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7:40 PM ET, August 5, 2011


 Top Items: 
Political Punch:
Govt officials: US expecting S&P downgrade — based on “serious mistake” in analysis*  —  Two government officials tell ABC News that the federal government is expecting and preparing for bond rating agency Standard & Poor's to downgrade the rating of US debt from its current AAA value.
Kate Kelly / CNBC:
US Braces for Possible S&P Downgrade: Source  —  U.S. government officials are bracing for the rating agency Standard & Poor's to downgrade the country's credit as early as this evening or take other possible action, according to someone familiar with the matter.
Discussion: CNN and Questions and Observations
Joe Weisenthal / Politics:
S&P DOWNGRADE WATCH: Furious Behind The Scenes War Going On Over Threat To Remove US AAA Rating  —  There was crazy chatter about this earlier, and now CNBC is reporting that the government is preparing for a possible downgrade from S&P.  —  Remember, during the debt ceiling fight …
Megan McArdle / The Atlantic Online:
US Faces Ratings Downgrade from S&P
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Govt official: US expecting S&P downgrade
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Leary /
Obama's Hip-Hop BBQ Didn't Create Jobs  —  POLITICO EXCLUSIVE — The President's private 50th birthday bash, not listed on his public schedule: His gift to the press corps was a travel/photo lid shortly after 4 p.m., prompting what pooler Julie Mason called “general cheering in WH workspace.”
Media Matters / Media Matters for America:
Tanya Somanader / ThinkProgress:
Fox Nation Reports On Obama's Birthday: 'Obama's Hip-Hop BBQ Didn't Create Jobs'
Jason Cherkis / The Huffington Post:
Rick Perry's College Transcript: A Lot Of Cs and Ds … WASHINGTON — As governor of Texas, Rick Perry has pursued a controversial agenda that would gut Texas' vaunted public university system in favor of something that more closely resembles a business.  —  As the Washington Post reported on Thursday …
The Note:
Rick Perry's Religious Event Mired in Controversy  —  ABC News' Arlette Saenz (@arlettesaenz) reports:  —  A prayer event initiated by Texas Governor Rick Perry will take place tomorrow in Houston, Texas, but the religious revival is mired in controversy concerning exclusion of non-Christian religions …
Discussion: CNN, ThinkProgress and The Daily Caller
William Saunders / The Politico:
Rick Perry is half-right on abortion
State Patrol called in, youth policy imposed after violence at State Fair  —  By Don Walker and Mike Johnson of the Journal Sentinel  —  Gov. Scott Walker has ordered the Wisconsin State Patrol to provide additional law enforcement help at the Wisconsin State Fair after several incidents …
Discussion: Pajamas Media
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
The Incredible Shrinking Tea Party  —  If there's one thing the debt ceiling battle revealed, it's that the Tea Party continues to enjoy outsized influence in Washington in general and over the GOP in particular.  —  So it's interesting to note that according to the internals of today's New York Times poll …
Ta-Nehisi Coates / The Atlantic Online:
A Modest Proposal  —  Reading this...  And thinking back on this, by the same writer...  It occurs to me that we really need a world with more murders, more failing schools, more grocery stores with rotting vegetables, more bodegas with old milk, more teen-pregnancy, more homeless, more crack …
Sam Roberts / New York Times:
Striking Change in Bedford-Stuyvesant as the White Population Soars
Discussion: Gothamist
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Why Democrats are very nervous about Wisconsin  —  Publicly, Democrats are projecting great confidence about the likelihood of taking back the Wisconsin state senate in the upcoming recall elections.  They claim their private polling shows them ahead or tied in all six races targeting GOPers for recall …
Discussion: Daily Kos and The Mahablog
Shushannah Walshe / ABCNEWS:
$30 Million Pouring In to Influence Wisconsin Recall Elections
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Wrong Worries  —  In case you had any doubts, Thursday's more than 500-point plunge in the Dow Jones industrial average and the drop in interest rates to near-record lows confirmed it: The economy isn't recovering, and Washington has been worrying about the wrong things.
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Video: They're still not listening to Rick Santelli  —  Want to see a microcosm of everything that's been wrong with American economic policy over the last couple of years?  Watch this exchange between Ezra Klein and Rick Santelli from earlier today on MSNBC's Morning Joe.
RealClearPolitics Video Log:
John Kerry: Media Has “Responsibility” To “Not Give Equal Time” To Tea Party  —  Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) told MSNBC's “Morning Joe” on Friday that the media has the responsibility to not give equal time or credence to the Tea Party's views: SEN. JOHN KERRY: “And I have to tell you, I say this to you politely.
