What are we gonna do now?

Republicans feel emboldened by their budget experiment hostage-taking and are almost certain to threaten not to lift the debt ceiling. Villagers will applaud them for using the situation to force “fiscal discipline” on Obama. The math demands it! They’re being courageous! Just as the Republican talking point was “a shutdown won’t be that bad”, now they’re saying that not lifting the debt ceiling won’t be that bad.

What do you think the right approach from Democrats is here? I’d like to say “I wish a motherfucker would make us default on our credit obligations” but that’s a tough one to stomach.






218 replies
  1. 1
    The Political Nihilist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    I dunno anymore. Seemed like whatever we decide won’t matter. What will result is yet another strong, hard lurch in validating and enabling right-wing psychosis, and further entrenchment of the same kind of batshit-ness going on state-level damn near everywhere in the country now.

    I’m at a point of just not giving a shit anymore, because I know whatever I would hope for will be immediately dismissed out of hand as being either too hippieish or ‘unserious’ by anyone wielding any real power or influence.

  2. 2
    Dave says:

    Hammer home the point that the current deficit is almost entirely driven by two wars and tax breaks for the wealthy. Hammer home that Paul Ryan wants to transfer trillions of dollars to the top 5% by bleeding the rest of America dry. Hammer home that the GOP wants to default on the debt so poor women can’t get cancer screenings or health care.

    It also has the added bonus of being 100% true.

  3. 3
    dr. bloor says:

    What do you think the right approach from Democrats is here?

    As if it matters.

  4. 4
    Valdivia says:

    Having lived through a country’s default I can tell you it’s pretty fucking horrendous. Wait til all your money is frozen in a bank and you can’t take out more than 20$ a time every week and you’ll see what I mean.
    I’m hoping the big speech on weds is the set up to talk about this and the next budget in real terms not the imaginary ones the Village has set.

    While everyone seems very worried about the speech I do think it’s necessary. Obama has to shape the conversation and he need to use the speech to do that. Let’s hope it happens because this is defenitely NOT the hill to prove Obama is willing to kill the hostage. Debt default is not a little blip, it’s horrendous.

  5. 5
    moe99 says:

    I’m with Atrios. If you’re serious about the deficit, the first order of business is jobs.

  6. 6

    Gotta go with cutting Medicare.

  7. 7
    Comrade Dread says:

    What do you think the right approach from Democrats is here?

    Play chicken.

    Though it really won’t matter. They’ll cave.

  8. 8
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    The teapeople and the Villagers may think that defaulting is no big deal, but I doubt that the big money boys see it the same way. I would anticipate that Wall Street and Big Business will have chats with the Republican leadership. No way default happens and all the Democrats need to do is say no to any proposal that comes along.

  9. 9
    Tom Levenson says:

    Line up the GOP paymasters. Jamie Dimon was a first salvo. Lots of quiet calls over the next few weeks. Tie Boehner to this with chains of unobtanium.

  10. 10
    cleek says:

    what are we going to do now? We’re gonna sit here and freak out as the makeup of congress and rules of the legislative process and general circumstances force Obama to sign things he doesn’t really want to sign.

  11. 11
    jrg says:

    I’d like to say “I wish a motherfucker would make us default on our credit obligations” but that’s a tough one to stomach

    Seeing as how the Social Security trust fund holds a large number of these credit obligations, it would not be hard to make the case that this would be yet another instance of the GOP stealing from the middle class.

    But then again, a large number of people in this country are so stupid that even something that simple might be over their heads.

  12. 12
    sukabi says:

    these fuckers are financial terrorists… the ONLY response that should be given is to freeze all their PERSONAL accounts, shut off all their credit and give them a personal taste of what a “default” would mean…

  13. 13
    MattF says:

    Well, the nominal powers-that-be in the Republican party have made it quite clear that they think a Federal default would be a werrry, werrry, werry bad thing. So, personally, I think that Obama just has to stand firm here. Of course, I could be wrong, and it’s entirely possible that the crazies really will jump off that cliff. Hope not, though.

  14. 14
    Linnaeus says:

    Yeah, default is something TPTB will not like. The Democrats can refuse to play along with this insanity.

  15. 15
    David in NY says:

    @Valdivia: The problem is, but not negotiating better at the shutdown stage, he’s really screwed himself and us for this stage. I’d love him to convince everybody with a sound speech, and maybe he will. But I’m worried.

  16. 16
    General Stuck says:

    President Barack Obama had finally reached his breaking point.

    For more than an hour in an Oval Office meeting on April 7, House Speaker John Boehner had insisted that any compromise on the government’s budget include a prohibition on federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

    Obama already had reluctantly agreed to a provision banning the District of Columbia from spending funds on abortion services — and that was as far as he would go.

    “Nope, zero,” he told Boehner, according to a senior Democratic aide. “John, this is it.” The room went silent

    Now tell me again who blinked with this standoff, and that there is no hill Obama is willing to die on. And how “emboldened” is Boehner demanding the defunding of PP and then folding like a cheap suit with a presidential “nope, zero”

  17. 17
    anon says:

    Organize Tahrir National Mall, Tahrir Wall Street, etc. all across the country, in which citizens demand that taxes are raised on the wealthy, the wars are ended, and nation-building begins at home. Occupy.

    It’s been proven that this kind of thing is pretty much the only effective approach.

  18. 18
    kdaug says:

    It’s a tough call. They’ve got a lighter in one hand and a can of gasoline in the other, and they’re ready to bring the whole thing down ’cause the voices in their head are talking about abortion or Jebus or moonbeams or some shit.

    Do you try to explain that they’re in the house, too, and if they burn it down it will have bad consequences for them, too? Or are they just Xian versions of suicide bombers?

    Or – perhaps more productively – we simply say “Fine. Don’t raise the debt limit. We’ll just have to pull out of Libya, Af/Pac, Iraq, close every military base around the world, bring all of our troops home, bring all the ships and subs to port, and hunker down behind our sacrosanct borders. After all, we can’t borrow from the Chinese to afford all this adventurism abroad. Gotta cut costs somewhere.”

  19. 19
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @Tom Levenson: I agree, but I’m not all that certain that Boehner is completely in charge anymore.

  20. 20
    Bob L says:

    Part of the problem is the Right knows they are being dumb but in their twisted logic its the Left’s fault for not stopping them from destroying the country.

  21. 21
    Stillwater says:

    What do you think the right approach from Democrats is here?

    One thing I wouldn’t advise is playing the game of chicken with someone who’s completely willing to crash head-on. I mean, the game of chicken can be useful to achieve political ends. But the GOP has shown that causing the head-on crash is something they desire.

    Dunno how Dems, or even moderate conservatives, can work with that. How do you talk someone back from the edge when they believe going over it is a good thing?

  22. 22
    lacp says:

    I just finished reading Dean Baker’s thoughts on this. His line in the sand is Medicare; he’d go with default rather than submitting to Ryan’s “plan.”

  23. 23
    Joe Beese says:

    The country is bankrupt. We can either admit it now or be forced to admit it later.

  24. 24
    Suffern ACE says:

    We aren’t going to default. Instead, we are just going to adjust current spending so that we need to release no more debt. I would add that there is no way of doing this without drastically reducing the amount of expenditures on healthcare. Not “in the future, you get a voucher if you are under 55”, but for current retirees.

    The government is going to need to massively reduce payments to current retirees, although they are convinced that it is just going to come out of “foreign aid.”

  25. 25
    Napoleon says:

    Make them default if that is what it takes to get the Reps. to back off. By the way we may not have been in this position if Obama had held his ground and the Rep closed down the government and paid a price for it politically.

  26. 26
    Jeff says:

    I hope the Democrats don’t vote for, not plan anything for the debt ceiling. All bills that raise revenue originate in House, so I would assume the debt ceiling would have to originate in the house as well.

    The house is run, with a large majority, by Republicans. It is their job to raise the debt ceiling, or to watch our our place in world economics go the way of Zimbabwe.

    I say leave it up to the Rs to do, if they attach riders, the president should veto it. Period. There is no room to negotiate when the only answer is to raise the ceiling.

    BTW, the Ds should do the same on the budget they are going to vote for on Wednesday. All the Ds should vote against it, and let all the Rs do the lifting, just like the Ds had to do when they ran the House.

    It’s called being responsible for ones job. ;)

  27. 27
    geg6 says:

    @MattF:

    I agree with your assessment.

    The money boyz have no desire to see the US government default. Zero. Zilch.

  28. 28
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Joe Beese: Wrong, and, just for my gratuitous pleasure, you, sir, are a moran.

  29. 29
    Comrade DougJ says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Snark? Or are you this dumb?

  30. 30
    Shalimar says:

    The vindictive, angry part of me wants them to force a default so they can see how bad it really is and how dumb the Republican rhetoric on this is. But I’m mostly a rational person, so I know anything bad that happens to the economy as a result of a default will somehow be blamed on immigrants and democrats. The country is still 18 months away from any hope at all for the future. Until then, the tea party is in charge and we are all fighting as hard as we can to keep them from destroying us.

  31. 31
    kdaug says:

    @Comrade DougJ: Going with option B.

  32. 32
    gene108 says:

    @Valdivia:

    Obama has to shape the conversation and he need to use the speech to do that.

  33. 33
    Ronc99 says:

    I think Republicans are my least worry.

    Obama being a Republican is what irks me to no end. Notice the big headline today is Obama wants to raise taxes on the rich. Mark my words. That will be the first thing he negotiates away while cutting Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security.

    If I wanted a Republican president, I would for for one. I don’t. So in 2012, I shall not be voting for Obama or any other Republican. I will NOT enable, by my vote, this *continued* rightward march of Wall Street’s over the cliff of disaster, via all our politicians in DC.

    The best thing about the Democratic party is Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security. And Obama leans toward Paul Ryan’s ideology and that should scare the shit out of all of you who remain firmly in Obama’s corner.

    I was pro-active in 2008. I worked for Obama’s campaign, not because I believed in him, but because I believed his message of ending status quo was required after the, what seemed like an eternity, of the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld reign of terror upon America. Again, I didn’t vote against Uncle Geezer and Mooseburger Helper, I voted for Obama’s message, which turned out to be a lie. His sin, not mine!

    As to the DC Democrats? They don’t represent their base, they represent Wall Street’s *tool* in Obama. F them!!!

  34. 34
    gene108 says:

    @Valdivia:

    Obama has to shape the conversation and he need to use the speech to do that.

    I thought that’s what the jack-booted unionEPA thugs and FEMA re-education “disaster relief” camps were for?

    /snark

  35. 35
    CaffinatedOne says:

    In this case, it’s almost certainly a bluff on the republican side. Their owners have a huge amount to lose should the US default on it’s debts and destroying the world economy might be a bit bad for business, so they’ll lean *hard* on the wingnuts to fall into line should things get that far.

