Another debt ceiling fight from the Teaparty Republicans in 2013? Probably not.

Jonathan Bernstein doesn’t think we’re going to see this debt ceiling fight again after the next election, whether a Republican wins the White House or President Obama is re-elected. The political rewards for the GOP just wouldn’t be there:

…if we get a Republican president and a Democratic Congress, the issue won’t play nearly as well in reverse (although it’s certainly possible that President Romney or Perry could veto a clean limit increase and demand cuts – but would a brand-new president really want to risk that?). Of course, a unified Democratic government would not only probably pass a clean increase, but it also might well scrap the debt limit entirely, as Jonathan Chait suggests they demand in the future.

What if we have the status quo in January 2013? Hard to say. But it’s going to be a whole lot easier for Republicans to vote for a clean debt-limit increase at that point (perhaps loaded with some symbolic stuff). One of the key problems for Republicans this year is that they were just elected on a lot of extravagant promises about immediate, absolute change. My guess is that those who are reelected in 2012 won’t repeat those promises, at least not quite as loudly. They will have voted to raise the debt limit. They will have voted for appropriations bills that spend gazillions of dollars. They will have voted for budgets that don’t immediately balance. They may not own up to those things, and some of them will certainly keep up the rhetoric, but the bulk of them? We’ll see.

Moreover, should we have a status quo election in 2012, the incentive of defeating Barack Obama will, of course, be gone in 2013. Instead, members of Congress will be worrying about their own reelections, and triggering an economic crisis just after the president is inaugurated may not work well for that goal.

Deficits don’t matter! Sometimes!

Josh Marshall: what exactly is everyone complaining about? (Especially those who didn’t vote in 2010)

Josh Marshall’s take on the arguments over the budget / debt deal:

From TPM Reader RW

Let me get this straight. The President kept revenues on the table, did not touch the sunset provisions in the Bush tax cuts, ensured that military cuts keep the GOP honest, protected Medicare by adding in only provider cuts in the trigger, made the reduction apparently enough to stave off a debt downgrade, got the debt ceiling raised, wounded Boehner by demonstrating to the world that he is controlled by the Tea Party caucus, took out the requirement that a BBA be passed and sent to the states and got the extension through 2012? What exactly is wrong with this deal?

The fact that there are cuts? If people don’t like that, why in God’s name didn’t they turn out to vote and bring back our Congressional majority? Once these nut jobs were in there, it was inevitable that this crap was going to happen. Whether or not it is advisable to cut spending, what exactly was going to stop this from happening? My experience is that the primary factor in all negotiations are the facts on the ground. The complaints center on a ridiculous notion that if the President had only said “no” harder, that these guys would have caved in. This isn’t negotiating over who gets the side of the bed near the A/C. This is a complex matter involving 3,000 members and staffers. Negotiations in these situations don’t work like this. That’s why I’m irked by the constant parade of people comparing the negotiations to movies and card games. These comparisons obscure more than they reveal.

Read more…

It’s the single-payer health reform argument all over again. It’s not perfectly progressive, so it’s a “shit sandwich.” OBAMA IS JUST LIKE BUSH.

Debt ceiling negotiations are ongoing

Try to tell me that pic above isn’t an accurate representation of where we are at this moment:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told the Senate Sunday that negotiators were closing in on a debt limit package, but he warned that unresolved questions remained and that “each of them must be resolved before we have a final agreement. And as we know, one problem can stop the whole agreement from going forward.”

[...] Reid also said that as part of an accord, a 12-member joint congressional committee will be created and given the task of achieving further deficit reduction, once a first round of cuts has been made.

“There are no constraints. It can look at any program we have in government,” Reid said of the new committee. “It will be essential to choose members with open minds willing to consider every option, even when the options are difficult to swallow for both parties.”

[...] Plouffe outlined the structure of an agreement between Obama and congressional leaders.

It would require an initial round of $1 trillion in deficit reduction, mostly or entirely coming from spending cuts, followed by work by the new congressional committee to recommend even deeper deficit reduction which would be achieved, said Plouffe, through “entitlement reform and tax reform.”

He said the committee would be mandated to recommend specific spending cuts, but it “is not going to be charged with just doing spending cuts only. The committee is going to be charged looking at our entire deficit reduction problem and look at things like tax reform and revenue.”

And this:

On Saturday McConnell told reporters that, “We all know that if the president decides to reach an agreement with us, the Democrats, most of them, will fall in line. He is the leader of the Democratic Party; he is the president of the United States. He needs to indicate what he will sign. And we are in those discussions now.”

Has McConnell ever met these ‘Democrats’ he speaks of?

PIC: I think all Americans can relate to this right now…

World reacts to Debt Ceiling debacle: USA is #1!! (to be mocked)

World Reacts To Debt Ceiling Debacle: ‘Irresponsible,’ ‘Worst Kind Of Absurd Theatrics,’ U.S. Politicians A ‘Laughing Stock’

Conservative German Die Welt: “[T]here are few signs of self-doubt or self-awareness in the U.S. … [The Tea Party movement] sees the other side as their enemy. Negotiations with the Democrats, whether it’s about appointing a judge or the insolvency of the United States, are only successful if the enemy is defeated. Compromise, they feel, is a sign of weakness and cowardice.”

The German mass-circulation Bild: “What America is currently exhibiting is the worst kind of absurd theatrics and the whole world is being held hostage… Most importantly, the Republicans have turned a dispute over a technicality into a religious war, which no longer has any relation to a reasonable dispute between the elected government and the opposition.”

French newspaper Le Monde: ”The American politicians supposed to lead the most powerful nation in the world are becoming a laughing stock.”

Chinese state-owned newspaper Xinhua: “Given the United States’ status as the world’s largest economy and the issuer of the dominant international reserve currency, such political brinksmanship in Washington is dangerously irresponsible.”

via: zeitgeistmovement

Or as Bob Cesca commented: “it wouldn’t shock me if China just staged a massive amphibious landing all along the west coast and marched right on in — with mobile tactical nukes aimed at our chubby stupid faces.
image: BobCesca


One “disaster” averted

“The crisis has renewed concern in other countries about the safety of atomic power”

The crisis has renewed concern in other countries about the safety of atomic power. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel said it represented a turning point for the world. She said that safety standards at her own country’s nuclear power stations would now be reviewed. In the United States, Senator Joe Lieberman said Washington needed to put the brakes on the development of nuclear power plants until lessons were learned from what had happened in Japan.

BBC News – LIVE: Japan earthquake