We Know The Answer To This

Ezra:

Cantor is putting personal power before country here, and in a very dangerous way. If Boehner actually does manage to cut a decent deal despite Cantor’s effort to throw him under the bus, he may not hold on as leader of his party, but unlike Cantor, he’ll deserve to. For better or worse, this is when we learn whether anyone on the Republican Party’s leadership team is actually prepared to lead.

They got all the concessions they wanted on spending, now Kyl and Cantor have withdrawn from the process as soon as the topic shifts to taxes.

We know the answer to this question already, Ezra.






102 replies
  1. 1
    Elizabelle says:

    I don’t watch cable or network TV news, so please keep this Luddite posted on what “they” say about Cantor’s behavior.

    PS: I wouldn’t care if anyone threw Cantor under the bus, and then pelted him with some of his beloved Hanover tomatoes. (Jerk represents sliver of Hanover County, VA, exurb of Richmond.)

    http://www.co.hanover.va.us/pa.....efault.htm

    Trust me, summer Hanover tomatoes are teh awesome.

  2. 2
    Culture of Truth says:

    I wrote about this in the James Brown thread, but anyway, the short version is that they are willing – in fact demanding – to crash the U.S. economy in order achieve their goal of slashing benefits for everyone else and saving the richest Americans from paying one penny more in taxes.

  3. 3
    Bulworth says:

    In a somewhat rational political world where facts and good will mattered, Cantor’s refusal to negotiate would be scorned by the political and media class. But obviously we don’t live in that world, so Cantor will likely get a pass from the chattering classes and Obama and the Dems will still be blamed for “not being willing to make the hard choices”..

  4. 4
    PeakVT says:

    It’s so very tempting to say “bring on the default, motherfuckers” right about now. If only the blast damage could be confined to Wall Street…

  5. 5
    Elizabelle says:

    I think this might be a bridge too far.

    You get stirrings of pushback against the Republicans’ attempt to crash the economy.

    Bernanke saying deficit reduction could hurt in the short term.

    Bill Gross of PIMCO arguing for public spending.

    People are afraid, but give them credit for some common sense. (Poll recently showing majority not buying GOP think tanks’ line that Obama is responsible for the bad economy; respondents remember GWBush more than his fellow GOP politicians do.)

  6. 6
    jl says:

    I have a feeling that the end of this dangerous nonsense will feature a festival of mixed metaphors. And I need some practice, so,

    I think over elaborately explained abrupt and dramatic announcements at this point are part of the musical chairs lighting the end of the tunnel of this game of chicken, preparing the way for a different, higher order of hack to wrap up the (chicken? chair? choo choo?) McGuffin in a nice pretty package.

    McConnel’s and Boehner’s chances of ever playing any useful role in bagging the teaparty are below absolute zero, so they will take the bullet for the team while the dream boys of this year’s purity ball can keep their girlish figures awesomely ripped and totally buffed in order the retain the purest love and devotion of all those tighty whitey responsible reactionary no tax deficit hawk daddy and mommy crazy like a loon votes out there.

  7. 7
    Elizabelle says:

    Uh, weren’t we talking yesterday about Georgia and its foresight (tough anti-immigration measure means produce rotting in fields)?

    Is that getting much mainstream TV press attention?

    TIme to push back, hard, on what GOP ideology in practice leads to.

    I hope Biden has Cantor for lunch.

  8. 8
    Legalize says:

    But Eric Cantor is very serious. Even the liberal Chris Matthews knows this. Therefore, the Dems must have done something really bad to hurt Eric’s feelings. I don’t know; Obama probably factually criticized something a GOPer said or something.

  9. 9
    Tony J says:

    Benen has a post up about this over at WaMo, and this little gem from the comment section just tickled me no end.

    Steve LaBonne – If Obama were anything more than a stooge for the plutocrats he would, right now today, declare that debt-limit laws are unconstitutional and dare anybody to do anything about it. Voters are confused about the debt limit but they respect bold leadership.

    Uh hu, That’s the way to handle this. Make it all about you, stick out your chin, and wait for the confused voters to rise up out of economic collapse and hail you their Caesar.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  10. 10
    Butch says:

    I know the observation lacks any real substance, but every time I read anything about Cantor I think I would begin to dislike him intensely the very moment I met him.

  11. 11
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    Ideally, Boehner will cave on taxes, he’ll be eviscerated by his own party, and Cantor will step in from the wings and take over. I think Cantor is a much, much weaker opponent than Boehner.

  12. 12
    jl says:

    @10 efgoldman – June 23, 2011

    WTF? I only count one ‘ing’ in there. Gimme a break, please.

  13. 13
    cleek says:

    he would, right now today, declare that debt-limit laws are unconstitutional and dare anybody to do anything about it.

    i wasn’t aware the President had that authority.
    good to know!

