"I had to spend the surpluses. Deficits make it easier to say no."

And before the right starts saying, “It doesn’t matter how we got here; it only matters what we do about it now,” that’s nonsense. Accountability matters. Credibility matters. Responsibility matters. When those who screw up deliberately and then demand that they alone know what they’re talking about, it matters.

I recall thinking, early in the Bush presidency, that it seemed like the federal budget was being blown on purpose. It was hard to imagine how that wasn’t the case: the massive tax cuts, the ballooning waste, surely no one could be that irresponsible.

And yet, irresponsibility was ultimately an easier explanation than believing some paranoid story that Republicans were deliberately trying to bankrupt the country. Sure, that fit with the pledge that most GOP Congressmen had made to Grover “drown it in a bathtub” Norquist, but it was too cynical even for me.

After reading this article I’m starting to believe it once again. I don’t think the GOP has any intention of raising the debt ceiling. The constitutional requirement that we pay our debts may guarantee that our domestic commitments will be cut. Ultimately this may be the plan: raise the deficit so high that all revenues must go to interest payments when the debt celling isn’t raised, meaning the US can’t meet it’s internal needs, and must slash the programs that the GOP has fought against for years.

Sounds paranoid. But I can’t think of any other plan that the Republicans could be following, based on what they’ve said and done for the past ten years.

—jron

There’s another infamous shooting of a nine-year-old girl that is making headlines this week in Tucson. This time, we wonder if the rest of the media will bother to cover it.

David Neiwert, reporting on the murder of Brisenia Flores and her father, by an extreme right-wing offshoot of the Minutemen.