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Newslinks for Monday August 15, 2011

Posted on 08/15/2011

8:00pm David Frum: There is a 3rd choice between Rick Perry's Texas and Barack Obama's America: An effective government that builds private business for the sake of the middle class

4:45pm Rick Perry Roundup (after all, he's dominating the news shows today):

2:45: Ideas: Fred Siegel: Historians in the not-too-distant future will be asking what happened to the middle class in America

Screen shot 2011-08-15 at 2.15.11 PM1:30pm Rick Perry in Iowa videos:

11:15pm The Republican: What’s wrong with this picture? Economic confidence in Washington, DC, is the highest in the nation (by far)

Ryan Streeter on The Republican: Obama’s Perry problem, and how Perry can capitalize on it

Video: George Will: "Pawlenty joins the ranks of very honorable, distinguished Americans to whom the country looked and said, 'intelligent man, public spirited but not president'"

Screen shot 2011-08-15 at 10.48.07 Pawlenty quits: I wasn't what GOP voters were looking for

"Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty’s decision early Sunday to drop out of the 2012 Republican presidential race reflected the uncomfortable reality that his poor showing in a straw poll the previous day had made clear: He was the wrong man for the moment. Pawlenty, 50, and his political team had known when he began his campaign in the spring that he would bring less money, less name recognition and less stagecraft to the effort than some of his Republican rivals. But they had believed that he would be the tortoise of the field, the contender whose economic program, “aw-shucks” likability and success in governing a left-leaning state for eight years would slowly but surely draw voters looking above all else to defeat President Obama next year. They were wrong — and Pawlenty’s supporters and strategists said as much after he announced his withdrawal Sunday on national television." - Washington Post

  • "With Tim Pawlenty out of the fight, a three-way race began taking shape to find a nominee who can emerge as the strongest challenger to President Obama." - New York Times | WSJ
  • "Texas Gov. Rick Perry offered words of support for Tim Pawlenty during his visit to a family festival in New Hampshire Sunday, stating that he hoped to win Pawlenty's endorsement in his presidential bid and calling the former Minnesota governor a great friend." - LA Times
  • Rep. Steve King: Pawlenty made 'the right political decision' - The Hill
  • Ramesh Ponnuru: Pawlenty shouldn't run against Klobuchar - NRO's The Corner
  • John Vecchione: Who do I support with Pawlenty gone? - FrumForum

> Yesterday on Video: Pawently ends his campaign, says his "rational, established, credible, strong" record of results is not what people were looking for

Gallup: Obama job rating sinks below 40% for first time

Screen shot 2011-08-15 at 11.15.49 "President Obama's summer woes have dragged his approval rating to an all-time low, sinking below 40% for the first time in Gallup's daily tracking poll. New data posted Sunday shows that 39% of Americans approve of Obama's job performance, while 54% disapprove. Both are the worst numbers of his presidency. Obama's approval rating has hovered in the 40% range for much of 2011, peaking at 53% in the weeks following the death of Osama bin Laden. But Americans' view of his job performance continued to tick downward as the debt-ceiling debate heated up. By the time he signed legislation averting a federal default, he was mired in the low-40% range." - LA Times

  • "After rocky budget talks and an economic downgrade, the president shifts his strategy away from coaxing Republican leaders." - New York Times
  • DNC chief: President Obama's reelection bid in 'good shape' - The Hill
  • "Not knowing who the eventual Republican presidential nominee will be in the 2012 election, President Obama's supporters are taking the opportunity to blast all of the GOP candidates, using aggressive language to argue that the crop of contenders is either uninterested or incapable of helping Americans." - Fox News

As September approaches, pressure grows for debt super committee

"The cast for this fall's budget brawl is set, but it is anyone's guess whether the group will play long ball, small ball or put off the toughest decisions until after the 2012 elections. Congressional leaders picked 12 Members for the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction last week amid turbulence on Wall Street that followed Standard & Poor's historic downgrade of U.S. debt. It was a downgrade S&P blamed in part on partisan bickering over raising the debt ceiling." - Roll Call ($)

  • "For the dozen lawmakers given the task of producing a deficit-cutting plan, the threatened "doomsday" defense cuts hit close to home. The six Republicans and six Democrats represent states where the biggest military contractors -- Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics Corp., Raytheon Co. and Boeing Co. -- build missiles, aircraft, jet fighters and tanks while employing tens of thousands of workers." - Fox News
  • John E. Sununu: "Round II of the US debt debate - In a multi-round negotiation, credibility is key." - Boston Globe

Economists' outlook darkens: See 30% chance of recession

Screen shot 2011-08-15 at 11.26.55 "The chances of the economy slipping into another recession have risen significantly, and forecasts for economic growth and job gains over the next year have been substantially downsized, according to USA TODAY's quarterly survey of top economists. The 39 economists polled Aug. 3-11 put the chance of another downturn at 30% — twice as high as three months ago, according to their median estimates. That means another shock to the fragile economy — such as more stock market declines or a worsening of the European debt crisis — could push the nation over the edge. Yet even if the USA avoids a recession, as economists still expect, they see economic growth muddling along at about 2.5% the next year, down from 3.1% in April's survey. The economy must grow well above 3% to significantly cut unemployment." - USA Today

