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Lois Capps

Paul Wellman (file)

Lois Capps


Capps Talks Government Shutdown

Santa Barbara Businesses Owner Laments Washington Standstill


Friday, October 4, 2013
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Two days after the government came to a screeching halt because of a partisan game of chicken between Republican lawmakers and the president over federal spending and the implementation of Obamacare, Congressmember Lois Capps participated in a conference call — briefly postponed by the Capitol Hill shooting Thursday morning — to discuss the legislative tension in Washington and how it’s affecting her constituents on the Central Coast.

Contrary to the belief of many that the standstill only affects government employees, Capps said the “misguided” and “unnecessary” decision by a faction of the House of Representatives has seriously impacted many residents throughout Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties. “We’re really playing with fire,” Capps said. “All of our constituents are telling us about [the impact of the shutdown]. People don’t realize how partisan things come. It’s only one group in Washington … it’s a terrible precedent.”

Capps said those affected in her district include employees at the Carrizo Plain National Monument, the Goodwin Education Center near Painted Rock, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Camp Roberts Historical Museum, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Los Padres National Forest, as well as countless small businesses and those working in the private sector.

One area business owner, Santa Barbara Adventure Company director Michael Cohen, joined the conversation to talk about how the shutdown has affected his company. He’s had to downsize operations dramatically, he said, because one-third of his outdoor business involves kayak trips and sea-cave tours of the Channel Islands National Park, which is now closed to the public. Given the uncertainty in Washington, Cohen said, he had to cancel school field trips and corporate team-building outings — planned months in advance by customers often traveling long distances — through October 10, costing his company an estimated $33,000. He also had to scale down from 15 employees to five for the time being.

“I certainly hope it changes,” Cohen said. “My two sons, who are 5 and 7, are able to work out differences when they have a disagreement. … Congressional leaders are hurting small business and the public.” Santa Barbara Adventure Company, he went on, is currently offering a “shutdown special”: 50 percent off for all government employees joining onto an existing, non-islands trip, and 25 percent off gift certificates and vouchers for future island trips if visitors purchase them before the shutdown ends.

When asked if she supported suspending Congressional pay, Capps said she is already part of efforts to ensure members of Congress are not paid during the shutdown. Further, she added that uncertainty at the national level sparked constituents — including potential start-up companies on the Central Coast — to ask: Can we rely on the federal government? “That cripples us tremendously,” Capps said, adding she plans to work hard to instill faith back into the federal government.

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Independent Discussion Guidelines

All federal funding administered by the Area Agency on Aging is frozen since Oct. 1. This is for basic services for low-income seniors countywide. It funds CAC's Healthy Lunch Program for seniors. Approximately 600 seniors each day are prepared and served a home cooked meal- 300 seniors right in their homes because they are ill, unable leave their homes and/or very vulnerable. We are continuing to serve the seniors but we can not sustain this without being paid. I only wish the legislators would do their jobs and learn to cooperate with each other. This is a trait that we encourage in our pre-school Head Start classrooms. Play nice in the sandbox! We are on pins and needles until this ends. Then will come the debt sealing discussion, then will come the federal budget and it goes on and on.......this is the new normal as the true discussion is "what should gov't pay for"? and all we are trying to do provide a basic and verified need to our elders.

franforman (anonymous profile)
October 4, 2013 at 1:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank you Tea Party anarchists for causing 800 + layoffs at Vandenberg and now this story of a good business having to lay off tour guides. There is a special place in Hell reserved for these Congressional Republicans.

geeber (anonymous profile)
October 4, 2013 at 6:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The GOP is now the biggest threat to the American way of life. They are now the Bananarepublican party

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
October 4, 2013 at 7:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

In all this financial maelstrom, and with the rollout of ACA, there's a glimmer of hope in watching the Republicans tear themselves into pieces. Jeb Bush and the Elders watch in horror as a few nuts in their own party lead them to perdition. The unholy alliance of Tea Party "sad romantics" who want the 1950s back -- aging anglo Baby Boomers go boo hoo -- with the 1% big money fat cats endures a clamorous divorce as the GOP implodes. Eventually big money will force McConnell, the sad blubbering sack Boehner, Cantor and others to bring the budget to a full House vote and the budget will pass as the Senate wants. Sooner I hope, than later. The Tea Party people are not loyal Americans, they do not love their country despite their crying out how much they do. They are poorly educated, want simplistic solutions, love "conspiracy theory", and generally aren't playing with a full deck: and dangerous.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
October 4, 2013 at 7:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Wake up guys. It's the administration and the Senate that won't negotiate. That's where you need to focus your outrage.

