Just an FYI

The growing consensus among wingnuts that shutting down the government is the best way to handle the debt limit gives me a (political) erection. Do it. Shut it down. Stop those SS checks. Shut down all the services people need on a daily basis. Stop the payments. It worked so well for Gingrich.

The Democrats appear to have learned and will refuse to negotiate with the terrorists, so it will be all on the GOP. When the blue hairs stop getting their SS checks and the military has former Generals on every cable channel talking about how lack of funds is impeding their ability to perform their mission, it will truly be a site to see. Can’t wait for it.

Bring it on.

250 replies
  1. 1
    BettyPageisaBlonde says:

    This.

  2. 2
    efgoldman says:

    …it will truly be a site to see. Can’t wait for it.

    Except you know, as sure as tomorrow is Saturday, that the usual talking, mewling heads, and the usual low-rent scriveners, will blame it generically on “Congress” and wish the President was willing to compromise.

    Also too, I think you mean “sight.”

  3. 3
    Yutsano says:

    Oh please do. Shut down the IRS. Give people no recourse for their levies. That’ll make people happy.

    Of course they’ll just find a way to blame it on the blah guy.

  4. 4
    r€nato says:

    Republicans just don’t learn. This has never worked in their favor, has it? Not during Clinton’s presidency and not now.

    Indeed, bring it. Even when they get some of their demands met, nobody likes hostage-takers.

  5. 5
    Raven says:

    “My message to you, Mister President, is you’d better strap on your chinstrap very tight because this junkyard dog is going to address spending cuts and entitlement reform in the debt-ceiling debate, and that’s going to be a line in the sand for us Republicans and conservatives,” said Chambliss.

    This from a motherfucker who dodged the draft on the strength of a football injury and then slandered, Max Cleland a triple amputee.

  6. 6
    r€nato says:

    it will truly be a site to see

    they’re going to put up a website with all this? cool

  7. 7
    redshirt says:

    Fox News: OBAMA SHUTS DOWN GOVERNMENT! TAKES YOUR SS CHECKS!

  8. 8
    Turgidson says:

    Somehow, if this happens, Both Sides Do It will carry the day yet again.

    Obama will be a partisan meanie because he refuses to take a blowtorch to the Safety Net and that hurts the teabaggers’ feefees. Which, in the world of twits like Dancin’ Dave, is far more important than the real world policy consequences of a shutdown, or a bad Grand Bargain or whathaveyou.

  9. 9
    SFAW says:

    One hopes that the Rethugs try.

    In today’s Boston Globe, Joshua Green had an op-ed re: Obama flinching on the fiscal slight negative incline. Green’s basic point – assuming I’m remembering it correctly – is that Obama had all the cards, but instead of running the table, he split the difference with the Rethugs.

    Not sure if I completely agree with him.

    But it will be interesting to see if Obama sticks to his “I won’t negotiate” pronouncement. I hope he does.

  10. 10
    LT says:

    “The Democrats appear to have learned and will refuse to negotiate with the terrorists”

    This is the blogging equivalent of smearing. What the fuck?

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    The only way we’ll ever put an end to the unchecked reckless spending that will destroy our economy is to … destroy our economy.

  12. 12
    Turgidson says:

    @Raven:

    Chambliss

    Yeah, it’s really disgusting that this cowardly, slanderous asshole has recently attained some “reasonable Republican” cred with the Villagers because he dared to say the world might not end if taxes go up, once.

    The guy is pond scum.

  13. 13
    The Dangerman says:

    I read someplace that the first bill attempted in the 113th House was … Obamacare Repeal.

  14. 14
    mclaren says:

    Fuck yeah. We need to stop the Republican Tea Party debt-ceiling hostage-taking insanity and stop it now. We need to make it impossible for the Republicans to use the debt ceiling as a political weapon ever again, period. Full stop.

    Shut it down. Shut it all down.

    Then, when the lights go out in the military bases and the aircraft carriers run out of fuel and the social security checks stop going out in the mail and the medicare-funded hospitals close their doors, every goddamn Democrats needs to go on TV and in front of every newspaper and announce:

    “This is due to the Republicans in the House of Representatives. If you want your medicare and social security to start up again, mount recall elections. Recall the fuckers. Recall all the Tea Party congressmen and do it today. The agony will continue as long as these people are part of congress.”

  15. 15
    Raven says:

    @Turgidson: Actually they are probably going to primary his ass from the right! Fucker is sucking up to the teatards.

  16. 16
    SFAW says:

    @Raven:

    This from a motherfucker who dodged the draft on the strength of a football injury …

    I wasn’t aware that “falling off a bar stool during the Army-Navy game” qualified as a “football injury.” I guess we should be glad he didn’t try to pass it off as a service wound, especially considering his draft-dodging past.

    Oh well, learn something new every day.

  17. 17
    General Stuck says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Bachmann, I believe

  18. 18
    mclaren says:

    @SFAW:

    I for one fervently hope that Obama and company stick by their promise not to return Boehner’s phone calls if the Repubs try to use the debt ceiling to hold the country hostage.

    Obama should be like Al Pacino in that scene from Godfather II: “Here is my offer to you: nothing. I offer you nothing.”

  19. 19
    Opie_jeanne says:

    My hair is white, not blue. I’ll be fine but not everyone will. How can they think this is a good thing? How can they pretend?

  20. 20
    GMC says:

    @Turgidson: I guarantee that the Brotha Pres will fold like the female genitalia he is, sorry Ladies, no disrespect intended, merely a term of derision, I do hope you will understand, my most favorite of parts, because he has no bone, back or otherwise.

  21. 21
    Raven says:

    @GMC: Go fuck yourself punk.

  22. 22
    PeakVT says:

    Bring it on.

    Hitting the debt limit hard wouldn’t just shut down the government. It would also call into question the basis of the entire global finance system: US Treasuries. I’m quite happy for Obama to play a serious game of chicken here, but only because I think he has a better hand. However, it’s not a game without some risk.

  23. 23

    What we need to do in the interim is to find all the “some” Democrats, in the sense of, “but some Democrats say that the president . . .” We need to find them and stuff socks into their mouths.

    Oh yeah, a vote ending the filibuster would also be a good move right now. Just a quick kick in the nuts to let the Republicans know that Democrats are not playing here, and to let the public know that Democrats are not playing here.

  24. 24
    the Conster says:

    @GMC:

    Fuck you you piece of shit, disrespect intended.

  25. 25
    Mandalay says:

    @LT:

    “The Democrats appear to have learned and will refuse to negotiate with the terrorists”

    This is the blogging equivalent of smearing. What the fuck?

    Bullshit. I like it, and I think it is accurate. I think Democrats should start pushing “we-do-not-negotiate-with-terrorists” as a meme. Leave Republicans to explain why they are NOT terrorists.

    It’s really time to stop playing nice with those assholes.

  26. 26
    Narcissus says:

    @GMC: this is like a dog-whistle tutorial

  27. 27
    gbear says:

    @General Stuck:

    Yes. Bachmann introduced the repeal of Obamacare as the first bill in the 113th. Christ.

  28. 28
    Tonybrown74 says:

    @GMC:

    And you probably wonder why you can’t get laid …

  29. 29
    mclaren says:

    @PeakVT:

    Hitting the debt limit hard wouldn’t just shut down the government. It would also call into question the basis of the entire global finance system: US Treasuries.

    Sorry, but that’s ludicrous hyperbole. There is absolutely no question in anyone’s mind that, if we hit the debt ceiling and technically default, it will only be a matter of time — and a very short time at that — before interest payments on all U.S. debt instruments continue.

    The only way that a U.S. default could possibly “call into question the basis of the entire global finance system” is if other countries begin to seriously doubt America’s willingness to make good on its financial obligations on an ongoing basis.

    Unless you sincerely believe that a glitch in U.S. treasury bond interest payments amounting to a week or a month of temporarily suspended payments is equivalent to America saying “Fuck this, we’re gonna stop paying interest on our bonds and from now on we’ll spend the cash on booze and hookers!”…well, your statement is so absurdly overblown that it fails to pass the straight-face test.

  30. 30
    JPL says:

    Mitch McConnell is going to be on all the major network Sunday
    shows and I’m sure that someone will explain to him why he should raise the debt ceiling.

  31. 31
    Ted & Hellen says:

    The Democrats appear to have learned and will refuse to negotiate with the terrorists,

    Your tongue in cheek comments are amusing, Cole, but becoming more and more obvious.

    hahahahahahahaha…

  32. 32
    Suffern ACE says:

    @PeakVT: you’re dealing with a group of folks who’ve been preparing for the economic collapse and the return of real money since the 1970s. Failure of the system just proves how illegitimate it is.

  33. 33
    mclaren says:

    @Mandalay:

    It’s really time to stop playing nice with those assholes.

    Correctamundo. The House Republicans have crossed the line into becoming enemy combatants. They are now providing material aid and support to America’s enemies, by damaging our ability to continue funding our military.

    Extraordinary rendition. Haul the lot of the bastards to a black prison and put ’em in stress positions until they vote to raise the debt ceiling. (And in case you haven’t figured it out yet, yes, that’s a joke.)

  34. 34
    Cacti says:

    Fuck it.

    Shut it down you pricks. I’m a federal employee and would feel the pain acutely, but these “junkyard dogs” need to be neutered.

    Shut it down and see how long the public stands by you.

  35. 35
    TS says:

    It won’t happen – and will probably be over in exactly the way that the “fiscal cliff” was avoided. The media will have a sad – the gop will rant against Boehner and life will continue as we know it.

  36. 36
    sb says:

    I will be surprised and delighted if the press and the vast majority of the country blames Congress and not both sides.

    I will not be surprised at all if, no matter what the president says or does, the story will be both sides are to blame. It shouldn’t be but I fear it will be.

    @GMC: I wanted to add my sentiments to those above by telling you to shove it up your ass.

  37. 37
    hilzoy says:

    Problem is, the result of failing to raise the debt ceiling would not, in fact, be “shutting the government down”. Depending on how Obama plays it, that might be a part of it, but there would also be the melting down of the financial system to think of. (All those loans that rely on allegedly safe assets, where US Treasuries are the paradigm case of “safe assets”? Oops.)

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    @TS:

    Of course it won’t happen. The GOP will give in for scraps, and the firebaggers will claim Obama sold them out. It’s a play as old as time itself.

    But I want the world to know that we want it to happen.

  39. 39
    mclaren says:

    @sb:

    Polls already show that the public overwhelmingly blames the Republicans in the House of Representatives. This is not rocket science. Obama bent over backwards to offer them entitlement cuts that the Democratic caucus in the House would probably not have supported, but the Republicans wouldn’t take “yes” for an answer.

    And the public knows it.

  40. 40
    freelancer says:

    @LT:

    I for one missed your purity.

  41. 41
    Baud says:

    @mclaren:

    I don’t often get a chance to agree with you, so I’d like to take the opportunity to do so now.

  42. 42
    magurakurin says:

    @Tonybrown74:

    He has no trouble getting laid. Real Doll, boss, world’s finest love doll. I’m sure he went for elf ears.

  43. 43
    Comrade Jake says:

    I caught a bit of Gingrich today on the teevee saying he thought the debt ceiling was a big loser for the GOP. But, fuck yeah, WOLVERINES!

  44. 44
    Violet says:

    @mclaren:

    The only way that a U.S. default could possibly “call into question the basis of the entire global finance system” is if other countries begin to seriously doubt America’s willingness to make good on its financial obligations on an ongoing basis.

    The mess with the debt ceiling will be the second time this has happened in two years. Wouldn’t surprise me if the rest of the world starts deciding that half of America elects crazy people who want to tank the economy, and thus the rest of the world decides the US is not trustworthy.

