Veterans Removed From Vietnam Veterans Memorial

One of the dumber aspects of the current shutdown repeats itself.

Vietnam War Memorial Night

Someone needs to give the National Park Service a lesson in public relations:

The closure of D.C.’s war memorials continues to be a source of contention for tourists and law enforcement officials.

Like the hundreds of World War II veterans who came to National Mall to pay their respects this week, a group of Vietnam veterans found a barricade blocking the way to their memorial Friday. News4-s Mark Segraves said two U.S. Park Service Rangers manning the gate asked that the group respect the government’s shutdown but moved aside.

Segraves described the exchange as pleasant and respectful.

The veterans then moved the barricade and walked down to the wall to pay their respects. But a flood of tourists followed even though the memorial is closed to the general public.

“The consensus among the group of Vietnam veterans was we’re going to go anyway. We’ll go through the barricade,” North Carolina resident Reid Mendenhall said.

U.S. Park Police arrive to the scene, asked everyone to leave and put the barricade back into place.

Quite honestly, the closure of the open air memorials on the National Mall has been among the more bizarre post-shutdown moves that those in authority have taken. Ordinarily, these memorials are open all day and night every day of the year. To the extent that they are staffed, it is typically by National Park Service employees giving guided tours, not by Park Police (although there may be regular patrols of these memorials at night by officers as part of their regular rounds). The fact that these employees, who are essentially just tour guides aren’t around doesn’t really detract at all from the experience of visiting the memorials themselves. Those employees are generally not present after dark during normal times anyway, and yet no effort is ever made to restrict anyone from visiting those locations during the night. Indeed, seeing the Vietnam, Korea, and World War II Memorials at night when they are lit up is something that D.C. area residents and tourists commonly do when the weather permits. It’s also worth noting that the closure policy also applies to the Martin Luther King Jr. and FDR Memorials, both of which are also open air, and the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, both of which are also common locations for nocturnal walking tours of the Mall. Furthermore, it arguably cost the government more to erect the barricades and staff the memorials with Park Police than it would have to keep them open albeit without the tour guides.

Many on the right have accused the Obama Administration of doing things like closing these memorials in an effort to inflict the most pain in a public manner as part of an effort to put pressure on the GOP. Frankly, I have no doubt that there might be some truth in that, and that the choices of what has and hasn’t been closed may well have some political motivation behind it. However, it strikes me that some of these choices were made without considering of the public relations of doing so. The pictures of open air memorials that have always been open to the public being surrounded by barricades, or of World War II veterans having to essentially force their way in to the memorial to the war that they fought, doesn’t really make for very good television or photography.

Jazz Shaw sums it up nicely:

Yes… a lot of controversy is putting it mildly. The President can pick all the battles with congressional Republicans that he likes and probably not draw too much political fire from the middle. But if you wanted to conduct a poll of who is least likely to be blamed for anything in this country by the general public, veterans visiting war memorials would have to come in somewhere near the bottom of the list, behind possibly only puppies.

How many more of these stories can the administration sustain before the “no compromise, no negotiations” crowd realizes that they’re going to have to come to the table?

 

It may not matter if the GOP keeps shooting itself in the foot. However, there has to be a way of handling this matter that doesn’t look so heavy handed as kicking people out of an open-air memorial. Of course, it’s probable that the Park Service employees responsible for public relations are all furloughed. It would explain a alot.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    Anyone who supports the shutdown has no room to complain about what is shut down. It is not an intellectually honest position.

    Doug, can you and Steven get together and come up with a coherent belief toward the shutdown? It would do a favor for all of us OTB readers.




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  2. First, I have no idea what you mean since I’ve been critical of the whole idea of the shutdown.

    Second, the post you linked is mine, not Stephen’sand I’m not sure it contradicts anything written in this post.




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  3. al-Ameda says:

    It may not matter if the GOP keeps shooting itself in the foot. However, there has to be a way of handling this matter that doesn’t look so heavy handed as kicking people out of an open-air memorial. Of course, it’s probable that the Park Service employees responsible for public relations are all furloughed. It would explain a alot.

    I certainly agree with you that this is all stupid stuff, however, one party wanted the shutdown and now we all have to live with these minor aggravations until Democrats compromise and agree to rescind or defund ACA. In the meantime, maybe Steve King and Michele Bachmann can go can go down there and pretend to save the day?




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  4. @Gold Star for Robot Boy:

    Ah okay, I see now, you were referring to Steven’s comment. Again, I don’t support the shutdown so I’m not sure what the relevance of that comment is. Indeed, of James, Steven, and myself I don’t think anyone here at OTB supports the shutdown.




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  5. Gustopher says:

    If anything, the shutdown of these memorials should show that politics were not taken into account when deciding what to shut down… No one would think this is a good move politically.

    But, the shutdown is a blunt instrument. Decisions are made that may be correct in 95% of the cases, and applied to 100%.




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  6. Todd says:

    News4-s Mark Segraves said two U.S. Park Service Rangers manning the gate asked that the group respect the government’s shutdown but moved aside.
    Segraves described the exchange as pleasant and respectful.
    The veterans then moved the barricade and walked down to the wall to pay their respects. But a flood of tourists followed even though the memorial is closed to the general public.

    Another misleading headline. Reading the quoted text it certainly doesn’t sound like the veterans themselves were the problem. How much do want to bet that a fair portion of that “flood of tourists” were people who came to the memorial for the specific purpose of causing just such a spectacle?

    See, it’s easy to attribute “bad intentions” when we’re just guessing about why something happened.




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  7. James Pearce says:

    This monument stuff is getting way blown out of proportion. I find it hard to believe that fifty years from now we’ll be talking about how this impasse was broken because old vets broke down barricades at memorials.

    As dumb as the barricades are, maybe a little concept like “moral hazard” comes into play. Since this is quite clearly so onerous, I hope “barricading the monuments” figures into the GOP’s thinking next time they’re contemplating shutting down the government.

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Indeed, of James, Steven, and myself I don’t think anyone here at OTB supports the shutdown.

    Do you support Obama offering concessions to House Republicans to end it? Or do you think the Republicans should just fold?




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  8. @James Pearce:

    Do you support Obama offering concessions to House Republicans to end it? Or do you think the Republicans should just fold?

    I think that negotiations of some kind are going to be inevitable. Whether that’s a good thing or not I’ll leave for others to judge.




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  9. Jeremy R says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Do you honestly not see a liability issue with the nearby bathrooms shut because maintenance workers are furloughed, the folks who clean up after vandals unable to respond, most of the CPR/emergency trained Park Police not present and not able to provide the same level of vigilance for unattended backpacks and suspicious persons?




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  10. Jenny Smith says:

    @Jeremy R: No it’s a OPEN AIR MEMORIAL. Most of the time there is NO ONE there to have security, etc. It’s bul@@@@ and the OMB admitted they ordered it.




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  11. Todd says:

    @Jeremy R:

    Do you honestly not see a liability issue …

    See, that’s at least as plausible an explanation for why these memorials are closed as this:

    the Obama Administration doing things like closing these memorials in an effort to inflict the most pain in a public manner as part of an effort to put pressure on the GOP

    … and both are totally made up.




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  12. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Again, I don’t support the shutdown so I’m not sure what the relevance of that comment is.

    And yet you link approvingly to Hot Air’s take that if Obama keeps taking these PR/optics hits, he’ll cave. If you really thought the shutdown was a bad idea, then you’d reject the false choice before you. The reality: A GOP-led shutdown hurting Obama is much like me coming over to your house, pissing in the fridge and then showing disgust you can’t keep a clean house.

    Shaw’s nut graf:

    How many more of these stories can the administration sustain before the “no compromise, no negotiations” crowd realizes that they’re going to have to come to the table?

    You said he summed that up “nicely.” I say he summed up shit, because he’s presenting it as a fait accompli that people should blame Obama for the GOP House’s malfeasance.
    NO. I emphatically do not, because my eyes and ears aren’t deceiving me. And if you’ve been watching the same shutdown I have, you should be intellectually honest enough to admit who is at fault.




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  13. john personna says:

    Seriously, on the list of national priorities how high do monuments rank?

    Before this week I would not have thought they were top ten, and yet now they have the nation’s focus.

    Absurd. Deeply irrational. Absolutely dysfunctional.




