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Debt Ceiling

It's A Free Country ®

Video Club: The Impasse was More Fun on The West Wing

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Sometimes political truth is stranger than political fiction, but the fiction is always more fun.

For that reason, It's A Free Country brings you Video Club with Brian Lehrer, in which our veteran analyst looks at the fun-house mirrors of our government's (in)action: television and the silver screen. What did the writers get right, and where did they flop? Why were the fictional characters more sympathetic, or more detestable? How did the political theater play out in real life? More often than not, it's the reality that looks funny.

To launch our new club, Brian watches the budget debacle unfold on The West Wing Season Five in an episode called "Shutdown." Then, Brooke Gladstone, co-host and managing editor of WNYC's On the Media,  gives her take. You'll get a chance to weigh in as well. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Debt Ceiling Vote

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Jonathan Capehart, opinion writer for the Washington Post and MSNBC contributor, reports on the impact of the debt ceiling vote.

There's more about the debt ceiling debate and vote on WNYC's It's a Free Country.

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The Takeaway

White House Lauds Debt Ceiling Compromise

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

After weeks of a bitter standoff, Congress and the White House have finally reached a deal on how to raise the debt ceiling in the 11th hour. The deal was passed by the House of Representatives on Monday evening and is expected to pass the Senate early Tuesday afternoon. But some question whether the President conceded too much in the debate, and if the administration is calling this compromise a victory. For a perspective from the White House, we talk with Jennifer Psaki, White House Deputy Communications Director.

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The Takeaway

Rep. Jan Schakowsky On Why She Voted Against the Debt Deal

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

After a day of Congressional leaders of both parties courting skeptics in their rank-and-file, the House of Representatives passed a deal to raise the debt ceiling and slash federal spending by a vote of 269-161. The legislation is scheduled to be voted on by the Senate today at noon. Among the 161 "no" votes were both Democrats and many Tea Party Republicans, united in opposition for ideologically different reasons. One of those Democrats who voted against the bill was Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, who is a member of the president's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

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The Takeaway

Another Obama Compromise? 'Leftists, Get Over It!'

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

President Obama’s role in the debt ceiling compromise is prompting howls of criticism and scorn from some Americans, especially those on the left. They’re complaining that the president sold out to Republicans, who are crowing about their victory. Jim Warren, columnist for Chicago News Cooperative and our partner The New York Times, and national correspondent for The Atlantic, has a simple message for the president’s critics: get over it. Warren argues that since his days as a community organizer, Obama has always favored pragmatic deal-making over partisan point-scoring.

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It's A Free Country ®

After the Deluge: New York's Congressmen Explain Why Yes, Why No on the Debt Ceiling Vote

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

They threatened to destroy the economy and that was a threat. This was not normal negotiations, this was hostage taking and giving into the hostage takers lest they murder the hostages, the hostage being the economy.

US Representative Jerold Nadler, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Obama Can Call Debt Win a Victory, but It Would've Been a Better Loss

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The president's chief priority seems to have become racking up wins for the Administration. These often require moving the goal posts, declaring a touchdown and hustling off the field before anyone can point out there are many yards to go.

-Justin Krebs, It's A Free Country blogger.

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The Takeaway

The Tea Party's Take on the Debt Crisis

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The House of Representatives passed a landmark deal yesterday as the United States inched closer to defaulting on its debts. As the bill makes its way over to the Senate many are noting the influence that the Tea Party had on the outcome. During the debate, some Republican freshman members were urging leaders not to make any concessions, and some felt any increase in the debt ceiling was out of the question. How will these new Tea Party members react to Speaker Boehner's compromise?

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The Takeaway

How US Cities are Reacting to the Debt Crisis

Monday, August 01, 2011

The nation's debt crisis has all eyes on the politicians on Capitol Hill. But we wanted to know how the debt crisis is playing out in different cities across the country — what local fears and concerns are, and what people have to say about what's happening in the District of Columbia. We headed to Denver, Colo., Detroit, Mich., and Miami, Fla. to hear what people have to say about the current debt crisis.

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The Empire

Weprin on debt ceiling agreement

Monday, August 01, 2011

David Weprin, Democratic candidate for Congress in New York’s 9th Congressional District, today condemned Speaker John Boehner and House and Senate Republicans for their intransigence in working toward a Debt Ceiling deal that was announced on Sunday.

The deal, which comes after weeks of impasse due to Republicans refusal to raise revenue, includes potentially $3 trillion dollars in across-the-board spending cuts, a vote on a Republican-backed Balance Budget Amendment, and no increases in revenue.

“Yet again the Republicans have proven that they will resort to extreme measures, such as holding the full-faith and credit of the United States at risk, in order to advance their radical agenda. Extremist Bob Turner would even have us cut the federal budget by 35%, an $11.5 trillion cut in spending over 10 years that is far to the right of many within his own party. That would eliminate Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security as we know it," said Weprin.

“While I am still examining the fine details of the legislation, I only hope that this type of hostage situation charade put on by the Republicans does not become the standard for the work we hope and need to accomplish in Congress.”

