Get pissed, destroy

I hadn’t noticed that, but according to Jon Chait, a lot of mainstream conservative pundits are against the shutdown…because they think the debt ceiling makes for a better hostage situation:

Meanwhile, former Bush administration speechwriter Marc Thiessen urges the party to release the government hostage and instead jack up its demand for the debt ceiling. “[O]ne of the first things they teach you in Hostage Taking 101 is that you have to choose a hostage the other side cares about saving,” Thiessen complains. By contrast, a debt-ceiling breach would potentially destroy millions of jobs, making it the perfect threat…

Many of you have said (and I agreed) that big business would freak and force the Republicans to give in if a debt default seems imminent. There may be less truth to this than we think:

When Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., was asked if he had heard business groups express fears of a government shutdown’s economic impact, he replied: “No. And it wouldn’t make any difference if I did.

[….]

A changing environment has given conservatives plenty of tools to challenge establishment Republicans by using new technology and social media to organize and mobilize highly motivated voters. Campaign finance laws have also given donors a greater playing field that is not limited to the political parties.

[….]

“Now it’s more of a bottom-up model, where you see these grass-roots organizations and grass-roots voters are now empowered and they feel they have a stronger voice,” he said. “There is less of an emphasis on the parties. They used to have much more outsize control over who the candidates were and what party discipline was. Now a lot of that is gone.”

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174 replies
  1. 1
    WereBear says:

    So they are COMPLETELY untethered from their Faux News reality?

    Oh, joy!

  2. 2
    JMG says:

    Obama should but won’t invoke the 14th Amendment and raise the debt ceiling unilaterally. He’d be impeached and acquitted. He should but won’t tell the House that if it doesn’t open the government, he’ll do the same thing by himself and that the Democratic Senate will again acquit him.
    I would bet, if forced to, that instead he will fold and destroy his party and presidency. Or just the deluge hit, a poor second best.

  3. 3
    Belafon says:

    “Shoot the hostage!” – Actually still a good movie. Don’t tell me there was a sequel.

    On the default though, there comes a choice between the increase in the cost of borrowing and the destruction of Democracy. Allowing the Republican party to become the effective rulers would be to basically turn this country into an apartheid state.

  4. 4
    Belafon says:

    @JMG: If he was going to fold, he would have done so now.

  5. 5

    Is our Punditubbies learning?
    Well Yes and No. A round up from the kitteh of many worlds.
    For a change, Friedman figures out the obvious and wins approval of the thoughtful kitteh.

    Washpost editorial board says both sides do it

    Fallows and BJ’s favorite blogger are pointing fingers and naming names.

  6. 6
    Chris says:

    [O]ne of the first things they teach you in Hostage Taking 101

    They actually have classes dedicated to teaching you people this shit?

  7. 7
    c u n d gulag says:

    On October 16th, the day before we hit the debt ceiling, the US Treasury ought to mint that “Trillion Dollar Coin.”

    It can have W’s moronic puss on one side, and Boner’s drunken visage on the other.

    And then, President Obama can hand that coin to Boner, and tell him to shove it where the sun don’t shine – but up the same path that Ted Cruz keeps taking, whenever he’s in the mood for drunken man-butt.

  8. 8

    @JMG: And you know this how?

  9. 9
    RaflW says:

    Semi-off topic:

    @ppppolls
    Nearly 1 in 3 Republicans (27%) believe electronic banking will lead to slavery conspiracy

  10. 10
    Tone in DC says:

    I am not going to predict what Obama will do. People who predict things are wrong about 45% of the time, if not more often.

    This bit got my attention –

    When Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., was asked if he had heard business groups express fears of a government shutdown’s economic impact, he replied: “No. And it wouldn’t make any difference if I did.

    Didn’t know that congressional delusion had reached DefCon 2 levels. These guys are crazier than I suspected.

  11. 11
    Big R says:

    Wait, what university did Marc Thiessen attend where they offer Hostage Taking 101?

  12. 12
    JMG says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: @schrodinger’s cat: 1. Know what? I know nothing. I’m just guessing. But an administration official anonymously said the 14th amendment was off the table.

  13. 13
    Violet says:

    @Big R: The university is in the same city where Friedman’s cab drivers work.

  14. 14
    Belafon says:

    @Big R: Liberty University, obviously.

  15. 15
    flukebucket says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    It can have W’s moronic puss on one side, and Boner’s drunken visage on the other.

    No, no. Made of aluminum and having Ron Paul as heads and Rand Paul as tails.

  16. 16
    RaflW says:

    I also saw a piece this a.m. about how little Huose Republicans are paying attention to the US Chamber, despite the chamber ‘investing’ $60 million in the past two GOP Congressional cycles.

    These House terrorists don’t give a fuck about the economy. Some of them are too stupid to believe that bond defaults will actually hurt people (though Marketplace reported this a.m. that $5 Trillion of US bonds are held by or on behalf of US individuals, often in retirement funds).

    A lot of them seem to think it will be Obama who will fold. But I think they’re completely blinded by their rage, and will soon discover their power is lost.

  17. 17
    Violet says:

    @flukebucket: You’re both wrong. Put Osama bin Laden on it. He wanted to destroy the US economy. He did.

  18. 18
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    On October 16th, the day before we hit the debt ceiling, the US Treasury ought to mint that “Trillion Dollar Coin.”

    It can have W’s moronic puss on one side, and Boner’s drunken visage on the other.

    Put St. Ronnie’s visage on one side. Then stand back because exploding heads.

  19. 19
    Chris says:

    There is less of an emphasis on the parties. They used to have much more outsize control over who the candidates were and what party discipline was. Now a lot of that is gone.

    Yes, but that doesn’t mean the billionaires have less power over the movement. It simply means the middleman between the billionaires and their pet candidates has been cut out.

    The “grassroots” teabaggers would’ve been nothing without the financial backing of the Kochs, Murdochs, Scaifes, Adelsons and Romneys of the world. If 1%ers decide to actually start funding anti-teabagger candidates to primary the crazy people, things will change instantly. Even if the teabaggers still have crazy 1%ers on their side, the simple fact of having a candidate on the other side who’s got his own 1%ers to make sure he’s well funded and connected would make it a level playing field again. It means non-teabagger Republicans would no longer be compelled to go along with the crazies if they felt inclined otherwise.

    And if 1%ers aren’t doing any of that right now, it’s because they’re still hoping that Obama and the Democrats will cave to the hostage takers’ demands, sparing the teabaggers the need to kill the hostage (and sparing them the need to go up against what they still consider a very useful attack dog).

  20. 20
    WereBear says:

    @RaflW: @ppppolls
    Nearly 1 in 3 Republicans (27%) believe electronic banking will lead to slavery conspiracy

    Holy Unspecified Deity in a nitroed funny car, that is messed up.

  21. 21
    Eric U. says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: if they put Saint Ronnie on there, it would have to be the two trillion dollar coin to match the amount of deficit he rang up as prez

  22. 22
    MattF says:

    @Tone in DC: It would be in character for Obama to have a plan, but not talk about it. You can ask Donald Trump about that.

    It’s a weakness, I guess, but I’m not ready to call Thiessen ‘mainstream.’ Yeah, he has a WaPo niche, but I like to think that he was hired before the Village really thought through the ‘torture apologist’ thing.

  23. 23
    Chris says:

    @Tone in DC:

    I am not going to predict what Obama will do. People who predict things are wrong about 45% of the time, if not more often.

    May I remind YOU that 67% of all statistics are made up on the spot. :D

  24. 24
    shortstop says:

    I don’t know that I buy this. The big money is not coming from grassroots supporters. It’s still corporate cash, and it will still be directed toward the people who can best preserve profits, whether or not the party is a go-between.

