Sovereign national conference: A possible threat to national unity

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It can be clearly understood that the phrase “Sovereign National Conference” entails the gathering of elected representatives appointed by numerous tribal communities with the purpose of discussing and conversing on the key problems enclosed around the socio-cultural, economic, religious, and the political system of the state  ever since the fusion of the country as a whole, with the major aim of providing an effective and workable solutions to these problems for a complete restructuring of the growth and stability of all sectors of the state.

     Over the years and in recent times, notable figures, politicians, interest and organized groups, and a host of individuals have remained resolute for the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) in tackling the dilemma bedevilling the country. Several people have emphasized on the need for a round table conference with the assurance and hope that it will acquire solutions to the disintegration of the country. On the other hand, some have refuted the claim, consistently reiterating that it could lead to confusion and threat to the system.

     Needless to say, in a country apparently encircled and ravaged with disunity, ethnocentricity, religious bigotry, as well as the sentimental and one-sided nature amongst the people, the clamour and eagerness for a Sovereign National Conference appears to be faint and undoubtedly implausible. The divided mindset and attitudes of individuals towards each other cannot give way for an opportunity of conducting a Sovereign National Conference as people would be found engaging each other in a fierce competition in terms of hegemonic factors of virtually all aspects.

This would only spew out the ethnically biased nature of jingoists as narrow-minded people would focus on the desire for whom to claim leadership. Conflicts may arise in the midst of diverse tribes and clans over the election of a qualified and a preferred delegate who would positively guarantee and submit to the yearnings of the people as well as represent them equally. Relentless, treacherous, manipulative and unyielding self-centred individuals are bound to rise to the surface to strive at all times in producing a puppet-controlled representative who will succumb to the ill-fitting demands and selfish goals of the individuals in pursuit of their personal interests. There will be avenue to satisfy their selfish ambition.

The demands of the well-meaning citizens would be disregarded. This will further lead to division, hatred, betrayal, unhealthy rivalry, disloyalty, ethno-religious crisis which could trigger an internal strife among the regions of the country. It undeniably poses as a threat to national unity. SNC cannot proffer solutions to the socio-political quagmire plaguing the state. It is the leaders of the country in various institutions that have failed to live up to the expectation of the people as honest and responsible leaders. The move can be expressed as nothing further than an attempt to destroy the nation.

     The pressing demand for the council of a Sovereign National Conference is totally uncalled for, unwarranted, insignificant, unjust, unacceptable and groundless to the development of the Nigerian economic system. This could threaten the existence of the state as it would merely favour some regions while other regions may be left out. In an unforeseen formidable quest for supremacy of the Nigerian economic and political system by repugnant and dogmatic people, there is a probability that the minorities might be suppressed by the majority. This may possibly lead to dissimilarities and violence may erupt amongst people.

     Nevertheless, before Nigerians begin to yell and clamour for Sovereign National Conference, they must proffer solutions towards dealing with the seemingly unending inequality among Nigerians and enhance equity and fairness. Unless a strong and indivisible unity can be verified in the country, the SNC which is too far from reality cannot be recognized, which must be rejected and disapproved by all means. Until then, we look forward to a country with undivided, unbiased and equitable citizens.        

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Iran says they’ve decoded downed CIA drone

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Read Time:2 Minute, 36 Second

Iranian officials say they have successfully hacked the Central Intelligence Agency drone that the United States lost possession of nearly two years ago near the city of Kashmar.

Hossein Salami, the lieutenant commander general of Iran’s Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, told the country’s Fars news agency that analysts have finally cracked the systems used within the RQ-170 Sentinel drone obtained in December 2011.

Iranians claimed previously that they brought the drone down after it entered Iranian airspace without permission. Roughly one week later, CIA officials admitted the drone was conducting a reconnaissance mission over Afghanistan when it went missing.

When the US asked Iran to return the unmanned aerial vehicle, Salami told Fars news agency, "No nation welcomes other countries' spy drones in its territory, and no one sends back the spying equipment and its information back to the country of origin.”

Nearly two years later, Salami is now celebrating Iran’s latest accomplishment with regards to the UAV.

