Friday, 7/29/11, Public Square

Between 2002 – 2008 Republican Senators cast exactly 275 votes in favor of raising the debt ceiling.  Today  there is a complete failure of the Republican Party to act in a timely professional manner to secure the most favorable financial interests of the American people!

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Filed under The Public Square

76 responses to “Friday, 7/29/11, Public Square

  1. Do you think the freshmen tea-bagger Reps are smart enough to know what point will be made when they take America down to make a point?

    Here’s one of them, Kansas’ very own Huelskamp. Before he went to DC he was kicked off a committee by his own political party in the state house.

    Huelskamp Not an Outsider, Just Disruptive

    Huelskamp simply “doesn’t play well with others,” especially those in the Republican party. When Senate GOP leaders booted Huelskamp from the powerful “Ways and Means” Committee, they had a laundry list of complaints.

    They described him as engaging in “unproductive behavior,” and nine Republicans on the “Organization, Calendar and Rules Committee” disciplined him. Senate President Dave Kerr stated: “Sen. Huelskamp has been unwilling to apply constructive criticism and positive solutions to the myriad of budget problems of the state. We have no time to deal with anyone who is unwilling to be part of the solution.”

    • indypendent

      But, but God has chosen these people – didn’t you get the memo?

      This is what angers me the most about all these Far-Right Wingers. They are some of the nastiest, hate-filled, lying, cheating and somehow they are God’s favorites. If you doubt that, they will tell you how Christian they are and you’re going to Hell, not them.

      What I am witnessing in the Far-Right Winger GOP is exactly what I’ve seen play out time and time again in these churches who feud over who is more superior. If the truth be known, neither church is even close to being what true Christians should be.

      There is nothing more brutal than a bunch of self-righteous, pious churchy people bent on proving to the world how Godly they are.

      I was in the Evangelical Christian movement in the 70’s – and I saw firsthand how corrupt this group can be. And things have only gotten worse since those years.

      Let’s not forget who started this implosion of the GOP – Ronald Reagan when invited Jerry Falwell and his Moral Majority into the inner sanctum of the GOP.

      Come to think about it – Reagan also brought us alot of that debt we are dealing with today – seems Reagan’s ghost is still hanging around causing problems.

  2. When you hear the Tea Party republicans yelling about doing what their “constituents” want them to do remember the “constituents” they worry about are the two Koch brothers.

  3. I’ve heard both our blog’s 6176 and President Obama say the 14th amendment isn’t constitutional in this case. I trust 6176 and think it’s fair to say the president’s attorneys have done their due diligence.

    This begs the question that if the president used this option to raise the debt ceiling and the Republicans reacted by bringing impeachment proceedings, would America be better off?

    I think yes.

    The GOP is paralyzed by their ideologies and nothing is going to be accomplished by Congress anyway, might as well save our economy.

    • indypendent

      But when push comes to shove and the 14th is the only option left – maybe Bill Clinton is right. Obama should just do it and make the Courts come after him.

      I think by that time, the majority of Americans are going to be even more ticked off than they are now at the Republicans that it will not matter.

      BTW – This might just be another reason to vote for Obama in 2012 (if you’re mad at him for not fulfilling some promises). The Supreme Court is usually 5-4 on most major decisions. Do we really want a Far Right Republican in charge of picking another SCOTUS?

      That, in itself, should be an issue to consider when voting.

    • danieljacobjingleheimer

      If it were me, I’d invoke the 14th Amendment and pay the bills. Sometimes a constitutional crisis is preferable to a deepening financial crisis. I view paying the bills as a constitutional obligation rather than an option.

      Usually, the Scalia faction on the SCOTUS has come down on the side of Executive power when these political turf wars reach the high court. Wouldn’t that frost some Tea Party shorts if the ‘conservatives’ on the court ruled in favor of President Obama?

