The Note’s Must-Reads for Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Aug 9, 2011 4:04am

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associate Jacqueline Ng Fernandez, Jayce Henderson and Desk Assistant Amanda VanAllen

ABC News’ Devin Dwyer: “Obama Dismisses Standard & Poor's Downgrade, Sees New Urgency in Debt Talks” President Obama today expressed confidence in U.S. government finances, following a first-ever downgrade of the country's AAA credit rating by Standard & Poor's, and said he senses new urgency for a bipartisan debt-reduction deal later this year. "No matter what some agency may say," Obama said, "we've always been and always will be a triple-A country." LINK

The Hills’ Michael O’Brien and Peter Schroeder: “Obama: US remains a 'triple-A country’” The decision by Standard & Poor's to downgrade U.S. debt underscores the need for a major agreement on deficit reduction, President Obama said Monday.  The president said U.S. debt remains world-class in the eyes of the markets despite S&P's downward revision of U.S. debt to an AA+ rating. LINK

New York Daily News’ Alison Gendar: “Obama on tanking economy: 'Hopeful about our future' as Dow Jones drops over 500 points” Trying desperately to avoid panicking the nation, President Obama said Monday America's underlying economic strength is sound – despite a credit downgrade. "Markets will rise and fall but this is the United State of America," Obama said in his first public statement since the U.S. credit rating was downgraded Friday after markets closed. LINK

USA Today: “Editorial: World stock markets cry out for leadership” In case anyone was under the illusion that the problems exposed in the 2008 financial crisis were behind us, world stock markets are sounding a sobering wake-up call. The markets accelerated their stomach-churning sell-off Monday, with the Dow Jones average plunging 635 points, the sixth largest point drop in Dow history. Since July 22, when it fleetingly looked as if Europe's banking problems were manageable and U.S. budget negotiators might reach a "grand bargain" to reduce future deficits, the Dow is down 15%. LINK

Los Angeles Times’ Peter Nicholas: “Obama, congressional leaders seek leverage from economic jolt” The jolt to America's prestige as an economic superpower so far has only hardened positions in Washington, as president Obama and congressional leaders are seeking to use the downgrade in America's credit rating to gain leverage in the next round of the battle over the federal debt. Obama spoke Monday at midday, as the Dow was skidding toward a 634-point drop, and portrayed Standard & Poor's decision to downgrade U.S. credit on Friday as proof that political paralysis "could do enormous damage to our economy and the world's." LINK

Bloomberg’s Jeannine Aversa and Scott Lanman: “Fed May Strengthen Stimulus Pledge on Recession Concern” Federal Reserve officials may strengthen their commitment to record monetary stimulus as soon as today after a faltering economic recovery and a U.S. credit- rating cut provoked a rout in global stocks. By a 52 percent to 48 percent margin, respondents in a Bloomberg News survey said the Fed would ease policy this year through monetary tools or statement language.  LINK

Politico’s Dave Levinthal and Josh Boak: “S&P credit downgrade of U.S. may increase lobbying on Capitol Hill” Standard & Poor’s is supposed to be an independent credit rating arbiter largely immune from day-to-day political warfare. At the same time, the company employs a powerful governmental lobbying operation – and one that’ll likely be used frequently following its unprecedented step this weekend of downgrading the nation’s credit rating from pristine AAA to slightly tarnished AA+. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Carol E. Lee: “Obama Bid to Boost Confidence Falls Short” President Barack Obama, speaking Monday as stocks were plunging after the first-ever downgrade of the U.S. government's credit rating, tried to rally confidence that Washington will be able to address growing concerns about the federal debt. Mr. Obama said he would place ideas for tax revisions and Medicare "adjustments" before a new congressional committee charged with cutting the deficit LINK

The Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan: “Obama renews call for tax cuts, jobless benefits” Pummeled by ghastly economic news, President Obama called Monday for more spending and extended tax cuts that he said would help stimulate the economy — but these also could deepen the deficit problems that helped the federal government earn its first-ever debt downgrade last week. LINK

G.O.P. / 2012 ELECTIONS:
The New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny: “Perry Signals Intent to Enter Race, Sending a Jolt to G.O.P. Candidates” Gov. Rick Perry of Texas delivered a long-distance jolt to the Republican presidential campaign on Monday by signaling that he intends to join the race and visit South Carolina and New Hampshire on Saturday, the same day his rivals are battling for survival in the Iowa Straw Poll. LINK

The Washington Post’s Michael Leahy: “Pawlenty fights to gain ground ahead of Ames Straw Poll” The campaign bus rolled to a stop in an Iowa parking lot. Earlier that day, recorded phone messages had been left with supporters in Sioux County, alerting them that, while the outdoor rally would proceed, unforeseen events would prevent the candidate from appearing. About 70 people — a large crowd by Iowa standards for so early in a presidential campaign — had shown up to stand in the sweltering heat anyway. LINK

S&P's Downgrade Puts Pressure on ObamaLINK
U.S. Stocks Plummet as S&P Downgrade QuestionedLINK

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