Both sides now

I hope Kthug keeps beating this drum, since no one else in establishment media will:

You have to ask, what would it take for these news organizations and pundits to actually break with the convention that both sides are equally at fault? This is the clearest, starkest situation one can imagine short of civil war. If this won’t do it, nothing will.

And yes, I think this is a moral issue. The “both sides are at fault” people have to know better; if they refuse to say it, it’s out of some combination of fear and ego, of being unwilling to sacrifice their treasured pose of being above the fray.

It’s a terrible thing to watch, and our nation will pay the price.

I wonder too, what would it take. Hypothetically, imagine an infinitely destructive political party and an infinitely craven national media. Could the political party do something so terrible that the national media would condemn it?

147 replies
  1. 1
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    A fascist, theocratic party could gain power, establish concentration camps, and the media would still report that both sides do it, as they are being led themselves to the slaughter.

  2. 2
    dedc79 says:

    But at least there’s this:

    “The scramble for votes came as lawmakers’ phone lines and Web sites were overwhelmed in response to President Obama’s plea on Monday night for Americans to call members of Congress and push for a compromise. Across the Capitol in the Senate, the majority leader, Harry Reid, waited for the House to vote — likely on Wednesday — before bringing his own debt legislation to the floor.”

  3. 3
    BGinCHI says:

    Short of murdering people the answer to your last question is no.

    Although taking away journalist/pundit paid employment and/or their healthcare would change things in a second.

  4. 4
    beltane says:

    I think Ross Douthat’s eloquent apologia for right-wing terrorism provides the answer to your question. No.

  5. 5
    dmsilev says:

    Could the political party do something so terrible that the national media would condemn it?

    In theory, yes. For an existence proof, see Hurricane Katrina. However, it’s important to note that the national press has roughly the attention span of the dogs from _Up_ (“Squirrel!”), so any condemnation is likely to be brief and soon forgotten.

  6. 6

    Could the political party do something so terrible that the national media would condemn it?

    No. SATSQ.

    nota bene: this only applies to the right-wing political party. The center-left party can be condemned even when neither it nor its leaders have done anything.

  7. 7
    Martin says:

    I wonder too, what would it take.

    It would take one party not representing 50% or so of their advertising base.

  8. 8

    Hypothetically, imagine an infinitely destructive political party and an infinitely craven national media.

    You mean, like the situation we’re in now?

  9. 9
    dedc79 says:

    There’s also some irony as the republicans are always targeting NPR as the center of liberal media, but if you listen to NPR it’s always Cokie Roberts regurgitating her “Dems day X, Repubs say Y, and a plague on both their houses” crap

  10. 10
    mistersnrub says:

    The Jews do it too – they were the ones making matzah out of the German children’s blood!

  11. 11
    JGabriel says:

    DougJ @ Top:

    Hypothetically, imagine an infinitely destructive political party and an infinitely craven national media.

    Do we need to imagine it? Aren’t there historical examples one can point to?

    (Oops, did I Godwin the thread?)

    Edited to Add: (Nope, Amanda in the South Bay got there first.)

    .

  12. 12
    Dennis SGMM says:

    Could the political party do something so terrible that the national media would condemn it?

    If people like Bobo and Douthat were unloaded from the cattle cars and led off to the showers by jackbooted conservative thugs their last words would be; “It could just as easily have been ACORN doing this to me!”

  13. 13
    beltane says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay: Yes, they would complain that the concentration camp inmates were equally at fault for hurting the wingnuts’ feelings.

  14. 14
    Chris T. says:

    On August 3, Social Security checks will go out.

    They will be for half what they usually are, more or less, and the news will note that Obama warned everyone.

    The question is, will the news articles say: “Obama was right, the debt ceiling results in not paying Social Security, so Republicans really need to do something now”, or will they say “the Black Man in the White House is stealin’ yer munny!”?

  15. 15
    Rob says:

    Well if every member of the party got a blow job from an intern simultaneously I think it might pay attention.

  16. 16
    Redshirt says:

    But the dissonance runs deep. Tell this to any Real ‘Merikan and he’ll assure you the Liberal Media is out to get any and all Republicans.

    Both sides do it, you see?

  17. 17
    Ajay says:

    I am not sure if I see it this way. No matter how catastrophic the event, the two side myth will continue. In this case, regardless of what people believe now about assigning the fault, ultimately the blame will shift to the president as he is supposedly some omnipotent political figure in people’s mind.

    We had 8 disastrous years and people voted to put the same people back in. Why would they learn now, media or no media. Most are just idiots. Media is just a puppet of the masters.

  18. 18
    Samara Morgan says:

    Its early times DougJ.
    I expect if the right fails to crash the economy with debt default, they will only increase their attempts to secure the WH in 2012.
    we have over a year to go.
    i expect the right might try to start a war, like the Summer War, next year, in may or june.
    Perhaps an Israeli preemptive strike on Iran?
    They already tried to pass a law requiring the US to enter battle if Israel gets hit.

    of course the media will rattle swords and roll over for them.
    its the only patriotic thing to do.

  19. 19
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Chris T.:
    On August 3, Social Security checks will go out.

    They will be for half what they usually are, more or less, and the news will note that Obama warned everyone.

    Where in the world did you get that? The checks are paid out of the SS trust fund. Congress doesn’t appropriate the money for SS.

    Edit: blockquote fail. FYWP

  20. 20
    Paul W. says:

    Well yesterday Boehner said that the President doesn’t know what he wants, has rejected all offers, and wants a “blank check” instead of saving our country from a non-crisis. So I really don’t see why we shouldn’t admit that it’s the Democrats that want to destroy the country…

    The poor House GOP is just trying to make everyone come to reason and pass a budget that guts the budget so it can save it, since that is what George Washington and the founding fathers would have done if they’d thought to include a debt ceiling in the original Constitution.

  21. 21
    harlana says:

    Rob: Well, for republicans it would be something more along the lines of: “multiple encounters with underage male prostitutes in various public restrooms paid for with taxpayer dollars”

  22. 22
    ML says:

    “Could the political party do something so terrible that the national media would condemn it”?

    They’ve already done it, and the answer is no.

    This country was bulldozed with Big Lies into unleashing War in March, 2003. To this day, the consensus remains that “good people were honestly misled by faulty intelligence”.

  23. 23
    tomvox1 says:

    Ha, just posted this on your Douche Hat thread, Doug. More power to Paul for saying in The Paper of Record what DFHs have been saying for a decade (at least)! I realize it’s only on his blog but these posts are sometimes the seeds for his columns so hopefully we will see this make the back page on Friday. Of course professor K is just a shrill DFH himself but still, it would be nice to get it out there…

    And yes, I think the media has utterly failed its citizenry and is enabling the madness with their false equivalencies. Of all the wretched elements of this farce, the MSMs total inability to make judgments on facts (i.e. the Republicans have gone stark raving mad) is by far the most frustrating.

  24. 24
    J.W. Hamner says:

    The political scientists say that voters always blame the president for the economy even if his party doesn’t control Congress… however, in most cases Congress doesn’t have crystal clear culpability. We may have an unfortunate test case on our way.

