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Author Topic: government shut down  (Read 12997 times)

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Offline Kythia

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #75 on: October 01, 2013, 10:43:51 AM »
Grand Old Party, a nickname for the Republicans.  I asked that same thing in this forum a couple of months ago  ;D

Offline Tharic

Re: government shut down
« Reply #76 on: October 01, 2013, 10:45:43 AM »
Wonderful and insightful information as always. Thank you all.

So to lighten the mood a bit..

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #77 on: October 01, 2013, 10:46:18 AM »
Ignorant question... What's GOP?

The Republican Party (I think the acronym is for "grand old party" or something)

Offline Bloodied Porcelain

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #78 on: October 01, 2013, 10:46:33 AM »
Ignorant question... What's GOP?

It stands for "Grand Old Party", it's another name for the Republican party.

That being said... I think I should point out that the Senate has offered over and over and over again to go in to discussions with the House regarding the ACA, but only after a budget is passed. In other words... "Give us a short term budget so we can sit down and discuss this over the next couple months like responsible adults", while the House is saying "give me what I want right now or I'm going to blow this place up."

Times like this should be when the American people should be able to say unequivically "you're FIRED. GTFO." and elect new people on the spot. We don't get to fold our arms and refuse to do your job because you don't like company policy. Not if we expect to continue getting paid, anyway. You don't do your job, you're fired. These guys should be, too.

Offline Ebb

Re: government shut down
« Reply #79 on: October 01, 2013, 10:47:18 AM »
I have literally no idea.  All I've seen of it is the link meikle posted earlier.

Yeah, that's kinda what I'd go for.  It's like, you've created a situation in which two groups which, by definition don't agree can shut the country down if they don't agree.  Surely that was a mistake?

The thing is, operation of a government (or any body of that complexity) isn't covered by a simple set of rules that were well-thought out from the start. It's a complicated arrangement of precedent and the exercise of soft power -- and it's good that things work this way. Otherwise everything would grind to a halt every time a technicality arose. Legislative bodies operate, the world around, because everyone involved engages in the process in good faith. The system is set up optimistically. For example, there's a rule in the US Senate that the minority party can filibuster legislation, which then requires 60 votes to overcome instead of the normal 51. There's no rule that says "each party only gets 10 filibuster attempts per year" or anything like that. Instead, it is assumed that parties will use this power responsibly, only for extreme measures, and only if there is a reasonable possibility to swing the balance the other way through an in-depth argument of the subject matter. There's no rule that says the minority party can't filibuster every single bill that comes along that they don't like. And again, this is a good thing. This is how reasonable people govern.

The problem here is that the Republican party in Congress has abandoned these principles. What they're doing isn't "breaking the rules", because there are no rules in this area. There are conventions and protocol. One of these is that you don't spend time trying to overturn an established law 42 times when you know that none of these attempts have a chance of getting signed by the president. That's posturing, not governing. Another convention is that you don't cause a government shutdown in order to once again 'debate' an established program that has already been approved for funding, and further validated by a presidential election. You move on, and you try to advance your legislative agenda in more normal ways.

There is a real danger in setting up a false equivalence here. If there is enough noise, then the average voter walks away in disgust, bemoaning the fact that "all politicians are the same", and "these clowns in Congress can't get anything done", and so forth. That's a victory for the party causing the obstruction. In point of fact, the tactics that the Congressional Republicans are using right now are the most extreme that have been employed since the American Civil War. (A good summary article is here: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/09/your-false-equivalence-guide-to-the-days-ahead/280062/)

The part of this that stinks the most, to me, is that a very large percentage of the legislators who are causing this problem aren't even doing it because of any particularly strong-held beliefs about Obamacare. The issue is that many Republicans in the House of Representatives are representing "safe" districts -- districts that are overwhelmingly likely to send a Republican to Congress every election cycle. Which means that the only danger of losing power for these folks is a challenge from the right -- a more conservative Republican candidate. A great number of those who are shutting down the government right now are doing it so that when the next primary season comes around they can burnish sufficient conservative credentials to either dissuade a Tea Party candidate from running against them, or at least guarantee them victory in the primary season. These are men and women (mostly men) who are motivated by a desire to keep their own jobs, and within that limited view they are, in fact, acting logically. The shame of it is that they have completely lost sight of what is good for the country as a whole, and indeed the world economy.