Botany (anonymous profile)
October 4, 2013 at 9:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Botany, the United States Government does not negotiate with terrorists.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
October 5, 2013 at 1:06 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Interesting analogy Ken. Because the "terrorists" have offered to let some of their "hostages" go. But the Dems are saying "We don't want them one at a time. Either let them all go or shoot them all."

Botany (anonymous profile)
October 5, 2013 at 3:05 a.m. (Suggest removal)

KV , Botany skipped his government and civics lessons. The rest of us learned that if you don't like a law that there is legal process to address that. The propaganda addled rightwingnut faction of the GOP , dutifully following the marching orders of their plutocratic Koch/Murdoch Gods , are absolute worst our country has to offer.

geeber (anonymous profile)
October 5, 2013 at 4:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

go geeber! Civics lessons needed in public schools, but oh, we're privatizing and technologizing them so fast that social studies as well as the arts is being jettisoned. More machines and "trainers", fewer face-to-face energetic teachers. Many Tea Party freaks are themselves victims of very limited and materialistic pseudo-education, their ignorance shows and often startles educated Briton and Europeans visiting the USA.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
October 5, 2013 at 6:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm dubious of the tactics the GOP has utilized in this situation as well. And I expect that type of insulting inflammatory remarks from diehard liberals like yourselves. But having the POTUS exhibit some of the same attitudes you nutjobs are exhibiting here shows a clear lack of leadership on his part. Instead of trying to resolve the situation, he's doing his best to back them into a corner. Lack of leadership at it's worst.

Botany (anonymous profile)
October 5, 2013 at 8:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@Botany: "But having the POTUS exhibit some of the same attitudes you nutjobs are exhibiting here shows a clear lack of leadership on his part. "

Pot, kettle, black. Your opinion is so utterly absurd that it made me laugh.

Again, please include a list of laws for which it is perfectly fine for a fringe wing of the Republican party to hold a gun to the head of the nation's economy if they do not get their way. If Obama negotiates with these Tea Party 'nutjobs', then he might as well tear up the constitution. The Tea Party certainly doesn't believe in it. And really - how do you negotiate with people who don't believe in evolution or climate change?

You want to repeal the ACA. Win elections or lobby for the votes. I think the one benefit to all of this is that the whole country finally sees just how extreme are these Tea Party 'nutjobs' - and it'll be pretty fun to watch the next midterm elections.

EatTheRich (anonymous profile)
October 5, 2013 at 9:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Conservative Republicans have been trying to spin messages to the public claiming they only desire "reasonable discussions & negotiations" on the Affordable Care Act.

In fact, they've already had plenty of chances during regular sessions of Congress to change ACA but they didn't have the necessary public support or votes (even when Ted Cruz resorted to that "fake" filibuster to up his political capital with the Tea Party faithful). Even the Supreme Court has had time to weigh in on the constitutionality of the ACA.

Call it what is really is ... extortion and blackmail.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
October 5, 2013 at 12:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Or ... pouty little kids who didn't like the way the game went so kicked the soccer ball into the street.

Of course, kids will be kids. What's really insulting is these adult Tea Party juveniles keep insisting they're not pouting but being "reasonable".

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
October 5, 2013 at 12:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You guys have been extolling the virtues of SCOTUS confirming the constitutionality of the ACA. (only with the penalty as a tax) Tell me how you feel about the CItizens United decision again?

Botany (anonymous profile)
October 5, 2013 at 12:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

IF the president negotiated or reached out to the GOP anymore, he'd basically be handing the presidency over to the oompa loompa leader of the house, who works for Mr. Wonka ahem, Cola, I mean Koch. In his own words the president admits he has 'bent over backwards' to meet them way more than half way since day 1. These GOP'ers are terrorists by their own definition. Remember, you are either with us or with the terrorists, so says their last president. Why does the govt. only get shut down during a Democratic presidency? They are the ones unwilling to compromise on something that was passed by both houses, signed by the president, withstood supreme court trial, all the while the president who ran on it was voted into office for a 2nd term. If you're honest with yourself, the blame for shutdown is obvious.

spacey (anonymous profile)
October 5, 2013 at 12:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

you're right botz, I'd totally shut down the govt. over citizen's united if i was elected. Apparently the socialists in washington missed my memo on that.

spacey (anonymous profile)
October 5, 2013 at 12:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@Botany ... my point about SCOTUS is not the outcome of their ruling.

It's that so much time has passed between the signing of ACA and today that even the slowly grinding wheels of the Supreme Court had time to make a ruling!

