Lummis votes to shut down government

Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., opted to close national parks rather than implement the health care law passed by Congress and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks are being barricaded today, and all public access closed, thanks in part to Wyoming’s lone congressional representative, Cynthia Lummis.

Lummis is part of an extreme faction of the Republican Party seeking to hold the federal government hostage over implementation of the 2009 health care law. She voted repeatedly this weekend and last night to send a budget bill to the Senate that was dead on arrival.

Without funding, all federal agencies, including the National Park Service, were forced to close.

On her website, Lummis said she did so to protect Americans from “the onslaught of Obamacare.”

Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott held a conference call this morning to outline the closure in her jurisdiction, which includes the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway connecting Grand Teton and Yellowstone.

Aside from Highway 26/89/191 between Jackson and Moran, all of Grand Teton park is closed to visitor access and recreational activities, Scott said. Visitors may not even stop at scenic turnouts along the highway.

All visitors must leave “as soon as practicable,” Scott said. There were 552 rooms and campsites booked within the park yesterday, she said.

Access will be allowed to Dornan’s and the Moose post office, but a barricade will prevent further access to the west. The Moose-Wilson and Teton Park roads are closed. No river trips, wildlife tours or other guided activities will be permitted. Visitor centers, bike paths, trails and boat ramps are closed.

The superintendent said decisions on how to implement the closure were made in Washington, D.C., not in her office. But the restrictions are not unlike other closures she has experienced during her career, she said. Republicans last shut down the government and the parks in 1995-1996, for three weeks.

Photographers will be barred from capturing the autumn majesty of the Oxbow Bend in Teton park. The road is closed to this popular destination.

Already, some park visitors have reacted angrily, trying to drive through closures and cursing at rangers, Scott said. No arrests have been made.

“We appreciate visitor adherence to respecting closures,” she said. “Please realize a shutdown is a very difficult thing for all of us to do. … Our staff has absolutely no decision-making power or discretion in making these closures.”

Nearly 200 of the park’s 240 employees have been furloughed. Only those working in law enforcement, emergency response, boundary protection and critical infrastructure remain on the job.

Scott called the shutdown “devastating to morale.” Employees even are prohibited from working in a volunteer capacity. “It is our nature to welcome and educate and bring visitors into parks,” she said. “It’s a crushing experience to be put on furlough and told to not work.”

The Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center on North Cache Drive in Jackson also will close. Visitor information will be available at the Home Ranch building instead.

Scott said there is no timetable for reopening the parks. “We hope Congress acts quickly to provide funding for the federal government,” she said.

The phone number for Lummis’ office in D.C. is 202-225-2311, although her voice mailbox was full and not taking additional messages this morning. Her email address is cynthia.lummis@mail.house.gov.

For more on how the parks came to be closed, watch this clip:

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Posted under Economy, Environment, Politics, Republican Party

76 Comments so far

  1. Steve October 1, 2013 1:05 pm

    Well I vote Lummis out!!!

  2. Scott Arnold October 1, 2013 1:19 pm

    Of course your slanted description of the current state of affairs is a provocation–here is an alternative that Ms Lummis’s constituents would likely approve:
    “Lummis and her Republican majority in the House are challenging the far left wing of the Democratic Party that is holding the country hostage in an effort to preserve unilateral and unlawful changes made by the Administration to the widely unpopular Obamacare law.”

  3. murph October 1, 2013 2:27 pm

    WHAAAAAA!!!!! THE GRISWOLD’S WONT TAKE THIS LIGHTLY

  4. Kid K October 1, 2013 3:00 pm

    Any word on Moose Wilson road?

  5. Jim Stanford October 1, 2013 3:28 pm

    Closed. Lummis, meanwhile, continues to collect her $174,000 annual salary. @Scott: Here’s a more accurate slant.
    Fortunately, Lummis is getting an earful from disgusted constituents on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cynthia-Lummis/152754318103332?ref=ts&fref=ts

  6. jeff wogoman October 1, 2013 3:48 pm

    Just watch the clip. The issue before the house is to pass a resolution to fund the government, that’s all. No obamacare, no gay rights, no abortion issues, no civil rights, no entitlements, no taking guns away. I know it’s hard not to inject a social agenda into EVERY SINGLE ISSUE that comes up in Washington. Just fund the damn government so that people can go back to work and visitors can tour the parks and good tax paying Americans can go back to being audited by the IRS.

    Then, if obamacare is going to ruin America, debate that with the left wing America killers and not take some misplaced idealogical stance when it’s irrelevant to the current objective. Jesus this is dumb.

  7. Leith Barker October 1, 2013 4:06 pm

    The most disgusting part of this is that all the people who have caused the shutdown (senate, congress, President, etc.) will still be pulling in their paychecks. Since their JOB is to run the country, their failure to do so SHOULD mean that they sacrifice not only their paychecks, but their “better than anyone else can get health insurance” too. I rather doubt there would be a government shutdown if it actually caused those who created the shutdown some personal financial loses… like all those other governmental workers who have been furloughed.

  8. Brad October 1, 2013 5:04 pm

    “Young people carryin’ signs, most they say, ‘Hooray for our side'”.

    Stephen Stills, 1966

    Chuck Schumer gets that same $174,000 per year, Jim. A pox on both the senate and the house for no willingness to conference on this thing.

  9. Jim Stanford October 1, 2013 5:41 pm

    No willingness? This is not compromise, it’s extortion. http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/01/the-g-o-p-definition-of-negotiation/?hp

  10. Scott October 1, 2013 6:47 pm

    I do feel sorry for all the people kicked out of Jenny Lake Lodge, Jackson Lake Lodge, Signal Mtn Lodge, etc. And ALL foreign visitors. Americans get what they deserve.

