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Former Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly are kicking off a new campaign today to take on the NRA's influence on the Hill. Their op-ed in USA Today is a must-read and must-share:
We can't be naive about what it will take to achieve the most common-sense solutions. We can't just hope that the last shooting tragedy will prevent the next. Achieving reforms to reduce gun violence and prevent mass shootings will mean matching gun lobbyists in their reach and resources.

Americans for Responsible Solutions, which we are launching today, will invite people from around the country to join a national conversation about gun violence prevention, will raise the funds necessary to balance the influence of the gun lobby, and will line up squarely behind leaders who will stand up for what's right.

Until now, the gun lobby's political contributions, advertising and lobbying have dwarfed spending from anti-gun violence groups. No longer. With Americans for Responsible Solutions engaging millions of people about ways to reduce gun violence and funding political activity nationwide, legislators will no longer have reason to fear the gun lobby. Other efforts such as improving mental health care and opposing illegal guns are essential, but as gun owners and survivors of gun violence, we have a unique message for Americans.

We have experienced too much death and hurt to remain idle.

The New York Times likes the White House's trial ballon on comprehensive gun control but has one more item to add to the list:
The task force’s final recommendations, which are due to be released by the end of the month, should include a measure to stem the illegal gun trade and make it easier for law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute gun traffickers and the straw buyers and rogue dealers who enable them.

A strong starting point is a measure first proposed four years ago by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, which she is about to reintroduce in the new Congress.

The Gun Trafficking Prevention Act would create, for the first time, a separate criminal offense for gun trafficking. It would also toughen penalties at every point in the trafficking chain — from straw buyers who purchase a gun for someone else to evade required record-keeping and background checks, to corrupt gun dealers who supply illegal weapons to the kingpins running the trafficking rings. Study after study has shown that a tiny minority of bad gun dealers are responsible for selling a huge number of the guns traced to crimes.

Dana Milbank at The Washington Post examines how Chuck Hagel's Vietnam service has shaped his view of war:
When he says that war should be the last resort, he speaks with a moral authority that few of those senators who would judge him can match.
On to the trillion dollar mint coin punditry...in case you're new to the concept, user letsgetitdone has been on the beat with a primer and history of the idea.  Paul Krugman looks at the theory:
Should President Obama be willing to print a $1 trillion platinum coin if Republicans try to force America into default? Yes, absolutely. He will, after all, be faced with a choice between two alternatives: one that’s silly but benign, the other that’s equally silly but both vile and disastrous. The decision should be obvious. [...]

Enter the platinum coin. There’s a legal loophole allowing the Treasury to mint platinum coins in any denomination the secretary chooses. Yes, it was intended to allow commemorative collector’s items — but that’s not what the letter of the law says. And by minting a $1 trillion coin, then depositing it at the Fed, the Treasury could acquire enough cash to sidestep the debt ceiling — while doing no economic harm at all.

The Washington Post's Greg Sargeant points out that the idea is no less absurd than the options being floated by the GOP:
I doubt we’ll ever find out whether “mint the coin” will pass muster with the courts, because I don’t believe Obama will avail himself of this option. Putting this aside, though, what’s deeply puzzling is the seemingly ubiquitous argument that the “mint the coin” idea is somehow so absurd and juvenile as to be beneath even thinking about.

Of course “mint the coin” is absurd. It’s a response to a situation which is itself already absurd. Indeed, the GOP’s debt ceiling hostage taking is far more ridiculous — and destructive — than “mint the coin” musings are. By far.

Should more employers embrace more flexible work-from-home options to reach out to folks who have dropped out of the workforce? Laura Vanderkam at USA Today pens a fascinating column on telecommuting and embracing a home workforce:
While most people focus on the unemployment rate — which remained at 7.8% in December — the more interesting trend is in labor force participation. The percentage of people older than 16 working or looking for work has been declining for the past 12 years. Many economists blame demographics. Baby Boomers are retiring. Women's participation has plateaued. There are reasons for both trends, but also implications: When fewer people work, this hurts long-term growth, nudging us closer to 2% annual increases vs. the 3% we've long enjoyed.

