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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 06:30am
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Emperor's Hand

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PeZook wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:
Hm. I think Sorchus has a point even so- having an election NOT be preceded by a year of systematic, carefully synchronized advertising campaigns might actually be a good thing for America, because it would compress and reduce the horse-race aspect of the election, shifting a bit more of the focus onto the issue that caused a no-confidence scenario in the first place.
Also, it just plain lights a fire under the congressman's ass. See, MPs everywhere are not that hot for elections: some love campaigning and the whole shebang, but most are at least stressed over losing their seat, at worst actively hate it. Having their cadence cut can be a real bother for all but the most hardcore ideologues, and even ideologues would have to be re-elected in order to keep pushing their ideology.
Hm. Yes. I can see how the threat of a no-confidence dissolution of the government would have a salutary effect. Here I was focused on the actual consequences of the dissolution itself.

But yeah.

We've got a split in the government between one party that says "let's keep the basic structure as is, and maybe enact a few extensions of the welfare state which have been proposed/debated on and off for fifty years by various members of both parties." And one party which says "we want radical changes to the current structure, we want them now, and we're anarchist enough to think the American people would be better off without the government, so we'll stop the government from functioning in order to get those changes!"

When there is a roughly equal split between those two parties, it is very difficult to construct a functioning government. Because one side will, if put into power, immediately act to sabotage and destroy large parts of the government's function. And the other side can't negotiate effectively and will soon get tired of trying, because even preserving the status quo requires endless headbutting matches with the radicals.


TimothyC wrote:
Simon, I can respect it when people admit to to the fact that they would rather shut the government down than kill the ACA - and you know that. Honestly, I don't know who is going to take the blame for this - it really could go either way.
You misunderstand.

If it were a case of "delay the ACA to keep the government running indefinitely," I might well say "delay the ACA." But this is more like a case of "let the government shut down, or make the fundamental mistake of negotiating with a blackmailer." Once you've agreed to let the blackmailer/hostage-taker/whatever manipulate you by saying "obey me or I will shut down the government..." he is never going to stop. He's got you by the short hairs and he knows it now.

And I would rather deal with a single prolonged government shutdown that is not repeated, than deal with repeated shutdowns and policy disasters. Which would be caused by the Tea Party threatening a shutdown every few months when they don't get their way. I deal with enough of that kind of endless, childish irresponsible willingness to shoot oneself in the foot to get one's way at work; I don't want to see it in politics.

The pre-2010 Democratic Congress was only barely able to accomplish major policy goals, because even in the minority, the Republicans would consistently vote in lockstep to an extent that required every single Democrat to vote in lockstep for anything important to happen over a filibuster. The post-2010 Republican Congress took that and put actual power behind it, beyond the "Ils ne passeront pas!" aspect of the filibuster.

There is no grounds for, and not much hope for, the effectiveness of negotiations in this situation. And I would argue that the tone for this has been set by the vast majority of congressional Republicans consistently supporting even the most bizarre and stupid excesses of the Tea Party congressmen. The most hilarious moment of the past few years in the House, in my opinion, was the day the Democrats abstained from voting on one of the Tea Party budgets... and suddenly you saw a mass of Republicans switching votes when they realized "well hell, this thing might actually pass for a change, and it's a total embarassment!"

TimothyC wrote:
They have shown themselves to be corrupt, and to be honest, I think all of the groups should be reviewed - to a reasonable set of standards. The problem those who argue against allowing the conservative groups the status ignore is that if the status is revoked prior to cleaning out the entire IRS divisions that were responsible for the misconduct (as well as anyone above them), then it reverts to looking like partisan retribution.
If the IRS had done nothing but stage a lot of investigations and hammer, say, eight conservative and maybe one liberal "nonprofit" for being PACs, there are two possibilities.

The one is that the IRS's investigations branch has, in the course of four years under Obama (how many people has he actually appointed, what's the turnover been since Bush?), become so corrupt and partisan that it cannot be trusted to detect only crimes which exist.

The other is, well, there are a lot of conservative PACs masquerading as nonprofits. Why are you so confident that you refuse to even seriously entertain this second explanation?

[Come to think of it, where are all the Bush-era hires in the IRS whistleblowing on this, if there really is such a blatantly partisan slant to their investigations?]

Quote:
Terralthra wrote:
Prosecutorial misconduct is always poisonous, and certainly a prosecution against an incumbent in election season will benefit their opponent.
Ah, so now the question becomes "Was the Election of Mark Begich fraudulent, and if so, are the bills that were passed with him as a critical vote [ie those that were passed with him as the50, 51, or 60 votes depending on the circumstances] fraudulent?"
Does it count as fraud if you try to suppress voter turnout by telling people to show up to vote on the wrong day? Just wondering.

Because this is a sword that can so cut both ways.

Quote:
Well, seeing as Comrade Pelosi was the one incharge of the House back in 2009 and 2010, you can't blame it on all on Boehner. Also, so what if they established that their goal was to make Obama a one term president - that's part of their job as political party leaders. It's not their job as members of the Legislature, but they do wear two hats.
I have to ask- if the Reid/Pelosi Congress of, say, June 2010 had passed a budget, would you now blame the House Republicans for failure to do so at any time since? Just wondering.

Because your argument seems to be "well, the Democrats didn't pass a budget when the only thing they had to worry about was overcoming a Senate filibuster,* so obviously it's their fault that they aren't doing it now when the Republicans have the whole House on their side."

If they had pushed a budget past a Republican Senate filibuster, would it become the House Republicans' fault that they did not push a budget past a Republican House? Would you actually be up and saying this? Or would you just find some other justification for portraying the hostage-takers as the reasonable party here?

*Which you have to know was a serious challenge at that time whenever major legislation cropped up, because of the intense struggle to get to not 50 but *60* votes in the Senate to pass Obamacare...

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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 07:28am
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Rogue 9 wrote:
As anyone who knows anything about the constitutional structure of the United States federal government (a category that apparently does not include you) knows, the Senate may not initiate spending bills.