    Other than that, I don’t have any problem with the closure. It’s childish but I’m happy to cut Mary Scott’s travel budget and doughnut account.

    It’s a wonderful subversive act on the NPS’s part to shut down access to the Park’s website (http://www.nps.gov/grte/index.htm) …as if you need an employee to maintain a static website.

  11. The Nation's Business October 1, 2013 7:24 pm

    On Sept 24, 2013, Mike Enzi introduced a resolution:

    S.Res. 254: A resolution designating November 2, 2013, as “National Bison Day”.

  12. another Chad October 1, 2013 9:11 pm

    Silly partisan AmeriKans……

    You bicker back and forth about 2 heads of the same beast.

    Warmonger in Chief Obama will feign outrage with his Brethren “on the other side of the aisle”. Meanwhile the actors on the “right” will huff and puff and beat their chests harder than DICK Cheney beats his human prey during a “hunting” trip.

    When Nov. comes I will fill my area 75 tag one way or another. The freezer is nearly empty and I refuse to fill it with “meat” grown by Obama’s financiers at Cargill, Con Agra, Tyson, Monsanto, Tyson, etc. etc. etc.

  13. Ripple October 1, 2013 10:46 pm

    If you’re looking to blame someone, don’t blame Lummis. It’s all those tree hugging libs who want access to affordable health insurance. What a bunch of socialist whiners. Real Americans would just use medical services, not pay for them, and then let everyone else incur the costs. So see? Lummis speaks for real Americans.

  14. another Chad October 2, 2013 7:06 am

    When they even close the turnouts along 89, this isn’t about “safety” or anything else. This is about exacting as much discomfort on the American People as possible. I understand closing Visitor Center’s, museums, and other buildings requiring staffing, but the LAND is ours and should not be off limits. For God akes they have closed the freaking multiuse path along 89 in the park. This is childish, and the partners in crime, R and D, are responsible.

    WW2 vets are ignoring the signs PRINTED UP WEEKS AGO, and visiting the WW2 memorial. I intend to do the same on Antelope flats in a month when I have always gone out to fill my Area 75 tag. My family relies on that meat every year and will not be kept away by “closed” signs along the freaking road.

  15. D-head Cheney October 2, 2013 7:14 am

    Glad to see Obama won’t negotiate with GOP terrorists. The rich white man’s party is throwing a temper tantrum again, because some poor people may be able to afford healthcare. Republitards can’t handle the fact that a black man is smarter than them and actually has some power. America knows that the GOP is full of shit and that is why it will continue to lose elections. Go back to watching FOX News, listening to AM Radio, and attending Klan Meetings, Republi-d-bags!

  16. Larry October 2, 2013 8:27 am

    Come On! What does closing roads and scenic overlooks have to do with saving money? How does closing the Spread Creek Road on the BT have anything to do with saving money. This is government extortion. They are trying to force us to force them to give them what they want. It’s stupid! Let them stay closed. Let them stay closed till people start figuring out that we don’t NEED them in the first place. Self Reliance!

    Jim, Compromise is what got this country so screwed up in the first place.

    Without compromise nothing gets done you say,? Well that’s true but some things SHOULDN’T get done. At least not by the federal government.

  17. John October 2, 2013 9:11 am

    My letter to Congresswoman Lummis:

    Dear Congresswoman Lummis,

    I think it is absolutely ridiculous what the Republican Congress is trying to do– to attempt to bypass the Constitutional process in order to get their way, holding millions of American’s livelihood as leverage. I don’t frankly care what your opinion is regarding the ACA, EPA rules, Contraceptives, the Keystone Pipeline or the rest of the ransom note you’re delivering to the Senate, President, and American people. It’s outside the Constitutional process to change policy through hostage demands. These are laws already passed that must be followed, and I look forward to the Constitutional crisis arguments when the Senate and President simply decide to ignore the debt ceiling, which I assume you’re ramping up for.

    Imagine if the scenario were turned– imagine if Romney was President and the Congress, Senate, and President Romney had signed EPA restriction eliminations and huge tax breaks for billionaires in to law? Imagine if a Democratic run Congress refused to allow it, holding the country hostage? I know EXACTLY what you’d call Democrats– terrorists. Look in the mirror.

    Holding the American people hostage is no way to govern, just read the constitution.

    Here’s a thought, why don’t Republicans try to find some things that a majority of Americans want and agree with, then run your campaigns based on those things, then once you have a majority and the Presidency, then pass those things in to law? Is that such a hard concept, or is it always lie, cheat, and steal? Wouldn’t you absolutely just hate it if you did all those things, and then Liberals took the government hostage so they could have their way? Is that democracy?

    Sincerely sick of this,

    John…

  18. D October 2, 2013 10:13 am

    I ‘m not on board with Obamacare, but the Republicans are wrong on this one. I understand they hate it and want to get rid of it, but this is not how it’s done. They have no chance of this working and they look stupid. I am embarrassed for the party I used to support. If they keep it up, they will no longer exist. You can’t win elections with only the radical fringe. We need real honest debate on all of our complex problems! We are not getting that and that’s why we can’t find the solutions. It’s a joke from left to right.

  19. another Chad October 2, 2013 11:27 am

    d-head cheney: I wholeheartedly agree with your username, however, I believe you have a very hard time seeing past your red and blue tinted glasses.
    I work in the healthcare industry and what is on the horizon for is HORRIFIC. Quality of healthcare for ALL but the elite(Congress, President, uber wealthy) will fall off a cliff.
    I am in favor of getting everyone covered but the second I saw that the IRS would be the go between I knew it was a lie.

    BTW: the last “compromise” offered and refused was equal care for all no “Elite” option. Obama and the Senate refused it.

