Open Thread: “Winning” the Sequest-wars

sequestration step off
(Matt Davies via GoComics.com – click link for full-sized image)
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Chris Cillizza, laird of WaPo‘s ‘The Fix’, is a proud courtier in the Media Village and the worst sort of endless-horse-race political tout. For just those reasons, I believe Chris Cillizza has the right take on “Why Congress won’t win a sequester showdown with President Obama”:

Republicans in Congress would do well to avoid a confrontation with President Obama over the sequester.

Here’s why — in 3 very simple steps:

1. Regular people have no idea what the sequester is right now and, even once it kicks in, aren’t likely to pay all that close of attention to it unless they are directly affected by it.

2. Obama is popular with the American public

3. Congress is not…

***********
Local weathercasters are breathlessly predicting another 5-12″ of snow here, for the third weekend in a row. (As commentor EFGoldman put it: February is 28 days it take six or seven weekes to slog through.) Apart from those of you in the Midwest still cleaning up after your share of this latest front, what’s on the agenda for the weekend?

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51 replies
  1. 1
    chrome agnomen says:

    experiencing the thrills of unemployment and homelessness.

  2. 2
    IowaOldLady says:

    Our local small airport is on the list of those to be closed during the sequester. Sucks to be us.

  3. 3
    srv says:

    Don’t know yet, but I do know I’m not going to get all emo about the future like JC. Started to read that post and thought “before I get depressed, I’m going to go read some Protein Wisdom”

    Pick any day after the election and your sorrows will be cleansed in wingnut tears.

    Great Times.

  4. 4
    Ken J. says:

    Lower Michigan dodged this storm, though the morning drive was a little messy.

  5. 5
    Eric U. says:

    I think we just got this weekend’s snowstorm here in Pennsyltucky, and it was not very impressive. But I guess it went north of us.

  6. 6
    Trollhattan says:

    63, sunny and surprisingly clear, I can see a mountain 80 miles away. Hooray for droughts.

  7. 7
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Just got home, gassed from waking up before 6 AM this morning. Going to exercise, go out for dinner with the fiancee, and probably chill out after that.

    Oh, and somehow this will all turn out to be Obama’s fault. See what tune Mr. Fix is singing in a month.

  8. 8
    scav says:

    Daleks in London again!

  9. 9
    Dee Loralei says:

    If you’re in Memphis there’s a Texas Hold’Em tourney for the Memphis & Shelby County Humane Society Saturday night. Buy in is $50.00. A friend of mine is hosting the event and my son and I are playing. She has some decent prizes lined up and there will be free beer, food and bourbon too. And it’s for a great cause. You can find out more at the Humane Society web page or at RiverRatRounders.com.

  10. 10

    I’m in Lakeland, Florida, for the national winter meet of the Antique Auto Club of America. It’s the first show for my 1988 Pontiac 6000 LE station wagon. I’ve owned the car since it was new, so it’s kind of surreal to have owned a car from the factory to the antique car field.

    PS: On the 230 mile drive from Miami, it got 27 mpg. Not bad for a 25-year-old midsized station wagon.

  11. 11
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I really don’t get what the Republicans are trying to pull. They’ve been clamoring for cuts in spending for, let’s see, 80 years, give or take every Republican presidency. So now we’re on the verge of… cutting spending, and they’re all in a dither. And now they actually have to say outright that the kind being cut is not the kind they like, but they also don’t have any ideas about what should be being cut instead, except for bear DNA and fruit flies and other penny-ante bullshit. I know their ideology is inherently clownish, but they have no idea what they’re doing here.

  12. 12
    JGabriel says:

    Anne Laurie @ Top:

    Local weathercasters are breathlessly predicting another 5-12″ of snow here, for the third weekend in a row.

    If’n you don’t want it, we’ll take it here in NYC. It seems like all the good snowstorms only graze us, or just miss us, this year. Even the “superblizzard” only gave us about 8″.

    (Yeah, I know NOAA says it was 11″, but they’re wrong: everyone knows the Central Park weather station is one of the oldest and least accurate in the nation. Anyway …)

    I want my NYC snow!

    .

  13. 13
    quannlace says:

    Local weathercasters are breathlessly predicting another 5-12″ of snow here, for the third weekend in a row.

    So will any of this snow help with the drought in the Midwest? Or was it the worst in the South Western states?
    I know one snowfall/rainstorm isnt enough to solve a protracted drought; but the middle of the country seems to have been well-smacked this winter.

  14. 14

    Legoland and a family bike ride with my new hybrid (just modded it with bar ends). Then catching up on work I avoided today by posting too much on the water thread below.

  15. 15
    DFH no.6 says:

    Playing softball in the (cooler than normal) 65F or so weather here in the Valley of the Sun (aka, “Joe Arpaio County”).

