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Speaker of the House John Boehner speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC.
Congressional Republicans would take the brunt of public blame if the debt limit isn't raised and the United States defaults, according to a new poll:
Fifty-four percent of those questioned say they would blame the GOP in Congress if the debt ceiling isn't raised, with 29% saying they'd hold the President more responsible.
That's not stopping them from avidly debating their wish list:
Several House members told The Washington Post on Monday that Republican leaders have narrowed their list of possible debt-limit strategies to two options: trading a one-year extension for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, or trading a one-year extension for repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s risk corridors. [...]

A clean debt-limit extension is not yet on the GOP’s radar, though Boehner has said he would avoid default.

In other news, I'd like a pony (okay, a full-sized horse) and invisible elves who clean my house. Except if I say I'll hold my breath until I get those things, I don't put the nation at risk for default. Republicans will cave. They have before, Boehner is saying very clearly that "the goal here is to increase the debt ceiling," and they remain on ridiculously shaky ground in even pretending to make these demands. But with these guys, even if they can't win, they're going to do what they can to make the wait hurt.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Apparently last time wasn't enough (16+ / 0-)

    Please proceed.

    "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

    by rocksout on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:02:15 AM PST

  •  Will the President stand his ground ? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Or does he have a giveaway ready ?  Standby....

    Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

    by divineorder on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:02:36 AM PST

  •  2014....a bad year to be reinforcing people's (10+ / 0-)

    perceptions of you....but.....proceed if you

  •  Aren't risk corridors helpful to ins. companies? (0+ / 0-)

    I can't imagine their lobbyists are going to stand by and let this go unchallenged.

    The way I hear even Democrats being OK with KXL -- looking at you, Brian Schweitzer and Ed Schultz -- that looks more and more inevitable.

    I'm getting old. I won't be here. But I greatly fear that my grandchildren will lack a clean water supply, and nobody in power will stop it.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:09:37 AM PST

  •  I wont pay may credit card bill unless I get stuff (8+ / 0-)

    It turns out that having idiots in charge of running the country isn't such a great idea.

    •  But is this really any different than... (0+ / 0-)

      I've borrowed all I can, so you need to raise my credit limit. Eventually all this madness must stop.

      •  completely different (0+ / 0-)

        The "debt ceiling" isn't about saving money or cutting the deficit. It's about paying the bills Congress has already racked up.

        Congress already authorized the spending.

        Congress passes a budget (or continuing resolution) it specifies exactly how much should be spent and where (and sometimes in very fine detail).

        No one but Congress can change the amounts budgeted. The President cannot decide that even though Congress authorized $400B for the defense department, he's going to use that money to build high speed rail or buy back government debt. Congress gets to dictate exactly how much will be spent.

        Congress passed a budget and the federal government is required to spend that money and the President is now Constitutionally required to borrow beyond the current debt limit.

        Grandstanding and whining over the debt ceiling is the prerogative of the minority party. Shutting down the government because you don't want to actually pay for the stuff you bought is exclusive to the Republicans.

  •  That 29% blaming anyone but Republicans... (9+ / 0-)

    is safely described as the "Dumbshit" demographic of the United States.

    My idea of the ideal GOP speech invariably involves negligent intoxication together with breathing helium for that special vocal nuance.

    by Superskepticalman on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:12:32 AM PST

    •  That 29% (3+ / 0-)

      includes all GOP donors, any longer. They have to play to that 29% no matter how politically suicidal, because they are who pay the bills. This is what happens when you get into bed with the crazies. You can only make more crazies, while everyone else leaves the room because it's such a disgusting sight.

      •  Yes. "Public" vs. "GOP base." REDISTRICTING. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        This is largely (not completely) the result of the incumbent-protection racket that is the current redistricting system. When the GOP primary is in effect the election, GOP reps have to play to the hardcore GOP base.

        I betcha a significantly smaller % of California GOP reps want any part of this, due to CA's nonpartisan redistricting system.

        Sad to say, part of the redistricting problem is an unintended consequence of parts of the Voting Rights Act.  

