Re: Debt Ceiling Truthers

1

Tea Partiers are people who don't believe that destroying the economy is an actual phenomenon.

Which is how they already feel about the environment.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:12 AM
horizontal rule
2

Tea Partiers are people who don't believe that destroying the economy is an actual phenomenon.

Except for Obamacare doing it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:18 AM
horizontal rule
3

And I love that a probable outcome of all of this will be a repeal of the Medical Devices tax. Because fiscal conservatism. Washington always wins.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:19 AM
horizontal rule
4

3: it's a nit, but it has a well-defined rather bi-artisan constituency (for instance Al Franken). no one cares about the deficit.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:23 AM
horizontal rule
5

2: Well, in fairness, Obamacare is a government takeover of healthcare, rather than some conservative-concocted free-market scheme. [Head explodes.]


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:24 AM
horizontal rule
6

And the deficit truthers are like a spouse who assumes he other one will be responsible and somehow hold things together. And no one cares about the analogy ban.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:25 AM
horizontal rule
7

You: I have a sore throat and a runny nose.
Your doctor: You have a cold. Stay in bed for a few days.
The Tea Party: You have terminal cancer. You need to spend 48 hours in the rain, then have both legs amputated!


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:27 AM
horizontal rule
8

5: Right. Republicans can't destroy the economy; Democrats laready have and will do so further.

I work with a fair number of these people--helps fuel a low-level continuous rage.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:27 AM
horizontal rule
9

Laready: Saying you're ready when in fact you still need to blow dry your hair.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:29 AM
horizontal rule
10

Heebie put up this thread because she's a hater--the weekend is my time to relax and only hate my one neighbor. But no.

Even Chris Hayes (reject from a Decembrists lookalike cover band) was annoying the fuck out of me last night with his horse race-ish coverage. Plus his "It's a disaster" laments about the rollout so far*. I think the move to primetime has put him on a trajectory to be a latter-day Chris Matthews.

*Which has not been great, but some perspective here.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:34 AM
horizontal rule
11

It's beyond boring. I long to escape to to some plane of at least pseudo-ethereal thoughts, but find I cannot. Need a long trip in the woods.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:37 AM
horizontal rule
12

And if the economy tanks they'll say Obama made it happen because he didn't want to be called on his bluff.
I also love that the proposed 6-week extension includes removal of the so-called "emergency measures" (deferring pension payments, etc.) that Treasury has to resort to every time these dicks have a tantrum. "We'll hold off on destroying the economy for now, but we'll also take away all the tools you might use to delay us from doing so next time!"


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:38 AM
horizontal rule
13

The rollout complaints are almost too lame to have been imagined. Is a single person going to go a single minute without coverage on account of it? No, and they can't even tell a story where this might be the case.

As for destruction of the economy, the TP type screamers have been predicting imminent collapse of society since the first kid stepped on the first lawn. As noted above, it the failure to raise the ceiling causes serious harm, then it'll have been because 17T in debt! 200T in unfunded liabilities!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:42 AM
horizontal rule
14

3: That's second my favorite part. My favorite is that it hasn't even been a year since my TV was spammed with people damning Obama for "cutting Medicare."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:56 AM
horizontal rule
15

My third favorite part is the way the light plays on Michael Baron's hair.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:57 AM
horizontal rule
16

No. That's fourth. Third is Ted Cruz talking about "skewed polls".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:59 AM
horizontal rule
17

The rise of Cruz to prominence as a representative of the Tea Party, coupled with the emergence of many Republicans who dislike him so much that they are eager to stab him in the back at any opportunity regardless of any cost to the GOP as a whole, has been one of the (very) few bright spots in this mess.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 10:06 AM
horizontal rule
18

Thank God for moderate Republicans like Susan Collins. GOP unanimously filibusters debt limit hike.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 10:19 AM
horizontal rule
19

I keep waiting for the punch line. Surely Ashton Kutcher is waiting in the wings and any minute now will jump out and yell "punked!"


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 10:49 AM
horizontal rule
20

Grasping at straws for some consolation in all this: It seems to have stiffened Harry Reid's spine (or, more accurately, pissed him off and triggered his vindictive streak). I have a glimmer of hope that filibuster of the debt ceiling measure will finally push Reid over the edge to rule the filibuster out of order, and that no Dem will dare go against him on that vote.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 11:04 AM
horizontal rule
21

If this entire budget episode should prove anything to Senate Democrats, it's this: should the GOP ever take back the Senate, they will kill the filibuster about 60 seconds after the first time it inconveniences them in any fashion. Not killing it now is just ensuring that the Democrats will be the last ones ever thwarted by it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 11:15 AM
horizontal rule
22

I suspect the Senate GOP will fold after an initial show of resistance that gives them cover to argue they aren't undercutting the House -- I also suspect that at least ten of them, if not more, actually would like nothing better than to break the House on this -- but we'll see. I also wouldn't have thought the situation would get anywhere near this far, so who knows.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 11:32 AM
horizontal rule
23

The way the line breaks work in the sidebar when Stormcrow serial comments in this thread is very soothing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 11:39 AM
horizontal rule
24

How's this?


Posted by: Moby H i c k | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 11:45 AM
horizontal rule
25

How about now?


Posted by: M o b y H i c k | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 11:46 AM
horizontal rule
26

This is it, probably.


Posted by: M o b y Hi c k | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 11:46 AM
horizontal rule
27

If we had just one righteous man with a flamethrower, we could solve everything in an extremely cool-looking manner.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 11:47 AM
horizontal rule
28

Maybe this guy could take charge of the flamethrower (wait till end).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 11:49 AM
horizontal rule
29

Congresspeople are basically bros, right? The bros I know love playing softball, so Congress should have a softball game to settle it. Repubs win: they get to repeal the medical device tax; Dems win: they get to fix the corporate tax system.

Or some other prizes that are more realistic.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 11:58 AM
horizontal rule
30

29: They know better than to accept that challenge.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 12:09 PM
horizontal rule
31

21: I'm more pessimistic than that. The next time the Dems are in the minority, they will preemptively cave, out of well-grounded but ultimately pointless fear that the Republicans will kill the filibuster (as in the Gang of 14 deal) thus ensuring that the Republicans are never inconvenienced by it, but it remains in place to thwart the Democrats the next time they are in the majority.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 12:22 PM
horizontal rule
32

10: Even Chris Hayes (reject from a Decembrists lookalike cover band) was annoying the fuck out of me last night with his horse race-ish coverage. Plus his "It's a disaster" laments about the rollout so far*. I think the move to primetime has put him on a trajectory to be a latter-day Chris Matthews.

I don't know what's going on with Hayes. He's supplanted Rachel Maddow for me as the best thing MSNBC has going -- Maddow has just become sarcastic and ridiculously repetitive*, doing a great job at making MSNBC look like the left version of Fox -- but he, Hayes, seems like he's excitedly on speed. Not like a Chris Matthews, though, I don't think, who is frankly not thoughtful, and Hayes is.

Hayes does have good panel discussions. Joy Reid the other night was awesome in response to some guy from Forbes.

* Seriously, she lays out the story, provides some numbers or facts to back it up, then repeats the story more forcefully, then editorializes sarcastically for a bit, then repeats the story a third time -- and I keep saying, "Yes, we get it, Rachel. We get it, for god's sake. Move on."


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 12:29 PM
horizontal rule
33

18 and following: I can't even tell what's going on at the moment - I need a timeline or something. Democrats reject Susan Collins' proposal? But then GOP filibusters Senate Dem bill? Hmph, someone's got to be providing a timeline somewhere.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 12:37 PM
horizontal rule
34

Collins proposed a six-month government reopening and a three-month debt ceiling increase in return for delaying the medical device tax for two years. Which is like picking the hostages pocket rather than shooting him, but still...


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 12:45 PM
horizontal rule
35

I, for one, am fleeing the country until this thing is over.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 12:49 PM
horizontal rule
36

You know, it's startling to think that there is no act that terrorists could commit short of nuking New York that would do the damage to the country that the Republican party is doing right now.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 12:51 PM
horizontal rule
37

To be fair, there are several other cities that it would be quite bad to nuke.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 12:53 PM
horizontal rule
38

No, only New York counts. Nuking LA would be a net gain, and every other city would be a wash.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 12:56 PM
horizontal rule
39

Sorry I slept with your mom bro.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 1:00 PM
horizontal rule
40

You wish. It was Magic Johnson who slept with my mom.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 1:02 PM
horizontal rule
41

34: Thanks, Walt. I was just reading that at TPM.

The number of competing proposals has become somewhat dizzying, but I'm gathering that Dems insist on raising the debt ceiling through 2014 with no concessions or trade-offs. Full stop. (Though I thought Obama had agreed to a "trade-off" consisting of agreement to convene budget talks. Are Senate Dems rejecting that? It was apparently not part of their bill.)

Sorry - I feel stupid for failing to follow along.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 1:13 PM
horizontal rule
42

I just had a Republican friend of mine (I thought he was an "independent" before) tell me that he thinks a global economic meltdown may be just what is needed at this point if we keep on borrowing and running up our debt. Me: Government is not like a family or a business because x, y & z....Him: I understand that but it has to stop....Me: Millions will be out of work and go hungry...Him: *shrugs shoulders* Finally I couldn't take it anymore and called it flat out insane and evil. Or maybe I called him insane and evil. He certainly took it personally. I'm not sure if we are friends anymore. But I do know if this happens no one will ever find five dollars again.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 1:32 PM
horizontal rule
43

Barry, that's not a found-five-dollars story.

