Good morning. Here’s the news:
1. The Wall Street Journal reports: “Worries about the global economy rippled through financial markets on Tuesday, driving down share prices from Tokyo to New York and placing new strains on Spanish and Italian bonds.” European markets and US stock futures are rebounding somewhat this morning.
2. The Financial Times reports: “Spanish and Italian politicians rushed to formulate a fresh response to the debt crisis engulfing the two countries as their borrowing costs hit euro-era highs.”
3. President Obama yesterday signed into law legislation that raised the debt ceiling and supposedly cuts federal spending by more than $2 trillion, thus averting the possibility that the United States of America might default on its obligations.
4. The legislation signed by President Obama yesterday creates a “Super Committee,” tasked with developing a broader plan to control federal debt. This is a bonanza for two groups: Washington lobbyists (who already are saying that “no one is safe from the Super Committee”) and incumbent Senators and Congressmen/women (who see the Super Committee as the ultimate fund-raising vehicle).
5. Moody’s Investors Service confirmed its triple-A rating on the United States, but also maintained a negative outlook, saying more progress is needed for the government to shrink its fiscal deficit. Fitch likewise affirmed the US triple-A rating. Both firms did so because it was too risky to do otherwise.
6. Voters generally favour Democratic ideas and policy positions when queried by pollsters. They just don’t think that Democrats can or will make them work. This is what Walter Mead calls the “progressive crisis” and, in a nutshell, it’s basically the political narrative of the Obama Administration.
7. Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) is hosting “The Response” this Saturday at Houston’s Reliant Stadium. “The Response” is a national day of prayer and fasting to ask God’s help in delivering the United States from its moral squalor, economic malaise and mortal enemies. It’s the most important GOP political event of the year and it is not without risk for Gov. Perry.
8. GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman attacked his fellow former governor Mitt Romney yesterday on the issue of health care. Mr. Huntsman’s entire campaign basically comes down to defeating Romney in New Hampshire and, in so doing, emerging as the “establishment” candidate for the GOP nomination.
9. The Washington Post reports: “After a relatively low-key start to his second presidential campaign, Republican front-runner Mitt Romney plans to pick up his pace this month as the 2012 sweepstakes intensifies, with a blitz of appearances in early-voting states and a list of policy proposals.”
10. The Mormon Church is doing everything it can to stay as far away as possible from appearing to be “meddling” in the contest between Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. Both Romney and Huntsman are Mormons.
11. Tom Friedman has a powerful column today on the courage and bravery of Syria’s Sunni majority. Long oppressed by the Alawite minority, they are re-writing the “Hama Rules.”
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