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Robert Kuttner, writes in the Huffington Post, that Obama Holds the Cards -- If He Will Play Them Well.  Late last week former President Bill Clinton suggested that if he were in office he would invoke the 14th Amendment option to allow him to keep paying the Government debts.

President Obama said this weekend that he discussed it Friday with his lawyers and decided it wasn't a winning argument.  But, Robert Kuttner and others, disagree.  

Additionally, going beyond the Kuttner analysis, there is an additional strategic argument that can be made that President should play this option, for the good of the country,  even if he strongly suspects he will lose the argument in the end. But, in buying time, and allowing public opinion to shift strongly against the GOP, he could change the political landscape, and create much better options for a way forward.  

If the alternative, is default, global financial crisis, and devastating damage to the US economy, both in the short-term and the long-term, the President has a constitutional obligation to protect, and defend, our nation from the threat.  Kuttner asks, is it really plausible that the GOP would sue a President heroically, saving the country from damage, and getting Social Security checks going out?  And, checks to military family.

Kuttner doesn't believe there is enough time to work out a deal before the deadline, or reactions by the financial market.

At that point, there are only two basic choices. Either the Republicans and the White House agree to some kind of short- or medium-term increase in the debt ceiling, in exchange for some kind of deal with details to be supplied later. Or the president invokes the 14th Amendment and declares that the debts of the United States will be paid.

This seems to be what the GOP is aiming for, with the "Super-Congress" idea as the mechanism to work out the details later, and then get them past obstacles (Senate Democrats.)  What Kuttner calls "The Simpson-Bowls Commission on steroids."  

So, Kuttner makes a thought-provoking argument that some variation of the 14th Amendment option, or bluff of this pursuit,  could be best for the country, and the Democrats.  

I don't trust that end-game, because it gives too much power to all the forces of austerity that have been too dominant in this debate all year. And it creates too much risk of Democrats being stampeded to give up too much on Social Security and Medicare and get too little in the way of tax hikes on the rich in return.

The New York Times had a very instructive chart today, by the indispensable Teresa Tritch, showing that most of the budget shortfall going into the financial crisis was the result of the Bush tax cuts and wars -- and that most of the rest of it since 2008 was the consequence of lost revenues from the recession itself. ...

The 14th Amendment, in Section 4 provides that "The validity of the public debt of the United States.... shall not be questioned." The government can go on selling bonds to cover its costs as long as money markets accept them. ...

If President Obama were to invoke that emergency authority to prevent the economy from collapsing as money markets began shunning U.S. government bonds, it is hard to imagine Republican leaders suing the president... to demand what? That he let the economy go off a cliff? And it is even harder to imagine the Supreme Court, even a Court as partisan and corrupted as the Roberts Court, voting to tie Obama's hands in an economic emergency that -- keep in mind -- is entirely contrived.

Several Republicans have been quoted over the last few days saying the President will fold.  

Well, if the GOP want to play a game of chicken with the national well being, perhaps, President Obama should put some new cards on the table?

One additional reason, I believe the President should reconsider this 14th Amendment option, is that the Republicans have been acting like terrorists, holding the President and our nation hostage.

One of our longest standing policies, is that we do not negotiate with terrorists.  If the President gives into this blackmail, or even just appears to have given into to such blackmail, it could seriously damage his reputation, the Office of the Presidency, and our national secuirty.

GOP, foriegn leaders, and terrorists may assume our President is weak, and try to test them.

We need to quickly make the argument that it is an outrageous assualt on both our President, and our national security for the Republicans to exericise such an blackmail against our President and nation.

If we can orchestrate former Presidents, national secuirty advisers, former SOS, and SOD, to make this argument, and demand that the GOP give us a clean bill, with no cuts.  Seperate the debt-ceiling from the budget balancing, see how quickly, the GOP converges on one of the deals already on the table. Maybe even  with revenues.  

Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 10:24 PM PT: I've added a stronger conclusion in the last five paragraphs, pointing out that this GOP blackmail, has the potential to damage President Obama, and our national security, as terrorists and others decide to see how much they can get out of our President.


We do not negotiate with terrorists.  


If the President gives in to this GOP terrorist-like blackmail, he might damage himself, the Office of the Presidency, and our National Security.


He should admit the 14th Amendment option might not withstand a long court battle, but he has no choice but to pursue it for our national security, so he has time to bring the GOP to its' senses.

The President can make clear that this is just a short-term measure to prevent a disasterous default, and but time, to arrive at a negotiated settlement with Congress.

Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 11:34 PM PT: Tomorrow mornign before President Obama reasures the world that he will not let the US default, nor will he give in to Republican terrorists like blackmail, so unless he gets a reasonable deal from the GOP in 48 hours he will invoke the 14th Amendment he should watch this video to get in the right mood.






5:52 AM PT: Angela Moon, of Reuters write US STOCKS-Futures down on U.S. debt gridlock
Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:18am EDT

* Top U.S. official warns of "stressful" days ahead
 * Moody's cuts Greek sovereign debt rating
 * Futures down: S&P 10.1 pts, Dow 85 pts, Nasdaq 14 pts

 NEW YORK, July 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures fell
on Monday as political brinkmanship in Washington over the U.S.
debt ceiling sparked fears of a U.S. rating downgrade, sending
world equities lower and pushing gold to a record high.
 A divided U.S. Congress pursued rival budget plans that
appeared unlikely to win broad support, pushing the country
closer to a debt default. For details, see [ID:nN1E76M0B0]
 While analysts still expected a deal to raise the debt
ceiling by Aug. 2, the United States moved one step closer to
losing its coveted triple-A credit rating as Democrats and
Republicans seemed unlikely to agree on a deal.

 White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley warned there would be
a "few stressful days" ahead for financial markets. But
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was confident a deal would
be reached.

Poll

Do you think President Obama should pursue the 14th Amendment option?

76%299 votes
6%26 votes
2%11 votes
12%49 votes
0%1 votes
0%2 votes
0%1 votes

| 389 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

    •  There's a problem with this argument. (12+ / 0-)
      But, in buying time, and allowing public opinion to shift strongly against the GOP, he could change the political landscape, and create much better options for a way forward.

      Based on what he has already offered, Obama's idea of 'better options' is to be assured of cuts in Social Security and Medicare.  

      The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine.

      by magnetics on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 11:47:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm hoping that he realizes this was an error by (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        expatjourno, KenBee, magnetics

        his time.

        That is the additional advantage of this 14th Amendment option, 'bluff', threat.  It allows a graceful walkdown from a terrible series of blunders, that might not be fixable any other way.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 11:52:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  link to NYT graphs in Kuttner's article... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog, DRo, mconvente

      2 graphs --

      http://www.nytimes.com/...