I don't know if you want this, but I cheer you in refusing to back down. Refusing to grant such demented ideas is the only way to give such people pause. It's important.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 1:40 PM
horizontal rule
44

I don't think O has agreed to anything yet, except with the general proposition that going past the DC would be bad.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 1:44 PM
horizontal rule
45

In the event that we hit the debt limit there will still be money to pay bondholders. It's all the other functions of government that will be affected. People talk about treasury not being able to prioritize but I am willing to bet a way will be found. Lots of people would be fucked but the dire default scenario is extremely unlikely. Markets would be rattled but not crashed.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 1:47 PM
horizontal rule
46

I've never understood that argument. Even if the Treasury can prioritize, how is not paying Social Security or government contractors just as much a default as not paying bond holders. And how it is not politically far more dangerous to not pay social security or the military or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 1:51 PM
horizontal rule
47

s/b "how is not paying Social Security or government contractors NOT just as much of a default"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 1:52 PM
horizontal rule
48

45: I'm actually more worried about the long term rather than the short term impact. Would represent a very substantive episode in the erosion of the role of the US in world economy (still is a long haul thing). Wild governance is a bad thing. I believe it would significantly up the chance that we would eventually resort to our using the nukes somewhere, somehow. We are clearly the most dangerous nation on the planet; and that should scare the crap out of every human being and other living thing everywhere.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 1:56 PM
horizontal rule
49

Holy Fucking Drama Queen. "This is a very frustrated Lindsey Graham," he added. "Which is a very dangerous thing."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 1:59 PM
horizontal rule
50

Oh it would be a disaster no doubt. My point is just that it most likely would not lead to the kind of apocalyptic mess a bondd default would. There's degrees of fucked, I guess.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 2:02 PM
horizontal rule
51

46 - I'd keep paying the military over Social Security, because I'm pretty sure tanks can run over power scooters. I think the idea is that it leads to a disastrous rise in interest rates and a second Great Recession, but defaulting on the debt is cats-and-dogs-sleeping-together levels of awful because all around the globe financial stuff is priced like that's literally impossible by the laws of physics, so every banking system in the world throws a shoe and we all have move to Bartertown.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 2:03 PM
horizontal rule
52

45: People talk about treasury not being able to prioritize but I am willing to bet a way will be found. Lots of people would be fucked but the dire default scenario is extremely unlikely. Markets would be rattled but not crashed.

togolosh. I'm surprised.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 2:05 PM
horizontal rule
53

I'd keep paying the military over Social Security because everybody bitching about Obama that I encounter is retired.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 2:06 PM
horizontal rule
54

53: Right. Punish their votes. Of Course it is the retirees who don't really need Social Security on a month-to-month basis who are the strongest nutcase bloc.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 2:14 PM
horizontal rule
55

If payment prioitization is possible, and becomes necessary, it's going to get expensive for me, on account of reimbursing the owner of every TV I throw a chair through when I hear Fox News going on about how Obama chose to pay foreign governments in preference to Social Security recipients.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 2:23 PM
horizontal rule
56

I cannot STAND how self-righteous people, esp. members of the military, become about their right to be paid first. Fuck you. Yes, you put your life on the line (sometimes, for some members of the military, but not by any stretch all members), but you made that choice, and you'll have to let me know if you're on the verge of becoming homeless or eating cat food. None of this applies to veterans, who are in a different category.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 2:30 PM
horizontal rule
57

I don't fault anybody self-righteously demanding their pay check on time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 2:33 PM
horizontal rule
58

None of this applies to veterans, who are in a different category.

Wait, what? Fuck you if you're still in the military and want to get paid, but not if you used to be in the military and want to get paid? I'm generally with Moby on this one, so I'd like everyone to get paid, but what's the distinction you're making?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 2:37 PM
horizontal rule
59

How about people self-righteously demanding that their on-time paycheck be prioritized before those of millions of other people who are in fact in greater need?

It's a question of whether you view things in terms of the collective or in terms of the individual.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 2:41 PM
horizontal rule
60

58: I was referring to veterans who need medical care and such.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 2:43 PM
horizontal rule
61

Okay, then presumably active duty military who really really need the money would make it into the same category. A distinction between people in immediate need and not I can follow, I just couldn't make the active-duty/veteran distinction work.

But really, I think people reacting ungracefully or self-righteously to an awful and insane situation that isn't their fault is pretty low on the list of people to get angry at. Well after everyone who actually helped bring it about.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 2:47 PM
horizontal rule
62

59: No, it's a question how stupid it would be to try a "partial default".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 2:48 PM
horizontal rule
63

55: Solution: don't watch Fox News if at all possible. If you're in an environment where you can't avoid it, I understand that a moderate amount of violence against inanimate objects may be called for.

I think it's moderately likely that we'll either go off the cliff or we'll see a revolt by the business wing of the GOP that deals a devastating blow to the Tea Party. Not that they'll go away entirely, but their money supply will dry up to a large extent and threats of getting primaried from the right will be less serious for Republican moderates. The Koch brothers appear to have blinked, for example.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 2:51 PM
horizontal rule
64

I think what bothers me the most about this situation is I've lost all sense of the relative probability of different outcomes.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 2:52 PM
horizontal rule
65

64: .199, .3, .3, .05, .001., .05, .1


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 2:54 PM
horizontal rule
66

Oh. Well in that case, why are we so worried?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 3:07 PM
horizontal rule
67

61: Okay, then presumably active duty military who really really need the money would make it into the same category.

Right. There are many more non-retired members of the military who are not actually active duty -- they're not on the front lines, but are paper-pushers, or technicians, or managers (or engineers or trainers and on and on) -- than there are actual front-line, active duty members. They never put their lives on the line ... and *that's fine*, but they don't get to be special just because their work is done for the military rather than some other organization.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 3:09 PM
horizontal rule
68

42: The thing I don't understand about people who believe that is that the deficit has been trending down as the economy has recovered. But of course the people recommending catastrophic default probably don't know that.

It's also insane in that we've shut down all non-essential functions of the government already, and yet we're going to hit the debt ceiling anyway. When people say the the US government is an insurance company with an army, they're not kidding. But of course the people recommending catastrophic default probably don't know that, either.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 3:10 PM
horizontal rule
69

I fear I'm confusing the question of what's technically meant by "active duty", but whatever, I hope I've made my distinction clear.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 3:10 PM
horizontal rule
70

These hypothetical people sure are annoying. Hypothetically.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 3:10 PM
horizontal rule
71

But of course the people recommending catastrophic default probably don't know that, either.

I think the ordinary people who are in favor of default actually don't even know what the debt is; they think Obama is personally calling people in China up and asking for handouts, or something.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 3:14 PM
horizontal rule
72

Really I think the whole language of "debt" and "borrowing" should be scrapped in at least the public discourse about the functioning of the federal government. The issuing of treasury bonds is so different from what people think of as "borrowing money" that it leads to all sorts of cognitive bugs that affect people's opinions in harmful ways.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 3:16 PM
horizontal rule
73

I don't know if that would help. Separating the idea of debt from deficit and the Fed from the Treasury might help. The biggest help would be establishing the idea that being easily butthurt doesn't make you more likely to be right or compassionate.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 3:36 PM
horizontal rule
74

The current crisis is of course just a symptom of the underlying pathologies which would make the dire events in 48 a possibility, but one does track symptoms to understand the course of the disease. Watching tomorrow's Sunday morning talk shows would be extremely unwise for me.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 3:41 PM
horizontal rule
75

Polling on stuff like the debt ceiling takes the misunderstanding and cranks it up to 11.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 3:42 PM
horizontal rule
76

The Koch brothers appear to have blinked, for example.

Nonono. The Koch brothers have denied supporting a government shutdown, but they haven't denied supporting the politicians who support the shutdown, nor have they suggested they will lessen their support. Nor have they said they oppose a shutdown. Because they don't.

The evidence suggests that the sanest of the money people are dissatisfied with this turn of events, but not in the sense that they, you know, actually oppose it. Susan Collins didn't just vote against the CR - she filibustered it.

Heebie has the key to this in the OP.

Or they'd invent some pretend sequence of alternate history that led to tanking the economy.

The idea that our economy is guided by a smart, rationally self-interested cabal ought to have been tossed in the trash by now.

That said, there is a great deal of self-interest at work here, too. What would cost the Koch brothers more: A global depression or being forced to admit they were wrong?

As heebie says, if there's a global depression, you can be sure that it will be Obama's fault, and that patriots like the Kochs will put a huge amount of money into seeing to it that people like Obama are never elected again.

I'd still bet that the current lunacy is resolved relatively painlessly - possibly even in a rout of the lunatics. But they'll still be out there, even if their goals are set back for a few years. And they know that you don't win if you don't fight.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 3:45 PM
horizontal rule
77

And all of that said, we are all probably guilty of taking the things people say during a period like this too seriously (same for the recent Syria stuff)--it ain't 11-dimensional chess, but most public utterances are part of a discussion of which we are only getting glimpses. Of course bluffs can be called, the media and public reactions are part of the game, yadda, yadda, yadda but we don't know shit.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 3:47 PM
horizontal rule
78

What Would Stalin Do?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 3:49 PM
horizontal rule
79

You seem tense. How about a nice hobby, like sanding cockroaches.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 3:52 PM
horizontal rule
80

I'm not fucking tense, I'm enraged. There's a difference you imbecile!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 3:56 PM
horizontal rule
81

I'd be willing to trade the medical devices tax for a carbon tax. I hope Obama is putting that option on the table.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 3:59 PM
horizontal rule
82

Solution: don't watch Fox News if at all possible.

Next week I have to go to a lunch at which this contemptible Fox News turd is speaking. I just hope I put the fork through my own eye rather than that of the client on whose account I have to go to this thing.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 4:09 PM
horizontal rule
83

78: The Chugach is actually not particularly isolated compared to other federal lands in Alaska, but I suppose it's probably isolated enough for what Taibbi's talking about.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 4:10 PM
horizontal rule
84

83: Right. And the gulag camps were not actually in the most inaccesible parts of Siberia (or even Siberia at all) just well out of the way.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 4:15 PM
horizontal rule
85

77: you don't say?


