The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

If there is a default it is because both Obama and Republicans want it

I don’t know if there’ll be a debt default.  What I do know is this: if Obama doesn’t want to default he has options. Forget the platinum coin nonsense (though he could if he wanted), Obama can just tell the Treasury to keep on keeping on, and continue selling treasuries.  There isn’t anything Congress can do about that, they don’t have the votes to actually impeach him, they don’t have an army, they don’t have the balls to, say, lock up the Treasury Secretary.  In short, they don’t have an army.

Now I assume Obama doesn’t want a default.  But, to be sure, I could be wrong.  Why?  Because a default throws all the cards in the air. It lets you remake the country in your image.  Obama has long wanted a “Grand Bargain” and the ultimate neo-liberal no-no is defaulting on bond-holders.  Then, of course, there are all the SS checks…

If there is a default, whoever sets the terms of the new arrangement gets to remake America in their image.  Obama might want a crack that that.

We’ll see.


Why The Republicans Shut The Government Down and Threaten the Debt Ceiling


An Old Gypsy Story


  1. Jay

    I wouldn’t be too confident about Obama’s control over the Armed forces in the event he tries to unilaterally take the power of the purse away from Congress. I know a lot of people in the military and a lot of vets, and none of them like Obama much.

    If Obama decides to simply spend money however he chooses without Congressional authorization, there is a real chance that members of the United States military might decide that he is a domestic enemy of the Constitution and remove him from office.

  2. hvd

    Actually Obama ought to begin negotiating now.

    Rand Paul gives it all away when he makes the clearly true statement that the government needn’t default in that we take in 250 billion in taxes a month while the debt payments only amount to 20 billion of that. All the President has to do is not authorize that amount in payments on already authorized programs. In effect this will give the President a line item veto. If Obama were actually a Democrat he would say fine – what I’m going to do is first stop Federal expenditures in states that are takers (their contribution to federal tax revenues are less than federal spending in those states – by the way the most overwhelmingly Republican states) until the amount is equalized and then, if necessary cut them further until they match the short fall from the giver states(overwhelmingly Democratic).

  3. nihil obstet

    Jay, above. The issue with the debt ceiling isn’t that Obama is trying to spend money any way he wants to. It’s that Congress has instructed (i.e., passed laws requiring) things to be done, and as the executive, Obama is required to do those things. Then, uniquely among nations, Congress requires that it separately authorize the debt, and is now refusing to do so. The executive’s finding a work-around to meet both laws does not transfer the power of the purse from Congress.

    That said, I don’t quite understand how a default gives make-over power to the executive unless it’s the power, say, to continue all military funding and interest payments while discontinuing all social program funding. Ian, are you saying that Obama would effectively have a line item veto over Congressional spending?

  4. Ian Welsh

    When you stop paying your bills as a government is when things go really wild, is what I’m saying. If you study revolutions you know that’s the break point–look at the Russian revolution for the paradigmatic example. Now Obama clearly doesn’t expect that, but if there’s a default then in the period that comes someone is going to walk away with the right to spend and tax as they choose. Obama may figure that’ll be him.

    And as HVD says, Obama chooses what money gets spent and doesn’t, not Congress. He may figure, thus, that in the event of a default, he wins: he doesn’t get the blame, he does choose how money is spent. He can slash Medicare and SS and so forth exactly how he wants to.

  5. hvd

    If the debt limit is not raised, in addition to the various coin minting type options or Ian’s suggestion above all of which raise their own Constitutional issues, the executive is faced with several choices. It can default on debts, which runs afoul of the fourth section of the 14th amendment, or it can, as suggested by Rand Paul, insist on paying interest on the debt, and hold off funding programs enacted by Congress, which is effectively a line item veto.

    Neither is, strictly, Constitutional but the executive must choose the lesser of evils in the bind it would be put in by a refusal to raise the debt-ceiling. That refusal does not require a default.

