Steve Benen always does a good job breaking down the latest Republican ransom notes, and here’s the backup plan for the House if Senate negotiations fail. One of the real dick moves here is the Vitter amendment, which essentially gives Congressional staffers a pay cut by removing the employer-sponsored portion of their healthcare. Those of us with a nodding acquaintance with the real world call that a “pay cut”. Vitter probably calls it “freedom”. (Here’s a full explanation of how this very stupid piece of stupidity came to be.)
Working for Congress is already a fairly shitty job — long hours, low pay, your boss is generally an asshole — but how would you feel if your idiot employer decided that you should be getting a pay cut after you’ve had a couple of weeks of no paycheck? Would you still be stoked to work nights and weekends for that jackass?
They are destroying the country because they hate Obama.
@schrodinger’s cat: I think it’s more than that. They’re destroying the country because they see the old order, the white-men-are-the-norm order, slipping away. They’re angry about it because they know it means a loss of automatic status based only on who they are. And they can’t change it. It’s happening. It’s here. And President Obama is the biggest symbol of that change.
They can’t change reality, but they can make it miserable for everyone else around them while they adjust. They’re like children who have temper tantrums when they have to go to bed. They still have to go to bed, but they’ll make their parents’ lives a living hell until they finally are so exhausted that they…fall asleep and go to bed.
It’s already weird that they hate federal employees with such insane venom — think of another industry where the supervisors tell the employees how much they hate them. But it’s really a lot weirder that they’re now saying to the people working in their office, answering their phones, setting their calendars, writing their press releases, that they hate them just as much as they do everyone and want to fuck them as hard as possible on their salaries, health care, and benefits. Vitter’s staffers are probably baking him Ex-Lax brownies right now…
Do you like my meme? I’ve started calling the congressional Republicans the Deadbeat Caucus.
Wrote to my rep’s about this, and getting their auto-response in my email led Google+ to recommend I click on a Rand Paul link, icky ew!
The Thin Black Duke
@Scott S.: I think Fight Club said it best: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWVxI6XZAuE
What is up with this “income verification” thing? I get why Republicans are making a big deal of it because it suits there “welfare queen” mongering about all government services but surely there is, defintionally, some kind of income verification thing going on with the ACA because you can only get the subsidies if you provide some kind of verified income statement/tax form. So income verification already exists in the law. Unless what they are really going for is something more punitive.
Income verification? So if you make more than x amount you don’t qualify to purchase insurance on the open market with your money, or am I missing something?
They’re destroying the country because they hate the country.
Think it’s a coincidence the confederate flag shows up at half these tea party rallies, like the one yesterday protesting the park closures that CRUZ AND HIS CONGRESS BUDDIES created?
These jokers want nullification. They want to make everyone who’s NOT a millionaire into low-wage slaves and take away their pensions and retirement benefits. They want civil rights taken all the way back to 1850 when Blacks, women, college students, and anyone they don’t like could not vote.
Obama’s just a face they can aim at when they’re shouting, a person they can hang their hatred on. The real problem is that these self-serving Lost Causers want to rule (and use that rule to steal all they can), and if they can’t they’ll ruin.
they just want to make it harder to jump through one more hoop, create one more excuse to deny somebody a benefit just for the sake of keeping the sick and poor as sick and poor as possible.
@aimai: Red Staters luv them some govt bloat ‘n’ red tape, so long as it targets those.
@aimai: A scarlet letter “P” for poor to be worn to the doctor.
So the answer to the old order slipping away is a GOP-induced crisis, default, and a global recession followed by either India, China, or both together kicking our asses for a couple hundred years economically.
@PaulW: @Violet: I agree, Obama is the embodiment of everything they hate. He focuses their hatred.
Matt Yglesias has morphed into another idiot at times. Like here. He gives credence to some Republican statements or beliefs where none is deserved.
Too bad too. He was good prior to his current incarnation.
So true! So much syntactic redundancy!
@Scott S.: Another industry? State workers. City workers. You can always count on elected to ride into power, whining that you’re overpaid and have too many benefits. Even when they’re govmint workers from another district.
I wonder if Vitter makes his own coffee and provides his own food.
Looks like the end game is about to start. They called Biden out of the bullpen. The thugs have already gotten ‘negotiations/talks/phone calls or whatever’; in spite of Obama’s demand no talks with a gun to our heads.
What ever is decided upon, the end result will be do the D’s have to give away the store or the store and the house. There is 0 talk of new revenue. All of the talks seem to revolve around how much the budget will be cut and how many people will be screwed. While they haggle over time frames there is no permanent solution so it 6 weeks, 9 weeks, whatever we will be back at this all over again with a new set of demands. And I’m sure one of them will be more spending cuts.
The thugs argue that Obama got his tax increase in Jan. and now its time for spending cuts. What they conveniently don’t mention is Obama agreed to 2 trillion in spending cuts in 2011 and the ill-begotten sequester which is cutting a hundred or so billion more.
I wonder what the immigration policy is for the Duchy of Fenwick.
@Scott S.: The thread(s) several days ago about the contempt with which many restaurant diners hold their waiters, and the purported (but apparently not effective) ‘leverage’ said diners have via tipping sort of comes close to the hatred these folks have for gov’t employees.
I find it pathological, rather than weird. Their compassion-center in their brain is atrophied.