"All the memories and computer systems of this plane have been decoded and some good news will be announced in the near future not just about the RQ-170 and the optimizations that our forces have done on the reversed engineered model of this drone, but also in area of other important defense achievements," Fars quoted him.

Although the CIA has not admitted the extent of the drone’s capabilities, experts have said previously that reverse engineering the Sentinel could be a significant event for any nation-state looking to learn more about the technologies utilized by American spy planes.

"It carries a variety of systems that wouldn't be much of a benefit to Iran, but to its allies such as China and Russia, it's a potential gold mine," robotics author Peter Singer told the Los Angeles Times in 2011.

"It's bad — they'll have everything" an unnamed US official added to the Times then. "And the Chinese or the Russians will have it too."

Meanwhile, a report in the New York Times this weekend suggested that Chinese researchers have been busy on their own attempting to emulate American drones. Edward Wong wrote in the Times on Friday that Chinese hackers working for the state-linked Comment Crew cybergroup have targeted no fewer than 20 foreign defense contractors during the last two years in hopes of pilfering secrets that would be useful in programming their own UAVs.

I believe this is the largest campaign we’ve seen that has been focused on drone technology,” Darien Kindlund, manager of threat intelligence at California-basedFireEye, told Wong. “It seems to align pretty well with the focus of the Chinese government to build up their own drone technology capabilities.”

Vice’s Motherboard website reported this week that at least 123 cyberattacks waged at American drone companies have been spotted by security researchers since 2011, and quoted Kindlund as saying the attacks have been “largely successful.”

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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BBA 2013 I Wanted To Be a Reverend Sister Before BBA” – Beverly Osu

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Beverly Osu who represented Nigeria and became one of the most talked-about housemate has now revealed that being controversial has never been her goal., Big Brother Africa 2013 finalist.

In a recent interview on Abuja, she talks about life before the house and what her future plans her.

Life before Big Brother:

Before Big Brother, I was into entertainment. Big Brother Africa was just a platform for me to do what I wanted to do. Before now, I wanted to be an actress, I wanted to be a reverend sister, but things did not just work out the way I planned it.
 

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Snake on a plane grounds flight in Sydney

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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A tiny snake found on a Qantas Boeing 747 airliner has led to 370 passengers being grounded in Sydney overnight.
 
Qantas said in a statement the 8-inch snake was found by staff in the passenger cabin near the door before passengers were due to board late Sunday at Sydney International Airport for a flight to Tokyo.
 
The Australian airline said the passengers were accommodated in hotels overnight and left Sydney on a replacement plane Monday morning.
 
The snake was taken by quarantine officials for analysis.
 
The Australian government on Monday did not immediately name the type of snake or say how it might have got aboard the plane which had flown to Sydney from Singapore.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Expert: Weakened terror group trying to grab headlines

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Read Time:2 Minute, 40 Second
WASHINGTON — The deadly mall attack in Kenya is a sign that the al-Qaeda-affiliated group that carried it out has been dealt a blow in Somalia and they are looking to generate headlines with more high-profile attacks in the region, a regional expert says.
 
The group that carried out the attack, al-Shabab, wants to establish an Islamist government in Somalia.
 
In recent years, however, African Union troops in Somalia have driven the militants out of most parts of Mogadishu as a U.S.-supported government there has attempted to establish control over the country. At one time, al-Shabab controlled parts of Mogadishu, the capital.
 
The attack in Nairobi underscores al-Shabab's organizational skills and their commitment to die for a cause, said David Shinn, a former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia and a professor at George Washington University.
 
But it also highlights that the group has to rely on high-profile terrorist attacks that generate headlines because they lack popular support and have failed in any direct fights with African Union forces in Somalia.
 
"Increasingly, al-Shabab has alienated the average Somali," Shinn said.
 
The Kenya attack also comes shortly before a deadly attack against a church in Pakistan, but analysts warn against concluding that radical Islam is gaining strength. A faction of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for it.
 
"These bombings are so common now," Shinn said. "I would attribute it to happenstance and coincidence."
 
BACKGROUND: 10 things to know about al-Shabab
 
Both attacks were conducted by groups with regional grievances, though some within the groups have more global aspirations.
 
