Give till it hurts. Others already are.

One of our own, Yatsuno, is currently furloughed with no idea if he’ll ever get paid for his forced time off.  A Republican (quelle surprise!) is holding up paying back pay to furloughed federal workers.  The family members of recently deceased US Servicemembers are not getting the compensation to which they are entitled by law.  The claims of thousands of military Veterans are on hold because the Veterans Benefits Administration, many of whom are claim-receiving Veterans themselves, have all been furloughed.  I, like hundreds of thousands of others, am working without pay.

People are being sacrificed on the teabagger altar of “I got mine so fuck off!”

I’m not asking you to give to food banks or hold funding drives for us.  While that’s nice, and I appreciate the impulse in those who’ve had it, I’m after a longer term solution.  I want to make the fuckers pay.  We can’t get rid of all of them.  My own state will continue to send brain-dead jackasses to Congress until judgement day.  But we can shrink their numbers to irrelevancy, or as close to it as possible.  Please consider supporting us by helping to rid the Congress of these “people.”

I know that others in our readership are suffering because of the shutdown and lockout of federal employees, or soon will.  Tell us about it in comments as well as give us anything you have on local Congressional races.

Goal Thermometer

105 replies
  1. 1
    karen says:

    I’m confused, didn’t everyone in Congress (including Republicans) just vote for the back pay?

  2. 2
    MP says:

    Dropped in $40. I’d do more on a regular basis if I wasn’t worried about how all this crap will impact my job.

  3. 3
    Yatsuno says:

    Get a gubmint job, they said. It’ll be stable, they said. Oi.

  4. 4
    RevRick says:

    I wrote this letter to the editor: http://www.mcall.com/opinion/l.....3023.story. We need to let people know what’s at stake and who’s to blame. We need to use whatever tools we can to push back at Republicans.

  5. 5
    Soonergrunt says:

    @karen: No. Everyone in the House of Representatives voted for it. Senator John Cornyn (R-Tx (of course)) is holding it up in the Senate.

  6. 6
    elmo says:

    I had a thought this morning that bothered me quite a bit, and the more I think about it, the more I think it’s true: Talk of how the shutdown and the upcoming default are hurting ordinary Americans has become counterproductive. The more we talk about how much the Republicans are hurting people, the more intransigent they get. Why?

    Because it’s no longer about hurting Obama, or Democrats, or “those people.” They’re angry at the American people. And hurting the American people isn’t an unfortunate side-effect – it’s the whole point.

  7. 7
    piratedan says:

    @karen: the House passed it 407-0 now GOP fuckstick Senator Cornyn is preventing the Senate vote until they have time to “debate” this. So it’s nice to know that the radicalism isn’t just in the House, the Senate is infected as well and it’s NOT just Paul and Cruz.

  8. 8
    jonas says:

    I’m in upstate NY in a purple-ish district and our non-teahadist GOP rep appears to just be valiantly trying to keep his head down and his ass safe, praying for this shitstorm to just be over. It’s a real profile in courage. He was for the shutdown before he was against it, or something. He clearly doesn’t want to be primaried from the right next year, but also knows that a lot of jobs and social services in this part of the state depend on federal programs.

  9. 9
    Botsplainer says:

    @piratedan:

    GOP fuckstick Senator Cornyn

    Texas. Again.

    I wouldn’t trust a Texan to feed my dog.

  10. 10
    piratedan says:

    @elmo: ahhh elmo, we’re not REAL AMURIKUNS, you can tell because our bootstraps are completely different because we too poor to have any.

  11. 11
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @RevRick:

    Excellent letter!

    @karen:

    The House passed it, but last I heard, Cornyn was blocking it in the Senate.

  12. 12
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I’d hate for this to sound like gloating, or being insensitive to those of you who are furloughed, but I just got back from two weeks in Yurp and I have to say it was mighty refreshing to turn on the TV or open a newspaper and not have it be all-stupid all the time. A couple of minutes on BBC world news, mixed in among other stories. I get back here and it’s wall-to-wall. Ugh.

  13. 13
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    As others pointed out. Sigh.

  14. 14
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Botsplainer: I think if you ground them up the dog might find some nourishment there.

  15. 15

    @Gin & Tonic: Europe had its crazy almost a hundred years ago, and then again over sixty years ago. Fortunately for the rest of us, they learned their lesson.

  16. 16
    burnspbesq says:

    I have a new client, a foreign company that is expanding its business to the USA. It was “fun” explaining to them that because the IRS is on hiatus, (1) their US licensee is going to withhold US tax that they don’t owe, because I can’t get them a tax ID number to put on the IRS form that would establish that they qualify for an exemption from withholding tax, and (2) when they pay my fees, they have to withhold tax that I don’t owe to their country because I can’t get a residency certification that would establish that I’m not subject to tax in their country.

    Minor first-world problems? Not when you multiply them by 1,000. When you multiply them by 1,000, you get an impediment to international trade, which makes all of us worse off.

  17. 17
    Botsplainer says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Nah. Too fatty. His diet is more appropriately balanced

  18. 18
    jonas says:

    @burnspbesq: And don’t forget how great it looked for Obama to have to skip the Asian economic summit to deal with all the WATBs in the House. How do you think it feels to be an American ally right now in a dicey part of the world and have to think in the back of your mind, “gosh, I really need American support here, but what if push comes to shove with [X regional power] and Washington’s on shutdown?” They take note that this shit doesn’t happen in Russia or China.

