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[VIDEO] REWIND 2013: Maxine Waters Confirms ‘Big Brother’ Database 

“The President has put in place an organization with the kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life. That’s going to be very, very powerful.”

Representative Maxine Waters told Roland Martin on Monday.

“That database will have information about everything on every individual on ways that it’s never been done before and whoever runs for President on the Democratic ticket has to deal with that. They’re going to go down with that database and the concerns of those people because they can’t get around it.”

“…And he’s [President Obama] been very smart. It’s very powerful what he’s leaving in place.”

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How Democrats’ ‘Shutdown Theater’ Works

obama-exhaust

 writes:

.Here’s how the shutdown weapon works. The president and his Democratic allies in Congress dictate their priorities on the budget and spending. If Republicans don’t go along, if they pass a budget that doesn’t spend as much as the president wants, Democrats use the filibuster and the veto to block the budget and shut down government. They then use “shutdown theater”—things like erecting barriers around public monuments that require no federal money to stay open—to make this seem like a bigger crisis than it is, and they depend on the press to put all the blame on Republicans. The House GOP, seeing the public approval of Republicans taking a hit, backs down. That’s how the last two Democratic presidents have used the shutdown to beat a hostile Congress into submission.

Democracy isn’t a machine — it’s a dance. Americans have some recourse against Obama’s shutdown theater.

Democracy isn’t a machine — it’s a dance. Americans have some recourse against Obama’s shutdown theater.

So long as Obama and the Democrats can use a government shutdown as a credible threat, they neutralize House Republicans’ power of the purse. And so long as that’s the case, the House GOP can’t do anything substantial. They’re reduced to pleading, “We can’t do anything until we have the Senate,” and then, “We can’t do anything until we have the presidency.” And eventually the Republican base and the Tea Party types get fed up and conclude that Republican leaders never really wanted to do anything in the first place, that they’re just marking time before they can go to K Street or Wall Street and cash out. (Which is partly correct.)

John Carano, 65, walks on a trail at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, in Valley View, Ohio. The impacts of the federal shutdown began rippling across Ohio on Tuesday morning, with a national military museum and national park closing and thousands of federal employees going on furlough. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

The House GOP needed to find a good opportunity to go to the matt on the government shutdown and force Democrats to compromise. If they had done that, they could have used budget negotiations to get at least some of what the base wanted, instead of caving in all the time…(read more)

Source: The Real House Leadership Crisis – TheFederalist.com


Michael Barone: How Effective Was John Boehner As Speaker? 

Michael BaroneBarone-3 writes: Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics provides more detail and argument in support of the proposition, advanced in my own initial reflections, that John Boehner was an effective speaker of the House — from a conservative boehner-verticalpoint of view. First, Trende shows that federal spending has been held down more sharply during Boehner’s tenure as speaker than at just about any other time since World War II. That five-year tenure included five years of a Democratic president and four years of a Democratic-majority Senate.

Second, Trende shows that the October 2013 government shutdown, a model admired by many and perhaps all of Boehner’s critics, was electorally disastrous for Republicans.

I suspect many of Boehner’s critics are simply unfamiliar with these numbers, just like the great majority of citizens. The hold-down of federal spending was accomplished by the sequester procedure which has stayed in place now for four years. It’s not the optimal way to form a budget. But if your goal is holding down spending — and reducing spending from 25 percent of GDP to 20 percent — then the sequester has been very effective, and so has Boehner.

[Read the full text here, at the Washington Examiner]

In listening to Boehner critics, I have the sense they do not understand or appreciate this at all. Similarly, on the shutdown I hear from them a bland assurance that Republicans won a House majority in November 2014, so the shutdown in October 2013 was not a political liability. Take a look at the chart Trende presents, and see if you don’t conclude, as I do, that that’s political wishful thinking. Read the rest of this entry »


The Ratchet Effect  

John Boehner

John Boehner’s successor inherits a diminished role.

Kevin D. Williamson writes:

…The plot of the Shakespearean succession drama is fixed as the stars: The entertainment wing of the conservative movement prepares to rain brimstone upon Republican whip Kevin McCarthy, the presumptive front-runner among House leaders, or Paul Ryan, a conservative hero until the day before yesterday now cast into the outer darkness for various heresies related to his being an elected lawmaker rather than the host of a radio program.

“Due in part to the massive shift in power away from the most accountable representatives of the people to a president and five judges, we have needed leadership with vision for the future that did not continue the downhill slide.”

— Representative Louie Gohmert

Expect Louie Gohmert or another conservative standard-bearer to shine for a moment before opinion settles on some disappointment or another, and expect the vast majority of the American electorate to go on not knowing who the speaker is or what he does regardless of who is elected.

“The waxing of the president and the consequent waning of Congress is a result of the deep psychological structure of mass democracy on the American scale, probably an inevitable one.”

On the subject of Representative Gohmert, his statement following the speaker’s resignation is on point: “Due in part to the massive shift in power away from the most accountable representatives of the people to a president and five judges, we have needed leadership with vision for the future that did not continue the downhill slide.”

