You know, I read a lot. Especially about things… about history. I find that shit fascinating. Here’s a fact I don’t know whether you know or not. In 1258, the Mongols laid siege to Baghdad and ended up killing pretty much everyone in the city. Baghdad had been a city where, by some accounts, the majority of the population was literate, a remarkable accomplishment for the time, but it never really recovered from the siege and subsequent slaughter.
I bring this up because what I’ve read about the Mongolian siege method (maybe your method of siege differs from mine) is that they could hang out outside the city indefinitely, and throw shit into the city. No skin off their back to sit there and drink fermented mare’s milk and what not while the siege went on. They had great supply lines, so they weren’t going to starve.
It’s a lot like the methods of the conservative movement.
SteveM points out that while a shutdown might hurt the GOP, it won’t hurt the conservative movement. The Club For Growth et al. can raise money off whatever happens, sit outside, and throw shit at the rest of the country forever. With the gerrymandering of the House and the structure of the Senate, they’ll be far from powerless until at least 2022.
But can the country survive that long?
Update. Hook a brother up: email Andrew Sullivan and see if you can get him to nominate this post for a Moore Award.
But Baghdad still exists as a major city (despite Bush/Cheney) while the Mongols have long ceased to be a threat to anyone. While Mongols are not exactly extinct, their empire was exceedingly short-lived and has certainly been relegated to the dust-bin of history. Maybe the key is to teach people that Conservative=Treacherous carrier of disfiguring disease.
Well can “the conservative movement” survive without a Republican Party? Because they’re looking more like the Whigs than ever this week.
Villago Delenda Est
People need to realize this, sally forth, and slaughter, without the slightest mercy, the besiegers.
Jay in Oregon
I don’t know if the country can be saved, but I’m pretty sure the dead-enders are a lost cause. They’re living in a toxic brew of paranoia, anger, and ignorance, many of them for most of their lives.
I met one of these guys recently: his main source of “news” is The Blaze, for fuck’s sake. How do you reach someone who is steeped in wingnut mythology? Someone who believes that the government is going to make high schoolers read lesbian porn and Fifty Shades of Grey as part of the core curriculum, and that Obama is poised to snatch his guns with the flimsiest excuse? (That excuse apparently not being the deluge of violent mass shootings in the country, apparently.)
One difference is that the Mongols had a better sense of humor than the GOP congressmen, and more moderate political views.
If the U.S. made it through the Civil War and the rest of the 19th century, we can make it through this shit.
Or does reading a lot about history make this current situation seem even worse somehow?
Feh.. They’re not winning the argument
@Xecky Gilchrist: Actually, our situation mirrors the apex of the Robber Barons (pillaging of natural resources and disregard of any rules they didn’t rip off the books) AND the chaotic conditions which led up to the Civil War (corrupt Supremes, living conditions a patchwork among the States.)
We got a two-fer!
The Mongols also converted to Islam after laying waste to the Abbasids. Which ended up having very modern consequences:
The Looming Tower, Lawrence Wright
@Xecky Gilchrist: I’d tend to agree but I’m becoming more resigned to having another civil war before we get through things.
True Romance reference for the win!
The problem with [email protected]Xecky Gilchrist: The problem with any Civil War analogies is that 2 percent of the nation’s total population didn’t live to see the resolution.
I think if the GOP shuts the government down it will make the ACA a more popular bill, and the President’s approval numbers will shoot up. Like I said before, the 90’s republican party were more popular and respected than the current republican party.
The GOP’s approval numbers are at it’s lowest point in the party’s history. People identifying themselves as republicans is at it’s lowest point since Watergate. If they shut the government down it will kill their chances in 2014 and hurt in 2016. Eventually they will have to cave and negotiate a budget.
There will be much sound and fury in the next few to several weeks…
…and then a deal will be cut on the CR and the DL. It will get done and the Right gets to eat the shit sandwich. Again. Too fucking bad for them…
…and they KNOW it, so they are going to be flinging shit like nobody’s business in a petulant fit. Best to just turn off the TV and wait for the day of Bon Apetit for them.
/wondering if they want mayonnaise with it?
The Feds have pretty tight control over the arming of nuclear weapons. So the secessionists would probably lose, if the civil war went nuclear. (This is a roundabout way of saying that a civil war in the US with modern weapons could be very bad.)
I don’t think he’s saying that you wouldn’t get your hair mussed. No more than 10 or 20 million dead, depending on the breaks.
Davis X. Machina
The ones to worry about are the ones who identify as “Independent” and vote R 90% or more of the time anyways.
The labels as such don’t matter.
I favor catapulting plague infested corpses over the walls. Apart from that, pretty much the same.
@Bill Arnold: fair enough that they’d lose. We’d all “lose” in that scenario. But I get yr point. I think they’d lose in a conventional war as well.
Some of us were saying last time around, “Let them do it.”
They want it to happen. They will not rest or relent til it happens. So let’s have at it and get this piece of shit business out of the way as soon as possible so the repair and regeneration can begin.
Some of us have acted as enablers for the GOP. We let them go mad-ass fucking crazy then we work like hell, and even compromise on some of our dearest ideals, just so things don’t totally go to shit.
No more. No fucking more. Let it burn.
Let their stupid-assed cracker followers get a taste of the wonder of the Cruz-Gomert-Paul funhouse. Yeah, it’s gonna hurt, but I do think that the wound to our politics might be cauterized enough for us to move forward.
Villago Delenda Est
From our friends in the Spock-With-A-Beard universe, at Newsmax:
GOP Game Plan: Avoid Shutdown, Defund Obamacare
DWD (formerly fasteddie9318)
Speaking of Mongols throwing shit over the walls, you can’t get any shittier than the 1346 siege of Caffa (today called Feodosiya), in the Crimea. The armies of the Golden Horde, the Mongol branch that controlled much of modern Russia, the Caucasus, and parts of Central Asia and Eastern Europe, were besieging the city, which was controlled by the Genoese, when their fighters started dying in considerable numbers from some unknown ailment. Unable to breach the city walls and end the siege, the Mongols made the sensible choice to start flinging their corpses into the city by trebuchet, thereby infecting the population inside the city with the Black Death, and maybe (but probably not) causing the plague to spread to the rest of Europe. 14th century biological warfare.
