United States loses AAA credit rating from S&P

From Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/06/us-usa-debt-downgrade-idUSTRE7746VF20110806

By Walter Brandimarte

NEW YORK | Fri Aug 5, 2011 9:47pm EDT

(Reuters) – The United States lost its top-notch AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor’s on Friday in an unprecedented reversal of fortune for the world’s largest economy.

S&P cut the long-term U.S. credit rating by one notch to AA-plus on concerns about the government’s budget deficits and rising debt burden. The move is likely to raise borrowing costs eventually for the American government, companies and consumers.

“The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics,” S&P said in a statement.

The decision follows a fierce political battle in Congress over cutting spending and raising taxes to reduce the government’s debt burden and allow its statutory borrowing limit to be raised.

On August 2, President Barack Obama signed legislation designed to reduce the fiscal deficit by $2.1 trillion over 10 years. But that was well short of the $4 trillion in savings S&P had called for as a good “down payment” on fixing America’s finances.

Continue reading at:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/06/us-usa-debt-downgrade-idUSTRE7746VF20110806

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STOKING FIRE: Clinic Violence Needs to Be Controlled

From RH Reality Check: http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2011/07/29/stoking-fire-clinic-violence-needs-controlled

by Eleanor J. Bader, RH Reality Check
August 5, 2011

When President Bill Clinton signed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act in 1994, the prochoice community assumed that the years of violent assaults and harassment were finally over. After all, the Act prohibits “the use or threat of force and physical obstruction that injures, intimidates, or interferes with a person seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services.” What’s more, it gives the Department of Justice authority to bring criminal charges against violators, with potentially hefty financial penalties and jail time for those convicted, and empowers DOJ, state Attorney Generals, individuals, and health centers to bring civil complaints against anyone who breaches the law.

Seventeen years later, however, only 64 lawsuits—39 of them criminal—have been filed and 92 defendants have been charged. In total, FACE has led to just 86 convictions.

Meanwhile, clinics across the U.S. continue to be menaced. “Our protesters have learned to come as close as they can without stepping over the line to a FACE violation,” says Jen Boulanger, Executive Director of the Allentown Women’s Center.  Sadly, Boulanger’s experience is all too common and protesters have further sidestepped the law by developing tactics that fall outside FACE’s purview. One of the most insidious—and effective—is the boycott. Indeed, businesses and suppliers throughout the 50 states have been threatened with blacklisting unless they sever ties with providers. Just last month, for example, an Enterprise Rent-a-Car franchise in Redwood City, California was warned that if they didn’t revoke an agreement to rent nine parking spaces to a nearby clinic, the entire national chain would be boycotted.

Yep, they’re a wily lot, the antis.  Still, the question remains: Has the Obama administration done all it can to prosecute those who’ve run rough-shod over FACE, or has it backpedaled on the issue?

Much has been made of the fact that since Obama took office, DOJ has brought charges against seven individuals for violating the Act—a nearly 360-degree turnaround from the Bush years.  Among them: Richard Retta, an elderly Maryland man who has been a constant presence at Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC for a decade.  According to the complaint, Retta routinely interfered with patients entering the facility.  In one incident, he got so close to a woman that he broke her shoe. DOJ seeks to bar Retta from coming within 20 feet of PPMW’s entrance and physically obstructing patients, staff, and escorts. The agency is also requesting $15,000 in fines.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2011/07/29/stoking-fire-clinic-violence-needs-controlled

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Potential jurors shouldn’t be dismissed for being gay, court told

From The Los Angeles Times:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-jurors-sexual-orientation-20110805,0,6750375.story

An appellate panel hears arguments in an assault case against a gay inmate in which a lesbian was dismissed during jury selection. Defense lawyers want the panel to consider constitutional issues.

By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
August 5, 2011

Trial lawyers should be barred from dismissing potential jurors because of their sexual orientation, defense attorneys argued Thursday in a case that, if successful, could extend constitutional protection from discrimination to homosexuality along with race, creed and gender.