In fact, the Tea Party Republicans have had 3-1/2 years and 3 sessions of Congress to make their case to the American public and gather enough votes to change ACA to their liking. But they couldn't pull it off. And now they're complaining they didn't have a fair chance?

I call B.S.

(Bombastic Scatterings, to avoid the wrath of the censors)

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
October 5, 2013 at 12:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Botany - the hostages they are trying to release, are the very programs the hostage-takers are trying to cut.

And why should some hostages be released - and not all. Who is playing God here?

The budget and the debt limit should NOT be negotiated under the gun and with people losing pay. An attempt has been made to defund AHA 41 times using the normal democratic means - and since they failed due to lack of a democratic majority, they attempted doing so via a minority holding everyone hostage, including moderate republicans. That is if you cannot afford to buy a car using the normal means, then try hijacking one.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
October 5, 2013 at 1:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Interesting factoids courtesy of NY Times:

53% of the vote was for Obama. He called it a "mandate".

53% of citizens at last week's NYT poll did not want Obamacare. Why isn't this also a "mandate".

The House is doing exactly as it is empowered to do under the Constitution. They propose a budget and are not required to include funding for anything in particular. The Senate's job is to either approve, propose an alternative or negotiate a compromise; they have done none of the above. Now who again is the problem? I would say ALL OF THEM.

BTW, many of the posters herein declared the Tea Party to be dead a while back. A bit premature, eh?

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
October 5, 2013 at 3:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

because one was a national election in which the ACA matter had been thoroughly debated and discussed, the other is a slippery NYT poll. You, JL, rail against the ridiculousness (you've written) of some of these Indy polls, but you want to compare a NYTimes poll with a national election?! That's all you've got? Try a little harder.
The Tea Party is in full view self-immolation, can't you see that, John?

DrDan (anonymous profile)
October 5, 2013 at 4:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"53% of citizens at last week's NYT poll did not want Obamacare"

I bet 80% of citizens don't know the difference between Obamacare and the Affordable Healthcare Act, and many think they are not the same. Therefore, the poll is invalid because people do not know what they are talking about.

Check this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sx2scv...

If people are asked about certain features of the AHA/Obamacare, they are enthusiastic about them.

Most of the US is not very aware of what is going on, like the Tea Partiers cry "Keep government off my Medicare".

tabatha (anonymous profile)
October 5, 2013 at 5:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

They only "Terrorists" are the likes of Dr. Dan, Geeber, Herschel, EatTheRich, and the other loons who post on this site.

Funny how the same talking points you read from Peelosi, Reid and Obumber are posted by the idiots above.

Its also funny when the left does exactly what the right is doing today it's "Noble and American" but when the right gives the left the same treatment it's "Terrorism". You Kool-Aid drinkers crack me up... Love the laugh in the morning though you hackers keep it up!!!

I'll have to put my hazardous waste suit on now because the vile garbage that will attack me and the verbal pyshco-babble that continually comes out of the mouths of the left is extremely toxic.

Priceless (anonymous profile)
October 6, 2013 at 9 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The Tea Party is irrelevant to my point, DrDan. Repeated polls, not just the NYT, have shown that over 50% of the population does not want Obamacare. And while I'm not a fan of NYT, I would certainly give it orders of magnitude higher marks in journalism than the Indy.

And BTW, tabatha, inspite of Obama's commitment to protect care, it will be raided to the tune of nearly $800 Billion to fund Obamacare. And Obamacare, in everything I've read except your post, is considered slang for ACA.

@Priceless, your post is priceless!

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
October 6, 2013 at 9:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

priceless! it's not "pyshco-babble" [sic] but psycho-babble of which you're a master: keep that haz-mat suit on a long time, you'll need it. The exchanges tell the truth: Americans are flocking to ACA and now it's in cement and, like Social Security, will never go away. Enjoy.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
October 6, 2013 at 9:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@JohnLocke: "Repeated polls, not just the NYT, have shown that over 50% of the population does not want Obamacare."

So then the votes in the Senate should be easy to get, right?

Of course, because JL doesn't know how to use the internet, a recent report by that far-left magazine known as Forbes (ahem) states that, "only 33 percent believe that the health law should be repealed, delayed, or defunded. "

So thus far, what we learn from Pricess, JohnLocke, and Botany is a reaffirmation of what we already knew - they have no respect for democracy, and, the moment that they do not get their way, they are perfectly fine with gambling with the economic security of the entire country instead of having any respect for the political process. And you can't rationally negotiate with members of the House who are more loyal to the Tea Party than they are the government to which they swore an oath.

