Member Mismanagement

Another indicator of the weakness of John Boehner (via):

House Speaker John Boehner “may need a shutdown just to get it out of their system,” said a top GOP leadership adviser. “We might need to do that for member-management purposes — so they have an endgame and can show their constituents they’re fighting.”

I wonder how many days of default are necessary for the “endgame”?  Does a complete cratering of the stock and bond markets show enough “fight”? Just how much pain does the rest of the country have to endure to satisfy the 27% who elected this neanderthal rump?






140 replies
  1. 1
    feebog says:

    Once the Banksters start whining they will cave like a wet cardboard box. Got to keep that campaign money flowing in ya know.

  2. 2
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    Holy fucking shit… reading the linked article:

    House Republicans are seriously entertaining dramatic steps, including default or shutting down the government, to force President Barack Obama to finally cut spending by the end of March.

    They’re considering actually defaulting in order to prove their point.

  3. 3
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Let the boys on Wall Street put pressure on the GOP then.

  4. 4
    Alex S. says:

    I have to glue John Boehner onto a skunk, just to get it out of my system.

  5. 5
    Professor says:

    The United States of America Government (Supreme Court, Congress and the Administration) is WELL and TRULY FUCKED!

  6. 6
    dmsilev says:

    @feebog: Some of the true believers don’t get much of their support from Wall Street types; it comes rather from billionaire fanatics like the Kochs. And yes, the Kochs would lose a lot of money if the economy implodes. They probably don’t believe it will though.

    And that’s really the problem. When the money behind the loons is equally lunatic, where’s the leverage?

  7. 7
    Napoleon says:

    Good thing Obama retained the “break glass in case of fire” option of the 14th Amendment and platinum coin in case it was needed in the event of something like this.

    By the way, I love how this story appeared within a day of Obama unilaterally disarming his trump card. I am sure there is no relationship between the two.

  8. 8
    jibeaux says:

    to force President Barack Obama to finally cut spending

    Needs moar Schoolhouse Rock.

  9. 9
    jibeaux says:

    @Napoleon: Good grief, the platinum coin thing was becoming a huge distraction, with people not understanding the first thing about how it worked and public opinion polling running 5 to 1 against in a PPP poll. It was putting the president unnecessarily on the defensive in a situation in which he’s the last person who should be on the defensive. So he ruled it out. If, heaven forbid, we’re actually in a situation where the economy is going to implode and the only thing that will save us is a platinum coin — which I don’t think can be the case — he can fucking MINT THE COIN in that case. No takesies backsies isn’t actually a thing in government.

  10. 10
    General Stuck says:

    A threatened birthright to rule a superpower is going to cause a very high fever for those who stand to lose it. As it may well take something drastic to not only break that fever, but also inform the public the serious disease of those afflicted, and what to do about it.

    I would rather they got it out of their system now, rather than later. And Obama is ultimately in charge of managing the consequences to hopefully avert complete disaster, whilst the wingnuts deal with their mental problems. But I still think the relatively sane wingnuts will call a halt to the Thelma and Louise fun. But not before they’re satisfied that sufficient wingnuttery hath ensued.

  11. 11
    gene108 says:

    The sad thing is the media will just state “both sides” are to blame, if we do default and the global economy goes into the toilet as a result.

  12. 12
    Rustydude says:

    Question: why would brokers on Wall Street be committed to pressuring Congress to raise the debt ceiling by the deadline? Why wouldn’t they instead enjoy the carnage, sell short, and profit on the debacle. When customers with long positions complain, the brokers can throw up their hands and claim that they did their best.

  13. 13
    PeakVT says:

    By JIM VANDEHEI, MIKE ALLEN and JAKE SHERMAN

    Caught again without my hip boots on….

  14. 14
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @FormerSwingVoter: to force President Barack Obama to finally cut spending

    “finally”, and it’s all on Obama. that’s pure Vande Hei right there.

  15. 15
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Napoleon:

    Good thing Obama retained the “break glass in case of fire” option of the 14th Amendment and platinum coin in case it was needed in the event of something like this.

    So if Obama doesn’t save the Republicans from their own bad decisions like an overprotective helicopter parent, that just proves he’s weak and a bad negotiator?

  16. 16
    GregB says:

    Nobody puts the religiously fanatic fascist baby in the corner.

  17. 17
    amk says:

    @feebog: Yup. The money boys will whack these nutz and will win in the end.

  18. 18
    General Stuck says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    helicopter parent

    Keeper

  19. 19
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    Who the hell thinks “I’d better collapse the world economy just out of spite”? Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with these people?

  20. 20
    aimai says:

    @jibeaux:

    Yes, people really don’t seem to grasp that the president can always revisit the decision when the country is begging him to intervene-not just some of the country, the entire country. “I have instructed my lawyers to look into the constitutionality of doing X and I have decided that I do have the authority….blah blah blah.”

    I don’t understand why the very people who whine about how Obama doesn’t play hardball are also the people who don’t understand that hardball hurts–it hurts a lot of people, not just the other side. Its risky and there are a lot of downsides.

    aimai

  21. 21
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Rustydude:

    Question: why would brokers on Wall Street be committed to pressuring Congress to raise the debt ceiling by the deadline? Why wouldn’t they instead enjoy the carnage, sell short, and profit on the debacle.

    Because there is no profit to be had in that situation. All of those brokers will lose millions of dollars of their own money, because the US defaulting on its debt will also crash all of the worldwide markets where the brokers would normally hide their money. That’s why Wall Street is shitting itself right now.

  22. 22
    Linda Featheringill says:

    I have no idea exactly what the GOP will do, but it’ll probably be dramatic and at least potentially harmful, if not actually dangerous.

    There will be meetings with much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then a deal will be produced that looks like it give Boehner a lot of what he was asking for. Looks can be deceiving.

    The deal will pass in the House only with Democratic and Republican votes. Members of the Teaparty Caucus will rend their cloaks and anoint themselves with ashes. Obama will be castigated for being weak and giving the GOP too much. Worse than Bush lamentations will take over GOS.

    Two or three months down the road, it will be reported that the GOP actually got very little and Obama actually got a lot.

    Finis.

  23. 23
    BGinCHI says:

    Will no one rid us of these turbulent asshats?

