The underlords versus the overlords

…And now Eric Cantor tries to talk some sense into his caucus. That should work! It is his caucus, right?

Nope. Cantor only ‘leads’ the tea party caucus as long as he hews to the maximalist party line. If he backs down then all he will get is anathematized.

RedState ‘controls’ the party now, sort of, in the same way that Limbaugh and FOX News do and the Club For Growth does, but that only lasts so long as they stay in line. Erick Erickson can find himself anathematized just as fast as Cantor.

The suicide primary runs the GOP now. Whatever candidate the establishment puts up, no matter how much cash the overlords throw at a primary, someone like Christine O’Donnell can appear out of nowhere, claim the right flank and win. Michele Bachmann is about to do it to Mitt Romney. Candidates who run for the suicide primary win without money or establishment support because the GOP uses extensive outside institutions to develop issue agendas, contact Reps, mobilize activists and get out the vote*. These groups have taken advantage of social media to build a powerfully resonating echo chamber and basically run on their own power now.

Almost every Republican officeholder is terrified of the suicide primary. It scares them more than Obama does. It plainly scares them more than the prospect of wrecking the country. In a sense it should. Obama might pull off some 14th amendment-like magic trick and save the country, or he might not, but the first bloc of GOP votes that peels off from Boehner’s monolith and lets a Democratic plan pass (any Democratic plan; details irrelevant) will lose their seats in 2013. You can bet money on it.

How does John Boehner peel his herd of frightened lemmings off of the rightmost fringe of politics when his neck is just as vulnerable? It’s a good question.

(*) Normally jobs done by the RNC. I wonder how much of this came from firewalls the GOP built to protect itself from Michael Steele.

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143 replies
  1. 1

    RedState ‘controls’ the party now, sort of, in the same way that Limbaugh and FOX News do and the Club For Growth does, but that only lasts so long as they keep in line. Erick Erickson can lose his seat just as fast as Cantor.

    No offense, but does RedState even register with most Republican officeholders? Does Erick son of Erik sign any checks? Does anyone ever apologize to Erick son of Eric when they say something against him?

    I just don’t put him in the same time zone as the others mentioned above (and you left out Grover Fucking Norquist, fwiw).

  2. 2
    chopper says:

    ‘how the hell do we erase the aleph off this fucker’s head again?’

  3. 3
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    Cantor only ‘leads’ the tea party caucus as long as he hews to the maximalist party line. If he backs down then all he will get is anathematized.

    For a split second I read this as “euthanized.” Ah well, a girl can hope.

  4. 4
    pragmatism says:

    ewick son of ewick claims that congressional members call him to seek his advice on lifting the ceiling and other topics and that his bloviations are passed around the goper caucus like a paul ryan lookalike page.

  5. 5
    beltane says:

    Being that the bulk of the Republican base is made up of people who believe that the world is 6,000 years old and is on the verge of being destroyed by angry Redneck Jeebus who will surround them with 27 virgin big screen TVs in heaven, I’d say there is no reasoning with them. The best we can hope for is that the money boys get creative and find an actor to play Redneck Jeebus who will tell the teabaggers that he is very, very displeased with them, and that if they don’t behave he will force them to eat brown rice and tofu in the afterlife. It might work.

  6. 6
    Pavonis says:

    We may already be out of time. There just isn’t time left to get a CBO scoring and get a bill through both House and Senate. Maybe Sen. Reid’s bill can sail through if there isn’t a filibuster… My advice for President Obama is to start practicing his 14th Amendment speech now.

  7. 7
    Bulworth says:

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) delivered a blunt message to the Republican Conference Tuesday morning: Quit the “grumbling” and “whining” and come together to rally behind Speaker John Boehner to pass his debt ceiling plan.

    Traitor! Rino! //

  8. 8
    scav says:

    Oh dear, are we about to learn the critical differences between leading a parade by controlling the actual route, leading a parade by desperately flinging oneself in front a mob headed somewhere and running frantically from same mob when they really start moving?

  9. 9
    freelancer says:

    Republican legislators listen to the Vice Duke Jedi of the Red State Strike Force and Democrats read Steve Benen. Too bad Benen isn’t listened to as much.

  10. 10
    dr. bloor says:

    Jesus, when I think of what Cantor must have gotten from Boehner in the negotiation for him to back the bill I throw up in my mouth a little. For their sake, I hope Boehner doesn’t have any young daughters. Or, for that matter, young sons.

  11. 11
    Sasha says:

    How does John Boehner peel his herd of frightened lemmings off of the rightmost fringe of politics when his neck is just as vulnerable as the rest? It’s a good question.

    I’ve already suggested that Boehner and Obama/Pelosi should cut a deal: Boehner and sane House Republicans pass a debt limit increase with Democratic help, and when the Tea People come to depose Boehner for his blasphemy, the same bloc of Repubs and Dems vote to keep him as Speaker — effectively pinching off the TPs from the GOP.

  12. 12
    Scott says:

    I’m of the opinion that anyone who figures out a way to gather a vast number of teabaggers together and enact the vengeance of Nitocris needs a nice, bright, shiny medal.

  13. 13
    Rick Taylor says:

    Maybe Cantor can do it. It was clever of Republicans to have Cantor bail on the talks the moment they got to tax increases, so now his hands are clean and he can be the one to bring the purist Republicans into line (or attempt to). If they can do it, it will put Democrats in a tricky position. The Senate can kill Boehner’s bill, but that would seemingly guarantee we miss the August 2 deadline. So I’m reduced to hoping that tea party Republicans hold the line, thus forcing Boehner to accept the Reid capitulation, rather than hold out for something worse.

  14. 14
    catclub says:

    beltane @ 5
    I larfed.

  15. 15
    Scott says:

    Sasha: Boehner and sane House Republicans pass a debt limit increase with Democratic help, and when the Tea People come to depose Boehner for his blasphemy, the same bloc of Repubs and Dems vote to keep him as Speaker—effectively pinching off the TPs from the GOP.

    It would have the added benefit of making teabaggers shriek and tear their hair for several months, while continuing to be utterly impotent. I approve.

  16. 16
    The Moar You Know says:

    When Frankenstein gets loose everyone has a bad day.

    Frankenstein is loose. They’ll tell Cantor to fuck himself just as fast as they told Boehner.

  17. 17
    Catsy says:

    I really don’t know what the end game is here. To be honest, I don’t even see one worthy of the name: all I see in our immediate future is a lot of stumbling from one crisis (real or manufactured) to the next, averting bad outcomes solely through inertia, cowardice and luck.

    The Republican Party has radicalized itself far past the line of being a legitimate political party. Its elected representatives are a collection of criminals, incompetents and willing tools who are actively conspiring to commit economic terrorism against their own country if their demands aren’t met, and the ones that aren’t that insane are afraid to challenge the ones that are.

