The Watering Hole: Wednesday, October 9, 2013: Armageddon at Minus 8 Days and Counting.

Good News! The End of The World is Nigh!

In just eight more days, the United States of America will not have enough money to pay for all of its obligations. Technically, the world’s greatest superpower will be bankrupt.

This is going to really tick off a lot of people: China, Europe, Israel, all those countries we gave foreign aid to so they could buy U.S. made arms and seeds from Monsanto. Basically everybody who got any kind of benefit, directly or indirectly, from the U.S. Goverment.

Just think, no more government subsidies to Big Oil and Agribusiness. Oh, and all those Red States that received more in federal dollars than they paid to the U.S. Treasury? Not any more.

But the really good news, according to no less an authority than Michelle Bachman, is the end of the world. That’s right. Jesus himself will come down and all of His True Believers will be Raptured and go to heaven. And not a moment too soon.

With all those evangelical christians finally out of the way, the rest of us can get to work cleaning up the mess they’ve made of this planet.

OPEN
THREAD

(new post below)

BREAKING GNUS: PRESIDENT USES AUMF TO INVADE CONGRESS

Twitter, The Zoo's Top Investigative Journalist

Twitter, The Zoo’s Top Investigative Journalist

THIS JUST IN:

Earlier this morning, Speaker of the House John Boehner announced he will not bring a clean debt ceiling increase bill to a vote in the House of Representatives, guaranteeing that the nation will default in its debt obligations.

President Obama was swift in his response. “This is like terrorists invading a bank and threatening to kill every hostage unless we negotate with them, meaning, we give the terrorists everything they want, knowing that the terrorists will be back in a couple of months, taking more hostages, making more demands.”

“We don’t negotiate with terrorists.” the President was visibly agitated. “Under the Authorization to Use Military Force, I have the authority to use all means at my disposal to deal with terrorists, and can even invade, if absolutely necessary, capture and detain in Guantanamo any suspected terrorists, whereever they are, anywhere in the world.

“And so, I have ordered an invasion of the House of Representatives and the immediate incarceration in Guantanamo every member of the Republican Party. They will be held indefinitely, and treated no different than the current detainees at that facility.”

With that, the Presdent left the Rose Garden without taking any questions.

More to follow as events unfold.

The Watering Hole, Saturday, January 19, 2013: Will Republicans Ever Get It?

Republicans met this week in Williamsburg, VA, to discuss how they could improve their image as a party. They recognize that they are not very popular with women and minorities and they decided that this would be one of the discussion topics at the retreat. Unfortunately for them, their utter cluelessness led them to schedule a discussion of the subject in the Burwell Plantation Room. Yes, that’s right. The “Discussion on Successful Communication with Minorities and Women” took place in a room named for a wealthy Virginia family that owned many slaves. The irony wasn’t lost on everyone. A Congressman interviewed about it said that though the panel discussion would include three white men, it would also include several women. Sadly, he could only identify them as “a woman from CNN” and “Sean Duffy’s wife.” Is it any wonder the Republicans’ approval rating is only 27%?

Then there’s the debt ceiling. Setting aside the issue of whether or not a debt ceiling violates the 14th Amendment, for years the Republicans have been trying to forcefully tie spending cuts to increases in the debt ceiling. No spending cuts, no debt ceiling increase. This is ludicrous because future spending has nothing to do with past debts, and there are plenty of unpaid bills that can be directly linked to GOP policies and laws. For example, the Republicans passed a Medicare prescription drug bill that not only prohibited the government from negotiating with drug companies for lower drug prices for Medicare patients (like the Department of Veterans Affairs can), it also did not raise any taxes to pay for the new debt this bill brought. Add to that both the War in Afghanistan (which I refuse to describe as a “War on Terror” because that’s like having a “War on Fear”) and the War of Revenge in Iraq (which had nothing whatsoever to do with the people who committed horrific crimes on our soil on 9/11/01), wars that were kept off budget until President Obama put them in the budget (which is why right-wingers often like to falsely say that Obama increased the deficit) and you’ve got a huge mountain of IOUs. Some like to say the GOP spent like drunken sailors, but even sailors have credit limits on their credit cards, and the GOP happily increased the debt ceiling to cover their unfinanced spending without raising a peep about the effects on the nation’s credit rating. Their last standoff over the debt ceiling resulted in you and I paying billions of dollars more in interest on our existing debt. And just about everybody expected the Republicans to announce that they were drawing a line in the sand (again), putting their foot down (again), and refusing to raise the debt ceiling (again). So it was a bit of a surprise when GOP Leader Eric Cantor announced in a press release that next week, “We will authorize a three month temporary debt limit increase to give the Senate and House time to pass a budget.” I had always thought that this was a matter of some kind of principle (ill-defined and unspecified though it may be) with the GOP, but apparently they think nobody is paying much attention to what they’ve done in the past compared to what they’re doing today. I am.

