Morning News and Stuff

The U.S. Treasury is expected to reach its $14.3 trillion debt ceiling today and Democrats and Republicans are still bickering over a way to raise it. House Speaker John Boehner yesterday told Face the Nation that the president needs to get serious about the deficit and the cool, calm and collected crap. Boehner said, "He's talking about it. But I'm not seeing real action yet. And I just think this is the moment. We all know what the problems are. Why don't we just deal with them? No more kicking the can down the road, no more whistling past the graveyard. Now is the time to deal with the fiscal problems we have in an adult-like manner."—-

CBS News Business and Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis today said, “For every dollar that the U.S. government spends, about 60 cents of that dollar comes from collections in taxes. But 40 cents of that money comes from our borrowings. That means we need to raise debt as a country in order to really generate the kind of growth and pay the kind of commitments that we've made to pensioners, to people who are taking Social Security, Medicare — all of these programs that are out there — that are supposed to help Americans."

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul told Fox News on Friday that Mississippi flood victims should build their own levees. “This is the kind of dilemma that wouldn’t happen in a society that didn’t expect the government to solve our problems. But to expect the government and people who aren’t benefiting to pay for me to live on the beach and get my house blown down, that’s not morally correct and it’s not in the Constitution, if that’s what we’re supposed to be doing.”

Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel was sworn in today and some people are already thinking about whether or not he’ll be re-elected. "I didn't vote for Rahm, but he's our next mayor," said David Rodriguez Jr., reportedly while leaning on a fence in a brisk wind. "I'm here to see what he has to say and if he'll get my vote next time." Vice President Joe Biden and outgoing Mayor Richard Daley were on hand for the inauguration as was any citizen not too hungover from last night’s Bulls game.

Former Berkley County delegate and current Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Faircloth said Thursday that he was just trying to “bring a little humor” to his campaign when he referred to President Obama as “Sambo” and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as “bimbo.”

Not funny.

Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Zellers (R-Minn.) on Wednesday said that the United States Constitution was in fact joking when it says that voting is a right. During a late-night interview, Zellers said, “When you go to even a Burger King or a McDonald's and use your debit card, they'll ask you to see your ID. Should we have to do that when we vote, something that is one of the most sacred — I think it's a privilege; it's not a right. Everybody doesn't get it, because if you go to jail or if you commit some heinous crime your rights are taken away. This is a privilege."

For the record, I’ve never been carded at a fast-food joint.

Republican Newt Gingrich saw his chances of being the next president skyrocket Wednesday after telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity that he’d “get the whole country to resemble Texas” if elected. Here are some facts published by a blog that thinks this would be a bad idea:

• Texas is seventh in the nation in the percentage of its population living in poverty.

• Texas is among the state leaders in teen pregnancy — and is first in teen second pregnancies.

• Texas has the largest number of low-wage (and low-benefit) workers of any state in the nation.

• Texas currently has one of the biggest budget deficits in the nation — about $27 billion for the next biennium.

• Everything is bigger in Texas.

Brad Pitt today told reporters that he wants his kids to consider him a “damn good actor.” And a pretty damn good father.

Despite Derrick Rose playing his first less-than-stellar basketball game ever, the Bulls beat the Miami Heat 103-82 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.