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Forum Post: Can you name a person who has single handedly caused more pain to Americans - since adolph ?

Posted 10 years ago on Oct. 11, 2013, 4:44 p.m. EST by bensdad (8977)
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millions of Americans have risked and given their lives for their country
republican speaker of the 1% will not risk his JOB for his country

all he has to do - is call for a vote in the house
200 Ds & 20 Rs will re-open America



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[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 10 years ago

What Was "Essential" and What Wasn't: The Government Shutdown in Perspective

Thursday, 17 October 2013 10:31 By Mattea Kramer and Jo Comerford, TomDispatch | Op-Ed


On a damp Friday morning 11 days into the government shutdown, a “few dozen” truckers took to the Capital Beltway in a demonstration with the Twitter hashtag #T2SDA (Truckers to Shut Down America). They wanted to tell lawmakers they were angry, launch an impeachment campaign against the president, and pressure Congress to end itself.

They were on a “ride for the Constitution,” protesting big government and yet the opinion polls were clear. In fact, the numbers were stunning. One after another, they showed that Americans opposed the shutdown and were hurting because of it. At that moment, according to those polls, nearly one in three Americans said they felt personally affected not by too much government, but by too little, by the sudden freeze in critical services.

In reality, that government shutdown was partial and selective. Paychecks, for example, kept flowing to the very lawmakers who most fervently supported it, while the plush congressional gym with its heated pool, paddleball courts, and flat-screen televisions remained open. That’s because “essential” services continued, even as “nonessential” ones ceased. And it turned out that whether the services you cared about were essential or not was a matter of just who got to do the defining. In that distinction between what was necessary and what wasn’t, it was easy enough to spot the values of the people’s representatives. And what we saw was gut-wrenching. Stomach-churning.

Prioritized above all else were, of course, “national security” activities, deemed beyond essential under the banner of “protecting life and property.” Surveillance at the National Security Agency, for instance, continued, uninterrupted, though it was liberated from its obviously nonessential and, even in the best-funded of times, minimal responsibility to disclose those activities under the Freedom of Information Act. Such disclosure was judged superfluous in a shutdown era, while spying on Americans (not to speak of Brazilians, Mexicans, Europeans, Indians, and others around the planet) was deemed indispensible.

Then there was the carefully orchestrated Special Operations Forces mission in Libya to capture a terror suspect off the streets of Tripoli in broad daylight, proving that in a shutdown period, the U.S. military wasn’t about to shut off the lights. And don’t forget the nighttime landing of a Navy SEAL team in Somalia in an unsuccessful attempt to capture a different terrorist target. These activities were deemed essential to national survival, even though the chances of an American being killed in a terrorist attack are, at the moment, estimated at around one in 20 million. Remember that number, because we’ll come back to it.

Indeed, only for a brief moment did the shutdown reduce the gusher of taxpayer dollars, billions and billions of them, into the Pentagon’s coffers. After a couple days in which civilian Defense Department employees were furloughed, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that 90% of them could resume work because they “contribute to morale, well-being, capabilities, and readiness of service members.” This from the crew that, according to Foreign Policy, went on a jaw-dropping, morale-boosting $5 billion spending spree on the eve of the shutdown to exhaust any remaining cash from the closing fiscal year, buying spy satellites, drones, infrared cameras and, yes, a $9 million sparkling new gym for the Air Force Academy, replete with CrossFit space and a “television studio.”

Furloughing Children

Then there were the nonessential activities.

In Arkansas, for instance, federal funds for infant formula to feed 2,000 at-risk newborn babies were in jeopardy, as were 85,000 meals for needy children in that state. Nutrition for low-income kids was considered nonessential even though one in four children in this country doesn’t have consistent access to nutritious food, and medical research makes it clear that improper nutrition stunts brain architecture in the young, forever affecting their ability to learn and interact socially. Things got so bad that a Texas couple dug into their own reserves to keep the program running in six states.

If children in need were “furloughed,” so were abused women. Across the country, domestic violence shelters struggled to provide services as federal funds were cut off. Some shelters raised spare change from their communities to keep the doors open. According to estimates, as many as six million women each year are victims of domestic violence. On average in this country, three women are murdered by an intimate partner every day.

But funding for domestic violence protection: nonessential.

Funds for early childhood education, too, were shut off. Seven thousand low-income kids from 11 states were turned away. Their “head start” was obviously less than essential, even though evidence shows that early education for at-risk children is the best way to help them catch up with their wealthier peers in cognition and adds to their odds of staying out of prison in later life.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) wasn’t accepting new patients because of the shutdown. Typically 200 new patients arrive every week for experimental treatment. On average around 30 of them are children, 10 of whom have cancer.

Cancer, in fact, is the leading cause of death among children ages one to 14. But treatment for them didn’t qualify as essential. Unlike fighting terrorism -- remember the less-likely-than-being-struck-by-lightning odds of one in 20 million -- treating kids with cancer didn’t make the cut as “protecting life and property.”

