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October 04, 2013 06:42 AM UTC

Government "Slimdown" Day 4 Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

"I actually think that the Democrats are showing signs of losing it in this shutdown. I really do."

–Rush Limbaugh, yesterday


31 thoughts on “Government “Slimdown” Day 4 Open Thread

  1. It was widely reported, including Fox News and MSNBC that Republican Senators attacked Cruz at a luncheon on Wednesday.  Here is the  Huffington Post describing the encounter:

    The problem is that Cruz's power is not in the Senate, it is in the House. Cruz said on the Rusty Humphrey's radio show that the House strategy of mini bills, one opening up National Parks, another to fund the VA, a third to fund NIH would It continue.  The plan is to publicize the Senate's refusal on each of this popular bills.

    It is fascinating that Cruz does not even acknowledge that theoretically it is the job of the Speaker to determine strategy.



    1. Canadian Cruz doesn't care.  The only reason Boehner remains in 'power' is because all the factions can walk all over him.  His total ineptitude and impotence is why he's Speaker as the once GOP cannibalizes itself.  It is fascinating.  But unfortunate its our nation and people that suffer the collateral damage. 

      1. Here is a great analysis of Boehner:

        Boehner is out of their league—a hack who rose to the top by being serviceable to a party that’s grown more and more extreme during his twenty-two years in Congress. At the moment of truth last week, Boehner attached himself to the suicide caucus. Perhaps he did it for lack of a will to do otherwise. Perhaps the years of ambition and accommodation in a party that’s imprisoned by its own ideology had emptied Boehner out to the point where the thing he gave up as the price of leadership was his own ability to say no. Perhaps being the Republican leader had begun to rot him from the inside.

            1. Don't think a happy ending is in store, at least for Boehner. Hopefully we won't have the pile of bodies ending so common in the Shakespearean tragedies, maybe more like the battle of wits, mistaken identities, marriage to the wrong person everything comes out all right in the end comedy ending.

              Boehner and Cruz could realize their undying love for each other, and after some really stunning witticisms, decide that frustrated romance isn't really worth crashing the country over. Obama as the wise King presides over the nuptials, and the people all do the hokey-pokey. Or the Harlem Shake. Or something.

              Fiction, people, fiction!

              Sadly, this is much more like a modern Kafka play – kind of like the recall election was – unending, dreary, one incredible plot twist after another, snark that hints at deeper meanings but never really gets there, misunderstanding, suffering, degradation, bitter humor, yet resilience and a tribute to the human spirit. Yeah, that's the ticket.

        1. I ran across that article too and was equally impressed. Loved the summing up:

          Gingrich was a far more volatile and aggressive individual than Boehner, but the institutional norms of self-restraint, and perhaps even self-interest, have broken down under the pressure of an increasingly abnormal Republican Party. In this atmosphere, a hack can be more dangerous than a revolutionary.

          1. Gingrich is a very smart guy and had a logical plan. That made it possible to negotiate as he worked to get as much of what he wanted in any compromise.

            The present group is a bunch of people working from slogans more than a plan and with no feel for what partial wins will do for them.

  2. Thanks Rush. I myself have been missing those good old sane days when our Republican government shutdowns were over something really important — like Newty not getting an aisle seat on Air Force One . . . 

  3. Speaking of shutdowns — I haven't heard any howling so I'm assuming it's still up and running, but if I wanted to end this nonsense, I'd pull the plug on the FBIs Instacheck system. 

    The only thing I see that the baggers hate more than Obama is the thought of not being able to complete a purchase of a dozen assault rifles, on a moment's whim . . . 

  4. Here is a solution House Democrats could use, proposed by a columnist/bloger on the Washington Post.  It is called a Discharge Petition:

    According to the columnist, 218 votes are needed in the House, which theoretically could be obtained if all the dems and 20 or so repubs voted for it, to pass a Discharge Petition. Then the bill has to sit in committee for 30 days.  Afterwards it could be called out for a vote by anyone on the 2nd or 4th Monday.  This timeline would take the House pass the October 17th debt ceiling deadline. Such a bill could include the debt ceiling raise and a clean CR.  If such a bill could be introducted in committee and a Discharge Petition passed, the earliest the House could vote would be the second Monday in November, the 11th.  This is Veterans Day.  I don't know if the Congress is in session on that national holiday. If the debt ceiling were not to be raised for almost a month after the 17th, the consequence would be so diasterous, that I presume that some action would have been taken earlier.  The columnist argues that such a bill, with a Discharge Petition, could put pressure on Boehner.  