The arguments made to a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena arose from a prosecutor’s decision last year to strike a lesbian from the jury weighing assault charges brought against a gay Nigerian inmate at the federal lockup in Los Angeles.

The Obama administration has called for “heightened scrutiny” of laws and practices that target gays, and the government has lately expressed its concern about the constitutionality of differing treatment of spouses in same-sex marriages.

In Nigerian-born Daniel Osazuwa’s appeal of his assault conviction before three of the most liberal judges of the 9th Circuit, attorneys with the federal public defender’s office argued that gays and lesbians should be added to the classes of citizens considered vulnerable to discrimination and accorded better protection of their rights.

Deputy Public Defender James H. Locklin asked the 9th Circuit panel to find that Osazuwa’s trial judge erred in accepting a bogus reason for the prosecutor’s dismissal of the lesbian during jury selection.

Continue reading at:  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-jurors-sexual-orientation-20110805,0,6750375.story

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Who killed economic growth?

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Friday Night Fun and Culture: Keepin’ Austin and other Parts of Texas Weird

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American Psychological Association calls for gay marriage

From Pink News: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2011/08/05/american-psychological-association-calls-for-gay-marriage/

by Jessica Geen
5 August 2011

The world’s largest body of psychologists, the American Psychological Association, has called for state and federal officials to lift barriers to marriage equality.

Members at the group’s annual meeting in Washington voted unanimously on Wednesday to back “full marriage equality for same-sex couples”.

Its policy-making panel cited evidence which shows that marriage has the same health benefits for gay people as it does for straight people and that barring gay couples from marrying “may have negative effects on their psychological well-being.”

Clinton Anderson, director of APA’s Office on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns, told USA Today: “Now as the country has really begun to have experience with gay marriage, our position is much clearer and more straightforward – that marriage equity is the policy that the country should be moving toward.”

States which allow gay marriage are New York, Vermont, Iowa, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire, as well as Washington DC. A small number of states permit civil unions, which many gay rights campaigners see as inadequate.

The resolution passed by the APA says that “many gay men and lesbians, like their heterosexual counterparts, desire to form stable, long-lasting and committed intimate relationships and are successful in doing so”.

It adds: “Emerging evidence suggests that statewide campaigns to deny same-sex couples legal access to civil marriage are a significant source of stress to the lesbian, gay and bisexual residents of those states and may have negative effects on their psychological well-being.”

Continue reading at: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2011/08/05/american-psychological-association-calls-for-gay-marriage/

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America In Decline

From In These Times: http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/11806/america_in_decline/

By Noam Chomsky
August 5, 2011

“It is a common theme” that the United States, which “only a few years ago was hailed to stride the world as a colossus with unparalleled power and unmatched appeal is in decline, ominously facing the prospect of its final decay,” Giacomo Chiozza writes in the current Political Science Quarterly.

The theme is indeed widely believed. And with some reason, though a number of qualifications are in order. To start with, the decline has proceeded since the high point of U.S. power after World War II, and the remarkable triumphalism of the post-Gulf War ’90s was mostly self-delusion.

Another common theme, at least among those who are not willfully blind, is that American decline is in no small measure self-inflicted. The comic opera in Washington this summer, which disgusts the country and bewilders the world, may have no analogue in the annals of parliamentary democracy.

The spectacle is even coming to frighten the sponsors of the charade. Corporate power is now concerned that the extremists they helped put in office may in fact bring down the edifice on which their own wealth and privilege relies, the powerful nanny state that caters to their interests.

Corporate power’s ascendancy over politics and society—by now mostly financial—has reached the point that both political organizations, which at this stage barely resemble traditional parties, are far to the right of the population on the major issues under debate.

For the public, the primary domestic concern is unemployment. Under current circumstances, that crisis can be overcome only by a significant government stimulus, well beyond the recent one, which barely matched decline in state and local spending—though even that limited initiative probably saved millions of jobs.