  24. 24
    Bulworth says:

    I wonder how many days of default are necessary for the “endgame”? Does a complete cratering of the stock and bond markets show enough “fight”?

    Well, they won’t acknowledge they’ve caused a default or stock market crash; those things would be the Kenyan usurper’s fault.

  25. 25
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    @Napoleon: If he has no backdoor fix, he cannot be blamed for not employing them. Ergo, the GOP takes 100% of the blame.

    If you cannot see the image-fail of the Pt coin and the impeachment-rich move to invoke the 14th, then you dont live among the low-info voters like the rest of us do.

  26. 26
    cathyx says:

    It’s like my mother spanking me with the wooden spoon when I was misbehaving. She only did it because she loved me.

  27. 27
    aimai says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I also would like a round of serious, serious, golf claps for “helicopter parent” in this context. A couple of days ago I said that the Republicans themselves would turn on a dime and begin shrieking “Obama let us crash the economy!!! Why didn’t he mint the coin and prevent us.” There is something quintessentially toddleresque about the tantrums they are thorwing and it will come complete with “you made me do it” and “whyd idn’t you stop me????” after the china figurine/world economy is smashed.

    aimai

  28. 28
    General Stuck says:

    Obama is going to tell us what is what in about 20 minutes.

  29. 29
    scav says:

    There might just be a little threat along the lines of “my partner is so crasy I don’t know what he’ll do!” in this, but implying you’ll pull this shit for essentially campaign advertising purposes? I’m not sure that was a clever thing to blurt in public.

  30. 30
    Bulworth says:

    House Republicans are seriously entertaining dramatic steps, including default or shutting down the government, to force President Barack Obama to finally cut spending by the end of March.

    They haven’t even implemented the sequester cuts yet. Maybe they should try to do that before forcing a default to “finally cut spending”.

  31. 31
    SRW1 says:

    @Rustydude:

    Cause the world, including the world of finance, ain’t gonna be the same if the US defaults. Better to stay away from the stuff that might bring pitch forks and guillotines into the streets.

  32. 32
    General Stuck says:

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    If he has no backdoor fix, he cannot be blamed for not employing them. Ergo, the GOP takes 100% of the blame.

    Yes, and if anyone needs an example of how firebaggers hurt the cause, this is one of those.

  33. 33
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    There will be meetings with much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    Dunno. Obama seemed pretty damn sure that he wasn’t negotiating.

  34. 34
    amk says:

    @Linda Featheringill: That’s about it.

  35. 35
    Bulworth says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I should have known one of the Politico stenographers was responsible for this.

  36. 36
    gene108 says:

    @FormerSwingVoter:

    Who the hell thinks “I’d better collapse the world economy just out of spite”? Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with these people?

    They know that given the normal legislative process their goal to eliminate the New Deal and Great Society programs that help take the sting out of poverty, old age, loss of a spouse, etc. and a creation of a new era of Robber Barons, would not get off the ground.

    They saw how quickly the public soured on Bush, Jr.’s attempt to push Social Security privatization in 2005.

    Now they can manufacture a crisis by refusing to raise the debt ceiling and push through the unpopular elimination of Social Security and Medicare, as we know it, as well as gut spending on SNAP and other anti-poverty programs.

  37. 37
    Elie says:

    @aimai:

    Well said, as usual. I am convinced that many people on the progressive side of the ball also do not understand basic negotiation and decision making strategy, along with United States civics 101. Its extremely frustrating at times because some of our so called smartest folks are sometime incredibly dense on the these issues.

    The President is not just leader of the Democrats and the progressive cause. He is the President of ALL the American people and must have the good of those people central in his decisions. Deciding what that “good” is not always obvious or popular to the average layman.

  38. 38
    Mnemosyne says:

    @aimai:

    I, too, find it fascinating that the same people who have been complaining about Obama “caving” to the Republicans and negotiating too much are now freaking the fuck out because Obama is not negotiating and not coming up with ways to bail the Republicans out.

    This is what you firebaggers have been saying you wanted for over four years now. Don’t start wailing because Obama is giving you what you told him you wanted.

  39. 39
    Anya says:

    @Patricia Kayden: The Wall Streeters have to find out which devotion wins out, their utter loathing of the Kenyan or their worship of money.

    Also, too, somewhat related, Obama To Hold Press Conference At 11:15 AM ET. Who will be the first to ask him about the white house picture? Or who wins the most idiotic question of the presser?

  40. 40
    kindness says:

    Over at NPR this morning Cokie Roberts was claiming that ‘Both Sides Do It’ and then led off how some Democrats voted against the debt ceiling when bush43 was in office. Cokie ignored that Nancy Pelosi allowed the bill to come to a vote in the House and that Democrats made sure it passed, yet when Republicans hold America’s credit rating hostage ‘Both Sides Do It!’.

    God I’ve become to loathe NPR. They are the shadow Fox.

  41. 41
    RSA says:

    House Speaker John Boehner “may need a shutdown just to get it out of their system,”

    As if. The Tea Party contingent interprets everything as evidence that they need to ramp up their ideology. Post-2012 election: “We weren’t conservative enough.” Post-Sandy Hook: “We need more guns.”

    Post-hypothetical-shutdown… Well, I don’t know, but I’m morally certain it will involve blaming the moochers.

  42. 42
    Bobby Thomson says:

    All you cats who think bankers will come riding in on ponies to save us seem to forget all the other times you wished that would happen and it never did. Including last year when the US actually defaulted. These people can’t be reasoned with, only outlived, and they can do a lot of damage on their way out.

  43. 43
    dmsilev says:

    @Anya:

    Or who wins the most idiotic question of the presser?

    I’ll take Chuck Todd, just on general principles.

  44. 44
    ericblair says:

    @SRW1:

    Cause the world, including the world of finance, ain’t gonna be the same if the US defaults. Better to stay away from the stuff that might bring pitch forks and guillotines into the streets.

    That, and I doubt anyone with a brain on Wall Street believes that they would able to figure out what their exposure to the expected fallout it, much less actually predict the fallout to a level that they could possibly profit from it.

