A Philosopher's Blog

The Day After

Posted in Ethics, Law, Philosophy, Politics by Michael LaBossiere on October 18, 2013
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According to the Republicans, the initial motivation for the shutdown came from their desire to prevent the damage they alleged will be inflicted by Obamacare. It is thus rather ironic that their shutdown, as a matter of fact, cost the United States about $24 billion and slowed growth. It also harmed the government employees who were furloughed and the other Americans who were impacted directly by the shutdown. Naturally, it also impacted how we are perceived by the rest of the world. As such, the Republican strategy to protect America seems to have the exact opposite effect. Thus it is no wonder that while the majority of the public disapproves of the way the situation was handled, the Republicans are bearing the brunt of this disapproval.

One counter is to endeavor to lay the blame on the Democrats. Fox, for example, did its best to spin the story so that the Democrats were morally accountable for the shutdown. This does raise an interesting question about responsibility (and perceived responsibility).

In terms of the facts, the Republicans initially insisted that, on the pain of putting the government on the path to shutdown, Obamacare be delayed or defunded. Obama and the Democrats noted that Obamacare is a law and that it had been ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court. As such, they refused to negotiate the matter. Given that Obama had yielded in the past, the Republicans probably expected that he would yield once more. However, he did not and the shutdown went on until the brink of the default.

The facts would seem to show that the Republicans bear the moral blame for the shutdown. After all, the law was passed and upheld in accord with the constitutional process. That is, it was done by the proper rules. The Republicans partially shut down the government and threatened to take the country into default if they did not get what they wanted. Obviously enough, this sort of thing is not in accord with constitutional process. That is, the Republicans were not acting in accord with the proper rules and the Democrats refused to give in to them.

To use an analogy I have used before, this is like having the Red Sox beat the Yankees in a legitimate game and then having the Yankees threaten to burn down the stadium if the Red Sox refuse to negotiate the outcome of the game. If the Yankees then set the stadium on fire, it is not the fault of the Red Sox-they are under no obligation to yield to the unwarranted demands of the Yankees. The Yankees bear full blame for the burning of the stadium. As such, the Republicans bear the blame for the shutdown and the damage it caused. As a general rule, if someone threatens to do harm to others if he does not get what he wants, then the responsibility for the harm he inflicts rests on him and not on those who refuse to give him what he has no right to demand by means of a threat.

It could be countered that Obamacare is so bad, “the worst thing in our country since slavery”, that the Republicans were in the right to inflict such harms in order to try to stop it. It could even be argued that by passing such a wicked and destructive law the Democrats are to blame-the Republicans had to take such extreme measures in order to try to save America.

This, obviously enough, rests on establishing that the law is so wicked and destructive that such extreme measures are warranted. It would also involve showing that the damage done by the Republican strategy is outweighed by the harms that the strategy was supposed to prevent. This would most likely involve a utilitarian assessment of the harms and benefits.

The damage done by the Republican strategy is known: $24 billion in 16 days. Obamacare would certainly have to deal some serious damage in order to match that, but perhaps it can be shown that this will be the case. As it stands, there are only guesses about what the impact of Obamacare will be. There is plenty of rhetoric and hyperbole, but little in the way of disinterested, rational analysis. However, it does seem reasonable to believe that Obamacare will not be the worst thing since slavery (let alone as bad as slavery) and that it will not destroy America. After all, its main impacts will be that people without insurance will need to get some (or pay a small fine) and that large employers will need to provide insurance (or pay a small fine) or evade the law by cutting employee hours. Even if the worst case scenario is considered, it will hardly match the hyperbole. As such, Obamacare does not seem bad enough to warrant the Republican strategy.

To be fair, the Republicans might honestly believe that Obamacare is as bad as they claim. That is, they believe their own hyperbole and rhetoric. If this is true, they could be morally excused to the degree that they followed their informed consciences. However, if they are operating from willful ignorance or do not really believe their own hyperbole, then they would have behaved wrongly—both in their hyperbole and their actions based on this.

In any case, most Americans do blame the Republicans and this is one of the political impacts of the shutdown. Whether this has an effect on the upcoming elections remains to be seen—as many pundits have noted, voters often have a short memory. As with the alleged damage of Obamacare, we will have to wait and see.

As a final point, one ironic effect of the shutdown is that it gave the Democrats an amazing distraction from the real problems with the implementation of Obamacare. One legitimate concern is the fact that employers get a one year delay in implementing Obamacare while individuals have been denied this same option. This, on the face of it, is unfair and the main “defense” of this has been the use of the red herring and smokescreen, as I noted in an earlier essay. While the Republicans did initially want to delay Obamacare for a year, they handled this poorly and instead decided to go with hyperbole and a shutdown. What could have been a potential win for them turned into what seems to be a major loss. A second legitimate concern is the problems plaguing the sign up and implementation of Obamacare. While there were some attempts to raise criticism about these serious problems, the shutdown dominated the center ring of the political circus. Thus, what could have been a reasonable criticism of Obamacare was drowned out by the Republicans themselves. In the Game of Obamacare, you win or you die. The Republicans did not win.

