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Revenge of the Bankers! and Other Tales from Under the Debt Ceiling

Lo! The deadline approacheth! In New York, the bond traders shred their garments and gnash their teeth! In Washington, the Federal Reserve Chairman foretells a "huge financial calamity." The dollar is falling, the bankers are wailing, the President, it is said, is agitated.

In a courageous gambit to avert the crisis, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) proposed a bill to let his party evade responsibility for raising the debt ceiling. Under his plan, a request to raise limit would receive automatic approval unless Congress voted against it. That way, the Republicans could vote against raising the limit, the president could veto their vote, and the debt ceiling would rise like a joyful bubble of unfettered fiscal obligation.

The New York Times reports that after McConnell presented his plan, "Senate Democrats went virtually silent on the idea for fear of jinxing it." "Please," these worthy Democrats were surely thinking, "Please let the Republicans shirk their duties and then blame us for doing the dirty work."

Could it happen? Are we saved? The article reported that some Senate Republicans were "coming around."

Ah but the House, the House! The solemn New York Times journalists added ominously that House Republicans have "little to no appetite for Mr. McConnell's plan."

See, the House is controlled by those crazy Tea Partiers, and they've got House Speaker John Boehner by the balls. Those Tea Partiers don't care about any stinking financial calamities.

"That is simply not true," exclaimed Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) when asked about the risk of default. "We cannot go on scaring the American people. We need to be truthful," added Bachmann, who once warned of a plot to eliminate the dollar and establish a one-world currency.

"I would encourage our speaker, quit believing the president when he uses these scare tactics," inveighed Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX), who once insisted that illegal immigrants were giving birth to terrorist babies and that hate crime legislation would lead to legalized bestiality, economic chaos, and fascism.

In short: We're doomed! Doomed! Quick, buy a plane ticket to attend Gov. Rick Perry's Day of Prayer and Fasting in Houston. Only a miracle can save us now!

But hark! What's that sound? It's the proud men and women of Wall Street, rushing to the rescue.

"It's not the kind of thing that I think people should play with," advised JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon.

"Don't mess with the debt ceiling, Washington," threatened Bill Gross, founder of West Coast investment firm PIMCO, in a Washington Post op-ed, "Bond and currency vigilantes will make you pay."

"We'll get rid of you," growled President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Tom Donohue to Republicans who balk at raising the debt ceiling.

Salvation at last! Those Republicans may bravely stand against Obama, the Democrats, the awesome power of the liberal media, and the iron shackles of common sense, but as their favorite donors some calling, they'll fold like origami chickens.

So relax, sit back, and enjoy watching the Republicans squirm (if you enjoy that sort of thing). The show is almost over.

"Our problem is, we made a big deal about this for three months," said Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC). "How many Republicans have been on TV saying, 'I am not going to raise the debt limit'...We have no one to blame but ourselves."

Michael Wolraich (@wolraich) is the author of Blowing Smoke: Why the Right Keeps Serving Up Whack-Job Fantasies about the Plot to Euthanize Grandma, Outlaw Christmas, and Turn Junior into a Raging Homosexual.

Supposedly, Reid and McConnell are working on a deal:

As the dual plan is envisioned, House Republicans would be able to claim that they passed a deal without including revenue raisers or tax hikes. The president, meanwhile, will be able to move the debt ceiling debate into 2013, albeit while having to hold a largely pre-determined vote for a second extension (once the $1.5 trillion in cuts run out) before the election. Democrats would have to swallow a deal that didn't include revenues, but they will have protected entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare from cuts.

Of course, Democrats have an easier way of protecting entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.   Barack Obama could say, "I will not sign a bill that cuts Social Security and Medicare."

And when the Bush tax cuts expire, Obama could say, "I will not sign a bill that re-instates the Bush tax cuts on people making over $X."

Okay, a few things here to consider: Bill Gross works for PIMCO, which is run by Allianz, which is a German company.  Thus, Michele Bachmann is correct that this is all a scheme to destroy the dollar and institute a world currency.  The Deutshcmark

Please enjoy those facts.

You always have the bestest information.