  25. 25
    hildebrand says:

    I can’t think of a thing that would get them off the ‘both sides do it’ meme. Rather profoundly depressing, isn’t it?

    Time to take bets on when trurl will show up to say that Obama is even worse then the spawn of Broder. It’s a pretty significant reach, but I bet he/she/it does it under 50.

  26. 26
    Brachiator says:

    Dragging this nonsense out is already having consequences. The interesting wrinkle is that interest rates are so low that some potentially negative results have not occurred.

    California borrowed $5.4 billion from major banks Tuesday, boosting its cash reserves ahead of possible market disruptions tied to Washington’s debt drama.
    __
    The state got the loan at an annualized interest rate of 0.237%, Treasurer Bill Lockyer said. That is far below the 1.4% rate Lockyer had to pay for a bank loan in October and reflects that short-term interest rates in general have fallen sharply since then.
    __
    Eight banks funded the loan: Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Barclays, JPMorgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and US Bank.

    Notice how the bankers always win.

  27. 27
    PreservedKillick says:

    The state got the loan at an annualized interest rate of 0.237%, Treasurer Bill Lockyer said. That is far below the 1.4% rate Lockyer had to pay for a bank loan in October and reflects that short-term interest rates in general have fallen sharply since then.

    Yep, gotta rein in that out of control federal borrowing or the inflation will absolutely KILL US.

    Oh. Wait.

  28. 28
    Samara Morgan says:

    Or perhaps they will try to start a war even sooner.

    What happens if Israel launches on Iran in september like these guys are musing about?
    membah, september is the UN vote on Pali statehood.

  29. 29
    MikeJ says:

    This is the clearest, starkest situation one can imagine short of civil war. If this won’t do it, nothing will.

    There are already plenty of people out there who will happily tell you both sides were at fault in the US civil war.

  30. 30
    Turgidson says:

    “Both sides do it” only enters the discussion when it’s clear and unambiguous that the GOP is entirely to blame. Otherwise, the media has no problem attributing disproportionate or exclusive blame on the Democrats and their DFH supporters.

  31. 31
    Comrade Luke says:

    If SocSec checks go out and they’re less than the full amount, the meme will be that the President is holding the elderly hostage in order to get re-elected.

    Guaranteed.

  32. 32
    Zifnab says:

    Brachiator:

    Notice how the bankers always win.

    I don’t know if I’d call issuing a 0.237% interest loan “Winning”, except perhaps in the Charlie Sheen sense of the word. Sounds more like they’re trying desperately not to lose.

  33. 33
    boss bitch says:

    Maybe every Democrat or liberal guest should, in every interview, call out the media on their both sides bull shit? This must be done consistently and over a very long period of time.

    I don’t know. Obama clearly told them not to do that when they wrote their stories on the negotiations and they did it anyway. Pretty sure they did it out of spite though.

  34. 34
    Zifnab says:

    There are already plenty of people out there who will happily tell you both sides were at fault in the US civil war.

    Which war? Oh, no. You must mean “The War of Northern Aggression”.

  35. 35
    Beta Magellan says:

    Personally, I think “both sides do it” comes from concerns over ratings (at least on broadcast news) rather than any implicit bias–there’s a desire not to offend anybody.

    The most pathetic “both sides do it” I’ve ever seen was Brian Williams on Letterman last night–next to Williams, Letterman’s a regular Robert Reich.

  36. 36
    tomvox1 says:

    Also, too, Bobo (and the rest of the DC press corpse) is a credulous sack of shit:

    Republican Debunks Myth Of $400 Billion Tax Demand via Jonathan Chait

    Quelle surprise.

  37. 37
    JC says:

    Yglesias pointed out, that things really started to go off the rails – in the sense of Rethugs believing fiscal fantasies and the media not reporting on it – when Dole presented his economic plans.

    Pulled right out of right wing wish fulfillment, those plans were only scanned by the news media, even though there was zero reality to them.

    And it wasn’t reported.

    After that, of course, we had the Clinton impeachment battle, so a whole new shiny toy.

    But Krugman is very correct, in the sense, that if there is no media consequence for politicians embracing total fantasy, then that’s what they will do.

    Until reality intrudes, like it did with Iraq, like it did with Katrina, and like it did – temporarily – with Lehman Brothers.

    Then they are forced to report.

    But it takes disaster

  38. 38
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @Amanda

    According to a commenter at the Foxnews site it has already happened.

    shoveljob 13 minutes ago

    Obama Warns ‘World Is Watching’
    Did Obama warn the banking elite to stop their wreckless gambling on Wall Street, or there would be an economic DEPRESSION? Obama never said the world is watching when foreign banks received a trillion dollars of our money. Right Mr President?
    Did Obama ever warn the world about the federal government’s counterfeiting practice? ( aka Federal-Reserve)”.
    Will Obama warn the world about the 600 to 800 newly constructed concentration-death camps the federal government has in its “inventory”? Will our Dear President warn the world that many of these “camps” have guillotines in them? Are these “camps” for folks who refuse to give up their arms?
    Go on the Internet and type in concentration camps… And if you’ve got a couple, type this: concentration camps with guillotines.

    Read more: http://politics.blogs.foxnews......z1TFdwQOGc

    sorry block quote fail.

  39. 39
    JGabriel says:

    Brachiator:

    Eight banks funded the loan: Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Barclays, JPMorgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and US Bank.

    Notice how the bankers always win.

    Less than a quarter percent interest isn’t that big a win for the banks. Arguably, they just found a safer haven for some cash than the stock market right now.

    I’ve found it slightly surprising that the market hasn’t reacted strongly yet to the debt ceiling threat (yes, they’re down, but not by a lot). My guess is that investors don’t have many other good alternatives for investment right now — which is probably further evidence that we’re in a liquidity trap.

    .

  40. 40

    @Zifnab:

    I don’t know if I’d call issuing a 0.237% interest loan “Winning”, except perhaps in the Charlie Sheen sense of the word. Sounds more like they’re trying desperately not to lose.

    How much did they get the money from the Fed for?

  41. 41
    Dennis SGMM says:

    Eight banks funded the loan: Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Barclays, JPMorgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and US Bank.

    The loan to California was what the banks had left over after they converted all of their other ready cash into Swiss Francs.

  42. 42
    Davis X. Machina says:

    From a marketing standpoint ‘Both sides do’ it is a clear winner in a country where half the eligible voters don’t vote. It’s both cause and effect.

    You get rich telling people what they already know, or want to hear, or both. Which is why People, and not The Nation, or for that matter National Review, is available in every check-out line.

  43. 43
    MazeDancer says:

    Just read all the comments in Erickson’s “Hold the Line” thread about not giving an inch except to support CCB at R-State. (Will be applying vast quantities of Zinfandel brain bleach, soon)

    There is even a “Hold the Line” T-Party rally tomorromw, btw.

    Was struck how those people really think they have compromised. That the CCB plan was a valiant compromise. That they are the only ones who have made a plan. And that Obama is a do-nothing because he won’t make a plan.

