- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 4, 2014

Despite all the nervous rustling and aggressive banter on Capitol Hill, there is no pending “government shutdown,” declares Libertarian National Committee chairman Nicholas Sarwark, who has considerable contempt for the term so beloved by the news media and politicians themselves. “Nor has there ever been anything close to a government shutdown in modern American history. The term ‘government shutdown’ is designed to scare people into thinking there can be no police protection, military defense, road repairs or other essential services unless Americans cough up more money to fund the ludicrously over-funded federal government. This is a manipulation and a lie,” Mr. Sarwark says.

“Call it what it is: a government slowdown,” he continues, explaining that a slowdown merely reduces spending to the level of taxes collected. “Tell Americans the truth: We need much more than a slowdown. We need to dramatically and permanently roll back the federal government to an appropriate size. The federal government should be limited to protecting American lives, liberty, and property.”

So go ahead. Do away with government barriers that prohibit or impair free market alternatives to health care, education, finance, communications, housing, manufacturing and agriculture, Mr. Sarwark advises. “A small, lean, accountable federal government with a strong military defense would cost no more than a few hundred billion dollars — about 10 percent of current spending levels,” he declares. “What Americans should really fear is the likelihood that, despite the hullabaloo we hear over a phony ‘shutdown,’ the government will stay big and continue to grow.”

CONSERVATIVES: NOT THE SQUABBLING KIND

Keep calm, carry on, have some cake — the holidays are upon us, and of course there is a new poll to reveal whether American family celebrations are marred by political argument. The good news? Not so much. The bad news: there’s a partisan divide. “Who fights more? Independents, those under 30 and those 65 and older are the most likely to admit they have serious disagreements with close family members. While liberals and conservatives aren’t much different when it comes to recognizing disagreements or having a family relationship hurt by one, they are quite different when it comes to raising voices. Nearly a third of liberals say they have been shouted at — or did the shouting — in a family argument, compared with only 14 percent of conservatives,” reports a Economist/YouGov poll released Thursday. But wait, there’s more.



“Republicans seem more resilient than Democrats or independents: just 1 percent of Republicans say they have ever had a Thanksgiving ruined by a political argument. Eight percent of Democrats and 7 percent of independents have had at least one Thanksgiving ruined by an argument,” the poll notes. See more numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.


SEE ALSO: House votes to block Obama amnesty amid escalating constitutional clash


AND IN SUMMATION

“The more the president talks about his ideas, the more unpopular he becomes. Why would I want to deprive him of that opportunity?”

— House Speaker John A. Boehner’s rationale as to why President Obama should give his State of the Union address next month, despite a call from a few conservatives to protest Mr. Obama’s temporary amnesty plan by not inviting him.

A BUMPY RIDE ON THE CROMNNIBUS

All hail the cromnibus? For those wondering about this legislative hybrid, it is an amalgamation of the terms “continuing resolution” and “omnibus spending bill.” To avoid that dreaded government shutdown, Republicans must fire off a government funding bill to the White House in less than a week, a tricky business no matter what the circumstances. In short, GOP heavyweights propose to fund the government through next September — with the exception of the Department of Homeland Security, which would be funded only until March. The agency handles immigration; limited funding would put a damper on President Obama’s amnesty plans. This is a delectable hunk of red meat to throw concerned Republicans while still appeasing dour Democrats. So the Cromnibus is rolling. Sort of. Tallying who supports and who rejects the legislation is already a sport among journalists.

A mere “show vote” with a promise to duke it out next year is “unacceptable” says Russ Vought, an analyst for Heritage Action for America.

“If they’re not willing to fight now, experience tells us they won’t ever be. Even the media sees the current plan as a useless gambit, describing it as a way to give ‘GOP lawmakers an outlet to vent some of their frustrations’ with Obama’s amnesty. It does nothing to block his unilateral, unlawful changes which include granting quasi-legal status, work permits and Social Security numbers to those who are in the country illegally,” Mr. Vought continues. “The House needs to respond now, not next year. Americans expect real action, not a show vote. Conservatives in Congress must use the power of the purse to block President Obama’s executive actions — actions which are opposed even by some in his own party.”

FOR THE LEXICON

“Deerslayer Democrats”

— New term for grass-roots, outside-the-Beltway Democrats who consider hunting a family tradition. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is one example; this significant demographic has been muted in the Democratic Party by dominant, progressive elitists with big media backing. Deerslayer Democrats are disenchanted with the direction of things in their party, of interest to Republican strategists, perhaps. The term was coined by radio host John Batchelor during a broadcast on Wednesday.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: Gerald Ford’s Bavarian-style ski lodge, Beaver Creek, Colorado. Built in 1983 of oak, native stone and granite; 11,849 square feet, seven bedrooms, 11 baths, grand staircase, coffered foyer, cathedral ceilings, wrought iron embellishments, custom woodwork. Presidential study, marble flooring inlaid with presidential seal, formal dining room, catering kitchen, French country gourmet kitchen, moss-rock fireplace, claw-foot fireplace, theater, verandah, mountain views, pool and guest house, spa, outdoor pool, indoor lap pool, hot tub, slate roof.

Priced at $8.5 million through Ascent/Sotheby’s International — Property ID ZP7LV8 at Ascentsir.com

POLL DU JOUR

92 percent of Americans say their holiday dinners have never been “ruined” by a family argument over politics; 93 percent of conservatives, 93 percent of moderates and 89 percent of liberals agree.

85 percent overall say political disagreements have not hurt a relationship with a family member; 84 percent of conservatives, 87 percent of moderates and 82 percent of liberals agree.

11 percent say there has been damage over politics; 11 percent of conservatives, 11 percent of moderates and 13 percent of liberals agree.

81 percent overall say their family has never had a shouting match over politics; 88 percent of conservatives, 84 percent of moderates and 66 percent of liberals agree.

16 percent overall say there has been shouting over politics; 14 percent of conservatives, 10 percent of moderates and 30 percent of liberals agree.

30 percent say they have family members with whom they seriously disagree over politics; 30 percent of conservatives, 25 percent of moderates and 38 percent of liberals agree.

Source An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 29-Dec. 1.

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