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October 03, 2013

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Several years ago, one party in America passed a major law which was extremely unpopular with the other party. They barely got it through the lower chamber of the legislature, getting no votes of the opposing party, and, even applying great pressure, losing many votes from members of their own party.

They then lost control of that lower chamber, in part because of the passage of this law. Because of this, if it were ever put up to a vote again, everyone knows it could never be reenacted.

The members of the opposition party, knowing that the best chance they have to repeal this law is before it fully takes effect, are attempting to force it's suspension by refusing to fund it. The party that passed it insists that either it gets funded, or the entire government must shut down.

So far they have been successful in forcing a government shutdown, and are currently arranging things to hurt people as much as possible during it, in the hope that the party that keeps passing bills to restart the government will take the blame. They may succeed in this because almost everybody running the news media in America is a member of their party, so most news outlets only carry their version of what is going on.

Rules clarification:

Shouldn't the person explaining things to the 4-year old be at least four years old themselves?



I'll have a shot at it:

Well, the Republicans in Congress don't want one of the most important parts of the Affordable Care Act to be implemented, and, since they can't stop it through normal legislative processes, they decided "shut the government down", which means to shut down many, but not all, government services.

So she asks why the ACA is so bad as to merit such act. My response is that motives are always hard to identify, but my guess is that mostly it's a matter of pridefulness. The Republicans have been lying for years about how the ACA is the end of the world, and now the Act is under way and the world will not end and their lies will be exposed. So they either have to see themselves as liars or they have to act like the world really is about to end and they are the heroes making a last ditch effort to save it.

What does the ACA do? Among other things, makes private insurance available at affordable rates for people who are working but can't afford insurance.

So why are they against that? Why did they lie about it?

That also is a matter of guessing motives. Some of them are sincere believers in the Republican core principle that the power and resources of the federal government should only be used to serve Republicans: farm price supports, porkbarrel money for the military industrial complex, subsidies for profitable businesses that donate to the Republican party and so on. Since the people who will benefit from the ACA insurance exchanges are mostly the working poor, not the Republican demographic, the party is philosophically opposed to a government program that addresses their needs.

Oh. Why are they so mean and dishonest and selfish?

Oddly many of them claim to be Christians, even calling themsleves "pro-life". I think one should always be wary of people who lack a capacity for doubting themselves. Everyone is mean and dishonest and selfish at one time or the other, but when people become to much in love with an image of themselves as defenders of a religion or an ideology or too in love with seeing themselves on TV, they lose the ability to correct themselves when they do something they ought to be ashamed of.

lol, one sides doesn't want the other side to win. and will do whatever it takes to stop the other side. anything, destroying everyone and everything in the process.

one side says either do what i want, or you will get it. and i will shoot the hostages/American People/ if you don't do what i want, one side says.

that's about it. might makes right or My way or the Highway". meanwhile back at the farm, the gunshots are hitting everybody.


and to hear some people say this is the best thing that could happen doesn't have a hostage being terrorized in this matter. what world do these people live in?

and sometimes they kill the hostages.

I tried it in words:

Think of governing the country as a big game played by two teams, the donkeys and the elephants. The game has rules, and like any game, can only go on as long as everyone follows the rules.

While you were stil a little baby, a lot of donkeys and a few elephants scored a goal. This made many of the elephants very unhappy, and the unhappiest elephants have now taken the ball and won't let anyone else have it. The game has stopped. The unhappiest elephants say they won't give the ball back unless everyone ignores the rules and agrees to "take back" the goal.

So everyone can see that the game is over and is going home, which leaves the unhappiest elephants with no one to play with. This makes the unhappiest elephants even unhappier, and they've found some matches and sticks, and are telling everyone who will listen that they plan to set the ball on fire.

But this is better

Now, if the child were a football-loving teenager, you could give them this bit of fictional sports reporting:
-----------
“Pittsburgh refuses to play, says NFL acting in bad faith”

In a press conference today, the Steelers announced a move that many long time NFL observers called “stunning” and “unprecedented”. The Steelers announced that, unless the NFL overturns the result of last Sunday’s game against the Vikings, the Steelers will not show up for their game next week against the New York Jets on October 13th.

In response to questions from reporters, Coach Mike Tomlin offered this comment:
“Well, clearly, the Steelers and their fans weren’t happy at all with the results of the contest in London. The Steelers and their fans are really used to getting their way. After much thought and consideration of input from our fans, the organization decided that instead of changing our ways in any manner whatsoever, we would simply go straight to the NFL front office. So we called the NFL and asked them to change the results of last week’s game. Given the way the NFL acted – it actually took several calls because the NFL front office could not stop laughing at the first few – it became clear to the Steeler organization that the NFL front office was acting in bad faith and didn’t want to negotiate. So we felt the need to take things into our own hands”. Many Steeler fans cheered.

When asked what it would take to get the Steelers back on the field, Coach Tomlin said that the Steelers would “settle for nothing less than the NFL declaring a record of 12-4 for the Steelers” – regardless of the results on the field or what other people think.

In related news, Randolph and Mortimer Duke are still really pissed that the commodity markets refuse to “turn the machines back on”.

sometimes people are sore losers.

i also just want to say that brett's bizzaro world reading of current events is starting to get under my skin.

just for the record.

but your daughter doesn't need to know any of that.

Be careful who she asks:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr4WxEQHiCE

I'd counsel against asking Michelle Bachmann how things have taken such a dreadful turn:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xn0iPYnv-x4

Whatever you do, avoid letting the poor child be exposed to Ted Cruz's narrative:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uSz0mEtEsQ

russell: i also just want to say that brett's bizzaro world reading of current events is starting to get under my skin.

Just think of him being on the left in here.

Brett simply finds goals made by the other side, following the rules, to be so disappointing that he can't accept that they're legitimate, even if a Republican-dominated Supreme Court says they're valid.

So, it seems obvious to him that there must be something about the other side's goals that makes them not really count -- not like goals scored by his side, which always seem to him to be legitimate, whether his side follows the rules
or
not

In short, even though he's a good person, he's often a bad sport, especially about things that matter deeply to him. Nearly everyone struggles with these same feelings. Those of us who like Brett should try to learn from him what we might look like to the other team when it's our turn to be disappointed.

And some day, it will be our turn to be disappointed.

see, this is really starting to piss me off. i feel obliged to make a reply.

LJ, pardon the threadjack, and your daughter need not be involved in any of this.

Several years ago, one party in America passed a major law which was extremely unpopular with the other party.

Life's like that. That's why there are parties.

They barely got it through the lower chamber of the legislature, getting no votes of the opposing party, and, even applying great pressure, losing many votes from members of their own party.

And yet, it passed.

Did we hear objections from the right over every freaking law that passed on a strict party line vote during the years when (R)'s held a majority?

Was there an outcry, demanding that the laws be overthrown or unfunded, because there was insufficient (D) support?

Did Mr. Brett Bellmore wax eloquent, lamenting that laws that did not receive at least some bipartisan support not be funded, even if that meant that the government itself be shut down?

I have no memory of any such thing. Perhaps my memory has simply faded.

They then lost control of that lower chamber, in part because of the passage of this law. Because of this, if it were ever put up to a vote again, everyone knows it could never be reenacted.

How many attempts were made to repeal it? I'll grant you less than 42. How many?

Over how many months and years were those attempts made? Were any of them attempted while the (R)'s held a majority in the lower house?

Did any of those attempts succeed? If not, why not?

If what you have said is true, why has every attempt to repeal the law failed?

Explain, or stand down.

