Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The Metropolitan Opera is opening a new season on SIRIUS XM, and streamed live on the Met’s website





2013-14 Season Opens Sept. 23 with New Production of Eugene Onegin

September 6, 2013

New York, NY – The Metropolitan Opera (click here) will open its 2013-14 season on September 23 at 6:30 p.m. with a new production of Tchaikovsky’s romantic tragedy Eugene Onegin, directed by Deborah Warner in her Met debut. Valery Gergiev returns to the Met for the first time since 2010 to conduct the performance, which will feature Anna Netrebko—the first soprano in Met history to star in three consecutive opening night performances—in her first company performances as the naïve heroine Tatiana, whose infatuation with the title character has tragic repercussions....

President Obama was very wise to take a stand against the extremists now.

Blankfein was at the White House today. He isn't my favorite person, but, this surprised me. He must be looking at something adverse to economic growth and national stability, otherwise, I sincerely believe he would not have bothered. 

He was given the President's time in a short period of time. This was not about politics. He must have had something to say important enough to be in the Oval Office practically overnight.

Let's face it the ranting of the Republicans isn't about upholding sovereignty of the nation or of concern for the economy. This is all politics. Pushing an economy over the cliff to play politics is hostile to most professional standards across the board. Blankfein is worried about predictability.
Wednesday, 2 Oct 2013 
1:08 PM ET

 ...Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein, (click here) while stressing that the business leaders who met with Obama represented diverse political views, implicitly criticized Republicans for using their opposition to the health-care law as a weapon that could lead to a U.S. default.... 

Goldman Sachs launches small business initiative (click here) October 02, 2013 11:50 EDT
MIAMI (AP) -- Miami Dade College and Goldman Sachs are launching an initiative to help small business owners.
Goldman Sachs is investing $500 million in cities across the U.S. to boost small businesses by providing entrepreneurs with opportunities to obtain a practical business education and access capital and support services.
The program is already operating in nine cities and several states. South Florida is site of their next location.
Miami Dade College will run the initiative. The institution will receive a five-year grant from Goldman Sachs and plans to serve about 80 small business owners in its first year.
The partnership was announced Tuesday.

Goldman Sachs is seeking investments from European pensions. US Bonds can be the backbone to Europe's confidence. It is a loss of confidence in US Treasury Bonds. It is happening already.

Credit Default Swaps
Published: Wednesday, 2 Oct 2013 | 6:57 AM ET

The cost of insuring (click here) one-year U.S. government bonds against default rose 5 basis points to 35 basis point on Wednesday, above the rate of insuring five-year debt for the first time since July 2011, according to data from Markit.
One-year U.S. credit default swaps were at their highest since August 2011. Five-year CDS fell 1 basis point to 31 basis points. Both rates remain very low, however....

...Just before the U.S. open, the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield was slightly lower on the day at 2.6391 percent....

These banks have a lot on the line and as much as Americans are angry with them, they are taking up risk to float the boat. I don't envy them. At this point, they really are taking chances with risk to build confidence and it may all fall apart and it wasn't their doing. 

The Koch Brothers are directly related to this market instability. The Koch Brothers is a private institution in 60 countries. They deal mostly in commodities. They aren't risk takers and don't care to have relationships with banks that ride the bubbles and prevent implosion. I don't think either are heroes, but, there is some sincere issues Koch might even like to see happen. One has to wonder what is occurring behind the Iron Curtain in the House Speakers' Office.

The USA is not in the same space as in 1995. The US House is courting disaster. There needs to be an investigation whom the Republicans are taking advise from and if it is tied to their political funding organizations. This could be "Probable Cause" to require subpoenas regarding participants in Superfunds.

It just might be this entire burgeoning disaster could serve the best interests of Koch Industries. I don't write that here out of political intent or concern it lightly. This is the sovereignty of the country in balance with a Private Industrial Company. Dissolving the USA's federal government DOES serve  Koch. Absolutely. Koch is counter-culture.

By Jerry Siebenmark 
The Wichita Eagle

...On Tuesday, (click here) Robertson and Charles Koch made brief comments while thousands of Wichita employees joined them on the campus to break ground on the company’s three-story, 210,000-square-foot building that will house 745 employees.
Koch and its companies, which earn about $115 billion in annual revenue, need more space for the nearly 800 employees they’ve added in Wichita in the past 13 years. Their total Wichita employment stands at 3,000 workers....