    As I suggested above, this represents an opportunity for Obama to accept Republican framing and use it to cudgel them into abandoning this foolish notion of theirs. I suggested a formula that would restore “fairness” to the tax and spend equations. It could just as well be done on a congressional district basis depending on which delivers the greatest pain to the right people. After all there is nothing wrong in asking the good people of Kentucky and Kansas and Mississippi and Alabama etc. to stand behind the words of their elected representatives.

    And he would if he were serious about ending this. But he is not – the fix is in – and the result will be cuts in “entitlements” in return for Republican forebearance on the debt limit.

  6. Kim Kaufman

    Obama is not serious. Otherwise, he’d say, “I’m invoking the 14th Amendment. The debt ceiling will be raised to pay our obligations. Bite me.” The paymasters on Wall St. will not let them eff up things more than they want. Obama and Boehner are working out the Grand Betrayal right now, I think.

    We have pushed back on cuts to SS several times now. This time, I don’t see how we can do it. The groups that have been in the forefront of this are only sending out fundraising emails, not calls to action. Dunno what’s going on in the blogosphere. Seems awfully quiet.

  7. Rhett O Rick

    People speak of Obama this and Obama that as if he were in charge. I dont believe he is. I think he is a figurehead for a cabal that is truly running this country. My guess it’s the Carlyl Group, with maybe some others involved. The Republican Party is acting in my opinion just like Hitler’s Brown Shirts. They are recklessly busting heads right and left. At some point The Powers To Be will simply shut them off. I believe The Powers To Be are currently aiming for a shock and awe type event. Maybe default will be what’s needed to justify drastic measures, like cutting entitlements.

  8. Dan Lynch

    To predict the outcome, ask yourself “what do the 1% want?” Because both parties (including the Tea Party) work for the 1%.

    The 1% are on board with the temporary/partial shutdown because it always results in cuts to social programs.

    But a default would hurt the 1% in their pocketbooks, so it ain’t gonna happen. Any uncooperative Tea Party congressmen will get a phone call reminding them who purchased their election.

    Agree with Ian about Obama’s options. Though Obama has shown over and over that he doesn’t like confrontations. It’s not his style. Nope, he’ll go the Grand Bargain route. Most Democrats will vote for a Grand Bargain, so there will be enough Republican votes to pass it even if the Tea Party balks.

  9. spragus

    And do we really think we know that Obama knows what his image is?

  10. Never mind that the argument being made, that freezing the debt ceiling means instant and automatic default on our debt, is entirely false. The government has something on the order of $3 trillion annual income, without borrowing, which is perfectly adequate to pay our debts if we merely choose to cut some other programs, such as making some meaningful cuts in defense and “national security.” A freeze on the debt ceiling merely means making spending choices instead of being able to spend without restraint, and making hard choices is not something that this nation knows how to do.

  11. RJ

    If there is a default, whoever sets the terms of the new arrangement gets to remake America in their image.

    Completing the foundation of the Fourth Republic.

  12. I like the platinum coin nonsense.

  13. VietnamVet

    The transnational elite have seized control of western governments through cash, propaganda and polling. The conflict is that some of their puppet politicians are true believers who have no contact with reality; for example, they believe “Government is Evil”. This is contrary to the ideology of the ruling classes whose one and only purpose in life is to increase one’s own power and wealth to the detriment of everyone else by any means possible including crony capitalism.

    If the radical Republicans cause the US Federal Government to default, it would the start of a Neo-Bourgeois Revolution. They’d screw the ruling class in their pocketbooks and absolutely no one knows what will happen next.

  14. John Puma

    Obumma recently “explained” why he disfavored his constitutional remedy, the 14th Amendment (see below).

    It was because the GOP would bring suit, thus causing market “uncertainty” for the (extended) course of the case that, presumably, would be worse than the uncertainty caused by the otherwise imminent actual default.

    Amendment 14. Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law,
    including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in
    suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. …

  15. tc

    Sounds like a temporary deal is close, and as per script, the baseline is now to the right of where Romney/Ryan were talking about. Manufactured crisis as cover for an austerity agenda. Who would have guessed that outcome? And two months from now, imagine how much worse the best case scenario will be that what is being contemplated today? Why progressives or liberals are not in complete revolt against Obama’s disastrous leadership I cannot guess, except to conclude there are none.

