Friday, October 4, 2013

SAR #13277

Civilizations have the unfortunate habit of destroying themselves

Things That Go Bump In The Night: A bipartisan group of lawmakers is proposing to House Republican and Democratic leaders a compromise to end the government shutdown by repealing a medical device tax and maintaining across-the-board spending cuts at Ryan-budget levels of austerity. Elsewhere, Whispering John Boehner is telling his wards that they can roll the deficit shutdown and the looming debt ceiling debacle into a Grand Bargain where Obama gives up everything and gets the Ryan budget plus cuts to Social Security and Medicare in return. Possible, possible - given Obama's history as a negotiator.
Helping Hands: Massachusetts has fined Citi $30 million for giving sensitive market-related information to their richer customers before the commoners gain access, letting the chosen few profit at the expense of the many. Just the way the world runs.

Another Bite Of The Apple: BP, its remorse at despoiling the Gulf in the worst petroleum- based environmental disaster in history, has succeeded in getting an appellate court to give them a chance to take back a lot of the money they've previously paid out. So much for "dedication to the Gulf."

Winning Isn't Everything: As Reps Peter King and Richard Hanna of NY and Richard Hanna and Mario Diaz-Balart (FL), point out, “the CR is about spending. It’s the spending, stupid. We actually won 100 percent there." Defunding Obamacare was a sideshow tacked on to the CR that is keeping the Republicans from a full victory – replacing Obama's $1.2 trillion budget with one remarkably similar to the formerly rejected Ryan $950 million one.

David & Goliath: The oceans cover 70% of the earth's surface, yet man has managed in a few short years to put enough carbon into the atmosphere to warm them significantly, poison them extensively with sewerage and fertilizer runoff, and to acidify them enough to begin dissolving the shells of the ocean's creatures and to eradicate corals. A mass extinction of key species may already be all but inevitable. Toss in decades of over-fishing and it is nearly over for the ocean as a food source.

Bottom Line: Is it just a matter of time before Obama warns senior citizens that the Republican shutdown will cause their monthly Social Security checks to be late ?

Laundry, Listed: No one likes the government but nearly everyone has some federal program or agency they strongly want exempted from the shutdown. May can't understand why WIC is shut down but NSA spying, and drone strikes continue. And while we were distracted by the shutdown, the government managed to override a law banning military aid to countries that use child soldiers as long as they are our friends. Which let Rwanda out..
What's it All About, Alfie? The latest GOP demand has nothing to do with Obamacare, it's all about respect now according to Rep Stutzman (Clueless -IN), “We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

Minority Report: The truculent Tea Partiers responsible for the shutdown got their power through the votes of only 11.7% of all those cast in the 2012 congressional elections. Thanks to the power of gerrymandering, the Republicans are in control even though they got only 58.2 million votes to the Democrats 59.6 million. The spoilers do not represent even a significant minority of the country. There is something seriously wrong with a system that lets such a small coterie run roughshod over the majority.

Note: Too much chaff in the wind about the shutdown; the White House says Obama will not negotiate over substantive policy issues until Republicans end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. That being so, SAR will revisit the government shutdown when the Republicans get around to ending it.

The Parting Shot:

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