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HuffPost's Sam Stein flags the curious sight of Mississippi Republicans continuing to complain about the sequester—at least the parts of the sequester that impact the constituents that they care about:
Midway through Wednesday's Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on cyber security, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) turned the conversation to the budget cuts that threaten the intelligence community.

"My staff inform me that last week we received a notice, our committee received a notice, that about half of NSA personnel in the cyber threat center could be furloughed as a result of sequestration," he said, speaking to the committee's witness, NSA Chief Gen. Keith Alexander.

At a little-noticed rally two weeks ago, the state's governor, Phil Bryant, its other U.S. Senator, Roger Wicker, and two representatives, Gregg Harper and Alan Nunnelee, protested the cuts to the Defense Department's acquisition programs. Of particular concern was the downsizing of the UH-72A Lakota helicopter program, produced in the local Columbia, Miss., plant. EADS North America, which makes the Lakota helicopter, has said it is contemplating slashing 300 jobs in Columbia alone.
Great! Republicans are against the sequester. So let's get rid of it, right? Well, not exactly. These guys may bellyache about how the sequester is impacting their priorities and their state ... but they don't want to get rid of sequestration. They just want to get rid of the parts that impact them.

For example, just as sequestration kicked in, Wicker—while lamenting its impact on defense spending—was pitching sequestration as a necessary dose of tough medicine and saying that it wouldn't be all that big a deal.

The most uncomfortable part of the sequestration cuts, Wicker said, are those affecting the Department of Defense, but he added much of the impact in domestic areas is exaggerated.

"It's not going to be dramatic like a government shutdown," Wicker said. "I think people need to realize that. We don't have to close air traffic control towers. The Department of Transportation seems to have chosen that. I regret that we're up to the brink again, and I know it seems to the public that we're always doing this, but we need to address our spending problem."

There are some true sequester enthusiasts, but for the most part nobody in Washington wants to brag about it, even when they are making the case for it. But at the same time, nobody—not the president, not congressional Democratic leadership, and certainly not congressional Republicans—can muster the courage to support the only obvious solution: repealing it altogether. It's truly one of the stupidest fiscal policies D.C. has ever enacted.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:43 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.


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Comment Preferences

  •  The only think worse that a hypocrit, (8+ / 0-)

    is a fucking stupid hypocrit.  

    With the Decision Points Theater, the George W. Bush Presidential Library becomes the very first Presidential Library to feature a Fiction Section.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:57:13 AM PDT

  •  Well, it's affecting white folks in Mississippi! (11+ / 0-)

    They thought it would only starve black and brown folks.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 08:06:19 AM PDT

  •  Hypocritin' while Republican (8+ / 0-)

    otherewise known as a day that ends in y.

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 08:11:47 AM PDT

  •  I hope they choke on sequestration, what a (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, dewtx, Matt Z

    bunch of hypocrites.  

    "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

    by Sychotic1 on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 08:14:14 AM PDT

  •  Classic Republican thinking (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    niemann, koosah, dewtx, Hirodog, Matt Z

    They're total ideologues, right up until their ideology bites them or one of their loved ones in the @ss.

    They can't, or won't try to, understand someone else's issues. It only matters if it's personal. So the wingnuts who run Mississippi suddenly have a problem, since oops, not all spending by the hitherto evil federal gubmint is bad.

    It won't matter. They care about the defense contractors, but they'll never care that Mississippi is 50th or almost 50th in the nation in infant mortality, life expectancy, per capita income, education level, and any other quality of life measure you care to cite. But Bryant, Wicker and Cochran don't know any poor people, so who cares? They won't change their minds, only their tactics. The Pentagon contractors will get paid, and most of the rest of the state will wallow in misery, as it's always done.

    The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

    by Korkenzieher on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 08:17:14 AM PDT

    •  Even more cynical ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koosah, dewtx, Matt Z
      They care about the defense contractors, but they'll never care that Mississippi is 50th or almost 50th in the nation in infant mortality, life expectancy, per capita income, education level, and any other quality of life measure you care to cite.
      They don't even really care about the defense contractors.

      What they really care about is all the money and perks those defense contractors give to them -- in the form of "campaign donations" and so on (i.e. bribes) -- and how all that money and all those perks may dry up if they aren't seen as delivering to those defense contractors.

      Everyone says that Republicans only care about their rich buddies.  That's not true.  They don't really care about their rich buddies.  They only care about themselves, and what their rich buddies can give them.

  •  look at the flag (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery, Pirogue, koosah, Matt Z

    it's still 1860 in the Capitol and most of Mississippi. I do wonder what kind of concessions were made for those jobs in Columbia. the actual taxbreaks and subsidy costs at the Nissan plant in Canton put the costs around $75K per job per year. for the next 20 years. typical monkey business that happens when the Repugs start wallowing in the public trough.

    What Fresh Hell is This? -- Dorothy Parker

    by chazz509 on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 08:26:29 AM PDT

  •  Here's a crazy idea - wait, hear me out... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, Matt Z

    Why don't they just vote to REPEAL THE WHOLE DAMN THING??

    It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now? - Guerilla Radio, Rage Against The Machine.

    by Fordmandalay on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 10:54:05 AM PDT

    •  That's just crazy talk. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fordmandalay, Matt Z
    •  That's UnSerious in the highest degree. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fordmandalay, Matt Z

      Have you forgotten? Any Very Serious plan involves large amounts of suffering - because, of course, we workaday schmucks had it far too lazy and good during the "good times" of the jobless recovery. If the Confidence Fairies are to get to work, they need to be satisfied that our karmic balance is once again above water.

