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April 08, 2011 03:51 PM UTC

Open Line Friday!

  • by: Colorado Pols

“And they are reporting that the first furlough notices have gone out to congressional staffers so that they can prepare for a shutdown. My heart breaks. Let’s get the Stradivarius out and let’s start singing the tunes that bring on tears. How do they prepare for a snow day?”

–Rush Limbaugh, yesterday


47 thoughts on “Open Line Friday!

  1. ..the bad news? Students using the GI Bill might be screwed. Now I wonder how they’ll vote in 2012….

    WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs is less likely to see major disruptions than other government agencies in the event of a government shutdown, but that doesn’t mean everything will remain normal for veterans seeking help.

    According to a VA department official, veterans health care services will remain operating despite the budget impasse. Veterans’ medical appointments will not be canceled or delayed, and hospitals will stay open. That’s because most of the funding for those efforts was covered in advance appropriations legislation, passed by Congress well before the current budget stalemate.

    The official also said that in the short term, “veterans currently receiving VA benefits will continue to receive those payments on a timely basis and without interruption.” But the VA could not say specifically what will happen to GI Bill benefits, and whether they are included in that group. They also would not speculate on how a long-term shutdown might cause delays to those payouts.

    Note the bold text – one of President Obama’s election campaign promises was to force Congress to approve advance appropriations for the Dept of Veterans Affairs, so it couldn’t be held hostage in any dumbass budget negotiations.

    Yet another election promise kept…..

    1. Though active duty soldiers will be screwed in the short term.  They’ll get the back-pay eventually, but in the meantime, they’re getting half-pay.  

      Though many in congress are millionaires, the right thing to do would be for them to vote up the resolution to cut their own pay until the budget is resolved.

    2. (it’s good to know the Director of New Media at the flagpole…)

      GI Bill Hotline WILL be shut down.

      Veteran Suicide Prevention Hotline and WebChat will NOT be shut down.

      Vet Centers, including Military Sexual Trauma counseling will NOT be shut down.

      New compensation, disability, education and other claims WILL be shut down. (Sorry if you lost a leg in AFPAK, you’ll have to wait another 3 months to get help!)

      ALL correspondance with Veteran Service Officer, Service Organizations and indv Veterans WILL be shut down.

      ALL Overseas Military coordinator operations will be shut down. (You lost a leg on patrol in Tikrit? I don’t have the Army Field Hospital paperwork, so you must be lying!”)

      All here (it’s a PDF) –

    1. A colossal mistake to think that anyone with half a brain would believe they suddenly found 14,000 votes in a Republican county that went for the incumbent judge and not the challenger.

      1. This woman may be just that dumb. If I were the Republicans, oh so worried about election fraud and competence), I’d be super-duper happy, too!

        Such error in not adding votes to the tally database is “common in this process,” Nickolaus said, and “the purpose of the canvass is to catch these kind of mistakes.”

        Yay! She admits to regularly not adding votes. Go GOP!

        At least one mystery is solved. The infamous unnamed state is Wisconsin.

        Meanwhile, this particular race has drawn about 1.5 million voters (unofficial, but what I’ve read). The last Supreme Court election had less than 800,000 and the incumbent took 60%, as this one was supposed to. Frankly, anyone who says no one was moved and all this has been meaningless may be terminally tone deaf.

        I’ve made jokes about how nice it is for the our conservatives to admit there was no Colorado wave. I’m only half kidding (their logic, so they should live by it). We learned something, the Independents learned something, and the GOP is learning a thing or two (see McNulty/Stephens scramble).

        All of this made a difference. There’s no room for gloating when Wisconsin’s government has a special recall section and TWO petitions were turned in a month ahead of time.

        But hey, look at the GOP elections incompetence. Ha, ha, says 20ME. ?? Okiedokie.

        1. ‘Lying’ vs. ‘Stupid.’  After all these years, it applies to a Republican this time.

          Nonetheless, for a Republican to win another statewide race in an overwhelmingly Democratic state, 6 months after the last election and 6 weeks after Walker supposedly made a ‘colossal mistake – says a lot about the staying power of the Republican message there.

          You are absolutely right that many were moved by recent events in WI.  But the point is, a higher % of them sided with the Republican.

