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Experts: Even Brief Default Could Blow Up The Economy

“Concerned by the recent rhetoric surrounding the debt limit debate, Fitch recently put out a memo threatening to downgrade the US government’s credit rating if Congress failed to reach a deal by August. Other ratings agencies have issued similarly dire warnings, including Moody’s, who said they may strip the US of its prized AAA bond rating by mid-July if the standoff hasn’t been resolved.

But ratings alone are relatively abstract. The real question is exactly how bad things would get in such a scenario. Experts who talked to TPM are divided on how much damage would remain after a brief default, but many are concerned that serious long-term consequences in the bond market are possible. If investors becomes spooked, they warn, interest rates on Treasury bonds could spike, a result that would drive up the deficit even further and put pressure on an already depressed housing market.”

WI GOP Legislator Uses Paul Ryan To Raise Money, Steps In Medicare Trap

“State legislators aren’t able to vote either way on the Medicare-ending House Republican budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). Nevertheless, Democrats, labor leaders and progressives trying to recall GOP state Senators in Wisconsin are eager to tie them to Ryan’s budget which, in one prominent case at least, has proven to be political kryptonite for supposedly safe Republicans.

In the case of state Sen. Alberta Darling (R), Democrats may have just found the connection they needed.

TPM has learned that Ryan will be attending a fundraiser for Darling tomorrow in Milwaukee. The coordinator for the event told TPM she invited Ryan as a “courtesy,” but the Darling campaign told TPM they expect Ryan to attend.”

Inactivity Issue: Judge Dismisses Key Argument Of Health Care Reform Foes

“Oral arguments are over in the highest profile lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care reform law. So the new parlor game for observers and stakeholders is identifying key moments from Wednesday’s proceeding in Atlanta that indicate where the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals may be headed.

The three-judge panel in the case, brought by 26 mostly Republican states and others, posed tough questions to both plaintiffs and defendants and made it clear they found merit in arguments from both sides. But in a brief exchange with plaintiffs’ attorney Paul Clement, one of the judges — Bill Clinton appointee Frank Hull — dismissed one of health care reform foes’ key arguments out of hand.

Specifically, Hull cast aside the plaintiff’s claim that by compelling non-participants in the insurance industry to buy health insurance, it regulates “inactivity.””

Sen. Hatch: Higher Taxes On The Rich Would Make The U.S. ‘A Second Rate Nation’

“Republicans in Congress have decided to ramp up their campaign to extend the Bush tax cuts already, with House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) claiming last week that the 2013 expiration of the cuts is causing uncertainty in the economy today. President Obama has said that he will not renew the Bush tax cuts for the richest two percent of Americans when they expire in 2013, even though he extended those cuts as part of last December’s tax deal.

Today, in an interview with CBS News, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, got in on the act, saying that allowing the Bush tax cuts for just the richest Americans to expire would turn the U.S. into a “second rate nation“.”

Chicago Man Guilty On 2 Of 3 Terror-Related Charges

“A federal terrorism case in Chicago has ended with a split verdict. Jurors found Chicago businessman Tahawwur Rana guilty on two of three counts of providing material support for terrorism. Rana was charged with helping plan the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, India, that left about 170 people dead. He was also accused of helping plot an attack against a Danish newspaper that had published cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.”

Read More: Chicago Terrorism Trial: What We Learned, And Didn’t, About Pakistan’s Terror Connections

Plea Deal Reached In Classified Leaks Case

“National Security Agency official Thomas Drake will plead guilty to one charge of unauthorized use of a computer because he accessed the agency’s intranet and improperly shared that information with a reporter. He faces up to one year in prison.”

GOP 2012 Presidential Candidates
Newt’s Top Aides Resign En Masse
What’s Next For Newt: Reboot in Los Angeles, Debate in NH
Rick Santorum: The Idea Of Climate Change Is A Liberal Conspiracy
Surging Rick Perry May Replace Fading Newt Gingrich In 2012 Field
Iowa Gov. Endorses Perry’s Call
For National Fasting And Prayer

Romney alienates conservatives by embracing climate science, Washington Post alienates readers by ignoring science entirely
Mitt Romney To Skip Iowa’s Straw Poll

Panetta’s Confirmation Hearing Gets Choppy

“CIA director Leon Panetta appeared at a confirmation hearing for his next likely post: secretary of defense. Panetta is expected to sail smoothly through the confirmation process to succeed Robert Gates. But the waters did get a bit choppy when Panetta went before the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday to address issues of war and ever-elusive peace.”

FDIC Chair Slams Bankers For Griping About New Regulations: ‘I See A Lot Of Amnesia Setting In’

“Earlier this week, JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon publicly questioned the need for new regulations — particularly higher capital requirements — to rein in the nation’s biggest banks in response to the 2008 financial crisis. Today, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chair Sheila Bair, one of the foremost proponents of strong financial regulatory reform, was asked about Dimon’s criticism. “I see a lot of amnesia setting in now,” Bair replied. “

Barefoot college helps Venezuela Indians fight back

“CANO TAUCA, Venezuela (Reuters) – Every morning, groups of tribespeople cross a jungle creek from their adobe student homes and wander barefoot through savanna inhabited by boa constrictors to reach class at Venezuela’s first indigenous university.”

Satire: Pakistani Intelligence Announces Its Full Cooperation With U.S. Forces During Upcoming Top Secret June 12 Drone Strike On Al-Qaeda At 5:23 A.M. Near Small Town Of Razmani In North Waziristan

“Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency restated Thursday its commitment to the fight against terrorism, pledging full cooperation with U.S. forces during the upcoming strike on an al-Qaeda safe house on June 12 at 5:23 a.m. near the small town of Razmani in the remote tribal region of North Waziristan.

At a hastily convened press conference, ISI chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha called Pakistan’s long- standing partnership with the United States “stronger than ever,” explaining that both countries share an interest in rooting out al-Qaeda.

“These are highly dangerous men,” he continued, “who will be taken out at 5:23 a.m. I repeat: The strike begins at 5:23 a.m.””


Good News: How To Put A New Element On The Periodic Table

“Two new elements were officially added to the periodic table this month. The elements were discovered years ago, but they needed approval from an international committee before they could be placed on the famous chart. We asked Ian Chillag and Mike Danforth, producers of NPR’s Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me and hosts of the podcast How To Do Everything, to explore how the process works.”

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