Visual source: Newseum
The New York Times begs President Obama to stop playing on GOP turf and to turn the debate towards jobs:
The credit decision put a price tag on the agenda of dysfunction that Republicans brought to Washington, in which unnecessary crises are created to achieve their goals of shrinking government and bringing down Mr. Obama. When one of the two political parties announces its willingness to let the nation default, S.& P. essentially said, those who lend it money can no longer trust it to act rationally. Whatever flaws may exist in S.& P.’s arithmetic, that scolding is one that lawmakers richly deserve.
But having spent far too long haggling over the margins of the Republican agenda to reduce the deficit with only spending cuts, the president needs to move to a very different set of priorities. He should start making the case that it is foolish to focus the nation’s attention solely on debt, where the Republicans want it, and instead shift every available resource toward jobs.
Dana Milbank argues that President Obama's "lack of fire" is making him weak:
When he began his speech (and as cable news channels displayed for viewers), the Dow Jones industrials stood at 11,035. As he talked, the average fell below 11,000 for the first time in nine months, en route to a 635-point drop for the day, the worst since the 2008 crash.
It’s not exactly fair to blame Obama for the rout: Almost certainly, the markets ignored him. And that’s the problem: The most powerful man in the world seems strangely powerless, and irresolute, as larger forces bring down the country and his presidency.
Joe Nocera reminds us of the massive hole the Obama administration has had to deal with:
Has any president in American history left behind as much lasting damage as George W. Bush? In addition to two unfinished wars, he also set us on the path to our current financial mess. The Bush tax cuts, which turned a surplus into a growing deficit, have been disastrous. As James Fallows pointed out in a prescient 2005 article in The Atlantic predicting a meltdown, they reduced tax revenue “to its lowest level as a share of the economy in the modern era.” (In its downgrade report, S.& P. suggested that it did not believe that Congress would let the cuts expire at the end of 2012, as they’re supposed to.) Then, in 2003, Bush pushed through prescription drug coverage for Medicare recipients. David M. Walker, then the comptroller general, described 2003 as “the most reckless fiscal year in the history of the Republic,” adding some $13 trillion in future entitlement costs.
Robert Pear reports on some Democrats challenging the adminstration on Medicaid:
WASHINGTON — In an unusual break with the White House, the Democratic leaders of Congress told the Supreme Court on Monday that President Obama was pursuing a misguided interpretation of federal Medicaid law that made it more difficult for low-income people to obtain health care.
Today's the big day in Wisconsin:
Madison - Tuesday brings a series of recall elections unprecedented in the history of the state or nation.
Since 1908, there have been 20 recorded state legislative recall elections held in the United States, according to one recall expert. Wisconsin is in the process of holding nine such elections in the space of a month.
With control of the Wisconsin Senate in the balance, six Republican state senators will face a recall vote Tuesday. One Democratic senator has already weathered a recall attempt, and on Aug. 16, two more Democrats will be up for recall.
In an insightful, must-read piece, Murshed Zaheed looks at the debt-ceiling drama and how it highlighted a growing chasm between the Demcoratic establishment and the netroots:
There is no doubt a lot of progress was made in those early years as the give-and-takes between the Democratic establishment and the Netroots led to the rise of what somewhat resembled a progressive echo chamber. It was easy to build momentum around the issues of Republican “culture of corruption” (thanks to Tom DeLay and his cronies) and the defense of Social Security. The zenith for this community was the 2008 elections, when it played a huge role in defining John McCain as a bizarre, out of touch, reckless presidential candidate who would have been nothing short of a disastrous and erratic leader to follow Bush.
The problem has been that following the 2008 elections, the infrastructure built around these relationships did not become stronger as the relationships didn’t go through the necessary maturation. As a result, a huge part of the Democratic establishment still views the world of Netroots with skepticism. Unfortunately, the majority of folks who were to bridge the communication divide between the establishment and the Netroots, were not effectively plugged into the decision-making conversations.