The Mitt Romney documentary on Netflix (or The Bullet America Dodged)


xiav: look at this fucking idiot ironing his sleeve while its on his wrist







via

Good grief, we really dodged a bullet here.

Mitte:
Very moron
Such stupid
Wow!

Corporate socialism: suckling billions in profits from the government teat

More proof that multi-billion dollar corporations like McDonald’s are quite successfully bilking the American taxpayer to increase their own take-home profits:

Video: McDonald’s tells workers to get food stamps – Salon.com — An audio recording released by labor activists Wednesday afternoon captures a staffer for McDonald’s’ “McResources Line” instructing a McDonald’s worker how to apply for public assistance.

The audio – excerpted in the campaign video below – records a conversation between Chicago worker Nancy Salgado, a ten-year employee currently making the Illinois state minimum wage of $8.25, and a counselor staffing the company’s “McResources” 1-800 number for McDonald’s workers. The McResources staffer offers her a number to “ask about things like food pantries” and tells her she “would most likely be eligible for SNAP benefits” which she explains are “food stamps.” After Salgado asks about “the doctor,” the staffer asks, “Did you try to get on Medicaid?” She notes it’s “health coverage for low income or no income adults and children.”

“It was really, really upsetting,” Salgado told Salon Wednesday, “knowing that McDonald’s knows that they don’t pay us enough, and we have to rely on this.” Noting that McDonald’s was “a billionaire company,” she asked, “how can they not afford to pay us?”

Of course McDonald’s (and other fast-food / big box retail corporations) could afford to pay their employees better wages and stop draining so much out of the taxpayer-funded safety net, but that would mean the corporate big wigs would have to share or reinvest some of their profits.

The new video follows two reports released last week… which estimated that fast food workers utilize nearly $7 billion annually in public assistance, while fast food corporations last year netted $7.4 billion profits.

And, by the way, many of these companies (and their executives) don’t contribute as much to the safety net as, proportionally speaking, the average middle-class taxpayer. As Scott Klinger recently noted:

In the 1950s, corporations paid nearly a third of the federal government’s bills. Last year… corporate income taxes accounted for less than a tenth of Uncle Sam’s total revenue.

Over the past year, one in nine of the companies listed on the S&P 500 paid an effective tax rate of zero percent–that’s zero as in nothing–and that’s on top of taxpayers picking up the tab on public assistance for those profitable corporations who won’t pay their workers a living wage.

There are 57 separate companies listed on the index that paid a zero percent rate from the past year. Those companies include both household names like Verizon and News Corp. and lesser-known corporate giants like the data storage manufacturer Seagate (market value $15.9 billion) and Public Storage (market value $29.5 billion). Many of the companies USA Today identified in its analysis as paying negative rates make the list because they lost money, but several were profitable. Previous analyses have shown that the typical corporation pays a lower effective tax rate than most middle-class families, and a far lower one than the statutory corporate tax rate against which business interests disingenuously rail.

Even though Mitt Romney tried to convince us that “corporations are people, my friend,” the majority of corporations today are not our “neighbors,” they don’t contribute towards the greater good of whichever country they’ve parked a headquarters—in fact, today’s corporations (and their executives) actually seem to do whatever is necessary to get out of contributing their proportional share towards the society which benefits them so greatly. Today’s corporations are run by people who are low on talent and basic morality, but are paid enormous sums of money. And they are nothing like those who came before them. Vanity Fair remembers,

In 1914, [Henry] Ford decided to pay his employees a rich wage and otherwise improve the working conditions…

In January 1914, (Henry Ford) startled the world by announcing that Ford Motor Company would pay $5 a day to its workers. The pay increase would also be accompanied by a shorter workday (from nine to eight hours). While this rate didn’t automatically apply to every worker, it more than doubled the average autoworker’s wage. While Henry’s primary objective was to reduce worker attrition—labor turnover from monotonous assembly line work was high—newspapers from all over the world reported the story as an extraordinary gesture of goodwill.

After Ford’s announcement, thousands of prospective workers showed up at the Ford Motor Company employment office. People surged toward Detroit from the American South and the nations of Europe. As expected, employee turnover diminished. And, by creating an eight-hour day, Ford could run three shifts instead of two, increasing productivity.