A father of two young girls in the town of Eliot, Maine, said to a National Priorities Project staffer in disbelief, “If even one kid can’t get cancer treatment, isn’t that enough to end the shutdown?” Let this be the last time we find ourselves on the wrong side of that question. Because every day we as a nation allowed our lawmakers to keep the government closed was a day in which we as a people were complicit in replying "no."

Let this be the last time that a couple dozen Tea Party truckers are the only ones angry enough to take to the streets. The vast majority of Americans, whatever their anger when faced with pollsters or TV news interviewers, took this shutdown lying down, perhaps imagining -- incorrectly -- that they were powerless.

Let this be the last time we allow ourselves such lethargy. After all, there are 243 million Americans old enough to vote, which means 243 million ways to demand a government that serves the people instead of shutting them out. Keep in mind that in the office of every member of Congress is a staffer tracking constituent calls. And what those constituents say actually matters in how legislators vote. They know that a flood of angry telephone calls from their home districts means legions of angry constituents ready to turn out in the next election and possibly turn them out of office.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 10 years ago

Shutting Down Taxes

Americans, however, didn’t get angry enough to demand an end to the shutdown, perhaps at least in part because poisonous rhetoric had convinced many that the government was nothing more than a big, wasteful behemoth -- until, at least, it shut down on them. Think of these last weeks as a vivid lesson in reality, in the ways that every American is intimately connected to government services, whether by enjoying a safe food and water supply and Interstate highways, or through Meals on Wheels, cancer treatment, or tuition assistance for higher education, not to speak of Social Security checks and Medicare.

Deep in the politics of the shutdown lies another truth: that it was all about taxes -- about, to be more specific, the unwillingness of the Republicans to raise a penny of new tax revenue, even by closing egregious loopholes that give billions away to the richest Americans. Simply shutting down the tax break on capital gains and dividends (at $83 billion annually) would be more than enough to triple funding for Head Start, domestic violence protection, the Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program, and cancer care at the NIH. So let this be the last time we as a nation let our elected officials cut nutrition assistance for vulnerable children at the same moment that they protect deep tax loopholes for the wealthy and corporations. And let’s call recent events in Washington just what they are: breathtaking greed paired with a callous lack of concern for the most vulnerable among us.

It’s time to create a roll of dishonor and call out the lawmakers who supported the shutdown, knowing just what was involved: Mark Meadows (North Carolina, 11th congressional district), Walter Jones (NC-3), Rodney Davis (IL-13), John Mica (FL-7), Daniel Webster (FL-10), Jim Gerlach (PA-6), Justin Amash (MI-3). And that’s just to start a list that seems never to end.

Such representatives obviously should not be reelected, but we need a long-haul strategy as well -- the unsexy yet necessary systemic set of changes that will ensure our government truly represents the people. Gerrymandered district lines must be redrawn fairly, which means that citizens in each state will have to wrest control over redistricting from biased political bodies. California has set the example. Then the big money must be pulled out of political campaigns, so that our politicians learn how to be something other than talented (and beholden) fundraisers.

Finally, we must build, person by person, an electorate that’s informed enough about how our government is supposed to work to fulfill its responsibility in this democracy: to ensure, that is, that it operates in the best interests of the broadest diversity of Americans. Ahead will be long battles. They’ll take years. And it will be worth it if, in the end, we can give the right answer to that father who asked a question that should have been on everyone’s lips.

To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com here http://eepurl.com/lsFRj

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 10 years ago

How the "Know Nothing" Press Extended the Shutdown

Thursday, 17 October 2013 14:03 By The Daily Take, The Thom Hartmann Program | Op-Ed


The Tea Party radicals in Washington are blaming the “liberal” media to explain their sudden surrender in the government shutdown fight.

And, in a way, the Tea Partiers are right.

The media is to blame, but not for the reasons they think.

At a briefing on Wednesday, several House Tea Party conservatives lashed out at members of the press in attendance, in essence calling them liars.

Tea Party Congressman Raul Labrador of Idaho told reporters, “You guys in the media continued reporting that what the conservatives were asking for was the full repeal of Obamacare. That's absolutely false.”

Labrador went on to say that, “Every time you [the media] write a story that Republicans and conservatives were unreasonable in asking for a complete repeal of Obamacare, you have actually been lying to the American people because that's not what we were asking for.”

And Congressman Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina chimed in, saying that, “Has anybody seen the media person to ask a liberal Democrat why it's okay to extend a delay to corporations and not individuals? I've seen it once. You know where I've seen it? Jon Stewart on Comedy Central. It's the only time I've seen that question asked.”

While the Tea Partiers are blaming the “liberally biased” mainstream media for ending their shutdown showdown, the reality is that the shutdown never would have started, or at the very least have lasted over two weeks, if the media had actually done its job.

That’s because the corporate-controlled media repeatedly failed to tell the American people that there was ALWAYS a majority of votes in the Republican-controlled House to end the government shutdown, each and every day of that shutdown.

In the early days of the shutdown, John Boehner would stand in front of the cameras and say time after time that there weren’t enough votes to pass a “clean” spending bill to end the government shutdown.

Yet, 20 House Republicans were on record as saying that they would vote in favor of a clean CR, when all it would take to pass a clean CR was just 17 Republicans.