You will note I did not say pass, I said put on the table. The Senate can very well put forward a plan (as TC pointed out they did) signaling their desires in order to inform the House for the their initial submission.

So I ask you the question you dodged again: what significant spending cuts has the Senate put on the table that would have allowed for avoiding a CR in the first place?

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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 07:43am
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Patroklos wrote:
Rogue 9 wrote:
As anyone who knows anything about the constitutional structure of the United States federal government (a category that apparently does not include you) knows, the Senate may not initiate spending bills.


You will note I did not say pass, I said put on the table. The Senate can very well put forward a plan (as TC pointed out they did) signaling their desires in order to inform the House for the their initial submission.

So I ask you the question you dodged again: what significant spending cuts has the Senate put on the table that would have allowed for avoiding a CR in the first place?

The House hasn't asked for any spending cuts. The entire shutdown and obstructionism is about the Affordable Care Act, not "we're spending too much money."

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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 08:00am
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Crossroads Inc. wrote:
One of the OTHER reasons why those on the far right are so in favor of the shutdown, is because they feel that with the Government shut down, America shall come to it's senses and realize they don't NEED the government! It is basically one of those 'Jack Chick" moments where they believe that the country will have this sudden Revelation "OH! We have been so foolish! now with all government services shut down, we see that we can somehow do all of those by the private sector!!!"
To illustrate, found this quote from a right wing website:
Quote:
The dems can't afford to let this shutdown go very far because it will become rapidly, painfully obvious that few need the government for anything. The tax PAYERS (remember them?) will rapidly figure out they are as well off without the government running. Shortly they will see they are actually BETTER off without the government running.

Uh, right, "better off without the government" until you need something the government does: police protection, or to stop someone dumping toxic waste in your drinking water, or going after an employer who decides to simply stop paying wages owed...

This stance only favors those rich enough to hire their own security, enforce their own interests, and not dependent on others. In other words, only a fraction of even the 1%



Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid. - Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 08:14am
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Terralthra wrote:
The House hasn't asked for any spending cuts. The entire shutdown and obstructionism is about the Affordable Care Act, not "we're spending too much money."

Exactly..

As has been said before, this is blackmail and hostage taking in it's purest form..
This has NOTHING to do what so ever with the actual budget. The only place you hear anything about 'budget talks' are on Right wing media outlets like Faux News and similar radio programs. Once again, if the Dems cave on ANY Part of this deal, even if it is to delay the AFA for just a single month, then the next time a needed bill comes up, the Tea Party GOP will push for more, and more AND MORE! The Debt ceiling needs to be raised? They can ask for yet more concessions. In a few months when we have to pass the next budget extension? They will demand yet MORE Concessions...
They will never give in, unless we put an end to it right here and right now.


Broomstick wrote:
Crossroads Inc. wrote:
One of the OTHER reasons why those on the far right are so in favor of the shutdown, is because they feel that with the Government shut down, America shall come to it's senses and realize they don't NEED the government! It is basically one of those 'Jack Chick" moments where they believe that the country will have this sudden Revelation "OH! We have been so foolish! now with all government services shut down, we see that we can somehow do all of those by the private sector!!!"
To illustrate, found this quote from a right wing website:
Quote:
The dems can't afford to let this shutdown go very far because it will become rapidly, painfully obvious that few need the government for anything. The tax PAYERS (remember them?) will rapidly figure out they are as well off without the government running. Shortly they will see they are actually BETTER off without the government running.

Uh, right, "better off without the government" until you need something the government does: police protection, or to stop someone dumping toxic waste in your drinking water, or going after an employer who decides to simply stop paying wages owed...

This stance only favors those rich enough to hire their own security, enforce their own interests, and not dependent on others. In other words, only a fraction of even the 1%


True, but you have to look at it through the fog of lies and miss-information that the far right live with on a daily basis... A good chunk of the GOP Supporters basically live on 'the government' and yet fervently, ardently believe that 'the government' is this evil nasty monster that does more harm than good.
Police forces? Why good law abiding Americans will form militias to police the nation, totally free of any corruption!
Toxic waste in the drinking water? Why, most companies only do that BECAUSE Of evil government restrictions! And besides, no one knows if those Toxins ACTUALLY cause cancer, it's just a bunch of liberal scientists saying it!
An Employer decides to stop paying wages? Why, that is just th glorious Free Market at work! if the employees don't like it, they can get work elsewhere!

(rubs eyes for a moment)

Unh, yeah, THAT is the world through view of the Far Right... It is a scary place...



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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 08:37am
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On the subject of the shutdown itself, I hope you don't care about your space-science. The NY Times claims that 97% of NASA employees are off the job. Note that this graphic may be inaccurate at parts; they claim that 'food inspectors' stay home, whereas I have it on good authority that they are essential personnel, because of fucking course they are.

NY Times Graphic



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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 09:06am
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Of Sector 2814

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Terralthra wrote:
So, when discussing the number of groups, you name...one group, and count that as evidence that the number of groups must be roughly equal? There were literally thousands of Tea Party groups applying for 501(c)(4) status. You say "well, here's one liberal group!" as if that's a serious counterargument?
Because the most important fact of the case - the fact that liberal applications were on average taking less time to process than the conservative ones - is not in dispute by anyone but the most stupid/unthinking Obamabot. The implication on your part that the left wing groups are somehow less corrupt than the right wing groups is also laughable.

Terralthra wrote:
Yes, that does adequately explain why they were granted this status, despite clear indicators on some or many of them that their primary goal was, in fact, political. Wait, wasn't that my point? I mean...thanks for helping me out, but I didn't really need the help.
No, because you can have a political bent without being a political action committee, but that nuance seems to escape you.

