Another hostage scenario is brewing...

Another hostage scenario is brewing – this time Republicans are holding victims of natural disasters for ransom. Congress needs to approve a funding measure by the end of the month – or the government will shut down – furloughing 800,000 federal workers. But the Senate and the House aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on a funding bill – and it all comes down to disaster relief aid. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid passed a funding bill that included nearly $7 billion of disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Irene – the Joplin tornados – and the countless people across the nation devastated by historic flooding this year.

So far – estimates put damage from natural disasters this year alone at about $32 billion. But Republicans in the House won't spend money on things that show government can actually work and solve problems, so they’re proposing a much smaller relief package – about $3.6 billion – and they likely won’t budge on that number.

As Senator Reid said, “I'm not that sure (that a shutdown will be averted), because the Tea Party-driven House of Representatives has been so unreasonable in the past, I don't know why they should suddenly be reasonable." Welcome to Republican rule in American – where the next hostage could be you!


Socrates8541's picture
Socrates8541 11 years 26 weeks ago

Perhaps the best solution to all of our abject economic woes would be to draft a Grand Bargain along the lines of what Thomas Freidman argued yesterday and what Thom talked about regarding incentivizing the health care system in terms of rewards versus services.

Here's what I'm thinking. Give the Republicans everything they want. You say you want a 0% Capital Gains Tax? Take it. You say you want to privatize Medicare? Do it. However, if our health care system crashes, if the poverty rate rises, if our economy fails to recover by 2015, then the federal government reserves the right to seize corporate profits and apply a 100% tax over $2,000,000 on individuals to fix what Conservatives argued to be the obvious solution to our economic problems.

I'm curious if Mitt Romney and the Koch brothers would be willing to put their fortunes on the line for the empty rhetoric they have been spewing as of late. I seriously doubt even lunatics like Michelle Bachman would consider such a plan as it actually implies risk on everyone's behalf.

At the bottom of this whole debate, that's the key issue. Risk. The Republicans are neglecting to assume any responsibility or risk in making us a more stable and prosperous nation. Their sense of history and knowledge of simple math and economics is Orwellian at best. Where is Howard Beale when you need him?

gharlane's picture
gharlane 11 years 26 weeks ago

I've been looking without success for the Financial Times article reporting that the IMF warned against more austerity measures because they could lead to a depression. Thom mentioned it hour 2 today. Could someone provide either a headline or a link?

leighmf's picture
leighmf 11 years 26 weeks ago

I've been a hostage of G.H.Walker & Co. since 1966. Bastards.

Doesn't this insensitivity which openly loots while subtly tearing down our own countrymen and countrywomen, turns a blind eye to hunger, poverty, sickness, and upholds chaos and injustice suggest to anyone we have been taken over from the inside by you-know who?

We're not that far from poor farms, debtor's prisons, and gas chambers-

scarrino's picture
scarrino 11 years 26 weeks ago

It is clear to me that our country is headed for a crisis that will take many years, if not generations to recover from. The truth is America is no longer a great nation. We are a nation driven by fear, rather than hope. We are like lemmings running blindly over a cliff. History repeatedly shows that great nations destroy themselves from within. Our own government has sown the seeds of destruction and continues to act irrationally, if not insanely.

I am tired of hearing blame tossed here and there with labels of conservative, liberal and so on being thrown around like leaves in the winds of fall. What we hear from Washington, D.C. is nothing less than rabble rousing, and we the people are eating it with gusto.There is no coherent leadership in Washington, in the Executive branch, Congress or the Supreme Court.

Our nation is on the brink of a genuine catastropy and this sorry state of affairs is no accident. For many years, the United States has waged continual warfare on any nation that does not bow before America's economic interests, backed by the best military money can buy. If the people of this country do not unite in order to remove as many of the long-term Congressional incumbents entrenched there, our so-called democracy will fail.We have abandoned the cornerstones of democracy with which we have been entrusted for a few words of hatred and division spewed forth on a daily basis by the powers that be.