    Also, too, if the Chinese decide to call in their chits.

  45. 45
    Rb says:

    @mclaren: you have a point, but to see you of all people talking about ‘hyperbole’ and ‘overblown’ is amusing.

  46. 46
    Raven says:

    @Rb: Like GMC talking about sexism?

  47. 47
    mclaren says:

    @hilzoy:

    …there would also be the melting down of the financial system to think of. (All those loans that rely on allegedly safe assets, where US Treasuries are the paradigm case of “safe assets”? Oops.)

    This is Tim Geithner’s argument but Geithner is an ignorant incompetent asshole (he argued against the stimulus funding in 2009, calling it “a sugar high” — directly contradicting 80 years of macroeconomic theory and experience) and his claims about a financial meltdown are pure horseshit.

    America right now is the safe harbor for global assets. If there’s a temporary glitch of a week or a month in payments on U.S. T-bill, seriously — where the FUCK do you think China or Canada or Saudi Arabia is going to invest their money?

    Uzbekistan?

    Some country like India where the corruption is so public and so pervasive that people can bribe officials to have business rivals declared dead, and then buy their assets at an estate sale?

    Get real. A glitch in U.S. T-bill payments means nothing. What counts in the global financial markets is the perception that America is still a place where civil society works, and a place with a good enough economy to make good on our debts. Some shithole like China where if you’re a foreign company and you invest in some industry that competes with a Chinese government corporation, a place like that will just order in the troops and shut down your business and throw you out. China is a hellhole of rampant corruption, and basic things like property rights or the rule of law mean nothing if some Chinese party official decides you’re competing with his business interests.

    America has some problems, but we haven’t reached that level of hopeless corruption and lack of basic rule of law yet. That’s why a glitch in U.S. T-bill payments means nothing. Because where the hell else are you gonna invest if not America? Some shithole like Mexico where the government is funded by drug lords? Some pisspot like Burma run by a bunch of generals wearing mirror sunglasses?

    Bullshit.

  48. 48
    Redshift says:

    @mclaren: There are no recall elections for federal office. The only way to get a congressman out of office (other than an election) is for the House to vote to expel him/her.

  49. 49
    Raven says:

    @mclaren: What IS wrong with you? You make perfect sense, someone hacked your account!

  50. 50
    sb says:

    @mclaren: The poll I read showed the largest percentage of Americans blamed “all of the above.” Next in line was the Repugs.

    You’re right, of course. It’s not rocket science and it is the Republicans to blame. And I’m typing assuming you’ve seen more polls than I have.

    What hell, I’ll do a little research and find out myself. Thanks for responding.

  51. 51
    magurakurin says:

    @Redshift:

    Forget it, Redshift, It’s Crazytown.

  52. 52
    Mandalay says:

    @Violet:

    Wouldn’t surprise me if the rest of the world starts deciding that half of America elects crazy people

    “Starts deciding”???

    Friends in Europe have told me they reached that conclusion long ago. My Pet Goat and the Iraq invasion got the ball rolling, and Abu Ghraib sealed the deal.

  53. 53
    AnnaN says:

    On the one hand, I agree with you. On the other hand, both my husband and I are Feds. Not working suddenly and unable to collect unemployment would be so catastrophic that there is no planning for it. We would essentially stop paying all bills and using savings for basic utilities and food for ourselves, our dogs and cats.

    I would spend the time volunteering at a hospice. Nothing like providing care and comfort to the dying to put life in perspective.

  54. 54
    redshirt says:

    @Raven: You need to harass yourself to make sure you’re sure.

  55. 55
    Raven says:

    @Mandalay: It was long before that.

  56. 56
    redshirt says:

    @AnnaN: So catastrophic there’s no planning for it, except your savings? Wha?

  57. 57
    Bruce Webb says:

    Absolutely John!

    Because there is nothing like a 3 day Pay or Quit rent notice and a two week utility shut-off warning to put hella pressure on your local Congressman. Oops, except it won’t be on his house but instead on that blue hair down the road. Who PROBABLY learned the lesson from the last time the Depression hit West Virginia and has plenty of canned chick peas in the root cellar. If that is her SRO room actually had a root cellar.

    Because there is absolutely no blow back via a Heighten the Contradictions strategy.

    Oh wait. Because immiserating blow back is the effing point of H the C.
    You can’t make a social justice omelet without cracking some olds and poors eggs.”

    Maybe you can lend out the pets to keep your neighbors warm. Heck Tunch should be good for a 1000 watt space heater replacement all on his own.

    I want to continue to make Balloon Juice a “site to see”. But some posts make it hard.

  58. 58
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Violet: the problem is the chinese can’t call in their chits. They can stop buying new bond issues and redeem the ones they have when they come do, but all that does is give them dollars. Then what? Do they want us to send the stuff we bought from them back? Buy our shopping malls?

  59. 59
    mclaren says:

    @Violet:

    This is a matter of cold hard pragmatic business, not touchy-feely notions or fantasies. The cold hard fact remains that America has a sufficiently dynamic economy and an ability to make good on its outstanding debt obligations that places it in a well-deserved first-class bonding rating.

    The only alternatives for global investment, if other countries decide to abandon America, are: the Eurozone, China, and the BRICS.

    The problem with the Eurozone is that its currency is poorly designed and inherently unstable. There is at present no mechanism for a Eurozone nation with big deficits to float its currency against the others, and this means that built into the Euro at the very outset, from the start of its create, was an inherent instability. America doesn’t have this problem.

    China, as mentioned, has a chronic rampant corruption problem. Also, it’s a black box. Eight families (the “eight immortals” and their descendents) pretty much control the Chinese economy, and it’s a nest of rampant nepotism and insider dealing and crony capitalism much worse than America or Europe. Plus, the Chinese communist party doesn’t release reliable stats. Their economic numbers have always been suspect, and the transparency of their economy is very low. So China is out.

    That leaves the BRICS. They’ve got potential, but put ’em all together and their economies are still not in the ballpark of the GDP of America or the Eurozone. Plus, the BRICS don’t have a global reserve currency, like America or the Eurozone. So the BRICS are out.

    That leaves only America as a viable option for safe investments.

  60. 60
    Cassidy says:

    OT- Tommorrow night is Invicta FC 4; the only all women’s MMA promotion. The previous ones were free, but this one is $7.95 PPV from the website. I like women’s sports and WMMA is fun to watch. The first UFC WMMA match is in February. Just FYI.

  61. 61
    LT says:

    @Mandalay: Yeah – it really is time. Like since 1980.

    For someone to predict that they’ve now learned? What the fuck is that based on?

  62. 62
    Raven says:

    @Bruce Webb: Delta is ready when you are.

  63. 63
    Mandalay says:

    @Redshift:

    The only way to get a congressman out of office (other than an election) is for the House to vote to expel him/her.

    Not quite the only way. Sending photos of your dick to the world also does the trick nicely.

    You would think that screwing prostitutes in a diaper would also guarantee a speedy departure, but apparently not.

  64. 64
    Baud says:

    @Raven:

    You understood that?

  65. 65
    LT says:

    @freelancer: Thinking this won’t happen is “purity”?

    How about this: Is owning a stain wagon “purity”? Is rhymes-with-orange “purity”?

    Is there anything that isn’t purity?

  66. 66
    Cassidy says:

    @redshirt: Well, a two income household that suddenly has both incomes stop is catastrophic. Even if you have some savings, how much is a person realistically supposed to save up for in case the crazies tank the gov’t? Part of being a Federal employee is the reliability of pay and work in exchange for less pay.

  67. 67
    El Cid says:

    @mclaren:

    America right now is the safe harbor for global assets. If there’s a temporary glitch of a week or a month in payments on U.S. T-bill, seriously — where the FUCK do you think China or Canada or Saudi Arabia is going to invest their money?

    It’s that typical sick-crazy type of funny that as much as people on TV and radio (with people we know channelling them) blather on about how much we owe Chiner and how Chiner has ‘loaned’ us all this money, they never seem to ask in any sane way “why are they so interested in buying all these assets we keep demeaning as worthless?”

    It’s another occasion in which free market principles and supply and demand activities don’t apply because they don’t tell the story that the talking airheads want to tell.

  68. 68
    mclaren says:

    @sb:

    Here’s one poll that caught my eye — from cbs News. “71% shun GOP handling of debt crisis.”

    Americans are unimpressed with their political leaders’ handling of the debt ceiling crisis, with a new CBS News poll showing a majority disapprove of all the involved parties’ conduct, but Republicans in Congress fare the worst, with just 21 percent backing their resistance to raising taxes.

  69. 69
    TS says:

    @Baud:

    But I want the world to know that we want it to happen.

    I want the media to admit that it would be an absolute disaster for everyone – I want Morning Joe to apologize to the people of the US for spreading never ending lies about the President – I want Fox News to get it wrong again – but most of all I want the never ending drama to go away – I want the economy and jobs and no guns to be congress priorities and until these idiots are forced to admit they are wrong and run congress as it should be run – none of what I want will happen.

  70. 70
    Raven says:

    @Baud: It’s Firedog Lake shit, what’s to understand?

  71. 71
    efgoldman says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Do they want us to send the stuff we bought from them back? Buy our shopping malls?

    They could do like the Japanese did in the 80s, and buy overpriced Manhattan real estate at even more inflated prices. Yup, that would work.

  72. 72
    amk says:

    @GMC: Idiot troll will be idiot troll.

  73. 73
    sb says:

    @mclaren: Again, much obliged.

  74. 74
    Baud says:

    @Raven:

    Fair enough.

  75. 75
    mclaren says:

    @El Cid:

    People who yip about how much U.S. T-bill debt the Chinese “own” are pervasively uninformed. In actual fact, China holds a small percentage of outstanding U.S. debt.

    Foreign governments hold about 46 percent of all U.S. debt held by the public, more than $4.5 trillion. The largest foreign holder of U.S. debt is China, which owns more about $1.2 trillion in bills, notes and bonds, according to the Treasury.

    In total, China owns about 8 percent of publicly held U.S. debt. Of all the holders of U.S. debt China is the third-largest, behind only the Social Security Trust Fund’s holdings of nearly $3 trillion and the Federal Reserve’s nearly $2 trillion holdings in Treasury investments, purchased as part of its quantitative easing program to boost the economy.

    Source: “U.S. Debt: How much does China really own?” on about.com.

    8 percent, people. Fer cripes sake, do the research. China is no position to demand anything. Moreover, most U.S. debt is held by Americans! 54% of U.S. T-bills are owned domestically.

    So let’s cut the crap and hysterics based on ignorant fantasies like “if the Chinese cash in their T-bills, we’re dooooooooooooooooooooooomed!!!!”

  76. 76
    Baud says:

    @TS:

    I don’t know. I think Fox News will get it wrong again.

  77. 77
    JGabriel says:

    @mclaren:

    There is absolutely no question in anyone’s mind that, if we hit the debt ceiling and technically default …

    More to the point, we won’t default. The US Gov’t will continue to get taxes from salaries & wages. The whole point of shutting down parts of the gov’t is to reserve some of those taxes for interest payments and T-bill payouts.

    The government, for better or worse, pretty much has the duty to pay our creditors before anyone else. By the way, according to the Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution:

    The Congress shall have Power To … pay the Debts …

    That would seem to imply that if the debts don’t get paid, it’s constitutionally Congress’s fault. The House Republicans should not be allowed to argue otherwise or escape the responsibility if they don’t pay the debts.

    .