    The columnist said he had floated the idea before the shut down and it got no response.  But, I don't think that there were 20 repubs in the House before the shut-down, who would have voted for a Petition Discharge.  Evidently this procedure was last used to pass the McCain-Feingold bill.

    1. Yeah, that seems simple enough. Lets see, Right foot green, left foot blue, put your left hand on the back of your head, your right hand behind your back. Now press the "vote" button with your left elbow. Who dreams up these convoluted rules? Is that reallywhat it takes to outwit these stubborn fools?

      1. House Dems are proposing just that but they will have a hard time. The 21 or so Rs who are willing to vote to end the shut down if Boehner brings it to the floor would will not necessarily go so far as to support the Dems' Discharge Petition. Certainly not all of them or probably even most.

        But it would get Rs on record as voting against that small "d" democratic up or down vote the Repugs used to cry abut all the time when Bush had an opposing majority to deal the Senate. Remember that?  Why, they whined, won't the Dems let the people have an up or down vote?  OK. So, in the House, why  won't the Repug leadership allow an up or down vote?  It's a good move though even though it will almost certainly fail.

    2. House Democrats have found a previous bill that they're looking to discharge in order to move up the 30 day window; ideally, it would move the deadline up to October 14 – three days before the debt ceiling limit.

      1. I wish someone would please explain to me what that miserable, but otherwise completely forgettable lump of flesh, ever did to earn some sort of precedent-setting and subsequently-binding procedural rule" ???

    1. Well Dougie. You could join the Rs willing to vote to end the shutdown. You could support a Discharge petition. Or you could just shut your hypocritical mouth.

  5. Don’t you just love a brain-trust . . .

  6. Cruz on the moderates, McConnell on Cruz.  Grab the popcorn, the circular firing squad has just begun.  Who will be thrown under the bus, along with the American people who expect a competent government ? The whole shutdown is sad, but watching these assholes sell each other out is going to be damn entertaining.

  7. Popcorn for Fox viewing too although I admit I only see the clips on shows like The Daily Show and the Colbert Report. But they seem to be a having a little trouble coherently reconciling opposite messages over at Fox.

    One mutually contradictory pairing:

    1) The shut down is nothing, no big deal, a pin prick, hardly affects anybody. No biggie.

    2) It's terrible that the Liberal shut down has caused x, y and z to be closed and/or unavailable. The mean  Liberal  shut down is causing so much suffering! Terrible Dem caused biggie.

    Obviously, both of these things can't be true.

    Next pairing:

    1) The Michele Bachmann and friends message that the shut down has made them all deliriously happy. It's exactly what they wanted. They are just gleeful as hell over this wonderful development. Love the shut down

    2) The shut down is really mean (see Bachmann snuggling up to WWII vets and complaining about the  WWII Memorial being closed (accept they let vets in after all) and all the Rs want to do is talk (maybe hug?) the whole thing out and end the government shut down that makes them so-o-o-o sad. Only those mean Liberals won't give them the time of day. Hate the shutdown.

    Once again those two things can't both be true. Will Fox blow a fuse? Have a this does not compute melt down? Naah… nothing they say ever computes anyway and the Fox crowd never notices.

  8. Fox viewers and Limpbaugh listeners — here are your best and brightest calmly considering our nation's way forward:

    The clash shows some Republican senators have lost patience with Cruz, who has failed to reveal a strategy to win his goal of defunding Obamacare.

    “It was very evident to everyone in the room that Cruz doesn’t have a strategy -– he never had a strategy, and could never answer a question about what the end-game was,” one senator told Politico. “I just wish the 35 House members that have bought the snake oil that was sold could witness what was witnessed today at lunch.”

    Conservatives outside the Senate have taken swings at Cruz as well. Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said Cruz "pushed House Republicans into traffic and wandered away." Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) accused the "Ted Cruz wing" of trying to "hijack" the Republican Party.

    Whom exactly is Obama supposed to be negotiating with?  

      1. Davie,

        I posted the link at about 7am, Friday morning. 

        (Fri October 4, 2013 at 7:14 AM MDT

        It was widely reported, including Fox News and MSNBC that Republican Senators attacked Cruz at a luncheon on Wednesday.  Here is the  Huffington Post describing the encounter:


        – See more at:


        I cite my posting because Friday morning, I was optomistic.  Now, not so much.

        Nothing is really happening.  I am afraid that the fact that "rogue" republicans…ie. moderates…are having to leak to the media means that they have absolutely no leaveage within the House membership. 

    1. Nancy Pelosi had it right when she said that the Republicans can't even negotiate with each other. Cracks in the Borg. Time to introduce the sleep command? As in when you talk about putting Fluffy to "sleep"?

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