America was reminded today that the stock market doesn't have a terminal velocity. When we weren't engaging in accidental class warfare with Shaq, we were preparing ourselves for the upcoming moneyless winter by insulating our clothes with pages from "Dow 36,000." And the House is eliminating the page program, but not for the sick, sick reasons you probably imagine, you sleazy, twisted weirdo. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, August 8th, 2011:
MARKET PLUMMETS (AGAIN) - Ouch ... again! On the first day of trading after the S&P decided to downgrade America's credit rating to AA+, the market fell faster and harder than a J. McLaughlin-clad Vanderbilt alum at 3:00 am outside of Smith Point (these are the only people in D.C. who still have money so familiarize yourself closely with the constituent parts of that joke). The Dow was down -634.76, or -5.55 percent. The Nasdaq was down -174.72, or -6.9 percent. And -- get this -- the S&P was down ... 6.66 percent. Jesus! Wait, no, not Jesus ... Satan!. Treasury yields actually dropped as people flocked to government bonds for the security that the good people at S&P think is in doubt. Remove the pliers fixed on your gold fillings, America. This baby could turn around! Right? [HuffPost]
Or is it the MAYAN CALENDAR???? - @ylanmui: It's 8/8 and the S&P is down 6.66% and the Dow is down 5.55%. Time to buy a lotto ticket?
PRESIDENT OBAMA ADDRESSES S&P DOWNGRADE, DOESN'T HELP - President Obama was nearly an hour late delivering his statement on the S&P downgrade, either because he wanted to wait to see if the market would rebound or because he had to finish tallying the results of his office's "How Low Will It Go?" pool. Whatever the case, it didn't go well. The market continued to plummet while the president delivered his remarks and the DIJA actually fell below 11,000 DURING THE SPEECH. Oh, God, won't somebody think of the optics! Nevertheless, the president insisted that the country's credit "remains AAA" and added that "What we need to do now is to combine those spending cuts with two additional steps: tax reform that will ask those who can afford it to pay their fair share and modest adjustments to health care programs like Medicare." Whatever you say! Now if you excuse us, we have a chest of Spanish doubloons that we need to bury somewhere. [NYT]
Two weeks ago, Neil Cavuto and John Stossel discussed the salubrious nature of a downgrade. "I would welcome a downgrade," Cavuto said, "I really would. I think it would be the pain from which we have a gain." Stossel seemed to agree, adding, "Maybe that would wake people up." Good luck sticking to that, guys!
CANTOR TO CONFERENCE: DON'T LET ECONOMIC CATASTROPHE MAKE YOU THINK ABOUT TAXING RICH PEOPLE - In a memo to the Republican House conference, Majority Leader Eric Cantor today urged his colleagues to not to let downgrade-related pressures sway them in the party's ongoing effort to let wealthy Americans trickle down prosperity to the rest of us. "In short, there will be pressure to compromise on tax increases. We will be told that there is no other way forward. I respectfully disagree," Cantor wrote. "I firmly believe we can find bipartisan agreement on savings from mandatory programs that can be agreed to without tax increases. I believe this is what we must demand from the Joint Committee as it begins its work." [TPM]
HEH - @SHAQ: u havin a happy monday? i am
@HuffPostHill: -410.66 RT @SHAQ: u havin a happy monday? i am
@SHAQ: @HuffPostHill ouch
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - President Obama said today that Congress ought to reauthorize extended unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless. That's gonna be tricky because Eric Cantor recently said he wouldn't go for it unless the cost is offset with spending cuts. The benefits were part of the "grand bargain," which failed, and now Democratic lawmakers will need to find something else benefits can be attached to. DDD has been asking Democrats if they have some kind of plan. Seems like they don't. Unfortunately there is also now plan to increase employment. :-(
