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S that D. Shut it down.
April 8, 2011 7:14 AM   Subscribe

Will there be a government shutdown? Everything seems to hang on GOP riders. But it affects more than the federal employees and contractors. For example, National Parks will close. And so will DC services. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton tells Congress off, while DC residents wonder what are we going do with all our trash?
posted by troika (809 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
I haven't seen much talk about the fact that most government websites will shut down, too. THOMAS will be unavailable.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:18 AM on April 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Also: I am not pro-shutdown, as the title of this post might imply. I just really like 30 Rock.
posted by troika at 7:19 AM on April 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Government websites down, really? How about that.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:20 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Seriously, GOP? You're going to have 800,000 people not working (not to mention the contractors, like myself, who are likely going to be forced to take unpaid leave) because you think that THIS is the appropriate time to grind your abortion axe? Christ, it's like holding my job ransom for your stupid policies.
posted by specialagentwebb at 7:21 AM on April 8, 2011 [69 favorites]


Remember kids, spending cuts create jobs.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:21 AM on April 8, 2011


what a bunch of fucking children.
posted by qnarf at 7:22 AM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Don't insult children.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:22 AM on April 8, 2011 [110 favorites]


Congress didn't do their stinking jobs for months. Stop THEIR pay and see how quick this all gets resolved!
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:23 AM on April 8, 2011 [19 favorites]


This NYTimes article mentions that Some top Republicans worry that they are in danger of being seen as shutting down the government over social issues and a relatively small difference in money. IMAGINE THAT. That people might see through the bullshit for what this really is.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:23 AM on April 8, 2011 [69 favorites]


(Guys, don't panic too much. We have had this happen before. )
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:24 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bullies gonna bully.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:25 AM on April 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


Government shutdown 2011: Will I get paid? What will be open? What can I expect? - breaks down info for federal workers, tourists, general questions.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:26 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


what a bunch of fucking children

Yes, notwithstanding all the talk about budget cuts, it appears to be the fucking (and potential subsequent children) that are holding this up.
posted by The Bellman at 7:26 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


What is going on? Can someone sum it up?
posted by Malice at 7:26 AM on April 8, 2011


If Obama caves to the Republicans on this, I swear to god, I will forever give up on the Democrats.
posted by dejah420 at 7:27 AM on April 8, 2011 [22 favorites]


(I don't own a TV and rarely read the news unless it pops up on my BBC app... or MetaFilter, like this.)
posted by Malice at 7:27 AM on April 8, 2011


So you'll punish Obama by likewise caving to the Republicans?
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:27 AM on April 8, 2011 [30 favorites]


because you think that THIS is the appropriate time to grind your abortion axe?
It's not even just abortion. Planned Parenthood (which they're targeting) provides a lot more than abortion-related services.

(my phraseology here is not intended to minimize or be dismissive of the importance of abortion rights)
posted by Flunkie at 7:28 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


No, by giving up on a staid and cowardly bunch of big talking pushovers, and trying to shore up a viable third party like the Greens.
posted by dejah420 at 7:28 AM on April 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


Aw, I was starting a post myself. Here's what I came up with:
In 1995 and 1996 there were two government shutdowns in the United States. Comparisons are being made between that shutdown and the one that will take place this Saturday if Republicans and Democrats cannot work out a compromise. The 1995/1996 shutdown ended up being a political win for President Clinton, with the Republicans (especially Newt Gingrich*) appearing as uncompromising. What would a shutdown mean? PBS's Newshour: Government shutdown explained. Good news: the shutdown won't halt DC's Cherry Blossom Parade.
* This time around, Newt Gingrich is again sticking to his guns and encouraging the Republicans to force a shutdown if necessary.


Bonus material: 1995 Government Shutdown Briefing for Managers by then Department of Labor Secretary Reich.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:29 AM on April 8, 2011 [16 favorites]


We must spend money to save money! I'd love to see some numbers on the cost of a shutdown compared to the amount of the spending cuts they're fighting over.

Government budgeting is crazy. There's a program here at work which (in my opinion) is fairly necessary, as in aircraft will not be able to fly if these upgrades aren't performed. The program has been told from On High that it'll be canceled if it costs more than $100 million or something like that.

So how are they getting to that number? The entire team - US government, contractors, and international partners - are traveling every single week from site to site to finalize requirements and risk assessment. The team is at least forty people, and because of the international involvement every third week or so every is flying out to Europe. They've been doing this for months, just so the final "hard" number can be shown to be less than $100 million. Of course the hard number won't include all of this "pre-contract" travel...
posted by backseatpilot at 7:29 AM on April 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


The only question on the minds of everyone in the capital — will a shutdown happen? — is now being asked with increasing urgency.

Did the Washington Post really spell it wrong? Or am I wrong?
posted by amro at 7:29 AM on April 8, 2011


I haven't seen much talk about the fact that most government websites will shut down, too. THOMAS will be unavailable.

This may be part of the order to prevent staffers and government workers from doing work during the shutdown.

It'll be interesting to see if they can actually manage to pull the plug on only the public-facing stuff without causing damage. (On the other hand, my impression is that it's going to be fairly easy for us to shut down the VPN and BlackBerry stuff at the end of the day today. The tough part will be making sure that the "essential" personnel can still have access).

A few of us contractors also are considered "essential," and will be expected to work. It's unclear whether or not we'll actually be paid for that, though, and what resource we'll have if we're not.

There's talk in DC of the DC government simply ignoring the Federal Government's shutdown request. The mayor's already declared huge swaths of the workforce as essential, and our awesome police department have stepped in to make sure that the Cherry Blossom Parade will go on this weekend, with or without the help of the NPS. (Seriously, guys. The DC Local Government is handling this situation more competently and maturely than the feds. If that's not a sign of embarrassment to the feds, I don't know what is.)

Additionally, the Mayor has declared that suspending garbage collection for more than a week is a health hazard, and those guys are therefore essential as well. (I don't even like our mayor, but I cannot reiterate strongly enough just how well he's handling this situation)

Furloughed workers can file for unemployment. Unsurprisingly, contractors seem to, once again, have no recourse.
posted by schmod at 7:30 AM on April 8, 2011 [14 favorites]


Did the Washington Post really spell it wrong? Or am I wrong?

Do you mean capital/capitol? Capitol is just the building; I think it's reasonable to expect that everyone in DC is concerned, not just those directly in the Congressional building.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:31 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seriously, GOP? You're going to have 800,000 people not working (not to mention the contractors, like myself, who are likely going to be forced to take unpaid leave) because you think that THIS is the appropriate time to grind your abortion axe? Christ, it's like holding my job ransom for your stupid policies.

It takes two to tango. Reid, Obama, and Biden have all voted for legislation including this ban in the past:
Senate majority leader Harry Reid is saying that he will not pass the one week C.R. because it includes a ban on taxpayer funding of abortions in D.C.

“It’s not realistic to shutdown the government on a debate dealing with abortion. It’s not fair to the American people,” Reid said this morning.

There’s just one catch: Democratic leaders have previously (and frequently) passed the ban.

In 2009, President Obama signed a budget that included the ban on taxpayer-funded abortions in D.C. Who passed that budget? A Democratic House and Senate. In fact, Reid has voted for a budget that includes the ban ten times since 1995. And he’s not the only Democrat: in addition to signing the budget in ’09, Obama twice voted for legislation that included the ban, while Vice President Joe Biden has voted for legislation including the ban seven times.
posted by Jahaza at 7:32 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Did the Washington Post really spell it wrong? Or am I wrong?

Capital is the city. Capitol is the building (or the actual seat).
posted by schmod at 7:32 AM on April 8, 2011


Wait, so the Republicans are shutting down the government to protest Planned Parenthood and abortion...? The only answers I'm reading in the links is "what will happen when", not exactly why.. but I could be missing it.
posted by Malice at 7:32 AM on April 8, 2011


ThePinkSuperhero: "This NYTimes article mentions that Some top Republicans worry that they are in danger of being seen as shutting down the government over social issues and a relatively small difference in money. IMAGINE THAT. That people might see through the bullshit for what this really is."

Doesn't this tactic usually backfire? Gingrich's current attempts to spin it as a victory notwithstanding, if I recall correctly his shutdown in '95 backfired by making him look petty and vindictive while disregarding the lives he was disrupting.
posted by zarq at 7:33 AM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wait, so the Republicans are shutting down the government to protest Planned Parenthood and abortion...?
In part, yes.
posted by Flunkie at 7:33 AM on April 8, 2011


After their supposedly "decisive" victory in the 2010 election, the GOP seems to have done absolutely nothing that actually benefits most of their constituency. Instead they've concentrated on dramatic plays that garner headlines but do little else. While you'd think that this would alienate their followers, it seems to not have for the most part. I don't believe for a minute that shutting down the federal government will harm them in any way.
posted by tommasz at 7:34 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm really grateful for the relatively consensual screwing we got here in the UK. It must be exhausting to be American.
posted by londonmark at 7:34 AM on April 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


With any luck, voters in Canada will look south and take note of the fact that voting in a bunch of religious fundamentalists who claim to hate government has consequences beyond feeling good about sticking it to people who eat brie cheese.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:34 AM on April 8, 2011 [28 favorites]


The 1995/1996 shutdown ended up being a political win for President Clinton, with the Republicans (especially Newt Gingrich*) appearing as uncompromising.

It seems this time around that a lot of people (Tea Partiers especially) are frothing at the mouth for a shutdown and will be happy when it happens. And then will complain when their Social Security checks don't show up.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:35 AM on April 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


I am personally affected by a government shut-down - I'm supposed to close on a house on Monday that is being subsidized through HAP. We've already been delayed by several weeks. If we don't make this latest deadline, we'll have to move out of our apartment into... I don't know exactly at this point.

It's not even just abortion. Planned Parenthood (which they're targeting) provides a lot more than abortion-related services.

It's actually completely unrelated to abortion, because it is already illegal to spend federal money on abortions. People who do not have private insurance already pay full price for abortions, unless they get private grants.

It's just about fucking over poor men and women who can't afford insurance.

It takes two to tango. Reid, Obama, and Biden have all voted for legislation including this ban in the past:

Again, this has nothing to do with a ban on federal spending on abortions. That is already in the books. This is about federal funding to subsidize low-cost health care for people who don't have insurance. Period.
posted by muddgirl at 7:35 AM on April 8, 2011 [94 favorites]


In part, yes.

That has got to be the silliest, most selfish thing I've ever heard.
posted by Malice at 7:35 AM on April 8, 2011


Furloughed workers can file for unemployment. Unsurprisingly, contractors seem to, once again, have no recourse.

Furloughed workers can only file for unemployment in NY State if they're actively seeking other employment. But the answers on whether we can actually do so are mixed. Some reports have said we have to have agency permission to do so, which is difficult, since the part of the agency that would approve such permission will be shut down.

Government contractors may or may not have recourse, but remember that "government contractors" in this context usually means employees of companies that hold contracts. Those people will be laid off employees and eligible for unemployment, it doesn't usually mean people who work contracts for the government directly (who would have no recourse.)
posted by Jahaza at 7:35 AM on April 8, 2011


Let's be very clear: by providing contraceptive services, Planned Parenthood prevents abortions.

And by providing prenatal care, Planned Parenthood contributes to more, not fewer, healthy live births.
posted by orthogonality at 7:35 AM on April 8, 2011 [80 favorites]


Congress didn't do their stinking jobs for months. Stop THEIR pay and see how quick this all gets resolved!

Stopping Congress' pay wouldn't do much, actually. Most of them are so rich they could easily ride out several weeks without pay or even do without their Congressional salaries entirely.

44% of members of Congress are millionaires (compared to 1% nationally). "Senators had a median reportable net worth of $1.79 million in 2008, the last year such data were available, down from $2.27 million in 2007. House members' median net worth was $645,503 in 2008, down from $724,258 the previous year."

(Personally I think members of Congress should only be paid enough to bring their total income up to the current salary level. In other words, if they have no other income they get the full amount. If they already make more than the Congressional salary they should get paid nothing. The same approach should be taken with Congressional pensions: consulting gig/book deal/lecture circuit or pension, pick one. Same with the President.)
posted by jedicus at 7:36 AM on April 8, 2011 [34 favorites]


I wonder if this is a way for the Republicans to divest the crazy wing of their party from having a say in the party going down the road. "Look, we held fast to your ideals and got slammed for it" they'll say, "So just shut up now and vote like we tell you."
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:36 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


We've been told to report to work on Monday regardless of shutdown. I'm a contractor on a military base, and apparently there will be government employees here so that we can be in the building.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:37 AM on April 8, 2011


backseatpilot: " It seems this time around that a lot of people (Tea Partiers especially) are frothing at the mouth for a shutdown and will be happy when it happens. And then will complain when their Social Security checks don't show up."

Social Security and Medicare aren't funded by the spending bill tied up in the government-shutdown showdown, meaning that they would be affected only at the margins.
posted by zarq at 7:37 AM on April 8, 2011


A good part of the reason the '95 shutdown broke in favor of Clinton was due to Gingrich complaining about his seat on Air Force One on a return flight from Rabin's funeral in Israel which the public reacted to negatively. Example.
posted by BeerFilter at 7:37 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]



It's just about fucking over poor men and women who can't afford insurance.


I get my birth control from Planned Parenthood. If the shut down lasts too long, I will not be able to get it - and I don't use it for contraceptive. I use it so I don't bleed to death.

Thanks, Republicans.
posted by Malice at 7:38 AM on April 8, 2011 [26 favorites]


Social Security and Medicare aren't funded by the spending bill tied up in the government-shutdown showdown, meaning that they would be affected only at the margins.

You're right, I totally forgot about that (and didn't read that article, apparently).
posted by backseatpilot at 7:39 AM on April 8, 2011


One of the links says Tax Returns will be affected - I already filed and have a date for my return to be in the bank.... but is this going to postpone it?
posted by Malice at 7:39 AM on April 8, 2011


So you'll punish Obama by likewise caving to the Republicans?

Exactly. You have exactly two choices: putrid shit and less-offensive shit. If you're not for less-offensive shit, you're automatically for putrid shit. Why can't you be thankful for slightly better shit?
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:39 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


(Guys, don't panic too much. We have had this happen before. )

WTF is that supposed to mean? There's a lot of stuff that has happened before that is still bullshit and I don't want to have happen again.
posted by DU at 7:39 AM on April 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


I didn't say don't panic at ALL.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:40 AM on April 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


So you'll punish Obama by likewise caving to the Republicans?
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:27 AM on 4/8
[2 favorites +] [!]


I don't see it as an attempt to "punish" Obama as much as a feeling of profound resignation. If Republicans can govern this country with an iron fist for a decade without serious opposition but Democrats must defund women's health services just to get an already conservative budget passed -- then it seems that it's rather pointless to even have a Democratic party.

If they're not even going to put up a fight then neither am I.
posted by Avenger at 7:40 AM on April 8, 2011 [24 favorites]


I haven't seen much talk about the fact that most government websites will shut down, too. THOMAS will be unavailable.

Holy cannoli, that is a big deal. Is that all websites or just the ones associated with the legislative body?

Lack of web presence was a minor, minor issue in 1995-1996, but close to catastrophic now.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:41 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


(And I say that as someone who lives in a community that will really be affected by this if it goes down. )
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:41 AM on April 8, 2011


Again, this has nothing to do with a ban on federal spending on abortions. That is already in the books. This is about federal funding to subsidize low-cost health care for people who don't have insurance. Period.

No, actually you're wrong. Reid announced opposition for the one week continuing resolution because it contained language known as the "Dornan amendment" that probibits government funds from being expended to pay for abortion in D.C. This is not the same thing as the "Pence amendment" which prohibits funding for planned parenthood.
posted by Jahaza at 7:41 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's actually completely unrelated to abortion, because it is already illegal to spend federal money on abortions.
That's not so. I mean, yes, it's so that it's illegal to spend federal money on abortions, but it's not so that it's completely unrelated to abortion.

They're specifically targeting organizations that provide abortion-related services.
posted by Flunkie at 7:41 AM on April 8, 2011


Can someone explain to me why the US government is shutting down? I don't see how the politics relate to the civil service. Can this happen in Canada?
posted by captaincrouton at 7:41 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


It seems this time around that a lot of people (Tea Partiers especially) are frothing at the mouth for a shutdown and will be happy when it happens.

A few days ago the Post ran this story which in summary says that Virginia Tea Partiers are basically completely unwilling to compromise on the budget, and if the people they elected do compromise they won't be reelected. I think that's probably what's driving a lot of this on the Republican side.
posted by malthas at 7:42 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


dejah420: "No, by giving up on a staid and cowardly bunch of big talking pushovers, and trying to shore up a viable third party like the Greens."

The Greens are a viable third party? How many people have they managed to get elected in the US? Any?
posted by octothorpe at 7:42 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


You have exactly two choices: putrid shit and less-offensive shit.

Well, unfortunately, yes. This is a two party country. Sometimes you hold your nose and vote for the people who aren't the ones holding the country hostage to ideology. When there is a viable third-party candidate, we can have a real discussion, but they generally act as spoilers now. And this is a discussion we've had a billion times on this site, and it's not a disputed fact.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:42 AM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


By the way, I've been watching West Wing and the current plot-line deals with a government shut-down, although in this case the sticking point was the capital gains tax rate.

I'm trying not to panic, but I don't have anywhere to live.

They're specifically targeting organizations that provide abortion-related services.

That's a red-herring. All competent reproductive health clinics provide abortion-related services.
posted by muddgirl at 7:43 AM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is that all websites or just the ones associated with the legislative body?

It won't be all websites. The Patent Office, for example, plans to continue to accept new patent applications electronically (i.e. via its website) during the shutdown.
posted by jedicus at 7:43 AM on April 8, 2011


It won't be all websites. The Patent Office, for example, plans to continue to accept new patent applications electronically (i.e. via its website) during the shutdown.

The patent office also doesn't rely on the government for funding.
posted by atrazine at 7:44 AM on April 8, 2011


Can someone explain to me why the US government is shutting down? I don't see how the politics relate to the civil service. Can this happen in Canada?

The US government is shutting down because Congress controls the budget. The continuing resolution that they passed 6 or so months ago, which keeps this year's budget at last fiscal year's levels, is expiring at midnight tonight. If it expires, there's no budget, and therefore no money allocated, and the government can't function. I have no idea if this can happen in Canada.
posted by malthas at 7:44 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


From June of 2010: Dems won’t pass budget in 2010
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:46 AM on April 8, 2011


Can someone explain to me why the US government is shutting down?
In as neutral terms as I can muster at the moment:

Because the services that are provided by the federal government cost money, and money that the federal government spends must be legislatively allocated by Congress, and Congress has not legislatively allocated money.

In terms more dear to my heart:

Because Republicans hate America.
posted by Flunkie at 7:46 AM on April 8, 2011 [25 favorites]


I haven't seen much talk about the fact that most government websites will shut down, too. THOMAS will be unavailable.

There hasn't been much talk about it, because they're expected to stay up, though updates will be limited. The WaPo says, "Government Web sites not tied to 'essential' government services would not update during a shutdown, a senior administration official said."

I don't know about THOMAS specifically.
posted by Jahaza at 7:47 AM on April 8, 2011


Can someone explain to me why the US government is shutting down? I don't see how the politics relate to the civil service. Can this happen in Canada?

In a word: spending. The government cannot run without funding, which is allocated by the signing of a budget. The legislature and the executive office are not able to come to terms on a budget, and once funding is no longer available the government cannot continue to run. This is different than not having the money per se, since the government pretty much always runs on a deficit, but rather than non-essential segments of the government are not allowed to operate except through the use of allocated funds.

At least, that's my understanding.

I doubt this would happen in the same way in Canada since it's a parliamentary government, right? So there is no veto (technically, there is one, but it is almost never exercised), and thus if the legislature approves a bill, it is made law.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:47 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


The house if making good watching for once.
posted by Virtblue at 7:47 AM on April 8, 2011


The patent office also doesn't rely on the government for funding.

Yes and no. It's funded by user fees, but it gives that money to the Treasury and then takes it back again, so it will be affected by the shutdown. Patently-O has some more details.
posted by jedicus at 7:48 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Funny that the Republicans picked the one issue most dear to their opponents for special budgetary treatment.

It might appear as though the Democrats are going to oppose to the death any spending cut of any kind. The image sustaining into 2012, Democrats opposing state and Federal budget cuts.

It seems an obvious political trap into which the Democrats are once again drawn.
posted by three blind mice at 7:48 AM on April 8, 2011


The house if making good watching for once.

This makes me realize I hate almost all of them. All rich yuppies talking about 'liberty' and 'poverty' and none of them have ever experienced it or they wouldn't do this to the people they're supposed to represent.

Out of touch with reality and 'real solutions'.
posted by Malice at 7:49 AM on April 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


Donate to Planned Parenthood
posted by burnmp3s at 7:49 AM on April 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


Funny that the Republicans picked the one issue most dear to their opponents for special budgetary treatment.

It might appear as though the Democrats are going to oppose to the death any spending cut of any kind. The image sustaining into 2012, Democrats opposing state and Federal budget cuts.

It seems an obvious political trap into which the Democrats are once again drawn.
Democrats have already agreed to spending cuts, in the recent temporary funding extensions. And they've signaled their willingness to agree to spending cuts this time, too.
posted by Flunkie at 7:51 AM on April 8, 2011


Don't panic

Too late.
posted by Malice at 7:51 AM on April 8, 2011


Donate to Planned Parenthood

Hell YEAH!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:53 AM on April 8, 2011


Congress didn't do their stinking jobs for months.

They have no solutions.

...so the Republicans are shutting down the government to protest Planned Parenthood and abortion...?

They have no solutions.

Virginia Tea Partiers are basically completely unwilling to compromise on the budget, and if the people they elected do compromise they won't be reelected

They have no solutions.
posted by PlusDistance at 7:53 AM on April 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


It seems an obvious political trap into which the Democrats are once again drawn.

The GOP is going to eat shit over this. The democrats will come out smelling like roses.
posted by empath at 7:53 AM on April 8, 2011


Sounds like the various departments need to include a "savings account" section in their next budget to cover this sort of thing.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:54 AM on April 8, 2011


The democrats will come out smelling like roses.

Unless they cave. And, come on, it's the Democrats.
posted by enn at 7:54 AM on April 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


Intrade puts chances of a gov't #shutdown at 28%. If you know otherwise, now is the time to buy.
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:55 AM on April 8, 2011


Unless they cave. And, come on, it's the Democrats.

Despite all that I have to risk during a shut down, I hope they don't. Stick it to them as long as it takes to make the GOP cave.
posted by Malice at 7:56 AM on April 8, 2011


These words in 1996 by Newt Gingrich, who also supports this newer shutdown:
He can run the parts of the government that are left, or he can run no government. Which of the two of us do you think worries more about the government not showing up?
If the government shutdown has bad effects, Republicans may be able to shift the blame on Obama as being too unyielding (Obama does not benefit from the same aura of affability surrounding Clinton that gave the lie to the Republican's claims that Clinton was being stubborn). If the government has negligible effects, or even ones that the "average" American doesn't perceive, than the Republicans can say, "See? We don't even need the government."

For Democrats who believe that government provides essential services and who care fundamentally about the needs of the under-served, this is a "lose" situation. For Republicans, this can be a "win" situation so long as they can pitch it the way that they want. They don't care about the real impact of the government shutdown, only its political implications.

The only part of it that might look bad from a conservative standpoint is that military personel won't get paid but again that's largely political since examination of many Republican lawmakers' political decisions suggest they care more about funding big military rather than providing salaries and benefits to the soldiers themselves.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:56 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sounds like the various departments need to include a "savings account" section in their next budget to cover this sort of thing.

That kind of thing is prohibited by the Antideficiency Act.
posted by Jahaza at 7:57 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hearing 1 week extension, no riders.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:57 AM on April 8, 2011


They have no solutions.

Their solution is to cut spending on wasteful government spending, thus reducing the deficit, which is a great catch phrase that pretty much everyone can agree with.

The devil is in the details, of course, but most people aren't into those details.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:58 AM on April 8, 2011


I favor a TOTAL shutdown...all services, CIA, Military, anti-Jihad, ALL things. That might get Americans to take to the streets as in the Middle East and demand fucking change and maturity.
Let the Tea Party then decide what they want now that they will have taken back their government.
posted by Postroad at 8:00 AM on April 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


I don't know about THOMAS specifically.
I'm the guy putting the .htaccess file in place.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:00 AM on April 8, 2011 [48 favorites]


Can this happen in Canada?

Not to the degree it is occurring in the USA. If you recall last year during the Olympics, the Parliament of Canada was suspended , or prorogued.

Usually if things are bad enough, we just have another election.
posted by Isosceles at 8:01 AM on April 8, 2011


Here's my problem--what constitutes a "cave?"

Because I get the feeling that no matter what the Dems or Obama do, their Eeyore-like supporters will call it a cave and state "we're doomed!"

Is there a number the world agrees on that is a "cave?"
posted by Ironmouth at 8:02 AM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


What I don't understand is, why is it always just about budget cuts? Why is it never about trying to balance the budget through a combination of cuts and attempts to increase revenues? I feel like the debate has shifted so far to the right that even that even "moderate" proposals are totally unreasonable because they still don't actually try to balance other than through cuts, and that's obscenely frustrating.

If the government shuts down, I will definitely be adversely affected. My girlfriend works for a foundation that is funded by the government, my Dad works for an executive branch agency, and a lot of my friends either directly or indirectly work for the feds (mostly in "nonessential" positions, as well). The more I think about this the more I am really pissed off, and not just at the Republicans, even though I still think they are mostly responsible. The Democrats' inability to do anything useful about this for the entire time that the CR has been in effect makes me want to punch people.

A shutdown will fucking ruin the local economy in the DC metro area. Fuck all of those guys in that stupid domed building.

I fucking love the idea of throwing trash on Boehner's lawn.
posted by malthas at 8:02 AM on April 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


I favor a TOTAL shutdown...all services, CIA, Military, anti-Jihad, ALL things. That might get Americans to take to the streets as in the Middle East and demand fucking change and maturity.

I can be in favor of a TOTAL shut down for this reason.
posted by Malice at 8:02 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


What a bucket of assholes.

What happens is, if it shuts down, there are a few heartwrenching stories on the Today show about the, say, Dutch tourists who saved their whole lives to see Yosemite, or Radar's sweater at the Smithsonian, but when they show up there's a "SORRY! We can't get our shit together!" sign on the door. It's a terrible embarrassment, and everyone, R and D alike, (I'm talking people, not members of Congress) says, "Now that's a damn shame".

The key here is who we decide to blame. Last time we blamed the Republicans, I think it's pretty clear that this time we SHOULD blame the Republicans, but who knows what will happen. Is the story "Brazilian Orphan's life-long dream of seeing Fonzie's jacket squashed by Republican ideological terrorism" or "Brazilian Orphan's life-long dream of seeing Fonzie's jacket squashed by Democratic flibbertigibbetiness"

We'll see!
posted by dirtdirt at 8:04 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I wonder if this is a way for the Republicans to divest the crazy wing of their party from having a say in the party going down the road.

This is making the remarkable presumption that the crazy is not their base.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:04 AM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'm the guy putting the .htaccess file in place.

I love the variety of the userbase at MeFi. Awesome.
posted by mrbill at 8:04 AM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


In lighter news, #duringthegovernmentshutdown is gold:
@ghweldon: In the cold dawn at the National Zoo, a grim, battle-hardened Nancy Pelosi lights a cheroot and guts a panda. #duringthegovernmentshutdown
posted by quadrilaterals at 8:05 AM on April 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


That might get Americans to take to the streets as in the Middle East and demand fucking change and maturity.

I would be very, very surprised if the American people ever "take to the streets" en masse over anything.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:05 AM on April 8, 2011 [15 favorites]


Don't panic

I'm an EPA government contractor. The continuing resolutions (under which no new projects are allowed) and lack of a new spending bill (our clients don't know what kind of money they will have) have seriously hurt the amount of contracts that have come in to my research group. So, apart from the furlough letter that I received in my e-mail this morning, I've already been heavily affected by the budget woes. If I didn't have vacation time, I'd already be on leave without pay right now.

I'm also seven months pregnant, the breadwinner of the family, and could lose my job and benefits at any moment. And I'm in an incredibly specialized line of work where jobs are scarce.

So really, FU to anyone telling me to not panic. Especially people who aren't affected by the shutdown.
posted by Tooty McTootsalot at 8:06 AM on April 8, 2011 [73 favorites]


If the government shuts down, I will definitely be adversely affected.

Same here. My dad is a government employee who rarely takes vacations. If the government shuts down, the chances of my folks showing up on my doorstep to moon over their grandson rise dramatically.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:06 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm the guy putting the .htaccess file in place.

But it'll still be there right? It just won't be updated? They're not planning on taking it off line?
posted by Jahaza at 8:06 AM on April 8, 2011


A few days ago the Post ran this story which in summary says that Virginia Tea Partiers are basically completely unwilling to compromise on the budget, and if the people they elected do compromise they won't be reelected. I think that's probably what's driving a lot of this on the Republican side.

The striking thing about that article is how few people are at the Tea Party meeting they describe. Something like two dozen.
posted by OmieWise at 8:07 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Unless they cave. And, come on, it's the Democrats.

They've already caved. On 2009-01-20 the US already had a very conservative budget that basically funds killing people and not much else (because that might lead to taxes). Both parties are now debating whether to turn very conservative into ultra conservative or mega conservative.
posted by DU at 8:07 AM on April 8, 2011 [31 favorites]


Three Anti-Abortion Republicans Tell House GOP To Drop Planned Parenthood Rider To Avoid Shutdown
posted by muddgirl at 8:07 AM on April 8, 2011


I'm the guy putting the .htaccess file in place.

Interesting. I haven't gotten any requests to take stuff down on the Senate side.

Is the monthlong LOC furlough still on the table? I have a few friends in the copyright office who were freaking out about it.
posted by schmod at 8:08 AM on April 8, 2011


The devil is in the details, of course, but most people aren't into those details.

It's pretty well-known that details are a concept found only in communist countries. Maybe even european or, dare I say it, brown. Redblooded americans don't have time for details, because details are for wimps. Heroes don't need details, they just act! That's how you know they're heroes; they don't waste time thinking about things, they just do 'em.

Details. Pfft. You oughta be ashamed of even saying the word.
posted by aramaic at 8:09 AM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


My favorite #duringthegovernmentshutdown tweet remains this: "A feral Antonin Scalia haunts the darkened American History Museum in Abigail Fillmore's damask reception gown."

(Disclaimer: Glen, who's doing those tweets, is my dear, dear pal.)

I know the situation is serious, but dark comedy helps me.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 8:10 AM on April 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm not in a panic over a gov't shut down. It will suck for military families if it goes on for any length of time, and will suck for some others as well. But it seems that this fact will make it less likely that it will go on for any length of time.

I'm not in a panic at all. What I am, though, is in a state of deep cynicism over the nature of the project of the U.S. That our country elected so many of these yahoos across the country, at the fed and state level, is horrifying. And the U.S. isn't some country that can fall apart without huge ramifications for the rest of the world, so I guess that sucks for humanity.

Ken Burns was interviewed by Brian Leherer on WNYC a few days back. There was the inevitable references to his Civil War documentary. Burns made some comments that were devastating regarding the similarity between public behavior now and during the antebellum period.
posted by angrycat at 8:10 AM on April 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


I'm the guy putting the .htaccess file in place.

Oh man, if the shutdown does take place, could you pretty please post the non-security-related, obviously parts of that .htaccess file up for us to see? That would be pritty cool.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:10 AM on April 8, 2011


I'll be affected by the shutdown, too. I'm getting married next Friday, and our ceremony is supposed to take place right by the Jefferson Memorial here in DC.

When I called the Park Service to confirm that our permit would indeed be worthless if there's a shutdown, the person I spoke to said that she couldn't confirm anything, and that she'd find out the same time I did, when we both read about it in the Times.

"How can I make sure the park is closed, after the shutdown is announced?" I asked.

"Well, if you call back here and nobody answers, then you'll know."
posted by jacob at 8:11 AM on April 8, 2011 [20 favorites]


The Democrats' inability to do anything useful about this for the entire time that the CR has been in effect makes me want to punch people.

I hear this stuff all the time. But what is it they are supposed to do? Nothing can be done because that's the way our system works. The House must originate all budget bills. The worst part of the Dem voter base is that they see doom and gloom everywhere instead of realizing that there will be a compromise.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:11 AM on April 8, 2011


I'll be affected by the shutdown, too. I'm getting married next Friday, and our ceremony is supposed to take place right by the Jefferson Memorial here in DC.

Get your story out there.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:12 AM on April 8, 2011 [16 favorites]


But what is it they are supposed to do? Nothing can be done because that's the way our system works. The House must originate all budget bills.

They could have passed a budget when they had control of the house.

Really, the more I think about this the more cynical I get. Why DIDN'T they pass a budget last year?
posted by muddgirl at 8:13 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


At this point, we might as well officially divide up the country and stick the Republicans all over the middle and the liberals on the ends, and stop even pretending we can "come together." Because obviously we CAN'T. Even at gunpoint, probably.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:13 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


The part that's really pissing me off is that this isn't even a shutdown in any meaningful sense of the word. It's going to fuck my job, and I'm not even a government employee or billable contractor - I'm back office at a consulting firm and we just had the meeting looking for people to take vacation time or unpaid leave if this happens.

But it's not going to fuck the people out there who are clamoring shut her down, shut her down. Anything that's considered "essential" will keep on happening, apparently forever, even if the parties never agree on a budget. And that's why I'm angry. It's easy for these tea party fuckers to clamor for a shutdown because there are no consequences for them. The bubble of social services they can't apparently see, but rely on every day, will continue unabated while other people take the damage.

So if you want to shut down the government, then FUCKING SHUT DOWN THE GOVERNMENT.

The Military goes to base and sits there.

Air Traffic control stops.

Postal delivery stops.

VA Hospitals empty.

Border crossing points unmanned

Social Security payments stop.

Medicare payments stop.

Block grant payments to state and local governments stop.

If we insulate these assholes from the consequences of their actions, they're just going to keep fucking all of us.
posted by Naberius at 8:13 AM on April 8, 2011 [117 favorites]


If this was really about saving money, the Republicans would be all about giving contraception to the poor.
posted by almostmanda at 8:13 AM on April 8, 2011 [15 favorites]


How far will they take this? For some reason I think the current swathe of R's will follow this fucker all the way down once a shutdown starts.

I don't know where that ends.
posted by Lord_Pall at 8:15 AM on April 8, 2011


> Ken Burns was interviewed by Brian Leherer on WNYC a few days back .... Burns made some comments that were devastating regarding the similarity between public behavior now and during the antebellum period.

link?
posted by nangar at 8:15 AM on April 8, 2011


The worst part of the Dem voter base is that they see doom and gloom everywhere instead of realizing that there will be a compromise.

Compromising with people who literally want to destroy government1 is doom and gloom.

1Not in the least hyperbolic. The actual slogan of these people is "Government IS the problem."
posted by DU at 8:16 AM on April 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


But what is it they are supposed to do? Nothing can be done because that's the way our system works. The House must originate all budget bills.

The House did pass the bill, the Democrats just don't like it.

They could have passed a budget when they had control of the house.

Exactly.

If this was really about saving money, the Republicans would be all about giving contraception to the poor.

Cause, you know, if they have more than one principle, they're unprincipled.
posted by Jahaza at 8:17 AM on April 8, 2011


Nangar, I don't have one, but it was a show that I think was on yesterday -- you can listen to the Brian Leher Show as a podcast, I believe (WNYC -- NPR station NYC)
posted by angrycat at 8:18 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why DIDN'T they pass a budget last year?

Because the 60-vote supermajority is the new normal now? They couldn't do anything because the Republicans would filibuster anything that whiffed of librulism.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:19 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


The House did pass the bill, the Democrats just don't like it.

That's not even a regular budget bill - that's just a year-long continuing appropriation bill. It's not any better than the continuing resolutions, save for the length. And it doesn't answer my question - why couldn't the Democrats pass a regular budget?
posted by muddgirl at 8:19 AM on April 8, 2011


Why DIDN'T they pass a budget last year?

In the end this all can be attributed to the loss of the Dem's filibuster proof majority in the senate and Obama's failure to campaign for Martha Coakley until the last minute.
posted by Xurando at 8:19 AM on April 8, 2011


So the answer is, "The senate is fucked up beyond repair." Good to know.
posted by muddgirl at 8:20 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


The worst part of the Dem voter base is that they see doom and gloom everywhere instead of realizing that there will be a compromise.

I fully acknowledge that there will be a compromise at some point. Why didn't they do it six months ago instead of passing a continuing resolution and moving on? There was has been plenty of time for debate and compromise. Why does it take a shutdown for people to get their shit together? That's the kind of thing I'm talking about.
posted by malthas at 8:21 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Do you guys have a National Council of rebels yet?
posted by Harry at 8:21 AM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Panicking here. But I tend to panic anyway. I thought I had Bells Palsy yesterday, but it was just clogged sinuses.

Anyway, anyone who doesn't think the Tea Party is moist at the though of shutting things down is kidding themselves. The question for the Repubs is: are you more than just the Tea Party?
posted by JoanArkham at 8:22 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


The worst part of the Dem voter base is that they see doom and gloom everywhere instead of realizing that there will be a compromise.

Compromising with people who literally want to destroy government1 is doom and gloom.

1Not in the least hyperbolic. The actual slogan of these people is "Government IS the problem."


Of course we have to compromise. Uh, a budget HAS to be passed, no? There is no scenario of any budget that isn't a compromise. Ever, not just this year.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:22 AM on April 8, 2011


Deathalicious:
I haven't seen much talk about the fact that most government websites will shut down, too. THOMAS will be unavailable.
Holy cannoli, that is a big deal. Is that all websites or just the ones associated with the legislative body?


Can't confirm, but the rumor here is that cancer.gov will go, too -- so not only legislative sites.
posted by Westringia F. at 8:22 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can this happen in Canada?