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  14. Michael says:

    Who typically cleans and maintains the memorials, and are those people furloughed during the shutdown? The only thing more disrespectful than a closed war memorial is a dirty one.




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  15. john personna says:

    “We can’t have monuments during A National Government Shutdown!”

    OMG, set hair on fire.




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  16. JKB says:

    @Michael: The only thing more disrespectful than a closed war memorial is a dirty one.

    No problem, if they get dirty, we’ll just have a Tea Party rally.




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  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Someone needs to give the National Park Service a lesson in public relations:

    Doug? You need a lesson in reality.

    Lesson #1: Republicans shut down all nonessential Gov’t operations.

    Lesson #2: National Parks and Monuments are NOT essential.

    Lesson #3: The Vietnam Memorial is a monument ERGO, not essential. (one would think you would get this thru your thick skull after what happened at the WWII memorial, but noooooo…)

    Lesson #4: ????????? I really begin to wonder about the limits of your intelligence. Or, are you so in the pocket of the GOP (Libertarian???? HA!) that you can not tell the difference between “spin” and reality?




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  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Whether that’s a good thing or not I’ll leave for others to judge.

    Fwck you Doug. That is a cowards way out. He asked you a direct question. He deserves a direct answer.




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  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB:

    No problem, if they get dirty, we’ll just have a Tea Party rally.

    The tea party has been trashing the constitution since they were born. What makes you think they will be more respectful of monuments?




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  20. techiewonk says:

    On the “negotiations” issue…the negotiations already took place and were settled. The Democrats agreed to the Republicans’ appropriations levels, including post-sequestration cuts. The whole ACA thing was added by the Tea Party Caucus and Speaker Boehner AFTER the negotiations were finished. Why should the Democrats keep adding concessions when they already conceded to what the Republicans wanted?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/05/harry-reid-shutdown_n_4050400.html?1381005521




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  21. @OzarkHillbilly:

    I gave my answer. In my opinion, Obama, either directly or (more likely) indirectly through Senate Democrats, will indeed “negotiate” even if they don’t call it that. It’s simple political reality. If it turns out my assessment turns out to be wrong, I’ll happily admit the same.




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  22. Cindy says:

    I’m utterly confused as to HOW or WHY ppl, including on this site, continue to talk about the Republicans shooting themself in the foot or being heavy handed …what the hell are you talking about?!?!?! We have an asshole administration and a jackass potus closing the freakin Ocean, Mt. freakin Rushmore, National Parks and yes, the WWII Memorial, which is a 24/7 open-aired memorial not typically guarded with jerk off security. So remind me again, in what way the Republicans are in the wrong?!?!? Obama care is sucking the life out of our country, including the dumbasses who voted for him ….and our conservative representatives are the ONLY ppl standing up for our best interest. Good Lord, get off the bandwagon and stand up for what’s right. Quit with the political correctness because that shit…..ship has sailed. There’s no room to back down, there’s no reason for the jerk off Dems to not negotiate. They KNOW as well as we do that their freaking program SUCKS for everyone. They just want to gather information for their IRS peeps to track you down when you have no insurance. Not to mention, when they opt for the puny fine over actually getting insurance….we still have the problem of uninsured people!!!!! I’ve been nice about it for 5 yrs, but enough is enough for God’s sake! Get your head out of your asses and stand up for something. Ugh. I don’t wish Obamacare on anyone – not even the fools who voted for it. That’s the difference between a Democrat and a Conservative. Democrats couldn’t care less about you ……..




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  23. An Interested Party says:

    Do you honestly not see a liability issue with the nearby bathrooms shut because maintenance workers are furloughed, the folks who clean up after vandals unable to respond, most of the CPR/emergency trained Park Police not present and not able to provide the same level of vigilance for unattended backpacks and suspicious persons?

    In Doug’s Libertarian Land, it’s every tourist for himself…




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  24. Todd says:

    @Cindy:

    This is your brain on Drudge … Breitbart, Daily Caller, The Blaze, WND, Rush, Sean, etc, etc,




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  25. rudderpedals says:

    A negotiated surrender could work. It’s probably OK to leave the emperor in place in exchange for a clean 1 year CR and the McConnell debt limit fix.




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  26. An Interested Party says:

    I’m utterly confused…

    You should have stopped right there, sweetie, as those words alone tell us everything we need to know about you…




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  27. Davebo says:

    @Cindy:

    See. It’s Doug without the passive aggressive BS. Frankly I prefer the full blown bat sh#t crazy. At least it’s more obvious what you’re dealing with.

    But in the end there’s really no difference.




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  28. Phillip says:

    @Cindy:

    I’m utterly confused

    Loosen up the tinfoil a bit.




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  29. Todd says:

    @Davebo:

    See. It’s Doug without the passive aggressive BS

    I’m sorry but that is BS.

    Look, I’m as happy as anybody to call Doug out when he posts something that doesn’t tell the whole story. But seriously, OTB is a blog, and Doug posts quite a bit of the content on a daily basis. No disrespect to James, Steven, Matt, or any of the other writers, but this blog would most likely not be the “hot bed of stimulating conversation” that it is without Doug.

    Doug may have views on a few subjects that do not conform with those of the majority of commenters here, but that in no way justifies comparing him to someone who is clearly delusional.




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  30. al-Ameda says:

    @Cindy:
    We have an asshole administration and a jackass potus closing the freakin Ocean, Mt. freakin Rushmore, National Parks and yes, the WWII Memorial, which is a 24/7 open-aired memorial not typically guarded with jerk off security.

    What do you think a government shutdown is? Is it a magical shutdown where you click your heels and {{{wow}}} only those functions that you think are ‘special’ remain open? Grow up.




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  31. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The tea party has been trashing the constitution since they were born. What makes you think they will be more respectful of monuments?

    Because, twit, the Tea Party has established a reputation for leaving their event venues CLEANER than they found them. This is in direct contrast to the Occupy vermin, who leave their sites as severe public health menaces.

    I’m not interested in getting into the details of the Tea Party’s positions, but their respect for the physical places they’ve held their rallies is beyond dispute. JKB was echoing something I said earlier: if you want a public place to be cleaned up, invite Tea Partiers to hold an event there, and they will not only pick up after themselves, but after those there before them.

    On the other hand, if Obama really wanted to keep people away from these places, he should let the remnants of the Occupy movement take them over. They’d trash them in short order.

    However, I would expect the Occupiers to be treated to impromptu vigilante justice as they were removed by outraged citizens.




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  32. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    One thing needs to be made crystal clear here: these monuments are being shut down by the National Parks Service. They are part of the Department of the Interior, which is headed up by Obama appointee Secretary Sally Jewell. If Obama did not approve of the actions being taken by the National Parks Service, he could inform Secretary Jewell to tell the Parks Service to knock it off.

    So Obama, by allowing his agents to do this, is giving his stamp of approval to their closing. I think we need to start calling these barriers “Barackades” in his honor.




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  33. JKB says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Actually, the Republicans did not shut down anything. Appropriations have not been passed into law, so no activity that used appropriated funds can occur. There are exceptions for “essential” services by past agreement, which is a nebulous term used to continue operations that cannot be delayed or suspended. Basically, a “gentleman’s’ agreement that obligations for essential services incurred while there are no appropriations will be ratified and paid.

    There is no need or mandate to halt operations on government controlled land (or areas) that do not use appropriated funds. This could include operations with multi-year appropriations but we’ve not had a proper budget in so long, all of those have expired, I believe. It definitely includes private operations that lease the federally controlled land but do not receive any appropriated funds.

    And there is no liability for the government due to closed restrooms, etc. The government has sovereign immunity from such suits. If there is no duty to protect, there is certainly no duty to provide restrooms or on-scene CPR.




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  34. JKB says:

    @JKB:

    I guess I should have been more precise. The Executive Branch (Obama) is the one who shut down operations but they only legally had to shut down “non-essential” activities that use appropriated funds.

    Additional closures are not the result of the lack of appropriations but by choice of the White House.




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  35. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So Obama, by allowing his agents to do this, is giving his stamp of approval to their closing. I think we need to start calling these barriers “Barackades” in his honor.

    You’re too late with that “Barackades” the conservative commentariat has already started calling them “Barry-cades,” which is their way of saying, “we didn’t know that a government shutdown mean closing stuff that we like.”