  14. 14
    El Cid says:

    I have zero idea if they’d even be heard (we know how our billion dollar media are), but maybe now would be the time for Democratic leaders to scream a lot about how Republicans are holding our economic security hostage to change programs without bringing the debate to the Amurkin peepulz.

    Although the talkstorm convinced my coworkers, neighbors, some relatives, etc., that the lack of jobs is caused by the deffsit and the dett, very few of them are of the “BRING IT ON WE NEED IT” regarding the warnings of consequences of not raising the fake, not objectively shaped “debt limit”.

  15. 15
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Cantor is putting personal power before country here, and in a very dangerous way.

    Meh, Cantor can always move to Israel if things go south here.

  16. 16
    ira-NY says:

    I think the GOP is moving into very dangerous waters. So dangerous that even the Dims might be able to politically torpedo the GOP with the explosive charge that they are intentionally sinking the economy.

    Can the Dims make this sale to the Indies?

  17. 17
    Chat Noir says:

    Hell, I’ve never met him, I’m sure I’ll never meet any of them, but I hate the GOBP ratfuckers one and all.

    I’m there with you. I can’t emphasize enough how much I despise everyone in that loathsome party.

  18. 18

    @Elizabelle:

    I wouldn’t care if anyone threw Cantor under the bus, and then pelted him with some of his beloved Hanover tomatoes rolled back and forward over him a few times to make sure he was completely crushed.

    FTFY. Except maybe an M1A2 would be a better choice than a bus.

  19. 19
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @ira-NY

    The Dems would have a hard time selling dollar bills for ninety-nine cents. In 2010 they were unable to sell the idea that the poor economy was the result of years of Republican misrule so if the R’s tank the economy the message will be “Look what Obama did to you!” They will be, as always, aided and abetted by the left-leaning media.

  20. 20

    I’m getting the impression that somebody told the Dems that the Reps are going to vote against raising the debt limit no matter what they do, so there is nothing to lose by sticking by their guns.

    Does it look that way or do I need to adjust my meds?

  21. 21
    jl says:

    Even messing with the debt limit is scary.

    The line that it won’t make any difference is false. An actual small default did occur in the past due to a technical error, and rates went up, almost certainly due to the default.

    I will hope for the best, and will not start pissing my pants until Boehner pulls out of talks, or signals he will continue playing chicken until it comes home to roost.

    BTW, for those people who deal with ordinary folks who buy into ‘the debt did it’ scam for explaining why the recovery is so slow and weak, try explaining to them that when a household has too much debt, they save money by going out to eat less; they don’t try to save money by refusing to change the change the oil in the car, even though they need it to commute every day. Right now, the GOP is recommending the latter course, in addition to threatening to blow things up like a DFH getting ready to throw a big black round bomb with a lit fuse.

  22. 22
    Poopyman says:

    @ Linda F:

    Talk to your pharmacist.

  23. 23

    Got it in one, John Cole. Any vote on a temporary raise would now be seen as a vote of no confidence in Boehner. So that’s not going to happen. It’s the Republican way or the highway, and by highway, I mean government default. Jesus, these power-mad assholes.

  24. 24
    Lolis says:

    Linda,

    It is encouraging that Dems are trying to get revenue increases and stimulus money out of the deal. Evan Baucus is singing a pretty tune.

  25. 25

    poopyman #27

    Talk to your pharmacist.

    Oh. How disappointing. Sigh.

  26. 26
    Mark S. says:

    An actual small default did occur in the past due to a technical error

    Really? When was this?

  27. 27
    El Tiburon says:

    can someone please refresh: Was it like this when Bush was president and he raised it several times? Or at any other time when the opposition was in in charge of Congress? It seems there was never this much (if any) last minute negotiating

  28. 28
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    Not if they can’t make it to the MSM first. This is mostly still very inside baseball.

    The portfolios of the people who call the shots in the MSM stand to take it in the shorts if there is a default. Shouldn’t that make them more receptive to the Democratic message?

  29. 29
    boss bitch says:

    Pelosi:

    “We left the meeting to find that Leader Cantor had walked out of the meetings….because Democrats want to raise taxes,” Pelosi said. “Yes, we do want to remove tax subsidies from big oil, we want to remove tax breaks from corporations that send jobs overseas. That list goes on.”

    Van Hollen:

    “The reality here is until our Republican colleagues are more concerned about our need to reduce the deficit than they are worried about what Grover Norquist will say, were going to have a really difficult time reducing the deficit,” he said.

  30. 30
    4tehlulz says:

    @El Tiburon: Protest decline to raise the ceiling followed by a clean bill.

    The last time someone truly even thought about this kind of stunt was the ’90s.

