Re: Assorted

1

Twitter gives you reactions to things without giving you the thing itself. For the first day and a half of that sandwich thing I assumed that everyone's nonsensical tweets about sandwiches were references to something Ted Cruz said in his fake filibuster.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:22 AM
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Sandwich Boy's head looks funny and she's really cute. She should probably find less of an asshole.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:23 AM
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On the shutdown, there's also this truly profound idiocy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:26 AM
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Oh god I used to live within earshot of the drum circle in the first link. I may have to rethink my feelings about the shutdown.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:26 AM
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"Not love," quoth he, "but vanity, sets love a task like that".

(Quote originally via Lord Peter, but I looked up the rest of the poem and it's rather funny. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173699)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:28 AM
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I love that park ranger so much.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:28 AM
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3: It's just a bad link. That's not very profound.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:28 AM
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In all fairness, Messily sent the link along in a timely manner, and I sat on it until I needed fodder.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:29 AM
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Think about it, though.

Or, okay. Here, fine.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:29 AM
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Overheard on the bus this weekend: an old man angry over the government shutdown suggests that we get rid of congress and the president altogether and appoint a king because "Look at England; they don't have any problems over there."


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:30 AM
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Also, the site is broken. It's the thing with the truckers taking over DC, okay? Here, have a working link.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:31 AM
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She's putting so much meat (often charred) in those sandwiches he's going to die of colon cancer before she gets to 300.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:31 AM
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The sandwich thing is about a book contract, not a wedding proposal. It's like you guys don't understand Brooklyn-based writers at all. She turned to him one day and said 'honey, make a retro masculine demand which will let me do a book proposal targeting the lucrative dating/recipe niche!'.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:35 AM
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12: Very few women live that long regardless.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:36 AM
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Also, every time the blog is featured on a site, positively or negatively, and people click thru to it, it generates traffic numbers that help her agent ask for more $ in the book contract. We should ask for a cut.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:38 AM
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Next Friday morning, 10:30.


Posted by: Opinionated Mohel | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:40 AM
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13 gets it obviously right, also democracy has failed and under Halfordismo it's "300 sandwiches, 300 bullets."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:40 AM
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an old man angry over the government shutdown suggests that we get rid of congress and the president altogether and appoint a king because "Look at England; they don't have any problems over there."

Indeed, intractable budgetary disputes between the executive and the legislature have never shut down the government of England.

Except that one time.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_money


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:41 AM
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I, too, am disproportionately enraged at the whole shutdown/debt ceiling thing. Then I think: This is the way progress is made! What if everyone got as mad as I am?

Then I realize that my question is answered by the link in 9, and I get depressed.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:50 AM
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My current shutdown related frustration is loss of access to the NIST and NIH websites. I need data to do a radiation exposure calculation and am stalled by not having it.

I predict that this will go on until it merges with the debt ceiling fight to become a Voltron of stupidity.

The thing that's keeping me up at night is the fact that significant numbers of Tea Partiers seem to think that a default would end up in net a good thing.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:51 AM
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I predict that this will go on until it merges with the debt ceiling fight to become a Voltron of stupidity.

Yep.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:54 AM
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I love that park ranger so much.

I cannot share your love. He looks like he's auditioning to be a stock photo model.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:57 AM
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5: Thurber did a very funny illustrated version of that poem.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:59 AM
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It's always been merged with the debt ceiling fight in the GOP's mind. They're not two distinct things at all, just one big lever of economic chaos they're tying to use to extract as much as they can from a government they don't control.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:00 AM
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22: I believe it's a she.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:01 AM
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Not that it matters hugely.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:01 AM
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At this point, it's close enough that it makes sense to resolve them together. (Not that 'makes sense' really applies to much of anything in this situation.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:04 AM
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Sandwich Boy's head looks funny and she's really cute.

Nah, it's just his head's at a different level from hers because he's taller, so the photographer has got her face on and him from under his chin looking up his nostrils. Bad or hurried photographers often do this.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:04 AM
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It's always been merged with the debt ceiling fight in the GOP's mind.

This is the dividing line between Boehner/establishment and the Tea Party, though. Or it was a week ago. Now it's blurring.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:05 AM
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26: I'm sure it matters to her. Or to him. But it's hard to tell from that photo. (Hard to tell whether the cop is male or female, that is. Not saying the photo makes it difficult to tell whether he or she cares whether he or she is male or female.)


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:07 AM
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My halfway(?) libertarian colleague shared someone else's Facebook post about how the shutdown shouldn't end until it forces Obama to withdraw the ACA. It described the ACA as a massive giveaway to rich insurance executives, and the shutdown as a strike back by the ordinary people against the 1%. I don't even.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:11 AM
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28: Maybe, but in movies, the guy with that hair will pretty much always be revealed as evil about ten minutes before the movie ends.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:11 AM
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Unfoggers, what is going to happen with all this shut-down nonsense? Is Obama going to cave? Are things going to go all Weimar? Will we turn into Greece? Or will every single aspect of the safety net be destroyed in one blow? I have been trying not to think about it since there's not a goddamn thing I can do, but I also recognize that anarchist theory does not have much to say about this particular circumstance beyond "we're all fucked and rich people will make lots more money", which is virtually universally true anyway and doesn't do much good. But you're clever and you know about policy and things. Should I be getting the last of the good times now because it's going to look like 1931 Berlin around here in a couple of months?


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:14 AM
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5: The Poetry Foundations 404 error page is cute.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:14 AM
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24: It sounds like since they themselves have not been that affected by the government shutdown that the badness of a government shutdown has been exaggerated. Ergo, the badness of default has also been exaggerated, and we should do it.

10: Not that I think there is any chance of it happening, but the default would be the perfect opportunity for a coup-minded President to seize power. Since the default puts not only the government's credibility but national security at risk, the President could "reluctantly" dissolve Congress with the backing of the army.

On the important issue of the day, PGD is completely right. The sandwich website is a con.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:15 AM
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Essear's colleagues are staggering to me. Even though I know perfectly well that having a high IQ isn't the same as being smart, they take that notion and completely torch it, stomp on it, run it through the shredder and then shit on it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:16 AM
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Unfoggers, what is going to happen with all this shut-down nonsense? Is Obama going to cave?

There will be a Grand Bargain - "we have committed to negotiations after the government re-opens." "We got them to commit to negotiations!" - that provides plausible cover to everyone. Each side will claim victory. The US public will only tune into those news organizations which confirms what they already thought. The economy and poor people will take a long-term hit, but the cause of the whole thing will be more or less forgotten by December.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:18 AM
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36: Yeah, they aren't even toilet-trained.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:18 AM
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There will be a Grand Bargain that provides plausible cover to everyone. Each side will claim victory. The US public will only tune into those news organizations which confirms what they already thought. The economy and poor people will suffer and the whole thing will be more or less forgotten by December.

Well, I sort of knew that. But how much of value are we likely to lose? And what in particular?


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:19 AM
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33. Depends who you ask. Bachmann is hoping to bring about the end of the world.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:20 AM
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And then post-opening, Obama will cave on disastrous cuts to social programs, to show he meant it when he said he'd negotiate.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:21 AM
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Unfoggers, what is going to happen with all this shut-down nonsense?

Like the sequester, the partial government shutdown will become the new normal. They might, for show, open a few national parks, the same way the government of North Korea runs a subway system between two stops in downtown Pyongyang to put up a face of being a civilized nation that has such things.

They might also open up a little bit of the NIH so that those kids can get into a cancer trial. But they won't open up enough to actually do meaningful science. Togolosh will not get his data.

The lucky and talented members of unfogged will manage to get jobs overseas, perhaps at Narnia National University. The rest of us will live out our lives as subsistence farmers in the ruins of a once prosperous nation.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:21 AM
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Every now and then, we will hear a whisper in the trees: ssssssssexxxxx mutommmmmmbo and we will all flash our titties in solidarity.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:22 AM
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Miley Cyrus will helicopter in and broker an 11th-hour agreement.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:26 AM
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I think we may end up with a crisis in the house where Boehner is removed as speaker, but where no person is able to get elected as the new speaker.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:27 AM
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I'm counting on James Baxter to save the day.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:29 AM
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45: And everyone will drown in his tears?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:29 AM
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Miley Cyrus will helicopter in and broker an 11th-hour agreement.

Here's a story of a man named Boehner
Who was busy with a Tea Party of his own...


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:32 AM
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The Constitution doesn't actually require the Speaker to be an elected member of Congress. Maybe they could all compromise on Vinny Testaverde or holographic Tupac or somebody.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:32 AM
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Boehner is the Continental Empathaur.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:32 AM
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I'm not sure at what point in 42 I started exaggerating.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:33 AM
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My halfway(?) libertarian colleague shared someone else's Facebook post about how the shutdown shouldn't end until it forces Obama to withdraw the ACA.

Ah yes, the famous presidential power to withdraw duly enacted legislation.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:34 AM
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52: Because freedom.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:34 AM
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49, see 18.1. Prince William has just left his RAF job and so presumably has time on his hands.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:36 AM
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ACA, the Good Parts. because fiscal responsibility. (I actually don't think that is where it goes--chained CPI and some other cuts targeted at the poor and non-voting notable only for their viciousness and irrelevance to the overall fiscal health of the country.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:40 AM
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54: No! Prince George!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:41 AM
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49: Unfortunately, the NFL rule do specifically say that the placekicker can't be a mule.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:44 AM
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I'd been thinking the House would cave, but now I think we have to go through the ceiling first. Just to see what happens. Maybe it'll be like Y2K or something . . .


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:45 AM
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It described the ACA as a massive giveaway to rich insurance executives, and the shutdown as a strike back by the ordinary people against the 1%

This is the McManus line isn't it?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:45 AM
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54, 56: "The chair recognizes the representative from South Dakota."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:46 AM
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61

O can't cave, because he can't put O-care into the Grand Bargain negotiations without looking even weaker than he is. It really is better for him to find out what happens when we hit the ceiling than it is to make enough of a deal to get the House to relent.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:46 AM
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This is the McManus line isn't it?

What?! Are you calling mcmanus a secret republican who tries to troll left-wing blogs by pretending to be leftier-than-thou? I never.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:47 AM
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If I'm reading 37 correctly, I agree with it. There will be a clean continuing resolution and debt ceiling increase, and the only concession will be a "commitment to negotiate." The actual concession will just be a House-Senate conference to agree on a budget. The sequester cuts will be locked in to the resulting budget, but the only additional concession will be to repeal the medical device tax.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:48 AM
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63: And Obama will have to make Boeher 300 sandwiches.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:49 AM
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Does the speaker have to be alive? Or can they elect Reagan to be speaker?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:52 AM
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That Boehner is so retro-scandalously naughty!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:53 AM
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I bet Ted Yoko and the rest of the maniacs would give up just about any substantive concession in exchange for making Sarah Palin the House speaker.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:53 AM
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Unfoggers, what is going to happen with all this shut-down nonsense?

My highest probability guess is that nothing happens -- the Republicans sign a clean continuing resolution (at sequester levels) and raise the debt limit without further concessions. Next likeliest is that Obama blinks, and gives up some necessary remaining part of the welfare state (messing with inflation calculations for Social Security and similar is what I've been reading). And third most likely is that something really weird and destabilizing happens, but I don't have any specific ideas about what that would be.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:54 AM
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I think 61 is right, which is why the whole situation has gotten to where it is. 63 is probably right too, but the question of *what* is on the table to be negotiated is significant and I don't think funding of "Obamacare" will or can be. The biggest fear is that this gets used as a further step towards our old buddy the "grand bargain" of slashing and burning entitlements. Which I do think at some level Obama is still attracted to, and I don't trust him at all on those issues, but ....

...It' s interesting, I heard Harry Reid on NPR this morning use the same "Lucy and the Football" metaphor that I think was a circa 2005 Daily Kos phrase attacking complacent Congressional Democrats. I think that after years of the Republicans being controlled by insane people with whom there is no dealing it is finally starting to dawn on the DV democratic elite, many of whom still seem to be living in the 1990s, that the Republicans really are top to bottom insane and can't be dealt with and, more importantly, shouldn't be dealt with. I guess we'll see.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:04 AM
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"DC"


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:05 AM
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I guess that wasn't too clear. I think most of the DC Democratic elite knew by the 1990s that the Republican base was insane. But they thought they could (a) cut deals with the R leadership and (b) create a permanent majority for themselves by preemptively moving to the right in fiscal issues. I think they all realize (a) doesn't work now, and I'm hopeful that more are starting to see (b) as both bad policy and bad politics.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:12 AM
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Village culture has always been obsessed with the grand bargain. I guess I had my ah-ha moment on this in the run-up to the impeachment, when everyone in DC and their dog was talking about some sort of negotiated compromise that would punish but not remove the president, when a blind man could see that there was no way such a deal could be struck. After the failures of Bowles-Simpson and the Supercommittee, it's as obvious that the current configuration can't make a deal either. (That's not to say that they can't kick the can 6 weeks down the road, but what's the real point in that?)

I'd bet that the DC press, and various diaries, from the late winter of 1861 are filled with expectation that some group of wise men or another was going to work out a deal.

I'll admit that if Vladimir Putin is made Speaker, then a deal might be in the works.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:14 AM
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Have we kicked around this football yet?

http://www.salon.com/2013/10/06/tea_party_radicalism_is_misunderstood_meet_the_newest_right/

The Tea Party not as insane ideologues but rational southern white elites defending their social position in a nasty anti-democratic way?


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:15 AM
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61 is true, but I think the bigger issue is that Obama's people realize that the 2011 debt ceiling negotiations -- praised by the idiot deficit scolds -- put a loaded gun in the hands of a mood-swingy drunk. The idea is that if Obama offers Republicans anything other than rhetoric (forming a bullshit supercommittee or adopting the McConnell process for the debt ceiling wouldn't count, but even waiving the medical device tax would) this time there will eventually be default, because any time the party that doesn't control the White House has a lock on one branch of Congress, there will be hostage-taking and eventually someone will shoot the hostage.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:21 AM
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Yea. I'm starting think there will be at least a default of some sort.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:25 AM
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I was going to post the link in 73, I think it's great.

The liberal proclivity for saying opponents are 'stupid' or 'insane' is annoying to me, it's bad politics and signifies a dangerous complacency.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:26 AM
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If you truly wanted to kill off the New Deal/entitlement state a debt default is an excellent way to do it. Post-Reagan and stalemate on taxes (a stalemate ratified by Obama agreeing to make most Bush tax cuts permanent) the entitlement state is fundamentally dependent on government borrowing to make it work. There is actually nothing unsustainable about that, but a willful debt default cuts off borrowing capacity.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:28 AM
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I would be okay with some small compromise (repealing the MD tax) if it were in exchange for eliminating the shutdown risk and debt ceiling altogether, so no opportunities for blackmail in the future. I doubt that's in the offing, obvs.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:31 AM
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Now that most Pentagon people have been returned to work, pressure to end the shutdown has been greatly reduced. This same thing happened with the sequester -- it would have been unsustainable had cuts truly been applied across the board, but there was not the will to do that from the opponents of the sequester hence you got these deals that made it possible for the sequester to continue. The same may happen with 'shutdowns'.

Just as a debt default strikes at government spending capacity, a combination of sequester/across-the-board discretionary cuts and unpredictable 'shutdowns' is perfectly tailored to destroy the regulatory state. Once certain essential day-to-day services are preserved, the people hit hardest will be the people who make long-term regulation and enforcement work.

The tea party folks have a good set of levers to cripple government and I'm not sure why they let go of them. The default however is quite dangerous, more so than the sequester/shutdown combo.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:33 AM
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It would indeed be ironic if the budget 'compromise' included the deficit-increasing repeal of the MD tax.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:34 AM
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I don't see why "insane ideologue" and "rationally protecting the interests of well-off (especially Southern) white men" can't both be true at once, that's pretty much the 175 year history of the American right.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:35 AM
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There is actually nothing unsustainable about that, but a willful debt default cuts off borrowing capacity.

Except that the world economy functions from the cycling of U.S. debt.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:36 AM
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I meant there was nothing unsustainable about continued U.S. government borrowing into perpetuity.

A debt default may or may not lead to economic catastrophe and hence 'unsustainability', it will do significant damage for sure but it really depends on how extended and severe it is. There is not another asset out there which is totally risk-free either. I suspect there will be a spike in commodity prices.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:38 AM
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82: The Tea Party has convinced itself that the government brings in enough money to continue to pay bondholders. If Obama chooses to pay them rather give Grandma her Social Security, that's on him, apparently.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:40 AM
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73: No, they're insane. They make terrible tactical decisions that fail to advance their goals. Right now they have a lock on the House probably until 2020. They could ensure inaction, and kill the economy in ways that would help them in 2016 without leaving their fingerprints on the body. Instead they're maneuvering the government into a position where he it has to either a) fail to pay interest on the debt, b) fail to pay the military, c) fail to pay Social Security recipients, or all three, and in a completely visible public fashion. When the crisis hits, Obama is in a position where he has to choose which law to break, which means he gets to choose which law to break. If he plays it right, he could be hailed as a hero, and the Tea Party hold over the Republican Party completely broken.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:43 AM
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The liberal proclivity for saying opponents are 'stupid' or 'insane' is annoying to me, it's bad politics and signifies a dangerous complacency.

Really? This annoys me. Stupid and insane (and racist) are the correct descriptions to apply to the Tea Party and other extremists. Who happen to be my opponents because I am smart, sane, and not racist.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:43 AM
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85; 86: The people aren't insane in the sense of being mentally ill. Their expressed positions are, um, irrational? In some cases cynically, in other cases self-deceivingly?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:46 AM
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Then their sane goal is to be as cruel as possible?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:47 AM
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I think there is a values difference at play and you have to highlight it and bring it into the debate. Saying 'you're nuts, you're stupid' is just a way of not engaging in debate. It doesn't really work for convincing undecided people as you are implicitly insulting them for any feeling they have that a right-wing argument has some surface plausibility.

It is however also true that many in tea party seem to be extremists who appear willing to inflict significant damage on the country to get their way. That has to be made clear too.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:51 AM
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88 -- Right. They're playing from a different value system than you.

Was Pickett's Charge insane?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:53 AM
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Was seceding from Union insane?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:55 AM
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I think there is a values difference at play and you have to highlight it and bring it into the debate. Saying 'you're nuts, you're stupid' is just a way of not engaging in debate.

But it's not just a values difference (which would be about different ultimate goals). When people call rightwingers crazy and stupid, it's because their stated political positions often depend on things that are objectively false as matters of fact, and there's got to be some way to identify that as a characteristic of, e.g., Tea Party arguments. "Crazy and stupid" makes it sound as if it's something inherent in the people rather than in the stuff they're saying, so that's not a good way of talking about it, but it's a real thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:56 AM
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The thing that's keeping me up at night is the fact that significant numbers of Tea Partiers seem to think that a default would end up in net a good thing.