    The message is simple: If republicans block the debt ceiling increase, they’re voting to destroy our economy and stability.

    If they do so regardless, make sure to direct the torch bearing, starving masses to the doors of the party who’s responsible.

    Negotiating with hostage-takers and terrorists just encourages them and promotes more hostage-taking and terrorism. Don’t do it.

  36. 36
    cmorenc says:

    When Christine Amanpour routinely refers to the “revolutionary Ryan plan” in a manner that would pass issue-framing guidelines for Fox News anchors, you know it’s going to be an uphill struggle to impart any sort of correct understanding to the American people that it’s little more than a fraudulent wrapping around upward income distribution and further tax relief for the wealthiest citizens. Other than de facto drastic cuts to medicare, the Ryan “plan” is nothing but smoke and mirrors on the other primary causes of the deficit. For example, the Ryan Plan does NOTHING to address defense spending, it fails to specify any realistically attainable itemization of which deductions/exemptions/credits will be eliminated in exchange for a lower top rate, and so on. And did we mention that the other across the board drastic domestic spending cuts are to items like FAA inspectors (see, roof ripping off at 35,000 feet).

  37. 37
    General Stuck says:

    The GOP is not going to let the country default on our debt, at least enough of them with dem votes in the House to raise it. The danger is with playing chicken and things going wrong at the last minute and it happens accidentally. Obama will compromise, and is going to pre empt that with his own budget Wednesday that is going to call for higher taxes on the rich, and likely targeted cuts in social programs that are neither large nor causing pain for the poorest among us. Boehner is in over his head, and so are the wingers in general of the House of Reps, and that reality, may possibly lend them to burn it all down out of spite, but not likely. Koch would not approve of that, nor any of the old and new money types.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    Stillwater says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I would anticipate that Wall Street and Big Business will have chats with the Republican leadership.

    My guess is they’re already having those conversations. Big money wants stability first, favorable legislation second. The Teaparty is screwing with the most important priority of big business. But, personally, I’m unsure if even the big-money players can convince the Teabuggers to shelve their unrealistic and destructive ideological commitments. One thing I think is pretty certain: the Teaparty will employ the Madman Theory for as long as they can, and at least give the pretense of desiring a shut-down if they don’t get their way.

  40. 40
    Shalimar says:

    @Joe Beese: So you’re in favor of getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan and cutting our military budget by at least 50%? We are bankrupt, after all, so we shouldn’t be putting billions of dollars into the neighborhood watch when our own house needs so many repairs. Or does bankrupt in this case mean we need to throw more poor people and grannies on the fire to save on heating costs so billionaires will be able to keep enough for that second vacation home in Aspen where guests will stay? Tax Cuts for everyone!!!!*

    *who makes more than $1 million per year

  41. 41
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I’m with you, Doug. What do we do? There are too many people right now who can’t fathom what will actually happen. It’s like they won’t understand how bad guns hurt unless they get shot in the hand. I don’t watch the show Intervention, but maybe we need people form countries that have had to deal with the IMF come over and give speeches.

  42. 42
    steviez314 says:

    Matty Y had a great idea. If we don’t raise the debt ceiling, the Treasury will have to prioritize who gets paid.

    Defense contractors last, then farm subsidies, then maybe corporate tax refunds (I’m lookin’ at you, GE).

    If the Repubs are going to shoot some hostages, make them take out their own first.

  43. 43
    kdaug says:

    @Ronc99: Come on – whose payroll? You can tell us, we won’t let it out. Koch? RNC?

    You need to work on your technique, though. Still a little too transparent.

  44. 44
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    BTW, woohoo for another Clash song.

  45. 45
    Sly says:

    @Joe Beese:

    The country is bankrupt. We can either admit it now or be forced to admit it later.

    Where in this formulation do we admit that we still have sovereign control over our currency and that the safest bet to make in the world is still debt securities offered by the U.S. Treasury? Before we admit “we’re bankrupt,” or after?

    I think after, because admitting as much before we admit “we’re bankrupt” kind of fucks up the whole notion that we are, in fact, bankrupt.

  46. 46
    redactor says:

    I like Yglesias’s “shoot the hostage” approach, but it’s never going to happen.

  47. 47
    Bob Loblaw says:

    The right approach?

    To support President Obama and Harry Reid unquestioningly and fullheartedly in whatever they decide to do, no matter the practical consequences. Duh.

  48. 48
    Maude says:

    @General Stuck:
    I don’t think people understand what would happen if the US defaults.
    Obama did the gov’t shutdown just right. The government is open for bidness today.
    The speech on Wed is also for the foreign markets etc. If there is doubt that the US is solvent, we are in mucho trouble.
    I think the Repubs should be baptized in that old time tradition, but don’t bring them up.

    @moe99:
    That’s right! Somebody should do something!

  49. 49
    Napoleon says:

    This is a good piece on the Obama negotiating srategy:

    http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonath.....e-strategy

  50. 50
    scav says:

    The weak spot is, as always, the crazies (which are the morphed {il}logical descendants of the moral majority) and the hard-on (hyphen optional) business types. The business types have got to be covertely flustered that the tizzie-wizzies are trying to wrest the steering wheel away from them, let alone doing it as they careen down the road on the cliff’s edge and the tizzie-wizzies have a bubbling undercurrent of resentment toward the self-appointed vacuum-cleaners of all pay in the universe. Both of those can be exploited. I don’t think this is the same Repub party that marched lock-step into the jaws of death before, and their leadership hasn’t had long practice at herding manic cats.

  51. 51
    Shalimar says:

    @Ronc99: Take a breath. Obama may be a traditional Republican; and as a soc1alist, borderline-Commie I get upset about that as much as anyone. But seriously, the actual Republicans have gone so far right they have become the Sadist party of hurting people for kicks. There is still a huge difference between the two parties, so none of this both sides are the same bullshit.

  52. 52
    Poopyman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @Comrade DougJ:
    Lame troll is lame.

  53. 53
    Corner Stone says:

    I say we give them anything they want. Anything it takes.

  54. 54

    Obama: “Send me a clean debt ceiling raise or I veto it. No Washington games with this one, folks. Clean or nothing.”

  55. 55
    Napoleon says:

    @steviez314:

    Bingo, that is what you do.

  56. 56
    stuckinred says:

    @Bob Loblaw: You didn’t need to add the duh, it’s all over everything you post.

  57. 57
    JGabriel says:

    @Elia Isquire:

    Gotta go with cutting Medicare.

    That’s not really the solution. It needs to be fixed to bring down health care costs. That means studies to make sure we’re not paying for ineffective care, giving Medicare the right to bargain with pharmaceutical companies to reduce costs, etc.

    Just indiscriminately “cutting” Medicare willy-nilly will only lead to reduced services and everyone but the rich dying from lack of healthcare.

    Edited to add: Instead of talking about cutting Medicare, we should be talking about single-payer or nationalizaion.

    .

  58. 58
    PopeRatzy says:

    I say shut the fuck up and let the wingnut fuckstumps have the field until it gets down to time to actually perform. Take a look at the California elections last year. Brown and Boxer both remained quiet and on the sidelines while their very will financed opponents spent millions pushing their line of attack. Then in the last 3-4 weeks of the whole affair, Brown and Boxer both spent their significantly smaller capital dismantling all those right wing talking points. They allowed the republicans to create their own downfall.

    They shutup and let them shot themselves as many times as they wanted, then calmly pointed to all those bloody holes.

  59. 59
    Stillwater says:

    @Bob Loblaw: Even tho you’re snarking here, this is actually true. Those guys, more than us, understand the power dynamics in the House and Congress generally. Fwiw, I do trust those guys to do what’s right wrt avoiding a shutdown over raising the debt-ceiling, even if I may not like how it actually plays out. Which is to say, I certainly don’t think that if I were in their position, I could do a better job negotiating with/coercing the Teaparty into doing the right thing.

  60. 60
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Joe Beese: Is there some kind of shortage of dollars out there, where they can’t be found? Is our government so weak at this point that it can’t compell people to hand over those dollars? The answer to both those questions is “No.”

  61. 61
    Loneoak says:

    If I were in charge of strategy, I would get every single Dem on a very short set of talking points and repeat them ad infinitum: 1) Default will cause an enormous recession, 2) the GOP budget plan makes the debt worse, not better, 3) Democrats are trying to ensure that seniors, the poor, and students get their fair share and the GOP is trying to give away the nation to the ultra-wealthy, and 4) we are not broke, we are a very wealthy nation, but our values are broken.

    Meanwhile, I would have all my Wall St. connected staff on the phone with Chamber types discussing which party actually cares about the survival of the economy.

  62. 62
    Corner Stone says:

    @Napoleon: Making the opposition pay a political price is sooo 2007.

  63. 63
    Bob L says:

    @Ronc99:

    Obama being a Republican is what irks me to no end.

    Most of the people writing and reading Balloon Juice would be Republicans in sane times. Right now that makes us all DFH, ok? It’s the bomb throwing nuts verses the rest of us.

  64. 64
    Corner Stone says:

    @Elia Isquire:

    Gotta go with cutting Medicare.

    Actually I say we go with clubbing Medicare. Just club it right over the damn head, and put it outta its misery.

  65. 65
    Chris says:

    If the government defaults on debt, it will be bad for everyone, but it will be bad mostly in proportion to one’s net worth. That is, it will hurt the billionaires most of all. So, it’s not going to happen.

  66. 66
    Suck It Up! says:

    @Corner Stone:

    you are a very dishonest person, but people seem to take you seriously around here.

  67. 67
    Joe Beese says:

    @Shalimar:

    you’re in favor of getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan and cutting our military budget by at least 50%?

    50% this year, followed by 50% next year, etc.

  68. 68
    mclaren says:

    Obama should immediately declare a national emergency, nationalize all health care professionals under martial law at minimum wage, sequester all funds for the U.S. military and use them to fund the rebuilding of America’s infrastructure and an enormous increase in the minimum wage. Then the Democrats should threaten to deafult on the national debt unless maximum marginal tax rates for the rich are immediately raised to 95% for anyone making over $250,000 a year. Anyone who protests should be identified as a terrorist and held incommunicado in a dungeon without access to a lawyer under the USA Patriot Act.

    When the Republicans shut down the house and senate, Obama should declare an end to the filibuster, arrest any senator who tries to filibuster for sedition in time of war, then confiscate all funds assigned to the Pentagon and all tax cuts for the rich under his authority as commander of chief in time of war, and then he should sequester funds currently allocated for the war in Afghanistan and use it to shut down Guantanmo Bay and ship all the (mostly innocent) kidnap victims there to other countries where they’ll be released after being paid compensation for their torture and illegal kidnapping without charges.

