American Horror Story: Government Shutdown

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The U.S. Congress, as a whole, is making $2.95 every second. That’s $177 a minute and more than $250,000 a day. And yes, it’s still making that during the government shutdown it caused.
– Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) says he needs his paycheck during the shutdown to pay for his “nice house.”
– Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) says “I need my paycheck. That’s the bottom line.”

– See: http://congressstillgetspaid.com

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This evening, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the US Department of Agriculture announced that “an estimated 278 illnesses … reported in 18 states” have been caused by chicken contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg and possibly produced by the firm Foster Farms. “FSIS is unable to link the illnesses to a specific product and a specific production period,” the agency said in an emailed alert. “The outbreak is continuing.” // FSIS furloughed 1,218 of 9,633 federal employees.

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Food expert Marion Nestle asks whether government-shutdown-mandated furloughs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hampered its response to the salmonella outbreak at Foster Farms… The Heidelberg strain of salmonella appears to be especially virulent. As my colleague David Pierson reported, 42% of victims have been hospitalized, double the normal rate. One big problem: Some of the salmonella strains appear to be resistant to antibiotics. Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued the initial Public Health Alert, monitoring food-borne illnesses is the job of the CDC. Thanks to the Republican shutdown, the agency was operating with a skeleton crew when the outbreak appeared. // If you’re curious why the CDC’s absence from this outbreak is so critical, this description of how the CDC works in multi-state outbreaks — by organizing the investigation and deploying lab resources that no other agency possesses — is helpful.

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Most federal employees will receive a paycheck on Friday that’s only 60 percent of the usual amount, thanks to the government shutdown. This could be the last check they receive until agencies reopen. [...] The government shutdown affects the pay of both excepted employees — those still on the job — and furloughed workers. The pay of most excepted employees will be delayed but eventually they will be reimbursed for their hours [when the shutdown ends.] // USFS furloughed 18,755 of 32,015 federal employees. Fire crews and law enforcement remain on patrol to protect life and property.

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Benefit checks (including pensions) for veterans and their families would end Nov. 1, if the shutdown lasts through October, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki told a congressional panel Wednesday morning… and most of the remaining 13,000 VBA workers will be furloughed.

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Most federal employees will receive a paycheck on Friday that’s only 60 percent of the usual amount, thanks to the government shutdown. This could be the last check they receive until agencies reopen.[...] The government shutdown affects the pay of both excepted employees — those still on the job — and furloughed workers. …Furloughed workers will only receive back pay if Congress approves it; those who worked for a few hours on Oct. 1 to close up shop will be paid for that time.

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The Utah Department of Workforce Services has seen a 500 percent increase of people requesting unemployment since the government shutdown turned federal employees away from work Tuesday. The state-run office usually process 2,000 unemployment claims a week, but since Tuesday has taken on 10,000.

Capturephoto source …aw, bb.

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A report released by the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees (CNPSR) set out the following numbers: 715,000 visitors lost daily based on October 2012 national park attendance numbers, $76 million in lost visitor spending per day and $450,000 in lost revenue each day that would go directly to the National Park Service ($300,000 in entrance fees and $150,000 in other in-park expenditures, such as campground fees, boat rentals, etc.). [...] Losses like these led the American Hotel Lodging Association to send a letter on Thursday to President Obama and members of the House and Senate urging them to reach an immediate agreement. The letter states, “Analysts say that for each day the federal government is shut down, collective American income is reduced approximately $200 million, and our nation’s hotels are losing more than $8 million in economic activity – putting jobs at risk and causing repercussions across many other related sectors. Communities near national parks are expected to lose $76 million a day in visitor spending.”