Right. Generally, hostages are only worth what you can trade them for, but Republican opinion is divided as to whether it's possible to get any ransom that exceeds the value of shooting the hostage. It's a very dangerous situation.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:57 AM
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90.2: Several hundred yards uphill into rifles shooting from behind cover? Insane, again, sounds like a diagnosis of mental illness, but I'd say Pickett's Charge was in some objective sense a bad decision, regardless of the values of the people who carried it out. If your values are anything other than a deathwish, that's no way to serve them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:59 AM
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95

Josh Marshall's dismissal of the platinum coin pissed me off- he has several paragraphs about how the 14th amendment will create a "junk" class of US bonds whose repayment is doubtful, then throws in:

So sure you'll buy the treasuries that the US government has been selling and making good on for over two centuries since they come with the full faith and credit of the United States of America. But how much will you pay for the ones the President says he's behind but part of the Congress doesn't? Same with the platinum coin. Even more so with cockamamie ideas about paying some people and not others.

"Same with the coin" is an argument? It's a totally different circumstance- they don't have to sell any bonds, they just keep sending out checks to people who are owed money. Is he arguing that bank account balances and cash are also going to be two tiered depending on whether they were paid pre or post coin? That's impossible, money is money.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:00 AM
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Still, people name Dodge Chargers after General Lee and hardly anybody remembers General Meade.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:01 AM
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I think there is a values difference at play and you have to highlight it and bring it into the debate. Saying 'you're nuts, you're stupid' is just a way of not engaging in debate.

The key value at stake is whether being nuts is okay.

I mean, sure, you can plot PR strategy if you like, but just between you and me, they're fucking crazy.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:01 AM
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94: Well, there's a big difference between saying the other party makes objectively bad decisions and saying that they are insane.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:01 AM
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Sure, but it's not a values difference. Secession is a values difference. Pickett's Charge is a huge mistake, regardless of what values you're serving.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:04 AM
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Obviously calling people "idiots" can make people, or their sympathizers, defensive, but I do think there's a value in affirmatively stigmatizing the Tea Party types as beyond the pale, so that it becomes deeply and affirmatively embarrassing to be a supporter, so that low information folks just get the vague conviction that they're stupid monsters without having to think about it too much. That's not about rational persuasion and doesn't work as direct persuasion but it helps create a stigma, and that's important. I want someone like Essear's colleague to feel like that it is personally and professionally damaging for him to be a quasi-libertarian.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:04 AM
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It doesn't really work for convincing undecided people as you are implicitly insulting them for any feeling they have that a right-wing argument has some surface plausibility.

Saying "you're cruel" and "you are operating from white supremecy and sexism" doesn't insult them for right-wing sympathy?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:05 AM
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92: yes, but I am skeptical about the ability to establish a ground base of 'objective fact' from which political debate can begin. By the time you get to a real policy choice values are just too wrapped up in it. E.g. It seems pretty damn close to fact that anthropogenic global warming is going on. But a very policy-relevant question would be: will current U.S. voters benefit by adopting restrictions on carbon emissions that are of the magnitude necessary to make a difference if adopted globally? This is not a question where the science gives us a factual answer, there are massive/unpredictable uncertainties involved and your values play a central role in choosing in the face of those uncertainties. Opponents of action cast doubt on any AGW as a political tactic, and that is indeed a lie, but it is just a thin screen on the broader doubt on whether action is justified. (Proponents of AGW action often downplay potential short-run costs as well...you will never ever hear a prominent political supporter of carbon controls praising higher gas prices).

Also, I have not seen a lot of outright lies in the debt limit debate.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:07 AM
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Secession, right or wrong, was a terrible tactical mistake.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:10 AM
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but I am skeptical about the ability to establish a ground base of 'objective fact' from which political debate can begin. By the time you get to a real policy choice values are just too wrapped up in it. E.g. It seems pretty damn close to fact that anthropogenic global warming is going on.

So we can't call Tea Partiers stupid because the media can't do its fucking job?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:10 AM
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100 Yeah, I'm on record with that sort of thing wrt Naderism.* I don't think it's particularly effective, though, especially in a society as self-segregated as ours has become.

* And even more so with the fall of 2010 'don't bother to vote, there's no chance it'll change the outcome and you need to show Obama you're not his bitch' caucus.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:13 AM
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But are tea party types really crazy in the sense that their tactics will lead to outcomes they themselves would disapprove of? I think many of them consider themselves or are well insulated from the effects of a further economic slowdown or a cutback in the entitlement state (although some clearly don't understand their dependence on Medicare, they are actually right that health reform gets some funding through Medicare cuts, and rolling back HC reform would not hurt and might even benefit current Medicare recipients).

They clearly put a high priority on politically transforming the country, and radical steps will do that. Is it insane to have an ideology and be willing to take risks to execute it? If you can make the majority understand that they don't share that ideology then yes, you can move them 'beyond the pale', and that may be of more lasting benefit than tarring some particular individuals as insane or whatever.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:15 AM
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Opponents of action cast doubt on any AGW as a political tactic, and that is indeed a lie, but it is just a thin screen on the broader doubt on whether action is justified.

But that lie is what gets you the surface plausibility. The sincere difference in values is "Who cares if the world burns, rich people will be fine regardless." And those aren't popular values, they're just popular among people with enough media clout to sell the lie. Joe Average Tea Party doesn't particularly have a values difference with you or me, he has different factual beliefs.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:15 AM
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102: It's wishful thinking that there's some attitude we can take that will make a difference. This is what it's like to be at the mercy of the impersonal titanic forces of history. The best we can hope for is that we're not crush by them, and the Tea Party is.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:16 AM
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And of course where I am vague and confused, LB already has the correct and nuanced view. Sometimes I hate you, LB.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:18 AM
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Listen, I think it is fucking crazy to believe in hell. Yet there are many, many people walking around me who do, and I can't distinguish them from other people. People maintain all kinds of crazy beliefs.

Tea Partiers are contorting themselves mentally to maintain their full set of beliefs, which includes: {I am a nice person; I want to help people who deserve help; I don't want good people to suffer} and also includes {must destroy social programs; my SS check does not come from government; brown skin terrifies me}. They are crazy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:19 AM
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I wonder if PGD, who is a devotee of libertarians, would just prefer not to be called insane. Which, if that's the case, is not an insane position to hold. Having said that, the time seems to have come, as Halford and others have noted upthread, to call out movement conservatism, in all of its guises, for what it is: a death cult that must either be put to the flame or allowed to bring the country to its knees.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:19 AM
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What are the odds that the government never fully reopens? Partial government shutdown becomes the new normal the same way never passing a budget, filibustering everything, and the sequester have become the new normal. Every month or so congress votes to send out paychecks for the past month to the "essential employees."


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:21 AM
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a death cult that must either be put to the flame or allowed to bring the country to its knees

This is a line that should really be delivered by Charlton Heston in a tunic and a heavy coating of oil.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:22 AM
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Also, secession was pretty crazy, yes. But it was also, in context, totally understandable. Just as this current crisis is, in context, totally understandable. People with power have been telling themselves pernicious lies for a very long time. Many of those people, and their followers, now believe those lies. And, at the same time, another group of people with even more power don't care if the lies are true or not, as they believe they'll become more powerful in the ensuing chaos regardless. Good times!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:23 AM
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112, see 42 and 51.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:24 AM
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(Proponents of AGW action often downplay potential short-run costs as well...you will never ever hear a prominent political supporter of carbon controls praising higher gas prices).

On the contrary - the only serious estimates of the costs of carbon control come from the folks who want to control it. Most of the harm done by carbon taxes is done by many other sorts of taxes, too. Now you can pretend that we don't need to have taxes, but that's not a sensible position to take.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:25 AM
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Secession might have worked. There's probably plenty of us willing to give it a new hearing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:26 AM
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But are tea party types really crazy in the sense that their tactics will lead to outcomes they themselves would disapprove of?

We're now quibbling over the definition of the word "insane." Some of us think of Lex Luthor as being insane, but would you settle for us calling him "fucking nuts" instead, since a more colloquial expression removes the clinical implications?

If not that, can we at least agree on "assholes who lack a clue about the history and role of government?"


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:31 AM
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112, 115: I think the odds are strong that many important functions of government do not survive this shitstorm.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:37 AM
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112: I think this is unlikely -- that there are too many federal functions that aren't acutely a problem over a period of weeks, but that would become acute over months. If that happened, it'd be in my 'hugely destabilizing' category, not ordinary awfulness.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:37 AM
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Joe Average Tea Party doesn't particularly have a values difference with you or me, he has different factual beliefs.

I don't think these two things - facts and values - divide this neatly. Epistemology is, itself, value-driven. Climate science and global warming denial are positions held by people with different values.

In addition to being fucking nuts, Joe Average Tea Party has shitty values.

I'm pretty sure I'm not splitting hairs here. You can't discuss "What's the Matter With Kansas" without discussing values.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:39 AM
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I mean right, I feel like there is some definitional weirdness going on here. Was Stalin an "insane ideologue"? Yes. Was he someone who was "really crazy in the sense that their tactics will lead to outcomes they themselves would disapprove of." Mostly, no (also, all of us at least unintentionally use tactics that create outcomes we disapprove of, so that can't be the definition of insanity). I don't really think this is a fruitful debate.

I personally think that the Tea Party "ideology" such as it is is both insane, evil, and a disaster for the country, its members are crazy nutjob asshole ideologues, and I also that most of them are not clinically insane, may be interpersonally very pleasant, and that many of them are acting at least in some sense to preserve their own self-interest (even if that self-interest is not strictly rational but nothing more than "keep enough money in my pocket to keep power away from the blacks and poors") I don't see much inconsistency there, people can be all of those things at once.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:40 AM
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So what will happen to ongoing NIH research? (I'm onboard with the "shut-down is the new normal" explanation.) What about people who actually are mid-project right now? Is it likely that basically the NIH will just disband, all current projects will stop, etc?


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:41 AM
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123: Great. I wasn't worried before.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:45 AM
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121: Well, this is sort of right. People have different beliefs on AGW because their different values on other issues lead them to trust people who are telling them lies about AGW. But their different policy beliefs about AGW are driven by the lies, not by different values that directly pertain to AGW-related policy.

You can't say it's all factual disagreements, but you can't make sense of the value disagreements without taking the bad factual beliefs into account. Some Tea Party type might be opposed to a carbon tax because they're racist, but the chain of causation isn't "I am racist. Carbon taxes will tend to damage the cause of white supremacy. Therefore I oppose carbon taxes." It's more like "I am racist. So I listen to media sources that make me comfortable with my racism. Those same media sources are owned by people who oppose carbon taxes, and who lie to me to about AGW. Therefore I believe AGW is a hoax and carbon taxes are unnecessary."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:47 AM
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124: See, I work in an office that supports research. No NIH funds, no reason for our office, no reason for my job. Unemployment is dished out by the states, right?


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:47 AM
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I think NIH is pretty popular, and also has strong allies in industry. I doubt that Congress could kill it.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:49 AM
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We are talking right now about an NSF grant that was nominally due today. I guess we'll finish it, you know, sometime. Doesn't seem that urgent.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:49 AM
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I work in an office that gets NIH funds to pay indirects to support offices that support research. Also, to do research.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:49 AM
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"AGW" is actually an area where I think there is a reasonable hope for reaching out to lots of conservatives, particularly Christian religious ones (though not if we keep using that acronym!) but not tea party types, who have basically convinced that government intervention in the economy is ipso facto evil and have taken that principle to a level of fundamentalist belief. There's no hope of convincing those folks on the facts, the only hope is making everyone else realize what fuckfaces they are.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:53 AM
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Well, this is sort of right.

That's really all I was shooting for. You want "actually right" you need to read Krugman:

It has been obvious for years that the modern Republican Party is no longer capable of thinking seriously about policy. Whether the issue is climate change or inflation, party members believe what they want to believe, and any contrary evidence is dismissed as a hoax, the product of vast liberal conspiracies.
For a while the party was able to compartmentalize, to remain savvy and realistic about politics even as it rejected objectivity everywhere else. But this wasn't sustainable. Sooner or later, the party's attitude toward policy -- we listen only to people who tell us what we want to hear, and attack the bearers of uncomfortable news -- was bound to infect political strategy, too.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 11:57 AM
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I wish OMB had figured out a way to make the shutdown happen in such a way as to inflict minimal pain on the most dependent on government services while shutting down stuff that's highly visible to middle class voters. There's a TSA slowdown, but things like Customs are running almost normally. I'm glad the Defense contractors got to go back to work, but it sucks that the message being sent is that they are a more critical function than food inspection.

I also think that new normal can't really be gauged yet. We're only a week in. Paychecks will be missed next week for the furloughed feds and contractors. The national lab system will run out of reserve money. Contracting firms have announced they'll start layoffs/furloughs this week. Schools will start closing. The National Mall is turning into a trash heap, maintained only by DC's "essential" streets and sanitation department as a favor to the Feds.

I've heard it suggested (by a scientist on one of the committees) that this round of NSF grants might be entirely scrapped in favor of simply doing all reviews next quarter. Apparently, last time, rescheduling took eight months, and it would have been faster just to roll applications over. Gotta like those odds of being funded.

So very depressing.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 12:21 PM
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If I had to guess, I'd say that government shutdowns will not become routine; I think there's still a high political cost to screwing around in such a visible way. However, I am a bit worried that after this shutdown, the Republicans might make a big push to privatize those parts of government that weren't shown to be "essential."


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 12:32 PM
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I'm glad the Defense contractors got to go back to work, but it sucks that the message being sent is that they are a more critical function than food inspection.

Doesn't the government send that message with every single budget?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 12:36 PM
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134: Isn't most of a defense budget equipment (R&D, maintenance, etc), not staff? A quick search doesn't show breakdowns that separate out payroll. I mean, of course warmaking gadgets are more important than people. We need those F-35s, cost be damned. Your larger point is absolutely true, but if I were picking 50K people to send back to work, that might not be where I'd choose. (I do understand the constraints and agree with the decision to liberally interpret the rules.)


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 12:50 PM
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Inspired by this discussion of how the "other side" thinks, I checked the front page of NationalReview.com, and there's shockingly little coverage of the shutdown. The categories of their top articles are, going down the page, "The Left", "The IRS Scandal", "Education", "Pop Culture" (a Miley Cyrus article), "Economics", "Culture Watch", "Culture Watch", and finally "Obamacare & the Shutdown". I guess even NR finds the House Republicans' behavior hard to defend.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 12:58 PM
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Oh, this reminds me that I really should have asked the daycare we toured this morning at what point they'll run out of funding for food if the shutdown continues and I didn't think to because who would? Fuck.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 12:58 PM
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"When do you expect the children to resort to cannibalism?"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 1:09 PM
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In my experience, daycare has enough biting that cannibalism would a small extension of usual practice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 1:14 PM
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torrey pine may have won the disaster prediction sweepstakes. A multistate salmonella outbreak and no CDC to track it.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 1:49 PM
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torrey pine may have won the disaster prediction sweepstakes. A multistate salmonella outbreak and no CDC to track it.

Ugggh. But thanks for the link, the story is interesting.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 1:55 PM
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"Who is profiting from the shutdown?" seems like a conspiratorial question. But, "is anyone profiting from the shutdown?" seems like a naive question. So I'm not sure which to ask. But I'd like to know the answer to the question.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 2:16 PM
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142 -- I don't know who is, but I am thinking that there might be a day coming that I'd want to move my 401k to cash.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 2:22 PM
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Back to the sandwiches in the original post -- obviously PGD is right that it's a book deal. But I'd be entertained if it had a Scarborough Fair punchline, where after 300 sandwiches, he asks her to marry him, and then she comes up with a yearlong project for him before she says yes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 2:32 PM
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144: He could say, "Sorry! I know thiis is unforgivable, but I'm sick of sandwiches now, so I don't want to marry you. Also, I've fallen in love with a pastry chef."



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 2:37 PM
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144 is totally how it should end. PSYCH. I get three hundred sandwiches and you get an unenforceable contract, sucka.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 2:39 PM
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Also, I've fallen in love with a pastry chef adopted a no-grain paleo diet


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 2:42 PM
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Honey, for the 301st sandwich I want you to be the filling.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 2:56 PM
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I guess that could also go along with the cannibalism comment.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 2:58 PM
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Back to the sandwiches in the original post

Given the iconic nature of "sandwiches" in the current context, I'm thinking that if their book is successful, then the publisher will commission similar books titled "pick me some cotton" or "make me some egg rolls."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 3:03 PM
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But I'd be entertained if it had a Scarborough Fair punchline, where after 300 sandwiches, he asks her to marry him, and then she comes up with a yearlong project for him before she says yes.

He can only eat parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme for a year.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 3:04 PM
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Sudo buy me a diamond ring.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 3:05 PM
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143: Dollars or other?


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 3:06 PM
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149: Right. He thinks "blow job" until the air hammer is against his forehead.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 3:07 PM
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"is anyone profiting from the shutdown?"

If the Fed maintains or increases QE and loose money, Finance. As usual some parts of Finance more than others. But basically Finance benefits when there is more money(s) circulating through the system relative to commodities-services-wages.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 3:10 PM
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And the "default" won't be DEFAULT, as in Argentina. We aren't writing 2 trillion dollars in Chinese and Japanese held treasuries down to zero. Argentina really didn't either.

Most people are expecting, if we miss some rollover or interest payments...a flight to US treasuries, because cloudy with chance of meatballs, overseas they fly to the safest haven.

The mechanics of the instantaneous electronic money markets will supposedly get all fucked up, but it would take a fuckton of catastrophe to damage the dollar, or the global googletillions in circulation in any short term.

But hey, thrill to the latest DC Shock Therapy Show. You've been programmed to salivate when the Parties tell you to.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 3:23 PM
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143, 153 -- I'm open to suggestions.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 3:24 PM
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Counterintuitive as it seems, I'm going to recommend against bitcoins.

I gather that most people think local currency is a pointless exercise, but has anyone had good experiences with it? I remember getting some units of the local "hour" in my hometown (not Ithaca) and going to buy cat food from the friendly pet store that accepted one quarter hour per $10 purchase or something. I thought: fifteen minutes of human labor have been transformed into six ounces of cat food? I couldn't do it. (Strictly speaking the cats -- but also the labor -- belonged to my ex, which may have been part of the issue. I'm not a pet person.)

I haven't followed the development of urban barter systems, but I assume recent attempts have been made...


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 3:48 PM
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So my little brother calls to wish me a happy birthday, and, since he's in finance, we end up talking about this plan. I'm thinking/hoping he'll talk me out of it, but I end up talking him into it.

He suggested maybe buying some vix, but that sounds too sophisticated for me.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 3:51 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 3:53 PM
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How about holding matching inverse ETFs? E.g. SPY and SH.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 3:59 PM
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62 => 156.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 4:00 PM
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|?

