Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Your Republican Congress At Work


“We don’t have time to wait.” 

CHILDREN WITH CANCER are being turned away from life-saving clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health due to the GOP Shutdown. 


 SIGN our petition if you think Congress should NOT get paid while more and more innocent Americans suffer the consequences of their own inaction. 

 Government shutdown forces clinical trial patients to wait


UPDATE from the Atlantic:

"To people who follow politics these two facts are obvious. But they're not part of most "tragedy of gridlock" false-equivalence stories, and I believe they would come as news to most of the public. 

The two facts are: 

 1. If the House of Representatives voted on a "clean" budget bill -- one that opened up the closed federal offices but did not attempt to defund the Obama health care program -- that bill would pass, and the shutdown would be over. Nearly all Democrats would vote for it, as would enough Republicans to end the shutdown and its related damage. (And of course it would pass has already passed the Senate, repeatedly, unless the minority dared filibuster it, and would be signed by the president.) For illustrations of the wanton damage, see here and here. 

 2. So far House Speaker John Boehner has refused to let this vote occur. 

His Tea Party contingent knows how the vote would go and therefore does not want it to happen; and such is Boehner's fear of them, and fear for his job as Speaker, that he will not let it take place. 

These two points are why the normal D.C.-poohbah moanings about the need for compromise do not apply. 

The Democratic administration, and a sufficient number of Republicans, already agree and are ready enough to compromise to solve this problem. 

If the normal machinery of democracy were allowed to work, the manufactured crisis would be over. 

The only reason the senseless damage is being done is that hostage-takers have terrorized members of their own party."


Flying Junior said...

I watched Barbara Boxer just a day or so before the shutdown more or less explaining everything that had led up to the current crisis, including a bill she had introduced in January that would have prevented congress critters from being paid in just this type of situation. Unfortunately, the reason that this law could not be implemented had something to do with the twenty-seventh amendment which states that salaries for our beloved members of congress could not be changed in-between sessions of congress. Someone tried to introduce a bill which would have declared legislators as non-essential employees, (what could be more true than that?!) thusly making it possible to furlough them. Happily, some republican females with a conscience have joined the handful of democrats who have refused to accept any pay during the government shutdown.

Dave Miller said...

What I've heard few GOP supporters mention is that the budget amount the Obama is standing firm on is essentially the amount the Rep Ryan said we needed financially to put us on a path to fiscal responsibility.

It is a number significantly below the amount the Obama Admin originally wanted for the 2014 budget.

As the Dems have accepted essentially the GOP budget numbers, we must ask why the GOP is now unwilling to accept their own budgetary requests.

Is it possible this is about more than just the budget?

Me thinks so...

Anonymous said...

This shutdown is so bad...

...the NSA only has enough money and manpower to spy on half the American people.

FreeThinke said...

Children with cancer are not being served at NIH for one reason only: HARRY REID prefers to throw his scrawny, bantam weight around for partisan political purposes rather than permit REPUBLICAN initiatives to fund vital SECTORS of the government.

Ergo it is the PRESIDENT and the DEMOCRATIC leadership in congress that is depriving these child victims of the care they desperately need.

And Democrats DARE to call a handful of stalwart REPUBLICANS all sorts of names for standing up for the PRINCIPLES they believe in.

This nothing but a childish game of CHICKEN that has turned vicious.

That the organization that ostentatiously trumpets itself as The Party of the Poor, the Downtrodden, the Underprivileged, the Disadvantaged, the Crippled, the Maimed, the Disaffected, the Deranged, the Dysfunctional, the Duped and the Damned has insolently REFUSED to do the decent thing and provide for LIMITED areas of government that actually DO some GOOD to bully the nation into accepting their purely PARTISAN agenda is not only cruel, it is stupid, immoral and damnably self-serving.


TWO can play the wretched game YOU guys have devised.

The untimely, unnecessary death of those child cancer-patients will be STRICTLY on the DEMOCRATS' head, if and when it occurs.

I have never seen anything as willful, spiteful, arrogant, short-sighted, self-serving, and utterly BIGOTED as President Obama and the Democratically-controlled US Senate.

