Posts Tagged ‘Chrysler

05
Sep
14

President Obama And U.S. Economy: 1; Republicans: 0

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Jason Furman: The Employment Situation In August

1. The private sector has added 10 million jobs over 54 straight months of job growth, extending the longest streak on record. Today we learned that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 142,000 in August, mainly reflecting a 134,000 increase in private employment. Private-sector job growth was revised up for July and down for June for little total revisions. Over the past twelve months, private employment has risen by a total of 2.4 million.

3. The last time the economy added 10 million private-sector jobs over four-and-a-half years was November 1996 to April 2001. There are some notable differences between the current stretch of job gains and the one that began in 1996. In particular, the manufacturing sector has added more than 700,000 jobs over the last four-and-a-half years, while it lost more than 400,000 jobs during the 1996-2001 period. 4. On a not-seasonally-adjusted basis, local government educational services employment rose by more than 200,000 in August, continuing a recent trend that has seen an increasing number of these employees return to work before September.

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MarketWatch: U.S. Manufacturers Surge Again In August, ISM Finds

U.S. manufacturing companies grew in August at the fastest pace since March 2011, a survey of executives found. The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index climbed to 59% last month from 57.1% in July. That easily beat the 56.1% forecast of economists surveyed by MarketWatch. Readings over 50% indicate more companies are expanding instead of shrinking.

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Bloomberg: Chrysler Luring Toyota Owners Helps Lift U.S. Share

Chrysler is on an unprecedented winning streak. As Jeep benefits from consumers’ renewed attraction to SUVs, the company also has been aided by strong demand for Ram pickups and Town & Country minivans. That helped propel its U.S. sales up 12 percent last month, the largest increase of any major automaker, according to the average of eight analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. That would be Chrysler’s 53rd straight month of rising sales — about 4 1/2 years — after almost being given up for dead before its government-sponsored bankruptcy in 2009.

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Bloomberg: Saudi Arabia Oil Sales To U.S. Imperiled By Shale Boom

After years of keeping the price of crude sold to the U.S. low enough to maintain market share, Saudi Arabia is losing ground as the shale boom leaves U.S. refiners with ample supplies of inexpensive domestic oil. Arab Light crude for sale in the U.S. averaged 48 cents a barrel less than Light Louisiana Sweet, a Gulf Coast benchmark, in August, the narrowest discount in data compiled by Bloomberg back to 1991.

The U.S. imported 878,000 barrels of Saudi crude a day in the first four weeks of August, the least since 2009. Shale drilling has boosted U.S. oil output to the highest level since 1986. As refineries turn to lower-priced domestic oil to make fuel at a record pace, the Saudis and other foreign suppliers are left with dwindling slices of the market. In June, imports from Saudi Arabia accounted for the smallest share of crude processed at U.S. refineries since February 2010.

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Jeffry Bartash: U.S. Factory Orders Jump 10.5% In July On Aircraft Contracts

Orders for goods produced in U.S. factories leaped 10.5% higher in July, as expected, owing to a big surge in contracts for commercial aircraft, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected orders to climb nearly 11%. Factory orders also rose by a revised 1.5% in June instead of 1.1% as initially reported.

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15
Dec
13

Rise and Shine

Pete Souza: “Interrupting a Christmas Holiday photo line, the President confers with Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, about the latest developments in the payroll tax cut extension as the First Lady waits in the background.” Dec. 15, 2011

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Today:

6:20 EST: The First Family attends Christmas in Washington, National Building Museum

The schedule for the week ahead has not yet been released, but the First Family will depart the White House en route Honolulu, Hawaii on Friday

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Katharine Haenschen: My $55,000 Migrane, Or Why Young Americans Should Enroll In Health Insurance

Many years ago when I was a 23-year-old working as a hostess-with-the-mostess at a fancy seafood restaurant, saving up money to go back to school. I was hanging out in my apartment one night when my vision suddenly tunneled, and an unbearable pain exploded in the left side of my head. I couldn’t make a fist with my right hand. It was super scary. I called my Dad, who said “Go to the hospital right now.” The doctors at the emergency room took great care of me, and determined that no, I was not having a stroke. They took a spinal tap, did some scans, and sent me home a few hours later with ample headache pills. But the headache kept coming back, unbearably painful such that I couldn’t function at work and spent as much time as possible lying down.