They have lost and are in retreat. They are blowing up bridges and stealing what they can as they retreat. Obama and the Democrats just need to stay strong and not bargain away anything meaningful. Risky? Perhaps but no other choice now. None. They must be made to capitulate and accept the rule of law or we don’t have anything. Hopefully they will pay a stiff electoral price, but one can’t count on everything…
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
It’s actually getting to be a bit much to wrap my head around. They hate their employer and their employees. Do they have more than 17 functioning neurons.
OT, but morning work story you might appreciate, dpm, among others:
Email from work’s server admin (using the term loosely), with the subject:
Urgent. A virus is accessing your email. Please remove
We’ve observed outgoing emails that have known characteristics with a trojan infection on one or more of your PCs. The following email account was used to send the email, [email protected]. Please scan the PC that uses this email address with an updated AV and Malware scanner to ensure that the infection is removed.
Email password for [email protected] reset to 9CgJynXOneKO
Did he really not look at the name of the email account? I wrote back and suggested that since regular scans have been uneventful, perhaps the issue was at the server level. It was at least a distraction from the current Congressional clusterfuck.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
It’s true that “they” hated the Clintons, but “they” hate Obama more, and there are more “they” now. The biggest reason is that he’s black– not a doubt in my mind– and everything that implies to their Archie Bunker tribalism, but there’s also increasing economic uncertainty and a shift in the media from people who supported or at least accepted the idea of a social safety net to people who, at their core, are Randians, whether they know it or not. CHarlie Pierce watches the Sunday shows so I don’t have to, and the halfwit who talks from under David Gregory’s coiffe said yesterday that “entitlements are cannibalizing the budget”.
@PaulW: I think most of them want to go back to 1785 and the Articles of Confederation. That was a states rights dream come true. It didn’t work in the small rural country of 1785 and it won’t work today but they don’t care.
On the other hand I think there is a segment of the tea party that hasn’t forgiven King John for signing the Magna Carta
I’m guessing it’s like their approach to abortion, or to voting rights. If they make the process as difficult and humiliating as possible, fewer people will take the trouble to enroll in Obamacare.
Do I have wingnut welfare to lean on during the lean times? Because if I can start a blog titled “Anonymous DC Source” and make bank as some undocumented employee of a SuperPAC, that still works for me.
Matt Yglesias … was good prior to his current incarnation.
His writings about public education have been uninformly ill-informed and thus bad since the days when people were still calling him “Big-media Matt”.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: While the Texans were still not showing up for their game yesterday, I flipped around and made the mistake of seeing the MtP rebroadcast on MSNBC. Before I could start pressing other numbers on the remote, I had an earful of Harold Ford, Kathleen Parker (WaPo) and someone else dutifully expounding that both sides were doing it and should just talk to one another.
@kindness: I guess you have forgotten the whole licensing of barbers business, which MY thought was redundant.
Got a link to anything credible where this is being discussed? Because I’ve read the opposite; that Reid is so pissed about the disloyalty of the GOP that he’s not giving a damn thing to anyone.
@Corner Stone: The time for talk is long since over. If they get their way now, their demands will get worse.
And I swear to Christ, I don’t give a rat’s ass how much pushback Tweety gave on Maher’s show, the sheer inundation of his Tip n Gipper-isms for his book is drowning the political TV medium.
I just can’t take anymore of it and wish his book would just slink off into the sunset.
Paul in KY
@Scott S.: His staffers ought to, but I’m sure he has only the most umble of sycophants in his office.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Speaking of that idiot David Gregory, he was sitting in at the Today Show this morning and they had a discussion about the use of the name “Redskins” for the Washington team and whether the owner would change it. Apparently Bob Costas spoke on the subject recently–yesterday maybe? They played the clip. He said we should imagine if the team was named after a slur for African Americans or Latinos or other ethnic groups. Pretty cool by Costas. Then Dancin’ Dave had to comment that things would begin to change now that the media was developing an opinion, or words to that effect. Talk about an over-inflated sense of his own importance.
@schrodinger’s cat: If for some crazy reason they use the framework of Sen Collins/Klobuchar, et al, then we’re going to get fucked now and fucked again later.
Paul in KY
@aimai: Probably both, making it more onerous & using the ‘income verification’ to advance their meme of giving-stuff-to-the-blahs.
Was running a noontime errand and turned on the radio (was left on WGBH). Some morons were going on about how the impasse is partly Obama’s fault.
Anyone who gives to NPR has a hole in his/her goddamn head.
Things are not going quite the way Al Qaeda envisioned, but their Tea Party allies in Congress are certainly doing all they can to advance the cause.
It seems to me that default is no longer a position used to extract concessions–it is the preferred policy position of these fuckers.
I am not D’Void of anger this week.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
The only reason they are “against’ entitlements is that they do not want to be associated with or receive ANYTHING that those colored people do. They would rather starve and make everyone else in their families starve than be part of the same country as THOSE people. Its that simple. Its not that they don’t like those services or benefits — they just don’t want to convey in any way, that they are human and have the same needs as THOSE people — EVER. Before there was all this equality stuff, they were happy to have just a few of the coloreds get a little thing here and there when they were also getting it. Now that the coloreds can get it, THEY DON’T WANT IT BECAUSE THEY DON’T WANT ANYTHING THAT THE COLOREDS CAN ALSO GET. Obama is a convenient symbol for them because obviously, he is colored and brought about this latest big benefit that they don’t want to receive if the coloreds are receiving.
@Violet: It was the NBC night game yesterday. It was a thoughtful piece by Costas.
He also did a very stout piece on gun control as well, some time ago.
Both pieces will have about the same resonance for change.
