That’s the outlook as the market opened this morning… Down 200 points at the opening bell. Thank you Tea Party for the S&P credit downgrade. For the first time in history, the US credit rating has been downgraded.
Today’s recommended reading comes from Dr. Drew Westen… His awesome op-ed in the Sunday NY Times: “What Happened to Obama?” Howie also recommends Paul Krugman’s Sunday NY Times piece “Credibility, Chutzpah and Debt” as a companion…
Today’s Fools on the Hill stories, courtesy of Nicole Belle:
The country really had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week last week between the 11th hour raise of the debt ceiling and the subsequent S&P downgrade of the country’s creditworthiness. All that madel the traditional media and the conservative politicians spin mightily to find ways to rationalize their roles in driving the country over the economic cliff: lots of finger pointing, false equivalencies and wide-eyed questions about why the S&P could possibly downgrade us.
Paul “Ayn Rand’s Poster Boy” Ryan actually had the huevos to claim that the S&P downgrade vindicates the GOP. Excuse me? While I have my own issues with the S&P trying to dictate government policy, especially in the light of their own ignoring of toxic assets before the housing crash, but c’mon. S&P specifically mentioned the intransigence of considering revenue (which ONLY came from the GOP) as the rationalization for the downgrade.
Rachel Maddow had to make that exact point to fellow Meet the Press panel member Alex Castellanos, eager to use this bad news as an opportunity to take cheap (and frankly, not all that accurate) partisan shots.
Meanwhile, UT Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz shows why coming up with any kind of real solution is so difficult when investment strategist Mellody Hobson offers some really cogent and outside the box solutions for our economic woes. His immediate response? To dismiss it immediately as something she didn’t suggest for a result she never promised. Of course, Chaffetz also felt that the tea party *did* do a lot of compromising, so clearly, that S&P comment on intransigence was referring to someone else.
Fareed Zakaria makes a lot of good points in his “Fareed’s Take” segment in saying that we downgraded ourselves, although his insistence that we have to include entitlement cuts smacks of Villager wisdom and not sound economic understanding.
And finally, it’s not part of the Sunday shows, but it’s so disgusting and it’s so indicative of the toxic political environment, I can’t let it go unmentioned Tea Party Nation’s Judson Phillips appearance at a rally in Wisconsin for Alberta Darling. Phillips told the fairly sparse crowd that he couldn’t imagine being proud to be a liberal, since liberal ideology was “responsible for a billion deaths.” Facts are so 20th century.
Yes, I’m in mourning today. I’ve never been particularly fond of Florida (except for the weather from Dec-March), but the next few years will be particularly awful here.
Although the Governor’s race hasn’t officially been called, as of this writing -at 9:40am Wednesday morning and 99% of the precincts reporting, Rick Scott is in the lead with 2,553,434 votes (49%) to Alex Sink’s 2,500,510 votes (48%). Ms. Sink has a press conference scheduled for 10:30 this morning. Unfortunately, I think it’ll be her concession speech.
Want to know a bit more about our presumptive governor? Here’s what the Broward New Times had to say:
If your ex-con boyfriend slaps you around when you ask why he emptied out your bank account and then you take him back, everyone knows you’ve given him permission to rob and hurt you again.
That’s the message voters gave Republican Rick Scott yesterday when they elected a man to the governor’s mansion who oversaw the biggest Medicaid fraud in the nation’s history.
Throughout the campaign, reporters asked Scott whether he took credit for the fraud
Columbia/HCA committed while he was its CEO. Scott’s answer was that his underlings didn’t keep him in the loop, yet he took credit for the company’s successes during his tenure. At best, that’s malfeasance, and at worst it’s criminal.
Yet it appears Scott has clinched the race. Final results haven’t been announced, and Scott has yet to declare victory. But the remaining absentee ballots and uncounted precincts appear to be not enough to give Democrat Alex Sink a victory.
Scott ran Columbia/HCA for ten years before resigning in 1997 amid an FBI probe. The company’s scam was a simple bookkeeper’s skim job — overcharge the government for Medicaid procedures and reap the excess profits. The company later paid a $1.7 billion fine but avoided criminal charges. Scott also was never charged, despite overseeing the Medicaid rigging.
Marco Rubio is the Senator-elect. But he likely won’t hold that seat very long, as he’ll likely be running and, if last night’s trend continues, for VP in 2012 or 2016 at the latest.
We lost one of the best members of the House of Representatives, as “Taliban” Dan Webster unseated Alan Grayson. I’m sick about that. And here in my district, another criminal was elected. The unthinkable has happened with Allen West heading to Washington.
More about Florida on today’s show, along with the rest of what happened yesterday.
And in hour two, I’ll be joined by Dante Chimmi, journalist and author of the new book, “Our Patchwork Nation: The Surprising Truth About the ‘Real’ America… The 12 community types that make up our nation”
What a way to end the week… It was a busy show tonight. So click on the player above, and here’s what you’ll hear:
Since today is Earth Day, we started the show with a conversation with Jeff Regen, VP of Online Communications for Defenders of Wildlife. In addition to a campaign to urge people to dedicate a day of service to the earth, they’ve also spearheaded a drive to make Discovery Inc rethink its terrible idea to air a program on its TLC channel called “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.”
There is a light at the end of the Boehner tunnel. I spoke with Justin Coussoule, the Democratic challenger running against John Boehner for the Congressional seat from Ohio’s 8th District! Justin was just endorsed by the Blue America PAC, so help him get the orange guy out of our Congress, if you can.
Last night, I played the phone message left on FreedomWorks voicemail by voice actor D.C. Douglas that wound up costing him his gig as the announcer voice in the GEICO commercials. Tonight, I spoke with D.C. Douglas and heard the whole story, first hand, from the voice himself!
I liked D.C. yesterday, when I first heard the story, and like him even more today, after speaking with him…and seeing this video he put together:
And we wrapped up the week with a visit from comedian/actor/author John Fugelsang…
Just a quick favor to ask… please take a moment and click here. I’m trying to get a DFA scholarship to Netroots Nation this summer, so I can use your support. (It’ll just take a moment, and doesn’t cost a cent… just your vote!) Thanks.
Have a great weekend, and I’ll be back with a new show Monday — 6-8pm ET.