The members of the opposition party, knowing that the best chance they have to repeal this law is before it fully takes effect, are attempting to force it's suspension by refusing to fund it.

As is their prerogative.

And, to succeed, they must in fact prevail not just in the lower house, but in both houses.

They have failed to do so.

A for effort, though.

The party that passed it insists that either it gets funded, or the entire government must shut down.

And this is where I invite you to kiss my hind quarters.

It's a freaking lie, and it's a cheap and shameless attempt to shift the blame for the shutdown from where it rightfully belongs, which is on the shoulders of the tea party (R)'s in the lower House.

You lie. Knock it off. Make whatever case you like, but don't f**king lie.

The tea partiers created this situation. Nobody but them wanted it. It is theirs, it is their creation and their legacy to the rest of us. They own it.

They want to run away from it, because -- surprise! -- it's unpopular, and they are pack of shameless gutless spineless charlatans and cowards, but in its cynicism, its irresponsibility, and its disregard for any point of view other than their own it bears their DNA and their likeness.

They cannot escape it.

It is theirs. It is their chosen tactic to get their way. Nobody but them and their so-called base wants it, so they want to pin it on somebody else. But it's theirs.

F**k them, and I'll extend that verb to anyone who tries to make this mess anybody's but theirs.

It is theirs. Nobody asked for it but them.

And some day, it will be our turn to be disappointed.

Dude, I've been disappointed for about 40 freaking years. I've been consistently horrified on an almost daily basis for at least 30.

But I don't make shit up.

Have a Tea Party functionary sit down with her over strudel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnENQVoi-oo

Maybe Brett is best for this job:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X20XIg38GcE

Rep. Neugebauer, in the news today, can probably be counted on for some mansplaining to the young lady:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32C0eKRQVt8

After Citizens United, the corporations might be able to shut Archie Bunker up, were he alive today to splain de sitiation to da yout oveh heah:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fqCS7Y_kME

I really think we should consider the moral values of people who oppose a program to provide access to health insurance for other people.

It isn't just any old law.

Laura, nice try but too much stuff a 4 year old would not grasp. E.g., it would probably not know/understand the word insurance without an extra explanation (at that age I'd even put 'Christian' on the not-selfexplanatory words).
---
My try:

You may think, if you are sick, you just go to the doctor and he will help you get healthy again. But you also have to pay for it, and the sicker you are, the more you have to pay. And sometimes people get so sick for so long that they do not have enough money to pay. If they are sick, they cannot work, get no money and so cannot pay the doctor to make them healthy again. And many that cannot pay anymore die. That's bad enough but also every year one has to pay more for the same thing the doctor does and many people get paid less and less for their work too, so ore and more people cannot pay the doctor and die. So, someone got an idea. If just 1 in a 100 gets sick and no one knows in advance then everyone could put a bit of money in a common pot every month and when one of them gets sick the doctor gets paid with that money. Poeple that have much money would put in a little more, those that have little would put in less and those that, without having done something wrong, have nothing, would have their part paid by the others. A few guys that are good in math would watch over the money, talk with the doctors over the price and as a thank-you get a share of the money. Now that would be nice but there are people that do not like the idea at all. Maybe they are healthy and think 'I will never get sick. I better keep my money for something else and I do not want to share because many just claim to be sick to get at my money'. Others say 'I have much money and can pay the doctor however expensive it gets. If others can't, it's their own fault and why should I care?'. And many of those that were supposed to take care of the money take a larger and larger share for themselves, so less and less is available to pay the doctor. And the at the same time they told the doctor that he should not help those not putting money in the pot or demand much more from them for the help. They would also try to find out who would get sick more often than others. From those they demand more money or refuse to let them join the club in the first place. And often they would find an excuse not to pay the doctor for those that did put money in the pot claiming that it was too expensive. So, selfishness destroyed what semmed to be a good idea and many suffered and died or became poor because all their money had to be spent to pay the doctor and the guys that were supposed to take care of it.
Then people said: Congress has to do something. They can force the guys to use the money for what is was paid in the first place and not take most of it for themselves. They can stop them from having people denied help because they did not let them in. Also those that have paid should get the care the were promised.
And while we are at it, it can't be that some do not join but still demand to get help for free the moment they get sick, although it was not their poverty that kept them out but their unwillingness to pay. If we did that, all the healthy would stay out and the whole idea from the start (everyone pays a small part, so the few sick get help without getting ruined) does not work anymore (because only the sick would be in and then the money would be too little for all).
Many in Congress thought that there would be some good solutions, for example:
1) the state does the caretaking for the money and will pay it with taxes, so everyone is in, and no money is taken out for profit. Taxes will be a bit higher than before but you do not have to pay the bad guys anoore that then maby estill will not let you go to the doctor.
2) The state will become one of the caretakers and people can choose between the old guys (we call them private insurers) and the state. That way the old guys cannot cheat you so easily because when they take too much from you, you can say 'No. I will take the better offer from the state, if you don't stop to rob me.'.
Most wealthy countries in the world do it that way, some for more than a century now and it seems to work. Only we do not and pay about twice as much per person and get often worse results (unless you are very rich).
But the private insurers have lots of money and give much of it to certain people in Congress telling them: "Keep it the way it is now because we make money from it and give you a share. If you vote for a change then we will NOT give you money anymore and pay someone else to get your seat in Congress. Then you have no money and lose the job people envy you for." And other rich people that think that the poor do not deserve help did the same. And there are also many people that think that the state is bad and would be even worse than the private insurers and called their congresspeople telling them to make no changes. For years they debated in Congress and in the end there was what seemed like a solution all should be able to live with.
1) Evyerone has to join, so there are no people that get something for nothing who could at least pay something.
2) Those that were too poor would get help from the state to buy insurance
3)The state would not become an insurer itself because of the mistrust of people
That way the private insurers were happy. They got many more customers and they would not have the state as a rival.
But it was necessary too to keep the insurers from playing their old games so
4)They would have to take everyone and could not kick them out the moment they go sick.
5)They would have to spend most of the money for the care and not as much for themselves as before.
Most insurers did their math and found that they would not be worse off with that or even better because they would get more from the many new customers than they would lose by stopping to cheat.
So it seemed Congress could unite to make it so.
But there were still some problems
1) There are two parties in Congress and when the one party has a success the other will get less votes in the next election but when the one party fails the other will win more votes. So many congresspeople do not like it when the other party has a success. You may say,when they unite both have a success and the voters will like them. But most people think all is done by the president and will believe that it is the president's party that should get more votes even when the other party helped. But when something fails then people will blame the president and vote for the other party.so the other party thinks that it has nothing to win. So, should one help the people but get nothing for it or block everything and hope that the next president will be of your party (and then you could try to pass the same ideas as your own and reap the reward).
2) One party in Congress (the president's party) pushes for the idea but many people that vote for the other party HATE the president. So the congresspeople from that party risk to get thrown out in the next election, if their voters believed that they were too friendly to him or even helped him. And the guys that did not like the whole idea still threatened them with not giving them money anymore and telling the voters that their congressguy was bad.
So the talks got very nasty and in the end the president's party got the idea through only with a small majority and only with votes from their own, none of the other party.
Now the other party had a problem. The money guys and their voters blamed them because they had failed. They tried to win the next election to have their guy as president so he could kill the idea before it could become a success. But they failed again. They tried to have the high judges declare that the whole idea was against the law but again failed. Now there was only one way forward. Failing again would mean that the idea would get tried. Should it work, people would remember that the other party was against it and hate them for it. The voters that hated the president would then also hate them because they did not stop the hated president's idea. And the money guys would find other people to support. So they had nothing to lose. Their plan now is: We threaten the president. Either he will stop the law (only he can do that now) or they would ruin the whole country by preventing the government from spending any more money or paying the bills for stuff already bought. They have not enough votes to make changes but enough to block the other side from doing anything. They think: The president will rather drop the idea than risk that the whole country gets ruined. He knows that people will remember forever that he was president when that happened and will never vote for his party again (they will not remember who made him do it though).
Unfortunately for them the president thinks that, if he allows the other party to win that way, they will do it again and again and the people will never forgive him for his weakness and for the bad things that he thinks will happen when the other party gets its way. He hopes that when he does not budge, his law will be successful, it will help many people and he will be fondly remembered for it. So, both sides face ruin when the other side wins but the country faces ruin when neither side yields.
I personally hope that the other party sees that the ruin they risk is nothing compared to what the country faces should they not retreat when the president doesn't. If they step back they can play another day but if they don't there may be no other day or the people will at least not forgive them for what they have done so soon. Now we have to find a way to persuade them to see it that way even when we can't change their mind about the insurance thing.