    Obama’s true name is actually OBushma, as he is not much different from his predeccessor other than rhetoric.

  20. KB October 2, 2013 11:34 am

    The federal govt. is the largest employer in Wyoming. From F.E. Warren AFB to Yellowstone, federal installations are the lynchpin of many local economies. Wyoming will be hurt more than any other state by this shutdown as it is by the sequester. The people who pretend to represent us voted for this to “protect” us from, of all things, health care insurance. Thanks.
    KB, a proud RINO

  21. Blow hards October 2, 2013 11:36 am

    I’m with Larry.

    Closing a turnout on the highway is a Mary Scott / Obama Admin decision. It doesn’t cost money to keep a turnout open or a pathway by the refuge.

    Just stupid. And designed to annoy the public so as to put pressure on congress.

  22. Ripple October 2, 2013 12:51 pm

    In response to the shuttering of our wild lands, emotions are raw. People are downright irreverent. As if storming the gates, poaching wildlife, and taking our public lands by force would send a message to D.C. once and for all. We love our public lands, so let’s f*** this place up!

    Unfortunately, this will do little in the way of sending a message to Washington. The people who caused this don’t care. They’ve said as much. So does it make sense to put local employees in a bad position? Even though they aren’t the ones who made the decision to close the parks? On top of everything else, we needn’t be selfish or hypocritical.

    Our public lands are in crisis daily from one thing or another. Where was all this outrage before yesterday! These places are important to everyone for countless reasons. So we need to refrain from being hoods in the woods. Are you informed about land issues? Are you getting involved somehow? If your answer is ‘No,’ then you share some blame in this, too.

  23. John October 2, 2013 1:35 pm

    Hi Chad,

    Can you enlighten me, how is healthcare quality going to become worse for the 15% of Americans that can’t get and/or don’t have healthcare at all?

    John

  24. another Chad October 2, 2013 3:03 pm

    John: The way to get the “15%” healthcare that didn’t have it should not happen due to ruining the healthcare of the other 85% that did have it. No one even saw this garbage law before it was shoved through 4 years ago.

    This should have remained a State issue. People gripe and moan about the current fiasco as a “Unconstitutional” process, The ACA, no matter what John Roberts says, is unconstitutional.

  25. DL October 2, 2013 3:28 pm

    There all imbeciles masquerading as leaders, every one of them.

  26. Jim Stanford October 2, 2013 3:36 pm

    As for how the shutdown is affecting the Bridger-Teton National Forest, the Jackson office has furloughed all but five of its 80 employees. The staff is down to District Ranger Dale Deiter, a law enforcement officer and three firefighters. The most frustrating thing, Deiter says, is that half the staff is funded by other sources than congressional appropriations, yet they had to be laid off, anyway. Public access to the forest has not been affected, aside from those lands accessed through the national parks (such as Pilgrim and Pacific creeks). The few staffers left on the job are working without pay, with no guarantee they will receive back pay once the shutdown ends, although Deiter says it’s customary to be paid later.

  27. John October 2, 2013 3:39 pm

    Chad,

    You’re logic is clearly infallible. Thank you for taking the time to enlighten all of us about constitutional law.

  28. another Chad October 2, 2013 3:44 pm

    DL: Agreed 100%!

  29. KB October 2, 2013 4:48 pm

    Just went for a lovely cycle. Elk were bugling, bears chowing down on chokecherries, graded dirt, no cars.
    Yes the sweetest rides are poached, and I wasn’t alone. Mitch and John can kiss my saddle sore.

  30. dan October 2, 2013 7:02 pm

    spiteful shutdown theater designed by bureaucrats to inconvenience Americans and try to convince them of the importance of the federal gov’t. The bottom line is most Americans will not even notice the shutdown and this theater at national parks and monuments is the only way to get people to notice.

    can I get my free health care now?

    does it come with a free phone too?

  31. BL October 2, 2013 9:04 pm

    DL-
    You need to double check your grammar. Especially with charged rhetoric.

  32. To Dan October 3, 2013 7:11 am

    “can I get my free health care now?”

    After Obamacare, it’s only ‘free’ to those who have no resources – nothing has changed since before Obamacare.

    It’s no longer free to the deadbeats who have money but spend it on skiing instead of insurance and expect others to pay for their healthcare when emergencies strike.

    Free phones are available from Union Wireless.

  33. fish j October 3, 2013 7:59 am

    Let’s not fool ourselves that these guys are working without pay. Poor guys. They will receive their paychecks.And everyone else is simply getting a few more weeks of paid vacation. Aren’t all of you guys tired of beating this same mutilated horse and arguing about these fools in DC? Go watch the baseball playoffs or something. Like we are going to change someone’s political beliefs by arguing on a goofy chat room.

  34. murph October 3, 2013 8:26 am

    for some real theatrics they should have shut down the airport!

  35. rob October 3, 2013 8:29 am

    on the bright side, it’s nice to see Enzi is one of the senators donating their paychecks during the shutdown.

  36. mack October 3, 2013 11:32 am

    “Lummis votes to shut down government”

    There was no vote to shut down the government.

    Maybe shut up the government.

    The vote simply put in motion several events that led to a shutdown. You could just as easily say that Senate Democrats voted to shutdown the government. They voted to reject what the House dreamed up and thus the shutdown.

  37. joe October 3, 2013 12:39 pm

    what would happen if Americans dropped their party affiliations registered independent, voted for the person and not the party?

