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The editors at Detroit Free Press look at how sequestration is affecting the poor:
[N]ow, federally supported programs are starting to feel the impacts of sequestration. The thing is, they’re not generally the kind of programs with wealthy or mediagenic constituents. Rather, the programs hit hardest by sequestration tend to be social service programs that serve low-income Americans, those least likely to have influence in the corridors of power.

The FAA compromise was insulting, a sign that loud complaints from the relatively well-off resonate louder with lawmakers than the quiet travails of ordinary Americans.

No surprise coming from the GOP, whose distance from the way most people live is why they’re losing elections. But it’s a new disappointment from Democrats, who should have stood firm. Why compromise on air traffic controllers when the federally funded Head Start program is in jeopardy, cancer clinics with Medicare patients can’t afford to provide treatment, or Meals on Wheels is struggling to provide food for seniors?

John Dickerson at CBS:
It's worth pausing for a moment to evaluate how the sequester virus has mutated during its short life. What started as a tool to focus Congress on long-term solutions to that part of the budget that needs the most attention, is now pushing Congress even further into obsessing about short-term fixes in that portion of the budget that doesn't need the attention.
More on the day's top stories below the fold.

Jonathan Bernstein at The Washington Post looks at the Republican debt limit threat:

Republicans love the idea of extorting concessions in exchange for agreeing to a debt limit hike, and are determined to do it even when they don’t actually have any real policy demands. It’s just extortion for extortion’s sake.
That’s what a “post-policy party” really looks like.
Switching topics to Syria, Eugene Robinson at The Washington Post urges against rushing to action:
President Obama is right to resist the mounting pressure for military intervention in Syria. Action by U.S. forces may or may not make the situation better — but certainly could make things worse.

This assessment could change, of course. It would be reasonable to consider intervention if such action were necessary to protect U.S. national security interests or prevent the kind of genocide we saw in Rwanda. At present, neither condition is met. [...] Obviously, the president is not eager to wade into another Middle East war. Critics who are braying at him to do something — anything — to relieve the agony of the Syrian people should have to spell out just what they think Obama ought to do. [...]

Would U.S. intervention at least save civilian lives? Perhaps. But if, say, the regime responded to a U.S.-enforced no-fly zone by using its armored vehicles in even more brutal attacks against innocent towns and villages, what would we do then? Try to destroy all the tanks as well? Start using drones to blast Assad’s palaces in hopes of taking him out? Put boots on the ground?

What’s happening in Syria is enough to break your heart. But for now, the right thing to do is to stay out.

Here's The New York Times editors on the topic:
For all their exhortations, what the senators and like-minded critics have not offered is a coherent argument for how a more muscular approach might be accomplished without dragging the United States into another extended and costly war and how it might yield the kind of influence and good will for this country that the interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan have not. [...] There have never been easy options for the United States in Syria; they have not improved with time. And Russia and Iran, both enablers of Mr. Assad, deserve particular condemnation. Without their support, Mr. Assad would not have lasted this long. Still, the country is important to regional stability. Mr. Obama must soon provide a clearer picture of how he plans to use American influence in dealing with the jihadi threat and the endgame in Syria.
Joe Nocera at The New York Times looks at injustice at Guantanamo:
On April 13, with the hunger strike spreading, the military raided the prison and put the detainees back in solitary. It says it has done so because the detainees are more likely to eat if they are not surrounded by other hunger strikers. If so, it isn’t working; there are more detainees refusing food today than before the April 13 raid. To force food into them, the military now shoves a tube down their nose, in an extremely painful procedure it called “enteral feeding.”

Are there terrorists at Guantánamo? Yes. The government knows who they are and keeps them away from the other detainees. But the hunger strike is a vivid reminder that Guantánamo remains exactly what it has always been: a stain on our country.

Over at The Christian Science Monitor, Thomas O. McGarity looks at regulatory agencies and the Texas fertilizer blast:
These regulatory agencies are supposed to be protecting the public from the risks posed by unsafe workplaces, releases of toxic pollutants, and catastrophic explosions. Yet their failure to focus on the risks posed by the West Fertilizer Company is not atypical. We saw similar failures with the 2005 Texas City refinery explosion (15 workers killed, 170 injured), the 2008 explosion at the Dixie Crystal sugar refinery in Georgia (14 workers killed), and the 2008 explosion at a Bayer CropScience chemical plant in West Virginia (two workers killed).

This lack of attention to the safety of our workplaces and neighborhoods is no accident. It is the product of a concerted attack by the US Chamber of Commerce, industry trade associations, and conservative think tanks on what they see as onerous regulatory programs – but ones that were enacted by Congress over the years to protect the public from irresponsible corporate misconduct.