A shrinking labor force, though, is less inevitable than it seems. Changes in how people work could slow, or even reverse the shrinking, if we choose to embrace them. [...] People who are not looking for jobs as we normally think of jobs might work under different conditions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bumber Sticker that's seen often in Tucson: (16+ / 0-)
    Gabby Giffords continues to inspire
    And it's true.  

    Bells will ring throughout Tucson at 10:10 today, the second anniversary of the Tucson shootings. Take a minute to remember.

    Research Shows Poverty Creates the Biggest Achievement Gap.

    by Desert Rose on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:39:39 AM PST

  •  Conservatives:Putting the Twit in Twitter (10+ / 0-)

    As the Elites Come Together to Rise Above to Find a Third Way to do Rude things to the 99%

    by JML9999 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:42:19 AM PST

  •  This is a good roundup, Georgia (6+ / 0-)

    I hope the new gun control group doesn't meet the fate of similar groups in the past.  Just visited the Freeway Blogger's diary next door and found this sad but telling statement:

    You can have my gun when you pry it from the fingers of my cold, dead child.

    If that slogan were to become widely disseminated, it might give even the gun nuts pause.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:48:04 AM PST

  •  GOP.....no one wants to play with you guys any (4+ / 0-)

    more.

  •  The Amazing Santelli is floating a theory (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, singe, politicalceci

    That Default isn't all that bad.
    http://video.cnbc.com/...

    As the Elites Come Together to Rise Above to Find a Third Way to do Rude things to the 99%

    by JML9999 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:49:24 AM PST

    •  I cant get the video to load at work (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999

      But I'm sure Santelli has struck pure intellectual gold, with his bachelor's degree in finance. I'm sure he knows much more than PhDs in global economics...

      •  There's a transcript on the side of the video (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        celdd
        n meantime, rick santelli is talkings to a very special guest. take it away. absolutely. and before we get to our very, very special guest, larry cut low, i'd like to read a couple of quotes. i hope to high heaven that these guys don't mess around with the faith and credit of the u.s. government. we can go to the chairman of honeywell, mr. code. you don't put the credit of the united states finances at risk. now, remember, we pay roughly about 37 billion a month on servicing our debt, which is this year going be about $450 billion. and we still do take in anywhere between 60% to 65% of what we spent on the revenue side through things like taxes, even though 35% to 40% is borrowed. so welcome, larry kudlow. it's an honor to have you. as i went back to some of those, the secretary was very straightforward about how they could do it and still try to pay the legal obligations. debt in the hands of the public, which is what you're worried about, it's about $19 billion a month, overall about $230 billion. we take in about $250 billion in revenues. thou, i know it's uneven, but i'm just averaging out. these numbers will be revised. so when you look at it that way, we don't have to worry. the debt ceiling will be covered. the interest and expense on the debt will be covered with ease. but rick, here is the problem. you're talking to someone who wants to cut spending. when you look at some of the other government obligations internally, when you look at social security, when you look at medicare, when you look at medicaid and you add that to the interest on the debt, you're really saying that 65% of monthly revenue would go to -- including veteran. on the debt and the internal obligations. no, and that's why i loved having you on the show. nothing but the facts. and what you laid out does demonstrate in a clinical fashion. i'm not advocating one way or the other. but there is a difference between breaching the fiduciary contracts made with our debt holders and the moral obligations we've made to pay off entitlements and veterans. but i guess my next question for you would be -- so the fact that a debt ceiling rate is just raising it to pay the obligations we've already vouchered for, in other words, paying bil already have incurred the liability on, i understand that's a democratic argument. but, larry, the democrats at every turn proactively tried to get at spending, how can you go at it? what is your solution? is this a sequester? yes. let me go back to what erskine boels says. we should not fool around with the credit of the u.s. government. i criticized the republicans and democrats on that last year. here is the key. and i think you referred to it. the sequester, the across the board spending cuts sequester, $1.2 trillion must be enforced. that was part of the deal last year when they raised the debt ceiling a trillion. john boehner said as much. read the boehner interview in the journal today wh my pal, steve moore. boehner said a dollar increase in debt, a dollar cut in spending. that's his second point of leverage. so, a, the sequester and, b, one for one debt and spending cuts. and i agree, everybody should
        Scroll upScroll down
         