    Why do Republicans hate America?

  19. 19

    @elmo: They are going to hurt themselves too, it is like cutting your nose to spite your face.

  20. 20
    Gex says:

    Of course I am being squeezed in my own way. Getting totally boned with this whole estate thing because Kate and I couldn’t marry. Not only will I get taxed to keep my own stuff but everything is taking so long to happen because the estate is her father’s and he is…difficult.

    As soon as the house sells I will definitely donate a metric fuck ton of my discretionary spending to this cause.

    Let’s make them pay.

  21. 21
    David Hunt says:

    @Botsplainer: This Texan asks that you not judge all Texans by the TeaOP jerks that make up entirely too much of our Congressional caucus. I’d edit your comment to say I wouldn’t trust a Texas politician t feed my dog (or cats in my case). That fucker would likely sell them all for medical and cosmetic experiments faster than you can say “Rick Perry”.

  22. 22
    Cassidy says:

    Ahh Texas…making Florida look good since they tried to call a waist high wall a fort.

  23. 23
    Ash Can says:

    In related news, commenter lawhawk at LGF has posted a tweet from Mark Murray at NBC News that reads, “Per NBC’s Isikoff, Koch Industries has sent a letter to members of Congress, saying that Obamacare should NOT be tied to shutdown fight.” Sounds to me like shit’s getting real, but I’d still bet that the House GOPers will still say “Lalalala, too late, we’re already over the cliff, we have to see this through to the end, when we splatter on the ground.”

  24. 24
    scav says:

    Texans. They’re in the NYT stealing kolache too. Although a good chunk of that is lazy reporting (surprise surprise)

    The kolache (pronounced ko-LAH-chee) entered the American repertory in the mid-1800s, soon after immigrants from Central Europe settled in the hills and prairies of central and south-central Texas.

    Because all those Central Europeans that immigrated earlier (at least since the 1700s) and settled elsewhere apparently didn’t cook nor enter the American repertory. Yes, there are Texans making them — join the rest of us, your magical soil doesn’t magically transmogrify them into acceptably American ethic.

    yes, I’m no doubt being unfair to many fine people but holy haploid that state can be a raging bore.
    /grump

    whoops grump
    and those morans in the teaparty brew their bags in biling water
    /grump

  25. 25
    hedgehog the occasional commenter says:

    In. And I cannot second enough what Sooner said, and what elmo said. I live in Colorado District 1 (Diana DeGette); I would say it’s a safe Democratic seat. We border CD-6, home of Teabagger Mike Coffman, who is currently vulnerable. (I should drop some coin Andrew Romanoff’s way–he’s the challenger.)

  26. 26
    Woodrowfan says:

    my wife is a furloughed govie. We have enough set aside and I have my paycheck so we’ll be OK for awhile. Except (and this is a BIG except) our mortgage may go on a credit card. That’s a big deal to me. We had a ton of bills hit us last year, including very high vet bills for 2 very sick doggies (both are fine now). I just about had the last CC paid off. Two more pay periods and we’d be CC debt free. And now this. sigh. We won’t miss any meals and none of our utilities are in danger of being turned off. But we’re damn lucky I got a TT track teaching gig last year or we’d be up the financial poop creek without means of locomotion.

  27. 27
    Ash Can says:

    And, with another h/t to the LGF commentariat, DKos is reporting that Rep. Phil Gingrey R-Bartertown) said this morning that “Republicans were ‘absolutely’ prepared to lose the House to extract concessions on the CR and the debt limit.” It’s gonna be a hell of a splat when these guys hit the ground.

  28. 28
    billgerat says:

    @Yatsuno: Yeah, they told me that, too. We’re in the same boat, and IOUs don’t work very well when it comes to bailing water.

  29. 29
    RaflW says:

    John Kline in MN-02 is an entrenched incumbent R in a lean-R district (but that voted for Obama in ’12). Mike Obermuller ran against him in ’12 and is running again. His 8 point loss in ’12 was disappointing, but the district has been slightly redrawn, and with La Bachmann out in ’14, her seat is seen as a gimme to the next Republican who can fog a mirror.

    All that to say, Kline’s district may be the closest to in-play of any in MN. Obermuller could use some dollars, of course. As can any Dem who has some fight in her/him.

  30. 30
    dmsilev says:

    @Ash Can: Huh, interesting. Erick son of Erick of the House of Erick was this morning whining and wailing that the Republicans had abandoned the Holy Crusade of defunding Obamacare, and that they should pass a debt-ceiling hike and get back to “merely” holding the government hostage in pursuit of this goal.

  31. 31
    Cassidy says:

    Just got off the phone with Ted Yoho’s office. So far, he will be voting for the bill today to allot spending towards military benefits. He said that bill includes veterans so, allegedly, that includes disability and MGIB. I informed him that gov’t by ala carte is a poor plan and does he have any solutions he plans on bringing to the table to get out gov’t back to running; they dodged that one. I asked if he understood the impact of a default by not raising the debt ceiling and they insist that won’t happen and that our credit downgrade was because of the actual debating about the debt ceiling and not a fear of us defaulting. They deliberately are not putting 2 and 2 together. Finally, I asked if Yoho had any plans to publicly call out Senator Cornyn on the holdup of the bill he voted for to give federal workers their back pay since he voted for that bill in Congress, reminding him that a large chunk of his constituency in Clay County is military and federal workers. He said he has no idea if he has plans to do so.

