With a full government shut down pending in two days, many of us are still trying to wrap our heads around the debt limit. In ten sentences, Mother Jones writer Kevin Drum explains what it means, and what happens if it isn’t raised:
For most of the past year, the Republican Party has been threatening to refuse to raise the federal debt limit unless Democrats give in to a broad and varying set of demands. To understand just how reckless this brinksmanship is, you have to understand just what the debt limit is and what it means to breach it. So here’s an explanation in 10 short sentences:
1. On May 19, total US debt reached $16.7 trillion, the maximum currently allowed by law.
2. The Treasury Department has been playing various games since then to continue paying all our bills while still technically remaining under the debt limit, but within a few days they’ll run out of tricks and the government will no longer be allowed to spend more money than it takes in.
3. These Treasury tricks are very much not business as usual, and the fact that we’ve been reduced to these kinds of shell games means that normal governance is already dangerously crippled.
4. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that in FY 2014 (which runs from October 2013 through September 2014), total federal income will be $3,042 billion and total spending will be $3,602 billion, a difference of $560 billion.
5. This is the amount of debt we need to issue to pay for everything in the budget, which means that if the debt limit isn’t raised, we need to immediately cut spending by $560 billion, or $46 billion per month.
6. That’s roughly the equivalent of wiping out the entire Defense Department; or wiping out two-thirds of Social Security; or wiping out all of Medicaid + all unemployment insurance + all food assistance + all veterans’ benefits.
7. What’s worse, because the government’s computers are programmed to simply pay bills in the order they’re received, it’s not clear if the Treasury can specify which bills get paid and which don’t.
8. This raises the additional risk that interest on treasury bonds might not get paid—something that would put US debt in default and could be disastrous in a global economy that depends on US bonds being rock solid.
9. So those are our choices if Congress fails to raise the debt limit: Either we suddenly stop paying for critical programs that people depend on, or we default on US treasury bonds—or both.
10. The former would immiserate millions of people and probably produce a second Great Recession, while the latter would likely devastate the global economy.
Not much of a choice, is it? That’s why it’s time for Republicans to stop playing games with the financial equivalent of nuclear weapons and agree to raise the debt limit.
Are you as tired of this as I am? Are you sick of our spineless Speaker allowing 49 petulant and seditious congressional members of the GOP to hold this country hostage? Then tell him so: http://www.speaker.gov/
- The Debt Ceiling Explained in 10 Short Sentences (motherjones.com)
- Key dates on debt limit as Thursday deadline nears (kansascity.com)
- Dual crises: Shutdown, debt limit could merge (bigstory.ap.org)
Here’s a terrific synopsis from Rachel Maddow concerning the House Republican devised government shut down. Unsurprisingly, they have been gleefully planning this since 2010, when the GOP took over house majority.
On episode 17 of “Rehab My Trailer” Dave manages to cut 10 foot of kitchen counter top while using a circular saw and jig saw. Miraculously, he manages to do so and keep all of his fingers and toes! On a side note, one of the cuts was actually straight!
Meanwhile, his partner Mykie preps for the hanging of the oven hood by filling the hole in the wall with a piece of dry wall, then proceeds to spackle and paint over the spot seamlessly. After doing a fine job on that she proceeds to go grocery shopping, now that we have room for food, and unpacks a bazillion boxes in the office, only to discover that the wall that the desk is on does not contain a single outlet! Luckily, with the help of Dave, she manages to plug a power strip in the outlet behind the book case.
On a tragic note, the newly built microwave cart loses its head in a horrible accident. There are some humorous moments in the show as well: Prepare to laugh as Dave and Mykie chase down both the cat and dog, when their two adventurous pets decide to make a break for it at the same time! You’ll chuckle, as the shower curtain comes down on Mykie’s head while she rigorously fights off the dog, who wants to take a shower with her!
Stayed tuned for tomorrow’s episode of “Rehab My Tailor”. Let’s see what kind of home make over adventures our two heroes get into on Labor Day!
What a travesty. What an utter and complete miscarriage of justice.
Kudos to Guerrilla Feminism for sharing this.
Truer words never spoken.
I would say I’m speechless, but I’m not. I’m outraged. Meanwhile, a black woman in Florida is serving 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot over the head of her abusive husband when he tried to attack her. Apparently, justice in Florida IS a matter of black and white.
- George Zimmerman found not guilty (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com)
- Verdict: George Zimmerman Found Not Guilty (thedaleygator.wordpress.com)
- A prediction or three about the Zimmerman verdict (thedaleygator.wordpress.com)
- American Injustice: Zimmerman Killed a Boy in ‘Self Defense’ (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
Some good things have finally been handed down by SCOTUS. Earlier this week, heinously gutted the Voter’s Rights Act of 1965, essentially allowing states the opportunity to reinstall Jim Crow type voting restrictions. Today’s decisions effectively wiped out DOMA, as well as California’s Prop 8.
