Sequestration

Sequestration: A CIA-like 'Coup,' a Shadowy 'Plot,' or Merely 'mindless anti-government fanaticism'?

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As the universe begins to cave in on itself, Inception-style, because of today's tiny one-year trim in federal spending, enjoy some Grade-A paranoia from your betters.

Former labor secretary Robert Reich fingers the conspiracy:

"Far-fetched? Perhaps." |||

Imagine a plot to undermine the government of the United States, to destroy much of its capacity to do the public's business, and to sow distrust among the population.

Imagine further that the plotters infiltrate Congress and state governments, reshape their districts to give them disproportionate influence in Washington, and use the media to spread big lies about the government.

Finally, imagine they not only paralyze the government but are on the verge of dismantling pieces of it.

Far-fetched?  Perhaps. But take a look at what's been happening in Washington and many state capitals since Tea Party fanatics gained effective control of the Republican Party, and you'd be forgiven if you see parallels.

New York Times columnist David Brooks recognizes stoopid when he sees it:

"Mindless" |||

So let me reject what the Republicans are doing. I have more ambivalent feelings about what the White House is doing. But the Republicans are doing the worst of all possible worlds. This was designed to be stupid; it magnificently achieves that. […]

[T]he Republicans are in a position politically where they have to show the country they're mindless anti-government fanatics….This is a piece of mindless anti-government fanaticism, which doesn't separate the good from the bad. It just cuts.

MSNBC host Chris Matthews points to the obvious parallels with CIA coups during the Cold War:

Still one of the all-time best media profiles. |||

Isn't that what the Republicans did back in the old days? If they didn't like a government somewhere — Guatemala, Iran, the Dominican Republic, Chile — they just brought it down….Guess what, Republicans are now using the same tactic here at home. If they don't like who we've elected president, they find some way to undermine the government, discredit its leaders, whatever it takes to destroy it.

Washington Post faith-blogger Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite laments that this is "what happens when an ideology of greed as good triumphs over either common sense or core religious values":

The Tea Party ideology of small government, no new taxes (especially on the rich), and hyper-individualism is what is broken in our country. It's as simple and terrible as that. And it is this ideology that we must confront in the strongest possible biblical and theological terms and reject.

We will not have an economic recovery, a thriving middle class, and the ability of the poor to lift themselves out of poverty, until we, as a nation, reject this appalling philosophy.

And Daily Beast columnist Michael Tomasky wraps himself in the flag of empricism while slamming his media colleagues for refusing to objectively report that Republicans are "extremists":

"is to perpetuate a lie." |||

Just as today's Republican extremists benefit from the silence of conservative pundits, they also gain from the credulousness of mainstream figures who keep pretending that today's GOP is a responsible party within the normal American political traditions. So that when the GOP takes a radical position on the sequester and Barack Obama a reasonable one, both are accorded equal seriousness, even when facts have to be ignored to do so. […]

Those positions are not equivalent. To write as if they are equivalent is to perpetrate a lie. Or at least two lies: in the immediate case, the lie that the Republicans are engaged in anything resembling good-faith bargaining; and in the broader sense, the lie that the GOP is a normal political party by our historical norms, just a slightly more intense version of the Democrats of the 1980s or the Whigs of the 1840s. They are not that. They have a radical vision for American society, and while they know they must operate within democratic bounds to try to achieve that vision, they have none of the normal respect for legislative give and take that has characterized American political parties through most of our history.

Just imagine what would happen if we cut government all the way back to 2008 levels!

Reason on the sequester here. Re-read Jesse Walker's classic 2009 piece on "The Paranoid Center," and pre-order his book, The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory.

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  1. There’s a straitjacket with Reich’s name on it, out there.

    Patiently waiting.

    1. Hey take your pick! The little fuck fits in a decorative Crown Royal sack.

  2. So much difficulty separating America from its government.

    1. It’s such an idiotic mindset. Our government is such efficient, benevolent perfection that it cannot be altered in any way? Really? I don’t even think most statists quite believe that.

      The dude has simply got to be a closet Marxist.

      1. None of these guys were giving Bush props when he was blowing money on unfunded mandates and pointless wars. Because they’re hacks.

      2. Closet?

  3. Finally, imagine they not only paralyze the government but are on the verge of dismantling pieces of it.

    My god, the little munchkin is writing libertarian porn now. That just makes me hard.