          1. Voters who wouldn’t have voted before went nearly 60% for the Walker justice.

            “After all these years”? That you’ve been on the blog? Wrong again, you’ve been down this path before, we’re all aware of it. 🙁

          2. That an unknown assistant DA toppled or almost toppled a sitting incumbent judge…potentially rescued once again by a partisan election official and a convenient, and mathematically  precise, mistake…in a race with unprecedented spending, dominated by right-wing anti-labor funding…is certainly something worth considering if one were a reasonable and pragmatic GOP strategist.  

            Or your party could simply ride that Tea Party wave instead…

      2. Adding another twist, the county clerk who said she incorrectly entered vote totals in the race has faced criticism before for her handling of elections and previously worked for a state GOP caucus when it was controlled by the candidate who stands to benefit from Thursday’s revelation.

        1. It’s not like we’re talking about 50-100 votes here.  The paper trail on the updated votes should be easy to determine.

          It would have been a moral victory, though a buzz-kill, if we had made it even close.  Afterall, Libs were heavily motivated by Gov. Walker’s actions against one of their core constituencies.  Conservatives were motivated by the policy.  

          That’s rarely a fair fight.  Especially when voter registration heavily favors Democrats.  Obviously, Republicans and Independents alike feel very strongly about the policy.

        2. From your link:

          Ramona Kitzinger, the vice chair of Waukesha County Democratic party who observed the canvass, said she is satisfied the numbers are now correct.

          “We went over everything and made sure all the numbers jibed up and they did,” she said.

          And even Daily Kos admits:

          Also, the new votes now make the city of Brookfield about 11% of the total vote in Waukesha County, which is in line with its historic share of the county’s electorate. Without the new votes, turnout in Brookfield would have fallen off dramatically compared to the rest of Waukesha County. Further, even if turnout in Brookfield had been much lower than the rest of the county, even one-quarter of the newly reported ballots would put Prosser ahead by 1,500+ votes.

          And if even the Kossacks are admitting that there is evidence that this is just a mistake, then the charges of fraud start really sounding hollow.  

          1. Blue as the county may be, they did most recently elect and keep Walker for 8 years and now have elected a Dem with 60%.  Also your beloved incumbent Justice actually won enough to avoid a run off in most states, 55% in a field of four, I think, just months ago and, even with the new found votes and even if they are legit and even if no mistakes in the other direction pop up, he will have won a a very routine incumbent election by a very tiny percentage of the over all vote.  And then we’ll see about the recalls, several of which already look promising, while Walker’s ratings tank.   Maybe you should put a hold on that happy dance.  

          2. People over on Kos generally want the truth.  They may jump to conclusions sometimes, but they generally want to know WTF is going on.

            The truth appears to be that Clerk Nickolaus is an idiot who insists on using non-auditable election procedures and has a history both of being involved in criminal elections actions and in incompetence in vote-counting.

            It also appears now that she forgot to count a huge number of votes and didn’t notice, and that the procedure she’s using didn’t have any second pairs of eyes.

            I had hoped for a Kloppenberg win, but realistically she was fighting an uphill battle even after the move by Walker, as outside groups from both sides became involved.  There were many reports that GOP outfits simply out-mobilized Democrats on this one ballot issue – I saw one report of a phone banker who was told that he was the first Kloppenberg call to five Prosser calls.

  2. transformation into a Beck more perfect than the real thing, you really should check it out.  Am having embedding issues again so here’s a link but you can also go see the whole incredible piece at the Daily Show site or catch one of several Thursday re-runs that air today at various times on a couple channels.

    Jon’s going to miss that guy!


    1. And speaking of conspiracies, don’t we think it’s a little more than coincidence that Glenn Beck’s and George Bush’s initials are GB??  

  3. John Nichol of Nation Magazine said today (on a live broadcast of a conference in Boston on media reform) that the US Attorney should impound all ballots and then monitor a total recount.  I agree.

    This is crap.  

  4. A NeoCon Astroturf organization (Students for Life) has unleashed an app on Facebook that automatically posts a completely false description of the services that Planned Parenthood offers.