We are already run by an oligarchy that is intent on destroying as much of America as possible. This isn't far fetched. Our nation is continually at war.Congress argues we must abandon the sick, infirm and elderly. For decades, the United States has sought to destroy democratically elected governments that oppose this nation's so-called interests. Our CIA has murdered democratically elected leaders in Iran and Indonesia in the 1950s and replaced them with sadistic psychopaths. We the people have supported Marcos in the Phillipines, Diem in Vietnam, Karzai in Afghanistan and many ruthless murderers in the Americas. It is time the American people take an honest look at the policies "we" support through our votes. If we do not stand united and drive these dishonest men and women from elected office, I fear the worst is yet to come.

I have looked at myself and find I can no longer support any political party, nor do I accept the hate-filled propaganda spewed forth by our leaders. I hope that more Americans wake up to the absurd reality that we are involved in the politics of hatred, while we pat ourselves on the backs and claim to be a great nation acting with the purest of motives. Betrayal starts at the top and works its way down to the people. I ask if you or I are any better than our leadership and do we even care?

scarrino's picture
scarrino 11 years 26 weeks ago

I agree. It's hard to accept the truth, but that is the plan the few have in mind for the many.

Alan Lunn's picture
Alan Lunn 11 years 26 weeks ago

It seems our government has been in gridlock for decades and our elections are increasingly rigged. This works well for the managers of our democracy who are increasingly making off with the loot. How is a Third World America going to benefit global corporations in the long run? Perhaps what Warren Buffett realizes is that he has benefited from the last three decades of the systematic heist that has come about by hook and crook.and now there is no denying that it has been a massive, world-shaking error. We don't need to enshrine Mr. Reagan, we need to realize that this was a scam. We must stop the forward motion of this inverted totalitarian system we're living in before it's too late.

Tea Partiers, who are recklessly endangering the commonwealth, actually say they are against "crony capitalism." We need to ask them if that is really ended by dismantling OUR government and turning it over to the corporatocracy. The way out is to separate business and government. Why then are they so thick-skulled about this? They are in that bubble that Bill Maher illustrated last week. They can't hear because they are under Foxnosis.

More and more this looks like a stealth takeover of our government by Republitopians. Republicanism has NEVER -- from the days of Machiavelli to today -- been for any populist movement. The TPs are not "populism." They, like the Germans of the '30s, are under a hell of a spell.

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 11 years 26 weeks ago

we are all hostage at the moment even to the small business owner who continues to snivel about not being able to make payroll but has the $ to vacation in europe 3 times a year, oh thats right i bet they expense and bury in the corperate expense. better yet is the one i heard today about kiaser permenante and the $6,000,000,000.00 of profit over the last few years and how they want to not only continue to short staff but now they want to mess with the already over-worked working stiffs that are supposedly suppose to tend to us in time of illness. suuuuurre i really want and over worked Flabotamist taking my blood in the middle of the night! yikes, what is that the same needle you used on the last 3 patients. CAN YOU SAY HEALTH INDUSTRY SHAFT! so anyway i guess some 2500 workers are going on strike. likely they'll lose thier jobs and then anybody seeking care will not only still be paying out the nose for insurance as the corporate Pigs pocket the loot, but get even shittier care. MAN THIS COUNTRY NEEDS A COMPLETE MENTAL ENEMA. JUST DON'T GO TO KIASER TO GET IT.LOLOL

t-bird's picture
t-bird 11 years 26 weeks ago

With far too many members of the Republican party besotted with Ayn Rand, don't expect anything to change. Check out:

scarrino's picture
scarrino 11 years 26 weeks ago

Very well written. I believe if you read Naomi Klein's book: "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism", you may understand that the economic crisis in America today is no accident, but part of a carefully constructed plan that University of Chicago economists have perfected around the world over the last thirty plus years. They have simply brought their brand of economic terror to the United States. Her research is impeccable and her conclusions are clearly supported by what is going on in our country now. It's a remarkable book. I hope you can find time to read it.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 26 weeks ago

I just checked the running counter showing the total cost of war to the US since 2001, it's flying along and was at 1,252,890,188,443+++++..... NO JOKE!