      How the Deficit Got This Big

      7/23/11...it is worth asking how we got here — from healthy surpluses at the end of the Clinton era, and the promise of future surpluses, to nine straight years of deficits, including the $1.3 trillion shortfall in 2010. The answer is largely the Bush-era tax cuts, war spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, and recessions.

      ....non-defense discretionary spending on areas like foreign aid, education and food safety was not a driving factor in creating the deficits. In fact, such spending, accounting for only 15 percent of the budget, has been basically flat as a share of the economy for decades. Cutting it simply will not fill the deficit hole.

      ...But every year starting in 2002, the budget fell into deficit. In January 2009, just before President Obama took office, the budget office projected a $1.2 trillion deficit for 2009 and deficits in subsequent years, based on continuing Mr. Bush’s policies and the effects of recession. Mr. Obama’s policies in 2009 and 2010, including the stimulus package, added to the deficits in those years but are largely temporary.

      "Tax cuts for the wealthy create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

      by MartyM on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 05:06:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And, ideally, just some serious gestures, or (14+ / 0-)

      comments, by the President, and others, might be the extra pressure that frightens some sense back into the GOP, who are now laughing.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 10:04:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Time is running out...this may be his only choice (24+ / 0-)

        and frankly, he would be applauded for it.

        •  Yes, and, as I think more about it, I am coming to (20+ / 0-)

          suspect that it will look as if our President is giving into blackmail, if he agrees to these ridiculous GOP positions.

          After, agreeing to so much already, it seems as the the GOP is laughing, and seeing how far they can push.

          But, this is likely to damage the Office of the Presidency, and our national security.

          We need to raise a fuss about this.

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 10:26:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think the SCOTUS will take the case... (13+ / 0-)

            if challenged by the Republicans. Obama may even lose, ultimately. But any challenge will take time. And during that time, Obama will get credit for taking such quick, decisive action in an emergency, and the Democratic party will gain badly needed political support that will manifest at the polls next November.

            Just do it.

            "Corporations have neither bodies to kick nor souls to damn." -- Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States

            by markthshark on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 10:48:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Exactly, that's what I meant by saying it might be (7+ / 0-)

              worth doing even if we thought we'd lose the Constitutional argument in the end.

              Obama sends out two quick big victory messages to the world, and could do it tomorrow morning, just by saying he's reconsidering it, and would do it to prevent a financial collapse.

              1) Dear People of the World,  I will not let the US default, or miss checks to Social Security recipients, or solders.

              One way or another, the US will pay it's bills.  If the GOP terrorists do not come to their senses, I will invoke the 14th Amendment to avoid US default and an international monetary collarpse.

              2) The President of the United State does not negotiate with terrorists, and will not give into blackmail.  Either the GOP knock off this silly shit, and give us a reasonable deal, or I will use the 14th Amendement.

              He should watch the Samual Jackson, enough is enough video from Snake of a Plane.

              He should march down the long hall of the White House and say, "I've had it with these m(YY_%%* obstructionist Republicans bringing down our nation.  

              Fasten you seat belts folks becasue if they don't come to the table with a clean bill, I'm invoking the 14th Amendment.!'

              Thats what i want to see.

              The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

              by HoundDog on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 11:29:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think he can wait only a day or so, before doing (8+ / 0-)

                this. Then invoke it "to save the US standing" in the markets.   He needs to be careful in how he calls out the GOP, because he doesn't want it to be seen as political, but as necessary for the country.

                •  Agreed Phil S 33. Check out the update (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Phil S 33, KenBee, SallyCat

                  I just added of Samual Jacksons "enough is enough" segment from Snakes on a Plane.

                  That the mood, Id advise when giving the GOP 48 hours to agree to a resonsable compromise, or the President will assure global markets that the US will pay our debts, and Social Security, and checks to soldiers, and the President will also not give into hostage like demands that the GOP is pushing at the risk of our national security.

                  The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                  by HoundDog on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 11:40:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  ...and harsh times call for harsh rhetoric. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                HoundDog, MartyM

                i, for one, would like to hear him call the GOP economic terrorists... i know, i know...in reality he can't...but i would still like to hear it.

                •  yes, I'd like to her it too, liberaldemdave (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  liberaldemdave, Glic, MartyM, Teiresias70

                  But, just between us, I am expecting to compromise on this point, and let the President be his reasoble self.

                  The schools of negotiation I come from, suggest that if the other side makes ridiculous blusters and threats, you come right back at them at twice the amplitude.

                  Then, after a cooling off period, when they see this kinds of BS isn't going to work, we can all come to our senses.

                  This seems better, than giving them everything they want, and then having them keep coming back asking for more and more an more.

                  Enough is Enough!

                  The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                  by HoundDog on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 11:57:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm not sure who would have standing to sue him (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    HoundDog, liberaldemdave

                    Plus, what form of relief would they seek?  Who would accept the political fallout of suing to force Uncle Sam into default?

                    AT MINIMUM, this option should always have been on the table.  At this point, it appears to be the last viable option left.

                    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

                    by RFK Lives on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 05:16:21 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I agree RFK Lives, but so far the White House (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      RFK Lives, liberaldemdave

                      has shown no interest at all in persuing this option.

                      Not, even a mumble as a game of chicken.  

                      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                      by HoundDog on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 05:55:33 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It's not "bipartisan" to return GOP fire (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        liberaldemdave

                        One can argue about the efficacy of "bipartisanship" as a means given its progeny (IWR, Patriot Act, Scalia confirmed 96-0).  Making it an end in itself, however, is beyond foolish.

                        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

                        by RFK Lives on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 06:30:04 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Three possible groups (0+ / 0-)

                      the first is members of congress in their individual capacity -- the Raines v. Byrd decision says they can't sue to invalidate acts of congress but here the argument would be unilateral actions by the executive -- they can claim their perquisites as members of congress were taken away, like the ability to offer amendments, offer debate, etc.  secondly, that case itself says that a bloc sufficient to form a majority could sue saying they wouldn't have voted for unilateral debt ceiling increases, so the GOP caucus either way.  Third, holders of default swaps on T-bills could sue.

                      It's all moot, however, because there's no such thing as unilaterally raising debt.  Maybe the debt ceiling, but the credit markets would still have to bite, and I can't imagine they'd be all that excited about buying bonds that, per the terms of the 14th amendment, might not be legally enforceable.  (The 'authorized by law' prong, not the "shall not be questioned" part.)

                      It's not been raised because it's not a real legal argument.

                      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                      by Loge on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 12:43:15 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  I fear this wouldn't be enough to calm the markets (7+ / 0-)

                Even if he invokes the 14th and makes sure everyone gets paid, the resulting political firestorm and underlying uncertainty of a Court challenge will reinforce the doubts of global investors about the long-term stability of our economy and reliability of our debt.  It's virtually a no-win situation.

                Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set... -- Gandalf

                by dnta on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 11:54:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You may be right. My hope is that this could be (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  dnta

                  used like the 'stalking horse' to put pressure on the GOP to come to the table for a deal.