Henry Ford had reasoned that since it was now possible to build inexpensive cars in volume, more of them could be sold if employees could afford to buy them. The $5 day helped better the lot of all American workers and contributed to the emergence of the American middle class. In the process, Henry Ford had changed manufacturing forever.

Or, as Henry put it, raising wages “has the same effect as throwing a stone in a still pond,” creating an “ever-widening circle of buying” that increases the prosperity of a nation.

It’s simply a fact that Henry Ford didn’t base his decisions on what Ford Motor Company’s net profits would be the next quarter–he had much greater things to accomplish. Because of Henry’s decisions, an entire nation benefited for years, and you know what? So did his company. Unfortunately those times are over (Reaganomics was the beginning of The End), Henry Ford would be run out of most corporate boardrooms today, and the word Patriotism now holds some twisted meaning that includes offshore bank accounts for the wealthy and easy access to guns for the rest of us. There is no longer a balance or any kind of mutual respect between industrialists and workers—negotiated, contrived, or otherwise. And each one of us ought to ask ourselves, “how did we allow this to happen?” and more importantly, “how can we change it?

Here’s Bill Maher from last week:

“Now when it comes to raising the minimum wage, conservatives always say it’s a non-starter because it cuts into profits. Well… yeah. Of course. Paying workers is one of those unfortunate expenses of running a business. You know, like taxes or making a product. If you want to get rich with a tax-free enterprise that sells nothing, start a church.” 

“…And, look, even if you’re not moved by the Don’t-Be-Such-a-Heartless-Prick argument, consider the fact that most fast food workers (whose average age, by the way, now is 29–I’m not talking about kids) are on some form of public assistance. Which is not surprising… when even working people can’t make enough to live, they take money from the government in the form of food stamps, school lunches, housing assistance, daycare. This is the welfare that conservatives hate but they never stop to think: if we raise the minimum wage and force McDonald’s and Walmart to pay their employees enough to eat, we the taxpayers wouldn’t have to pick up the slack. This is the question the Right has to answer: do you want smaller government with less handouts or do you want a low minimum wage–because you cannot have both. If Col. Sanders isn’t going to pay the lady behind the counter enough to live on, then Uncle Sam has to. And I for one am getting a little tired of helping highly profitable companies pay their workers.” 

Morning coffee: Thursday

  
  
  
  

via [video]

This could actually work!

America’s billionaire welfare kings: the high cost of the wealthy on the rest of us

*Updated title to read welfare kings instead of queens. Seems more appropriate.

For anyone who wonders why the deficit is so large and why, at the same time, income inequality between the super-wealthy and the rest of us is at a record high, consider the various ways which the Republican Party, starting with Ronald Reagan, has gamed the system to funnel our incomes directly into the bank accounts of the one-percent.

FIRST, THANK RONALD REAGAN AND HIS “TRICKLE-DOWN” REAGANOMICS. 

GOP tax bonus for the rich ignores failure of Reaganomics

REAGAN / JULY 1981: “This represents $750 million in tax cuts over the next five years. And this is only the beginning.”

RACHEL MADDOW: “And thus was born a new economic philosophy Reaganomics, cutting government spending, cutting regulation and cutting taxes–cutting taxes especially for the richest Americans. President Reagan’s tax plan cut the top tax rate for the wealthiest Americans from 70 percent to 50 percent. Why cut taxes so dramatically for the richest of the rich in the middle of a recession? [...]

“Trickle-down economics. The idea of trickle-down economics is basically this: you cut tax rates for the richest Americans, therefore the richest Americans have more. They have more money in their pockets, therefore they have more money to spend and invest. And as they spend and invest, the effect of rich people’s good fortune and rich people spending trickles down to everybody else in the economy. A rising tide lifts all boats, right? That was the idea. That was the plan. That did not happen.