  31. 31
    Sentient Puddle says:

    If it was just Cantor dropping out, I’d be saying to everybody to calm the fuck down and stop laying eggs. But Kyl too makes this pretty damn worrying…

  32. 32

    @El Tiburon:

    can someone please refresh: Was it like this when Bush was president and he raised it several times?

    Of course not. The Republicans weren’t going to make a stink because debts and deficits only matter when the President is a Democrat, and the Democrats weren’t going to make a stink because they care about the government continuing to function. It’s only when the President is a Democrat and the Republicans think they can score political points that it’s a problem.

  33. 33
    jl says:

    @31 Mark S

    I don’t have time to look for the link now. As I remember it was back during end of Carter or beginning of Reagan administration. Some administrative error delayed a few payments, but it was a small default since some bond holders did not get paid on time, and rates on treasuries were increased for several months afterward.

    I will look for it later when I have time, since it would be a good item to have handy. I think I found it in the column of links on Mark Thoma’s Economist’s View blog.

  34. 34
    Han's Solo says:

    El Tiburon @ 32 – Check the video attached.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5igKuNF1rI

  35. 35
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @boss bitch

    “Yes, we do want to remove tax subsidies from big oil, we want to remove tax breaks from corporations that send jobs overseas. That list goes on.”

    The Republicans are now defining anything that in any way raises revenue as a “tax increase.” That definition is going to make it nigh impossible to use tax policy as a means of advancing broader national goals – let alone balance budgets. California is a perfect example of taking this sort of madness to its extremes; our Republican assemblymen refused to vote for an oil separation fee, even though every other oil producing state has one, on the grounds that the fee would be raising taxes.

  36. 36
    Emerald says:

    So somebody please set me straight.

    If the Rs don’t raise the debt limit, their owners will lose about a trillion dollars in the first hour. Also too, their little fake vote on it a couple of weeks ago was held late in the day to give the Rs time to whisper to Wall Street that they didn’t really mean it.

    So how is this not a completely transparent bluff?

    I’m really asking. There’s a lot I don’t know.

  37. 37
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Roger Moore #37:

    It’s only when the President is a Democrat and the Republicans think they can score political points that it’s a problem.

    The part that is worse now is there are fewer (none?) adults in the GOP and far more political terrorists and hostage takers.

    Our political scene today makes me think that the southern states made a huge mistake leaving the Union in 1861. They would have been far more effective sabotaging the Lincoln admin from within the govt.

  38. 38
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    The most fucking depressing thing about this brinksmanship by the GOP is that it FUCKING WORKS. It ALWAYS FUCKING WORKS.

    Case in point:a full on majority in the country believes that spending cuts and tax cuts are the best, perhaps ONLY, way to grow the economy and stop unemployment. As the last paragraph in the article states:

    Yet Republicans have hammered away with their cut-and-grow mantra so much that they’ve convinced a majority of Americans to believe the unbelievable. You’ve got to hand it to Republicans: They may be wrong, but they are convincing.

    And that’s what makes me feel like everything’s fucking hopeless. Our side struggles to make people concede to one fucking point, where, for reasons already listed all over here, the GOP just has to repeat one thing and all of a sudden the country tilts so fucking far for them that it’s impossible to do anything but fucking drown.

  39. 39
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Emerald

    Speaking from the point of view of someone who believes that we’ve yet to plumb the depths of neither the Republicans’ nihilism nor the self-centered greed of the plutocrats, I’d say that it’s just possible that the wealthiest won’t give a shit if everyone below them suffers because they’ll be able to buy up whatever they want in the aftermath for pennies on the dollar.

  40. 40
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Emerald #41:

    It’s very possibly not a bluff because it will have the real tangible effect of poisoning the well for Dems for decades because Obama is president, and thus it’ll all be his fault. And anything that shits on Dems and Hippies and Libs is fair game these days. Even the business owners will turn around eventually once they realize all the sweet plum giveaways and shredding of all those ‘job-killing’ regulations that’ll happen once the GOP monopolizes DC again.

  41. 41
    Han's Solo says:

    Emerald – I think the question, really, comes down to, “Just exactly how fucking bonkers are the Republicans?”

    If they are more rational than not, then all this is just posturing. However, given the Tea Party anti-intellect, anti-science, anti-sanity tilt of today’s GOP, there are serious doubts as to their mental stability.

  42. 42
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Emerald #41:

    I’m wondering about all those pension plans and mutual funds that are required to hold a certain percentage of AAA paper. What happens when Treasuries are down-graded? Do Moodys, et al just go on vacation until the crisis blows over and we all just pretend that this never happened, or does the default become the bond market equivalent of the Doomsday Machine in Dr. Strangelove?

