose umbrellas for their individual citizens. It’s sovereignty all the way down.

        My problem with this comes down to budgets (aside from the fact that at least in most western states, counties are legally creations of the state and have never been sovereign [1]). The flip side of the sovereignty argument is the responsibility to provide funding. Increasingly, rural counties can’t fund their own government. In Colorado, there is a substantial flow of dollars out of the Front Range counties to the rural counties of the Eastern Plains and Western Slope to fund schools, roads, and social services. There are subsidies for infrastructure like communications and electricity that flow the same way. Just this year the rural school districts lost their case in court that, in effect, the Front Range owed them an additional billion dollars per year in school funding [2]. If the tax increase issue on the ballot this November is passed, new formulas that favor rural districts go into effect. Part of me simply wants to say, “You can be as sovereign as you can afford.”

        [1] Using Colorado as an example, there have been a fair number of cases that have reached the state supreme court where counties have asserted sovereignty of one form or another; they’ve lost them all.

        [2] The case started with rural districts as plaintiffs. Some of the Front Range districts added themselves once it became apparent just how much money would be shifted to education if the case was successful.Report

      • Avatar Cascadian in reply to Michael Drew
        Ignored
        says:

        Jaybird, “This strikes me as something that would be a magnificent example of something that could be left up to 50 different cauldrons letting 50/50 splits work themselves out through local tweaking of legislation where the differences are small and self-sorting where the differences are large.”

        Michael Cain, “The flip side of the sovereignty argument is the responsibility to provide funding. Increasingly, rural counties can’t fund their own government.”

        Currently, there is little ability for States to go their own way because the Feds suck up the tax dollars to spend in places they aren’t received from….. damn socialists. If this were changed, I would see the funding impass as educational. Alabama or Eastern Washington wants to complain about getting their “fair share”? Get Government out of my SS. Yeah right buddy. Time to quit with the talking and get walking.

        Jaybird, “Believe it or not, I have been told this enough times to make me think that we’re already there.”

        Canada is a great place from which to watch this debate. The Kid, and her friends, have health insurance and an actual functioning society…. amazing.Report

  15. Avatar Shazbot11
    Ignored
    says:

    Am awaiting the Republy-clipse.

    I filled my bath tub full of water. (Or rather, I left my dirty, soapy bathwater there.) Someone told me this is a good idea.

    I have assembled as many canned goods as possible. Will be tired of canned pumpkin, kidney beans, and Fancy Feast very soon.(Maybe I should mix them?)

    I have rocks for smashing windows and looting. (Just kidding, NSA) Once electricity is gone for good, I figure it will be a good idea to grab as many big screen TV’s as possible. They will be the new money soon.

    I found some old football pads and adorned them with feathers and black paint. I bought some leather pants and cut holes in them. Am currently looking for a crossbow and an old motorcycle.

    Those who want to join my gang need some kind of motorized conveyance, the stranger the better, tattered leather clothing and 80’s hairstyles.

    Catch the wind, Boehner.Report

  16. Avatar zic
    Ignored
    says:

    I wonder on one thing here:

    Shutdown timing so nicely coincides with ACA open enrollment on the exchanges.

    So perhaps the real intent here is to 1) discourage enrollment, 2) overshadow from news reporting on enrollment, and 3) disable any government employees working to solve enrollment snafus as they begin.Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to zic
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      says:

      Won’t happen. The exchanges have already been paid for, so the state ones will open just fine, and the federal ones will open, since they are mandatory spending and like the federal workers processing Social Security checks, the exchange folks keep coming to work (while not getting paid). So enrollment can proceed, and I don’t think being in the news will stop anyone from registering. Ignorance might, but not the news cycle.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Philip H
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        says:

        Yup. And it’s not like the GOP hasn’t voted to repeal/suspend/delay/obstruct the implementation of ACA provisions any number of times. They just happen to have more leverage right now to advance those goals.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Philip H
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        says:

        Stillwater, I don’t think they have more leverage. They have louder rhetoric, but real leverage would mean they had introduced a real “Repeal & Replace” bill, and it was working through the Senate independent of government funding and the debt limit deadline.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Philip H
        Ignored
        says:

        Philip, the CBO scored the GOP’s Repeal and Replace as deficit increasing. Which is sorta ironic given the rhetoric.

        “They told me that you had gone totally insane, and that your methods were unsound.”
        “Are my methods unsound?”
        “I don’t see any method at all, sir. “Report

  17. Avatar David Patrick
    Ignored
    says:

    The ability of the GOP base to engage in cognitive dissonance never ceases to amaze the sane people in the world.Report

  18. Avatar NewDealer
    Ignored
    says:

    Here is what I don’t get:

    1. X amount of Republicans seem to think that Obamacare will wreck havoc and destroy the American economy. I don’t believe this myself but whatever it is not an unreasonable belief that a piece legislation will have unintended consequences and be bad for the economy.

    2. Therefore, the Republicans are willing to destroy or damage the American economy (and possibly World economy) in order to prevent Obamacare from happening.

    This seems to be the kind of “We needed to destroy the village in order to save it” mentality that was criticized heavily in the Vietnam War.

    Now a quote from Kevin Drum:

    “The Republican Party is bending its entire will, staking its very soul, fighting to its last breath, in service of a crusade to….

    Make sure that the working poor don’t have access to affordable health care. I just thought I’d mention that in plain language, since it seems to get lost in the fog fairly often. But that’s it. That’s what’s happening. They have been driven mad by the thought that rich people will see their taxes go up slightly in order to help non-rich people get decent access to medical care.

    That’s a pretty stirring animating principle, no?”Report

  19. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Out of curiosity, is the general consensus that a government shutdown will destroy the credibility of the Republican party if not irreparably damage it for elections to come?

    Shouldn’t the Democrats be salivating at the thought of a shutdown, then?Report

    • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Only if they are extremely politically partisan and hacky.

      Perhaps Democratic politicians and supporters believe that the damage done by the Shutdown is not worth the destruction of the Republican Party. Policy and compassion for the people over electoral politics. Democratic people believe in the importance of government and how it helps people. We don’t want federal employees to go unpaid and we think the Federal Courts need to stay open, passports need to be processed, etc.

      Perhaps the Democratic Party recognizes the need for a loyal opposition in a functioning country.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      The Republican Party has already destroyed their credibility, imo. They’re just forging new links for the chain they’re dragging around like Marley’s ghost.

      Shouldn’t the Democrats be salivating at the thought of a shutdown, then?

      No. Markets are already diving all over the world. Federal workers who get furloughed and not paid means cutting back on spending. CDC will stop operations to handle disease outbreaks, just when we’ve got people coming in from all over the world to attend colleges and children back in school — times where germ spreading increases. Anyone newly eligible for Social Security will have to wait until government restarts to begin collecting their benefits. And the cost of restarting government after a shutdown is huge; that’s money just flushed down the GOP stinkhole.Report

    • Avatar morat20 in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Not really, the consensus is people will blame the Republicans — partially because they’ve got a bit of a history with this, but mostly because they spent a lot of time about six months ago explaining how they’d use the debt ceiling and the prospect of shutting down the government as ‘leverage’ to get their agenda enacted.

      I know, it’s horribly unfair to act like they’re somehow at fault, eh? 🙂

      As for the Democrats — you are aware that Democrats, by and large, feel government is a useful, necessary thing and prefer it actually functioning? A shut down government is one that is, in fact, not functioning. Moreover, every day it’s shut down actually costs more money than when it’s running in the long-run (people get back pay after it’s resolved, but didn’t do work. Stuff piles up and things slow down. It’s an expensive hassle).

      So no, the Democrats aren’t salivating at the thought of a shutdown. They feel it’s a ‘bad thing’ and that it will ‘negatively impact lives’ and strange as this may sound, very few Democrats want bad things to happen to people just to score partisan points.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        Good response, @morat20.

        I would add to this that everyone knew that the status quo was unaffordable; it simply increased the federal deficit beyond bearing, and the burden of paying for health care is beginning to cripple economic growth already (like when people get their houses foreclosed because of medical bills or small business can’t hire people or those people are so poor, even though they’re working, they qualify for foodstamps and their children of SCHIP and perhaps Medicaid, which will vary by state.)

        So we had this big national debate about health care, and the GOP put its fingers over its ears and na-na-na-we-can’t-hear-you. And they contributed nothing. I watched our president, in a meeting with the GOP members of Congress, all by his lonesome wipe the floor with their sorry asses. And then he took what good ideas they’d floated as a distraction the time before we had this big national debate, and he implemented them. And then he one reelection by a huge margin.

        I honestly believe we would have had a better law if the GOP had engaged and participated. Fact is, I think we would have had a more liberal law, instead of the conservative pretense of a free market system in a nation where much of health care — seniors and veterans and Medicaid recipients — already receive socialized, single-payer insurance.

        This isn’t an argument with the Democratic Party, it’s an argument in the Republican Party. And the only way to solve it is for moderate Republicans who despise what’s going on to vocally commit to participating in Republican primaries and support people who will participate in the governing process.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      If there ever was any institutional memory of a working Congress, it’s long since gone. It never worked very well. During the Cold War, most differences were attenuated. That’s about as far back as anyone can remember. Since the 60s, it’s mostly been a dog fight, each party desperately trying to rebrand themselves as the Party of the People. The GOP has won the race to the bottom. If the government shuts down, that’s as low as you can go.

      I wouldn’t be the first to compare this Congress to the 37th Congress. It’s hard to tell if the GOP even represents this nation any more.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Shouldn’t the Democrats be salivating at the thought of a shutdown, then?

      Do you mean this question seriously?Report

    • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      1) I think that people are overestimating the extent to which the Republicans will get all the blame. Democrats are likely cautious on that point as well.
      2) This is a really creepy way of looking at things. People who care at all about good governance should not want disasters to happen, even if it scores them political points.

      It’s abundantly clear that the Republicans are well around the bend on this as they gave up the notion of governance a long time ago. Advancing a rigid ideology and remaining in power are the only two metrics they seem optimize for. Real world consequences of those actions don’t seem to be interesting to them.

      The Democrats are hardly angels, but they do seem to have some notion that “avoiding disasters to the extent possible” is part of their job description, and they try to fit it in alongside advancing their ideology and keeping their jobs.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Troublesome Frog
        Ignored
        says:

        The Democrats are hardly angels, but they do seem to have some notion that “avoiding disasters to the extent possible” is part of their job description, and they try to fit it in alongside advancing their ideology and keeping their jobs.

        Is it possible, however unlikely, that the Republicans are taking this approach to Obamacare or is that just crazytalk?Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to Troublesome Frog
        Ignored
        says:

        Crazy talk.