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The Obama administration today announced it will offer states waivers from the No Child Left Behind program. The get-out-of-testing-jail free cards will be handed out to states that meet "other school reform requirements." Participating states will be allowed to avoid the NCLB deadline of 2014 when schools will be expected to have 100 percent proficiency in reading and math standardized tests. Eight percent of schools would be labeled as failing if that deadline were kept. Feeling better about the economy? [AP]
RICK PERRY TO CUT THE BULLSHIT THIS SATURDAY - During a speech this weekend, Rick Perry will announce that he is, in fact, seeking the presidency. About damn time! The Texas governor is slated to appear at a RedState conference in Charleston, during which he will make his intentions known. The announcement will come the same day as the Ames straw poll, essentially negating whatever benefit that may provide the winner/candidates with unexpectedly strong showings. Man, whodathunk the Republicans would nominate a swashbuckling Texas governor for president after the last guy? It's as if Washington would back a major bailout of financial institutions after what happened in 2008. What's that? Bank of America's stock fell 20 percent today? Oh. [Politico]
RICK PERRY HOSTS HIS JESUS 4 PERRY EVENT, NO ONE FAZED - The Texas governor held his massive prayer rally, "The Response," this weekend and, by all accounts, it was a raging success! Never mind that some 30,000 people showed up to a nakedly political event and beseeched almighty Zombie Carpenter from Nazareth to advance the career of a politician who got a C in horse mating in college, the optics were phenomenal. Chris Cillizza was blown away! He wrote the event "amounted to a major political gamble that paid off for the Texas Republican" and quoted Mark McKinnon who raved that it was "a pretty bold move for a guy about to throw his hat in the ring...There were so many ways the event could have gone wrong ... it came off pretty smoothly overall." What a smooth operator! What a great time for another Great Awakening! Jesus will turn water into our restored AAA rating! Religion isn't the opiate of the people, it's the series of austerity measures that will bring America back to the top! [WaPo]
A Rasmussen survey finds that nearly 30 percent of Americans view Tea Party activists as "terrorists". How's that New Tone working out for ya? Fifty-five percent of respondents disagree with Joe Biden's alleged assessment that a bunch of people who sit on lawn chairs at political rallies while clapping approvingly at feel-good populist statements while wearing pantaloons are akin to people who hijack planes and slam them into densely populated buildings. Forty-three percent of likely voters, a plurality, believe the Tea Party has made things worse for the country. Everything is hopeless. [Rasmussen]
HOUSE LEADERS ANNOUNCE END OF PAGE PROGRAM - The one thing that has made Hill interns feel good about themselves for over 170 years will soon end, John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi announced today via a memo to staffers. The two leaders cited a 2008 study that found the program to be utterly pointless. "Changes in technology have obviated the need for most Page services," was listed as the first reason while "The program's high costs are difficult to justify, especially in light of diminished benefits to the House," was the second. On that second point, Boehner and Pelosi elaborated that "The study calculated per-Page costs for a two-semester school year of $69,000-$80,000 per year, depending on the size of each semester's class." But what will Mark Foley cry at now? [HuffPost's Elise (no relation) Foley]
@ryanbeckwith: Sen. Harry Reid's office confirms that Senate page program is not ending.
