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2:30 PM ET, August 8, 2011

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Economics of Contempt:
On S&P, Downgrades, and Idiots  —  This is not going to be one of those posts that laments S&P's decision to downgrade the US, but then says that S&P was probably right about our oh-so-dysfunctional political system.  —  No, S&P was flat-out wrong — no caveats.
RELATED:
Paul Krugman:
Aaauuuggghhh!  Market Commentary Edition  —  Carnage in stock markets as I write — and all of the headlines I see attribute it to S&P's downgrade.  —  They really are trying to make my head explode, aren't they?  —  Once again: S&P declared that US debt is no longer a safe investment …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Credibility, Chutzpah And Debt  —  To understand the furor over the decision by Standard & Poor's, the rating agency, to downgrade U.S. government debt, you have to hold in your mind two seemingly (but not actually) contradictory ideas.  The first is that America is indeed no longer the stable, reliable country it once was.
Andy Kroll / Mother Jones:
VIDEO: Tea Partiers Cheer the Downgrade of America's Credit Rating  —  Is the tea party happy that Standard and Poor's, the credit rating agency, downgraded the United States' credit rating for the first time ever?  —  You'd think that was the case if you were in the crowd at a tea party rally …
Patrick Allen / CNBC:
No Chance of Default, US Can Print Money: Greenspan  —  Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan on Sunday ruled out the chance of a US default following S&P's decision to downgrade America's credit rating.  —  “The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that.
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
DNC chair blames Tea Party ‘tyrants’ for S&P credit rating downgrade
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Zeke Faux / Bloomberg:
S&P Seen Surrendering to Tea Party Costing U.S. Taxpayer
Discussion: The Note and The Huffington Post
Ryan Lizza / New Yorker:
LEAP OF FAITH … - POLITICS - PROFILES - THE TALK OF THE TOWN - COMMENT - THIS WEEK'S ISSUE - THE FINANCIAL PAGE - NEWS DESK - THE POLITICAL SCENE
RELATED:
First Read / msnbc.com:
Bachmann attends church service denouncing homosexuality  —  WAUKEE, IA — Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann yesterday attended a church here in Iowa, where the pastor called homosexuality “immoral” and “unnatural,” and later showed a testimonial video from a man who claimed …
Rasmussen Reports:
Iowa Caucus: Bachmann, Romney and Paul on Top  —  In the Iowa caucus race for the Republican presidential nomination, five candidates are in double digits, and many voters are open to changing their mind before caucus day arrives.  —  The first Rasmussen Reports telephone survey …
RELATED:
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Perry to visit NH and SC while presidential candidates gather in Iowa
Discussion: unionleader.com, The Note and GOP 12
Rasmussen Reports:
29% Say Tea Party Members Are Terrorists, 55% Disagree
Michelle Malkin:
The Conservative Crazy Eyes Cliche & Other Stupid MSM Photo Tricks  —  Sigh.  Seriously, Tina Brown?  —  Yes, I'm talking about you, Oxford University-educated Newsweek/Daily Beast editor Tina Brown.  —  You've resorted to recycling bottom-of-the-barrel moonbat photo cliches …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Romney defends silence during debt-limit fight in Congress  —  Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) pushed back Monday at critics of his relative silence during the debt-ceiling fight in Congress, saying his position was “clear” all along.  —  Romney said he felt no need to weigh …
Discussion: GOP 12
RELATED:
Carol E. Lee / Washington Wire:
Axelrod Hits Romney, Calling Reaction to S&P Downgrade ‘Pathetic’
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Markets open low as White House pushes back on S&P downgrade
Discussion: The Hill and The Reaction
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
Waiting For A Landslide  —  In 1955, a political scientist named V. O. Key published an essay entitled “A Theory of Critical Elections.”  He argued that realignments in American politics are usually punctuated by transformative elections, in which the old order suddenly gives way and a new majority emerges in its place.
