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So What Now – Government Shutdown

I know that there are tons of people on either side of this debate. Who shut down the government? The answer for anyone who believes in facts is the Republicans. If you don’t let a little thing like facts get in your way, then I guess you can say that the Democrats shut down the government in order to save ObamaCare.

The problem is that we are watching a huge train wreck. There aren’t going to be winners and losers. There are going to be losers and really big-time losers. Why? Because Republicans have backed themselves in a corner. They can give up or hold fast. You know Republicans. They will not give up. Hell, they will argue with themselves in order not to give up.

On the other hand, you have Obama and the Democrats. I’m not sure that there is any calculus in which Obama throws his signature domestic program to the wolves. It just isn’t going to happen. Also, Obama thinks that his single biggest failure as a president was knuckling under during the last debt ceiling “hostage” negotiations. He isn’t going to do this again. If he gives in now the Republicans will ask for more and more at each debt ceiling negotiation. Nope, Obama has to hold fast.

That leaves us with those who have the most to lose if the debt ceiling isn’t raised – Wall Street. In my mind, the only folks that can change this stand-off are the guys on Wall Street. They will have to, en masse, force the Republican Party to wake up and smell the manure. They are going to have to threaten to cut off financial support if this craziness doesn’t end. They are going to have to call a huge press conference in which all of the major Wall Street banks stand up and call out the Republicans on a strategy that has the potential of completely sinking the American economy and the world economy. Will Wall Street side with the Dems? If their wallet depends on it, yep. They will side with whoever will keep the money flowing.

Ladies and Gentleman – this is going to get ugly.

By |2013-10-08T21:17:05-04:00October 7th, 2013|Congress, Domestic Issues, Obama administration, Party Politics|Comments Off on So What Now – Government Shutdown

News Roundup – Government Shutdown, Aaron Alexis, Economic Austerity

My barber for the last seven years has died. Mr. Willie L. Shivers was a wonderful man. He was 93!! He was still very active. Hell, he was more active that I am. If you have seen the movie Barbershop… that was Mr. Shivers. He always had something to say. He was thoughtful and kind. He didn’t mention the fact that he was a World War II veteran. When you think about it, is that all you want from someone? Mr. Shivers will be missed. He is survived by two children, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Government shutdown – well, here we are again. It’s been a little over a year since we’ve heard the phrase “government shutdown.” Now we face discussions (or arguments, rather) over the federal budget and also about raising the debt ceiling. Last week, some lukewarm bill looked like it was coming to the floor before Republicans killed their own bill. Paul Krugman has more – So, now we face the imminent threat of a government shutdown and/or a U.S. government default because Republicans refuse to accept the notion that duly enacted legislation should be allowed to go into effect, and repealed only through constitutional means. The cause for such GOP threats of chaos is ensuring that tens of millions of Americans continue to lack essential health care.

Terrie Hall has died

Terrie Hall has died

The woman in the CDC’s anti-smoking ad has died. She reminded me of Yul Brynner’s ad that he took out before he died.

Look, we always are trying to find the “key” to any mass murder. There seems to be this reflexive, knee-jerk reaction that we as Americans have to these incidents. We foolishly believe that if we had only unlocked one or two things, we could’ve seen this coming. Hogwash. The one thing that is clear is that we are terrible at predicting individual human behavior. It turns out that Aaron Alexis was in the VA hospital system. Although he had some ringing in his ears and some other disorders, he was not labeled as a paranoid schizophrenic. There are no simple answers. Investigations into how he slipped through the cracks and had clearance to be on a Navy Yard base will be ongoing for the next several months. Don’t expect there to be any specific revelations. We’ve seen how these investigations work. They simply will be inconclusive. On the other hand, there is one thing that is clear from this latest shooting incident. The NRA is completely wrong that a good man with the gun will beat a bad man with a gun. We simply need fewer guns. No other country in the world has the number of mass shootings that we do. BTW, did you read the sad note from the mother of Aaron Alexis?  (more…)

By |2013-09-21T21:30:26-04:00September 18th, 2013|Books, Economy, Mass Shooting|Comments Off on News Roundup – Government Shutdown, Aaron Alexis, Economic Austerity

Wednesday Evening News Roundup

Wednesday Evening News Roundup

Yesterday, I mentioned that last year was the second warmest year on record. Australia is simply baking this year.

I would like to spend a little time talking about an idea that was floated over at Pragmatic Capitalism over a year ago. As you recall, about a year ago we had the showdown at the OK Corral (well, it was really Congress) over the debt ceiling. The Republicans were determined to cut spending at all costs. If it meant taking the economy, so be it. If it meant taking the world economy, that was a price that many Republicans thought was worth paying. So, another debt ceiling is looming on the horizon. We have the treasury secretary telling us when we’re going to run out of money (basically within weeks if Congress does not act). Now, comes this idea, which has been talked about on several blogs (here and here). Why doesn’t the treasury print a $1 trillion coin and then march that coin over to the Federal Reserve and deposit the coin? The treasury doesn’t need Congress’s permission to print the coin. Since our money is not tethered to something tangible like gold, there’s no reason we can’t do this. The idea sounded half-baked until Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said it wasn’t a bad idea. In my opinion, we need to avoid the constant threat of government shutdown and default. We need for all members of Congress to begin to act like adults instead of spoiled brats. Governing is about compromise. Governing is not about jumping up and down and stomping your feet like a four-year-old in the middle of a massive tantrum. I am for any solution that avoids economic uncertainty and promotes job growth here in the United States. If that solution means we need to print a $1 trillion coin then I’m all for it. (Oh, don’t get distracted by some of the craziness that I’ve heard from conservatives over the last 24 hours. Someone has decided to confuse the American public by saying we have to print a coin that is actually worth $1 trillion and would therefore have to be the size of an ocean liner. The logic is stupid. Currently we print coins and money that are clearly not worth their face value. A $100 bill is not made up of a hundred dollars’ worth of paper. A $1000 bill is clearly not made up worth of a thousand dollars’ worth of paper and ink. Ignore this bit of stupidity.) (more…)

By |2013-11-03T18:18:47-04:00January 9th, 2013|Budget, Environment, Foreign Affairs|Comments Off on Wednesday Evening News Roundup
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