(Flickr/energycitizens) The scene in front of the Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa, the day of the straw poll
Only once since the Iowa straw poll started in 1979 has the winner become the Republican nominee for president. As I explained earlier this week, the straw poll's main function is weeding out second-tier candidates. By that standard, no one had a worse day than former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who ended his campaign this morning after coming in third.
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) Crews set up up for Thursday's Iowa GOP/Fox News Debate at CY Stephens Auditorium in Ames, Iowa.
Ames, Iowa, is normally a sleepy town this time of year. With most of Iowa State University's 28,000 students gone for the summer, the pace of life slows for the rest of the city's 30,000 residents. But one August weekend every four years, it turns into the GOP's presidential playground and -- with 700 press credentials handed out this year -- a focus of national media attention.
(AP Photo/Jim Mahoney)The Space Shuttle Atlantis lifts off from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on the STS-135 Mission on Friday, July 8.
In a 1962 address to the graduates of Rice University, John F. Kennedy famously pledged to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade: "We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people." Seven years later, NASA followed through, and the first human -- an American -- stepped foot on a surface outside of Earth.
At 5:56 this morning, Atlantis touched down at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, ending the age of the space shuttle. After 30 years of operation, the fleet -- which also included Discovery and Endeavour -- heads to retirement. It is a whimpering end to a period of repetitive missions that lost the imagination of the country.
Bill Clinton offered his take Tuesday for how he would solve the debt ceiling: Oder the Treasury to keep issuing debt under the 14th Amendment, which states: "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned." Some have interpreted this Civil War-era language to mean the debt ceiling is unconstitutional, and that it is within Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's power to continue issuing debt to
Just in case Moody's and S&P didn't frighten you enough, Fitch credit agency has added itself to the list of groups planning to downgrade the United State's triple-A rating if the debt ceiling is not raised by August 2. PerThe Hill:
First, the rating would be placed on Credit Watch Negative -- a move already adopted by fellow rater Standard & Poor's. Two days after the deadline, the Treasury has a $90 billion bond due to mature. If the government does not pay in full that bond, Fitch would immediately knock the rating down several notches to B-plus -- the highest possible rating for a nation in default.