Monday Pouring Down Rain

This is really awesome. If I met this kid and his mom, and she gave him the high sign that it’s okay to speak up about what he loves, I’d be happy with him. Who could be unhappy at a child doing something they love? 

Rebels without a clue: Paul Krugman’s column about the sheer foolishness of this looming shutdown in the US, and potential default on their financial obligations. Because let’s be clear, that’s what this is: the US Congress passes laws which establish things that cost money. Then, later, they appropriate the money to pay for it. Not paying for it? That’s default. 

So if the debt limit doesn’t get raised (or ideally disposed of, it’s a stupid rule that has nothing to do with economics and everything to do with shallow political realities), the US will be saying, “Yeah, I know I said I’d pay for the car, but I’m having an argument with my wife, and she won’t let me have the chequebook unless I do 87 things around the house by this afternoon, 84 of which are really bad ideas, and the other 3 conflict with some of the 84.”

And expecting the dealership rep to say, “Oh, well, that’s alright then, pay it when you can, it’s not like we’re in this for the money or anything,” when we all know really that as soon as you hang up, they’re calling the repo man.

This sort of behaviour leads to revolutions in some places. I doubt I know anyone brave enough – certainly not me! – to start one in the current incarnation of the US. 

The only potential solution i can see is if Boehner resigns, and the House is able to elect a Speaker who isn’t afraid of being primaried from the right – maybe someone who’s not running for another term, or something like that – who’d be willing to bring the CR to the floor even though it’d be almost all Democrats voting for it. I looked around online this morning, but there’s no way to unseat a Speaker who doesn’t want to be, in the US system, unless their party also agrees. 

This is, I think, a pretty bad flaw in the US’ system of checks and balances: a partisan Speaker means that the majority party has almost total control of the lower House, through the right to control the agenda. In the Westminster system, the Speaker is explicitly non-partisan, and expected to do nothing that can be shown to have supported one party over another. 

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