Shutdown Ended, Credit Limit Increased! See You Again in 90 Days!

So the government shutdown is over and the debt limit has been increased. President Obama bestrides the Capital City now like a colossus, flanked by Senate Majority Harry Reid and once-and-future Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The Republicans, especially Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, have been beaten back and the threat they pose to the country has been downgraded from that of suicide bombers and hostage takers to mere rapist kidnappers (seriously).

So there's really nothing left to say, except this: See you again in about three months, when the continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government runs out and, a bit after that, when the feds need to yet again increase the debt ceiling. Or maybe a bit earlier, in mid-December, when the bicameral budget committee headed up by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) report on what they've cooked up to actually deal with, well, all the issues that have been kicked down the road for a few weeks.

As political scientist Larry Sabato tells the Christian Science Monitor:

“It’s a symbolic victory, but also a Pyrrhic victory,” says political scientist Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville. “Obama won and the Republicans lost. It’s obvious. At the same time, what did he win? A brief extension, and we’re going to be having the same fight over and over and over again.”

“I call him the ‘Groundhog Day’ president,” Mr. Sabato says. “It’s Sonny and Cher at 6 a.m., every day.”

Alex Pappas of The Daily Caller writes that while the deal freezes spending, it does so at a higher rate that sequestration called for:

On Oct. 1, more sequester cuts were supposed to bring the discretionary budget down to $967 billion for fiscal year 2014.

But the amount of the spending cap in the McConnell-Reid deal for the next three months is frozen temporarily at $986 billion — $19 billion more than the government is supposed to be able to spend this fiscal year.

More sequestration cuts, worked out in the Budget Control Act from 2011, are scheduled to take place in mid-January. Former Defense Secretary and CIA head Leon Panetta, now heading up a crew called Fix the Debt, is already on the offensive, saying those trims shouldn't be allowed to take place. He tells The Daily Beast:

“We are at a turning point in the United States of America. We can either be an America in renaissance… or we can be a country in decline...The combination of this sequester and this shutdown has hurt our national defense,” he said. “It’s hard to believe that what has happened has been not the result of an economic crisis, not the result of war, but the result of a self-inflicted wound by people who swear they will do everything to protect and defend this country.” 

The idea that America's decline in any way stems from an unwillingness to ever cut spending (especially on defense, where outlays are up about 80 percent in real dollars since the start of the century) is richer than fresh cream.

But there's no question that the deal to end the shutdown and to increase the debt limit has settled just about nothing. Government outlays continue to massively outpace government revenues. There is no plan on anybody's table that seriously addresses that imbalance and spending on old-age entitlements (Social Security and Medicare) is where America is beggaring itself to pay for the retirements of wealthy seniors.

Here's hoping that these issues - and a discussion of ending the entitlement state for a system that is actually geared to a modern economy and society - actually are addressed in the coming weeks. In a way that is genuinely encouraging, large majorities of Americans want to see spending cut and debt reduced.

That's something else that the shutdown hasn't changed. If anything, it has helped make those matters more sharply defined. Which means in the end, it might have served an incredibly useful purpose.

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  • Hugh Akston||

    The idea that America's decline in any way stems from an unwillingness to ever cut spending (especially on defense, where outlays are up about 80 percent in real dollars since the start of the century) is richer than fresh cream.

    Can anyone translate this one? I've run it through Google a couple of ties and seems to be saying that cutting spending is a bad thing.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Yeah, remove the "un" there.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Of all that the federal government does I find defense to be one of the few valid functions, but I don't get the logic at all that defense spending leads to a renaissance in any way. Defense spending, albeit at a level substantially below where it is now, is a necessary evil and not any source of natural growth or wealth.

    It seems everyone is a Bush II these days: spend more on defense and spend even more on social programs.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Prediction: In three months the GOP will overturn sequestration, move us to single payer and raise taxes on just about everyone. In return they will get a muffin and a public spanking.

  • waffles||

    3 Months!? It took us 3 years to pass and find out what was in the ACA. They will do nothing in 3 months.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    It will take 3 months for them to check all their email from when the "shut-down" started. Somehow.

  • Pro Libertate||

    What, precisely, has Obama won? Did anyone think the GOP was going to hold out indefinitely? The House did this to show what it could do and was willing to do more than anything else. This isn't over, though I don't expect the GOP to go on some mad anti-spending spree. Which is too bad.

  • Adam330||

    didn't he get the power to effectively raise the debt ceiling unilaterally next time? meaning now all the Rs have as leverage is the CR.

  • SFC B||

    I guess, in theory, the "President can raise debt-limit himself" thing allows the GOP to pass resolutions preventing him from doing so, but putting him in a position of having to veto them. So, maybe, they get all the theater of trying to stop him, but less of the pain that comes with making the effort?

  • Adam330||

    he doesn't have to veto anything if the senate doesn't pass the resolution too, which of course they won't.

