Archive for shutdown

McConnell & Ryan Vow To Become Hostage Takers

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hostage taker

Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader is saying that he feels there won't be a clean debt ceiling bill. He's not alone. Two days ago Paul Ryan said the same thing. And you know something, they may be right. McConnell cites a few examples of significant legislation that have been attached in the past to raising the debt ceiling. Four of them, actually. Considering there's been scores of debt ceiling raises in the past, giving four examples is good for demonstration purposes, but not necessarily a mandated need based on past actions.

“I think the debt ceiling legislation is a time that brings us all together and gets the president’s attention, which with this president, particularly when it comes to reducing spending, has been a bit of a challenge..."

Mitch, Mitch, Mitch. You're nose is starting to grow. You know that during Obama's residency in the White House, the deficit has SHRUNKEN by nearly a half. So I'm not sure where you're coming off making that kind of bold face lie. Wait. I take that back. You're a Republican leader. You possess that inbred trait to rise to leader.

Okay, putting that aside, I will agree that this debt ceiling approval should be accompanied with some sort of demand and I've got just the one. How about a joint request from you and Paul Ryan for the President to accept your letters of resignation. Save yourself the embarrassment of being the first sitting Senate Majority Leader since Tom Daschle to lose in general election. As for Ryan, he's proven himself worthy of a trip to the sidelines when he sold the conservatives down the river with his recent budget bill. If the Democrats wrote it themselves, they couldn't have done much better. Way to go, Paddy Murray.

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Three Men And A Rabbi On Another Government Shutdown

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rabbi

The old story goes, two men are arguing their case to a third man over the disputed sale of a mule. The argument becomes heated until the third man spots the Rabbi walking by and asks him to arbitrate. As a buddy to both, the third man didn't want to risk his friendship over this battle. The Rabbi agreed.

The first man tells his side of the story and the Rabbi nods to him and says, "You're right."

The second man rushes to tell his side of the story. After hearing it the Rabbi says, "You're right."

The third man looks to the Rabbi questioningly, "Bill's right and Dave's right? They can't both be right?"

The Rabbi pauses and say's to the third man, "You're right too."

And for years, the argument continued.

That story is similar to the problem with Congress and their budgetary committees. They're never going to see eye to eye and neither party is going to give an inch. They both know the other has valid points, but they'll never agree despite both being right. We, the public, are left as the third man.

According to the AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Since the end of World War II, more than a dozen high-profile bipartisan panels have been convened to tackle the nation's thorniest fiscal problems. Seldom have their recommendations spurred congressional action.

Their ambitious, high-octane reports and recommendations are mostly gathering dust on government shelves.

This doesn't bode well for the current 29-member bipartisan budget panel which faces a Dec. 13 deadline. What's at stake is another government shutdown. The current short-term spending bill is keeping the government running, but only through Jan. 15. The current debt ceiling runs only through Feb. 7. That last $26 billion debacle should have taught us something. But it's very unlikely if history is any indication.

One of the few special panels generally hailed as a success is the 1981-83 Social Security commission chaired by Republican economist Alan Greenspan, who later served for 19 years as Federal Reserve chairman under four different presidents. His panel is credited widely with rescuing the old-age benefit program from insolvency.

The panel quickly deadlocked, with Democrats opposing benefit cuts and Republicans opposing higher Social Security taxes. It came up with its big fix only after the direct, heavy intervention by Reagan and House Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill, D-Mass.

The two main participants in that agreement are both dead. And sadly, nothing we can do will bring them back. So we must move on, not die with them.

In 2011, the Simpson-Bowles Act was a result of a wide-ranging proposal that would have generated new revenues and made some social program cuts. But it's sitting, collecting dust after meeting with indifference from both parties.

It failed, Simpson later suggested, because Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike "all worship the god of re-election."

So what will it take to move Congress off the dime and start them on a path to true fiscal leadership?

The answer is actually quite simple. It's a threat.

