October 8, 2013 at 8:57 am #97724
Fareed Zakaria gives his take on the U.S. government shutdown, calling it extortion
As you go through your day, don’t forget JJP at TWiB.
Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.
And always, have a peaceful day.October 8, 2013 at 8:57 am #97725
Good Morning, EveryoneOctober 8, 2013 at 9:03 am #97726
coup d’état: koch brothers are warlords
COUP D’ETAT: KOCHS ARE WARLORDS
I have lived through 5 coups d’état. I know a coup d’état when I see one. USA is living through one right now as we speak. A Coup doesn’t have to have guns (yet) and a military takeover of power to be one.
A nation is manipulated through a series of fiendishly planned rolling crises. Inchoate mass fear grows but its targeting is skillfully re-directed toward infighting, such that it becomes diffuse and rather impotent against the actual instigators. Trust for government and national institutions grows rancid.
Then a messiah runs to the rescue, suspends the constitution, promises to get rid of “waste, fraud, & abuse.” Says the abrogation of said Constitution is only “temporary.” Commandeers media to support “the people” in their new “Freedom, Liberty, Fraternity”. Flag and anthem totems resurge in fresh parades glorifying the mother/fatherland. Power has been seized. Resistance is futile.
My native country went 5 times through this familiar choreography in its first 24 years after independence from colonial rule. Western Scholars of “the Third World” posited that these upheavals were the result of societies that had yet to build:
1. Strong Democratic governing institutions, rather than strongmen
2. Consensus of the governed
3. A national Identity rather than ethnic loyalties
4. An educated ruling elite that creates mechanisms for distributing political power efficiently among different constituencies
5. Capitalist ethos that productively harnessed and competitively rewarded the nation’s talents
6. Rule of Law and a Constitution that balanced majority rule with protecting minority rights
Well then, so why is the good old USA, the “oldest democracy” hurtling toward the fissures that cause a FAILED STATE, ripened for a coup d’état? It is no hyperbole to identify all the symptoms of a coup d’état in the making, from the GOP hostage taking underway.
Fareed Zakaria gives his take on the U.S. government shutdown, calling it extortion
Fast forward more than a century and new challenges test the applicability of the Insurrection Act. In the aftermath of 9/11 and Katrina debacle, Bush got congress to tinker with Insurrection Act to allow the government to act in the event of terrorists operating within the US, and natural disasters. The definition of terrorist of course only related to Foreign agents. However in 2008, those expansions in the law were repealed and it reverted to the 1807 law.
What this means is that if there IS domestic rebellion that threatens the very security of this country, the only authorities who can directly act are State governors deploying National Guard, not Federal government. So here we are with independent warlords, like Koch brothers, Art Pope, and the many billionaires who have purchased themselves federal, state and local legislators, often in collusion with State governors and legislatures threatening to dissolve the constitutional power of the Federal government. And the Federal government can’t fight back.October 8, 2013 at 9:05 am #97727
Greenwald: I’m ‘Completely Unrestrained by the Unwritten Rules of American Journalism’
By Bob Cesca · October 07,2013
In a brand new New Yorker piece about The Guardian‘s role in the NSA story, as well as its broader place in digital media, Glenn Greenwald dropped the following quote regarding the tone and style of his articles on the topic:
“I wanted people in Washington to have fear in their hearts over how this journalism was going to be done, over the unpredictability of it,” he said. “Of the fact that we were going to be completely unrestrained by the unwritten rules of American journalism. The only reason we stopped after five days was that even our allies were saying, ‘Look, this is too much information. We can’t keep up with what you’re publishing.’October 8, 2013 at 9:08 am #97728
Poll of Congressional Races Shows That Michigan Has Grown Weary of Republicans
By: Keith Brekhus
Monday, October 7th, 2013, 9:09 pm
The Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey released this week of two dozen competitive House districts reveals the tremendous risk Republicans face by shutting down the government. In the 24 districts that were polled Republican incumbent trail a generic Democrat in 17 of the races. In 16 of those 17 races the incumbent Republican House member has a negative approval rating as well. Much attention has focused on the electoral peril these Republicans face, but a closer look at the numbers reveals something else as well. The Republican Party has fallen into serious disfavor in the state of Michigan. Whether it is national Republicans, or Rick Snyder’s dictatorial tendencies as Governor of the state, it is clear that the Republican Party’s grip on power in the Wolverine State is slipping away, because of their unpopular policies.
