Contra Mozilla

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Few Good Links (vol 10): Shutdown Theater Edition

The (partial) Shutdown lingers as Democrats continue to refuse to make any compromises or concession, or to really negotiate in any way with the Republicans. Republicans, for their art, seem interested only in blocking Obamacare, (which would be a great victory if accomplished), and have done little to suggest that they will take any other concessions.

Who wins a shutdown showdown? Only time will tell.

  1. A D.C. Bartender has a novel idea for a progressive pricing system for beer.
  2. Many of the things being shutdown--while being technically "nonessential--are also completely unnecessary, meaning that there is no reason for them to shutdown. A few are even things which are not own, operated, or funded by the federal government, and many more are things which local (state, etc.) governments have offered to run during the shutdown. Some of the most ridiculous includes the fact that there are often more "enforcement agents" (federal park rangers) being placed on duty to prevent people from viewing certain attraction than would normally have been on duty to begin with.

  3. "The public may visit the World War II Memorial 24 hours a day. Rangers are on duty to answer questions from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily and to provide" (from the WWII memorial Website, before it was closed down).

  4. Obama's favorite golf course on federal lands will remain open. Nero fiddled while Rome burned, Obama will golf while DC is shut down. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration has been telling government employees (e.g. park rangers, etc) to make the shutdown as difficult as possible. Perhaps this is why the feds are closing down popular attractions/memorials/etc while leaving lesser-known ones open. President Obama--not the House, not even the Senate, but Obama and his administration--is apparently picking and choosing what gets closed and what stays open during the #Shutdown. So while we might blame the shutdown on the Republicans in the House (for starting it by refusing to compromise on Obamacare), or the Democrats in the Senate (for keeping it going by also refusing to compromise on much of anything), it's worth noting that Obama is the one who is deciding to make the shutdown as painful as possible. And that is really the big difference between this shutdown, and the previous 17 which occurred under previous Administrations/Congresses since 1976.
  5. Some of the more heavy-handed tactics of the Shutdown Theater are drawing comparisons to the Gestapo. Yikes!
  6. It's bad when feds (under orders from Obama's Administration) decide to not only block off parks and trails, but to block off roadside areas from which monuments (like Mount Rushmore) can be viewed or photographed.
    "Blocking access to trails and programs at South Dakota’s most popular attraction was one thing, but state officials didn’t expect Congress’ budget stalemate to shut down a view of Mount Rushmore....

    Jim Hagen, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, said the situation is hurting people from out-of-state and international visitors who are in South Dakota to visit the monument.

    “They won’t even let you pull off on the side of the road,” Hagen said. “I just don’t know what they’re trying to accomplish.”... "

    "Daugaard offered to keep Mount Rushmore open using state resources, Dusty Johnson noted. The National Park Service declined."
    I wonder if they'll close down or block off federal roads next.
  7. Surprisingly, the White House is actually having to go on the defensive, as is Harry Reid. This is good. Reid has refused to make any kind of reasonable concessions, and Obama has done his darnedest to inflict the maximum amount of suffering throughout this shutdown. Some will argue that Obama is not trying to inflict any suffering, that he's just following the rules. These people are gullible, though not surprising (he had to win election and then re-election somehow). Before Obama's press secretary took this approach, there was another set of people who argued that Obama was attempting to take actions which would compel the Republicans to act--this is a shrinking minority of people, though I may have one foot in this camp. The Third set of people, and I certainly count myself among them, note that this has all the feel of a national temper tantrum on Obama's part. There's also the fact that the government shutdown is intended to make people squeal for more government.
  8. Also, can anyone imagine the hay that the Democratic Party and their stooges in the media would make if it had been a Republican (rather than Obama's puppet Senator Reid) who said that he doesn't want to save the children with cancer? It would be headlined in the mainstream press, rather than on Fox or in the Daily Mail. The headlines would not read, for example "Come on, No. Harry Reid Doesn't Hate Kids with Cancer" if Reid were a Republican. Rather, that sound bite would be played again and again, with any context buried far down near (but not at) the bottom of the story. Whatever happened to "if it helps save just one child's life?"
  9. Much of the government continues to run during this shutdown:
    "This week’s “shutdown” of government, for example, suffers (at least for those of us curious to see it reduced to Somali levels) from the awkward fact that the overwhelming majority of the government is not shut down at all. Indeed, much of it cannot be shut down. Which is the real problem facing America. “Mandatory spending” (Social Security, Medicare, et al) is authorized in perpetuity – or, at any rate, until total societal collapse. If you throw in the interest payments on the debt, that means two-thirds of the federal budget is beyond the control of Congress’s so-called federal budget process. That’s why you’re reading government “shutdown” stories about the Panda Cam at the Washington Zoo and the first lady’s ghost-Tweeters being furloughed."
  10. Mark Steyn offers some levity with his Song of the National Park Service.
  11. It seems that there's always a lot more "moderate" Republicans than moderate Democrats. Hence, it is almost always the Republicans who compromise and cave.
  12. Meanwhile, the (leftist) "Open Borders" rally on public land (the National Mall) will be allowed to go forward during the shutdown.
  13. If we can have an open borders rally, why not a trucker rally to close down DC? Ace has already used this, but what the heck:

  14. More levity, this time from the Onion.
  15. So what has the GOP-controlled House been up to during this shutdown? They have tried and tried to restore some funding to the government, and have even passed some legislation which is unquestionably reasonable (such as laws which remove Obamacare exemptions from members of Congress, though unfortunately not from the Preseident and his staff). Hey, if it's good enough for us, it's good enough for them. Almost all of this has been blocked by the Democrat-controlled Senate (and been threatened with veto from Obama), including (incidentally) the removal of the exemptions.
  16. Speaking of Obamacare, there are apparently even long line to actually sign up for it, with very few "success" stories.And even some groups which initially supported Obamacare (e.g. unions) are protesting it now that they are getting to see what it actually contains:
    Obama has his own reasons for stalling or otherwise delaying parts of Obamacare, and for selectively exempting certain companies, parties, and people. For some reason, that privilege doesn't extend to Congress in general and the House (from which all budgets must originate as per the Constitution) in particular.
  17. The shutdown really isn't that bad (some levity). Actually, I post a lot of the "negative" aspects of it, not only to point out what a spiteful and petty little man Obama is, but also to remind myself why we would want the government to start back up again.
  18. Priests face arrest for volunteering to offer Mass (etc) to troops (and this without any compensation at all). Perhaps there is some truth to the idea that Obama is an enemy of the Church.
  19. The Senate Chaplain is none-too-thrilled about the shutdown, and in particular about the Senate's (and Obama's) part in it.

I may return to a few of these points later as time permits. I've been pretty busy lately, and don't foresee any slackening of my schedule.

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