The Conversation

The Great Government Shutdown of 2013: 800,000 Non-essential workers

Why Aren't Democrats Running on the Shutdown?

Mar 17, 2014 12:41 PM PT

Voiceover: Republican Joe Schmoe has an obsession. He's been going around the district attacking the Affordable Care Act. Yet just last fall, Republicans like Schmoe shut the entire federal government down in a failed effort to defund Obamacare. They knew it wouldn't work. They didn't care.

John Boehner: Are you kidding me?

Voiceover: Joe Schmoe would be one more vote for the Tea Party agenda: shutdown and default. We can't afford Joe Schmoe. Bob Smith: responsible leadership.

Rep. Smith: I'm Bob Smith, and I approve this message.

Why aren't we seeing commercials like that? After all, if the shutdown last fall was so damaging to the GOP, why aren't Democrats making it an issue? Why are they focusing instead on how their candidates should talk about Obamacare? The answer can't just be that Obamacare's problems have obscured the shutdown. The reality is that, however imperfect, the shutdown focused and sharpened Republican opposition to Obamacare.

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The greatest political reversal in memory

Nov 15, 2013 12:53 PM PT

In response to So, When Does Ted Cruz Get His Apology?:

Was it really only a few weeks ago that Republicans were supposed to be in disarray over the shutdown, tearing themselves to shreds in gladiatorial combat - half-naked Tea Party slaves with rocks and sticks, pitted against charging RINOs - while Democrats watched in amusement from the slopes of Mount Olympus?  

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So, When Does Ted Cruz Get His Apology?

Nov 15, 2013 10:15 AM PT

That crazy Ted Cruz. The Texas freshman Senator (R-Tea Party) tried to defund Obamacare, then accepted a one-year delay in the individual mandate as a compromise position. But you can't govern from one House of Congress, and the one he's in is one the Republicans don't govern anyway. Obama and the Democrats held all the cards. So Cruz caved--it was only a matter of time, right?--and Republicans got blamed for everything.

Fast-forward a few weeks. President Barack Obama is trying to delay parts of Obamacare by administrative fiat. Democrats are rushing for the exits, ready to sign onto a bill that will essentially gut the entire policy by letting people keep their insurance (as promised). The website has not been fixed, and will not be fixed by the end of November. The media, Obama's core constituents, are wavering. Suddenly he looks desperate. 

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Sowell on the Defund Movement

Nov 12, 2013 5:20 AM PT

Thomas Sowell makes a very good point about the movement to defund Obamacare: if it had actually been possible to defund Obamacare, why not go for full repeal? Answer: it never was possible to repeal the law. Having conceded that much to pragmatism, he suggests, the Tea Party should have applied the same logic to the defunding effort and kept its powder dry for a later, more winnable struggle against Obamacare.

I think Sowell misses the point here--but then, I seem to be one of the few people who didn't think the success of the effort depended on whether defunding Obamacare was actually possible. The call to defund Obamacare, rather than repeal it, reflected the fact that Republicans control the House, and therefore the power of the purse. Funding the government fully meant supporting Obamacare's implementation.

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Obama Knew The Fallen Soldier Death Gratuity Allowance Was Funded Pre-Government Shutdown

Oct 28, 2013 8:29 AM PT

Congressman Ron DeSantis (R) is saying what many Americans do not know about  the Pay Our Military Bill, which the House passed on the eve of the recent government shutdown and subsequently signed by the President.

The bill covered the death gratuity allowance for the family of fallen service members, but President Obama refused to allow the pay out, as he took the position that he did not have the authority to pay out the death gratuities.  

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The 'Defund' Skeptics Can Only Gloat So Far

Oct 18, 2013 8:56 AM PT

I think that conservatives who argued against Ted Cruz's stand against Obamacare are entitled to claim they were right--even though folks like me believed there was merit in it (and still do, though obviously it "lost").

But they cannot claim it would have been better to have talked about the looming flaws in Obamacare rather than doing something (even something other than "defund") to stop it. That's Monty Python territory:

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Obama whines about bloggers and radio hosts again

Oct 17, 2013 9:54 AM PT

America has never had a President so openly hostile to the First Amendment, and the very concept of dissent, even rhetorical dissent.  (If you attempt meaningful practical dissent of his policies, he's got a fresh army of IRS agents standing by to deal with you.)  