Paul in KY
@TAPX486: Don’t be such a negative nancy. Pres. Obama has em by the short hairs now & he ain’t letting go.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Obama is black, and he achieved the historic precedent of passing genuine transformative health reform legislation passed, and popular with voters, (most of whom are white folks), and very much more popular than teabagger extremists.
Note that giants in presidential history, like Theodore Roosevelt, FDR, Truman, and Nixon (a giant in perhaps another sense than the others) pushed for similar reform, and failed. And Obama did with a conservative Heritage plan that was piloted on a state level by a (then) moderate GOPer named Mitt Romney. (and forgot about Clinton, though he was more like a better than average Grover Cleveland type pres)
True, Teddy Roosevelt’s fully developed ideas were after left GOP. And after Nixon’s could not get agreement for his first proposal with Dems, he gave up on it as soon as the ripoff early HMO legislation was suggested to him.
So, black, popular with general voting public, much more popular with public, already established himself as a president who accomplished significant historical achievement that will put him in with memorable presidents.
Put that all together, maybe worse than marrying their daughters.
I, for one, have already lit the torch I will use to set my hair on fire if they take the Sen Collins’ bill seriously in negotiations.
Yes, Reid has said it’s a non-starter but it is being relentlessly pushed by about 15 Senators, including several red state D Senators and Klobuchar as well.
@Violet I find hard to believe that Snyder will not eventually change the name, perhaps eventually even buying naming rights from a specific tribe, like the Florida Seminoles did. Basically because it means that he could make a fortune on selling the new uniforms and gear.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Corner Stone: Never thought I could miss the days when he was pimping his Kennedy book.
I don’t know that he’s wrong, in as much as people like him feed into the info/opinion loop of tote-baggers.
Watching Robert Gibbs on MSNBC and wondering if he left the White House on bad terms, and Dee Dee Meyers is channeling the Washington Post
There’s something that I think has been missed in the whole ransom narrative. For years, according to Limbaugh and Hannity and the rest, in DC “compromise” always meant that the Democrats got whatever they wanted and the Republicans went along with it saying “thank you sir, may I have another.” Limbaugh, in particular has banged on this for years, I remember him saying this 10+ years ago, and then railing that the paradigm (not that he’d use that word) needed to be flipped, where “compromise” was the Democrats going along with what the Republicans wanted.
What we are seeing now in the “negotiations” is the manifestation of this very warped world view. It ignores that Bush got his tax cuts through in 2001, despite the Dems holding 50 seats (and thus being able to filibuster it if they really wanted). It ignores the Democrats taking control of both Houses of Congress late in Bush’s term and not pulling anything like what the Republicans are doing now.
We also saw this in the “they forced Obamacare down our throats!” portion of the “debate.” It ignored that every Democratic candidate in 2008 had a healthcare proposal. It ignored that Obama made it a central theme of his general election campaign in 2008 (and that McCain/Palin discussed it at length, and may have even had a proposal of their own). It ignored that it went through the regular debate in both Houses of Congress before being passed. Because in their minds, because they didn’t get everything they wanted, there was no compromise (even though it was nearly the exact same plan that many Republicans still on the Hill proposed in the mid-90s).
In darker moments, I am convinced that if some of these people had their way, we’d see a second civil war within the next decade or two. I mean, if there’s no room for compromise, in the real sense of “you get this, and I get that, nobody walks away totally happy therefore it must be a good compromise” then I don’t see another end game.
Another Holocene Human
Should I call Vitter’s office and tell him that those staffers worked hard for the money, so he’d better treat him right? :D
@Paul in KY: In a different time and place LBJ talked about nailing to coonskin to the door. Well until I see those ‘short-hairs’ nailed to the White House gate,. I will remain skeptical.
Under most circumstances a good parent will not give in to a child’s temper tantrum, but if the child is about to endanger himself or others then you might have. As the adult in the room, I understand that Obama might have to give in because the child is going to blow up the world. I don’t have to like it and I can see this just drifting further and further to the right.
@aimai: It’s so when the “income verification” thing doesn’t work on 1 January 2014 they can shut it down. Simple backdoor to their fever dream.
Villago Delenda Est
And the people who put him into office in the first place.
When the final reckoning for these maggots comes, no quarter should be offered.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Bush got a fair number of Dem votes for those tax cuts, and IIRC three Republicans (McCain, Chaffee and Jeffords, who might’ve already flipped) voted against them.
Oy. The Dem vote was worse than I remembered
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
” halfwit who talks from under David Gregory’s coiffe said yesterday that “entitlements are cannibalizing the budget”. ”
I didn’t know Gregory has a side kick on the show, I don’t watch… Ohhhh… i get it.
But to the substance, the GOP is complaining that it’s so unfair that they are int trouble in the polls and the Dems are ‘taking advantage’.
So, what do they do, drop the ACA demands, except for nonsense about addnig already existing income verifcation and Vitter Amendment total BS.
But what are they and their tools really talking about in Congress and media now, either explicitly or implicitly: slashing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
I hope Obama or Reid points that out soon. “The GOP is extorting us on CR and debt limit in order to get their precious social security, Medicare and Medicaid cuts. Money bags media divas seem to want us to ‘negotiate’ (aka give in to their demands. Stealing the people’s money is what it’s all about. They are saying so themselves.”
I don’t want a default, since I do not like jumping into opaque black pits not know when or how I will land, but I don’t mind hearing the GOP spew BS, since they are doing it so badly, they are really just saying what their real goals are, I guess to drive their polls numbers negative, which would be an historic achievement.