    Also, selling short a financial apocalypse is a brain-dead idea. Great, you bet $100 billion that the world is going to end and the people who didn’t think it would now owe you $100 billion. How the fuck do you think you’re going to collect on that? You’d be lucky if you could get five bucks out of their coffee club.

    In short, no. I’m pretty sure Wall Street and the major government contractors are yelling Congress’s collective ear off, and the Dems are aware of the pressure. Why the fuck would you let the goopers off the hook and miss the chance to fracture them further by cooking up the coin ex machina?

  45. 45
    liberal says:

    @gene108:

    Now they can manufacture a crisis by refusing to raise the debt ceiling and push through the unpopular elimination of Social Security and Medicare…

    No, that’s not their preferred outcome.

    Their #1 preferred outcome is to get the Democrats to introduce the bill to do that, so that they get to have their cake and eat it, too.

  46. 46
    Kay says:

    @jibeaux:

    Good grief, the platinum coin thing was becoming a huge distraction, with people not understanding the first thing about how it worked and public opinion polling running 5 to 1 against in a PPP poll. It was putting the president unnecessarily on the defensive in a situation in which he’s the last person who should be on the defensive.

    It was horrible politics, IMO. The WH spent all last week trying to take the conversation back to Republicans.

    I also don’t understand how “leverage” is now entirely divorced from “politics” in the case of the coin. Public opinion IS leverage, and Republicans are tanking there. The only way the coin made sense was if the proponents of the coin were using it as leverage against Obama; as in: “there’s no threat of default because you have this coin”.

    If that’s what they were doing they should have said so, instead of insisting it was leverage re: Republicans. Handing Republicans an out is not leverage re: Republicans. They want an out.

  47. 47
    Emma says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Yep. Rinse and repeat for the nineteenth (or is it twentieth?) time.

  48. 48
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne: I think the woe and ranting is actually for a different reason — it’s in the expectation that THIS TIME FOR SURE Obama is going to negotiate SO BADLY that everyone is going to end up eating cat food on ice floes under a bus.

  49. 49
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @kindness: also, too, Dems who voted against the debt ceiling were trying to make a point to “fiscal conservatives” who voted to cut taxes while taking the country into a disastrous war.

    My favorite headline about the whole coin thing, that I personally never found persuasive
    Krugman Attacks Jon Stewart For Mocking The Platinum Coin

  50. 50
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    All you cats who think bankers will come riding in on ponies to save us seem to forget all the other times you wished that would happen and it never did.

    How do you think Democrats got an 89-8 vote in the Senate in favor of raising taxes? Republicans didn’t vote for that bill out of the goodness of their hearts. They did it because Wall Street was on the phone with them every single day explaining to them exactly how fucked they were going to be if they didn’t vote for it.

  51. 51
    liberal says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    The worst possible outcome is that the Republicans get to cut entitlement under the appearance of bipartisanship.

  52. 52
    Anya says:

    @dmsilev: Good guess. I think Ed Henry will beat him by a hair.

  53. 53
    jp7505a says:

    I don’t think these folks are lunatics, they are quite sane in their 17th century political and economic world view. Of course the problem is the rest of us live in the 21st century. This I’m afraid is like teaching that pig to sing we are wasting our time and the pig isn’t listening.

  54. 54
    liberal says:

    The argument that the coin takes the pressure off the Republicans is certainly plausible. But the line of argument fails if Obama himself takes the pressure off by negotiating at the last minute. This Noam Scheiber post is interesting in that regard.

  55. 55
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, getting things passed in the House will be slightly easier this time around — only 18 Republicans would have to cross over (assuming that all 200 Democrats voted the same way). Over 50 Republicans in the House voted in favor of raising taxes, so we know that enough of them can be had to prevent disaster … assuming they’re convinced that Superman is not going to swoop in with a $1 trillion coin and save them from themselves, that is.

  56. 56
    Ash Can says:

    @FormerSwingVoter: Remember how many of them wanted to default last time, and insisted it wouldn’t have any of the dire national and global results that were predicted? These people are seriously delusional and have no business being in any position of authority. The problem is that the people who elect them are equally delusional, and there’s no arguing with them or convincing them that they’re actually actively destructive, to themselves and others. The article itself mentions more than once that these people think the real danger is the deficit, not the chicanery they’re pulling. What this nation needs is a concerted information campaign explaining just what the debt and deficit are, how they work, and how governmental fiscal policy in no way, shape, or form resembles personal/household fiscal policy, and shouldn’t try to resemble it.

  57. 57
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kay: At this point I don’t think anyone understands anymore what “leverage” is. Leverage is meaningless outside the notion of _doing something_. It’s not like you have “leverage” and then get to do 100% of what you want, no backsies. (I know I mentioned this before, but there’s a Seinfeld episode where George Costanza is dating a pianist and he’s frustrated that she has the “upper hand,” but he has “no hand,” so he starts scheming to get some, and when he’s sure that he has it, she breaks up with him anyway.) When it comes to “leverage,” you have some leverage, other people have some leverage, and all those forces clash with one another as you work towards a resolution (or not).

  58. 58
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    It’s too bad Obama said he wouldn’t use the coin or 14th Amendment! No takesy backsies! It is now impossible and ILLEGAL because he SAID he wouldn’t lalalalalalalalala

  59. 59
    Kay says:

    @Napoleon:

    You can’t just avoid the fight and then announce you won the fight. Fight, don’t fight, whatever, but stop dodging. The coin makes it look like you’re afraid you’ll lose so you’re reaching for this clever tactic, which is in fact true. That’s what you’re doing.

  60. 60
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    They’re bluffing. There are about 50 or so House members and plenty of Senate Republicans that will not let the country default. This is their attempt at Mutually Assured Destruction. The funny thing is, only they are playing. Everyone else is going WTF?

  61. 61
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    Also, never underestimate the powers of chicanery of SCOTUS. I remember being convinced that Bush v Gore was a nonjusticiable political question and…well, heh look at that, we got Pretend President Bush.

  62. 62
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @liberal: well, OK, but at this point that’s becoming a fear response in search of a stimulus.