                  To maybe buy the President one or two days, on the internal deadline he feels, that might cause him to cave first, which is what the GOP hopes and expects.

                  The Boehner strategy is to try to pass their plan so it's the only way out for the President.

                  Saying to him essentially, "here's your only choice, sign it when your ready.  But, don't take too long, or you'll destroy our nations finances, and it will be your fault."

                  I'm struggling to find a better response than total capitulation, and some variation of this, even if it only last a few days, is the best I can think of so far.

                  The President essentially, says "go ahead and make my day."

                  Anmd we all hope to goodness the GOP comes to their senses.

                  The makerts may be reassured that the President reassures the markets that they will not be clobered by a short-term timing mistake by the politicians.

                  The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                  by HoundDog on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 06:01:12 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The alternative, I think (0+ / 0-)

                    is for the Senate Dems to pass their own bill and send it to the House, even at the same time as the Repubs are sending their bill to the Senate.  That sort of forces a stalemate, which should be resolved in conference committee, and the whole country will know if one side or the other refuses to "compromise" from the text of their original.

                    By the way, it just occurred to me why Harry Reid hasn't included any tax increases in his draft bill: because the Senate cannot initiate taxes!  Maybe someone else has already pointed this out, but it's the first time I thought of it...

                    Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set... -- Gandalf

                    by dnta on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 06:38:54 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Oh man would I ever love to hear him say... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                HoundDog

                exactly that.

                If the GOP terrorists do not come to their senses, I will invoke the 14th Amendment to avoid US default and an international monetary collarpse.

                I'd even reconsider coughin' up some cash for his reelection campaign. (and I don't think I'd be the only one either)

                "Corporations have neither bodies to kick nor souls to damn." -- Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States

                by markthshark on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 03:53:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  as one of his MOST FIERCE critics... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HoundDog

          i would not only applaud...i would stand to do so. (and then go back to being critical until ss/medicare and medicaid are OFF the table and the president recognizes that the 14th amendment should apply to my husband and i just as much as it did to his parents).

          until he concedes the latter and stops spouting the state's rights republican's line, he'll get scant praise from me.

          •  I never suggested, asked, predicted, or expected (5+ / 0-)

            that if he did this, all would be forgiven in the Democratic Party.

            There's not deal, till there's a deal, but just some of the things being discussed are perceived by many to be such a huge betrayal of Democratric traditions, values, goals, and policies, that irrevicable damage has been done, and some in our Party will never forgive him.

            The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

            by HoundDog on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 11:59:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  YES..he needs to show willingness to use (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MartyM, HoundDog, TomP

        this option, albeit reluctantly, but for the good of the nation. Flash those cards, Mr President.

        MO-2 (formerly MO-3 until redistricting) Once in awhile you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

        by Glic on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 04:34:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I am in favor of 14th Amendment option (14+ / 0-)

      Among other things it will kick Congress (both parties) in the ass. Minor constituional crisis...but Supremes stepping in to tell Treasury would trigger bigger constitutional crisis. Trasury answers to Executive Branch so Supremes can't really do much. And if they did it would be time consuming.

      Alternatively if he doesn't and U.S. Defaults isn't that violating protection of the Constitution.

      Obama wants a 'deal' so I don't think he'll invoke 14th...but it's an interesting topic.

      Born again Cynic since 2008 when the patent medicine man came to town.

      by SallyCat on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 10:23:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree that I do not think the President will do (7+ / 0-)

        this, but I think he should consider it, or make some noise about it.

        If the Supreme Court rules against him 3 to 6 months from now, and there is still no deal, he can let the nation default, and it will be abundently clear to everyone it was the GOPs fault.

        But, I think playing this as a bluff, could back the GOP down enough, they chicken out and get just reasonable enough to make a deal quickly.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 10:40:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  and further cement the Supremes =Tea Baggers (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SallyCat, HoundDog

          in the public's mind.

          The pressure will be on them to sustain rather than default.

          They don't want this hot potato, altho Scalia probably would....but it's a PR loser for them...not that anybody votes for them, but it will help with confirmation of the next Supreme. Another Warren Court :>

          In addition the meme of repeal the Bush era tax cuts should be pounded daily/hourly.

          Just be careful not to let your ability outrun your talent.

          by KenBee on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 04:29:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And, if the President gives into these terrorist- (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SallyCat

        like demands, does he not risk damaging his reputation, the Office of the Presidency, and our national security?

        Tomorrow morning, I think I may accuse the GOP of treason, and holding the President hostage.

        If he gives into their demands now, what will stop them form continuing this outrageous blackmailing of the country, forever.

        It's time for the President to come to the TV cameras, and say he will not negotiate with balckmailers.

        There is an additional Constitutional argument that the President,

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:00:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm with Kuttner. (14+ / 0-)

    The problem is the Repukes have already threatened impeachment, not a suit.  I'm sure Clinton didn't go out of his way to cause his own impeachment, and I'm sure they won't be successful in removing him from office.  However, with the economy sputtering, that's a dog and pony show we really don't need right now.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. John Kenneth Galbraith

    by HappyinNM on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 10:05:31 PM PDT

  •  Like your poll choices. Very nuanced. eom (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    second gen, SallyCat, KJB Oregon, HoundDog

    `You needn't go on making remarks like that, ... they're not sensible, and they put me out.'

    by seanwright on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 10:11:32 PM PDT

    •  Thanks, I spend a lot of time trying to find (6+ / 0-)

      or create every nuance I can in polls.  

      My goal, is to make sure every single respondent can find an option that truly feels like it speaks for them.  

      I can't stand these simply forced choice polls, that are like do you agree with me, or do you agree with the devil.

      Since you ask, let me explain how I view the  difference between other and pie.

      No matter how much thought I put into a serious poll, someone always comes up with a point of view, that I didn't anticipate, and can rightly complain with some indignation, that the poll was disrespectful in that it tries to force them into what they perceive to be and overly simplistic, or naive view of the problem.

      So, other is a safety - validity, alarm.  If you see any votes for this, all, it is an alert the the author, in this case me, has missed the boat.  And, even folks who disagree with my main point, appreciate it sometimes, that I acknowledge in advance that there may be an alternative point of view, I didn't consider.

      And, appropriately humble, if a place like this with such a diverse and brilliant community.

      Pie, is often thought of as just the funny, I don't feel serious know, and don't want to play this game.

      But, it can also serve as an even higher level "other" that contains the rejection of the good intentions of the author.

      Like, "I find this whole diary, and poll to be so bad, disingenious, or manipulative, that it is deeply offensive, and just saying "other" is insufficient to express my disgust!"

      Plus, in a case this complicated, some folks are going to think "what? have we all developed delusions of grandeur?"