Offline MistermeTopic starter

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #80 on: October 01, 2013, 10:48:46 AM »
My question to you all and its just a question that has been on my mind now for some time, Would it not be better to delay parts of obamacare so we could fund the government until 11-15-13 or have complete shutdown?

Offline Dashenka

Re: government shut down
« Reply #81 on: October 01, 2013, 10:52:04 AM »
It would be better if the politicians would start caring about the people that voted for them and do their bloody jobs rather than play 5th grade games.

Offline Kythia

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #82 on: October 01, 2013, 10:54:55 AM »
I take your point (our first paragraph point) Ebb and its a good one.  Yes, there certainly does need to be an element of good faith in an approach to governance.   But that shouldn't be allowed to handwave away the fact that there do need to be some rules in place.  MPs - over here - need to vote in a certain way so its unambiguous whether they vote yes or no (or abstain or blah).  Sure, we could just take a good faith approach to it and try to work out what they meant or whatever, but having some rules in place prevents that from being necessary.

Simply saying "the system will work fine if everyone behaves reasonably" can only take you so far, is my issue.  I doubt anyone, when they wrote the constitution or whichever law it is that's created this situation, thought "hold on one cotton picking second.  If x,y,z happens, the government shuts down".  No shame in not foreseeing it.  But now it has happened, now its been exposed as a weakness in the system, surely something needs doing about it?

Offline Dashenka

Re: government shut down
« Reply #83 on: October 01, 2013, 10:57:19 AM »


Subscribt read 'The Boehner Bus' but I guess it works for all politicians all over the world.

Offline MistermeTopic starter

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #84 on: October 01, 2013, 10:58:12 AM »
I take your point (our first paragraph point) Ebb and its a good one.  Yes, there certainly does need to be an element of good faith in an approach to governance.   But that shouldn't be allowed to handwave away the fact that there do need to be some rules in place.  MPs - over here - need to vote in a certain way so its unambiguous whether they vote yes or no (or abstain or blah).  Sure, we could just take a good faith approach to it and try to work out what they meant or whatever, but having some rules in place prevents that from being necessary.

Simply saying "the system will work fine if everyone behaves reasonably" can only take you so far, is my issue.  I doubt anyone, when they wrote the constitution or whichever law it is that's created this situation, thought "hold on one cotton picking second.  If x,y,z happens, the government shuts down".  No shame in not foreseeing it.  But now it has happened, now its been exposed as a weakness in the system, surely something needs doing about it?

The weakness in my eyes are men and women in d.c. that we have elected as lawmakers. "I want this and I want that" type attitude is what is causing this government to fail.

Offline Luna

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #85 on: October 01, 2013, 10:59:59 AM »
My question to you all and its just a question that has been on my mind now for some time, Would it not be better to delay parts of obamacare so we could fund the government until 11-15-13 or have complete shutdown?

No quite honestly it wouldn't. The republicans are engaged in what is essentially political terrorism. And since when has negotiating with terrorists ever been a good idea? It would only encourage them to hold the govt hostage every time someone manages to pass a bill they dont like.

Offline MistermeTopic starter

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #86 on: October 01, 2013, 11:04:38 AM »
Harry Reid and the senate have vowed not to pass anything sent up by the house. The house is the one trying to keep the government alive. So my next question is who is really the political terrorist?

Offline Kythia

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #87 on: October 01, 2013, 11:05:09 AM »
Having read your linked article though Ebb (and thanks for that by the way) coupled with your final paragraph it does seem my previous statements were a little off.  Yeah, I can see how this is a Republican caused issue.  While I still feel Democrats are being stubborn I can see why.

Still seems like laws need putting in to place to stop this from happening though.  Sure, in this case its a single party internecine squabble that caused it but this isn't the first time its happened and some of the previous ones weren't.