For some reason, the GOP acts as though the American people want the GOP running the country, even though they know this isn’t true. They’ve even admitted that the only reason they currently control the House of Representatives is because of gerrymandered districts. Nationwide in 2012, the Democrats got more than a million votes more than Republicans. And despite this attempt at cheating (when, since 1980, has the GOP done anything honestly?), the GOP lost seats in both chambers of Congress. If the American people really wanted the country to be run by Republicans, wouldn’t both the White House and Congress be in GOP hands come Monday? So why do they continue to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act, despite its constitutionality and popularity? Why do they continue to restrict women’s reproductive rights even further? Why did they hold a meeting to discuss how they can reach out to minorities in a room named for a slave-owning family? Maybe it’s time the Republican Party face the facts. They have no idea what they’re doing and they’re just no good at governing.

An amusing side note, on Wednesday night, the GOP had blind mountain climber Erik Weihenmayer give an inspirational speech. Mr. Weihenmayer did something amazing despite being blind, and that was to climb to the top of Mt Everest a decade ago. (Well, they told him it was Mt Everest.) I did not recall hearing about the story when it happened, but I do remember this classic blooper from a news program where he was about to be interviewed.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss clueless Republicans, pointless debt ceiling fights, or blind and/or gay mountain climbers.

Sunday Roast: January 6, 2013 – Permanent Campaigning

Will permanent campaigning remain to be the future of Politics? I seems so.

Take the upcoming fight about the debt ceiling. President Obama has said his piece and stressed he won’t give in again.

“While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they’ve already racked up through the laws that they passed,” he said late Tuesday night. “Let me repeat: We can’t not pay bills that we’ve already incurred. If Congress refused to give the U.S. the ability to pay these bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy would be catastrophic – far worse than the impact of a fiscal cliff. People remember, back in 2011, the last time this course of action was threatened, our entire recovery was put at risk. Consumer confidence plunged. Business investment plunged. Growth dropped. We can’t go down that path again.”

But on the other hand Republicans don’t seem eager to take this for granted:

 

On Thursday, the Speaker, John Boehner, humiliatingly sidelined in the fiscal-cliff talks after he lost control of his unruly House membership, was re-elected to his post for the 113th Congress by just six votes, after a dozen arch-conservative Tea Partiers defected. Less than 24 hours later, Mr Boehner promised House Republicans he would use the debt ceiling to force Mr Obama to cut spending.

A recipe for the next disastrous showdown? Or, maybe not? Lately we have seen some active campaigning when it comes to several issues. In the matter of the debt ceiling we may have the most colorful and ingenious one. #mintthecoin that’s a gem. Although I am highly nervous about that one, here’s why.

The fancy of a $1 trillion platinum coin is so tantalising in part because it puts a monetary option in play. The larger attraction, though, is that it does so in a way that honours democracy by sticking to the letter of democratic legislation, yet also flirts with the heady unilateral decisiveness of fascism.

There was and is a very active campaign for the protection of social programs, as soon as the rumors were flying Medicare and and the Social Security COLA were on the table. There is active campaigning going on from both sides pro and contra when it comes to gun control. And there was a rather active but unsuccessful campaign from the very right to unseat Speaker Boehner. 

