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STUPIDEST RIGHT-WING CLAIM OF THE DAY: Michael Barone: "The [Republican presidential nomination] race has already occasioned a weight of commentary, much inevitably misleading. One piece of conventional wisdom seems to me clearly incorrect: it is that Republicans, a docile and deferential lot, always nominate the candidate next in line..." But the Republicans have done so for nearly a century: the last time they nominated somebody who was not next-in-line was Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952. The last time before that was Warren Harding in 1920. How can it be incorrect if it is correct?

Bill Cohan's claim that Obama should not recess-appoint Elizabeth Warren: Felix Salmon: "The U.S. Congress only has two choices. It can raise the debt ceiling, or it can abolish the debt ceiling. The latter option isn’t realistic, sadly. Which means that the debt ceiling is going to be raised. Yet somehow the House of Representatives contrived today to vote 318-97 against raising the ceiling.... Faced with a Congress of such monumental doltishness, what is the White House to do? It can stick to its guns and try to put in place the very best policies for America that it can. Or it can randomly detonate various such policies, even if doing so would achieve precisely nothing, on some kind of inchoate principle that the occasional public sacrifice might somehow mollify an unknown number of lamebrained legislators. That seems to be the philosophy of Bill Cohan, who has decided that Elizabeth Warren must resign from the nascent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, on the grounds that Congress won’t confirm her. But Cohan’s argument doesn’t even make internal sense.... By Cohan’s own account, then, any nominee would face exactly the same fate as Warren — even a Republican. It’s the bureau that these senators don’t like, and they’re not going to confirm anybody to run it unless and until they also get the authority to hobble it. Throwing Warren to the sharks would just give them a taste for blood, and make them even more optimistic about their chances of getting exactly what they want..."

150 Republican "economists" who claim that "an increase in the national debt limit that is not accompanied by significant spending cuts and budget reforms... will harm private-sector job creation in America": Finkelstein: "Benjamin Zycher: Michelle Obama Is The Product Of "Affirmative-Action Coddling" And "An Intellectual Lightweight."... Thomas C. Rustici: "In November We Will Kick Your Asses Out And Save This Republic From Your Socialistic Tyranny."... John Cogan: "It's Wrong To Allow Surpluses."... Larry Lindsey... advocated for the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy as an "insurance policy" against recession... Kevin Hassett... "Dow 36,000." Hassett made a public bet that the Dow would be closer to 36,000 than 10,000 by the year 2010. Yet, the Dow was at 10,000 in 2010... Douglas Holtz-Eakin, top economic adviser to Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign. The McCain campaign's response to the financial crisis was to suspend the campaign, arrange for a bipartisan meeting with the President, and then proceed to say nothing at the meeting.... Furthermore, 24 of the economists who signed both letters also signed a 2003 letter endorsing the Bush tax cuts as a "fiscally responsible" path to "more employment, economic growth, and opportunities for all Americans.""

Mitt Romney's claim that we are only inches away from ceasing to be a free market economy: Paul Krugman: "Romney is not a stupid man; nor is he, as best one can tell, temperamentally an extremist. So he has to know that he’s talking total nonsense. The only major expansion of the state Obama is pursuing is a health care plan that is, ahem, essentially identical to what Romney did in Massachusetts. And given the realities of the federal budget — the federal government is basically an insurance company for old people with an army on the side, and the baby boomers are becoming seniors — the only way to keep federal spending below 20 percent of GDP would be to impose savage cuts on Medicare and Social Security. But Romney is willing to pretend to be an ignorant extremist to have any chance of getting the Republican nomination. So this ends up being a character issue: do you want a man that cynical in the White House?"

SPEAKS FOR ITSELF: A House Republican close to Boehner: “Of course, [not raising the debt ceiling is dangerous But it’s dangerous for everybody, especially the president. At the end of the day, [Obama] will have to give in.” Another senior GOP lawmaker: “Who has egg on their face if there is a sovereign debt crisis, House Republicans or the president?”

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