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What’s going on with the fight for the debt ceiling?




Nathaniel Rakic: In real estate, houses typically have high ceilings. But one house doesn’t seem to want to.

Republicans in the US House of Representatives refuse to raise the national debt ceiling unless President Biden agrees to their demands. The standoff has engulfed political news coverage and halted congressional prep work—but why is it so important? What happens to the debt ceiling?

The debt ceiling is the legal limit how much money can the federal government borrow to pay off existing financial liabilities. There is a common misconception that raising the debt limit is the same as allowing new spending, but that is not the case: it simply allows the government to pay off debt already incurred. Think of it like paying off a credit card rather than buying a new fighter jet.

The current debt limit is $31.4 trillion, and we are perilously close to reaching it. Actually, we are already technically hit back in January, but the Treasury Department is taking what it calls “extraordinary measures”—essentially creative accounting maneuvers—to avoid defaulting on our debt. But these measures are expected to end soon. Nobody knows for sure when that “X-date” is, but the Congressional Budget Office has calculated that it will be in first two weeks of June.

If the debt ceiling is not raised by then, the US will not have the legal authority to pay for the costs it has already incurred, such as Medicare and Social Security payments. In other words, the US will be forced to default on its debt, which will catastrophic consequences for the economy. The stock market could crash and millions of people could lose their jobs.

The only thing that needs to be done to prevent this is for Biden and the Republicans in Congress to pass a bill to raise the debt limit – but of course that’s easier said than done. Republicans are pushing for any bill that raises the debt limit to also include drastic reduction in costs and work requirements for government aid recipients. Meanwhile, Biden favors a “clean” bill to raise the debt ceiling with no strings attached. The two sides were furious negotiations for several weeksbut they seem to have made little progress towards a deal. In effect, they are playing chicken with the national economy—each side is betting that the other will give in rather than cause an economic disaster.

However, if the worst happens, the US has options. Some progressives want invoke the 14th amendment, which states that “the validity of the public debt of the United States … is beyond question.” Basically, they think that Biden could just quote “Mean Girls” and state, “V [debt] limit does not exist“. But Republicans are likely to challenge it in court, which makes this strategy risky.

So the fate of the national economy boils down to a showdown between Biden and the Republicans. The only question is who will blink first. [stares at camera for uncomfortably long period of time, then blinks] Crap.


Jake Tupper can’t hide his dismay over Joe Biden’s votes



CNN host Jake Tupper used the word “terrible” not once, but twice on Thursday to describe the results of President Joe Biden’s vote, while “The Anchor” added “bad” to gauge the incumbent’s perceived impact on the country if re-elected. (Watch the video below.)

“Terrible news terrible for Joe Biden in our new CNN poll,” Tupper said, referring to results published earlier in the day. “While the president is leading his Democratic rivals by a huge margin, two-thirds of all Americans polled, 66% of the population, say a Biden victory would be either a setback or a disaster for the United States.”

“When it comes to how voters see Joe Biden and another presidential term, I mean these are bad numbers,” the CNN host said.

CNN Political Director David Chalyan painted a grim picture of the possibility of Biden being elected. He noted that 41% of Americans said his victory would be a “disaster”, while another 26% said it would be a “failure”, according to the poll. Biden’s appeal to independent voters has also waned, a “warning sign,” Chalyan said.

Not that the Democratic Republican president’s archrival for 2024, former President Donald Trump, has fared much better. According to the poll, 44% said a Trump victory would amount to a “disaster”, while 12% said it would be a “failure”.

Tupper’s reaction was reminiscent of George Stephanopoulos’ unfiltered analysis of a recent ABC/Washington Poll this showed Biden trailing Trump in the general election. The data showed that Trump’s victory is likely to be helped by people who think Trump should be prosecuted for trying to cancel the 2020 election but will still vote for him.

“This poll is just tough on President Biden,” Stephanopoulos said on ABC’s This Week earlier this month.

“I must admit, it’s hard for me to put it in my head,” he added.

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Why it’s too soon to say DeSantis committed suicide



Is the Ron DeSantis campaign over yet?

After the last few months, it’s hard not to wonder. The number of his polls plummeted. Potential donors are skeptical. pundits have interrogated should he run at all.

But as he finally announces his candidacy for the presidency, which is expected later today, it’s worth considering how he will return to the controversy. Despite all this, Ron DeSantis could still be the next Republican nominee.

