Lightning Round: Debt Default, Something Every American Can be Proud of.

  • Bruce Bartlett fleshes out the one scenario in which the U.S. could default on its debt: Congress fails to extend the debt ceiling. Since Republicans will certainly gain seats in the Senate in the fall, there will be that many more votes against doing so (this from a party that's shown no interest in deficit reduction).
  • Do yourself a favor and read David Souter's Harvard commencement address. Not only does he masterfully demolish any intellectual basis for "originalism," he points out that Supreme Court decisions often require addressing the contradictions found in our far-from-perfect Constitution.
  • One thing I've never understood is how libertarians how can reconcile the unlimited exploitation of natural resources with their desire to find some technological fountain of youth. And I'm not just talking about the desirability of being alive for centuries. Just from a materialist standpoint, do they really think such an approach to natural resources is sustainable?
  • Weekend Remainders: If you're looking for endless U.S. economic statistics, the Beige Book's for you; The Weekly Standard -- shockingly! -- would very much like us to start a war with Iran; it would be convenient if we could start referring to these people as deranged ultra-nationalists; it doesn't have the same pizazz as "death panels," but I'm sure the GOP will adopt it; and doesn't the Post have anything better to do than run op-eds about presidential runs that won't happen?

--Mori Dinauer