We have a second Daylee photo at the bottom of today's posting.
Congressional Sources: Republicans and Democrats Reach Tentative Debt Deal from ABC News
"Democratic and Republican Congressional sources involved in the negotiations tell ABC News that a tentative agreement has been reached on the framework of a deal that would give the President a debt ceiling increase of up to $2.4 trillion and guarantee an equal amount of deficit reduction over the next 10 years."
This deal has a very nasty thorn in it: automatic cuts to social programs and defense spending that will kick in around Thanksgiving of 2012. Supposedly, the fact that defense spending is there will create an impetus for the Tea Party folks to be more flexible in their negotiations around entitlements. Two problems with that: Tea Partiers haven't shown much fidelity to defense spending (to their credit) so it's a weak stick as sticks go. Second, and more importantly, the Bush tax cuts are set to expire shortly after Thanksgiving. The Dems want to end those tax cuts on the wealthy, not on everyone (at least the Dems in the Senate). Dems are going to have to work hard to make sure these two things don't get linked -- to the detriment of entitlements.
Obama is Already Invoking the 14th Amendment (Jack Balkin) of the Balkinization blog at the Yale Law School
"Some Democrats in Congress, including Steny Hoyer, have called for President Barack Obama to invoke the 14th Amendment to resolve the debt ceiling crisis. What they don't realize is that Obama has already invoked it in effect. Despite his statement that his lawyers told him it wasn't a "winning argument.""
U.S. Default Could Deliver Swift Hit to Consumers from the Washington Post
"Life might get more difficult for many Americans if Congress doesn’t reach a deal to raise the government’s borrowing limit."
White House, GOP Discuss Potential Debt Limit Pact; Deal Has Wins for Both Sides from the Associated Press via Real Clear Politics
"White House officials and congressional Republicans are reaching toward a potential end to their bitter debt limit showdown, raising hopes that a deal could be in place by Tuesday to avert a possible federal default."
Debt-Ceiling Debate Shows a Republican Party at War with Itself (Dan Balz) from the Washington Post
"No matter the outcome of the effort by the House speaker, John A. Boehner, to jam his debt ceiling bill through the House over the opposition of a band of freshmen and other conservatives, it is increasingly clear that the same political insurgency that put Republicans into power also has the potential to leave the party so divided that it struggles to govern."
Obama’s Crucible Moment at Intersection of Politics and the Economy from the New York Times
"It was a day that brought fresh evidence of all the forces converging on President Obama in the latter half of his term: a weakened economy he cannot lift, a deeply divided Congress he cannot move and, as a result, a level of political risk he seems hard-pressed to control."
Houses Passes Boehner's Debt Deal, But at What Price? from Politico
"“This has come down to a big battle. And for Boehner, it’s kind of a do or die situation,” former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) told POLITICO Friday. “I always had a philosophy, it was an old coaching philosophy that I had, if the coach was in the headlines every week, the team’s in trouble."
America's New Civil War (Kathy Kiely) from the National Journal
"The similarities to today's apocalypse-almost-now moment are striking, and underscore that the debt ceiling debate now gridlocking the nation's capital is about far more than economic policy. On the 150th anniversary of the war that pitted American against American, we seem to be spoiling to secede from our "more perfect union" again."
Rush Limbaugh’s Anti-Obama Rant (Colbert I. King) from the Washington Post
A bleak view into the one of the darkest of wright-wing minds.
“So for Colbert King to say, ‘Rush Limbaugh, his biggest concern was Republicans should do nothing to help Obama.’ Damn right. Damn right. Helping Obama hurts the country." ... It also explains their willingness to put the country on the path to economic suicide if the downgrading of U.S. debt will help bring down President Obama. For wingers, there is no price too high to pay to break Obama. Sabotaging the president of the United States is, in their view, good for the country.”
The Never-Ending Search for Political Courage (Walter Shapiro) from CNN
"The demolition derby on Capitol Hill makes you wonder about political courage -- and why it has vanished from Congress and the White House."
Leaked Emails Highlight GOP Rifts from the National Journal
"A series of e-mails among conservative activists, obtained by National Journal, reveal the tensions between the demands of governing and those of ideological purity."
Tiny Tea Party Rally vs. Large Progressive Rally: Which Gets More Beltway Ink? (Leslie Savan) from the Nation
"Wednesday’s conservative rally, organized by the Tea Party Express, was a bust: only about fifty people showed up to see presidential candidate Herman Cain and hear Senators Jim DeMint, Rand Paul and Mike Lee speak... But then, Thursday’s American Dream rally—organized by MoveOn, Rebuild the Dream, AFSCME and AFGE, and featuring speakers like Van Jones and Representatives Keith Ellison and Jan Schakowsky—clocked in an estimated 450–500 people, according to the coalition."
I have been observing this phenomenon since the 2010 elections. The dirty little secret is that the Tea Party, as a national grass-roots political force, is dying fast -- and the last to see this will be the beltway media and (sad for them) the GOP. The Republican Party has become so reflexively fearful of its Tea Party wing, I predict it will overcompensate in their direction through the 2012 election cycle, and, in the process, lose control of the House and probably fail to take the WH as well. Through dramatic shadow and light shows, Tea Party activists will continue through next year to exercise enormous influence at the national Republican Party level. As an activist army to be feared by anyone else, however, the evidence is everywhere: item, Glenn Beck losing his Fox program; item, the tanking ratings for right-wing talk radio generally and Beck & Limbaugh specifically; item, the Palin documentary's two millisecond lifespan in theaters; item, more generally, the increasingly obvious clownification of Sarah Palin; item, the exceptional drop-off in attendance at Tea Party rallies virtually everywhere in the US; item, the WI recall elections -- Tea Party folks have been trying to rally to Gov. Walker and the endangered GOP lawmakers, investing millions of dollars and lots of volunteers but NO ONE has been intimidated so far. The real story will be told on Aug 9 but GOP governors can take no solace from what the Tea Party has brought to these contest; item, Tea Party irrelevance vis-a-vis Democratic and Independent lawmakers at the national level and, more and more, at the state level. Increasingly, Tea Party activists have influence ONLY in the GOP. This last point is key, particularly in reference to the debt ceiling debate going on right now. I predict that, when this is all over, the Tea Party supporters and their lawmakers in Congress will be very DAMAGED GOODS -- even among many conservatives and especially among the Wall Street wing of the party. How this debt ceiling crisis ends will determine and reveal A LOT.
The Debt Crisis Comes Home (David Graham) from the Daily Beast
"The gridlock over the debt ceiling is wreaking havoc—on legislators' families. Political spouses tell David A. Graham about strained marriages, lost quality time, and dwindling family dinners."
My Very Own Captain America (Charles Blow) from the New York Times
"Yes, I know that racial revisionism has become so common in film that it’s almost customary, so much so that moviegoers rarely balk or even blink. And even I try not to think too deeply about shallow fare. Escapism by its nature must bend away from reality. But this time I was forced to bend it back. It was personal."
SAD AFGHAN CULTURE NUGGET!!
In Afghanistan, Rage at Young Lovers from the New York Times
"After months of stolen “hellos” and secret talks on the phone, they decided to make their relationship public, and were immediately greeted with a four-hour riot that killed one man and left a police station charred. Their parents are so furious the teens met without family approval that they promise to kill them when they’re released."
ANIMAL ODD COUPLE NUGGET!!
Chimp's Maternal Instincts Awakened as She Feeds Milk to a Baby Tiger from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"These adorable images reveal the close bond that has formed between a two-year-old chimpanzee called Do Do and a two-month-old tiger cub called Aorn."