Time once again for This Week in America, where we take your hand and gently guide you through the most important news of the day, liberally sprinkled with opinion and snark. Pour a cup of your favorite relaxing beverage, get comfy, and be sure to click through to the links. You'll be far more informed when you get to the end than you were at the beginning, or your money back.
This Week in Death
It's increasingly laughable for any congressional Republican to describe him- or herself as "pro-life." These people have, in recent months, blocked any gun safety measures that might conceivably impact the profits of the gun and ammunition manufacturers, thereby increasing the likelihood of Americans being shot to death in their homes and in parks and on the street and inside the Navy Yard, to mention just one of the 93 or so mass murders we've had since 2009.
They're trying to cut food stamps for the poor, a move that the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities said would affect millions of low-income working families as well as the long-term unemployed, children, and disabled and elderly Americans. The $4.45 a day in benefits these people get is not a lot, but it can make the difference between going hungry and not, which makes a difference in overall health, and saves lives. Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman has something to say about it, too. And according to VoteVets.org, 170,000 veterans, and 5,000 active duty service members, receive food assistance.
Meanwhile, congressional Republicans have finally unveiled their health care plan--what they would pass, in the alternate reality in which they can repeal the Affordable Care Act. Their plan covers far fewer people than the ACA, and one of its main provisions would be the ability of consumers to buy insurance across state lines--in other words, if Mississippi offered a cheaper plan than California, then Californians could buy their health insurance in Mississippi. Trouble with that plan? Currently, the availability of substandard health insurance plans is killing 86,000 Americans a year--that's the difference between high-income people in states with good health care, and low-income Americans across the country. Health insurance saves lives. The Republican plan would end them.
And they refuse to engage on climate change, which just means we'll continue to cook the Earth, while severe weather events become more numerous and more destructive. Again, innocent lives, here and abroad, pay the price for that legislative inaction.
You really can't call yourself pro-life if you just can't keep yourself from passing measures that would kill people and blocking laws that would save them. There ought to be a limit to how hypocritical even the most hypocritical politician is allowed to be.
Side Note 1: Speaking of rank hypocrisy, the state of Colorado suffered terrible flooding last week. There are eight confirmed dead, others still unaccounted for, thousands of homes lost, millions or billions of dollars in damages. The state's coffers alone can't pay for it all, which is why there's a FEMA and why the federal government can declare a state of emergency and appropriate funds to help. And they should--Coloradans are Americans, they're our friends and neighbors and relatives. This kind of disaster--as with Katrina and Sandy--requires the might of a strong federal government to help a state regain its footing. And yet--although every member of Congress from Colorado, Republican and Democrat, is joining with the governor to ask for that help--when New Jersey asked for help after Sandy, every Colorado Republican voted against providing aid. Every one of them. Funny how some people don't understand the word "United" in "United States" until they're the ones hurting.
Side Note 2: This week Secretary of State John Kerry signed a UN Arms Trade Treaty that seeks to regulate conventional firearms sales across international borders to criminals and terrorists and the like. The treaty specifically does not affect domestic sales or private gun ownership in the US, which hasn't kept the NRA and their Republican allies from foaming at the mouth about it. NRA spokesman Chris Cox said, "These are blatant attacks on the constitutional rights and liberties of every law-abiding American. The NRA will continue to fight this assault on our fundamental freedom," which only proves he hasn't read the treaty or even the press coverage of the treaty. Also not having read it is Senator Rand Paul (R/KY), who sent out a hysterical fundraising letter saying, "Will you join me by taking a public stand against the UN "Small Arms Treaty" and sign the Official Firearms Sovereignty Survey right away? Ultimately, UN bureaucrats will stop at nothing to register, ban and CONFISCATE firearms owned by private citizens like YOU."
Yeah, not gonna happen. The US has strict export controls on the kinds of weapons covered by the treaty, so we're already in compliance. And again, nothing in it affects private gun ownership here. 107 nations have signed the treaty. But it has to pass through the Senate for us to officially ratify it, and the nonsensical tirades of the NRA and Senator Paul, among others, might prevent that from happening. If regular people don't want to be bothered to learn the facts about the issues, that's okay--nobody's making them. But United States senators shouldn't draw taxpayer-funded paychecks and then lie fo our faces.
