Shut Down Junkie?? Here Are Some Great Links!



Are you a political junkie following all the ins and outs of the government shutdown, and you just can’t get enough of that wonky stuff? Not to fear my geeky addicted friend, I got what you need to stop the shakes. Links, links and more links.


Steve Pearlstein at Wonkblog thinks the Democrats, along with a few moderate Republicans, should use a rarely used House procedural rule called a “discharge petition” to go around the majority to pass a clean CR.


Sarah Binder at The Monkey Cage, who happens to be a political scientist and expert on congressional rules, says, “Not so fast on that “discharge petition” idea. That’s a dead end.”


Speaking of those moderate Republicans willing to vote for a clean CR, one not tied to Obamacare in any way, The Fix has a whip count of them. It’s a short list. In theory, if all 200 Democrats joined at least 17 Republicans they could pass a clean CR. That is if Speaker Boehner will allow the vote. Magic 8 Ball, and Brendan Greeley at Bloomberg, say, “Not gonna happen.”


More on those odd procedural House rules. The Hill reports that the House Democrats made an attempt today to call a “previous question” vote hoping those moderate Republicans would join them to force a vote on the Senate version of a clean CR. The Hill also reports that calls for a “previous question” vote always fail. The moderate Republicans didn’t bite, and it did fail.


Nominal Republican Kathleen Parker at The Washington Post joins with Neo-Con Jennifer Rubin at Right Turn in thinking the Democrats hold to key to ending the government shutdown. While they each take different approaches and use different reasoning, they cross paths in the idea that Democrats must give the Republicans something. This something seems to center on either postponing or repealing Obamacare’s medical device tax. I know a bunch of Democrats who would also like to see that tax go away.


Ezra Klein interviews tax hawk Grover Norquist for Wonkblog. It is safe to say that Norquist is no fan of Tea Party darling Ted Cruz’s negotiating style, saying that the senator from Texas has, “pushed House Republicans into traffic and wandered away.”


The Weekly Standard reports that the Obama administration has enough money to pay federal park workers to put up barricades to close the World War II Memorial because they do not have the money to keep it open. (HUH?!)


While this is going on, The New York Times reports that U.S.A.I.D., the folks who hand out billions of dollars in foreign aid, say, “Government shutdown? What shutdown? We are open for business as usual.”(HUH?!)


Even more from the files of “HUH?!” The New York Times reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says, “He’ll negotiate once the House drops demands.” That doesn’t sound like much of a negotiation to me. Also from The Times, President Obama has summoned congressional leaders to a meeting at the White House to browbeat Republicans and tell them once again, “It’s my way or the highway.” Why even show up for that? It’s not like the president can afford to be giving away free food or anything like that. Right?


Dylan Matthews at Wonkblog says, “Don’t blame Republicans or Democrats for the shutdown, blame that pesky old Constitution and in particular that darn James Madison.”  


Max Fischer at World Views, a foreign news blog, wants to get in on the shutdown action too. He reports that our friends down under, Australia, once had a government shutdown back in the 1970s over a budget dispute, and God save her, Queen Elizabeth solved the problem. She sacked the Prime Minister, appointed a new one, did an end around of the opposition party, rammed through a new budget, then dismissed the entire parliament, and called for all new elections one month later. I think we fought a war sometime in the past to avoid this sort of thing, and please do not give President Obama any ideas.


PAULISTA ALERT! Speaking of American history, and in more ways than one. Politico reports that Ron Paul is auctioning off his cherished 1979 Chevy Chevette. Yes, that is Chevette, the little hatchback, not Corvette, the sports car. Proceeds go to the Ron Paul Institute of Peace and Prosperity. You are probably asking, “What does this have to do with the government shutdown?” Nothing, it was just too good to a story to pass up.

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