  • Troglodyte Rex||

    he doesn't have to veto anything if the senate doesn't pass the resolution too, which of course they won't.

    I was wondering the same thing. There should have been language that says "Barring a vote from both houses of congress this measure shall be considered null and void and removed from the Act."

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    ya, how is this not the most major part of this news?

    That is fucking horrible. Congress just gives up the power of the purse completely, and it's like a little side note?

    Even if you were 100% against the shutdown the whole time and wanted to increase funding for Obamacare and every other god damn thing under the sun, how could you vote for that?

  • Pro Libertate||

    It actually can't do that. It can refuse to act, but the Constitution makes it clear--this is solely the power of the House.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    two things:

    1) they can't just make the debt ceiling infinity? that means all the spending is still empowered by legislative branch.

    2) Constitution? Ha Ha. Good one.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The point is, it's the House's decision alone.

  • Pro Libertate||

    And it can't waive that power by law.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You keep using that word: law. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    Even if you were 100% against the shutdown the whole time and wanted to increase funding for Obamacare and every other god damn thing under the sun, how could you vote for that?

    That shutdown, you didn't vote that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "What, precisely, has Obama won? Did anyone think the GOP was going to hold out indefinitely?"

    Yeah, they thought the GOP was trying to keep the government shut down until Obama gave up on ObamaCare.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Nobody believe that, but I sincerely believe the phoney-baloney debt "limit" deadline bluff should have been called.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Oh, I think they did believe that.

    Go read the comments at NPR or any other lefty news site--if you can stand it.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I don't think anyone believed Obama would give up on Obamacare, but I for one thought the GOP would hold out until they got something substantial on this.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    See below: this was not a GOP strategy.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Seriously guys, um...they didn't think the Tea Party would win--they always thought Obama would win.

    But they didn't think the Tea Party knew that. They thought the Tea Party was really trying to shut down ObamaCare.

    Here are a couple of headlines:

    "Ted Cruz left with few friends after Obamacare fight fails, government shutdown ends, debt limit rises"

    http://www.dallasnews.com/news.....-fight.ece

    "Ted Cruz Declares Victory Over Obamacare, Gives Up"

    http://wonkette.com/531774/ted.....e-gives-up

    This was all framed as a fight between the Tea Party and Obama over ObamaCare--a fight that Obama supposedly won.

  • LynchPin1477||

    This was all framed as a fight between the Tea Party and Obama over ObamaCare

    Didn't the Tea Party frame it that way, too? Or at the very least as a fight over spending in general?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, more or less. But the people on the left took it way too seriously.

    It was a publicity stunt that, maybe, might get them a concession or even delay the individual mandate.

    Who thought they were actually going to get Obama to repeal ObamaCare?

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    now comes the main event. Obamacare vs. Reality.

  • Carolynp||

    Please, have you even seen them on national tv saying that obamacare is a stunning success? They have been looking into the camera with a straight face and saying that the problems with obamacare are "right wing hysteria". God I hate liberals.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Well according to the interview I heard with Diana Degette on the radio this morning, the Republicans wanted to permanently shut down the government, burn down America's national treasures, kick poor people into the gutters, and sell poison milk to school children.

    None of that happened, so obviously Obama saved us all.

  • RBS||

    Don't forget the cancer patients, especially breast cancer patients.

  • Marshall Gill||

    No, that isn't what Republicans want to do. It is what Libertarians want to do. Speaking strictly for myself, of course.

  • mr simple||

    If only there was someway to raise awareness about this issue.

  • CE||

    “I call him the ‘Groundhog Day’ president,” Mr. Sabato says. “It’s Sonny and Cher at 6 a.m., every day.”

    +1 I've Got You Babe

  • ||

    Former Defense Secretary and CIA head Leon Panetta, now heading up a crew called Fix the Debt, is already on the offensive, saying those trims shouldn't be allowed to take place.

    This one nugget has a little of everything.

  • Drake||

    Did they name their "crew" ironically?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "But there's no question that the deal to end the shutdown and to increase the debt limit has settled just about nothing."

    People on the left seem to think they've won some sort of psychological victory, that we've decided to keep spending and we've decided to feel good about it.

    The real world consequences don't really enter into it for them. In their minds, we just chalked up another one up for Obama, and that means the good guys won.

    How many of the rest of us really thought the shutdown was going to bring about any kind of significant change? I always saw it as a publicity stunt, and calling winners and losers is a little premature.

    ObamaCare hasn't even been implemented yet, but the early reports should be keeping the Democrats up at night. If the results are bad (and I think they probably will be), there isn't anybody that's going to blame the Tea Party.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    That's the real win here. In the coming months, the Republicans can say "we shut down the government to try to prevent this thing. Don't go blaming us".

  • Ken Shultz||

    There's a struggle going on between those who only see the world in terms of the way they think it should be and those who see the world the way it is.