  4. Listen to the end (it isn’t a long video) because the wrap up is so accurate.

    Video- Hardball: Sane Republican Bruce Bartlett explains where the deficit comes from

  5. Let’s pretend, for a moment, that the debt ceiling is just like your credit card (it’s not, but pretending is fun. The GOP does it for a living!). Now, let’s say you have a maximum credit limit of $1000 and you’re maxed out. Now, let’s pretend that you call up the credit card company and tell them you want to cut your credit limit in half so you can pay off your debt. Even if they oblige the crazy person on the phone, THAT STILL DOESN’T MAKE THE MONEY YOU OWE GO AWAY. You still owe it. You spent that money. It’s gone. Done. Used.

    The debt limit does not exist because we want to spend more money in the future. The debt limit is the money we already owe. It’s the bill after a meal. We ate the food, now we have to pay for it and the Tea Party wants to dine and dash.

    But don’t make the mistake of thinking the Tea Party understands this. They do not. They are convinced that not paying our debts is no big deal. Think about that for a second. These are the people that are constantly stating that the United States is JUST like a family and we just need to “tighten our belts.” But what happens if you stop paying back the money you owe to the banks? You get charged late fees and penalties. Your accounts are downgraded or just closed. The repo men come and take your car. You lose your house. In the ultimate irony, Republicans are even trying to reinstate debtor’s prisons for people who do not pay their bills.

    Yet, they want the country to not raise the debt ceiling because it won’t really do anything and it only exists so we can spend more money in the future anyway. Such incompetence will get one fired in the private sector but in the House of Representatives, I guess not understanding how the government functions is unnecessary as long you shout “Socialism!” a lot.

    http://bobcesca.com/blog-archives/2011/07/super-stupid-5.html

    • indypendent

      Might I also add one thing?

      When a person’s budget is in the red, that person should be finding ways to increase revenue while cutting their future spending.

      And that’s the main problem we have about this current debt ceiling fiasco debacle. No one on the ‘right’ side of the aisle is talking about increasing revenue – they only scream ‘spending cuts.

      BTW – all the time we have wasted fighting this idealogical debacle – the real crise of no jobs being created goes on……

      more jobs created, more tax revenue coming in and couple that with spending cuts – voila – this debt problem might just be resolved.

      But we could never have that now – could we? Obama might just be get some credit and the Tea Party/GOP republicans cannot allow that – even if it means the country goes over the cliff.

  6. As we sit at the verge of the world’s first Great Depression On-Purpose, here’s how two people who disagree converse — They disagree on the how and when but not on the reality of the numbers and the fact that it needs to be fixed.

    • Note the common thread; health care costs. This is, to me, so obvious as to be a given in any discussion.

      In general, a most civilized disareement between a political reporter/columnist with a fair notion of economics, and an economist/columnist with a fair notion of politics. I appreciate the way Mr. Broder agrees with Dr. Krugman about the lack of flexibility of the GOP without seeming to concur with the comment of “radicalization”, although it’s not a stretch to discern some implied agreement.

  7. indypendent

    I’m sitting here listening to the lastest breaking news about Boehner changing his House plan to include a Balanced Budget Amendment – of course, which will never pass the Senate.

    Boehner has caved again to the Tea Party Republicans and have doubled down on insanity.

    Although the Balanced Budget Amendment might make for a good bumper sticker – but in reality, is it wise?

    • indypendent

      On second thought – if there had been a Balanced Budget Amendment for the Reagan reign of terror – maybe Ronnie could not have tripled the deficit and raised the debt ceiling 18 times?

      Aw, I’m sure these Republicans will find a new way to get around any pesky constitutional amendment when it comes to spending taxpayer money for the things they want…

  8. indypendent

    Serious question here – who thinks there will be a deal passed and signed by Monday at midnight?

    Ironically, it might be up to McConnell to push his idea of just passing a bill allowing Obama to temporarily raise the debt ceiling. IIRC – didn’t McConnell propose this a few weeks ago?

    That way, the TEa Party Republicans can save face and still continue on their marching orders of the B.S. line that Obama is to blame for everything and Obama is a failed leader.