ROMNEY TO OBAMA: BLAH BLAH BLAH ECONOMY BLAH BLAH BLAH - "The failure of the president to reignite this economy and get people back to work is one of the reasons we're seeing such high levels of deficit and why the debt continues to grow at such an alarming rate," the former Massachusetts governor said to reporters before a campaign event in Concord, New Hampshire today. Romney rarely makes himself available to the press like this (see below), so the fruit must have been so low-hanging that it was touching grass (and with the Dow down 600-plus points, there was some terrestrial fruit to be had today). [HuffPost's Jon Ward]
@RunninScaredNYC: Here's What Steve Buscemi Would Look Like With Michele Bachmann Eyes http://bit.ly/nHOCDU
Mitt Romney today responded to criticism that he sat out the entire debt ceiling debate. "I think it was June 30, I came out and signed the 'cut, cap and balance' proposal," Romney said during an appearance at the New Hampshire Chamber of Commerce. "I don't think you can be any clearer than that." While Romney did, in fact, add his name to the proposal, he didn't actually weigh in on any of the major developments, including John Boehner's proposal that actually came up for a vote and, had it passed the Senate, would've gone to the president's desk for a signature. So, when President Romney doesn't deploy troops when China invades but instead references his campaign pledge to put America's security first, don't be surprised. [GOP12]
@daveweigel: Bachmann telling all-pale Iowa crowd about Obama's effect on black, Hispanic unemployment. Heads nod
Donald Trump weighed in on what he would do if he were named Treasury secretary. The remarks stemmed from a suggestion by Mike Huckabee that President Pawlenty or whoever appoint the outspoken reality TV star to lead Treasury. "I'll tell you, it would be very painful for China, it would be very painful for OPEC, it would be very painful for many of the countries that are just ripping us off," Trump said on Fox News (and the wording of Huckabee's suggestion was so faux-D.C. awful that if don't you think it's vomit-inducing, we don't want you reading our newsletter: "[B]ringing Donald Trump in is a real optical game changer."). Since random cable news fixtures are suggesting cabinet jobs for reality TV stars, has anyone asked Nancy Grace whether she thinks Stephen Baldwin would do a good job of leading the VA? [CNN]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Kitten helps change tires.
JEREMY'S WEATHER REPORT - Tonight: It will be in the high-70s, but the humidity won't help. It's going to feel like a swamp -- no surprise, I know, considering the summer. Tomorrow: Highs in the low-90s, with decent humidity. We're just north of a stalled front, so expect thunderstorms in the afternoon, with the possibility of severe storms depending on how the atmosphere shakes out. Thanks, JB!
- KITTEN IN A TEACUP. KITTEN IN A TEACUP. KITTEN IN A TEACUP. [http://huff.to/psMaw9]
- Tiny Bear feels like fightin'. Tiny Bear can't fight. One day, Tiny Bear will destroy. [http://huff.to/oY0GCD]
- Wilco's Jeff Tweedy has a side project with his kids. How cute! How Brooklyn! Here's video for one of its songs. [http://huff.to/q2vo48]
- Maybe the most inappropriate cover for a "Sesame Street" book ever.[http://huff.to/nxDyt8]
- We're suckers for anything Anthony Bourdain does -- he's kind of like your dorky uncle who tries to be cool -- and his "Real Time" appearance was phenomenal. [http://huff.to/ptCr9x]
- Slow-motion owl. [http://huff.to/oy3Ev4]
- Ducks cross road, society comes to a stand-still. [http://huff.to/pIPUsW]
- The Earth might not have needed the Moon to give birth to living organisms. [http://huff.to/oy4EVj]
@delrayser: Obama: "I don't care what S&P says, on eBay the other day we were rated AAAAAAAA+++ BOND SELLER! WOULD LOAN MONEY AGAIN!"
@LizMair: I feel like that press conf woulda been better if he'd yelled "they may take our AAA rating, but they'll never take our... FREEDOM!"
@jaketapper: I saw Bo today. He's been downgraded to a cat.
@JC_Christian: I rt'd someone else's rt of Palin saying we'd get AAA rating if we allowed prayer in schools, but I don't see it in her timeline
Sundown: Are you in Crystal City? We're sorry! However, make your time in D.C.'s kneepit less insufferable by heading to the latest installment of the Crystal Screen outdoor film series. This week, it's The 40 Year Old Virgin [1851 S Bell Street, Crystal City].
All Day: Robert Latta is the beneficiary of an all-day golf fudnraiser. John Boehner is scheduled to attend, because if there's a game of golf in Ohio, you better believe he's up. Perhaps more significantly, we might get more photos of John Boehner in one of his patented (and dare we say, "hot"??) polo-shirt-golf-shorts outfits [Inverness Golf Club, 4691 Door Street, Toledo].
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