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:47:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Except you can't only make more crazies (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        any more. In fact, millions of the children of the haters fall away every year, and will continue to do so until the Angry White Guys are reduced to political irrelevance and beyond.

        When the Republican Southern Strategy was coming together in the 1950s and 1960s, the racists, bigots, misogynists, and science-deniers could raise their children in an almost impenetrable bubble, controlling everything they read or heard, with very limited exceptions for network television and public libraries.

        But then Truman desegregated the military (with a "stroke of the pen" that took from 1948 to 1953), the Supreme Court and Eisenhower started school desegregation (Brown v. Board, 1954), the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam war came on TV, TV channels started to proliferate on UHF and later cable, and movies shifted their tone. You can see precursors such as Show Boat in 1936, remade in 1951, and there are hints in Gone With the Wind (1939) if you look past Scarlett's story.

        The song You've Got to Be Carefully Taught in South Pacific on Broadway in 1949 and on screen in 1958 was a watershed moment on racism.

        Inherit the Wind 1960 (creationism)

        To Kill a Mockingbird 1962 (racism)

        Advise and Consent 1962 (homosexuality)

        Then the floodgates opened. You could stock a substantial library with studies of the advancement of Blacks, other minorities, women, immigrants, LGBTs, and the poor in the media, and an even bigger media library with the shows that did it. We aren't all the way there yet, but we are continuing to improve.

        I will only call out one other work, Isaac Asimov's 1950 science fiction novel, Pebble in the Sky, in which an elderly Jewish main character is time-traveled by accident, and confronts extreme ageism, galactic prejudice against Earthers, and vast conspiracy and catastrophe. This is the book that taught me about subtexts when I got old enough to read it. A fair amount of little green men/bug-eyed monster science fiction, then (and even before then) and on shows such as The Twilight Zone and Star Trek, was about overcoming prejudice.

        Now it is cable TV, the Net, and mobile phones all at once, and there are ever-fewer children so rigorously homeschooled, Bible camped, and limited in media access that they cannot make the comparison between their own narrow circumstances and the wider world, who have no Black, or gay, or Liberal friends or relatives, and never encounter them in the media. Of course, there is no way to keep boys completely apart from women outside of Muslim madrassas, but it is possible in some situations to cow the women.

        Anyway, the bottom line has been the loss of something like 3 million children a year from the crazy, about 1% of the entire US population, which means a loss of about 1% of the population from Republican ideology and issues. They tried to make it up with Reagan Democrats. They tried to make it up with voter suppression and gerrymanders. They tried to make up their declining numbers by getting louder and nastier.

        They even tried to make up the decline by casting the RINOs into the outer darkness and claiming that this was their path to a majority, which shows you how far gone the ideologically pure really are.

        Examining the Cook Partisan Voting Index of states indicates that we are no more than about 10%, which could mean 10 years, from the tipping point at which the Republican Party goes the way of the Federalists, the original Party of No when Thomas Jefferson was President. From 1815 to 1833 Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans ruled unchallenged.

        I wouldn't at all mind a comparable period in which the Overton Window would shift to the space between the more corporatist Democrats and the Progressives. The public is there already, except for the Constitutional imbalance of the Senate to rural states with tiny populations, the gerrymanders of several populous states, and other such impediments to Democracy.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 10:19:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  If you get those invisible elves to clean, can I (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, Scioto, Aunt Pat, Piren

    borrow them one day a week?  I'm not good at holding my breath :)

    “To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.”-Brandi Snyder (in memory of my Nick)

    by YellowDogInGA on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:17:05 AM PST

  •  GOP won't play games in an election year... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If they are doing anything other than running out the clock and picking up some Senate seats in deep red states, they are fools.

    Which means they will probably go all in.

  •  Republican museum of horrors (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans' debt ceiling debacles will be a popular viewing site honoring the Republicans' journey to self-extinction.

    The foundation is near completion.

  •  I vote (0+ / 0-)

    for them being newly minted as the 'Pink Unicorn and Green Elf' Party hence forth.

    POTUS To BillO "You're a moroon!!"