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 4:23 PM
horizontal rule
86

Meanwhile, I'm in Phoenix. This is a pretty terrible place. I did, though, have the best tacos ever yesterday. But that was in Tucson, which is much less terrible than Phoenix. My scientific poll, based entirely on overheard conversations in the airport,* of the public here suggests that this is all Obama's fault. More tacos, please.

* If it's good enough for Tom Friedman...


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 4:28 PM
horizontal rule
87

85: Oh, aren't we the knowing one?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 4:50 PM
horizontal rule
88

but we don't know shit.

Bradley Manning's leaks were really revelatory to me in that it turns out that behind closed doors, people really are saying a lot of the same stupid shit they say for the cameras.

Having been proved wrong again and again, I will never again say, "Nobody could be that stupid."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 4:55 PM
horizontal rule
89

Thesis: most people who say, in airy tones, how much they love the desert have not spent much time in the desert.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:10 PM
horizontal rule
90

The same is not true of dessert.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:11 PM
horizontal rule
91

Hey now. What's wrong with the desert?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:11 PM
horizontal rule
92

I wouldn't want to live in the desert but I sure like spending time there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:13 PM
horizontal rule
93

My problem is with airy tones, teo.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:13 PM
horizontal rule
94

I think your problem is more fundamental than that.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:14 PM
horizontal rule
95

I have no particular opinion on airy tones, so fair enough I guess.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:15 PM
horizontal rule
96

Other than the searing heat, the stunted vegetation, and the scarcity of life-sustaining water, I think it's pretty great.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:16 PM
horizontal rule
97

Those things just keep out the riffraff.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:17 PM
horizontal rule
98

Heh.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:18 PM
horizontal rule
99

Real people who like the desert use earth tones.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:18 PM
horizontal rule
100

Also: Southwest's livery is fugly.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:20 PM
horizontal rule
101

Now them's fightin' words.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:21 PM
horizontal rule
102

You'll fight to uphold the honor of Soutwest Airlines? I'm surprised.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:22 PM
horizontal rule
103

Why?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:24 PM
horizontal rule
104

I mean, in addition to its regional focus, it's also the best airline in the country.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:27 PM
horizontal rule
105

But it's livery is fugly. Also, Alaska is better.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:28 PM
horizontal rule
106

Fuck you apostrophe adding iphone.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:28 PM
horizontal rule
107

It's possible that I'm a bit grumpy because I have to get on a plane.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:29 PM
horizontal rule
108

At least there won't be any Bible verses.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:31 PM
horizontal rule
109

I don't care about the aesthetic properties of airline livery. Alaska's pretty good, and certainly much better than the major airlines, but it's still more like a legacy airline than I prefer.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:31 PM
horizontal rule
110

Eh, we're delayed because "a flight attendant is sick." Worst airline ever.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:34 PM
horizontal rule
111

107: Maybe your flight will be canceled and you'll have to spend the night in Phoenix.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:34 PM
horizontal rule
112

Hah!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:34 PM
horizontal rule
113

True, its livery is fugly. As fugly as the New York Mets' colors.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:36 PM
horizontal rule
114

This is all your fault, teo.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:36 PM
horizontal rule
115

I just want you to have more time to appreciate the wonders of the desert.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:37 PM
horizontal rule
116

and to distract you from the wonders of flying.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:38 PM
horizontal rule
117

Now replacing a reading light. Like people still read. Total pre-9/11 thinking.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:40 PM
horizontal rule
118

the wonders of the desert

Like Joe Arpaio's gleaming monument to human rights.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:40 PM
horizontal rule
119

BOARDING!!! Goodbye infernal desert.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:42 PM
horizontal rule
120

The CU basketball team just boarded the plane. These are very tall young men. They love the desert, I'm sure, teo.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:46 PM
horizontal rule
121

As well they might.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:49 PM
horizontal rule
122

I mean, why else would they be there? The basketball season hasn't even started.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:50 PM
horizontal rule
123

Scrimmage with Boise State.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:51 PM
horizontal rule
124

So teams from Idaho and Colorado flew to Arizona to play each other?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:52 PM
horizontal rule
125

JetBlue rules over southwest.

Also, directv and some Missouri fox affiliate are feuding so I have to watch the sox game on a dodgy love stream from the UK. I blame Halford.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:53 PM
horizontal rule
126

I think they connected in Phoenix, Mr. Failure of Imagination.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:54 PM
horizontal rule
127

I've never taken JetBlue. I understand it's similar to Southwest in many ways.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:54 PM
horizontal rule
128

126: Seems like it would have been quicker to drive.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 5:55 PM
horizontal rule
129

Upon further investigation, apparently not. But Southwest does have direct flights from Denver to Boise, so maybe they should have taken one of those.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 6:01 PM
horizontal rule
130

I like JetBlue, and I've never seen them act like a cartoon villain.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 6:03 PM
horizontal rule
131

130: I think JetBlue is non-union, so there's that.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 6:05 PM
horizontal rule
132

130: I have, but it's been a while. And I hate southwest's seating policy. JetBlue definitely has the lowest rate of actively pissing me off when I fly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 6:08 PM
horizontal rule
133

Er, I have.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 6:09 PM
horizontal rule
134

Goddamit. http://www.wired.com/politics/security/news/2003/09/60489?currentPage=all


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 6:09 PM
horizontal rule
135

Well I heard Von Wafer gripe about her
Well, I heard ole gimpy put her down
Well, I hope Von Wafer will remember
A desert man don't need him around anyhow.

"Sere Home, Arizona" -- Edwyrd Abby


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 6:23 PM
horizontal rule
136

135 is great.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 6:25 PM
horizontal rule
137

107 gets it exactly right. Boo, planes!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 6:28 PM
horizontal rule
138

This might be more to AquaWafer's liking:

Ship-shipping ship, shipping shipping ships.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 6:29 PM
horizontal rule
139

"Dodgy love stream" is great.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 6:30 PM
horizontal rule
140

137: Euclid was overrated!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 6:32 PM
horizontal rule
141

I'm flying to Z├╝rich, which I'm told is beautiful, but unfortunately I'm only there long enough to stumble around jetlagged and confused for a few hours before taking a train to someplace boring.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 6:36 PM
horizontal rule
142

138.1: Sitting in departure --
writing little words with bad intent.
Snot is caked up in his nose --
dried out fingers grimed by dusty clothes.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 6:39 PM
horizontal rule
143

I'll never fly Southwest with my wife and kid again, due to the lack of assigned seating. There is just too much angst and nervousness about weather or not all three of us will be able to sit together. And my kid is getting too old for the "families with young children get to board first cheat."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 6:51 PM
horizontal rule
144

They don't board fist! They board 50th!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 7:02 PM
horizontal rule
145

Surely you could leverage that limp into an early boarding if you really played it up. Can you make one side of your face sag?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 7:02 PM
horizontal rule
146

Oh hey, 143 wasn't written by Von Wafer at all. Do you have any plausible disability, Spike?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 7:04 PM
horizontal rule
147

Love stream fist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 7:05 PM
horizontal rule
148

Before love stream fists you.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 7:11 PM
horizontal rule
149

Whee, the flight will take an extra hour because "due to a small computer problem we must take a route much farther north." Sure, that makes sense.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 7:12 PM
horizontal rule
150

144 is right. However, if you checkin exactly 24 hours before the flight, you'll usually get 50th or so anyway. I love Southwest because all the other options that go to the places I go are much worse.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 7:13 PM
horizontal rule
151

But the seat next to me is empty! Hoping for no last-minute boarding.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 7:13 PM
horizontal rule
152

151: Who says fake vomit is only for cheap laughs?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 7:16 PM
horizontal rule
153

Oh, thank goodness. I'm sitting in a depressing bar at the Best Western waiting to go back upstairs with the hope that everyone else will be asleep and I was afraid everyone really was talking about debt ceilings. At least I can sleep in peace eventually.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 7:16 PM
horizontal rule
154

Swiss planes don't have the little air conditioner nozzles to play with?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 7:17 PM
horizontal rule
155

153: boo, depressing bars.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 7:19 PM
horizontal rule
156

154: it would violate neutrality.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 7:19 PM
horizontal rule
157

I like cheerful bars where they put french fries on salads.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 7:20 PM
horizontal rule
158

149: Airspace over the north Atlantic is quite tightly managed nowadays, since there are lots of flights and everyone wants to be on the track with the best wind. If your plane's navigation equipment is being flakey, you might not be allowed on the main track that everyone else is using.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 7:23 PM
horizontal rule
159

155: I'm just biased because the hotel has a pool but no hot tub. Who does that? There would be an actual payoff for me if I could get up at 5 (local, not our usual) to amuse Selah and then spend hours supervising the big girls in the pool and THEN get to relax, but all there is is a sad bar where super sad Jager bomb bros (junior and senior) just showed up and now I think I'd better have another sad gin .


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 7:29 PM
horizontal rule
160

Fuck, and the free book I brought in with me from the hotel has a Niall Feeguson intro. What's wrong with me???


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 7:30 PM
horizontal rule
161

Are you sure Tm Waits isn't in a corner writing this all down?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 7:43 PM
horizontal rule
162

Is the waitress practicing politics?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 7:52 PM
horizontal rule
163

I love Southwest because all the other options that go to the places I go are much worse.

