Thursday, November 18, 2004

Federal Debt Limit and Budget Deficit (Call-In) Call-In Federal Debt Limit and Budget Deficit Federal Debt Limit and Budget Defecit (Call-In)

Aight, here we go. Sen. Kent Conrad, dem from north dakota is a ranking member on the Budget Committee.

Right now it seems like the Democrats are being really "alarmist" about the American debt. I can't tell if I should really be upset about this. It's like the Dems want to use this to skewer the republicans, they say over and over again, "We owe money to JAPAN and CHINA!" I think it's like this is something that the Dems know will really be scary to down home americans. But I always feel like running up debts is like the national pastime of running any kind of state. Granted, it would probably be better if a state wasn't in debt, but is it the end of the world for a state to run a debt? How dangerous is it?

The true magnitude of raising the debt ceiling is something that you just can't rely on partisan people to give you the straight dope. Even a lot of pundits and intellectual talking heads are partisan on stuff like that. RIght? Who can I really turn to in order to answer a question like that? (If anyone is actually reading this, I would love for people to respond to this in the comments section, about how urgent the matter of the national debt is. )

If I make any typos in this post, please excuse them, I think I'm getting a little delerious from this whole process.

Should I go back and edit my entries or just leave them filled with typos and half thoughts?

Wow, this guy from South Carolina is laying into Conrad. He has a thick ass accent and he really knows his stuff. He's just going off and the host isn't even cutting him off. He just cut him off.

Not Con is disputing the other guys facts. I should really learn those facts if I want to understand this debate. But this was great television. This is the kind of exchange that I think could really change minds.

Ah, you know what I think one aspect of this whole deal? SInce Clinton was so kick ass about cutting the size of government and reducint the debt, those items are now Dem turf. So now Bush is probably doing things that the Democrats used to do, but now the Dems feel like they should be able to get upset about this stuff, since they were so good from 90 to 98. Clinton basically co-opted fiscal conservatism from the republican stack of chips. Is that right? I should think about this some more.

This show is really good, I hope they show this again so I can hear this exchange again. You could see Conrad swallow when he realized the caller was basically tearing him a new one. But that was a great phone call.

Ok, I'm muting conrad again. I was thinking that there should be a web site that takes every news story, organizes it by specific "event", and then shows you what each paper has to say about it. The problem with the Google approach is that

1) it organizes things by priority, which is good for seeing the latest and most prominent, but it basically shuffles the stories on a daily basis, making it difficult to easily track a specific serious of issues without having to look through the rest

2) it heads groups of stories with a unique headline - there would be an advantage to giving the story groupings a generic name, like "DeLay Rule Change" or "Defecit Cealing Raise"

One interesting way to keep a sense of urgency while keeping the spacial regularity of where issues fall on the page would be to have the headlines be a range of colors, depending on how rapidly publications are releasing new articles about this topic. So if 10 articles came out about how great taco bell was in the last 25 minutes, "The Greatness of Taco Bell" would be in red, while the diviness of the buffut at Sizzler ("Sizzler Buffet Divinity"), which has only gotten covered once in the last week, would be blue. BUT. each topic would be in the same place on the page, so if you only cared about the Bell and not the Sizz, you would know where to look to keep abreast, without having to scan the page.

Wouldn't this be a good idea? Does someone want to do this and give me a sinecure when you build an empire? Is there something already like this?

I think I might take a break from C-span and see if I can do this with this morning's papers. Or not. I can't decide.

The show is over anyway. I'm at 1.65 miles. And my knee is already starting to hurt, so that's no good.

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