Even as we slide into fall and winter here in my part of the Northern Hemisphere, I’m feeling more hopeful and springy than I have in quite some time. I think that the massive overreaching of Ted Cruz, Jim DeMint and the rest of the Dominionist Tea Party crowd has soured most Americans on austerity, and I can feel the tide turning, just as America’s changing demographics outpace the worst the gerrymanderers can do. Even Dick Durbin, the Obama White House’s go-to guy for floating potential betrayals, is trying to be more subtle about it nowadays — hence his deciding to avoid the other channels and go onto FOX News, a channel shunned by most Democratic and lefty TV watchers, to suggest a willingness to embrace Social Security “reform” and to pit the soon-to-retire Boomers against their own kids and grandkids. (The only “reforms” Social Security might possibly require, besides keeping the hedge fund CEOs away from it, are as follows: 1. Remove the cap, and 2. Subject *all* income to FICA. Doing this keeps Social Security safe forever. But I digress.)

Go ahead, Ted Cruz, threaten another shutdown — keep reminding everyone that a) you started this and b) you want to do it again. I can’t wait to see Bernie Sanders slap you down while Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid both smile from the sidelines. Go ahead, Dick Durbin, float another granny-starving trial balloon — we’ll shoot it down even though you thought you could hide from us by appearing on FOX News Sunday.

So what’s on your minds tonight?