Among the seventeen most embattled GOP incumbents in the US House, the two most vulnerable members (Dan Benishek and Kerry Bentovolio) are from Michigan as is Tim Walberg who is also in the top five in terms of electoral vulnerability. While it is possible to note that most of the seventeen Republican incumbents in jeopardy are in toss up races, that is not the case for the Michigan trio. These guys are in deep, deep trouble. Dan Benishek, who represents the First District, which includes the Upper Peninsula, has a dismal 33 percent approval rating from his constituents with 54 percent disapproving of his job performance in the US House. In a head to head matchup against a generic Democrat he would get shellacked by a gaudy 56-35 margin if an election were held today.
Downstate, Tim Walberg, does not fare much better. His popularity is also mired at 33 percent approval with 46 percent of his constituents disapproving of his job performance. In a match up against a Democrat he would get pummeled 49-41. His prospects are not quite as bleak as Benishek’s but he still faces the possibility of a double digit repudiation at the polls.October 8, 2013 at 9:09 am #97729
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics to scientists Francois Englert and Peter Higgs on Tuesday for their 1964 postulation of the existence of the Higgs boson. Scientists confirmed in July 2012 the existence of the so-called God particle, which is what gives matter its mass.
The July 2012 discovery of the particle in the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland, has been billed as one of the biggest scientific achievements of the last 50 years.October 8, 2013 at 9:11 am #97730
Ted Cruz Flops On Fox While Trying to Blame Obama For the Government Shutdown
By: Jason Easley
Monday, October 7th, 2013, 11:13 pm
Ted Cruz’s Fox News interview with Megyn Kelly was an epic disaster. Cruz tried to blame President Obama for the government shutdown, but he couldn’t even get that right.
Cruz said, “I think it is pretty remarkable that the president feels the need to run out of his way to attack senators from the other party, and let me say I wish he hadn’t been following his own advice in the last month. I mean the president has kept such a low profile. He has been AWOL. He has not been part of the negotiations. He is refusing to even talk to Congress. He finally invited Congressional leaders to the White House. He sat down with them and said you’re here because I want to tell you that I am not going to negotiate. I mean that’s not reasonable.”
Later in the very same interview, Cruz claimed that the only thing that he would consider a victory would killing Obamacare, “I think a victory is if we prevent some of the enormous harms Obamacare is inflicting on millions of Americans.”
What makes Obama unreasonable in Ted Cruz’s mind is that he refuses to kill the ACA.October 8, 2013 at 9:13 am #97731
When the Treasury Runs Out of Cash
By BRUCE BARTLETT
Some scholars have asserted that should members of Congress ignore their oath to defend the laws of the United States and default on the debt becomes unavoidable, the president should invoke the Constitution to override the debt limit. They point to Section 4 of the 14th Amendment and other sections of the Constitution that would permit such action.
President Obama has said repeatedly that the constitutional option is off the table. The Treasury says failure to make any payment when due constitutes default. And Republicans either think that they have the president over a barrel or that it is no big deal, depending on whom you ask.
What we know for certain is that we will be in uncharted waters. And given that United States Treasury securities are essentially the foundation upon which the entire world financial system rests, those are dangerous waters indeed. Only a fool would enter them if they could be avoided.
——————————————————————October 8, 2013 at 9:15 am #97732
Lawrence O’Donnell about the GOP trying to shut down not the Government but the OBAMA PRESIDENCY.October 8, 2013 at 9:19 am #97733
The House GOP has nothing to show for its government shutdown
By Editorial Board,
WHAT HAVE House Republicans managed to accomplish in a week of government shutdown?
Damage the livelihood of millions of Americans? Check. Government secretaries, food-truck operators, cleaners who work in motels near national parks: They’re all hurting.