  38. skip October 3, 2013 4:48 pm

    17 Republican representatives with the cajones to stand up to the Tea Party and get us back on track:

    Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.): “At this point, I believe it’s time for the House to vote for a clean, short-term funding bill to bring the Senate to the table and negotiate a responsible compromise.” [Press Release, 10/1/13]

    Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.): “Time for a clean [continuing resolution].” [Official Twitter, 10/1/13]

    Rep. Jon Runyan (R-N.J.): “Enough is enough. Put a clean [continuing resolution] on the floor and let’s get on with the business we were sent to do.” [Burlington County Times, 10/1/13]

    Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.): A Fitzpatrick aide tells the Philadelphia Inquirer the congressman would support a clean funding bill if it came up for a vote. [Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/1/13]

    Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.): Barletta said he would “absolutely” vote for a clean bill in order to avert a shut down of the government. [Bethlehem Morning Call, 10/1/13]

    Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.): King thinks House Republicans would prefer to avoid a shutdown and said he will only vote for a clean continuing resolution to fund the government, according to the National Review Online. [NRO, 9/30/13]

    Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.): The California Republican told The Huffington Post he would ultimately support a clean continuing resolution. [Tweet by The Huffington Post’s Sabrina Siddiqui, 9/30/13]

    Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.): “I’m prepared to vote for a clean [continuing resolution].” [The Huffington Post, 9/29/13]

    Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.): A Wolf aide told The Hill that he agrees with fellow Virginia Rep. Scott Rigell (R) that it’s time for a clean continuing resolution. [The Hill, 10/1/13]

    Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.): A Grimm aide told The Huffington Post that the congressman supports a clean continuing resolution. [10/1/13].

    Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.): A local news anchor in Minnesota tweeted that Paulsen told him he would vote for a clean resolution if given the chance. [Blake McCoy Tweet, 10/1/13]

    Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.): A constituent of Wittman’s sent The Huffington Post an email she got from the congressman indicating he would vote for a clean funding bill but hasn’t had “an opportunity to do so at this point.” [10/1/13]

    Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.): LoBiondo told The Press of Atlantic City he’ll support “whatever gets a successful conclusion” to the shutdown and a clean funding bill “is one of those options.” [The Press of Atlantic City, 10/1/13]

    Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.): Forbes told The Virginian-Pilot that he supports the six-week clean funding bill that passed in the Senate. [The Virginian-Pilot, 10/2/13]

    Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.): The congressman issued a statement saying he would “vote in favor of a so-called clean budget bill.” [Office of Rep. Jim Gerlach, 10/2/13].

    Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.): Lance’s chief of staff confirmed to The Huffington Post that he told a constituent on Wednesday that Lance has voted for clean government funding bills in the past “and would not oppose doing so again should one be brought to the floor.” [10/2/13]

    Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho): Simpson told a Roll Call reporter Tuesday night, “I’d vote for a clean CR because I don’t think this is a strategy that works.” [Daniel Newhauser Tweet, 10/1/13]

    Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.): Young told Tampa Bay Times reporter Alex Leary that he’s ready to vote for a clean funding bill. “The politics should be over,” he said. “It’s time to legislate.” [Alex Leary Tweet, 10/2/13]

    Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.): The congressman told Miami Herald reporter Marc Caputo that he would vote for a clean funding bill, provided it has the same funding levels contained in the Senate-passed bill. [The Miami Herald, 10/2/13]

    Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.): “I would take a clean (continuing resolution).” [Observer-Dispatch, 10/2/13]

    Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.): A Davis constituent tells The Huffington Post that a Davis aide told him Wednesday, “Congressman Davis is prepared to vote ‘yes’ on a clean CR.” Asked for comment, Davis spokesman Andrew Flach told HuffPost that Davis isn’t “going to speculate” on what bills may come up in the House and “will continue to vote for proposals brought to the floor that will fund the federal government.” [10/2/2013]

    Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.): Asked on Twitter if he would support a clean funding bill if it came up for a vote, Griffin tweeted, “sure. Ive already said i would support.” [Official Twitter, 10/2/13].

  39. Hey skip October 3, 2013 5:50 pm
  40. skip October 3, 2013 10:54 pm

    I prefer the effect of the whole list.

  41. Crusty Monkey October 5, 2013 8:14 am

    fish j, perhaps I misinterpreted your comment? Last I checked only federally employed furloughed staff get “extra paid vacation” in the form of back pay when this is all over. The government does not pay back all the private fishing, wildlife, scenic boat guides, nor any of the other concessionaire employees who make a living in the parks. Not to mention all the businesses in gateway communities that depend on a steady flow of tourists and do not live off of their investments while playing kings and queens in D.C. like our elected officials tend to do.

  42. Werner Minshall October 5, 2013 8:37 am

    closed? How do you close something you don’t own? Americans who pay the least bit of attention to the closed signs are sheep ready to be lead to slaughter. It is disturbing to me that so many of the comments here are concerned with the “closure” of our land. I am not worried about it in the slightest and have absolutely no intention of reading the signs or paying the least bit of attention to them. The rest of you should consider the concept that we own the government, not the other way around.

  43. Peter J October 5, 2013 10:43 am

    JIM: “No willingness? This is not compromise, it’s extortion.”

    There’s nothing wrong with holding a tyrannical government ‘hostage’. There’s something wrong when you don’t. Some people will accept hardship in exchange for liberty.

    Perhaps you should study the the American Revolution. Back then, many Americans favored discussion and compromise with the British as the proper solution. Didn’t happen.

    Nowadays, we use politicians as our surrogates to suppress tyranny but only to the extent that enough like-minded people can agree on the suppressor and put them in a position of power.

    Obama first got elected because GWB & McCain–Palin were so awful, and then reelected because the GOP put its faith in a man without a backbone or common sense – Romney.

    Americans didn’t reelect Obama because of ObamaCare. The majority of Americans still oppose it – http://goo.gl/uApM

    That’s not to say that Americans don’t favor a better version of health-care reform or that politicians shouldn’t act like grownups but most Americans, who are contributing members of society, don’t want or need an overreaching government or a dysfunctional healthcare overhaul called ObamaCare/ACA.