  32. 32
    opiejeanne says:

    @scav: I wasn’t aware that there were really very many Central Europeans that came that early. Kind of like the scarcity of Portuguese immigrants in the 1700s, and yet there is my Portuguese great X 5 grandfather who was born in 1758 in Massachusetts, so there were some.

  33. 33
    RaflW says:

    @jonas: “Why do Republicans hate America?”

    Not enough deference. Not enough welcoming the conquering savior. Not enough perks.

    Help me out here. I’m not sure why they hate America. But, ultimately, the why doesn’t matter. The what do we do about it does.

    aka Give till it feels good.

  34. 34

    Our representative (Rodney Davis, IL-13) is going full-bore Tea Party on this thing. He’s crying about how he isn’t in favor of a government shutdown (guess how he voted), but it’s all the fault of the Democrats who simply refuse to negotiate. He also did a radio interview yesterday where he categorized the calls his office has been getting into two groups: people who hate Republicans and use all the “Democrat talking points,” and people who are just frustrated that both sides can’t sit down together and get this done.

    The kicker is that he only won by about 1200 votes last year against a weak candidate. It’s not like this is deep red territory. I don’t know if he’s a true believer or if he’s just worried because he’s getting primaried. The primary challenge isn’t really about ideology, though. It mostly seems to be a temper tantrum from Champaign County Republicans, who dominated the old 15th district before the map was redrawn and are mad that they don’t own the new 13th. Of course, the prospect of getting jobs with a newly elected Congresswoman Harold, or at least making some consulting $$$ off of her campaign, doesn’t hurt either.

    It’ll be harder in some ways to get rid of Davis in 2014 than it would have been in 2012 — turnout will be lower for Dems in a midterm, and Davis also has the advantage of incumbency. On the other hand, I really don’t think this district wants to be represented by someone who helped give us a government shutdown and may yet help bring about default. The DCCC is targeting IL-13 hard again this cycle, and I really hope we can turf Davis out.

    I’m really savoring not canvassing this fall, because I’m going to be doing a lot of it next year.

  35. 35

    @jonas:

    Why do Republicans hate America?

    Because we aren’t giving them complete power over everything.

  36. 36
    Cassidy says:

    I’ve been listening to the Revolutions Podcast and it’s been talking about the English Civil War. Lots of interesting parallels to today.

  37. 37
    Punchy says:

    My prediction going forward is this: having lost the battle of constitutionality, about to lose the defunding the law battle, I suspect the next battle will be defunding the enforcement of the fine. Expect the already-politicized IRS to be threatened with defunding if they begin to enforce the penalties for non-compliance.

  38. 38
    scav says:

    @opiejeanne: They were talking origins, so I felt justified. Massive bulk came later (as did immigrants, period), but there seem to have been an early clump because of some religious issues. Hussites and post-hussites had a rough time in the Austrian empire for a good while.

  39. 39
    MikeJ says:

    @TooManyJens:

    The kicker is that he only won by about 1200 votes last year against a weak candidate. It’s not like this is deep red territory. I don’t know if he’s a true believer or if he’s just worried because he’s getting primaried.

    We constantly tell Democrats to stop being wishy washy, if we wanted to vote for a Republican we would just vote for the other guy, they’ll win more votes by being more liberal and expanding the voter pool, etc, etc.

    It shouldn’t be the least bit surprising that some people believe the Republican version of those arguments.

  40. 40
    elmo says:

    @Roger Moore:

    @jonas:

    Why do Republicans hate America?

    Because we’re nigger-lovers.

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    THIS.

    They are punishing the American people for their refusal to submit to Rethuglican rule.

  42. 42
    Chris says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    They are going to hurt themselves too, it is like cutting your nose to spite your face.

    “The salient fact of American politics is that there are fifty to seventy million voters each of who will volunteer to live, with his family, in a cardboard box under an overpass, and cook sparrows on an old curtain rod, if someone would only guarantee that the black, gay, Hispanic, liberal, whatever, in the next box over doesn’t even have a curtain rod, or a sparrow to put on it.”

  43. 43
    Svensker says:

    We’re retailers and after the sequester hit we noticed a big drop in sales, but then things kind of settled down, albeit at a lower level. Since the T.P. action, our sales have gone off a cliff. Anecdotal, sure, but there are a lot of people out there not making discretionary purchases because they’re out of money or scared they’re going to be. Thanks, Repubs, for the help in already challenging times.

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Newsmax Headline: Rumsfeld: Denying Fallen Soldiers Benefits ‘Inexcusable’

    This from a man who should already be dead, dealt with as Keitel and Jodl were dealt with after the end of WWII.

  45. 45

    @jonas:

    Why do Republicans hate America?

    Oh, they love America. It’s just that the only America they recognize is White Christian Conservative America. The rest of us are invaders, usurpers, the enemy.

  46. 46

    @Botsplainer:

    I wouldn’t trust a Texan to feed my dog.