  •  My only concern (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is that the GOP really might be stupid enough to go off the cliff.

    The President has drawn a line in the sand and I have every confidence he won't cave on this (he didn't last time). But that doesn't mean the GOP will either, until they wreak havoc on our economy.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:36:47 AM PST

  •  Maybe if they stamp their feet. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:37:35 AM PST

  •  And democrats continue pretending republicans (0+ / 0-)

    care.  How long before sinks in?  Every pol plays to his audience:  if you don't vote in her district, he couldn't care less.

    “The man whose falsehoods no longer deceive has forfeited the right to tell the truth.” —–Ambrose Bierce

    by CarolinNJ on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:48:01 AM PST

  •  Republican's channeling Blago. (0+ / 0-)

    "I've got this thing and it's (expletive) golden,I'm not just giving it up for (expletive) nothing."

  •  Just posturing for Republican Primaries (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Trying to head off the attacks of tea party primary challengers.

    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings. Steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and they make you king.... Dylan

    by bywaterbob on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 09:00:57 AM PST

  •  Laura, thank you, I'm worried. (0+ / 0-)

    "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"  

  •  So a Republican walks into a bar and bartender (0+ / 0-)

    says, "Hey, you guys have a real chance to do well in 2014 and 2016."

    "Holy shit!", the Republican yelled, "We can't have that, but, really -- how much stupider can we get?"

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 09:19:58 AM PST

  •  Will Improve Democrats Hope For Midterms (0+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately last time we saw the Democrats give up their advantage by retreating after ACA website snafus. This time they should be able to have people see the benefits of the ACA as millions more are insured and the GOP horror stories have been debunked. Like to think they will use another GOP disastrous showdown to help push a progressive narrative though November. Like to think that but I have doubts. Being a Democrat is like rooting for a sports team that has talent but still loses. If the Democrats were the Seahawks, they would have let the Broncos catch them in the second half on Sunday.

  •  I often wonder about this (0+ / 0-)

    Is there a line drawn on how much debt America can endure before it can no longer endure any more?

    I have seen so many people in so many instances say that because America is so rich and prosperous, it can continue the debt cycle never ending.  

    I take exception to that.  Even the most wealthy know that if your debt exceeds your ability to pay, default will eventually be the only option.

    When will that happen to America?  

    •  The deficit has diminished to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      terrybuck, Eyesbright, annominous

      $514 billion from $1.4 trillion in 2009:

      Many economists consider deficits of that size to be sustainable in the long term.

      "A developed country is not where the poor have cars. It's where the rich use public transportation." - Mayor of Bogota

      by Time Waits for no Woman on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 10:16:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The debt and the deficit have decreased under... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...Obama, and the government never has to completely pay its debts anyway. Attempts to get people to worry about debts are just fear mongering and a false pretense to call for cuts to Social Security, etc.

      •  I worry about the debt (0+ / 0-)

        I guess it is in my DNA or something but I worry about continuous increases (even if they are smaller) in our nation's debt.  Of course we don't have to "completely" pay our debt, but somewhere along the line, is there not a stopping point on increasing it?  

        It just seems there is.  Maybe not.  Maybe we just don't need to worry about it because we will always have the money to pay the "payments".  

        Like I said, it is just something I think about.  It is not liberal or conservative, democratic or republican.  It is just concern.  

        Thank you.

        •  I would disagree, most debt/deficit fetishists... (3+ / 0-)

          ...are conservative Republicans.
          Thank you

          •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

            Republicans are not the only people that worry about our debt and deficits.

            That is just too important for only one side of the political equation to be concerned with.

            •  Nice deliberate misreading of what I wrote... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Eyesbright, serendipityisabitch

              ...the Republicans are the main 'group' who whips up feelings of panic about the debt to justify cutting Social Security and other social programs. The debt is really not as big a problem as some make it out to be.

              •  I get that (0+ / 0-)

                You seem to be following me and trying to disagree with anything and everything I say.  Okay, I get it.  

                You are right about republicans being the main group that does what you're saying.  They do it to gin up support from their base, of course.

