I'd say we're gonna default

The Senate plan that was supposed to come together this morning was going to be blocked by feces demon Ted Cruz, apparently. The GOP’s tea-masters wouldn’t allow a vote on the leadership’s plan there, either.

But these were plans that would send things down the road a while. I suppose it’s still possible that a clean debt ceiling increase will pass in time.

So, what do I think will happen?

I think we might default. Because no matter what the ratings agencies say, the United States has the capacity to pay debts denominated in its own currency even without printing money, I don’t think a “default” for political reasons would necessarily cause as many of the consequences as the experts say.

I’m sure it would cause the rates to go up—but what’s the alternative to the dollar? The Euro, which faces actual default problems still? The pound, which is only independent of the Euro in name? There’s no real alternative reserve currency at this point unless this default lasts more than a little while.

So, if we’re a day or two off the mark, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. But too much longer and the default could cascade sending people who need the money back either from the coupons or the principal to make other payments. They would burn their own credit lines first. (This, I think, opens the door for some kind of Fed action: it could buy all of the bonds seconds before they mature, it could open the discount window to banks who don’t collect on people in this situation, etc. — more bailouts for the 1%.)

That’s not good stuff. The markets may be more than marginally shocked if it actually happens, but I don’t think it will scare people until it gets nearer a week.

The question is how long does the blame fix on the Republicans before the stink of loserdom not sealing it becomes a problem? In other words, where’s the dead-cat bounce in the polls? I worry about that.

The political calculation for the Democrats isn’t often looked at though. For all the talk about palace intrigue in the House, the consequences of this aren’t hard to game out on the other side.

If they capitulate, Obama’s presidency is over. Democratic voters will be alienated and show up in even lower numbers than they did in 2010 next fall. Plus, the GOP will know it can get concessions every time this comes up. He can’t fold. He has to veto at least the first attempt if the wind switches direction and let them fail at overriding.

The Republicans, on the other hand, can pass a “surrender” with only 17 votes right now and let this whip up their base for the next election, blaming their lack of enough of a majority in the house and a senate minority.

It would seem then that the dominant strategy is a GOP fold. But do we have rational actors here?

 

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Some unfinished business on Syria.

When we left Syria for Ted Cruz’s conservagrifter side-show, which has helped the President’s numbers rebound and has increased support for Obamacare, the conversation was still stuck between two poles. The isolationist and pacifist coalition is made up of the usual combination of pacifist fundamentalists and troglodyte isolationists both of whom share in common a total inability to see things the way they are, joined by the politically opportunistic on both the right and left who use anything they can to smear the president and, thereby, draw attention to themselves.

On the other side, there is the sort of “bomb everything” alliance of people like John McCain.

This potion has completely stymied the press, who so inbred and stupid at this point, you’d think they were running for Holy Roman Emperor. They are incapable of seeing the international chess match going on here and seem to think this is just a question of whether daddy is going to spank a child for misbehaving.

Assuming we are not living in a world where there is total peace and where America is neck deep in affairs world-wide whether or not it “should” be, the question becomes: what to do?

Should we just say “why are these deaths from chemical weapons different than any other death?” and say, well, it’s an internal civil war? There’s that word again: should. In reality, most states consider chemical weapons to be weapons of mass destruction inviting retaliation in kind. While we might have a two second debate with Barbara Lee and Ralph Nader on one side and the other 300,000,000 Americans on the other side if this happened in our country, we are having it differently because it’s happening in Syria.

Is there anything about Syria that might flag our attention in this case? Hmm… Syria… oh, oh! It’s next to Iraq! No, that’s not it. If you guessed that two salient facts are that Syria (a) shares a disputed border with Israel and that (b) supplies and allows its ally Iran to supply weapons to its clients in Lebanon you would be right.