This sort of thing isn't really a problem in a Westminster-style government. If the Government can't pass its Budget, it falls and either (a) one of the opposition parties tries to form a Government, or (b) more likely, there's a new election. But you'd know that this was going to happen, prior to the Budget date, so there wouldn't be this sort of gridlock.
posted by Infinite Jest at 8:24 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


THOMAS will be unavailable to the public. If you go to THOMAS, you will get an outage notice. Interestingly, since Congress, CRS, and the GPO are all still working, data updates will continue uninterrupted; you just won't be able to see them.

None of us in the office are happy about this. Most of us have worked on the site for many years, and feel very protective about the information we provide. And, of course, shuttering an operation like this takes quite a bit of effort, effort that provides no benefit to the public.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:24 AM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Planet Money puts things in perspective.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:24 AM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


It is going to take all my willpower today to not engage evil Republicans on Twitter. I need to set up some sort of reward program for myself STAT.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:24 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


And it doesn't answer my question - why couldn't the Democrats pass a regular budget?

This is why:

Because the 60-vote supermajority is the new normal now? They couldn't do anything because the Republicans would filibuster anything that whiffed of librulism.


Harry Reid tacitly agreed that any bill would require 60 votes. The Repulibcans were able to filibuster more bills in history just by saying they wanted to do so, not by actually standing up and doing it. Then Scott Brown won and became President, so everything stopped dead. Health care- crippled. Cap and trade- dead. Second stimulus- dead. Immigration- deader than dead. Midterms- crushed. Tea party now in total control with 1/2 of the House. Democrats pissing themselves in fear, terrified to make a case for government or for anythign other that "slightly less tax cuts and spending cuts than what the Tea Party people demand".

This is why people have no faith in Democrats. They intentionally hamstrung themselves after winning the largest election victory since the 60s, then preemptively surrendered on every major battle leading us to where we are now, which is fucked.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:25 AM on April 8, 2011 [44 favorites]


Ironmouth wrote: The worst part of the Dem voter base is that they see doom and gloom everywhere instead of realizing that there will be a compromise.

Except that there hasn't been any "compromises" under Obama. Not real ones. A real compromise would look something like this:

Repubs: defund planned parenthood!

Dems: universal healthcare!

Repubs: if you let us defund PP, we'll let you have universal healthcare.

Dems: how about we cut funding for PP but still have a more scaled-back version of universal healthcare?

Repubs: ok, deal.

But here's how it really happens:

Repubs: defund planned parenthood!

Dems: hey, you're mean!

Repubs: DO IT NOW OR ELSE

Dems: ok, but can we have universal healthcare?

Repubs: no. Furthermore, all government programs except police and military must be cut by 30%.

Dems: well, ok, I guess.

Repubs: make that 40%. Also, taxes must be lowered.

Dems: ok, but you guys are totally mean!
posted by Avenger at 8:25 AM on April 8, 2011 [69 favorites]


I fail already. ::headdesk::
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:28 AM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


If you plan on visiting the Statue of Liberty at Liberty National Park, bring along your phone and the number for a water taxi.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:30 AM on April 8, 2011


http://www.c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN/

It seems that R-Texas's primary reasoning is: "The military isn't affected, so wtf are y'all worried about?".

I must admit I kinda like the US House at work.. a whole different game than the European or Westminster parliaments. To my untrained eyes it often seems they are primarily concerned with gaming the system of government, instead of actually.. governing.
posted by Harry at 8:30 AM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Well if congress isn't using their building perhaps DC residents could drop their trash off at the capitol? We could see how long it would take to fund DC services if the steps of their workplace becomes clogged with tonnes of trash.
posted by edgeways at 8:32 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Cause, you know, if they have more than one principle, they're unprincipled.

If their principles include controlling women at a net cost to the taxpayer, they need to come out and say that. Funding Planned Parenthood (providing contraception to the poor) is a smart investment that saves money.
posted by almostmanda at 8:32 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


And then will complain when their Social Security checks don't show up.

I assume this isn't willful fear mongering? Social Security is not shutting down.
posted by Brocktoon at 8:33 AM on April 8, 2011


This is why people have no faith in Democrats. They intentionally hamstrung themselves after winning the largest election victory since the 60s, then preemptively surrendered on every major battle leading us to where we are now, which is fucked.

Nope, what people forget is that the Democrats were composed of a wide swath of factions, from liberal to conservative. Plus they needed the two independents to make get to 60 votes, so it was always going to be tough. Remember Joe Lieberman being a jackass over the health care bill, forcing a more conservative bill? He was on the Democrats side and his voted was absolutely and totally needed to reach that filibuster proof majority.

Yes, yes, I know these are details, but like I said above, most of the general don't care about these details.

Now, this doesn't mean the Democrats are perfect or couldn't have done better strategy wise, but their control of Congress was fairly slim, so I'm not going to blame them for everything. My major problem is with the complete and utter lock step approach of individual Republicans. That ain't healthy for a democracy.

To my untrained eyes it often seems they are primarily concerned with gaming the system of government, instead of actually.. governing.

They're gaming the government so they can win and then govern.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:33 AM on April 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Is there a number the world agrees on that is a "cave?"

Um, if Planned Parenthood's funding gets cut, in any greater proportion than the rest of the budget? That would be a 'cave' in my opinion.

It all looks like a great big game of chicken to me, but there's always a certain amount of risk in playing chicken with a crazy person, or group of crazy persons: if they really don't give a shit they might not flinch at all.

I've been in meetings pretty much continuously the past 48 hours or so discussing the consequences of a shutdown on my work, and the analysis seems to be that we'll continue to work at-risk under the assumption that the eventual funding bill will be retroactive. We'll see how it goes.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:34 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


"if the steps of their workplace becomes clogged with tonnes of trash" The interior is already full of trash, but they'll be going home at the end of the day today...
posted by tomswift at 8:34 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Social security checks are automated, as are e-file tax refunds. Refunds resulting from paper returns will be delayed, however.
posted by Danf at 8:34 AM on April 8, 2011


A friend of mine typo'd "shutdown" as "shitdown" this morning. I will now be using that in every discussion of the issue henceforth.

Best typo ever.
posted by Tknophobia at 8:36 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was listening to talk radio the other day and a caller blamed the potential shutdown on Obama "taking all those vacations" and dealing with other countries instead of the USA. I thought that was a nice piece of retconning dissonance.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:38 AM on April 8, 2011


Oh man, if the shutdown does take place, could you pretty please post the non-security-related, obviously parts of that .htaccess file up for us to see? That would be pritty cool.

It is not nice to ask for this kind of thing.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 8:39 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


But here's how it really happens:

Repubs: defund planned parenthood!

Dems: hey, you're mean!

Repubs: DO IT NOW OR ELSE

Dems: ok, but can we have universal healthcare?

Repubs: no. Furthermore, all government programs except police and military must be cut by 30%.

Dems: well, ok, I guess.

Repubs: make that 40%. Also, taxes must be lowered.

Dems: ok, but you guys are totally mean!


This is exactly what I mean. Dem voters have such an inferiority complex that they project this fake dialouge on to a situation which in no way it resembles.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:39 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also,

Dems: let's shut down guantanamo bay! Fair trials for all inmates!

Repubs: no.

Dems: ok.

Repubs: actually, we want to make it essentially illegal for detainees to get legal help. Plus, more wiretapping powers for the NSA.

Dems: yeah, ok, it's probably for the best.

There's no compromise evident here.
posted by Avenger at 8:40 AM on April 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


live video from the senate floor...
posted by tomswift at 8:40 AM on April 8, 2011


So if guantanamo bay has no funding, do the guards still go to work?
posted by empath at 8:41 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I assume this isn't willful fear mongering? Social Security is not shutting down.

It should. Until constituents of all representatives are affected, then they have no incentive to complete something.
posted by inigo2 at 8:42 AM on April 8, 2011


Some people will still go to work. Some will actually be allowed to work while at work. I have a friend who is "essential personnel" in the State Department. He dreads a shutdown because he will have to go to his office but will not, by law, be allowed to do any government work unless there is an appropriate emergency.
posted by zennie at 8:43 AM on April 8, 2011


Question that googling seems to not answer: I filed via paper, but my refund date is already set (May 10th) - since it is already set and supposed to be direct deposited, will it go through like an efile or is it simply because it's a paper file that it's going to be delayed?

I am mostly very concerned because I have to get to work. To get to work three cities over, I have to have a car. My car needs to go to the shop to have some work done before my timing belt decides that now is a good time to pop and take my engine out with it.

So yes, panic. Every moment I have to drive that car before then is another moment that may lead to me not having a car to go to work.. and I am supposed to start college a city away in August.
posted by Malice at 8:45 AM on April 8, 2011


Dems: let's shut down guantanamo bay! Fair trials for all inmates!

Repubs: no.


Actually it was more like this:

Obama: Let's shut down Guantanamo Bay.

Congress (Dems and Repubs): Fuck you, ain't happening and we're not going to give you money to even attempt to do that.

Until constituents of all representatives are affected, then they have no incentive to complete something.

That's why it's not shutting down, of course. Congress has learned its lesson.

If the government does close up and SS checks keep going, I fully expect to hear "The government doesn't run Social Security, I kept getting my check when it shut down!"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:45 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Naberius seems to be on to something. Maybe a Government Shutdown is the teaparty's ultimate permanent goal? All the stuff that is "essential" and which they never complain about continues. All the services they bitch about are shut down. Except maybe losing the USPS and some parks or something, it seems like a Government Shutdown is essentially what they're fighting for.
posted by jermsplan at 8:47 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


it seems like a Government Shutdown is essentially what they're fighting for.

Bingo.
posted by aramaic at 8:48 AM on April 8, 2011


This is why people have no faith in Democrats. They intentionally hamstrung themselves after winning the largest election victory since the 60s, then preemptively surrendered on every major battle leading us to where we are now, which is fucked.

This is pure ignorance of facts which could be looked up on wikipedia and the source of this "Dems are weak" crap. The largest election victory since the 1960s? What crack you smoking. How about Reagan in 1984?

Everyone, check the numbers! Brandon Blatcher has it exactly right. This isn't fucking New Deal II! FDR had nearly 75 percent of all of the House in 1933! And one wonders how they got it all done.

Obama got 53% of the vote. Rather average for a presidential winner since WWII. There was no fucking landslide and the country remained nearly evenly divided. But to hear some of the people on this thread, you'd think he had 400 House seats and 90 Senate seats.

And what's up with everyone being surprised about filibusters! Seem to remember them talking about it in civics class in 1985, myself. Its as if everyone forgot everything they learned!
posted by Ironmouth at 8:48 AM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'd like to put a marker here for the 2012 election.

Come the election, you may find yourself thinking "Ugh, Obama (or your more local Democratic elected official) has really let me down. He/She didn't do X, Y, or Z good thing that they promised, and left A, B, or C bad thing in place. That's it! I'm not voting for them again. Third party / just stay home / something else in 2012". Well, this right here is what happens when we don't keep Republican extremists out of office.

I should research it before I assert it, but I'm pretty sure the current House Republican majority was voted-in in districts where the Dem turnout in 2010 was much less than 2008. Understandable -- off-year election, bad economy; it's hard to get excited voting for "stay the course".

And I'd love to cast my vote for someone I really agree with, not the least bad one. But the thing is, you don't get to chose your elected officials. You get to cast a vote for them. Along with all the other eligible voters. This moment right here makes it clear that there are many voters who are willing eager to elect Senators and Reps who do not care about our government functioning well, and are willing to destroy the things I value in order to enforce their will on America. I don't have the luxury of expressing my feelings at the ballot.

So voting is no longer the thrilling thing it used to be in my mind -- my final expression of my careful evaluation and consideration (I was a very excitable nerd in my youth). Now, it's like taking out the trash.

Do what you gotta do to keep the bad stuff from piling up. And that certainly makes it harder to get excited about, much less try to get others excited about, or contribute money towards:"Woo hoo! I just spent $50 to help determine the next sanitation supervisor!". But you gotta do it. Otherwise shit like this happens.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:48 AM on April 8, 2011 [16 favorites]


Some people will still go to work. Some will actually be allowed to work while at work. I have a friend who is "essential personnel" in the State Department. He dreads a shutdown because he will have to go to his office but will not, by law, be allowed to do any government work unless there is an appropriate emergency.

I'm a federal employee. I am paid out of 3 funds, one of which the furlough will not apply to. We're still waiting to find out if I can come into work during a shutdown--if I can, I can only work on a very specific project, and not do most of my job.
posted by almostmanda at 8:49 AM on April 8, 2011


I filed via paper, but my refund date is already set (May 10th) - since it is already set and supposed to be direct deposited, will it go through like an efile or is it simply because it's a paper file that it's going to be delayed?

I'm in the same boat (someone had already used by SS number, so we had to file manually so they can correct) and the consensus seems to be that those manual filings will be delayed.

Maybe a Government Shutdown is the teaparty's ultimate permanent goal?

Pretty much, they've been fairly explicit about it. Republicans have been wanting to "drown government in the bathtub" for years now.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:50 AM on April 8, 2011


A shutdown will fucking ruin the local economy in the DC metro area.

Look, this happened in '95 - at Christmas, no less - and it not ruin the DC metro economy. This is a serious problem, but not anywhere near the apocalypse so many recent transplants and long-term residents w/poor memories are making it out to be.
posted by ryanshepard at 8:51 AM on April 8, 2011


Nobody seems to have mentioned what I think is the real reason this is happening: Boehner is screwed.

The top non-Tea Party Republicans know this will come back on them. They know it's their party insisting on all kinds of weird new things even in the stopgap bills and that when the Dems finally throw their hands in the air and say, "look, we gave you all the budget stuff you wanted and you just asked for more and crazy stuff," they R's will look very bad. They do not want this.

The tea partiers do not want compromise. They've read too much Ayn Rand and they want to go Galt on the whole project. They want the shutdown.

But if Boehner does the sane thing and gives the Democrats concessions to get the D votes he needs to pass a budget that can pass the Senate and get signed, the tea partiers will go apeshit. He'll probably get primaried, along with everyone R who votes with him. And while the tea party isn't numerous enough to win a general election (at least when its true motives are known to voters), it is numerous enough to win a Republican primary.

And that's why the government is shutting down. The rest is just rhetoric.
posted by localroger at 8:51 AM on April 8, 2011 [21 favorites]


does this mean pubmed will be down?
posted by motorcycles are jets at 8:52 AM on April 8, 2011


I'm in the same boat (someone had already used by SS number, so we had to file manually so they can correct) and the consensus seems to be that those manual filings will be delayed.

The only image that comes to mind is Darth Vader gazing upward, arms outstretched:

"NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
posted by Malice at 8:54 AM on April 8, 2011


I do think it helps to put this into perspective: I work in the DC government. I have people in my office who live paycheck to paycheck. I know of at least one person who will be evicted from her apartment if we're closed for more than a couple of days and her lost income is not replaced somehow.
posted by OmieWise at 8:55 AM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'm really grateful for the relatively consensual screwing we got here in the UK. It must be exhausting to be American.

That's actually a real factor in keeping people away from the polls on election day. Even intelligent people who should know better start to feel like nothing ever changes, politicians are all hypocrites, it's all cynical bullshit, and their vote won't matter anyway so they feel exhausted from the whole process (and from the reality of trying to make ends meet in their daily life) and so they end up saying Fuck it and not paying attention, not giving $10 to any candidate, and not voting in the primaries or the smaller elections. And so the establishment gets more established, the status quo stays more entrenched and the whole cycle repeats.

Look, my elected Representative is an actual corporate puppet, handpicked by the Republican machine, and only made electable by Tom DeLay's ability to gerrymander a Democratic district to death---and every time he's still reelected by wide margins. It's exhausting to even consider who could run against him at this point---so no one does, and the establishment stays more established (repeat ad nauseaum).

Let's say there are 100 registered potential voters in my district, 33 of them are young voters, under the age of 25, 33 of them are 60 and over, and the other 34 are age 25 to 60 (not real, but bear with me). So 30 of the 33 kids (mostly registered Democrats btw) stay home rather than vote, all 33 of the old folks (mostly republicans, btw) show up and vote and about 10 of the middle demographic folks vote, that leaves us with 46 votes, but the result is a landslide victory for the established incumbent because for each kid who said Fuck It, their nonvote winds up being an unchallenged assent to the entrenched incumbent. What I'm saying so poorly is: we need more young people to vote, we need fewer landslides in favor of the incumbent, and we need more incumbents unseated. It takes a lot of work to organize and get someone elected; it's exhausting, in fact, but it is our only hope for real progress.
posted by mattbucher at 8:55 AM on April 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


In 95 people got back-pay. I don't see that happening this time. Personally, I have already stopped spending any money, except on things I already had planned. Sorry Vegas, I'm not going to my high school reunion after all.
posted by JoanArkham at 8:58 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


To my untrained eyes it often seems they are primarily concerned with gaming the system of government, instead of actually.. governing.

And, when I see harper's company doing a child's-mock-play attempt of all this "gaming," I break out the liquor, because gimlet eyes of distilled booze are of close enough approximation to distilled rage that they can be mistaken at a distance.

The power to stay in power- I suspect that's what all gov.s turn into. Or even originate from- ha!
posted by LD Feral at 8:59 AM on April 8, 2011


I'm really grateful for the relatively consensual screwing we got here in the UK. It must be exhausting to be American.

Not really. This kind of stalemate is fairly rare. We trade uncertainty in the budgeting process for certainty in the elections process, we don't have no confidence votes or snap elections.
posted by Jahaza at 9:00 AM on April 8, 2011


but it is our only hope for real progress.

You're forgetting communal violence and mass butchery.
posted by aramaic at 9:00 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


My current theory is that the teabaggers are trying to reduce the Federal workforce by giving us all heart attacks or strokes by making sure we have a very stressful life. (A shutdown will close the gym in my building. The contractor who runs it is putting on a burning calorie challenge thingie to encourage us to keep working out even if the shutdown happens.)

If I don't laugh about it, I'll be overwhelmed.
posted by QIbHom at 9:00 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Look, this happened in '95 - at Christmas, no less - and it not ruin the DC metro economy. This is a serious problem, but not anywhere near the apocalypse so many recent transplants and long-term residents w/poor memories are making it out to be.

Except the economy was way better back then and everyone got back pay. The economy sucks and there will be zero back pay this time.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:04 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Congressional women on CSPAN right now talking about how this budget hold up is all about using women as pawns.
posted by dejah420 at 9:06 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


there will be zero back pay this time.
Why do you say that?

To be clear, I'm not disagreeing, I'm literally interested in why you are saying it. Is it an assertion based upon your opinion? Has there been some governmental official who said it? Something else?
posted by Flunkie at 9:07 AM on April 8, 2011


Also Boehner doesn't have the votes. Obama and Reid know this. They have him over a barrel.

Obama has ramped up the rhetoric too "I expect an answer in the morning."

Win-win, I say.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:08 AM on April 8, 2011


It takes a lot of work to organize and get someone elected; it's exhausting, in fact, but it is our only hope for real progress.

While you waste your life playing that crooked game you will make no difference, and you will become another problem for the republicans that solved itself.

Lawful means are neither your only, nor a hope, for real progress.

To be honest, I also think you will lose on the alternative, the bloodbath. Looking at the long term, I can only see the unthinking, irresponsible american cancer being stopped when it tries to expand further outside of your borders. Because, meanwhile, we haven't been trying to fuck our countries with anything near the level of enthusiasm and effort the americans are showing, and, being poorer than you, we can't afford so much crazy without serious consequences.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 9:09 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nobody seems to have mentioned what I think is the real reason this is happening: Boehner is screwed.


I agree. Increasingly, I feel that this comes down to one man - Boehner - and whether he is going to do what's best for his job, or best for his country. If he does not compromise on the riders, the Tea Party will be happy with him, and he gets to keep his job as Speaker - for now, at least, since the TP doesn't really like him anyway and they'll be back to hating him soon enough. Besides, Eric Cantor is dying for his job, and he is one scarily ambitious guy.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 9:09 AM on April 8, 2011


there will be zero back pay this time.
Why do you say that?

To be clear, I'm not disagreeing, I'm literally interested in why you are saying it. Is it an assertion based upon your opinion? Has there been some governmental official who said it? Something else?


Been all over the news for the last few days here in DC.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:09 AM on April 8, 2011


This shutdown seems more draconian than the last. Supposedly, NIH postdocs won't even be able to check email, much less enter their labs and offices. If this shutdown lasts any decent length, it jeopardizes their experiments, which jeopardizes their careers. I can see careers being killed by a long enough shutdown. If it were me, I'd just pay the damn fine and break into work, anyway.

Maybe a Government Shutdown is the teaparty's ultimate permanent goal?

Yes, the Republican/Tea Party people overwhelmingly favor shutdown, and from what I've read, most want it to be permanent.

Look, this happened in '95 - at Christmas, no less - and it not ruin the DC metro economy.

I would think DC is less busy than usual around Christmas.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:11 AM on April 8, 2011


Because, meanwhile, we haven't been trying to fuck our countries with anything near the level of enthusiasm and effort the americans are showing

I can't imagine what country you are from.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:11 AM on April 8, 2011


When there is a viable third-party candidate, we can have a real discussion, but they generally act as spoilers now.

Yeah, this is why I support third party candidates as much as possible, viability has to start somewhere.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:11 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Lawmakers Disagree Over Why They Can't Agree.
posted by ericb at 9:13 AM on April 8, 2011


I would think DC is less busy than usual around Christmas.

There's a holiday shopping frenzy here, the same as everywhere else. People do live here.
posted by ryanshepard at 9:13 AM on April 8, 2011


When there is a viable third-party candidate, we can have a real discussion, but they generally act as spoilers now.

Yeah, this is why I support third party candidates as much as possible, viability has to start somewhere.


Been viable third-party candidates for decades. Winning electoral votes and all. None have a program that appeals to enough americans.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:14 AM on April 8, 2011


Also Boehner doesn't have the votes. Obama and Reid know this. They have him over a barrel.

Even if this is true, given past experience with Reid, I don't have confidence that he will be willing or able to press his advantage. I don't know what the end game looks like here, but if this is where they've finally decided to stop retreating and fight, then they'd better win, or it's curtains.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:15 AM on April 8, 2011


None have a program that appeals to enough americans.

Neither, apparently, do the Democrats.
posted by enn at 9:17 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't imagine what country you are from.
posted by Ironmouth (*) at 6:11 PM on April 8 [+] [!]


No, what you can't imagine is that the USA is not the best country in every metric.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 9:17 AM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Ops I said ”metric”.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 9:19 AM on April 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


Paraphrase of notice from work:

Thanks for helping with that Fukushima thing, guys. You're all heroes. Don't worry, this potentially having no job thing, this dicking around with your very livelihood, isn't in any way reflective of how valuable you are. It's just a political thing. I'm sure congress gives a shit about you and everything will turn out ok.

By the way, those of you still in Japan... uh, you have personal credit cards, right?
posted by ctmf at 9:19 AM on April 8, 2011 [27 favorites]


I shouldn't have asked.
posted by infini at 9:23 AM on April 8, 2011


Three Anti-Abortion Republicans Tell House GOP To Drop Planned Parenthood Rider To Avoid Shutdown.
posted by ericb at 9:23 AM on April 8, 2011


This kind of makes the whole "who's to blame for this" finger pointing thing a pretty high stakes game. I think the Tea Party is over if this happens, unless they can somehow convince the morons that worship them that they weren't to blame for holding hundreds of thousands of people's lives hostage over bullshit political games.
posted by ctmf at 9:23 AM on April 8, 2011


Also Boehner doesn't have the votes. Obama and Reid know this. They have him over a barrel.

Even if this is true, given past experience with Reid, I don't have confidence that he will be willing or able to press his advantage. I don't know what the end game looks like here, but if this is where they've finally decided to stop retreating and fight, then they'd better win, or it's curtains.


What "retreating?"

The parties will have to compromise.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:25 AM on April 8, 2011


Sarah Palin wants Barack Obama to get government shutdown blame.
posted by ericb at 9:25 AM on April 8, 2011


The Tea Party isn't going anywhere for the moment. However this shakes out, they'll be around for at least the 2012 elections, because they can't stand Obama in the slightest. If Obama does lose in 2012 (unlikely in my opinion), then they might wither to dull headache, but if not, they'll just more generally insane.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:26 AM on April 8, 2011


I think the Tea Party is over if this happens, unless they can somehow convince the morons that worship them that they weren't to blame for holding hundreds of thousands of people's lives hostage over bullshit political games.
Or if the morons that worship them are morons that worship them.
posted by Flunkie at 9:26 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


If this shutdown lasts any decent length, it jeopardizes their experiments, which jeopardizes their careers. I can see careers being killed by a long enough shutdown.

"Protecting research investments" means that people who are doing expriments (e.g. growing stuff) that can't be shutdown (e.g. looking at rocks) will be allowed to work.

If it were me, I'd just pay the damn fine and break into work, anyway.

Even if you can pay the $5k fine, you might find the two year prison term interferes with your career plans.
posted by Jahaza at 9:27 AM on April 8, 2011


Been viable third-party candidates for decades. Winning electoral votes and all. None have a program that appeals to enough americans.

Hard to tell until someone with real national funding and organization gives it a go. Ideally an independent, not someone beholden to a party.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:27 AM on April 8, 2011


Don't worry folks, this is all part of the show. Keep your hands inside the cart and please extiguish all smoking materials.
I am going to Vote Obama because as a under employed person, I have never had it so good, the worry, neglect. It feels great to blame someone else for my problems.

today, i am a democrat.
posted by clavdivs at 9:27 AM on April 8, 2011


Although the way I understand it, the resolution to continue paying people isn't really a budget, so the restrictions in it aren't really DE-funding anything, they're just saying they're not part of the "KEEP funding in the meantime until we can get a budget" group.

Which in practice is the same thing, considering the "once it's in effect, it's probably permanent" factor, but I can see how if the resolution is, use this money to keep "Essential, Cannot Suspend" programs running, you wouldn't want people spending that money on everything under the sun.
posted by ctmf at 9:29 AM on April 8, 2011


After their supposedly "decisive" victory in the 2010 election, the GOP seems to have done absolutely nothing that actually benefits most of their constituency. Instead they've concentrated on dramatic plays that garner headlines but do little else.

They extended the Bush tax cuts. Paul Ryan just proposed Medicare reform. That's not nothing.
posted by Slap Factory at 9:30 AM on April 8, 2011


Paul Ryan just proposed Medicare reform
No, Paul Ryan just proposed eliminating Medicare (and Medicaid) within ten years.

If that's what you meant by "reform", so be it, but let's be clear.
posted by Flunkie at 9:32 AM on April 8, 2011 [14 favorites]


Sarah Palin wants Barack Obama to get government shutdown blame. to stay in the news. Don't help her.
posted by inigo2 at 9:34 AM on April 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


If Obama does lose in 2012 (unlikely in my opinion)

Assuming things don't change much between now and the election, I think a moderate republican could beat Obama next year (and I support Obama). I'm not sure the Republicans will nominate a moderate though.
posted by drezdn at 9:34 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


It seems this time around that a lot of people (Tea Partiers especially) are frothing at the mouth for a shutdown and will be happy when it happens. And then will complain when their Social Security checks don't show up.

Politifact: "Barack Obama says if there's a government shutdown, Social Security checks won't get sent."

CNN: "Federal shutdown: Social Security checks won't stop."
posted by Slap Factory at 9:37 AM on April 8, 2011


Well, unfortunately, yes. This is a two party country. Sometimes you hold your nose and vote for the people who aren't the ones holding the country hostage to ideology. When there is a viable third-party candidate, we can have a real discussion, but they generally act as spoilers now. And this is a discussion we've had a billion times on this site, and it's not a disputed fact.

It's a two-party country because people think like you do. You're ensuring that you won't see a "viable third-party candidate" in your lifetime because you're willing to settle. This bullshit immediacy have given us jack shit. Time to suffer a bit in the name of actual change. We probably won't get it, but the outcomes the same. I thought I was cynical, but you're essentially telling us this shitty system is how it has to be. Really bleak.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:37 AM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


After their supposedly "decisive" victory in the 2010 election, the GOP seems to have done absolutely nothing that actually benefits most of their constituency. Instead they've concentrated on dramatic plays that garner headlines but do little else.

They extended the Bush tax cuts. Paul Ryan just proposed Medicare reform. That's not nothing.


Uh, no. First, the cuts were extended by the prior congress. Second, Ryan's plan is based on pure fantasy and destroys medicare and medicaid.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:41 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


You're ensuring that you won't see a "viable third-party candidate" in your lifetime because you're willing to settle. This bullshit immediacy have given us jack shit.
If our nation's collective political opinions have given us "jack shit", then this thread, and all such worrying about the potential effects of a government shutdown, is much ado about nothing.
posted by Flunkie at 9:41 AM on April 8, 2011


There will never be any change. I've said it before, I'll say it again.

We're all too comfortable. Cell phones, internet, gourmet food, transportation, etc. No one is willing to give it up for change.
posted by Malice at 9:41 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


If you want real change/reform, we would need to switch to a proportional representation system instead of this winner-take-all bullshit. Of course, the odds of that happening are slightly less than lead spontaneously turning into gold, so....
posted by entropicamericana at 9:42 AM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Man, I am so sick of the "spoiler" excuse for not supporting a 3rd party candidate. I remember walking up to Nader supporters in 2000 arguing that they were going to throw the election to Bush and being pissed off at them when it happened But you know what, everything Nader said in 2000 was true. Clinton spent 8 years turning the Democratic party into the Republican party, so much so that the Republicans had to move to the far right just to distinguish themselves. I'm so fucking sick of voting for the lesser of two evils, I want someone who fucking stands up for what is right not what will get them elected.
posted by any major dude at 9:43 AM on April 8, 2011 [29 favorites]


Sarah Palin wants to stay in the news. Don't help her.
Why not? Frankly, from a purely political standpoint, I think that Sarah Palin winning the 2012 Republican primary would be a wonderful thing for this nation.

It would be good for her hardcore supporters to get doused with the cold hard reality of what America thinks about her.
posted by Flunkie at 9:43 AM on April 8, 2011


It's a two-party country because people think like you do. You're ensuring that you won't see a "viable third-party candidate" in your lifetime because you're willing to settle.

Democracy is settling. Pure and simple. Its not having your way. Splintering the parties means even less ability to get things done. Because each party is smaller, with a narrower base.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:43 AM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think that Sarah Palin winning the 2012 Republican primary would be a wonderful thing for this nation.

Never, ever say this. For any reason.
posted by Malice at 9:44 AM on April 8, 2011 [28 favorites]


I'm going to go out on a limb and make a prediction, despite my terrible record at making predictions: there will not be a shutdown.

The House Republicans know what happened the last time they tried that sort of thing, they don't want it to happen again. Furthermore, they're very predictable when it comes to abortion and Planned Parenthood: like Lucy with the football they keep jerking it away from their base. The elected Republicans don't want to win on abortion because if they do then they won't be able to wave dead babies around to get their supporters to the polls.

They're using this as nothing but a threat to get more cuts from Obama, and that's what's going to happen.

In exchange for continued Planned Parenthood funding, Obama will surrender on every other major issue and make insanely deep cuts to social programs while expanding military spending. Just as the Republicans planned from the beginning.

They'll be able to go back to their base and promise to keep fighting the good fight to save the babies from the evil abortionists, Obama will be able to claim he saved Planned Parenthood, and our economy and infrastructure will continue to crumble while the military continues to leech ever more money from us all.

Ironmouth A big tent is nice, but not when it gets so big the party stands for nothing.
posted by sotonohito at 9:44 AM on April 8, 2011 [16 favorites]


I've been informed that even federal email accounts will cease to function in a shutdown.
posted by steamynachos at 9:45 AM on April 8, 2011


But you know what, everything Nader said in 2000 was true
I actually voted for, and contributed money to, Nader in 2000. I am ashamed of neither of those facts. However, not everything that Nader said in 2000 was true.

Specifically, he said that there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats.
posted by Flunkie at 9:45 AM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Dear Scissors,

I feel your pain. Nobody wants to run with me, either.

Yours truly,

Sarah Palin
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:45 AM on April 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


we would need to switch to a proportional representation system instead of this winner-take-all bullshit.

It's true. Italy and Israel have such effective parliaments.
posted by bonehead at 9:45 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure the Republicans will nominate a moderate though.

I'm totally sure the Republicans won't nominate a moderate. They've been eliminating them from the party for years now.

You're ensuring that you won't see a "viable third-party candidate" in your lifetime because you're willing to settle.

Nah, the third party needs to start small, like with a 50 state strategy that Howard Dean had, and grow from there. The national level should be last step in building the party, not the first or even the 10th.

And Obama is just fine, as long as he keeps the now crazy Republican party from having total control, because they're probably going to take the Senate in 2012, where they have 23 seats and 2 Independent seats up for grab, while Republicans have just 10.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:46 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


does this mean pubmed will be down?

I index for pubmed. Pretty sure that updates will be down, but I think the database will still be accessible.
posted by gaspode at 9:47 AM on April 8, 2011


I think that Sarah Palin winning the 2012 Republican primary would be a wonderful thing for this nation.

She got, what, like 47% of the electoral votes last time? (I'm going under the assumption that a vote for near-dead McCain was really a vote for President Palin.)

Be careful what you wish for.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:48 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


In exchange for continued Planned Parenthood funding, Obama will surrender on every other major issue and make insanely deep cuts to social programs while expanding military spending. Just as the Republicans planned from the beginning.

Actually, we already have the number. 38 billion. Its not insanely deep. Read Talking Points Memo.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:48 AM on April 8, 2011


I've been informed that even federal email accounts will cease to function in a shutdown.

I think it will be agency by agency and perhaps job by job.
posted by Jahaza at 9:48 AM on April 8, 2011


Besides, Palin is not a troll on an internet website. She's a former governor and major party Vice Presidential candidate who has millions of people who hang on her every word. You and I sticking our fingers in our ears won't make her go away.
posted by Flunkie at 9:49 AM on April 8, 2011


It will actually be illegal for furloughed government employees to even read job-related email on their Blackberries.
posted by localroger at 9:49 AM on April 8, 2011


The spinning the Tea Party contingent is doing on this is surreal. I had CNN on in the background last night, and had to actually stop what I was doing and watch, amazed, as the normally mild-mannered and dignified David Gergen was absolutely flummoxed by smirking and mocking talk radio meangirl Dana Loesch.

For those who can't watch the video: Gergen, a respected moderate who served under Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton, called the situation "smelly politics" and said people like Loesch knew full well that defunding Planned Parenthood would save a paltry sum for entirely ideological reasons that wasn't worth shutting the government down over. She then brazenly turned the tables on him, asking with faux righteous fury how dare he "target the salaries of our servicemen and -women" in order to "make a stand" for abortion. Host Anderson Cooper actually had to jump in to point out that it was the Republican House that had inserted the riders in the first place. When she then said that how little the ideological cuts would save was "irrelevant" and that "it adds up," Gergen literally had his head in his hands.

I imagine much the same thing is going on in TV and radio segments across the country. Conservatives are desperate to avoid a repeat of 1996, and with the stronger hold on media they have, it's entirely possible they'll succeed. Recall that the last shutdown backfired on Gingrich in large part because an incredibly ill-timed comment ("the mistake of his life") made Gingrich look like he had orchestrated the shutdown due to an Air Force One seating snub from President Clinton. They don't want to let that same mistake happen again.

Also, if Congress is at an impasse on this budget bill, imagine trying to resolve differences on the 2012 proposal authored by Wisconsin Rep. and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, which, among other things, cuts a trillion dollars, levies massive tax breaks, and essentially privatizes Medicare.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:50 AM on April 8, 2011 [15 favorites]


I haven't seen much talk about the fact that most government websites will shut down, too.

Well, there's my motivation to finally finish my e-file.
posted by steamynachos at 9:50 AM on April 8, 2011


Oh man, if the shutdown does take place, could you pretty please post the non-security-related, obviously parts of that .htaccess file up for us to see? That would be pritty cool.

It is not nice to ask for this kind of thing.


I think it's impolite to ask for it here. If you really care send a FOIA request. However I don't know exactly what you'd find so interesting in an .htaccess file.
posted by phearlez at 9:50 AM on April 8, 2011


What a Democratic sucess will will look like: Everyone get ready to clap louder, or Tinkerbell will die!
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:50 AM on April 8, 2011


She got, what, like 47% of the electoral votes last time?
She has an absurdly low approval rating and all polls that I've seen show that she would get epically trounced.
posted by Flunkie at 9:50 AM on April 8, 2011


Flunkie, Bob Dole who used to be the standard bearer for the right wing in Congress back in the 80's/90's would be to the left of Obama on many issues today. Actually his health care plan to counter Clinton's was more liberal than Obama's. Of course the Republicans will always be to the right of the Democrats but there was a time not too long ago that every member of Congress was more liberal than 90% of the present day Congress. That's what he was talking about.
posted by any major dude at 9:52 AM on April 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


we would need to switch to a proportional representation system instead of this winner-take-all bullshit.

Yeah, if you can't actually win elections, try changing the rules. Guess what? You aren't convincing people. That's why you lose, because they don't choose you. Blaming the system rather than bringing forth a message that wins votes has gotten nothing.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:52 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


> She has an absurdly low approval rating and all polls that I've seen show that she would get epically trounced.

Any chance of Palin becoming President higher than 0% is too high.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:54 AM on April 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Flunkie, Bob Dole who used to be the standard bearer for the right wing in Congress back in the 80's/90's would be to the left of Obama on many issues today. Actually his health care plan to counter Clinton's was more liberal than Obama's. Of course the Republicans will always be to the right of the Democrats but there was a time not too long ago that every member of Congress was more liberal than 90% of the present day Congress. That's what he was talking about.

That's because the baby boomers got more conservative.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:54 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


We had an e-mail sent out a little while ago. Same program I mentioned way up at the top of the thread currently has people waiting to travel to Europe, some people already in Europe.

If there's a shutdown, everyone that's in Europe comes home immediately. They buy tickets Saturday morning and return on Sunday, no matter the cost. Anyone lined up to go to Europe cancels the tickets that they already paid for. For everyone else, if the shutdown is averted they all need to buy plane tickets on Saturday to fly on Sunday in order to be on time for meetings on Monday.