It's shameful, really - made only more shameful in their ignorance of not knowing - or caring - about the consequences of their actions.

EatTheRich (anonymous profile)
October 6, 2013 at 11:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"When asked if she supported suspending Congressional pay, Capps said she is already part of efforts to ensure members of Congress are not paid during the shutdown. "

What does that mean? Is she working during the shutdown? I think it means endless wheelspinning that will accomplish nothing but look like something is being done.
Why can't she just say "I'm returning my check to the Treasury" or "I'm donating my check to FoodBank in Santa Barbara"?

This is why we need term limits in DC. Politicians are incapable of speaking a simple sentence.

Carpreader (anonymous profile)
October 6, 2013 at 12:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Worthless is more what I would call it.

Just visited the Census Bureau's website to gather facts. Ironically, the site is down due to the shutdown. The Tea Party's blackmail is working, and they are chortling about it:

http://www.latimes.com/nation/politic...

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
October 6, 2013 at 12:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The results of polling on ACA are much more even than JohnLocke would have you believe.

Here's a review of the recent NYT/CBS and CNN polls. Rather than interpreting the results for you, read it yourself here:

http://www.nytimes.com/news/affordabl...

Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured in the Union (a bit less than 25% according to CNN). Do you think that 25% of the population cares what the NYT poll says?

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
October 6, 2013 at 12:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So, gee, it's maybe only 100 million people who don't like ACA, not 150 million. The system was designed to prevent tyranny by the majority and is working just fine in that regard. Lot's of good stuff in Obamacare, not to be confused with the best of all possible systems - rates are already going up, Medicare is getting its funding reduced, companies are dropping their health care plans - why is no one calling Obama a liar?. I'm just loving the Dems "we will not negotiate" stance - should play well for them in the next election.

As I read all these posts, I'm struck with the following idea: if the reasonable Republicans (some call them RINOs) could team up with the reasonable Democrats, thus leaving out the wingnuts at both ends of the spectrum (Tea Party, MoveOn types, etc.) we could have a Centrist party that I bet would agree on a lot and actually get things done. But alas, I fear there are too many mindless partisans and no leader capable of stepping forward to form such a party. A pity.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
October 6, 2013 at 4:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Call me an idiot, fool, terrorist, or whatever, but don't call me late to dinner.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
October 6, 2013 at 5:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The two allowed political parties love these extreme events to pull more money from their followers for the next election. I think our country is screwed without publically financed elections, and the wall street traders get away without paying even penny taxes on each nanosecond speculation dependent on the conflict they create and piles of debt they earn interest on.

Is there a caring yet libertarian direction that will allow us to live long and prosper together without having robot overloads? Will enough folks turn off their tv set and start thinking for themselves? I think I know the answer, and it does not look good. Am I wrong about the future?

The above is a bit JohnLockean, except I think the ACA would work as a step in the right direction if not for the saboteurs. Medicare seems overall a fair system and allows for supplementation if people want to put their excess money there. Removing the insurance companies seems the best step to take. Here's hoping for California One Care going forward.

sbindyreader (anonymous profile)
October 6, 2013 at 7:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

John locke - read this sentence again - I think you missed the point.

"I bet 80% of citizens don't know the difference between Obamacare and the Affordable Healthcare Act, and many think they are not the same. "

The point of the video is many people believe the AHA and Obamacare are different - did you watch it. And because they believe they are different any poll on Obamacare is invalid, because people do not know what they are talking about.

I also stated this which you seemed to have missed "If people are asked about certain features of the AHA/Obamacare, they are enthusiastic about them."

Speed-reading much?

Btw, the CBO states that Obamacare will reduce the deficit, and if it is repealed it will increase the deficit.

Kentucky Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear had a number of financial analysts look at the implementation of Obamacare - that is look at the numbers - and they replied that he would be stupid not to implement Obamacare/AHA.

"PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Studies Institute at the University of Louisville concluded that expanding Medicaid would inject $15.6 billion into Kentucky’s economy over the next eight years, create almost 17,000 new jobs, have an $802.4 million positive budget impact (by transferring certain expenditures from the state to the federal government, among other things), protect hospitals from cuts in indigent care funding and shield businesses from up to $48 million in annual penalties."

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/27/opi...

Read it carefully - possibly twice.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
October 6, 2013 at 9:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Tabatha, you keep saying that the CBO states that Obamacare will reduce the deficit. Remember that the CBO was forced to use the numbers given by the Obama administration. Those numbers didn't include the Medicare and Doc fixes that would otherwise make the system unworkable. Once the Medicare and Doc fixes are added in, Obamacare adds heavily to the deficit over the next decade. I don't think anyone that has looked at the facts will deny this.

http://www.nationalreview.com/critica...