I didn't pick up on her being four. I was imagining a thirteen year old for some reason.

"Daddy, why is the government shutting down?"

"Well my dearest, as Generalissimo Stalin once asked, "How many divisions does the Pope have?" No, wait a minute here, that's not right. It has to do with breaking eggs to make omelettes."

"Eggs?" she asked. "Aren't those covered by the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1937?"

"Well, yes", I replied. "But sometimes you have to break the rules to make the rules work. You have to stand up for your principles, make your point, stand tall, stand your ground, and draw lines in the sand. Go all Clint Eastwood on their asses and don't let the empty chairs push you around."

"Is that similar to Nietzsche's concept of the Superman in Thus Spoke Zarathustra?" she wondered.

"Not exactly, my dear. It's more mundane than that. A political faction, calling themselves conservatives desire to shut the government down in order to save it."

"Oh come now, daddy. You can't be serious. If there is no government, we will have anarchism. It is difficult to conceive of conservatives, followers of Eddie Burke and Tommy Hobbes acting like Mike Bakunin. That doesn't make any sense."

"It rarely does. Have you heard the one about the three little pigs?"

"Not tonight, daddy. I really wrapped up in this latest book from Thomas Pynchon. Do you really think he has pierced the heart of the human condition?"

"I don't know, my dear," I pondered. Is John Boehner in it?"

russell skrev:

Dude, I've been disappointed for about 40 freaking years. I've been consistently horrified on an almost daily basis for at least 30.

Oh, me too. In fact, I cried and wanted to punch someone when Eugene McCarthy didn't get the nomination (I was sixteen). I had similar feelings in 1980, and again in 2000, and again in 2004, with what I think is somewhat better justification.

BTW, I thought your one-line "explanation to a four-year-old" was far better than any of mine.

If you play Brett's comment at the top of the thread backwards, you can hear someone saying "Paul is dead".

http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2013/10/07/131007taco_talk_gawande

Brett trotted out his "bare majority" schtick over at RBC, as well. As a service to him, in case he misses it over there, my last reply to him:

Can anybody here think of any recent bills that passed in the House by a “bare” majority? Perhaps the 225-204 vote (all D’s voting no, all but a handful of R’s voting yes) that was the proximate cause of the shutdown on Sep 30th was a “clothed” majority, in Brett’s idiom, eh?

This “bare majority” wingnut meme is getting shop-worn. Especially since we never quite get a definition of what “bare” means. If the wingnuts will not accept a “bare” majority, shouldn’t they have the balls to tell us how much over 50% a majority must be, in a democracy?

Let me add, just in passing, that Dubya's first tax cut was RAMMED THROUGH, on "reconciliation" no less, with Deadeye Dick casting the tie-breaking 51st vote in the Senate. Libertarians apparently consider all GOP majorities, no matter how meager, to be decently-clothed majorities.

–TP

LJ,

Take a look at this article.

It appears to fit your bill.

And Joel, your tale at 9:04 above is awesome.

"While you were still a little baby, a lot of donkeys and a few elephants scored a goal."

From Wikipedia: "On December 23, the Senate voted 60–39 to end debate on the bill: a cloture vote to end the filibuster by opponents. The bill then passed by a vote of 60–39 on December 24, 2009, with all Democrats and two independents voting for, and all Republicans voting against (except for Jim Bunning, who did not vote)."

More like some Donkeys, and no Elephants at all.

Actually, she's 13, I just started off with the riff from Philadelphia (explain it so me like I was a 4 year old)

I was surprised that she asked me, and our experiences are so different that it is really hard for me to figure out what to say, though I will try bobbyp's suggestion.

I'm sorry, Brett, but there is actually a majority of reps in the House who would vote for a clean budget right now, it's just that Boehener won't bring the vote. The real truth is that a *majority of reps* don't want a shutdown, and yet we still have one.

*That's* your hostage-taking, right there.

No one wants a shutdown. It's just that this is the leverage: shutdown or our way.

My cynical side notices that this designed shutdown has got nearly everyone focused on the shutdown. When's the last time you were thinking about NSA surveillance? Or about Syria? Or about Afghanistan?

There's people in Washington who are grateful for this distraction.

I also want to note that this shutdown showdown is now baked into our budgetary process. If we have a debt ceiling and and continue to spend far into the red, we are guaranteed to encounter this again. And again.

Maybe someone ought to have done something about this, somehow. There are at least two approaches that might have worked.

I'm sorry in return, but the fact remains that the ACA passed with no Elephant votes at all. It didn't even get all the Donkey votes.

I'm all for simplifying for a 4 year old, I've got one myself, but pretending the ACA got Republican votes isn't simplifying, it's falsifying.

As much as I hate to chime in on Brett's side, he's correct. Not a single Republican vote on passage in either the House or Senate.

Interesting that it came to the Senate with nearly all of the Republican votes in favor; maybe someone who has been keeping up with the facts has a good explanation for that. My guess would be either a) amendments, or b) racism. Or both!

But it *doesn't matter* what the history of the Obamacare bill was. It's *doesn't matter* how much Republicans dislike it. What *does matter* is playing by the rules, which the House GOP isn't doing. Or rather, the rules are Calvinball.

I think lj needs to include this:
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/10/the-two-basic-facts-that-should-be-in-every-shutdown-story/280179/

1. If the House of Representatives voted on a "clean" budget bill -- one that opened up the closed federal offices but did not attempt to defund the Obama health care program -- that bill would pass, and the shutdown would be over. Nearly all Democrats would vote for it, as would enough Republicans to end the shutdown and its related damage.

2. So far House Speaker John Boehner has refused to let this vote occur. His Tea Party contingent knows how the vote would go and therefore does not want it to happen; and such is Boehner's fear of them, and fear for his job as Speaker, that he will not let it take place.

And I think lj also has to say that the program that has roused such unquenchable ire is an attempt to make the US health care system *slightly* more like that found in Japan, Europe, Canada, Australia, and the rest of the "First World".

I also want to note that this shutdown showdown is now baked into our budgetary process. If we have a debt ceiling and and continue to spend far into the red, we are guaranteed to encounter this again. And again.

I do not see the linkage you allude to. Most "shutdowns" have taken place over budgetary disagreements. Nearly always they were overcome rather quickly, and without a great deal of fanfare. They also had nothing to do with the debt ceiling limit.

"No one wants a shutdown."

Michelle Bachman wanted it. She's part of a group within the Republican party that has wanted a shut down for years.