  43. 43
    terraformer says:

    As with everything these days, every fvcking single thing, we are in a situation with the media consciously refusing to inform and report objectively what is going on, and with the Dems not being able to (or not trying to) inform people what is going on.

    I am so sick of this dynamic. God, for honest, rational debate and discourse… I can see why some people – who even have it pretty good – choose to move somewhere remote, grow food, read books, and contemplate other things.

  44. 44
  45. 45
    Ben Cisco says:

    OT, but now the secessionist wants in on the game (no not THAT one, yet): http://bit.ly/mMSoRt

  46. 46
    General Stuck says:

    I would try to offer some coherent analysis on what the wingnuts are up to as a matter of strategy. But can’t, because it has the stench of every man for himself. The GOP is like an internal Banana Republic, full of palace intrigue and power grabs, with shivs flashing this way and that.

    I said it from the beginning, I don’t think the wingers will, in a purposeful fashion, allow us to default on our debt. But playing chicken always has the danger that both sides swerve in the same direction at the last possible moment, and crash anyway, and accidentally blow up the world economy.

    Obama cannot let this happen, and I swear, if it came to it, something like a limited martial law would not be out of line, imo, to keep paying our debts without a new piece of leg for it. There is too much at stake to let a posse of posturing clowns destroy the world.

  47. 47
    mk3872 says:

    Am I getting this right?

    The Repubs claim Obama is not playing their game, is not part of the process and is “sitting it out”, so they quit and are now sitting it out?

    Is the MSM going to really fall for this line of attack?

  48. 48
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @mk3872 #50:

    Do you really have to ask? With everything they’ve already fallen for time and time again, and still treating GOP as the sole arbiters of fiscal responsibility and economic brilliance, do you really have to ask?

  49. 49
    Violet says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Uh, weren’t we talking yesterday about Georgia and its foresight (tough anti-immigration measure means produce rotting in fields)?
    __
    Is that getting much mainstream TV press attention?

    FWIW, I emailed that story to my friend who lives in Atlanta and she said it’s getting quite a bit of attention there. She’s not terribly political, so I figured if she knew about it, it must be kind of out in the mainstream press in GA.

  50. 50
    Han's Solo says:

    mk3872 – Given recent history I’d say yes, the media will fall for it.

  51. 51
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Dennis SGMM @

    Speaking from the point of view of someone who believes that we’ve yet to plumb the depths of neither the Republicans’ nihilism nor the self-centered greed of the plutocrats, I’d say that it’s just possible that the wealthiest won’t give a shit if everyone below them suffers because they’ll be able to buy up whatever they want in the aftermath for pennies on the dollar.

    Fat, white, rich men and corporations are ind ebt like everyone else, maybe even more so. They need inflation to devalue that debt. Massive deflation would destroy the income they have without reducing any of their debt.

    Sure Ma’ and Pa’ teabagger don’t give a shit, can’t see passed their nose and would love the crash the economy to be assholes but our Corporate Masters aren’t going to allow it.

  52. 52
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Violet #54:

    My concern is not only how much attention it’s getting, but what kind of attention. It’ll be fully disheartening if it’s getting all attention and such, but with most of the attention putting full support behind using probies to replace the depleted farm workforce.

  53. 53
    Xoebe says:

    George H.W. Bush was the last Republican who was even remotely interested in governance. The GOP is only after power, and has been for the last twenty years.

    They have no interest in functional, realistic policy. They substitute ideology for policy, and propose phony, unrealistic, unworkable policies simply as a way of perpetuating their mythology.

  54. 54
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @mk3872 #50:

    Is the MSM going to really fall for this line of attack?

    When was the last time anybody in the news media paid a price in terms of their career, for this sort of thing? Who has been fired or demoted for falling for right-wing BS? How many careers has Breitbart wrecked? Anybody? Anybody at all?

  55. 55
    trollhattan says:

    In which Steve Benen and especially Bernie Sanders smack around America’s Dumbest Senator (you knew it was Rand Paul, right?).

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.c.....030458.php

  56. 56
    PreservedKillick says:

    George H.W. Bush was the last Republican who was even remotely interested in governance. The GOP is only after power, and has been for the last twenty years.

    Absolutely, 100% on the mark. Zero, *zero* interest in actual governance, they are 100% focused on power.

    And, in that sense, Palin is the perfect republican. If you look at just the surface attributes of Ronald Reagan, she’s got ’em, also, too, but none of the actual depth. She is the inevitable endgame of a party focused only on how to get power.

    Because actual, you know, governing involves hard choices.

  57. 57
    PreservedKillick says:

    George H.W. Bush was the last Republican who was even remotely interested in governance. The GOP is only after power, and has been for the last twenty years.

    Absolutely, 100% on the mark. Zero, *zero* interest in actual governance, they are 100% focused on power.