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  36. JKB says:
  37. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda: which is their way of saying, “we didn’t know that a government shutdown mean closing stuff that we like.”

    There is no legal reason to close locations and activities that do not require the immediate expenditure of appropriations to continue




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  38. Michelle says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    but their respect for the physical places they’ve held their rallies is beyond dispute.

    Not really. There is no proof that either side left more or less trash.

    There is trash wherever human go. That includes Tea Partiers on scooters and any other group. That you believe pictures taken post government employees clean-up shows that you don’t get out much.




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  39. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:
    Welcome to the ongoing effects of the Republican planned and EXECUTED government shutdown – live with it, deal with it.




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  40. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    There is no legal reason to close locations and activities that do not require the immediate expenditure of appropriations to continue

    Actually, Obama should use an Executive Order to resume normal operations of the government, and he should utilize the 14th Amendment as a basis to pre-empt the Republican plan to cause a default on American debt securities.




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  41. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I’m not interested in getting into the details of the Tea Party’s positions, but their respect for the physical places they’ve held their rallies is beyond dispute. JKB was echoing something I said earlier: if you want a public place to be cleaned up, invite Tea Partiers to hold an event there, and they will not only pick up after themselves, but after those there before them.

    Yes, if I want an orderly political gathering of bitter, angry, resentful white people, I will definitely invite Tea Partiers. On the other hand, if I want a sane place to live, with sane politicians, and no threats to cause a default on American debt securities – I’ll not invite Tea Partiers.




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  42. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda: Actually, Obama should use an Executive Order to resume normal operations of the government,

    A wholly unconstitutional act that would be grounds for impeachment. Willful violations of the Anti-deficiency act is a crime and subject to criminal prosecution. Not to mention, personal liability.

    Not to mention, any expenditure made would be invalid and unenforceable without ratification by Congress.




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  43. anjin-san says:

    Hmm. Republicans want to talk about people missing football games, parks being closed, and their superior litter removal skills.

    I guess that beats talking about people being screwed by their shutdown in the real world.




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  44. wr says:

    @Cindy: Does it hurt to be this stupid?




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  45. wr says:

    @Todd: Also, Doug and can compose and type a sentence. Frequently several in a row.




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  46. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    grounds for impeachment.

    So you are not satisfied repeating some of the Republican idiocy from the 90’s, you want to repeat it all.

    Well, if conservative are determined to hand what should be a very, very safe house majority back to Democrats, who am I to argue?




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  47. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Because, twit, the Tea Party has established a reputation for leaving their event venues CLEANER than they found them. ”

    That is, Tea Party fluffers have invented this moron myth, and dopes like Jenos carry their water.




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  48. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “I’m not interested in getting into the details of the Tea Party’s positions,”

    And that comes as a major shock to all of us who know that you have no interest in any political positions. The totality of your existence is as a mosquito, annoying as many other people as possible. If that requires you to pretend to be “conservative,” that’s fine — it’s not like you care about anything anyway. As you so kindly explained as you described your evolution on gun control: “Hey, it pissed off liberals, so I went with it!”




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  49. wr says:

    @JKB: Shorter JKB: Head start — not essential. NIH — not essential. Food stamps — not essential. EPA — not essential. NASA — not essential.

    Keeping monuments open for photogenic veterans — the only legitimate function of government.




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  50. Rafer Janders says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I think that negotiations of some kind are going to be inevitable. Whether that’s a good thing or not I’ll leave for others to judge.

    Good plan. Leave it to others to judge the most important issue in American politics at present. After all, it’s not like you’re a writer on a blog devoted to offering its readers penetrating analysis of Washington politi…hey, wait a minute.




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  51. JKB says:

    @wr:

    It is not keeping open monuments but rather not expending resources to block off access to formerly always open monuments that require no expenditure of appropriations to be left as is.

    All those others you mention, require the use of appropriations.




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  52. JKB says:

    @anjin-san: @anjin-san:

    No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law;

    So now, explain how that statement, direct from the U.S. Constitution, permits the President to issue an Executive Order to resume operations which require money to be drawn from the Treasury to pay for?

    Such an action by the President to incur obligations in the absence of appropriations made by law, would be a direct violation of the Constitution and his oath.




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  53. Scott O says:

    @Cindy:
    I live across the street from the Pacific Ocean and as far as I can tell it’s still open. No armed guards or barricades on the beach. Was it just the Atlantic Ocean that was closed?




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  54. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    Keep digging Skippy. Watching Fox the day Pelosi takes the Speaker’s gavel back will be priceless.




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  55. anjin-san says:

    And here we have the unpleasant truth at the core of the GOP’s “HE SHUT THE PARKS!!!!” gambit…

    Kids going hungry at school. Families missing meals at home. Homeless people left on the street. Meal deliveries for the elderly canceled. Military veterans going penniless and getting evicted.

    These are just a few of the hammer blows that could fall upon the poor if the federal government’s partial shutdown spills into November, according to managers of public assistance programs throughout the Bay Area. And in small ways, some of these blows have already begun to hit.

    What makes the prospect of tattering the nation’s safety net even scarier is that, with federal offices shut down, there is often no one to call to find out what’s going on, say program managers and clients alike.

    That’s a big problem for Kevin Miller and Josh Hessler.

    They are among the 11,000 federally funded AmeriCorps workers assigned to community programs in California who have been ordered to remain at work, even though they won’t get paid until the shutdown ends. Both are military veterans working in San Francisco with the nonprofit Swords to Plowshares, which helps veterans transition into civilian life.

    Miller, 29, is a former Marine sergeant who did three tours of duty in the Middle East and knows how to get out of a tight jam. He was in a truck blown up by improvised bombs, and suffered spinal and head injuries from other combat clashes. But he’s flummoxed now.

    By all means, let’s keep talking about “Barry-Cades”…

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Shutdown-hits-the-most-vulnerable-the-hardest-4872857.php




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  56. David M says:

    I would like to note that the same people who complain that our current government is too big also think that Obama personally makes decisions regarding the national parks during the shut down.




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  57. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: You’re too late with that “Barackades” the conservative commentariat has already started calling them “Barry-cades,

    I saw that, and didn’t love it for two reasons. 1) Liberals tend to lose their shit when you use certain terms. “Democrat Party is one, and referring to the president as “Barry” (his old nickname for himself or “Barack Hussein Obama” (his full legal name) are two others. 2) While it doesn’t pronounce quite as nicely as “Barrycades,” “Barackades” looks better written.




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  58. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Michelle: Not really. There is no proof that either side left more or less trash.

    Christ almighty, have you ever heard of Zuccotti Park? The Occupy people took it over, and it was eventually cleaned out when it became a public health hazard.




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  59. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: I would like to note that the same people who complain that our current government is too big also think that Obama personally makes decisions regarding the national parks during the shut down.

    Which is a completely stunningly stupid interpretation of what I wrote: the closings are being done by the National Parks Service, which is part of the Department of Interior, headed up by Obama’s Secretary of the Interior. If Obama didn’t want them closed, he could end that with a single phone call.

    @OzarkHillbilly: Doug? You need a lesson in reality.

    No, YOU need the lesson in reality. Keeping national monuments like the ones being cited “open” would cost zero in money or resources. “Closing” them is costing money and resources.

    Closing the Smithsonian, say, requires locking the doors and sending most employees home. Closing the WWII monument, on the other hand, requires bringing barricades to the site, setting them up, and assigning people to protect the barricades.

    The only reason to do the latter is if the intent is to punish the little people. And it is being carried out by the National Parks Service of the Department of the Interior, which is headed up by Obama’s Secretary of the Interior. To repeat, if Obama disapproved of this move, he could end it with a single phone call. Since he hasn’t made that phone call, the actions of his agents can be assumed to have his approval.




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  60. JKB says:

    @David M: I would like to note that the same people who complain that our current government is too big also think that Obama personally makes decisions regarding the national parks during the shut down.

    It is called responsibility and comes with the job. A leader can be forgiven action by subordinates, unless the leader fails to take action to correct the subordinate’s actions. The failure to stop/correct an action taken by a subordinate ratifies the action and gives it the leader’s seal of approval.

    Remember, you can delegate authority but not responsibility.