I eventually landed back in the ER and even had to be admitted over night, until the doctors figured out that my spinal tap never healed — as 10-20% don’t, causing a slow drip of brain juice out the bottom of your spinal column.   And then the hospital bills came. At first I was afraid to open them — and that’s even though I was thankfully still covered by my Mom’s health insurance plan through her job. After all, just walking into the ER cost me $100 in co-pays each time.

Finally, I opened the big envelopes from the hospital and found a bill for $55,000. The amount I owed? $0. That’s right. Zero dollars. Because when I got my freak $55,000 headache, I was covered. No one plans to have emergency medical care — but we can prepare for the possibility of it happening by signing up with healthcare.gov. Of course, now that migraine — and my later gap in health insurance coverage — can’t come back to bite me in the butt later, because thanks to the Affordable Care Act I can’t be denied coverage for “pre-existing conditions” and I can’t be screwed over for gaps in consistent insurance coverage.

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Sun Sentinel: Affordable Care Act Really Does Work

I am one of the few people who has good things to say about Obamacare. You probably only hear from those who complain. My daughter has applied on the Internet for health insurance. She had no problem whatsoever linking to the site. Everything worked like a dream. My daughter is self-employed in a small business. She has been paying more than $2,800 every other month for her health insurance. Her entire yearly salary pays for the cost of her current insurance. She received a letter from her insurance company telling her that under Obamacare, this very same policy — without any change — will cost her $625 per month. This is less than half the price of what she is currently paying, which has been highway robbery.

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Keith Naughton: How U.S. Workers Rebuilt An Industry

In June 2009, the last auto plant in Detroit was idle, mausoleum-quiet and a symbol of failure. Weeds had grown three-feet tall around Chrysler’s sprawling Jeep factory at the desolate crossroads of Jefferson and Conner as the company went dark during bankruptcy. Among the bills the near-dead automaker couldn’t afford to pay: lawn service. Yet on one Monday morning came the drone of lawn mowers and buzz of weed whackers — sounds of rebirth. Chrysler was emerging from Chapter 11 and something had to be done about the eyesore the plant had become. The Detroit Three also overhauled their lineups to field their best cars in a generation, which now command higher prices than formerly formidable foreign offerings. Ford’s fashionable Fusion, whose looks draw comparisons to Aston Martin, has an average price of $27,444, which exceeds the Toyota Camry by $3,251, according to researcher Kelley Blue Book.

“It’s flipped,” marveled Lutz, 81, who served as a senior executive at all three Detroit automakers over the last half-century before retiring in 2010. “All of a sudden, the Japanese are behind.” Detroit’s new strength is embodied in Chrysler’s reborn Jefferson North Assembly Plant. The Jeep factory has gone from barely breathing to bursting at the seams. Its future was in doubt when it closed during Chrysler’s 2009 bankruptcy. Since then, employment there has more than tripled to 4,500, from fewer than 1,400 when Chrysler went bankrupt, and production has more than quintupled to 325,000 models this year, from 60,584 four years ago. It spits out Jeeps 20 hours a day, seven days a week and still can’t keep up with demand for the Grand Cherokee. Sales soared 21 percent for the hot model last year and are up 15 percent more this year through November. Chrysler said it expects to make as much as $2.2 billion this year.

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RH Reality Check: On Medicaid, Shame, And Not Being Silent

When the Obamacare exchanges became open for enrollment this fall, I eagerly went online to check out my options for affordable health care in my state. It was exciting to know that I could potentially afford health insurance. I considered how my life would be affected: doctors’ visits, blood tests, checkups, an eye exam,a teeth cleaning—all the things I’ve longed for as an uninsured adult. After wading through a sea of questions about my income and expenses to determine my eligibility, I discovered what I had not considered a possibility: I qualify for Medicaid. Wow. Am I that poor? For so long I made just enough money to not qualify for Medicaid. Now, I do qualify.

While I was relieved to know I wouldn’t need to pay out-of-pocket each month for health care, I felt uncomfortable. I had originally intended to write about my experiences navigating Obamacare, how I’m weighing the options or different health-care plans in my state. But how was I going to write about that now? I couldn’t possibly share my experiences navigating Medicaid in public. My initial thoughts and feelings were rooted in shame. I didn’t want people to know my income is so low that I qualify for Medicaid. Shame is a tool. It keeps people immobilized, silent, and afraid. It keeps people in closets, in hiding, invisible.