  16. The Tragically Flip

    Josh from TPM made a pretty good point about the problem with either the coin or the 14th amendment: Bonds issued after such a move would be subject to wingnut lawsuits and thus “riskier” because who knows what John Roberts & crew will do when it inevitably gets to them. At the very least such bonds will have a significant risk premium attached to them, and may not be accepted for triple A.

    When it really comes down to 23:59 on default day, Obama should still take extraordinary measures, but it won’t be clean, there will be financial fallout from it. Hopefully less than a full default, but non-trivial.

  17. S Brennan

    “and may not be accepted for triple A” Yeah, like the rating agencies are creditable after their CDO AAA ratings sold worthless paper.

    Josh Marshal, I remember him when got started, I used to post on his original blog…he sold us the Iraq invasion…and “bomber” Obama, then staunchly supported him after TARP, FISA, permanency of Bush tax cuts, AF-PAK spool-up and NDAA. Josh became a pandering sycophant 10+ years ago, hardly somebody to take advice from.

  18. Why progressives or liberals are not in complete revolt against Obama’s disastrous leadership I cannot guess, except to conclude there are none.

    Because the alternative is worse. And I’m not kidding. It actually is worse. There is no committed populist left in the USA, to back a candidate to success the way the right does. There’s no left-wing Tea Party comprising of a grassroots of people with a little bit of money and resources and some corporate backing to demand, “No compromises.” There’s never been an attempt to build one. There’s never been an attempt to build one, because there isn’t a segment of the general American public that is already full of left-wing rage.

    That is why even if Obama eats a live puppy on live TV, y’all are still stuck with him.

  19. Bruce Wilder

    What I press liberals/progressives really hard on why they pretend Obama is a liberal/progressive, what I get back is, “Ok, smartass, what’s your solution?” Apparently, the truth is just too dark and pessimistic.

    People, like blog commenters, who are detached observers are free to have . . . how shall we say? . . . creative insights and creative opinions. That’s what the platinum coin is: a creative insight into how an institution can be made to adapt and continue. That it is treated as a non-serious “gimmick” by those with power, or who pretend to power, serves to highlight how fixated they are with breaking institutions.

    The Republican hostage-taking is about breaking institutions. “Reforming” entitlements is about breaking institutions. The 14th amendment argument is about breaking institutions. There’s a very strong impulse — across a very broad spectrum — to break institutions.

    To break core institutions of governance is tantamount to breaking the social contract — not just eroding the social contract by shifting its costs and benefits in a way that benefits the rich as the expense of the poor or formerly middle-class, but breaking the social contract altogether. It is revolutionary. (OK, maybe pre-emptively counter-revolutionary in that it seems to aim at a neo-feudal social order, underpinned by debt peonage.)

    It seems to me that apparent absence of a Left — of some varieties of socially-conscious liberal or social democratic or even genuinely populist politically-organized opinion — in mix is a frightening aspect of our current political situation and evolution. Clearly, it is possible to express such opinions, and to achieve considerable insight into what’s happening, and what could be done — Ian demonstrates that admirably. But, to do so, is, somehow, instantly marginalizing. The ambitious opinionators — someone mentioned Josh Marshall, but Ezra Klein or Matthew Yglesias or any number of “professional liberal” individuals and groups could be cited — move toward a conventional stance of self-betrayal and self-deception very rapidly and completely. In our politics, you are either for the plutocracy, or against it, and, apparently, no one, who counts or is organized to make themselves count, is against the plutocracy.

    When the plutocracy is as parasitic as ours, that’s a very dangerous situation.

  20. atcooper

    The social contract IS broken. I’ve accepted that as true, and began to live my life accordingly. Folks are going to have to accept their lives are already forfeit. We are nothing but resources in the eyes of our leadership.

    The positive effect of such a personal transformation is clear sight, a soothed conscience, and obvious paths to resistance.

