Archive for October 7th, 2013

07
Oct
13

Superstar!

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07
Oct
13

coup d’état: koch brothers are warlords

COUP D’ETAT: KOCHS ARE WARLORDS

@zizii2

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I have lived through 5 coups d’état. I know a coup d’état when I see one. USA is living through one right now as we speak. A Coup doesn’t have to have guns (yet) and a military takeover of power to be one.

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A nation is manipulated through a series of fiendishly planned rolling crises. Inchoate mass fear grows but its targeting is skillfully re-directed toward infighting, such that it becomes diffuse and rather impotent against the actual instigators. Trust for government and national institutions grows rancid.

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Then a messiah runs to the rescue, suspends the constitution, promises to get rid of “waste, fraud, & abuse.” Says the abrogation of said Constitution is only “temporary.” Commandeers media to support “the people” in their new “Freedom, Liberty, Fraternity”. Flag and anthem totems resurge in fresh parades glorifying the mother/fatherland. Power has been seized. Resistance is futile.

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My native country went 5 times through this familiar choreography in its first 24 years after independence from colonial rule. Western Scholars of “the Third World” posited that these upheavals were the result of societies that had yet to build:

1. Strong Democratic governing institutions, rather than strongmen
2. Consensus of the governed
3. A national Identity rather than ethnic loyalties
4. An educated ruling elite that creates mechanisms for distributing political power efficiently among different constituencies
5. Capitalist ethos that productively harnessed and competitively rewarded the nation’s talents
6. Rule of Law and a Constitution that balanced majority rule with protecting minority rights

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Continue reading ‘coup d’état: koch brothers are warlords’

07
Oct
13

Chat Away

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07
Oct
13

Irresponsible. Reckless. Destructive.

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07
Oct
13

A Tweet or Two

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And still my favorite quote through all this madness:

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And your heart-warming news of the month:

07
Oct
13

The History of the GOP in Three Buttons

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Chat away

07
Oct
13

Rise and Shine

(Almost) On This Day: Cleveland, OH. October 5, 2012 (Photo by Scout Tufankjian)

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Today:

The President has no public events scheduled

1:30 EDT: Jay Carney briefs the press

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Addicting Info – see more here

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In case you missed it: ‘A Federal Budget Crisis Months in the Planning’ (NYT)

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Jonathan Cohn: Watch This for 22 Seconds and You’ll See Why Obama Can’t Give an Inch

House Speaker John Boehner went on ABC News “This Week” to make clear his position: Republicans won’t give the government new borrowing authority until Democrats agree to negotiate about Obamacare and fiscal priorities.

When host George Stephanopoulos asked Boehner directly whether Republicans would let the government default if Obama won’t talk, Boehner said: “That’s the path we’re on. … I don’t want the United States to default on its debt. But I’m not going to raise the debt limit without a serious conversation about dealing with problems that are driving the debt up. It would be irresponsible of me to do this.”

Of course, this is what Boehner has always said publicly. Privately, he has been saying something else…..

…. Which John Boehner is telling the truth—the one talking to Stephanopoulos? Or the one talking to his colleagues? Your guess is as good as mine. It may also be as good as his.

Full post here

And see Greg Sargent and Steve Benen

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Paul Krugman: The Boehner Bunglers

The federal government is shut down, we’re about to hit the debt ceiling (with disastrous economic consequences), and no resolution is in sight. How did this happen?

The main answer, which only the most pathologically “balanced” reporting can deny, is the radicalization of the Republican Party …. the G.O.P. has become “an insurgent outlier – ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”

But there’s one more important piece of the story. Conservative leaders are indeed ideologically extreme, but they’re also deeply incompetent….

To see what I’m talking about, consider the report in Sunday’s Times about the origins of the current crisis. Early this year, it turns out, some of the usual suspects – the Koch brothers, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation and others — plotted strategy in the wake of Republican electoral defeat. Did they talk about rethinking ideas that voters had soundly rejected? No, they talked extortion, insisting that the threat of a shutdown would induce President Obama to abandon health reform.

More here

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Michael Tomasky: Here Are Three Debt-Ceiling Lies You’ll Hear From the GOP This Week

So, a default really wouldn’t be that bad? That’s what Republicans are going to start saying this week as the debt-ceiling debate ramps up. Michael Tomasky debunks the talking points in advance.

Attention will turn more sharply this week in the direction of the debt ceiling and the question of a possible default. We’re just 10 days away from D-Day, and since default is a much bigger deal than a shutdown, we’re going to have a week of cable debates about who’ll be to blame if the country defaults. It is with that in mind that offer you three arguments you’re sure to hear Republicans make. They’re all foolish or false or both, so clip this list and tape it to your refrigerator. The roof is finally starting to fall in on these serial liars, and I want you to be part of the growing army of Americans that knows a lie when it hears one.

