Debt Ceiling Deal Reached, America #1 Again

Seth Abramovitch · 07/31/11 09:00PM

After a marathon Congressional dick-measuring contest the likes of which Washington has rarely seen, President Obama has announced that a budget deal has at last been reached. It would both cut $1 trillion in government spending over the next decade, as well as raise the borrowing limit, aka the "debt ceiling," in time to avoid a dreaded default and all of its apocalyptic implications. The proposal goes to both sides' caucuses tomorrow morning for a vote before Tuesday's deadline. I just love a happy ending! Unless, of course, it doesn't get voted through — in which case, maybe there was more to that old coot Harold Camping's rescheduled doomsday prognosis than we were willing to admit. [NYT, President's speech via AP]

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.

'Barack Obama' Is Tweeting Like a Monster

Jim Newell · 07/29/11 03:53PM

President Obama still wants you, the citizen in a Republican district, to get in touch with your congressional representative and relay the White House's fierce warrior cry of "compromise!" And today, his campaign Twitter account has been tweeting the handle of each Republican every few minutes for many hours.

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.

Congress Could Learn Something from Parks & Recreation's Ron Swanson

Conor Hastings · 07/29/11 02:15AM

On Tuesday night, congressional Republicans were moved by a scene in the bank robber movie The Town to unite behind a single plan to solve the nation's debt ceiling crisis before next week's deadline. So long as they're turning to pop culture for inspiration, allow us to suggest that up next they consider some of the anti-big government statements of Parks & Recreation character Ron Swanson. A clip of Swanson's greatest bits of political wisdom is above.

Stephen Colbert Expands on John McCain's 'Tea Party Hobbits' Metaphor

Matt Cherette · 07/28/11 11:54PM

Yesterday, Sen. John McCain took to the Senate floor to blast the Tea Party for resisting John Boehner's plan to solve the debt ceiling crisis, at one point referring to its members as "Hobbits" from The Lord of the Rings. The Tea Party then shot back at McCain, comparing him to the fantasy novel's villain, Sauron. Stephen Colbert took the opportunity on tonight's Report to extend the unlikely metaphor to the rest of Washington. Video of the segment is above.

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.

Ten Easy Steps to Getting Through Our National Default

Hamilton Nolan · 07/27/11 04:09PM

Whoa, this whole "debt ceiling" thing sure is scary, right? Can you imagine a national default? All together now, American paupers: "Yes, we can fucking imagine it. Welcome to the club, rest of America."

Dick Cheney's Right Hand Man is Back

Jim Newell · 07/27/11 03:54PM

Remember, to put it politely, the "extra-legal" wiretapping and torture and secret prisons that Dick Cheney and his buddies put into place over the course of eight years? Well the guy who came up with all that stuff for Cheney, legal adviser and chief of staff David Addington, has apparently not left Washington! In fact, he's behind much of the Tea Party resistance to any and all debt ceiling compromises these days.

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.

Stephen Colbert Reads Off His Bucket List for America

Matt Cherette · 07/26/11 11:51PM

Much like Jon Stewart earlier this evening, Stephen Colbert took aim at President Obama's primetime address on the debt crisis on tonight's Report. After telling viewers that he expects America will default next Tuesday, he pointed out that the disastrous scenario has a silver lining: America has an entire week to finish off its bucket list! Video of the segment is above.

Jon Stewart to President Obama: 'It's Like You've Given Up'

Matt Cherette · 07/26/11 10:44PM

One day after lambasting Congress for letting partisan interests get in the way of solving the debate over raising the nation's debt ceiling, Jon Stewart opened tonight's Daily Show with an equally critical take on President Obama's address to the nation yesterday. Video of the segment, during which Stewart took particular issue with Obama's suggestion that the American people take matters into their own hands to solve the crisis, is above.

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?

Furry Congressman David Wu Resigns

Jim Newell · 07/26/11 11:44AM

Oregon Rep. David Wu, a tigersuit-clad furry sex monster, apparently won't sit out the rest of his House term before resigning. He's issued a statement announcing his imminent resignation — just as soon as the debt ceiling debacle draws to a close, which it never will.

Jon Stewart to Congress: 'Just Get the Fuck Out'

Matt Cherette · 07/25/11 10:54PM

The stalemate between congressional Republicans and Democrats over raising the nation's debt ceiling has gotten so bad that President Obama addressed the nation tonight in an attempt to publicly shame them into reaching a deal. And on tonight's Daily Show, Jon Stewart angrily piled on Obama's message with an anti-Congress rant of his own. Video of the segment is above.