Government shut down–who is the perceived villain?

“Is your opinion of Planned Parenthood favorable, unfavorable or haven’t you heard enough about it?”

    Favorable Unfavorable Haven’t
heard enough
    % % % %  


43 38 17 1  

“Do you support or oppose cutting off federal government funding to Planned Parenthood?”

    Support Oppose Unsure/
No answer
    % % %    


41 51 9    


66 25 9    


13 80 7    


47 44 9    

“Would you support or oppose shutting down the government over differences about federal government funding to Planned Parenthood?”



“Who would you blame more for a government shutdown: the Republicans in Congress, or Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress?”

    Republicans Obama and
equally (vol.)
No answer
    % % % %  


41 33 17 9  

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Predicting Northern Virginia’s future

A pair of loud alarm bells sounded last week for the Washington area’s economy, and political leaders from Richmond to Annapolis should take them seriously.

The warning of immediate concern came Thursday at an annual conference of 750 business and civic leaders in McLean. Economics mavens led by George Mason University professor Steve Fuller presented eye-opening data showing that our region has trailed almost every other major U.S. metropolitan area in job growth for the past three years.

Evidence of sluggishness is all around us, although the public has been slow to take note. Vacant commercial offices in Northern Virginia are at their highest level since 1991. Average wages in the region have dropped for three straight years, an unprecedented decline.
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How did Congress vote?

debt vote

The interactive map can be found at the New York Times.   There is an entire list of how each member of Congress voted, as well as a click on feature on the map.  The map here is a screen capture so it doesn’t have that capability.

The biggest surprise I see is how many voted against the measure in Utah.  Utah was footing the bill for all the national parks to be open.  I believe there are at least 6 NPs as well as a number of national monuments.   That’s financially shooting yourself in the foot when so many small towns and hamlets rely on those parks for their very existence.  Go figure.

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Krystal Ball: John Boehner, this is your moment

If we could have done away with the chortling in the background, Krystal Ball would have been right on.

I no longer feel badly for John Boehner.  He is going to have to step up to the plate and force the votes that need to happen to raise the debt ceiling and it must happen tomorrow.  He must not allow the thugs in Congress  to bring the country down on its economic knees. I feel as though those tea party republicans are enemy combatants attempting to destroy our nation.  They must be treated as such.

If Boehner loves his country more than his speakership  , then he must do what is right, ignore the Hastert rule (which is suspiciously undemocratic in the first place) and bring two important votes to the floor.   We have run out of time.

If Boehner does not,  the President must draw from the various amendments to place an emergency measure in place and by-pass the normal channels.   The bills must be paid.


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About the National Parks…

doi logo Lots of folks are moaning and groaning about the national parks and monuments being closed, in particular, the ones on the Mall.   I am friends with some of those people and I am related to some of them.   I think everyone is thinking locally and not looking at the big  national picture. All over the nation, little towns exist because of the national parks.  Springdale, Utah springs to mind, right outside of Zion National Park.  The entire town is there for tourists.  Moab, Utah is another town that exists for Arches National Park.  Packwood, Washington caters to those visiting Mt. Rainier from the south of the mountain.  No one would go to Packwood unless they had to get to Mt. Rainier.

Towns like Kitty Hawk, NC will survive with or without the First Flight National Monument being open.  It isn’t a one-horse town and has many other attractions.  What about Acadia National Park in Maine?   Mt. Desert depends on the NP.  How about those little towns and hamlets that exist for Death Valley?  What on earth will attract anyone to the area?  The Grand Canyon is not near anything.  The people in the area are there because of the Grand Canyon.  The community has one thing in common.

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Krauthammer: Where is Ted Cruz now? Where are the generals?

Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer continued his criticism of Sen.  Ted Cruz on Thursday, asking, “Where is he now?”

“How exactly was he going to achieve abolition of Obamacare? Explain that to  me. Has he ever explained it? And where is he now?” Krauthammer said on “The  Laura Ingraham Show.”

Krauthammer, who has previously hit Cruz (R-Texas) on the  strategy of shutdown to defund Obamacare, included Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in his  questioning and said the two went home to “have lunch.”

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Saved by the shutdown?

zoo closed

Washingtonpost: (Ezra Kline)

The case was nicely made by Alec Philips of Goldman Sachs. “If a shutdown occurs, we would be surprised if congressional Republicans would want to risk another difficult situation only a couple of weeks later,” he wrote. “The upshot is that while a shutdown would be unnecessarily disruptive, it might actually ease passage of a debt limit increase.”

The idea was that if House Republicans got their shutdown Oct.1, they would be feeling enough political pain by Oct. 17 that they wouldn’t dare add to it by breaching the debt ceiling. And that’s exactly what happened.

Ezra Kline predicted this phenomena a week or so ago.  It has come to pass.   The Congressional Republicans are now feeling the heat with a 24% approval rating.  The tea party(ies) are feeling even worse pain with an only 21% approval rating.  It doesn’t look like they are going to be primarying anyone.

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Some GOP house members scrambling for fallback strategy

Key GOP figures on Wednesday sent their clearest signals that they are abandoning their bid to immediately stop the federal health-care law — the issue that forced the government to shut down — and are scrambling for a fallback strategy.

Republican Party leaders, activists and donors now widely acknowledge that the effort to kill President Obama’s signature initiative by hitting the brakes on the government has been a failure. The law has largely disappeared from their calculus as they look for a way out of the impasse over the shutdown and for a way to avoid a possible default on U.S. debt.