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  1. Quote for the day | Civil Commotion said, on October 18, 2013 at 8:20 am

    […] Michael LaBossiere […]

  2. magus71 said, on October 18, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Obama has gotten everything he’s wanted. And the whining continues.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 18, 2013 at 11:08 am

      Everything? That does not seem true. Obamacare was a massive compromise. The budget will be a massive compromise.

      • WTP said, on October 18, 2013 at 11:16 am

        Obamacare was a massive compromise

        Note the new narrative. Why is it colloquially known as Obamacare? Where was all this compromise? Republicans were shut out of the decision making process. The new narrative about Obamacare being a “massive compromise” has only started since the disaster of it became apparent. Success has many fathers but failure is an orphan. So “educators” like Mike, and the media, will repeat this lie that it wasn’t really their plan over and over until enough time passes that everyone forgets the facts and believes the lies to be true.

        Also, is this not the typical approach taken by socialists when their policies fail? Oh, we couldn’t go far enough because those evil greedy capitalists wouldn’t let us. As with every example of socialism failing across the globe and across the years, the excuse is “well, it wasn’t done right”. No shit sherlock. That’s the problem. It can’t be “done right” because it’s a static-state ideology forced upon a dynamic world.

        • magus71 said, on October 18, 2013 at 7:03 pm

          Now when Obamacare fails, they can say it was the Republicans who wanted it.

          • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 19, 2013 at 5:02 pm

            Who? The Democrats? I suspect that it will work out like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid: a rough shakedown, then it will (as some Republicans have predicted) become so entrenched and wanted that few politicians will dare touch it.

            I think that it has serious defects. However, the Republican alternative just seems to be the status quo. They had many opportunities to offer alternatives, but did not. Well, other than the emergency room option. That option is just inefficient socialism.

            • magus71 said, on October 21, 2013 at 5:42 am

              So the options were socialized medicine, or socialized medicine.

              “I think that it has serious defects.” So serious, in fact, that it is worse than the emergency room option. Which is why I was and remain, against it.

            • T. J. Babson said, on October 21, 2013 at 8:05 am

              I have a theory. Maybe the shutdown was the only way the GOP could reach low information voters with the fact that they were against Obamacare?

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm

              Do you mean they did it to inform voters of their view? I would think that their regular appearances on TV would do that.

            • T. J. Babson said, on October 21, 2013 at 8:10 am

              So now all of those people who don’t have an ID are supposed to navigate some incredibly complicated website and purchase insurance — or else pay a fine.

              Sounds racist to me.

            • magus71 said, on October 21, 2013 at 9:20 am

              Our children are the children of hoarders. When asked if they should get rid of most of their stuff, hoarders will agree that they should. Pick pick one item out of the mountain of useless stuff to throw away, and the hoarder will make every argument as to why it shouldn’t be tossed. Just like liberals when it comes to government spending.

            • magus71 said, on October 21, 2013 at 9:21 am

              And as you can see from the video, hoarders don’t really care that much what their hoarding is doing to others.

            • T. J. Babson said, on October 21, 2013 at 9:29 am

              Good analogy. Explains why Dems believe you can never have too much government. Also explains why Mike seems to think that any attempt to cut government will be like living in the Congo.

  3. ajmacdonaldjr said, on October 18, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I think you’re missing the big picture. The GOP succeeded in what it wanted to do. The GOP is in a difficult position, politically speaking, and is fighting for its viability as a party. Since the GOP remains intact, for now, it has succeeded.

    You have to understand how congress functions, and you need to stop paying attention to media interpretations of how congress functions, as the two are not the same. (Read Politico for what’s really happening behind the curtain in DC — http://www.politico.com/)

    It should be obvious what is occurring in congress regarding the GOP. Because what is occurring is hardly new. It is business as usual, with the difference, now, being that the GOP’s existence as a viable party is now in question, for the first time in its 150+ year history.

    There are two factions within the GOP, and the GOP leadership is “herding cats” in order to keep the GOP from tearing itself apart.

    That being said, you need to realize the GOP leadership accomplishes this “cat herding” by counting members’ heads (=votes) and calculating members’ vulnerabilities (= secure vs insecure seats), as per usual, and by pitting one faction — the new, upstart TEA Party members — against the other faction — the old, established GOP.

    This results in what appears to be a dissension within the ranks of the GOP, which it is, but this dissension, because it is being cleverly controlled (= cat herding), for all practical purposes, only appears to be a dissension within the ranks of the GOP, since it is (for now) controlled. (Think: Rand Paul vs John McCain here)

    This amounts to the TEA Party functioning as a controlled opposition with the GOP, since it is being managed (= cat herding), and since the TEA Party was, long ago, co-opted from it’s original, grassroots, anti-war Ron Paul following into becoming an establishment pro-war, pro-Israel, Sarah Palin style Capitol Hill coalition within congress, which is not at all what the people at the grass roots wanted it to be.

    For now, the GOP house leaders (Gentile) Boehner and (Jewish) Cantor are managing to herd the TEA Party cats, but this is only a temporary situation.

    As with the so-called “Arab Spring” (A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the (Jewish state) Realm (1996) the US congress is undergoing a changing of the guard, due to aging members dying-off, and new, Israel-friendly members are being placed within it, who will take the places of the older, dying-off, Israel-friendly members.

