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Gratch
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« on: February 23, 2013, 02:36:52 AM »

Want to see a cool trick?  Say the word "sequestration" and watch Gratch's blood pressure instantly spike by 40 points!

Honestly, this sequestration nonsense is the most absurd thing I've ever seen.  It was intended as a "solution" (i.e. threat) so utterly ridiculous that the two sides simply would not have a choice but to come together and figure out a compromise to avoid it.  The fact that we're sitting here on the eve of this thing with nary a solution in sight alternately baffles and infuriates me.  It's the equivalent of setting a goal to lose 50 pounds by March 1, realizing on February 28 that you haven't lost anything, then deciding to cut off your left leg in order to meet the goal.  It's nonsensical, it's insane, it's completely irrational...yet it's most likely going to happen, barring a miracle.

What frustrates me even more is that the talking point has essentially turned into "fuck those greedy government workers, they're getting what they deserve".  You think losing a few government workers is where it ends?   You don't think the massive ripple effect could potentially cripple an already weak economy?   You don't think the lack of scientific and research funding is going to set the US back significantly on the global stage?  The short-sightedness and reactionary thinking on display here is mind boggling.

Yes, I have a personal stake in this, as it's very possible that I will be out of a job (with infant twins, no less) within 8-12 months (my client base is solely federal government).  But even if I wasn't, the fact that this is all happening speaks volumes as to the complete and utter clusterfuck the political system in this country has become.   Fuck 'em all.  Seriously.

/rant off
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2013, 03:12:41 AM »

They say that MA will lose 60,000 private-sector jobs by the end of this year. As a medical and scientific hub, Boston gets more federal R&D money than just about anybody else does, especially from the NIH and the DoD. These are not minimum-wage whopper-flopper jobs we're talking about.

I don't have a direct personal stake, but indirectly it's going to hurt everybody if this game of chicken drags on for too long. Washington's main focus right now is on which side gets blamed.

The worst part of it is that these budget cuts won't even save money after recession-related outlays skyrocket and tax receipts drop again.
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2013, 03:52:20 AM »

Quote from: Ironrod on February 23, 2013, 03:12:41 AM

They say that MA will lose 60,000 private-sector jobs by the end of this year. As a medical and scientific hub, Boston gets more federal R&D money than just about anybody else does, especially from the NIH and the DoD.

Yep, I'm in this boat. I'm an assistant professor at a public state university and recently had my first large grant reviewed pretty favorably by NIH... not enough to get funded, but it scored well enough to give me a decent shot on the next round (you are allowed one resubmission). With current budgetary constraints, NIH was already funding only about 10-15% of submissions, but with sequestration threatening to cut NIH even deeper, the funding rate will drop even lower. These grants not only support important biomedical and mental health research, but they also fund student training opportunities and research assistant positions that are often the pipeline for developing the next generation of scientists. So there are long-term effects beyond the science that won't get done.

I'll be fine, though, as I'm salaried and don't depend on grant funding to stay employed. This is one of the main reasons my wife and I bailed on our previous positions in med schools, where you're screwed if you don't get grants, and headed back to the arts & sciences. We have to teach now and serve administrative functions so we have less time for research, but it's a small price to pay for getting off the federal teat treadmill. Still, it's disappointing that the grant proposal my research has been building toward for many years may go down in flames because of petty political pissing matches.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2013, 03:54:38 AM by Captain Caveman » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2013, 05:08:48 PM »

Is a 2.4% reduction really the end of the world? Besides all they're going to do is kick the can down the road and borrow more money from the Chinese.
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2013, 05:23:44 PM »

Shit just got real.  They cancelled the Langley Air Show and the Seymour Johnson Air Show.
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2013, 06:16:27 PM »

Shit just got fake. They are reducing the budget for agencies that no longer exist.
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2013, 06:26:50 PM »

Quote from: Moliere on February 25, 2013, 05:08:48 PM

Is a 2.4% reduction really the end of the world? Besides all they're going to do is kick the can down the road and borrow more money from the Chinese.

