Gulp. Not the most promising news for the UK. Financing their massive debt now just became that much more costly.
Ratings agency Standard & Poor's lowered its outlook on Britain to negative on Thursday while affirming its 'AAA' long-term and 'A-1+' short-term sovereign credit ratings.
"We have revised the outlook on the UK to negative due to our view that, even assuming additional fiscal tightening, the net general government debt burden could approach 100 percent of GDP and remain near that level in the medium term," Standard & Poor's credit analyst David Beers said in a statement.
Beers said S&P had a more cautious view than the UK government of "how quickly the erosion in the government's revenue base may be repaired, the extent to which the growth in government spending can be curtailed, and consequently the pace at which historically high fiscal deficits are likely to narrow."
New podcast is up. Tech stuff slowly being worked through. We’re not quite there, but we’re getting close. Enjoy. [...]
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Watching this debate on torture unfold has left me fatalistic and evermore certain that this Republic died long ago. We have an Empire on our hands, one with a voracious appetite devouring hard fought freedoms and liberties all in the name of our[...]
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On a day when most of the attention (rightfully) has been on the President's speech in DC, there is a little bit of campaign and polling news waiting for us. So, on that note, let's wrap up this Thursday on the campaign trail.
NATIONAL: Is Anyone Still Willing To Admit to Being A Republican?
Pew Research has been tracking voter self-identification, and they find the Republican Party at an incredibly low ebb--23%. They also see a rise in Independents (36%), with Democrats holding reasonably steady at 35%.
NATIONAL: Obama Leads GOP Pack With Only 42 Months To Go Until Election Day!!
Always good to get early data, but PPP might be engaged in a bit of overkill. The boys at PPP poll Election Day 2012, with President Obama stacked up against a quartet of potential GOP rivals. The bottom line: landslides all the way around. Obama leads Mike Huckabee by thirteen (52-39), Newt Gingrich by seventeen (53-36), Mitt Romney by eighteen (53-35), and Sarah Palin by nineteen (56-37). Interestingly, they also polled approval ratings: once-and-apparently-future GOP spokesman Newt Gingrich was at the bottom, with 30% favorability.
CO-GOV: Democratic Governor Gets His First Serious Opponent
Scott McInnis, a former Congressman who has been oft-mentioned over the years for statewide office, will challenge Governor Bill Ritter (D) in next year's election. He has already walked into some controversy--apparently, you cannot raise money for your campaign or formally announce your campaign until you file with the Secretary of State. A watchdog group is claiming McInnis did just that.
FL-GOV: Florida GOP Appears To Clear The Field For McCollum
Bowing to pressure from the state GOP chairman, state agriculture commissioner Charlie Bronson has elected to forgo a bid to be elected governor next year. However, he did hedge his bets a bit, beginning his declaration of non-candidacy with three crucial words: "At this time." This apparent decision makes it almost certain that the 2010 Florida governors race will be between GOP attorney general Bill McCollum (a former Orlando-area Congressman) and Democratic state chief financial officer Alex Sink. A poll released earlier this week by Mason Dixon gave McCollum a nominal six-point edge.
MN-GOV: Pawlenty No Shoo-In For Re-Election, Says SUSA
SurveyUSA, in their latest Election 2010 polling, have paired up Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty with practically every possible candidate for the office in 2010. Three of them actually manage to keep the incumbent under 50%. The closest race would be against former Democratic Senator Mark Dayton, who holds T-Paw to just a four point lead (47-43). Also holding the incumbent to a lead within the margin of error was Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, who trails Pawlenty by just five points (47-42). St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman also holds Pawlenty under the magical 50% threshold, but the lead is considerably wider (48-37).
NY-SEN: Yet ANOTHER Democratic Rep. Whispering About A Senate Bid??