  78. 78
  79. 79
    mclaren says:

    @TS:

    I want Morning Joe to apologize to the people of the US for spreading never ending lies about the President – I want Fox News to get it wrong again – but most of all I want the never ending drama to go away – I want the economy and jobs and no guns to be congress priorities and until these idiots are forced to admit they are wrong and run congress as it should be run – none of what I want will happen.

    Permit me to demur. Congress right now is so dysfuctional that something has to break, and I think it’s going to be the House Republicans.

    Moreover, it seems likely with the recent election that the American people have correctly concluded that the Republicans are the ones who screwed up the U.S. economy, the Republicans are the ones who ran up the debt to these insane levels and they did on the basis of a crazy pointless war of aggression we were lied into. The American people have also concluded rather decisively that on social issues, the Republicans are somewhere out beyond Pluto and not to be taken seriously.

    States are passing marijuana legalization and gay marriage legalization all over the place. Romney’s best efforts to revive the corpse of dead Republican social and fiscal policies failed utterly, worse than Weekend At Bernie’s.

    The public has turned against the Repubs. Demographically, the party is doomed. Rupert Murdoch is under siege in Britain for the nest of scandals involving bugging public officials. Kar Rove spent three hundred million in the last election to lie to the American public and it got his billionaire backers nothing.

    It’s only a matter of time now.

  80. 80
    scav says:

    @mclaren: 21% fall into the gop (group)? Something seems to fallen off their 7. . .

  81. 81
    El Cid says:

    @mclaren: These are the same fucking people who think that half the federal budget goes to “food stamps” and the other half goes to “foreign aid”.

  82. 82
    Raven says:

    @mclaren: Except in the south.

  83. 83
    AnnaN says:

    @redshirt

    Yes, there is no planning for what comes next. It’s all about the necessities. Our savings would allow us to survive for quite a while if we had $2600/mo coming in from unemployment. But a government shutdown doesn’t allow for that because we have not been fired.

    Do you have any other snide questions I can answer for you?

  84. 84
    Raven says:

    @El Cid: That’s what I said!

  85. 85
    EriktheRed says:

    The Democrats appear to have learned and will refuse to negotiate with the terrorists, so it will be all on the GOP.

    As I’ve said here and elsewhere: I’ll believe it when I see it.

  86. 86
    JGabriel says:

    @Violet:

    Also, too, if the Chinese decide to call in their chits.

    The Chinese can’t call in their chits. The money they “lend” the US is in the form of purchased Treasury bills, just like anyone else, and they have to wait until the bills mature, again, just like anyone else.

    .

  87. 87
    JS says:

    I imagine the people who whined that Obama “caved” over the debt ceiling just as he was heading into a re-election campaign while juggling a slowly improving economy that was getting no further help from the Teahadist House in place…

    are the same people who whined that Obama “caved” over the fiscal ‘cliff’ just as 2-3 million were about to get cut off of unemployment benefits (and getting a number of issues settled that wouldn’t have been if Boehner’s Planbee got through instead)…

    these are likely the people who think Obama will “cave” over the new debt limit increase. Me, I think Obama settled his business in the fiscal cliff deal so that there’s no huge ‘gotta have’ when the GOP threatens to shoot the world economy.

  88. 88
    mclaren says:

    @JGabriel:

    More to the point, we won’t default. The US Gov’t will continue to get taxes from salaries & wages. The whole point of shutting down parts of the gov’t is to reserve some of those taxes for interest payments and T-bill payouts.

    It depends on how long the debt ceiling crisis goes on. If it goes on long enough, we will eventually default.

    I maintain this will be correctly perceived (if it happens) worldwide as a temporary glitch. Not important in the long run.

    But it will crush the Republicans. U.S. business leaders will put so much heat on Boehner and the Tea Parties that they will turn into charcoal briquettes. The horizons will darken with the armies of business lobbyist screaming at the House Republicans to end this horseshit.

  89. 89
    Quiddity says:

    There won’t be a government shutdown. Obama will dispatch Biden to undercut whatever congressional Democrats are doing and offer chained-CPI on Social Security or raising Medicare eligibility age (or both) in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.

    Obama did that literally days ago, so why not try it again?

    (The more we learn about how the White House handled the fiscal cliff negotiations, the better it looks. Biden is an especially skilled negotiator.)

  90. 90
    mclaren says:

    @JS:

    Time will tell.

    Obama’s past performance does not leave me overly hopeful. History shows that whenever Barack Obama gets backed against the wall, he blinks and folds.

  91. 91
    Baud says:

    @mclaren:

    There you are. Welcome back.

    @Quiddity:

    Cool. You hit all the key points. I hope they’re paying you well.

  92. 92
    gbear says:

    @AnnaN: When MN had a government shutdown a year and a half ago, we state employees were allowed to apply for and collect unemployment. We all got one check before the shutdown ended.

  93. 93
    efgoldman says:

    @mclaren:

    SOME States are passing marijuana legalization and gay marriage legalization all over the place.

    Fixed.
    And some states are passing voter suppression and anti-women and anti-Sharia and right-to-work laws, and refusing to comply with Federal law. And the TeaHadis in those states, especially at the state legislature level, are pretty much assured of re-election. Only the super-low approval numbers for the TeaHadi governors provide near-term hope, and then only in a few of those states.

    ETA: And as usual, some faster typists than I (which is pretty much everyone) beat me to it.

  94. 94
    Rosie Outlook says:

    First John is kissing his dog, and now he’s getting excited about the debt ceiling. Resolved: John needs to get out among the ladies. Shall we start a petition?

  95. 95
    El Cid says:

    @JGabriel: Yes, “purchasing an investment” is not the same thing as “loaning somebody money”. Even if the dollars and interest are the same.

    It’s too bad you can’t buy savings bonds from banks any more, because it would be instructive to film one of these malinformed paranoids buying one and walking around with their ass on their shoulders about how they was “lending the U.S. gubmit money,” and get all up in the bank officers’ faces about how awesome they are for “lending” their several hundred bucks or whatever to “Uncle Sam”.

  96. 96
    efgoldman says:

    @JGabriel:

    The Chinese can’t call in their chits.

    They are welcome to sell the bonds/notes on the open market. Treasuries are traded every day. Of course, they’d likely take a huge bath and drive the prices even lower.

  97. 97
    Mandalay says:

    @mclaren:

    Because where the hell else are you gonna invest if not America?

    Well, to name a few…
    Chile
    Germany
    Malaysia
    Brazil
    Austria
    South Korea
    Australia
    Singapore
    Canada
    Switzerland
    Norway

    And you might try easing up on the xenophobia a bit.

  98. 98
    mclaren says:

    @Quiddity:

    Chained CPI is essentially cutting social security & medicare payments, after accounting for inflation. That’s a horrible idea.

    Raising the medicare eligibility age will actually increase America’s already unsustainable medical costs. (Because raising medicare elgibility age merely forces old people to forgo health care until they hit the older age, which makes their medical problems worse and costs much much more when they finally do get on medicare.) That’s a horrible idea and insane too.

    Biden is an incompetent fool. If these are his proposals, he needs to be impeached. Every major economists has spoken out vehemently against chained CPI and raising the Medicare eligility age as the shittiest kind of insanely stupid bad public policy, the kind of public policy that costs money and is self-destructive to boot.

    Alan Grayson: Why the chained CPI is a bad idea.

    Brad DeLong: Raising the medicare eligibility age is really, really, really really bad policy.

    And these are just the tip of the iceberg. The clamor from economists protesting these crazy proposals is so deafening, it breaks windows hundreds of miles away. If this is Obama’s “negotiating grand plan,” he’s got shit for brains. I know for a fact that Obama doesn’t have shit for brains, so I refuse to believe he’ll buy into a policy this stupid and self-destructive, both to America and to the Democratic party.

  99. 99
    Regnad Kcin says:

    @magurakurin: My debt limit. My fiscal cliff. My debt limit. My fiscal cliff.

  100. 100
    efgoldman says:

    @mclaren:

    U.S. business leaders will put so much heat on Boehner and the Tea Parties that they will turn into charcoal briquettes.

    The question always is: are there enough True Believer TeaHadis to queer a deal.

  101. 101
    Baud says:

    @efgoldman:

    Does the recent tax vote prove there aren’t? The only issue is whether Boehner will schedule the vote.

  102. 102
    Yutsano says:

    @AnnaN: One point: when you are in furlogh status, you are allowed to collect unemployment. The only rule is you have to pay the state back once you’re back working again because almost always back pay is reinstated. You are usually allowed to spread that out over months, so it’s not a total negative.

  103. 103
    chopper says:

    long as you’re willing to help me pay my rent while i’m off work, cole, bring it on.

  104. 104
    PeakVT says:

    @mclaren: well, your statement is so absurdly overblown that it fails to pass the straight-face test.

    You’re displaying a lack of self-awareness even the craziest wingnuts rarely achieve.

  105. 105
    mclaren says:

    @Mandalay:

    Well, to name a few…
    Chile
    Germany
    Malaysia
    Brazil
    South Korea
    Australia
    Singapore
    Canada
    Switzerland
    Norway

    Let’s run through those. Germany and Switzerland and Norway are part of the Eurozone, and as you may have noticed, the Euro is under massive stress right now. The Eurozone is breaking down, and it’s not clear whether the Euro will survive much longer as an integrated currency. So Germany and Switzerland are not places a sensible portolio manager wants to invest.

    Australia suffers from a housing bubble much worse than America’s, and it hasn’t burst yet. Australia is out.

    Chile and Brazil are part of the BRICS, and while their economies are promising, they aren’t nearly big enough to absorb the trillions of dollars of investment we’re talking about.

    Malaysia and South Korea are possibilities. The problem is that, once again, these economies have so much smaller GDPs than America or the Eurozone that the levels of investment we’re talking about are just not realistic.

    Sorry, you’re talking out your hat. All your suggestions are either serious problems, or impractical. To give a concrete example, South Korea’s total GDP is 1.2 trillion dollars. Are you seriously suggesting that foreign investors like, say, the Chinese move the 4.5 trillion dollars they currently invest in America into the 1.2 trillion-dollar South Korean economy?

    Do you have any idea what kind of bubble investing 4 x the GDP of a country would create?

    Seriously. I hope you’re involved in investing anyone’s money, buckaroo.

  106. 106
    f space that says:

    Well back during the Gingrich shutdown, I was furloughed. But the computers still ran, they had “essential” people working, checks got mailed etc. I recall museums on the mall closing and stuff like that, but many essential functions functioned on. My point is, if they shutdown, it needs to be real. Turn out the lights, no TSA – airports closed, no FDA inspections, no SS checks no incoming or outgoing IRS stuff, and on and on. People in this country have no idea how much the govt. does, maybe it’s time they really learned.

  107. 107
    efgoldman says:

    @Baud:

    Does the recent tax vote prove there aren’t? The only issue is whether Boehner will schedule the vote.

    That assumes that the deal, whatever it is, is palatable to Nancy Smash so she can whip the Dems (not literally, all you preverts).

  108. 108
    mclaren says:

    @PeakVT:

    As a substitute for facts and logic, your character assassination falls flat.

    Please provide some evidence to show why my statements are incorrect. Oh…wait…you can’t do that. So you scream insults instead.

    Standard operating procedure for the Balloon-Juice commentariat.

  109. 109
    Tod Kelly says:

    John:

    I’m working on the assumption that they will try to pass a bill that temporarily funds all of those beloved groups, and point fingers at the Dems for not passing it and staving grandma & that nice young boy in the army.

  110. 110
    redshirt says:

    @AnnaN: Yes – are you always so snarky? I’m just askin’ questions, I got no hate in my heart.

  111. 111
    Baud says:

    @efgoldman:

    They won’t have a deal without Nancy Smash’s sign off. Everyone knows they’ll need the votes she’ll bring.