    Obama should then order his DOJ to arrest the heads of every major Wall Street firm as well as most of the former high-level White House staff under the Bush maladministration on charges of treason, sedition, high crimes, misdemeanors, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The former president and vice president and national security advisor and secretary of defense should be tried by a military commission, and, when they’re found cuilty of war crimes, they should be executed by firing squad. When the Wall Street execs are found guilty they should be sentenced to life at hard labor without possibility of parole, carrying groceries for poor people and changing the bedpans of impoverished dying cancer patients. All convicted Wall Street executives should received permanent tattoos on their foreheads reading I AM A SCUMBAG AND AN ENEMY OF HUMANITY WHO MURDERED POOR PEOPLE FOR PROFIT.

  69. 69
    kdaug says:

    @mclaren: Dude, srsly. That’s not even tryin’.

  70. 70
    Citizen_X says:

    @Napoleon: You know who else needed a better hostage rescue strategy…

  71. 71
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    What do you think the right approach from Democrats is here?

    Mass suicide, Jonestown-style.

  72. 72
    Bruce S says:

    Chief WH political consultant David Plouffe appears on ABC’s This Week – this from the transcript:

    “The recovery is incredibly fragile, unemployment is high…Don’t make cuts right now. Yes, the budget is a problem but it’s a medium term problem…Right now is a time when actually we should still be talking about government spending…and just look across the ocean, look across the Atlantic, the Brits have imposed budgetary austerity and their economy is shrinking even faster than they thought.”

    Unfortunately those weren’t Plouffe’s words, but from the reporter Chyrstia Freeland during a “roundtable” asking why the hell Plouffe – or some Democrat – isn’t saying that loud and clear?

    I’m not asking for miracles given the crazies in control of the House, but let’s at least put some spine in the message. The White House and most Beltway Dems are ceding the debate – it’s perverse.

  73. 73
    mclaren says:

    @Suck It Up!:

    you are a very dishonest person, but people seem to take you seriously around here.

    You’re talking to yourself again. You realize that makes you seem unserious, don’t you?

  74. 74
    cyntax says:

    I find it hard to believe that any of the Repub’s deep pocket donors, even those wankers the Koch borthers, are in any way sanguine about the idea of a default. Now there is some argument to be made about whether it would force a default, or whether it would force radically deep spending cuts.

    So the super big downside to this would be if the Repub’s were thinking they could use this as the ultimate weapon in their shock doctrine arsenal. In which case maybe I should have bought a bunch of gold 4-5 years ago.

  75. 75
    Corner Stone says:

    @mclaren: That’s a good first step. What are we going to do on Tuesday?

  76. 76
    cleek says:

    yay! here come the PUMAs!

  77. 77
    Chad N Freude says:

    @mclaren: At last, a serious, workable plan.

  78. 78

    The Republicans “threatened” to shut down the government, too. Then they blinked. They spent the last week running for cover, trying to shift the blame onto the Democrats and swearing they were far too responsible to ever contemplate such a thing, while the Democrats hammered them for it and talked about the teabaggers chanting “Shut it down!”

    The smart play is to scare the public over the threat of a default, and then exploit the synergy between the scary Republican plan to default on the debt and the scary Republican plan to take away Grandma’s Medicare.

  79. 79
    mclaren says:

    @cyntax:

    I find it hard to believe that any of the Repub’s deep pocket donors, even those wankers the Koch borthers, are in any way sanguine about the idea of a default.

    That’s why Democrats need to threaten to default on the national debt unless military spending is cut by 90% and health care gets immediately nationalized under a single-payer system and marginal tax rates on anyone making over $250,000 go up immediately to 95% with capital gains counted as regular income at that rate.

    Billionaires are going to be hurt by a default far far far far far far more than average people. The rich are terrified of a default. The average person might lose hi/r job, but the rich will watch their investments tumble, their real property devalue, every one of their assets will crumble and disintegrate.

    No negotation. The Democrats should threaten to default unless every one of the above policies gets enacted into law immediately. No surrender. No retreat. Since the Republican plan means the destruction of America, we might as well destroy America for something worthwhile.

    Real reform or America ends now.

  80. 80
    cleek says:

    @mclaren:

    marginal tax rates on anyone making over $250,000 go up immediately to 95% with capital gains counted as regular income at that rate.

    are you insane ?

  81. 81
    mclaren says:

    @Chad N Freude:

    At last, a serious, workable plan.

    As opposed to the total destruction of America?

    When someone has a gun at your head, it makes sense to jump off a building and take him with you and hope you land on him and it cushions your fall.

    Because what other option is there?

  82. 82
    Stillwater says:

    @Napoleon: This is from the linked Chait piece:

    The consequences of a failure to raise the debt limit would be severe and widely-felt. They would be felt especially hard by powerful business interests with significant influence within the Republican Party. This would appear to be the perfect occasion for him to announce that he is finished paying ransom.

    The interesting thing about what Chait suggests here is that it’s entirely obvious. And it’s therefore disingenuous of Chait to suggest that Obama has miraculously failed to notice it.

    {{God, I’m starting to sound like Flipyrwhig…}}

  83. 83
    trollhattan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    More than a few echoes of Today’s Republican Party(tm) here.

    What are we gonna do now?
    Taking off his turban, they said, is this man a Jew?
    ’Cos working for the clampdown
    They put up a poster saying we earn more than you!
    When we’re working for the clampdown
    We will teach our twisted speech
    To the young believers
    We will train our blue-eyed men
    To be young believers

    With extra Galtsauce(tm).

  84. 84
    Ash Can says:

    The interesting thing about the upcoming debt-ceiling drama will be seeing just how much influence within the GOP the batshit-crazy faction actually has. If even the financial heavyweights can’t rein them in (we all know that Boehner either doesn’t want to, or can’t, do it himself), then we’ll know whose hands are on the steering wheel. (And if, sometime next year, the Republicans start questioning the wisdom of the Citizens United decision, we’ll really know what’s going on.)

    In the meantime, though, there’s nothing at all Obama or the Dems can do to convince the batshit loonies that a default really would be bad, or to persuade the press not to present the issue in terms of an actual rational debate. So they might as well just keep repeating the same facts, and hope the repetition makes them sink into the minds of as many less-politically-engaged citizens out there as possible.

  85. 85
    cyntax says:

    @mclaren:

    Since the Republican plan means the destruction of America, we might as well destroy America for something worthwhile.
    __
    Real reform or America ends now.

    Well, that is kind of a catchy phrasing and it would fit on a bumpersticker, but… I can’t see any of the Dems going for that. I mostly think the Repubs are bluffing but they are enough crazy tea-partiers currently in office that were I in Obama’s place, my hair would be completely grey over this.

  86. 86
    mclaren says:

    @Elia Isquire:

    Gotta go with cutting Medicare.

    Then they eliminate social security. And if you stand for that, next they eliminate the minimum wage. And if you stand for that, next they bring back debtor’s prisons. And if you stand for that, next they bring back involuntary debt servitude. And if you stand for that, next they eliminate the right to vote for anyone who doesn’t own property. And if you stand for that, they eliminate the right to vote for women. And if you stand for that, they legalize people selling their children as slave workers. And if you stand for that, they bring back public impalement as punishment for dissent.
    You don’t get it, do you?

    This is war. They want us enslaved or dead. I’d rather die.

  87. 87
    AnonGuest84 says:

    now they’re saying that not lifting the debt ceiling won’t be that bad

    Yeah, the guys who run the bond & equity markets will let them get away with that. I think Cleavon Little and Mel Brooks did that joke already.

  88. 88
    Citizen_X says:

    @trollhattan:
    Taking off his turban, they said “Is this man a Jew?”

    Best political lyric ever.

    Here’s a great live version, one that’s completely new to me.

  89. 89
    cleek says:

    @mclaren:

    They want us enslaved or dead

    xa-n-ax. give it a try.

  90. 90
    mclaren says:

    @cleek:

    are you insane ?

    On second thought, I agree. I was wrong. You’re absolutely right.

    It’s insane to propose a marginal tax rate of 95% on an income of over $250,000.

    The marginal tax rate should be 99% on an income of over $200,000, and capital gains should be taxed twice at 99%, first the capital gains and then any interest income or dividend accrued from stocks or income from property from which capital gain is derived.

  91. 91
    sukabi says:

    @Joe Beese: bankrupt in the brains department… definitely need to do something about the overwhelming deficit of critical thinking skills among our overlords.

  92. 92
    cleek says:

    @mclaren:
    yes. you are insane.

  93. 93
    Citizen_X says:

    This is war.

    Yes it is. And while General McLellan–er, Obama–is busy being too wimpy to press the advantage, Private mclaren is gearing up to lead a suicide charge.

  94. 94
    Montysano says:

    @Joe Beese:

    The country is bankrupt. We can either admit it now or be forced to admit it later.

    Sweet jabbering Jeebus, what a dumbass.

    I’ve been playing around with the NYT’s budget calculator. If it is to be believed (and a quick Google search would indicate that while it’s not perfect, it’s credible), the fix to our problem is (from the DFH perspective) incredibly straightforward. From the perspective of a Dem legislator who is in the pocket of BigCorp, it’s a non-starter.

  95. 95
    mclaren says:

    @Valdivia:

    Having lived through a country’s default I can tell you it’s pretty fucking horrendous. Wait til all your money is frozen in a bank and you can’t take out more than 20$ a time every week and you’ll see what I mean.

    Horrendous for the ordinary person, but totally unthinkable and unacceptable for the rich. That’s why the rich will fold like cheap suits when Democrats threaten to default unless real reform is enacted. Billionaires will crawl to the Democrats’ feet, licking their shoes and pleading for mercy. “Anything, 95% marginal tax rate on the rich, triple the minimum wage, nationalized single-payer universal health care, 90% cut in U.S. military spending… Anything, anything, just unfreeze our asssets! Please, for the love of God, Montressor!”

  96. 96
    Comrade DougJ says:

    @mclaren:

    You are probably insane but I love these kinds of comments. Keeps it real around here.

  97. 97
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    We aren’t going to default. Instead, we are just going to adjust current spending so that we need to release no more debt. I would add that there is no way of doing this without drastically reducing the amount of expenditures on healthcare.

    Don’t pay Medicare to those in Red States. Don’t pay for government services for those in Red States. Don’t pay Social Security to those in Red States. Pay for services for Blue States first, and then for Red States as and only as revenue becomes available.

  98. 98
    sukabi says:

    @Maude: take them back to their preferred time period, treat them to witch trials — dump them in the lake with a big rock tied to their feet… if they survive they’re witches and should be dealt with accordingly if they don’t come back up they’re innocent… that’s the free market solution.

    is that what you’re suggesting?

  99. 99
    sukabi says:

    @cleek: start high and work down… isn’t that how you’re SUPPOSED to negotiate… not start with what your opponent wants and throw in more.

  100. 100
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Comrade DougJ: Eh, I don’t know. Often times, I think he reads like a complaint letter generation algorithm with added liberal talking points.