    And, in that sense, Palin is the perfect republican. If you look at just the surface attributes of Ronald Reagan, she’s got ’em, also, too, but none of the actual depth. She is the inevitable endgame of a party focused only on how to get power.

    Because actual, you know, governing involves hard choices.

  58. 58
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Because actual, you know, governing involves hard choices.

    Idiot. Governors govern. Presidents president, and presidenting is hard work.

  59. 59
    Elie says:

    I think that the Repubs are playing chicken — again. They assume that they will force Obama to do what they want because Obama actually cares what happens and will try to protect the country. This allows them to be reckless. They figure that Daddy will “do the right thing” and they will be the winners.

    They are very wrong. Obama is colder and tougher than they know. I am sure that he has always known that they would go here and go this far — or farther.

    I have no idea how this will ultimately shake out, but I’ve got my money (literally, my languishing 401K), behind the tall black man. Unlike him, however, my hands are sweaty, my mouth is dry and I am pitting out my shirt. Meantime, I know that back at the Hamster, she has got Cantor’s back and will blame Obama for any down side.

  60. 60
    PeakVT says:

    So how is this not a completely transparent bluff?

    It is a bluff, but some Democrats are taking it seriously because they want to take it seriously. They either think that going along with cuts tied to the debt limit increase will help their re-election effort, or help them land a job once they leave, or, in a few cases, because they genuinely believe that big cuts really are necessary for the good of the country. As long as the Democrats continue with their herd of cats imitation, the Republican bluff will continue to work.

  61. 61
    dollared says:

    I’m with the General here. Obama should declare the debt limit unconstitutional and carry on. Extra credit if he gets John Yoo to write the opinion.

  62. 62
    General Stuck says:

    I’m with dollared here, but Harold Koh will do just fine writing the opinion.

  63. 63
    Elizabelle says:

    Elie: love your comment at 64.

  64. 64
    Elie says:

    dollared@65

    I am sure something like that is in Obama’s bag of options. Timing is everything though. Would he announce it now or let the “hourglass” run down a bit more? He probably also may have a few pieces of “leverage” for our dear Repub friends.. I would not put it past Boehner to have given Obama a few tid bits… I know that the obvious sides to this are Republicans and Democrats, but I would allow, as Stuck alludes upthread, that this is a knife fight and that there are both obvious and less obvious allegiances and enmities..

    There is plenty of room for this to fuck up, but as I said, O has a hard inside game. He will have to use it and be damned lucky too.

  65. 65
    Elizabelle says:

    I am sitting here, in my lovely blue state on the West Coast, far from my native Virginia ….

    thinking of Eric Cantor, who I saw shaking hands at the Hanover Tomato Festival a few years ago.

    Eric Cantor. Eric Cantor. Working the crowd.

    And stand upon stand of ripe, tossable tomatoes in close proximity. Luscious projectiles.

    A girl can dream.

    http://www.co.hanover.va.us/pa.....efault.htm

    Blue Virginians: you know what you have to do. July 9.

  66. 66
    dollared says:

    Yup General, point taken. “I’ll take “Toady Lawyers with Three Letter Last Names” for $14 Trillion, Alex”

  67. 67
    catclub says:

    Elie @ 64 “(literally, my languishing 401K)”

    Um, the stock market is up over 60% from the march 2009 low,
    so I hope by languishing you mean you have not been able to make investments in it.

    I wish I could pull mine into some hard commodity (gold!)
    for the next two months or so. But will also just let it ride on.

  68. 68
    General Stuck says:

    “I’ll take “Toady Lawyers with Three Letter Last Names” for $14 Trillion, Alex”

    And another prog hero thrown under the firebagger bus. At this rate, we will have to dig up some dead commies for you all to worship.

  69. 69
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Emerald:

    If the Rs don’t raise the debt limit, their owners will lose about a trillion dollars in the first hour.

    Not if they know beforehand exactly when that hour is coming. Supercomputers can short a lot of stock in a few seconds.

    Here’s the scary thought, for me: There are elements out there for which a US default would be a profitable outcome. The ensuing higher interest rates would mean more income for the “right” people. Increased unemployment drives wages down. A deflationary spiral (should one happen) would mean bargain-basement asset prices for those left standing (and an even more unbalanced wealth and property distribution once the dust finally settled).

    Or, to put it another way: There are minds out there that see the US as nothing more than a huge pile of overripe assets. And it’s Harvest time.

    @Elie:

    They are very wrong. Obama is colder and tougher than they know. I am sure that he has always known that they would go here and go this far—or farther.

    This may just be the fear-endorphins kicking in, but if I had to choose between helplessly watching Obama sell us out to the Wall St./Chamber of Commerce/China triangle, versus watching him pull a Keyser Soze and forcing a default to keep those evil SOBs from winning the end of history… I’m leaning towards the latter.