$3.6 billion for disaster relief....JOKE!

jstrahan's picture
jstrahan 11 years 26 weeks ago

Yes and we should thank the Tea Party members. It appears it is going to take something drastic to wake up everybody, especially "independents" and get them to admit that the Republicans simply don't give a damn about the average citizens of this country. Everyone seems to think it is slam dunk the Republicans will win the Presidency and take over the Senate simply because unemployment may be 9.0% in 2012. It appears to be anticipated that Americans will once again become brain dead and vote out incumbents and Democrats have more people up for re-election. It appears nothing short of a dozen Republicans shooting 20-30 Democrats in Congress for people to hold Republicans, the truly guilty parties, to the same standard of accountability as Democrats. Imagine if you lived in Germany and witnessed how Americans continually vote against their own self interest time and time again. You certainly would question if you want to be part of a "Democracy" in which there is no democracy and the wealthy and corporations can easily purchase a government. It appears the only thing that can change that is the REpublicans themselves. They have come out of the shadows and have put all of their agenda and hope chest on the table they have worked on for over 30 years. Just maybe enough Americans will wake up and understand Democrats are not against business, that Democrats don't want to take away everything from the white people and give it to the people of color, that Democrats are tired of pollution of our air, land,and water simply to allow corporations to squeeze out a few more dollars of profit, that Democrats believe older Americans should live and die in dignity, that Democrats are opposed to children going to bed hungry, that Democrats believe in the dignity for all men to make an honest living to support their families, and that Democrats believe corporate criminals should go to prison just as much as a kid who smokes a marijuana cigarette. We shall see if Americans can still be led by their noses with lying propaganda and vote against their own interests once more.

thecoloradokid's picture
thecoloradokid 11 years 26 weeks ago

With the Tea Baggers in charge of the Insane asylum anything is now possible! However, by the light of day I think the Republicans will finally find a way to get their act together. How in the world the populace ever voted these nuts in is a real eye opener! Do I think this will be done timely? Yes...somehow....lamely.

America deserves better than this!!!

Corinne Spangler's picture
Corinne Spangler 11 years 26 weeks ago

It is so crazy that they would not help these people, what are the people supposed to do build their own bridges and roads? I am getting so tired of the GOP and their Scrooge like aditude just so they can win an election a year away. I guess they think the American People are stupid and will just forget that they are not doing their jobs or what the American People want. Who amoung us does not have sympathy for the people who are trying to recover from these disasters? We know it is not the Christian Right Wing GOP they have sympathy for no one, I wonder what Jesus whould say, oh wait he did;

"Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

King James Version

The least are the poor, the afflicted, children etc.

Have a good day all.

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 11 years 26 weeks ago

Heartless bastards!

I still cannot figure out why common rethuglican voters haven't figured it out yet: YOU DON"T MATTER unless you have a fat bank account--you just don't belong. Wake up knuckleheads!!!! Hello!!! You're just the minions of the wealthy. They are laughing at you over cocktails and at their lavish dinner tables. They are playing on your fears, feeding your fears, lying to you.

My aunt has rubbed elbows with the wealthy through her career. She has dined in their homes, been to their parties. This is exactly the dinner conversation--along with how much in taxes they avoided paying, their new vacation home in the Hamptons and their other in Switzerland....

Take your noses out of rich smelly butt so you can smell the REAL air before it is too late and they own us all.

jstrahan's picture
jstrahan 11 years 26 weeks ago

It's time for Democrats to become a united party and not give an inch. They are dealing with the most dangerous situation we have in my lifetime. Not Communism, not Iran, not Bin Laden. Tea Party Republicans. They don't care who gets hurt or how they win. Reminds you of Corporate America. You never give in to blackmail, especially a bunch of one day wonders with no idea or interest on helping the average American citizen. When attacked by a bully you don't back up, you simply rearrange their anatomy in whatever means necessary. If they want a fight let's give it to them. This is a war. Start acting like it.

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