The Republican Shutdown Only Cost The Country $24 Billion

Early Fall wallpaper

Early Fall wallpaper

Political wonks may wonder what the heck changed for the House especially, and the Senate to reach a deal on the debt ceiling. Jonathan Cohn has the go-to background article, Three Reasons That the Democrats Prevailed

But in a narrower political sense, this was one of those (relatively) rare Washington battles in which one side clearly prevailed. It was the Democrats. When this episode started, they said they were determined not to make major concessions simply because Republicans were threatening shutdown and default. Sure enough, here we are—with a new continuing resolution, a higher debt limit, and no major changes in law. Democrats achieved the policy outcome they had sought, while establishing a precedent for the future: No more negotiating while under such threats.

I don’t know that I would go as far as one analyst in comparing the damage to the tea bagger coalition as a battle where they were defeated and will be too frayed to do much damage in the next battle. It is more straight up and less dramatic. In politics you go into fights with some political capital. In the next fight – coming in January and February, the public knows that the tea bags will be pandering to the crazies – the Glenn Becks and Sarah Palins that live in mostly gerrymandered districts. Most Republicans are not going to let these freaks on the outer fringe of conservatism drag down the party even more than they already have. Unless House Republicans stage a successful mutiny and get rid of Boehner (R-OH) he will strike a deal with more practical minded members of hos party and Democrats.

2. Republican crazy brings people together. The Senate still has some conservative Democrats, of course—Joe Manchin of West Virginia comes quickly to mind. But the agenda has changed a lot since 2009 and 2010: Instead of trying to enact their own policies, in this episode, at least, Democrats were mostly trying to stop Republicans from passing theirs. And that wasn’t so hard, given the nature of Republican tactics. Polls showed repeatedly that, despite the public ambivalence about Obamacare, majorities did not support shutting down the government in order to undermine the law. And as the shutdown wore on, it became clear that Republicans, not Democrats, were taking the blame. It helped, too, that prominent Senate Republicans were openly critical of what Ted Cruz and his House Republican allies were trying to do.

If you go over to the dark side- sites like Hot Air and Breitbart they are certainly tribal minded. The crazy is their rallying flag. But they make the mistake of thinking that only works in one direction. The crazier they get the more Democrats and the endangered moderate Republicans stick together, and sound to the public like the voice of reason. I have no desire to see them tone down their worship of Ted Cruz (R-TX) or Rand Paul (R-KY). They can pack their clown car with all the freaks and conspiracy theories they like. There has never been a point in history in which the clowns have won in the long haul. Call Obamacare – a gift to the health care industry and pharmaceutical companies – the same thing as slavery and you just create more distrust of the tea bagger agenda. Tea Party’s Image Turns More Negative

Unfavorable Views of Tea Party Have Nearly Doubled Since 2010. The Tea Party is less popular than ever, with even many Republicans now viewing the movement negatively. Overall, nearly half of the public (49%) has an unfavorable opinion of the Tea Party, while 30% have a favorable opinion.

One can only wonder what it is like to slowly swirl down the drain of history. The new tea bagger conservatism, being even more far Right than the conservatism of 2000 of 2008 comes with similar financial penalties for the country they claim to care about, S&P: The Shutdown Took $24 Billion Out Of The US Economy

The S&P has cut the annualized U.S. growth view closer to 2% from 3%, Bloomberg is reporting.

The ratings agency — which recognizes the Senate deal will be approved — says that the shutdown has taken $24 billion out of the economy and cut 0.6% off of yearly fourth quarter GDP growth.

In the last 13 years the Conservative Republican agenda has cost us trillions of dollars. Yet they endlessly grumble about poor kids getting food assistance. They must have read about the decadence of the late Roman Empire and seen that as a recipe rather than a warning.

Crazy Conservatism, Trucker Rallies and Medicaid

Fishing Boats, Key West

Fishing Boats, Key West, 1903. By American painter Winslow Homer.