The NRA and Republican opposition to the treaty puts them in the company of other bastions of freedom like Syria, Iran, and North Korea, the three nations that have officially opposed the treaty. They should be proud.
This Week in Pandering
And still speaking of rank hypocrisy, this week's poster boy is Senator Marco Rubio (R/FL), who recommended a judicial nominee to the federal bench in his state--then turned around, after President Obama accepted the recommendation of both Florida senators [Rubio and Bill Nelson (D)]--and decided to block the nomination he originally supported. Why? He's blaming a couple of decisions in recent criminal cases--decisions that are not only remotely controversial, but that came down early this year--not long after Rubio's recommendation, but well before his turnaround.
More realistically? He took a lot of heat from the far right after initially supporting immigration reform (then working to block that, too), so the fact that the judge he recommended would have been the first openly gay black judge on the federal bench is giving him nightmares, when he thinks about 2016's Republican presidential primaries. How do you describe someone whose principles are so flexible that he can make a habit of opposing things he supported, the minute that support looks like it might involve some political risk? And shouldn't someone close to Rubio remind him about the drubbing Mitt Romney took when he tried to pretend to be farther to the right than he was? If Rubio had the courage of his convictions, he would stick with them. If he doesn't, perhaps he ought to think about a different line of work.
Of course Rubio's not the only politician to try to pander to an increasingly rabid base of primary voters. 2012's primary season saw dozens of examples of that. But what does it say about those voters that the best way to win their favor is to exhibit cruelty toward some group that they don't consider themselves part of? In this case, to regain their love, Rubio had to demonstrate his willingness to turn against a gay black man he had previously supported. Those descriptors have nothing to do with Judge Thomas's qualifications for the bench. But Rubio reversing his position on a straight white judge wouldn't have given the radical right that same warm, fuzzy glow.
This is no new tactic--and anyone who hasn't read Richard Hofstadter's The Paranoid Style in American Politics ought to do so today, because in 1964, he described with pinpoint accuracy patterns and practices that are as much in use now as they were then. (And not just by politicians--the right-wing punditocracy: Beck, Limbaugh, Breitbart, Drudge, Coulter, and their ilk--use these techniques all the time, to enrich themselves by spreading hatred, distrust, and fear of our fellow Americans and our government.) The idea is to pit the majority--i.e., white people-- against groups not like them. Those groups have included Jews, Catholics, blacks, Hispanics, gays, the poor, Muslims--whoever the current bete noire is, that's who the right will focus hatred and resentment toward. And in most cases, the people whose resentment is being channeled are acting against their own self-interest, and in favor of the agenda of the richest corporations. This is only racist by happenstance, because the corporate heads in the country have traditionally been white and the majority has traditionally been white; therefore, the technique is to stoke white resentment toward others, in order to preserve the status quo. Preserving the status quo is, by definition, conservatism.
But what we're talking about goes even deeper than mainstream conservatism. We're talking about the extreme right wing, which has for years been fueled by efforts of the very rich to turn Americans against each other, solely to grow their own fortunes. The modern far right has largely become a construct of the corporate world. Less regulation means corporations can do whatever they want to increase profits. Oil companies want fewer drilling restrictions, Gun companies want fewer restrictions on gun ownership. Tobacco companies want to be able to sell cancer to whoever will buy. The origins of the Tea Party are similarly corporate--big tobacco companies were fundamental in the movement's earty days, as was billionaire David Koch, who largely funded the influential group Americans for Prosperity. What Koch didn't mention was that the only prosperity he was interested in was his own. AfP and FreedomWorks were supposedly "grassroots" organizations that were actually not grassroots at all, but were created by the powerful with the goal of preserving that power. People joined the movement out of real enthusiasm, but they were being lied to by the leaders of the supposedly leaderless effort. Legitimate concerns about the size and reach of government were coopted to serve the corporate agenda, and the Tea Party wave of 2010 also served that end. Legislative dysfunction and gridlock is bad for average Americans, but it's great for corporations that want to make their own rules. The policies these groups pursue--easing environmental restrictions against resource extraction, cutting taxes for the wealthy, blocking health care reform, blocking gun safety measures, breaking the power of the unions--are not policies that help the middle class in any way. They just give already powerful corporations the ability to do more harm to the public, at less cost to themselves.
