Tag Archives: Government Shutdown

Drunk Dial Congress: The New Town Hall Meetings

Drunk Dial Congress

Tired of the government shutdown? Enjoy binge drinking at home? Well now you can combine the two with the new website called Drunk Dial Congress!

The new Drunk Dial Congress site prompts visitors to enter their phone number. A few seconds later you will get a call that connects you to a random member of Congress. The site, which also offers aptly named drink recipes such as the Southern Congressman and the Sleepy Senator, says “Now’s you chance to tell your Representative what you really think of their actions.” While drunk, of course.

There’s no testing of your blood-alcohol content (it’s a website, not breathalyzer) but the site recommends you do it while drunk – it makes for better comments.

So write down all your complaints, fix yourself one of the suggested drinks, and drunk dial Congress. From the looks of the recipes, you’ll only need one or two of the drinks to do the job… they look pretty potent.

And if you don’t have any complaints, then you can just pull a classic prank call:

Caller: Hey Congress, is your government running?

Congress: No, no it’s not.

Caller: Oh ok… I guess you don’t have to go catch it then.

~Click~

Via: drunkdialcongress.org

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Government Shutdown Update: STILL NO PROGRESS

Government Boehner

Yesterday Obama attempted to make a temporary deal with Republicans: reopen the government and extend the debt ceiling in exchange for long-term talks.

House Speaker John Boehner rejected the offer, calling the request an “unconditional surrender.”

“The president said today if there’s unconditional surrender by Republicans, he’ll sit down and talk to us,” Boehner said on Tuesday. “That’s not the way our government works.”

All we’re asking for is to sit down and have a conversation,” Boehner continued. “There’s no reason to make it more difficult to bring people to the table. There’s no boundaries here. There’s nothing on the table, there’s nothing off the table. I’m trying to do everything I can to bring people together and have a conversation.”

But Obama and Democrats are holding firm, saying they would only be willing to have that conversation after Republicans reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. So it’s back to square one.

Meanwhile, the Democrats have been experimenting with some new tactics to try and get the Republicans to cave. Two House Democrats are calling for the House gym and spa to be closed during the shutdown. Reps. Bill Foster (D-Ill.) and Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.) are insisting that Congress shouldn’t enjoy perks while others are not getting paid and have asked John Boehner to deem the tax-payer funded House gym non-essential for the duration of the shutdown. So far, the Republicans have yet to comment, but judging from the looks of them, they wouldn’t be too concerned if the gym closed.

Out of Shape

Except for Paul Ryan. He will be devastated. 

Paul Ryan Working OUt

If the gym threat fails (and it will), Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) has another idea: pointing out Congress’ rapidly declining approval ratings. In a speech on the House floor, Grayson pointed to recent polls and read out a list of items that the American people found more likable than Congress.

“What do you have a higher opinion of, Congress or witches? Congress, 32 percent; witches, 46 percent,” he said. “What do you have a higher opinion of, Congress or hemorrhoids? Congress, 31 percent; hemorrhoids, 53 percent. What do you have a higher opinion of, Congress or dog poop? Congress 40 percent; dog poop 47 percent.”

Unfortunately the Speaker cut Grayson’s dog poop speech short and it was quickly added to the list of things Congressional Republicans have shut down.

Via: The Huffington Post

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Government Shutdown Update: NO PROGRESS

Government Shutdown No Progress

President Obama called House Speaker John Boehner earlier today and told him that he will NOT negotiate with Republicans until they end the shutdown and agree to raise the debt limit.

The president then called a press conference and pretty much reiterated that to the American people. Obama said any negotiations on the ongoing government shutdown or the debt limit “shouldn’t require hanging the threats of a shutdown or economic chaos over the heads of the American people”. So end the shutdown and then we’ll talk!

Obama called those Republicans considering a default “irresponsible” and “out of touch with reality,” saying that they’re too scared of Tea Party challengers to side with the Democrats / think logically. He urged the House to pass “clean” proposals that don’t have partisan amendments pushing GOP priorities… or the consequences could be dire.

Obama also apologized to Americans for the partisan deadlock.