Reaganomics was a spectacular success in some ways. It was a spectacular success for the richest Americans in the country who benefited the most from President Reagan’s historic debt- exploding, budget-busting tax cuts. In 1980, the top one percent of Americans earned wages about $110,000 a year. By 1990, after about 10 years of Reaganomics, the top one percent had seen their wages rise by 80 percent. Trickle-down economics, though, right? What’s good for the rich is good for all of us, right? Not quite. Here’s the average wages in the rest of the country in 1980 and here is what happened for the rest of the country after about 10 years of Reaganomics flat. A whopping three percent rise in wages in 10 years. The richest people see their fortunes go up like the Matterhorn. Everybody else, nothing. This is what family income growth looked like during the 1980s:

1.1

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THEN THANK RONALD REAGAN FOR HIS “GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM NOT THE SOLUTION” message, which the tea party carries on today:

The Abject Failure of Reaganomics

Reagan sold Americans on his core vision: “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Through his personal magnetism, Reagan then turned taxes into a third rail of American politics… 

“[Reagan] convinced many voters that the government’s only important roles were funding the military and cutting taxes.”

Yet, instead of guiding the country into a bright new day of economic vitality, Reagan’s approach accelerated a de-industrialization of the United States and a slump in the growth of American jobs, down to 20 percent during the 1980s. The percentage job increase for the 1990s stayed at 20 percent, although job growth did pick up later in the decade under President Clinton, who raised taxes and moderated some of Reagan’s approaches while still pushing “free trade” agreements and deregulation.

Yet, hard-line Reaganomics returned with a vengeance under George W. Bush – more tax cuts, more faith in “free trade,” more deregulation – and the Great American Job Engine finally started grinding to a halt. Zero percent increase. The Great American Middle Class was on life-support.

[...] Through its ideological media and think tanks, the Right continues to hammer home the Reagan-esque theory that “government is the problem.”

Meanwhile, the Left still lacks comparable media resources to remind U.S. voters that it was the federal government that essentially created the Great American Middle Class – from the New Deal policies of the 1930s through other reforms of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, from Social Security to Wall Street regulation to labor rights to the GI Bill to the Interstate Highway System to the space program’s technological advances to Medicare and Medicaid to the minimum wage to civil rights.

Many Americans don’t like to admit it — they prefer to think of their families as reaching the middle class without government help — but the reality is that the Great American Middle Class was a phenomenon made possible by the intervention of the federal government beginning with Franklin Roosevelt and continuing into the 1970s. [For one telling example of this reality -- the Cheney family, which was lifted out of poverty by FDR's policies -- see Consortiumnews.com's "Dick Cheney: Son of the New Deal."]

Further, in the face of corporate globalization and business technology, two other forces making the middle-class work force increasingly obsolete, the only hope for a revival of the Great American Middle Class is for the government to increase taxes on the rich, the ones who have gained the most from cheap foreign labor and advances in computer technology, in order to fund projects to build and strengthen the nation, from infrastructure to education to research and development to care for the sick and elderly to environmental protections.

Meanwhile…

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30 YEARS LATER, THE REST OF US ARE SUPPLEMENTING MINIMUM WAGE JOBS WITH GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS, helping corporate officers and shareholders who pay the shitty wages walk away with massive profits. 

“Taxpayers are spending nearly $7 billion a year to supplement the wages of fast-food workers, even as the leading fast-food companies earn billions of dollars in annual profits, according to a pair of reports released Tuesday.”

Washington Post — More than half of the nation’s 1.8 million “core” fast-food workers rely on the federal safety net to make ends meet, the reports said. Together, they collect nearly $1.9 billion through the earned income tax credit, $1 billion in food stamps and $3.9 billion through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, according to a report by economists at the University of California at Berkeley’s Labor Center and the University of Illinois.

Overall, the “core” fast-food workers are twice as likely to rely on public assistance than workers in other fields, said one of the reports, which examined non-managerial fast-food employees who work at least 11 hours a week and 27 weeks a year.

Even among the 28 percent of fast-food workers who were on the job 40 hours a week, the report said, more than half relied on the federal safety net to get by. [...] Those workers are left to rely on the public safety net even though the nation’s seven largest publicly traded fast-food companies netted a combined $7.4 billion in profits last year, while paying out $53 million in salaries to their top executives and distributing $7.7 billion to shareholders, according to the second report, by the National Employment Law Project, a worker advocacy group.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

“The cost is public because taxpayers bear it. Yet it remains hidden in national policy debates about poverty, employment and federal spending.”