      And the only way to do THAT is by enduring vast amounts of suffering, everywhere but Wall Street. And the Pentagon. And Boeing's corporate boardroom. And Big Pharma. None of THOSE people have to suffer - just the mere plebs who need to pay back their unearned prosperity. Damn takers!

      "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

      by Australian2 on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 11:32:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Does it have to be repealed? (0+ / 0-)

      Or does it expire with this year's budget?  I rather thought the latter.  The fight will be over whether the baseline for the next budget is the sequester amount or the original budget amount.  

      I think it will be important to communicate to Democrats that we insist that whatever the basis for the national security side of next year's budget is, be the same basis applied to other government services.  If defense contracting goes back to its earlier level, so does everything else (Head Start, CDC, you name it).

  •  My Brother's Wife Is Furloughed (0+ / 0-)

    and I'd argue her job is kind of important. She works for TRANSCOM, which is the department that makes sure our troops have food, water, gas, and toilet paper. I kind of wish folks would talk about that, but alas not many are even in my area where the base she works as is by far the largest employer in the entire St. Louis area.

  •  I wonder when they're going to (0+ / 0-)

    realize that most of the people in this country do not consider spending the most important issue facing America.

    I wonder when most of the people in this country will realize that if they don't go to the polls, they're allowing these jerks to continue to destroy the way they have.

    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 11:17:36 AM PDT

  •  I'm OK with the sequester. Hear me out..... (0+ / 0-)

    We have been seeing the effects of the gubmit sequester on a local basis more and more. And on a local basis, the sequester hurts. But on an ideological basis, its the most beautiful thing since (((insert comment here))).

    These people simply don't understand what gubmit does...only that its EVIL. So the sequester is bringing this civics question/answer home to many. And they aren't liking the answers.

    I certainly hope Obama is distributing these sequester cuts into local regions that are the biggest bitchers of gubmit.

    And, besides. What the fuck is a Lakota helicopter??????    ;-)

  •  We want budget cuts (0+ / 0-)

    What do we want to cut? Nothing.

  •  watch out for next year (0+ / 0-)

    The House decides what gets cut. I'm unclear how much veto power the Senate or POTUS have because I haven't looked into it but skimming looks ominous. Goodbye Head Start, goodbye EBT (food stamps), hello big ag and DOD making up what they lost this year.

    Unless I'm wrong, and please point out if I am, this is looking like it's in the running for Obama's biggest blunder (along with 2009 HCR rollout -> 2010 midterms). Hopefully the White House has gamed this out and hopefully the game plan isn't new Dem sellout of the urban poor.

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 11:23:14 AM PDT

  •  That's the GOP in a nutshell (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If it doesn't help me or my family, fuck it, I don't want it. Funny how Cheney and Portman suddenly came out in support of gay marriage when their families were involved. Liberals tend to have more empathy and can look beyond their own lives, whereas conservatives don't give a rats ass about anybody's suffering but their own.

    "Oh if a man tried To take his time on Earth And prove before he died What one man's life could be worth I wonder what would happen to this world" - Harry Chapin

    by macleme on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 11:27:37 AM PDT

  •  "ONE of the stupidest"? (0+ / 0-)

    I must confess to having grave difficulty to find ANYTHING stupider, in all of D.C's history.

    Perhaps Hoover's asinine insistence on balancing the budget in 1930....maybe.

    But I'm really not surprised that (a) Republicans are now whining like the crybabies they are over the sequester THEY insisted on; or (b) Republicans, unwilling to simply get rid of the sequester, are trying to use it to shit from a great height upon the poor who the (remaining) social services keep from utter destitution.

    Because as long as the government is keeping one person off the streets, that's one too many to today's Republican Party.

    "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

    by Australian2 on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 11:29:49 AM PDT

  •  Sequestration was brilliant..... (0+ / 0-)

    ....for Republicans -- in one fell sweep they demolish government and, because their votes are need to pass any bill, they get to restore just those bits they like: When millions go to contractors, etc.

    The President was ill-advised to hold think Republicans couldn't turn the sequester into a positive.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 11:43:24 AM PDT

  •  Furloughs at NSA? (0+ / 0-)

    Every cloud has its silver lining.

  •  As someone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    actually affected by the sequester and resulting furloughs, let me say a couple of things.  First, it is just beginning I think, to have some effect, both economically and on the efficiency of agencies subject to it.  Agencies naturally cut everything they could before reducing staff.  And so far those reductions are mostly furloughs.  But furloughs are a lousy way to run an organziation -- the person you want is never there, the project they're working on can't be done on time, when outsiders call, they can't get the necessary person, etc. -- and they probably can't solve the budget situation much longer without actual layoffs.  

    My agency has so far been able to deal with people working four-day weeks (some have taken more furlough time to lessen the load on others), but layoffs are coming.  The problem is, as an agency that provides services, 80% of  our budget goes to two things -- rent and personnel, and we've got to pay the rent.  And the other 20% is either insignificant or essential, neither of which helps.  Contrary to the views of conservatives, there's no fat available to cut, except by cutting employees and their services.   We just can't do the job we're charged with doing on this basis.  

    Now that the austerity emperor has been found to have no clothes, and even in Mississippi they've noticed that you can't cut things willy-nilly without bad effects, here's hoping that at least the Democrats, and maybe some Republicans, return to reality on this nonsensical system.

  •  "In other news, Sun rises in East." nt (0+ / 0-)

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