As for the sulking and pouting and temper tantrums over the lack of elephant support: boo-hoo. That's tow year old thinking. None of the elephants minded winning with just their votes when they had the House and the Senate. To Congressional Republicans fairness means getting their way. But whatever means.

I agree the shut down is a distraction. It's a distraction from a discussion of the moral values of people who want to deny other people access to health insurance.

I'm sorry in return, but the fact remains that the ACA passed with no Elephant votes at all. It didn't even get all the Donkey votes.

I'm sure that sucks if you are (R), but that's the process.

Is the issue here that party line votes don't count?

Or that bills that receive NO votes from one party don't count?

If so, how many votes from the party on the losing side of the issue are required before legitimacy is conferred?

Party line votes are the new norm. That's regrettable, but it's the reality.

The ACA passed both Houses, has survived numerous attempts to repeal it, and has survived numerous legal challenges on Constitutional grounds, ending with a SCOTUS decision.

That is our process, and the ACA has made it through every conceivable challenge.

I don't consider the ACA to be a model of perfect legislation, nor do I consider the process by which it came to be law a model for perfect process.

But it passed, and it has survived, over a period of years, as many challenges as any other law I can think of in a generation or more.

But in any case, you CANNOT BRING THE NORMAL OPERATION OF GOVERNMENT TO A HALT WHEN YOU LOSE AN ARGUMENT. If you do that, everything breaks. And we don't want to go there.

If you want a different outcome, you need more votes. If you can't get the votes, then there's a message there for you. A pretty clear one, at that.

On a personal note, I'll say that it pisses me the hell off that, after living through Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, significant parts of Clinton, Bush II, and significant parts of Obama, folks like me are expected to understand and accept that folks like the Tea Partiers simply CANNOT ACCEPT an outcome of the legislative process.

We've eaten more crap sandwiches than you can even imagine.

So, on a personal note, my message to the tea partiers of the world is suck it up and try harder next time.

It will take years to roll the ACA out, and there will be about a million adjustments along the way. The opportunity to kill it with a thousand cuts still lies before you.

If that doesn't brighten your day, I'm not sure what will.

Do your best and have fun. But you have to bring the votes.

And if you can't bring the votes, you lose. That's our way, for good or ill. Accept it gracefully or not, as you will, but you DO NOT GET TO PULL THE PLUG if you don't get your way.

You're not the only freaking people living here.

Here's another way to explain it: My husband buys health insurance for five hundred dollars a month. The rate goes up annually.

After Washington set up the exchanges e got a notice that his insurance cost was going to drop by forty dollars a month. When the exchange opened for business he called in to get some quotes. He can get insurance that is the equivalent of his current coverage for one hundred and forty dollars a month less.

It isn't hard to get to the exchanges here. And he even got a call back from a real person to our house!

A friend of mine who has a pre-existing condition will now qualify for expanded Medicaid. Another friend who is healthy but low income will qualify for insurance. She's checking out the exchanges by way of the library computer because she lives in the woods in a trailer and has no electricity.

The employees at the gas station where I usually gas up can get insurance now. The maintenance staff my gated community employs can get insurance now.

This is a huge relief to people who have been getting by paycheck to paycheck worried that a health bill will destroy their precarious equilibrium.

This is what the fuss is all about. It isn't about elephants sulking because the law passed without their votes. It's about the moral values of people who think it is a bad thing for their neighbors to have affordable health insurance.

"None of the elephants minded winning with just their votes when they had the House and the Senate."

They also believe they won't need opposition votes in the future.

Too bad their needs won't be met ever again:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5fr67YUif4

Stewart used a portion of the clip on his show last night.

As much as I hate to chime in on Brett's side, he's correct. Not a single Republican vote on passage in either the House or Senate.

Gosh! You don't supposed the GOP's own, openly and repeatedly stated vow to ensure the failure of the Obama Administration had anything to do with that, do you? Or the screaming claques of Tea Partiers who showed up at every townhall meeting where the ACA was going to be discussed?

Never mind. Looking back on recent history, I remember another major initiative by a Democratic President that passed without a single GOP vote: the 1993 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.

It's greatly entertaining to go and check on the apocalyptic rhetoric the GOP used to justify its monolithic opposition to that one. The names are different, but not the claims: the tax hike will kill jobs! cause a recession! worsen the recession we're in! Newt Gingrich (then-house Speaker) allowed as how the job-killing, recession-causing, civlization-ending tax hike "might take 1 1/2 to 2 years" to make the rivers run red with blood, but assured everyone it would happen!

So (you ask) what did happen?

Just the longest sustained period of economic growth in the nation’s history, with 23 million jobs created.

GOP prognostications have a 0% accuracy rate. Their unity in opposition only means they're monolithically wrong. Reliably, monolithically, wrong.

Mind you, if Obamacare is anywhere as successful as the 1993 Budget Omnibus Act, we'll see the same thing happen: the GOP will try to take credit for it, like they try to take credit for the prosperity of the Clinton Era.

"I'm sorry in return, but the fact remains that the ACA passed with no Elephant votes at all. It didn't even get all the Donkey votes."

And yet, on of the things arguments the Supreme Court majority of conservatives used to invalidate part of the VRA was that the VRA was re-authorized with BIPARTISAN NEAR-UNANIMITY.

Funny, how these criteria seem to strongly resemble "pulling stuff out of their butt" in support of a pre-determined conclusion.

Maybe there is a face-saving way out for the Republicans: continue to claim that Obamacare is the end of the world, but claim credit for Kentuckycare or what ever the manifestation of Obamacare is in red states. That's what they did with the stimulus: said they opposed it, voted for it, and claimed credit for any projects in their districts while continuing to claim they opposed it. Ryan pulled that off without a peep from his base.

One of the advantages of having a base that will believe anything provided it's packaged to trigger hate/fear/and faux victimhood is that the rightwing faux news outlets can be used to tell the base the stories of interest to them, in this case stories of how awful Obamacare is in blue states and how great a job the Republicans have done in administering their own versions in red states.

It won't matter to the base that they didn't administer their own versions or that they actively sabotaged. It won't matter if a successful program like Kentucky's is in fact Obamacare with a local name. Facts don't influence the base, never have.

Republican politicians have never minded lies in the past so I don't why they can't just lie their way out of this, too.

"Is the issue here that party line votes don't count?"

No, the issue was just that the story wasn't true. It was a simple factual matter: The ACA got no 'Elephant' votes, and Joel's version of events falsified that.

As I say, I'm all for simplifying things for children, but that wasn't simplification, it was just false. Unambiguously so, and not as a matter of connotation or interpretation. Just flat out false.

The ACA got no 'Elephant' votes, and Joel's version of events falsified that.

aha!

thanks for the clarification, I missed that you were responding to joel.

sorry for the error (on my part).

The ACA got no 'Elephant' votes, and Joel's version of events falsified that.

So, if you change the story to get that one factual matter right, does it really affect the narrative? This is even sillier than the parks story.

To me, the real crux of where the blame lies for the shutdown is that they won't allow a vote on a clean resolution. That's where the "Obama Shutdown," as seen on Sean Hannity's show (via The Daily Show - otherwise, I would never have seen it), goes off the rails.

The RW version of the story, which Brett keeps repeating, would only maybe make sense if a clean resolution was actually voted on and failed. I mean, you'd think there was just no way out of this thing - as though the House simply had no recourse because they couldn't pass a clean resolution - the way Brett tells the story.

Sometimes I don't know why anyone, including me, bothers responding to this stupid crap. Weakness, I guess.

Saying this

Think of governing the country as a big game played by two teams, the donkeys and the elephants. The game has rules, and like any game, can only go on as long as everyone follows the rules.