You know it is not necessary to identify Cantor, Ryan and McCarthy as tea party pols to make fun of them.  Use their own schtick.  They are the GOP's Young Guns

 

So christened and promoted by Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard, ​bastion of neo-conservatism last time I looked.  Defended in today's Wall Street Journal by fellow (former) enfant terrible himself, Karl Rove.  

Make fun of them if you must but do not dismiss them as tea party no nothings.  Read their bios.  They are long-time Young Republicans who made it to the top of that dog-eat-dog organization.  They have some serious money behind them.  Cantor is a major party fundraiser.  They are men with a plan that the tea party may very well line up behind but they are potentially much more dangerous.  However, they seem to have started believing their own PR.  They are Young Guns!!!

Tie them to the Sheen boys.  WINNING!

 

Almost forgot, here's their YouTube Channel::

http://www.youtube.com/user/GOPYoungGuns

That guy in Young Guns?  Only if its him and Sarah Jessica Parker cast as horses.

Well to be fair, Charlie Sheen wouldn't be able to pull off the role anymore either.

Young Gums?

I was actually making fun of the media narrative that the Tea Party Republicans are singlehandedly blocking an agreement. I think that the point got lost in my zeal to ridicule Bachmann and Gohmert.

The House leadership, which includes the Young Guns, will certainly cave before the shit gets too serious.

Thanks for the links though. I love the youtube channel.

I sort of got the humor you intended but thought ridiculing the Young Gun allusion and its Charlie Sheen connection was more accurate and funnier -- to me anyway.

I am not so sure these 'young guns' will cave although they may lose this battle to somewhat saner elements of the party.  If so, they may go dark for awhile but they'll be back.  They are too connected.  Look how quickly Rove came out in damage control.

 

Emma, That picture made me vomit, and it is all your fault!!!!

<giggle>  I enjoyed your humor.    I will be glad when all this is over with.  2012 can't come fast enough.  There is a growing buyers remorse with the 2010 election.  Florida is so ashamed that is won't even admit that anyone voted for Rick Scott. The voters were all having a "senior moment" during the election.  

"That is simply not true," exclaimed Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) when asked about the risk of default. "We cannot go on scaring the American people. We need to be truthful"..." -- Genghis

Hmm... the article at your link shows no question asking Bachmann about the risk of default. I wonder why? I watched the video of the interview the other day and her comment was addressing that default is not a necessary outcome of not raising the debt ceiling. She is accurate to point out a failure to tell the truth on the part of Obama.

The author of that article that you're linking too (Andrea Seabrook) is doing the same thing, where she says, "Bachmann believes President Obama is being dishonest when he says the U.S. could go into default if it doesn't raise the debt ceiling." In fact, Bachmann did not take issue with it merely being possible to go into default, she took issue with presenting a default as a necessary outcome, absent raising the debt ceiling. She's spot on, and it's fair to point out that's a scare tactic, especially when the public is intentionally not being informed that the budget may be balanced without any additional borrowing, yet they ARE being warned about default. It's nothing more than a smarmy political ploy, and it's certainly not the truth.

The tactic of deceit isn't working though. The majority of Americans are opposed to raising the debt ceiling. According to Gallup, the number of Americans who want Congress to vote against raising the debt ceiling outnumber those who want Congress to vote for raising the debt ceiling by a factor of more than 2 to 1.

Full quote...

KING says: "When the President said, 'I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue because there simply may not be the money in the coffers to do it,' President Obama. Remember when he said, you know, check your ultimatums at the door? And that sounds to me like at least a veiled threat, if not an ultimatum."

BACHMANN says: "This is a misnomer that I believe the President and the Treasury Secretary have been trying to pass off on the American people and it's this: that if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion that somehow the United States will go into default and we will lose the full faith and credit of the United States. That is simply not true."

According to Gallup, the number of Americans who believe, "Bachmann believes President Obama is being dishonest when he says the U.S. could go into default if it doesn't raise the debt ceiling," is a fair summary of Bachmann's claim outnumber those who think it's not a fair summary by a factor or more than 2 to 1.