    1. I’ll be in my bunk.

  4. Isn’t that what the Republicans did back in the old days? If they didn’t like a government somewhere ? Guatemala, Iran, the Dominican Republic, Chile ? they just brought it down….

    You mean like Egypt, Libya, and Syria?

    1. You mean like Egypt, Libya, and Syria?

      Those are different!

      1. That’s what my ex-girlfriend always said.

    2. What about Bosnia?

  5. Holy shit, these people are deranged.

    1. No kiddin’ right?!
      It totally smacks of the propaganda posing as “news” that was used to demonize the Jews in Germany, the Bankers & Capitalists in Russia, the wealthy in China etc. etc
      These people are Bolsheviks straight up & knowing history makes them scary as hell to me!
      The worst part is that as this regime releases hundreds of illegal criminals into the streets (historically an old time commie favorite), divides the nation along political, class & color lines & causes mass panic over their faux doomsday (which OBAMA CREATED), we also have a population so dumbed down & out of touch that they actually believe this crap!
      The TEA party / Political Right / Repubs / Libertarians – whatever you want to call US are the ones being blamed for everything they’re doing..
      The nation should be collectively demanding this administration & it’s propaganda media be removed, arrested & tried for sedation with what they’re doing. It’s insanity!

  6. The Tea Party ideology of small government, no new taxes (especially on the rich), and hyper-individualism is what is broken in our country. It’s as simple and terrible as that. And it is this ideology that we must confront in the strongest possible biblical and theological terms and reject.

    Hyper-individualism is what’s destroying this once-great land!

    Embrace the hive mind, you savages. If you’re not on the bus, you’ll soon be under it.

    1. Ah, yes. The old “We must welfare because Jesus!” bit. And here I thought it was the Republicans who were all theocrats.

    2. Notice also, she is the “faith blogger”. Remember only Republicans are fundies.

      1. I think hers is the creepiest of these pieces. Apparently being a mindless drone of the state is one of her ‘core religious values’. And I don’t think the “Tea Party Jesus” thing makes the point she hopes – for a president as mocked for having a Messiah complex as Obama is, “Jesus as a political leader” might backfire.

        1. Every time I see these “Jesus was a liberal and would support state welfare!” pieces, I always think of the first progressive Christian:

          “4But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said,5″Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?”6Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.”

          1. Yup, that’s pretty classic.

          2. Funny, those that argue most for separation of church and state ( and I am not arguing for theocracy) are the ones that want the government to act as a church.

            The whole faith to give to govt and any other view is greedy and sinful is nonsense and I absolutely reject it.

            Faith is a matter of conscience and not fiat.

            1. I argue pretty strongly for separation of church and state and I’m pretty sure I don’t want the government to be a church.

              And I think it is wrong to call liberal statism, or whatever, a religion. It resembles a religion in a lot of ways, but is different enough that I think it needs a different word. Though as a completely non-religious person, perhaps I miss some insight into the religious mind.

              1. Statistm-as-religion: when your morality comes from the state, when your worth a person comes from the state, when every answer to every problem comes from the state, when you experience religious ecstasy when your candidate wins election, when you worship political leaders as messiahs, … when the central belief system of your life is the supremacy of the state.

                You don’t need a diety or spirits or anything supernatural to have a religion. The word has very wide definition, but if you have a belief system that defines your purpose of being, governs your morality, and you cap it off with ritual devotional observances, then I would say yes it’s a religion.

          3. Using Christianity to argue for or against a welfare state is dumb. I can certainly see how liberal Christians interpret it that way. And if conservatives reply with the observation that you are supposed to freely choose to be charitable, not to force others to be, well, Jesus still told us to shut up and pay our taxes. Christianity is supposed to be a doomsday cult waiting for the end times and not spending too much time worrying about temporal governments and what they do. Christian arguments do not belong in politics because it is irrelevant.

            1. Wait, are you saying some peoples’ imagination are interpreting other long dead peoples’ imagination wrong?

            2. An alternate interpretation. I’m not enough of a Bible scholar to know how accurate his claims are, but the analysis is interesting.

          4. Every time I see these “Jesus was a liberal and would support state welfare!”

            Not a Bible expert, but I’m fairly certain Christ never condoned taking by force and giving it to charity.

            Why is it so hard for them to see the difference?

