Of course, the main difference is, Obama wanted the showdown to rationalize his much-desired Grand Bargain on Social Security and Medicare! Jonathan Chait:
If you haven’t already read Kara Brandeisky’s story about how the Clinton administration handled the debt ceiling in 1995, you should definitely do it. As she notes, the circumstances were different in 1995. Republicans were somewhat less fixated on the debt ceiling, and also somewhat less destructive and crazy. But they weren’t that much less destructive and crazy:
“Nobody should assume we’re going to have a debt-limit extension,” John Boehner warned. “If the vote were held today, it would not pass.” Sound familiar? This was Boehner in November of 1995, when he was the House Republican Conference chairman and his party was refusing to raise the debt ceiling unless President Bill Clinton agreed to a package of sweeping spending cuts.
The biggest single difference is that the Clinton administration simply refused on principle to get jacked up on the debt ceiling:
Still, even though Clinton enjoyed political and economic advantages that Obama does not, his no-compromises strategy had some clear advantages. Unlike Obama, he refused to let the threat of default set the national agenda. Because he would not enter into negotiations over the debt ceiling, the issue barely roused the public consciousness. On November 9, 1995, a senior administration official told the Washington Post, “Our position is it does not matter what they put on this legislation, we are not going to accept anything but clean bills because we will not be blackmailed over default. Get it? No extortion. No blackmail. What you hear are their screams of complaint as they realize we are not, not, not budging on this.”
Kind of hard to imagine somebody from this administration talking like that.
As someone who’s suffered from allergies all my life (I also had what they call “cough variant asthma”), I sometimes have to struggle to breathe — not as much as I used to, but it’s still there. And one of my kids suffered from childhood asthma, although he’s since outgrown it.
I see that Environment New Jersey also took note of Christie’s hospitalization. Doug O’Malley, their field director, released this statement:
We offer our best wishes for a speedy recovery to Governor Christie. An asthma attack can be a life-threatening event and that is a fact of life for over 163,000 New Jersey children who live with this chronic disease. We hope that the Governor will be sympathetic to the concerns of those children when it comes to measures to protect our kids from dangerous air pollution.
We encourage Governor Christie to support the Clean Air Promise launched by the League of Women Voters this week and to promise that he will protect our kids from dangerous air pollution. The new LWV campaign ad and Promise can be found at http://www.peoplenotpolluters.org/
Everybody knows at least one person who has trouble breathing in polluted air. For them and everybody else, go sign that petition!
For those of you who can afford it, I think this is a great idea:
Cindy Baxter began the 3/50 Project in March 2009 to help save the brick and mortars our nations was built on. She has put into practice a very simple idea. Pick three independently owned businesses and spend a total of $50 each month at these stores.
Consider these noteworthy statistics:
If half the employed population spent $50 each month in a locally owned independent businesses, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue.
For every $100 spend in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures.
For every $100 you spend in a national chain, only $43 stays in the community.
For every $100 spend online, nothing comes home.
Can you think of three independently owned businesses in your community?
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.
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.)