    • I have no idea. It’s difficult to find any reason in throwing our country and her citizens under the bus. Are there enough votes to overcome these tea bagger idiots? If so, I suspect that if anything positive passes it will be adults of every party against them. They’re impossible, and as was pointed out by Republican Bruce Bartlett in the video link posted upthread (paraphrasing) — Nothing can pass the U S. House because too many are stupid, crazy, ignorant or craven cowards afraid of the tea party.

      I honestly don’t think they’re intelligent enough to understand what the debt ceiling is.

      • indypendent

        Zealots are rarely intelligent but they are clever in how to get what they want.

        And I see these Tea Party Republicans as zealots – nothing more and nothing less.

        They are certainly not good at governing – that’s for sure.

  9. indypendent

    I watched President Obama in his address this morning about the debt ceiling. Obama stated that previously he had asked the American people to call their elected representatives and to make their voices heard. Obama said that the response was overwhelming and that they should keep up the pressure and continue to let their representatives know how they felt.

    Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC made the comment that Obama made this a political issue because told people to call their representatives. She made the argument that Republicans would likely see that as the president trying to politicize this issue.

    WTF…….

    Since when are American letting their representatives know how they feel about some issue a bad thing? And if Republicans don’t want the Americans letting them know – then perhaps that is more telling ?

    Seriously, I don’t get these people sometimes.

  10. I can see that the tea party allows their hate of this president and the fact that they lost, to be more important to them than anything else. Anything includes the welfare of our country and her citizens.

    I hear all the time about their wins in the 2010 mid term elections. I also know how low the approval ratings of those elected then are today. It didn’t take long to find out they have no solutions and in fact make our challenges more difficult. The voters are extremely displeased and will let the GOP know to what extent at the next possible opportunity. Look to the recall elections, the special elections to fill vacancies, and you already see the voters realizing how stupid this GOP is.

  11. Always bear in mind these Republicans said they would create jobs. Not a single jobs bill has been brought to the floor of the GOP-dominated House. If what I’m hearing is correct they will vote for the latest rewrite of the bill to increase the debt ceiling and it is a bill that kills jobs, has no chance in hell of becoming law — and they expect anyone with a working brain cell to offer them any respect!?

  12. A different budget crisis exists in many local school districts. One factor is the cost of various commercial software products in use within the districts for K-12.

    http://thejournal.com/articles/2011/07/27/a-guide-to-k-12-open-source-lms-options.aspx

    describes intersting approaches taken by various districts in various areas of the country utilizing open source software to manage K-12 implementation, including appropriate rubrics and models reflecting the total cost of implementation and operation districts can use in evaluating possible adoption of such approaches. I have attempted to bring this subject to the attention of USD 259 in the past, and will be supplying this better framed approach to folks I know in the district. I’m aware of some of the reasons for hesitancy to consider this potential solution, as the M$ security blanket spreads wide. The price for such continues to increase, the use restrictions continue to grow, making an open source approach worth considering.

    What do you folks think?

    • danieljacobjingleheimer

      6176,

      That is definitely something that deserves a closer look. What have you found to be the main reason for resistance when bringing this idea to the attention of some who are affiliated with USD 259?

  13. I just heard some stats with regard to amending our Constitution —

    Approximately 11,372 measures have been proposed to amend the Constitution from 1789 through December 31, 2008. Twenty seven times the attempt was successful, ten in one fell swoop when the Bill of Rights was adopted.

    I would say the fact that it can be amended and how difficult it is to accomplish speaks well for the importance of doing so.

  14. WSClark

    After listening to some of the debate on the Debt Ceiling – I don’t listen to much – I am honestly convinced that many on the right do not have a clue what it is.

    Seriously, so many of them think that if the Debt ceiling is raised, it is authorization for Obama to go out and spend the money. Really, they just don’t understand that it is borrowing money to pay for stuff that has already been authorized. They act like Barack is going to go out and buy Canada or invade Portugal.

