What I think Republicans should do

I think that politically, it might be smart for Republicans to force a default this summer and blow up the economy. It would be a risk and it might destroy them but I think it could be the best chance they have right now. I would not have said this before they all voted for Vouchercare. Seems some Republicans are thinking the same way:

“Of course, it’s dangerous,” a House Republican close to Boehner said of the politics of a government default. “But it’s dangerous for everybody, especially the president. At the end of the day, [Obama] will have to give in.”

“Who has egg on their face if there is a sovereign debt crisis, House Republicans or the president?” asked another senior GOP lawmaker.

If the economy goes into true free fall, they’ve got a very good shot to unseat Obama. I’m not sure they’ll get blamed if they cause it with default or default lite or whatever, because the media is so much on their side on the debt ceiling stuff in a way that it wasn’t with the possible shut down.

Once they’re in, they should find some pretext to abolish labor unions as much as possible and then try to disenfranchise as many younger and non-white people as they can, after extended DOJ “investigation”/Congressional hearings/Breitbart circuses about teh voter fraud. Again, I think the media would back much of this.

Am I being too cynical? This is what I honestly think they should do if they want to obtain and maintain power.

Update. As many have pointed out, there’s no way their corporate masters would allow them to do this. They’d take a big hit in terms of donations. But I still think this might be their best chance to take the White House.






201 replies
  1. 1
    Jewish Steel says:

    ‘do’ for ‘to?’

  2. 2
    Mary Jane says:

    Am I being too cynical?

    In my opinion, no.

  3. 3
    Yutsano says:

    I think that politically, it might be smart for Republicans to force a default this summer and blow up the economy.

    They’d be costing themselves a large portion of the money spigot from Wall Street. If the US defaults a lot of very wealthy people will lose a shit ton of money if for no other reason than not all of them can bet on the short position here. If the dollar craters the whole world economy goes kaboom. The Republicans would be lucky if there WAS a United States after pulling that stunt.

  4. 4
    Scott says:

    Not being a bit too cynical. If anything, you’re being naive about what they’d be able to get away with afterwards. The press would give ’em the thumbs up for anything, and I mean anything.

  5. 5
    JPL says:

    Someone needs to to be blaming the republicans now. The President won’t because he does not want to hurt the markets. Sic Joe Biden on them. Enough is enough.
    Winning is everything if all that remains is ashes.

  6. 6
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    Am I being too cynical? This is what I honestly think they should do if they want to obtain and maintain power.

    Given that demographics are against the extreme right Republicans, the time will come when they can keep power only through non-democratic means.

  7. 7
    phillygirl says:

    Too cynical? Heavens, no. Destroying the economy is indeed the plan. And Obama will lend a hand, in order to be, y’know, bipartisan.

  8. 8
    Doug Harlan J says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    Thanks, fixed it.

  9. 9
    aimai says:

    I get that this is all snark, but I wonder which is the best worst scenario, or the worst best, for our country at this point. And I’m staggered when I realize that since the Republicans took back the house, and several Governorships, that “worst/best” is really the best we can hope for.

    It was reported today that President Obama (quite reasonably) told the House Dems that they couldn’t expect any fighting words from him because, as President, he needs to be careful what he says in order not to scare the markets. I agree with that strategy, in a way, because I agree that the President should not have to say what a united Democratic Caucus should say *for him.* He should always be able to stay above the fray.

    That being said I wish the Democrats had an end game that forced the Republicans to shoot themselves in the head with the markets now, rather than later in the month. In other words I think we may need to see Obama and the Dems run them right off the cliff before the actual debt ceiling vote. And the only way I see of doing that is by ratcheting up the pressure on them to act out agressively, scare the markets into dropping several hundred points, and then watch them come to heel and vote in the higher debt ceiling and start work on the new budget in a more chastened fashion. But I think its going to require some serious wreckage of the markets and I quite see that Obama doesn’t want to have his fingers on it.

    aimai

  10. 10
    EconWatcher says:

    I don’t think you’re too cynical. I think they define the national interest as “taking back our country” (from you know who), and can justify anything to themselves in pursuit of that.

    But they may not need such a high-rolling strategy. The stimulus and the quantitative easing strategies are just about exhausted. While the economy may not go into free fall without a default, I think it’s a good bet that it’s about to slide back, and we’ll still have about 9% unemployment this time next year.

    If they pick a non-crazy (TPaw or Romney), they can probably win if those are the conditions at election time, no?

  11. 11
    freelancer says:

    @Doug Harlan J:

    erm, no you didn’t (at least not yet).

  12. 12
    PeakVT says:

    Republicans might gain more power from blowing up the economy, but I think for their paymasters the short-term losses would be too great. Remember that plenty of companies are making record profits right now. I still think the Republicans will be made to blink, though I’m not as confident as I once was.

  13. 13
    sukabi says:

    jesus christ, why does “winning” always have to trump what’s best for the country? for once I’d like to see an argument made for WHY TANKING THE ENTIRE COUNTRY AND WORLD’S ECONOMIES is actually “winning” anything.

  14. 14
    shortstop says:

    @Yutsano: Serious question: Do they know this? The entire caucus spends its days pretending that fully and repeatedly discredited winger economic principles will work if we just clap harder next time. Some of them are performing strictly for the rubes, but a disquieting number seem to now believe their own bullshit.

    Does the GOP truly get how bad this will be if it happens? I can’t tell.

  15. 15
    Tom Hilton says:

    I’m hoping for the debt-ceiling-is-unconstitutional option. Probly not gonna happen, but man it would be sweet if after all the Republican drama Holder issued an opinion that the whole ceiling is unconstitutional, and the President said “sorry guys, you had no leverage after all”.

  16. 16
    BGinCHI says:

    I’m just as scared that they’ll do this without knowing it’s a “strategy.”

  17. 17
    Joel says:

    If the US defaults, it won’t be only the wingnuts buying guns.

  18. 18
    danimal says:

    I wish you were wrong about the press.

    I wish you were wrong about the GOP.

    No, you’re not being too cynical.

    Hopefully the American people, who can be smart when they focus, realize what happened.

  19. 19
    Reality Check says:

    Pretty horrible jobs report today, huh? At best, we’re headed for a “lost decade”. At worst, double-dip recession/depression, just in time for 2012. “Barack Hussein Obama, MMMMM mmmmmm mm…”

  20. 20
    cyntax says:

    @Yutsano:

    They’d be costing themselves a large portion of the money spigot from Wall Street.

    Agreed. I find it hard to believe that Wall Street cares as much about cutting Medicare as the Republicans do. The damage to the monied class seems greater than any benefit that might accrue.

  21. 21
    Doug Harlan J says:

    @aimai:

    I’m not being snarky, this is what I think they should do, given their goals.

  22. 22
    Countme In says:

    If murderous Republican vermin want to follow that path to hell by torpedoing the economy, murdering the poor, and then once in power, disenfranchising all whom they hate, then a great bloody scythe needs to sweep across America and kill the Republican Beast.

    Butcher it. Hack it into bloody pieces. Nuke it.

    John Brown, not with six or twelve followers, but an army of millions dragging Republican filth, the bankers, and the media into the streets and wreaking final bloody vengeance.

    This thing has gone far enough. They will understand only violence of the most ruthless, brutal, and vicious kind.

    It won’t happen, of course. We’re fucked. Elections are for the fucked.

  23. 23
    jrg says:

    It would be a risk and it might destroy them but I think it could be the best chance they have right now.

    Yep. It’s the exact same reason they are so deeply concerned about the debt after 8 years of “deficits don’t matter”. They don’t want austerity for any practical reason (we’re talking about the same group of people who voted for Medicare part D)… They just want something to pin on our Democratic president.

    What gets me is that the press falls for this bullshit EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

  24. 24
    Downpuppy says:

    +53,000 jobs last month, 9.1% (lowest meansure) unemployment & rising

    We’re already in the damn ditch. Time to say not only NFW to cuts, but Hail Yes! to some serious recovery help.

  25. 25
    beltane says:

    @…now I try to be amused: And they will ultimately lose power through undemocratic means as well. The Republican party and the ethnic group that supports them will eventually have their day of reckoning.

  26. 26
    BGinCHI says:

    When is the next expiration for the Bush tax cuts?

    That‘s a battle that is going to be huge and telling.

  27. 27
    Bullsmith says:

    Once you get addicted to brinksmanship, eventually you go over the brink.

  28. 28
    Tom Q says:

    I take your initial point — that provoking an economic debacle sounds like good politics for the GOP, in the sense that no incumbent party has ever held the White House during an active recession. So, on paper, it seems like sound strategy.

    But, while I don’t think you’re too cynical in assuming our press corps wouldn’t hold Pubs accountable, I don’t see that necessarily translating into “the people” (or enough voters) buying it. The press could barely have been more unuanimous in telling us how neato-keen the Ryan plan is, yet the public opposes it in electorally apocalyptic numbers. The Midwest governors, even given benefit of doubt by “both sides are at fault” coverage, are as popular as Ebola. And right now, despite an economy that’s clearly not booming, Obama’s approvals are shooting upward.

    I think a sufficuent percentage of the public has caught on that the GOP = Death, and no amount of Beltway fluffing is going to cover that over.

  29. 29
    TenguPhule says:

    Obviously the problem we’re not executing enough Republican Politicos as examples these days.

  30. 30
    Brachiator says:

    I think that politically, it might be smart for Republicans to force a default this summer and blow up the economy.

    This would be even crazier and more self-defeating than when Newt shut down the federal government in 1995.

    If the economy goes into true free fall, they’ve got a very good shot to unseat Obama.

    Again, let’s look at the impact on the government shutdown on Bill Clinton:

    Clinton’s approval rating fell significantly during the shutdown. According to media commentators, this indicated that the general public blamed the president for the government shutdown. However, once it had ended his approval ratings rose to their highest since his election.

    Newt still likes to point out the political gains in Congress as a result of the government shutdown, but they still caused more harm than good.