  25. 25
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @RaflW: Jesus Tits. What the hell is a “slavery conspiracy”?

  26. 26
    The Other Chuck says:

    So Thiessen and his ilk are gleefully rubbing their, um, hands, at the prospect of destroying millions of jobs. I’ve got nothing further to say .

  27. 27
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Belafon:

    On the default though, there comes a choice between the increase in the cost of borrowing and the destruction of Democracy.

    I think you’re right there, although I’d put more than an increase in the cost of borrowing on the other side of the scale but rather the very real possibility of another 2007-2008-level financial meltdown.

  28. 28
    Mandalay says:

    Quoting Dana Rohrabacher to support a point of view pretty much seals the deal. Whatever Dana says is good enough for me.

  29. 29
    shortstop says:

    Also, Doug, I love that you’re using this song for all it’s worth this week.

  30. 30
    MomSense says:

    Ok, let’s say that the teahadists are successful and they do bring down the government or drown it in a bath tub or boil it in acid (I can’t keep up with their bizarre fantasies) then what? Does Trump take over? The Koch brothers? Ted Cruz?

    What do they hope will happen after the government is gone?

  31. 31
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Chris:

    And if 1%ers aren’t doing any of that right now, it’s because they’re still hoping that Obama and the Democrats will cave to the hostage takers’ demands, sparing the teabaggers the need to kill the hostage (and sparing them the need to go up against what they still consider a very useful attack dog).

    Dog owners know that dogs who start killing the chickens have to be put down. Not sure that the 1% haven’t become so insulated that they don’t understand that. OTOH, if it proves true that “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall,” the Red States will eventually be pockmarked with craters.

  32. 32
    Tone in DC says:

    @MattF:

    It would be in character for Obama to have a plan, but not talk about it. You can ask Donald Trump about that.

    Heh. Indeed.

    I hope the Prez’ backbone is up to the challenge of the next few weeks (and beyond). The teabaggers have conveniently forgotten that there’s no doubt about his mind; that they somehow think they’re smarter than BHO is truly insane.

    Admittedly, either Lily or Rosie is probably smarter than Bachmann, both Pauls and Gohmert combined.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    MomSense says:

    @RaflW:

    Sadly the people who believe electronic banking will lead to a slavery conspiracy are in serious need of the mental health coverage in ObamaCare but I doubt they are the ones crashing healthcare.gov.

  35. 35
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Yes but update:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/james-fallows/

    I know this is an overused expression, but if you’ve lost Fred Hiatt…

    This is the best part from the WAPO Editorial Board, defending the decision to actually blame Republicans for something:

    We don’t come to that view as rabid partisans. On many of the issues stalemating Washington, we find plenty of blame to go around.

    Yes, Fred Hiatt et al were engaging in both sides do it-ism just days ago, on the same topic. Now however it’s getting real, and the company of the company town that they’re paid to cover is actually grinding to a halt. Time to start covering reality instead of Broder Brand Fantasy Washington.

  36. 36
    Churchlady says:

    @JMG: When the issue of invoking the 14th arose last time, almost unanimously Constitutional scholars said that was entirely false, NOT Constitutional and incredibly dangerous. So no, he cannot.

  37. 37
    Punchy says:

    And if the hostage takers ALWAYS get the loot without punishment, they’ll take hostages nearly every day. I’m sure O knows this. Which is why his meeting with Hill leaders today is more likely “go fuck yerselves if you attempt to default” and less “just how many of your caucus do I need to blow before you raise the limit”?

    I too believe that hours before default, with the Dow and Daq in a complete free-fall and CEOs screaming their heads off, the GOP will be forced into action.

  38. 38
    Mandalay says:

    @Chris:

    Yes, but that doesn’t mean the billionaires have less power over the movement.

    On the contrary, they now have far more influence.

    It seems that the changes to campaign finance have ended up hurting the GOP more than the Democrats. Nobody could have predicted this.

  39. 39
    Josie says:

    It has always been President Obama’s method to think ahead and outsmart his enemies. Just ask the Clintons, McCain, Romney, etc. I find it hard to believe that he doesn’t have a plan for the debt limit problem. Just because he hasn’t discussed it with staffers or reporters doesn’t mean he has no plan. He might have been slightly surprised by the stubbornness of the house in shutting down the government, but I have a feeling he will bring us through all of this in one way or another.

  40. 40
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Chris: Please list the things that the non-bagger republicans want that the Tea Party isn’t giving them.

    There is not a single thing that the baggers are doing to the welfare state that Jerry and Pat weren’t preaching from their pulpits 25 years ago, or that the high school debate team republican dorks weren’t talking about on the bus home.

  41. 41
    WereBear says:

    I was confident that with Serious Corporate Munnies at stake, the default would not get pushed to the edge.

    But now, I wonder.

    As always, I have no personal limit on how crazy the Teahadis turn out to be. With the infinite one-third of one-third fractal formula which seems to rule such things, we wind up with an infinitely small amount of sanity.

  42. 42
    Botsplainer says:

    When Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., was asked if he had heard business groups express fears of a government shutdown’s economic impact, he replied: “No. And it wouldn’t make any difference if I did.

    Translation – he has heard business groups express fears, but is still fearful of the Teatards.

  43. 43
    Doug Milhous J says:

    @shortstop:

    It’s also less and less clear how much difference money makes in campaigns.

  44. 44
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Mandalay: Yep. The Liberals have been under the impression that the billionaires were saavy and smart and just playing the rubes. It turns out not to be the case really.

  45. 45
    RaflW says:

    @Jerzy Russian:
    Sorry, should have included the PPP poll link

  46. 46
    Tone in DC says:

    https://twitter.com/jbendery/status/384846611202846720

    Ms. Bendery said: About every other House lawmaker I just talked to smelled like booze. It’s only 9pm. Wheeee!

    It’s very cool that Doug is using “Anarchy in the UK” for this post title. Gotta like “Never Mind the Bollocks”.
    Still, given that tweet, maybe second place should go to “(Not so) Elegantly Wasted” by InXS.

  47. 47
    👾 Martin says:

    Another good reason to read alJazeera

    But the lack of accountability is arguably even worse because it has the characteristics of a cascade failure. When the media coverage seeks down-the-middle neutrality despite one party’s outlandish conduct, there are no political consequences for their actions. With no consequences for extremism, politicians who have succeeded using such conduct have an incentive to become even more extreme. The more extreme they get, the further the split-the-difference press has to veer from common sense in order to avoid taking sides. And so on.

    The political press should be the public’s first line of defense when it comes to assessing who is deviating from historic norms and practices, who is risking serious damage to the nation, whose positions are based in irrational phobias and ignorance rather than data and reason.

    Instead journalists have been suckered into embracing “balance” and “neutrality” at all costs, and the consequences of their choice in an era of political extremism will only get worse and worse.

    Clearly alJazeera hates America Republicans

  48. 48
    MattF says:

    @WereBear: I suppose the 27% have their own 27%, and so on, ad infinitum.

  49. 49
    RaflW says:

    @MomSense:

    What do they hope will happen after the government is gone?

    That they’ll be able to buy pot with their Social Security checks?

    .

    Oh. Hmmm. That might not work out.

  50. 50
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Punchy: Or nothing will happen. Our billionaires get their news from the same sources that we do, actually. Just in quieter tones.

    I’m sure their financial planners have told them that there’s this hot hedge fund that knows how to survive the sudden shock. They’ll be off guard like the rest of us.

