Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A redundant member of society (Takers)

I'm afraid that's what I am--a redundant member of society. If society is separated into 'makers' and 'takers,' I'm someone who ministers to the 'takers.' My career in healthcare has given me the opportunity to work with all sorts of 'takers' including: long-term nursing home residents, short-term Medicare rehab patients, residents (inmates) of locked psych units, seriously handicapped children, children from foster homes and wards of the state. It's been the rare occasion when I take care of someone who has a job.

So if we manage to rid our society of takers, I won't have a job. That's probably true for a fair number of people. Perhaps our takers provide employment for many people who are otherwise redundant. If we tried to shrink our society to only the productive people, we'd have a much smaller society, say 40% of the current size. When you get rid of the takers, you can probably get rid of 80% of the doctors, maybe 35% of the farmers, 40% of the teachers, 80% of the police, and 95% of the lawyers (ha, just exaggerating... maybe).

It's not that I advocate increasing the number of takers so that there are more social service jobs. I understand the budget implications of that, which is blowing an even larger hole in our state and federal budgets.

No, the reason I write this is to reflect on how many excess people we have in society. There are so many extra people and so much extra labor in this country and in the world. Industrial and computer automation has made many millions more redundant. If we are going to despise the 'takers' and respect only the 'makers,' we're going to hate much of humanity, and we should be working to reduce our numbers by a significant amount. 

I guess once all my 'taker' clients are gone, I'll be scheduled as redundant too unless I'm lucky enough to get a healthcare position ministering to the generally healthy. There will be so much competition for those positions I probably won't succeed. Oh well. 

It's not all that bleak. Maybe one of the makers will let me live on his crumbs and table scraps. I can always hope.

Image: usmanvakil-beggars.blogspot.com

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The way they talk: Smart people on guns

I've wanted to make a series on real discussions that capture what people really think. It hasn't been easy to fit it in with everything else.

But you (my few readers) are lucky: Here is a great example of gun rights/gun control from two different perceptives.

GOP stands up to the Tea Party Part 2

So many thoughts. Not so many complete sentences.

GOP standing up to Tea Party. Orrin Hatch blasts Heritage. Corporate backers stick with Boehner, toy with the idea of backing establishment Republicans against Tea Partyers.

Tea Party not backing down. RedState doesn't want a house divided; it wants a house purged.

Tea Party is still behind its belief that Obamacare can be stopped/defunded/gutted. They pretend that this was the plan all along, to fight tooth and nail, close down government, do everything they can. But that's a story that only started over the summer.

In this article, RedState blames the GOP for not following through on defund promises, but all the early articles it refers to talk about broad fiscal goals, not Obamacare. I checked the RedState archives: Ben Carson, black neurologist hero of the Tea Party, had lots of complaints about Obama, not just Obamacare. In a February article, the focus was on governors refusing to set up exchanges. Search for "defund," "repeal," and "delay" in articles from that time and you'll see that it wasn't part of the vocabulary then.

Rush Limbaugh, another big voice (and big ego) for the Tea Party, isn't backing down either. He wants Ted Cruz and Mike Lee times 5 or 10 or 45 in the Senate. Per the Washington Times, the Tea Party is "poised for a major victory in the larger Obamacare War." Details absent, though.

Image: usnews.com

Extras. History of the shutdown per Politico. How the House voted on the measure to end the shutdown and raise the debt limit. How the Senate voted. Currently the Senate has about 10 senators with similar strategies to Ted Cruz/Mike Lee. After the 2014 election, who knows.

So many great images to choose from. Google image search: GOP stands up to tea party cartoon.

Another RedState article where they look at evidence but still somehow manage to draw the wrong conclusion--that is, the conclusion they want to draw.

The woes of healthcare.gov

Now that Congress isn't shutting down the government, the biggest news story is how badly the healthcare exchanges (online health care signup sites) are working. In particular, it's how bad the federal healthcare exchange is.

This website is reputed to have cost $600 million to develop (well, maybe not that much), and it's a disaster. It freezes, people can't get through the signup procedure after hours of toil, the determined folks wake up at 4:30am to sign up, etc.

Some have said that this shows how ridiculous it is for the federal government to be involved in healthcare. Well, that's nonsense for two clear reasons. 1)Government is already involved a lot of healthcare like Medicare, Medicaid, federal employee healthcare, VA healthcare, and Tricare, among others. 2)It's a computer system problem. Any problems with the political philosophy are completely separate.