Mitchel Maddux / New York Post:
‘Rent is Too Damn High’ candidate facing eviction from rent-controlled apartment  —  The man who ran for governor because the “Rent is Too Damn High” claims he's being kicked out of his Manhattan apartment — because the rent is too damn low!  —  Jimmy McMillan says he pays $872.96 …
Tanya Somanader / ThinkProgress:
Cantor Opposes Extending Unemployment Benefits: We Need To Stop ‘Pumping Up’ Jobless Americans  —  The unemployment rate inched downwards to 9.1 percent today, with private sector jobs increasing by 154,000.  While a slight improvement, these better-than-expected figures provide little comfort …
James Pethokoukis:
Can Obama's 2012 hopes survive 9%+ unemployment? … The consensus used to be that President Obama might be OK if the jobless rate fell below 8 percent by Election Day.  That seems increasingly unlikely.  The economy is, at best, in slow-growth mode, just churning and churning, creating few jobs.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Pajamas Media
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
Obama ‘smarter’ than critics, says Alan Simpson  —  Former Sen. Alan Simpson, a Republican who co-chaired President Barack Obama's fiscal commission, says that the president is “a little bit smarter” than some of his critics, who “ought to give it up.”  —  Simpson, who represented Wyoming …
Discussion: The Spot and Weasel Zippers
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
The FAA shutdown and the new rules of Washington  —  Congressman John Mica, the Florida Republican blamed for single-handedly shutting down the Federal Aviation Administration, sounded like a beaten man when he called me Thursday evening.  —  The usually biting chairman …
Julie Mason / Reuters:
White House has new talking points  —  Austan Goolsbee: Jobs!  Bickering!  Brrrains!!!!!  —  If only Congress would pass patent reform!  The White House has found the guilty parties behind that dismal June jobs report — and they include failure to act on trade deals and that old Washington bugaboo: bickering.
Kathie Obradovich / Iowa Caucuses:
Santorum: Courts have created ‘super-right’ of sexual liberty  —  GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, talking about same-sex marriage, said today that the courts have created a right to “sexual liberty” that diminishes the right to religious liberty.  —  Santorum was meeting with the Register editorial board this morning.
Discussion: ThinkProgress and TPMDC
Joy Pullman / Washington Examiner:
Teachers union disavows internal memo endorsing deception of parents  —  American Federation of Teachers officials have disavowed an internal report after it was posted on the union's website following its annual conference, embedded on each of its 19 pages with the union's logo and signed by a union official.
Discussion: and Pajamas Media
Rasmussen Reports:
54% Think Obama's Reelection At Least Somewhat Likely  —  Most voters think President Obama has a good shot at being reelected next year, even if he continues to pursue tax increases as part of any future deficit reduction plan.  —  Fifty-four percent (54%) of Likely U.S. Voters feel …
Discussion: Daily Pundit
Marc Stewart /
TSA Confiscates Pregnant Woman's Insulin, Ice Packs  —  Security Tells Woman Isulin Vial Was An Explosives Risk  —  DENVER — A Denver couple has filed a formal complaint with the Transportation Security Administration after a pregnant woman's insulin and ice packs were confiscated by screeners at Denver International Airport.
Paul Krugman:
Pulling Rank  —  John Quiggin has some fun with an economist named Stephen Williamson who attacks his work from a position of robust ignorance; Noah Smith has even more fun.  —  I'll pass the specific arguments by, and note another feature of this “debate” that has struck …
M.S. / Democracy in America:
Adventures in tea-party cognitive dissonance  —  THIS (gated, sorry) was the most amazing thing I read today.  It's a couple of weeks old, but bear with me here.  It comes from a post by Judson Phillips, the Tennessee lawyer who heads Tea Party Nation, a far-right pressure group …
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 More Items: 
Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge:
Average Length Of Unemployment Surges To New All Time Record 40.4 Weeks
Discussion: Don Surber
Jennifer Steinhauer / New York Times:
Sometimes a Day in Congress Takes Seconds, Gavel to Gavel
Discussion: Wonkette
Hugh Son / Bloomberg:
Bank of America Says Mortgage Buyback Claims May Exceed Prior Estimate
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
Postal Service delivers more bad news, reports $3.1B loss
Discussion: The Politico
Lee Fang / ThinkProgress:
VIDEO: Security Guards At American Legislative Exchange Council Conference Physically Attack ThinkProgress Reporters
Adam Serwer / Washington Post:
GOP austerity agenda damaging Obama's reelection chances
 Earlier Items: 
Cindy Adams / New York Post:
Harvey hosts O money meal
Noah / Noahpinion:
Supply-side vs. demand-side recessions
Charles Krauthammer / National Review:
The Solution  —  A three-stage compromise to reduce the debt on a scale never before seen
Discussion: FrumForum
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
Roseanne sets sights on White House
Discussion: The Politico, ThinkProgress and Hot Air
Hilary Gowins / Northwest Herald:
Walsh tries to clear air at town hall-style meeting
Discussion: Hotline On Call and The Hill