Either way this shakes out, it's going to be expensive.
posted by backseatpilot at 9:54 AM on April 8, 2011


She has an absurdly low approval rating and all polls that I've seen show that she would get epically trounced.

I'll bet Obama knew he was a long shot, too. Most people thought Clinton would be running.

Things can change quickly in the course of an election, and people have notoriously short memory spans when it comes to celebrities.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:56 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Since everything that enrages, terrifies and appalls Republicans and threatens to destory the very fabric of our being and prevent the moon from crashing straight into Boise, Idaho seems to be related to women, why not just deport all females from the United States?
posted by The Whelk at 9:58 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


The latest update was that negotiations are now down to how many billion more in spending cuts will be required to remove the Planned Parenthood defunding rider from the bill. Apparently we can have all the abortions we want so long as we cut some other short term program.
posted by humanfont at 9:59 AM on April 8, 2011


Since everything that enrages, terrifies and appalls Republicans and threatens to destory the very fabric of our being and prevent the moon from crashing straight into Boise, Idaho seems to be related to women, why not just deport all females from the United States?

OH NO THE GAY AGENDA
posted by tjenks at 9:59 AM on April 8, 2011 [18 favorites]


Splintering the parties means even less ability to get things done.

Really? A core of nutjobs in the GOP splintered off from the base, formed the Tea Party, and has dominated the public discourse for the last year.

See -- basically, what they said is "No, we're walking. You walk with us, and you'll get votes, or you don't, and you *will* be thrown out of office -- by us, or by a Liberal. Your Call."

And, lo and behold, look at what has happened. They wanted the GOP to become even more radically right wing, and there it is.

"Anger doesn't win elections" Oh yeah? "You have to compromise to make policy?" Really? Bush never did. "We have to cater to the center" Really? When are you going to move to the left and do so?

If 30% of the Democratic party said "Move your ass to the left, or, dudes, you will lose -- either we'll primary your ass or help the GOP beat your ass" -- then the Democratic party would move to the left, fast. But when they throw away everything we believe in for the sake of compromise, and we then vote for them, they're just going to do that again and again.

Why wouldn't we. We much want them to cave into the GOP. We keep voting for them, right?

So, no -- no more noseplugs. You either fight for what your party claims to stand for, or I'll vote against you in the primary, and if that doesn't work, I'll help elect the Republican, because in either case, I'm not getting what I was told from the Democrats -- but at least the GOP didn't promise me that.

It's worked a treat for the GOP. Holding my nose has pretty much made the Democrats insignificant. So...the hell with Change We Can Believe In, it's time for Change We Have Evidence Will Work.
posted by eriko at 10:00 AM on April 8, 2011 [40 favorites]


this is some fucking disgusting sausage-making
posted by angrycat at 10:01 AM on April 8, 2011


...I'll help elect the Republican....

That's crazy. Not recommended.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:03 AM on April 8, 2011


My son's in the Army and is very angry that Congress will get paid, and he won't. Can't say that I blame him.
posted by theora55 at 10:04 AM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Democracy is settling.

Of course it is, we just disagree on where to settle.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:06 AM on April 8, 2011


I'd just like to say that TPJ saw this coming.
posted by EarBucket at 10:06 AM on April 8, 2011


My son's in the Army and is very angry that Congress will get paid, and he won't. Can't say that I blame him.

That's how much they really care about our soldiers and veterans.
posted by Malice at 10:06 AM on April 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


I wonder if the man-hours spent on figuring out how the shit this shutdown is going to work, informing workers, dealing with situations like people temporarily stationed around the world on off-station jobs, re-jiggering timeline charts on projects, figuring out how to handle deliveries in transit, etc. has cost us more already than any supposed cuts would. And it hasn't even happened yet.
posted by ctmf at 10:06 AM on April 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


That's crazy. Not recommended.

From the Tea Party perspective, re-electing Reid over Sharon Angle was a disaster. But they ran her anyway rather than a lukewarm mealy mouth moderate. Didn't work in that race, but it worked in approximately 85 other races and look what that bought them.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:07 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


My son's in the Army and is very angry that Congress will get paid, and he won't. Can't say that I blame him.

Well, that's what they want, of course. Anger. The only trick is getting your son to direct it at the other guy, but they think they've got that covered.
posted by ctmf at 10:08 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


figuring out how the shit this shutdown is going to work

oh this has happened several times in recent history. hell, there's probably a written manual.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:09 AM on April 8, 2011


Well, that's what they want, of course. Anger. The only trick is getting your son to direct it at the other guy, but they think they've got that covered.

So, what you're saying is that anger leads to the dark side?
posted by saturday_morning at 10:10 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


If this was really about saving money, the Republicans would be all about giving contraception to the poor.

If this was really about preventing abortions, the Republicans would be all about giving contraception to the poor.
posted by EarBucket at 10:11 AM on April 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


oh this has happened several times in recent history
When, other than the shutdown of 1995-96?
posted by Flunkie at 10:12 AM on April 8, 2011


If this really wasn't about taking rights away from women and increasing the class divide, we'd be talking about ponies or something right now. Magical ponies.
posted by cmyk at 10:12 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ironmouth: "Splintering the parties means even less ability to get things done."

eriko: "Really? A core of nutjobs in the GOP splintered off from the base, formed the Tea Party, and has dominated the public discourse for the last year."

The Tea Party was little more than a Ron Paul cosplay club before it was co-opted by extremely well-funded and connected lobbying/marketing groups like FreedomWorks as a prime rebranding opportunity and aggressively promoted by Fox News for months on end. If they hadn't received such focused and sustained institutional and corporate backing, they'd be in the same league as Code Pink.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:13 AM on April 8, 2011 [21 favorites]


oh this has happened several times in recent history. hell, there's probably a written manual.

Actually, I'm a part of this, and nobody seems to know what the fuck. Got a copy of the manual you can email me?
posted by ctmf at 10:15 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


So conservatives don't want to fund abortion because it's murder.

Well as a tax payer I don't want to fund war--that's murder.

How about we call our preference for "murder" a draw and stop this silliness.

You can't stop funding planned parenthood if you're not going to stop funding useless wars under the guise "but it's murder". Because one can make an argument either way depending on their beliefs.
posted by stormpooper at 10:15 AM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


When, other than the shutdown of 1995-96?

Since 1981, there have been five government shutdowns. Four of the last five government shutdowns went largely unnoticed by anybody but the federal employees affected. In the last one, however, the American people shared the pain.

1981: President Reagan vetoed a continuing resolution and 400,000 Federal employees were sent home at lunch and told not to come back. A few hours later, President Reagan signed a new version of the continuing resolution and the workers were back at work the next morning.

1984: With no approved budget, 500,000 federal workers were sent home. An emergency spending bill has them all back at work the next day.

1990: With no budget or continuing resolution, the government shuts down during the entire three-day Columbus Day weekend. Most workers were off anyway and an emergency spending bill signed by President Bush over the weekend has them back at work Tuesday morning.

1995-1996: Two government shutdowns beginning on November 14, 1995, idled different functions of the federal government for various lengths of time until April of 1996. The most serious government shutdowns in the nation's history resulted from a budget impasse between Democratic President Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress over funding for Medicare, education, the environment and public health.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:17 AM on April 8, 2011


How about we call our preference for "murder" a draw and stop this silliness.

Remember, none of this has to make sense.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:18 AM on April 8, 2011



Yeah, if you can't actually win elections, try changing the rules. Guess what? You aren't convincing people. That's why you lose, because they don't choose you. Blaming the system rather than bringing forth a message that wins votes has gotten nothing.


It's radically disingenuous to ignore the systemic reasons the two parties are entrenched. OTOH, those same forces would prevent the idealized rule changes.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:19 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Their solution is to cut spending on wasteful government spending, thus reducing the deficit, which is a great catch phrase that pretty much everyone can agree with.

Sorry, I'm late coming back to the party...

The catch phrase is great...but their actions, and their specific proposals don't follow their words. Today's Republicans are making news with pimp outfits at Acorn, defunding NPR, and now shutting down the government over planned parenthood. Those aren't solutions.

And again, these are the things in the headlines -- not wonky stuff. All the Democrats need to do is take those headlines, compare it with their claim to "cut wasteful government spending" and pound that disparity home like a hammer (yeah, I know, the dems don't do that).
posted by PlusDistance at 10:23 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Important to note, outside the internet, activists, Washington and federal employees- voters aren't really paying attention ot any of this at all.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:23 AM on April 8, 2011


Jahaza: "I'm the guy putting the .htaccess file in place.

But it'll still be there right? It just won't be updated? They're not planning on taking it off line?
"

I haven't finished reading all the comments, so I don't know if this has been answered, but I just got off the phone with the National Registry. They said all of the websites will go offline at midnight tonight.

This really sucks for me because I'm in the middle of several school projects and need access to the National Registry and LOC.gov.
posted by HSWilson at 10:23 AM on April 8, 2011


> Dem voters have such an inferiority complex that they project this fake dialouge on to a situation which in no way it resembles.

Yeah, Democrats are weird. Between liberals rooting for Obama to fail at every available opportunity because they hate him so much, and the Tea Party on the Republican side, is there any wonder our government is so messed up?

The idea that either party has any legitimacy left with a set of constituents they can consider "theirs" is a joke.
posted by nangar at 10:24 AM on April 8, 2011


I wonder if the man-hours spent on figuring out how the shit this shutdown is going to work, informing workers, dealing with situations like people temporarily stationed around the world on off-station jobs, re-jiggering timeline charts on projects, figuring out how to handle deliveries in transit, etc. has cost us more already than any supposed cuts would. And it hasn't even happened yet.

Yes, it's what we call "Penny wise, pound nihilisticly destructive."
posted by stet at 10:25 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Really? A core of nutjobs in the GOP splintered off from the base, formed the Tea Party, and has dominated the public discourse for the last year.

What? They didn't splinter off from the base, they became the base. They're the new heart and soul of the Republican party. If the Tea Party movement had gone the third-party route, running candidates against Republicans, they'd be just as irrelevant as, say, the Green party.

The Republicans running the Tea Party movement are political professionals, and they know that third-party politics is suicidal in two-party America.
posted by FLAG (BASTARD WATER.) (Acorus Adulterinus.) at 10:27 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


If this was really about saving money they would slash the biggest drain on US coffers... military spending. It amounts to close to 60% of the entire budget. every minute, every single fucking minute 2.1 million bucks is spent on the military. 126,000,000 an hour. 3 Billion dollars a day.

Anyone who does not seriously address this can not call themselves a fiscal conservative. They are just people who want to slash what they don't like and spend on what they do. ... like everyone else.
Cut 25% of military spending and we still have the biggest military in the world (and still spending more than 2.3 billion a day)... and giant gobs of cash for much more important stuff.
posted by edgeways at 10:29 AM on April 8, 2011 [37 favorites]


The ability to change the party within only exists if you are willing to vote for ideology over electability. If you aren't willing to sacrifice some winnable races, you can't do what the tea party did.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:30 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


A core of nutjobs in the GOP splintered off from the base, formed the Tea Party, and has dominated the public discourse for the last year

Aside from the whole FreedomWorks aspect Rhaomi mentioned, I get the feeling that this is all a replay of the tactics the GOP used back when Clinton was in office rather than a lasting change in long-term policy. The whole distrust of the government and opposition to spending rhetoric seems to get thrown around a lot when a Democrat is in office, but when a Republican gets elected it switches to American flag waving and deficit spending. The Tea Party is temporarily being used to promote an agenda that the GOP wants to promote, but if the Republicans take back the White House it will be business as usual.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:31 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


military spending. It amounts to close to 60% of the entire budget.

This just isn't true. Defense spending amounts to approximately 20% of the federal budget. It's too much, but it's nothing like 60%.
posted by EarBucket at 10:31 AM on April 8, 2011


Source for the 60% (pdf, from OMB) It includes DoD, War fighting, VA, and Nuclear weapons
posted by edgeways at 10:36 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's the percentages of the Federal budget from 2010, and why it is monumentally stupid and not cost-saving at a level that will help at all to attack Planned Parenting funding.

The Republicans also want to go after Pell Grants and Head Start, when education only constitutes 2% of the budget.
posted by misha at 10:37 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Source for the 60% (pdf, from OMB) It includes DoD, War fighting, VA, and Nuclear weapons
That's 36 pages of charts. Perhaps you could please point out which specific chart and number you're referring to?

But I kind of suspect that you might be looking at it as a percentage of discretionary spending, rather than as a percentage of spending.
posted by Flunkie at 10:39 AM on April 8, 2011


yeah, from income tax.. so discretionary spending
posted by edgeways at 10:43 AM on April 8, 2011


Why. WHY. WHY is the GOP going after education?

I mean, I understand the abortion thing. I think it's nuts, but I think most religious stuff is nuts.

But why kids? Why poor kids? Can somebody explain this? I would appreciate it, because I work with some poor kids, and what is happening in PA is so outrageous my voice starts breaking when I talk about it.
posted by angrycat at 10:43 AM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


That still only gets us to about 25% as far as I can tell, edgeways. It's completely possible that I'm reading the tables wrong, but I get: $165 billion for overseas contingency operations, $549 billion for the DoD, $11 billion for nuclear security, and $57 billion for the VA. Even adding in the $44 billion for Homeland Security, that's still $826 billion, or a hair under 24% of last years total budget of $3.456 trillion.
posted by EarBucket at 10:44 AM on April 8, 2011


Ah, I see. I don't know that it's as helpful a way to look at the spending as a percentage of the budget, but I get what you mean.
posted by EarBucket at 10:45 AM on April 8, 2011


edgeways, that pdf is hard for me to read because . . . well, it's edgeways!

But I'm seeing discretionary spending (I see Flunkie has already addressed this) and not a breakdown of percentage of total budget spent on defense. And, anyway, I am getting the same numbers as EarBucket.
posted by misha at 10:45 AM on April 8, 2011


Why. WHY. WHY is the GOP going after education?
Republicans have long had it out for public education. Just like public everything. Except public bombs.
posted by Flunkie at 10:49 AM on April 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


Why. WHY. WHY is the GOP going after education?

An ignorant electorate serves their agenda, and they have contempt for people that can't afford to pay for private education, in any case. It's really that simple.
posted by ryanshepard at 10:50 AM on April 8, 2011 [14 favorites]


The Tea Party is entirely motivated by anger -- primarily the anger that someone else might be getting something that you're not getting. So anything given to another individual by the government is to be stopped. Anything. No matter how beneficial it is, no matter how much money it saves long-term, nobody can be getting anything from the government that you're not getting.

Of course this doesn't apply to corporations, which are like supernatural entities that turn posies into jobs, or to things you're getting that someone else might not be which are all A-OK.

I don't think this is a long-term successful strategy for the Republican party, because while it's easy to channel anger against what you don't like it's much harder to reverse course when you win your election and say "see, now the government is OK." I see this as another rip in what will eventually be the disintegration of the Republican party. The high-ups are putting up with the teabaggers now because they see no choice, but eventually the rift is going to be too great and at that point they won't be able to win elections any more. (As we're seeing now, they only won in 2010 because they lied like rugs about their real agenda, and many people burned by that will never vote Republican again.)

Eventually I see the business oriented Republicans allying with the Democrats, who are already more business oriented than the Republicans were in 1980. And I expect this to enrage the left wing of the Democratic party enough that they will peel off too.

That will leave corporate interests nicely positioned to play the angry right against the angry left while they skim the rest of the wealth for themselves without interference.
posted by localroger at 10:51 AM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Kapital
posted by ReWayne at 10:51 AM on April 8, 2011


The Tea Party is entirely motivated by anger
No, they are also motivated by fear, hatred, and several other emotions.
posted by Flunkie at 10:51 AM on April 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Fear and hate tend to make people angry, which is the point where they get motivated to misspell a political sign, go to a rally, and risk jury duty by voting.
posted by localroger at 10:54 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:56 AM on April 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


It's too early in the morning for yoga.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:58 AM on April 8, 2011


More like hate leads to massive stupidity, along with time and money wasting.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:58 AM on April 8, 2011


More like hate leads to massive stupidity, along with time and money wasting.

Wait, are we talking about the government shutdown or the Star Wars prequels?
posted by entropicamericana at 11:00 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


same thing.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 11:02 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


But why kids? Why poor kids? Can somebody explain this?

Poor kids aren't good demographics for fundraising, have little means of fighting back, legally or politically, and play into the well established myth of "those people" who are freeloading, lazy bums stealing our taxes. Plus they end up growing up into the perfect kind of people who will sign into the military for an education/basic pay, or help give us another excuse to build another prison in exchange for kickbacks.

And, while all those things are true, the sadder part is even more cynical- they're not even putting that much thought into who or how they target because their targeted groups aren't even coming on their radar as people being affected.

"Take our country back" already says it all. There's a hell of a lot of us Americans who they don't consider American, as people, who should get anything they think Americans should have. The fact that we (get an education, have civil rights, have running water or electricity, etc.) is "more than we should be getting".

"A bunch of money is going to a bunch of people I never thought of, nor interact with, therefore they're not really important people, and this is a waste of money."

The word "target" is more than they put into us. We're non-entities, deserving of nothing.
posted by yeloson at 11:03 AM on April 8, 2011 [36 favorites]


Paul Krugman: Ludicrous and Cruel:
"Many commentators swooned earlier this week after House Republicans, led by the Budget Committee chairman, Paul Ryan, unveiled their budget proposals. They lavished praise on Mr. Ryan, asserting that his plan set a new standard of fiscal seriousness.

Well, they should have waited until people who know how to read budget numbers had a chance to study the proposal. For the G.O.P. plan turns out not to be serious at all. Instead, it’s simultaneously ridiculous and heartless.

How ridiculous is it? Let me count the ways — or rather a few of the ways, because there are more howlers in the plan than I can cover in one column. ...more.
posted by ericb at 11:05 AM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


But why kids? Why poor kids? Can somebody explain this? I would appreciate it, because I work with some poor kids, and what is happening in PA is so outrageous my voice starts breaking when I talk about it.

My hometown had school funding referendums every so often. The ones that didn't involve athletics were always voted down. Always. The town has a lot of elderly voters who didn't care to pay taxes, especially to the school when their kids were all grown up. They're also the GOP's base.
posted by riruro at 11:07 AM on April 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


yelosun, you're right.

Here in the Philly area, with Gov. Corbett's budget, Philly public schools stand to lose one million PER school. Outside of Philly, the cuts are also horrible, but not as much.

I think a big part of PA would be very happy to give Philly to New Jersey, merge us with Camden, so then Christie can take his turn to shit all over the city.
posted by angrycat at 11:09 AM on April 8, 2011


This link, 2010 United States Federal Budget, is a good site to see the total breakdown of spending, both mandatory and discretionary. In 2010, DoD made up 49% of discretionary spending, and 20% of the total budget.
posted by Tooty McTootsalot at 11:10 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sigh.

It's hilarious watching this drama as told by Facebook Friends.

So much fear on the friends page, mostly by military wives and families, about a shutdown. For months, these same people have been spouting tea party nonsense about the government being a big bad monster. Now it's suddenly indispensable, and a shutdown would be the Worst Thing Ever.

It won't get shutdown. Republicans and Democrats will reach a last minute deal. They both will go home to their base and boast about the epic fight they won for their cause. The media has an Apocalyptic Battle that could just spell the end of the world, or at least some damn good ratings bumps.

The Players in all this are brilliant puppeteers putting on a big show with this Frankenstein monster of a government they've created. It must be stopped!! It must be allowed to live! They all win no matter what. The only losers are the citizens.
posted by formless at 11:11 AM on April 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


Defense is around 20% of the total federal budget. However, another 20% goes to Social Security and yet another 20% goes to Medicare and Medicaid. Social Security and Medicare are mandatory programs, largely separate from the discretionary budget Congress passes each year. Thus more than half of discretionary spending is spent on defense.
posted by zachlipton at 11:12 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think the choice to deem large sectors of the federal workforce "essential" undercuts the gravity of the budget discussion. These people are part of the federal enterprise, they draw paychecks from the Federal budget also. If the Tea Party insists that we "shut'er down" then so be it - meat inspectors, border police, air traffic controllers, guards at federal prisons, the military - everyone should just step away from their jobs and see what America would be like without any federal government for a few days. I think it would offer a new note of clarity in the negotiations. I certainly wouldn't work without a paycheck, and I wouldn't expect anybody that I employ to do so either.
posted by newdaddy at 11:13 AM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


1/2 billion dollars since this thread started.
posted by edgeways at 11:16 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


newdaddy: I dream about the same thing. Make no preparations whatsoever. Just... don't show up. Let everything fall to the floor. Oh, there's a fuel cell hanging on a crane in midair with no cooling water and swing shift went home? Bummer, bro.

Problem is, we have to deal with the mess when we come back, and get it all started back up again, so we're trying to make it less of a complete fiasco.
posted by ctmf at 11:17 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


LIMBAUGH: You are very, very shrewd. You are exactly right. There's absolutely - we've got Obamacare out there. There's no way any of these alle -- it was like Jesse Jackson says, this is a return to the Civil War. Have you heard that?

I have a - Theo, thanks for the call. If the troops are not paid by their commander in chief - I have a question. If the troops still engage in battle, if they go to war and execute the orders issued by their commanders, if the troops are thus not paid by their commander in chief, are they his slaves? What would you call it? Can those serving in the military just walk off the job? I don't think so. So if Obama does not sign the bill to pay his troops, then it sounds sort of like forced labor to me. I mean, it's one thing, folks - and we can all agree on this - it's one thing to have to pick cotton. But to be forced to risk your life overseas without being paid, that's the worst kind of forced labor to me. Are you kidding me? How can the president of the United States, on the eve of the anniversary of the Civil War, the 150th anniversary, threaten to withhold payment to Americans who not only risk their lives for their country but are required by law to serve or face court martial after they volunteered. I believe desertion in wartime is still a capital offense. But if these wars are just kinetic military operations, maybe an unpaid warrior who walks off the job only gets jail time. Because we're not at war, the regime won't say so. These are just military actions.

But I think the Reverend Jackson might want to rethink his Civil War analogy. I mean, it's getting ludicrous. Eleanor Holmes Norton claiming this is the same thing as bombing innocent civilians. Jesse Jackson says the government shutdown would be a return to the Civil War. If the president refuses to fund the troops, if the commander in chief refuses to pay the troops - and congressman Jim Moran in Virginia tells a voter who wants to know why the troops aren't being paid to shut up and sit down, and if these guys expect these troops to stay on the job, it sure sounds like Obama has more in common with President Jefferson Davis than he does with President Lincoln.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:21 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Every time someone quotes Limbaugh, I kill a kitten. Or a kid. I forget which. One of them though, and probably a pretty cute one.
posted by aramaic at 11:23 AM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


MrMoonPie: THOMAS will be unavailable to the public. If you go to THOMAS, you will get an outage notice. Interestingly, since Congress, CRS, and the GPO are all still working, data updates will continue uninterrupted; you just won't be able to see them.

MrMoonPie, so you're saying they're not shutting everything down and sending the administrators home, thereby saving the money it takes to keep THOMAS running which would at least make a little sense? They're just going to redirect everything to a Sorry! We're Closed! page, more or less out of spite?

God Bless America.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:23 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


From Talking Points Memo:
A tea party freshman congressman explains to TPM why the policy riders are such an important part of the budget negotiations:

"As Republicans, we promised in the pledge to America to cut $100 billion off of Obama's plan. If we're going to come back with less than that, we've got to come back with some policy riders to say look, I took less than $100 billion, but I've defunded Planned Parenthood or abortions in the District of Columbia. Or I've ended Obamacare," Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) said in an interview with our Ryan Reilly this morning.
Long story short: Republicans need to save face in front of their base.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:23 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


the politics of this fight was determined when the D congress didn't let the Bush era tax cuts expire.

what's a D victory is this fight? we get to applaud 33 billion dollars in spending cuts while the unemployment rate is stuck at around 9%.
posted by ennui.bz at 11:24 AM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


more or less out of spite?

No, out of "hey, you want to play games with our jobs, you don't get the benefits of those jobs."
Even the excepted workers who get to work won't get paid what they're owed until the appropriation is approved.
posted by ctmf at 11:27 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


It should. Until constituents of all representatives are affected, then they have no incentive to complete something.

Um what? People depend on these checks, including people not old enough to vote. It's not "oh well, I can't go on vacation this month." It's "oh well, I can't pay last month's rent."
posted by Brocktoon at 11:27 AM on April 8, 2011


GRAPHIC: Democrats Have Met Republicans More Than Halfway On Spending Cuts.
posted by ericb at 11:30 AM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Even the excepted workers who get to work won't get paid what they're owed until the appropriation is approved.

My understanding is that the excepted workers don't get paid at all unless congress specifically approves back pay for them. This happened during the last two big shutdowns, but it's entirely discretionary. Am I wrong about this?
posted by zachlipton at 11:31 AM on April 8, 2011


Um what? People depend on these checks, including people not old enough to vote. It's not "oh well, I can't go on vacation this month." It's "oh well, I can't pay last month's rent."

People in my office, who do not make very much money, will lose their apartments if the government shuts down. These are people who live in DC, pay Federal taxes, and don't even have voting representation in Congress. Why should they suffer while people who do have such representation do not? If you think this isn't a financial life or death issue for thousands of people, you're willfully choosing to disregard the people this will actually affect.
posted by OmieWise at 11:33 AM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


zachlipton, in this context "excepted workers" are the ones reporting to work--they're excepted from the furlough. They get paid, since they're working.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:33 AM on April 8, 2011


Why. WHY. WHY is the GOP going after education?

Because Republican voters pulled their kids out of public education. Now that the tuition's coming out of their own pocket, why should they fund the education of the children of "those people"?
posted by Rash at 11:34 AM on April 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


Um what? People depend on these checks, including people not old enough to vote. It's not "oh well, I can't go on vacation this month." It's "oh well, I can't pay last month's rent."

Many of those same people are the ones screaming "shut it down" at town halls while drawing SSI disability.

Shut it down should mean, shut. it. down.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:35 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Franken wants a balanced war budget
posted by homunculus at 11:36 AM on April 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Why. WHY. WHY is the GOP going after education?

Because Republicans are only pro-life as long as the fetus is inside it's carrier. Once a baby is actually a baby....you could throw it in a sausage machine for all they fucking care.
posted by dejah420 at 11:36 AM on April 8, 2011 [21 favorites]


There has always been a war on the poor. The only candidate in the last presidential election who even talked about the poor (as opposed to the middle class) was caught dipping his wick and lost all politically credibility.

Proportional economic representation is something that is never talked about, and will never happen. How can we even approach a policy discussion when those most affected have no seat at the table? It is nearly exactly the same as old white guys making decisions about abortion.

I think we are already in a civil war, it just hasn't escalated (and probably won't) to armies marching around killing one another in broad daylight.
posted by edgeways at 11:36 AM on April 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


ericb: "GRAPHIC: Democrats Have Met Republicans More Than Halfway On Spending Cuts."

And apparently Sen. Reid just said they had reached an agreement on $78 billion in cuts during last night's negotiations (presumably in exchange for striking the Planned Parenthood BS), but Speaker Boehner reneged. That's $18 billion more than H.R.1, and the GOP still turned it down.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:37 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) :
'Everybody goes to clinics, to doctors, to hospitals, so on. Some people go to Planned parenthood. But you don’t have to go to Planned Parenthood to get your cholesterol or your blood pressure checked. You go to Planned Parenthood to get an abortion, and that’s well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.'
In fact, the exact opposite is true. According to Planned Parenthood officials, more than 90 percent of the health care services provided by the organization is preventive in nature. Each year, it provides more than one million cervical cancer screenings, 830,000 breast exams, and nearly four million exams, treatments, and tests involving sexually transmitted diseases. The federal funding received by the organization goes strictly toward these basic needs and others, such as birth control and annual exams. In fact, just three percent of its work is related to abortion." *

The Washington Post's Ezra Klein highlights this chart showing exactly what Planned Parenthood does.
posted by ericb at 11:37 AM on April 8, 2011 [29 favorites]


No, they are also motivated by fear, hatred, and several other emotions.

"Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... "
posted by mrbill at 11:38 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Excepted workers get to keep working without pay, and will be back-paid later when the appropriation is approved.

Non-excepted workers aren't allowed to work at all, but might get back pay anyway if congress decides to allow that.

Not the same as exempt/non-exempt as in labor regulations.
posted by ctmf at 11:38 AM on April 8, 2011


Lawrence O'Donnell Yells At GOP Congressman Tom Graves About Government Shutdown (VIDEO).
posted by ericb at 11:40 AM on April 8, 2011


zachlipton, in this context "excepted workers" are the ones reporting to work--they're excepted from the furlough. They get paid, since they're working.

After some further research, I believe the essential workers are guaranteed pay, but they don't actually get paid until the shutdown ends because the government isn't allowed to issue them checks. The furloughed workers get no pay (and potentially no unemployment, depending on the state and how this is handled) unless congress authorizes back pay after the fact, as they did during the 90s shutdowns.
posted by zachlipton at 11:40 AM on April 8, 2011


I don't even know what to say. Actually, as someone who one day hopes to work in civil service, I guess I do have one thing "oh fuck."
posted by codacorolla at 11:41 AM on April 8, 2011


From VADM Kevin McCoy
1. The purpose of the All Hands is to address the potential for furloughs as we approach the expiration of the Continuing Resolution on 8 April. At this time, we don't know what will happen in the appropriations process; however I wanted to provide you some general information on questions you may have regarding a potential furlough.

2. MILITARY PERSONNEL: All military personnel are not subject to furlough but will continue to report for duty and will accrue pay which they will receive once Congress makes appropriated funds available. For the pay date of 15 April, military personnel will be paid for 8 days. Military personnel are strongly encouraged to check allotments tied to the 15 April paycheck.

3. CIVILIAN PERSONNEL

a. If a funding lapse occurs, only certain functions excepted by law, typically those which involve the protection of life and property could continue. In such a case, the government would temporarily shut down and employees performing functions other than those above would be furloughed. NAVSEA senior leadership is diligently working to apply Department of Defense and Department of the Navy (DoD/DoN) contingency plan guidance in order to identify those excepted NAVSEA functions and positions that may continue in the absence of available appropriations. Specific details on those deliberations cannot be provided at this time.

b. On Friday, 8 April, your chain of command will inform you whether you are (1) excepted and will continue to report to work or (2) non-excepted and furloughed. During a shutdown, non-excepted employees are not permitted to work as unpaid volunteers for the government. Any paid leave (annual, sick, court, credit hours, compensatory time, administrative leave, etc.) approved for use during the furlough period must be cancelled. An excepted employee who is absent from duty during the shutdown must be furloughed during such an absence.

c. Federal agencies do not have the authority to pay their employees during a shutdown, regardless of whether the employees are working as "excepted" or furloughed as "non-excepted". "Excepted" employees will receive pay for hours worked when the Congress passes and the President signs a new appropriation or continuing resolution. Congress will also determine whether "non-excepted" employees will receive pay for the furlough period.

d. Federal employees' health benefits continue during a period of lapsed appropriations lasting less than 365 days, regardless of the "excepted" or "non-excepted" status of the employee. Federal Employees Group Life Insurance coverage continues for up to 12 consecutive months while in a non-pay status without cost to the employee or the agency. Both Federal Long Term Care (LTC) and Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Plan (FEDVIP) deductions will cease for "non-excepted" employees. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will provide information on how non-excepted employees can continue LTC and/or FEDVIP coverage, as well as details on other federal benefits, through its website http://www.opm.gov/furlough2011/ OPM will update the information on its website regarding these matters no later than Friday, April 8th.

e. If a furlough does occur, all employees must report for duty on their first regularly scheduled workday following expiration of the current Continuing Resolutions to conduct an orderly shutdown of operations and to receive communications on furlough. For most employees, this will be Monday, 11 April. For some small number of employees whose first regularly scheduled workday following expiration of the current Continuing Resolutions falls on either Saturday, 9 April, or Sunday, 10 April, will report and conduct their orderly shutdown on that date. There will be no regular day off (RDO) under Compressed Work Schedule (CWS) in connection with the conduct of the orderly shutdown.

f. The work schedules of excepted employees are to be modified to insure employee availability during the entire week, i.e., CWS is suspended for the duration of the furlough.

3. Despite the uncertainties, I want to assure you that a possible furlough is not a reflection of the value the work each individual does in support of our Navy. I am committed to providing you with the best possible information as it becomes available. As always, stay safe, and KEEP CHARGING!

vr/kmc
posted by ctmf at 11:41 AM on April 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


In fact, just three percent of its work is related to abortion."

Then YAY, we get to shut down more abortions!- that's what I'm betting the Republican thinking is.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:42 AM on April 8, 2011


They've got Boehner by the balls here.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:44 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Navy Federal will cover the 15 April payroll for those active duty members who have their direct deposit of pay at the credit union.

Big ups, Navy Fed.
posted by ctmf at 11:45 AM on April 8, 2011 [14 favorites]


They've got Boehner by the balls here.


So.. he has to work instead of play golf?
posted by edgeways at 11:45 AM on April 8, 2011


I was unfamiliar with Tom Graves before now. He's like the villain from a fucking Coen Brothers movie.
posted by codacorolla at 11:47 AM on April 8, 2011


Sometimes I think if people truly did believe in an afterlife, the issue of abortion simply wouldn't be. If all souls go to heaven, especially baby souls, and heaven is full of love and no suffering and then they just wait to be born again or just get to be angels forever, then who fucking cares?

But, in these highly religious people, there must be doubt somewhere that tells them death is death is permanent is the end. And their own fear of death is what breeds this fear of abortion and contraceptives. Then other people use that fear for their own advantage.
posted by Malice at 11:48 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Representative Tea Party!!!"
posted by Rhaomi at 11:49 AM on April 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


And apparently Sen. Reid just said they had reached an agreement on $78 billion in cuts during last night's negotiations (presumably in exchange for striking the Planned Parenthood BS), but Speaker Boehner reneged. That's $18 billion more than H.R.1, and the GOP still turned it down.

When the final deal happens, Dems can say they spent more but saved Planned Parenthood. Republicans can say they got cuts they wanted.

Everyone wins!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:50 AM on April 8, 2011


Senate Women Fight Back: "Republicans Need To Wake Up" (video).
posted by ericb at 11:52 AM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Think that number is $38 billion. They've been reporting that all day.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:58 AM on April 8, 2011


Does anybody know whether or not this will affect section 8 funding or not? If it does, shit is going to get nasty around where I live.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:02 PM on April 8, 2011


Ironmouth is right -- it's $78 billion below Obama's original budget request, but $38 billion below the most recent negotiating point.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:03 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


And their own fear of death is what breeds this fear of abortion and contraceptives.

They fear equal rights for women far more than they fear death.
posted by elizardbits at 12:06 PM on April 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


Well, women are scarier than the Grim Reaper.

I mean, they have cooties & everything! No anointing oil is gonna keep cooties off you.
posted by aramaic at 12:08 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


FLASHBACK: Obama Warns GOP That Its Rhetoric Will Make Compromising On Anything Impossible (VIDEO).
posted by ericb at 12:08 PM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Navy Federal will cover the 15 April payroll for those active duty members who have their direct deposit of pay at the credit union.

::stands and applauds::
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:12 PM on April 8, 2011


Navy Federal will cover the 15 April payroll for those active duty members who have their direct deposit of pay at the credit union.
Socialists.
posted by Flunkie at 12:20 PM on April 8, 2011


Well the thing no one's said yet is that most people will get by if this runs a couple weeks, but if this shutdown runs to a month, lots of federal employees will be finding other worthwhile work and resigning from service. Maybe that's a Tea Party dream, but honestly, a lot of very specialized skills are done more-or-less exclusively by the Feds, and those people would be hard to replace at any cost.
posted by newdaddy at 12:20 PM on April 8, 2011


This argument isn't about unborn children, and it has never has been. It has always been an attempt to force women back into subservience, to make them biologically dependent on men once more. Republicans literally and exactly want unmarried, sexually active women to get knocked up and forced into marriage.

It's not about saving babies, it's about punishing sluts. And that's why the argument is so impassioned and nasty, and has been for so very long now. Democrats consistently propose solutions that will decrease the number of abortions performed, but that's not the real issue. Republicans do not want what they say they want.

Their policies consistently and provably increase the number of abortions performed. But this is acceptable collateral damage to go after the sluts.
posted by Malor at 12:20 PM on April 8, 2011 [40 favorites]


I am furious.

I have an adult student in one of my Philosophy classes. He is a disabled veteran (blindness, the result of his military service) and invariably one of the kindest and most attentive students I have or have had. He has been trying for FOUR YEARS to settle a dispute with the VA about his disability status (I am not, of course, privy to all of the details) - FOUR YEARS just to schedule a hearing so that he could try to make his case. On Wednesday he was beaming: he had great news! They had finally scheduled a hearing! He was ecstatic. Today he came up to after class to ask me what I (having mentioned my addiction to electoral politics in class once) seriously thought the chances of a shutdown would be. I gave him my take (pretty bloody likely) and the smile disappeared from his face.

If these assholes playing political football over fucking birth control for poor women shut the government down, there is no hearing next Wednesday. There may not be another hearing for months, or years, because of the bureaucratic hoops he has had to jump through. My heart broke.

This bullshit is fucking inexcusable. Real people (much better citizens than ass clowns like Mitch McConnell or John fucking Boehner) are going to suffer in countless ways if this happens.

I am furious.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:20 PM on April 8, 2011 [59 favorites]


They're going to keep paying the military. When you don't pay the army, the army marches on the capital. It's been this way since the beginning of professional soldiering.

Hell, the Bonus Army was retired and they marched on Washington to get money they weren't even entitled to yet.
posted by Nahum Tate at 12:22 PM on April 8, 2011


They fear equal rights for women far more than they fear death.

