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Old 10-10-2013, 12:54 PM   #661
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Taliban militants fighting foreign troops in Afghanistan taunted the U.S. on Wednesday over the recent government shutdown, reported Agence France-Presse.
The fighters accused U.S. politicians of “sucking the blood of their own people.”

A statement issued by the Islamist militants described how U.S. institutions have been “paralyzed” by the shutdown.

U.S. federal agencies were ordered to shut down by the White House budget director last week, after Congress missed a deadline to pass a budget.

The government shutdown over Republican efforts to halt President Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms as last minute maneuvers failed to resolve deep differences between Democrats and Republicans.

The statement issued by the Taliban condemned the acts of U.S. politicians.

“The American people should realize that their politicians play with their destinies as well as the destinies of other oppressed nations for the sake of their personal vested interests,” it stated.

The insurgents blamed “selfish and empty-minded American leaders” and claimed they were guilty of taking U.S. citizens' money "earned with great difficulty" and then “lavishly spending the same money in shedding the blood of the innocent and oppressed people.”

“Instead of sucking the blood of their own people... this money should be utilized for the sake of peace,” they added.

The Taliban, who were ousted from power in a U.S.-led offensive in 2001, have been known to use their website to issue verbal attacks on Washington and the Kabul government in the past.
(With AFP)
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News...shutdown-.html

Thanks US government for giving the Taliban ammunition. Even worse, they have a point about how selfish you are
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Old 10-10-2013, 04:06 PM   #662
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Here's another example of how to get rich in America - get a federal government contract!



We paid $634 million for the Obamacare sites and all we got was this lousy 404

what?

the demo worked just fine

they got what they paid for
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:07 PM   #663
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amen.

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False Equivalence That Leans on Public Opinion Is Still False Equivalence



Here's a fact: The deficit is falling.

Here's another fact: Americans don't know the deficit is falling.



The point isn't that Americans are stupid. They have busy lives and concerns that have nothing to do with the annual gap between taxes and outlays. Instead, the point is that public-opinion polls don't belong on the same plane as facts and informed analysis, because they qualify as neither.

Smash-cut to the government showdown: The last few weeks have seen a sort of media-insider debate (which I hope is interesting to people who aren't just media insiders) about whether journalists are wrong to blame both parties for a shutdown that seems rather obviously to be a Republican creation. Jim Fallows has obsessively tracked these instances of "false equivalence" or "pox on both houses" journalism that makes Democrats seem similarly blameworthy for a shutdown they're playing very little part in.

In a piece today for National Journal, Ron Fournier leans on public opinion to show that, no, in fact, both Republicans and Democrats deserve a big serving of blame for the shut-down government, because Americans think they're both to blame. He writes:

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It would be false equivalence to say Republicans and Democrats are equally to blame for the government shutdown and the possibility of a debt default. Republicans engineered the shutdown to protest a three-year-old health care law, knowing their defund-or-delay demands were unattainable ...
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... At the same time, voters don't absolve the Democratic majority in the Senate or President Obama himself. Only 37 percent approve of the way the president is handling his job, an anemic number. Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid has a favorability rating of just 18 percent...

... The story and poll assess blame unequally, which is the exact opposite of false equivalence.
In other words, we can all agree that Republicans are responsible for the shutdown, but public opinion also blames the Democrats, and so [in Fournier's own words] "it is a pox on both houses."

Go back to the graph that leads this article. Imagine, briefly, if we published a story on the deficit that said, essentially: "The CBO says the deficit is rapidly shrinking, but at the same time, Americans don't seem to know that, so perhaps we need to cut the deficit even more." That's not just a meaningless juxtaposition. It's misleading, too.

Rather than free readers from the shackles of false equivalence, this sort of argument actually solidifies the worst kind of false equivalence. It holds up the misinformation of survey respondents—whose opinions have been shaped by both-parties-are-to-blame coverage—as equivalent to an informed analysis of Washington. As Fournier observes the shutdown is entirely a GOP production. The fact that voters disagree is not, by itself, a useful counter-argument. It's like we're feeding readers the false-equivalence narrative, watching them eat it, and then saying: "Well, Americans do seem to blame both sides equally, maybe there's something to that."

Public polls are a fine gauge of public opinion, but they're not to be treated as a barometer of reality. Pretending otherwise mixes up the regurgitated misinformation of readers with the careful analysis of people who are in the business of busting misinformation.

If that's not serving up false equivalence, what is?

False Equivalence That Leans on Public Opinion Is Still False Equivalence - Derek Thompson - The Atlantic
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:18 PM   #664
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Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) favorability rating has collapsed as the public has become more familiar with him, according to a Gallup survey released on Thursday.