  112. 112
    mclaren says:

    @f space that:

    This highlights one more advantage Obama has got in these negotations. As others have pointed out, the Treasury has ways of moving around funds to draw out the time at which shutdown occurs by strategically defunding some parts of the government to preserve the continued operation of other parts.

    Thus, everyone will be able to see the ticking clock. As part after part of the government ceases its operations, with non-essential departments closing or furloughing their workers, the pressure on the Republicans will ratchet up inexorably.

    All Obama has to do is wait.

  113. 113
    TS says:

    @Baud:

    I don’t know. I think Fox News will get it wrong again.

    a foregone conclusion, I concur

    @mclaren

    Permit me to demur. Congress right now is so dysfuctional that something has to break, and I think it’s going to be the House Republicans.

    It remains that a large % (be it less than 50) voted for the insanity that is currently the house republicans. I would prefer the saner ones voted with the dems, rather than have to wait another 2 years to find out if the population will stop voting for the mad. The jobs and rebuilding is needed now – the implosion of the gop is just not fast enough to stop the damage of the mad by the mad for the mad. The refusal by the gop to allow the administration to function WILL damage the US – hence it will not happen.

  114. 114
    chopper says:

    @f space that:

    the other thing is, after the gingrich furlough, the GOP took such a bath they actually gave us feds back pay. aint gonna happen this time tho.

    i gots money in the bank, so no worries. i just hope there aren’t issues with health insurance or anything, cause kid number 2 is due right around then.

  115. 115
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @JGabriel: Also, the chinese don’t hold our debt disproportionately. Great Britain and Japan hold the same amount together as China.

    The American people hold most of our debt.

  116. 116
    efgoldman says:

    @mclaren:

    Standard operating procedure for the Balloon-Juice commentariat.

    Well, if you don’t like it here, nobody is forcing you to stay.

  117. 117
    Suffern ACE says:

    @mclaren: Switzerland isn’t part of the Eurozone, but it falls under the rubric of “places that would enact laws to prevent foreigners to buy up its assets if it came to that”. It wouldn’t mind your deposit though, just don’t try to buy the bank.

  118. 118
    chopper says:

    @efgoldman:

    “this food is terrible. and such small portions!”

  119. 119
    scav says:

    aaahhh, there’s the internal contradictions, projection and sweeping generalizations.
    All clear! @mclaren‘s not been hacked!

  120. 120
    smintheus says:

    “Will I lose my mind, just to pass the time?”

  121. 121
    TS says:

    @Yutsano:

    One point: when you are in furlogh status, you are allowed to collect unemployment. The only rule is you have to pay the state back once you’re back working again because almost always back pay is reinstated. You are usually allowed to spread that out over months, so it’s not a total negative.

    How does unemployment get paid if the government is shut down? or am I missing something here?

  122. 122
    Mandalay says:

    @mclaren:

    Germany and Switzerland and Norway are part of the Eurozone, and as you may have noticed, the Euro is under massive stress right now.

    Since you are blissfully unaware that the Euro is not the currency of Norway or Switzerland you lost the little credibility you had left.

    You come across as an ignorant racist bullshitter.

  123. 123
    cckids says:

    @Raven:

    “My message to you, Mister President, is you’d better strap on your chinstrap very tight because this junkyard dog is going to address spending cuts and entitlement reform in the debt-ceiling debate, and that’s going to be a line in the sand for us Republicans and conservatives,” said Chambliss.

    I know it goes back (AFAIR) to the first Gulf War, but who ever came up with the “line in the sand” line as a metaphor for immovability? Truly, what could be easier to scuff out, or just disappear than a line in the sand? If they said a line in concrete, or granite, that would make some type of linguistic sense. Has bugged me for years.

    Pedant off/

  124. 124
    chopper says:

    @cckids:

    yeah, every time i hear someone complain about ‘but it was supposed to be a line in the sand’ i want to point out yeah, you do know what lines in the sand are drawn in, right? sand.

  125. 125
    cckids says:

    @mclaren:

    every goddamn Democrats needs to go on TV and in front of every newspaper and announce:

    “This is due to the Republicans in the House of Representatives. If you want your medicare and social security to start up again, mount recall elections. Recall the fuckers. Recall all the Tea Party congressmen and do it today. The agony will continue as long as these people are part of congress.”

    This, by all the Gods & FSM too. This. Quit leaving Obama to twist in the wind.

  126. 126
    sneezy says:

    @mclaren:

    That leaves the BRICS. They’ve got potential, but put ‘em all together and their economies are still not in the ballpark of the GDP of America or the Eurozone

    That is not correct. The combined nominal GDP of Brazil, Russia, India, and China is almost equal to that of the US ($13.3 trillion compared to $15.1 trillion, or about 88%). That’s easily “in the ballpark.”

    In purchasing power parity (PPP) terms, the BRIC GDP exceeds that of the US by about a third (20.2 trillion compared to 15.1, or about 133%).

  127. 127
    f space that says:

    @chopper: Yep , not sayin’ I want it to happen, but a real shutdown might actually open some eyes.

  128. 128
    Yutsano says:

    @mclaren:

    Germany and Switzerland and Norway are part of the Eurozone

    Bzzt. Wrong. Switzerland still has the franc and Norway is still on the krona. Although they are economically dependent on Europe both countries have separate income streams that are also independent (Swiss bank and Norweigan oil) so they would both be considered relative safe havens. Neither can absorb that much money though. In fact Switzerland is curtailing foreign investment to prevent the franc from becoming too valuable.

  129. 129
    Yutsano says:

    @TS: State unemployment comes first. I guess I didn’t make that quite clear. My bad.

  130. 130
    👽 Martin says:

    @JGabriel:

    More to the point, we won’t default. The US Gov’t will continue to get taxes from salaries & wages. The whole point of shutting down parts of the gov’t is to reserve some of those taxes for interest payments and T-bill payouts.

    Well, we’re already past the debt limit date, so we’re now into jiggery pokery territory.

    We’re bringing in significantly less revenue on salary and wages each month than we’re paying out. By the end of Feb, we’ll legitimately default – we won’t be able to repay the SS T-bills that SSA sells in order to mail out checks.

  131. 131
    Keith G says:

    @mclaren:

    It’s only a matter of time now

    .
    I am old enough to have seen Last Rites recited for the GOP at least three times. But it never does the right thing and dies.

    It won’t this time either. At worst, it will spend a decade out of power (a la 1960s) where it will wait for openings caused by the inevitable Democratic mistakes.

    At any rate the GOP still has a power base in the House for eight years. The key will be the 2020 elections and who controls state legislatures after the Census.

  132. 132
    gwangung says:

    @Mandalay: Many POCs here have long known mckaren’s a bigot.

  133. 133
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Keith G:

    I am old enough to have seen Last Rites recited for the GOP at least three times. But it never does the right thing and dies.
    It would this time either. At worst, it will spend a decade out of power (a la 1960s) where it will wait for openings caused by the inevitable Democratic mistakes.

    maybe, but it seems like there’s a not unsubstantial cohort that thinks the response to failed right wing policies and politicians is to move even further right. this is how we move from the likes of goldwater to people like orrin hatch who is now one of the ‘liberals’.

    eta, now we have a situation where a rightwing tard like boehner is the ‘moderate’ compared to the nutjobs in his caucus.

    we need to solve this to effect a real solution.

  134. 134
    magurakurin says:

    @gwangung: And many more have learned that a discussion with her is impossible. Don’t attempt it unless you’re doing it for a spot of fun. Like teasing a cat with a laser pointer.

  135. 135
    Keith G says:

    @cckids:

    but who ever came up with the “line in the sand” line as a metaphor for immovability?

    Immovability? Is that the metaphorical use?

    I thought in modern political parlance it meant committing to a fight.

    In Texas’ Alamo lore, crossing the line meant making a final decision to go all in.

    Travis is said to have drawn the line with his sword. Those who crossed were committing their fate by joining to fight a combat to the death.

  136. 136
    Violet says:

    @cckids: I always heard it went back to the Alamo, where Travis drew the line with his sword.

    @Keith G got there first.

  137. 137
    Mandalay says:

    @gwangung:

    Many POCs here have long known mckaren’s a bigot.

    I guess I learned the hard way. Arguing with an idiot is bad enough. Arguing with a racist idiot is a bridge too far for me.

    Never again.

  138. 138
    mclaren says:

    @sneezy:

    The BRICs put together do indeed rival the U.S. in total GDP. The orginal failed rebuttal to my remarks didn’t mention the BRICs as a group, rather it specified individual countries. My response refers to the specific list of countries you mentioned. If the person who tried & failed to rebut my statement had said “How about the Eurozone as a group?” or “How about the BRICs as a group?” that would have been different. (But not much different, since, as mentioned, the Eurozone as a whole and the BRICs as a whole have serious problems that render them unsuitable for the kind of long-term conservative investment which has found a home in U.S. T-bills.)

    There are serious problems with investing lots of money in a country like Russia. It’s currently run by a paramilitary oligarchy — Putin seized the assets of some of Russia’s wealthiest oligarchs, and he controls the media like a south america dictator. This is not a place you want to invest amounts of money in. There’s zero transparency. You are likely to discover that your cash has disappeared and been shipped in large bales into Swiss banks.

    India I dealt with. The Chinese looked into investing India, but the corruption and lack of basic infrastructure is so bad that even the Chinese wouldn’t invest.

    Brazil has good prospects but 50% of that country is under 18, so you’ve got serious unrest. Also, its economy by itself is just not big enough to absorb the kinds of money (4.5 trillion dollars) that the Chinese are currently investing in the U.S.

    Essentially, you’re quibbling with minutia here. My basic points remain valid. America has a combination of strong property right + relatively low corruption + strong civil society traditions & rule of law, plus a large and dynamic enough economy without inherent structural problems (like the Eurozone, or like Russia in the BRICs) that realistically speaking, it’s the only game in town for dumping sums like the 4.5 trillion the Chinese have invested.

  139. 139
    TS says:

    @Yutsano:

    State unemployment comes first. I guess I didn’t make that quite clear. My bad.

    No worries – I confuse easily – the media stories make me suspicious of any sane conversation

  140. 140
    mclaren says:

    @Yutsano:

    Thanks for the correction. My point remains valid because these countries would suffer a severe economic downturn if the Eurozone breaks up.

    As a practical matter, economically Switzerland and Norway are so closely intertwined with the nearby Eurozone members that they might as well be Eurozone members themselves.

    This has been another issue of “trivial nitpicks which make no difference to the essential argument, and which are designed to distract from the basic reality of the situation.”

    Once again, to recap: the basic reality of the situation is that America is unique for several reasons, and it’s just not practical for governments like China to yank their 4.5 trillion out of the U.S. and put it somewhere like Russia or South Korea or the Eurozone.

  141. 141
    Ruckus says:

    @AnnaN:
    I’ve stated here before that I exist on SS. I didn’t say live, I said exist. If that deposit is not made I have about a month. Then I’m dumpster diving. And if I have to do that I’m going to turn over every rich motherfuckers wheele bins I can find looking for food. And I doubt I’ll be alone in this effort.

  142. 142
    magurakurin says:

    @Mandalay:

    Never again.

    Mclaren is like the Grand Canyon. No words are possible. You just stand there and stare in awe and wonder at God’s great purpose…or lack there of…

  143. 143
    encephalopath says:

    I wrote the at the end of a morning thread, and I think it’s worth repeating:

    Holding the debt ceiling hostage is pretty much a threat to dine and dash.

    The time to think about controlling spending is when you are holding the menu, not after you’ve already eaten the meal.

    That’s the simple analogy we should be using.

