Comments of the day:
“I hate to admit it, but China is right on this one. Good thing they only downgraded us a notch.” – urwelcome
“Meanwhile, that credit agency has a sweatshop in the back, making American flags.” – AmericaIndia
China's leading credit rating agency Wednesday downgraded U.S. sovereign debt after putting it on negative watch last month. The Dagong Global Credit Rating Company, a privately held agency, lowered the United States to A+ last November and today announced a further downgrade to A , indicating heightened doubts over Washington's long-term ability to repay its debts. The Dagong chairman says he believes U.S. Democrats and Republicans were irresponsible and that "[The] downgrade simply reflects reality."
CNN.com readers weren’t happy about the news blaming both political parties for infighting and nearly failing to reach a deal on the debt ceiling. But some readers doubted the rating.
Guest said, “So . . . a privately held Chinese company downgraded the U.S. credit rating and now Chinese investors will be able to invest more at a cheaper price, thereby owning much more for their money than they already own? And having much more equity upon recovery? Please tell me that I am missing something here.”
InFormed99 said, “I guess China wanted their own financial 'mouthpiece' that they can control. No wonder they rated China first. China has it's own set of debt issues that will destabilize them, but they just don't talk about it.”
HOCKEYTlME said, “Why the hell are you all bashing China? I'm with them on this one. If any other country pulled what we did in the last couple of months, we would downgrade them too. That's just reality. We have spent irresponsibly over the last two decades and continue to do so. This self-complex of we're invincible and the world revolves around us has been doing nothing but dragging us down for the last decade.
McCainInFour responded, “China said it best: there's no more liquid market than the U.S. Federal Debt. And the Republicans want to make sure it is the largest, most stable debt market for a VERY long time (since there's no tax increase on the table). China has gotta LOVE the ‘new’ Republicans.”
stlrfan responded, “Yep can't blame this one on China. This one belongs solely to the lower/middle class Americans who voted for the TEA-Try Everything and Anything Party. Congrats TEA party. Your drumbeat for spending cuts just killed any chance of an economic recovery.”
Thomas2009 responded, “I agree with you HockeyTime, except I'd say our government has spent irresponsibly for a lot longer than two decades! At least since the late 1940s ... but it has gotten progressively worse.”
puss responded, “It seems to me that we are either dumb or blind. The United States lives in a bubble. We are the biggest abusers of everything then blame other countries for bettering themselves. We LIVE on debt. We cannot go out and purchase ANYTHING on cash, it's all credit. We HAVE to HAVE everything better than others even if we cannot afford it. The government is our example. Wake up people.”
emoniac said, “Why do Americans blame China for their own failures? China didn't do what your government did during the last three weeks. China didn't "steal" your jobs, you gave them away. China didn't (and doesn't) need your permission or your help to be a roaring industrial and economic success story. Simply put: China owns you.”
zooni said, “Thanks to out of control corporations who control Washington, China is the new master.”
MoeGreenVega said, “Not many of us are this old (to remember), but America used to be able to make real decisions: Dwight D. Eisenhower's national system of Interstate and Defense Highways; Rockets to the Moon. Now politicians can't take a dump without an oversight committee. I wish Obama would had enacted the 14th and shown true leadership.”
ShovelingSnw responsed, “Good decisions would include revoking MFN trade status for China, and outlawing the transfer of business technologies not directly required to build things in factories there.”
Unschooling is gaining popularity in Canada and the United States thanks mainly to frustration with the public education system. In unschooling, the child is in control of his/her learning and free to decide what he wants to study and when he wants to study it. But child psychiatrist and Harvard medical professor Steven Schlozman cautions that pre-adolescent brains can't leap to higher levels without help.
UrthraFrnkln said, “Seems like another benefit to affluent, well-educated families who have the resources and education themselves to teach their children and provide them with all the support they need to be able to focus on a self-directed education. Unschooling is a cute idea and not one to be quickly discarded, but it's totally irrelevant to the vast majority of American families and school-aged children.”
darkoakwoman responded, “I am an unschooling parent and our family is definitely NOT affluent! We do without what most two-income families have in order to provide our children with the educational experience we think is best for them.”
EmptySkull said, “The common theme in all successful traditional and alternative learning methods: the parents are very involved in making sure the kids become successful.”
MarkPA said, “Sorry but I don't see how “organic learning’ is ‘better. All I see is lazy parenting. How do you ‘organically learn’ calculus, trig or other advanced math? At some point, structure must be applied in order to move forward.”
Sbul said, I'm not sure that it is ‘lazy parenting’ as I imagine it takes more effort by the parents to supervise and be with their children. From what I understand, these parents and families are highly motivated and already well-educated. They have to spend more time with their children as their children don't have to go to school and thus would be home a lot more. No, not lazy parents - perhaps indulgent parents?”
Mike2003 said, “If I tried this with my son he would spend all day studying at PS3 U.”
dadofone said, “We have a 12-year-old daughter we have been unschooling for about four years now. It has worked great for us. She is very bright and interested in many subjects. What you have to understand is that kids are self-learners. You just have to be there to answer their questions and help guide them along. “
eepah said, “What you have to understand is that SOME kids are self-learners. Not all.”
Priya86 said, “We home school, leaning more toward the unschool type of education. Our kids read, play instruments, sports, etc. The only difference between our kids and the public school kids is that my kids don't walk around like automatons with that dead look in their eyes. They are interested in the world and interested in changing the world. They are kind, compassionate, talented, intelligent soon-to-be adults, and I wouldn't have raised them any other way.”
A homeless man jumped the White House fence on Tuesday and was apprehended by uniformed Secret Service officers who approached him with guns drawn. The incident was broadcast live on CNN's "John King USA" program, which was produced from the north lawn of the White House on Tuesday night.
CNN.com readers speculated about who the person was and why they decided to make the leap:
Renokid said, “He just wanted to give the president lessons on how to jump a fence as opposed to sitting on it.”
LITTLETOMMY5 said, “The tea party should sign him up. ... If he's whacky, he's qualified.”
Guest responded, “Whacky? Obama spent close to $800 million to get inside the White House. This guy tried to get in there for free. He's probably the smartest guy in Washington.”
Guest said, “I'll be honest with you. When I first saw this headline, I thought he was trying to escape from the White House.”
FredFraud said, “Was it George W??” mdk75 responded, “Nope. Dick Cheney. He ‘really’ wants to have his turn now.” Tankles responded, “I thought it was Sarah Palin making an unscheduled stop on her ‘One Nation’ bus tour?
FillFFill said, “A few years ago, a 'homeless man' meant a bum. Nowadays, it could mean somebody who lost their house in a foreclosure. I wonder which this guy was?”
Nodule said, “Sarah Palin saw him jumping the fence from her backyard in Alaska and called authorities.”
Bengali said, “Sounds like Priceline double-booked the Lincoln bedroom.”
DTfromNC said, “He's homeless, and it's hot as balls outside. ... I think he just wanted a free ride to the air-conditioned jail for a few days.”
scuba31 said, “Geez, Al Gore is never gonna quit, is he?”
lurgy said, “Too many beers, wrong house, come on we've all done it.”
ToxicBastard said, “The dedicated men and women of the United States Secret Service in action looking like all-stars. Thank you for your service.”
Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.
Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.