The survey found that 26 percent have a favorable view of the Texas Republican, against 36 percent unfavorable. That makes 62 percent of the public that has an opinion on Cruz, up from 42 percent in June, when 24 percent had a favorable view of him against 18 percent unfavorable – a 16-point negative swing.
Please proceed, Senator.
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Old 10-10-2013, 07:11 PM   #665
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Here's another example of how to get rich in America - get a federal government contract!
The vendor (CGI Federal) ran over cost by half a billion dollars. There was mismanagement and incompetence on both the government and company sides.
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Old 10-10-2013, 07:51 PM   #666
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Rep. Alan Grayson made me laugh:

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"A national poll asked the following questions: What do you have a higher opinion of, Congress or witches? Congress, 32 percent; witches, 46 percent," Grayson said, referring to the poll. "What do you have a higher opinion of, Congress or hemorrhoids? Congress, 31 percent; hemorrhoids, 53 percent. What do you have a higher opinion of, Congress or dog poop? Congress 40 percent; dog poop 47 percent."
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:00 PM   #667
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post

Here's a fact: The deficit is falling.

Here's another fact: Americans don't know the deficit is falling.
Most people confuse the annual deficit with the total debt and the debt ain’t getting’ any smaller is it?

You realize the 2013 deficit will be smaller (if you call $750 billion small!!) mainly because of accelerated capital gains realizations last year to beat the 2013 rate increases.

Do the “draconian” sequestration cuts get any credit for the smaller deficit?
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:42 PM   #668
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Most people confuse the annual deficit with the total debt and the debt ain’t getting’ any smaller is it? You realize the 2013 deficit will be smaller (if you call $750 billion small!!) mainly because of accelerated capital gains realizations last year to beat the 2013 rate increases. Do the “draconian” sequestration cuts get any credit for the smaller deficit?

Well, no. Firstly, most people are aware if the difference. Likely the Tea Partiers aren't, but the rest of us are aware that this is the fastest the deficit has fallen in 60 years. Cuts help in part, though they slow down overall growth. Credit is Largely due to new taxes and slower-than-expected health care costs (!!!).

As has been pointed out earlier, the falling deficit is Just imagine what could happen if we let the Bush tax cuts expire and returned to 1990s levels of taxation. Remember, we know based on Reagan and Bush 2 that republicans don't care about deficits; the care about lowering taxes on rich people.

And also imagine if our government weren't hijacked by a small group of Jacobin idiot reactionaries.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:02 AM   #669
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Well, no. Firstly, most people are aware if the difference. Likely the Tea Partiers aren't, but the rest of us are aware that this is the fastest the deficit has fallen in 60 years. Cuts help in part, though they slow down overall growth. Credit is Largely due to new taxes and slower-than-expected health care costs (!!!).

As has been pointed out earlier, the falling deficit is Just imagine what could happen if we let the Bush tax cuts expire and returned to 1990s levels of taxation. Remember, we know based on Reagan and Bush 2 that republicans don't care about deficits; the care about lowering taxes on rich people.
Let me get this right. The president comes into office in Jan 2009, explodes federal spending including adding a $750 billion “stimulus” to the budget leading to 4 straight deficits in excess of $ 1 trillion dollars and you applaud what still will be the 5th largest deficit in history – larger than any deficit under all previous presidents – as a return to fiscal sanity?
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And also imagine if our government weren't hijacked by a small group of Jacobin idiot reactionaries.
Au contraire mon ami, it is the Democratic Party and this president that now mirrors the centralized authority and far-left politics of the original Jacobins of the French Revolution.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:29 AM   #670
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The rest of the world laughs - LAUGHS- when some in the U.S. call the Democratic Party 'far-left'. They are not far-left, or even left, by any objective measure.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:47 AM   #671
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The rest of the world laughs - LAUGHS- when some in the U.S. call the Democratic Party 'far-left'. They are not far-left, or even left, by any objective measure.
That's not a compelling comment for INDY who thinks that the rest us are socialists who aren't free anyway.
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:05 PM   #672
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What's heartening is that as of this morning the actual conservatives in the GOP seem ready to put the Tea Party on an ice floe.

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There is a growing fear among Washington Republicans that the party, which has lost two national elections in a row, is headed for history’s dustbin. And I believe that they are right to worry.

The battle over the shutdown has highlighted the cracks and fissures within the party. The party’s leadership has begun to lose control of its members in Congress. The party’s base has become increasingly shrill and is almost as dissatisfied with the Republican leadership in Washington as it is with President Obama. New conservative groups have echoed, and taken advantage of, this sentiment by targeting Republicans identified with the leadership for defeat. And a growing group of Republican politicians, who owe their election to these groups, has carried the battle into the halls of Congress. That is spelling doom for the Republican coalition that has kept the party afloat for the last two decades.