    As they say in New Hampshire, Live Free or Die.

  44. Mike V October 5, 2013 12:10 pm

    Let’s make this happen!!! Write your Congressmen!!!

    Congressional Reform Act of 2013
    No Tenure / No Pension.

    1. A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they’re out of office.
    2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
    3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
    4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
    5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
    6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
    7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 12/31/13.

    The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women. Congressmen/women made all these contracts for themselves.

    Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

  45. Park Belongs to US /A October 5, 2013 3:40 pm

    We need a Flash Mob takeover of the Park. I suggest a pathway bike ride with weapons and sound system to the Snake River Overlook Turnout. We can do a little dance.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P99p6l8v0FQ

  46. John October 5, 2013 5:29 pm

    Thanks for your interesting comment Peter J. So I can better understand how the current debacle in Washington is just like the American Revolution, can you put it in easier to understand terms? I just want to understand kind of a who’s who.

    American Revolution:
    – John Adams
    – Benjamin Franklin
    – Patrick Henry
    – Thomas Jefferson
    – Thomas Paine
    – George Washington
    – Pontiac

    Tea Party Revolution:
    – Sarah Palin
    – Glenn Beck
    – Rush Limbaugh
    – Michelle Bachman
    – Bill O’Reilly
    – Sean Hannity
    – Paul Ryan

  47. murph October 5, 2013 6:29 pm

    “This isn’t an accident. Joan Anzelmo, a former spokeswoman for Grand Teton National Park told the San Jose Mercury News that shutting down the parks was a tactic used by the White House to turn public opinion against Congress”.

    this..sums it up from the DC

  48. Broomhilda October 5, 2013 10:25 pm

    PBTU: Flash mobs are passe. I can see Julie Andrews frolicking in the Tetons as she sings “The Hills are Alive” but a good old fashioned Outlaw Posse with a hanging rope might be better.

    Or Django.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgPAQnQAcpk

  49. DP October 6, 2013 7:37 am
  50. another Chad October 6, 2013 10:07 am

    murph, has an excellent point. The airport is in side the Park Boundary. Why is it still operating???????

    They have ensured any other PRIVATE business’ around the country inside any Park/”Monument” are NOT serving he public.

    Who’s up for a bike ride up Teton Park Rd.????? Seriously, mass civil disobedience is needed across the country regarding OUR Parks.

    Obama could have really shined during this time. He could have spoken to the people and put the RESPONSIBILTY on them to clean up after themselves and “leave it the way they found it” in the under staffed Parks until full staffing was back. Instead he closes turnouts, viewpoints, and any possible place enjoyment could be found relating to the Nat. Parks. They have gone as far as coning off STATE controlled turnouts where Rushmore can be seen and Photographed.

    DC politicians are PIGS and deserve no respect from any of us.

    Take WYOMING land back from the thieves that stole it in the first place.

  51. To JOHN October 6, 2013 4:48 pm

    If you need a history lesson in the AR and an over-reaching British government, and clearly you do, then please redirect your browser to an appropriate Internet resource.

    Conflating a comment about compromising vs not compromising with an over-reaching government into a comparison between Republican talking heads & Revolutionary talking heads is indeed an interesting distraction but I’ll do you one better and say that in fact there are many similarities in their ideas, occupations, methods, and stature (popular opinion or position). Go read up on Thomas Paine.

    Don’t like a government shutdown? Blame Obama for his inability to play hardball politics and exercise the type leadership that the office demands. ObamaCare was pushed through congress without the support of a single Republican. That’s about half of our nation’s Congressional members who represent about half of America – usually working Americans.

    The President has had many years to get the public behind ObamaCare and he’s failed to win the majority over. He’s had many years to figure out how to wrangle congress but he’s had them wrangle him. He’s a loser who won office because he was mistakenly seen as the better of 2 losers.

    Obama is the one who wants to keep the national parks shuttered. Democrats could have accepted a Republican bill to reopen them. They didn’t.

  52. rob October 6, 2013 6:38 pm

    another chad are you suggesting we hand wyoming back to the native americans?

  53. Jim Stanford October 6, 2013 6:58 pm

    +1
    Here’s as clear an explanation as I’ve seen about the GOP shutdown tactic:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/opinion/sunday/governing-by-blackmail.html?_r=0
    The Times also had a detailed account of how the shutdown was orchestrated and financed by the likes of the Koch brothers. America descends further into banana republic.

  54. Uncle Dave October 6, 2013 8:32 pm

    JIM: “the GOP shutdown tactic:”

    Thanks for the liberal update from the NYT.

    WSJ paraphrase:

    ‘Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap was North Vietnam’s minister of defense. His victories were achieved by a patient strategy —- an unwavering resolve to suffer immense casualties and the near total destruction of their country to defeat any adversary, no matter how powerful. “You will kill 10 of us, we will kill one of you,” he said, “but in the end, you will tire of it first.’

    According to The Wall Street Journal:

    “Said a senior administration official about the shutdown: “We are winning…It doesn’t really matter to us” how long the shutdown lasts “because what matters is the end result.”

    Sounds familiar.

    From the Washington Post in regards to the above quote:

    “What’s potentially more damaging is when the official says that the length of the shutdown doesn’t matter. That’s when we leave the realm of gamesmanship and get into the realm of insensitivity — particularly given many federal workers have been furloughed, and Americans have been otherwise affected by the shutdown.”

    It’s all politics by both sides. Clearly, the shutdown of the War Memorials in DC & turnouts in GTNP proves that this administration is most interested in inconveniencing the public so as to put pressure on Republicans in congress. The Democrats have their own little game of checkers going on.

