Do Democrats Have a Plan for the Next Hostage Crisis?

Jim Newell · 08/04/11 02:24PM

Congressional Republicans have become quite talented at taking legislative "hostages" at crucial junctures, making extreme demands, unifying behind them, and ultimately rolling Democrats into embracing horrible pieces of legislation. Maybe it's time for Democrats to come up with a plan for this sort of thing. So are they? Sorta.

Gabby Giffords Returns to Washington to Vote for Debt Ceiling Bill

Max Read · 08/01/11 06:09PM

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returned to the House of Representatives on Monday, receiving a standing ovation and enthusiastically greeting her colleagues after casting her vote (her first since being shot in January) for the debt ceiling bill, which passed 269-161.

What Is This Delightful Sound John Boehner Makes?

Jim Newell · 08/01/11 01:13PM

Some TV camera people caught Speaker John Boehner fleeing to his escape elevator in Capitol Hill last night, after everyone finally reached a debt ceiling deal that no one understands but should pass Congress today anyway. Think he wasn't tired? This guy, Boehner, not tired? Get out of here. Just listen to this noise he makes. A pure sigh of relief, or the desperate wail of an aging farter? You decide, America. For now it is merely John Boehner's "sound."

House Passes Boehner Bill After a Good Hollerin' Match

Jim Newell · 07/29/11 05:43PM

The House has just passed Speaker John Boehner's debt ceiling bill — the third version, of course, after Boehner had to throw in a modest constitutional amendment today to get a few more Tea Party members on board. It doesn't really matter, because the Senate will still instantly kill it, and then... well, something will get through by the Tuesday deadline. Right? Ha ha, probably not.

The Trillion Dollar Coins That Could Save America

Jim Newell · 07/29/11 12:03PM

Looking across the vast debt ceiling hellscape today, it appears that Speaker John Boehner will finally, finally get House Republicans to pass his two-tiered debt limit hike by tossing in modest balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution. Let's just say that that doesn't improve the chances of getting out of this pickle with a bipartisan solution, with only four days remaining. What is to be done, instead? Just have Timmy Geithner mint a trillion dollar coin, obviously.

This Is How Republicans Twist Arms Before a Vote

Jim Newell · 07/28/11 04:18PM

When Rep. John Boehner assumed the speakership, he said he didn't want to be an arm-twister for votes, and that he wanted the people's voice to be heard clearly. A nice sentiment! But now he that needs votes for his debt ceiling plan today, that's all over. How will he screw over dissidents? Let's look at the case of fellow Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan.

It's John Boehner's Big Day

Jim Newell · 07/28/11 11:42AM

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is cautiously optimistic that enough GOP members had fallen in line over the last 48 hours to pass his debt bill. The plan would cut nearly $917 billion in spending over the next ten years, raise the debt-ceiling by $900 billion and avoid sending the nation into default.

John McCain Mocks the Tea Party, Media Worships Him Again

Jim Newell · 07/27/11 01:25PM

Crabby old rust sandwich John McCain took to the Senate floor today to lambast the dead-ender Tea Partiers in his own political party's House wing, who have been meeting Speaker Boehner's final debt ceiling offer with some resistance. What a saint! Let's just forget the last couple of years of McCain, now that he has criticized the extremely criticizable House Republicans.

House Republicans Now Just Watching Ben Affleck Movies

Jim Newell · 07/27/11 11:31AM

Counselors at the youth summer camp that we know more commonly as the "House Republican Caucus of the 112th Congress" penciled in time for a movie yesterday! All of the campers were so excited to relax a little bit after pretending to be members of Congress for so long. And better yet, they got to watch an R-rated movie — without their parents' permission! Is that even legal?

Threat of Default Doesn't Scare Constantly Bankrupt Donald Trump

Jim Newell · 07/26/11 03:23PM

Why had no one thought to ask death-soaked bubonic replicant Donald Trump, America's foremost lover of declaring bankruptcy, about the debt ceiling until now? In retrospect, it was irresponsible to form a single opinion about the issue of raising America's borrowing limit before soliciting the advice of this prominent capitalist cartoon character, from television. What is to be done, Mr. Trump?

Are Obama and Boehner Nearing a Debt Deal?

Jim Newell · 07/21/11 03:22PM

Word has been trickling in from a variety of sources all day about the basic outline of a deficit-reduction deal that President Obama and Speaker John Boehner are nearing. While both sides are denying it in their preferred arenas — the White House through its spokesperson at a press conference, John Boehner with a telephone call to Rush Limbaugh — it still seems like we've got our hands on the latest trial balloon! Summary: It sucks for Democrats.

Future of Nation Depends on Grover Norquist's Definition of 'Tax Increase'

Jim Newell · 07/21/11 11:19AM

Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, is the guy who makes most Republican members of Congress sign a pledge never to raise taxes, making him one of the more powerful people in Washington. But today he's confirmed that there's a loophole in his pledge — one that's potentially worth $4 trillion in new tax revenue! Washington is too weird.

Senate's 'Gang of Six' Reemerges to Solve All of America's Problems

Jim Newell · 07/19/11 01:39PM

A couple of months ago, the Senate's bipartisan "Gang of Six" that was formed to broker a passable deficit-reduction deal broke apart, after some members realized that six senators cannot simply craft their own deal in private and expect everyone in Congress to pass it. But as of today, the Gang has reformed, with President Obama's blessing! And they have a plan, which still may or may not pass the House of Representatives.

The Anti-Climactic Debt Ceiling Endgame Is Coming Into Focus

Jim Newell · 07/18/11 11:29AM

What will be the final budget-cuttin' number Congress agrees on before raising the debt ceiling, assuming they don't go with "the apocalypse option" instead? Two trillion? Four trillion? Nine trillion bajillion dollars? Let's go with "zero trillion but something that lets Republicans pretend to look tough anyway" as the probable end to this farce of a government negotiating process.