1.) Obama to stay mum about America’s crappy credit score — At a town hall event in Virginia today, Pres. Obama will talk about everything debt-related except the S&P’s warning that America is heading for calamity. According to Bloomberg News, “Obama aides said they don’t expect him to refer to the S&P report unless he is asked. The president will again ignore our downgraded credit score when he travels to Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, and he will again not mention the words “standard” or “poor” when he hits up Reno, Nevada, on his “Can you help a president out?” tour. Meanwhile, the White House and its allies are busy downplaying the S&P’s “negative” outlook on U.S. debt. Economist-comedian Austan Goolsbee said the warning didn’t deserve “too much weight,” because it was based on America’s schizophrenic political climate. Paul Begala pointed to the ratings agencies’ instrumental role in amputating the U.S. economy at the knee as evidence that “it’s difficult to know how much credibility S&P should be given.” Ironically, the mortgage crisis might have been averted had the S&P rated packages of subprime loans with the same honesty that its currently rating the U.S. government.
2.) Donald Trump to George Stephanopoulos: ‘They have co-opted you’ — Donald Trump is on fire. This morning, the once-bankrupt combover model went on Good Morning America to discuss his search for the “real” Barack Obama, Kenyan MD. Here are the best exchanges: GMA host George Stephanopoulos told Trump that a certificate of live birth is adequate proof of citizenship, and Trump said, “George, they have co-opted you.” Stephanopoulos asked Trump what investigators had found in Hawaii, and Trump said, “We’re going to see what happens, George. We’re going to see what–that’s none of your business right now. We’re going to see what happens.”
3.) Republican voters not impressed by what they’re seeing — “Forty-three percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they’re satisfied with the choice of candidates for the GOP nomination for president next year, compared with 65 percent satisfaction with the field at exactly this point four years ago,” an ABC poll finds. “Nearly as many leaning-Republicans are dissatisfied with the field as are satisfied, and far more have no opinion of their potential candidates: 17 percent now vs. 3 percent at this point in 2007.” You know what that means: There’s still a chance for Barbour, T-Paw, and the other Beltway Darlings!
4.) New bill would prevent TSA from molesting your children without your permission — “In the wake of concerns regarding a video of a Transportation Security Administration screener patting down a young child at an airport security checkpoint, one of the agency’s leading critics is pushing Congress to pass a law requiring it to seek parental consent before performing enhanced pat-downs on young children,” reports the Washington Post. “Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who has railed against what he considers to be an invasive procedure since it began, introduced the bill late last week. It would prohibit TSA from patting down a minor unless it’s conducted with the consent and presence of a parent.” Because it’s not sexual assault if a parent has to watch.
5.) Charlie Crist honored with cool, neutral tones — George LeMieux’s life coach and former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist was introduced to his guber portrait in Tallahassee yesterday. According to the Florida Times-Union, the painting “shows the 44th governor standing next to a Florida flag, his right hand in the pocket of his pinstriped suit and his other hand on the back of a chair.” According to the paper, “unlike some other governors in the Capitol’s first-floor pantheon — Bob Graham with his ever-present notebook, Jeb Bush with his BlackBerry, Claude Kirk with a Republican elephant on his desk — Crist’s portrait has no tell-tale hints about his four years in office.” The artist said “he was trying for a sense of dignity and honor.”
6.) Brewer busts Birther bill, denies guns on campus — “Calling the legislation ‘poorly written,’ Gov. Jan Brewer on Monday vetoed legislation that would have allowed individuals to carry their weapons in the public rights of way going through university and community college campuses,” reports the Arizona Daily Sun. “Separately, the governor rejected legislation that would have required presidential candidates to present certain information to the secretary of state to appear on the Arizona ballot. Brewer, who was secretary of state before becoming governor two years ago, said the person in that office should not have that much authority, saying it ‘could lead to arbitrary or politically motivated decisions.'” Last, but not least, Brewer vetoed legislation that “would have required her to enter into compacts with other states as an alternative to complying with the federal health care law.”
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