Morning Must Reads: September 20

In the news: Iran's nuclear program; the Syrian stalemate; ObamaCare; the budget battle; limiting coal emissions; and the fight for better security after the Navy Yard shootings

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Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

  • “The Syrian conflict has reached a stalemate and President Bashar al-Assad‘s government will call for a ceasefire at a long-delayed conference in Geneva on the state’s future, the country’s deputy prime minister has said in an interview with the Guardian.” [Guardian]
    • Diplomacy Imperils Washington’s Allies in Syria [TIME]
  • “Iran’s leaders, seizing on perceived flexibility in a private letter from President Obama, have decided to gamble on forging a swift agreement over their nuclear program with the goal of ending crippling sanctions, a prominent adviser to the Iranian leadership said Thursday.” [NYT]
    • “The newly elected President of Iran Hassan Rouhani has offered to help initiate talks between the embattled government of President Bashar Assad and the opposition in Syria.” [TIME]
    • Rouhani: “Gone is the age of blood feuds. World leaders are expected to lead in turning threats into opportunities.” [WashPost]
  • How to End the ObamaCare debate: Prove the law is working [National Journal]
    • “Less than two weeks before the launch of insurance marketplaces created by the federal health overhaul, the government’s software can’t reliably determine how much people need to pay for coverage, according to insurance executives and people familiar with the program.” [WSJ]
  • The Master Plan: How Hill Tea Partiers See the Budget Fight Unfolding [TIME]
    • “In using the threat of a government shutdown as leverage, House Republicans will vote Friday on legislation they view as their single best opportunity to block the president’s signature legislative accomplishment just as it is about to take hold.” [L.A. Times]
    • “Striking a tone of disgust, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi ridicules the GOP as obsessed with its loathing of President Obama and hell-bent on hurting him politically, regardless the cost. She assigns little to no blame to the president (even though Democrats privately say that’s laughable) and instead portrays him as saintly, above reproach and the victim of jealousy or something worse.” [Politico]
  • “New rules limiting emissions from U.S. power plants that are expected to be proposed on Friday will ‘provide certainty’ to the coal industry.” [Reuters]
  • After Navy Yard, the Fight for Better Security Begins [TIME]
866 comments
fitty_three
fitty_three

Congratulations, @ahandout

By defaulting on US bills, you've selected what's behind that door marked "10% Interest Rate".

But there's a bonus prize:

Look below at @retiredvet 's post for just a sample of the looooong enjoyable ride you and your fellow nutballs have to look forward to!

Ahyuh! Ahyuh!

ahandout
ahandout


http://world.time.com/2013/09/12/philippine-troops-clash-with-muslim-rebels-in-southern-city-of-zamboanga/#ixzz2ffwAJmtl

In the vast southern Philippine island of Mindanao, deadly clashes between Philippine government forces and fighters from a separatist outfit, reportedly holding dozens of hostages, continue to rage. Whole districts of the city of Zamboanga, perched on the western edge of Mindanao, have been evacuated as gun battles ring around its streets. The Moro National Liberation Front, which claims to represent the island’s Muslims, has waged a longstanding insurgency against rule from Manila. Despite advances by Philippine government troops, who say they have reclaimed 70 percent of the areas of Zamboanga seized by Islamist insurgents in early September, an estimated 100 guerrilla fighters remain holed up in the southern Philippine city together with more than 100 hostages. Some 80,000 residents of the area have fled the violence.



ahandout
ahandout

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/22/us-pakistan-blast-idUSBRE98L02K20130922

"I heard two explosions. People started to run. Human remains were strewn all over the church," said one parishioner, who gave only her first name, Margrette.

Her voice breaking with emotion, she said she had not seen her sister since the explosions ripped through the area around the gate of the church enclosure.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the death toll of 78 included 34 women and seven children, in remarks televised live from Peshawar. More than 100 people were wounded.

"Who are these terrorists killing women and children?" Nisar said.

The Taliban-linked militant group TTP Jundullah claimed responsibility within hours of the attack.

"They are the enemies of Islam, therefore we target them," said the group's spokesman, Ahmed Marwat. "We will continue our attacks on non-Muslims on Pakistani land."

ahandout
ahandout

For the Teabagees: Why worry about the national debt and rising interest rates?  It's the biggest national security threat we face, that's why.

If interest rates were to rise to those seen in the 1970s or the 1980s, interest payments on the debt would rise significantly as well.