    I don’t see how they walk themselves back from this precipice, when half of them don’t believe there is a cliff, an extreme minority believe that we need to jump off the cliff in order to save the country, and the rest are perfectly willing to continue enabling the ones who want to take everyone else over the edge with them.

    It’s insane. This is a sick, sick ideology and movement that needs to be destroyed. And they will destroy themselves at this rate–hopefully before they destroy the country and our economy.

  18. 18
    DarrenG says:

    I’ve already suggested that Boehner and Obama/Pelosi should cut a deal: Boehner and sane House Republicans pass a debt limit increase with Democratic help, and when the Tea People come to depose Boehner for his blasphemy, the same bloc of Repubs and Dems vote to keep him as Speaker—effectively pinching off the TPs from the GOP.

    If that happened Boehner wouldn’t be on the Republican ticket in his district next Fall. Total career suicide, so not gonna happen.

  19. 19
    Beta Magellan says:

    @Pavonis

    Won’t happen–WH has unequivocally ruled out the fourteenth. Obama’s going to sign a grand bargain, even if we have to be driven back into a recession to get it.

  20. 20
    shortstop says:

    Obama might pull off some 14th amendment-like magic trick and save the country, or he might not, but the first bloc of GOP votes that peels off from Boehner’s monolith and lets a Democratic plan pass (any Democratic plan; details irrelevant) will lose their seats in 2013. You can bet money on it.

    Serious question: Are there no safe Republican districts in which teabagging lunacy stands no chance? Surely there are some concentrated pockets of wealthy, establishment, corporatist Republicans who stand to lose their shirts in the aftermath of default and who wouldn’t let someone like Joe Walsh get through the servants’ entrance, much less into office.

  21. 21
    wrb says:

    @pragmatism: @pragmatism:

    passed around the goper caucus like a paul ryan lookalike page.

    FTW!

  22. 22
    jwest says:

    Tim is correct in pointing out that any republican who moves one millimeter to the left will be bounced out of office. No new taxes means exactly that. No exceptions.

    You might want to check the positions of some your Senate members who are up for reelection in 2012. They have zero allegiance to Obama and would gladly toss him under the bus to hold their seats.

    Jon Tester – Who only won his seat because a third party libertarian was in the race in a bad republican year. Folks in Montana are not flocking to the streets asking for tax increases.

    Ben Nelson – Nelson played a vital role in passing the 2001 tax cut. In 2001, Nelson was one of a handful of Democratic Senators that helped craft the proposal to cut taxes by $1.3 trillion that was ultimately signed into law.

    Kent Conrad – North Dakota has placed democrats on the endangered species list. These are not big-spending east coast liberals.

    Claire McCaskill – As a senator who has her own private jet, she’s not too fond of Obama making her the villain.

    Bob Casey Jr. – Although he’s one of the least intelligent people to ever hold a seat in the Senate, he’s smart enough to read the polls in Pennsylvania that show anything associated with Obama is toxic.

  23. 23

    It will be interesting to see if Cantor can deliver. Michele Bachmann probably would like to have his job. And she can deliver her teaparty caucus.

  24. 24
    Zifnab says:

    Jesus, when I think of what Cantor must have gotten from Boehner in the negotiation for him to back the bill I throw up in my mouth a little.

    And possibly all for naught. Club for Growth says no. Bachmann, the Tea Party Princess, says no. If the Republicans can’t pass the bill within their own caucus, and the Dems aren’t swayed to bail Boehner et al out…

    I’m beginning to suspect the debt ceiling simply can’t be raised in the current political climate. Maybe a week of government shut down will win over a few hearts and minds.

  25. 25
    shortstop says:

    Obama’s going to sign a grand bargain, even if we have to be driven back into a recession to get it.

    The implication being, of course, that no economic harm will occur if we default. Eye fucking roll.

  26. 26
    Sean the ex-con(servative) says:

    At this point, the only question left is whether the GOP will implode completely before or after the 2012 election. Right now, it’s hard to imagine the vast middle voting for a crazy-eyed fundie, but if unemployment soars, al-kader attacks or Obama gets caught having an affair with a white woman before the election, we may as a nation have to endure the spectre of “President Bachmann.”

    If that doesn’t kill the party off, I don’t know what will. Too bad we’ll all have to suffer along with them.

  27. 27
    jl says:

    Well, heck, what can I do?

    I dunno. Maybe if the debt ceiling is not raised in early August, a few Democratic recall victories in WI recalls might help focus House GOPper attention. I’m gonna throw a few more bucks that way.

  28. 28
    opal says:

    No offense, but does RedState even register with most Republican officeholders?

    @arguingwithsignposts: As pathetic as RedState is, if you’re a republican legislator it’s somewhat more respectable than Hot Air or Free Republic.

  29. 29
    LADave says:

    Wow. My cynicism always just assumed that wall street money would rein this insanity in after some requisite drama, but now I’m getting scared. N Chomsky always said that we’ve been lucky so far that in that we’ve always had leaders who tended towards corruption instead of the horrors of “true believers”. This kind of ideological purity they demand is terrifying to behold.

  30. 30

    @Beta Magellan: #19

    Won’t happen—WH has unequivocally ruled out the fourteenth. Obama’s going to sign a grand bargain, even if we have to be driven back into a recession to get it.

    I realize you’re complaining, but I see the logic of that plan.

  31. 31
    cleek says:

    @Zifnab:
    doesn’t matter if it passes the House or not. Obama says he’ll veto Boehner’s plan.

  32. 32
    shortstop says:

    pragmatism:

    passed around the goper caucus like a paul ryan lookalike page.

    oh, my dog, that’s good.

  33. 33
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    You might want to check the positions of some your Senate members who are up for reelection in 2012.

    Concern troll is concerned.

  34. 34
    Stooleo says:

    I’ve already suggested that Boehner and Obama/Pelosi should cut a deal: Boehner and sane House Republicans pass a debt limit increase with Democratic help, and when the Tea People come to depose Boehner for his blasphemy, the same bloc of Repubs and Dems vote to keep him as Speaker—effectively pinching off the TPs from the GOP.

    I thought that the majority party voted for the speakership only with the members of its own caucus. So Republican majority, Dems can’t vote.

  35. 35
    scav says:

    @Linda Featheringill: But, apart from asking for all their starbursts, thou shalt not twinkle for any other winky one thou seest, what has she really asked them to do that they didn’t want to do? Serious question as I’ve been averting my eyes so as to be able to keep some small portion of my meals down.

  36. 36
    The Dangerman says:

    I have really, really bad news for a lot of them; any of them from a swing district is already on suicide watch. So, they can go down as a patriot or a traitor.