    I think as long as you don’t want your dog fed to a minority, you could trust him to do it.

  47. 47

    What the Republicans are risking is our global stature in finance, risk free rate is no longer risk free.

  48. 48
    Ash Can says:

    @dmsilev: I have to think there’s a huge fight for the leadership of the GOP either imminent or in progress. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few political careers floating face-down in the Potomac River before this is all over. In a fight among big political names and financial heavy-hitters — all with oversized egos — I would expect casualties.

  49. 49

    @Chris: I think we should start spreading the “sparrow-cookers” meme. It’s a pretty powerful image, and I think one that a lot of people would understand.

  50. 50
    srv says:

    @scav: I travel all over, and when I call a kolache a kolache, people give me weird looks. Never in Texas though.

  51. 51
    Birthmarker says:

    The only bright spot is that if the Repubs primary their modeates with extremists, those extremists in most cases will lose the general. (caveat-provided dems show up in off year election.)

  52. 52
    piratedan says:

    @Roger Moore: and we’re not cheering enough for them, it’s not enough to be subjugated, we have to appear to be happy about it. praise jeebus and his father Mammon.

  53. 53
    Anoniminous says:

    Money market mutual funds are starting to avoid short term US debt:

    The $2.66 trillion money market industry is preparing for the worst as lawmakers in Washington battle over the U.S. debt ceiling.

    The funds, including those run by PIMCO, Federated Investors Inc and the largest money fund sponsor – Fidelity Investments – are shying away from government debt that matures in the next few months and keeping more cash on hand to help them withstand any delays in the U.S. paying its creditors.

    In an article in the NYT Republican Senator Burr of North Carolina notices:

    You’ve had the federal government out of work for close to two weeks; that’s about $24 billion a month. Every month, you have enough saved in salaries alone that you’re covering three-fifths, four-fifths of the total debt service, about $35 billion a month. That’s manageable for some time.”

    The $24 billion is money that is not going to paying rent; money that is not purchasing food, clothing, shelter, and energy; money that is not being spent to re-pay credit card debt; money that is not making car payments; money that is not buying G.I Joes with the Kung Fu Grip for little Bobbie’s birthday. It’s not money flowing into local economies and local businesses that support local jobs. It’s also not money that is flowing into the Big Box retailers owned and operated by national and trans-national corporations: Bain Capital and WalMart.

    Every Federal job helps support five other jobs. In areas where the Federal government is a significant employer, such as Northern Virginia, this lowering of micro-economic activity pushes all of the businesses and jobs in that area to the wall. Businesses have on-going cost of operations they have to meet. Employees have on-going costs of living they have to meet. If businesses and employees cannot meet these obligations in a timely manner they are, by definition, financially insolvent. Bankrupt. Tossed into receivership and thrown out of their homes.

    The furlough is affecting other businesses and economic activity as well. See burnspbesq’s and Gex’s comments for examples. (No link to avoid moderation.)

    The direct mathematical result of the loss of $24 billion a month is a 2 percent decline of US GNP. The actual amount is somewhat more. Using the 1:5 Rule of Thumb the $24 billion represents $120 billion/month – roughly 8.6 percent of US GNP – of economic activity put at risk by the shutdown.

  54. 54
    scav says:

    Continuing with the entirely sidebar of Bohemian, was reading WPA scraps from the Denni Hlasatel (Czech language newspaper in Chicago) and ran across this editorial

    Denni Hlasatel — November 24, 1914
    Arizona’s New Labor Provision
    Arizona has passed a new labor law which is in fact a law against immigration. According to that law no large enterprise may have more than twenty per cent immigrants among its employees. All others must be American-born workers. This is a new bit of evidence of the gratitude shown by America, which owes all it is today, in the first place, to our people, the immigrants. On the other hand it is a well known fact that the American is the last man who would agree to do hard labor. This he avoids, and he seeks light work for more money. His favorite occupation is politics, which brings in the largest income for work that may just as well be called idleness, and the income is made up of the money of those against whom our legislatures have been passing increasingly drastic laws lately.

    I need to go to the Newberry Library for some more good laughs.
    the Svornost — June 22, 1892 has this to say

    We have said several times that the Republican Party is one which has inherited and accepted the principles of the old “Know Nothing” party and that whenever the opportunity is offered, these principles are put into effect with well recognized conscientiousness. The heart of the Republican Party contains an element which is greatly interested in hatred of everything which is not genuinely American, which maintains that only full-blooded Americans have the right to direct the fate of the community, and that the immigrant citizen only, has the right to pay and to remain silent.

    OK, I’ll stop. But the Denni H going off against the Pankhursts was screamingly funny.

  55. 55
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Ash Can: I think the fight is over and the Northeast Bankers haven’t realized that they’ve lost.

  56. 56
    fuckwit says:

    @TooManyJens:

    turnout will be lower for Dems in a midterm,

    NO NO NO NO. This CANNOT be the suicidal assumption to start from and just handwave away. We absolutely must stop this immediately. We’ve already been deeply fucked by it at least three times that I can remember (1994, 2002, and 2010).

    But we did this right in 2006, so we CAN do it again. We MUST do it again.

    We need to GOTV in a huge way, wake everyone up, and drag their asses to the polls next November.

