Saturday: I Wanna Be Sedated

Morning, newsjunkies. How’s everyone hanging in? This is my thinking:

I’ll just jump right into some different news and views to consider this morning…
BAR’s Glen Ford on The Shutdown Game:

Therefore, for the sake of the almighty dollar (blessed be its name) – and because the shutdown has already achieved its purposes – the GOP will call a halt to its action before any money-changers get hurt. The Republicans will have shown their willingness to fight The Obama. Obama will appear to be defending the people from The Republicans. And then they will both slash away at social spending, as was the intention, all along.

Well, yippee for oligarchy.

Right on cue, via the SF Chron:

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) — U.S. Representative Dennis Ross, a Florida Republican, said he would support a broad spending deal that didn’t include changes to the health-care law, becoming the first Tea Party-backed House lawmaker to publicly back off the fight that has shut down the government for five days.

Ross, ranked among the House’s most conservative members by both the Club for Growth and the American Conservative Union, said he shifted his position because the shutdown hasn’t resulted in changes to the Affordable Care Act, which started Oct. 1, the same day government funding ran out. The shutdown also could hurt the party, he said.

“We’ve lost the CR battle,” Ross, referring to the continuing resolution to authorize government spending, said in an interview. “We need to move on and take whatever we can find in the debt limit.”

Three cheers for fast turnaround. This is one step better than kabuki, it’s bunraku…where we’ve been the puppets they’ve been manipulating all along.

Paul Krugman, of course, has a much more charitable view:

The assumption has been that Republicans will finally be moved to act by the market freakout. But given their behavior so far, why would you believe this? I can easily see Ted Cruz making a speech declaring that the freakout is all Obama’s fault, and that what the markets really fear is socialism or something — and the base believing it.

My bet now is that we actually do go over the line for a day or two. And what ends the immediate crisis is not Republican action but a decision by Obama to declare himself not bound by the debt ceiling. He can’t even hint at this possibility until the thing actually happens, because he has to keep the focus on the Republicans, and he has to make them demonstrate their utter irresponsibility before he can take any extraordinary action.

But maybe I’m wrong; maybe Obama’s lawyers have concluded that there’s really nothing he can do. If so, God help us all.

Obama is going to declare himself not bound by the debt ceiling? Okay, this I got to see–and good luck with that.

The latest stenography from Wapo :

The political impasse that shuttered the federal government at midnight on Monday spilled into its first weekend showing no signs of abating, and leaving hundreds of thousands of federal workers on furlough and museums and national parks across the country closed.

House Republican leaders and the White House sought to reassure those furloughed federal workers that they will be paid when the shutdown ends, but resolving the crisis remains a politically difficult task since both sides see broader strategic implications to the outcome.

Governin’ is hard.

In other news, Twenty-twenty-twenty five hours to go?

Wish you had another hour in the day to get everything done? Just wait 200 million years, when days here on Earth will stretch to 25 hours.

While we like to think of the Earth’s rotation as one of the few constants in this world, it’s anything but. For hundreds of millions of years, days have been growing longer and longer. The changes are small enough that our circadian clocks can’t detect them, but atomic clocks certainly can. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which runs the United States’ atomic clocks, days today are longer than those a century ago by two milliseconds. Add that up over millions of years and you start to see real changes—days in the Jurassic period were only 23 hours long, for example.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve felt the news cycle getting quite maddeningly stretched out about much ado lately 😉

And, finally…Use of deadly force in Capitol Hill shooting questioned:

“My sister could have been any person traveling in our capital,” Valarie Carey told reporters outside her Brooklyn home. “Deadly physical force was not the ultimate recourse and it didn’t have to be.”

The chase and shooting came at a time of high political tension in the U.S. capital with Congress debating how to resolve the shutdown of the federal government. The Capitol was locked down after the shots were fired.

[…]

Law enforcement sources said Carey did not shoot a gun and there was no indication she had one.

“I’m more than certain that there was no need for a gun to be used (by police) when there was no gunfire coming from the vehicle,” Valarie Carey said. “I don’t know how their protocols are in D.C., but I do know how they are in New York City.”

The article also mentions the guy who self-immolated…Nope, not the Onion:

In another incident that caused alarm in Washington, a man appeared to have set himself on fire at the National Mall on Friday. He was listed in critical condition at a hospital.

And, there was also this:

Authorities are investigating a report that U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) was assaulted Wednesday night by a bystander in the Longworth House Office Building while en route to the Capitol for a vote, according to his office and police.