More here

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ThinkProgress: CBS Host Takes Apart GOP’s Shutdown Argument

Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) was unable to explain why Republicans needed to threaten economic disaster to try to get their way on Obamacare during an interview on CBS’s Face The Nation on Sunday.

Bob Schieffer, Face the Nation’s host, repeatedly asked Cornyn why, instead of using normal legislative procedures like passing laws, Republicans were refusing to pass a continuing resolution funding the government or raise the debt ceiling absent changes to several parts of President Obama’s signature health care law. Schieffer compared this strategy to saying “I’m going to throw a brick through your window unless you give me $20”….

More here

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But for every Schieffer, there are a dozen Rick Kleins:

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But, credit (!) to John Harwood:

Business Insider: These Are Probably The 3 Best Debt Ceiling Tweets You Will Ever Read

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CBS: Debt ceiling: Understanding what’s at stake

It is the economic calamity that no one expects and everyone fears.

Experts agree that failing to raise the nation’s debt ceiling by Oct. 17, when U.S. officials say the government will run out of money to pay its bills, would gravely wound the economy, and perhaps even throw it back into recession. Because Treasury bonds and the dollar are cornerstones of the global financial system, meanwhile, the shock wave would be felt around the world.

“The potential is disastrous,” said Gus Faucher, senior economist with PNC Financial Services Group. “We would see interest rates spike across the board. We’d see a huge crash in the dollar. People count on lending their money to the federal government and getting it back, and if that trust is taken away – it’s never happened that we haven’t met our obligations as a nation – then that has very, very negative consequences for the U.S. economy.”

The consequences are so severe that, even as the government shutdown enters its second week, most seasoned political observers still expect Congress to ultimately reach an eleventh-hour deal to lift the government’s borrowing limit.

But what exactly is the debt ceiling, and exactly how worried should Americans be that it could come crashing down?

See here

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TPM: Shutdownpocalypse: A Timeline Of Budget Fights In The Tea Party Congress

The ongoing government shutdown has its roots in a series of fiscal battles incited by tea party Republicans after they won control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections. The aim each time has been to use the threat of chaos as leverage to extract budgetary concessions from President Barack Obama and a Democratic-led Senate.

The era of crisis governance that ensued never ended in a government shutdown – until now. Debt default has always been avoided – so far. But the acrimony between the two parties is at an all-time high and the endgame is unclear as the two deadlines converge this month.

Here’s a timeline of each of the fights to avert shutdown and debt default….

See here

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E.J. Dionne: Shutdown: The tea party’s last stand

If the nation is lucky, this October will mark the beginning of the end of the tea party.

The movement is suffering from extreme miscalculation and a foolish misreading of its opponents’ intentions. This, in turn, has created a moment of enlightenment, an opening to see things that were once missed.

Many Republicans, of course, saw the disaster coming in advance of the shutdown. But they were terrified to take on a movement that is fortified by money, energy and the backing of a bloviating brigade of talk-show hosts. The assumption was that the tea party had become invincible inside the GOP.

…. We now know that the tea party is primarily about postures aimed at undercutting sensible governance and premised on the delusion that Obama’s election victories were meaningless. Its leaders abandon these postures as soon as their adversaries stand strong and the poll-testers report their approach is failing. This will give pause to anyone ever again tempted to follow them into a cul-de-sac.

Full article here

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Washington Post: Some tea party congressmen find signs of political backlash at home

Nearly three years after a band of renegade congressmen brought the tea party insurgency to Washington, there are early rumblings of a political backlash in some of their districts.

Here in the Dutch Reformed country of West Michigan, long a bastion of mainstream, mannerly conservatism, voters in 2010 handed the House seat once held by Gerald R. Ford to Justin Amash, a 33-year-old revolutionary and heir to the libertarian mantle of former congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex.). Amash was part of an attempted coup against House Speaker John A. Boehner (R- Ohio) and is a leader of the House tea party faction that helped force a government shutdown last week.

But within Grand Rapids’ powerful business establishment, patience is running low with Amash’s ideological agenda and tactics…

More here

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The One and Only … well, The Two and Only:

Margaret and Helen: Let’s hope Republicans don’t need health insurance to recover from pulling their heads out of their asses

Margaret, the more Republicans I meet, the more I like my dog. Just once I would like to see a politician with an ass too small to fit his own head. It has been a rough few weeks sitting back trying to get my rest and stay out of politics, but honestly, there seems to be no end to this madness and I once again find myself not able to keep my mouth shut. I used to have a handle on life, but it broke. Let me count the new ways the Republicans found to wear their ass for a hat…

More here

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We posted this a year ago today, still cracks me up:

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A Year Ago Today:

The Nokia Theater, Los Angeles, October 7

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MooooOOOOoooorning!

07
Oct
13

Early Bird Chat

On This Day: President Obama looks through a telescope during the Astronomy Night event on the South Lawn of the White House, Oct. 7, 2009 (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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MooooOOOOooooOOOOoooorning!




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