    Economics is WWWAAAYYYYYY too dry to hold my interest, so I defer to those that I trust, but I certainly know enough to know what a Debt ceiling is, I know the difference between ‘debt’ and ‘deficit,’ I understand the concept of ‘fiscal year,’ and I know what the letters ‘GDP’ mean.

    I also know what is going to happen if you slash the Federal government by 40% on Tuesday next.

    As a friend once put it, “the feces are gonna hit the air movement machine!”

    .
    .
    .

    PS: I have been once again banned from (nameless) – see my FB page for part of the story.

    • Mark me down as a glutton for punishment. I’m watching C-Span and listening to the words said by the people elected to represent Americans in the U. S. House.

      The latest rewrite to the so-called Boehner bill and the one it seems will allow it to pass adds a stipulation that in six months a balanced budget amendment to the U. S. Constitution must pass Congress or the debt ceiling cannot be raised.

      Can you even believe it? These GOP idiots will raise the debt limit for six months and it can’t ever be raised again unless the United States Constitution is amended. These people who say they are responsible want our country to go down the tubes and might as well begin shooting this countries 3 million citizens right now instead of watching them die a slow death in the Banana Republic they are making out of our country.

      • WSClark

        Some amendments to the Constitution get ratified very quickly. The repeal of Prohibition comes to mind, but others take forever. Well, not forever because there is a time limit for approval.

        IIRC, the ERA failed because time simply ran out, even though the majority of States had approved the amendment, it didn’t reach the required 2/3rds.

      • But the way this bill is written the debt ceiling will be raised for only six months and never ever raised again unless a balanced budget amendment passes. So, we don’t actually default for another six months but we’re pretty well guaranteed to default then.

        Unless you think that particular amendment will pass Congress in six months. I happen to think it won’t.

      • I’m the glutton for punishment, watching the Cubs-Cardinals game as a Cubs fan.

    • Freebird1971

      You too? That means I’m in good company

  15. Once the GOP rapes the entire country what excuses will their constituents use to deflect the blame? Anyone care to hazard a guess? I know some of you are very creative so what do you think they’ll be using as their excuses?

    • WSClark

      You are assuming that they will need a logical or truthful excuse. These folks are masters of revisionist history. I don’t know if they truly believe what they are saying, or just don’t have the curiosity to check it themselves or are just flat out lying.

      Case in point – one blogger REPEATEDLY claimed that Reagan did NOT triple the National Debt. So – when presented with proof, charts and graphs, twenty seven eight-by-ten color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one – he changed his story.

      THEN, it was the Democrats had promised to cut spending if Reagan okay’d raising taxes. Then, according to the perp, the evul Demorats reneged on their promises.

      Tell me, how can you argue with that?

      • You can’t unless you want to take yourself down to their level.

        I enjoy conversations with smart people who disagree with me. Being able to converse with people who hold different opinions seems crucial…conversation is both talking AND listening.

        But when Hitler, socialist, or libtard are brought up there’s no longer any point (or any of many insults that tell you they aren’t smart people). That’s when you know there’s no reason to dignify them with a response.

      • Freebird1971

        A case of none so blind as those who refuse to see

  16. This is interesting —

    Why won’t Obama invoke Constitutional option? In part because it would show that Congress can’t function, and the consequences of that alone could be severe.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/why-wont-obama-just-declare-the-debt-ceiling-unconstitutional/2011/07/29/gIQAe5xkhI_blog.html

  17. The headline of Jackie Calmes’s “White House Memo” today in the New York Times is a source of great consternation and agitation for me. “President on Sidelines in Critical Battle Over Debt Ceiling” reflects the Beltway meme that President Obama is invisible in this epic fight over raising the debt ceiling. That he was pushed off the stage by Congress to get this done. As the chatter in the echo chamber reinforced itself, folks glossed over or forgot that the president ordered Congress to come up with a plan.

    As we saw with the killing of Osama bin Laden, the ending of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and even the secret talks between Obama and Boehner over a big deal on the debt ceiling, this president by and large eschews theatrics for getting stuff done. And this drives people crazy.

