The Ramblings of a Mad Man

Posts tagged “politicians

Vets Deliver “Barry-cades” to the White House

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In U.S., Perceived Need for Third Party Reaches New High

Twenty-six percent believe Democratic and Republican parties do adequate job

by Jeffrey M. Jones
This article is part of an ongoing series analyzing how the government shutdown and the debate over raising the debt ceiling are affecting Americans’ views of government, government leaders, political parties, the economy, and the country in general.

PRINCETON, NJ — Amid the government shutdown, 60% of Americans say the Democratic and Republicans parties do such a poor job of representing the American people that a third major party is needed. That is the highest Gallup has measured in the 10-year history of this question. A new low of 26% believe the two major parties adequately represent Americans.

Trend: Perceived Need for a Third Major U.S. Political Party

The results are consistent with Gallup’s finding of more negative opinions of both parties since the shutdown began, including a new low favorable rating for the Republican Party, and Americans’ widespread dissatisfaction with the way the nation is being governed.

The prior highs in perceived need for a third party came in August 2010, shortly before that year’s midterm elections, when Americans were dissatisfied with government and the Tea Party movement was emerging as a political force; and in 2007, when the newly elected Democratic congressional majority was clashing with then-President George W. Bush.

A majority of Americans have typically favored a third party in response to this question. Notably, support has dropped below the majority level in the last two presidential election years in which Gallup asked the question,2012 and 2008. Support for a third party was lowest in 2003, the first year Gallup asked the question. That year, 40% thought the U.S. needed a third party, while 56% believed the Republicans and Democrats were doing an adequate job.

Republicans, Democrats Equally Likely to See Need for Third Party

Republicans (52%) and Democrats (49%) are similar in their perceptions that a third party is needed. In fact, this marks the first time that a majority of either party’s supporters have said a third party is needed.

Trend: Support for a Third Major U.S. Political Party, by Political Party Affiliation

As would be expected, a majority of independents — those who profess no initial allegiance to either party — have always said the U.S. needs a third party. Seventy-one percent currently hold that view, which has been exceeded twice before, in 2007 and 2010.

Implications

Given the inability of the Republican and Democratic parties to agree on the most basic of government functions — passing an annual budget to pay for federal programs — it is perhaps not surprising that the percentage of Americans who believe a third party is needed has never been higher.

However, the desire for a third party is not sufficient to ensure there will be one. Structural factors in the U.S. election system and the parties’ own abilities to adapt to changing public preferences have helped the Republican and Democratic parties to remain the dominant parties in U.S. government for more than 150 years. Third parties that have emerged to challenge their dominance have not been able to sustain any degree of electoral success.

Survey MethodsResults for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Oct. 3-6, 2013, with a random sample of 1,028 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by region. Landline and cell telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted to correct for unequal selection probability, nonresponse, and double coverage of landline and cell users in the two sampling frames. They are also weighted to match the national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, population density, and phone status (cellphone only/landline only/both, and cellphone mostly). Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2012 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older U.S. population. Phone status targets are based on the July-December 2011 National Health Interview Survey. Population density targets are based on the 2010 census. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

View methodology, full question results, and trend data.

For more details on Gallup’s polling methodology, visit www.gallup.com.

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Reagan warned us about Obama


Let’s try a little math problem

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WW2 Vets Face Arrest For Visiting Their Memorial

This is an outrage!

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An “Honor Flight” (the charity that brings World War II vets to visit their memorials in Washington, DC for free) is planning on bringing World War II vets to visit their memorial in Washington this weekend. But with the government shutdown, not only is the trip being threatened with cancellation, but the government is threatening to ARREST any vet who tries to enter the memorial! This is after the fact that on Monday, October 1st, World War II vets knocked down barriers blocking the WW2 memorial so they could visit it, which was “closed” because of the government shutdown. Nevermind that this memorial is outdoors and never, ever has barriers around it – so why the need now?

Honor Flight flys veterans to visit their memorials in Washington D.C. free of charge so they can see them. Most of these vets from the greatest generation have never seen the memorials built in their honor for saving the world from Nazi Germany and global tyranny.

