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THEY'RE BACK: Congress Threatens To Default Again

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was on Meet the Press Sunday (recorded Friday).

Lew said:

"The fight over the debt limit in 2011 hurt the economy, even though, in the end, we saw an extension of the debt limit. We saw confidence fall, and it hurt the economy. Congress needs to do its job. It needs to finish its work on appropriation bills. It needs to pass a debt limit."

Here is a graph of consumer sentiment.

Notice the huge spike down in 2011 - that was due when Congress threatened to "not pay the bills".

As Jack Lew notes, there is no reason to do this again.

Read more: http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2013/07/theyre-back-congress-threatens-to.html

Signs at Pentagon Metro station support NSA leaker Edward Snowden

NSA leaker Edward Snowden is the focus of some controversial new signs posted at the Pentagon Metro station.

The signs say Snowden honored his oath to the Constitution by revealing government secrets.

The group that paid for the signs has a target audience and is recruiting. So far, they've put signs up near military bases in California, Texas, and Georgia.

The billboards stand out on the platform at the Pentagon Metro stop, all part of a new campaign sponsored by a group called The Oath Keepers.

But some metro riders disagree, telling ABC7 that Snowden was wrong.



Monday Toon Roundup 2-The Rest



Big Ag



Monday Toon Roundup 1- Repubs

Danziger Toon- The Tea Party Debates Itself!


Ford’s Vibrating Shifter Teaches Newbies How to Drive a Manual


Manual transmissions are better. Period. End of story. Yes, yes, we know. Sequential and dual-clutch transmissions change gears faster than any mortal possibly can, which is why even Porsche — Porsche — requires paddles instead of a proper lever in its flagship model. But unless your name is Sebastian Vettel or Sebastian Loeb, driving isn’t about putting down the fastest time. It’s about having the most fun. And on that score, flicking a lever always beats squeezing a paddle.

Of course, properly shifting a car is a skill, one increasingly being lost as automatics and — gasp! — CVTs become the norm. Which is why we’re stoked to hear an engineer at Ford has made it easier than ever for n00bs to learn how to properly row their own gears.

Zach Nelson, a junior engineer at Ford, ripped the haptic feedback motor out of an Xbox 360 controller and put it inside a custom shifter he printed on a MakerBot Thing-O-Matic. He installed an Arduino controller and connected an Android tablet with a mini-USB port and a Bluetooth receiver, then tapped the Mustang’s on-board diagnostic system using Ford’s open source OpenXC software platform.



Obama Intends to Let Health Care Law Prove Critics Wrong by Succeeding

Published: July 27, 2013

GALESBURG, Ill. — President Obama waved aside persistent Republican criticism of his signature health care law last week, saying in a New York Times interview that the overhaul would become vastly more popular once “all the nightmare scenarios” from his adversaries proved wrong.

The president accused Republicans of “all kinds of distortions” about the legislation. He said bluntly that his administration had a simple plan to build support for the law, which continues to be viewed with suspicion by large numbers of Americans. “We’re going to implement it,” he said.

Mr. Obama said he decided to delay a requirement that businesses provide insurance to their employees because of concerns expressed by executives about its administrative burdens. Some companies that already provide insurance had balked at provisions requiring them to show proof. The president said delaying that part of the law for a year would give the Treasury Department and other agencies a chance to make it “a little bit simpler” for companies to comply.

But he rejected criticism that by delaying the provision he had exceeded his constitutional authority.

“This is the kind of routine modifications or tweaks to a large program that’s starting off that in normal times in a normal political atmosphere would draw a yawn from everybody,” Mr. Obama said. “The fact that something like this generates a frenzy on Republicans is consistent with the fact that they’ve voted to repeal this thing 38 times without offering an alternative that is plausible.”



Activists protest outside Wells Fargo executive's San Marino home

By Joe Piasecki
July 27, 2013, 6:19 p.m.
About 70 anti-foreclosure activists gathered Saturday afternoon outside the San Marino home of Wells Fargo Chief Financial Officer Tim Sloan, testing a city law against political protest in residential areas that was enacted after a previous demonstration at the bank executive’s house.

Members of Occupy Fights Foreclosures and the nonprofit Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment staged a circular picket line in the 1300 block of Woodstock Road for about an hour. The group dispersed quickly and without incident after San Marino police declared the assembly unlawful.

Officials in the tony bedroom community passed an ordinance requiring demonstrators to stay 150 feet from a protest target’s home or 75 feet from the curb after a similar October 2011 protest at Sloan’s home.

National Lawyers Guild attorney Carol Sobel, who attended Saturday’s demonstration, said the law goes overboard in restricting constitutionally protected speech and is laughably impractical: Woodstock Road is about 40 feet wide, meaning demonstrators would have to gather outside a neighboring home to comply.



Tom Toles Rant- Blabbertalky edition

One of the things I think I wish Obama would do differently is explain issues to the American people, and then sometimes I wish he’d stop. People are always talking about the ‘bully pulpit’ as if anyone knows what that expression really means, or even if there is such a thing. But they like to point out that the president has a lot of power to set the agenda, though most of the time he doesn’t. “It’s the economy, stupid,” is a good quote, but the important word in the quote is ‘stupid.’ We are.

Obama is out there now trying to get the focus back on the economy, and how is that going? Well, when he DOESN’T go out and give the Big Speech, people say he’s ‘disengaged,’ ‘adrift,’ and therefore to blame. If he stays at his desk and works on an agenda, he’s not ‘working with Congress,’ and nothing will get passed, and he’s to blame. If he tries working with Congress, he’s ‘dangerously naïve,’ because Congress obviously isn’t going to pass anything, so he’s to blame.

So out he goes to give the Big Speech. And no sooner does he open his mouth than Mike Allen in his morning Playbook says “That approach risks his embodying the Republican caricature of him as a rhetoric addict who schedules a speech anytime he can’t think of anything better to do.” So there you have it. And then later in the same post Allen goes ahead and reports that Karl Rove said on Fox News after the speech, “This guy can’t do anything except go give a speech, blame somebody else and talk about political posturing while he is spending over an hour politically posturing …” and confirms his own hypothesis. Obama is to blame.

What can be done about the economy? The main issues at this point are two: Stimulus and fairness. Stimulus vs. austerity has been the donkey and elephant in the room since Obama took office, and still is. Little left to be said about that. Fairness is the thing we should be talking about more now. Minimum wage and universal pre-K would be a good place to start. And wealth disparity? Everyone says there’s nothing you can do about that, forgetting, of course, the old saying, “If you want less of something, tax it.” Hmmm, taxing wealth disparity. We used to!

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