The Monday Morning Teaser

It looks like we’re going to be talking about guns for a while. Last week I presented a bunch of my own thoughts, so this week I’m mainly collecting what other people are saying — including a hilarious Onion article about how gorilla sales always spike following a major gorilla attack.

The other thing everybody has been talking about this week is the trillion-dollar coin. I’m not sure how these things happen. Two weeks ago this was a fringy topic, the banker-and-economist version of science fiction. In the last few days, though, it has turned into something every pundit needs to have an opinion about. The White House has even had to deny its intention to mint the coin. Now if only House Republicans would deny their intention to prevent the nation from paying its bills by failing to raise the debt ceiling. The two ideas are both nutty, but at least the coin is harmlessly nutty.

I was going to use the coin/ceiling as an example of a larger point I somehow never express convincingly: the difference between rules and norms in a democracy, and how our norms are dangerously eroding. Fortunately, Chris Hayes did this for me on his show Saturday morning, so I can quote him instead.

In the short notes: the Greek economic problem isn’t overspending; Obama refuses to build a Death Star; Jon Stewart destroys the 67 Republican congressmen who voted against Hurricane Sandy relief; and a new report spells out just how bad American health is compared to other rich countries.

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