    US political philosophy (and revolution) only comes in two (2) styles: 1) Enlightenment/Masonic; and 2) Judaistic/Biblical.

    The Democrats and Obama represent number 1, and the GOP represents number 2.

    These two styles compete, go back and forth, and will replay, like a broken record, for as long as the USA exists.

    Romney was supposed to beat Obama, and the Zionist GOP is furious he didn’t.

    See: A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Clean_Break:_A_New_Strategy_for_Securing_the_Realm

    See: POLITICO – Conservative pro-Israel groups’ relevance at risk in 2012 – http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1012/82656.html#ixzz2i5LTfUbQ

    See: US President George Washington on the DANGERS of foreign influence and alliances taken from Washington’s Farewell Address (1796) – http://wp.me/pPnn7-1yG

  4. T. J. Babson said, on October 18, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Let’s not forget that the Dems could have averted a shutdown if they had agreed to a 1-year delay of the individual mandate.

  5. The Day After | El blog de Juanjo said, on October 18, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    […] The Day After. […]

  6. T. J. Babson said, on October 18, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    A Pyrrhic victory for Obama. Too bad he want to be president for only half of America.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 19, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      He is president of all of America. Just as Bush was. That it is how it works. We agree to accept the winner, even if we do not vote for him. I didn’t vote for Bush and disagreed with him-but he was our guy. Now Obama is our guy.

      • T. J. Babson said, on October 19, 2013 at 5:10 pm

        I don’t remember Bush disparaging half the country the way Obama and the Dems do.

      • T. J. Babson said, on October 19, 2013 at 5:37 pm

        Please don’t (willfully?) misunderstand what I wrote. I don’t think Obama is capable of seeing the perspective of those who disagree with him.

      • T. J. Babson said, on October 20, 2013 at 2:05 pm

        Here is an example of what I mean. A Dem rep calls a lot of Americans “Domestic enemies.”

    • T. J. Babson said, on October 25, 2013 at 7:17 am

      Here is what I mean, Mike. Does Sebelius work for only Democrats? Evidently she thinks that.

      Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius responded moments ago to questions about whether she will resign in the wake of the Affordable Care Act’s problematic rollout. Her response is raising some eyebrows.

      “My goal is to actually get the website up and running,” she told reporters. “The majority of people calling for me to resign I would say are people who I don’t work for and who do not want this program to work in the first place. I have had frequent conversations with the president and I have committed to him that my role is to get the program up and running and we will do just that.”

      http://www.nationalreview.com/corner

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 25, 2013 at 11:41 am

        Technically, she works for the President not Congress. I’m reasonable sure that is what she meant.

        In any case, I’m not defending her handling of Obamacare.

        • WTP said, on October 25, 2013 at 5:25 pm

          She works for all of us. Congress is/are our representatives. She spent OUR money on this cluster-F and is accountable to ALL of us. Her “boss” should be informing her of this. It’s as if I contact a guy to put a patio in my yard and his guys start tromping all over my azaleas and whacking my fruit trees then having them tell me when I confront them that they don’t work for me, they work for their boss. Any successful company would fire such people.

        • T. J. Babson said, on October 25, 2013 at 6:08 pm

          “The majority of people calling for me to resign I would say are people who I don’t work for…”

          This clearly means she feels she works for more than one person.

          • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 26, 2013 at 12:27 pm

            The plural might refer to the people calling her to resign and not her boss. But, my capacity to care was exhausted immediately.

            The ball got dropped hard on the web rollout-but it seems to be the usual contractor boondoggle. Here is to hoping that the Republicans will get in there and fix the contractor system to avoid the seemingly endless horror stories of cost overruns and defective results. The defense contracts used to be the big messes-but Obamacare might be up there competing with the big boondoggles. Or bigdoggles.

  7. T. J. Babson said, on October 18, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    When Congress saved America from the perilous clutches of a federal government compelled to live within its means without running up the credit card, it came up with a doozy of a deal. From now until February 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of the Treasury can borrow as much as it pleases. Jack Lew and company aren’t wasting any time letting their freak flags fly. From October 16 to October 17 (that’s overnight, for the calendar-challenged), public debt outstanding jumped $328 billion, from $16.747 trillion to $17.076 trillion. Fast work, folks!

    http://reason.com/blog/2013/10/18/with-debt-ceiling-lifted-federal-governm

    No doubt the Dems will blame the debt on the GOP and Mike will regurgitate the Dem talking points.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 19, 2013 at 5:12 pm

      The debt is a shared thing-Congress and the President work to make that happen.

      But, we can look at the money trail and note the irony that the debt increased under Reagan, was handled under Clinton, then shot up dramatically under Bush. It is no wonder that some conservative thinkers have been so critical of the Bush era spending and big government.

      The idea that Republicans cut government and spending seems to false as a matter of historical fact. As noted, look at spending and government size under Reagan and Bush II. The new guys do seem to want cuts-but they seem to be driven more by being anti-Obama.

      I do agree with the general idea that a stronger middle class economy will help. After all, if the middle class is making good money, then the total revenue for the state will increase without increasing the tax burdens. But, the middle class is getting crushed-but not by the government.