      "Not only are we off-the-wall, to imagine that we have the data, intelligence, advisors, and concentration, to be playing arm-chair quarterback and giving the President advice, but, now we're saying he should initiate a Constitutional crisis, as we project our own unresolved emotional problems with authoritty and Republicans, on a complex national crisis."  

      So, these folks might think, I'll only offer an opinion, if I can do it in a way, that indicates, that I will trust our President to figure this out, and support him, in whatever choice he makes.

      Thanks, for noticing seanwright.  I try to almost always put this much thinking into poll questions, but few seem to notice.

      I was really lucky to be able to take some course at Harvard with one of the most famous poll theorists, (whose name I forget) and then also a bunch of graduate courses at MIT on poll design and research methodology.  

      At one point, I was thinking of going in this direction as a career.  

      Thanks again.  

      Cheers.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 10:58:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, your training and effort really show. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Phil S 33, HoundDog, gramofsam1

        I appreciated having the I don't know, but I'll support the President choice. I've done a fair amount of research and I feel like I understand the virtues and drawbacks of the 14th Amendment option pretty well.

        On the positive side, it allows the president to avoid default without any economy harming spending cuts and to establish a strong "we don't give in to terrorist threats" position.

        On the downside, it sets a precedent of not being a le to reach resolution, which could serve us poorly when the next budget resolution needs to be passed. Plus, there is no guarantee that the markets will consider this a secure solution.

        I really can't tell whether or when it would be a good move to invoke the 14th, but I'm willing to trust the president to make the call.

        `You needn't go on making remarks like that, ... they're not sensible, and they put me out.'

        by seanwright on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 11:28:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  THAT is what we all need to do..... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HoundDog, seanwright
          I really can't tell whether or when it would be a good move to invoke the 14th, but I'm willing to trust the president to make the call.

          TRUST the President....

        •  I feel the same way seanwright. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          seanwright, side pocket

          I don't think any of us can imagine the pressures, complexities, etc, of being the President.

          So, many uncertainties, possible consequences.

          I've had about four previous 14th Amendment articles in my cue since the Clinton comment, that I then decided not to publish, because one Constitutional scholar or another points out the valid technicality, that the Constitution gives the Congress, and especially, the House of Representatives the reigns, on all budget matters.

          I didn't feel up to making, and defending the Kuttner article.  Even had the NYT article of this afternoon, on the block, but not knowing what to do with it.

          The advantage with the Kuttner article is I can just report it, like "gee, look what this guy is saying."  "Is he crazy or what?"

          I'm exageratting just a little to agree with your point, but I know what you're saying.

          It is only because it's late at night, at the last minute, and that we're here anonymously, that I'd have the audacity to give the President any advice on this matter at all.

          At the final hour, we're going to have to support him, if we want to have any chance of winning the 2012 elections.

          So, we might as well, not box ourselves into blunderbuster statements that we will regret later.

          Thanks for you comments.  It makes me feel a little better about being so far out on this limb.

          This is the dilemma I often have where part of me wants to think of Daily Kos, like a college dorm, where we're all having beers, or what-not, spouting off how we'd run the country, the UN, and everything else if we were in charge, knowing it's pretty silly, but fun anyway.

          Then, occassionally another part, that realizes, some folks other than ourselves may actually read some of this, and even in small ways, we may occassionally have influences, on people who have influences.  Like the six degreess of seperation.

          Then, it seems as if we should try our best to be responsible, thoughtful and real.

          I've been under a lot of stress personally, so I've perhaps, erred to much, at times, on using Daily Kos, as the anonymous place to blow of steam, be silly, and escape from the cares of the world.  

          Like what the intertubz were originally intentded for.

          Maybe we need a second level Meta-Internet for having fun and being silly, now that this one is replicating the real world many of us came her to esacpe from?

          Do you know what I mean?  

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 12:16:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Correction. when i said i didn't have the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            seanwright

            have the energy to defend the Kutter article, I mean argument.

            I've been thinking of this argument for a while, but the complexity was such, I just didn't have the energy.  It was only after Kuttner articulated it did I have the option of presenting it in reporter fashion, without having to take responsibility for the logic, did I surpassed the threshhold of going for it, and posting it.

            The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

            by HoundDog on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 12:19:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  yes, I agree (5+ / 0-)

    Public sentiment would also be opposed to any action by the Republicans...who wouldn't be happy that he averted catastrophe, and that we didn't have to subject ourselves to the Rep. agenda! That would be a small minority...

  •  Would that make the Republicans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SallyCat, HoundDog

    look like cowards? Or would it let them off the hook on making the tough decisions?

    I'm really not sure. I guess it could be both.

  •  Love Robert Kuttner. Thanks for the post. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valadon, HoundDog

    So far :

    http://www.tinyrevolution.com/...

    If only, if only Obama does as Kuttner says.....

    NYT reader comment (via Susan Ohanian) : Arne Duncan great example of peter Principle. Failed in Chicago; then promoted so he could repeat failure on national scale.

    by Funkygal on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 10:15:45 PM PDT

    •  You know, just the fact that we having this (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phil S 33, alizard, valadon, Floande

      discussion here tonight, will probably lead several traditional media reports to have some vaque allusion, to "some Democratic activists, are suggesting....."

      I've seen it happen lots of times here,  

      It can take anywhere from a few day, to weeks.  But, I think some of the media outlets, assign staffers, to read leading right and left wing blogs, for story ideas, angles, and even anonymous quotes.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 11:03:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If the SCOTUS were to follow precedent .... (10+ / 0-)

    .... they would find the dispute between the President and Congress a political question and abstain, meaning Obama wins.

    I can't imagine even this Court, as ideological as it is, finding the President to have exceeded his powers, given the economic stakes in play. The consequences of default are too huge.

    "Favoring the use of torture is not a political position, it's a mental illness." -- Devilstower

    by scorponic on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 10:21:20 PM PDT

  •  The problem is, it's not at all clear (8+ / 0-)

    that the President wants a clean bill.

    To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

    by sneakers563 on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 10:24:29 PM PDT

    •  we may have a clue (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, HoundDog

      and I know what you mean, but he also was willing to settle for just the debt ceiling increase ("if that's all they could come up with")  We're at the end of our rope, it's decision time...does he let it default or does he protect the economy?

    •  I think you are correct, and it is seems likely (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      liberaldemdave

      that the President does not want a clean bill, as Plouffe as calculated that this 'swing to the right" will gain him votes with independents, which they may mistakenly think are idelogically, right of the Democrats, and on the fringe of the GOP.

      But, if the pressures become great enough, and someone can really make this argument to him strongly enough, I believe there is a chance he would do it for the public and national good.

      Alternatively, Plouffe may, calculuate in a Machiavellien way, that it might be a clever ploy to address the growing image problem the President has with some GOP, Independents, and Democrats that he has no real hard core principles, values, or visions, at all, other than to get re-elected.

      So, this maneuver could "handle" a whole heap of problems all at once.

      Plus, former President Bill Clinton has already said it's what he would do.