Right, this is also why I love it. Or used to, since I no longer live in a place where it's true. I haven't actually flown Southwest in years.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 8:04 PM
horizontal rule
164

I fly Alaska all the time, though. Twice in the past week, in fact.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 8:05 PM
horizontal rule
165

super sad Jager bomb bros

These Wii U games are weird.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 8:15 PM
horizontal rule
166

Both of the trips this week were intended to be day trips, but on the second one my return flight was canceled due to weather and I was stranded in Nome until the next day. Luckily Nome's a pretty easy place to be stranded by rural Alaska standards.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 8:27 PM
horizontal rule
167

Party Nome!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 8:32 PM
horizontal rule
168

It's a shame that Nome will probably never have subterranean public transit. They could pride themselves on its perfectly timed trains and name it the MetroNome.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 8:35 PM
horizontal rule
169

We should totally have a meetup in Nome. The pun possibilities alone put it ahead of any other potential location.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 8:44 PM
horizontal rule
170

For a long time I flew American, which kept coming up as the least or near enough to least to make the frequent flyer miles worth it expensive airline for the places I was flying to. I hate air travel, but none of those experiences on American or the occasional other airline were extraordinarily bad. The last two times I've flown, I've flown Jet Blue and Delta and both flights left over 2 hours late and in both cases they basically lied about the lateness in the information available at the gate until they could no longer deny it. The area around the Jet Blue gate lacked enough seating for everyone, so a lot of people ended up sitting on the floor. The flight was not substantially cheaper than others and I took it out of desperation to meet a schedule that I ended up not meeting.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 8:58 PM
horizontal rule
171

I'm very fond of my Nome.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:03 PM
horizontal rule
172

The last two times I've flown, I've flown Jet Blue and Delta and both flights left over 2 hours late and in both cases they basically lied about the lateness in the information available at the gate until they could no longer deny it.

Also, the planes had wings.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:09 PM
horizontal rule
173

Italian-American's: The Invisible Ethnicity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:22 PM
horizontal rule
174

Let's all not see the apostrophe.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:22 PM
horizontal rule
175

The one in 173 is what we won't see. The one in 174 is fine. As is the one here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:23 PM
horizontal rule
176

Bicyclists: The Silent Killers


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:34 PM
horizontal rule
177

Well, that's going to be the chatter. Last week it was about the launch of a bike share. This is somebody's pr nightmare in addition to the injuries.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:42 PM
horizontal rule
178

I flew Bidness Class for the first time not long ago. It was nice not having to put up with the riff-raff in the back. Though I did think the ice cream toppings on offer were a bit limited.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:49 PM
horizontal rule
179

Seriously, how difficult would it be just to stow a little shaker of rainbow sprinkles in the galley?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:51 PM
horizontal rule
180

Maybe they didn't want to alienate the homophobes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-12-13 9:52 PM
horizontal rule
181

149: It's called RVSM for Reduced Vertical Separation Minima, meaning that if the aircraft can guarantee to maintain its track and altitude very precisely, you can allow less space between them in the sectors over the ocean where there is no radar coverage, thus moving more aircraft.

If for some reason you lose a backup GPS or airdata unit or something like that (or hit a giant Chinese lantern let off by a samba school like a Brazilian jet did the other day), you have to declare non-RVSM and stay out of the RVSM airspace because you now have to give everyone else more sea-room.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 4:02 AM
horizontal rule
182

170: Next time, use FlightAware to track your status. They somehow know more than the gate agent.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 6:26 AM
horizontal rule
183

Since I complained about this hotel tonight, I should balance by saying that having the Chicago marathon run right past it is pretty cool. We watched the wheelchair raceres and the elite pack go by and then came up to the pool for the big girls to get their last swim in.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 6:26 AM
horizontal rule
184

So you and Lee got a swim in, good.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 6:28 AM
horizontal rule
185

Fulfilling stereotypes, Lee can't swim. I can but am choosing not to because it's so mich nicer not to have small children climbing all over me while they discuss whether the three little kittens' mittens smell like rat since kittens probably like rat pie best.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 6:32 AM
horizontal rule
186

GOOD POINT, CHINA!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 6:37 AM
horizontal rule
187

America does make a really shitty case for representative democracy, these days.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 6:52 AM
horizontal rule
188

Since this thread seems to have drifted off topic, I'm going to take the opportunity to vent.

I was browsing Crooked Timber over coffee this morning, and in the thread about the obnoxious practice at U. of Chicago of not letting the janitors/repair staff use the elevators I came across this comment:

Being of working (under 65ish) age and unable to climb three flights of stairs represents a long, sustained series of extremely childish and short-sighted choices.

I know people say obnoxious stuff on the intertubes all the time, but that particular comment just made me incoherent with rage. I was tempted to jump into the thread and say something, but what's the point.

Man I fucking hate libertarians.*

*Given the nature of the comment and the fact that it was at CT, I'm going to go ahead and say it's 99% certain this person identifies as a libertarian.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 7:47 AM
horizontal rule
189

I saw that. I was tempted to say something like "fuck off, you immoral cunt" but realised it's just so much hot air.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 7:49 AM
horizontal rule
190

It's a tough choice: do you go with shunning/shaming, or do you encourage them to continue with their alienating self-isolating blather?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 7:59 AM
horizontal rule
191

They somehow know more than the gate agent.

The airlines' own websites knew the flights were late. Jet Blue's check-in system told me the flight was late when I checked in (but gave a shorter time than the actual delay). I assume it's policy to lie at the gate and show on time until at least past the original boarding time.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 9:15 AM
horizontal rule
192

but realised it's just so much hot air.

Probably worth saying it anyway. Katherine did the honours in this case. He's not regular there, needs to learn some manners.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 9:22 AM
horizontal rule
193

Thanks for clearing up why my flight was so delayed, knecht and Alex. Turned out to be two hours late, which spoiled my plans for playing tourist all day. Oh well.

Now I have to decide between sleeping or writing my talk. There are very, very loud church bells ringing outside my hotel window.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 11:03 AM
horizontal rule
194

Back to the OP for a moment: I've developed a point of confusion regarding just how the debt limit works. Hoping you all can help me out.

Rand Paul (I know, but bear with me) on some Sunday show or other this morning said that Senate Dems wanted an extension of the debt ceiling for a year! Open-ended, with no limit! Just an open-ended license to spend, unlimited, throughout the year!

Now: what is he talking about? I'd had some general idea that the debt ceiling involved an actual number, the approved (by Congress) amount of debt the nation may accumulate. Once that number is reached, an extension of the debt ceiling is sought by POTUS.

Is Rand Paul confused, or prevaricating? Or am I confused? Surely what he described, an open-ended, no limits extension, would basically be the eradication of the debt limit. Right?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 12:21 PM
horizontal rule
195

And if my understanding -- that the debt ceiling involves an actual number -- is correct, what is that number, and why are we not hearing anything about it?

Good grief, I fear I'm confused on this issue.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 12:22 PM
horizontal rule
196

Obama isn't mentioning the number because it sounds big and scary. Lots of people opposed to Obama are mentioning the number for the current debt, but most of them can't count and you probably aren't reading teh crazy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 12:26 PM
horizontal rule
197

And if the debt ceiling/limit involves an actual number ... then when Republicans propose extending the ceiling for 6 weeks, or 3 months, what number goes with that short period of time?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
198

196: Is the number just the $988 billion (vs $1058, vs. the $967 billion which the $988 becomes in January 2014)?

No, of course not - that's the annual budget. Not the debt.

I am completely mystified and somewhat bewildered that I see/hear no one mentioning the debt limit number. Is that number just a function of the annual budget figure, so it's just a calculation from that? Help.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 12:35 PM
horizontal rule
199

Given that the money has already been spent, it should be pretty predictable how much money is due on what schedule.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 12:43 PM
horizontal rule
200

It is total outstanding public debt (which I believe does not include amount owed to SS) and is 16.68 something trillion.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 1:00 PM
horizontal rule
201

Neve mind, it does include amount owed to federal trust funds.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 1:00 PM
horizontal rule
202

Sure. I think I'm getting at some other things, though:

The language used for discussion of the debt ceiling/limit, at least as used by the media, makes it really unclear to the populace that there are numbers involved here.

Suppose the media instead said: Okay, Republicans propose raising the debt limit for 6 weeks. They have no idea how much borrowing that entails and whether that's good or bad. That period of time has been bounced over to Treasury to provide a figure, and they say that 6 weeks will require $x amount of additional borrowing. Republicans shrug and say, "Okay, whatever, that's the amount we're willing to agree to."

Don't Republicans then sound like imbeciles?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 1:07 PM
horizontal rule
203

202 to 199.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 1:09 PM
horizontal rule
204

Compared to the rest of what they are saying? Not really. Also, there's no reason they can't pass a law suspending the debt limit for a set period of time without providing a dollar figure.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 1:10 PM
horizontal rule
205

Continuing 202: The way things are reported now in the MSM, raising the debt limit sounds like giving the executive branch free license to spend for whatever period of time -- and then god knows what happens after they've spent it! My god, they'll probably ask us (the legislature) to raise their limit again! That's why we Republicans have to limit the extension of the debt ceiling to really short periods of time, like 6 weeks or 3 months, because otherwise the executive will just go crazy with the spending.

This is really irresponsible reporting.

Heh. I think I've mostly gotten this out of my system now. I haven't said anything new, am just newly frustrated by it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 1:17 PM
horizontal rule
206

Also, there's no reason they can't pass a law suspending the debt limit for a set period of time without providing a dollar figure.

What?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 1:18 PM
horizontal rule
207

If that's what the MSM is saying, then they're nut. The debt limit is currently a dollar amount, but Congress can pass a law saying the debt limit doesn't apply until whatever date it want or dump the limit completely. The executive branch can't go nuts on spending because it's only allowed to spend what Congress has appropriated.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 1:28 PM
horizontal rule
208

They can and should pass alaw getting rid of the fucking thing forever. One less boobytrap in our system. (Not that that would fix anything fundamentally.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 1:33 PM
horizontal rule
209

207: Indeed, my point: the MSM is doing a shitty job explaining this, and it doesn't help that no one in government is mentioning that numbers are involved. Rand Paul appears to be claiming that Senate Dems want to suspend the debt limit altogether for a year, which I'm pretty sure is false.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 1:38 PM
horizontal rule
210

As I just learned, there is precedent for making the debt ceiling a dead letter: the Gephardt Rule, which from the 70s to the 90s automatically raised the debt ceiling in accordance with the passed budget for the year. Gingrich got rid of it to multiply opportunities to cudgel the President.