Another Holocene Human
@Scott S.: It’s not weird. It’s hard-core Stalinism/cultural revolution fervor at work, and these grifters and clowns want to keep their position for another cycle. Denounce everyone!
Not a bit of it. The USPS hired Catholics in the 19th century, Negroes in the early 20th century. This is why they are trying to dismantle the national post. I’ve never been to another country where the legislature is trying to take down the national post, except Canada because apparently the Post is fully of striking commies. But in the US they’re doing it in such a way as to destroy postal service entirely. Fuck everyone because there are shiftless nears behind the counter with nasty attitudes.
You must work for a very enlightened employer. It’s really trendy these days to put narcissists and sociopaths in charge of businesses and organizations and they aren’t shy about their contempt for the first line employees that make the organization run.
Children will denounce their parents, husbands and wives will inform on each other. The noise machine started a rumor (false) that Obamacare didn’t apply to Congress so they’re taking a chunk out of their staffers to satisfy Moloch.
BTW what is this whole drama about WWII memorial?
I love how the meme has changed over the weekend to now be, “The Dems are over reaching! And not being good faith negotiators! They keep MOVING THE GOALPOSTS!”
@Mark B. Snyder’s never going to change the name: He’s making too much money off of the current product, despite it’s…how to put it…inconsistent level of quality. The fans love the Redskins, but hate Snyder, so any change like that would cause him to lose a huge amount of the fan base, most likely to Baltimore or Carolina (probably Baltimore, as any Washington south of the Mason-Dixon line is blind to any team from North Carolina).
If he did consider the tribe naming rights, I don’t know how well that would work: I can’t see the fans getting behind the Washington Piscataways.
@Face: I think we’re in a “good cop – bad cop” routine where Dems get what they want because Reid, the bad cop, will “never give a inch” (to steal a great line from Keasey).
@schrodinger’s cat: Palin did some Palin-isms and Cruz grabbed Irony by the throat and choked it to death in front of the veterans.
Villago Delenda Est
Well, it IS partly Obama’s fault.
He’s near, you know.
And a Lankford bill suggestion has to go. I hope some administration comes out and explains that is just a was to make successful GOP obstructionist extortion automatic. They don’t even half to show up and extort.
Really getting into highly sophisticated mafia business model territory here, regarding attitudes and methods.
Obama cannot, of course, negotiate — it’d make extortion the go-to strategy forever. At the same time, the meat puppets running the GOP are just bats enough to throttle us into a recession(/Depression?) that would not hurt me nearly as badly as it would a whole lot of other people. So I feel a certain amount of guilt about saying, Don’t give an inch, and let the blue chips fall where they may; it’s the same uneasy feeling I have about the notion of obligatory national service, not having performed any myself.
@schrodinger’s cat: It was closed because of the government shutdown, which Republicans were trying to spin as somehow punishing them for failing to fund the government. To tell the truth, it’s just a photo-op for lazy congressmen who don’t want to travel too far.
@Corner Stone: There are no goalposts. It’s Calvin ball
News starting to report deal is imminent.
Villago Delenda Est
It’s always projection with these assholes.
@liberal: I quit a year ago. Should have done much sooner.
They want the IRS to have more authority to intrude into our personal lives & purchases? Hmmm.
Latest update, via Politco (no link):
At a guess, the Republicans won’t offer anything in return for the removal of the medical devices tax, so that will drop. But otherwise, if this ends up being the framework I think the Democrats will have done pretty well. It’s a pretty big ‘If’ of course.
@Mark B.: They should have traveled to Arlington to Lee’s house instead, more fitting for these neo-Confederates.
And it really startles me that the GOP is holding out for short-term debt-ceiling hikes. They’re getting absolutely slaughtered over this issue; you’d think they wouldn’t want to go through the whole thing all over again every 6 weeks.
Another Holocene Human
Whites left and thought the city would collapse. That it didn’t has them spasming in paroxysms of rage.
It’s fare enough way from repealing ACA, or delaying the ACA, or require Obama to resign, that the teabaggers will feel betrayed again, and Boehner can claim, or get people to claim for him, that it is scary for him to try to get through House.
If the medical device tax repeal has to be paid for, it’s a goner.
@RaflW: Global crisis will affect everyone at this point. I don’t see a clear alternative to the US in the short term at they very least.
@RaflW: Après moi, le default!
I doubt a majority of the Tea Party leadership can even tell us what the Magna Carta really was. They’ll probably confuse it with the Mayflower Compact.
Ted Cruz is scarier than Palin, he needs to pay a political price for this fiasco.
The headline is, sadly, not very nuanced, but I think Michael Lind is on to something here regarding what the Tea Partiers want and what liberals should do about it.
“…Working for Congress is already a fairly shitty job — long hours, low pay, your boss is generally an asshole — but how would you feel if your idiot employer decided that you should be getting a pay cut after you’ve had a couple of weeks of no paycheck? Would you still be stoked to work nights and weekends for that jackass?…”
Here’s the thing. Young Democratic congressional staffers went to college, amassed large amounts of student debt to pay for tuition because republican state legislatures have been steadily cutting state support for college education, and had non-paying internships right out of college. They have no money, they can’t afford the pay cut. Young republican congressional staffers, unless they were parasites living off the taxpayers, had someone pay for college, or put them on wingnut welfare working as online trolls in the basement of the RNC, and provided them with paid internships. You see, it’s not that big of deal for the republican staffers. Besides, some republican sugar daddy will pick up the tab. As for the hapless Democratic staffers? Who in their right mind would accept more sacrifice? For the republicans, that additional disincentive for young Democrats to choose to work to advance Democratic policy goals is a feature, not a bug.