    For better or worse, we have a president who firmly believes that Congress is a co-equal branch of government. Just as the Founders envisioned. Those 535 people pass legislation and send it to the president for his signature or veto.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/post/debt-ceiling-drama-obama-is-not-invisible/2011/03/04/gIQAB4r6eI_blog.html

  18. The 22 Republicans Who Bucked Boehner On The Debt Bill

    Here’s the list of conservative Republicans who voted against the Boehner bill. Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA), who faces his toughest re-election in his career, and the entire GOP South Carolina delegation waited until the final seconds to cast their no vote:

    Justin Amash (MI)

    Michele Bachmann (MN)

    Paul Broun (GA)

    Jason Chaffetz (UT)

    Chip Cravaack (MN)

    Scott DesJarlais (TN)

    Jeff Duncan (SC)

    Trey Gowdy (SC)

    Tom Graves (GA)

    Tim Huelskamp (KS)

    Tim Johnson (IL)

    Jim Jordan (OH)

    Steve King (IA)

    Tom Latham (IA)

    Connie Mack (FL)

    Tom McClintock (CA)

    Mick Mulvaney (SC)

    Ron Paul (TX)

    Tim Scott (SC)

    Steve Southerland (FL)

    Joe Walsh (TX)

    Joe Wilson (SC)

    Other GOP members — and one Democrat — waited until the final minutes to cast their votes.

    Those members are:

    Ted Poe (TX)

    Steven Pearse (NM)

    Dan Lungren (CA)

    Mike McCaul (TX)

    Steve Latourette (OH)

    Doug Lamborn (CO)

    Parker Griffith (AL)

    Sean Duffy (WI)

    Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)

    Michael Burgess (TX)

    Brian Bilbray (CA)

    Joe Barton (TX)

  19. indypendent

    Pray tell, why did Michele Bachmann vote NO on Boehner’s revised bill? I would think that would be right up her alley – with that Balanced Budget Amendment tacked on at the last minute,

    But, wait, she has stated that she would never vote to raise the debt ceiling – is that why?

    BTW – Did Boehner still keep that Super Congress part in his bill that was passed?

    Where exactly in the Constittution does it say setting up a new Legislative body is okay?

    Another question – does these Super Congress Critters get to wear their capes and those snazzy tights? Seriously, people, if I have to see some of those long-term Congress Critters in tights – I am going to need that barf bag again.

    • indypendent

      I noticed several Tea Party people on that list – I thought the Tea Party mad hatters were the ones Boehner was kissing ass on today….

      Do these people even know what they are voting on ???

    • danieljacobjingleheimer

      Several days ago Bachmann said she wouldn’t vote for a debt ceiling increase under any circumstances.

      I notice Huelskamp is on that list as well. I think a lot of the Republicans who voted against it did so because they thought it didn’t go far enough.

  20. indypendent

    One last thought – I heard somewhere today that this House vote has opened up the final act for the Grand Old Party to split right into two camps.

    I’ve been out of the house for most of the day and saw the news when I got in about 5pm.

    My first reaction was – WTF…..

    But then I got to thinking – I think this is Boehner’s way to save his cush speaker job by bowing to the Tea Party. Because he knows this bill, as written will never pass the Senate.

    So the Senate can slap their hands, send over a compromised bill, then Boehner can tell the Tea Drinkers that he tried his best …

    Political theatre – at its worst. But all the while, we could have have a bill passed weeks ago when Obama offered $4 trilion in cuts.

    I guess these Tea Party folks don’t really care about those spending cuts as much as they keep telling us they do??

    • indypendent

      Does anyone know what the Chamber of Commerce has said about Boehner’s bill that was passed today?

      I would imagine these folks don’t want the US to default come Tuesday. After all, these folks are all about their money – they only wear those three-corner hats, powder wigs and ride their Paul Revere horse when they want to whip up the masses into a frenzy.

  21. WSClark

    Well, the Tea Cons went and did it now. Boehner’s bill made it for two hours before the Senate rejected it, now the Republicans in the Senate are refusing to negotiate and will filibuster.