The powerful had done their lobbying for ages and activism played a very important part in American politics for a long while, so why is this different from what we had before?Politicians and activists understand, that in a media environment where nothing remains unseen or unheard of and twitter and facebook can get a message viral within seconds, political life is a constant campaign and you’re not campaigning only for office anymore, but rather for every bill and measure you are supporting. So, the campaigning goes on, after elections is before elections, no time to go back to some serious policy making.

Who uses the media best will get proclaimed the winner, even if in the process the people they are supposed to work for, loses. Politics has become about winning and losing in a constant campaign. Policies will be determined by Gallup Daily, Rasmussen, tv ratings or Nate Silver. (The latter would be a blessing though, because then we would at least have the unbiased majority decision on policy.)

All that’s missing is a full onslaught of tv ads, or do I only think so because I can’t get US television? If the media don’t pick up their responsibility in this this won’t change any time soon. But will they? Do I have to mention that this is a billion $$$ market, well worth to extend beyond it’s two and four year cycle for the National Elections? So no, I don’t think they will.

THIS IS OUR OPEN THREAD, HAVE A GOOD SUNDAY AND JOIN THE DISCUSSION!

Watering Hole: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 – No Deal is Better Than a Bad Deal

I went to a rally on Saturday.  It was held in front of the local office of Representative Jim Gerlach (R).  He represents the Pennsylvania 6th Congressional District.  Of course, neither Jim nor his staff were there as they don’t work on weekends.  The Republicans in Congress want us to work until we are 70 years old before we can collect our Social Security retirement money.  On the other hand, they only want to work 1/3 of the year and still collect full pay and full benefits.

Rep. Jim Gerlach was re-elected in November and that is because he tells his constituents that he is a “moderate”.  That’s bullsh*t.  He is a placeholder for Republican votes and he votes as he is told to vote by the House Speaker, John Boehner.  Gerlach voted to dismantle Medicare and Medicaid yet the local press was silent about his vote.  His opponent didn’t have much money and he had a large territory to cover to get name recognition.  The media area is the greater Philadelphia area which makes it expensive to advertise.  Rep. Jim Gerlach refused to debate his opponent because he didn’t want anyone to know anything about his opponent, Manan Trivedi.  As for town hall meetings, they are held via the telephone because Gerlach does not want to be confronted by unhappy constituents.  Yeah, I’ll say it.  Rep. Jim Gerlach is a coward.

Enough of my rambling.  Here is a picture of the poster that I was holding.  H/T to Outstandinginthefield for the wording and thank you to everyone else for your good ideas.  I will hold onto those for possible use at another time.

http://i336.photobucket.com/albums/n347/paforchange/DontBeaGrinch.jpg

Live in your strength!

This is our Open Thread.  Speak Up!  Be heard!  Contact your House Representative!

(this is cross posted at Pennsylvania for Change)

The Watering Hole, Thursday, July 26th, 2012: The Tortoise Turtle is Hare-Brained

Not to insult any tortoises, turtles, or hares who happen to be reading this; because, honestly, most tortoises, turtles and hares are more intelligent and have more integrity than the subject of this post, but…

MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY-TURTLEWAX) IS A MANIPULATIVE, DESPICABLE, LYING AND YES, TREASONOUS, UGLY BAG OF MOSTLY WATER. (As Wayne would say: ‘There, I said it, and I’m glad.’)

Yesterday’s “Quote of the Day” in the Washington Post:

QUOTE OF THE DAY
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) defending his decision to drop the threat of a filibuster on a proposal to preserve tax cuts soley[sic] for the middle class:

“By setting these votes at a 50-vote threshold, nobody on the other side can hide behind a procedural vote while leaving their views on the actual bill itself a mystery to the people who sent them here…”

The Washington Post article states:

“McConnell acknowledged the unusual nature of his decision — Democratic aides could not recall another occasion when McConnell permitted a simple majority vote on a contentious issue. McConnell said his goal was to force vulnerable Democrats to support a plan to raise taxes less than four months before the Nov. 6 ballot.”

“By setting these votes at a 50-vote threshold, nobody on the other side can hide behind a procedural vote while leaving their views on the actual bill itself a mystery to the people who sent them here,” McConnell said.