I guess for those House GOPers who think that they have safe districts, they figure throwing bimonthly crises will rile up their teabagger base and protect them in the primaries. What do they care about what the general public thinks?
Whether Nate Silver or Sam Wang is correct will make a big difference in the midterms.
Wang says (thought hasn’t shown the analysis yet, AFAIK) that some of these supposedly safe GOP gerrymandered districts are no as safe as supposed.
If Wang is right, then that is consistent with maxim that, given how House seats ae apportioned, a party can have safe seats or more seats, it can’t have more safe seats.
IIRC, some of the super gerrymandered safe seats in Texas did not hold up well over time.
“The default, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
bit long for a tattoo.
“For Brutus is an honourable man,
So are they all, all honourable men”
@dmsilev: The reported extension will be right in the middle of campaign season next year.
I’ve been checking in to Benen’s site a lot for updates about the budget negotiations. The NY Times seemed like it was going to offer honest coverage for a while but now they’re back to both sides do it.
Every time I read about this stuff the trailers for the movie ‘Gravity’ starts playing in my head. I don’t see any way around a cataclysmic crack-up any more.
@dmsilev: Extending the debt limit to the middle of the mid-term election campaign? Why not just give the GOP an H-bomb and let them destroy Washington in one shot. The debt limit should be extended to Feb. 2015. That gives the voters, you know the people who are supposed to be the ones calling the shots, a chance to decide the makeup of the next congress. If they vote in the GOP, well that is the way the game is played. If they vote in the Democrats, then the GOP will have a tantrum.
@aimai: The “income verification” canard is a variation of the “secure the borders” tripe about immigration reform. It sounds reasonable, but it’s a poison pill. No income verification system will be good enough, so they’ll never let the rest of the program flow.
What’s the rest of the program? Coburn’s Amendment 1867 would (2 page .pdf):
(Emphasis in the original.)
I assume the current proposed amendment is similar (or worse). They want to pass anything that will gum up the works, delay the implementation, and make it as difficult as possible for the system to run smoothly. So they can try to kill it.
one side effect of house republicans’ utter laziness these last few years is that they now think that merely showing up for work and voting on bills is a huge sacrifice that requires concessions out of the other side.
it’s like walking into your boss’s office and demanding a huge raise because you actually showed up on time and sober this week.
@schrodinger’s cat: He doesn’t run for reelection for awhile. A lot can and will happen between now and then. He may even look sane in the future compared to the crazy town people that could be elected.
Obama’s speaking somewhere and sounding pretty firm on his position.
I’ve been reading about the 14 amendment route, if no debt limit increase, the administration declares the debt limit law unconstitutional and goes ahead and pays the bills and incurs more debt. That would be Olde Tymey all-American approach to debt and budget in US history.
More I read and think about the arguments against proposition that 14th amendment means debt limit law is unconstitutional, the weaker they seem to be, and any sane court would…
Oh, OK, ‘sane court’ ha ha. what was I thniking need one more sane vote for that. Roberts is smart enough to get rid of the debt limit, in return for more than the GOP is likely to get.
I guess its full steam ahead to full on deafcon azillioni climax at Oct 17.
Edited to include miising bits
@jl: Gerrymandering in Texas works pretty well because Democrats tend to be geographically grouped in inner cities and near the border, so they can be packed into districts which are very highly democratic, and the rest of the districts are kept mostly republican. Actually highly concentrating voters for in one district dilutes their impact, because those same voters could have impact on two or more districts if they were divided up. Which is what you said, but I’m trying to say it slightly differently.
Currently, 11 of Texas’ 36 congressional districts are represented by Republicans. A fair apportionment would be closer to 15 or so, since Texas is about 45% democratic, but you can’t get that if a republican majority in the state legislature draws the districts. To be fair, the democrats also gerrymandered the state while they were in charge, but that was quite a while ago.
Paul in KY
@TAPX486: We will see how it goes. Understand your sentiment. LBJ was dealing with a different group of Repubs, though.
Check this out.
I know I’m being a bit of a bore about this, yet really & truly all that can be said, at this point, is the 2014 election environment is shaping against the GOP – looking to be more like 2006 than 2010.
@Linnaeus: Shorter version – Koch and the southern elite don’t want to kill the golden goose. They want to be the only ones to get the eggs.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@Violet: Rafael Cruz will never not be scary. He is entirely too smart and too nasty and mean not to be feared. The unanimous reports of everyone from his undergrad days forward who was interviewed about him include “extremely smart.” a substantial majority also included “nasty asshole” or some variant of that sentiment but everyone thinks he’s really smart. That is dangerous.
Someone on NPR (Mara Liasson, possibly?) also spoke highly of it.
@Mark B.: I thought the original gerrymander was supposed to deliver more than 25 GOP, and that some of the gerrymandered districts went Democratic. Is that wrong?
I did several rounds with my mom on this.
The noise machine seems to think that income should be verified prior to subsidies being applied for ACA, that it’s a potential source of fraud. But the income is applied in arrears, at the time that you file your taxes because the subsidy is based on the current year income, not the prior year. So, how you do you determine what subsidies to apply in 2014 based on 2014 income based on 2013 income?
The point of the system being implemented as-is is twofold:
1) There’s a whole other category of problems that open up when you split prior income to subsidize current costs, the most obvious being someone that loses their job at the end of the year and the following year doesn’t qualify for any subsidies at the precise moment that they need them the most. There’s also a category of fraud that gets created by doing this.