    And they have a big discussion of how CCB is only 4 votes short in the Senate and looking for Dems to turn is what they should be doing. (Cooler heads point out this is impossible. And ask for those 4 names.)

    So if that delusion – that CCB is a noble saving of the nation – is what one side believes, and believes that only they are making the world safe for their grandchildren, then the media probably thinks they can’t call it what it really is: Killing the country. On purpose.

    The media endorsing that the default is a crisis is probably as close as they can come. Though, saying default is a crisis and showing – by noting that the T-Party is holding out – that only one side is not trying to prevent the crisis is coming pretty close to presenting reality.

    They make lots of Civil War analogies at RedState. And once again, reading all their commenters – and some of them are decent writers – I am struck by the fact that if the US was geographically divided as clearly as it was in Lincoln’s time, how easily we’d be Second Ammendment Solutioning by now.

  44. 44
    Catsy says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Short of murdering people the answer to your last question is no.

    *coughcoughIraqWar*

  45. 45
    bill says:

    Excellent stuff that needs to be said. So, when do they fire him and hire Pam Gellar? Can you spell “L-A-T-I-M-E-S”?

  46. 46
    cat48 says:

    It all made sense to me when I saw most of the Gop Study Committee deserting Boehner when he was trying to whip votes. The GOP deliberately humiliated Boner then they made him tell Reid that the House wouldnot do his plan.

    Then some Dems deserted & the GOP group grew to 51 & Reid said, NOPE! You need 60! What does the GOP do now? Buy more Dem Senators until they have 60?

    Norquist will have all we’ve ever worked for in benefits & then he can finally drown the Govt.

  47. 47
    Davis X. Machina says:

    I am struck by the fact that if the US was geographically divided as clearly as it was in Lincoln’s time, how easily we’d be Second Ammendment Solutioning by now.

    I am struck at the spectacle of another President whom we all know is just an inexperienced, promoted-over-his-head, compromise-obsessed Springfield state house hack, facing another bunch of intransigent mostly-Southerners, engaged in another elaborate minuet to make sure the other guys fired the first shot and took the blame.

    What ever happened to that guy, I wonder?

  48. 48
    Brachiator says:

    @JGabriel:
    @Zifnab:

    RE: Notice how the bankers always win.

    I don’t know if I’d call issuing a 0.237% interest loan “Winning”, except perhaps in the Charlie Sheen sense of the word. Sounds more like they’re trying desperately not to lose.

    The banks also make a chunk of change from putting together the deal.

    And $11,850,000 is nothing to sneeze at, and is also an additional cost to California.

  49. 49
    BGinCHI says:

    Catsy:

    Short of murdering white people the answer to your last question is no.

    There, fixed.

  50. 50
    Joel says:

    The checks are paid out of the SS trust fund. Congress doesn’t appropriate the money for SS.

    The SS trust fund is the largest single holder of US treasuries. However, the executive branch decides which bonds get paid out first.

  51. 51
    Davis X. Machina says:

    OT. Warn Rosie: and Lilly:

    MASON, Ohio, July 24 (UPI) — A judge has ruled that barking and hissing are not protected by the First Amendment.
    __
    Mason, Ohio, Judge Andrew Batsche ruled Friday that when Ryan Stephens barked and hissed at a police dog in April, he was not protected by a constitutional right, The Cincinnati Inquirer reported.
    __
    Stephens was petitioning for the dismissal of a charge that he had abused a police dog, claiming the law violates free speech and is too vague.
    __
    Jim Hardin, Stephens’ lawyer, argued that his client had a First Amendment right to bark at the dog, making reference to an Athens, Ohio, case in which a defendant had similar charges dropped.

  52. 52
    mk387 says:

    The MSM CANNOT say that the GOP is destructive or wrong.

    They are not allowed to.

    Doing so will result in calls, emails & death threats to the newsroom employees that they are all liberals and promoting a liberal bias in the media.

  53. 53
    scav says:

    @BGinCHI: I thought we just blew through the murdering white people as theoretical lower bound a second ago. Evidently not even all snowflakes are created equally important.

  54. 54
    Fang says:

    What would it take? I’ve wondered about this. I think:
    1) It’d take non-centrism becoming popular. Say if the Republicans really melted down and became politcally AND socially “icky” then they’d jump on the bandwagon for awhile. This could happen with the default if combined with a few other things – or if the default crisis went on for two weeks or more.
    2) A larger-scale progressive movement that was active and unavoidable. At first the cult of centrism would ignore them or denigrate them, but as the cult of centrists seek to minimize conflict, they’d eventually agree with them. Over time.
    3) Serious violence by right-wing types egged on directly by the media types. It’d probably have to be two major targets with hundreds of deaths in organizations, cities, or institutions hated by the right wing.
    4) Several major personal meltdowns by right-wing elected officials in a short time.

    The centrist types aren’t really centrists, they like their comfortable position and don’t like conflict. They’re risk-adverse, which is why they were easily able to ignore the growing right-wing crazy over time. So they need to get very uncomfortable and seek some kind of equilibrium again.

  55. 55
    BGinCHI says:

    scav, my bad. Man, this game moves fast.

    Anyone else see Joe Walsh interviewed by Lawrence O last night?

    The Tea Party, apparently, is bigger than anyone knows. It’s the majority of the country.

    These guys are fucking delusional. Really. No reality too clear for them can alter their version of events.

  56. 56
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Joel:

    If the executive, in this case Obama, chooses not to pay those SS checks in full then he’s committing political suicide. There is no argument in the world that will mollify a senior who has to choose between medicine and food.

  57. 57
    Martin says:

    Where in the world did you get that? The checks are paid out of the SS trust fund. Congress doesn’t appropriate the money for SS.

    The trust fund is required to be invested in US Treasuries. The Treasuries that mature need to be able to be cleared, and Treasury doesn’t have the cash to clear them. The SS trust fund isn’t a $2.7T pile of cash under Geithner’s mattress.

    So, the way it looks, on 8/3, we’ll bring in $12B in revenue (including payroll taxes) and have to send out $23B in SS checks and another $9B in other checks. SS can’t redeem more of the trust fund to make up for the shortfall because Treasury can’t clear those notes, so Treasury is first defaulting on the SS trust fund. They’ll send that $12B to the SS folks, and stiff everyone else. And it just gets worse from there.

  58. 58
    RalfW says:

    My partner, a former 20 year newspaper man, said last night as I railed about the “both sides” malarkey, said all the conservative sources would stop returning calls if the reporters wrote stories that didn’t use that narrative.

    Sadly, I think he’s right. Journalists are so dependent on just getting the story direct from the ‘source’ that they don’t have the skill, connections, and monetary and tactical support from the editors any more to actually write stories that involve more than maybe 3 phone calls and some transcribed quotes.

    So K-thug can wish for it, but when a journalists career depends on his not acknowledging that indeed both sides don’t do it, well Bob’s you uncle.

    .

    I don’t know, I just had to toss that last bit in.