  • Geithner, Bernanke have little in arsenal to fight new crisis - Washington Post
  • "Low interest rates, which usually persuade consumers to spend, are not working this time for reasons including anxiety over jobs and tighter lending standards." - New York Times
  • Clive Crook: "A prevailing misconception about US economic policy is that no good options remain. Fiscal policy is all used up. With interest rates at zero and its balance sheet engorged, the Federal Reserve is powerless too. Revised figures for recent growth show a failing recovery – and there is nothing anybody can do." - FT ($)
  • Irwin M. Steltzer: Structural economic problems more worrying than cyclical ones - The Weekly Standard

When it comes to education, states' problems chip away at federal law

"As hundreds of schools here and across the nation faced being labeled failures under the federal No Child Left Behind law, Montana education officials defiantly informed Washington this spring that they would stop raising testing targets as the law requires, despite warnings that doing so could cost the state millions of dollars in federal aid.But in an agreement to be announced here on Monday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will allow Montana to keep most of the schools off the law’s blacklist, and the state will pay no penalty." - New York Times

Shravan Goli: "To regain its educational lead, the US must look to entrepreneurs" - Forbes

US links Pakistani aid to performance

Screen shot 2011-08-15 at 11.19.54 "The White House has started conditioning the award of billions of dollars in security assistance to Pakistan on whether Islamabad shows progress on a secret scorecard of U.S. objectives to combat al Qaeda and its militant allies. The U.S. also is asking Pakistan to take specific steps to ease bilateral tensions. The classified system, put in place after the U.S. raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at his Pakistani hideout, signals a shift by the White House toward a pay-for-performance relationship with Pakistan, as doubts grow that the two countries can for now forge a broader alliance based on shared interests. A senior military official called the unusual new approach "a hard-knuckled reflection of where we are right now" in relations. U.S. officials cited the sharp breakdown in counterterrorism cooperation that followed the bin Laden raid in May and the arrest of a Central Intelligence Agency contractor in Pakistan this year." - WSJ

"An appeals court ruling allows a case to proceed against the Palestinian Authority by the family of a contractor killed by a roadside bomb while providing security to State Department employees during an October 2003 trip to the Gaza Strip." - Fox News

"The trial of Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak, accused of ordering the killing of anti-government protesters in an uprising that toppled him, is set to resume." - CNN

California Republicans consider putting new map to voters

Screen shot 2011-08-15 at 11.20.57 "With the nonpartisan California redistricting commission scheduled to complete its work Monday, state Republicans are seriously weighing whether to seek a referendum that could throw out the results and force the state Supreme Court to draw lines for next year’s election. The new plan could jeopardize as many as a half-dozen of Republicans’ 19 House seats in the California delegation. “It’s hard to believe that the Supreme Court can draw worse lines for Republicans,” said Jim Brulte, the former Senate GOP leader who remains active in state politics as a partner with California Strategies, a public-affairs firm. But he added that Republicans are divided on how to proceed and that some may place a higher priority in overturning proposed lines for the state Senate, which could result in the GOP’s loss of veto-power leverage with one-third of Senate seats. “They would have to move quickly,” said Brulte, who is not involved in any possible redistricting challenge." - Roll Call ($)

Screen shot 2011-08-15 at 11.22.10 Chris Christie's cue: Yes, Republicans can do better than a Romney-Perry slugfest (with Michelle Bachmann as spoiler) - Ross Douthat, New York Times

"Corporations, executives and related political action committees have opened up their wallets to the major state Republican committees the past 18 months, helping end the Democratic Party’s long fundraising dominance heading into the fall legislative elections." - The Star Ledger

Screen shot 2011-01-15 at 12.54.13 Also from the 2012 field:

  • "Texas Gov. Rick Perry, in his first visit to Iowa since announcing his presidential bid, said on Sunday that he felt compelled to run because no one in the Republican field had caught fire with the public." - LA Times
  • "Fresh off her win in the Iowa straw poll, Rep. Michele Bachmann said that if she is elected president she would spur the economy and create new jobs by reducing corporate taxes, repealing new Wall Street regulations and cutting federal spending for healthcare and retirees." - LA Times
  • "The GOP settled its Minnesota sweepstakes over the weekend, but the argument over Iowa goes on." - NPR
  • McDonnell takes to the national stage: :The Virginia governor keeps the door open to a 2016 run for president." - Politico
  • "Calling Washington "vile and corrupt," Rep. Michele Bachmann said Sunday she won't compromise her "core principles" but as president she would take steps to negotiate "advancements" in the right direction." - Fox News

> Yesterday on The Republican: After Ames, all eyes are on Romney and Perry

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