    Reality has a way of asserting itself, and when it does, it won't be the idealists who win in the court of public opinion.

    Looking back, people have a way of remembering the past as though they were right all along. They don't remember when they were wrong.

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com.....iraq_x.htm

    The Democrats won't be able to blame past Republican presidents for this--or say that the Republicans supported ObamaCare, too. If and when healthcare blows up, we all know who to blame.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "If and when healthcare blows up, we all know who to blame."

    And, I should have added, they'll remember it like they opposed it all along.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    No, they'll say, "are you happy now? You forced us to pass this market-based law rather than single-payer, and look at the bad results! Now can we have a bipartisan consensus to institute single payer at last?"

  • RannedPall||

    This. This. So much this. Harry Reid has already said Obamacare is a first step towards single payer, so don't anyone act shocked when that's what's next on their list.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If it fails miserably, I think people will be reluctant to embrace more of the same.

    I'll concede that who the next president is may prove to be really important.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    How many of the rest of us really thought the shutdown was going to bring about any kind of significant change? I always saw it as a publicity stunt, and calling winners and losers is a little premature.

    Welcome to high school.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    But there's no question that the deal to end the shutdown and to increase the debt limit has settled just about nothing. Government outlays continue to massively outpace government revenues. There is no plan on anybody's table that seriously addresses that imbalance and spending on old-age entitlements (Social Security and Medicare) is where America is beggaring itself to pay for the retirements of wealthy seniors.

    Dealing with real world problems is too hard. Let's bet the mortgage honey! I bet this game of craps will never end.

  • eyeroller||

    large majorities of Americans want to see spending cut and debt reduced

    Nick, how many times do we have to go over this? In a very vague generalized way, Americans say they want to cut spending. But they can't think of anything specific they want to cut (except foreign aid). That's why R and D politicians are unwilling to cut anything.

    There must be a marketing term for this, where the customers think they want something very different from what they actually want.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    We have it in econ: "stated preferences v. revealed preferences".

  • John||

    Yes, and also wanting or liking something doesn't mean that you are willing to pay the price to get it. Just because people support cutting spending doesn't mean they are going to change their vote based on that single issue. The best example of people's preferences translating into actual political power is gun rights. Gun owners are willing to vote for either side and vote on that issue over all others. That is what makes a difference not vague "well yes, we really need to do something about spending" preferences.

    The day the majority of the public is willing to vote for any politician who is will cut spending and vote again any politician who won't to exclusion of all other issues, is the day spending will be cut. When you understand that, it becomes pretty clear why politicians, who on both sides love spending, spend so much of their time getting the public at one another's throats over bullshit social issues.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    bitter-clingers? :P

  • Lord Peter Wimsey||

    Yes^ This is the key point. Cut spending, but don't cut that! "That" being anything "important," which includes most of what government does, constitutional or not. This reality cannot be written of with "You libertarians just think everyone is stupid."

    "stated preferences v. revealed preferences". That's nice, but how about "what I would believe if I were not a parasite v. give me free shit."

    I really think we are though the looking glass on the whole American experiment. Doesn't mean this isn't a good place to live (the best?), but we now have real philosophical and psychological break with self/limited government (as opposed to a material break, which goes back much further). Hard to mark the end, but the Bushbama era is as good as any.

  • John||

    The problem is that the government has managed to hide the costs of these programs. So people see the programs and are convinced someone else is paying for them. Who doesn't want to do great things, provided you get to feel good for supporting it and someone else is paying for it?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -The problem is that the government has managed to hide the costs of these programs.

    Indeed, 17 trillion dollars of costs (and counting).

  • ||

    Me.

    Fuck those wankers.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The problem is that the government has managed to hide the costs of these programs. So people see the programs and are convinced someone else is paying for them.

    They did until Obamacare. “Of course, I want people to have health care[.] I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.“

    People claim to support Obamacare, but Obama and Co made a major miscalculation with the bill that will doom its failure in public opinion: they allowed people to actually experience the cost. It isn't hidden amongst all of the other things that get paid for on April 15, or taken out of your paycheck where you never even see the money. You actually have to write a check, every month, that is significantly larger than the check you already had to write for your insurance premiums, and people know exactly why. Unfortunately it probably means that single payer is even closer.

  • John||

    That is what I keep saying. I really think Obamacare is going to prove to be a disaster for big government liberalism. But many on here claim people will not notice they are being screwed or if they do will be duped into not blaming Obamacare for it.

  • CE||

    The problem is that spending has doubled in a short time, yet the media never mention this, nor raise the possibility that whatever "necessary" functions the government is performing could be accomplished with far fewer employees and far less lavish benefits for them.

  • Troglodyte Rex||

    That's why R and D politicians are unwilling to cut anything.

    I have an easy fix for that.