God didn't say nothing about no equal rights for women. Their jump is to make babies and raise'em!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:24 PM on April 8, 2011


Senate Women Fight Back: "Republicans Need To Wake Up"

Whoa, Gillibrand. I was pissed the other day reading a news story when she seemed to make a blanket statement supporting "Second Amendment rights." (At least that was the quote.) This despite being a friend of Rep. Giffords.

But here - oh, how I long for more Dems to actually show a little fire and refute the TP BS.
posted by NorthernLite at 12:27 PM on April 8, 2011


er, job, yeah.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:28 PM on April 8, 2011


New offer on the table. Bet they ask for $500,000,000 more and drop the riders.

And I bet it gets accepted at 4:30, voted on at 5:30.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:29 PM on April 8, 2011


Had to turn off CSPAN2. Getting too angry listening to these assholes speak. Damnit, I picked a bad month to quit drinking.
posted by schmod at 12:32 PM on April 8, 2011


Damnit, I picked a bad month to quit drinking.

I picked the right month to drink more.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:33 PM on April 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Reading Ironmouth thread this is answering my unspoken question: what if the Pentagon's rumoured social media manipulation bots were set up to argue Democratic Party causes? It would be a one way gusher of inside Washington propaganda while not listening to or engaging with the emotion behind those who are disappointed in Obama. Here's the thing - the bot can say "you're wrong, you're naive" all it wants, but the fact is, people are screaming their visceral disatisfaction.

At the very least the bot should take on board the fact that Obama's optics almost across the board are absofuckinglutely terrible. The bot says this is inbred negative thinking Dems eating their own, but I don't think so. Minimally, it is an utter failure to get the Democratic message out. Ignore this at the risk of being narrowly correct on this message board and massively crushed by apathy and resentment at the next election. If I were programming this bot I would get it to acknowledge that outside of Washington Obama is appearing to lose heavily even if he is actually winning, which means, frankly, that he is de facto losing.
posted by Rumple at 12:35 PM on April 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


My friend, who had to go to Tijuana from San Francisco in order to renew her US visa, is now stuck in Mexico for 'administrative processing', and if the shut down happens, she is basically here with no way of going back to the US, with job deadlines approaching. Here's hoping they solve it soon.
posted by dhruva at 12:38 PM on April 8, 2011


Damnit, I picked a bad month to quit drinking

Yes.

and

Yes.
posted by QIbHom at 12:40 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Senate Women Fight Back...

That's my Kirsten! Feeling rare moment of NY pride.
posted by tempythethird at 12:41 PM on April 8, 2011


After reading some of the comments in this thread I'm starting to wonder of the rise of the Tea Party could end up being a good thing.

If the movement gets big enough that they can splinter off into their own third party it could allow the Democrats and the Republican party to snap back to the left after the hard right element leaves the Republican party for the Tea party.

We're left with a small but viable tea party full of crazies, a newly moderate Republican party that can compromise and don't have to cater to the crazy element, and a much more liberal Democratic party and we're done with the two party system.

Is such a thing possible?
posted by VTX at 12:43 PM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


he had great news! They had finally scheduled a hearing!

This is great news and should not affect the hearing, it may be delayed but I'm sure your student is used to that though does not deserve it.
posted by clavdivs at 12:45 PM on April 8, 2011


At the very least the bot should take on board the fact that Obama's optics almost across the board are absofuckinglutely terrible. The bot says this is inbred negative thinking Dems eating their own, but I don't think so. Minimally, it is an utter failure to get the Democratic message out.

Really? Where do you get these statements from. Listen, this is the way democracy works. There are a bunch of negotiations. We give up some, they give up some. They control the House of Representatives. They have to start each budget bill. That's in the Constitution.

But Obama dealing with this reality is somehow a sellout etc. Puh-leeze. Guess what? He has to compromise. There is simply no other way to do this. But everyone doesn't want him to "cave." But what is a "cave" and what is a "compromise?" People here aren't paying attention to the numbers.

For Obama the optics don't have to be great. They just have to be better than the optics surrounding the GOP.

I get frustrated here. People don't follow the debate. We had one poster literally posting some sort of dialog where the weak Dem just went along and called the GOP "mean."

But that isn't what happened. It was all a projection of the person's mind. No such conversation ever took place. It therefore tells us more about the inside of that person's mind.

The GOP doesn't eat their own like that. No matter what Obama did, the minute he made one compromise, he "sold out." Its the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

No idea about your "social media bots" or whatever. Not understanding what you are talking about.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:45 PM on April 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


he had great news! They had finally scheduled a hearing!

This is great news and should not affect the hearing, it may be delayed but I'm sure your student is used to that though does not deserve it.


The hearing will be delayed the length of the shutdown.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:46 PM on April 8, 2011


Is such a thing possible?

My gut reaction is that, yeah, it'd be nice for the hard right to splinter in to their own group, but I don't see it happening. I think most tea-partiers are satisfied by being glad-handed by the GOP while not actually seeing any improvement in their day-to-day.
posted by codacorolla at 12:47 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


The frogurt is also cursed.
posted by entropicamericana at 12:47 PM on April 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


The hearing will be delayed the length of the shutdown.

I hope that is the case. On his telling, the particulars of his situation are such that nothing is certain at this point. He has struggled to even get a hearing set in the first place. Either way, it is fucking bullshit.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:47 PM on April 8, 2011


Does anyone have any links to statistics or data on how much the Dems have compromised on the budget on issues regarding things besides Planned Parenthood?

Watching Barbara Mikulski talk about how Dems have compromised to 75% of republican budget cuts. Would love to find the specific compromises, and the before/after numbers.
posted by ejfox at 12:49 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


But what is a "cave" and what is a "compromise?"

You tell us?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:49 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


The hearing will be delayed the length of the shutdown.

Is that what they do? Shift the entire schedule to the right? Or do they pick up the schedule in progress and re-schedule everything that got skipped? Seems like there are advantages and disadvantages either way.
posted by ctmf at 12:50 PM on April 8, 2011


We're left with a small but viable tea party full of crazies, a newly moderate Republican party that can compromise and don't have to cater to the crazy element, and a much more liberal Democratic party and we're done with the two party system.

The winner-take-all voting system in the US will always favor a two party setup. See Duverger's law.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:54 PM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


But what is a "cave" and what is a "compromise?"
You tell us?
He's not the one framing it in terms of caving. I don't think it's unreasonable of him to ask those who are doing so what they specifically mean.
posted by Flunkie at 12:54 PM on April 8, 2011


The GOP doesn't eat their own like that.

Democrats are hungry. Instead of giving them something to eat, they are being told to stop eating.

That's not working. Feed the base. You seem to admire the GOP. They feed their base.

I did say Obama may in fact be winning but he is coming across to his own base as a weakling closet Republican. Maybe we can agree that he is no such thing, but my point is, he appears to be that way, and you seem to be "LA LA LA" about that appearance which I think you will find comes back to bite you in the ass.
posted by Rumple at 12:54 PM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


traversing the corridors of VA compensation is a whole nother kettle a fish even when the Guv is not shut down.

The fact the hearing is scheduled is great. It usually means a decision on said case.

frankly, it is like both political parties have there hands on a go button and each waiting for the other to flinch and flinch then flinch some more. And that is the insult, this is why they do not resonate and fail.
posted by clavdivs at 12:59 PM on April 8, 2011


He's not the one framing it in terms of caving. I don't think it's unreasonable of him to ask those who are doing so what they specifically mean.

I think giving Republicans 51% of the cuts they want constitutes a cave. Now Ironmouth can go.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:59 PM on April 8, 2011


The GOP doesn't eat their own like that.

Democrats are hungry. Instead of giving them something to eat, they are being told to stop eating.

That's not working. Feed the base. You seem to admire the GOP. They feed their base.

I did say Obama may in fact be winning but he is coming across to his own base as a weakling closet Republican. Maybe we can agree that he is no such thing, but my point is, he appears to be that way, and you seem to be "LA LA LA" about that appearance which I think you will find comes back to bite you in the ass.


On the contrary, I have a realistic assessment of who the bases are and how big they are. Do you know how many people describe themselves as conservative? 42% of the entire voting age population. Do you know how many people describe themselves as liberal? 18% of the entire voting age population. The problem is this. A small minority of the Dem voters call themselves the Dem "base" and get all pissed off because the Dems aren't doing what they want.

But you aren't the Dem "base." You disagree with almost everything Obama has done since day one. How on earth could you be his "base?" It isn't possible.

More importantly, how are you the Dem "base" if you ever voted for Nader or anyone else? You are the enemy of the Dems if you vote against them. How are you the Dem "base" if you continuously heap criticism upon them? That ain't a base at all.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:01 PM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


I am a veteran ans use the V.A.for medical care. I use the V.A. because I am unemployed and can not currently afford any other sort of health care. This Tuesday I have a surgical consultation appointment for an operation that I supposedly may need. Will the V.A. be able to provide that consultation if a shut down occurs? I suspect they will go into an emergency care mode only .

But here's the thing: it's not going to kill me if I have to have that consult a month later. Every time I go into the V.A. I see more and more people using them. More and more unemployed and poor Vets who can not get their health care any other place because they have become too poor and health care has become too expensive. The V.A. has become kind of a geriatric ward. You go into a V.A waiting room for a visit and you can't help but notice the overwhelming numbers of much older men and women there. Invariably they are all in a state of visibly poor health. Many are in wheelchairs. A lot have oxygen equipment with them.

These are the people that a government shut down will hurt. Not the rich millionaire Congressmen, not the wealthy businessmen , not any one i the Koch family. It will hurt the poor and the sick so "Fuck You!" Republicans for doing this to the people of your country and a big "Fuck You!" to the Democrats as well who do not have the political wherewithal or the spine to put a stop to this.

When this country goes the way of Egypt and Tunisia, I will be the first one out on the streets taking a stand against all those corrupt Bastards.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 1:02 PM on April 8, 2011 [14 favorites]


He's not the one framing it in terms of caving. I don't think it's unreasonable of him to ask those who are doing so what they specifically mean.

I think giving Republicans 51% of the cuts they want constitutes a cave. Now Ironmouth can go.


Why don't you just engage me instead of telling me to leave? Don't understand that.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:02 PM on April 8, 2011


Go, as in take your turn, to explain precisely what a cave would look like for a final deal.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:04 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


jeez, on C-span the old "wouldnt run a household on this budget" mantra is being wheeled out along with new credit card applications.
posted by clavdivs at 1:05 PM on April 8, 2011


Do you know how many people describe themselves as conservative? 42% of the entire voting age population. Do you know how many people describe themselves as liberal? 18% of the entire voting age population

It's been shown, over and over, that a large percentage of people who identify as conservative or independent agree with liberal opinions. In other words, if the Democratic party started labeling themselves as conservatives, and held the exact same positions, they would win more votes than the Republicans.

What are the Democrats supposed to do about that? All I can think is to disband and re-form as the American Patriots for Puppies and Ice Cream party.
posted by muddgirl at 1:06 PM on April 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


How are you the Dem "base" if you continuously heap criticism upon them? That ain't a base at all.

That's an intriguingly, and revealingly, authoritarian mindset.
posted by Rumple at 1:06 PM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Will the V.A. be able to provide that consultation if a shut down occurs? I suspect they will go into an emergency care mode only .

There's a summary of affected and non-affected services on the VA site (see "field guide" on the right)
posted by ctmf at 1:06 PM on April 8, 2011



How are you the Dem "base" if you continuously heap criticism upon them?


Base generally means "reliable voters" and not much else. Liberals are very, very reliable voters for Democrats. They are much more scared of Republicans than moderates so fall in line with "lesser of two evils" voting, even though they think the Democrats are evil.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:09 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do you know how many people describe themselves as conservative? 42% of the entire voting age population. Do you know how many people describe themselves as liberal? 18% of the entire voting age population

Get rid of the smeared-to-all-hell term "Liberal" and watch the numbers change.
posted by tempythethird at 1:11 PM on April 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Go, as in take your turn, to explain precisely what a cave would look like for a final deal.

Simple. This isn't about numbers. The numbers are meaningless unless you look at where they are coming from. And the Dems have a much better package that cuts better and goes partially into defense and the like. So the numbers aren't important, especially because nobody looks that close.

A cave is when one party looks like it gave up more to the American people.

And it is the GOP who will be perceived as giving up more. They will be forced to drop the abortion riders. And Boehner will look like he lost.

And that's all that counts here. Its a test for what will happen the rest of this congress and in the 2012 elections. You can pick any arbitrary number you want. Who fucking cares? The actual numbers are far more complex than the media lets on. The Dems want a mix of discretionary and non-discretionary cuts. The GOP wants it all out of discretionary. The Dems are winning that battle. And they will win the battle of the riders.

So its about perception, not about 4 or 8 billion dollars.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:11 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


How are you the Dem "base" if you continuously heap criticism upon them?

Base generally means "reliable voters" and not much else. Liberals are very, very reliable voters for Democrats. They are much more scared of Republicans than moderates so fall in line with "lesser of two evils" voting, even though they think the Democrats are evil.


Then where the fuck were they in 2010?
posted by Ironmouth at 1:12 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Put another way, the alleged Dem "base" voted for Nader in numbers that handed Bush the White House. Reliable? Hardly.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:13 PM on April 8, 2011


I kind of hope they shut it down, because I'm hoping that this guts the Republicans like it did in the '90s. But then, I'm not going to be obviously affected by it, so my interest can be more strategic.
posted by klangklangston at 1:14 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Xurando: In the end this all can be attributed to the loss of the Dem's filibuster proof majority in the senate and Obama's failure to campaign for Martha Coakley until the last minute.

That's a joke, right? Martha Coakley lost for two reasons: 1) she's a party hack that didn't have any serious popular support, and 2) she basically failed to campaign. She didn't seem to understand that winning Boston won't win a Senate election, and looked down her nose at voters from other parts of the state. She didn't understand what it would take to win, and Scott Brown did.
posted by atbash at 1:15 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


People in my office, who do not make very much money, will lose their apartments if the government shuts down. These are people who live in DC, pay Federal taxes, and don't even have voting representation in Congress. Why should they suffer while people who do have such representation do not? If you think this isn't a financial life or death issue for thousands of people, you're willfully choosing to disregard the people this will actually affect.

What kind of argument is that? This group of (able-bodied) people is suffering, so everyone should suffer? Where did I say I thought it wasn't a "life or death issue"? And please don't tell me what I am or am not disregarding. In fact, you are disregarding quite a few more people, on the scale of millions, if you think SS checks should be cut-off.

Do you actually think it's a good idea for people living on subsistence level income (seniors, the disabled, orphaned minors, etc) to stop receiving their only source of income, just to prove some kind of point, or to achieve some sort of bullshit solidarity with people in your office? Congratulations, you actually made me care less about the plight of your co-workers with your little rage rant.
posted by Brocktoon at 1:15 PM on April 8, 2011


Put another way, the alleged Dem "base" voted for Nader in numbers that handed Bush the White House. Reliable? Hardly.

Is this 2011? My fucking god
posted by crayz at 1:16 PM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Just came to say 1) Navy Federal clearly rocks, and 2) I hate jackass, crybaby orange Republicans.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:17 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


And it is the GOP who will be perceived as giving up more. They will be forced to drop the abortion riders. And Boehner will look like he lost.

Wow, the Bush folks really were right about the irrelevance of reality. There is literally nothing Obama could do that is a cave as long as they can spin it for you.

Okay, when we say cave we mean different things. Yes, they are quite able to win the political spin game, but in the end I'd rather have the fucking money for poor people.

It's just like the tax cuts, Republicans get their agenda and Democrats get...the issue out of the way so they can end DADT. That is being a gracious loser, not a winner.

Base generally means "reliable voters" and not much else. Liberals are very, very reliable voters for Democrats. They are much more scared of Republicans than moderates so fall in line with "lesser of two evils" voting, even though they think the Democrats are evil.

Then where the fuck were they in 2010?


Showing up proportionally in the same numbers as 2008.

Put another way, the alleged Dem "base" voted for Nader in numbers that handed Bush the White House. Reliable? Hardly.

Bullshiat, there weren't that many Nader voters and it was only relavent in one state.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:19 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


And Poet_Lariat: Thank you for your service. I am very sorry to hear about your situation, and am entirely too aware of what you speak regarding other, older vets. I'm routinely amazed at how little the Republican party actually cares about the vets it claims so loudly to care about.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:21 PM on April 8, 2011


Ken Burns was interviewed by Brian Leherer on WNYC a few days back. There was the inevitable references to his Civil War documentary. Burns made some comments that were devastating regarding the similarity between public behavior now and during the antebellum period.

Ken Burns: From The Civil War to Civility He's part of the "Civility and Democracy" initiative with PBS and the National Constitution Center.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:21 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Put another way, the alleged Dem "base" voted for Nader in numbers that handed Bush the White House. Reliable? Hardly.

Is this 2011? My fucking god


But this is my point. Obama does the unfuckingbelievable and gets healthcare reform, wall street reform and DADT repealed and it isn't enough. Why? Because nobody got every fucking pony that could get thought up by the farthest of the far left.

yes it wasn't perfect. So what? Seriously, what does he have to do, walk on water before he will be supported. You know when you knock him at the water cooler, it has an effect. When Gallup calls you and you disapprove of him, it has an effect.

Why can't people stand behind him? I don't understand the need for constant sniping.

And this alleged "base" holds views far different than the vast majority of registered, voting democrats. Destroy capitalism? Hardly a priority for the vast majority of dem voters. The public option? Not a priority for the majority of Dem voters. Defunding the defense department? Most dem voters are not for that. Very few are.

Its like Dennis Kucinich's supporters are some how the most loyal to Obama. Nothing could be further than the truth.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:21 PM on April 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


"There's a summary of affected and non-affected services on the VA site (see "field guide" on the right)"

Hey thanks for that - I checked it out. I does look like most health care services will be open . From that pdf you referred me to here is a few things that will be affected and a couple of comments of in itals as well:

• VBA Regional Offices will have
limited availability - guess what a HUGE number of vets receive their care or start their paperwork from regional office

• New education and vocational
rehabilitation benefi ts processing - starting school this summer? - no soup for you

• New compensation and pension
benefits processing - that disability pension you've been waiting on for the last year? - keep waiting

• Freedom of Information Act
queries will not be processed - The VA gives all their patients print-outs of their complete medical records if requested - usually within 15 minutes of a request - so you can take them to a different doctor if you get one - not any more.


• Recruiting and hiring of Veteran
job applicants will cease - been waiting long for that government job that you need? Keep waiting...

• Interments at National
Cemeteries will be conducted
on a modified rate. - too poor to afford a decent burial elsewhere? too bad.

• All Outreach and Public
Awareness Activities suspended - one of the things he V.A. does is reach out to homeless Vets in the streets and get them into housing , off drugs if needed, and find them a job. Hope its not too cold out there for the hundreds that won't be getting housing this week.

Again - none of these thing will affect a congressmen or his family so f.u. to all of them
posted by Poet_Lariat at 1:22 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


> No matter what Obama did, the minute he made one compromise, he "sold out."

It's 2011. This isn't one compromise, it's a 30-month history of it. And it isn't compromise in terms of "conceding some issues while forcing your opponent to concede others" - it's compromise in terms of "giving more and more to your opponents while getting nothing in return."

In many cases, it appears to me and many other that it hasn't been "compromise" as much as "doing exactly the wrong thing" - no Wall Street prosecutions, no sharp new rules on Wall Street, no war crimes trials for Guantanamo, dropping the rule of law for foreign prisoners, ignoring the Congress and starting yet another war, increase of war in Afghanistan, permanent presence in Iraq, increased military spending (not including the two, er, three wars), mistreatment of whistleblowers, even less transparency than Bush (really, that's embarrassing - why?! Why does he do that? What skin is it off his nose?)...

So there's that whole "ethical thing" that makes Mr. Obama a sell-out. It's not "the first" thing, it's a continuing systematic ethical bankruptcy when you compare Mr. Obama the candidate's ethical promises with Mr. Obama the President.

But practically, we need a strong negotiator - one who gets best results in difficult negotiations. Mr. Obama is a poor negotiator - a shockingly bad negotiator, so bad that I wonder sometimes if he's simply throwing the game for some reason.

He invariably starts with weak, low moves, apparently with the idea that making little scores is easier than making big scores. But that just isn't the case - in any real world negotiation, game or anything else, it's common that a little score takes just as much work to pull off as a big score. If you ask for a lot in your initial move, you can give up a lot of "compromises" and still make a good score.

He seems to always negotiate from a position of weakness - that he or other Democrats haven't challenged the "automatic free filibuster" idea which means a super-majority is always needed is simply spineless! Make the damned Republicans do the filibuster - then make them do it again! There are "agreements" that lets parties filibuster without the actual representatives being there all the time... tear those up.... they aren't law, but custom. The Democrats control the Speaker of the House, who controls the Master At Arms - they control the game rules when it comes down to it and if they declare a filibuster is over and move on to other business, there's not much can be done.

But initially conceding this weakness without challenging it, he proceeds to negotiate by "compromising" away more and more of the pie, without getting any "compromises" back in return. How's that different from a plain "loser"?

So, yes, a lot of smart people object to his compromises on an ethical basis, as well as pragmatically giving away the farm as a weak negotiator.

> Its the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Protip: use correct grammar when calling other people dumb.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:22 PM on April 8, 2011 [25 favorites]


Ironmouth Any budget that cuts social programs (during a giant recession with massive unemployment no less) while expanding military spending is caving. At this time, with Americans suffering from the results of the (still completely unpunished) banksters there are no cuts to social programs that are acceptable.

Xurando This can all be attributed to the Democrats doing exactly jack shit with the Presidency, a Senate supermajority and House majority. Yes, it's the fault of those mean old conservative Dems (who must be worshiped, praised, applauded, and given every single thing they demand or they'll vote Republican).

But the point is we, the voters, gave the Democrats everything any political party could ever ask for. They had, as a party, total and complete control of every branch of the government.

And with that awesome power they passed a pathetic excuse for health care reform, gave the rich super special tax cuts, and handed buckets of cash to banksters.

After all that the apologists tells us that the problem is that we don't clap hard enough.
posted by sotonohito at 1:23 PM on April 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


Bullshiat, there weren't that many Nader voters and it was only relavent in one state.

only relevant in one state? seemed to be relevant for all fucking fifty states.

Why is your 50% number a cave and 49.9% not? It is arbitrary. I just want to win the next election and pass more good stuff, just like we finally did this time. Finally.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:23 PM on April 8, 2011


All this over whether or not to give Planned Parenthood money directly to the states and to stop US contributions to a UN cash cow? Get real. Both Rs and Ds.
posted by Ardiril at 1:23 PM on April 8, 2011


Tweets for #govtshutdown and #duringthegovernmentshutdown
posted by nickyskye at 1:24 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd still object to a plant that included equal dollar amounts cut from military and social spending. But I'd consider it being more of a move in the direction of real compromise.

But 100% social spending cuts is, by definition, a win for the Republicans and a loss for Democrats.
posted by sotonohito at 1:25 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ironmouth Any budget that cuts social programs (during a giant recession with massive unemployment no less) while expanding military spending is caving. At this time, with Americans suffering from the results of the (still completely unpunished) banksters there are no cuts to social programs that are acceptable.

Xurando This can all be attributed to the Democrats doing exactly jack shit with the Presidency, a Senate supermajority and House majority. Yes, it's the fault of those mean old conservative Dems (who must be worshiped, praised, applauded, and given every single thing they demand or they'll vote Republican).

But the point is we, the voters, gave the Democrats everything any political party could ever ask for. They had, as a party, total and complete control of every branch of the government.

And with that awesome power they passed a pathetic excuse for health care reform, gave the rich super special tax cuts, and handed buckets of cash to banksters.

After all that the apologists tells us that the problem is that we don't clap hard enough


Please explain how he makes the GOP sign on for that. How exactly does he make them do it? Because he will have to compromise. He has to, our constitution says the House has to start and pass every single budget bill. What magic fucking ray does he use? Or do you think he should declare martial law and force the GOP at gunpoint to vote for it?

He's gonna have to compromise with them. Because they will not vote a budget if he does not.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:26 PM on April 8, 2011


But 100% social spending cuts is, by definition, a win for the Republicans and a loss for Democrats.

Not that I think that is going to happen, but who says that is the definition?
posted by Ironmouth at 1:27 PM on April 8, 2011


Why can't people stand behind him? I don't understand the need for constant sniping.

I can't stand behind him because we're still holding prisoners without any sort of trial, and he's totally fine with that. I can't support him because I saw pretty much nothing done about the legacy of torture in the previous administration (and no, I'm not a peacenik). I can't support him because fuck-all nobody went to jail over the shit Wall Street pulled on everybody.

This budget battle's about the Republicans pulling stunts at the risk of gov't workers, poor people and women, and that's bullshit. But that doesn't mean for a second that I'm going to forget my disappointment or my disgust for someone who is, in the end, only marginally better than the last retard.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:28 PM on April 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


After all that the apologists tells us that the problem is that we don't clap hard enough.

How, possibly, could you be the "base" of the Democratic Party? The majority of Democratic party members disagree with you.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:29 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't stand behind him because we're still holding prisoners without any sort of trial, and he's totally fine with that

He's "totally fine with that?" You ask him?
posted by Ironmouth at 1:30 PM on April 8, 2011


only relevant in one state? seemed to be relevant for all fucking fifty states.

You are totally off the rails, he won less than 3% of the popular vote. You don't get to decide that means self defined liberals aren't reliable. If you have data of widespread defection, post it.

Why is your 50% number a cave and 49.9% not? It is arbitrary

It sure is, where do you set the number for the political victory not being worth the cuts? How much funding can we cut before it isn't worth scoring points against the tea party?

You're the one who demanded a definition of cave, so give one beyond "perception."

Remember?

Because I get the feeling that no matter what the Dems or Obama do, their Eeyore-like supporters will call it a cave and state "we're doomed!"

Sounds like you're the only one who doesn't care about results as long as you can spin it. Or do you have an actual number?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:30 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Tweets for #govtshutdown and #duringthegovernmentshutdown

And on a more immature note, #govtshutdownpickuplines.

My fave so far: "This bar has a 2 a.m. deadline and we all have to make some compromises. #govtshutdownpickuplines"
posted by saturday_morning at 1:32 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Whoa. This government shutdown seems so ominous in light of all the heavy duty overseas crises going on just now, like with Fukushima and Libya. I feel really troubled about it and nervous too.
posted by nickyskye at 1:33 PM on April 8, 2011


Small minded question: will this shut down sec.gov as well? If so, I'd best get to downloadin'
posted by digitalprimate at 1:33 PM on April 8, 2011


Because Republicans hate America.

I believe this is actually the case. They divide present-day Americans into "real Americans" and "impostor Americans." And they actively hate the latter, and would like nothing more than to see them starve or rot behind bars.

Can all this capitulation be related to the notion that it may not be unreasonable to be afraid of them? Collectively, they're the wealthiest and most powerful force in this country, intoxicated with power, utterly irrational, vicious as hell, have widespread and fervently loyal popular support, and are out for blood -- not just to win, but also to punish.
posted by treepour at 1:34 PM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ironmouth:But this is my point. Obama does the unfuckingbelievable and gets healthcare reform, wall street reform and DADT repealed and it isn't enough. Why? Because nobody got every fucking pony that could get thought up by the farthest of the far left.

My god - you , as a presumably hard core Democrat, are no better than any Republican. Fucking ideologues the lot of you

Healthcare? What fucking healthcare?? A huge boondoggle to the healthcare industry where the poorest of Americans will now be required to pay nearly 3 thousand dollars a year for a policy with a five thousand deductible. Don't make me refer you to links on this - look it up for yourself because I have.

Wall Street reform??? WTF !?
DADT reform???

Exactly what bizarro world are you living in ??
I never know if people who write things like this really believe them or are doing astroturfing campaigns. I truly have no idea but either way it's so damn sad for the rest of us in the country.

FWIW I was working for Obama for America during his campaign. I will not vote for the man next year primarily because he is still running Bush's overseas concentration camps and I can not in good conscious condone that. And yes, I also voted for Nader because he was the best god damn choice at the time. I vote for my conscious rather than cheer on my political team like I'm at some god damned football game.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 1:35 PM on April 8, 2011 [16 favorites]


Sounds like you're the only one who doesn't care about results as long as you can spin it. Or do you have an actual number?

I care about the results of winning and keeping the GOP out of power. If this does that effectively that's great.

What if you could get your magic number but Obama loses in 2012 and Palin is president? Which is better?
posted by Ironmouth at 1:36 PM on April 8, 2011


sotohito wrote:
> And with that awesome power they passed a pathetic excuse for health care reform, gave the rich super special tax cuts, and handed buckets of cash to banksters.

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes, and don't forget extended the war in Afghanistan and destroyed the rule of law - and the fucking security state.

Ironmouth wrote:
> And it is the GOP who will be perceived as giving up more. They will be forced to drop the abortion riders. And Boehner will look like he lost.

That's a weird world you live in. Who are these people, exactly, who will be looking at Boehner, looking at the tax cuts for the rich, the dramatic cuts in government spending during a depression, and saying he lost because he didn't get a little more (abortion riders)?

I'm serious - what voter is really going to care about that? How does this "looking like he lost" translate into anything real at all?

Whether some mythical talking head thinks that Boehner lost has zero, nada, zilch to do with the election. I guarantee you that in 2012 not one person is going to say, "Boehner took a loss because he didn't get those abortion riders, so I am going to vote for Obama instead of a Republican this time".

This budget is a going to be a big loss for the average American. The Democrats were, as usual, completely spineless and the Republicans completely obstructionist and are going to cause millions of people to be inconvenienced to a lesser or greater degree just to make things a little worse for the average guy and the Democrats are just going to suck it up and compromise a little more away and damage the government a little more.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:36 PM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Do you actually think it's a good idea for people living on subsistence level income (seniors, the disabled, orphaned minors, etc) to stop receiving their only source of income, just to prove some kind of point, or to achieve some sort of bullshit solidarity with people in your office?

I think if republicans want to shut down the government on an abortion issue, they should shut down the government.

Congratulations, you actually made me care less about the plight of your co-workers with your little rage rant.

I'm glad your cause of affected people is more important than other affected people.
posted by inigo2 at 1:38 PM on April 8, 2011


Whoa. This government shutdown seems so ominous...

nonsense. bread and circuses, my dear. grandstanding and puffery. a political sideshow, in which the audience pays to see themselves shit upon.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:38 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


FWIW I was working for Obama for America during his campaign. I will not vote for the man next year primarily because he is still running Bush's overseas concentration camps and I can not in good conscious condone that. And yes, I also voted for Nader because he was the best god damn choice at the time. I vote for my conscious rather than cheer on my political team like I'm at some god damned football game

You never were his "base," ever.

"Concentration camps?" really? So he's running Dachau? Puhleeze.

Healthcare? What fucking healthcare?? A huge boondoggle to the healthcare industry where the poorest of Americans will now be required to pay nearly 3 thousand dollars a year for a policy with a five thousand deductible. Don't make me refer you to links on this - look it up for yourself because I have.

More people will be covered. Perhaps you like the GOP's plan to cover more Americans. What's better about their plan?"
posted by Ironmouth at 1:39 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know when you knock him at the water cooler, it has an effect. When Gallup calls you and you disapprove of him, it has an effect.

Yes. There is in American politics a constant tension between saying and doing what you believe to be true, and saying and doing what is good for your team. I think the fundamental blame for this conflict goes to the voting system we have in this country. That said, it's true that we all have to live within reality, however nonsensical, and Americans liberals need to be wary of making the perfect the enemy - or sometimes even the critic - of the good

But the pull to that give is that the Democrats are a shameful excuse for a progressive party. In damn near any other western country on earth their platform would be put them in the right to far-right of the political spectrum. I don't feel I have any special responsibility to promote that platform. It may be that Barack Obama as a human being sees the world in much the same way I see the world, but Barack Obama the politician and leader of the Democratic party has been committing what I consider to be myriad strategic, tactical and moral failures

Maybe if this discussion was live on CNN. But I refuse to censor my thoughts at the water cooler or on an internet message board
posted by crayz at 1:41 PM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


That's a weird world you live in. Who are these people, exactly, who will be looking at Boehner, looking at the tax cuts for the rich, the dramatic cuts in government spending during a depression, and saying he lost because he didn't get a little more (abortion riders)?

The tea party -- his alleged base, who will turn on him like a pack of rabid hyenas over this.
posted by localroger at 1:41 PM on April 8, 2011


Yes, yes, a thousand times yes, and don't forget extended the war in Afghanistan

Over and over again, he said he thought Afghanistan was worth fighting and he was going to fight it harder. How did you miss that.

Destroyed the rule of law?

So the fucking entire rule of law has now been destroyed, huh. And you would deliver us all over to those shits for these things?
posted by Ironmouth at 1:41 PM on April 8, 2011



I care about the results of winning and keeping the GOP out of power. If this does that effectively that's great.


So, as long as Obama is elected, there is no amount of cuts you would call a cave? What if you give Republicans too much and Palin gets elected anyway?

And you went with: Because I get the feeling that no matter what the Dems or Obama do, their Eeyore-like supporters will call it a cave and state "we're doomed!"

You realize the opposite approach is equally as asinine, right?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:43 PM on April 8, 2011


I'm the guy putting the .htaccess file in place.

Including the allow-from parts?
posted by rokusan at 1:45 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ironmouth Yes, Obama is completely fine with holding people prisoner, forever, with neither trials nor charges. We know this because he issued an executive order regularizing exactly that. I'd find you a lot more reasonable if you'd acknowledge that there are legitimate reasons to be extremely upset with Obama instead of pretending that anyone who doesn't love him is just being childish.

Not that I think that is going to happen, but who says that is the definition?

I do. You asked what we thought was capitulation, I offered my definition. If you disagree with that definition please offer your own and defend it.

As for the budget itself Obama could have started by not accepting the Republican starting positions (ie: there is a horrible problem that can only be solved by draconian cuts to social spending), and presented his own (different) position. Perhaps one that involved military cuts and higher taxes for the wealthy.

As it is both the Obama position and the Republican position are, at heart, identical: insanely huge cuts to social spending during a recession and record high unemployment. They're just quibbling over how much they want to screw the poor. Either way that's a loss for liberalism.

You keep saying that us childish people who want real results are demanding magic. I'm not. I'm just demanding that Obama do whatever the heck it was Bush did when he got budgets desirable to Republicans despite the Democrats having the House. It can't be magic, it can't be impossible, if Bush managed it. If you're telling me that Bush is more competent than Obama I don't believe you.
posted by sotonohito at 1:45 PM on April 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


"Concentration camps?" really? So he's running Dachau? Puhleeze.

Well, if you're going to get all nitpicky, how about 'gulag'? Gulag is pretty damn close.
posted by Malor at 1:45 PM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


The longer the Obama admin is "in power," the less difference I see between that and having a Republican in office. He only "wins" at the margins. As desperately as I wanted to see DADT go down in flames, and as grateful as I am that it's finally happening, that simply doesn't make up for all the other balls that Obama has dropped.

I really wish we could have a primary fight. Or a viable third party. I'm just not peacenik enough for the options toward the left, and I'm not soulless enough to go anywhere near the ones to the right.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:46 PM on April 8, 2011


But the pull to that give is that the Democrats are a shameful excuse for a progressive party. In damn near any other western country on earth their platform would be put them in the right to far-right of the political spectrum. I don't feel I have any special responsibility to promote that platform. It may be that Barack Obama as a human being sees the world in much the same way I see the world, but Barack Obama the politician and leader of the Democratic party has been committing what I consider to be myriad strategic, tactical and moral failures

Really? Civil Rights, government healthcare, end to segregation, medicare, medicaid, destroyed the evil nazis and the evil japanese empire, landed men on the moon, balanced budgets, wrote and sponsored the legislation that turned the government's military computer network into the very network we are typing on now, created a healthcare program for America which covers people, wrote and passed a law which allowed gays in the military.

Most of which was massively fought by the GOP.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:46 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ironmouth I can no more argue with you than I could argue with some poor white schmuck from Arkansas on welfare who is staunch tea-partier for all the wrong reasons. You two guys are the same and you two guys are precisely the sans and are precisely what is entirely wrong with American politics today. If you truly believe what you say and are not cynically playing to your supposed audience than you are being played as much as Mr. Arkansas.

I long for the day when the rest of America grows up, wises up and leaves you two behind to argue with each other
posted by Poet_Lariat at 1:46 PM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Back in 2000, I was all about third party this and third party that. But unfortunately, while the Democratic Party's hacks are wrong about most things, they are right about the fact that structurally, the U.S.' politcal system is set up to prevent the emergence of viable third parties, from local ballot access requirements to the simple mathematics of the winner-take-all voting system. I wish it wasn't so, but denying reality doesn't make it go away.

The Democratic Party ain't perfect, and slavishly following its every dictate is ridiculous and suicidal. But fighting for what's right and what's popular (which is more often than you'd think the case - contra Ironmouth's statements about the irresistible popularity of American conservatism, Americans routinely approve of Swedish levels of income distribution and other progressive ideas in poll after poll) isn't just about standing outside and screaming loudly. Work on the non-sexy issues if you really want change, if you really want third parties to thrive - electoral reform, bottom-up organizing, etc. Learn to know the right time for the right tactic - when it's time to protest, protest. But when it's time to deal, deal. Remember that old global justice movement concept of "diversity of tactics". Flexibility isn't weakness.

At any rate, this isn't a thread about third parties - this is a thread about the Teabagger budget showdown. I'm a Federal employee, and while I'm okay for quite a while, a lot of people I work with aren't. This is not about money. This has nothing to do with money. This is old-fashioned culture war bullshit mixed with Teabagger selfishness. They're doing this because they can.

I admit to not being objective about the Teabagger movement - its Ayn Rand-lite sociopathy, open racism, proud fuckheaded buffoonishness, and aggressive ignorance disgusts me on the most basic level, in a way that George W. Bush at his worst never managed to. The Teabaggers are the distilled essence of everything that is negative about late capitalist America. So I make no pretense at objectivity.