        Have you listened to their case against it? I mean when your go-to move is “Death Panels” I don’t think we’re required to belief you have a serious problem.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Troublesome Frog
        Ignored
        says:

        Is it possible, however unlikely, that the Republicans are taking this approach to Obamacare or is that just crazytalk?

        I think it’s likely. The subset who are driving this thing probably really believe that they’re doing the right thing. They’re just a dangerous mixture of ignorant and crazy. But the Republican party has plenty of adults in it who know just how dangerous this is and who should be putting the brakes on it. Given the choice between doing the sane thing and playing politics, they’re choosing to play politics.

        If Obama said, “Single payer or I’ll launch missiles at Hong Kong,” we’d think he was evil. If he truly believed that single payer was what we needed and that Jesus would personally protect us from the Chinese counterattack, it might reflect marginally better on him, but only marginally.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Troublesome Frog
        Ignored
        says:

        This is waaaay past Blame Game. This isn’t even “The Republicans” any more. Sure these people have (R) after their name but whatever they’re not, it’s not a political party. This is a mob. It’s obvious Boehner has lost control of them, not that his grip on them was all that firm. This is Ted Cruz grinning and mugging for the camera. The Mountain under Robespierre, the entirely foreseeable — and preventable — consequence of all that brave talk (and little else) of Revolution in Madame Roland’s salon. Someone would translate all that talk into action, as Lenin had seized control of the Russian Revolution from the do-nothing maniacs who started up that mess.

        The GOP has summoned up the demon, now let them manage him. Easier to bring them up from Hell than return them thence. This will be the end of the GOP as we know it, wretched, intellectually bankrupt tribe of effetes.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Troublesome Frog
        Ignored
        says:

        At this point it seems to me that their go-to moves now include “you won’t be able to keep your plan like Obama promised!”, “It will cost you more money!”, and “the exchanges will be a fiasco!”

        (I’m basing this on Instapundit and Drudge, by the way. They seem to be the political wing of the terrorist group.)Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Troublesome Frog
        Ignored
        says:

        Effing Drudge is no terrorist. He’s the blogosphere’s yappy Pomeranian.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Troublesome Frog
        Ignored
        says:

        JB, are you sad you can’t participate at Redstate anymore?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Troublesome Frog
        Ignored
        says:

        Not particularly. The editors there were big government conservatives who cared more about their team exercising and keeping political power than about the actual outcomes of their desired policies. Watching them evolve from 2004 to 2008 until just after their team lost a couple of *HUGE* elections was very interesting, though.

        When I’ve gone back recently, I’ve noticed a lot less active discussion in comments and a surprising amount of support for flavors of Conservativism that, while aren’t libertarian per se, have much more sympathy for limited government (as well as respect for its other branches) than was found under Dubya.

        It might be fun to go back and ask many of the same questions I asked back in the naughties but… Eh.

        I do like to think that a lot of the questions I may have risen unbidden to mind between 2009 and 2010… but I’m sure that they were brushed away with stuff like “all libertarians care about is weed and sodomy”, though.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      For the record, one of my friends on facebook just “liked” this statement by Robert Reich:

      The issue we are about to face as a nation has nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act or any of the other of the demands Republicans are making. It has to do with political extortion: Republicans’ threats to close the government or default on the nation’s debts if they don’t get their way. The President and the Democrats must not negotiate. Once you start negotiating with extortionists, there is no end to it. Extortionists will hold the nation hostage again and again. Any law on the books they don’t like, any tax their wealthy patrons detest, any regulation their corporate bank-rollers would like to do away with, any subsidy or bailout their Wall Street underwriters desire, will be fair game.

      Let Republicans carry out their threats. Let America see them do it and experience the consequences. And then let us send the Republican Party into the dust bin of history.Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Is this not true? Look at what was attached to the first CR passed by the House – it was literally everything short of, “oh, and we’d like Obama, Biden, and the 4 liberal members of the Supreme Court to resign as well.”

        http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/359534/revealed-house-gops-debt-ceiling-plan-jonathan-strong

        Imagine if in 2007, the Democrat’s released a congruent series of demands, or they’d stop spending the funding for the Iraq War? They’d be rightly laughed off. If Obama or Reid acquesices to any one of these demands, we’ll engage in this same route of insanity every year.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        I didn’t focus on the “true” or the “false” portion of what he wrote as much as the “Let the Republicans do this and then we’ll have Democratic Supremacy” part.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        I didn’t focus on the “true” or the “false” portion of what he wrote as much as the “Let the Republicans do this and then we’ll have Democratic Supremacy” part.

        But’s that disingenuous without the reasoning behind it: that they’re making extortionistic demands and that it’s bad policy to cave to extortionists. That you view his statement as advocacy for the shutdown on the grounds that it will reflect poorly on the Republicans is a strained reading, to be sure.

        One that requires a well functioning liberal decoder ring. I thought yours was broken?Report

      • Avatar Shazbot11 in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        No one ever accused you of focusing on the truth, JB.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Let Republicans carry out their threats. Let America see them do it and experience the consequences. And then let us send the Republican Party into the dust bin of history.

        It honestly doesn’t strike me as that disingenuous of a reading… certainly with the reference to “the dust bin of history”.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Jaybird, could it be that when he talks about the “dust bin of history” he’s talking about methods and not ideas or politics?

        Does the man need to say that explicitly for the interpretation to be valid (as if context wasn’t enough)?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        See, I thought it was a deliberate shout out Reagan’s use of the term (itself a shout out to Trotsky)… and its attendant triumphalism.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Now you’re definitely just trollin.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        “any subsidy or bailout their Wall Street underwriters desire, will be fair game.”

        hmm, talk about revisionist historyReport

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        For the record, while I’m pretty sure that nobody in the Democratic caucus really wants a government shutdown, they’re perfectly willing to tolerate one for at least fourteen days if they think the GOP will shoulder the blame for it and if the alternative is to roll back legislation that they think doesn’t deserve to be held up.

        “Screw it, let it burn” isn’t exactly an accurate description. I think it’s more along the lines of, “Well, if your negotiation partner won’t negotiate without feeling some consequences, I guess we have to have some consequences. Let’s see how they feel after two weeks of their constituents calling and complaining… and how they feel after the markets take a drubbing for a couple of weeks and the money starts calling and complaining.”

        Personally, I think the GOP is taking the ass-backwards approach. They held all the votes, they had their last ditch stand, if Boehner was smart and if he truly believed that Obamacare was going to be a screwup, the right thing to do is to say, “We did everything we could aside from shutting down the government and jumping off the fiscal cliff to prevent this from happening. We think this is terrible law. But, for now, we seem to be stuck with the terrible law” and then spending the next year hammering on every single thing that could be called terrible about Obamacare’s implementation.

        As it stands, I don’t see anybody showing up to pull a lever for a GOP candidate unless they’re really, really invested in pulling a lever for the GOP candidate. A goodly portion of both parties is kind of wishy-washy. They don’t show up unless you give them a reason to show up.

        Knowing that if you pull the lever for somebody, you’re more likely to have your retirement account tank twice in four years when debt negotiations go sour, you lose a lot of gumption to get off your butt and go to the polls.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        For the record I “liked” that one too.Report

      • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        I think this poll pretty firmly establishes which side is to blame for the shutdown, and indeed which side actively supports the shutdown:

        http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2013/images/09/30/rel10a.pdf

        In particular go to pages 10 and 11. Not surprisingly, the poll shows that the overwhelming majority of people, by a 68-27 margin, think the shutdown is, in and of itself, very bad news. But then look more closely – the numbers vary dramatically by political and ideological identification, with a full 40% of Republicans and 37% of conservatives viewing a shutdown as a good thing as compared with only 9% of Democrats and 13% of liberals.

        But then look even more closely – there is one, and only one, group of people that on average views a brief shutdown as a good thing: self-identified Tea Party supporters, and it’s not even close. They view a shutdown as a good thing by a 56-34 margin.

        What’s important is that self-identified Tea Party supporters are essentially synonymous with the GOP’s “base,” with the power to strike fear into the hearts of any Republican congressman or senator who dares to cross them. If the bulk of Tea Party supporters favor a particular course of action, and favor it passionately (as is clearly the case here), then virtually all Republicans in Congress will have little choice but to pursue that course of action lest they risk a primary or third party challenge or, if they’re a so-called “moderate” in a swing district, risk having a sizable block of reliably Republican voters needed to hold the seat stay home on election day.

        If the Dems cave to end the shutdown quickly, their base won’t punish them very much unless the deal reached is absolutely terrible. They won’t cave, though, and the reason they won’t cave is that it’s pretty pointless to control 2/3 of the elected branches of government, including the most powerful 1/3, if you’re going to allow a minority of members of the 1/3 you don’t control to singlehandedly dictate the agenda for all three elected branches.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        @mark-thompson this is a somewhat depressing analysis. Moreso because I can find nothing in it to critique, and no way out of the stalemate other than the one suggested by Secretary Reich quoted in @jaybird ‘s upthread comment, which could not be realized until 2014 and thanks to the gerrymandering probably not even after that except in marginal districts.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      I, as a Democrat, want a shutdown, but only because I’d much rather have the Republicans shoot the country, and themselves, in the foot, than to have them a showdown over the debt ceiling in two weeks, which would be the Republicans shooting themselves, and the country, in the head.

      The difference between what _you_ asked and the left asking ‘Wouldn’t the right be happy to see the ACA go into effect and fail’ is that the actual worse case scenario under the ACA is that…insurance rates rise and medical spending goes up. Really, the worse case scenario is that in a couple of years we find the ACA does not function well, insurance companies are going bankrupt, and we have to repeal it.

      Whereas a government shutdown is an _immediate_ bad thing for everyone. And a default is, uh, really really bad.

      There’s a difference between ‘I hope he _does_ try his magic act, then you’ll see how bad he is’, which is what the right should be saying if they really believed it, and ‘I hope he does try his trick of juggling nitroglycerin, chainsaws, and kittens, then you’ll see how bad he is’, which is what the left is reluctant to let happen despite believing it will hurt the juggler.Report

    • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Oh Jaybird.

      The Democrats love the country SO MUCH that they are unwilling to cheer for its harm. Even if it means that Republicans might not bear the full weight of the blame for ruining it.Report

  20. Avatar NewDealer
    Ignored
    says:

    @jaybird

    If someone lives in a city like New York are they more effected by their Mayor or their Congressperson? How about their Mayor or representative to the State Legislature? City Council?

    Am I more connected to Ed Lee or Nancy Pelosi by being in a smaller-sized city.*

    *Yes this is my New York snobiness coming in.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to NewDealer
      Ignored
      says:

      I only live in a dinky flyover city but it’d be fairly easy for me to meet with my city councilman and, for that matter, my mayor (I’ve actually met two or three of the mayors of Colorado Springs in various circumstances). I’ve been to my (federal) Congressional Representative’s office but never met the guy while I’ve shaken the hand of my (state) Congressional Representative.