Barack Obama is far more petty about his complaints than Richard Nixon ever was, and unlike Nixon, Obama has the vast might of the establishment media very, very, very firmly on his side.  He's whining about a small guerrilla force of samizdat dissenters when he says things like this: “All of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists, and the bloggers, and the talking heads on radio, and the professional activists who profit from conflict, and focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do."

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Senate Debt Deal Weakens Congress on Debt Ceiling

Oct 16, 2013 4:13 PM PT

Capitol Hill talk regarding the Senate deal apparently includes a provision that would take away the Congress’ power to increase the debt ceiling. According to Politico, it looks like the buzz appears to be true.:

The plan includes a proposal offered by McConnell in the 2011 debt ceiling crisis that allows Congress to disapprove of the debt ceiling increase, which means lawmakers will formally vote on whether to reject a debt ceiling increase until Feb. 7. Obama can veto that legislation if it passes. If Congress fails as expected to gather a two-thirds majority to override the veto, the debt ceiling would be raised.

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Call Obama's bluff on the 'deadbeat diner' fallacy

Oct 16, 2013 3:47 PM PT

Now that it looks as if we're going to survive our latest brush with the debt ceiling, I'd like to suggest Republicans open the next round of negotiations by making President Obama eat one of his more absurd talking points.  The President likes to say that we have to raise the debt ceiling, without debate, automatically, because we need to pay bills Congress has already racked up.  He compares failure to raise the debt ceiling with a deadbeat diner skipping out on his bill.

First of all, Obama obviously didn't feel this way when he opposed raising the debt ceiling, back in his senatorial days.  Republicans should never stop nailing him with that quote; it's yet another failure of our biased media that they don't bring it up incessantly, as they surely would if he were a Republican.  Obama could conceivably say something like, "Well, I was only a junior senator back then, I didn't understand how things work, but now that I'm the President I've learned my lesson."  But his ego would never let him make such an admission of error.  Every single fiscal crisis should begin with Barack Obama sizzling on the hot griddle of his previous rhetoric.

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The Senate Saves Boehner, Ironically

Oct 16, 2013 10:10 AM PT

The Senate's deal on ending the shutdown and raising the debt ceiling may have saved the country from further crisis. It may also have saved John Boehner's speakership. House conservatives seem to have accepted that the deal, while bad, is the result of side dealing between the White House and the Senate, not capitulation by the House Republican leadership. Indeed, several of them are congratulating Boehner for putting up a fight.

Robert Costa notes that the House conservatives are also giving Boehner credit for supporting the "defund caucus." So, contrary to what I had thought yesterday, they will not direct their frustrations at Boehner, but at their fellow Republicans, especially in the Senate. It's not clear what kind of leadership Boehner exerts, given that he could not unite his party behind a House deal. But he will retain the Speaker's gavel, regardless.

Shutdown Theater withers on the vine

Oct 15, 2013 8:52 PM PT

As we enter the endgame of the "budget crisis" (reminder: no actual budget will be involved) and Obama's Shutdown Theater winds down, I thought the most fitting finale would be the President's shock troops swooping in to barricade the United 93 memorial in Pennsylvania.  

"What kind of fellow – even a federal bureaucrat — is such a dead husk of a human being that he complies with the order to close the mass grave of better men than he will ever be?" Mark Steyn wondered.  

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Obamacare: A Counterfactual to York's Counterfactual

Oct 15, 2013 5:36 AM PT

My friend Ed Morrissey at Hot Air agrees with Byron York's contention that Republicans seem to have missed an opportunity to do maximum damage to Obamacare by allowing the disastrous launch of the program to be overshadowed by the shutdown/debt ceiling fight. On Sunday, York penned a counterfactual asking what might have been if Republicans had highlighted Obamacare's flaws instead of trying to defund it.

But the two were never mutually exclusive. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was not preventing the Republican National Committee from rolling out an anti-Obamacare ad campaign before (or after) the Oct. 1 start date. The GOP could have made that their focus without him. Instead, Republican leaders tied themselves in knots over a deeply flawed immigration reform effort in an attempt to appeal to left-leaning Latino voters.