      This could be a great way to get Bill out of the election trail, pumping for the President in 2012.

      I think if Obama showed serious intent to go down this road, the GOP would converge in less than 24 hours.

      Which I suspect is going to happen anyway, by 72 hours at least, this will be over.  Neither side, wants to be blamed for a financial collapse.

      But, if President Obama's team, or we here, and a few other places, beat the drums really loudly on this, then it may enable us to better spin that it was the GOP who caved, not the President.

      The President just has to hold out for some symbollic concession.

      Like letting the Bush-Obama Tax Cut extensions naturally expire at the end of 2012, or something that looks like he played real hardball.  

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 11:18:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hear hear! (12+ / 0-)

    Hurray, someone who's been thinking like me!

    The way I look at is this: if a compromise is impossible, and a clean debt bill is impossible, and what Obama says is true about not being able to write checks next month, then he will be looking at the hard choice. Screw the people (which can't be good for re-election) or use the 14th.

  •  Geithner was adamant on "This Week" (11+ / 0-)

    Yesterday morning that the 14th Amendment option was not something the administration would consider at all.

    I'm still one who wants a clean bill put on the table.  Vote for the debt ceiling increase or vote against it.  No more fucking around because frankly I'm getting tired of the childish games.  Put up or shut up.

    "All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree" -- James Madison

    by paulitics on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 10:34:53 PM PDT

  •  The one factor that might motivate him to do it (7+ / 0-)

    would be a sharp downturn in the markets. He might invoke it to cool things down and no one could fault him.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 10:35:42 PM PDT

  •  Hostage Negotiator in Chief (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog

    I support anything that prevents having the President play out this kabuki nonsense anymore.

  •  To make a great President... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valadon, Creosote, chipoliwog, HoundDog

    requires boldness when called for, addressing adversity and putting the country above self.  This could be an opportunity for Obama.

    Kuttner has provided some good advice, and given Obama all benefit of the doubt, but Obama has generally gone the other way.

    Hope you understand what I said, but if not, it may not all be me.

    by citizen53 on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 10:38:31 PM PDT

  •  Given that cutting the deficit is NOT a good idea (7+ / 0-)

    at the moment, I don't see what he has to lose with this. At least it won't outright damage the economy like all the other deals being offered. That's good for his electoral chances, which are tied directly to the economy.

    •  Agreed, terra, agreeing to $2.5 trillion in cuts (0+ / 0-)

      now is the opposite of a stimulus and will likely put the economy into a double dip recession, and lead to job loses.

      Like what they did in the 1930s that aggravated the Great Depression.

      One more reason to justify the President using this radible approach.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 06:27:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting, Hound Dog: (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Creosote, ozsea1, HoundDog, gulfgal98, blueness
    But, in buying time, and allowing public opinion to shift strongly against the GOP, he could change the political landscape, and create much better options for a way forward.  

    That requires a pretty heroic statesman.

    •  Obama has the talent, intelligence, and charisma (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, cazcee

      to pull something like this off.  Like maybe noone else.

      But, I don't know if he realized that, or if he wants to.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 12:23:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He doesn't want to................................ (0+ / 0-)

        he wants the deal; no matter how far it is slanted to the right.

        He and the Senate Dems will cave on a bad, short-term deal this week.  Then there will be another cirises in 3 to 6 months; each time domestic programs, SS and Meidcare will take big hits.

        By the time Nov. 2012 rolls around; BHO will have locked up all the Indy votes but it will probably cost him the election because a lot of Dems and progressives will stay home.

        The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation--HDT

        by cazcee on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 06:34:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There are reasons why this is happening and it's (4+ / 0-)

    certainly not because of the debt ceiling.  The purpose is to enact deep cuts in domestic programs and entitlement programs and provide cover for more bank bailouts.  Obama and the leadership of both parties are working for the financial oligarchy so something has to come out to benefit them and appease the central banks.  Clinton is full of shit.  He'd be doing the same thing right now if he were President.  It's the agenda.

    S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 10:40:21 PM PDT

  •  In some ways, impeachment (5+ / 0-)

    ...is a exciting drama -- and perhaps a distraction for the imbeciles of America -- while the nation rights itself.

    I can see that option.

  •  I expect it will happen (11+ / 0-)

    after all other possible fixes prove to be impossible to pass Congress.

    It is, after all, Congress that makes the appropriations and raises revenue to pay for them, Congress that passed the "debt limit" legislation, and Congress that is playing politics (well, Republicans in Congress) with what is normally "housekeeping" legislation, not unlike naming post offices and federal buildings.

    So it's up to Congress to fix this.

    However, when they can not or will not, I expect President Obama will invoke the 14th amendment to keep the economy from tanking. But he cannot say he will do so in advance.

    If he did, Republicans would scream bloody murder about an executive office coup d'etat. They would say they were on the cusp of an agreement and could have taken care of business in a "constitutional" manner had they only gotten a few more hours.

    "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

    by Orinoco on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 10:42:08 PM PDT

    •  Completely agree. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog, Orinoco

      The president's statement "lawyers tell me that is not a winning argument" is meaningless, and he knows it.

      He could have said "they told me it's not legal." But it is. The Constitution trumps EVERYTHING else, and the language in the 14th could not be any clearer. Even Scalia and Thomas would have a hard time twisting the plain language of the 14th  against a decision to honor all debts on August 2nd and thereforward.

      But when you're sitting on a royal flush with an ace up your sleeve, you don't show your cards until everyone else is in, has placed their bets, and had shown their cards.  Why pull out the ace if you can win by playing the hand you have with  grace and smart strategy?

      He might need that ace later.

      © grover. My sockpuppet is a fuzzy blue muppet.

      by grover on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 12:32:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good points (0+ / 0-)

        You have some very good points. The phrase "not a winning argument" is essentially meaningless, but the question I now have to ask is: "winning" what? Isn't it a "winning" argument if one is trying to keep the country from economic collapse? What are the lawyers, and by extension, Obama, trying to "win" that the 14th Amendment wouldn't be a solid move?

        "If they give you ruled paper, write the other way" Juan Ramon Jimnez

        by Teiresias70 on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 05:03:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I hope you are right grover. Goodness (0+ / 0-)

        I hope you are right.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 06:30:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  All in all this reminds me of the (6+ / 0-)

    Bush/Obama tax cuts debate. He could have vetoed the tax cuts "deal" and it would have helped to avoid this whole crisis, but he & the Dems acted as though their hands were tied and they were entirely helpless to do the right thing. It would have been painful in the short term, but extremely beneficial in the long term. Now there is a way out of this mess that is somewhat messy in and of itself, but absolutely GOOD for the country in the long term as it may preclude the debt ceiling ever being an issue again. And yet, here we are. It's not even on the table.

  •  It would result in a credit downgrade; (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CoyoteMarti

    a downgrade that would last until the SCOTUS ruled on it.  But other than that, it would be fine with me.