  51. 51
    Scott S. says:

    I think the Repubs in Congress need to learn that they should stop fearing the impotent teabaggers and start being terrified of everyone else.

    I also think this would be a far better world if someone would punch Marc Thiessen’s nose entirely flat every time he said anything.

  52. 52
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Tone in DC:

    Admittedly, either Lily or Rosie the missing jar of mustard is probably smarter than Bachmann, both Pauls and Gohmert combined.

    Fixed.

  53. 53
    Alex S. says:

    @RaflW:

    Of course, this is just among the republicans, so it’s a subset of the whole population. But it tells us that even the crazies have their own share of super-crazies. These people believe the level 2 crazy.

  54. 54
    Jockey Full of Malbec says:

    @Punchy:

    I too believe that hours before default, with the Dow and Daq in a complete free-fall and CEOs screaming their heads off, the GOP will be forced into action.

    Curious as to how many GOPers shorted their stocks last week…. And how much profit they’ll collectively “earn” once this is all over.

    IMO it should be illegal for any Congressman to own non-blind stock, for exactly this reason.

    Fun fact: Plato, in The Republic, forbade his philosopher-kings from owning private property. Why this is, is left as an exercise for the reader.

  55. 55
    srv says:

    So the neu-GOP is a populist party, decoupled from it’s Wall Street owners in finance but not ideology (unlike the Democrats).

    Tom Clancy dead, no more pulp-Fed/Milporn for you. Can’t believe he was 66, he looked 50-something at MacWorld twenty years back.

  56. 56
    NCSteve says:

    The one-percenters didn’t lose control of the Republican loons because of grass roots mrlble blurph blargh.

    They lost control because they keep writing the checks no matter what the loons do. It’s like if they told one of their kids “Worthington? I just got a call from your principal. He says you did two lines of something off your desk, sexually assaulted the teacher, took a baseball bat to the vice principal, and left the campus. Well I am very, very disappointed with you. So I want you to take this no-limit Visa card, take the jet to our beach house in Thailand and spend the week thinking about what you’ve done!” Of course Worthington grows up to be a sociopath.

    Then again, considering how many of them do seem to take this approach to parenting, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.

  57. 57

    Poor/less fortunate people must play the hand they were dealt.
    But Gopers do not have to accept a law passed by congress or 2 prez elections.

  58. 58
    shortstop says:

    @Doug Milhous J: That seems to be true on a national level, for presidential races and, to a lesser extent, senatorial campaigns. In Congressional, state and municipal campaigns, it still makes a hell of a difference. That may change, too, but it hasn’t yet.

  59. 59
    RaflW says:

    @Alex S.: And that the magic 27% holds. That’s what really got my attention, that in the slice of the slice, its still 27.

  60. 60
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Belafon:

    They need Rupert Pupkin to replace Bohner.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.....1983_film)

  61. 61
    srv says:

    Wouldn’t it be interesting if this was all a Koch scheme to profit off of put options?

  62. 62
    priscianus jr says:

    @JMG: I would bet, if forced to, that instead he will fold and destroy his party and presidency. Or just the deluge hit, a poor second best.

    Then you haven’t got a clue, because the Republicans are inno position to force the president to do anything, and to people with a functioning brain that much is already clear. You’re just as delusional as those flame-throwing republican backbenchers.

  63. 63
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Josie:

    He might have been slightly surprised by the stubbornness of the house in shutting down the government…

    God, I hope not, and I don’t think so. He may have been genuinely surprised that the GOP was willing to tank the country’s credit rating in the debt ceiling hike battle in 2011, but I’m confident he knows what he’s dealing with now.

    The question is, is he willing to watch the GOP shoot the hostage this time for the greater good. Because that damn sure seems to be the showdown we’re hurtling toward.

  64. 64
    shortstop says:

    @Ben Franklin: In addition to liking that movie, I like to say “Rupert Pupkin.”

    Rupert Pupkin, Rupert Pupkin. Try it, everyone.

  65. 65
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    From Newsmax headlines:

    Rand Paul: Goons Barricaded Monuments

    Well, he’s right. A bunch of goons with R behind their names did indeed barricade the monuments.

    When you’re looking for a goon, Rand, look in the mirror. You’ll see a disgusting one staring back at you.

  66. 66
    Cermet says:

    @Churchlady: Who needs the fourteenth? What IS allowed by our laws is that they (Federal Reserve) could issue Platinum coins – say 10 million with a face value of $10,000 each. Wealthy investors would buy them up and some key countries (Europe and China with the self interest of trying to say their own ass’s since they go down if we do) would buy them up in bulk for their reserves. Problem solved for a short time (yeah, not a lot of money but this could be done one or two more times and at least buy time.)

    Not just constitutional but fully legal. Better still, we get hard currency in exchange – no bonds with interest. The Treasury DOES have that legal power.

  67. 67
  68. 68
    mai naem says:

    @Big R: Well, duh, Marc Thiessen went to that libertarian paradise Somalia for the hostage taking classes. Mogadishu University offers a Summer Session combo deal of Hostage Taking 101 and Theocracy Takeover Strategery 101. You get a framed certificate of incompetency when you complete the course.

  69. 69
    Chris says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Please list the things that the non-bagger republicans want that the Tea Party isn’t giving them.

    There are no non-teabagger Republicans left. That’s the point. Either they moved over to the Democratic Party, or were primaried out of their seats, or made their peace and became teabaggers. And most of this phenomenon wasn’t even in 2010. 2010 took it to an extreme, but for the most part any “moderates” had already been moved out in the nineties.

    I’m saying that if the business types really are now worried about the teabaggers being so extreme, they could counter that by funding primary challengers, the same way they originally empowered the baggers. They’re not doing that, either because 1) they’re teabaggers themselves, or 2) they’d rather see the Democrats cave again and again than have to go up against, like I said, an attack dog they consider useful.

  70. 70
    Hawes says:

    I went to high school with Marc Thiessen, I guess he never came to AP Euro, because he was busy taking Hostage Taking 101.

    Advanced Torture he must have taken in college.

  71. 71
    Chris says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Yep. The Liberals have been under the impression that the billionaires were saavy and smart and just playing the rubes. It turns out not to be the case really.

    Indeed. I never really liked that narrative anyway, because 1) it gives the billionaires credits for far more brains and deviousness than I think they really have, and 2) it comes too close to exonerating the rubes (making them hapless victims of a con rather than willing participants in a crime) for my tastes.

  72. 72
    amk says:

    @JMG: idjit racist firebaggers –> that way

  73. 73
    Mike E says:

    @RaflW:

    A lot of them seem to think it will be Obama who will fold. But I think they’re completely blinded by their rage, and will soon discover their power is lost.

    They see a black face and all rational thought evaporates. See: Polls, unskewed.

  74. 74
    catclub says:

    @JMG: Yep. Obama is going to follow the rules. And bending the rules with the $1Tr coin is a step too far.

  75. 75
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chris:

    Given that most of our billionaires are anything but “self made” (if you start out with a huge pile of money at birth, making more of it is not very difficult) it does overestimate their native intelligence. However, it does not address their vindictiveness and pettiness.

  76. 76
    Mike E says:

    @shortstop: And big money voter suppression tactics work pretty well on the local level, so there’s that as well, also. Too.

  77. 77
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mike E:

    They see a black face and all rational thought evaporates. See: Polls, unskewed.

    DING DING DING DING DING

    They can’t believe that a ni*CLANG* is kicking their asses in fucking circles. It can’t be!