2) We already have a tremendous system of income verification which we’re relying on – it’s called the IRS. If you misreport your income for the purpose of subsidy, in theory you will get busted when you file your return, and you will owe some portion of that subsidy back to the feds, not unlike if you estimate your taxes wrong and have to pay on April 15 vs getting a refund. We already have a system that does this quite effectively (if understaffed) that can be dual purposed in this situation. Pre-verification would require a whole new system, huge new staff, new procedures, new red tape. It exists as a talking point solely due to it’s effect to drive up the cost of ACA and undermine its implementation.
@Anoniminous: Thanks for link. I will look at it.
@Violet: It was halftime of the Cowboys-Skins game last night.
Paul in KY
@Hungry Joe: It won’t be the President defaulting, it will be the Repubs. Hope it doesn’t come to that, but this dont-fund-something-I-dont-like-that-has-been-passed-and-ruled-legal stuff has to end forever & here is where we make our stand.
The MN delegation will jump all over dropping the device tax. Franken has been trying to get it dropped. Would you like to guess what one class of products manufactured in MN is?
@Villago Delenda Est:
@TAPX486: let me know so I can drive your depressing Debbie downer ass to the airport.
@TAPX486: Actually, it’s the worst possible time for the Republicans. We’re already seeing large swaths of the party running for cover even with the election 13 months away. Do you really think they’d have the stomach to go through this nonsense again right before an election? Especially with the primaries behind them so there’s less immediate chance of blowback from the primary electorate.
@dmsilev: not sure the teapartiers care
@jl: They’ve been trying to get rid of Doggett forever, and keep redrawing his district to try to make that happen. The latest gambit was to put him into a majority Hispanic district, which he won, of course.
The plan currently in effect in Texas was drawn up by the courts in 2012 (I think) which changed a few of the more extreme districts that the legislature drew up in 2011. It was intended as an interim plan by the courts, but the legislature enacted it as an official plan in 2012, before the Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act. It’s an open question whether they would have tried to go with the original plan if the SC decision had come in first, but there are a lot of reasons to believe it would not be legal even if you disregard Section 5.
I think the Republicans are actually happy with 25 seats. They want more, but I think they realize they are overrepresented.
EDIT: IIRC, I think their target was 27 seats, so they underperformed a bit, but not terribly.
@Corner Stone: I just called Sen. Klobuchar’s DC office and told the staffer that she should back off supporting the Collins plan. The staffer sounded happy to take the call.
@Paul in KY:
It will be the United States Government defaulting, even though the GOPers who pushed their blackmail past the point of sanity will insist over and over again that it is Obama is defaulting with lots of insinuendo that, you can’t depend on these inadequate blah people to pay their bills.
And regardless of which party controls what over next several cycles, they will be running the U.S. Government, which as far as other countries and the bond market are concerned, will be the party responsible for the F up.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): I don’t fear him. I refuse to fear a Republican. That’s what they want. You’re afraid–they win. I’m aware of his reputation, and don’t deny he has some intelligence, but he’s shown himself to be dumber than expected during this shutdown situation. He’s being seen as the fall guy, and while that might endear him to his extremist base, it isn’t going to win him friends with the moneyed class, nor win over any less crazy people.
I refuse to be scared of Republicans.
Awww, Simpson and Bowles did an ad where they bash both sides. Who could’ve ever guessed they would do such a thing?
Hmmm, Simpson and Bowles…Simpson and Bowles…where’ve I heard of those two before?
Look at the polling. I’d LOVE to see the GOP drive the debt limit debate into the middle of the 2014 election. GOP being frothy insane people trying to destroy the US while the Dems are the party of “responsible government?”
Jesus. The ads write themselves.
It’s part of their general program to punish poor people for being poor on the theory that we’ve made it desirable to be poor. If we just make poverty terrible enough, people will stop wanting to be poor and then they’ll start pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. After all, we know there was no such thing as poverty back in the good old days before government assistance for the poor. That’s why they’re never mentioned in the Bible.
Sane GOPers want debt limit hostages as cover for the non-Tea-Party House Representativess to vote for essential bipartisan compromises. Without that, they’re facing a possibility of shutdowns up to the 2014 elections, which will send the Republicans down the road of the Whigs.
@Fair Economist: I think holding hostages makes them feel powerful and relevant. It’s about all they have left.
@dmsilev: The collective “Not A-GAIN!!! sigh should provide a headwind as well. This [event] seems to penetrated even the lowinfomatiosphere. But then, it might just be raining diamonds on Saturn and Jupiter so who knows what goes on in the densest of materials.
ETA [ they’re still clueless that they do look awful in this dress and tactic without the teagoggles on]
Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader
Maybe it will have the effect of a bunch of Republican staffers saying “Boss, shutting down government is a really bad idea!” next time. One can dream.
Have a nagging sensation this entire shudown/default debacle is but kabuki designed to give the WH air cover for comprimise when none is required. No evidence. Just a nagging feeling that our side is the responsible, adult side, which means we will have to give in somewhere. Once again, the way to save the country from more unneeded pain is for the baggers to save us by refusing to agree to any plan that fails to meet every single goal they wish for.
Paul in KY
@Mark B.: If you think they are happy with 25, you don’t really know the mindset of modern Republicanism (IMO).
Paul in KY
@jl: ‘They’ being the Republicans, right?