  59. 59
    Joel says:

    @Dennis SGMM

    I agree. Just pointing out that hard decisions will need to be made about paying out treasuries. The problem is, the US can’t really default on sovereign holders.

  60. 60
    dollared says:

    @ Davis: You mean the he got shot with a large bullet in a small gun part, or the Greatest President Ever part?

  61. 61
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @MazeDancer #43:

    “I am struck by the fact that if the US was geographically divided as clearly as it was in Lincolns time”

    Just out of curiosity, what makes you think we aren’t that divided now.? Lincoln had Copperheads to deal with, and the CSA had to deal with plenty of pockets of Unionist sentiment, most notably in eastern TN and western VA. Seems to me the country today is more geographically divided than we’ve been at any time since the 1880s.

  62. 62
    dr. bloor says:

    How much did they get the money from the Fed for?

    That’s easy. How much did the electricity cost to expedite the EFT?

  63. 63
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Davis X. Machina: My basenjis have long said this about barking.

  64. 64
    jl says:

    @58 I have an uncle Bob.

  65. 65
    Zifnab says:

    arguingwithsignposts:

    How much did they get the money from the Fed for?

    Let’s assume the Fed gave it to them at 0%. A 0.237% annual return is STILL chump change. My bank savings account pays more than that.

  66. 66
    NonyNony says:

    @MazeDancer

    They make lots of Civil War analogies at RedState. And once again, reading all their commenters – and some of them are decent writers – I am struck by the fact that if the US was geographically divided as clearly as it was in Lincoln’s time, how easily we’d be Second Ammendment Solutioning by now.

    There are a few dangerous nuts anywhere on the Internet, and RedState has as good a chance as any site of its type to encourage those nuts to start murdering people, but don’t kid yourself. The Keyboard Kommandos that make up the Red State Trike Force would piss themselves before actually gathering up their guns and shooting.

    They’re all comfortably off middle-class to upper-middle class types for the most part – they all like the play soldier in their heads and imagine themselves as the heroes of their own post-apocalyptic scenarios, but in the end they’re just a bunch of middle-class dweebs posting their rants on the Internet from the safety of their own homes. Most of them probably don’t even realize that all this shit will have any impact on them or their lifestyle – even the ones on Medicaid or unemployment or who have government jobs.

  67. 67
    TX Expat says:

    @MazeDancer:

    I am struck by the fact that if the US was geographically divided as clearly as it was in Lincoln’s time, how easily we’d be Second Ammendment Solutioning by now.

    I was thinking about this today and then remembered the fact that there was no standing army in 1860 America thus easier to raise armies (so to speak). If anything, we’ll see an uptick in right wing terrorism.

    @Davis X. Machina:

    I know it’s fun to blame Southerners but teahadism is a national phenomena. Just check out the vast array of locales that the freshman House class hails from.

    ETA: Unless, of course, somebody like Scott Walker decides to spread some free market love to Xe.

  68. 68
    dollared says:

    zifnab, if you borrow and lend the same money 100 times @ .237% your return is 23.7%. It’s banking, not moneylending.

  69. 69
    RalfW says:

    Brachiator @26

    Wow. If the banks are treating California as a flight-to-quality place to stick their plentiful free cash, jeebus. And given the amazing rate they gave CA, that is exactly what they’ve done.

    I mean, I love NorCal, but the state’s finances and politics are an unholy mess. That says a lot about how f*cked the DC process is.

    It’s also a nice vote of confidence in Governor Moonbeam. I’m happy about that.

    EtA: I’m not sure earning 0.237% is exactly a banker winning. It’s only a win if they expect to loose their asses elsewhere and 0.237% looks like a good bet. Hence the jeebus above.

    EEtA: I see the point’s been made. But I’ll make it again anyway. Cheers.

  70. 70
    JGabriel says:

    @Brachiator:

    And $11,850,000 is nothing to sneeze at, and is also an additional cost to California.

    Not sure where you’re getting the $11.85 million figure. The loan matures on Nov. 22, according to the article you linked, which makes it a four month loan. .237% gives an interest payment of about $4.266 million (assuming lump sum at maturity), and the contract permits CA to pay it back sooner.

    Are you including some sort of structuring fee that’s unmentioned in the article?

    .

  71. 71
    Citizen_X says:

    The state got the loan at an annualized interest rate of blah blah blah%, Treasurer Bill Lockyer said. That is far below the umpty umpty% rate Lockyer had to pay for a bank loan in October blah blah blah blah

    Hey brainiac libtard elitiest: you can bring all the numbers you want its not gonna impress us what a smartypants you are. REAL AMERICANS know you gotta live within your means!

  72. 72
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @TX Expat: ‘the South’ is now a mindspace. I see Confederate battle flags on plenty of pick-up trucks in towns that sent their boys off to fight — and one in six didn’t come back — with Colonel Chamberlain from Bowdoin College, or General O.O. Howard (Howard University) from Leeds.

  73. 73
    Martin says:

    @dollared:

    if you borrow and lend the same money 100 times @ .237% your return is 23.7%. It’s banking, not moneylending.

    And since the rate is .237% annualized, that’d only take 100 years.

  74. 74
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @RalfW:

    Actually, some of the Red States tried to negotiate the same type of short term loan. The banks offered them an interest rate of 487%.

    /snark

  75. 75
    Martin says:

    I’m not sure earning 0.237% is exactly a banker winning. It’s only a win if they expect to loose their asses elsewhere and 0.237% looks like a good bet.

    Well, if they have requirements to have a certain amount in munis and treasuries (many funds have these requirements), and they don’t want to stick with the fed for the near term, then they need to find someone willing to borrow $5B, which I imagine is pretty tough to do in the country right now.

  76. 76
    JGabriel says:

    @RalfW:

    I mean, I love NorCal, but the state’s finances and politics are an unholy mess. That says a lot about how f*cked the DC process is.

    Actually, it doesn’t — instead, it says a lot about how fucked they think the stock market is going to be. Or whatever market or fund in which they would typically put that $5.4 billion for the next 4 months.

    .

  77. 77

    @RalfW:

    My partner, a former 20 year newspaper man, said last night as I railed about the “both sides” malarkey, said all the conservative sources would stop returning calls if the reporters wrote stories that didn’t use that narrative.
    __
    Sadly, I think he’s right. Journalists are so dependent on just getting the story direct from the ‘source’ that they don’t have the skill, connections, and monetary and tactical support from the editors any more to actually write stories that involve more than maybe 3 phone calls and some transcribed quotes.

    I want to block quote that statement and post it to the top of the blog, because it just about explains it all.

    Look at how many people won’t go on the “MSM” shows. Look at what happened to Cenk Uyger.

    In a village where information (frequently “unnamed” but well-known sources) is the currency, the beggar has no leverage.

    I don’t know how you change that system. I don’t know that you can.