  78. 78
    priscianus jr says:

    @Chris: “that doesn’t mean the billionaires have less power over the movement. It simply means the middleman between the billionaires and their pet candidates has been cut out.”

    * * *

    I think we will soon see how important that middleman has been to the billionaires, now that it is out of control.

    What you don’t seem to have noticed, however, is that there are two different factions of billionaires, one that is not only backing, but which actually created, the “movement’ you refer to; and the other that went along with it, partly because they themselves made it possible and at first thought it was a great idea; and later because they were stuck with it. What’s happening now is that each faction of billionaires has its own “party” which, technically, still comprise one party. But that party is “a house divided agianst itself”, which is exactly why it has become dysfunctional.

    When push comes to shove, (and it now has), the old faction is by far the more powerful, both financially and even in the House. So this “movement” you speak of is on the verge of collapse — Cruzin’ for a bruisin’. Oh, sure, it will go on, and the Kochs et al. will continue funding it. But they will see their “middleman” return to the paranoid fringe of American political life where they have always festered.

  79. 79
    catclub says:

    @Cermet: That way does not really work. What works is that the Federal reserve accepts the coin and pays for it with $1Tr in US bonds, which we can then sell
    to other bond buyers. – no increase in overall debt.

  80. 80
    Mandalay says:

    @Doug Milhous J:

    It’s also less and less clear how much difference money makes in campaigns

    It’s the Republican candidate selection process, rather than the actual election, where money matters. Election outcomes are generally known in advance regardless of who is running.

    The RNC is putting a brave face on the Tea Party taking them over (Priebus called the relationship between the two entities “a full embrace.”) but if the RNC isn’t doing all they can to fuck them over behind the scenes they’ll get wiped out.

  81. 81
    Tone in DC says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    LULz.

  82. 82
    raven says:

    @priscianus jr: I like the cut of your jib.

  83. 83
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Chris: And I’m saying that the business types are not particularly worried because the Tea Party Types represent their interests as they see them just fine.

    Besides, what are the consequences of a default? Yes, the value of their current bond holdings falls, but those bonds will be paid back. When the smoke clears, the government will need to raise the interest rates on new debt. How does that hurt the buyers of new bond issues?

  84. 84
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Mandalay:

    but if the RNC isn’t doing all they can to fuck them over behind the scenes they’ll get wiped out

    .

    And who will do the wiping? Their middle class voter base? Hahahahahahahahaha!

  85. 85
    Elizabelle says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    It’s not just that Obama is black.

    It’s that he’s a Democrat, and these self-proclaimed lovers of the US Constitution do not, in their bones, believe in the peaceable transfer of power following a fairly conducted election.

    Yes, Obama’s getting a lot of extra grief for presidenting (well!) while being an African American, but what’s happened is that a sizeable amount of the Republican Congress, the party, and their base, despises Democrats.

    The GOP is home to the moral majority and the John Birch types. They are absolutists.

    You’ve got these fervid Christians (Christianists) who see good and evil, and they don’t feel they could be evil.

  86. 86
    shortstop says:

    @priscianus jr:

    What you don’t seem to have noticed, however, is that there are two different factions of billionaires, one that is not only backing, but which actually created, the “movement’ you refer to; and the other that went along with it, partly because they themselves made it possible, and at first thought it was a great idea; and later because they were stuck with it.

    Yes, good point — but the result you predict and the one Chris sees are the same, are they not? The old/establishment faction retakes supremacy.

  87. 87
    different-church-lady says:

    So, basically, government by those who write unhinged letters to the editor daily?

  88. 88
    Frankensteinbeck says:

    @RaflW:
    It’s not a surprise. You have to understand a subtle distinction in the 27% rule. It doesn’t mean that 27% of people are crazy. It means that 27% of people support/believe any specific crazy thing. There doesn’t have to be overlap. They can be sane in every other way. Truthers, birthers, and anti-vaccine flakes are not the same 27%. Any one person can be only one, two, or all three. It’s a statistics thing.

  89. 89
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Tom Clancy dead, no more pulp-Fed/Milporn for you. Can’t believe he was 66, he looked 50-something at MacWorld twenty years back.

    @srv: Not ever going to be one to cheer a person’s death.

    However, it is fitting to note that he was a vile and malignant influence on our society.

  90. 90
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Elizabelle:

    You are right…the black just makes it sting more, though.

    Ever since the election of the sainted Ronaldus Magnus, the Rethugs are under the impression that the White House is THEIRS. Anyone with a D behind their name is, by definition, an usurper. Illegitimate. Had to have been placed in office by massive ACORN voter fraud. Therefore, since they (Clinton and Obama) are usurpers, there is no need to treat them as the President of the United States. That status is reserved for fellow Rethugs. Even if they don’t win a majority of the popular vote, even if they have to fix voting machines in Ohio to pull off an electoral college win.

  91. 91
    El Cid says:

    @different-church-lady: ‘ALSO WHY ARE THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS ALL UGLY COLORS SOMEONE SHOULD MAKE THEM LOOK NICER, SINCERELY…’

  92. 92
    Mike E says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: AND they are taking a running kick at that Black Ass (:-)), only to slip and fall in conspicuous heaps after which they get scooped up by their gold-level health plans to be cared for by, you guessed it, black hands. Irony, kill’d.

  93. 93
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    Well, he started out with some good reads. Unfortunately, as more and more books were churned out, the quality deteriorated. He became little more than a brand name.

    Frank Herbert suffered much the same fate. Fortunately, Terry Pratchett did not.

  94. 94
    The Other Chuck says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: He was barely a real influence. More of a symptom.

    There’s not too many deaths I’ll celebrate, but Limbaugh’s and Cheney’s I will for sure.

  95. 95
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Kennedy stole his election. Johnson was only elected because people were sorry about Kennedy. Carter was only elected because the Democrats unfairly ruined Nixon’s career.

    And Hillary was a lesbian.

    There have been no fairly elected Democrats in 60 years.

  96. 96
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @El Cid:

    Dear Mr. President. There are too many states. Eliminate three.

    P.S. I am not a kook.

  97. 97
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @The Other Chuck:

    Fortunately, both of them will have rather large graves, plenty of space for all of us to piss on them.

  98. 98
    billgerat says:

    Back in another thread before I went to bed I wrote that I didn’t trust the GOP from sabotaging the repayment of Federal worker’s wages lost during the shutdown. Sure enough, when I wake up I find on Kos that the GOP is exactly saying that they are against paying back government workers. As a government employee that’s exempted from the furloughs and working on an IOU through the shutdown, this news just warms my heart. The GOP just lost 800,000 votes from Federal employees in the next election.

  99. 99
    Tone in DC says:

    I truly hope the days of BHO appeasing the House g00pers are over. This stupid shit cannot go on. I think I’m right when I say they’ve pissed him off a few times too many, and he’s more than ready to Stand His Ground.

    If this shutdown lasts two weeks, until the debt ceiling is fully in play, then this clown car show will be not simply off the reservation, but somewhere just east of Tierra del Fuego.

    Humidity Central may have some people come calling in two weeks. Some folks who can write rather large checks. These seldom seen 1%ers will hand Boehner, Cantor, Gohmert and the rest of the Extremely Silly Party a very tall stein of siddown & STFU.

  100. 100
    Roger Moore says:

    @flukebucket:

    No, no. Made of aluminum and having Ron Paul as heads and Rand Paul as tails.

    Sorry, but for legal reasons it has to be made of platinum. The law specifically limits the denominations of coins except that it allows the Treasury to mint platinum coins of any denomination. That “any denomination” bit is where the trillion dollar platinum coin idea comes from. Personally, I think it should have Ronald Reagan’s face on the obverse, Liberty on the reverse, and “Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter” printed around the edge in place of milling.