  37. 37
    eemom says:

    am I to understand that there are now republican congresspeople who are even MORE hellbent on driving this thing off the cliff than Cantor?

    Cantor talking sense??

    It does not compute.

  38. 38
    jl says:

    For added hilarity, the House and Senate GOPpers are trying to dictate all the things Obama must promise to pay, even without a debt ceiling.

    Another fer sawds sake moment, for those keeping track.

    Most analysis show a not enough money moment sometime definitely by mid August. There will be gaps, big gaps, in cash flow after that and no one can guarantee who gets paid, on time, or at all.

  39. 39
    jwest says:

    Spaghetti Lee,

    Just trying to show the futility of resistance.

    Submit now or face a greater punishment from your Galtian Overlords.

  40. 40
    Pavonis says:

    @Beta Magellan 19

    I’d argue that since Congress has already passed the budget and set taxes, there is no choice but to borrow the money… otherwise the executive branch will have to pick and choose what to fund, or the courts do. It’s hard to see how that would be constitutional either.

    Sadly, the Obama administration disagrees. So we’ll probably see grandma and the troops getting IOUs for a while before a few sane GOPers relent.

  41. 41
    opal says:

    @jwest:

    Funny how right wing loons are suddenly going all realpolitik and introspective.

  42. 42
    Violet says:

    @jwest:

    Claire McCaskill – As a senator who has her own private jet, she’s not too fond of Obama making her the villain.

    Does that “private jet owner” thing poll really well or something? I keep hearing Democrats say it — Obama said it last night — and it just seems contrived to me. The “CEO paying less in taxes than his secretary” line works much better, imho. I don’t know who any “private jet owners” are, but I sure know, or can find out, who CEOs are. And I can read up on their lavish lifestyles.

  43. 43
    DarrenG says:

    am I to understand that there are now republican congresspeople who are even MORE hellbent on driving this thing off the cliff than Cantor?

    There always have been. The True Believers like West, Bachmann, et al oppose hiking the debt limit under any circumstances and want to set the controls for the heart of the sun. That group actually seems to have stunningly increased in number over time, too.

    Cantor just wants to either extract the maximum amount of blood and pain from Obama and the Dems before raising the ceiling, or lay the failure at Boehner’s feet so he can take over as Speaker.

  44. 44
    slag says:

    Josh Marshall’s take seems pretty apt to me:

    Yes, at some level it’s a game of chicken. Something we can all understand pretty intuitively in human nature and game theory terms. But to really get what’s really going on you’ve got to understand one key point: one of the two cars doesn’t have a driver in it. Which changes everything.

  45. 45
    jl says:

    I hope I do not render myself an extreme DFH, or nastily non bi partisan in this observation, but if Boehner really really wanted a debt ceiling increase, he could help himself by trying for bipartisan House bill. So far, I think he is not even thought about trying that. It has to be all GOP voting for it, which means probably nothing because there are too many nasty crazy loons in the House GOP caucus.

    So, both sides are the same, right?

  46. 46
    Violet says:

    Phoning Reps report: Phoned my Representative. Busy signal on first try, got through on second. Intern who answered said the phones had been busy all day.

    Phoned both Senators. Both have voicemail trees: “Press one for [information], two to leave a comment on current issues, three to speak to someone in the Senator’s office.” I chose three in both cases. Got through to one Senator, not the other (message said the call volume was too high).

    Is this common, this “phone tree” thing for Senators? Or just in my state?

  47. 47
    Beta Magellan says:

    @Pavonis:

    I’d argue the same, which was why it was so dispiriting to see that Reuters article.

  48. 48
    quaker in a basement says:

    RedState ‘controls’ the party now, sort of, in the same way that Limbaugh and FOX News do and the Club For Growth does, but that only lasts so long as they keep in line.

    No, Erickson can lose his seat, but the Tea Party ceases to be a factor the minute Murdoch stops giving them free air time. As soon as the Christine McDonnells and Michelle Bachmanns are treated as fringe loonies by FOX, they’ll lose their power.

    Question is, what price is the GOP establishment willing to pay to “stop” Obama?

  49. 49
    Han's Big Snark Solo says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that for many of the terrified Republicans there really is not much to fear.

    I think the Teabaggers have outlived their usefulness and the Republican money that paid for their rallies, organized their rallies, and gave them a sense of unity will leave them high and dry. Or at least dry, the prescription meds the teabaggers favor are too expensive.

    In short time the teabaggers will go back to being the psychotic wing of the Republican party, ignored by all but those who mock them.

  50. 50
    joes527 says:

    On February 11, 1779, Captain Cook returned to Kealakekua Bay unexpectedly. He was considered to be a god by the islanders, but his actions on his earlier visit had been annoyingly un-godlike, and this return after leaving was totally off script for their god.

    This ended badly for him.

    This is the dynamic of the Republican party today.

  51. 51
    NonyNony says:

    @eemom

    am I to understand that there are now republican congresspeople who are even MORE hellbent on driving this thing off the cliff than Cantor?

    Cantor’s only in this for the personal power – he’s stupid (oh gods is he ever stupid, as he’s shown time and time again over the years) but at his core he’s looking out for number one – Eric Cantor. And right now he’s amassed as much power as he’s going to get by being the “voice of the true believers” so he’s trying to spend some of that credibility with them to be the hero here for the Galtian Overlords who just don’t want to see things collapse.

    Probably won’t work. Cantor was never driving the train – Cantor was standing on the cattle guard with an engineer’s hat on pretending to drive the train. The train is getting ready to crash into the wall and now he’s trying to steer the train.

  52. 52
    askew says:

    The Chamber of Commerce is aggressively lobbying the House to pass the Boehner plan + there are rumors that some conservative Dems are wavering.

    If Boehner’s bill passes the House, he can refuse to allow Reid’s plan a vote in the House and then turn the tables and claim it is the Dems who are refusing to compromise.

  53. 53
    4jkb4ia says:

    jwest–

    Conrad is going to retire.
    Claire McCaskill’s schtick is fiscal responsibility. I am not sure the jet “scandal” registered at the time. Also too, Claire needs every Democratic vote to come out next year.

  54. 54
    Sasha says:

    If that happened Boehner wouldn’t be on the Republican ticket in his district next Fall. Total career suicide, so not gonna happen.

    He’d have over a year to shore up support and use PR to become the savior of the Republican Party (as the Village writes column after column on Boehner’s courage and his standing up to the radical fringe that threatened to destroy the GOP and conservatism).

    Even if not, a remaining term as the Speaker of a functioning House that actually gets shit done (especially if he decides not to run in 2012 in order to “spend more time with his family”) is still better than the being deposed, with his head on a pike being used as an warning to other squishies (which is what looks like what’s going to happen to him anyway).