    Your inability to see the Democrats for what they are suggest that you suffer
    the psychology of partisanship. When a group of people make something sacred, the members of the cult lose the ability to think clearly about it.

    As is sometimes asked by more thoughtful guests on the Howard Stern’s radio show, “Am I the crazy one here?”

  55. John October 6, 2013 8:33 pm

    Re: to JOHN

    So as directed I read up on Thomas Paine and his special little book, Common Sense. Apparently, Thomas was a best-selling author like Glenn Beck, but the similarities seemingly end there.

    According to commenter-X, if I read up on “the over-reaching British Government” that Thomas Paine was writing about, the relationship to Obamacare’s over-reach would become obvious. Common Sense’s main points for American Independence were:

    – It was absurd for an island to rule a continent.
    – America was not a “British nation”; but was composed of influences and peoples from all of Europe.
    – Even if Britain were the “mother country” of America, that made her actions all the more horrendous, for no mother would harm her children so brutally.
    – Being a part of Britain would drag America into unnecessary European wars, and keep her from the international commerce at which America excelled.
    – The distance between the two nations made governing the colonies from England unwieldy. If some wrong were to be petitioned to Parliament, it would take a year before the colonies received a response.
    – The New World was discovered shortly before the Reformation. The Puritans believed that God wanted to give them a safe haven from the persecution of British rule.
    – Britain ruled the colonies for her own benefit, and did not consider the best interests of the colonists in governing Britain.

    It doesn’t seem like Britain was trying to provide affordable healthcare to people of the New World that had pre-existing conditions. Am I missing something?

    You are not part of some new American Revolution, you are just a tool, in many senses of the word.

    This country was made great by thoughtful people who believe in reason, science, free-trade, fair rules, give and take negotiations (not hostage-crisis terrorism), and the rule of law. It was not made great by looney-bin nutbaggers who whine about how, out of 260 million people, they couldn’t find one “winner” that could beat Obama in two tries.

    These are your leaders, and there’s only one winner: it will always and forever be, MBACH!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAc6xzo8_Aw

  56. To JOHN October 6, 2013 11:13 pm

    Thanks for the thoughtful response, John.

    As was said, there are many similarities in their ideas, occupations, methods, and stature (popular opinion or position):

    1) “Thomas Paine was a political activist, author, political theorist, a journalist by profession, and a propagandist by inclination.”

    Paine sounds just like all those talking heads you despise. Most are, or have been, authors, political activists, political theorists, journalists, and propagandists.

    2) “Common Sense presented the American colonists with an argument for freedom from British rule at a time when the question of whether or not to seek independence was the central issue of the day.”

    Beck presented Americans with an argument for freedom from Obama’s over-reaching government rule at a time when the question of wheather or not to seek independence from ObamaCare is the central issue of the day.

    3) “Paine structured Common Sense as if it were a sermon, and relied on Biblical references to make his case to the people.”

    Paine sounds more like the Right-Wing Republican, & Mormon, Glenn Beck than any Democrat.

    4) “Paine donated his royalties from Common Sense to George Washington’s Continental Army.”

    Paine sounds just like another talking head who gives away all his royalties, Bill O’Reilly: “I give it away. I support many charities. I don’t do anything. I don’t buy myself anything.” I don’t know what Beck does with his royalties but he give plenty of money away.

    5) “Paine’s political ideas were made tangible and available to a common audience.”

    The common folk who Obama ridicules – those clinging to guns and bibles. And those listening to Beck on talk radio.

    6) “Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. …and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.”

    Sounds like a Beck call to arms against ObamaCare.

    Forcing Americans to purchase health insurance against their will, or forcing a business to purchase it for others, or forcing taxpayers to run up the national debt to pay for the handouts sounds more like the actions of an oppressive British government during the Revolutionary War than the actions of a government dreamed up by our Founding Fathers.

    If that’s your idea of freedom and liberty, then so be it.

    Some of us don’t need or want more government intrusion into our lives especially if it’s constructed like ObamaCare.

    Give it an inch and it’ll take a yard. NSA?

    As PH once said: “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

    As BF once said: “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.”

    Some easy to digest cartoons about Obama and Republicans:

    http://www.usnews.com/cartoons/barack-obama-cartoons

    FYI: Just as Thomas Paine had issues with George Washington, I have issues with all talking heads – from any political persuasion.

  57. Cost of health care uinsurance October 7, 2013 7:13 am

    As far as I can tell, the ACA doesn’t take into account the cost of living. Apparently, someone in Niobrara County (COL index at 87%), will pay the same amount for health insurance as someone in Teton County (COL index at 132%).

    Teton County was estimated to be 32% higher than the statewide average in overall cost of living. Teton County’s housing costs are at 59 percent above the state average.

    You can download the report here:
    http://eadiv.state.wy.us/wcli/NewsRelease-2Q13.pdf

    Or visit the State website:
    http://eadiv.state.wy.us/WCLI/Cost.html

    The ACA doesn’t require insurers to provide dental coverage for adults which can be very expensive in Teton County. There are out-of-pocket expenses and government subsidies for most Teton County residents (welfare).

    Health Cost Calculator here: http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/

  58. D October 7, 2013 8:55 am

    Reading this…..it feels like I’m flipping back and forth between Fox and MSNBC, talking point for talking point.

  59. Jazz October 7, 2013 1:13 pm

    Jim Stanford, Thank you for being one of Teton County’s voice of reason. Living in the only progressive county in WY is a privilege and a honor. However, as is obvious by some of the posts here, we also have a plethora of repressive, oppressive obstructionists who support and represent the good old boy GOP / Tea Party faction that dominates WY. Staying stuck in the 19th century seems to be their pleasure.