Few details were immediately released. Officer Shennell S. Antrobus, a spokesman for the U.S. Capitol Police, confirmed that an assault investigation is underway. He said no arrests have been made.

Duffy’s spokeswoman, Cassie Smedile, issued a statement describing the encounter as a “minor incident.” The statement said that “a random individual, unknown to the Congressman, began screaming at him and grabbed his arm.”

Smedile said in the statement that Duffy was not hurt and that he reported the incident to authorities. “Congressman Duffy has requested no further action be taken,” the statement said.

The incident was first reported by Roll Call.

The spokeswoman declined to comment further. She would not say what the man was screaming and whether it was over the government shutdown. Duffy has voted with the block calling for a delay in implementing the president’s health care plan.

Duffy is a former district attorney from Wisconsin who also appeared on the MTV reality show “The Real World,” where he met his wife.

This all kinda sounds like that urban legend that floats all over the Internet…Yup, the Zombie Apocalypse…with the Ghost of Reagan at the helm.

I don’t mean that as a cheap joke, either. These incidents could all be isolated and/or unrelated, but it’s still creepy. I can’t help but wonder how much, if any, are these strange-doings the symptoms of deregulation, unemployment, lack of medical care (including mental), etc.

A bit of a Halloween scare headline to leave you with before I go : David Koch, Feminist?

Almost any discussion of the barriers women still face at work ends with feminists pleading for better child care options in the United States. At MIT, women will have this, thanks to … David Koch.

The libertarian billionaire, better known for his anti-Obama efforts, has pledged $20 million dollars towards the creation of the David H. Koch Childcare Center. Per the Boston Globe, this will double the amount of day care available on campus.

It certainly is a Brave New Dystopia these days more and more…

Your turn, Sky Dancers! And, have a great Caturday.

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44 Comments on “Saturday: I Wanna Be Sedated”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    Welcome to Limbo, formerly known as the US of America, where 60-80 Looney Tunes sitting in the House of Representatives, and a GOP Speaker of the House desperate to hold onto that title, are about to bankrupt the nation in a game of “chicken”!

    These people consider themselves to be the “true patriots” who have no idea of how the system operates, no conception of history, little interest in the law, a blatant disrespect for the nation as a whole and take pride in their ignorance.

    Hurray for us!

    • dakinikat says:

      These people are neoconfederate insurrectionists and should be treated like this by everyone including the media. It is appalling to think that this folks who want to refight the civil war and every other facet of modernity have been allowed to highjack our country. The press should be ashamed of themselves. The Republican Party should be ashamed of themselves. The American people are livid and fed up and it appears, totally helpless in the fight against these anti-science, xenophobic, plutocracy-serving freakazoids!

      • dakinikat says:

        http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/19715-the-triumph-of-the-ratfuckers

        There are two basic philosophical foundation stones to ratfucking. The first is that political sabotage for its own sake is a worthy enough goal. There doesn’t necessarily have to be an obvious purpose or obvious logic behind it. Everything is simply tactics. Those tactics either work or they don’t. To believe this, of course, one must first believe that all politics is a essentially a zero-sum game of power; you win and the other guy loses. Who rules? Period. One cannot for a moment contemplate the notion that politics — and therefore, government — has anything to do with the public good. I trust I don’t have to spell out the parallels between this elemental basis of ratfucking and what the Republicans are about in their current campaign of vandalism. This has now entered a time in which we are seeing sabotage for sabotage’s own sake. Remember, the conservative rump faction has brought this shutdown upon the country because its members refuse to agree to a federal budget that contains lower discretionary spending than even Paul Ryan contemplated. That’s because now — as Congressman Marlin Stutzman pointed out clearly yesterday — this isn’t about the budget, or even about economics, it’s about who wins and who loses. It’s about whether or not John Boehner, the castrato Speaker Of The House, can keep his job. The public, as was said during our previous Gilded Age, be damned.

        The second basic philosophical tenet of ratfucking is that it is essentially bullying. It is essentially about ridicule and deceit as ends in themselves. Segretti’s activities were meant to bring embarrassment and public scorn upon his targets. They were not aimed at proving to voters that the opposition was wrong. They were aimed at making it look ridiculous. Hubert Humphrey’s bastard child. Edmund Muskie’s rallies cancelled. Sooner or later, of course, the viciousness and the schoolyard taunting can’t be contained. Segretti’s activities, while relatively harmless, opened the ballgame for the late Lee Atwater’s vicious race-baiting and for the entire public career of Karl Rove, in which the latter has not drawn a single breath in which he did not dedicate himself to the degradation of the political process and the poisoning of the political debate.