And it is a whale of a computer system problem. Kathleen Sebelius, the cabinet secretary in charge of the program, deserves to lose her job. She should have been all over this program making sure it was on-track. Obviously she didn't do her job. Whoever she had in charge of supervising the program also deserves to lose his job. This is a major cock-up, and I don't accept excuses. As someone who has been involved with computer systems since 1976, I can tell you that more difficult programs than this have been successful completed.

Sebelius will probably get to keep her job because it's too damn hard for her replacement to go through confirmation hearings--which is a reflection of a different area of dysfunction in the government. I hope she will be firing others in the department she oversees. I doubt this will happen either because continued employment is the best bribe she can pay to prevent them from revealing the government mismanagement.

The dream team of system wizards who are now working on the site will probably do a decent job of fixing it. I've seen other crappy programs (cough, Microsoft Word, cough) fixed well enough. But this debacle will be a lasting reminder of the incompetence of part of the Obama administration... or if you prefer, of all of the Obama administration.

Image: walnutdust.blogspot.com

Extra. Some of the trouble was due to a decision to protect users from sticker shock:
Sebelius ... didn’t discuss her department’s now-criticized decision not to let online visitors shop around before creating accounts. Aides have said they wanted consumers to avoid experiencing “sticker shock” ... -- Dallas Morning News
Some (most?) policies cost so much that users need to be numbed by excessive bureaucratic form-filing before they see the cost. Not really--but it's best if they see the subsidized cost, not the true cost of the policy. That just shows they are moochers... unlike the rest of us who just don't know what healthcare really costs.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Short: Who fixed the financial crisis?

According to some highly biased or highly ignorant people, Obama caused the financial crisis and the deep recession that accompanied it. For others, it's Bush, Wall Street greed, Bush, lack of regulation, atrocious corruption in rating agencies, more Bush, etc.

It's a relief to read that the financial crisis was fixed so long ago that it was completed before Obama was sworn in. That's the view of two of Bush's economic advisers. They make a good case: the financial crisis was over, but Obama was left with (one helluva terrible) recession. Some of their conclusions run counter to the conventional wisdom or usual conservative drivel:
  • Putting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship likely averted larger shocks.
  • The financial crisis was caused principally by unprecedented capital flows into the United States.
  • Some conservatives mistakenly assumed that Chapter 11 restructuring was a viable option for GM and Chrysler. [Ahem, Mitt]
  • The “deregulatory cause” hypothesis is flawed.
I'm not going to read the 25-page explanation for these conclusions. However, I did like this much shorter narrative. Here is their quick explanation of their capital flow hypothesis:
"The flow into risky assets drove down credit spreads, making high-risk investment cheaper than it had been in the past. As a result, in the mid-2000s risk-taking increased dramatically, especially in the housing market."
My translation (possibly erroneous): Investors who wanted to avoid the panics that occurred in Asia and South America during the 90's decided to invest way too much in the US and Europe. It was too much money chasing after too few good investments, so money sloshed into poor investments like subprime mortgage lending and housing booms. 

The more I think about, the more I wonder if that explanation works. Would it have been significantly different if the money had crashed elsewhere in the world? If so, why?

Image: cafehayek.com

Short: The death of talk radio

I blame conservative talk radio for the rabid, know-nothing streak in the hard right. So any news about the end of conservative talk radio greatly interests me. This article tells how elderly talk radio is. It should be shuffling off the air soon as its audience ages, shrinks, and becomes less desirable to advertisers. The younger generation never listens to the same stuff as their parents, so conservative talk radio is doomed. This is great news!

But not so fast. This commenter explains how his co-workers (soldiers, so presumably fairly young) listen to Rush every day during their commutes. It sounds like there are lots of these younger listeners. Damn, there goes my hope.

