FROM Matt Kibbe
The Debt Ceiling and the 2012 Presidential Playing Field The deficit reduction deal isn't over yet and it might play a role in next year's presidential campaign. Tea-Party favorite Michele Bachmann opposed any debt ceiling increase; moderate Jon Huntsman said one was needed. Other Republican presidential contenders had little to say while the debate was on, but now that it's over, Mitt Romney calls it a bad deal. Rick Perry , who's not yet announced, is still silent. What does that tell us about how the Republican nomination campaign is shaping up? Did the President give up so much he looks like a weak leader?
The Debt Ceiling, the President and Next Year's Campaign Republicans claim they made deficit reduction the price the President had to pay for increasing the debt ceiling so the US could pay its bills. Does that make Barack Obama look like a weak leader? Did he give up too much to hold on to his base or the right amount to appeal to centrist voters? Tea-Party favorite Michele Bachmann opposed any debt-ceiling increase; moderate Jon Huntsman said one was needed. Other GOP presidential contenders had little to say while the debate was on, but now that it's over, Mitt Romney calls it a bad deal. Rick Perry , who's not yet announced, is still silent. What does that tell us about how Republican nomination campaign is shaping up? Will the new bipartisan "super committee" roil the political waters all over again? Will Tea Partiers be able to extend their influence from Congress to the race for the White House?
The Bailout That Wasn't and What Might Be Next The Wall Street rescue would have cost $700 billion taxpayer dollars. Its failure in Congress cost $1.2 trillion in private investment in just one day. President Bush warns that millions of Americans face " the real prospect of financial hardship " if the government doesn't take action. More important than stocks is the tightening of credit. A lot of the votes against the rescue came from members of Congress who feel vulnerable in next month's election. They were swamped with phone calls, letters and e-mails from both the Left and the Right. Are the interests of Wall Street and Main Street fundamentally different or really the same? Would any government action be better than none? Are we seeing " a political version of climate change " and a "new era of class warfare?"'
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.