    In this case, the orders for the petty, legal unnecessary shutdowns came “from above the department”. That is the White House. Some have said from OMB, still that is the White House. So it is not like it could be attributed to direct, legislative authority independent vested in the department. So they occurred under Obama’s delegated authority with the incumbent responsibility.

    BTW, what management controls has Obama instituted at the IRS to stop and prevent the abuse of disfavored groups? What was that? None? Could is be that Obama approves of those actions or is he just an incompetent leader?




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  61. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @JKB: And now, because of the shutdown, the Park Police have put up orange cones to shut down a scenic overlook of Mt. Rushmore.

    More proof — as if we needed any — that the official policy of the Obama Administration to make the shutdown hurt as much as possible, regardless of actual expenses involved.




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  62. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So now:

    1. you want all parks open, so
    2. you want Obama to declare them essential services

    When you wanted “shutdown,” what part of “shutdown” didn’t you understand?




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  63. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So did you know last week that not being able to visit monuments was the worst way to hurt you, and the cruelest blow Obama could conceive?

    Clever Obama, he has found the one thing that will destroy your life forever.




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  64. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: You need to learn to actually read what I’m writing. I’m pointing out cases where the “shutdown” efforts involve more money and resources than simply leaving them alone.

    I’ve mentioned the Smithsonian several times, and not once have I protested that it is closed. The difference being that certain facilities are designed to be closed, and others not. the WWII Memorial is an open area, with no resources expended in keeping it open.

    The Obama administration is spending time and money and resources in shutting down something that was never designed to be closed. That is stupid. And at this level, simple stupidity is almost impossible. It has to be deliberate, and in this case an act of malice.

    The Obama administration wants this shutdown to hurt, and is taking positive steps to make it hurt in very public ways. This is not debatable. It is fact.

    When you can accept that reality, then you can begin to be part of the discussion. Until then, you’re simply a noisy denier.




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  65. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I know I gave you a link showing that the whole shutdown costs more than no shutdown at all.

    So that dodge does not give you cover either.




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  66. JKB says:

    @john personna: When you wanted “shutdown,” what part of “shutdown” didn’t you understand?

    The part about expending appropriations to “shutdown” monuments, parking lots, scenic overlooks, etc. that do not require the immediate expenditure of appropriated funds to remain accessible by the public.

    You don’t seem to understand that part of “shutdown” that means stopping all non-essential expenditures of appropriated funds in the absence of appropriations enacted by law.

    That’s all “shutdown” means in this context. Congress has passed no law directing the blocking of non-government personnel from walking, running, hiking, climbing, viewing, using for educational purposes, any land or park held in trust for the generations of American people.




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  67. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    I am just feeling sorry for you now.

    You think responsible shutdown would just be for government employees to walk away, Atlas Shrugged style.

    I am sure that works in a fantasy world.




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  68. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: Show me a link where it would have cost more to take the tour guides from the WWII Memorial than to take away the tour guides, install barricades, and assign guards to protect the barricades.

    But I’m trying to reason with an unreasonable person. So I’ll use your language of hysteria:

    The closing of the monument hasn’t affected me in the least. But I’m disgusted that Obama is using 90-year-old veterans as hostages to get his political way. And you’re defending it.




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  69. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: You think responsible shutdown would just be for government employees to walk away, Atlas Shrugged style.

    When we’re talking about open-air monuments, it is the responsible thing to do. Which is probably why it’s so tough for you to understand. And why you’re so fiercely defending the malicious idiocy.




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  70. john personna says:

    You just went into internal contradiction.

    “Shutdown” is not a new spending bill.

    “Shutdown” did not come with a planning period and planning budget.

    Last week when “shutdown” was only an if, no one wanted Park Service to be calling meetings and spending funds to plan “a new normal.”

    “Shutdown” is not a new normal.

    “Shutdown” is an emergency.

    Go ahead, complain that you cannot vist parks in an emergency you demanded as a political stunt and bargaining tool.




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  71. Tony W says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The Obama administration wants this shutdown to hurt, and is taking positive steps to make it hurt in very public ways.

    No. If he wanted to inflict maximum pain he would close the TSA, shut down the federal highway system and halt things like USDA food inspections.

    Fact is, monuments are non-essential – except for Tea Party activists that want to distract the discussion from the treason in which those who represent them are engaged.




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  72. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “If Obama didn’t want them closed, he could end that with a single phone call. ”

    He’s made that call repeatedly. It goes like this:

    “Mr. Speaker, stop this ludicrous shutdown.”

    It’s not his fault if there’s no answer.




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  73. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “This is not debatable. It is fact. ”

    In other words, “I have absolutely no evidence for my assertion, aside from the ass from which I have pulled it, so I will stamp my feet and demand that everyone simply accept it.”




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  74. Ken says:

    @OzarkHillbillyFwck you Doug. That is a cowards way out. He asked you a direct question. He deserves a direct answer.

    @Doug Mataconis: I gave my answer. In my opinion, Obama, either directly or (more likely) indirectly through Senate Democrats, will indeed “negotiate” even if they don’t call it that. It’s simple political reality. If it turns out my assessment turns out to be wrong, I’ll happily admit the same.

    When somebody asks “Do you support X?” Replying with “X is probably going to have to occur” is not answering the question, it’s avoiding the question. Ozark is right, that’s the coward’s way out. Doing it a second time after you are specifically called out for it just makes you look like a very stubborn coward. Or maybe a moron who doesn’t actually understand the question.

    Which of those is more likely I’ll leave for others to judge.




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  75. William Wilgus says:

    Tempest in a teapot.




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  76. anjin-san says:

    Fox News – Where conservatives go to get informed about the shutdown:

    The federal government shut down has caused a headache for tourists wanting to visit national parks and museums. And one of the more high-profile stories this week concerned a group of World War II veterans who had to literally pass government tape to gain access to the World War II Memorial on the National Mall.

    In a story about the monument closure, Fox News host Anna Kooiman fell prey to a false report from a parody site, which claimed that President Obama had offered to keep the International Museum of Muslim Cultures open with cash from his own pocket.

    “The Republican National Committee is offering to pay for it to keep it open so that the veterans from Honor Flight are going to be able to go and see this because who did it honor? It honored them,” Kooiman said during a report on Friday. “It really doesn’t seem fair, especially — and we’re going to talk a little bit later in the show too about some things that are continuing to be funded. And President Obama has offered to pay out of his own pocket for the museum of Muslim culture out of his own pocket, yet it’s the Republican National Committee who’s paying for this.”

    Kooiman was referencing a quote from the National Report, a parody news site that ran the fake story on Obama. The key quote from the story reads:

    “The International Museum of Muslim Cultures is sacred. That is why I have taken it upon myself to use my own personal funds to re-open this historic piece of American culture.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/fox-news-mistakenly-airs-parody-of-obama-offering-to-personally-fund-muslim-museum-233837793.html




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  77. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Tony W: No. If he wanted to inflict maximum pain he would close the TSA, shut down the federal highway system and halt things like USDA food inspections.

    Fact is, monuments are non-essential – except for Tea Party activists that want to distract the discussion from the treason in which those who represent them are engaged.

    I didn’t say he was going for maximum pain, so don’t try saying I did. I said that they were going for publicly painful moves, and they are.

    And yes, the monuments are non-essential. Which is why it’s so inexplicable why the Obama administration is expending so much to close down the ones that don’t cost a damned thing to just leave alone, like they do when there isn’t a shutdown.

    Ignorance can be cured. Willful ignorance needs to be painful. And you are a prime example of the latter. Mr. personna is doing much the same.

    And as far as the “treason” goes, that has a specific legal meaning. And it can carry the death penalty. Stop being such a hysterical whiner just because you can’t get your way, loser.




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  78. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: Two comments, both of which showing that you definitely came out of the shallow end of the gene pool. And both of which have been answered before you took your thumb out of your mouth to say your traditionally stupid and pointless blatherings.

    Why not go for the trifecta?




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  79. anjin-san says:

    Some people like to enjoy Sunday mornings with a cup of coffee and a croissant. I see Jenos is opting for the hysterical rant.

    Different strokes for different folks.




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  80. Todd says:

    @anjin-san:

    Kooiman was referencing a quote from the National Report, a parody news site that ran the fake story on Obama. The key quote from the story reads:

    I’m quickly getting to the point where I think that National Reports website is almost as bad as some of the right-wing rags that pretend/think they’re actually practicing journalism.