  144. 144
    Keith G says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    it seems like there’s a not unsubstantial cohort that thinks the response to failed right wing policies and politicians is to move even further right. this is how we move from the likes of goldwater to people like orrin hatch who is now one of the ‘liberals’.

    Indeed

    And they will move back. That’s what political parties do. There likely will have to be some unkind struggles for power, but shift they will.

    I would love to have a series of thoughtful threads here on how such a metamorphosis will take shape (for both parties) during this most turbulent of times. A lot of foundational realities that this society has depended on for over a century are changing. So our politics will change and that will lead to a re-sorting of our political affiliations.

  145. 145
    Calouste says:

    @Mandalay: Last year McLaren kept insisting that there was absolutely nothing wrong in Fukushima, and that the whole situation was as safe as houses. Her grasp on reality is about as firm as that of your average tea party congresscritter.

  146. 146
    mclaren says:

    @Mandalay:

    Yes, pointing out that India and China have serious problems with corruption makes me a “bigot.” Welcome to the Bizarro World.

    BEIJING (Caixin Online) — A new resolve to crack down on corruption is in the air. Since the Communist Party’s 18th National Congress, a number of senior officials have been accused of graft and sacked.

    This includes the Sichuan deputy party secretary, Li Chuncheng, who was promoted only last month to be a non-voting member of the party’s Central Committee.

    Source: “Fighting the corruption cancer in China,” Wall Street Journal, 19 December 2012.

    India’s public soul-searching over the pervasiveness of corruption in society took center stage again with the formal launch of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), a new political group formed on an explicitly anticorruption platform. On Monday, whistleblower turned politician Arvind Kejriwal officially kicked off the new party, which he will lead in the greater capital region’s elections next year. AAP is the latest in a string of groups pledging to battle the corruption that many say is endemic in India’s halls of power, but it is the first promising to take the fight inside those halls.

    Source: “Can India’s fight against corruption be won at the ballot box?” TIME magainze, 26 November 2012.

    Next up: when I point out that the sky is black at night, I’ll be accused of being anti-black and therefore a Klan member and a racist.

    Once again, SOP for the deluded demented Balloon Juice commentariat.

  147. 147
    Mike E says:

    @Raven: You ain’t kidding. Here in NC, all of a sudden it’s a Republican Shangri la. McCrory is getting sworn in tomorrow at noon. Mississippi, here we come!

  148. 148
    mclaren says:

    @magurakurin:

    Shorter magurakin: “I have no facts or logic to counter mclaren’s argument, so I’ll try to distract everyone by shitting into my hand and hurling it at him.”

    We’ve all seen this kind of behavior at the monkey house in the zoo. It remains unedifying.

  149. 149
    Lojasmo says:

    @mclaren:

    “I got that for free. You get nothing”

    0bama…to boehner…recently.

    Fucking clown.

  150. 150
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ruckus: If you stop getting your money because of a shutdown,I’ll split my food budget with you. That will give both of us 5.00 a day for food, but no one will go hungry. I imagine there are enough of us here at BJ to help the others BJ folks who will be in a bad spot.

    That doesn’t help folks who don’t have a support system, but at least it’s something.

  151. 151
    Lojasmo says:

    @GMC:

    Worst.
    Troll.
    Ever.

  152. 152
  153. 153
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Keith G:

    I would love to have a series of thoughtful threads here on how such a metamorphosis will take shape (for both parties) during this most turbulent of times. A lot of foundational realities that this society has depended on for over a century are changing. So our politics will change and that will lead to a re-sorting of our political affiliations.

    i think we’ve all seen how it plays out. the democratic party is essentially the republican party of yesteryear and in 20 years, we’ll be picking between someone like boehner or cantor on the left and one of the monosyllabic gurglers on the right.

  154. 154
    Keith G says:

    @Mandalay:

    And you might try easing up on the xenophobia a bit

    I am a big believer that words matter. I also am quite capable in being able to miss important comments in a thread.

    So would you be so kind as to point out what above qualified as xenophobic comment?

  155. 155
    mclaren says:

    @Keith G:

    Well, either the Republican party will move back to the center, or it will disappear as a viable political entity. This too has happened before to political parties. C.f., the Whig party in the runup to the American civil war.

    To those who claim that they’ve heard countless obits for the Republican party: they have a point there. History is on their side. The demographics of the Republican party, though, seem pretty clear, and they are definitely not on the Republicans’ side.

    To those who call me a bigot, note that I heartily applaud America’s current demographic changes. More asians, more hispanics, more blacks…bring it on. The faster caucasians become a minority in America, the faster the Republican party will die.

  156. 156
    Keith G says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Well, that’s a bit darker than I am willing to go, but then, I can be a cock-eyed optimist.

  157. 157
    cckids says:

    @Keith G: @Violet: You’re probably right. It just seems to have morphed into usage for someone “standing firm”, as in “this far & no farther”, which, as someone pointed out above, when the line is drawn in sand, doesn’t exactly make sense. The “starting a fight” meaning works better.

  158. 158
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @Keith G: especially since the whole thread was started in response to the idea that the Chinese would somehow do something like calling in their loans.

  159. 159
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @mclaren:

    Well, either the Republican party will move back to the center, or it will disappear as a viable political entity. This too has happened before to political parties. C.f., the Whig party in the runupto the American civil war.

    in the meantime, you’ve already defined the political poles by dragging the democratic party so far right. it’s not like everyone’s going to wake up one day and say, oh let’s try something that someone on the far far left is advocating.

    look at fmla, a triumph of the ‘left’ from almost twenty years ago. hey, you can take a leave of absence for medical reasons or to take care of your family – unpaid of course, and you may not lose your job, but that can be arranged if necessary.

  160. 160
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @magurakurin: Why do you know about this?

  161. 161
    Lojasmo says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    You’re so cuuuuuute!

    If only I was a lonely, gay, pathetic douchebag.

  162. 162
  163. 163
    magurakurin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    uh-oh. Now, that’s embarrassing isn’t it. I swear, I only saw it on the internet. But the elf ears are kind of cute…

  164. 164
    Corner Stone says:

    @Lojasmo:

    If only I was a lonely, gay, pathetic douchebag.

    …you mean you’re not?

  165. 165
    mclaren says:

    @Keith G:

    I would love to have a series of thoughtful threads here on how such a metamorphosis will take shape (for both parties) during this most turbulent of times. A lot of foundational realities that this society has depended on for over a century are changing. So our politics will change and that will lead to a re-sorting of our political affiliations.

    That’s like reading Shakespeare’s sonnets to the hyena cage at the zoo, bubba. You’re in the wrong place for that. Try Talking Points Memo or Ezra Klein’s blog or Brad deLong’s blog.

    My own guess? Obama represents a transitional figure. When you look at demographics, the Republican party’s base is literally dying off, and young people under 35 have been so intensely radicalized to the left by the Drunk Driving C-Studnet and his torturer sidekick that the Democratic party is going to be forced to the left over the next several decades. Research shows that people tend to freeze their political views by their mid-20s, which means lots ‘n lots of highly left-wing adult voters in another 10 or 20 years.

    Too, we’re looking at vast economic transformations from things like 3D printers (MIT researchers have built prototypes that can print out entire houses) and the internet of things (spimes), blobjects, and new business models like kickstarter or those el-bizarro databases that use search engine results to generate new products.

    Capitalism definitely seems to be transforming. With the rise of things like driverless cars, it becomes realistic to ask: Why do you need to own a car? If the thing is driverless and you can use your smartphone to request one whenever you need it, why on earth would you want to own a car?

    I suspect that there will arise some kind of party to replace the Republican party which is sort of off to the left but way out there in terms of social policy. I suspect the Democrats will become the new “right wing” party (liberals today in America would be considered far right conservatives in Europe, and America currently has no equivalent of Europe’s Green Party in terms of political clout, though we do have a marginalized and ineffective Green party).

    The new left party might advocate policies like turning all banks into credit unions, setting up federal subsidies to let all towns and cities build their own fiberoptic municipal data networks and put the large ISP monopolies out of business, and so on.

    The big question for America’s political future seem to me to be: how we deal with Peak Oil and global warming. We might come together and pool our wisdom and social cohesion to developed innovative ways of dealing with these big big problems…or America might slide back into oligarchy and an authoritarian social-political system to deal with these problems. As Bruce Sterling pointed out, the easiest and simplest way to reduce carbon emission is to line up millions of people in front of slit trenches and machine-gun ’em.

  166. 166
    Redshift says:

    @cckids: According to Wikipedia, the earliest solid documented use is from 1978, in a confrontation between Congress and President Carter. It’s believed to be based on the story from the Alamo, but the exact phrase “a line in the sand” apparently wasn’t used in that legend, just that he drew a line on the ground with his sword.

  167. 167
    Mike in NC says:

    @Mike EYup. People think McCrory will be some kind of moderate Republican. What a joke! Stand by for more union-busting and attempts to outlaw all forms of birth control.

  168. 168
    mclaren says:

    @Corner Stone:

    And we have a winner. You, sir, have won this comment thread for today.

  169. 169
    Keith G says:

    @mclaren:

    The faster caucasians become a minority in America, the faster the Republican party will die.

    I think the GOP will shift. They first will have to find a way to take back the primary process and in doing so cast out the nuttiest and give the less nutty others a choice to stay and behave. Not unlike what the leftt Democrats did after 1968 and the DLC did 1984-92. Parties can change.

    I doubt the the GOP will go the way of the Whigs since capital interests will want to assure a hedge against any further move toward social democracy. No. The GOP will survive one way or another. They just have to thin out the old herd and take in some new blood.

  170. 170
    sneezy says:

    @mclaren:

    The BRICs put together do indeed rival the U.S. in total GDP.

    Yes, and since your statement specifically said “put ’em all together,” I assumed that was what you meant. It still seems like a perfectly reasonable reading of what you wrote.

    Essentially, you’re quibbling with minutia here.

    No, I was correcting a statement that, as written, is clearly wrong. If you now say that what you wrote is not what you meant, then fine. I don’t disagree with your broader point.

  171. 171
    Keith G says:

    @Corner Stone: god I hope not. Just when our side was getting all the good press.

  172. 172
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @gwangung: One doesn’t need to be a POC to see that.

  173. 173
    Soo says:

    I’m 40 years old with an incredibly aggressive form of cancer and have no other choice right now but disability. I hope to fuck you’re wrong because I need that check to live and I’d rather they didn’t use my ability to help my 75 year old mother/care giver pay for heat as a bargaining chip. Please, please, please don’t “bring it on.”

  174. 174
    General Stuck says:

    @mclaren:

    And we have a winner. You, sir, have won this comment thread for today.

    Our trolls are now bestowing awards on one another. Too funny and a little scary.

  175. 175
    e.a.f. says:

    The Republicans really are a stupid lot. If they “shut down the government” they might just see what all gets shut down. I would imagine if there was no money the embassies might have to close. How about any & all security for politicians except the president & v.p. be cancelled. Now that could be funny, if the politicians had to deal with their constituants, with out some one there to run interferance. I certainly wouldn’t be paying anyone to work for those congress people or senators. Not paying gas bills on fuel for jets, that should be entertaining. Don’t these Republicans get it? They would be the laughing stock of the world.

    those republicans might think it would just be seniors not receiving their SS cheques. The Republicans might find the government is paying companies either. Companies run by Republicans. Might be the end of the Republicans.

