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Thread: Government shutdown continues, no agreement in sight

  1. #1

    Government shutdown continues, no agreement in sight

    The first full day of government shutdown ended in another stalemate as Democrats rejected an attempt by House Republicans to restore funding to delayed veterans benefits and closed national parks and memorials, and to give the District of Columbia the authority to use local revenue to continue operations.
    Much of Tuesday was spent with the two parties trading barbs about who was responsible for a shutdown. No one seemed to stray from their respective positions: Senate Democrats refuse to consider anything other than a spending bill with no extra measures attached, and House Republicans are seeking last-minute negotiations that could offer a chance to chip away at the health care law.
    The White House kicked off a national "Get Covered Day of Action" on Tuesday. It's encouraging Americans "to take to social media to spread the word about getting covered" throughout the day, using the hashtag #GetCovered.


    After meeting during the day to discuss their options, the House put forward three measures that restore some aspects of government that seemed especially unpopular. Earlier that morning, a group of World War II honor flight veterans who were visiting Washington pushed past the barricades blocking access to the World War II memorial during the shutdown and proceeded with their visit. House Republicans who had been appointed as negotiators pointed to the veterans as a reason for the legislation. "They should, as Americans, as veterans, people who served this country, have the ability to enjoy that site...the silliness that is caused by unwillingness to talk is what we're trying to avoid, and we invite the Senate Democrats to come and join us," said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.
    The small-bill strategy appeared to originate from a suggestion made on Fox News Sunday by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who spent 21 hours on the floor of the Senate last week railing against the health care law.


    Earlier in the day, President Obama used a news conference at the White House to accuse House Republicans of forcing an ideologically-driven shutdown.
    "One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government shut down major parts of the government all because they didn't like one law," Mr. Obama said. "This Republican shut down did not have to happen, but I want every American to understand why it did happen. Republicans in the House of Representatives refused to fund the government unless we defunded or dismantled the Affordable Care Act. They've shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans. In other words, they demanded ransom just for doing their job."


    A few hours later, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, responded with a blistering op-ed piece in USA Today. "The president isn't telling the whole story when it comes to the government shutdown. The fact is that Washington Democrats have slammed the door on reopening the government by refusing to engage in bipartisan talks. And, as stories across the country highlight the devastating impact of Obamacare on families and small businesses, they continue to reject our calls for fairness for all Americans," he wrote. "This is part of a larger pattern: the president's scorched-Earth policy of refusing to negotiate in bipartisan way on his health care law, current government funding, or the debt limit."
    Government shutdown continues, no agreement in sight - CBS News

    Do you agree that there is a radicalization in policy?
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

    Voltaire


  2. #2
    This is due to the refusal of our Demander in Chief to negotiate. While in public he says he is willing to negotiate, thus far he has refused to sit down and talk and the Democrats refuse to attend meetings to talk out the issues. The Democrats are trying to use this as a tool to turn the 2014 election in their favor. There is no hope for this country if they take over the Congress in the next election.

    This is not new. It has happened 20 times in the past. There is never any long-term negative economic impact. The government employees who have been furloughed will all get paid when this is over, so this is essentially a paid vacation. Everything that Obomber has said about this thus far is false.

    I agree with many conservative that this should have never been done, but it was a last effort to try to stop or delay something that is a very bad new law. Nothing that Obomber ever said about the new health care law is true. It is only saving people money in a very number of states where health care costs were extraordinarily high. The overwhelming number of Americans will end up paying more, plus it is having a devastating effect on new jobs. 75% of new jobs are part time because employers do not want to pay the costs for the program. The economy will never recover based on what Obomber and the Democrats did. The worst part is that the real costs will not be known for a couple of years. You cannot cover the costs for 40 million uninsured Americans without someone ultimately paying the bill.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    This is due to the refusal of our Demander in Chief to negotiate. While in public he says he is willing to negotiate, thus far he has refused to sit down and talk and the Democrats refuse to attend meetings to talk out the issues. The Democrats are trying to use this as a tool to turn the 2014 election in their favor. There is no hope for this country if they take over the Congress in the next election.

    This is not new. It has happened 20 times in the past. There is never any long-term negative economic impact. The government employees who have been furloughed will all get paid when this is over, so this is essentially a paid vacation. Everything that Obomber has said about this thus far is false.

    I agree with many conservative that this should have never been done, but it was a last effort to try to stop or delay something that is a very bad new law. Nothing that Obomber ever said about the new health care law is true. It is only saving people money in a very number of states where health care costs were extraordinarily high. The overwhelming number of Americans will end up paying more, plus it is having a devastating effect on new jobs. 75% of new jobs are part time because employers do not want to pay the costs for the program. The economy will never recover based on what Obomber and the Democrats did. The worst part is that the real costs will not be known for a couple of years. You cannot cover the costs for 40 million uninsured Americans without someone ultimately paying the bill.
    There is something I don't understand, why the affordable health care act do not have a sunset provision? The way they passed this law is very questionable, back door deals, exceptions, exempts, and the whole thing mandatory is outrageous. I believe that modifying and reforming the existing laws would have been much better and expand the medicare and medicaid for the people who couldn't afford a health care protection. Instead, this health care system is much more bureaucratic and in my opinion will lose efficiency.