And I’m sure this is only one of the reasons why nearly 700,000 people nationwide who qualify for Medicaid haven’t enrolled in the program. Money and time is spent to keep the “welfare queen” mythology alive, not only informing budget cuts, but also the minds of people who qualify for public assistance but decide not to use it. Shame is ridiculous. It will have you believe you deserve nothing—that you don’t deserve the resources you qualify for, resources that can support your livelihood.

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A Message From Isonprize

Hey my TOD pals, have you voted for PARENTS UNITED for PUBLIC EDUCATION today?

Parents United for “Non profit of the year” and Eileen Duffey, RN, for “Do gooder of the Year”, FIERCE advocates for public education in Philadelphia.

Please don’t let us lose to a skate park!! :lol:

And for good measure, scroll to the bottom and PLEASE VOTE to EXCOMMUNCATE Gov. Tom “Cut It” Corbett

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Ari Berman: North Carolina Shows Why The Voting Rights Act Is Still Needed

A federal judge in Winston-Salem today set the schedule for a trial challenging North Carolina’s sweeping new voter restrictions. There will be a hearing on whether to grant a preliminary injunction in July 2014 and a full trial a year later, in July 2015. This gives the plaintiffs challenging the law, which includes the Department of Justice, the ACLU and the North Carolina NAACP, a chance to block the bill’s worst provisions before the 2014 election. Earlier this year, in July 2013, the North Carolina legislature passed the country’s worst voter suppression law, which included strict voter ID to cast a ballot, cuts to early voting, the elimination of same-day voter registration, the repeal of public financing of judicial elections and many more harsh and unnecessary anti-voting measures.

These restrictions will impact millions of voters in the state across all races and demographic groups: in 2012, for example, 2.5 million North Carolinians voted early, 152,000 used same-day voter registration, 138,000 voters lacked government-issued ID and 7,500 people cast an out-of-precinct provisional ballot. These four provisions alone will negatively affect nearly 3 million people who voted in 2012. Ironically, it took the North Carolina legislature less than a month to approve the law, but it will take a year before an initial hearing on it and two years before a full trial. That’s because in June 2013 the Supreme Court invalidated Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which meant that previously covered states like North Carolina, with the worst history of voting discrimination, no longer had to clear their voting changes with the federal government.

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Ian Millhiser: Meet The Next Ruth Bader Ginsburg

With her confirmation to the second highest court in the nation very early Thursday morning, Judge Nina Pillard should immediately rocket to the top of the Democratic shortlist of potential nominees to the Supreme Court. Though there are a number ofDemocratic judges who possess the youth, brilliance and legal credentials required from a new Supreme Court justice, Pillard brings something to the bench that is quite rare among judges — she’s won two of the most important civil rights victories to reach the Supreme Court during her career.

Pillard was a member of the legal team in United States v. Virginia, which eliminated the Virginia Military Institute’s discriminatory policies against women and cemented the rule that no law may engage in gender discrimination unless there is an “exceedingly persuasive justification” for doing so. Seven years later, Pillard argued and won Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs, an important case helping women (and men) with families to have a fair opportunity to participate in the workplace.

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Katya Gorchinskaya: EuroMaidan

No amount of live video feeds or news stories can convey the essence of EuroMaidan. The Dec. 11 massive attack by Berkut riot-control police, for example, took people by surprise. Although there was an alert from the leaders of the political opposition that there would be a police raid at 1 a.m., people simply dismissed as ludicrous the idea that a raid would happen that night. I left Maidan around 1 a.m., with no visible signs of an imminent attack, and with just a few handfuls of protesters shivering near the stage. I rushed back to find it completely transformed in a matter of 15 minutes after receiving a tip-off that Berkut is advancing.

When Berkut started crashing through the first barricade, it was truly scary. It was not clear what their plan was, and at that point it seemed that it would be a miracle if no blood got spilled. Now, when we know that only 20 people required hospital treatment after that night, it does seem nearly miraculous. It soon became clear that Berkut was acting under orders to go easy on the protesters, and the resulting scuffle looked like a practice session of police units, not real action. As police broke through the first barricade, the church bells of St. Michael’s started to ring – an ancient and powerful call for alarm and mobilization.

