Trying to break down and then piece back together what’s going on in Washington regarding the debt ceiling feels like playing with a Rubik’s cube. If I cornered an economist at a cocktail party to explain it all, chances are I still wouldn’t walk away with a firm grasp on the subject, much less any idea how to solve our fiscal woes. Clearly, NOT raising the debt ceiling, thereby forcing us to default on loans, would be a very, very bad thing. Worse is our current debt load at $14.3 trillion. So yes, talk of any more money going out without an equal or greater amount coming in is worrisome, but I wouldn’t call what President Obama proposed yesterday as pejoratively UNBELIEVABLE, as Fox Nation did. In addition to a deficit, millions of Americans are out of work and struggling. Obama spoke of constructions loans AND tax hikes on the very rich. You might not agree with his approach but it is a combination of money going out AND coming in, not just one or the other. (On a side note, Fox Nation’s headline UNBELIEVABLE: Obama Calls for Tax Hikes and More Stimulus is not the headline for the article that follows. The piece is from Reuters.com and is a non-partisan, journalistic report from Caren Bohan and Alister Bull titled simply “Obama call for stimulus may complicate debt talks”. Fox Nation owes them an apology. Of course, click on their READ THE FULL STORY AT REUTERS.COM and it takes you to a different article now anyway, so they blew it on several levels.)
Obama threatened that the July 4th congressional break wouldn’t happen if debt-ceiling talks didn’t substantially move forward. This morning, Majority Leader Harry Reid told senators to stay in town or else. As congress is historically an eleventh-hour operation, it won’t make a big difference. The debt ceiling doesn’t need to be raised until August 2nd. They’ve got loads of time.
James Fergusson at HuffPo sheds light on the symbolism of the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, the sight of a terrorist attack on Tuesday that left several dead (suicide bombers among them) and many wounded. Today, NATO is claiming to have killed the commander of the Taliban-related Haqqani Network, responsible for the insurgent assault on the hotel.
The girls and I watched the U.S. women’s soccer team defeat North Korea on Tuesday morning, 2-0. (The World Cup is on ESPN.) When Miss T asked why all the Korean players had the exact same haircut, I explained the tragic circumstances of living under a megalomaniacal leader like Kim Jong Il. North Korea’s coach offered up lightening strikes as an excuse for his players’ loss, making the team’s situation both tragic and funny.
On Wednesday, Rhode Island lawmakers approved civil union recognition for gay couples. Maine is now gearing up for a referendum on the issue. While the gay marriage bandwagon appears to be popular enough to jump on, some who support the legislation are worried about a backlash. (Let’s not forget Bush in ’04.) What do you think?
Corn: the good and bad news. First, the good – current high food prices in this country might ease later in the year because corn farmers have planted more of their delicious and useful crop. The bad news – a possible surplus of the stuff has caused futures prices for the kernel to drop. It’s a near perfect case of a supply vs. demand scenario, if you were looking for one.
Remember when MySpace was mentioned in the same breath as Facebook? Remember when Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp. bought it for $580 million in 2005? Today, Murdoch finally rid himself of the failed/failing social networking site for $35 million. There’s a bargain, I guess.
One of my daughters reminded me that pre-season football is only about a month away. I had to tell her about the possible NFL strike, even though I don’t believe it will happen. Today, Commissioner Roger Goodell and players’ union chief DeMaurice Smith are talking in front of a judge, along with other representatives from both sides and they’re going to work out their differences. Mark my words.
This summer with the girls feels like a salmagundi of events and schedules.