    At the time of internet and high technology, we still need to fill out bureaucratic forms each time we visit a doctor, hospital, lab, etc. We could have a health card like a credit card style and centralized information from each big insurance company. Anyway, I guess this system is old and need a serious modernization.

    I found a very powerful speech video from Congressman John A. Boehne.



    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

    Voltaire


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Franc Tireur View Post
    There is something I don't understand, why the affordable health care act do not have a sunset provision? The way they passed this law is very questionable, back door deals, exceptions, exempts, and the whole thing mandatory is outrageous. I believe that modifying and reforming the existing laws would have been much better and expand the medicare and medicaid for the people who couldn't afford a health care protection. Instead, this health care system is much more bureaucratic and in my opinion will lose efficiency.
    Nothing that this government does is efficient or cost effective. For most government systems, only about 25% of the money taxpayers put in comes out the other end as a benefit to taxpayers. The rest is eaten up in bureaucracy and administration costs. The four wealthiest counties in the country surround Washington DC. If you are part of the bureaucracy, you are doing well, which perpetuates the bureaucracy.

    On top of all of the current obvious problems, the wording in several sections makes it illegal for anyone--including Congress--to change or eliminate any part of that section. I have never heard of such nonsense happening with any law prior to this. The 2,500 page law is now over 12,500 pages with all of the new regulations that were added by non-elected bureaucrats, which the health care law does allow. This was done without any oversight or approval from the Congress or Senate.

    Doctors are now required to ask question about your sexual habitse and about how many firearms you have in your home. Plus, government bureaucrats now have direct access to all of your bank accounts and financial information. What they plan to do with that is the scariest part.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    Doctors are now required to ask question about your sexual habitse and about how many firearms you have in your home. Plus, government bureaucrats now have direct access to all of your bank accounts and financial information. What they plan to do with that is the scariest part.
    For me it is very sad to see this country falling in an authoritarian system, because I have always considerate the US as a model of one of the best society in the world. In surface it is not yet obvious, but just below there are all the ingredients for something very scary. It is like a slow agony of a country made in purpose by ideology of a globalization project and I am afraid that it will be like Europe and wouldn't work.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

    Voltaire


  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Franc Tireur View Post
    For me it is very sad to see this country falling in an authoritarian system, because I have always considerate the US as a model of one of the best society in the world. In surface it is not yet obvious, but just below there are all the ingredients for something very scary. It is like a slow agony of a country made in purpose by ideology of a globalization project and I am afraid that it will be like Europe and wouldn't work.
    You have to remember that we have a Progressive president who hates everything that the USA stands for. He is trying to change it into something it was never meant to be, nor can it exist as such.

    Progressive = Marxist
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    Progressive = Marxist
    All I know is whatever system there is, the people making money are the bankers printing money and lending money (the thiefs), politicians and cartel industries.

    You have to follow the money. For example, take the new politicians and check their personal wealth when they start their careers, if they are still elected check their wealth years later, in general it will tell you something...

    Unfortunately, a good system always morph into something corrupted when the people do not want to get involved.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

    Voltaire


  8. #8
    I saw something a couple of weeks ago about Nancy Pelosi. She came into Congress worth about $1 million, but is now worth an estimate $200 million. A lot of that came from special political deals she pushed through that favored her husband's company.

    It is the same story over and over. The ease of making money in Washington DC corrupts almost everyone. If they are going to call themselves public servants, they should be limited to making servants' wages.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


  9. #9
    Not a recent article, but I found that it is pretty relevant and it gives interesting information.

    Why is Congress a millionaires club?


    The evidence is clear: Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of Congress and don't believe their representatives share their priorities. There's plenty of room for debate over whether Congress shares voters' priorities on political and policy issues. But when it comes to personal priorities, at least, voters have good reason to be skeptical of Congress. Most members of Congress simply don't share in the average American experience.
    National unemployment has lingered above 8 percent for longer than 28 straight months. Congress, meanwhile, is a club that consists of 245 millionaires. Based on 2009 data, there are currently 66 in the Senate and 179 in the House (among current voting members). So while just 1 percent of Americans are millionaires, 66 percent of senators are millionaires, as are 41 percent of House members.

    Even the 2010 elections, with its promises to "take our country back," produced a freshman class of senators with a median net worth of close to $4 million. The median net worth of freshman House members is more than half a million dollars, according the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based, non-partisan research group that tracks the effect of money on elections and public policy.
    Multiple factors contribute to this picture. It begins with campaigns that have become increasingly costly to run, making it all the more difficult for a person of modest income to run for office. National parties, looking for ways to bring down their own costs, actively recruit wealthy candidates.
    Full Series: United States of Influence
    About the series
    Once in office, members of Congress enjoy access to connections and information they can use to increase their wealth, in ways that are unparalleled in the private sector. And once politicians leave office, their connections allow them to profit even further.