Instead, they are regrouping for a longer battle over the health-care law. They also are trying to refocus the upcoming debt-ceiling showdown on fiscal issues, including entitlements and tax reform.

The strategy to defund the Affordable Care Act “needed a Plan B, and its authors, if they had one, didn’t share what it was,” said Heather R. Higgins, head of the Independent Women’s Forum and founder of a coalition of conservative groups seeking repeal of the health-care law.

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The Shutdown: What its all costing America

These figures are staggering and so avoidable. The economy is bleeding money. Republicans in Congress–all we need to do is to pass a clean CR. You can avoid all of this. The Democrats have already agreed to hold their noses and accept the sequestration figures reflected in the CR.. That’s a pretty big compromise.

Tea party republicans, stop wasting the American taxpayers hard earned cash.

To John Boehner–Do the math! The votes are there!

Good for those who have said they will vote YES for a clean CR!  Both my congressman, Rob Wittman and Elena’s congressman, Frank Wolf have stated they are now willing to send that clean CR.  It only will take 217 votes to reopen the government today.  Congressman Bill Young, one of my favorites, has also said yes to the clean CR.

From looking at the math, it appears that John Boehner is simply not being truthful  He does have the votes if he adds the republicans noted in the video  to the 195 definite democratic yeses,.  Boehner, do the math!

This has really gone on too long.  Today the VA regional offices will shut down because of additional furloughs.  Furthermore, we are only 9 days away from the debt ceiling deadline.  The debt ceiling issue absolutely must be resolved. The nation’s economy is at risk.  This is not a game of chicken and it cannot be treated like a game.

I would encourage the President to simply bypass congress and do what is necessary to keep our nation afloat.  We can’t allow juvenile delinquents to bring this nation to its knees.

Faux News: Liar Liar Pants on FIRE!!

UFB! So it’s free to keep all the land open? Maybe the Faux and Friends would like to volunteer to fund the electric bills, the trash pick up, as well as grounds upkeep, toilet paper and soap, and house keeping bills? I guess in Fauxland, these things are all free.

The free lie wasn’t the biggest lie, however. The mother of all lies was told by Anna Kooiman last Saturday about the President. She repeated a satire saying the President Obama was paying for a Muslim center to remain open with his own money. How absurd! Liar Liar Pants on fire. The story was told in a satirical online website, National Report. Just one quick glance at the site tells you that it is satirical. It was like falling for something you read in The Onion.

Kooiman later retracted her statement in a twitter the next day and Faux News will retract the remarks this Saturday, October 12, after every dim-wit in America has heard it and repeated it. How irresponsible.

Lies and gossip are like feathers from a split pillow. You can never stuff them all back in. That’s the reason to be as accurate as possible and when you aren’t, quickly take corrective measures. We all make mistakes. Anna Kooiman shouldn’t have been so quick to repeat a rather unbelievable story without checking her sources.

Self-Immolation on the Mall

Just when you thought things couldn’t get more bizarre, on Friday a man doused himself with gasoline right there on the mall and set himself on fire. Just the thought of the act brings back bad flashbacks to the Vietnam War era where Buddhist monks set themselves on fire during the Vietnamese Ngo Dinh Diem regime .  That was a rather horrifying form of protest and also where the term ‘self-immolation’ evolved.

We don’t know much about Friday’s incident.  It more or less got buried in the midst of shutdown news.  Perhaps we have just become desensitized by recent events.  We also aren’t hearing a strong debate over the fact that law enforcement in DC shot and killed an unarmed woman with a child in the car, putting passersby, tourists, and federal employees at risk of being caught in the crossfire.

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Rep. Neugebauer berates park service ranger for doing her job

Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) also told the park ranger that she should be ashamed of herself. Where do these arrogant sons of bitches get off going out and bullying federal employees who are probably working without pay? These employees don’t make enough when they ARE being paid to put up with the bullshit from these self-serving egotists. Neugebauer obviously has disdain for the rank and file federal employee, as his demeanor shows.

This man should be hung permanently in the Bad Congressman Hall of Shame. He is a disgrace to the office he holds and should immediately apologize to all federal employees. He also needs to stop blaming Harry Reid. The budget originates in the House. Rep. Randy Neugebauer knows what needs to be done to fund the government. He is lying to himself and to all of us. He needs to take much of the blame on himself.

Neugebauer is also a birther. I am sure he had plenty to say about blaming President Obama also. It just wasn’t captured on the video. Why is he even down at the WWII Memorial? It’s obvious that he is grandstanding and stirring up trouble. Perhaps he misses the irony that President Barack Obama’s maternal grandfather was a WWII veteran who sserved under General Patton. The WWII Memorial should not become a the new gathering place for banana republicans who want to continue to stamp their brand on the site. They are not worthy.

Treasury: Just the expectation of default harms economy

New York Times:

The debt-limit impasse could cause credit markets to freeze, the dollar to plummet and interest rates to rise precipitously, the Treasury Department said in a report released Thursday. A default might prove catastrophic, the report said, and could potentially result “in a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse.”

“As we saw two years ago, prolonged uncertainty over whether our nation will pay its bills in full and on time hurts our economy,” said Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew in a statement urging lawmakers to act. “Postponing a debt ceiling increase to the very last minute is exactly what our economy does not need – a self-inflicted wound harming families and businesses.”

The report shows that the Congressional debt-limit standoff in 2011 hurt consumer confidence, small business confidence, household wealth and the stock market, with ramifications for lending and the economic recovery.

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