MUST READS: Today's Top Five Political Stories - Rolling Stone
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MUST READS: Today’s Top Five Political Stories


Obama’s Deficit Speech Was About a Vision of America
“This was not a speech about dollars and cents as much as it was an appeal for Americans to think about what kind of country they want and how they define shared sacrifice,” Dan Balz writes in the Washington Post. Obama had two goals for the speech: show he has a handle on the deficit challenge; and indicate he’s willing to fight for Democratic values. “The question is whether he can do both.”

Full story: “Obama Speech Frames a 2012 Choice for the Country,” Washington Post

Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail? (Cont’d)
Several years after Wall Street’s insane risk taking and reckless lending practices nearly totaled the U.S. economy, not a single top financial executive is in the slammer. What gives? Prosecutors and regulators say they’ve done the best they could under difficult circumstances, but… come on. “No fraud working groups. No national task force,” a legal expert tells the Times. “There has been no effective punishment of the elites here.”

Full story: “In Financial Crisis, No Prosecutions of Top Figures,” New York Times

Related: “Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?” by Matt Taibbi

After all That, the Budget Deal is Pathetic
The purportedly disinterested Congressional Budget Office suggests that the 2011 spending deal struck by Republicans and Democrats late last week — barely averting a government shutdown — would not save $38.5 billion, as touted, but, well, $352 million. OK, so… how come? Because some cuts would be slow to take effect, and some of the money was unlikely to be spent in any case. Of course!

Full story: “U.S. Budget Analysis Shows Smaller Savings,” Wall Street Journal

Pat Tillman’s Mother Says McChrystal Unfit to Serve Military Families
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who flamed out spectacularly as commander  of U.S. forces in Afghanistan after a Rolling Stone profile had his staff bad-mouthing President Obama, is unfit to take up his new gig co-chairing a commission on military families. So says Mary Tillman, whose son, the former pro football player turned Army Ranger, was killed by friendly fire 7 years ago. She blames McChrystal for his part in a Pentagon propaganda effort to conceal the true cause of his death. “Considering that we have plenty of evidence indicating that McChrystal was involved in the cover-up of Pat’s death,” she says “he’s not the right person for that kind of a job.”

Full story: “Pat Tillman’s Mom Wants General Stanley McChrystal Removed From White House Post,” ABC News

Related: The Runaway General: The Rolling Stone Profile of Gen. Stanley McChrystal That Changed History by Michael Hastings

Republicans on Debt Ceiling: “Give Us What We Want — Or the Economy Gets It
Republicans have indicated they’ll use the upcoming vote on raising the nation’s debt ceiling — necessary to avert an economic meltdown — as leverage to wring concessions from Democrats on spending and other priorities. Slate‘s Dave Weigel canvassed Republican back benchers on their starting positions. They said: Oh, just “fundamental tax reform,” “an overhaul of our regulatory structure,” and “repeal of Obamacare,” among other goals. Ladies and gentlemen, your Congress at work.

Full story: “What Republicans Want Added to the Debt Ceiling Vote,” Weigel, Slate


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