    535 retards, locked in a room. Each of them pick lines from the previous FY budget to "champion". If, at the end of it all, a line is not "championed" it is removed from the budget completely for at least the next 5 fiscal years. Once the 535 tards pick their lines they "work" 10 hour days defending the lines they champion at 30 minutes per person (not item - each attendee gets 30 minutes to make a case for all championed line items, be it 1 or 100), then a vote is held on each individual budget line. If the line receives enough votes, it is included in the next budget, if not, it is banished for at least 5 years (except defense, which will be renewed and automatically cut by 25% from the previous FY budget). If the line is championed by more than one person, the amount allocated to it is the lower of the debated amounts (not to exceed a 2% increase from the previous year). If voting is not completed by September 30, lines for which a vote has not been held are cut but can be revisited in the next FY debate process.

    Doing the math, 535 people at 30 minutes = 267.5 hours. 10 hour days makes it 26.75 days. When does congress have 5 work weeks prior to the FY ending in September? Oh yeah, that 5 month recess from Aug. to mid-Sept. Solution, cuts can be made (although they save face by not being for the cuts), and those gimps have to show up for their late summer paychecks.

  • Troglodyte Rex||

    And each line is listed with it's champion, party, and district so everyone knows whom to blame.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Your math is off. That should be 536...

  • LynchPin1477||

    So let me see if I got this right: the R's got no concessions on Obamacare, no tax cuts, no spending cuts but rather a slight rollback of sequestration, no policy concessions, a committee (because those always work to solve major problems), and a few billion dollars for Kentucky? I thought the shutdown was a politically risky idea from day one, and I never supported breaching the debt ceiling, but I expected them to get something substantial out of this. If you're gonna commit, commit, damn it.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    The Republicans weren't committed. That's the problem.

    See Brit Hume:

    "In conventional terms, it seems inexplicable, but Senator Cruz and his adherents do not view things in conventional terms. They look back over the past half-century, including the supposedly golden era of Ronald Reagan, and see the uninterrupted forward march of the American left. Entitlement spending never stopped growing. The regulatory state continued to expand. The national debt grew and grew and finally in the Obama years, exploded. They see an American population becoming unrecognizable from the free and self-reliant people they thought they knew. And they see the Republican Party as having utterly failed to stop the drift toward an unfree nation supervised by an overweening and bloated bureaucracy. They are not interested in Republican policies that merely slow the growth of this leviathan. They want to stop it and reverse it. And they want to show their supporters they'll try anything to bring that about.

    "And if some of those things turn out to be reckless and doomed, well so be it."

    The Republicans refused to commit to the Tea Party, and that's why they lost last night.

  • John||

    For sure. And the reason why they didn't do that is two fold. First, they like spending because it gives them power. And second they can't see beyond the latest poll. The polls said stop so they backed away. They simply do not have the imagination or the courage to see something through even though it is polling badly right now. The idea of doing something and then going back and taking on the media meme and explaining it and defending it before the next election is totally beyond them.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Yes. They caved because POLLS. Uh, guys? The election is not for another year.

  • John||

    That is what I am reading. And yeah, that is pretty idiotic. But remember, they are all very small, petty men who are in no way up to the circumstances or the task at hand. I think they mean well. They are just extremely weak, unimaginative and dull people placed in a situation that calls for exactly the opposite.

  • Drake||

    Primaries are in 6 months - that should be interesting.

  • LynchPin1477||

    And they want to show their supporters they'll try anything to bring that about.

    And if some of those things turn out to be reckless and doomed, well so be it.

    Falling on your sword only works if you're actually willing to fall on your sword. If you pull back at the last second, with nothing to really show for it, then it just makes you look like a grandstanding coward. The Tea Party was committed, but the rest of the R's clearly were not. And if that was the case then it was a strategic mistake by the R leadership to go along with the shutdown in the first place.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    And if that was the case then it was a strategic mistake by the R leadership to go along with the shutdown in the first place.

    That's why the Republican leadership needs replaced. You can bet your bottom dollar that if Ted Cruz and the House Rs had about 50% more support from their ostensible "allies", they would have called the debt ceiling bluff.

    The fact is most of your so-called "thought leaders" on the conservative side were slagging the Tea Party from the start. See: Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, Bill Bennett, Ross Douthat, Byron York etc.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    They lost on the shutdown bluff, why in the world would you want them to double down on the debt ceiling bluff as well? Are you actually some Democrat operative working to ensure the GOP never wins a national election or the Senate ever again?

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    want them to not be bluffing. actually use power of purse to not do things they say they don't want to do.

  • robc||

    It wasnt a bluff.

  • robc||

    I think the Tea Party will be a larger percentage of the GOP after the 2014 election.

    I think Boehner understands this, which is why he held out as long as he did.

    He is still toast though. He caved, he is done.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I heard it said this was all an elegant plan to eliminate Boehner.

    If so, to be a fly on the wall at Tortilla Coast or wherever the hell that was.