“We’ve got to stop repeating this pattern. I know the American people are tired of it,” the president said, adding: “I apologize you have to go through this stuff every three months, it seems like. And Lord knows, I’m tired of it. At some point we’ve got to break these habits.”

JohnKerryAsiaSummitAPBut most of all, Obama was upset that he missed out on his trip to Asia. He had to send John Kerry as a stand-in at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Indonesia. This could have been him!!! —->

“I should have been there,” Obama said. “It’s like me not showing up at my own party.

The President criticized Republican lawmakers further by saying that the government shutdown and the missed opportunities that result from it hurt America’s credibility around the world. Although, to be fair, wearing that outfit may have hurt his credibility even more…

Via: The New York Times

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Michele Bachmann Thinks The End Of The World Is Near… And Other News

Michele Bachmann

Crazy ole congresswomen Michelle Bachmann is claiming that “we are in God’s End Times” because President Obama is supplying al-Qaeda with arms.

He’s not, but if he were it certainly wouldn’t be the first time the US government gave terrorists weapons and had it come back and bite them in the ass. Anyways, Michele Bachmann takes the scripture seriously and believes Obama giving arms to Syrian rebels is going to bring on the Second Coming of Christ. But she also said that Obamacare would “literally” kill women, children and senior citizens and that HPV vaccinations cause mental retardation. So… she’s clearly had her HPV vaccination. The Atlantic Wire

obama boehnerTurns out shutting down the government wasn’t the best way to win over the hearts of Americans. According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, 70 percent of Americans disapprove of the way congressional Republicans are handling the budget negotiations. And 51 percent “strongly” disapprove. On the flip side, President Obama’s approval rating has risen a few points, although 51 percent of Americans still disapprove of the way he has handled the crisis with 39 percent “strongly” disapproving. Note: 40 percent of that 39 percent is made up of Ted Cruz. Washington Post

Dubai taxiAnd the father of the year goes to… the Middle Eastern version of Kevin McCallister’s dad. The award winning father left his five-year-old son in the back of a taxi in Dubai as he and his family rushed to make their flight home. The family grabbed their bags out of the cab and ran to the departure desk but forgot about the boy sleeping in the back of the car. Once the father realized he pulled a Home Alone, he contacted the Dubai police and they tracked down the cab using CCTV footage and alerted the driver – who apparently had no idea there was a kid in the backseat. Or did he…? 7 Days in Dubai

Italy ShipwreckShipwreck report: Rescue workers are still searching for bodies from a boat carrying African migrants that sank off the coast of Italy last week.  The death toll is now at 274 and is still rising. The survivor count is now at 155 and probably won’t be rising… The boat was carrying about 500 passengers – mostly from Eritrea and Somalia. When you don’t bother with life-jackets you can really squeeze people in! But survivors tapped into their survival skills and developed make-shift floating devices: the dead bodies of their companions. And once again, the captain did NOT go down with the ship. Instead he’s in custody in Agrigento, Sicily. As for the survivors, they’re waiting in a cramped migrant detention center waiting to see if they will be deported or if the Italian government will give them a pity stay. CNN

Malaria VaccineThere might be a lot less diarrhea in Africa soon… and a lot fewer child deaths. In its 30 year fight against malaria, British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline says it’s found the world’s first malaria vaccine. The pharmaceutical agency is seeking regulatory approval for the vaccine after trial data showed that it had cut the number of cases in African children. Malaria, which is spread by evil mosquitos, is the leading cause of death by disease and has been a pet project of Bill Gates’ for years. Thanks Bill! The Telegraph

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Fox & Friends: Republicans Pay to Reopen War Memorial While Obama Pays to Fund Museum of Muslim Culture

Fox & Friends Osamabama

If there was any doubt before (there wasn’t) that Fox News isn’t exactly a reliable news source, it has now been removed.

On Saturday our friends at Fox & Friends were shocked and appalled that the government shutdown was affecting the World War II Memorial. Last week war veterans were denied access to the memorial because it falls under the category of National Parks, which are closed as a result of the Republican-led government shutdown. Or, as Tucker Carlson believes, they were denied access because Obama wants to see them suffer.