    What I did find entertaining though was when they passed the bill for the money, there were ear marks in it. Like how the hell does that happen??>? Maybe one way to save money in the U.S.A. federal government is to implement legislation which bans earmarks. They seem to add a lot to the cost of everything. So why don’t the Republicans start by suggesting a ban on ear marks. Just think of all the money they would save. of course it woudl be the end of all their pork barrelling but hey someone besides seniors need to pay for the deficiet. It wasn’t like seniors along ran up those bills. It might be entertaining to add up all the ear marks for the past decade. Might even find it could solve the deficiet problem.

    it was criminal how that idiot Bohner just walked away & left all those people in New Jersey & New York hanging. Chris Christie certainly wasn’t at a losse for words.

    If the Americans did away with ear marks, stopped invovling themselves in wars, which are in other countries, stop foreign aid to other governments who don’t really like the Americans, get rid of the government/military contractors, the Americans might find they won’t have to pay as many taxes & even have money left over to build schools, highways, hospitals, etc. Defending “American interests” abroad really is defending corporate interest abroad. why should the american tax payer have to provide this level of corporate welfare when these same corporations & their CEOs want to remove welfare from those least able to afford it. Not to mention these corporations don’t pay their fair share of taxes anyhow. Lets some calling them job creators and start calling them welfare queens. Lets stop calling it entitlements, its social benefits to keep society safe & sane. if the Americans continue to impoverish their own population, given the amount of guns out there, there is going to be one huge problem in the U.S.A.

  176. 176
    Violet says:

    @mclaren: China is third behind US owners, whether government or individuals. China wouldn’t call in its debt by phoning up President Obama and demanding the US pay up. That’s not how that kind of thing works. As efgoldman said, they could sell them on the open market, taking a bath but tanking the value of T-bills in the process. Just the threat of doing that would make the world markets nervous.

    By China owning US debt, they gain leverage. That leverage can be wielded in other ways–politically, militarily, and so forth. The US did a such a thing to Great Britain in the 1950’s over the Suez Crisis. The US owned Sterling Bonds and threatened to sell them to put pressure on the UK get them to do what the US wanted (end the invasion).

    The world is a different place, and China isn’t exactly trustworthy and transparent when it comes to its economy, but that doesn’t mean they have no leverage. I know China’s economy is tied up with ours, but at some point things will change and move. You don’t always know ahead of time what will trigger that happening.

  177. 177
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Gingrich v. Clinton, government shutdown. Who won?

    And Gingrich was far more competent and sane than Orange Julius ever could be.

    This is an overwhelming loser for the GOP and they’d be stupid to even try. They will try, of course. My money’s on Dems and Obama.

  178. 178
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @magurakurin: You could say what I do… I saw it when someone posted it on political/pet/food blog. I swear.

  179. 179
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @Keith G: Paul Ryan is in his 40s and is their new blood. Glenn Beck is 48. You are looking at party leaders like that for the next 20 years. It will be easier for money to just buy some Liberals.

  180. 180
    Keith G says:

    @Soo: You are going to be okay.

    This is a game of chicken. There are those who assume that they can get Obama to pull up and bargain as he has done in the past. Still, there is no way that they want to deal with the fallout if he does not fold. Whoever ends up winning, the process will be over before tangible hurt come to folks like you.

  181. 181
    mclaren says:

    @Keith G:

    You make a cogent argument. It’s within the realm of possibility that the Republican party will shift back out of Crazytown territory toward observable reality. The single most powerful piece of evidence in favor of your argument is the history of American centrism. Americans tend to vote centrist, so American political parties that have outlying views have, over the course of American history, tended to moderate their positions and purge their outliers when they lose elections.

    Against that powerful historical argument, however, we must place the observed reality that the GOP has done an amazingly good job of purging their moderates. There literally aren’t any moderates left to take over the party. The GOP today consists of the crazy, and the batshit insane.

    There’s also the strong evidence from research into cults, cited in one of Eliazer Yudkowsky’s classic posts:

    Early studiers of cults were surprised to discover than when cults receive a major shock—a prophecy fails to come true, a moral flaw of the founder is revealed—they often come back stronger than before, with increased belief and fanaticism. The Jehovah’s Witnesses placed Armageddon in 1975, based on Biblical calculations; 1975 has come and passed. The Unarian cult, still going strong today, survived the nonappearance of an intergalactic spacefleet on September 27, 1975. (The Wikipedia article on Unarianism mentions a failed prophecy in 2001, but makes no mention of the earlier failure in 1975, interestingly enough.)

    Why would a group belief become stronger after encountering crushing counterevidence?

    The conventional interpretation of this phenomenon is based on cognitive dissonance. When people have taken “irrevocable” actions in the service of a belief—given away all their property in anticipation of the saucers landing—they cannot possibly admit they were mistaken. The challenge to their belief presents an immense cognitive dissonance; they must find reinforcing thoughts to counter the shock, and so become more fanatical. In this interpretation, the increased group fanaticism is the result of increased individual fanaticism.

    Source: “Evaporative cooling of group beliefs,” Eliazer Yudkowsky, 7 December 2007.

    Time will tell which path the Republican party takes. But its continued veer into ever-greater extremism in response to setbacks offers a suggestion as to its future course…

  182. 182
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Soo: FWIW I cannot imagine that any shut down would last more than a couple of days. But, ultimately, situations like yours make me unwilling to support going to the mattresses on this. It is the problem liberals have always had. If ones sees the people affected by policy decisions as people, it is harder to treat them as pawns.

  183. 183
    ruemara says:

    I dunno. I just listened to Ezra Klein claim that Obama was a bad negotiator, the fiscal cliff deal was awful and the deal that he and his guest preferred was the right deal. Never mind that it did not exist nor would it get through Congress. It seems to me that the disappointment/professional slur brigade are ready with their cut marks and lingerie to take the pose of progressive disappointment.

  184. 184
    AnnaN says:

    Being on furlough status is a completely different state of being than a gift wide shut down. During the latter we are in a lockout state. Non essential employees are given 4hours to pick up their items from their office and are then escorted off the premises. I work for a scientific research agency so most of the laboratories are considered non essential. This woul exclude all but a handful of Natl Weather Srvc employees. If we come onto the site after the shut down and after our four hour window we are considered trespassers and will be arrested. This was made explicitly clear since we work in a secure facility and there would probably only be one or two guards to secure a bldg that house 1500 employees.

    As for unemployment – you can’t get it unless special congressional provisions are made (HAH!) there is no set up making sure that gets processed in a govt shut down. People on SS would be lucky to get paid. Additionally, shut out employees should get back pay and you can’t keep both payroll and UEBs. And that also illustrates the stupidity of a govt shut down – the waste of money paying millions of Feds for work they didn’t do. Just a huge cluster cuss.

  185. 185
    AnnaN says:

    Being on furlough status is a completely different state of being than a gift wide shut down. During the latter we are in a lockout state. Non essential employees are given 4hours to pick up their items from their office and are then escorted off the premises. I work for a scientific research agency so most of the laboratories are considered non essential. This woul exclude all but a handful of Natl Weather Srvc employees. If we come onto the site after the shut down and after our four hour window we are considered trespassers and will be arrested. This was made explicitly clear since we work in a secure facility and there would probably only be one or two guards to secure a bldg that house 1500 employees.

    As for unemployment – you can’t get it unless special congressional provisions are made (HAH!) there is no set up making sure that gets processed in a govt shut down. People on SS would be lucky to get paid. Additionally, shut out employees should get back pay and you can’t keep both payroll and UEBs. And that also illustrates the stupidity of a govt shut down – the waste of money paying millions of Feds for work they didn’t do. Just a huge cluster cuss.

  186. 186
    Keith G says:

    @Or something like that.Suffern Ace: I think that this would not totally be the case. New blood is not just about age, it is about a more realistic and marketable view on policy. The GOP (as an extension of capital interests) must attract a younger, less white, and less male following. And with time, they will.

  187. 187
    Mandalay says:

    @Keith G:

    So would you be so kind as to point out what above qualified as xenophobic comment?

    Sure. Read post 47. Here are some direct quotes…
    Some shithole like China…
    Some shithole like Mexico…
    Some pisspot like Burma…

    Just for the record, I have traveled extensively in Mexico and Myanmar on multiple visits, and to a lesser extent in China on multiple visits, and none of those countries are “shitholes” or “pisspots”.

    Now why would someone choose to descibe those countries in those terms when the topic being discussed was which countries to choose for investment? Why are they not simply ignored, or deemed poor places to invest, rather than being singled out as being a “shithole” or a “pisspot”?

    Such comments say far more about the xenophobia of the author than the countries being vilified.

  188. 188
    Fluke bucket says:

    @mclaren: in your opinion is Obama a centrist?

  189. 189
    mclaren says:

    @General Stuck:

    As always, General Crackpot Fake Name makes a comment which introduces no new information, makes no cogent argument, and serves (as Lycoleon said of Charmides) “always to exemplify the utmost littleness of mind.”

    Re: Gingrich vs Clinton — that might not offer a valid analogy. For one thing, Bill Clinton was a lot tougher than Obama is. Clinton actually had lines in the sand that he wouldn’t cross. It’s not at all clear that Obama has any line in the sand that he won’t cross. He’s already offered de facto cuts in social secure and disastrously costly cuts in medicare (courtesy of the scheme to raise the medicare eligibility age, which winds up costing America more money). We know that Obama has fully accepted the insane Dick Cheney 1% doctrine, and Obama has entirely internalized the Drunk-Driving C Student’s crazy and self-destructive Global War on Terror as a permanent way of life. Obama made a few feeble whimpers against the erasure of the fourth amendment, but he wound up acceding to mass warrantless wiretapping. Plus Obama has no problem with ordering American citizens murdered without even charging them with committing a crime.

    Bill Clinton tried to push the vile Clipper chip and he was the one who (to his shame) started extraordinary rendition, AKA kidnapping people and torturing ’em in foreign countries, without trial or charges. So Clinton’s morals were, shall we say, fungible. But I don’t recall Bill Clinton being okay with ordering everyone in America wiretapped without a warrant, or with ordering American citizens murdered by assassination squads without even charging ’em with a crime.

    As for Obama’s backbone, I’ll outsource that commentary:

    Noam Scheiber: “I think the president made a huge mistake by negotiating over what he’d previously said was non-negotiable (namely, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts on income over $250,000). Then the White House compounded that mistake by sending Biden to ‘close’ the deal when Harry Reid appeared to give up on it. As a practical matter, this signaled to Republicans that the White House wouldn’t walk away from the bargaining table, allowing the GOP to keep extracting concessions into the absolute final hours before the deadline.”

    Paul Krugman: “Anyone looking at these negotiations, especially given Obama’s previous behavior, can’t help but reach one main conclusion: whenever the president says that there’s an issue on which he absolutely, positively won’t give ground, you can count on him, you know, giving way — and soon, too. The idea that you should only make promises and threats you intend to make good on doesn’t seem to be one that this particular president can grasp.”

  190. 190
    amk says:

    @ruemara: And just yesterday, that boy ezra was agreeing with lawrence o’ donnell that the deal was a win for obama. I peg him as the next broder.

  191. 191
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandalay: Unless it’s about Belgium…

  192. 192
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: Consistency, even a foolish one, isn’t your strong suit, is it?

  193. 193
    Keith G says:

    @ruemara:

    I dunno. I just listened to Ezra Klein claim that Obama was a bad negotiator, the fiscal cliff deal was awful and the deal

    Obviously, time will tell. I have been too busy to get to the bottom of all of it, but I wish it were better.

    I am not happy that GW Bush was one of the big winners.

    Most of his temporary tax cuts became permanent. His economic views were given a credence that he himself could not achieve.

    And now that lost revenue will have to be made up.

    Where from?

  194. 194
    mclaren says:

    @Mandalay:

    The quotes you cite are not an indication of xenophobia. They’re an indication that I don’t like the countries mentioned.