      • T. J. Babson said, on October 19, 2013 at 5:40 pm

        “But, we can look at the money trail and note the irony that the debt increased under Reagan, was handled under Clinton, then shot up dramatically under Bush.”

        Look at who controlled Congress during the time that the debt increased and decreased. I was perfectly happy with Clinton’s policies, but he would be drummed out of the Democratic party these days.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 22, 2013 at 2:59 pm

          Clinton is still a Democrat and a very popular one. I don’t see him being drummed out.

          • T. J. Babson said, on October 25, 2013 at 6:25 pm

            Do you remember the DLC? Where is it today?

      • T. J. Babson said, on October 19, 2013 at 5:54 pm

        Here is a chart (originally from Wikipedia) showing how deficits grew depending on who controlled Congress.

        http://radioviceonline.com/responsibility-for-the-national-debt-part-deux-control-of-the-purse-strings-of-congress-is-the-real-determinant/

        It is pretty clear that Republicans control spending more than Democrats, although I’ll be the first to agree that they don’t control spending enough.

        But there is no question they are the lesser of two evils.

        • WTP said, on October 19, 2013 at 6:03 pm

          Yep. No answer from Mike on this one, though.

  8. T. J. Babson said, on October 19, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Mark Steyn:

    The GOP was concerned about polls showing their approval ratings somewhere between Bashar Assad and the ebola virus, but it’s hard to see why capitulation should command popularity: The late Osama bin Laden’s famous observation about the strong horse and the weak horse has some relevance to domestic politics, too. Republicans spent a lot of time whining that, if Obama was prepared to negotiate with the Iranians, the Syrians, and the Russians, why wouldn’t he negotiate with the GOP? Well, the obvious answer is Rouhani, Assad, and Putin don’t curl up in a fetal position at the first tut-tut from Bob Schieffer or Diane Sawyer.

    http://nationalreview.com/article/361644/potemkin-parliament-mark-steyn

  9. T. J. Babson said, on October 19, 2013 at 9:37 am

    But we’re already worse than many parts of Europe, and certainly than the non-European West — by any measure you care to use. According to the IMF, the Danish government’s net debt is 10.3 percent of GDP, Australia’s is 12.7 percent, New Zealand’s 28.8 percent, the Netherlands’ 35.5 percent, Canada’s 35.9 percent, Germany’s 56.2 percent, France’s 86.5 percent — and the United States’ 89 percent. If you take America’s total indebtedness, it averages out to three-quarters of a million dollars per family: We are on course to becoming the first nation of negative-millionaires. But let’s just stick with the federal debt, the figure for which those bipartisan schmoozers are officially responsible: In Australia, each citizen’s share of the debt is $12,000; in New Zealand, it’s $15,000 per person; in Canada and Spain, $18,000; in the United Kingdom, $28,000; in Germany and France, $38,000; Italy, $44,000. And in the United States it’s $54,000 per person — twice as much as Britain, thrice as much as Canada, closing in on five times as much as Oz. On this trajectory, America is exiting the First World.

    http://nationalreview.com/article/361644/potemkin-parliament-mark-steyn/page/0/1

    But remember, Ted Cruz is the real problem.

  10. T. J. Babson said, on October 19, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Hey, and while we are at it, let’s bring in millions of unskilled workers and pay for their healthcare as well.

    I’m sure everything will work out just fine.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 19, 2013 at 5:17 pm

      Immigration does need to be addressed. In nearby GA, they stepped up efforts to keep the migrant illegals out-the result was rather bad for the GA economy when it came time to pick the crops.

      I think we need to acknowledge that the illegals are now integral parts of the economic machine-so we should consider what would happen carefully when we set to tinkering with those parts.

      Assimilating immigrants has been a major fuel source for our growth and we should keep that in mind. Plus, there is our professed moral view regarding the huddled masses.

      • T. J. Babson said, on October 19, 2013 at 5:34 pm

        “Assimilating immigrants has been a major fuel source for our growth and we should keep that in mind. Plus, there is our professed moral view regarding the huddled masses.”

        If we did not have a welfare state I would be in favor of open borders. If we are going to give everyone who comes here hundreds of thousands of dollars of free stuff it is not hard to see that it is unsustainable.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 22, 2013 at 2:58 pm

          If they pay taxes that exceed what the receive in services, then it would be a net gain. Plus, if they pay for it via taxes and being part of society, they are not getting free stuff.

          When sorting out a person’s contribution, it is also not just a matter of the taxes the person pays.

  11. T. J. Babson said, on October 19, 2013 at 11:16 am

    The sleepy are waking…

    Not that Mr. Druckenmiller endorsed the most recent Republican strategy. “I thought tying ObamaCare to the debt ceiling was nutty,” he says, and I can confirm that he was saying so for weeks before the denouement.

    But he adds that “I did not think it would be nutty to tie entitlements to the debt ceiling because there’s a massive long-term problem. And this president, despite what he says, has shown time and time again that he needs a gun at his head to negotiate in good faith. All this talk about, ‘I won’t negotiate with a gun at my head.’ OK, you’ve been president for five years.”