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“…these United States are in the process of transforming the form of their union government from that of a democratic republic to that of a unitary autocratic administrative state. Barack Obama and other progressives have hastened that transformation in no small part because they consider the American constitutional order in purely instrumental terms rather than as a good in and of itself.”

As Gohmert notes without quite saying so, these United States are in the process of transforming the form of their union government from that of a democratic republic to that of a unitary autocratic administrative state. Barack Obama and other progressives have hastened that transformation in no small part because they consider the American constitutional order in purely instrumental terms rather than as a good in and of itself. Sometimes the constitutional order serves progressive ends and sometimes it constrains them, which is why President Wilson despised the Constitution and President Obama simply ignores it when he believes it necessary, adopting as he has — with rather less fuss than one might have expected — a Gaullist rule-by-decree model.

wilson

“Sometimes the constitutional order serves progressive ends and sometimes it constrains them, which is why President Wilson despised the Constitution and President Obama simply ignores it when he believes it necessary, adopting as he has — with rather less fuss than one might have expected — a Gaullist rule-by-decree model.”

The familiar ratchet effect is in operation: The Left in power expands the state, particularly the executive, and the Right in power does not reverse the turn, in part because conservative politicians like power, too, in part because reversing those expansions is difficult, and in part because even if conservatives win the fight there’s not much juice in it.

[Read the full text of Kevin D. Williamson‘s article here, at National Review Online]

As my colleague Charles C. W. Cooke points out, the lack of an American king and an American prime minister has not prevented the traditional English contest between crown and parliament from sneaking into American politics. And the crown is winning.

snap-ons-quick-release-ratchets-fr936-and-sr936-are-versatile-and-p

“The familiar ratchet effect is in operation: The Left in power expands the state, particularly the executive, and the Right in power does not reverse the turn, in part because conservative politicians like power, too, in part because reversing those expansions is difficult, and in part because even if conservatives win the fight there’s not much juice in it.”

This isn’t only a matter of executive opportunism and legislative sloth. The waxing of the president and the consequent waning of Congress is a result of the deep psychological structure of mass democracy on the American scale, probably an inevitable one. Read the rest of this entry »


White Flag: Boehner Resigning in October 

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Joel Gehrke reports: House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) announced today that he is resigning at the end of next month.

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“Boehner resigning at end of October,” a Republican representative texted National Review from the House conference meeting. A second congressman confirmed the news.

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Boehner has been under pressure from a group of rank-and-file conservatives for months, culminating in the House Freedom Caucus vowing not to vote for any continuing resolution to fund the government that contains money for Planned Parenthood. That pledge came after an HFC member, North Carolina Representative Mark Meadows, filed a motion to vacate the chair — that is, depose the speaker — in August.

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Boehner considered holding a vote on the motion, according to one House Republican familiar with his thinking, but did not do so out of concern that he would not have the support needed to defeat the motion outright.

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Boehner intended to resign at the end of the last Congress, but changed plans after then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) lost his primary. Read the rest of this entry »


THE PARTY OF NO: Top Senate Dem Threatens To Shut Down Government

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Read it here, at National Review Online

Joel Gehrke writes: Patty Murray, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the Senate, threatened today to provoke a government shutdown this fall if the Republican-controlled Congress won’t agree to a budget more in line with President Obama’s priorities.

“Republicans have a choice,” Murray said in a Wednesday speech, per the Huffington Post. “They can either work with us early on a bipartisan budget deal that will set the topline budget levels and allow the Appropriations Committee to work on bills that can be signed into law. Or, they can wait until we reach a crisis, until we approach or hit another completely unnecessary government shutdown — and work with us then.”

[Read the full story here, at National Review Online]

Obama has promised to veto any spending bill that does not totally reverse the sequestration spending cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act, which he signed in 2011. Read the rest of this entry »


White House: Fox in the Henhouse? Michelle’s Garden’s Unwelcome Visitor

fox-in-garden-white-house

For The Daily CallerVince Coglianese writes: The White House is going to war with another fox — and this time, it’s personal.

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The Wall Street Journal reports that a red fox has been causing chaos around the White House, tripping security alarms, digging up Michelle’s garden and distracting the president from his duties.

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The Secret Service won’t give any details about how often the fox trips the White House’s obviously sophisticated security alarms, but rest assured, officials say, they’re watching.

President Obama was apparently “stunned” to see the fox roaming freely down the oft-photographed White House colonnade, home to the world’s shortest, but most dramatic, outdoor strolls.

Read the rest of this entry »


Cruz: No Regrets Over Shutdown [VIDEO]

Andrew Stiles writes:  Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) has no regrets about his Defund Obamacare strategy, which many believe precipitated the government shutdown in October.

Asked by ABC’s Jon Karl whether he thought the strategy was, in hindsight, a mistake, Cruz said: “I think it was absolutely a mistake for President Obama and Harry Reid to force a government shutdown.”

