Now the fight is really warming up over the "debt ceiling", and it's clear that the Republicans are going to use the threat of not raising it in order to get concessions out of Democrats.  (I wouldn't be surprised if Planned Parenthood becomes one of the hostages they'll try to kill in exchange for not destroying our economy.)  Paul Waldman explains the problem and some potential solutions here. One issue that keeps coming up is the public's ignorance of what this is actually all about:

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found only 16 percent of respondents saying the ceiling should be raised; a McClatchey/Marist poll pegged the number at 24 percent (see more here). It isn't surprising; after all, asking whether the ceiling should be raised sounds a lot like asking whether we should be borrowing more money, and borrowing more money doesn't sound like a good idea when we keep being told that we're being crushed by debt and that government should "live within its means." At the moment anyway, most Americans have no idea what the consequences of failing to raise the debt ceiling would be.

He advocates that Obama take a no-negotiation stance in dealing with this.  I want to agree, but I don't think that's enough.  If the problem is that the phrase "debt ceiling" is confusing, then Democrats can do something about that.  Why don't we just start saying that the vote is on whether or not to default on our loans?  Or to cease government spending entirely?  There's got to be ways to avoid this whole problem of erroneous comparisons to family finances, though it's worth pointing out that Americans are not above borrowing money to pay for medical bills or to keep from sleeping on the street, which is what the federal government is facing right now.

Anyway, one of my promises if we made $2,000 or more for the Bowl-A-Thon was to record webcam videos answering a question asked of me on Formspring.  I got two in rapid succession that totally worked, so I did both.  Here they are.  I'd be happy to get some feedback on whether or not these were fun for you, and if I should do more like them in the future. There is one tech problem I would like help with, if anyone has tips.  The top of each video is all weird-looking and then gets better rapidly.  I recorded them through Quicktime and uploaded them through the "Share" function.  Is there another way to do this that will prevent that problem?  The videos look just fine on Quicktime itself.