“He’s our Congress whisperer,” Obama adviser David Plouffe said of Nabors in a recent article in the Washington Post. “Rob’s got a great instinct for where the deal lies, what Democrats are willing to do, what Republicans are willing to do. He’ll say, ‘Here’s what’s going on, here are what the odds are of success.’ He doesn’t ever paint a rosier picture than exists.”
“He is very methodical and takes you through things point by point,” added David Krone, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid’s chief of staff in the same piece. “And if it is a point that is a priority [for the president], he makes that clear.”
“He puts fires out,” said Tom Daschle, who employed Mr. Rouse as a chief of staff when he was the Senate Democratic leader. “He’s the primary personnel negotiator. There’s constant friction, and he reduces the friction. There’s a constant need for somebody to do something for which there is no job description. He is that person.”….When Republicans rose up against the appointment of Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard professor, to oversee a new consumer protection agency, Mr. Rouse helped devise a strategy that ended with the president appointing Ms. Warren as a top-level adviser — a position that needed no Senate confirmation.
Obama considering MIT nuclear physicist E. Moniz 4 Energy Secretary, Looks like they want to keep Ash Carter #2 at DOD reut.rs/14Ttr9s
ThinkProgress: It’s often claimed that the Solyndra loan guarantee was “rushed through” by the Obama Administration for political reasons. In fact, the Solyndra loan guarantee was a multi-year process that the Bush Administration launched in 2007.
You’d never know from the media coverage that the Bush team tried to conditionally approve the Solyndra loan just before President Obama took office…..
Because one of the Solyndra investors is funded by George Kaiser – a man who donated money to the Obama campaign – the loan guarantee has been attacked as being political in nature.
What critics don’t mention is that one of the earliest and largest investors, Madrone Capital Partners, is funded by the family that started Wal-Mart, the Waltons. The Waltons have donated millions of dollars to Republican candidates over the years.
…. the media has decided on a narrative that matches right-wing talking points but not the facts….
… To set the record straight, Climate Progress is publishing this timeline – verified by Department of Energy officials – that shows how the loan guarantee came together under both administrations. In fact, rather than rushing the loan for Solyndra through, the Obama Administration restructured the original Bush-era deal to further protect the taxpayers’ investment (See timeline at the link)
What critics fail to mention is that the Solyndra deal is more than three years old, started under the Bush Administration, which tried to conditionally approve the loan right before Obama took office. Rather than “pushing funds out the door too quickly,” the Obama Administration restructured the original loan when it came into office to further protect the taxpayers’ investment.
The Guardian: Antitrust enforcement is back in America, perhaps in a serious way. If so, it’s long overdue.
But even though the US justice department is suing to block AT&T’s buyout of T-Mobile’s US wireless operations, competition in America’s telecommunications industry is fading…..
Still, Wednesday’s legal action, filed by the department’s antitrust division, is welcome. The George W Bush administration was easily the most lax in antitrust enforcement in recent history, and the Obama administration hadn’t been significantly more ardent to protect competition…..
…. (but) the government’s complaint in this case says what most people – apart from those who stood to gain directly – already knew: The deal would reduce competition in a marketplace that is already an oligopoly.
The deal could still happen, in one of several ways …. the act of going to court, however, suggests that either AT&T wasn’t interested in dealing or that the government simply found this buyout unacceptable on its face.
…. AT&T’s lobbying efforts on behalf of this deal, and its brazen lack of regard for reality, have been epic …. the primary motive for the buyout was to reduce competition, contrary to countless statements about how this would be great for customers…
Peter Budetti (LA Times): ….. Medicare is a success story, providing high-quality benefits and a strong safety net for seniors and people with disabilities. But as costs have grown … so have the opportunities for criminals to commit fraud.
In his Aug. 21 Times Op-Ed article, Malcolm Sparrow focused on one part of this problem, explaining how criminals take advantage of Medicare’s electronic payment system to make false claims. But what Sparrow does not mention is that over the last two years the Obama administration has undertaken an ambitious effort to rid Medicare of criminals, and we are turning the electronic payment system to our advantage in that fight.
Since President Obama took office, we have conducted an unprecedented crackdown on those who steal from Medicare, giving law enforcement greater resources, putting more boots on the ground and increasing penalties. In 2010, these efforts recovered a record $4 billion in taxpayer money.
But we’re not just prosecuting fraud. We’re also taking steps to prevent it…. (see article for details)
In the past our response to fraud was often so fragmented because different jurisdictions didn’t have easy ways to share information …. Today, not only do we have all our claims data visible in one place in real time, we’re also adding other sources of information such as the many tips that come in to our 1-800-MEDICARE hotline….
…. For criminals looking to get rich, Medicare’s electronic payment system was once an easy target. In the fight against fraud today, it’s quickly becoming one of our own greatest weapons.
The Hill: The Obama administration said Friday that a massive pipeline carrying oil across much of the United States must remain shut down until federal regulators are satisfied that it can operate without future leaks. TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline leaked twice last month, fueling opposition to a pending expansion of the project, which is undergoing a wide-ranging federal review.
The Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a “corrective action order” Friday informing TransCanada that it must take a series of steps before resuming normal operations at the pipeline, which runs from Canada to Oklahoma.
“After evaluating the foregoing preliminary findings of fact, I find that the continued operation of the pipeline without corrective measures would be hazardous to life, property and the environment,” Jeffrey Wiese, PHMSA’s associate administrator for pipeline safety, said in the order.
…The order comes at a politically sensitive time for TransCanada. The company is seeking federal approval to expand its Keystone pipeline to carry Canadian oil sands from Alberta to Texas … Environmental groups have mounted a campaign against the Keystone XL project, arguing that it puts the country at risk of major oil spills ….the oil industry and some Republicans have been strong advocates for the approval Keystone XL…..