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New distilleries, breweries and wineries cannot open. Certain businesses that manufacture or distribute alcohol — and firearms, ammunition and tobacco products — require permits [to operate] from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which won’t accept new applications during the shutdown. // An obscure but powerful arm of the Treasury Department has stopped approving new brews... Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Boston-based Samuel Adams…said that while it’s important to keep the focus on how ordinary people are being hurt by the shutdown, “we will quickly see the downstream effects on businesses and industries. … In short, new breweries cannot start up and new beers cannot be sold.” // 448 of 483 TTB employees were furloughed on Oct. 1.

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At the close of business today, more than 90 percent of the staff of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will go home on furlough as a result of the government shutdown. The Commission had been operating on carryover funds since last Monday, when the shutdown began, but those funds run out today, reducing the staff to a skeleton crew of 300 “essential” personnel who will be responsible for monitoring the nation’s 63 nuclear sites until the government reopens. 

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Processing of oil and gas permits by the Bureau of Land Management [has come] to a halt. BLM will continue to monitor ongoing oil, gas, coal and other mineral operations. BLM will keep inspectors and enforcement personnel on the job for some activities, including overseeing some drilling operations and patrolling oil and gas fields “to make sure that theft of oil or condensate is not occurring.” Alaska pipeline operations will also keep going because funding comes from non-federal sources and for health and safety reasons. // The Dept. of Interior furloughed 58,765 of 72,562 federal employees.

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Patients hoping to enroll for treatment in cutting-edge research studies at the National Institutes of Health’s renowned hospital will have to seek care elsewhere during the government shutdown. Each week that a shutdown lasts would force the agency’s research-only hospital to turn away an estimated 200 patients, 30 of them children… [...] For the fiscal year that ended Monday, NIH was able to fund only about 16 percent of the grant applications it received, Collins said, down from about 1 in 3 applications funded a decade ago. That’s because earlier this year, NIH lost $1.5 billion of its $31 billion budget to automatic spending cuts known as the sequester, after years of budgets that didn’t keep up with inflation.

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[Arizona] stopped payments averaging $207 a week to 5,200 families eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families after Tuesday’s government shutdown… The Arizona Republic reports the decision came despite assurances from federal officials that states would be reimbursed for any payments they made for the federal program. It also comes as the state sits on a $450 million rainy day fund.

NOTE: Gov. Jan Brewer paid the federal government a $651,000 donation allowing Park Service employees to reopen [Grand Canyon National Park] and manage it through Oct. 18, the park service said Friday in a statement..

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The distribution of Social Security benefits will continue, but services like issuing new Social Security cards have ceased. “I just came in here to see if mailing a disability questionnaire late will affect my son’s benefits,” an 81-year-old Howard Beach woman said as she left the Rego Park Social Security office. “ All the supervisor told me was that he doesn’t know, that he couldn’t help me.” For some, that frustration has turned into anger. “It was a bad experience in there,” the woman added. “One man was so mad, he nearly punched the worker through the glass window.” // SSA furloughed 18,006 of 62,343 federal employees.

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The Food and Drug Administration has been forced to suspend all routine food safety inspections for the duration of the government shutdown, FDA spokesman Steven Immergut confirmed to The Huffington Post on Friday afternoon. Until funding is restored, the FDA will be inspecting only those facilities that it has cause to believe “present an immediate threat to public health.” // FDA furloughed 976 of 1602 investigators.

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In a post on his personal Facebook page that was later deleted, Pearce urged government workers to call their banks and take out a short-term loan if money is tight. “If you are a furloughed government employee, we encourage you to reach out to your financial institution as soon as you worry you may miss a paycheck,” read the post. “Don’t wait until you are behind on a bill; call now and explore your options. [Pearce is one of the 50 richest members of Congress, with a net worth of $8 million. ]

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The House gym reserved exclusively for lawmakers remains open during the shutdown. It features a swimming pool, basketball courts, a sauna and steam room. “This job is very stressful and if you don’t have a place to vent, you are going to go crazy and that’s why I’ve used it all these years,” said Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), who has been a user since 1973. While there’s no towel service available during these tough times, taxpayers are still paying for maintenance and cleaning. The House gym for staff members, however, is closed. // And for [lawmakers and their staff] who feel like relaxing, there’s a special little subway car …to get them there in a ride that takes about 30 seconds. The trains remain staffed and functioning during the shutdown.