    Presidents don’t make laws. Congress makes laws. If you don’t control Congress then you don’t control shit. Way too many Democratic voters (even “bully pulpit” progressives who should know better) failed Schoolhouse Rock and think we have an elected dictatorship. We don’t. Congressional elections are the bedrock of democracy. We have to educate and motivate, and get everyone to understand why they’re so important.

  57. 57
    opiejeanne says:

    @scav: That’s really interesting. I sort of ran across the info about the Central and Eastern Europeans in the course of trying to sort out my husband’s family and their origins, and read up on the origins of the Orphan Train program because his great grandfather was one of the children in that program in 1880. The articles talked about second and third and fourth waves of immigrants, each poorer than the previous, and how each group came from a different place.

  58. 58

    @fuckwit: Sorry, I agree. I should have said “turnout tends to be lower for Dems in a midterm.” Just pointing out that that’s one of the things we have to fight against.

  59. 59
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Anoniminous: Bah. Money in the hands of people. Keynes was gay. That which disappears was government related and not real anyway. The only real economy that matters is a morality play created by heroic entrepreneurs slaying government dragons and union flying monkeys.

  60. 60
    scav says:

    @srv: missed eastern Iowa and Chicago suburbs? They were standard issue at the farmers markets I went to to in Iowa, which was fun after growing up in CA where agreed, nobody knew of them. Looked a little puffy, pronounced a little funny, but recognizable. Being popular there doesn’t make them all theirs.

  61. 61
    Chris says:

    @RaflW:

    Let’s be fair, they don’t hate America. Just Americans.

  62. 62
    fuckwit says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: “If I can’t have you then nobody else can!! BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM!”

    The Republican Party: Our Great Abusive Husband.

  63. 63
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I like it when anybody disses the shutdown, but no, the guy who couldn’t be arsed to provide body armor for his soldiers in the middle of a war does not get to whine about anyone else letting down The Troops.

  64. 64
    virginia says:

    Thank you for letting us know that Cornyn is holding this up in the Senate. Had no idea. One little bit of good news we’d gotten here at our shack was that back pay had been approved. Wonder when this little tidbit will hit the airwaves. Thanks too for the person above who called Yoho’s office and asked multiple questions.

    I’m beginning to wonder if these crazy fucks are actually looking to incite violence in the streets. It’s just unbelievable.

  65. 65
    esc says:

    My family got boned by the sequester by my husband’s several government job offers disappearing at the beginning of the year. Now the shutdown is preventing him from joining the reserves, getting his GI Bill housing stipend, and I assume stopping any further processing on the almost month’s worth of leave he cashed in that his old command fucked up the paperwork on.

    So while we can pay our bills, we’re stuck with our almost one year old in the one bedroom apartment we wanted to move out of six months ago, pinching our pennies to pay back the money we had to borrow when he was unemployed since the state repeatedly fucked up his paperwork on that. At least our representative isn’t bonkers, I guess.

  66. 66

    @fuckwit:

    The Republican Party: Our Great Abusive Husband.

    I want a divorce, stat.

  67. 67
    Anoniminous says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    In the long run that’s probably a good thing for the world and the US. Having the global trade in commodities denoted in US dollars is dumb, as we are now seeing.

    @Suffern ACE:

    Yeah. Every now and then my cup of exasperation floweth over and I saddle-up Rocinante, grab my lance, and tilt at windmills.

  68. 68
    Tokyokie says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: He probably would be long dead had one of my best friend’s fathers not saved his ass during a Naval Reserve survival exercise back in the 1950s. And yes, my friend’s father regrets his actions.

  69. 69
    cminus says:

    I work for a consulting company that does both federal and non-federal work. I do federal work, and work on multiple projects at any one time. One of these projects is considered essential, so I’m now working part-time. When that project finishes — which it will very soon, ahead of schedule and under budget, you’re welcome Congress, not that you bastards have any respect for schedules or budgets — I’ll be furloughed. And as a contractor, even if John Cornyn changes his mind, I won’t get paid for the time I lost.

    Fortunately, I’m in a very good position for now, in that I have always lived modestly so that I could save a big chunk of each paycheck, I own my apartment free and clear, and I have no debts or medical expenses of any sort. But it’s still stressful, and it’s encouraging me to find a new job that doesn’t do government work, for all that working on federal contracts make me feel like I’m giving something back to the country. Which I suppose is their goal; if capable people don’t want to work for the government because it’s less reliable as a going concern than a random private sector company, the GOP dream of a government as incompetent as they are will be realized.

  70. 70
    Jane2 says:

    @Yatsuno:
    @billgerat:
    @Woodrowfan: As a fellow (Canadian) government worker, I’m just appalled that a minority of elected officials can either furlough you, or declare you essential but not pay you anyway. The fallout has to be enormous, from your own personal circumstances, but to all those down the line who sell you groceries, rent you premises, fix your homes, etc etc.

    Crazy.

  71. 71
    fuckwit says:

    Oh, and a contract project I was working on for a startup that was providing a marketing service to corporations in the retail space, has just been “put on hold for the moment”. It seems that suddently all new marketing programs are on hold at all of the potential customers of this startup.

    I’m fine with that personally– the contract was almost over anyway and I can bill them for the work I did so far–, but this is not fucking good news for the country if retail takes a shit during the holiday season.