When the crazy never stops its like what happens to the little hair-like fibers in your ear after listening to loud music for years. Those cells become less sensitive to sound. Since there always seems to be some conservative freak or group of freaks doing something weird – and calling that weirdness patriotism, my political sensors tend to yawn at this point. I heard about the conservative trucker rally and I was not struck by anger, humor or frustration. All I could work up was a who cares. Most of the truckers I have known over the years are either pro-labor Democrats or independents. So a few truckers are against their own best interests, that describes many working class conservatives. These truckers ( Fox and other conservative media outlets said there were thousands, while in reality there were almost three dozen) had a list of demands and grievances which included,

… to change Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution on eight separate occasions to make it possible for Barack Obama to meet the eligibility requirements for the office of president. Of which, a legal investigation has proven that his documents provided are forgeries, which is a felony offense.

Birthers have lost every court challenge to Obama’s citizenship. Everyone. Mr. Radical Conservative Supreme Court Justice Antoine Scalia will not even hear the case because birthers lack even the tiniest shred of evidence. The Wizbang Conservative truckers also assert:

… illegally put our military in a “War Zone” where they currently, guard opium productions and transport, police the people of other countries based on US law, they get authorization for military action from the United Nations Security Counsel, which is High Treason, and they are exposing, and administering experimental, psychotropic, mind altering drugs for control over soldiers during secret, clandestine operations.

This is why liberals cannot win a debate about the Constitutions with conservatives. Conservatives defend the Constitution of the planet Zorn and liberals defend the Constitution of the U.S. While those two items are soaked in tin foil and BS, it is no wonder since the organizer of the Wizbang Truckers believes that President Obama is actually Osama Bin Laden in disguise and those jet trail clouds are actually are actually chemicals sprayed into the atmosphere by the government. Meet The Conspiracy Theorist Behind This Week’s Trucker Rally In D.C.

Zeeda Andrews — a co-organizer of the effort who made October 8 appearances on Fox News and Glenn Beck’s The Blaze to promote the event — apparently thinks that President Obama and Osama bin Laden are somehow the same person; that Obama is a secret Muslim; that the Boston bombings were a “false flag”; that the CIA murdered Buzzfeed journalist Michael Hastings; and that the Department of Homeland Security is stockpiling ammunition in order to slaughter Americans.

There does not seem to be a limit for the amount of freako theories that Beck and Fox News viewers will swallow.

And last, but not least is the chewy nugget on our Crazy Conservative Sundae, Greg Collett, who is a Tea Party candidate running for office in Idaho, who is uninsured and says

I don’t think that the government should be involved in health care or health insurance. The issue for me is that it is not the proper role of government.”

Except, it turns out that Mr. Collett has 10 kids, all of whom are on Medicaid. Medicaid is a government run health insurance.

My head would spin except conservatives broke that from over use as well.

Obamacare and Political Realignment

It is still fairly common for conservatives to claim to be the party of Lincoln. That might even have a teaspoon of truth in regards to north-eastern Republicans. Though when racists like Rush Limbaugh say that it is Democrats are are the racists party, such claims are either shameless lies or display a stunning lack of knowledge about the history of political and racial alignments in the U.S. Conservatives, which is what they should call themselves, not Republicans ( the Republican Party has almost nothing to do with small r republicanism) cannot even claim to be the party of Teddy Roosevelt (R, 1901-1909), our 26th president. Teddy went after monopolies and enacted government regulation controlling food quality and inspections. Today’s Repub lican Party, i.e. the Conservative Movement went ballistic at liberal pundits and economists suggesting that we bust up the too big to fail banks after the Great recession started, and they watered down new financial regulation (Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), said he believes Washington’s role is to “serve the banks.”). And of course conservatives are still fighting basic health and safety protections of the American public. Supposedly tossing out every sensible regulation on the books would create millions of jobs. Those jobs, in the conservative fantasy, would not even pay a minimum wage, much less a living wage. So there is evidence to support the observation that conservatives have become captives of the economic and cultural fantasies of the plantation economy. Sure it is easy to find a conservative on the internet arguing that they need low wage workers. That is because they think when they start a business it is their right to get wealthy on the back of wage slaves. How did conservatives to get this point. How did the Republican party, which used to be the progressive party, become the regressive movement. In case you missed it, this is a pretty good post about the history of political alignments between parties, How Racism Caused The Shutdown