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The cost of 'default'

Oct 14, 2013 8:37 PM PT

It looks almost certain that we'll crash into the "debt ceiling," which really isn't a ceiling in any meaningful sense, since every previous close encounter has ended with the limit on debt blown higher into the stratosphere, accompanied by negligible increases in fiscal responsibility.  The much-maligned sequester inserted into the Budget Control Act of 2011 at Barack Obama's insistence is just about the only real spending restraint that ever emerged from one of these debt ceiling "crises."  It's laughably puny - but so unusual, as an act of real fiscal discipline, that it still stands out like a neon sign above the sea of red ink - and if the Democrats get there way, it's about to disappear.

At this point, given the sorry history of debt ceiling encounters, I'm leaning toward doing away with it altogether.  It serves little purpose beyond providing a faint illusion of responsibility, which is deeply dishonest.  The new Obama demand is more debt, on and on forever, without meaningful debate.  Let's just be honest about the boosters firing on our rocket ride into insolvency, and stop pretending that anything short of total impending collapse (in about 10-15 years) is going to make a difference, barring a major electoral sea change.

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When Democrats Repealed Reagan's 'Signature' Health Law

Oct 14, 2013 2:36 PM PT

We hear constantly--it was repeated on MSNBC today, for example--that it is unreasonable to expect President Barack Obama to accept any changes to his "signature" legislative achievement, Obamacare.

That was not the case when it came to President Ronald Reagan's "signature" health insurance reform, the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988, which was supported by both parties at the time but repealed later after widespread protest at town hall meetings over costs and the like (sound familiar?).

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Paul Ryan Is Not the Problem

Oct 13, 2013 9:44 AM PT

Conservatives seem to have identified Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as the new scapegoat for frustration at the GOP's apparent stumbles in the fiscal battle in Washington, DC. In the space of a year or so, Ryan has gone from being celebrated as the bold fiscal hawk who gave conservative legitimacy to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign to being denounced as the latest RINO willing to sell out his principles for Wall Street or K Street.

The current accusations against Ryan are contradictory. My colleague Matt Boyle reported last week that Ryan "attempted to decouple the debt ceiling battle from the CR battle against Obamacare." Over at RedState, Erick Erickson said: "Republican Leaders are begging us to merge the continuing resolution fight and debt ceiling fight." Which is true, I do not know. But the common fear is that Ryan et al. will let Obamacare stand as-is.

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Andrew Breitbart and the GOP's Debt-Obamacare Debacle

Oct 11, 2013 4:11 PM PT

In thinking about the Republican divisions that the fiscal fight has revealed, I recalled Andrew Breitbart’s speech to CPAC in 2012, shortly before he died. It was a plea for unity in the movement: 

“Anyone that’s willing to stand next to me to fight the progressive left, I will be in that bunker, and if you’re not in that bunker ‘cause you’re not satisfied with this candidate, more than shame on you. You’re on the other side.”

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POV: DC Dysfunction Gets Low Ratings

Oct 11, 2013 12:40 PM PT

Politicians who make decisions based on polls should not be reelected. Notice I did not identify party.

Are Americans aka "We The People" willing to accept and vote for these so called leaders who will decide major policy and economic issue on a snapshot in time? Nothing against pollsters but if that polls are the basis they use, and many are according to insiders then we have to consider our choices at the ballot box.

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Is a Two-Stage Negotiation Really Better?

Oct 10, 2013 2:33 PM PT

Full credit to Erick Erickson and Ben Domenech for pushing a negotiating strategy that the Republican leadership appears to have embraced--namely, splitting the shutdown and debt ceiling negotiations with a short-term debt limit offer. The GOP certainly seems to have reaped some PR benefit from the exercise.

And yet I'm not quite sure it's the best way forward. On the positive side, it enables conservatives to keep the focus on Obamacare, in the shutdown negotiations. On the negative side, what new leverage will the GOP be able to exercise there? Public opposition to the Obamacare exchanges may grow--but the errors may be fixed.

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Congress Members Forced to Pick-Up, Reuse Gym Towels

Oct 10, 2013 2:01 AM PT

The House of Representatives' gym has remained open during the government shutdown, but the employees who run the gym are out on furlough.  "No one is there to check members into the facility in the basement of the Rayburn House Office Building..."

Because the staff is gone, "members don’t only have to pick up their towels — they have to reuse them for their showers, because there is no more laundering service."  Some lawmakers live in their offices and use the gym to shower and get ready for work.  Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) told the Hill: 

"You have to save your towel, you have to reuse it because we let the staff go — I know the showers are still working, and it doesn't take any maintenance to maintain the weights."