They are making major investments in Carbon Dioxide and Methane. I am sorry, but, it all fits.

Published: Oct. 2, 2013 at 8:16 AM
BEAUMONT, Texas, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- A division of Koch Industries (click here) said operations at its first liquefied natural gas production facility in the Eagle Ford shale play in Texas will start in 2015.
Stabilis Energy and Flint Hills Resources, a Koch Industries subsidiary, announced plans to build five LNG processors in the Texas shale play. Their joint venture aims to produce LNG for oilfield fuel applications in Eagle Ford, in southern Texas.
"Stabilis will provide our oilfield customers with a reliable source of LNG fuel that will help them reduce operating costs using a reliable domestic fuel source," Casey Crenshaw, the company's president, said in a statement Tuesday.
Texas is one of the largest oil and natural gas producers in the country thanks in part to shale fields like Eagle Ford.... 

And. All of a sudden, Apple has a landlord. This was a recent shift in focus for Koch. They dismissed purchasing into the news business and stated they were going into electronics. I thought they were investing in R&D. This is not R&D.

Apple needs to diversify their suppliers. If Molex has little to no competition in supplying parts to Apple, it will become expensive for Apple. Apple has bring in more suppliers to remain competitive. Molex is China. Apple needs to move some of their suppliers to USA soil.

Molex Inc. (MOLX), (click here) a maker of electronic components for products such as Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone, agreed to a $7.2 billion acquisition by Koch Industries Inc., the holding company controlled by the billionaire Koch brothers.
Koch will buy Molex’s shares for $38.50 apiece, a 31 percent premium over the publicly traded common stock, according to a statement today. The companies expect to complete the transaction by the end of the year. 

Wrong, MOLEX Inc is MOLEX, USA. (click here) If Apple diversifies by bringing in more suppliers in the USA it will be a very competitive market. Currently, Koch hasn't lost anything on their $38.50 investment, but, it is fluctuating. Traditionally, MOLEX is a safe stock with a 25 PE in the past twelve months. This was not a risky venture for Koch. It was mostly guaranteed.

Koch Industries would never do what Goldman Sachs does, but, that is due to personal wealth and greed as opposed to an incorporated bank where officers have their own personal holdings outside the company. Sure they hold shares and they are loyal to the company they work for, but, it is different than Koch. Kochs are NOT risk takers. They want tried and proven profit. They don't care about economic growth or providing jobs so long as their company and personal wealth are intact. It is a different relationship than Blankfein and Goldman.

Lloyd's right to be at the White House. Absolutely. I doubt he had the same conclusions I have written here, though. His insight is more about reading the tea leaves than protectionism as Koch is. I am quite confident Blankfein was bringing the news to the President based on current changes in the 'character' of the USA Bonds. Let's face it, Russia has moved ahead of Germany. 

The US Justice Department needs to begin to look at this stalemate with the USA House seriously. I think the US House, no matter how well veiled, is playing to their financial backers rather than the entire well being of the country. I believe the US House wants to stalemate the budget for a long time. It serves their purpose and that of their financial backers. 

I don't want to hear how all this mess seems like a coincidence. 


Read more here:

Texas aspires to maintain it's execution record as the nation's highest.

Perry obtained them illegally, but, hey the drug companies would have sent them to Texas anyway just for the asking. Amazing. Look, they are gonna die, what difference does it make!

I mean to tell you, Texas is first class. The room is painted pretty and that is by far the most comfortable execution bed in the country. No pain when dyin'. Puts every other state to shame.
Wed Oct 2, 2013 4:48pm EDT

...Texas is turning to the new execution drugs (click here) in a desperate attempt to keep the United States' most active execution chamber operating despite dwindling supplies of the drug traditionally used for lethal injections, a lawsuit filed by the inmates says.

The inmates, one of whom is scheduled for execution on Oct. 9, allege the Texas Department of Criminal Justice used the address of a hospital unit shuttered three decades ago in order to obtain the three new drugs.