    P.S.
    But if the SCOTUS ruled against it, then the downgrade would be downgraded even further, default would be immediate, and impeachment proceedings would begin.

    •  The SCOTUS will want to do what is good for (4+ / 0-)

      Wall Street. I have no faith that the SCOTUS is pro-America, but Citizens United vs. the FEC and the recent Wal-Mart ruling showed they are very willing to help a corporation out.

      You'd think the Republicans in Congress would be just as concerned about their corporate masters, but they also have to take into account the risk of tea party primaries if they 'fold' on this debt ceiling business. The Justices do not have to worry about losing their jobs.

      What we are seeing right now in Republicans is a war between the George Bush & Dick Cheney types, the old guard who only use ideological purity as a means to an electoral end and are perfectly happy to spend spend spend when they are in power, and the Michele Bachmann types who are far less well educated, are not longtime insiders and genuinely believe the crazy gibberish they spout. John Boehner is from the first grouping, but he has to contend with the Michelle Bachmann types who know absolutely NOTHING about economics but would gladly primary him for another Michele Bachmann.

      •  It's possible, though, that a major corporation or (0+ / 0-)

        funds (maybe one of Roberts' former clients) or the US Chamber could start pushing through a lawsuit. Wall Street is NOT going to want to wait for impeachment to be processed.

        If they're confident that SCOTUS is pro business and they file in the right jurisdiction,  this thing could get fast tracked.

        © grover. My sockpuppet is a fuzzy blue muppet.

        by grover on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 12:41:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Addendum: If the GOP chose impeachment first (0+ / 0-)

      (rather than a law suit), then the downgrade would last until the impeachment proceedings ended.  Which could be a year or more.  

      And after the end of the impeachment proceedings  and the trial (assuming the House impeached but the Senate "acquitted"), President Obama would still be in office, but it might be the case that the credit raters wouldn't be satisfied that the underlying issue had been actually resolved, so they might keep the downgrade in place anyway.  But that's just speculation (even more so than my previous above comments.)

      •  To clarify: The credit downgrade would begin (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CoyoteMarti, erush1345

        the day after the President invoked the 14th amendment, and would last (at least) until the end of the impeachment trial in the Senate.

        •  Downgrade may be then upgraded (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Escamillo, erush1345, KenBee, gramofsam1

          but interest rates likely would still stay elevated. After that years-ago procedural glitch that put us into a technical default for a few hours, interest rates on our debt popped up and, surprise, did not go all the way back to the previous levels.

          There can be no deficit reduction without jobs, no jobs without growth, no growth without investment.

          by CoyoteMarti on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 11:24:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  oh say it ain't so..manipulate the interest rate (0+ / 0-)

            on a false pretext of any kind?

            Keep them up even after the pretext is gone??

            Never: I trust those guys, they're rich, they'd never pick on poor people and ruin the economy and suck the life out of it?!
            Never?!

            Just be careful not to let your ability outrun your talent.

            by KenBee on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 04:39:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I agree that's one big consideration. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Escamillo, gramofsam1

      And even if the rating agencies did not specifically downgrade, the  treasuries markets might on their own demand a large interest premium anyway for the debt we have to refinance immediately, because there was uncertainty over whether the move would be upheld. So yes we might be able to pay the bills and, with great good luck, without a formal downgrade. But the big interest penalty and it's effect on the economy and our deficit may be unavoidable.  I like the option in theory, but it's not nearly as pain-free as on first glance.

      There can be no deficit reduction without jobs, no jobs without growth, no growth without investment.

      by CoyoteMarti on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 11:19:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why would they downgrade at all (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      valadon, wsexson

      if the bills are being paid?

      Al Queda and Chinook salmon have a lot in common. Everything is fine until the seals show up.

      by Grannus on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 11:21:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because we are acting like (6+ / 0-)

        a third world nation and there is fear about what an "uncontrollable" Congress would or would refuse to do next week, next month, next year. It's the unpredictability. Makes the world twitchy. Looooooong memories around this shit. Heck, even if this all comes out reasonably, I am going to twitch for a couple years every time I see Boehner or someone like him open his mouth. I am dead serious. How are y'all feeling right now? Think if you were making decisions on investing millions of dollars.

        There can be no deficit reduction without jobs, no jobs without growth, no growth without investment.

        by CoyoteMarti on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 11:32:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No different than right now though. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          valadon, wsexson

          There is uncertainty now, and they haven't downgraded yet.  They are playing a game of bluff and bluster as much as the Republicans are.

          Al Queda and Chinook salmon have a lot in common. Everything is fine until the seals show up.

          by Grannus on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 11:59:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm in agreement (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Grannus, KenBee, HoundDog

        if we defaulted we would be downgraded most assuredly, but if the President makes a move, after all other options are exhausted, to insure that we met our financial obligations, then I see no reason for a downgrade... even if the Rep. Congress threatens impeachment.  If anything it makes the President stronger.

  •  One possible scenario (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raboof, cazcee

    That Some parts of Wall Street WANT A DEFAULT.  In the same manner that they crashed the economy in 2008 they want disaster to strike again.  To paralyze Government to prevent it from doing what it was designed for.  Then the corporations can remake this country into the libertarian dystopia they crave.

    --Mr. President, you have to earn my vote every day. Not take it for granted. --

    by chipoliwog on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 11:22:13 PM PDT

  •  Hoping it's his ace in the hole (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog

    Give them enough rope to hang themselves with the voting public and then invoke the 14th amendment.

    The republicans are proving how unfit they are to govern. Let them. Don't get in their way, Mr. President. Play your ace.

    O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives. ::: Jim Morrison :::

    by Kevanlove on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 11:31:18 PM PDT

  •  No Asian stock market reaction as yet (6+ / 0-)

    For what it's worth, the major stock markets in Hong Kong and Japan did not have the feared meltdowns today.  Down less than 1%.  Still watching and waiting, I suppose.

    Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set... -- Gandalf

    by dnta on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 11:37:43 PM PDT

  •  With the early response from Asia somewhat muted, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, Unduna, Drdemocrat

    I suspect unless the US markets go badly this morning, I don't see him taking any action today or in a couple days.

    That said, I also think it will take a real threat that this is NOT going to be resolved by the 2nd for him to act:   He said the lawyers don't see it as "viable", and I'm sure he agrees with that assessment.  It would only come as a last ditch effort, IMO.

    •  I agree that it will be a last ditch effort (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog

      Just because lawyers don't see it as viable doesn't mean that Obama won't use it in the end if he has to.

      If by August 2nd there isn't passed legislation, my prediction is that Obama will definitely use it and use the bully pulpit to defend it.

      President Obama, May 5, 2011: "When we say we will never forget, we mean what we say".

      by Drdemocrat on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 01:11:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't see why they would wait that long. (0+ / 0-)

        Given the week, or more delay in the legislative process, we will know in a few days, if we're gong to make it.