Terralthra wrote:
Actually, I'm in favor of all donations to any organization, regardless of the political view or goals of the organization, being a matter of public record. Largely because for those who donate to things like the Red Cross or MSF, there's a perceived benefit to the transparency, while to those who donate to NOM, the only people harmed by transparency are people actively trying to delete or restrict human rights. It's a win/win! Even more ideal would be getting money out of politics entirely, naturally.
It seems like you've missed my point (mostly because you hate NOM). If there was an action that severely impacted the ability of an organization you like (I'm going to guess MSF here to use your own example) and the action was patently illegal would you shrug your shoulders and go on with your day? It's fine that you're willing to have double standards - everyone does - but you have to be willing to admit to those double standards. For the record, I do not now, nor have I in the past supported NOM.

Terralthra wrote:
You're making a bit of a leap from "the prosecution helped one candidate" to "that candidate's election was fraudulent." Couldn't you make the same case about President Bush, given the whole Swift Boat Veterans for Truth thing during the 2004 election?
SBVT did help Bush over Kerry in 2004. They also were not busy fraudulently convicting one candidate in a court of law.

Terralthra wrote:
Well, they didn't say "it's one of our goals, in one of our roles," they each said "it's our number one priority." That you are attempting to paint the Senate Democrats as obstructionist when the GOP in both houses came right out and said "we're going to be obstructionist" is....curious. COuldn't they have maybe done a better job as the opposition party by trying to show how their way was better, instead of trying to roll back the previous Congress 42 times? I mean, the first 30 or 31 times, I can understand, but attempt #32 really melts my brain.

<GOP Pseudo-insider Hat ON>
Because voting to repeal the ACA doesn't actually do anything. There are not the votes in the Senate, and not even in the house to override a veto. The 42 attempts so far are internal political theatre.
<GOP Pseudo-insider Hat OFF>

Simon_Jester wrote:
You misunderstand.

If it were a case of "delay the ACA to keep the government running indefinitely," I might well say "delay the ACA." But this is more like a case of "let the government shut down, or make the fundamental mistake of negotiating with a blackmailer." Once you've agreed to let the blackmailer/hostage-taker/whatever manipulate you by saying "obey me or I will shut down the government..." he is never going to stop. He's got you by the short hairs and he knows it now.
And Obama is also trying to do the same thing. The administration has stated that they wanted to make the sequester painful to lock in the huge budgets. As for it being made painful, how else do you describe closing down the WW2 memorial on the Mall? I mean hell - the damn thing is open air! Someone was paid to put the barricades up in the first place.

Simon_Jester wrote:
If the IRS had done nothing but stage a lot of investigations and hammer, say, eight conservative and maybe one liberal "nonprofit" for being PACs, there are two possibilities.

The one is that the IRS's investigations branch has, in the course of four years under Obama (how many people has he actually appointed, what's the turnover been since Bush?), become so corrupt and partisan that it cannot be trusted to detect only crimes which exist.

The other is, well, there are a lot of conservative PACs masquerading as nonprofits. Why are you so confident that you refuse to even seriously entertain this second explanation?

[Come to think of it, where are all the Bush-era hires in the IRS whistleblowing on this, if there really is such a blatantly partisan slant to their investigations?]
Just because someone was hired in under one administration does not mean that they are going to be indicative of that administration's political slant. Have you seen the break-down of IRS political donations in the 2010 and 2012 cycles? It skews 10-1 in favor of democrats.

Simon_Jester wrote:
Does it count as fraud if you try to suppress voter turnout by telling people to show up to vote on the wrong day? Just wondering.

Because this is a sword that can so cut both ways.
No, I don't think that's fraud if you're stupid enough to show up on the wrong day.

Simon_Jester wrote:
I have to ask- if the Reid/Pelosi Congress of, say, June 2010 had passed a budget, would you now blame the House Republicans for failure to do so at any time since? Just wondering.
To be 100% honest? I'd go back to blaming Reid for not moving to reconciliation on the House Budgets.

Simon_Jester wrote:
Because your argument seems to be "well, the Democrats didn't pass a budget when the only thing they had to worry about was overcoming a Senate filibuster,* so obviously it's their fault that they aren't doing it now when the Republicans have the whole House on their side."

If they had pushed a budget past a Republican Senate filibuster, would it become the House Republicans' fault that they did not push a budget past a Republican House? Would you actually be up and saying this? Or would you just find some other justification for portraying the hostage-takers as the reasonable party here?

*Which you have to know was a serious challenge at that time whenever major legislation cropped up, because of the intense struggle to get to not 50 but *60* votes in the Senate to pass Obamacare...
Simon, I know I've told you this before, but BUDGETS CAN NOT BE FILLIBUSTERED.

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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 09:23am
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It seems there is growing support within the ranks of the Republicans start fighting back against Tea Party Members.

NY Times

Quote:
Staunch Group of Republicans Outflanks House Leaders
Doug Mills/The New York Times

By JONATHAN WEISMAN and ASHLEY PARKER
Published: October 1, 2013 439 Comments

WASHINGTON — They have had their fleeting moments on cable television. Their closed-door run-ins with Speaker John A. Boehner spill occasionally into the pages of Capitol Hill newspapers. But outside their districts, and sometimes even within them, few have heard of the conservative cadre of House Republicans who have led the charge to shut down the government......



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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 09:47am
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TimothyC wrote:
Simon, I know I've told you this before, but BUDGETS CAN NOT BE FILLIBUSTERED.


Budget resolutions can not be filibustered. However, other parts of what we'd call a budget do. To quote the liberal rag that is the Economist on the subject:

Quote:
Republicans have relentlessly harangued the Senate's Democratic leadership for failing to pass a budget resolution. "1,000 days without a budget," was the title of a typical missive last month. On the weekend Jack Lew, who has just been named Barack Obama's chief of staff after serving as his budget director, defended the Senate by saying it couldn't pass a budget without 60 votes, i.e. without the cooperation of some Republicans. Republicans jumped on Mr Lew, pointing out that under Congress' budget procedure, a budget resolution cannot be filibustered and thus only needs a simple majority vote - typically 51 votes - to pass. Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post's fact checker, awarded Mr Lew four Pinocchios, the top score, for fibbing.