    Somebody needs a good spanking and to be sent to bed. Maybe they will be better behaved in the morning.

    • indypendent

      While Rome burned, Boehenr and Mad Hatters fiddled ??

      If there is no deal done by Aug 2, every reasonable American should show up at these Republican/Tea Party folks’ offices and/or home and their churches and protest 24/7.

      Hey, these folks think protesting Dr. Tiller and his staff 24/7 at his workplace and residence and even his church was okay – then it is okay to protest these buffoons.

  22. The comfort of “what they know”; the existence of contracts w/Microsoft, et al; the seeming lack of initiative of the District IT people; the perceived lack of support for (F)OSS software; and, sadly, the ignorance of those w/whom I deal/have dealt of anything computer software related that doesn’t have a familiar name.

    I’m 61, admittedly a “closet geek” who, several years ago, found himself needing to modernize technology in his office, but lacking the financial resources to accomplish this. However, provided access to used equipment (hardware) that wouldn’t run a “modern” operating system, which due to this was free, as the client didn’t want to pay to recycle the monitors but didn’t want to place potentially hazardous waste in the landfill, and a very bright, nay scary smart, son-in-law who suggested I investigate Uuntu (a Linux distro), which was free and which would run on slightly more mature hardware, I jumped in the pool. I soon had a modern operating system with modern applications running which allowed the office to run more efficiently and productively. I haven’t paid a dime for software since.

    My point to all that is I was able to become proficient w/out formal training. I don’t understand why IT people, presumably with a solid background, wouldn’t want to have a stable system not (currently) subject to malware attacks, which they could implement over the summer and be up and running after training staff (who must receive training anyway) to use it. When one considers that Google, Amazon, and other major organizations run Linux on their servers, it seems to me that running the district servers on Linux would, at a minimum, be worth considering. I’ve had a computer up for >1 year with no problems, rebooting only when a kernel is updated. No BSOD, no AV software (except to scan files from others not on Linux before forwarding to users of Windows), no system crashes, no “registry problems”, no need to defrag the HDD, etc.

    Sorry for the long winded response. TMI, I’m sure.

  23. indypendent

    WS Clark….THEN, it was the Democrats had promised to cut spending if Reagan okay’d raising taxes. Then, according to the perp, the evul Demorats reneged on their promises.

    I’ve heard this justification for Reagan raising taxes pushed by Pat Buchanan. he also tried to say that Reagan had to spend all that money because Carter slashed the military budget to the bone.

    Hey – wait a minute – if it is okay for Reagan to spend all that money because he felt the military budget was slashed – then Obama should be okay to spend all that money because the federal government had to restructure the entire economy after GWB and the GOP Gang crashed it.

    • WSClark

      Yeah, I heard the “had to rebuild the military” meme regarding Bush II spending.

      If the military was in such bad shape, why did it take only ten minutes for us to rout the Taliban?

      • indypendent

        Well, now, Will – Rummy told us that you don’t go to war with the army you want, but the army you’ve got.

  24. indypendent

    Interesting turn of events….Allen West (you all remember him, don’t you?) is being targeted as a Tea Party Defector and is being threatend with being primaried.

    Wow – this Tea Party monster has gone viral……I wonder if the corporate masters thought to make an anecdote for their Frankenstein monster?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/29/allen-west-tea-party-schizophrenia-debt_n_913283.html

    • WSClark

      Infukinsanemorons

      • indypendent

        When I read this, all I could do was laugh out loud at this Allen West guy.

        That is what happens when you get in bed with a snake – they tend to turn on you and bite your ass.

        I wonder if Debbie Wasserman-Shultz is getting a good laugh off this?

  25. http://supreme.justia.com/us/294/330/case.html

    Perry v. United States, 294 U.S. 330 (1935) is the only case I have been able to find on the Section 4, 14th Amendment, argument. I’d suggest that the operative language refers to the public debt, e.g., t-bills, and not to things funded by Congressional appropriations. Thus, my feeling that trying this is not a good path to follow for the current or any other President.