While you were stil a little baby, a lot of donkeys and a few elephants scored a goal. This made many of the elephants very unhappy, and the unhappiest elephants have now taken the ball and won't let anyone else have it. The game has stopped. The unhappiest elephants say they won't give the ball back unless everyone ignores the rules and agrees to "take back" the goal.

So everyone can see that the game is over and is going home, which leaves the unhappiest elephants with no one to play with. This makes the unhappiest elephants even unhappier, and they've found some matches and sticks, and are telling everyone who will listen that they plan to set the ball on fire.

is false seems to be stretching the definition of false to its breaking point.

But let's go with the Brettworld version for a moment. This means that the Republicans, to a man, are all supportive of the shutdown and really don't give a flip about all the things that are closed because they can't get their way. Think about that for a moment and you might see why the Count keeps bumping up to that line in the sand around here when he talks about Republican vermin and filth.

I do not see the linkage you allude to.

Other than the current linkage? You think this is a snowflake, never to be seen again?

You are more optimistic than I am.

Michelle Bachman wanted it.

Cite, please? Thanks in advance.

You don't supposed the GOP's own, openly and repeatedly stated vow to ensure the failure of the Obama Administration had anything to do with that, do you?

Just noting that Brett's embrasure of facts is, in this case, commendable & accurate. Baby steps.

Just the longest sustained period of economic growth in the nation’s history, with 23 million jobs created.

Post hoc. If your point is that those tax rate increases caused the dotcom bubble to form (and inevitably burst) you're going to have to do some more work than this. Otherwise I will regard this with approximately the same askance-ness as I regard any other unevidenced ain't-we-great assertion.

This means that the Republicans, to a man, are all supportive of the shutdown and really don't give a flip about all the things that are closed because they can't get their way.

Likely not so.

As hairshirt notes, we would discover the fact of the matter in a New York minute if the House would vote on a clean continuing resolution.

And even Hastert is now saying there is no Hastert rule. Not that any such rule prevents calling a vote in the first place.

“We’re very excited,” said Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). “It’s exactly what we wanted, and we got it.”

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-09-28/politics/42481675_1_house-republicans-shutdown-conservative-members

“We’re very excited,” said Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). “It’s exactly what we wanted, and we got it.”

Not mentioned: what "It" is.

Here's what she said, elsewhere:

Hannity expressed concerns that some Republicans are “buckling” under pressure to end the shutdown, but Bachmann’s assured that they’re holding together for now. She added, “This is about the happiest I’ve seen members in a long time because we’ve seen we’re starting to win this dialogue on a national level.”

My bold.

My point: she is not explicitly saying she wants the government shut down. She's saying that she is happy the Republicans have acquired themselves, at long last, a lever sufficient to the task they've set out on.

Which you might condemn, and probably have, and might also say amounts to the same thing.

to me, the bottom line here is that the folks who don't want the ACA have, repeatedly, failed to muster the votes to 86 it.

they talk about how the majority of americans don't want it. but the way that is demonstrated in our particular polity is that your reps vote on it.

if you have the votes, you win the day. donkey, elephant, zebra, orangutan, doesn't matter. add them up, if you have more than the other side, you win. if you don't, you don't.

a minority finding a lever adequate to preventing the majority will from becoming law is an interesting thing, and i'm sure they're delighted to have discovered it, but that doesn't come close to "winning (a) dialogue on a national level".

it's not even a dialogue.

Michelle Bachmann:

http://www.policymic.com/articles/66021/government-shutdown-8-people-who-are-actually-happy-about-it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTl2Rgtluw4

I see cleek is ahead of me here.

Asking for evidence that Michelle Bachmann wanted and is ecstatic, and testifies that her "colleagues" are equally so, about anything that damages government, and hurts Federal employees, private contractors and social service programs is like hunting around for evidence of my use of the word "vermin".

But let's pause these proceedings and ask for a continuance while truckloads of evidence are carted into chambers and examined by the Judge to determine if, in fact, potatoes contain huge amounts of potassium, the sun, it rises in the East, and Michelle Bachmann is atop the cheerleader pyramid in the Sadist's Glee Club.

Smiley icon and cripes.

If your point is that those tax rate increases caused the dotcom bubble to form (and inevitably burst) you're going to have to do some more work than this.

I think the point was simply that Republican predictions were wrong. There was no exacerbation of the recession. Rather, the opposite occurred.

The point isn't a matter of evidence of causation of a particular effect, but a matter not just of a lack of evidence of causation of the opposite effect, but evidence against causation of the opposite effect.

Oh, she's the "it" girl.

'Not mentioned: what "It" is.'

Could Jesurgislac please show up and testify to the absolutely classic Slartiness of that statement.

Other than the current linkage? You think this is a snowflake, never to be seen again?

I would say that depends. There have been numerous "shutdowns" since the Carter Administration (there's some really interesting history there). I would say this one is rather unique, given the policy dimension that was put into play by the GOP. Now one could argue that with increasing political polarization you will see more showdowns like this. That is reasonable, but that trend is not something driven by the budgetary process. That legislative process is pretty much unchanged.

Perhaps I was not clear. The debt ceiling limit is not a part of this impasse. That's next week's crisis I hear. That is the linkage I said I did not see. As for being in the red, that is generally the case. So it depends on your judgment as to what constitutes "far" and the effects you theorize we will see as a result of going there.

Hope that makes this snowflake more special to you.

Regards,

"There's people in Washington who are grateful for this distraction."

Probably some truth to this, but it's a gift to Obama by the Tea Party types.

See, LJ, that's why I laugh at this "reality based community" jazz. Nice concept, but when the rubber hits the road, if somebody whose politics you don't like points out an objective factual error, like, no, there weren't any Republican votes for the ACA, it gets blown off.

Why can't you just admit he got that wrong, and move on? But, no, you've got to pretend that objectively untrue statements somehow aren't false.

On the other hand GOPsters complain that Obama is willing to speak with Iran but not with them.
Well, I'd say that says more about them than Obama.
Btw, do we have any claims yet that the whole shutdown ist just a Dem distraction from Benghazi (or the birth certificate)?

I think the point was simply that Republican predictions were wrong. There was no exacerbation of the recession. Rather, the opposite occurred.

I'm sure the failure of the Republicans to predict the dotcom bubble is at least as big as the failure of absolutely everyone else to predict same.

I'm going to chalk this one up to: example that does nothing to negate or support the larger point.

The debt ceiling limit is not a part of this impasse.

Yes, you are correct. I keep getting these two things confused. Thanks for correcting.

Bigger picture, though: this could just keep happening whenever we need a CR or a raise of the debt ceiling.

Could Jesurgislac please show up and testify to the absolutely classic Slartiness of that statement.

It's completely Slarty to want to know what antecedents of indefinite pronouns are.

Questions of context are deemed important in other situations. I guess it all depends on how convenient (or, if I may be allowed: un-Slarty) it is to ignore said context.

Probably some truth to this, but it's a gift to Obama by the Tea Party types.

Don't forget that expansion of NSA surveillance preceded the Obama administration, so there may be some skin in the game, here.

But good point. My cynical side would want to know the tat that goes along with the tit, so to speak.

I'm not sure Walter White really wanted "it".

He just made "it" up as went along, a series of strategies and sufficient levers to achieve "it".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6CjCEyAJ2s

Aw, heck, maybe Doc Science's "entertainment" theory and Slart's "leverage" theory, though seemingly different in context, have merged into perfect it-ness.