For hours that followed, those watching Maidan saw massive shoving between Berkut and demonstrators, and its footage was top news around the world. But what was even more striking is how quickly Kyiv mobilized and moved into the city center, turning a crowd of a few hundred into a mass of tens of thousands of people in a matter of several hours. There was a lot of dignity in it, and a lot of pride. This was the massive proof that EuroMaidan is not about its leaders, that it’s truly the will of the people.

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Frank Schaeffer: The Slow Motion Lynching Of President Barack Obama

I’ve watched liberal and right wing commentators alike blame the president for being lynched. They say “he’s not reaching out enough” or “he’s too cold.” It’s the equivalent of assuming that the black man being beaten by a couple of thug cops must have “done something.” I am a white privileged well off sixty-one-year-old former Republican religious right wing activist who changed his mind about religion and politics long ago. Weirdly, I just realized that through all my writing, this has been the first time in my life I’ve personally gone to bat for a black man. It just happens that he’s a president. But my emotional stake in his life is now personal. So I’ve changed from a white guy who used to read news about some black man getting shot or beaten by cops or stand-you-ground types who assumed that the black man must have “done something,” to a white guy who figures that the black man was probably getting lynched. I’ve changed ideology but I’ve also changed my gut intuitive reactions.

I’ve changed because if this country will lynch a brilliant, civil, kind, humble, compassionate, moderate, articulate, black intellectual we’re lucky enough to have in the White house, we’ll lynch anyone. What chance does an anonymous black man pulled over in a traffic stop have of fair treatment when the former editor of the Harvard Law review is being lynched? One famous liberal commentator wrote a book on how Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil could disagree and still be friends. Why, he asked on many a TV show promoting his book, couldn’t President Obama be like that? Because, I yelled at the screen, those two men were white Irish Americans and part of a ruling white oligarchy.

Because, I yelled, you might as well ask why Nelson Mandela didn’t talk his jailers in South Africa into seeing reason. Because, I yelled, the president is black and anytime he’s reached out he’s pulled back a bloody stump. Because, I yelled, liberal white commentators have been as bothered by a black man in the White House, who’s smarter than they are as much as right wing bigots have been bothered. Because, I yelled, President Obama has been lied about, attacked, vilified, and disrespected since Day One. Because, I yelled, this country may have passed laws so blacks can vote and eat in a white man’s world, but in our hearts are stuck in a place more like 1952 than 2013.

More here

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On This Day:

First Lady Michelle Obama greets guests in the Grand Foyer of the White House during a holiday party, Dec. 15, 2009 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Barack Obama walks from the White House to Blair House in Washington, D.C., to attend a working meeting with business leaders, Dec. 15, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama is joined by First Lady Michelle Obama and Bo, the Obama family dog, as he delivers remarks during a Christmas holiday reception in the Grand Foyer of the White House, Dec. 15, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama descend the Grand Staircase to greet guests at a holiday reception in the Grand Foyer of the White House, Dec. 15, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

04
Nov
12

Concord

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Instagram

OFA NH

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01
Nov
12

Rise and Shine

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EDT

9:20: The President departs the White House

10:35: Arrives Green Bay, Wisconsin

10:40: Delivers remarks at Austin Straubel International Airport, Green Bay

11:45: Departs Green Bay

PDT

1:15: Arrives Las Vegas

2:10: Delivers remarks at Cheyenne Sports Complex, Las Vegas

3:25: Departs Las Vegas

MDT

5:55: Arrives Denver, Colorado

7:0: Delivers remarks at Coors Events Center, Denver

8:45: Departs Denver

EDT

1:05: Arrives Columbus, Ohio where he will stay overnight

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Steve Benen: If the White House hopes to see initial unemployment claims drop just before the election, officials got their wish. The new figures from the Department of Labor – the last report before Election Day – show a move in the right direction:

Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 363,000 in the week of Oct. 21-27, keeping them in a range that indicates little change in U.S. hiring patterns over the past few months. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected claims to fall to 365,000. Initial claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 372,000 from an original reading of 369,000, based on more complete data collected at the state level, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

More here

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Cagle

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Toledo Blade: In the fi­nal few days of the pres­i­den­tial con­test, Mitt Rom­ney ev­i­dently rec­og­nizes that his op­po­si­tion to the fed­eral res­cue of Gen­eral Mo­tors and Chrysler is costing him voter sup­port he needs in Ohio and Mich­i­gan. So the Re­pub­li­can nom­i­nee is con­duct­ing an ex­er­cise in de­cep­tion about auto-in­dus­try is­sues that is re­mark­able even by the stan­dards of his cam­paign.

