Government shutdown

Halfway from default is still a long way from sense. On Thursday, John Boehner, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, met President Barack Obama to discuss temporarily raising the debt ceiling. In exchange, Mr Boehner wants the government to stay shut and to begin broader budget negotiations. “I would hope that the president would look at this as an opportunity and a good-faith effort on our part to move halfway — halfway to what he’s demanded,” he said. Read more

Yes, that is what it is called. But it this report from Democracy Corps, the research and polling firm of James Carville and Stan Greenberg, two former political advisers to President Bill Clinton, is important reading nonetheless. Read more

In the wake of the revelations about the National Security Agency, some commentators borrowed from Turkey the idea of a “deep state” – an extensive, shadowy and anti-democratic coalition of interests – to explain the condition of US government. The parallel was typically used to depict a furtive, unaccountable security apparatus. But the idea may also have relevance for trying to understand the origins of the government shutdown. Read more

Alexis de Tocqueville was wrong. Last night’s US government shutdown showed the tyranny of the minority, not the tyranny of the majority. Read more