Looks like we're likely to find out -- there does not appear to be any serious effort to forestall the cuts.

Rather than knocking congressional heads together, Obama spent the past 10 days selling hysteria to the public. That tactic could blow up in his face when next Monday dawns without an apocalypse.
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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2013, 12:28:36 AM »

Quote from: Moliere on February 25, 2013, 06:16:27 PM

Shit just got fake. They are reducing the budget for agencies that no longer exist.


Oh, this is an interesting one!  I think Moliere has provided us a rare example of a Conservative being wrong, but *not* actively dishonest.  I can't prove that, of course, but it seems like Mike Riggs might be simply ignorant and lazy.

The ignorance is about the circumstances under which the National Drug Intelligence Center was shut down.  Republicans had been trying to shut down the NDIC since 1995 when George Bush Sr. first declared its purpose redundant and proposed rolling its responsibilities into other government agencies.  Unfortunately for the rest of the party, the Pennsylvania-based agency had a powerful advocate in Jack Murtha who fought Republicans and Democrats alike to keep the agency open literally until the day he died: February 8th, 2010.

In November 2010, Republicans won control of the House of Representatives.  They arrived with an extremely vocal number of Tea Party members who had been elected on promises of dissolving as much of the federal government as they could.  Democrats, still operating under the belief that Republican were open to reason and compromise, started by directing attention to federal agencies they agreed could be consolidated into other agencies.  

The resulting decision was that the NDIC would be closed in 2012, and that $20-million of federal funds would be earmarked for its closure, the reassignment of its responsibilities to other agencies (primarily the Drug Enforcement Agency), and related costs.  Those funds would be paid out through fiscal year 2012 and 2013, and naturally would appear on the federal budget under "National Drug Intelligence Center".

Now we come to the sequestration deal which threatens to slash funding from a wide swath of existing projects.  Among them, the $20 million slated to cover the closure of the NDIC -- money which likely would have been funneled into the DEA to begin taking up some of their new responsibilities, such as issuing yearly reports on the economic and security impact of Mexican drug cartels.  See, here's a fun fact: when the NDIC closed in July 2012, it happened to be at the height of the Conservative's trumped up "Fast and Furious" scandal, so despite sixteen years of publicly trying to shut the center down, they immediately started pretending it was part of some shadowy coverup. ninja


In other words, the author of Moliere's article probably wasn't lying when he pointed out some of the cuts are coming from agencies that don't exist -- he just doesn't know anything about how government works, how the federal budget is laid out, the scope and complexity of a federal agency's responsibilities, or any specifics of the budget negotiations in 2011.  I can believe that.  Who wants to research facts when you can slap a shocking expose together in fifteen minutes and watch it get parroted by every right-wing rag on the internet?


Oh, and the part where Mike Riggs is super lazy?  See this part where he snarkily "corrects" the OMB's math?

Quote from: Mike Riggs
The first line item on page 121 of the OMB's September 2012 report says that under sequestration the National Drug Intelligence Center would lose $2 million of its $20 million budget. While that's slightly more than 8.2 percent (rounding error or scare tactic?)....


All the numbers on the OMB's report are rounded to the nearest whole.  8.2% of 20 is 1.64 which rounds up to 2, just as 8.2% of the ATF's budget is 94.464 which rounds down to 94.  

That's not a rounding error...it's just rounding.

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2013, 12:14:04 AM »

Quote from: Autistic Angel on February 26, 2013, 12:28:36 AM

The resulting decision was that the NDIC would be closed in 2012, and that $20-million of federal funds would be earmarked for its closure, the reassignment of its responsibilities to other agencies (primarily the Drug Enforcement Agency), and related costs.  Those funds would be paid out through fiscal year 2012 and 2013, and naturally would appear on the federal budget under "National Drug Intelligence Center".
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Eco-Logic
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« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2013, 08:42:06 PM »

Inept.
Incapable of governing.
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« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2013, 08:55:26 PM »

Quote from: Eco-Logic on March 01, 2013, 08:42:06 PM

Inept.
Incapable of governing.