  70. 70
    Elie says:

    catclub @ 72 – Yes, out of work, so no contributions. I should also state more clearly however, that the future outlook without the debt ceiling extended would not be good, whether I am soon employed or not

    Elizabelle at 70 — Lordy, I would LOVE to be there on the 9th, putting my hands on a few, smooth and slightly overripe tomatoes.

  71. 71
    catclub says:

    Ben Cisco @ 50

    Someone has been pointing out that there is a long term enmity between Perry and Karl Rove. A Perry candidacy may benefit the Democrats if it knocks Romney out of the lead.

    Of course, sane people, knowing how much money is backing Karl Rove, would opt not to make the fight. Perhaps the final dick-measuring contest shall begin.

  72. 72
    Elizabelle says:

    at SGGM:

    I’d say that it’s just possible that the wealthiest won’t give a shit if everyone below them suffers because they’ll be able to buy up whatever they want in the aftermath for pennies on the dollar.

    Did you see NYTimes article today on Greeks concerned their public jewels are about to be sold?

    They are the crown jewels of Greece’s socialist state, and they are now likely to go to the highest bidder: the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki; prime Mediterranean real estate; the national lottery; Greek Telecom; the postal bank and the national railway system.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06.....?ref=world

    How would that not be a long-term plan of the Koch Brothers set?

    Publicly funded infrastructure falling into private hands? Not like they didn’t try it retail in Wisconsin.

  73. 73
    Elizabelle says:

    my comment’s in moderation

  74. 74
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    Xoebe @ 58

    I don’t think Bush I was a bad President, honestly. His son wasn’t worthy of carrying his fucking jockstrap.

  75. 75
    dollared says:

    I’m old, General. Archibald Cox will have to remain my hero. Three letter last name, too.

  76. 76
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @General Stuck #73:

    Our Bus is a large and hungry bus. It is growing all the time and it must be fed! Feed Me Seymore!

  77. 77
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    Of everything I’ve read about it, The New York Times is the only news outlet characterizing Cantor’s walkout as a “collapse.” Sounds like the guy kicked it upstairs. Just like a car salesman who has to go “talk to the manager” when you lowball him.

  78. 78
    Elie says:

    Evolved Deep @ 81

    we can only speculate since we do not truly know what was said or not and what went on. He could have made up the crisis based on nothing that happened or they could have squeezed him and run him off, purposely to get exactly what they got… who knows? Its a cinch that the Times will act like they know, but they weren’t there. They could be being played just like all the others. Who is the player and who is being played? We will have to see, but I don’t think that the MSM knows and I would ignore what they say except for entertainment value.

  79. 79
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Judas Escargot

    You put it much more intelligently than I did. If there’s money to be made by shorting America then grab your ankles. Dollars to donuts, if America defaults then Goldman Sachs will have taken appropriate positions just enough in advance to harvest another fortune.

    Two things that you can count on: If the Republicans putsch(Intentional use of German) us into economic collapse they will make sure that the blame attends to Obama and they will call for lower taxes as a remedy.

  80. 80
    Origuy says:

    I’m wondering how this will affect the dollar. I’ve booked a three-week trip to the UK, and D-day lands after the first week. I’ve seen claims that the dollar with go one way or the other, so I don’t know whether to pay for things in advance or not. A few cents won’t matter, but if the dollar crashes, a budget B&B won’t be so budget anymore.

    I know a lot of you would like to have this problem, so I’m not asking for sympathy. In the long run, exchange rates changes have all sorts of effects, though, and as Judas mentioned, someone is likely to profit from a US default.

  81. 81
    General Stuck says:

    If the Obama administration actually was forced to declare the debt ceiling law unconstitutional, what can the wingnuts do about it? Go into court and tell the judge they wanted to destroy the world and Obama spoiled it all?

  82. 82
    Mogden says:

    I sincerely hope that they can avoid a compromise, but I’m not optimistic. Deeper into debt we go, and the ultimate catastrophe will be worse as a result.

  83. 83
    bemused says:

    trollhatten@60: Franken got in a really good one at 4 min into the video. Very funny. I’m still laughing. No matter how precisely and slowly they talked to Rand, he could not comprehend what they were saying. Instead, Rand seemed to think he was was the smart one in the room.

  84. 84
    El Cid says:

    __

    FWIW, I emailed that story to my friend who lives in Atlanta and she said it’s getting quite a bit of attention there. She’s not terribly political, so I figured if she knew about it, it must be kind of out in the mainstream press in GA.

    It’s getting plenty of press here in Georgia because those farmers are here in Georgia.