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More episodes of American Horror Story: Government Shutdown, as time goes on:

“The longer this goes on, the worse it will be.”President Obama

  • The Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulates trading on Wall Street. The CFTC has sent home 680 of its 708 employees. “They’re monitoring a $300-trillion market,” said Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass. “How many people are being ripped off, right now? The cops are off the beat.”
  • Engineering firm URS Corp and British defense contractor BAE Systems added a further 4,200 to the number of workers who have been temporarily laid off due to the U.S. government shutdown.
  • Boeing Co. (BA) said it may furlough workers at its defense, space and security unit should the U.S. government’s partial shutdown continue. … He declined to say how many employees may be idled.
  • Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin said Monday that it would trim its planned furloughs to about 2,400 employees—most of whom are based in the D.C. area—in light of the Pentagon’s decision to recall most of its civilians workers.
  • 10/8/13: One industry group estimated that after another week of shutdown, up to 300,000 government contractors could be out of work.
  • Many state governments, including North Carolina, Rhode Island, Arkansas, are also furloughing employees whose pay depends on federal funding. Wyoming furloughed 231 state employees whose salaries are paid in full or in part by the federal government.
  • A recent study released by WalletHub claims that Idaho is one of the hardest-hit states in the union, when it comes to the shutdown. Idaho checks in at ninth, due to our high reliance on federal contracting work (much of which has been put on stand-by) and our high reliance on loans from the U.S. Small Business Association (which can’t be processed). Idaho will feel even more impact from the shutdown next week, when logging in national forests is halted.
  • The housing market is expected to slow down because lenders won’t be able to verify borrowers’ incomes with the IRS and Social Security Administration. Borrowers will also face delays getting mortgage insurance from the Federal Housing Authority, which guarantees about 15% of new loans.
  • Many small business employers rely on E-Verify (an online program of the Department of Naturalization and Immigration Services) to determine a potential employee’s eligibility. But that resource is currently unavailable. 
  • Furloughs for federal inspectors also kept the National Transportation Safety Board from dispatching a team to investigate a fatal explosion on a Washington Metro line over the weekend. // Deborah Hersman, chairman of the NTSB and a West Virginia native, said there have been 14 accidents since the shutdown began — including a school bus accident in Tennessee and a worker who died on the D.C. Metro subway system — that the agency has been unable to investigate because of the shutdown. “Safety delayed is safety denied,” Hersman said.
  • National weather and emergency preparedness resources are not available.
  • The government’s Small Business Administration, Federal Housing Administration and the Agriculture Department’s Farm Service Agency are essentially out of reach for many people applying for funds…government funding for these agencies has essentially been halted
  • Agriculture producers cannot get market reports.
  • Government approvals for fishing and quotas are unavailable, a situation that is costing seafood companies tens of thousands of dollars. 
  • Illinois officials are scaling back on certain hospital and nursing home inspections because of the partial federal government shutdown. …a state agency gets about $1.3 million a month to pay for inspections of medical facilities. But the shutdown means the money isn’t heading to Illinois. So the Illinois Department of Public Health has put certain inspections on hiatus.
  • Head StartAfter reports during the first week of shutdown that some Head Start programs had been shuttered in Florida, Connecticut and a few other states, more programs will likely shut as local programs run out of money. [Some conservatives see the curtailing of a pre-school program for low income families not as a crisis, but as an opportunity.]