But Teabaggers everywhere: fuck you. Fuck you and your baby boomer entitlement. Fuck you and your sneering bullying. Fuck you and your blasphemous, damnable, idolatrous Tax Cut Jesus and your defecating on all that Jesus lived and died for. Fuck you and your greedy pawing at your Social Security and Medicare while you condemn dark skinned kids for existing. Fuck you and your corporate wannabe feudal lords. Fuck each and every one of you.

Meanwhile, real people get closer and closer to being hurt. Real human beings. Sorry if I'm not totally coherent, but it's a pretty emotional moment.
posted by jhandey at 1:47 PM on April 8, 2011 [33 favorites]


The longer the Obama admin is "in power," the less difference I see between that and having a Republican in office. He only "wins" at the margins. As desperately as I wanted to see DADT go down in flames, and as grateful as I am that it's finally happening, that simply doesn't make up for all the other balls that Obama has dropped.

Democracy is only winning at the margins. That's the way it works, because you need to have enough votes. You can't impose things.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:47 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Obama ain't perfect and he sure as hell has been disappointing at times.

He's better than the alternative at the moment. You're not going to get a viable third party candidate for the 2012 US Presidential election.

Hold your nose if you must, but vote D.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:48 PM on April 8, 2011


You are totally off the rails, he won less than 3% of the popular vote.

Too bad the popular vote means absolutely nothing.
posted by SweetJesus at 1:49 PM on April 8, 2011


Every time someone quotes Limbaugh...
You must be a busy, busy, fellow.
posted by LD Feral at 1:49 PM on April 8, 2011


Really? Civil Rights, government healthcare, end to segregation, medicare, medicaid, destroyed the evil nazis and the evil japanese empire, landed men on the moon, balanced budgets, wrote and sponsored the legislation that turned the government's military computer network into the very network we are typing on now, created a healthcare program for America which covers people, wrote and passed a law which allowed gays in the military.

Most of which was massively fought by the GOP.


So, good at the military and healthcare. Our healthcare still sucks. Our military is a massive waste of cash. Great record.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:49 PM on April 8, 2011


The longer the Obama admin is "in power," the less difference I see between that and having a Republican in office.
Congressional Democrats vote with the recommendations of the American Civil Liberties Union something like 90% of the time. Republicans, something like 10%.

"There's no difference" simply is not true.
posted by Flunkie at 1:50 PM on April 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


Meanwhile, real people get closer and closer to being hurt. Real human beings. Sorry if I'm not totally coherent, but it's a pretty emotional moment.

You get it.
Most of America gets it I think (or at least want to believe).
The only question is how do we get their boots on the street to show that they believe it?

As more and more people get hurt by such political assholery more and more people must be thinking the same thing....
posted by Poet_Lariat at 1:50 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Democracy is only winning at the margins.

That Bush tax cut victory for the Republicans wasn't marginal.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:51 PM on April 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


You are totally off the rails, he won less than 3% of the popular vote.

Too bad the popular vote means absolutely nothing.


In terms of this debate it does, Ironmouth suggests liberals are an unreliable voting block and cites Nader. There were virtually no fucking Nader voters, and who the hell knows how closely they identified with self defined liberals.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:53 PM on April 8, 2011


Ironmouth The Republicans don't win at the margins, they win giant sweeping victories. Why is it that you keep telling me that those are impossible for Democrats when we see that they are completely possible for Republicans?

What magic is it you believe in that makes sweeping victories only ever possible for Republicans?
posted by sotonohito at 1:53 PM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's like the powdered remains of Joe Beese were fired out of a cannon and sprinkled all over this thread. Somewhere, he is smiling.
posted by charred husk at 1:56 PM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


What magic is it you believe in that makes sweeping victories only ever possible for Republicans?

Probably the conservative Democrats.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:56 PM on April 8, 2011


Ironmouth, can you really not stop viewing American politics solely through the lens of the team you've chosen? There are only two teams, and while I think most on MeFi know which one they'd rather be stuck on a desert island with, there's a long road from that to this black and white hagiography. The world is just a more complicated place than that
posted by crayz at 1:57 PM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]



In terms of this debate it does, Ironmouth suggests liberals are an unreliable voting block and cites Nader.


In terms of realpolitik, it absolutely matters. There were enough Nader voters, who one can assume would have more in common with a traditional liberal than a traditional conservative, to skew the Florida results. I think that's what Ironmouth is trying to say with the "seemed to be relevant for all fucking fifty states." Politics is a zero-sum game.
posted by SweetJesus at 2:00 PM on April 8, 2011


powdered remains of Joe Beese

Huh. Seems I missed something.
posted by ctmf at 2:02 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ironmouth, can you really not stop viewing American politics solely through the lens of the team you've chosen? There are only two teams, and while I think most on MeFi know which one they'd rather be stuck on a desert island with, there's a long road from that to this black and white hagiography. The world is just a more complicated place than that

Here's the point. You only get one vote. So it is being stuck on a desert island. It is that black and white. We aren't in a parliamentary system with six or seven parties. We are in the American system with two parties. I'm not imposing a black and white view on the discussion, reality is. And acting as if there is another choice other than Obama or whomever the GOP nominates is voting for the GOP. Plain and simple. And we've seen what happens then.

This is why calling Obama a sellout and all of that crap makes no sense, especially when he's executing his policy he said he would execute. He made one change and that was the mandate on health care. But he has tried to execute his entire policy. And he has been stopped. But it is denying reality to act like he has a switch to throw that just makes the policy work. But no state will agree to take the prisoners from guantanamo, and multiple senators said they were going to vote against the public option. So what is he to actually do? Just say fuck it, I tried, or actually get as much as he can?
posted by Ironmouth at 2:07 PM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ironmouth The Republicans don't win at the margins, they win giant sweeping victories. Why is it that you keep telling me that those are impossible for Democrats when we see that they are completely possible for Republicans?

What magic is it you believe in that makes sweeping victories only ever possible for Republicans?


Please name the "giant sweeping victories" you are talking about.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:07 PM on April 8, 2011


Ironmouth, can you really not stop viewing American politics solely through the lens of the team you've chosen? There are only two teams, and while I think most on MeFi know which one they'd rather be stuck on a desert island with, there's a long road from that to this black and white hagiography. The world is just a more complicated place than that
This really seems like an odd criticism to me.

I haven't read Ironmouth as being hagiographic about the Democrats in a black and white world. I've read him as saying that they're significantly better than the only other realistic alternative.

Meanwhile, I have read several other people in this thread as speaking in a black and white manner. There's no difference between Republicans and Democrats. Obama gives up everything and gets nothing. Health care reform is nothing more than a corporate boondoggle. The Speaker of the House (!) should unilaterally stop filibusters. And so on.
posted by Flunkie at 2:08 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


SweetJesus, go back up and read the context. Ironmouth is trying to argue that there is no such thing as a liberal base.

Put another way, the alleged Dem "base" voted for Nader in numbers that handed Bush the White House. Reliable? Hardly.

He is saying the base isn't reliable, you can't do that based on a nearly non-existant group of people voting for a third party candidate in one election. Had it been a few hundred Libertarian votes in question we would not leapboard that to "THERE IS NO RELIABLE CONSERVATIVE BASE" because only a complete dumbass would make that jump.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:08 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]



I haven't read Ironmouth as being hagiographic about the Democrats in a black and white world.


He has literally said the only way to judge this debate is by who is perceived as coming out on top and refuses to disclose anything that would change his mind on that. That is rooting for a team, not policy.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:12 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


::fingers crossed that it doesn't shut down or it all gets worked out soon:: In a few weeks my daughter's fourth grade class has a day-long field trip to the Grand Canyon. She worked hard to earn money for the trip. She's absolutely giddy about it. She cannot wait. Seriously, she comes home from school each day telling me how excited she is. Each night as I tuck her in, she tells me how many more days till the Grand Canyon.

So, yeah . . . perhaps life keeps running. But having a devastated daughter . . . heartbreaking.

(We haven't told her yet that it's a real possibility that this trip won't happen. We'll wait until its a fact then deal with her disappointment)
posted by Sassyfras at 2:12 PM on April 8, 2011


He has literally said the only way to judge this debate is by who is perceived as coming out on top

cite?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:16 PM on April 8, 2011


> > Whoa. This government shutdown seems so ominous...

> nonsense. bread and circuses, my dear. grandstanding and puffery. a political sideshow, in which the audience pays to see themselves shit upon.

It's more than grandstanding - it's a little like playing chicken by driving fast cars toward each other and hoping the other one backs off, you can get really hurt.

If the government did actually shut down for more than a few days there would be serious consequences, and the fact that the stages had risen might make negotiations even more difficult.

Worse, if the treasury defaulted on its bonds, even for one day, it would permanently change the entire world financial markets for ever. US Treasury bonds are considered the same as US cash, which is the better-than-gold-standard for debt. They are considered to have zero risk, on the theory that anything that made them not pay off, would make anything else not pay off too, so that all your risk is based of Treasury bond == 0 risk calculation.

Once you'd shown that wasn't so by perturbing even a single cash flow somewhere, you would force truly accurate currency jocks to put a risk on each Treasury, so risk would "float"... bad, bad for America.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:16 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


cite
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:18 PM on April 8, 2011


which is the better-than-gold-standard for debt

Given the teabagger propensity to be goldbugs, I would not be surprised in the least if this was also something they're pissed off about.
posted by aramaic at 2:18 PM on April 8, 2011


One more time.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:19 PM on April 8, 2011


He has literally said the only way to judge this debate is by who is perceived as coming out on top

How is that rooting for a team?
posted by Ardiril at 2:19 PM on April 8, 2011


But Teabaggers everywhere: fuck you and your baby boomer entitlement.

Teabaggers == boomers? Not in my world.
posted by Rash at 2:21 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I haven't read Ironmouth as being hagiographic about the Democrats in a black and white world.

He has literally said the only way to judge this debate is by who is perceived as coming out on top and refuses to disclose anything that would change his mind on that. That is rooting for a team, not policy.
I just took the time to go back and read through his 41 posts, looking for what you're referring to.

A couple of sentences in one post of those 41 does not constitute hagiography.
posted by Flunkie at 2:21 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, I have read several other people in this thread as speaking in a black and white manner. There's no difference between Republicans and Democrats. Obama gives up everything and gets nothing. Health care reform is nothing more than a corporate boondoggle. The Speaker of the House (!) should unilaterally stop filibusters. And so on.

Sentences.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:22 PM on April 8, 2011


Meanwhile, on the cover of Business Week, How To Pay No Taxes.

Want to balance the budget? Stop letting millionaires wheedle out of paying 7.5 million dollars in tax on 50 million dollar payouts.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:23 PM on April 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


I haven't read Ironmouth as being hagiographic about the Democrats in a black and white world.

He has literally said the only way to judge this debate is by who is perceived as coming out on top and refuses to disclose anything that would change his mind on that. That is rooting for a team, not policy.


No, you do not understand me. I know for a fact that we must compromise. It is impossible to get anything done with a mixed congress without a compromise. That compromise cannot be helped. In the end, it isn't really going to make a huge difference, policy-wise. These are the numbers for the last 6 months of the year. They aren't make-or-break numbers. No titanic policy decisions are being made here. So there is little value to us in picking an arbitrary number and then declaring that over that number means the "policy" is correct or not.

So it is you that is "rooting" for a "team" not me. You are actually speaking the same language as me. Your main goal is not to feel a sense of emotional disappointment and the idea that the GOP got the "better" of some imaginary game, which you call policy. And you pick an number of exactly 50% as the "policy" number.

This isn't primarily a question of "policy" at all. This is a knock-down, drag-out political battle. nothing more, nothing less. Its a pissing contest set up by the GOP. One can hardly argue that they are all about "policy" here. They are about trying to justify their existence to their supporters. And if Barack H. Obama can win this perception battle, then he is more likely to be re-elected and I will get more of what I want than if a GOP candidate is elected. And that is what I want.

If there is a re-election win, we can put forward policy questions that we can win. And then the policy gets moved forward. But to make up an arbitrary number and declare it policy in not policy at all. It is politics, but using a metric that plays into the GOP's hands by making it a pissing contest about money. I'd rather it be a pissing contest about women's rights.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:23 PM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


One more time.

That's not rooting for a team, so much as offering an opinion of how things will play and who will perceived as the winner by the public.

You can argue about whether his scenario is wrong or off, but it's hardly team rooting.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:25 PM on April 8, 2011


lupus_yonderboy, that's interesting. Not intending to be contentious, but I'm a unconvinced, so do you have anything to support that?
posted by digitalprimate at 2:25 PM on April 8, 2011


Ironmouth is trying to argue that there is no such thing as a liberal base.

I've been reading the argument, and I don't see that as anywhere near his point. I think his point is that the Democrats have a base, but a vocal fraction of that base consists of a set of people that they themselves self identify as "Democrat" yet always find an opportunity to air their disappointment in the fact that Obama hasn't worked miracles during his 3+ years (which is honestly what it would have taken for us to get out of Afghanistan responsibly.) They talk about not voting for him in 2012, yet they still consider themselves part of the base of the Democratic party. I think Ironmouth is right, if you have that much of a distrust of the leader of the Democratic party that you would rather vote for apathy than Obama, then you are not really part of the base anymore.

It's never about the good he's done, or the positive policies he's put in place, it's always about what hasn't been done. And 9 times out of 10 what 'hasn't been done' hasn't been done yet because you don't start mucking about with wedge issues before you're in your second term, unless you don't want a second term.

He has literally said the only way to judge this debate is by who is perceived as coming out on top and refuses to disclose anything that would change his mind on that.

Politics is all about perceptions! Which do you think has a more lasting effect in the minds of people - the actual details of a particular policy, or the way 'the media' quote-unquote reports the policy? Perception is exactly why Fox News is as successful as it is.
posted by SweetJesus at 2:26 PM on April 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


But to make up an arbitrary number and declare it policy in not policy at all

sorry is not policy at all.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:27 PM on April 8, 2011


What I find really odd is that this same budget bill controls what DC (the city) does with its own taxpayer's money. So, DC's local abortion subsidies get cut, along with a lot of other things. I really feel bad for people in DC not having local representation, but instead congresspeople who largely aren't from places that have the same needs as an urban city that faces unique issues.

I also don't get how the Republicans feel like they have any right to take control of this. They may control the House, but not the Senate, or Obama's ability to veto things. They're just trying to stick a wrench in the process with a bunch of policy riders (which do little to change the budget) nobody outside of their party likes, so that they know the Democrats won't vote for it. Then, they hope that after they get the government to shut down and cause problems for millions of people (800,000 people out of work? Government services being suspended? Contractors losing their pay? Sounds reasonable.), people will jump to the conclusion that it's Obama's fault.

The sad part is, I think this will work out for them. The right-wing media is much more skilled than they were in 1995. All we need is a few of the moderate talking heads on Fox to set the tone as "Obama failed to compromise/lead, and let this happen." Then, that narrative will spread to CNN and other media outlets.

Of course, a big part of me also wants to make some crappy joke about how "Big Government" is "Going Galt" now that there's a crappy Ayn Rand movie coming out.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:27 PM on April 8, 2011


Congratulations, you actually made me care less about the plight of your co-workers with your little rage rant.

I'm surprised to hear it called a rage rant, I thought I was simply adding a bit of perspective to the conversation. And you should reread my comment. I took no position on Social Security checks, and I don't support not sending them out. Your dismissal of the SS check idea, though, made it seem to me that you were overlooking the fact that people will face serious hardship because of this. I thought you might want to readjust your own outrage meter. But, as you say, the people in my office are (able-bodied), you assume, so...well, I'm not really sure what.
posted by OmieWise at 2:30 PM on April 8, 2011


I'd really appreciate if maybe everybody currently arguing about What Ironmouth Thinks, including Ironmouth, would consider taking whatever still needs saying there to email and letting the thread be about something else at this point.
posted by cortex at 2:31 PM on April 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


I also don't get how the Republicans feel like they have any right to take control of this.

It's because they believe they're right and in some instances, doing God's will. That justifies any means they can use to get to power. It really is that simple, their belief that not only that they can do anything but that they should do anything to attain power.

That's why they're so fucking dangerous and it's one of the things I believe sets them apart from Democrats.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:31 PM on April 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Sentences.
"The longer the Obama admin is "in power," the less difference I see between that and having a Republican in office."

"This isn't one compromise, it's a 30-month history of it. And it isn't compromise in terms of "conceding some issues while forcing your opponent to concede others" - it's compromise in terms of "giving more and more to your opponents while getting nothing in return.""

"Healthcare? What fucking healthcare?? A huge boondoggle to the healthcare industry where the poorest of Americans will now be required to pay nearly 3 thousand dollars a year for a policy with a five thousand deductible."

"The Democrats control the Speaker of the House, who controls the Master At Arms - they control the game rules when it comes down to it and if they declare a filibuster is over and move on to other business, there's not much can be done."
posted by Flunkie at 2:32 PM on April 8, 2011



I've been reading the argument, and I don't see that as anywhere near his point. I think his point is that the Democrats have a base, but a vocal fraction of that base consists of a set of people that they themselves self identify as "Democrat" yet always find an opportunity to air their disappointment in the fact that Obama hasn't worked miracles during his 3+ years (which is honestly what it would have taken for us to get out of Afghanistan responsibly.) They talk about not voting for him in 2012, yet they still consider themselves part of the base of the Democratic party. I think Ironmouth is right, if you have that much of a distrust of the leader of the Democratic party that you would rather vote for apathy than Obama, then you are not really part of the base anymore.


You guys, if you haven't really followed along don't hop in, this is getting over the top. You are circling back to the start of the debate.

Plenty of liberals complain, but they still show up to vote and are reliable. They were there in 2010 in the same proportion as 2008. 3% of the country voting for Nader in 2000 is not evidence against this. Libertarians getting votes is no evidence there is no reliable conservative base.

There are people like me, who are NOT the base, but there is no large number of liberals who will defect just like there wasn't in 2010.


That's not rooting for a team, so much as offering an opinion of how things will play and who will perceived as the winner by the public.

He literally says the actual numbers don't matter. There is nowhere to go from there.

Your main goal is not to feel a sense of emotional disappointment and the idea that the GOP got the "better" of some imaginary game, which you call policy. And you pick an number of exactly 50% as the "policy" number.

This isn't primarily a question of "policy" at all. This is a knock-down, drag-out political battle. nothing more, nothing less.


He is literally saying policy doesn't matter, I don't know what to tell you guys.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:33 PM on April 8, 2011


He is literally saying policy doesn't matter, I don't know what to tell you guys.

It doesn't matter, politically. It's the public perception of the policy that matters.
posted by SweetJesus at 2:35 PM on April 8, 2011


I'd really appreciate if maybe everybody currently arguing about What Ironmouth Thinks, including Ironmouth, would consider taking whatever still needs saying there to email and letting the thread be about something else at this point.

Well, here's where I think we are at. Apparently at around 3 PM, the Senate Dems announced they had a new offer from the GOP.

I suspect that the GOP has dropped the riders and has added cuts or changed the mix of the cuts. If you remember, the GOP wanted all the cuts to come from discretionary spending and the Dems wanted some to come from non-discretionary spending. I suspect the fight will be more over the mix of the two rather than the number. I also think that this is more important, because less discretionary spending cuts means less targeted cuts against specific programs that the GOP is trying to enact.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:35 PM on April 8, 2011


The sad part is, I think this will work out for them.

The GOP absolutely has the upper hand over public perception in that they control the offer and are not whitewashing what they want. Obama can only choose to take the offer or shut down the government. Liberals are trying to blur the various details of this situation with a rainbow pallet, but only liberals see the tint.
posted by Ardiril at 2:36 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Teabaggers == boomers? Not in my world.

Most 'tea party' followers are baby boomers reliving the '60s

A poll debunks assumptions about the movement, showing that it's largely middle-class, college-educated, white and male.


Polling The Tea Party (New York Times, April 14, 2010)
posted by jhandey at 2:37 PM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


If you remember, the GOP wanted all the cuts to come from discretionary spending and the Dems wanted some to come from non-discretionary spending.
That's surprising. What non-discretionary cuts do Democrats want?
posted by Flunkie at 2:37 PM on April 8, 2011


He literally says the actual numbers don't matter. There is nowhere to go from there.

What, of course there is, why would you think that? As ironmouth noted, it's a political battle, so now the numbers aren't important in determining the winner. Literally, who ever can spin this best wins.

Remember, it wasn't numbers that got Gingrich in trouble during the '95 shutdown, it was a perception that he was being petty and power hungry.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:38 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


It doesn't matter, politically. It's the public perception of the policy that matters.

I'm gonna remember this one for when my kids ask me why Democrats went along with the invasion of Iraq.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:39 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


The longer the Obama admin is "in power," the less difference I see between that and having a Republican in office. He only "wins" at the margins. As desperately as I wanted to see DADT go down in flames, and as grateful as I am that it's finally happening, that simply doesn't make up for all the other balls that Obama has dropped.

This is an incredibly crazy statement, one without sense or meaning. How anyone can have paid any kind of attention to what the Republicans who were elected in the last cycle have been doing, and then claim that Obama bears them any resemblance, I cannot fathom. It's as crazy as the claims that Obama is a secret Muslim who was not born in the US. Batshit.

I've got my problems with Obama, but if you don't understand the lay of the land, and that what he can and cannot do is shaped by that landscape, you aren't really a credible interlocutor.
posted by OmieWise at 2:39 PM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm gonna remember this one for when my kids ask me why Democrats went along with the invasion of Iraq.

You can tell them that the Republicans won the media war, which is completely true.
posted by SweetJesus at 2:40 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lots comes down to how one defines compromise. If someone wants to sell a nice, fuel-efficient car that's worth $20,000, asks $20,000 for it, I'd be delighted if my compromise offer of $2,000 was accepted.

(This isn't playing out in the wake of Obama standing firm on the tax cuts, making some sorta compromise like keeping the cuts and creating a higher rate for people making more than $400k, etc. The debate feels like one person wanting to eat Mexican food for dinner and another wants Thai... and the only conversation is about which Mexican restaurant they'll choose)
posted by ambient2 at 2:41 PM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


He is literally saying policy doesn't matter, I don't know what to tell you guys.

I'm saying that the numbers are small enough that the import of this battle is such that the politics and the atmospherics are more important than the minor policy implications of 33 billion in cuts versus 38 billion in cuts. Much of the course of this years spending has already been worked out, and neither party can influence the course of the government's spending that much for the rest of the year.

Now the 2012 budget? That's policy. That's a situation where it is worth spending political capital to make the policy changes we want.

My point has always been that this is a GOP-hyped move, to prove who and what they are to their base and undecideds. To buy into this or that number meaning anything is less important than to win the political battle to make it harder for the GOP to do as much damage next year. If we win this pissing contest, they can't make that much noise next year. And it is clear that it will be their freshman and their leader who will break. We've set ourselves in stone at the proper moment, and forced Boehner to have to save face or drive his own party into the ground.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:42 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Non-discretionary cuts = ChIMPs (changes in mandatory programs). Farm subsidies are one example, although SS, Medicare, Medicaid are the big ones.
posted by ofthestrait at 2:42 PM on April 8, 2011


(This isn't playing out in the wake of Obama standing firm on the tax cuts

The Dem congress refused, point-blank, to put it on the agenda until after the elections, despite Obama's pleadings to do so. That's on Nancy Pelosi and her staff, not Obama. At that point, the GOP simply had to wait until the next congress.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:44 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm gonna remember this one for when my kids ask me why Democrats went along with the invasion of Iraq.

You can tell them that the Republicans won the media war, which is completely true.


Oh no, they won the battle and lost the war. Bad policy can do that.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:44 PM on April 8, 2011


I find it interesting how fluidly Republicans can go from arguing if a bill is about policy or economics. Consider how Scott Walker said he needed to get rid of public unions to balance the state's budget. Then, when he realized he couldn't get the Democrats to come in and start a vote on that bill, he took out all the budget language, and changed it to a policy bill (which is allowed, even with an incomplete senate), but still justified it as something to balance the state budget.

And now here we see a bill that's supposed to be all about the budget covered in riders that are more about policy than budget. But from the Republicans we're just hearing, over and over, that this is evidence Democrats don't care about the deficit and the debt crisis it will bring about.

What's really sad about all of this is that a lot of people voted in Republicans on the impression that they'd focus on the budget and the economy instead of social issues. Remember that whole "truce" thing? I guess old habits die hard.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:45 PM on April 8, 2011


I'm gonna remember this one for when my kids ask me why Democrats went along with the invasion of Iraq.

You can tell them that the Republicans won the media war, which is completely true.

Oh no, they won the battle and lost the war. Bad policy can do that.


That's why winning the politics is the most important step in controlling the policy. We were right on Iraq, but they beat us in the politics of it. This has been my point the entire time.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:46 PM on April 8, 2011



That's why winning the politics is the most important step in controlling the policy. We were right on Iraq, but they beat us in the politics of it. This has been my point the entire time.


No, the Democrats were not right on Iraq. Their votes allowed it to happen. Your fickle liberal base was against it, but they still voted for Kerry.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:49 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I find it interesting how fluidly Republicans can go from arguing if a bill is about policy or economics. Consider how Scott Walker said he needed to get rid of public unions to balance the state's budget. Then, when he realized he couldn't get the Democrats to come in and start a vote on that bill, he took out all the budget language, and changed it to a policy bill (which is allowed, even with an incomplete senate), but still justified it as something to balance the state budget.

And now here we see a bill that's supposed to be all about the budget covered in riders that are more about policy than budget. But from the Republicans we're just hearing, over and over, that this is evidence Democrats don't care about the deficit and the debt crisis it will bring about.

What's really sad about all of this is that a lot of people voted in Republicans on the impression that they'd focus on the budget and the economy instead of social issues. Remember that whole "truce" thing? I guess old habits die hard


Hence the excellent focus on the riders. The problem for Boehner is that he needs a fig leaf to cover the fact that he must compromise. He planned on that fig leaf being the Planned Parenthood thing. He fell into the trap. Now he doesn't have the votes. That's why he backed out of the 4 AM deal.

At the core of this dynamic is that if he relies on Dem votes to pass on this issue, he is done as leader. Obama and Reid know this. Reid even got up there and said that they had a deal last night and Boehner emailed him at 4 AM and said he didn't have the votes. This is about driving a wedge in the GOP caucus.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:50 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's why winning the politics is the most important step in controlling the policy. We were right on Iraq, but they beat us in the politics of it. This has been my point the entire time.

No, the Democrats were not right on Iraq. Their votes allowed it to happen. Your fickle liberal base was against it, but they still voted for Kerry.


But why did they vote for it? Because they really, really wanted to invade Iraq? No. They did because they didn't want to lose their seats in the next election.

If you look back at the whole thing, in the fall of 2001 until the spring of 2002, the GOP was pushing the whole "regime change." That was not working. The American people opposed going to war in the polling. Bush looked around for another angle. He found it in WMD. It polled way better. So they fought that political battle and won. Dems, fearing that they would lose their seats if they didn't go along, went along.

This is politics. Not some sort of nice sweet debating society where one has the luxury of taking stands which result in even worse results in the end.

Who were they going to vote for after Dean turned out not to be the savior I hoped for but a guy who burst into tears in front of Joe Trippi the night before the Iowa primaries and told him he had been running for DNC chair the entire time?
posted by Ironmouth at 2:56 PM on April 8, 2011


You gotta watch this presser, the GOP is struggling to defend its abortion position and losing bad.

Love to watch Mean Jean. What a nut!
posted by Ironmouth at 2:59 PM on April 8, 2011


But why did they vote for it? Because they really, really wanted to invade Iraq? No. They did because they didn't want to lose their seats in the next election.

And this was THE WRONG THING TO DO. Not because of votes, because of A MILLION DEAD PEOPLE. It's a dangerous way to govern in very real terms.

Obviously the budget isn't going to kill that many people, but since we have no idea what is actually being cut we can't determine how damaging the cuts will be as policy.

Who were they going to vote for after Dean turned out not to be the savior I hoped for but a guy who burst into tears in front of Joe Trippi the night before the Iowa primaries and told him he had been running for DNC chair the entire time?

Nader of course, the whole liberal base is just crazy about Nader! Or anyone else who was consistently anti-war, they are so fickle and unreliable!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:00 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


And this was THE WRONG THING TO DO. Not because of votes, because of A MILLION DEAD PEOPLE. It's a dangerous way to govern in very real terms.

The GOP had 51 senators, the Dems 49.

The GOP had 229 House seats, the Dems 205.
The Dems votes would not have changed the result. What good, then, were votes against the war? They certainly could not have affected the policy.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:06 PM on April 8, 2011


And this was THE WRONG THING TO DO. Not because of votes, because of A MILLION DEAD PEOPLE. It's a dangerous way to govern in very real terms.

Not really. A single vote isn't the sum and substance of a career. That shitty vote may have enabled them to stick and around and put in a good vote elsewhere.

If that makes you want to throw up, that's ok and understandable.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:07 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


The GOP had 51 senators, the Dems 49.

Filibuster.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:07 PM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


That shitty vote may have enabled them to stick and around and put in a good vote elsewhere.

Million dead people takes a lot of DADT repeal to even out.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:08 PM on April 8, 2011


*million is overstating it according to most counts, but you get my point.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:09 PM on April 8, 2011


The GOP had 51 senators, the Dems 49.

Filibuster.


And that would have done what? Bush didn't need the vote. If the dems filibustered, he attacks anyway. It was a symbolic vote.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:09 PM on April 8, 2011


And that would have done what? Bush didn't need the vote. If the dems filibustered, he attacks anyway. It was a symbolic vote.

For a full scale invasion and occupation he most certainly would need congressional approval, this isn't Libya.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:10 PM on April 8, 2011


Come on, guys. We will have ample opportunity between now and next November to turn on each other. We must pace ourselves!
posted by joe lisboa at 3:13 PM on April 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


And that would have done what? Bush didn't need the vote. If the dems filibustered, he attacks anyway. It was a symbolic vote.

For a full scale invasion and occupation he most certainly would need congressional approval, this isn't Libya.


Every President since it was passed has taken the position that the War Powers Act is unconstitutional. You don't think Bush would have gone through and invaded?

Not only that, but Bush argued that UN Resolutions 660 and 678 legally justified the acts in question.

Dude was going to invade.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:14 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Filibuster.

Would not have worked. The Democrats didn't vote as a party on it.

126 (61%) of 208 Democratic Representatives voted against the resolution.
6 (<3%) of 223 Republican Representatives voted against the resolution:

21 (42%) of 50 Democratic senators voted against the resolution.
1 (2%) of 49 Republican senators voted against the resolution

The Ayes had a filibuster proof majority.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:15 PM on April 8, 2011


For real dude? That's what I'm complaining about.

Every President since it was passed has taken the position that the War Powers Act is unconstitutional. You don't think Bush would have gone through and invaded?

No, I don't.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:18 PM on April 8, 2011


furiousxgeorge,

let me ask, do you believe in tactical votes, ever?
posted by Ironmouth at 3:18 PM on April 8, 2011


You need 40 votes to hold a fillibuster. You didn't have it. That's because you have a national party representing wide segment of the population. Keep grinding that axe about how shitty your party allies and and soon you'll be a party of one.
posted by humanfont at 3:18 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a question about the fungibility of money:

The Supreme Court ruled that tax payers have no standing to sue over tax credits given to those who donate to religious schools.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the five-justice majority, said that taxpayers may challenge a direct legislative appropriation for religious schools, but not a tax credit. He conceded that a tax credit and a direct government expenditure "may have similar economic consequences," but he said a tax credit is different because any injury to the disagreeing taxpayer is "speculative," and the money is directed by private individuals, not the state.
Reading between the lines, Kennedy and the majority agreed that money isn't fungible. The money given in the tax credit is different from the money donated to the religious organization.

By this logic, a tax credit to those women who get an abortion (or perhaps, a dollar-for-dollar tax credit to those who donate to organizations associated with Fund Abortion Now) would not be a violation of the Hyde amendment. After all, it's not federal dollars being spent on abortions, it's my own money. Any consequences are purely speculative.
posted by muddgirl at 3:22 PM on April 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


Muddgirl,

I would say you are right.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:23 PM on April 8, 2011


I can't stop thinking this feels like a prologue to The Handmaid's Tale.
posted by changeling at 3:26 PM on April 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


furiousxgeorge,

let me ask, do you believe in tactical votes, ever?


Yes, of course. I simply have different tolerances than you for when they are acceptable which makes your "Because I get the feeling that no matter what the Dems or Obama do, their Eeyore-like supporters will call it a cave and state "we're doomed!" so asinine.

I have no doubt that there are things on which you would not sacrifice policy for politics and you would stand on principle which is why I try to get you to answer the questions you ask of others.

What could they put in that budget that would make you not vote for it?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:27 PM on April 8, 2011


You need 40 votes to hold a fillibuster. You didn't have it.

I know, this is the nature of my complaint. As Ironmouth explained above, the votes weren't missing because of a desire to invade Iraq.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:29 PM on April 8, 2011


You know, Ironmouth, I gotta say this: while I disagree with you quite vehemently about a number (probably most) of the things you're saying, I'm impressed at how well you're keeping composure under fire from so many angles. It's not easy to slog uphill against the MeFi mob effect.

I'm not really buying your arguments, but you're doing a good job presenting them, and I figured it was worth saying something.
posted by Malor at 3:32 PM on April 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


It's because they believe they're right and in some instances, doing God's will.

This is exactly it. There is another history teacher I work with, about my age, and early in the year he would approach me a lot as the new history teacher. Nice guy, not particularly religious, but very much the consumer of talk radio. Especially Hannity. The key to his whole political philosophy - and I know this because it comes up consistently every time he brings up politics - is that "I know I'm right, and right shouldn't have to compromise." Period, full stop.

I mean, the first time I heard this I was just flabbergasted. This guy's a history teacher - a US History teacher, no less, like myself - and just flat believes "compromise is evil." I mean, the US Textbook is quite literally a litany of compromises from before there was a US, the failure of *any one of which* would have been utterly catastrophic for the union. (As was later proved, I think we can say.) I try to point this out, of course, but I'm shocked that it never finds traction of any sort. This seems to be the default viewpoint of a great many of the Tea Partiers, of which he is, and many of those first-time TeaPresentatives in the House. And even those who are old hat to this particular rodeo are pretty much beholden to their increasingly radicalized base.

I mean, what I'd like to say is that I don't see how he can't see the frighteningly dangerous hubris implicit in such a belief. Even accepting everyone (myself included) has all the answers, the idea that no one should ever compromise their viewpoint is just adolescent in its unrealistic naivety.

------

Also, as to the voting Third Party arguments and criticisms: They're bullshit and they all miss the historical relationship of the Third Party in American politics. Almost never does a third party kill one of the Two. No, because the planks third party platforms tend to be rather narrow and few. Not necessarily single issue, though often based on a very specific worldview or interest set. If enough people support that third party - as happened with, say, the Populists during the late-19th century - one of the two major parties is forced to start constructing its own platform out of, shall we say, borrowed planks. Think of it like the Thesis/Antitheses/Synthesis concept, maybe. The same thing happened with TR's New Nationalism and Wilson's New Freedom. (Though, as I've commented elsewhere, Teddy's platform is far too progressive to sail today.) It's probably no surprise to anyone that, by and large, those periods with active third parties (the socialists, the populists, the progressives hell, even the Jacksonians in the early 19th) are periods of dynamic reform and change, and those periods of two monolithic parties ..... aren't. Now, I'm not going to suggest that A leads to B, but feel pretty comfortable suggesting that social, economic, political (etc) situations that lead to third parties also tend to be the situations that lead (eventually) to some sort of reform - when there is a huge swath of voters (or geographic regions) who feel that neither party represents their interests, they abandon ship.

Now, if this could happen today, I can't say, but it sure as won't if I never vote some sort of conviction. In my mind, this is no less an acceptable and strategic option. One of the real failures of the third parties in the last 50 years or so - the outright racist ones included here - is that they go big or go home. And so they always go home. All of the Third Party success stories in US History got started at the local level: first capturing state houses & governorships and House seats. After all, what good is being the first Socialist President when there only other Socialist in Congress is a six thousand year old Vermont independent?
posted by absalom at 3:32 PM on April 8, 2011 [20 favorites]


> lupus_yonderboy, that's interesting. Not intending to be contentious, but I'm a unconvinced, so do you have anything to support that?

Which part of "that" do you mean?

That US Treasuries are the "zero point" standard of credit risk? That's "generally accepted", isn't it?

That you'd have to readjust all the credit markets if the US defaulted on its debt? That's also pretty generally accepted, here's some dude in a suit saying the same thing.

Basically, the promise of the "full faith and credit" of the US government to pay out a dollar at a future time is given as equivalent to a dollar today, discounted for time value of course, unlike any other interest-bearing security, where there is some risk premium no matter how small.

The idea that a Treasury bond "is" as good as a dollar - that you can trust the bond exactly as much as a dollar. That's what "full faith and credit" means - that the government will always pay you that dollar when agreed to.

Now, the moment the government ceases to honour that promise by deliberately choosing to paying off late, even one day late, then two things happen.

The first is that everyone is suddenly aware that "full faith and credit" means nothing of the sort... that if their payments are one day late now, they might be ten days late next year.

The second is that bean-counters all over the world have a serious accounting discrepancy that must be accounted for - they were supposed to get the money from the Treasury on Monday - but it was on Tuesday - they were short x million dollars for one day.

That isn't something they can just "push under the rug" - it needs to fit into their accounting. Perhaps once they can create some sort of synthetic trade but it's going to appear as a blip everywhere...

Again, trading back-office staff the world over turn to their assistants and ask, "Is there any way to avoid that next time this happens?"

And again, an element of risk is introduced into the US's bond rating everywhere.

Suddenly, US bonds are not in a unique position - suddenly there's a risk number, not zero, that fluctuates and everyone takes into account. How long will this perceived risk number stay at "very very close to zero" do you think?

None of this is nut stuff. I think any Goldman Sachs treasury bond trader or University financial markets economist would tell you that if the US deliberately defaulted on its debt for even one day, everyone would have to change every model they had to include the possibility of the US defaulting on its debt again, and the result would be horrific for America.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:32 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


That US Treasuries are the "zero point" standard of credit risk? That's "generally accepted", isn't it?

