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The Shutdown Prophet

Jonathan Chait New York
The debt ceiling turns out to be unexploded ordnance lying around the American form of government. Only custom or moral compunction stops the opposition party from using it to nullify the president’s powers, or, for that matter, the president from using it to nullify Congress’s. To weaponize the debt ceiling, you must be willing to inflict harm on millions of innocent people.

Progressive Democrats Fear Showdown Will End in Social Security Cuts

Cole Stangler In These Times - Web Only Feature
Alex Lawson: “In this case,” he says, “it would be trying to substitute out the Obamacare cuts or delays, and substitute in some of these grand bargain approaches. These are ones that are non-controversial, that are seemingly agreed-upon. We think it’s really important to get out in front of any attempts to do that and show that no, these are highly controversial and there will not be support.”

A Federal Budget Crisis Months in the Planning

Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Mike McIntire New York Times
To many Americans, the shutdown came out of nowhere. But interviews with a wide array of conservatives show that the confrontation that precipitated the crisis was the outgrowth of a long-running effort to undo the law, the Affordable Care Act, since its passage in 2010 — waged by a galaxy of conservative groups with more money, organized tactics and interconnections than is commonly known.

Tidbits - October 3, 2013

Portside
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