    But screwing around with the debt ceiling could lead to all kinds of nasty shocks to the economy. And the GOP has oddly deflected attention away from their general ineptitude with the Medicare sideshow. If the economy collapses as a result of a loss of faith in the US government, it will be damn hard for the GOP to push their mantra of deregulation and lower taxes on the wealthy as a magical solution to the nation’s problems.

  31. 31
    Reality Check says:

    So commentors on balloon juice are now advocating violent revolution and genocide against a racial group, but remember folks, conservatives are the violent ones!

  32. 32
    Bobby Thomson says:

    You aren’t thinking far enough ahead.

    Regardless of what happens on a temporary basis this summer, long term the United States hits a default for reals because taxes can never be raised and we have the government we deserve, rather than the one we need. Other countries hold our paper and will be in comparatively stronger shape.

    But we have all the guns, and at some point, we will have politicians who are crazy enough to go Curtis LeMay on people. In the coming global war, what is the best long-term outcome?

  33. 33
    Doug Harlan J says:

    @Reality Check:

    Where’s the genocide and violence in this post?

  34. 34
    Emerald says:

    This is precisely what I thought they might do from the beginning, for precisely this reason. The only way they can beat Obama is to crash the economy again and blame it on him.

    But I changed my mind last week, when they had their “joke” debt ceiling vote, but held the vote late in the day after the market closed, and told their Wall St. bosses not to panic because they were only foolin’.

    They tipped their hand, and they don’t even have a pair o’ deuces.

  35. 35
    beltane says:

    People are hungry
    The Republicans are succulent and well-marbled
    Problem solved

  36. 36
    NR says:

    @BGinCHI: After the way Obama and the Democrats caved last time, you think they’re going to fight next time?

    Are you insane?

  37. 37
    stuckinred says:

    @Bobby Thomson: I don’t get killed?

  38. 38
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    At least we can still point and laugh at anyone driving around with a “Country First” bumper sticker. The GOP loves America so much it has to destroy it.

  39. 39
    Reality Check says:

    @DougJ look at beltane’s comment (“ethnic group that supports them will have their day of reckoning”) and Countme In’s comment (that calls for murdering Republicans).

  40. 40
    Ugluks Flea says:

    The Obama administration (and maybe just Obama himself) has mostly seemed more interested in letting the sturm and drang slosh back and forth for awhile before bigfooting into the fray, disrupting the balance the little stable pie fight eco-system so he can maneuver to do whatever he probably really wanted to do all along anyway.

    Whenever they have tried to move quickly as things are forming, it doesn’t go so well (e.g. the Shirley Sherrod debacle).

    When the clock is about to run out, Obama will likely give a national TV address laying out how bad things will be if the US defaults, give some lip service to working on deficit reduction blah blah blah, but make clear all these horrible things happening will be because of a choice made by GOP, and totally out of his hands.

    GOP will sputter and wail and call him a tyrant, and Boehner will bite the bullet and form a coalition of all the dems and any remaining semi-lucid pubs to raise the ceiling.

  41. 41
    PeakVT says:

    @Tom Hilton: I dunno. Here are the two relevant parts of the Constitution:

    The Congress shall have Power … To borrow Money on the credit of the United States

    The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law … shall not be questioned.

    The first is a power. The second is a … what? Restriction of speech? I don’t see how the second grants the executive an independent authority to borrow.

    ETA: @Doug Harlan J: Beware sockpuppetry.

  42. 42
    pragmatism says:

    my galtian overlord friends and acquaintences are no longer pretending that they’re not rooting for the economy to fail. its the “only way” now. they’re getting used to “doing more with less” (this only refers to headcount) and profit taking.

  43. 43
    Alex S. says:

    And here I thought that they’d shut down the government but raise the debt ceiling. Alas, they always choose the more destructive way. You can’t be cynical enough. The Democrats must, must, must explain how the republican behavior led to the sluggish economy we have right now, and how it’s going to lead to a disaster.

  44. 44
    shortstop says:

    @Doug Harlan J: Headline, too, shoog.

  45. 45
    MikeJ says:

    @Doug Harlan J:

    this is what I think they should do, given their goals.

    Given their goals they should be buying up plantations and ramping up manufacture of shackles.

  46. 46
    Yutsano says:

    @Reality Check: I wasn’t aware Republicans were now a legally recognized racial group now. That could possibly just be because, well, that didn’t happen. I’ll happily get you a towel for your pantswetting, though it’s always sad to watch an Internet tough guy lose it.

  47. 47
    Nemesis says:

    Read over at the GOS that the gwb tax cuts are set to expire again the end of 2011.

    Word is the pres says no dice on reauthorizing the tax cuts. Color me skeptical.

    So the agreed upon solution for unemployment is to slash gummit spending and cripple the social safety net?

    WTF is wrong with this country? We are set to do the exact opposite of whats right. Waiting for retirement. Mexico here I come. =)

  48. 48
    bkny says:

    you are not cynical enough.

  49. 49
    aimai says:

    @Reality Check:

    Are republicans an ethnic group? Jeb Bush’s hispanic wife. John Yoo.Alan Keyes, Cain, etc… I was assured that Republicans were not, in fact, ethnically restricted an that they should never, ever, be accused of being mono-racial.

    aimai

  50. 50
    Blue Neponset says:

    I don’t think it will work. Gingrich tried the same thing with the gov’t shutdown and he got his ass handed to him by Big Dog.

    Also, the last thing Republicans actually want is people scrutinizing their bumper sticker political platform. I just don’t see how they could spin something as catastrophic as a default into something that was worth the cost.

  51. 51
    The Other Chuck says:

    I think in this rare case you’re too cynical: Wall Street would tear the Republicans such a gaping bloody new orifice for this stunt that they’d never ever recover. Every financial paper in the country that Murdoch doesn’t own would be calling for Republican heads to roll, daily.

    The ceiling will be raised, but we well be fucked over for it. In the game of chicken, Democrats *always* lose.

  52. 52
    Reality Check says:

    Again, “the ethnic group that supports them will have their day of reckoning”. This is 1990s Yugoslavia language.

  53. 53
    kdaug says:

    @Yutsano: Agreed.

  54. 54
    PreservedKillick says:

    I think this is exactly the plan, and exactly why they broght forward the Ryan plan, which is obviously deathly toxic. They figure that by the end of the summer, they will have already either blown up the economy, thus giving them a path to 2012 – or they will have managed to get the dems on record voting to cut medicare. Maybe even both.

    Cyncical? You bet your ass. But look who we’re dealing with here.

  55. 55
    Chris says:

    @shortstop:

    Serious question: Do they know this? The entire caucus spends its days pretending that fully and repeatedly discredited winger economic principles will work if we just clap harder next time. Some of them are performing strictly for the rubes, but a disquieting number seem to now believe their own bullshit.

    If Wall Street knows it, then you can bet the Republicans know it. Maybe not all of them know, understand or believe it, but they know that their bosses will be seriously, seriously pissed if their corporate empires have to take a hit because of their irresponsibility.

    So perversely, here’s hoping that Wall Street manages to keep them on the leash.

  56. 56
    jrg says:

    Let’s see… You have “conservatives” on Fox “news” saying the best way to talk to a liberal is with a baseball bat. You’ve got “conservative” politicians that invade countries that did not attack us, killing hundreds of thousands. You’ve got right-wing whackos shooting up Unitarian churches and bombing abortion clinics, but a couple of comments on a left-ish blog proves that conservatives don’t have a problem with violence.

    Ahh, the right-wing mind. Reality Check, you’re a fucking idiot.

  57. 57
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Reality Check:

    look at beltane’s comment (“ethnic group that supports them will have their day of reckoning”) and Countme In’s comment (that calls for murdering Republicans).

    Aw. Poor baby scared?

  58. 58
    Brachiator says:

    @Nemesis:

    Read over at the GOS that the gwb tax cuts are set to expire again the end of 2011.

    Sorry, this is not true.

    @Bobby Thomson:

    In the coming global war, what is the best long-term outcome?

    Their ain’t gonna be a global war. There is not even going to be a global skirmish.

  59. 59
    Turgidson says:

    I agree that the obvious assumption is that the media would blame Obama and the Dems for a default regardless. I mean, somehow Paul Ryan is a very serious honest broker and the Democrats, who passed the ACA, are the mendacious demagogues. Which makes you think they’re willing to defend the GOP on ANY.THING.

    But in this case, the media’s main purpose for being is to protect our Galtian overlords from the scrutiny their pillaging deserves. 95% of the time that means backing up whatever fetid bullshit the GOP is spewing on a particular day. But on THIS one? I don’t think our ruling class or its compliant media would back up the GOP this time. They have a lot to lose with this game of chicken. And I think ultimately the media is more interested in protecting them than the GOP, should the goals of the two diverge.

    (the closer we get to the actual drop date and the more crazy shit I read about the negotiations, the less I believe the above…but I still think ultimately the GOP’s masters will tell them to stop fucking around, take a fig leaf of a “deal” from Obama, and pass a raise. Enough Dems will vote for a modest deficit deal that the true-believing Teatards will be able to peel off if they so choose.

  60. 60
    beltane says:

    @Reality Check: I am simply stating what will happen down the line. When your life is being destroyed by a party solely made up and supported by members of a race-based cult founded on a bastardized travesty of the Christian religion, it is logical to blame the members of said cult for your troubles.

  61. 61
    Lurking Canadian says:

    Strictly speaking, I don’t think not raising the debt ceiling leads necessarily to a default on US Treasuries. As long as incoming tax receipts can cover the interest owing on US Treasuries (which is less than half of the budget, I think), bondholders will still be paid.

    People who will not be paid include social security recipients, Medicare recipients, soldiers, public servants,the FBI, the people who guard nuclear silos… It would be an absolute disaster, but it might not constitute a default.

  62. 62
    Rick Taylor says:

    “Of course, it’s dangerous,” a House Republican close to Boehner said of the politics of a government default. “But it’s dangerous for everybody, especially the president. At the end of the day, [Obama] will have to give in.”

    “Who has egg on their face if there is a sovereign debt crisis, House Republicans or the president?” asked another senior GOP lawmaker.