            1. Getting them to see taxation as “taking by force” is the hard part. Obvious to us, a tough sell to stupid people.

        2. Apparently being a mindless drone of the state is one of her ‘core religious values’

          more like THE core value as modern-day liberalism is much a religion as any other. Clinging to the faith requires treating any deviation as heresy, even among the ranks of the otherwise reliably liberal (see: Woodward, R.).

    3. LOL no doubt. That individualist nature is just so anti-American, kind of like hard work & capitalism.
      Pure evil. 😉
      It’s like everything is AssBackwards & Upside Down anymore. Twilight Zone..

  7. One idiotic thing about Brooks’s column is that it’s President Obama who’s insisting that the cuts be a stupid meat cleaver. The Republicans want to allow flexibility, because they’d prefer cuts to having tax increases. Obama wants to ensure that the cuts are as dumb as possible in order to discredit the idea of spending cuts, and force things towards a deal including tax increases.

    1. Yeah they even told him he could revise the way the spending was done so it could be in a nature that wouldn’t be by meat cleaver.. One thing he could have done is taken the billions wasted annually on empty buildings & insane ‘research’ (like the playstation game program) & scrapped those totally worthless things while leaving the military intact…But NO, he ‘veto’d that yesterday.
      One person was saying “he’s vetoing himself?”
      Obama is a tyrant who wants to make America suffer so he can keep a gun to it’s head & pressure the Republicans

  8. “infiltrate Congress”

    You mean actually getting elected? Jeebus.

    1. “Infiltrate” sounds sexier.

  9. Chris Matthews is certifiably insane. He is getting worse and worse every day. I just hope that the tape is running when he goes completely bonkers and runs around the studio shrieking and tearing off his clothes….

    1. Ick. I don’t.

      1. Just the audio might be worthwhile.

    2. If you had to defend this crowd everyday you’d be on the south side of insane as well.

    3. I just hope that the tape is running when he goes completely bonkers and runs around the studio shrieking and tearing off his clothes….

      So PBP is really Chris Matthews? It makes sense.

  10. I sincerely hope they keep whipping the hysteria up – harder, faster! When the world does not end, perhaps a few folks will notice.

    1. I’ve been thinking about this lately, ie, what happens if nothing drastic happens post sequester? I hope it’s the scenario you refer to: “nothing bad happened, let’s cut some more!” But I fear the other possibility: “okay, we’ve cut the budget to the bone, let’s not cut any more.”

  11. How the fuck are people supposed to know when this shit has gone too far? Every day it sucks just a little bit more to live in this country.

  12. I wanted Romney to win specifically in the hope Chris Matthews would slit his wrists on live television.

  13. All of this over a small reduction in the amount of increased spending. What comes after “batshit crazy”?

    1. What comes after “batshit crazy”?

      Liberal statist.

  14. When complying with the Constitution can be couched as a radical idea, you know you are coming to the end.

    The end is nigh.

    Thankfully, the left has no guns.

    1. Except for all those government guns.

      1. Which side do you think the military would come down on?

        Please!

        1. Depends–a lot of the officers might tilt towards the conservative side, but there’s a pretty significant leftist bloc in the enlisted ranks that absolutely loves Obama and is TEAM BLUE 4EVAH.

          1. Except they’re the truck drivers, cooks, and bottle washers. If you look at combat arms, things are little more sharply delineated.

        2. Which side do you think the military would come down on?

          This one. Or this one. All it takes it the proper preparation, which may be very involved—I think a mass casualty event, or series of them, blamed on domestic separatists might do the trick—and I think you could see U.S. military personnel firing on U.S. civilians.

          We’re not there yet, I don’t think, but the train tracks seem to be leading us there. Still waiting for the first military/CIA/whatever new abbreviation to pull a domestic drone strike. I don’t think we’ll be waiting longer than 10 years. Think of how much this country’s attitudes towards domestic snooping and militarized law enforcement have changed from 10 years ago.

        3. God help them if they cut veterans benefits, however.

  15. “Finally, imagine they not only paralyze the government but are on the verge of dismantling pieces of it.”

    Ah. To sleep, perchance to dream. If only anyone in Congress (save for maybe Amash) were actually interested in that.

  16. I must have missed something. Can anybody tell me what this “reasonable” position of Obama’s is? I mean, I know that he will gladly pay you Tuesday for no spending cuts today.

    Is there more than that, and I just missed it?

