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October 04, 2013 11:07 PM UTC

Government Shutdown Day 5-6 Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

"All morons hate it when you call them a moron."

–J. D. Salinger 


45 thoughts on “Government Shutdown Day 5-6 Open Thread

  1. Again, I don't know what the Democratic strategy is, other than just to stonewall.  Not that I disagree with that stand; but, rather it should be framed in a constitutional confrontation. I would like to see a more effective PR campaign; ie. Boehner/Cruz do NOT speak for all Americans. I would like to see specific numbers in commercials about the popular vote in the House.  I don't think the dems should talk about "polls."  I do think they should talk about votes.  The dems' talking points assume that everyone "knows" what they mean by radical minority holding hostage.

    Most people do not.  That is why the dems should get specific and constitutional and educate the American public about what is going on, and why it is so important that the President not yield because he was elected to uphold the constitution and represent all the people. 

    I have two more suggestions:  OFA needs to be disassembled, again, and reconstituted as a partisan democratic organization.  The OFA needs to be able to use its technical expertise at identifying democratic voters, mining for votes and GOTV, to be prepared for 2014; as well as what is going to be apparently a waterfall of recall elections.

    Finally, the dems need to also concentrate on rebuilding state parties. I live in Denver and Denver dems are as secure in their districts as the radical house republicans are in theirs.  Denver dems also man the party leadership.  They are, IMHO, smug and unconcerned because the repubs, right now, do not threaten their safe positions.  So that is why I use this blog to try and challenge the incredible complacency of dems.

    If the state parties were stronger; if the OFA was not calling the shots, but providing technical information, I think it would be worthwhile to challenge the "safe" republican districts that now have sent representatives to Congress that are threatening to bring down the government and the economy.

      1. Hey, cool it please.  

        Dwyer may be many things, but a bagger Dwyer is not.  Long-timers here have learned to calibrate the comments to keep them in propert perspective.


  2. Fram what I have seen the Dems have shown themselves to be competitive across a good deal of the state's population centers, less so in rural areas perhaps, and fighting in swing districts; but I don't think they are necessarily all insular in their perspective. 

    I think the Tea Partier wingnuts are not a show of strength but of (perhaps fatal) dysfunction, the party ripping apart from within.  Its not good for GOP long term viability and its not good for the country, but that's how I see it. 

    Its not a call for complacency or a cause for hand-wringing, its a call to work. 

    Take the rural areas-Weldistan is not my turf, but the Western Slope is.  So, call it the Sagebrush Rebellion (I-80s, or II-00s) or Secession: its the same stuff repackaged and it is mosre bark than bite, more bluster than impact. 

    Where Dems can win 'outstate' (and they can and do out here in places), they do it through retail organizing.  2014 will be an interesting year…local marijuana initiatives and fracking bans and personhood all on ballots…with a high marquee US Senate race and a gubernatorial race post-savage-GOP-primary (a man can dream).

    My advice: Buy popcorn stock!

    PS-And I'm sure OFA plans on reengaging in the 2014 elections–or in facilitating someone else doing that. 


  3. @CT

    Its not a call for complacency or a cause for hand-wringing, its a call to work.  – See more at:

    I couldn't agree with you more.  

    But, remember in 2012, dems had the technical expertise of OFA.  Unless there is a reconstruction of OFA, that organization will not be able to participate on the part of any one candidate. Denver dems also had the energy of the gay community who were outraged by how the republicans handled the civil union issue. Now, civil union have been secured in law….at least, I hope that they are secure.

    I did offer "advice" on what a PR campaign "should" look like, but because those  decisions are made way above my pay grade.  To encourage democratic engagement is NOT to hand wring. To point out that dems have to be more effective in communication is not to be negative.  It is to speak from my experience and observations.

    NO MORE 2010s!