  78. 78
    TX Expat says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Oh, I don’t disagree about the mindspace part. That’s pretty much my point, although you expressed it much more eloquently. :)

  79. 79
    JGabriel says:

    @Martin:

    Well, if they have requirements to have a certain amount in munis and treasuries (many funds have these requirements), and they don’t want to stick with the fed for the near term, then they need to find someone willing to borrow $5B …

    Good point, which potentially contradicts my earlier response to RalfW.

    I was thinking of the CA loan as a safe haven to the market, not Treasuries. I suppose either is a possibility.

    .

  80. 80
    scav says:

    Semi-OT but still media related. Phone-hacking still ticking away slowly (rather well given everything else the UK is dealing with) with Cameron having to cling a bit harder to the same clueless theory of acceptable management practices embraced by James M. (Andy Coulson seems to have gotten his hands on security stuff in contexts he shouldn’t have because no one was keeping track of what his actual clearance was). Mirror getting a little edgy and says it’s going to do a quick self-evaluation although it already knows it doesn’t do any of that icky stuff. This is my single favorite tidbit: News Corp: a study in the failure of corporate self-regulation especially for the nicely ‘mercan and dodgy set of characters. Sue me, I like articles where an entire paragraph is simply

    Let me be blunt: this is the definition of insanity.

  81. 81
    burnspbesq says:

    @Brachiator:

    Under what conceivable theory is lending money out at 23 fucking basis points a win? Last time I checked, 3-month US dollar LIBOR was around 15 basis points. An eight basis point spread almost certainly means that the lender loses money on the deal after any reasonable allocation of operating expense to the desk that did this. The only reason for Goldman to do this is to try and rehabilitate its image.

  82. 82
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @TX Expat: I still find it shocking, though. The most recent head-scratcher is my students’ fixation on ‘Mexicans’. Nothing the rednecks up here, 2000 miles from the Rio Grande, love more than talking smack about Messicans. It’s hard to imagine a bar full of locals in Eagle Pass saying dumbass things about Québecois, but I’m sure it could happen.

    One of the most interesting things about the new, highly mobile, networked America is that you can go from coast hearing the same music, eating the same burgers, using one ATM card, and you never have to adjust your prejudices.

  83. 83
    TX Expat says:

    @scav:

    I saw the other day (think it was in the Guardian) that lawyers had been hacked. Think about that for a minute, lawyers! Attorney/client privilege, undermining the justice system, manipulating verdicts, good grief.

  84. 84
    Martin says:

    I want to block quote that statement and post it to the top of the blog, because it just about explains it all.

    I don’t buy it, or else journalists are even more chickenshit than anyone will admit. If reporters did start calling these guys out, then sure, for a little while some outlets would get exclusive access, but eventually the number of outlets not on the blacklist would get so small that the game would have to end and everyone would get access again.

    And even if that’s that game, they’re already on the losing end because Fox is there. So why play a game where you’re steadily bleeding – just go all in and end it.

  85. 85
    PIGL says:

    Could the political party do something so terrible that the national media would condemn it?

    To paraphrase the famous response: it could but they’d chose not to.

    The entire notion of press freedom needs to be rethunk, perhaps starting with what political and economic circumstances would be it possible?

  86. 86
    JC says:

    Brian Williams is the WORST.

    So, so smugly superior. So wrong on the factual situation.

    And everyone treats him like he walks on water.

  87. 87
    MazeDancer says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Even in the reddest of dire misery states – TN for example – 35-45% of the population is Democrats. There are liberals in Texas even. And the African American population of some major cities in the South is 50-75%. Yet the voters are mostly Republicans.

    There are Republicans in all the Eastern States. There are Democrats everywhere. Even in Idaho and Utah.

    The geographic division in the Civil War times was more pronounced. Even with all the pockets you mention, the rural South was a more identifiable geo spot. And got invaded and burnt. (Hey, I may be an extreme leftie, but I grew up in the South. War of Northern Aggression and all that. And, actually, some of my ancestors from one of pockets you mentioned fought for the Union. Unlike my parents, they weren’t right wing crazies.)

  88. 88
    TX Expat says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    I lived in Cairo for a year a few years ago and there is nothing weirder than having young Egyptians quiz you endlessly about the Confederacy. Even there, those traitors have been romanticized. I blamed it on the ubiquity of Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets.

    One of the most interesting things about the new, highly mobile, networked America is that you can go from coast hearing the same music, eating the same burgers, using one ATM card, and you never have to adjust your prejudices.

    Even better they are pre-packaged for easy consumption!

  89. 89
    RalfW says:

    @arguing

    I don’t know how you change that system. I don’t know that you can.

    Its such a tiny thing, but it’s why I was heartend to learn that Gawker was suing under FOIA for info on the FOX linkages to GOP candidates.

    This is the sort of thing newspapers used to do when they basically printed money. Papers used to have reporters who wrote like 1 or 2 stories a week. Some reporters had range to work a story for months w/o a byline. The Guardian did that with Rupe across the pond.

    But ironically when the internets destroyed classified advertising (and the newspapers didn’t help themselves in that area, but that’s a treatise for another day), they/we destroyed the cash cow that used to allow newspapers to say eff you to politicians who wouldn’t cooperate on stories.

    Now they kowtow, because a reporter might have to file two stories a day, and quite possibly now a copy editor sees the story for a matter of minutes, where they used to have time to fact-check, question the reporter’s assumptions and such.

    The whole newsroom has been demoralized and crushed by the loss of the old business model.

    None of that is an excuse for what has become what Kthug appropriately calls out as a moral failing. But sometimes knowing why helps us head towards new solutions. Like go visit Gawker and click on some of their ads. Maybe they can afford a few more seconds of lawyering up.

  90. 90
    JGabriel says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Nothing the rednecks up here, 2000 miles from the Rio Grande, love more than talking smack about Messicans. It’s hard to imagine a bar full of locals in Eagle Pass saying dumbass things about Québecois, but I’m sure it could happen.

    I’m sure that, as global warming worsens, we’ll start hearing the Canadians talk smack about all the ‘Mercans immigrating north and causing problems with their guns and xenophobia and wanting free health care. (Or, being ‘Mercans, wanting everyone else to pay for health care?)

    .

  91. 91
    Martin says:

    @JGabriel:

    I was thinking of the CA loan as a safe haven to the market, not Treasuries. I suppose either is a possibility.

    I wouldn’t even call it a safe haven. Sometimes funds get caught in situations where their prospectuses force them into investment decisions almost against their will. That’s why some funds stop taking new deposits – they’ve basically run out of good investing options. Even CalPERS has run into this problem.

    Since the US savings rate has gone from about 1% in 2008 to about 8% now, I imagine that money is simply pouring into tax free, low-risk, and fixed income funds. Since corporate profits are through the roof, borrowing has gotten a bit soft, and there are some big players out with lots of cash that are banking for suppliers. If you take Treasuries out of the mix, I can’t imagine there’s a whole lot left out there domestically to put money into. CA didn’t borrow anywhere near as much as in years past to meet budget. True of a lot of other states too. Where do you go? They may have loaned to CA simply because they had no alternatives.

  92. 92
    dollared says:

    @81 Burns, fees. Fees. .5% of $4.5B will pay the rent in the San Francisco office for several months.