Salon — The first study finds that 52 percent of families of workers employed at least 27 weeks a year and 10 hours a week in rank-and-file fast food jobs are enrolled in Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, food stamps, the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (the program that replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children under “welfare reform”). That includes a majority of those workers who are employed at least 40 hours week. The study, “Fast Food, Poverty Wages,” was sponsored by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Urban & Regional Planning, and funded by the labor group Fast Food Forward. The estimates were based on government data.

second study, by the pro-union National Employment Law Project, extended the analysis to individual companies, estimating that McDonald’s workers received $1.2 billion in public assistance while the corporation netted $5.5 billion in Fiscal Year 2012 profits, and devoted $5.5 billion to dividends and stock buybacks.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

“Companies … are basically pushing off part of their costs on the taxpayers.”

The Guardian — The estimated total cost of $7bn annually is likely to be low, researchers said, because they only looked at four types of public assistance: food stamps; healthcare; the Earned Income Tax Credit and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the program typically best known as “welfare.” They did not include subsidised housing, school lunches, home heating assistance or state programs in their analysis.

“The high participation rate of families of core fast-food workers in public programs can be attributed to three major factors: the industry’s low wages, low work hours and low benefits,” the Berkeley report said. [...] Earlier this year, a report by House Democrats estimated that the cost of Walmart workers’ reliance on public assistance – including food stamps, healthcare and other programmes – is $900,000 per year at just one of the company’s 4,000 stores.

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For the vast majority of these workers, there’s little hope they’ll ever move up the socioeconomic ladder and escape this cycle of poverty and dependency.

Time This combination of low pay and limited work hours yields an average annual salary of only $11,056.14. And while it’s certainly true that some people flipping burgers and taking drive-thru orders are teenagers, that report finds that only 18% are under the age of 18 and living with their parents. Even when you includes minors who don’t live with their parents and college kids living at home, the total adds up to just under a third of all fast food workers.

Of course, fast food companies aren’t the only ones that rely on minimum- and low-wage workers; big-box retailers like Wal-Mart have also come under fire for what they pay employees. But researchers found that 44 percent of restaurant and food service workers were enrolled in one or more assistance programs, the highest of any industry.

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Naked Capitalism how low the pay really is:

Screen shot 2013-10-17 at 1.08.04 AM

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How is supplementing minimum wage jobs with taxpayer-funded government programs NOT income redistribution? Especially when you consider the results.

THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAS TAKEN GOVERNMENT AWAY FROM THE REST OF US to benefit the one percent exclusively. 

Transplanting Taxes from Corporations to the Rest of Us

In the 1950s, corporations paid nearly a third of the federal government’s bills. Last year, thanks to the antics of Pfizer and other examples of overly creative accounting, corporate income taxes accounted for less than a tenth of Uncle Sam’s total revenue. This dramatic shortfall shows up in two ways — federal budget deficit growth and the growing trend of individual taxpayers paying an increased share of the costs of government.

Naturally, that’s resulted in some income inequality:

“The top 1% of US earners collected 19.3% of household income, breaking a record previously set in 1927.”

The income gap between the richest 1% of Americans and the other 99% widened to a record margin in 2012, according to an analysis of tax filings…

Income inequality in the US has been growing for almost three decades. Overall, the pre-tax incomes of the top 1% of households rose 19.6% compared to a 1% increase for the rest of Americans.

And the top 10% of richest households represented just under half of all income in the year, according to the analysis.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

So 30 years after Ronald Reagan… here we are. With George W. Bush’s unpaid wars and tax cuts and bank bailouts, we’re left with a record deficit, no new revenue (the GOP insists on spending cuts only to “entitlement programs”!), no manufacturing (most of it off-shored by companies like Bain Capital years ago), a crumbling infrastructure, millions of people working minimum wage service-sector jobs, and with income inequality at a record high. The rich are richer than ever! 

And yet for the past few years, the Republican Party has spent all of its time and energy trying to defund or postpone a law which will make health insurance more affordable for most Americans—this month even going as far as shutting down the government, risking default, and costing the rest of us ANOTHER $24 BILLION and a loss of services and programs for 16 days.