I know.  Effin' Republicans  disgust
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« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2013, 10:28:39 PM »

BOTH parties are equally to blame for this crap.  There's no innocents in Washington right now.
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« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2013, 10:41:53 PM »

Reuters

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A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday showed 28 percent of Americans blame congressional Republicans for the sequestration mess, 18 percent think Obama is responsible and four percent blame congressional Democrats. Thirty-seven percent blame them all, according the online poll.

Bring on the midterms. 
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« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2013, 10:42:47 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on March 01, 2013, 10:28:39 PM

BOTH parties are equally to blame for this crap.  There's no innocents in Washington right now.

Wholly agree.

I know that politics have always been about "my side beating your side", but this a blatant statement by Washington telling the American public that's all it's about any more.  Public be damned, economy be damned, country be damned, the only thing that matters anymore is Democrat vs. Republican ideology.  Frankly, it's sickening to watch.
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« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2013, 01:04:55 AM »

Quote from: hepcat on March 01, 2013, 10:28:39 PM

BOTH parties are equally to blame for this crap.


The sequester exists because, in 2011, the newly elected Tea Party caucus announced they were not going to raise the debt ceiling.  If it is the case that "Both Sides Do It," I would like someone to show me the Democratic equivalent to declaring the American dollar valueless and collapsing the global economy.

Sequestration was the ransom demanded by House Republicans to back down.  It was a good deal: if they would agree to *temporarily* stop hurting the United States' credit rating, costing the country billions of dollars in additional interest payments, and causing the stock market to plummet hundreds of points with their sociopathic brinksmanship, Democrats would agree to a series of very stupid automatic spending cuts that Republicans could run against in the 2012 presidential election.  And if you look at all the times Mitt Romney complained about "Barack Obama's plan" to "slash hundreds of millions from Defense," you'll see that's exactly what they did.

It didn't work.  Now, since the election, President Obama has offered House Republicans a budget deal that favors spending cuts over revenue increases by 2:1, and the revenue included is mostly arrived at by closing all the tax loopholes Republicans *claimed* they wanted to fix during the presidential campaign.  The deal is so good, so filled with all the things Conservatives say they've always wanted and can't reasonably object to, that their public response so far has been to pretend the deal doesn't exist, giving press conferences complaining that the White House won't put any plan at all.

If both sides are equally at fault here, why is one side rotating through a steady cycle of claiming the sequester is no big deal; it is a big deal but it's a good thing; it's not a good thing and it was all Barack Obama's idea; the President won't listen to our ideas; and we refuse to present any specific ideas because it's his mess and he should clean it up?  When negotiations break down and one side comes out spewing openly contradictory lies about what's going on, why are we to assume the other side is somehow equally at fault?

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2013, 01:17:30 AM »

Gary Johnson weighs in:

Quote
To listen to the parade of Obama administration officials warning of civilization-ending consequences from the measly $85 billion in spending “cuts” sequestration will bring, one can only reach one of two conclusions: Either they are just making stuff up to make the cuts as painful as possible, or the federal budget is so out of control that a mere 2.4 percent reduction in projected spending is more than the system can handle.

Frankly, it is both. Absolutely, in their zeal to make Republicans pay the maximum political price for what is actually both parties’ fault, it is almost comical to watch one Cabinet official after another step up to the microphone and tell us that a 2.4 percent reduction (that isn’t really a reduction) will cause airplanes to fall out of the sky, our national defense to be disabled and our children to starve. That game is among the oldest in Washington. Cut the Park Service budget, and suddenly they can’t find the money to keep the Lincoln Memorial or Yellowstone open.