Image: wbobradio.com

Update 10/27/13. Did I really write that I blame radio for "the rabid, know-nothing streak in the hard right"?? What was I thinking? If a political faction has a know-nothing streak, it's not due to an outside force--it's because they choose to be that way.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Short: Let go of that fetish

I talked about political fetishes earlier, and labeled Obamacare as a fetish to the Tea Party. Making the GOP vote for higher taxes is a fetish for the left. Ezra Klein at the Washington Post doesn't use the same term, but he's on the same page. His advice to the Dems: don't push for tax increases and you will get so much more from the GOP:
"...they should see their leverage clearly: Republicans badly want entitlement cuts, but they don’t want them enough to trade for taxes. They badly want to replace sequestration, but not enough to trade for taxes. And they badly want tax reform -- but, again, not enough to trade for higher taxes."
I saw this with the sequester too. Now I'm not a partisan who wants the Dems to extract more concessions through wily negotiations, but I'm happy to see someone else being practical and clear-headed in their view of the negotiation process. 

Image: tribalartasian.com

Extra. You could also think of these fetishes as 'taking a trophy' or capturing your opponents' flag. It is the sweet victory of humiliating your opponent. It's not a smart goal, but sometimes we really want to do it.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Will the GOP finally stand up to the Tea Party?

I don't know. This was a big debacle for the GOP because they followed the Tea Party's preferred strategy. However, it's going to be hard to prove the Tea Party was wrong to the Tea Party adherents. They've set up a test that works like this:
  • We will win if we try hard enough. 
  • If we didn't win, it shows we didn't try hard enough.
That's not an argument you can disprove without getting theoretical and talking about the necessity of falsifiable hypotheses, and the theory of proof, and ... DO YOU THINK THE TEA PARTY CARES ABOUT THAT INTELLECTUAL STUFF? NO, THEY JUST GOT THEIR NEW TALKING POINTS FROM HERITAGE. (Ok, not Heritage, but one of those other Tea Partyish groups.)

So the Tea Party will never concede that its strategy was wrong or that its policy goals are wrong. But now, as I write this post, the GOP establishment is in the very process of folding. The Senate will vote on the Reid-McConnell short term compromise to raise the debt ceiling and end the government shutdown.

What will the relationship between the GOP and the Tea Party be after this vote? Tea Party and very conservative pressure groups like RedState, Club for Growth, Heritage, and FreedomWorks have warned Republicans not to support the CR/debt ceiling increase. The Tea Party isn't relenting.

That leaves the decision of how to respond to the GOP establishment. The votes may tell us something. If many GOP senators and representatives support the bill, they will show that they're rebuking the TP strategy. Furthermore, if these Republicans actively engage in the negotiations scheduled for the next two months, that is completely counter the TP game plan. That is what I'd like to see--the mainstream GOP following a different strategy from the Tea Party, a strategy that is pragmatic and based on what can be accomplished and what the majority of the electorate supports.

As I wrote above, I don't know if the GOP is going to stand up to the Tea Party, but I certainly hope they do. It will be good for the country... and fun to watch!

Image: whatsupyasieve.wordpress.com

Sunday, October 13, 2013

What, me worry?

Well, yes, but only a tiny bit. The twitter feed from Robert Costa today is about both the Dems and the Senate GOP hardening their positions, so there's plenty to feed the jitters. But I'm not jittery because:
  • The positions of the Senate negotiators are close. The Collins proposal is about 3 degrees from the Dem position. This opportunity isn't going to be spoiled since most of the Senate doesn't want to default on Oct. 17.
  • When the Senate makes its deal, the House will grumble but have no choice but to sign on. The same with Obama. The same as with every choke point since August 2011.
  • The Tea Party's big push is to protest closure of veterans' memorials. In other words, they're playing with a shiny object.
I won't belabor my case. Most likely a continuing resolution and debt limit increase will pass on or before Oct. 18. It's about the same likelihood as me being around to see it, which is very high unless a meteorite has my name on it. No worries.

Image: 123rf.com

The Greek tragedy of the GOP in tweets

I'm not gloating over the disarray for the Republicans. Hardly, since I value them as a counterweight to the excesses of the Dems. So I'm deeply saddened by how the GOP have tripped themselves up, and made poor choices one after another. Well, to be honest, I've had moments of schadenfruede watching stupid posturing crash and burn, but the lesson overall is a sad one.