  55. 55
    wrb says:

    @Violet:

    Does that “private jet owner” thing poll really well or something?

    It is an attack on a specific, and particularly absurd, tax break. We subsidize the owning of private jets, which among other things are about the Worst Things In The World when it comes to climate change.

  56. 56
    Admiral_Komack says:

    I’ve been to weeseeyou.com (thank you, Town) and I agree with all of this:

    “Barack Obama has destroyed America. No matter if he wins or not next year, America has been destroyed and will never be the same:”

    “He’s shown the media to be propaganda puppets, willfully lying, misrepresenting or plain not reporting the news. They create the news instead of reporting it.”

    “He’s shown the GOP to be a bunch of racist thugs only out to protect the rich.”

    “He’s shown the Democratic party to be a bunch of racist, lazy bums who think it’s cool to have a black friend but not cool to have a black boss.”

    “He’s shown the “progressives” to be whiny, lazy, spoiled racists patronizing condescending assholes who don’t care about the people they scream they care about.”

    “He’s shown the Soul Patrol to be a bunch of fake, phony, lazy grifters who pimp black people for their own personal enrichment.”

    “He’s shown the CBC to be a bunch of lazy windbags more interested in protecting their party invites and hooking up their friends than protecting their communities.”

    “He’s shown this “American Dream” that’s pimped out to non-whites to be a farce b/c this dude is the mofo President of the United States and people think he and his family are a bunch of stupid ignorant ghetto trash who is only where they are in life because white people “allowed” them to get there.”

    “He’s shown “American Exceptionalism” to be a joke worldwide, b/c we’d rather have a bunch of stupid rubes than a black guy telling us what to do.”

    “He’s shown “American Democracy” to be a joke because we can’t even abide by it in this country.”

    “So the genie’s been let out of the bottle. It can’t be put back in. America™ died on Jan 3, 2008…we’re just waiting to shovel the dirt over the coffin.”

  57. 57
    jl says:

    @50 We need to hear that Boehner is willing to go without all the GOPpers on board. Is that not true anymore?

  58. 58
    JPL says:

    OT..called Tom Price’s office and he has not decided yet on the debt limit. You could have knocked me over with a feather since he was on local tv yesterday saying the deficit was no big deal. hahahaha

  59. 59
    Amir_Khalid says:

    Me, I’m not convinced that the Republican caucus has a leader as such. If the nominal leaders — Boehner, Eric Cantor, whoever else is up there — can’t persuade the right-wing nutters, which is the vibe I’m getting off the updates to that GOS post, then there ain’t nobody leading that crowd.

    The Tea Party faction are holding out for a default. That’s the win that they’re looking for. They really do believe only good things will happen for them: Obama will be humiliated, spending cuts will be forced on the government, they’ll get the leverage to cut huge holes in the social safety net, everyone will blame the Democrats. So they’re up there on that ledge, bound and determined to jump — and, as another commenter noted in these threads, they seriously believe they can fly.

  60. 60
    cleek says:

    @Pavonis:

    there is no choice but to borrow the money

    only Congress has the power to borrow that money. the President does not have that power.

  61. 61
    The Dangerman says:

    @jl:

    …the House and Senate GOPpers are trying to dictate all the things Obama must promise to pay, even without a debt ceiling.

    Fat fucking chance there.

    I assume Obama pays off the bonds, pays off on anything related to National Security (no way troops aren’t getting paid or wars not being fully funded) and everyone else is fighting for the remnants.

    Since FAA, FBI, Homeland Security, et al, falls into National Security, I don’t know how far one goes before it’s down to table scraps for everyone else; a whole bunch of people are getting pushed off a chair when the music stops.

  62. 62
    DarrenG says:

    If Boehner’s bill passes the House, he can refuse to allow Reid’s plan a vote in the House and then turn the tables and claim it is the Dems who are refusing to compromise.

    For once, the Dems are actually out ahead of things and have this scenario covered.

    They haven’t introduced Reid’s plan into the Senate as a hedge against this exact outcome. If the House passes Boehner’s bill, the Senate will then ‘amend’ it by replacing it in its entirety with the text of Reid’s bill, and then either letting the Senate Republicans kill it or send it back to the House to die.

    (I think it was Greg Sargent that had this from Hill staffers this morning.)

  63. 63
    apostropher says:

    @Stooleo: I thought that the majority party voted for the speakership only with the members of its own caucus. So Republican majority, Dems can’t vote.

    Nope. The whole House votes for the Speaker.

  64. 64
    cleek says:

    @Admiral_Komack:
    and now i know not to ever bother visiting weeseeyou.com. thanks!

  65. 65
    jl says:

    @57 Amir_Khalid

    The House GOP thinks it can order Obama to pay all the gummint bills that will be politically convenient for the House GOP to be paid, even if the debt ceiling is not raised.

    That is a very simple plan and sure to work.

  66. 66
    JenJen says:

    I see the White House has now come out with actual veto language against Boehner’s bill.

    In other readings, Ed Kilgore takes Greenwald to the woodshed in this pretty interesting piece, titled “No, I’m not an Obama cheerleader: The difference between understanding Obama’s strategy and celebrating it”.

  67. 67
    DarrenG says:

    @50 We need to hear that Boehner is willing to go without all the GOPpers on board. Is that not true anymore?

    He’s always been willing to go without unanimity — he has no choice since there’s a few nutters who won’t vote for any increase to the debt ceiling no matter what.

    What he wants, and needs in order to remain Speaker (and probably avoid a serious primary challenge next year), is for a solid majority of the caucus to vote for the proposal that eventually passes.

    The sticking point there is that there doesn’t seem to be a proposal that can theoretically get a large majority of House Republican votes and still pass the Senate and be signed by Obama.

  68. 68
    Ol' Dirty DougJ says:

    I think you are right, that they are all afraid of being primaried, so they won’t cross the teatards.

  69. 69

    @scav:

    Michele and her teaparty caucus:

    It might be that she and they are in such agreement that no real leadership has been required so far. I hadn’t thought of that.

  70. 70
    jl says:

    @65 thanks for the info.

  71. 71
    shortstop says:

    Nony:

    Cantor was never driving the train – Cantor was standing on the cattle guard with an engineer’s hat on pretending to drive the train. The train is getting ready to crash into the wall and now he’s trying to steer the train.

    Nicely done.

  72. 72
    J.W. Hamner says:

    I find it odd how hard the GOP is working to prove Obama’s argument. Though reporters have such a hard time comprehending that one side can, in fact, be totally at fault… it’ll probably just be ignored.

