The Widdershins

Remain Calm, Etc: Hurray for Stupid! Thoughts for a Shutdown

Posted on: October 3, 2013

“I’m tired of being the Party of stupid.”  Nicole Wallace

Good Thursday. Widdershins.  I’m with Fredster – things have be come completely stupid.

We are now in Day Three of the Great Shutdown, and have learned a great deal about our elected representatives.  Frankly, it looks that this might just grind on for a while, eventually rivaling or even surpassing the shutdown of Clinton administration fame.

House Republicans are whining, Speaker Boehner is thundering, and Harry Reid is holding firm.  National parks are closing, cancer research has screeched to a halt, WIC is out of money, close to one million civilian employees are on the street, and Panda Cam has gone dark.  Only the “most essential” employees are at work and getting paid, and per Fredster who lived through a shutdown, some are working without pay.  And of course, then there are the members of Congress, who are getting paid while not exactly working,  The President will soon be off to a somewhat abbreviated Malaysian visit, and I suppose that there’s no problem with that, as there’s really not that much for him to do in a country that has officially ground to an incomplete standstill.

The best that I can tell, we can get comfortable and brace ourselves for another round of bipartisan bloviating and Congressional calisthenics until either one side or the other caves.  The House Republicans have graciously offered to fund the government until the debt ceiling has been reached on two conditions:  first, that a budget which afflicts the afflicted while comforting the comfortable be adopted; and second, that Obamacare be defunded/cancelled/postponed/whatever.  If and when those demands are met, they will re-open the government for that nanosecond of time until the debt ceiling is reached.  At that point, we will get to sit through an encore of the annual debt-ceiling drama.  Good times.

“We’re right because we’re right.”  Rep. Steve King

I have read that the isn’t actually the fault of the Republican party, but rather just one group of that one party occupying space in one chamber of one branch of government.  Might be so, but history is thick with episodes of squeaky wheels that rolled their way downhill to ridiculous destinations.  Speaker Boehner is whining that the Senate will not meet with the House regarding the budget, but fails to mention that attempts have been made to so this since Spring, and all efforts at compromise have been soundly rebuffed.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has indicated his willingness to negotiate, but only if the debt ceiling is part of the package, and defunding Obamacare is not.  In the meantime, Congress appears to be dead in the water.

A few Republicans, mainly from blue and purplish states, have indicated their willingness to pass a clean bill, then negotiate forward in good faith.  There may even be enough of them to pass the bill with the assistance of Democrats. But Boehner holds firm, despite the fact that I am beginning to believe that he is also desperate for a way out of this mess.  In the meantime, some folks have been rather busy.

 “It’s exactly what we wanted, and we got it.” — Rep. Michelle Bachmann

Rep. Michele Bachmann was on-scene at the WWII Memorial to assist an Honor Flight of veterans from Mississippi in pushing the barricades away from the entrance so that they might visit the site.  RNC Chair Reince Priebus read a stirring address which excoriated the Democrats for their failures.  Rep. Marcia Blackmon screeched that the Senate took too much vacation time and needed to come back to work this thing out.  These good folks are attempting the best example of group transference that I have ever witnessed,  Freud would be so proud of them.

“We have elected an ungovernable collection of snake-handlers, Bible-bangers, ignorami, bagmen and outright frauds, a collection so ungovernable it insists the nation be ungovernable, too.” _ Charles P. Pierce,

It’s all beginning to wear thin.  National polling indicates that the “blame the Democrats” efforts are falling flat. The markets are diving, Wall Street is appalled, and even usually friendly editors are exhorting the Repubs to stop the lemming-like rush to the cliff.  The comfortable are also being afflicted by this nonsense, and that may well be all that saves us now.  The only good thing about this is that our President no longer believes that he is the true harbinger of a post-partisan era, and that is a relief.  Apparently he has checked out of the Republican suicide pact and will allow it to progress unhindered.  That seems to be the only reasonable avenue open at this point.

“We’re not going to be disrespected,” Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) told The Washington Examiner. “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

Some day, this might be amusing, but for the moment, I’ve just about had it.  The only positive statement that I can make at this time is to send beaucoup thanks to the individuals that are underwriting the costs at food banks and clinics, and to United Airlines for giving the service academy football team a ride to the game this weekend. Perhaps their examples will inspire others to pick up some slack for people who are caught up in this political mess through no fault of their own.