What Republicans really mean when they say ‘government is the problem‘ is: (1) it’s a problem if the wealthy have to contribute / don’t profit and (2) it’s a problem if the not-wealthy benefit from government services / don’t help the wealthy to profit.

The GOP has redefined the purpose of government and who it should benefit. Where everyone used to contribute for the good of most, now most people contribute for the benefit of only a few—and those few happen to be worth millions, if not billions. The one percent reap all the rewards of living here without having to invest or contribute a proportional amount of their fortunes. And the rest of us, the American taxpayers, subsidize their lifestyles with money that could be benefiting us personally and building a better future for our children.

What’s really the bigger problem today: government or living with the Republican Party’s economic plan for the past 30 years?

Another graduate of Rush Limbaugh University

For listening just three hours a day from your truck or assisted living center, you too can earn a Ph.D in Illogically Stupid White Males or a J.D. in Racist Comparative Theory for Dumbshits!

Here, Dr. Johnny Howard (RLU, summa cum laude), explains how affordable health insurance is obviously someone’s (!) punishment for slavery:

Balloon Juice — After Congress passed the debt ceiling extension and reopened the government, the owner of Smokin’ Joe’s Ribhouse in Rogers, Arkansas, Johnny Howard, decided to make this public statement on the road sign outside of his restaurant:

Obamacare_Slavery

The sign was up for approximately 45 minutes, and after it was taken down, Howard apologized and said:

It’s the policy and I made the mistake of wording it in the wrong fashion. The policy. It’s not the person it’s the policy, … To me this health care plan is a job killer. I myself will have to eliminate at least one location if all the policies that were written originally go through.

You might ask yourself: Wait. WHY would Dr. Howard need to eliminate one location of his vast rib empire if people will be able to buy health insurance at a lower price? There are no easy answers… just know it will have to happen because, Obamacare.

The winners (Ted Cruz) and losers (the rest of us) of the government shutdown

THE WINNERS: Sen. Ted Cruz and his PACs. 

Not only did Ted Cruz retain his paycheck and benefits during the shutdown, but beginning with his 21-hour stand-up routine that included reading Green Eggs and Ham on the Senate floor, Cruz has raised more money for himself and his PACs throughout the shutdown than he’d been able to raise in any quarter previously. No wonder he claims his effort to defund Obamacare was a “victory” even as that effort bombed in both the Senate and then the House. It was a victory… but only for his personal campaign finances:

His state director, John Drogin, emails to note that combining all of the senator’s accounts (including his reelection and leadership PACs) yields a haul of $1.19 million from 12,000 individual donors. — Atlantic Wire

Unfortunately, because of the intelligence levels of our country, this fact will only make the extremists love Cruz even more, meaning more money for his bank accounts and, like Sarah Palin, a much longer “15 minutes” than would otherwise have been earned. ‘Murica!

THE LOSERS: all of us. 

ABC News —The 16-day government shutdown is over, but the country has taken at least a $24 billion hit along the way. The financial ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said Wednesday the shutdown “to date has taken $24 billion out of the economy,” equaling $1.5 billion dollars a day and “shaved at least 0.6 percent off annualized fourth-quarter 2013 GDP growth.” These estimates are for the overall economy, taking into account not just federal wages and productivity, but all the ripple effects and costs as well.

Additionally:

- $3.1 billion in lost government services. Although furloughed workers will get their back pay,  taxpayers won’t see the products.  (Source: I.H.S.)

-  According to the U.S. Travel Association:  There has been $152 million per day in all spending related to travel lost because of the shutdown. As many as 450,000 American workers supported by travel may be affected.

-   According to the National Park Service: They welcome more than 700,000 people per day usually in October and visitors spend an estimated $32 million per day impact in communities near national parks and contribute $76 million each day to the national economy.  Those revenues were lost.

-  According to Destination D.C., the official tourism corporation of D.C.: There is a 9 percent decrease in hotel occupancy from the last week in September before the shutdown to the first week of October during the shutdown. This year, hotel occupancy was down 74.4 percent for the week Sept. 29 to Oct. 5 compared to the 2012 numbers. (Source: Smith Travel Research, Inc.) In 2012, an estimated $6.2 billion of visitor spending supported more than 75,300 jobs.