  • sarcasmic||

    On the drive I flipped to NPR where some reporter was fawning over some Democrat douche. She brought up negotiations and entitlements, and the Democrat douche immediately said "Well what about the billions in subsidies to Big Oil?" as if allowing a company to keep it's own money is the same as taking from one person and giving to another.

    Allowing Big Oil to keep it's own money is a subsidy, while cutting transfer payments is theft. Fucking mental.

    I guess Tony isn't the only broken-brain who believes not giving is taking and not taking is giving.

  • mr simple||

    It's like reading the comments on most other websites. The double think these people have to employ to hold their beliefs is staggering and enough to make a man want to strangle someone. It's why I try not to read or post on my company's employee message board, where many people seem to forget that they are not anonymous.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Also, Rep. Peter King is such a bona-fide, grade-A asshole, and his mask well and truly came off last night on Twitter. I usually try to be respectful to congressmen (in public), but fuck him sideways. If I were in his district, I'd vote for the Democrat candidate.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I usually try to be respectful to congressmen (in public)

    What exactly have any of them done to earn your respect?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Nothing, I admit. I act respectful to comply with societal norms in an effort to avoid unnecessary conflict.

  • mr simple||

    It is much easier. I almost caused a shitstorm at my in-laws the other day when I merely implied that a General in the military might not deserve our utmost respect and admiration based solely on the fact that he was a General and that politicians need not kowtow to them.

  • SFC B||

    I have Google open in another tab trying to find out how to give money to the campaign of anyone primarying Boehner and McConnell, and whoever their Democratic Party challengers are. I might not be able to vote against them, but I can do whatever I can to get them into cushy lobbying jobs.

  • FreeToFear||

    Good luck with that.... I used to live in the Ohio 8th. Nobody will primary Boehner and the Democrats can only sort of come close if it's a presidential year and all the students at Miami come out to vote

  • robc||

    Bevin appears to be the main primary challenger to McConnell. I havent figured out exactly what he is yet, other than anti-McConnell.

  • robc||

    Matt Bevin has promised on his website to never vote for any bill that funds Obamacare, so he has that going for him.

  • Nephilium||

    Boehner's primary challenger:

    Eric Gurr

    McConnell's primary challenger:

    Matt Bevin

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    liberty for all super pac.

    I'm thinking that looks like a good target for a small monthly donation.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Yes, adding more Democrats to the House will show them!! Sorry, but this is a level of petulance is intellect worthy of the current resident of 1600 Penn.

    No, I'm not in love with Team Red (I vote my pocketbook like the rational economic player we're all supposed to be), but I don't get the logic of supporting the side that can only spend even more because the side that flirts with spending less caved.

  • sarcasmic||

    I met Olympia Snowe at a Greek Festival a few years ago, and I dismissed her before she dismissed me. Then some Republican candidate tried to engage me in conversation and she physically pulled him away from me. Guess I ticked the queen off by ending the conversation before her.

  • John||

    Snow always struck me as just not being very bright. Forget her positions for a moment. She just seems really dull witted.

  • sarcasmic||

    She... did... talk... very... slowly... even... in... person.....

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -If I were in his district, I'd vote for the Democrat candidate.

    Since you are speaking of masks, eh?

  • LynchPin1477||

    We can either be an America in renaissance

    Nothing says enlightenment like bankrupting the country in the name of a military build-up!

  • Drake||

    So the Middle-Ages ended with a tax hike and spending spree of borrowed money?

  • John||

    America is still a vibrant country doing great things. To the extent that it is not it is because the government is preventing it from doing more. In many ways we are in a great age. We have great companies doing great things and we have apparently blundered into an enormous supply of cheap oil and natural gas thanks to fracking. It is the American government that is in decline and malaise. I guess when you can't see any difference between government and the rest of the country, you probably would think America is in decline.

  • RBS||

    I'd add that if you get all of your news from the big networks or your local stations then you are probably going to have a pretty bleak view of everyday life.

  • John||

    For sure. I was thinking about that this morning. The TV News has done so much damage to the fabric of our society. I was on my way to work this morning and I saw a woman whom I don't know personally, but I recognized as someone who works where I work. And she had just missed her bus. You could tell she was very upset about it. I really thought about stopping and asking her for a ride. But then I thought better of it. I mean, she doesn't know me and the idea of a woman taking a ride from a strange man is just not something any person would do in our society today. So I drove on and left her to wait for the next bus and be late for work.

    What a shame that is. How many other acts of kindness or consideration don't happen because the TV news has convinced everyone that every stranger is a potential serial killer?

  • sarcasmic||

    "Some stalker from work is trying to kidnap me! Send the police! I'm at..."

  • SFC B||

    I won't stop to help a child I don't know unless they are in clear and imminent danger.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I'd add that if you get all of your news from the big networks or your local stations then you are probably going to have a pretty bleak view of everyday life.