This sideshow is entertaining, but it misses what may be the most important lesson to be learned from this sequester debacle. While there is certainly a heavy dose of Chicken Little falling-sky rhetoric coming out of the bureaucracy, it is probably true that the rather indiscriminate sequester formula is presenting some challenges for some agencies.

How can that be? How many governors, state legislatures, city councils, small businesses and families have had to absorb 2 percent cuts in their budgets over the past five years or so, and have done so because they didn’t have the luxury of simply borrowing or printing more cash? What’s the problem?

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/1/sequestration-ignores-the-real-spending-problem/
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« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2013, 02:32:01 AM »

You know, we're all gamers.  Let's settle this in a friendly new forum game I like to call "Equal Blame."

Equal Blame is a forum game in which 2 - 8 players must come to a unanimous decision on what to order on their pizza.  All players are free to negotiate their preferences in any way they see fit, starting with what toppings they'd most like, then which ones they'd accept, and even what they'd be willing to scrape off and throw in the trash if means they can still eat the dough.

The exception to the above rules is that one player is designated at the start of the game as the House Republican Caucus.  The rules for this player are very simple: no matter what agreement the other players come to, no matter what they offer in exchange for cooperation, the House Republican Caucus objects to the fundamental principle of pizza and must always vote against ordering the pizza at all.

The game continues until any player quits, at which point all players must write a 500-word essay accepting equal blame for their inability to produce a pizza consensus.  Again, the only exception is the House Republican Caucus who's job it is to *assign* blame to everyone else by pretending that a consensus could have been reached at any time if the other players had just capitulated a little harder.


Quote from: corruptrelic on March 02, 2013, 01:17:30 AM

Gary Johnson weighs in:


Gary Johnson conveniently ignores the fact that these sweeping spending cuts are taking effect in the midst of an ongoing economic recovery.  As Gratch has pointed out in his own real-world situation, so-called "austerity measures" mean cancelled contracts and lost jobs.  We also know what happens when governments try to cut and shrink their way out of a recession: Europe's languishing recovery makes the United States' look downright booming by comparison.

Gary Johnson then goes on to explain what he wants to do to solve the problem: cut back on Social Security and Medicare benefits for poor, old, sick people.  By delaying, diminishing, and taking away programs that people have paid into their whole lives, we'll be able to stimulate the economy by forcing people to work futher into old age, burden their employers' insurance plans with increasingly expensive maladies, and free up fewer jobs for the younger generation.  And all without eliminating a single massive tax subsidy for multi-billion dollar oil companies or off-shore tax avoidance racket!

Is he still pushing for that 20%+ nationwide sales tax?

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2013, 07:51:33 PM »

Nice one Autistic Angel.  The funny thing about all of this (if there is a funny) is that it reminds me of dealing with children.  "If you clean your room, I'll give you a toy" didn't work, so we've gone the other direction - "If you don't clean your room, I'll take away your toy".  I'm not sure why we think that either one will work, or why we have to 'make a deal with ourselves' to get adults to engage one another in an adult way.   Maybe it's rose colored glasses, but were politics like this when we were all young?  It just seems like politicians lately have taken to even more childish behavior than ever before.  Folding their arms and refusing to play, playing the silent game, or just not even showing up is all somehow acceptable behavior.  Mystery abounds....
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« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2013, 10:50:32 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on March 02, 2013, 07:51:33 PM

were politics like this when we were all young? 

Well, some of us were young a lot longer ago than others. Remember the Clintons' "vast right-wing conspiracy"? We rolled our eyes then, but they were on to something. That's when civil opposition started to turn into scorched-earth hostility.
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« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2013, 04:13:19 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on March 02, 2013, 07:51:33 PM

Maybe it's rose colored glasses, but were politics like this when we were all young?  It just seems like politicians lately have taken to even more childish behavior than ever before.  Folding their arms and refusing to play, playing the silent game, or just not even showing up is all somehow acceptable behavior.  Mystery abounds....