  73. 73
    scav says:

    @cleek: It does seem to be the official weeseeyou.com position to blame the mirror for ones being ugly and to blame the x-ray for ones being sick. Subtle irony there.

  74. 74
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Ol’ Dirty DougJ:

    I think you are right, that they are all afraid of being primaried, so they won’t cross the teatards.

    I agree, and this makes them entirely just a bunch of wussies who have no business trying to govern.

  75. 75
    JPL says:

    Tom Price has been on every channel that will have him on and I can’t believe that now he is undecided about the Boehner bill. He is the ultimate libertarian who wants to privatize medicare and social security. What did Cantor say to him.

  76. 76
    Violet says:

    @wrb:
    Thanks for explaining that. Unless it polls particularly well or resonates with swing voters or something, I still think it’s a stupid talking point. I probably follow politics more than most people, but I didn’t know that tax break thing. Would the average swing voter who doesn’t follow politics know that?

    Without knowing that, it just seems like one small group of people (private jet owners) is being singled out. Sure they’re rich, but so are a lot of other people. Why not single out people who live in 20,000 sq ft homes or people who own more than five houses or yacht owners or something?

    It just seems incredibly random and I don’t think it hits home the way the “CEO’s paying less in taxes than their secretaries” comment does.

  77. 77
    General Stuck says:

    Obama says will veto Boehner bill, the screws tighten as Obama hoists his big brass ones onto the teatard House.

  78. 78
    BlizzardOfOz says:

    How dare they hew to their own beliefs, or engage in political brinksmanship. “Crazy”!

  79. 79
    beltane says:

    @Amir_Khalid: They also want a default just for the general chaos of it all. They think it will be like an exciting action movie where they get to play the part of tough, gun-slinging John Waynes. The reality of such chaos will likely make them crap their pants but that is besides the point.

  80. 80
    Tonal Crow says:

    If Obama won’t pull the Constitutional Option (why the hell not?), the Federal Reserve might still be able to cancel the ~$1.6 trillion of Treasury bonds it holds, freeing up that amount for further borrowing. That said, I don’t know the statutes governing the Federal Reserve, so I could be completely wrong.

  81. 81
    opal says:

    @JenJen:

    One wonders if any of Greenwald’s cult will show up to defend him nowadays after his recent spree of wall-hacks and shenanigans.

  82. 82
    askew says:

    @DarrenG – That’s good news. I am still hoping that the House votes down Boehner’s plan just to show how crazy the GOP has become.

  83. 83
    Sasha says:

    I thought that the majority party voted for the speakership only with the members of its own caucus. So Republican majority, Dems can’t vote.

    IIRC, the majority party’s caucus votes for its own majority leader, but the majority of the entire House elects the Speaker (but since the majority party also makes up the majority of the House, it’s an academic issue unless things get really weird … like now).

  84. 84
    TooManyJens says:

    About two dozen of us from MoveOn/Rebuild the Dream met with a staffer at my Rep’s office today. The good news is, it left us all really fired up to get rid of Johnson in 2012. The bad news is … the whole rest of the meeting, really. Although the staffer smugly claimed that there would be a deal by the end of the week, he couldn’t or wouldn’t tell us what might be in it.

  85. 85
    JPL says:

    raven aka stuckinred, you around? Call your rep and see if he is voting for the boehner bill..

  86. 86
    Emma says:

    And to add to the festive occasion, I just read over at TPM that Obama has said that in the unlikely instance that the Speaker’s plan reaches his desk, he will veto it.

    (edit) and I should really read all the comments. Other people got there before I did.

  87. 87
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    The Treasury used to be able to issue its own short term certificates. It’s also been pointed out that the Treasury is the source of all currency (even though that right has been ceded to the Fed for nearly a century).

    I’m not a financial historian, but I wonder what other ‘historical instruments’ Geithner’s people might have found up in the proverbial attic that could be useful.

  88. 88
    JPL says:

    Askew @ 82…Personally I want the Boehner bill to fail but if the tea party folk in GA are non-commital about voting for it that is not a good sign

  89. 89
    shortstop says:

    Violet:

    Without knowing that, it just seems like one small group of people (private jet owners) is being singled out…It just seems incredibly random and I don’t think it hits home the way the “CEO’s paying less in taxes than their secretaries” comment does.

    Picking on a small group of people is the point, though. Didja notice how Boehner said last night that “as a small business owner, I know that raising taxes kills jobs” — as though all, or even most, small business owners are bringing in $250K in personal income or using the kind of corporate loopholes the Dems are proposing to close? That was very much consonant with the Republicans’ longtime and effective strategy of confusing average voters and entrepreneurs into thinking that Obama has raised/will raise their taxes. Joe the Plumber was an idiot. He’s also about as well informed as most voters when it comes to taxes.

    So this admittedly rather vulgar visual of fatcats in private jets is a very effective way of illustrating self-indulgent wealth while communicating: “This is not you. We are not raising your taxes.” Companies come in all sizes and there are many, many CEOs who fall well below the magic 2 percent we’re talking about, so they don’t have that obvious “otherness” we’re trying to show. They’re a good addition to the private jet language, but not a replacement for it.

  90. 90
    Brachiator says:

    Almost every Republican officeholder is terrified of the suicide primary. It scares them more than Obama does. It plainly scares them more than the prospect of wrecking the country…. How does John Boehner peel his herd of frightened lemmings off of the rightmost fringe of politics when his neck is just as vulnerable? It’s a good question.

    I’m not seeing fear here. None at all. The Republicans didn’t worry about wrecking the financial system when Dubya was president, and still try to blame a Western nation financial collapse on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac forcing innocent bankers into giving mortgages to unworthy blacks and Latinos.

    Boehner looks as though he is trying to run as co-president (note his recent false claim that he takes the same oath of office as the president). As speaker he has relentlessly pursued the same GOP agenda which has been in play since Clinton: deregulation, spending cuts, tax cuts for the rich, opposition to social programs.

    The past waffling and cowardice of Congressional Democrats should not fool anyone into thinking that the GOP thinks the same way. They have purged moderates from the party, as well as most thinking Republicans.

    They cultivate the Tea Party People and are only too happy to let media goons like Rush and all the “talent” on Fox News keep people in line.

    It’s a hell of a racket these guys got working for themselves.

  91. 91
    jl says:

    @75 JPL
    Maybe the administration told Cantor the priority level for paying federal bills to some of Price’s constituents after the money runs out, and at this point Cantor’s comment to Price was that that will be real tough for him, sorry about that, big guy.

    I have to think some that is happening around about now.