    Minor nit for people proposing people to put on the coin: federal law prohibits putting any person on US currency (or postage stamps) until they’ve been dead for two years.

  101. 101
    Cacti says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Put St. Ronnie’s visage on one side

    I couldn’t imagine a trillion dollar being called anything other than the Reagan.

    On the flip side, you can put “Deficits don’t matter” in Latin.

  102. 102
  103. 103
    Mike E says:

    @shortstop: Their “ideology” gives away the game here, since it’s actually an internal class struggle; any “idea” is as good as any other when fleecing the rubes to get to the end game of total control, and when push comes to shove it always comes down to old money that pulls out all the necessary stops to keep what they are accustomed to.

  104. 104
    aimai says:

    @JMG: Oh fuck you you fuckingfuck. The President and the entire country are jacked up against the wall by the most pitiless, incompetent, murderous band of jerks ever and you can still find a way to blame Obma because he theoretically can’t magic a workable solution out of thin air?

  105. 105
    Mandalay says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    And who will do the wiping? Their middle class voter base?

    No need. Just change the rules so that Priebus gets the result he wants. Here’s an example of his assholery…

    He proposed to hold no more than eight GOP primary debates, with the party picking the host partners and moderators. Candidates who participate in unsanctioned debates should be penalized 30 percent of their delegates, Priebus said.

    Priebus would do well as president of a homeowners association. He’s the kind of guy who would happily slap a lien on a house and fine a resident $200 per day for weeds in the flower bed.

  106. 106
    fuckwit says:

    @Chris: What you mean “parties”, kemosabe? Nancy Smash seems to have impeccable and impressive unity among her caucus. Reid has his cats herded pretty well, considering what egotists Senators are. Obama seems to have a well-disciplined organization, and the DNC , various PACs, and other orgs all seem to be pulling together well. Maybe, just maybe, in the new world, you keep your party together by having shared goals, visions, and purpose, and mutual support— and actual leadership– not so much by fear and intimidation and control of pursestrings anymore. Also, another explanation is that the 2010 teabagger wave flushed out a lot of Blue Dogs, so the Dem caucus remaining today is much more unified and cohesive. Whatever the reason, it seems the R’s are in disarray and the D’s are united for the common good.

  107. 107
    different-church-lady says:

    @El Cid: WHEN WILL THE CITY DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE SQUIRRELS?

  108. 108
    scav says:

    @Mandalay: Any explicit teaparty Gopper embrace (surely a manly backslap and butt feel, seriously, come on) makes me laugh in light of Woman Dies After Being Accidentally Shot While Hugging Boyfriend, Police Say

  109. 109
  110. 110
    Cacti says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Johnson was only elected because people were sorry about Kennedy.

    Johnson won because Barry Goldwater was ahead of his time as a bark at the moon lunatic.

  111. 111
    Chris says:

    @priscianus jr:

    Right, there’s businessmen driven by ideology and businessmen driven by pragmatism. In the language of fifty years ago, the Koch family (which co-founded the John Birch Society) versus the Rockefeller family (which became one of the leading families of the party’s moderate wing). One of them sees the far right as useful but will back away from it if it’s convinced that it’s a political loser, the other never will no matter what.

    But I’m still not noticing that division right now – at the moment, both of them still back the teabaggers. I hope you’re right that pragmatic businessmen will start backing away from the freaks, but I think it’ll take a lot to make that happen; last time, it took twenty years of continuous public backlash (the Roosevelt/Truman years) to make the Republican establishment go moderate, and that was without a motivated popular base equivalent to the teabaggers.

  112. 112
    Tone in DC says:

    @aimai:

    Oh fuck you, you fucking fuck. The President and the entire country are jacked up against the wall by the most pitiless, incompetent, murderous band of jerks/sociopaths ever and you can still find a way to blame Obama because he theoretically can’t magic a workable solution out of thin air?

    What she said.

  113. 113
    shelly says:

    ‘Tom Clancy dead, no more pulp-Fed/Milporn for you. Can’t believe he was 66,”
    *********
    The movie’s made from the novels weren’t bad, but beyond ‘Hunt For Red October’ I found his books unreadable. ‘Gee-Whiz-Techno-Porn’ indeed.
    *****
    Wonder if Cruz fanticizes about the way Jack Ryan became President.

  114. 114
    Belafon says:

    @aimai: You do realize that this shutdown just proves that Obama could have gotten Single Payer or Medicare for all, right?

    /snark

  115. 115
    Belafon says:

    @Ben Franklin: I especially like this paragraph:

    And with intelligence workers facing financial struggles, particularly after already suffering through furloughs due to sequestration, “This is a dreamland for foreign intelligence services to recruit,” Clapper said.

  116. 116
    Elizabelle says:

    If the federal government is shut down:

    do we have regulators, particularly safety and financial ones?

    I would think they are “essential” ….

  117. 117
    Mike in NC says:

    So the lamestream media is still pushing the nonsense about the teabaggers being a ‘grass-roots organization’? Color me unsurprised.

  118. 118
    Mike E says:

    @Belafon:

    You do realize that this shutdown just proves that Obama could have gotten greases the path to Single Payer or Medicare for all, right?

    Fix’t, wishfully.

  119. 119
    Cacti says:

    @Elizabelle:

    do we have regulators, particularly safety and financial ones?

    I would think they are “essential” ….

    “Essential” during a shutdown just means that you are compelled to show up and work, without any guarantee of future compensation.

  120. 120
    Chris says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    True. And even if the U.S. economy melts down and we turn into a third world country – elites live very well in third world country. I suppose there’s really no such thing as “losing” at that level of power, except maybe in the improbable event of a revolution (and even then, the smart ones will simply pick up and go to another country).

    @fuckwit:

    I didn’t say “parties,” the person I was quoting did – all I’ve been talking about is the GOP specifically, which seems like the relevant party in terms of being the interface between business elites and the candidates. I think I agree with you about the Democrats.

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    To pile on, I liked his early books (Red October, Red Storm Rising and Cardinal of the Kremlin being the three that were actually really good), and I don’t think he did have much influence on society. He just filled a niche for a specific type of right wing nerd (a much smaller one than, say, Ayn Rand, or even “24”), and had a brief moment in the spotlight after 9/11 when some idiots in the media went “ooo, there was a Tom Clancy just like this! What a visionary!” and apparently not noticed that The Lone Gunmen had just done the same thing and actually gotten the target right.

  121. 121
    catclub says:

    @Suffern ACE: “Johnson was only elected because people were sorry about Kennedy.” … and people thought Goldwater was crazy/racist. Note the states he won.

  122. 122
    Ben Franklin says:

    Hmmm. Essential services is a semantic term, apparently.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/10.....?hpt=hp_t3

  123. 123
    catclub says:

    @Cacti: You beat me to it.

  124. 124
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Chris:

    Yes, Red October, Red Storm Rising and Cardinal of the Kremlin were really the best he did. Red Storm Rising is still one of the best WW III books around. His work had declined significantly by 1990 though.

    Also, he never did learn how to write about female characters, and his clunky exposition was semi-legendary in some circles.