Northwest Ohio Honor Flight President Lee Armstrong said, ”We will make the call this Friday to determine if the flight is still a go, or if we will have to re-schedule.”

When he contacted the parks service, he was told that if the veterans tried to gain access to the memorial, they would face arrest. “I said, are you kidding me? You’re going to arrest a 90/91-year-old veteran from seeing his memorial? If it wasn’t for them it wouldn’t be there. She said, ‘That’s correct sir.’” said Armstrong.

When he asked for the parks service members name, the quickly hung up the phone.

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TOLEDO – In and around the Glass City, affects of the government shutdown can be seen at our museums, monuments, and national parks. The gates are closed and locked, denying access completely to the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge.

Transportation Safety Administration employees were still working at Toledo Express Airport on Monday, but when WNWO called the TSA to find out if they would be affected, there was a message that said the public relations representative did not have access to her voicemail or email due to the government shutdown.

A letter from Rep. Marcy Kaptur’s (D-OH 9) office reads,”…only services deemed essential for the safety of human life and protection of property will be continued.”

Yet, for a group of World War II veterans visiting the national memorial in Washington D.C., an all expense paid trip which is called an ”Honor Flight,” the shutdown was not stopping them from seeing the tribute that was inspired by them.

“It just goes to show you why we won World War II,” says Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio President Lee Armstrong.

Many elderly veterans, some in wheelchairs, broke through the barriers set up around the memorial, as police, park service employees, and tourists looked on. “The Germans and the Japanese couldn’t contain us. They weren’t going to let barriers contain them today. They wanted to see their memorial,” says Armstrong.

Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio has a trip scheduled to depart from Toledo next Wednesday, October 9.

“We will make the call this Friday to determine if the flight is still a go, or if we will have to re-schedule,” Armstrong explains.

He says they are considering going ahead with the trip even if the government is still on shutdown, but when he called the parks service, he was told they would face arrest. “I said, are you kidding me? You’re going to arrest a 90/91-year-old veteran from seeing his memorial? If it wasn’t for them it wouldn’t be there. She said, ‘That’s correct sir.’”

When Armstrong asked for her name, he says she did not give it to him and then promptly hung up the phone.

99% of veterans on Honor Flights have never had the opportunity to see the memorial that is devoted to their service.

Through October, the are over 35,000 veterans scheduled to visit the site, more than 900 in the next five days alone.

It may all be waiting in limbo if the government can’t complete their job.

Read More from WNWO

– See more at: http://americanmilitarynews.com/2013/10/ww2-vets-face-arrest-for-visiting-their-memorial/#sthash.3AHX13Kk.dpuf

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WWII veterans storm D.C. memorial closed by government shutdown

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WASHINGTON — Wheelchair-bound elderly veterans pushed aside barricades to tour the World War II Memorial Tuesday morning, in defiance of the government shutdown which closed all of the memorials in the nation’s capital.

The four bus loads of veterans — visiting from Mississippi as part of a once-in-a-lifetime Honor Flight tour — ignored National Park Police instructions not to enter the site as lawmakers and tourists cheered them on.

“We didn’t come this far not to get in,” one veteran proclaimed.

The scene was both emotional and comical at once. After it was clear they had lost control of the situation, Park Police officials stood aside, telling press that they had “asked for guidance on how to respond” to the breach of security.

As 80-something veterans slowly walked around the massive war memorial, Park Police stood quietly to the side, advising other tourists that the site was technically still closed. But they made no moves to stop the wishes of the war heroes.

The memorial was closed because of the government shutdown that started 11 hours earlier, after lawmakers failed to pass a temporary budget plan to keep nonessential federal programs operating. Republicans and Democrats have been stalled in budget fight for weeks, mostly over legislative add-ons dealing with the new healthcare law.

As a result, more than 800,000 federal employees were furloughed Tuesday, set to return only after Congress reaches a compromise. National parks and federal buildings were closed down. And the WWII Memorial — along with the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and much of the rest of the Capitol — were barricaded, to keep tourists away.

Several Republican lawmakers were on hand to greet the Mississippi Honor Flight veterans at the memorial on Tuesday and nodded thoughtfully as the greatest generation representatives voiced their displeasure at being turned away from their own memorial.