Politico — States won’t get paid back for reopening national parks: A deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling won’t repay the states for kicking in funds to the National Park Service to open the Statue of Liberty, Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore and other national icons during the 16-day shutdown. According to the deals between the Interior Department and the states, Congress would need to specifically authorize the repayment of any money spent that states had donated to fund the sites. “These funds from states are donations, not loans,” an Interior official said. “It would take an act of Congress to authorize any sort of reimbursement.” …These included:

New York’s donation of $369,300 to reopen the Statue of Liberty from last Saturday through Thursday

Arizona’s $651,000 to open Grand Canyon National Park to visitors for a week from last Saturday

South Dakota’s $152,000 to fund Mount Rushmore National Memorial for 10 days starting this past Monday

Utah’s $1,665,720.80 for eight sites that opened for 10 days starting Oct. 11

Colorado’s $362,700 to reopen Rocky Mountain National Park for 10 days starting Oct. 11

Embedded image permalink

Geography of the House votes

Jim Roberts (NY Times): Breakdown of House vote, 285-144, to end fiscal impasse. All “NO” votes came from GOP. http://nyti.ms/15K3sTb 

 

House votes to reopen government, delay default: 285 to 144

…WITHOUT repealing, defunding, or delaying the Affordable Care Act.

After the past two weeks (and the +40 votes on Obamacare prior to this), tea party relevance can be measured with the following EKG:

This vote could have been held two weeks ago, saving the American public at least $23 billion and much heartache, if not for the Republican House and their “Hastert Rule.”

Also notice over half the Republican House members voted for default and to keep the government shut down. That’s not leadership and it’s certainly not patriotic.

The Senate vote earlier was 81 to 18.

John Boehner screams ‘Uncle!’ in official press release

“The House has fought with everything it has to convince the president of the United States to engage in bipartisan negotiations aimed at addressing our country’s debt and providing fairness for the American people under ObamaCare.  That fight will continue.  But blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by the members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us.  In addition to the risk of default, doing so would open the door for the Democratic majority in Washington to raise taxes again on the American people and undo the spending caps in the 2011 Budget Control Act without replacing them with better spending cuts.  With our nation’s economy still struggling under years of the president’s policies, raising taxes is not a viable option. Our drive to stop the train wreck that is the president’s health care law will continue.  We will rely on aggressive oversight that highlights the law’s massive flaws and smart, targeted strikes that split the legislative coalition the president has relied upon to force his health care law on the American people.”

— House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), in a press release on the Speaker’s page, regarding bipartisan Senate agreement to reopen the government and avoid default.

Rush Limbaugh is having an existential crisis

“I was trying to think if ever in my life, I could remember any major political party being so irrelevant. I have never seen it. I have never seen a major political party simply occupy placeholders, as the Republican party has been doing. There has not been any serious opposition…against what’s happening in this country. The Republicans have done everything they can to try to make everyone like them and what they’ve ended up doing is creating one of the greatest political disasters I’ve ever seen in my lifetime…I was pondering if I could ever remember…a time when a political party just made a decision not to exist, for all intents and purposes.”

Rush Limbaugh, lamenting the GOP’s surrender on the shutdown and the debt ceiling.

Tea culpa

Sen. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC) pleads for mercy from the Democrats:  

We won’t be the last political party to overplay our hand. It might happen one day on the Democratic side. And if it did, would Republicans, for the good of the country, kinda give a little? We really did go too far. We screwed up. But their response is making things worse, not better.

Seriously, Lindsey? Republicans--for the good of the country--would be kinder to Democrats if they screwed up this badly? You’re just lucky Republicans won’t have to face Republicans with this debacle.

Sen. JOHN McCAIN (R-AZ), remarking on House Republicans inability to get their shit together in advance of Thursday’s debt ceiling deadline.

“It’s very, very serious. Republicans have to understand we have lost this battle, as I predicted weeks ago, that we would not be able to win because we were demanding something that was not achievable.”

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) provides an assessment from the moderate members of the GOP, as the prominent conservative organizations Heritage Action, Red State and FreedomWorks all came out against a last-second GOP leadership plan to avert a crisis that Democrats had warned was too far to the right: 

“This party is going nuts.”