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The Empire

Turner on debt ceiling agreement

Monday, August 01, 2011

This agreement is far from perfect, but it will protect Social Security and Medicare and prevent default on our debt, which would have damaged this weak economy even more.  But more importantly, it sends the signal that bipartisanship, however hard-fought, is still possible in the Congress.  Far more of that will be needed in the months and years ahead to get this economy moving again and to restore confidence in American government.

Years of overspending by career politicians, on both sides of the aisle, put us in this position. This debate has been historic in that federal debt and its drag on the U.S.  economy is now a front-burner issue.  Getting the U.S. economy back on track and creating jobs must be the chief priority for every member of Congress, and, in the long-term, that will require responsible spending and balanced budgets. That is the ultimate goal, and this moves us in that direction. As imperfect as it is, I support today’s deal.

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It's A Free Country ®

Anyone Want A Sugar-Coated Satan Sandwich?

Monday, August 01, 2011

You’re going to see a lot of sound and fury from Tea Party groups and Republicans who have an edge in opposing the deal… The guys who want an advantage want to look more ideological, but most people in the party are going to go for his, because it’s the best possible deal they could have gotten.

David Weigel, who covers politics and policy for Slate magazine, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: The Right's Despicable Negotiation Tactics Paid Off

Monday, August 01, 2011

The GOP clearly won this fight. But they did so in an amazingly irresponsible manner, much like winning a game of chicken by letting go of the wheel and assuming the other side will swerve.

-Solomon Kleinsmith, It's A Free Country blogger.

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The Takeaway

The Long-Term Political and Economic Impact of the Debt Ceiling Drama

Monday, August 01, 2011

As Congress arrives at a budget agreement and avoids sending the U.S into default right before the August 2 deadline, we're examining the broader, long-term political and historical impact of the the debt crisis. How will it affect the credibility of the U.S. government? What does it tell us about President Obama, and how will the crisis shape next year's election?

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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda: Crunch Time in Washington

Monday, August 01, 2011

The August 2 deadline for Congress to agree on a budget deal and avoid defaulting is looming uncomfortably close. Last night, President Obama and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid said tonight that congressional leaders of both parties have agreed on a plan to lift the debt ceiling. They will present the plan to their caucuses this morning, and hope for the measure to pass through votes by both the House and Senate, in order to avoid a U.S. default by August 2.

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The Empire

Weprin keeps focus on entitlements

Sunday, July 31, 2011

  (Courtesy of the Weprin for Congress campaign)

Using Rego Park's social security office as a backdrop, Assemblyman David Weprin sought to keep the issue of entitlements at the center of the congressional race out in Queens. The debt ceiling deadlock in DC was a threat to seniors' social security payments in August, he said, and would reduce the average senior's monthly income by more than $1,000.

"Seniors should not become the innocent victims of the Republicans’ irresponsible, partisan games and their failure to negotiate in good faith," Weprin said in a statement. The campaign's decision to hold these events in the northern, heavily Jewish portion of the district looks like an attempt to focus older Jewish voters on their social security checks and Medicare payments, and away from Weprin's counterpart Republican Bob Turner's desire to make the special election in the 9th congressional district a referendum on Obama's support for Israel.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: As Tea Party Stands on Principles over Debt, 2012 Candidates Watch and Learn

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Tea Party representatives seem to be operating on the basis of a different philosophy, which is called "standing on principle." This has never been tried before in Washington D.C.

-Steffen Schmidt, It's A Free Country blogger.

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The Empire

NYC debt ceiling disaster plan, via the comptroller's office

Friday, July 29, 2011

Worried what will happen to city government if the debt ceiling's not raised? John Liu is on it. Here's what the comptroller is counseling the mayor's office on, should congress not raising the debt ceiling. Ready for scare quotes?

"The City could therefore be at risk of losing up to an additional $461 million in direct State aid in August. Accounting for a loss of both Federal and State funding to the City, the total lost revenue in August could exceed $1.39 billion."

"Since so many New Yorkers, particularly the elderly and disabled , rely on their monthly Social Security benefit as their sole source of income ‐ using their check to pay rent, buy groceries and just make ends meet – delaying their benefits for even a few days could inflict unacceptable hardship."

But, really, other than the nightmare withholding Social Security checks to seniors would cause, Liu says the city's actually in decent shape. Don't believe me? Read it for yourself.

Debt Advisory

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Why Republicans Always Pick the Fights and Almost Always Win

Friday, July 29, 2011

One side won't budge; the other side won't let this country fail. As a result, we no longer debate how to engineer a new generation of grand investment in our country; we debate how austere we need to be.

-Justin Krebs, It's A Free Country blogger.

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WNYC News

Wall Street Bankers Meet With Treasury Officials as Debt Deadline Looms

Friday, July 29, 2011

As Congress continues the debate raising the nation's debt ceiling, executives at the nation's largest banks are meeting with Treasury officials at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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