In fact, Mr Lew, while wrong on the narrow wording, is right on the substance. It is true that the Senate can pass a budget resolution with a simple majority vote. But for that budget resolution to take effect, it must have either the cooperation of the house, or at least 60 votes in the Senate. Only someone intimately familiar with Parliamentary procedure can explain this. Jim Horney of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is such a person. The following are his edited remarks from our email conversation:

It's true that you cannot filibuster a budget resolution in the Senate, because the Budget Act provides special rules for consideration of a budget resolution, including a time limit on debate. So the Senate can pass a resolution with only a majority vote. However, the resolution does not take effect when the Senate passes it. It takes effect in one of two ways: if the House and Senate pass an identical resolution, usually in the form of a conference report; or if the Senate passes a separate Senate Resolution (as opposed to a concurrent resolution, which is what a budget resolution is) that says the House is “deemed” to have agreed to the budget resolution passed by the Senate.

But there are no special procedures for the simple Senate Resolution required by this second, “deeming” process, so it is subject to the unlimited debate allowed on almost everything in the Senate. If you do not have the support of 60 Senators to invoke cloture and end a filibuster, or prevent a filibuster from even starting (because everyone knows 60 Senators support cloture), you cannot pass such a deeming resolution in the Senate.

Because its rules are different, the House with a simple majority can pass a resolution deeming that the House and Senate have agreed to the House resolution so that it can take effect. This means the allocations in the resolution, such as for appropriations, are in effect in the House and anybody can raise a point-of-order against legislation that would cause a committee to exceed its allocation.

But this is for purposes of enforcement in the House only. What the House does has no effect whatsoever on the Senate or its budget enforcement. And vice versa, if the Senate deems that its budget resolution has been agreed to.

Does the lack of a budget resolution matter? Jim notes that budget resolutions are supposed to set limits on discretionary spending in appropriations bills and facilitate changes in taxes and entitlements via reconciliation instructions or via allocations to authorizing committees. But nowadays, discretionary spending caps have already been set by the Budget Control Act (which ended the debt ceiling standoff) and there is little or no prospect of cross-party agreement on tax or entitlement policies. Moreover:

With the exception of reconciliation legislation, it effectively takes 60 votes to consider any legislation in the Senate so it really does not matter whether the resolution has been adopted; if you have 60, you can consider the legislation, if you don't, you can't.

The bottom line is the budget process set out in the Budget Act works pretty well when the Congress can agree on budget policies. When they cannot, no process in the world can make things work smoothly, but Congress muddles through and does what absolutely has to be done (like keeping the government from shutting down or defaulting on the debt). Not having a budget resolution in place is a symptom of the inability to reach agreement – not the cause of Congress not being able to accomplish things.

So yes, the Senate could pass a budget resolution, but without the cooperation of the house or 60 votes, that resolution would not take effect; it would be an empty gesture. The fact that the House managed to pass a budget last year, including a major overhaul of Medicare, reflects its different rules that allow it to deem the budget resolution to have taken effect. But it didn't ultimately matter: the provisions in its budget, including the Medicare changes, were not binding on the Senate.

Aren't you glad you asked?

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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 10:24am
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Timothy, it's time for you to stop lying about the IRS scandal. You've been claiming that it was IRS crusade against conservative political groups, when the investigations demanded by the lying sack of shit that is Darrell Issa were structured to only look into IRS action toward conservative groups, excluding liberal groups from the process. Issa also deliberately excluded any exculpatory evidence in the Inspector General's report to skew the results and blow up the supposed "scandal" even more. When the truth started coming out, Issa painted himself into a corner after the full findings were released that revealed all of the dishonesty and the public statements from conservative Republicans in the IRS who were involved and said there was no communication with the White House or any of the other big ticket items that Issa and other Republicans flogging the scandal claimed.

Of course, any inconvenient facts like that were promptly glossed over by all conservative news sources and you're just repeating the same lies all over again. Given that the evidence is there for the taking in the fucking primary sources related to the IRS investigations and has been for months, and has been brought up in these forums as well in discussions that you were a part of, my only conclusion can be that your lying about it is deliberate.



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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 01:06pm
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TimothyC wrote:
Terralthra wrote:
So, when discussing the number of groups, you name...one group, and count that as evidence that the number of groups must be roughly equal? There were literally thousands of Tea Party groups applying for 501(c)(4) status. You say "well, here's one liberal group!" as if that's a serious counterargument?
Because the most important fact of the case - the fact that liberal applications were on average taking less time to process than the conservative ones - is not in dispute by anyone but the most stupid/unthinking Obamabot. The implication on your part that the left wing groups are somehow less corrupt than the right wing groups is also laughable.
Laughable because...?

TimothyC wrote:
Terralthra wrote:
Yes, that does adequately explain why they were granted this status, despite clear indicators on some or many of them that their primary goal was, in fact, political. Wait, wasn't that my point? I mean...thanks for helping me out, but I didn't really need the help.
No, because you can have a political bent without being a political action committee, but that nuance seems to escape you.
Sure, you can. What you can't do is apply for 501(c)(4) status if political action is a primary goal.

TimothyC wrote:
Terralthra wrote:
Actually, I'm in favor of all donations to any organization, regardless of the political view or goals of the organization, being a matter of public record. Largely because for those who donate to things like the Red Cross or MSF, there's a perceived benefit to the transparency, while to those who donate to NOM, the only people harmed by transparency are people actively trying to delete or restrict human rights. It's a win/win! Even more ideal would be getting money out of politics entirely, naturally.
It seems like you've missed my point (mostly because you hate NOM). If there was an action that severely impacted the ability of an organization you like (I'm going to guess MSF here to use your own example) and the action was patently illegal would you shrug your shoulders and go on with your day?
I think you missed my point, largely because you're stuck in "fuckhead" mode, apparently: I don't think it should be legal for a 501(c) engaged in political action to have secret donors, at all. Ever. If that hurts MSF, tough shit for MSF. If that hurts NOM, tough shit for NOM.