Democrats Selling Committee Chairs in writing

Under the new rules for the 2008 election cycle, the DCCC [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] asked rank-and-file members to contribute $125,000 in dues and to raise an additional $75,000 for the party. Subcommittee chairpersons must contribute $150,000 in dues and raise an additional $100,000. Members who sit on the most powerful committees ... must contribute $200,000 and raise an additional $250,000. Subcommittee chairs on power committees and committee chairs of non-power committees must contribute $250,000 and raise $250,000. The five chairs of the power committees must contribute $500,000 and raise an additional $1 million. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Majority Whip James Clyburn, and Democratic Caucus Chair Rahm Emanuel must contribute $800,000 and raise $2.5 million. The four Democrats who serve as part of the extended leadership must contribute $450,000 and raise $500,000, and the nine Chief Deputy Whips must contribute $300,000 and raise $500,000. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi must contribute a staggering $800,000 and raise an additional $25 million.

Uniquely among legislatures in the developed world, our Congressional parties now post prices for key slots on committees. You want it -- you buy it, runs the challenge. They even sell on the installment plan: You want to chair an important committee? That'll be $200,000 down and the same amount later, through fundraising.....

The whole adds up to something far more sinister than the parts. Big interest groups (think finance or oil or utilities or health care) can control the membership of the committees that write the legislation that regulates them. Outside investors and interest groups also become decisive in resolving leadership struggles within the parties in Congress. You want your man or woman in the leadership? Just send money. Lots of it

These are the good guys?

In other news, Tony Gatlif is really good. Also Reis Celik, because I feel weird watching too many French movies.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 4:20 PM
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Intellectually, I understand that humans do not even try to use language to formulate sentences to correspond to how the facts lie. Most of what people say has more to do with signaling what tribe they are in.

I watched a little bit of the racist nonsense on Fox last week. The anchor says, "Everybody knows that the US is broke". I happen to know that Paul Krugman - to cite one example of somebody who can add - doesn't think that. But notice this lie isn't a factual dispute about who is right about government debt. It denies the very existence of any disagreement.

What is the effect of years of this sort of lie? In many circles, if you say no problem exists with SS, doesn't that just brand you as odd?


Posted by: Robert | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 4:32 PM
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Nice - Yellen is in!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 4:35 PM
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165:Nominated. But good news.

164:

With these differing locations come different rules and objectives. The ideologist, in the site of politique, is explicitly concerned with the creation of politics, whilst the philosopher is occupied with the study of politics.

Freeden suggests that ideologies are tied to power and to particular social groupings (1996/98:22-3), which implies that ideologists place solidarity before criticism and thus risk 'disfiguring' themselves as intellectuals. Methodologically, ideologies are less exacting than political philosophies, which emphasize demonstration rather than assertion and rationality rather than emotion.

"In sum, ideologies mix rational and emotive debate freely. They will be more hasty in ending discussion if rational persuasion proves inconclusive. They will be less thorough in pursuing the detailed implications of their arguments. After all, ideologies have to deliver conceptual social maps and political decisions, and they have to do so in language accessible to the masses as well as the intellectuals, to amateur as well as professional thinkers. This free mix of reason and emotion is intolerable to many philosophers, who do not regard emotive reasons for an argument as good ones. Put plainly, for them a non-reflective argument is not an argument." (F)

(Freeden 1996/98:30

Goto-Jones, Political Philosophy in Japan, about Nishida Kitaro between the wars.

Back to the Muramachi population optimum


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 4:56 PM
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144: Ugh a cliffhanger for a sequel?


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 5:16 PM
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The lucky and talented members of unfogged will manage to get jobs overseas, perhaps at Narnia National University.

Maybe I'll apply for a job at the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre in Hong Kong. I met a guy who teaches there and I was jealous when he gave me his business card. Run Run Shaw!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 6:11 PM
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Congress will fuck up the debt ceiling standoff like they fucked up the sequester. In the hours after midnight, Obama will issue some kind of executive order ensuring that all debts continue to get paid. For this, the House will impeach, but the Senate will not convict. Things continue to be a muddle until the next election, when Democrats take over the House. A budget is finally passed in late January, 2015.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 6:17 PM
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58: I'd been thinking the House would cave, but now I think we have to go through the ceiling first.

I'm actually not seeing this going all the way to default (which, to be clear, wouldn't be just on the nation's debt payments but to any number of other creditors).

I'm inclined to give credence to whomever expressed the view not long ago that Boehner has refused to violate the Hastert rule over a clean CR in order to save it up for extending the debt ceiling, should he need to. I kind of buy that he really doesn't intend to refuse to bring a clean debt-ceiling bill before the House floor, should it come to it. Never mind his blathering about how there aren't enough House votes to pass such a thing. Hogwash. Whether there are enough votes to pass a clean CR is arguable; not so with the debt ceiling.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 6:25 PM
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I don't buy any theories that involve Boehner having a plan for anything more than a few hours in advance.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 6:39 PM
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Continuing: it's not even clear that Boehner would lose his Speakership if he did such a thing.

Other things are going on in the background that bring pressure to bear on Tea Party (and by extension other) House Republicans: in at least a handful of Tea Party-represented states, already there are efforts afoot to float primary challenges to the Tea Partier *from the 'moderate' middle*. This counters the wild-eyed threats aimed at 'moderate' Republicans that they'll be primaried from the right. The counter-efforts from the middle gain strength the longer shutdown goes on. Public sentiment is measurably turning away from Tea Party identification. The full reporting on dear Rep. Ted Yoho, he of the 'We won't be disrespected, we must gain something, don't know what that even is' fame, says that he has any number of constituents telling him he sucks.

Also, recent reporting on the roll-out of the ACA in Kentucky - their state-based "Kynect" system - says that while there's been a great deal of misinformation distributed to the populace, even that conservative state of Kentucky (home of Sens. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell) finds many, many citizens totally psyched about the ACA.

I don't know how much power the cabal of conservative/libertarian groups that's been pushing for the current state of affairs is (cf. NYT recent article). That's what it comes down to, it seems to me.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 6:50 PM
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So I'm thinking that this doesn't go past Oct. 17 to a debt default.

What's the current situation with the Republican wish for a Supercommittee now? That's to be convened and finish its business before Oct. 17? and the gov't will continue in shutdown mode until a decision is rendered?

This will go down in the Senate, and the House will then seque to insisting on establishing a Supercommittee *after* agreeing to increase the debt ceiling -- uh, with a rider that a Supercommittee be convened afterwards. I don't know what happens with the shutdown.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:02 PM
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It's Rep. Ted Yolo.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:03 PM
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I had a good idea! Let's get the Tea Partiers (professional politicians edition, at least) to get beamed back up to their mothership. I think the sooner the better on this one.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:07 PM
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172.3: I think the pre-planning on Kynect was pretty good and from what I hear, people who've used it are happy with it and are mostly finding what they wanted if they were actually going into it looking for coverage. KY is sort of complicated on the red/blue front since local Democrats often do well and the governor is one and so on, but obviously the senators are insanely red in the non-communist sense.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:08 PM
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I taught the 1852 and 1856 elections today -- among other things -- and I found myself thinking, again, that it seems increasingly likely that we're in the relatively early stages of a political realignment, and that a new partisan landscape is the drastic outcome that I can most easily see emerging from this whole debacle.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:09 PM
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The 1856 Election was muttering antisemitic stuff whenever your back was turned.


Posted by: Opinionated 1852 Election | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:12 PM
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Yes, I know LB will be annoyed if I change pseuds, but I'm not sure I can help myself.


Posted by: HaHa Clinton-Dix | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:16 PM
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That's kind of a great pseud except it makes me think of Lord Haw Haw.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:18 PM
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177: Yeah, I've been thinking that too, but with much less professional expertise. How do you see the realignment unfolding? (That is, do we win?)


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:21 PM
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177: I've thought this for awhile, but I don't think I realized until recently how close we are to it and how far we've come.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:22 PM
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"finds many, many citizens totally psyched about the ACA."
Yeah, but they hate Obamacare- ACA must be what they replaced it with as part of the repeal and replace thing.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:23 PM
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yes, semantics can be interesting.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:33 PM
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172: Yolo was the "defaulting on treasury debt would stabilize global markets" guy.

The "I don't even know what that even is" guy was Stutzman.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:33 PM
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Or, Von Wafer, to spare you having to repeat the whole whole lecture, here's my specific question: the political alignment of the 1850s was caused by the failure of the Whig party, right?, but now it seems like both parties are failing. Or, at least, that there are urgent problems facing us (increasing inequality, global warming, the loss of US pre-eminence) that neither party is capable of grappling with. And that seems more chaotic than the 1850s.


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:40 PM
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I haven't yet read through the comments, just skimmed the thread, and this may have already been covered, but: where are the pro-business, pro-corporate, banker's stripes Republicans in all of this? Are these denizens of Wall Street really willing to default on the debt? Do they not fear a potential financial catastrophe? And are they really so powerless in the face of the Tea Party?

(Sorry, LB, but I really really want to change my pseud to something more pseudonymous).


Posted by: Just Plain Jane (formerly MC, but not *that* MC) | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:48 PM
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It seems hard to out-chaotic the politics of the 1850s.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:49 PM
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177: Wafer, did you see this WaPo Wonkblog post on what's wrong with our current governmental system?

Look past the silly "13 reasons why" headline: it's not a bad overview. It doesn't go to secession; it's not focused that way.

Honestly, the news about that Right-Wing Truckers Rally in DC (see Tweety's link upthread at 11) made me more concerned than ever. We already have more and more people shooting things up. And there was a self-immolation. In DC. Uh.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:51 PM
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Rye Kooter is available.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:53 PM
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How do you see the realignment unfolding? (That is, do we win?)

It has already happened, at least w/r/t electoral college math. The impossible uphill climb the Dems faced as recently as 1988 (the last time California went Republican) has been completely inverted. Depending how you count, Dems have at least 200, arguably as many as 250 EV's sewn up - not even realistically contestable in a normal election year. There are multiple paths to 270 that don't require winning a single state in the South. Most of that shift is sheer demographics; I can't remember who it was who pointed out that Dukakis would have won with the racial composition of the Obama electorate.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:53 PM
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And there was a self-immolation. In DC.

Pennsylvania is the tops at other-immolation. I don't know why.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:56 PM
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Is 191 Von Wafer? Because I'm looking to hear from Credentialed Historians.


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:59 PM
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188: if the 1850's taught us anything, it is Massachusetts is the rightful moral tutor of the nation, and white South Carolinians* are not to be trusted.


*except maybe for alameida


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 7:59 PM
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183: Yeah, but they hate Obamacare- ACA must be what they replaced it with as part of the repeal and replace thing.

Absolutely!

I just hope everyone has seen the Jimmy Kimmel live interviews segment on this.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:00 PM
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195: not not the lesson of the 1640s through 1840s inclusive.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:02 PM
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185: Oh, sorry! Shoot. Messed that up.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:02 PM
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OT: I just saw a former co-worker on Boing Boing. I'm mildly amused.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:05 PM
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So I've been dealing with my rage and despair about national politics by doubling down on the local, indulging myself in exhaustively researching the candidates for Cambridge City Council. (Also, did I mention I'm on sabbatical?) It's an embarrassment of riches, one upstanding young master of public policy after another, but, Sifu, I was wondering whether you and Blume had any thoughts.


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:08 PM
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You used to work with Ross Ullbricht?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:08 PM
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198: you neglect that interlude in the 1770s when Mass. and SC were BFF's as the most radical revolutionaries.

Because I'm looking to hear from Credentialed Historians

I'm not even going to let on how wounded I am by that.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:08 PM
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202: dunno; one dude keeps writing us hand-written notes and trying to buy us food and arranging for adorable toddlers to show up on our porch, so I like him. Also he claims he's going to solve the rent-to-damn-high situation, which I don't believe but which is a nice idea in theory.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:09 PM
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Rye Kooter is available.

I'm afraid I'm booked solid through till next spring.


Posted by: Opinionated Rye Kooter | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:11 PM
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I repented after posting, Knecht. I realized that I wanted someone to keep singing the sweet, sweet song of electoral inevitability, no matter who.


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:11 PM
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200: Scroll down a bit more until you see a woman with one of those artist plates. It's the woman in the fifth picture down.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:12 PM
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What a bright-eyed young technocrat with refreshingly masshole-proletarian educational bona fides!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:15 PM
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Okay, Sifu, either you're joking or you're describing Jeffer/son Sm/ith, who is so touchingly earnest and sweet and awkward that he would totally buy you food. They all claim to be for more affordable housing, which, obviously quixotic, but Smith's particular platform is bicycles and pedestrians, which might appeal to you.

Oh God, now I'm campaigning for him in comments boxes--and I've already asked for a sign for my lawn!


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:17 PM
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208: not joking. He keeps leaving us handwritten notes and inviting us to receptions with food. And one of his door-knockers had a three year old along to make the pitch.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:18 PM
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Cross-posted, Sifu, but you're going to vote for him, right? He's so. . . wouldn't you be proud if he were your son?


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:19 PM
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He seems like an awfully nice fellow. I bet his grandma is just tickled at how hard he's working to help people.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:22 PM
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And not to belabor this (although really, I encourage everyone here to distract themselves from the debt ceiling by focusing on the Cambridge city council), but what about Le/land Ch/eung? When he lived in Virginia, he ran for something as a Republican; now he's cagey about party affiliation, but supports curbside composting and the clerical workers' union. Do we punish him or reward him for this?


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:23 PM
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I've never much liked him, but couldn't pin down why for you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:24 PM
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You smelled the Republican on him.


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:24 PM
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Although apparently he did a DJ battle against the Boston city councillor I went to elementary school with!? I may be softening.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:25 PM
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187: where are the pro-business, pro-corporate, banker's stripes Republicans in all of this? Are these denizens of Wall Street really willing to default on the debt? Do they not fear a potential financial catastrophe? And are they really so powerless in the face of the Tea Party?

Just Plain, there's what's related in 172.2, that the business wing of the Republican party is launching efforts to primary Tea Party office holders. In some states. I read recently -- but this is remembered vaguely -- that Wall Street is overall switching its allegiance to the Democratic party, but this is anecdotal as far as my reading goes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 8:25 PM
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Dinner tonight: two American physicists and two European(ish) ones. The Europeans tried to patiently explain to us that it was obviously impossible for the US to default on its debts and obviously all this political grandstanding will be resolved and the country will continue to function. The Americans, not so confident.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:23 PM
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That sounds about right.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:25 PM
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Also, I keep receiving emails from people wanting to apply for postdoc jobs and wondering how many openings we're going to have next year. It's looking more and more like the answer will be "zero". Maybe some wealthy donor will decide to fill in what the NSF and the DOE aren't likely to do? Science by patronage worked for centuries, I guess.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:26 PM
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This is an issue of, to borrow from Weber, instrumental vs. value-oriented insanity. If your goal is to destroy the US and world economy and institute functional anarchy in the US, then defaulting on the debt and shutting down government is a rational way to bring that about, given the current system, and far more effective than, say, attempting a violent coup. In that sense, the Tea Partiers are very sane. Where the insanity lies is that destroying the US and world economy as we know it is an insane thing to wish for. In other words, the Tea Partiers means will bring about their ends, but their desired ends are completely bonkers.

The liberal proclivity for saying opponents are 'stupid' or 'insane' is annoying to me, it's bad politics and signifies a dangerous complacency.

You must also be the author of that Slate article arguing that arresting Golden Dawn members in Greece was a bad idea, because pressing criminal charges against violent, murderous neo-Nazi thugs set a bad precedent for democracy.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:43 PM
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The beautiful thing about one party being completely untrustworthy is that you can be lazy like me and just not pay attention to much of what's said and comfortably stay on the right side of history.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:51 PM
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When the Republicans completely implode -- I give it to December -- I will start having to pay greater attention to political writers. This may result in reading more tedious things, but it may not, as most of the tedium comes out of the kind of contentless bullshit which seems to stand for the idea that obvious subtext should replace all other forms of thinking. I doubt it'll make the passage. So the times will be interesting.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 9:55 PM
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The Ezra Klein piece linked above was actually quite decent though. I will probably give it a closer read later. Thanks for the link, parsimon.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:03 PM
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Did I fart or something?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:12 PM
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186: someone has probably already answered this, but in the end, both parties failed. The Whigs blew to pieces over various issues having to do with slavery and the territories, and the Democrats ended up eating themselves from within (see the 1860 election), and becoming a sectional party, for many of the same reasons -- and also because of political economy -- for decades afterward.

As for how this ends this time, I have no idea. I'm bad at predicting the future -- and only marginally less bad at predicting the past. That said, I think the Democrats have already experienced something like a realignment and will, increasingly, look to the West for growth. This is why I've been so incredibly pessimistic about gun regulations at the national level. Turning to the Republicans, right now they appear to be in truly deep shit. I suspect the upcoming Supreme Court decision on campaign finance is perceived by elites in the party as something of a hail mary. The hope must surely be that if the Court opens the door to truly unfettered spending, the money men will be able to regain control of the party apparatus. That seems far-fetched to me, but I'm not sure what other hope they have.

Does that mean the Democrats will win? Only if you think victory for this iteration of the Democratic Party represents winning. I have pretty grave doubts. But as I never tire of telling myself, voting for the lesser of two evils, in a two-party system, is the less evil thing to do. Folk songs, bitchez!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:24 PM
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Sorry, I should have said that a) I haven't kept up with the thread, so I apologize if I've just repeated things that other people have already written; and b) I washed down several pain killers earlier this evening with two large glasses of wine, so I'm pretty much incoherent. I'm having to concentrate very hard to type. Which is to say, I haven't the first clue what I'm talking about at the moment!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:26 PM
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I haven't kept up with the thread, so I apologize if I've just repeated things that other people have already written

Don't worry, you haven't. 224 is very interesting and sounds right to me.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:37 PM
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226: well, good. I think I'll have another Vicodin and a third glass of wine.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:47 PM
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Sounds like a plan.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 8-13 10:48 PM
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WHY HAS THIS DISCUSSION NOT BEEN ABOUT HOW THE 300-SANDWICH GROOM IS GAY?
225 to 226: well, good. I think I'll have another Vicodin and a third glass of wine.
this is nearly always an extremely sound strategy, but don't vikes have acetaminophen in them? they shouldn't. people can get liver poisoning that way, it's just dumb. and codeine and vicodin often make you feel queasy. it makes people think they don't like opiates. you do, trust me! you'd like percodan, or demerol or morphine or oxycontin or something just fine. they don't make you queasy...hang on, well, technically they'll make you puke, BUT it will be a passing urge, easily satisfied, causing you no distress whatsoever, and you don't just go on and on feeling barfy. big difference.