Obama isn’t my favorite person in DC, that would be Sen. Sanders (Vermont,) but thinking he could manufacture this situation is out of the realm of the possible.
@Corner Stone: Aren’t Simpson and Bowles, both VSP and respectable ‘sound’ men and pillars of the community, who committed political fraud by foisting off their own personal pet plan as the official debt commission decision.
Yes, I think those two con artists and liars are the very same Simpson and Bowles. We should certainly listen to them, and their latest scam be given a prime spot on all editorial pages.
As for GOP, I hope that as negotiations proceed, they yammer more and more about social insurance cuts, aka, stealing the people’s money, as their real demand to end their extortion (for now).
Paul in KY
@nemesis: You are crazy about it being some form of kabuki. Pres. Obama has exhausted his ‘giving in as the adult thing to do’ and will not go down that road again.
After getting clubbed over the head & stabbed in back a few times, he’s learned his lesson (IMO).
@Corner Stone: Yeah… but the look of incredulity on his face, and the subsequent explosion…
Let’s just say he owed me a lot, and that was partial payment.
@Paul in KY: ‘they’ meaning Dem or GOP.
@Paul in KY: Well, they couldn’t have gone much further without running afoul of the VRA. They could not reduce the number of majority Hispanic or Black districts without having the courts summarily reject it as contrary to the clear language of the law. In actuality, they should have increased the number of Hispanic districts, because almost all of the population growth in Texas from 2000 to 2010 was Hispanics, but they didn’t do that. They somehow got away with it, although the courts did end up trimming some the crazier districts from the 2011 plan.
@TAPX486: The tea-partiers aren’t the entirety of the GOP. You just need enough people who are in reasonably-competive races or who are otherwise reachable/sane and the Tea Party becomes marginalized.
Per Greg Sargent, this is exactly the Democrat’s strategy in pushing for ~6-9 months:
Uh, dude, name an industry where this ISN’T true. Heck, even right here in the old ivy-covered ivory tower I’ve seen the administration go from competent assistants to sneering overseers in less than a generation.
@Anoniminous: works only if the D’s get out the vote. If all the energy in a low turnout election is on the GOP side then they will not pay a price. We can bitch about the ‘both sides do it’ meme but if the polling number of 75% of the public wants to fire all of congress you might get a plague on both parties and a lot of people staying home And I hope Sargent is correct
Paul in KY
@jl: Most other countries are more sophisticated than that. No matter what public statements they may make (for whatever internal political reasons) they will know who it was that defaulted & it will be the Repubs.
Davis X. Machina
@Paul in KY:
The old stories are the best stories…
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@WereBear: Now you got me curious. Who did Tweety blow up at? Is it worth watching Maher let this week’s token rightwinger take over the panel?
Paul in KY
@Mark B.: I agree with your rational analysis, but they (IMO) will never be happy until they get all 35, by hook or by crook.
@TAPX486: It won’t happen that way. The MSM will play games like “Why do the Democrats keep bringing up the debt ceiling. It’s like they want the country to default.” Three months from now, most people won’t be able to tell you when the next funding crisis is.
A default extension until mid-2014 palys right into the gop election strategy. They will get to scream and flail saying we spend too much money and the extortion technique-that is, voters will be swayed to vote gop inorder to avoid default-will work. The constant alternate reality get quite tiresome.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):
If he were part of a small, impotent minority, he’d be pathetic instead of scary. Let’s make it so.
@Paul in KY: Part of the reason Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize was because he wasn’t George Bush.
@Paul in KY:
Even though you resort to insults, I will say I hope you are right, without stooping so low.
@nemesis: Yes, because it’s worked so well this year.
The answer is NO. Fuck no, hell no, NO FUCKING WAY NO.
Enough hostage taking. Do your fucking jobs, raise the damn ceiling, reopen the government, pay your workers their back pay.
Then there can be discussions about what to do afterwards, and it’ll involve immigration reform, new gun safety laws, closing tax loopholes, raising corporate taxes, increasing the minimum wage, increasing voting rights, and fixes to expansion of Medicaid to aid those in states whose governors have rejected it.
You can take your fucking demands and go fuck yourselves, you collosal assholes.
@nemesis: Aw quit your fucking whining.
@? Martin: “Income verification” is just a trans-vaginal probe for the poor. It’s meant to humiliate us, and discourage us from applying for benefits. Have you ever been through this process? I have. It’s a FUCKING HUMILIATION. That’s all it’s for. To punish us, to humiliate us, for being poor and needing help.
Fuck these assholes. I’m totally through with them. They get nothing. NOTHING. Good DAY sir!!
If you think that someone saying “you’re crazy to believe X” rises to the level of an insult then wow. That is some thin skin. I can’t imagine how you’ll react when some of the experts around here start actually throwing insults your way. (Have you met the Internet, my friend? Where conversations start to get insulting when you get compared to Hitler and then from start getting mean after that …)
You may be right that some of the crazier members of the GOP would love to have a shutdown right before the election, but the actual polling numbers show it would work to the Democrats’ favor. The polls consistently show voters blaming the GOP for the shutdown and swinging surprisingly strongly enough toward the Democrats that the Dems might win the House in spite of GOP gerrymandering if the election were held right now. That’s why the Democrats are pushing for the extension that will put the showdown during election season and the Republicans are asking for something much shorter.
In my CD we’re already working on our GOTV operation. Trying to unseat Steve (Fuckingasshole) Pearce is a difficult-to-impossible job but if we sit on our asses there’s no chance at all. Plus the more we can turn out the more likely Dems will grab control of state offices and legislative seats.