Quite untrue, as you'd guess, that the debt ceiling is the only check on government spending. All spending has to be both appropriated and authorized in separate processes, although some of these permissions are permanent - Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 1:55 PM
horizontal rule
211

210.1: Huh. Let's press for a revival of the Gephardt Rule, whaddaya say? Yeah.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 2:03 PM
horizontal rule
212

The thing to remember is that there is no sane reason for the debt limit to exist at all. Spending decisions are made by Congress through the budget process, and necessarily imply borrowing to cover the difference between the amount budgeted to be spent and revenues collected. A political decision to stop accumulating debt implies a budgetary decision to spend less or raise revenues.

All the debt limit does is create the possibility for Congress to make logically inconsistent laws, where they require the country to spend money it doesn't have without borrowing it. (Which is just Scarborough Fair again: "Tell him to buy me an acre of land, between the salt water and the sea sand...") The total absence of a debt limit wouldn't authorize the administration to spend a dime other that as authorized by Congress.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 2:43 PM
horizontal rule
213

That does seem to be worth repeating.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 2:56 PM
horizontal rule
214

I don't know how many verses of "Scarborough Fair" you think the average person is familiar with, LB, but it's definitely less than two.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 3:52 PM
horizontal rule
215

The verses all mean the same thing, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 3:53 PM
horizontal rule
216

And actually I suspect at this point the average person isn't familiar with the song at all.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 3:54 PM
horizontal rule
217

The whole song can be summarized as "Piss off", "Same to you." Which simplifies things.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 4:06 PM
horizontal rule
218

And makes it quite appropriate as an anthem for the current situation in Congress.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 4:08 PM
horizontal rule
219

Would the Gephardt rule do anything given that congress hasn't passed a budget in years?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 4:17 PM
horizontal rule
220

I did find it to be a rather qaint and touching reference.

"And you quote your Simon & Garfunkel,
and I my Carole King.
And we date ourselves with references
of memories to which we cling."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 4:24 PM
horizontal rule
221

I've been trying to think of a clever way to work in a reference to Joe Scarborough, but so far without success.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 4:34 PM
horizontal rule
222

221 is clever.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 4:43 PM
horizontal rule
223

220 is so awesome I want to hear the rest of the song now!

I have a really awful ATMish situation but don't know if I really want to ask yet, so apologies in advance.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 4:53 PM
horizontal rule
224

223.1: Then their government gets shutdown by racist yahoos, and they lose their pensions and get eaten by cats.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 5:14 PM
horizontal rule
225

224: Oh, good! I love songs with happy endings!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 5:26 PM
horizontal rule
226

223.2: Yes, no, buy a new rabbit that looks the same.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 5:54 PM
horizontal rule
227

Just buy two dogs next time.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 5:56 PM
horizontal rule
228

Don;t worry, most guys just leave her hanging on the tree.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 6:05 PM
horizontal rule
229

I feel like someone should be pointing teo to Girl from the North Country.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 6:57 PM
horizontal rule
230

I am aware of it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 7:05 PM
horizontal rule
231

When I went to Whitby, years ago, I was told that the nearest movie theater was in Scarborough.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 7:13 PM
horizontal rule
232

Teo is aware of all boomer traditions.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 7:58 PM
horizontal rule
233

Yeah but seriously: can analysis be worthwhile?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 8:08 PM
horizontal rule
234

If your kidneys break, sure.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 8:11 PM
horizontal rule
235

233: I used to listen to that song a lot during the year in college when I was often doing analysis homework at 3 AM.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 8:24 PM
horizontal rule
236

... so how 'bout them Red Sox, huh?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 9:01 PM
horizontal rule
237

... so how 'bout them Red Sox, huh?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 9:01 PM
horizontal rule
238

I was at Fenway as a disinterested observer. My kids were literally crying because it was so loud it hurt their ears.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 9:15 PM
horizontal rule
239

Anyway, what happened with the truckers who were going to arrest Obama?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 9:16 PM
horizontal rule
240

... so how 'bout them Red Sox, huh?

And those Patriots too! Cardiac workouts.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 9:38 PM
horizontal rule
241

Hahahaha- typical.

About 30 commercial vehicles and 15 pickup trucks, many sporting U.S. flags and "#T2SDA" placards, crossed over into Maryland on I-495 northbound at around 8 a.m., Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corrine Geller said.
Nearly an hour later, four tractor-trailers began driving side-by-side and slowed traffic to 15 mph. State troopers stopped the trucks at mile marker 53 and warned them not to impede traffic, Geller says. They were not given tickets and were allowed to continue.
Around 10:15 a.m., about a dozen truckers returned to Virginia via the westbound lanes of the inner loop, but they were met with already congested traffic caused by heavy volume and weather conditions....
A Facebook page for the rally had more than 59,000 likes and about 3,000 RSVPs -- a far cry from the number of actual participants seen Friday.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 9:46 PM
horizontal rule
242

And the Million Vet March today drew a crowd of hundreds to protest monuments being closed, led by the very people responsible for shutting down the government. It's derp all the way down.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 10:26 PM
horizontal rule
243

At least somebody brought a Confederate flag.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 10:36 PM
horizontal rule
244

241: No tickets? Come on, intentionally creating a traffic jam should entitle us to fire a few shots in their direction, let alone a ticket.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-13-13 11:32 PM
horizontal rule
245

242: Further details from TPM:

Spurred by outrage at the closure of federal war memorials they demanded be closed along with the rest of the federal government, the crowd symbolically 'stormed' two closed memorials and then headed to the White House where at least one Confederate Flag proudly flew and far-right gadfly Larry Klayman, who has of late been calling for an uprising to unseat the President (scheduled for Nov. 19th), told the crowd to "demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up."

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 12:44 AM
horizontal rule
246

Girl from the North Country is a knock off of Scarborough Fair, whih has roots traceable to the 18th Century. A lot of Dylan's stuff that he put his name to was loosely adapted from traditional songs, or other people's.

Said he generously.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 2:20 AM
horizontal rule
247

Only remember, please, always to call it 'research'.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:01 AM
horizontal rule
248

Sufficiently persistent plagiarism is indistinguishable from authenticity.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:51 AM
horizontal rule
249

I mean, what else is a genuine oral tradition than just a lot of folkies plagiarising each other until they've forgotten who started it?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:52 AM
horizontal rule
250

249. Oh certainly. But until you get somebody called Homer or Zimmerman who writes it down and kills it dead, people don't pay much attention to who performed the latest version. W.C.Handy would be another example, and possibly Willie Dixon.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 3:56 AM
horizontal rule
251

212, 213 - Also, contra the idea that the debt ceiling is a precious part of American democracy that has existed since time eternal, Richard Gephardt turned it off starting in 1979 for just those reasons and essentially nobody noticed. It was reactivated by the Gingrich Republicans in 1995.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:09 AM
horizontal rule
252

Now I want to read the collected works of Homer Zimmerman.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:10 AM
horizontal rule
253

Homer Zimmerman is available to anybody who wants to delurk or change their pseud.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:15 AM
horizontal rule
254

||

Jesus Fuck! Joni Mitchell turns 70 next month?

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:17 AM
horizontal rule
255

You don;t what you got 'til it's gone.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:33 AM
horizontal rule
256

She was the Debbie Gibson of her generation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:38 AM
horizontal rule
257

||

I hate the awkward moment when I have to decide whether to speak up and point out an entire talk is built on a flawed premise, thus embarrassing the speaker and making everyone think I'm an asshole, or keep my mouth shut and thus let the 95% of the audience that doesn't know any better come away with the wrong lesson.

|>


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:46 AM
horizontal rule
258

Crush them, essear! Destroy!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:49 AM
horizontal rule
259

Pick A. The speaker is probably going to be embarrassed about something sooner or later and everyone might already think you're an asshole.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:49 AM
horizontal rule
260

More amazing is that Joni Mitchell is less than two years older than Debbie Harry.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:50 AM
horizontal rule
261

The talk is still a few hours away, I'm just going by the title. Maybe I'll leave early and dodge the question. Jetlag is catching up, anyway.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:50 AM
horizontal rule
262

Or maybe I could subtly introduce the problem through a question to one of the earlier speakers, thus letting the guy with the questionable premise mull it over before his talk starts.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:52 AM
horizontal rule
263

261 sounds like the voice of wisdom. If you fail to embarrass the guy in public, are hundreds of naive and enthusiastic students going to have their careers ruined forever? If not, this is the way to go.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:57 AM
horizontal rule
264

Unrelatedly, Eugene Fama didn't already have a Nobel Prize? Weird.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 5:57 AM
horizontal rule
265

Somebody probably said he did at a talk you went to and nobody who knew better corrected them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:10 AM
horizontal rule
266

My mother, who is in the very early stages of dementia, just called freaking out about the debt ceiling and social security. She's voted Republican for a long time. She sees that they are crazy now, but she did not vote for Obama a year ago even though she hasn't really liked the Republicans for several years. I tried to calm her down, but really, there's not much that I can say.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:11 AM
horizontal rule
267

If she starts comparing Obamacare to slavery, she can get on a TV show.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:17 AM
horizontal rule
268

257

Maybe it's that the conference program forgot to print the last word of his title talk: "...NOT"

On the US: at what point can we start seeking asylum in other countries? Besides risking an anger stroke every time check in on the issue, I have it exacerbated by Chinese people who apparently confuse the US with Sweden or France. Typical conversation:
Chinese person: "You're lucky you live in a developed country where healthcare is free and provided by the government. Here we have buy insurance if our employer doesn't provide it, it's expensive, and medical care isn't cheap."
me: "you must have confused us for somewhere else. like an actual developed country."