  92. 92
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Pavonis:

    I’d argue that since Congress has already passed the budget and set taxes, there is no choice but to borrow the money…

    Yes. A fuller argument goes like this:

    By appropriating past and current spending programs with full knowledge that they can’t all be paid for from current revenues, Congress has implicitly authorized the President to borrow the shortfall. The debt-ceiling vote is an extraconstitutional nullity, since, if it fails, it cannot act to disappropriate previously-appropriated spending. Only a law, passed by both houses and signed by the President, or repassed on override, can do that.

  93. 93
    Paris says:

    the first bloc of GOP votes that peels off from Boehner’s monolith and lets a Democratic plan pass… will lose their seats in 2013

    I think there’s going to be a rout no matter what. Everyday people are pissed at the crazies in the GOP. It’s poisoned their brand.

  94. 94
    jwest says:

    Violet @76

    Liberal geniuses already tried to tax yachts, private jets, expensive cars and other luxury items… It didn’t turn out well.

    Not only did the tax not bring in anywhere near what they thought it would, thousands of working people (many of them union workers) lost their jobs forever when industries closed or moved overseas.

    Patrick Kennedy did propose a tax credit for buying a yacht in excess of 50 feet years later, but for some reason he couldn’t get his party to go along with it.

  95. 95
    Pavonis says:

    @jwest 94

    There’s a difference between enacting special taxes on luxury goods and the current situation (which Obama is talking about) of having special tax breaks for luxury goods. The later distort the market and are unfair to the poor and middle classes. Even conservatives would agree with that.

  96. 96
    chopper says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    and in either case the prez is violating some federal law. damned/does/don’t.

    not to go full godwin, but it’s like the nazi camp guard who throws a rock over the line and tells an inmate ‘get it or i’ll shoot you’, and shoots him for trying to escape the moment he steps over it.

  97. 97
    jheartney says:

    I recall that during Newt’s Glorious Gov’t Shutdown of 1995, the DC press then was just about as useless about assigning blame as the current one is. Despite that, it eventually became plain that Newt’s Nutters were the ones driving the country into a ditch, and they ended up paying for it in ’96. Same thing in 05 with Katrina, Schiavo, and Social Security Privatization.

    I think the GOP is buying themselves another wave election loss in 2012.

  98. 98
    eemom says:

    @ JenJen

    Good. I can’t believe the disgusting drek the little shit put up today — in the middle of this debacle — about “It’s Official, Obama Has Lost the Base.” Interestingly, he’s saying the exact same thing at the exact same times as all the wingnut clowns linked on memeorandum.

    Fuck his smug little Brazilian ass.

  99. 99
    wrb says:

    @Paris:

    I think there’s going to be a rout no matter what. Everyday people are pissed at the crazies.

    Polls aren’t showing it, yet at least.

    In TPM’s composite poll Republicans have a + 3.2 % edge in the generic congressional ballot. They may well think crazy is what everyday people want.

  100. 100
    MikeJ says:

    @jwest: So you’re saying it had a tiny economic impact, but it had a huge economic impact?

    Yacht building didn’t move overseas because of taxes. Rich people in the US never stopped buying yachts, and they have to pay the tax on US registered ships regardless of where they’re built.

    Manufacturing jobs go elsewhere because no matter how little money you’re willing to take, they can always find someone who will take less.

  101. 101
    Amir_Khalid says:

    This Republican politician has politicized Amy Winehouse’s passing by calling the Democratic administration’s deficit spending an addiction.

    There’s some clear hypocrisy on display here. That aside, is this guy a Tea Party member?

  102. 102
    jwest says:

    Pavonis,

    You are correct that there should not be special tax breaks for specific items, industries, individuals or anything else.

    The only way to insure this doesn’t happen is to institute the Fair Tax Plan.

  103. 103

    @beltane:

    They also want a default just for the general chaos of it all. They think it will be like an exciting action movie where they get to play the part of tough, gun-slinging John Waynes. The reality of such chaos will likely make them crap their pants but that is besides the point.

    So they are like the characters in that movie “Crash“?

  104. 104
    DarrenG says:

    You are correct that there should not be special tax breaks for specific items, industries, individuals or anything else.

    The only way to insure this doesn’t happen is to institute the Fair Tax Plan.

    The *only* way? Really? There’s no other possible tax regime that can theoretically eliminate special-interest tax breaks?

    Hint: Look at nearly any random tax code of any other industrialized nation…

  105. 105
    Tonal Crow says:

    @chopper:

    @Tonal Crow: and in either case the prez is violating some federal law.

    I’m not sure about that. What statute prevents the President from borrowing absent a debt-ceiling vote? I’m not saying there isn’t one, but neither am I saying that there is. Does anyone know?

    damned/does/don’t. not to go full godwin, but it’s like the nazi camp guard who throws a rock over the line and tells an inmate ‘get it or i’ll shoot you’, and shoots him for trying to escape the moment he steps over it.

    True that. Which is why Obama should just end this fiasco by doing it and daring the teatards to impeach him. Which they’ll do. The Senate will then hold a trial, in which the teatards will argue that Obama violated whatever. If Obama doesn’t totally fail at rhetoric, he’ll argue that Republicans precipitated an economic crisis, which it was his duty to remedy. The Senate will acquit, the teatards will rage, and maybe the low-information voters will awaken for long enough to give the House to Democrats in 2012.

  106. 106
    Kirbster says:

    @ 56:

    Okay, I give up. What earthshaking thing happened on January 3rd, 2008?

  107. 107
    JPL says:

    JWEST.. You do know the fair tax is regressive, right…
    All that money the Koch brothers saved on their taxes would just trickle down on me. I just can’t wait.

  108. 108
    catclub says:

    “the President does not have that power”

    Well, the executive is under orders of the Congress to spend that money and do those things it has legislated, so the congress has effectively delegated that power to the executive.

  109. 109
    Tonal Crow says:

    @catclub (108): Exactly.

  110. 110
    Face says:

    I see Republicans with all the momentum and clout up until August 2nd; O will be quite vulernable to sign anything. However, after 02Aug, the bed’s already been shat. Now Obama can turn the tables and demand the farm, once Grandpa and Grandma start missing their SS checks.

  111. 111
    Dekster says:

    Why is the Republican base so good at this, while we are so bad at it? If we had been this good at influencing the Dems in the 2000s, the Democrats would have voted no on funding the wars AND would have defunded all our bases around the world AND would have strongarmed Bush into raising the Fed minimum wage AND we’d all have ponies. Amazing.

  112. 112
    wrb says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    I’m not sure about that. What statute prevents the President from borrowing absent a debt-ceiling vote? I’m not saying there isn’t one, but neither am I saying that there is. Does anyone know?

    The law that established debt ceilings.