Rational Nation USA said...

oh my, the sinister and nefarious motives of the congress critters. or termites if you prefer.

Shaw Kenawe said...

I'm sorry, Mr. Free Thinke, but your explanation is not correct.

This crisis is wholly the GOP's fault. The spitefulness is wholly on the side of the GOP.

Dave Miller explained that Mr. Obama and the Democrats COMPROMISED and accepted THE GOP's budget numbers. President Obama and the Democrats met the GOP MORE THAN HALF WAY.

You're diatribe would have some meaning if you could explain to everyone here why the GOP did not accept its own budget.

Can you do that?

The "principles" you believe the extortionists in the GOP are standing up for are principles that come more from Whitey Bulger's Winter Hill gang than from a principled body of law makers.

No matter how much yelling those who support the TeaPublicans do, it cannot change facts.

"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Shaw Kenawe said...

The World of False Equivalency is Over:

Ezra Klein: How much of this is a Boehner problem and how much of this is a House Republicans problem?...

Robert Costa: What we're seeing is the collapse of institutional Republican power.... And so many of these [new House] members now live in the conservative world of talk radio and tea party conventions and Fox News invitations. And so the conservative strategy of the moment, no matter how unrealistic it might be, catches fire. The members begin to believe they can achieve things in divided government that most objective observers would believe is impossible...

{Like extorting the President of the United States into delaying a health care LAW that will help millions and millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans.)

Klein: How do House Republicans end up convincing themselves of unrealistic plans, particularly when they’ve seen them fail before, and when respected voices in the Republican and even conservative establishment are warning against them?

Costa: When you get the members off the talking points you come to a simple conclusion: They don't face consequences for taking these hardline positions. When you hear members talk candidly about their biggest victory, it wasn’t winning the House in 2010. It was winning the state legislatures in 2010 because they were able to redraw their districts so they had many more conservative voters. The members get heat from the press but they don't get heat from back home.


Shaw Kenawe said...

(CONT. from The Atlantic article)

"Just three days ago, this same editorial board (Washington Post) delivered what I think, and now dare hope, will stand as a lasting marker of Peak False-Equivalence thinking. It lamented the impending showdown, said that hardliners on all side were to blame, and built to this conclusion:

Ultimately, the grown-ups in the room will have to do their jobs, which in a democracy with divided government means compromising for the common good.

Today the same "The Post's View" editorialists for the same paper address the same topic in a distinctly different frame of mind. It begins thus:

Along the way it makes observations like this:

House Republicans Are Failing Americans in Their Effort to Kill Obamacare


Republicans have shut much of the government in what they had to know was a doomed effort to derail the Affordable Care Act. That law, in case you've forgotten in the torrent of propaganda, is hardly revolutionary. It is an effort to extend health insurance to some of the 40 million or so people in this country who have none. It acts through the existing private-insurance market. Republicans tried to block its passage and failed; they hoped to have it declared unconstitutional and failed; and they did their best to toss Mr. Obama out of the White House after one term in order to strangle it in its cradle, and they failed again.

They’re entitled to keep trying, of course — though it would be nice if someday they remembered their promise to come up with an alternative proposal. But their methods now are beyond the pale."

No, Mr. Free Thinke, you're wrong. You refuse to see what reality is, and I'm sorry to say, there's not a lot anyone can do to help you.

Mr. Obama campaigned in 2007 and 2008 on the promise to bring health care reform to America. He won over the GOP candidate. Mr. Obama passed health care reform. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled it constitutional. Mitt Romney PROMISED to repeal Obamacare on the first day of his term of office if he were elected. HE LOST.

To continue to rail against the democratic process; to demonized that process and the American people for electing TWICE Mr. Obama is more of a symptom of the wilfull inability to accept how this country works.

I'm afraid you and folks like Ted Cruz are on the wrong side of history on this.

Proud Liberal Christian said...

Ya gotta laugh at the delicate feelings of the Tea party people--they call people who support a woman's right to choose "baby killers." Now that theyre being blamed for hurting kids with cancer they dont like it? If they don't like it they should of thought about that before they closed the government.