    1. Raise taxes, kill sequester, spend more money, make minor, meaningless decreases in future increases elsewhere and call those “cuts”.

      1. That sounds pretty reasonable, and like a great compromise. He has given up a lot here in order to get a deal.

      2. “make minor, meaningless decreases in future increases elsewhere and call those ‘cuts’.”

        They decided cuts weren’t necessary after all.

        “CBO: Democrats’ Sequester Replacement Plan Would add $42 Billion to 2013 Deficit”

        http://cnsnews.com/news/articl…..CdMv6.dpuf

      3. “…[promise to] make minor, meaningless decreases in future increases elsewhere and call those ‘cuts’ [and when time for those cuts come, bravely stand up to the greedy Republicans and refuse the cuts, and demand tax increases]…”

        FTFY.

  17. Thankfully, the left has no guns.

    Sorry, but the police are firmly entrenched on our left flank. How much longer do you think they will permit you to indulge your hyper-individualist delusions?

    1. Well until their paychecks bounce. Then they’ll just become a semi-organized band of marauders.

    1. One of the few times Picard displayed any behavior that led me to believe he had anything in his sac.

      1. Which, of course, they were portraying as rash and unbalanced. Fortunately, the wise black woman set him straight.

  18. F’n epic. Maxine Waters claims the cuts may lead to 170 million job losses.

    http://www.mediaite.com/online…..o-be-lost/

    1. Best. And. Brightest.

    2. The only place left for Maxine to commit crimes was congress…she’s obviously too fucking stupid to give you change when you buy coffee.

    3. This reminds me of the time my son came home from school and said that his teacher had claimed that McDonald’s employs 50 million people in the U.S.

      1. 1.8 million

        linky

        1. That’s still pretty amazing. But when I told my son that 50 million meant that one in every five people (at the time) worked for McDonald’s–and think about whether that seems realistic–he just shrugged and said “that’s what my teacher said”.

          People have no idea what large numbers actually mean, and I guarantee that Rep Waters will suffer not one bit for her stupidity. But that’s probably stating the obvious.

    4. Yes. I already wished my siblings good luck and Godspeed for after today, no one of us will have a job.

      (The two that are here in the US are total Obamazombies so I don’t know if they will find the humor behind it all.)

    5. Are there even that many jobs total in the country? Once you add up all the retired people, children, disabled, in dependently wealthy, bums adn unemployed people, the workforce can’t be too much larger than that.

      1. You are correct! The US labor force is 154 million.

  19. If they don’t like who we’ve elected president, they find some way to undermine the government, discredit its leaders, whatever it takes to destroy it.

    Maybe I am wrong. I don’t speak retard quite as fluently as some. But isn’t that Matthews admitting things are going badly for Obama?

    1. I think Matthews is a facultative Obamatron….hasn’t he always been in the Clinton camp?

      1. Actually, Matthews went sort of ape shit over the Clinton BJ fiasco

        1. You have a much better memory than I do!

          Your point sir!

  20. This is a somewhat roundabout way to demonstrate the inversion of Poe’s Law, isn’t it, Matt?

  21. McDonald’s employs 50 million people in the U.S.

    She meant “enslaved”. What with their addictive french fries, and all. And those McRibs.

    1. Well, yeah. If we only banned french fries all our problems would be solved.

      Fishy fisheee!!!

    2. ooooh I hate the Colonel with his wee beady eyes”

  22. Robert Reich says “give them (the states) disproportionate influence in Washington”,
    Please correct me on this but wasn’t the constitution created so that the states had equal rights and the Federal government is only there to maintain those rights and not be greater than the states.

  23. Trying to control spending. How extremist of them.

    1. THis is hilarious

      http://abcnews.go.com/Politics…..d=18551994

      1. If 2% of the budget or whatever it is prevents all of that harm, how is the country not paradise?

  24. “Hyper-individualism is destroying America.”

    Now I have heard it all. The biggest, most profligate welfare state in the history of the world is being destroyed by–individual responsibility.

    Got it; individualism is doubleplus-ungood.

    My uncle, the lefty previous cosmotarian who lives in Aspen, was informing me last summer how the right is coming apart at the seams. Bearing in mind how everything they say is a projection, and especially in the context of the hysterical gibberish the left publishes against the right and the Tea Party (pretending we are in power while they dominate every sector of our society like the Borg), it is apparent to me that the left is coming off the rails at the same time that we are witnessing the beginnings of a libertarian dialectic playing out on the right.

