GOP Myopia · S&P Downgrades

GOP Presidential Candidates Ignore S&P’s ‘Blast At Republicans,’ Pin Downgrade Blame on Obama

The GOP’s ultimate goal is to make President Obama a one-term president.  Their strategy is simply to blame him for everything, even though the electorate and everyone in the media knows this current fiscal crisis is on them…

Think Progress

On Friday, the credit rating agency Standard & Poorsdowngraded the U.S. from AAA to AA+ in the first downgrade in U.S. history. In its release, S&P took Republicans to task for using the debt ceiling as a political football and refusing to consider new revenues as an option for reducing the country’s long-term deficit. As National Journal put it, “it’s hard to read the S&P analysis as anything other than a blast at Republicans.”

However, you wouldn’t know that from reading the statements the GOP presidential candidates released in the wake of S&P’s announcement. In their world, the downgrade was entirely due to government spending, and the way to turn things around is to balance the budget without raising any additional revenue:

MICHELE BACHMANN: “We were warned by all of the credit agencies that a failure to deal with our debt would lead to a downgrade in our credit rating, but instead he submitted a budget that had a $1.5 trillion deficit and then requested a $2.4 trillion blank check. President Obama is destroying the foundations of the U.S. economy one beam at a time. I call on the President to seek the immediate resignation of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and tosubmit a plan with a list of cuts to balance the budget this year, turn our economy around and put Americans back to work.”

MITT ROMNEY: “Standard & Poor’s rating downgrade is a deeply troubling indicator of our country’s decline under President Obama. His failed policies have led to high unemployment, skyrocketing deficits, and now, the unprecedented loss of our nation’s prized AAA credit rating.”

JON HUNTSMAN: “Out-of-control spending and a lack of leadership in Washington have resulted in President Obama presiding over the first downgrade of the United States credit rating in our history. For far too long we have let reckless government spending go unchecked and the cancerous debt afflicting our nation has spread.”

Tea Party

New York Times / CBS Poll Shows Negative View Of Tea Party Is On The Rise

No surprise here…

A poll organized by The New York Times and CBS has sought to measure the American public’s general impression of the Tea Party movement. According to poll results, people have gained a deeper awareness and knowledge of the movement over the past year and, with that, a more negative view. Specifically: Forty percent of Americans polled this week described their view of the Tea Party as “not favorable,” a substantial rise from 18 percent when the poll was conducted last year. Additionally, in April of 2010, 46 percent of those polled said they were not familiar enough with the movement to form an opinion, whereas, this year, 21 percent felt they had not heard enough about the Tea Party. Democrats were most likely to hold a negative view of the movement, although 40 percent of Independents polled said the Tea Party had “too much influence on the Republican Party.”

As Americans learn more about the Tea Party and the aims of the (many) factions within the movement, it appears that they feel a disconnect — particularly, it would appear, where the debt discussion is concerned:

The debate over the debt ceiling gave people a more concrete picture: Tea Party groups and members of the Tea Party caucus in the House and Senate — many of them elected in the Republican sweep of 2010 — insisted that they would not raise the debt ceiling under any circumstances. Members of the American public, meanwhile, including Tea Party supporters, were telling pollsters that they wanted compromise, not inflexibility.

Tea Party groups and lawmakers made debt reduction their priority, but many Americans said creating jobs was more important. And while many Republicans, influenced by the Tea Party, insisted that they would not allow any increases in tax revenue, a majority of Americans said debt reduction had to include higher taxes as well as lower spending.

And, now, a few questions for all of you: What are your feelings concerning the Tea Party? Has your awareness of the movement increased drastically in the past year? And what role do you think media coverage of the movement has had on your view?

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Thom Hartmann

Hartmann: It’s time ‘to abolish the institution of corporate personhood’

Raw Story

Russia Today host Thom Hartmann once again slammed the growth of big business power in America, asking the nation’s citizens to “abolish the institution of corporate personhood.

On his show Monday morning, the liberal host also added how the number of lobbyists has more than doubled from the last Congress, under Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leadership, to the current one led by John Boehner and the Republicans.

Watch: Video from Russia Today, August 8, 2011

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Michele Bachmann · Newsweek

Newsweek’s Michele Bachmann Cover Raises Eyebrows

Huffington Post

Newsweek’s latest issue features a Michele Bachmann cover that’s sure to stir up controversy.

The cover shows Bachmann standing against a stark blue background, looking directly into the camera with a wide-eyed expression. The headline advertising the magazine’s story reads, “THE QUEEN OF RAGE.”

“Rage” is a word that doesn’t appear in Newsweek’s actual profile of Bachmann, though author Lois Romano does criticize what she calls the “radical” nature of the Tea Party that Bachmann champions.

Conservative websites are already crying foul over the cover, with some saying it makes Bachmann look “crazy” and one blogger asking, “Can anyone really say with a straight face that the mainstream media is not totally biased against conservatives?”

It’s not the first time Newsweek has faced conservative backlash for a cover. In June, the magazine portrayed Mitt Romney as one of the stars of the Broadway show “The Book of Mormon.” And, of course, it drew widespread criticism for itsinfamous Sarah Palin cover in 2009.

See the Bachmann cover below, and tell us whether you think it crosses a line.

Tea Party Downgrade

Kerry calls lower credit rating a ‘Tea Party downgrade’

According to Little Green Footballs, the right-wing media is whining incessantly about Senator John Kerry’s description of the S&P downgrade:

Right wing blogs are all in a huff today because Sen. John Kerry said the dreaded words, “Tea Party downgrade.”

“This is the Tea Party downgrade because a minority of people in the House of Representatives countered even the will of many Republicans in the United States Senate who were prepared to do a bigger deal,” Kerry said today on NBC’s “Meet the Press.’’

What I don’t get: Tea Party leaders wished out loud for the US to default on its debt payments, so why are they whining now when people blame them for the S&P downgrade?

I mean, they didn’t get everything they wanted; they didn’t get to cause a full-fledged economic disaster. But they did manage to force the first US credit downgrade in history, and that’s not too shabby. Maybe next time the apocalypse.

Be proud, Teabaggers! It’s what you wanted. Own it.

Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts called Friday’s lowering of the US credit rating a “Tea Party downgrade,” as finger-pointing continued over the decision by a top credit rating agency.

“This is the Tea Party downgrade because a minority of people in the House of Representatives countered even the will of many Republicans in the United States Senate who were prepared to do a bigger deal,” Kerry said today on NBC’s “Meet the Press.’’

John McCain, who followed Kerry on the program, defended Tea Party conservatives, saying they were fulfilling the promises they made when they ran for Congress last fall.

“For them to then agree to tax increases and spending increases was obviously a repudiation of the mandate they felt they had from last November,” the Arizona Republican said.

The comments from the two senior members of the Senate came in the aftermath of Friday’s decision from Standard & Poor’s to lower the US long-term credit rating from AAA to AA+, which the agency had warned was a possibility.

The decision came despite passage last week of a $2.5 trillion deficit reduction plan, which S&P officials said was insufficient. The White House has been deeply critical of S&P’s decision, while the company has defended it.

Continue reading here…

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