  4. Here's an interesting idea – Swiss to vote on 2,500 franc basic income for every adult

    A grassroots committee is calling for all adults in Switzerland to receive an unconditional income of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,800) per month from the state, with the aim of providing a financial safety net for the population.

    Organizers submitted more than the 100,000 signatures needed to call a referendum on Friday and tipped a truckload of 8 million five-rappen coins outside the parliament building in Berne, one for each person living in Switzerland.

    If we are entering a time where 40% of the workforce can provide for 100% of the country, something like this may be the best way forward.

    1. Saw it on TV. Guess this is what you get from smart sciency folks with some time to kill.My sister-in-law,  furloughed from NSA  is getting in some gardening. Haven't heard how my niece,fuloughed from a supervisory position at NIH, is filling her time. Unfortunately not the way she usually does, figuring out the correct components for creating drugs to treat specific diseases and conditions. But who needs that. Or d are the same RePugs who were dancing, clapping and high fiving over the shut down now find the shut down a very bad thing terrible liberal thing? Watch Fox and you'll see they actually hold both of those positions.

  5. The proposed Holcomb coal plant is now a "fading mirage on the plains

    Yesterday, in a unanimous decision, the Kansas Supreme Court invalidated the air pollution permit granted to Sunflower Electric Power Corp. by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment in 2010.  A good day for renewable advocates in rural Colorado – we'll no longer have our community resources held hostage by a Kansas coal plant.   Now, let's get to the business of complying with SB-252.

  6. More good advice for Dems:

    Parenting Advice for Democrats: How to Handle the Republican Temper Tantrum

    Do not reward the tantrum. As WikiHow explains, "If you allow yourself to be held hostage by tantrums, your child will continue to use them long past the age when they would otherwise cease." Giving into this Republican tantrum means they will continue to look for every opportunity to hold the government or the economy hostage to extract further demands. As any parent knows, no matter how tempting it is to give them what they want to shut them up, you'll just be paying for it down the line.

    1. With each of my daughters the first time they threw a fit in public, I immediately took them to the car while my wife paid the bill (it was lunch or dinner) and came out too. They were looking around in confusion as it all happened so fast.

      For the first 2 that was all it took. The third one (who is really smart) did it again the next time out and on the way out of the restaurant shut it down as she had figured out the drill.

      And that was it. Had to threaten occasionally but they knew if they kept throwing a fit, we'd be leaving. I just don't understand the parents who threaten hundreds of times, but never follows through. Just leave the first couple of times and then you don't face the problem in the future.

      1. Gunther Gebel-Williams, the renowned animal trainer once explained in an interview that all training (animals, kids, workers…whatever) boiled down to three basic elements.
        Generous rewards for good behavior, mild rebukes for bad behavior…CONSISTENTLY. That last element being the most important.

        The advice from Wikihow is dead on. If these adolescent punks get their way this time, we might as well just proclaim Ted Cruz as Emperor of the USA and call it a day.

  7. But to give credit where credit is due, Ted Cruz is just your average foreign born fascist megalomaniac who wants to seize power in America.  I mean really, what could go wrong with that strategy?

  8. Here's the philosophical and intellectual underpinnings for the current GOP strategy for solving the budget/deficit issues:

    Comments made by Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) last weekunderscore Ross' suggestion that many Republicans believe what's at stake is no longer a matter of policy but one of pride.

    "We're not going to be disrespected … We have to get something out of this. And I don't know what that even is," Stutzman said.

    1. That's a very encouraging poll, even taking into account an adjustment of a couple of points because PPP is left leaning (but almost always quite close to accurate) . 

      I wonder if you know anything about a poll mentioned in a DCCC  e-mail I got today. It claimed that Dems are polling ahead in 17 congressional races that could turn the House over to Dems. As usual in aggravating, send money, DCCC begging e-mails it sites no figures, no names and provides no links. 

      It did say that the polling was released this morning and is from Quinnipiac. I'd love to believe them but I couldn't find anything  else about this.  Can anyone verify WTF the DCCC is talking about?