The only reason they’re doing this is to make people suffer. It’s appalling! The government is acting as your enemy!” Tucker Carlson squawked.

But don’t worry your little bowtie off Tucker. Co-host Anna Kooiman, assured him that The Republican National Committee is offering to pay for the memorial to stay open during the shutdown. Well that’s awfully nice of them. And what’s Obama doing for the veterans? According to Kooiman, nothing! Instead, President Obama is offering to personally pay for a “museum of Muslim culture” during the government shutdown.

“The Republican National Committee is offering to pay for it to keep it open so that the veterans from Honor Flight are going to be able to go and see this because who did it honor? It honored them. It really doesn’t seem fair, especially — and we’re going to talk a little bit later in the show too about some things that are continuing to be funded. And President Obama has offered to pay out of his own pocket for the museum of Muslim culture out of his own pocket, yet it’s the Republican National Committee who’s paying for this.” Kooiman said on the show.

Unfortunately for Anna Kooiman and her Foxy friends, Obama is not paying out of pocket for a museum of Muslim culture. He’s not even Muslim!!! The story originated from the satirical website the National Report, a detail that managed to get by Fox & Friends’ hard-working “fact-checkers”.

Now this isn’t the first time someone has mistaken a satirical website for actual news. China’s People’s Daily Online believed the Onion’s story that North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un was voted America’s “Sexiest Man Alive for 2012”, reprinting quotes describing him having an “air of power that masks an unmistakable cute, cuddly side” and “impeccable fashion sense.”

The Canadian satirical news site The Lapine, wrote an article about Prime Minister Stephen Harper who reportedly told a crowd that he enjoys “twerking” but only does it with close friends and “every now and then with President Obama.” Insinuating the Harper mistook twerking for tweeting, the article was a hit with Canadians, many not realizing it was fake. I mean, Harper obviously knows what twerking is – he has a teenage daughter.

And that’s not the only twerking story that’s fooled people. A couple of weeks ago the National Report (again!) released a story that a small town in Louisiana had banned twerking, calling it a “defiant act against Jesus and his teachings”.  Considering the same small town banned Koreans for being “slanted-eye freaks,” I’m pretty sure it was a fake… But hopefully the twerking article was convincing enough that we’ll never have to see Fox & Friends’ Host Gretchen Carlson murdering the twerk again.

Via: Media Matters

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Chuck Hagel Says Get Back to Work!

Current EVent Cat - Chuck Hagel

It’s back to business for the Pentagon! Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel ordered most of the Department of Defense’s 400,000 civilian employees back to work.

If Chuck Hagel has to work, everybody has to work! Or at least 350,000 of the 400,000 US defense department employees who were sent home amid the government shutdown. Hagel said his decision was based on an interpretation of the Pay Our Military Act. The act, which was passed on Tuesday, ensures that members of the military will continue to be paid on time as they work throughout the shutdown. Chuck Hagel took one took at the Act and said that applies to the Pentagon too. Everybody back to work on Monday!

The Pentagon employees made up nearly half of the 800,000 government employees furloughed since the shutdown last Tuesday – which kind of takes some of the urgency away from negotiating a deal on the federal budget…

Meanwhile, both sides of the House have unanimously approved a bill ordering back pay for those 800,000 furloughed government employees. And you know what that means…. paid vacation!! I bet those Pentagon workers are cursing Chuck Hagel for sending them back to the office. They could have been sitting back living the life of a Republican Congressman (i.e. being paid to do nothing).

Nevertheless, it’s nice to see a rare moment of bipartisanship, where Republicans and Democrats come together for the good of the American people (and the good of their reelection chances). Now all we need is a dickish quip from Republican Speaker John Boehner to ruin the moment.

“It’s encouraging to see both parties come together to provide fairness for the 800,000 federal workers hurt by this shutdown,” Speaker Boehner said. “Now we should do something about the 800,000 jobs being destroyed by the president’s health care law.”

That’ll do.

Via: NBC News & Current Event Cats

US Rep. Renee Ellmers Needs Her Paycheck… And Other News

Renee Ellmers

Furloughed employees – blah blah blah. The bottom line is that Renee Ellmers NEEDS her paycheck.