        As the Elites Come Together to Rise Above to Find a Third Way to do Rude things to the 99%

        by JML9999 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:06:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  He is a low life turd. He breath life into the tea (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999

      party reactionary's and then sat back and watched with a smug look on his face. Its shit heads like him who Obama's reelection really is driving crazy.

    •  Dear Mr. Santelli: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999

      Your 15 minutes are up.  You've done enough damage.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:27:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  One issue with the NRA is the general, larger (11+ / 0-)

    issue of lobbyists and their relatively unchecked power.

    They are sort of an unsung  support service for "He who has the gold makes the Rules". He who has the gold to pay the lobbyists makes the rules.

    I have always heard that 'lobbying is free speech" but it seems we'd have a better country if we didn't have an entire sub-population of highly paid lobbyists who exist to thwart changes that might actually help the common man.

    The Forces of Good are cash-poor.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:51:19 AM PST

    •  Dry up the money. (5+ / 0-)

      If you believe in common sense measures like closing the Gun show loophole then burn your NRA card.......

      As the Elites Come Together to Rise Above to Find a Third Way to do Rude things to the 99%

      by JML9999 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:54:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have been advised that "gun show loophole" (7+ / 0-)

        is a rightwing framing trick and that the real issue is 'private sales" - how to regulate private citizens selling their weapons.

        I fell for this and - because I am not a gun owner - I never knew there weren't some sort of rules for private transfer of weapons.

        The 'upshot' is that by calling it one thing that it really isn't, everybody barks up the wrong tree.

        The right tree - on this specific issue - is regulation of private sales and transfers.

        The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

        by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:57:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Can't track private citizen sales/exchanges... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tb mare, xxdr zombiexx, megisi

          ...without registration. And yes, that includes inheriting granddad's (or grandma's) flintlock that has been in the family for generations.

          Whether it is federal or something that mimics the mutual recognition agreement among states regarding vehicular registration, I really don't care. But some universal registration has to be the foundation of any meaningful weapon safety program/policy.

          When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

          by Egalitare on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:19:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And even if you had a registration (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xxdr zombiexx

            that tracked the legal civilian purchases, the criminals and lunatics would still engage in a black market trading that is and would remain outside of the registration.  It is important to remember that laws will only bind the law abiding.  Laws will not control criminal behavior.

            •  laws will, in fact, support the escalation (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Egalitare, noway2

              of criminal enterprises, pretty much overnight.

              But what we have learned from the war on drugs is that all the deaths surrounding the policy are acceptable.

              The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

              by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:32:33 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Speaking of the war on drugs .... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                xxdr zombiexx

                The two states, Colorado and Washington that recently passed recreational marijuana use laws give some potential insight into what might happen with federal gun laws that are highly unpopular in certain states.

                As it stands those two states have effectively said that they are not going to enforce federal laws.  This has been playing out in interesting ways as both sates currently have a network of medical MJ dispensaries.  Due to the federal regulations, the dispensaries have a hard time getting something as simple as a bank account.  Also, the lack of federal enforcement has created a possibly tough legal precedent that may have carry over effects into other areas.

                With regards to the "war on drugs" prohibition, your right, outlawing something just drives it underground and creates an expensive (in multiple ways) enterprise to fund it.  Just like alcohol prohibition did.

                •  The US government is fully capable (0+ / 0-)

                  of making a for-profit venture out of alcohol prohibition, just as they have done with marijuana prohibition.

                  Plus illegal alcohol will help fill the private prisons Americans are comfortable with.

                  The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

                  by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:37:58 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I have to register my car and quickly (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Egalitare

            or I get in trouble.