Now, though, a renegade faction on the farthest right fringe had gone even further--hence the pleas by the Chamber of Commerce to them to not break the nation's economy. Many House Republicans and those few senators who stand with Ted Cruz (R/TX) apparently seek only destruction; like Vandals storming the Roman Empire, they have no positive plans, only the goal of tearing down the American economy,
The argument the extreme right makes to rank-and-file voters can't be economic, because the main disputes of the day--the ACA and comprehensive immigration reform--have been shown by every independent analysis to be good for the long-term health of the American economy and for the middle class. Income inequality, which grows when the very rich get richer while the middle class withers, is not good for the country's economic health. And of course, no economic good comes from a government shutdown or a debt ceiling default. Absent a good economic argument, they turn instead to politics of division: "Those Hispanics just want to move here so their babies can grow up on welfare. Those gays want to destroy the fabric of the family. The ACA is a government takeover of health care, not a regulatory effort that creates millions of new customers for the health insurance business." Since they can't point to a legitimately sound policy agenda, they try to make us hate and fear each other and hope that the fury of that hatred disguises what they're really after.
Every detective novel tells us the same thing: follow the money. In this case, the trail is clear--it leads right back to a few very rich corporations who want Americans to demonize each other, because that's good for their bottom lines.
Also note: this is not an ad hominem attack on all rich people, plenty of whom, on the right and the left, do genuinely love their country as much as they do their money. Nor is it an attack on all corporations. Some of them are careful to adhere to socially responsible policies, and are good citizens of the country and the world. It is a disagreement with those who use their wealth to spread hate and divisiveness among Americans, appealing to our worst natures instead of our best.
Side Note: On the bright side, the Senate this week confirmed Todd Hughes to the federal bench, 98-0. Mr. Hughes becomes the first openly gay federal judge.
This Week in Gun Safety
From the St. Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch: "A Missouri House staffer reportedly left a loaded gun in a public restroom in the state Capitol last week. According to a Capitol Police incident report, a Kahr CM9 9mm pistol – later claimed by House Speaker Tim Jones’ legislative assistant Dave Evans – was found on top of the toilet paper dispenser in a men's restroom in the Capitol basement Friday. The incident report states that the gun 'was fully loaded with one round in the chamber and six rounds in the magazine.'”
Speaker Tim Jones (R) was one of the state legislators who pushed a blatantly unconstitutional bill that would have tried to nullify federal gun laws in Missouri. Wisely, Governor Jay Nixon (D) vetoed the bill for just that reason--the US Constitution doesn't offer states a menu of laws to choose from. Maybe Jones could take a refresher course on the Constitution, while his legislative assistant takes one on firearms safety.
Meanwhile, in Florida: Pot smoking man shoots self in abdomen at Callaway McDonalds.
This Week in Shutdowns
Just how much will it cost us if Ted Cruz and House Republicans succeed in shutting down the government? Billions. And that's just for starters--it's impossible to estimate with any accuracy the long-term damage to the economy. Here's a handy guide to what shutdown means for all of us.
And a refusal to raise the debt ceiling would be even worse--there, we're talking in the hundreds of billions, at least. Here's the best guide we've seen to what this all means. The markets are really starting to worry, too. According to the NY Times: "Economists of all political persuasions have warned that a failure to raise the debt ceiling by the Treasury’s deadline of Oct. 17 could be catastrophic. The world economy’s faith in the safety of Treasury debt would be shaken for years. Interest rates could shoot up, and stock prices worldwide would most likely plummet.
“'Defaulting on any obligation of the U.S. government would be a dangerous gamble,' Doug Elmendorf, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, told the House Budget Committee on Thursday. 'In a very uncertain world, the one thing everyone has been able to count on is that the U.S. government will pay its bills on time.'”
So why do they want to do it? They're not going to block the ACA--that's just not happening. The law was passed by Congress. The president signed it. The Supreme Court upheld it. A presidential election was held, and the candidate in favor of repeal lost by a wide margin. But they want to make a point of some kind (they never have been able to articulate that point without lying about it--making claims of death panels and deficits that don't hold water). So really, the only reasonable answer to the "why" question is that they only support America's system of government when they get their way, and they have no empathy for the millions of Americans who can get health insurance under the ACA that they couldn't get before, (62 million Americans will, for instance, be able to get mental health care covered under the ACA when they couldn't before) or all those who'll benefit over the long term from the law's positive effects on the economy.