Moreover, McConnell said, the tax bill cannot advance because it is a Senate-originated tax measure. The Constitution requires all tax measures to originate in the House.

“The only reason we won’t block it today is that we know it doesn’t pass constitutional muster and won’t become law,” McConnell said. “What today’s votes are all about,” he said, is “showing the people who sent us here where we stand.”

Yes, Mitch, it shows the people who sent you there that you stand against them, as poll after poll indicates that the vast majority of Americans are in favor of letting the Bush tax cuts for the extremely wealthy expire. Yeah, you show ‘em, Mitch.

According to a ThinkProgress article posted after the 2011 debt ceiling hostage debacle, “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) confirmed this fear [of Republicans holding the debt ceiling hostage] when he told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto that Republicans will hold the debt ceiling hostage in the future, saying this debate “set the template for the future”:

MCCONNELL: “It set the template for the future. In the future, Neil, no president — in the near future, maybe in the distant future — is going to be able to get the debt ceiling increased without a re-ignition of the same discussion…”

“Discussion”? That was no “discussion”, Mitch, it was a deliberate act on the Republican’s part to undermine both President Obama and the American economy.

The same ThinkProgress 2011 post continued, “The debt ceiling has been raised dozens of times in the past without controversy, including 19 times under President Bush alone. President Reagan increasing the debt ceiling by 199.5 percent during his eight years in office — more than any executive to date — while Presidents Bush, Jr. raised it 90.2 percent and Bush Sr. increased it by 48.0 percent.” Of course, as everyone knows, IOKIYAR.

According to DailyKos, the debt ceiling fight:

“…didn’t just hurt the economy or disrupt the economic recovery, halt job growth, and wreck consumer confidence. It also cost taxpayers $1.3 billion and counting, according to the Government Accountability Office [GAO].

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office said Monday that the $1.3 billion in costs came as the result of increased borrowing costs for the Treasury Department.

Ezra Klein at The Washington Post provided a link to the GAO’s “Analysis of 2011-2012 Actions Taken and Effect of Delayed Increase of Borrowing Costs.”

As a reminder to us all, this October 2010 ThinkProgress article quotes McConnell:

MCCONNELL: The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” McConnell added, “Our single biggest political goal is to give our nominee for president the maximum opportunity to be successful. …

Apparently nothing else matters to Republicans: if trashing the U.S. economy, rising unemployment (where are the jobs, Speaker Boehner?), and undermining the rights of citizens to vote will help “to give [their] nominee for president the maximum opportunity to be successful”, well, if the Republicans spoke French (horrors!), they’d likely say, “c’est la vie” – or, more appropriately, c’est la guerre.”

This is our daily open thread — ladies and gentlemen, start your discussion!

Sunday Roast: The GOP owns the US debt downgrade.

TalkingPointsMemo

The GOP and their teabagger buddies are entirely responsible for the S&P downgrade of the US credit rating, from AAA to AA+.  They took this country hostage over a routine matter of paying bills they ran up, and threatened to crash not only our own economy, but economies worldwide.

Why?  It’s very simple.  It’s because they are chickenshit opportunistic liars.

When the GOP is in power, all is right with the world.  Deficits don’t matter — just ask Dick “Dick” Cheney — and it’s their time to run up the bills on the great big US credit card.  Borrow and spend, that’s the GOP.  But when the GOP is out of power, the deficit becomes the biggest and most important emergency we’ve ever had, and people are too stupid to understand that the Democrats are just cleaning up the aftermath of yet another drunken GOP spending spree.

Hell, give me “tax and spend” Democrats any day.  At least the shit they’re spending money on is paid for.  The borrow and spend GOP happily spends money our grandchildren haven’t even been born to earn, and then gleefully proclaims that the Black Democrat Socialist Commie Nazi Stalinist Muslim President has run up more debt than any president in history.

Bitch, please.

Here’s what the S&P says about who’s responsible for the downgrade:

“[P]eople in the political arena were even talking about a potential default,” said Joydeep Mukherji, senior directior at S&P. “That a country even has such voices, albeit a minority, is something notable,” he added. “This kind of rhetoric is not common amongst AAA sovereigns.”