        We are seeing this aspect of ratfucking playing out now.

        charlie pierce again

      • List of X says:

        Unfortunately, so many people just aren’t informed enough. They keep getting told by the media that there are always two valid sides to every story, and that both Republicans and Democrats caused this. Did you see a Jimmy Kimmel clip about Obamacare vs Affordable Care Act?

  2. Beata says:

    Have a good Saturday, Sky Dancers!

  3. bostonboomer says:

    • Beata says:

      I’m so glad TBogg is back. There are some great comments on that essay as well.

      • RalphB says:

        His comments are usually really good.

      • I usually just ignore Tbogg’s name, but since this landed on my post….

        He seems like the poster prog for the young, entitled dudebro set.

        • Seriously says:

          100% and the worst thing about the young entitled dudebro set is that it never changes as evidenced by the middle-aged and older entitled dudebro sets. Whether it’s Maher or T-bogg or Sullivan or Imus or Taibbi or–how much time we got?–I long ago stopped caring how many of us will never make it into their great admirable vision because we were never really on the same team to begin with.

          • No, we never really were. They’ve always seen us as smurfette, Gargamel’s honeypot creation to distract and trap the comrade smurfs….

          • Seriously says:

            The smurf writers were like dudebro utopian nostradamuses. An all male universe with only Smurfette and Sassette (nuff said there), honeytraps not comrades, and would Gargamel or Hefty be any safer than dudebro nation to be around in the event of a sudden power outage?

          • Lol 😉 I think I’d sooner the two girl smurfs get together and form their own smurfette (sufragette?) Party of women, than have to try choosing between either.

  4. RalphB says:

    Alexandra Pelosi asked some New Yorkers about Obamacare. How in the world is the administration supposed to educate these winners about the program?

    • Gregoryp says:

      More sad than funny.

    • Between Maher and the fact that there was only one woman interviewed who made it into the video, amongst the sea of dozens of men, and the one woman they chose was one who was delusional and talking about Obamacare being a chip implanted, I can’t see the point in this video.

      Also, if we’re going to go there about people’s uninformed views in bringing up death panels, I must say what a difference a few years makes. I remember distinctly having a disagreement with you at TC, Ralph, when I said Palin using the “death panels” rhetoric was alarmist and straight out of the playbook of Betsey McCaughey. At the time you said that sure Palin could have used less hyperbolic rhetoric but that sometimes it was needed to win the PR war and get the message out, and you were much more open to Palin whereas I thought she was too right wing.

      Well , that video you posted is exactly what happens with that kind of rhetoric and PR war mentality…and Obama folded at that time under attacks like death panels, changing his own rhetoric to “health insurance reform”…all because he was so desperate to pass a signature bill with his name attached to it as a political victory, no matter what was in it. Not surprising then that that one of many dippy men in that video you posted only knows that Obamacare “has his name in it… Why did he name it after himself?”

      Sad, yes. Inevitable, not necessarily. There were lessons learned from 1993-94 (as well as 95 and through to 2008.) Willfully ignoring those lessons, reviving the Harry and Louise ads to win a primary against another Democrat, caving to recycled attacks of Betsey McCaughey… Just like elections, all these actions have consequences.

  5. Just two quick links, this was a great post Mona.

    This Quote Says Everything About The GOP’s Shutdown Stand

    House Republicans are continuing to play hardball in negotiations over the spending bill that precipitated the government shutdown on Oct. 1, apparently out of fear that compromise would weaken their power.

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

    Maher, Alan Grayson Divide GOP in 3: ‘Corporate Shills,’ ‘Jesus Freaks’ and ‘Gun Nuts’ | Mediaite

    • List of X says:

      “We’re not going to be disrespected,”
      Yeah, good luck with that. And they’ll be getting something from the shutdown, although they should have just taken disrespect.

      • They should continue on this path though, really. Who are we to stop them from making these long term political blunders and falling off the cliff? It won’t serve them well in 2014 or 2016, well that is as long as we could count on the D’s to NOT follow them right along with in making cuts to the social safety–or at least what’s still left of it.

  6. RalphB says:

    This is really disgusting and kind of scary…

    WaPo: For Rep. Ted Yoho, government shutdown is ‘the tremor before the tsunami’

    Republican assholes like this one are why, when I see people try to put Obama or Reid in this company, it pisses me off and makes me think the person doing it is a damn fool.