They say the drugs - propofol, midzolam and hydromorphone - would likely not have been supplied if the manufacturers knew the purpose they would be used for, according to a lawsuit filed this Tuesday in federal court in Houston.
Texas prison officials declined to comment on the allegations made in the lawsuit.

They said Wednesday that they have enough pentobarbital, the barbiturate used in Texas executions since 2012, to last them until at least next year. The state recently received a fresh supply of the drug from a Texas compounding pharmacy, after warning in August that their supplies were nearly exhausted.
"The purchase will allow the agency to carry out all currently scheduled executions," state officials said in a statement.

Texas has seven executions scheduled, including two in October. The state has executed 13 inmates so far this year....

by Carolyn Jones
Media coverage of Gary Ridgway's recent overtures from Walla Walla misses the point: Why he was able to get away with it for so long. His victims deserve more. (click here)

The Green River Killer's widely-publicized offer on KOMO News last week to help investigators find additional bodies upset activists and some of the victims’ family members.
They represent a growing community of advocates who would like to see less attention paid to the killer, and more public empathy and assistance for victims of sexual violence and exploitation. This nascent group is working to build support — holding community meetings and fundraisers — for a permanent memorial for the victims that Gary Ridgway killed, most of whom disappeared in the early 1980s and were still teenagers when they died.
But because many of his 49 confirmed victims were also prostitutes, their lives and deaths have not been honored in the same way as other murder victims, says Noel Gomez. Gomez is a cofounder of the Organization for Prostitution Survivors (OPS), a year-old local non-profit that provides services, meals, therapy and basic support to women involved in "the life."...

By discriminating against prostitution when there are murders only provides permission for more to take place. The Green River Killer, whom doesn't deserve a name, managed to kill and kill and kill again because the women were stated to be prostitutes. Such bias creates an atmosphere of self-righteousness that promotes more deaths.


Annual Review of Sociology

Vol. 25: 191-216 (Volume publication date August 1999)
Cecilia L. Ridgeway
Lynn Smith-Lovin

...(a). People perceive gender differences to be pervasive in interaction. (b). Studies of interaction among peers with equal power and status show few gender differences in behavior. (c). Most interactions between men and women occur in the structural context of roles or status relationships that are unequal....

Today, our approach to prostitution is much different. It is considered Sex Trafficking and a very dangerous practice. A woman or teen can be made to compromise herself by men through coercion and become estranged from family and a life of reasonable morality for fear of death. I believe these many women and possibly more to be discovered need to be considered to be victims, not just of death, but, of circumstances outside their control. There is rarely a prostitute that will admit they live to conduct their profession without wishing they didn't have to. It is always the money. 

So, when remembering any woman that has had this insult to their lives, it is necessary to realize our society failed them in some way that allowed their personal aspirations to slip away from them.

These many women were victims and ultimately did pay the higher price for a life out of control. It wasn't their fault. They were victims of a murderer that hated women.

By Tim Sharp
Published Sun, Sep 29, 2013 7:48 am 
Dateline Athens, OH
Updated Mon, Sep 30, 2013 4:06 pm

Two Athens County residents (click here) have been arrested in a case where a 16-year-old girl was apparently being forced into prostitution.
Sheriff Pat Kelly said Ellen Mays, 27, of Binder Basin Rd, in Glouster was charged with compelling prostitution and trafficking in persons after she told deputies she set up meetings with an Athens man to exchange sex for drugs and money.
The man, Fred Kittle, Sr., 69, of Rocky Point Rd. was also charged with compelling prostitution and importuning.
Both are being held in the Southeast Ohio Regional Jail.
According to Kelly, Kittle is a convicted registered sexual offender in Athens County.
The girl is in the care of children's services.
Kelly said the investigation will continue Monday to determine whether others are involved.

September 29, 2013, 6:00 AM
Human trafficking and child prostitution (click here) is often associated with countries such as Thailand and, now, Costa Rica. But make no mistake. It’s happening here in the United States as well.
Just two months ago, four men were arrested on suspicion of pimping in Sonoma County as part of a national crackdown on child prostitution. Three teenage girls — ages 15 to 17 — who had been working in prostitution were rescued during operations in Santa Rosa and Petaluma. According to Sonoma County sheriff’s officials, one was a local resident.
According to U.N. figures, of the estimated 800,000 people who are transported between countries each year, an estimated 14,500 to 17,500 are brought across the U.S. border....