A.Killough / CNN:
CNN Poll: Economic pessimism skyrockets  —  Washington (CNN) - Americans have a bad case of the economic jitters, as recent drops in the stock market have been accompanied by a sharp rise in the public's economic pessimism, according to a new national poll.  —  And a CNN/ORC International …
Walter Russell Mead / Via Meadia:
American Tinderbox  —  For some time now, residents of some US cities have noted occasional incidents of seemingly random, racially motivated violence in which young Black males are involved.  The hot weather and bad economy seem to be combining to generate a small but possibly significant uptick this year.
John R. Bolton / Human Events:
On Deck: Why I May Run for President  —  Adam Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations that “the first duty of the sovereign, that of protecting the society from the violence and invasion of other independent societies, can be performed only by means of a military force.”
Paul Krugman:
A Self-Fulfilling Euro Crisis?  (Wonkish)  —  There will probably be big action in the euro zone tomorrow; so, some quick analytical notes.  —  The big question, I believe, is whether the Italian and maybe Spanish crises are the kind of thing that might be brought under control by ECB bond purchases.
Paul Krugman:
It's a Growth Scare  —  FTalphaville has been saying this all day, and it's right.  The action in the markets looks nothing like worries about US solvency; it looks exactly like what you expect to see when markets suddenly realize that the economy's growth prospects look terrible.
Discussion: Grasping Reality …
Matthew Yglesias / ThinkProgress:
Poor People Own Appliances Because They're Cheap  —  My colleagues Melissa Boteach and Donna Cooper have a great piece on the Heritage Foundation's “poor people aren't actually poor because they own cheap electronics” theory of poverty.  This infographic nicely highlights the silliness …
Discussion: Eschaton
David Catanese / The Politico:
Wis. Dem memo: Victory predictions “dangerous”  —  MADISON Wis. — Democrats on the ground here are increasingly confident they will pick-up two state Senate seats, but are warning that winning the third necessary for a takeover is a tenuous prospect.  —  Despite hype from some in the party apparatus …
Discussion: Daily Kos, Althouse and National Review
Kevin Drum / Mother Jones:
The Price of Rural Life  —  The LA Times warns budget cutters, who are disproportionately from non-urban districts, who the big losers are likely to be from their efforts: … Another good example is the postal service.  Mail volume is down and they're hemmorhaging money …
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Washington Post
Peter Schroeder / The Hill:
Moody's says it could also downgrade if Washington punts on dealing with debt  —  The nation could lose its top credit rating from yet another rater over the next year if policymakers lose their grip on fiscal discipline, Moody's Investors Service said Monday.
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Obama Job Approval 50% or Higher in 16 States and D.C.  —  Idaho residents least approving, at 27%  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Residents of 16 states and the District of Columbia gave President Obama approval ratings of 50% or higher during the first half of 2011, led by the District of Columbia, Connecticut, Maryland, and Delaware.
 
 
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 More Items: 
CNN:
Racially motivated attack on video
Discussion: Colorlines and pandagon.net
Emily Schultheis / Ben Smith's Blog:
Bachmann disavows labor bill, cites ‘bad information’
Discussion: Daily Kos
Matthew Yglesias / ThinkProgress:
The Unappeasable Financial Markets
Discussion: Modeled Behavior
Matthew Kalman / Daily Mail:
Families of suicide bombers given £5m in British aid cash
Washington Post:
When historic preservation interferes with modern preferences
Discussion: The Atlantic Online and Hit & Run
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Perry team raising money, supporter says announcement next week
 Earlier Items: 
Scott Adams / Wall Street Journal:
The Heady Thrill of Having Nothing to Do
Discussion: Pajamas Media
Abby Phillip / The Politico:
Duncan to issue ‘No Child’ waivers
Discussion: New York Magazine
Daily Mail:
Explosive Jackie O tapes ‘reveal how she believed Johnson killed JFK and had affair with movie star’