6% Interest Rate

In the early 1970s, the net interest rate was roughly 6% on the national debt. A 6% annual interest rate on today's national debt ($16.3 trillion) would be $978 billion, which is more than 2.5 times the interest payment for 2012. This would consume around 40% of the estimated $2.45 trillion in revenues to the government in 2012. Based on a population of 314 million Americans, if divided equally each American's share in taxes would be $3,114.65.

8% Interest Rate

In the early 1980s, the net interest rate was roughly 8% on the national debt. An 8% annual interest rate on today's national debt ($16.3 trillion) would be $1.3 trillion, which is more than 3.5 times the interest payment for 2012. This would consume around 53% of the estimated $2.45 trillion in revenues to the government in 2012. Based on a population of 314 million Americans, if divided equally each American's share in taxes would be $4,140.13.

10% Interest Rate

In the mid-1980s, the net interest rate was roughly 10% (for some bonds, it went as high as roughly 14% in the 1980s). A 10% annual interest rate on today's national debt ($16.3 trillion) would be $1.6 trillion, which is nearly 4.5 times the interest payment for 2012. This would consume around 65% of the estimated $2.45 trillion in revenues to the government in 2012.  Based on a population of 314 million Americans, if divided equally each American's share in taxes would be $5,095.54.

Impact on Government The federal government would be severely impacted by rising interest rates on the national debt. If the net interest rate on the national debt rises, even to just 6%, the interest payments alone would consume increasingly more of the national economy and would reduce the capacity of the federal government to fulfill its other obligations. You can see this danger in the chart below

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/library/articles-commentary-blog/national-debt-faq

sacredh
sacredh

Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's off to work I go.

fitty_three
fitty_three

Dear Readers:

Please remember that @collioure has this raincloud that follows him everywhere he goes. It follows him into his house, on the bus, or even when he travels the world.

He's named it Barry.

sacredh
sacredh

OT, but it's movie time. I asked my wife what she wanted to watch and she said something old. We're going to watch the original "The Day The Earth Stood Still". One of my favorite movies.

collioure
collioure

Greetings from Budapest !

The news from Barry 0's Afghanistan is that the Taliban is now infllicting very heavy casualties on the Afghan army as we withdraw.  Stay tuned for news of a complete collapse of the Afghan army.  Such was predictable for all but the most naive lefties, such as thse who post here.

fitty_three
fitty_three

Have to go.  I've got to take care of my wife and save the government another $2000.

retiredvet
retiredvet

@fitty_three  Don't pick on 'em fitty. The GOP is coming apart where the tail meets the dog.

ahandout
ahandout

53, you, Nancy Pelosi, and Diane Feinstein are the only ones left clutching your pearls while you create phony hysteria. 



Robbert5
Robbert5

@ahandout This is the most unintellectual garbage I have read about our current problems.  You show yourself to be a simpleton every single time.  First when the higher interest rate kicks in it will only be for the new loans not existing debt so your math or simple arithmetic just doesn't add up.  And then we get to priorities, the economy only works for the happy few at this point in time and the current "stability" is still very fragile and is in my and most economists opinion the immediate threat in desperate need of a fix by congress and not by sequestering and inflicting more pain for the 99% and shrinking the economy even more.  The end result will be and there is ample recent examples of this is increasing deficits and increasing debts, exactly the stuff you are reeling against.  Is this the ultimate in perpetuum solution of course not and noone is suggesting that but to take the foot of the pedal rt now is just plain stupid and as I said the most unintellectual garbage I have read in a while.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@retiredvet 

Must be one of those bridges that didn't get fixed because of the sequester and all those jobs bills that they blocked.

sacredh
sacredh

@fitty_three, I'll be heading off to work in a couple of hours to spread my own special brand of sunshine. Mostly it will be telling the guys that voted for the republicans that the shutdown is going to cost them a pile of money.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@sacredh 

One of my sons am is are? visiting. Dead chicken, potato salad, and some of the most beautiful and gently warm late late late fall "long sunshine". Got my wife outside for a walk.

Did I mention that this is the time of year she is absolutely beyond toasty? 

Tonight, I might just stay in bed until next week! ;-)

fitty_three
fitty_three

@Ivy_B  

Now, I'm a bit upset.  Yesterday, it seems, that no one in the media sought to get to the bottom of this.  I spent all day thinking that they actually did walk out (which I wouldn't blame them for, and even defended them).  This is what we get when the media feels the same way that Chuck Todd does about the responsibilities our supposed "bulwark" against propaganda - the free press, actually has in divulging the truth!

fitty_three
fitty_three

@Ivy_B  

Our resident troll tried that yesterday, and got caught in a lie.  The report says "slowing", and not a "lull" or anything else.

jmac
jmac

@Ivy_B  Fox News ruined the Republican party.  It wins the prize.  It got us Senators Cruz and Lee and Rand Paul.   It's not just the House with loonies anymore.  