I will concede that if Michelle Bachmann was asked what the antecedent of the pronoun "it" is, she would, without disturbing that 1000-mile stare and that million-watt, mirthless grin, ask for a time out and huddle with an aid to ask "What is "it" again?"

I found "it".

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

H. L. Mencken

Brett, speaking of reality, can you agree that if there were a vote on a CR in the House now, that it would pass with some R support and that the shutdown would end?

...like, no, there weren't any Republican votes for the ACA, it gets blown off.

It appears to me that lj is mistaken about where you are claiming elephant unanimity. He's talking about who would vote for a CR that included funding for the ACA, whereas you're talking about who voted for the ACA in 2010. That may well be wherein lies the rub, when the rubber meets the road.

Brett, you were doing pretty well until you got to this:
The party that passed it insists that either it gets funded, or the entire government must shut down.

See, the problem is that the ACA is already fully funded. No further action required. The Continuing Resolution (the "clean" one the Senate keeps sending to the House) contains zero dollars for the ACA.

So the government has been shut down, even though doing so results in no change to the funding, and no halt in the roll-out, of Obamacare. So it's hard to see how the fault is on the folks who are looking at not making a change, rather than on those who are demanding that one be made.

Yeah, Boehner's strategy is as dependent on preventing the House from voting on what Democrats prefer, as Reid's is on keeping the Senate from voting on Republican proposals. That's why Reid has to 'fill the tree', so that nobody in his own caucus has the option of voting for Republican amendments.

Neither of them could win a freely conducted debate and vote.

Paul Waldman had a cogent column on September 27 which explains it well.

http://prospect.org/article/memo-republicans-you-lost-now-deal-it

An excerpt:

Imagine you're a third-grade teacher, and the school announces that all the classrooms are going to be repainted, and the kids will get to choose the colors. You let your students each make a case for the color they'd like for their classroom, and it comes down to a choice between blue and green. The two sides give cute little speeches to the class about their favorite colors, and then you take a vote. There are 20 kids in the class; 12 choose blue and 8 choose green. Blue it is.

But then the kids who wanted green insist that the color has to be green. They go to the principal's office and make their case that blue sucks and green rules. The principal tells them that the class chose blue, so the walls are going to be blue. Then the pro-green kids return and say that since there was a new kid who joined the class since the vote, we have to have the vote again. Another vote is held; it's still blue. Then the pro-green kids announce that because anyone can see that blue is sucky, they're going to write in green magic marker on any wall that gets painted blue. Then they announce that if the walls get painted blue, they're going to break the windows in the classroom, smash the chairs, and fling the contents of everybody's cubby on the floor.

When they're told they can't do that, they say, "OK, tell you what: we'll refrain from breaking the windows and trashing the class, but only if you give us pro-green kids cupcakes every day, excuse us from homework for the rest of the year, and let us choose all the games we play at recess. It's either that, or we start smashing." Would you respond to these children, "Well, what if we just give you the cupcakes?" Of course not. You'd say, "Listen, you psychotic little turds. The goddamn walls are going to be blue. YOU LOST. Now suck it up."

Okay, so if you were a third-grade teacher you wouldn't actually say that. But you'd think it. And that's where we are today. Republicans argued against the Affordable Care Act when it was moving through Congress. A vote was held, and they lost. Then they went to the Supreme Court and asked for the law to be overturned. They lost. Then they tried to defeat the president who passed the law and replace him with a guy who promised to repeal it. They lost. Now they're saying that if they don't get what they want, they're going to trash the place.


Brett, I thank you for the corrections. I was thinking of the bipartisan committee work in the runup, and the way that Obama courted Snow. If ObWi comments had 'edit', I'd gladly amend my little story to be a more faithful simile of the actual history.

That would have the advantage of making the story more comprehensible to a four-year-old, who is most likely to be familiar with games in which the teams on opposite sides do not cooperate to score goals, ever, except by accident.

Of course, there's the disadvantage that the four-year-old would learn less about how governance is different from sports, and can include cooperation and common goals that both sides can celebrate, when both sides are willing.

However, the moral point remains: the Republicans, in a snit over a perfectly valid goal made by the other side, have decided to quit playing by the rules, and are threatening to kick over the board. In the world of sports, inability to accept disappointment in good grace is mere childishness (or hooliganism in adults); if pursued at length in politics it leads to actual shooting wars. We fought a war over nullification; nullification lost. So did 600,000 young men, and those who loved them.


Since you apparently did not follow the link, I'll remind you of a bit of recent history:

Here are some things that happened on the night the GOP pushed the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit through the House of Representatives:
A 15-minute vote was scheduled, and at the end of 15 minutes, the Democrats had won. The Republican leadership froze the clock for three hours while they desperately whipped defectors. This had never been done before. The closest was a 15-minute extension in 1987 that then-congressman Dick Cheney called “the most arrogant, heavy-handed abuse of power I’ve ever seen in the 10 years that I’ve been here.”
Tom DeLay bribed Rep. Nick Smith to vote for the legislation, using the political future of Smith's son for leverage. DeLay was later reprimanded by the House Ethics Committee.

And yet, even after such shenanigans, the Democrats accepted that they were defeated according to the letter of the rules of the game, and kept playing. Medicare Part B is part of the law of the land. We didn't set the ball on fire.

In full-on tantrum mode, you and your party are not cutting an admirable figure on the world stage (again) and everyone sees it. Why are you not embarassed by your own self-imposed disgace as open and defiant cheaters? What do you think of the four year old who lies redfaced on the supermarket floor writhing and screaming "No no no no no no. I don't want to." ?

I can't resist responding to lj's original request. And I'm fond enough of Brett's initial post that I have taken the liberty of plagerizing most of the first 2 1/2 paragraphs from it:

Several years ago, one party in America passed a major law which was extremely unpopular with the other party. They barely got it through the lower chamber of the legislature, getting no votes of the opposing party [even after making dozens of changes that the other party requested].

They then lost control of that lower chamber, in part because of the passage of this law. Because of this, if it were ever put up to a vote again, everyone knows it could never be reenacted by that chamber.

The members of the opposition party, knowing that the best chance they have to repeal this law is before it fully takes effect, are attempting to force its suspension by refusing to fund it. They insist that either it gets defunded, or the entire government must shut down.

So far they have been successful in forcing a government shutdown, and are currently arranging things to hurt people as much as possible during it. Their hope being that the other party will take the blame. At this point, very preliminary evidence suggests that their hopes will be realized only among their existing strong supporters. But for the nation as a whole, they will take the blame.

See, the problem is that the ACA is already fully funded. No further action required. The Continuing Resolution (the "clean" one the Senate keeps sending to the House) contains zero dollars for the ACA.

So this:

"He's talking about who would vote for a CR that included funding for the ACA..."

Should read:

"He's talking about who would vote for a CR that didn't defund the ACA..."

Thanks, bobbyp!

Make that wj, not bobbyp.

The explanation requested for lj's daughter, given lj's current living circumstances in Japan which include a private/employer universal health insurance system, including coverage of pre-existing conditions, that sounds remarkably like the mixed private employer/ACA system nascent here ......

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_system_in_Japan

.... would be considerably different if lj and his family lived in this country and they were not able to afford medical insurance and one of his children (God forbid, although the Republican God does not forbid, in fact, it demands, on pain of shutting down the government and defaulting on the debt, that should happen) suffered from a very expensive, life-threatening disease which would at the very least send her family into penury and at some point cause them to pull the plug on treatment (you know how families are just like governments, sitting around the kitchen table deciding tomorrow's budget priorities).

The 'splaining might be a little more touch and go.