It may seem hard to imagine, but in the presidential primaries, fortunes can change surprisingly quickly. The Iowa caucuses were still more than six months away, and he would have many opportunities to get his ship in order.

In the end, the factors that made Mr. DeSantis formidable earlier in the year may be greater than the stumbles and miscalculations that have shackled him lately. The damage is not yet irreparable.

Of course, the fact that he can return does not mean that he will return. His campaign decision to announce his bid on Twitter tonight is depriving a rare opportunity to stream live on multiple networks in favor of a Twitter Spaces feature that I don’t even know how to use as a frequent Twitter user. And even if his campaign ends up running differently than it has hitherto, it’s unclear whether even a perfectly orchestrated Republican campaign can defeat Donald J. Trump – at least if the former president survives his various legal troubles politically unscathed.

But if you’re tempted to write off Mr. DeSantis, think again. The history of primaries is littered with candidates who are written off only to get into an argument. Unknown candidates such as Herman Cain briefly become leaders. Early leaders like Joe Biden and John McCain are written off and then come back to win. Even Barack Obama spent six months battling and trailing the “inevitable” Hillary Clinton by double digits.

Perhaps someday we will say something similar about the candidacy of Mr. DeSantis. As with the candidates who eventually came back to victory, the strengths that made Mr. DeSantis so promising after the midterms continue today. He continues to enjoy unusually wide popularity in the Republican Party. His favor ratings remain high – stronger how Mr Trump — despite the fact that his stance against Mr Trump spoiled in a face-to-face survey. He continues to be defined by issues such as fighting the Awakened and coronavirus restrictions, which also have broad appeal to his entire party. If that was enough to make it a strong contender in January, there’s a reason it could happen again.

While Mr. DeSantis’ decline over the past few months is easily seen as a sign of deep weakness, the poll’s volatility can also be interpreted to mean a large constituency of voters is open to both candidates. They may be leaning one way or the other, depending on how the political winds blow.

Mr. DeSantis’ strategy this year may also have increased the likelihood of larger swings. As I wrote last week, there are two theories for defeating the former president – Trumpism without Trump, and a resurgent conservative alternative to Trump. Of these two proto-DeSantis campaigns, it is easier to interpret as a non-Trump version of Trumpism. If his campaign has done anything, it has narrowed any differences with Mr. Trump—even to the point of error. Mr. DeSantis did not actually make any explicit or implicit charges against the former president. Perhaps worse, he did not strike back after being attacked.

This combination of options helped create an unusually rapid decline in support for Mr. DeSantis. After all, the only thing that hypothetical Trumpism without a Trump coalition has in common is opposing Mr. Trump and the prospect of defeating him. If you don’t attack him another you’re losing to him, which means you don’t say or do the only two things that can rally your supporters.

The evaporating backbone for Mr. DeSantis has manifested itself differently on two different fronts. Right-wing conservative voters, open to anyone but Trump, nevertheless returned to the side of the former president. What conservative wants Trumpism without power? Closer to the center, many relatively moderate and neoconservative establishment Republicans who covet a candidacy that opposes Trumpism, not just the man himself, have denied Mr. DeSantis critical support and flirted with other options, from Chris Christie to Chris. sununu

But if DeSantis’ campaign can revive the case for his Trumpism without Trump’s nomination, he could quickly win back many of the voters who supported him a few months ago. In fact, it’s even possible that the current media narrative and low expectations are setting the stage for a DeSantis resurgence.

Imagine what it would be like if he launched a successful and energetic attack on Trump after all these months on the defensive. What might otherwise have been routine sparring would take on much greater significance, sparking months of pent-up unrest among his supporters. What if he’s announcing his candidacy on Twitter in part to poke fun at Truth Social? As silly as it sounds, a successful crackdown on Trump could breathe life into his candidacy, and the media loves comeback stories.

One important factor keeping Mr. DeSantis’ path open is that so far, none of the potential moderate alternatives to him have taken hold in the race. If they did, it would deprive him of moderate and neo-conservative voters who supported the likes of John Kasich and Marco Rubio in the last primaries. In fact, he would have become a different Ted Cruz.

But for now, Mr. DeSantis is the only real candidate in town who is not a candidate for Trump. As long as this is true, he will stand a good chance of recovering among voters who would prefer someone other than Trump if there is a market for someone other than Trump.