  125. 125
    aimai says:

    @WereBear: But here’s the thing–Obama doesn’t have to flip the teabaggers, with or without the threat of corporate money–he just has to pressure Boehner to bring the clean CR to a vote and let the Dems and Pelosi put it over the top. There are clearly reasons why this is going to be difficult: Boehner already got rolled and pick pocketed by Obama once before, he’s extremely sensitive to ridicule and bullying from other Republicans, and he likes what he’s doing as speaker. But he can be bought–of course he can be bought. Obama just needs to pressure him to take a buy out after retiring from some billionaire who doesn’t want to see the economy go down in flames. But my guess is that a billionaire isn’t going to budge to buy Boehner out just for the CR. He’s and Obama are going to force Boehner to sweat it out and roll the debt limit vote into the CR and bring it all the way to the house floor and pass both primarily with Democratic votes. Thats just 17 House republicans that Boehner has to bring with him/bribe.

  126. 126
    Cacti says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    Hmmm. Essential services is a semantic term, apparently.

    Yup, post 119.

    The only low-level “essential” personnel who have been guaranteed a paycheck are members of the armed forces.

    At my federal office, there are 10 “essential” personnel operating things as a skeleton crew. They have no assurance that they’ll be paid for any of it.

  127. 127
    celticdragonchick says:

    Just had to tune out of a twitter war where some of my wingnut followers (I have no idea how I attracted them) are accusing the President of treason and then cite Article 3 Section III of the Constitution when I ask them for specifics of the accusation.

    Apparently, these folks have yet to understand that the definition of a thing is not the actual thing. I thought most people get that before grade school.

  128. 128
    ruemara says:

    @JMG: oh fuck you. God, can’t even get 2 comments in without that bullshit.

  129. 129
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Cacti: Sounds like an awful lot of lawsuits piling up if they are not paid for work they were required to do.

    I remember last week some GOP talking head sneered “of course they will get their back pay…”

  130. 130
    Mike E says:

    @celticdragonchick: Did you know, there’s BLACK people in the White House?!

  131. 131
    scav says:

    @Cacti:

    At my federal office, there are 10 “essential” personnel operating things as a skeleton crew. They have no assurance that they’ll be paid for any of it.

    Clearly, they’ve achieved running government as their wet dream of how businesses are run. Paying wages, let alone salaries, is an affront to shareholders. Rightsizing! Trim those fatty costs!

  132. 132
    Chris says:

    @Cacti:

    Johnson won because Barry Goldwater was ahead of his time as a bark at the moon lunatic.

    I think 1964 was a one-of-a-kind perfect storm against the Republicans and for the Democrats;

    1) Sympathy points from the Kennedy assassination. That obviously helped Johnson at least a little.

    2) Goldwater actually discussed using nukes in Vietnam… just a year after the Cuban missile crisis had slapped some cold water on everybody’s face to show just how dangerous the Cold War could be. If Goldwater had run on something like that in 1952, 1956 or 1960 it might have sounded patriotic and awesome (trying to out-McCarthy your opponents was a popular tactic), but in the wake of Cuba, it sounded reckless and dangerous. And LBJ exploited the shit out of that.

    3) Goldwater wasn’t just ahead of his time; he was actually saying out loud what he would do if elected, which is a big no-no if you’re a Republican. Bush didn’t run on Social Security privatization – he ran on being The War President and then tried to privatize it. Same with Reagan. Goldwater actually told them “yeah, I’m going to take back all of your New Deal goodies,” and it went as well as you’d expect.

    4) The GOP was still divided and had a powerful liberal/moderate, anti-Goldwater wing, while on the other hand, the Goldwater conservatives had only just begun to make inroads into conservative Democratic groups. The liberal consensus and New Deal coalition were much more powerful then.

    5) I might be wrong, but I think a lot of the culture war issues (the things Nixon and Reagan ran on) were missing in 1964. I always thought the Deep South going for him wasn’t so much an intentional move on his part as a protest vote on the part of the South, against LBJ’s recent strong stance in favor of civil rights plus the fact that Goldwater was conservative enough (including on civil rights) to pass muster… and that it was only after that that Republicans realized the potential of the strategy and started using it.

  133. 133
    Mike in NC says:

    @shelly:

    Tom Clancy dead, no more pulp-Fed/Milporn for you. Can’t believe he was 66.

    Yeah, I assumed he was at least 10 years older than that. We’ll have to wait for the breathless eulogy in the WaPo to find out what might have killed him. I think he was a very heavy smoker, at least at one time. He was a wingnut for sure, but to his credit I saw him and retired General Tony Zinni at a book signing at the Navy Memorial in DC several years ago, where during a Q&A with the audience he expressed his opinion that invading and occupying Iraq was completely insane, and that all Muslims shouldn’t just be shot on sight.

  134. 134
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Mike E:

    That does seem to really get under their skin. I saw more openly racist shit last night on the twitters with some really vile attacks on his mom for having teh sexytimes with a black guy from Africa. Lots of folks on the right really, really believe that Obama is legally ineligible for the office because of somethings his father may have said or believed, and that religious tests for elective office are allowed.

  135. 135
    StringOnAStick says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Yes, Obama’s getting a lot of extra grief for presidenting (well!) while being an African American, but what’s happened is that a sizeable amount of the Republican Congress, the party, and their base, despises Democrats.

    This, times a bazillion. My dad has always been a Bircher nutball even if he was never an official member; the rise of talk radio and Faux TV has just made him even more obsessed and full of rage.

    I have been thinking lately that I need to try to come to some kind of peace with the old man because he’s in his mid-80’s and not the healthiest (note: he told me “goodbye!” for a few years after Obama was first elected because it was apparently all my fault). I hadn’t factored in the debt ceiling, Obamacare going live, and the next big full faith and credit hurdle when I started thinking I needed to work on this family healing project, but I’m pretty sure that any entreaty from a DFH like myself right now will be rejected with extreme and possibly permanent prejudice because once again, it is obviously all my fault. I think I’ll work on what writing I need to do for this project, and keep it in the draft folder until something resembling normalcy returns, if ever.

  136. 136
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Mike in NC:

    I read a comment from a USMC tank officer who attended a dinner where Clancy was a Guest of Honor. Everybody had been ordered to go over and say nice things to him.

    Clancy started lecturing the officer and some others about armored doctrine (and the guy in question was an instructor at the armor school) and apparently had no fucking clue what he was actually saying.

  137. 137
    Chris says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Ah yes – that book (Zinni’s biography, co-authored with him, I assume for name-recognition purposes) I’ve read, and I do highly recommend. The stuff in Zinni’s career includes Vietnam, the military’s problems in the seventies, the fall of the Eastern Bloc, the Gulf War, Somalia, his command of CENTCOM (the U.S. military’s Middle Eastern command) in the late nineties, and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (he was retired by then but had something to say about them regardless), among other things, and is really worth the read.

    Don’t let Tom Clancy’s name on the jacket scare you away. Zinni is anything but a wingnut.

  138. 138
    celticdragonchick says:

    @StringOnAStick: Jesus! And I thought the fallout with my folks was bad when I came out as a transgendered woman…

  139. 139
    shelly says:

    Addie Loggins: Imogene, what do you suppose Miss Trixie’d do if somebody offered her $25 to put out.

    Imogene: Ooo Wee! You crazy? For that much money, that woman’d drop her pants down in the middle of the road!

    Addie: I you help me get rid of Miss Trixie I’ll give you enough money to get back to your Mama.

    Imogene: How much?

    Addie: Thirty dollars

    Imogene: (smiling) When do we start?

  140. 140
    Paul in KY says:

    @aimai: You do know Cantor drives this thing more than Boehner. He’s the DeLay to the old doofus who was Speaker of the House back when.

  141. 141
    Paul in KY says:

    @StringOnAStick: Sorry your dad is a nut. Fortunately mine is not.