But thank you to smithers_T and bachmann_M for keeping the world honest and informed.

PS Note to bachmann_M, to call a misconception a misnomer is a misnomer. Oops, that was elitist. Bad Genghis!

Obama: "'I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue because there simply may not be the money in the coffers to do it,'"

You make Bachman's case that much stronger by including Obama's full falsehood.

In fact, he CAN guarantee checks will go out on Aug. 3rd by approving the measure. And he CAN guarantee it whether his differences with the House are resolved or not.

People often demean others (as you do by mocking my screen name) when they can't win an argument by reason, and yes, when an elitist attitude dictates not taking people who aren't in the elitist group seriously.

   

My dear smithers_T, and I mean that with all due respect, I demean others for the fun of it but only when I don't think arguing with them is worth the time and effort.

Bachmann's engaging in some funny word play here.  Obama is saying, as Geithner has been saying since January, that a failure to raise the debt ceiling would force the U.S. to avoid a bond default by cutting promised payments to the citizenry, including Social Security recipients, veterans and defense contractors with outstanding invoices.

Now, to my mind, that would be a default as the government has legal obligations other than Treasury bonds.  Defense contractors are called contractors, after all, because they have legal contracts with the government.  But the president is saying that if the government runs out of money, a line is going to form.  Bondholders will be at the head of that line.

the number of Americans who want Congress to vote against raising the debt ceiling outnumber those who want Congress to vote for raising the debt ceiling by a factor of more than 2 to 1.

I would contend that the number of Americans who want Congress to vote against raising the debt ceiling is equivalent to the number of Americans who have little idea what that means, but think it sure sounds bad...

 

"I would contend that the number of Americans who want Congress to vote against raising the debt ceiling is equivalent to the number of Americans who have little idea what that means, but think it sure sounds bad..."   -stillidealistic

Hmm... Two thirds of State of Minnesota employees were furloughed July 1st, all construction work was halted, parks were closed and non-essential services discontinued.

The governor just conceded his demand to raise taxes, and it had nothing to do with whether not raising them, was "sounding bad". Just the opposite was true, grumbling about the shutdown was subsiding, pundits were talking about it taking several months to resolve, and suggesting maybe it's not a bad thing after all, there was no uprising in opposition.... and you had to search Google for a story about it. No, he conceded because it was NOT sounding bad. 

That's what not raising taxes means, and people know it full well, which is why they had all but stopped complaining about it after merely two weeks had passed.

One thing that big government advocates don't want is for the public to realize how much of what government does is wasteful, unnecessary or worse, counter-productive. 

smither t: how much of what government does is wasteful, unnecessary or worse, counter-productive.

What could be the most 'wasteful, unnecessary or worse, counterproductive' undertaking of the federal government in the recent decade? And who says they did not vote in opposition to The Great White War President who initiated and sold that undertaking with falsehoods and lies, and who did not even denounce the wars until it was clear to even the most reality challenged Rushbot that the wars were disasters for our nation? None other than smithers t.

I would challenge you smithers, to do a posting on your belief that human caused climate change is a liberal plot, or that evolution is just a theory, unproven by the fossil record which can be attributed to The Genesis Flood.

Genghis: "The Great White War President"

It's a mystery why people are not flagged or banned for blatant racist comments. There cannot possibly be a good in a statement that insinuates racism where none can be shown to exist... where the intention seems purely to try and stir up arbitrary hatred or ill feelings.

I suppose that's what some resort to when they can't actually, by reason, defend their assertions. It's regrettable.

T. Smithers

P.s. I'm not sensing any flood (of what, meaningful dialog?). I sense nary a trickle if you want to know the truth. I find ridicule, mockery and hyperbole to be (and this is being generous) boaring and a waste of time to read. It's more interesting when  legitimate opposing views are considered together. But there's no room for that when people focus instead on one extreme.   

 

I realize that elitists all look alike to you, but I assure that I am not NCD.

For the record, we do have a policy against unfounded accusations of racism against participants at dagblog, but George W. Bush and any other public figure is fair game.

t smithers memory must be very short indeed.  I pointed out to him that George W. Bush touted himself a War President. He is also 'White'. 'White' is no more a racial epithet than noting Obama is 'the first Black President'.