No.
posted by humanfont at 3:40 PM on April 8, 2011


Something new to me, apparently the likes of Bachmann, Huckabee, Coburn, Kirk, and not surprisingly Collins are urging compromise. This makes me think that its very possible that they'll announce something literally at the last minute. And also makes the calculating bastard in me root for a shutdown, but I shut him up.
posted by tempythethird at 3:49 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the CNN liveblog, Reid to speak at 8 PM EST. Also, "a senior Democratic source told CNN [that] negotiators are now focusing on a proposal to keep the government open for three days while leaders try to finish a broader budget deal this weekend as a last-ditch effort to stave off a crisis" and it "would not include any controversial legislative riders on controversial topics like abortion, but the Democratic source cautioned it is not clear the plan can pass the House and Senate by the midnight deadline to keep the government running."
posted by BeerFilter at 3:58 PM on April 8, 2011


The GOP caucus expounds on current policy
posted by clarknova at 4:00 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Stop letting millionaires wheedle out of paying 7.5 million dollars in tax = raising taxes, essentially. Selling that concept these days is political suicide, unfortunately.

I took no position on Social Security checks, and I don't support not sending them out.

Why should they suffer while people who do have such representation do not?

I'm not sure what this sentence means, then. SS checks and the people who receive them are the only topic I've commented on in this thread. Someone said that SS should shut down completely, and I told him that was ridiculous. You quoted me, and you appear to agree with him, because you're getting screwed and those on SS are not.
posted by Brocktoon at 4:02 PM on April 8, 2011


"That US Treasuries are the "zero point" standard of credit risk? That's "generally accepted", isn't it?

No."



Humanfront, care to elaborate?
posted by OldReliable at 4:10 PM on April 8, 2011


Someone said that SS should shut down completely, and I told him that was ridiculous.

Well, you didn't just say that. You implied that all furloughed workers would lose was the opportunity to go on vacation this year, while those on SS stood to lose something more substantial. I was pointing out that your characterization of the situation made assumptions that were not warranted, and I used some rhetoric to highlight some of the overlooked contingencies here. Incidentally, I never said anything about myself being screwed. I'll lose some pay, but I'm not in the groups you and I are discussing.
posted by OmieWise at 4:24 PM on April 8, 2011


Treasuries are considers a safe place to put dollars. Because the US will always print more eventually. So if you had a business that was generating big piles of dollars and you didn't trust a bank to hold those dollars for you.

It is also with noting that while the US has never defaulted on fell at denominated debt it has devalued the dollar a number of times. The removal of the US front the gold standard during the great depression of the 1930s and the 1973 withdrawal from the Breton Woods post WWII currency exchange are both examples of specific times where the US has essentially said all those dollars are worth a lot less than they were yesterday.
posted by humanfont at 4:33 PM on April 8, 2011


Looks like Obama is caving in to the republicans, offering any cuts at all (some of which i dont agree with anyway, but...) ....... i cant believe this pathetic handing over of the lunch money
to the school bully that is obamas policy. This is so sad - people were cheering in the streets for this guy.

Paraphrasing Jodie Foster in contact - they should have sent a president.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:46 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


OK, lupus_yonderboy, I understand your point now. I think however, that you might misunderstand how securities (especially sovereigns) are valuated and traded and a government shutdown, in any case, does not equal default, not even a protracted one. The market certainly didn't think so today (net marginal losses notwithstanding).

If it did, of course, yes, then dogs and cats living together.

In terms of that and also @humanfront, there are many vested and powerful interests (China not the least of which) who have strong reasons to stave off USD inflation (simply printing more dollars). So I don't think this is going to affect Ts in any substantial and long term sense.

But thought I'd ask; better safe than sorry!
posted by digitalprimate at 5:00 PM on April 8, 2011


Don't mind me. Just bookmarking this monster thread. I hope the discussion returns to something more sane when I return.
posted by jabberjaw at 5:20 PM on April 8, 2011


Such a freaking awesome thread - a great example of why MeFi is such a breath of fresh air to me in an internet filled with mostly nonsense. Even those I disagree with at least put forth their point with reasonable clarity and intelligence.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 5:22 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


http://www.nohats.com/ -- "Freeland Nohatsia" -- quoted from their Facebook wall:

About: An Open-Source Alternative
Mission: Be nice. Take care of folks.

From founder Ted on Facebook: So, since it looks like the US government may shut down at midnight, I have decided to step in and create a new nation. Citizenship is open, and there is no annual budget. Like this page to claim citizenship.


Unfortunately, it seems they ban public funding for Planned Parenthood.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:23 PM on April 8, 2011


According to the National Journal a deal is almost definitely probably being worked out.
posted by grapesaresour at 5:32 PM on April 8, 2011


Republicans asked for 100 billion in additional cuts and to block EPA carbon regulations, NPR funding and Planned Parnthood. Obama proposed 20 billion, and it looks like they will settle at around 40 billion with no riders.
posted by humanfont at 5:34 PM on April 8, 2011


I remember the last government shutdown. I lost my VA benefits, and had to drop a semester of college so I could pick up a second job to make rent. You don't just lose one paycheck, they have to start from scratch redetermining that you're eligible, which takes about a whole semester.

Yep, Newt, any chance of me ever voting Republican again went right out the window.

That was 1996. Aren't there a lot more people on VA care now, who need it a lot more than I did then? You bet.


As an aside, if the government shuts down, can I go smoke weed outside?
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 6:10 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Please tell me that Obama is not going to approve a three-day extension bill like he specifically said he would not do if one were presented to him.
posted by rollbiz at 6:10 PM on April 8, 2011


IIRC he is fine with an extension as long as it is string free.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:11 PM on April 8, 2011


The three-day extension is contigent on the existence of a larger deal. They are not doing a three-day extension to allow for more negotiating, but instead to allow time for the deal to be written legislatively.
posted by ofthestrait at 6:13 PM on April 8, 2011


"Due to a Federal government shutdown, the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum is closed."

Carter gives up first, eh? Bloody typical.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:13 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anyone got a good liveblog or other source for up-to-the-minute coverage?
posted by rollbiz at 6:36 PM on April 8, 2011


Oh, just got an email. pubmed *will* be shut down.
posted by gaspode at 6:36 PM on April 8, 2011


(if it comes to that.)
posted by gaspode at 6:38 PM on April 8, 2011


I'm sickened by all this, and also by use of the media buzzword "optics" to desribe how something comes off. That is a grating word. I will refuse to pay my taxes next year unless all pretentious pundits and wonk wannabes cut that shit out (will do this in the manner of the GOP and Planned Parenthhood).
posted by raysmj at 6:39 PM on April 8, 2011


Talking Points Memo is not really a liveblog but is doing a pretty good job of keeping the situation updated.
posted by ofthestrait at 6:42 PM on April 8, 2011


Treasuries are considers a safe place to put dollars. Because the US will always print more eventually. So if you had a business that was generating big piles of dollars and you didn't trust a bank to hold those dollars for you.

It is also with noting that while the US has never defaulted on fell at denominated debt it has devalued the dollar a number of times. The removal of the US front the gold standard during the great depression of the 1930s and the 1973 withdrawal from the Breton Woods post WWII currency exchange are both examples of specific times where the US has essentially said all those dollars are worth a lot less than they were yesterday.




I see. You misunderstood when lupus_yonderboy said treasuries were the ""zero point" standard of credit risk" he meant in terms of the way participants in financial markets price risk. This is generally accepted.

When analyzing securities, the treasury yield curve is used as the market price for time value of money. They are considered "riskless" for the purposes of calculating the interest rate premiums for risk bearing securities.

Treasury bills are the theoretical Risk Free Bond against which all other financial instruments are priced.

Bond guys love to talk about which way risk spreads moved. They will often quote bond prices in terms of "Spread to Treasury".

If the US defaulted on its debt, even for a day, the effect on financial markets would make 2008 look like picnic. It would be truly shattering.

That is not to say that this budget shutdown will cause a default.
posted by OldReliable at 6:45 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


rollbiz: CNN, but you have to manually refresh it.
posted by BeerFilter at 6:47 PM on April 8, 2011


I picked the wrong week to apply for an FHA mortgage.
posted by bendy at 6:49 PM on April 8, 2011


E-filed my tax return with hours to spare!
posted by Flunkie at 6:52 PM on April 8, 2011


This is the liveblog, nay?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:53 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Admin law attorneys are gonna be living like rock stars next week.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:54 PM on April 8, 2011


This is the liveblog, nay?

It was until an hour or so ago...
posted by rollbiz at 6:56 PM on April 8, 2011


$1.5 Billion so far today. Enough to completeness fund NPR for over 8 years.
posted by edgeways at 7:01 PM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Priceless moment on the Rachel Maddow show just now:

Live shot cameras filmed GOP interns setting up flags behind the presser podium where Republicans will soon discuss the deal. The interns used strategically-positioned hidden wire hangers to make the flags hang perfectly. Maddow noted the symbolism of using wire hangers as a political prop in an argument about PP funding, and declared her mind blown.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:05 PM on April 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


I'm sure this has made it to Metafilter before, but perhaps not in this thread:

Americans think 5% of the federal budget ($178 billion) goes to CPB/NPR.

When that happens, I propose that Terry Gross be awarded a sweeeeet diamond studded grill.
posted by rollbiz at 7:09 PM on April 8, 2011


I will say my prediction upthread was short by 500,000,000. I said they'd drop the riders for 500,000,000, it was 1 billion.

Here was the reality--the last day was about a fig leaf for Boehner. He would have to have at least something a little more in order to sell to his caucus. If it was a straight walkback, he would not get the votes. Obama and Reid manuvered him into where he was beat on the riders issue. So it became a battle to get emperor Boehner some clothes so he could get the votes from his caucus.

In the end Boehner could not pass a budget that relied on Dem votes--it would be a death knell for him.

One more thing. For a long time, I felt that Huckabee wasn't running because he hadn't raised a dime. But TPM is reporting that he signed off on this deal. That says to me that he's in. Otherwise, why ask him?
posted by Ironmouth at 7:15 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks, Ironmouth. I, for one, really respect your input in threads like this.
posted by rollbiz at 7:19 PM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, we are supposed to lose points off GDP so Obama won't give a three-day extension to do the procedural work to get this passed? I don't get it. If this is all about "policy," why does it matter? It doesn't matter at all.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:21 PM on April 8, 2011


Also, we are supposed to lose points off GDP so Obama won't give a three-day extension to do the procedural work to get this passed? I don't get it. If this is all about "policy," why does it matter? It doesn't matter at all.

If you're addressing my comment, if they walk out with "we have a deal, we just need a few days to write it up" that is fine, but that's not how I saw it reported originally.
posted by rollbiz at 7:39 PM on April 8, 2011


Ironmouth, I very often disagree with you, but completely independent of the merits of the issues, I have to give you kudos for exemplary presentation. You give arguments, not merely insults, and you can take the heat. Bravo!
posted by VikingSword at 7:41 PM on April 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


wow, what a scam. How to not pollute the planet, how not overpopulate it and how to keep it informed. LETS VOTE!

Insane.
posted by clavdivs at 7:42 PM on April 8, 2011


That's it, Anderson Cooper, try to find a way to egg someone on to change their minds and get a shutdown.
posted by cashman at 7:46 PM on April 8, 2011


When that happens, I propose that Terry Gross be awarded a sweeeeet diamond studded grill.

No. The first priority would have to be to construct a new Big Bird out of real feathers plucked from the extinct Hawaiin O'o bird.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:50 PM on April 8, 2011


From CNN blog: "10:38 p.m. ET - CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash reported there has been a handshake agreement on a framework to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year and a short term continuing resolution funding the government until Thursday."
posted by BeerFilter at 7:51 PM on April 8, 2011


Well, that's that then.
posted by Ardiril at 7:53 PM on April 8, 2011


Boehner: agreement with Reid on short-term continuing resolution.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:54 PM on April 8, 2011


Yeah, B-man just confirmed on CSPAN. Ok, back to my third viewing of STALKER.
posted by BeerFilter at 7:56 PM on April 8, 2011


So all the Democrats had to do was give in on every single one of the Republicans' demands except one, plus a little extra to sweeten the deal. Sounds great.
posted by EarBucket at 7:56 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


@Boehner: "we are a nation of horse traders"
posted by clavdivs at 7:58 PM on April 8, 2011


we are a nation of horse traders whores, traitors.

Well, Congress, anyway.

Obama to speak in ~two minutes.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:03 PM on April 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


i memailed someone earlier with my time prediction. My chit said 10:30 to a short term agreement.
posted by clavdivs at 8:04 PM on April 8, 2011


Not sure I get what's happening, I can still kill a baby right?
posted by greasy_skillet at 8:04 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm getting very little detail through Yahoo news right now. So, what bullshit did the Democrats agree to this time?
posted by terrierhead at 8:05 PM on April 8, 2011


So all the Democrats had to do was give in on every single one of the Republicans' demands except one, plus a little extra to sweeten the deal. Sounds great.

That's what people have been saying would happen all day.

Clap harder everyone.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:05 PM on April 8, 2011


retract that note sent not time but ms.clav concurs as I took a nap from 8-9. Now, this is were our president comes out like gangbusters with his presidential garb and sentiment. What suprised me, you folks were suprised. Thank you and god bless america.
posted by clavdivs at 8:08 PM on April 8, 2011


So all the Democrats had to do was give in on every single one of the Republicans' demands except one, plus a little extra to sweeten the deal. Sounds great.

This is the problem. How is this not a win for Obama? They demanded $100,000,000,000 in cuts and the end of funding for Planned Parenthood and abortion funding. They got $39,000,000,000 and no riders. And the high-water mark of their power was just met. They only get weaker in this Congress now. They have to buy into next year's budget and will be stupid to do this again.

They have lost the battle. It is up to us to ensure they lose the war.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:09 PM on April 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


That sound at the end of Obama speaking - that sound was Obama slamming the microphone when he was done and making sure it was broke.
posted by cashman at 8:10 PM on April 8, 2011


So all the Democrats had to do was give in on every single one of the Republicans' demands except one, plus a little extra to sweeten the deal. Sounds great.

Well, the founder of the Tea Party isn't happy.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:11 PM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


What has just happened? Can't find any good sources.
posted by Perplexity at 8:14 PM on April 8, 2011


Also, I announce that I will be a candatit...a canada daite...a person running for President in 2024.
Tomorrow, I shall sluff on my republican coil. Good night and vote Democrat.

posted by clavdivs at 8:14 PM on April 8, 2011


Well, the founder of the Tea Party isn't happy.

Well, we can all agree to sit back and enjoy that.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:18 PM on April 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


my take:

Obama wins because he ends up looking like the adult in this situation.

House and Senate Dems lose because they are part of the Congress 'problem' and are absolute shit negotiators.

Boehner wins because he managed to get a reasonable portion of spending cuts with the support of his party (the riders were always a distraction - something inserted for the sole purpose of being used as a bargaining chip to be given away), but he also loses because of reactions across the Tea Party like the one Brandon Blatcher just posted. But that's pretty much the hole they've dug for themselves.
posted by ofthestrait at 8:19 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, and the American people lose because there's no godly reason that we should be reducing aggregate demand while unemployment is still around nine percent.
posted by ofthestrait at 8:21 PM on April 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


Does anybody have a link to the video of Obama speaking?
Been following this the whole day— MeFi at its best!
posted by yaymukund at 8:22 PM on April 8, 2011


Ezra Klein: The resolution includes rider prohibiting dc from using it's own money to help women access abortions. So pp escaped, but dc didn't.
posted by ofthestrait at 8:24 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Boehner loses, period. He's going to be perceived as selling out by his base and they'll never forgive him for that. That could potentially free him to not need to listen to their wants, but I doubt that'll happen, because he doesn't have anywhere he can go. I have fantasies of him teaming up more with the Democrats, just to gain some allies, but I have have fantasies about walking on the moon.

The resolution includes rider prohibiting dc from using it's own money to help women access abortions. So pp escaped, but dc didn't.

DC is always getting screwed, it's crazy.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:27 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does anybody have a link to the video of Obama speaking?

Video
posted by cashman at 8:29 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Headline: BOEHNER BLINKS.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:33 PM on April 8, 2011


DC is always getting screwed, it's crazy.

DC's new slogan: At least we're not Guam, Congress pays attention to us!

And Guam's: Better weather than DC.
posted by peeedro at 8:37 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


video - Obama has tired eyes ...
posted by Surfurrus at 8:43 PM on April 8, 2011


Re: Obama's speech on the compromise. Yeah, Obama, keep compromising and playing nice with the Republicans, keep saying nice things about them, and most importantly keep giving them cover by legitimizing their agenda "the road to living within our means". It's one thing to reach a deal, and quite another to characterize the deal. You know the Republicans will reward you for all that, they'll be ever so grateful - isn't that what they've always done when you reached out to them?
posted by VikingSword at 8:44 PM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


I still really hate the whole "win the future" thing. Makes me cringe every time he says it.
posted by anastasiav at 8:46 PM on April 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


I for one am so happy that the kid can go on his field trip.
Actually, I'd only be happy if Boehner lost his ability to speak, but I'm hard to satisfy.
posted by angrycat at 8:47 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Re: Obama's speech on the compromise. Yeah, Obama, keep compromising and playing nice with the Republicans,

Sigh. *So* glad you are not the chief executive.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:48 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Re: Obama's speech on the compromise. Yeah, Obama, keep compromising and playing nice with the Republicans, keep saying nice things about them, and most importantly keep giving them cover by legitimizing their agenda "the road to living within our means". It's one thing to reach a deal, and quite another to characterize the deal. You know the Republicans will reward you for all that, they'll be ever so grateful - isn't that what they've always done when you reached out to them?

Uh, the GOP's votes are 100% necessary to keep the government functional, so some sort of compromise would, by definition, have to occur, unless you propose Obama stage a coup against constitutional government. Seriously, what is your plan for compelling the GOP to do exactly what we want?
posted by Ironmouth at 8:49 PM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


I still really hate the whole "win the future" thing. Makes me cringe every time he says it.

Dumbest tag line ever.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:50 PM on April 8, 2011


... unless you propose Obama stage a coup against constitutional government. Seriously, what is your plan for compelling the GOP to do exactly what we want?

Exactly. Buy good luck selling that to the purists who have nothing to lose on this. Time to start investing in circular firing squad ammunition futures.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:50 PM on April 8, 2011


buy = but.

heh heh, butt.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:51 PM on April 8, 2011


You know the Republicans will reward you for all that, they'll be ever so grateful - isn't that what they've always done when you reached out to them?

He's doing what a President should do and what he's said he would do, reach out to the other party and try to work together. As much as I'd like to see him engage in a knock down fight with the Republicans and emerge, bloodied and beaten but victorious, on a mound of freshly rotting GOP political careers, his way is the more mature way and in the long run, better for the country. Dammit.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:53 PM on April 8, 2011 [20 favorites]


Thank you, BB, for putting it so well. I am out. Cannot deal with the OOH-THIS-IS-A-GAME-OF-RISK peanut gallery right now. No one (credible) ever said that governing a diverse republic would be easy. Good night.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:55 PM on April 8, 2011


I'm not talking about the compromise it took to get the deal. I'm talking about how he characterized it - all the verbal sops to the Republicans; it's like rewarding the criminal. Reach the deal, fine, but make it crystal clear to the American people that you did it only because what the alternative would have been was unthinkable and the Repubs are responsible for it. Instead, he actually legitimizes their platform. That's what bothers me. It's one thing for the mugger to take your wallet - you gave it, to save your life. It's quite another to then go on TV and praise the wonderful compromise by which we get to allow muggers to make a living while staying alive ourselves, because we're all A OK with mugging.
posted by VikingSword at 9:03 PM on April 8, 2011 [15 favorites]


I saw it as him being a leader, not playing the blame game at this time and presenting to the country a united front in the midst of harrowing situation. He did good in this instance, focusing on the positives and not the negatives, while presenting himself as humble, but solid leader.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:09 PM on April 8, 2011


His latest Tweet is somewhat instructive:

The entire federal government will be open for business tomorrow—and that's because Americans of different beliefs came together today.

I, too, wish that Obama would stop legitimizing the ridiculous positions of the Republicans. But at the same time, he's playing the long game in terms of being a leader of all factions, and subtly trolling the Tea Party by reminding them that their party still has to cooperate with him on governance despite their view of him as a socialist Antichrist.
posted by ofthestrait at 9:15 PM on April 8, 2011


I saw it as him being a leader, not playing the blame game at this time and presenting to the country a united front in the midst of harrowing situation.

Harrowing situation of Republican making. There was nothing good about this, other than staying alive, just as there's nothing good about handing your wallet to the mugger, except staying alive. Blame game? Nope, calling a mugger by the action he did: a mugging. You're not standing above it all, and not playing the "blame game" by saying "oh, it was a hard but necessary wallet transfer, and we're both the better for it." That is exactly what has been wrong all along here - not calling Republicans on their nonsense, publicly - and look at the rich rewards he's reaped from this tactic. That's what sticks in the craw.
posted by VikingSword at 9:16 PM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


VikingSword, I keep reading your comment over and over, 'cause I'm not getting it. I don't think he gave verbal sops to the GOP so much as presented a calm front. In this thread alone, some people were really starting to freak out a shutdown, it would have screwed them in one way or another, people were starting to get really anxious. Putting forth a calm front is exactly the right tone.

It also pisses off the Tea Party more, by seemingly putting him and Boehner on the same page.

- and look at the rich rewards he's reaped from this tactic.

Dude, the founder of the Tea Party is publicly making noises about getting Boehner out. Obama's going to go sleep with a smile on his face, just for that. Boehner is going to be up for a while, trying to figure out how he can smooth this mess over.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:23 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


He got a Democratic president to sign on to an economic agenda of tax cuts for the rich and funding cuts for the poor. He'll sleep like a baby.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:28 PM on April 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


VikingSword, I keep reading your comment over and over, 'cause I'm not getting it. I don't think he gave verbal sops to the GOP so much as presented a calm front.

Oh please. How is this anything other than legitimizing the Republican agenda:

"The budget deal itself, which Obama called “a budget that invests in the future while making the largest annual spending cut in our history,” punctuating this assertion with a “win the future.”"

Really? He's proud of making "the largest annual spending cut in our history"? In the midst of some of the highest unemployment ever? And legitimizing the Republican agenda of cutting spending as if that's somehow a great thing at this moment? What? Really?

And on and on and on. Get a transcript of that atrocious speech and see for yourself.
posted by VikingSword at 9:31 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Guys, I will tell you what happened. The closer it got to midnight the more each one of these politicians started thinking about what facing their constituency back home was gonna look like if they didn't get a deal on the table. Peasant and pitchfork time, baby....
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:33 PM on April 8, 2011


Oh please. How is this anything other than legitimizing the Republican agenda...

"At the same time, Obama's leading role in achieving a compromise would likely win over a large swath of independent voters -- who desperately wanted the partisan bickering in Washington to end and preferred an imperfect deal rather than allow the government to shutdown, according to a recent national opinion survey by the Pew Research Center."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:35 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


"At the same time, Obama's leading role in achieving a compromise would likely win over a large swath of independent voters"

So how big of a surge in approval rating are we looking at?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:37 PM on April 8, 2011


I just poked in on Eepfray Epublicray and they're pretty much calling for Boehner's head. Some literally.
posted by BeerFilter at 9:37 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Would it be the same independent voters who gave such resounding support to the Democratic team in mid-term elections? Cause that sure was a quite some "winning over" Obama did after nothing but making overtures to the Republicans since he was elected.
posted by VikingSword at 9:38 PM on April 8, 2011


Middleman wins again.
posted by gerryblog at 9:41 PM on April 8, 2011


So how big of a surge in approval rating are we looking at?

I suspect it's less that and more appearing better than the crazy Republicans, which admittedly is pretty easy.

Would it be the same independent voters who gave such resounding support to the Democratic team in mid-term elections?

Probably, but as always, they're a fickle bunch.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:43 PM on April 8, 2011


Our mistake was thinking Obama was trumpeting himself as a Democratic Reagan.
posted by chortly at 10:28 PM on April 8, 2011


This is what democracy looks like. You want to decide the budget get more liberals elected I. The house and senate.
posted by humanfont at 12:01 AM on April 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had the benefit of reading this entire thread pretty much after everything had happened, so I can say: as much as I may disagree with someone like Ironmouth, he has a valid point about actually getting elected. But here's where I agree with both him and the people that I have way more in common with, ideologically: People with actual liberal sympathies (not American "liberals" that are slightly right of center globally, pro-Wall Street and pro-military industrial complex) will never get anywhere as long as we lose the messaging war.

Ironmouth pulled an argumentative tactic earlier in the thread that I've taken issue with before, which is pulling out poll numbers about how many people self-identify as "conservatives," "liberals," etc., and the number that identify as conservatives is higher than any other group. Okay, fine, until you acknowledge that a massively-funded and well-connected industry that has been granted one out of every two positions on opinion news media (for the sake of balance) (and that also owns most of the media) has turned the word "liberal" into an epithet, such that people don't want to be associated with it anymore. But when you poll the populace on issues, it turns out that the vast majority are more concerned about jobs and maintaining social programs than about "addressing the deficit," i.e. the issue that's been in the forefront for the past what, two months of political discourse? Three? The people overwhelmingly support tax increases on the richest tax brackets. In the summer of 2009, there was >60% support for a public option, before months of negotiation dragged on and media saturation with talking points about "death panels" and a socialist takeover of the health system torpedoed public option polls. A strong majority today wants America out of our foreign wars, and more people support gay marriage now than don't. Why is there no party that favors any of these changes?

I understand that third parties aren't viable, that the winner-takes-all system will inherently lead to two dominant parties, and that the Democratic party is less insane, to a debatable but nonetheless acknowledgable extent, than the Republican party. BUT. NEITHER party is daring to act in accordance with the desires of the majority of polled Americans. So you can say "the Democrats are better than Republicans, and you only have one vote, so you shouldn't vote for Republicans!!!" and you can say that policy doesn't matter, and from a purely cyborg standpoint, I can see what you mean. But from the standpoint of someone who wants to see his government make actual POSITIVE changes, instead of just less negative changes than the OTHER guys WOULD have made, what are we to do? It's not an issue of people's interests not aligning with progressive goals - they actually DO in an amazing number of cases - so if third parties and primarying are off the table, how do we actually get the party that's closer to what the majority of people want to actually fight to implement what the majority of people want, instead of kneecapping themselves by giving into insane Republican demands and calling it a victory anyway?

For instance, in this latest debate: Economists have widely agreed that the stimulative effect of direct spending and job programs greatly exceeds the stimulative effect of tax cuts, and that austerity programs in European countries in the past couple of years have failed. And, theoretically, Democrats are opposed to tax cuts for corporations and the rich and cutting social programs for the least fortunate in the middle of a massive economic crisis. So why is the conversation framed in terms of how much we should cut out of unemployment benefits, education, heath care, etc.? Not even whether or not we should cut these things, but how much? Why are tax rates, individual or corporate, or even something entirely different like stock market transaction fees, not considered at all? Why is the focus ENTIRELY on spending and not on revenue? Moreover, in the realm of spending, why is military spending entirely off the table?

A lot of the discussion has revolved around "well, if the Democrats don't do this awful thing that their base hates, the messaging/optics/spin will be awful." But seriously, how could you get much better spin than by fighting for what the majority of voters in the fucking nation want? And if primaries and third parties are off the table, and Citizens United opened the floodgates for unlimited corporate campaign funding... how are we supposed to shift things back in the right direction?

Ironmouth, BB, and others, please understand that I don't mean for this to be an attack on what you're saying - there's a lot of truth to it. But it's still deeply fucked up. There are positions that the majority of Americans hold, that neither party is willing to fight for, and that the state of discourse is actively moving away from. Sure, I still hope Democrats win instead of Republicans. But is there any way that you can imagine to encourage Democrats to move back in the direction of what's best for, you know, fucking everyone? Instead of just taking some half-assed position that will get them re-elected so that they have several more years to do things that get themselves re-elected later, but that still continue the acceleration of income inequality, unemployment, academic underachievement, debt, pollution, and grift?
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 2:37 AM on April 9, 2011 [17 favorites]


So why is the conversation framed in terms of how much we should cut out of unemployment benefits, education, heath care, etc.? Not even whether or not we should cut these things, but how much?

Because the GOP just won a solid victory in the midterms less than six months ago on platform of cutting spending, and control the chamber with the power to introduce budget legislation?

So why is the conversation framed in terms of how much we should cut out of unemployment benefits, education, heath care, etc.? Not even whether or not we should cut these things, but how much?

Third parties are electorally counterproductive, but who said anything about primaries? Granted, the bar for primarying a sitting president should be much higher given the stakes involved (a threshold Obama is far from meeting), but Senate/House/gubernatorial/etc. primaries are absolutely essential for changing the party from within and promoting progressive values.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:04 AM on April 9, 2011


Perhaps its just me, but nowhere on the whole interwebs can i find a brief summary of where the cuts are actually going to take place.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:27 AM on April 9, 2011


It's not just you. I'm finding that particularity infuriating too.
posted by Xalf at 4:59 AM on April 9, 2011


The Washington Post has some details.
posted by nangar at 5:41 AM on April 9, 2011


Yes...... it only mentions 2bn of what is going to be cut - transportation, public housing and some form of education support that i don't know a lot about. Defence spending is completely unaffected. The other 34 bn (?) is mentioned nowhere I can see. It could be anything really. All the talk of polls, personalities and countdowns and no one in the media seems to provide even a general list of where the cuts are going to hit.

If you dont have social housing, you're going to have either homelessness or people taking out mortgages they will default on.

How did this all start again ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:10 AM on April 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't underestimate the power of Obama's words of unification and crossing party lines - it was this kind of thing that made me want him to become President, before he even ran. That is the language that gets voters.
posted by rahnefan at 6:14 AM on April 9, 2011


America is turning into that old friend who you still have found memories of but every time you hear another crazy story about him you're kinda glad you don't know him anymore. It was fun when used to drink cough syrup and watch David Lynch movies but since you left the weirdness has got alot scarier. When you heard he was roaming around New York swinging a samurai sword you realized that somewhere along the line 'weird and profound' just turned into 'fucked up and kinda of dangerous'. But oh! He did wear the nicest suits, and had the best stories.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:32 AM on April 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Don't underestimate the power of Obama's words of unification and crossing party lines - it was this kind of thing that made me want him to become President, before he even ran. That is the language that gets voters.

Practically speaking this is the thing that makes people homeless. It's strange that a symbolic representation of a person, a vote, is more important than an actual person.
posted by fuq at 6:46 AM on April 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Perception of negotiation victory will sustain them.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:00 AM on April 9, 2011


What Congress approved last night is another stop-gap spending bill that runs through the 15th. From the information WaPo provided, it looks like they just found some projects that could be put on hold while they haggle over another budget bill next week. (Though it's hard to tell since the information is pretty minimal.)

Basically it lets the Republicans claim they got some concessions in return for giving up some riders the Democrats didn't like. It's not over yet.
posted by nangar at 7:01 AM on April 9, 2011


Oh, goody! So we've got another thread to look forward to next week?

I'll clear my calendar.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:04 AM on April 9, 2011


Final text of continuing resolution
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:04 AM on April 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Klein:

Boehner, of course, could afford to speak plainly. He’d not just won the negotiation but had proven himself in his first major test as speaker of the House. He managed to get more from the Democrats than anyone had expected, sell his members on voting for a deal that wasn’t what many of them wanted and avert a shutdown. There is good reason to think that Boehner will be a much more formidable opponent for Obama than Gingrich was for Clinton.

So why were Reid and Obama so eager to celebrate Boehner’s compromise with his conservative members? The Democrats believe it’s good to look like a winner, even if you’ve lost. But they’re sacrificing more than they let on. By celebrating spending cuts, they’ve opened the door to further austerity measures at a moment when the recovery remains fragile. Claiming political victory now opens the door to further policy defeats later.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:05 AM on April 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't think I can fucking hold my nose and vote Democrat next year. They've lost me. Fuck them.
posted by codacorolla at 7:09 AM on April 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Klein's conclusions seem odd to me -- unemployment isn't stuck anywhere, but has in fact been dropping this year; that this could be reversed in the event of a shutdown was at least in part what made the threat to derail government so dramatic. I don't think there's any real question that this is a victory for democrats, if it's a victory for anyone. Of course, it's nothing until the actual budget is signed...until that happens, there's no reason to think we won't all be back here doing this very same thing this time next week.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:18 AM on April 9, 2011


They've lost me.

What would it take for them to win you back?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:21 AM on April 9, 2011


kittens for breakfast Obama just agreed with the Republican idea that cutting spending in the middle of a terrible recession and massive unemployment is a great idea. That's a massive loss.

codacorolla I can, and will, hold my nose and vote Democrat because the specter of President Palin is still worse.

But, unfortunately, that's the only reason I can hold my nose and vote Democrat. They aren't even pretending to be even semi-liberal anymore, just offering us a better choice than the most crazy right wing BS currently available. "Vote Democrat, we aren't quite as bad as the other guys!" That's not a slogan that's going to get enthusiasm.

Or anything but my vote. I worked my ass off for Obama in 2008, gave money, rounded up votes, etc. And what I got was expansions of Bush era civil rights abuses and instead of jail terms for them a money given to to the banksters who fucked the economy. He gets my vote in 2012 in the general election, but nothing else.
posted by sotonohito at 7:21 AM on April 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


If you are going to hate on this compromise. Let's hear some specific complaints and alternatives? Like specifically what program is affected in which way. Yes funding is cut from HUD and Pell grants but those are still big programs. What's the policy change that has been enacted that you object to?
posted by humanfont at 7:24 AM on April 9, 2011


There are positions that the majority of Americans hold, that neither party is willing to fight for.


What positions are those?
posted by Ironmouth at 7:28 AM on April 9, 2011


Like specifically what program is affected in which way.

Link us to a list of what is cut and by how much?

Last I heard: Neither party is saying what will be cut, and on MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan show Friday afternoon, House Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said that he would support Speaker John Boehner's decision not to tell the American people what is being cut so that "special interests" don't have the chance to fight back.

I mean, we can't talk about the numbers because they don't matter (only perception!) and we can't talk about the quality of the cuts because no one will tell us. I'm gonna go with my experience here and suggest it is quite likely the sacrifice is going to disproportionately fall on the poor.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:29 AM on April 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


What positions are those?

Off the top of my head...public option, tax to pay for social security instead of cutting it, legalize gay marriage.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:31 AM on April 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


we can't talk about the numbers because they don't matter (only perception!)

No, you can talk about numbers now, if you like. The perception idea was talking about this particular battle over the government shutdown.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:34 AM on April 9, 2011


[comment axed - stick to civil discussion here and not insults.]
posted by jessamyn at 7:35 AM on April 9, 2011


What would it take for them to win you back?

They can't do anything. The only thing that wins me back is a sufficiently scary opposing candidate from the right, but right now I'm thinking that there is no winning. The right has won, even with the democrats having the presidency and both houses.
posted by codacorolla at 7:35 AM on April 9, 2011


You can pick any arbitrary number you want. Who fucking cares?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:36 AM on April 9, 2011


They can't do anything.

Then there's no reason for them to pay any attention to you, is there?

The right has won, even with the democrats having the presidency and both houses.

Republicans control the house, the Senates have a non filibuster proof majority in the Senate.

You can pick any arbitrary number you want. Who fucking cares?

As I recall, that was about the budget showdown being over petty amounts in terms of the actual deficit.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:38 AM on April 9, 2011


According to the House Appropriations Committee, the nearly $2 billion in cuts will be made to transportation and housing programs. The vast majority, $1.5 billion, would be cut from High Speed Rail Corridors and Intercity Passenger Rail Service Capital Assistance.

In addition, $280 million would be cut from Capital Investment Grants, $149 million would be trimmed from the Public Housing Operating fund and $25 million would be cut from the University Community Fund.


Time to cork the champagne. We sure did win this round for America
posted by crayz at 7:39 AM on April 9, 2011


As I recall, that was about the budget showdown being over petty amounts in terms of the actual deficit.

No, everyone agrees on that. It was in direct response to a question about what a bad deal for the Democrats would look like here.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:42 AM on April 9, 2011


Republicans control the house, the Senates have a non filibuster proof majority in the Senate.

Most likely referring to things like endorsing the Bush tax cuts under the last congress.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:42 AM on April 9, 2011


Late to the thread, but I wanted to say:

Ironmouth:: But why did they vote for it? Because they really, really wanted to invade Iraq? No. They did because they didn't want to lose their seats in the next election.

Here's the thing that always frustrates me: standing on principle and winning elections are not mutually exclusive. Here's an oft-forgotten fact: Paul Wellstone was the only democrat in the senate up for re-election who voted against the Iraq war authorization. He voted against the opinions of the majority of his home state, Minnesota. And his poll numbers? Went up.

People respect politicians who act according to their beliefs and don't just run around chasing popularity. Said beliefs need to not be wildly out of line with the majority of Americans but that's not actually the Democrats' problem.
posted by shaun uh at 7:50 AM on April 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


Republicans control the house, the Senates have a non filibuster proof majority in the Senate.

I meant before the 2010 elections. How much stronger do you get than sweeping the senate and the house, electing Barack Obama, and basically getting a mandate that people are sick of the Right? At what point is there a better position for instituting fair taxes for the rich, punishing corrupt financiers, adopting a sane foreign policy, and heavily investing in human capital? To my mind these have either been ignored, half-heartedly attempted, or they've done completely the opposite -- when they were in full power! The Democratic party is not a party that represents my interests, it's obvious, and they can't even effectively keep the wolf from the door. I'm done.
posted by codacorolla at 7:51 AM on April 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


You implied that all furloughed workers would lose was the opportunity to go on vacation this year, while those on SS stood to lose something more substantial.

I implied no such thing. In fact, I never mentioned furloughed workers.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:53 AM on April 9, 2011


Who thinks this one worked so well that its going right to the front of the playbook?