TimothyC wrote:
Terralthra wrote:
You're making a bit of a leap from "the prosecution helped one candidate" to "that candidate's election was fraudulent." Couldn't you make the same case about President Bush, given the whole Swift Boat Veterans for Truth thing during the 2004 election?
SBVT did help Bush over Kerry in 2004. They also were not busy fraudulently convicting one candidate in a court of law.
So? The court case wouldn't matter if it wasn't publicized, as the impact is on public opinion. SBVT clearly were very public. Fraud should be fraud, no? Shall we undo all of Bush's actions since he was re-elected in 2004?

TimothyC wrote:
Terralthra wrote:
Well, they didn't say "it's one of our goals, in one of our roles," they each said "it's our number one priority." That you are attempting to paint the Senate Democrats as obstructionist when the GOP in both houses came right out and said "we're going to be obstructionist" is....curious. COuldn't they have maybe done a better job as the opposition party by trying to show how their way was better, instead of trying to roll back the previous Congress 42 times? I mean, the first 30 or 31 times, I can understand, but attempt #32 really melts my brain.

<GOP Pseudo-insider Hat ON>
Because voting to repeal the ACA doesn't actually do anything. There are not the votes in the Senate, and not even in the house to override a veto. The 42 attempts so far are internal political theatre.
<GOP Pseudo-insider Hat OFF>
Speaking of missing the point...

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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 01:24pm
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TimothyC wrote:
Terralthra wrote:
So, when discussing the number of groups, you name...one group, and count that as evidence that the number of groups must be roughly equal? There were literally thousands of Tea Party groups applying for 501(c)(4) status. You say "well, here's one liberal group!" as if that's a serious counterargument?
Because the most important fact of the case - the fact that liberal applications were on average taking less time to process than the conservative ones - is not in dispute by anyone but the most stupid/unthinking Obamabot. The implication on your part that the left wing groups are somehow less corrupt than the right wing groups is also laughable.
Excuse me, could you cite the part about the application processing? I've never heard of it before. As to the corruption aspect, do you have any data on this, or is it simply a matter of your opinion that left and right-wing groups must be equally likely to be PACs masquerading as nonprofits?

Quote:
Terralthra wrote:
Yes, that does adequately explain why they were granted this status, despite clear indicators on some or many of them that their primary goal was, in fact, political. Wait, wasn't that my point? I mean...thanks for helping me out, but I didn't really need the help.
No, because you can have a political bent without being a political action committee, but that nuance seems to escape you.
If you act on your political bent by trying to influence elections, then while you may not be a PAC, it is certainly reasonable to investigate to see if you are a PAC. The IRS routinely investigates people who claim to be doing X but appear to be doing Y, not because they are proven guilty of any crime, but because it's a necessary part of even having tax audits in the first place.

Quote:
Terralthra wrote:
Well, they didn't say "it's one of our goals, in one of our roles," they each said "it's our number one priority." That you are attempting to paint the Senate Democrats as obstructionist when the GOP in both houses came right out and said "we're going to be obstructionist" is....curious. COuldn't they have maybe done a better job as the opposition party by trying to show how their way was better, instead of trying to roll back the previous Congress 42 times? I mean, the first 30 or 31 times, I can understand, but attempt #32 really melts my brain.

<GOP Pseudo-insider Hat ON>
Because voting to repeal the ACA doesn't actually do anything. There are not the votes in the Senate, and not even in the house to override a veto. The 42 attempts so far are internal political theatre.
<GOP Pseudo-insider Hat OFF>
In that case, they are holding up the business of governing the country for the sake of their private political theater, which is contemptible.

Quote:
Simon_Jester wrote:
You misunderstand.

If it were a case of "delay the ACA to keep the government running indefinitely," I might well say "delay the ACA." But this is more like a case of "let the government shut down, or make the fundamental mistake of negotiating with a blackmailer." Once you've agreed to let the blackmailer/hostage-taker/whatever manipulate you by saying "obey me or I will shut down the government..." he is never going to stop. He's got you by the short hairs and he knows it now.
And Obama is also trying to do the same thing. The administration has stated that they wanted to make the sequester painful to lock in the huge budgets.
The sequester was supposed to be painful to force Congress to come to some kind of resolution of the budget. Unfortunately it didn't work.

As far as I'm concerned, if the House Republicans want to force the US government to make bricks without straw (or, in this case, money), then Obama is under no obligation to gather straw on their behalf. If Republicans will not make the effort to minimize harm resulting from a government shutdown, they cannot expect that Democrats will minimize those harms for them.

Quote:
As for it being made painful, how else do you describe closing down the WW2 memorial on the Mall? I mean hell - the damn thing is open air! Someone was paid to put the barricades up in the first place.
Since the park service cannot be responsible for securing, maintaining, or cleaning the site, they cannot allow visitors onto the site. If they do, it'll be a mess by the time they come back on the job (which could be weeks or months from now), and they will then be responsible for cleaning up the damages, and quite possibly repairing damages caused by vandalism.

Also... you never actually answered this except to point out that there are a lot more IRS employees donating to Democrats.
Simon_Jester wrote:
If the IRS had done nothing but stage a lot of investigations and hammer, say, eight conservative and maybe one liberal "nonprofit" for being PACs, there are two possibilities.

The one is that the IRS's investigations branch has, in the course of four years under Obama (how many people has he actually appointed, what's the turnover been since Bush?), become so corrupt and partisan that it cannot be trusted to detect only crimes which exist.

The other is, well, there are a lot of conservative PACs masquerading as nonprofits. Why are you so confident that you refuse to even seriously entertain this second explanation?


Quote:
Quote:
[Come to think of it, where are all the Bush-era hires in the IRS whistleblowing on this, if there really is such a blatantly partisan slant to their investigations?]
Just because someone was hired in under one administration does not mean that they are going to be indicative of that administration's political slant. Have you seen the break-down of IRS political donations in the 2010 and 2012 cycles? It skews 10-1 in favor of democrats.
Ah. I see.