  101. 101
    sukabi says:

    @cleek: somebody makes $250K… lol

  102. 102
    goblue72 says:

    These people aren’t crazy – the left are fools if they think so. A handful of their supporters may be – the overweight losers with Sarah Palin Tshirts riding Medicare scooters that Taibbi goes gaga over – but most of them are not crazy. Cynical? Yes. Crazy? No.

    They aren’t going to blow up the country. BUT, they will take their pound of flesh out of working peoples meager belongings. They’ve been set on the upward transfer of wealth since Andrew Mellon ran the Treasury Dept. Everything needs to be understood in that context. All else is just the kabuki that gets them there.

    Call them on their bluff. Just sack up and do it. I’m tired of watching Democrats act like a bunch of sissies.

  103. 103
    cleek says:

    @sukabi:
    next time i go to buy a car, my opening offer will be “99% off the sticker price, or you die.”

    think i’ll get very far ?

  104. 104
    cleek says:

    @sukabi:
    true, somebody does.

    it’s not me. but somebody does.

  105. 105
    numbskull says:

    @General Stuck: I can’t decide whether you’re paid to be here or not. If you’re not, then the kabuki should be really obvious to you and so you wouldn’t be making such silly posts.

    If you are, then, carry on.

  106. 106
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Stillwater: High praise indeed!

  107. 107
    sukabi says:

    @cleek: even the most obnoxious car dealer is more sane than the R’s… of course you wouldn’t do that with a car purchase.

    we aren’t dealing with normal scam artists or salesmen, we’re dealing with sociopaths who don’t care if the US defaults, don’t care if there are thousands of old people dying in the streets, sure as shit don’t care if their precious feti live past birth… the ONLY thing they care about is whether THEY GET THEIR TAX CUTS and can pick YOUR pocket of any pennies that might be left.

  108. 108
    patrick says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....story.html

    with democrats like this, who F’in needs republicans?

  109. 109
    mclaren says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Yes it is [war]. And while General McLellan—er, Obama—is busy being too wimpy to press the advantage, Private mclaren is gearing up to lead a suicide charge.

    Grant started out as a lowly lieutenant in the civil war. And many a great battle has been won by a “suicide charge” against impossible odds.

    The GIs who climbed cliffs while Wehrmacht troops poured machinegun fire down on them at Pointe du Hoc in Normandy were engaged in a suicidal operation — but they won.

    The ragtag American army led by George Washington, dressed in tatters, was engaged in a suicidal battle against the greatest army in the world in the 1770s and 1780s — but they won.

    In politics, unlike physics or chemistry or engineering, “insane” is only insane until it works. Then it becomes “brilliant” and “inspired.”

    In politics, the impossible is only impossible until someone does it. Then it become “inevitable” and “visionary.”

    Politics is not like the hard sciences. In politics, the only limits on the possible are what people believe. Martin Luther King’s voting marches were “insane” and “impossible” until they worked. Obama’s candidacy was “insane” and “impossible” because America wasn’t ready for a black president and everyone knew it…until Obama got elected.

    In politics, the impossible becomes possible when people believe it to be possible. Liberals need to believe in the possibility of genuine reform. Then it will become possible.

  110. 110
    burnspbesq says:

    @Ronc99:

    Fine. If you sincerely believe that there is no difference between Obama and whoever ends up as the Republican nominee, I’m not going to waste any time trying to convince you otherwise. But please stay the hell out of the way while the rest of us are trying to save your sorry ass.

  111. 111
    Corner Stone says:

    @numbskull: His mutually fulfilling bromance with Cole is the only reward he needs, nay ~ craves.

  112. 112

    who cares what the correct democratic response is gonna be?

    We all know what’s going to happen. Obama’s gonna give away the store (behind closed doors so no one can see, just like the last two times), and then he’s going to say it was the best deal he could get, and pat himself on the back for doing so.

    I’ve seen this movie twice now. It’s shitty movie, with a lame plot and no protagonists.

  113. 113
    OzoneR says:

    First, read this

    Raising the debt ceiling will be particularly difficult. As we mentioned on Friday, the American public doesn’t support it. In our NBC/WSJ poll, only 16% said that Congress should raise the debt ceiling, versus 46% who said it shouldn’t. What’s worse for those stuck with trying to sell the need to raise it: When respondents were told that the U.S. would default on its debt payments if the debt ceiling WASN’T raised, that 16% increased to just 32%, while the anti-number jumped a tad higher, to 62%.

    and then, I don’t know

  114. 114
    danimal says:

    Count me in with those who want the Dems to call this bluff. The GOP will try to leverage the debt ceiling for all that they can get; they’ve been transparently saying it for months now. But their financiers won’t stand for a default.

    When a few days pass after the deadline for extending the debt ceiling, Obama needs to announce a draconian restructuring of government with heavy emphasis on defense cuts and pullouts from foreign adventures. “We don’t have the money anymore.” Stop payments for GOP friendly constituencies and threaten to delay SS checks. Call the bluff. That should be enough to fracture the GOP as the big money boys start to fear an actual default.

  115. 115
    Glen Tomkins says:

    No real choice

    The only possible response to any hint from the other side that they will only approve a raise in the debt ceiling in exchange for any sort of concessions, needs to be a firm, loud, categorical refusal to even consider negotiating.

    We shouldn’t have negotiated over budget reconciliation in the face of even a hint of blackmail, that they would refuse to pass a CR keeping the govt running unless we gave them something in return. But you could at least make a case that it was harder to draw a firm line there because all sorts of people on both sides have a history of blackmail-by-rider over these omnibus budget reconciliation bills. That’s why we often just get by with CRs lately, because there is this swarm of gnat-like riders out there buzzing around any actual appropriations bill, which attracts these things because actual bills carry the force of law once passed, whereas a CR is inherently temporary.

    Now, letting the Rs use blackmail, letting them use a refusal to even continue the CR we were getting by with for last year, no doubt made it harder to draw a line even over the different issue of raising the debt ceiling. But it also made it much more necesary to make a stand here. That’s because the consequences of default are infinitely worse than a govt shutdown. That means default is a much more valuable hostage, one we cannot afford to let come to harm, and will therefore have to concede much more to insure its safety. Our side absolutely cannot even start to go along, in any way, with any hint that we will negotiate with them to get them to approve a debt ceiling raise.

    We can recover from a shutdown almost instantly, and almost without long-term consequences, because all the decisions are made by us, by US govt actors. The Rs may be crazy and ruthless in pushing their own electoral interests, but at some point, fear of what the electorate will do to them if they behave too badly, imposes some need to act in the best interests of the US.

    But default is another matter. A default by us, by the US, would mean at least some increase in the interest rates at which foreign creditors, and domestic private creditors, will lend us money. We get favorable rates because it is barely thinkable the US would default. It could be a more dramatic increase in rates, but even if it isn’t, at least initially, even modest initial increases can play havoc with plans to finance our way through this recession by borrowing, which allows us to carry on without the added recessionary pressures of decreased govt spending and increased taxes on people who actually generate demand (i.e., everybody but the wealthy). This is because any even modest initial increase in the rate at which we can borrow money will tend to snowball. Even modest interest rate increases have a large lever arm on deficit projections, making the US seem an even dodgier credit risk, and further strengthening the hand of the deficit hawks.

    That may be the whole point of the exercise from the point of view of the deficit hawks. Their ideas haven’t carried the day completely, yet, because the bond vigilantes haven’t struck, and show no signs of striking. The Armageddon that Simpson is pushing — this idea that we have to dramtically curb the deficit right now because our creditors will, any day now, decide that our current budgetary policy means that we are bad credit risks whose irresponsible behavior means that they need to start upping the interest rates at which they will lend to us — shows no signs of materializing. But maybe, they could be thinking, it just needs a little help to kick-start the process. Default, even a credible threat of default, might get those bond vigilantes to finally come out of hiding and start upping our interest rates. At that point the deficit hawks have their vindication. If the increase in rates is bad enough, theirs might become the only way left open to us. We will have no choice but that which faces Greece or Ireland.

    So not only does their side have a much more effective hostage in default than they did in shutdown, they actually have people on their side for whom default is not a bad outcome at all, but a positive good. It’s not even a game of chicken to these people, in that they don’t see the results of their side not swerving at the last minute as a bad thing. We would have to come up with a very sweet deal for them indeed for such a deal to be more attractive than an outcome that will finally awaken the bond vigilantes.

    But, “Wait!”, you say, “Surely even the baggiest of their teahadists cannot be so case-hardened as to to not fear being blamed for these horrific consequences of the US govt defaulting!?”. Unfortunately, we have just had this deal over budget reconciliation that helped establish the idea that both sides would have been equally to blame had they not come to some compromise averting a govt shutdown. Why would they think that they could not succeed in getting both sides blamed equally for failing to compromise to avert a default?

    Sure, an actual default would powerfully sour the electorate on both parties no matter how successful they are at getting half the blame cast on us, and that would include a negative reaciton to their own party. But they are much less worried about being thrown into that briar patch of distrust in govt and politics than we are. A Republican devil gets his pitchfork every time another voter concludes that govt is worse than useless, political involvement is a sick joke, and a plague-on-both-your-houses glibertarianism is the only viable political philosophy. They run the game when the people don’t, so the absence of politics is good for them.

    And guess what. Even if their side gets more of the blame than ours, and we win the next election, in the aftermath of the default disaster, our side will have to adopt their fiscal policy. Austerity won’t be a choice if we can no longer borrow at reasonable rates in order to avoid it. Throw them into that briar patch of letting our party be in office and take the heat for austerity. They will be just fine with a holiday from holding the majority if that holiday happens when SocSec and Medicare are dismantled. It wouldn’t be a long holiday.

    So, no deals over raising the debt ceiling. In fact, if the other side even starts down the road of hinting that they will take the debt ceiling hostage, our side should announce that no House D will be voting for the rise in the ceiling unless it either gets enough R votes to pass without any Ds, or there are riders on the ceiling raise to form a new leadership of the House based on the majority that votes the ceiling rise. Our firm and simple postion should be that raising the debt ceiling to meet the legal obligations of the US is a clear duty of the majority. Those members who refuse to do that duty don’t deserve to direct the House, to set its agenda and decide how bills are presented, dealt with in committee, and packaged. The new majority will be made up solely of those members who vote the needed rise. They should elect a new Speaker, and this moderate-R/D coalition should govern the House for the remainder of this Congress.

    Those should have been our terms for the budget reconciliation fight. They need to be our terms if they make a fight over a needed raise to the debt ceiling. Majority has its obvious powers and prerogatives, but it also has its duties.

    I think that our system right now has devolved into one in which the presidency has too much power because the legislature has systematically abdicated its powers. It will never goet those powers back until and unless it developes a clear and public conjunction of its immense potential powers with an actuall assumption of responsibility.