    How wealthy is Congress?
    The average estimated personal wealth of congressional members far exceeds the average American's wealth, according to Dave Levinthal, a spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics. "We're talking orders of magnitude," he said -- people with assets in the high six figures in the House and even higher in the Senate.
    The Center regularly goes through the time-consuming process of reviewing congressional financial disclosure reports -- which are only filed on paper -- and publishing the information in a reader-friendly online format. Their work has shown that, besides a slight dip between 2007 and 2008, Congress' personal wealth has continued to rise.
    "Most Americans are being represented by people who, any way you cut it, are in the elite of the financial elite," Levinthal said.
    ../..


    Making money in Congress
    Once a candidate actually makes it into Congress, he's presented with new opportunities to increase his wealth -- some that are unmatched in the corporate world.
    There are some ethics restrictions in place that limit the income congressional members can take in; for instance, they're not allowed to take in outside income (from sources like speaking fees) that amounts to more than 15 percent of their salary (the base pay for a member of Congress is $174,000).
    And like everyone else, members of Congress are subject to current insider trading laws. However, current insider trading laws do not apply to nonpublic information about current or upcoming congressional activity -- that's because members of Congress aren't technically obligated to keep that information confidential.
    Congressmen can get away with "the type of insider trading that would send Martha Stewart to prison," Holman said. "They go into hearings and confidential meetings with business interests, understanding new legislation is going to come out next week," and are free to trade on that information.
    So, for instance, if a lawmaker learns an upcoming bill will grant a company a large government contract, which could boost that company's stock, he or she is free to buy that stock ahead of the bill's public introduction.
    A report released last month by four universities found that on average, stock portfolios held by House members from 1985 to 2001 beat the market average by approximately 6 percent annually. In 2004, the same group of professors found that the average stock portfolios held by members of the Senate beat the market average by about 10 percent.
    Officially, House ethics rules say it would "impractical or unreasonable" to ask members of Congress to divest from industries over which they have jurisdiction, in part because a congressman may have been elected to represent a "common interest" he shares with his constituents. Thus, the rules say, if asked to divest in that industry, the member of Congress may be "ineffective in representing the real interests of the constituents."
    Charles Schumer's Wall Street dance
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    House ethics rules dictate that a lawmaker should "never use any information coming to him confidentially in the performance of governmental duties as a means for making a private profit." House rules, however, are only enforced on an internal basis, and breaches of the rules are often lightly punished, if at all.


    Democratic Reps. Louise Slaughter of New York and Tim Walz of Minnesota have introduced legislation to stop insider trading in Congress. But the bill, which has been introduced before, has never had more than 14 congressional sponsors.

    "To make decisions on the House floor or in committee hearings, members of Congress sometimes need access to non-public information," Slaughter said in a statement, "but they should not be able to profit off that information."
    It's not just the lawmakers themselves who exist in this ethical grey space -- sometimes a congressman's spouse or family member is in a position to profit from congressional actions, raising questions about how far to extend conflict of interest rules.
    "We find that one really effective way for a corporation to do influence peddling without actually bribing a member of Congress is hire the spouse," Holman said. "They'll hire these spouses at exorbitant salaries, and that money really goes directly into the pocket of the member."
    Democratic Rep. Barney Frank recently acknowledged that in the 1990s he helped his then-partner get a lucrative job with Fannie Mae, though he said he did nothing wrong. New York Times reporter Gretchen Morgensen, who reported the detail in a new book, said in an interview that Fannie Mae "rolled out the red carpet" for Frank's partner to try to win him over, since he was a member of the Financial Services Committee.
    Before Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh retired last year, he was the subject of scrutiny because his wife earned more than $1 million a year from sitting on various corporate boards in sectors like pharmaceuticals and insurance. Bayh said his wife's business interests didn't influence his votes on policy that impacted those sectors.
    Once a member leaves office, even more opportunities for financial gain present themselves. According to Public Citizen, between 1998 and 2006, 43 percent of all members of Congress took lobbying jobs after leaving Congress, landing positions with an average annual salary of $2 million.
    While there's room for debate as to whether Congress should adopt more rules to avoid conflicts of interest, it's clear that the more transparency there is, the better. When it comes to the disclosure of lawmakers' personal assets, however, there is certainly room for improvement -- starting with putting the information online, said Levinthal of the Center for Responsive Politics.
    "Digital scanners and the Internet have been a around for a while now," he said wryly. "But there hasn't been any action. We would hope members of Congress would see the wisdom in making this information accessible to the public."

    Why is Congress a millionaires club? - Political Hotsheet - CBS News
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

    Voltaire


  10. #10
    It's amazing that Obama says he will not negotiate, Reid says he will not negotiate, Boehner says he'll be happy to... and the story for publication is that the GOP is "holding everyone hostage". They offered one bill that funded the gov fully but required CONGRESS to be subject to Obamacare. Reid wouldnt call it up for a vote.
    -- Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup. --

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