Daily digest – The 7 week stretch
What you need to know to navigate today’s most critical debates.
Senate Reaches Deal to Avert Government Shutdown (NYT)
Mark your calendars: The Senate passed a short-term funding agreement after learning FEMA could stretch its budget through Friday, so now we’ll have a whole seven weeks before the next spending showdown.
Five reasons the next budget fight could be worse (WaPo)
With the entire budget up for grabs and the super committee scheduled to put forward its deficit reduction plan, the negotiations that begin on November 18th are shaping up to be a perfect storm of partisan clownery.
Why Don’t the Deficit Hawks Want to Tax Wall Street? (Truthout)
Dean Baker notes the curious fact that the very serious people calling for shared sacrifice, many of whom hold very serious positions at Wall Street firms, usually don’t think bankers should share too. That doesn’t seem very serious of them at all.
Super Committee Members Raked In $41M From Wall Street (TPM)
To be fair, bankers are already sacrificing quite a bit of money in the deficit battle. They’re just bypassing the Treasury and sending it directly to Congress.
Geithner Predicts Europe Will Move With More Force (Bloomberg)
Tim Geithner seems assured that hearing a stern “Come on, you guys!” from the rest of the world will push Europe’s leaders toward bold action on the debt crisis. On the other hand, Geithner is best known for the opposite of predicting things.
The Phony Solyndra Scandal (NYT)
Joe Nocera writes that the GOP has put on a dog and pony show over Solyndra’s bankruptcy to embarrass the Obama administration for investing in a company that wasn’t a sure thing, which for everyone else is known simply as investing.
Better Than Bernie (TAP)
Paul Waldman notes that conservatives’ insistence that Social Security is broken makes sense if they think that having the government guarantee a basic standard of living to seniors is a major flaw in the system. Luckily, they know just how to fix it.
SEC Eyes Ratings From S&P (WSJ)
The SEC may bring charges against S&P for assigning its AAA credit rating to a CDO based on some hypothetical assets it made up rather than the low-quality assets the CDO wound up containing. Hey, they call them dummy assets for a reason.
Mortgage Relief Scams Proliferate After Recession (HuffPo)
Janell Ross reports that as desperate homeowners struggle to keep their heads above water, the sharks are circling. Oddly, she overlooks this one program called “HAMP” that seems to have suckered a lot of people.
Losing Faith in Government (NYT)
Catherine Rampell points out that Americans’ growing belief that the government is totally useless, if not a direct and active threat to the well-being of its citizens, could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The bogus ‘third party’ dodge (WaPo)
Greg Sargent has good news for pundits who want to see an organized movement of centrists and moderates push for a middle ground in American politics: There’s this plucky little group called the Democratic Party, and they’re already on the ballot.
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