                My belief (you seem to want to disagree with this) is that the debt is a very big problem for America and is a big issue and needs to be contained and there are many national leaders from BOTH sides of the political aisle that believe that.

                If you don't believe it is a big problem, then that's what you believe.  We differ in our opinions on it.

                •  You do have some followers, I'm not one of them. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Eyesbright, serendipityisabitch

                  Hopefully I am allowed to read what I want and make comments when and where I please. Sorry that your attempts at trolling are meeting with some resistance.

                •  Response to your points partly hinge on (3+ / 0-)

                  the fact that you are pushing a RW talking point here. The pros and cons of austerity vs stimulus have been debated here since 2009. Some European countries are suffering way too much for way too long under austerity. Stimulus (with associated increased debt) seems to be a much better way to handle the World Wide Great Depression brought on by the banksters and the deregulators.

                  Why is it that the deficit hawks only want to curb safety net spending? and never defense spending or aid to disadvantaged bazillionaires?

                  Here, we recognize that a nation's finances are not like a household's. The US debt represents trillions of dollars of investment in US bonds, purchased by people from all around the world. Can you think of a better, safer deal anywhere else in the world? The Chinese can't. Future impacts of current spending will be felt in servicing interest (and it won't be that bad, since the rates are locked in low), and not in default. Unless the gotp takes us over the cliff. You should read some Krugman.

                  Were you concerned about deficits when GWB was getting his debt limit increases from congress so easily?Otherwise, why here? why now? Comes over as trollery.

                  We don't put up with surreptitious trolling around here. If you are a gotp and want to debate your points here, you need to be upfront about it.

  •  They ARE getting 'something' (0+ / 0-)

    Votes.  Voter turnout.  Look at Obama's polling numbers.  This 'educated' society is shoveling blame on the Prez for GOP blatant obstructionism.  The Republicans even have the Left helping them out, adopting their 'tyrannical Big BROTHER taking our rights away' narrative.  And then there's our on-crack media, who will willingly afford them all the air time they desire… even though Boehner himself says he's not going to let the nation default.  Gawd.

    So, its not like they care about their Congressional approval ratings.  Why should they?  The 2014 election is regional, not national, yet the GOP have a national figure to hammer on.. and its working quite well for them.

    'Slower Traffic - Keep Right!'

    by luvbrothel on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 10:11:11 AM PST

  •  Well There Is Good News And Bad News Here (0+ / 0-)

    First the good news or in my opinion the great news. The CBO has just scored the conservative/Republican/Tea Party extremists hopes of sabotaging the ACA by repealing the "risk corridors" and estimate there great plan will add $8 billion to the deficit. So they will probably have to quietly back off of that one.

    But the bad news since the Keystone Pipeline is essentially a done deal (even Ed Schultz came out in support of it last night) President Obama could easily cave in on that one which would be just another one of his classical political mistakes.

    Collect Different Days

    by Homers24 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 10:17:26 AM PST

  •  I'm not so big on the horse, but I sure would (0+ / 0-)

    like to find some of those invisible elves. Maybe if I don't pay my credit card bill I can get some.

    Oh, wait a minute. I'm not a Republican. :-(

  •  I hope no one is actually surprised (0+ / 0-)

    by this breaking development!  Of course they were going to pull something.  They're the REPUBLICANS for cryssss sake.  Let's give them a little credit for staying true to who they are and encourage them to quit paying the bills so they can have THAT experience under their belts, too.

    When everything collapses, we'll see who wins in November.

    If you acknowledge it, you can change it.

    by Raggedy Ann on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 01:58:11 PM PST

  •  Let em (0+ / 0-)

    This is the fourth time they have tried to use the default threat to extract concessions.  Since the budget is passed, Obama needs nothing from them.  Let them default on the debt in an election year when they dream of winning back the Senate.

    They are in danger of losing seats in Maine, Kentucky and Georgia already.  Default on the debt and they will cease to exist as a national party.  

    If I were Obama, I would just ignore their tantrum.  They have to raise the debt ceiling and they know it.

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