    His voice rising now, Mr. Druckenmiller pounds his fist on the conference table. “Show me, President Obama, when the period was when you initiated budget discussions without a gun at your head.”

    Which brings him back to his thieving generation. For three decades until 2010, Mr. Druckenmiller ran the hedge fund he founded, Duquesne Capital. Now retired from managing other people’s money, he looks after his own assets, which Forbes magazine recently estimated at $2.9 billion. And he wonders why in five years the massively indebted U.S. government will begin sending him a Social Security check for $3,500 each month. Because he earned it?

    “I didn’t earn it,” he responds, while pointing to a bar chart that is part of his college presentation. Drawing on research by Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff, it shows the generational wealth transfer that benefits oldsters at the expense of the young.

    While many seniors believe they are simply drawing out the “savings” they were forced to deposit into Social Security and Medicare, they are actually drawing out much more, especially relative to later generations. That’s because politicians have voted to award the seniors ever more generous benefits. As a result, while today’s 65-year-olds will receive on average net lifetime benefits of $327,400, children born now will suffer net lifetime losses of $420,600 as they struggle to pay the bills of aging Americans.

    One of the great ironies of the Obama presidency is that it has been a disaster for the young people who form the core of his political coalition. High unemployment is paired with exploding debt that they will have to finance whenever they eventually find jobs.

    Are the kids finally figuring out that the Obama economy is a lousy deal for them? “No, I don’t sense that,” says Mr. Druckenmiller, who is a registered independent. “But one of my points is neither party should own your vote. And once they know they own your vote, you’re not going to get any action on this particular issue.”

    When the former money manager visited Stanford University, the audience included older folks as well as students. Some of the oldsters questioned why many of his dire forecasts assume that federal tax collections will stay at their traditional 18.5% of GDP. They asked why taxes should not rise to fulfill the promises already made.

    Mr. Druckenmiller’s response: “Oh, so you’ve paid 18.5% for your 40 years and now you want the next generation of workers to pay 30% to finance your largess?” He added that if 18.5% was “so immoral, why don’t you give back some of your ill-gotten gains of the last 40 years?”

    He has a similar argument for those on the left who say entitlements can be fixed with an eventual increase in payroll taxes. “Oh, I see,” he says. “So I get to pay a 12% payroll tax now until I’m 65 and then I don’t pay. But the next generation—instead of me paying 15% or having my benefits slightly reduced—they’re going to pay 17% in 2033. That’s why we’re waiting—so we can shift even more to the future than to now?”

    He also rejects the “rat through the python theory,” which holds that the fiscal disaster will only be temporary while the baby-boom generation moves through the benefit pipeline and then entitlement costs will become bearable. By then, he says, “you have so much debt on the books that it’s too late.”

    Unfortunately for taxpayers, “the debt accumulates while the rat’s going through the python,” so by the 2040s the debt itself and its gargantuan interest payments become bigger problems than entitlements. He points to a chart that shows how America’s debt-to-GDP ratio, the amount of debt compared with national income, explodes in about 20 years. That’s where Greece was when it hit the skids, he says, pointing to about 2030.

    Breaking again with many Wall Streeters but consistent with his theme, Mr. Druckenmiller wants to raise taxes now on capital gains and dividends, bringing both up to ordinary income rates. He says the current tax code represents “another intergenerational transfer, because 60-year-olds are worth five times what 30-year-olds are.”

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303680404579141790296396688

    And 65-year-olds are “much wealthier than the working-age population. So the guy who’s out there working—the plumber, the stockbroker, whatever he is—he’s paying the 40% rate and the coupon clippers who are not working anymore are paying a 20% rate.”

    • T. J. Babson said, on October 19, 2013 at 11:20 am

      But remember, kiddies, the *real* problem is Ted Cruz. Focus on him. Ignore the fact that the Dems are flushing your future down the drain.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 19, 2013 at 5:19 pm

        Ted Cruz is not the real problem, if by that you mean the only problem. But, look at the criticism leveled by the more moderate Republican senators regarding Cruz’s gambit.

        There has been some interesting speculation that Cruz was merely trying to take a stance for the folks back home so they would fill his campaign chests. But, as one commentator said, that barking dog caught the car, didn’t know what to do…and then the car backed over the dog.

        • magus71 said, on October 21, 2013 at 5:36 am

          Oh please. No one…I mean no one, thought that the Republicans would win this fight. It was a protest. As a man of the Left, you should appreciate a good protest.

          Next step, maybe, for Obama, is price-fixing for medical costs.

  12. T. J. Babson said, on October 21, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Mike has stated the $24B number as if it were a fact.

    The news has been full of an estimate by Standard & Poor’s that the U.S. economy suffered a loss of $24 billion due to the government shutdown. Interestingly, the reports contain few if any details of where those losses came from and the Standard & Poor’s website does not seem to have any report backing up the figure either. I have found some of the suggested losses and they are all untrue. In reality, there will be no economic loss to the economy from the government shutdown.

    http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2013/10/21/there_will_be_no_us_gdp_decline_from_the_government_shutdown_100676.html

    • WTP said, on October 21, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      Mike just repeats what he’s told in regard to lefty business. Skepticism, and you know…math, need only be employed when dissecting what Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, et al.

