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The Roundup for August 2, 2011

Sorry, yesterday I had a myriad of computer problems. Figures that the only two busy Congressional days of the year so far were also the only two days where I was largely out of commission.

• The President signed what is officially known as the Budget Control Act of 2011. And he immediately requested an increase in the debt limit, allowing Treasury to immediately borrow up to $400 billion. The rest of it will come in a complex process that allows Congress to submit a resolution of disapproval that the President to veto, allowing Republicans to throw rocks from the sidelines without ever voting to increase the debt limit. Here’s CBO on the BCA, by the way.

• There was some thought that the Senate would swallow the Hosue version of the FAA authorization extension and end the partial shutdown. They didn’t. So the shutdown continues, probably for at least another month. Intolerable.

• And yes, Congress is going out of town for a month, but will engage in pro forma sessions to block any recess appointments. I can’t believe this is now essentially standard practice, especially when the President has the ability to avoid it by adjourning Congress.

• Corey Robin moderates a salon on his Facebook page about the President that draws in some famous lefties.

• If somehow we can get hospitals to lower readmission rates, i.e. actually treat their patients when they come in the door, that would be a plus.

• Simon Johnson writes that the next fiscal crisis will take place because of dangerously low capital requirements. And he says that this, not federal spending, will be the biggest cause of our fiscal problems over the next decade.

• Right-wing groups won an appeal in federal court to use unlimited contributions for SuperPACs in the Wisconsin recall races. Everyone’s TV in Wisconsin just blew up for the final week.

• BofA continues to get hit from all sides.

• The Syrian regime returned to Hama for another massacre. The Arab Spring has become a cycle of destruction.

• Fitch flinches, will not downgrade US debt. People on Wall Street are openly mocking Standard and Poor’s for their downgrade threats, and don’t believe it will mean a thing. Meanwhile, borrowing costs for the US are even cheaper, as if default was somehow priced in before.

• I don’t agree with all of Stan Greenberg’s Sunday column in the NYT, but it shares some similarities with what I observed earlier today about voters’ views on government.

• The Rick Perry era is nigh. Lord save us.

• Remember, Tim Geithner said he’d leave once the debt limit was behind us. So get ready for permanent acting Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin.

• Nouri al-Maliki is giving conflicted signals on whether he would request US military trainers or private military contractors to train Iraqi security forces after December.

• News of the World didn’t just hack phones; they hacked computers.

• Newt Gingrich called Obama’s fist term a “Paul Krugman Presidency” and had to admit that most of his Twitter followers are fake on the same day. Greatest Presidential campaign ever.

• The New Yorker goes in depth on the killing of Osama bin Laden.

• Keynesianism works in Greensville, North South Carolina.

• Truthout got the Air Force to stop a Bible-based training course for missile launch officers.

• The Supreme Court giveth, the banks taketh. You may have had your right to a trial taken from you in a mandatory arbitration agreement and not even know it.

• John McCain has a great idea for the Catfood Commission II: the OMB Director under George W. Bush, who presided over record deficits after record surpluses.

• I look forward to forgetting that Chris Hayes’ show is on MSNBC every weekend, and then remembering and TiVoing it. Good to see him getting airtime.

• Here’s me with the great Robert Scheer on Uprising radio yesterday.

• Microsoft loves the offshore tax havens.

“You’re triangulating the hell out of this,” says Ben Franklin.

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David Dayen

David Dayen