(less OT, but a memorable recent conversation)
Chinese person: "your education system is so much better than ours. In addition to giving everyone a strong base in math and science, you also encourage creativity and free-thinking."
me: "um, over 30% of Americans don't believe in evolution or global warming"
Chinese person: ...

or conversely,
Chinese person: "I read your government shut down. I don't understand, that makes no sense. Why would that even happen?"
me: "um, some people don't want other people to have affordable healthcare."
Chinese person: "Um, you must have said that wrong. What you said was that some people don't want other people to have healthcare so they shut down the government. What did you really mean to say?"
me: has aneurysm.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:19 AM
horizontal rule
269

263: You do-gooder lefties just don't get it. One course of action costs essear something; the other doesn't. It would not only be foolish to stick his neck out, it would be morally wrong.

Non-Americans will find it paradoxical that, in defense of this principal, many in the US are willing to endure substantial financial harm.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:22 AM
horizontal rule
270

risking an anger stroke every time check in on the issue

I'm having a real problem with this, too.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:25 AM
horizontal rule
271

267: She doesn't think that. Honestly, I think that being a Republican was just sort of in her blood for so long that she didn't know what else to do. Before she turned 65, I tried to get her to sign up for some kind of program (which my Dad did for her) but she said that she preferred to pay for her healthcare herself.

This is entirely in keeping with having been a Republican for 4 generations. It's just that it kind of made sense for her grandfather who was rich and was actually hurt when the Federal income tax came in and hated FDR etc.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:26 AM
horizontal rule
272

271: I shouldn't have been flippant about that. Sorry.

But, the earlier memories are stronger than the news ones when the brain starts to weaken. At least I think I read that somewhere. Anyway, I've seen it where someone who can't even remember that their husband is no longer alive can tell a story from 60 years ago and get small details right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:32 AM
horizontal rule
273

264: I suppose you've got to give Fama a Nobel. I think it's nice that they also honored Shiller's semi-debunking of Fama, too.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:35 AM
horizontal rule
274

I'm trying to squeeze some encouragement from the fact that Sarah Palin has apparently surfaced and started hanging around the Tea Party pro-shut down crowd.

As someone over at LGM observed, this suggests that the end is in sight and that the emphasis for the professional movement conservative types has shifted from "actually accomplish something" to "grift the rubes while the opportunity lasts".

That's probably too hopeful, though.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 6:52 AM
horizontal rule
275

273: I just figured "University of Chicago economist who I've heard of" automatically implied "Nobel Prize winner". It doesn't come with the offer letter?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:03 AM
horizontal rule
276

Hansen (also from UC) was a co-winner.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:16 AM
horizontal rule
277

That trucker protest sounds like something from a Guest mockumentary, only funny.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:18 AM
horizontal rule
278

275: Wasn't the economics pseudo-Nobel prize invented specifically in order to give it to all the Chicago school folks?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:20 AM
horizontal rule
279

277: Those are fighting words.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:21 AM
horizontal rule
280

Lindsey Graham seems to be suffering from not being the center of media attention. So he goes full dick:

"We're in a compromised situation, but I'm going on offense," Graham explains, in an interview at Pete's Diner on Capitol Hill. "Members of Congress and their staffs should not be exempted from Obamacare, and I'm going to insist that if the Senate wants to move forward on any deal, we have to overturn the [Office of Personnel Management's] ruling on congressional employees," or, at the least, force senators to vote on it in the coming days.
Translation: "Please don't primary me, I can be a crazy lying asshole, too. Ooga booga, ooga booga."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 7:28 AM
horizontal rule
281

268: INSCRUTABLE AMERICANS


Posted by: OPINIONATED PO PO OR NAI NAI | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 4:14 PM
horizontal rule
282

So, Chait has a post up on what looks like a deal in the Senate. "This is a huge win for those Republicans who got into the shutdown to help unions."


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 4:46 PM
horizontal rule
283
GOP lawmakers were briefed on the House proposal behind closed doors on Tuesday morning in a session that grew emotional at times, with Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) -- a junior member of leadership who is popular among cast-iron conservatives -- leading the singing of "Amazing Grace."

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:13 AM
horizontal rule
284

We're definitely going past the 17th at this point.

At some point soon Obama's going to have to say what his plan is for controlled default. my best guess is something like 20% temporary cuts to Social Security and Military pay.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:16 AM
horizontal rule
285

Why do you say that?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:28 AM
horizontal rule
286

Defaulting on bonds is the end of the world scenario, and there's noplace else in the government where there's enough money to make it work? I don't know enough to check the reasoning offhand, but it seems to make sense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:30 AM
horizontal rule
287

Treasury has said they do not have the legal authority to prioritize and they will "pay the bills in the order they come in". Who knows if they'll stick to it.

There's a new legal option that people have floated. Apparently the debt ceiling is only on the face ceiling of the debt. Normally the face value is set to approximate what the debt sells for, but this is not a legal requirement. Treasury has the legal authority to issue debt with low face values and high coupons, which would get around the debt ceiling.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:32 AM
horizontal rule
288

Republicans would get some kind of assurance that people can't lie about their income to get Obamacare

You mean, after all that bitching about the website falling over on day one like that never happened before, they've arrived at a solution that involves nontrivial additional software development?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:33 AM
horizontal rule
289

Whoops, I wasn't clear. I was wondering about 284.1.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:34 AM
horizontal rule
290

We can still lie about our income to avoid taxes, right?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:35 AM
horizontal rule
291

288: Never forget that they don't really give a fuck.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:37 AM
horizontal rule
292

You have to somehow cut 1/3rd of expenditures. Say you cut 50% of spending outside of SS, Military, Medicare/Medicaid, interest, that only gets you 15% savings.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:38 AM
horizontal rule
293

I was just about to confidently predict that the House would fold and accept the Senate deal as a face-saving measure, but according to TPM they're counterproposing a bill that would remove the Treasury's ability to stave off default by delaying payments to pension funds, etc. I don't see how the Democrats can possibly accept that.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:39 AM
horizontal rule
294

Furthermore, it looks like the house may not even be able to pass that.

The question is just when, if ever, Boehner decides that the country is more important than him being speaker. It's not clear to me that'll ever happen.

Not being able to call new elections is such a disaster. Our constitution really sucks.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:41 AM
horizontal rule
295

Actually, the article I pulled 283 from drove me nuts. Not so much on the false equivalence thing (I'm past that, the national political media are on-empathetic ghouls whose jobs render them functional idiots), but rather that they present it as such news that members of the same party can disagree and put quotes that are pure spin in there as if they somehow reflected anything other than an attempt by the politician in question to use yet another channel to bend things towards their desired outcome. If it were just a reality TV show, it would be stupid but at least harmless.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:47 AM
horizontal rule
296

"[N]on-empathetic". But it's a stupid description and my comment is equally stupid and pointless. Don't read it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:51 AM
horizontal rule
297

This whole political meltdown is making me crazy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:52 AM
horizontal rule
298

The only acceptable compromise at this point should be a vote of the whole House on a bill to eliminate the debt ceiling as a procedually separate thing and move back to an annual budget system. Also, the replacement of Republicans in office by ponies.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 9:49 AM
horizontal rule
299

Also, the replacementdevouring of Republicans in office by ponies.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 9:51 AM
horizontal rule
300

298: Failing that, it's time to start enforcing the law.
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2384


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 9:54 AM
horizontal rule
301

287: Even if that "worked", it would be a liquidity disaster, because certain zero-coupon maturities relied on for pricing just plain wouldn't exist for a while.

Not as bad as a default, though.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 9:58 AM
horizontal rule
302

We're so going to have a default. We're at the point where a single asshole can make that certain, if the asshole sits in the Senate.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 10:00 AM
horizontal rule
303

298: Either of those alone ought to be enough tobresolve the issue.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 10:01 AM
horizontal rule
304

302: If we default for a day, then get rid of the debt ceiling permanently and reboot the government, then I think we're better off than before.

If we don't get rid of the debt ceiling, then the damage has already been done.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 10:03 AM
horizontal rule
305

Much of the damage has already been done even if Ted Cruz decides not to force an actual default.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 10:05 AM
horizontal rule
306

I'm terrified of the outcome where public opinion doesn't eviscerate the Republicans over this. Like, we default a little, or a lot, and there's a really shaky understanding of what happened and who is to blame. I want them absolutely gutted for this.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 10:09 AM
horizontal rule
307

Wow, House Republicans are now considering the "tear out the steering wheel" approach to winning a game of chicken. That's amazing.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 10:52 AM
horizontal rule
308

House Republicans should be impeached, I say.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 10:54 AM
horizontal rule
309

306 to 307.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 10:54 AM
horizontal rule
310

307: Yeah, wow. ThinkProgress has a worthwhile piece explaining why the House GOP can't just skip town: essentially, Obama has the power to call an emergency reconvening of Congress under Article II of the Constitution.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 5:40 PM
horizontal rule
311

The skipping-town gambit looks to be moot anyway -- they're just declining to bring their ever-morphing House counter-bill up for a vote at all* -- but it's really, really shocking that they'd even consider it.

* Thanks, Jim DeMint / Heritage Action, you guys are unintelligible.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 5:47 PM
horizontal rule
312

Weirdly, I've developed a lingering concern that John Boehner might accidentally get drunk, or have a debilitating coughing fit, or break a tooth or some other thing that keeps him from acting in a timely manner when the time comes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 5:48 PM
horizontal rule
313

I'm with Megan.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:02 PM
horizontal rule
314

Isn't Forbes magazine supposed to be for rich capitalists? I'm surprised to see them running articles like "Don't Believe The Debt Ceiling Hype: The Federal Government Can Survive Without An Increase".

Isn't that supposed to be uninformed tea-party territory? I thought the plutocrats knew better.