        In fact, the President already knows what will be the only legislation on the table.  The Wednesday Boehner bill.

        If he's not going to sign that he should announce the 14th option to try to stabilize markets.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 06:36:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Looks like you called it right Phil S 33 (0+ / 0-)

      DJIA only down about 1% so far.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 06:34:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Only Obama's vanity prevents him. (0+ / 0-)

    He is determined to be the bipartisan, deficit-cutting hero. The president who could do what no one else could.

    Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... --RFK

    by expatjourno on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 12:02:07 AM PDT

    •  I'd like to think you don't really believe that... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skwege101, JanL, sethtriggs
      Only Obama's vanity prevents him
      •  I'd like to think it wasn't true. (0+ / 0-)

        He has four ways to avoid default: get a clean bill, use the 14th Amendment, have the Fed shred some of its 1.2 trillion of QE2 bonds and coin seigniorage.

        Instead, he is insisting on cuts to entitlements and increased taxes in the middle of the worst recession since the Depression.

        Obama is a deficit peacock.

        Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... --RFK

        by expatjourno on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 01:02:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Dow futures down at lowest so far tonite...-124 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog
  •  I wish Obama had the guts to do this. (0+ / 0-)

    Sadly, he won't. He wants to be the  Reconcilor-in-Chief.

  •  It's a massive trump card (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yet another liberal, KenBee, HoundDog

    to protect Obama from this game of Chicken.  

    If the Republicans don't blink, Obama simply plays the 14th Amendment card and saves the day,.  The public can rightly view Republicans with horror realizing they really would destroy this country.  Then like the diarist says, the public can watch in horror as the Republicans sue the government to drive us off a cliff.

    I like this option more and more as I am typing this.  At the least, it's good messaging this week - It would scare me if I was a Republican because they could "not blink" and get played the fool- making Obama an instant hero and then having to sue to destroy America afterwards.

  •  14th amendment or (0+ / 0-)

    that crazy thing about 1.7 trillion involving the Fed that Ron Paul was talking about (don't get me wrong, I in know way support Paul, I see already how much I'm gonna be arguing with some friends) I'm all for it.

  •  deficit (0+ / 0-)

    The economy will continue to be poor because nothing is being done about it.  He is already offering cuts in SS and Medicare.  He will get no revenue enhancements from repubs.  They will blame the poor economy on him and say that he shoved unlimited debt down our throats.  After seeing how he beat the repubs on healthcare (folded like cheap suit),  maybe its time to let repubs shove default down our throats and let the chips fall where they may.  Maybe then the people will see what repubism is all about.  And if it doesnt bother them, maybe we were wrong about everything.  Sometimes its good to conduct a test.

    •  There's no way to pass a "jobs" program for the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glynis, FiredUpInCA

      short term unless there's a deficit plan in place for the long term.

      This is where "progressives" aren't thinking straight.  The deficit isn't going to be cut overnight.  It's a long term thing.  But if a plan is in place to implement that long term thing, then it makes it easier for short term investments to get passed.  If there's no plan to tackle the deficit in the long term, then whenever anyone proposes any plan for government investment in the people, infrastructure, whatever, then Repubs will play the deficit card to block it.

      BTW, your callous "let the chips fall where they may" shows that you don't have a DAMN understanding of what's at stake, and you don't give a damn about the ruin that would foist on the public.  You're so caught up in your lime, tired, political point scoring bullshit that you'd gladly inflict massive hardship for spite.  Maybe you're one of the extremely well-off Kossacks that dominate this site's readership (according to Quancast stats), so you think that you'd be able to ride out the disaster.

      •  Boy have you missed the mark (0+ / 0-)

        read some of my comments.  Im just saying as long as the repubs dont really take a hit for what they are doing , we will not get rid of enough of them to make any meaningfull change.  For example the public option on healthcare, or single payer.  By the way Im broke , got no job, got screwed out of disibility, and barely sqweeking by.  Many people like myself have been trying to hang on too long under bad circumstances.  When Obama said a public option was not reallly necessary after having campaigned on that I knew I personally was screwed.  They raised my health insurance another 200 bucks a month , now at 700 just for me.  I have sold most anything of value, and because I have not been working for quite a few years SS tells me I get next to nothinng if I mange to live another 12 years.  Obama could have used his Bully pullpitt a whole lot more effectively than he has.  This 50-50 government doesnt work if 50 of them are crooks , crazy, or panty waistes.  How does getting Reids plan help people like me?  Just like Healthcare bill.  The only way I win is to croak

    •  Cutting governemnt spending by $2.5 will damage (0+ / 0-)

      economy.

      Social Security spending has one of the highest multiplier effects. 1.5 I think.

      These work in the downside direction as well.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 06:42:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Journalist Advises President on Constitutional (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog

    Law."

    Or, even better: "Huffington Post Advises President on Constitutional Law."

    That'll keep me chuckling the rest of the day.

    •  It is humorous when you put it like that. (0+ / 0-)

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 06:40:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But, we're going far beyond just (0+ / 0-)

      giving advice on Constitutional Law.  But, economic, politics, leadership, etc.

      Hold the presses!  

      Liberals think the President could do a better job!

      But, just because it's funny johnny wurster, doesn't mean the advice isnt' better than what he's getting now from his internal team.

      Or, that this path wouldn't be better for the country.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 06:46:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And I Would Be Willing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog

    to bet they could find some obscure, long-forgotten authority, perhaps granted to Woodow Wilson or FDR, for the President to assert emergency control of borrowing and spending in wartime.  (We are at war, Republicans).

  •  Hell yeah! (0+ / 0-)

    This is the only logical answer.  Even President Clinton says this is the way out.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 05:06:31 AM PDT

  •  Terrorists (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pat bunny, HoundDog, glynis
    One of our longest standing policies, is that we do not negotiate with terrorists.  If the President gives into this blackmail, or even just appears to have given into to such blackmail, it could seriously damage his reputation, the Office of the Presidency, and our national secuirty.

    First of all, I'm not going to say anything about the 14th Amendment option other than that I think it should be considered.  I'm not a constitutional scholar, but I agree with the diary on that.

    However, I think we need to be clear on our stance on negotiation with terrorists:  We do that not just because the terrorists will come back and demand more, but because we can afford not to negotiate with them.  There has never been a terrorist group that has posed a mortal threat to this country, much less one that we couldn't deal with militarily or through law enforcement.

    In the context of something that actually could destroy us (e.g. the Soviet Union during the cold war) and threatened to do so, negotiation was an absolute imperative.

    The debt ceiling fiasco is a different animal.  The GOP controls the House of Representatives.  They are not a gnat incapable of carrying out their threat to do very major damage to the U.S.  If we default, and the economy tanks, people will die and the long-term prospects of the United States will be severely damaged.  Moreover, I think a good case can be made that enough GOP'ers are batshit insane that they might actually want default.