    Every once in a while something will happen, and I’ll discover my opinion of Republicans can actually drop lower. These people are evil.

  63. 63
    beltane says:

    @Judas Escargot: Republicans don’t think of themselves as members of an ethnic group. They think that being Aryan is the normal state of humanity. It pains them to be told they are just one tribe out of many.

  64. 64
    Reality Check says:

    So, DougJ, does Balloon Juice welcome genocidal language and calls for political violcence? Is that the kind of site you want to run? The kind of commentators you want posting here?

  65. 65
  66. 66
    fasteddie9318 says:

    The obvious flip side of the Galtian “TEH GOOBERMINT IS ALL UP IN MAH GRILLE” bitching is this deep, abiding belief that you’re tough enough and smart enough to make it if the shit really does hit the fan. All those lieberal poopieheads are gonna lose their shit when their lattes can’t be made with fair trade beans anymore, but the Übermensch, he needs no such luxuries. Some Cheetos, a couple of cases of Coke, and his guns are all our intrepid hero requires to thrive in the post-apocalyptic hellscape. Deep-down in their little troglodyte brain stems, a lot of these guys are hoping to crater the economy so they can live out their survivalist fantasy.

    But, sadly, they won’t get the chance. With their spineless vote on the clean debt ceiling bill, half the Democratic House Caucus signaled that they’re desperate to play ball. Obama rightly won’t get down in the mud with these guys, and the House of Lords will go along with anything that lets the moneyed interests keep making money. Once the Democrats in Congress have surrendered, Obama won’t have any choice but to sign whatever piece of shit they send him or else he will own the resulting crisis fully and completely.

  67. 67
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Reality Check:

    day of feckoning

    No, I think this is from Father Ted.

    ETA: Ah, you reality spellchecked. I’m still tittering at you though. Remember that.

  68. 68
    Served says:

    @Reality Check: OH you’ve got him now! Refudiate the commentariat-sponsored ethnic cleansing, DougJ! Distance yourself or you shall be tainted by their hatespeech!

  69. 69
    Yutsano says:

    @Lurking Canadian: Actually there is a legal order to which monies have to be paid out, and IIRC debt comes behind a few of those other options. But all that really matters is the appearance that the US is in default, not whether it actually happens. Full faith and credit is pretty much just that. The US loses that and good luck getting it back any time soon.

    @freelancer: i kan haz betr trollz plz? kthxbai!

    @fasteddie9318: Heh. You just wanted an excuse to use the word vitriolic. It’s okay, you can fess up we won’t judge you.

  70. 70
    fasteddie9318 says:

    zOMG, WTF is wrong with you people for talking about murdering Republicans just because the Republican Party wants to see most of us dead or enslaved? There’s no reason to be all vitriolic and shit.

  71. 71
    Rick Taylor says:

    I’m not normally one to pile on Obama, but in my opinion he and the Democrats made a huge mistake signalling they were willing to compromise, instead of insisting they’d only pass a clean bill. It’s only encouraged Republican leaders to press for more and more. It might not have worked, but we would have had a better chance of getting an agreement if Democrats had held a consistent position from the beginning. Clinton faced a similar situation, and in the end he prevailed, by standing firm. He didn’t have a Senate majority to help him; only his veto. I wonder if the Obama administration will do as well.

  72. 72
    Reality Check says:

    This site should be re-named Genocide Juice if those two people aren’t banned and their comments deleted. It’s a tacit endorsement of Rawanda-esque language if you don’t.

  73. 73
    fasteddie9318 says:

    As many have pointed out, there’s no way their corporate masters would allow them to do this.

    They know this.
    You know this.
    I know this.
    Obama knows this.
    We all know this.
    Even the Democrats in Congress know this.

    But those Democrats will cave anyway. Half of them because that’s what they do, is cave anytime some manly Republican goes full berserker like this, and half of them because frankly they agree that the peasant has it too goddamn good these days.

  74. 74
    Mike E says:

    @Yutsano:

    Are republicans an ethnic group?

    Yes, Republican Americans. AKA ‘Merkuns

  75. 75
    Mike E says:

    @Reality Check: Purity troll must stay clean!

  76. 76
    Yutsano says:

    @Reality Check: Do you want a security blankie and a cookie now? Jeez you’re pathetic.

  77. 77
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Reality Check: How about if we just rename you “Shitbag” and call it even?

  78. 78
  79. 79
    pragmatism says:

    @Reality Check: you can always start your own site if you want to make the rules.

  80. 80
    Yutsano says:

    @pragmatism: He did. No one came. So he’s flinging poo over here.

  81. 81
    PeakVT says:

    @PeakVT: Let me just add if Geithner/Holder/whoever wants to send Moody’s cease and desist based on the 14th amendment, I wouldn’t object.

  82. 82

    @Lurking Canadian: No, all those little things you mentioned would also be defaults.

    If you decide not to pay the electric bill because you have to pay the mortgage, you defaulted. By the same measure, if the US Treasury does not pay an incurred debt, it has defaulted.

    The treasury notes are not the only debt incurred that is paid by the US treasury.

  83. 83

    Does it still count as murder if you’re killing them for food?

  84. 84
    Rick Taylor says:

    Am I being too cynical? This is what I honestly think they should do if they want to obtain and maintain power.

    I don’t even want to consider the question; it’s wrong to sabotage the country economically whether or not it helps in the next election.

    But since you ask, I don’ think it would help them. If they did that, it might actually turn a significant portion of Wall Street Democratic.

  85. 85
    DougMN says:

    Re: 13. Sukabi

    Better to be a prince in hell than a pauper in heaven

  86. 86
    pragmatism says:

    @Yutsano: good for him. i’ll give him a d- for poo flinging but an a for unintentional comedy and hysterics.

  87. 87
    Yutsano says:

    @Joey Maloney: Only if you don’t give them a running start first.

    @Kirk Spencer: Government agencies are already starting layoffs in order to blunt the worst effects of the money drain. Someone in my building just got a furlough order. I expect that to increase in the future. Prepare for federal tasks to get much harder in the near future.

    @beltane: But Bible Spice gives him STARBURSTS!! None of you libtards can do that, now can ya? Huh?

  88. 88
    beltane says:

    I’m sure Reality Check is shocked and horrified every time Stormfront Barbie pumps her little fist and gets her crowds riled up about all those horrible not-RealAmericans who must be destroyed. Tears him up inside.

  89. 89
    Jay B. says:

    Game it out DougJ — I think you’re right and that the GOP has literally zero incentive to give in, corporate masters or not. They can always give them whatever pieces are left after the election, that’ll shut most of them up. — so then what?

    It’s pretty obvious that, again, the Democrats are going to have to be the “grown ups” and, to avert some mega-catastrophe, agree to poisonous “compromises” that couldn’t be helped, given the alternative.

    And they’ll lose on that too, just like they did last year.

    Either way, normal people will be fucked. The Democrats should have let the Bush Tax Cuts expire, the deficit wouldn’t be as big a fake issue, unemployment would still be too high (but it is now anyway) and they could have cornered the GOP with their own language.

    Does anyone really think this is going to end any differently?

  90. 90
    BGinCHI says:

    @NR: I don’t know, dumbass, that was the question.

    If they don’t fight they’re fucked, so I sure as hell hope they do. Question is when is it and what will the political context be.

  91. 91
    Davis X. Machina says:

    There’s no guarantee the GOP would be punished for a general economic catastrophe even if it was entirely manifest that the GOP deliberately caused it.

    People aren’t very bright.

    Look at the last UK general election. The Tories went to the country and said “Labour fucked up. Here are policies A, B, C, that we know, and you know, are guaranteed to make things worse rather than better, that may have caused the problems in the first place, and we promise to do those very things, more often, and harder.”

    They came within a Nick-Clegg’s-ego-length of an outright majority in Commons.

  92. 92
    Tom Hilton says:

    @PeakVT: Garrett Epps makes a pretty good argument (with some highly relevant historical context). Seems to me the language in the 14th absolutely prohibits default; whether anyone would act on that is a whole other question…

  93. 93
    trollhattan says:

    @Reality Check:

    So commentors on balloon juice are now advocating violent revolution and genocide against a racial group, but remember folks, conservatives are the violent ones!

    Better trolz pls? I prefered the original.

    “Come, see the violence inherent in the system. Help, help, I’m being repressed!”

    “Bloody peasant.”

    “Oh, what a give-away. Did you hear that? Did you hear that, eh? That’s what I’m on about. Did you see him repressing me? You saw it, didn’t you?”

  94. 94
    Tsulagi says:

    @Yutsano:

    They’d be costing themselves a large portion of the money spigot from Wall Street. If the US defaults a lot of very wealthy people will lose a shit ton of money

    Yeah. Would think even the wingnutty Koch brothers wouldn’t want the US market/economy to become a black hole sucking in other countries with it.

    Am I being too cynical?

    Yes.

    For the Rs it would be political suicide to nuke our economy for shits and giggles just because they could. In the name of ideology. Saying they did so in an effort to force Obama and Dems to accept the Ryan plan just wouldn’t sell. They’ve desperately been trying to message that retarded pig, but no lipstick is working. It doesn’t even poll well among Rs.

    Could see their GOTV effort next year: “Sure, you no longer have a job, your house was foreclosed, your retirement fund gone, but together we ended that fucking Medicare. Victory! Vote R!”

    Fully expect some compromise. Both sides will blink.

  95. 95
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @sukabi:

    jesus christ, why does “winning” always have to trump what’s best for the country?

    Because US politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

  96. 96
    NR says:

    @BGinCHI: You should know by now that fighting isn’t what Obama does. What he does are half-assed “compromises” that give the other side everything they want in exchange for some crumbs for his base. His supporters then throw a fucking ticker tape parade over the crumbs. I see no reason to believe that the next “negotiation” over the Bush tax cuts will go any differently.

  97. 97
    Homer says:

    @Reality Check:

    Is that the kind of site you want to run? The kind of commentators you want posting here?

    They let you post, so that already sets the bar pretty low.

