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The US budget row ends (for now) as ours rumbles on amid bailout-exit talk. Conor Pope's on the Wire

Conor Pope Thu, Oct 17
 
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  • 08:24
    Last night grown men and women in the United States government ended their marathon game of Chicken and the world breathed a sigh of relief.

    Congress - which, it is important to stress, is made up of mostly adults - grudgingly backed a deal to end a government shutdown which had lasted 16 days and left more than 300,000 federal employees idle and unpaid.

    The end of the ruckus pulled the world's biggest economy back from the brink of a debt default that would have left our recent economic troubles in the ha'penny place and could have threatened financial calamity. Everywhere.

    Once Congress did the deal and dropped efforts to use budget legislation to force changes in his healthcare law, President Barack Obama signed the agreement into law and everyone went back to work.

    Taking the podium in the White House briefing room early this morning, Obama said the deal had allowed the politicians to "lift this cloud of uncertainty and unease from our businesses and from the American people. Hopefully next time it won't be in the 11th hour. We've got to get out of the habit of governing by crisis."

    While he looked serious while speaking, inside he was no doubt going "nah nah nah nah nah" having outmanoeuvred hardline Republicans - and the fun folk in the Tea Party - throughout the crisis and getting his deal over the line with few strings attached.

    World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said "the global economy dodged a potential catastrophe" last night.

    Senator John McCain said it marked the "end of an agonising odyssey" for Americans. "It is one of the most shameful chapters I have seen in the years I've spent in the Senate," said McCain, who had warned fellow Republicans not to link their demands for Obamacare changes to the debt limit or government spending bill.

    The new deal is more of a sticking plaster than a long term measure and while it funds the government until the middle of January and raises the debt ceiling until February 7th, Americans - and, let's face it, the rest of us - face the possibility of another bitter budget row early next year.

    Hurray.
  • 08:25
    Good morning. I am Conor Pope and I am on wire detail today.

    Hurray.
  • 08:26
    Yes, I am going to end every post today with a cheery hurray *** in an attempt to lift your spirits and mine.

    *** No, not I am not.
  • 08:27
    "The gleaming row of eight waterfront homes on Dalkey’s Sorrento Terrace has come to represent the hottest real estate in Dublin. Now the daddy of them all, No 1, Sorrento House is on the market for €12 million, making it Dublin’s most expensive house – again."

    A bit of property porn in the morning? Sure where else would ya get it!


  • 08:29
    And speaking of property - and obscenity - Frank McDonald is writing today about the ESB HQ off Merrion Square - an architectural obscenity if ever there was one. 
    But not for long. 
    Because the ESB is knocking the second ugliest building in Dublin - I am giving first prize to the Department of Health - and replacing it with something which is (supposed to be) neo-Georgian.
  • 08:37
    Snoop Dog has changed his name.  Not since the artist formerly - and latterly - known as Prince made his symbolic name change way back when - has the music world seen such upheaval. 

    Snoop is, from now on, only to be referred to as Snoopzilla.

    Under no circumstances is anyone to call him Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr.

     

     

  • 08:38
    TDs in both Coalition parties have expressed relief at the reaction to the Budget says our Political Editor Stephen Collins.

    Senior figures from both parties believe it marks the turning point in the lifetime of the Coalition, with austerity and high unemployment about to give way to growth and jobs.

    Fingers crossed.

    Ministers believe that the symbolic exit from the EU-IMF bailout programme on December 15th will reinforce the point that the economy is recovering.

    The Fine Gael parliamentary party met last night to hear Minister for Finance Michael Noonan respond to detailed questions about the content of his third budget.

    Party chairman Charlie Flanagan said there had been a general welcome to what was "regarded as a budget for jobs and growth, notwithstanding although he did said that reservations had been expressed about reducing the deficit target from €3.1 billion to €2.5 billion".

    Of course none of the people at the post-Budget meeting/party were under 25 and out of work, over 70 and strapped for cash or pregnant.
  • 08:44
  • 08:50
    Most read stories on our site, right now?