    It actually did snow a bit in my Scottsdale neighborhood on Wednesday afternoon (I’ve never seen it do that) with honest-to-FSM snow cover (briefly) on the D-backs spring training stadium just down the street from me. First spring training game there is tomorrow. And there’s lots of snow in the mountains – ski resorts are going full-bore.

    But, warming up now in the valley, and it is supposed to be in the 70s and even 80s next week (70s are the average highs for this time of year).

    My DoD-employed daughter is preparing to be furloughed if the sequester actually happens and lasts more than just a few weeks.

    My prediction: it will happen, but only for a few weeks.

  16. 16
    JGabriel says:

    FlipYrWhig:

    I really don’t get what the Republicans are trying to pull.

    Politico’s “finger”.

    .

  17. 17
    Thoughtcrime says:

    @JGabriel:

    You got that backwards.

  18. 18
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @DFH no.6: That’s what I figure too. It goes into effect; some time later, there’s some sort of deal to replace it. Republicans crow, firebaggers stomp and gnash their teeth, then analysts determine that it was a better deal than anyone realized, conserva-douches vow to get even with Obama next time they deliberately create a crisis. Etc.

  19. 19
    patroclus says:

    The sequester is bad policy because across-the-board cuts are almost never carefully thought through – there are some good programs that really shouldn’t be cut at all. But there are some good things about it: (1) defense is not exempted; and (2) Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are. Unfortunately, what should be cut in defense are unneeded weapons systems, data mining, Star Wars and the Afghan war – what will be cut instead are military personnel, readiness and worthwhile defense contracts. And the cuts in discretionary non-entitlement spending are just stupid. So, overall, it should not take effect, but the Republicans are determined to make it happen, so it likely will.

    Cilliza is right on the politics though – most of the voters, to the extent that they follow it, will almost certainly blame the Republicans. Some will blame both Obama and the Republicans Republicans will blame Obama but that isn’t new – they blame Obama for anything and everything already.

    This can be avoided, but only if the Republicans behave reasonably, and I’m not holding my breath on that one.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    Trollhattan says:

    Aw crap.

    The widely used insect repellent Deet appears to be losing its effectiveness against mosquitoes, scientists say.

    Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine say mosquitoes are first deterred by the substance, but then later ignore it.

    They say more research is needed to find alternatives to Deet, which was first developed by the US military. The research was carried out on Aedes aegypti, a species of mosquito that spreads dengue and yellow fever.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/scie.....t-21519998

  22. 22
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    That’s what I figure too. It goes into effect; some time later, there’s some sort of deal to replace it. Republicans crow, firebaggers stomp and gnash their teeth, then analysts determine that it was a better deal than anyone realized, conserva-douches vow to get even with Obama next time they deliberately create a crisis.

    HEY! No spoilers!

    I heard that Armageddon on the Potomac MLXVII: The Sequestering, in 3-D is way cool and I haven’t even seen it yet. Jeesh.

  23. 23
    efgoldman says:

    I don’t really know why, but this made me laugh.

    Approximately 150 federal and state law enforcement agents launched a massive raid on one of the biggest perpetrators of government fraud in America: The Scooter Store. Yes, that’s right. The nation’s largest provider of single-person electric vehicles and power chairs is the target of a federal investigation, probably because many of the people who ride around their “personal mobility devices” don’t actually need them.
    Doctors and former employees told CBS that the company would harass physicians with non-stop phone calls and offices drop-ins in order to wear them down. The company even has a special department devoted to getting chairs for patients who had already been ruled ineligible by Medicare. No doubt the pressure comes because their ads guarantee that the chair will be free if they can’t get you qualified.
    The Scooter Store is so good at getting the chairs that a government audit found that they had overbilled Medicare by over $100 million between 2009-2012. It’s no wonder their ads brag that “No other company will work harder to make you mobile.”

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com.....ore/62383/

  24. 24
    DFH no.6 says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    Your expanded version is how I see it playing out, too.

    Sorta 11-dimensional chess, no?

    Ok, not really, but seems to me Obama is “working” the fascist assholes about as well as he could.

    Guess that makes me an Obot.

  25. 25
    Thoughtcrime says:

    @efgoldman:

    The Feds finally saw this Seinfeld episode:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LExbG1vm3xw

  26. 26

    How not to set up your twitter page if you are a Republican politician: http://gawker.com/5986324/arka.....t-say-rape

  27. 27
    efgoldman says:

    Oh, and don’t blame me, I was only a toddler (h/t Lawyers, Guns & Money):

    There is submitted herewith the running memorandum concerning Communist infiltration of the motion picture industry which has been brought up to date as of May 26, 1947….
    With regard to the picture “It’s a Wonderful Life”, [redacted] stated in substance that the film represented rather obvious attempts to discredit bankers by casting Lionel Barrymore as a “scrooge-type” so that he would be the most hated man in the picture. This, according to these sources, is a common trick used by Communists.