The sack of Baghdad is also fascinating for the correspondence that went back and forth between the Caliph Al-Musta’sim and the Mongol, where the caliph warned the Mongols that God would stop them from conquering the city. Hulagu gave the standard Mongol answer whenever one of their targets invoked God, essentially, “Look, even if I concede that your God is real, have you seen how much ass we’ve been kicking? He’s clearly on our side, not yours.” They say Al-Musta’sim was wrapped in a rug and trampled to death because the Mongols refused to spill royal blood.
Some might see this as a feature.
The shutdown in 95 helped Clinton’s presidency and made him look like the only adult in the room. And at the time he was the only adult in the room.
I think a shutdown is more dangerous for the GOP now than it was then because the party is at a very dangerous low point nationally. Demographics are shifting fast against the party, the best candidate they have in 2016 is Christie and his economic record in New Jersey is a joke. The party doesn’t have any serious leaders.
Villago Delenda Est
If the right 27% of the nation’s population does not survive a civil war, that would be a feature.
@Davis X. Machina: My parents are Republicans. Well maybe they are just used to saying that, cause they can’t figure out their party and what the heck is going on. We disagree on many things, but you know when we chat about politics we often can find a middle ground. Heck often times when I have the chance to explain my much more liberal thinking, they tend to think I am not crazy.
Mike in NC
And farting in their general direction.
@Jeremy: correction: more popular law.
@Mike in NC: fetchez la vache?
@Villago Delenda Est:
Baud’s game plan: win lottery, get laid.
Equal likelihood of success.
@Villago Delenda Est: All we need is a Tantalus device.
@Davis X. Machina: True.
My renewal info for my Medicare part D coverage came today. I opened it with the usual fear and trepidation only to find that the monthly premium decreased by $5. May not seem like much, but it means a lot on a limited income. I got on it in 2006 at $33/month and it went up every year until it was $113/month this year. So to see $108 a month sent a thrill up my leg.
Major bending of the cost curve FTW!
Will this change the mind of any olds? Probably not, but I thank FSM for the ACA all the time.
Depends. Do you have tickets? If so, your plan’s chances are better.
@Villago Delenda Est: There really is no other choice….there’s somewhere’s about 10,000 to 100,000 easily identified individuals whose political activity needs to be stopped. There’s a number of ways of doing this; your’s might be the most emotionally satisfying, but confiscation of assets would work as well.
Davis X. Machina
@Tommy: Like I said, the labels themselves don’t much matter.
The consistently lower % of people self-identifying as ‘liberals’ or “Democrats” didn’t keep the 2006, 2008, 2012 elections from breaking the way they did.
I’d like to see a government shutdown and the minting of a $10 trillion coin just for the caper film that would come out of it. “Ocean’s 15,” maybe. Last line: George Clooney character in a casino/restaurant/whatever, slams dazzling coin on the counter and says, “Can you break a ten trillion?” Blackout, credits, outtakes.
Remarkable how that seems to happen to Warrior-Societies.
Marco Rubio your 15 minutes of fame are up
Villago Delenda Est
Aye. That would work. Or a single Jedi on a mission.
Finally, something I wrote is in moderation! I’m in the club!
What are the dues? Do we get t-shirts?
I hope there’s no hazing …
@Xecky Gilchrist: I’m beginning to think that the North lost because the South continues to reap damage on our country.
Villago Delenda Est
OK, so we make this large wooden badger…
You can get tickets to get laid?
@Davis X. Machina: My mom in 2008 voted for Obama. First time in her 70+ years on this planet she voted for a Democrat. She liked McCain but said she felt Palin was shit all stupid (my mom cusses like once a decade) and she couldn’t trust anybody that would pick her.
Gin & Tonic
@Hungry Joe: You won’t be allowed to discuss it afterward.
I’m thinking labor camps. Let them have a taste of slavery.
One, more serious, way out of this is to re institute the Fairness Doctrine; there are too many people living in the bubble of Fox News, et al. You know, morons.
Gin & Tonic
@Baud: I think on Craigslist, they may be referred to as “roses.” Or so I’ve heard.
Ted & Hellen
Haven’t the Dems and Obama done a great job over the last five years?
Depressing thread needs more kitteh.
Fairness Doctrine never applied to cable news.
@Gin & Tonic:
Apparently everyone has gone off to Craigslist.
Jay in Oregon
The North was civilized enough to not butcher the Confederates and adorn pikes with heads after the South lost. We tried to reintegrate them into the country.
“War of Northern Aggression”, my pasty white ass. The South may not fare so well next time.
I know (knew) at least two elderly people who voted for Obama in 2008 for exactly the same reason; that they couldn’t trust a man who picked Palin as their VP candidate.
@Baud: No it does not.
I am an advertising guy. I am not sure I’ve ever done an ad that I knew was false or even misleading. I watch political ads (more than I care to admit) and I often wonder if anything in them is true. And this goes for almost both parties. IMHO this is where we have to start. You just can’t run ads that are misleading if flat out false.
But alas there is so much money on the table no station wants to reject an ad. I mean the political campaign is like a license to print money.
@Johnnybuck: Would that be the same Marco Rubio, who is now going on the news channels and trying to play the Jedi mind trick of claiming it is OBAMA who wants to shut the government down, and that OBAMA needs to cut it out with all the threats?
Rubio truly thinks we are deeply stupid. Or that enough of us are stupid.
Let it happen might be a plausible approach for the continuing resolution. A government shutdown would hurt a lot of people, but short term pain followed by a giant Republican collapse might be better than sustained Republican stupidity. The same is not true of a failure to raise the debt ceiling. A default could easily result in a worse disaster than the Great Recession. I’d rather stumble along with Republican obstructionism than blow up the economy.
Was recently at a National Park. Stopped by the visitor’s center, which closed at 4:00 p.m. People were arriving at that time, expressed surprised that it was closing so early. The park ranger who was locking the doors said, “We have to close at 4:00. Sequestration.” I thought that was awesome. At least she told them the real reason.
@Bokonon: What does Chuck Todd say?
“Can the country survive that long”?
