Today in Raw Deal News

Everyone was playing the Downgrade Blame Game over the weekend on the political news shows. If scientists could find a way to harness the spin coming out of DC, we could be energy independent in no time.

The HillAxelrod: This was a 'tea party downgrade':
Top Obama strategist David Axelrod criticized Republicans over their handling of the debt-ceiling negotiations which he argued led to Standard & Poor's decision to downgrade the nation's credit rating Friday.

This was a "tea party downgrade," said Axelrod on CBS News' Face the Nation.

...[Axelrod said] conservative, Tea Party-influenced Republicans "played brinksmanship with the full faith and credit of the United States. And this was the result of that."

"It was the wrong thing to do to push the country to that point" he said. "And it's something that should never have happened. And that clearly is on the backs of those who were willing to see the country default, those very strident voices in the tea party."
On Meet the Press, Democratic Senator John Kerry also hammered the "Tea Party downgrade" talking point, while Republican Senator John McCain told demonstrable lies (which host David Gregory naturally failed to call out) about how the President never put forth any plan of his own, and argued that House Republicans were given a mandate in the last election to be obstructionist wankers (paraphrase), and insisted that the President was exclusively to blame because he holds the executive branch and the Senate. The whole time he was talking, all I could think was how different that song would be if it had been he who won the election and was a president with a split Congress.

Meanwhile, over on Fox News, GOP Rep. Paul Ryan crowed that the downgrade is a "vindication" of GOP policies. Um, okay. That's a talking point that the GOP might want to retire as S&P chair John Chambers bloviates that "it could take between 9 and 18 years for the nation to regain its AAA credit rating" and threatens that S&P "could further downgrade the national rating depending on whether President Obama and congressional leaders can agree on reducing the deficit."

In related news, economists are warning that the US is careening toward a second recession, which would be much worse than the first.
President Obama acknowledged the challenge in his Saturday radio and Internet address, saying the country's "urgent mission" now was to expand the economy and create jobs. And Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said in an interview on CNBC on Sunday that the United States had "a lot of work to do" because of its "long-term and unsustainable fiscal position."

But he added, "I have enormous confidence in the basic regenerative capacity of the American economy and the American people."
How hopey-changey! (I'm sure everyone is relieved to hear that Geithner is staying on as Treasury Secretary.) Meanwhile, I continue to be baffled by President Obama's incessant statements about the urgency of economy stimulation and job creation, even after he caved during debt ceiling negotiations about new revenue—which he once said was the only thing on which he wouldn't yield. (Whoooooops!) He wants new revenue, but he extends the Bush tax cuts and agrees to budget reductions. This is a basic math question, and there's only one possible right answer.

Over in Europe, where the history comes from, the Euro system of central banks will "intervene decisively on markets to respond to the escalating debt crisis, a euro zone monetary source said after a European Central Bank conference call on Sunday. Officials on the conference call carefully considered the situation in Italy and Spain, and took note of a statement by France and Germany which stressed their commitment to European financial reforms, the source said." See Professor Krugman for further commentary.

And, finally, in indirectly-related news, the Tea Party Terrorists' rhetoric is getting hyperbolic in the extreme, with one Tea Party leader saying at a rally over the weekend that leftists have "killed a billion people in the last century" and comparing progressive protesters to Nazi storm troopers, and another speaker comparing Democrats' policies to attacking Republicans and creating a "Ground Zero" against Tea Partiers.

This is straight-up eliminationist rhetoric against progressives. That the GOP does not categorically repudiate these terrorists tells you everything you need to know about that garbage party and its garbage ethics.

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