"Does anybody remember Charlie Sheen when he was kind of going crazy... And he was going around, jumping around saying 'Winning, winning, we're winning. Well I kind of feel like that, we are winning. And I'm not on any drugs."   Rand Paul on the Republican party winning recent battles with Democrats.

Our tax rate is at an 80 year low.  Our schools, our scientific community and research, our infrastructure, our middle and lower classes, etc, etc, at hurting because Rand Paul and Fox won.   The question is whether America lets them keep winning by giving them seats in the Senate and House in the mid terms.   


sacredh
sacredh

@Ivy_B, Fox doesn't report the news, they spin the news. Watching Fox and expecting news is like going to McDonalds for a balanced and healthy meal.

ahandout
ahandout

@Robbert5 @ahandout  We are NOT paying down debt, moron.  The projection is $23 Trillion of debt in 10 years.  ALL the debt will be rolled over and refinanced at higher interest rates.  Come on jack@ss show me some economics...

Don't forget those unfunded liabilities...do you even have a clue?

fitty_three
fitty_three

@sacredh 

Have fun and poke them with a sharp stick or two for me. 

I wanna hear snarling!

fitty_three
fitty_three

@retiredvet  

I wrote an imaginary ending to it yesterday, but later deleted it. I guess I'm a little to hackneyed when it comes to character tweakage, but I love the theme song and it's one of my favorite movies.

sacredh
sacredh

@fitty_three, I'm glad to hear your wife is doing better. Please give her my regards. Our son and his wife to be stopped in two nights ago. We were all sitting in the living room talking and out of the blue she said, "This is the family I always wanted when I was growing up". Then she looked at my wife and said "Your cooking makes my nipples hard". What a zoo it is in our house.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

@fitty_three I thought I saw that he had posted it as I scrolled by.

I left because there was so much back and forth with him, unlike Thursday. He always has to have the last word and if he is wrong about something he simply changes the topic. I saw that yesterday because he replied to something I posted and then a totally different topic was carried on for many posts. I looked because I got so many e-mail notifications of comments to me.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@jmac

When GOP supporters don't get their SS checks, some might see the light, and one more thin layer will be peeled off Teh Base.

They are hard to persuade, but for the first time, the consequences might be direct enough for some of them, at least, to come to their senses.

I think that given that, there will be damage to their chances in 2014.  How much? I don't know, but there will be some.

Robbert5
Robbert5

@ahandout @Robbert5 The unfunded liablities are merely a blimp.  The unemployment is the biggest drag on the economy and that is the biggest drag on the deficit and debt. if you are really so concerned about the debt and deficit you would have the sequester ended and put some additional spending in place to help the economy. That is ECON 101!

sacredh
sacredh

@fitty_three onsecond thought, I think I'll just keep quiet unless asked about it.

retiredvet
retiredvet

@fitty_three It's a pretty good movie and I like the music as well. Some of the suspense is comically dragged out. All three main characters were well played. I've always especially liked Wallach in it.

"When you have to shoot.... shoot, don't talk." -- After he empties his six shooter in the guy!

fitty_three
fitty_three

@sacredh 

You do, but art is unappreciated in come circles.  After all, it's you that lives rent free in our minds here in the Swamp.

paulejb just fetches your slippers.

sacredh
sacredh

@fitty_three, I beg to differ. Until recently I would wake my wife up by tea-bagging her until a lucky punch dropped me to my knees. But thanks for at least saying that I have class.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@sacredh 

Yup. You have class. As for the pickles and chocolate - not together.

sacredh
sacredh

@fitty_three, we have class? Somebody should have mentioned it to me before. Like once in my life would have been nice. Pickles and chocolate? That's a new one for me.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@sacredh 

Well, next week is now this week and I stayed in bed like I said I would do. 

We just aren't in your class, sacred.  I spent a half hour berating (lovingly) my son for bringing buffalo wing pizza with blue cheese to eat. I asked him why buy pizza when you want buffalo wings and yes, while I like both blue cheese and buffalo wings, I also like pickles and chocolate.

sacredh
sacredh

@fitty_three, I've seen over a half a dozen. You smell them way before you see them.

sacredh
sacredh

@fitty_three, no. It was half of a body trailing about 25 feet of guts. iI didn't eat anything for three days.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@sacredh  

Not something I'd want to see. Not a gawker either.