Meryl Streep once said that after her kids got to a certain age, they began to react to those occasions of her melt down fury by responding, “ooh, how dramatic”.
@schrodinger’s cat: Wonderful kitteh! One of the best yet!
Rubio is using abusive spouse logic. She made me hit her by not doing exactly what I said. Obama made them blow up the economy by not agreeing to repeal PPACA. It’s always the victim’s fault.
Of course, neither Rachel nor Chris Hayes will mention the Chuck Todd thing, because God forbid they should embarrass a colleague from the same network by calling him a worthless hack, that’s more important than anything else, right?
@Violet: Last year I went camping with a buddy from college as we do every year. He brought this hard core Republican with him. He just ranted about this or that. I was mad he was making my once a year two week camping trip a pain.
I noted one day I was going to pay our camping permit. He said he’d pay and handed me a number of $20s. I was like it is only $12/night. He was stunned it was so low. I am like “dude you know that government you seem to hate, kind of nice isn’t it?”
BTW: My brother’s wife works as a civilian for the DoD. Her full-time job is no longer a full-time job. Now a four day work week.
OK, true, but the FD ended in 1987, well prior to cable news really taking off (to pick on Fox News, they didn’t arrive until 1996)…
…so we’ll have to have Fairness Doctrine II to cover the new arrangement. Something has to done or we will have Civil War II (which would be far, far shorter than Civil War I).
Please, no fighting in the War Room.
You left out that rubio may just be the stupid one.
@The Dangerman: There are a lot of things that piss me off. But close to the top of the list is the media. I feel I have to fact check what a billion dollar company tells me. I mean how fucked up is that? Now I have a lot more free time then most folks, cause I work for myself and can listen to say MSNBC as background noise for hours a day. Hop on the Internet and fact check things.
But what about the person that goes into the office for work. Has a spouse and a few kids. Think they have the time I do. Nope.
So they catch this show or see that headline and take what they hear as fact, when often that isn’t the case. Then next we know we have large percentage of citizens that think Obama was born in Kenya or gosh knows what.
I find it pretty darn sad!
Good news! (But for it to have more than tripled in six years is obscene.)
This is a real wrist-slasher, because it’s true:
*sigh* That’s a long time to wait.
This is why I’m pro shut down, too. Let it burn. It’s what the GOP wants, and the country does need a lesson in what their government does for them from time to time. I know people will get hurt. But a lot of them vote Republican.
There is not going to be another Civil War. They have no army. The US military will not split to follow them. The militias are tiny. The portion of the population crying to rise up and take arms against the federal government are A) well demonstrated chickenhawks and B) skew very, VERY heavily elderly. However this plays out, no civil war.
@schrodinger’s cat: Kitteh too skinny, needz his cheeseburger. Thread needz moar floofier, mellow kitteh.
This is so easy. I know how to stop a shut-down. We simply have to convince them that that is EXACTLY what Obama wants; they’re playing directly into his hands. Shutdown solved.
From news I see, looks like McConnell and Boehner gave up.and are going (or will pretend to be going) full wingnut. McConnell yelling that he’ll hold the debt ceiling hostage to more spending cuts, and Boehner learning to love the shutdown.
It will be disgusting several months in DC.
@John O: What happens is that it will be to difficult to grow out of with out massive tax increases. The middle class can’t bear anymore of the burden, imo.
@Frankensteinbeck: Not unless Rascal come out with with an assault scooter, that is.
If we went back to Reagan era tax rates, a lot of our problems would solve themselves. It has become a matter of ideology on the Right that taxes are stealing, not contributing to the common good. And the public has largely bought it.
And I understand there are around 27% who can’t be saved, but if you can persuade just 5% of the rest you might have a serious governing majority.
Very mellow and floofy!
Think there’s a lot of truth to the idea that Republican shenanigans won’t affect the money flow into the party. The Republican Party isn’t going anywhere. Just as Rove’s declaration of a permanent republican majority was hooey, Democrats thinking they are headed for some kind of long-term control is a fantasy. The Republican Party may be smaller than the Democrats and they may have tapped out on all the people they can draw to their side, but their troops are reliable voters. The democratic coalition is just not reliable in mid-term, off-year and local elections. It took a royal fuck up like W to motivate dems in 2006, while republicans are always riled up and motivated. If you don’t control congress and state legislatures you don’t get to enact an agenda.
@John O: Exactly. My parents are nothing close to liberals. They also have more money then they can spend in a lifetime. Do they want to be taxed at say 90%, of course not. But a couple percent here or there they wouldn’t even notice. Almost a rounding error in their bank account.
I think you have to target people like my parents. We could have afforded to go to any school, we went to public schools. My father runs the county’s museum, gets government funding. I could list off things for hours that our government does that we like. And my folks are not so dumb they think it can be done for free. You have to pay taxes if you want something in return.
I can’t believe my parents are the only folks out there that think this way …..
If there is an extended shutdown, or a debt default, we won’t have to wait. Gerrymandering or no, they’ll lose the House and we’ll keep the Senate.
The movement conservatives would actually be happy with this. It’s easier to raise money from the rubes when you’re out of power. It’s worse for the Republicans than Ezra Klein said. It’s not just that the movement conservatives don’t care that elected Republicans will pay a price for the intransigence they’re whipping up; they actually *benefit* by hurting the elected Republicans. I think they’re starting to actively realize this.
@John O: This is why I’m pro shut down, too.
Me too, and I’m one of the people who’s going to lose a paycheck while it’s shut.
Long-timers who lived through this before, for instance under Newt, tell me that you eventually get paid for those days once Congress actually passes a budget. So the net effect is just to add a huge amount of unproductive paid vacation to the federal budget for the year.
Frankly the bigger concern is sequestering. The 3-year federal pay freeze, the sniping by Republicans, the furloughs, etc, are leading record numbers of federal workers to retire. And as sequestering kicks in, a lot more are probably going to be RIF-ed (“Reduction In Force”, fed-speak for laid off). The federal workforce is hemorraging seniority and competence right now.
@Raenelle: My god, that’d work perfectly.
The Rethugs and their teabagger contingent in particular are just 2-year-olds. NO NO NO NO NO MINE MINE MINE MINE. You deal with them exactly like you deal with 2-year-olds.