The military would be heavily impacted, according to Defense One. "This would have a large impact on the Defense Department this year, which was not the case in 1995 and 1996. Whereas four appropriations bills had passed before the last shutdown—including defense—none have been approved this year. Troops would thus be required to continue working without compensation to them or their families. 'All military personnel will continue to serve and accrue pay, but will not actually be paid until appropriations are available,' said House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Bill Young, R-Fla. He warned that a shutdown will hurt both readiness and morale."
Look at it this way: Congressional Republicans want to shut down the government, or force the country to default on its obligations, in order to coerce Democrats into going along with their agenda. The only way that threat works is that Republicans have to believe that Democrats care enough about the country's economic well-being to go along with them. That means, therefore, Republicans by their own admission do not care about the country's economic well-being--they're willing to trash the country to get their way (or they're lying to the country when they say they are). Either way, it's pretty clear which party has the country's interests in mind.
When it comes to the debt ceiling debate, House Republicans have offered up a list of demands that, as Jonathan Chait points out, is Mitt Romney's platform--you know, the one American voters rejected when they overwhelmingly sent Barack Obama back to the White House. Chait writes, "The fact that a major party could even propose anything like this is a display of astonishing contempt for democratic norms. Republicans ran on this plan and lost by 5 million votes. They also lost the Senate and received a million fewer votes in the House but held control owing to favorable district lines. Is there an example in American history of a losing party issuing threats to force the majority party to implement its rejected agenda?"
Good question. Do elections matter at all to these people? Does the Constitution mean anything at all? They're approaching this like it's some kind of trade: "We get all these concessions, and you get a debt ceiling increase." Trouble is, the debt ceiling increase isn't something the president or the Democrats kinda want. It's something required by (an antiquated, stupid) law (that we should get rid of) so the country can pay what it owes for the things that it (i.e., Congress, including Republicans) already bought. It's not handing the president a credit card, it's paying our existing bills.
Matt Yglesias has a similar take: "The one thing Obama absolutely cannot do under any circumstances is negotiate over the statutory debt limit.
We here at TWiA World Headquarters are fond of the two-party system, and believe that impassioned political debate is good for the country. That said, we have to wonder about the radicals on the right who are saying, "Let us deny health insurance to millions of Americans, or we'll intentionally crash the American economy." Is that really what they think patriotism demands? If they really love America, why do they want so badly to damage it?
If you have a Republican representative in Congress, please, call or fax him or her immediately and argue against a shutdown (and in favor of a clean, unencumbered raising of the debt ceiling before October 17). Lurching from self-made crisis to self-made crisis is a ridiculous way to govern. It hurts business, it hurts families, it affects everybody's bottom line. Who's it good for?
Yeah, nobody. Nobody at all.
This Week in Economics
A couple of brief notes:
Here's James K. Galbraith on why income inequality matters, and why it should be kept to a reasonable level.
And manufacturing is coming back to the US from China, which is very good news for us.
This Week in the Peter Principle
How much do his fellow Senate Republicans despise Ted Cruz (especially since he's trying to make them let him shut down the government, which they realize will be bad for the country and for their party)? This much.
Our own state's senior senator, John McCain (R/AZ) is not one of Cruz's fans, either. Aide Says McCain F*cking hates Cruz.
And as reported previously, Cruz's winning ways have been alienating his peers since college, if not before.
Further endearing himself to the multitudes, Cruz delivered a 21-hour pretend filibuster on Tuesday (but not a real one--he had negotiated his talking time with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ahead of time, and his dishonest publicity stunt did not hold up any Senate business, which is the actual function of a filibuster), during which he compared people who actually understand the American system of government, and why the ACA will go ahead despite his whining, to Nazi appeasers. Always a classy move, going straight to the Nazi references.
(On a personal note, as the son of a WWII veteran who was one of the first American GIs to enter a liberated concentration camp, it's deeply, deeply offensive to me that Cruz would make such a reference. The Nazis didn't set up those camps to ensure that people had health insurance. Any such comparison is beyond the pale, and Cruz has demonstrated an utter lack of human decency and dignity by making it. He's not fit to step through the doors of the United States Capitol.)