These opponents of government regulation learned long ago that the best way to remove the burdens of regulatory programs was to starve the regulatory agencies and bash the bureaucracy, as I spell out in my recent book, “Freedom to Harm.” Until one delves into the facts or the next accident occurs, the agencies have only the appearance of protecting the public.

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Comment Preferences

  •  'Extortion for extortion's sake'....'Post-Policy (21+ / 0-)

    Party'.......The Villagers are starting to connect the dots goopers.

    •  I'll believe that when I start seeing off election (7+ / 0-)

      results showing goopers figuratively slaughtered like termites facing an exterminator. Most voters still have not gotten the message that support of any TP/GOP candidate, in any election, aids the continued control of power levers sufficient to cause this kind of shit. Yeah, I'll admit that probably somewhere, hidden in some cranny there is a candidate that is a "good gooper"—but that candidate will vote to keep bad goopers in sufficient power to either enact batshit bizarre stuff or derail good stuff being worked by opponents.

      For the time being, and I do hope it is not too long, the only good gooper is a politically dead gooper.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:30:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The NRA Sponsored Senate Vote On Gun Registration (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pelagicray, ColoTim

        showed how little the GOP cares about their voters. Until those responsible are actually thrown out of office, all this huffing and puffing about how undemocratic, how unjust a democracy is, is just that: hot air.

        What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. King Henry, scene ii

        by TerryDarc on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:29:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yep, just as is the huffing and puffing about how (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ColoTim

          a "majority" voted for House Democrats. That is only interesting in abstract statistical terms. The majority of effective votes went to House TP/GOP whack jobs. So they were effective only because of gerrymandering? Gerrymandering was effective because in a previous election that really counted because it selected the state legislatures that would redistrict did not get the voter attention it deserved.

          Too much of this huffing and puffing is on a par with fantasy football or basketball or baseball. The game that counts is down and dirty on the field, not wouldda, shoudda, couldda stuff. To quote my old comment:

          How the "American people spoke" in the one moment that counted in 2010 and 2012 in those CDs outweighs all the meaningless, hot air opinion polls and number citing about where they actually stand.

          Yeah, elections, every damn one of them, have consequences! Only one moment counts. That is when the American people speak casting a vote.

          Everything else is hot air and opinion. Regrets are just regrets since federal elected officials cannot be recalled. A moment of inattention or laziness lasts two years for the House, four for a president and six for the Senate. Our opinions, once they are safe in office, are effectively meaningless unless they choose to respect them.

          Citizens have one moment, just one, in which to make a statement that counts. That is that brief second or minute they actually cast a vote to send someone to political oblivion or into office. All the rest, even fair sized contributions, are just hot air or lighter helium by comparison. To repeat, inattention or laziness lasts two years for the House, four for a president and six for the Senate.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:56:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It's not about the deficit. It never was. (19+ / 0-)

    What the GOP is demonstrating is that they really don't care about the deficit. (If they did, they wouldn't be trying to force the Army to buy more tanks that the Army doesn't even want or need.) Their agenda is to use debt-mongering to force a complete reshaping of Federal spending -- which means reshaping the entire government -- to suit their (and their donors/owners') priorities. Instead of a coherent budget, we're seeing "spot-zoning" to fully fund (or even over-fund) things they care about, and zero-fund things they hate.

    And the Democrats seem to get roped in every time to the spot-zoning pleas, at least on the spending side.

    What a disaster. And there doesn't seem to be any way to make it stop.

    •  There's a very simple way to stop it (5+ / 0-)

      we have to tell everyone to STOP FUCKING VOTING FOR REPUBLICANS!!!!!

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:41:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The reason we aren't seeing a coherent budget (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pelagicray, tb mare, Mistral Wind

      is because the lunatics are running the asylum.
      They've been screaming that Obama has never put out a budget, or it's been 4 years since the Senate put out a budget.
      Now the Senate has passed a budget, and Obama has put one on the table and what do the Republicans do?
      Run away...
      Look at the conundrum posted by Michael Gerson (former Bushie):

      First, they must manage to get back to George W. Bush’s level of support among Latinos — somewhere in the low- to mid-40s — and eventually compete for a majority of that vote. The alternative is political irrelevance at the national level. Sen. Marco Rubio’s immigration-reform effort is not sufficient to get Republicans to their goal. But if Republicans sabotage this effort, they will be discredited. The embrace of reform would earn Republicans a hearing. Given the current 13-year path to citizenship in the bill, the GOP would then have three presidential cycles to reposition itself as the party of immigrant aspiration...
      All of these Republican goals demand a response more sophisticated than simple obstruction. For the GOP, politics is not a zero-sum game — and I don’t mean this in a good way. It is entirely possible for Obama to lose on a variety of issues and for Republicans to lose as well, in ways that make future victories less likely. Supporting a perfectly constitutional expansion of gun background checks might have been an opportunity for Republicans to display some rationality in public, even if it marginally aided a lame-duck president. Undermining immigration reform would be a terrible miscalculation, even if Obama is hurt.
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

      Expecting "sophistication" from today's GOP is, to steal a phrase, like putting lipstick on a pig.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:18:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  More like expecting a rabid dog not to bite. n/t (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tb mare, cybersaur, skohayes

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:32:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So then why negotiate with them? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        Why coddle them? Why take them out to dinner? Why?