    If we have a faction in this country right now that does not believe in the Union and our way of government, and shows that it has no respect for the full faith and credit of the United States by even threatening to drag that credit through the mud just to wring some partisan advantage, then the rest of us, Republican and Democrat alike, have the duty to assume the responsibility that this faction scorns by taking the power of majority in the House from them.

    That’s how the question needs to be framed for the moderate Republicans who don’t want to follow the teahadists over the cliff. We must force them to make a choice. We can’t fudge that by givng them any out, by agreeing to fill in for the crazy and malignant wing of their party to make up the majority that saves the credit of the United States, only to then let the crazies back into the driver’s seat of a Union that we have saved from disaster.

  116. 116
    Walker says:

    I have been hearing wierd noises that if the debt ceiling is not lifted, then the ways the laws are written, full fiscal authority is yielded to Obama. He can rescind funding to whatever he wants, or remove whatever tax rebates he wants.

    Is this true? If it were, you would think this would scare the Republicans silly.

  117. 117
  118. 118
    Yutsano says:

    @danimal: Actually, if they pull the trigger things will get really interesting for me. They can only pay us as long as money comes in, but once that’s gone I’m out of a job. Literally. And I make the money come in in the first place. So we’re near the top of the list to get funded, but it will dry up.

  119. 119
    Suffern ACE says:

    @OzoneR: People think that it’s the chinese who hold all the bonds (explaining the jump in the numbers who want it defaulted on.) It is not surprising at all that people don’t understand what defaulting on the debt would mean.

  120. 120

    @mclaren:

    The GIs who climbed cliffs while Wehrmacht troops poured machinegun fire down on them at Pointe du Hoc in Normandy were engaged in a suicidal operation—but they won.

    …with the whole strength of the American and British militaries behind them, including shelling of their positions from naval and air assets, and hundred thousand other invaders to draw off forces.

    The ragtag American army led by George Washington, dressed in tatters, was engaged in a suicidal battle against the greatest army in the world in the 1770s and 1780s—but they won.

    Um, no, George Washington was best known for avoiding foolish, suicidal attacks in order to maintain his strength instead of getting wiped out.

    In politics, unlike physics or chemistry or engineering, “insane” is only insane until it works. Then it becomes “brilliant” and “inspired.”

    Yeah….no. This isn’t Scooby Doo, and “It’s GOT to work!” isn’t a good enough answer to the question “Will it work?”

  121. 121
    4tehlulz says:

    Anyone want a piece of this nice $12 trillion credit default swap I’m working on?

  122. 122
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @General Stuck:
    @joe from Lowell:

    I love how the two of you will just never, ever back down. You, mclaren, two sides of the same coin.

    Meanwhile, in reality, the ACA even got dinged in the budget compromise. The ACA. The great, shining achievement. And losing the Wyden exchange option hurts. But ok, whatever, Obama totally won everything and is amazing and we are all unworthy.

    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com.....tages.html

  123. 123
    Corner Stone says:

    @Walker:

    Is this true? If it were, you would think this would scare the Republicans silly.

    Let’s grant it is true.
    In your absolutely wildest dreams, what can you picture President Obama doing with this authority?

  124. 124

    @Bob Loblaw: If you don’t have anything to say on the topic, kindly STFU.

    Nobody cares about your psychobabble.

    But ok, whatever, Obama totally won everything….

    People make up bullshit like this when an argument makes their tummy hurt and they really want to give the person making the argument a pasting, but they can’t think of any way to do that.

  125. 125
    OzoneR says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    It is not surprising at all that people don’t understand what defaulting on the debt would mean.

    Then who the hell is going to explain it to them.

  126. 126
    Corner Stone says:

    @4tehlulz: I’ll take a tranche. Give me something nasty.

  127. 127
    mclaren says:

    @danimal:

    When a few days pass after the deadline for extending the debt ceiling, Obama needs to announce a draconian restructuring of government with heavy emphasis on defense cuts and pullouts from foreign adventures. “We don’t have the money anymore.” Stop payments for GOP friendly constituencies and threaten to delay SS checks. Call the bluff. That should be enough to fracture the GOP as the big money boys start to fear an actual default.

    Preach it, brother. What Democrats need to do is Naomi Klein’s shock doctrine in reverse.

    It’s a national emergency, so the normal rules don’t apply. Health care must be nationalized under a single-payer system.

    Why?

    National emergency. The president has the power as commander in chief.

    Tax rates on the rich must be jacked back up to Eisenhower-era levels of 90%.

    Why?

    Grave national emergency. The commander in chief must use his war powers to enact this as a signing statement. We don’t have time to go through the usual channels, this is wartime. It’s an emergency.

    The Repubs shut down the house and senate by filibuster in protest? Obama must order the capitol police to arrest them. This is a national emergency, the whole country is about to shut down in default, the normal rules don’t apply.

    See?

    The Shock Doctrines works for liberals just as well as it works for conservatives. If it’s a national emergency and it’s wartime and if America is in grave immiment existential danger from the evil scary moooooooooooooooooooslim threat and if the normal rules don’t apply, then, hey! Let’s see how the Repubs like it when throwing out the normal rules means massive liberal reform.

    If America is about to default on its national debt, then that’s a ticking timebomb situation and the normal rules don’t apply, so anything goes!

    Hey, Repubs? You want your shock doctrine?

    Suck. On. This.

  128. 128
    lacp says:

    @patrick: Medicare and Medicaid are now “on the table?” Quelle surprise!

  129. 129
    Corner Stone says:

    DougJ, first please tell me the title is to a P Diddy song.

    And second, “What are we gonna do now?” is preordained.
    “Gun!” “Head!” “Had to!” “Adults!” “Teabaggers!” “Loud noises!”

  130. 130
    cat48 says:

    The Pentagon lists the #1 Security threat to the US:

    National Debt! Richard Haas tells anyone who will listen & he’s on MoJoe a lot.

    I honestly don’t know how a president could ignore the Debt under these circumstances. A plan needs to be in place for the near future b/c a group of six Senators are still working to refine Simpson/Bowles. I have no idea if his plan will be based on it or not.

  131. 131
    Suffern ACE says:

    @OzoneR: No one. I can try, but I’m not a highly paid serious person.

    The people aren’t going to get what they want. Someone will try to explain to them that if they get what they want, they will have cut off their noses. It’s a democracy. If they want their noses cut off, then we can have a cut your nose of policy in place.

    It took 40 years of constant messaging to make people this dumb. Serious people in the media get a lot of money making people dumb. Heck, Donald Trump is that dumb and he’s managed to stay rich and get his own TV show.

  132. 132
    sukabi says:

    @OzoneR: what do you expect from polls? What has been the constant drumbeat over the last several months? the polls reflect what the average person has heard repeated constantly that has passed as “news coverage” of these issues…

    Has there been any real discussion of the “pros” and “cons” of default?

    Have the news spokesmodels devoted any time to an impartial discussion / breakdown of what an actual gov. default would mean?

    Has there been an actual policy discussion with the very real ramifications of a default examined?

    Or has the coverage been an endless stream of sound bytes that provide exactly ZERO real information?

    you can’t expect people that watch the “news” and don’t dig any further to express an opinion that doesn’t reflect what they’re listening to…

    If you polled people on what the capital of North Dakota was and gave them 4 choices, there would be a 4 way split among the answers… so do you decide what the state capital is based on the most popular answer, or do you roll your eyes and start ramping up geography education?

  133. 133
    Comrade DougJ says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Nope, The Clash. I don’t love P Diddy, the only thing he did that I liked was the one he put out with Biggie after Biggie died, and then only for the Biggie part.

  134. 134
    mclaren says:

    @Corner Stone:

    In your absolutely wildest dreams, what can you picture President Obama doing with this authority?

    Pre-emptively surrendering to the Republicans and making the tax cuts for the rich permanent while eliminating social security and defunding medicare completely in the name of being “above politcs” and “beyond partisanship.”

    Barack Obama is Bush’s third term. He’s John McCain with a skin bleach job.

  135. 135
    Dennis SGMM says:

    I hope that the Republicans aren’t insane enough to force the government into default. The problem is that for the past decade every time I think to myself “They wouldn’t dare do XYZ,” they go ahead and fucking do it.

    What the Republicans will do is use the threat of default to chip away at Things They Don’t Like. They don’t have to win every fight they just have to keep chipping away. They are perfectly willing to bleed the social safety net with a thousand cuts rather than just shooting it in the head. Just because they didn’t manage to destroy Planned Parenthood or the EPA this time doesn’t mean that they won’t try it again when the stakes are higher. We have the vote on the debt ceiling as early as next month, the 2012 budget has to be written and next year extended unemployment benefits run out. The Republicans will draw blood on every one of these votes. And the media will slobber all over their knobs each time because they’re serious. Americans dying of preventable diseases, cuts to education funding, massive unemployment, the continued transfer of wealth to the very wealthy aren’t serious at all, are they?

  136. 136

    @mclaren:

    making the tax cuts for the rich permanent

    When you have to make up “facts” for your argument to make sense, it’s because you’re argument sux.

  137. 137

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Just because they didn’t manage to destroy Planned Parenthood or the EPA this time doesn’t mean that they won’t try it again when the stakes are higher. We have the vote on the debt ceiling as early as next month, the 2012 budget has to be written and next year extended unemployment benefits run out. The Republicans will draw blood on every one of these votes.

    As long as the Republicans control any branch or house of government, they will serve up shit tacos.

  138. 138
    ChrisB says:

    I’m with everyone else.

    Make no concessions to raise the debt ceiling. The Republicans know that they have to raise it.

    You don’t negotiate with a hostage taker when his gun is made of plastic and it has a flag that says “BANG!” rolled up inside the barrel.

  139. 139
    OzoneR says:

    @sukabi:

    Has there been any real discussion of the “pros” and “cons” of default?

    you would think the common person would hear “default” and think disaster.

  140. 140
    OzoneR says:

    @ChrisB:

    The Republicans know that they have to raise it.

    yeah because its not like these guys are so extreme they’ll take us to brink of disaster or anything.

  141. 141
    mclaren says:

    @cat48:

    The Pentagon lists the #1 Security threat to the US:

    National Debt! Richard Haas tells anyone who will listen & he’s on MoJoe a lot.

    I honestly don’t know how a president could ignore the Debt under these circumstances.

    Then the Pentagon has given us the justification for shutting it down.

    We need to cut U.S. military spending by 80%, from its current unsustainable 1.45 trillion dollars a year to a more reasonable 300 billion dollars a year.

    Why?

    The Pentagon has told us why — national security! We need to get the national debt under control!

    And the single biggest source of money being passed away in any one government department right now is…the Department of Defense.

    Cut it.

    Slash it.

    Defund it.

    We have no choice, national security demands it. Or do you hate America?