Give Crisitunity over at Swing State Project the award for the best analogy of the week. Discussing today's news out of New York, where we learn that longtime Bronx Congressman Jose Serrano is talking about running for the Senate, he compares the flurry of Democratic members of the House hinting at Senate bids to a giant game of Whack-A-Mole. Gillibrand, however, did pick up three key delegation endorsements (Arcuri, Hall, Murphy). Also, diarist devtob reports that the director of the Marist poll is also bullish on Gillibrand's chances.
PA-SEN: DSCC Poll Shows Specter Dominant in Potential Dem Primary
Taegan Goddard reported earlier today that the DSCC commissioned a poll on a potential Democratic primary in the PA-Senate race. The poll, conducted by Garin-Hart-Yang, found Arlen Specter up on Joe Sestak by a 56-16 margin.
MSNBC: "Robot warriors will get a guide to ethics:
When and what to fire will be part of hardware and software 'package'"
Hey, if machines can learn, how long before that kind of training is available to the company formerly known as Blackwater?
Open Thread below...
A Plea For Kindness, Lenience And Mercy From The Former “Fourth Superbranch To The New Obama Administration”Okay, so by now we’ve all heard about the big, huge so-called “debate” between the man who infamously shot a lawyer in the face on a drunken duck hunting outing...
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I’ve become somewhat overwhelmed by what my country, the United States has done. While[...]
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I got a reminder in my inbox today about the other face of Israel, not the face of Bibi or Lieberman or the ultra-Orthodox or the settlers. Although, the press release did come from the NY Consulate which falls within the Avigdor Lieberman's Foreign Ministry.
The headline reads:
Just in Time for LGBT Month,
International Gay Icon Comes to New York
and it promotes the upcoming concert by Israeli rock star, Ivri Lider at the very hip Webster Hall in NYC's East Village.
Ivri is not only one of the most popular rock stars in Israel, he is also flooded by adoring fans who are teenage girls, in addition to the gay community. When he came out a few years ago, he risked his popularity, due to his young female fan base, but the fact is that Israel--this other Israel--is actually a very liberal place, and a very welcoming and contemporary place. Indeed, it is the Israel of Tel Aviv, the Israel that yearns for normalcy, the Israel that sees itself as dancing away from its turmoil, the Israel that ultimately must make peace with the Palestinians if it is to find the place it so desires on the world stage. It's the Israel of Time Out Tel Aviv.
A few years ago, I wrote about this Israel for an oped piece in the Los Angeles Times, capturing the spirit that was popular back then of giant raves that young people conducted, sometimes for 48 hours at a time, and the attempt by a small group of young activists to turn their raves into political happenings to promote peace. I wove a region where Time out Tel Aviv would like their weekend events to Time Out Beirut--or Time Out Ramallah--where the young people of the region would find a borderless land mass over which they could cross, since after all, boys--and girls--just wanna have fun.
It's great that the Israeli Foreign Ministry is promoting Ivri. It would be greater if they would promote the policies necessary to make this type of popular culture thrive long term in Israel and see it as a necessary and delightful way to promote Israel's modernity along with a promise of peace.
Artist: Julia Dales
video details and more
This, via All Songs Considered, is downright virtuosic.
Who's the greatest beatboxer in the world? We'll soon find out, when the annual Beatbox Battle World Championship gets underway in Berlin, Germany on May 28. Each year contestants from all over the world flock to the city to lay down some sweet, human-generated beats in hopes of snagging the grand prize. This year's winner will be crowned on May 31.
In the meantime, the BBWC has announced the winner of its wildcard competition. It's Julia Dales, a 17 year-old from Canada.
I can't possibly imagine that anyone can possibly do a better job than this, unless she chokes in front of a crowd and can only make the magic happen in the backseat of a car with a deadpan gaze. This crushes every second of the American Idol finale!
Senator John Cornyn (R. Wingnuttia) is locked in a Titanic World-Historical Struggle with noted Viking Kitten Erick the Son of Erick over a deleted Facebook comment. It's sort of epic.[...]
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