  93. 93
    El Cid says:

    If what journalists think they need to do is quote “both sides”, then it’s not a good argument for why their job is “value added” over press releases from politicians’ websites.

    I don’t need some fucking nitwit from ABC quoting a ‘source’ when it’s the same shit I can read from Cantor’s webpage. Or a House GOP e-mail or blog.

    In fact, you could have Cantor himself quoting from “an unnamed House Republican source”, and then quoting “several Democratic leaders,” and then the job of the journalist entirely substituted by Eric Cantor.

    Or is the argument now to buy their product and just ignore whether or not it adds value to not buying it?

  94. 94
    RalfW says:

    Arg, second edit not allowed. Eh, minor tweak, not important. But FYWP.

  95. 95
    Corner Stone says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    It’s hard to imagine a bar full of locals in Eagle Pass saying dumbass things about Québecois, but I’m sure it could happen.

    We despise those gap tooth sonsabitches. All with their, “Eh?” and their, “Oot and aboot” and good healthcare and shit.
    Fuckers.

  96. 96
    scav says:

    @TX Expat: yep, with the detail that at least a few weren’t just random lawyers but lawyers defending phone hacking victims so it’s slightly harder to sell that as hunting down information on a story.

  97. 97

    @Martin:

    I don’t buy it, or else journalists are even more chickenshit than anyone will admit. If reporters did start calling these guys out, then sure, for a little while some outlets would get exclusive access, but eventually the number of outlets not on the blacklist would get so small that the game would have to end and everyone would get access again.

    Well, first of all, we’re not talking about *all* journalists. Just a small, select group that reports on the government, specifically, capitol hill and the white house. And you don’t have to buy it.

    There’s a club (the White House Press Corps) and we’re not in it.

  98. 98
    Stillwater says:

    Hypothetically, imagine an infinitely destructive political party and an infinitely craven national media. Could the political party do something so terrible that the national media would condemn it?

    Is this like a logical puzzle, or something we’re supposed to infer from evidence? Cuz either way, the answer is the same.

  99. 99
    Martin says:

    @JGabriel: I should add, because we hit the debt limit in May, Treasury has only been able to churn existing debt, replacing maturing bonds dollar for dollar. That’s $100B per month in government borrowing that isn’t happening and that banks can’t go back to to fill those 2015 retirement portfolios that are supposed to be 85% govt bonds.

    The inverse question I had was in the event that we managed to pay off the national debt, what would SS invest in since they’re required to invest in Treasuries?

  100. 100
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    It’s hard to imagine a bar full of locals in Eagle Pass saying dumbass things about Québecois, but I’m sure it could happen.

    I’ve heard the locals in bars from Texas to Louisiana saying dumbass things about Californians. The only reason they weren’t saying dumbass things about Québecois was because they hadn’t met any yet.

  101. 101
    dollared says:

    ‘Ol Dirty DougJ: Tell me, how do we know that Obama is compromising? Where was his “line in the sand?”

    I know that we all know that our line in the sand is “Bush Tax Cuts Expire above $250k, no cuts to SS, Medicare and Medicaid, end tax breaks to oil companies, and cut defense and end the wars.”

    Great. But we all are paying closer attention than most journalists, since we don’t have to care about what color tie Obama is wearing.

    But is that Obama’s line? Where was his starting point so we can map the compromises? How can we show he came halfway? From when?

    And where are his surrogates, carefully mapping out how far Obama has compromised from the Democratic Party’s Very Clearly Marked position?

    This is the problem with Obama’s “small attack surface” approach. The media really can be excused for not trying to figure out who has compromised more. Obama has not provided them with the easy article to write.

    This really is not the media’s fault. Obama has made it impossible for them to measure the compromises, so they are stuck.

  102. 102
    RalfW says:

    journalists are even more chickenshit than anyone will admit.

    Newspaper reporters are not heroes. They have spouses and house payments and parents that will cost a fortune as they age just like the rest of us. Literally 100s were let go out of the local daily in the past few years. They’re keepin’ their heads down.

    Now, their bosses, the managing editors and the publishers – they are indeed that chickenshit. They really are jumping around, not knowing how to make money and terrified of loosing suburban subscribers. Their business model is broken and they’re grasping at straws, and anything even slightly boat-rocking is unacceptable at this internally frightening time. “Fuck all y’all out there, we editors and publishers, we have problems!”

    Not wanting to watch from inside as a crucial institution fails miserably is a good part of the reason my guy is an ex-newspaperman.

  103. 103
    JGabriel says:

    @RalfW:

    Arg, second edit not allowed.

    Second edits are allowed. Maybe you missed the clock or tripped some other condition — I know I’ve been told once in a while that I can’t edit something even though the clock hasn’t expired, but I don’t know what the trigger for that is. Maybe leaving the site and coming back?

    On the other hand, I’ve already double-edited a couple of posts today, so that’s not the problem.

    .

  104. 104
    Stillwater says:

    Politics is the art of persuasion and passage. The media thinks they merely report on that art from the middle. The middle is defined as being unpersuadable.

    No that’s not right.

  105. 105
    JGabriel says:

    @Martin:

    The inverse question I had was in the event that we managed to pay off the national debt, what would SS invest in since they’re required to invest in Treasuries?

    Shh! The teatards will use that as yet another misleading argument to privatize SS.

    .

  106. 106
    RalfW says:

    Just a small, select group that reports on the government, specifically, capitol hill and the white house.

    You’re too kind to the remnants of the craft. I didn’t exactly see hard-hitting writing during the MN shutdown. Well, I did on some new media sites, but not from traditional media.

    And have you read a biz section in a US newspaper lately? It may as well just be laid out and transmitted to the local presses by PRNewswire.

  107. 107
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    If people like Bobo and Douthat were unloaded from the cattle cars and led off to the showers by jackbooted conservative thugs their last words would be; “It could just as easily have been ACORN doing this to me!”

    Are you kidding? Their last words would be “I TOLD you the libtards were planning this!”

  108. 108
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @ El Cid:

    If what journalists think they need to do is quote “both sides”, then it’s not a good argument for why their job is “value added” over press releases from politicians’ websites.

    I see no evidence that journalists add value. At least not the ones covering national politics. They don’t explain anything and they don’t go digging for anything, unless it’s a personal tidbit, like the number of napkins Pat Politician took at the Congressional cafeteria and whether it was too many or perhaps symbolic somehow.

  109. 109

    @RalfW: There are truths there. But there is good reporting if you can find it. It’s getting harder and harder to find.

  110. 110
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @JGabriel:
    It doesn’t even need to progress as far as Martin’s question. Create a default that causes SS to underpay, or not pay at all, then insist that only Goldman Sachs can save SS from the vicissitudes of relying on Treasuries. GS will then appear to lose the money through a series of byzantine transactions and then demand that the government make them whole lest the SS recipients go high and dry.

  111. 111
    nellcote says:

    CBO scores Boner’s bill:

    Exempting war spending — which goes untouched in Boehner’s plan — the legislation would reduce spending by only $5 billion next fiscal year. And its impact on the deficit is even less — a paltry $1 billion.