    It started out as a normal satire site, where it was quite obviously not real. But over time, as some of their stories started to get thousands of “real” comments, and even more FB and Twitter shares it seems like they’ve tried to do more to “hide”, or at least obfuscate the fact that it’s satire.

    In a way, it’s kind of brilliant satire just to show that so many people are so incapable of recognizing totally fabricated stories.

    But …

    I think there’s a fine line that’s crossed when it become obvious (from the type of ads on the site) that they might be more interested in attracting viewers who think the information is real, as opposed to those who are just looking for a laugh.




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  81. anjin-san says:

    Stephanie Smith is grateful her Marine Corps husband Paul will be paid during the government shutdown.

    But the shutdown has hurt military families, like hers, in countless other ways.

    Childcare programs have been scratched, subsidized military grocery stores are closed, non-essential medical care has been cut back, and kids’ sports programs have been canceled.
    That means the Smith family grocery bill will go up by $200 a month if the shutdown lasts that long.
    But what hurts most for Smith is the cancellation of the soccer program for her daughters, aged 12, 9 and 5. For her, it’s those little things that count — the glue that holds a hard military life together.

    Like many military families, hers also has to constantly move locations and suffer through years without seeing her husband, who was most recently deployed in Afghanistan.
    “My girls are amazing. They’ve been through four deployments and countless moves,” said Smith, 30, who lives at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.
    “To take away kids sports programs … that’s an intrinsic way of coping with our lifestyle. That’s where our kids get a source of stability.”

    http://money.cnn.com/2013/10/03/news/economy/military-families-shutdown/index.html




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  82. anjin-san says:

    @ Todd

    Be that as it may, the point is that a lot of people think that this obvious nonsense is real, simply because it supports their pre-existing bias. And people that Fox deems competent to be on the air are among them.




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  83. retired militarh says:

    Before you open your mouth maybe you should do something for a memorial to be dedicated to your actions.

    “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure.” – Senator Barrack Obama

    House dems voted down funding vets, Smithsonian, and a few other things.

    This after Obama talks about how important these things are. “News reporters” should be asking a few questions but I guess they are too busy with their heads up Obama’s rear.

    BillsPassed by House republicans and blocked by dems in the House or Senate.

    SEPTEMBER 20, 2013
    Continuing resolution (H.J. Res. 59): keeps the government running at current spending levels and strengthens our economy by defunding the president’ health care law. (Passed in the House 230-189)

    SEPTEMBER 28, 2013
    Continuing resolution (H.J. Res. 59): keeps the government running at current spending levels and strengthens our economy by delaying the president’s health care law by one year, and permanently repealing ObamaCare’s tax on pacemakers and children’s hearing aids. (Amendment #1 Passed 248-174 | Amendment #2 Passed 231-192) Pay Our Military Act (H.R. 3210): ensures our troops would be paid in the event of a government shutdown. (Passed in the House 423-0)
    SEPTEMBER 30, 2013
    Continuing resolution (H.J. Res. 59): keeps the government running at current spending levels; ensures there’s no special treatment for Congress under the president’s health care law; and delays ObamaCare’s individual mandate, providing all Americans with the same relief the president has given big businesses. (Passed in the House 228-201)
    Continuing resolution (H. Res. 368): insists on plan to fund the government running at current spending levels; ensure there’s no special treatment for Congress under the president’s health care law; delays ObamaCare’s individual mandate, providing all Americans with the same relief the president has given big businesses; and requests a formal House-Senate conference to resolve differences. (Passed in the House 228-199)
    .
    . OCTOBER 2, 2013
    Provide Local Funding for the District of Columbia Act (H.J. Res. 71): allows our nation’s capital to continue operating using its own funding. (Passed in the House by voice vote). Open Our Nation’s Parks and Museums Act (H.J. Res. 70): opens all of our national parks and museums, including the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC that was initially closed to veterans by the administration. (Passed in the House 252-173) Research for Lifesaving Cures Act (H.J. Res. 73): provides funding for the National Institute of Health, which is responsible for lifesaving medical innovations and cancer research. Click here to see Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) comments about this effort. (Passed in the House 254-171)

    OCTOBER 3, 2013 Pay Our Guard and Reserve Act (H.R. 3230): ensures the government shutdown doesn’t affect pay for our National Guard and Reserve. (Passed in the House 265-160
    Honoring Our Promise to America’s Veterans Act (H.J. Res. 72): provides immediate funding for critical veterans benefits and services, including disability claims, education and training, and more. (Passed in the House 259-157
    OCTOBER 4, 2013 National Emergency and Disaster Recovery Act (H.J. Res 85): provides immediate funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). (Passed in the House 247-164) Nutrition Assistance for Low-Income Women and Children Act (H.J. Res. 75): provides immediate funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, which “serves nearly 9 million mothers and young children,” and provides “vital nutrition that poor families might otherwise be unable to afford.” (Passed in the House 244-164) OCTOBER 5, 2013 – See more at: http://www.speaker.gov/senatemustact#sthash.qEkjh0QD.dpuf

    C. S. Lewis quotes:

    Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

    “But we’re not going to accomplish those things if one party to this conversation says that the only way that they come to the table is if they get 100 percent of what they want and if they don’t, they threaten to burn down the house.” – Barrack Obama Sept 30, 2013
    Maybe I am wrong but aren’t Obama and the Senate demanding 100% of what they want and since they didn’t get it we have the govt shutdown now?

    Of the 17 shutdowns in America’s history, Democrats controlled the House during 15 and had charge of both chambers during eight.
    Yet because of this shutdown which republicans are getting blamed for even though Obama and the Dems wont negotiate, the left is calling them terrorists.




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  84. retired militarh says:

    “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure.” – Senator Barrack Obama

    House dems voted down funding vets, Smithsonian, and a few other things.

    This after Obama talks about how important these things are. “News reporters” should be asking a few questions but I guess they are too busy with their heads up Obama’s rear.

    BillsPassed by House republicans and blocked by dems in the House or Senate.

    SEPTEMBER 20, 2013
    Continuing resolution (H.J. Res. 59): keeps the government running at current spending levels and strengthens our economy by defunding the president’ health care law. (Passed in the House 230-189)

    SEPTEMBER 28, 2013
    Continuing resolution (H.J. Res. 59): keeps the government running at current spending levels and strengthens our economy by delaying the president’s health care law by one year, and permanently repealing ObamaCare’s tax on pacemakers and children’s hearing aids. (Amendment #1 Passed 248-174 | Amendment #2 Passed 231-192) Pay Our Military Act (H.R. 3210): ensures our troops would be paid in the event of a government shutdown. (Passed in the House 423-0)
    SEPTEMBER 30, 2013
    Continuing resolution (H.J. Res. 59): keeps the government running at current spending levels; ensures there’s no special treatment for Congress under the president’s health care law; and delays ObamaCare’s individual mandate, providing all Americans with the same relief the president has given big businesses. (Passed in the House 228-201)
    Continuing resolution (H. Res. 368): insists on plan to fund the government running at current spending levels; ensure there’s no special treatment for Congress under the president’s health care law; delays ObamaCare’s individual mandate, providing all Americans with the same relief the president has given big businesses; and requests a formal House-Senate conference to resolve differences. (Passed in the House 228-199)
    .
    . OCTOBER 2, 2013
    Provide Local Funding for the District of Columbia Act (H.J. Res. 71): allows our nation’s capital to continue operating using its own funding. (Passed in the House by voice vote). Open Our Nation’s Parks and Museums Act (H.J. Res. 70): opens all of our national parks and museums, including the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC that was initially closed to veterans by the administration. (Passed in the House 252-173) Research for Lifesaving Cures Act (H.J. Res. 73): provides funding for the National Institute of Health, which is responsible for lifesaving medical innovations and cancer research. Click here to see Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) comments about this effort. (Passed in the House 254-171)

    OCTOBER 3, 2013 Pay Our Guard and Reserve Act (H.R. 3230): ensures the government shutdown doesn’t affect pay for our National Guard and Reserve. (Passed in the House 265-160
    Honoring Our Promise to America’s Veterans Act (H.J. Res. 72): provides immediate funding for critical veterans benefits and services, including disability claims, education and training, and more. (Passed in the House 259-157
    OCTOBER 4, 2013 National Emergency and Disaster Recovery Act (H.J. Res 85): provides immediate funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). (Passed in the House 247-164) Nutrition Assistance for Low-Income Women and Children Act (H.J. Res. 75): provides immediate funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, which “serves nearly 9 million mothers and young children,” and provides “vital nutrition that poor families might otherwise be unable to afford.” (Passed in the House 244-164) OCTOBER 5, 2013 – See more at: http://www.speaker.gov/senatemustact#sthash.qEkjh0QD.dpuf

    C. S. Lewis quotes:

    Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

    “But we’re not going to accomplish those things if one party to this conversation says that the only way that they come to the table is if they get 100 percent of what they want and if they don’t, they threaten to burn down the house.” – Barrack Obama Sept 30, 2013
    Maybe I am wrong but aren’t Obama and the Senate demanding 100% of what they want and since they didn’t get it we have the govt shutdown now?