  21. atcooper

    Please forgive the verb tense issues – I am accustomed to drafting longhand.

  22. WWQ

    Josh from TPM made a pretty good point about the problem with either the coin or the 14th amendment: Bonds issued after such a move would be subject to wingnut lawsuits and thus “riskier” because who knows what John Roberts & crew will do when it inevitably gets to them. At the very least such bonds will have a significant risk premium attached to them.

    No, it is not a “pretty good point”. Printing money (minting the coins) is an alternative to debt (issuing bonds). Any legal wrangles with the coins would be irrelevant to the validity of subsequent bond issues, as those bond issues still wouldn’t exceed the statutory debt limit.

  23. Jerome Armstrong

    From above: “There is no committed populist left in the USA”. Yea, that’s a bummer. But I don’t think it’s entirely the case. I recall John Edward’s campaign, and as terribly failed a person he was, his Iowa campaign was 100% populist left. I traveled around with his campaign the last two days, and I really was amazed at what he was saying. Yea “all words” certainly comes to mind. But, the appeal of those words in Iowa was real, and he got a lot of votes. Mind you, the guy who won Iowa, won due to Republican-lights coming into the Democratic caucus.

  24. Ian Welsh

    Flawed, but I still supported him. No one else was even saying the right things. And, let’s be honest, his affair came out because he stopped paying her off. If he had wont he nomination, payments would have continued. FDR and JFK both slept around, I only care about it for the political repurcusions.

  25. This episode and the exact way it has been dragged out and the rhetoric of the right more or less shows that a lot of the divisions that some people have been calling “kabuki”, “kayfabe”, and what have you are actually real divisions and not merely epiphenomena or acting or *only* a trick to bamboozle liberals.

  26. Celsius 233

    @ Mandos

    I think, for many reasons, this just may have been a turning point; a positive turning point, for how the average American views the body politic.
    Of course it may just be my own stubborn tendency towards hope. The god’s only know where that comes from…
    If something doesn’t change; we’re quite literally finished; which is my considered expectation, given the past behaviors…

  27. S Brennan

    Dunno if I agree with:

    “his affair came out because he stopped paying her off.”

    I think Axlerod knew all along, used it and strung Edwards along with the VP slot…then dropped a dime on him. Edwards was played.

    Axlerod has always been something of a panty sniffing scandal monger. Axelrod used his cronies at the Sun-Times to open sealed divorce records to knock Ryan off so Obama could cakewalk to his senate seat. Using unspent funds for his presidential run. Penny P was generous with O-B, but she knows how to get her money’s worth.

    Let’s not forget Obama’s backstabbing nomination speech; “Kerry & Edwards say there are two Americas; I, Obama…say that’s bullshit…Kerry & Edwards are liars, don’t vote for them”

  28. markfromireland


    No doubt you’ve seen this:

    a de-Americanized world

    In one way it’s regrettable that a deal has apparently been reached it merely prolongs the agony:

    Senate Leaders Reach Bipartisan Deal –

    Senate leaders on Wednesday struck an 11th-hour agreement to avoid a U.S. debt crisis and fully reopen the federal government, putting lawmakers on track toward ending a stalemate that worried investors world-wide and provided striking evidence of congressional dysfunction.

    Americans of all political persuasions have repeatedly chorused some variant of ‘people get the government they deserve’. And yet as their ruling class drags them further and further into serfdom they never seem to consider that a citizenry that empowered these bozos in the first place and then lets them get away their ever increasingly vicious depredations is the root of the problem.


  29. markfromireland

    To put it another way it’s largely irrelevant who sits in the Whitehouse, or the Senate, or the Supreme Court, they’re just the symptoms. The real problem is the supine and credulous citizenry. It would be a relatively easy thing to undo the damage caused by:

    The administration of President insert name here
    Senator(s) insert name(s) here
    Supreme court justice insert name here
    Economic theorists of the following school insert name here

    and so on. They’re just individual instances of fools engaging in folly and can relatively easy be corrected for if the will is there to do so. The problem, I think, is far deeper and far more intractable:

    How are you going to restore common sense and good judgment to a depraved citizenry peasantry consistently willing not only to tolerate having such people for their president/senator/supreme court judge/bank manager/debt consultant/ but to rejoice and celebrate the fact?