Al-Shabab, for example, is primarily Somalis, though there is a smattering of foreigners in the leadership ranks, Shinn said. They are divided among those who envision a more global jihad and those whose goals are limited to ruling Somalia.
 
The Kenya attack may be a sign that al-Shabab will attempt more high-profile bombings, but their capability to do so is in question.
 
The last high-profile attack the group was associated with was in Uganda in July 2010, suggesting it takes the group time to get the training, financing and other support necessary to conduct a major attack. In between they have claimed responsibility for smaller attacks.
 
The 2010 attack killed at least 74 people and was aimed at two locations where people gathered to watch a televised World Cup match.
 
The latest attack comes as the United States has shown support for the government of Somalia in their fight against the militant group.
 
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahamud was in Washington recently and met with top U.S. officials, including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and National Security Adviser Susan Rice.
 
Hagel discussed ways the United States and international partners could help strengthen Somalia's security forces, according to Pentagon press secretary George Little.
 
"Secretary Hagel broadly discussed the importance of continued progress on security reform and the importance of a stable and secure Somalia to the region," Little said in a statement.
 

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Obama calls for ‘transformation’ of nation’s gun laws

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Read Time:4 Minute, 57 Second
WASHINGTON — President Obama called Sunday for a "transformation" of the nation's gun laws, saying last week's deadly shooting at the Washington Navy Yard echoes too many other killings across the United States.
 
"Our tears are not enough," Obama said during a memorial service for the victims and their families. "Our words and our prayers are not enough. … We are going to have to change."
 
Gun violence in America "ought to obsess us," Obama said.
 
Acknowledging that a gun-control package he proposed earlier this year has stalled in Congress, Obama said the change won't come from Washington but has to come from the American people themselves.
 
During a 21-minute eulogy delivered at the Marine Barracks Washington, Obama also warned that Americans must fight "a creeping resignation" about mass shootings, the notion "that this is somehow the new normal."
 
But "there is nothing normal about innocent men and women gunned down where they work," Obama said. "There is nothing normal about our children being gunned down in their classrooms."
 
In a sometimes emotional address, the president said he has now spoken at "five American communities ripped apart by mass violence," and added, "Once more, our hearts are broken; once more, we ask why."
 
Obama, who has proposed changes to the nation's gun and mental illness laws, noted that shootings in other countries such as Australia and the United Kingdom led to changes in their gun laws. "What's different in America," he said, "is it's easy to get your hands on a gun — and a lot of us know this."
 
Obama has delivered sadly similar remarks after shootings at Fort Hood in Texas, an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.; and a supermarket appearance by U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., in Tucson — and, now, Washington, D.C.
 
Just before his speech, Obama met privately with relatives of those who lost their lives during the Navy Yard attack. He told personal stories about the victims during his remarks, and again hugged many of their relative afterward.
 
Obama proposed a series of gun control laws after the Newtown shooting, including expanded background checks, but they have been blocked in Congress, mostly because of Republican opposition.
 
Many Republicans, and some Democrats, called the gun-control plans ineffective and an infringement on Second Amendment rights to gun ownership. GOP members said the emphasis should be on preventing the mental ill from obtaining guns.
 
Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, also cited inadequate security as another reason for Monday's shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, just a few miles from the U.S. Capitol and the White House.
 
"A terrorist target — a high-value terrorist target — completely unprotected," LaPierre said on NBC's Meet The Press.
 
Neighbors and tourists across the street from the Marine Barracks also debated the gun-control issue.
 
Jake Kennedy, who had traveled down from Boston, said the shooting served as a reminder of how inefficient Congress has become — it's now impossible to even talk about gun laws. After recent shootings at an elementary school, a neighborhood, a workplace and a movie theater, Kennedy said he wondered what it would take.
 
"This is a stalemate," he said. "A law doesn't need to restrict anyone's freedom, but this argument over military-style rifles is silly."
 
Alix Montes, who lives in Washington, said he is worried that people are so focused on guns — and stressed that they should be — that they miss all other aspects of the gun violence problem: Mental health, poverty, education, security and profiling in cases where the police shoot unarmed people.
 