Cruz criticized the media for blaming the shutdown on Republicans, and noted that while the GOP had sought to compromise on multiple occasions with respect to Obamacare funding, the true cause of the shutdown was the fact that “repeatedly Democrats said ‘no compromise, shut it down.’”

National Review Online


One Cheer for Our Unproductive Congress

bohner
When so much of what government does makes matters worse, inactivity is a blessing

Michael Tanner writes:  As this session of the 113th Congress draws to a merciful close, much of the punditry has picked up on the refrain that this is the “most unproductive Congress in history.” Indeed, this Congress has passed just 28 bills, easily eclipsing the previous record for inactivity set by Congress in 2012, when it passed just 68 new laws. But why, we might ask, is this such a bad thing?

Sure, there are things we might have wished Congress had accomplished. Something to address immigration or entitlement reform springs to mind. And it certainly would have produced less chaos if Congress had actually managed to pass annual appropriations bills instead of cramming all spending into the usual last-minute continuing resolution.

But there is a presumption behind such handwringing that we really need Congress to be even more involved in our lives than it is. Consider the laundry list of new programs that President Obama introduced in his State of the Union address back in January: early-childhood education, green energy, more economic stimulus, a higher minimum wage, and so on. Would we really have been better off if those things had passed?

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Senator Ted Cruz on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno


NBC: Senator Ted Cruz addresses American’s frustrations with the government shutdown, income inequality in America, background checks for firearms and more…

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno – YouTube


Killing Obamacare: There’s No Time to Waste

Zombie-Killing

Jay Cost writes:  The recent government shutdown illustrated a lot of political truths. For starters, people are unhappy when the government is shut down, and they naturally tend to blame the party of less government. The media instinctively help them conclude that the Republicans are at fault.

But the shutdown also illustrated just how unprepared the Republican party is to deal with the threat of Obamacare. Even though the law is unpopular, Republicans failed to convince the country of how great a threat it poses to the public good. Poll after poll shows that only a minority thinks the law will make them worse off, despite growing evidence that Obamacare’s side effects are serious and far-reaching. “Shutdown theater” did nothing to alter that attitude, which reflects poorly on the Tea Party backbenchers who wanted this fight and the leaders who prosecuted it. And now it appears House Republicans intend to deemphasize Obamacare and focus again on cutting traditional spending.

This is a mistake. The fight against Obamacare cannot be pushed to the sidelines. If the shutdown failed to notch any victory against it, then conservative leaders need to rethink their tactics and try something different. The easiest path to victory against the law, at first glance, is to win total control of the government in the 2016 elections. But a closer look at the law, especially in historical context, indicates grave risks associated with that approach: Obamacare may do much damage by that point, and it may be substantially more difficult to undo four years down the road…

More via The Weekly Standard


The Transformation of the USA: Introducing America 3.0

laborAge

digi

The recent political deadlock and government shutdown, and the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare, show that something is seriously wrong in Washington, D.C.

What’s going on?

America is going through a transformation, on a scale that few people now realize. The last such fundamental change was from the rural and agrarian society of the Founding era (America 1.0) to the urban and industrial society which is now coming to an end (America 2.0).

That transition was disruptive and painful, but ultimately led to a better America.

We are now making a similar transition to a post-industrial, networked, decentralized, immensely productive America, with a more individualistic, voluntarist, anti-bureaucratic culture (America 3.0).

Today’s political regime is like legacy software, built for an earlier world.

feildworkers

cpu-digi2

Institutions of the 20th Century welfare state that once looked permanent are crumbling. The old operating system has been kludged so many times it won’t work much longer. It has to be replaced.

The time-worn liberal-progressive wisdom is simple: See a problem, create a government program to fix it.

ObamaCare proves this approach no longer works.

Read the rest of this entry »


How Many College Students Know the Government Shutdown is Over?


Album of the Year

Album of the Year


Media Cover Shutdown Victims over Obamacare Victims 100 to 1

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“Real consequences for real people.”

Ben Shapiro reports: Since October 1, when the government shutdown began, the media have run dozens upon dozens of stories about victims of the shutdown. Over the same period of time, the media have run virtually no stories about businesses suffering thanks to Obamacare, low-income people victimized by the new Obamacare tax, and economic chaos thanks to the impact of Obamacare. That’s particularly ridiculous given that with the furloughed federal workers soon to be back at their desks and paid for their furloughed time, the number of people seriously hurt by the government shutdown is minute, as opposed to the widespread damage from Obamacare.

The Washington Post was a key offender in its bias. Between October 1 and October 16, the Washington Post website published over 220 stories both from its own writers and the wires focusing on the supposedly horrible effects of the government shutdown. Most obviously, the Post ran a story declaring, simply, “Government shutdown generates stories of misery around the country.” But when it came to the implementation of Obamacare, though the Post ran more than 80 stories, many of them on failures of the Obamacare website, it apparently ran a grand total of 3 that focused mainly on the individuals and small businesses victimized by Obamacare itself.