    • WTP said, on October 21, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      Re lies making at all the way around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on, notice how Joe The Plumber was slandered as a racist for quoting what a black conservative said about the damage the political left has done to the black community. The quote from Kevin Jackson of The Black Sphere:


      Nobody wants to discuss it, because racism by black Liberals has been sanctioned by the Left, even encouraged. Black racists get a pass, as black race-baiters are unchallenged on the most idiotic ideas and statements.

      MSNBC’s Touré said that using the word “angry” to describe Obama is racist. Juan Williams of Fox News said that mentioning the Constitution is racist, and the list goes on.

      But it gets worse. These Lefty racists do a far bigger disservice to blacks and America in general, as they rationalize Obama’s (and the Left’s) inability to create opportunity. When their policies wreak havoc, they pose insane arguments. They say that Republicans are trying to starve people by reducing the welfare rolls that Liberals have happily increased by 16M Americans.

      Race-baiting, poverty-pimp Al Sharpton argued recently to keep 3M known deadbeats on welfare.

      Black racists don’t complain when black people are marginalized and insulted with policies that dumb down black America, like the lessening of academic standards. They are fine telling black youths that those youths are less smart than all other ethnic groups. Certainly no future ramifications from that policy, said nobody ever.

      These same racists allow for black children to be cheated in education and ultimately, opportunity, as their enablers—guilty white Liberal racists—turn a blind eye.

      I long for the days of a white president, because under white presidents, at least black people had pride. Liberals have stolen pride from blacks, and they have no intention of giving it back.

      At least if we had a white president, black people might have a shot of regaining a modicum of respect.

      The last line of which was part of JtP’s link.

      http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/10/anatomy-of-how-a-racism-lie-spread-half-way-around-the-world/

      But these lies don’t count. Only those of the right. And even those have to be ginned up and taken out of context to keep up.

      • T. J. Babson said, on October 21, 2013 at 2:39 pm

        I blame Ted Cruz. He gave a long speech that irritated people.

        • WTP said, on October 21, 2013 at 2:53 pm

          Interesting. Teh One give’s a long speech and women swoon. Though I call fake. Waddaya think?

          http://ace.mu.nu/archives/344345.php

          • WTP said, on October 21, 2013 at 3:45 pm

            Also, in regard to what he was speaking about…via Ace of Spades:

            “The Washington Examiner’s Phillip Klein called (800) F1UCKYO (no, seriously) and it went about like you’d expect.

            As the program’s central website was under repair, Obama encouraged Americans seeking insurance to sign up the old-fashioned way by calling 1-800-318-2596.
            But when I tried calling the number and followed the prompts in what I deemed the most logical manner, I got referred back to the website Healthcare.gov and its live web chat feature.

  13. magus71 said, on October 22, 2013 at 3:25 am

    Shockingly, Obama called Verizon to fix the Obamacare system., those evil capitalists, who actually make the world go round. Consumer Reports says people should avoid the website, it’s such a mess.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 22, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      Of course he went with a corporation. Only the Obama that lives in the parallel universe that only certain people can see is a Communist. The Obama here is a capitalist with some slight left leaning.

      The web sites are an embarrassment. Now, if they had tried to roll this out in the late 1990s, I could see having so many woes. Hell, they should have just gone to Amazon, Facebook or Google and got them to set it up. It would have been a bit glitchy for a couple days, but by now people would be posting pictures of cats dressed as doctors and getting a free DVD of Pacific Rim with their healthcare.

      This crappy system should have been political gold for the Republicans.

      • WTP said, on October 24, 2013 at 7:55 am

        Yes, spin Mike. Spin this disaster into a GOP political gaffe. Look over there at how stupid the Republicans are! Speaking of people who live in a parallel universe, remember that next time you imply that Tea Partiers are selfish even when being generous. Can’t Obama be a commie pinko while using the capitalists to do his bidding? Who was it that said “they’ll sell us the rope by which we will hang them”? Was that a communist?

  14. TJB said, on October 23, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Just remember — the government shutdown would not have happened if Obama had accepted the 1 year delay of the individual mandate.

    • WTP said, on October 24, 2013 at 7:50 am

      And it looks like it will get delayed anyway. But don’t expect that story to get legs. The media and folks like a Mike are too busy working real hard to spin this turd. They’ll do it too. Do you doubt me?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 24, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      True. But it also would not have happened if the Republicans had not decided to shutdown the government. The responsibility lies with the Republicans, as I argued.

      This is like saying that the stadium would not have been burned if the Red Sox had accepted the Yankee’s demand that the game the Yankees lost be replayed. It is a true claim, but does not show that the Yankees are not to blame for burning down the stadium because they did not get what they wanted.