"What do the schools look like?" he said. "What do homes look like? Racial profiling? In this case, did people do the right thing? What can they do to prevent it?"
 
He added, "We're human, so it's easy to find one thing to blame."
 
Authorities say Navy contractor Aaron Alexis, 34, arrived at work Monday morning, passed through security, assembled a shotgun in a men's room and began a shooting spree that left 12 people dead before he was fatally shot.
 
Witnesses say Alexis had a history of mental problems.
 
Nathan Sterling, a Washington bartender, said "it's too easy to get guns," but also cited reports that the Alexis had "heard voices" and tried to get help. "He tried reaching out and they didn't do anything," Sterling said. "it's unconscionable."
 
During the service inside the Marine Barracks, Obama noted that he has ordered a review of security at military installations, but changes in gun laws are necessary.
 
Another speaker, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray, echoed Obama by saying that "our country is drowning in a sea of guns." He called it "a fact of life which we must stop accepting."
 
Officials closed the memorial to the public amid tight security. Some 4,000 invitees attended, many of them military personnel and members of Congress.
 
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and other officials also spoke. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told mourners, "This act of evil defies comprehension."
 
The service included a reading of the names of the fallen, accompanied by the tolling of a bell. Music included the Navy hymn, Battle Hymn of the Republic, and Taps.
 
The Navy Yard reopened Thursday — except for Building 197, where the shooting took place.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Boston police Commissioner Ed Davis is stepping down

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BOSTON (AP) — Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis, who led his department's response to the Boston Marathon bombing, is stepping down, a department spokeswoman said Sunday.
 
Davis gave his resignation to Mayor Thomas Menino and will hold a news conference Monday to discuss his future plans, police spokeswoman Cheryl Fiandaca said.
 
The decision by Davis to step down is perhaps not surprising. Boston is poised to have a new mayor for the first time in two decades after Menino opted not to seek another term.
 
A statement from Menino's office thanked Davis for his "tremendous work over the past seven years" and promised to work with Davis to ensure a smooth transition when new mayor finds a permanent successor.
 
Davis was thrust into the national spotlight on April 15 when twin explosions near the marathon finish line killed three people and wounded more than 260.
 
Along with Menino and Gov. Deval Patrick, Davis ordered a daylong, city-wide lockdown after the two bombing suspects were involved in a shootout with police.
 
Once suspect died following the gun battle, a second was later taken into custody and is awaiting trial.
 
Delivering the commencement address at the University of Massachusetts Lowell a month later, Davis said the bombing taught him much about police work — and the resiliency of human beings.
 
"I learned to think the unthinkable," Davis said. "I learned that the most horrific of circumstances can produce the most inspirational and heroic of actions, not just by one single person, but by hundreds of them."
 
Davis, 57, was appointed Boston's top cop by Menino in 2006. He previously served as the Lowell, Mass., superintendent of police.
 
Davis' departure comes just as the race to replace Menino kicks into high gear. A preliminary election on Tuesday will whittle a dozen candidates down to two for the Nov. 5 election.
 

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Pakistan attack kills 78, renews fears of Taliban

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Read Time:3 Minute, 24 Second
 
NEW DELHI — A pair of suicide bombers killed 78 people outside a church in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday in the deadliest attack yet on the country's Christian minority, reviving fears that the newly installed government is powerless to stop the resurgent Taliban's reign of terror.
 
The attack on the 19th-century All Saints Church in Peshawar took place as hundreds of worshippers were streaming out of the church, police chief Mohammad Ali Babakhel told the newspaper Dawn.
 
"The suicide bomber tried to attack the people, but when he was stopped by the police, he detonated the bomb," he said. "The second blast was carried out inside the church."
 
Witnesses described a scene of dust, debris and devastation. Police told Dawn that 120 people were wounded and the bomber's body parts had been retrieved. Others just cried, expressing shock at the attack, and mourning those lost.
 
Fourth-year medical student Noel Williams, 20, died in the attack with members of his family.
 
"I'm trying to recall each and every thing he said the last time we met," said his shaken friend Meraj Aleem, 19, a dentistry student in Peshawar. "He was a passionate student and more so a youngster who wanted to work for the betterment of his country."
 