Read the rest of this entry »


Low-information Voter Intelligence in Full Glory: The 2013 Government Shutdown isn’t Obama’s Fault, it’s George Bush’s Fault

MRCTV’s Dan Joseph had a question on his mind that he couldn’t shake: who bears the brunt of the blame for the government shutdown? Who really is responsible for the mess we’re in right now? Is it President Obama or former President George W. Bush? He decided to take these questions to the heart of our misery: Washington D.C.

Maybe you’ve seen this video already. If not, welcome to the age of “it’s not my fault” leadership. Every day Obama’s been in the White House, or perhaps every day of his entire political career, his willingness to pass the buck, avoid accountability, and blame his opponents and predecessor for anything and everything, shocked many people, but satisfied many, many others. It’s successfully provided steady cover for a breathtaking series of policy failures. Meanwhile taking (often undue) credit anything remotely positive, invoking “me” and “I” at every opportunity. Blaming Bush (and assigning blame anywhere but his own desk) is such a routine, it’s not surprising that he doesn’t even have to invoke it anymore, he can let others do it for him, it’s almost like quoting scripture.

Obama’s a smart guy. After a while, observant people realized, his habit of blaming Bush wasn’t sincere, Obama never believed it. Bush-blaming was insincere from day one. Obama knew that supporters wanted to believe it (after all, they hated Bush) and the press (hates Bush) would amplify the message to protect him. And he understood that even if the Democratic party’s domestic policies did more lasting damage the lives of low-income, minorities, working people, and middle-class people than any president in half a century, he would never have to accept responsibility for any of it. After all, he’s ‘trying’, and that’s what counts.

And if it’s not working? It’s those damed Republicans, it’s their fault. Even though Obama had no meaningful legislative opposition. The Democrats enjoyed a Super-majority, controlling the legislative agenda for his first two years, and has enjoyed Democrat control of two of the three branches of government, for a full five years. Republicans are in the minority. Things are going bad? Blame the minority. Blame the powerless. And play the role of victim at every opportunity.

George Bush is a private citizen, has no role in government whatsoever. And best of all, Bush doesn’t complain. He never did. Unlike Obama, he endured hatred and criticism, didn’t expect the press to defend him, didn’t take it personally, and didn’t blame his predecessors. He’s the perfect fall-guy. Like I said, Obama’s a bright guy. He doesn’t believe the “it’s Bush’s fault” avoidance tactic, it’s not sincere. It’s a political convenience. He knows it’s an easy escape, The low-intelligence-average voter, and the compliant, conservative-hating mainstream press, will always have his back.

–The Butcher

Dan Joseph continues: Despite the fact that George W. Bush has been out of office for the past five years, most of the respondents said former President George W. Bush is to blame for the shutdown.

Why?  Well, he apparently did a lot of bad stuff! And had policies that only Barack Obama can reverse, which is why the current president has added twice as much debt than economic output over the past two years.

As for health care, which is at the heart of the shutdown, one respondent said that, if Bush had proposed some sort of health care reform, all of this could’ve been avoided.  Well, he did.  In fact, there’s a long history of Republican policy proposals to fix American health care.

The irony is that Bush’s 2007 health care proposal is actually “superior” to Obamacare concerning universal coverage. As Chris Conover of Forbes noted last August:

“[T]he Bush plan actually was superior to Obamacare when it comes to providing universal coverage. Remember, Obamacare actually does not provide universal coverage. The latest figures from CBO says that when it is fully implemented in 2016, Obamacare will cut the number of uninsured by only 45%, covering 89% of the non-elderly. Even if illegal immigrants are excluded, this percentage rises to only 92%. In contrast, the Bush plan (without a mandate!) would have cut the number of uninsured by 65%.”

CNS News


Shutdown Experience Shows Cutting Government Would Be Pretty Painless

We should slash government budgets to deal with debt.
Does this mean I get less candy? But...I like candy. Can't we have candy forever?

Does this mean I get less candy? But…I like candy. Can’t we have candy forever?

While Washington, and the press, have been in an uproar over the government shutdown and the debt-limit negotiations, the debt itself has continued to climb. And that inexorable tide is going to cost us, eventually. As economist Herbert Stein once observed, something that can’t go on forever, won’t. And this can’t go on forever. From this there are two lessons.

How bad has it gotten? In the past two years, the debt limit has grown twice as much as the economy. Can that go on forever? I doubt it very much.

As Niall Ferguson notes, while politicians crow that the deficit has dropped — from super-enormous to merely really, really gigantic — every year that we’re in deficit adds to the debt. And the long-term trends are bad: “A very striking feature of the latest Congressional Budget Office report is how much worse it is than last year’s. A year ago, the CBO’s extended baseline series for the federal debt in public hands projected a figure of 52% of GDP by 2038. That figure has very nearly doubled to 100%. A year ago the debt was supposed to glide down to zero by the 2070s. This year’s long-run projection for 2076 is above 200%. In this devastating reassessment, a crucial role is played here by the more realistic growth assumptions used this year.”