    To quote Robert Reich…

    “The shut-down of our government, and the extremism that lies behind it, is a direct result of America’s surging inequality. When almost all the gains of economic growth go to a small group at the top, most Americans — working harder than ever just to keep what they have — become anxious and angry. That fear and anger is easily used by demagogues, bankrolled by a handful of billionaires, to distract attention from what’s really happening — and put blame instead on the poor, who are accused of being “takers,” and on government, which is accused of encouraging idleness. So food-stamp funding is slashed, red state governors and legislators refuse to expand Medicaid, and many in the middle see the Affordable Care Act as a giveaway to those who don’t deserve it. Meanwhile, tax loopholes for the rich become steadily larger.

    It has happened before in history: Economic fear and anxiety are directed at scapegoats, while a handful of super rich pour money into big lies that entrench their privileged position. The savage inequality America is experiencing is pulling us apart, and giving the purveyors of hate exactly what they want.”

    Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT):

    “Let’s be clear: Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) passed the House, the Senate and was signed into law. The President won re-election by over 5 million votes, Democrats picked up two seats in the Senate and more in the House. The Republicans challenged Obamacare (ACA)in the conservative Supreme Court and they lost. Now they are trying to blackmail the President and high-jack the government until they get their way.”

    And, one of my favorites by Bill Maher:

    “If conservatives get to call Universal Healthcare “Socialized Medicine” then I get to call Private for Profit Healthcare “Soulless, Vampire Bastards Making Money Off Human Pain”.

  60. Jazz October 7, 2013 2:16 pm

    Bernie Sanders Terrifies the Koch Brothers By Outing Their Role In the Government Shutdown was written by Jason Easley for PoliticusUSA Monday, October 7th, 2013.

    Sen. Sanders put the blame for the government shutdown square on the Koch Brothers, “Let’s not kid ourselves. This shutdown is not something that just came about a couple of weeks ago through Ted Cruz. This has been planned by the Koch brothers and other very, very wealthy people from the day after Obama was reelected, and what their feeling is. Let us go to the extreme. Let us be prepared to shutdown the government, not pay the national debt. Let us use every ounce of leverage that we have. Even if it means catastrophic pain for America and the world, so long as we get our way.”

    https://www.politicususa.com/2013/10/07/bernie-sanders-terrifies-koch-brothers-outting-role-government-shutdown.html

  61. Patty October 7, 2013 4:11 pm

    A single-payer system would have been better than ObamaCare.

    Obamacare does next to nothing to control health care costs and it is one more ‘entitlement’ for one too many.

    Instead off using a carrot to entice people into the health-care system, it uses a club to force your hand.

    The idea that Obamacare is the answer to our nations health care crisis is wishful thinking. It’s welfare for many and more lost revenue for others.

  62. another Chad October 7, 2013 6:11 pm

    This “It’s passed law, law of the land” argument when trying to now demonize the attempt to get rid of it is 100% B.S.

    The ACA was written in secret, passed unread, and rubberstamped by a POLITICAL body(scotus). It was FORCED through bypassing “congressional rules”. It is as “legitimate” as a Bush declaration of War.

    The MAJORITY of Americans are now against it, they are against PUBLIC land being held hostage by Obama. The tide is shifting and Obama the past weekend tried to stir the jingoist flames to support him, with ANOTHER act of war that has nothing to do with National security.

  63. Happy4healthcare October 7, 2013 7:30 pm

    A person living in Lusk, WY, where the median rent is $391, pays the same premium as a person living in Jackson with the same income?

    Amazing.

    The cost of ObamaCare may trickle down to the little guy in the form of higher prices for goods and services, higher taxes, fewer full-time job opportunities, and the loss of spending power.

    There are wonderful things about healthcare reform, & Obamacare in particular, but the dark side might be just around the corner for the working class in a town like Jackson with its high cost of living.

  64. Sarah October 7, 2013 8:22 pm

    Let’s see. I can hire a J-1 visa worker and not dish out money for ObamaCare, Medicare, Social Security, or Federal Unemployment tax. Or, I can hire an American and incur higher costs. Which option will the hospitality industry choose in Jackson?

    700,000 Guest-Worker Visas were issued in 2012. Expect more in the years ahead.

  65. To Jazz October 8, 2013 7:01 am

    RE “Soulless, Vampire Bastards Making Money Off Human Pain”.”

    Sounds like my dentist. Dental coverage, by the way, is not a standard part of ObamaCare for adults.

    There’s nothing wrong with affordable healthcare, or reform, but the insurance industry was designed to make a profit not suffer loses by giving away healthcare. The government has been doing that just fine – suffering loses and it will continue too under ObamaCare. The insurance industry will continue to profit if everyone signs up.

    Of course, those “Soulless, Vampire Bastards” also saved many lives. You, like many others, just want the handout so you have more money for your toy collection and ski pass.

    If you’re concerned about America’s “America’s surging inequality” then get a better education and a better job and give YOUR money away. Or find an employer who actually treats their employees well – like, OMG, Starbucks.

    BTW: “red state governors and legislators refuse to expand Medicaid”. If the public doesn’t like the actions of Red-State Govs, they are free to vote someone else into office or move to another state.

    Democrats, who passed ObamaCare, couldn’t figure out a constitutional way to get the SCOTUS to approve of the Medicaid expansion and they couldn’t convince the public to get behind the plan because Obama couldn’t fight his way out of a Public Relations paper bag.

    Your clothes were probably made in a sweatshop & your iPhone was made in a similar environment. You probably support all those corporate bastards who exploit their workers.

