Archive for January 4th, 2012

04
Jan
12

oooooops

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney shakes hands with U.S. Senator John McCain at a campaign stop in Manchester, New Hampshire, January 4

Time: Announcing his support for Mitt Romney, Senator John McCain said, “The time has arrived for Republicans to choose a presidential nominee; a new standard bearer who has the ability and determination to defeat President Obama …. I’m pleased to have made my choice, and to endorse Governor Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination for President.

Governor Romney offers us the commonsense reforms of government policy that are necessary to turn around our economy. His record of accomplishment in government and business are a testament to his leadership abilities…

“I had the privilege of running against Governor Romney for the nomination four years ago, and I know he is a tough competitor. I have no doubt he is the best candidate we can nominate. And I am proud to support him for President.”

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President Barack Obama greets people outside the Eason home in Cleveland, Ohio, Jan. 4, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Paul Begala (Daily Beast): You gotta love a party in which Mitt Romney can do no better than virtually tie with the guy who compared gays to “man on dog” sex and thinks contraception is evil.

I would have never guessed Rick Santorum would be so happy about two men being tied up together….

So while the winner of Iowa in terms of expectations is Santorum, the story is the man he basically tied: Mitt Romney. Not to put too fine a point on it, but when you can’t beat the Man-on-Dog guy, who lost his home state by 18 percent, you stink. You really stink.

…. Four years ago, Romney received 25 percent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses. Unencumbered by the need for gainful employment, Romney has been running nonstop ever since, and, along with a pro-Romney super PAC, spent at least $4 million in Iowa in 2012. Yet he garnered – wait for it – 25 percent …. it seems to me that spending $4 million to gain zero points is a bad return on investment. That is one expensive treadmill. I’ve seen Astroturf with stronger growth…..

Full post here

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Adam Serwer (Mother Jones)

04
Jan
12

afternoon all

Andrews Air Force Base, Jan. 4

Greg Sargent: It isn’t just Richard Cordray. Obama is also set to use recess appointments to install his picks to the National Labor Relations Board, according to White House officials and others familiar with ongoing discussions.

The move, which is arguably as important as the Cordray appointment, will ratchet up opposition from Republicans and make this an even bigger fight, since they have been attacking the NLRB regularly for its moves to streamline union elections and inform workers of their rights.

…. Obama’s move, which will help energize unions in advance of the 2012 election, is yet another sign that he is determined to circumvent GOP opposition and make government functional again by any means necessary….

More here

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ThinkProgress: Republicans have shown outrage at Obama for using his recess appointment powers with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray, and similar outrage is likely to follow the news of the NLRB appointments. But the past three Republican presidents also made recess appointments to the NLRB. Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush each made three recess appointments to the NLRB, while George W. Bush made seven such appointments.

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AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka: We commend the President for exercising his constitutional authority to ensure that crucially important agencies protecting workers and consumers are not shut down by Republican obstructionism. Working families and consumers should not pay the price for political ploys that have repeatedly undercut the enforcement of rules against Wall Street abuses and the rights of working people.

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NYT: A defiant President Barack Obama, tired of Senate Republicans stalling his nominee to lead a new consumer protection agency, put him in charge Wednesday over their opposition.

“I refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer,” the president said.

… With a director in place, Obama said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can start overseeing the mortgage companies, payday lenders, debt collectors and other financial operations often blamed for practices that helped undermine the economy.

Obama announced the move with Cordray by his side before a cheering crowd in Ohio … “Every day that we waited was another day when millions of Americans are left unprotected,” Obama.

Full article here

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TPM

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Steve Benen: This is a big, bold move by the president, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

…. It’s worth noting that I’m generally not a fan of these kinds of recess appointments …. But in this case, there’s only one sensible conclusion: Senate Republicans left Obama with no choice.

No one, not even the most unhinged Republicans, are questioning Cordray’s qualifications, and if the Senate were to vote on his nomination, it would be approved fairly easily.

But Republicans won’t allow that because they disapprove of the existence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

…. The Republican tactics on this are nothing short of madness. I’m relieved President Obama has had enough.

Full post here

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President Obama returns to the White House after a visit to Ohio

04
Jan
12

ohio

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Air Force One kicks up a cloud of snow after landing at Cleveland Hopkins Airport

Richard Cordray, who will be appointed as head of the country’s new consumer financial protection watchdog, awaits President Barack Obama upon their arrival in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Dan Pfeiffer: Today the President will appoint Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  He has one important job: look out for the best interest of American consumers.  He’ll work on behalf of millions of families across the nation to ensure they’re not being taken advantage of by debt collectors and credit reporting agencies.  As America’s consumer watchdog, Cordray will work to ensure that families and students don’t get saddled with sky-high interest rates by mortgage or payday lenders.  Bottom line: he’ll strengthen oversight and accountability in order to protect millions of families across the nation.  This is an important step to protect the American people.

More here

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President Obama, flanked by Endia Eason and Richard Cordray, listens as William Eason speaks during a visit with the Eason family in Cleveland

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President Obama with Richard Cordray

Shaker Heights High School, Ohio

04
Jan
12

off to ohio

President Barack Obama walks with Col. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost, commander of the 89th Airlift Wing, before boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. The president is scheduled to deliver remarks on the economy at Shaker Heights High School in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

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11:35: PBO arrives in Cleveland, Ohio.

12:05: PBO participates in a discussion with a family at a private residence.

1:15: PBO delivers remarks on the economy.

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NYT

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;-)

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Want to post tweets in the comments? Here ya go:

04
Jan
12

rise and shine

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Steve Benen: It was easy to imagine Mitt Romney winning the Iowa caucuses. It was harder to imagine Romney winning Iowa and looking weaker at the same time.

And yet, that seems to be a fairly reasonable assessment of the race for the Republican presidential nomination this morning….

….. there’s not much for Romney to boast about here. After five years of near-constant campaigning, Romney managed to get fewer votes in Iowa last night than he did in his first campaign. He also picked up the dubious honor of the weakest win in the history of the caucuses – no victor has ever managed to finish first with less than 25% of the vote until last night.

After spending nearly $4.7 million, most of it towards the very end of the contest, these are not results Romney should be proud of.

Full post here

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10:05: PBO departs the White House en route to Joint Base Andrews.

11:35: PBO arrives in Cleveland, Ohio.

12:05: PBO participates in a discussion with a family at a private residence.

1:15: PBO delivers remarks on the economy.

2:35: PBO departs Cleveland, Ohio, en route to Joint Base Andrews.

4:05: PBO Obama arrives at the White House

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Hey, who’s the quarterback?

TMZ

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Morning everyone ;-)

04
Jan
12

iowa …. chat away (part 3)

Steve Benen: In the immortal words of the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, “All right, we’ll call it a draw.” Whichever one of these two manage to come out on top, the results are effectively the same: Romney spent well over $4 million in Iowa, only to discover (a) three-quarters of Republicans still don’t like him; and (b) he tied a guy who spent about one-eighth the amount of money and was polling in single digits as recently as a few weeks ago.

Tonight’s big winner is obvious: his name is Barack Obama.

Full post here




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