  25. I just find this all depressing. All this anger and drama over small cuts in the rate of growth? Really? It does not bode well for a plan to actually fix our long term budget issues. And not fixing those issues will lead to disaster. Sigh.

    1. It may bode better than you think. They are not freaking out about this because they are in a position of strength. It is quite the opposite. If they were not terrified of their entire system crashing, they would agree to a few cuts now while the heat is on with the full knowledge they will get all of it back and more later. The reason they don’t do that is that they are starting to realize their entire system and world view is a failure and they are desperately afraid of people realizing it. The danger for them is that once they agree to a small cut and the world sees that nothing bad happened, there will be no stopping future cuts.

      1. I think it’s more elemental than that – with Obama, their entire calculus is based on zero sum. If Repubs are okay with something, by definition the left must oppose it.

        It’s like Obama’s signing of something Boehner was 98% on board with triggered a sort of political palsy that has caused massive seizures.

    2. Yes, but notice who the anger and drama is coming from. Americans in general are giving this a big yawn in spite of the overblown rhetoric, and it’s driving Reich et al. mad. So if Americans are ready for real cuts, that actually does bode well for a long term fix.

  26. Which side do you think the military would come down on?

    There is a commercial which has been on lately, comprised of various servicepersons, in snippets, reciting their Oath. There’s a part about obeying the orders of their legal superiors. It makes me think the distinction between “legal” and “illegal” orders is pretty blurry.

    Obviously, some people will, if not actively attack the person ordering them to make war against their fellow citizens, at minimum decline to comply. How many? I have no idea. Cops, no more than one in ten thousand.

    1. Cops are already making war on the population. The military, at least as currently composed wouldn’t. But Obama is working on changing that.

    2. “I, (state your name), having been appointed a (rank) in the United States (branch of service), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foriegn and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the office upon which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

      Emphasis mine.

      1. There will be some debate about just who is an enemy domestic. I think a lot of those in the military would reach a different conclusion than their civilian leaders.

        1. It has been my experience that most military officers take that oath VERY seriously and are well aware of what’s in the Constitution.

          They also, overwhelmingly lean either right or libertarian. I was in for 20+ years and can honestly say I know fewer than a dozen officers who lean left.

          1. That is my experience too. Things could change, but I really don’t believe the military would ever turn on the civilian population no matter how badly some petty thug like Obama wanted them to.

          2. “I was in for 20+ years and can honestly say I know fewer than a dozen officers who lean left.”

            I hope even a majority of the left could be convinced to gun down civilians in America.

            1. could not be…rather

              1. wondered at that, ever so briefly

            2. Some must die so that many may live. It’s for the greater good of all.

      2. Enlisted oath is different.

        I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

  27. lefty previous cosmotarian who lives in Aspen

    That’s not living in a “bubble”. That’s a fucking vacuum.

  28. What planet are these people writing about where Republicans are mindless anti-government fanatics? I can’t imagine what their rhetoric would be if, say, Gary Johnson had pulled off a miracle.

    1. Does the dial go to 11?

  29. Emphasis mine.

    That’s exactly what we all want to see.

    As I said, this commercial also references something about, you know, “obeying orders”.

    1. That kind of comes with it. And make no mistake there are plenty of craven twits who would mow down their own mothers to save their career. But there are plenty who would not. Of course Obama is currently doing everything he can to eliminate the second group.

  30. What planet are these people writing about where Republicans are mindless anti-government fanatics?

    The evidence is as plain as your nose.

    Exhibit A: Mitch McConnell.

  31. Imagine a plot to undermine the government of the United States, to destroy much of its capacity to do the public’s business, and to sow distrust among the population[…]

    “Now, imagine it is not Obama but someone else…”

    Uh, no, I can’t imagine that. Sorry. My capacity for making up fantastic images in my head stops where LSD usage starts.

  32. Enlisted Man’s Oath, then.

  33. I think Obama and his media thugs have really played this badly. The fact is that sequester isn’t even going to happen until the summer and when it does it will have little or no effect on most people’s lives. But they have played this up so much in the desperate hope they could bully the Republicans they have convinced people that real bad things were going to happen starting today. Now that is hasn’t happened and won’t happen for weeks, they are fucked even if they do manage to do some real damage in the way they implement the cuts this summer. But then this whole issue will be forgotten by the public.