  98. 98
    Mike E says:

    I think the current NFL kerfuffle is informative about Repub rhetoric v action. How far will billionaires go to decert unions? If teh Owners burn down the ’11 season then I think you have your answer

  99. 99

    @…now I try to be amused:

    you can daydream about a day when republicans are isolated ethnically/et al, but i wouldn’t count on it.

    1) i don’t think it will be the picnic for everyone else, that most envision, power is power, and power always has rivals, and they would be a large block to pander to, even if they were somewhat less relevant themselves.

    2) before that happens, the party that welds social conservatives, free marketeers,guns and military types, would just weld on another piece, and they wouldn’t have to fit perfectly. there will be plenty of “groups” at that time, if its anything like this time, that will see themselves as moving up, if they become the gop’s most favored minority.

    a microcasm of this was prop 8 in california. snickering about how the gop hates parts of their new coalition will be no comfort for the fact that it will allow the parts that are currently wrecking things, to remain active.

  100. 100
    Blue Neponset says:

    Doug, how would the Republicans explain their part in this? IMO, they just wouldn’t be able to explain what benefit we all gained by allowing a default to happen. Obama would calmly explain why trillions in budget cuts is disastrous for the economy and the nation’s future, but I don’t see how the Republicans could argue the opposite.

    Also, I know bringing up the bully pulpit is ridiculed in these parts, but Obama on the teevee every night talking to very concerned Americans is not something the Republicans have an answer to.

  101. 101
    erlking says:

    @Reality Check: Not ‘violent revolution and genocide” you silly person. Second amendment remedies.

  102. 102
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @PeakVT:

    The second is a … what? Restriction of speech? I don’t see how the second grants the executive an independent authority to borrow.

    But the spending already is authorized by law. That’s what the budget passed by congress is (or more recently, the CRs). The debt ceiling is wholly unrelated, and as such, is attempting to restrict authorized debt. Which, if this is the constitutional basis…

    The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law … shall not be questioned.

    …is mighty questionable in terms of legality.

  103. 103
    beltane says:

    @trollhattan: Anyone who doesn’t blame the teabagging Republican base for the situation we’re in now is living in a Broderesque fantasy land. When the Republicans blow their dog-whistles and the crowd cheers, it is hard not to find the cheering crowd just as culpable as their leaders. Without racial/religious resentment, the GOP would not be a political party, it would be an exclusive country club with a membership in the thousands, not millions. I will never be able to forgive these people for what they have done to my country, all in the name of hatred.

  104. 104
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: With everything already in place in this country for a second civil war, I’m not about to give up on the one politician who’s not giving up on the political process.

    Beyond that, the shooting starts.

    All but the worst peace is better than all but the best war.

  105. 105
    evinfuilt says:

    As many have pointed out, there’s no way their corporate masters would allow them to do this. They’d take a big hit in terms of donations. But I still think this might be their best chance to take the White House.

    I’m not so sure. Another financial disaster with plenty of warning is probably enough for Goldman Sachs and a few others to make a killing, like they’re doing in Greece and Ireland.

    Small Business, yeah, they’re screwed, but I’m sure the financial industry will find a way to make it profitable. I have faith that the Republicans can get what they want out of a self-inflicted disaster, they seem to everytime.

  106. 106
    Poopyman says:

    @Tom Hilton: I can agree with you wrt Section 4, but Section 5 is so entirely vague that it would guarantee a trip to the USSC if POTUS contests Congress” authority on the debt.

    Text of Secs 4 & 5:

    Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

    Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

  107. 107
  108. 108
    shortstop says:

    @NR: You assured us yesterday that failing to raise the debt ceiling is no big deal and that by thinking that it is, we were buying into Republican framing and giving away our power. Gosh, it’s hard to understand why no one takes you seriously.

  109. 109
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @evinfuilt:

    Small Business, yeah, they’re screwed, but I’m sure the financial industry will find a way to make it profitable.

    Interesting question. Can you short an entire country?

  110. 110
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    its their only chance to take the WH.

  111. 111
    beltane says:

    @evinfuilt: I guess being the chattel property of an investment bank is what passes for “freedom” in wingnut land. You’ll know we’ve hit bottom when Chinese and Indian businessmen are flooded with ads for young American “brides”. Fun times ahead.

  112. 112
    Monkey Business says:

    Right now, the House GOP is holding a gun. They’ve cocked the hammer, and have a finger on the trigger.

    The only question is who is gonna get the bullet? Do the Democrats get in front of the bullet, make painful cuts to entitlement programs, and risk being forced out of the majority and maybe the Presidency? Or do they let the GOP put a bullet through the head of our financial system?

    Once upon a time, this kind of brinksmanship was unfathomable. Now, it’s commonplace.

    We will reap what we sow.

  113. 113
    Brachiator says:

    @Jay B.:

    Either way, normal people will be fucked. The Democrats should have let the Bush Tax Cuts expire.

    People keep saying this. They don’t have a clue, but it has become some weird conventional wisdom. Because the Democrats left everything to the last freaking minute, in part to help Blue Dog Democrats in the mid-terms, they ended up with their backs against the wall. They had to make a deal to prevent massive tax increases from happening for tax year 2010, tax increases totally unrelated to the Bush tax cuts.

    The only question is whether Treasury and the White House have anticipated GOP foolishness (and their is some evidence that they have). It may be that Obama is allowing the Republicans some room for posturing. But their is some back room deal making going on. It may not be pretty, and who knows who will benefit more, but I would be surprised if some compromise is not announced soon.

  114. 114
    trollhattan says:

    @beltane:

    Yup, a “spontaneous” uprising of the chronically indignant orchestrated by Roger Ailes and his cronies. A large swath of whom are too dumb to realize they’ve been coopted through the use of racial and ethnic dog whistles and distracted by what’s really happened–a class war that’s essentially been won.

    They’re on the losing side, alongside everybody they hate.

  115. 115
    Poopyman says:

    @Davis X. Machina: This question is actually the crux of the matter. If our overlords work out a way they are sure that a US default won’t bring them down, I doubt they’ll put a lot of pressure on the Repubs. Note that they only need to believe that they’ll come through in good shape. They badly miscalculated in 2008 and basically the same crew is still running the show.

    I have no confidence this will end well.

  116. 116
    eemom says:

    “What the republicans should do”??

    DougJ, you really creep me out when you talk like this. Like when you were on that impeachment schtick last fall.

    I mean, I get that it’s an “objective” assessment, not what you want to see happen.

    I just can’t get comfortable with the ASSUMPTION that crashing the country for political gain is business as usual.

  117. 117
    Poopyman says:

    … And bear in mind that if we get through this year’s debt “crisis”, we get to do it again in 12 months right before a big election.

    What a country! (/Smirnoff)

  118. 118
    Tsulagi says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Interesting question. Can you short an entire country?

    In a way you can: currency trading. The USD is backed by the full faith and credit of the US. Rs could pretty much nuke that backing refusing to raise the debt limit.

  119. 119
    Chris says:

    @Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal:

    I agree somewhat. Yeah, demographics don’t look good for Repubs, but they know it too, and the elites don’t give a damn about white purity or whatever: they just want to stay in power by any means necessary.

    However, the fact remains that they’re walking on a tightrope. They’ve tied themselves to the Angry White Conservative demographic as their voter base: they have no adequate substitute for it, and trying to build a new one from scratch is iffy at best. At the same time, the AWCs are increasingly driving away everyone else – e.g, Bush tried to reach out to the Hispanic community, but the teabagger backlash has mostly nullified his efforts.

    That underlying problem – increasingly diverse America, increasingly intransigent Angry White Conservative base – will remain no matter how much fancy footwork they apply. Someday they’re going to have to square with it, and it’s not going to be pretty.

  120. 120
    Countme In says:

    If “Jagoff” is a new all-encompassing ethnic category, then this Confederate Beast has subsumed all ethnicities, races, religions, and gender identities under the murderous Republican brand. They find the most ignorant, malign jagoffs of every group and elevate them to high clown status to destroy this sad, shallow reality show circus called America.

    Look, the Republican Party is the most dangerous, malign organization on the face of the Earth. Their policies will murder more Americans than Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda ever dreamed was possible.

    Roger Ailes, alone, will be responsible for murdering more Americans than went down with the Towers on 9/11, the best fucking day in the life of this alien piece of killer shit called the Republican Party, which is not the Republican Party I grew up in.

    But feel free to delete my 1:01 comment and ban me, too.

    I can go to just about any right-wing website and find trash talk much more deadly and murderous then anything I can come up with.

    And those filth are the lowest common denominators every lying scum Republican candidate from Presidential contender to local dogcatcher laser their message to.

    But delete my comment. But it won’t change the fact that the Republican Beast wants all of us fucking dead.

  121. 121
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Poopyman: I’m not even sure the question even reaches Section 5. About the only way I could imagine it in our current circumstances is if the court accepts the idea that a debt limit can somehow de-authorize spending that was already authorized. That already strikes me as running quite afoul of Section 4. And even if Section 5 was considered, yeah, too vague to even guarantee a result.

    Section 5 reads to me something more like if the executive were to try and default on the debt, giving the power to congress to say “No, you gotta pay that shit off.” Maybe someone smarter than me can figure out some coherent way that it lets congress try to default or something.

  122. 122
    Poopyman says:

    @eemom: Yeah, but all my basic assumptions about how the banking industry and government work, and the “fact” that it’s in banks’ best interest to limit defaults — went up in smoke in 2008. I’m left questioning every basic assumption about how the world works at this point.

  123. 123
    NR says:

    @shortstop: Gosh, it’s not hard to understand that you have no fucking clue what you’re talking about. Go away, adults are trying to have a conversation.

  124. 124
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Countme In: Why delete? The truth of the assertion is an airtight affirmative defense against libel.

  125. 125
    Brachiator says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    Clinton faced a similar situation, and in the end he prevailed, by standing firm.

    Not entirely true.