Organizers said the trip took months of planning and nearly $100,000 in donations for airfare, food and buses. A dozen more are scheduled in the next week.

“It’s great to be here, but it’s really disappointing that we can’t get closer to see it,” said Gene Tolley, a Marine Corps veteran who served in the Pacific during the war. “I came through the city back in high school, but I was looking forward to coming back and seeing this.”

He got his wish.

As Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, distracted a Park Police representative, other lawmakers and their staff helped topple the metal fences. A bagpiper on hand for the event led the men past the crowd and into the heart of the memorial, attracting a large, applauding crowd.

“This just means so much to me,” said Alex “Lou” Pitalo, an Army vet who also served in the Pacific during WWII. “I waited 70 years to get a welcome like this. And to get to see this and to have all those people clapping … I’m just so happy. This was amazing.”

Officials from the Honor Flight network, which organized the tour, said they have advised upcoming trip planners that the memorials will not be open to the public, and to plan accordingly.

Meanwhile, at press time, Park Police said they were still reviewing how to handle similar problems in the future, since they still have no indication when the government shutdown will be resolved.

From Stars & Stripes

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Obama to sign military pay bill

By AUSTIN WRIGHT | 9/30/13 5:35 PM EDT Updated: 10/1/13 1:13 AM EDT
President Barack Obama plans to sign a last-minute bill authorizing paychecks for troops and some Defense Department workers and contractors if the government shuts down, the White House said Monday.

The House-passed bill to ensure the military is paid was approved without dissent in the Senate on Monday — a rare bipartisan agreement as Congress stumbled toward midnight when the fiscal year ends and current appropriations expire.

The measure would also ensure continued pay for civilian employees of the Defense Department and Pentagon contractors whom Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel determines “are providing support to members of the Armed Forces.”

It was unclear Monday evening how Hagel might apply that authority — whether he would spare only a few civilians and contractors from furloughs, or large numbers of them. A Pentagon spokesman said he could not comment on “pending legislation.”

The spokesman restated the Pentagon’s position that “there is enough time for Congress to prevent a lapse in appropriations, and we hope that Congress will work with the administration to complete a continuing resolution to fund critical government functions prior to Oct. 1.”

Put forward by House Republicans, the troop-pay bill is considered good politics for the GOP, since analysts suggest the party could bear the brunt of the blame for any government disruption.

Following the bill’s passage, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) took to the Senate floor to offer Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a backhanded compliment, praising the Nevada Democrat for not holding pay for service members “hostage.”

“The soldiers and sailors and airmen and Marines who risk their lives for this nation should not have their paychecks held hostage to any government shutdown in Washington,” said Cruz, who has led the charge in urging his fellow conservatives to demand that any bill to fund the government past Monday include provisions delaying Obamacare.

Democrats, meanwhile, said the bill to fund the troops wouldn’t make a government shutdown any more palatable — and insisted they hadn’t given up any leverage by easing some of the potential pain for the military.

“There’s no shortage of pain here,” said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.).

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), another member of the Armed Services Committee, agreed. “It’s important to the country that we show support for the troops,” she said, “but there’s still going to be pain out there.”

“I don’t think it makes it easier for the Republicans to shut down the government over us not agreeing to repeal Obamacare after we had an election last November that decided it,” McCaskill said.

And Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, noted the bill was no cure-all for the Defense Department. “There will be many aspects of the military, of DoD, that won’t get paid,” she said.

On Friday, Pentagon officials described the potential effects of a shutdown on the military, saying pay for service members could be delayed and many civilian employees would be furloughed, potentially losing out on their pay entirely.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/government-shutdown-senate-sends-obama-military-pay-bill-97582.html#ixzz2gSWDr9iE

It’s all smoke and mirrors, boys and girls. The Republicans knew that our pay shouldn’t be held hostage with a shutdown, and the Dems wanted a way to pin all the blame on the GOP. We are not fooled one bit by this. Yes, those of us in uniform will breathe a sigh of relief, but that doesn’t mean that we are drinking the Liberal kool-aid.