  142. 142
    Betty Cracker says:

    @StringOnAStick: Quite awhile ago (during the Clinton years), my wingnut father and I mutually agreed to never talk about politics. Ever. It was the only way we could have a cordial relationship. We’ve almost slipped up many times in the interim, but one or the other of us will remember and invoke The Rule of Silence.

    Now I’ve had hard work convincing my teen to sign up for The Rule with regard to the wingnut side of the family. I think she believes me when I tell her that no good can come of it and no minds will ever be changed, but kids like boat-rocking for its own sake. I do too — but I draw the line at smashing the boat into a jetty repeatedly.

    Here’s hoping you and your dad can reach a similar accord.

  143. 143
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chris:

    And even if the U.S. economy melts down and we turn into a third world country – elites live very well in third world country.

    Until those third-world elites need medical care or want to buy luxury goods or send their children to an elite university, which is when they bugger off to … the United States (and Europe, to be fair). When the US is turned into a third-world country, where is our elites’ safety valve going to be? Great Britain? France? Italy? South Korea? Japan?

    Yet another example of their idiotic short-sightedness. They’re cutting off their own escape route.

  144. 144
    StringOnAStick says:

    @celticdragonchick: Heh, that ain’t the half of it. I mortally disappointed him when I changed careers away from his field (where there were no jobs) and into one that didn’t give him the required ego props. I’ve never been forgiven for that either. I was a liberal from birth, and while I at one time was the favorite kid (because: career), that doesn’t mean much with parents that never wanted to be parents and have completely ignored any grandkids over the years. I’m in my mid-50’s and still making a conscious effort to do the right thing when someone has a tragedy or a celebration (like getting happily PG) because I wasn’t taught those things as a kid. I’d like to think it is a sign of growing emotional health that attempting reconciliation (with fair rules of course) is something I think its important to attempt, but I’m doing so with full knowledge that it may go nowhere. I’d be able to say I tried though, and that seems honorable.

  145. 145
    StringOnAStick says:

    @Betty Cracker: You know, I’ve tried getting him to agree to a “no politics” rule; he refuses. He spends all day/night getting his rage on thanks to Faux, Rush, and O’Lielly, he simply will not stop trying to aggressively pick fights.

    Visiting them requires that you sit through dinner and the rest of the evening watching Faux, because food is always eaten in front of the TV and no other channel is allowed (nor is conversation, unless it is about politics). It is beyond Stockholm Syndrome.

    Ah well, my FIL is a truly decent person who loves his two sons and truly treats me like a member of the family.

    OK, no more family complaints; I appreciate everyone’s sympathy.

  146. 146
    fidelio is being moderated says:

    @👾 Martin: Snap! That’ll leave a mark.

  147. 147
    StringOnAStick says:

    @Mnemosyne: This is why the elites need the US military capacity; who else is going to protect their considerable wealth from the geopolitical and economic crazies?

  148. 148
    fidelio says:

    Also, here’s the White House shutdown page again.

  149. 149
    opiejeanne says:

    @Botsplainer: no, he’s always been nuts.

  150. 150
    Paul in KY says:

    @StringOnAStick: God bless you for entering that madhouse.

  151. 151
    WereBear says:

    @Cermet: Back in 2011, I was vociferously against the platinum coin manoeuvre, since economics is 90% mental. I saw such a move as “too out there” for the mentally ossified group which grips our money.

    But that crisis has informed this one. Now I see the Platinum Coin Manoeuvre as one of genius. It would be eagerly embraced by the Markets as far superior to the chaotic alternative.

    Rave on, Tehadis. Rave on.

  152. 152
    raven says:

    @Betty Cracker: I guess I got lucky. My old man was a die-hard DuPage County Republican but, when I came home, he allowed that I had earned the right to think and do what I thought was right.

    I posted it early this morning but I’ll point it out again. When we went to Arlington with a group of Gold Star Mom’s for a memorial and wreath laying there was no big hue and cry about US getting the gates of the National Veterans Cemetery slammed in or faces. Of course we weren’t the greatest generation.

  153. 153
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Belafon:

    And with intelligence workers facing financial struggles, particularly after already suffering through furloughs due to sequestration, “This is a dreamland for foreign intelligence services to recruit,” Clapper said.

    Ah, so they finally admit that intelligence workers are amoral mercenaries in it for the thrills.

    //

  154. 154
    danimal says:

    My preferred Democratic response is to shrug our shoulders and avoid panic. Let the Big Money panic (and they won’t until the 11th hour, but when they do, Boehner will pick up the phone). Our public and private stance should be “if they’re going to shoot the hostage, then they’re going to shoot the hostage.”

    The country can survive another financial crisis. It won’t survive the slow-rolling constitutional crisis being perpetuated by the GOP.

  155. 155
    Berial says:

    In a game if liars and cheats are not booted from the game they will win.

    In an economic system, if liars and cheats are not punished they will eventually push the honest out of the system, because the honest can’t compete.

    Is it the same in a political system?

    If the Republicans(or conservatives) can simply dictate what the ‘norms’ are all the time and the referee (the press or the people) don’t punish the behavior where does political system end up?

    The Republicans are doing what they are doing because they KNOW their base is for it. WHY is their base for it? Because they are convinced that ‘their tribe’ will never hurt them, and all bad things that exist do so because of the ‘other tribe’.

    For them, the circle is complete, I don’t see any exit for them. The ‘other’ is always wrong. Therefor we must always be against whatever they are for. Because the ‘other’ is always wrong we are always right. Because we are always right anything bad that happens must be the ‘others’ fault.

    Religion wishes it had it so good.

  156. 156
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @StringOnAStick:

    I’m in my mid-50′s and still making a conscious effort to do the right thing when someone has a tragedy or a celebration (like getting happily PG) because I wasn’t taught those things as a kid.

    Oh lord, me too, and then throw a social learning disability in the mix and it’s absolutely appalling. My parents never modeled any of that sort of behavior (except sending thank you notes and birthday parties for the kids). Maintaining relationships with adults–relatives or not–is a confusing tangle. It’s like a weak muscle that never gets used and throws wild.

    Good on you for changing your life, at least.

  157. 157
    aimai says:

    @StringOnAStick: I am so very sorry that you are faced with this knotty problem in Buddhist theology–I mean that sincerely. I can’t think of anything more painful, grim, and bitter than to have such a fundamental mismatch between the kind of person you are (who I know from your wonderful comments on the internet) and the kind of person your father allowed himself to become. Only the highest form of detachment and compassion can move you towards serenity because at 80 he is never going to change. He will never accept *you*, all you can do is accept him, warts and all.

  158. 158
    WereBear says:

    @StringOnAStick: Write it, and when the time seems right, send it.

    Then step back.

    The rest of it is not your responsibility, is it?

  159. 159
    raven says:

    I won second place in the Steak Raffle!!!!~!

    The Brothers of Alpha Sigma Phi Beta Gamma Chapter would like to thank everyone who participated in our fund raiser and announce the winners of the Omaha Steak Raffle.

  160. 160
    raven says:

    @aimai: I agree, my old man was who he was. I honored that parts I could and let the rest go. He died ten years ago yesterday and I wish I had the old wingnut back.

  161. 161
    Mnemosyne says:

    @StringOnAStick:

    I agree with everyone else — when you think the time is right, offer the olive branch, but don’t be surprised or disappointed if he refuses to take it. If he refuses, that’s on him and you did everything you could as a reasonable adult.

    My wingnut dad drove me nuts and it took me several years of therapy to be able to deal with him. Fortunately, when the politics started driving me too nuts, he would accept a “How ’bout them Bears?” diversion and was willing to discuss other things.