  85. 85
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @General Stuck

    The wingnuts can start screaming “Dictator!” at the top of their lungs while taking the administration to court. AFAIK, the Constitution gives Congress the enumerated power to tax, to spend, and to incur debt. From that perspective, the administration would be facing an uphill fight in SCOTUS. If Obama tried this gambit and lost it would be national news and he would enter the campaigning season as a wounded an weakened president.

  86. 86
    Elie says:

    A catastrophe to the American economy and by extension, the closely related political system would not be a win for much of anyone. Some of this speculation feels like one of those shows on the Science Channel discussing the inevitability of a meteor hitting the earth and the Yellowstone Super Volcano blowing up half the United States…The earth is going to be sucked into the dying sun too.

    Yes, the worst can happen. I think that it is unlikely however. Destabilitizing the United States would not help the world economy and all that to blame Obama is even more far fetched.

  87. 87
    Chris says:

    @ General Stuck:

    If the Obama administration actually was forced to declare the debt ceiling law unconstitutional, what can the wingnuts do about it? Go into court and tell the judge they wanted to destroy the world and Obama spoiled it all?

    If Obama or his lawyers responded with “your honor, the Constitution is not a suicide pact,” I’d laugh.

  88. 88
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @bemused #87:

    You know, for all the GOP’s fluffery of the entrepreneur spirit, they seem to woefully and probably purposely misconstrue the benefits of future investment. Then again, for businesses, its ‘investment’. For gov’t, it’s communism, apparently.

  89. 89
    dollared says:

    Well that’s exactly it, isn’t it? Postwar prosperity arguably came because of large public investments in education and infrastructure. It certainly explains Silicon Valley, which was built on California having the best public school system in the world.

    But public sector investment somehow is 100% fraud and waste, whereas Bear Stearns and Boeing’s $5Billion miss on the 787 delivery due to excessive outsourcing are the genius of capitalism.

  90. 90
    Halcyan says:

    About blaming the GOP’ers for torpedo’ing the economy: this will work. The people paying only peripheral attention are desperate for someone to blame for the economy. The GOP is trying to blame Obama, but that’s not resonating much, because real people know that Obama inherited a whole slew of stuff – the economic meltdown, 2 wars, etc.

    “We can’t get stimulus spending that will reinvigorate the economy through the Republican fillibusters.” “We can’t spend on badly need infrastructure, because the Republicans would prefer to give Paris Hilton and Donald Trump tax breaks.”

    This has legs.

    Please please pursue!

  91. 91
    ericblair says:

    You put it much more intelligently than I did. If there’s money to be made by shorting America then grab your ankles. Dollars to donuts, if America defaults then Goldman Sachs will have taken appropriate positions just enough in advance to harvest another fortune.

    The “problem” with shorting the end of the world is how do you collect from your counterparty. That is, you’ve made a deal with somebody who obviously felt the world wasn’t going to end, then the world did end, and now you’ve got the problem that your counterparty probably doesn’t have a pot to piss in at this point. It’s like winning a million bucks from your eight-year-old brother at poker; that’s nice, you’ll never see a penny of it. The ibanks went through this with the mortgage meltdown in 08. And oh yeah, the gummint who bailed out your ass then is the gummint that just decided not to pay anybody.

    Really, if the US were to default, it’s hard to see where in the world you’d be safe from the repercussions of that. I have a pretty low opinion of the wisdom of most ibankers, but shorting the end of the world would seem to be a little much even for them.

  92. 92
    trollhattan says:

    @78.Evolved Deep Southerner

    I don’t think Bush I was a bad President, honestly. His son wasn’t worthy of carrying his fucking jockstrap.

    Certainly true in comparison with his demented spawn, but his lasting gift to the nation is Clarence Thomas and that I can neither forgive nor forget.

    Actually, the only thing I hold 41 in high regard for is unilaterally reducing the nuke stockpile. The rest was mopping the joint after Reagan’s eight-year criminal frat party.

  93. 93
    catclub says:

    Origuy @ 84 I can only refer to Keynes when asked about stock market predictions. ‘Prices will vary.’

    Have a good trip.

    It is still better news than: ‘In the long run we are all dead, anyway.’

  94. 94
    General Stuck says:

    The wingnuts can start screaming “Dictator!”

    I was reading a while back, where there are some sound legal arguments that refusing to pay our debts is actually unconstitutional. I don’t give a fuck what the wingers say or due, or what the voters might think, along with all the other accusations they make at Obama and dems. Defaulting our debt could very well be an imminent national security threat, and I doubt the non 27 percenters will buy any “dictator” charge on Obama. Doesn’t matter though, because this is a existential issue for the country, and we just can’t let it happen.

    And what makes you think Obama wouldn’t get blamed for letting the worst happen, letting our country default on our debt? He is president, and president always get the blame in these situations, no matter if others are to blame.