The tweets of Robert Costa capture this poetically. Start with this one from 10/12/13 at 11:01am and continuing reading:
"GOP sens very worried that the longer this stretches on, hour by hour, and poll #s sink, Schumer & Co will push for more R concessions" [which is happening today 10/13/13]
"Handful of GOP sens + their aides believe Boehner fears losing his power if he brings up Collins-esque package and it gets 30% R support"
"I was surprised to hear how many Senate R power brokers are furious w/ Boehner's posture at conf today, think he's not being frank w/ membrs" 
"another notable convo in Sen this morn: Rs warning Schumer, Ds that if they truly break Boehner here, possibility for any big leg[islation] fades..." 
"So [Boehner]'s stuck. No "out" that can win big House R supprt, pass Sen; if Sen plan comes to H floor, it'd get D maj, but few Rs, break his gavel" 
"As House anger builds, clock ticks, House R ldrshp digs in, rushing a bill to floor. Sen Rs nervous abt contours of emerging Sen deal"
"House makes WH an offer, WH rejects. Priv talks on CR stall. Sen watches, sighs, starts its own talks. House becomes angry w/ WH & Senate" 
"There is a growing acceptance in Hill GOP that regardless of how this ends, it'll end badly, and Rs who back it will be blamed for caving" 
"in short, growing # of Rs could care less about a con$ervative group's threats about not being Cruz-esque/CR warrior when BCA '11 at risk" [BCA = Budget Control Act aka sequester] 
"polls have dipped, House in disarray, Sen Rs on ropes. Now, cries/anger of Right fading, seem minor as hardball of Sen Ds rattles them"
There is no need for me to comment. These tweets say it all.

...Now, cries/anger of Rignt fading...

Image: danielwarner.blog.tdg.ch

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Next phase: Rejecting the offers

In late September, all the offers to continue funding government came attached to poison pills for Obamacare. Obama and the Dems unsurprisingly said "no" with a great deal of firmness.

Now there is a flurry of offers minus those poison apples for Obamacare, but Obama and the Dems are still saying "no." The House GOP made an unbelievably generous offer of extending the debt limit for six weeks, keeping the government shut down, not alternating Obamacare yet, and holding negotiations with Obama (still the great enemy, but one who must be negotiated with). Obama said "no," and the House GOP are so hurt and insulted that they won't be trying to be reasonable like that again for a while.

So the playing field shifts to the Senate. The Dems voted on their wishlist, but lost 53-45 because 60 is the new 51 in the Senate. Susan Collins (R-Maine) offered a 3 month debt limit extension, six months of government funding, and a 2-year delay in the medical device tax in Obamacare. Harry Reid rejected that offer--it sounds like he didn't even allow a vote. These Dems are getting so picky about these offers.

It's easy to understand both sides want to maximize what they get, but I hope the Dems don't overdo it. We better not go into default over a $19 billion differential and a delay to one of several funding provisions in Obamacare.

Not that I think we'll reach default. The Senate Dems and GOP are quite close, and they're still talking, so they'll get closer still. They'll hammer out a deal and pass it with probably 65+ votes (had originally predicted 70, but I'm a bit more pessimistic one day later).

Then it will be up to the House to eat crow and sign on, or plunge the country and entire world into financial uncertainty. The majority in the House aren't that stubborn or stupid, so we will have an agreement. Hoorah! Our parks will reopen, cancer research can resume, the House gym will reopen for House idiot and hero alike, hundred of minor or larger annoyances will end, and my furloughed sister can get back to working too hard. We'll also finally have the budget negotiations we should have had five months ago. Sigh. So much sturm und drang.

Image: tundratabloids.com

Extra. What should sidelined Tea Partiers do? Hunt RINOs, throw accusations, beatify Ted Cruz, and send Hail Mary checks to Tea Party groups and candidates.

Edit 10/14/13. Concerning how many votes the deal will get in the Senate: I'm not a voter counter. I don't know all the electoral considerations that will drive individual senators. However, I think that a fair number of GOP senators would like to be able to say that they helped avert a default.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Short: Debt Default 101 ... before it's moot

The talking point on the right is that US doesn't have to default on its bonds, or SS payments, or anything that could bring a shitstorm down on the GOP.

Is this true? How would we know, especially those of us who aren't zipperheads waiting for conservative commentators to tell us what to say?

I did what I always do, some online research. Here's a history of US federal government defaults. There was a brief, accidental default in 1979. The one before that was in 1934, when the US went to a fractional gold standard. These defaults tell us nothing about what would happen in the 21st century if the US was to default.

What does a non-zipperhead business reporter think will happen if we default? It depends how long the default lasts, but it's not good and gets worse from there.