  112. 112
    celticdragonchick says:

    In a village where information (frequently “unnamed” but well-known sources) is the currency, the beggar has no leverage.
    I don’t know how you change that system. I don’t know that you can.

    Exactly. Your point on Cenk Uyger is spot on.

  113. 113
    dollared says:

    @RalfW: You are right about the local newspaper reporters, but Brian Williams? Wolf Blitzer? Jake Tapper? All the talking heads everywhere but the Big Four at MSNBC?

    The rot is not in the job insecurity. It’s at the core of journalism. It simply is hardwired to be bad at publishing the truth.

  114. 114
    cat48 says:

    @dollared:

    I think since he keeps sending Veto threats to Congress where Grover is attempting to Cut, Cap, & Balance & Amend. He made Coburn, Corker, Demint, etc. angry b/c it’s passed the House so the Thugs are trying to get it thru the Senate. I think the Teaparty are PAID WELL Reps & they won’t compromise & the only Debt Ceiling Bill available comes with that. Reid won’t let the Bill thru. So the Thugs will just wait until we Default.

    I don’t know if it’s true but someone said all money for the Senate & the Whitehouse must be appropriated out of the House so the control all spending. They want to Amend the Constitution to do that until they lose the House & then???
    So unless they can get a bill passed or he uses the 14th, we’ll default or NOT. I think default cause they want him out. He’s beating them too bad, I think.

  115. 115
  116. 116
    Elizabelle says:

    Here’s my piece of “both sides do it”/false equivalency journalism from today.

    From LATimes story by Mark Z. Barabak , primarily on Grover Norquist and his no-taxes pledge.

    Taking the pledge is popular, and risky, for candidates
    http://www.latimes.com/news/na.....1694.story

    Now contestants [sic*] are asked to swear any number of oaths. Among them: promises to oppose tax hikes and legalized abortion, fight pornography, outlaw same-sex marriage, denounce Islamic law, cap federal spending, overhaul the U.S. tax code, run Washington like a business and support a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.

    And that’s just on the Republican side.

    Gosh. That’s 9 right there, “just on the Republican side.” So the Democrats must be doing the same thing?

    Paragraph 13:

    Inevitably, seeing the publicity and power generated by [Grover Norquist’s] pledge, other pressure groups created their own sets of vows. Emulating the Republicans, Democratic interests have drafted oaths upholding abortion rights, opposing cuts to Social Security and allocating only enough defense dollars to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq.

    OK, that’s, um, three. And boy was that last one bait for Blue Dogs, hmm?

    But wait!

    Pledges of any sort can have other onerous consequences. One Democratic consultant, who did not want to be identified to avoid harming his clients, cited the NAACP’s commercial boycott of South Carolina over the state government’s flying of the Confederate flag. To avoid doing business with hotels, the 2004 presidential campaign he helped operate was forced to scramble each night for accommodations for as many as 20 people. (That was not an issue for Republican candidates, who ignored the boycott, just as Democrats tend to shun anti-tax pledges).

    Yup, yup, yup.

    They all do it.

    Fer sure.

    * You and I would call them “candidates”, but if Barabak has taken the Republican field for something out of a reality show — and it slipped by his editor too — ah well. You know the liberal media.

  117. 117
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @RalfW: The estimable Fred Clark, of Slacktivist fame, was one of the casualties.

  118. 118
    Roger Moore says:

    @Corner Stone:

    We despise those gap tooth sonsabitches. All with their, “Eh?” and their, “Oot and aboot” and good healthcare and shit.

    Sure they’ve got their national healtcare,
    Cheaper meds, low crime rate and clean air
    Then again well they’ve got Celine Dione

  119. 119
    Cat Lady says:

    The biggest story some enterprising reporter could ever tell is right under all of their noses – the sharp swing to radicalism of the Republican party, to the point where they’re openly and proudly advocating sedition. They’re “negotiating” to collapse the country’s economy, which was the stated goal of Osama bin Laden and the pipe dream of every anti-American dictator throughout the world, and the press is PLAYING ALONG! BOTH SIDES DO IT!

    Fucking Jeebus, can we get Jake Tapper to come back here and explain to us all here like we’re five years old why they won’t fucking do their jobs any more?!

  120. 120
  121. 121
    Roger Moore says:

    @Martin:

    The inverse question I had was in the event that we managed to pay off the national debt, what would SS invest in since they’re required to invest in Treasuries?

    I figure we’d cross that bridge when we got to it. You could either relax the requirement that SS invest only in treasuries, or you could keep issuing the treasuries and set up a sovereign wealth fund to invest the money spilling into the rest of the government. Or at the very least we could have put off the budget busting tax breaks until that became a real world problem, rather than using it as an excuse for terrible policies.

  122. 122
    General Stuck says:

    CBO scores Boner’s bill:

    LOL, sounds like the last government shutdown fight, where Obama compromised with Boner, and when the dollars were counted, poor Orange man got took fer a ride.

    Boner is old school wingnut. And still plays the game that way where everything is bifurcated between posturing right wing dogma on the stingy side, and as the sausage moves through the system, most everything extra in spending they told the press they were insisting on cutting, ends up none to very little cutting in the end.

    The reason is simple. Their voters expect their goodies like every other voter, and a cut of the government pie. They just happen to be wingnuts that love baby jeevus, and hate liberal slackers and welfare mommas, and why the hypocrisy is always off the chart with wingers. Who use more tax dollars per capita and per taxes collected than most any blue state. So they do a dance, and by and large, dems have let them do that dance as just another way of doing business in DC.

    So the red state conservative old war dogs, are just as afraid of disappointing ma and pa kettle, as any other politician. The only difference is, most liberals do it also as a matter of principle, where republicans do not.

    But now the game has changed, and really crazy people populate the GOP, or at least run it nominally, and they don’t give a shit about anything but destroying liberal institutions, hard fought for existing since the Great Depression. It is not really about the money. It is about white supremacy with them, and the fact that liberals help out minorities that have been shunned and oppressed by these assholes and their ancestors from before we became a country. And now, looking at Obama and the ACA, they are willing to put it all on the line, and have faith their baby jeebus will be on their side when the smoke clears, and put them in charge of the ruins, only them.

    They want them gone, the different ones, or at least in numbers that won’t vote for and elect another Obama. That is what Boner is up against, and all the rest of his country club republicans who do care about the money and the color green.

    The good news for Boehner, is that after a few months in The Glitter Dome, these true believing tea tards are getting plugged into the largess, to get theirs, just like all the other wingnuts.

    GOP fiscal hawks embrace pricey pet projects

    Read it and weep

  123. 123

    […] Doug J and Krugman (and David Kurtz), you do have to ask:  what would it take to get the VSPs on cable to, […]

  124. 124
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @RalfW:

    Newspaper reporters are not heroes. They have spouses and house payments and parents that will cost a fortune as they age just like the rest of us. Literally 100s were let go out of the local daily in the past few years. They’re keepin’ their heads down.