    According to Gingrich, positive impacts of the government shutdown included the balanced-budget deal in 1997 and the first four consecutive balanced budgets since the 1920s. In addition, he has stated that the first re-election of a Republican majority since 1928 was due in part to the Republican party’s hardline on the budget. The Republican Party lost net eight seats in the House 1996 elections, but retained a 228-207 seat majority. In the Senate, Republicans gained net two seats.

    Newt is being self-serving here, but the bottom line is that Clinton did have to compromise. But he astutely found a way to take credit for and modify some Republican positions, which annoyed the GOP no end, since they didn’t get any credit and continued to take heat for initiating the government shut down.

    Clinton was a master political strategist, but the only time he stood really firm was when he was in the Oval Office with Monica Lewinsky.

  126. 126
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    With everything already in place in this country for a second civil war, I’m not about to give up on the one politician who’s not giving up on the political process.

    Ditto that. I don’t think many people appreciate how fissiparous the United States really is, and how much actual work it takes from responsible leaders on a continual basis to keep it from coming unraveled, especially when there is plenty of money, fame and power to be had from strip-mining our common culture and common interests.

  127. 127
    Cliff in NH says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Yes. they are called credit default swaps. CDS

  128. 128
    Poopyman says:

    @Sentient Puddle: It should be obvious IANAL. I’m assuming “public debt” is usually thought to be the amount congress authorizes the US to borrow, but why can it not be considered to be the amount congress authorizes to spend less the amount brought in from taxes and other income?

  129. 129
    eemom says:

    @Poopyman:

    It’s not about how the world works. Nobody could be more convinced of the vile fuckery that operates the world than I am.

    It’s that we’re supposed to be about making it better, and imo that entails NOT accepting as a given rule of the road that it’s as fucked up as it is.

  130. 130
    Ash Can says:

    It smells of urine in here.

  131. 131
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    Remember that guy Bin Laden? Who was the one who ordered the hit on him? Orange Boner? I think not.

  132. 132
    Poopyman says:

    @eemom: It sounds like you’re saying that you do accept how fucked up things are, but you’re committed that the world won’t be that way in the future. In which case I think we’re in agreement. It’s just been an eye-opening couple of years, and I still have my health and home and job. More than a lot of folks can say.

  133. 133
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    @Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal:

    2) before that happens, the party that welds social conservatives, free marketeers,guns and military types, would just weld on another piece, and they wouldn’t have to fit perfectly. there will be plenty of “groups” at that time, if its anything like this time, that will see themselves as moving up, if they become the gop’s most favored minority.

    I can’t rule out such a thing happening, but who would this new subgroup of the GOP coalition be? I can’t think of one. The teabagger wing is busy pissing off the Latinos now; the GOP might never get them after all that’s gone down.

    Another consideration: the bandwagon effect. The Republican strategists know that people love a winner. I suspect many self-identified independents who vote Republican are going with perceived winners. If demographic shifts cause the GOP to lose elections, they stand to lose their fair-weather friends.

  134. 134
    Chris says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    I don’t think many people appreciate how fissiparous the United States really is, and how much actual work it takes from responsible leaders on a continual basis to keep it from coming unraveled, especially when there is plenty of money, fame and power to be had from strip-mining our common culture and common interests.

    Good point.

    As much as people talk about the divisiveness of politics today, that’s the norm, not the exception. WE started out with sixty or seventy years of increasingly bitter North/South division over the issue of slavery. Then, we had another sixty years or so of division over the aftermath of the Civil War, which was at least as bitter, plus further fragmentation when you threw in the newly “freed” blacks and the increasing number of immigrants. And then, you’ve got the era of today, and the last few decades.

    The “nation united in a common goal” era was pretty short. Say it started in 1941 with World War Two, continued through the “liberal consensus” years of the fifties and sixties, and ended in 1968 when Nixon shattered the consensus and returned the country to its usual fractious, civil-war-by-other-means situation. Which is where it’s been ever since. (Even then, there were a lot of partisan rumblings under the surface).

    Or am I also being too cynical now?

  135. 135

    @Chris:

    they have poor whites crying for freedom for dead billionaires, and their heirs. all they have to do is find the most cohesive group, with sufficient numbers, and cut them a better deal. as a practical matter, where is the culturally white rural base going to go? lets not forget, it wasn’t that long ago, that hatred for israel was common in that group as well. i think they are malleable enough to accept a new voting block.

  136. 136
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Poopyman: I don’t really see any reason why it can’t be considered that difference, but it still gets us back to the original issue of the budget itself having authorized that debt. I just don’t see how that doesn’t immediately pass muster with Section 4.

    I too have no legal training, of course. So there’s a reasonably good chance I’m missing something.

  137. 137
    Jay B. says:

    @Brachiator:

    People keep saying this. They don’t have a clue, but it has become some weird conventional wisdom. Because the Democrats left everything to the last freaking minute, in part to help Blue Dog Democrats in the mid-terms, they ended up with their backs against the wall. They had to make a deal to prevent massive tax increases from happening for tax year 2010, tax increases totally unrelated to the Bush tax cuts.

    What?

    The Democrats, by doing nothing could have let the Bush Tax Cuts expire. Instead, they were held hostage by the GOP, according to the loyalists here, over unemployment insurance as to why they extended them for two more years. They waited until after they lost the election to extend them, in fact. But it was certainly part of the campaign and the GOP threatened unemployment and a stalemate if they weren’t extended.

    The rest of what you are saying is confusing — are you are defending the Democratic spinelessness on other capitulations because they were too inept and tone-deaf to fight back and ended up losing the House anyway?

    Somehow this doesn’t quite counter my post or point — that the Democrats will cave, as they did in your example AND mine, because of some sense that they are doing the unfortunate, but correct, thing. Why on holy Earth would the GOP change their strategy of nihilism and destruction? They have no real opposition.

  138. 138
    OzoneR says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    Clinton faced a similar situation, and in the end he prevailed, by standing firm.

    Oh you guys and you’re revisionist history.

  139. 139
    OzoneR says:

    @Jay B.:

    The Democrats, by doing nothing could have let the Bush Tax Cuts expire

    Except they didn’t want them to expire, they clearly wanted to extend them for the middle class

  140. 140
    Jay B. says:

    @OzoneR:

    And that’s been a big win for everyone. They had no plan, they were held hostage over UI and they wanted the deficit-exploding tax cuts to continue. Strategery!

  141. 141
    BGinCHI says:

    @NR: Did you vote for Nader?

    Are you in graduate school?

    Is your password Chomsky1848?

    Go back to GOS where there are people who are interested in your lame-assed assessments of current political realities.

  142. 142
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Monkey Business: its the last chance to take the WH before the demographic timer hits.
    I think they will do it if they can.
    They actually believe the magical freemarket bulshytt, so they think they can recover. There are smarter people on WS, but they cannot fight centuries of indoctrination and magical thinking.
    Wall Street might rein them in, or there may be a few honest men left on the right…..but I kinda doubt it. Even Coburn is a teabagger.

    its the wingularity. it may be the right’s last chance to get the WH this century.

  143. 143
    goblue72 says:

    @eemom: Its been business as usual since 2000. That’s the year that the traitorous hard-right partisan scum in the GOP completely took over one of two major parties in the U.S. and engineered a coup via their lackeys on the Supreme Court in order to install the worst President this country had seen since the days of Robber Barons.

    Since then, they’ve been run by a crew of zero-sum, double dealing zealots and servile attendants of the plutocratic class.

    You don’t defeat them by answering to our better angels. You squash them. By. Any. Means. Necessary.

    I can understand why Obama doesn’t want to get down into the mud for POLITICAL reasons. But at the same time, we in the grassroot needs to start getting comfortable real quick with the idea that we need to be willing to lie, cheat, and steal our way to defeating them.

  144. 144
    cat48 says:

    NEWS FLASH Rahhhhhm just performed his first marriage & the couple was gay. Sweet.

  145. 145
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Reality Check:

    This site should be re-named Genocide Juice if those two people aren’t banned and their comments deleted. It’s a tacit endorsement of Rawanda-esque language if you don’t.

    Genocide Juice. I like it. That sounds like a great tag line.

    As for you, Reality Unhinged…you may want to change your Depends undergarment.

  146. 146
    Tom Betz says:

    @Lurking Canadian: According to this GAO ruling,

    THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY HAS THE AUTHORITY TO DETERMINE THE ORDER IN WHICH OBLIGATIONS ARE TO BE PAID SHOULD THE CONGRESS FAIL TO RAISE THE STATUTORY DEBT CEILING AND REVENUES ARE INADEQUATE TO COVER ALL REQUIRED PAYMENTS. THERE IS NO STATUTE OR ANY OTHER BASIS FOR CONCLUDING THAT THE TREASURY MUST PAY OUTSTANDING OBLIGATIONS IN THE ORDER THEY ARE PRESENTED FOR PAYMENT. TREASURY IS FREE TO LIQUIDATE OBLIGATIONS IN ANY ORDER IT DETERMINES WILL BEST SERVE THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES.

    There is no statute that prevents the Secretary from deciding that obligations to institutions or persons in particular Congressional districts, say, districts represented by Republican Congressmen who voted against raising the debt limit, or to corporations who made donations to those Republican Congressmen, should be shoved to the back of the “to be paid” list.

    They want small government? Let them see first-hand exactly what “small government” means.

  147. 147
    goblue72 says:

    @OzoneR: And for the rich. Let’s not harbor any illusions that a good chunk of the Democratic caucus (esp in the Senate) is almost as bought and paid for as the Republicans.

    The Democrats Congresional Progressive Caucus (CPC), while at 83 members is the largest Dem caucus, is still dwarfed by the rest of the members of Congress, which includes Blue Dog Dems, “New Democrat” Dems, and troglodytes (aka the GOP). And tellingly, of the 83 members of the CPC, only ONE is a U.S. Senator (Bernie Saunders). We are always fighting a rear-guard action for working peoples interests. We can’t afford to be pussies about it.

  148. 148
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    And you know what DougJ?
    You are an enabler.
    If the neanderthal right crashes the economy it will partly be because you balloon juice moron frontpagers give cover to the libertarian reacharound, and the EDKs and Freddies will pass as normal until its too late.