So --- leaving aside Brett, who, after all wields no power --- for most of us to ask the Republicans in the House and Senate who voted unanimously against the ACA and now want to gut the program entirely and return to a system of insurance which permits the refusal of insurance for pre-existing conditions and which would leave tens of millions of Americans uninsured, seems not a little like Sharon Tate asking her Manson Family guests: "Chuck, Susan, speaking of reality, would you agree that smearing my family's blood on the wall, setting aside our murders, would you agree that if there was a vote on whether to proceed with your plan tonight, that many of you might decide to head back to the Ranch?"*

Or perhaps a similar polite, reasonable question to Joe Stalin about the advisability of starving the Ukraine.

It's very courteous of us to exhibit such forbearance in the face abject murder, but I prefer Russell's pissed-off comment way upthread.

*Manson might pause, turn down the volume on "Helter-Skelter", and reply: "Ms Tate, may I call you Sharon, that's a very well-thought-out question, and by the way, I appreciate that you have not called my family and I "vermin", as some are wont to do. Now .. I'm sorry, what was the question again, bwaha-ha-ha?

meanwhile....

"called my family and I .."

Manson's grammar was murderous, too.

Brett - fail
Countme - good question.
Laura - fail
Bernard - fail
joel - fail; fail; fail
russell - close, & clear - but not reallyexplicative
russell (threadjack) - Way to go !! (But utter fail... and now you have to explain f*ck, too.)
hartmut - no four year old I ever encountered had that long of an attention span.
bobbyp - who's Stalin ?
bobbyp - no, it doesn't

.... (lost the will to live)

wj (plagiarising Brett: very close)


Then it came to me: introduce her to Brett (in a strictly supervised environment).
All would be then clear.

"have decided to quit playing by the rules"

See, that's where we don't agree: The Republicans ARE playing by the rules. The rules say both chambers have to agree on legislation for it to become law. They do NOT say that one chamber can not use this as leverage to force the other chamber to go along with something it doesn't want. They don't say that programs, once enacted, have to be funded. They don't mandate that you prevail.

The Republicans are playing a hard game, they are taking every advantage of what the rules permit them to do, but what they are NOT doing is violating the rules. Any more than the Democrats are, in amending the Republican CRs to make them 'clean'. Both sides collaborated in forcing this shutdown, because both sides would rather win than keep the government running.

And the rules permit this. The rules don't require that anything except debt service be funded, after all.

Since lj mentioned "Philadelphia";

Remember when employers not only fired folks because of the nature of their disease, but because they didn't want to carry them on their group health plans, and insurance companies were able to strip coverage from their sick patients.

Well, savage freedom still rings pretty much for the first two items, but the ACA soothes the savage breast by disallowing the third.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPXGawYznno

Both sides collaborated in forcing this shutdown,

complete fncking bullshit.

Fallows almost has it:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/10/jfk-oswald-differences-lead-to-violence-and-other-great-headlines-of-yesteryear/280294/

- On the one hand, the House could do what a majority of its own members (R and D) clearly want, and that is in keeping with what usually happens through the years, decades, and centuries. Namely, keep the government open without making its very operation conditional on other demands. OR

- On the other, the Senate could accept the House's bill -- which keeps the government open but also undoes Obamacare -- even though a majority of its members consider this anathema, it goes against all precedent, and it would force a recently re-elected president to accept the minority-opposition program. 

As a matter of politics, people can differ on which of those results they would prefer. But I don't think many people outside DC journalism would think of calling them equally "reasonable."

Though I have to mark him down for using 'anathema'.

I was thinking about this during lunch today, and I have to agree with Brett that they are, in fact, playing by the rules. They're just digging very deep into rules more reasonable people wouldn't put into play under these same circumstances. And some of those rules may be rather stupid, since they allow what's now going on.

Not playing by the rules would be starting a coup or something. Not that I think what they're doing is right. It's manipulative, unnecessary and damaging, but not against the rules.

Short of changing the rules, or the other side finding rules to exploit, the solution is going to be political. That political solution is going to hurt the GOP in the end, which, in and of itself, is just fine.

Too bad we can't avoid the damage in the meantime.

I have to agree with Brett that they are, in fact, playing by the rules. They're just digging very deep into rules more reasonable people wouldn't put into play under these same circumstances.

Indeed - they are using the rules to say 'give in, or we stop everything'.

Of course, if the other side gives in, they will do the same thing all over again within a fairly short period of time.

The 'rules' allow them to do all this - but that does not make it civilised behaviour - and those of us in the rest of the world, who are also likely to be affected by this display if it goes on for much longer, quite rightly condemn them as a bunch of selfish idiots.

"The rules don't require that anything except debt service be funded, after all."

I look forward to the new rules ... after all .... that is done.

Considering that "anything" includes the military and much of the National Guard, and all of those cool killing machines purchased for local police forces, and the funds required to impose martial law on the rampaging population who will be butchering the Republicans and their families and their media talking heads, and I expect Democrats and their families as well, because once you get mob "rule" going, them old rules, they don't work any more....

....I'd counsel everyone to hide.

"Both sides collaborated in forcing this shutdown, because both sides would rather win than keep the government running." This right here is top grade bullshit.

While it's true the 'rules' may allow you to say, "Do exactly as I say or I blow up the building!" When the other guy doesn't do what you want and the building gets blown, its on YOU not him.

I find it fascinating to watch the Republican faithful both take credit for the shutdown and demand the shutdown is not their fault at the same time.

Alex Rodriquez is another hopeless romantic cheat and liar, like Ted Cruz and the rest of the usual suspects, who plays a hard "game" too and likes hard and fast rules adjudicated for everyone else but reserves the loophole variety for himself.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/alex-rodriguez-files-suit-against-selig-mlb-2013-10-04-141033911?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Brett, I can't decide if you were one of those officious hall monitors in junior high with a whistle who imposed absolute by the book rules on the hall traffic, and if the rules were not followed absolutely you shut down the school and defaulted on the school assembly debt, or were you one of the libertarians walking with me who meandered as we pleased and flipped off the rule-makers.

Let me guess, you didn't attend school at all, because of higher and more pristine rules of your own, did ya?

I find it fascinating to watch the Republican faithful both take credit for the shutdown and demand the shutdown is not their fault at the same time.

indeed it is.

why it's almost enough to make one think that everything the GOP faithful has to say about this is bullshit.

They don't mandate that you prevail.

True as stated.

What's normally the case is that you have to actually prevail - you have to actually have more votes - to have your will enacted in law.

Or, conversely, to have standing law overturned or ignored.

The novelty here is that, having failed to prevail, the House (R)'s, or more correctly some number of them, refuse to allow the process to continue.

I guess there oughta be a rule, or some kind of mandate, that would disallow that, but it's a sad state of affairs that such a thing is even needed.

This right here is top grade bullshit.

Actually, taking Frankfurt's theory of bullsh*t as the standard, this is not actually bullsh*t.

It's a lie. It's factually not the case, and is presented specifically to obscure what is factually the case.

The shutdown is unpopular, so the House (R)'s responsible for causing it want to pin it on somebody else.

Note that failing to take the necessary procedural steps to ensure the continued operation of government is not the unfortunate consequence of a basic inability to come to agreement. It's a deliberately chosen strategy - a "lever" - to force folks to accept a minority position that has lost, and lost, and lost, and lost, and lost.

It is a deliberately chosen strategy to frustrate and derail the proper and lawful operation of our political process.

Brett's statement is not bullsh*t, bullsh*t is when you make statements whose truth value is more or less irrelevant.

Brett's statement is factually false, and is stated not for some instrumental purpose unrelated to its truth or falsehood, but to deliberately obscure the truth of the matter.