      I’m guessing that my experience is, no pun intended, representative of most of the country… I think that most people would be able to meet their State Rep if they only tried to do so, meet their mayor if they only tried to do so, they’d probably have to actively avoid meeting a city councilperson, and they’re unlikely to ever interact with anybody above that.

      I think I’ll indulge your New York snobiness by pointing out that the dynamics that exist within New York City aren’t representative of much of the country outside of, perhaps, LA and/or Chicago.Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        What if we meet our state legislator/local Mayor and come to the conclusion we want them to have as little power as possible?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        I’d suggest voting them out. What better way to ensure that they’ve got no more power than you have?

        (While I’m here, I should also acknowledge that there is *NO* Utopia, just a bunch of various places where the trade-offs are preferable to the trade-offs available elsewhere. My idea is that it’s better to have people pick the trade-offs that they prefer to enacting trade-offs for everyone to make because the latter is a recipe for losing the consent of those on behalf of whom you’re trading-off.)Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Growing up near New York and living in it skews my perceptions of what a city should be like including in size.

        To most people, San Francisco’s 800,000 people is pretty big. To me, it is less than 1/3 the population of Brooklyn. Even my San Franciscan friends call SF “The incorporated villages of San Francisco”Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        “I’d suggest voting them out. What better way to ensure that they’ve got no more power than you have?”

        What if I’m a conservative in Los Angeles or a liberal in Alabama? Or some other situation where those I’m diametrally opposed too have all the power. At least when Congress passes a crappy law, in theory, they have support across the entire nation.

        But, that’s I guess why you and I have different political views. I look at the antics of many state legislatures, both in craziness and corruption, and even the wackiest Tea Partier in Congress seems sane to them. I can’t think of a world that’s a better place because either the Oklahoma legislature nor the New York legislature (famously corrupt) has a lot more power.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        I’d suggest voting them out. What better way to ensure that they’ve got no more power than you have?

        As long as our government is constructed as it is, whoever holds the Office will necessarily have more power than you (well, for the generic “you”). Electing people with views you agree with doesn’t change that fact.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        What if I’m a conservative in Los Angeles or a liberal in Alabama?

        This is where the “Somalia” solution makes sense to me. Brushing aside the whole “there are dozens of flavors of conservative/liberal” issue, it makes sense that a liberal would be happier in LA and a conservative in Alabama. Self-sorting resolves a lot of tensions.Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        “This is where the “Somalia” solution makes sense to me. Brushing aside the whole “there are dozens of flavors of conservative/liberal” issue, it makes sense that a liberal would be happier in LA and a conservative in Alabama. Self-sorting resolves a lot of tensions.”

        At that point, why are we still one nation? Set up a deal for the remaining debt and a military alliance and call it a day.

        But, unitl then, I believe that even the poor women stuck in Mississippi should have a certain minimum level of care and help from the federal government, and if that requires taking power from the legislature of Mississippi and giving it to DC, so be it. As long as we’re one nation, something as important as health care requires certain minumum standards to be set by the federal government.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        As long as our government is constructed as it is, whoever holds the Office will necessarily have more power than you (well, for the generic “you”). Electing people with views you agree with doesn’t change that fact.

        Well, Jesse specifically asked about what to do about politicians you’ve actually met. If we’re talking about the generic politician in general, I’d say that we need to understand that while there is a difference between the power a manager holds vs. an employee, we’d also establish that there were a lot of areas that don’t fall under the business of management. To that end I’d try to establish a basic and simple concept of “rights”, enumerate some of the most important ones, point out that we haven’t enumerated all of them, and put in place a mechanism to add more rights to our list of the most important ones if I’m feeling optimistic.

        If I’m feeling pessimistic, I’d put a great deal of emphasis on the whole “sometimes you’ve just got to overthrow a government” idea and make sure that any list of rights includes the right to keep and maintain the necessary tools to overthrow a government that has grown too powerful.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        If I’m feeling pessimistic, I’d put a great deal of emphasis on the whole “sometimes you’ve just got to overthrow a government” idea and make sure that any list of rights includes the right to keep and maintain the necessary tools to overthrow a government that has grown too powerful.

        Heh. We all get pissed off sometimes.Report

    • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to NewDealer
      Ignored
      says:

      “any list of rights includes the right to keep and maintain the necessary tools to overthrow a government that has grown too powerful.”

      …and if a couple of thousand of people have to die every year because those tools are easily accessible, that’s the price on the .000001% chance that the government needs to be overthrown violently? Easy to say when there’s only a small percentage chance you’re going to be in the situation to be one of those people whose blood will be spilled.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jesse Ewiak
        Ignored
        says:

        Well, if we’re talking about making sure that ordinary citizens don’t have guns and only “the authorities” do, then, it seems to me, that we’re going to quite quickly find ourselves in a situation where, let me quote you on this, “we meet our state legislator/local Mayor and come to the conclusion we want them to have as little power as possible”.

        But maybe we’ll get lucky.

        (And that’s my attempt to avoid the gun control argument for the umpteenth time.)Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jesse Ewiak
        Ignored
        says:

        Well, somehow the rest of the Western world gets by and indeed, in many ways, pushes back against their government far better than American’s do. After all, Tea Partiers would dream of having the power to stop society that unions in Paris do, and those unions don’t have a weapon between them.Report

  21. Avatar Dale Forguson
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m a very small business owner. The people with the skill set I would be interested in hiring expect health care as part of their compensation package. For a VERY small business owner to enter into that market and purchase a group policy for his employee(s) is prohibitively expensive at a point when all growth is painful and fraught with risk. For that simple reason a national health care plan sounds like a panacea to me and might enable me to grow my business in a more manageable way with more predictable cost. so why am I less than enthusiastic?

    I haven’t forgotten what happened when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress during Obama’s first term. I haven’t forgotten how the Democrats forced a vote on the floor of the House with almost no opportunity to read the Health Care bill, no opportunity to debate, no opportunity to propose amendments. I haven’t forgotten the way Nancy Pelosi gloated about her success and humiliation of the Republicans. So If part of this is retribution well, it is somewhat deserved. It is widely agreed that Washington is a town with a long memory even if most constituents can’t seem to remember past last Tuesday.

    Does that give license to do harm to the nation and to helpless people who may lose their meager source of income at least temporarily? No. Does it make it excusable to interrupt the pay of our servicemen serving honorably in hostile theaters? No.

    Do I agree that all who have a reasonable income should be compelled to contribute to their healthcare cost or be denied care? Sorry, I know it sounds insensitive, but yes I do. People seem to forget that even though the Federal Government spends sums that boggle the mind it doesn’t come from the tooth fairy. We pay for it directly or indirectly or we obligate our children to pay it. Fiscal responsibility should be demanded of our elected officials and of the bureaucracy that is the federal government. To promise any form of additional entitlement which increases the budget deficit is unconscionable. If we care at all for our children’s future we should feel compelled to pay attention to the projections of the GAO and OMB which both indicate inadequate funding.

    Would I like to see a comprehensive law that ensures adequate health care to all, eliminates the abuses of the insurance companies, makes it financially prohibitive to free load the system, and eliminates the state regulation of insurance that is a detriment to competition? Would I like to see significant Tort reform as part of that package? Yes, if it is enacted in a fiscally responsible way. A little common sense would go a long way.

    Is that possible in the present political environment? Not even remotely.Report

    • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Dale Forguson
      Ignored
      says:

      I haven’t forgotten what happened when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress during Obama’s first term. I haven’t forgotten how the Democrats forced a vote on the floor of the House with almost no opportunity to read the Health Care bill, no opportunity to debate, no opportunity to propose amendments. I haven’t forgotten the way Nancy Pelosi gloated about her success and humiliation of the Republicans. So If part of this is retribution well, it is somewhat deserved. It is widely agreed that Washington is a town with a long memory even if most constituents can’t seem to remember past last Tuesday.

      Forgive me for being obtuse, but I’m not sure I understand how this answers the question that precedes it.Report

      • Avatar David Patrick in reply to Russell Saunders
        Ignored
        says:

        It doesn’t, it’s a litany of the partisan lies and bullshit that he’s been getting from talk radio and believing because it came from Rush’s Piehole to His Ears and back again out some other orifice.

        I fully believe he believes what he’s saying but that doesn’t make any of it true.Report

      • @david-patrick

        You might want to re-read Dale’s comment in its entirety. I’m not sure I agree with all of it, but he’s not giving the Rush talking points, and he’s not opposing health care reform. It’s not even clear he’s opposing ACA, but I suppose it’s possible to infer that.Report

    • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Dale Forguson
      Ignored
      says:

      I haven’t forgotten what happened when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress during Obama’s first term. I haven’t forgotten how the Democrats forced a vote on the floor of the House with almost no opportunity to read the Health Care bill, no opportunity to debate, no opportunity to propose amendments.

      I seem to remember that episode being just the last part of about 20 years* of Republicans pulling a “Lucy with the football” trick on every attempt at health care reform. At some point, you just have to realize that when your negotiating partner says, “Wait, let’s talk about this tomorrow,” he’s playing you for a fool.

      I, for one, thought it was a real hoot when the Democrats finally just passed the plan that the Republicans put out as a bad faith counteroffer in the 90s.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Dale Forguson
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      says:

      This is patently untrue, Dale. Obamacare was taken up with the Republicans within days of the President being elected. It was framed in the terms set forth by the Republicans themselves. It was viewed, then and now, as a compromise, an attempt to avoid the failures of the Clinton Administration to get any reforms.

      Take a look through the link provided. It’s understandable that you’d think this was rammed through. It wasn’t. It was Romneycare at a federal level. That’s all it was.Report

    • Avatar morat20 in reply to Dale Forguson
      Ignored
      says:

      You remember that? So when did you come to this reality? Because, you know, I saw an almost year-long process here with about eighty-three zillion attempts to get Republicans on board.

      I mean, I guess maybe Republicans are just slow readers? A year wasn’t long enough?Report

      • Avatar David Patrick in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        [Comment deleted by limerick by Mark Thompson for violation of the comments policy]

        Far too quickly, David went Godwin
        Without any justification for his sin
        It is not hard to say something of substance
        If only David would have given it a chance
        But now let us hope he doesn’t do it again

        Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        And lest anyone accuse you of Godwining, there is a literature on how the Nazzies took propaganda tools developed and utilized in the US and built upon them. Propaganda isn’t the exclusive domain of totalitarians. It’s alive and well in free societies too.Report

      • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        One can call something propaganda without Godwinning. In this particular instance, the reference seems completely uncalled for, as Mr. “Patrick” does not address make any substantive points, but instead simply accuses another commenter of propaganda and compares that commenter to Nazis. That is unacceptable, period, and that comment will be deleted by limerick.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        Deletion by limerick is a Mark of civility,
        Since permitting those comments sanctions inability
        To say what you mean
        Without presonally demean-
        ing. Tho I admit I’m sometimes guiltility.Report

      • Avatar David Patrick in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        I disagree with your intemperate lies.

