AUG. 8, 2011, NEWS UPDATE
U.S. credit rating downgraded from AAA to AA+ by Standard and Poor's, a ratings agency with low Standards and a Poor performance rating.
S & P said "political brinksmanship" during debt ceiling debate made America's ability to manage its finances "less stable, less effective, less predictable." Are you listening, GOP?
President Obama responds in typical namby-pamby fashion, saying U.S. will always be a triple-A rated country. So, Mr. President, that's why the market dropped 600 points?
Treasury Secretary Tim Geitner reacted more forcefully, saying S & P exercised "terrible judgement." Not as terrible as the judgement it exercised (or didn't exercise) in rating toxic mortgage-backed bonds during the financial crisis.
Geitner also says that despite rumors, he's staying as Treasury Secretary. Guess he took a look at that 9.1% unemployment figure and figured as long as he had a job, he might as well hold on to it.
Obama advisor David Axelrod and Sen. John Kerry labled S & P's action the "Tea Party downgrade." Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean noted the Tea Party folks must be "smoking it, not just drinking it." Actually, Gov. Dean, what they're drinking is the Kool-Aid supplied by right-wing extremists.
Republicans blame Obama for credit rating downgrade. Now there's a surprise. They create a mess and then criticize him for not shoveling it up.
Polls show Congress has an approval rating of 14%-the lowest ever. Didn't know its members had that many relatives.
In Italy, police raid Milan offices of S & P and Moody's, another ratings agency, as part of investigation into their roles in ongoing financial turmoil. You paying attention, Mr. Obama?
Germany, France and The Netherlands said to be planning to buy Greek bonds to help Athens cope with financial crisis.....So where's George Soros when you need him?
President Obama planning three-day bus tour in Midwest to "listen" to people about jobs and the economy. What was it you said about the credit downgrade, Sir? "We don't need a ratings agency to tell us about the gridlock in Washington?"...........Well you don't need a campaign-style three-day "listening" tour in the Midwest to find out what's wrong with the economy. You've "listened" enough-it's time to start leading. It's time to go on the warpath with the CEO's of all those corporations with record profits and lotsa cash and demand they start providing more jobs.
It's time to get down in the trenches with the Congressional Republicans and stop trying to win their cooperation. If you don't understand that they're not going to do anything at all to help the country because they think it will help you politically, then you're going to be a one-termer. And don't count on a weak Republican candidate. Remember 1968, when the Democrats' most liberal wing abandoned Hubert Humphrey, even if it meant Richard Nixon would win.
You may be a nice man, Mr. President, but nobody is afraid of you. Time to play offense.
Speaking of weak Republican candidates, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who's still waiting for God to call him to run, staged a large prayer rally in Houston. He called on Jesus to guide the nation's military and political leaders. It brought to mind Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's sarcastic question about the influence of The Vatican during World War II, "How many divisions does the Pope have?"
So it might be appropriate to ask Gov. Perry, "How many jobs can Jesus provide?"
In incident dripping with irony, several Navy Seals from unit which killed Osama bin Laden died when their helicopter shot down in Afghanistan. Thirty Americans killed in all. Where's the outrage? We've been there for 10 years!!! At an estimated cost of $300 million per day.....Why??? We didn't go into Afghanistan to build a corrupt, incompetent government...we went in to deny al Qaeda a safe haven. But they now have safe haven in Pakistan, so why stay in Afghanistan? Besides, top American intelligence officials claim Al Qaeda is virtually moribund.
I abhor the prospect of the Taliban taking over, but I detest even more the certainty of more American soldiers dying there---for what will turn out to be, as in Vietnam--nothing.
On lighter note, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" wins weekend box office. No, it's not a movie about the Republicans in Congress.