Archive for August 1st, 2014

01
Aug
14

Night owl chat – The Commodores

Now going old school Lionel Richie.

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Brick House

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01
Aug
14

Musical evening chat – Sometimes you just need Lionel Richie

Nicole Richie’s father was known for something before his daughter hit the ropes with Paris Hilton. For those of us of a certain age, Lionel Richie was a staple of summer radio. A little evening music to take away the day’s stress.

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Lady

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Hello

Continue reading ‘Musical evening chat – Sometimes you just need Lionel Richie’

01
Aug
14

A Tweet Or Two

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Continue reading ‘A Tweet Or Two’

01
Aug
14

9.9M Jobs In 53 Months. You Mad, GOP?

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Continue reading ‘9.9M Jobs In 53 Months. You Mad, GOP?’

01
Aug
14

President Obama Delivers a Statement

2:35 EDT: President Obama Delivers a Statement

Also at White House Live

01
Aug
14

Chat Away

01
Aug
14

Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Obama in Mansfield, August 1, 2012

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Today (all times Eastern)

2:0: White House press briefing

3:45: The President signs into law S. 517, the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act

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@petesouza: Pres Obama outside the Oval Office after returning from HUD

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The Atlantic: For Jobs, 2014 Has Been the Best Year of the Recovery—By Far

Today’s jobs report fits my Boring Economy theory that month-to-month gyrations have obscured a safely cruising, slow-and-steady recovery.

The economy added 209,000 jobs last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the unemployment rate is unchanged at 6.2 percent, where many observers think it will stay for a while. Along with revisions to past months, that brings 2014’s new-jobs-per-month average to about 230,000, making this the best year of the recovery so far.

More here

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AP: US manufacturing expands again in July

US manufacturing expanded for the 14th straight month in July in a good sign for the overall economy.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, reported Friday that its manufacturing index rose to 57.1, highest level since April 2011 and up from 55.3 in June.

Anything above 50 signals that manufacturing is growing.

Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a research note that the index was consistent with overall economic growth of 3.5 percent.

The U.S. economy already has been showing renewed strength. Economic growth clocked in an impressive 4 percent annual pace from April through June after getting off to a bad start the first three months of the year.

More here

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Bloomberg: Consumer Spending in U.S. Rose in June by Most in Three Months

Consumer spending in the U.S. rose in June by the most in three months, ending the quarter on a strong note and signaling that continued job growth will bolster the world’s largest economy.

…. A strengthening job market is supporting consumer confidence and giving households the means to spend as the economic expansion heads into its sixth year.

More here

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USA Today: Chrysler sales up 20%, powered by Jeep’s 41% zoom

Chrysler Group reported July sales of 167,667 units, a 19.7% increase compared with sales in July 2013, and the group’s best July sales since 2005.

As important, the automaker’s average transaction price, before consumer rebates, is up 3% in July….

…. The Jeep brand’s 40.9% increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand during July and Jeep’s best ever July sales.

… Overall Chrysler Group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 52-consecutive months in July.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: Border failure rocks House GOP leadership

It’s hard to overstate what a humiliating failure this is for the House Republican leadership team, especially House Speaker John Boehner.

House Republican efforts to build support among their more conservative members collapsed Thursday as Congress prepares to cut town for a month-long recess without first passing a funding bill to address the thousands of unaccompanied minors being detained at the U.S. border.

Confronted with the Republican leadership’s inability to shore up enough votes, House Speaker John Boehner pulled the doomed legislation, which would have provided $659 million in emergency aid to the U.S. border….

… The resulting image is a helpless party, lacking leaders, direction, and purpose. House Republicans were desperate to prove they’re capable of being a governing party, and in the process, they’ve proven the opposite.

More here

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Charles Pierce: The Sad Clownhood Of John Boehner

….. Working to demonstrate that the House can do something besides provide a home for the mentally infirm, Boehner attempted to put together a bill that would address the situation along our Southern border, at least cosmetically. So he got a bill drafted that was dramatically less than what the president had proposed, and woefully short of what actually is needed, and it looked like it might even pass. And then Ted Cruz came rap-tap-tapping on the chamber door. And quoth the Raver, “Nevermore.”

…. They want the DREAM Act dead, just the way they wanted the Affordable Care Act defunded before they allowed the government to reopen for business last fall. John Boehner was helpless against them. Somebody else can come tell me again how the influence of the Tea Party has waned within Republican politics.