Be careful.  Any attempt to portray Obama and Democrats as anything but perfect apparently upsets AA.   icon_wink

While I believe the republican party is being stubborn for the wrong reasons, I also was annoyed by Obama's attempts to use scare tactics to try and get his way.  I didn't like it when Bush did it and I don't like it now.

p.s. one can support the president and still find flaws in the way they do things.  
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« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2013, 06:54:11 PM »

The most ironic thing is that the idiotic scare tactics were being used to oppose what his idea to begin with.

I'm annoyed as hell with both sides as well.

I know politics have always been dirty, but the politics of the current admin has eclipsed my wildest expectations of them.
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« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2013, 07:29:09 PM »

Some aspects of the politics of the current admin are disappointing me because they're acting like Republicans.  I expect better of them.  
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« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2013, 09:06:31 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on March 04, 2013, 04:13:19 PM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on March 02, 2013, 07:51:33 PM

Maybe it's rose colored glasses, but were politics like this when we were all young?  It just seems like politicians lately have taken to even more childish behavior than ever before.  Folding their arms and refusing to play, playing the silent game, or just not even showing up is all somehow acceptable behavior.  Mystery abounds....

Be careful.  Any attempt to portray Obama and Democrats as anything but perfect apparently upsets AA.   icon_wink


One of the challenges with pointing out the truly detestable behavior of the Conservative movement is that people tend to assume it means you're just blindly toeing the Democratic line.  In fact, I am extremely troubled by President Obama's secret drone war, his administration's lack of commitment towards improving the unconscionable backlog for veteran assistance, continued opposition towards medical marijuana, and more.  I would gladly take the opportunity to vote for someone more in line with my views on those issues.

But Barack Obama did not face a primary challenge in 2012.  The only credible alternative to four more years of his leadership was Mitt Romney who openly campaigned on a plan to make every them all worse and overturn as many of his successes as possible.  Don't like secret drone wars?  How about re-suspending habeas corpus and reinstituting the torture program?  Prescription marijuana for treating glaucoma and chemotherapy sickness?  Don't worry: Romney has Strong Core Principles against that, the Affordable Healthcare Act measures that would make other treatments affordable, and what the hell: against gay marriage too!


My point here and in other threads is this: since winning control of the House in 2010, congressional Republicans have precipitated five national economic crises in attempts to get their way.  Two threatened government shutdowns, the debt ceiling, the fiscal cliff, now sequestration, and at least two more are on the immediate horizon.  Their demands have been the same every time: radical, across-the-board spending cuts, particularly in Social Security and Medicare, without one single dollar of revenue increase in the mix.  It's a proposal they can't win elections on, so by God, they're going to use what little power they have to gridlock Washington and foment the idea the that whole system has broken down.

Republicans control one piece of the legislative branch, yet they demand the senate and president institute their policies as though they were elected to run the whole thing.  The only way the "Both Sides Do It" defense applies is if you believe they're correct and the preceding 235 years of American history have been wrong.

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2013, 12:25:10 PM »

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« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2013, 02:11:46 PM »

A well thought out and clearly stated rebuttal, as always.
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« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2013, 05:48:41 PM »

Quote from: Autistic Angel on February 26, 2013, 12:28:36 AM

I can't prove that, of course, but it seems like Mike Riggs might be simply ignorant and lazy.

Mike's follow-up article.

Quote
Democrats and Republicans alike (though especially Republicans) long considered the 19-year-old, scandal-plagued NDIC a huge waste of time and money; more than anything, a reminder of former Democratic Rep. John Murtha's ability to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars worth of pork back to Pennsylvania's 12th district. President Bush tried to close it four times. Sen. Tom Coburn wanted it shut down. The DEA thought it was a joke. The Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Office of the Director of National intelligence didn't need it or want it.
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« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2013, 09:44:42 PM »

Whelp, the bloodbath is in full force.  I've lost 65% of my booked March business and 50% of my April business since Monday.  Fun times for us commission-only sales types. 