(I know that article is a few weeks old, but I just saw it.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:03 PM
horizontal rule
315

Don't believe anything anyone says during a hostage crisis.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:05 PM
horizontal rule
316

Of course, I'm guessing getting the House to vote on Articles of Impeachment is somewhat less than likely.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:06 PM
horizontal rule
317

Sadly, House members can't be impeached. They can be expelled by a two-thirds House vote, but, you know, fat chance.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:10 PM
horizontal rule
318

It might be a close call for Cruz in the Senate.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:18 PM
horizontal rule
319

And senators can get caught paying prostitutes and still have shitty, mean spirited amendments named after them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:21 PM
horizontal rule
320

Personally, I'm on team democracy has failed.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:21 PM
horizontal rule
321

I've developed a lingering concern that John Boehner might accidentally get drunk,

I've seen a bunch of stuff implying they're all super drunk. At least early on there was a rash of tweets and HuffPo articles about the intense smell of liquor on everyone's breath.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:21 PM
horizontal rule
322

I mean, who the fuck sings "Amazing Grace" at work sober?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:23 PM
horizontal rule
323

People who feel bad about their former views on slavery?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:25 PM
horizontal rule
324

Which obviously is not applicable here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:26 PM
horizontal rule
325

314: Oh huh. I don't know what to make of Forbes; they've taken on a couple of 'liberaltarian' writers in the last few years.

Kevin Drum had a helpy piece earlier today outlining the numbers involved in going past the debt limit. Key portions:

4. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that in FY 2014 (which runs from October 2013 through September 2014), total federal income will be $3,042 billion and total spending will be $3,602 billion, a difference of $560 billion.
5. This is the amount of debt we need to issue to pay for everything in the budget, which means that if the debt limit isn't raised, we need to immediately cut spending by $560 billion, or $46 billion per month.
6. That's roughly the equivalent of wiping out the entire Defense Department; or wiping out two-thirds of Social Security; or wiping out all of Medicaid + all unemployment insurance + all food assistance + all veterans' benefits.

I confess I didn't read much of the Forbes article -- maybe it rationalizes how drastic that level of federal cuts would be.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:27 PM
horizontal rule
326

Let's go constitutional crisis. I think in the end the Army obeys the President and international finance, but I'm worried about the fucking Air Force and they have the nukes.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:30 PM
horizontal rule
327

The Forbes website is basically Huffington Post with a lesser class of celebrities; I don't think you can discern much of a worldview (beyond OHIO MOM'S ONE WEIRD TRICK TO GOOSE YOUR 401K) from what they publish.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:32 PM
horizontal rule
328

322: If some House member yells "Wolverines!" *we* all have to drink like ten Jagermeisters each. But it will be totally worth it. Should have started the Shutdown Drinking Game weeks ago.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:37 PM
horizontal rule
329

325: from the link:

We can save some money by cutting science funding to $10 billion and international affairs spending to $13 billion which is enough to operate the State Department and embassies, but not pay foreign aid. This takes total spending to $2.2 trillion.
Cutting spending on conservation programs in half and paying only for agricultural research programs (no more farm subsidies) would cost $25 billion. Some moderate cuts to transportation spending bring it to $90 billion. Slicing education spending in half would reduce it to about $40 billion. The total for annual spending is now $2.36 trillion.
Retirement programs for federal employees add $137 billion to our spending. Cutting welfare programs back to basically food security programs (food stamps, WIC, the school lunch program) and housing assistance programs will leave federal welfare spending at $150 billion. Total spending has risen to $2.65 trillion.
That leaves only about $300 billion for defense spending. However, employee contributions to the retirement plan and some miscellaneous offsets that the government does not count as part of the $3 trillion in revenue expected next fiscal year bring in $90 billion per year. That means we can spend about $400 billion on defense and still have a balanced budget. This would reduce military spending back to 2003 levels, before we were fighting wars in the Middle East. Not a small cut, but probably feasible.
Most people will probably complain about one or more of the cuts proposed here. That is to be expected. If you didn't notice, NASA and the Departments of Commerce and Energy were completely eliminated. Deep cuts were made to some other departments (Education, EPA, Agriculture, and HUD). Welfare spending was reduced. However, the point was not to propose a budget that people loved, but to show that a balanced budget was not completely beyond reason.

Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:38 PM
horizontal rule
330

Oh my God I need to be talked down from the ledge from murdering this fucking Red Sox asshole next to me at the sports bar. Nobody gives a shit about your fucking team right now buddy.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:41 PM
horizontal rule
331

So we've had:
"Let's roll!"
Amazing Grace
Politicizing WWIi vets
Dr Seuss
Many others I've forgotten.

We'd all be drunk as motherfuckers the whole time.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:42 PM
horizontal rule
332

What a game earlier, though. Did you see it? I can tell you highlights.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:42 PM
horizontal rule
333

... And nearby cholos solve the problem. God bless you cholos.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:42 PM
horizontal rule
334

332 to Halford. About the Sox game, obviously. Tonight's, not that last night's wasn't amazing. Tonight's was tense, but wow. Good stuff. Anyhow, yeah, let me know if you want me to fill you in.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:43 PM
horizontal rule
335

Oh, I missed an important part:

Holding Medicare spending to about its fiscal year 2013 total and making some small cuts to Medicaid and other health spending would keep health care spending by the government to $860 billion. This does not include additional spending for the Affordable Care Act, but we need to prioritize and I am making it a lower priority than the health spending we have already been incurring.

How exactly would he propose they go about "holding Medicare spending to 'about' [ed. nice fudge] its fiscal year 2013 total?" It's growing at, what, 5% a year? Just randomly deny 5% of all claims? Deny 100% of claims once we reach the artificial spending limit? What??

I can't believe this fucker is a university professor.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:43 PM
horizontal rule
336

If you go to a sorts bar of your own volition I have no sympathy.

We got. Nuthin' better to do!
Than watch sports TV and pay too much for a couple of brews.

Sports Bar Party Tonight!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:46 PM
horizontal rule
337

To be fair, going to a sports bar at 10AM on Sunday to watch the NFL is a really rare pleasure, and something I miss on the east coast.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:47 PM
horizontal rule
338

Also, going to TAIX in LA and rooting against (or at least not for) the home teams is fascinating and not quite as dangerous as it would be other places.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:48 PM
horizontal rule
339

322: I mean, who the fuck sings "Amazing Grace" at work sober?

I know, right? In the basement, or something. It's like a fucking demented I don't know what.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:49 PM
horizontal rule
340

Reading shit like whatever the fuck urple is reading and trying to engage with it is less defensible than going to a sports bar.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:49 PM
horizontal rule
341

Whatever bro you were macking a yuppie lifestyle in fern bars when that tune came out.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:50 PM
horizontal rule
342

Alternate retort: oh but it's cool when soccer Euros do it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:50 PM
horizontal rule
343
Over the past five years government spending and deficits have soared while average American families have seen their incomes fall. Regular families have been forced to prioritize bills, cut spending, and do without in order to balance their budgets. Perhaps government needs a lesson in how budgeting works in the real world.

A professor of economics!


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:51 PM
horizontal rule
344

Taix has changed.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:51 PM
horizontal rule
345

337: during might short time on the west coast I did enjoy the timing of sporting events. Watch an early NFL game and have a good chunk of day left. Night post-season games over at a decent hour. BPL soccer gets me some of that now.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:53 PM
horizontal rule
346

I clearly picked the wrong thread to try to needle Halford, but thankfully Sifu's got it taken care of.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:53 PM
horizontal rule
347

Yeah, it was changing even when I was there. It all went downhill when they put that sound booth in the bar.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:54 PM
horizontal rule
348

347 to 344. Drinks are still strong as fuck, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:54 PM
horizontal rule
349

329, 335: Um. Yeah. I do not know why these people are such sociopaths. but there it is.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:55 PM
horizontal rule
350

Let's go Dodgers. Let's go tanks in the Capitol.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 6:56 PM
horizontal rule
351
"It's all over. We'll take the Senate deal," says a senior GOP aide.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/361336/stunned-republicans-react-canceled-vote-jonathan-strong

We'll believe it when we see it, obviously, but I don't see how there could be any other way out, short of actually going past the debt limit. Fuck's sake, this was how things would have to go from the beginning.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:11 PM
horizontal rule
352

Democracy has failed. America has failed.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:20 PM
horizontal rule
353

I saw 352 and immediately went to mlb.com, but I can't figure out what happened.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:25 PM
horizontal rule
354

Red Sox fan is talking again?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:26 PM
horizontal rule
355

Obviously the Redskins announced that they're going to change their name.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:27 PM
horizontal rule
356

I'll bet someone something that, as I said the other day, this ends with Boehner abandoning the bullshit Hastert (not) rule and Obama giving him a small cookie. Maybe something he found in one of the girls' pockets or something. Like a really old Thin Mint. (Were Thin Mints always awful? Or did they do something to them in the last decade to make them worse? Surely the answer can't be that my tastes have grown more sophisticated as I've aged.)


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:44 PM
horizontal rule
357

To be clear, I will not bet anything of value.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:47 PM
horizontal rule
358

The so-called "rule of law" is a joke.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:47 PM
horizontal rule
359

There is no cookie, Von Wafer. No cookie worth eating.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:49 PM
horizontal rule
360

There's some kind of story going around at the moment that if the House Rules Committee refuses to convene and vote on whatever it is they vote on, Boehner can't bring a bill before the floor anyway. Uh. I don't know. I thought it was completely up to Boehner; I have no idea what the Rules Committee does.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:49 PM
horizontal rule
361

Thin Mints used to be my favorite! I haven't had one in a long time, though.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:49 PM
horizontal rule
362

361: I recommend not having one ever again. I don't want you to shatter your fond memories of childhood cookies the way Halford has shattered my love of bicameralism.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:53 PM
horizontal rule
363

There are no thin mints in hell, redfoxtailshrub. Or in heaven.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:54 PM
horizontal rule
364

Or maybe Halford means that Obama should give Boehner some jerky. (Regrettably, not a euphemism.)


