Chart of the day

Via Ezra:

Telling isn’t it.  Yet, as Brooks pointed out the other day, the Republicans seem constitutionally incapable of just declaring victory and going home.   The Tea Party at work.  Remind me never to have Barack Obama negotiate anything for me on my behalf.  If this is a hostage situation, as Chait among others likes to analogize, the Republicans basically seem to be saying, okay we’ll let 2 of the hostages go, but you’ve got to let us kill the other 4.

I was thinking about this in football field terms the other day– we’re basically fighting over whether the ball is going to be at the 5 yard line or the 10 yard line, but either way you put it, the ball is much closer to where the Republicans want it and nowhere near the 50 yard line you would expect in a genuine bipartisan compromise.

Google thinks I’m old

So, a friend posted this link on facebook which has Google reveal what it thinks your ad preferences are based on your usage patterns.  Mine are generally accurate, but for one major exception:

At least it put a “?” by the old age thing.  On the other hand, it also put a “?” by me being male.  More searches for Angelina Jolie and Victoria’s Secret models needed?

Debt ceiling myths

Who else but Bruce Bartlett to wonderfully shatter debt ceiling myths.  As a general rule, I really enjoy the Post’s “5 myths” series, but sometimes the author really has to come up with some dubious “myths” to fit the format.  Thanks to the right-wing noise machine, though, in this case these are widely-held myths by much of the public.   His response on the first myth is especially good:

1. The debt limit is an effective way to control spending and deficits.

Not at all. In 2003, Brian Roseboro, assistant secretary of the Treasury for financial markets, explained it best: “The plain truth is that the debt limit does not affect the deficits or surpluses. The critical revenue and spending decisions are made during the congressional budget process.”

The debt ceiling is a cap on the amount of securities the Treasury can issue, something it does to raise money to pay for government expenses. These expenses, and the deficit they’ve wrought, are a result of past actions by Congress to create entitlement programs, make appropriations and cut taxes. In that sense, raising the debt limit is about paying for past expenses, not controlling future ones. For Congress to refuse to let Treasury raise the cash to pay the bills that Congress itself has run up simply makes no sense.  [emphasis mine]

I’ll come back to my all too-often formulation.  Either Republicans are too stupid to understand this or they are lying.  As usual, neither is flattering.  After reading the whole thing, I think is more willful ignorance.  If you have any debt ceiling interest, you should read the whole piece– it’s a nice succinct summary of the major issues.


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