Tropical Storm Jerry is sustaining in the Atlantic

October 2, 2013
UNISYS Water Vapor GOES East Satellite (click here for 12 hour loop - thank you)

And there is building water vapor in the Caribbean at the Yucatan Peninsula.

October 2, 2013
UNISYS Water Vapor GOES West Satellite (click here for 12 hour loop - thank you)

Hawaii has got it's own 'thing' going on, too.

An upper level low (click here) northwest of Kauai will continue to move away from the islands today and allow for weather conditions to gradually improve during the next couple of days. High pressure far northeast of the aloha state will also be moving away, keeping generally light to moderate easterly winds in place through the rest of the work week and possibly into the weekend.
Updated: 10/02/2013 3:30 am HST

Russia is now chasing a stronger market based economy based in a better work ethic.

October 2, 2013

The Russian economy (click here) is operating well below its potential and a 3.1% labor productivity rate is intolerably low for the country poised to become Europe’s biggest, President Vladimir Putin told the 5th Russia Calling! investment forum in Moscow.

“The key bottleneck for the Russian economy is its low efficiency,” the President told businessmen, investors, and state officials at the Forum.
In terms of GDP, "we are poised to become Europe's number one economy and the fifth biggest in the world," Putin said, adding that Russia is on a par with other countries in the EU in terms of per capita GDP and consumption.
In 2012 Russia overtook Germany in the World Bank ranking to take 5th place on the list of the world’s biggest economies in terms of purchasing power parity (PPS)
However, labor productivity is now less than half the level of most developed economies – at 3.1 percent. In coming years, productivity must increase by 5%-6% a year, twice the current rate. "Only in this way can we overcome the efficiency gap," the president said. "I am confident that we are capable of doing that," he concluded. 

The current abyss between consumption and productivity is dangerous, Putin said. “Living off rent from natural resources, at the expense of future generations, unearned wealth cannot be stable or long term," he added.

Oil and gas revenues now provide for more than a half of Russia’s budget, with various institutions repeatedly warning that such a ‘oily black hole’ could soon swallow the country’s economy.

The Moderate Republicans have to break the deadlock and demand the Hastert Rule be ended.

October 1, 2013, 8:50 p.m. 

As Democrats remain unified, (click here) the gap between the GOP center and right is widening. Republican moderates believe their calls for compromise will eventually be heeded....

This is not 1995. This is very different and there was no anarchic rhetoric involved in any stalemate of government budget control. There is today. There are elements in the Tea Party that are just fine with the way the shutdown is going and want to continue it until the nation becomes used to being on their own without a federal government.

The Democrats can't end this. The President is correct. The more latitude the Tea Party takes from governance, the more they will take. The Republican Moderates have to come forward and lead; that might mean calls for bipartisanship and removing The Hastert Rule from the House Floor. Since, the Speaker is not capable of anything except rhetoric interspersed with "...ah, ah, ah..." the Moderates need to consider forming their own caucus and leading.
Shutdown is latest bad news for military towns (click here)

By JEFFREY COLLINS and RUSS BYNUM, Associated Press  
Updated 3:25 am, Wednesday, October 2, 2013

...In military towns across the U.S., the political battles in the nation's capital are directly affecting the bottom line as military contractors and other small business brace for the worst — already forced to cope with mandatory budget cuts and promised reductions in the size of the nation's armed forces.
Now they're taking another blow, this time from the budget battle in Washington.
"Nobody is making any decisions in Washington for the whole year. This is nothing new. This is just a complete failure for 18 months," said Kent, whose company revenues have already dropped amid uncertainty over mandatory military budget cuts in 2012. "Our plans for expansion have been on hold for this whole year. If anything, we're making plans for contraction."
Kent is hardly alone in Fayetteville. As with large numbers of contractors and business operators in military towns across the United States, business boomed during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one of the deepest recessions in decades made barely a ripple....

Can President Obama please sign an Executive Order to end the confusion of our troops? Thank you. Many Americans would rather they be home, but, in the light of that not happening, the troops have a right to their clear understandings.