The US government shutdown has furloughed some 800,000 federal employees who must go without pay until the Republicans and the Democrats become friends. But since they President and the members of Congress are considered “essential” to the country, they are still being paid. In lieu of this, some members of the Republican party have announced that they will be foregoing their paychecks during the GOP-led shutdown. But not North Carolina’s Renee Ellmers! The Republican congresswoman said that she needs her $170,000 annual salary too much to donate it. “I need my paycheck. That’s the bottom line,” Renee Ellmers said to Raleigh’s WTVD Channel 11. “I understand that there may be some other members who are deferring their paychecks, and I think that’s admirable. I’m not in that position.” I don’t think the 800,000 furloughed employees are in that position either – but they don’t have a choice…or a rich surgeon for a husband. Raw Story

Hell RideLast weekend a pack of motorcyclists overreacted to some classic Asian driving. A driver of a SUV accidently rear-ended a biker on the road and when he pulled over to see if he was ok, the bikers attacked! Fearing for his life, the driver, Alexian Lien, sped away, running over one of the bikers in the process. The motorcyclists, who included an undercover NYPD cop, followed him, smashed the SUV windows, pulled the dad out of the car and beat him while his wife and toddler watched from the car. The cop, who did not want to blow his cover, did nothing to stop the attack. He has since lawyered up. NBC News

GiapHe ousted the US from Vietnam and now Jesus (?) has ousted him from earth. North Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap died on Friday at the ripe age of 102.  The General was most famous for his battlefield victory at Dien Bien Phu which drove France out of the country as well as his relentless resistance to US troops. The former teacher turned respected military figure was among the last survivors of the generation that saw Vietnam go from colonial rule to communism. New York Times

Police officers investigate the scene where a man set himself on fire in front of the U.S. Capitol on the U.S. National Mall in WashingtonDC is really going crazy… Did they shutdown all the psychiatric facilities too? One day after a delusional woman who believed President Obama was spying on her crashed into the White House gates, a man lit himself on fire on the National Mall while facing the US Capitol. The unidentified man doused himself in gasoline and set himself ablaze while nearby joggers attempted to extinguish him with their sweaty jogging shorts. The victim was “conscious and breathing” when firefighters arrived to airlift him to the hospital. No word yet on his motivation for burning himself alive or whether or not he had signed up for Obamacare yet. USA Today

Egyptian clashesI guess that ban on all Muslim Brotherhood related activities didn’t quite take. Supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood clashed with opponents and Egyptian riot police in central Cairo. The Brotherhood buddies were marching in protest on their way to Tahrir Square when security forces intervened. The police resorted to the tactic of firing tear gas into the crowds. Better than firing bullets! Oh wait, they did that too. Four people are reported dead and at least 40 others injured.  BBC News

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Washington DC Continues its Downward Spiral

Washington DC Shooting

Washington DC is losing it. The United States Capitol was locked down around 2:30 p.m after multiple shots were fired in front of the building. First a shutdown, then a lockdown? DC is a hot mess.

The lockdown only lasted 30 minutes after multiple gunshots were reported on Capital Hill. Police believe it was an isolated incident that began when female driver tried to ram her car into White House gate. A high speed chase ensued and ended outside of the Capitol building when she was fired on upon exiting the vehicle. A police officer was injured in the car crash and a small child was found unhurt in the suspect’s car. In a city is still reeling from the Navy Yard shooting that left 12 people dead, residents were understandably on edge.

No word yet on what the driver was trying to accomplish, but my sources (aka my cats) tell me she was probably trying to lock the politicians in the Capitol building until they can figure out a solution to the government shutdown. Or she was an angry tourist frustrated at being unable to properly see the Washington DC sites. Or a furloughed federal employee out for revenge. Or a confused citizen trying to figure out how to sign up for Obamacare. The possibilities are endless!

Meanwhile, talks between President Obama and congressional leaders have failed to end the political deadlock. Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Senate leader Mitch McConnell continue to complain that Obama and the Democrats will not negotiate. Obama says he is not budging and refused to set a precedent where “an extremist wing” of a party holds a government to ransom. Fair enough.

