The Week in Review looks at news stories from the past week with added commentary and perspective. (more)

In the past week, two more Republicans got into the 2012 presidential race: former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney with an official announcement and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) by announcing that she will be taking part in the June 13th New Hampshire presidential debate, presumably as a candidate. Presidential preference polls show that “None of the above, really, not any one of these people” is winning. We have about six months before this matters a whit.

The holiday shortened week brings us news about the debt ceiling and news on the frayed social safety net getting a few stitches in it.

Show me your show votes
The 112th Congress had another show vote this past week. Just like the votes they cast to defund NPR, Planned Parenthood, Medicare, Medicaid, motherhood and apple pie, on Tuesday they voted to not raise the statutory debt limit. The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), chairman of the House Ways & Means committee, said on the House floor: “[this] legislation I have introduced, will and must fail”. Bold nonsensical words from a bold nonsensical GOP congressman.

Republican leaders got the okay from Wall Street that they can continue to hold show votes and sham negotiations until it starts impacting the markets … at which time they must stop in their tracks and convince 84 tea party GOP freshmen to reverse course and vote against the ideology that got them elected. Good luck with that. When you are careening madly towards the edge of the cliff with that kind of momentum, it is going to take more than “okay, now stop” to halt that runaway train.

Not everyone is thrilled with this game of chicken or this game of “egg on your face” as the Republicans are calling it:

“Who has egg on their face if there is a sovereign debt crisis, House Republicans or the president?” asked [a] senior GOP lawmaker.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) insists the president “must lead” mainly because he can no longer control the GOP Freshmen frustrated because the no one will listen to their blather.

How will this end? We don’t know yet. The game is over on August 2nd. How close will Wall Street let the Republicans get to the edge of the cliff before they try to jam on the brakes? Here is a hint:

“It’s just ludicrous to me that the country [might not] pay its bankers in August,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial in Chicago. She noted that when the country had a very short-lived default in 1979 — due to a technical glitch among other things — bond yields spiked 60 basis points and, according to those who studied the event, remained elevated thereafter. “To think this has no impact is ridiculous,” she said.

Nice try, states, but you can’t just let people die
The Department of Health and Human Services told the state of Indiana in no uncertain terms that they cannot remove Planned Parenthood from their list of providers of health care for poor women. The state passed a law declaring that no Medicaid funds can go to that agency which provides most of the health care screening for poor women:

Because the law bans Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid funds in Indiana, it violates a federal law that prevents any state from denying payment to health care clinics that provide a “constitutionally protected service.” Finding Indiana in blatant violation of this law, the U.S Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Don Berwick rejected the law and notified the state that it may lose “all federal funding of its Medicaid program.”

Indiana declares that they will continue defying the law.

In Florida, a new law was passed saying that drug addicts cannot receive public assistance. The ACLU is filing suit saying that is unconstitutional and trying to halt implementation of the law.

In both of these cases, the laws seem to lack specificity about how exactly the poor people to die. Will they be allowed to die slowly of cervical cancer or starvation or will the Indiana and Florida state governments step in with some humane provision to kill them more quickly?

Sorry, I used the word “humane” and “Indiana and Florida state governments” in the same sentence. That is nonsensical, isn’t it?

Just like ‘bold’ and ‘courageous’ Republicans working to implement the same things they have been working to implement for 40 years. Not bold, not courageous and not humane.

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