    Of the 17 shutdowns in America’s history, Democrats controlled the House during 15 and had charge of both chambers during eight.
    Yet because of this shutdown which republicans are getting blamed for even though Obama and the Dems wont negotiate, the left is calling them terrorists.




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  85. anjin-san says:

    @ retired militarh

    aren’t Obama and the Senate demanding 100% of what they want

    If you mean Democrats are demanding that we pay for things we have already, as a nation, purchased – yes. We have to pay our bills. I was raised to believe that people who don’t pay their bills are deadbeats.




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  86. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: I will defer to your expertise on hysteria, as you’ve been frantically stuffing sand down your own knickers because I 1) mentioned your mother and 2) mentioned a social worker, both without due reverence and genuflection.

    But while you’re an expert, I think you’re a bit off on this one…




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  87. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Todd: You remind me of Tom Lehrer getting out of the musical satire business after Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize. As I recall, he said that he could no longer compete with reality…




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  88. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    A wholly unconstitutional act that would be grounds for impeachment. Willful violations of the Anti-deficiency act is a crime and subject to criminal prosecution. Not to mention, personal liability.
    Not to mention, any expenditure made would be invalid and unenforceable without ratification by Congress.

    The House impeaches, the Senate does not convict.




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  89. al-Ameda says:

    @retired militarh:

    Yet because of this shutdown which republicans are getting blamed for even though Obama and the Dems wont negotiate, the left is calling them terrorists.

    It is truly amazing how reality-averse many current conservatives can be. Actually, Republicans are being blamed because They desired and planned for this shutdown, and then implemented their ‘no-compromise’ compromise strategy and got their shutdown. It really is, fundamentally, that simple.

    And you do realize, that for Republicans, rescinding or repealing ACA is their compromise position. Finally, as they did 2 years ago Republicans are quite willing to leverage this position into another downgrade in the rating of federal debt securities and a possible default on our bonds. House Republicans are proving themselves unfit to govern.




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  90. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: You really need to learn how to read and understand.

    “Grounds for impeachment” is an assessment of the action against the legal and traditional definitions of “impeachable offense,” and by pretty much any reasonable standard Obama’s done a couple of things that meet that criteria. However, on a purely practical sense, the odds of Obama actually being convicted in the Senate are so close to zero as to not merit discussing, so to actually impeach him would be, at best, a waste of time, and at worst, an affirmation of his wrongdoings — see Clinton, William J., and his indisputable committing of perjury.

    Were there an objective Congress, Obama’s actions would at least merit serious consideration of impeachment. Since there isn’t, then to cite his actions as “grounds for impeachment” is merely to state that he’s seriously flouted the law.

    His actions here don’t rise to that level, but certainly meet the levels required to label them “petty” and “vindictive” and “really, really stupid from a PR point.”




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  91. Hal 10000 says:

    Just to respond to those who say the govt has to close the monuments because of liability: under sovereign immunity, the fed have very limited liability exposure for anything that happens on their grounds.




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  92. Tony W says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Off your meds again, I suppose. Honestly the Democrats are often a huge problem – but this time they simply want government to follow the law. It’s pretty damn simple.




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  93. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Were there an objective Congress, Obama’s actions would at least merit serious consideration of impeachment. Since there isn’t, then to cite his actions as “grounds for impeachment” is merely to state that he’s seriously flouted the law.

    I can read, and I understand completely. “objective Congress”? Let’s see: we have a malevolent House Republican delegation, and Senate Republicans who are enabling House Republicans who are leveraging their “no compromise” compromise stance into a possible default on federal debt securities, so it seems reasonable to project that that close to 100% of the non-Democrats side of our government is not inclined to objectivity toward this president, certainly not in an impeachment proceeding.

    Cheers.




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  94. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    1) mentioned your mother and 2) mentioned a social worker, both without due reverence and genuflection.

    Well, you did a bit more than “mention” my mother. As I recall, you made a joke that involved her with a sexual connotation.

    Actually, a little reverence when talking about mothers is not a bad thing. But let’s set that aside. Like I told you the other day, cracking wise about another man’s mother, unless you are old friends, is a bad idea. It’s not even a great idea with an old friend. But this is something that is understood between men, so I can see that it is a concept you might not be able to wrap your brain around.

    As for my kid’s social worker, or any social worker, “reverence” is not what I am looking for. But how about simply not sneering at them? The social worker we work with has overcome more than a little adversity in his own life, and he now busts his butt helping other people. His caseload is brutal, and he puts in more hours than he gets paid for.

    Yet you sneer at social workers. Why? Because Rush and Hannity told you they are parasites? Conservatives sneer at people that don’t have jobs, AND they sneer at people who work hard at jobs that are not ideologically correct. You might want to consider that the right wing talking heads who have been wrong time after time after time over the last 20 or so years are wrong about government employees being incompetent parasites as well.

    All I can figure is that you are very short on life experience, or you simply lack the ability to learn from experience as it comes your way. Of course it could be a combination of the two.




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  95. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Democrat Party

    I know it’s hard to remember the basics but, there is no “Democrat Party,” just as there is no Kenya in Hawaii.




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  96. Mikey says:

    @Scott O: Nope. I was at the Atlantic Ocean this morning, still open.

    Perhaps Cindy was referring to the Caribbean?




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  97. Mikey says:

    @anjin-san:

    You might want to consider that the right wing talking heads who have been wrong time after time after time over the last 20 or so years are wrong about government employees being incompetent parasites as well.

    Indeed. The single hardest-working person I have ever known is a government employee, and he has been working since the shutdown, without pay. Because he understands his nation depends on him.

    I spent Monday-Wednesday of this week working in a government office. Everyone was there, working, some of them 12 hours, also without pay. Because their nation depends on them, too.

    Will they get back pay? Looks like they will. But they don’t know when, and it doesn’t make it any easier at the moment when their pay stubs show up with $0.00 at the bottom.

    Are there useless slugs working in government? (I mean, besides the House GOP.) Of course there are, just as there are useless slugs working in every single private company in the country. But most government employees aren’t, and they have done nothing to earn the contempt of the right.




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  98. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Oh, for Christ’s sake. I used that term in the context of denigrating its use.

    Look, wr is present in this thread, so the “too stupid to breathe” faction is well represented. You don’t need to cover for him.




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  99. An Interested Party says:

    Liberals tend to lose their shit when you use certain terms.

    That’s rich coming from someone who goes apoplectic every time he sees the word “Teabagger”…

    Before you open your mouth maybe you should do something for a memorial to be dedicated to your actions.

    And before you set your fingers upon that keyboard, you should stop and think what is wrong with being so upset with the closing of parks, memorials, etc. while not feeling the same angst about people not getting paid, research not being conducted, and other real suffering being caused by the government shutdown…




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  100. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Wow, all that talk about me, and nothing about the actual topic at hand — namely, the incredibly stupid and crassly, grossly political way the Obama administration is managing certain aspects of the shutdown.

    Back to that topic: there is absolutely no rational explanation for the Obama administration (through its various subsidiary agencies) to do things in the name of the shutdown that actually cost more than simply shutting down. The closure of open-air monuments in DC. The kicking of people living in their own homes who rent their land from the federal government. Closing off scenic overviews. Ordering fishermen out of certain areas of the ocean. The only reason to go to these measures is to make the shutdown hurt more than it needs to. They only explanation is that the Obama administration wants to punish people for allowing the shutdown to happen.

