President Obama was “composed but visibly disappointed” as he criticized the GOP’s cuts-only approach to a debt deal in an address to the nation last night. Obama criticized a short-term deal and hit Republicans for their unwillingness to compromise. The only way the GOP will vote “to prevent America’s first-ever default,” Obama said, “is if the rest of us agree to their deep, spending cuts-only approach.”
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is warning that a loss of investor confidence in U.S. debt could cause “universally large and negative” effects for the rest of the world’s economy. Failing to raise the debt ceiling would almost certainly lead to such a loss in confidence.
A new study by the Pew Research Center finds that the wealth gap between whites and the two largest racial minorities in the U.S., blacks and Hispanics, is wider than ever. The “disparities are the greatest since the government began tracking such data a quarter-century ago,” with the wealth gap being in a ratio of 20:1 between whites and blacks and 18:1 for Hispanics.
And the Great Recession has hit Hispanic families the hardest, according to the Pew Foundation study. The median wealth of Hispanic households fell by 66 percent from 2005 to 2009, compared to 16 percent for whites and 53 percent for African Americans.
Radio host Glenn Beck compared the youth camp where a Norwegian terrorist killed scores of children to the Hitler Youth. “I mean who sends their kids to a political camp?” asked the host, offensively.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has missed nearly 40 percent of votes in the House since the beginning of her presidential campaign. Bachmann has missed 50 of 135 votes since June 27, while Reps. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Thad McCotter (R-MI) have missed 8 and 10 percent, respectively, since launching their campaigns.
The Republican-imposed shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) crippled operations for the third day Monday, costing the government at least $30 million a day. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood implored Congress to restore funding and bring back the 4,000 furloughed workers. But with Republicans and Democrats locked in their positions, no one could predict when that might happen. “Don’t hold your breath,” said one Senate staff member.
And finally: Russian PM Vladamir Putin is known for cultivating a macho image, and now a group of his fans have launched a social media campaign “urging young women to ‘tear’ their clothes off as a message” to Putin to run for president, a position he used to hold, in upcoming elections. No one knows who is behind the group, which calls itself “Putin’s Army.”