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Hot Mic: DC Mayor Asks Harry Reid To Unlock Local Funds - Reid Hisses, 'Don't Screw It Up!'

Oct 9, 2013 7:12 PM PT

Because of Harry Reid and Barack Obama's insistence on using Shutdown Theater as a means to put pressure on Republicans, Senate Democrats have refused to take up legislation that would allow the District of Columbia access to its own local funds during the shutdown. But Shut Down Theater turned to embarrassing farce while three major local news stations were filming earlier today.

 Dingy was caught on camera talking down to Mayor Vincent Gray, D-D.C., who accosted him about unlocking the funds after Reid's press conference on Capitol Hill.  While cameras rolled, Reid hissed, “I’m on your side. Don’t screw it up, OK?”

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A sore spot from the Paul Ryan op-ed: Medicare redistribution

Oct 9, 2013 11:52 AM PT

In response to Ryan Weak on Obamacare? Are You Serious?:

If you'll indulge me for a further moment of sour grapes, one thing from Paul Ryan's op-ed that sticks in my craw is his proposal to "ask the better off to pay higher premiums for Medicare."  This has been discussed many times in the past, and it sticks in my craw whenever it comes up, resulting in a badly perforated craw, which unfortunately is not covered under ObamaCare.

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Paul Ryan and the ObamaCare ommission

Oct 9, 2013 11:30 AM PT

In response to Ryan Weak on Obamacare? Are You Serious?:

I chewed over Rep. Ryan's op-ed at length this morning, and while I remain a fan of his work - please, no "Paul Ryan is a RINO!" taunting - I find it significant that he didn't mention ObamaCare at all.  He's not the sort to make careless omissions, and he knows perfectly well how the shutdown drama started.  While I heartily agree with him that a "complete rethinking of government's approach to health care" is needed, that's not what we're talking about right now, and it's not quite sufficient as a stand-in for the movement to delay, defund, or repeal ObamaCare.

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Obama is Creating a Unified Republican Opposition

Oct 8, 2013 11:57 AM PT

A week ago, some Republicans were grousing over the tactics used by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), blaming him for the confrontation that led to the government shutdown over Obamacare. Today, a few are still fanning the flames of GOP infighting--such as Nicole Wallace, who told Gov. Bobby Jindal on MSNBC's Morning Joe that he had a duty to "drown out" Republicans in Congress--but most Republicans are coming together.

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Supercommittee II, and Other Bad GOP Proposals

Oct 8, 2013 9:52 AM PT

House Republican leaders will offer a new proposal to tackle both the government shutdown and the debt ceiling: a new supercommittee, similar to the one created after the last debt ceiling debate in an effort to tackle long-term federal deficits. (That committee failed, resulting in the sequester.) According to Roll Call's Emma Dumain and Matt Fuller, would bring 10 Senate and 10 House members together to negotiate.

The idea seems to be a) to force Democrats to abandon their "no negotiation" stance; b) to draw attention to the fact that Democrats won't negotiate, in the event that they reject the proposal (which they seem likely to do). It is unclear what real gains Republicans hope to gain from Supercommittee II (Super-supercommittee? Son of Supercommittee?), other than the public relations value of having offered formally to negotiate.

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Armed Guards Kick Senior Citizens Out of Yellowstone Park

Oct 8, 2013 8:01 AM PT

Thousands of people found themselves inside a national park when the government shutdown went into effect. Pat Vaillancourt and her tour group "which included senior citizen visitors from Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States, were locked in Yellowstone National Park hotel under armed guard."

The seniors were treated harshly by armed park employees until they were able to leave according to Vaillancourt.  Once they began the journey out of the park, "the bus was not allowed to halt at all along the 2.5-hour trip out of the park, not even to stop at private bathrooms that were open along the route."

“We’ve become a country of fear, guns and control,” said Vaillancourt, who grew up in Lawrence. “It was like they brought out the armed forces. Nobody was saying, ‘we’re sorry,’ it was all like — ” as she clenched her fist and banged it against her forearm.

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A shutdown and debt ceiling thought experiment

Oct 8, 2013 7:50 AM PT

The latest performances of Shutdown Theater - which include rough treatment of senior citizens at Yellowstone, described by one shaken victim as "Gestapo tactics" - have the desperate flavor of Democrat statists terrified that the public will conclude this little "slimdown," as Fox News likes to call it, really isn't so bad after all.  That's also one reason Harry Reid keeps dragging those House funding bills off into the shadows so he can strangle them while his loyal friends in the media stand lookout.  We don't want the people getting any funny ideas about funding only the truly "essential" government activities and scrapping the rest, now do we?