Ah, yes. Growth. We’ve been pretty short of that over the last several years, as businesses — even pro-Obama enterprises such as Google and Apple — park increasing amounts of money overseas, unwilling to be subject not only to high U.S. taxes but, even worse, to the high levels of regulation of which Obamacare is only the most famous.

Read the rest of this entry »


Across the country, donors chip in to help programs hurt by federal government shutdown

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As the partial government shutdown rolls on, programs that rely on federal money are feeling the strain — and so are the people who depend on their services.For 16-year-old Alishe’ah Sockwell, federal money makes a big difference.

It helps put a roof over her head. It allows her mother, Nia, to undergo job training. And it pays for childcare for Sockwell’s young daughter so that Sockwell can go to high school every day in Little Rock, Ark.

But with some federal funds out of reach because of the shutdown, Sockwell may have to stay home from school in order to watch her daughter. If the shutdown drags on much longer, her housing could be in jeopardy, too.

So, to fill in the gaps, the nonprofit organization that provides Sockwell and other homeless people in Little Rock with childcare, shelter and other assistance, has asked community members to chip in.

Read the rest of this entry »


History: Monuments and memorials remained open during previous shutdown

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Charles C. Johnson reports: Although President Obama claims that he can’t avoid shutting down public sites and monuments, war memorials were in fact kept open during the 1995/1996 government shutdowns.  The administration’s decision to barricade the Lincoln Memorial marks the first time in its history the memorial has been totally off limits to visitors during a shutdown.

The administration has also balked at efforts by non-governmental groups to maintain access to public sites.

But during the Clinton-era shutdown, World War II veterans kept the Pearl Harbor memorial open.

Read the rest of this entry »


‘Battle of Yorktown’: Private Restaurant Owner Takes a Stand, Reopens in Defiance of Shutdown Order

The shutdown of Washington has now become the battle of Yorktown.

In the same place where America fought its final battle of independence, one American businessman is refusing to bow to pressure to close up shop during the shutdown.

His story is just one example of what many view as the Obama administration’s widespread overreach during the government gridlock. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] College students, for some bizarre reason, fail to blame Republicans for shutdown

Students at the University of Colorado – Boulder (CU), a dependably liberal college town, blamed President Obama and Democrats on Tuesday for the ongoing government shutdown, which is now in its second week.

“He’s [Obama] just being really stubborn, not willing to negotiate at all, not taking any ideas from anyone else, it’s either his way or the highway and apparently we got to shutdown the government because of that,” one student told Campus Reform.

Watch: Students at the liberal U of Colorado blame Obama, Dems, for shutdown fight

“Obamacare is stupid. You shouldn’t be required to have health care,” said another student.

Students who spoke with Campus Reform at UC-Boulder, a town known for tofu hot dog stands and a self-imposed carbon tax, acknowledge it was ironic that they blamed Democrats rather than Republicans for the fiscal impasse.

@CalebBonham College students blame Obama, Dems for shutdown


President Barack O’Cranky McMeany

It’s within his power to avoid the ludicrous scenes of this “shutdown.”

Unify, lead, and govern a great nation? Or express hatred, burn bridges, plot revenge, settle scores, waste money, and preside over epic national decline?

Unify, lead, and govern a great nation? Or express hatred, burn bridges, plot revenge, settle scores, waste money, and preside over epic national decline? Decline isn’t so bad, as long as Democrats can concentrate more power. 

Charles C. W. Cooke writes: Distilling a theretofore-untamed talking point into a single sentence, The Atlantic’s Abby Olheiser complained somewhat tenuously on Monday that the National Park Service, which has recently been running around the country doing all sorts of unconscionable things in the name of the federal shutdown, “wouldn’t have to become the next iteration of the Benghazi mantra if a bill — which is sitting in the House of Representatives and would fund the government at sequester levels — were brought up for a vote and passed, ensuring that the government, and the parks, would reopen as soon as possible.” This, suffice it to say, is rather obviously true.

It is also wholly irrelevant. Of course the executive branch would be not be playing these games if the shutdown had not happened. In that case, the government octopus would be swimming inexorably forward as it usually does, all of its tentacles intact. The more important point to grasp here is not that the various heavy-handed antics in which the Park Service has seen fit to indulge itself since last Monday are unimaginable absent a shutdown, but that almost none of them had to happen because of the shutdown. The offending behavior has, in other words, been a choice — a deliberate ploy contrived and prosecuted by a man seeking to make a public point. Read the rest of this entry »


Language Shift: OUT “gun to the head” IN “threat”

Are “suicide bomber”, “hostage taker”, and “terrorist” no longer the Democrats’ chosen smear words?

Without ever apologizing for the overheated rhetoric and blood-soaked violence-themed verbal attacks on Republicans, it appears a decision has been made in the White House to take things down a notch. Perhaps negative polling led them to make adjustments, or focus-tests produced better results using a new approach?

The new tone? Obama’s now a victim. He feels threatened. There’s a threat of default. Threat is the new meme. The instructions have been distributed, and they’re being followed by Democrat talking heads with predictably tiresome repetition.