            Unsure why gun registration isn't as ubiquitous as vehicle registry. NRA lobbyists, most likely.

            That seems kind of basic.

            I do not buy the 'slippery slope' of 'registration = confiscation'. I don't think guns are going to be confiscated but I think people are going to have to jump through a couple more hoops to obtain them. If the government wanted to ban guns, they'd simply do it. Look at marijuana. They would and do blow tens of billions of dollars a year to ban a weed.

            I think the domino theory isn't valid.

            People can register their guns. I mean, if I would finally choose to buy a handgun, I would have zero objection to registering it. It's no skin off my ass.

            Shit, I have to get fingerprinted and have a 10 year criminal history search just to have a job working with the mentally ill (I'm squeaky clean). People CAN tolerate a bit of scrutiny when buying a gun.....

            The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

            by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:31:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  The "gun show loophole" is basically a problem (0+ / 0-)

          with tracking sales and enforcing laws.  Only licensed dealers can legally be accepted as gun show vendors.  Until gun dealers of all types are required to do serious background checks using a database that is current and includes such information as mental health adjudications, number and dates of previous firearms purchases and criminal backgrounds, and corresponding laws are tightened on gun sales and waiting periods, gun shows don't present any worse threat than any other sales outlet.

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:47:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  See my post below about ME being considered (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JML9999

        part of the NRA.

        The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

        by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:57:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I did actually (3+ / 0-)

          I was speaking generally not to you specifically. The Royal You as it were.

          "If one believes in common sense measures like closing the Gun show loophole then burn your NRA card." Sounded kinda weird

          As the Elites Come Together to Rise Above to Find a Third Way to do Rude things to the 99%

          by JML9999 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:01:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No problemo. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JML9999

            The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

            by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:03:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  The "gun show loophole" is made up to scare you (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xxdr zombiexx

            The term "gun show loophole" is made up by the media and is designed to scare you.  It is then propagated and bolstered through the use of half-truths.  What does come into play are the state laws, which naturally vary by state.  Firstly, any sale that goes through a licensed dealer, in other words an FFL, must be verified through the NICS check.  The same thing applies to dealers at gun shows.  What some states allow, including my state, North Carolina, are private or face-to-face sales.  While I can't speak for every state, my states still requires either a purchase permit or a concealed carry license, both of which are indicative of having a proven background check by the county sheriff's office.  If citizens are willing to disregard the laws and engage in illegal black market trading, no additional laws are going to prevent their actions.

            With regards to online purchases, it is NOT the SELLERS responsibility to perform the background check.  The seller is only permitted to ship the weapon to a licensed FFL, who is then responsible for performing the background check before releasing the item to the purchaser.  The idea that online sales are devoid of background checks is FALSE!
             

      •  My grandfather was a lifelong NRA member (10+ / 0-)

        He joined millenia ago when they were an organization dedicated to promoting gun safety and legitimate sportsmanship. In the 80s/90s time frame when they became an organization that promoted gun makers profits over sportsmen and innocent lives, he tore up his membership and never looked back.

      •  Most of the NRA money (9+ / 0-)

        comes from manufacturers, not run of the mill gun owners.
        When the NRA plays "fear monger" and sells more guns, manufacturers share the profits.

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:02:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  NOTE: (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999, skohayes, FrankRose, tb mare

      Some may twist this post to suggest that I am an NRA supporter (I don't know HOW these geniuses manage do that but many already have) but that just means they're a dumbass.

      Just FYI.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:54:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  AIG Is Thinking About Suing for being bailled out. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, hulibow, koNko
  •  Senor on Hagel....He's out of the mainstream...... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, skohayes, DRo, tb mare

    Dear Dan, I can look at Hagel and tell you don't get more mainstream than that.

  •  Donated to Americans for Responsible Solutions (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SottoVoce, Laconic Lib, tb mare

    and shared on FB.