    There was a move to replace reporters with trained rats. It failed because they found that there were some things that a rat just won’t do.

  125. 125
    El Cid says:

    Hey, fuck the Constitution. Fuck legislation. Fuck Congress as we knew it.

    The governing classes of this country are not only no more resistant to, they’re much more susceptible to, fashionable notions of Philosopher kingdoms who can get around the barbarian inefficiencies of the day.

    Maybe this is just more gossip. Maybe it’s senseless to pay any attention until it actually takes place.

    The Bobo-leg-thrilling notion is that we just need to start doing everything via secret ‘talks’ from chosen power elites in the Congress and the President, and they just need to work things out as they see fit.

    A new ‘Super Congress’ or ‘super-committee’, comprised of members of both chambers and both parties, is part of a new plan proposed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
    __
    The proposal includes an unprecedented formation of a 12-member panel of lawmakers, in addition to legislation to lift the $14.3trillion debt ceiling.
    __
    Legislation approved by the proposed committee is intended to move quickly through both chambers and could not be amended by lawmakers by casting an up or down vote, reports the Huffington Post.
    __
    The panel would thus be ‘less accountable than the system that exists today, and would find it easier to strip the public of popular benefits,’ the report suggests.

    Let’s just do everything NAFTA fast-track style, upper-down vote from now on. It’ll be necessary because of these crazy TeaTards, but then will be so wonderful and efficient we’ll never have to go back!

  126. 126
    General Stuck says:

    A new ‘Super Congress’ or ‘super-committee

    I absolutely despise this idea.

  127. 127
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @General Stuck:

    A new ‘Super Congress’ or ‘super-committee

    I’m all for it as long as the decreased costs of only bribing 12 congresscritters is passed on to the consumer.

  128. 128
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I’m all for it as long as the decreased costs of only bribing 12 congresscritters is passed on to the consumer.

    That’s where the SuperPAC comes in. To provide efficient bribery of the SuperCongress.

  129. 129
    El Cid says:

    __

    I absolutely despise this idea.

    Might as well do it.

    It’s effectively how most policymaking takes place anyway, so, at least let’s make it formal.

    That way health care (insurance) reform could have gone much more smoothly without all this partisan division and all these bills and amendments and such.

  130. 130
    dollared says:

    @Flip Yes! Let’s hold a live auction, and televise it. We can use ESPN’s Darkened Room Poker Championship Set.

  131. 131
    dollared says:

    @Flip Yes! Let’s hold a live auction, and televise it. We can use E@SPN’s Darkened Room Pok&er Championship Set

  132. 132
    replicnt6 says:

    @Martin

    So, the way it looks, on 8/3, we’ll bring in $12B in revenue (including payroll taxes) and have to send out $23B in SS checks and another $9B in other checks.

    Where do those numbers come from? On the face of it, you appear to be saying we lay out twice as much on SS as we receive in total revenues. This is simply not the case.

  133. 133
    Corner Stone says:

    @opal: Poor baby. Does someone not like my comments? Hmmm? Not liking them? Hmmmmm?
    Don’t care for them? Hmmmmmm?

  134. 134
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @replicnt6:

    One more time, SS checks are paid out of the SS trust fund – not out of funds allocated by Congress. The only way that SS would require direct funding is if the US decided to declare worthless the treasuries held by the SS trust fund. That last would do electoral wonders for anyone currently holding office.

  135. 135
    replicnt6 says:

    Dennis SGMM

    I think that Martin’s point is that the treasury needs to cash out some bonds for the trust fund to pay SS. And to do this together with pay the rest of the bills, they need to borrow.

    I’m asking Martin how he came up with those figures. Are you answering that question in some manner that I can’t discern?

  136. 136
    Cat Lady says:

    Corner Stone: Why be such a tiresome prick?

  137. 137
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cat Lady: Seriously? Are you kidding me?
    I posted a spoof about Canucks and opal cursed at me.
    Who’s the asshole here?

    ETA, Ok, I first read a curse word in there but the post now says it’s not there. Still, opal seems kind of like a douche in this scenario, if you ask me.

  138. 138
    Jeffro says:

    Hypothetically, imagine an infinitely destructive political party and an infinitely craven national media…

    …collapsing into themselves, burdened by their own weight and contradictions, until no truth, no common sense, no social contract of any kind are possible. Not even a ray of good governance or reporting would remain.

    behold! The Wingularity!

  139. 139
    opal says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Keep jerking off into those socks, Big Easy.

    Someday Jesus might forgive you.

  140. 140
    Cat Lady says:

    Corner Stone: OH NOES OPAL! Every thread you’re in ends up getting queered with your attitude towards one commenter or another, and the thing is, I mostly appreciate your on topic comments FWIW. But in general, your bully shtick is old.

  141. 141
    Corner Stone says:

    @opal: Don’t you fucking dare slander Sockina that way! What the fuck is wrong with you picking on an innocent god damned sockpuppet imaginary live-in girlfriend sock sex fetish thing?!
    What kind of sick twist are you, anyway?

  142. 142
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cat Lady: Thank you for seeing my side. I appreciate it.

  143. 143
    opal says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Sockina? That’s what your calling it now?

    Whatever. I’m all about compromise.

  144. 144
    unhandyandy says:

    If liberals continue to neglect the Overton window the situation will only get worse.

  145. 145

    Look at how many people won’t go on the “MSM” shows. Look at what happened to Cenk Uyger.

    You know what happened to Cenk? He went away for two weeks, and Al fucking Sharpton got better ratings than he did.

  146. 146
    Martin says:

    @replicnt6:

    Where do those numbers come from? On the face of it, you appear to be saying we lay out twice as much on SS as we receive in total revenues. This is simply not the case.

    From the Treasury’s daily ledger. We do bring in more in revenue than we pay out, but what day that money comes in/goes out matters. A lot. If it comes in on the 8th but we have to pay out on the 3rd, we’re fucked without cash reserves – and those are gone on the 2nd.

    @Dennis SGMM:

    One more time, SS checks are paid out of the SS trust fund – not out of funds allocated by Congress. The only way that SS would require direct funding is if the US decided to declare worthless the treasuries held by the SS trust fund. That last would do electoral wonders for anyone currently holding office.

    But the federal government is going to have to declare *some* treasuries to be worthless. They could make SS’s whole and default on China’s, but the long term cost of that might be just as bad with both political and economic cost, whereas defaulting on SS might limit that economic cost, and only incur a political cost.

    It looks as though there’s no problem floating new debt to clear old, so long as we balance at the end of the day, so Treasury can pick and choose here, but we only get a few weeks in before we can’t even swap out Trust Fund treasuries, and we’re forced to default on them.

    And that basically assumes a complete and total government shut down, including the revenue generating areas, Congress, and so on. Clearly that’s not possible, so Treasury is going to have to prioritize critical payroll over even SS, and that’s going to have to happen very quickly.

  147. 147
    OzoneR says:

    Tell me, how do we know that Obama is compromising?

    He’s supporting things he opposed three months ago, that’s how.

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