Anyone who is hurt by this can put the blame on the creeps in the Rethuglican party.

FreeThinke said...

No matter how much yelling those who support the TeaPublicans do, it cannot change facts.

RORSCHACH, Madam! The EXACT same thing can -- and SHOULD -- be said of The Other Side.

Facts may be stubborn things, as indeed they are, but slated facts may be artfully selected from everything else that bears on a particular situation, ad thus be used to promote a false impression. The practice of using "facts" to obscure the TRUTH is as old as Sin, itself.

I know full well what "WE" are trying to do, just as I know what "YOU" are doing.

The difference between us is that "YOU" cannot see yourselves as others see you.

"WE" know who "WE" are, so "YOUR" relentless efforts to mischaracterize "US" strictly for "YOUR" political advantage, are as dishonest as they are unacceptable.

All we're doing here is yelling at each other -- a practice I deplore. I've said my piece. I didn't expect to win any converts, and so -- not wanting to be a bloody nuisance or give myself a migraine headache -- I shall withdraw, and leave you to enjoy your partisan orgy of libel and sanctimonious pretension to virtue. ;-)

I do thank you for permitting me to participate here. I think it's a great credit to you, Ms Shaw, that you allow remarks that neither accept nor flatter your point of view is commendable. Not many leftist sites will tolerate opposing views.

In the interests of politeness I shall make every effort not to be redundant and overbearing in stating my case.

It has never occurred to me that your motives are impure or insincere, Ma'am. I only wish I could say the same for your leaders.

FreeThinke said...

Sorry! I thought I had said "SELECTED" facts not "slated" ones above. My typing is deteriorating along with my eyesight as arthritis gains ground.

Do wish Blogger would give us an "EDIT" function! I hate slovenliness.

George Whyte, August 2013 said...

This explains the Tea Party in a nutshell:

"“We’re not going to be disrespected,” he told the Washington Examiner's David Drucker. “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

Stutzman is right. The fight over the shutdown has become unmoored from any particular policy demands the GOP believes it can secure. It's become an issue of pride and politics. At this point, Republicans simply need something so they can tell themselves, and their base, that they didn't lose. They don't know what that something is, exactly. But it needs to be something."

Shaw Kenawe said...

More on "stubborn facts:"

"Bill O'Reilly got politely but firmly put in his place by Fox News colleague James Rosen on Wednesday's "O'Reilly Factor."

O'Reilly was talking about how Obamacare was already "falling apart," when Rosen interrupted him to say, "that's not clear, Bill."

O'Reilly said he would give Rosen a chance to make his case.

"What I'm about to say to you, Bill, does not require me either to endorse or condemn Obamacare," Rosen said. "I'm just going to traffic in facts with you for a moment here."

He went on to say that all major programs required changes, so it was "premature" to say the health care law wasn't working when it had just started.

O'Reilly, of course, disagreed."

O'Reilly, better known as "O'Liely" never met a fact he couldn't ignore.

Dave Miller said...

Free, in accepting the GOP budget numbers, well below their desires, do you think the Dems have compromised at all on this?

I Support Obama said...

Re: Shaw said Free Thinke is on wrong side of history. Here's some quote by conservatives about Medicare. And more proof of the GOP always being on wrong side of history:

"I was there, fighting the fight, one of twelve, voting against Medicare, because we knew it wouldn't work in 1965." - Sen. Bob Dole

"Now we didn't get rid of it in round one because we didn't think it politically smart ... But we believe (Medicare) is going to wither on the vine." - House Speaker Newt Gingrich

"Medicare has no place in a free world. Social Security is a rotten trick ... I think we're going to have to bite the bullet on Social Security and phase it out over time." - House Majority Leader Dick Armey

Would Free give up his Medicare and S.S. to prove how awful they have served him?

Repubs have always hated the idea of the social contract we Americans have with each other. And they've always been wrong.

Anonymous said...

"The World of False Equivalency is Over"

Such haughty and naive pronouncements make me laugh.