Confusion reigns over troops' danger pay in shutdown (click here)
Oct. 1, 2013 - 05:22PM
...For the roughly 54,000 troops currently deployed to Afghanistan, danger pay provides an additional $7.50 a day, or a maximum of $225 a month. Troops in other designated countries or waterways also are eligible for the incentive pay.
A spokesman for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Navy Cmdr. Bill Urban, said the Pentagon has not made a final determination about whether troops will receive danger pay and similar incentive pays.
The question will likely be resolved before Oct. 15 military paychecks are processed by the Defense Finance and Accounting Services.

I think "Normal Duty Status" causes some confusion about Combat Pay.

This was the President's Message:

As the government shutdown took effect at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time Tuesday, President Obama issued a message to U.S. troops:

“Those of you in uniform will remain on your normal duty status. The threats to our national security have not changed, and we need you to be ready for any contingency.

“Ongoing military operations, like our efforts in Afghanistan, will continue. If you’re serving in harm’s way, we’re going to make sure you have what you need to succeed in your missions. Congress has passed, and I am signing into law, legislation to make sure you get your paychecks on time. And we’ll continue working to address any impact this shutdown has on you and your families.

“To all our DOD civilians, I know the days ahead could mean more uncertainty, including possible furloughs. And I know this comes on top of the furloughs that many of you already endured this summer. You and your families deserve better than the dysfunction we’re seeing in Congress. Your talents and dedication help keep our military the best in the world. That’s why I’ll keep working to get Congress to reopen our government and get you back to work as soon as possible.

“Finally, I know this shutdown occurs against the background of broader changes. The war in Iraq is over. The war in Afghanistan will end next year. After more than a decade of unprecedented operations, we are moving off a war footing. Yes, our military will be leaner, and as a nation we face difficult budget choices going forward.

“But here’s what I want you to know. I’m going to keep fighting to get rid of those across-the-board budget cuts, the sequester, which are hurting our military and our economy. We need a responsible approach that deals with our fiscal challenges and keeps our military and our economy strong. And I’m going to make sure you stay the greatest military in the world—bar none. That’s what I’m fighting for. That’s what you and your families deserve.” 

Shutdown to idle stateside military commissaries (click here) 

Oct. 1, 2013 - 06:09PM

The $13.5 million Norfolk Naval Shipyard Scott Center Annex Commissary in Portsmouth, Va., opened in May. The military is closing all of its domestic commissaries starting Oct. 2, although overseas stores will remain open. (Rick Brink / DeCA)

...About 12 million people — including military personnel, retirees and their families — are eligible to shop at the 246 commissaries on military installations worldwide. The commissaries typically carry everything a national supermarket chain would — including brand-name products — but at much lower prices than their commercial competitors.

The military is required to sell goods at its commissaries at cost. While there is a 5 percent surcharge on all products to help pay for new commissaries and improve existing ones, there is no sales tax on the products sold....

The Affordable Care Act won't change Tricare coverage, but many beneficiaries have heard otherwise. Has anyone told you your benefits would change?

The world is not ready for Tesla? Why?

By Yu Wei in San Francisco (China Daily)

...Xuan, who is from China's Sichuan province, (click here) said he would never consider buying an electric car in China because of the lack of charging stations there. "Unlike in the US where people can charge their cars in their garages, most people in China live in high-density apartments, where it is impossible to install a charger."
Tesla started formal pre-order bookings for the Model S on the Chinese mainland last month. The country's increasingly wealthy middle class, the government's new push for clean energy, and 300-plus orders in Hong Kong have all given the Palo Alto-based manufacturer high hopes about its prospects there.
According to Bloomberg News, China's government is targeting cumulative sales of 5 million electric vehicles by 2020, even though just 12,791 were sold there last year. And there are only 168 public charging stations nationwide, which seems to justify Xuan's worries.
Leping Huang, an analyst at Nomura in Hong Kong, said the lack of charging infrastructure is a bottleneck for EV popularity not only in China, but in the entire world...
International team of experts in Damascus

23:56 01/10/2013
© REUTERS/ Bassam Khabieh

NEW YORK, October 1 (RIA Novosti) – An international team of experts on a mission to eliminate Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons opened a logistics base in the capital Damascus on Tuesday, the world’s chemical weapons watchdog said.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which has 189 member states, said in a statement that the Syria team comprised 19 chemical weapons experts and 14 UN officials. They arrived safely in Syria from Beirut, accompanied by Syrian government forces.