  149. 149
    batgirl says:

    My assumption here is that there are quite a few Republicans who actually want a general economic catastrophe, especially if it can be blamed on Democrats. Think Klein’s “shock doctrine” here. What better way to dismantle the (meager) social safety net the United States has. With one fell swoop, they could end social security and medicare and who knows what else.

    I also don’t see how this is a win for the Democrats, at least any more. Obama will be the grown up which likely means accepting budget cuts. Those cuts will already hurt a sputtering economy.

    As someone said above, if the general candidate is Pawlenty or Romney and the economy is still in the shitter, I just don’t see how Obama wins. The scarier thought is if the economy completely implodes and the GOP nominates one of the crazier ones.

    Basically, in regards to screwing the economy, the GOP can’t go wrong. Default (which will be blamed on the Dems) or massive budget cuts at a time that the money is desperately needed (and the resulting slow down in the economy will be blamed on Dems).

    Every time a GOP governor cuts unemployment he is screwing his own state because that money (every cent of it) gets spent in that state. And they don’t care.

    We are f*cked.

  150. 150
    Kane says:

    It’s highly doubtful that the tea party freshman class would oppose the very interests of the Chamber Commerce that helped put them into office. It’s all charade, a political stunt to convince everyone that they are willing to drive the country off the cliff and bring about a global depression unless Medicare is dismantled and drastic cuts are made.

    The GOP, with the aid of the media, continuall­y attempts to paint the Republican party and the Tea party as two separate entities, where Speaker Boehner helplessly has his hands tied and is at the mercy of his Tea party freshman. Not likely.

    As much as republican­s would love to pin a default and a recession on President Obama, the leadership of the party understand­s full well that the blame would rest squarely upon the GOP for years to come.

  151. 151
    jibeaux says:

    I dunno, David Frum’s beehind is still smarting from the Clinton-era government shutdown and then watching his triumphant re-swearing-in Jan. 2007, he’s sounding the klaxon the other way. I think when it comes to the ignorance of the electorate, it really knows no bounds, so the fact that there is a) a logical party to blame and b) precedent for appropriately blaming that party is only of some comfort to me.

  152. 152
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Reality Check: why not?
    DougJ supports the glibertarian reacharound.
    All are welcome.
    ;)

  153. 153
    Tom Betz says:

    @Yutsano: Do you have a citation for your “legal order” assertion? Because the GAO says otherwise.

  154. 154

    @goblue72:

    I can understand why Obama doesn’t want to get down into the mud for POLITICAL reasons. But at the same time, we in the grassroot needs to start getting comfortable real quick with the idea that we need to be willing to lie, cheat, and steal our way to defeating them.

    Always remember, you can’t be grassroots if you’re not standing in the mud.

  155. 155
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Chris:

    Or am I also being too cynical now?

    No, I’d say you have it about right [see footnote]. Struggling to keep the country together is as American as apple pie. At an unconcious level I think we recognize this, it is the reason why Lincoln rather than Washington is our most beloved President. But when it comes to day-to-day politics a lot of people assume that somebody else will do the hard work of keeping the foundations intact while they are free to make money, etc. working to undermine them. Keeping the country united is somebody else’s job. The Onion nailed it when they heralded Obama’s election with the headline Black man given nation’s worst job

    [note] The only part you might not have quite right is that pace Perlstein the post-WW2 Liberal consensus was already being torn to shreds by 1966, not 1968, and to a large degree never really existed all that much except as the conventional wisdom of the day in the minds of that era’s DC Villagers. I’m thinking that was the legacy of the long Democratic Party control over the WH from 1933 thru 1952, and over Congress for most of that period. The Village is wired for whomever has dominated the govt for the last generation. If Obama can win in 2012 and his successor can win in 2016, we may see our contemporary Village start to change their tune.

  156. 156
    Brachiator says:

    @Jay B.:

    The Democrats, by doing nothing could have let the Bush Tax Cuts expire. Instead, they were held hostage by the GOP, according to the loyalists here, over unemployment insurance as to why they extended them for two more years. They waited until after they lost the election to extend them, in fact. But it was certainly part of the campaign and the GOP threatened unemployment and a stalemate if they weren’t extended.

    Listen. Taxes is my business. I have explained this many times before, but people just keep missing the point.

    Here is the short version again. Some significant Obama tax credits were set to expire at the end of 2010. This was dumb on the part of the Obama Administration to have any of his credits expire at the same time that the Bush tax cuts were scheduled to expire. He had to get Republican support to extend his credits, otherwise millions of low and middle income taxpayers would have lost 2010 tax credits and seen their taxes increase.

    Congress always stupidly fails to address problems with the alternative minimum tax. In the past, they always passed a patch at the end of the year. The Republicans refused to go along unless the Bush tax cuts were extended. Had Congress done nothing, more than 39 million Americans would have seen an immediate tax increase for 2010. There were news stories about this, with the IRS commissioner pleading for congressional action on the AMT and tax extenders.

    The Estate tax expired for 2010 (and the estate of the Yankees owner paid no tax). Congress absolutely had to do something about this going forward. It’s not like rich people would stop dying.

    Had Congress let the Bush tax cuts expire and not addressed these other issues, they would have had to pass a massive retro-active tax bill. In the real world, this would have meant that millions of people would have paid higher taxes for 2010 and then had to amend their tax returns in order to get an adjustment. This was never going to happen in this world or in 18 alternate universes. Never.

    The battle over unemployment compensation was small potatoes compared to what else was going on.

    The rest of what you are saying is confusing—are you are defending the Democratic spinelessness on other capitulations because they were too inept and tone-deaf to fight back and ended up losing the House anyway?

    I wrote many times in other posts that Obama should have announced the Bush tax cuts dead early on and submitted a more comprehensive tax plan well in advance of the mid term elections. Instead, the Democrats decided not to push a larger tax reform package in the hopes of saving some Blue Dog Democrats from Tea Party candidate opposition in the mid-terms. Faulty political tactics over elections took precedence over larger political strategy concerning governing and tax policy.

    As it turns out, the Democrats both lost seats and the advantage with respect to tax reform.

    Somehow this doesn’t quite counter my post or point—that the Democrats will cave, as they did in your example AND mine, because of some sense that they are doing the unfortunate, but correct, thing. Why on holy Earth would the GOP change their strategy of nihilism and destruction? They have no real opposition.

    I don’t expect the GOP to change their strategy. But they don’t have to as long as the Democrats behave stupidly. But it is not just about compromising. It’s about the Democrats deliberately putting themselves into a situation where they have to dance to the GOP tune. This is unnecessary.

    And again, let me simplify here. The Democrats could never have simply let the Bush tax cuts expire. What they should have done was to push their own tax package and announce early on that the Bush tax cuts were dead and never coming back.

    As it is, they have allowed the Bush tax cuts to remain an issue for 2012 and beyond, which is totally ridiculous.

  157. 157
    eemom says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    yep, if anything’s gonna do the nation in fer sure, it’s the fact that ED Kain was once a front pager on this blog.

    You crack me up, you little freakazoid.

  158. 158
    Egypt Steve says:

    I’ve heard talk that there’s a case to be made that Obama could declare his belief that the debt ceiling is unconstitutional, use an executive order to direct continuing issuance of debt, and dare the rethugs to sue him. Anyone know anything about the pros and cons of this? Of course, I admit that the chances that Obama would take this route are nil, even if it would work.

  159. 159
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Reality Check:

    So, DougJ, does Balloon Juice welcome genocidal language and calls for political violence?

    guess so. im still posting here, right? white conservative/GOP xiantity is selection for stupid. it would be a kindness to put them out of their misery.

    الموت للصليبيين!

    ;)

  160. 160
    patroclus says:

    The way I see it is that the Republicans are trying to perpetrate a genocidal Holocaust on American seniors and, if they don’t get their way, they’re just going to double down and perpetrate an even larger genocidal Holocaust on the entire world economic structure. If they can’t throw sick and infirm American seniors out on the street with no means of paying for medical care, they’re just gonna tank all worldwide bond markets, all global credit markets, all international equity markets, all currencies and payments markets and they’re gonna withdraw all Social Security payments and military pay.

  161. 161
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @eemom: every little bit helps in the run up to the Wingularity.
    it amuses me to visualize Kain giving DougJ a reacharound.
    ;)

  162. 162
    Cliff in NH says:

    The Goop will do anything to maintain their lies, esp FreeDumbworks check out this email they sent out:

    ……………………………..
    (Picture)(Donation/Petition link 1)

    If we do not stand up now, the failure of President Obama and Democrats in Congress to protect our Medicare system will lead to certain bankruptcy, rationing, and benefit cuts. Stand up now!(Donation/Petition link 2)

    Together, we can save and strengthen Medicare. Congressman Paul Ryan has a plan to put Medicare on a sustainable path for hard-working Americans while preserving the benefits of current seniors. Click here to stand with him now!(Donation/Petition link 3)

    But rather than offer their own solutions, Democrats and the liberal media have launched a coordinated attack campaign claim ing Congressman Ryan’s plan would “kill Medicare.” Not true.

    With 10,000 baby boomers joining the Medicare rolls every day and health care costs spiraling out of control, the only sure way to kill Medicare is to do nothing.

    That, in fact, is the Democrat’s plan: Do nothing. Plus, they’ve created a new 15-member rationing board, known as IPAB, for the sole purpose of cutting seniors’ Medicare by hundreds of billions of dollars.

    Doing nothing to save Medicare will lead directly to bankruptcy, rationing, and benefit cuts. Don’t let Obama and the Democrats do nothing—sign our petition to tell them you stand with Paul Ryan.(Donation/Petition link 4)

    In Liberty,

    Kibbe Signature
    Matt Kibbe
    President and CEO, FreedomWorks

    P.S. We have REAL solutions to save Medicare, but we must have your help to do it. A donation of $25, $50 or $100 helps FreedomWorks mobilize opposition to Barack Obama’s do-nothing plan to bankrupt the program as soon as possible. Please click here to give what you can to strengthen Medicare for future generations!(Donation/Petition link 5)

  163. 163
    Jay B. says:

    @Brachiator:

    Then we agree. I’ll take your word about the tax issues that would have arose, but that was hardly what anyone was talking about, certainly not the Dems or the President — they said it was regrettable, but at least they kept the middle class tax cuts and UI insurance blah, blah, blah.