Noting these facts is truth telling. Conservative ideologues like smithers detest the truth, as can easily be discerned from his multitude of ridiculous posts on this site.

You're confusing 'conservative' with 'not liberal', there's a huge difference. You know, it's incorrigible to continually troll online users, label them, call them ridiculous, etc., especially, when you have no proof of accusations made. I'm learning to expect no more than that from certain people. It's obvious that some folks are like Ross Perot, constantly squeaking and whining of others (one-liners), but extremely short on reasoning or ideas of their own.

It's interesting to note that Genghis does not defend the racist nature of the comment. In fact, it's a pejorative assigning race to an accusation. And, it can't be defended.

It's a weak attempt to use the issue of race to incite ill feelings on the basis of an indefensible racial prejudice. Whether it meets the requirements of blog policy or not (and I'm not convinced it does because the comment has only been pejoratively used, never used in pursuit of examination of the topic and most blog policies penalize that) it does nothing to address an idea that can be legitimately discussed.

Frankly I haven't sensed any meaningful dialogue from you, either. Pushing that sad misandry site, trying to redefine obstruction to suit your current needs, ... No one's gonna fall for that stuff.

Hmm... piling on, very Un-PC, and ineffective in this instance. The trouble is the "stuff" that "no one's gonna fall for" is (whether you agree or not) sarcasm, and ridicule, barbs and quips designed to dismiss things outright instead of thinking of them, also misquoting and misinformation, and manipulative attempts to "form news and events" by quickly judging /assuming rather than by observing and studying.  It's the willful ignorance, mainly... That is the stuff that no one's gonna fall for.

 boaring

I think that I speak for all daggers when I object to having our dialog compared to the grunting of wild pigs...jus' sayin'.

Hmm... daggers? Sorry, none in the midst here... Though it's telling as to what useless kind of symbol can be attempted to take the place of substantive argument. Religious folks have swords at least. And though they're much bigger than daggers, they too often use weak ideas and symbolic references when they could improve by making a stronger and more intelligible case for an idea instead. I remain skeptical of things people cant simply and plainly explain without a lot of sophistry and mucky-muck.

daggers? Sorry, none in the midst here.

 

While directing your attention to the name of this blog, I will say that this site is replete with guerillas in the midst. (ed note: "groan...")

Groaning like a beast doesn't make you right or true or even useful, it's mostly just annoying and that becomes cause for people to not consider the statement or idea. 

Look to the plank in your own eye ... Calling people elitists doesn't make you right or true or even useful, ... I could go on.

Speaking of planks, I don't acquire foundational ideas from a single political platform... as though that would somehow make the ideas right or true...? For the record, I've called no person elitist nor have I judged anyone. As to your other thought, everyone is useful (in the sense of being vital /important) even while some of their ideas may lack originality or usefulness.   T. Smithers

For the record, you haven't made much sense about anything.

"For the record, you haven't made much sense about anything."  --Donal

Perfect example of an idea with no originality... like the one above that jumps in for a quick demeaning response, and then nothing else to actually discuss the topic.

Would you care to actually address a point relevant to the topic? If not, what's the idea? What's the point? 

There's a word for this. It's called trolling. In my experience (and from what I've read about it) this happens mainly due to:

a) incompetence (can't defeat an argument)

b) to be a nuisance (from boredom or just to demean or make people upset)

You don't make arguments, you make assertions. When challenged, you demean, obfuscate and appeal to the moderators for help. I guess that proves you're not a Libertarian.

"You don't make arguments, you make assertions. When challenged, you demean, obfuscate and appeal to the moderators for help. I guess that proves you're not a Libertarian."  --Donal

Asserted what? Obfuscated what? Demeaned who? Appealed to which moderator  when?

Not Libertarian? Correct... nor Socialist, Democrat or Republican.

Ideas can be too easily co-opted /filtered /obfuscated and Yes, asserted-without-argument-or-premise by people who tightly adhere to groups. But if you're trying to project that onto me, it's not going to work.