So in that case, of course there are no whistleblowers actually reporting the major breaches of law to which the conspiracy theory alludes, which also conveniently explains the lack of readily available documentation of any kind.

[Wonders if this whole 'we hate taxes' minarcho-capitalist may have backfired on the Republicans by deliberately antagonizing any American who wants anything to do with tax collection, but that is my shoulder-devil talking]

Quote:
Simon_Jester wrote:
Does it count as fraud if you try to suppress voter turnout by telling people to show up to vote on the wrong day? Just wondering.

Because this is a sword that can so cut both ways.
No, I don't think that's fraud if you're stupid enough to show up on the wrong day.
Is it fraud if you lie to people in hopes that they will be stupid enough to believe you and fail to vote for your opponent? Because that's definitely "deception for personal gain," which is a good working definition of fraud.

Quote:
Simon_Jester wrote:
I have to ask- if the Reid/Pelosi Congress of, say, June 2010 had passed a budget, would you now blame the House Republicans for failure to do so at any time since? Just wondering.
To be 100% honest? I'd go back to blaming Reid for not moving to reconciliation on the House Budgets.
Would that have a salutary effect on the problem, or would it be a pointless gesture?

It sounds to me like you're looking for an excuse to blame anyone but the hostage-takers for the present crisis. Hell, if we can't get the House to agree to keep the government functioning, how do you expect anyone to get them to agree to a specific budget that would keep the government functioning in an organized fashion?

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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 03:11pm
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In general, anti-marriage equality groups like NOM do not really have a lot of rights to having their active supporters (donors, signature signers, etc.) completely shielded and immune to the general public. The courts have ruled against NOM and their affiliates consistently on various related issues and they tend to bitch like spoiled brats when they don't have it their way. Furthermore, they've been found in violation of various financial disclosure laws and have been under several investigations of such violations in a number of states. Those hypocritical shitstains whine about any perceived legal slights against them and then turn around and flaunt every other financial disclosure law they think they can get away with.

I still get NOM emails in my junk mail but I sometimes find them humorous to look at since they read like Nazi propaganda newsreels. It's just baffling how anyone can take them seriously.

EDIT: And NOM is very much a political organization that used to solicit donations as a 501(c)3 organization claiming that all their donations are tax deductible. How fucking dishonest can you be? But I suppose it should be expected when their entire focus is based on selling invidious lies.



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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 06:01pm
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welcome to the shutdown, we got fun'n games

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Quote:
WASHINGTON -- Though much of the coverage of the government shutdown has focused on the drama unfolding in Washington, D.C., the effects are being felt widely across the country.

Less than two full days in, thousands of National Guard members have been furloughed, scientific research has been halted, federal technicians have been forced off the job, and wildlife refuges have been closed.

In Idaho, a rescue mission in search of a missing Boise woman was put on hold because the workers conducting it were furloughed. In Arkansas, more than 85,000 meals for children were endangered because of cuts to nutritional programs. And in Connecticut, 13 Head Start programs serving 320 children were shut down.

Not all of those impacted by the partial closure of the federal government actually work for the federal government.

Michele Sturgeon, a private contractor with the CDC Foundation, was forced to stop her work on rotaviruses and forego a salary because the Center for Disease Control and Prevention supervisor who runs her project was furloughed.

"If my supervisor is not there, there is not work for me to do and I don’t get paid either," she told The Huffington Post. "Being a scientist I don’t get paid that much. I have two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree. I owe in student loans three times what I make. I live paycheck to paycheck. This is not financially stable for me at all."

Nor has the fallout of the shutdown been confined to the United States. Kaitlyn Martin, a Numbered Air Force employee working at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, told The Huffington Post that the staff members who organize emergency travel in her office were furloughed and funds were made "unavailable for travel during the shutdown."

"The problem for us is not that we're out of work," she explained. "Many are still working, though will likely face late paychecks until a resolution is made. The problem is that life goes on, and many of the smaller services which keep things running have been cut off."

In an effort to understand the totality of the damage being inflicted by the government shutdown, The Huffington Post solicited reader feedback and surveyed hundreds of local news outlets in all 50 states. The results of our search -- illustrating a nation under shutdown -- are below.

Alabama:

•The Cheaha Regional Head Start in Talladega was closed.


Alaska:

•Some 1,900 civilian workers received furlough notices at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson

•National Transportation Safety Board Investigators into plane crashes in Alaska were furloughed.


Arizona:

•More than 30 people looking to raft on the Colorado river were turned away.


Arkansas:

•More than 85,000 meals for Arkansas children were at risk of being ended. Some 2,000 newborn babies woud potentially not receive infant formula.

•The Clinton Presidential Center closed permanent exhibits to walk-in visitors.

•Federal workers earning $11,000-a-year to work at a shelter in Little Rock were forced to work without pay.


California:

•1,282 marines were furloughed at the Marine Air Ground Task Force Combat Center

•Movie production was suspended in Angeles National Forest, the L.A. River, the Sepulveda Dam and the West Lost Angeles Veterans Administration Medical Center


Colorado:

•The Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit in Grand Junction was closed.


Connecticut:

•13 Head Start programs that serve 320 children in Bridgeport, Connecticut were shut down completely.
The U.S. Attorney's office in New Haven furloughed 40 staffers.


Delaware:

•500 civilian employees were furloughed at Dover Air Force Base.

•60 employees at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area were furloughed.


Florida:

•Launch preparations for the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft were put on hold.


Georgia:

•3,100 civilian workers at Fort Stewart were told to stay home on furlough.


Hawaii:

•The state's four commissaries were forced to sell off perishable items before shutting down Tuesday.

•Research into rat lungworm disease at the University of Hawaii was halted.


Idaho:

•850 of the state's National Guard's civilian workers (half of the total staff) were furloughed.

•Attorneys were expected to file motions to temporarily halt court proceedings in environmental lawsuits, tort cases and other civil matters.

•A rescue mission for a missing Boise woman was put on hold because workers were furloughed.


Illinois:

•One-third of the speakers at the Illinois River Coordinating Council were forced to cancel their trip to Peoria.