168: here in narnia we also have a business school named after founder and billionaire hong kong property magnate li ka-shing. I love it, it's like: "get paid, motherfuckers! ka-ching!"

194: probably not, really, totally, when you get down to it. I have problematic morals that include insanely high standards of duty to in-group members and sometimes not the best to other people. except ripping off poor people is just shitty, and I wouldn't do that. I never reported my neighbors to the police for running what the fuck ever business out of their home all night long with commercial trucks in the driveway, so fucking loud, at 2 a.m. that's because I just...wait, that's not about how rich they are, I realize; that's just infinite unwillingness to narc anybody out for anything, ever. because I hate cops. (except gswift.)


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 12:06 AM
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WHY HAS THIS DISCUSSION NOT BEEN ABOUT HOW THE 300-SANDWICH GROOM IS GAY?

We were waiting for you to show up and kick things off.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 12:09 AM
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The hope must surely be that if the Court opens the door to truly unfettered spending, the money men will be able to regain control of the party apparatus.

Charles Koch is not a money man?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:16 AM
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What I find hard to understand about this is the passivity of ordinary Americans. Why are there not hundreds of thousands of people in the streets of every major city with pitchforks, howling for the blood of the Tea Party?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:21 AM
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Why would there be? None of this has affected the everyday life of the vast majority of Americans to any significant degree. (Yet.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:25 AM
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229. No, sorry. Don't like opiates. Haven't tried heroin, but morphine, while an excellent pain killer is a crappy recreational drug. Codeine likewise. I've smoked opium, and it just sent me to sleep without any interesting dreams.

People are wired differently. Mrs y can't get high on cannabis.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:26 AM
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233. The Tories haven't actually made the health service here unusable for most people, but there are still mass demonstrations against their attempts to.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:28 AM
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235: There's nothing comparable in the US, though. Most people just don't have any direct contact with the federal government on a regular basis, and most of those who do deal primarily with programs that are unaffected by the shutdown.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:31 AM
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That said, a shutdown is one thing; a default would be something else entirely, and I think most people don't realize how big a deal the consequences would be for everyone.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:35 AM
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When you've got one of their most prominent spokespeople gloating about how she's helping to bring about the end of the world, you'd think people might get a clue.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:44 AM
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235: I think this is a genuinely weird thing about the modern US, and its a big reason why the oligarchs have such a free hand.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:48 AM
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Fairly sure Republican congress people count as terrorists under much of the post 2001 terror legislation.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:52 AM
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240. Probably true, but I'm not convinced indicting them is the correct move at this point. You need to spend energy working up your own base first to make that work, and that is the one thing the Dem establishment flatly refuse to do. They make Ed Miliband look like an activist by comparison.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 2:02 AM
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Yeah. The Milliband of 2013 has shown more balls and opportunistic nous than the entire Democratic party.

Re:219

Textbook M'Naghten!

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/M'Naghten_rules

(Most Chthulhu fhtagn named legal principle)


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 2:12 AM
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238: I went and looked this up and blimey. Bachmann, of course. How can people look at this headcase and not think that she needs medical help?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 2:20 AM
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The weird thing is that they seem to think that a) the whole shutdown/debtceiling stramash is no big deal because **handwave** "prioritisation" or something and also b) it's their ultimate nuclear blackmail bomb. Mike Konczal did a post asking various VSPs what they thought and it was just a mass of cognitive dissonance:

http://www.nextnewdeal.net/rortybomb/what-are-conservative-experts-saying-about-breaking-through-debt-ceiling


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 3:31 AM
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And I have to ask, what is happening in these peoples' heads?

"Said Joyner: "There's no way our Republic can last much longer. It may not last through Obama's second term. There are a lot of people who feel that it can't. That there are forces right now that are seeking to undermine and to destroy the Republic. There's almost a glib and almost a joyful disregard of the Constitution and belittling of the Constitution. We can't make it without that. It's our foundation, our moorings. We're headed for serious tyranny...

I mean, I realise they think the ACA is a big deal, but it was duly passed by Congress and mostly endorsed by the Supreme Court in a decision written by a Chief Justice appointed by Bush.

And apart from that, the Obama presidency seems to me to have been characterised by extreme boringness and mixture-as-beforeitude. Certainly nothing that threatens to affect the republic one way or another. So am I missing something, or are they simply delusional?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 4:07 AM
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Hmmmm. His website says he worked for Deval on bicycle and pedestrian issues, a policy arena in which Deval was notably undisappointing. What's his position on killer robots?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 4:10 AM
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I'd say there's something ironic about a person saying that the only solution to the Constitution being disregarded is a military takeover, but I guess that's pretty standard fare.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 4:23 AM
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|| Good news: US preparing to cut some (but not all) aid to Egypt.
http://edition.cnn.com/2013/10/08/us/egypt-aid/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
|>


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 4:28 AM
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Sorry, teo (and I know you won't see this for hours), but 236 is wrong. It's not that they have no contact with the federal government, it's that they don't recognize the programs as federal. Drive on an interstate? Own a home? Went to college with loans? Don't have poor elderly family members living with you? Check the weather report? WIC serves 53% of infants born in the US. I agree that most people haven't seen shutdown effects, but they most certainly benefit from a number of federal programs (and like them!).


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 4:31 AM
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234: this is legit. in fact, I have a whole "what's your drug type?" theory. there would be 'cosmopolitan magazine'-type questions and then it would say "mostly a's: you are an over-acheiver, and should try cocaine, or possibly meth!


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 4:35 AM
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245: Racism, mostly, but they used to think Clinton was going to roll the US into some black helicopter-patrolled, UN-controlled megacountry where they'd need to mount an armed defense of the Constitution in their militias. It's not really new.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 4:35 AM
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237: Or they think it will be a big deal in the good, ritual purification sort of way.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 4:44 AM
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250: Awesome. You could make it reversible, so you start off with the drug and it tells you what other choices to adopt to suit.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 5:01 AM
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219: You must also be the author of that Slate article

That is a seriously bullshit argument, of the type:

I feel the same way about opinion X and opinion Y.
You hold opinion X.
Therefore, you must hold opinion Y.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 5:02 AM
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253: The drug may do that unaided.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 5:02 AM
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252: I find the notion of a simple plan to get rich based on a US T-bill default a bit like a plan to insure against thermonuclear war. It's possible they haven't grasped the whole "not one stone standing on the other" risk, but then your argument is that Everyone Who Matters Is With Them All The Way, which doesn't fit with being a bunch of Newsmax-ad rubes.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 5:03 AM
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Here are some things that are true about Republicans as a party and American right-wingers as a movement:

They are liars, more than normal for politics. They don't just make insincere promises, they make shit up when the facts are inconvenient.

They have bad values. They don't seem to care about the well-being of the vast majority of Americans, much less humans in general.

They are the party of resentment. A lot of people vote for them because they are racist and don't like social programs that a certain "them" can benefit from.

They are happy to loot the country for the rich, at the cost of permanently damaging the institutions that created all that wealth.

Aren't these true things bad enough? Why do we have to resort to less obviously true descriptors like "insane"?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 5:11 AM
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Why do we have to resort to less obviously true descriptors like "insane"?

Brevity.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 5:14 AM
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258: "Evil", "liar", and "looter" are each as brief and more precise.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 5:46 AM
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Blorch. I hate days when you wake up to find everything going badly, but there's nothing for you to do but go through your daily routine. My niece fell off a piece of playground equipment and broke her humerus right above the elbow. Mom describes her as in "a lot of pain." Also the government is falling apart and soon no one I know will have a job anymore.

Blorch. Blarg. Arglesnatch.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 5:46 AM
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Because they are also insane. For reasons they can't really articulate they are about to blunder into an action that may quite possibly destroy their ability to be evil, lie, and loot forever. They're a bunch of incompetent boobs that have only gotten as far as they have because it just so happens that intransigence was the winning strategy.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:05 AM
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260: If you're a Republican, you could break some other little girl's arm and feel better.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:08 AM
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Yeah, Walt is right, of course. On an individual level every GOP rep might be sane (this is not true, but bear with me) but the party as a whole is apparently incapable of acting in its own (national electoral) interest and unable to coherently explain why it does anything. "Insane" seems like a perfectly good way to describe it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:19 AM
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So okay, basically if we "go through the debt ceiling", pretty much every social program and all research is dead forever, right? Because we all know that it's easy to smash a policy or a program and insanely hard to rebuild. Isn't that what the hard-core Republicans want? We'd be left with the military and maybe some Social Security spending and we'd have to cut food stamps, federal employment, the EPA, NIH - all the stuff that they hate and think should not be done at all or should be done by corporations. Plus there'd be an enormous reserve labor army of desperate people. And rich folks will always be able to hire security and send their kids to private school and so on. Loss of 32% of government spending sounds like a conservative dream. What if they're not nuts? What if this is actually the plan? What if this is basically a coup?

I would be totally, totally okay with someone convincing me otherwise, but defaulting sounds like a really great way to achieve core Republican goals.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:32 AM
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Most left-of-nutso commentators I've read are pretty much in agreement that it's a coup. Where they differ is on whether it'll work. Most of them seem to think not, but I'm unclear why.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:35 AM
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Actually, never mind - let's admit that I'm chronically anxious, rational explanations aren't going to help and I think I'll just be in constant freak-out for the next ten days. There's probably no amount of rational hand-holding that will help, but thanks for the various comments in the thread so far.

I'll be in the corner huddled over a strong drink.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:37 AM
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I get to vote in the election to replace Markey next week- I assumed Brownsberger was the default establishment choice, but is Sciortino any good, ad with his tea party dad aside? I mean, at this point generic Dem is pretty much all that matters.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:38 AM
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the party as a whole is apparently incapable of acting in its own (national electoral) interest

Playing devil's advocate here, because I'm not sure I believe it myself, but there is an argument that the tea partiers are deftly playing a weak hand (whether by accident or by design is another question, but bear with me).

Here's the basic situation from the tea party perspective. You are in functional control of the Republican party, but the party's position is weak and getting weaker (at least to the extent that the GOP remains true to your agenda and forebears to expand its appeal to rising demographic groups). Thanks to gerrymandering and efficient distribution of votes, the GOP has pretty firm control of the House for the next couple of election cycles. Thanks to the malapportionment of the Senate, you have at least a decent chance of taking control of the Senate in one of the next three election cycles.

So there is a decent chance of controlling both Houses of Congress and enacting your agenda. Except that the White House eludes you. Even under poor economic conditions in 2012 your party didn't come close to 270 electoral votes. Short of rigging the game (e.g. by eliminating winner-takes-all in Dem states and retaining it red states), your prospects are not getting any better in 2016 or 2020. And don't even think of "winning" by nominating a squishy moderate, because that game is not worth the candle.

Under those circumstances, it could be rational to go for broke. The debt ceiling extortion gambit arguably has a higher expected value than the alternative of politics as usual (where the expected outcome is you will never get an opportunity to enact your radical agenda and save America from the hordes of takers and darkies). First, there's a small but non-zero chance that Obama caves - all at once or in stages as you lather-rinse-repeat. Second, even if Obama stands firm and the economy goes over a cliff after a default, economic chaos could reshuffle the deck enough to give you a chance of winning the presidency in 2016. Sure, there's the risk of blowback in Congressional elections, but that's a chance you take for your only real shot at regaining the White House with a Real Conservative®.

I'm not convinced this is right, but it's not obviously wrong AFAICT.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:47 AM
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264: No, going through the debt ceiling doesn't mean anything like that. It takes an act of Congress, signed by the President, to repeat the EPA, food stamps, the NIH, etc. If we hit the debt ceiling, it means that Obama has to pick which law to break -- Congress has ordered the executive to spend money, but given the executive no means to raise that money. At the moment it sounds like that the Treasury thinks its legal responsibility is simply to pay the bills as they come due. They have suggested they have neither the legal authority nor the ability to choose who to pay.

265: It's not a coup until they cancel the 2014 Congressional elections. If the Republicans successfully destroy the US government and its ability to pay, and they get re-elected in 2014, then they deserve to win.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:47 AM
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I think that may be broadly correct. This is all or nothing. The risk of blowback is also in the state elections. I wonder how many governorships are going to switch to D in 2014?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:49 AM
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270 to 268.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:50 AM
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Most of them seem to think not, but I'm unclear why.

Me either. If you factor in the theory that the GOP has more or less stopped caring about winning the presidency and is content to just sabotage the federal government while focusing their vote suppression efforts on holding power at the state level, 264 seems spot on.

I suspect we're approaching the point where Obama is going to need to declare a constitutional crisis, assume emergency powers, and tell the House to go right ahead and impeach him, followed by fucking themselves.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:51 AM
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Kwnda pwned there.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:52 AM
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269: But if the government is basically shut down indefinitely, de facto we will not have the EPA, food stamps, NIH or any of that stuff for...years, right? With the accompanying economic chaos? And if the incredibly depressing scenario in 268 comes to pass, the Republicans will just repeal all the EPA/NIH/food stamps laws, right?


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:53 AM
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I wonder how many governorships are going to switch to D in 2014?

That was going to happen anyway because of mean reversion four years after the 2010 wave. Maybe if the GOP blows up the economy, they will lose a few more, like Michigan and Ohio.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:57 AM
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Obama is going to need to declare a constitutional crisis, assume emergency powers, and tell the House to go right ahead and impeach him, followed by fucking themselves.

Then they capitulate, and then after the dust settles, Obama offers to cut food stamps in order to soothe them.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:57 AM
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272.3: That's why they're insane. They're creating the Constitutional crisis. The existing laws become contradictory when we hit the debt ceiling.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:58 AM
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Shape of the earth? Permanently and unnecessarily ruining your currency's status as the global reserve? Views differ!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:58 AM
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||

"Damn you" autocorrect doesn't really cover it.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:01 AM
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He must have the black version of the iPhone.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:03 AM
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What if they're not nuts? What if this is actually the plan?

If that's their plan, they are definitely nuts.

I know this issue has been hashed out a lot on this thread, but I think this is a very succinct statement of the argument.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:04 AM
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279. Stet.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:10 AM
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279: Y'know, I'm even surprised that autocorrect has that in its vocabulary.

I'm always very curious about the learning algorithm for autocorrect. Are there certain words that it's not allowed to learn? Or are all combinations of letters learnable?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:13 AM
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Thank you, SP, for returning this to Cambridge politics! I'm voting for Sciortino because instead of saying, "I want to work for jobs and families and choice and blah, blah Democratic pablum," he's saying, "I want to go to Washington to fight the Tea Party." Everything else aside, I think we need to reward that messaging.

The establishment choice seems to be Clarke, and she's ahead in the polls right now, but, pablum. As for Brownsberger, apparently he supports the Keystone pipeline?


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:14 AM
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274: The Tea Party power to shut down the government rests on an incredibly narrow base. 20 Republicans in the House get spooked, and it's all over. These are not -- despite their self-beliefs -- Randian supermen. When the stock market drops 1000 points in two weeks, the whole thing falls apart.

If the Republicans go for broke, they're going to lose business to the Democrats. It's already starting to happen -- the Washington Post had an article the other day about districts where business leaders were recruiting candidates to primary Teahadis from the left. If they actually deliberately crash the economy -- and default could prove to be a bigger shock than the Lehman crisis -- then this will look good to business leaders everywhere.

And, on top of that, in case of hitting the debt ceiling Obama has two separate maneuvers -- he can ignore the debt ceiling, or he can issue the platinum coin.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:17 AM
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When the stock market drops 1000 points in two weeks, the whole thing falls apart.

Yes! Obamacare falls apart! The world will agree that it is tyranny! Unanimous repeal!


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDPA | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:19 AM
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Teahadis

This is intentional, right? Only there should be a t on the end?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:20 AM
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Does "demented" work better for you, Benquo?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:21 AM
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287 was intentional, but now I can't tell if I misspelled it. Like "jihadi".


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:25 AM
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I was just being slow on the draw. I could only think of "jihadist".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:26 AM
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It's quaint that business leaders think they can successfully beat an incumbent tea drinker in a primary. Especially if, after a mere 1,000 point drop, Boehner has caved. It was the TARP, after all, that got a lot of these folks going. (Along with the Kenyan Islamosocialist, of course).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:30 AM
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This situation reminds us of the dangers of monarchy. Sure, sometimes you have a visionary ruler who benefits from taking the long view. And sometimes you have one who wants to spend 80% of GDP on digging holes in the ground, or renominate the currency to be based on multiples of seven. Things like a debt default happen all the time. Statistically, people with Ted Yolo's view that the bond market wants the government to default on all its bonds would take the throne semi-regularly.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:34 AM
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Y'know, I'm even surprised that autocorrect has that in its vocabulary.

More likely it was the fact that N is adjacent to B on a qwerty keyboard.

Are there certain words that it's not allowed to learn?

Sort of.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:35 AM
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283: I don't think there's any particular reason why it'd be limited, unless there's a specific small blacklist for cases like this. For a while I was using a flashcard app to learn Latin and so I ended up with my phone learning a lot of short words with macrons over the vowels. It was perfectly happy to autocorrect to those.

This feels like the technological equivalent of frequently saying a bad word in front of your small child or parrot and having them repeat it when your boss or in-laws come over for dinner. Just in front of the whole world.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:36 AM
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235: I think this is a genuinely weird thing about the modern US, and its a big reason why the oligarchs have such a free hand.

Well, also, we don't have a parliamentary system, which means that mass demonstrations don't do much good.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:37 AM
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My phone is obsessed with Princess Diana. It often tries to correct Do to Di (typically at the beginning of a sentence)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:37 AM
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How often must Dan Pfeiffer type "n*gger" in order to teach it to his phone such that it doesn't become "b*gger"? Is he a habitual RapGenius contributor?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:38 AM
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The case for not auto-correcting "abortiom" and "suicidw" isn't as censorious as the link in 293 makes it sound. Those are words that you really don't want Apple to falsely insert into a message.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:38 AM
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Pwned, and informatively so. It's unfortunate that sensitive flowers and parents who want to avoid difficult conversations with their children so police our discourse. Admittedly, talking about abortiom and suicidw is really hard.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:39 AM
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Yes, the OH NO CENSORSHIP position of the link in 293 is silly.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:40 AM
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295, why do mass demonstrations have an effect on a parliamentary system?

I thought they were just inherently pointless unless actually threatening to overthrow the government.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:41 AM
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The truckers in 11 are literally threatening to overthrow the government, it's just that no one believes they'll succeed.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:43 AM
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261: Walt, this is Krugman's optimistic take (see 131), and I guess if I were a betting man (since I am a betting man with a 401K), this is the way I'd bet. Unlike Charley, I'm not liquidating.

Still, Krugman (and you) make a couple of errors here.