His faux-libuster was largely a long whine about Obamacare, filled with gross misinformation. He called it "socialized medicine"--it's not--and compared it to the health care systems in countries like France, Germany, and Canada, which it's not at all like. He's supposed to be a smart guy. He went to Harvard Law, and as a lawyer has argued cases--apparently very impressively--before the Supreme Court. I believe he's smart. Which means I believe he knows there's no public option in the ACA, nothing socialist about it, and entirely different than those single-payer plans he tried to compare it to. Which means he's lying. He also talked about how it kills jobs, though there's actually not a shred of evidence to support that (and how could there be? It hasn't gone into effect yet!) He spent 21 hours talking about something he either doesn't understand, or he does understand but refuses to tell the truth about. And that makes him a hero to some?
He also completely misunderstands the meaning of Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham--not a particularly complex book, but seemingly beyond his ability to grasp. He probably doesn't know Dr. Seuss was a lefty who considered himself "subversive as hell," either.
With his government shutdown scheme, he's maneuvered himself into a corner and is about to fail badly. Trouble is, Cruz's real goal is not to shut down the government or to defund the ACA, but to make easily confused right-wing voters think he's he-man enough to try to shut down the government in an attempt to defund the ACA. This is his opening gambit for 2016, and he's looking for primary voters. If those voters understood the real stakes, they'd abandon him in droves. But if Cruz is bad at governing--which he is; his latest phony stunt actually made it harder for his colleagues in Congress to achieve their goals--he's good at publicity. He, like others discussed here this week, is an incredible hypocrite, but he gets headlines.
For the record, although there are people out there who apparently think this dishonest, hypocritical extremist should run for president, I'd like to point out that he has passed exactly the same number of bills that I have. The difference is, he's a senator, and I'm not. When it comes to the job we taxpayers are paying him for--legislating--he's astonishingly bad at it.
Side Note: The aforementioned Senator John McCain spoke on the Senate floor the afternoon of the cloture vote, and rightfully admonised Sen. Cruz for his "Nazi appeaser" comments. He also said, "And then I'd remind my colleagues that in the 2012 election, 'Obamacare,' as it's called -- and I'll be more polite, the ACA -- was a subject that was a major issue in the campaign. I campaigned all over America for two months, everywhere I could, and in every single campaign rally I said, 'And we have to repeal and replace Obamacare.' "Well, the people spoke. They spoke, much to my dismay, but they spoke and they reelected the president of the United States."
Quite right. The ACA has been discussed and debated more than any other piece of legislation in this century, and possibly all the way back to the Civil Rights days. At every turn, the law has been upheld. A major tentpole of it goes into effect next week. It's time Congressional Republicans stopped trying to kill it and started working across the aisle to make it as good as it can be.
This Week in Presidential Timber
Yes, "timber," not "timbre." While those on the right like to paint President Obama as weak and indecisive, those observers who aren't using their crazy eyes to see him recognize a president who gets things done--despite genuinely unprecedented partisan obstruction--and has the timber to stand tough when he needs to. Center-right columnist Jeffrey Goldberg says it's Obama's toughness that has brought Iran to the negotiating table over the nuclear issue--negotiations that could defuse one of the most dangerous situations facing us in the world. The US and Iran have been at odds since 1979, and a breakthrough there would be a dramatic and important event. If that happens and we avoid war with Iran, and Syria gives up its chemical weapons, and we manage to pull out of Afghanistan, then combined with Obama's long-term nonproliferation efforts, he'll go down in history as a leader in the cause of world peace. He'll have earned that Nobel Peace Prize, and then some.
And with the possiblity of truly insane and destructive financial crises manufactured by congressional Republicans to achieve ideological ends they failed to in the last election on the horizon, the president reminded us this week, "The United States of America is not a deadbeat nation. We are a compassionate nation. We are the world's bedrock investment. And doing anything to threaten that is the height of irresponsibility. That's why I will not negotiate over the full faith and credit of the United States. I will not allow anyone to harm this country's reputation, or threaten to inflict economic pain on millions of our own people, just to make an ideological point."
Throughout his political career, people have underestimated Obama's intelligence and resolve. He's president, and they're not, so that should tell you something.