  162. 162
    StringOnAStick says:

    @aimai:

    Only the highest form of detachment and compassion can move you towards serenity because at 80 he is never going to change. He will never accept *you*, all you can do is accept him, warts and all.

    Yes, this is where I’ve been heading lately, and what has brought me to the point of wanting to find some accommodation. As part of accepting him as he is, I first had to accept myself as a valid human allowed to make my own choices and decisions – it’s taken a long, long time, and there is nothing like a confrontation with a parent to shake your sense of self-worth if they chose to go there to make their point, and he always has resorted to that particular attack and always will I’m afraid. Being around him is walking on eggshells, waiting for the next explosion.

    Another Holocene Human, keeping working that “social contract” muscle; it gets better and appropriate starts to feel normal!

    Werebear, that’s my plan. PS, your stinky sox absolutely thrilled our cat, and your insights into catness are so wise, and so accurate.

    Mnemosyne, I wish sports talk was a good alternative, but he has two interests in life: politics and his career, and his career as a mining engineer allows for a deep, deep well of “those damned environmentalists have ruined this country”, so in the end it is really only politics (by extension) that he’ll talk about. He’s a workaholic (still) who never had a hobby or watched sports, just work, work, work, still trying to impress his long-dead parents who both had other kids as their favorites. I almost fell for that trap too, but I managed to escape.

  163. 163
    nemesis says:

    Some of the shit here about gopers shorting stocks and the kocks buying puts is blindingly stupid. I mistakenly believed the posters here were of a higher intellect.

  164. 164
    different-church-lady says:

    @raven: Isn’t second prize a set of steak knives?

  165. 165
    PopeRatzo says:

    There is no such thing as a Conservative grassroots organization.

  166. 166
    mclaren says:

    @priscianus jr:

    On the contrary, JMG seems right on the money:

    I would bet, if forced to, that instead he will fold and destroy his party and presidency.

    Barack Obama excels at kicking the can down the road. His motto seems to be: “Never solve a problem if you can put it off till tomorrow.”

    Obama also suffers from a chronic lack of spine. This entire shutdown and default crisis stems from Obama’s refusal to take a hard line during the last shutdown & default crisis in 2011.

    Obama’s meeting with House members today is a classic blunder. Obama should respond to all requests for a meeting with the House of the representatives by saying: “There is nothing to negotiate. Either pass the debt limit authorization, or watch America grind to a halt. Those are the only two alternatives.”

    Obama should not answer phone calls from the Republicams.

    Obama should not meet with the Republicans.

    Obama should not make speeches explaining that he is willing to compromise or willing to talk.

    Obama should have someone come out and say: “America’s policy is that we do not negotiate with terrorists. That is all.”

    End of statement.

    Case closed, that’s all.

  167. 167
    different-church-lady says:

    @mclaren:

    Barack Obama excels at kicking the can down the road. His motto seems to be: “Never solve a problem if you can put it off till tomorrow.”

    Yeah. Just like he did with that Syria thing.

    Dummkopf.

  168. 168
    Fred says:

    This just occured to me so it is probably so full of holes but bear with me:
    1) Debt default by USA gets credit rating downgraded.
    2) Credit rating downgrade makes treasury bond interest rates raise.
    3) USA pays off treasuries after debt limit is raised as it certainly will be.
    4) Billionaires reap more profit at no risk!
    Exactly why would billionaires not support this strategy? Does anyone think the Koch Bros care about US debt? Taxes are for the little people.

  169. 169
    Betty Cracker says:

    @mclaren: Front page story at MSNBC about an interview conducted with Obama just a short while ago:

    President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he is “exasperated” by the government shutdown but won’t negotiate with the Republicans until they pass an extension of funding to reopen it…

    He said that if House Speaker John Boehner put a bill on the floor to reopen the government at current funding levels while long-term budget talks go on, it would pass.

    “The only thing that’s stopping it right now is that John Boehner has not been willing to say no to a faction of the Republican Party that are willing to burn the house down because of an obsession with my health-care initiative,” he said.

    He said it was “not acceptable for one faction of one party in one chamber” to shut down the government or risk an unprecedented default on the national debt because it wants the Affordable Care Act repealed.

    “The message I have for the leaders is very simply: As soon as we get a clean piece of legislation that reopens the government — and there is a majority for that now in the House of Representatives — until we get that done, until we make sure that Congress allows Treasury to pay for things that Congress itself already authorized, we are not going to engage in a series of negotiations,” Obama said.

    “If we get in a habit where a few folks, an extremist wing of one party – whether it’s Democrat or Republican — are allowed to extort concessions based on a threat of undermining the full, faith and credit of the United States, then any president who comes after me… will find themselves unable to govern effectively.

    “And that is not something I’m going to allow to happen.”

    Sounds pretty resolute to me. Unlike the handful of people here who go insane with rage at any suggestion that Obama has or ever might get played by the GOP, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I am 100% confident he won’t back down at some point — maybe by throwing them a bone in the form of a repeal on the medical devices tax.

    But unlike you, I don’t think it’s because he’s a sucker or a corrupt / spineless hack or whatever. On the contrary, I’m confident Obama fully understands the stakes and knows he’s dealing with nihilists.

    However, the debt ceiling standoff we’re barreling toward is going to call for telling the crazy nihilists to go ahead and shoot the hostage or offering them a face-saving concession to back off. My belief is that it will be better for the country in the long run if Obama calls their bluff, but I don’t claim to know all the ramifications and factors that go into that decision.

  170. 170
    mclaren says:

    @Jerzy Russian:

    Jesus Tits. What the hell is a “slavery conspiracy”?

    David Icke and the reptilian Illuminati? Just guessing here…

    Or maybe they’re talking about how bar codes are the Number of the Beast. Hard to tell.

  171. 171
    mclaren says:

    @Fred:

    Exactly why would billionaires not support this strategy?

    Let’s run through Economics 101, shall we?

    When interest rates rise, bond prices decline. Billionaires own lots ‘n lots of U.S. treasury bonds. They’re a good investment, because the U.S. government is unlikely to announce that it’s repudiating its debt permanently, and also because T-bill receive a ginormous tax break because income from T-bill is not subject to state tax.

    Billionaires would not support the strategy you describe because their trillions of dollars of U.S. treasury bill holdings would be enormously devalued in price. Billionaires routinely borrow lots of money using their investments as collateral — for example, Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle computer, bought a billion dollar yacht using part of his stock portfolio as collateral — so it matters a lot if the value of the T-bonds in your portfolio plummets.

  172. 172
    mclaren says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Obama says he won’t negotiate. Then what does he do?

    “Obama Summons Hill Leaders on Shutdown,” MSN Today, 2 October 2013.

    Republicans correctly judge president Obama not by what he says, but by what he does.

    Obama is very good at talking.

    At doing what he says he’ll do, not so much…

  173. 173
    mclaren says:

    @nemesis:

    I mistakenly believed the posters here were of a higher intellect.

    Hahahahahahaha!

    Pure comedy gold.

    Bernard Finel, a keenly insightful military policy analyst, used to be a front-pager on BJ. The level of discourse of commenters here drove him away.

    As I remarked when Mnemosyne vomited some of her usual drivel at him, “Bernard, offering thoughtful reasoned analysis to the Balloon Juice commentariat is like reading Aeschylus to a cage full of hyenas — it insults your intelligence, and enrages the hyenas.”

    Nothing has happened to change that assessment.

  174. 174
    shepherdwong says:

    Oh, bullshit. The banksters and bond traders are still the Masters of the Universe; they’re more powerful than ever. And Dana Rohrabacher is a fucking liar.

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