Man of the mighty Tea-God, PAT BUCHANAN, still wants to burn it all down

“Republicans should refuse to raise the white flag and insist on an honorable avenue of retreat. And if Harry Reid’s Senate demands the GOP end the sequester on federal spending, or be blamed for a debt default, the party should, Samson-like, bring down the roof of the temple on everybody’s head.”

Who will be Pat’s holy warrior?

A Senate Republican aide placed the blame on a particular senator from Texas. TED CRUZ (R-TX) reportedly met with a group of House conservatives at Tortilla Coast, a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C., to discuss strategy Monday night.

“Ted Cruz and his Tortilla Coast Republicans are leading us to a default.” 

Sen. KELLY AYOTTE (R-NH) says Sen. TED CRUZ (R-TX), could try to gum up the bipartisan effort underway to reopen the government and lift the debt ceiling:

“It’s up to him. I would hope that he wouldn’t. I mean, in the Senate obviously in terms of certain time frames, senators can cause to you run out the clock. But what’s he trying to gain at this point?”

Currently being discussed:


Sorry, Pat.

Tea party ideology as illustrated with fictional villains




via

The debt ceiling…

There isn’t enough extortion in either the House or Senate proposals to satisfy the tea party

Danny Vinik explains why the House GOP proposal is still extortion while the Senate GOP proposal isn’t.

Here’s how the Senate proposal shapes up:

Republicans get:                                                                Democrats Get:

  • Income verification                                            •  Delay of reinsurance fee

There will also be a budget negotiation that occurs under the McConnell-Reid deal. See how both sides get something from each other?

Here’s the new House GOP plan:

Republicans get:                                                                    Democrats Get:

  • Income verification
  • Two-year delay of medical device tax
  • Version of Vitter Amendment
  • Ban on extraordinary measures

So, what exactly do Democrats get out of this? Nothing. House Republicans are still demanding concessions in return for funding the government and not defaulting. It’s the same hostage-taking tactics they’ve been using all along. Boehner and Co. have reduced their ransom demands significantly, which is why there is a lot of optimism that a deal will eventually get done, but it’s still ransom. That’s why the White House and Senate Democrats are vehemently against this plan. They are adamant that they will not agree to any deal that sets a precedent for using the debt ceiling as an extortion device and the House GOP plan still does that.

This explains the rejection of the House plan by the Senate / White House—but it also explains why the teahadists in the House would reject both proposals: there’s not enough extortion in either.

Speakership before Country: Boehner won’t take back the fate of the nation from the Crazy 80

Boehner still won’t allow a vote to go to the floor if a majority of the majority can’t pass it. He doesn’t want to face a mutiny on the Good Ship Teabagger. It doesn’t matter if a majority of the House would pass the Senate bill, Boehner’s pandering to the tea crowd extremists who, in reality, are never going to agree to anything that’s remotely acceptable to the Senate / Administration. So.

Meet John Boehner’s new problem. Same as his old problem. — The Fix 

After a more-than-two hour meeting with GOP members, Boeher emerged to tell the press that there was in fact no Republican House plan. “There are a lot of opinions about what direction to go,” Boehner said. ”There have been no decisions about what exactly we will do.”

According to WaPo’s Lori Montgomery, Boehner’s walk-back from a plan that seemed solid enough for the White House to release an official condemnation of it was due to worries that Boehner and the Republican leadership simply couldn’t wrangle the 217 votes they needed from within their own ranks to pass it.

House Republicans Poised To Spurn Senate Debt Deal — TPM

House Republicans look ready to reject a pending bipartisan compromise in the Senate and propose their own plan for re-opening the government and raising the debt limit.

Here are the details of the new House bill that the leadership presented to Republican members at a closed door meeting Tuesday morning, according to multiple House GOP sources.

  • Temporary spending bill to re-open the government until Jan. 15.
  • Increase the debt limit enough to last until Feb. 7.
  • A two-year delay of Obamacare’s medical device tax.
  • A requirement that the Obama administration verify the income of Americans receiving tax subsidies through Obamacare (specifics pending).
  • A revised version of the so-called Vitter Amendment, in this case requiring Congress members and executive department officials like President Obama — but not their staffs — to purchase insurance through the law’s marketplace without federal employer subsidies.
  • Eliminates Treasury Department’s ability to use “extraordinary measures” to avoid default.

