U.S. Faces Government Shutdown in Obamacare Standoff

By Democracy Now!

The nation is on the eve of its first government shutdown in 17 years as the congressional standoff over the Affordable Care Act comes to a head. Just after midnight on Sunday, the Republican-controlled House approved a bill tying continued government funding to a one-year delay of Obamacare and the repeal of a tax to pay for it. Hours later, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to reopen the Senate to allow debate, setting up a likely rejection of the House bill today. That will then put it back on the House to pass a stand-alone funding bill without the Obamacare delay, or force a government shutdown at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday. On Sunday, Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California blamed the Senate for the impasse.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher: “If this government shuts down, it is because the Senate, the Democrats who control the Senate, playing politics, want to shut down the government because they have refused to even consider the compromise that we have offered. This president negotiates with all kinds of despots and terrorist leaders. He won’t even negotiate with us.”

If the shutdown occurs, more than 800,000 federal workers will face furloughs and millions more could be forced to work without pay. At a news conference Friday in Washington, President Obama said a shutdown would hurt the economy.

President Obama: “My message to Congress is this: Do not shut down the government. Do not shut down the economy. Pass a budget on time. Pay our bills on time. Refocus on the everyday concerns of the American people. Past shut downs have disrupted the economy, and this shutdown would, as well. It would throw a wrench into the gears of our economy at a time when those gears have gained some traction.”

The prospect of a shutdown comes as Republicans and Democrats face a nearing deadline to increase the nation’s borrowing limit or risk a default on U.S. debts. Republicans had previously threatened to tie their bid for an Obamacare repeal to the debt ceiling vote.

Meanwhile Il Cavaliere Berlusconi, owner of the largest media empire in Italy…

Convicted of tax-fraud on 1 August 2013, and sentenced to 4 years imprisonment starting from 15 October 2013. According to Euronews: “Italy’s coalition government under threat after Berlusconi sentence is upheld.”

Corporations vs. Real Democracy

“When it is claimed that privatizing all areas of the economy will make society safe from the power of the State, what is not disclosed in this is that the real problem lies in the monopoly or oligopoly, which simply transfers power from the hands of the State to the hands of a Parastate, no longer managed by a bureaucratic minority but now by that private minority itself as it continues to advance this process of concentration.”…

…”Whether everything ends up in chaos and civilization starts anew, or we begin a stage of progressive humanization, does not depend on inexorable mechanical designs, but on the intentions of individuals and peoples, on their commitment to changing the world, and on an ethic of liberty, which by definition is something that cannot be imposed. And we will aspire no longer to formal democracy, controlled until now by the special interests of the various factions, but instead to real democracy in which direct participation can be realized instantaneously, thanks to communication technologies that are every day more able to bring this about.” (Silo, Letters to my Friends, Letter 4).