    The problem isn’t confined to the USA its’ also very noticeable in the EU countries but it’s Americans who’re the subject of this posting.


  30. Lif

    This episode and the exact way it has been dragged out and the rhetoric of the right more or less shows that a lot of the divisions that some people have been calling “kabuki”, “kayfabe”, and what have you are actually real divisions and not merely epiphenomena or acting or *only* a trick to bamboozle liberals.

    The point the OP and preceding articles make is that the process is noisy and dragged out precisely because it is fake. You provide no counter-argument here.

  31. You know, the people at the top can collude, cooperate, have common interests, and whatever c-words you want to apply to them, and yet, they can still be constrained to act in particular ways by the narratives that got them there: in this case, by the social rents among the American people, by the stories different parts of them believe, by how they see themselves. For some reason, some people have a tough time understanding this. It is not a deep insight to say that the USA’s official factional leaders and other powerful interests actually talk to one another, attempt to chart courses together, provide each other opportunities to save face, and have venal personal interests, petty corruptions, stupid ideologies, and so on.

    It does not actually mean that they don’t represent the people in crucial ways. Just like the Tea Party being in the most immediate instance a creation of the Kochs (etc.) doesn’t actually mean that the Tea Party doesn’t stem from an authentic feeling of (some) of the people or isn’t a part of the vox populi or has no life of its own.

    These things can all be true. It still ain’t pro wrestling. Obamacare and the debt limits do in part stem from what American society is capable of creating, given what has shaped it until now.

  32. S Brennan

    Thomas Friedman wealth is now estimated at $2.7 billion, but his compassion for the “Facebook generation” knows no bounds…just listen kids. The Rich Man speaks from his pulpit, with a deep understanding of your plight.

    Sorry, Kids. We Ate It All.
    Published: October 15, 2013

    Eventually this shutdown crisis will end. And eventually the two parties will make another stab at a deal on taxes, investments and entitlements. But there’s one outcome from such negotiations that I can absolutely guarantee: Seniors, Wall Street and unions will all have their say and their interests protected…[Did Thomas L. Friedman just bundle Wall Street with the elderly? The elderly…whose median household income is $20,000.00 are as greedy as Wall Streets worst] what are the chances of them getting out of Facebook and into their parents’ faces — and demanding not only that the wealthy do their part but that the next generation as a whole leaves something for this one? Too bad young people aren’t paying attention. Or are they?

    But wait! Who is that speaking to crowds of students…it’s Stan Druckenmiller, the legendary investor who made a fortune doing a Mick Jagger-like college tour showing young people how badly they’ll be hammered if our entitlements stay where they are… Whenever Druckenmiller (a friend and fellow billionare) is challenged by seniors that he is trying to start an intergenerational war, he has a standard reply: “No, that war already happened, and the kids lost. We’re just trying to recover some scraps for them.” [how noble, eh?]

    What a guy, except Thomas L. Friedman is lying…here’s the reality.

    Steep rise seen in deep poverty among elderly
    By Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer
    Posted: October 11, 2013

    If Ivy Maude Jones could still work, life would be easier… the North Philadelphia woman retired two years ago at age 74, when her heart and thyroid conspired to end her clock-punching days…But like many American elderly, Jones is now struggling without a paycheck. Her tiny pension and Social Security income can’t save her from a crushing poverty that could soon have her living on the streets.

    Poverty among the elderly is growing. And deep or extreme poverty – defined by the government as a single person earning $5,700 a year or less – has taken a jump that even experts find astonishing. For men over age 65 nationwide, the rate of deep poverty increased 23 percent between 2011 and 2012, according to analysis by the National Women’s Law Center. For women, it went up 18 percent.