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblo.....-communist
    How am I gonna’ tell mrs efgoldman that we have to toss her favorite DVD of all?

  28. 28
    imonlylurking says:

    My nasty little cold developed a cough. Hurt like hell and my lungs ached, so I went to the doctor. No incipient bronchitis-my lungs hurt because I’m coughing with so much force-but I do have a 10-day supply of codeine cough syrup. Whee.

  29. 29
    lamh35 says:

    Alright. The Oscars are this Sunday. I always root for Denzel and since he is nominated (but he ain’t got a chance of winning, that’s gonna go to Daniel Day Lewis for playing Abe Lincoln), I’m gonna continue to root for him. So anyway, I haven’t seen any of the movies nominated for best picture or any of the movies that all the lead actor/actresses and supporting actor/actresses are in. Anybody see any of the movies nominated either for picture or acting? I kinda want to see Silver Lining Playbook. Chris Tucker is also in this movie:

    http://youtu.be/Lj5_FhLaaQQ

  30. 30
    efgoldman says:

    Lead story on the national news:
    SNOW IN MINNESOTA. OH NOES!!!
    Wait a minute. Isn’t it supposed to snow there? Don’t they plan on it for winter entertainment?
    Snow in Tucson yesterday. Now that was news!

    BTW Anne Laurie, they’ve downgraded the snow forecast for RI. Here in the Northern part of the state, right on the line between 1-3″ and 3-6″.

  31. 31
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @lamh35: I am not a big movie-goer, OK, but I just simply do not get what Silver Linings Playbook is supposed to be about. A guy is trying to put his life back together after… something… and meets a girl… and there’s some romantic tension… and there’s also some dancing and some football and the whole thing is photographed in gray tones… Is one or both of them an alcoholic? Or addicted to something? Or… just… no idea.

  32. 32
    Seanly says:

    My plans for the weekend include playing some more old skool Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1st edition or go home!)with my brother via Skype, watching the original “Ocean’s Eleven” with the wife & staying in during the rain/snow hitting Boise. I will also be helping myself to a good bit of our meager liquour cabinet to forget reading about the end of humanity due to climate change by 2050 (I recommend NOT looking for it in the comments a few threads down).

  33. 33
    Linda Featheringill says:

    It looks like Philly will get some cold rain, maybe some slush, and possibly a little bit of real snow.

    I haven’t checked recently but Cleveland used to get more than 90 inches of the white stuff every winter. This is nothing.

    Philly isn’t that much south of Cleveland, enough to make this much difference, but it is close to the coast. Apparently the Atlantic moderates temperatures more than I thought it did.

    Hmm. Learn new stuff all the time.

    ETA: Apparently the west side of Cleveland gets about 60 inches and the east side gets about 90 inches. Thanks to Lake Erie.

  34. 34
    opie_jeanne says:

    @efgoldman: There was a huge woman in one at the grocery store yesterday, I mean just enormous. I wondered if she was that way because she was in the scooter all the time or if she became that way after needing to be on the scooter all the time. I have a cousin going down that road, becoming elephantine, and the bigger she gets the less mobile she becomes, and it worries me. She’s a good egg but eats all wrong and never got enough exercise once she hit her 40s, and now it’s 20 years later.

  35. 35
    lamh35 says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Bradley Cooper plays a guy diagnosed with bipolar disorder who after being institutionalized has to move in with his parents (played by DeNiro and the older actress, both of whom are nominated for Oscars) and meets the widow played by Jennifer Lawrence, who has emotional issues of her own. It’s being billed as a romantic dramedy. It seems to be getting great word of mouth, plus it’s the first movie in a long time to have nominations is all 4 of the major acting awards along with best picture I believe

  36. 36
    lamh35 says:

    OT, but I really do love this FLOTUS.

    Michelle Obama will be back on Jimmy Fallon tonight and it looks like another awesome time.

    Evolution Of Mom Dancing with Jimmy Fallon and Michelle Obama:

    http://www.latenightwithjimmyf.....ama/n33117 via @nbc

  37. 37
    MattR says:

    Worst Socialist Ever (I guesss I’ll find out if that word is safe now)

    According to Thomson Reuters data through Thursday morning, of 427 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported results, 69.3 percent have exceeded analysts’ expectations, compared with a 62 percent average since 1994 and 65 percent over the past four quarters.

    Fourth-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 5.9 percent, according to the data, above a 1.9 percent forecast at the start of the earnings season.

  38. 38
    Anne Laurie says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I just simply do not get what Silver Linings Playbook is supposed to be about.