  72. 72
    Martin says:

    I’m here in rural New Mexico, furloughed because of the federal government shutdown. There are few good, high paying jobs around these parts, and they’re almost all government funded; the rest is mostly retail and a small bit of ag, typical of rural NM. Of course, NM gets a lot more in federal money than goes out to the feds, but many teabagger sorts seem to thrive here, too. My rep is Steve Pearce, and he’s out there with the rest of those clowns blaming the shutdown on the Democrats for not “negotiating”. I work for a non-profit funded by the National Science Foundation to operate this, one of the most scientifically productive of its kind, but now sitting idly by as the universe goes on going on. Minor fallout on the national level, I suppose, but not so small for me, and it can’t be good for my community.

  73. 73

    My ex, who I actually despise overall, is on furlough from HUD. Even though I despise him personally….I can honestly say that he does a VERY good job and his work has resulted in the prosecution and conviction of mortgage and FHA fraud to the tunes of millions of dollars. He saves money for taxpayers and makes it harder for others to take advantage in the future. What he does also makes sure that there are housing funds for more legitimate buyers. That’s what Government is supposed to do. He needs to get back to work and I want him on the job. So should every American citizen.

  74. 74
    srv says:

    @scav: I’m betting the Czech’s got to Texas before kolaches got to Dubuque.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_Texan

    Or the Slovaks got to Chicago:
    http://www.encyclopedia.chicag...../1152.html

  75. 75
    Cara says:

    @Botsplainer: I live in Texas and would happily feed your dog. I wish there was some way to get rid of Cornyn and Cruz-turning Texas blue can’t come soon enough for me. The pockets of blue are getting bigger and bigger though…

  76. 76
    billgerat says:

    @Jane2: Two weeks before the shutdown I loaned $450 to a co-worker who had some bill problems, and he had a bit of a problem paying me back (not surprising, since he was in financial trouble to start with). Last night he finally paid me back after talking with his dad for a loan and me pleading with him that I needed it back to cope with the shutdown. I feel like a heel for having to put my own needs ahead of someone else who is just as needy, if not more, as me. He at least has a wife who works (non-governmental), which I don’t. Maybe I can figure out a way to get my dogs to earn a little extra cash.

  77. 77
    fuddmain says:

    @billgerat:

    Maybe I can figure out a way to get my dogs to earn a little extra cash.

    I’ll send you $20 if you can get one of them to urinate in Boehner’s scotch

  78. 78
    billgerat says:

    @fuddmain: He’d just blame it on Obama.

  79. 79
    Anoniminous says:

    @Martin:

    Forget it Jake, it’s Hobbs.

    I too live in rural NM and in CR-2. Pearce won by 59% in 2012 and 55% in 2010. NM-2 is designed to be a Republican district and the only way we’re going to get rid of the guy is a massive turn-out in Las Cruces to make-up the vote difference. Something I consider unlikely unless Miyagishima runs and even then it’s a stretch.

  80. 80
    sylvainsylvain says:

    Hourly Census employee here. No matter how this plays out, every day I don’t work, I won’t get paid.

    I’ve picked up a few hours w. one of my other jobs, but I’m still looking at a big hole in my income.

    Living in Tulsa, so my Congressional representation is a lost cause.

  81. 81
    Gene108 says:

    I gave to the DCCC. Those fuckers kept calling 50 times a day. After the 10th time of telling them to put me on a do not call list, because I do not have money ATM they stopped calling.

    I then immediately started getting calls from the DSCC.

    I do not want to donate anymore because of the harassment.

    If they would send me fundraising requests in the mail, I’d drop a few bucks there way when I could.

    Now I’m not sure I want to do that because it’d get me back on their call lists.

  82. 82
    Martin says:

    @Anoniminous:
    Oh yeah, you’re absolutely right. What I don’t get is that almost the entire district is deeply dependent upon federal spending and services, and still “we” elected Pearce. We’d really be in the toilet without federal support.

  83. 83

    @Anoniminous:

    The direct mathematical result of the loss of $24 billion a month is a 2 percent decline of US GNP. The actual amount is somewhat more. Using the 1:5 Rule of Thumb the $24 billion represents $120 billion/month – roughly 8.6 percent of US GNP – of economic activity put at risk by the shutdown.

    It’s actually more than that because government contracts aren’t being paid. The argument isn’t about the impact on GDP – they’re fine with that. The argument is that the shutdown might be saving the government enough money that we don’t hit the debt ceiling so long as we’re shut down.

    Lew’s appearance to Congress tomorrow should be interesting.

  84. 84
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Martin: The VLA is amazing. I’ve never seen it in person, but it was a great investment in the ’70s and I’m glad it is still going strong. It’s a stupid, stupid thing to shut it down and put good folks like you out of work. The whole shutdown is stupid, as we all know.

    It’s so much easier to burn it all down than to build it in the first place. Let’s hope that we (as a country) learn the lesson to never again let these idiots have so much power.

    Hang in there.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  85. 85
    fuckwit says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: And a restraining order too.

  86. 86
    Jane2 says:

    @billgerat: I’ll pay them to do stupid pet tricks on a webcam for my kitties!