Via: The New York Times

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Actual Government Shutdown

Current EVent Cat - Government Shutdown

Well, now they’ve done it. For the first time in 17 years, the US government shutdown, going from doing basically nothing to doing literally nothing.

The shutdown happened Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. when, after a lot of back and forth, Congress failed to pass a temporary spending bill to continue funding government services.

The Office of Management and Budget began preparations for the shutdown and issued orders shortly before the midnight deadline that “agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations” because the two houses of Congress failed to agree on a new budget. More than 800,000 federal employees now face unpaid leave with no guarantee that they will receive back pay once the shutdown is over. But on the bright side, at least Congress won’t be paid either! Oh wait…. yes they will. Apparently they are considered an “essential function of the government.” Oh the irony…

The economy will also feel a hit from the shutdown. The dollar fell on Tuesday and it is estimated that a three-week shutdown could shave as much as 0.9% from US GDP this quarter. In addition, national parks, museums, federal buildings and government services have been shut down indefinitely. Basically it’s a bad week to be a tourist in the US. Or a space nerd – because NASA is gone too.

Despite not being able to break their bitter budget standoff, Republicans and Democrats do agree on one thing: it’s 100% the other’s fault.

Even though the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare, aka the downfall of the American way of life for reasons no one can clearly explain) was passed fair and square four years ago, was upheld by the Supreme Court and was part of Obama’s reelection platform, Republicans still think the whole thing is unfair and are appalled that the Democrats are unwilling to negotiate with them. I mean, they’re willing to negotiate with IRAN and not Republicans? Actually, I guess that says something about Republicans…

House Speaker John A. Boehner spoke with Obama as the midnight deadline approached and it did not go well. Boehner summed up Obama’s remarks as: “I’m not going to negotiate. I’m not going to negotiate.”

And what do the Democrats think?

They’ve lost their minds,” Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader,  said, before throwing out another House bill that removed Obamacare. “They keep trying to do the same thing over and over again.”

President Obama was equally frustrated. Shortly after midnight, Obama tweeted: “They actually did it. A group of Republicans in the House just forced a government shutdown over Obamacare instead of passing a real budget.”

But I think Representative Devin Nunes sums it up best: “It’s moronic to shut down the government over this.” And he’s a Republican. 

Via: The New York Times

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Government Shutdown

Current Event Cat - Shutdown

The U.S. government could shutdown on Tuesday if Congress can’t reach a deal on a temporary spending budget bill, costing more than 700,000 jobs and $200 million a day in the Washington area.

Looks like Senator Ted Cruz found something that was a bigger job killer than Obamacare: himself.

The Democrats and Republicans have been going back and forth on this bill – adding funding for Obamacare (Democrats), removing funding for Obamacare (Republicans), reciting children’s books for 21 hours for no reason (Ted Cruz), re-adding funding for Obamacare (Democrats), etc.

The political bickering isn’t just limited to Democrats vs. Republicans. Fighting has occurred within the Republican party as well, between those who hate Obamacare so much that they’d be willing to shutdown government and those who don’t hate it that much and realize that the economic and political consequences of a Republican-induced shutdown would probably be worse than requiring Americans get health insurance.

Congress has until midnight tonight to get their sh*t together and pass the temporary spending bill in order to avoid a shutdown and continue funding the federal government’s operations, employees, and services.

But as of now the ball is in the Senate’s court. At 2pm on Monday, the Senate will take up the House-approved spending bill, which delays implementing Obamacare for another year. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has already vowed to reject the House bill and its new amendments, saying “the American people will not be extorted by Tea Party anarchists” and any changes to Obamacare would be a deal-killer. So once again, they’ll take out the anti-Obamacare stuff and send it back to Congress. And this process will continue until the Republicans agree to it or until 12:01am when everything goes black.

And to make matters worse, the debt ceiling crisis is back and is far more worrisome than some temporary spending bill… but let’s just deal with one government showdown at a time.

Via: CNN & Current Event Cats