  • WIC [Women, Infants, and Children] If the federal government is still shut down at the end of October, 38,000 women and young children (in Washington state) will lose access to an important federal nutrition subsidy called WIC, and 82 King County staff will be laid off.
  • Meals on Wheelsthe shutdown comes on top of the this year’s sequester, which resulted in a roughly 8% overall cut in federal funding for Meals on Wheels, a percentage that might be higher or lower for individual programs. [How many veterans receive Meals on Wheels? It's too bad GOP politicians care more about photo-ops at national monuments than whether those elderly veterans in wheelchairs will receive something to eat in the weeks ahead.]
  • Salvation Army: The impacts of the government shut down can be seen on the shelves of the Salvation Army’s food pantry. “Usually shelves would be full like this,” explained Volpone. Since the shut down began, the Salvation Army says it is feeding 40 more mouths a day than normal.
  • Many exports and imports – including steel, lumber and computer equipment – cannot move over the border without specific permits from the federal government, permits that aren’t being given because of the shutdown.
  • Environmental Protection AgencyAll pesticide imports to the U.S. have been halted, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which must approve them but has had more than 90% of its staff furloughed.
  • U.S. Department of CommerceSome U.S. technology companies can’t fill overseas orders because they cannot obtain U.S. Department of Commerce authorization to export. Steel imports are stranded at customs-clearance warehouses awaiting paperwork.
  • MSHA [Mine Safety and Health Administration]: gave lay off notices to nearly 1,400 employees who enforce mine safety laws from West Virginia to Montana. Those cutbacks mean safety regulators can’t do routine inspections of those high-hazard workplaces. Since the shutdown began, three mine workers died in separate accidents that occurred over a three day span. However, there isn’t any indication that those deaths occurred because of fewer inspections… But its been enough to send a red flag to officials with the united mine workers of America, and local miners as they continue their work.
  • With ninety per cent of OSHA employees furloughed, workplace-safety inspections aren’t taking place.
  • Ninety per cent of EPA workers are also staying home, which means inspections of toxic-waste sites have stopped.
  • The CDC has stopped monitoring the spread of the flu.
  • As scientists had feared, today (Oct. 8) the National Science Foundation announced it was canceling the U.S. Antarctic research program for this year because of the ongoing government shutdown… The shutdown means the cancellation of millions of dollars of planned research. Graduate students may have to stay in school longer because they won’t get the data they need to complete their research. Contractors are losing their jobs. Other countries, including New Zealand, France and Italy, rely on the United States’ sea-ice runway at McMurdo Station and may not be able to conduct their own research after the pullout.
  • As a result of the federal government shutdown, many resources that researchers, academics, and library patrons depend on—like the Library of Congress (LC) archives—have been rendered unavailable in the last week. [From comments: A great deal of research is done at National Laboratories, such as Los Alamos National Laboratory, including library/digital library research, which are slated to shutdown at midnight 18th of October.]
  • Oct. 16: Federal courts could shut down. Administrators say the courts will stay open for roughly the first 10 business days of the shutdown, but they say they would have to reassess matters on Oct. 15.
  • After Oct. 17, the Treasury would have about $30 billion on hand, enough to cover only a few days. Predictions for the fallout in the financial markets are catastrophic.
  • Some economists have estimated that the shutdown costs the U.S. economy $300 million a day.
  • If the shutdown stretches through the end of October, experts at Moody’s Analytics predict a total economic impact of $50 billion.