This isn’t an article about how Republicans shut down the government because they hate that the President is black. This is an article about how racism caused the government to shut down and the U.S. to teeter on the brink of an unprecedented and catastrophic default.
I understand if you’re confused. A lot of people think the only way that racism “causes” anything is when one person intentionally discriminates against another because of their color of their skin. But that’s wrong. And understanding the history of the forces that produced the current crisis will lay plain the more subtle, but fundamental, ways in which race and racism formed the scaffolding that structures American politics — even as explicit battles over race receded from our daily politics.
The roots of the current crisis began with the New Deal — but not in the way you might think. They grew gradually, with two big bursts in the 1960s and the 1980s reflecting decades of more graduated change. And the tree that grew out of them, the Tea Party and a radically polarized Republican Party, bore the shutdown as its fruits.

[  ]…Hence the famous Dixiecrat revolt of 1948, when Strom Thurmond and likeminded Southerners temporarily seceded from the Democratic Party over Harry Truman and the Democratic platform’s support for civil rights. The tacit bargain that Katznelson documents during the Roosevelt Administration, in which the Northern Democrats would get their New Deal if the Southern Democrats got their white supremacy, became untenable.

[  ]…

The Legacy Of The Democratic South’s Rebellion: The Tea Party
We all know what happens next. The Southern conservative takeover of the Republican Party pushes out moderates, cementing the party’s conservative spiral. This trend produces the Tea Party, whose leading contemporary avatar — Ted Cruz — engineers the 2013 shutdown and risk of catastrophic default.
So we can draw a tentatively straight line between the last 80 years of racial politics and this week’s political crisis. Aside from being an interesting point of history, what does that tell us?
First, that the shutdown crisis isn’t the product of passing Republican insanity or, as President Obama put it, a “fever” that needs to be broken. Rather, the sharp conservative turn of the Republican Party is the product of deep, long-running structural forces in American history. The Republican Party is the way that it is because of the base that it has evolved, and it would take a tectonic political shift — on the level of the Democrats becoming the party of civil rights — to change the party’s internal coalition. Radicalized conservatism will outlive the shutdown/debt ceiling fight.
Second, and more importantly, the battle over civil rights produced a rigidly homogenous and disproportionately Southern Republican party, fertile grounds for the sort of purity contest you see consuming the South today. There’s no zealot like a new convert, the saying goes, and the South’s new faith in across-the-board conservatism — kicked off by the alignment of economic libertarianism with segregationism — is one of the most significant causes of the ideological inflexibility that’s caused the shutdown.

While many of my conservative friends, co-workers and family support Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, Workman’s Compensation, i.e. the social safety net, sabotaging the safety net has become core to the conservative cause. This is also where racism and ye old far-Right nativism meets the ACA or Obamacare. Even the Tea Baggers support the safety net, they certainly depend on it to survive. Conservatives think it is morally just that they receive these entitlements, but not those people over there – the people of color. They see Obamacare as something, as another program that will – in their blurred vision – be taken advantage of by those other people. Even as like food assistance, white southerners and mid-westerners are actually the largest number of participants.

The Government Shut-down and Why We Need Better Pundits

This opinion from The Guardian is one of those examples of Why We Need a New Press Pundits Corp, Democrats won’t win a ‘blame the GOP’ game on the shutdown and debt ceiling. Consumer confidence is crashing. If the economy goes south because of default fears, President Obama will be the big loser

So, people currently blame the Republicans more than anyone else for the government shutdown, but predicting the long-term political fallout is not as easy as that suggests. For one thing, the latest CBS News poll shows that while slightly more people believe the Republicans are at fault, a majority of them are upset with both sides for the inability to avert this crisis.

The real story is not revealed by people’s view of the politicians; it’s contained in the indices of economic sentiment. Gallup finds that Americans’ confidence in the economy has dropped like a rock, from -20pt just before the shutdown, to -35pt now. And it would not be surprising to see that measure continue to fall over coming days, with the deadline for raising the debt ceiling looming in ten days’ time.