Here's a fact:

The GOP-controlled house has passed a bill to open the NIH.

Will President Obama and the Senate Democrats save the children with cancer and pass this bill?

Shaw Kenawe said...

Are you joking, Anon@10:07?

After holding a gun to America's head, the Extortionist Party is going to rethink funding for children with cancer after the rotten publicity they got and deserve?

They didn't think of that before they shut down the NIH, did they? Who else will suffer? Will the Extortionist Party then fund them too so their reputation is saved?

Government by piecemeal funding because the Extortionist Party is getting a bad rap all over America and the world is stupid. Didn't Gov. Jindal tell the Extortionist Party to stop being the Stupid Party?

Stupid is as stupid does. The Extortionist Party has dug its hole--all the way to Hell.

It's too late to try to "undamage" their colossally damaged image.

skudrunner said...


We also need to ask why the president said bring me something and then turns around and says he will not negotiate.

Seems to be somewhat of a double speak. This has nothing to do with the budget but only about political posturing and with the support of the MSM the democrats are winning.

Too bad neither party gives a crap about the will of the American people.

If the republicans would just leave obamacare alone, it would implode on it's own but they are just trying to stand up for the vast majority of Americans who are against the back room crooked dealings that lead to Obamacare.
Long way till Nov 2014 and two people I know said Obamacare will cost them more than double their current individual policy, which got cancelled yesterday.

Shaw Kenawe said...

I'll leave skudrunner's lies up long enough to be ridiculed. He's a perfect example of the willfully blind partisan hoping that repeating lies often will make them into facts.

His kind will have a cold hard reckoning when they wake up and discover they've been deceived by their own party bosses into believing the horsepuckey he leaves here for us to clean up.l

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

The same belligerent bombast issuing from Tea Party rabble in Congress – the same stale talking points, the same spin at high RPM, and the same galvanic muscle twitch elicited from dead frogs on a dissecting tray.

The rest of my comment here at 8:41 AM.

Shaw Kenawe said...

This hits the "orange nail" [aka as Boner] on the head as well as destroys what Anon@10:07 wrote:

"Having let down the public, Republicans will now, inevitably, scramble to save their reputation.

They are desperate to make it appear as if President Obama and the Democrats are the ones being intransigent, hoping voters will think that everyone is at fault and simply blame “Washington.”

Mr. Boehner even mocked the president on Monday for refusing to negotiate over health reform, as if he actually expected Mr. Obama to join in wrecking a law that will provide health coverage to millions of uninsured Americans under threat of blackmail.

On Tuesday, Republicans came up with another self-serving offer, proposing to open a few government departments whose closures are likely to produce negative news coverage, such as Veterans Affairs and the national parks.

Democrats quickly made it clear that only a full reopening of government would suffice, and three of the bills died in the House. More are expected, however.

Earlier in his presidency, Mr. Obama made the catastrophic mistake — in the face of just this sort of extortion — to believe in Mr. Boehner’s willingness to be reasonable. This time, however, the cynical games of the Republicans are not going to work.

The Republicans’ reckless obsession with destroying health reform and with wounding the president has been on full display. And, as the public’s anger grows over this entirely unnecessary crisis, it should be aimed at a party and a speaker that are incapable of governing."

Anonymous said...

"They didn't think of that before they shut down the NIH, did they? Who else will suffer? Will the Extortionist Party then fund them too so their reputation is saved?"


That's what I thought. The Democrats would rather see children with cancer locked out of the hospital and hang it around the GOP's neck.

At least we have it clear now: The Democrats don't really care about the children. It's all about politics and propaganda. Were it on, the dems would pass the bill and return to fighting over the rest.

Thank you for clearing that up.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Here’s another perspective:

Everyone knows that in a hostage situation, the reckless and amoral actor has the negotiating upper hand over the cautious and responsible actor because the latter is actually concerned about the life of the hostage, while the former does not care” [Mike Lofgren, a former GOP staffer with inside knowledge of GOP shenanigans].

The American public sees it too, and no amount of partisan bull, spin, and anonymous trolling will change this fact.