        •  Inviting someone to a WH dinner (0+ / 0-)

          is coddling them?
          How about trying to improve relations with them to get something done?
          I'm sure we'd all be thrilled if Obama could get things done by ignoring Republicans, but it doesn't seem to be working out that way.

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 08:18:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Republicans aren't allowing Obama to get (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Boogalord

            anything done even with all his pre-concessions and even putting Social Security on the table.  He's tried hard to win them over by making the core Democrats mad and the Republicans only demand more.  I just wish he would push for the left rather than push for the right - I think Republicans would realize that they've lost his compromises and they'd come back to the bargaining table once he started campaigning for Democratic principles again, since they're favored by the majority of voters across the country, in red and blue states.

            I just don't expect him to try that approach.

          •  It isn't working AT ALL. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Boogalord

            This is why I don't understand the point of

            improving relations with them to get something done
            Is this working? No. Then why keep doing it?
          •  irony overload (0+ / 0-)

            you admit the GOP is hopelessly belligerent and will never cooperate with Democrats, and then in the next breath, it is very important to "improve relations" with them and "find a way to get things done"?

            since the very first day of his Presidency the Republicans have been openly hostile to the Obama Administration and everything they want to do. Obama desperately wants to be Mr. Bipartisan, so he plays patty cake with them while they keep trying to cut his throat.

            why would you insist on fostering a cooperative relationship when the opposing party has been strictly adversarial from day one?

            Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

            by Boogalord on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 12:39:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not exactly what I said, (0+ / 0-)

              but let's address your post.
              We have a Republican majority in the House that has the lowest approval ratings in history. The Republican Senators rank on the likability scales around the cockroach level, while Obama sails along somewhere around the 50% approval.
              People notice Obama reaching out time and again to Republicans and being rebuffed at every turn, even when he gives them what they ask for.
              Since the election we are hearing alarmed voices on the right (see the post I quoted from Gerson, for example) saying that the Republicans' obstructionism and anti-everything stance is hurting the party and their chances for reelection.

              At the end of eight years, Americans will probably be tired of Obama and perhaps of liberalism. The GOP will get another look. It would be a final victory for the president if Republicans focused on defeating him rather than on deserving victory.

              “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

              by skohayes on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 02:28:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  sure (0+ / 0-)

                and they're not going to stop. History probably WILL judge the R's as radical obstructionists, maybe the MSM will even admit to it once Obama is out of office.

                but it's worth noting that the Republicans were knocked flat on their ass in 2008 as the NeoCons lost all credibility. Obama was elected on progressive rhetoric, especially universal healthcare, and his obsessive outreach to the GOP has done major damage to progressive ideas and policy.

                No investigations into Dubya. Bush tax cuts are still here. public option shot in the back room. the "pivot" to the right-wing decifict framework. R governors tearing up unions and the working class while Obama says basically nothing. the budget "negotiations" that have been a shit-show from day one, ending with Obama himself proposing SS cuts because "it's what the Republicans want and we need to get them to the table".

                has that all really been worth it to look like "the adult in the room"? when there is a real public appetite for progressive policy? there's simply no more excuses to be made at this point.

                Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

                by Boogalord on Wed May 01, 2013 at 10:39:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  So Obama is already a lame-duck president. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        Well, that didn't take long - what, 3 months?  Funny...George W. Bush wasn't a lame-duck president until the economy began to crash.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 10:27:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ah, you know. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, tb mare

    The TV cameras were running out to every airport, looking for delays, and the spring/summer travel season is upon us, when even lower middle-class people fill the Southwest flights to Florida.

    Guess I could see why they caved, even if you exclude concerns about damage to the travel industry and the health of Interstate commerce, which were probably also weighing on their minds.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 04:56:10 AM PDT

  •  He may be an adulterer...but he's OUR adulterer... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude
    •  A commenter noticed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skillet

      Erick Son of Erick is 3 for 3 on the losing end of elections:

      Perry
      Romney
      Sanford

      LOL!

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:38:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sequestration: Obama Holds Gun to Own Head (9+ / 0-)

    and warns Teabaggers "You're Next."