    1. Video: Dublin’s most expensive house back on market for €12m
    2. As a former prostitute I applaud Sinéad O’Connor
    3. Garda checkpoints to be used to find welfare cheats
    4. IRFU reject Fintan Drury’s take on Seán O’Brien negotiations
    5. Sneering elitism leaves Ireland manager panel-beaten
  • 08:50
  • 08:54
  • 08:55
    "In all there will be 35 studio apartments, 208 one-bedroom residences, 139 two-bedroom units and 12 three-bed homes. To keep residents happy there will also be convenience stores, cafés, a sports bar, concierge services, barbecue pits, a “rooftop entertainment” deck, “resort-inspired pool, spa and cabana area”, pet spa with “doggy day care facilities” as well as a bicycle repair shop."

    Welcome to Facebook Town.

    Status update: Souless.
  • 09:02
    Journalists love an auld cliche - no, no, no, it's true as God is my witness, we'd be lost withot them. 
    "Devil is in the detail" has been the cliche of choice this week. I know this because used myself about four times both in print and on the telly to make me sound smarter than I am. Truth be told, I, like most people in my profession/trade was using it as shorthand for: "Ah here, this Budget business is way too complicated for me to get my head around so I better cover myself in case I miss anything important."
    Turns out we were all way more on the money with the phrase than I thought.
    When you tot up all the budget-related cuts in the Department of Health it comes to €666 million.
    Spooky, wha?
  • 09:14
    Weather update: it's nice out so it is.
  • 09:38
    Is it just me or does anyone else fly into a furious rage when they hear the word "webinar"?

  • 09:39

  • 09:40
    Hey! How you doin?


  • 09:47
    "No matter how hard government policies kick you in the shin, you should be strong enough to dust yourself off and pick yourself up again, because actually, you must have fallen of your own accord.. . . never mind the rumours of a broken economy: Tuesday’s budget,. . . brought us more of the same recasting of unemployment and underemployment as a personal failing. . . Each time the story is retold in an unequal, malfunctioning economy, the expectations of the aspirational audience must be further reduced. Now, rather than aspire to the rewards that an income can bring, the citizens of the JobBridge generation are being asked to consider employment itself as the luxury to be attained. They must live to work."

    Very good piece by Laura Slattery today.
  • 10:16
    Words  yout hate.

    Awesome, unless there is an example of great natural beauty. Makes me super-mad. Also, super. Sinéad Crowley
    Chillax - bloody hate it! Carina
    Networking Colm Bergin
    Guesstimate.  Makes my teeth sweat.  Sinead
    Financial Regulator  Fidestin
    'Revert' when used instead of 'respond' Naomi P
    Umpteen Paul McQuillan 
    'Community' when used indiscriminately; 'probe' for 'investigation'; 'treacherous' for icy roads  Paul McPhillips
    'Slams' or 'blasts' Catherine Allen
    Blue sky thinking Sarah  
    The use of 'Ye' especially in job application letters....automatically want to bin them!  Kate McConville 
    Any scandal that adds the word 'Gate' lazy & stupid journalism Dave Harris
    Stakeholder   John Crown
    Fiesty  Laura Slattery 
    Cringeworthy Carl O'Malley
    Amazeballs, nom, OMG, LOLZ, text speak in general! And unless you are from cork like cannot be used as every 2nd word.  Claire Walsh
    "Reach out" or "I'd like to share this with you!" Or "Partnering with someone!" Mangling the English language! Brian Flynn
    Vegan Claire
    Functionality, utilise, architecting, world-class, leading-edge, cutting-edge, bleeding-edge... shall I go on?  Claire O’Connell
    The current habit of placing everything "on a spectrum" Samantha Long
  • 10:18
    There's more...

    Brekkie' which is NOT a real word. Anyone who uses 'brekkie' not breakfast, I mentally walk away from them forever. Mairéad Roche  
  • 10:22
    Exciting news. Ronan McCreevy is about to get his hands on Morrissey's autobiography.

    He's going to read it to me while I blog.

    He's starting now.

    It is amazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
  • 10:49
    Stop the presses!!!!

    News release just in.  Too excited to rewrite it.... I'll just cut and paste. 

    SuperValu, Ireland’s leading independent supermarket, has announced that Superquinn sausages have just gone on sale in all SuperValu stores.  All stores will stock the popular Superquinn sausage 12 pack, which will retail for €4. SuperValu expects additional sales of €2 million of the sausages in the first year.