This is not a story about deep detective work that ultimately turns up the perpetrator. We know who is to blame. It was conservative billionaire money and they planned on having this shut-down, at least since President Obama was reelected. The writer of that column  Harry J Enten is one of the reasons blame either shifts or fades away, because they make it sound plausible that both sides share some of the blame. These far Right conservatives are so extreme they threatened to take out rabid far Right conservatives like Aaron Shcock (R-IL). Mr. Enten wants to be one of those kool moderates who isn’t afraid to call out both sides. Only that is an utterly false narrative. From 2000 to 2008 conservatives cut taxes and ran up the largest deficit in modern history. They crashed the economy with a combination of negligence and maliciousness.

cbpp_bush_tax_cuts_deficit

Conservative bloggers, politicians and pundits have conveniently forgotten or suffer from the usual cognitive dissonance when it comes to their economic legacy, an historic shafting of the American people. The most that journo-pundits like Harry can come up with is, look at these polls and hey blame may shift. Facts remain facts.

Harry is looking damn competent compared to some weirdo web-site called The Independent Journal Review ( Independent? It is peppered with gossipy hateful posts just like Free Republic and and other gutters of the conservative web) from which we get this startling super scientific poll, Poll: 62% of the American People Oppose More Debt Without Slashing Government Spending

The poll, conducted by a bipartisan team of polling firms surveying 952 registered voters on land lines and cell phones, was conducted on Oct. 1 and Oct. 2. The margin of error is 3 percent.

They put their full confidence in this poorly done poll, but not Nobel Prize winners that say austerity does not work and we are having climate change. Conservatives say they are not dumb so that only leaves two excuses, they’re liars or malevolent cranks. President Obama and Democrats have gotten the debt left by conservatives, under control:

96d3a-obamaanddeficits

The red line that climbed like a rocket, with a little dip, that started climbing again, that was conservative economics or conservative hypocrisy or conservative voodoo at work, take your pick. President Obama takes office and even in the worse recession since the Great Depression, starts to get the deficit under control – and that is with the stimulus and payroll tax cuts passed by Democrats. No one should care what 952 low information voters think, we should all be caring about the facts.

Joel B. Pollak of Breitbart.com tells the world what it is like to have a fantasy dinner party with libruls. He really should get his doctor to renew his meds prescription.

Who is to blame for the government shutdown and budget crisis

Some of the conservative movement’s greatest minds on the government shutdown and blame shifting,

Sean Hannity ( Rush Limbaugh Jr.): Calls Shutdown “The Worst Of The Worst” Then Urges GOP Not To Compromise and Asks “Who Wants This?”. Sean’s triple somersault and back-flip answered below.

Jeff Duncan (R), South Carolina: “I believe Obamacare has shut down America, so I’d rather shut down the government than continue doing what we’re doing, which is penalizing businesses and families in this country.” Well the ACA has been initiated in parts over the last four years. The parts the public has seen and used, they like it so far. If Jeff, one of the dumbest to ever serve in Congress, who owes his constituents a refund for the $179k he is getting from tax payers, going to repeal the part that let’s young adults up to age 26 stay on their parents insurance or is he going to repeal the part that says people with preexisting conditions can no longer get insurance. Or maybe it wants the 30 million families now getting a discount to start paying higher premiums.

Marlin Stutzman (R), Indiana: “We aren’t going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.” Marlin had to hire a personal baby sitter to help him tie his shoes in the morning and clean his knuckles after a hard day of dragging them around. Marlin thinks American values come in a plastic bag in the freezer section at the local discount mart and he only buys them when they’re on sale.

There are plenty more, but we’ll end with Paul Broun(R), Georgia: “[The Democrats] need to look in the mirror, because they’re the ones to blame. They’re the ones that shut the government down.” We’ve all seen the TV shows and the movies where the hostage takers ask for ransom. Paul always blames the families for the death of the hostage because he feels very deeply, with great conviction, that if only the families would cooperate these kinds of tragedies would be averted. Hostage taker ( conservatives) are never to blame in Broun World. The people would voted for Broun subsidize his and his families health insurance, so they deserve to live in their circle of shameless hypocrisy.

Who is to blame? A Federal Budget Crisis Months in the Planning

Shortly after President Obama started his second term, a loose-knit coalition of conservative activists led by former Attorney General Edwin Meese III gathered in the capital to plot strategy. Their push to repeal Mr. Obama’s health care law was going nowhere, and they desperately needed a new plan.