The House is expected to vote on the bill today.

Market reaction: 

Down, down, down—which is great news for the tea party.

Pelosi, Reid slam Boehner’s reckless effort to sabotage deal to end shutdown, avoid default — DailyKos

In Pelosi’s words:

What you saw here earlier was a Speaker who did not have the votes for his proposal. So why are they doing this to the American people? Sabotaging a good faith bipartisan effort coming out of the Senate, wasting the public’s time. And in this case, time is money. Time is money. This is going to be very costly to our economy. [...] This Republican habit of sabotaging of any effort to move forward is a luxury our country cannot afford.

Of the GOP’s antics, Reid said it was “hard to comprehend this logically.”

The tea party driven part of the Republican party doesn’t follow logic. Why would they want to close the government for 15 days and have us default on our debt? Introduction of this measure by House Republican leadership is unproductive and a waste of time. Let’s be clear: The House legislation will not pass the Senate.

In case ANYONE doubts that it was House Republicans who shut down the government

Doubt no more.

[Below] Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) confirming with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) that the Republicans changed the House rule 22 clause 4 on Oct 1, 2013 in order to ensure the federal government would be shut down:

  
  
DEMOCRACY’S BEEN SUSPENDED! [video]

Van Hollen: H. Res. 368 changed the standing rules of the House to take away from any member of the House the privilege of calling up the Senate bill to immediately reopen the government, is that right?

Chaffetz: It did change the operation of the standing rule.

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Remember this bit of GOP gamesmanship when you think about Cruz and Palin at their tea party rally on Sundayusing veterans as cover, pseudo-raging about closed memorials. Cruz and Palin were there to represent one thing only: the tea party and everything it stands for. Their only purpose was to try to deflect blame for the shutdown to the President and Democrats in Congress, to call for Obama’s impeachment, and to celebrate the usual racist tripe that we’ve all come to expect from the ridiculous individuals who comprise this group of losers.

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TPM: The House GOP’s Little Rule Change That Guaranteed A Shutdown

Here’s the rule in question:

When the stage of disagreement has been reached on a bill or resolution with House or Senate amendments, a motion to dispose of any amendment shall be privileged.

In other words, if the House and Senate are gridlocked as they were on the eve of the shutdown, any motion from any member to end that gridlock should be allowed to proceed. Like, for example, a motion to vote on the Senate bill. That’s how House Democrats read it.

But the House Rules Committee voted the night of Sept. 30 to change that rule for this specific bill. They added language dictating that any motion “may be offered only by the majority Leader or his designee.”

So unless House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) wanted the Senate spending bill to come to the floor, it wasn’t going to happen. And it didn’t.

“I’ve never seen this rule used. I’m not even sure they were certain we would have found it,” a House Democratic aide told TPM. “This was an overabundance of caution on their part. ‘We’ve got to find every single crack in the dam that water can get through and plug it.'”

Congressional historians agreed that it was highly unusual for the House to reserve such power solely for the leadership.

“I’ve never heard of anything like that before,” Norm Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, told TPM.

“It is absolutely true that House rules tend to not have any explicit parliamentary rights guaranteed and narrowed to explicit party leaders,” Sarah Binder, a congressional expert at the Brookings Institution, told TPM. “That’s not typically how the rules are written.”

Republican staff on the House Rules Committee did not respond to multiple requests for comment. But here’s what House Rules Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) told Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) when she raised those concerns before the rule change was approved.

“What we’re attempting to do is to actually get our people together rather than trying to make a decision,” Sessions said. “We’re trying to actually have a conference and the gentlewoman knows that there are rules related to privileged motions that could take place almost effective immediately, and we’re trying to go to conference.”

“You know that there could be a privileged motion at any time…,” Sessions continued as Slaughter continued to press the issue.

“To call for the vote on the Senate resolution,” Slaughter interjected. “I think you’ve taken that away.”

“I said you were correct. We took it away,” Sessions said, “and the reason why is because we want to go to conference.”

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