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October 07, 2013
The numbers are appalling. There are 800,000 federal employees out of work, lost wages and productivity run $300 million a day – that's every 24 hours. Wall Street is getting nervous the country will default on its international debts in less than two weeks.

The congressional impasse just continues to grind on like a mindless juggernaut, and no one seems inclined to do anything about it.

It is chilling to think how thousands of NSA workers were sent home at a time when national security needs have perhaps never been higher. Many have been brought back it seems, but without funding to supply the materials they need the NSA may soon have to send them home again.

Why is this latest and unnecessary crisis allowed to go on? We all know. It is stamped Made in the USA, or to be specific the halls of Congress. The Republican Party has shut the government down in what may be the biggest tantrum ever thrown.

Like everyone else in the country, I have had to listen to the ongoing rhetoric about Obama care. I still could not tell anyone what Obama care will mean to the country good or bad. The rhetoric from both sides is so unremitting, where can you find a truly neutral examination of the legislation. I do know health care in America is off the rails when 50 million Americans are uninsured.

So now the House Republicans have painted the entire country into a corner and it is becoming a game of who will blink first. They say they are not the ones responsible for this, but they are the ones holding the paintbrushes.

Of course these politicians are saying they are not to blame. Didn't they warn everyone this is what they would do? So now the Senate and the president can meekly say OK and bow down to extreme blackmail by what everyone says is a minority of hard case Tea Party Republicans.

So this government shutdown is no longer about Obama care – if it ever was. These are a bunch of politicians trying to make as much hay over the issue as they possibly can. Each day the rhetoric goes up another few decibels and lines get drawn in the sand.

We have the Senate and the president have vowed not to negotiate while a gun is held to the head of the American people. They have a point. If they give in now, this will give any minority faction the ability to pick up the gun again.

On the other side, the House Republicans are saying we have no choice because as one House member said, "We won't be disrespected. We have to get something out of this."

He was chastised by his own party members for being a blithering idiot, but the damage was done. If you want to be respected, find some way to gain your aims other than through issuing ultimata that can only be backed up by plunging the country into fiscal chaos.

And no, that does not get you "something out of this."

This sounds like some South American banana republic's comic opera not the purported government of the Leader of the Free World.

Now the giddiness of the world's attention is beginning to lose its bouquet, and the GOP is scrambling for some face-saving way out this mess.

So of course they broaden their list of demands. Certainly the Senate and the president will sit down to negotiations about reducing government spending.

OK, they get it. Obama is not going to budge on Obama care which is, like it or not, the law of the land. But what they need now is cover. Something they can take back to their hardline constituents besides their tails between their legs.

But the other side is not going to do that because of the precedent it would set. The threat could always be called up again. The Democrats want this sort of blackmail to be seen as no way to try to govern, and if the Republicans push it, let it be on their heads.

So here we are, having driven the country to the brink of financial chaos. That's why they call it brinksmanship.

So what happens now? When the demands of the hostage takers are not met, they can only prove their resolve by killing the hostage. And the hostage is we.

Executive Editor, Appen Media.
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Tags: Community & Outreach

  1. report print email
    Waiting for someone to step up
    October 07, 2013 | 05:01 PM

    While I don't necessarily think this shutdown was the best strategy for the Republicans, I can relate to urgency with which they are pursuing it. The financial irresponsibility of our government (both parties) is just staggering. It's really very sad that what congress means by "spending cuts" is really just slowing down the increase in spending. While I think Obamacare is a nice idea, I wonder how we can possibly afford it when we can't even pay for Medicare and Social Security. I think this will become very evident as the law goes into effect.

    This shutdown seems to be bringing to light the redundancy in our federal government. There are some areas where the shutdown is a serious issue. But, there are many areas I think we should be asking ourselves if we really need spending the money in the first place.

    I have to say that I find this article somewhat one-sided. Everyone is blaming the shutdown on the Republicans. But it seems to me that the Democrats are being just as inflexible. The extremes on both sides seem to be controlling the conversation. I think we need to fire the whole lot of them and start over with more moderate and reasonable people that use good old common sense and reasonableness. Unfortunately, I think no one in their right mind would want to be a politician these days given the level of polarization in our country. But maybe someone can step and lead us out of this mess. No one in our current slate of politicians gives me any hope.

    Concerned
    Alpharetta
  2. report print email
    We all know what this is about
    October 08, 2013 | 11:27 AM

    We all know that this was a stint by the Repubs in order to try to shut the Affordable Healthcare Act. Which isn't going to happen.

    Right now all of us taxpayers are paying for the uninsured people that go to emergency rooms and hospitals.

    I want ALL these people to have insurance so we don't have to pay for their healthcare.



    Marsha
    Johns Creek
  3. report print email
    Interesting one-sided take. Now from the other side:
    October 09, 2013 | 12:14 PM

    The GOP-controlled House passed a bill that included continuing funding government essentials including state parks. Harry Reid rejected it. Further, Obama & Co. decided it was worth it to spend more money shutting down and blocking access to the DC WWII memorial, federal waters for fishermen, etc. in a temper tantrum. Then they have the gall to blame Republicans.

    Currently, the ONLY party and entity right now trying to establish some sense of fiscal responsibility is the GOP-controlled House. This is irrespective of trying to delay Obamacare from being enacted on individuals for a year. Not that Obama & the Democrats don't already have plenty of exemptions/exceptions in that horrible law to begin with.

    And when even liberal Jon Stewart rips into H

    Handyman
    Alpharetta
  4. report print email
    What Shutdown? 83% of the Federal Gov't is still running...
    October 09, 2013 | 02:47 PM

    Who shutdown open-air memorials hatcher?

    hatcher hurd blows...