    You conspicuously fail to note that I also (and on a regular basis) refer to the U.S.A. as “shithole America.”

    I’m an equal-opportunity curmudgeon.

    But by all means continue to tell the lie that I’m xenophobic and a racist. What else would we expect from a denizen of that cesspool Shithole America, land of the lamebrained and home of the twee?

  195. 195
    Mandalay says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    And Gingrich was far more competent and sane than Orange Julius ever could be.

    I agree that Gingrich is more competent than Boehner, though TBF he was working under much easier circumstances.

    But I am not so sure about him being more sane. Gingrich was, and remains, a bullshitting loose cannon who repeatedly overreached and overplayed his hand. The Republicans ditched him with good reason.

    And I don’t really see any evidence that Boehner is insane at all. TBH, he seems like the best of a really vile bunch to me.

  196. 196
    mclaren says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Consistency, even a foolish one, isn’t your strong suit, is it?

    When the circumstances change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?

  197. 197
    El Caganer says:

    @ruemara:Probably a mistake on my part, but I think Klein is wrong looking at this deal in isolation. We have three other pieces coming up in March (yes, I know the Dems have ruled out making a deal on the debt ceiling, but it’s still a piece of the whole government financial picture whether they deal or not), and I’m inclined to wait to see how the whole think shakes out. Plenty of time in April to be overjoyed or pissed off or whatever.

  198. 198
    SatanicPanic says:

    McClaren is owning this thread. What is going on? +2

  199. 199
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Mandalay: Gingrich and Boehner are both sane. Sane assholes.

  200. 200
    mclaren says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    FWIW I cannot imagine that any shut down would last more than a couple of days.

    The universe does not operate according to the limits of your imagination. This is fortunate in the case of basic scientific research, and possibly unfortunate in the case of politics. “It can’t happen here” is a mile marker America passed quite some years back, when Americans starting torturing helpless prisoners in Abu Ghraib.

  201. 201
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: Mac, you can’t even keep a consistent theme through a thread. I understand changing circumstances; I don’t understand what seem to be bipolar flips. But, please, enjoy yourself. Have fun. Stay away from sharp objects.

  202. 202
    mclaren says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    McClaren is owning this thread. What is going on? +2

    It’s what happens when, intellectually speaking, the people on Balloon Juice bring nerf guns to a saber duel.

  203. 203
    Johnny Coelacanth says:

    “Standard operating procedure for the Balloon-Juice commentariat.” Of which, by definition, you are a member, so watch where you point that thing.

  204. 204
    dww44 says:

    @JPL: I wish. Will you watch and let us know?

  205. 205
    TS says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    Gingrich v. Clinton, government shutdown. Who won?

    Everyone lost in that skirmish – maybe some lost less than others. Major fights between congress and the administration seem to often end up with a change in the administration.

    It seems at the minute – which is the typical sh_t that the President has to handle

    If congress does not increase the debt limit – congress is utterly wingnut crazy
    If congress does increase the debt limit – the President is a wimp.

    How people like mclaren get to the 2nd result is beyond my thinking – probably relates to the President being black – Clinton was the good ole white guy who failed to pass – just about everything – except the law giving the banks the freedom to screw the economy.

  206. 206
    Keith G says:

    @Mandalay: I see your point. I read those as just overstated commentary done for effect and not a statement of fear or dislike of foreign people

    The countries mentioned, like all societies, are home to wonderful humans who are doing their best. I hope the best for the citizenry even as the stated governments seem very content to have insufficient regard for the rights of the poor and/or those who oppose the government.

    Does that earn them a “shithole”? Well, YMMV.

  207. 207
    Morzer says:

    I for one can’t wait to tell the GOP fiscal terrorists to

    SUCK ON THIS!

  208. 208
    Morzer says:

    @mclaren:

    I check my data.

  209. 209
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: You read only bits and pieces of what people write, don’t you? Dipshit.

  210. 210
    mclaren says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Mac, you can’t even keep a consistent theme through a thread.

    Variety remains the spice of life. I think the thread introduced above by Keith G. in comment 143 proves infinitely more interesting than the backbiting by the various intellectual Lilliputians here.

    To wit: how is American politics likely to transform in the near future?

    One important point I suspect will become clear in the near future — Obama’s decision to embrace the Drunk-Driving C Student’s economic and military policies is fundamentally doomed. It’s not just that an eternal global war on terror is bad policy (it is, because it makes everyone on earth hate us when we bomb their innocent women and children and then brush off their screams of anguish with “Well, we were trying to kill terrorists, so shut up”). The essential problem is that both these policies are just unsustainable.

    If you look at the trajectory of U.S. military spending, our weaponry is rapidly aging because boondoggle procurement projects like the Navy’s insane new littoral craft or the Air Force’s crazy F-35 are so expensive that we can’t afford many of them. This means that procurement gets drawn way out and it takes decades to build and deploy these insanely expensive weapons, and in the meantime our current weaponry gets so old it falls apart. This will limit American adventurism. Indeed, it is already limiting it right now, to the extent that the Air Force won’t deploy the B2 bombers in many theaters because they’re too expensive to lose.

    Bush’s economic policies are already breaking. This current debt ceiling negotiation is the crunch point. It is simply unsustainable to continue the Bush/Reagan tax cuts for the rich, and whether or not Obama caves at this particular moment in history, it’s clear from the long-term fiscal trajectory that we just can’t continue them indefinitely.

    Likewise, the current political chaos is making it clear that America’s broken medical-industrial complex must be reformed, and not just with band-aids like the ACA — which does nothing substantive to reduce costs. Every commentator about the deficit winds up recognizing that medicare is the real killer in producing long-term budget deficits, so as these political-fiscal crises escalate and become more frequent, America as a whole will be forced to eventually move toward real reform of its broken medical system. Meaning: some kind of move toward a nationalized single-payer system, a concerted effort to break the power of the AMA to limit medical school admissions, and some eventual wage arbitrage that moves U.S. doctors salaries away from their outlier position of circa 200% the salary of doctors in the Eurozone and Japan and the other developed nations.

    That’s why Obama seems like a transitional figure on the path to more genuinely progressive figures like Elizabeth Warren. But of course I could well be wrong. Time will tell.

  211. 211
    rikyrah says:

    I continue to believe the debt ceiling ‘negotiations’ will go something like this.

    President Obama: I want a clean debt ceiling bill.

    The GOP: We want huge cuts in ‘entitlements’

    President Obama: I want a clean debt ceiling bill.

    The GOP: We want huge cuts in ‘entitlements’.

    Other Democrats: Well….why don’t you give us a detailed list of these CUTS.

    The GOP: No, you should put forth the cuts first.

    Other Democrats: Um, no. It’s time for you to put up or shut up.

    President Obama: Here’s my deal. You run on your proposed CUTS for the 2014 elections… you know, like I ran on raising taxes for the 2%. If you win on them, I’ll talk to you in 2014. But, for this year – I want a clean debt ceiling bill.

    The GOP: We want huge cuts in ‘entiitlements’.

    President Obama: You know what I’ll sign… …don’t call me until it’s ready to come to my desk.

  212. 212
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Keith G: One has to consider the history of the commenter if one knows it. mclaren, while occasionally insightful, does not have a history that inspires me to interpret her comments through a friendly lens.

  213. 213
    mclaren says:

    @Johnny Coelacanth:

    You win the Kurt Goedel Award for self-referencing infinite loops of paradox. Congratulations!

    As we all know, the Balloon Juice Commentariat make foolish and worthless claims — but since I’m a member of the Balloon Juice commentariat, my claim is foolish and worthless…which means that the comments at Balloon Juice are actually wise and insightful — so therefore what I originally said must be correct…

    Und so weiter. Fun for the whole family!

  214. 214
    Mandalay says:

    @Keith G:

    I read those as just overstated commentary done for effect and not a statement of fear or dislike of foreign people

    Really?

    How about if someone gratuitously calls Obama a nig***? Would that be “just overstated commentary done for effect and not a statement of fear or dislike”, or would it arise from racism?

    How about if someone gratuitously calls Barney Frank a faggot? Would that be “just overstated commentary done for effect and not a statement of fear or dislike”, or would it arise from homophobia?

    How about if someone gratuitously calls Hilary Clinton a slut? Would that be “just overstated commentary done for effect and not a statement of fear or dislike”, or would it arise from misogyny?

    How about if someone gratuitously calls Mexico, Myanmar and China shitholes and pisspots? Would that be “just overstated commentary done for effect and not a statement of fear or dislike”, or would it arise from xenophobia?

  215. 215
    mclaren says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Shorter Omnes Omnibus: “I can’t provide facts or logic to counter mclaren’s arguments, but I dislike him.”

  216. 216
    SatanicPanic says:

    @rikyrah: They really should have the guts to detail their cuts.

    heh heh, that rhymes.

  217. 217
    Keith G says:

    @mclaren: I see where you are going with this, but I challenge you to use fewer cliches and be a bit more creative/expansive in your process.

    That said, this prol must work early. Until next time.

  218. 218
    Johnny Coelacanth says:

    We know that Obama has fully accepted the insane Dick Cheney 1% doctrine, and Obama has entirely internalized the Drunk-Driving C Student’s crazy and self-destructive Global War on Terror as a permanent way of life.

    We _know_ these things? No, you know these things because your natural superiority allows you to read minds. The rest of us must rely on the meager gruel of speculation as to the president’s motives. I mean, why would the first black president of a badly-fractured “shithole America” take a hands-off approach to the national security state? It’s not like anybody would freak out and call him a socialist, amirite? It’s just the DOD, the NSA, the CIA and a few congressmen. Obama should just dismantle that shit with a wave of his hand, sure.

  219. 219
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @mclaren: you did it again. You complain about fiscal policies and then point the blame at Bushes tax cuts “for the rich”. Then complain that all of the bush tax cuts needed to expire. God damnit. The reason our revenue situation is in the mess that it is is because Bush cut taxes for EVERYONE. He cut them steeply! But for ten fucking years all the public heard about is how those rich people taxes were the problem. The democrats play to this, but so do the non democratic left.

    So yeah. It would have been better if all the tax cuts sunset, but the middle class hasn’t heard that their tax rates are a problem too. But we certainly whine about the so called permanent extension of the Bush Tax Cuts, even though the tax rates you call out as the problem went up! Quite a bit!

  220. 220
    Jewish Steel says:

    @mclaren:

    Shorter Omnes Omnibus: “I can’t provide facts or logic to counter mclaren’s arguments, but I dislike him.”

    Him?

    Thought you was a lady?

  221. 221
    scav says:

    trolls attitude toward a thread / conversation is basically that of a goopers to governing. The more they can preen and dominate the space without actually contributing anything of substance, the prouder they are. they see it as an artform, only they’re not out to drown government, they’re out to drown discussion — sometimes with intent, sometimes for amusement. Detect obvious. long term, neither are probably a healthy development for democracy or an informed participatory populace. Too much work fighting through their bs.

  222. 222
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Or something like that.Suffern Ace: It is what she does. Wherever her rant takes her she goes.

  223. 223
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @scav: Yeah, but I have had a pissy week so what the fuck.

  224. 224
    scav says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: oh, recreational ranting is different than making it a full-time persona.

  225. 225
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    Clinton tax rates on capital gains on capital gains: 15% short term, 24% long term. Bush rates: 15% for both. OBAMA RATES: 20% for both plus 3.8% ACA investment income tax = 23.8%. Omg. The calamity of the cave!

  226. 226
    Johnny Coelacanth says:

    @mclaren: Well yes, I was struck by the unwitting insult you paid yourself with that. I was always a sucker for that chapter in Metamagical Themas. “This is to be or two sentences not to be, that is the question, combined” and all that.