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 04:57:49 AM PDT

  •  Heard McCain using the possible nerve gas incident (4+ / 0-)

    ....as a reason for invading, in that the fundamentalist rebels will get the nerve gas if they take over, or some such.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 04:59:13 AM PDT

    •  What's that wild and crazy Ayotte saying? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bush Bites, tb mare
    •  THAT'S GREAT NEWS!!! FOR McCAIN!!!!!!!!!!111!!!!! (6+ / 0-)

      This dead horse joke won't flog itself.... :b

      "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

      by Stude Dude on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:44:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "We are all Syrians now" (7+ / 0-)

      Frankly, we have no business going into Syria, let the Arab nations in that area handle Assad. The last poll I saw had 68% opposing any military action in Syria.
      These warmongers are like vultures waiting on their next meal of death and decomposition. It's disgusting.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:21:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I might feel differently if our record in such was (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes, wintergreen8694

        not so dismal. As a major military power we seem to have a real problem in doing any intervention with finesse. When we try the politicians with absolutely no background in either military or diplomatic matters, particularly the chicken hawks in the GOP, jump up and down trying to make political points.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:37:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The fact that Al Qaeda (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SueDe, TerryDarc

          is now involved with the rebel groups, of which there are several, was the final straw for me.
          Are we supposed to give comfort and aid to terrorist groups we're trying to kill off in other countries?

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:44:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, in cold bloodied terms, that is an (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skohayes, Nannyberry

            option.

            One of our real problems is that we too often mix in an ideological bent and are not cold bloodied enough to effectively prevent lots of blood down the road. Historically we wait too long and then, with "good intentions," go in heavy handed. That may be the "City on the Hill" complex at work. Sometimes effective prevention of worse is pretty ugly early action.

            We are not very good at that, perhaps for the best, but too often our good intentions have been the road to hell.

            The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

            by pelagicray on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:19:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Another right-wing mega fail. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skohayes, ColoTim

            Is the president supposed to "intervene" (whatever violence that entails) on the side of the murderous dicatator determined to stay in power?  Or the radical Islamist groups determined to take power, impose Sharia law and set up terrorist training camps to train jihadists to avenge the U.S. involvement in the country's civil war?  It's not like there are any good choices here, except choosing to stay the fck out of the mess.

            Even if it's proven that sarin gas was used, nobody knows who used it.  If a group of religious zealots could cook up a batch and release it in Japan's subways, what's to stop a group of religious zealots in Syria from figuring out how to do the same thing in Aleppo?

            "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

            by SueDe on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:31:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •   Sequester virus. Perfect description (11+ / 0-)

    which fits well when you consider the microscopic view of those buggers all nasty and alien looking.  Something whose purpose in life is to make us all sick.  You win today's internets, John Dickerson!

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:00:30 AM PDT

  •  NYT should sit in a corner with a bag on its head. (11+ / 0-)

    It has no standing to talk about any possible war scenario in the middle east after Judith Miller, aluminum tubes and yellow cake from Niger.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:01:48 AM PDT

    •  amen to this. when we really needed the Times (5+ / 0-)

      she took sold us out.  

      ecstatically baffled

      by el vasco on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:05:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, Right! (0+ / 0-)

        Imagine the Kock brothers buying the LA Times and the NYT gone away. Yeah, we'd be a LOT better off...rolling his eyes.

        What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. King Henry, scene ii

        by TerryDarc on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:40:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We also really needed them with the (0+ / 0-)

        runup to the 2004 elections with information on warrantless wiretapping and other violations here at home, but IIRC they chose to sit on the sidelines with that story until after the 2004 election, so it wouldn't appear they're partisan.  Their choice to do that was exactly partisan, because they chose when to release the news to favor one party at the expense of America.  News shouldn't be to favor one party over another - that's how Fox treats it but the NYTimes as the paper of record is supposed to print the news and let opinions be offered on their opinion page, not through withholding potential high crimes when they learn about them.

  •  Is the federal government (16+ / 0-)

    upholding the social contract?  If not, it might be a good idea to remind them there are consequences that nothing, not even military might or gated communities, will stop.  

    I was talking to a 22 year old recent grad yesterday.  She is trying desperately hard to shape a launch into an adult life, and is burdened with debt and low paying jobs.  The mildest of women, she told me, "I'm ANGRY.  I don't usually get angry but this makes me incredibly angry."

    Cutting meals on wheels?  Making sure the rest of us are locked into a spiral downwards that will result in a life far worse than our grandparents (and mine fled Czarist Russia to get away from this shit) - all to ensure that the privilege of the 1% is enshrined.  

    Not acceptable.  This May 1, reclaim May day as a tribute to international workers, honor the courage of the Haymarket Martyrs and stop being afraid.  Stop thinking that compromise with evil will result in good.