Shaw Kenawe said...


What you have written is foolish.

You may deceive yourself, but not people who can see through your feeble attempt to transfer blame from the Extortionist Party to the Democrats.

What was it Bobby Jindal said you have to stop being...?

Anonymous said...

>> All we're doing here is yelling at each other -- a practice I deplore. I've said my piece. I didn't expect to win any converts, and so -- not wanting to be a bloody nuisance or give myself a migraine headache -- I shall withdraw, and leave you to enjoy your partisan orgy of libel and sanctimonious pretension to virtue. <<

That fellow FT is nothing if not eloquent. I don't think I've ever seen anyone sum up the essence of so many thousands of wasted words more succinctly. BRAVO, FT! Your talents are too great for places like this. You ought to have your own network.

Jemima Puddleduck

Anonymous said...

Frank Schaeffer:

"Don't like the shutdown? Send the bill to the evangelicals. People schooled to live in a make-believe magical facts-be-damned world took over the Republican Party.

The Tea Party is the pro-life evangelical subculture reborn with a few libertarian nuts thrown in.

I'm talking about the bedrock mostly southern and mountain state evangelical conservatives that are anything but conservative.

The pro-life, home-school, anti-government far right is the evangelical movement. And it's radically anti American. Without this movement the 40 extremists in congress who are the radical right of the far right would not have been elected."

Anonymous said...

"You may deceive yourself, but not people who can see through your feeble attempt to transfer blame from the Extortionist Party to the Democrats."


It's no transfer. The GOP is still to blame, but we cannot ignore the Democrats' complicity.

The Democrats, by refusing to pass the bill to reopen NIH, have now joined the republicans in slamming the door on children with cancer.

All in the name of partisan politics. If both parties don't make you sick, you're only half paying attention.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"The Democrats, by refusing to pass the bill to reopen NIH, have now joined the republicans in slamming the door on children with cancer."


Your attempts to place any blame on the Democrats will not succeed. The minority of a minority created this mess; they own it.

It is not the Democrats' job to bail then out of their stupidity. If they hadn't shut down the government in the first place children with cancer wouldn't have been placed in peril.

So, if the Democrats bail the stupid minority of a minority out of their insane position, which of the other shut downs will the Democrats have to rescue from the minority of a minority's idiocy?

"All in the name of partisan politics. If both parties don't make you sick, you're only half paying attention."

Oh I am paying attention, as are the American people, who by a whopping 72% do NOT approve of the Republican shut down.

There's no equivalency on this one, try as you may, Anon, to spin it that way.

Anonymous said...

"It is not the Democrats' job to bail then out of their stupidity"


So, since the republicans have committed a stupidity, the Democrats will leave Children with cancer locked out. Sounds like District of Criminals bipartisan politics as usual.

This proves it: It's not about the children, it's about scoring political points.

If only a couple of those kids could die on the steps of the NIH, the democrats would enjoy a bountiful propaganda coup.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Anon, who's paying you to come here and defend the people who caused the shut down, who realized cutting funds for children's cancer care was a rotten thing to do, and who now want to shift the blame to the Democrats?

Maybe this will explain your dedication to that fool's errand:

Republicans] ran a version of this play after the sequestration order went out earlier this year. They pushed for special flexibility for the FAA, so that business travelers wouldn’t be inconvenienced by flight delays and Dems gave it to them.

It was an error. In so doing, they placated a powerful lobby they could have marshaled to rescind all of the cuts. Poor people had no such recourse, and sequestration continues to harm the programs they rely on to this day.

Democrats aren’t falling for it this time. They passed a bill to secure military pay, but have so far rejected all other piecemeal shutdown fixes.

Not because they’re craven or want the shutdown, and not even really because they care about the principle of equal treatment, though I suppose they do.

Democrats aren’t letting Republicans make the shutdown they caused painless for themselves to endure. And that’s set off a massive fight for narrative control.

Who’s really pro-shutdown, if Republicans are at least trying to open parts of it? Republicans want to enlist the press
[and commenters like Anonymous] in its campaign to flip the script on Democrats.