I’m no legal expert by any means, but my understanding of the decisions is this: A key part of DOMA which did not allow federal benefits and protections to legally married same sex couples was ruled as discriminatory, and therefore unconstitutional. What this means is that any same sex couple married in a state that recognizes same sex marriages, are now entitled to any federal benefits and protections afforded to married straight couples. On a federal level, defense of marriage is officially dead.
In the case of Prop 8, SCOTUS kind of, sort of, not really handed down a decision. They didn’t actually rule on the legality of Prop 8, they merely ruled that the circuit court’s earlier strike down of Prop 8 could not be challenged due to a jurisdictional technicality. They shut the door on Prop 8, but left a window open for other states to introduce Prop 8 type legislation.
In essence, SCOTUS delivered this message today: If you’re legally married, you’re federally protected. However, the Supreme Court as of now, will leave marriage equality to the states, as well as the lower courts and not intervene.
While it may not be a complete victory for marriage equality, it’s still a huge win, and an immense step in the right direction.
- United States Supreme Court Decides Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Case and Prop. 8 Case – SCOTUS Takes Step Towards Acknowledging that Equal Protection Under the Law is Closer than Ever to Being a Reality for all Citizens (whitelawpllc.wordpress.com)
- Prop 8 and DOMA Ruling (westcoastatheist.wordpress.com)
- Equality For All. Down with DOMA and Prop 8 (videosocialblog.wordpress.com)
First, there was an apology. Then came this announcement. After nearly 40 years of targeting the LGBT community with bigotry and abuse, Exodus International seems to have had a change of heart. The conservative Christian based organization is best known for their “pray the gay away” reprogramming of gays and lesbians. Now, according to Exodus president Alan Chambers, they are disbanding and rebranding.
So why after 37 years of hatred has there been a change of heart? Chambers had this to say on their blog:
” Exodus is an institution in the conservative Christian world, but we’ve ceased to be a living breathing organism.” ” For quite some time we’ve been imprisoned in a world view that’s neither honoring our fellow human beings, nor biblical.”
Does that sound like a change of heart to you? It sounds like a change of heart to me. The times, they are a changing, and I couldn’t be happier
However, the fight for acceptance goes on: There are many, many, so many more hate based Christian groups out there. I’m sure wing nuts such as Fred Phelps and his Westboro cronies are absolutely seething over this betrayal. Exodus has long been the keystone in the arch of Christian based LGBT bigotry. But hey, it’s progress am I right? It represents a monumental shift in American Christian thinking, and I must say I’m impressed.
Now, about that marriage equality issue, can we please get that resolved?
Speaking of Westboro, they’re about to taste the rainbow. The Equality House, which is right across the street from Westboro, is holding a wedding in full view of the whackadoodle compound. I realllly wish my partner and I could be there! Alas, Mr and Mrs Hat are not on the guest list I wonder if Fred and Margie Phelps were invited?
- Exodus (whittierstrong.wordpress.com)
- Central Pa. church to continue “gay therapy” despite Exodus International shutdown (fox43.com)
- Ex-Gay Ministry Exodus International Will Shut Down (patheos.com)
2014 is around the corner. With crazy lady’s announcement that she is not seeking re-election, that leaves 17 tea bagging nut jobs left to be replaced in the House. Here’s hoping that the good people of 17 congressional districts come to their senses next fall
What little time I’ve had to blog lately seems to be sharing pictures I come across on the intertubes. This post is keeping up with that theme. I came across this awesome family portrait while looking at Huffington Post. Two things occurred to me when I first saw it:
1- It’s a vagina, not a clown car. Seriously, who has this many kids anymore? It’s not the Bronze Age.
2- The very unhappy boy in the forefront reminds me of John Boehner – WHAAAAAAAA!
Still think that Wal-mart AR-15 is needed to fight off tyranny? Just to be clear, there is no fucking way that an army of pseudo Rambos is ever going to fight off the most well trained, well armed military the world has ever seen. Seriously, just do us all a favor, and stop frothing about your 2nd Amendment rights. We do have the right to bear arms, but state and federal government has the authority to dictate what we can own, and what we have to do to obtain them. Ask Justice Scalia: He’s the one who made that statement back in 2008.
Besides, if y’all want to keep up the bravado of over throwing the government, you’re liable to find yourself on the business end of a Flying killer robot. Believe me folks, a lack of AR-15′s and 30 round magazines are the least of our worries.