  87. 87
    cckids says:

    I gotta wait to see what happens with the default. If they decide to let us go over the cliff, we are so screwed. My spouse does financial advising, he is paid by fees that are based on how well the client’s investments are doing. When the market dives, so does our income. Plus, we live in Vegas, which is finally starting to dig out from the Bush mess. We’ve weathered 9/11 and the Great Recession, but we’re closing in on 55, and I don’t know how many more times we can push this stone up the hill.

    So, right now, all I can do is keep calling my jerk congressman (Joe Heck), who is smart, nice & polite & still votes 95% of the time with the TP’ers. If the bottom doesn’t drop out, I’ll have some cash to contribute later in October. Please FSM.

  88. 88
    cckids says:

    @Ash Can:

    Rep. Phil Gingrey R-Bartertown) said this morning that “Republicans were ‘absolutely’ prepared to lose the House to extract concessions on the CR and the debt limit.”

    I’m glad they’re ok with it, because it is fine with me.

  89. 89
    cckids says:

    @srv: Try Nebraska or the Dakotas. Though there, we made them with fruit, as God intended, not with bacon or sausage or whatever Texans decided to throw in.

  90. 90
    scav says:

    @srv: carefull to go with Slovaks there I notice. Bohunks in Chicago for sure by 1851 (your source and another) and probably earlier because they got lumped in under Austrians officially. No one’s disputing TX doesn’t have Bohunks, but so do a lot of places † but you’re acting like my cousin’s kid who, once someone had a favorite color, wouldn’t allow anyone else to have it. granted, it’s your schtick.

    Bohemians in US

    The earliest known Bohemian or Czech settler to the United States was August�n He?man, who came to New York in the United States in the 1640’s.

    Primary Bohemian/Czech settlement areas in the United States were New York City, New York, Texas, Cleveland, Ohio, St. Louis, Missouri, Northeast Iowa, and the upper Midwest States of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas.

    An example of the growth of Bohemian immigration is found in Emily Greene Balch’s 1910 book, Our Slavic Fellow Citizens. The author points out that in about 1848 the first Bohemian family came to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1855 there were 19 (of which the author’s ancestors were one of those families), and by 1869 there were over 3,000. Then according to the 1910 United States Census, Cleveland was acknowledged to be the fourth largest Bohemian community after only Prague, Vienna, and New York with more than 75,000 Bohemians and Bohemian-descent family members.

  91. 91
    Gene108 says:

    @Anoniminous:

    I’ve heard it speculated that the goal of these budget and debt-ceiling crisis is to force government to actually drown in a bathtub, since they cannot achieve it by normal legislative processes.

    For example, if no decision is reached by next week than you are effectively abolishing the EPA and other agencies long hated by right-wingers and their corporate overlords.

    You are shifting the regulatory burden to states, which are cheaper for corporations to buy off than Congress.

    Plunging the country into a recession and putting hubdred’s of thousands of people out of work is a small price to pay so the Koch brothers will never have to deal with the EPA again.

  92. 92
    JC says:

    I still wonder if this isn’t some version of Dick Cheney’s ‘crazy man’ strategy, that the Rethugs are executing.

    I don’t have the links – but Cheney talked about his strategy ‘is that guy crazy or not?’ as a method to ‘win’ different geopolitical concessions, on the theory that ‘the US just might be crazy enough to bomb stupidly, so let’s see if we can make a deal’.

    So far, employing this theory has not only worked out well for House Republicans last 3 years, but also has worked fairly well, last 30 years. Starting from Reagan. I’ve now seen 30 years of editorials, where the ‘responsible’ journalists, analyze some Rethuglican power/legislative move, and decry it as irresponsible.

    For me, started with Reagan, and his slashing of tax rates, which ballooned out the deficit, as far as could see. Secondly, with basically the slashing of mental health services, and the dumping of those with mental issues, out into the street.

    Both actions were, correctly at the time, lambasted as stupid and crazy, in their effects.

    And the predictions of those effects – WERE CORRECT. Suddenly, lots more crazy homeless people wandering around the streets. US debt, skyrocketed.

    But, from a political perspective, Reagan and company won. They reset the expectations of government, making government smaller, and meaner. In the end, as Cheney said, ‘deficits don’t matter’, politically. You can be legislative as irresponsible as you need to be, to get your goals met, the political effect is minimal.

    Same thing with Bush 2. Tax cuts blew a hole in the deficits, Medicare Part D, completely irresponsible, and of course, Iraq War.

    Even the last few years – as much real and virtual ink has been spent lambasting the Republican ‘crazies’ – what have they lost? Right now – RIGHT NOW – we have on tap a CR – continuing resolution – that is NOT AT ALL – democratic priorities. It is all republican spending levels. And that is ‘not enough’. Sequester – that worked for the Rethugs as well.

    Until there are real poltical consequences, and they STOP succeeding in getting the outcomes they desire – why would the Rethugs stop? No matter how irresponsible?

    Even a ‘short’ default – that raises interest rates, that causes another recession – doesn’t that just serve Rethuglican priorities?

    1. Interest rate rises, mean that there is danger at current deficit levels.
    2. A short recession, means that there must again, be budget cuts.
    3. Confusion and chaos, hits the Rethugs politically, but it also hits government as a whole, getting people to opt out of caring, because they are so disgusted by the process. So those that are paid or extremist, continue to dominate the political process, propped up by billionaires.