By the way assertion can be the basis in argument (starting point from which to reason), though formally it would be called a premise.

Genghis: "According to Gallup, the number of Americans who believe, "Bachmann believes President Obama is being dishonest when he says the U.S. could go into default if it doesn't raise the debt ceiling," is a fair summary of Bachmann's claim outnumber those who think it's not a fair summary by a factor or more than 2 to 1."

If the above sentence were not practically incomprehensible one might make the mistake of thinking it's true. It's doubtful though that anyone with the capacity for abstract thought would see it as anything but farcical nonsense.

Unraveled, the sentence basically says:

Twice as many Amercians believe [a reporter's spin] is fair than those who think it's not fair.

And this is easy to disprove. People are divided on how they perceive "fairness" of journalistic accounts, according to subjective beliefs, often ideological beliefs that toe the their elitist group party lines. They tend to trust that view more than the view of the opposition, whether it's true or not. You can prove this to yourself by perusing the articles at this site. They're rife with negative views (including ridicule and mockery) of what's perceived to be "unfairness".

Evidence is emerging that elitist conspiratorial ideologies (on both ends of the political spectrum) are losing their ability to befuddle readers with "tasty tidbits of group speak" that often mean little or nothing... or, that mean less _ than  _ nothing because they're outright misinformation.

Sincerely,

T. Smithers

According to Gallup, the number of Americans who find T. Smithers group-speak-elitism routine to be "penetrating, refreshing, insightful, and profound" are outnumbered 2 to 1 by the number of Americans who find it to be "trite, tedious, insipid, and humorless."

People should put disclaimers on their writings that say,

"I'm not going to defend my ideas if challenged. I'll produce one line barbs and ridicule (code-name humor) though, because they save me the trouble of reasoning and prevent me having to thoughtfully consider what I will say before speaking."

I don't know you from Adam, but are you really going to trust a web-site that talks about Biblical prophecy with respect to the US as a reliable source? I don't know, maybe you will, but I think I can say with certainty that very few others on this site will.

You know Adam, but don't trust the account of his life. By that logic, you're statement is unreliable. 

In all seriousness though, you've not heard me "prophecy" or put stock in that activity when other individuals do it. At the same time, it's no easier to disprove such ideas than to disprove the blind acceptance of other abstract subjective ideas that people derive from their perceptions and experience (events in their lives). That includes political ideas that people believe so firmly they fight wars over them, (even though they have no proof of their rightness). In fact, those ideas are at least as dangerous as those that hold out hope to do right in a political office because it's part of "God's plan" to that believer. If that helped or hindered them can't be known with certainty (usually), but I see helpful and hindering outcomes in all _ beliefs, whether they are religious or not. I think anyone would if they thought about the issue broadly. Belief is personal and universal.

Actually, I said I don't know you from Adam, which would suggest I don't know Adam, either.

My saying that I don't trust a site that speaks of Biblical prophecies of the US, however, has very much to do with me knowing what is and is not in that particular collections of books, including the very last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation.

Suggesting that to pretend otherwise is just as dangerous as believing in dangerous political ideas is to damn with (very) faint praise, and not to be arguing with me at all. Admitting that both are dangerous does not make the former any less dangerous.

"from Adam's off ox"

I have corrected your usage to conform to the current colloquialism.  (Personally, I thought the Garden was too densely forested to permit plowing, let alone to promote the invention of the double yoked plow, but then, I wasn't there at the time...)

"Admitting that both are dangerous does not make the former any less dangerous."

Yes, it's good that you would admit that both are dangerous. For the record, I would never claim that errant religious ideas are any more or less dangerous than errant political ideas. Nor would I think it's wise to cast blame that way in argument. Because everyone has ideas they believe to be true, but that can't strictly be proved. It will quite simply be that those who know the truth and have properly held onto it, will, over time, be confirmed in their belief as more advances in understanding occur. And everyone can (the wise always do) revise their understanding when hearing a more solid explanation than one previously accepted.   (:

It will quite simply be that those who know the truth and have properly held onto it, will, over time, be confirmed in their belief as more advances in understanding occur.