With the debt ceiling right around the corner, I find myself wondering how long it would take to pay down the national debt if we kept it in place - forcing Washington to cut enough spending to virtually eliminate the deficit - while also keeping the shutdown in effect.  Since about 17 percent of the titanic federal government is actually effected by the "shutdown," I'm guessing it would take somewhere in the vicinity of 25 to 30 years.  

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Cognitive Dissonance at the Gym

Oct 8, 2013 6:03 AM PT

In response to The closing and welding shut of the American liberal mind:

This morning, at the gym, I overheard a conversation between a woman and her trainer about Obamacare. (I couldn't help overhearing it; they were speaking loudly, and didn't seem to think anyone would disagree.)

Obamacare is here to stay.

Yep.

I can't stand what they're doing.

I agree. 

It's a disgrace that a first-world country can't take care of everybody.

Absolutely.

But you know, I understand some of the myopia on the other side. People abuse the system.

Yeah--my ex, when he was unemployed, was getting free health care.

Free?

Yeah, you know, here in Massachusetts, we have to buy insurance, but if you can't afford it, it's free. He was getting better health care than I was!

Huh.

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The closing and welding shut of the American liberal mind

Oct 8, 2013 5:13 AM PT

In response to Liberal Intolerance: You Believe What?:

I've seen conversations like that, both in person and online.  Liberals have a white-knuckled grip on the "all opposition to Obama is racist" safety blanket these days; it's just about all they have left as his approval ratings plummeted during his second term.  It's a pure expression of Leftist totalitarianism, a declaration that opposition to Dear Leader is fundamentally illegitimate.  They're saying you are not allowed to disagree with the leader.  You don't get to explain why you do, and they don't have to trouble themselves with responding to your arguments.  

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Democrats Found ONE Republican Who Supports Default (Maybe)

Oct 7, 2013 9:08 PM PT

His name is Ted Yoho, and he's a Republican member of the House of Representatives from Florida. And he's speculated that failing to raise the debt ceiling might have positive consequences. That's not quite the same as wanting default--and Yoho voted for the Full Faith and Credit Act to avoid default--but it's close.

That's it. Other than that rather iffy case, Democrats have nothing to back up their claim that Republicans want default. The two parties differ on whether hitting the debt ceiling without raising it would be default, as well as on the underlying issue of government spending. But the accusation against Republicans is false.

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Government shut down for WW2 vets, but open for immigration rallies

Oct 7, 2013 12:06 PM PT

An awful lot of Shutdown Theater looks suspicious arbitrary, including Obama's habit of ordering some perfectly functional business operations to close down, while others remain open.  I thought it was a pity we didn't have Occupy Wall Street up and running during the shutdown, because we'd have been able to enjoy the spectacle of the Park Service - transformed into the Left's shock troopers - marching elderly war vets around their filthy camps.  "Beat it, Grandpa, but be sure you don't blunder through that drum circle!  Don't touch any Occupy tents on your way back to the parking lot!"

Here's the next best thing: the supposedly closed National Mall will be reopened for the "Camino Americano March for Immigration Reform."  The regime wants Americans to suffer, but it doesn't want to inconvenience its political allies, in this case including the SEIU and AFL-CIO. 

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Time to give up on the separation of powers?

Oct 7, 2013 8:32 AM PT

If the Democrats take enough hostages during Shutdown Theater to get their way, and the House eventually passes a "clean" resolution to fund the entire government plus ObamaCare, it might be time to think about doing away with the House of Representatives.  What purpose does its serve any more?  The "power of the purse" is entirely theoretical, good for nothing but theatrics.  The Administration can use its vast powers to beat American to its knees, any time the House tries to control government spending.

Furthermore, Obama has set the precedent that the House's investigative powers are essentially meaningless.  Conclusions of wrongdoing can be stonewalled into irrelevance; demands for transparency can be ignored; "accountability" is a sick joke in an Administration that dismisses no one after scandals like Fast and Furious, the IRS abuses of power, or Benghazi.  The only way congressional investigations could be meaningful is if the media chooses to flog a scandal on the front page.  If all the power for demanding accountability therefore resides in the privately funded media, we don't need the expensive House of Representatives any more.