    1. Yeppers. Here’s what really terrifies them: what if the size and scope of government were decreased, and nothing terrible happened?

      1. That’s it–that’s the crux.

  34. 2008. Something happened that year. What was it again…? I swear it was something intrinsically relevant to the amount of government spending that followed.

    Anyway these theories aren’t mutually exclusive. Basically Republicans have been taken over by fanaticism and they’re not going to let political reality, facts, or the actual needs of the country get in the way of that.

    1. Needs more Christfag. You and shreek need to get new routines.

    2. Re: Tony,

      2008. Something happened that year. What was it again…?

      You stopped taking your medication and has since lived on the streets, a ranting lunatic?

      Basically Republicans have been taken over by fanaticism and they’re not going to let political reality, facts, or the actual needs of the country get in the way of that.

      Makes me wonder exactly what needs are those that require putting the whole place in hock.

      Now, I’ve seen a few episodes of Hardcore Pawn and most of those that go there for a loan are either junkies, druggies, gamblers and spendthrifts, each of them a living and appropriate metaphor for D.C. and its enablers. That would be YOU.

    3. 2008 was the two-year anniversary of the Dem majority in both houses. Nice celebration the country threw, wasn’t it?

    4. NOMNOMNOM… so sweet… the sweetness…

    5. Oooh snap, we have a “progressive” talking about facts. How, the collapse, greatly fostered by lousy public policy, was so great that 4 years is not nearly enough to recover. And, what we need is more confiscation, laundering, and distribution (to policitical contributors no doubt) to make things better…

      Tired. Empty. Prosperity doesn’t come from your political masters. The fact that you think Democrats are actually “for the people” is the most precious reality of all.

    6. 2008. Something happened that year. What was it again…? I swear it was something intrinsically relevant to the amount of government spending that followed.

      Obama got elected?

  35. Journolist II has a wider membership than the first one, I see.

    1. Yeah. They just had to kick Weigel out. He was just a little too into it. It just wasn’t cool. Rat fucking must be kept internal.

      1. It really is amazing how well these people coordinate their stories. For a bunch of people who would never dream about wearing a uniform, they are great at taking orders.

        1. They are all the nerdy kids who rebelled by dressing the exact same way in high school. They would have loved nothing better than to be a jock and wear a uniform but all trying ever got them was someone sticking their head in a toilet.

          Believe me, it will be a happy day for Sad beard and company the day Obama finally decides to give his supporters uniforms.

  36. http://www.reuters.com/article…..HO20130301

    I love it, the fuckers are grounding The Blue Angels. Next up, no more mowing the grass or changing of the guard at Arlington Cemetery.

    I guess because this administration is ignorant philistines they haven’t thought of it, but I am honestly surprised they haven’t got rid of the 24 hour guard on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

    1. Next up, they’ll have to shut off the gas to Kennedy’s eternal flame. And it’s all the Tea Party’s fault.

      1. Turn off the lights at the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials.

        The jokes really do write themselves don’t they?

    2. Really, there should be no visible manifestation of such a paltry “cut.”

    3. Ye gads! The government will cut back on self-promoting pageantry? HOW WILL WE SURVIVE?!?!?!?!

    4. Meh.

      Should get rid of all the demo teams, do away with airshows and the academies. There is a lot of bullshit out there that provides little bang for the buck.

      1. Sure. But that is not why they are grounding them. They are just doing it as a way to show how the sequester is just so mean.

        1. Not so sure. They are probably going to try to divert their funding to more important matters.

          Which if they’d done in the first place, they’d have more credibility.

        2. It’s hilarious. How will the country live without the Blue Angels? DEAR GOD IT’S A CATASTROPHE!

  37. Here’s an point that I haven’t seen made yet: to cut something is to indicate to everyone that it’s the least-important thing that your department is doing.

    So if you’re arguing that the sequester means that, say, orphans will be thrown out on the street, you’re admitting that everything else your department does is more important than taking care of orphans.

    If the sequester means that aircraft carriers aren’t going to be sent to Iran, then you’re admitting that everything else the military is currently engaged in is more important than that.

    If the sequester means that food isn’t going to be inspected, then you’re admitting that everything else your department does is more important than inspecting food.

    At which point you have to ask: what is it that you’re doing, anyway?