    In fact, one could argue that the 14th Amendment option is the only other option besides not dealing with them.  And since it's by no means a certain way forward, negotiation in this context is not only desirable, it's absolutely essential.

    No, we shouldn't give away the farm: there's more than one way to damage this country, and default would not be the end of the world.  But budget cuts can be undone.  Default is semi-permanent.

    •  Your point merits further discussion. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jonathan

      But, notice saying we don't know negotiate with terrorists, is not the same thing as not actually doing it.

      We've been negotiating for months, and we are continueing to do so.

      This statement is primarily for framing, to sway public opinion.

      And, point out to voters, especially independents, and Republicans that the House GOP is essentially holding the nation's well being hostage.

      So, this announcement is acutally part of our negotiating posture.

      A little more subtle, that the way you portray it.  As if Obama will shut of the GOP cell phones and refuse to hear any communications.

      We're in negotiationg.  

      The additinal points is does the appearence of capitulation encourage others, perhaps real terrorists, assumue this is a good strategy against our President, who will have an image of weakness.

      This is real damage the GOP is doing against the Office of the Presidency and our nation.  

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 06:52:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  He's not going to do it... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog

    ...but he should.

    It's a total no brainer, but it's goes very much against his style as a conciliator.

    He did give everybody a clue a few weeks back when he said to Cantor "don't call my bluff".  Although ironically I think he misspoke when he said that(it's not a bluff if you've got the cards), what I'm hoping he meant to convey was that he was holding all the cards, and that he'll do whatever is necessary if pushed to the brink.

    If he is planning to do that, it's very smart not to even hint that you might do it, it gives the republicans no time to demagogue the issue.

    Once it's done, then you put them in the idiotic position to sue the government to stop the payment of peoples social security checks. Not that the republicans care about looking like idiots, that's what they do but it's going to shine an unrelenting spotlight on what they really are all about.

    I really hope this is what he has up his sleeve, but in the end he'll probably settle for some crazy quilt half step measure, and then we'll end up having to deal with this next summer in the middle of the reelection campaign.

    Ugh.

    "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

    by jkay on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 05:57:07 AM PDT

    •  I agree he mispoke when he said 'don't call my (0+ / 0-)

      bluff.'  It sort of implied he was bluffing didn't it.

      But, I'm not sure I agree with your second point.

      We are down to the wire.  

      It takes a week or so to pass legilation.  

      If he knows now that he is not going to capitulate to the Boehner plan, he should announce his alternative now.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 06:55:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He doesn't really want... (0+ / 0-)

        ...a debt reduction plan right now, despite what he says.

        Anything that cuts spending right now is going to be bad for the economy. Let's face it, the worse things get the harder its' going to be to get reelected.

        And since it's a given that the republicans will not agree to any tax increases, what is the incentive for him to agree to anything?

        The best possible outcome would be just to raise the debt limit without a "deal".

        If he wants that outcome, he can waive the 14 amendment magic wand at the eleventh hour, he doesn't need to broadcast it ahead of time.

        This would be sort of a "nuclear option" if you will, the first time this has been done.

        If I had my finger on this "button", I would not hesitate to use it. Clinton himself said he would do it, and he's got some intellectual gravitas on his side. This is not an insane idea.

        It's not Obama's "style" for scenarios of this sort but I'd compare this in some ways to the call he made on Bin Laden. Making a call like invoking the 14th amendment could be a masterstroke or blow up in his face.

        However, logic would dictate that when presented with no viable bipartisan option, you take unilateral action.

        Hopefully, he will come to that inevitable conclusion, as much as it goes against his grain.

        "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

        by jkay on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:01:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Obama doesn't have to reconsider it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog

    If Congress is in stalemate, he's there.   And for two months, he will have to obey the appropriations bills that Congress approved instead of a phony debt limit.

    That only gets you to October 1, with a lot of pain, unless he chooses to issue currency directly in payment of debts.

    But on October 1, the government shuts down except for those areas that have FY2012 appropriations passed or a continuing resolution of Congress that allows them to operate.

    The only hope is the pain of August and September wakes up people to the BS that the GOP has been peddling about who benefits from government spending.  To a great extent, we all do.

    Kicking the can down the road just postpones that awakening.

    Of course, the response of people who have awakened is to be grouchy.  One hopes that Republicans cannot turn the President into a scapegoat.  And that folks will see through the BS they have been handed for thirty years.  One hopes.  Against evidence.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 06:08:02 AM PDT

    •  Strong point. tarheelDem. It seems our (0+ / 0-)

      only hope as traditinal Democrats is to sway public opinion, and it looks like we need a little more time to do this.

      Since, most folks don't react until a few weeks after the game is over, and they see the exact consequences laid out as a reality, not a probability, this was my thinking to buy us an extra few weeks to a month, to get the public so fired up, the GOP capitualates.

      Right now, the GOP appears to think it has the winning hand, and they may be right.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 06:58:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It will be a damn painful way (0+ / 0-)

        ...to buy time.  Even if all of the pain is in deferred payments.  A lot of folks will be missing monthly payments on something as a result of this nonsense.

        I hope that members of Congress and their staffs are among them.

        50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

        by TarheelDem on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:21:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I love folks on the left (0+ / 0-)

    taking bullshit inventions by a right-wing SCOTUS trying to signal FDR about how far they would let him go back in the '30s --

    to create a massive expansion in Executive power by shifting ultimate power over spending to the executive.

    You folks really don't see what the end result of such a precedent would be? What a President Boehner would do, if they could directly manipulate debt limits, particularly following vetoes against budgets?

    Fuck, we could see the end of the budgetary process altogether! What a bunch of morons -- at about the same intellectual level as the teabaggers.

    Well, I guess we get to watch our system swirling around the toilets, seeing whether the putative right or the putative left is stupider.

  •  "If He Will Play Them Well" (0+ / 0-)

    True.

    But sorry to say it, I no longer have any faith in the man.

    If he wasn't before, in my opinion he's now just a center-right Republican in sheep's clothing, with a really good speechwriter or two on his team.

    I regret this, but I think we're the ones being well (and truly) played.

  •  The text of the 14th amendment (0+ / 0-)

    simply does not create any "emergency powers," and it is not the reason why a default would be illegal.  The bond covenants are what would give the right to suit, and 14th amendment or no, there'd be a right to repayment in full.  What the 14th amendment forbids (in addition to Article I section 8) is explicit repudiation of debt. It does not mean the debt ceiling is either unlawful as drafted or that it doesn't say what it says.  

    In fact, the "authorized by law" language means any debt issued in excess of the debt limit would be under a legal cloud -- and by the terms of the 14th amendment might not be enforceable.  So, interest rates go up just as if the ceiling never were raised.

    "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

    by Loge on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 12:38:22 PM PDT

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