Continue reading at:  http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/11806/america_in_decline/

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30 Years Ago Today: The Day the Middle Class Died

From Michael Moore: http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/30-years-ago-today

By Michael Moore
August 5, 2011

From time to time, someone under 30 will ask me, “When did this all begin, America’s downward slide?” They say they’ve heard of a time when working people could raise a family and send the kids to college on just one parent’s income (and that college in states like California and New York was almost free). That anyone who wanted a decent paying job could get one. That people only worked five days a week, eight hours a day, got the whole weekend off and had a paid vacation every summer. That many jobs were union jobs, from baggers at the grocery store to the guy painting your house, and this meant that no matter how “lowly” your job was you had guarantees of a pension, occasional raises, health insurance and someone to stick up for you if you were unfairly treated.

Young people have heard of this mythical time — but it was no myth, it was real. And when they ask, “When did this all end?”, I say, “It ended on this day: August 5th, 1981.”

Beginning on this date, 30 years ago, Big Business and the Right Wing decided to “go for it” — to see if they could actually destroy the middle class so that they could become richer themselves.

And they’ve succeeded.

On August 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired every member of the air traffic controllers union (PATCO) who’d defied his order to return to work and declared their union illegal. They had been on strike for just two days.

It was a bold and brash move. No one had ever tried it. What made it even bolder was that PATCO was one of only two unions that had endorsed Reagan for president! It sent a shock wave through workers across the country. If he would do this to the people who were with him, what would he do to us?

Reagan had been backed by Wall Street in his run for the White House and they, along with right-wing Christians, wanted to restructure America and turn back the tide that President Franklin D. Roosevelt started — a tide that was intended to make life better for the average working person. The rich hated paying better wages and providing benefits. They hated paying taxes even more. And they despised unions. The right-wing Christians hated anything that sounded like socialism or holding out a helping hand to minorities or women.

Continue reading at:  http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/30-years-ago-today

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Lesbian widow defends her marriage, battles in-laws in court

The ultra right wing bullies and religious fanatics try to say LGBT/T people want special privileges even when all we want is a level playing field.  Instead they want to make us in to second class citizens even though we pay not only the same taxes they do but often more taxes as we are not accorded the same sorts of tax breaks heterosexuals, especially married heterosexuals are.

Add to that the bigotry that tends to cause us to earn less than our straight counterparts and you have a plainly obvious denial of basic equal rights as accorded by the US Constitution.

From The San Diego LGBT Weekly: http://lgbtweekly.com/2011/08/03/lesbian-widow-defends-her-marriage-battles-in-laws-in-court/

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) has sprung to the defense of Jennifer Tobits, a recent widow who is engaged in a courtroom battle with the parents of her deceased wife, Ellyn Farley, for her estate and employer benefits. Farley’s parents, who refused to recognize the couples’ marriage, brought the matter to court shortly after their daughter’s death claiming sole rights to her estate.

With the help of the NCLR, Tobits responded by filing court documents to defend her status as a surviving spouse in hopes of legitimating her rights to Farley’s estate. Tobits commented on her struggle to deal with both her loss and the ongoing court proceeding, stating, “Ellyn was the love of my life. No one should have to experience the pain of losing the person who means the most to you, only to face a shocking and hostile challenge to your marriage—your commitment, your life together, and everything you built as a couple.”

Tobits and Farley were married in Toronto, Canada in 2006, and learned just weeks after their nuptials that Farley was ill with an aggressive form of cancer. For four years, Farley fought the disease bravely with her wife by her side, until September 2010 when she passed away at age 37. Farley reportedly expressed concern in the days before her death that her parents might take action against Tobits to ensure that she would not inherit her estate.

Complete article at:  http://lgbtweekly.com/2011/08/03/lesbian-widow-defends-her-marriage-battles-in-laws-in-court/

Presidential Candidate Rick Perry Wants You To Stop Eating And Pray So God Will Fix The Country

From The Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/rick-perry-prayer-rally-the-response-2011-8

Henry Blodget
Aug. 3, 2011

There’s a Presidential election coming up, and that means that the candidates have started to do and say anything to get elected.

One of the (unofficial) candidates, Texas Governor Rick Perry (R), has started saying some stuff that should scare the bejeezus out of many ordinary Americans.