      • WTP said, on October 24, 2013 at 3:05 pm

        God, will you people stop repeating the same fat f******g lie? The GOP dominated House prepares a budget. The Dem controlled Senate, along with Obambi veto power. This is the process:

        Step 1: The President submits a budget request to Congress
        Step 2: The House and Senate pass budget resolutions
        Step 3: House and Senate Appropriations subcommittees “markup” appropriations bills
        Step 4: The House and Senate vote on appropriations bills and reconcile differences
        Step 5: The President signs each appropriations bill and the budget becomes law

        http://nationalpriorities.org/budget-basics/federal-budget-101/federal-budget-process/

        Note the last step belongs to the president. The president can veto the bill. The GOP only “shutdown” the government by not presenting a bill that either the Senate nor Obama were willing to accept. Bills were written to fund the government. The House did its job. The Senate, and by implication Obama, refused the bills. Now granted, one can argue this one way or another but the process STOPPED at the Senate and Obama announced that he would refuse to negotiate (unlike with say the Russkies or Iran’s mullahs). To say that the Republicans “shutdown the government” is a lie. The physical act of closing the national parks, monuments, etc. was in the power of the executive branch.

        And again with the analogies to violence and burning down stadiums and such, No shame.

        • TJB said, on October 24, 2013 at 11:17 pm

          The other big lie is that there was any real chance of default. The dishonest is breathtaking.

          • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 25, 2013 at 11:52 am

            Look, it is fair to contend that the Republicans did not actually want to take the country into default and you knew all along that they would come to a deal. However, to say that it is a big lie to claim that the Republicans pushed us to the edge of default and actually considered that option would be unfair. After all, they did shut down the government and did hold out the threat of default as a stick. To consider that they might do what they said they would do is hardly a big lie.

            http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/republicans-obamacare-delay-debt-ceiling-97376.html

  15. Anonymous said, on October 24, 2013 at 5:15 am

    Watch this video. The fainting pregnant diabetic woman behind Obama was probably a fake. You can see the two women next to her communicate something, then the woman to her immediate right nudges her without ever looking at her and then the woman begins her delirium. Of course, this woman is, coincidentally I’m sure, staged right behind Obama of all places. Obama, on queue, turns to help before it’s obvious to the others not involved that anything is wrong.

    • magus71 said, on October 24, 2013 at 5:16 am

      Magus posted above.

      • WTP said, on October 24, 2013 at 7:47 am

        I called fake on an earlier post. What I thought odd was how quickly Obama reacted to something that was happening behind him. The two women touching doesn’t seem all that odd, as the swooning woman may have reached out to her for support. It’s also possible the pres got a signal from the faces in front of him that something odd was happening behind him. Still, if it was Booooosh the Dems would be full of skepticism. I think it was john Stewart who asked whose bright idea it was to have a pregnant diabetic woman standing in the sun for so long. Of course there weren’t that many enrolled to choose from.

        • magus71 said, on October 24, 2013 at 9:43 am

          But notice the intentional shoulder bump, and then the woman doesn’t even look at the “ailing” woman. I trust my instincts on stuff like this, and there is also the evidence right in front of my eyes.

          • WTP said, on October 24, 2013 at 9:59 am

            I’m sure it could be, but not worth the ammo. He’s enough of an ass as it is.

            At one time you were thinking of switching to the Marine Corps? What with Obamba’s busy schedule screwing up 1/6 of our economy…well more of it actually…and rescuing swooning females, he’s also redesigning hats for the Corps. To make them more uni-sexy. You know, like the spaghetti-armed metrosexuals he’d like us all to be. So you might want to think about that plan, if you haven’t already ruled it out.

            A change to the Marine Corps’ uniform hats could take the hard-nosed Leathernecks from the Halls of Montezuma to the shops of Christopher Street.
            Thanks to a plan by President Obama to create a “unisex” look for the Corps, officials are on the verge of swapping out the Marines’ iconic caps with a new hat that some have derided as so “girly” that they would make the French blush.
            “We don’t even have enough funding to buy bullets, and the DoD is pushing to spend $8 million on covers that look like women’s hats!” one senior Marine source fumed to The Post. “The Marines deserve better. It makes them look ridiculous.”
            The thin new hats have a feminine line that some officials think would make them look just as good on female marines as on males — in keeping with the Obama directive.
            Modal Trigger
            One of the new hats worn by a female Marine.
            They have been dubbed the “Dan Daly” hat, after a sergeant from Long Island who won the Medal of Honor in World War I.

            http://nypost.com/2013/10/23/obama-wants-marines-to-wear-girly-hats/

            Think about this the next time you roll your eyes at people taking satirical news stories seriously.

            • magus71 said, on October 24, 2013 at 2:55 pm

              There’s something wrong with the guy.

            • WTP said, on October 24, 2013 at 3:08 pm

              It’s the Peter Principle on steroids.

            • TJB said, on October 24, 2013 at 11:22 pm

              Obama really has nothing better to do than to redesign the USMC uniforms? Wore than
              Nero.

              Yes, I think I will start calling him President Nero.

            • TJB said, on October 24, 2013 at 11:36 pm

              I just looked at the new cap. No self-respecting Marine could wear it. They may as well join the Coast Guard.

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 25, 2013 at 11:47 am

              It looks like the old cap, with a slightly smaller top. In fact, it looks like a really old cap-that used by Daly. I don’t get the rage at this, other than the usual rage people feel when they are driven by ideology. Saw the same thing during the Bush years-people getting crazy mad about things that did not really matter just because of a hatred of Bush. I think we’d be better served by focusing on real issues in a rational manner.