  63. 63
    aimai says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Well, sure, but we all may end up eating catfood on icefloes anyway because at certain points, in certain kinds of situations, you don’t even have the power to negotiate anything better than that. If Boehner doesn’t reneg on the supposed pledge to follow the Hastert rule and bring the debt ceiling to a vote with democratic votes and Obama doesn’t blink the country is going to default and there are going to be dire consequences for a lot of people. Good negotiator or bad negotiator that’s the fact. If they shoot the hostage they shoot the hostage.

    Its really clear from the Politico article that a significant subset of hte Republican party simply doesn’t grasp what crashing the world system looks like–they don’t believe that default is default. They are like children who believe that “the real people don’t die” and after you turn the lights on and off a couple of times then grandma gets back up out of her coffin and gives you cake and cookies and hugs.

    Since they don’t believe something that is factually the case and incredibly obvious to anyone who has ever paid a bill late or after it has gone into receivership they can’t be reasoned with. As it turns out they also can’t be threatened because they are too dumb, or too divorced from the regular coin of the realm to care about threats. David Koch could personally call every single one of them and offer to bribe or bludgeon them and they still might not turn back.

    Boehner is going to have to break and I think that a bunch of them know that he will. He is going to spend the next two days showing them the fiscal equivalent of “wrap it before you tap it” army sex ed films and then throw up his hands (and throw up from the stress) and call Nancy Pelosi and sob that she needs to help him out.

    I wish Obama would tell everyone at his 11:15 press conference “I’m ordering the Treasury to stop paying Congress’s pay first. As of February 1st There will be no monies disbursed for Congressional salaries, Congressional staff salaries, or health care costs associated with Congressmen.

    aimai

  64. 64
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): I’m sure the old school republicans (relative to the tea party, 10 years ago I would called Nixon et al the old school republicans) like Boehner and co. are bluffing and have no intention of defaulting (I mean, isn’t their wealth on the line? That one core belief is their thin line from nihilism). The teahadis? I don’t think they’re smart or pragmatic enough. If it comes to a vote anytime soon it’ll be the few remaining sane republicans and democrats

  65. 65
    General Stuck says:

    @aimai:

    “I’m ordering the Treasury to stop paying Congress’s pay first. As of February 1st There will be no monies disbursed for Congressional salaries, Congressional staff salaries, or health care costs associated with Congressmen.

    Excellent. big thumbs up !

  66. 66
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Yeah. How can they go back to their constituents saying they did something, which was no-thing?

    They seem to be a gift from the god’s for the purpose of comparison/contrast with the President. The perfect foil.

  67. 67
    aimai says:

    @Ash Can:

    Under the politico thread there were comments like this “We won’t go into default because now that Obama has raised taxes there’s enough money to pay all our bills.” These people have literally no idea what just happened, when taxes get collected, or what “our bills” are. The numbers are too big and the accounting too complicated. If it were true that the miniscure rise in taxes just authorized on (some) people would pay all our bills already past due then we wouldn’t have a deficit problem at all. Where do they think the money has gone? What do they think our bills are? These people are very, very, very confused.

    aimai

  68. 68
    dmsilev says:

    @aimai:

    Boehner is going to have to break and I think that a bunch of them know that he will. He is going to spend the next two days showing them the fiscal equivalent of “wrap it before you tap it” army sex ed films and then throw up his hands (and throw up from the stress) and call Nancy Pelosi and sob that she needs to help him ou

    That’s probably how this is going to play out. The fiscal cliff vote is instructive; there were enough Republicans, combined with virtually all of the Democrats, to pass a bill that the majority of the House GOP caucus hated. It’ll be a little bit easier this time just because the new Congress has replaced several Rs with Ds (including getting rid of noted maniacs Joe Walsh and Allen West).

  69. 69
    Ash Can says:

    @aimai: Exactly. Do any of the people who routinely whine about Obama caving have any idea how dumb they look when they whine about him taking technical gimmickry off the table? They can’t figure out that what he’s doing is actually taking the most hardnosed approach possible — putting the Republicans on the spot and making them own every last bit of their own bullshit.

  70. 70
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    I have no idea exactly what the GOP will do, but it’ll probably be dramatic and at least potentially harmful, if not actually dangerous.

    There will be meetings with much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then a deal will be produced that looks like it give Boehner a lot of what he was asking for. Looks can be deceiving.

    The deal will pass in the House only with Democratic and Republican votes. Members of the Teaparty Caucus will rend their cloaks and anoint themselves with ashes. Obama will be castigated for being weak and giving the GOP too much. Worse than Bush lamentations will take over GOS.

    Two or three months down the road, it will be reported that the GOP actually got very little and Obama actually got a lot.

    Finis.

    @Linda Featheringill: Just like every other issue Obama’s faced during his presidency. But I guess we’ve got to go through the obligatory left freakout.

    Gotta say it’s getting fucking old. Looking forward to the day when the GOP can announce their usual stupid/insane/incomprehensible position and Dems genuinely point and laugh and get on with their lives, instead of shit their pants and hide under the bed.

    Plus, I mean seriously, do you idiots think that Money is going to allow a default? For real? Never ever ever going to happen. Take some comfort in that. If you can’t give your president some faith and confidence, and you should, I know damn well y’all have faith and confidence that the 1% crowd and monetary institutions aren’t going to allow 90% of their net worth to be flushed down the toilet just to satisfy 80-100 red state retards.

  71. 71
    Tonal Crow says:

    @jibeaux: Ya know, all Obama need have said — if he had to say anything — is “We do not negotiate with hostage-takers. All options are on the table. The United States will not default on its obligations, period.”

  72. 72
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @aimai: if they shoot the hostage they shoot the hostage. But the reason why you don’t negotiate with terrorists is the same reason you don’t feed alligators. No social spending cuts, fucking period. Obama said he wouldnt use his aces in the hole-but he may need to sack up. If it comes between cutting SS and the coin he better use the fucking coin. I understand that politics can be hardball but this shit is fucking inexcusable. If Obama caves, we’ll be eating catfood on icefloes, it’ll just take longer to get there.

  73. 73
    Roger Moore says:

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    If he has no backdoor fix, he cannot be blamed for not employing them.

    This, this, this. His goal is to force the House GOP to raise the debt ceiling as part of the regular course of business, rather than treat it as an excuse to renegotiate existing spending. It’s a very high stakes gamble, but it’s better in the long run than letting the Republicans hold the debt ceiling hostage every few months.