        I was not accusing the commenter of anything. I was pointing out that on talk radio, these strategies are very much alive and it is FROM talk radio that persons like Dale pick up this nonsense that they then repeat over and over again.

        I want an apology. You had no reason to delete or edit my comment.Report

      • Avatar Mal Blue in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        I want an apology.

        Somehow… I knew he was going to say that.Report

      • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        At absolute best, you were accusing another commenter of lying without providing any support for your accusation while drawing a connection to Nazi propaganda. That is no less unacceptable, and no apology will be forthcoming.

        I suggest you tread lightly, lest you start to remind me too much of people who have been banned in the past.Report

      • Avatar David Patrick in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        I’ve tried to explain my point. Instead of having a discussion you’ve deleted my replies and threatened me instead. What a gentleman you must think you are.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        I didn’t see the comment before Mark’s edit, but it’s hard to believe it was more offensive than the scansion there.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        There was a young man from Japan
        Whose limericks no-one could scan
        When questioned one day
        Why his poems went that way.
        He said: “I try to fit as much poetic content into the last line as I possibly can.”Report

      • Avatar David Patrick in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        My points were that people can say something, completely believe they are saying true things, and be completely incorrect. My second point was that the people currently who do this are overwhelmingly listeners of talk radio and fox news, where the same nonfactual nonsense points are repeated in a 5-minute loop to reinforce the belief that they are true, precisely in the way envisioned in the quotations I brought forth from Mein Kampf and Josef Goebbels.

        I did not at any point accuse Dale of lying. In fact you will see another post from me above where I repeat the point that I believe HE believes himself to be telling the truth, even though he is factually incorrect.

        https://ordinary-times.com/blog/2013/09/30/shutdown-open-thread#comment-626374

        quote, I fully believe he believes what he’s saying but that doesn’t make any of it true., unquote

        What Mark has done to me is bad enough. I do say now for the record that Mark HAS lied about the content of the comment he edited. There was no reason to edit my comment and no reason for him to threaten me.

        Nothing I said is any different from Blaisep saying that Dale is saying something quote patently untrue unquote.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        Oh no you don’t. I addressed the comment, not the commenter. Dale made a statement, I said it wasn’t true and provided some evidence for the statement I’d made, from Mitt Romney’s health care advisor, someone who would know.

        Furthermore, I said it was understandable that he’d take such a position. Dale’s decent people. Earned quite a bit of cred around here, a commodity in short supply by you, David Patrick. Don’t let your mouth outrun your ass, son.

        Now here’s some advice. Read our commenting policy. Back away from the keyboard for a hour. And don’t press that Post Comment button with anything nasty, because you are exactly one step away from that big mouth of yourn outrunning your rhetorical ass into the Ban Pile.Report

      • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        Comments plural? Huh, I only deleted the one and no one else seems to have deleted any.Report

      • Avatar David Patrick in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        Multiple replies from me to you are missing.Report

      • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        Is that a request for me to look at the spam filter? Because if I do that then I will have to make sure that the reason your comments failed to appear wasn’t because you’re commenting from a banned IP address.Report

      • Avatar David Patrick in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        And to Blaisep I addressed the comment too. I pointed out I believe the person saying something believes they are telling the truth. I have no malice towards them for being incorrect. Everyone is wrong from time to time.

        What I question is where they are getting their information from and the fact that they repeated talking points here that are factually incorrect. This is how things that are simply untrue spread. Well-meaning people repeat them not knowing that what they are saying is untrue. You say he is good people. I will cheerfully agree with you. I think he is well-meaning and believes what he is saying. That still doesn’t make his information sources any less incorrect or his statements any less untrue.

        I am not casting aspersions on him as a person. I am and was pointing out the same as you that what he is saying is factually wrong. You can attack me and badmouth me if you like but that makes no difference to me. That someone would lie about my comment, would claim I attacked the person when I did not, and would edit my comment afterwards says more about this site than it does about me.Report

      • Avatar David Patrick in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        I don’t care what you do or lie about now Mark because I’ve caught you lying twice and that won’t change no matter how many comments you delete.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        I assume that, once repeated accusations of lying have been leveled, we know who the mysterious new commenter is, right?Report

      • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        Yup. And for the moment he is again no longer a commenter.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to Dale Forguson
      Ignored
      says:

      I haven’t forgotten how the Democrats forced a vote on the floor of the House with almost no opportunity to read the Health Care bill, no opportunity to debate, no opportunity to propose amendments.

      Congress worked on — that means debated — the ACA for months.

      No Congressperson should be expected to read a long, complex bill; but it is expected that members of their staffs have read it and can advice the Congressperson on the bill. And it is hopeful that the Congressperson is smart enough to have picked staff members with the necessary expertise to do that job properly.

      As far as amendments go, since the GOP had refused to participate in crafting the law, and since they’re only interest is to obstruct it now that it’s passed, this was obviously a good procedural move prevent the GOP from further obstruction; that nice GOP mantra applies here: Up or down vote.

      For a big complex law, the negotiations have to come up front; not after it’s passed. Failure to engage was a strategic mistake.Report

    • Avatar Dale Forguson in reply to Dale Forguson
      Ignored
      says:

      @ Russell Saunders – I didn’t post as a “reply” except to the original thread.

      @ David Patrick – I wouldn’t listen to Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck or others of that ilk for any reason. I find them too offensive to waste my time on. I’m sorry if you don’t agree that our government (both parties) should make an effort to be statesmen instead of acting like children. The main thrust of my comment was about fiscal responsibility. I would much prefer to discuss that reasonably than to hurl insults at each other.Report

  22. Avatar Cascadian
    Ignored
    says:

    “At that point, why are we still one nation? Set up a deal for the remaining debt and a military alliance and call it a day.”

    We haven’t been one nation for a long while if ever. +1Report

  23. Avatar Mal Blue
    Ignored
    says:

    Kolohe is a Republican partisan. Dale Forguson is a Rushbot. Jaybird should be writing on RedState.

    The day when everyone who isn’t on the Democratic page might as well be a rightwing troll is coming sooner than I would have guessed.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mal Blue
      Ignored
      says:

      Actually, Jaybird *did* used to right on Redstate. The other stuff? Ehhh. People look at things thru partisan filters. Even being “non-partisan” can be partisan. It’s just the way things are.Report

    • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Mal Blue
      Ignored
      says:

      You’re unaware Jaybird used to post over at RedState and was thrown out because he was too libertarian, right? Stillwater (I don’t think) was telling ‘Bird to post over at RedState. He was simply asking him in a roundabout way if his views would be better received there now.

      As far as Kolohe goes, he’s a smart guy, but he was using right-leaning false equivalency points and deserved to be pushed back against and Forguson was basically righting like a right-wing talking point machine.Report

      • Avatar Mal Blue in reply to Jesse Ewiak
        Ignored
        says:

        That’s where rightwing trolls belong, on Redstate.

        I didn’t know that Jaybird used to write there or that he was kicked off. I just find it interesting that his views belong more over there than they do over here. Or that there’s that perception anyway.Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jesse Ewiak
        Ignored
        says:

        Again, Stillwater wasn’t telling ‘Bird to post over there. He was simply asking if ‘Bird thought his views would get a better hearing today than back during the Bush years. But hey, if you want to fall into the conservative persecution complex, get into line.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jesse Ewiak
        Ignored
        says:

        To be perfectly honest, I read it as Stillwater obliquely asking me if I wouldn’t be happier there.

        I got pissed off then shrugged and answered the question as it was phrased.

        But Blue’s interpretation wasn’t a unique one.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jesse Ewiak
        Ignored
        says:

        Yes, Jaybird has this right. Not Mal Blue, or Jesse. I was essentially asking him if he was sad that he continually had to defend his strained interpretation of liberals (and in my view the facts) with qualifications by posting exclusively at this site. At RedState, he wouldn’t have had to offer the passive-aggresive qualification that Drudge was on the side of “terrorists”. So I was wondering if the burden that *that* fact imposes is as heavy as he makes it appear.Report

      • Avatar Mal Blue in reply to Jesse Ewiak
        Ignored
        says:

        Get a grip, Jesse. This is a blog. Nobody is persecuted on a blog. At least not this one. I find this less sad than I do funny. This is a great site to read and there are some interesting conversations here. I just wanted to take note of where the lines of mainstream are drawn here, and who gets dismissed as so un-liberal that they might as well be a Republican. TVD is gone, but no worry, there’s always someone on the rightward flank.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jesse Ewiak
        Ignored
        says:

        I just wanted to take note of where the lines of mainstream are drawn here,

        Mainstream? What does that mean? It seems like a pejorative to me.

        If you want to argue that there’s a certain level of intolerance at this site, then refraining from negative generalizations when making that argument would be a good place to start.Report

      • Avatar Mal Blue in reply to Jesse Ewiak
        Ignored
        says:

        There is a level of intolerance, but there’s nothing wrong with there being a level of intolerance. There is nothing wrong with this site or its commenting culture. It’s all totally value neutral. People who are too far out of a place’s mainstream are a distraction. They must be trolling if they just said what I think they said. or a partisan Republican. Or close enough to a partisan Republican that we should just dismiss him on that basis. We’d totally engage them if they were talking not so far outside our mainstream, though. But they’re not making any points. Not any that we would consider legitimate. They said that thing and they could not possibly have thought that anybody here (here!) would be convinced, so they must be trolling!

        All totally reasonable and understandable. I mean that. There are people I look at and say that you can’t possibly mean that and you must be trying to get a rise out of me. I felt that way about Bob Cheeks even though I was just a lurker back then. I feel that way about some liberal commenters here. Just because my Circle of Reasonable is over here and your Circle of Reasonable is over there doesn’t mean that I am more tolerant than you (I don’t mean you-you). It just means that I am tolerant of different things.

        Like I said, I am just watching. I told Trumwill that the Circle of Reasonable was moving to the point that a year or two from now he will probably be outside of it. I am marking this point on that graph.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jesse Ewiak
        Ignored
        says:

        The Circle of the Reasonable is – in my view – entirely circumscribed by not only the content of the claim, but the context in which it’s uttered. Some comments lack nuance because the person is struggling to articulate their views and as a result they come off as dismissive of other’s views, which is usually revealed in followups.