•2,500 civilian employees at the Naval Station Great Lakes turned over their duties to active-duty sailors and went home.


Indiana:

•Hoosier National Forest closed campgrounds and furloughed 45 staffers.


Iowa:

•A cafeteria in an Iowa federal office building usually has 500 to 600 customers a day. There were 200 on Tuesday.


Kansas:

•The Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site was closed.

•More than 300 civilian employees were out of work at McConnell Air Force Base.


Kentucky:

•The Kentucky National Guard furloughed 1,300 employees.


Louisiana:

•A NASA facility in New Orleans halted work on its new launch system.

•The Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans furloughed about 1,800 civilian workers.


Maine:

•The Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s director for Maine closed his city office.


Maryland:

•Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation received roughly 4,000 applications for unemployment benefits because of workers being furloughed.

•Firefighters were forced to move a memorial service for a colleague killed in the line of duty.


Massachusetts:

•A local IRS office was closed.

•A government employee union official estimates 95 percent of staff members in her department were furloughed.


Michigan:

•State officials estimated that the shutdown would cost them $18 million a day.


Minnesota:

•Air Force Reserve furloughed 300 workers at the 934th Airlift Wing. “How do you feed your family? How do you house your family? It’s ridiculous right now,” said one of those furloughed workers.

•The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge center closed its sites and locked its gates.


Mississippi:

•450 of the Vicksburg District's 1,100 federal employees were expected to be furloughed.


Missouri:

•The Columbia Environmental Research Center -- a U.S. Geological Survey research facility -- was closed.

•In mid-Missouri, people were no longer allowed to apply in person for a replacement Social Security card or a replacement Medicare card.


Montana:

•The Bozeman Fish Technology Center, the Bozeman Fish Health Center, the Creston National Fish Hatchery, the hatchery in Ennis and the Montana Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office in Billings all closed.

•Glacier and Yellowstone national parks were closed to visitors. Those already at the parks were told to leave by Thursday.


Nebraska:

•The commodity supplemental food program was shut down and food is not being distributed.


Nevada:

•530 Nevada National Guard technicians were furloughed.

•1,100 civilian employees at Nellis base outside Las Vegas were sent home.


New Hampshire:

•At Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Tuesday morning, 1,000 shipyard employees were forced off the job.

•At New Hampshire National Guard Base, 332 Army and Air Force technicians were told to not come into work.


New Jersey:

•More than half the 6,700 civilian workers at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst have been furloughed.


New Mexico:

•The widow of a Forest Service firefighter killed on the job was temporarily denied her late husband’s survivor benefits.

•Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument was closed.


New York:

•In New York City, as many as 50,000 federal employees are likely to be hurt by the shutdown.


North Carolina:

•The Department of Health and Human Services told 337 employees in the state not to show up for work Wednesday.


North Dakota:

•The North Dakota National Guard furloughed 430 of its employees.

•The acting superintendent at Theodore Roosevelt National Park wrote 40 furlough notices for his workers on Tuesday, and the one for himself.


Ohio:

•More than 1,800 Ohio National Guard employees and 8,700 air base workers were put on unpaid leave.

•27 eighth-graders from St. Agatha Catholic School saw their D.C. trip upended.


Oklahoma:

•Officials at Tinker Air Force Base estimated that 2,900 of 14,000 civilian employees were furloughed.


Oregon:

•Several federal offices in Portland, including the Department of Interior, USDA, GSA and EPA, were closed.


Pennsylvania:

•The Gettysburg National Military Park was closed, including the historic battlefield.

•The VA halted vocational rehabilitation services.


Rhode Island:

•The Rhode Island National Guard furloughed 300 of its 425 civilian workers.

•At the Naval War College, civilian instructors were told to stay home.


South Carolina:

•Approximately 1,200 federal technicians for the S.C. National Guard were furloughed.


South Dakota:

•Tribal funds for foster care and other assistance were halted.

•The Davison County Conservation District was shut down because it operates at an office in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Center.


Tennessee:

•A man tried to pay his mother's tax bill at the IRS but the IRS office was closed.


Texas:

•Texas Tech students could see delays in financial aid.

•The George W. Bush Library and Lyndon B. Johnson's presidential libraries were closed.


Utah:

•Roughly 65,000 could see support from the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children halted.

•Half of the state's national guard full-time workers were furloughed.


Vermont:

•The U.S. Forest Service in Rutland was closed.


Virginia:

•Roughly 3,600 people were furloughed at the Navy shipyard in Norfolk.


Washington:

•A trip to Washington, D.C., that eighth graders from Washington state had spent more than a year raising money for became a "huge disappointment" due to closures.


West Virginia:

•1150 national guard employees were furloughed. "I mean we've got folks that aren't going to get paid. They are going home. And some of them have just come back from war," said Major General James Hoyer, state adjutant general.


Wisconsin:

•The state's Hunger Task Force said it would lose out on 217,000 pounds of food it receives every two weeks from the federal government if the shutdown lasts into mid-October.


Wyoming:

•Oil and gas leases between private companies and public lands were halted in the state.



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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 07:51pm
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Utah also has five national parks, which give the state a ton of income from tourism. This fucks over the towns around the national parks really, really hard. They depend on the national parks for their local economy.



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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 08:40pm
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Reading some of the Right Wing sites on there (yeah yeah I know) I just have to shake my head at the copy and paste talking points going around right now.

Almost to a letter the argument is "Well we TRIED to work with the Democrats and we offered up compromise after compromise but they just wouldn't budge!". Was watching a bit of Faux News earlier just for laughs, and one of the Tea Party representatives was going on about 'Just how unfair it is to give and give, and to have the Democrats offer nothing in return!"

It really makes me wonder just how warped these people are that their definition of 'compromise' consists of the exact same result (the destruction of the AHCA) but simply worded in different ways.



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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 09:32pm
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Quote:
Arkansas:
...
•Federal workers earning $11,000-a-year to work at a shelter in Little Rock were forced to work without pay.