We all know that the S&P are a bunch of nefarious fuckwits, who enabled Wall Street’s merry joy ride with our national and personal economies, but since we were asking them a specific question about one event, let’s pretend like we should give them the benefit of the doubt.

Now, who are these “people in the political arena” who were “talking about a potential default?”  You know, the people who all of a sudden were just fine with not paying the bills they ran up, and letting the full faith and credit of the United States fall into a fucking sink hole?

Here’s a list:

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), May 18, 2011
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), May 19, 2011
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), June 24, 2011
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), May 18, 2011
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), July 13, 2011
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), June 26, 2011 — Hey, she wants to be president!
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), June 27, 2011 — He wants to be president, too!  Again!
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), July 13, 2011
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), May 16, 2011
Tim Pawlenty, July 15, 2011 — Another one who wants to be president!
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), July 18, 2011
Nebraska Senate candidate Jon Bruning, July 29, 2011

There are more, but you get the picture.

Oh look, they’re all Republicans/Teabaggers, but now they’d like you to think that those who were literally holding this country hostage — and will happily do so again — were President Obama and the Democrats. If it weren’t so sick and troubling, and if assholes like Mitch McConnell didn’t have their very own television network spewing bullshit to the idiotic non-thinkers in this country (no, I’m not linking to that trash), I’d be laughing my silly ass off.

Contrary to Republican/Teabagger “thinking,” things don’t stop being true just because it no longer suits their narrative or purposes.  We have to stop letting them get away with this shit.

No more being polite, no more taking the high ground, no more “both parties are at fault” fairy tales, and no more assuming that idiot America will look things up for themselves.  None of that.

Our media is worse than useless, they have become a destructive force in this country.  We are on our own, folks.

Repeat after me:  Republicans entirely own the S&P downgrade of the credit rating of the United States.  See above for a list of a few of the culprits.  Repeat often and loudly.  Don’t let anyone get away with saying anyone else had a hand in it — not even the President.

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, August 3, 2011: The end of the world averted!

Well, we all get to blame Obama for caving in and agreeing to 98% of Boehner’s demands. Boehner had the guts to destroy the entire world economy if he didn’t get what he wanted, and he succeeded. Obama didn’t want to see the entire globe fall into chaos, so he failed. Huh?

Life goes on, Social Security Checks will go out, the U.S. will keep its coveted AAA rating in the financial markets, for now at least. Seems like Obama achieved his goals, too. Maybe more so than Boehner. Let’s face it, Obama dealt with an enemy that advocated and rejoiced in the notion that it would hurt people. If Obama’s first and most important task is to protect the American People from harm, he succeeded.

But this episode proved, once and for all, that extortion by the rich WORKS! The rich didn’t give up one single tax break. They got 98% of what they wanted. And as long as there is a privleged class, they will continue to extort concessions from the rest of us. That is, until we realize we outnumber them, and that collectively, we have more power than they do.

***

A return to the “good old days.” That’s what the Teabaggers want. But it’s not the good old days of the 1950’s. Its the good old days of the 1850’s…the days of the Wild West.

In the Wild West, everyone was self-reliant. There was little to no government, and the 2nd Amendment Solution settled most disputes. Slavery was still legal, women couldn’t vote and knew their place, either keeping house or working at the brothels. The downtrodden victims of the industrial revolution, working for a pittance in dangerous conditions with no job protections had been left behind in the Eastern cities.

The gold rush, with gold for the picking, lay in the forefront. Vigilante justice ruled the land. (remember how popular the song “Beer for My Horses” was right after 9/11?)

Yes, the Teaparty wants to return us to the days of the idyllic past, the days of the Wild West, of rugged he-men with their 6-shooters, the days before the arrival of the Sheriffs and Marshals, the days where all the women are pretty, doctors made house calls, and wives and kids did everything the man of the house told them to do. The days when you could shoot someone you didn’t take a liking to… or just to prove you were a faster draw then he.

And, what the heck, doesn’t the new movie, “Cowboys and Aliens” prove that a bunch of rugged he-men with Colt 45’s can take on the most sophisticated technologically advanced enemy and kick their ass? Yeah. The Good Old Days. Too bad the Teabaggers don’t realize the Good Old Days were a creation of “liberal” Hollywood!