Earlier reports said the multinational group included representatives of Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Uzbekistan, China, Canada, the Netherlands and Tunisia.

Within the next few days, the group will focus on planning its further activities and checking information provided by the Syrian government about its chemical arsenal.

According to the UN and OPCW schedule, such preparatory work should be completed within a month.
Wednesday 02 October 2013
Rupert Cornwell

And so (click here) – absurdly, shamefully and almost incomprehensibly – it has come to this. The legislature of the richest, most powerful country on earth, that likes to present itself as a model of democracy and good sense, has failed in its basic task of providing funds to keep the federal government running....

...President Obama was left to rail against the "ideological crusade" against Obamacare, vowing not to "give in to the reckless demands by some in the Republican Party to deny affordable health insurance to millions of hard-working Americans"....

Nor is a shutdown without precedent.... 

...Back then, the economy was strong. Today, recovery from the 2008 financial crisis is still fragile. At the very least, the closure and the accompanying lay-offs will reduce consumer confidence and spending. And in a deeper sense, the impasse reflects an ever more polarised and dysfunctional political system, where compromise is a dirty word.

Both sides are to blame. But the root of the problem, beyond argument, is a Republican party that is losing touch with reality. Even its control of the House of Representatives is a distortion. In the Congressional vote in 2012, Democratic candidates polled half a million more votes. But thanks to gerrymandering by Republican-run state legislatures, the GOP ensured itself a majority....

...Which leads to a third difference with 1995-96. That shutdown was a dispute about fiscal policy, the eternal debate over taxes and spending. This one is about policy, namely President Obama’s 2010 health reform, whose delay (and ultimately demise) Republicans seek as the price of a new CR.

The classic definition of insanity is to go on doing the same thing, and expect a different outcome. And so it is now. The Republican House has passed 40-odd resolutions to overturn Obamacare, and each time the Democratic Senate has said, no. Now it is trying again, and the outcome – utterly predictably – is the same.

What happens next is anyone’s guess. The public blame the Republicans for the shutdown; even the US Chamber of Commerce, normally a staunch ally, has expressed displeasure at the party’s tactics. For his part, President Obama vows not to give an inch. So, however, do the Republicans....

The Guardian didn't account for drunkeness in Congress either....

The Guardian

...Why couldn't they agree a deal? (click here)

Under the US constitution, the president cannot unilaterally bring in legislation. And despite weeks of talks, Republicans continue to include cuts and delays to Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act in the budget legislation they sent up to the Senate.
The House of Representatives is controlled by the Republican Party, whose Tea Party movement remain deeply opposed to Obamacare. They tried to use the budget as leverage to crowbar changes to the Act. The Senate, which is under the control of Obama's Democrats, has stood firm....

...Why doesn't it happen in other countries? (click here)

The shutdown situation is a product of the US democratic system. The president is both head of state and head of the federal government, without a guaranteed majority in either of the legislative bodies where new laws are debated and voted upon (because presidents, congressmen and women and senators are elected separately). The president can't simply ram laws through Capitol Hill.
In Britain, for example, tax and spending policies are outlined in the budget, presented to parliament by the chancellor of the exchequer. These changes are brought into law in a finance bill in the House of Commons. That's in effect a confidence vote in the government, and even the most fractious backbench MP would balk at rebelling on it.
Finance bills are also one area where the elected House of Commons has the upper hand over the unelected House of Lords. The Lords have no power to reject a money bill; they can only delay it for a month....
The US is a key growth markets for South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor

Hyundai Motor will defer payments due from US federal employees affected by the partial government shutdown. (click here)

More than 700,000 employees face unpaid leave due to the shutdown which was triggered after the two houses of Congress did not agree on a new budget.
Hyundai said affected employees who currently own its vehicles will be given a payment relief "for as long as they are out of work".
Employees looking to buy a new car will be given a 90-day payment deferral.
"We recognize the impact on family budgets that the furlough will drive," John Krafcik, chief executive of Hyundai Motor America, said in a statement....