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:06:13 AM PDT

    •  We are all being screwed blind: it's OK & NATURAL (8+ / 0-)

      to be really angry about it.

      It's an assault.

      In fact, if you are NOT angry, you're not paying attention.

      Or you;re rich.

      •  You can be rich and still be angry (0+ / 0-)

        You'd be more rich if this country's economy was booming, but the Republicans and the 1% keep voting to strangle America's economy just to keep Obama from succeeding in anything - no matter that he's proposed things that Republicans used to dream about.  The 1% have made out very well, but they'd be better off and the whole country would be better off if we just changed the priority from how to screw the little people to how to help the little people, amongst others.

    •  Plus, a HUGE benefit of killing the economy (12+ / 0-)

      is terrifying people about their income.

      People are now working shitty jobs they are afraid to lose.

      Plenty of others dreaming of that shitty pob - just perfect for Cheap Labor Repubs.

      The Banana Republic looms.

      •  But in those Banana Republics the people (6+ / 0-)

        ultimately rose up and took over their streets.  Granted that they didn't always succeed and never will, but at least they rose up and collectively roared.  The 99% Occupiers had it going on, but the rest of weenie nation were too timid, too uninformed, or too controlled by bumper sticker slogans about the John Galt they always fancy themselves to be in their 1994 Crown Victorias to backup the 99ers.

        Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

        by judyms9 on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:40:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It would be sweet if Americans could connect (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tobendaro, Mistral Wind, ColoTim

          the dots and rise up before we lose everything.

          Pretty much anyday the People COULD spill into the streets like other, less-free nations do, and raise Holy Hell until something changes.

          Not holding my breath.

          •  Even in equally free nations, the commoners (0+ / 0-)

            rise up - on a relatively frequent schedule.  In France, for instance, Political uprisings beginning in 1649 and every few years until the French Revolution in the 18th century; since the Industrial revolution, labor strikes and general uprisings, the last in 2012, and one narrowly averted in January of this year.

            "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

            by SueDe on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 10:47:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  And starving the beast trickles down to the (12+ / 0-)

      state level of course, where next year we will have 21 teachers  instead of 24 teachers, to teach the same amount of children we have this year.  Plus no music teacher anymore.  Austerity measures don't work anywhere. They simply shortchange the people who have no power to begin with.

      No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up.--Lily Tomlin

      by Desert Rose on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:31:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We have to address the student debt (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wintergreen8694, tb mare, judyms9

      issue.
      My thought is in the present economy, adding tens of thousands of dollars of debt to a 20 something college graduate is not a good idea. They have a hard enough time finding a job, they barely make any money when they do, and then they're burdened with a debt that can take decades to pay off.
      In what world is that a good idea, simply to get a college degree?

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:25:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  gotta disagree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        The school loan problem is a monster, that's certainly true. But the idea that students undertake that debt to "simply get a college degree" totally misses the point of what their options will be without the degrees.

        Budding engineers, mathematicians, scientists, doctors or lawyers can't follow those professions without the degrees and the educations that underpin those degrees.  Why should those hypothetical students not have the opportunity to follow their natural vocations?

        •  I would never deny a college degree to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ColoTim

          anyone, especially in the classes you mentioned above.
          But there are plenty of kids in college these days "just to get a degree", and that doesn't always work out in getting a good paying job.
          Look at this article I found in a search about college degrees:

          Nearly 30% of Americans with associate's degrees now make more than those with bachelor's degrees, according to Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce. In fact, other recent research in several states shows that, on average, community college graduates right out of school make more than graduates of four-year universities.

          The average wage for graduates of community colleges in Tennessee, for instance, is $38,948 -- more than $1,300 higher than the average salaries for graduates of the state's four-year institutions.
          In Virginia, recent graduates of occupational and technical degree programs at its community colleges make an average of $40,000. That's almost $2,500 more than recent bachelor's degree recipients.
          http://money.cnn.com/...
          The reason for this is because commnuity colleges train people to go out and work in jobs that pay well and don't necessarily require a 4 year degree.
          Oh, and community colleges are much, much, much cheaper:
          A two-year community college degree, at present full rates, costs about $6,262, according to the College Board. A bachelor's degree from a four-year, private residential university goes for $158,072.
          So we pressure kids to go to 4 year schools, they get out with tens of thousands in debt and can't find a job in their field.
          We should encourage more math and science degrees by easing the costs (subsidizing tuition?) or make the new graduate work for the feds or the state for 2 years after graduation and write off half their debt.
          Or something along those lines.

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 08:14:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  John Stewart: "Congress only cares about (6+ / 0-)

    meals on wheels when they roll down an aisle".

    Another fabulous day in America!

    Republicans' agenda to sequester everything anybody conceptualizes as "government" is going beautifully, except for a slight 'shooting themselves in the foot" with regards to having to WAIT on an airplane.

