The Republican Party — led in Massachusetts by Senator Scott Brown — have forced a downgrade in the nation’s credit rating by manufacturing the recent crisis over the debt ceiling in a ham fisted and self-destructive attempt to play politics with the national economy. Bloomberg: The U.S. had its AAA credit rating downgraded for the first time by Standard & Poor’s, which slammed the nation’s political process and said lawmakers failed to cut spending enough to reduce record deficits. S&P dropped the ranking one level to AA+, after warning on July 14 that it would reduce the rating in the absence of a “credible” plan to lower deficits even if the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit was lifted. The U.S. was awarded the top credit ranking by New York-based S&P in 1941. It kept the outlook at “negative” amid the failure to end Bush-era tax cuts. President Obama, of course, deserves a measure of blame for this as well, because of appeasing the opposition during his first years in office and emboldening them to the sorry state of affairs we find ourselves in today, and for declining to use the power provided by the 14th Amendment — evidently with Standard & [...]
Hat tip to AmberPaw for this revealing analysis by Salon: The four states with the most Tea Party representatives in Congress are all former members of the Confederate States of America. The states with the greatest number of members of the House Tea Party caucus are Texas (12), Florida (7), Louisiana (5) and Georgia (5). While California is in fifth place with four House Tea Party members, the sixth, seventh and eighth places on the list are taken by two former Southern slave states, South Carolina and Tennessee, and a border state, Missouri, each with three members of the congressional Tea Party caucus. If states with significant white Southern diasporas were included, the Southern proportion of the House Tea Party caucus would be even bigger. Many of the other states with Tea Party representatives are border states with significant Southern populations and Southern ties. One is Maryland, a state with Confederate sympathies during the Civil War, which, because the Census Bureau defines it as “Northeastern,” is responsible for the only Northeastern member of the Tea Party caucus, Roscoe Bartlett. The four Californian representatives come from the Orange County area or inland California, both regions whose political culture was [...]
Northampton’s Daily Hampshire Gazette reports: Scott Brown, the commonwealth’s junior senator, is scheduled to visit the New England Scenic Trail in Amherst next Wednesday [August 10?] as a part of a statewide jobs tour. “Job creation, putting people back to work and growing our economy are my top priorities in the Senate,” Brown said in a statement. “I will continue traveling across the commonwealth to hear directly from the people of Massachusetts, and to share with them my agenda for job growth.” The senator’s office said the tour is in response to high unemployment nationally. And I’ll be out of town.
Glenn Greenwald isn’t buying the idea that Obama showed himself a weak negotiator who fumbled the debt-ceiling situation. It appears to be true that the President wanted tax revenues to be part of this deal. But it is absolutely false that he did not want these brutal budget cuts and was simply forced — either by his own strategic “blunders” or the “weakness” of his office — into accepting them. The evidence is overwhelming that Obama has long wanted exactly what he got: these severe domestic budget cuts and even ones well beyond these, including Social Security and Medicare, which he is likely to get with the Super-Committee created by this bill (as Robert Reich described the bill: ”No tax increases on rich yet almost certain cuts in Med[icare] and Social Security . . . . Ds can no longer campaign on R’s desire to Medicare and Soc Security, now that O has agreed it”).
Borowitz: Bachmann Proposes Slashing Half of Alphabet: ‘Vowels Are Not Free,’ Says Tea Party Favorite WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – Fresh from the Tea Party’s triumph in the recent debt ceiling fight, Tea Party favorite Michele Bachmann (R-Minn) set the stage for another budget-cutting battle today, proposing that the Federal government slash half the alphabet over the next four years. “The days of living large with a 26-letter alphabet are over,” Rep. Bachmann said. “As anyone who watches ‘Wheel of Fortune’ knows, vowels are not free.” If the Tea Party proposal becomes law, the United States will have to make do with only thirteen letters by as early as 2015, Rep. Bachmann said. The push to slash letters from the alphabet already has broad support among the Tea Party faithful, who find the overabundance of letters an annoyance when it comes to composing protest signs. and Democrats Accept Major Cuts to Their Balls: Outcome Surprises No One WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – After weeks of wrenching negotiations that went right up to the wire, Democrats in the House and Senate today accepted major cuts to their balls. The cuts, which are expected to pass both houses of Congress on Tuesday, will [...]
[Dare I post that Rebecca Black song?? Dare I??] Nah. Here’s a compilation of one of our new Patriots. I’m going to enjoy having this guy around: And a song for right now ….
Where have you gone Issac Laughinghouse? (There’s an obscure reference. Anyone? Bueller?) I say this because yesterday WCVB Channel 5 announced that Boston’s own Michelle McPhee will be reporting the news. Ouch. Now I don’t mean to be the Michelle McPhee constant killjoy. But she really bugs me. Much like Jay Severin bugged the hell out of Globe columnist Scott Lehigh. Channel 5. The station that grabbed the FCC license from the old WHDH Channel 5 in the early 70s when they proved to the feds that WHDH wasn’t living up to it’s public benefit requirement. Or something like that. So just like that Boston Broadcasting Inc. (BBI) took over. Their investors made a ton of dough. Midnight on a Saturday they pulled the switched and that Sunday morning we had a brand new line-up. Anyone remember Sunday morning kids show Jabberwocky with JoBeth Williams? She went on to star in Poltergeist. But the real story was the quality of the newscast and the locally produced stuff. Chronicle is a survivor of a clan of great shows. How about Dr. Timothy Johnson and Atty. Arthur Miller? Millers Court? Both were the Channel 5 go to guys and were soon hired [...]
NEW GUY: Rich Davey is your new Bernard Cohen/James Aloisi/Jeff Mullan (WBUR). Welcome to the most popular job in state government.(Globe) TOURING WITH SCOTTO: Scott Brown’s on the move (Herald), talking about jobs (AP) and hating on the gas tax (T&G). Even John Kerry’s not thrilled about this one (Sun). SEE YA: Gov signs court reform bill, peaces out to Bermuda. (Globe) Read the rest of the MASSterList, including the Mitt Monitor, today’s legislative headlines, transportation news, new health care headlines, today’s Best of the Blogs and more by signing up for daily email alerts.
I’ll be a guest on the Emily Rooney show on WGBH radio (89.7 FM) today at noon. My usual partner-in-crime, Garrett Quinn, won’t be joining us; instead, it will be the week-in-review show, an hour-long chit-chat about what happened over the past week. The other guests are former Treasurer Shannon O’Brien, and the Pioneer Institute’s Charles Chieppo. Slow news week, though, huh? I wonder what we’ll talk about.