  66. Jim Stanford October 8, 2013 12:49 pm

    Thanks, Jazz.
    Dave, by any measure this is an extreme move by a faction of House Republicans. But don’t take it from me. Take it from a prominent Republican Congressman, Peter King, with whom I disagree on most issues: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/peter-king-gop-is-responsible-for-the-government-shutdown-video
    Even one of the most prominent GOP commentators dubbed this faction the “suicide caucus.”

    At some point you have to call a spade a spade. It’s not “politics by both sides” or being blinded by partisanship. There’s very little on the Democratic side I would consider sacred — Simpson-Bowles seemed like a reasonable place to compromise, for instance. I was disappointed the ACA did not divest health care from employment. Legislation usually is messy, there are many issues on which I don’t agree either partially or completely with Obama (see: NSA spying, Keystone pipeline), but I realize I’m never going to have everything my way. If I were to shut down the town government to get my way, I should be run out of town.

    I think many of you should attend the forum at the library from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and learn more about what the health care law actually means for buying insurance in Wyoming. http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/article.php?art_id=10359
    The state insurance commissioner and hospital CEO will help explain the law. The state of Wyoming hasn’t exactly been a cheerleader for Obamacare, so those of you who are skeptical ought to hear what he has to say.

  67. paul October 8, 2013 7:59 pm

    Excluding truly unpreventable emergencies, like car accidents, I think it’s better to improve one’s health than to expand health-care welfare. Why are so many Americans getting diabetes? Is it better to treat or prevent diabetes?

    Instead of giving more money to the health care providers and insurance companies, America should be spending those health care dollars making sure people stay healthy. Prevention is cheaper than care and better.

    Lets take the example of a single 55-year-old man making $30,000 in Jackson. He will pay $2,512 per year for the ‘Silver’ health insurance premium (offered at four levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum) and receive a ‘government tax credit subsidy’ of up to $6,412. If he makes $15,000, he pays $300 per year and gets $8,623 in subsidies.

    The subsidy can be taken as a tax credit, or the government can pay the insurance company you choose.

    What if that half that ‘subsidy’ went to subsidize healthy food choices and gym memberships, or went to build more recreation centers and bike paths? Or provided more land for community gardens?

    Perhaps the other half could pay for a college education or an expansion of medicaid or preventive care. Or simply to pay down the debt.

    Subsidies every year until death? Who paying for that? There is no free lunch but their could be a healthier one.

  68. D October 9, 2013 9:08 am

    You can take a horse to water… but you can’t make him drink. You can build all the recreations centers you want, and you can have all the healthy food you want. You can’t make people live healthier. They have plenty of options now, and they choose not to use them.

  69. David October 9, 2013 3:44 pm

    “They have plenty of options now, and they choose not to use them.”

    Price may play a large role in healthy choices. I don’t spend money at a gym because it’s too expensive. Of course, we have plenty of outdoor options in an attractive safe community.

  70. The Flash Mob idea has merit October 9, 2013 10:35 pm

    It gets even better in southern Utah:

    County In Utah Threatens Takeover Of National Park Areas…

    “The commissioners had decided to take down the barricades at Natural Bridges National Monument….”

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/10/09/231086726/county-in-utah-threatens-takeover-of-national-park-areas

    Americans, the land owners, are mowing lawns..

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/10/09/231073855/to-help-during-shutdown-man-mows-lawn-around-lincoln-memorial

    …and sneaking into Yosemite

    http://www.climbing.com/news/climbers-describe-yosemite-post-shutdown/

    ..and elsewhere

    http://www.gadling.com/2013/10/09/tourists-sneaking-national-parks/

  71. In case you're travelling to Utah October 10, 2013 6:34 pm

    Utah national parks to open Friday or Saturday with state aid!

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/world/56983191-68/national-parks-state-park.html.csp

  72. Blamo Obame October 10, 2013 9:43 pm

    N&G:

    “Roads that bisect the shuttered National Elk Refuge and Grand Teton National Park to access Bridger-Teton hunting grounds remain open for people with valid licenses.”

    Just another example of the nutty park rules during the shutdown. Some tourist can’t walk the unmaintained pathway between Moose and Kelly but a hunter can run around on GTNP roads.

  73. jason October 11, 2013 6:56 am

    I don’t know what it costs to run GTNP for a day in the winter but it can’t be over 25K/day.

    GTNP in the winter isn’t all that different from the park during the shutdown. I would bet that the costs are almost equal. Which of course means that they could open the park right now with the crew they have and there would be no impact on costs.

    The park isn’t opening any buildings this winter – just bathrooms. Other than plowing, which isn’t a big cost until Winter truly rolls around, they don’t have any big bills associated with keeping the park open now – before winter arrives.

    According to news reports:

    Utah national parks to open Saturday with state aid.

    Utah’s daily expense to amount to $167,000; the state says it’s worth it, hopes to be repaid.

    Set to reopen with Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion national parks are Cedar Breaks and Natural Bridges national monuments and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which includes Lake Powell.

    Of course, Matt Mead sees no value in keeping GTNP open with state aid. The return on investment isn’t quite the same as it is in Utah.

  74. Almost over October 11, 2013 9:05 pm

    If Jim had any guts (and the rest of our ‘leaders’) he’d be taking down the park barricades or, at the very least, threatening to do so like they did in Utah.

    Utah’s San Juan County commissioners were ready to storm the beaches before their gov jumped in and saved the day.

  75. KB October 12, 2013 10:22 am

    The GOP better understand that the Tea Party is no more Republican than the Democratic Party. The Mad Hatter and March Hare are certainly entertaining in a twisted sort of way. And the Dormouse is adorable! Go ask Alice.

  76. HSR October 26, 2013 7:48 am

    Stanford writes like a spoiled child. Did someone steal your lollipop?

    This is/was serious stuff. When one party refuses to negotiate, how can you accuse the other of being extreme?

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