Oh, never fear tote bagger, I know you are tired of hearing about Israel! So let’s pretend for a minute that the US isn’t Israel’s ally because you have a sad when they bogart Jerusalem from the peace-loving and buddhist-monk-like Palestinians. Let’s just stick to the facts. Israel has at least 100 sophisticated nuclear weapons, many of which are submarine launched.

Are we getting a little more clarity here?

In 2007, Israel struck a hidden and North Korean designed nuclear reactor in eastern Syria. Publicly, no one is sure whether this reactor was designed to breed fissile material for Syria or whether it was “outsourcing” for Iran or North Korea, but the fact remains it was designed to create weapons grade fissile materials. Just in case you doubt the North Korean connection, North Korea was the only country to protest this incident to the UN and a North Korean ship docked in Syria the day before the strike.

So, let’s just suggest that the use of chemical weapons is brushed off by Obama as just another death in a sad world full of death but it is not treated as such by everyone else. And let’s just say that a country full of chemical weapons like Syria or Egypt—you didn’t know Egypt had chemical weapons did you—that is falling apart accidentally lets some of those weapons slip into some not nice people’s hands and those people decide to martyrdom themselves in Tel Aviv or Haifa.

Totebagger nation would all like to believe that the Jews do their usual thing and get murdered and make everyone else feel guilty, but what if they don’t? What if they do what probably every other country would do and retaliate? And what if someone else retaliates or goes to war?

The United States’s internal political battles, and European anti-Americanism, gave Assad a get out of jail card for one major use of chemical weapons and their patrons in Moscow came up smelling roses.

I repeat again: George Bush was the worst president in American history and everything he did turned to shit. But right now, one of the worst things he did was fraudulently use the pretext of chemical weapons to launch a full-scale invasion of Iraq.

Now when Obama wants to do a small strike against an actual use of chemical weapons, he’s “just like Bush.”

The stupid. It burns.

I'll say it again…

…but, when are the elected GOP members of Congress going to realize that by letting people like Erick Erickson call the tune, they are just disposable playthings for them? Erickson is already blaming everything on McConnell so he can be a hero and primary him in Kentucky.

Seriously, if my own base is going to primary me when the polling says I’m already in deep shit for listening to them, I might consider changing a few things.

Just 18 Republicans could easily create a coalition with the Dems—a sort of “confidence and supply” agreement that would still be able to block things that didn’t have bipartisan support, the way a filibuster in the Senate can, but would still let things function. A pledge not to fund a candidate against those 18, seniority, chairmanships, and a few pet projects all could easily be had. All they have to do is vote for a new speaker, and, perhaps, support the immigration bill.

Just sayin’

Republicans in disarray

And really it’s because, like I said earlier this morning, their stupid inbred teaparty base got under the impression that their taking welfare from niggers cutting entitlements agenda was more important than the corporate profit agenda. Stupid baggers, trix are for the 1%!

The sooner these people learn that the entire pseudo-intellectual edifice of “small government” is a post-hoc rationalization of the greed of the established rich and that they are worshiping false prophets of a false god, the sooner things will get back to normal.

This stories is a great example: teanut admitting defeat on Obamacare. Also McCain telling the tea party to get off his lawn is great too.

The Phone Call.

Who’s really in charge of the Republican party? Well, you got your answer this morning for sure, but it was clear earlier when Koch Industries said we’re don’t have anything to do with the debt ceiling.

I’m not here to say the Koch brothers are the puppeteers, but it is they and those like them that ultimately are putting a stop to this. Why?

Simple. Government bonds are the bedrock of the investor’s world and the more wealthy you are, the more likely it is that a large component of your investment income is from bonds that pay a coupon, usually every six months, instead of volatile stocks. VA services and national parks being shutdown don’t affect these folks. This does.

That’s why Tan Man blinked this morning and it’s why (for once) Obama knew better than to negotiate on this. He, along with some of the nuts on talk radio et al. probably got a phone call from their donor base telling them to STFU about this one.

Six weeks from now we’ll be on to another missing white girl or something.