One thing I used to love doing with 2-year-olds who said NO reflexively to everything, is I’d ask them “Are you going to keep saying no?” and they’d yell NO!!!. And I’d say “good, I’m glad to hear that!” That was always fun for me.
Try it if you have one– or if you’re dealing with Rethugs. It’s one of the great joys of that age.
@John O: Well tax rates are higher than when Reagan left office. People forget that the top marginal tax rate was 28 % after the tax reform act of 1986. The top marginal rate today is near 40 % but if you include the new tax increases on the wealthy to fund the ACA, and the resurrection of Pep and Pease during the fiscal cliff which limits deductions and exemptions for people making 250,000 +. If you take that all together the effective tax rate for top earners is higher than the Clinton years.
@Randy P: That is what they want. They want an incompetent, impotent, useless federal government that can’t do anything right. So that they can sell it off to incompetent, impotent, corrupt corporations who can’t do anything right, and enrich the 1% even more.
Fuck the Republican Party.
Seriously, fuck them with a nice, rusty pitchfork, the one that’s been sitting in the back of the barn that you’re afraid to touch because you have no idea what chemicals might be on that thing. These assholes don’t like this law – mainly because they know once it goes into effect, a lot of people are going to be better off – and so they want to blow up the economy over it. Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with these people? That’s what happens when you win elections, you have an 80-seat majority in the House, and you have a 20-seat majority in the Senate – you get to run the fucking show.
The fact that these whiny-ass titty babies don’t understand that is equivalent to a little kid who just.doesn’t.GET.IT. ACA was passed 3.5 years ago. These shitheads lost a presidential election, lost seats in the Senate, and lost seats in the House despite being fixated on ACA like a porn star hungrily eyes a penis. And their solution is to fixate even more? They’ve voted to repeal ACA over 40 times, and have gotten absolutely fucking nowhere.
You know when they can repeal ACA? When they pull their heads out of their asses; stop running Neanderthals for Senate seats who think brown people belong in chains or behind a fence, or think women belong in the kitchen with a bun in their ovens, whether they like it or not; and win a fucking national election even though their base – old, bitter white bumblefucks who live in the middle of Bumblefuckville – is shrinking faster than George Costanza’s dick in a pool.
Elections have fucking consequences. And the goddamn media should realize that, too. When I read a headline like “Republicans offer to fund government in exchange for killing Obamacare”, without a lick of ‘WTF’ or ‘I can’t believe this shit’ underlying the reporting, something is wrong.
I hope the GOP likes rusty pitchforks, because they had better get used to them if they decide to play this game of cat and mouse with the economy over a law that was passed by Congress, signed by the Kenyan Socialist, upheld by SCOTUS, and was effectively upheld by the people via an election last year.
This shit makes me real angry, because it is stupid, and Democrats have never, ever made as asinine a demand on this shit as the GOP is doing now. Of course, no one in the media points this out.
Seems like my semi-epic rant got stuck in moderation. Boo / can I be un-moderated please?
McConnell is just putting on a show for his primary. Five Republicans have said “no shutdown” (Ayotte, Collins, Graham, McCain, and Coburn) and I’m sure Kirk won’t go for it either, so that’s 6 Republican votes against a CR filibuster. The Senate will act.
Boehner doesn’t want a shutdown. He wants a CR passed and no doubt hopes a reasonable compromise coming out of the Senate will be very difficult for the Tea Partiers to stop once the Chamber of Commerce starts to squeal.
OK, but Reagan proved deficits don’t matter, because he ran it all up on the credit card.
It’s odd to say, I know, but St. Reagan was sane, and could never get elected today. The man raised taxes several times (6? 7?), even HE knew the trajectory he put us on economically was unsustainable, and he understood that politics was about bargaining (my personal take is he enjoyed that part, much like Clinton) and *gasp* compromise.
We don’t need to tax anyone at a top rate of 90%. But the rich wouldn’t feel the 4% that Obama originally asked for, that’s a fact.
Speed on brother, Hell’s only half full!
It will hurt the conservative movement in a way, because the key to their political power, the only reason they have any on the national level, is that they have under their control what still might be described (although just barely) as a national political party, and therefore one house of congress. They keep going like this, they’ll still be the conservative movement, but they won’t have those undeserved advantages any more.
According to TPM, the CoC has already started squealing.
@dogwood: Yeah but the difference is that one party’s base is growing while the other is shrinking. That is the difference, which hasn’t happened in recent political history. Demographics and the rise of the minority voting bloc is going to have a large impact on the future of this nation like never before.
No one is saying that the democrats will control everything forever, but that they will have an advantage in controlling the Presidency and to a lesser degree the senate.
The democrats dominated the majority of elections from FDR all the way to LBJ. The republicans dominated the majority of elections from Nixon all the way to Bush. It looks like we are headed for another swing.
Davis X. Machina
@The Dangerman: Fairness Doctrine I only passed constitutional muster because the electromagnetic spectrum — the airwaves — are a commons, a finite resource, owned by all of us, and only administered by the FCC.
If you don’t emit in the RF spectrum — and cable doesn’t — you’re not under the regulatory wing of the FCC except for technical stuff like how much interference a cable system can cause, or must accept, or the frequencies used by satellite uplinks and downlinks.
Cable isn’t broadcasting, under the meaning of the act.
@John O: The Chamber is fucking stupid – they sent these fucking teabaggers to Washington, and they just don’t give a fuck. Anything to get back at the black man in the White House.
@fuckwit: Of course they do. I live in a small rural town, not that liberal. But government seems to work here. Our highschool graduates 98.7% of students. Oh we just built a $60M highschool. We have good roads. You can’t walk a few blocks in any direction and not find a park. Heck we can’t stop adding jobs.
Guess how we did this, we got rid of the politicians. Or we hired a professional City Manager. The mayor fired him, and we recalled the mayor saying hire the guy back, he is good at this job.
Davis X. Machina
No you didn’t. You got rid of certain kinds of politicians, or of politicians who act like what people think of as politicians.
You live in a community — a polis — you’ve got politicians.