Video: Bill Maher on Republicans’ offensive treatment of President Obama (2/17/12 New Rules)


Bill Maher (partial transcript via: DailyKos):

But there’s something about this President that makes conservatives think it’s OK to go apeshit in his presence.  They didn’t do this to Carter, an actual pacifist, or Clinton, who really did have a plan for universal health care, or LBJ, who actually made it easier for poor people to vote and eat.  All of them clearly evil America-haters.

But they got treated with a modicum of respect, at least to their faces.  Not Obama.  What can it be that’s different about him?  (ponders for a moment to uncomfortable audience laughter)

It’s either his race, or it’s your brain chemistry, or it’s something that happened when your dad spanked you and you liked it and you were looking at a box of Cream of Wheat.  I don’t know, I’m not a therapist.  Maybe it’s not race.  I don’t know what’s in people’s hearts.  Except Newt Gingrich, I know what’s in his heart: lust and cheese fries.

But this type of in-the-room, in-your-face, in-your-space disrespect is new.  Admit that, and I will admit that, of course, something like impeaching Clinton was far more serious.  But it was also at least in some ways more respectful.  It was done with high pomp, through official channels, and was all about the rule of law, and the Chief Justice wore a special robe he got from a musical or something.

And somehow that is a lot more respectful than this.

Saturday morning’s 9 interesting things

1) Catholicism then: “I as a Catholic have absolutely no right in my thinking to foist through legislation or through other means, my doctrine of my church upon others. It is important to note that Catholics do not need the support of the civil law to be faithful to their religious convictions,” - Boston’s late Cardinal Richard Cushing, 1965, the man who married John F Kennedy. – The Dish

2) Catholicism now: “[O]nce the colleges fell and those who were being educated in our institutions, the next was the church. Now you’d say, ‘wait, the Catholic Church’? No. We all know that this country was founded on a Judeo-Christian ethic but the Judeo-Christian ethic was a Protestant Judeo-Christian ethic, sure the Catholics had some influence, but this was a Protestant country and the Protestant ethic, mainstream, mainline Protestantism, and of course we look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it.”Rick Santorum’s assessment of mainline Protestantism, at Ave Maria University in 2008 [Note: you can listen to audio here]

3) Bill Moyers on contraception debate: religious freedom includes freedom FROM it - “If an individual Catholic worker wants coverage, she should have access to it,” Moyers said. “Just like any other American citizen. Under the new plan, she will.”

The GOP’s uterus inspection device

4) Va. GOP Demands Invasive Vaginal Ultrasound Procedure Before Abortion - Republicans in Virginia’s House of Delegates really have their hearts set on new legislation that will force all women seeking abortions to first undergo penetration by a transvaginal ultrasound transducer. They’re so enthralled with this harlot-shaming tool that today they voted down an amendment that would have allowed doctors to determine whether this penetration was necessary. Clearly, whether it’s medically necessary or not has nothing to do with this law. The GOP wants to get all up in women’s uteruses — literally. The penetration part is vital to their agenda.

CNN contributor and Andrew Breitbart editor DANA LOESCH saying, basically, if you’ve spread your legs  for intercourse, why would you have a problem with other things being inserted into your vag for no reason? - “That’s the big thing that progressives are trying to say, that it’s rape and so on and so forth… [high voice] “Oh what about the Virginia rape? The rapes that, the forced rapes of women who are pregnant?” What!? Wait a minute, they had no problem having similar to a trans-vaginal procedure when they engaged in the act that resulted in their pregnancy.

5) Panic on the Streets of DC - They are terrified: A prominent Republican senator just told me that if Romney can’t win in Michigan, the Republican Party needs to go back to the drawing board and convince somebody new to get into the race. “If Romney cannot win Michigan, we need a new candidate,” said the senator, who has not endorsed anyone and requested anonymity. They really have no one to blame but themselves. They’ve spent so much time lying about everything and creating an echo chamber to reinforce and transmit those lies within the so-called “conservative” movement that quite simply, anyone who appeals to the wingnut base is someone so twisted as to be utterly repugnant to the rest of the nation.

6) BREAKING: Obama DOJ Won’t Defend Constitutionality Of Denying Military Benefits To Same-Sex Couples - the Obama administration has announced that it will not defend laws that prevent married same-sex couples from obtaining military benefits. In a letter to Congress today, Attorney General Eric Holder argued, “[t]he legislative record of these provisions contains no rationale for providing veterans’ benefits to opposite-sex couples of veterans but not to legally married same-sex spouses of veterans … Neither the Department of Defense nor the Department of Veterans Affairs identified any justifications for that distinction that would warrant treating these provisions differently from Section 3 of DOMA.”