The only time I do gawk is when the Hawks leave some roadkill behind.

sacredh
sacredh

@fitty_three, I haven't seen the paper yet. It took them over an hour to clear the road though. I had to take the long way around to get home. I'm not a gawker so I avoided looking at it too closely before they let us do U-turns to go back. 25 years ago or so there was an accident right outside our main gate at work (truck and motorcycle) and when we all ran up to see if we could help, there was a leg lying in the driveway.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@sacredh  

Sounds pretty bad, hope there's no deaths. Twenty years ago, the roads here were like that.  Now they are all multiple lane arterials.

sacredh
sacredh

@fitty_three, It's a 2 1/4 mile drive down the hill to get into the valley. At the very end of the hill there are a bunch of houses that are only set back 15 feet or so from the road. A guy was pulling out of his driveway when a car came flying down the hill and hit him broadside. The impact flipped the driveway car onto it's side. There were two ambulances there and a firetruck besides the police. I doubt texting was involved because the road down is almost all curves.

retiredvet
retiredvet

@Ivy_B   @fitty_three  He claims to be a centrist. But the slurs against Obama show otherwise. Obama is a centrist (right of center actually) so he should appreciate Obama, not berate him.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

@retiredvet @fitty_three Heh! I notice you are using the correct form, Barry 0 rather than Barry O. I think that is soooo special; they probably think we don't get it.

retiredvet
retiredvet

@Ivy_B @fitty_three It's a magic 8-ball with three responses: "Third Grade", "Barry 0" and "Incompetent Community Organizer."

sacredh
sacredh

@fitty_three, I'd be willing to bet they blame Obama if they're late.

A little OT, but last Christmas a friend bought me a "UN: ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT" t-shirt. I had it on last week and was out. A woman stopped me and asked me if it was a joke. I told her no. I was just pulling her chain. She asked me where I worked and I said "I work for the UN, I'm part of the new world order advance team" and walked away. She watched me until I turned the corner.

sacredh
sacredh

@fitty_three, about 3-4 days ago I was at the store getting steaks and two old guys were ahead of me in the checkout talking about the REPUBLICANS fighting to stop the shutdown. I laughed and they turned around. I said that wasn't true at all.  Neither one of them said anything else. They're inventing their own reality as they go along.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@Ivy_B

Well, that's a clue.  The "Iron Curtain" is no longer.  It's a Cold War expression.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

@retiredvet @fitty_three He said he was going behind the Iron Curtain for two weeks. I do not believe he lives in France. Outsider asked him a couple of simple things in French and he never responded. I was able to craft a good enough response with my college French. 

sacredh
sacredh

@retiredvet, right after he said we weren't interesting and he'd see us in a couple of weeks, he was back 30 minutes later.

sacredh
sacredh

@fitty_three @retiredvet, it's not just on here that the right is getting a little towards the deep end. I've been noticing some serious crazy around where I live too.

retiredvet
retiredvet

@fitty_three  Did you get what that arrogant Frenchman said on Friday? Nothing was interesting to him. And said we'd "miss" him for a couple of weeks.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@retiredvet

Well, we could at least check to see where his intestines go.  If they go north, then we know why he spouts all those classic butt squeezin's.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@retiredvet 

He hates that.  But MrObvious made a point that the First Amendment doesn't apply on a commercial blogsite - it's whatever the rules are you agree to when you set up your account.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@sacredh 

You do a lot better than I do. I jumped in because everyone else did, then it got old to the point where when he was spouting the fake tiger blood stuff, I let it slide.

sacredh
sacredh

@fitty_three, I've been trying to stay out of the flame wars. The rhetoric has become nonsense and just plain trolling.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@retiredvet 

He's also a very odd sort in other ways too:

He never denies that he lies. He knows when he does, and having been around him for six years, I know he knows.  

He also will say stuff just to get under the skin.  He needles Mantis (and he does it to the rest of us, too) because Mantis responds.

Then, of course, is the stuff he does to make everyone mad, like when he used to take their comments out of context and place them at the top of the thread, then "strawman" them.

We put him in Coventry for a while, and he stopped doing that, but then resorted to posting images, which we can snuff, so now he's trying to find other ways of being obnoxious.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@Ivy_B  

After a while, I got tired of how it degenerated into just bloviation braggadocio by paulejb, and it made no further sense to even engage him, but I did catch him at it.

Of course, he never responded.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@Ivy_B

You're right. I heard that they were this time too.  Thanks.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

@fitty_three @jmac Actually, Social Security checks were exempted last time and probably would this time as well.