The sheer recklessness of the tea party Republicans is
astonishing to watch.

They’re playing a sick game of chicken with our entire
economy, even as the latest figures show the economy barely limping
along at a paltry 1.3 percent rate.

Speaker Boehner has shown little willingness and less
ability to control the tea party fanatics.

They’ve already succeeded in rattling the stock market.
And they are willing to damage the country’s credit rating, which
would raise interest rates across the board, and make it more costly
for you to borrow for a mortgage, or a student loan. And more costly
for businesses to borrow, too, to meet payroll or to buy new machinery.

As a result, the economy would go down.

Actually, either way the economy is going to go down.

If the U.S. defaults, it’ll swoon right away.

And if the Democrats in Congress and if President Obama accept the ransom notes that the tea party is issuing, the economy will go into a long slide because of the savage cuts they’re demanding.

Already, Obama and the Democrats have shown a willingness to pay most of the ransom. Obama was even prepared to slash Medicare and Social Security. And Harry Reid’s proposal, which Obama has endorsed, would cut $751 billion from non-war-related discretionary spending—essentially the same amount as Boehner’s proposal (actually $11 billion more, according to the New York Times).

These cuts will devastate many desperately needed social programs and will throw a wet blanket on the entire economy.

It’s a lose-lose for the American people.

But it’s a win-win for the most ideological Republicans, who hate government so much and hate Obama so much that they’re willing to make everyone else pay for their hatred.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "In Debt Speech, Obama Asks for Public Support on Wrong Issue."

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter

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It's finally setting in: Trump is Trump and he’s not going to change because of winning the nomination.

The new head of the Environmental Protection has a history of suing the agency for trying to do its job.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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