Shutdown showdown

This just in

Featured image A reader who must remain anonymous — he is a teacher at a public university with a business on the side — believes that management is responsible for the National Park Service carrying the shutdown “a step too far.” He has been inspired to forward the insightful contribution below. »

From the Vietnam Vets Memorial

Featured image A reader writes with a report from the Mall in DC yesterday: My wife and I were in DC from Minneapolis [yesterday], and we thought we would see what this shutdown is all about. At the Lincoln Memorial I talked a couple from California into walking past the ridiculous barriers where the signs state that the monument is closed aside from “First Amendment activities.” As I approached the top of »

Obama bends law for Egypt but not for our troops

Featured image The Defense Department took pains yesterday to explain to the House Armed Services Committee why it could not, under the law, provide benefits to the families of troops who die during the government shutdown. Congress had passed a law — the Pay Our Military Act — that it thought would ensure the provision of death benefits during a shutdown. But Robert Hale, the Defense Department’s Comptroller, earnestly contended that a »

Who is Boehner’s negotiating partner?

Featured image Jonathan Strong of NRO reports that Harry Reid has not been involved in the negotiations between the White House and congressional Republicans to make a deal that would raise the debt ceiling and end the government shutdown. Is this a case of Democrats playing good-cop/bad-cop? And if so, who is the good cop? Obama and Reid both share the same overriding goal — crushing congressional Republicans. Both, presumably, are delighted »

What Now For House Republicans?

Featured image House Republicans are meeting with the White House tonight to try to resolve the current standoff over the partial government shutdown and the debt limit. Republicans are bargaining from a position of severe weakness, due to their misguided decision to try to condition a continuing resolution to fund the first part of FY 2014 on (first) a defunding of Obamacare, and (second) a one-year delay in Obamacare’s implementation. This was »

Boehner’s Plan B revealed — serial defeat

Featured image Last week, I wrote: The number of Republican members who would like to back down from the current showdown almost certainly exceeds the 22 who have gone on record, and probably exceeds that number by plenty. I suspect that very little in the way of a fig leaf would be required to start a mini-stampede among Republican members in favor of giving up the current fight. But here’s the thing: »

Are House Republicans On the Verge of a Major Strategic Error?

Featured image The House Republicans’ strategy with respect to the current fiscal impasse has been wrong-headed from the beginning, in my view. Refusing to pass a continuing resolution unless Obamacare was delayed for a year resulted, predictably, in a partial government shutdown with no end in sight. On the other hand, John Boehner and the House Republicans did not, initially, try to use the debt limit–a much stronger issue–to get concessions from »

Yes We Cone

Featured image It may be gangster government, but if so, it’s the gang that can’t shoot straight. I am not sure whether they created this graphic, but I got it from Free Radical Network, via Twitchy: Heh. »

Gangster Government for the little people

Featured image In the early days of the Obama administration, Michael Barone wrote in connection with the fleecing of bondholders courtesy of the Obama administration in the Chrysler bankruptcy: “We have just seen an episode of Gangster Government. It is likely to be a continuing series.” In the current production of Shutdown Theater we have an episode of Gangster Government for the little people. Jonathan Last captures the inner truth and essence »

Obama’s Shutdown Theater Reaches New Low

Featured image Well, admittedly that’s a close call. It’s hard to top trying to block people from seeing Mount Rushmore, or imprisoning vacationers at Yellowstone Park. But this really could be the nadir: [A] South Carolina man took it upon himself today to do some grounds keeping at the Lincoln Memorial. Chris Cox was pushing a lawnmower and toting a chainsaw on the north side of the monument, doing the landscaping work »

Another specious Obama attack on Citizens United

Featured image Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in McCutheon v. Federal Election Commission. At issue is the constitutionality of a limit on the total amount of money an individual can spend in support of federal candidates. Currently, the limit is $48,600 during a two-year election cycle. Meanwhile, at his news conference, President Obama asserted a connection between the overturning of campaign financing restrictions and the current shutdown showdown. He said: »

Obama gets folksy, keeps straight face

Featured image Barack Obama, who likes to talk about “folks,” was at his folksy best during his press conference yesterday. Several times, he used analogies to household living in an attempt to illustrate the folly of the Republican push for negotiations to end the partial government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. He led of his remarks with this: Think about it this way, the American people do not get to demand »

A Modest Proposal for the Federal Parks

Featured image Glenn Reynolds notes the latest Obama administration outrage: by peremptorily closing the Foothills Parkway in Tennessee, without giving notice to those who live in the area, the administration needlessly endangered the safety of a number of schoolchildren in order to make a political point. But what is the political point? Sensible people will draw the conclusion that the Feds can’t be trusted. Glenn writes: If I were in Congress, I’d »

The Federal Government Can’t, and Won’t, Default on Its Debt Obligations

Featured image One remarkable aspect of the shutdown/debt limit battle is the irresponsibility (on the part of the Obama administration) and incompetence (on the part of the news media) concerning the claim that the federal government will default on its debt obligations if Congress fails to raise the debt limit. President Obama and his minions have clearly suggested that default is a real possibility: “As reckless as a government shutdown is … »

Coming soon at Mount Rushmore

Featured image John reported here on Shutdown Theater at Mount Rushmore. This update on the plan for Week Four of the shutdown just in via David Freddoso’s Twitter feed: »

Evict Obama’s mother-in-law from the White House?

Featured image The idea sounds harsh to me. But, as Michael Rubin notes: The news is full of stories of private residences on public land being shut down because of the government shutdown. Here, for example, is a story regarding an elderly couple temporarily evicted form a cabin they own on federal land. And [the federal government] is also turning people away from privately-run inns on federal land. Why then, Rubin asks, »

Shutdown theater, Concord edition

Featured image Daniel in Brookline files this report from Concord, Massachusetts, opening with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Concord Hymn” (sung, according to the poem’s tag line, at the completion of the battle monument, July 4, 1837). Emerson’s poem was written for the dedication of the the Obelisk (partially at left), commemorating the Battle of Concord: “By the rude bridge that arched the flood Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled, Here »