Time to start raiding the rainy day fund and polish up the ol' resume.   crybaby
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« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2013, 11:32:23 PM »

My office's budget just got cut 8.5%. Probably won't have to lay anyone off (which would be bad for the economy, of course), but it will impact constituent services. There's just no way around that.
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« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2013, 01:54:46 AM »

I'm a commission only sales type and our numbers are up 40% over last year, so it isn't bad for all salesmen smile
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« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2013, 02:06:10 AM »

Quote from: Eco-Logic on March 07, 2013, 01:54:46 AM

I'm a commission only sales type and our numbers are up 40% over last year, so it isn't bad for all salesmen smile

Solely selling to government?  If so, congrats...you're in a far better spot than most of us.

I realize my industry (training) is going to get harder than nearly all others by sequestration.  However, even "safe" groups - such as IT - are having to make massive cuts.  Talked to the CIO of a large federal agency this afternoon who has been told to cut 18% out of his budget.  I'm sure that won't affect efficiency at all.
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« Reply #30 on: March 07, 2013, 02:47:10 AM »

Quote from: Fireball1244 on March 06, 2013, 11:32:23 PM

My office's budget just got cut 8.5%. Probably won't have to lay anyone off (which would be bad for the economy, of course), but it will impact constituent services. There's just no way around that.

The PTO's budget was cut 8.2%, or $242 million.  There's been no change to our day to day operation, no furloughs, and overtime hasn't been slashed yet, so I have no idea what's going on to cut costs in such a seamless way.
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« Reply #31 on: March 07, 2013, 12:11:52 PM »

Nah Gratch not Government.  I hate that so many have been impacted by the sequester (Obama's idea from the start).
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« Reply #32 on: March 07, 2013, 12:33:41 PM »

How was it Obama's fault solely?  Give me actual facts to back that up.  Sequestration was created in 1985 for god's sake.  Unless Obama has discovered the secrets of time travel and shape shifting, the BBEDCA was NOT a creation of Obama.  If you're saying that the triggering of it was his idea, prove it. BOTH sides wanted something the other wasn't willing to give or give up. 

For once, could you just back your claims up with facts?
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« Reply #33 on: March 07, 2013, 04:31:27 PM »

Quote from: Eco-Logic on March 07, 2013, 12:11:52 PM

Nah Gratch not Government.  I hate that so many have been impacted by the sequester (Obama's idea from the start).

Daughter 1 wants some toys Daughter 2 is playing with. Daughter 2 wants some toys Daughter 1 is playing with. Neither is willing to share the toys they already have. Daddy says 'okay, if you girls can't compromise by 10am then neither of you will get to play toys'.

10am comes and girls still not compromising. Neither gets to play with toys. Are you seriously saying Daddy is to blame? (Assuming Daddy came up with the idea in the first place, which he didn't)
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« Reply #34 on: March 07, 2013, 05:24:38 PM »

What are the odds that Eco will reply with any kind of fact?  My educated guess is we'll get another sound bite from him telling us how we're all stupid for not believing that this is entirely Obama's fault and that none of us are nearly as smart as him.  It's like watching Jeopardy and Alex Trebec asks a contestant a question...and the contestant simply answers, "Yeah, I know that one" then holds out his hand for the cash prizes.
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« Reply #35 on: March 07, 2013, 05:24:56 PM »

I never said it is solely his fault and of course Sequestration isn't new.  Bringing up the history of sequestration in an attempt to make it appear as if I believe Obama came up with it in 85 is just silly. 