    Adopt a homeless cat and have a friend for life

    by dave1042 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:12:05 AM PST

  •  OMG!!! Have y'all heard about AIG?!?! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, tb mare

    They, and others (I'm not sure who yet) are planning on suing the US gov't for the bailout that we gave them in 2008/2009.  Why??  One, they claim it was unconstitutional.  Two, it cost them and their shareholders money (there's more to that part, but I don't fully get it).

    WTF?!?!?!?!?!  Do they really think that they would have survived without it??  I think that they're just fishing for more money on the tax payers dime.....

  •  Found this interesting article (4+ / 0-)

    Here

    That something happened to humanity’s capacity to solve big problems is a commonplace. Recently, however, the complaint has developed a new stridency among Silicon Valley’s investors and entrepreneurs, although it is usually expressed a little differently: people say there is a paucity of real innovations. Instead, they worry, technologists have diverted us and enriched themselves with trivial toys.

    The motto of Founders Fund, a venture capital firm started by Peter Thiel, a cofounder of PayPal, is “We wanted flying cars—instead we got 140 characters.” Founders Fund matters, because it is the investment arm of what is known locally as the “PayPal Mafia,” currently the dominant faction in Silicon Valley, which remains the most important area on the planet for technological innovation. (Other members include Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors; Reid Hoffman, executive chairman of LinkedIn; and Keith Rabois, chief operating officer of the mobile payments company Square.) Thiel is caustic: last year he told the New Yorker that he didn’t consider the iPhone a technological breakthrough. “Compare [it] with the Apollo program,” he said.The Internet is “a net plus—but not a big one.” Twitter gives 500 people “job security for the next decade,” but “what value does it create for the entire economy?” And so on. Max Levchin, another cofounder of PayPal, says, “I feel like we should be aiming higher. The founders of a number of startups I encounter have no real intent of getting anywhere huge … There’s an awful lot of effort being expended that is just never going to result in meaningful, disruptive innovation.”

    We've all become obsessed with the latest toy, too many people seem to not understand this year's toy isn't all that much better than last year's.

    Please read the whole thing, it's long but has some great insight into some of our biggest problems.

    Do Pavlov's dogs chase Schroedinger's cat?

    by corwin on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:16:27 AM PST

    •  Really, really intelligent article (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corwin, tb mare

      and a useful - although troubling - overview of the private sector's scaled-down expectations and lack of imagination.   Of course this attitude spills over to our support for and willingness to expend public funds on innovation, too.  Thanks, corwin.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:58:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't like our campaign system either (6+ / 0-)

    But I think it is great to see Gifford and Kelly's group opposing the NRA. I've contributed already. Maybe rightwing politicians will even be for campaign finance reform some day, when they see that sometimes people fight back instead of cowering.

    "The only thing we have to fear - is fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    by orrg1 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:17:08 AM PST

  •  That Mark Kelly, he's so un-American! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, DefendOurConstitution, Egalitare

    http://www.google.com/...

    And probably a real chicken!

  •  Laura Vanderkam misses it entirely (5+ / 0-)

    The drop in workforce participation is not from retiring baby boomers or from people who are holding out to work at home.  It is because the hiring process has gotten so frustrrating as employers and HR departments exert absolute control over it that people are just giving up.  They are tired of being called underqualified for doing jobs they successfully did a decade or more ago.  They are tired of being called overqualified because they have a college degree or have worked more than 10 years in a field.

    And most of the ones who want to work at home have a good reason for it.  Current wages and salaries cannot pay for child care.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:32:21 AM PST

    •  we need to talk a LOT more about virtual work (0+ / 0-)

      Working from home is similar to, but not the same as working virtually. Working virtually is similar to, but not the same as freelancing.

      These are all modalities of employment with uncertain and not yet fully understood implications. Some good, some bad, most still undetermined.

      not everyone can do it ... increases threat of digital divide
      not every job allows it
      could reduce carbon emissions
      could reduce take home pay
      could complicate benefits systems
      could reduce living costs
      could threaten certain service industries

      etc. etc.

      the only thing I am sure of is that more of it will happen

      Maturity: Doing what you know is right - even though you were told to do it

      by grapes on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:45:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As for that $1 Trillion dollar coin, a petition (0+ / 0-)

    at WhiteHouse.gov is asking the Obama administration to order the Treasury to issue it.