    I will take the risk of wingers playing the “dictator” card like they’ve been on bailouts and other things. Versus him getting blamed for the bottom falling out of the economy, and the devastation that would wrought.

  95. 95
    burnspbesq says:

    @DennisSGMM:

    Who’s got standing?

  96. 96
    Chris says:

    The rest was mopping the joint after Reagan’s eight-year criminal frat party.

    Interesting that both his wars, in Panama and Iraq, were waged against dictators who’d been well-regarded allies under Ronald Reagan. “Mopping up” indeed.

  97. 97
    El Cid says:

    The real damage of budget crises are seen at the local level.

    In one Georgia county, they’ve resorted to paying a shit-load of real money for magic beans.

    PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. — Whenever gas prices spike, gadgets promising better gas mileage quickly follow.
    __
    The Fuel Genie, The Platinum Gas Saver and The Tornado each failed a Consumer Reports test.
    __
    A new Georgia-born device, the Viper Cell, is promising 15 percent better gas mileage from the first tankful. A Paulding County inventor is ready to stand by that pledge, and a local city is ready to pledge taxpayer money on it.
    __
    “We’re installing 36 of the fuel cells. We have a little more than $16,000 invested in them,” said Dallas City Manager Kendall Smith
    __
    …The device builds pressure in the fuel line to shoot the gas into the engine in smaller particles with greater force. Dallas first tested three city vehicles for several weeks…
    __
    …”They went through a pretty strong vetting process,” said inventor Dr. Jeff Selano, a local chiropractor. “They wanted to make sure they knew that it worked before they were going to use taxpayer dollars.”…
    __
    Selano has a patent pending and a secret process. He refuses to say what goes on inside the cell’s tubular structure.
    __
    Mechanic Dwayne Priest doesn’t know how it works, but he knows what the cell does.
    __
    “It takes the fuel and breaks the fuel down, and increases vapor pressure. With increase in vapor pressure, you’re getting everything you can out of your fuel when it goes into the combustion chamber,” explained Priest…
    __
    “You can see if you just look right through here, it’s got the little contraption right here,” demonstrated landscaping executive James Kelly, who showed Strickland the device on one of his trucks.

    Hopefully next we’ll be able to see that another Georgia county will be lopping 15% of its expenses on medical care for their employees by buying them an all-new version of a revolutionary magnetic insole which resets their chakra and draws negative energy out of the body.

    It’s too bad that some technologically inferior people like a Formula 1 engineering team didn’t realize that if you pressurized fuel it would burst into tinier bubbles to save fuel?

    Oh, hey, I wonder what happens with direct injection used these days?

    What do these people think? That modern vehicles have an IV which dribbles gasoline into your engine? It’s currently gravity operated? Nobody dun thunk about how pressure affects fuel use?

    What do they think fuel injectors do?

  98. 98
    Mike E says:

    Neo-Birchers will blow themselves up, either figuratively of literally, like some kind of wingnut lemming cycle. It’s the collateral damage I worry about.

  99. 99
    ericblair says:

    What do they think fuel injectors do?

    See, you add pressure to your fuel lines above the design pressure. This either fucks up your fuel pump, fuel lines, or injectors, or panics your engine computer. Your fuel usage then drops because instead of being out on the roads your car is in the shop for several days. Simple but effective fuel economy.

  100. 100
    Ken says:

    I live in Richmond, and my brother used to work at the Country Club of Virginia. He says Eric Cantor is a good tipper. Which is surprising to me, seeing as how Cantor is such an asshole.

  101. 101
    Caz says:

    There have yet to be any meaningful (if any at all!) spending cuts by our congressmen/women.

    It’s such a simple solution: cut govt spending to balance the budget. Do you have any idea how many programs, department, and agencies are beyond the scope of federal power in the Constitution?? Cutting all constitutionally unauthorized spending alone would balance the budget.

    Of course, we need to end our three wars. Sorry, I mean two wars and a non-hostile, non-war in which we are killing Libyans daily.

    But no, the progressives want not only to keep spending like they have, they actually want to spend more! So they want to raise taxes, ignoring the Laffer effect and history which both show that higher taxes don’t equal higher revenues.

    So we’ll probably end up with higher taxes, increased spending, and a debt and deficit that continue to break new records.

    When are you people going to catch on to the scam our politicians are pushing on us. They’d all be laughing at you if they ever read this site, which I doubt any of them do. They’ve most likely never even heard of it.

  102. 102
    TenguPhule says:

    It’s such a simple solution: cut govt spending to balance the budget.

    Only if you’re a simpleton.

    Do you have any idea how many programs, department, and agencies are beyond the scope of federal power in the Constitution?

    The EPA, Food and Drug Administration, Federal Highways….Oh yeah, Let America Burn Baby!

    After we throw up the GOP traitors on that wall, we need their troll followers to follow.

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