Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Congressional tantrums, Day Two. Thank you, 1800s.

Interesting article presented by Pro Publica via Twitter this pm, which linked to an Atlantic article about the rather antique Antideficiency Act.

What's different about today's conniptions is that "privatization" of government functions, including the military, wasn't at the great extent it is today, thanks to Republicans from "red states" that have the biggest military bases.  They're clearly not making private companies employed by the military and who voted majority Republican very happy.

Gives the phrase "cut off the nose to spite the face" a whole new meaning.

News just now down the pike is that there are some congressional tantrums being thrown about the closing of national parks even though they're not an essential service, just because of what happened with a group of veterans.  Apparently those who originally thought we wouldn't miss the government there totally forgot what global attractions they are for people of other nations on holiday, and that the shut down of national parks basically advertise to the world just how bonkers (and myopic) the whole deal is.

It hasn't occurred to politicians worried about "optics" just how big an ass they've made of themselves to the entire planet. Passing a new bill NOW isn't going to undo that. Nor will we find out in a timely manner what every result of every congressional vote is because people that issue updates have noted that their congressional sources have been dismissed for the duration.

Since the time I wrote the above earlier, President Obama appeared for an interview on CNBC to talk about all this in terms of the American economy, and BBC World was right on top of this interview too, noting that global economies are tied to the tanking that the Dow Industrials have been engaged in of late, related to the #shutdown.  Republicans have thusfar been presumed the corporation-friendliest party, and yet one of the arguments forwarded by them is a resentment for a corporate exception in the previously-submitted budget bill from the Senate.  Are they even considering how their failure to send a riderless clean resolution to the Senate is also jeopardizing the ability of corporations to do business overseas when their overseas business partners have become skeptical of their favorite party's inability to do political business?

Everything that conservatives have ever stood for previously (pro-business, government privatization, etc.) have been shown, under these circumstances, to be complete folly in terms of global leadership.  As of the #shutdown, America has abdicated global leadership both politically and economically at this point--who would be stupid enough to follow us now?


I note with interest that Obama's speech in Maryland this morning did cover the international implications of this congressional snit but that's not going to undo the damage that's already been done to what little global leadership the U.S. had even after the foolish Iraq invasion, which had already eroded that.  Everybody was shocked, but certainly not awed, and what little awe we had then was already dispensed with.

A government that conducts itself in the manner that Congress has, clearly cannot be relied upon by others elsewhere in the world.

And now an NRA-protected lunatic is shooting at the U. S. Capitol.  NRA = BFF of organized crime and loonies, not the least of which are the loonies in the House. I hope that the Capitol police haven't been furloughed. Of course the internationals are right on top of it as if the U.S. could do with another hit to its global leadership.

Word up is that the security breach occurred just outside the White House on the side near the Treasury Department (15th St. & Pennsylvania Ave) and via pursuit wound up at the Capitol building. Lockdown is now lifted at this time.

Deja vu 1998 incident
Washington Post--reactions of lawmakers

Oh yeah--NOW we forget about Iraq.

Okay, DC incident is over and I'm sure you'll get full details from your usual favorite source of news.
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