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cal04

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Member since: Tue Jan 6, 2004, 12:46 PM
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Harry Reid just now on Senate floor: "We will not go to conference with a gun to our head."

https://twitter.com/TheLastWord

Harry Reid just now on Senate floor: "We will not go to conference with a gun to our head."

Reid: "We will not go to a conference with a gun to our head. The first thing that the House has to do is to pass a clean, 6-week CR"
https://twitter.com/mpoindc

Reid says no conference committee
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics-live/liveblog/live-updates-the-shutdown-showdown/?id=a3158b0f-2b55-423d-914e-3ccfda3c7646

“We like to resolve issues, but we will not go to conference with a gun to our heads,” Reid said.

“I propose that the House passes our clean CR, and we’ll sit down and discuss funding for the balance of the year. That’s it,” he said.

House Republicans “want to close government,” he added. “This is all a subterfuge to satisfy the tea party-driven Republicans. And it’s very, very strange, this agenda is so hurtful to the American people.”

He insisted that the House must first pass a “clean” six-week continuing resolution without any language to curtail or defund the new health-care law.


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in no uncertain terms said Senate Democrats would not go to a conference committee with House Republicans unless they send a clean continuing resolution to the Senate.

"We will not go to conference until we get a clean CR," Reid said, reiterating the Democrats' line to demand a bill that would continue to fund the government at current levels.

After Reid, Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), Reid's lieutenants in the chamber, came to the floor to echo Reid's message.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/reid-refuses-to-entertain-conference-committee-plan

GOP Staff: Congress 'Threw Staff Under The Bus' (eliminating their health insurance subsidies)

Some congressional Republican staff members aren't happy about the vote their bosses will take this evening to eliminate their health insurance subsidies.

"I understand it politically, and as a talking point," one Republican staffer told Mother Jones. "But Congress literally threw staff under the bus on this…You're hurting staff assistants who are sorting your mail."

The House's latest spending bill would delay Obamacare's individual mandate for one year and eliminate subsidies for Congress members and their staff. A vote is expected sometime around 8 p.m. ET.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/gop-staff-congress-literally-threw-staff-under-the-bus

GOP Staffer on Vitter Amendment: "Congress Literally Threw Staff Under The Bus
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/09/obamacare-employer-contribution-exemption-vitter-amendment%20?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+motherjones%2Fmain+%28MotherJones.com+Main+Article+Feed%29

(snip)
A recent survey found that 63 percent of Hill staffers want to leave their jobs because of the low pay and long hours. And that's before losing health insurance benefits.

The GOP, in its all-out-effort to undermine Obamacare, could end up harming its own people. "I'm a perfectly healthy guy," the staffer says, "but there are people (in my office) who use (insurance) and need it and depend on it."


Barney Frank Leaves Wall Street Defenders Speechless: Why Are Bankers ‘Paying Themselves So Much

Barney Frank Leaves Wall Street Defenders Speechless: Why Are Bankers ‘Paying Themselves So Much Money?’
http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/09/15/2622641/barney-frank-leaves-wall-street-defenders-speechless-paying-money/

As his fellow panelists sought to sidestep criticisms of the financial industry on the five-year anniversary of the bank failure that kicked the financial crisis and Great Recession into full swing, former congressman Barney Frank asked a simple question that brought Wall Street’s defenders up short. “To your question about those poor beleaguered bankers who have been forced to do so much,” Frank said, “why are they paying themselves so much money? Where did these enormous salaries come from if they were in fact in such serious trouble?”

Frank was responding to CNBC host Maria Bartiromo’s call to “get beyond the conversation of is Wall Street evil, are the bankers evil and causing pain” and instead look to economic growth as a cure-all for the vast inequality in income and wealth that has been exacerbated since the end of the recession. (Nevermind that the deregulation of the financial sector is a primary driver of inequality in the U.S.) His question produced several seconds of silence as Bartiromo and former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson laughed nervously and looked to Meet The Press host David Gregory for help. As Bartiromo seemed about to respond to Frank, Gregory stepped in to change the subject.

Watch the exchange below:

BARTIROMO: We need to get beyond the conversation of is Wall Street evil? Are the bankers evil and causing pain? And toward the conversation of, how do you create sustainable economic growth? That will answer the issue of inequality. Because with growth comes jobs.


BARNEY FRANK: I do want to add one thing, though, to your question about those poor beleaguered bankers who have been forced to do so much to keep from not being able to pay their debts they can’t lend money. if they really are running businesses that are so stressed that they can’t do their basic work, why are they paying themselves so much money? Where did these enormous salaries come from if they were in fact in such serious trouble?




And of course Gregory did not let anyone answer

President Obama Rejects Criticism of Shifting Syria Policy: ‘I’m Less Concerned About Style Points’

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/09/obama-defends-shifting-syria-policy-im-less-concerned-about-style-points/

(snip)
“I’m less concerned about style points. I’m much more concerned with getting the policy right,” Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview on “This Week.”

Obama said his surprise announcement on Aug. 31 that he would seek congressional authorization for U.S. military strikes against Syria, then the abrupt cancellation of a vote this week and pursuit of a diplomatic plan led by the Russians, has put the country “definitely in a better position.”

“My entire goal throughout this exercise is to make sure what happened on Aug. 21 does not happen again,” the president told Stephanopoulos of the large-scale chemical weapons attack outside Damascus that he said killed more than 1,400 civilians.

(snip)
The president said a “verifiable agreement” to disarm Assad of his chemical stockpiles will go further than any U.S. military strikes could have in eliminating the threat of their use.

“If that goal is achieved, then it sounds to me like we did something right,” Obama said.

Full Transcript: President Obama Speaks Exclusively to George Stephanopoulos on ‘This Week’
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/09/full-transcript-president-obamas-exclusive-interview-with-george-stephanopoulos/

Paul Krugman: How the Other 47 Percent Lives

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/02/how-the-other-47-percent-lives/?smid=tw-NytimesKrugman&seid=auto&_r=0

I couldn’t make space for it in today’s column, but any affluent reader who wants a sense of what America is like for many hard-working people should read about the website McDonald’s has established to help its workers manage their family budget. The sample monthly budget they offer includes $900 from a second job; monthly rent of just $600 (which is very low even for a single-bedroom apartment in inexpensive cities, and of course ludicrous in metro New York), and zero heating expenses.
http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/mcdonalds/budget/budget2.php
http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/07/15/2300321/mcdonalds-buget-low-wage/

This disparity between the way many of our fellow citizens live and the lives of the 1 percent ought to inspire a lot of empathy — and to be fair, in many cases it does. On average, however, widening inequality seems to be reducing, not increasing, empathy, as the life experiences of the affluent diverge from those of ordinary workers, to such an extent that the upper class no longer sees members of the working class as people like themselves.

Of course, Rick Santorum says that this is all “Marxism talk” — even the term “middle class” — because there are no classes in America.


Love for Labor Lost
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/02/opinion/krugman-love-for-labor-lost.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
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