The time to start is now. The election environment is being shaped. The better the pre-election organizations are established and people trained to staff those organization the more likely the chances of keeping the Senate and flipping the House.
@Belafon: It was more than just “part” of the reason. In awarding that prize, the Nobel committee walked up to the US GOP, politely took its glove off…and roundhouse hay-makered Bush and Co. with brass knuckles. The first thing I thought when the award was announced was “wow, is that ever a statement.” I was subsequently amazed at how many people focused on the aspect of awarding Obama the peace prize when he hadn’t even done anything yet, instead of seeing it as the fuck-you in the face of the Bush administration that it was.
That’s not what the polling is telling us.
The GOP brand has cratered and the overall situation is moving against them. We need to get active and push it along. If we can raise the 2014 voter turnout to, say, 47% (from the 2010 ~42% figure) it’s more likely we’ll flip the House. If we don’t things get more tricky.
Paul in KY
@Belafon: And I’m fine with him winning. So as you can see, other countries know where to place the blame.
What’s actually really interesting about the “government shutdown” idea is that it’s a wedge issue for the GOP. Their farthest right flank consistently love the idea of shutting the whole government down while the majority of their voters do not, in fact, think it’s a good idea. In my lifetime the GOP has been so united in their beliefs that this idea that there’s a wedge issue to use against their coalition feels kind of weird.
Paul in KY
@nemesis: If you think being called ‘crazy’ is an insult on Balloon Juice, well you haven’t really been insulted (IMO).
Paul in KY
@NonyNony: Thank you, NonyNony. Did not see your excellent response till after I had given my own 2 cents.
Another Holocene Human
@fuckwit: And let’s not even get into the asset limits. They are ABSURD.
They are even more absurd because household goods in most cases have negligible resale value compared to replacement costs, while these rules were put in place to prevent top 20%ers from drawing means-tested bennies. Some of them still do, they just lie up one side and down the other and “good people” don’t report them for welfare fraud.
Of course the biggest scam of all is being a Section 8 landlord, and that’s fucking legal. That’s also why you never see Tea Partier goons gunning for Sec 8.
@aimai: Your question about income verification has probably been answered, multiple times. Just in case: income is already verified through the IRS…so the repubs are adding another (expensive) level of bureaucracy to slow things down and complain about government inefficiencies. Just part of their sabotage efforts of Obamacare.
Another Holocene Human
The stuff about cars is ridiculous too. A sumptuary law for the poor. It’s like the anti-Catholic laws during the Plantation of Ireland where a Catholic couldn’t own a horse worth more than ten lbs. When your economy is based on livestock it was just a pretense to steal from people who had little to nothing already and keep them in a state of permanent penury. Cars are needed in most of these poor (rural) places to get employment in the first place–RELIABLE cars because it’s not as if the employer assholes care if your car blows up and you can’t get to work.
REAL financial assets are denoted in dollars, not horsepower, and the rich know it, but they want to set one half of the working class against the other and guess what, it’s working.
Thanks for the excellent post and using Lincoln’s “rule or ruin” from the Cooper Union speech. Thats it exactly!
Another Holocene Human
@pamelabrown53: More talking out of the side of their neck.
They raise payroll taxes on the poorest americans, then “give it back” with EIC, then take that away with punitive audits and HR Block and rhetoric about how the poor don’t pay taxes.
They get rid of lifeline telephone services at the behest of AT&T because it can be done cheaper with cell phones now, then rail about poor and homeless people with cell phones.
They whine that Obamacare subsidy signups are based on “trust” then cry that the IRS will be doing the enforcing at the end of the year. I asked a hate radio listener at work a couple of months ago if he would try the IRS by filing a false W4 for the year and then try to run out on the bill in April? No? Same thing.
Another Holocene Human
@Roger Moore: Ditto with prison.
And when young poor people look at their options and shout “Fuck this!” the elite spin tales about how “culture” makes poor people poor.
Another Holocene Human
@Linnaeus: Great link. Thanks.
@jl: the mere fact that the 14th would be invoked would mean that it was challenged. Even assuming that a miracle would occur and the Roberts court would move to uphold, markets and creditors would have freaked the fuck out anyway.
In my Facebook feed. W T Everloving Blue-Eyed F ??
Or a moving company.
@drkrick: Thinking about it and given the tea party’s geographical location they might think it is a NASCAR race . It does have CARta in it. r
There are only about 40 hardcore TP’ers in the House and fewer than 10 in the Senate. They can be bypassed easily if the rest of the GOP is willing to do it. The calculation is that when the next round of primaries is 20 months away instead of 6 the non-TP’ers will be less interested in running off a cliff with the true believers.
@drkrick: The moderates have to stand up and be counted. So far they haven’t. they have let the crazy tail wag the dog
“Ferengi workers don’t want to stop the exploitation, we want to find a way to become the exploiters.”
Anyone who works for suits knows to expect this kind of shabby treatment, and they take it because they want to dish it out one day. The alternative is to see the whole workplace environment and boss-peon paradigm change which would defeat the purpose of trying to become the boss. Republican staffers and interns logically are doubly trapped because a good Congressional boss would have to be a Democrat.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Undersecretary of State under George W Bush was the R in question.
He was saying that it is “normal” for the minority party to threaten the entire world’s financial system to get their way.
Chris Matthew’s face was a wonder.
The Vitter amendment: because apparently, in addition to wearing diapers, Sen. Vitter likes the taste of piss in his coffee.