It is a lie.

joel - fail; fail; fail

Thanks for your input.
I shall endeavor to improve.

@russell

I acknowledge my mistake. It wasn't bullshit, it was a deliberate lie.

Thank you for the correction.

If you didn't prefer shutdown to winning, all you had to do last week was lose, and there wouldn't have been a shutdown. So stop feeding ME BS: There Democrats were, before the whole world, with a choice: Let Obamacare be defunded, or shut down the government.

And you chose the government shutting down.

Maybe you think that was the right choice, maybe you'd rather have had a third choice, but it WAS the choice you made. You chose shutdown over defunding. Just as the Republicans chose shutdown over funding.

Neither of you are ENTITLED to win this fight. Get that idea out of your heads.

I don't see justice on either side of this fight. Both sides are acting like spoiled children, and neither side's leadership is fighting for a position which could prevail in a free legislative vote, which is why Reid 'fills the tree' to prevent amendments his own party favors. But neither side is "breaking the rules", either, unless you count some illegal private park closures by Obama.

The ACA was rammed through the House as a party loyalty vote, and then a special election and the reaction of the voters assured you'd never, ever, get it through the House again. You could have dropped it then, or reworked it so that it had a chance of passing, but you didn't: You took the first draft, buggy as hell verision you'd barely gotten once through the House, rushed it through the Senate before everything in it could become public, and made it a law knowing that it was a load of crap. Because it was the big legislative accomplishment Obama needed, and that it was crap didn't matter.

So here it is, a zombie of a law, impossible to repeal because the Senate won't allow it, impossible to repair because the House only wants to kill it, being wildly patched by one contrary to the actual text executive fiat after another, because it can't work as written, but by Obama decree can not be altered.

And you imagine the House Republicans are terrorists and hostage takers because they exercise every power they legally have to try to stop it, but you're not when you shut down the government rather than let them succeed.

It would be joke if the damage weren't so awful.

More sore losers, who at least admit they were personally injured by extending healthcare insurance to more deserving Americans.

http://www.governing.com/news/state/Lawsuit-Challenging-Arizonas-Medicaid-Expansion-Has-No-Merit-Says-Governors-Lawyers.html

Should they continue this murderous behavior, they should be injured, personally.

When russell said

I guess there oughta be a rule, or some kind of mandate, that would disallow that, but it's a sad state of affairs that such a thing is even needed.

it sparked a memory, but I can't seem to google for it effectively.

There are two sets of rules in every group of people: the ones that are explicitly acknowledged, usually codified and written down, that everyone has agreed to play by: Roberts' Rules of Order, Hoyle's Rules of Games, etc.

But every sizeable group of people also has unwritten rules. If ALL the rules were written down, there would be so many that the organization would have time for nothing else.

In sports, these unwritten rules are called "good sportsmanship". I can't remember the googlable phrase (from sociology? managment studies? I don't know) for such rules in corporations, unions, schools, government bodies, etc. But there is one!

I recall reading something -- maybe written during the 2011 default tango -- about how the GOP was no longer playing by the unwritten rules of Congressional good sportsmanship. They were within "The Rules", the codified ones -- but only the way the kind of D&D player who's called a Rules Lawyer: "who attempts to use the letter of the law without reference to the spirit, usually in order to gain an advantage within that environment."

The House GOP are being Rules Lawyers. They're exploiting the codified rules without regard to the spirit of the US Congress, and especially without regard to the *point* of this particular game: which is governance in a republic of conflicting interests.

Just as the Republicans chose shutdown over funding.

This is a blatant lie, as has been pointed out above, Brett. The Republicans caved to their vocal minority and chose shutdown over not defunding.

they are, in fact, playing by the rules. They're just digging very deep into rules more reasonable people wouldn't put into play under these same circumstances.

Indeed - they are using the rules to say 'give in, or we stop everything'.

These are valid points.

I do still think that it's pretty skeevy exploit a rule that technically allows the away team burn down the football stadium unless the refs are overruled and the score changed back to their preferred tally --(I'm taking here about the threat to actually force default in a couple weeks, not the threat over raising the debt limit, which I had analogized as taking the ball and not letting anyone else have it) -- it seems to me that there's a certain lack of proportion between the thing objected to and the lever applied -- but I accept that proportionality is quite obviously in the eye of the beholder.

Brett, let me see if I am understanding you properly. Suppose someone decides that they want to totally eliminate all Federal spending spending (including Social Security and Medicare, defense, etc.) in all Republican Congressional districts, and they tie that to a CR. Does that mean that Republicans are at fault for a shutdown if they decline to agree to overturn all the various laws involved? Even though legislation to do so would have zero chance of passing otherwise.

Because that seems to be a reasonable and logical next step. If I can get half of one house to agree to something, and tie that to keeping the government up and running (or to avoiding defaulting), then I should get my way.

Is that really what you mean to say? Or have I somehow misunderstood you?

So stop feeding ME BS: There Democrats were, before the whole world, with a choice: Let Obamacare be defunded, or shut down the government.

i swear, i can't tell if the people who repeat this think they're wielding some kind of fearsome +5 Logic axe or if they're trolling the rest of us by pretending to be a snotty nine year old.

wj, that's ridiculous. The Republicans would absolutely not be "at fault" for your hypothetical shutdown showdown.

They'd be "equally at fault".

Geez. Use some common sense here.

Correction: Just as the Republicans chose shutdown over funding not defunding.

The Democrats were forced to choose between shutdown and defunding. The Republicans chose to limit themselves, and Democrats, to that choice.

You're ignoring the fact that Republicans precipitated the whole deal, or you are pretending that they had no choice but to do it.

If the ACA is so bad, it shouldn't be that hard to repeal once everyone gets to see how it goes for some amount of time. Even if it proves unworkable, it's not going to be nearly as bad as a shutdown on day one.

all you had to do last week was lose, and there wouldn't have been a shutdown.

First of all, unless I have been elected to the Senate without my knowledge, the "you" here is misplaced.

Second, what you are lumping under "all you had to do ... was lose" is basically to reverse all of the following:

1. the original passage of the ACA
2. the failure of numerous attempts SINCE THE (R) REGAINED A MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE to overturn the law
3. the failure of numerous attempts to challenge the law on constitutional grounds, culminating in a SCOTUS decision
4. the failure to elect a Presidential candidate who made the overturning of the ACA a significant part of his platform

So yes, if the Senate had been willing to put aside, by fiat, years of governmental process and decision making, they would have been able to accommodate the House (R)'s, and the shutdown would have been averted.

I look forward to this being the new standard for decision making. Don't you?

To address this:

a special election and the reaction of the voters assured you'd never, ever, get it through the House again.

Here is a summary of the level of effort expended by the House (R) *since gaining the majority in 2011* to overturn or otherwise cripple the ACA.

They DID NOT PREVAIL.

I don't care what your opinion of the ACA is. My opinion is mixed. None of that matters at this point, frankly, because good, bad, or indifferent (or, more likely, some combination of all of those things) it is now the law.

If the House (R)'s want to continue to repeal, modify, defund, or any other form of screwing with the ACA, they are welcome to do so. They will have ample opportunity, the actual implementation of the law will take years to roll out. A number of details have already been modified or removed, I'm sure more will be as time goes on.

What the House (R)'s are not entitled to do is to prevent normal government operations until they get their way.

They aren't going to get their way. They don't have the votes.

Kindly re-read that last sentence.

And because THEY DO NOT HAVE THE VOTES, they in fact ought not get their way.

They should knock this stupid sh*t off and let everybody get to work.

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