@John O: I agree. You need to have a reasonable tax rate so that we can have a functioning government. I think closing loopholes should be the main priority, and going after tax shelters which is what the Obama administration is doing under the FATCA law that passed in 2010.
Davis X. Machina
@efgoldman: He doesn’t want his name on the plaque with David Livingston and Newt Gingrich.
At least Speaker Tom Foley lost at the polls….
Kenny Norton RIP.
@efgoldman: It has to be more than 40-45, otherwise Boehner would tell them to fuck off – he’d be able to win a leadership vote. Maybe you have 40-45 loudmouth nihilists, but I have to think that the majority of the House GOP caucus is the nihilist caucus.
Boehner knows he’s living on borrowed time. Nancy Smash should do some backroom dealing and kick his ass out, put a ‘moderate’ Republican like Richard Hanna from NY in as Speaker, so that, at the very least, we can have a properly functioning House that won’t push us to the edge. This stupid psychodrama about Orange Julius figuring out whether the guillotine or the fire suits him better needs to stop.
I think a government shut down is horrible, but I see it benefiting Obama, the health care law, the dems running in 2014, and Hillary in 2016.
The republicans are ensuring that the democrats maintain control of 2 branches of government for a long time.
@Davis X. Machina: They are still around clearly. But all part time jobs. I almost want to cry when I type this but one of the first things he did was promote raising taxes on businesses. The goal, buy some run down stores on Main Street and build a food pantry and parks.
I recall being at a town hall meeting and folks thinking this was the worse idea ever.
He asked them if they liked nice things. They all said yes. He said he was trying to give them nice things, but nice things cost money. He then said that his goal was to bring more people to our town. To have a place where people wanted to live or start a business. He has done that. Since he took office my town grew from 5,500 to 8,700.
It is a place folks want to live.
Basically, the Democrats will do better and better until there’s a major realignment. There could be some important new issue that cuts across existing political coalitions and causes people to move between parties both ways. If that doesn’t happen, eventually some part of the winning coalition will be disillusioned and decide they can get a better deal by jumping ship to the other party.
@jeffreyw: That’s a sweet looking kitteh, looks like a slimmer Tunch.
Davis X. Machina
@Tommy: In a town of 8000 — my home in Maine is that size — there aren’t any full-time, salaried ‘politicians’ unless it’s extraordinarily badly run. Unless you mean ‘civil servants’ or ‘public employees’.
Davis X. Machina
Has that ever happened in this country on the basis of anything besides slavery, or the management of its aftermath?
@Davis X. Machina: True. But it doesn’t mean some sort of regulatory system is needed, in more ways than one.
Right now, cable has both a monopoly on broadband, and very little oversight. And no one is thrilled with their service. Past time to do something about them, and that would include their ways of calling something “news” when it’s not.
@Jeremy: The news will blame Obama because he didn’t explain enough. It was not their fault, they read from the faxes that the repubs sent over..
@SiubhanDuinne: Thanks, I is glad you liked it. More kittehs on the blog here and my ICHC stash is here
@Davis X. Machina: We have plenty of full-time public employees. But all the elected leaders have other full-time jobs and being mayor or a city council member is something they do on the side.
Heck we might have a lot more employees then most cities, cause my city provides me my power and water.
I don’t think that’s happened since the pre-Civil War era.
The difference between then and now is that the Democratic base is growing everywhere, not just in certain parts of the country but even in “Republican” areas. The Solid South has been fraying at the edges in the last couple election cycles with Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia now battleground states, and southwestern states like Texas are on the front lines of the demographic change too.
The only way a CW happens is if the various NGs of treasonous Governors/ States can mobilize, attack, and neutralize the RA in their state(s). There also tends to be a higher percentage of RWNJ in SOF units.
Davis X. Machina
@WereBear: You’re smack up against the First Amendment, absent the use of the public airwaves providing the hook.
I’m no great fan of cable news, as practiced, but that’s a very two-edged sword you’re swinging.
@Davis X. Machina:
Cable may not, but satellites do…
…and there are all sorts of wireless distribution of content, all the way down to pushing content into telephony. So, I see all sorts of “commons” in play here.
As for there being no potential for Civil War, I suppose that is basically correct given the typical definition of War; I do envision, however, significant violence (I’m shocked we haven’t had another OKC from the Right).
@Cassidy: Translation, please.
@efgoldman: Truth, but on things like the CR and the debt ceiling, I am pretty sure Pelosi can get all the Dems lined up to vote for a sane solution. Hence why there must be a majority who are willing to shiv Orange Julius if he has to break Fat Denny’s Rule again.
@The Dangerman: You are correct in part, but you are missing something. Cell phone companies and DirecTV have bought, via auctions, the frequencies they use. CBS. ABC. NBC. PBS. Fox. They are given their spectrum for free, so they can be regulated.
@Roger Moore: Exactly ! We have re-alignments all of the time and we will continue to see them. I think the 2008 election was a re-alignment election. Some political historians/ observers believe that the republican domination of the electoral college fell apart when Bush Sr. lost to Clinton. I think it’s a valid point since the republicans since 1992 have only won the popular vote once, they haven’t won over 300 electoral votes since 1988, and Bush jr. had to get appointed by the Court in order to become president.
As long as there is a safety net in this country, too many people will have too much invested in society to throw in behind a civil war or revolution. If the safety net goes completely, then all bets are off.
Yep, ideologies that are losing the battle at the ballot box are known to do that. I, also, expect that if the right finally starts getting shut down electorally, we’ll see militia attacks go through the roof. (Even more than we already have, that is).
They buy the rights to use those frequencies; IANAL, but I don’t think you can own a frequency any more than you can own the color blue.
I think you are right, and I had not considered that.
@Chris: I read an article about the changing demographics in the South. It should be interesting to see electoral politics 10 years from now. By then state like Texas and Arizona will be battleground states.
My first thought when I heard of the navy yard was Greenwald’s oathkeeper buddies. Happily I kept my mouth shut and didn’t say my first thought out loud.
2008/Obama kind of reminds me of 1968/Nixon – it dealt a powerful blow to the ruling coalition, signaled that change was coming and foreshadowed some of that change, but you had to wait until 1980/Reagan before the new establishment really defined itself and entrenched itself in the political system. (And while the old coalition had been bloodied at the national level, at the local level a lot of its component parts continued to hold power).