    So far, as much as I want to call republicans crazy, in terms of the desired policy outcomes, in the face of holding only one of the three branches of government (and in that branch actually having received less votes), they seem to be to be winning. So it still seems to me, ‘crazy like a fox’, is more accurate.

  93. 93
    JC says:

    I didn’t see any comments to this post, but I just saw the one above mine. Very similar, in pointing to the actual outcomes – is the outcome, despite the crazy process – a policy outcome desired by the billionaires funding the Tea Party/Rethugs? If so, then it is eminently rational, though amoral to suffering caused.

  94. 94
    Gene108 says:

    @JC:

    The Republicans have one the popular vote for President once in the last 20 years. They only controlled the Senate briefly in the late 90’s and early 00’s from 2003 to 2007.

    What you are seeing is the scorched earth tactics of a group that does not think it can win any other big victories any other way, I.e. like a Presidential election.

    They have paid a price. It just is not high enough yet.

  95. 95
    burnspbesq says:

    I agree with David (the artist formerly known as TRex): in light of the outbreak of drug-resistant salmonella that the CDC is powerless to do anything about because it is, like, shut down, we should start referring to this insanity as the government shit-down.

  96. 96
    catpal says:

    @RevRick: thanks for writing an LTE, especially here in PA where there are too many RWNuts voting for the worst congresspeople ever. I wish more people Really understood what the Repugs are doing.

    This Paul Kaplan letter to Congress-idiot Rep. Jack Kingston to Shutdown the baseball playoffs because the Braves lost — is one the best examples of what the Republicans are doing – they are so childish and full of tantrums of “We will not be Disrespected”

  97. 97
    Pinacacci says:

    I sent a letter to my congressman, freshman Ron DeSantis, asking him to pursue his policy goals through the legislative process rather than by hurting his constituents with a government shutdown. Will attention be paid? Maaaaaybe, he’s quite well-educated. But he was endorsed by John Bolton, so the wingnut is strong in this one. He won this district (newly gerrymandered) by 14 points so electing a democrat would be tough but not completely out of the question. Too bad there won’t be a challenge any time soon.

  98. 98
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Jane2: My wife got called back starting Thursday. Not sure if she’ll be paid, but she’ll be back at work…

  99. 99
    Older says:

    My son is a civilian mission specialist for the Air Force. (He was medically retired from the Air Force because he had a condition that made him undeployable.) He’s still working, because his is an essential job, but he’s not getting paid. Prior to the shut down he was involuntarily furloughed — I’ve heard people say they were on a 10% furlough — his was 20%, a day every week. During that time, they used up their savings (saving has been hard for them because his wife is medically fragile). Now he’s promised that he will get paid “retroactively”. But as he says, his landlord is not interested in retroactive rent. And he can’t pay the grocer retroactively either.

    He’s helped me out in times of need, and now I am trying to help him out. His dad is also helping. But we can’t provide all the help he needs.

    And I don’t know what the situation is with medical coverage. Are they still insured, without the paycheck from which the insurance premiums are withheld?

  100. 100
    Original Lee says:

    Here’s the Senate version of the bill.Not sure how often Thomas is being updated (belonging to the Library of Congress and all), but it looks as if it’s stalled in the Homeland Security Comm. Cornyn isn’t even a member of the fucking committee.

  101. 101
    Original Lee says:

    @Yatsuno: Original Spouse is in the same boat. Fortunately, I’m in the private sector, but my company is heavily dependent on the federal government. My paycheck is also smaller than Spouse’s. We will make it through OK for a while, as long as nothing catastrophic happens. My BIL is a federal contractor and might get screwed, depending on how the bill is written.

    Good luck to you and others here at BJ.

  102. 102
    redoubt says:

    Are they still insured, without the paycheck from which the insurance premiums are withheld?

    Yes, for now, but Open Season looks to be interesting. . .

    (Wife and I are both on furlough)

  103. 103
    opiejeanne says:

    @Martin: I thought you lived in SoCal, behind the Orange Curtain. I’m very confused, unless you are ANOTHER Martin.

  104. 104
    Raptorfence says:

    I know this thread is basically done, but I wanted to complain somewhere.

    I am a federal contractor. I am furloughed so it’s been a long week, with no end in sight. I’m technically on Leave Without Pay, so I can keep my benefits going at least through the end of the month. For what its worth, this is basically like being fired. I have the “option” of burning through all my leave before going to some non-pay status, or just going there directly–which is what I’m doing. I figure I might want to take a day off some time after this is over and don’t want to have to start from zero again on paid time off. Also too, my benefits expire at the end of the month if I’m not back working by then–a low probability, but still–unless I start paying COBRA. So basically I’m laid off, but have a job to go back to when this is over.

    Oh, and since I am contractor scum, I have no chance of getting back pay…

    Anyway, just needed to vent.

  105. 105
    Zaftig Amazon says:

    @Svensker: @Raptorfence: @Raptorfence: My brotheris also a contractor, who got laid off in April. He is hopingto get another contracting job, but with the conflict between the PreZ and Congress, and the upcoming election year, I don’t see that happening until 2015. Since he is 58, there is a good chance that he will never get hired for anything again besides WalMart.

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