    I don't get any news from any big network or local station and I have a pretty bleak view of life because I see an increasingly large amount of money being stolen from my wife's paycheck (I'm a stay-at-home dad) every two weeks, and I write several large checks a year so that government stooges can continue to treat me like a fucking puppet in their personal puppet show. And what do I get for being opposed to being openly robbed in order to support a massive block of paper pushing bureaucrats who add nothing of substance to my wellbeing? I'm labeled as a racist who wants to bring about the end of society.

    Fuck government, and fuck all of those who continue to support it with my goddamn money.

  • RBS||

    My favorite response:

    And you tea party motherfuckers can ask Jesus and Ted Cruz to perform your chik-fil-a induced triple by pass
  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    well, I know where I'll be eating today.

  • robc||

    That was my exact thought.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Reason, please don't pimp bullshit meaningless push polls:

    http://reason.com/24-7/2013/10.....te-falling

  • Winston||

    Um when I complained about this all you said was: OMG NOT FACTS!

  • ||

    But on the plus side, the Republicans did manage to send a message to Obama and the Democrats.

    That message being: "We really hate ObamaCare, and we're super crazy people willing to do super crazy things to stop it. But don't worry, because we're bluffing."

  • Fatty Bolger||

    To be fair, they weren't *all* bluffing.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    We are at a turning point in the United States of America. We can either be an America in renaissance… or we can be a country in decline...

    *Throws rope over rafters, climbs up on chair*

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I believe it was Churchill that said that a fanatic is someone who redoubles his efforts in the face of evident failure. Many here said the GOP could easily win a shutdown. It would only negatively impact Democrat constituents we heard, most people will not miss the shut down agencies at all was said. It is the President and the Senate who shut down the government, it is obviously not the House.

    Of course you were wrong. The GOP got blamed, 'big time.' They came out of this in an even weaker position than they started in regarding their stated goals. If anything their flailing around reinforced people's addiction to federal largesse.

    Several people, myself included, said all along this was what would happen. Now it is interesting to see the spin (if only the GOP had held out longer [yes, and become a truly minority party, as if politics in a democracy is a matter of principle and not popularity]; if only the Democrat friendly media had been better exposed as lying [as if you do not operate in the world we have, but in the one we would like], and my personal favorite, we really did win!).

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Right, they should have passed a clean CR, so they could live to not fight another day.

    Politics is about more than polls and current popularity, you know. The Democrats got nowhere with their attempts to defund the Iraq war because the idea was unpopular even though approval of the war was very low, but the attempt helped them to win elections later.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Yeah, you know what wins elections? Being 1% to the Right or Left of your opponent. You know what doesn't fix the country? Constantly being in the middle.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    They should have done something actually conservative: waited.

    There is a scene in the second season of HBO's Boardwalk Empire where the main character, embattled machine and mob boss 'Nucky' Thompson is given advice by a fellow don and successful gambler Arnold Rothstein: sometimes the best act to do when you do not have a play is to wait until you do have one, and then act.

    The Senate is up for grabs in 2014 and the 'map looks good' for the GOP. Why they would want to take some drastic, possibly backfiring action in the face of that future is something only a myopic ideologue can understand.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    The Senate is up for grabs in 2014 and the 'map looks good' for the GOP. Why they would want to take some drastic, possibly backfiring action in the face of that future is something only a myopic ideologue can understand.

    Yay, GOP? Guess what, I don't really give a flying fuck about the GOP taking the Senate. What good is it if they are too scared or unwilling to do anything with it? "Oh, we have the Senate now, but we can't do anything because that mean old Obama will stop us." So then we wait for 2016, and then 2018, and 2020...

  • Winston||

    What good is it if they are too scared or unwilling to do anything with it? "Oh, we have the Senate now, but we can't do anything because that mean old Obama will stop us." So then we wait for 2016, and then 2018, and 2020...

    Wait I was called a TEAM RED troll for saying this.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Why they would want to take some drastic, possibly backfiring action in the face of that future is something only a myopic ideologue can understand.

    The GOP isn't called The Stupid Party for no reason.

  • ||

    Just because they're getting blamed doesn't mean that correcting people that it was actually the Senate and the President is the wrong course of action.

    And I will guarantee you right now that the "shutdown" won't play dick in the next election. The shitstorm that is Obamacare will though.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Several people, myself included, said all along this was what would happen.

    Congratulations. You realize that most Americans are stupid and get their information from a pliant media that carries water for Team BLUE. You're a fucking genius.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    The fanatics are redoubling their effort to bankrupt us by adding to the debt.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    The slightly purple-to-blue gloating is a little childish, but you have some valid points buried in there. The GOP will get blamed somewhat for this, but the midterms are a billion episodes of Survivor away. To think that this action alone will have lasting impact is a bit silly when the previous episode with a much more popular president didn't.