The Pakistani Jundullah wing of the Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombings. The group vowed to continue to target non-Muslims in the country until the United States halts drone attacks, the group told the Associated Press. The better-known Pakistani Taliban group, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, denied responsibility for the attack.
 
"All non-Muslims in Pakistan are our target, and they will remain our target as long as America fails to stop drone strikes in our country," Ahmad Marwat, who identified himself as the spokesman for the Jundullah wing, told the Associated Press.
 
Following the attack, outraged protesters took to the street, attacking police as stores and markets shut down. Demonstrations spread to other cities, including Karachi, which is also home to the Christian minority, numbering 2.5 million of the country's 182 million population.
 
Christian leaders and other Christian Pakistanis blamed the Pakistani government for failing to protect them against the militants.
 
"What message should we as (a Christian) community get?" Aleem asked. "That we are not equal citizens or that we have no stake in this country?"
 
Analysts say the government is struggling with the growing threat from its homegrown Taliban groups, who have carried out dozens of attacks since June, when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took office.
 
His approach, rejected by many of the governing elites, is to negotiate with the Taliban, which he says is the only way to contain the threat since military operations in the northwestern tribal areas have failed to stamp out their influence. The Taliban is asking for an end to U.S. drone strikes and the release of members from prison.
 
The security situation in the country has led to the deterioration of Pakistan's relations with the United States.
 
Following the September 11 attacks, the U.S. increased its military aid to nearly $1.3 billion a year and pressured the Pakistani government to fight extremism at home and the Taliban in Afghanistan, something widely unpopular in Pakistan. That was followed by an increase in domestic terrorism.
 
The United States has long accused Pakistan of not doing enough to fight the Taliban or, worse, secretly assisting the Taliban and other extremists.
 
Pakistan's leaders dispute that, and say the church attacks show the terrorists must be driven from their country.
 
"The terrorists have no religion, and targeting innocent people is against the teachings of Islam and all religions," Sharif in a written statement. "Such cruel acts of terrorism reflect the brutality and inhumane mind-set of the terrorists."
 
Bhatti reported from Berlin
 

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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MUST WATCH; Video And Pictures Of A Girl Excreting Metal Objects

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Read Time:30 Second
News report from Nairobi  reaching us has it that, dozens of locals gathered at a home in Utange, Kenya, after parents of a girl reported that their daughter has been discharging unimaginable metallic objects including bolts, nuts, scissors and spoons.
 
Relevant authorities and residents are calling upon anyone who can assist the girl get out of this predicament, she has attempted suicide for the fourth time just to relief herself from the pains. Sources gathered that the case became worst after a deliverance section she once attended. 
 
SEE VIDEO BELOW: 
 
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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Budget drama unfolds again, with Obamacare center stage

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Read Time:11 Minute, 21 Second
WASHINGTON — A political drama unfolds in the nation's capital this week as Republicans attempt to dismantle President Obama's health care law, using two budget deadlines that threaten a government shutdown and a national default as their leverage.
 
Congressional Republicans say the two deadlines provide the best opportunity to extract concessions on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment begins Oct. 1 — the same day the federal government would shut down if Congress can't agree to a stopgap spending measure. The second deadline arrives in mid-October when the government hits its borrowing limit.
 
House Republicans are executing a two-pronged attack to gut the health care bill: They approved a spending bill that would defund the law Friday, and they will move forward this week with separate legislation that would delay the implementation of the law for one year in exchange for a one-year extension of the debt limit.
 
Democrats say they will not bow to either demand, setting the two parties on a familiar collision course that holds sweeping political and economic consequences ranging from locked doors at museums to a default on billions of dollars of national debt payments.
 
The leading actors are well known in this drama, and they are reading from familiar scripts.
 
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, at a GOP rally after Friday's vote: "Our message to the United States Senate is real simple: The American people don't want the government shut down, and they don't want Obamacare."
 
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in a statement Friday: "So in case there's any shred of doubt in the minds of our House counterparts, I want to be absolutely crystal clear: Any bill that defunds Obamacare is dead, dead."
 
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaking on Fox News Sunday: "I think Senate Republicans are going to stand side by side with Speaker Boehner and House Republicans, listening to the people and stopping this train wreck that is Obamacare."
 
