John King, USA

The latest political news and information on the most important stories affecting you.
August 9th, 2011
03:25 PM ET

Be in the know: Today's political bullet points

Every day we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation inside and outside Washington.

RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:

– Washington Democrats and some Republicans are absolutely intent on blaming the tea party movement for the credit downgrade, but the fact remains that those wishing to blame the tea party movement are the people who would have gladly raised the debt ceiling without ever contemplating cuts to spending.

– The President has reached the end of his rhetorical abilities. Having called together everyone to watch him speechify yesterday, he put everyone off for an hour. He set the time. Let's not forget that. And then when he spoke the market crashed. Did the market ignore him? Maybe. But more probably, it did not like what he had to say. Why? Because it was nothing new, just the same old failed policies he's been promoting all along.

– Yes, it is true. It appears Governor Rick Perry of Texas will make an announcement about running for president this Saturday in Charleston, S.C. at the RedState Gathering. Then perhaps the field will be settled.

Senior Political Columnist for TheDailyBeast.com John Avlon:

– Market Crash: Elections and the economy are always intertwined, and the post-downgrade sell-off has dramatic implications for the White House and the GOP candidates. We’re still 16 months out from 2012, but Obama has an economic millstone around his neck. However, the GOP nominees have yet to offer anything resembling a responsible alternative.

– Iowa: The next GOP debate is on Thursday and the Ames straw poll is on Saturday. I just returned from four days in Iowa and here’s what the buzz is on the ground: Look for Bachmann and Pawlenty to battle it out for first and second place. Bachmann has the buzz but Pawlenty has the ground game – and he’ll be swinging in this debate at Romney and Bachmann. Ron Paul is likely to come in third. The talk in Iowa wasn’t the stock market or even the downgrade – it’s all politics and the dissatisfaction toward the current GOP field is a constant topic of conversation.

– The Joint Commission: The most important decisions over the next week will be the composition of the joint special commission that will aim to reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion. Members of the gang of 6 ought to be natural fits, but congressional insiders say that the leadership will not want to reward their independence. But that kind of collegial experience in dealing with the deficit and the debt is what we need. The Bowles-Simpson commission and the hang of 6 offer a policy template. What the country needs now are appointees who can reason together – ideologues and hyper-partisans are the problem, not the solution. And then maybe, just maybe, we can deal with the underlying problem through tax reform and entitlement reform.

Editor’s Note: The blog is a place for a freewheeling exchange of ideas and opinions. CNN does not endorse anything said by its contributors.


Filed under: Bullet Points
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Joe M

    There is NO WAY Pawlenty will come in second in the Ames Straw Poll. That idea is beyond laughable.The best he could possible do, if everything went perfectly, is third place. He more than likely will place fourth or fifth. It's probably going to be Bachman-Paul-Romney, and then a jumble of others with low turnout. Perry could show well depending on how organized his write-in campaign gets. But Pawlenty is going to crash and burn Saturday. Mark it.

    August 9, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  2. JEFF WERNER

    A SANE REPUBLICAN
    Obama Is Too Good For Us
    The debt deal fiasco proved that any decent, honest politician like the president simply doesn’t stand a chance against the likes of Michele Bachmann. Charles Fried on how the Tea Party ruined America.
    by Charles Fried | August 6, 2011 1:2 AM EDT

    Barack Obama is intelligent, analytical, and knowledgeable. And he tries hard to think through the dilemmas which confront us and to tell us clearly and straightforwardly what he wants to do and why he wants to do it.

    But it doesn’t seem to work.

    Contrast this to the politicians he is up against. When John Boehner at the height of the debt ceiling crisis answered him on the national media he simply did not tell the truth. He said that the president would not compromise, would not take yes for an answer, and wanted it all his own way. But he cannot have forgotten that he had negotiated Obama into far more cuts than Obama and his caucus had wanted, thought wise or even palatable in return for a modest increase in revenue to be achieved by closing egregious and unfair loopholes in personal and corporate taxes. This is the same compromise recommended by the “Gang of Six,” which included the extremely conservative and admirably patriotic Senator Tom Coburn, by the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson group, and by Republican economists like Martin Feldstein. It was the Speaker who, Arafat-like, walked away from that deal because he concluded he lacked the skill or the muscle or the spine to sell it to his own caucus.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  3. Michaelflyfisher

    Why does the media not report the sentence on page four for the report that specifically identifies the republicans and the cause for the downgrade and mentions not at all the administration or democrats as responsible? Is it because the Media is almost wholly owned by republican backers and corporations?

    Why is it that the media doesn’t make it clear where how these ratings agencies are funded. They are spin offs of the multinational corporations and are funded by those they rate, with the exception of the governments. Has the term “conflict of interest” ever been uttered in the media about this relationship? Now, let’s see why they might want the ratings to drop – think it may have something to do with the republican’s efforts to destroy the Obama presidency? Why could they give Junk Bonds and sub-prime mortgages AAA ratings, leading directly to the recession (and directly to unbelievable income for the Wall Streeters and the Bankers) and have any credibility to judge anything. How much money did S&P make off the financial instruments that they stated were GREAT investments?

    How did they allowed Bush to keep these wars off the books without an outcry about the debt he was generating is one question. Another might well be what happened to all those pallets of $100.00 bills that have gone missing in Iraq – we could use that money now to pay down the debt – or maybe payoff S&P for a better credit rating – I know they would take the money!

    August 9, 2011 at 8:10 pm |