    Title 31,Subtitle III,Chapter 31,Subchapter I,subsection 3101,paragraph (b):

    The face amount of obligations issued under this chapter and the face amount of obligations whose principal and interest are guaranteed by the United States Government (except guaranteed obligations held by the Secretary of the Treasury) may not be more than $11,315,000,000,000,outstanding at one time,subject to changes periodically made in that amount as provided by law through the congressional budget process described in Rule XLIX of the Rules of the House of Representatives or otherwise.

  113. 113
    TooManyJens says:

    @Dekster:

    Why is the Republican base so good at this, while we are so bad at it?

    The Republican base is de facto acting on behalf of the rich and powerful, and we’re not. They have a tailwind, we have a headwind.

    This isn’t an excuse for inaction, just a reminder of the reason why our progress is always going to be slower and more frustrating than we’d like.

  114. 114
    jl says:

    @110 Face

    Exactly. That is why I doubt secret or implicit understandings for last minute deals.

    The incentives for each side change in a very discontinuous way sometime in the first half of August when the money really runs short, for reals.

    That is why the weird attempt by the GOP to ‘instruct’ Obama on spending priorities, and what bills he is supposed to promise to pay.

    And why the GOP will play a game of chicken and try public perception management right up until the money does run short.

    We will all need to practice deep breathing and relaxation before this is over.

    After the money runs short, and Obama starts prioritizing payments, he can decide who gets squeezed when. The GOP and the clueless or dishonest media can talk (edit: standard BS) all they want but the howls of pain and outrage will drown that out.

  115. 115
    Catsy says:

    @jwest:

    The only way to insure this doesn’t happen is to institute the Fair Tax Plan.

    So-called “Fair Tax” proposals are a regressive abomination with a laundry list of inherent problems a mile long. Advocating for this sort of thing is an extremely efficient way to zero out your credibility with anyone left of center who possesses even a passing familiarity with economics and tax policy.

  116. 116
    DarrenG says:

    @114 jl:

    The problem is that this is much, much worse than a CR-related government shutdown. In addition to lots and lots of checks not going out, it will result in massive chaos in the bond markets which will then spread to the equities markets.

    There will also be a substantial long-term penalty to the government in the form of higher interest rates on debt, perhaps *much* higher, which will then cascade to corporate and consumer debt and trigger a spike in inflation.

    Bad juju. Very bad juju.

  117. 117
    jl says:

    @112 wrb

    Can you post sections of the debt limit law that specifically say what should be done when the debt limit is inadequate to pay federal expenditures in the law? Is there a section that concerns that.

    Seriously, do you know of any sections that explain what to do in that case?

    The latest budget resolution was after debt ceiling expired I think. If the debt ceiling law says nothing about what to do when not enough dough to pay the bills, then a lot of issues are up in the air.

  118. 118
    chopper says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    article 1 sec. 8 of the constitution lays out pretty clearly that congress is given the sole power to borrow money, not the president. funny that the treasury technically issues debt tho.

    basically, congress has given the treasury the ability to issue debt as needed to pay for its expenditures, as long as it doesn’t breach the ceiling. i don’t see any legal or constitutional means for the prez to get around that unilaterally.

  119. 119
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @shortstop:

    From what I understand about the private jet owners and taxes, they receive an accelerated depreciation of their jet that other jet-owning entities (corporations, for example) do not. The tax law change, if I understand it correctly, removes the accelerated depreciation for private jet owners so that they get the same deal that corporations do (for tax purposes).

    The Repubs want to protect the private jet owners and Obama is right to hit them hard on it.

  120. 120
    TooManyJens says:

    @jl:

    Can you post sections of the debt limit law that specifically say what should be done when the debt limit is inadequate to pay federal expenditures in the law? Is there a section that concerns that.

    Not that I can see:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/usc.....-000-.html

  121. 121
    jl says:

    @166 Well, OK, financial panic might happen. Did I say I wanted that to happen? Or thought it would good to happen? Or Obama should play it so it is more likely to happen.

    I just said that, if not enough money and Obama has to prioritize, then the incentive change. That is all. I don’t see how financial panic will change that. Congressional constituencies will be even more desperate to get their payments on time. And the House GOP is so messed up Obama may not be able to prevent no debt ceiling increase in time to stop a mess.

  122. 122
    passerby says:

    @jwest 94.

    Liberal geniuses already tried to tax yachts, private jets, expensive cars and other luxury items… It didn’t turn out well.

    But jwest, I think the whole corporate jet owner issue is that they can deduct the interest from their jet payments similar to what a homeowner does with a mortgage.

    If I understand the issue correctly, it a tax break (a deduction) not a tax on the sale of the jet per se.

    Can a student who graduates college with a huge student loan to pay off, can they deduct the interest–as a tax deduction? (Think I saw that idea in a West Wing episode and I don’t know if the idea became real or not.)

  123. 123
    Bulworth says:

    Washington (CNN) — A day after competing nationally televised speeches by President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, talks on a debt ceiling deal to avert a government default next week generated fresh hostility Tuesday amid some signs of possible movement.

    While political leaders continued sniping at each other’s latest proposals, conservative Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called for renewed negotiations with Obama and indicated his party must be willing to move away from some of its demands.

    “We are going to have to get back together and get a solution here,” McConnell said of formal talks with the White House and congressional Democrats. “We cannot get a perfect solution, from my point of view, controlling only the House of Representatives. So I am prepared to accept something less than perfect because perfect is not achievable.”

    (snip)

    Following Obama’s call Monday night for the public to push their elected representatives for a deal, Capitol Hill phone lines were jammed and websites of key lawmakers — including House Speaker John Boehner — crashed as citizens from coast to coast tried to weigh in on the debate.

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITI.....?hpt=hp_t1

    See, now that wasn’t so hard, was it?

  124. 124
    wrb says:

    @jl:

    If the debt ceiling law says nothing about what to do when not enough dough to pay the bills, then a lot of issues are up in the air.

    It would seem so.

    What might be most important is the effect on potential investors of this language:

    face amount of obligations whose principal and interest are guaranteed by the United States Government (except guaranteed obligations held by the Secretary of the Treasury) may not be more than $11,315,000,000,000,

    Could perhaps a court rule that even though the US sold some paper, it could not and so did not guarantee it? Might trouble an investor.

  125. 125
    shortstop says:

    Odie, what you say is interesting, but the average voter doesn’t need to know those details to react negatively to the simple statement that private jet owners get special tax breaks. I was addressing Violet’s concern that it’s not an especially compelling group to be singled out. I think it is for the reasons I outlined above.

  126. 126
    jl says:

    @120
    thanks for the link, and your read of the law.

    An example of the argument that the debt ceiling can simply be ignored from Brad DeLong, and link with another example to Calculated Risk.