  227. 227
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @Or something like that.Suffern Ace: I got the short term and long term rates reversed, but who cares. Bush “won” the argument that short term and long term rates were no different. Good. Now we can tax them both the same! At higher rates!

  228. 228
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @scav: I try to be a reasonable, pragmatic center-leftist. One can disagree with me, but one can generally from where I am coming.* There are a large number of people, right and left of me on particular issues, with whom I can easily interact. OTOH crazy troll people are another thing.

    *I am + several and I still made myself avoid ending the sentence with a preposition.

  229. 229
    cmorenc says:

    @efgoldman:

    Except you know, as sure as tomorrow is Saturday, that the usual talking, mewling heads, and the usual low-rent scriveners, will blame it generically on “Congress” and wish the President was willing to compromise.

    I was at first upset like many people that Obama and the dems needlessly gave away too much of the leverage they had on taxes during the fiscal cliff curb crisis in order to compromise with Yertle the Turtle to get a deal timely to the deadline. HOWEVER, now I’m beginning to think that although Obama certainly spent a good deal of his tax leverage capital on that deal, he may have gained quite a bit of offsetting political capital with the public as the reasonable adult in the room who’s truly looking out for the public’s interest. That will thereby help give him the traction of public support needed to hang tough on the debt ceiling fight, long enough to force enough of the less insane GOP house and senate members to blink and back down. The issue will then be settled mostly on Obama’s terms.

  230. 230
  231. 231
    mclaren says:

    @Johnny Coelacanth:

    Yes, we know that Obama has accepted Dick Cheney’s insane 1% doctinre because he’s signed off on crazy policies like ordering drone strikes world-wide on anyone who might be a terrorist. That’s the 1% doctrine right there. Oh, and by the way: Obama’s resolution for the New Year is…more drone strikes. Defense analysts estimate that 98% of the victims killed in Pakistan by U.S. drones are innocent, not terrorists. Yet the drone strikes intensify.

    The Mail on Sunday today reveals shocking new evidence of the full horrific impact of US drone attacks in Pakistan.

    A damning dossier assembled from exhaustive research into the strikes’ targets sets out in heartbreaking detail the deaths of teachers, students and Pakistani policemen. It also describes how bereaved relatives are forced to gather their loved ones’ dismembered body parts in the aftermath of strikes.

    Source: “CIA chiefs face arrest over horrific evidence of bloody ‘video-game’ sorties by drone pilots,” David Rose, The Daily Mail, 20 October 2012.

    As for making the global war on terror permanent, see:

    “Obama moves to make the War on Terror permanent: Complete with a newly coined, creepy Orwellian euphemism – `disposition matrix’ – the administration institutionalizes the most extremist powers a government can claim.”

    Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian, 24 October 2012.

    Also see: “The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say),” Wired Magazine, 15 March 2012.

    Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.

    There you have it. Everything Bush and Cheney dreamed of in their demented military fantasies, Obama has signed off on.

  232. 232

    This is what Obama needs to do: Get the Republicans to say what they want to cut.

    Border patrol? The military? Military contracts? Federal prisons? Federal pensions?

    Once the Republicans say Medicare and Social Security stand back and let the masses consume their flesh.

  233. 233
    mclaren says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I try to be a reasonable, pragmatic center-leftist.

    So your idea of being a reasonable pragmatic center-leftist is applauding the arrogation of a power (to murder his own citizens without trial or charges and without even having to provide an explanation why) which even William the Conquerer did not assert to his barons, and which the Magna Carta has explicitly outlawed for 900 years.

    Well, thanks for that explanation, Mr. pragmatic reasonable center-leftist.

    I’ll outsource the rest of my commentary on your hallucinogenic self-description to Brad deLong:

    According to John Reeves, author of the History of English Law from the Time of the Romans to the End of the Reign of Elizabeth, a declaration of outlawry—that such-and-such a man could and should be shot or knifed on sight—proceeded according to a legal process in front of judges at least since the reign of Henry III Plantagenet. To quote:

    [T]hose of inferior age, as they were not sub lege, could not properly be ever said to be outlawed, or put out of the law: the same of a woman, who, as she also was never in laughe—that is, in frank pledge, or in a decenna, could not be outlawed; but if she fled upon commission of any felony she might be wayviata, as they called it…. esteemed as one deserted and forlorn….

    The time necessary to complete the outlawry was this: the offender was to be demanded at four counties, from county to county, till he was outlawed; but at the first county there was only to be what they termed simplex vocatio; and that was not computed towards the time of one of the four counties; so that in truth five were to pass before the outlawry was had; the outlawry therefore was to be at the fourth of those after the simplex vocatio. At the fifth or, as they called it, the fourth county, no essoin or excuse could be received, nor was it sufficient that any one would engage to produce him at the next county…. [T]he fugitive had till the fifth county to render himself to prison or defend himself and purge his innocence, but after that time the outlawry stood in the way, and he could not return till that was removed by the mercy of the king….

    In… instances where the king would have pardoned a conviction of the fact [of the underlying crime], he would readily pardon the outlawry, as in case of homicide per infortunium, or se defendendo; and in general where there was really no offence committed. Process of outlawry would not lie against a clerk…

    Today, by contrast, in order to be outlawed—and thus in order to have your death commanded not just by blade or bow or gun but by teleoperated robot drone—there needs to be no public process by which you are commanded and offered the opportunity under the king’s peace to surrender and publicly defend yourself at five different successive county sessions. Instead, all that has to happen is that the high functionaries of the President, men and women not bound to others by feudal ties of mutual obligation or republican ties of election and representation but simply chosen at the President’s pleasure to sit on the National Security Council, in secret proceeding without judicial or other scrutiny, put your name on a list. And if you are a minor? Then a high functionary of the President will say, with a straight face, that you “should have chosen a better father” than one who was himself outlawed.

    This is not a good trend in the rule of law as applied to outlawry that we have seen since the thirteenth century, is it?

    What steps have you taken while in government to reverse this trend, and return the law of outlawry to something that would not have caused the justiciars of Henry III to raise their eyebrows and suggest that we remember what the common law is?

    Source: “A Question for Harold Hongju Koh on Changes Over the Last Nine Centuries in the Law of Outlawry…” Brad DeLong blog, 1 January 2013.

  234. 234
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: Did I say any of that? Nope.

  235. 235
    AxelFoley says:

    @GMC:

    LOL at this bitch-ass troll. We get new ones everyday now it seems.

  236. 236
    Dexter's new approach says:

    Count me in the camp that believes the impact of debt ceiling break would be manageable and probably transitory. The corporate wing that funds the R party might swallow the brinkmanship strategy (with a lot of expensive scotch) when it means defending their tax rates. But if the debt ceiling doesn’t pass, and the markets tank and take down their wealth and bonuses, they’ll jump ship fast (most of these guys make their money globally and don’t really care about LT US debt beyond how it affects global markets.) Big money guys will privately pull money from campaigns and CEOs will publicly shame the wingnuts. Many non-TP Rs will have to break ranks. And I doubt Boner is going to want to go down in history as the worst house leader ever while siding with the guys that have been trying to shive him. Christie has set this up already and will denounce his party’s extreme elements, further improving his hand as a leading 2016 candidate. Any R Prez candidate that voted no to the debt ceiling will get crushed by independents. Big money will shift towards Christie and his agenda, the tea party will become a local thing.

    That’s how I see it anyway. If it means the fever breaks and the tea party is diminished, then the markets will forgive and maybe confidence grows. I hope it doesn’t come down to that, but if the alternative is going through this bullshit every 12 months, let’s just have it out right now.

  237. 237

    right now we’re getting the money to run the government’s shortfalls almost free, or maybe actually at minus thanks to inflation. Changing that with a debt ceiling fuck up is not good. Yes, McLaren and a couple others have made good points as to why a catastrophe isn’t likely, but if anyone around here wants to try to make points by calling “the markets” rational actors they’re going to have to bring something.

    I see I’m really late, well 236 comments take awhile to plow through.

  238. 238
    Keith G says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    …right now we’re getting the money to run the government’s shortfalls almost free, or maybe actually at minus thanks to inflation. Changing that with a debt ceiling fuck up is not good

    That is why I have a hunch that this will be subject to some negotiations. Obama’s hand might have been a bit stronger with the “cliff” issue. Strong words aside, more long term pain (and quite a bit in the near term) can be stepped into if the debt ceiling issue is not handled appropriately.

    Remember, if this goes all to shit, there are two parties that have to deal with the fall out. One being a group, a collective, the Congressional Republicans. The other party is one solitary individual, Barak Obama. Passed through that filter, Cole’s advice becomes a bit more interesting.

  239. 239
    AxelFoley says:

    @General Stuck:

    Our trolls are now bestowing awards on one another. Too funny and a little scary.

    ROFL

  240. 240
    chopper says:

    @AxelFoley:

    the bacterial mat has overgrown the dish and thrown on a lab coat.

  241. 241
    chopper says:

    @Keith G:

    Remember, if this goes all to shit, there are two parties that have to deal with the fall out. One being a group, a collective, the Congressional Republicans. The other party is one solitary individual, Barak Obama. Passed through that filter, Cole’s advice becomes a bit more interesting.

    that’s the thing. even if obama refuses to deal, arguing (correctly) that it’s congress’s job to deal with its own debt ceiling, if we start selectively defaulting on debts the president has to be the face of that process.

  242. 242
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @f space that: Re the Gingrich shutdown, I wasn’t furloughed, dammit. I complained bitterly at the time, but the gummint insisted I was “essential.” It was this conclusion that caused me to lose what little faith I had left re bureaucratic competency. Alas. It’s gotten worse.

  243. 243
    Barry says:

    @Keith G: “At any rate the GOP still has a power base in the House for eight years. The key will be the 2020 elections and who controls state legislatures after the Census.”
    F$&@ the Census. The GOP broke that custom, so we should redistrict whenever we can.

  244. 244
    Barry says:

    @mclaren: I agree with MClaren, here. You can find places to invest, but when it comes to where do you safely park over a trillion $$$$…..

  245. 245
    Joel says:

    @Mandalay: To a one, I’d have to think the bond rates are higher for each of those countries, indicating that investors are more comfortable with US T-notes.

  246. 246
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Mandalay: Heh indeedly doodly. I don’t think American’s have really absorbed how much their nation’s reputation has sunk in the last decade.

    It’s about to happen to us over #idlenomore. The world’s starting to pay attention, and getting a load of the massive amounts of crazytown racist bigotry on display in any articles about the topic from white Canadians. Put it together with a lot of the coded racism from ‘respectable’ pundits in our newspapers (Coyne, Blatchford, Levant, et al) and I’m pretty sure our national reputation is about to take a serious beating.

    Like everything else, we’re about a decade behind you guys… in this case, a decade behind in trashing one’s own reputation.

    It sucks.

  247. 247
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @mclaren: The thing is, if the US is the only game in town, and the US shows that it’s not reliable, that means that there is no game, and everybody stops doing business. Leading to a new depression.

    Which is what everyone is saying is the potential negative consequences for your suicidals in your congress.

  248. 248
    PNW_WarriorWoman says:

    Love ya John! You’re my lovey!

  249. 249
    Bonnie says:

    I was a government worker during the last shutdown; and, it was very difficult for me. I did not know if I was going to get paid for the work I had already worked. We did not know if we would get paid while furloughed. The uncertainty is scary. However, in the end, it was a waste of taxpayer money because afterwards, we did get paid for not being at work. Then, with the very last shutdown, God showed Congress that he had more control than they did because the day we were scheduled to go back to work, we had a blizzard. We were off for another week with pay. I also thought it showed God does have a sense of humor.

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