This is an open thread.


33 Responses to "Remain Calm, Etc: Hurray for Stupid! Thoughts for a Shutdown"

Lord, what a vision.
Good to see you, Pat. Are you feeling better these days? You have been missed.

Watch this with care. Your haid might explode.

I feel like I lose a few little gray cells each time I hear one of these GOP morons mouth off. The best thing to do is avoid them completely. Unfortunately, that is difficult to do since they seem to be everywhere. One may be under my bed right now.

@DYB: I saw that on the other thread. Amazing gall and incredible stupidity combined. How do these idiots get elected and how do they stay in office?

@3: Jumpin’ Jesus on a carousel.

@7: Best comment from the above link, sanitized:

“I just want to pack all these f-ing Republicans into a giant rocket and shoot it into the sun.”

I wonder if it’s “shutdown” (or as Fox News calls it “slimdown”) related or just your average, run of the mill nutshob. Someone also rammed a car into the White House gate, I think.

One correction chat, and this just goes back to when I was involved in the furlough when Clinton was in.

Only the “most essential” employees are at work and getting paid.

When I was involved, we did have about 6 people at the VA Reg. Office who were deemed “essential”, but they did not get paid. They were going in because of that essential stuff but they did not receive any pay until after Congress got back and did the retro thing where we all got paid.

The other night there was an attorney with, I believe, FHA, who was on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show and she was also a member of AFGE one of the fed employee unions. Retro pay was mentioned and she said that from the last time it is up to the Congress to decide whether they want to pay that to the employees or not. And she said wit this group she’s not holding her breath. Smart woman.

@chat and dyb: you know there’s part of me that wants soooo badly for this to be a nut job tea bagger member.


FEMA has recalled furloughed workers to respond to Tropical Storm Karen.

At last report, the National Hurricane Center said the storm was about 430 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River, with sustained winds of 65 mph.

A hurricane watch is in effect from Grand Isle to Indian Pass in the Florida Panhandle. A tropical storm watch also was in effect for parts of the Louisiana coast west of Grand Isle, including the New Orleans area.

“Based on applicable legal requirements, and consistent with its contingency plan, FEMA has begun to recall currently furloughed employees necessary to serve functions of the agency to protect life and property as they prepare for potential landfall of Tropical Storm Karen,” White House press secretary Jay Carney.

@12: Chuck feels the same way.

Aw right Chuck!

@11: Correction made.

chat@16: And I *think* (it’s been awhile) that the folks who did go in, once retro pay was authorized, then got comp time for the days they worked. Bottom line: it was just a mess.

@1, Pat, great to see you — you have been missed!

Chat, great post. Just the quotes from these red-arsed baboons proves that with the shutdown, no one is doing a cage count at the National Zoo.

I forgot to mention it, but yes Pat, great to see you! {{{HUGS!}}}

no one is doing a cage count at the National Zoo.


Pat is back because I mentioned Kim Kardashian in a comment yesterday. I knew that would work.

Oh Beata…lol!!

Rep. Marcia Blackmon screeched that the Senate took too much vacation time and needed to come back to work this thing out.

Funny that since the Senate pretty much follows the calendar that the House and Eric Cantor created.

@21, and I mentioned the K’dashers in my post Tuesday — it was the K’dash continuum that summoned Pat back. “Don’t go toward the K’dashers,” but she couldn’t help herself.

Now we know how to conjure up Pat.

State Sen. Wendy Smith has declared for a run for governor of Texas.

If Kardashians fail, try “The English Patient!”

No, no, no. That’s a Pat repellent, D.

@30 please next should be Honey Boo Boo!

Can;t they ever make reality shows about Yankees?

Oops! Forgot about the Kardashians…..

@1 Pat, I sometimes get the feeling that the Kardashians have more brains than the people “not running” our country.

It’s Friday. We’re living in chaos, ruled by selfish idiots. Time to open the lounge?

Obama’s going to Malaysia? In the middle of a shutdown? To a country which I call the Italy of SE Asia, meaning people take their time, actually sit down for a meal or an afternoon coffee, and the scenery is beautiful.

I wonder if Air Force I is missing any “essential personnel”. I’d be glad to serve tea and fluff pillows for a free trip to Malaysia.

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