President Obama, speaking to a Congressional Black Caucus event Saturday night: "Let me say as clearly as I can: It is not going to happen. … We're not going to allow anyone to inflict economic pain on millions of our own people just to make an ideological point."
 
What is uncertain is how the story ends.
 
Here is a guide to the coming acts:
 
BACKSTORY: Another 'fiscal cliff'
 
There has been nearly unanimous opposition among Republicans to the Affordable Care Act since it became law in 2010. The GOP-controlled House has voted more than 42 times to repeal the law, but those acts were symbolic acts of defiance against a Democratic Senate and White House.
 
"When it comes to the health care law, the debate in the House has been settled. I think our position is very clear: The law is a train wreck, and it's going to raise costs. It's destroying American jobs, and it must go," Boehner said last week.
 
The impending budget deadlines give the party its latest opportunity to take on the law because the president needs Congress to pass legislation to prevent a fiscal crisis.
 
The fiscal year ends Sept. 30, and without a stopgap measure, a shutdown begins the next day.
 
The second deadline comes in mid-to-late October, when the nation hits its $16.7 trillion debt limit. A vote of congressional approval is required to raise the limit and allows the U.S. government to meet its financial obligations.
 
It's a politically unpopular vote because it can appear to be authorizing new government spending, but in fact, it just covers what Congress has already approved to spend on things such as Social Security benefit checks and interest payments on old debt.
 
This fall is the third time Congress has had to approve a debt ceiling increase under Obama. Though the president has vowed not to negotiate over terms to raise the debt ceiling, he has negotiated in the past — fueling GOP confidence he will do so again.
 
In 2011, Obama and Congress agreed to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for $2.1 trillion in spending cuts. Previous debt ceiling increases have been tied to spending cuts and budget changes. "Every major deficit reduction plan over the last 30 years has been tied to the debt limit," Boehner said.
 
For Republicans, whether the negotiations are a success or a failure hinge on how far they go to rein in Obamacare.
 
"I believe that this is our time. This is when it matters. Yes, we voted to repeal Obamacare 30 to 40 times, but this is when it really counts," said Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind.
 
ACT ONE: The shutdown threat
 
On Friday, House Republicans approved, 230-189, a stopgap measure that would maintain funding levels for federal agencies through Dec. 15. It also includes legislation that would defund the health care law and prioritize debt payments in the event of a default on the debt ceiling.
 
Senate Democrats intend to respond this week by stripping out the defunding language and default provisions and volleying back to the House a bill that only would extend spending.
 
If Senate Republicans such as Cruz and Mike Lee of Utah make good on their threat to use every tactic available to stop Obamacare, the Senate may not vote on a stopgap spending bill until this coming weekend, leaving the House little more than 48 hours to accept or reject it.
 
Democrats are betting Republicans won't have the political will to go past the Sept. 30 deadline, because shutdowns are unpopular with the public and the shutdown fights of the 1990s during the Clinton administration left the GOP politically bruised.
 
Boehner has consistently stated he does not want a shutdown, but there is distinct pressure among his rank-and-file to hold the line.
 
"I take (Boehner) at face value that this is a fight that he's going to fight. He believes that by year's end, we will have defunded or postponed Obamacare for a year, and I think he means it," said Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz.
 
A government shutdown would not be a first. There were 17 full or partial shutdowns from 1977 to 1996, lasting a total of 109 days, according to the Congressional Research Service.
 
Every shutdown is different, and this year's budget battle would come against a different backdrop. Federal budgets have already been reduced by across-the-board cost-cutting imposed in the 2011 compromise, resulting in furloughs at many federal agencies.
 
Some services would not be affected. Social Security checks would probably still go out, but the federal employees necessary to process new claims could be sent home. Postal delivery would continue. Museums and national parks would close, but government functions necessary for health and safety, including most law enforcement and military operations, would be exempt.
 
ACT TWO: The default threat
 
However the stopgap spending bill is resolved, soon after it lurks a fiscal fight that holds greater consequences to the U.S. and global economies.
 