The current sequester was in fact his idea as a way to resolve the 2011 debt ceiling fight.  The White House even admitted this.  Both parties are to blame, but the White House reaction (doom and gloom parade across the nation) was laughable.  His handling of the budget crisis has been abysmal.
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« Reply #36 on: March 07, 2013, 05:28:24 PM »

How is warning people (and even going overboard on those warnings) about the dangers of sequestration equate to wanting the sequester to happen?

But kudos on replying with something other than another outrageous soundbite.
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« Reply #37 on: March 07, 2013, 05:33:24 PM »

http://youtu.be/WTkn3bY6qmQ
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« Reply #38 on: March 07, 2013, 05:44:51 PM »

The republicans wanted the across the board spending cuts.  Should we now accuse them of supporting the sequester?  The same logic you use against Obama could equally apply to them in this case.  BOTH sides are using the sequestration to point their fingers across the aisle and accuse the other of letting this happen.

For those who can't watch this in the office (like me) I found the transcript:

Quote
GREGORY: Back in October, the President staked out some very clear grounds, in a presidential debate against Mitt Romney, here is one:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: First of all, the sequester is not something that I proposed. IT is something that congress proposed. It will not happen. The budget that we’re talking about is not reducing our military spending, it is maintaining it.

GREGORY: As the White House as acknowledged, that is not accurate. The President did propose it. He didn’t want it to become law, and Republicans supported it, that it was the White House’s idea, he said equivocally, it will not happen. And yet it’s happened. Is there some responsibility he bears?

SPERLING: David, Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine gave the following analogy: A mugger comes up to you and says, give me your wallet. You say, I don’t have my wallet, but here is my watch. Well, technically, giving the watch was your idea, but it doesn’t really tell the whole story. We know, everyone knows, that the president wanted an enforcement mechanism that included revenues on the most well-off. The speaker insisted, the Republicans insisted that if this be an enforcement mechanism, that it be on all spending cuts. Because we were forced to do that, it is true we suggested going back to the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings mechanism.

GREGORY: That's not what he said in that debate.

SPERLING: Well, I think that--

DAVID GREGORY: He said, "I didn't propose it."

GENE SPERLING: But I think it's most accurate that they did propose an all-spending cut mechanism that would have this type of harmful impact on defense, and on education and research. And the idea-- and this is the critical part. The idea was not that these would go into effect, but that people of good faith would come back and compromise. And we know that that is what's important.

You know, Republicans aren't getting a win by letting the sequester go into effect. They want more funding for border security. They say they want more funding for defense. The speaker says he wants more on long-term entitlement reform. This gets nothing.

DAVID GREGORY: But is the president right or wrong, in that clip that I just showed you?

GENE SPERLING: I think the president was overall right in that the idea of an across-the-board, all-spending cut was the idea of Republicans. But, yes, we put forward the design of how to do that. But, David--

DAVID GREGORY: Which was the sequester.
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« Reply #39 on: March 07, 2013, 05:48:43 PM »

Quote from: Eco-Logic on March 07, 2013, 05:24:56 PM

The current sequester was in fact his idea as a way to resolve the 2011 debt ceiling fight.  The White House even admitted this.  

Sequestration was proposed as a "last resort" option when the GOP decided to hold a gun to the head of the country's economy during the last budget ceiling debacle.  It was never intended to be implemented because a) it was so goddamn ridiculous and b) we all expected politicians to behave like adults instead of irrational children, yet here we are.

Quote
Both parties are to blame, but the White House reaction (doom and gloom parade across the nation) was laughable.  His handling of the budget crisis has been abysmal.

I know you don't want to believe it, but sequestration reality is very much gloom and doom for lots of us.  It's not all just hyperbole from the White House.

The ripple effect is going to be significant as well.  That 65% of my March paycheck that disappeared this week?  Those federal workers who are taking 20% pay cuts because they're furloughed?  That's money we won't be spending in our communities.  That's tax revenue that won't be going to our states.  That's (potentially, if this keeps up) unemployment we may have to collect.  The costs of this fuck-up are very real.
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