    But they didn’t offer a tax reform package. They completely and idiotically capitulated. And nothing got tangibly better. And they lost anyway.

    This will be a million times worse than that.

  164. 164
    daveNYC says:

    @Kirk Spencer:

    If you decide not to pay the electric bill because you have to pay the mortgage, you defaulted. By the same measure, if the US Treasury does not pay an incurred debt, it has defaulted.

    Not exactly. There is a difference between the government not paying it’s employees and not paying it’s interest payments. It’s all still an express elevator to economic Hell, but it is different. Shutting down the government will mostly crash our economy, defaulting on our debt will crash the world banking system (most likely).

  165. 165
    OzoneR says:

    @Jay B.:

    And that’s been a big win for everyone. They had no plan, they were held hostage over UI and they wanted the deficit-exploding tax cuts to continue. Strategery!

    Of course not, because any idiot could have told you that you either had to pass them all or end them all

    Nevertheless, they promised and advocate for just ending them for the rich, so that’s what they tried to do.

  166. 166
    Jay B. says:

    @OzoneR:

    Nevertheless, they promised and advocate for just ending them for the rich, so that’s what they tried to do.

    Uh, yeah. That was a mighty effort on their part.

  167. 167
    OzoneR says:

    @Jay B.:

    But they didn’t offer a tax reform package. They completely and idiotically capitulated. And nothing got tangibly better. And they lost anyway.

    I didn’t get that from what he said at all.

  168. 168
    Cliff in NH says:

    @Cliff in NH:

    See the lie?
    http://docs.house.gov/energycommerce/ppacacon.pdf

    ‘‘(ii) The proposal shall not include any recommendation
    to ration health care, raise revenues or
    Medicare beneficiary premiums under section 1818,
    1818A, or 1839, increase Medicare beneficiary costsharing
    (including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments),
    or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility
    criteria.
    ‘‘(iii) In the case of proposals submitted prior to
    December 31, 2018, the proposal shall not include any
    recommendation that would reduce payment rates for
    items and services furnished, prior to December 31,
    2019, by providers of services (as defined in section
    1861(u)) and suppliers (as defined in section 1861(d))
    scheduled, pursuant to the amendments made by section
    3401 of the Patient Protection and Affordable
    Care Act, to receive a reduction to the inflationary
    payment updates of such providers of services and
    suppliers in excess of a reduction due to productivity
    in a year in which such recommendations would take
    effect.

  169. 169
    OzoneR says:

    @Jay B.:

    Uh, yeah. That was a mighty effort on their part.

    No so much for Congress, they didn’t even hold a vote even though President Obama spent most of September last year demanding they do it.

    They probably should’ve done it in the stimulus package, but I suspect they saw it as a potential 2010 campaign issue and it completely backfired.

    It’s not as simple as “they just caved.” They didn’t “cave,” they created the best deal they could get out of a miscalculation.

  170. 170
    OzoneR says:

    @patroclus:

    The way I see it is that the Republicans are trying to perpetrate a genocidal Holocaust on American seniors and, if they don’t get their way, they’re just going to double down and perpetrate an even larger genocidal Holocaust on the entire world economic structure. If they can’t throw sick and infirm American seniors out on the street with no means of paying for medical care, they’re just gonna tank all worldwide bond markets, all global credit markets, all international equity markets, all currencies and payments markets and they’re gonna withdraw all Social Security payments and military pay.

    and the solution is?

  171. 171
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @goblue72: but you can’t squash them because roughly half the country is below the mean of IQ and 70% of the electoral is non-hispanic cauc xian.
    The bubbas keep voting the GOP in.

  172. 172
    NR says:

    @BGinCHI: Just clap louder or Tinkerbell will die.

  173. 173
    BGinCHI says:

    @NR: Tinkerbell has been dead to me for a long time.

  174. 174
    Chris says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    The only part you might not have quite right is that pace Perlstein the post-WW2 Liberal consensus was already being torn to shreds by 1966, not 1968, and to a large degree never really existed all that much except as the conventional wisdom of the day in the minds of that era’s DC Villagers. I’m thinking that was the legacy of the long Democratic Party control over the WH from 1933 thru 1952, and over Congress for most of that period. The Village is wired for whomever has dominated the govt for the last generation. If Obama can win in 2012 and his successor can win in 2016, we may see our contemporary Village start to change their tune.

    I think the “consensus” reflected the fact that there was a dominant liberal wing in both parties, which largely agreed on the basics (moderate capitalism humanized by moderate welfare state and restrained by moderate regulation, Cold War opposition to communism, cautious support for civil rights, mild social conservatism) and had enough public support to impose its will. Partly because of all the peace and prosperity they were delivering.

    Yeah, we were never as united as the media made it seem, but the consensus was still very real. There were always strong, angry conservative undercurrents, but a Bircher or a Dixiecrat could never have won a general election (hence Goldwater’s flop).

    As far as “the village” goes, that was also the age of the Fairness Doctrine. You’d never have heard Murrow and Cronkite discussing whether Ike was really a communist agent or whether the Civil Rights Act would really enslave white people. It wasn’t just the kind of “consensus” we have today, the teabaggers of that era were literally shut out of the media cycle. The Fox News machine’s done a lot to change that and push us rightward.

  175. 175
    jman says:

    Been wondering what to do wity my retirement savings…should I trade my stocks for treasuries? If they blow up the economy, the interest on treasuries should go sky high and stocks should go into free fall. But I’m not sure. This has never happened before. I’d hate to loose the value I have in stocks right now.

  176. 176
    les says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    Huh. That may be the stupidest thing you’ve ever posted. No small feat.

  177. 177
    4jkb4ia says:

    No, DougJ. There may be the Beltway Deficit Feedback Loop, but that is to force Dems to make concessions. That is not to cause the United States to default. The financial media understands that is a disaster. In today’s NYT the possibility of a Moody’s downgrade was on the front page.

  178. 178
    jl says:

    The media may be on the GOP side, or at least support it in their seriously sick codependent relationship. The media might try to sell that it is Obama’s fault.

    But the media can only push unreality so far. The GOP’s absurdities, self contradictions, flip-flops, and intimidation tactics are getting a little too much in peoples’ faces.

    I’m not sure the corporate media can save the situation for the GOP if they send the economy over a cliff with debt limit games of chicken.

  179. 179
    Brachiator says:

    @Jay B.:

    Then we agree. I’ll take your word about the tax issues that would have arose, but that was hardly what anyone was talking about, certainly not the Dems or the President—they said it was regrettable, but at least they kept the middle class tax cuts and UI insurance blah, blah, blah.

    The mainstream media failed and most bloggers utterly failed to grasp what was happening. But taxes and math are hard, and so reporters went for the easy angle, Bush tax cuts vs unemployment compensation. Every CPA in the US knew what the deal was, and professional tax services kept track of what was going on. Towards the end of the debate Forbes and the news wires started covering the IRS commissioner’s warning, but it was December and everyone was on vacation.

    But along with this the White House and the Democrats utterly failed to communicate the full impact of Republican foot dragging.

    But they didn’t offer a tax reform package. They completely and idiotically capitulated. And nothing got tangibly better. And they lost anyway.

    It wasn’t just the capitulation. It was a procedural and strategic failure. I don’t know if this is a problem in the White House or with the Democrats in Congress or both. But it used to be that someone kept an eye on the legislative calendar and kept track of expiring and upcoming legislation.

    By letting four major tax issues come due at the same freaking time, the Democrats left themselves very little room to maneuver with respect to Republican intransigence.

    But I also wonder if some Democrats betrayed Obama by doing nothing and letting the Republicans seize the initiative. I don’t have any hard background on this, but I find it curious that a lot of the final tax legislation included proposals that had been floated earlier by the GOP (e.g, the payroll tax cut and various business benefits), but very little of the new law included anything drafted by Democrats, apart from extensions of earlier Obama tax credits. And yet this thing was floated as an example of “bipartisan” compromise.

    This will be a million times worse than that.

    It certainly will be if the Democrats do not become more proactive in terms of shaping legislation. Bush and Cheney were far better at shaping and pushing the bills they wanted and in forcing Congress to react to their legislative agenda.

  180. 180
    zach says:

    “there’s no way their corporate masters would allow them to do this” – this has been my view for sometime but after watching and talking with enough of these folks, enough of them are convinced that 1920s Republicans already discovered the solutions to maximum growth. Plus rising tides and all that.

  181. 181
    Sasha says:

    As many have pointed out, there’s no way their corporate masters would allow them to do this. They’d take a big hit in terms of donations. But I still think this might be their best chance to take the White House.

    “Allow” isn’t part of the equation anymore. The GOP caucus is filled with true believers binging on ressentiment and revanchism. Corporations have very little direct sway nowadays.

  182. 182
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cliff in NH:

    I find it fascinating that they only used the IPAB’s acronym and not the actual name of the board. I guess it makes it more scary that way.

  183. 183
    Cliff in NH says:

    @jman:

    If you think rates are going up you Short treasuries, or buy TIPS. (of course there is no risk in directly holding a t-bond If you hold to maturity, the price/yield change will only affect you If you trade in and out of a position)

    best defense is to be well diversified…

    My understanding is that the pimco total return fund has a sizeable treasury short position but it may be synthetic or something, perhaps put a small %age in something like that.
    .. I’m in cash at the close every day other than a muni bond fund which I expect to get hammered if/when the S hits the fan, but thats a long term position and spins off a decent dividend every month, so I’m cool with it losing 20-30% in the short term.

  184. 184
    Cliff in NH says:

    @Brachiator:

    Lieberman is not a democrat, they had no choice with the non stop filibustering.

  185. 185
    Rick Taylor says:

    @Brachiator:

    Thanks for correcting me. Is there a good history of what actually happened?