        Some comments are intended to inflame precisely because they intentionally lack nuance, and those comments constitute – in my view, anyway – trollery. This is a pretty informed commentariat, for the most part, and most people already know the standard responses to trivial objections to certain views. In fact, the most effective way to convey your won views to someone you disagree with is to assume the strongest case supporting their views and respond to those. Even if the person never articulated those particular view. And I say that fully well knowing that I don’t always do that. (But this is a comment section of a blog, and we all come here for different things.)

        If you think Trumwill’s views will be pushed out in a year or so, then the onus is on him to make better arguments, right? I mean, if we’re talking about arguments here and not merely the expression of views, then the burden is on him to make compelling arguments.

        Here’s a principle dearly held by all realtrueAmericans: every has the right to express their views. Sure. But that’s pretty banal, don’t you think. What’s interesting conversationally is the defense of those views. And there’s lots of room to disagree, no?

        Or is there?Report

      • Avatar Mal Blue in reply to Jesse Ewiak
        Ignored
        says:

        What’s interesting conversationally is the defense of those views. And there’s lots of room to disagree, no?

        Yeah, but those disagreements don’t have to be between liberals and conservatives or liberals and libertarians. They can be between left-libertariants, technocrats, lefties, and populists. The conversations would be no worse for it, or better. It all depends on what you want to discuss. As the audience changes, so does what people want to discuss and what is considered reasonable within the framework of the conversation.

        The Circle of Reasonableness incorporates those ideas that will be seriously entertained. That won’t have you dismissed as an obvious partisan for voicing them. Or a troll. You can argue that no, really, it’s all about the ideas and we are approaching all of them with a completely open mind. Let’s just say that I am skeptical of that. We are too educated, too smart, and have spent too much time thinking about this crap to have a really open mind. And being human and all, are inclined to be dismissive of those that have different ideas. Some will voice this dismissal more intelligently than others.

        The roster of commenters and participants has been changing. Even in the amount of time I’ve been irregularly participating. This isn’t a bad change, but it’s a change. It’s one that has winners and losers. I don’t see the momentum stopping any time soon. I predict at some point, MA is going to return and he won’t actually be caught because he will not be appreciably different from a number of other commenters, and most of the people he hated most ferociously will either have moved on or stopped talking about politics.

        We’ll see if that happens or not. If it does, though, no doubt we can blame it on Trumwill for leaving instead of presenting sound arguments.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jesse Ewiak
        Ignored
        says:

        Mal Blue, I’m not sure there’s any antidote to your concern. Is it that liberals shout dissenting voices down? Is it a tolerance of liberals shouting people down from TPTB? Is it that people shout in disregard of the substance of things?

        I while ago the League Insiders decided to encourage the expression of more views and more topics. That decision alone changed the fabric of the place, one that is very different now than when I first started commenting here. When I showed up, I felt like a liberal alone on an island who would get thrown a bone once in a while from Jesse or greginak – or North, bless his soul – for trying to rectify some of the misperceptions presented as Liberal Thought. There was a lot of, well, not exactly intolerance, but caricaturization of liberal views. And those views derived, it seemed to me, from a position of comfort and the absence of challenge and presented an inaccurate appraisal of liberal views or the facts justifying their views.

        All that aside, things change, yes? So when you say

        no doubt we can blame it on Trumwill for leaving instead of presenting sound arguments.

        what exactly is your criticism? That people aren’t as receptive as they should be to interlocutor’s arguments? If so, then I really do think the burden is on that person to make better arguments. What’s the alternative solution?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jesse Ewiak
        Ignored
        says:

        And btw, better arguments doesn’t mean “more convincing”. It means tailored to make the point you’re intending to make with clarity and adequate justification and don’t imply anything beyond what you’re intending to say. A narrow argument is a good argument precisely because it focuses attention on only a single aspect of an issue. Often, those narrow arguments are the wedge that differentiate people’s more global disagreements.Report

      • Avatar Mal Blue in reply to Jesse Ewiak
        Ignored
        says:

        Stillwater, it would mostly be a no-fault divorce. I am mostly observing and predicting. It’s not up to anybody to make anybody feel welcome. It’s not up to anybody to soldier on where they don’t feel their views are welcome.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jesse Ewiak
        Ignored
        says:

        Btw, to avoid confusion I want to add that Trumwill is included in the set of people at this site who consistently make good arguments.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Jesse Ewiak
        Ignored
        says:

        @stillwater, I agree. It’s pretty odd to be talking about Will without him here participating, but yes. He’s definitely one of the reasons I comment here at all; a sane, thoughtful, and good-hearted conservative who’s willing to have a strong debate and doesn’t get all pissy if he doesn’t win the internets.

        As a liberal, I’m a better person for trying to live up to his example. Others here, too. That is the draw.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Jesse Ewiak
        Ignored
        says:

        I appreciate the kind words. Kind of a weird conversation to stumble across.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to Mal Blue
      Ignored
      says:

      You know, it sort of cracks me up when a debate here devolves to who said what and who called whom what name and you should have said it like this.

      It’s the rut of the marital spat, where we’ve gone beyond actually saying anything to each other.

      And like trying to learn a complex, illusive new thing: that point of confusion is the tipping point where you can learn.

      I’m wondering how this thread will go — devolve into animosity and giving up, retreating to the different corners without a goodnight kiss — or actually learning a new thing, even if it’s just understanding someone else’s deeply-held perspective.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to zic
        Ignored
        says:

        I read this and think of a Dana Gould stand up bit about fighting with his wife long after the actual substance is exhausted, each digging for something to hit back with. “Wait, are you saying that if you were a turtle and I was your owner that I wouldn’t feed you?? Bullshit! I would feed you lettuce! I would oil your shell every day!”Report

  24. Avatar Patrick
    Ignored
    says:

    Those who know me on Facebook have already seen this, but my status from yesterday:

    Dear House GOP:

    Speaking purely as just a political observer, not passing any judgment upon the strength of your convictions or the correctness of your actions, I’m just here to tell you… There’s no way this turns out a winner for you. You know that “running the clock” analogy?

    That’s apropos. Let me remind you, teams do not run out the clock when they are behind. You run out the clock when you know the game is in the bag and you won already.

    Just in case you weren’t already aware, there’s no Joe Montana on your team, right now. You’re not going to get a 90-yard touchdown, a two-point conversion, an on-side kick recovery, another touchdown, and another two-point conversion, just to get this sucker to *overtime*. There’s 12 seconds on the clock. You don’t have anybody who can run 90 yards in 12 seconds!

    And nobody is going to buy the, “Oh, the Senate stalled at the last minute” because it’s a pretty commonly known tidbit of trivia how many attempts you’ve made to repeal Obamacare in the House. Right now the shouts and murmurs in the middle are more along the lines of, “Well, I can’t blame the Democrats for finally getting fed up with this” than they are “Team Blue is abusing procedural rules!”

    Regardless of what happens in the next 16 days, if you think this is a strategy that is going to improve your position come November 2014, please call me. I have a wager or two I’d like to make. To someone not already in the bag for your team, you don’t look like St. George fighting the dragon, and you don’t even really look like the guys fighting while knowing they’re doomed but fighting the good fight anyway. You just kinda look like the definition of crazy, trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

    I can reasonably guess that even Rassmussen Reports polls are going to show that the general public overwhelmingly blames you for what comes out the other end of October 14th. You might score okay on the “likely to vote” crew who self-identifies as Republican, but in the Independents you’re not going to do well (it goes without saying that anybody who wears Team Blue outfits is going to go the other way, but you might actually crack the 95% mark, and that’s saying something).

    I guess that might get some (or most) of you re-elected, but it’s not going to win you any majorities and it’s not going to give you a snowball’s shot at the Senate or the Presidency. And Scalia and Thomas probably aren’t going to make it through 2020, so if you don’t want to see a “Grand Statist Liberal Awakening” with a stacked court through 2035, you might want to consider graciously conceding this one.

    Or, you know, finish cutting off your head to spite your face. Then you can watch Hilary appoint three judges to SCOTUS who make Ginsburg look like Ludwig von Mises.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Patrick
      Ignored
      says:

      “You don’t have anybody who can run 90 yards in 12 seconds!”

      First, I hear Jesus Christ can’t hit a curveball. Now you tell me there is no Republican with a sub-5 40?Report

    • Avatar Patrick in reply to Patrick
      Ignored
      says:

      Make no mistake, the GOP can win the House again in 2014 due to gerrymandering and maybe they can win it again in 2016.

      But I really don’t see them taking the Senate or the Presidency in 2016, which means you’ve got a double Dem package for the next 7 years in deciding who gets nominated to the Court. And there are quite a few old people on the list of current sitting members.

      I think the Roberts court may go from being one of the more Conservative ones to one of the more Liberal ones in the next half-decade.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Patrick
        Ignored
        says:

        Roberts is 58
        Thomas is 65
        Alito is 63

        They’re not going anywhere for a while, and they’re certainly not “mellowing” in their old age. It would be fun to replace Scalia and Kennedy with Jews and drive the TAC crowd completely batty.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to Patrick
        Ignored
        says:

        Kagan and Sotomayor are both pretty young, as well. Ginsberg is getting old. Scalia is getting old.

        Demographics put one of (Thomas, Alito, Kennedy) in the “old enough to be in the danger zone”.

        I get that they all have money and soft lives, but given a bunch of guys in their 70s… one of ’em is at bucket list age.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Patrick
        Ignored
        says:

        Echoing Mike and Patrick, Scalia and Thomas ain’t going out until they’re carried out. So it might be that Obama’s successor nominates their replacements, and if your long-range forecasting is correct, then in the late 10’s or early 20’s before we’d see a very liberal Court again.

        I decline to engage in that long-range of forecasting with any real gravity to my opinion, personally. By all means, get excited about the Court’s future. But I think realism is served by anticipating change at the Court coming very slowly.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to Patrick
        Ignored
        says:

        I decline to engage in that long-range of forecasting with any real gravity to my opinion, personally.

        Eh, I’m not precisely predicting. However, it does seem odd to me that there doesn’t seem to be much “national stage” level strategy going on in Team Red.

        On the other hand Team Blue seems to be banking on Hilary throwing her hat into the ring because they’re not exactly framing somebody as the next up and comer, so there’s that, too.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Patrick
        Ignored
        says:

        I entertain a secret fantasy of Scalia trying to write a particularly intemperate opinion, his face turning redder and redder, grunting and cursing as he forges out a paragraph on his anvil of heinousness — his eyes roll up into his head as one of his pontine arteries gives way.

        He doesn’t die though. They rescue him. Save his life. But thereafter, for some reason, he’s a much nicer guy. Drools a bit, seated there en banc. Still smarter than Clarence Thomas but that’s not saying much. Clarence Thomas exhibits all the rhetorical and intellectual fortitude of a rhinoceros, periodically rising from his torpor should anyone mention EEOC, trotting around on his stumpy legs, tossing his horn about, his myopic, beady little eyes rolling in that preposterous head. Not even a stroked-out Scalia could approach that nadir of sloth and ineptitude.