    What everyone needs to realize is that this is the long game. Where Team Red and the Tea Party failed is that they swung for the fences instead of nibbling away at the state. You only get to do that when you fully control government. If they had gone in demanding a repeal of the device tax and a 1 year delay in the individual mandate in exchange for the CR and taken the debt ceiling off the table this would have been a much more interesting fight. The optics of the WWII memorial as well as the healthcare.gov shambles would have worked in their favor. In fact, I think there's a very real possibility that Barry himself will have to waive the individual mandate if the mechanics can't be worked out very soon.

    That is my real criticism.

    Supra/Infra/Other pretentious lawyerisms aside...

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I havent figured out exactly what he is yet, other than anti-McConnell.

    He can't be all bad.

  • Sevo||

    Facts:
    1) A wide-out over the middle catching a high one is gonna get creamed, dropping the ball isn't going to help.
    2) Neither Obama nor the Obots are going to accept blame for O'care.
    3) The media will not blame them for it, either.
    4) Neither Obama nor the Obots are going to accept blame for the economy.
    5) The media will not blame them for it either.
    See #1: The GOP should have held out for as long as it took to get some movement, they're gonna get blamed anyhow

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Concur. The debt ceiling was an invented "deadline", in other words, a bluff.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Sevo, enough people blame Obama for the economy and other things. If the GOP had merely not nominated a man who came off as an arrogant, unprincipled patrician we would not be even be talking about 'President Obama' right now. He fared significantly worse in 12 than 08 even against such a terrible candidate.

  • Sevo||

    ..."enough people blame Obama for the economy and other things"...
    You read and hear different news than do I.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    2008 Popular vote 69,498,516
    2012 Popular vote 65,915,796

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    No, he's right on this one. Romney was an awful candidate on so many levels. He couldn't attack Obamacare because of Romneycare. He was an out of touch corporate raider simply because of his background. He offered no specific alternative to Barryland except to cut taxes in some nebulous way. He had enough waffleage in his record that even the base felt uneasy about him. He lost whatever connection he had to the Libertarian wing by exiling Paul (real stupid that!). And finally, Barry outraised him significantly and still his turnout was substantially below 2008.

    Team Red blew it by picking another Dole instead of defeating another Carter.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    enough people blame Obama for the economy and other things

    From all available evidence, that should be "not enough."

  • robc||

    Agreed on the Romney nomination, but its called the Stupid Party for a reason.

    Of course, other than Paul, the other GOP options were actually worse than Romney.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    6) The GOP won't get credit for any deal that restores funding.

  • Sevo||

    ..."The GOP won't get credit for any deal that restores funding."
    I don't care; they might do some good anyhow.
    Now they got the blame and they didn't do squat.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Oh, I agree with your points. Mine is that they won't get any credit for the deal they just made, so why be in such a hurry to make it?

  • John||

    You would think the "lets be reasonable" wing of the GOP would have finally learned its lesson after 2012. They nominated a big government mushy Northeastern moderate and their reward was having the media launch one of the most nasty, afactual, hate filled campaign run against a politician in my lifetime portraying a well meaning do good Mormon as a racist, misogynistic, robber baron. Romney was a big government sell out and not what the country needed, thought a lot better than the Village idiot we have, but whatever you think of his politics, he is clearly a decent, well meaning and reasonable human being. But the media still called him a racist and pretty much every form of disgusting invective one could think of.

    No one the Republicans run will ever be treated fairly by the media or portrayed as anything but stupid, evil, racist, misogynistic or some combination. So perhaps the GOP ought to stop worrying about trying to appear reasonable and just nominate the guy with the best ideas.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Bingo.

  • creech||

    To be fair to the Tea Party, the local leadership I know was split about 50/50 - half wanted to fight it out along the Cruz line, and the other half wanted to allow full implementation for individuals right now so the crash of Obamacare would happen before 2014 elections and the GOP could say,"What did we tell you?"

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    The debt ceiling bluff has got to be called at some point, otherwise it is going to be a legislative cudgel to constantly beat your opponents into submission.

    I also don't think it's responsible leadership to let an entitlement start and grow and *hope* the Pain on the People is sufficient enough to get them to see the problem. There are all kinds of terrible legislative giveaways that can be implemented to "tweak" this law for the next 40-50 years.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -The debt ceiling bluff has got to be called at some point

    Why fight the battle there though, where you will be charged with recklessness with the 'full faith and credit of the United States' when the same ultimate goal can be advanced with something like a balanced budget amendment, which is much harder to cast as 'reckless?'

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yeah, that will pass.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    And why eat steak when you could have unicorn meat?

  • robc||

    Why not do both?

  • robc||

    50% being wrong (allow full implementation) is being fair to them?

    Slag them for it, no reason to be fair.

    Making political calculations instead of doing the right thing is a form of evil.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    "Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon behind them
    Volley'd and thunder'd;
    Storm'd at with shot and shell,
    While horse and hero fell,
    They that had fought so well
    Came thro' the jaws of Death
    Back from the mouth of Hell,
    All that was left of them,
    Left of six hundred."