After all, whether there is sufficient demand for an alternative to Trump may be a bigger question than whether Mr. DeSantis can revive his campaign. Since Mr. Trump already has over 50% of the vote in the polls, some interruptions may be needed to actually defeat Mr. Trump, such as the possibility that his legal problems are worse than we might think. It also takes a DeSantis victory in Iowa to break Trump’s grip on an important segment of the party, much like the midterm elections could temporarily split Trump’s base last winter.

But even if Mr. Trump is the clear favorite, it’s easy to see how Mr. DeSantis can at least make this race competitive again. When he can focus on his own issues, he has a distinct political brand rarely seen in the divided Republican Party. With such low expectations, the groundwork for a recovery may even be laid. It happened before.

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The collapse of Twitter is inevitable, here’s what’s next



We’ve been criticized at Daily Kos for continuing to use and insert tweets into our stories, but this network quiet the best (by far) place to get breaking news and information. It also remains the main home for distinguished experts, analysts, activists, scientists, Ukrainian open source intelligence and many other people who are directly related to our work. For now, we’re stuck with this.

Musk believes that the network effect – that mass of important people listed above – protects him and certainly slowed down the collapse of Twitter. But his actions since coming to power have sapped that advantage to the point where the outcome that is already happening will quickly escalate the moment a viable alternative emerges.

First, Twitter is clearly based on duct tape and chewing gum. Like one of the CNN headlines put it down“As Twitter’s crashes get worse and worse, users are wondering how long it can stay online.” Even if Musk were the model of a benevolent CEO upholding the strictest standards of content moderation and exemplary behavior, Twitter’s technical glitches alone would have people seething and restless looking for an alternative. Nobody wants to fight with an app to get the information they need. Some of us may not have a choice, but many of us do not. need Twitter the same way.

That dynamic is evident in this new report showing the collapse of referral traffic from Twitter to major media organizations:

Given the friction that the Twitter experience now creates, it’s no surprise that fewer people are using the site to find content they want to read.

And if you look closely at the absolute numbers, you’ll see something else that Musk refuses to acknowledge: Media organizations don’t get a sizable percentage of their traffic from Twitter. These are low single digits at best. It’s even worse for brands, which is why advertisers were able to leave Twitter so easily. It’s a great place to build a personal brand and join a popular hashtag to champion what you care about, but no one has built a business with Twitter the way they do on Facebook or Instagram. And while Facebook ads are still considered important for big brands, the benefits of Twitter have been much harder to measure. There’s a reason the then-public company forced Musk to agree to his purchase offer. It was a tough business.

But sites have experienced technical failures before (ahem, us). The next major problem was Musk’s destruction of any discernible moderation. Not only did Musk reaccept the Nazis and other scoundrels who had once cleared the net, he also provided them with benefits for $8 a month, a meager amount that could never replace the billions of dollars in brand advertising lost as a result of that these terrible people are back. Allowing those blue checkmarks to swarm at the top of any sane person’s tweet replies has made for a whole frustrating experience for both many of the biggest celebrity Twitter accounts and regular users alike.

There are many other outrages, such as Twitter shutting down automated bots that tracked bus delays or bad weather warnings. There are humiliations This: “Academic researchers have been given a deadline of the end of the month to delete the data they received under historical study contracts Twitterunless they pay a new $42,000-a-month contract — a requirement that has been described as “book burning-equivalent big data.” And Musk has a habit of restricting access to content he doesn’t like, like pro-Ukrainian coverage of the war. Anyone who doesn’t have a green Pepe frog in their profile picture wants to deal with this shit?

In addition, there is a very real possibility that Twitter will be forgotten in the not too distant future. A month ago, the blockbuster The Super Mario Bros. movie”. published in full on the site and stayed there long enough to reach 10 million views. Last night, with the Twitter tech team distracted (see below), the new John Wick movie was released in full. By the time I went to bed it was already 11 o’clock and it had 3.7 million views.

But nothing more reflected the need for an alternative to Twitter than last night. catastrophic launch Florida Governor Ron DeSantis presidential campaign. It was a mashup of everything that was wrong with Twitter: it showed “free speech absolutist” Musk frolicking with a literal fascist book burner, and the entire ad was burned due to technical issues. It was a climactic event, highlighting how exhausted everyone was by the drama on Twitter, and really pushing for an alternative that would make it all irrelevant.

There are several strong contenders on this front. The network that captures elite accounts and is the easiest and most convenient to use wins.

What is Fedivers?

Fediverse is not a website or a social network, but a slang name for a network combined (interconnected) servers used for universal web publications. The Fediverse is made up of various protocols, but the corresponding one here is called ActivityPuban open source protocol for creating, managing and moderating content on a network of decentralized servers.