    Legal American
    Alpharetta
  5. report print email
    Shutdown fools
    October 10, 2013 | 09:23 PM

    .... Struts and frets his hour upon stage then is heard no more. Tis a tale told by idiots full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. 2013, October, who are we?



    Amused
    Alpharetta
  6. report print email
    Blame Obama, not the GOP
    October 10, 2013 | 10:05 PM

    Saul Alinsky, Jim Carney, and Barack Hussein Obama should all be proud of Hatcher Hurd's simple and factually inaccurate assessment of the government shutdown tainted with the ever present blame and name calling. In fact, the only portions of government shutdown have proven to those selected by the administration, those which honor our military servicemen and women, and sources of recreation for the people, while Mr. Obama's private golf course and playgrounds remain open. 83% of government functions are operational and the wailing and gnashing of teeth by liberals is astounding as they drag their feet to pay death benefits to the family's of soldiers killed in action for political posturing. Just disgraceful, as just about every aspect of this excuse for an administration devoid of experience and the intellect that the mainstream media forced into our collective consciousness.

    The government is taking in in more than enough revenue to service the national debt without a default and the blame lies equally on the Obama administration's quintupling the national debt, forcing a new department of motor vehicles and post office on us in the name of Obamacare. Consider the post office as well, inefficient, unaccountable, and easily replaced by Fedex or UPS. And while the Republican party has become Democrat "Lite" placing the blame on the GOP and excoriating the Tea Party for standing up for the values that this country was founded on and not the socialist chasm that we have become without substantiation is typical liberal name calling when facts do not meet their objectives. Sadly, the low information and entitlement class has the same vote as those paying the freight.

    Worst President Ever
    Johns Creek
  7. report print email
    Hatcher
    October 10, 2013 | 10:15 PM

    Nice piece Hatcher. Right on the money. And we all know it.

    Realist
    Roswell
  8. report print email
    Worst President Ever
    October 11, 2013 | 11:44 PM

    You are the clueless one my friend. You drank way too much of their cool aid. You have been brain washed or you just aren't using it - or both.

    Reader
    Alpharetta
  9. report print email
    Reader
    October 12, 2013 | 10:45 AM

    Nice point "Reader". Oh wait, your only point is to vilify, but not refute the argument intelligently. Face it, under no measure of financial measurement, domestic or international diplomacy, or leadership ability can this administration be considered a success. Obamacare and this "shutdown" only serve to take power from the citizen and turn it over to the looters to acquiesce the subservient takers. You do remember "Senator Obama's" comments about raising the debt limit right? Probably chose to ignore that FACT, too. Hypocrites.

    Worst President Ever
    Johns Creek
  10. report print email
    Reader
    October 12, 2013 | 12:15 PM

    Brainwashed. Stop drinking the cool aid and you may start to think clearly and process reality. The country's health care system does-not-work. 50,000,000 people without access to primary health care except the emergency room - which YOU and I pay for but are charged 10x what it should be - is where those 50,000,000 folks go. What part of that do you not get? Huh? Trash Obamacare all you want - there is a ton wrong with it for sure - just as we will see in the next year or so that there is a ton right with it - because that is all you know how to do - attack things and point out what is wrong with things. But your ilk never offers solutions. Hypocrite? Really? What this administration is trying to fix is the abominable performance of the Bush disaster - which got us into much of the mess that we are in today. That is very simple, clear, and hard to not see. If you stop drinking the coolaid.

    Reader
    Alpharetta
  11. report print email
    Reader
    October 12, 2013 | 03:34 PM

    Reader, sorry for having to end this debate, but you are so ill equipped factually, you couldn't win this debate even with Obama's teleprompter and a search engine. If the best you have is throwing out the 'cool aid line' over and over again you are just out of your element in a battle of wits. Calling Obamacare a solution to the healthcare crisis is like calling a Yugo a Ferrari. For your information, it was estimated that it was perhaps 30 million uninsured prior to this socialist law, most in their 20's and many illegal aliens, and yes the system did absorb may uninsured through emergency rooms. And, the private sector (via business owners and likely conservatives) had been arguing for tort reform and a little thing called Health Savings Accounts, the problem with that was it wasn't a hand out a liberal socialist could use to buy the vote of the miss and uninformed with. It didn't take long to get to the 'blame Bush' talking point. Predictable, but wasn't Barack and his academic myrmidons that were oh so smart about the economy, hauled people to the polls, and gave away tax money for votes, free phones, EBTs, and disability for all paid for by evil taxpayers! Ya, the guy that's never had a job, started a business, created anything, or led anything worthy of our attention came up with a solution to our healthcare problem issues! And that is why anybody with an once of business sense knows what a disaster this President is to the economy. If you are going to use the line, it is Kool-Aid, not 'cool aid'.

    On July 3, 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama said this:

    The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents â€" #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back â€" $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.

    How typical of Obama. He couldn’t simply express his policy disagreements with President Bush; he had to add his characteristic slander (Bush’s actions were “unpatriotic.”) Back in those days, before Obama carried the burdens of governing, it all seemed so simple. And now, two-and-a-half years into his presidency, Obama has made virtually everything he has touched worse. He turns out to be a man of uncommon incompetence."

    BarackHusseinObamaWorstPresidentEver
    Johns Creek
  12. report print email
    Reader
    October 12, 2013 | 08:28 PM

    It does not surprise me in the least to see you say that most of the 30,000,000 (probably closer to 40 ) people with no access to healthcare except the ER are either young or illegal aliens. You are an ignorant ass of the highest degree.

    And at least one Noble prize winner for economics and many others believe that the greatest fault of the Obama administration is that he did not pump enough money into the economy when we needed it and that is why we are so slow getting out of it - as compared to China whose economy is growing at more than double the rate that the US is currently.

    You haven't a clue.

    Reader
    .
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