  74. 74
    jp7505a says:

    @aimai: The problem for these folks is the federal budget numbers end in more zeros than they have fingers to count with so they get confused.

  75. 75
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s why Wall Street is shitting itself right now.

    It is? S&P marginally down, near all-time high. But it’ll crap out when the reality of the Republicans’ treason sinks in.

  76. 76
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Ya know, all Obama need have said — if he had to say anything — is “We do not negotiate with hostage-takers. All options are on the table. The United States will not default on its obligations, period.”

    Which in this situation is the same thing as saying, “Don’t worry, Republicans, you can pull whatever crazy shit you want to and I’ll save you from the consequences of your actions.”

    Again, Obama is doing exactly what you guys have been screaming for years he should do, and now you’re freaking out because he’s doing what you said you want. What’s up with that?

  77. 77
    aimai says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    He did say that. Several times. Its basically the case that people who won’t listen, won’t listen.

    aimai

  78. 78
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    I think you misunderstood me. I don’t mean Wall Street is freaking out in the sense that stocks are up or down. I mean they’re freaking out in the sense that they’re calling John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and screaming obscenities at them.

  79. 79
    Tonal Crow says:

    @kindness:

    God I’ve become to loathe NPR. They are the shadow Fox.

    I also have become increasingly pissed at NPR’s drift to the right. Last evening there was a sponsorship message from “The Walton Foundation” for “school choice”. Ya think NPR’s coverage of education policy might be a wee bit compromised?

  80. 80
    curiousleo says:

    @aimai:

    I wish Obama would tell everyone at his 11:15 press conference “I’m ordering the Treasury to stop paying Congress’s pay first. As of February 1st There will be no monies disbursed for Congressional salaries, Congressional staff salaries, or health care costs associated with Congressmen.

    +1000

    I said similar to my sig other this weekend. Hold the Congressional (and his own) salaries and the top level Congressional staffers’ salaries first. Have it start a week from today.

  81. 81
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jp7505a: I would say that holding to a 17th century worldview during the 21st century is evidence of lunacy.

  82. 82
    Mike E says:

    Sweet Jeebus, I am beginning to smell the aroma of smoldering orange fainting couches…

  83. 83
    danimal says:

    The whole purpose of shrieking about debts and deficits is the fear that, unless dramatic action is taken to cut spending, the nation will eventually be unable to pay our debts and default on its obligations, leading to world-wide economic calamity.

    The Tea Party crazies are actively seeking out a default on our debts, leading to world-wide economic calamity. All, it seems, as a political stunt or an exercise in spite. If there are any rational Republicans left (in or out of Wall Street), it would be a really good time to speak up.

  84. 84
    scav says:

    @Mnemosyne: and the dratted stock market is entirely overused as a signal for all things economic. here’s something about automakers speaking out

  85. 85
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    God I’ve become to loathe NPR. They are the shadow Fox.

    @kindness: Since 2003. I turned them off for good after realizing that they were in the tank for Bush and his war, and that there was to be no “principled liberal opposition”. They few that gave it a shot (Phil Donahue by way of example) got wacked and buried in the dead of night.

    They still have a lot of draw for liberals because of their history, but it was obvious to any objective listener that they’d gone wingnut back then, and they never went back. Maybe out of residual fear. Maybe because modern “conservatism” is what they really believe in. I’m betting on number two.

  86. 86
    Trinity says:

    Un-fucking-real.

  87. 87
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Ya know, all Obama need have said — if he had to say anything — is “We do not negotiate with hostage-takers. All options are on the table. The United States will not default on its obligations, period.”

    @Tonal Crow: Umm, he has specifically said, on many occasions over the last few weeks, that “The United States will not default on its obligations, period.”

    Do you people not listen to anything anymore?

  88. 88
    Hill Dweller says:

    Who will be the first reporter to ask the President about diversity?

  89. 89
    amk says:

    @Hill Dweller: tapper, the tool.

  90. 90
    Mike E says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: My dream segment on ATC involves a report from Mara Liasson, followed by analysis from Cookie Roberts… nothing illustrates The Corporation’s lurch to the right moar.

  91. 91
    NotMax says:

    Can envision the huge Going Out Of Business sale now.

    Afterwards, they can of course rename based on new ownership. The Senate can hobnob in the cloak Koch Room of the Goldman Sachs Capitol building.

  92. 92
    Mnemosyne says:

    @amk:

    Let’s face it, no one is more qualified to demand that a black president explain why his cabinet is not sufficiently diverse than a straight white man.

  93. 93
    mdblanche says:

    House Speaker John Boehner “may need a shutdown just to get it out of their system,” said a top GOP leadership adviser.

    Does this top leadership adviser have a name? So let’s see. First the President says he won’t be saving the Republicans from their own insanity. Now some Republican says he’s going to have to because we’re too insane to save ourselves and no, you can’t attach my name to this statement. Enjoy the show, but don’t get too emotionally invested in it. It’s just a show.

  94. 94
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    [A]ll Obama need have said — if he had to say anything — is “We do not negotiate with hostage-takers. All options are on the table. The United States will not default on its obligations, period.”

    Which in this situation is the same thing as saying, “Don’t worry, Republicans, you can pull whatever crazy shit you want to and I’ll save you from the consequences of your actions.”

    No. It’s the same as saying that Republicans can throw whatever tantrums they want, make themselves look as crazy as they want in the public’s eye, and President Obama will do the adult thing and ensure that they don’t crash the world’s economy. It is, in fact, really important to prevent Republicans from crashing the world economy, ‘cuz if they do, we may well descend into widespread unrest and even revolution. This is serious stuff, not parlor games.

    Again, Obama is doing exactly what you guys have been screaming for years he should do, and now you’re freaking out because he’s doing what you said you want. What’s up with that?

    “You guys”? Who’s that? People who sometimes disagree with Obama, as opposed to those who twist themselves into pretzels defending whatever he does? Also too, I don’t see how taking alternatives off the table is hardline negotiation. It looks like capitulation to me.

  95. 95
    Roger Moore says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    “We do not negotiate with hostage-takers. All options are on the table. The United States will not default on its obligations, period.”