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 7:55 PM
horizontal rule
365

Are you asking for a hand job? Perhaps you are. Perhaps.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:05 PM
horizontal rule
366

I used to really like the classic vanilla creme Girl Guide cookies. But the GG cookies went downhill when they went all zero trans fat, and insipid chocolatey mint instead of good (if high fat) vanilla cream. Not that I prefer vanilla to chocolate, mind you, because I don't. But better an honest-to-goodness vanilla than a fake chocolate-like or chocolatey flavour is what I'll always say. The mint (fake mint, really) is a dodge, meant to distract you from the lack of actual, authentic chocolate flavour.

Am I overreacting? I'm feeling a bit anxious about the possibility of a US debt default. I keep thinking there'll be an eleventh-hour deal, there must be, there has to be, but...


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:10 PM
horizontal rule
367

314: That guy's headlines are hilarious. A few years ago, he'd have been writing for something like Front Page. Thankfully, Forbes is here to mainstream this kind of important, insightful thought.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:18 PM
horizontal rule
368

Historians and lawyers, please help me to put this in context by pointing out previous comparable clusterfucks of the federal government. All I have to reach for is the election of Rutherford B. Hayes.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:24 PM
horizontal rule
369

Also, I'm on team devouring by ponies.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:26 PM
horizontal rule
370

If it makes you feel any better, JPJ: a) there's going to be an eleventh-hour deal. The last week or so has been devoted to allowing Boehner to look sufficiently tough that he can hold onto his speakership (I can't imagine how this can happen, but I wouldn't put anything past today's GOP congressional caucus, so who the heck knows); b) our fretting won't change anything at all, so it's not worth wasting the worry; and c) your thoughts on Girl Scout cookies are much appreciated. I assumed that they had removed trans-fats* or something, but I wasn't sure.

* Because socialist Muslim conspiracy, of course.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:27 PM
horizontal rule
371

Our only hope is a flamethrower. The sovereign decides the exception. Democracy is beautiful in theory, in practice it is a fallacy. America is a pathetic joke. There are no girl guides and thin mints have killed puppies.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:28 PM
horizontal rule
372

368: if we default on the debt, then it's a big deal. Until that happens, it's just a symptom of serious dysfunction in the GOP and not much more than that, I don't think. Not that that's nothing, mind you, but I don't think, absent actually defaulting, that we're anywhere near the sort of Constitutional clusterfuck we witnessed as recently as Bush v. Gore and Clinton's impeachment.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:29 PM
horizontal rule
373

371 to 368.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:30 PM
horizontal rule
374

I'm not sure American history has ever seen such a disconnect between the means employed to stop some legislation and the content of that legislation. Lots of things more radical than the Affordable Health Care act have gone through without even a hint of shutting down the government.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:30 PM
horizontal rule
375

The real winner of the whole deal might be Bob Filner, who sure got lucky with his news cycle.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:32 PM
horizontal rule
376

I'm sorry the Dodgers lost, Halford. I mean that. It make me sad to see you so vulnerable.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:32 PM
horizontal rule
377

Anyway, even if there's going to be an eleventh hour deal, it's going to be a deal that doesn't last until Valentine's Day.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:33 PM
horizontal rule
378

A heartwarming story for you all, absolutely unverifiable and presumably invented by the journalist.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:40 PM
horizontal rule
379

This story warmed my heart today. I'm not a fan of creative sentencing or her not going to prison, but this was still cheering.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:43 PM
horizontal rule
380

377: It's really driving me crazy that deals that don't even last a year get touted as major losses for the Republicans when really they should get nothing or, you know, actual losses.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:45 PM
horizontal rule
381

Like having one Republican House member fed to a pony every time there's a meeting that doesn't result in removing the debt ceiling as a separate vote.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:47 PM
horizontal rule
382

You'd have to grind them or something. Ponies don't have teeth to tear flesh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:57 PM
horizontal rule
383

Ponies of Diomedes!


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:59 PM
horizontal rule
384

Lots of things more radical than the Affordable Health Care act have gone through without even a hint of shutting down the government.

But America has always had a sublimely nutty streak, surely? The original Tea Party folks, for example, complaining of the "tyranny" of George III because he was prepared, for reasons of expediency, to merely somewhat tolerate the existence of a colony of French-speaking Catholics in the newly-conquered British province of Lower Canada (formerly New/Nouveau France)? That was a bit disproportionately crazy on the part of the new Americans, perhaps?

VW, I'm not even kidding about the removal of the trans fats.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 8:59 PM
horizontal rule
385

We've always been a country of petulant lunatics. And that's just the elected officials.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 9:03 PM
horizontal rule
386

384: Yes, but at least they weren't talking about a program that originated in their own party, was enacted at the state level by their most recent presidential candidate, was passed by the legislature in which they participate and was upheld by a Supreme Court to which they appointed many of the justices.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 9:05 PM
horizontal rule
387

I still find it hard to believe that Boehner would actually allow a default, so I'm sticking with my prediction that he continues to screw around until the last possible moment, then caves.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 9:09 PM
horizontal rule
388

386: I think it's pretty clear at this point that this was never really about Obamacare.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 9:11 PM
horizontal rule
389

386: But they actually went to war, and drove about 3-4 percent of their total population to seek refuge in the British-controlled territories to the north. And Brits (and their colonial-based loyalists) at the time used to love to snark in the newspapers and the pamphlet presses of the day about how these new Americans talked in a high strain of liberty, while supporting plantation slavery (but those snarks were opportunistic, too, of course). The crazy is nothing new, is all I'm saying.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 9:31 PM
horizontal rule
390

Er, sorry, 389 was me.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 10-15-13 9:32 PM
horizontal rule
391

367: This is neither here nor there on government contortions, but fake accent, or anyone else who knows: what on earth kind of search parameters are those that you used for that Dorfman google search?

It looks useful! But I can't make out the proper format for future use. What's the "!?" doing in there? how did you come up with the (contributor_data.name) ... and so on.

Yours,
In Search of Google-Fu


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:45 AM
horizontal rule
392

My computer is telling me that Boehner is throwing the Hastert non-rule in the bin.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:52 AM
horizontal rule
393

392: color me stunned. Where's my jerky, Halford?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:59 AM
horizontal rule
394

Boehner's eventually dumping the Hastert non-rule was the only predictable thing that's occurred in the last two weeks.

Predictable at least as long as he didn't (doesn't? it's not too late!) become accidentally drunk, or have a debilitating coughing fit or start crying uncontrollably or something.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:22 AM
horizontal rule
395

I'm actually a little surprised. I figured Boehner would hold out at least another week.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:24 AM
horizontal rule
396

I still wonder what the Heritage Foundation is going to do for scoring the vote on the Senate compromise. I suppose they count it as a negative and you still find 17 Republicans to vote for it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:26 AM
horizontal rule
397

Eh, Boehner never wanted this fight in the first place. Boehner wanted to keep his speakership. And he and his supporters apparently believed that he needed to push things to the brink in order to keep hold of the gavel (again, that's not a euphemism). The interesting question is whether Ted Cruz really wanted default. I tend to think not. I think -- but really, really, really don't know -- that Ted Cruz has no beliefs at all, other than that Ted Cruz should be rich and powerful and in the public eye. So all of this served his interests. Which leaves one interesting question: did the true believers cave? Or were they brought to heel by the money men? The GOP is such a mess that it's impossible to know for sure. I'm not even sure the insiders know what happened. Unfortunately, that means this isn't the last time something like this will happen. The U.S. is the best roller coaster ever!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:32 AM
horizontal rule
398

397 to 395.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:32 AM
horizontal rule
399

So does Boehner keep his job?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:37 AM
horizontal rule
400

Scratch that. That should be a new post. This one's getting low on the page.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:37 AM
horizontal rule
401

She said "Boner Job." he he.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:37 AM
horizontal rule
402

I said "Scratch that Boehner." Heh.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:39 AM
horizontal rule
403

Ted Cruz has no beliefs at all, other than that Ted Cruz should be rich and powerful and in the public eye

I think this is an accurate assessment of the man.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:40 AM
horizontal rule
404

So, we do this all over again in February except then the "chastened" Republicans go after entitlement spending and cut poor people's Medicaid and social security instead of the new health care law in its entirety. Awesome, exactly how we thought this would play out. And we're way too far from November 2014 for this to have any political effect. I guess not immediately blowing up the world economy or gutting health care is a win and maybe standing firm feels good to Democrats.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:41 AM
horizontal rule
405

I think standing firm is vital for future wins and the strength of the party.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:43 AM
horizontal rule
406

391: I just saw this. To get that search, I did the laziest thing possible: I double-clicked on the part of the page with the author's name to make a highlight and then right-clicked on the highlight to get a dropdown menu that gave me an option to search Google for the highlighed bit. The contributor data part must have come with the highlight. I didn't type it in or know anything about it before I ran the search.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 3:44 PM
horizontal rule
407

406: Okay. I can't quite get that to work (you highlighted just the author's name? right-clicking then choosing to search google for it just gets me a google search for the author's name without any of the funny bits (!? etc.)).

But I get the idea - thanks. I'd never noticed that 'search Google for' option on the right-click drop-down menu.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 5:02 PM
horizontal rule
408

Just tried again. It only seems to work for me in Firefox: double-clicking highlights the author's name + the photo (and then somehow pulls in the contributor data stuff from that). In Chrome I only get the author's name. I wonder if this is related to my use of script-blocking extensions in Firefox (which might then treat the script code as embedded text when I highlight).


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 5:25 PM
horizontal rule
409

Dunno if it's related to your use of script-blocking extensions. Maybe. I'm using Firefox with just Adblock and Flashblock, and I can't get the author name + photo to highlight no matter how creatively I click. Oh well.

I was just really curious about that peculiar search syntax.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 5:43 PM
horizontal rule