  142. 142
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    The fact that you don’t think it’s relevant to future negotiations that the Republicans were able to use a minor shutdown fight to successfully take a swipe at the President’s signature accomplishment doesn’t surprise me in the least, so whatever.

    Keep deflecting, I guess. It’s all you’ve got.

  143. 143
    sukabi says:

    @OzoneR: really? what happened with all the banks that were set to go under? $$$$$core!!!

    our “information” has become so corrupted, and the language so twisted, words don’t mean what they used to… “default” to you conjures up a “Big Bad”, but not to everyone, especially if they’ve been listening to Beck, O’Reilly, and anyone else on TV…

  144. 144
    mclaren says:

    @OzoneR:

    If the Republicans are so extreme that they don’t care whether America defaults on its debt, then what makes you think the Republicans won’t demand even more after you give them these concessions?

    If the Republicans are as extreme as you say, then they’ll keep coming back for more and more and more…reinstate slavery…eliminate the minimum wage…only let rich people vote…there’s no end to it.

    If the Republicans are that extreme, let’s get the blood bath over with now. Real reform or America ends now.

    Cut to the chase. This is class war, the rich against the poor, and the rest of us had better start fighting it.

  145. 145
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Can we get an Open War thread for Joe? We’ve already got a half dozen people doing the Obot thing so he’s a little redundant right now.

  146. 146
    OzoneR says:

    @sukabi:

    what happened with all the banks that were set to go under? $$$$$core

    You do realize this Republican majority is made up of Republicans who opposed that, don’t you?

  147. 147
    OzoneR says:

    @mclaren: please, you’re giving me a headache, go take a nap or something.

  148. 148
    sukabi says:

    @OzoneR: doesn’t matter what they did 2 years ago, last year, last month, last week, yesterday or even 5 minutes ago… 10 minutes from now they’ll all be proposing / opposing the exact same policies that they once held the exact opposite view on. Or haven’t you been paying attention?

  149. 149
    lacp says:

    @OzoneR: That sort of depends. If the common person is a vindictive moran who thinks that a default will stick it to the Chinese and kneegrows and poor people, he’d be just James Dandy with it.

  150. 150
    mclaren says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    it’s because you’re argument sux.

    LOL.

    Before you tell someone their argument is bad, you need to start learning the basic mechanics of the English language.

    You mean “your argument sucks.” Not you’re.

    Pass third grade English, Joke From Lowell, then get back to us.

  151. 151
    mclaren says:

    @OzoneR:

    please, you’re giving me a headache, go take a nap or something.

    TRANSLATION: mclaren is interfering with my attempts to pre-emptively surrender to the conservatives, and it makes my head hurt.

  152. 152
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @mclaren:

    TRANSLATION: mclaren is interfering with my attempts to pre-emptively surrender to the conservatives, and it makes my head hurt.

    You need to double down and create a few sockpuppets to support your arguments. Nick respects that sorta stuff.

  153. 153

    @Bob Loblaw:

    you don’t think it’s relevant to future negotiations that the Republicans were able to use a minor shutdown fight to successfully take a swipe at the President’s signature accomplishment

    So now you’re crab-walking it back from “the Republicans didn’t blink” to “the Republicans got something.”

    Progress!

    I supposed I could plink you a few more times, until you’re applauding Obama, but it’s like fish in a barrel with you.

  154. 154
    mclaren says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Plenty of folks on this thread seem to be supporting my arguments already.

    Thanks for the concern, concern troll.

    Concern Troll Just Some Fuckhead is concerned.

  155. 155

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Can we get an Open War thread for Joe? We’ve already got a half dozen people doing the Obot thing so he’s a little redundant right now.

    I trust if you had any arguments for why anything I’ve written was wrong, we’d have heard them.

    But, instead, you’re whining that I make your tummy hurt.

    Good.

  156. 156
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @mclaren: Whoooosh

  157. 157
    Tony J says:

    What’s the big whoop? Even the dumbest Libtard has to see that America is the exceptional example of ‘Too Big To Fail’.

    Refusing to raise the debt-limit just puts her creditors on the spot: they either renegotiate all of those loans on much better terms (I’m thinking 0% interest and maybe a special tithe for being allowed to offer them – we used to call that ‘tribute’ in pre-PC times) or they get to watch their cities go up in smoke as America’s all-volunteer military (so debt default wouldn’t effect its capabilities) defends the nation’s interests with some of that pre-paid for hardware.

    A week, tops, before they all coming running to the table fighting to be the first to offer us a bailout. All it takes is faith in the unchallenged supremacy of our military machine and the political will to use it in the national interest.

    We have nothing to fear but fear itself.

    /wingnut – IXth Batallion, Strategic Planning Division – The Raving Clancys

  158. 158

    @mclaren:

    Before you tell someone their argument is bad, you need to start learning the basic mechanics of the English language.

    UH, know, yoor are-gew-ment sux, weather eye maid a type-o ore knot.

    Seriously, this is your response to getting called out on your need to make up a non-fact? “Joe made a typo?”

    Yeah, good luck with that. Maybe, with just a few more LOLs, you won’t look entirely pathetic.

  159. 159
  160. 160
    mclaren says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Whoooosh

    A powerfully convincing argument!

  161. 161
    mclaren says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    The only person making up non-facts around here is you.

    I didn’t cite any facts and you know it — DougJ asked “What should Democrats do now?”

    My response wasn’t a fact, just a list of suggestions. If you don’t like my suggestions, come up with suggestions of your own.

    Sitting around on your fat ass typing “you’re argument sux” doesn’t cut it, Joke from Lowell, and everyone knows it.

    Lead, follow, or get out the way.

  162. 162
    Mnemosyne says:

    Ah, mclaren with her calls for an Obama dictatorship. Very civil libertarian of you.

  163. 163
    spark says:

    @Glen Tomkins:

    “…That may be the whole point of the exercise from the point of view of the deficit hawks. Their ideas haven’t carried the day completely, yet, because the bond vigilantes haven’t struck, and show no signs of striking….”

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.co.....icits.html

  164. 164
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    I walked back nothing. I see no victory for anybody ever when the American people lose. Because unlike you, I’m not a posturing jackass.

    I don’t care about blinks and plinks because, once again, I’m not a posturing jackass. I don’t care about “who wins” or “who looks tough.” I cared about what was in the compromise. And lo and behold, even the ACA got hit. Which I would have assumed was a key priority of the administration. And yet, it wasn’t protected. Which isn’t a good sign for other health care spending.

    But please, carry on with your Lord of Argument act. You obviously need it as a part of your life very deeply, and I wouldn’t want to cause you any distress by denying your Internet Win. For great justice.

  165. 165
    eemom says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    has it been established that mclunatic is, in fact, a her?

  166. 166
    zach says:

    I’d just repeat the bailout vote outcome. And would’ve done the same with the government shutdown. The financial markets are quite fragile right now and would react harshly to either event. When the bailout failed the Dow dropped a few hundred points, angry rich people called the people whose election they’d purchased, and the bill was passed the next day. The financial markets didn’t react much to the mid-90s shutdowns, but today the government’s much larger, the economy’s more fragile, the Congress is less capable of acting quickly when needed, and the market is more volatile.

  167. 167
    MazeDancer says:

    It’s not a negotiation.

    The President, Wall Street leaders, Congressional leaders, members of the administration, all make it clear, this is not a negotiation.

    This is a choice.

    Republicans can choose to destroy the country – the whole global economy, actually. Or they can stop playing with fire before they destroy everyone.

    The minute one concession is made, it’s a negotiation, and the Tea Party is legitimized and all the pundits will be discussing is how much will the Dems give.

    Obama can yield at the last minute, if necessary. But the public needs educating on how serious – and how not politics as usual- this is.

    One small difficulty is, when he was a Senator, the President’s voting against raising the debt ceiling for Bush. He knew there was no chance the bill would pass so it was a “protest” gesture. May have to be explained.

  168. 168
    NR says:

    @zach: Sure. This time, Obama will stand firm. This time, Obama won’t give in to Republican demands. This time, it’ll be different. Sure it will.

  169. 169
    Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama says:

    @mclaren:

    Wait – what? Obama should declare martial law and act as dictator (at least, until he’s ousted by a miltary coup, since there’s no way the military supports him in this role), but what he’d really do is happily preside over the dismantling of Medicare and SS? Dude, I hope you’re either drunk or highly overcaffeinated, because if you’re not, I’d hate to hear your ideas when you are.

    Or did you just come here to lecture us on the use of homophones?

  170. 170
    mclaren says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Ah, mclaren with her calls for an Obama dictatorship. Very civil libertarian of you.

    Mnemosyne once again shows his dishonesty and his depravity. Dictatorial powers are just fine ‘n dandy with Mnemosyne…as long as they’re used to torture innocent people.

    Mnemosyne swoons with delight and rapturously cheers Obama using dictatorial powers to order the assassination of American citizens without even charging them with a crime.

    But as soon as anyone suggests that Obama might stretch the definition of his powers to do what other presidents have already done in times of emergency (sequesting funds, declaring martial law), Mnemosyne erupts in hysteria.

    Because…remember: Mnemosyne’s key principle is:

    Hurting people is good, helping people is bad.

    So Mnemosyne can come up with endless justifications and sophistries and verbal calisthenics to defend Obama as long as he’s torturing and murdering American citizens without charges or a trial.

    But Mnemosyne becomes red-faced with hysteria at the thought of Obama using any of his powers to actually help anyone.

    Yes, that’s the Mnemosyne we’ve all come to know and love. Working hard on that screenplay for Saw VIII, are you, Mnemosyne? Having a little trouble coming up with a scene to top the one where the guy blasts an acetylene torch in a woman’s eyeball until her eye pops out of its socket, and then he cuts it off with a hacksaw?

  171. 171
    Glen Tomkins says:

    @spark: This Gross character, at this point, is just some voice crying in the wilderness. Until and unless the market follows his lead and actually raises the interest at which they are willing to lend to the US, he is just a bond vigilante wannabe. Vigilantes need a whole lynch mob of the same backing each other up, or they’re just muttering cranks.

    Right now, what Gross is doing is just theater. He’s making a political statement with his fund. If letting his political leanings interfere with sound money management decreases the RoI his fund produces, his investors will sooner or later punish him by taking their money elsewhere — even if they agree with his politics.

    The real threat is when and if people start shorting the US on investment grounds, not to make some political point. This Gross would be a lot more credible as a financial advisor of he could keep his political, fiscal views out of his analysis. This isn’t a problem until apolitical analysis tells people to sell the US short.

  172. 172
    mclaren says:

    @eemom:

    Don’t you need to return to the comic strip GET YOUR WAR ON?

  173. 173
    mclaren says:

    @Glen Tomkins:

    This Gross character, at this point, is just some voice crying in the wilderness.

    As the fund manager for the largest bond fund in the world, he’s a very loud voice in the wildnerness.