    The point is that he’s not saying that because he doesn’t believe that. He believes that it’s Congress’s job to raise the debt ceiling, and he needs to promise not to bail them out if they fail to do their job. The goal is to force them to raise the debt ceiling normally, rather than creating an artificial crisis every time it comes up.

  96. 96
    The Dangerman says:

    Member Management meet Loreena Bobbitt.

  97. 97
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Mnemosyne: I think he needs to announce that he’s going to convert 50.1% of himself into a woman so that the President will be sufficiently representative of the population. Of course, Republicans will ask why he isn’t converting an additional 15% of himself into a white person.

  98. 98
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Right. “All he need have said”, as in, he need not have said yeah or nay about platinum coins, the 14th Amendment, or any other means of circumventing the Tealiban. Take a reading comprehension course before it’s too late.

  99. 99
    NotMax says:

    Not to get all Godwinesque, but…

    “may need a shutdown just to get it out of their system,”

    Czechoslovakia didn’t exactly get that whole trample, conquer and dominate thing “out of the system” of another political movement.

  100. 100
    Emma says:

    @Tonal Crow: What people are trying to say is that IT’S NOT A GOOD IDEA TO CIRCUMVENT THE TEALIBAN IN THIS CASE. If he goes around them to fund the government, not only could they (and they would, especially with their tame media in tow) turn this into a constitutional crisis, but they would continue to do it over and over again. It’s “you broke it you own it” moment.

  101. 101
    jp7505a says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: or atleast they are slow learners:-)

  102. 102
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    It’s the same as saying that Republicans can throw whatever tantrums they want, make themselves look as crazy as they want in the public’s eye, and President Obama will do the adult thing and ensure that they don’t crash the world’s economy.

    So, to be clear, you’re advocating that the Republicans get to do whatever crazy shit they want, secure in the knowledge that Daddy Obama will save them from the consequences of their actions.

    It is, in fact, really important to prevent Republicans from crashing the world economy, ‘cuz if they do, we may well descend into widespread unrest and even revolution. This is serious stuff, not parlor games.

    I know that, and you know that, but there seems to be a certain number of Republicans in the House who either don’t understand that or feel secure in the knowledge that Obama will swoop in at the last minute and save them from doing anything too terrible, so they can do and say anything they want with no fear of the consequences.

    This whole thing reminds me of when my nephew was a baby and kept trying to pull a plastic kitchen toy onto his head. We stopped it several times until we realized that he was watching us to make sure we would intervene to prevent him from actually doing it. So, the next time, we just went ahead and let it happen.

    He didn’t like it, because he got a little smack on the head that startled him (but didn’t leave so much as a red mark on his forehead) but after that he learned not to expect us to save him from every consequence of his actions.

    Also too, I don’t see how taking alternatives off the table is hardline negotiation. It looks like capitulation to me.

    Capitulation to what? Be specific. Stepping back and letting someone make their own mistakes is not “capitulation.”

  103. 103
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @amk: good call. He does have weird sanctimonious streak, doesn’t he.

  104. 104
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The point is that he’s not saying that because he doesn’t believe that. He believes that it’s Congress’s job to raise the debt ceiling, and he needs to promise not to bail them out if they fail to do their job. The goal is to force them to raise the debt ceiling normally, rather than creating an artificial crisis every time it comes up.

    I don’t see it that way. I see it as permitting the Republicans to wreck the world economy, causing untold global misery for an extended period. Let’s put it this way: if Republicans do in fact force a default, do you think the media will blame them for the results? Or Obama for not doing everything he can to block them? Given whose tank the media have occupied for so long, I think the answer is obvious. Consequently, I think publicly ruling out options is both substantively and politically bad.

  105. 105
    General Stuck says:

    LOL, “no ransom for you wingnut” I love it, and we are lucky to have this guy in charge. and shut the fuck up firebaggers, you look like petty jackasses, if not outright racists.

  106. 106
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Emma:

    @Tonal Crow: What people are trying to say is that IT’S NOT A GOOD IDEA TO CIRCUMVENT THE TEALIBAN IN THIS CASE. If he goes around them to fund the government, not only could they (and they would, especially with their tame media in tow) turn this into a constitutional crisis, but they would continue to do it over and over again. It’s “you broke it you own it” moment.

    They’re going to turn this into a crisis no matter what Obama does. I think he should act as the adult in the room, do what he needs to prevent default (which would be catastrophic, no ifs, ands, or buts), and help the public understand why he had to do what he did. I don’t agree with permitting Republicans to destroy the world economy to save it from further Republican destruction.

  107. 107
    Elizabelle says:

    Ms. Cracker’s put up a press conference thread.

    And the networks are airing this presser live. Woo hoo.

  108. 108
    NotMax says:

    As members of Congress all take a public oath to uphold the Constitution, and as the 14th amendment states that

    The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.

    how valid is the continuance in office of those who refuse to honor the public debt that has already been authorized by laws appropriating expenditures?

  109. 109
    Anya says:

    The president is kicking ass and taking names. He will not negotiate and of the Republicans: “they will not collect ransom.”

    First question is about gun violence.

  110. 110
    General Stuck says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Dude, grab a hanky and repair to the fainting couch.

  111. 111
    aimai says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    But people are trying to explain to you that what gets said now doesn’t actually affect what gets done later–it only affects the Republican’s bargaining position within their caucus. Obama can always revist both the 14th amendment and the coin later if he wants–things get revisited all the time. He can mint that coin overnight if he wants. His position in doing so is only better at the “last minute” because public opinion (like your opinion) will be 100 percent behind him. Meanwhile, by taking it off the table now he is forcing Boehner to deal with his own caucus knowing that the only people who can rescue Boehner/the world economy are Nancy Pelosi and 200 democratic votes. Obama is forcing Boehner to 1) broker a deal with the Dems in the House and 2) offer a clean debt ceiling hike and publicly humiliate and emasculate the teabagger caucus. Sure: the Republicans (i.e. Boehner) can still crash the economy but Obama is still in a position to mint the fucking coin at the 11th hour if necessary.

