Saturday Morning News Roundup

I’m running out of the house right now. So –

From Political Animal:

* If the Boehner plan wouldn’t preserve the AAA credit rating of the United States, why is anyone even talking about it as a possibility? Shouldn’t that be an automatic deal-breaker?

* Bill O’Reilly, who I can only assume is concerned about his investment portfolio, lashed out at the Republican Party base yesterday in a fascinating tirade: “The only thing that can save Barack Obama at this point is craziness on the right…. It’s not only going to hurt the Republican Party, which has already been hurt, but it’s going to save President Obama who they hate…. The irony is, the people who dislike President Obama the most … are helping him the most. You’ve got to stop this hateful rhetoric.”

* I’m actually rather impressed this keeps happening: “Telephone circuits into the House of Representatives were once again near capacity on Friday after President Obama called on Americans to keep up their calls to Congress.”

* Moody’s weighs in again: “The United States’ triple-A credit rating is likely to be affirmed by Moody’s with a negative outlook, the ratings agency said on Friday, signaling that a downgrade would not come immediately, but possibly in the medium term.”

* This week, before today, investors were pulling $9 billion a day out of money-market funds, fearing congressional Republicans would simply refuse to raise the debt ceiling.

* If it would help the process along, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would gladly bring the Balanced Budget Amendment to the Senate floor for a vote. He knows full well it wouldn’t come close to getting a two-thirds majority.

* Revelations from the Murdoch media hacking scandal aren’t quite done yet. News of the World hacked the phone of a mother to a murdered 8-year-old girl, too.

* Why won’t President Obama pursue the “Constitutional Option”? Brad Plumer explores the issue in a thoughtful item.

* Are there some more fanciful ideas for gimmicks that could resolve the crisis? Sure there are.

* Congressional Republicans have a bold new idea: force the U.S. military to accept dirty fuels the Pentagon doesn’t want. The GOP really is getting worse with each passing day.

* Bruce Bartlett, a former policy adviser to Reagan and H.W. Bush, on the GOP: “I think a good chunk of the Republican caucus is either stupid, crazy, ignorant or craven cowards.”

* House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) intends to pursue a new White House investigation because it would be “good theater.” Congress was so much more tolerable when grown-ups were in charge.

* This is probably the wrong emotional reaction, but I’m starting to feel kind of sorry for Peggy Noonan. The quality of her columns has become so awful, and the sophistication of her political analysis has become so pedantic, it’s almost as if Noonan has outsourced her career to an intern sent over by College Republicans. Maybe it’s time to consider retirement, Peggy?

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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