Specifically, Perry is saying that one reason our country’s problems are so intractable is “because we are a nation that has not honored God in our successes or humbly called on Him in our struggles.”

And Perry’s going to fix that.

On August 6th, he’s going to be leading a huge prayer rally called The Response, in which he will call upon Americans to “pray and fast” so God will forgive us and help us fix the country.

Continue reading at: http://www.businessinsider.com/rick-perry-prayer-rally-the-response-2011-8

‘Gee, Thanks, But I Have To Wash My Hair’: Governors Skip Perry Prayer Rally

From Americans United for the Separation of Church and State: http://blog.au.org/2011/08/03/%E2%80%98gee-thanks-but-i-have-to-wash-my-hair%E2%80%99-governors-skip-perry-prayer-rally/

By Rob Boston
August 3, 2011

Texas Gov. Rick Perry had big plans for his exclusionary Christian prayer rally this Saturday. He was so proud of the event that he invited all 49 other governors to attend.

The RSVPs to “The Response” have been trickling in, and it doesn’t look good. So far, the number of governors who plan to attend the event at Houston’s Reliant Stadium in person stands at exactly zero, notes the American Independent.

Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas had planned to come, and Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana said he might swing by. But gay rights groups in Kansas made quite a stir by pointing out that the American Family Association (AFA), one of the groups organizing the event, is vociferously anti-gay. The AFA has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Suddenly Brownback says he plans to be on vacation, and Jindal isn’t talking about the event any more.

Even conservative governors like Paul LaPage of Maine, Mary Fallin of Oklahoma and Scott Walker of Wisconsin have begged off. As of today, it looks like the only other governor who will put in face time is Rick Scott of Florida – and he’s sending a videotaped message. (A few other governors have issued letters or proclamations supporting the event.)

Continue reading at:  http://blog.au.org/2011/08/03/%E2%80%98gee-thanks-but-i-have-to-wash-my-hair%E2%80%99-governors-skip-perry-prayer-rally/

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Under New Guidelines, Cheap Birth Control Pays Off for Working Women

From In These Times: http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/11792/new_guidelines_help_cheap_birth_control_pay_off_for_working_women/

By Michelle Chen
Wednesday Aug 3, 2011

Washington’s Old Boys’ club still has its knickers in a wad over the deficit “compromise,” but women across the country can breathe a slight sigh of relief this week. The White House just issued health reform guidelines that will mandate insurance plans to provide birth control to women at no extra cost. The measure is long overdue, part of an array of preventive services recommended by the Institute of Medicine for improving women’s health. But the promise of broader contraceptive access coincides fittingly with the debate over the nation’s budget woes, because birth control is an economic issue.

Consider how essential birth control is for working women. When women can control whether and how many children they bear, they can delay pregnancy until they feel they’re ready, and in the meantime focus on career goals, finishing school, paying off that mortgage or signing divorce papers. The “choice” in reproductive choice refers not only to her ovaries—despite the right-wing scaremongering about unfettered female sexuality—it’s about every choice in life affected by pregnancy and sex.

At the height of the economic crisis, the costs of family planning grew more severe, as did the consequences of having to forgo it. According to a 2009 study by the Guttmacher Institute:

Continue reading at:  http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/11792/new_guidelines_help_cheap_birth_control_pay_off_for_working_women/

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Seniors hold ‘knit-in’ protests at New York banks

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/08/03/seniors-hold-knit-ins-protests-at-new-york-banks/

By Eric W. Dolan
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Seniors outraged at proposed cuts to Medicare held “knit-ins” at bank branches throughout New York City and Long Island on Wednesday afternoon. They knitted blankets that said “Save Medicare,” which they plan to hand-deliver to members of Congress during the August recess.

“Medicare is absolutely essential for my health, I have diabetes and need medications and constant treatment,” said Vickie Owens, a 69-year-old retired health professional and senior rights activist from the Bronx. “We bailed out the big banks, got them on their feet, and now they just want to throw us taxpayers and senior citizens to the dogs.”