    Just another false flag attempt to justify the Republican’t Party’s efforts in sneaking in riders on the current budget proposal:

    quote [ Our govt may shutdown today because of Planned Parenthood. This is where 38 years of legal abortion has gotten us, so divided that we cannot agree to stop federal funding of an org that lies, breaks the law, kills babies and hurts women. Be informed! P.P. doesn’t do mammograms, 98 percent of the services they offer to pregnant women are abortions. We must abolish abortion and start now by standing strong! ]

    Curious as to how the lies spread? Watch this link over course of the day. This campaign started around Noon Eastern and as of 1:30pm Eastern this was posted about 50 times.

    This ‘status message’ is actually being posted by an application called Abolish Abortion

    Development of the Application looks to be on behalf of Students for Life of America

    The application currently has 1057 users, each one of which will have that message posted to their wall, visible to all their friends. Now the interesting part is that most people don’t realize it’s an app that’s doing the posting. Mobile devices don’t show the link of the app and as an app developer I assure you most people don’t notice the link when it is visible. As far as most people are concerned this message is going to be seen as organic and it will probably spread and be reposted as such.

    Interesting note just for educational purposes; If you can view these peoples’ walls on facebook you can click the [x] on the message and mark it down as spam or report it as abuse. Enough reports will cause an app to be deleted and occasionally result in suspension of developer accounts. Isn’t that funny?

    (NOTE! Link is absolutely NSFW because it’s a weird news/hacker/slacker site.)

    Remind me again how this creates jobs…well, maybe for one or two FB programmers…

  5. Grand jury indicts Douglas Bruce

    By Charles Ashby

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    The state’s well-known anti-tax crusader, Douglas Bruce, has been indicted by a state grand jury on suspicion of failing to pay income taxes for a three-year period from 2005 to 2007.

    …According to the indictment, Bruce is suspected of evasion of taxes administered by the Colorado Department of Revenue, a class-five felony; filing a false tax return, a class-five felony; attempt to influence a public servant, a class-four felony; and failure to file a return or pay a tax, a misdemeanor offense. Bruce could face up to six years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines if convicted of attempt to influence a public servant, a class-four felony.

      1. Christ, you are old!

        But please do, whenever. Someone needs to explain the influence thing to me. I’m all curious. And a little happy.

        And a little surprised that the “charity” to distribute copies of the US Constitution, available for free, to high school students could’ve been some kind of front. Ridiculous!

  6. Dems are passing around this nugget from Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Tex., to TPM: “As Republicans, we promised in the pledge to America to cut $100 billion off of Obama’s plan. If we’re going to come back with less than that, we’ve got to come back with some policy riders to say look, I took less than $100 billion, but I’ve defunded Planned Parenthood or abortions in the District of Columbia. Or I’ve ended Obamacare.”

    Read more:

    1. He keeps talking sense – which I guess puts the Teabagger’s sacks in a twist….

      Mike Huckbaee: Cut a deal to avoid government shutdown

      Mike Huckabee urged his fellow Republicans to throw in the towel on the budget stalemate, saying the GOP has the “most to lose” and needs to show it understands the personal impact a government shutdown would have on everyday Americans.

      “Republicans have got to show that the people of America matter more to them than the politics of their own houses, and that’s what I’m hoping will happen,” Huckabee told Fox News host Neil Cavuto Friday afternoon, just hours before a shutdown was set to take place without a budget deal.

      1. Um… what?

        Usually I can come up with some sort of explanation when the Republicans start talking sense… but this one… not so much.  

      2. He says far right things many times to appease the base, but when you see him talking seriously he is basically a populist who believes that the government has a needed role in society. I think he’s the one Republican who could beat Obama.

        1. and those matter even in a terrible economy (see Ken Buck).

          If you had someone who was somewhat less extremely conservative on economic issues (like Huckabee) merged with someone who was not totally sold out to the Christian right on social issues (like say Romney) then you’d have…Barack Obama. Not sure how well he’d do against the President though.

  7. Or something, says Rick Santorum to a room full of Coloradans

    “Think about how they view you,” he told the crowd of Republicans. “They view you no different than the drug dealer views the little kid in the school yard. They want to get you hooked, they want to get you dependent. They want to get you relying upon them for your wellbeing. And once they’ve satisfied you, giving them that drug, that narcotic, then you’ll be reliant on them and, by the way, you’ll also be less than what God created you to be.”

    I know they love them some Mitt in these parts, but they oughta give a good look at li’l Ricky…he’s got a way with analogies that’s sure to be a hit in this scary purple state.  

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