    If anyone would like to argue that the specific actions cited so far are actually responsible moves, feel free. I’d like to hear some explanations.

    But if anyone wants to just blather on about personal matters, or cite other aspects that haven’t been protested (such as, say, the closing of the Smithsonian or other places that are actually designed to close up), or argue about whose fault the shutdown is, feel free to do so without my participation. Tonight I really don’t feel like… what’s the phrase… “feeding the trolls.”

    Oh, and Annie? You needn’t worry about me hurting your widdle feewings any more tonight. Unless you are actually discussing the issues and not whining about all the sand in your panties, I don’t intend to talk to you at all.




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  101. anjin-san says:

    just as there are useless slugs working in every single private company in the country.

    I’ve worked for two Fortune 500 companies, and have come across more than a few people in them who were not worth the powder it would have taken to blow them up – and this is at all levels, from jr. cubicle workers to the executive suite. I think a lot of people who watch Fox and lack actual corporate experience labor under the delusion that corporate America is comprised of Hank Rearden types.

    One of my former bosses is a wildly successful entrepreneur, I love his take on major corporations. He says they are riddled with people who make their living playing hide and seek. They hide in their cubicles for two weeks, then emerge to seek their paychecks.




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  102. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: Yeah, “Teabagger” is a pretty good trigger term. But that one has a very vulgar sexual connotation. I’ve never understood why liberals get so bent out of shape over “Democrat party,” but I never cared enough to try to find out. My first reaction to hearing it was “that person’s stupid for saying that.” My second reaction was “but those totally losing their shit over being called that are even stupider.” So I’ve made a point of avoiding it. Especially since I don’t understand why it’s offensive.

    And please don’t bother explaining why it makes Democrats lose their shit. I know enough stupid things; I don’t want to add to that collection. Please let me just continue thinking that its only purpose is to expose stupid people (those who use it, and those who get upset over it).

    And why does the closing of these parks and monuments bug me? Because it’s stupid and pointless. As I’ve said repeatedly, and I’m getting tired of repeating it because no one seems to see it, the theory behind a “shutdown” is that we don’t have any more money. Which means that spending even more money to shut down something that doesn’t need to be shut down, that doesn’t actually cost anything, is totally stupid.

    Let’s take the WWII memorial as an example. The logical way to handle it being “shut down” would be to turn off the water pumps, drain the basin, and put up a sign saying there will be no tour guides for the duration. Instead, they sent out workers to put up Barrycades (OK, I’ll use the more common term, as my “Barackades” isn’t taking off) to keep people out. And then send out guards to protect the Barrycades.

    Or even better, the scenic overview by Mount Rushmore. What the fsck is the point of closing off a parking area? What money is being saved by sending workers up there with orange cones to block it off, and then more workers to make sure that the cones haven’t been moved or stolen, and then likely actual Barrycades to keep people out of a parking area?

    The other examples you cite are, quite frankly, occupational hazards. Police officers will, occasionally, get shot at. Firefighters get burned. Members of the military get killed. It’s part of the job, and they all know that going in.

    And when you depend on the government for your livelihood, in one way or another, you have to at least tacitly accept that there may come times when politics will screw things up and hang you out to dry. It’s not something to look forward to; hell, it’s something that should be avoided whenever possible, but to deny that it might never happen and make no plans for dealing with it is simply irresponsible.

    When you take the king’s gold, you play the king’s tune. And there’s no guarantee that the king will keep handing out the gold.




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  103. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    I don’t intend to talk to you at all.

    Gee, are you going to hold your breath till you turn blue too?




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  104. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    One final question: I got a pretty good idea of what a lot of the people here think of me. (I don’t really care, but I know.) But what do you all think of the veterans in their 80s and 90s who led the charge to knock down those barriers and retake their monument?




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  105. anjin-san says:

    Say Jenos, you are right on the brink of a full on, foaming at the mouth rant. Carpe diem dude. This is shaping up to be epic.

    Chug another liter of Mountain Dew and keep typing!




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  106. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: You know, wr has an excuse for acting so stupid — he really is that stupid. You, you’re just playing dumb.

    And you really aren’t so stupid that you think you can get away with a selective quote just a couple of comments down from the source material. You managed to avoid the conditional part of my statement:

    Unless you are actually discussing the issues and not whining about all the sand in your panties, I don’t intend to talk to you at all.

    Which I’m going to take as you saying you don’t actually want to discuss the issues. No great surprise there. A little disappointment, but no real surprise.




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  107. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: I’ve worked for two Fortune 500 companies

    And I’ve worked for three. One Fortune 50, one Fortune 100, one Fortune 150. Your point? Do you actually think that making unverifiable Assertions of Authority actually achieves anything?

    Actually, considering some of the people I’ve met at those companies, you probably do.




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  108. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Say Jenos, you are right on the brink of a full on, foaming at the mouth rant.

    Maybe, but I won’t go over that brink. Not my style.

    Meanwhile, you’re talking about everything but the topic at hand, trying to bait me into personal arguments and other irrelevancies. Isn’t that pretty much the textbook definition of a troll?




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  109. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    you don’t actually want to discuss the issues.

    I am absolutely up to discuss the issues – with intelligent, informed people. Afraid you don’t make the cut. Sorry.

    You seem to want to talk about panties. That can be fun when you are talking to a pretty girl, but with other guys? That’s just mildly creepy. Anyway, I leave you to it.




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  110. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Correction:

    Correction: I’ve worked for four Fortune 500 companies. One Fortune 50, one Fortune 100, and two Fortune 150s. So I got you trumped 2-1.




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  111. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    And I’ve worked for three.

    Serious question. Are you saying that none of the people you met working at Fortune 500 companies were worthless drones, just as bad as any government clock watcher?




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  112. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: So far you’ve talked to me and JKB, and actually said almost nothing about the topic.

    But here’s your big chance, champ. I’ll repeat my earlier question, which is completely on topic, and give you a chance to actually talk about the subject at hand:

    What do you all think of the veterans in their 80s and 90s who led the charge to knock down those barriers and retake their monument?

    I’ve made it clear; I think they were entirely justified in doing that. What say you?




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  113. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    A shutdown is messy, that’s why the side that chose to shut things down gets the blame for any bad shutdown decisions. The idea that there weren’t going to be dumb inconveniences from a shutdown is not credible. The GOP doesn’t get to shut things down and then complain that everyone is doing the shutdown wrong.

    The GOP own the entire shutdown, warts and all, and I really don’t understand why the GOP chose to blockade off some national parks and monuments even if they are obsessed with taking health care away from tens of millions of people.




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  114. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    You said you were not going to talk to me. I think at this point, I am going to have to hold you to it.

    I’ll repeat my earlier question, which is completely on topic, and give you a chance to actually talk about the subject at hand:

    Please refer to: @anjin-san:




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  115. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Serious question. Are you saying that none of the people you met working at Fortune 500 companies were worthless drones, just as bad as any government clock watcher?

    Flippant answer: yes, I’ve met quite a few of those drones like you. And they annoyed me.

    Serious answer: yes, I have. But I wasn’t paying their salaries out of my taxes. And very few of them lasted when under my direct supervision. They either started pulling their weight, or went elsewhere. Sometimes to other parts of the company, sometimes out the door.

    Didn’t always succeed. Always tried.

    OK, now that I’ve played your game, you wanna talk about the subject at hand? Or do you wanna continue express your insatiable cravings for the intimate details of me and my life? ‘Cuz while it’s flattering, it’s getting boring for me, and I’m sure even more boring for anyone who might still be reading this thread through all your diversions and distractions.




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  116. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: The particulars of how the shutdown is being handled are at the discretion of the Executive Branch. Unless Congress passes a specific law mandating how it’s handled in particular cases, it’s up to the Obama administration and its agencies.

    To blame the GOP for how the National Parks Service is closing down things like the WWII Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the Mount Rushmore scenic overlook, the Marine Corps Memorial, and other similar places is to go along with Obama saying, in essence, “look what you made me do!”

    I’ve never had any patience for that particular excuse. It’s the whine of the bully caught bullying. The man beating his wife. The drunk who just started a bar fight. It is NEVER acceptable.




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  117. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    I’ve met quite a few of those drones like you

    Arn’t you the guy who was whining about unverifiable Assertions of Authority about 12 seconds ago?