Krugman regards the Tea Party nuts as politically inept. In fact, in the PGD sense, they are indeed "not stupid" and "sane." Given their political priorities, they've been very shrewd in their methods of pursuing them, and very often, things that are labeled horrible defeats for them (Reid's re-election, say) in fact signal important victories.

After some years of being very effective in screwing up the economy, there's a really stunningly large possibility (1 in 10?) that the nuts are going to deliberately roll us over a cliff. That's a huge accomplishment, and wasn't easy.

As others have noted, the dichotomy of Rich Wall Street vs. Tea Party Nuts is often a false one. The whole Tea Party meme gots its start on CNBC, and has always had Big Money support. And do I really need to rebut the idea that Big Money has enough rational self-interest to avoid pushing the economy into Depression? Maybe our Credentialed Historian could offer an opinion on that.

Smart observers, including Republicans themselves, have always divided Republicans into two groups: the elites who determine the PR strategy and arrange who gets elected; and the rubes who swallow the PR and vote accordingly. That elite group has shrunk to almost nothing - it turns out, most of the elites really do buy into the PR. You've got Karl Rove out there saying, "Um, guys, we really don't think we're on the verge of Weimar-style inflation," but he's lost his audience. Bill Gross, of all people, lost shit-tons of money betting on high interest rates.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:45 AM
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I agree with the article--it's not censorship, but it's annoying. If you're somebody who often talks about abortions or homoeroticism, or for that matter ammo and bullets, it's a usability issue that there's nothing that you can do to cause autocorrection to them.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:46 AM
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288: My paternal grandmother was demented from as early as I can remember. But she never tried to permanently damage the US government's ability to borrow. Or to hurt anyone.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:49 AM
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Your grandmother was a political party?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:50 AM
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Underachiever.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:50 AM
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The interaction between the national and the local in a parliamentary system is different -- national unhappiness is meaningless to a Congressman from Alabama or rural Idaho, and party leaders can't simply boot them off the party line come ballot time. But in a parliamentary system, they can. And in a parliamentary system, there is more that can happen structurally at any given moment. In the US, there's no way to dissolve a government or call snap elections.

In general, there's much more ability in a parliamentary system for party leadership to enforce their will on recalcitrant members of the party (this may not be specific to the presidential vs. Westminster system, just a fact about the American system vs. everyone else's). And so if demonstrations make the party or a coalition or leadership nervous, they can do something about it -- it should make the individual malefactors nervous, because their party can punish them and quite plausibly will, because the party/coalition as a whole is threatened and can try to do something about it. In the US system a given little big man can be like "I've got mine" and party leadership is in a position of riding things out between elections.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:55 AM
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I thought they were just inherently pointless unless actually threatening to overthrow the government.

The people behind the Tea Party don't seem to have thought so during the early building stage.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:55 AM
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I think 268 is broadly speaking the logic of the current Tea Party Republicans -- namely, that they need to go for broke now, because the demographics of the country are shifting such that it will be impossible to act later. You can also see it, in a different way, when they take over state governments -- much of why Wisconsin and North Carolina have gone so nuts in the short term is that the right wingers think that they need to go all in right now or they'll never get the chance again. It also explains a lot of the "we need a revolution to protect the Constitution" nonsense that Chris Y wondered about above. What they mean is that they're scared that a black/brown/woman/urban coalition will forever take power away from their base of white, largely rural, local notables.

I think, in the way of all desperate gamblers, that they also think their desperate gamble will work -- that is, if they can just push through and get to "freedom" then through the magic of the market and Reagan's ghost or something everyone will all of a sudden realize that they were right all along, but only if they do everything RIGHT NOW. It's hysterical and delusional, and I think reasonably described as "insane."

I called that strategy, in a previous thread, the "kill all the Jews before the Russians get to Berlin" strategy, and am going to keep that as a pet name.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:00 AM
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In general, there's much more ability in a parliamentary systemfucking huge country with relatively few electoral divisions

FTFY. But the point of demonstrations isn't to make people like Cameron and Merkel suddenly see the error of their ways, it's to mobilise people.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:00 AM
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It might help here to stop thinking of "business interests" as monolithic. The Koch Brothers may be both crazy libertarians and own a lot of energy companies, but not all industries work like the energy sector.

If business interests pull us back from the brink, it will be guys who run things like shipping companies that rely on the national weather service. Construction companies that rely on government contracts. Heck, big pharma needs the NIH running at full capacity and it knows it. Basic research doesn't pay for itself.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:02 AM
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256: That wasn't what I was saying (two years ago, during the debt ceiling fight #1). I thought most regular business Republicans (not Koch style) didn't want a default and didn't think it would get them rich. But they seemed to be losing ways to persuade Republicans who saw the debt ceiling as a way to ritually purify the government. Under those circumstances, some people would probably look for ways to make what they could out of a default not because they instigated it for profit but because they anticipated not being able to stop it.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:03 AM
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I'm not so sure demonstrations do that much here anymore. OK, the Poll Tax demos, maybe. But the Iraq war had literally millions on the streets, and it made no difference whatsoever.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:04 AM
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I called that strategy, in a previous thread, the "kill all the Jews before the Russians get to Berlin"

That might be the right name for it. This might be a calming manatee kind of day


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:05 AM
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I think 310 is sound. I'd add, though, a point about intra-party rivalry. As true as it is that the TP is a creation of big money, there's also a reality that some of the people who got into office on this wave really are different from your normal establishment Republicans. They're not just worried about the Russians making it to Berlin, but also a revolt of the Junkers. To extend the thing way into banned territory.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:07 AM
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312 is also broadly speaking right. A good chunk of the "business" base of the Republican Party also hates Wall Street, and the core truly Republican industries are energy, especially coal and petroleum.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:07 AM
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267: I am trying to figure this out myself. I am leaning toward Katherine Clark, but only because I talked to someone on the train who was wearing a button, and they seemed like such smart people.

What are your thoughts, SP?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:09 AM
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315 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:11 AM
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Pause and Play for all the ladies in the place.

For years I've been going to this crappy little movie theater assuming that the rest of the audience got that -- aside from a few rare and joyous occasions -- the theater only plays shit. As we are in the decadent age of hispterdom, I guess I figured that self-flagellatingly bad ironic cinema was actually drawing consistent crowds of bearded and unwashed people, looking not very different from how I look these days.

Sometimes the movies are even good. I saw a Michael Mann film there a few weeks ago that I likely would never have seen otherwise, and enjoyed it.

But most of the movies are awful and I thought everyone pretty much understood that. I am now starting to wonder. I think I am going to stop going to see consciously bad movies, even when the crowd I'm in can't be sated with anything else.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:13 AM
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The Tea Party has both sane and insane people in it, and the boundaries are fuzzy. You have the Michelle Bachman types who are basically straight-up nuts, but Ted Cruz for example is very canny and is playing his hand relatively well. I don't think he's really that concerned about particular outcomes so much as he is about building his position in the party, where he's managed to get to the point where people are talking about him as potential Speaker of the House.

I think the sane faction of the TP is the overwhelming majority, but they tend to speak in terms that make no sense unless you buy the whole worldview, which makes them look like nuts. In concrete terms they've managed to get the sequester funding levels to be the new reference point for the budget going forward, and if they crash the value of US bonds they'll force spending down still further.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:15 AM
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The fact that we're now stuck with sequester levels of funding is entirely the fault of one Barack Obama.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:19 AM
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321.1: It really would be historic to have a Senator as Speaker of the House, wouldn't it?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:24 AM
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Also: I've never actually seen much of Shane and know very little about it, aside from that it is a Western involving a man named Shane, and a boy who runs after him at the end. But it is one of those movies I will pretend to have a working knowledge of, as I tend to think most people have that knowledge, and I want to fit in.

Is this insane? Do most people know anything about Shane? Is it even worth seeing? It's a movie my dad would have watched on a Saturday afternoon on TNT. This makes me thing that all people must know it, which I'm coming to realize is crazy.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:24 AM
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It would be pretty weird if Ted Cruz became Speaker of the House.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:26 AM
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Although, during a realignment, the pretty weird quickly becomes commonplace.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:28 AM
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Ted Cruz is the new Huey Long. He is going to be simultaneously Governor of Texas, Senator, Speaker of the House, and editor of the New York Post. Then he will get assassinated and his wife will be the first non-US citizen elected President.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:33 AM
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I mean hello, pause and play aficionados, I do enjoy genuinely weird movies but I can only enjoy bullshit B movies trying to cash in on the rare success of genuinely weird movies in an extremely self-loathing sort of fashion. A theater that plays some genuinely weird movies and some bullshit knock-offs can only be justified if its audience is consistently telling the difference.

And should I see Shane? How bad am I for pretending to have seen it?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:34 AM
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I saw Shane a million years ago, and don't remember a thing about it other than the "Come back, Shane," moment. Which suggests that you could skip it, unless you like the kind of square-jawed sentimentality (not a judgment, I'm very fond of all sorts of stupidly sentimental stuff) you get in Westerns.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:37 AM
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Text, is there a reason you're doing this in this thread rather than the movies thread?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:38 AM
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322: Shhhhh

Even FDL has gone in fullblown panic mode

"In other words, default would be the end of the upper class as we know it."

Hey, well ya know, I mean shit this is sounding better now. FFS.

Even I am amazed at the degree in which centrists, liberals and democrats are recoiling in horror from any slight projected social disorder. I shouldn't be, since I remember 1968 and the election of Nixon. Also an attachment to a self-image of over-generalized empathy. To keep one person from suffering...

Makes the social revolution really hard if it has to be by the rules, calm and orderly, and nobody can get hurt.

Day One of default: Markets collapse, world economy grinds to a standstill
Day Two: Cannibalism
Day Three:Living Envy the Dead
Day Four:What Living?

Day Five:Boehner and Obama make a deal, and Dow hits 20k


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:38 AM
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330: You mean this isn't the sex thread?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:42 AM
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I thought it was about sandwiches.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:43 AM
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The interaction between the national and the local in a parliamentary system is different -- national unhappiness is meaningless to a Congressman from Alabama or rural Idaho, and party leaders can't simply boot them off the party line come ballot time. But in a parliamentary system, they can.

That's only definitionally true under proportional representation; as you observe, it can be true in non-PR parliamentary systems like the UK but for other reasons.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:47 AM
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328, 329 -- Scenery's pretty good.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:48 AM
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318- I don't know, there's someone down the street who has a large sign for her but that's it. I'm enjoying being an uninformed last minute decision voter, since any Dem will win the special election in this district and will vote with the ~180 non-conservative Dem block in the house.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 8:55 AM
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It was that long ago when Graeber was the hot topic in the liberal blogosphere that there was favorable talk about Jubilee.

What exactly did y'all think Jubilee would entail?

Debt favors the rich. A leftist should never worry about writing some of it off, or delaying payments.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:05 AM
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Didn't [somebody] Bellamy win an award for saying, like, eight words in Shane?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:07 AM
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Sometimes I think Calming Manatee is too girly for me to link to. Then I realize that the male equivalent would just be a baboon that says "Stop being such a pussy or I'll take away your man card."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:09 AM
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337: The state is not a household. The state is not a firm. The state's debt is not like the debt a person owes to a person. It is just another instrument by which the state manages the economy, and in particular the value of money.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:11 AM
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340: Plus, a leftist should worry about writing off or delaying payments until it is no longer necessary to borrow more money to pay for leftish political goal (or operating the basic functions of civil society).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:13 AM
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You mean this isn't the sex thread?
I thought it was about sandwiches.


"No, I mean real sex threads- the kind where you grab some naked bitch and pinch her and punch her in the face until she's all bloody and then you throw yourself down to ravish and burst into tears because you love her and hate her so much you don't know what else to do. That's the kind of sex threads I like to comment on. Don't you ever have sex threads like that?"

LizardBreath reflected a moment with a wise look. "That's a sandwich thread," she decided.
text recoiled as though he had been slapped.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:17 AM
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I was expecting Bob to take the "Finally justice will be done, as America no longer unfairly benefits from reserve currency status, and the Global South will benefit" angle.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:18 AM
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If you're imagining that the jubilee proposed by Graeber would look anything like a debt default, you're really misreading him.

It's all very well to be ruthless and Leninist if that's your thing, but it seems like the ruthless Leninists among us should at least feel like there's a plausible chance of victory before cheering the crisis. Aren't all those marxists on about understanding the terrain of struggle correctly?


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:18 AM
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That would be an improvement. When is your week to write bob's part?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:19 AM
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345 to 343.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:19 AM
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Does anybody remember when DeLong kept pointing out errors in Graeber until his tweets on it took up more words than the book? Good times.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:21 AM
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It was enough that I almost read the book to see what all the fuss was about, but once it was pointed out that Graeber claimed Chrissy was the brunette and Janet the blond, I figured I'd better stay away.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:27 AM
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Aren't all those marxists on about understanding the terrain of struggle correctly?

I keep making this point to Bob, but he never grasps it. To paraphrase the bald Bolshie in question, it used to be that the masses were no longer willing to be ruled in the old way, but the capitalists were able to continue ruling in the old way. This time it appears that the capitalists are no longer able to continue ruling in the old way, but the masses don't give a shit.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:27 AM
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I read the book except for the notorious last chapter, and it was pretty good.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:29 AM
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272: I suspect we're approaching the point where Obama is going to need to declare a constitutional crisis, assume emergency powers

Somehow I didn't think that -- declaring a constitutional crisis -- was an actual thing, a formal act. I've heard increasing numbers of people mentioning the possibility.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:36 AM
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342 is quite funny.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:39 AM
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I had to google to remember where the passage was from -- I knew I'd read it, but couldn't place it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:41 AM
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declaring a constitutional crisis -- was an actual thing, a formal act

As far as I know it isn't (is there a constitutional lawyer in the house?), but assuming emergency powers, of course, is. If the other side is going to scream that you're a tyrannical dictator no matter what you do, then you might as well fulfill their little fantasies.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:49 AM
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If I were going to declare a constitutional crisis, I would make an effort to dress well. Or, depending on circumstances, very badly. Either formalwear, or a bandana tied around my head to stop the bleeding from the scalp wound, if you see what I mean.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:50 AM
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Mao suit and ornamental cat.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:53 AM
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You want at least two cats -- the ornamental, display cat, and the functional cat.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:54 AM
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The cat is supposed to be hairless. Is that functional?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:55 AM
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The hairless cat in "Austin Powers" was a PARODY of the real cats of evil which are ostentatiously fluffy and opulent.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:57 AM
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What's the procedure for assuming emergency powers in the United States? Does Obama just ring Boehner and say, "Hi, John, I'm assuming emergency powers. You're all furloughed UFN. See ya." or is there something more structured?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:58 AM
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359: I liked the parody better than the original.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:58 AM
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360: I think the idea is that Obama would start ordering the Treasury to pay certain bills.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 9:59 AM
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360: There isn't a procedure. If something of the sort happened, it'd be Obama making it up as he went along, and hoping that the functional bits of the government cooperated. I doubt any such thing is likely.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:00 AM
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360: Drone strikes on the separatist faction's strongholds of support. Watch out, heebie!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:03 AM
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360: my guess? He meets with the Joint Chiefs first and last. Boehner will learn about it on CNN or when the soldiers show up at his office door.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:03 AM
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it'd be Obama making it up as he went along

Yep.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:03 AM
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363 is what I suspected. He won't do this, will he?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:04 AM
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FDR, in his 1st Inaugural, threatens to go to Congress and get emergency powers.

OTOH, the Japanese Internment was by Executive Order.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:04 AM
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Apparently assuming emergency powers is something that can be denied by the SCOTUS: the constitution imposes limitations on the Executive's ability to respond in the case of an alleged national emergency. I was just wading through this, a case in which Truman's emergency power was denied.

That's likely more into the weeds than is necessary to get a handle on what's involved in assuming emergency powers.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:08 AM
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It's a sign of democracy's weak hold, right?, that Von Wafer's prediction of the soldiers knocking on Boehner's door gave me more pleasure than anything else today. (Oh, and Von Wafer, it was heroic of you to answer our questions last night!)


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:08 AM
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If something of the sort happened, it'd be Obama making it up as he went along, and hoping that the functional bits of the government cooperated.

One imagines that it would consist of an executive order instructing the Treasury to continue with bond auctions without regard to the debt ceiling, presumably with some sort of stated legal rationale for doing so. Not that I think this is necessarily the most likely outcome.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:08 AM
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367: only if he needs to, which he won't, because Boehner will ignore the Hastert rule at the eleventh hour and fifty-ninth minute and then Obama will give him a cookie (even though, if the world were just, Boehner would have to give the entire fucking nation cake).


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:09 AM
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354 -- If we're going to give the TP what they want, how about FEMA camps and Death Panels? Those already exist, right?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:10 AM
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Oh, I forgot the last chapter: and then the country limps toward its next Constitutional crisis. Fin!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:10 AM
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French sail into New York Harbor and say::Give us our gold!"

Three days later Nixon ends gold convertibility and kills Bretton Woods. After a while, the yen goes from 360 to the dollar to 100 to the dollar.*

Was that a default? Guess not, dogs weren't chewing the corpses and Bebe Rebozo still had his yacht.

*DeLong and friends are re-masticating the 70s over at his place. My opinion, as informed by Panitch and Varoufakis, it all starts at the event above.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:11 AM
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assuming emergency powers is something that can be denied by the SCOTUS

How many armored divisions does John Roberts command?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:13 AM
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Apparently assuming emergency powers is something that can be denied by the SCOTUS: the constitution imposes limitations on the Executive's ability to respond in the case of an alleged national emergency.

If Obama went with the 14th amendment option, which, again, I don't really anticipate, I would be very surprised if the Roberts court ruled against the Administration. Roberts is more a friend of business interests than an ideological warrior, he's generally sympathetic to executive power, and he isn't at all deferential to Congress. Indeed, I would be very surprised if the court agreed to hear a challenge at all, when it would be so easy to dismiss on grounds of standing or non-justiciability.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:13 AM
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Right, emergency powers that are granted by Congress or endorsed by the Supreme Court aren't the sort of thing we're talking about.

Obama certainly may end up doing stuff that's arguably illegal, as in 371, but I'd bet C-notes to croissants that it'll be characterized as straightforwardly legal rather than as pursuant to any emergency powers.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:16 AM
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How many armored divisions does John Roberts command?

Uh oh. How many? Are they at his place in Maine?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:16 AM
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370: I was happy to ramble stonedly on about what I don't even remember. But even in the sober light of day, I still think some sort of realignment is maybe already happening. The result will be (already is?) an uncomfortable period of re-sorting. If I had to guess*, I'd say that we'll have a far-right party for movement conservatives, a centrist party made up of what used to be the moneyed interests in the GOP and the somewhat-less-moneyed interests among Democrats (call it the Broder Party), and a series of smaller parties for progressives, populists, libertarians, and maybe nativists.