    • indypendent

      I read on another blog where Ed Schultz (?) stated that President Truman used the 14th Amendment.

      I’ve tried to find something on that but I have not been able to, as of yet.

      Does anyone know what this is about?

      • Sure don’t, but give me a bit and I’ll take a look.

      • indy, a quick look tells me the debt ceiling was not raised during the Truman Administration. Youngstown Sheet and Tube involved the steel mill seizure during the Korean War in which SCOTUS flatly rejected, among other things, the argument that this action was justified under the 14th Amendment.

        From a quick search, some Congressman made the claim you reference, but I find no support in the cases for this claim.

      • BTW, the concurring opinion of Justice Jackson on the scope of inherent Executive powers is what this case is known for.

  26. It’s late, and you may need to read my mind a bit here, but an argument exists that by making appropriations where clearly future borrowing will be needed to fund the same, Congress extends the debt ceiling by implication. Consider the Legislative powers granted under Artice I, stir in a bit of sec. 5 of the 14th Amendment, and hopefully you can see it. I think this argument fails as well, but is stronger than reference to sec. 4 of the 14th Amendment.

  27. N.B. As 98% of those holding a law degree believe they are Constitutional scholars (yours truly is included in that number), caution should be exercised in the weight given to their opinions on de novo matters regarding Constitutional Law. The other 2% know they are, as they deal with these weighty matters professionally on a daily basis. 🙂

  28. It’s even later, so get your mind reading clothes on and bear with me.

    Simply, while I’m sympathetic to the argument that President Obama should invoke sec.4 of the 14th Amendment in light of the stalemate, the analysis needs to concentrate on the precise language of sec. 4 (Google is your friend – look it up). The pertinent part deals with the “public debt”.

    What is the “public debt”? It is the outstanding debt instruments of the United States; nothing more. If there exists sufficient funds in the treasury to a) pay the interest on these instruments and b) pay the principal amount due on obligations as the same mature, there is (IMHO) no default which would justify the Executive unilaterally acting, without Congressional authority, to incur more debt. The same would apply in the future, if sufficient revenues exist to do the same. Once obligations mature and are redeemed, new instruments may be sold to raise funds up to the existing ceiling.

    This is of no comfort to the common creditors of the United States (which would incur employees of the federal government, among others). As there would be contractual breaches due to default in payments, many will suffer; the markets really shouldn’t, except shares of corporations which are government contractors should decline in value. This, of course, ignores the effect of speculators and short sellers, a plethora of which will exist, and a reverse multiplier effect of money not being available to consumers due to reduced or totally SS payments, etc.

    It’s a mess that cannot be discussed without the use of the adjective cluster on multiple occasions. I cannot offer any solution, as I’m too tired and without possession of all necessary facts. What I can state with some certainty is that the Tea Party Republicans are either much smarter than I thought, or they are the beneficiaries of plain, dumb luck. I think the latter, as they seem to be the luckiest Oedipii extant. Whether the memory of the voting public will be long enough to corectly assess the blame in 2012 remains to be seen.

  29. WSClark

    Because I am a old hippie doofus, I included a rock ‘n’ roll reference in one of my posts.

    Did any of you catch it?

    (I know that yer all old, so don’t give me that “before my time” nonsense.)

  30. WSClark

    Jeez, I am hanging out with a bunch of old refugees from the Woodstock Nation!

      • The first comment to this video at You-Tube:

        What’s this? no makeup? no sexy outfit? No overtracking? No reverb and Auto-Tuning. No pole dancing? not a happy song? something is WRONG….or could it be….ACTUAL MUSIC LOL

        reminded me of a story a friend told me recently — her over 90-year-old Mom (quite a character!) was having joint replacement surgery and jokingly asked the doctor if she would be able to dance after the surgery. The doctor assured her she would and asked what kind of dancing she most enjoyed. Straight-faced she answered POLE DANCING. She loves gettin’ their goats. 😉