Waste billions of taxpayer dollars? Check. It costs a lot to shut agencies, Web sites and parks, and it will cost a lot to reopen them. Meanwhile, the House has voted to pay the salaries, eventually, of hundreds of thousands of employees whom it has ordered not to work. That’s an odd way to manage an enterprise.
Interfere with key government operations? Check. The National Transportation Safety Board can’t investigate an accident last weekend on Metro’s Red Line that claimed the life of a worker. That could make future accidents more likely. On the other side of the world, U.S. allies from Tokyo to Singapore are wondering whether they can rely on a nation whose president has to go AWOL from a key summit meeting in their region.
Rattle the markets, slow an economy in recovery, interrupt potentially lifesaving research at the National Institutes of Health? Check, check and check.
Derail the hated Obamacare? Ch . . . — oh, no, wait a minute. That was the GOP’s ostensible purpose for this travesty of misgovernment, but the online insurance markets created by that law opened on schedule last week and continue to operate. In fact, the Republicans managed only to distract attention from the computer glitches that would have gobbled up all the news attention if the government weren’t shut.October 8, 2013 at 9:25 am #97734
Senate Dems poised to move on debt-ceiling bill
By Steve Benen
Tue Oct 8, 2013 8:45 AM EDT
The deadline for Congress acting on the debt ceiling will likely come as early as next week, and for now, in the halls of Capitol Hill, nothing is happening.
At least in the upper chamber, that’s about to change.
Senate Democratic leaders will move forward this week on a measure to raise the government’s legal borrowing limit without any policy strings attached, answering House Republicans’ taunts that Democrats would not force their politically vulnerable senators to cast that difficult vote.
The first vote on raising the debt ceiling, by an amount large enough to get the government through the 2014 elections, could come as early as Friday; the deadline is Oct. 17.
Regardless, Senate Dems aren’t inclined to wait for House Republicans to play games with the full faith and credit of the United States, so they’re going to advance a clean, straightforward bill that would protect the country from the consequences of yet another self-imposed crisis.October 8, 2013 at 9:26 am #97735
Shutdown takes its toll on congressional GOP
By Steve Benen
Tue Oct 8, 2013 8:00 AM EDT.
As the deadline neared for the nation’s first-ever war-time government shutdown, the consensus was that congressional Republicans, already unpopular, would feel the brunt of the public backlash. So far, those expectations were correct.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll released yesterday found widespread dissatisfaction across the board, but Americans’ attitudes towards Republicans are especially brutal.
While approval for President Obama and congressional Democrats ticked higher in the wake of the government shutdown, approval for congressional Republicans dropped to a woeful 24%. Just as important, GOP lawmakers, who shut down the government exactly one week ago, have seen their disapproval ratings soar to 70%. A majority of Americans, 51%, now say they “strongly” disapprove of the nation’s far-right party.
Republicans might take some solace in the fact that no one in Washington is faring especially well right now, but there’s just not much of a silver lining for the GOP. ABC’s Gary Langer explained, “In another way to look at the results, Obama’s gone from 41-50 percent approve-disapprove last week to 45-51 percent now — a 9-point negative margin then, a similar 6-point negative margin today. The Democrats likewise show little change overall (from a 22- to a 26-point negative gap). But the Republicans have gone from 26-63 percent approve-disapprove to 24-70 percent, an initial 37-point difference widening now to a 46-point negative result.”October 8, 2013 at 9:28 am #97736
Some Republicans plan to give ‘Obamacare’ another look
By Steve Benen
Mon Oct 7, 2013 4:26 PM EDT.
As far-right House members go, Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) is becoming more influential. Last month, for example, after three years in which lawmakers from both parties supported continuing resolutions that funded the Affordable Care Act, it was Graves who convinced right-wing lawmakers to pursue an extortion strategy. When House GOP leaders picked eight members to serve on a budget conference committee, the Georgia Republican made the cut.
Graves, despite his personal financial crises, even helped lead the charge for a debt-ceiling crisis in 2011, railing against the evils of “compromise.”