    Was  happy to see they could fix that little detail in a nano-second.

    This group of fucking criminals known as "leaders" can really accomplish great things, except that great things are EXACTLY what they work to prevent. What we REALLY need they have made sure we aren't going to get, and no matter what we ask for or need their  solution is going to look like a broomstick handle and you KNOW where it goes.

    I would like to see our politicians getting harangued by every commoner they pass on the street, at the airport, in the malls. I think it would be awesome to hear Congresscritters wailing and bitching about people constantly accosting them verbally.

    My real dream is for them to ALWAYS think twice about that little shopping trip or stroll outside their insulated community. I want them to feel bad, I want them to cry.

    We have zero power over these fucks. Calling them and counting on some receptionist to mark on 3x5 cards and shit like that is right at the heart of the problem:this doesn't motivate politicians to do the CORRECT things.

    The states where the PEOPLE have voted for legalizing cannabis are EXAMPLES of this: the federal government says "Fuck you" to the People regarding fixing their shithead CSA.

    So people say "Fuck you too" and vote marijuana into legality. It's a model of how the system is 'supposed' to work. "We are the People and goddammit we want this."

    This is how it will have to be with a LOT of issues (gun regulators, I'm looking at you). it will have to be state by state: politicans at the federal level are BOUGHT and aren't able to do anything for you even if they developed a brain tumor that made them empathetic with commoners.

    We are at huge risk of  not getting what we want or need and this bullshit about being patient and polite and working with the fucking system is what is accomplishing that. Systematically and without fail.

    And there is no reason under the sun we should not have that which we think we need, especially when it is just shitty  human beings  (politicians) and their contrived, false bullshit standing in our way.

  •  I wonder about things like the Texas plant.... (6+ / 0-)

    .....and the BP explosion/underwater oil geyser.

    Will things have to get as bad as they were before regulations for people to actually want regulations again?

    I mean, at one time, this country was much filthier and more dangerous than it is now. Do we have to get to that point again before Americans say "Oh, yeah, we need to do something about that."

    I also wonder if this is mostly a Red State problem, cos when I think of the Texas plant, BP, the Arkansas oil pipeline, the WV mining disaster, the Tennessee fly ash thing, they mostly seem to happen in Red States.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:11:21 AM PDT

    •  The Capitalist Way (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bush Bites, Egalitare, maryabein, tb mare

      is to ensure ALL the cows have fled before closing the barn door.

    •  It's mostly a GOP problem (6+ / 0-)

      Here in CT we have mostly Democrats but even here we were subjected to GOP incompetence at the Governor level for many years and our illustrious former governor John Rowland even went to jail for corruption.  Jodi Rell was a bit better in that she wasn't looking for higher office and was largely immune to corruption but there was some gross incompetence on her part as well.  For example saddling our state with a HUGE debt burden.  

      As a general rule of thumb if you have GOoPers anywhere near power you can be sure sooner or later there will be some corruption scandal or acts of incompetence.  Red states have more problems because they have GOoPers in charge of everything and don't have Dems cleaning up the shit every so often so the shit piles higher and higher until it blows up in their faces, literally it seems.    

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:48:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here in MD (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wintergreen8694, tb mare

        We were cursed with the scourge of Bob Ehrlich for 4 unfortunate years. Unemployment went up, tax revenues went down, and then he tried to sell state park land off to his developer friends/campaign supporters. Not to mention that he blighted us with Michael Steele, every Republicans' black friend that makes all of their policies totally not racist.

      •  Scandal! Speaking of which, we in Virginia are (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wintergreen8694, tb mare, tobendaro

        on the way!

        "FBI looking into relationship between McDonnells, donor" is the latest of a building mess of ties to a tobacco based health supplement company with lawsuits before the state. And the GOP's next candidate for the office, otherwise known as "The Kook" or "The Cooch" is involved as seen in "Cuccinelli will appoint outside counsel for suit involving firm he owns stock in—that is he is going outside after being "inside" until caught and having to amend his disclosure forms. As for Mr. McDonnell? It is getting ugly down to the kitchen.

        I wonder how many Virginians, residents of a state regularly claiming "good government," really know that "Virginia has one of nation’s most lax ethics laws for politicians"?