Alcoholism in Congress is not a new phenomena, but, when the country is in crisis it is an issue.

Published: September 19, 2006
...The two men (click here) share a keen sense of the twin burdens that being an addict and congressman impose, Mr. Kennedy says. “To some degree, all politicians lead a double life, a public one and a private one,” he said. Mr. Ramstad has emphasized the importance of integrating what he calls “the political game face” with “the real person inside.” 
 Being a Kennedy carries its own weight, Mr. Kennedy says, given the legacy of drug and alcohol abuse in his family. His mother, Joan Kennedy, has endured a long battle with alcoholism, and his father was involved in a string of alcohol-related episodes earlier in his career. (Senator Kennedy says he will drink a glass of wine at home at night or in social settings. He describes himself as being “well” over the last 15 years, a recovery he attributes to his current wife, Victoria.) 

In a phone interview, Senator Kennedy says he shares a meal with Patrick once a week. His son is doing well, he says, thanks in large part to “the incredible generosity of spirit” of Jim Ramstad... 

Neither of these men are in Congress anymore. This phenomena in Washington, DC crosses all parties and faiths, Mr. Rmastad is an Evangelical. I strongly suggest Speaker Boner sober his party and bring the federal budget for a vote without the Hastert Rule as soon as possible.

As a matter of fact, in the light of the alcoholism that exhibited on the eve of a government shutdown I INSIST Congress dissolve their Hastert Rule completely. 

Comment from The Sydney Morning Herald.

Paul McGeough
October 2, 2013 - 5:11PM

...For all their bluster, (click here) it seemed the Republicans did not have the stomach for a total shutdown – on Tuesday, they suggested that maybe the deal could be softened by adding the Department of Veterans Affairs, national parks and the entire District of Columbia to a significant list of "essentials" that have been excluded from the shutdown madness.

For now, the tipping is that the Republicans can't win. At least that's how a slew of commentators are reading opinion polls and it's what their last two presidential contenders, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Arizona senator John McCain, are telling them.

But political wind is a fickle beast. Measured by opinion polls, Obama and congressional Democrats are stronger than the Republicans, but if the shutdown continues to the point of inflicting serious pain to voters and/or the economy, both sides might suffer – especially if this wrangle runs into the next round of argy-bargy, just weeks away, over limits to federal borrowing.

The dilemma for the Republicans is that they allowed hatred to pass for good political sense, by making the continued operation of the government dependent on taking an axe to Obamacare, a tactic that worries the public, notwithstanding their antipathy for the health scheme....

From the New Zealand Herald Business Pages:

10:41 PM Wednesday Oct 2, 2013

...Some investors fear the budget standoff (click here) could spill over into a dispute about raising the nation's borrowing limit. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said last week that the government would run out of borrowing authority by roughly Oct. 17.

The last time the borrowing limit, or debt ceiling, issue came up in August 2011, it led to a downgrade of the United States' credit rating by Standard & Poor's.

"Everyone is very cautious about how to react to the U.S. shutdown," said Andrew Sullivan at Kim Eng Securities in Hong Kong. "There's a lot for people to worry about. In such cases, people prefer to hold their cash on the sidelines."

Japan's Nikkei 225 index plummeted 2.2 percent to close at 14,170.49 after the government Tuesday announced it would go ahead with a sales tax increase in April. The tax, intended to offset the country's soaring public debt, will rise from 5 percent to 8 percent.

Markets in mainland China were closed for public holidays, so couldn't react to a survey showing that manufacturing in the world's No. 2 economy barely expanded in September. Tuesday's report by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing showed manufacturing expanded for the third month in a row.
But the group's purchasing managers' index rose by only a fraction to 51.1 last month from 51.0 in August, less than economists expected.

Benchmark oil for November delivery was down 52 cents to $101.52 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 29 cents to close at $102.04 on Tuesday.
In currencies, the euro fell to $1.3529 from $1.3518 late Tuesday. The dollar fell to 97.42 yen from 98.02 yen.

So the drunkards in the Congress are most worried about refusing women birth control through their health insurance coverage. Sounds right. It is time to remove the Hastert rule and allow those that are still sober to vote to run the federal government. Birth control?