    Really, can’t you be consistent in your arguments even within a single thread?




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  118. anjin-san says:

    But I wasn’t paying their salaries out of my taxes.

    You seem to have forgotten that you have already told the group what you pay in taxes. Sorry Charlie, you are not paying anyones salary. I am sure that telling yourself you are helps support your rather delicate ego, but it is simply not the case.




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  119. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    What part of the GOP doesn’t get to complain about normal problems during the shutdown they wanted and created don’t you understand? If they didn’t want a messy shutdown, they shouldn’t have shutdown the government, as it was never going to be orderly. They own the entire shutdown, even things they didn’t think would happen.




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  120. anjin-san says:

    @ David M

    And they are shocked, just shocked that Obama won’t let them fine tune the optics of the shutdown in a manner favorable to the GOP.




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  121. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: You’re right. They thought Obama was mature and intelligent, and didn’t think “No Drama Obama” would countenance cheap political theater that demonstrates just how petty and vindictive this administration would get.

    But he is allowing it. And since it’s being done by people under his authority, he either overturns it or owns it. Since he hasn’t said or done one thing to rein in his underlings, then he owns what they do.




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  122. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I would like to note that the same people who complain that our current government is too big also think that Obama personally makes decisions regarding the national parks during the shut down.

    (Not sure you understood I was definitely referring to you the first time I pointed this out.)




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  123. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: I didn’t say that Obama made the decisions. (Or, at least, I didn’t intend to. If I did imply that, I apologize and retract it.) But while he might not be at fault for the specific decisions (and I don’t think he is), he is, as the guy at the top, responsible for it.

    That’s what being the boss means. You “own” the actions of those you oversee. If they do something wrong, it is your responsibility. And if you let it stand, if you don’t correct the error, then you own the mistake.

    I’ve done quite a bit of training. I tell my trainees that, for their training period, they don’t “own” their mistakes. I do. It’s my job to make sure they don’t make mistakes, and if they do screw up, it’s on me. If i see them starting to make a mistake, I’ll let them continue and give them every chance to catch their error — but if they don’t, I’ll step in before they do something that actually will cause a problem. But I’m going to give them every chance to realize on their own what they’re doing wrong.

    It’s the same for the guy or gal at the top, but there’s no training period. They always own the actions of their underlings, even if they have no idea what those underlings are doing at the time. Once they know about the actions, though, they have to decide if they are going to reverse the actions, or let them stand. And in either case, they are responsible.

    It scares me a little that, prior to him becoming president, I think I had more experience as a boss than he did. And I know how unqualified I am for the presidency.




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  124. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: To answer you directly, sir:

    I would like to note that the same people who complain that our current government is too big also think that Obama personally makes decisions regarding the national parks during the shut down.

    To elaborate on that point, I’d say that those of us who say the government is too big can point at how ineptly they’re handing the shutdown is pretty good evidence they’re right.

    And I’m using “ineptly” as a sign of generosity. If it’s actual malice (and I think it is), it’s even better evidence that the government is too big and holds too much power with too little accountability.

    We have no idea who ordered the closings of the monuments and other open-air features. But that doesn’t matter; we know who holds the responsibility for either overturning it, or letting it continue.

    And that is President Barack Hussein Obama.




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  125. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Except that people being inconvenienced after closing some national parks is arguably the least important side effect of the government shutdown. It’s not worth anyone’s time. Shutting down the government has at least one guarantee, that it’s going to inconvenience some people. That’s why a government shutdown carries risks for the party shutting things down.




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  126. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: Thank you for the civil discourse; I was getting rather frustrated. And now I’m going to sleep; it’s been a long day.




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  127. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Cheers. Something tells me we’re in different time zones.




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  128. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: OK, one last response, and THEN I’m going to bed:

    Except that people being inconvenienced after closing some national parks is arguably the least important side effect of the government shutdown.

    I’d agree that it’s probably the least important, but it’s becoming the most visible. And its sheer stupidity is rapidly becoming emblematic of the whole thing.

    The argument that “the government that can find money to put barricades and guards around an open-air memorial during a ‘shutdown’ obviously has far more money and resources than it needs” can be quite persuasive.




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  129. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @al-Ameda: Oh, for Christ’s sake. I used that term in the context of denigrating its use.

    I understand. it’s hard for many Republicans to understand that Hawaii was a state when Obama was born.




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  130. Todd says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    But what do you all think of the veterans in their 80s and 90s who led the charge to knock down those barriers and retake their monument?

    What I think depends on what they were thinking …

    If they were thinking something along the lines of: “darn I traveled all the way from Mississippi to see this, and at my age this may be my last chance” I totally respect that they wanted to get to that memorial (although to be honest, I have my doubts that it was actually their idea to “break down the barriers”)

    On the other hand …

    For those (what I hope where only a few) who were thinking something more along the lines of “that N*&&er President did this on purpose …” I have not so much respect .. WWII vet or not.




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  131. anjin-san says:

    It’s rather ironic that conservatives, so many of whom gave unqualified support to the chickenhawk Bush administration, are now trying to position themselves as the champions of veterans.

    Sad to watch moral midgets try to use these men as the hook in a bait and switch ploy to distract people from the real issues, and real damage of the shutdown.




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  132. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Todd: We’ll get right on figuring out if these veterans in their 80s and 90s did dare to commit a thought crime. I’m sure the NSA has their records already.

    So, only people who think Politically Correct Thoughts are allowed to do things, and those who think Politically Incorrect Thoughts aren’t? What an effed-up prism to see the world through.

    Convenient, though. It lets you dismiss people out of hand so you don’t have to actually address the action in question. By changing the question to motive, which is a hell of a lot harder to prove than the action itself, you can dismiss the question of the action entirely.




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  133. Todd says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So, only people who think Politically Correct Thoughts are allowed to do things, and those who think Politically Incorrect Thoughts aren’t? What an effed-up prism to see the world through.

    Whoa, you only asked me what I thought about them … not whether I thought they should be “allowed” to go to the memorial.

    On that question, yes, I don’t see any problem with a group of WWII veterans being given special access to the WWII memorial, even though it’s closed.

    That said, just as with the Vietnam veterans, I suspect that the problem wasn’t the veterans themselves, it was all the other yahoos (including congressmen) who were there with the intent of causing a scene.




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  134. Moosebreath says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “They thought Obama was mature and intelligent, and didn’t think “No Drama Obama” would countenance cheap political theater that demonstrates just how petty and vindictive this administration would get.”

    In other words, they believed their own BS that Obama was a patsy who would fold at the least sign of pressure, and now they are outraged that he’s fighting back. And it’s telling that you have no criticism for the ones who provoked the confrontation because they badly misunderstood their opponent while squealing like a stuck pig about the “mature and intelligent” side which is making sure that if pain is being caused as a result of the shutdown, it’s pain which hits the other side as well.




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  135. Moosebreath says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Or as Jon Chait says better than I can:

    “To be sure, there is a strategic rationale for the Republicans’ failure to acknowledge the Democratic stance. You can make a self-interest case for extortion, both from the perspective of the extortionist (here are the goodies we’ll get!) and from the perspective of his victim (here is what will happen if you refuse). I’ve seen conservatives making both cases frequently. But politicians, activists, and pundits are in the business of presenting moral justifications for their stance, and defending extortion on the basis of abstract moral logic is hard.”




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  136. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @David M: You’re right. They thought Obama was mature and intelligent, and didn’t think “No Drama Obama” would countenance cheap political theater that demonstrates just how petty and vindictive this administration would get.

    Translation: “They had no idea that a government shutdown meant that the stuff they like would not be open.”




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  137. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    To elaborate on that point, I’d say that those of us who say the government is too big can point at how ineptly they’re handing the shutdown is pretty good evidence they’re right.

    I wish you all the luck in the world trying to convince people the problem with big government is too many national parks.




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  138. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Todd: Todd, you brought the racial element into the discussion.

    I can just imagine you hearing about a guy rescuing a baby from a burning building.

    “Is this guy a hero? Well, that depends. Was the baby white or black? If it was white, did he know it was white first? If it was black, would he have gone in anyway if he’d known it was a black child? Did he only go in because he thought it was a white child? Did he discover it was a black child, and was he tempted to throw the baby back?”




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