Can someone explain to me how that's legal?



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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 09:45pm
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I'm guessing that "forced" either refers to them feeling compelled to go in and work (since it's a shelter of some kind) even if there's no pay, or that someone is in serious trouble.

Also, probably part-time employees.

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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 10:07pm
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Jaepheth wrote:
Can someone explain to me how that's legal?


Probably isn't, but when has that ever mattered a damn if you're too poor to hire a lawyer?



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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 10:29pm
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Block wrote:
Starglider wrote:
The Romulan Republic wrote:
A lot of government employees and their families starving


You mean their net yearly income might be reduced to something slightly closer to their private sector equivalents.


That's completely the opposite of reality in the US. Civil service salaries have always been lower than the public sector. They've become more competitive over the last decade, but only because of the complete stagnation of wages.


That's not true it's a myth that the US government workers typically are paid better. It's only the top management where private sector is paid better. I actually paid a graph showing this in the past.



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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 11:04pm
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Jaepheth wrote:
Quote:
Arkansas:
...
•Federal workers earning $11,000-a-year to work at a shelter in Little Rock were forced to work without pay.


Can someone explain to me how that's legal?

They're probably Americorps members. You get like 800 a month plus a couple hundred paid directly to a landlord. Then a grant of 5k for college at the end.

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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 11:04pm
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ArmorPierce wrote:
That's not true it's a myth that the US government workers typically are paid better. It's only the top management where private sector is paid better. I actually paid a graph showing this in the past.



Whoa posted that while talking on the phone. I intended to say:

That's not true, it's a myth. US government workers typically are paid better. It's only the top management where private sector is paid better. I actually posted a graph showing this in the past.



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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-02 11:28pm
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http://www.examiner.com/article/obamaca ... e-approval

Just in case there was still anyone left that doesn't believe conservatives live in complete la-la land where 2 + 2 = purple:

Quote:
When the House passed legislation to defund ObamaCare but would keep the government running through mid-December, the Senate, led by Senate Majority Leader, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) stated that they would not budge on Obamacare and the legislation was defeated.

On Monday, Dr. Harold Pease, an expert on the United States Constitution, stated that the authority in dealing with Obamacare funding belongs to the U.S. House, not the U.S. Senate and that the House is doing this all wrong.

Pease said, “Everything hinged upon funding which was given exclusively to the House of Representatives, the only power that they alone had.”

Pease went on to say, “All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills. To fund anything, in this case Obamacare, first approval is required by the House of Representatives.”

“If that does not happen taxpayer money cannot be spent. The people, through their representatives to Congress, have determined, after a three-year closer scrutiny of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), that it does not protect the patient, is not affordable and is not even workable; hence in the interests of the vast majority of the people needs to be defunded.”

When the United States Supreme Court ruled on Obamacare in 2012, Chief Justice Roberts stance on Obamacare coincides with the intent of the U.S. Constitution, explained by Pease, and the powers between the House and Senate.

According to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Obamacare cannot be implemented and is not considered the law of the land, contrary to Democrat claims.

Bubba Atkinson of the Independent Journal Review wrote, “Chief Justice Roberts actually ruled the mandate, relative to the commerce clause, was unconstitutional. That is how the Democrats got Obama-care going in the first place. This is critical. His ruling means Congress can’t compel American citizens to purchase anything, ever. The notion is now officially and forever, unconstitutional. As it should be.”

“Next, he stated that, because Congress doesn’t have the ability to mandate, it must, to fund Obama-care, rely on its power to tax. Therefore, the mechanism that funds Obama-care is a tax,” said Atkinson. “He struck down as unconstitutional, the Obama-care idea that the federal government can bully states into complying by yanking their existing medicaid funding. Liberals, through Obama-care, basically said to the states — “comply with Obama-care or we will stop existing funding.” Roberts ruled that is a no-no.”

When the House attached Obamacare to the legislation in funding the government, it made a mistake in doing so and the funding of Obamacare should have been separate, thereby giving the Senate no power in denying the Houses’ request to defund Obamacare.

Pease said, “House opposition to funding Obamacare would have been far more powerful if made a “stand alone” bill not attached to general funding, but it is not. “Stand alone,” having no other parts, would have left the Senate no wiggle or compromise room once it went to them, nor would there be for the Joint Conference Committee thereafter that reconciles any differences between the two houses. There would be nothing to reconcile, Obamacare is merely defunded.”

“Still, the intent of the Founding Fathers was to give the people, through their House of Representatives, the power collectively to say no to any proposed federal tax, which she is decidedly doing.”

If Obamacare is removed from the government budget, presented, and voted on as a separate bill, Obamacare can be defunded by the House. If that is the case, then the Senate and the President has no constitutional authority to override the House's decision.


I can't even list all the things wrong with this article, but I'll try.

1. The House already approved Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act) on March 21, 2010, so it's funded.

2. While it's true that the House has to originate all taxes, the Senate and President has to approve them.

3. Chief Justice Roberts can rule whatever he likes, there are 8 other Justices on the Supreme Court, and he has to get at least 4 others to agree with him before his rulings become law.



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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-03 12:25am
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Block wrote:
Jaepheth wrote:
Quote:
Arkansas:
...
•Federal workers earning $11,000-a-year to work at a shelter in Little Rock were forced to work without pay.


Can someone explain to me how that's legal?

They're probably Americorps members. You get like 800 a month plus a couple hundred paid directly to a landlord. Then a grant of 5k for college at the end.


Could also some how be excepted employees. I'm not sure how though.

I have to work technically without pay right now until a CR/Budget gets passed and I get paid back wages.

If this goes to the 12th (next federal payday) things could start getting ugly. TSA and Customs will start dropping off because with no pay check, no gas to report for duty and it just goes down hill from there.



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 Post subject: Re: US government Shutdown PostPosted: 2013-10-03 01:28am
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Location: Portland, Oregon
Strange, I thought the TSA was being payed, that they were considered "essential services". I know the NSA is still at work spying on americans because they are considered "essential".



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