        Scalia as a nice guy. Nothing short of shutting down about half his brain would do the trick. But it would be a sight to see.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to Patrick
        Ignored
        says:

        Blaise, I think you just came up with an idea for a screenplay.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Patrick
        Ignored
        says:

        With Joe Pesci starring as Scalia.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Patrick
        Ignored
        says:

        “My Left Asscheek”Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Patrick
        Ignored
        says:

        It’s been done.

        Henry Turner is a despicable and ruthless trial lawyer whose life is turned upside down when he is shot in the head during a robbery. He survives the injury with significant brain damage and must re-learn how to speak, walk, and function normally. He has also lost most of the memory of his personal life, and must adjust to life with the family that he does not remember. To the surprise of his wife and daughter, Henry becomes a loving and affectionate man.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Patrick
        Ignored
        says:

        That movie was awful.Report

  25. Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m curious what the constitutional implications of having one chamber of Congress continually serve as a veto point for all government functions.

    I’m also curious what the world economy consequences of Congress blowing up the faith and credit of the US would be.

    Both are, however, things I’d rather read in speculative fiction than the front page of the New York Times.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Nob Akimoto
      Ignored
      says:

      Even more curiouser is that having one chamber act as a complete veto point makes change, any major change almost impossible, yet people who are for this set up typically want major changes. If you dig the status quo than more and stronger veto points is great. But how many people here are really all that fond of the status quo.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Nob Akimoto
      Ignored
      says:

      As to point one, I’m not really all that bothered on a Constitutional level. The power to tax is reserved to bills initiated in the House and Congress is supposed to agree with itself consistent with its own rules (which must be consistent with basic Parliamentary procedure) about both taxing and spending. So if the House wants to kick up a fuss and dig in its heels about de-funding a program that it previously approved, that’s part of the political process.

      The sub-point to that is that it appears to be a dysfunctional political dynamic. But the Constitution does not require that the process be healthy or rational.

      The second point is closer to your bailiwick than mine — but my semi-educated guess is that you’re looking for phrases like “approaching disastrous,” “sea change,” and “everybody panic.” The U.S. may not be the monopolar center about which the world economy revolves and the dollar may not be the only reserve currency used globally anymore, but it’s still a damn big player. Exports to the U.S. are the driver behind a lot of economies globally and that includes in the world financial markets. People still like dollars and crap like the game of chicken underway in Washington right now makes them like dollars less, which hurts the U.S. in all sorts of ways.Report

    • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Nob Akimoto
      Ignored
      says:

      I’d have some limited sympathy if this was actually a veto. But it wasn’t even a “veto” so much as an attempt to force through major changes to existing policy. To their credit, they did stop short of asking Obama and Biden to resign and transfer power to the Republicans. Kind of like a guy who wears diamond rings on nine fingers because to wear them on all ten would be over the top.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Nob Akimoto
      Ignored
      says:

      I’m curious what the constitutional implications of having one chamber of Congress continually serve as a veto point for all government functions.

      Um…working as intended? The House, Senate, Supreme Court, and President all have veto power. This was an explicit design goal (“Separation of Powers”) and the reason we have three branches of government and two legislative houses.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Brandon Berg
        Ignored
        says:

        Heh. If, by “working as intended”, does this include 40+ attempts to overturn legislation approved by all three of those branches?Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Brandon Berg
        Ignored
        says:

        I thought that the point of that structure was to prevent things from changing willy nilly without general approval from the different branches. Here we have the Republicans demanding substantial changes to existing law in order to avoid disaster. If they succeed, that sounds like exactly the opposite of working as intended. It means that a single house of Congress can push through any agenda it likes as long as it’s willing to threaten a sufficiently catastrophic outcome through inaction.

        I’m all for the one branch exercising its power to stop a piece of new legislation from going through. I’m not so big on absolute power being given by default to whichever branch is craziest and most willing to let us all burn.Report

  26. Avatar Chris
    Ignored
    says:

    I am wondering what someone like Tim, who has argued here in the past that conservatism is about process, think of what the Republicans in the House are doing right now. Is there a process explanation?Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to Chris
      Ignored
      says:

      They’re trying to use whatever process they can to overcome loosing two major elections and a Supreme Court decision. it may not be GOOD process, it may not be Ethical process, but its process, and the only one they control.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Chris
      Ignored
      says:

      So far as I can tell, neither side has done more than bend the rules, and even that well within the tolerances built in to the system.

      It’s the degree of cynicism present in the use of that process and thus in the maneuvers within it that seem unusual here.Report

  27. Avatar zic
    Ignored
    says:

    I will say one thing for the Democrats, they’re totally using this to raise money. Constant stream of donation requests to help avoid the shut down. Almost as if we could donate money to the federal treasury to keep government running.

    Very amusing, in an inbox-spamming weary way.Report

  28. Avatar Brandon Berg
    Ignored
    says:

    Some observations:
    1. “Government shutdown” is a huge overstatement. Most government functions will continue.

    2. There was a “government shutdown” about once per year on average during the Carter and Reagan administrations. This isn’t some new, terrible thing.

    3. Warren Meyer, who runs a private company that operates national parks for the federal government, reports that he’s being told that he’ll be required to shut down the parks he operates even though they require no government funding and in fact are profitable for the government.

    4. It takes two. This is happening because neither side will yield to the other’s demands.

    5. The left is generally supportive of the partial government shutdowns caused by strikes by the government employee unions.

    Also, I think that Republicans are somewhat more sanguine about this because they (rightly, I think) don’t think it will be that big a deal. This rhetoric about how it’s going to be some kind of humanitarian disaster is hugely overwrought.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Brandon Berg
      Ignored
      says:

      And I suppose “You don’t sweat much for a fat girl” can be construed as a compliment.

      A backgrounder on all seventeen government shutdowns.

      I believe this shutdown’s different. Far more rancour. Never seen anything like this in my lifetime. There’s no aw-shucks-ing this one into Bicameral Poxosis. The GOP wanted this, they’re pleased as punch for the opportunity and they will be destroyed by it. The GOP has retreated within the walls and Obama’s siege engineers have already started digging the contravallations.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Brandon Berg
      Ignored
      says:

      1. “Government shutdown” is a huge overstatement. Most government functions will continue.

      True, but this doesn’t mean it won’t be bad, that some people won’t get paid, and that there will be disruptions.

      2. There was a “government shutdown” about once per year on average during the Carter and Reagan administrations. This isn’t some new, terrible thing.

      Your concluding sentence makes two claims (“new” and “terrible”), only the first of which is supported by the previous sentence.

      3. Warren Meyer, who runs a private company that operates national parks for the federal government, reports that he’s being told that he’ll be required to shut down the parks he operates even though they require no government funding and in fact are profitable for the government.

      Do you think there might be a reason for this?

      4. It takes two. This is happening because neither side will yield to the other’s demands.

      Trivially true, and without further contextualization, pointless. Sure, it takes two, but this says nothing about the reasonableness of either side.

      5. The left is generally supportive of the partial government shutdowns caused by strikes by the government employee unions.

      It is true that many, perhaps most on the “left” support collective bargaining power for public employees, and that for collective bargaining to be effective the threat, and sometimes the use, of strikes is necessary. This does not mean that the “left” is “generally supportive of partial government shutdowns” resulting from strikes. They’re supportive of the strike power and the careful and deliberate use of that power. But that’s a nice little sophistic trick there. It helps to support the other sophistic trick of false equivalence.

      Also, I think that Republicans are somewhat more sanguine about this because they (rightly, I think) don’t think it will be that big a deal. This rhetoric about how it’s going to be some kind of humanitarian disaster is hugely overwrought.

      You’ll notice that in this thread, no one’s really calling this anything remotely like a “humanitarian disaster.” I think the shooting ourselves in the foot vs. shooting ourselves in the head metaphor that DavidTC used earlier in the thread conveys the way people here, and perhaps most of the politically-informed, see this, particularly in light of the debt ceiling fight that’s looming.Report

    • Avatar Russell M in reply to Brandon Berg
      Ignored
      says:

      RE #4.

      so the demand that the president and the senate burn o-care to the ground or the economy gets it is a place to start negotiating? can we ask for the republicans firstborns in exchange to balance out the crazy ask on both sides?

      Really don’t see how asking to reverse a law you don’t like in order for the gov to, you know function is a reasonable place to start. especially when what the Gop wants will not pass the senate, and even if it did the president would have to be tripping balls on LSD, Mushrooms, and bath salts to sign. which is just not going to happen.Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to Brandon Berg
      Ignored
      says:

      Some observations:
      1. “Government shutdown” is a huge overstatement. Most government functions will continue.
      True, but ‘working” federal employees will not be paid during the shutdown, and non-work feds may not be back paid at all. That’s around 800,000 Americans who – temporarily – have their economic activity restricted through no fault of thier own. And personally, I’m advocating for as the term we should be using.

      2. There was a “government shutdown” about once per year on average during the Carter and Reagan administrations. This isn’t some new, terrible thing.
      Depends on your perspective.

      3. Warren Meyer, who runs a private company that operates national parks for the federal government, reports that he’s being told that he’ll be required to shut down the parks he operates even though they require no government funding and in fact are profitable for the government.
      And he’s in good company with the many other government contractors who will have to either furlough folks or have them work from other locations since they can’t use government facilities and equipment to do their jobs.

      4. It takes two. This is happening because neither side will yield to the other’s demands.
      Really? We’re STILL HAVING THIS DEBATE? Republicans want to refight the 2012 Presidential election, the 2010 Mid-term elections, and their inability to defeat the Affordable Care Act when it was passed. On what planet do Democrats need to engage in that? There’s nothing they need to give in, and even IF there was, doing so would destroy the Constitution. Elections have consequences, and if you are the minority Party a consequence is YOU DON”T GET YOUR WAY.

      5. The left is generally supportive of the partial government shutdowns caused by strikes by the government employee unions.
      And the most recent one of these at the federal level was . . . . the air traffic control strike that President Reagan broke . . .

      Also, I think that Republicans are somewhat more sanguine about this because they (rightly, I think) don’t think it will be that big a deal. This rhetoric about how it’s going to be some kind of humanitarian disaster is hugely overwrought.

      Humanitarian? No, but if Mark Zandi from Moody’s Analytics says keeping 800,000 feds out of work for two weeks (the minimum I think this will go) will slash GDP by 0.2% then I think Republicans might rethink their position. If this goes longer then 2 weeks, and we end up breaching the debt ceiling, that will be an economic disaster, all because Republicans don’t WANT to be the minority Party again.Report

    • Avatar Pierre Corneille in reply to Brandon Berg
      Ignored
      says:

      “2. There was a ‘government shutdown’ about once per year on average during the Carter and Reagan administrations. This isn’t some new, terrible thing.”