Botany (anonymous profile)
October 6, 2013 at 9:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Botany (anonymous profile)
October 6, 2013 at 9:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Well, Wall Street is showing signs of the times, a record opening loss? The Giant is falling; All Praise Allah!

dou4now (anonymous profile)
October 7, 2013 at 6:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Sorry, tabatha - reading too fast as you said.

When all costs are consdered, including the nearly $1 trillion to be taken from Medicare and the increases in private health insurance premiums required to cover the Emergency Room costs of those still refusing to get insurance, Obamacare will be a net cost increase. How can it not be, when it is adding medical care for so many people?

Obama's big mistake was leaving out the 'public option', i.e. an equivalent to Medicare, which in my experience works extremely well (except that in order to keep the apparent cost down the doctors are under-reimbursed - not the hospitals, the doctors).

As I said, somewhere between our current dreadful system and Obamacare in its current form, there is a good solution if everyone would stop the childish tantrums and irrelevant arguments, remove the insurance company lobby from the discussion and get to work.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
October 7, 2013 at 8:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

agree JL that Republicans' forced the 'public option' out and in that move really hamstrung ACA; nonetheless, don't agree with your figures and the net result, over time, will be lowered health care costs, AND for more American citizens. How can this not be a good thing?

DrDan (anonymous profile)
October 7, 2013 at 8:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Botany, your links espouse the view from the right. I tend to believe Krugman and Ezra Klein. Also, the Republicans have created a myth about the AHA Medicare cuts. The AHA medicare savings are based on making the system more efficient, and the provisions of Medicare have not changed.

http://www.dpc.senate.gov/docs/fs-112...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/w...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/w...

tabatha (anonymous profile)
October 7, 2013 at 9:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Do we really need a congress anymore?

With the internet we can vote on issues immediately.

We don't need representatives anymore. We can represent ourselves.

We're stuck in an archaic system with corrupt and inept representatives.

Georgy (anonymous profile)
October 7, 2013 at 11:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

share your frustration, georgy, but we do need due process and rule of law, and a "direct democracy" thing via internet is unlikely, has bad security, and immediate mass decisions would be quite scary, even worse than this near-anarchy the Tea Party crazies have fomented. Do you actually think we can represent ourselves?? Barely half the people bother to vote. Many people don't know that ACA is Obamacare. Better: let's radically improve the public education system, have terrific civics classes, history...I know, really radical.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
October 7, 2013 at 1:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

No thanks, I'd rather represent myself.

Perhaps the reason most people aren't engaged is because they have no say at the table. Voting for who gets to represent you is better than a monarchy, but your still picking someone who gets to steal your power to represent yourself..

Georgy (anonymous profile)
October 7, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Great idea Georgy, but not everybody has access to the internet. If you don't have the device, you have to find time. Instead of having debates over issues, we should keep score so the losers who keep themselves involved in the debate via media (Newt Gingrich, Bill Cristol, Paul Wolf-no-witz, Dick Cheney) will no longer be relevant once you know their score on previous historical facts. Kinda like sports, cuz every American loves 1. Football 2. Basketball or 3. Baseball.

spacey (anonymous profile)
October 7, 2013 at 2:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

on local levels we all get to represent ourselves, but how realistic is that concept of direct democracy in a diverse land of 310 million humans?

DrDan (anonymous profile)
October 7, 2013 at 5:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Wow , did an imposter commandeer John Locke's comment profile? "As I said, somewhere between our current dreadful system and Obamacare in its current form, there is a good solution if everyone would stop the childish tantrums and irrelevant arguments, remove the insurance company lobby from the discussion and get to work."
This can't be the same "John Locke" we have know and reviled all these years . Either that or he has finally decided to turn off the Fox News .

geeber (anonymous profile)
October 8, 2013 at 2:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

that's right, geeber, but JL has fits of reasonability, too. "His" post at 10/07/8:32 a.m. is so thoughtful it belies others posts by the supposed "JohnLocke" in this same thread, so I say 'Wow' as well. The three faces of JL, with dueling political philosophies arguing in the same brain and on the same thread.
Here's the purported "center-left" JL posting: "Obama's big mistake was leaving out the 'public option', i.e. an equivalent to Medicare, which in my experience works extremely well..."
Consistency can be overrated, but these swings make JL not worth reading.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
October 8, 2013 at 6:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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