@Davis X. Machina: I’m talking about false advertising!
Even Fox dances around it, claiming various forms of “entertainment” and “opinion” when they use the same format as they do for their “news” programs.
Advertorial content in magazines is supposed to be labeled as such.
@efgoldman: Yes the local stations have a license. But that is different from buying spectrum. They just don’t buy the frequency the way the rest of the companies do.
Now as to regulation of cable channels, I often wonder how they get the “right of way” to use the utility poles in my area (not sure how it works where you live).If they didn’t have that access they’d be fucked. It would seem to me if you wanted to regulate them, that might be a place to start.
If I were outside Washington, I would throw healthy foods into the city.
@WereBear: Fox local news stations as well as Fox cable news is run by their entertainment division. There by they can’t be sued successfully for libel.
@Chris: Me an you are on the same page. The 2008 election is very similar to the 1968 election. At that time you had a president (LBJ) at his lowest point including his party, the new deal coalition which dominated politics from the 30’s to the 60’s was falling apart, and a new coalition (silent majority) was forming. If you look at the 1968 electoral map you see where the republicans started making gains in the once Solid Democratic South. The Nixon -Reagan Coalition reached it’s height when Reagan beat Carter in a landslide.
@JPL: Yes, everyone is bringing up good points. But the fact we can discuss it means we need to.
It’s a fantastic opportunity because the Internet is opening up new outlets for broadcasting. I don’t think the companies involved are the best source for figuring all this out; we’ve already had way too much of that.
@WereBear: I didn’t have a TV for most of my life. Only had cable the last few years. I am 44. I am stunned, if you look hard enough, there is a lot of good shows on IMHO. Netflix is my friend now cause there are shows I am trying to catch up on. Something like Orange is the New Black blew my mind. I wish there was more options for me.
To get geeky for a second, Norway did something amazing a few years ago. Cable providers wanted to wire homes with direct fiber. No more coaxial cable. The government told the firms that if they would wire homes and open up the lines to their competition, they’d give them a huge tax break for wring each household.
Now I don’t live in Norway so I don’t know what is happening now, but all the telecom firms did this.
And he’d be able to meet the Hastert rule without them. I think the bigger thing is that there may be only 40 or 45 foaming at the mouth Teabaggers, but there are a lot of fellow travelers who aren’t willing to cross the Teabag caucus for fear of being primaried in next year’s election. There are only about 30-50 Republicans who have shown a willingness to vote against the Teabaggers and with the Democrats to get stuff done, and even they are afraid enough that they aren’t going to do it regularly.
@Davis X. Machina:
The Great Depression.
It ain’t 1258, and those spineless bastards ain’t Mongols, so there.
@Jeremy: I can somewhat see a parallel with Nixon, in the sense that Nixon was ultimately a pragmatic politician that wasn’t terribly hung up on ideology, at least by the time he became president. But in another sense, they’re kind of like the Mirror Universe in Star Trek, similar but diametrically opposite. Nixon kind of presaged the Reagan Democrats with his identification with the Silent Majority and Obama is somewhat doing the same with appeals to inclusion of previously powerless groups like gays and ethnic minorities, but the former was based on racism while the latter is based on justice. The new silent majority is going to be all the people screwed over by Republicans, particularly in red states where Republicans are going out of their way by enacting voter id, blocking Medicaid expansion, blocking gay marriage, etc. You see it here in NC, where they’re doing all of this and at the same time hiring all their made men cronies to slop at the public trough. The Dems have to cultivate resentment against that, just like the Republicans cultivated the Reagan democrats with a resentment based narrative but, in this case, the resentment is righteous.
@Tommy: Well, Norway. The Scandinavian countries have a whole other mindset: like, in 1967, Sweden announced when they were switching the side of the road they were driving on, and everyone just did it.
Try that here. We couldn’t even do metric.
If it weren’t for my husband’s chronic illness, I’d pull the cable plug and go totally Internet, but there are time when he has to just lie in bed. He’d go crazy without passive diversion… but I think I’m swaying him over to my side. Get a Roku box, something like that.
Because basic TV basically sucks. None of it appeals to me enough to chase it all over the dial (they assume people have DVR, I guess) so many commercials it’s not worth chasing, anyway.
I disagree. What we’ve seen since the age of Reagan is fairly stable coalitions but an electoral shift because of changing demographics. There are a couple of minority groups that have gone from leaning R to leaning D, but they are small potatoes electorally. 2008 was dramatic because the Republicans fucked up the economy so badly they lost most of the true swing voters, but that wasn’t a realignment because a bunch of them swung back in 2012. A true realignment would be if one of the major parts of one of the parties switched sides, and that hasn’t happened.
@WereBear: I could rant on TV for hours. I pay a ton cause well I want channels most folks I guess don’t watch. History Channel International. BBC. The Green channel. Now I am a sports guy so I know many non-sports fans help make my ESPN cheaper, but it still blows my mind I can’t get better pricing. I mean I get EVERY channel my system offers and I watch like 2 percent of them.
Are you always this ignorant or is this just intentional selective memory, selective lack of intelligence trolling?
The exact same thing will happen as last time. They will drag it out till the last second to squeeze as much political mileage out of it as possible then ultimately avoid gov’t shutdown or whatever that red line is.
And the whole fucking time idiots like you will fearmonger/troll over it (just like last time) because it gives you something to write about. So everyone wins in your twisted fucked up world.
Interesting point. I like the president, but I don’t think I could be classified as an Obot. My reasons for supporting him in the 08 primaries were pretty analytical. I thought at the time the country was ready to start turning more progressive and I felt he was the best person in the field to begin that process. I never expected the country to change in four, eight or even ten years. From Nixon to Newt lies a quarter of a century of relentless work done by conservatives. The realignment of the south after the civil rights act and the voting rights act was always a party realignment but never an ideological one. The South has been the bedrock of conservatism since the founding of the republic. All of the important legislation passed during the New Deal occurred during the first two years. After that FDR faced obstruction from southern democrats and especially the big southern money men in places like Texas. This included his own VP John Nance Garner. The south may have been solid Democrat for a long time, but it has never been liberal or progressive. There are strains of populism at times, but that’s about it. One of the biggest obsticles to progress in this country has always been the power that these southern conservatives have wielded in the Senate.
