2. It’s not quite clear who actually takes seriously the idea of minting a pair of $1 trillion platinum coins to sidestep the upcoming debt-ceiling battle, who just wants the option on the table as a warning to House Republicans, and who’s just having fun with the idea. But it’s pretty clear that the “oddball suggestion” is gaining traction. But somebody would have to grace the design with their trillion-dollar face. Here, 10 suggestions. 

    [Photos: Twitter, TPM]


  3. The federal governments top-notch AAA credit rating hangs in the balance as Congress battles over the debt ceiling – and its fate could directly affect you. Here’s how.


  4. President Obama gave a 15-minute speech on the debt ceiling stalemate on Monday night, warning of the economic pain for the U.S. economy and American families if Congress doesn’t raise the nation’s legal borrowing limit by Aug. 2. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who pulled out of White House negotiations late last week, gave a five-minute rebuttal directly afterward, blaming the impasse on Obama’s insistence on a “balanced” plan that cuts spending and raises revenue. What did the dueling speeches tell us about where we are in this dangerous standoff? Here, four key takeaways.

    (In other words, if you missed the speech, we’ve got your back)


  5. The clock is ticking. And with barely a week left to raise the $14.3 debt ceiling before the government runs out of money to pay many of its bills on Aug. 2, Congress and President Obama remain at odds. “Someday, people will look back and wonder, What were they thinking?” says Elizabeth Drew in The New York Review of Books. Why is Congress obsessed with slashing spending when most economic experts agree that “focusing on growth and jobs is more urgent in the near term…”? And how did raising the debt ceiling, a routine procedure in the past, become “ridiculously contorted,” pushing America toward catastrophe? Here, as told in Drew’s “extremely insightful and brilliant narrative,” are four key factors:

    1. President Obama has become a “pushover”…
    2. … Because all Obama cares about is getting re-elected
    3. Republicans are calamitously wedded to anti-tax dogma…a
    4. … Because they’re all afraid of the Tea Party