7) Arizona Bill To Limit Unions Would Cost Local Goverments Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars - Arizona Republicans introduced a slate of legislation earlier this month targeting public sector unions… Though two of the bills, including one that would have essentially banned public sector unions, stalled in the state legislature, a bill that would end the practice of workers automatically deducting union dues from their paychecks is still proceeding. Like Walker and his Republican colleagues in Wisconsin, Brewer and Arizona’s Republicans have presented the union “reforms” as a necessary step in bringing the state’s budget under control. But according to a new report from the state’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee, the bill would actually cost local and municipal governments — and Arizona taxpayers — hundreds of thousands of dollars…

8) FBI breaks up latest terrorist plot that it created (God knows how much this cost) - The FBI is masterful when it comes to thwarting their own baroque terrorist plots in dramatic fashion at the very last minute, just as their scripts instruct them to do. The Feds found today’s lucky arrestee, a 29-year-old Moroccan, about a year ago and thought, Sure, this one looks Muslim enough to me, he’ll do… now let’s start brainstorming a plot and getting him all the fake bombs and training and support he needs so we can arrest him in a year.

9) Six recused in Maxine Waters ethics case - Six members of the House Ethics Committee — including all five Republicans on the secretive panel — have recused themselves from the long-running case involving Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.), an unprecedented move that raises new questions on whether the Waters case can be finished. [...] Waters is alleged to have improperly intervened on behalf of a minority bank where her husband owned more than $350,000 in stock during the 2008 U.S. financial crisis. Waters has denied any wrongdoing, but the Ethics Committee initially voted to charge her with three violations last summer. Waters then asked for an ethics “trial.” Those proceedings were postponed in Nov. 2010 and the case has been on hold following legal and partisan fights.

Tuesday morning’s 10 interesting things

1) Satire: Santorum thinks ‘it’s never polite to look a rape horse in the mouth’ - From the satirists that brought you comedian Andy Cobb as “a godless heathen” mocking Rick Perry’s bizarre anti-gay political ad comes a tidal wave of sarcasm cresting off Rick Santorum’s odd statement that women who are the victims of rape should “make the best of a bad situation” and go through with the pregnancy. Watch video:

2) Dems Say Romney Outspends Newt 5 -1 In Florida - The narrative that Team Romney is pushing is that of a new-and-improved candidate, battle-hardened after his South Carolina woes, and sharpened as a candidate by having had to outsmart Newt Gingrich. The Dems think these figures suggest something else: that it’s not Romney who’s winning votes in Florida, but the size of his wallet.

3) Gingrich sued over use of “Rocky III” theme song - Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich faces a lawsuit over his use of “Eye of the Tiger,” the theme song to the movie “Rocky III,” court documents show. || Seriously, Newt? Eye of the Tiger? Maybe it would be best if Republicans stick to music that suits them. Remember when Heart wouldn’t let McCain/Palin use Barracuda

4) Putting Romney’s wealth in context -  For most working families, this is a level of wealth that’s hard to relate to. Romney took in more wealth in a day in 2010 — without actually having a job — than most Americans earn in a year. Romney would be in the top 1% based solely on the income he receives in one week. [...] The problem isn’t that Romney is extremely wealthy. It’s hard to imagine a significant number of voters saying, “I’m uncomfortable voting for a rich guy.” The problem is how Romney acquired his vast wealth (a vulture-capitalist firm), his frequent gaffes on the subject, and his policy agenda (which includes more tax breaks for the wealthy).

5) Scamming his herd: Rick Warren is an ass, but he’s right - Rick Warren, mega-church grifter, uses some of his tax-exempt time to promote the asinine Republican attack on President Obama’s use of the teleprompter: “Leaders speak from conviction. Actors speak from telepromters.”@RickWarren  Of course Warren is right. Actors do use teleprompters:

6) Majority Of Americans Support Taxing Investment Income The Same As Wage Income - …a CBC News/New York Times poll shows that a majority of Americans favor taxing investment income the same as wage income. The disparity between the 15 percent top rate for investment income and the 35 percent top rate for wage income is what enables wealthy investors like Warren Buffett to drive their tax rate down to or below the rate at which many middle class families pay.