A statement I agree with completely. This still leads me to wonder why you would give the site I initially referred to any credibility, if you agree that they are just as dangerous as political beliefs leading to war.

Nor would I think it's wise to cast blame that way in argument.

By extension, that would seem to suggest that you don't believe it's wise to cast blame on any religious or political ideas. However, you seem to do exactly that in other comments. Am I misunderstanding you, or are you just guilty of falling short of your ideals? (Who of us doesn't fall short of our ideals from time to time?)

"that would seem to suggest that you don't believe it's wise to cast blame on any religious or political ideas. However, you seem to do exactly that in other comments. Am I misunderstanding you, or are you just guilty of falling short of your ideals? (Who of us doesn't fall short of our ideals from time to time"

I would try not to extend it or add to that. It's only saying that any idea may or may not be defensible or "blamable". You can understand that truth while defending some ideas  and also "blaming" (disproving or falsifying) others.

Of course I agree that everyone falls short of their own ideals. Knowing that is incentive to improve... not just concepts, but yourself. I think studying concepts is an aid, though impersonal, it can certainly be useful.

Beyond that...? Well, there are better "things" to know.

"I said I don't know you from Adam, which would suggest I don't know Adam, either."

Usually when someone says they don't know something from something else, it because they're differentiating between the two things, which means they must know one of them. Since I know you don't know me... You see, this is why I don't use a lot of idioms. But it's common sense that you don't know people online. That's reason enough to not make it personal, but keep it in the realm of ideas. It would be nice if more people understood that electronic forums amass ideas and statements that can be impersonally addressed. It's much easier to learn given that understanding.  (:

Usually when someone says they don't know something from something else, it because they're differentiating between the two things, which means they must know one of them.

Actually, I'd argue exactly the opposite. If I knew Adam, I'd know you weren't him, even if I didn't know him, just as you would know that a complete stranger wasn't your father, but you wouldn't know if that complete stranger were John Frederickson (assuming that you don't know John Frederickson, which happens to be a name I just invented). Not that this particular strain of argument has anything to do with the original discussion, just that like you and most others on this site, I don't drop such things easily. :)

Meet John Frederickson, who is a senior litigator who handles all types of complex commercial, banking, administrative and business matters at the firm O'Malley, Miles, Nylen, & Gilmore, P.A.

And he is definitely not Adam.

Although one might say Frederickson (and the bankers) is the outcome of that singular act of naughtiness committed by Adam

Why might one say that? And, do you literally mean the outcome of original sin is "the bankers", or do you mean banking (the verb)... and perhaps more specifically banking that isn't transparent enough to muster public scrutiny (sufficient to assure that people's labors aren't being squandered)? 

T. Smithers

I enjoyed reading this post, Genghis. Thanks for writing it. You might get a kick out of the following post by Jane Hamsher. The link in the first comment is also worth a look, if you haven't already seen it. 

http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2011/07/13/little-shop-of-horrors-corporate-astroturf-campaign-turns-into-giant-venus-flytrap-eats-master/

Thanks, Watt. The creeping power of the right wing with corporate blessing and encouragement began long before the Tea Parties, and this is not the first conflict between the two. A Republican journalist I once spoke to predicts a schism within the GOP. I'm a little skeptical of that. So far, they've always managed to cooperate. As long as the right wing doesn't succeed in directly thwarting the corporate interests, they'll move on from this.

PS O'Reilly has been repositioning himself as Fox's level-headed pragmatist for a while now, though as John Stewart once said, that's like being the thinnest kid at fat camp.

I cherish those rare occasions when conservatives challenge corporate interests. In my dreams such teachable moments offer opportunities for left-right coalitions to counter the corporate leaders of both major political parties.

Michelle Bachmann bothers me, probably as much as she bothers anyone who blogs here. But here's a confession. When I watch Darth O'Reilly try to choke Bachmann for refusing to raise the debt ceiling, a small part of me smiles at her the same way I smiled at the Ewoks in Star Wars.

Tick....tick.....tick.....

no country for old ladies.

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