  38. I wonder if the executive branch will try to make as many “devastating cuts” as possible, a Washington Monument strategy, in order to do some real damage to the country which can be blamed on Republican obistructionism.

    1. You wonder that? I am taking that as a given.

    2. I’m sure you noticed that the Democrats killed the bill that would give Obama wide authority on planning the cuts. So now he gets to direct these cuts, but without having to take responsibility for the decisions. He can make cuts that are deliberately painful and then say he had no choice.

    3. Republicans should dig up all the most absurd, wasteful government programs, even if they cost next-to-nothing, and run headlines saying “Why Did Obama Cut Child-Care But Leave This!!!”

  39. Everything is already cut to the bone, from all of this vicious austerity.

    TO THE FUCKING BONE.

    1. Why Washington needs couples therapy

      I love cutesy little stories like this that accidentally tell you all sorts of things about the writer.

      it feels like a child helplessly watching bickering parents repeat a dysfunctional cycle of disagreement, recrimination and contempt while not addressing the root cause of what’s wrong in their relationship

      1. If there ever was a drunken abusive spouse, it would be Obama.

      2. We can’t agree on everything! DYSFUNCTION!

        You can’t wipe their own ass without a Department of Ass Wiping and Toilet Paper Management. That’s the message I’m walking away with. The saddest part is how many of the prols buy into this raving lunacy.

        I hope they all fucking eat one another in the coming food riots.

  40. Really, there should be no visible manifestation of such a paltry “cut.”

    I’d kind of like to see panhandlers on the I-90 exit ramps in Bozeman with “WILL SHUFFLE PAPERS FOR FOOD” placards.

    1. I’d like to see this on the Capitol Beltway. The whole fucking Beltway.

    2. That would be so awesome. And a collapse in housing prices in Northern Virginia would be great too.

      1. And a collapse in housing prices in Northern Virginia would be great too.

        You looking for a nice retirement home on the Potomac or something?

  41. Serious question: has anybody seen anything in the mainstream press about these “cuts” being a slowing of increases vice “real” cuts? I’ve seen MULTIPLE references to “SPENDING” cuts. But these are merely “budget” cuts. Anyone? Anyone?

    1. In the media the definition of “cut” is “reduction in planned spending”. It’s just understood. If the masses have a different definition of “cut”, that’s not the media’s fault.

  42. HELP. I don’t know whether I can resist Robert Reich’s bedroom eyes.

    1. Does the fact that he is under 5′ tall help?

      1. No, it makes him extra cuddly.

  43. I’ve got a very ominous feeling about the near future. Obamacare is going to cost lots of private sector jobs, and these job losses are going to be disproportionately blamed on the sequestration. They’re setting it up perfectly to make spending cuts the scapegoat for the likely effects of their own crappy policies. It’s win-win for the statists.

    1. Our only hope, ironically, is that the baby boomer retirements ramp up. Yes, the resultant entitlement spending is going to rapidly speed up the bankrupting of the country, but in the interim there could be a lot of jobs opening up over the next 10-20 years.

      1. All the more reason to up their SS/Medicare bennies so they can retire early right? Then the youngsters will have more jobs and make more money to pay for those bennies. Win-win.

        1. Hey, for those of us in the younger generation in high-skilled labor (i.e. not artisanal mayonnaise craftmen, professional summer camp counselors or navel gazers in mom’s basement), I think there’s a pretty bright future employment-wise. Then again, you would have thought the same thing about Japan, and their economy been stagnant for decades despite (or because of?) the replacement factor in a declining workforce.

    2. At some point people have to start realizing that Obama’s extension of Bush’s crappy policies is responsible for our continued languor. How many years of crappy growth does it take to figure out that the current plan is not working…?

  44. Sweet, sweet, yummy statist tears.

    MMMMMMMMmmmmmm.

  45. Goodness! It’s as if the only real principle progressives have is everything for the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

    1. By Jove, I think you’ve got it.

    2. As I’ve always said: we need to stop calling them “progressives” because that term assumes progress is the priority. They are simply statists, and expanded government generally kills progress. Welfare dependency is not a route out of poverty, it is a solidifying of a pro-government voting bloc to be exploited, and allows the statists to pretend to be saints in rhetoric. The monetization of debt is going to disproportionately burden the poor, and when they increase minimum wage to keep up with the price inflation/currency devaluation, the poor are going to be disproportionately hit with job losses. Technically “progressives” are regressives.

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