This is our open thread. What the heck, it’s Hump Day! After the vote on the Debt Ceiling, this day seems quite appropriately named, don’t you think?

The Watering Hole: Tuesday August 2nd – Where were you?

Listen again. It seems you have forgotten.

He said it wasn’t going to be easy. He said he needed you to help him bring about the change you voted him into office for. Americans where were you these last three years? Nagging about him not handing you the change you have envisioned on a silver platter? Weren’t you Monday morning quarterbacking decisions he had to make, because there was no support at all from you for any other way?  Didn’t you stand at the sideline when the so called Tea Party took over the public discourse and turned your Congress into a blackmailing outfit? You need to take your country back, for you are the majority, but you can’t stay out of the political struggle any minute longer. The Tea Party cannot and will not be contained, because they don’t accept that they are chosen by the people, they think they are answering the call of some higher power. They do not function the way politicians do. They, frankly, don’t care about your country. They don’t care about the human beings who make up you the People. All they care about is power and they know how to wield it. But in Democracy you the People are  the supreme power. No Deity, no President, no Congressman, no Senator. You are the supreme power. So live up to your responsibility already and fight back. The streets are just outside your front door. I refuse to believe it is too late.

Elsewhere: The people of Hama face tanks and machine guns to try and take back their country!

This is our open thread. Come on!

Some links to what Europe writes:

Der Spiegel
The Economist
The Guardian
The Independent

Watering Hole – Monday, August 1, 2011 – Philadelphia Freedom

Today is our 30 year wedding anniversary and we will be spending the day in Philadelphia doing the “freedom tour”.

For most of my life, I have lived in the southeastern part of Pennsylvania.  During all these years, I have never seen the Liberty Bell.  With the looming shutdown of our government due to its inability to pay the bills or the closing of government buildings due to the cuts, cuts and more cuts, now could be my last chance to get to Independence square and see some of the artifacts that are part of our nation’s beginning.  It’s anybody’s guess as to what will happen if the US defaults on its debt.  One thing for sure is that government employees would be laid off, seniors would not receive their Social Security checks, veterans would not receive their benefits, and nursing homes could close which would create more job losses.  Basically, more people will be out of work and there will be less money to spend and BUSINESSES WILL SUFFER.  Default is NOT an option.  Our bills must be paid.

This is our open thread.  I won’t be around today as I will be searching for freedom. You will need to Speak Up and do all the chatting.

Continue reading

The Debt Ceiling and the Line-Item Veto

As we approach financial doomsday with the current clash of ideologies regarding whether or not the debt ceiling should be raised, revenues increased and/or programs cut, one thing stands out that, to my knowledge has not been addressed:

The Line Item Veto.

There was an experiment with the line-item veto a few decades ago, I believe, wherein the President could simply cross out expenditures he did not approve of, and then sign the budget. It’s not constitutional.

But…

When the debt ceiling fecal matter hits the fiscal fan, the Executive Branch will be forced into a situation where it can only pay out as much as it takes in: i.e. we will have, by default (no pun intended), a balanced budget. WITH ONE HUGE CAVEAT:

THE PRESIDENT WILL GET TO CHOOSE WHICH BILLS GET PAID AND WHICH DON’T. Republicans will have essentially handed President Obama a line-item veto on a silver platter.

This author humbly suggests that all federal funding that flows to Republican districts have their funding stopped. After all, discrimination based on political affiliation does not violate the Constitution. The voters in those districts elected Republicans. Why not make them pay the price of their choice?

Republicans are handing over immense power to the President. Companies that contribute heavily to Republicans and right-wing PACs could suddenly see their federal contracts dry up on August 3. And there’s not a damn thing Republicans can do about it…except vote to extend the debt ceiling – on a clean, stand-alone bill.

Get Your Act Together! Now!