              My view: dress hats are stupid. Ditch them and spend the money on helmets and body armor. And guns.

            • magus71 said, on October 25, 2013 at 5:12 am

              I have a hard time believing he doesn’t know the exactly how Marines will feel about it, and that’s exactly why he’s doing it.

            • WTP said, on October 25, 2013 at 12:56 pm

              I don’t get the rage at this, other than the usual rage people feel when they are driven by ideology.

              Face slap to you usual damn ideology-driven rage-boys. So what if Marines don’t like it? Since when do Marines get to choose what they like? Unisex is cool. Unisex is nice. H8trs.

            • WTP said, on October 25, 2013 at 1:02 pm

              I might also note that “ABC News estimates that the White House is saving about $18,000 a week” by keeping the White House closed to tourists. Lessee…18K into 8 million…4 times 18 is 72…I get 444.4444444 weeks…divide by 52…oh, hell..something like 8 years. But, you know…priorities.

              Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/03/07/fox-news-anchor-offers-to-personally-pay-to-keep-white-house-tours-open/#ixzz2iknlPd9a

            • magus71 said, on October 25, 2013 at 1:17 pm

              I’m not sure there’s any rage, Mike. Are you also wondering why Obama cares to change it?

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 26, 2013 at 12:28 pm

              I don’t know that he did want to change it.

            • T. J. Babson said, on October 25, 2013 at 2:12 pm

              Will the Marines go to unisex grooming standards as well? I think not.

  16. T. J. Babson said, on October 25, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Story may be untrue:

    “The President in no way, shape, or form directed the Marine Corps to change our uniform cover,” said Capt. Maureen Krebs, a spokesperson for the Marine Corps. “We’re looking for a new cover for our female Marines for the primary reason that the former manufacturer went out of business. The Marine Corps has zero intention of changing the male cover.”

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-marines-girly-hats-2013-10#ixzz2il73uM82

    • WTP said, on October 25, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      Perhaps the Obama involvement is untrue, but someone decided to ask the Marines in Marine Corps Times what they thought of the new covers:

      http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013310210028

      “To gather feedback from both active duty and Reserve Marines, the Uniform Board distributed a survey across the Corps via sergeant majorsthat will run through Friday. The board will convene Oct. 29 and take the survey results into consideration, although they are not binding.

      In years past the Uniform Board has made recommendations counter to the desires of rank-and-file Marines who communicated their opinions via surveys. That includes the decision to wear utility uniform sleeves rolled down all year — even during the summer.

      The movement to make female uniforms more similar to those worn by men comes as the Defense Department begins to open more roles in combat units to women. But, the Marine Corps has considered changes to female uniforms, particularly dress blue uniforms, several times over the years and has been met by resistance each time.”

      I figured the picture of the male Marine in the hat had to come from somewhere. So my bad…I’d let the Obama accusation pass unless there’s other info. It does seem unlikely but OTOH Jimmy Carter was known to stick his nose into the scheduling of the White House tennis courts. Micromanagement is the domain of the socialist.

  17. T. J. Babson said, on October 25, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Recent headlines in the media have created confusion regarding a Marine Corps uniform item, the male dress cover. Some in the media have implied that the President of the United States directed a change in this dress cover.

    Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos said, “the President in no way, shape or form directed the Marine Corps to change our uniform cover.”

    While the Marine Corps Uniform Board is currently looking for a new cover, or cap, for female Marines because the current manufacturer is going out of business, there is no intent to change the current male Marine dress cover.

    A survey released by the Marine Corps Uniform Board eliciting input from Marines in regard to uniform items, sought opinions about the “Dan Daly-style” cover.

    Pictures of male Marines wearing this cover were included in the survey material. This is standard practice while conducting surveys. For instance, when the Marine Corps transitioned to the current MARPAT camouflage design several years ago, surveys included a number of proposed cami-patterns and additional uniform options.

    “The surveys often contain photo illustrations that portray what a uniform article might look like when worn by a Marine,” Col. Todd S. Desgrosseilliers, Marine Corps Uniform Board president, said. “This is a very standard practice. While there was never any desire or intent to change the male Marine dress cover, the feedback we have received to maintain this iconic cover has been heard, loud and clear. “

    http://www.hqmc.marines.mil/News/NewsArticleDisplay/tabid/3488/Article/153089/marine-corps-not-changing-male-dress-cover.aspx

    • WTP said, on October 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      See mea culpa above. But I am amused by ” because the current manufacturer is going out of business,” Who owns the design? Seems when DoD companies do work for the Feds, the Feds generally own the design unless the company can argue some degree of origination. I suppose the current manufacturer could have developed the design and presented it to the Corps, but why waste time and money with new hats at this point?

      • T. J. Babson said, on October 25, 2013 at 9:46 pm

        Good point. Something is definitely fishy with this answer.

    • magus71 said, on October 25, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      The Marines are some of the few warrior left in America. I’ve seen them resist other changes from the outside before.

      • T. J. Babson said, on October 25, 2013 at 9:47 pm

        Bottom line is that they won’t wear the girly hat.


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