      I had never heard this before. I’m not saying it’s wrong (and I know there was a shutdown ca. 1991,and the sitting president, GHWB, seemed to have taken the hit for it), but I just didn’t know about the others. Do you have any more information?Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Brandon Berg
      Ignored
      says:

      4. It takes two. This is happening because neither side will yield to the other’s demands.

      This is, incidentally, complete bullshit.

      The Democrats have no ‘demands’. They want the government to continue functioning. That is not a ‘demand’, that is a basic premise of lawmakers, or rather it _should_ be.

      The Republicans are the ones making the demands.

      You do realize how this actually breaks the country if it works, right? If any group can shut down the government until they get what they want. You do actually _understand the problem_, right?

      …you know, I’m reminded of all the times that the Democrats and Republicans were fighting each other, and the Democrats would reach across the isle and say something like ‘We’ll get on board with your spending cuts if you will get on board with our revenue increases’, and the Republicans turn around and say ‘Well, we both clearly agree on tax cuts, so let’s do that. We can vote on your revenue increases separately.’.

      Well, now _both_ houses of Congress have passed a CR that keeps government running, and under _Republican_ logic, that means we should just agree to that part and try the Republican’s ‘defund Obamacare’ later. (Oh, wait, you mean they already have tried it? Repeatedly? Well, sucks to be them.)Report

  29. Avatar Michael Cain
    Ignored
    says:

    3. Warren Meyer, who runs a private company that operates national parks for the federal government, reports that he’s being told that he’ll be required to shut down the parks he operates even though they require no government funding and in fact are profitable for the government.

    I’d have to see the legal wording of the contract. The comment at the web site makes it sound like the deal is that the fee revenue belongs to the private company, who in turn pay the feds some of their revenue for the privilege of operating the park. Based on my state-level experience, I suspect that the legalese says the fee revenue (and revenue from selling food, etc, etc) all belongs to the feds, and a portion of it — possibly a large portion — is retained by the contracting company as a payment. If that’s the case, then the lack of an appropriation for the parks system means that those “payments” can’t be made.

    The shutdown isn’t about whether there’s cash to pay the bills; it’s about whether there’s permission to spend the cash to pay the bills. As of Oct 1, the Park Service has no permission to spend.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Michael Cain
      Ignored
      says:

      Possibly, but he says that he was able to keep running the parks during the shutdowns in the 90s. The idea that it’s being done for optics reasons seems plausible to me. The Democrats would love to have a few million families blaming Republicans for ruined vacations. They call it Washington Monument Syndrome for a reason.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Brandon Berg
        Ignored
        says:

        While Warren Meyer makes a lot of claims, I seriously doubt his company covers _all_ expenses at the National Parks it manages. For example, does it cover firefighting? Law enforcement?

        These are not private parks he’s running. They’re National Parks he gets to manage, and in return he gets most of the gate fees. Which is fine if he’s actually maintaining than cheaper than the government…but don’t assume that he is covering _literally_ every expense of them.

        Hell, at minimum there has to be someone at the National Parks Service giving him oversight. And the National Parks Service just all went home. (And even if the government’s cut of the fees are paying for that person, it doesn’t matter. That’s _spending money_ and the government can’t do that anymore.)Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Brandon Berg
        Ignored
        says:

        Those fine American families don’t give a shit about the Washington Monument. Most of them care about the value of their homes, the stability of their jobs, the value of their 401Ks and the price of gasoline. They aren’t particularly happy with the GOP’s track record on those fronts.

        While the GOP has been screaming itself hoarse and wandering around like some bug-eyed bath salts addled maniacs, blaming Obama for everything from measles to menstrual cramps, the country’s just gotten sick of their shit. It really is time to pull out the tasers, give ’em a million refreshing volts at about 3 milliamps and take them where they can’t do themselves any more harm.

        The markets don’t care. Nobody else cares.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Michael Cain
      Ignored
      says:

      The national park service is deliberating locking down areas with no staff, like playgrounds and bike trails.

      (They are, of course, keeping the park police on the job, so that the will of the Executive continues to be backed by deadly force)Report

  30. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    Hey… it could be worse… this could have derailed the Pirates first playoff appearance in a million years had things broke slightly differently…

    http://espn.go.com/columns/kreidler/1354123.htmlReport

  31. Avatar zic
    Ignored
    says:

    I know that in the private sector, if you get laid off for a few weeks, you can collect unemployment.

    Doesn’t this government shutdown equal being laid off, if you’re a furloughed public employee?

    Are people who work for the Federal government eligible for unemployment? I’m under the impression that they are not. How come? Has this been challenged in court?Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to zic
      Ignored
      says:

      We are, depending on the rules of the state we live in. We have to submit extra forms, but we are.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to zic
      Ignored
      says:

      Federal employees are eligible for unemployment benefits. While the source of the benefits is different, it is administered by the same state agencies, and in the same ways, that ordinary state unemployment benefits are administered, so I imagine many federal employees don’t even realize there’s a difference.

      I believe workers furloughed as a result of the shutdown will be eligible for unemployment benefits.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Chris
        Ignored
        says:

        So there isn’t any real cost savings; there’s the unemployment benefits, the cost of administering those benefits at the state level, the lack of government services while the shutdown goes on, and the enormous cost of restart.

        This sucks.

        But I’m relieved that the families of federal workers won’t simply loose income completely while it lasts.Report

      • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Chris
        Ignored
        says:

        Are you sure? Furloughed employees are different from “former” employees.Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to Chris
        Ignored
        says:

        Basically the folks sitting home are unpaid. Some are using PTO (vacation time) since the money for that is pre-alloted and doesn’t count as a debt under whatever-that-act-is that basically says “The executive and it’s workers don’t get to put Congress in debt”.

        Now, historically, when they come back to work Congress tends to grudgingly offer most of them back-pay. But they don’t have to.

        So yeah, other than the military (because hey, it wouldn’t be the GOP if they couldn’t point out that the troops are the only government employees they wouldn’t spit on, although they’re happy to send them into a pointless meatgrinder), everybody who showed up for work today for the Government — all those ‘essential services’ — is working without pay and with no promise of BEING paid.

        Screw the BS country songs about patriotism. Patriotism is thousands of civil servants showing up to work without pay, because the country needs them.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris
        Ignored
        says:

        @jason-kuznicki, it may depend on the state, but it looks like they may in fact be eligible:

        http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/CDLE-UnempBenefits/CDLE/1251646448346Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Chris
        Ignored
        says:

        @morat20 Everyone showed up for work today. Many left early, after receiving the official furlough notices, but everyone showed up.

        Obama and Reid could have been consistent in their stand against doing things piecemeal, but instead went ahead and approved the military pay continuation. Also, it wouldn’t have mattered until the middle of the month, when the next payday is.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Chris
        Ignored
        says:

        “Some are using PTO”

        Only contractors. Federal civilian employees are prohibited from using paid time off when in furlough status under anti-deficiency rules.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris
        Ignored
        says:

        Federal civilian employees are prohibited from using paid time off when in furlough status under anti-deficiency rules.

        I believe this is only true during shutdown furloughs.Report

  32. Avatar zic
    Ignored
    says:

    Bye, @bob-thompson . Careful of the door, it can slam you in the backside on the way out. Wouldn’t want you to hurt your hiney.Report

  33. Avatar North
    Ignored
    says:

    Good Lord(Lady?) I go on a five day trip to visit my Mum in Canada and all hell breaks loose back home and here on the site? Just my luck.
    I’d add also that the Canadian politics are just disgustingly constructive and boring.
    Also I’ve been struck low by a Nova Scotian flue as I always am when I visit my mum. If any future posts are incoherent it’s because I’m delirious with fever. If I stop commenting it’s because I’m dead or passed out in a NyQuil induced coma.Report

    • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to North
      Ignored
      says:

      I’d add also that the Canadian politics are just disgustingly constructive and boring.

      In comparison to an airplane crash, a fender-bender is constructive and boring.

      In and of themselves, and in comparison to Canadian politics prior to the last several years, our political system and discourse is not looking good. Between the permanent unpleasant campaign atmosphere and a government that seems to have a vendetta against facts and research, I’ve been finding our politics very frustrating.Report

  34. Avatar BlaiseP
    Ignored
    says:

    It’s not a Shutdown. It’s a Government Slimdown! Thanks, Fox News! I feel better about this horseshit already.Report

  35. Avatar Notme
    Ignored
    says:

    Oh no, due to the gov’t shutdown the FLOTUS won’t update her twitter feed as often. This really is the end!!!

    http://politics.breakingnews.com/item/ahZzfmJyZWFraW5nbmV3cy13d3ctaHJkcg0LEgRTZWVkGN7wgRUM/2013/10/01/first-lady-tweets-due-to-congresss-failure-to-pReport

  36. Avatar Kolohe
    Ignored
    says:

    The odd thing to me is the excessive and random closing of National Park Service properties around the DC area that only serves to annoy furloughed federal workers and affect a region that votes at least 2:1 for Democrats anyway. The administration is not drawing an leverage from blocking off things only locals use anyways. (and then engaging in haphazard enforcement of the closures)Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kolohe
      Ignored
      says:

      Every seen what happens to a public park or any space which isn’t regularly patrolled and maintained?Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        I have, and it’s a Tragedy.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        All this goddamn boo-hooing about some WW2 veterans what can’t get into their memorial. Very sad, isn’t it? You wait, folks, and see what those geezer vets do when their VA shuts down. See how their families react when those geezers can’t get a burial at a national cemetery.

        If the Republicans gave a shit about veterans, which they clearly do not, they’d stop weeping all these crocodile tears and do the business of the nation. That they won’t do, holding the nation hostage. Go on trotting out those WW2 vets. They’ll all be dead soon enough, and with them will pass away the core of the Oldster GOP voting constituency. Try dealing with the Vietnam Era vets, Cold War vets, Iraq vets, Afghanistan vets, their VA facilities are being shut down, too.

        Personally, I’d shut down all pay for active duty personnel, immediately. If it’s to be a government shutdown, shut it all down. At once.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        “Every seen what happens to a public park or any space which isn’t regularly patrolled and maintained?”

        you mean like many of the NPS properties in DC? There’s in fact a movement in local DC politics to move many of the non-mall park service properties back to local DC jurisdiction because the NPS does such as piss-poor job of maintaining them.

        And like I said, it’s completely haphazard. They’ve closed Beach Drive to cars – but not to bicycles. Meanwhile the Rock Creek Parkway is open. The George Washington Parkway and the Mount Vernon bike trail are open, but the Gravelly Point and Dangerfield Island parking lots are closed. Ohio Drive between the Lincoln Memorial and the 14 st bridge, but anyone can walk or bike there. Jefferson and Madison Drives are in a similar state. Notably, for hire pedicabs are *not* allowed to operate on any of these streets, per a bike forum I subscribe to.