Over the weekend, the New York Times filed an interesting report from Graves’ deep red Georgia district, where locals said they’d be prepared to throw their congressman out if he backed down in a fight against Democrats.
Take a look, however, at the perspective of Jon Tripcony, a local voter who has no use for Democrats, and said he doesn’t “trust” the Affordable Care Act because it’s President Obama’s policy and the Georgian doesn’t “feel comfortable with anything he’s got to do with” (thanks to my colleague Laura Conaway for the heads-up).
The Republican solution for folks like Jon Tripcony, who told the NYT he underwent heart surgery not long ago without health insurance, is to wish them well and point them in the direction of the nearest emergency room, while telling them about the joys of “freedom” that comes with being uninsured.
When push comes to shove, there are Republican policymakers prepared to sabotage the federal health care system, but there aren’t many Americans prepared to sabotage their own well being. In the long road, that means more folks signing up for benefits, and fewer folks backing repeal.October 8, 2013 at 9:30 am #97737
Oklahoma Woman Tells GOP Lawmakers: Without Obamacare, ‘I Will Be Dead Before My 27th Birthday’
By Tara Culp-Ressler on October 7, 2013 at 3:44 pm
As the deadline approached for Congress to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government funded, Republicans refused to strike a deal unless it defunded or delayed Obamacare. Now, a week later, GOP lawmakers still seem unwilling to compromise unless they are able to dismantle some of the health reform law. One Oklahoma resident wants them to understand the human impact of that political position.
On the eve of the looming government shutdown, 26-year-old Kendall Brown published an open letter to the lawmakers who wanted to delay Obamacare for one year before agreeing to pass a funding bill. Brown didn’t mince words. “I am dying, because of the political games you are playing right now,” her op-ed began.
The Oklahoma resident explained that she was born with Crohn’s Disease, an inflammatory bowel disease that has no cure. When Brown was in college, she was removed from her mother’s health care coverage. Since her illness prevented her from being able to take a full course load, she couldn’t meet the credit requirements to qualify as a student to remain on the plan. During that time, she could only afford a limited student health plan, and she accumulated thousands of dollars in medical debt.
Once Obamacare allowed young adults to remain on their parents’ plans regardless of their academic status, Brown was able to return to her mother’s insurance. That provision of the health law was enacted at a crucial time — not long afterward, Brown needed to undergo emergency surgery to remove two feet of her intestine that had swollen shut. She wouldn’t have been able to afford the procedure otherwise.
But Brown is now 26 years old, and no longer qualifies for coverage under that Obamacare provision. Although she’s currently employed full-time at a nonprofit, the small organization can’t offer her any health benefits. She’s tried to apply for insurance plans on her own, but she’s been denied because of her pre-existing condition. She cannot currently afford the lifesaving treatment to manage her illness, a form of chemotherapy that costs $15,000 for each infusion. She is desperate to enroll in the health law’s new marketplaces so she can have the coverage she needs.
“I tell you this because I am tired of being reduced to a number, a statistic or, even worse, being described as a freeloader that wants to live off of the government health care teat,” Brown explains in her open letter. “I tell you this because if you defund Obamacare, or delay it even for one year, as you are debating today, then this will be my last letter to you. I will be dead before my 27th birthday.”
In an interview with ThinkProgress, Brown explained that she had been following the political drama in the lead-up to the current shutdown, and she decided to write her letter “out of incredible hurt and anger.”October 8, 2013 at 9:33 am #97738
Seven Big Companies Working To Help Americans Sign Up For Obamacare
By Tara Culp-Ressler on October 7, 2013 at 11:01 am
Now that Obamacare’s new insurance marketplaces are open to the public, some uninsured Americans are eager to sign up. However, many others likely remain confused about their options under health reform, particularly as Obamacare continues to get caught in the political crossfire. In order to bridge the education gap about the health law, advocates are ramping up their enrollment efforts in creative ways. For instance, you can now text ENROLL to Planned Parenthood to receive information about health reform.
But nonprofit and government groups can’t do it all on their own. Here are seven large companies that are currently joining in on the effort and helping to spread the word about the new insurance options available under Obamacare:
1. Trader Joe’s
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