Offline Dashenka

Re: government shut down
« Reply #88 on: October 01, 2013, 11:05:43 AM »
Harry Reid and the senate have vowed not to pass anything sent up by the house. The house is the one trying to keep the government alive. So my next question is who is really the political terrorist?


Offline Bloodied Porcelain

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #89 on: October 01, 2013, 11:07:23 AM »
Harry Reid and the senate have vowed not to pass anything sent up by the house. The house is the one trying to keep the government alive. So my next question is who is really the political terrorist?

No, they've vowed not to pass anything that involves delaying or defunding the ACA. They have, however, said that if the House will pass a no-strings attached budget for the next few months, they will agree to meet to work on something that works for everyone regarding the ACA. The House isn't interested in keeping the government alive. They're interested in posturing and saying "my way or the highway". Their way being postponing the ACA which is already a law or completely defunding it.

Offline Luna

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #90 on: October 01, 2013, 11:08:31 AM »
Harry Reid and the senate have vowed not to pass anything sent up by the house. The house is the one trying to keep the government alive. So my next question is who is really the political terrorist?

They vowed not to pass it, because the fate of the ACA should be IMMATERIAL to the basic function of funding government. The two have nothing to do with each other. Arbitrarily linking them is the act of terrorism.

Offline Ebb

Re: government shut down
« Reply #91 on: October 01, 2013, 11:09:53 AM »
Harry Reid and the senate have vowed not to pass anything sent up by the house. The house is the one trying to keep the government alive. So my next question is who is really the political terrorist?

The way that you have phrased this question makes it pretty clear that you're not just asking this as a disinterested observer.  It's perfectly okay in this forum to take a partisan stance -- I certainly have. But please do be honest about it.

The Senate has repeatedly indicated that they would pass a "clean" funding measure, which is to say one that does not have any language related to the ACA (or to any other programs unrelated to the funding of the government). The fact that the House continues to send bills with attachments to de-fund or delay implementation of the ACA shows pretty clearly who is dealing in good faith here and who isn't. It is disingenuous in the extreme to claim that the House is "the one trying to keep the government alive". All they'd need to do in order to achieve that goal is to remove one paragraph from the last bill they sent and then send it again. Their refusal to do so means that "keeping government alive" is not their goal.

Offline MistermeTopic starter

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #92 on: October 01, 2013, 11:11:33 AM »
So technically speaking the lawmakers in Washington (dem and rep alike) no matter if in the house or senate is the political terrorist.

Offline Bloodied Porcelain

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #93 on: October 01, 2013, 11:14:59 AM »
So technically speaking the lawmakers in Washington (dem and rep alike) no matter if in the house or senate is the political terrorist.

No. The ACA is already a law and already funded. The Dems are protecting it and insisting that the Republicans do what they're paid to do and pass a budget. The ACA has nothing to do with the funding of the gov't, and the Dems have drawn a hard line on not giving concessions on things that are not related to the funding of Gov't, all while agreeing to have talks and negotiations regarding the ACA after the budget has set. Basically, they're not going to negotiate as long as there is a hostage involved. Right now, the government itself is the hostage.

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #94 on: October 01, 2013, 11:17:21 AM »
It would be better if the politicians would start caring about the people that voted for them and do their bloody jobs rather than play 5th grade games.

This.  Over 9000 times.  This.

Offline MistermeTopic starter

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Re: government shut down
« Reply #95 on: October 01, 2013, 11:22:13 AM »
The way that you have phrased this question makes it pretty clear that you're not just asking this as a disinterested observer.  It's perfectly okay in this forum to take a partisan stance -- I certainly have. But please do be honest about it.



I have never claimed to be partisan. I am simply asking the questions to get a better understanding.  How you understand one way and i the other, I am only hoping by putting the two together the real understanding shines in the middle

Offline Ebb

Re: government shut down
« Reply #96 on: October 01, 2013, 11:23:52 AM »
I take your point (our first paragraph point) Ebb and its a good one.  Yes, there certainly does need to be an element of good faith in an approach to governance.   But that shouldn't be allowed to handwave away the fact that there do need to be some rules in place.  MPs - over here - need to vote in a certain way so its unambiguous whether they vote yes or no (or abstain or blah).  Sure, we could just take a good faith approach to it and try to work out what they meant or whatever, but having some rules in place prevents that from being necessary.