Yes, true. I think there’s a popular image of the South as driven exclusively by race, as in, they turned on the Democrats when they became racially progressive but they were totally okay with them as long as they were only economic progressives… It’s partly true in that you had populist movements that flared up every now and then (hello, Huey Long), but overall the Southern Democratic establishment seems to’ve had as many 1%ers and economic royalists as any Wall Street backed Republicans.
(What do you expect from former slave owners, and the people who were raised to worship them, really?)
@schrodinger’s cat: Basically, the active duty military is too diverse for it to become a successful weapon of treason. The biggest danger is desertion. National Guards, though, are state entities and they are all “Kansas boys” or “Georgia boys” etc. So, for a successful civil war to be persecuted, the states that turned traitor, assuming red states, would have to mobilize their national guards, attack the military bases in those states to gather weapons, vehicles, ammo, etc., do it in a coordinated manner across several states at once, and do it with significant subterfuge so as not to meet resistance. It’s a plausible scenario, but more fiction than reality.
@Roger Moore: You make a great point. It’s not really a realignment but a change in the strength of one coalition versus the other. Right now the Obama coalition is gaining strength.
@Davis X. Machina: You’re smack up against the First Amendment, absent the use of the public airwaves providing the hook.
True, but cable runs over a heck of a lot of public real estate, seems like that could be leveraged to make an argument in favor of more regulation. Of course, that would require politicos who aren’t owned by the cable companies, and they’re a rare breed
In terms of upcoming realignments, I wouldn’t put it past the Republicans to split in two over the immigration issue. It’s not going away, it divides two crucial parts of the GOP (the teabagger base and the capitalist elites), and it’s not something either of them are going to give ground on because it’s near and dear to both their hearts – the base really wants a country as white as possible, the elites really want their imported labor.
Best case scenario, the party splits as happened in 1912 and 1968, and the opposition party picks up the pieces.
Short Bus Bully
I c wut u did thar.
@dogwood: The south has always been one of the most conservative areas in the country.
@dogwood: I think it’s a myth that the important legislation passed in the New Deal only occurred in the first two years – here’s alist of what was enacted after the first two years: (1) the Public Utility Holding Company Act, which was, by far, the biggest legislative battle; (2) the Maloney Act – extending the securities laws to all over-the-counter stock; (3) theWalker Acts, which included the NLRB and the minimum wage and hours laws; (4) Walker-Logan Act aka the Administrative Procedure Act; (5) the Trust Indenture Act; (6) the Investment Company Act; (7) the Investment Advisors Act; (8) the Holding Company Act; (9) Lend-Lease; (10) McCarran-Ferguson; (11) the Motor Carrier Act, which was later construed to outlaw undue discrimination in interstate commerce (in Boynton, which set the stage for the Freedom Rides); (12) the Selective Service Act and its extension; (13) the Neutrality laws and their gradual repeal; (14) the War resolutions against Germany and Japan; (15) the numerous War Powers Acts; (16) the various defense appropriations bills, which funded the war (and the Manhattan Project) and created the the war-time FEPC; (17) the Price Stability Act; (18) the Bretton Woods Agreements Acts (which created the IMF and World Bank). And, that’s just a partial list. The fact is that Sam Rayburn was still enormously active in producing legislation that had a positive impact on the country well after the first two years of the New Deal – most of this stuff was not labeled “New Deal” but FDR signed them anyway and their impact was and remains far-reaching. Most of the history books are simply wrong – you should not make the same mistake.
@patroclus: And Garner had very little power and Rayburn had a lot more and he was decidedly a liberal, as were many of his Southern colleagues. And when they weren’t, he worked with others or pointedly avoided controversy (like with the seminal Motor Carrier Act).
@Davis X. Machina: AFAIK, all the cable operators have vast satellite antenna operations to feed into the cables and fibers. Remember all the satellite trucks that show at major events that one sees on cable.
The FCC lists rules for Political Cablecasting:
@Jay in Oregon:
Hell, I read Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Henry Miller in the 9th grade, and that was back when Nixon was president. I was in high school when I went to the Three Penny on Lincoln Avenue to see Pasolini’s Salo, 100 Days of Sodom. I had a stack of Grove Press’ Evergreen Review in my locker.
I’m pretty sure high schoolers (then and now) are a lot more hard-core than anyone wants to believe.
Over on the Senate side Dick Russelll wielded plenty of power and he put the brakes on plenty of legislation. He was no liberal.
lmao i will do this.
while not a fan of the GOP they aren’t in the same league as Genghis Khan.
@dogwood: Not really. Russell was merely a freshman Senator and didn’t really wield any power until he became committee chair in the late 40’s and he was a decided New Dealer for his first term, suppporting virtually all of FDR/Rayburn’s initiatives until he was attacked for it in his second re-election campaign. Consequently, he supported Social Security and PUHCA and all of the securities laws revisions – he just drew the line on labor and civil rights. And he certainly supported the Defense appropriations and the war acts – which created the FEPC, built public power and electrified rural communities; not to mentioned combatting fascism. The myth that it was just the first two years ignores the fact that the NRA and AAA – the signature legislation of the first two years, were both declared unconstitutional and had to be revised in the later FDR years. Rayburn, however, supported both labor rights and civil rights (although it was a quiet support of the latter). Most of the important legislation of the FDR years came with support from Southerners and was enacted in the latter part of FDR’s terms. Including the seminal Motor Carrier Act, which John Lewis later declared as “earthshaking” in its importance to civil rights. Rayburn authored the MCA and it was enacted in 1935.
@PsiFighter37: The Chamber of Commerce is indeed stupid. I deal with a branch of it overseas, and they really have no clue how the politics of the country where they are located work. They just sent a letter to the prime minister making all sorts of requests that they change the laws to accomodate international capital, and the requests were ridiculously wrong-headed, like reorganizing the educational system, upgrading irrelevant parts of the infrastructure, and cutting public sector salaries. These things are the result of decades of painfully worked out political compromises… even the conservatives are invested in them.