* Again, I'm really bad at predicting the future, so I probably shouldn't even venture out onto this ledge. But here I am, hung over and still sorta dopey, so why not?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:16 AM
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It's a sign of democracy's weak hold, right?, that Von Wafer's prediction of the soldiers knocking on Boehner's door gave me more pleasure than anything else today

Ahem.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:18 AM
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Three days later Nixon ends gold convertibility and kills Bretton Woods.

Nixon was responding to exchange rates that were completely divorced from economic reality and unsustainable in even the middle term. The French and many others were deliberately trying to collapse the system. You don't have a counter example. You don't even have a bad analogy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:19 AM
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379: He could probably convince Scalia, Thomas, and Alito to put on cups and bicycle helmets and grab some trash can lids for shields. Nobody's certain whether Kennedy would follow suit.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:19 AM
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So, a net shift to the right. This is what I fear, too, when I speculate along these lines.


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:19 AM
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369 was before seeing 366.

I don't see this happening either. I just wanted to get some idea of how I should judge the remarks heard increasingly frequently -- just this morning from Dean Baker, a usually sober person -- that a constitutional crisis is quite possible. Like, how much hysteria is involved in that? Or is it that pooh-poohing the notion is tantamount to airily hand-waving away the consequences of breaching the debt ceiling? Perhaps the latter.

367: It's puzzling to me how something could be expected to work its way through the courts in the first place if an emergency is being declared.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:25 AM
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380. So the Broder party would hold power for longer than the PRI in Mexico. What fun!


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:29 AM
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Things can get through the courts very quickly if everyone agrees it's an emergency -- remember Bush v. Gore.

Like, how much hysteria is involved in that? Or is it that pooh-poohing the notion is tantamount to airily hand-waving away the consequences of breaching the debt ceiling?

I think it's not hysterical to think that if the debt ceiling is breached for any extended period of time, things are going to get unpredictably strange. It is maybe a little hysterical to think that this is likely to happen, rather than either Obama or the Republicans folding. But it could happen, where by 'it' I mean I have no concrete idea what, but something unexpected.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:31 AM
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that a constitutional crisis is quite possible.

Fortunately (and I don't mean to be glib here), there is a mechanism in place to resolve exactly this sort of crisis. It's called impeachment, and it's a safe bet it will happen in the event that Obama orders the Treasury to ignore the debt ceiling. The predictable outcome is that the House would vote to impeach, the Senate would vote to acquit, and independent and moderate voters would recoil in horror at the GOP.

I don't see that as a particularly likely outcome because I don't think it will come to a breach of the debt ceiling. Either Boehner folds (more likely) or Obama gives some kind of concession to end the standoff before the debt ceiling is breached (less likely, but not impossible). Even if the debt ceiling is breached, I'm about 50-50 on whether Obama would act to head off default or let it happen.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:31 AM
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377 -- I think a constitutional crisis of the kind we're discussing here is pretty unlikely (but not unlikely enough! maybe in the 5-10% range), but, if it happens, my belief is that, contrary to what a lot of people are saying, the Supreme Court would absolutely not duck the issue on "political question" or other grounds. There is nothing this particular Supreme Court would like more than to be the voice of (mostly) right-wing order and stability in the midst of a constitutional crisis. My guess is that you'd get an opinion that splits the middle in some basically right-leaning way, where the Court rules that Obama has the constitutional authority to unilaterally maintain payment on debt to T-bill holders, but to do so must make discretionary cuts in federal spending to do so, or something similar. Note that I don't think any of this is likely to happen at all.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:33 AM
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a constitutional crisis is quite possible

In my estimation, we're in one already.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:35 AM
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386: if the moneyed interests in the Democratic and Republican Parties get scared enough to set aside their differences, as I think is already happening, and the factions to their left and right remain small enough, because of the false consciousness that marks class politics in the United States, then yes, I fear so. Either that or Bob will lead the revolution. It's really down to one or the other at this point.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:35 AM
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To be clear, that last part was just a joke. I still think the odds-on play is that Boehner folds and we limp to the next Constitutional Crisis. Meanwhile, a realignment, if it's already underway, continues as a very slow process that, because of contingencies that are impossible to predict, leads who knows where.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:37 AM
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I also disagree with 380 about a partisan realignment. I don't think there's a wedge issue like slavery to shatter both the current Democratic and Republican parties out there, and I especially think that there's a strong force in the US constitutional structure tending towards two, and no more than two, major parties. I think we're probably looking at more of the same -- a dominant majoritarian "centrist" but-moving-to-the-left Democratic party, and a radical, powerful, minority Republican party that is a rump party, but still very powerful thanks to various districting and supermajoritarian rules, for about the next 20 years. I think the current crisis will almost certainly just be one amongst many as this story plays out. Beyond 20 years, who knows.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:39 AM
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If nominated something something Sherman said.

Anyway, the dogs are always in the vanguard.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:44 AM
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a dominant majoritarian "centrist" but-moving-to-the-left Democratic party

Unfortunately, I don't see what would push the party to the left. Certainly not the few remaining non-insane Republicans coming over the fence.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:45 AM
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As I've said before, I think the odds are pretty good that Boehner doesn't fold until we've had a 2,000+ drop in the Dow, which I don't think we get until all the people thinking he's going to fold at the last minute find out that he isn't going to fold at the last minute. If we're going to have Tea Party Doomsday -- and I think B must have become convinced by now that he's really going to have to give these people that much rope -- way better to do it in 2013 when (a) the politics of opposing the ACA are as good as they're going to get and (b) we're far enough away from the midterms that political damage can be undone, or replaced by the next Benghazi! or whatever.

Maybe Boehner can hang tight until Obama "decides" not to send out SS checks -- spending the money instead to pay Chinese investors (as well as giving free health care to "them") -- and then he can cast his cave-in as patriotic saving old folks. But this will only really work once the checks are late.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:47 AM
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Oh, I think the Democratic party (nb, the party, not the country) is already substantially to the left of where it was 20 years ago, and that general trend is likely to continue as it gets younger and browner and the parties get more ideological. I mean, not left enough for us to like it, but left enough to be an ideological party that is "liberal' in the US sense, which it really wasn't, or only barely was, as recently as 1992.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:47 AM
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395: the absence of a majoritarian party to the right which had to be defeated in general elections, presumably. Which I'm not sure I believe, but on the other hand I pretty much don't believe any of the speculation in this thread, so.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:49 AM
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395: I think the optimistic view is that a dominant Democratic party wouldn't be moved to the left but that it might produce policy outcomes to the left of what we have now as there would be no need to bargain with Republicans.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:49 AM
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I think the current crisis will almost certainly just be one amongst many as this story plays out.

The only enjoyable part of it will be seeing Ted Cruz, as the leader of the responsible moderate wing of the Republican party, being denounced by conservative firebrands as a traitor because of his refusal to defund the Executive Office of the President and order the Capitol police to arrest and detain cabinet secretaries. Also, he gets blamed for the narrow defeat of the ordinance of secession in the Texas legislature.



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:49 AM
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And pwned.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:49 AM
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Unfortunately, I don't see what would push the party to the left. Certainly not the few remaining non-insane Republicans coming over the fence.

The non-insane Republicans are generally the ones who see poor people as potentially useful tools rather than scum to be exterminated. Would the Democratic Party turning into the British Conservative Party (with the Republican Party becoming BNP/UKIP) constitute moving to the left?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:50 AM
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335: [re: Shane] Scenery's pretty good.

Most of it filmed near Jackson Hole. The Tetons are generally the backdrop, but when the camera turns the other way you can see the remnants of the massive 1925 Gros Ventre rockslide (for instance here).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:51 AM
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In 402 "poor people" should be "working-class people".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:52 AM
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"Bob's dogs" spelled backwards is "God's Bob." Just saying.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:53 AM
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Impeachment is a two-edged sword. House members could be impeached too. I remember wishing for that during California's budget stalemates.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:53 AM
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I don't think we say "Gros Ventre" anymore, racist.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:53 AM
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Sgod Shabob.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:53 AM
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s/b "fucking peasants"


Posted by: John Lennon | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:54 AM
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402. Apples and oranges, but to the extent it's meaningful I'd say it would constitute a slight shift to the right. Pelosi couldn't exist in the Tory party, nor Warren or several others.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:54 AM
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405 Praise Bob!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:54 AM
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409->404


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:54 AM
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407: I await enlightenment as to the correct term.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:56 AM
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Gros Ventre

This must be immediately south of the Grand Tetons.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:56 AM
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https://github.com/WhiteHouse/fortyfour/issues/3


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:58 AM
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397: Other than a few (important) social issues where they've followed the country's progress, I don't see this as true.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:58 AM
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Thou Shalt have no False Bobs before thee.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 10:59 AM
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I've seen White Clay People from Native bloggers. I don't think anyone expects you to say A'ani.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:01 AM
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416: Yeah, me either.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:01 AM
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417: Which is Dallas-based IIRC.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:01 AM
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384: So, a net shift to the right. This is what I fear, too, when I speculate along these lines.

It's like you guys are predicting the present, as well as the recent past. I'm not sure I've encountered anyone who thinks we'll be seeing a shift to the left.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:05 AM
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I had a terrible realization. You know how whenever people express nostalgia for the economic circumstances of the 1950-1980 era, others say "Um, not if you were an ethnic minority, or a woman, you jerk". During the Ted Cruz administration, that's going to happen for the Clinton Administration, with "not if you were gay".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:05 AM
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416 -- I was thinking of things like this graph , though it looks like 1990 may be a little late. But in 1992 Sam Nunn, Chuck Robb, and Ann Richards were all very prominent Democrats, Tom Foley was the speaker of the house, and Jim Wright had just been speaker of the house. I think the current crew is a few clicks to the left of that crew.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:07 AM
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I'm fairly certain that Ted Cruz will make things bad enough for gay people that your realization will be wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:07 AM
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I shall henceforth use "The Slide named for the mountains named for the former name of the White Clay People."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:07 AM
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Whose online troll army is bob part of? Inquiring minds want to know.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:10 AM
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Well, Parsimon, on the one hand, yes, it's hard to imagine a shift to the left. On the other hand, I think we'd all agree that the economic interests of most Americans are not being served right now by either party. And if we think that, then it seems possible to imagine that a realignment might result in a party that represents the interests of the less than upper-middle class.


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:13 AM
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My hope for a real shift to the left is Emersonian -- that there's a populist core to the Republican party that's not committed enough to crazy racism to break right when the Republicans split, but was Republican because of a cultural/political distaste for bankers/pointy-headed-intellectuals-cityslickers. And once the rightwing choices are foaming-at-the-mouth-Nazis or the Broderite center, maybe those guys go populist.

This probably isn't all that realistic, but daydreaming about it makes for a break from either crying or masturbating.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:18 AM
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I can imagine a net shift to leftward -- think of Clinton without Gingrich, Obama without Boehner. In both cases, we can compare the first two years of the president's tenure with the last six. Not exactly heaven on earth, but a whole lot better than (a) the final six years of each tenure or (b) the eight years between. Or the 12 years prior.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:20 AM
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423: Yeah, there was a one time shift in the party average when the southern Democrats got slaughtered in 1994, but of the remainder I think they've rushed to fill the vacuum left by the Republicans charging right.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:21 AM
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I can imagine it, but I can't imagine being confident that is what would happen.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:21 AM
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I have pretty substantial hope that a shift to the left is possible, mostly because I think that the Friedmanite-libertarian economics of 1970-2010 has largely been discredited, and I think that kind of consensus libertarianism that has been the real and true ongoing disaster for social democracy, not just in the United States but also around the world. If we are past the world where Alan Greenspan is a "Maestro" that's reason for hope. Unfortunately, I also have a fair amount of despair that there's no sufficiently powerful working class movement to create the political conditions for rebuilding social democracy, again both in the US and worldwide.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:23 AM
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And remember, if the Democrats pick up more seats it would be by electing conservatives (see that blip in 2008).


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:23 AM
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Conservative Democrats presumably won't filibuster their own side's bill (shut it, Dixcrats) or insist the speaker not allow floor votes on bills that are insufficiently conservative.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:25 AM
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I agree with 429--not sure it's going to happen, but people who read politician's core beliefs from what they actually put their names during times of great opposition lack imagination. I want H. Clinton in Johnson/Goldwaterian blowout over Cruz (or reasonable facsimile) in 2016. Just not sure what her Vietnam will be. But what do people really think Johnson would have gotten done with a more challenging electoral alignment?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:26 AM
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Bombed somebody and pissed on JFK's grave.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:27 AM
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434: Certainly, they would be a legislative improvement. I just don't see them as a force for liberalization.
432: I agree with all of that, except that I don't think F-l economics has been discredited for anyone of consequence. The propaganda is less effective, but that would only matter if there were a progressive, populist movement.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:30 AM
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395, and 397: Oh, I think the Democratic party (nb, the party, not the country) is already substantially to the left of where it was 20 years ago, and that general trend is likely to continue as it gets younger and browner and the parties get more ideological.

It's worth distinguishing between being socially liberal or conservative and being fiscally one or the other. The Dem party is increasingly socially liberal (gay rights, etc.), but on fiscal policy*, I'm not so sure.

I feel like this is a hobbyhorse of mine at this point, but libertarian sentiments have been taking increasing hold in both parties, and that means fiscal conservatism. Smaller government, lower taxes, fewer regulations, fewer dictats from on high, greater local control.

* I am not sure that "fiscal" is the technically right term here: it's just generally the term used to describe the distinction between being, say, socially liberal and fiscally conservative.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:39 AM
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Oh, totes pwned by 416, and more pithily at that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:41 AM
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Conservative Democrats presumably won't filibuster their own side's bill

If only.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:46 AM
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Can we just retire the phrase "fiscal conservative" (along with "deficit hawk")? Or at least restrict its application to lawmakers who oppose deficit-financed tax cuts, endless wars, and subsidies to industrial agriculture?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:50 AM
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438 -- That's a common view and surely reflects a partial truth but I'm not sure it's a correct one. Remember that Clinton failed to get health care reform through a Democratically-controlled House and Senate, and was opposed on the issue by people like Moynihan, who weren't exactly on the party's far right.

Looking further back, a majority of House Republicans in 1965 and almost half the Senate Republicans voted for Medicare, and non-trivial numbers of Democrats (but still a substantial minority) voted against. Remember, I'm talking about ideological movement of the Democratic party, not the country as a whole -- I think the party as a whole is far more uniformly to the left than it was 30 years ago, even as support for social democracy in general in the US has taken a big hit over that period.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:50 AM
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Also worth noting that the 1965 Republican House were the ones who had survived the Goldwater election, and could thus be reasonably anticipated to be more conservative than the norm.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:53 AM
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441: I hate even this rhetorical move. No rest until the last person who claims to be "socially liberal, fiscally conservative" is strangled with the entrails of the last George Mason professor.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:54 AM
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429, 430 - That's not how DW-NOMINATE looks, although you can see (as Eggplant notes) the brief, mild uptick in conservative Democrats in the House peaking in 2009.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:55 AM
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432: I think that the Friedmanite-libertarian economics of 1970-2010 has largely been discredited, and I think that kind of consensus libertarianism that has been the real and true ongoing disaster for social democracy

Agreed with the last part, but as I see Eggplant has already said at 437, I don't see that libertarian economics has been discredited to any wide degree.

gaia forgive me for saying this, but if anything positive might come of this government shutdown, it might be that people begin to notice just what government -- the federal one -- does.

helpy-chalk's 312.2 is important: If business interests pull us back from the brink, it will be guys who run things like shipping companies that rely on the national weather service. Construction companies that rely on government contracts. Heck, big pharma needs the NIH running at full capacity and it knows it.

There was an interview on NPR yesterday, on Kai Ryssdal's Marketplace (yeah, I know) with a guy in the pork industry -- "He does hogs," Kai helpfully explained -- who said that the market was all fucked up because they can't get sales and pricing metrics from the feds. Nobody's tracking anything.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:59 AM
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I really wish there was some pushback against the use of "conservative" as a synonym for "right-wing". It's not intuitive if you think about it for five seconds. Take what seems to work, albeit not perfectly. And get rid of it, because of abstract principles which lead you to believe that a better version will appear organically from the rubble. Conservative! Also Maoist!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 12:01 PM
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441: You'd be rewriting the use of the term if you want to use it that way. I don't think it's going to work, but you can try.

Nonetheless I'd like a better term for what I described in 438.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 12:07 PM
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No rest until the last person who claims to be "socially liberal, fiscally conservative" is strangled

God, I know.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 12:10 PM
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446 -- For that you need a real shutdown. Which is maybe where we go with the debt ceiling.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 12:10 PM
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YES! STRANGLING BLOOMBERG IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET LHOTA TO WIN #SympathyVote #OrBringBackRudy #TCOT


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDPA | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 12:11 PM
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446. Yeah, I'm with CC on this, alas. I was just talking to my sister, who is a lawyer working for a federal agency, and she said that it's dispiriting to feel that no one in the country really cares whether she's doing her job or not.


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 12:18 PM
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445: Here's a difficult-to-read chart from xkcd that breaks up the DW-NOMINATE scores a bit more.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 12:26 PM
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447: Yeah--in Chinese political coverage, the liberal/conservative to right/left mapping is the opposite of what it is here.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 12:29 PM
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I will advocate that we are seeing an actual shift left, over the past five years, and that it will continue on. However, the center is so far to the right, that it's nowhere close to Unfogged standards.

We're back in "Did Occupy Matter?" territory which is a terribly boring thing to rehash. But YES IT DID. There are now ordinary conversations about inequality, among uninformed people. That is a real shift left.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 12:29 PM
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My hope for a real shift to the left is Emersonian -- that there's a populist core to the Republican party that's not committed enough to crazy racism to break right when the Republicans split, but was Republican because of a cultural/political distaste for bankers/pointy-headed-intellectuals-cityslickers. And once the rightwing choices are foaming-at-the-mouth-Nazis or the Broderite center, maybe those guys go populist.

What does "go populist" mean? They are already populist. Do you mean maybe they "go Democratic"? Because I think we'd need to have a few more Democrats willing to make populist appeals for that to work. The only openly "populist" party in America today is the self-identified tea party. Maybe if the Republicans split, Democrats could co-opt some of that space, but I haven't seen much evidence that they're willing to do that.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 12:39 PM
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450: I don't think we need to go all the way to a breach of the debt ceiling in order to teach people the lesson. As the shutdown continues, additional federal employees are laid off. The federal government is the single largest employer in the U.S.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 12:40 PM
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Largest single employer, that is. Swap those adjectives.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 12:41 PM
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We're back in "Did Occupy Matter?" territory which is a terribly boring thing to rehash. But YES IT DID. There are now ordinary conversations about inequality, among uninformed people. That is a real shift left.