Out of that session, held one morning in a location the members insist on keeping secret, came a little-noticed “blueprint to defunding Obamacare,” signed by Mr. Meese and leaders of more than three dozen conservative groups.

It articulated a take-no-prisoners legislative strategy that had long percolated in conservative circles: that Republicans could derail the health care overhaul if conservative lawmakers were willing to push fellow Republicans — including their cautious leaders — into cutting off financing for the entire federal government.

“We felt very strongly at the start of this year that the House needed to use the power of the purse,” said one coalition member, Michael A. Needham, who runs Heritage Action for America, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation. “At least at Heritage Action, we felt very strongly from the start that this was a fight that we were going to pick.”

Last week the country witnessed the fallout from that strategy: a standoff that has shuttered much of the federal bureaucracy and unsettled the nation.

To many Americans, the shutdown came out of nowhere. But interviews with a wide array of conservatives show that the confrontation that precipitated the crisis was the outgrowth of a long-running effort to undo the law, the Affordable Care Act, since its passage in 2010 — waged by a galaxy of conservative groups with more money, organized tactics and interconnections than is commonly known.

I have heard conservatives try desperately to make the case that this is democracy at work – in between deflecting blame. No, it is not democracy at work, it is the government being hijacked by a radical minority. How have bills been passed and repealed for mos of this nation’s history? You vote them into law and the president signs that bill. Conservatives cannot get a bill passed that repeals or replaces the Affordable Care Act ( Obamacare). Having failed, they are now holding the economy hostage. Conservatives, who tend to live in an echo chamber anyway, say that the majority of the American people are on their side. That is both delusional and a lie. Many Americans are desperate for all the benefits of Obamacare to kick in. And while the exchanges did not get off to a perfect start – you know much like private sector customer service that has driven us all crazy at one time or another, interests in getting insurance is high.

Conservatives have also thrown in the usual shrill panic about the deficit – the deficit that is largely a legacy of conservative economic policy, has been coming down steadily under Obama’s presidency.

American Conservatives Hook Up With Foreigners To Discredit Global Warming

There are a few fundamental bricks in the conservative wall of truth. One is that anything and anyone who is non-white, non-USA in origin is probably evil and part of the One World Gov’mint Conspiracy. Yet News Corp. which has become a cornerstone of the conservative noise machine is owned by two four’ners, Rupert Murdoch and the second largest holder of News Corp. stock Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, a nephew of the Saudi king. There are a few conservatives on the internet claiming that Fox News is not conservative enough because of the Prince bin Talal connection, but certainly not the conservative establishment. Now comes yet another connections between conservatives and non-American influence on public policy and science, Global warming sceptics using media campaign to discredit IPCC.

Lord Lawson’s campaign group for climate change sceptics, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, has been executing a carefully co-ordinated campaign with its media and political allies to discredit and misrepresent the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

On 27 September, the IPCC published the final draft of the Summary for Policymakers from working group I’s contribution on the physical science basis of climate change for its Fifth Assessment Report.

The official launch of the IPCC document was held in Stockholm, but London became the centre of the universe for climate change sceptics as they sought to exploit the UK’s influential media market.

The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based lobby group for free market fundamentalists, teamed up with a like-minded UK organisation, Civitas, to stage a press conference in London on the same day in an attempt to steal some of the limelight from the IPCC report.

As leaked internal documents revealed last year, Heartland has been paying retired scientists to produce a campaign document for sceptics under the title of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change.

Two of its authors, Fred Singer and Robert Carter, were invited to London for the Civitas press conference and to exploit the practice by some editors to create a “false balance” by putting up a sceptic to counter the view of climate researchers.

The BBC jumped at the chance and Carter and Singer were soon touring the studios at Broadcasting House giving back-to-back interviews. Radio 4’s The World At One even gave Carter more airtime than the IPCC.

BBC editors appeared to be unaware that Carter and Singer are paid by the Heartland Institute, which gained worldwide notoriety last year for a billboard campaign that associated the “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski and Charles Manson with a belief in global warming.