        So, tell me again how these erratic and arbitrary closures with irregular enforcement ensure the continued viability of National Park Service properties?Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        In other words, Kolohe, there’s nothing odd about this, at all, as you previously asserted. The only odd part is that you think this is the Administration’s doing: Obama and his minions poring over NPS maps, grimly laughing and putting pins in, “close this, leave that open”. Are you serious? Never attribute to conspiracy what stupidity will adequately explain.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        There’s normal level information constipation bureaucratic stupidity, and then there’s going out of your way to put on a show, but only doing it half-assed. The latter is a much more aggressive form of stupidity, somewhat reminiscent of Italian fascism. But I guess security theater is ok if one agrees with the point of it.

        I don’t think Obama is personally ordering this, but I do think the management of the National Park Service is making sure the shutdown is as visible as possible. The White House *could* ask them to reign it in, but choses not to.

        For the first time in 40 years, the National Park Service (NPS) has finally succeeded in closing the Claude Moore Colonial Farm (the Farm) down to the public. In previous budget dramas, the Farm has always been exempted since the NPS provides no staff or resources to operate the Farm. We weren’t even informed of this until mid-day Monday in spite of their managers having our email addresses and cell numbers.

        Report

    • Avatar morat20 in reply to Kolohe
      Ignored
      says:

      It’s almost as if….there was some large, apolitical ruleset designating “essential” and “non-essential” for a government shutdown, and then it was applied fairly. Like maybe it was written a decade or three back even and is just..applied when needed and rarely updated.

      I mean, you’d get such crazy results as all the parks shutting down (because they require oversight of private contractors, at a minimum) but the security folks still showing up (because protecting things from theft, vandalism, and trespass is considered essential).

      But that’s crazy talk! No, no, it’s better to assume Obama is personally choosing from a list what to shut down and not to shut down, and is just so darn stupid he keeps closing off the parks his hippy voters like AND keeps closing them in Democratic states!

      My god, I hope he doesn’t want to be President because he’s a hopeless politician if he’s playing politics like that.

      *eyeroll*Report

      • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        There is eyerolling to be done all around, you know.

        Just the other day, Mother Jones publicly thanked Obama for not letting the astronauts die.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        Let’s hope we’ve paid the Russians enough to send up another Soyuz to get them down. Now that nasa.gov is down, kinda tough to check on the next crew rotation date.Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        That is eyeroll-worthy. ISS support staff is listed as essential personnel for a reason. I do believe that, if the shutdown were to go on long enough (not likely as a new ISS crew just arrived) that NASA would be forced to let the ISS go empty rather than replace crew.

        I believe this for a simple reason: About 500 NASA employees — and that includes guards — are still at work. That’s not enough to cover the training facilities for an ISS crew. You can’t keep a crew up there past their return date (zero gravity is bad for you), so the crew would still come home.

        The Russians might pick up the slack though…

        There’s at least one probe mission that’s likely to get bumped three or four years now (if not scrapped entirely) because the launch window is in a few weeks, and doesn’t return for years. The planets wait for no man. 🙂Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        “I mean, you’d get such crazy results as all the parks shutting down (because they require oversight of private contractors, at a minimum) but the security folks still showing up (because protecting things from theft, vandalism, and trespass is considered essential).”

        Except, as I have said repeatedly, based on both personal observation and pictures on forums I read regularly, the choice of properties that the park service has closed has been entirely haphazard as is enforcement of nominal trespassing. So no system, no fairness, only theater.

        I was told to keep my arguments narrow and focused. I guess that was bad advice.

        So, fine, I submit. Criticizing the government is no longer the highest form of patriotism. My government is always right. I hear and obey.Report

      • Avatar morat20 in reply to morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        Ah yes — make transparently baseless allegations of nefariousness that are easily explained as the Federal Government switching to the most “Not Work As Usual” mode possible in under a day and then wrap yourself in a cloak of insulted patriotism.

        Bravo, Sir. Bravo. I give it a 6 for style, but only a 2 for effort.

        I mean, really, your whole case relies on some unmentioned parks that aren’t shut down exactly as you’d think they should be, ergo “NEFARIOUS POLITICAL MOTIVES”.

        You’re not even trying. Come on, give us something to work with here.Report

  37. Avatar zic
    Ignored
    says:

    I design knitting patterns (boring, granny stuff, I know) and am active on the website Ravelry. Yesterday, somebody posted a thread for sharing projects of furloughed workers, their ‘government shutdown knitting.’

    I sent everyone who said they were furloughed on that thread a free pattern, with a few words of appreciation.

    The response I got back was stunning. Just a few kind words, “I appreciate your work, and I’m really sorry that this has been done to you, that your family’s economic security has been so threatened,” opened a flood gate of rage at how people feel taken for granted, gratitude at this very small show of kindness, and mostly, a whole lot of concern about important work that wasn’t getting done. I was really surprised by the response.

    I’ll continue with my small gift of a pattern, I’m curious to keep hearing what furloughed workers have to say, and it’s one very small way I can express solidarity with them.

    I hope this doesn’t last long; and I’m grateful for the hard work people who work for government do despite the heaps of scorn the receive.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to zic
      Ignored
      says:

      It would really help if you used a working email address, FurloughedGuyReport

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to zic
      Ignored
      says:

      Fwiw, I think it’s a bug in the software – a comment deleted a day or two ago (the one zic is responding to in the ether) seems to be messing up the placement of newer comments, and may be swallowing some whole.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kolohe
        Ignored
        says:

        The one immediately above the knitting one, I think the parent of that comment that may be hosing up the works (including your original comment, which came after; from looking at this site this morning I think I remember the knitting comment and your original in a different reply stream)Report

  38. Avatar Troublesome Frog
    Ignored
    says:

    I get a political party that uses me as a fucking scapegoat and calls me lazy and inefficient and a loser and says I don’t have the right to negotiate for the same fucking working conditions and health care coverage and retirement options that the private sector gets

    I think that this is probably the worst aspect of the Reagan revolution. A healthy skepticism of government is a perfectly good thing, but the sheer personal vitriol directed at government workers is really sad. The words “public servant” are no longer used. If you work for the government, you’re a stupid lazy parasite who could never do anything right (unless you’re in the military, in which case you’re likely infallible and may occasionally crap diamonds).

    When we see teachers and security guards and accountants as History’s Greatest Monsters instead of people like us who are just trying to make a living, we’ve gone way off the rails. They’re not people who we hired to do a job. They’re the Enemy, and they’re taking food off of our plates.

    At least it’s a good thing that those workers don’t contribute anything to the economy, so there won’t be any spillover into the private sector if we pinch off their cash flow.

    The kids don’t know how close this could take us to not making rent. To having to shut off little things. Pull them out of little league, karate practice, violin lessons.

    Well, shit.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Troublesome Frog
      Ignored
      says:

      I heard a radio ad yesterday from the same tax attorney I’ve heard a million times before, but now his ad is about how he’ll protect you from an out-of-control IRS that’s trying to steal your stuff to prop up a government that’s drowning in debt.Report

    • Avatar Damon in reply to Troublesome Frog
      Ignored
      says:

      I’ll be sure to remember that when I hear those gov’t workers in the press complaining about how they only got a X percent raise in addition to the COLA when I got a hell of a lot less than that.

      I’ll be sure to remember that when I see gov’t workers treat me and my fellow countrymen like 1) burdens, 2) terrorists, 3) cash cows, 4) criminals, and react with “rolly eyes” when I request they actually do their job.Report

  39. Avatar Brandon Berg
    Ignored
    says:

    If you think you could get a better deal in the private sector, why don’t you do that?

    In point of fact, though, the CBO says that for every level of education except for professional or doctorate degrees, the federal government spends 36% (Master’s) to 72% (HS) more per employee on benefits than do private-sector employees.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to Brandon Berg
      Ignored
      says:

      This is true.

      Government workers traded better benefits for lower wages. The earn less (or earned less, the economic collapse may be changing that with downward wage pressure) than workers in private industry with the same qualifications.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to zic
        Ignored
        says:

        No, not really. Federal workers with professional or doctorate degrees make less money, but they don’t get better benefits in exchange. They just have lower total compensation. Federal workers with master’s degrees make a little bit less money (5%) but have slightly more expensive benefits (8%). There’s a tradeoff there, but it’s not big in either direction. Workers with a bachelor’s degree make the same amount of money but have better benefits. Workers with a high school degree have higher wages and better benefits.

        Really it’s only the workers with master’s degrees (14% of total workers) who have any kind of tradeoff at all, and it’s pretty minor.

        Of course, this ignores unexamined variable bias. “Highest degree completed” is a very rough classification that ignores all kinds of differences between the workers in question. To get any kind of meaningful comparison, it would be necessary to do a much more sophisticated analysis.

        That said, it’s a bit weird for people on the left to be arguing that federal workers don’t get a better deal across the board. Union membership among federal civilian employees is much, much higher than for comparable workers in the private sector, isn’t it? And isn’t that what unions do? Get a better deal for their members?Report

  40. Avatar Brandon Berg
    Ignored
    says:

    You know, the real tragedy of this whole fiasco is that it inspired another idiotic rant by Elizabeth Warren, which subsequently wound up on my Facebook news feed.

    She’s the only thing on there stupider than those “Name a city without a Q in its name” posts.Report

  41. Avatar Damon
    Ignored
    says:

    I would like to add one comment that’s been absent here. Everytime there is a funding issue with gov’t (local, state, federal) the first things said and done are that cuts will need to be made to popular programs, like public libraries, or “scary” cuts to police, fire, rescue, or garbage.

    Recently I’ve hear “human interest” stories on NPR about how little kids in Oregon can’t go on the long saved for trip to Crater Lake as it’s closed and they can’t go later this year due to weather. Stories about the single working mother who’s been furloughed, and the federal worker who’s told his mortg company that he can pay this month’s payment but doesn’t know if he can the next.

    All this is undoubtedly true, but it’s also an example of the above “scary stories” about how this country is going to hell in a hand basket and “won’t someone please think of the children” meme. Frankly, it’s rather tedious and long since became tiresome. Has anyone thought of the consecquences of this “compassion fatigue”?

    **Oh yeah, don’t forget that I’ve already been furloughed earlier this year by my own company and we’ve been told we’re getting it again at xmas, that I haven’t have a cola or raise in 5 years, and I work in an industry that’s impacted by the gov’t shutdown**Report

  42. Avatar Hanudin
    Ignored
    says:

    Hopefully its the better and a lot of visitors, all the info is here a lot of benefits. thank you sirReport

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