Sweetheart, THANK YOU. I can now actually smile. One of these days it might be nice to have a thread about Occupy-inspired activities around the country.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 12:45 PM
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456: Go at least economically left-wing in a genuinely, rather than nominally, populist kind of way. Those guys are probably shaky (from my point of view) on social issues, but if they were left-wing on lunchbox issues, they might be available for coalition politics.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 12:47 PM
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460: They're already genuinely, rather than nominally, populist. What's broken is their sense of solidarity. That's what's pushing them economically right instead of economically left.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 12:53 PM
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You'd think actual Obamadrones would have replaced fictional black helicopters for right populists, but it doesn't seem to be going that way.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 12:57 PM
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The context my daydream was in was a realignment that splits the Republicans into the Broderite Centrists and the Raving Nazi rump, and leaves those (probably fairly few) Democrats that don't sign on with the Broderites as the Actually Leftist Party. The hope was that there's a sizable chunk of the Republicans that were Republicans largely out of cultural distaste for the Broderites, which they associated with urban Democrats, but who still aren't Raving Nazis, and that those guys might find some solidarity somewhere and swing left once the Republican coalition broke up.

I'm not saying this is terribly likely, but it could happen.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:00 PM
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441: Can we just retire the phrase "fiscal conservative"

Yes, and its misuse to describe Republicans these last 20 years is reason #246 that the mainstream political media is less than useless. It is not just not supported by the data, it is massively and unrelentingly refuted by the data.

I love that the fiscally conservative Republicans basically want a "good parts of ACA for people with good jobs" approach to healthcare.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:09 PM
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Here's a bit of cheery demographics: In Texas, more hispanics than whites took the SAT last year. That is a group that is likely to vote, and they are nearly 18.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:10 PM
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465: Huh, I thought Texas was an ACT state, but apparently it's almost the only non-coastal state to prefer the SAT. And the demographic shift is good news, although its full effect might be delayed due to gerrymandering.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:20 PM
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I think I was the only one from my high school to take the SAT. I had to drive to a whole different town to take it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:22 PM
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Who're you calling non-coastal?!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:29 PM
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The Gulf of Mexico doesn't count. Too many jellyfish and leaking oil wells.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:32 PM
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Slip of the tongue, I meant to say "states that are not in close proximity to parts of the ocean that are not considered to be, in oceanographic terms, mediterranean seas."


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:33 PM
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That's better.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:35 PM
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I wonder if Canadians from Manitoba insist on being considered coastal?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:39 PM
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I'm sure there's a limerick in 472 but I'm not the one to identify it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:41 PM
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Texas is the only coastal state I know of that decided that they so abhor the sea that they needed to move their main port 50 miles inland. (Admittedly, for good reasons.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:42 PM
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Because Galveston wasn't shitty enough?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:43 PM
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Once they raised the entire city, it lost any claims to shittiness. But it was still vulnerable to storms.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:48 PM
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I phrased that poorly. I was trying to insult Houston.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:49 PM
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473:

There once was a Manitoban boaster
Who said, as a blog comment poster
Do not look East or West
When you seek for the best
A true elite is a North Coaster


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:51 PM
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Duly noted and ignored as I've never been there and would much rather dwell on places where they're raising entire cities on hydraulics.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 1:52 PM
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Way late to the thread, but, fun fact: I got married across the street from the park mentioned in the OP. The wedding venue is also owned by the NPS and now shut down. Out of curiosity, Potchkeh, where did you live? My now-wife lived in an apartment around 15th & Belmont before we moved in together.

As for predictions, I think it'll be resolved by the debt ceiling deadline, and if they miss it by half an hour or something, there'll be some kind of insulation against the worst of the trauma. There are enough possible face-saving compromises that the government will agree to one of them in time to avert catastrophe.

To be clear, I'm not predicting a good outcome at all - the welfare state will be further eroded, the Tea Party will be emboldened, we'll go through it all again in six months, and the GOP's demographic crunch makes a difference the Democrats will be the Big Business party completely - just the lack of catastrophe.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 2:09 PM
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I might have missed it, but surely someone mentioned this?

Half just have worldviews which lead them to disagree with what you consider rationality even though they arrive at their positions through rational means, and the other half are the core of the Crazification -- either genuinely crazy; or so woefully misinformed about how the world works, the bases for their decision making is so flawed they may as well be crazy.

One of the most linked blog posts in history.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:15 PM
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481: he so totally ripped off the editors.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:24 PM
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482: On the concept sure. What Rogers added was a quantitative method of arriving at an estimate of the number via the Alan Keyes senate candidacy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:30 PM
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480: Down at the base of the hill about a block from the park.* Not nearly as much of an earful as you would've gotten at 15th & Belmont but it was still annoying.

*Fun fact: that apartment was William Hurt's character's apartment in Broadcast News. William Hurt: not someone who has never been in my (former) kitchen!


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 6:35 PM
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The crazification factor is like one of those physical constants that keeps cropping up in the most unexpected places.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 7:13 PM
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Sorry, teo (and I know you won't see this for hours), but 236 is wrong. It's not that they have no contact with the federal government, it's that they don't recognize the programs as federal. Drive on an interstate? Own a home? Went to college with loans? Don't have poor elderly family members living with you? Check the weather report? WIC serves 53% of infants born in the US. I agree that most people haven't seen shutdown effects, but they most certainly benefit from a number of federal programs (and like them!).

Sure, but none of that stuff is affected by the shutdown except WIC, which, okay, fair enough, but the number of people directly affected there is still a relatively small portion of the overall population. The interstates have already been built. Existing mortgages and student loans have already been disbursed. Social Security and Medicare are non-discretionary. The National Weather Service forecasters are "essential" and are working without pay. Relatively few people are seeing actual consequences of this in their daily lives, and the shutdown would have to go on for much longer for that to change. The federal government plays a huge role in everyone's life, of course, but it's mostly a background role and a week without it doesn't change anything noticeable.

Again, though, the debt ceiling is different. I think most people here probably know this, but some of the comments upthread make me think it's worth reiterating: The shutdown and the debt ceiling are completely different issues that have nothing to do with each other. The fact that they're both coming up at approximately the same time is pure coincidence. The shutdown is about appropriating money for government functions going forward, whereas the debt ceiling is about obtaining money that has already been appropriated for government functions. We've done shutdowns before, and the impact is severe for some people but minor for most. Defaulting on debt is uncharted territory (there have been a few previous instances of similar things happening, but not in quite this way), and no one has any idea what will happen if we reach that point.

The scary part is that the idea that US government debt is the safest investment out there is extremely important to the functioning of the global financial system, and if that idea starts to look questionable things could start to fall apart in catastrophic fashion. Not that anyone knows that global economic catastrophe would be the result of a US debt default; no one knows what would happen, because it's an unprecedented situation without any close historical analogues. The risk of massive economic consequences is clearly there, though, and that's scary. This is a much bigger deal than a government shutdown, which kind of sucks but obviously hasn't brought down the global economy. There would presumably be effects on federal government programs from a default, but at that point that would be the least of our problems.

I think the most likely outcome is that Boehner screws around for a few more days then backs down and allows a vote on a clean CR and a debt limit increase, maybe in exchange for some vague promises from Obama to negotiate or maybe not. Then we muddle through until the next constitutional crisis. That's what happened last time, after all. It's quite possible that this is the time when that doesn't happen and we end up with a much worse result, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 9-13 11:08 PM
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I am known to be sanguine but I have to wonder whether the urgency doesn't stem from private contractors who are, for some reason, highly leveraged right now.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 1:13 AM
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My understanding is that defense contractors, at least, are in okay shape now that most DoD employees are back on the job. So no particular urgency there.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 1:21 AM
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My understanding is that defense contractors, at least, are in okay shape now that most DoD employees are back on the job. So no particular urgency there.

Sure, except they, like all firms that seek government business, stand to lose quite a bit of that if our borrowing costs go up a lot. OTOH, you'd think they'd be shouting up streets and down avenues about that sort of thing and it's just crickets.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 4:14 AM
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You'd think the people who filled my TV with ads about how everybody should vote against Obama because he's going to cut Medicare would be the least bit sheepish about demanding Obama do entitlement reform, but here we are.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 4:58 AM
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OT: I've always felt these things represented everything that is wrong with America (except the drones - obviously nothing to do with the drones). I'm heartened to be right except now I feel a bit bad about all the baby wipes I flushed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 5:53 AM
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The scary part is that the idea that US government debt is the safest investment out there is extremely important to the functioning of the global financial system, and if that idea starts to look questionable things could start to fall apart in catastrophic fashion.

I'm going to call bullshit on that. US government debt doesn't even have a AAA rating.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:01 AM
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492: no one who knows anything about it takes sovereign credit ratings at all seriously. T-bills are still the benchmark that people use, and the sheer number of them out there make them terribly liquid and useful to have (compared to, say, Bunds).


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:05 AM
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The lowering of the rating lead to investors being nervous which meant the bought treasury bonds. They're still considered the safest investment out there.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:05 AM
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Safe as houses.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:07 AM
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491: That's crazy talk. Those wipes are awesome and if they need to throw a couple extra bucks on my sewer bill to buy grinders or whatever then sign me up.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:08 AM
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Your sensitive butt is everything that is wrong with America.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:09 AM
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493: Just out of curiosity, what happens in terms of international balance of payments if the U.S. suddenly stops selling bonds. Dollar drops, right? But what next.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:12 AM
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I thought Urple was making a subtle joke about the stupidity of rating agencies in this context.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:13 AM
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Bullshit. A bond with a near-term maturity from the US government is no more safe than a bond with near-term maturity from, say, Exxon. (And with all the crazy Republicans in office right now, it's probably objectively less safe.) The reason all the money moves into T-bills is because of the incredible size of the market (which makes it possible to easily move billions of dollars in and, more importantly, out, very quickly.) They're very safe, and they're incredibly liquid. But they're not the safest investment out there.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:14 AM
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The ratings agencies suck goat bladders. They failed at their one actual job that they are paid to do (rating bonds, especially mortgage bonds). And did so deliberately to make money. Nobody should forget that when dealing with them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:15 AM
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494: there are a few sovereigns that have even lower spreads - quite a few, actually - but they aren't as liquid.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:15 AM
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urple-pwned.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:16 AM
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Nobody in financial markets gives a shit what the ratings agencies think when it comes to debt of the major sovereigns. S&P's ratings downgrade was a political act. That said, the repeated debt ceiling debacles have made it clear that the US could default for political reasons, so it's not the riskless asset it once was.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:16 AM
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They're still considered the safest investment out there.

Yields in Treasury bonds also serve as a proxy for the "risk-free rate" in the capital asset pricing model, which companies commonly use when allocating capital and evaluating investments. Introducing counterparty risk into that instrument will burden the real economy in ways that go way beyond the initial shock to the system, because companies will perceive a higher hurdle rate that proposed investments need to clear.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:21 AM
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506

To be fair, it's possible to restate teo's sentence to preserve his basic point:

"The scary part is that the idea that US government debt is the safest investment out theresafe enough to serve as the major repository and benchmark for highly-liquid global cash reserves is extremely important to the functioning of the global financial system, and if that idea starts to look questionable things could start to fall apart in catastrophic fashion.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:23 AM
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I have some old Series EE government bonds. Do I need to trade them in for gold and ammo?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:26 AM
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508

I've been investing in barrels of gasoline, chains, gyrocopters, and Tina Turner.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:34 AM
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509

more than 500 man-hours have been devoted over the past 12 months to removing stuck wipes
Man, that's a shitty job.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:37 AM
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510

They just need to outlaw those wipes. The needs of the muni out weight the needs of the poo.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:48 AM
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510: I think I just had a stroke.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:49 AM
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I had assumed that those wipes were made special to degrade like toilet paper. But no, they are just designed to be terrible somewhere downstream.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:54 AM
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||
What's a synonym for "passive aggressive" that one might use with one's boss, who I don't think is familiar the term? I was thinking of "veiled" but that doesn't convey the aggressive part.

This is an actual question, not passive agressive or rhetorical on my part.
|>


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:54 AM
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You are using the term with your boss to describe someone else? If so, I'd just go with "passive aggressive". If your boss is unfamiliar with the term, she shouldn't be--now is a good time to learn.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:57 AM
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She probably doesn't want to learn the meaning of the term because she hates all of her colleagues and wants to get back at them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:58 AM
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513: A couple of us spent some time last week explaining "passive-aggressive" to a Dutch colleague who generally has excellent English language skills. Examples were the key. I was interested that he indicated that he could not think of term for the phenomenon in Dutch. Curious if there are idioms for it in few/many/most languages?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:00 AM
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There are no passive aggressive people in the Netherlands, so they don't need the word.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:02 AM
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"Non-confrontationally uncooperative."
"An asshole, but you know, the quiet kind."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:03 AM
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517: We also suggested to him the opposite, that they all were, so they didn't need the word.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:04 AM
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"An asshole, but you know, the quiet kind."

Silent but deadly.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:05 AM
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521

This is kind of what the shutdown looks like, I think. And the national forests are open, so hunting isn't affected. (Obviously, most FS people are furloughed, but this doesn't affect users; they're still giving loggers a week to wrap up timber sales.

Employing essential people without paying them seems to be to be an accumulation of debt. I'm not sure it qualifies under the debt ceiling limitation, but my expectation is that in the event of a DC breach, they'd have to rethink what is actually essential, and eg shut down airports.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:06 AM
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The Dutch word for "passive aggressive" is "flemish."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:07 AM
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523

Half a day without airports and Boehner caves completely.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:08 AM
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519: My colleague who spent some time in the Netherlands said that the bureaucrats there were masters of passive aggression. I countered with shopkeepers in England.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:10 AM
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523 -- exactly. I sort of wish the administration would order all airports closed, because then the "shutdown" would be over by noon.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:14 AM
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525 -- An announcement today that they've decided they'd have to close airports on Oct 18 would probably work in a couple of days.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:17 AM
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521 - From what I've read, the big thing that'll happen will be that the government will have to make do based on cash intake from payroll taxes (probably prioritizing debt payments, although I can believe Treasury's claims that the payment systems aren't capable of actually doing that); on November 1, something like $60 billion in Social Security checks will have to be issued, and nobody thinks there will be enough cash in hand to pay them. That's the moment hoards of angry old people burn everything down.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:18 AM
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Bullshit. A bond with a near-term maturity from the US government is no more safe than a bond with near-term maturity from, say, Exxon.

Whether or not they're objectively safer, US Treasuries are, as KR says, used by everyone in the market to proxy the so-called risk free rate. Basically every other credit asset* is benchmarked off them for this reason, and T-bills are used as substitutes for cash by almost everyone. Nobody knows how to operate in a world in which your risk free asset is defaulted. There have been lots of funky ideas proposed over the last year or so, but it's all hypothetical.

*Directly, only in dollars and fixed rate, but indirectly, pretty much everything else. That's why quantitative easing works.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:43 AM
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529

Here is a small thing I would ask of someone from a mainstream political media outlet. Maybe a retrospective of the various times when the Republicans were screaming about the terrible effects of "uncertainty" on the economy when that "uncertainty" was relatively small potential changes in the tax code. (I think or really more just "Democrats! Doing stuff! That we might block! So *UNCERTAINTY*!")


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:50 AM
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Instead we get crap like this in Politico (no link):

It isn't entirely Obama's fault. But his dramatic messaging, combined with the frequency of fiscal crises, has induced an advanced case of apocalypse fatigue. The whole country -- including, to hear him tell it, Obama himself -- is bone-weary of semi-annual brushes with financial calamity.
The result: Obama's still talking. But he's not breaking through.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:52 AM
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513: I don't think there is a one-word synonym, I think you just need to explain it -- someone who's superficially friendly and cooperative, but in a manner that is ultimately unhelpful, obstructionist, or subtly interpersonally unpleasant.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:54 AM
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As Charlies Pierce comments on the article quoted in 530:

I think I can assure the kidz here that both the sequester and the government shutdown are having serious material effects on the lives of millions of people all around the country, regardless of what the polls say about their exhaustion with the rhetoric coming out of Washington. That they do not connect that rhetoric with the hardship in their own lives is a profound failure of journalism of which TBOTP* is a perfect manifestation.

*Tiger Beat on the Potomac.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:54 AM
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528: My God, imagine the media coverage if the shoe were on the other foot on this one?

We threaten our standing in the world because Obama is polite to foreign leaders, but potentially mucking with the US's unique role in the world's financial system. No biggie*!

*Until it happens of course.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:59 AM
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513/516: Do the Dutch, and/or this strange boss, have a concept of "work to rule?" That's basically passive aggressiveness.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:06 AM
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535

I find I need an outlet for my rage this morning that is not simply getting down to business on the personal work clusterfuck that I've managed to engineer and that will come to a head over the next several weeks. It would have needed weeks of analysis talking to ens of people to set right, and those weeks no longer exist. I blame Obamacare.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:14 AM
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I always thought "work to rule" sounded like someone who was working their way up the monarchy career ladder. Some day I'll be king!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:14 AM
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You are using the term with your boss to describe someone else?

Nope, her.

(I left early on Tuesday because I ran out of one of my crazy-in-the-head prescriptions, the one which has terrible withdrawal symptoms, and I had to pick some up at my psychiatrist's office before they closed. My boss, whom we'll call Stupidhead, had her secretary leave me a cell phone message along the lines of "Stupidhead wants to know if you're coming back in the office." I in turn e-mailed her secretary after business hours to say that I had been at the doctor's. Her secretary forwarded that to Stupidhead, who responded to her secretary and me, "‚ÄčI did not know she had a doctors appointment or that she was not coming back. I must have missed those emails."

"Passive aggressive" or "veiled" seems better than "The horse you rode in on." For certain values of better, anyway.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:19 AM
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And, no, I'm not going to get in any real trouble. She'll be even more annoying and patronizing than usual, but she has nothing more than nominal authority to discipline or fire me -- and I assure you I'd grieve her ass if she tried -- and she finds portions of my work indispensable.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:22 AM
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535: Under Obamacare, at least when you get fired you'll be guaranteed access to health insurance, and you'll benefit from the 3:1 age rating restriction. Also, if the rage is a symptom of a diagnosable mental health issue, the essential health benefits require coverage of behavioral health services. THANKS, OBAMACARE!



Posted by: Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:23 AM
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540

I find I need an outlet for my rage this morning

May I offer Boss Stupidhead as a deserving target?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:26 AM
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541

I must have missed those emails.

The clear way to deal with this is to passive-aggressively notify your boss, with her secretary cc'ed, about every single occasion in which you get up from your desk or return to it.

"I'm going to get some coffee. Back in five."

"I'm back at my desk, with coffee."

"Coffee hit the intestines. I'm going to be out of communication for about ten minutes. Can I borrow your copy of the Employee Handbook so I can multitask?"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:26 AM
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542

You could passive aggress right back.

