Yes, Even The Taliban Is Mocking The Shutdown

Taliban

The Article: Taliban mocks U.S. government shutdown in USA Today.

The Text: Even the Taliban is mocking the federal government shutdown.

The terrorist group that is fighting U.S. troops to return to power in Afghanistan accused politicians of “sucking the blood of their own people,” reported Agence France-Presse and Al-Arabiya news service.

“The American people should realize that their politicians play with their destinies as well as the destinies of other oppressed nations for the sake of their personal vested interests,” said the statement issued by the Taliban.

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Moderate Republicans Are Extinct

gop-elephant

The Article: What Moderate Republicans? by Andrew Sullivan in The Dish.

The Text: Barro believes they’re all talk:

If you look at members’ actions and votes instead of their statements, the number of Republicans in the House who favor a clean CR and oppose the Cruz-driven strategy of shutdown and hostage-taking is not 21. It’s 0. The entire House Republican caucus is responsible for its shutdown-based legislative strategy. The only difference among the members is that Tea Party conservatives have the decency to admit what they’re up to.

Elias Isquith piles on:

If [Peter] King were half the maverick the media’s made him out to be, he’d have more to show for himself than a handful of headlines from liberal outlets cheering at the sight of internal GOP dysfunction. He’d have some votes to back it up. But as Brian Beutler has demonstrated, tangible evidence of real opposition to the Tea Party order is exactly what Peter King lacks. At nearly every critical juncture, at almost every moment when he could’ve taken a stand against his party’s recklessness, Peter King did exactly nothing. Take away the media spotlight, the salacious pull-quote, and the hard-eyed glare. Leave the legislative record — both before and during the shutdown crisis. Stop and take a gander at what’s left to see. You’ll find one procedural vote of dissent: little to look at, much less to praise.

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How The Koch Brothers Engineered The Shutdown

Koch Brothers

The Article: The 5 creepiest things about how the Koch brothers engineered the shutdown by Robyn Pennacchia in Death And Taxes.

The Text: This weekend, The New York Times revealed how the Koch Brothers and Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese engineered this here shutdown we’re dealing with right now, and how they’d been planning it ever since Obama was reelected. I wasn’t especially shocked by it, myself. Hell, half of the Tea Party people in the House actually campaigned on it. Which is why I have been annoyed as hell with the whole “Oh, well, it’s really both parties at fault here!” line of reasoning that some people have been trying to take.

Anyway, in case you’re not hep to it, months and months before the shutdown happened, Freedomworks, one of the fake astroturfing groups set up by The Brothers Koch, with the assistance of Reagan Attorney General Ed Meech, created a blueprint for how it was all supposed to go down. They also created a “tool kit” for dealing with it. And they had the chutzpah to actually post these things online, in plain view of god and everyone.

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Jimmy Carter: Today’s Middle Class Resembles Past’s Poor

Jimmy Carter

The Article: Carter: Middle Class Today Resembles Past’s Poor by in The Associated Press.

The Text: Former President Jimmy Carter said Monday that the income gap in the United States has increased to the point where members of the middle class resemble the Americans who lived in poverty when he occupied the White House.

Carter offered his assessment of the nation’s economic challenges Monday at a Habitat for Humanity construction site in Oakland – the first of five cities he and wife Rosalynn plan to visit this week to commemorate their three-decade alliance with the international nonprofit that promotes and builds affordable housing.

The recent economic downturn revealed that families living in even comparatively well-off, but expensive regions like the San Francisco Bay Area are economically insecure, he said.

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David Byrne: The Rich Are Ruining Creativity In New York

David Byrne

The Article: Will Work for Inspiration by David Byrne in Creative Time Reports.

The Text: I’m writing this in Venice, Italy. This city is a pleasantly confusing maze, once an island of fortresses, and now a city of tourists, culture (biennales galore) and crumbling relics. Venice used to be the most powerful city in Europe—a military, mercantile and cultural leader. Sort of like New York.

Venice is now a case study in the complete transformation of a city (there’s public transportation, but NO cars). Is it a living city? Is it a fossil? The mayor of Venice recently wrote a letter to the New York Review of Books, arguing that his city is indeed a place to live, not simply a theme park for tourists (he would like very much if the big cruise ships steered clear). I guess it’s a living place if you count tourism as an industry, which I suppose it is. New York has its share of tourists, too. I wave to the double-decker buses from my bike, but the passengers never wave back. Why? Am I not an attraction?

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