  174. 174
    mclaren says:

    @Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama:

    Wait – what? Obama should declare martial law and act as dictator (at least, until he’s ousted by a miltary coup, since there’s no way the military supports him in this role), but what he’d really do is happily preside over the dismantling of Medicare and SS? Dude, I hope you’re either drunk or highly overcaffeinated, because if you’re not, I’d hate to hear your ideas when you are.

    Let’s take it slowly and simply, in words with as few letters as possible.

    DougJ asked what Democrats should do.

    I said what I thought Democrats should do.

    I also said what I think Obama will do.

    What Obama will do is not the same as what he should do.

    I know this is hard for you, but try to reason it out.

  175. 175
    Shoemaker-Levy 9 says:

    What do you think the right approach from Democrats is here?

    It’s way the fuck past time for the “right approach”. The “right approach” is having a little foresight and setting up your strategy appropriately. We’re in “limit the damage” mode now and have been for quite some time.

  176. 176
    eemom says:

    @mclaren:

    your derangement would be sad if it weren’t so hilarious.

    Hey, why dontcha tell us some more about how nuclear power is totally the way to go? Cuz that was like, trippy.

  177. 177
    Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama says:

    I know it’s a Monday so, yes, I’m a tad slow today, but I can understand what you’re stating just fine. No need to type slower on my account.

    What you say Obama should do is untenable, as it will result in a coup, as Obama would not have any sort of the military support necessary to stay in power.

    What you say Obama will do is pure paranoid fantasy with no support whatsoever.

    And with that, I leave you to your land of make believe and typo corrections.

  178. 178
    Glen Tomkins says:

    @mclaren: Okay, so where’s the market movement seconding Gross? If he’s right, if the US budget really is an intractable mess teetering on the verge, wouldn’t the voice of the manager of the world’s largest mutual fund start the stampede?

    The market isn’t moving because the US has huge revenue potential it’s leaving on the table (i.e., the Bush tax cuts), and bears huge expenses that are completely, recklessly optional luxuries (I mean the zillions we spend on “defense”.). Gross’s “analysis” is obviously foolish.

    Well, it’s foolish and his fund is going to get a pranging unless he knows something that you and I don’t know about teahadist conspiracies. His analysis is obvious bunk based on public knowledge of the fundamentals of the US economy and fisc. But there is this one factor that could make things fulfill his scenario, that could make it sensible to sell the US short. That would be a default forced by the teahadists in the House.

    Does Gross know something about that factor that we don’t?

  179. 179
    Corner Stone says:

    @Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama:

    Or did you just come here to lecture us on the use of homophones?

    I thought their only good uses were as closeted religious preachers or Republican politicians?

  180. 180
    spark says:

    @Glen Tomkins:

    You’re right of course.

    That link is all over wingnuttia today. The natives are restless.

  181. 181
    General Stuck says:

    @numbskull:

    I just can’t figure out if they pay you to be a numbskull or what. I bring some doses of reality to this fetid swamp of Obama hate. You could say I yam reality.

    @Bob Loblaw:

    You, on the other hand, are a first degree numbskull, whose mental health is of increasing concern.

  182. 182
    sukabi says:

    @zach: just like to point out that “the markets are fragile” because the sharks and loons have over-populated due to the of the lack of adequate regulation / oversight… they regularly “feed” depending on how they can skew the market… speculation drives a lot of prices both up and down…

    and the rest of the traders / players DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY’RE TRADING. Company / product “value” is determined not by the quality of the business / product, but by how much a company can up it’s profits over the last quarter..

  183. 183
    General Stuck says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Then there is our perfect corner stone to ignorance and raging alcoholism. Looking for enlightenment from inside the toilet bowl.

  184. 184
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: Grant began his active Civil War service as a Colonel.

  185. 185
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @eemom:

    has it been established that mclunatic is, in fact, a her?

    Actually, now I’m sort of curious about this.

    Also too, @mclaren:

    Mnemosyne once again shows his dishonesty and …

    I was under the impression that Mnemosyne was female. Though this impression may have come about because the mythological titan was female.

  186. 186
    OzoneR says:

    @mclaren:

    mclaren is interfering with my attempts to pre-emptively surrender to the conservatives, and it makes my head hurt.

    actually mclaren makes me think we should pre-emptively surrender to conservatives more often if mclaren is other option

  187. 187
    Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I think what you meant to say was:

    LOL.

    Before you tell someone their argument is bad, you need to start learning the basics of American history.

    You mean “Grant started out as a lowly colonel in the civil war.” Not lieutenant.

    Pass third grade history, mcjokin’, then get back to us.

  188. 188
    dogwood says:

    @mclaren:
    This war was lost long ago. Look at the numbers. Voters hear “raise the debt ceiling” and say NO. The media will never frame it as a policy issue. Everything is politics with them. People don’t change their minds on these things. Obama will explain it and repubs. will rebut it. The media will say “we report you decide.” No matter what, it is Obama’s responsibility to save these people from themselves. He’ll do what he has to do. It might cost him an election, but it is what it is. That’s what the Democratic party does. We put out fires, but when the fire’s out, the arsonists get to reclaim the property.

  189. 189
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mclaren:

    Mnemosyne once again shows his dishonesty and his depravity. Dictatorial powers are just fine ‘n dandy with Mnemosyne…as long as they’re used to torture innocent people.

    Ah, so dictatorial powers are fine if they’re used to do what you want, but they’re bad when they’re used to do what other people want.

    Lots of people told themselves that Pol Pot was a good guy who was just trying to improve the country and help Cambodians when he took over. A lot of people manage to convince themselves that this dictator is going to be different. I see that you’ve naively fallen for the same kind of thinking.

    Oddly, I don’t want to live under any kind of dictator whether s/he’s doing things I like or things I don’t like. But you keep living your dream of the right kind of dictator taking over, mclaren.

  190. 190
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sentient Puddle:

    I am female and have been all my life but, as you have probably noticed before, mclaren is not very good with details.

  191. 191
    General Stuck says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I just think the hose to Mclaren’s Thorazine drip has a kink again. It happens all the time.

  192. 192
    mclaren says:

    @eemom:

    Hey, why dontcha tell us some more about how nuclear power is totally the way to go? Cuz that was like, trippy.

    Thanks you. I will,

    Fukushhima proved that nuclear reactors today are overengineered for safety such an amazing degree that even a Richter 9.0 earthquake followed by a tsunami couldn’t breach the containment vessel and cause a radioactive plume of steam that would kill of hundreds or thousands of people.

    If a nuclear reactor can survive a Fukushima-level catastrophe killing large numbers of people, then it can survive anything without killing large numbers of people. So nuclear power is definitely the way to go.

    Here’s a graphic showing the deaths per terawatt-hour for nuclear power compared to coal.

    Now, we all know that as a lawyer you can’t deal with numbers or equations, and you’re incapable of doing any serious reasoning, as would be required to solve, say, a linear homogenous partial differential equation.

    But even a lawyer should be able to compare the areas of the two graphics and see that coal produces many many many more deaths per terawatt-hour than nuclear power.

  193. 193
    zach says:

    @NR: I didn’t say Obama/the Senate would do this, I’m just saying that it’s what I’d do. If the GOP’s going to take the American budget hostage, take the Dow hostage in response. It’s not even all that irresponsible; the financial damage from the temporary shut down or debt ceiling scare would be smaller than the damage from spending cuts that’ll be perpetuated for years in whatever sort of deal we wind up with next.

  194. 194
    mclaren says:

    @Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama:

    What you say Obama should do is untenable, as it will result in a coup…

    We’ve already had a coup. It’s a coup by the billionaires. So what’s the difference? Either way, democracy is over — we now have a king, not a president. The rule of law has gone away. So we might as well have a king who exercises dictatorial powers in the pursuit of social justice, since the alternative is a king who uses his dictatorial powers to enrich the wealthy and torture and murder innocent Americans.

    What you say Obama will do is pure paranoid fantasy with no support whatsoever.

    You need to avoid telling these kinds of obvious lies, because you make yourself look stupid as well as dishonest.

    Via Jonathan Chait, The Hill reports that Obama administration economic officials are pressing for Social Security benefit cuts.

    Source: Paul Krugman’s column “Social Security Suicide,” New York Times, 15 March 2011.

    Jonathan Chait’s article here. Report from The Hill confirming here.

    By all means, keep telling these kinds of stupid lies. You’re spray-painting a giant stencil across your forehead that reads NO ONE SHOULD TAKE ME SERIOUSLY ANYMORE.

  195. 195
    Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama says:

    @dogwood:

    Actually, a recent poll (can’t recall the source, so no link) showed that when respondents were informed of the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling, support surges to over 60%.

    Now, there has been darn little reporting on this matter, but I think that will pick up as the deadline nears. And I’ve got to think that the corporate-owned media will see itself as having enough skin in this game to report honestly and accurately. It wouldn’t surprise me if even Fox got a little vapory over the issue.

  196. 196
    HyperIon says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    “It’s GOT to work!” isn’t a good enough answer to the question “Will it work?”

    gee, i’ll remember that the next time we discuss military action in, say, Libya.

  197. 197
    mclaren says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Ah, so dictatorial powers are fine if they’re used to do what you want, but they’re bad when they’re used to do what other people want.

    That’s your argument, yes. And it’s morally bankrupt. Obama’s order to kidnap and murder American citizens is illegal and he needs to be impeached for it regardless whether you happen to like Obama’s illegal unconstitutional actions or not — that’s my argument, but call that “insane.”

    Why?

    Because SHUT UP! that’s why.

    Lots of people told themselves that Pol Pot was a good guy who was just trying to improve the country and help Cambodians when he took over. A lot of people manage to convince themselves that this dictator is going to be different. I see that you’ve naively fallen for the same kind of thinking.

    You’re thinking of yourself here — your extensive support for Obama’s order to assassinate American citiznes without a trial and without even charging them with a crime makes you into the classic Pol Pot supporter.

    I’m glad you’ve decided to admit your moral bankruptcy.

    Will you now identify yourself as “a depraved immoral thug no different from a Pol Pot supporter” from now on?

    Oddly, I don’t want to live under any kind of dictator whether s/he’s doing things I like or things I don’t like.

    Whoops!

    Now you’re lying. Because you’ve already told us you just loooooooooove Obama ordering the kidnapping of American citizens without charges, the assassination of American citizens without trial, the imprisonment forever of American citizens with no charges or a trial and no access to a lawyer, the torture of innocent people, the bombing of innocent villagers in third world countries including the murder of entire wedding parties and the murder of innocent women and children at funerals…

    …So what’s that but a dictatorship?

    If the rule of law means nothing and the president can order anyone kidnapped, imprisoned forever without charges, murdered, tortured, then what can’t he do?