The Greenroom‘s Duane Patterson noticed the tactical flip:

Jay Carney seemed to shift to the same key word…repeatedly.

“…the need for Congress to pass a budget, open the government, pass a bill so that the United States can pay its bills and, therefore, not continue to do or threaten damage to our economy. … And even in the meetings with the president, some of which were productive and thoughtful, Republican lawmakers never came back with a compromise proposal of their own. But he is ready to do that, just not under threat of shutdown, not under threat of default. … It is our view, as I think both those officials stated this morning, that since the whole purpose of this argument is to remove uncertainty — the uncertainty created by the threat of default, the threat of not raising the debt ceiling… In 2011, Republicans in Congress decided really for the first time in our history to threaten default if they didn’t get what they wanted out of negotiations over the budget. And that threat, once people realized it was real, caused significant harm to our economy. Default did not happen, but the threat of it caused harm. It was measurable harm and it included a downgrading of the United States for the first time in our history. … There’s — so we saw what happened when you mess around with this, when you threatened default in 2011, and you saw what happened when Congress does what it has traditionally done, which is raise the debt ceiling without making these kinds of threats. … Our position has been from the beginning that the debt ceiling ought to be raised without drama or delay and that the problem around these votes has always been the uncertainty created by threats… continue to have these suggestions from Republicans that they would threaten default if they don’t get what they want. … We know from the 2011 experience, and you saw the report from the Treasury last week, what even the threat of default can do to our economy… The president is very eager to start that process again, but not under threat of default and not under threat of continued shutdown. … raising of the debt ceiling has been attached to something, but there hasn’t been a threat made by one party or the other to withhold payment or, you know, allow for default if they don’t get what they want. … As I’ve said in the past, how Congress fulfills it, as long as they fulfill it without drama or delay, without brinkmanship, without threatening default is up to them. … not with the government shutdown and not with the threat of a shutdown.  Etc.

Old and busted: Gun to the head

New Hotness: Threat

In last Friday’s Wall Street Journal, the now-famous unnamed White House source proclaimed that there’s no reason to move to end the shutdown, because “we’re winning.” What do you want to bet that the same winning White House got some focus polling results over the weekend that said they weren’t actually winning friends and influencing people by likening their political opponents to suicide bombers?

My guess? Someone advising the President decided to morph the analogy…

Read the whole thing.

The Greenroom


PRIORITIES: Obama’s Golf Course Has Been Spared from the Shutdown

National Crisis Averted, Presidential Recreation Not Disrupted

ObamaGolfAPELIZABETH SHELD reports: One of Obama’s preferred golf courses, the course on Andrews Airforce Base remains open during the government shutdown.  The grocery stores on the base, where troops get discounted groceries for their families are, however, closed.  They will shop at local stores that cost about 30 percent more, Lieutenant General Raymond Mason, the service’s deputy chief of staff for logistics, said yesterday at a House hearing.”

The Andrews Air Force Base golf course is funded through user fees and that’s why it remains open, said Air Force Captain Lindy Singleton, chief of public affairs for the 11th Wing at Andrews.

Obama hit the links last weekend for a round, on the eve of the possible shutdown. Last week the President played his 35th round of golf this year.

Brietbart.com


Where’s sense of crisis in a 17% government shutdown?

John Carano, 65, walks on a trail at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, in Valley View, Ohio. The impacts of the federal shutdown began rippling across Ohio on Tuesday morning, with a national military museum and national park closing and thousands of federal employees going on furlough. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

John Carano, 65, walks on a trail at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, in Valley View, Ohio. The impacts of the federal shutdown began rippling across Ohio on Tuesday morning, with a national military museum and national park closing and thousands of federal employees going on furlough. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

BYRON YORK writes: Everyone knows the phrase “government shutdown” doesn’t mean the entire U.S. government is shut down. So in a partial government shutdown, like the one underway at the moment, how much of the government is actually shut down, and how much is not?

One way to measure that is in how much money the government spends. In a conversation Thursday, a Republican member of Congress mentioned that the military pay act, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama at the beginning of the shutdown, is actually a huge percentage of the government’s discretionary spending in any given year. And that is still flowing. So if you took that money, and added it to all the entitlement spending that is unaffected by a shutdown, plus all the areas of spending that are exempted from a shutdown, and added it all together, how much of the federal government’s total spending is still underway even though the government is technically shut down? Read the rest of this entry »


Influx of out-of-work feds could spark unemployment fraud

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Breanna Deutsch writes:  In the wake of the government shutdown, state unemployment offices are being flooded with furloughed federal workers.

Many states do not have the capacity to thoroughly vet all of the applicants seeking jobless benefits, which opens the door to potential fraud, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Typically when laid-off workers apply for unemployment benefits, they must produce proper documentation, including pay stubs, to prove their previous employment and income information. However, the recent surge of applicants has made it difficult for some states to look through all of the paper work.