      1. OK . On closer examination I see that it's actually the PPP pol that shows 17 Rs losing ground against Ds in polls. But I'm sure the DCCC e-mail said Qunnipiac and can't find verification of that. That would be even better since that one is generally weighted to lean right. I never trust the no stats, no lnks "polls show…" in DCCC begging e-mails. 

      2. Note that PPP, although they're a pollster that works a lot with Democrats, actually has an R+1 (that is, their polls tend to favor Republicans by 1 point more than the final result) house bias.

        There's no need to be pessimistic about their numbers on that account.

    1. Several excellent takeaways from that article.  First and foremost:

      Obama not only must refuse to trade concessions for a debt-ceiling hike; he has to make it clear that he will endure default before he submits to ransom. To pay a ransom now, even a tiny one, would ensure an endless succession of debt-ceiling ransoms until, eventually, the two sides fail to agree on the correct size of the ransom and default follows.


      The debt ceiling turns out to be unexploded ordnance lying around the American form of government. Only custom or moral compunction stops the opposition party from using it to nullify the president’s powers, or, for that matter, the president from using it to nullify Congress’s. (Obama could, theoretically, threaten to veto a debt ceiling hike unless Congress attaches it to the creation of single-payer health insurance.) To weaponize the debt ceiling, you must be willing to inflict harm on millions of innocent people. It is a shockingly powerful self-destruct button built into our very system of government, but only useful for the most ideologically hardened or borderline sociopathic.

      … Like sociopaths Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan …

      If Dems regain the House in 2014, and keep the Senate, I hope we are able to destroy these weapons of mass distruction before they get another chance to be used.

      1. Great article and I agree completely with you, Davie, that the most important take away is that, come what may, the ransom must not be paid. Not the tiniest part of it. Government by endless Cuban Missile style crisis would follow and isn't a viable option. These crises can't all end well. If not this one, the next one or the next after will blow up with devastating consequences, consequences so dire for the US and the whole world and so unfixable, they'll make concern over closed parks or even cancer research look quaint.

        As this article points out, our founding fathers never could have anticipated a minority opposition in control of one chamber of congress as toxic, radicalized and, yes, sociopathic (I'll dispense with the borderline caveat) as what we have now. The only solution is….  crush it.  

        Democrats have to take the both Houses and then the Presidency again and hold them all long enough to end the power of the sociopaths and establish rule changes that would make it a lot harder for a crazed minority to hit that self destruct button.

        The success of Tea Party in dominating GOP and the power this small number of political sociopaths is now wielding through the GOP is like nothing we've yet seen in US politics and is just as dangerous and not to be trusted  for rational behavior as the craziest supreme leaders of the the most toxic enemy governments. 

        They are much scarier than the Taliban or el Qaida because those groups of zealot wackos don't have the power to destroy us or the world.  Our homegrown zealots do if we are foolish enough to hand it over to them.

        1. The only problem is that freaking Constitution.

          14th Amendment,

          Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

          Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article

          1. It's just legislation that needs fixing:

            Prior to 1917, the United States had no debt ceiling. The Congress either authorized specific loans or allowed the Treasury to issue certain debt instruments and individual debt issues for specific purposes. Sometimes Congress gave the Treasury discretion over what type of debt instrument would be issued.[13] The United States first instituted a statutory debt limit with the Second Liberty Bond Act of 1917. This legislation set limits on the aggregate amount of debt that could be accumulated through individual categories of debt (such as bonds and bills). In 1939, Congress instituted the first limit on total accumulated debt over all kinds of instruments.[14]
            Prior to the Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, the debt ceiling played an important role since Congress had few opportunities to hold hearings and debates on the budget.[4] James Surowiecki argued that the debt ceiling lost its usefulness after these reforms to the budget process.[5]
            In 1979, noting the potential problems of hitting a default, Dick Gephardt imposed the "Gephardt Rule," a parliamentary rule that deemed the debt ceiling raised when a budget was passed. This resolved the contradiction in voting for appropriations but not voting to fund them. The rule stood until it was repealed by the Republican Congress in 1995.[15]

              1.  "let's elect enough Dems"  good. Active voice.  Never too late to learn.  Now, this is a honest question to which I don't have any good answers: How do you think is the best way for US to take back the House, keep the Senate and repeal the repeals.