        So, why is the FBI involved? From the story:

        The interviews, at which Virginia State Police investigators were present, began in recent months as an outgrowth of a federal investigation of securities transactions involving Star Scientific, which produces a dietary supplement called Anatabloc. The company disclosed that probe in a regulatory filing last month, saying it had received subpoenas from the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

        Now, federal officials are trying to determine whether to expand that investigation into a broader look at whether McDonnell or his administration took any action to benefit Star Scientific in exchange for monetary or other benefits, according to the four people familiar with the interviews. It is unclear whether the probe will be broadened.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:56:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Texas fertilizer distributor (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wintergreen8694

      was flying under the radar for inspection and regulation because of the Republican worship of small business. They guy had 8 employees, so there was probably no requirement for OSHA or EPA inspections or oversight.
      How the guy got away with storing 270 tons of ammonium nitrate without oversight is where the disconnect begins.
      I had the opportunity to talk to a guy who runs a facility similar to the West, Tx distributor (right here in town), and he told me he does not sell ammonium nitrate anymore, as the regulations for storage and handling just got too complicated and onerous.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:32:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know whether a fertilizer company (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        with 8 employees would come under OSHA regulations, but they sure as hell would be subject to EPA regulations.  The fact that the plant owners and managers lied - and those lies were abetted by Texas state regulatory agencies - should send not a few people to jail for manslaughter.  But it won't.  There will be a fine, which will amount to a slap on the wrist for the company, and the state regulators will get off scot free.  The only accountability will be the civil suits filed by the residents of West, and if those become onerous, the company will just declare bankruptcy and walk away.  That's capitalism, the American way.

        No wonder Rick Perry made abolishing the EPA one of his campaign planks.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 11:08:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Be all the jerk you can be Ted Cruz. (5+ / 0-)
    •  He'll take your challenge and raise you. n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      judyms9, Stude Dude, skillet

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:34:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hope he runs for president. (6+ / 0-)

      I'd just love to see him take a chainsaw to the others and turn the primaries into some kind of slasher movie.

      Rand just doesn't have the killer instinct.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:38:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In other days Rand would wear a pompadour to (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude, skohayes, tobendaro

        cover the roadkill on his head, and Cruz would be wearing a bandelero loaded with the rolled up wads of money he's getting from the Kocher Party and would mount a scope on the arm he uses to point his finger on the Senate floor.  These clowns are now characteratures of themselves.

        Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

        by judyms9 on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:47:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  He's pissing off the wrong Republicans (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wintergreen8694, tobendaro

        I always thought Cruz should have been a Congressman rather than a Senator. His outbursts of idiocy fit rather well with the Teabaggers in the House, not so much with the Senate.
        He doesn't seem to realize that smacking down your fellow party members in the Senate might mean less donations from those PACs  the next time he's up for the Senate seat.

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:49:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  In the end ... (4+ / 0-)

    If voters, not limited to but particularly in the south, keep putting these loons in office then government will not work. For the pluocrats, that's a feature, not a bug.

  •  Years from now, the "jihadi threat"... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9, skohayes

    ...in Syria will be found to be more somewhat overblown.

    Are there armed Jihadists "on the ground"  in Syria? Without question. But they are on both sides of the conflict. Last I heard, Hezbollah leadership was not in the coalition to oust Assad, though it seems to be causing them some trouble as some of their rank and file in Lebanon are questioning the wisdom of that alliance. We aren't the only ones wrestling with unintended consequences, it seems.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:15:57 AM PDT

  •  And today is the day I switch from Democrat (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, judyms9, wonmug

    to Independent. The democrats have stopped representing me, so I'm out. Enough is enough. I have a breaking point and the combination of the sequester, SS on the table and a myriad of other things finally did me in.

    "Say little, do much" (Pirkei Avot 1:15)

    by hester on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:26:42 AM PDT

    •  That'll learn 'em. (4+ / 0-)

      (Politicians don't give a shit what you think.)

    •  How long were you a Dem? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hester, skohayes

      (I mean a Dem voter, not a Dem in childhood or whatever.)

      Just curious.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:32:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I would urge you to (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sue B, skohayes, pelagicray, tb mare, hester

      think about at least voting for the least regressive candidate who has a chance to actually win, while fighting hard for change in the paradigm.  I'm not a Democrat, never have been, am slightly to the left of socialism, but vote for them in national elections because there really are still significant differences in the parties.

      Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

      by KibbutzAmiad on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:50:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, of course. I vote in every election I just (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pelagicray, tb mare, wonmug

        don't want to be affiliated with the democratic party anymore. I am more of a socialist. i vote in my local elections, state-wide and of course national.

        I never said I was not going to vote. Just that I was getting out of the democratic part.

        "Say little, do much" (Pirkei Avot 1:15)

        by hester on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:54:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I voted independent in 1980. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tb mare, hester

          Always realized repubs were bad, always thought dems were wimps.

          Now in 2013, Repubs are worse than alQueda and Dems are wimps.