1. Make the passage of some key piece of legislation - say a budget, or raising the debt ceiling - conditional on even more privatization and outrageous cuts to everything thats good for the the country, the middle-class, and the poor.
2. When this is rejected, tack on some insane hard-right shit - mass deportations of gay people, women no longer being allowed to wear pants, etc.
3. Stonewall until the last hour - Boehner: "You better vote for this because this is the best we could do for you, you have no idea what those Tea Partiers really want. This is the best I could get you and they nearly bit off my leg. They're all howling outside my house right now, I just hope the fence holds."
4. Pass original outrageous legislation at the last minute minus the utter insanity of step 2.
5. Everyone claims victory.
posted by tempythethird at 7:59 AM on April 9, 2011 [11 favorites]


What positions are those?

Off the top of my head...public option, tax to pay for social security instead of cutting it, legalize gay marriage.


First gay marriage is a state issue. Second, they apparently did not poll Joe Lieberman or Blanche Lincoln, who flatly said they would not vote for such a plan, Lincoln so stating on the fucking Senate floor during a key vote. Nelson was shaky. So if you could please provide the names of the two Republican senators who were going to vote for it, I'd appreciate it.

The Social Security battle has not been joined yet. And I think they will raise taxes to deal with it.

It seems like Obama's main problem is that he never did away with democracy and voting so that those we oppose could not have their voices heard. Don't remember him promising to "abolish our republic" so we can get the Public Option.

And that's the problem. What is your plan to run the government without the money, or your plan to get 30% of the GOP caucus to change their minds and vote with the Dems? For all your bitching, I don't see a single thought devoted to an alternate plan to gain these things we could get so easily. Just like the health care battle you have all these ideas yet not enough actual votes to get these things done. Believe me, I would have loved to have had the public option. But unless your plan is to replace three senators with replicants programmed to vote with the President, then it aint happening. Lincoln got primaried and still won. So you cannot say you would be able to force her via some election pressure.

Since you cannot come up with these plans, we are left with what is really at stake--a desire for an inspiring and quixotic last stand where we lose the whole bill and our hold on Congress for nothing. We already tried that, remember? We got Newt and Delay. Such stands provide a wonderful mix of feelings of pride and sadness, followed by years of seething anger at our opressors and dreams of what we will do once we get back in.

Or we can make a tactical retreat until we get stronger and then attack again the next week. One course selfishly feeds our white-guilt liberal souls, while the other saves our gains and allows us to comeback.

And what gains were saved? This battle secured the health care bill. The biggest riders would have defunded the bill. Once that happened, they would have won for real. That's the policy point where I feel no deal should have been made. Obama saved the chance for a public option down the road yesterday.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:59 AM on April 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Who thinks this one worked so well that its going right to the front of the playbook?

1. Make the passage of some key piece of legislation - say a budget, or raising the debt ceiling - conditional on even more privatization and outrageous cuts to everything thats good for the the country, the middle-class, and the poor.
2. When this is rejected, tack on some insane hard-right shit - mass deportations of gay people, women no longer being allowed to wear pants, etc.
3. Stonewall until the last hour - Boehner: "You better vote for this because this is the best we could do for you, you have no idea what those Tea Partiers really want. This is the best I could get you and they nearly bit off my leg. They're all howling outside my house right now, I just hope the fence holds."
4. Pass original outrageous legislation at the last minute minus the utter insanity of step 2.
5. Everyone claims victory.


Don't remember them threatening to deport gays.

Here's the thing about a counter-facutal like this. It didn't happen. It represents a fundamental distortion of the facts so as to make it useless. But they continue to pop up. One upthread had the negotiations involving school yard bullies.

Yet that's not what any of this is about. People need to stop projecting these personally-fueled dramas on to what is a straight-up power negotiation.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:08 AM on April 9, 2011


How much stronger do you get than sweeping the senate and the house, electing Barack Obama, and basically getting a mandate that people are sick of the Right?

There was no sweep of the Senate for Democrats. It was 60 votes, composed of 58 Democrats (some who were conservative) and 2 independents. It was paper thin majority that required every single one of those 60 votes, which gave the conservative side, which was smaller in number, a huge amount of power.

The House had similar problems, but no where near as much as the Senate.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:16 AM on April 9, 2011


The cuts are mostly to grant programs. Presumably the effect will be that agencies affected won't be able to approve any new applications until a longer-term spending is approved and they know how much money they actually have to work with.

I don't see much a pattern here other than 'tell the agencies to hold off on approving grants for a week.' I'm guessing the Transportation Department's high speed rail fund came in for a particularly large cut just because it had a lot of undispersed funds, not because the Republicans hate trains.

The Republicans gave up some riders the Democrats objected to (but not all them) in return for a temporary hold on a set of grant programs - basically political cover so the Republicans can claim they got some concessions.

Neither side can claim victory in the larger budget fight until a long-term spending bill passes and we see what's in it.
posted by nangar at 8:25 AM on April 9, 2011


Obama just agreed with the Republican idea that cutting spending in the middle of a terrible recession and massive unemployment is a great idea. That's a massive loss.

Spending was never not going to be cut. It's unfortunate that the cuts came from places like the Pell Grant, but frankly Pell is a gelded shade of what it was two decades ago anyway. My understanding is that the tea party is getting about two-thirds of the cuts they wanted. I cannot paint that as a victory for the republican side. I am seeing that the GOP went "wooooo here is my crazy eyes! am I freaking you out? are you guys crazy yet? shutting it all dowwwwwwnnnnnn!" and the democrats were like, "can you knock this horseshit off please," and finally the GOP was all, "fine, whatever, that's fine."
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:28 AM on April 9, 2011


How much stronger do you get than sweeping the senate and the house, electing Barack Obama, and basically getting a mandate that people are sick of the Right?

There was no sweep of the Senate for Democrats. It was 60 votes, composed of 58 Democrats (some who were conservative) and 2 independents. It was paper thin majority that required every single one of those 60 votes, which gave the conservative side, which was smaller in number, a huge amount of power.


Actually, it wasn't even that good. At the election, there were 57 dems and 2 independents. Arlen Spector, a Republican, came over after his vote for stimulus resulted in fury from his GOP constituents.

At base though, this is the source of the myth--Dems had an 'unbeatable' majority. Hardly new deal numbers. The Dems held 313 seats to GOP's 115 back then. This "sweep" shit is pure fantasy. I advise anyone believing it to go on wikipedia and go through a selection of congress for the last 90 years. I guarantee a real eye-opener.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:31 AM on April 9, 2011


To reinforce what Ironmouth is saying, the polarization of the house and senate is worse now than at any time since the end of the Civil War. See Keith Poole's work.

If you read down the page to the first scatter graph, the two political strategies work out like this: the Dems are running a "down the middle" strategy originated by the DLC in the late 1980's. It says peel off just enough "independent voters" to get a working majority. This makes the Democratic strategy always more conservative than the median democratic voter.

It also means left-fringe breakaway tactics (Nader, Kusinich) are no threat to the DLC power within the party but will throw elections to the GOP. This leaves the minuscule left forever throwing temper tantrums but never able to influence elections in a way they want. These are the disenfranchised left and they are weary of it. On the other hand, they have no effective options because they appear unable to conduct the type of politics that will build a 30% plurality which is the key to intraparty politics. The Democratic party is (and always has been) a coalition party of numerous factions. They lost national power when the Southern Democrats went over to the Republicans after the passage of Civil Rights.

The Republicans have the advantage of a much more homogeneous voter pool. They are whiter, wealthier, and not nearly as diverse. The right fringe of the Republican Party (aka Tea Baggers) is larger than the left fringe of the Democratic Party. This leads the GOP to a strategy where they use their extreme fringe as attack dogs. If the Tea Bag numbers were smaller, it wouldn't work, but they are over the 30% so it becomes possible.

Both parties are locked into a stasis of polarization by their respective strategies. The insane degree of polarization guarantees shit like the current budget shitstorm. It's necessary to keep the Tea Party brownshirts energized. At the same time, the sheer bad-tempered malevolence of the far right hit it's high water mark in the last election.

If the DLC (which is the ruling faction in the Democratic party, but the party itself) plays this right, the brownshirts will disgust just enough swing voters to pick up the next election for the Dems without really changing the name of the game.

Short term, it's stable to swing back and forth, but long term the country is rudderless by this stupid battle for place between the DLC and the far right. Neither can (or really wants to) win a full majority, because that would require compromise inside their own party that would leave the current top dogs with less power.

The long term game changer will be this sort of fiddling while Rome burns will cave in the economy and social structure to the extent that it will no longer support the division of labor that makes the current polarized deadlock possible.
posted by warbaby at 9:00 AM on April 9, 2011 [16 favorites]


First gay marriage is a state issue. Second, they apparently did not poll Joe Lieberman or Blanche Lincoln, who flatly said they would not vote for such a plan, Lincoln so stating on the fucking Senate floor during a key vote. Nelson was shaky. So if you could please provide the names of the two Republican senators who were going to vote for it, I'd appreciate it.

The question was to name policies Democrats don't fight for that have majority support. Explaining why they don't fight for them doesn't change the fact that they don't. I, of course, disagree with you on a lot of that but it is a pretty tired debate. I'd be happy to go over it again in memail if you want.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:01 AM on April 9, 2011


The situation in 2008, though not perfect, was as good as it is ever going to get. If that isn't enough power not to implement Republican tax policy, there is no point in supporting them in my opinion. The status quo is the problem.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:03 AM on April 9, 2011


Perhaps it is true that, as both Kittens for Breakfast and Ironmouth say cuts in social spending were inevitable. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that they were.

I could deal with Obama presenting this to America as the best deal he was able to wrangle from Republicans out to shut everything down. I wouldn't like it, but I could deal with it and I wouldn't be upset with Obama.

Instead Obama is out here saying, in essence, "WOOO!!!! We cut social spending, isn't that great and amazing and wonderful and everything you ever wanted?!!?! Join me in celebrating this fantastic deal, because I agree with the Republicans that social spending really needed to be cut!"

And no, it isn't great, or wonderful. It may well have been inevitable, but it isn't good. The fact that Obama is claiming that this is a great deal, and a wonderful thing is not winning him support from me or many other liberals. Social spending did not need to be cut.

We saw, again, the bit with Obama pre-negotiating with himself. The Republicans came in with an initial bargaining position of $100 billion, they knew this wasn't going to work, but it was their initial offer as an effort to shift the eventual number more in their favor. Obama should have started negotiations with an offer of zero dollars cut, in an effort to shift the eventual number in our favor. Instead he pre-negotiated with himself and started from $20 billion, meaning that whatever the final number was it was going to be further towards the Republican ideal than the Democrat ideal. That's a lousy way to bargain.

Ironmouth re: tempythethird's post. You really have a difficult time with analogy, don't you?

Of course they weren't proposing that, tempythethird was making a general point about the general pattern we've been seeing. To strip out potential ways for you to deliberately misunderstand in an effort to paint everyone but you as childish morons, let me rephrase it:

Step 1) The Republicans propose a really nasty bit of legislation.

Step 2) They add an *especially* vile part that is extra special nasty. In this latest instance it was killing Planned Parenthood. This part is not serious, it's just there for a combination of propaganda and negotiating.

Step 3) At the 11th hour the Republicans "give up" and cut the part from Step 2, which everyone who isn't a total moron knew would be cut from the beginning because it was never there seriously.

Step 4) The nasty legislation from Step 1 is passed, but since the absurd bit from Step 2 was cut the Democrats claim victory and the nation moves ever further to the right.

Now that the hyperbole is stripped out, can you please address the point and acknowledge that this strategy is succeeding in moving the country to the right, and in making the Democrats look and feel like chumps?

I think Boehner's problem with the Tea Party here was what he offered as Step 2. I really doubt the Tea Party cares much about abstract numbers, they'll be happy with cutting social programs in general and while they'll grouse about only fucking the poor to the tune of $38 billion instead of their dream of fucking them by $100 billion, but they'll still be fairly happy getting 40% of what they wanted.

But the dream of killing PP has been around for a very long time, and I suspect that the Tea Party really wanted to do it. They saw that as an achievable goal, not as Step 2 in the standard Republican way to negotiate and win. Its that, not the $38 billion vs. $100 billion that is infuriating the Tea Party.
posted by sotonohito at 9:04 AM on April 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


"At the same time, Obama's leading role in achieving a compromise would likely win over a large swath of independent voters"

Yay - so he can win another election and keep helping the Tea Party gut social programs while also enforcing Republican-like "security" measures (Guantanomo, surveillance at home)?

Just asking.

Because I know it's a complicated mess out there. But excuse me for my personal frustration. For instance, want to know what the fabulous health care bill, the Dem's grand Wimp-Out on a public option, got me right now:

1. My self-paid insurance is now offering more coverage for some procedures.
2. But the insurance companies are still running the racket, and mine has raised rates twice in five months. I may not be able to afford it anymore.
3. And meanwhile at one of my part-time jobs - no doubt to help them cover increased costs - I'm now forced to pay into a *retiree's* health plan I'll probably never use.

Yes, some day way too many years from now, we'll make progress and improve further on things like healthcare reform as well as some other social issues. (I'm not certain how/ when we'll ever get the government to back down from the increasing infractions on civil liberties being done in the name of "security.")

But for those of us who've already been struggling for a long time the Dem leaders aren't overwhelming us with inspiration.
posted by NorthernLite at 9:11 AM on April 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


sotonohito: Isn't what you're describing (well, re-describing, from tempythethird) essentially just classic Overton window-shifting? I.e. propose something that's radical, then follow it up with something even more radical, which in doing so shifts the dialogue in that direction, and then "compromise" on the original proposal which now seems comparatively moderate?

I don't think that's just a budget tactic, it's pretty much how Congress seems to work these days.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:14 AM on April 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, I guess it's not as bad as I thought it was. I'm just fucking tired of watching the Democrats fumble around and claim it's all in the name of strategy. I'm sick of strategy, I just want to live in a country that doesn't suck.
posted by codacorolla at 9:15 AM on April 9, 2011


The Democrats national strategy does and always will suck. If you want to turn it around, it's going to have to be from the bottom up: a local strategy that succeeds and spreads into a social movement. Like Otpor.

That's how social change works. It doesn't happen because of visionary politicians like Joe Lieberman. Social movements change the ball game and then the politicians (who survive) get to claim credit. Wars aren't won by guys in clean and pressed uniforms.

It also means getting the crap kicked out of you over and over and over again until you win or die.
posted by warbaby at 9:21 AM on April 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thanks for clarifying my point sotonohito, this thread's flying a little fast for my multi-tasking self to hold my own and still get anything useful done.

Kadin2048 - Yup, basically. But there's a twist here now, and sorry for all the metaphor mixing. The twist is that the Repubs now have one hell of a bad cop in the form of the Tea Party, kicking that window ever further to the right. And this bad cop is so effective and scary that its hard for some to tell whether Boehner is playing the good cop or actually is the good cop.
posted by tempythethird at 9:26 AM on April 9, 2011


Ironmouth re: tempythethird's post. You really have a difficult time with analogy, don't you?

Of course they weren't proposing that, tempythethird was making a general point about the general pattern we've been seeing.


This is not analogy. Not at all. You're taking the same process and inserting different facts, and then calling it analogous. If you want to liken it to a contract negotiation, fine. But you're discussing the same process but with non-existent facts. The same with your allegd analogy. You argue a general trend exists, but your examples are made-up. If this is a trend the GOP is doing, then just name an actual example of another time they actually did this. And if you don't know or can't be bothered to look up an example, I say to you there is no trend. Arguing a trend requires facts, not made up situations that never happened.

My point is that these "analogies" yours, tempythethird's and Avenger's is that they do not represent what is happening and paint a false picture of the way these negotiations occur. It is pure fantasy which simply distorts the very complex nature of these negotiations.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:31 AM on April 9, 2011


Yeah, the analogy is flawed. The absurd vile stuff often ends up in the bill anyway, like the screwing over DC got.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:36 AM on April 9, 2011


Yay - so he can win another election and keep helping the Tea Party gut social programs while also enforcing Republican-like "security" measures (Guantanomo, surveillance at home)?

Just asking.


What surveillance at home? Please edify.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:36 AM on April 9, 2011


Ironmouth, take a look at this fascinating report from the Washington Post. I'm sure somewhere in there, you'll find some "surveillance at home."
posted by tempythethird at 9:49 AM on April 9, 2011


ACLU has some stuff too.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:50 AM on April 9, 2011


Ironmouth, take a look at this fascinating report from the Washington Post. I'm sure somewhere in there, you'll find some "surveillance at home."

Nuh-uh, that's not how this works. You must point to a specific thing Obama's doing, followed up by a cite to that thing.

You really cannot name anything, can you.

Furiousxgeorge that link is to the ACLU arguing that a party that cannot show cognizable harm should be allowed to sue in court. There isn't a single word saying Obama is conducting survellance without warrant at home.

This is my problem with all of this. Its all emotion driven, not factual.

The other issue is that Obama didn't do all that shit, but since Bush didn't get punished, you'll make damn sure Obama. does, at the cost of putting the assholes who created the problem right back in power. That'll show the bastards never to do it again! Because if they try it again, we will destroy anyone who comes after them, putting them back in power.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:05 AM on April 9, 2011


There isn't a single word saying Obama is conducting survellance without warrant at home.

...because it's about Obama defending his right not to tell us what he is doing.

The other issue is that Obama didn't do all that shit, but since Bush didn't get punished, you'll make damn sure Obama. does,

We think they both should be punished, do you think only Bush or neither?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:17 AM on April 9, 2011


> > That US Treasuries are the "zero point" standard of credit risk? That's "generally accepted", isn't it?

> No.

Well, humanfont, I worked on Wall Street for years and that's the way they do it there and that's also apparently the way that they do it in foreign investment banks too since they had identical models (many of which were licensed from common sources). It might well be that things have changed since then, but I doubt it, as it would be a huge change.

Unless you have more corroborative details, I'm going to have to trump you with "greater expertise in the field" and "more words".
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:18 AM on April 9, 2011


the Dem's grand Wimp-Out on a public option

Show me the numbers that would have gotten the public option through the Senate.


Yay - so he can win another election and keep helping the Tea Party gut social programs while also enforcing Republican-like "security" measures (Guantanomo, surveillance at home)?

No, so he can prevent the crazies from completely gutting social programs, perhaps do some open up the question of is there responsible cutting of those programs that can be done.

He tried to close Gitmo. Congress, both Republican and Democrat, said "Hell no," and pretty much tied his hands on bringing them to the mainland and trying them in federal court and of sending them to other countries.

None of this should be interpreted as Obama being totally awesome and great. He isn't and there are things I wish he would have done better. If new candidate appears that's more to the left and has a decent shot at getting elected President in 2012, I'll cheerfully send my vote to that person and drop Obama without regret.

But that ain't gonna happen, so I'm working with what we got, batshitinsane vs an adult I don't always agree with.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:18 AM on April 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nuh-uh, that's not how this works. You must point to a specific thing Obama's doing, followed up by a cite to that thing.

There's a this now? Really? I don't remember signing anything at the door. If there's something I really MUST do, could you possible give me the rules of the house? I must have missed them. Oh and how should I style my citations? MLA?

And yes, I can name plenty, but I don't think I want to engage this any further, since I don't have the time (or desire) to participate in your debate or learn how to do it according to your rigorous rules. If you want to take this to mean that I'm just another emotion-monkey with nothing to back up my words - well, be my guest.
posted by tempythethird at 10:22 AM on April 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


If the DLC (which is the ruling faction in the Democratic party, but the party itself) plays this right, the brownshirts will disgust just enough swing voters to pick up the next election for the Dems without really changing the name of the game.

Uh, you are aware that the DLC is discredited and actually closed its doors, right? It does not exist.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:24 AM on April 9, 2011


And yes, I can name plenty, but I don't think I want to engage this any further, since I don't have the time (or desire) to participate in your debate or learn how to do it according to your rigorous rules.

My rigorous rules are, support with facts. At least 1 fact! Why can't you do that? You can't say "I swore I read it here somewhere." Why? Because I don't remember ever, anywhere, even in Glen Greenwald's distortions, a single assertion that Barack Obama is conducting warrantless wiretapping in the United States. You'd think it would be big news, no? Bush couldn't keep that fact from the public.

Yet you insist it is true. I say back it up with a fact.<
posted by Ironmouth at 10:29 AM on April 9, 2011


...because it's about Obama defending his right not to tell us what he is doing.

This is your evidence of warrantless wiretapping? That is not evidence. There's no evidence of it at all. We knew about Bush doing it pretty quickly after the fact.

Why punish Obama for what Bush did?
posted by Ironmouth at 10:34 AM on April 9, 2011


Uh, you are aware that the DLC is discredited and actually closed its doors, right? It does not exist.

The organization itself, sure, but their influence remains. Prominent DLC folks like Clinton and Kaine were welcomed into positions of power by Obama, who clearly is governing according to DLC principles.

Do you have any evidence that Obama has canceled the warrantless wiretap program? Politifact says that promise is stalled. The burden of proof is on you to establish that this is not the case. You will have difficulty, of course, because Obama is about as likely to tell you anything about surveillance as he is the ACLU.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:34 AM on April 9, 2011


I'd just like to hear about all the massive cuts in social programs the Democrats agreed to when they caved in to the Republicans on the latest spending bill.
posted by nangar at 10:41 AM on April 9, 2011


Its all emotion driven, not factual.

Insinuating that all or most of the opposition on the left to Obama's policies is emotion-driven rather than fact driven is itself not precisely fact-based, is it?

I mean that's your interpretation: you have chosen to interpret all opposition that way. I am weary of those whose injunction to stay "fact-based" does not seem to apply to their own generalizations. Is it not possible that some of the opposition to Obama is fact-based and considred, and not all of it is just GRAR "That'll show the bastards never to do it again!" hysteria?
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream at 10:42 AM on April 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Republicans control the house, the Senates have a non filibuster proof majority in the Senate.

As Jon Stewart pointed out during the health care debacle, G.W. Bush never had a super majority in the Senate, and he pretty much got whatever the hell he wanted.

Clearly a failing of the congressional Democrats for being so easily bullied by Bush, but it also underscores Obama's lack of control over the congressional Republicans (or even the Congressional Democrats for that matter). Regardless, his eagerness to capitulate to the Republicans (e.g., the Bush tax cuts, Gitmo, ...) has been shameful. I'll try to refrain from judgment on this deal until I see the specifics of what was actually cut.
posted by gruchall at 10:47 AM on April 9, 2011


Is it not possible that some of the opposition to Obama is fact-based and considred, and not all of it is just GRAR "That'll show the bastards never to do it again!" hysteria?

Admittedly, I'm having a hard time seeing as anything but these days.

You don't have to like Obama or agree with him. But he's all the left for 2012, as far as I know. Those are facts, everything else is wishing and what if. If ya'll got a secret viable candidate that's more to left than Obama, I'm listening. If you got a plan to take back the House and/or keep the Senate, I'm listening.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:49 AM on April 9, 2011


The DLC closed in Feb.

Here is the Reuters summary of the cuts
- $2 Unused high speed rail money -- it appears this was money from state who had turned down funds.
- $3 billion from defense programs

Other stuff spread throughout the budget with details coming.
posted by humanfont at 10:52 AM on April 9, 2011


As Jon Stewart pointed out during the health care debacle, G.W. Bush never had a super majority in the Senate, and he pretty much got whatever the hell he wanted.

Bush didn't get everything he wanted, though he did get some big and ugly items (tax cuts, Iraq war). He had conservative Democrats voting with him, I believe, on that and similar bullshit.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:54 AM on April 9, 2011


> Show me the numbers that would have gotten the public option through the Senate.

As I keep explaining in these discussions, if you don't ask for anything significant in negotiations, you are never going to get it.

IF Mr. Obama's team had actually pushed for single payer, or perhaps the "public option", had gone to the people and explained to them clearly how the system worked and what it was best, had exerted a fraction of the muscle that they had in pushing representatives to accept the extension of the Afghanistan war, then things would have been completely different.

The fact is that Mr. Obama's team did not do so. They did not push for the public option. They did not push for single payer, almost the only solution that seems to have worked in other similar countries - in fact, they had supporters of single payer arrested rather than letting them speak up at the discussions about health care reform.

Instead, they pushed a plan much weaker than either, one that's supposed to use "free markets" to make health care cheaper (ignoring the fact that "free markets" are precisely what got us into this mess in the first place).

So of course there was no support for the public option - why would anyone support a plan more radical than that offered by the Administration?

Again, it points to a serious deficiency of Mr. Obama's as a negotiator. He asked for very little, and basically got what he asked for, except that he somehow allowed the Republicans to make the bill non-severable which means that there's a very good chance that the best part of the bill will be gutted when it hits the Supreme Court, since it's very likely that a law forcing individuals to purchase private products will be ruled un-Constitutional.

It's even worse when many things dear to me and many other honest people are essentially dead, things like the Rule of Law, individual privacy rights under the Security State, slowing down the Eternal Foreign Wars, and government transparency, because the Democrats and Republicans agree so completely that these are worthless concepts that aren't even worthy of being discussed. Since we're getting such negative results in these key areas, we'd really hope that the Obama administration would at least be able to make big scores in the few areas where we see eye to eye - but we do not see these big scores.

These are bad results. It's not a good sign when your first offer is consistently accepted in negotiations - it means that you're simply leaving a lot on the table. As I repeat here constantly, the Democrats can't win by making slow, tiny scores, when every time the Republicans take over they make huge progress in a negative direction.

As another example of this, let's take Guantanamo Bay. We are constantly told that there is no support for closing it in Congress, so it isn't even worth trying to do.

Bah! What the heck sort of "leader" is that? He was elected on a mandate to do just that, and he didn't even try! He's a speachifier - where was his great speech explaining why closing Guantanamo Bay was a difficult decision, but one of the things that America had to do in order to stay a free country and obey the Constitution?

We keep being told "there isn't support for X and Y so we won't try". What sort of "leadership" is that? Mr. Obama was elected promising to do X and Y; he should have spoken out to influence the people and its Representatives to the case that X and Y are good things to do, not simply wimp out.

There are critical times. Where's the battle? Where's the actual filibuster? Look at the wimpiness of the health care debate. Mr. Obama spent so long trying to influence Republicans - and got nowhere - finally passing the bill with a procedural trick he could have used almost any time.

Why?! What's wrong in his head? We're not stupid. We've seen the Republicans do this for decades now. He wasn't ever going to get a single Republican vote for the bill, even a child could have told you that, what possible advantage would it be to them?

And news to you, Mr. Obama - if you make a glorious try, and go down in flames, people still love you for it, and it gives you greater strength for the next try. Truly great individuals always have a mixed record of success and failure, because they are always attempting to do things at the limits of their ability - which is why they show such stellar successes.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:56 AM on April 9, 2011 [12 favorites]


quoted for truth:
so I'm working with what we got, batshitinsane vs an adult I don't always agree with.

I am disappointed often by Obama, but then I never really swallowed the whole hope & change thing. In concept, yes, it excited me; but I feared he was too moderate and too inexperienced to get us there. I initially favored Hillary not because I am enamored with her, but more because I thought she had been dragged through the mud by the likes of these assholes already, and would be more disposed to fight back hard. I would love to have a stronger fighter as president. I am not sure if it would have moved the ball down the court any further, but it would have made me feel better, it would be more satisfying to me.

I think some of the ideas about what Obama could and would accomplish in a first term were a little fantastical, particularly given the fact that in his first two years, so much attention and political capital had to be focused on keeping us from a complete & total financial meltdown. And given the numbers. When in the majority, Republicans have enjoyed the advantage of a lock-step majority, although I am hopeful that is changing. Democrats have always cut a wider swathe, which is what is so frustrating and a good part of the reason why Obama couldn't get make more progress than he has.

I am disappointed in Obama, but I am not going to cut off my nose to spite my face. I will do what I have to do in the best way available to me to keep the dark forces from prevailing. Short of a deus ex machina, he will have my vote in 2012.

warbaby's remarks about change coming from the ranks and not the top are true, and the pushback and groundswell that are occurring in Wisconsin and Ohio offer some glimmer of hope. Elect more liberals on the local and state level. We are living with a multi-state nightmare now because too many liberals and moderates were too apathetic or disaffected to sustain the hard effort of working to a change in the last election.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:57 AM on April 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


Do you have any evidence that Obama has canceled the warrantless wiretap program? Politifact says that promise is stalled.

This is exactly what I mean. You say that he's wiretapping, but have no evidence. Rather than admit you don't have the evidence you seek to make it my burden to prove your argument wrong. It is your burden. Otherwise, I could argue the center of the earth is cheese and dare you to prove me wrong.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:58 AM on April 9, 2011


Somebody needs to go take a walk...
posted by Scientist at 10:58 AM on April 9, 2011



Do you have any evidence that Obama has canceled the warrantless wiretap program? Politifact says that promise is stalled.

This is exactly what I mean. You say that he's wiretapping, but have no evidence.


I linked to Politifact, who claims the program has not been closed. Your cite has been granted, sack up and provide yours.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:03 AM on April 9, 2011


ake a glorious try, and go down in flames, people still love you for it, and it gives you greater strength for the next try.

The exact opposite is true in politics, particularly where you can only persuade and you are term-limited. This is the source of the fundamental error of the purity patrol. You have limited political capital and must spend it wisely. Failure is veery costly.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:05 AM on April 9, 2011


"So if you could please provide the names of the two Republican senators who were going to vote for it, I'd appreciate it."

"Show me the numbers that would have gotten the public option through the Senate."


These are the least helpful, most annoying argumentative tactics possible when discussing what could have been in American politics (and downright offensive when you throw in the Ironmouth classic "oh well I guess you want to abolish our republic if you thought something that didn't happen was theoretically possible" move)

In November 2010 you could have said "provide me the names of everyone who will vote to continue the Bush tax cuts," and you wouldn't have come up with enough to pass. In fall 2009, you could have said "how are you going to pass health care without a public option? You're never going to get Kucinich on board!" etc. Except, in both of those cases and in MANY others, what was possible-as-measured-by-votes CHANGED, because of the application of political pressure. Republicans hammered the news shows and op-ed pages with talking points until public opinion shifted. The President likely leaned on left-wing Democrats for support, just as he did when he threatened to withdraw all support from representatives who were thinking of voting against the Afghanistan war funding bill a few years ago.

What legislation is possible at a fixed point in time is not the universe of all legislation that could have been possible, given a different strategy. So when the complaints are that Democrats didn't fight hard enough, or that we lost the messaging war and got swept along in a push to do something dumb, responding "U DIDANT HAVE VOETS" isn't wrong, it's just entirely missing the point. The votes that we had given a poor strategy are not the same thing as votes we would have had given a different course of action.

On preview: or, a lot of the things lupus_yonderboy just said.
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 11:08 AM on April 9, 2011 [10 favorites]


If ya'll got a secret viable candidate that's more to left than Obama, I'm listening

I don't, but AFAIK, no one's doing anything to make that happen in 2012, or 2016, or ever.

The left should be playing a long game, but it isn't. The right certainly played a long game - they started at the bottom - with the culture. They had active journals, a coordinated network of think tanks, various modes of outreach, and they also started at the local level a long time ago.

I'm not saying the left should neglect tactics or the short game, and certainly we should support Obama as the best we've got at the moment, but any war needs tacticians and strategists. Unfortunately we have no industry or billionaires to bankroll such a thing, so its left up to the rest of us, and we all need to get active at the local levels, put aside childish things, and close ranks. This is why I was so adamant on the other thread that got to talking about showing civility towards Huckabee. We should be less worried about understanding our opponents and more about forming ourselves into a political force.
posted by tempythethird at 11:09 AM on April 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


And news to you, Mr. Obama - if you make a glorious try, and go down in flames, people still love you for it...

I seriously doubt that. He would have been crucified in the press. He would have been crucified by the left. He would have been crucified, dug up, burned in effigy and then crucified again by the right. No one cheers for a loser, not when the stakes are high.

The left should be playing a long game, but it isn't.

I totally and completely agree. One of my biggest complaints about Obama and his leadership of the the Democrats is that the 50 state strategy seems to have fallen by the wayside. That's almost unforgivable, considering how crazy and one note the Republicans have gotten. It should be almost a moral imperative to keep them out of office and away from power.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:18 AM on April 9, 2011


Pardon my shorthand. Perhaps I should have said centrist faction instead of DLC. I think of them as DLC because I'm old and set in my ways. The centrist strategy originated with the DLC and got Bill Clinton elected (with a major boost from Perot as a spoiler on the right.) As with most political institutions, they frequently change names while the personalities and programs continue as before. PNAC used to be the Committee on the Present Danger. Change the sign on the door and just keep going.

The Democratic centrist strategy remains one of wooing voters who fall between the parties and are more conservative than the median (or base) in the party. This is the mechanism for the rightward drift of the Democratic party ever since 1980. People may not like it, but a Left Democrat party would be a permanent minority.

A political realignment to the left would require a massive upheaval in the division of labor in US society. I'm talking something a lot uglier than an increase in the unemployment rate. Oddly enough, if the Repubs get their way, this sort of upheaval will take place. The current balance of power just makes it happen very slowly. It's sort of like watching your house take 15 years to burn down.
posted by warbaby at 11:18 AM on April 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


People may not like it, but a Left Democrat party would be a permanent minority.

Sorry if I'm belaboring my point but... Why permanent? Why do we assume that the status quo is never going to budge? I agree with those who say that America is a center-right country, but it wasn't always like that, and it won't always go on being that.

A political realignment to the left would require a massive upheaval in the division of labor in US society.
Is this really the only way for this to happen? How about we on the left hurry the process along, by convincing the nation of the justness of our cause, and bringing them to our side? One thing I admire about Obama is that his campaign favored talk of justice and morality in favor of the currently-preferred competence and wonkery. We need to rediscover moral force, passion, and certitude about fundamentals - this is whats needed to be attract converts, and the right has it in spades.
posted by tempythethird at 11:30 AM on April 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


ake a glorious try, and go down in flames, people still love you for it, and it gives you greater strength for the next try.

The exact opposite is true in politics, particularly where you can only persuade and you are term-limited.


Right, all you have to do is look at how deflated Democrats in Wisconsin became after losing the battle over that Union bill.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:35 AM on April 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heh.

Harry Reid, Feb. 3, 2011, on Paul Ryan’s initial offer of $32 billion in spending cuts:

The chairman of the Budget Committee today, today sent us something even more draconian than we originally anticipated…So this isn’t some game that people have been playing. The House of Representatives [is] actually sending us some of these unworkable plans.

Harry Reid, April 9, 2011, on a deal to cut $38.5 billion:

This is historic, what we’ve done.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:42 AM on April 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Right, all you have to do is look at how deflated Democrats in Wisconsin became after losing the battle over that Union bill.

That was Republican Governor taking away something they had, not a Democrat fighting for something they never had and losing and still beloved for it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:58 AM on April 9, 2011


So? Ironmouth spoke in general terms: The exact opposite is true in politics.

Clearly, it is conditional and opposition can gain new strength in the face of defeat when politicians are willing to fight.

Further, we are talking about budget cuts...taking something away.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:08 PM on April 9, 2011


Further, we are talking about budget cuts...taking something away.

What specific item is being taken away from a lot of Americans?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:10 PM on April 9, 2011


Looked long and hard at those links, furiousxgfeorge, turns out that the Administration checked in on the career people, found out they had over collected, put a stop to it and then leaked it to the NYT, who then asked Hoilder on the record, who then told them that they had fixed the Agency's violation of law.

So, Obama put a stop to it by installing periodic oversight reviews and upon finding them, took corrective action. In otherwords, doing exactly what he should be doing.

Note that a lot of that came from the linked NYT article in the polifact.

So no, there is no evidence in that article that Obama is conducting warrantless domestic wiretapping. Read it and the linked NYT article.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:11 PM on April 9, 2011


Further, we are talking about budget cuts...taking something away.

What specific item is being taken away from a lot of Americans?


Please don't take us backwards, it's a long and weird thread.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:11 PM on April 9, 2011


FTR, I'm inclined to agree with Ezra Klein on this, and that's not something I say all the time.
The Democrats believe it’s good to look like a winner, even if you’ve lost. But they’re sacrificing more than they let on. By celebrating spending cuts, they’ve opened the door to further austerity measures at a moment when the recovery remains fragile. Claiming political victory now opens the door to further policy defeats later. ...

Right now, the economy is weak. Giving into austerity will weaken it further, or at least delay recovery for longer. And if Obama does not get a recovery, then he will not be a successful president, no matter how hard he works to claim Boehner’s successes as his own.
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 12:15 PM on April 9, 2011


Please don't take us backwards, it's a long and weird thread.

It's like we're in two different orbits around the same planet.

My point here is that in WI, something very specific and important was taken away by a Republican administration, which angered people on the left. If you can't point to something specific and important that was taken away in the budget, then the comparison falls apart and our com link is broken and I should turn on the retrorockets and return to Earth leaving your ass twirling around in space go swimming.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:20 PM on April 9, 2011


My point here is that in WI, something very specific and important was taken away by a Republican administration, which angered people on the left. If you can't point to something specific and important that was taken away in the budget, then the comparison falls apart and our com link is broken and I should turn on the retrorockets and return to Earth leaving your ass twirling around in space go swimming.

My point is there is no way to fight a battle on "this got taken away" if Democrats WON'T TELL US WHAT THEY ARE CUTTING so you can't possibly say it can't work.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:21 PM on April 9, 2011


As I keep explaining in these discussions, if you don't ask for anything significant in negotiations

Except for asking for something which could never come to pass unless pigs fly doesn't get you anything and shows you are not serious. Single-payer? Really? The idea that it would get any votes at all is so laughable as to actually weaken you to suggest it.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:28 PM on April 9, 2011


...if Democrats WON'T TELL US WHAT THEY ARE CUTTING so you can't possibly say it can't work.

Sure I can, because it's two different situations. And the link mentioned Democrats and Republicans, so I have no idea why you're just blaming the former and not including the latter.

Retrorockets fired, I'm outta, hope you enjoy the view!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:28 PM on April 9, 2011


In budget deal, Obama takes middle path -- "NYT: President's actions highlight centrist style he's adopted since his party’s big losses in November."
posted by ericb at 12:31 PM on April 9, 2011


Sure I can, because it's two different situations.