    Taking the sausage nationwide is not only great news for the consumers, but ABP Ireland, the company who produce the Award Winning Superquinn Sausage, has created 12 new jobs in order to cater for this new demand at its processing facility at ABP Cahir, Cahir, Co. Tipperary.  All pork raw materials are 100% Irish.

    The Superquinn sausage has always been one of Superquinn’s most popular products and initial sales in a handful of SuperValu stores have seen the product sell out.  As a result, nationwide distribution has been brought forward in order to cater for demand with shoppers across the country eager to get a taste of the Superquinn sausage.  

    The same secret recipe for the Superquinn sausage is in use, so customers can expect the same great taste whether they buy their sausages in Dublin or Donegal. 

  • 10:50
    They're not that great, you know that? 

    A real case of the emperor's new sausages if you ask me.

  • 11:22
    "The sneering smacked of elitism and reinforced the worst stereotypes about the game in Ireland: that Irish football men who have not plied their trade in England really are no good."

    Very good piece by Dave McKechnie. Should be read by all 'real football people' 
  • 11:23
    A man has been arrested in connection with the death of Dublin woman Elaine O’Hara whose remains were found in the Dublin mountains last month. Ms O’Hara (37) was last seen leaving her home Belarmine Plaza, Stepaside at about 5pm on Wednesday the 22nd of August, 2012. Gardaí have confirmed that a 41-year-old man was arrested this morning in Dublin in connection with their investigation into Ms O’Hara’s death. He is being held at Blackrock Garda station.
  • 12:00
    What's that?

    You were looking for five reasons Harry Styles might leave One Direction?

    You got it.
  • 12:13
    The man arrested in connection with the murder of Elaine O’Hara, whose decomposed partial skeletal remains were found in the Dublin Mountains last month, is a a 41-year-old married man with an address in south Dublin. according to our crime correspondent Conor Lally he is a professional and senior business figure in a company based in Dublin city centre.

    "Gardaí believe Elaine O’Hara most likely died on the day she was last seen.
    Dating website examined in hunt for woman’s killer Garda sources said the inquiry is at an advanced stage and is nearing completion. The suspect’s arrest this morning came during a surprise Garda operation," writes Lally.

  • 13:13
    Stand by for a northside friendly tweet.....


  • 13:16

  • 13:21
    It was 51 years ago today....




    The Beatles made their television debut on this day in 1962. when they appeared live on Granada TV's People and Places. They two songs ‘Some Other Guy’ and ‘Love Me Do’.
  • 13:25
    And on this day in 1931 Al Capone was sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion.
  • 13:34
    Eamon Dunphy has denied his criticism of Noel King in recent days had anything to do with a long-standing feud stretching back to their playing days

    The pair have have a right go at each other in recent days but Dunphy has insisted the grumpiness has nothing to do with a bust-up he had with King during a 1978 League of Ireland match between Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk.

    King, who played for Dundalk, was sent off for a crunching tackle on Dunphy who was nearing the end of his playing days for Rovers.

    Responding to suggestions there had been bad blood between himself and King, Dunphy said: “You must be mad. When he got the job I praised him for seven days then he produced a mad team, and like the other two panellists, I criticised the team selection, the formation and the tactics.”

    “So seven days good, one night critical and he couldn’t take it. That was the bottom line. If you can’t stand the heat in the kitchen, get out of the kitchen.”

    He also denied a report he had been left with a broken nose following his altercation with King. “He was sent off for kicking me, a bad tackle, but nothing was broken."
  • 13:50


    Enough said.
  • 14:01
    Photographer Peter Menzel has taken pics of what one week's worth of groceries looks like all over the world. Chad should make you think.
  • 14:05
    A new bedside blood test for sepsis has the potential to save many thousands of lives, scientists have said. The life-threatening condition is caused by an overwhelming immune reaction to infection that damages tissues and organs. Rapid diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics is essential, but it can take up to two days to analyse samples in a laboratory. Now British scientists have discovered a biomarker in the blood that can identify sepsis at the bedside within two hours.
  • 14:27
    Minister for Health James Reilly has defended the HSE’s processing of “discretionary” medical cards, insisting that policy has not changed in the last year. Mr Reilly said the system continues to operate in such a way that those who suffer financial hardship as a result of a medical condition, receive the benefit of a medical card. But addressing the Oireachtas Committee on health this morning Mr Reilly said a review of discretionary medical cards had shown almost half of reciptients were 200 per cent above income guidelines.
  • 15:53
    Police in China have arrested an influential blogger in a crackdown on online "rumor-mongering". Hundreds have now been detained since August as the government steps  up its campaign to banish rumors.