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Obama's Golf Course Has Been Spared from the Shutdown

Oct 6, 2013 8:58 AM PT

One of Obama's preferred golf courses, the course on Andrews Airforce Base remains open during the government shutdown.  The grocery stores on the base, where troops get discounted groceries for their families are, however, closed.  They will shop "at local stores that cost about 30 percent more, Lieutenant General Raymond Mason, the service’s deputy chief of staff for logistics, said yesterday at a House hearing."

The Andrews Air Force Base golf course is funded through user fees and that’s why it remains open, said Air Force Captain Lindy Singleton, chief of public affairs for the 11th Wing at Andrews.

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WWII Memorial Honor Riders Greet and Escort Vets

Oct 5, 2013 11:51 AM PT

In response to Bikers Riding To DC For WWII Memorial Rally, Tomorrow - Oct 5:

Bikers rolled into Washington DC this weekend to lend their support to WWII veterans who are there to see their "barrycaded" memorial. As part of the Regime's "shutdown theater", Park Service rangers have been instructed  to make life as difficult for people as they can - including the 80 - 90 year old members of our greatest generation.

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Bikers Riding To DC For WWII Memorial Rally, Tomorrow - Oct 5

Oct 4, 2013 7:14 PM PT

Less than a month ago, hundreds of thousands of bikers rolled into Washington DC  to protest a Muslim march that was provocatively timed for the 12th anniversary of 9/11. Even though they were denied a permit, one estimate put the number of bikers who participated in that event at 880,000. 

Via Maggie's Notebook, Eric Zern, one of two national coordinators of the "2 Million Bikers Ride to DC" is now coordinating the Ride for WWII Veterans Memorial ~ Escort & Honor Ride.  

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Contract Priests Threatened With Arrest If They Minister On Military Bases During Shutdown

Oct 4, 2013 2:46 PM PT

In an oped for the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, John Schlageter, the General Counsel for the Archdiocese made a stunning allegation. He claims that some priests could face arrest if they minister (say Mass, marry, bury or baptize)  to Catholics on US military bases around  the world - a real problem for many Catholics with Sunday only a couple of days away. 

There is a chronic shortage of active duty Catholic chaplains. While roughly 25% of the military is Catholic, Catholic priests make up only about 8% of the chaplain corps. That means approximately 275,000 men and women in uniform, and their families, are served by only 234 active-duty priests.  

The temporary solution to this shortage is to provide GS and contract priests.   These men are employed by the government to ensure that a priest is available when an active duty Catholic Chaplain is not present.  

With the government shutdown, many GS and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide are not permitted to work – not even to volunteer.  During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.

As an example, if a Catholic family has a Baptism scheduled this weekend at an Air Force base that is staffed by a GS or contract priest, unless they can locate a priest who is not a GS or contract priest, the Baptism is most likely cancelled.    If you are a Catholic stationed in Japan or Korea and are served by a Contract or GS priest, unless you speak Korean or Japanese and can find a church nearby, then you have no choice but to go without Mass this weekend.  Until the Federal Government resumes normal operations, or an exemption is granted to contract or GS priests, Catholic services are indefinitely suspended at many of those worldwide installations served by contract and GS priests.

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The shutdown game

Oct 4, 2013 12:48 PM PT

In response to Dems On Defense: Carney Disavows, Reid Apologizes - Are They Sure They're Winning?:

Speaker Boehner responded to that "we're winning" crack by snarling, "This isn't some damn game," which is politically the right thing to say, and also sounds a bit more pugnacious than a lot of us were worried he would be.  He's in the hot seat here - if he throws in the towel, or even settles for some minor concession, he's done as Speaker.  But he looks more determined than ever to me.  Maybe he's just getting better at looking determined, but I can't help but hear a bit of real fire in his voice.

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Park Service Ranger: 'We've Been Told to Make Life As Difficult For People As We Can'

Oct 4, 2013 12:26 PM PT

This is not a surprise - we've been calling the administration's needless barrycades "shutdown theater" all week for a reason. We haven't forgotten how the Obama administration also used  ham-fisted scare tactics in the wake of the Sequester in an attempt to spur public outrage over the cuts in spending. 

This is how the Regime rolls. According to an anonymous Park Ranger, he and his fellow workers have been told to make life as difficult as possible for people.

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