American party coalitions are heterogeneous, but they endure as along as the different groups find more agreement with each other than with the opposition. After Republicans won back the Congress in 1994, they developed a political strategy to hold their coalition together. Many people contributed to the strategy including Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove, Paul Coverdell, Paul Weyrich, and Ralph Reed, but the chief architect was probably Grover Norquist, a political operative who, along with Rove and Reed, came of age in the early Reagan years. The strategy was based on creating an alliance between business, which had sometimes divided its loyalties between Republicans and Democrats, and the array of social and economic interest groups that had begun backing Republicans.

In weekly meeting held on Wednesdays at the office of his Americans for Tax Reform, Norquist put forth the idea that business groups, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), but also including the specialized trade associations, should back socially conservative Republican candidates, while right-to-life or gun rights organizations should back tax cuts and deregulation. What would bind the different parts together was a common opposition to raising taxes, which Norquist framed in a pledge he demanded that Republican candidates make. Business could provide the money, and the single-issue and evangelical groups the grassroots energy to win elections.

The strategy worked reasonably well, especially in House races. The Chamber and NFIB became election-year arms of the Republican Party. In Congress, a succession of leaders, including Gingrich, Dennis Hastert, Tom DeLay, and Roy Blunt, followed the strategy. Gingrich initially overreached, and DeLay took ethical end-runs, but by the time John Boehner became Minority Leader in 2007, it had been refined. Its economic approach consisted of promoting cuts in taxes, spending, and regulation. Boehner, as lobbyists close to him explained to me, wanted to use the battle over continuing resolutions and the debt ceiling to achieve incremental changes on these fronts. He did not contemplate shutting down the government or allowing the government to default on its obligations.

But Boehner was forced to adopt the more extreme strategy. Norquist blames Cruz. “Boehner had a strategy,” Norquist told me, “but Ted Cruz blew it up.” That is, however, giving Cruz too much credit (or blame) for the result. Cruz did help convince House Republicans that if they linked passage of a continuing resolution to repealing Obamacare, he could get the votes in the Senate to follow suit. But Cruz was following a script that had been developed earlier. What has happened over the last two months, leading to the shutdown, and political paralysis in Washington, is the result of deeper factors that have put Norquist’s entire “center-right” strategy in jeopardy.


[...]

The groups are sometimes believed to be part of a single giant conspiracy led by the Koch brothers, but that is not the case. The Koch brothers started Americans for Prosperity after they became dissatisfied with Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks, and the two groups are now rivals. The Kochs are also not major funders for the Club for Growth. The groups themselves often back the same candidates and causes, but are sometimes at odds. FreedomWorks has taken a harder line on the government shutdown than Americans for Prosperity, and the Senate Conservatives Fund is currently running ads in Arizona denouncing one of the Club for Growth’s favorite senators, Jeff Flake, for opposing the attempt to link the continuing resolution to the repeal of Obamacare.

What the groups share is an attempt to tap into the spirit of middle American radicalism. They espouse a somewhat sanitized (less anti-big business and Wall Street) version of the Tea Party’s economic libertarianism. They want to elect “champions of economic freedom” who are for “limited government.” They scorn compromise and the Republicans who make the compromises. “I think the whole concept of compromise and bipartisanship is silly,” Chocola says. Their ultimate goal, Chocola says, is to elect a “majority of true fiscal conservatives” who will transform the government—or in the meantime, gum up the works by making compromise difficult, if not impossible.

To date, the groups have had a mixed record in elections. They screwed up in Nevada, Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, and Missouri by backing extreme Republicans in Senate primaries who lost winnable elections to Democrats. But they helped elect Senators Toomey, Cruz, Rubio, Flake, and Paul and about 15 House members, including Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton whom they are now backing in the Arkansas senate race.

These are still relatively small numbers, but in the peculiar American system, a few people can exert an inordinate amount of power. In the Senate, the Tea Party adherents can disrupt any attempts at compromise, as Senator Ted Cruz did recently. In the House, they can threaten John Boehner’s job, because Boehner needs an absolute majority of House members to retain his speakership. And numbers aside, the threat of a primary challenge (now converted into a verb “to primary”) hovers over the all Republican Senate and House members, most notably McConnell, and has forced Boehner and McConnell to follow dutifully the shutdown strategy of Cruz and his House allies.