7) ‘Socialist’ Obama has conservatives seeing red - “I am for the Declaration of Independence,” Newt Gingrich proudly proclaimed. “I am for the Constitution.” Obama, by contrast, “is for European Socialism.” (i.e. Obama’s black) [...] Another Gingrich supporter, John, who only gave his first name, said he was convinced Obama’s upbringing overseas — he spent part of his childhood in Indonesia — explains his alleged estrangement from centrist American values. “Mom, baseball and apple pie… He doesn’t understand us,” said John. (i.e. Obama’s black)

8) Santorum pushed to limit malpractice awards but sought larger payout for wife - On the campaign trail, GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum says he will push to limit payments to victims in medical malpractice lawsuits, which he blames for unnecessarily driving up health-care costs. And over the course of his two decades in politics, he repeatedly spoke in favor of capping such awards. But Santorum testified in support of his wife when she filed a medical malpractice suit in 1999 that sought $500,000, twice the cap in his 1994 legislative proposal. Karen Santorum claimed that a Fairfax chiropractor had left her with a permanent back injury that probably would result in a lifetime of pain medication and restricted mobility.

9) Jan Brewer Expecting Treat Now for Shaking Finger at Barack Obama - From the “JAN PAC” website: “Friends, I need your help! When I met President Obama this week, I really wasn’t pointing at him. I was telling him, “You have ONE more year!” The President needs to be reminded that he is the President of the FEDERAL REPUBLIC and not a KING lording over state governors. While I wanted to talk to him about jobs, our economy and visiting our border, President Obama criticized my book, Scorpions for Breakfast, and then walked away from me…”

10) Matt Taibi | Rolling Stone | The Odd Couple: Romney Vs. Gingrich - Less than a week after New Hampshire, Romney committed a series of gaffes that revealed his crucial character flaw: He’s a hypernervous control freak who flips out if you try digging around below the paper-thin veneer of his schlock patriotic presentation. The robotic Mormon financier looks like a walking OCD diagnosis, a trim coil of tightly wound energy with perfect coif and tie, seemingly living in permanent terror of a single hair falling out of place. For this type of anal-retentive personality, the messy chaos of South Carolina was a phobic horror. Faced with actual opposition, he lost his grip on everything. At a time when a quarter of the population has zero or negative net worth, when outrage against the financial elite is at an all-time high on both sides of the political aisle, Romney, it turns out, is so weirdly tone-deaf about his status as a one-percenter and bloodsucking corporate raider that any question in that direction sends his eyes pinwheeling. As his electably boring-mannequin act began to crumble, his carefully concealed true self – a deluded gazillionaire nitwit – was suddenly thrust naked onstage for all of America to gape at…

Brewer says Obama “was somewhat thin-skinned,” doesn’t remember pointing her finger at him

[Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer] says she welcomed the president to the city warmly and said she hoped to sit down with him some time. [...] “He was somewhat thin-skinned a little tense to say the least,” Brewer told KFYI radio. As for the pointing her figure at the president: “I was trying to be very calm. The picture is interesting, I don’t remember doing that.”Brewer does not recall pointing her talon directly in the face of the President like a harpy.

Damn the lamestream media with their cameras…

Related: 

Jan Brewer owes the President an apology


Photo of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (REPUBLICAN) pointing her acrylic-nailed talon into the face of the President of the United States of America during an argument.

Obama tangles with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer over immigration book

Brewer attempted to hand Obama a letter, which she later told reporters was an invitation to sit down with her to discuss “Arizona’s comeback” and to tour the U.S.-Mexican border with her.