                My only effort is to BEG the White House to restructure OFA so that it can be a partisan, Democratic machine, again.

                1. Screw you dwyer, you insufferable, self righteous little ninny. You can take your condescending backhanded "compliment" on my "voice", and shove it where the moon don't shine. That is if your head isn't already taking up all the room.

                2. OFA  (aka Obama for America – '08, Organizing for American – '12, and Organizing for Action – '13) has to be an issue committee in non-election years. Pesky campaign finance laws. Right now, its issues are health care (ACA), immigration reform, reproductive rights, and climate change.

                  I expect, in the runup to 2016, that OFA will change yet again and become a partisan pro-Hillary or whomever organization. If not, the DNC (Democratic National Committee) which I beleive now owns or shares the legendary VAN database, will bequeath its use  to a consortium of other progressive organizations, such as AmericaVotes, ProgressNow, MoveOn, or any of the other groups soliciting $3 contributions in your email on a daily basis.

                  1. OFA never owned the VAN database; it's a separate org from the party and it's always been the party's database.

                    OFA sounds like it will remain a GOTV machine in the future and not return to being a candidate committee as it has in the past.

                    1. As I said:

                      f not, the DNC (Democratic National Committee) which I beleive now owns or shares the legendary VAN database

          2. Here is another bit of advice for the GOP:

            The House unanimously passed back pay for furloughed employees. So, let us just see what this has purchased: the furloughed employees are suffering with mortgages and rent and food and other items of daily life that they cannot pay for now, but they will get the money back, so that the taxpayers will have paid them but received no work for it. Republican economics at work!

            So, let me take Republicans out of their misery. You won. You got 98 percent of what you wanted in 2011, and that is continued for six weeks. It makes no sense to inflict needless suffering on people, get no work out of them, but pay them for it anyhow.

            Learn from George Aitken. Declare victory. Recognize the absurdity of the retrospective paid-vacation that inflicts needless suffering, saves nothing and prevents some important work from being done (oh, you know, little things such as monitoring the sanctions against Iran) and, for those two reasons bring the Senate CR to an up-or-down vote.

            Then, proceed to your next bit of nonsense, the debt-ceiling. Why focus your energies and your destructive creativity on a little government shut-down, when you can go after your loftier goal, crashing the world economy?

            Republicans are good at crashing the economy when they are in power.

            Now they can show that they are equally skilled out of power.

            1. Boehner has been happy to declare victory right up until this latest crisis,  always crowing about how had  gotten 90% of what he wanted. Suddenly it's boo hoo, the Dems won't compromise? More like he can't believe the Dems finally said "enough".  Let's hope Dem leadership makes a habit of it from now on.

        2. Prediction: if Republicans lose the 2014 elections – and by "lose" I mean lose control of the House and fail to gain control of the Senate – then the party will implode within the year from infighting. The Teaheadists will take control of the party and will primary any perceived moderates in the 2016 election, resulting in an ever more extremist homogeneous group that is unable to win a national majority. Though the Colorado GOP has been partially immune to the national purge, it won't be able to withstand the onslaught if they lose the US House.

          This will probably have ripple effects through the political system.

  9. Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) rejected the suggestion that members of his own party are unhappy with him for pursuing a fight over Obamacare into a government shutdown.

    Asked by host Candy Crowley whether his actions have "hurt the Republican Party brand," Ted Cruz said no.

    Scary thing for Republicans (and Dems too) — he probably believes his delusions are real.

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