[ActivityPub lead author Christine] Lemmer-Webber has drawn a straight line from problems in other social networks to the development of a network that has built-in local control. strange As a result, protections against unwanted interactions are built into ActivityPub and various external interfaces. Whole-instance locking systems with a culture of trolling can save users a tedious process blocking one troll at a time.

Theoretically, this is really cool stuff!

mastodon was biggest supporter this approach, and it looks great on paper.

However, this decentralized approach is Mastodon’s weakness, as setting up an account requires things like “selecting a server”, which is something no one should think about when creating a social media account.

Team Mastodon, looks super cool so far, tiny, and they don’t have features like replies to their version of tweets or direct messaging. At least they are working on reduce some of the complexity, but Mastodon’s CEO turned down venture capital to spur growth. This commitment to his independence and freedom from monetary interests is commendable, but it also limits his ability to truly seize the moment. As of the end of March, Mastodon had two full-time employees, several part-time employees, three contractors, and was hiring three more full-time employees. Even the Twitter that was destroyed by Musk has about 1,000 employees, and before Musk came to power, there were 7,500 of them.


Ironically, Fediverse gets its backing from Meta, the behemoth behind Facebook. Their Instagram app is about to get Twitter-like functionality and, surprisingly for a company like Facebook, they also comes the Fediverse decentralized route. Social media researcher Leah Haberman reports that “the dapp is built on top of Instagram but will be compatible with some other apps such as mastodon“.

The ability to grow your base instantly will be a huge advantage, and will also strengthen Mastodon by ensuring Fediverse compatibility. This news is as important to the Meta as it is to Mastodon. Applications will be able to compete not on their own built-in network effect, but on design and features, and users will benefit from this universal access. I could see people start with an Instagram product and then jump ship as Mastodon or another competitor matured. It’s not clear to me how users can port their subscribers, but assuming it’s possible, damn it.

Ultimately, this is the beauty of Fediverse: we will no longer be tied to any one company. Our accounts will be portable, allowing us to migrate to whichever service best suits our needs. So let’s say the Instagram product is overloaded with spam, crap moderation, or did they decide to let the Nazis in? We’re moving to a competitor that has stricter moderation standards.

As I have noted, the winner of this lottery to replace Twitter will be the place where the media and the celebrity elite migrate to. Most of them already have a solid Instagram presence, making it easy to have a built-in follower counter from day one.

And while I don’t see it as an inevitable option, Tumblr (remember them?) just announced that they will implementing ActivityPub support. Certainly interesting things are brewing.

Blue sky

Until Instagram leaks rocked the scene, Buzz What all with bluesky. Ironically, it was once a side project of Twitter, backed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, but is now an independent company that is slowly sending out invitations to join. Several high-profile Twitter accounts, including prankster Dril and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have already joined in the big fanfare, and demand for coveted invite codes is skyrocketing. (I still don’t have one!)

However, unlike the two options above, Bluesky is not on ActivityPub. Instead, he developed his own decentralized protocol. This lack of interaction with Mastodon didn’t matter a couple of months ago, but it could be a problem now. Why would AOC use Bluesky when the Instagram version lets her get started right away with 8.6 million followers?

So we Really need a new standard? Time to show the most classic of the classics XTCD comics:


However, Bluesky has reportedly done a great job replicating the Twitter experience and it will make a big difference. But if the Instagram product is good at all, Bluesky will likely be forced to move to the ActivityPub standard, which would be great.


You can read more about Post here. All I will say is that I tested it and hated it. And as far as I can tell, it should be the whole game, not a Fediverse tie-in. This ship seems to have sailed away.


Using Twitter is still a necessary evil for many of us, myself included. But given the pace of the sudden emergence of alternatives, those days are numbered. I fully expect Twitter to be obsolete by the end of the year, a $44 billion waste that will resemble little more than the famous Parler or Gabe. Another “unscheduled quick disassembly” under the supervision of Elon Musk.

Like CNNMusk will learn an incredibly obvious lesson that many fail to learn: You can’t build a business that serves the deplorable right. For the rest of us, it will be a real relief when we can finally move on to greener pastures.

We’re talking to Anderson Clayton, 25-year-old chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party. Clayton has an ambitious plan for 2024, and he explains the detailed changes needed to enable voting on college campuses and in rural communities in Tar Heel State.

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