    Lordy.

    Let's hope spreading rumours doesn't become a crime here. This newsroom will be wiped out. 


  • 15:56
    The Arts Council, Culture Ireland and the National Concert Hall have taken big cuts in the Budget. The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has seen its Budget fall to €246 million down around 7 per cent. It is the sixth successive year of cuts at the Arts Council whose budget has been reduced by more than one-third since 2008.

    “We are constantly allowing our politicians to talk about the value of culture, and everyone who visits here is given the line that culture is central to who we are,” says Jo Mangan, artistic director of The Performance Corporation theatre group. “Yet the Arts Council, the vehicle that can provide access to audiences and ensure artists are not working for nothing, is constantly being decimated.” 
  • 16:47
    Okay well, it must nearly be time for an "And Finally..."

    A  West Cork businessman by the name of Sean Murray stormed the TV3's Ireland AM studio this morning and started unhooking bras left, right and centre.

    He waasn't however arrested as he is practicing for an attempt to break a world record and unhook more than 69 bras in 60 seconds .

    In a press release we have just got Sean is described as a "bra enthusiast" and we learn that his Skibbereen shop houses the region's largest lingerie department.

    He needs at least 70 volunteers to come to his shop on Saturday  October 26th so he can pop open their bras.

    All funds raised by the stunt will go towards the Irish Cancer Society's ‘Get the Girls’ breast cancer campaign. If Sean’s hands weren’t full enough, he and his staff also plan to fit more than 500 women for bras in eight hours, and fit another 500 men and women for jeans in eight hours to enter the record books on the treble.  
      

  • 16:54
    Another "And Finally?"

    Ronan McGreevy has been speed reading Morrissey's buke... and heaven know's he's miserable now.

    Ah no, he's not he's happy as a clam. 

    Here are some of his thoughts. 
    "Morrissey’s autobiography is a densely-written, lyrical memoir as you would expect from one of the great lyricists of our time. It begins: “My child is street upon streets upon streets upon streets”.

    Speaking about his Irish upbringing in Manchester, he muses: “Battling against the schoolmasterly dullness of detestable poverty, we Irish Catholics know very well how raucous happiness displeases God, so there is much evidence of guilt in all we say and do”.

    His parents are both from Clonard Road in Crumlin.

    “Catholicism has you tracked and trailed for life with an overwhelming sense of self-doubt”.

    Morrissey quotes Patrick Kavanagh, Patrick MacGill and Oscar Wilde.

    He talks about Margaret Thatcher too.  “Neither iron, nor a lady, Thatcher is philosophical axe-woman with no understanding of personal error.”

    He was intimidated by Johnny Marr’s talent when he first mers him. “I am shaken when I hear Johnny play guitar, because is quite obviously gifted and almost unnaturally multi-talented”.

    He is very harsh about the first self-titled Smiths album: “Although the songs are very strong, the recording of those songs – in my view failed everyone”.

    He was not in favour of having There Is A Light That Never Goes Out on The Queen is Dead. “It is often a relief to be wrong”.

    The last album Strangeways, Here We Come is The Smith’s masterpiece, according to Morrissey with “everything in its perfect place”.

  • 17:13
    Ah gwan so, another And Finally... . and this is the best one.

    A grandfather has won £125,000 this week after he bet 50 quid that his grandson would play international football for Wales when the child was just 18 months old.
    Harry Wilson is now 16 and he made his international debut on Tuesday becoming Wales' youngest ever senior player.
    His grandfather Peter Edwards, 62, was quoted odds of 2,500/1 when he placed the bet with a bookmaker in Wrexham. He now plans to retire .