President Barack Obama signed an debt deal into law, called the the Budget Control Act of 2011, on Tuesday that would raised the debt ceiling until 2013 and cut the federal deficit by about $2.1 trillion over a 10-year period. The two-stage agreement, which was criticized by both tea party lawmakers and progressive Democrats, passed by a vote of 269 to 161 in the House and a vote of 74 to 26 in the Senate.

The first stage includes a $917 billion cut in discretionary spending. The second stage involves a special joint committee of Congress, which would be responsible for drafting additional budget legislation to reduce the budget deficit by about $1.2 trillion, possibly by making cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/08/03/seniors-hold-knit-ins-protests-at-new-york-banks/

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Thom Hartmann: Minnesota GOP Legislation Written by ALEC, Funded by Koch Brothers and Wal-Mart, and More

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The Beast Is Starved: Welcome to the Next Great Depression

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/08/04-2

by John Atcheson
Published on Thursday, August 4, 2011 by CommonDreams.org

Since Reagan, Republicans have been on a “starve the beast” campaign – by which they mean eviscerate the government by taking away as much revenue as they can.

Starving the beast has been the biggest bait and switch con game that has ever been perpetrated on the American people.  And the most tragic. ”

As Paul Krugman pointed out, Republicans offered popular tax cuts so that they could later cut popular government programs “as a necessity.”  Oh, we’d love to continue providing low cost, effective medical care under Medicare, but you see, the country just can’t afford it … Of course we can’t.  Billionaire hedge fund managers and Wall Street traders pay less in taxes than their secretaries.  And most corporations pay little or no taxes.

Starve the Beast was coupled with a clever campaign to make government appear to be a collection of bumbling bureaucrats who wasted tax money for pure pleasure.  Long after it became politically impossible to stereotype racial and ethnic groups (with the possible exceptions of Muslims) it was – and is – quite acceptable to characterize government workers as shiftless, lazy and incompetent.

As a result, once the Republicans succeeded in cutting government revenue to the bone and beyond, it became impossible to raise taxes – who wants to give any more of their hard earned money to a bunch of lazy bureaucrats?

Never mind that most big government programs are far more efficient than their private sector equivalents.  That’s a mere fact.  Can’t let that get in the way of starving the beast.

Bait and switch.  Divide and Conquer.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/08/04-2

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Senate Panel Keeps ‘Secret Patriot Act’ Under Wraps

From Wired: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/08/senate-panel-keeps-secret-patriot-act-under-wraps/

By Noah Shachtman
August 2, 2011

The secret Patriot Act is staying secret.

Two Senators have been warning for months that the government has a secret legal interpretation of the Patriot Act so broad that it amounts to an entirely different law — one that gives the feds massive domestic surveillance powers, and keeps the rest of us in the dark about the snooping.

“There is a significant discrepancy between what most Americans – including many members of Congress – think the Patriot Act allows the government to do and how government officials interpret that same law,” wrote the Senators, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall. “We believe that most members of the American public would be very surprised to learn how federal surveillance law is being interpreted in secret. ”

The Senators tried to get the government to reveal some of the law’s contents, by forcing the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General to produce a report outlining when this secret surveillance has gone overboard. Yesterday, the effort failed. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said no to the report by rejecting Wyden and Udall’s amendment to the FY2012 Intelligence Authorization Act.

In other words: we are all still in the dark about how the government is spying on us.

Continue reading at:  http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/08/senate-panel-keeps-secret-patriot-act-under-wraps/

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Right Wing Republicans Manage to Destroy The World’s Economy

The Big Lie (German: Große Lüge) is a propaganda technique. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, for a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” Hitler believed the technique was used by Jews to unfairly blame Germany’s loss in World War I on German Army officer Erich Ludendorff.

For years now we have been told the biggest lie of all.  It has become a mindless meme regurgitated any time racist and bigoted people want to justify voting for a bunch of sheet wearing knuckle dragging, women hating Nazi pigs.

“Oh.. I don’t believe in their social policies but they are better with the economy.”

WTF?  What kind of drugs are you taking?  The Republicans destroy the economy every time they run it according to their principles.  They act like spoiled rich brats buying all sorts of toys and lining their pockets with borrowed money.