The Economist:

TODAY is July 19th. Two weeks from today, it will be August 2nd. On that day, or very soon thereafter, the Treasury will run out of room to use extraordinary measures to keep meeting its obligations without issuing any new debt. To avoid a default at that point, which most economists agree would be catastrophic, the Treasury will then need to slash spending immediately and precipitously—by about 44%. The process won’t be tidy; depending on what bills are coming due on a particular day, the shortfall will affect payments to state governments, public employees (including soldiers), payouts to entitlement beneficiaries, and so on. Absent an agreement to raise the debt ceiling, spending would be slashed by $134 billion over the month of August. That would represent a sudden fiscal consolidation of over 10% of GDP—enough, in all likelihood, to tip the economy into recession. And at some point, if no agreement were reached, default would become inevitable. (read all)

Anybody home in Republicanland? Are you sure you know what you’re doing? I am pissed. So, setting the economy on fire wasn’t enough in 2008? Want to blow it up one more time? A really spectacular blowup this time that destroys government, so Grover Norquist will love you all and rapture you into everlasting economic bliss, as promised for his true believers?

You know what? YOU ARE THE PITS!

Greek people go hungry, because your rating agencies saw fit to play monopoly with their assessments and caused the worst currency crisis ever. Hey, just a hint. If the agencies and banks thought Greece’s debt was a problem, why not stop lending before? Maybe because you could get top interest and then socialised your losses to a point where the beast you so busily starved can’t do anything to relieve you anymore? Now it’s time for bilking, eh?

Being able to eat to sustain yourself is by now considered an entitlement obviously in the US. We don’t want that over here, we don’t think like you do, we actually practise a Democracy on Christian principles of caring for our neighbour! Now you are about to present us with another economic crash three years after the last one, which we, using our socialist methods, mostly rode out fairly well. But we won’t be able to just right now. We can’t breathe anymore.

Corporate greed Republican-style caused the stock market crash in 1929 and gave the Fascists here the final push into government. With the most terrible consequences imaginable. In 1945 Europe was reduced to rubble.

This time around fascism rears it’s head on your side of the pond, the consequences may well play out on your soil. So be careful what you wish for. And don’t expect any help. We can’t, your style of capitalism has already stripped us clean.

You’re on your own.

The Watering Hole: Friday July 15, 2011 – Srsly?

The already shaky European economists are staring in disbelief, but fascinated, too, at the slowly unfolding trainwreck in Washington. Let us see what they say:

The Economist

“WE HAVE a system of government in which everybody has to give a little bit.” So said Barack Obama at the start of this week. But parse that sentence. Does the president mean that America already has a system in which everybody has to give a little bit? Or does he mean only that it ought to have such a system? It is not too much to say that the country’s economic well-being hangs on the answer. (read more)

More here and here and here

The Guardian

Move over Nero: legislators on both sides of the Atlantic seem as if they can hardly summon up the energy to fiddle while their economies burn. In Europe, a chronic lack of co-ordinated action early in the financial crisis means the very survival of the euro is now in serious doubt. In the US, the crisis is potentially more serious: if Republicans and Democrats cannot agree on a deficit reduction plan by the 2 August deadline for raising the debt ceiling, the world’s largest economy will be in default.(read more)

The Independent

Washington’s rancorous deficit-reduction talks resumed yesterday amid dire warnings from Wall Street and open rifts in the Republican leadership – but with no sign of a deal to raise the government debt ceiling and avert an unprecedented and potentially disastrous default by the United States government.(read more)

and

A dangerous game is being played by politicians in America. Republican negotiators are refusing to raise the cap set by Congress on the amount of debt the government in Washington can legally borrow. The United States hit its $14.3 trillion “debt ceiling” in May and the Obama administration has been juggling the finances since to continue to pay the daily bills. But on 2 August it will run out of room to do that. America will have to default on some of its due payments.(read more)

Meanwhile we Europeans have our own problems. So has Rupert Murdoch :D

This is our Open Thread, What do you think and what else is on today?

Raise the debt ceiling? That is SO 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, and twice in 2008..

I just love how Stephen Colbert slices through to the heart of any issue, and lays bare the absurdity, and the utter hypocrisy, for all to see.

From Colbert Nation:

Republicans show their Tea Party base that they’re against raising the debt ceiling, while reassuring Wall Street that it’s political theater.