    Personally I thought he should say “I’m not going to say whether I will mint the coin or not, or how many coins I will order minted. here’s a hard and fast date after which we are in default–bring me a clean debt ceiling vote by X date or you will find out what I will do.” The Republicans would have thought he was bluffing anyway–as they do now and we would be in exactly the same position but at least people like you wouldn’t be having hysterics.

    aimai

  112. 112
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Mnemosyne: It seems obvious to me, but letting your nephew do something silly but harmless is nothing like permitting Republicans to crash the world economy. And by “capitulate” I mean permitting the enemy, er, Republicans, to go right ahead and destroy the country without using every appropriate means to fight them.

  113. 113
    Anya says:

    Chuck Todd now asking about Hary Reid’s letter and trillion dollar coin. Basically the president didn’t say no but he reiterating his point about Congress doing it’s job. I think he explained the debt ceiling very well.

  114. 114
    Tonal Crow says:

    @aimai:

    @Tonal Crow:

    But people are trying to explain to you that what gets said now doesn’t actually affect what gets done later–it only affects the Republican’s bargaining position within their caucus. Obama can always revist both the 14th amendment and the coin later if he wants–things get revisited all the time. He can mint that coin overnight if he wants. His position in doing so is only better at the “last minute” because public opinion (like your opinion) will be 100 percent behind him. Meanwhile, by taking it off the table now he is forcing Boehner to deal with his own caucus knowing that the only people who can rescue Boehner/the world economy are Nancy Pelosi and 200 democratic votes. Obama is forcing Boehner to 1) broker a deal with the Dems in the House and 2) offer a clean debt ceiling hike and publicly humiliate and emasculate the teabagger caucus. Sure: the Republicans (i.e. Boehner) can still crash the economy but Obama is still in a position to mint the fucking coin at the 11th hour if necessary.
    __
    Personally I thought he should say “I’m not going to say whether I will mint the coin or not, or how many coins I will order minted. here’s a hard and fast date after which we are in default–bring me a clean debt ceiling vote by X date or you will find out what I will do.”

    Your second paragraph is functionally the same as what I’ve been arguing Obama should have said; it seems we agree on that. Some here seem to be arguing that Obama should also just let the Republicans crash the world economy. I don’t think he should.

    The Republicans would have thought he was bluffing anyway–as they do now and we would be in exactly the same position but at least people like you wouldn’t be having hysterics.

    Criticizing the President is not “having hysterics” in the real world, only in BJ forums.

  115. 115
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Anya: @Anya:

    Chuck Todd now asking about Hary Reid’s letter and trillion dollar coin. Basically the president didn’t say no but he reiterating his point about Congress doing it’s job. I think he explained the debt ceiling very well.

    Oh oh, the President has become a “firebagger”. BJ commentariat meltdown in 5, 4, 3….

  116. 116
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    I think he should act as the adult in the room, do what he needs to prevent default (which would be catastrophic, no ifs, ands, or buts), and help the public understand why he had to do what he did.

    That’s exactly what he did with the recent tax deal. I’m assuming you were all in favor of that deal and were not one of the people who was on here weeping and wailing about how it was capitulation to the Republicans to not go over the fiscal cliff and screw up everyone’s taxes for 2013, right?

    If you were in favor of going over the fiscal cliff and unilaterally raising everyone’s taxes while screwing millions of people with an unfixed AMT, please explain how that was different than this.

  117. 117
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    @Tonal Crow:
    I think he should act as the adult in the room, do what he needs to prevent default (which would be catastrophic, no ifs, ands, or buts), and help the public understand why he had to do what he did.

    That’s exactly what he did with the recent tax deal. I’m assuming you were all in favor of that deal and were not one of the people who was on here weeping and wailing about how it was capitulation to the Republicans to not go over the fiscal cliff and screw up everyone’s taxes for 2013, right?
    __
    If you were in favor of going over the fiscal cliff and unilaterally raising everyone’s taxes while screwing millions of people with an unfixed AMT, please explain how that was different than this.

    It’s not clear to me whether going over the cliff would have been better or worse than what Obama did. But the difference between the fiscal cliff tax increases and spending cuts, and a federal default, is like the difference between contracting a moderate case of flu and being hit square-on by a bullet train. If you don’t believe that, you don’t understand how much of the world economy depends upon confidence in the U.S. paying its debts. Basically, T-bonds are the [one]-and-only “risk-free” safe haven asset. If they’re no longer a safe haven, all hell is going to break loose.

  118. 118
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    It’s not clear to me whether going over the cliff would have been better or worse than what Obama did.

    And now I know for sure I don’t have to take you seriously anymore. Thank you for that, at least.

  119. 119
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Mnemosyne: Whatever. I stopped taking you seriously years ago.

  120. 120
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    I am secure in the knowledge of two things:

    (A) The debt ceiling crisis will be resolved before the US defaults, and

    (B) Whatever solution fixes the crisis, you will be here to tell us that it was the worst solution ever and clearly inferior to the trillion dollar coin solution because shut up, that’s why

  121. 121
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    I’m trying to plan a trip in April to the National Mall, and each time I hear a republican talk, I think that taking a trip in April will result in a whole bunch of tours of exteriors of buildings and visiting non-government museums.

  122. 122
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    @Tonal Crow:
    __
    I am secure in the knowledge of two things:
    __
    (A) The debt ceiling crisis will be resolved before the US defaults, and
    __
    (B) Whatever solution fixes the crisis, you will be here to tell us that it was the worst solution ever and clearly inferior to the trillion dollar coin solution because shut up, that’s why

    Just like I just now said that the President’s way of resolving the fiscal cliff was “the worst solution ever” and “clearly inferior” to going over the cliff, right? Oh, wait….

  123. 123
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    @aimai: I want to highlight this post. I’m sympathetic to the whole ‘all the cards are on the table’ approach, but this persuades me that the president is probably correct here. This is mostly posturing that ensures, if the absolute worst comes to pass, Obama has the strongest possible hand.

    Also too, kudos to aimai for being the person who made me change my mind again, like with voting Green or no in a red state. You’re a damn persuasive woman.

  124. 124
    aimai says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Yah, guess what–neither you nor I are the “man in the arena here.” Obama could have said what you and I would have liked him to say BUT IT ISN’T NECESSARY because he can do it without saying it.

