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3:50 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.
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
DNC chairwoman blames Tea Party ‘tyrants’ for US credit-rating downgrade
David Jackson / USA Today:
Obama: Downgrade should create ‘renewed sense of urgency’
Discussion: nation.foxnews.com and Doug Ross
Carol E. Lee / Washington Wire:
Axelrod Hits Romney, Calling Reaction to S&P Downgrade ‘Pathetic’
The Politico:
Rick Perry to make 2012 intentions clear Saturday  —  Rick Perry intends to use a speech in South Carolina Saturday to make clear that he's running for president, POLITICO has learned.  —  According to two sources familiar with the plan, the Texas governor will remove any doubt …
RELATED:
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Perry to visit NH and SC while presidential candidates gather in Iowa
Discussion: CNN, The Note and Pajamas Media
John McCormick / Bloomberg:
Republicans Who Want to Replace Obama Will Focus Attacks in Iowa This Week
Discussion: GOP 12 and The Daily Caller
The Note:
Tim Pawlenty: Mine Is ‘Not A Shooting Star Campaign’
Discussion: GOP 12
unionleader.com:
Rick Perry to attend NH house party this Saturday
Discussion: GOP 12, msnbc.com and The Page
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 …
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 …
RELATED:
Tommy Christopher / Mediaite:
Does The Michele Bachmann Newsweek Cover Make Her ‘Look Crazy’?  —  Conservative media watchdog Newsbusters is helpfully defending GOP presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-MN) honor against those serial cover photo offenders at Newsweek, excoriating the magazine for using …
Discussion: Gawker
Rasmussen Reports:
Iowa Caucus: Bachmann, Romney and Paul on Top
Rasmussen Reports:
29% Say Tea Party Members Are Terrorists, 55% Disagree
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.
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
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.
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 …
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.”
Justin Elliott / Salon:
The abortion that Mitt doesn't talk about anymore  —  In a 1994 Senate debate with Ted Kennedy, Mitt Romney revealed a startling chapter from his past: A close relative had died many years earlier in a botched illegal abortion, shaping Romney's stance in favor of safe and legal access to abortion for all women.
Discussion: TBogg
Jonathan Chait / The New Republic:
Drew Westen's Nonsense  —  There are some strong criticisms to be made of the Obama administration from the left, especially concerning Obama's passive response to the debt ceiling hostage crisis, and his frightening willingness to give away the store to John Boehner.  I've made many of these criticisms myself.
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Obama's horrifyingly bad speech  —  He was a half hour late.  His head turned from side to side as if he were attending a tennis match.  He practically never looked in the camera, as if he were averting our gaze.  And those were the strong parts of President Obama's disastrous speech.
CNN:
Racially motivated attack on video  —  Editor's note: The following story contains language some readers may consider offensive.  —  Jackson, Mississippi (CNN) — On a recent Sunday morning just before dawn, two carloads of white teenagers drove to Jackson, Mississippi …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Scott Keyes / ThinkProgress:
PHOTOS: Anti-LGBT Literature Widely Distributed At Right-Wing ALEC Conference
John Woolfolk / Mercury News:
Housing authority taps federal funds to boost employee retirements
Discussion: Hit & Run
Kevin Drum / Mother Jones:
The Price of Rural Life
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Washington Post
Emily Schultheis / Ben Smith's Blog:
Bachmann disavows labor bill, cites ‘bad information’
Discussion: Daily Kos
A.Killough / CNN:
CNN Poll: Economic pessimism skyrockets
Peter Schroeder / The Hill:
Moody's says it could also downgrade if Washington punts on dealing with debt
 Earlier Items: 
Matthew Yglesias / ThinkProgress:
The Unappeasable Financial Markets
Discussion: Modeled Behavior
Walter Russell Mead / Via Meadia:
American Tinderbox  —  For some time now, residents of some US cities …
Matthew Kalman / Daily Mail:
Families of suicide bombers given £5m in British aid cash
Scott Adams / Wall Street Journal:
The Heady Thrill of Having Nothing to Do
Discussion: Pajamas Media
David Catanese / The Politico:
Wis. Dem memo: Victory predictions “dangerous”
Discussion: Daily Kos, Althouse and National Review
Paul Krugman:
A Self-Fulfilling Euro Crisis? (Wonkish)
 

 
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Rachel Metz / Bloomberg:
Anthropic announces Claude 3 Opus, Sonnet, and Haiku, aiming to reduce AI model hallucinations; Opus and Sonnet are available now, and Haiku in the coming weeks

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