But rather than point out Boehner’s blatant lies, the mainstream media ran with them, helping to prolong the shutdown, and misinform the American people.

So what reason could the mainstream media possibly have for prolonging the government shutdown and prolonging the suffering of the American people?

Money. And lots of it.

Whenever there’s a spectacle in Washington, like the government shutdown, a majority of people tune in to the cable news networks for information, and cable news networks make a lot more money because of it.

If the media had told the whole story from day one, and everyone understood that John Boehner was the only thing stopping the government from functioning, he would have been forced to hold a vote on a clean CR on day one.

But that would have taken away millions of dollars in advertising profits from the corporatized media.

So, they milked the government shutdown for all it was worth, squeezing out every last penny of advertising money they could from the 16-day long shutdown.

But the media didn’t just lie to the American people about John Boehner in order to preserve profits.

They also perpetuated the Republican lie that President Obama was unwilling to negotiate, and unwilling to “come to the table.”

President Obama had nothing to with the fact that John Boehner was refusing to hold a vote on a clean CR to end the government shutdown.

But by placing blame on President Obama, the media added to the spectacle that was the government shutdown, which in turn added to the mountains of advertising revenue.

So when Raul Labrador and his Tea Party colleagues complain about the “liberally biased” media, they’re missing the bigger picture problem with the corporatized mainstream media in America.

Before Ronald Reagan stopped enforcing the Sherman Act in the media, and blew up the Fairness Doctrine, the press actually had to report the news. The boring, non-dramatized news.

And before Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the press actually had to put straight-up news ahead of advertising profits.

They weren’t allowed to misinform and lie to the American people in order to rake in more revenue.

If the press wasn’t allowed to put profit ahead of public interest, there’s a very good chance the government shutdown never would have happened, and our economy wouldn’t have lost upwards of $24 billion dollars.

It’s time for us to consider breaking up the giant media monopolies, and going back to the pre-Reagan doctrine of programming in the public interest.

This article was first published on Truthout and any reprint or reproduction on any other website must acknowledge Truthout as the original site of publication.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 10 years ago

Hold the Tea Party accountable. FFS. Don't blame the media on the prolonging of this disaster. They wanted to come in and allow piece for piece of whatever they wanted. They sure as hell shifted gears quickly enough when those assholes were faced with federal workers protesting, innit?


[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 10 years ago

Hold ALL responsible, accountable.

"In the early days of the shutdown, John Boehner would stand in front of the cameras and say time after time that there weren’t enough votes to pass a “clean” spending bill to end the government shutdown."

"Yet, 20 House Republicans were on record as saying that they would vote in favor of a clean CR, when all it would take to pass a clean CR was just 17 Republicans."

"But rather than point out Boehner’s blatant lies, the mainstream media ran with them, helping to prolong the shutdown, and misinform the American people."

Either the above quotes are false and Boehner and the media should not be held accountable with the Tea Party or the above quotes are true and Boehner and the media should be held accountable with the Tea Party.

When the above quotes are shown to be false, I'll agree that neither the media nor Boehner should be held accountable with the Tea Party and when the mainstream media is shown to be honest over being profit driven, I'll agree that it's not time to consider breaking up the giant media monopolies.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 10 years ago

BOEHNER: There are not the votes in the House to pass a clean CR.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you sure that's true? The Democrats say they have 195 Democrats who have already signed a letter saying that they would vote it. 21 Republicans, 21 House Republicans have said they are for it, as well. And Democrats are confident, you add those Republicans to the Democrats, a few more would come along and they have the votes. October 6, 2013 on ABC News is below. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


TAKE NOTE-This is why I no longer have any respect for Truth Out. And I'm not interested in whether or not you agree.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 10 years ago

Lyndon B. Johnson.

Over 200,000 Americans were killed or wounded due to the escalation of hostilities in Vietnam under the Johnson administration.

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 10 years ago

Johnson did not do that singlehandedly. Ike, John, Tricky helped

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 10 years ago

No, they didn't. They were only responsible for their own decisions. It was under the Johnson administration alone that escalation had introduced active combat troops bringing the hostilities to their peak. Before then, troops had been serving an advisory/support status under Ike and John which John had actually begun to decrease while after then, the Tricky administration was in gradual withdrawl until the end. Johnson alone had escalated matters into the event that is remembered for what it was. All the harm and death that had occurred under the Tricky administration had been a direct result of what had begun under the Johnson administration just as all the harm and death in Afganistan and Iraq that had occurred under the Obama administration had been a direct result of what had begun under the Curious George administration.

[-] 1 points by HCHC4 (-28) 10 years ago

That argument goes both ways. In that light, then no one person is solely responsible for anything.

It was my understanding that you were looking to place the blame more so on one individual.

If thats the case and you are looking for worse people in history, buckle up. And be careful, the list might include a certain fav Dem that NUKED two fuckin cities. After rounding up all the Japanese Americans and detaining them all.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 10 years ago

Again- Boehner - siglehandedly is NOT calling for a "reopen" vote
He is the only one who can do it

If you want to serve wine at a party, PEOPLE need to pour the wine
but thst is impossible unless ONE person SINGLEHANDEDLY uncorks the bottle.