Finally, what about prioritizing US government payments? No can do. No legal framework and no practical framework.

I hope you aren't too tired for one last question. Why aren't the Republicans asking these questions instead of speculating out their asses?

Default party confetti!!!! Bonds, of course
Image: shredinstead.com

Extra. Here's the follow-up post with more details on why prioritizing payments isn't a workable idea.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

GOP wants negotiations, eh? Part 3

Here's how we'll know when the GOP are serious about negotiations:
  • They'll pass a Continuing Resolution and debt limit with no strings that will last at least two months. This will give time for negotiations without giving away leverage for an eventual deal.
  • They'll approve a conference committee. That will show that they're willing to vote straight up or down on the results of the negotiations, with no filibuster or other blocking maneuver by the Tea Party caucus.
  • The leadership will shut up about defunding or delaying Obamacare. At this point, they've mostly ended these attempts, but it's a negative sign if they start up again.
Here are signs you won't see so don't expect them:

  • The GOP will sound more conciliatory. 
  • Tea Party republicans will relent.

These developments are necessary to move ahead with negotiations. The GOP are going to be very pissed. However, horribly angry politicians still manage to make deals, so I'm not giving up hope even if both parties sound a billion miles apart and express utter contempt for each other. That will be the same situation as in summer 2011, which was the last difficult deal the parties made. (Who would have thought I'd look back longingly for those days?)

It's unlikely that the GOP will become serious all at once. There will probably be a short debt ceiling deal first, maybe just a few weeks. The next extension for a longer period will herald the onset of serious dealing.

Here is something I wish the GOP would realize: they've operated with just two approaches to divided government. The first was negotiation amid intense acrimony. The second was confrontation without negotiation. The first approach resulted in the Budget Control Act of August 2011. The second approach has resulted in the capitulation by the GOP. So, really, for the GOP, the choice is negotiation or humiliation. Why is this such a hard choice for them?

Image: therpf.com

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

GOP wants negotiations, eh? Part 2

Robert Costa, the National Review reporter with all the recent GOP inside scoops, directed his twitter followers to this Wall Street Journal op-ed by Paul Ryan. Of course I read it.

Paul Ryan sounds reasonable--he wants "a breakthough" instead of a crisis. He correctly identifies mandatory spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as the biggest fiscal challenges. He wants to "talk specifics" and get the "conversation" going.

But here's what he doesn't say:

  • He doesn't say how the negotiations should be conducted, or what timeframe is reasonable. You can't do any important reform of entitlements in less than three months, and it probably should be longer. We'll need a fairly long-lasting Continuing Resolution and debt limit to do that. Ryan isn't brave enough to admit this forthrightly.
  • He lauds the 1982 SS reform, especially the rise in the retirement age. For some reason, he doesn't mention the major increase in the SS tax rate. Actually, we know the reason. He can't mention a tax increase because it's forbidden among "conservatives."
  • He lauds the Medicare reform proposals he and Senator Wyden made, but ignores that he misrepresented Wyden's position and greatly angered Wyden in the process.
  • He doesn't mention Obamacare, so delaying it, defunding it, or repealing it doesn't seem to be part of his plan, at least in this op-ed.
Of course he's right that both sides ought to sit down and talk. The Tea Party GOP members haven't allowed that because talk can lead to compromise, and compromise means the end of America. I don't know if Ryan is serious about new negotiations. This could be the mask of rationality over the same partisanship that's prevailed for the last 5 years. I don't trust Ryan when he says he supports "common-sense" reform. Normally Ryan equates "common-sense" as the GOP proposals. Back in 2011, he rejected the best common-sense proposals, which came from the Simpson-Bowles commission.

So I don't trust him. I'd like to see how he follows up on these suggestions. How specific does he get? Once I see that, I'll know whether he's serious or not. I won't give up on him at this point because a mildly reasonable Republican leader is an extremely rare and helpful thing right now.

Ready for heavy negotiating, or just the same old?
Image: uselectionatlas.org

Monday, October 7, 2013

The GOP wants negotiations, eh?

"...aversion to any kind of deal."
This is from Robert Costa, the National Review reporter who has the best inside information at this point. Is anyone surprised by this? It's been clear to me that the Tea Party Republicans didn't want to negotiate, so the talking point that THE DEMS WON'T NEGOTIATE was fake. Why do they pretend? I assume the media demands sound bites, and you can't give them the unvarnished truth. [If I had a TV channel. I'd play a laugh track after one of these sound bites, but I'd probably get cut off by every politician. But enough musing.]