That’s when things went sour. Obama and Brewer engaged in what reporters described as an “intense exchange,” with the Republican governor pointing her finger at the president and the two appearing to talk over each other.

The exchange ended when Obama abruptly walked away as Brewer appeared to still be speaking, according to a summary provided by reporters in the press pool that shadows the president on his trips.

Asked about the conversation, Brewer told the reporters that Obama was “a little disturbed” about her book, “Scorpions for Breakfast: My Fight Against Special Interests, Liberal Media, and Cynical Politicos to Secure the Border.’’

The book, which was published two months ago, details her conservative approach to dealing with the state’s illegal immigration challenges. An article in the Arizona Republic last fall said that Brewer cast Obama as “patronizing and condescending.”

She portrayed the federal government as “out of control” and said that the president lectured her during a June 2010 meeting in the Oval Office, the newspaper reported.

“He didn’t feel that I had treated him cordially” in the book, Brewer told reporters Wednesday. “I said to him that I have all the respect in the world for the office of the president. The book is what the book is. I asked him if he read the book. He said he read the excerpt.”

[...] “Anyway, we’re glad he’s here,” a shaken Brewer said. “I’ll regroup.”

Hahah. Yes, you do that, Jan. Maybe you haven’t heard, but actions have consequences. Apparently the “office of the president” isn’t impressed with you or your little book.

I love that he walked away from her in mid-screech.

ryking:

If a Democratic governor, or a black governor, had gotten in George W. Bush’s face like this the way Arizona governor Jan Brewer did [yesterday] with Barack Obama, the media would have a field day. I also have to seriously wonder if she would have pulled this crap if the President were white.

Jan Brewer owes the President an apology.

Related: 

Gov. Brewer admits she was wrong

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Gov. Jan Brewer FINALLY admits to AP that she was wrong about decapitated bodies being found in Arizona’s deserts:

“That was an error, if I said that,” the Republican told The Associated Press on Friday. “I misspoke, but you know, let me be clear, I am concerned about the border region because it continues to be reported in Mexico that there’s a lot of violence going on and we don’t want that going into Arizona.”

If? There’s no “IF” you said it.

…in a June 27 interview on Phoenix television station KPNX when asked about the earlier beheadings claim.

“Oh, our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert, either buried or just lying out there, that have been beheaded,” Brewer said.

[N]one of the southern Arizona coroners who handle immigrant cases have seen headless bodies.

Full story…

UPDATE***

Bob Cesca: Jan Brewer is just now learning that the only way Republicans can win is to shut their mouths until November 3 or else be exposed as the incompetent doofs they are. So she won’t be participating in any more debates between now and the election following her epic meltdown this week.

“All you guys were doing and talking were beheadings, beheadings, beheadings,” the governor said. “That is something that has stuck with you all for so long, and I just felt we needed to move on.”

Truly the Palinization of politics: it’s the “lamestream” media’s fault she lied  and that she wouldn’t admit it until now. Tea Party!

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Vampires and sunlight

Charles Johnson on Jan Brewer:

Has right wing American politics reached such a fever pitch of insanity that this is now a winning strategy — to simply cut yourself off from all possible challenges to your views, and run away from reporters?

Bob Cesca on Palin:

Sarah Palin is loaded with guts, isn’t she? Refusing to talk to non-Fox reporters, refusing to take real questions, insisting upon pre-screening her audience questions and hiding her statements behind the one-way mirror of Twitter and Facebook. Brave!

“We have did what was right for Arizona”

John Cole calls this painful-to-watch minute of Jan Brewer “the Palinization of politics

It’s a sad fact that something like this will only further endear her to Tea Partiers, who think the most important parts of our Constitution are the Second Amendment and the Bible.

Plus, it’s likely that none of her supporters were awake at 8:00 PM when this aired in Arizona.

UPDATE ***

Charles Johnson finds video of Brewer after the debate: [she refuses] to answer questions about her claim that there were “beheadings” near the border — and ended up turning and running from the media.


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