    Among the Philadelphia elderly, deep poverty increased 19 percent between 2007 and 2011, according to calculations by Allen Glicksman, director of Research and Evaluation at Philadelphia Corp. for Aging. His research shows there are around 14,500 seniors living in deep poverty in the city. “There is enormous senior poverty in our city,” said Karen Buck, executive director of Philadelphia’s SeniorLAW Center, which provides legal aid to the elderly. “It’s very hidden and ignored.”

    [W]hile people commonly think of Americans 65 and older as retired, many seniors still work, Robbins said. However, the elderly tend to be unemployed longer than other groups, and might have been particularly hard hit by cuts to unemployment insurance benefits in some states, Robbins said.

    “There is this fiction that seniors are cared for by Social Security and Medicare, but that’s subsistence-level living,” Buck said. “In many ways, it’s deep-poverty living.” Further burdening the elderly are relatives living with them. Jones, for example, lives with her grandson, on $8,000 annually.

  33. Celsius 233

    October 16, 2013
    How are you going to restore common sense and good judgment to a depraved citizenry peasantry consistently willing not only to tolerate having such people for their president/senator/supreme court judge/bank manager/debt consultant/ but to rejoice and celebrate the fact?
    Hear! Hear!
    Sorry for my bout with fantastical thinking above.

  34. S Brennan

    And behold, in the media’s darkest winter, a green shoot appears.

    Ian, a new home for your writing…perhaps?

  35. ^Yes, I am watching the Greenwald-Omidyar thing with some hope and no small trepidation, considering the warping nature of big bucks…


  36. 4

    Mandos: exactly how does any of that ponderous apologetic explain the refusal in advance to invoke the 14th or coin money? Tactically it’s completely absurd.

    Or refusing for months on end even to acknowledge the possibility of using budget reconciliation to pass healthcare reform, sobbing endlessly about the unfortunate need for 60 Senate votes and the utter futility of asking for anything remotely resembling a decent bill in that circumstance, then suddenly remembering reconciliation again when the ACA’s vote count dropped to 59?

    Or, when the party’s grass roots finally could take no more of Joe Lieberman and kicked him out in the primary, backing him against their own party’s candidate in the general election? (Those who claim the US is devoid of left-wing anger, take note.)

    Or spending millions to stop the grass roots and unions from unseating blue dog Blanche Lincoln in the primary, openly ridiculing the attempt, and losing the seat in the general? (Ditto.)

    Glenn Greenwald amply documented the “rotating villain” tactic in his blog at Salon.

    The kayfabe surrounding the WTC first responders bill was so ludicrous it made The Daily Show.

    Honestly, are you related to Betty Bain, Professional Juror?

  37. markfromireland

    @ Celsius 233 October 16, 2013

    By nature, upbringing, and experience, I have a somewhat bleak view of humanity’s basic nature. You, I think, are at heart an optimist. On balance I prefer my standpoint – that old joke about how a pessimist’s life is full of pleasant surprises while the opposite is true of his optimistic coæval has more than a smidgin of truth in it.


  38. Celsius 233

    markfromireland PERMALINK
    October 19, 2013
    … You, I think, are at heart an optimist. On balance I prefer my standpoint – that old joke about how a pessimist’s life is full of pleasant surprises while the opposite is true of his optimistic coæval has more than a smidgin of truth in it.
    On some levels, yes. But the friends left behind would argue that I’m a pessimist.
    I would say I’m a realist; leaving the U.S., was seeing the reality of what we’d become and by complicity, this includes my fellow citizens.
    We are indeed a curious species; black and white doesn’t do justice to the shades of grey.
    I inhabit the grey places; trying to avoid the shiny on the one end and the darkness on the other.