Chris Cillizza, in a masterpiece of beat sweetening in anticipation of Tailgunner Ted’s run for the White House in 2016, is quite taken by it all. If that becomes the narrative, not that Cruz is a committed vandal with no more interest in truly governing the country than a mower has to a lawn, but, rather, that he is a brilliant tactician in the way he is committed to making miserable the lives of people he will never see, then we are all in very deep trouble. The treasure hunt is on again, and a crazy person has the map.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: Picking up the pieces after the GOP’s border fiasco

The Senate hoped to complete a few key tasks last night before the start of Congress’ five-week break: pass the bipartisan VA bill, approve funding for the Highway Trust Fund, and vote on an emergency measure to address the humanitarian crisis at the U.S./Mexico border.

Two out of three ain’t bad?

With relative ease, the upper chamber did, in fact, pass the measures related to the VA and the Highway Trust Fund. But when it came time to vote on the Senate’s version of the border bill, the Republican minority blocked it – Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) wanted an amendment prohibiting executive orders from President Obama; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said no, so the GOP refused to allow the legislation to advance.

As for the House, what happens now in the wake of yesterday’s fiasco? Their recess has apparently been delayed.

More here

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Michael Tomasky: From Texas to Gaza, Reaping What We Sow

So Congress may be about to leave town for the summer without doing anything about the border crisis. President Obama asked for $3.7 billion in emergency funds. The Senate came up with around $2.7 billion. The House started north of a billion but finally shaved its number down to $659 million. Not much room for compromise there — and indeed it turned out Thursday that the House Republicans couldn’t even pass their own bill! So here’s yet another problem we can’t fix.

To which you may be saying, “Yes, maybe we should do something or other about those kids, but hey, the violence down in those countries, that’s not our problem.” I urge you to think again. It is our problem. We did a lot to create it. And ruminating over that history should make us all shudder to think, as we gaze to the Mideast, what future problems we’re helping to create today.

The children are coming from three Central American countries — Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. Is it just a coincidence that these are all countries in which the American hand has weighed particularly heavily?

More here

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Live updates from Israel/Gaza at the BBC

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Last month’s Statement from the President on Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act

I applaud Members of Congress for passing the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act.  Last year, in response to a “We the People” petition from consumers across our country, my Administration called for allowing Americans to use their phones or mobile devices on any network they choose.  We laid out steps the FCC, industry, and Congress should take to ensure copyright law does not undermine wireless competition, and worked with wireless carriers to reach a voluntary agreement that helps restore this basic consumer freedom.  The bill Congress passed today is another step toward giving ordinary Americans more flexibility and choice, so that they can find a cell phone carrier that meets their needs and their budget.  I commend Chairmen Leahy and Goodlatte, and Ranking Members Grassley and Conyers for their leadership on this important consumer issue and look forward to signing this bill into law.

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Remarks by the First Lady at the National Alliance to End Homelessness Annual Conference here

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Election Law Blog: Irony Dept: Only Evidence of Voter Fraud Cited by WI Supreme Court Involves Scott Walker Supporter Committing Fraud ID Law Would Not Prevent

In both of today’s Wisconsin Supreme Court voter id cases (the NAACP case and the LWV case), the court majority includes an identical footnote to rebut the argument that there’s no good evidence of in person, impersonation voter fraud to support the state’s voter id requirement….

….  My irony meter started blinking uncontrollably when I read this …. A supporter of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has been charged with over a dozen counts of election fraud — though he reportedly claims a form of temporary amnesia has left him unable to recall his actions.

More here

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First Lady Michelle Obama claps while listening to President Obama speak at an event titled “A Celebration of Special Olympics and A Unified Generation” to mark the anniversary of the Special Olympics in the East Room of the White House on July 31

.. with Gayle King and Andy Roddick

Because we can never see it enough:

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On This Day

First Lady Michelle Obama in North Carolina, August 1, 2011

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President Obama talks on the phone with members of the U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team during a phone call from Air Force One, Aug. 1, 2012. The President called the women to congratulate them on their gold medal in the team competition (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama disembarks Air Force One upon his arrival at Mansfield Air National Guard Base in Mansfield, Ohio, Aug. 1, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama in Mansfield, August 1, 2012

President Obama in Mansfield, August 1, 2012

President Obama samples fudge offered by Squirrel’s Den fudge shop owner LaDonna Secrist, left, during a stop in Mansfield, Ohio, Aug. 1, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Pete Souza: “The President talks with Chief of Staff Denis McDonough in a staircase of the White House. I admittedly was influenced by the compositions of the photographer Cartier-Bresson in framing this.” Aug. 1, 2013

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