Capitalism equals theft.  Capitalists get rich by the sweat of the workers.  they do not share the profits in an equitable manner with the workers.

Without seriously tight regulation and policing Wall Street might as well be a criminal syndicate.

Why in the world would anyone in their right mind think the government should be run like a business unless the government is running businesses?  But the privatization forces do not want the government running things like public utilities or the health care system because they know if they had to compete against civil servants then they wouldn’t be able to make their CEOs and others at the top fabulously wealthy.

The Party of Hoover, Reagan and Bushes are Economy Destroyers, who hate the idea of America as a Democratic Republic with liberty, justice and equality for all.

The Republicans and Conservatives around the world, who are from the same ideological mindset have brought us to the Eve of Destruction.

Time to say enough…

From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/aug/04/world-stock-markets-turmoil-fall

World stock markets in turmoil

Almost £50bn wiped off leading British shares and huge sell-off on Wall Street amid economic fears

and guardian.co.uk,
Thursday 4 August 2011

Almost £50bn was wiped off the value of Britain’s 100 biggest companies on a day of global stock market mayhem triggered by a deepening of the eurozone crisis and fears for the US economy.

After a day of massive stock market falls in Europe and the US of a kind not seen since the depths of the last economic downturn, traders said the atmosphere was reminiscent of the banking crisis of October 2008. Wall Street endured one of its worst days since the height of that crisis, with the Dow Jones Industrial Index closing more than 500 points or 4.3% lower at 11,383 in heavy volume, as it resumed a two-week streak interrupted only briefly on Wednesday. It was the biggest single-day loss since 2008.

“For many traders this week has felt like the start of the banking crisis in 2008, which would go some way to explaining the panic selling we have seen today,” said Will Hedden, sales trader at IG Index.

The fall on Wall Street is expected to cause further falls in the FTSE 100 index of leading shares on Friday, after the index fell to its lowest close, 5393.14, since September 2010 yesterday. The futures market was predicting a further 100 point fall.

Rumours were swirling around the City that hedge funds were being forced to sell assets such as gold in order to cover deepening losses on other investments. This led to a surprise 1% drop in gold, which in recent weeks had hit record highs of more than £1,000 an ounce as a safe haven bet in the eurozone and US debt crisis. Brent crude fell 5% to $107 a barrel amid signs of slowdown in the west’s economies.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/aug/04/world-stock-markets-turmoil-fall

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/05/business/markets.html?_r=1&hp

Stocks Plunge on Fears of Global Turmoil

Published: August 4, 2011

What began as a weak day in the stock markets ended in the worst rout in more than two years, as investors dumped stocks amid anxiety that both Europe and the United States were failing to fix deepening economic problems.

With a steep decline of around 5 percent in the United States on Thursday, stocks have now fallen nearly 11 percent in two weeks. Markets have been plunging as investors sought safer havens for their money — including Treasury bonds, which some had been avoiding during the debate over extending the nation’s debt ceiling.

Sparking the drop was an unsuccessful effort by the European Central Bank to reassure the markets, which instead ended up spooking investors. The bank intervened with a show of support to buy bonds of some smaller countries, but not Italy and Spain, whose mounting troubles have come into the spotlight.  This was taken as a sign that the recent rescue packages by Europe could soon be overwhelmed by the huge debt burdens in those two countries.

Investors were further unnerved by a candid remark by José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president, who seemed to confirm fears about the sense of political paralysis. Rather than play down the problems, as European officials have done since the debt crisis began last year, he said, “Markets remain to be convinced that we are taking the appropriate steps to resolve the crisis.”

With investors in the United States already focusing anew on fragile economic growth and high unemployment, waves of selling of stocks began in Europe and continued throughout the day in the United States. Analysts said the market still might have further to fall, as investors reassess the dimming economic prospects. In the short run, attention will be focused on critical unemployment numbers for July to be released on Friday morning. And some in the markets are already questioning whether  the Federal Reserve has done enough to mend the economy and whether it could soon take further steps to stimulate growth.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/05/business/markets.html?_r=1&hp

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