The Heartland Institute itself is part of the enormous and well funded conservative astroturf that puts out highly suspect reports to just plain tales of fantasy. They are in turn a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is the modern day version of the smoke filled political backroom – they’re the money people – the ones who can and do fill the coffers of conservatives who carry their water, or in a few instances, punish a Republican who might for instance suggest that climate change was a real possibility. ALEC is not a stand alone entity, but is part of the Koch brothers network of influence – the billionaire brothers who are always complaining about how tough they have it and the USA is going to hell in a hand-basket because politicians don’t just take dictation from them and legislate accordingly. The long history of conservatives believing in nefarious conspiracies and complex entanglements is really just a weird projection of their own corrupt and anti-Democratic agenda.

The Government Shutdown Is As Certain As The 2014 Downfall of Conservatives

Oak Meadow wallpaper

Oak Meadow wallpaper

NMMNB is not optimistic about the government shutdown crisis, Why Republicans are not going to get the blame they deserve.

The reason is that the mainstream political world is heavily invested in the notion that the GOP is a sane, rational, responsible party. We know this because every time the GOP has utterly failed as a party in the past few decades, it’s gotten a do-over almost immediately. Everyone in the political mainstream agrees that the GOP should get a mulligan every time it fails.

[  ]…George W. Bush disgraced himself in office; his party lost Congress in 2006 and the presidency in 2008. Again, not to worry: almost instantly, the GOP was rebranded, first as the party of “pizza summit” moderation (led by the digraced ex-president’s brother), then as the home of the tea party, which swept congressional, state, and local elections in 2010.

There is some unfortunate truths there. If our culture and political system worked the way it should, conservatives should constitute a tiny marginalized minority of the kind of true believers that no amount of reason can penetrate the tin foil. The Iraq debacle alone is cause for that. The financial collapse of 2007 was the culmination of 25 years of conservative supply side deregulation mania. The reason these calamities do not stick, at least one reason, is the powers of denial of the radical Right base. Iraq? Well Bush meant well and hey, he did kill a lot of Muslim even if the reasons were based on lies about WMD and conspiracy theories about a Muslim takeover of the world. Conservatives blamed the Great Recession on  one individual congressman and Fannie May. Nothing is ever their fault in the conservative river of denial, For a political movement that claims to be all about individual responsibility, they are amazingly adept at denying or talking responsibility for any wrong doing, for any disasters caused by their philosophy. Though as far as the impending and almost certain government shutdown, there is a bright spot. As Steve notes conservatives took a terrible beating in 2008. While they picked up the House in 2010 – largely through gerrymandering, they took a beating then as well. The independent voters and some  – lets call them Clinton conservatives – tend to have a throw the bums out attitude after a big screw-up like Iraq and the financial collapse, so while I would rather win another way, conservatives are setting up Democrats to win the House back in 2014. There is going to be a lot of economic pain between now and then – and it very much looks like those voters who swing elections, are going to punish conservatives, POLL: Voters Are ‘Unmoved’ By Government Shutdown Drama, Still Don’t Want To Delay Obamacare ( note the voice of Clinton conservatives)

Morning Consult’s results track with earlier research that has found that most Americans want to give the health reform law an opportunity to work. A recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center and USA Today found that even when Americans don’t support Obamacare, they still want lawmakers to try to make it work rather than try to undermine it. And Morning Consult’s last tracking poll found that even Republicans don’t favor defunding the health law.

And if the government does end up being forced to shut down because of Republican brinkmanship over Obamacare, the majority of voters say they’ll put “a lot” of the blame on GOP lawmakers in Congress. According to the new poll, nearly eight in 10 independent voters say they’ll blame congressional Republicans for a shutdown.

This is the point at which I’m supposed to say bring it on House conservatives. I’m not because the American people, regardless of politics have seen too much hard times. I do not have to hope conservatives will be punished at the polls because they certainly will be punished, even if it only by those thin margins created by the middle and the short term memory of the few remaining moderate Republicans. Ted Cruz and his tea smoking fans can gloat all they want the next few weeks, hey enjoy it while you can, because the party is over and you only have yourselves to blame.