    • RalphB says:

      This asses constiuents just can’t bring themselves to admit THEY LOST. To do so is to deny the entire structure of the bizarre reality they’ve built around themselves for decades. This shutdown is the Confederate flag emblazoned on the pickup truck of their very souls. Hell, to surrender to Obama at this point would be to cut their Truck Nutz off.

    • RalphB says:

      A comment which sounds OK to me…

      This is a truth that too many on the left are loathe to accept. There is no amount of “messaging” that is going to reach these people, and we ought to respect them enough to realize that they are just nasty people who want bad things for this country. It is only a matter of time before politicians in blue parts of the country begin to capitalize on attacking not just the GOP, but the people who vote for the GOP. Rural white Americans have always been put on a pedestal and handled with kid gloves but there is no reason to assume this will always be the case.

  7. NW Luna says:

    Tsunami? The R-nutz idiots don’t believe in reality, but we need government action to be prepared for and deal with the aftermath of tsunamis, hurricanes, and earthquakes.

    The next giant quake: It’s coming and here’s how

    Stories passed down from that night don’t tell us if dogs howled a warning. Huddled together in the cold, the animals might have sensed the first faint vibrations while the people still slept.

    A quarter moon hung in the sky.

    Far offshore, where only the boldest whalers paddled their canoes, a 700-mile-long gash on the ocean floor was shifting. Masses of rock thrust past each other, grinding and buckling and jerking as if the planet were being torn apart. ….

    The earthquake that lashed the Pacific Northwest in 1700 ranks among the mightiest the Earth can yield. Scientists today call it a megaquake — a magnitude 9 monster that ripped the full length of the offshore fault where seafloor and continent collide, and unleashed a killer tsunami.

    “The ‘Big One’ in the Pacific Northwest has the potential to be the most costly and destructive disaster in the history of the United States, both in terms of loss of life and economic damage,” said James Lee Witt, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). “The long-term economic impact could alter our entire economy.”

    http://seattletimes.com/text/2021850265.html

  8. NW Luna says:

    More idiocy. Of course, if they truly used critical thinking skills, they would know there is no such thing as “creation science.”

    More creationists are textbook reviewers

    One is a nutritionist who believes “creation science” based on biblical principles should be taught in the classroom. Another is a chemical engineer who is listed as a “Darwin Skeptic” on the website of the Creation Science Hall of Fame. A third is a trained biologist who also happens to be a fellow of the Discovery Institute, the Seattle-based center of the intelligent-design movement and a vice president at an evangelical ministry in Plano, Texas.

    As Texas gears up to select biology textbooks for use by high-school students over the next decade, the panel responsible for reviewing submissions from publishers has stirred controversy because a number of its members do not accept evolution and climate change as scientific truth. ….

    There is little open talk of creationism. Instead they borrow buzzwords common in education, such as “critical thinking,” saying there is simply not enough evidence to prove evolution. ….

    In reviews of other textbooks, panel members disputed the scientific evidence, questioning, for example, whether the fossil record actually demonstrates a process of mutation and natural selection over billions of years. “The fossil record can be interpreted in other ways than evolutionary with equal justification,” one reviewer wrote. Among the anti-evolution panelists are Ide Trotter, a chemical engineer, and Raymond G. Bohlin, a biologist and fellow of the Discovery Institute.

    http://seattletimes.com/text/2021968531.html

  9. RalphB says:

    Yahoo: Obama Does Not Rule Out Taking Action On The Debt Ceiling By Himself

    He left himself room to do it, for the first time I think,,

    • ANonOMouse says:

      You know Bill Clinton encouraged him to do this (use executive power to pay our ALREADY ACCRUED debts) during the last debt-ceiling standoff. I think that’s the Ace he has up his sleeve even though he said during the prior standoff that he wasn’t comfortable with that action. Is there any doubt that 5 years of nearly total obstruction by the GOP and now the GOP/TP is about anything but Obama hate? I think not!!!

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Sorry I should have read the article before making the comment about Bill Clinton. I’m beginning to think I’m much to steeped in the history of all this obstructionism. I’d probably be a lot less stressed by it all if I was wrapped up in something more soothing like, sleeping. 🙂

    • bostonboomer says:

      Good news.

  10. bostonboomer says:

    Helen Thomas went on a date with John Kennedy when she was 22 and he was a young Congressman. She said he was “too fresh.”

    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/helen-thomas-jfk-went-on-date-97883.html?ml=la

  11. Joyce L. Arnold says:

    Mona, outstanding post 🙂

    And lots of very good and thoughtful comments, too. 🙂 I love reading here …