Wednesday, January 24, 2018
News Roundup

Crisis becomes D.C.'s new normal

WASHINGTON — With little more than a week to go before a potential government shutdown, Washington feels like a car without a driver on a road without a guardrail.

As it hurtles toward the edge, no one — conservatives, GOP leadership, congressional Democrats, the White House — seems to have a way to stop it.

Lurching from near-calamity to near-catastrophe has become a way of life in the capital, which has stood at the edge of a financial precipice at least four times since the end of 2010.

What makes these crises all the more exasperating is that none of them seem to resolve the political and ideological disputes that cause them. All they do is put both sides on a course toward the next disaster zone.

The one immediately ahead arises from the fact that the fiscal year will end Sept. 30 without Congress having passed any of the spending bills needed to keep the government in operation going into 2014.

Without at least a stopgap funding bill, most nonessential federal operations will come to a halt.

Benefits payments, such as Social Security checks, would still go out, and critical functions such as national security would continue. But military pay would probably be delayed, hundreds of thousands of federal employees would be furloughed, and attractions such as national parks would close.

"After five years spent digging out of crisis, the last thing we need is for Washington to manufacture another," President Barack Obama said in his weekly address Saturday, noting the fragility of the economic recovery. "But that's what will happen in the next few weeks if Congress doesn't meet two deadlines."

The most immediate issue is a demand by conservative groups and tea party lawmakers that any spending measure include a provision that would strip funding for the health care overhaul, set to kick into gear on Oct. 1.

The Republican-led House has passed a bill that would accomplish that, but it stands no chance in the Senate.

Even if they figure a way around this stalemate and keep the government open, a graver crisis is coming up quickly on its heels as the government hits the limit of its borrowing authority some time in mid to late October. If Congress does not raise the debt ceiling, it could force the nation into default and the global financial markets into chaos.

Conservatives and tea party activists insist Republicans will be rewarded for going to the barricades to stop the health care law.

And indeed, just about every poll shows that, three years after its passage, the law known as Obamacare remains unpopular with voters. In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, 52 percent said they disapprove of it, while only 42 percent support it.

But Americans are even less enchanted with the idea of bringing the government to a halt as a means of blocking the Affordable Care Act.

The Republicans' own numbers show that. In a recent survey conducted by David Winston, a pollster who advises the House GOP, 71 percent said they opposed "shutting down the government as a way to defund the president's health care law." Only 23 percent approved.

In an interview, Winston said that even the Republicans who were surveyed said a shutdown is a bad idea, 53 to 37 percent.

"I know when you get led into a box canyon what that means," said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., evoking imagery of an infamous method by which buffalo were slaughtered in the Old West. "Box canyon, here we come."

Democrats are convinced they have the upper hand. The president has maintained that he will not negotiate with Republicans on the funding bill or the debt ceiling — a point he repeated to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in a phone call Friday.

Comments
Want to own St. Pete’s World Liquors sign? Let the bidding begin

Want to own St. Pete’s World Liquors sign? Let the bidding begin

ST. PETERSBURG — Want to own a piece of city history?Okay, the iconic World Liquors sign is, after all, a big sign for a liquor store. Still, it’s a historic liquor store sign, one that has stood at the corner of Central Avenue and 16th Street for 57...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Starbucks gives workers raises, stock grants due to tax law

Starbucks gives workers raises, stock grants due to tax law

NEW YORK — Starbucks is giving its U.S. workers pay raises and stock grants this year, citing recent changes to the tax law.All employees can will soon be able to earn paid sick time off, and the company’s parental leave benefits will include all non...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
The Daystarter: Pasco man carries out execution; prepare for Carmageddon II in Tampa; own a piece of St. Pete history; Stamkos, Lightning come up big

The Daystarter: Pasco man carries out execution; prepare for Carmageddon II in Tampa; own a piece of St. Pete history; Stamkos, Lightning come up big

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• It’s jacket weather this morning, but temperatures should warm up pleasantly, to the upper 60s, according to 10Weather WTSP. And we’re tracking the weather ahead of Gasparill...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Forecast: Cold front leaves clear skies, return to cooler conditions for Tampa Bay

Forecast: Cold front leaves clear skies, return to cooler conditions for Tampa Bay

Cooler weather takes hold across Tampa Bay as a cold front has moved south through the region, leaving behind drier air and bright sunshine.10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area Residents will notice the change when they step ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sheriff: Two dead, one seriously injured in Hernando shooting

Sheriff: Two dead, one seriously injured in Hernando shooting

BROOKSVILLE — A suspect is in custody after a fatal shooting and standoff in Brooksville on Tuesday night.During a news conference Tuesday night, Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said two people were found dead in a house on Azen Loop, in the Hill...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Changing the shape of food

Changing the shape of food

Diners began with a warm hand towel sprayed lightly with a subtle lavender fragrance, a way to wake up the palate. From there, guests were presented with a white enamel spoon, an "amuse bouche" of blood orange sorbet, sweet and tangy.This was not lun...
Published: 01/24/18
Dan Ruth: Autopsy On A Stick? Six Feet Under Souffle? Welcome to the state fair!

Dan Ruth: Autopsy On A Stick? Six Feet Under Souffle? Welcome to the state fair!

Well it’s that time of year again, the arrival of the Florida State Fair, or as it might otherwise be known — the yearly gastronomical death march.As always, the fair, which runs from Feb. 8-19, will feature the usual assortment of thrill rides, carn...
Published: 01/24/18
Real, homemade lasagna is worth every minute of your time in the kitchen

Real, homemade lasagna is worth every minute of your time in the kitchen

I grew up on my mom’s lasagna alla Bolognese, composed of emerald green spinach noodles layered with robust ground meat sauce and creamy bechamel. To many Italian food lovers, this is the ideal against which all others are measured. But the world of ...
Published: 01/24/18
Lightning beats Predators in overtime

Lightning beats Predators in overtime

NASHVILLE — Steven Stamkos’ celebration said it all.The Lightning captain delivered an emphatic fist pump after his rocket one-timer clanked in off the crossbar, tying the score with just over two minutes left at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night. T...
Updated: 7 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Jan. 23

Tuesday’s scoreboardBoys basketballBoca Ciega 55, Canterbury 53Girls basketballBoca Ciega 65, Largo 19
Updated: 8 hours ago