        •  Yeah, I too hope my days of "Yellow Dog Democrat" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hester, wonmug

          can end and I can go back to having an option. Unfortunately the independent and "green" or other such candidates in my area even at the local level are just a throw away vote except in a very few primaries. Since the "Newt revolution" and Clinton impeachment fiascoes I've had to accept a vote for even a rare good Republican over a less savory Democrat just helps make a Republican majority that is downright dangerous. In general elections at least a good quarter are like one I faced in Louisiana many years ago: Vote for the crook. It is necessary. The choice, locally, too often seems "the developer's friend" or "batshit insane" TP/Gooper.

          That is why, after over fifty years of voting, I often note it is a lot like flushing the toilet (Probably 60% of my lifetime votes have been flushes, sadly to say.) and not picking from a good menu. All we can do is flush because otherwise the shit gets overwhelming. Not as nice as having a choice of a good and better meal, but a very necessary civic duty.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:08:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Doing the same, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hester

          Hester, and I'm 76. Voted Dem all my life. But to have made as much progress as we did in my lifetime, and then to just passively give it up, is more than I can bear. I'm really worried about the world my grandkids will inherit!

        •  I'm as demoralized at the actions (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hester

          of the Democrats as anyone else, but I want a say in Democratic primary elections.  That's the only reason I'm still registered as a Democrat.  In general elections I usually vote for the Democrat, although I've been known to vote for Green party candidates.

          Not that any of this makes much difference in Texas.  

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 11:19:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  in DC... (7+ / 0-)

    Pediatricians across the country meet with legislators to push for gun safety

    my friend and colleague Raul Arguello is there.

    The first step he says is to move forward on gun safety legislation to protect the children.

    “It’s not about the Second Amendment — we’re not saying take it away or take guns from people,” says Dr. Arguello. “People have to be responsible. We have to address it. If you have a gun, you have to keep it locked. If you have a gun in the house, keep it safe from kids.”

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:55:08 AM PDT

  •  they fall... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare

    They fall all over themselves paying fealty to Mr. Bush and Ms. Thatcher, saying all the "right" things and ignoring the harsh realities, so that they will be perceived as "decent" people.  

    But they do this only when a single individual can be identified.  They have to; history will record that Person A (for instance, President Obama) was "nice" to Person B (for instance, Mr. Bush) despite their differences, and history will say how good these Persons were for observing decorum.  

    But when it comes to faceless masses, there is no accountability, so they can act as mean-spirited and greedy as they want, because they, personally, cannot be blamed.  

    However, if history attempts to point out that Person C (for example, Ms. Bachmann) was cruel to old people or poor people or whomever, she can say, "no, I was kind" and whip out a convenient sound bite or photograph in which she said something pleasant to an unfortunate old person or put her arm around some suffering poor person in a comforting way, then blame Congress or the president and shrug off her contribution to the misery that was caused.  

    And so it goes.  There is always at least one example of a Person appearing to do something right on an individual basis, and that trumps all the other actual unspeakable acts that were the norm.  And so the nameless masses can be damned; the Person will never have to accept responsibility.

  •  The irony of Guantanamo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    desert rain

    is that the Administration could release all of the prisoners onto foreign soil and then kill them with drone strikes at will with no oversight whatsoever. By keeping these men in captivity, the government's options are constrained more than if it lets them go. On the other hand, why is it so obsessed with keeping alive men it considers a threat to American security for whom it has no plan other than to keep them locked up until they are all dead. One day there will be just a handful or even only one left alive there. Call it the Cuban Spandau.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:25:43 AM PDT

  •  I have resisted saying this for a while. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nannyberry

    I can, no longer. I apolpogize, in advance, to anyone but the guilty.
    Victims, the maimed, and first responders, it appears from history, are a lot cheaper than regulations.
    People in dire need of a daily infusion of vitamins from a balanced meal are a nuisance  compared  to the first-class section.
    Jobs for citizens are not only not on the backburner; they're still in the freezer.
    No one, and I mean no one, is rushing to bail out the bankruptcy of the Morality Bank.

    The Great Awakening Is Afire! Think outside the box or remain mundane.

    by franklyn on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:51:56 AM PDT

  •  GOP lost in distraction? (0+ / 0-)

    I am amazed that Syria isn't the "big distraction" for the GOP these days...

    Media: Senator what about these cuts to social services?

    Senator: My God, have you been seeing what is going on in Syria? Those people really need our help. But your just crying over some namby pamby cuts to our budget? Where is your heart man!?

    I guess when you have everything you want policy-wise then who cares about the basics.

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:48:17 AM PDT

  •  thank team Limbaugh for sequestration: they (0+ / 0-)

    played a huge part selling the idea over the years that the debt needs to be fixed NOW, that the debt ceiling was no big deal, and default was first, not possible, and second no big deal and would  force obama to make the cuts they want.

    read some limbaugh excerpts from july 2011 (debt ceiling deadline august) in this diary : http://www.dailykos.com/...

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:57:02 AM PDT

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