"I'm sorry to hear that you're having technical problems with your email. Should I get in touch with IT so they can come take a look and see if they can diagnose what's going on?"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:29 AM
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543

537 doesn't sound that unreasonable. I'd be a bit annoyed if one of my team just walked out of the office early without telling anyone where they were going or when (or if) they'd be coming back. If the boss did know, then I take it back.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:29 AM
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537: If you're really safe from repercussions, educating your boss about the concept of passive aggressiveness seems like one of the least satisfying ways of handling this, even without shouting at her.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:29 AM
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545

543: I've actually griped here about exactly this with a subordinate (I wanted to talk to him before he left the office, and he'd left by 4:30). But (a) assuming professionals with a certain amount of control over their work process rather than someone whose job involves staffing a counter or something, a one-off event shouldn't be a big deal. This is only an issue if it's consistent. And (b) "I must have missed those emails" is just unpleasantly snippy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:36 AM
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540: Grab a lock of her hair or a possession of hers and put a picture of it in the Flickr pool and then I can channel my rage appropriately. Right now a bit too much of it is going in to self-loathing.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:37 AM
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537 doesn't sound that unreasonable. I'd be a bit annoyed

Annoyed, of course. But would you be so passive aggressive about it? "I must have missed those emails" is infuriating. Why not just say: "In the future please be sure to let me know if you're leaving, and if/when you're coming back."


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:38 AM
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548

The clear way to deal with this is to passive-aggressively notify your boss, with her secretary cc'ed, about every single occasion in which you get up from your desk or return to it.

Believe me, this has occurred to me.

542 is very appealing, but I've decided to take the mature path and wrote a very straightforward e-mail using "veiled" (and which I bcc'ed to her secretary, who also hates her, for her [Secretary Long Suffering's] enjoyment).

It does provide some satisfaction, both because I did something instead of just seethe and because no one ever bothers to confront her. It will really piss her off.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:38 AM
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545: true. But I'd be a bit annoyed even at a one-off; how much effort does it take for someone to say "oh, sorry, ajay, I have to leave early because I have to get to the pharmacist because it closes"? I mean, it's not like I'm going to say "NO STAY AT YOUR DESK MINION". Just sloping off is unprofessional.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:40 AM
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550

Annoyed, of course. But would you be so passive aggressive about it?

No, I'd be directly, actively aggressive. But personalities differ.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:41 AM
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551

I've actually griped here about exactly this with a subordinate (I wanted to talk to him before he left the office, and he'd left by 4:30).

This is entirely reasonable coming from a boss who, I am quite sure, generally shows respect for her subordinates. B.S. (just noticed I gave her those initials!) has an incredibly erratic schedule, calls us at all hours of the day and night, doesn't follow up when she says she will, sucks at communication, and assumes everyone will wait on her convenience.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:44 AM
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"NO STAY AT YOUR DESK MINION".

I actually got that response once at my last job (paraphrased by pretty close), when asking (around 8:00 pm) if I could please leave to help my wife put the newborn baby to sleep, because the baby hadn't been sleeping at all for days and had horrible colic and my wife was calling me on the phone and literally begging because she was close to suffering a mental breakdown and I didn't actually have any work that I needed to be doing at that time--I was literally just sitting at my desk--and I promised to come right back to the office as soon as the baby was down, probably 90 minutes or so, and work through the night if needed.

The partner called me back about 9:30 and said, you know, I've reconsidered and it's okay if you go home for a bit to help your wife with the baby, since you don't actually have any work to do, as long as you're back later tonight. (We were expecting urgent work to come in.) But by 9:30 it was too late; the baby was asleep.

The whole interaction pissed me off.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:48 AM
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553

Just sloping off is unprofessional.

Most of us come and go at will daily.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:50 AM
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Also, hi everyone! Sorry I've been Lurky McLurker lately. I miss you all.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:50 AM
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Now I'm wondering if I left a complaining comment here on unfogged at the time. I remember the month and year but not the date, so checking the archives is probably too much trouble.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:51 AM
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Poor will.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:52 AM
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555: No, a story like that I'd remember.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:53 AM
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552: Jeepers. That's outrageous.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:54 AM
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559

Most of us come and go at will daily.

But you tell people where you're going, right?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 8:57 AM
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560

Is this Boehner blinking first?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 9:00 AM
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(Judging by my blood pressure, it seems like I'm still somewhat bitter about that anecdote.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 9:01 AM
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Jesus. My bosses don't want to be bothered with tracking us for anything less than a two-day absence. No one watches my ins and outs, and I don't watch theirs. If it isn't handled by a 4:30 departure, the next day is soon enough.

Of course, we are a half a year late on all our big work products.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 9:02 AM
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559: I really don't -- or, I do if I think there's some particular reason someone might miss me during an absence, but not consistently. But that's our office culture -- I've spent plenty of irritating time looking for people who might or might not be in the office.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 9:05 AM
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559: Occasionally. The nature of our work really doesn't require it. We're people who share an office, not a "team." Most of us interact with people in the field -- all of whom have our e-mail and cell numbers -- rather than one another.

(One of the tangential reasons I generally don't is that the secretaries are all ridiculously overwhelmed as it is, mostly because of her lousy management, and the last thing they need is more e-mail clutter or even a brief interruption.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 9:07 AM
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560: I doubt it. It's temporary and only about the debt limit (not the CR) and he's a fuck.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 9:07 AM
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560: The deal will fall through, then the markets will crash on October 16th, then we'll have a deal on the 17th or 18th, whenever the government's literally about to default.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 9:15 AM
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560: For some values of blinking.

I love this line from Salon's Brian Beutler*:
But the nature of this base-mobilizing strategy created an incentive for conservative Republicans to battle each other for the claim to title of America's greatest Obamacare warrior. And things got out of control.

We're living in a reality TV pilot: America's Greatest Obamacare Warrior.

*Good headline too: "GOP's white-on-white war: Shutdown ruptures party's all-white coalition"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 9:21 AM
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559: It's not an unreasonable expectation at all that people will check in and out if they're going to be out of the office during normal working hours, so long as it's a consistent expectation. Where it's not a consistent expectation, getting snippy about it on occasion isn't reasonable at all, and particularly saying "I must have missed the email" is not an effective way of changing the expectation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 9:36 AM
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The NYT gets the shutdown wrong in the same way that pretty much everyone, left and right, does:

Michael J. Driscoll, a former managing director of Bear, Stearns & Co. and lifelong Republican from New York, said he would not be surprised if Wall Street executives began to shift some of the giving away from House lawmakers.
"One thing about Wall Street, it is very aware of who is working in their best interest," he said.

No. Or at least, Wall Street perceives that its best interest lies in fucking over the have-nots and the US economy in general.

The Republicans who aren't rubes pretty much aren't Republicans any more. The Times article details how the Chamber of Commerce types worked very hard to get the crazies elected, but nobody seems to be arguing that the crazies somehow misled the Chamber of Commerce. The money people knew what they were buying.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 9:41 AM
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570

569 was I.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 9:42 AM
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571

The money people knew what they were buying.

I'm not sure they knew they were buying people who wouldn't be completely controlled by them.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 9:46 AM
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572

The money people knew what they were buying.

This seems wrong. They were buying "anti-Obama", who said mildly mean things about them. That's all that they knew and all that they cared about.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 10:11 AM
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It's a metaphysical certainty that there's someone at some trading desk who is building up a huge portfolio that will benefit from a default.
It's possible but not certain that they are simultaneously shopping investment in said portfolio to various members of Congress who have a direct impact on whether a default happens.
It is a fact that for Congresspeople to invest in such things is totally legal.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 10:16 AM
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574

Ooh, I got a like on facebook for that one.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 10:31 AM
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575

37 wins the thread:


House Republicans, looking for a way out of a budget standoff they began, will offer to President Obama at a White House meeting Thursday a plan to increase the debt limit through Nov. 22, in exchange for a promise to negotiate a deal for long-term deficit reduction and a tax overhaul.....
"What we want to do is offer the president today the ability to move," Speaker John A. Boehner said. The offer, he said, would be "a temporary increase in the debt ceiling, an agreement to go to conference on the budget, for his willingness to sit down and talk with us a way forward to open the government."

See you all again in 6 weeks!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 11:00 AM
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552 is awful and wrong behavior by the boss.

If you think there's a risk of that kind of response, and want to reduce your risk but still inform someone that you'll be out, the trick is to be careful not to ask for permission, but just say, "Just so you know, I'll be out during [interval] to do [thing]."


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 11:01 AM
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577

When will the media stop taunting me with male models in all their back-hairless perfection.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 11:38 AM
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578

571 and 572 - Well, "the money people" isn't as homogenous a group as I make them out to be, but nobody, anywhere, is saying "I had no idea that this is what those Tea Party types would do."

But let's pretend that they really didn't know. Now that they've found out, they are proposing to ... run people against them in the primaries who will also support Boehner for speaker and kowtow to the Tea Party.

Sure, they may have some distaste for these yahoos, but - even now - they support the Tea Party more than the Democrats. And this is a group selected by the NYT specifically for their opposition to the Tea Party.

Maybe the least vile of them doesn't thirst for human blood, but they are all very comfortable around people who do.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 11:44 AM
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579

As soon as the Tea Party costs the money people real money they're out. It's one thing to squeeze the poor when it's a hobby, but when it starts cutting into the yacht budget then look out.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 2:00 PM
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580

Yes but it's not clear when that happens. Default I guess, but many rich assholes, particularly ideologically committed ones that actually drive the conservative movement, are perfectly fine with the "shutdown" continuing more or less indefinitely.* Unless they close the airports. Just close the fucking airports and solve this thing in 3 hours.

*hence the most recent proposal.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 2:03 PM
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581

As soon as the Tea Party costs the money people real money they're out.

It'll have to be a lot of money, and it won't last for long. If the economy tanks in a 2008 kind of way, the Wall Street people - but not the rest of the Big Money - will defect for an election cycle before they get their priorities straight and resume trying to grab the steering wheel for the purpose of driving the country over a cliff.

Ask me how I know this.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 2:18 PM
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582

I guess I don't really know what will happen if they lift the debt ceiling but continue the shutdown. Shutting down the airports would probably work -- it's sure the most direct way the shutdown would affect me, at least until I get salmonella.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 2:18 PM
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583

581: Because you're behind it all?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 2:19 PM
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584

Politicalfootball IS Jamie Dimon IN "I Was A Middle-Aged White Guy Who Destroyed The World."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 2:23 PM
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585

God, closing the airports would be so sweet. Oh, you stopped off in Aspen for lunch on the G-4 your way from New York to Redwood City? GUESS WHAT MOTHERFUCKER YOU'RE STUCK THERE ALMOST LIKE A POOR MOM NOT GETTING WIC.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 2:26 PM
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586

http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/obama-administration-to-let-states-pay-to-reopen-national-parks/article_5ce6ebe0-31de-11e3-a3cb-001a4bcf887a.html

I bet these states are surprised to have their bluff called.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 2:27 PM
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587

Just close the fucking airports and solve this thing in 3 hours.

And close them before tomorrow at 9 PM!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 2:40 PM
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588

That way I can spend Sunday sleeping in and reading blogs instead of stumbling around half-awake and jetlagged trying to remember my five words of German.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 2:41 PM
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589

I guess I'm already pre-jetlagged because by "tomorrow" I mean "Saturday".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 2:42 PM
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590

Why does no one talk about shutting off the mail? I get that it has its own funding stream, but I know that some of the furloughed parts of the CA goverment have their own funding stream. It says U.S. right there in the U.S.P.S. Are we making this shutdown inconvenient and relevent or not?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 2:44 PM
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591

A little bit of digging reveals the name of the man who came up with the "WIC gets shut off, but not the airports" policy: David Stockman. Good Christ I loathe that asshole.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 2:49 PM
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592

Admiral Stockman? Isn't he Speaker of the House?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 2:51 PM
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593

I'm thinking that might have been funny only to me.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 2:52 PM
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594

E.g here.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 2:52 PM
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595

I gave it the non-verbal, non-demonstrably-expressive equivalent of a minor chuckle.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 2:53 PM
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596

I.e. the slightly raised eyebrow of amusement.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 2:54 PM
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597

From the link in 594: "Bring it on," Stockman told me Thursday morning from his estate in Greenwich, Connecticut

At what point do people stop saying "home" or "house" or whatever and start saying "estate"? Is this just a quirk of journalistese? Do real people ever say "oh, I was at my estate in Connecticut when..."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 2:59 PM
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At what point do people stop saying "home" or "house" or whatever and start saying "estate"?

Clinical brain death.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 3:02 PM
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I'd start calling it an estate when there's multiple outbuildings that go beyond just a garage or crappy little aluminum shed. You also need permanent staff, preferably living on site.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 3:09 PM
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Jesus Christ, another one of my colleagues who I thought was reasonable and well-informed about pretty much everything has just opined on his blog that it's obvious that we need cuts to Social Security, but we should wait to implement them until the economy is on a sounder footing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 3:15 PM
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I have a new policy that when someone brings up cuts to Social Security I say, "If they cut my Social Security, then somebody is getting shot. I don't know who, and I don't know where and when, but when I reach retirement age, I'm shooting somebody." The two times I've used it the other person quickly changed the subject.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 3:30 PM
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My response is to point out that Social Security is fully funded through 2037 and stable indefinitely at slightly reduced payouts. The giant waste that's causing unsustainable deficits is the military-industrial complex. *Then* I shoot them.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 3:36 PM
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We wouldn't even have a Social Security crisis if we just adopted my "one sandwich, one bullet" policy described in the earlier, more innocent past of this thread.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 3:45 PM
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That gets into the murky realm of "facts" and "objective truths," which never seem to persuade anyone. I like to stick to a message our Breaking-Bad-addled culture understands: I want my fucking money.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 3:47 PM
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486: Sure, but none of that stuff is affected by the shutdown except WIC, which, okay, fair enough, but the number of people directly affected there is still a relatively small portion of the overall population. The interstates have already been built. Existing mortgages and student loans have already been disbursed. [...] Relatively few people are seeing actual consequences of this in their daily lives, and the shutdown would have to go on for much longer for that to change.

Teo, not to pester you on this, but I'm not sure how true that is. Have you seen this Pew Poll on people personally inconvenienced by the shutdown? Which appears on this longer Pew list of polls on the shutdown.

While there are sizable partisan and demographic gaps in concern over the economic effects of the shutdown, there are smaller differences in the percentages saying they have been personally inconvenienced by the federal government shutdown. Overall, 28% say they or a member of their family have been inconvenienced, which is far higher than the percentage saying this during the last shutdown of the federal government, in January 1996 (16%).

I wouldn't call 28% "relatively few", but perhaps you would. Diane Rehm's first hour this morning was on this topic, and the range of effects people were feeling were surprisingly widespread. Not just WIC and such, but pharmacies not being reimbursed by VA prescription drug programs, small businesses delayed in getting SBA loans and therefore losing the lease on their intended property, scientific researchers unable to complete their research and therefore missing publication submission deadlines, which will affect their careers, and so on.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 5:22 PM
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I've figured it out; I'm overtired and hallucinating the government. Quite a comforting thought actually.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:19 PM
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Otherwise why doesn't Obama and Congress just GIT HER DONE!!!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:22 PM
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Give me two steps 'cuz I'm a simple, kind of man, And I hope Neil Young will remember that this bird you cannot change.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:26 PM
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Otherwise why doesn't Obama and Congress just GIT HER DONE!!!

Babe, you're delirious. What's Obama got to do with it?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:36 PM
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Should I go find standpipe?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:39 PM
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Standpipe don't need you comin' round anyhow.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:49 PM
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The bartender forgot to put in my food order so he said my next beer was on him. Can I order the Pumpking for my next beer or do I need to stick with what I've been drinking?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 6:56 PM
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Make him fly to Vermont and pick up a six-pack at Hill Farmstead Brewery.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:00 PM
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Salad with french fries, hooray.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:09 PM
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Good news! Obamacare is more popular since the shutdown

For one thing, the health-care law has become more popular since the shutdown began. Thirty-eight percent see the Affordable Care Act (or "Obamacare") as a good idea, versus 43 percent who see it as a bad idea - up from 31 percent good idea, 44 percent bad idea last month.

That means the undecideds have become decided. (I'm sure there are all kinds of things to quibble about in that poll, but I'm trying to cheer Stormcrow up.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:16 PM
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I had put that in the wrong thread before, but it's important to notice. Undecideds on Obamacare went up by 7 points since the shutdown -- which we notice coincided with rollout of the ACA open enrollment period. Negatives remained about the same, but it's undecideds who are important.

I'm actually really surprised by this, and have no idea whether it has to do with the shutdown or the ACA exchange rollout, which has been less than optimal. I will say that the ridiculous level of doom-saying about how catastrophic healthcare.gov has been so far annoys the shit out of me. And Jon fucking Stewart was a dumb on this.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:17 PM
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By way of explanation: Jon Stewart harassed Kathleen Sebelius on why the individual mandate was not suspended for one year, since the business mandate was, and that seemed unfair. KS didn't answer him straightforwardly, and has been pilloried in some quarters for it. (Andrew Sullivan thought she should be fired. Quit it, Sullivan.)

Josh Barro has the single best answer to the question.

Focusing on micro-level fairness leads to all sorts of errors

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:25 PM
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Salad with mandate, hooray.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:28 PM
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Why eat a salad without fries now that you know they can be obtained with fries?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-10-13 7:30 PM
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Salad with french fries, hooray.

Deb Perelman has apparently got it in her head that a traditional English roast dinner involves fried potatoes.

I am devastated. I trusted her.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-11-13 4:08 AM
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620: She is not aware of all English roast traditions?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10-11-13 5:36 AM
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Mom used to roast the potatoes underneath the meat. That was great. I should do that someday soon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-11-13 5:38 AM
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Why eat a salad without fries now that you know they can be obtained with fries?

You might see if they're able to substitute a burger for the salad. Probably an up-charge, but it would be worth it.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-11-13 5:51 AM
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Can Ryan thread needle?

Cruz v. Ryan? Ryan wins

Ryan coolly steps in

All taken from the CNN home page now -- guess who is going to be the hero if a deal is reached?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-11-13 9:08 AM
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Rand Paul, because I always confuse him with Paul Ryan.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-11-13 9:09 AM
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I just considered the question "which is more likely, that any of the theories I work on is true, or that we'll see a Paul Ryan presidency in my lifetime?" I don't think I like the answer.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-11-13 9:24 AM
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626. Buy a lottery ticket. It'll make you feel better.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 2:45 AM
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Paul Ryan will never be President of the United States. The media has a perfect track record of developing mancrushes on people who are unelectable to the Presidency.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 3:48 AM
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628: Until it became obvious he was going to be elected President, Barack Obama seemed like a perfect example.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 4:34 AM
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Posted by: Dawn Martin | Link to this comment | 10-14-15 8:03 AM
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As long as you're sincere.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-15 8:11 AM
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