This week, Michael and Dale discuss the government shutdown.
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A tour group to Yellowstone Park was in the midst of their tour when the government shutdown occurred. Apparently, there was some nastiness. They were sent to the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone, and, as near as I can tell, illegally imprisoned.
The seniors quickly filed back onboard and the bus went to the Old Faithful Inn, the park’s premier lodge located adjacent to the park’s most famous site, Old Faithful geyser. That was as close as they could get to the famous site — barricades were erected around Old Faithful, and the seniors were locked inside the hotel, where armed rangers stayed at the door.
“They looked like Hulk Hogans, armed. They told us you can’t go outside,” she said. “Some of the Asians who were on the tour said, ‘Oh my God, are we under arrest?’ They felt like they were criminals.”
Well, they certainly seem to have been treated like criminals. They were lawfully present in the Park when the Park Service closed it, they were rounded up and sent to a park facility where they were required to remain indoors under armed guard, for two days. I’m no lawyer, but I’m pretty sure that constitutes a case of false imprisonment, to wit, the “illegal confinement of one individual against his or her will by another individual in such a manner as to violate the confined individual’s right to be free from restraint of movement.” If so, since the Park Rangers were acting in their official capacity, this should also constitute the crime of violating civil rights under the color of authority. I suspect that if I had been in that group, I would be in jail right now for openly defying the Park Rangers.
If these people don’t launch a massive lawsuit against the government, then they’re fools.
Frankly, I’m beginning to suspect the Second Amendment has some other purpose than protecting our right to hunt.
The Treasury Budget and Import/Export Prices reports have been delayed due to the government shutdown.
Chain stores reported reported today that September retail sales were mainly flat.
Initial jobless claims rose 66,000 last week, to 374,000, due to some counting issues. The 4-week moving average rose 20,000to 325,000. Continuing claims fell 16,000 to 2.905 million.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell 3 ticks -29.7.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $11.3 billion last week, with total assets of $3.759 trillion. Reserve Bank credit increased $13.7 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 Money Supply increased by $50.4 billion last week.
I’d like to say this is astonishing, and it would be if a Republican was in the White House because our press would make it so. But with Obama? Meh:
“President Obama said that increasing the debt limit does not increase the debt,” the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee says in a statement. “But when the Treasury department started using so-called extraordinary measures to avoid a breach of the debt ceiling in May, 2011, the debt limit stood at $14,294 billion.
“Today it stands at $16,699 billion, which was reached when Treasury started using extraordinary measures in May of this year. That’s a $2,405 billion increase in 2 years.
“Meanwhile, the economy, as measured by GDP only increased by $1,199 billion between the second quarter of 2011 and the second quarter of this year.
“So the debt increased twice as much as the economy over the last two years, the very definition of unsustainable. The growth of a nation’s debt cannot for long exceed the growth of its economy – which is precisely what is happening now.”
If you need a picture, try this:
And, of course, they’re asking for more. So here’s the question: If we give them more, what will they want next? Answer: Why more, of course.
So at some point, you have to say “no” don’t you?
Well common sense says you do, but apparently for this crowd, that sense isn’t at all that common.
So we do the circus thing, year after year after year and we build charts like this?
Hell, that’s the chart of a 3rd world country.
And the word that should be plaster across the top of it is “unsustainable”.
Meanwhile, in DC, they continue to wrangle over more debt.
Not that I care, particularly, who gets the blame in all of this. Frankly I’m with the “a pox on both your houses” group that finds the entire Congress and the President to be equally at blame. But then there’s the “I’m fine with the shutdown and it is important for the GOP to make the spending point” that finds me mostly on the GOP’s side.
Look, we’ve seen the government shutdown before. And despite all the scare rhetoric, we’re not going to default on our debt. Nope, this is about how inconvenient this bunch who continues to want to run up debt can make this shutdown seem to the voters. The idea, obviously, is to have them screaming and whining enough to push the GOP into their usual position – the dying cockroach, where they give in and let the Democrats have their way. Result? The usual – more spending and more debt.
Anyway, to the AP poll:
The Associated Press-GfK survey, out Wednesday, affirms expectations by many in Washington — Republicans among them — that the GOP may end up taking the biggest hit in public opinion from the fiscal paralysis, just as that party did when much of the government closed 17 years ago. But the situation is fluid nine days into the shutdown and there’s plenty of disdain to go around.
Overall, 62 percent mainly blamed Republicans for the shutdown. About half said Obama or the Democrats in Congress bear much responsibility.
“About half” blame the Dems and Obama. Yet, Obama’s approval ratings drop by 10 points from his previous low of 47%. Hmmm. Must be more to it than “about half”, huh?
But the media spin machine prefers to lay it on the GOP.
As for ginning up support to pressure the GOP to cave, there’s still a ways to go:
More than 4 in 5 respondents felt no personal impact from the shutdown. For those who did, thwarted vacations to national parks, difficulty getting work done without federal contacts at their desks and hitches in government benefits were among the complaints.
And the “impact” with the worst optics (and mostly blamed on the administration)? The Gestapo like tactics of the Park police and the “Barrycades” at national monuments and parks.
— Sixty-eight percent said the shutdown is a major problem for the country, including majorities of Republicans (58 percent), Democrats (82 percent) and independents (57 percent).
— Fifty-two percent said Obama is not doing enough to cooperate with Republicans to end the shutdown; 63 percent say Republicans aren’t doing enough to cooperate with him.
— Republicans are split on just how much cooperation they want. Among those who do not back the tea party, fully 48 percent say their party should be doing more with Obama to find a solution. But only 15 percent of tea-party Republicans want that outreach. The vast majority of them say GOP leaders are doing what they should with the president, or should do even less with him.
— People seem conflicted or confused about the showdown over the debt limit. Six in 10 predict an economic crisis if the government’s ability to borrow isn’t renewed later this month with an increase in the debt limit — an expectation widely shared by economists. Yet only 30 percent say they support raising the limit; 46 percent were neutral on the question.
I didn’t look into the numbers on the poll, but I’d bet it is a bit Democrat heavy. That said, it’s interesting that a majority within that poll said Obama isn’t cooperating enough. That’s right, that’s over half. Somehow that’s buried in all of this (and yeah, that’s not just ‘about half’, that’s over half).
And the real story within the poll:
Most Americans disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job, the poll suggests, with 53 percent unhappy with his performance and 37 percent approving of it.
It seems to me the “blame” is pretty evenly divided. I guess you can claim the GOP is getting most of it, but when you see an already low presidential approval rating drop by 10 point in the matter of a couple of weeks right in the middle of this nonsense, it’s hard to claim that 53% of the voters aren’t blaming the President.
However, if your messaging is directed toward blaming the GOP, well, you just sort of bury that in the story.
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell 0.2 points in September, to 93.9 vice 94.1 in August.
ICSC-Goldman reports retail sales fell -0.1% this week, and were up only 2.1% on a year-ago basis. Redbook’s same-store sales growth fell to a year-on-year plus 3.3%.
The International Trade report is unavailable to the government shutdown.