Instead some states are basing the benefits program off of the honor system. Read the rest of this entry »


Twitter’s 10 Funniest ‘Pickup Lines’ Inspired by the Government Shutdown

Jenny Erikson writes: So the government is shutting down because apparently nobody in DC can agree about money. Watching the Republicans and Democrats squabble is a bit like watching an old married couple bicker, isn’t it? They’re both set in their ways, each side thinking they’ve already given too much ground …

Too bad this affects all of us. Le sigh. So what’s a citizen to do when the politicians can’t get along? Crack jokes. Because when it’s the choice between laughing and crying, always choose to laugh. And thank goodness we have Twitter, so that funny people can share funny thoughts and keep us entertained while the panda cam is out.

Here are 10 of the best #ShutdownPickupLines:

  • “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven? I hope not because the GOP doesn’t want us to have healthcare.” @dangr
  • “Is that a rising debt limit, or are you just happy to see me?” @jladrae
  • “The library is closing, mind if I check you out instead?” @michot_y
  • “Do you not carry health insurance? Because you’ve got ‘fine’ written all over you.” @Joshthomastn
  • “Hey girl, can I introduce you to my essential personnel?” @Geoff_Holtzman
  • “If I could rearrange the budget, I’d put you and me on the same line item.” @DeliaCabe
  • “Baby, you’ve chained up my heart tighter than the Lincoln Memorial.” @trace501
  • “We could do more than just strip legislation.” @marinakoren
  • “Even before the shutdown over Obamacare, my love for you was always a pre-existing condition.“ @juanlozano70
  • “The only thing nonessential about you are those pants.” @Jbean35

The Stir


Half of infants in Washington State now face starvation due to Federal Shutdown, say Wa. State Dems

In an attempt to dramatize the effects of the federal government shutdown, Washington state Democrats may have revealed more about their state and about the state of the economy under President Obama than they intended.  The Advance, official blog of the Washington state house Democrats, posted the following on Thursday:

Federal shutdown could take food from half the babies in Washington state

Half of Washington state’s babies—and one third of all pregnant women in the state—rely on the Women, Infant and Children nutrition program.

The program is run by the state, but the funding comes from the federal government. Which is shut down.

Now the money that feeds those pregnant women, babies and young children will run out in a matter of days, according to the state Department of Health….

Almost half of all babies, one third of pregnant women, and one quarter of children under five in Washington State are on the WIC Program.

In Washington State, WIC reaches over 195,000 women, infants, and children in 205 clinics each month and provides services to over 315,000 individuals each year.

WIC is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and operated by the Washington State Department of Health.

The Weekly Standard


‘NOT MY FAULT!’ Obama: Too many Americans blame both parties for shutdown

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President Barack Obama repeatedly complained on Thursday that the public took a skeptical attitude toward his decision to shutdown the government rather than agree to the GOP’s Obamacare reform proposals.

According to the president, too many Americans believe “both sides are just squabbling” and “neither side is behaving properly.”

“The only thing that’s keeping the government shut down … basic research from starting back up, and farmers and small businesses getting their loans, is that Speaker John Boehner won’t even let the [2014 budget] bill get a yes or no vote, because he doesn’t want to anger the extremists in his party,” Obama said during a speech given to a construction company.

“That’s what this whole thing is about,” he said, even though Republicans have passed three bills to fund the entire government, and a series of bills to fund individual agencies, such as medical research and park agencies. Read the rest of this entry »


Wasserman Schultz: I Will Not Give Up Salary in Shutdown


Andrew Johnson reports: Debbie Wasserman Schultz revealed that she will not decline pay during the government shutdown as some of her congressional colleagues have opted to do in solidarity with federal employees.

After initially dodging the question, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd pressed the Democratic National Committee chairman again on whether she would accept her salary. “Yes, I’m going to continue to take my salary,” she said.

Since the shutdown began on Tuesday, the Washington Post reports that over 100 Republican and Democratic lawmakers have declined to accept their pay until the government is reopened.

National Review Online


VIDEO: McDonald’s Employee Admits Being Paid to Protest WW2 Veterans

Patrick Poole writes: Yesterday I reported from the National World War Two Memorial on several members of Congress crashing the barricades set up by the National Park Service that were keeping out several hundred Honor Flight veterans — many of whom were WW2 veterans — from visiting their own memorial. The Park Service claimed that the memorial and the entire National Mall area had to be closed because of the government shutdown.

The same scene was reenacted again today as two Honor Flights from Missouri and Chicago arrived in prearranged visits. These Honor Flights were met by hundreds of ordinary citizens and about a dozen members of Congress, who once again crashed the barricades to let the veterans into the WW2 Memorial.

After about an hour, about 20 protesters arrived on the scene chanting “Boehner, get us back to work” and claiming they were federal employees furloughed because of the shutdown.

In the video below these protesters were marching towards the press gaggle and I was asking them to show their federal IDs to prove they were in fact federal workers. No one wore their federal ID and none would provide it to prove their claim.