"Shutting down the government is one bad thing, but you shut it down, you open it up again," said Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., "Not lifting the debt limit is unleashing a torrent, a river of no return. It is beyond cataclysmic."
 
The nation has never defaulted. Though the exact impacts are unclear, there is broad consensus among economists, financial markets and most lawmakers that it would upend the markets.
 
"If you don't raise the debt limit in time, you will be opening an economic Pandora's Box. It will be devastating to the economy," Moody's economist Mark Zandi testified before a congressional panel last week.
 
He explained the consequences: "Consumer confidence will sharply decline, investor confidence, business confidence. Businesses will stop hiring, consumers will stop spending, the stock market will fall significantly in value, borrowing costs for businesses and households will rise."
 
House Republicans are assembling a debt limit package for a vote as early as this week that would increase the debt limit through 2014 but with conditions: a one-year delay of the implementation of the health care law and a grab bag of GOP-backed economic growth proposals, health care entitlement spending changes, construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and instructions for an overhaul of the U.S. federal tax code.
 
Democrats and the White House have not blinked. "We are going to stand together to protect the president's health care law, and we're going to stand together and not negotiate one iota when it comes to the debt ceiling," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.
 
During a 2011 impasse over the debt limit, the Treasury Department ruled out many stopgap measures to maintain spending and pay its debts, such as selling off assets. The United States has more than $350 billion in gold reserves on its balance sheet, but Treasury officials said a "fire sale" on gold would hurt the dollar and the economy. The Treasury has no practical way of reducing payments by an across-the-board percentage to stay under the debt limit.
 
Congress has debated several proposals to prioritize payments — by making sure bond holders, Social Security recipients or active-duty military would get paid first, for example. But without direct congressional authority, the Treasury has no way to prioritize who gets paid and who doesn't.
 
"At that point, meeting our nation's financial obligations — including Social Security and Medicare benefits, payments to our military and veterans and contracts with private suppliers — will be put at risk," Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said last week.
 
SUBPLOT: GOP divisions
 
The legislative assault on the health care law has exposed divides in the GOP, not on the merit — because there is strong support for delaying or dismantling the law — but on the tactics and the political risks they hold.
 
At least a dozen Republican senators have publicly split with colleagues on the effort to tie defunding the law on the stopgap spending measure — a clear indication that the defunding effort can't pass Congress.
 
"I've said from the beginning that this is a tactic that won't work," said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. "When you have one-third of government, you don't run the government."
 
The national campaign led by Cruz, Lee and other fiscal hawks and outside groups has raised unrealistic expectations for what Republicans can achieve controlling just the House, Corker said.
 
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., made the same point on Face the Nation Sunday. "I agree with them that if we could do this, we should do it. But we can't. And the political reality, you know, tactics and strategies ought to be based on what the real world is. And we do not have the political power to do this."
 
Other Republicans, including Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., say the party is better served by campaigning against the law and working to pick up the necessary six Senate seats Republicans need to take over the Senate in 2014 and try to win the White House in 2016.
 
Republicans see Democratic vulnerabilities in the fight: A number of Senate Democrats are vying for re-election in conservative states.
 
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., called out four Senate Democrats by name Friday, Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Begich of Alaska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, as politically vulnerable because of the law.
 
"We have some leverage there," said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla. "We have a lot of Democrats who don't want to have to vote on this and that frankly might want to work with us in some way to not have to face that choice."
 
Cole says he is mindful that a shutdown or a default could be perilous for his party, citing the lessons of the 1990s shutdown. "I don't need to relive the play, since every survivor just about tells you: 'Don't do it again.'"
 
EPILOGUE: Sequels are guaranteed
 
The ending will almost certainly be inconclusive.
 
Three years of a divided Congress in the Obama administration has not produced the kind of long-term budget agreements that both sides claim to seek. Instead, it is an era of short-term solutions.
 
The spending bill the House has approved would only carry through mid-December, reopening the possibility of a shutdown at the height of the holiday season. The debt limit increase offered by House Republicans would carry the nation only through the end of 2014.
 
"Anybody who thinks a 'Grand Bargain' is in the works, it is pure fantasy," said federal budget expert Stan Collender.
 
Contributing: Gregory Korte

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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