    Here’s an (imperfect) analogy. The Republicans are basically driving a car without a seatbelt and heading straight into a crash while shouting to the President “Buckle me in! Buckle me in! Or I’ll drive even more crazily!!!” The President is saying “You need to slow down–you are driving the car and I can’t stop you from hurting yourself. I may be able to buckle the people in the back seat in but if you are counting on that you are making a mistake. You need to drive responsibly.” Meanwhile, as the crash approaches, Obama can and will still buckle the backseaters in place and perhaps he’s even placed a call to the police but threatening to do so doesn’t really change the situation. In fact the Republicans are counting on Obama becoming more and more frantic as part of their bargaining strategy and the more he pleads with them the more reckless they become.

    aimai

  125. 125
    aimai says:

    @MeDrewNotYou:

    Thank you, MeDrewNotYou, I really appreciate that.

    aimai

  126. 126
    Tonal Crow says:

    @aimai:

    [N]either you nor I are the “man in the arena here.” Obama could have said what you and I would have liked him to say BUT IT ISN’T NECESSARY because he can do it without saying it.

    True, but the issue isn’t just how to deal with the crazy Republicans, but also how to prevent collateral damage from the craziness that precedes the resolution. I think ruling out alternatives increases instability and potential economic harm. Fortunately the markets still have their heads in the sand about potential default, and the President now seems to be backtracking on his earlier positions on the coin and 14th Amendment.

  127. 127
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Maybe what we have here is a disagreement on strategy. I think it’s very bad strategy to tell your opponent ahead of time that you will bail them out if they go too far, so they don’t have to worry about any consequences of their actions.

  128. 128
    aimai says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    This is correct. It is not, in fact, a good strategy to tell your oponent that when they are drowning you will throw them a life presever and not an anvil.

    On the subject of whether there is, or is not, collateral damage–technically we are already in default. The only thing to bring the Republicans to the bargaining table will be some pain on their own membership, some humilitation for the entire caucus, and/or destroying the bargaining table. The 14th amendment solution and the coin were both ways of simply taking away the bargaining table entirely–that is, taking away from Congress its historical power and duty. That definitionally has to be a last resort, not a first resort. It can happen, however, at the 11th hour with no more harm to the system than has already happened. You are arguing both sides of the point here by pointing first to “the markets” and saying they are harmed and then pointing to them and saying they aren’t harmed. Markets go up and markets go down all the time. The President is having to play a big game for all the marbles. All of us may suffer if we go into default in order to not permit the lowest earners and the sickest people to suffer by having the safety net cut out from under them. That’s basically what has to happen.

    aimai

  129. 129
    liberal says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Oh oh, the President has become a “firebagger”.

    Heh.

  130. 130
    aimai says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Do you not get how silly you sound? Obama is exactly the same guy who took the 14th amendment and the coin “off the table”–one minute its a screamingly crazy tactical error!! Ohmygod now what. Now during a (gasp) nationally televised press conference he “seems to be putting them back on the table.” Seems? Ya think? Perhaps the difference is timing? Perhaps he’s trying to bring pressure to bear on different stakeholders at different times, and reassure other stakeholders at different times.

    You are like a child who splits the parent into “good mommy who gives me candy” and “bad mommy who tells me not to eat it before dinner.” For fuck’s sake its the same mommy–there aren’t two Obamas one of whom does the right thing and one of whom does the wrong thing. Its A SINGLE, EXTENDED, NEGOTIATION in which pieces get moved around quite a bit. Ever heard the expression “nothing is agreed on until everything is agreed on?” People make gestures, head feints, deceptive offers, and real offers all the time. Its a god damned dynamic system.

  131. 131
    Ruckus says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    I don’t get this either. Many have been calling for the President not to cave, to make the rethugs pay for their stupidity. Many have been saying that he should always take the hard line. Of course that is not realistic either but here, what other adult choice is available? The wingnut congress members after all are a group that could not even orchestrate a speaker takeover, let alone succeed. They are as you said, pompous, arrogant, spoiled 7 yr olds, pushing mommy and daddy to come and save the pool house they are trying to burn down. Helicopter parents are not what they need, a precision drone strike would be a better option. And that is exactly what dad is doing.

  132. 132
    Tonal Crow says:

    @aimai:

    On the subject of whether there is, or is not, collateral damage–technically we are already in default.

    No. We have technically hit the debt ceiling. We are, however, making timely payments on all our debt obligations, so we are not in default. Treasury is deferring some legally-deferrable payments to conserve cash.

  133. 133
    aimai says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    That is correct. I apologize for misstating that.

    aimai

  134. 134
    Kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    At this point I don’t think anyone understands anymore what “leverage” is.

    Here’s what I think. I think this whole situation is infuriating and scary and people want it to just go away. But it isn’t going away. Republicans exist, they have the power they have, and they are going to keep fighting. There isn’t going to be a conclusive end. There isn’t going to be a surrender.
    I didn’t see the coin as a fight. I saw it as running from a fight, almost saying “we can’t HEAR youuuu!”. I see it as wanting a guarantee that nothing bad will happen, and wanting that guarantee free of charge. But it isn’t free of charge. It comes with a political cost. I think floating it seriously would be politically unpopular. So, give me the honest cost/benefit. The perceived increase in “leverage” (which I don’t buy, I think it lessens leverage: political cost, again) against what I consider a guaranteed political price with the public. They will think it’s a gimmick and a dodge, so he LOSES leverage there. But don’t pretend it’s free. It’s not.

  135. 135
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Linda Featheringill: The Prophetess has spoken.

    Hope you’re right.

  136. 136
    Joel says:

    @Rustydude: Defaulting on T-notes is effectively destroying money. If something like that happens, there is nowhere to run.

  137. 137
    rb says:

    @aimai: ” Its a god damned dynamic system.”

    Bless you for your patience.

  138. 138
    piratedan says:

    at this point, you should now be named as atonal crow, because you only sound one note and it’s decidedly off-key

  139. 139
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    No, no. Any shutdown will end quickly. The Tea Party will get a Ned Beatty moment where they learn who really runs the show.

  140. 140
    Bob h says:

    Our Senate has a 60% rule from the filibuster, and the House has a 75% Hastert rule.

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