    (Supposedly) Adorable Bradley Cooper has become a Hollywood-zany Fun Guy now that he’s been diagnosed with bipolar disorder! Will he let boring, unfun therapists and his bitchy ex-wife turn him back into a boring normal person, or will he let his fellow escapee and Borderline Personality Disorder victim Jennifer “This Year’s No-Really-She’s-An-Ahctress” Lawrence lure him into a Fun New Life of ballroom dancing and illegal betting?…

    Or so the advertising would suggest. Since I have family members with bipolar disorder, the whole “don’t just be normal, be FUN!” hollywoodese did not convince. I’m sure the actors are all very earnest & hardworking, but mental illness is just not good rom-com material, IMO.

  39. 39
    Yutsano says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    (Supposedly) Adorable Bradley Cooper

    Yeah. So do not feel that at all.

  40. 40
    danielx says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I really don’t get what the Republicans are trying to pull.

    Yet another attempt to convince the electorate that bad things are about to happen and it’s Obama’s fault. Again. You’d think they would notice by now that this is not exactly a winning strategy, since it’s been about three months since election day, but alas….

    Kidding. I hope they continue this strategy of slamming the door on their own fingers and screaming that Obama did it.

  41. 41
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @lamh35: I can see that as a movie, but it’s just about impossible to get that from the advertising, which is, like, “You ordered raisin bran?” [Beleaguered look] [Shy smile] [DeNiro cheers] [Bradley Cooper runs in a plastic bag] [Ballroom dancing] [Holding hands] [Award-nomination verbiage] It’s incomprehensible, like the title.

  42. 42
    Mnemosyne says:

    @DFH no.6:

    It actually did snow a bit in my Scottsdale neighborhood on Wednesday afternoon (I’ve never seen it do that)

    I’ve seen it do that a couple of times near my parents’ house (they live in Fountain Hills). It’s usually all gone by 10:00 am, though.

  43. 43
    Anne Laurie says:

    @opie_jeanne:

    I wondered if she was that way because she was in the scooter all the time or if she became that way after needing to be on the scooter all the time.

    It can be a negative reinforcement feedback loop. I have a dear friend who uses a mobility scooter becasue she’s got a knee that’s needed replacing any time over the last several years, but her medical plan won’t cover the surgery until she loses weight, and of course they don’t cover any of the programs (like joining a gym with a pool) that would help her get fitter & lose the weight.

    On the other hand, another friend is confined to her scooter because she’s waiting for a heart transplant, and both the medications keeping her alive & her lack of mobility have caused her to put on weight. So when she goes out in public, she gets to hear total strangers at the grocery store tsk-tsk her buying choices and complain to each other that she’s probably one of those welfare parasites. (Why, yes, she is Caribbean-Latino, however did you guess?)

  44. 44
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    mental illness is just not good rom-com material, IMO.

    Sweethearts.

  45. 45
    lojasmo says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Short SLP:

    Bipolar dude (undiagnosed) wife has an affair, gets caught, bipolar dude nearly kills other dude.

    Institutionalized, gets out, tries to get his shit together, meets a borderline chick, romanticism ensues.

    Deniro was good in it. It was a pretty good flick.

  46. 46
    WereBear says:

    @lojasmo: I don’t get it. I can see the fun in the ramping up of the manic phase, Hollywoodly, but Borderline is misery.

  47. 47
    gbear says:

    @efgoldman:

    Lead story on the national news: SNOW IN MINNESOTA. OH NOES!!!

    Someone missed the first part of the headline. It should read EVERYBODY IS F*CKING SICK OF SNOW IN MINNESOTA.

    This time of year. It is easy to get depressed.

  48. 48
    JustRuss says:

    @MattR: *sigh* You’d think all that money rolling in would give those poor corporate snowflakes the confidence they need to hire a few people, but of course there’s a Kenyan socialist in the White House, so, sadly no.

  49. 49
    JustRuss says:

    @MattR: Also too, if 62 percent of companies routinely exceed analysts’ expectations, doesn’t that imply that said analysts kind of suck?

  50. 50
    mclaren says:

    Meanwhile, out in the real world, the director of the National Institute of Health predicts that the sequester will set back U.S. medical science for a generation.

    But, hey! Who needs that nasty icky medicine stuff anyway? Fuck that medical science shit, boys ‘n girls, we need more weapons! And plenty more endless unwinnable wars to use ’em in!

  51. 51
    Anne Laurie says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge: To be honest, Fisher King is one of my favorite movies, but FK doesn’t pretend mental illness is something other than an illness. You can live through it, you may (or may not) recover from it, you can learn to use it the way you’d use any other catastrophe — but it’s not glamorous and life-enhancing.

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