    Explain to me how a state where the rule of law has gone away and where everyone is wiretapped 24/7/365, where any citizen can be kidnapped at will without charges, imprisoned forever without trial, assassinated at the whim of the president for no reason other than that he feels like, is anything but a dictatorship?

    Explain it to me.

    You’ve eagerly and enthusiastically defended these atrocities, so clearly you love living in an America without the rule of law, with torture and kidnapping and assassination for everyone whenever someone in power feels like it.

    You obviously love living in an America where peaceful protest gets you arrested as a terrorist and charged in court as a terrorist.

    Your applause and constant adulation of Obama and the toadies under him who perpetrate these unconstitutional atrocities tells us that you do love it.

  198. 198
    gogol's wife says:

    @cleek:

    OT, what a gorgeous cat Tricksey is. I need her looking at me right now.

  199. 199
    Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama says:

    @mclaren:

    Sigh. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

    No president could depend on the military to keep him/her in office if he/she did what you’re championing. And that type of egregious overreach would poison any sort of leftist policies for at least a generation. (Why am I even arguing this fantasy with you?)

    So far as your links: They say nothing about Obsma wanting to cut benefits. They only say that some of his team is advising him to, while others are pointing out this would be political suicide (and they’d be correct, in my opinion). Your leap from “some are advising cuts” to “Obama will preside over killing the program” is one of sheer fancy, and suggests your militant ideology is interfering with your reading comprehension skills.

    Which kinda makes you sound unserious.

  200. 200
    mclaren says:

    @dogwood:

    This [class] war was lost long ago.

    That’s learned helplessness. It’s infantile and foolish and history disproves it.

    While there’s life, there’s hope.

    We have two groups of people on this blog: the cringing crawling Obots who eagerly lick up Obama’s betrayals and lies like a dog lapping up its master’s vomit, and who tell us that any unconstitutional crime Obama commits (like ordering the assassination of U.S. citizens without a trial) is perfectly legal, and who excuse each of Obama’s new betrayals with some new contortion of convoluted reasoning…

    …And then we have the other group, who throw up their hands and explain to everyone that there’s no hope and everything is lost and life is pointless and we might as well give up and the rich own us all and we’re all serfs and nothing can be done.

    Look back through history. You see tyrants and torturers, and all of them seemed invincible: yet all are gone. Look back into deep time and you see thousands of years of totalitarian god-kings — yet where are the god-kings today? They’re all gone away, that form of government is all but extinct, except for Kim Jong-Il’s little hellhole, and it’s collapsing fast.

    Look back thruoghout history and you see endless examples of slavery and human sacrifice.

    Yet where is the human sacrifice today? It’s gone. Where is the slavery today? Mauritania still has humans slavery and that’s about it. Slavery has all but vanished.

    Throughout eons, cynics sneered that trying to improve the human condition was hopeless, that nothing could change, that the powerful always win, that the poor are always helpless.

    Yet democracy has triumphed. Kings and emperors have progressively vanished. Wars between nation-states have become fewer and fewer, claiming less and less lives as time has gone on since the early 20th century.

    Cynics keep assuring us that humans are brutal and savage and torment and mass murder are the natural human condition, yet the statistics show that we live in a world far less violent, per capita, than at any previous era in human history.

    Things keep getting better, from voting rights for women, to voting rights for blacks, to fewer wars between nation-states (and today those that do happen produce exopnentially fewer deaths than in the past: just compare America’s casualties in Afghanistan with the number of Americans killed in the Civil War!)…yet people like you keep assuring us that nothing can be done, there’s no way to make things better, nothing can ever improve.

    That’s a fundamental logical antinomy, don’t you think?

    If folks like you keep telling us that nothing can ever get better, yet the statistics show clearly and irrefutably that things have gotten better for the vast mass of humanity, then you’ve got a serious contradiction there.

    It makes your argument much less credible.

    So how about chucking that attitude of learned helplessness and admitting that maybe, just maybe, we can make things better if we all pitch in together and try?

    How about that, huh?

  201. 201
    mclaren says:

    @Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama:

    So far as your links: They say nothing about Obsma wanting to cut benefits. They only say that some of his team is advising him to, while others are pointing out this would be political suicide (and they’d be correct, in my opinion). Your leap from “some are advising cuts” to “Obama will preside over killing the program” is one of sheer fancy, and suggests your militant ideology is interfering with your reading comprehension skills.

    It’s the exact same “leap” of “sheer fancy” that Paul Krugman and Felix Salmon and Kevin Drum and Matthew Yglesias have made. And considering Obama’s now long history of pre-emptively surrendering to the Republicans on every issue, it’s an entirely raesonable conclusion — no leap at all.

    Which kinda makes you sound unserious.

    Thank you! That’s the imprimatur of excellence right there. That’s the gold standard of high quality. That’s the hallmark of clear thinking and an assurance that my statemenets are both fact-based and impeccably logical.

    As soon as you tell me I sound “unserious,” that’s the highest compliment you can pay any commentator in this depraved twisted political environment, where David Brooks is considered “serious” for cheering on endless pointless unwinnable wars and defunding social security and medicare to pay for massive tax cuts for billionaires, but Paul Krugman and David Stiglitz, two nobel prize winning economists, are considered “deeply unserious” when they point out that these kinds of programs have always wound up hurting economies and destroying economic growth and damaging the standard of living for everyone, rich as well as poor, when they’ve been tried in the past.

    I do thank you for calling me “unserious.” That’s a wonderful compliment, and I treasure it.

  202. 202
    Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama says:

    @mclaren:

    Yep, we’re a pretty binary group, here. All black or white, no grey at all (nor pink, purple, or sepia). Nosireebob. One of two sizes fits all.

    Your statements are the statements of a bullheaded fool. Which gives me teh sad, because the Left needs all the smart, coherent people it can get.

    I hope Obama vomits, soon. I’m gettin’ kinda hungry.

  203. 203
    mclaren says:

    @Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama:

    No president could depend on the military to keep him/her in office if he/she did what you’re championing.

    You speak of a peculiar America with no recognizable connection to the America in which we live.

    Here in the real-world America, presidents aren’t kept in office by the military: they’re kept in office by the perception of We the People that the president and the instutitions of our government are politically legitimate.

    There is a state in which the ruler was kept in office by the military. It was called ancient Rome under the Caesars.

    Go back and re-read your social studies books from high school. You’ll discover that here in America, our leaders get elected, not selected by the praetorian guard.

  204. 204
    Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama says:

    IF yer hoping your naivete makes you cute, tain’t workin’.

  205. 205
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mclaren:

    You’re thinking of yourself here—your extensive support for Obama’s order to assassinate American citiznes without a trial and without even charging them with a crime makes you into the classic Pol Pot supporter.

    Ah, the classic mclaren retort when she knows someone has her number: “I know you are, but what am I?”

    Because you’ve already told us you just loooooooooove Obama ordering the kidnapping of American citizens without charges, the assassination of American citizens without trial, the imprisonment forever of American citizens with no charges or a trial and no access to a lawyer, the torture of innocent people, the bombing of innocent villagers in third world countries including the murder of entire wedding parties and the murder of innocent women and children at funerals…
    __
    …So what’s that but a dictatorship?

    That’s a war. A dictatorship is domestic policy. Charles de Gaulle wasn’t the dictator of Vietnam or Algeria. LBJ wasn’t the dictator of Vietnam. Truman wasn’t the dictator of Korea. You actually have to be present in the country ruling it day to day to be a dictator.

    Oh, but Bradley Manning had his underwear taken away from him while he’s in jail awaiting trial, so that proves that living under Obama’s dictatorial rule is just as bad as living under Pol Pot and being marched out to the killing fields!

  206. 206
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama:

    The funny part is, mclaren thinks of herself as a supreme realist as she pushes her Barbie dolls around in the sandbox muttering about how she’ll show us all one day.

  207. 207
    Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Drat, now you just made her naivete seem cute.

  208. 208
    General Stuck says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    mclaren, a woman? Talk like that is gonna fuck up my head even more than it is from reading this blog.

  209. 209
    Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama says:

    @General Stuck:

    I keep noticing that various trolls here are refered to using the feminine pronoun, and I’m trying to figure out if I missed these specific revelations somewhere, or if it’s just a B-J thang to do this absent confirming information.

    But, uh, yeah, see also: Hamsher, Jane

  210. 210
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @mclaren: Four legs good, two legs bad! All animals are created equal!

  211. 211
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama: Look, when the crazy people suggest that the President should install a left-wing dictatorship and you call them out on it, they will then turn on a dime and spout a stream of BS about how you support dictatorships. It is just how it works. mclaren is best ignored; she has a very superficial familiarity with a variety of subjects and a fantastic command of invective. Sometimes, her statements seem plausible, but, if you drill down, she has no real understanding most topics.

  212. 212
    Rooster says:

    @mclaren:

    I agree with every word and sentiment in this post!

    Put the reicht-wing thieves to work caring for aged dementia patients; put the Army to work guarding the work camps for the Wall Street fraudsters; put the TeaBaggers in chain-link cages in Cuba.

    Anyone with more than a couple of million $$ saved away, take it for the poor.

    Anyone who disagrees, sedition in time of war! Excommunicate them all.

  213. 213
    JR in WV says:

    @cleek:

    That was the tax rate on the highest incomes during the Dwight D Eisenhower administration, republican hero of WW II.

    No insanity here, just good Old Fashioned Republican politics!

  214. 214
    OzoneR says:

    @mclaren:

    That’s why Democrats need to threaten to default on the national debt unless military spending is cut by 90% and health care gets immediately nationalized under a single-payer system and marginal tax rates on anyone making over $250,000 go up immediately to 95% with capital gains counted as regular income at that rate.

    what could possibly go wrong?

  215. 215
    Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama says:

    @Rooster:

    I’m honestly puzzled. It’s way too early in the month for everyone to have run out of their meds.

  216. 216
    Mnemosyne says:

    @General Stuck:
    @Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama:

    IIRC, mclaren referred to herself that way more than once, so that’s the pronoun I use. I would actually be relieved if mclaren turned out to be a guy, because otherwise she’s giving the rest of us women a bad name.

  217. 217
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    @mclaren:

    You obviously love living in an America where peaceful protest gets you arrested as a terrorist and charged in court as a terrorist.

    Have you actually got a cite for this?

  218. 218
    niknik says:

    As an American with dollar-denominated student loan debt earning a euro-denominated salary, I am definitely hoping the US defaults on its debt, thus tanking its credibility with international investors, thus driving down demand for dollars, thus making the exchange rate even more favorable for me so I can pay my loan off for the price of a home abortion kit.

    Seriously, what could go wrong with my plan? Other than the US completely dragging every other economy down with it as it goes off the cliff (again)…

    Honest to God, I leave you people for a decade and look at what you’ve done to the place!

    ps. The mclaren is unfathomably stupid. Why, oh why, do you keep feeding it?

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