Of course they are different, I don't recall suggesting the budget busts unions. Ironmouth stated in politics you can't benefit from losing. Wrong. You moved the goalposts to, "They can, but only if something is being taken away." I point out something is being taken. You say now it has to be something specific, which of course I can't give you because the people who made this deal are afraid of what will happen if they tell us before it's locked in stone.

Think about that. They straight up tell you they can't tell us because people will fight them. THEY are certainly concerned there is something important in there.

So no, there is no evidence in that article that Obama is conducting warrantless domestic wiretapping.

Sure there is, you just trust the explanation of the administration for the violations that occurred when the crux of the point Politifact is addressing is that the efforts to get actual oversight have failed.

We also seem to disagree on another part of this, you seem okay with warrantless wiretapping as long as it is within the law, I have a problem with it in general. We are speaking past each other on this.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:44 PM on April 9, 2011


Further, we are talking about budget cuts...taking something away.

What specific item is being taken away from a lot of Americans?

> Please don't take us backwards, it's a long and weird thread.


You linked back to an earlier comment of yours where you said "we can't talk about the quality of the cuts because no one will tell us."

You're aware the bill's been published right? It was linked to earlier in the thread. It's here. The amendment to the Additional Continuing Appropriations Act that was agreed to last night is here.

(If we're just talking about last night's compromise, the biggest cut was to a grant program for high speed rail corridors and intercity passenger rail service.)
posted by nangar at 12:45 PM on April 9, 2011


Ironmouth: Except for asking for something which could never come to pass unless pigs fly doesn't get you anything and shows you are not serious.

Are you fucking high? This has been the GOP strategy for at least three years now, and don't tell me it hasn't worked. It just DID work, a few hours ago.

Not to mention that doing exactly that several days ago has gotten Paul Ryan lauded as the most Serious person in Congress.
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 12:45 PM on April 9, 2011


Why don't you think we can see what is being cut? The text of the changes was linked above as was a Reuters summary. There are some immediate cuts in the CR and some that will be finalized House in the based on the overall numbers agreed to by negotiators. House rules will require tht the final CR be published for review before passage.
posted by humanfont at 12:53 PM on April 9, 2011


Nangar, the actual budget itself has not been published and the quote about not telling us was in reference to that.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:53 PM on April 9, 2011


Also Obama said during the campaign that he did not think a single payer system could be passed. He supported a public option and we got it in the form of health care cooperative and exchanges.
posted by humanfont at 1:03 PM on April 9, 2011


He supported a public option and we got it in the form of health care cooperative and exchanges.

lol
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 1:04 PM on April 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


> My point is there is no way to fight a battle on "this got taken away" if Democrats WON'T TELL US WHAT THEY ARE CUTTING so you can't possibly say it can't work.

Furious, once again, it's public information.

I'll poke around and see if I can find some analysis of the larger bill.

> the actual budget itself has not been published and the quote about not telling us was in reference to that.

Sorry, the bill has been published. It is the continuing appropriations bill that the government is operating under. The numbers that changed from the previous version are what's been cut.
posted by nangar at 1:11 PM on April 9, 2011


Krugman:

Ezra Klein gets this right, I think: it’s one thing for Obama to decide that it was better to give in to Republican hostage-taking than draw a line in the sand; it’s another for him to celebrate the result. Yet that’s just what he did. More than that, he has now completely accepted the Republican frame that spending cuts right now are what America needs.

It’s worth noting that this follows just a few months after another big concession, in which he gave in to Republican demands for tax cuts. The net effect of these two sets of concessions is, of course, a substantial increase in the deficit.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:18 PM on April 9, 2011


I can certainly get lost in government procedure nangar, but regardless sticking with the comparison to Wisconsin it is very unlikely there would have been such a revolt if the details of what was happening were hidden from the people during the process.

Bringing a light on to these things is the only way to fight them. Let me know if you find a good overview of the cuts.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:31 PM on April 9, 2011


Please explain how a non-profit government subsidized health care cooperative insurance provider would be different from a public option.
posted by humanfont at 1:44 PM on April 9, 2011


It's just not the same without the government death panel.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:47 PM on April 9, 2011


CBS: Boehner the big winner in budget talks.

Politico: His colleagues stood and cheered at his announcement of a deal, knowing Boehner secured more than $38.5 billion in cuts, a far higher figure than many of them expected just days before

Boston Globe: House Speaker John Boehner likes to lament that his party controls just “one-half of one-third of the government.’’

But whether by design or necessity, Boehner managed to make the most of that limited leverage — both in forcing President Obama and the Democrats to come more than halfway on his party’s demand for spending cuts, and in making the absolutists in his own ranks accept the principle that compromise is part of governing.

Doing pretty good so far in the perception battle.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:06 PM on April 9, 2011


Please explain how a non-profit government subsidized health care cooperative insurance provider would be different from a public option.

Your comment was funny for multiple reasons, but the "X is Y" framing was only one of them. (Kind of reminded me of "tax cuts for the rich ARE stimulus spending!!")

Health care really isn't my specialty, so I can't tell you for certain, but from what I've gathered from the first Google result on the subject: the nonprofit insurers would operate on a state rather than federal level, depriving members of the economies of scale of a larger pool of insured, and the federal CO-OP program is designed to assist the development of non-profits, which is no guarantee that they'll actually be created in all states. Then again, I could be wrong, but those two immediate differences seem pretty significant.

But I was laughing more at your assertion that Obama "supported a public option," since multiple sources (Tom Daschle, NYT reporter David Kirkpatrick) confirmed that he gave away the public option in a deal in fucking July with for-profit hospitals and AHIP in exchange for an agreement to reduce costs. So all fall when Obama went radio silent on the phrase "public option" and the only Administration sources saying he still cared were low-level spokespeople, and progressives were asking "Why isn't he fighting harder for the public option?", it's because he wasn't, even though the Serious Democratic Voices kept saying "SHUT UP HE STILL IS QUIT THROWING A TANTRUM YOU BABBIES."

He didn't look like he was fighting for a public option because he wasn't, which is why it's dumb to demand a list of the 60 Senators who would vote for a public option, as many have done in the months since: Who KNOWS which 60 would have voted for it if the people negotiating had actually fought for it instead of giving it away in advance? If there'd been serious, coordinated messaging, and a non-laughable pushback against the GOP talking points? If the Administration had started with strong demands and negotiated down to somewhere closer to the middle, instead of starting from the middle and negotiating to the right from there? Unfortunately I don't have a newspaper from Earth-472, so there's no way I can answer
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 2:12 PM on April 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Neither party is saying what will be cut, and on MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan show Friday afternoon, House Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said that he would support Speaker John Boehner's decision not to tell the American people what is being cut so that "special interests" don't have the chance to fight back.



To get back on topic - that is just stunning. 34 billion has been cut from the us budget, nobody knows where its been cut from and not one journalist or any media outlet has really talked about it.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:29 PM on April 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


The cuts are released now, but yeah they couldn't discuss it because people would have fought back. Despite what political "realists" say, the politicians know this stuff isn't inevitable.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:38 PM on April 9, 2011


McClatchy: John Boehner emerged last week's down-to-the-wire budget battle with a fresh reputation as a House speaker able to unify a feisty band of Republicans and emerge with one heck of a spending-cut deal.

Times: For Mr. Boehner, the deal represents an early showcase of formidable negotiating prowess, and an ability to balance the clamor of staunchly conservative members of his party, who have little desire to compromise with Democrats, with the political imperative of securing real accomplishments.

SeattlePI: Newt Gingrich is giving John Boehner some high marks for his performance as speaker leading up to Friday night's near-government shutdown.

"I think John Boehner did a very good job getting a total of $70 billion in cuts," Gingrich told POLTICO ahead of his speech to the Spartanburg County GOP convention. "When you score them out over a ten year period they will be hundreds of billions lower in the baseline."

Fox: Who Won the Shutdown Showdown? It Wasn't Even Close. While Republicans wanted to cut more spending in Saturday's early morning compromise to keep the government open, they think they got the better of the deal.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:51 PM on April 9, 2011


Weigel:

And yet. For the second time in five months, the White House has faced a political crisis, looked at an opposition that completely disagreed with liberal economics, and blinked. Five months ago, automatic tax increases were stopped, and the GOP got a validation of supply-side economics. Tonight, in a battle over a much smaller amount of money, the Democrats signed on to austerity economics. They didn’t have much of a choice, but they didn’t challenge the premise, either. We’re a long way from the “Sputnik moment.”
--
Let’s go back to the raw politics. Can we say that Republicans got the better of the no-shutdown deal? Yes, because if there had been a shutdown, Republicans would have been blamed for it. The record was all cued up. Democrats spent months predicting that Boehner would have trouble controlling his new Tea Party members. They spent this week saying he had to put the Tea Party “horse back in the barn,” as Dick Durbin said. Well, there’s a deal – the implication is that he put the horse back in the barn. If the Republicans would have been blamed for a shutdown, it follows that they get credit for a shutdown being avoided.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:08 PM on April 9, 2011


To get back on topic - that is just stunning. 34 billion has been cut from the us budget, nobody knows where its been cut from and not one journalist or any media outlet has really talked about it.

Isn't this illegal? Unconstitutional? ....Anything?
posted by Malice at 3:36 PM on April 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


You had to Google because you had no fucking idea. You prejudged the situation because you bought into some tribal bullshit narrative. Just like even though you don't know the particulars of the current budget and how the CR affects programs, it must be a terrible loss for the nation. Now after 2 minutes of google confirmation bias you want to lectures and wail about how bad Obama is.
posted by humanfont at 3:51 PM on April 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


You can certainly make an argument that exchanges and such are as good as the public option, but the term as it was understood during the health care debate referred to a government run program, not a subsidized non-profit.

Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address that “any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange: a one-stop shopping marketplace where you can compare the benefits, cost and track records of a variety of plans – including a public option to increase competition and keep insurance companies honest – and choose what’s best for your family.”

The exchange is not a public option, though Obama once argued it should include one.

Sebelius made a distinction between co-ops and a public option:

In a monopoly system, it's not a great way to hold down costs. So he continues to be very supportive of some options for consumers. What we don't know is exactly what the Senate Finance Committee is likely to come up. They've been more focused on a co-op, not-for- profit co-op as a competitor as opposed to a straight government-run program.

What we got was not a public option, this is not me saying that, it's Obama and Sebelius.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:15 PM on April 9, 2011


I'll also again cite Politifact on that, which rates the public option promise as broken.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:18 PM on April 9, 2011


So, Obama put a stop to it by installing periodic oversight reviews and upon finding them, took corrective action. In otherwords, doing exactly what he should be doing.

Note that a lot of that came from the linked NYT article in the polifact.

So no, there is no evidence in that article that Obama is conducting warrantless domestic wiretapping. Read it and the linked NYT article.


That's a very selective reading of the article.

For reference for others, here's the article: Officials Say U.S. Wiretaps Exceeded Law.

The articles states the following:

Justice Department officials then “took comprehensive steps to correct the situation and bring the program into compliance” with the law and court orders, the statement said.

So the program has not been stopped, only been brought into compliance with the law and court orders. Those laws include the PATRIOT Act / FISA Amendments Act, which Obama reauthorized.

The PATRIOT Act includes the following clauses that allow illegal wiretaps (from the ACLU page on it): And keep in mind that throughout this, the past two administrations have been very careful to specify "the program" when discussing NSA surveillance. There was an article about this a while ago (maybe Greenwald or Emptywheel, I forget). There are no doubt other illegal programs the NSA is engaging in.

One of the biggest things the act allows is spying on US citizens when the communication is international. This is the same tactic the NSA used when illegally spying on Vietnam protesters in the 70s. James Bamford's book The Puzzle Palace covers this. By using listening posts and stations outside the US, the NSA can get around this by a technicality.

It's obvious to many Democrats who don't have political jobs that the Obama Administration is carrying on most of worst Bush policies when it comes to civil liberties. Unless we stop this, it's only going to get worst. I hope at some point you realize that it's bigger and more important than who's team is winning.
posted by formless at 4:38 PM on April 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


whose team, doh.
posted by formless at 4:39 PM on April 9, 2011



Chait: The Republicans, like the sheriff in Blazing Saddles, were holding a gun to their own head.

How they managed to use the threat of suicide to extract concessions from Obama, I don’t understand.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:46 PM on April 9, 2011


Justice Department officials then “took comprehensive steps to correct the situation and bring the program into compliance” with the law and court orders, the statement said.

So the program has not been stopped, only been brought into compliance with the law and court orders. Those laws include the PATRIOT Act / FISA Amendments Act, which Obama reauthorized.


In 2008 there was a revamp of FISA. FISA provides for warrants.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:39 PM on April 9, 2011


There is obviously debate in some corners as to if the revamp is even constitutional. I think which side you fall on that debate determines how you feel about what Obama is doing.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:06 PM on April 9, 2011


In 2008 there was a revamp of FISA. FISA provides for warrants.

Provides for warrants?

The 2008 revamp of FISA actually sets a lower bar for approving surveillance than the normal criminal warrant process.

Two examples.

One: FISA allows the government to begin spying and seek a warrant after the fact.

Two: No individual warrant is required for international calls. As I mentioned above, the NSA used the "international calls" loophole in the 70s to engage in illegal surveillance by either picking up the traffic outside the US or routing it outside the US first.

The authorizations listed above apply when Americans are not specifically "targeted". Remember several months ago, when there were several stories about the "dragnet surveillance" the NSA was engaging in? That's how you get around "targeting" US citizens. You setup network sampling algorithms that are likely to catch your persons of interest.

Due to social network principles like 6-degrees of separation, it's relatively easy to connect innocent citizens with suspected terrorists. Start with a terrorist, set your search breadth to only a few degrees, and you're already pulling in literally millions of people. Look at your LinkedIn 2nd degree connections. It's not unreasonable to have several millions of people connected to you. Expand it out three degrees and you've got tens of millions. Do that from several different sample points in the social network and you have a high degree of coverage.

So if you're sucking in all this information, you're not "targeting" US citizens. You just happen to have pulled them in. Totally legal according to your FISA revamp.
posted by formless at 6:11 PM on April 9, 2011


Back to the topic of government shutdown, it appears that lost in all the uproar of the government shutdown, the House also voted 240 to 179 to block enforcement of a FCC net neutrality order.
posted by formless at 6:18 PM on April 9, 2011


Obama says he opposes it, so you have nothing to worry about.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:21 PM on April 9, 2011


Oh well politifact says so then it must be true then. I mean the website has fact in the name. So it must contain facts. They also won a Pulitzer like Judith Miller so you know they would never be wrong or be misleading to support their political agenda.
posted by humanfont at 6:31 PM on April 9, 2011


Oh well politifact says so then it must be true then. I mean the website has fact in the name. So it must contain facts. They also won a Pulitzer like Judith Miller so you know they would never be wrong or be misleading to support their political agenda.

lol
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:36 PM on April 9, 2011


humanfont: You had to Google because you had no fucking idea. You prejudged the situation because you bought into some tribal bullshit narrative.

So you seriously didn't get to the third short paragraph of my post, where I explained that that wasn't what I was laughing about, didja? Prejudging something something tribal bullshit something

BTW that was a beautiful example of attacking the poster instead of responding in any way at all to the substance of the post, can we sidebar
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 6:40 PM on April 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Can we say that Republicans got the better of the no-shutdown deal? Yes, because if there had been a shutdown, Republicans would have been blamed for it. The record was all cued up.

You know what was also queued up? Endless FOX news pieces about how "Obama Refused To Pay The Troops."

Don't think that wouldn't have had some play with the fucking idiots who call themselves "swing" voters.
posted by Cyrano at 11:05 PM on April 9, 2011


Not when Obama was waving around a bill to fund them and the Republicans were waving one that combined the funding with a bunch of other bullshit, no. The Democratic messaging was in control on that as far as I could tell.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:10 PM on April 9, 2011


Senator Jon Kyl Arizona Republican) made shit up, but now claims his statement "90% of what Planned Parenthood does is abortions" was "not intended to be a factual statement."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:04 AM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess someone will have to interrupt everything Kyl ever says again in public with, "Wait, is this intended to be a factual statement?"
posted by ctmf at 7:35 AM on April 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


To be fair, it's not like Kyl made an non-factual statement about something really important, like a blowjob.
posted by EarBucket at 9:50 AM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ironmouth and BB, could you post right now the amount of cuts you consider a reasonable deal for the Democrats to accept for the debt ceiling battle?

I think it would be helpful if you could do this now instead of waiting for the deal to be done to proclaim Obama's perfect brilliance.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:57 PM on April 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Obama gives major cover to Republicans who want to cut Medicare and Medicaid by proposing it for them: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_spending_showdown

I'm not seeing why I'm supposed to be really supporting Obama here.
posted by sotonohito at 8:09 AM on April 11, 2011


"Don’t Punish the Poor" Economist Jeffrey Sachs Slams Obama-GOP Budget Deal
posted by homunculus at 8:46 AM on April 11, 2011


Ironmouth and BB, could you post right now the amount of cuts you consider a reasonable deal for the Democrats to accept for the debt ceiling battle?

I think it would be helpful if you could do this now instead of waiting for the deal to be done to proclaim Obama's perfect brilliance.


This is over less than 1% of the federal budget. We're at the level of no policy on the numbers. The policy is on the riders and that's where it was fought and won. You are playing into the GOP's hand when you pretend that the numbers are about real "policy" differences. The policy differences are all about the riders. That's the battle we won.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:18 AM on April 11, 2011


Ironmouth and BB, could you post right now the amount of cuts you consider a reasonable deal for the Democrats to accept for the debt ceiling battle?

It seems that your position is that any cut to any program anywhere is a failure for Obama. Thats ridiculous. Voters want spending cut, the question is policy and priorities. The President is scheduled to lay out a specific plan for deficit reduction tomorrow. The Republicans have given him a lot of political cover to on his position. Right now the Republican position is:

2012:
Begin to replace medicare / medicaid with vouchers between now and 2022 -- cutting $204 billion from Medicare by 2021
Repeal the ACA (HCR) (6 billion in spending next year)
Maintain all Bush tax cuts (trillions in lost revenues)
Extend AMT tax relief (lots of lost revenue)
Cut 79 billion in non-defense/non-security discretionary spending (things like NPR, Parks, etc)
Reduce federal workforce by 10% through attrition (fewer government workers reduces other mandatory spending).

So win for Obama is protecting the ACA and Medicare in some meaningful way.
posted by humanfont at 10:37 AM on April 11, 2011


So win for Obama is protecting the ACA and Medicare in some meaningful way.

"The budget agreement also takes aim at two provisions of the new health care law. It would cut more than $2 billion set aside for the creation of private nonprofit health insurance cooperatives.

It also eliminates a program that would have allowed hundreds of thousands of lower-income workers to opt out of employer-sponsored health plans and use the employer’s contribution to buy coverage on their own, through new insurance exchanges. "


Yeah.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:53 AM on April 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is over less than 1% of the federal budget. We're at the level of no policy on the numbers. The policy is on the riders and that's where it was fought and won.

Actually, the budget is the policy. To draw a line between the two makes no sense, as a "policy" without funding effectively doesn't exist. They're the same thing. That's the entire reason that the Republicans were trying to use the budget to force through defunding Planned Parenthood...that's a policy goal that they want to achieve. They understand that defunding = destroy the policy. That's the same reason that they're choosing this avenue to attack HCR, without funding, it doesn't exist.

And without details as to where the $38b is coming from, no one can say who "won" or "lost" on the policy outcomes. If the $38b comes entirely from NPR, Social Security, Pell Grants, housing assistance, etc, how can it be termed anything other than a Democratic defeat on the policy? That the president "won" the horse trading battle in the media only effects the insular poltical TV theatre narrative and lets him declare yet another empty victoy of his own mind. If the $38b in cuts retards real economic recovery (like killing career centers for the unemployed maybe?), he may've won the media narrative by tacking up a Mission Acomplished Banner at the expense of his reelection hopes or that of his party, which are likely totally dependent on how many people feel like they're in a better place economically in Nov 2012 than Janurary 2008.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:58 AM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


The fact that you can't actually take a stand on what would be acceptable for the debt ceiling battle is very telling. There really isn't much you can't imagine the Democrats being willing to trade away once the gun is to their head.

President Obama this week will lay out a new approach to reducing the nation’s soaring debt, proposing reductions in spending on entitlements such as Medicare and Medicaid and renewing his call for tax increases on the rich.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:02 AM on April 11, 2011


Didn't the Republicans try to stop the healthcare reform bill by saying it was bad for cutting money from Medicare, even though they were mostly efficiency cuts and getting rid of a piece of lanauage that made it extremely easy to get a motorized scooter chair, even if you didn't really need it?

I seem to recall Michael Steele even writing up a Senior's Bill of Rights, arguing the GOP would never touch Medicare. Yep, he did.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:04 PM on April 11, 2011


digby:
I'm thinking that TNR is one place where the liberal wonks (Cohn excluded) might take a minute and ask themselves if their reflexive derision of the hippies for being unrealistic and lacking in pragmatism has served their own goals. When you wake up one morning and see a Democratic president praising the biggest spending cuts in history at a time of 8.8% unemployment, it might be time to take a look in the mirror.
Funny I can think of a second place now I guess.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:18 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ah, you seem to be forgetting, the Republican's disagree with everything the Democrats and especially Obama say.

Sometimes I think that Obama is really saying, "I'm going to propose this right leaning piece of legislation and I DARE the Republicans to disagree with it!"

Then I remember that the democrats aren't the good solution, they aren't the people I voted for; they are the less bad solution that got my vote by default when I voted against some crazy Republican.
posted by VTX at 12:24 PM on April 11, 2011


Atrios:

As Digby suggests, it's somewhat of a mystery why centrists fail to understand that The Left can be useful as something other than punching bag. When the only acceptable discourse is between The New Republic and The Free Republic, what you're going to get is basically a solidly Republican outcome. TNR-type folks don't have to agree with The Left, they just have to position themselves in the middle instead of chasing us out of the room.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:48 PM on April 11, 2011


I'm thinking that TNR is one place where the liberal wonks (Cohn excluded) might take a minute and ask themselves if their reflexive derision of the hippies for being unrealistic and lacking in pragmatism has served their own goals. When you wake up one morning and see a Democratic president praising the biggest spending cuts in history at a time of 8.8% unemployment, it might be time to take a look in the mirror.

Here's the thing though. When it comes time for the votes, where is the left?

You know, the one thing that has continued to propel the GOP to the top of the charts? The California rule a.k.a. Reagan's 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.

That's what they do, they know there is strength in unity. They know that they will win if the present a united front. And they do. And they beat us. Why? Because you undercut the party leadership without providing the fucking votes. Where are the votes for the public option? Where are they? Did you get Blanche Lincoln or Lieberman to change his mind? NO. So the only thing you do is weaken the President, who is our leader and who we need very, very badly to succeed. And you spend your energy and time on attacking him, instead of the GOP!

And when do you do it? Right when the President is deep in negotiations with the GOP in a key battle. Did the GOP leaders jump on Boehner during the key, hard as nails time? No they gave him a standing O. Fight at election time, fine. But unless you have the votes, which you never, ever do, then stop attacking your best and only friend.

And when there aren't enough votes for your position--you blame the President! Why the Left has no responsibility to get the votes! The President must force them.


Well put up or shut up. If you don't have the votes, why should you be listened to? If you can't pass the public option, what good are your complaints!
posted by Ironmouth at 1:23 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's easy to have a united front when you are fighting for the things your army wants.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:29 PM on April 11, 2011


More difficult when you are cutting their pay.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:30 PM on April 11, 2011


Well put up or shut up. If you don't have the votes, why should you be listened to? If you can't pass the public option, what good are your campaign promises to do so.


Ironmouth, it might help too if as the 2012 campaign seasons heat up you could let us know which promises Obama makes are things he is saying HE will do or stuff he is saying I have to do for him and he could take or leave.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:36 PM on April 11, 2011


Well put up or shut up. If you don't have the votes, why should you be listened to? If you can't pass the public option, what good are your campaign promises to do so.


Ironmouth, it might help too if as the 2012 campaign seasons heat up you could let us know which promises Obama makes are things he is saying HE will do or stuff he is saying I have to do for him and he could take or leave.


Since he cannot control Blanche Lincoln, how is he going to pass the public option? Lieberman? How does he control that asshole?

If you would please provide your plan for that.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:54 PM on April 11, 2011


It's easy to have a united front when you are fighting for the things your army wants.

Turns out not everyone in the group wants what we want. If they did, you'd come up with the votes, no?

Blanche Lincoln declared she would not vote for the public option. It pissed me off. She was primaried. I wanted her opponent to win.

She won.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:57 PM on April 11, 2011


Oh look everybody the Democratic base is back to being big enough to matter again. Is in Monday already?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:00 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Since he cannot control Blanche Lincoln

Blanche Lincoln declared she would not vote for the public option. It pissed me off. She was primaried.


Obama supporter her against her more liberal opponent who was polling better in the general, but you knew that.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:07 PM on April 11, 2011


*supported.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:08 PM on April 11, 2011


What was Obama's plan to get Lincoln and Lieberman on board with the public option? He surely must have known he would need them during the campaign, correct?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:13 PM on April 11, 2011


What was Obama's plan to get Lincoln and Lieberman on board with the public option? He surely must have known he would need them during the campaign, correct?

You'll have to ask him, not me. Have never spoken to the man. But you automatically assume that all responsibility for doing everything everywhere falls on his shoulders, which it cannot.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:44 PM on April 11, 2011


Hahahaha, "I have no idea what his plan was but I'll defend it to the death as the best possible option."

But you automatically assume that all responsibility for doing everything everywhere falls on his shoulders, which it cannot.

I don't expect him to do everything, just to lead.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:48 PM on April 11, 2011


I don't expect him to do everything, just to lead.

He got the HCR passed. Nobody's even come close before, including FDR, LBJ and Clinton.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:53 PM on April 11, 2011


Oh hey, subject changed, that should fool us!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:56 PM on April 11, 2011


Would you two seriously please just give it a rest.
posted by cortex at 3:00 PM on April 11, 2011 [3 favorites]



Would you two seriously please just give it a rest.


Now THAT is leadership. A perfect example of something Obama could have said in a public callout of Lieberman and Lincoln for refusing to endorse an objectively good policy. Thanks for the contribution Cortext.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:07 PM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


The aca stuff is not good. That's a policy win for republicans. Also the rider related to for profit unis is also bullshit. WTOP (dc news radio) was suggesting this afternoon that the deal may becoming apart. Apparently Boehner may not he able to deliver the votes.
posted by humanfont at 5:22 PM on April 11, 2011


WASHINGTON -- As part of the final budget deal formally agreed to on Friday night, the Obama administration signed off on a big cut to a closely held transportation policy priority.

Multiple Hill sources from both parties confirm that the final continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through the end of September will include a $1.5 billion cut in funds for the planned national high-speed rail system. Jennifer Hing, communications director for the House Appropriations Committee, said that the reduction could actually grow larger as lawmakers negotiate the final language.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:00 AM on April 12, 2011


Jon Stewart dumbfounded by budget battle
posted by homunculus at 9:03 AM on April 12, 2011


Budget Deal Slashes Nutrition Assistance For Poor Women and Children, Boosts Defense Spending By $5 Billion
posted by homunculus at 10:05 AM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Obama to embrace Catfood Commission
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:41 PM on April 12, 2011


So the negotiations will be between Ryan on the right and Catfood on the "left", guaranteeing Republican victory.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:43 PM on April 12, 2011


Forget Planned Parenthood.

Steven Colbert: Pap Smears at Walgreens.
posted by ericb at 1:58 PM on April 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:25 PM on April 12, 2011


CBO: Budget deal cuts 2011 deficit by $352 million, not $38 billion promised.

Good news: It looks like Obama totally pwned the Republicans on this deal.
Bad news: The deal hasn't been passed yet, and it's not clear yet that Boehner's going to be able to hold his caucus together to pass it.
posted by EarBucket at 7:13 AM on April 14, 2011


Ok furiousxgeorge, etc given the news that actual cuts are $352 million does this change your position on how well Obama is negotiating with the Republicans?
posted by humanfont at 9:38 AM on April 14, 2011


It's definitely not as bad as I expected, but the increased defense funding while freezing everything else, and the DC stuff still makes this a pretty bad deal.

We are also left with the fact that we actually do have to cut spending drastically at some point to balance out the tax cuts.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:50 AM on April 14, 2011


CBO: Budget deal cuts 2011 deficit by $352 million, not $38 billion promised.


Well, well well. Where is the cut number for policy etc?

Admit it, Obama pwned Boehner. Hosed him down. Put him in a fucking titanic bind. If Boehner has to rely on dems to pass this, he is fatally wounded. If Boehner cannot deliver the votes he promised, he's fatally wounded. In other words, he is fatally wounded, right now.

It's definitely not as bad as I expected, but the increased defense funding while freezing everything else, and the DC stuff still makes this a pretty bad deal.

We are also left with the fact that we actually do have to cut spending drastically at some point to balance out the tax cuts.


Uh, dude, you are aware that $352 million is less than 1% of the alleged amount of cuts that the GOP got, right? If I had come in this thread during the negotiations and said $352 million would you accept that deal, would you have said no?

that's what I thought.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:23 AM on April 14, 2011


Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold

Win, win. If Boehner does not pass this deal with GOP votes, its over for him. I mean over. He can't be trusted as a negotiating partner because he can't deliver the goods. Dustbin of history.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:24 AM on April 14, 2011


From your article T.D. Strange:

John Podhoretz at Commentary thinks that over the next 72 hours, there will be a big anti-deal groundswell, and that we will ultimately have a government shutdown, with the GOP getting the brunt of the blame.

hell yes!!!!!!!!!! This is where the politics and the optics count for everything and the "policy" numbers count for nothing.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:28 AM on April 14, 2011


^ Hell Yes! People are gonna suffer but I get to blame my political enemies!

No, if you told me you were going to freeze spending on social programs but increase defense spending I would not take that deal.

It's completely insane to imagine Republicans being in a screwed up situation politically, they are in a position to take back the Senate and gain even greater power.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:50 AM on April 14, 2011


^ Hell Yes! People are gonna suffer but I get to blame my political enemies!

No, if you told me you were going to freeze spending on social programs but increase defense spending I would not take that deal.

It's completely insane to imagine Republicans being in a screwed up situation politically, they are in a position to take back the Senate and gain even greater power.


Only if we stab dems in the back. If there are all these votes out there for positions, then why is the House in GOP hands? If there is so much support for the programs you propose, why do they have the votes and we don't?

We don't get to deal with fantasy, we get to deal with reality. You can't admit you were wrong and that Boehner got hosed. Nor can you admit that hobbling Boehner drives the GOP caucus farther to the right, which gets them tossed out of office. This type of play is exactly what is needed to make it hard for the GOP to cut spending more.

But Obama haters gonna hate, no matter what he does. Its like they need someone to yell at.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:02 AM on April 14, 2011


More importantly, where are your votes for an alternative deal which gives you different priorities? If you got 'em, I'm all for it. But you don't have them. From the beginning, you've had zero endgame other than just let them shut it down. What is the end result of that--how does your plan advance the aims you yourself have put down. These are tough questions that you have to answer if you are going to advocate for a policy.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:04 AM on April 14, 2011


We are also left with the fact that we actually do have to cut spending drastically at some point to balance out the tax cuts.

So then what is your reaction to the plan proposed yesterday in the President's speech which included a mix of spending cuts and tax increases on the rich.
posted by humanfont at 11:09 AM on April 14, 2011


Boehner Tries To Keep GOP Together.
posted by ericb at 11:15 AM on April 14, 2011


Only if we stab dems in the back. If there are all these votes out there for positions, then why is the House in GOP hands?

Why are you asking me why the house is in GOP hands? No one implemented my plans, they implemented Obama's.

Nor can you admit that hobbling Boehner drives the GOP caucus farther to the right, which gets them tossed out of office

How much are you willing to bet that the GOP will not gain seats in Congress in 2012?

tax increases on the rich.

I am sorry I can not offer my opinion because I am currently being attacked by wolves. WOLVES ARE ATTACKING ME! WOLVES!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:24 AM on April 14, 2011


Josh Marshall cryptically asks if Boehner is walking away from his own deal with the President?

Really? I don't think I've ever seen such a huge play.

Put a quarter in, sez Marly Marl. (NSFW)
posted by Ironmouth at 11:25 AM on April 14, 2011


Wow, Politico reports that Boehner reached out yesterday to Hoyer for Dem votes.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:46 AM on April 14, 2011


How much are you willing to bet that the GOP will not gain seats in Congress in 2012?

General Grant.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:47 AM on April 14, 2011


Done.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:49 AM on April 14, 2011


Wow, he needed 37 Dem votes to pass that deal! So done.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:01 PM on April 14, 2011


sorry 38
posted by Ironmouth at 12:03 PM on April 14, 2011


The overall impact of this is that Boehner isn't able to deliver his caucus in any deal. Very bad for him and weakens the GOP.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:08 PM on April 14, 2011


Wow, he needed 37 Dem votes to pass that deal! So done.

The overall impact of this is that Boehner isn't able to deliver his caucus in any deal. Very bad for him and weakens the GOP.


What? It passed with 260 votes. Even without any of the 39 Democratic votes, it still would have squeaked through, 221-206. Boehner got his caucus together and got it passed.
posted by EarBucket at 12:13 PM on April 14, 2011


Not that this doesn't expose a significant weakness on Boehner's right flank that Obama may very well be able to wedge and exploit. But I'm not sure where the idea comes from that there weren't enough Republican votes to pass the bill.
posted by EarBucket at 12:16 PM on April 14, 2011


Democrats: 81 Yes, 108 No, 38 was just what was needed from Dems.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:18 PM on April 14, 2011


vote tally
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:18 PM on April 14, 2011


Ah, gotcha. Thanks, hadn't seen the tally yet.
posted by EarBucket at 12:19 PM on April 14, 2011


Yikes. Boehner lost 62 members on the vote. Yeah, that doesn't bode well for his future in the office. If I were him, I don't think I'd turn my back on Eric Cantor anytime soon.
posted by EarBucket at 12:21 PM on April 14, 2011


Wow, he needed 37 Dem votes to pass that deal! So done.

The overall impact of this is that Boehner isn't able to deliver his caucus in any deal. Very bad for him and weakens the GOP.

What? It passed with 260 votes. Even without any of the 39 Democratic votes, it still would have squeaked through, 221-206. Boehner got his caucus together and got it passed.


Only 179 Republicans voted for the deal. that's 39 short of the 218 needed for passage. The 39 (sorry!) Dem votes was the number he needed for passage. Significantly more dems voted for it though. Boehner failed to get his caucus together. He can't deliver it. So weak.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:44 PM on April 14, 2011


Boehner pulls a boner.

It's a rookie mistake, not counting your votes. Did Bachman vote for the deal in the end?
posted by bonehead at 12:48 PM on April 14, 2011


No.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:52 PM on April 14, 2011


Boehner pulls a boner.

It's a rookie mistake, not counting your votes. Did Bachman vote for the deal in the end?


That CBO scoring story killed him. A coincidence? No.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:06 PM on April 14, 2011


Only 179 Republicans voted for the deal. that's 39 short of the 218 needed for passage. The 39 (sorry!) Dem votes was the number he needed for passage. Significantly more dems voted for it though. Boehner failed to get his caucus together. He can't deliver it. So weak.

He didn't need to deliver his caucus. He needed to deliver enough votes for it to pass, and he did. Now all the tea party republicans can say they voted against and the GOP doesn't get blamed for a government shut down. I'd say it's a win.
posted by empath at 1:26 PM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's wounded. If the majority leader can't whip a majority then they aren't a majority anymore. He leads now on the sufferance and only with the cooperation of the democrats.

What's going to happen next time there's a budget vote? Round two will be upon him in weeks. Without his party, his policy influence/political capital is much weaker than it was a couple of weeks ago.
posted by bonehead at 2:47 PM on April 14, 2011


I feel like this was an enourmous meh. We are just going to do this every month while they haggle over the debt ceiling and the fy2011 budget.
posted by humanfont at 3:08 PM on April 14, 2011


Only 179 Republicans voted for the deal. that's 39 short of the 218 needed for passage. The 39 (sorry!) Dem votes was the number he needed for passage. Significantly more dems voted for it though. Boehner failed to get his caucus together. He can't deliver it. So weak.

He didn't need to deliver his caucus. He needed to deliver enough votes for it to pass, and he did. Now all the tea party republicans can say they voted against and the GOP doesn't get blamed for a government shut down. I'd say it's a win.
'

He's incredibly weakened. It means he cannot deliver a vote unless an unspecified number of Dems sign on. Plus it turns out the spending cuts were far less than advertised and that he wasn't honest with his own party.

What's he gonna do with the debt limit. His caucus will be screaming for blood. But Wall Street is going to say no to that shit. Seriously, if they don't cover it, it will be a disaster for the economy and for their party. Millions of Americans hold T-bills and he will be reducing the value of their portfolio for this crap.

He's in big trouble. Big trouble.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:26 PM on April 14, 2011


Put another way, the effect on his future ability to convince anyone he can get a deal going is way, way down. This was literally his first time out of the gate. Newt didn't have this issue.

He doesn't last the year.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:28 PM on April 14, 2011


I think it's highly unlikely he'll be forced out before the next election. At that point, his continuing as party leader in the House probably depends on whether or not he can hold it in 2012. If the Democrats retake it, he's definitely out on his ear. If they don't and Obama's defeated, he's out in favor of someone at least theoretically more competent. If Democrats fail to take the House but Obama's re-elected, he probably keeps the job because no one else will want it.
posted by EarBucket at 9:41 AM on April 15, 2011


And, yeah, this puts him in a weak negotiating position. He's going to have to plan on getting Democratic votes to pass anything, so it's shutdown or compromise from here on out.
posted by EarBucket at 9:43 AM on April 15, 2011


House Democrats Punk Republicans On Budget Vote (VIDEO).
posted by ericb at 10:44 AM on April 15, 2011


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