If the government went ahead and made these changes there would be all sorts of political and policy instability, exactly the sort of things that international capital wants least of all.
Your points are all well taken. Where southern conservatives started to balk after the first two years was with further stimulative spending if I remember correctly. What’s happened is my New Deal stuff muddied up the waters and my point was lost. I was talking about the enormous power of the southern conservative block in the Senate and its history of blocking progress. So Sam Rayburn wasn’t part of that problem. I would still argue that Dick Russell used his significant powers as a committee chairman to block progressive goals. Opposing labor and civil rights puts him firmly in the conservative camp.
See, my memory is that the glory days of the New Deal lasted five years, not two. The Conservative Coalition (the alliance of Southern Democrats and conservative Republicans) is usually credited as having been formed in 1937 in reaction to Roosevelt’s attempt to pack the Supreme Court. The Southern Democratic establishment had been leery of the New Deal for some time already, but the court packing is what caused the general backlash that allowed them and their Republican allies to go on the offensive.
FDR had a rough presidency after that, but World War Two breathed new life into it and, with the wartime powers granting him the kind of power over the U.S. economy he hadn’t had before, he was able to use it to go on doing good.
As an interesting aside – the reason for “the southern conservative block in the Senate and its history of blocking progress,” if I remember correctly, is that positions within the Senate were filled by seniority, with the senators who’d been there the longest getting the best positions. Since the South was essentially a one-party state, its senators were usually the ones with the most secure seats and who’d been there the longest, so all the senior committee positions went to them, and they got to set the agenda.
How does it go? Conservatism can never fail, it can only be failed. It will take a generation at least for their thinking to moderate to any degree. Why should they moderate their thinking? There’s no upside for and no money to be made from moderation, and no real downside (individually) for the nutcases who are, to pick an issue at random, threatening to shut down the government. This doesn’t constitute a brilliant insight, exactly, since I’ve read a lot of commentary today to the effect that what makes the Republican Party look bad in the eyes of the country makes individual wingnuts (think Louie Gohmert) look good to constituents in their very) gerrymandered districts.
What’s bad for the Republican Party and even worse for the country is a net positive for the R’s back benchers from gerrymandered districts who won’t get voted out whatever they do, barring being shown on Youtube having carnal knowledge of the local barnyard swine.* However….this is where the delusional world, aka bubble, in which these boneheads live comes in. A few days of shutdowns for people whose jobs depend on federal bucks, and closed national parks, etc? In which case B. Barry Bamz can go on the tube and say dudes….I did everything i could. Here’s what they want, and here’s what I’ve offered. How is it that I’m being unreasonable? I would not be performing my duties as Chief Magistrate if I knuckled under to these fucksticks.** At which point people start thinking, shit, I’m out of work because of these assholes in Congress, the deficit doesn’t affect me, personally, today, but I got payments to make now, today, and I don’t have money coming in.
Shortly, the Republican congressmen chorus will be to say hey, you’re out of work – sucks to be you – but it’s all in a good cause, can’t make an omelet without a few people getting crushed like grapes, so sorry, but you ain’t writing me any five figure campaign contribution checks. And don’t worry about all that stuff like food inspections, the free market will take care of everything, and if that falls through Jesus will fix it. And if you’re on food stamps, watch this – get out your phone so you can take a picture of the axe coming down. If you’re poor and out of work, Jesus doesn’t love you and we don’t either.
It does make you wonder how long this will go on if indeed the – gasp – government shuts down.
These guys (that is, Republican/Tea Party morons) don’t know any history; that being a topic which doesn’t generally penetrate the conservative skull. They’re not real big on intellectual consistency, either. I mean, it was all good when W was tripling the national debt, it was only when That Man moved into the White House that deficits became anathema to the Republican faithful. (Anybody remember who said “deficits don’t matter” in a presidential level meeting? Anybody? C’mon….)
End of rant….damn, that felt good.
*Thinking about Diaper Dave Vitter and his ilk, I’m not any too sure about this one. (“The congressman has sought help and is spending time with his Christian counselors. And hey, aside from that pigfucking thing, he’s a great guy.”)
**Leaving aside, for the moment, Obama’s duties as Chief Magistrate in making sure that the laws in the form of the Bill of Rights are faithfully executed. Kinda falling down on, oh, the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments, aren’tcha, Barack Ol’ buddy?
*****Regardless of anything else, wingnuts are true believers and they ain’t gonna stop.
Um, the Mongols were far more civilized than movement conservatives.
As the husband of a Mongolian woman, the father of a half-Mongolian child, and a general Mongolphile, let me respond to this by saying FUCK YOU!!!!!!
Don’t ever compare Mongolians to Conservatives. It’s a giant fucking insult.
I’m not actually offended, but seriously …. comparing Mongolians to Movement Conservatives is dehumanizing to Mongolians.
America’s 1% long ago stopped being guided by money and started being guided by weird, esoteric ideologies. Which I suppose is what happens when you attain a level of wealth so ridiculously high that you’ll never end up broke no matter how many times you fuck up – the old Rational Self Interest meter is no longer needed and breaks from lack of use.
(Probably helps too that, especially if you’re in the Chamber of Commerce, you can hit up the government to bail you out, pat you on the back and send you on your way whenever you fuck up, as we just saw in 2008).
@ranchandsyrup: This is why a “divorce over irreconcilable differences” is possibly the best solution. No one need die (though inevitably some probably will) and no war need happen. The reddest of red states would simply vote to leave and their choice accepted. Hopefully red ‘Americans’ would then immigrate there and Americans would leave to come here. But that would be their choice. My sympathies are with the decent Americans in the red states but the truth is that our country cannot work as it is now constituted.
We too often forget that our constitution is not a majority rule document, it is structured to approximate a reasonable consensus that can only be attained when enough agreement exists in the country. It not longer exists. The Republican Party is not a “loyal opposition” but has become a disloyal one, and so the system is failing.
This solution is also in keeping with the sentiments of our Declaration of Independence, the first part of which people should reread with today’s problems in mind.
Paul in KY
That Mongol seige was great, because it ended ‘predatory, expansionist Islam’. Islam would later convert various rulers & expand in that manner, but the era of Jihadist waves storming through verious countries came to a screeching halt there.