    There are times when symbolic battles make all of the difference. I don't think this was one of them. Start with the small victories like sequester and keep advancing the narrative bit by bit. Sometimes that will be a tactical withdrawal but over time you can transform the one Libertarian leaning party into the party that you want just as the Marxists have turned the Democratic party into the party that they want.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    What a fucking clown and rodeo show.

  • Nick M||

    The shame of this shutdown/debt ceiling showdown is that it distracted people from the train wreck that is the roll out of ObamaCare. The Rs have already had enough votes to attempt to overturn ObamaCare that they don't need do anything else to demonstrate their opposition. They should have done everything they could to make the administration and other Ds stand up and defend this mess every single day. Unfortunately that didn't happen. Hopefully it's not too late.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    There's a valid argument to be made that the focus on the shutdown meant the media did more straight factual reporting on the Obamacare debacle rather than their usual spin job.

    The House had already passed many bills to reform or abolish Obamacare, which were mostly ignored by the media. The "shutdown" was not going to be ignored.

  • Nick M||

    Perhaps it did make the reporting more factual.

    Yes, the "shutdown" wasn't ignored. But to what end? Now everyone knows that the Rs really don't like ObamaCare? It wasn't exactly a mystery before.

  • robc||

    it distracted people from the train wreck that is the roll out of ObamaCare

    False.

  • Nick M||

    Why is it false?

    Media outlets from NPR to Drudge Report have been dominated by government shutdown and debt ceiling headlines for two weeks. As a result, ObamaCare exchange problem have had much less prominence than they could have had.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Because people now have to write big fat checks which are much bigger and fatter than they were previously. People have gotten a look at the exchanges and seen the cost, and they will be forced to bear it up front. These costs are not hidden.

  • Nick M||

    I'm not saying people won't eventually find out how bad it is. It's just a shame that more people haven't found out already. Two weeks of shutdown/debt ceiling talk took the spotlight away from the exchange launch mess. Two weeks is a very long time for a website to completely suck. That's two weeks less of bad coverage that many people will see.

  • FYTW||

    At this point I'm on board with the idea of the GOP basically abstaining from governing for the next two years. Given that Boehner's demonstrated incompetence at negotiating -- he and his whip team can't count votes for shit, never bother to figure out their caucus' walkaway value, and readily bid against themselves whenever Obama goes whining to the media about awful "obstructionism" -- it's safe to assume that unless they're replaced, the GOP is going to get summarily rolled by Barry and Harry (and, really, how pathetic is that?) for at least the next year, possibly three.

    So, don't play the game. Let Democrats bring whatever legislation they want to the floor, and then vote present. Let Team Blue own *everything*, lock, stock, and barrel, without a single Republican fingerprint on any of it. And when the inevitable clusterfuck results, shrug your shoulders and say, "Hey, look, we tried to warn you, and the media accused us of throwing a tantrum. We had nothing to do with any of this."

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  • Winghunter||

    Who Shut Down the Government? By Thomas Sowell http://townhall.com/columnists...../page/full

    “...Perhaps the biggest of the big lies is that the government will not be able to pay what it owes on the national debt, creating a danger of default. Tax money keeps coming into the Treasury during the shutdown, and it vastly exceeds the interest that has to be paid on the national debt....” ;
    “...There is really nothing complicated about the facts. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted all the money required to keep all government activities going — except for ObamaCare...” ; “...If Senator Reid and President Obama refuse to accept the money required to run the government, because it leaves out the money they want to run ObamaCare, that is their right. But that is also their responsibility.
    This is not a matter of opinion. You can check the Congressional Record.
    As for the House of Representatives' right to grant or withhold money, that is not a matter of opinion either. You can check the Constitution of the United States. All spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, which means that Congressmen there have a right to decide whether or not they want to spend money on a particular government activity..."

  • fredflinstone||

    yep we are in for the same thing soon just another replay of the ridiculous crap we have already seen, especially all the rhetoric and slime ball words and tactics from the democrats.

  • optimusratiostultum||

    too bad GOP is spineless not raising the debt limit would simply force gov't to operate in the black (even if inside of a 17 trillion dollar hole). Of course mainstream GOP likes to spend too, so thats why they really raised it.

    Since congress the Gov't will never fix itself, and gov't default of it's unfunded liabilities inevitable. I think people ought to take matters into their own hands Ayn Rand style.

    It has taken the progresive looters over a hundred years to overwhelm our capitalist system because capitalism is inherently stable. Socialism is inherently unstable therefore is much easier to overwhelm, so get out there and apply for every benefit possible and only make as much money as you need to get by (so the taxman has less to fleece). The sooner the government becomes unable to sustain the welfare state the sooner it loses it's power and can be undone.

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