This Week in Health Care
First, read this piece by Jonathan Cohn on why, for all its imperfections, the Affordable Care Act is a very good thing. Even if you don't read the rest of TWiA, read this, because it's important, regardless of hou you feel about the law.
Also, it's big news when multibillionaire investor Warren Buffet says the ACA is hopeless, isn't it? Well, isn't it?
If you listen only to the right-wing media, you might think so. They've been all over the story this week. Trouble is, what Buffet really said was much more nuanced than what they're claiming--and he said it in 2010. What does Buffet really think of the law? “I support it. It relates to providing medical care for all Americans. That's something I've thought should be done for a long, long time.”
Also, USA Today calls out congressional Republicans on their delusional, destructive efforts to kill the ACA: "Republicans' obsession with overturning ObamaCare is getting sillier and more dangerous at the same time. Now that they've failed to kill the law every way the rules allow — in Congress, the Supreme Court and in a presidential election — the opponents are taking hostages and, in effect, threatening to shoot them if they don't get their way. Unfortunately for everyone involved, the hostages are the federal government and the U.S. economy."
Speaking of ACA misinformation, Forbes used completely bogus math to spice up a hit piece about the exchanges that go into effect next week. Look, ACA foes--if the law is as bad as you say, you should be anxious to have it go into effect so we can all see how right you were all along. The more you try to block it, the more we have to think you're worried that it's going to turn out to be both effective and popular. The latest data show that health insurance will cost most consumers even less than had originally been estimated by the Congressional Budget Office (but keep these caveats in mind).
And of course, that only applies to the 6 or 7% of consumers who don't get health insurance from their employer, but will now be able to get it through the exchanges. For the vast majority of us, who do get health insurance from our employer, the chief difference is that our insurance companies will actually have to spend 80% of our premium dollars on health care, and if they don't to refund it to us. And, of course, if you lose your job, you'll still be able to get insurance--ask anyone who ever had to pay ridiculous COBRA premiums how that worked out.
In the latest polling, a (slight) plurality--but almost a majority--wants to keep the ACA. Those who do want to repeal it say it costs too much, which ignores the CBO projections that over the long run it actually saves the government money and reduces the deficit.
And here are five Republican myths about Obamacare.
Side note: On Friday (but after last week's installment of TWiA had been put to bed, the White House tweeted about the nonsensical Republican plan to kill the ACA. Various people tweeted in response, but our favorite (of the few we saw, since Twitter) was this:
@BarackObama govt messed up social security why let them mess up healthcare— Russel Shanny (@93Rshanty) September 20, 2013
Just in case, I did check other tweets from this individual, to see if this one was meant to be a joke. It does not appear to be. Hilarious, yes. An intentional joke, no.
This Week in TV News
NBC's Richard Engel, one of the best reporters covering the Middle East in the history of TV reporting, has been honored with the 2013 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. There really is no better choice for this honor. Engel covers his beat with unparalleled courage and understanding and explains it in ways that make sense to an American audience.
And Fox's Bret Baier has just taken his 6-year-old son Paul home after his third open heart surgery. No child should have to go through such trauma, and no dad should have to go through the emotional agony that doubtless accompanies it. We here at TWiA World Headquarters wish the Baier family the best, and hope the worst is behind them.
This Week in Books
It's Banned Books Week. Read a book that somebody thinks isn't good for you, because if they think that, it probably is. The most frequently challenged book in libraries in 2013 has been Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey. All the Captain Underpants books are a riot, and well worth your time. Here's the American Library Association's full list.
Also this week, the city of Los Angeles dedicated the Palms-Rancho Park Library to my friend, the late, great Ray Bradbury. There are few tributes Ray would have appreciated more.
This Week in Awesome Headlines
Why do people want to eat babies? Scientists explain. Be sure to read the update at the end of the story, too.
This Week in Generally Awesome
Former President George H.W. Bush once again demonstrates that he has more class than any of today's anti-gay elected Republicans: George H.W. Bush witnesses same-sex marriage. Show 'em how it's done, Poppy. (Thanks to TWiA special H.W. correspondent Marcy Rockwell for the tip.)
And this: The Adorable Care Act.
This Week in Bears
Say what you will about bears, but they're polite. This one was asked to leave a drinking establishment, and--unlike many humans--left without a fuss.