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Nuclear hootenany

So I’m talking to Kweder last night at the open mike, and he tells me he’s been running around even more than usual, because his sister’s in the hospital with esophageal cancer. “She doesn’t have a husband or kids, so you know, whattaya gonna do?” he says, and shrugs. “I have to go visit her.”

“Where is she?” I ask.

“She’s at Penn, 8th and Spruce,” he tells me. “Nice hospital. And really, I don’t mind going to see her, but it gets in the way of things. I mean, I do have this drinking problem…”

We both laugh. I love Kweder. He’s the only alcoholic in the world I can stand to be around.

Coming to a bar near you

So Matt Sevier (the guy I’m helping with booking and publicity) did a set last night at Kweder’s open mike and oh my God, you could have heard a pin drop. (This is a noisy place.) He had everyone’s complete attention, it was one of the most powerful performances I’ve ever seen.

And you may already know, I’ve seen a lot of people.

If you’re around Philly, he’ll be doing a set at the Dawson St. Pub on Aug. 13th. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. (And you can say hello to me.)

What presidency?

Matt Stoller.

Naming names

Jamie Galbraith calls out the economists who got it so wrong – by name. To their faces.

Why oh why

Can’t we have a better media?

We all know the answer. Those who ask tough, insightful questions and put the blame where it belongs instead of concentrating on the game are asked to leave.


Jared Bernstein:

While waiting to go on Larry Kudlow’s show tonight I heard Sen Mitch McConnell say something to the effect of “there will never be another clean debt ceiling. From now on, it will be a dollar in spending cuts for every dollar the debt ceiling is raised.” [I’ll link to the clip when CNBC posts it.]

Totally predictable, of course, but think about this for a sec. He’s essentially saying the following:

“We in Congress cannot be counted upon to come up with budgets that pay for the spending we authorize. Therefore, we will have to borrow to make up the difference. But if that borrowing hits the cap, we will not raise the cap to cover the borrowing we signed off on, unless we get the spending cuts we want.”

To understand how nonsensical Sen McConnell’s position is, you have to appreciate that Congress knows when they pass their budget whether it will breach the debt ceiling or not, just like you know when you order your lunch whether you’ll be able to pay for it. He’s saying, I’m going to keep ordering lunches I can’t pay for and when the cashier hands me the check, I’ll hand it right back and tell her it’s her problem.

The budget process is the time to square the ledger. Or not—there will be budgets, especially in recession, that add to the deficit and breach the ceiling. In such cases, Congress must borrow to make up the difference, and sometimes that will mean raising the ceiling.

But Sen McConnell would rather budget by threatening default. I’m certain that is not the way of great nations.


It’s a good thing we have police officers to take care of these enemies of the state. Wouldn’t want any congressmen to hear from real people, would we?

Call your senators

And tell them you don’t want this shitty debt ceiling deal.

I was gratified to see that three out of our four area senators say they’ll vote no. Bob Casey is the holdout.

‘The pivot to jobs’

Trade deals.

Debt commission

You already know they’re going after Social Security and Medicare, right? I don’t have to spell that out for you, I presume?

Isn’t 11-dimensional chess awesome?

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