Just 12 percent of Americans approve of the way Congress is doing its job, matching March 2008 for an all-time low in New York Times/CBS polling history. More voters disapprove of Republicans, with the GOP registering 19 percent approval compared to 28 percent for Democrats.
Economists see a one-in-three chance the U.S. will slip back into recession over the next year, according to a Wall Street Journal survey. “Those are the highest odds for a new downturn” in the survey since the economic “recovery” began. “It feels like a recessionary environment. What they call it later on I can’t tell you,” said Bart van Ark, chief economist of the Conference Board.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) made it clear at a speech in Washington yesterday that the GOP will not support tax increases of any kind to reduce debt and deficits, saying the super committee should reach its $1.5 trillion target through spending cuts alone. “The joint select committee has only one option,” Boehner said. “Spending cuts and entitlement reform.”
The presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman both accused Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) of flip-flopping on the issue of Afghanistan. The campaigns point to statements made by Perry that both seems to want to completely leave Afghanistan soon but might want to keep 40,000 troops there over the long haul.
The NAACP, Amnesty International, and Change.org social media campaign to stop the execution of Georgia inmate Troy Davis, who is scheduled to die Wednesday, presented 660,000 signatures requesting clemency to the state parole board. Noting that 10 witnesses recanted their testimony in his case, the Twitter campaign asks the public to urge the board to grant clemency and the state district attorney to withdraw the death warrant.
President Obama’s immigration task force criticized the Secure Communities program for having an “unintended negative impact” on public safety in its report released Wednesday. Finding that the program mistakenly detains immigrants who have not committed serious crimes and creates tensions with local authorities, the report recommends that administration “reintroduce” the program in “places where local opposition had swelled.”
Despite attempted delays from two Republicans, the Pentagon announced that the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy is on track to be repealed Sept. 20. Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), chairman of the committee’s personnel subcommittee, said Congress had not been adequately informed about the policy changes, but a Pentagon statement said officials had already advised Congress of the changes.
Violence once again rocked the streets of Yemen, as the country’s national army shelled one of the tribe’s calling for the end of President Ali Saleh’s dictatorship. Two civilians were killed by the shelling, as protests continue to rage and Saleh remains in neighboring Saudi Arabia, still refusing to relinquish power.
And finally: The University of Iowa is apologizing for a joke referring to Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) as a cougar. Referencing a cougar sighting in Iowa City, the school Tweeted yesterday, “I didn’t know Bachmann was in town. Bah-dum-bum.” “A cougar is a term for older women who seek out younger men,” the AP helpfully explains.