Then, remarkably, a guy carrying a sign passed by wearing a McDonald’s employee shirt, which I noted. I then began asking them how much they had been paid to protest, at which point the guy wearing the McDonald’s shirt came back and admitted he had been paid $15. Read the rest of this entry »


KEEPING SCORE: WW II VETS 1, WHITE HOUSE 0

KEEPING SCORE: World War II vets 1, White House 0.

STANDING UP TO OPPRESSIVE GOVERNMENT: You’ll love the ‘trophy’ World War II vets took home from the government shutdown blockade.

Instapundit – Twitchy


Another Case of White House Overreach: Federal Authorities to Block Pretty Sunsets

Another Case of White House Overreach: Federal Goons to Block Pretty Sunsets


IRS collecting money but not sending refunds during shutdown

Acting Internal Revenue Service chief Danny Werfel. (Associated Press)

Acting Internal Revenue Service chief Danny Werfel. (Associated Press)

The IRS is continuing to collect your taxes during the shutdown, but don’t expect to be getting any refunds you may be owed until the government reopens.

“Individuals and businesses should keep filing their tax returns and making deposits with the IRS, as they are required to do so by law,” the agency said in its guidance for taxpayers. “The IRS will accept and process all tax returns with payments, but will be unable to issue refunds during this time.”

An important deadline is looming: Taxpayers who requested a six-month extension on their 2012 tax returns are still required to file their form by Oct. 15. The agency said all other normal deadlines also remain in effect.

The good news is that audits are also being halted. The bad news is they’ll be rescheduled once the agency is up and running again. Read the rest of this entry »


Libertarian Paradise Revealed: A Tantalizing Glimpse of What the Promised Land looks Like

 Michael Reynolds / EPA A Capitol police officer walks through the Capitol Rotunda, empty of visitors after being closed to tours, during the government shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, USA, 01 October 2013.

A Capitol police officer walks through the Capitol Rotunda, empty of visitors after being closed to tours, during the government shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington. Michael Reynolds / EPADC, USA, 01 October 2013. 

 In shutting down the government, members of Congress have turned their own U.S. Capitol complex into a ghost town running on a skeleton crew.

Kasie Hunt reports: There aren’t any tourists milling through the Capitol rotunda. Fewer police officers are working, so many entrances are closed. Up to two-thirds of each office’s staff is at home, forced to shut off their BlackBerries. And many of the usual comforts of a lawmaker’s day job have vanished.

“Box lunches. No tablecloths,” said one Democratic senator after emerging from the usual Tuesday lunch for all members of the Democratic caucus. He wasn’t complaining — just responding to a reporter who asked if the gathering featured the usual buffet spread that’s offered each week. Read the rest of this entry »


PSYOPS OVERDRIVE: The Shutdown Myths

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The debate over the government shutdown should acknowledge its limited effects.

Andrew Stiles reports: Several hours remain until government funding expires, and if Congress cannot agree on a resolution to continue that funding before midnight, the government will shut down. If that happens, Democrats will be ready with countless horror stories about the consequences of extremist Republican obstructionism, so it’s worth examining the details of what will and will not occur during a government shutdown.

One common argument is likely to be that Republicans, in forcing a government shutdown, are hurting the most highly respected government employees: our troops. But according to the Department of Defense, funding for active-duty military personnel, as well as military operations in Afghanistan, will be unaffected by a government shutdown. About 400,000 civilian defense employees, on the other hand, could face furloughs, according to the Pentagon’s contingency plan. Read the rest of this entry »


Reality Check: GOP Expanded Senate Majority After 96 Shutdown

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Democrats and the media are convinced that the public will “blame” Republicans for the looming government shutdown. This is predicated on memories that Republicans were “blamed” for the last government shutdown, in 1995-96. The media certainly did “blame” the GOP at the time for causing the shutdown. The voters, however, didn’t seem to have the same view. Just months later, at the next election, the Republicans retained their majorities in Congress. The Senate GOP even picked up 2 seats, in a year in which Clinton won reelection. Read the rest of this entry »


GRAPH: Every government shutdown ever, in one chart

The 1970s were a really popular time for government shutdowns:

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(Click to enlarge.)

Read the rest of this entry »


CNN Poll Shows Media/Obama Losing Shutdown Battle

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The con is on, folks.

Although a new CNN poll shows that across-the-board everyone will be blamed and damaged should the government shut down tomorrow, that is not the spin coming today from CNN or the rest of the left-wing media. Read the rest of this entry »


DEMOCRAT PARTY SPIN FAIL: “I don’t remember saying that everyone in the country would have a lower premium”

The Greenroom‘s Guy Benson writes: Well, that’s what recording devices are for, Nancy.  We covered the former Speaker’s attempt to slither away from her own Obamacare sales pitch back in June; now the current Speaker is highlighting his predecessor’s shameless revisionism:

Boehner’s office released this video over the weekend to help advance the GOP’s messaging on delaying Obamacare by one year — which enjoys strong public support and bipartisan backing in Congress.   Read the rest of this entry »