  186. 186
    The Raven says:

    Did you know you’re describing a fascist revolution?

    Ummmm…

    There are two factions in the Republicans: the Wall Street faction (Pete Peterson, et al) and the nationalism-values-and-racism aka Tea Party faction (DeVos, Prince, Koch brothers, et al.) The Wall Streeters obviously don’t want a default. The Tea Party faction doesn’t care.

    Ummmm…

    I suppose the House Democrats might form a coalition with the Wall Street Republicans and outvote the Tea Party faction. The concessions required would be pretty much the end of the House Democrats, though, and might be the end of many of the Wall Street Republicans as well.

    Ummmm…

    Maybe more later.

  187. 187
    TD says:

    I wouldn’t bet on the media folks giving the nihilistic wing of the Republican Party too much leeway on this specific issue (when crunch time comes). Does anyone remember the last time media personalities were visibly upset on air? It was when the stock market was plummeting in 2007-2008. Media folk are rich, but they aren’t so rich that they feel they can suffer through the plummeting value of their stocks. The closer this thing thing gets to midnight, the more uncomfortable they are going to get. Combine this with the Wall Street folk, and the Republicans are going to have to cave.

    Obama could have done more to prevent this dynamic of ever escalating demands by the GOP, but he, ultimately, can’t be blamed for this frightening situation.

    Still…it may work out in the end. The Republicans really have placed themselves in a very dangerous spot; there is a 90 percent chance they will end up far worse when this thing is over than when it began. Still, a 10 percent chance of economic Armageddon is too high. It’s made all the worse because it’s 100 percent preventable.

  188. 188
    Karen says:

    Maybe I’ve been drinking too much tiger blood but IMHO, the GOP overreached by targeting a public service that seniors depend on and that are very aware of, especially when it’s being fucked with. While there are elderly who just believe whatever Fox and the GOP tells them to, they know their entitlements and are very aware of what they get with them. The GOP would have been more successful if they started off with Medicaid because then they’d be able to use the same tired old “poor brown people not pulling themselves up by their bootstraps” garbage and whip up racial resentment and blame everything on the immigrants Obama allowed into the country. Instead, they made either the tactical error or just the sheer arrogant move of targeting entitlements that can affect YOU.

    First was the unions and although they were successful at creating ugly resentment at goldbricking workers, those workers weren’t just teachers, which they were targeting, but also blue collar workers, usually who Fox considers their audience. The GOP realized that which was why they exempted police unions though they didn’t count on the police standing with the other unions.

    Again, it affected YOU.

    Second was the Medicare. See above statement. The GOP realized that too which was why they started talking about targeting Medicaid but it was too late.

    The third mistake the GOP made was that by leaving people with no jobs they needed the safety net of the government more than ever and by shutting the government down, like the Tea Party demands, there goes the safety net.

    The last mistake they made is that they’re Sarah Palin’s bitch. She can demand that John Boener wash her car every day and there isn’t jack he can do about it because all she has to do is declare herself Independent Tea Party and all her zoo goes with her. That would create a Ross Perot situation that guarantees a landslide for Obama. And once those Tea Partiers are gone, what’s left of the GOP?

    People may let their hatreds rule them to paraphrase one Tea Partier protesting “Obamacare”: G-d help anyone who won’t keep their hands off Medicare.

  189. 189
    ericblair says:

    @Cliff in NH:

    My understanding is that the pimco total return fund has a sizeable treasury short position but it may be synthetic or something, perhaps put a small %age in something like that.

    The problem with having some sort of swap or derivative when the financial end of the world happens is that the counterparty who is supposed to cough up your cash is 95% likely to be wiped out by said end-of-the-world. Investment banks and hedge funds learned that lesson in 08, when people who were initially overjoyed that Bear Stearns might owe them a billion dollars suddenly got extremely concerned that it was Bear Stearns that may owe them a billion dollars.

    Having the US default on its payments, it would be damn hard to find some firm that could be counted on not to blow up to take the other side of your trade. Considering the fucked up condition of risk controls in the industry, most firms couldn’t even figure out if they themselves would blow up, never mind the guy down the street. Trying to bet on the financial collapse of the US Government is suicidal insanity, and even with my low opinion of the overconfident testosterone-poisoned Masters of the Universe there aren’t too many who’d do that.

  190. 190
    Cliff in NH says:

    @ericblair:

    To a certain extent, it may be our fault because we have a category in terms of our monthly release that is called treasury or treasury related securities. It could be Treasuries, it could be agencies, it could be swaps which sophisticated bond investors know are entirely different from Treasuries so the extent that it shows up as a short then it’s almost entirely been in the swap category as opposed to the Treasuries. The Total Return Fund has had tens of billions of dollars worth of treasuries, to some extent in short-term Treasuries and bills and and collateralized repo. It has never been a question of Pimco in terms of the Treasury’s reputation and its potential to default. It has always been a question of value in terms of interest rates relative to other alternatives.”

    a interview:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3mOrrjc8TY

    and:

    You can, for instance, produce a 1% expected return in today’s market in a number of ways. Buy a repressed 3-year Treasury note at just under 1%, or purchase an A-rated corporate floating rate note (FRN) with little to no durational risk at a 3-month LIBOR +75 basis points spread, currently returning 1%. Which is the better deal? Well, they both appear to lead you to the same place but our cheap bonds argument would maintain that the FRN gets you there with a lot less risk. The credit piece, in other words, is a safer spread than the duration piece.

    Read all public statements with a good half cup of salt at least…

    as always, your decisions are your own, do your own research etc etc..

  191. 191
    Cliff in NH says:

    oh, and I have never and most likely will never hold a position in that fund, he just sounds to me like they have a decently hedged position. (most likely better hedged than the fund I hold)

  192. 192
    Fred says:

    This blog post is utter horse manure. That is all.

  193. 193
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @les: EDK==McMegan==Sully==Gillespie==Douthat==Larison==Brooks==Ponnuru
    They are ALL same.
    Cole frontpaging a freemarket fantasist that headfakes union sympathies like EDK doesnt help…it gives the right credibilty.
    Might as well front page Friedersdorf.

  194. 194
    The Raven says:

    @The Raven: It occurs to me, by the way, that it’s entirely possible that someone in the Tea Party funders may be taking historic fascist revolutions as a model.

  195. 195

    @JPL:

    “Someone needs to to be blaming the republicans now.”

    …I thought that the President was doing that, along with the VP and a couple of Progressive journalists.

    The MSM, however, isn’t doing that, and some of the PL are too busy screaming that Obama sucks and that he’s responsible for it all, and that he’s torturing Bradley Manning, and that he’s just as bad as Bush…

    It goes on and on. Meanwhile, the real SOBs who are intent on skullf**king us all get away with it, or at the very least remain out of the spotlight.

  196. 196

    @aimai:

    Aimai, very good points here, but…we were explicitly warned about this in 2010–this very thing happening if the Repubs got back in control of Congress. What happened back then, despite the President and others warning us?

    Simple–the “I’m sitting this one out because Obama didn’t give me (fill in the blank)!!” attitude. Or, “Obama didn’t fix everything and drag Bush and Cheney to prison by their daddybags in two seconds or less, so I’m sitting this one out!!” Cue the circular firing squad image and a lack of a proper balanced media infrastructure, and voila–the current crisis.

    No one should be surprised by this. We were warned, we knew what the hell they were capable of thanks to Bush, and yet…well, I’ve said enough.

  197. 197
    mclaren says:

    You got it!

    This is exactly the Republican strategy. They’ve adopted Lenin’s model: “The worse, the better.”

    Like Bolsheviks in 1917 Russia, the Republicans are actively working to sabotage the U.S. economy and crash American businesses and trash American infrastructure so that when everything crashes and burn, they can then point their finger and scream “See? See? We TOLD you so! We TOLD you if you elected a Democrat, the country would fall apart! Now WE are the only ones who can save you!”

    It’s the plot of Alan Moore’s comic “V For Vendetta.”

  198. 198
    mclaren says:

    @EconWatcher:

    The stimulus and the quantitative easing strategies are just about exhausted. While the economy may not go into free fall without a default, I think it’s a good bet that it’s about to slide back, and we’ll still have about 9% unemployment this time next year.

    No, we’ve got 9% percent unemployment now. Take a look at the just-announced Chicago national businesses activity survey — it’s tanking, bad. A big drop from last month. Core inflation is at zero and heading downward into deflation. Economists Berge and Jorda at UC Davis have pointed out that when the national activity index drops below -0.72 (and it’s at -0.45 now), it’s typically a sign of a new recession. Can you say “double dip”?

    If you add default on our sovereign debt on top of all that, you can kiss my ass with 9% unemployment, you’ll be looking at 12% unemployment or worse. As Brad DeLong points out, a default would tank the ratings of U.S. T bills and permanently raise both our amount of debt, and our long-term borrowing costs. If you think the output gap is severe now, wait till you see what it looks like after a default.

    If they pick a non-crazy (TPaw or Romney), they can probably win if those are the conditions at election time, no?

    The way the economy is degenerating, they don’t need to pick a non-crazy. If things get bad enough, the Republicans will win simply because they’re not in power. That’s the basis of the current Republican strategy: it’s Lenin’s model, “the worse, the better.” Wreck the system, then present yourself as the only viable alternative.

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    LosGatosCA says:

    It’s hard to believe liberal, progressive Democrats know what the Republican business overlords are thinking and how they will play this out.

    It’s possible Wall Street sees this as just another opportunity to position the Federal government to be drowned in the bath tub.

    Democrats are always overestimating the enlightened self-interest of poor whites, Hispanics, and businessmen. These people aren’t rational, they’re on a mission from god.

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    The Raven says:

    @LosGatosCA: “It’s possible Wall Street sees this as just another opportunity to position the Federal government to be drowned in the bath tub.”

    No, Wall Street cares about bond prices and the dollar. Tea Party Republicans, on the other hand, not.

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    […] How else to describe — other than the pursuit of party advantage over Country First — the increasingly vocal murmurings that the GOP should push the US into default in order to so damage the American (and world!) […]

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