Under pressure from grassroots radicals and the new outsider groups, the old Republican coalition is beginning to shatter. The single-issue and evangelical groups have been superseded by right-wing populist groups, which are generally identified with the Tea Party, although there is no single Tea Party organization. These groups can’t easily be co-opted by the party’s Washington leadership. And the business groups in Washington, who funded the party over the last two decades, have grown disillusioned with a party that appears to be increasingly held hostage by its radical base and by outsider groups. The newspapers are now filled with stories about business opposition to the shutdown strategy, and there are even hints of business groups backing challenges to Tea Party candidates. “The business community has got to stand up and say we are not going to back the most self-described conservative candidate. We are going to back the candidates that are the most rational,” says John Feehery, a former aide to DeLay and Hastert who is now president of Quinn Gillespie & Associates, a Washington lobbying firm.

What Washington business lobbyists say on-the-record about the House Republicans and about Tea Party activists pales before what they are willing to say if their names aren't used. One former Republican staffer says of the anti-establishment groups, “They want to go in and fuck shit up. These non-corporate non-establishmentarian guys—that is exactly what they are doing. And the problem with that is obvious. What next? What happens after you fuck shit up?” Other lobbyists I talked to cited John Calhoun, Dixiecrats and Richard Hofstadter’s essay on “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” to explain the rise of the populist right. It’s the kind of reference you’d expect to read in a New Republic article, but not necessarily in a conversation with a business lobbyist.

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/1...ntent=10543652




it's also heartening that the Tea Party's popularity has plummeted.

Quote:
And one year until next fall’s midterm elections, American voters prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress to a Republican-controlled one by eight percentage points (47 percent to 39 percent), up from the Democrats’ three-point advantage last month (46 percent to 43 percent).

What’s more, Obama’s political standing has remained relatively stable since the shutdown, with his approval rating ticking up two points since last month, and with the Democratic Party’s favorability rating declining just three points (from 42 percent to 39 percent).

“If it were not so bad for the country, the results could almost make a Democrat smile,” says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.

“These numbers lead to one inescapable conclusion: The Republicans are not tone deaf; they are stone deaf.”

Yet what is perhaps even more worrisome for the GOP is the “boomerang” effect: As the party has used the shutdown and fiscal fight to campaign against the nation’s health-care law and for limited government, the poll shows those efforts have backfired.

For one thing, the health-care law has become more popular since the shutdown began. Thirty-eight percent see the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”) as a good idea, versus 43 percent who see it as a bad idea – up from 31 percent good idea, 44 percent bad idea last month.

In addition, 50 percent say they oppose totally eliminating funding for the law, even if it that means a partial shutdown of the government. That’s up from 46 percent who said they opposed that move in a Sept. 2013 CNBC poll.
And by a 52-percent-to-44 percent difference, respondents believe the government should do more to solve problems. Back in June, the public was split, 48 percent to 48 percent, on whether the government should do more or less.

Republicans and Democrats are debating a possible short term debt extension, but it's uncertain what each side would have to give. NBC's Mark Murray discusses.

“That is an ideological boomerang,” says McInturff, the GOP pollster. “As the debate has been going on, if there is a break, there is a break against the Republican position.”

[...]

Obama – with a 47 percent favorable, 41 percent unfavorable rating – also is the most popular political figure or institution in the poll, surpassing the Democratic Party (39 percent favorable/40 percent unfavorable); Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas (14 percent favorable/28 percent unfavorable); Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (18 percent favorable/32 percent unfavorable); and House Speaker John Boehner (17 percent favorable/42 percent unfavorable).

At the bottom of the list are the Tea Party (21 percent favorable/47 percent unfavorable) and the Republican Party (24 percent favorable/53 percent unfavorable) – their lowest favorable numbers in the history of the poll.

http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2...mages-gop?lite
once again, Obama has enabled his enemies to self-destruct. checkers vs. chess. Cruz and Lee are tanking in their home states.

i'm not even going to get into the stimulus again. you began to care about debt and deficit on January 21, 2009.

as we have seen since 1980, the GOP doesn't care about debt ("Deficits don't matter," said your last VP). They only care about lowering taxes on rich people.
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:36 PM   #673
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Well, no. Firstly, most people are aware if the difference.
No, most people do not know the difference between the national debt and the annual deficit. Hell, Jimmy Kimmel demonstrated that people thought Obamacare and the ACA were two different things.

The selective use of data and statistics is a powerful tool in controlling a narrative. For example, in the last few years, the monthly employment data could be presented as (i) total jobs add, (ii) net jobs added, (iii) unemployment rate, (iv) actuals vs projections, etc. Whatever number looked best made the headline.
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:38 PM   #674
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I'm glad we are highlighting approval ratings.

Obama's Approval Rating Sinks to 37 Percent

Fortunately, Obama gave us the metric by which we can measure success/failure in this situation.



It starts at the top.
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:42 PM   #675
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I'm glad we are highlighting approval ratings.

Obama's Approval Rating Sinks to 37 Percent
The GOP approval rating is 28%, the lowest ever recorded by Gallup for a political party.
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