Moody's Puts U.S. Credit Rating Under Review

Jim Newell · 07/13/11 04:52PM

The idiots who decided to extort the debt ceiling for their ideological demands, because they're incapable of making their non-arguments persuasively enough in the usual court of public opinion, are not getting nearly enough shit for their psychotic, economically illiterate actions. Now the United States has the credit rating agency Moody's on its ass and is placing the government's debt rating under review — not over the manageability or size of the debt, but thanks this completely artificial statutory number.

Did Republicans Just Give Away the Debt Ceiling Fight?

Jim Newell · 07/12/11 03:52PM

There's been what appears to be a seismic shift in ye olde debt ceiling developments this afternoon, thanks to the Senate's in-house turtle, Mitch McConnell. We're still waiting to hear the "catch," since Mitch McConnell is a brilliant, mischievous sociopath who ruined much of Obama's first two years in office. But he's released a new proposal this afternoon that looks a lot like, well, caving with a lame attempt to save face.

Obama Nixes the 'Let's Just Call the Debt Ceiling Unconstitutional' Option

Jim Newell · 07/08/11 04:45PM

Prominent legal scholars, along with many bloggers with no legal training whatsoever, recently have been floating the possibility that if a deal isn't struck to raise the federal debt ceiling before Treasury's August 2 deadline, then the Obama administration should use a clause in the 14th Amendment to declare the debt ceiling itself unconstitutional and continue to issue debt as usual. An interesting idea! But the Obama administration now appears to have taken this "constitutional option" off the table.

David Brooks Boldly Acknowledges That His Political Party Is Insane

Jim Newell · 07/05/11 11:41AM

Conservative columnist David Brooks, the New York Times' chief over-the-counter muscle relaxant and civility enforcer, is finally getting upset with his political party as it prepares to plunge the nation into debt default for no real reason. Are you sure you want to do this, David? It's only a "D" credit rating that's looming on the horizon, after all.

How Republicans' Balanced Budget Amendment Could Solve Everything

Jim Newell · 06/30/11 12:57PM

The Republican party's ability to spontaneously organize around anything, just to show that they can, is a thing of beauty. President Obama wants a few hundred billion dollars in revenue increases to go along the $2 trillion in cuts that you want? Don't give in a cent, walk out, let the president excoriate you, and then get your entire 47-member Senate caucus to demand a comical balanced budget constitutional amendment as part of a debt-ceiling agreement, too.

Obama's Big Press Conference: Jets, Debts, and Gays

Jim Newell · 06/29/11 03:04PM

President Obama held a press conference at the White House today! The questions came fast and furious — actually rather slowly, since he talks for 10 minutes at a time — and now all Americans are 100% informed about every issue. Here's an executive summary.

Scaredy Cat Eric Cantor Runs Away from Debt Ceiling Talks

Jim Newell · 06/23/11 10:57AM

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, one of the GOP's hot little pieces known as the "Young Guns," moonlights as a weiner who's incapable of negotiating to prevent America from defaulting on its public debt. He's just "pulled out" of his role as the House Republicans' leading negotiator in the ongoing talks with Joe Biden, and has demanded John Boehner settle the remaining "tax issues" so he doesn't have to.

Why Debt Default for a 'Few Days' Wouldn't Be Okay

Jim Newell · 06/10/11 02:42PM

At least some players in the world of High Finance are starting to ease up about the consequences of the United States defaulting on its debt. Until recently, the consensus had been that any default caused by Congress' failure to raise the debt ceiling would risk a calamitous panic, so the hike shouldn't be open to the politics of brinksmanship. But now that analysts listening into Washington are expecting a ceiling hike to coincide with long-term debt reduction measures, then, well, maybe a brief "technical default" of a "few days" would be worth it if Congress needs that time to strike a deal. Sounds easy! Let's do it. But maybe not? Because this all rests on a pretty thin reading of our irreparably broken political system.

Moody's Puts Government on Notice over Debt Ceiling

Jim Newell · 06/02/11 04:26PM

Here's some lovely Thursday afternoon news: The credit rating agency Moody's has pre-warned the United States about the possibility of debt default later this year, saying that it will downgrade ratings on America's public debt — the safest investment in the world — from AAA to AA should an agreement not be reached.

Congress' Stunt Debt Limit Vote Designed to Fail

Jim Newell · 05/31/11 02:37PM

House Republicans will give President Obama the vote he requested on a "clean" debt ceiling hike today, meaning one without any spending cuts attached. Every Republican and at least half of Democrats are expected to vote against it, thereby giving Republicans the opportunity to say to the president, See? We told you that a bill to prevent America from defaulting on its debt and the global economy from collapsing wouldn't pass without some fundamental changes to the social contract attached, so now let's, uh, end Medicare or some such. What a world, right?