No, Anon, it's not "scoring points." If the GOP wants to save the children, all they have to do is vote for a clean CR. That's it. The votes are there. That's it.

I'm done with crazy people doing crazy stupid destructive things and then telling everyone they can that it's someone else's fault.

Anonymous said...

I have already stated that the Gop is to blame. And now, so are the democrats:

Pressed further if Reid would move legislation if it meant helping even one child, the Nevada Democrat grew more irate.

"Why would we want to do that?"

Indeed. Why would the democrats want to do that? All politics, all the time. Children with cancer are just propaganda props.

Anonymous said...

Shaw Kenawe said...

"Pressed further if Reid would move legislation if it meant helping even one child, the Nevada Democrat grew more irate.

"Why would we want to do that?"

Indeed. Why would the democrats want to do that? All politics, all the time. Children with cancer are just propaganda props"

I already saw that earlier and heard how quickly the rightwingers would jump on that soundbite to make their point. Sorry. That won't work here. I know what Reid was referring to when he said "Why would we want to do "that."

He was referring to bailing out the Republicans for their disastrous choice of shutting down the government and then expecting to make up for their stupidity by funding piecemeal whatever would make them look "compassionate."

Pass the clean CR and their catastrophe will end. The votes are there. But Boner is a coward.

Make a circus of misconstruing what Reid said if it makes you feel superior.

It is all so predictable.

Anonymous said...

Result: Children with cancer are locked out. Started by republican intransigence, continued to be locked out by Democrat political posturing.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Just as House Republicans maximized the political value of standing with veterans at war memorials on Wednesday morning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid provided conservatives with another talking point in the hearts and minds battle to convince America that Democrats are the shutdown villains after all. Reid, asked about a bill to fund the National Institutes of Health, including clinical trials for kids with cancer, Reid responded, "Why would we want to do that?" Within minutes, Reid became a kids-hating villain as the remarks circulated widely.

First, some context: Reid, in a press conference on Wednesday, was addressing a series of bills proposed by the House Republicans to fund the parts of the government that everyone likes, instead of passing a "clean" resolution to keep funding the whole government without conditions, reopening the entire government. Those "mini" bills would fund parks and other D.C. attractions, veterans, the basic ability of Washington D.C. to use its own money, kids with cancer and other research projects at the National Institutes of Heath, and the National Guard.

They face a veto from President Obama and a certain rejection in the Senate, because Democrats have declined to negotiate on the budget until the "clean" CR passes. Reid is worked up about the "mini" bills.

For one thing, they're smart ways for Republicans to record Democratic votes against popular, vulnerable people — despite the fact that reopening the government would also support those same things, often with more funding.

Enough, Anon. Trying to place blame on the Harry Reid or anyone else but the true culprits ain't gonna work here.

Anonymous said...

It made you do a lot of bold face typing.


Shaw Kenawe said...

I like BOLD.

okjimm said...

Anonymous said...
'Result: Children with cancer are locked out. Started by republican intransigence, continued to be locked out by Democrat political posturing.'

well, if that isn't the most asinine statement I have ever heard.
Let's see....Republicans, specially the far right of the moon ones, have repeatedly said that they 'want to shut down the government. And, by their inaction, they have done select few want to make exceptions, like...oh, National Parks, and Veteran Museums, and Cancer care for children,and ohohoh...the Ronald Reagan library....and maybe that nifty little cafe in congress where they get subsidized Freedom Fries and other good stuff.

They really do not know what they are doing. It becomes more apparent daily. Sitting down with a losing hand.....they want new cards. They cannot win. Pass the goddam budget and then....use the correct methods to correct what needs correction. No doubt he Affordable Care Act will need some tweeking and changes. No
doubt about it at all. Get to work....if you do not know how to do the job you were elected to do, and did not read the manual, get the fck out of congress. It is not that complicated. oh oh oh.....irregarless of what some righties think.

Rational Nation USA said...

It never works on truly partisan sights. Regardless of the circumstances.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"...irregardless of what some righties think."