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Ted Cruz 2As we noted a few weeks back, the modern American hard right has, under the leadership of Ted Cruz and his ilk, really morphed into a kind of 21st Century anarchist movement. The goal: do whatever it takes to impose the Koch Brothers/Heritage Foundation/NRA vision of a dog-eat-dog, everyone-for-themselves society — even if it means wrecking the economy and wreaking havoc with essential public structures and services.

This is why stories like this one — in which the Associated Press spells out in painful detail the terrible damage inflicted on the country over the last couple of weeks by the Tea Party hostage crisis – are actually seen by many on the far right as a sign that they are winning. Read More

Pat McCrory 4Art popeAldona WosMore “you can’t make this stuff up” statements from the McCrory administration today — this time about the impact of the federal government shut-down on poor people in need of assistance.

At a made-for-the-media event at a food bank in Charlotte that also featured State Budget Director Art Pope and DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos, the Guv made a big show of his concern for the poor by publicly releasing a whopping $750,000 to food banks. McCrory also made this remarkable statement: Read More

We made it – it’s Friday and a beautiful weekend is ahead. Get out there and enjoy it, because early next week we could have more than just a little rain on our hands.

What happens when a hurricane hits the U.S. during a federal government shutdown? Eight years after Katrina, I’m a little concerned. The National Hurricane Center predicts that Tropical Storm Karen will hit the Gulf Coast at hurricane strength on Saturday.

The White House recalled some FEMA workers who are furloughed to help deal with the storm. Not clear from press accounts is whether or not those employees will be paid for their work.

In Florida, half of the members of the National Guard are not working, which will compromise their ability to respond to the effects of a hurricane.

The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang has a great post up about all weather-related services affected by the federal government shutdown.

If you’re a weather geek like me, check out some of my favorite weather websites that are designed to make you (okay, me) feel like a bona fide meteorologist:

Have a great weekend!

Veteran poltical scientist Norman Orenstein hits the nail on the head in this morning’s column for The Atlantic, which is entitled:  ”The Republican Hardliners Aren’t Conservatives, They’re Radicals.”

“In their third iteration of shutdown poker, House Republicans eagerly seized on a new approach: to demand the removal of all subsidies for members of Congress and their staffs for health insurance. They framed this as treating Congress just like other Americans. It is utter nonsense. Most Americans have health insurance through their employers, and the lion’s share of their insurance premiums are paid — tax free — by their employers. Nothing in the Affordable Care Act will change this. Members of Congress and their staff have traditionally been treated the same as other federal employees; they purchase insurance on the federal employees health insurance marketplace, with 72 percent of their premiums covered.

A capricious amendment to the Affordable Care Act offered by Senator Chuck Grassley, Read More

State Rep. Julia Howard — who, in fairness, occasionally bucks the conservative establishment in the North Carolina GOP — had this to say during a legislative hearing at the General Assembly yesterday on unemployment insurance as she expressed her frustration with the McCrory administration’s failure to implement a legislative directive:

““It’s the law,” she said. “Unless you repeal the law, we should be compliant.”

Hopefully, Rep. Howard is communicating this sentiment to her fellow conservative Republicans in Washington as they hold the nation hostage over a duly enacted and constitutional law.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/10/02/3248307/gop-senator-urges-governor-to.html#storylink=cpy