  39. Formerly T-Bear

    Doing the unpardonable sin of returning to the subject, Asia Times has entertained this:

    titled: Bonfire of the straw men – By Peter Lee. If there is a better view of the future, it has not been written yet. With US Congress dominated by the too dumb to live, the US executive corrupted beyond redemption, and the US Judiciary in ideological seance, the US economy eviscerated of value, and US education lobotomized by Texas faith healers, not to mention US news services incapable of find their anus with two hands, a flashlight and illustrated instructions. The elite of the US have gone past the stage of disfunction, it is now in a stage of disassembly; nice Republic you had but all is not lost, in a few weeks all memory of this will be gone as well and the $itizens can get to their annual exce$$e$ filling the accounts of Walmart and Amazon with all the borrowed dollars they can scrape together, and then the Congre$$ can play this very toon (tune) again while debt occupies the public mind with greater intensity. The US and its Empire will sink faster than the Titanic, might be a good idea to be looking for a wealth that floats. As for those looking for salvation in ‘born again’, please show you were ever alive in the first instant. The public has been played again.

  40. markfromireland

    @ Formerly T-Bear October 20, 2013

    The US and its Empire will sink faster than the Titanic

    Is this supposed to be a bad thing? It might be a bad thing for some perhaps even most Americans. It might be a bad thing for a variety of deeply unsavoury regimes. It might be a bad thing for some perhaps even most and robber baron capitalists both within and without the USA. On the other hand it makes survival for the rest of us a bit more likely. America and Americans are simply too callously criminally irresponsible for the status quo ante or even the status quo to be a viable option let alone an ethical one. It will do no harm at all if the overwhelming majority of Americans get to experience what they’ve been perfectly happy to their country dish out to others for generations. The various variations on “a people gets the government it deserves” are after all American proverbs.


  41. Formerly T-Bear

    @ MFI

    Just what would be either good or bad about it? When a state becomes so corrupt that it is incapable of self correction, let alone self-perception and has overwhelming power to destroy, its internal rot and inconsistencies become its downfall. Withdrawing consent removes the source of power, and nature, abhorring vacuum, does the rest – nothing good or bad involved, more the Ozymandias solution.

    Can anyone point out just one significant contribution to world culture (outside fraud) made by the United States in the last ten years? thirty years? fifty years? Technical contributions mostly derive from NASA and its attendant needs (e.g. computers, medicine, materials) in support of the MIC complex. Never before Reagan has a liberal power reversed the expansion of personal rights, the resulting surveillance/police state extant is a direct result/goal. The ship of fools sails on … (for a short while).

  42. S Brennan

    [P]oint out just one significant contribution to world culture ..the United States in the last … fifty years..[not] in support of the MIC complex.

    Nope, everything we did that had any value lay in the dual use nature of DoD [and it’s handmaidens] dollars spent.

    Which is why I get up every day and ask myself, why do “liberals” seek to destroy the only social/socialized institution that has delivered so many industrial developments with our tax dollars.

    Reform it? Sure, but whose is going to do the reform…the criminals who have one answer for everything…privatized it? Wall Street? Who? The NSA [the whole system, 170-222 Billion a year, we are not allowed to know] holds so much power today because of DoD’s unwillingness to violate it’s constitutional duty. If you are going to de-fund anybody, the NSA’s your man.

  43. Formerly T-Bear

    @ S Brennan

    Hey jackass, your ignorance is showing again. If you bother to read at all, there are two sentences you are making as one. The first referred to world culture and the second referred to technical contributions; the one does not equate to the other outside shallow ignorance. It reflects poorly on your limited intellectual abilities confounding the two and using the result to make the illogical statements you provide.

    It is not your place to become a intellectual posse on what transpires here and it is, at the end of the day, offensive. Another morroco bama is not required, wanted or desired; feck off. If you desire to contribute, practice a policy where your blatherings stand on their own presumed merit and do not incorporate your misinterpretations and misunderstandings of other contributors. You are much less likely to be elided that way.

    If that is the world as you know it, the sooner it’s gone the better, and you along with it.

    This discussion is ended.

  44. Formerly T-Bear

    From The Guardian:

    Will let this speak for itself.

  45. S Brennan

    @T & C, Dudes you are both pathetic pussies…what complete douchebaggery.

  46. Celsius 233

    @ S Brennan;
    You really are a piece of work; have another drink. It’ll be okay…
    I have no dog in your fight.

  47. Ian Welsh

    I’m going to start deleting comments if this continues. Please don’t make me moderate.

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