    You can sign it here.  Spread the word.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:33:28 AM PST

  •  "Mint the coin" (5+ / 0-)

    is no more or less absurd than how any other money is created.  Money is a symbol, the value of which lies in its social acceptance for goods and services and not in some magical "essence" of its tangible (or intangible) form, whether that's platinum, a piece of paper printed by the government, or bytes of data on a bank's computer.

    •  To the average person (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matthew D Jones, Laconic Lib, tb mare

      Who doesn't understand what it means, it sounds ridiculous. They have been conditioned by the right wing framing that the federal budget is the same as your household budget. It's not, by a long shot. The government could wipe out the debt tomorrow if it wanted by just printing more dollars and paying it off. That would wreck the global economy and cause hyperinflation, but it could be done. If I'm $100,000 in debt, I can't just go to my garage and print MRobDC Bucks to pay it off, because no one accepts that my money is worth the paper its printed on.

      •  In effect, that's what the Fed is doing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Egalitare

        by buying up commercial paper from the banks and mortgages held by Fannie and Freddie.  I like Krugman's idea of the treasury's selling "Moral Obligation Coupons" to get around any debt ceiling debacle.  His best idea is having the Fed buy the coupons.

        So the government should have no trouble raising a lot of money by selling MOCs. It’s true that if they’re sold on the open market, they would probably sell at a substantial discount from face value, so this would in effect be high-interest-rate financing. But that’s better than either default or giving in to blackmail.

        And maybe the coupons wouldn’t have to be sold on the open market; why not just have the Fed buy them? Bear in mind that the Fed doesn’t always buy safe assets; it’s buying a lot of mortgage-backed securities (from Fannie and Freddie; see above), and during the worst of the financial crisis it bought lots of commercial paper. So why not slightly speculative pieces of paper sold by the Treasury?

        The best thing about having the Fed buy such coupons is that the Fed could just sit on them indefinitely, and their issue wouldn't count against the debt.

        You can read about his idea, which is no stranger than minting a trillion-dollar coin, on his blog.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:19:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Even though I am still quite upset that Hagel (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694, Laconic Lib, tb mare

    is going to be nominated, former Congresswoman Giffords and her husband continues to bring an aura of hope to this already weary nation.  I am very glad that Americans for Responsible Solutions will be a part of the national dialogue when it comes to guns in our country.

    Too many people think that violence and weapons represent an easy solution.  it is about time to find other ways to resolve conflict and finally bring peace.  

    I wish Ms. Giffords and Mr. Kelly good luck.

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

    by politicalceci on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:45:29 AM PST

  •  Clinton would have minted the coin. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare

    Obama's worries a bit more about propriety than Clinton did.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:46:52 AM PST

    •  The biggest problem is optics (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare

      Minting the coin would allow Republicans to run around screaming Obama is a dictator that makes his own rules AND he's spending your unborn babies into oblivion.

      •  Is that to suggest the coin... (0+ / 0-)

        ...would be the "easy way out?"

        I'm having a similar discussion with a co-worker, who thinks we need to have what amounts to a "winner take all, upperdown" decision on Austerity or New Deal. While I think that while the national mood is swinging our way both now and for the longer term, enough people aren't "there" yet, would rather we continue "doing this in small doses" and would accept this as such a "dose."

        When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:53:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It would be the easy way out in the sense (0+ / 0-)

          that it removes the legislative sausage making from the process and removes the only real hostage the GOP can take. No more wheeling and dealing just to stop the economy from going down the shitter.

          But I think the trillion dollar coin is probably the hardest possible solution for Obama to sell to the public, because people don't understand it.

    •  Clinton was forced to "go" Government Shutdown... (0+ / 0-)

      ...and I think eventually this POTUS will have to accept it as well. Probably not on this debt ceiling skirmish, but on the larger overall budget deliberations to come.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:20:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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