How about the soundbite that Obama won't negotiate? When, I think he should negotiate when things get serious, as in proposals that are reasonable. So far, there are no reasonable proposals coming from the GOP, so "Nope, I'm not going to negotiate" is appropriate. I'd prefer "Nope, I'm not going to negotiate until you get real. Time's running out, and you're screwing around."

This is why no one's elected me or given me a network to run. Thank God for blogging!

Almost forgot: One way I knew the GOP didn't want to negotiate--they didn't remember this option until September 30! All of, maybe 4 hours before the shutdown.

Update 10/8/13. A telling quote from Erick Erickson at RedState (hyper Tea Partisan):
"The House, led by Senators Cruz and Lee, on the path of small funding bills, has shown the public the GOP is willing to be reasonable on all issues except Obamacare."
It's certainly in dispute whether the GOP is willing to be reasonable about any issues, much less all of them. However, even Erickson seems to say the GOP isn't willing to be reasonable when it comes to Obamacare. I wasn't expecting confirmation of the GOP's wacko Obamacare obsession from that quarter, but there it is!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Obama's shutdown

How do I know this isn't true? Because there's a 45-day, no-strings-attached Continuing Resolution that passed the Senate and is waiting for House action. What do you say to that, Republicans?

Image: mediamatters.org

Day6: Thin strands of hope...

... but probably not. Perhaps Boehner shifted today toward a fiscal settlement rather than insisting on emasculating Obamacare. But on closer inspection, it looks like Obamacare is still a central focus. Ted Cruz is saying that they need to mitigate the damage of Obamacare. Boehner is saying "It is time for us to stand and fight."

Somewhere I read that the GOP will stand firm until midnight of the Oct. 16, one whole day before the debt default. So in the final 24 hours, we may have another day of mad scampering, proposals launched willy-nilly, and Ted Cruz thundering with unblinking, blood-shot eyes all day. My guess is that if we get to the Oct. 16 without some bargaining, nothing on Oct. 17 will be enough to end the impasse.

Image: politico.com

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day2 roundup: GOP plan, maybe. Tea Party plan, no.

So two days into the government shutdown, where are we? The GOP still seems to be scrambling around for a plan, but perhaps there are glimmers of one. Robert Costa, reporter for National Review, seems to have the best inside information. I've been reading his tweets since about 10pm on 9/30/13, and it's interesting. He seemed to learn very quickly what the House leadership's next move would be, like the ridiculous call for a conference committee to work out a deal in, oh, 1 hour.

So this morning, Costa tweets that Paul Ryan is going to try for a combo dealing covering both funding and debt limit, that will be "fiscal." What does that mean? My guess is that negotiations will focus on budget issues, particularly spending cuts to lower the deficit. Delaying or defunding Obamacare won't be the focus.

But wait. Early this afternoon, Costa tweets that the leadership will follow the Cruz strategy of funding everything piecemeal--probably everything except Obamacare and the EPA.

Nope, that didn't last. Mid-afternoon, Costa is tweeting again about Ryan being the lead bargainer on a grand deal. Again, there's nothing about Obamacare in this.

Does the conservative press know about this? I checked HotAir. They're referring to Costa and Politico, and speculating that maybe Ryan can pressure the Dems on Obamacare, or maybe he'll go for a more "traditional" fiscal deal. Meaning--like the sequester, which didn't touch Obamacare.

At Breitbart, a no-name columnist wants to keep the Cruz plan, but it's not a forward-looking column about what could or will happen in the next few weeks--so no plan there. TownHall, NewsMax, nothing on the Tea Party plan. Only at RedState, Erickson wants go back to defunding Obamacare and threatening any non-compliant Republicans with oblivion. It will work!!!!!!

What are the Dems doing? Waiting for the Republicans to sew themselves together into a semblance of a political force and make their next proposal, which hopefully will make more sense and last longer than the three four throw-away GOP proposals of Shutdown Eve.

Image: huffingtonpost.com

Extra. Belatedly in honor of Ted Cruz:

Image:  hyenacart.com

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Short: GOP update

Image: xaxor.com

Ted Cruz and friends take the car keys. Hey, is that Sarah Palin?