Simply saying "the system will work fine if everyone behaves reasonably" can only take you so far, is my issue.  I doubt anyone, when they wrote the constitution or whichever law it is that's created this situation, thought "hold on one cotton picking second.  If x,y,z happens, the government shuts down".  No shame in not foreseeing it.  But now it has happened, now its been exposed as a weakness in the system, surely something needs doing about it?

It's a reasonable side discussion to have. This particular government shutdown is over what is normally a formality, the approval of a debt ceiling to authorize the executive branch to borrow money in order to meet the obligations that Congress has already approved. It's been done annually since 1917, but only recently has it become a battleground. There's a very good argument that this particular process should be abolished; Congress has already authorized the spending of the money, they should not then also have to authorize the means to do so.

My point, though, is that there are ten thousand such issues. You could close this one -- although the fight over eliminating the debt ceiling process would no doubt be a vicious one -- but there will always be another. That's true of any government on earth, save for the smallest and simplest. It's simply the nature of the beast. At a nuts and bolts procedural level, there is zero ambiguity. Our legislators' votes are recorded, just the same as your MPs. As you rise above that, though, you necessarily reach a level where human compromise is required. There is no ironclad system, and I would argue that any such system would only make things much worse. Admittedly this seems to go against what one might presume from studying engineering, or the sciences, or game design, or any more formal system. But it's the truth. Politics is of necessity a messy, human enterprise.

In point of fact, the way that the system ought to operate is this: One party abuses their power, as in this case, and the electorate responds by shifting toward the other party, correcting the power imbalance. The fundamental problem in the American system today is that due to gerrymandered and otherwise corrupt districting the will of the electorate does not translate adequately to the representation in Congress. (It could also be argued that the proportionate representation granted by giving an automatic two senators to each state also skews this, but that's not relevant in the current context.) And congressional districting is controlled at the state level, not at the federal level, so it becomes very, very difficult to reduce the influence of the party in power.


Offline ladyelizabeth

Re: government shut down
« Reply #97 on: October 01, 2013, 11:29:32 AM »
I agree with Bloodied Porcelain.  The ACA is already funded, for now.  The important factor in this budget should be keeping people working with pay so that our economy doesn't go into a tailspin. 

I like parts of the ACA.  There are parts that I do not appreciate but I think the same can be said for any law.  Since the ACA is law the Republicans should back up and say okay let us go about this the right way.  They should propose legislation that either changes or provides for a better option than the ACA and go forward from there.  The judicial and legislative system were put in place for a reason.  The Executive is the one that should say "stop the silliness and help the American people"  instead now and for the past few presidencies it has been more about their cause than the American People.

Just my two cents.

Offline Ebb

Re: government shut down
« Reply #98 on: October 01, 2013, 11:30:18 AM »
I have never claimed to be partisan. I am simply asking the questions to get a better understanding.  How you understand one way and i the other, I am only hoping by putting the two together the real understanding shines in the middle

Okay. In that case I'd urge you to read the articles that I have linked to along the way in this discussion. If after reading those, and what I and others have written here, you are still able to state:

So technically speaking the lawmakers in Washington (dem and rep alike) no matter if in the house or senate is the political terrorist.

then there's probably very little else that I can say to sway your opinion. However, I thank you for starting this topic on the board, as it has engendered some interesting discussion which I hope has thrown some light on the situation for those following along.


Offline Dashenka

Re: government shut down
« Reply #99 on: October 01, 2013, 11:32:57 AM »
However, I thank you for starting this topic on the board, as it has engendered some interesting discussion which I hope has thrown some light on the situation for those following along.

I even learned a bit about your health care system! It's just tragic how the American people get treated by their government. Although a lot of the European politics aren't much better despite what they say. And I hope this issue will get resolved soon without it having too much an impact on the American people and in fact the world economy.