    What To Do About the Debt Ceiling…
    http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/.....iling.html

    Whether I or anyone else thinks that this or that or other work around, or argument is legal or not is beside the point. The issue is whether, practically speaking,

    any work around will fly with creditors who have money due to them,
    whether the Congress or the Courts can shut the work around down,
    and
    whether public opinion supports the President.

    So, no one knows what will happen, and unless Obama has an inner James Buchanan he wants to let out and spend the days crying at his desk, he will have tools to change the loony incentives of the House GOP, IMHO.

    Edit: thanks to @123, looks like GOP may be cracking a little, but then, is true that we saw a few GOP cracks before, that got patched up by the crazies.

  127. 127
    jwb says:

    Sasha: I’ve toyed around with this scenario for the past couple of days as well. What I’ve come up with is that Boehner and whatever sane Goopers he can convince to jump ship leave to form an independent party. At that point the Goopers no longer have a majority so if the remaining Goopers throw him out as Speaker, the Dems and the new independent party come together to elect Boehner as Speaker. I don’t really think it’s a realistic scenario for all sorts of reasons, but it certainly could be done.

  128. 128
    wrb says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    face amount of obligations whose principal and interest are guaranteed by the United States Government (except guaranteed obligations held by the Secretary of the Treasury) may not be more than $11,315,000,000,000,

    Looks like they are already not counted toward the limit, if you look at the section of the law I posted above.

  129. 129
    jl says:

    @124 See recent posts in Econbrowser and Felix Salmon for ways to ignore or evade debt limit. Salmon mentioned a way to issue new debt in a way that would make it indistinguishable in practical terms from old debt. So that would present courts with a big dilemma in trying to void certain securities.

    And I would be interested in any lawyers or finance people who understand the ‘good faith’ aspect of property and finance law.

    Seems the critical issue for GOP is whether Obama has the guts to try one of the many options to manage a cash shortage to his advantage until their constituencies start to break down their office doors.

  130. 130
    Tonal Crow says:

    @wrb::

    Title 31,Subtitle III,Chapter 31,Subchapter I,subsection 3101,paragraph (b):
    The face amount of obligations issued under this chapter and the face amount of obligations whose principal and interest are guaranteed by the United States Government (except guaranteed obligations held by the Secretary of the Treasury) may not be more than $11,315,000,000,000,outstanding at one time,subject to changes periodically made in that amount as provided by law through the congressional budget process described in Rule XLIX of the Rules of the House of Representatives or otherwise.

    Assuming that “or otherwise” modifies “as provided by law”, the argument goes that Congress has authorized expenditures in excess of that limit by appropriating them via the ordinary appropriations process, which is “by law…or otherwise”. The question then arises whether only appropriations made *after* the last debt-limit increase are thus exempted, under the most-recent-statute-governs doctrine.

    Of course, (b) might be legally unenforceable for lack of standing and/or as a “political question”.

  131. 131
    El Cid says:

    I look forward to the next time the US (administration, or Congress, or the punditariat) criticizes Venezuela (or whoever else) for running an inefficient government and endangering the safety of private investment in that country.

  132. 132
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @wrb: The ‘Republicans’ they want don’t exist. They might as well want Pontiacs and Oldsmobiles — they’re out there on the road, in inevitablty decreasing numbers, but they’re not building any new ones.

  133. 133
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Of course, (b) might be legally unenforceable for lack of standing and/or as a “political question”

    “Political question”? Ha, ha, ha, hah…

  134. 134
    TooManyJens says:

    @wrb: But they’re not held by the Secretary of the Treasury; they’re held by the Fed.

    I’m not really up on this “cancel the Fed’s bonds” plan, but it seems a bit magical-thinking to me.

  135. 135
    jl says:

    @134 Econbrowser blog, over last three weeks, has some posts on how Treasury/Fed cooperation could be used to evade the debt limit for a while longer. A technical instruction sheet, and warnings about possible macroeconomic side effects are included.

  136. 136
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @shortstop:

    Actually, I should have pointed that post to Violet (just to fill her in on the details of why Obama talked about it) but I just jumped into your conversation and you got the message in the likelihood that she would see it.

    So what if I’m a slacker? ;)

  137. 137
    Judas Escargot says:

    @wrb:

    They may well think crazy is what everyday people want.

    It’s also entirely possible that the majority of ‘everyday people’ are crazy.

    In which case… the House is working exactly as designed.

  138. 138
    les says:

    @jwb:

    Does that work? Senate rules, I think, are set for the term of congress once passed; if the House is the same, committee posts, officers of the House, etc. are set for 2 years.

  139. 139

    I’d like to know how it is that Boehner has become, in the minds of a lot of people, a sane Establishment GOPer? Maybe in comparison, but the facts of his rhetoric and votes are out there for anyone to fucking read. That is who people are counting on? The stupidity of the middle and the Media never ceases to amaze me. (it ought to)

  140. 140
    Tonal Crow says:

    @wrb:

    Looks like they [the ~$1.6 trillion of Treasury bonds held by the Federal Reserve that it bought under QE2] are already not counted toward the limit, if you look at the section of the law I posted above.

    I don’t think so. The statute you posted refers to “guaranteed
    obligations held by the Secretary of the Treasury”. The Federal Reserve is not the “Secretary of the Treasury”. Also, Table III in http://www.treasurydirect.gov/.....062011.pdf lists outstanding treasury securities as of 6/30/2011. It shows, for example, that $15,804,000,000 of CUSIP 912828GZ7 were issued in 2007 and were still outstanding on 6/30. All of that is counted in the debt subject to the limit in Table II.

    But the Federal Reserve (in http://www.newyorkfed.org/mark.....tml#tabs-3 ) says that it held $4,596,502,000 of that same CUSIP as of 7/20/2011.

    So it seems pretty clear that the Federal Reserve’s QE2 holdings ARE counted toward the debt limit.

  141. 141
    Original Lee says:

    Some of the banksters think the real stroke of midnight for the debt ceiling is Aug. 5. They think Geithner can stave disaster off for another couple of days by various sleight-of-hand methods, but not much more than that.

    No linky – behind a paywall.

  142. 142
    Gretchen says:

    I think this is my rep’s problem. He ran as a moderate in a county that went for Obama and has had a Blue Dog rep for 8 years before that, but he’s all debt and deficit now. He’ll either get a tea pary primary and lose, or if he wins, he’ll lose to Dem after voting for Paul Ryan’s budget. And the tea party winner will lose the general. I’m just hoping we can hang on for another 18 months.

  143. 143
    Nickws says:

    @ 39: Submit now or face a greater punishment from your Galtian Overlords.

    Ha ha, cheetos-stain here thinks (a.) he’s a ‘Galtian Overlord’, and (b.) his side is coming up smelling like roses by defaulting on the good faith and credit of the US government.

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