The threat is for a Congressional clean sweep. Yup, dump the chumps who are gumming up the works. But to get out the bad, remove all of those who are victims of favors they owe or beneficiaries of favors promised by them.

Call it tossing the baby out with the bathwater, but I prefer dump the chump. We'll lose the good with the bad, but if they're really good, they can run for reelection after sitting out a term. Then we'll know who's really dedicated and who's just collecting a check.

Sit one out for the team. Make us miss you and your legislative magic and we'll return you to office.

Until then, fresh blood. No obligations to the gerrymandered farts who don't care about anyone but themselves. They line their pockets with graft and then proclaim they're going to cut unnecessary spending. They will take a cleaver to the fat and sinew in the budget. Sadly they can't distinguish a medallion of fat from a filet mignon.

Fat and gristle to them is defined as spending that doesn't effect them directly. They'll not move an inch to close corporate loopholes but will cut food stamps for the poor. They'll not increase minimum wage or pass a jobs bill which could take hard working people off the food stamp rolls but will enrich farmers and big oil with subsidies -- two places they enrich themselves either directly or indirectly. They favor bridges to nowhere, not roads to deliver kids safely to schools.

It's only a thought, a dream, I know. But movements begin with dreams. And if we're going to face another shutdown, maybe this dump the chump is a dream these elected officials should be hearing before they dig in, entrench themselves and align with the likes of Cruz, Rubio, Paul and the other Tea Party stalwarts. All promoting hard-line stands which will lead to another shutdown.

Let your voices be heard before the shutdown. We can't afford another $26 billion in waste while we're starving millions who live and perish in sickness and in hunger.

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GOP Refuses To Pay Government Shutdown Costs

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Zion National park

Well, Utah is unhappy with the Obama Administration, the department of the Interior specifically. So are the states of  Arizona, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, New York and Tennessee.

But their anger is actually misplaced. Their problem is actually with the GOP and the House of Representatives. They're the ones who voted to defund the government, not the Department of the Interior.

Each of these states makes millions every year from revenues derived directly or indirectly (tourism related) from their federally maintained national parks. Parks like the Grand Canyon and Zion National park.

In the past shutdowns, these states were actually rewarded with money paid post-shutdown, to make up for their losses. Well, it seems the Republicans on the Hill this year have decided not to do that this time

So the next place the states took their demand was the Department of Interior. And they're saying no dice. Due to the sequester, they don't have the funds. They had gone to Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell who had told them in the past her department had been authorized to make that repayment for direct lost revenues. But that money came as part of "post shutdown funding bills" voted on by the Congress. She herself could not guarantee that money, but suggested that if past history was any indication, the state should lend their parks the money to stay open. When the shutdown was over, Congress would authorize funding for them to be repaid.

Seems the GOP  turned their backs on these states, once again.

Grand Canyon

Well, when Utah and the other states DEMANDED the repayment of the money they loaned their own parks, it fell on deaf GOP-led Congressional ears. The Representatives voted to repay furloughed workers but not the parks.

So, now it's up to the Republicans to clean up their spilled milk. Two GOP bills have been proposed, one to repay the states for this past government shutdown and another to force them to pay in case of another closure. According to the Hill:

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) is pushing a bill aimed at ensuring national parks remain open in the event that the government someday closes down again.

Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) has another bill that would require states to be repaid for expenses within 90 days after a shutdown ends. The House committee will consider it on Wednesday as well, and there is a companion bill in the Senate.

Sadly for the states, it doesn't seem that the congressional leadership is in any hurry to see these bills happen.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) does not yet have plans to bring either bill to the floor, his office said.

So much for the Republicans caring about the damage they've done. They're trying to put the blame on the Department of Interior as if they have extra money sitting around since the sequester. This is just another example of the Republican passing the buck tactics and their true lack of compassion. They're bulls in a china shop and they refuse to pay for what they've broken. Let's see how long these Red states take to become purple -- with rage, now that they've been stiffed.

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Video- The Daily Show: Extreme Takeover- Tea Party Edition

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