…. Mr. Rom­ney’s own words make clear he is no friend of the auto in­dus­try, on which Ohio re­lies for one of ev­ery eight jobs. Vot­ers in Ohio and Mich­i­gan — and the na­tion — need to re­mem­ber that.

Full editorial here

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NYT Editorial: When General Motors tells a presidential campaign that it is engaging in “cynical campaign politics at its worst,” that’s a pretty good signal that the campaign has crossed a red line and ought to pull back. Not Mitt Romney’s campaign. Having broadcast an outrageously deceitful ad attacking the auto bailout, the campaign ignored the howls from carmakers and came back with more.

Mr. Romney apparently plans to end his race as he began it: playing lowest-common-denominator politics, saying anything necessary to achieve power and blithely deceiving voters desperate for clarity and truth.

….. Mr. Romney is providing a grim preview of what kind of president he would be.

Full editorial here

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Cagle

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Greg Sargent: The chatter continues this morning about GOP Governor Chris Christie’s astonishingly effusive praise of Obama’s handling of Hurricane Sandy. After they toured the damage yesterday, Christie thanked Obama for their “great working relationship” and claimed Obama “sprung into action immediately.” The day before, Christie praised Obama’s storm response as “outstanding,” adding: “He deserves my praise, and he will get it regardless of what the calendar says.”

What’s striking about this is how directly it undermines one of the central arguments Mitt Romney is making against Obama, with only five days left until Election Day … Romney has been closing out the campaign with a series of ads claiming that he will work with Democrats to get things done in Washington and arguing that Obama utterly failed to persuade Republicans to work with him….

Now Americans are being treated to images of a Republican Governor extensively praising Obama for working with him cooperatively and displaying leadership and a propensity for quick action at a time of crisis.

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President Obama and Gov Christie talk with local residents at the Brigantine Beach Community Center in Brigantine, N.J., Oct. 31

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Okay, this one’s a bit unfortunate…..

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Morning everyone ;-)

31
Oct
12

Rise and Shine

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11:30 ET: VP Biden speaks at a campaign event in Sarasota, Florida (listed at CNN live streaming)

12:0: President Obama departs the White House

12:25 Arrives in Atlantic City and views storm damage with Governor Chris Christie

3:0: VP Biden speaks at at campaign event in Ocala, Florida (C-Span)

3:15: PBO departs Atlantic City

4:25: Arrives at the White House

(Need to check these times, they’re different in every schedule I see)

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President Obama will return to the campaign trail on Thursday after taking three days off to oversee storm response. He will attend rallies in Green Bay, Wis.; Boulder, Colo.; and Las Vegas.

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Jonathan Chait (NY Mag): …. Obama can boast a record of accomplishment that bests any president since Roosevelt, and has fewer demerits on his record than any of them, including Roosevelt. The only president that comes close in gross positive accomplishment is Lyndon Johnson, whose successes were overwhelmed by his failures ….

….What can be said without equivocation is that Obama has proven himself morally, intellectually, temperamentally, and strategically. In my lifetime, or my parents’, he is easily the best president. On his own terms, and not merely as a contrast to an unacceptable alternative, he overwhelmingly deserves reelection.

Full article here

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NYT: Chris Christie was supposed to be one of Mitt Romney‘s most aggressive surrogates, constantly attacking President Obama in the waning days of the presidential campaign.

Instead, Mr. Christie on Tuesday repeatedly heaped praise on Mr. Obama for his leadership of the federal government’s response to the storm that slammed into his state on Monday …. he was effusive about Mr. Obama’s administration, calling the storm response “wonderful,” “excellent” and “outstanding.”

….  some Republicans have already begun grumbling about Mr. Christie’s over-the-top praise of the president at such a crucial time in the election…

…. In several appearances on morning news programs on Tuesday, Mr. Christie went out of his way to thank the president personally….

More here

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David Firestone (NYT): On a day when millions of Americans face serious hardship as they recover from Hurricane Sandy’s damage, Mitt Romney clearly decided it would be crass to campaign in a conventional way. So he turned a scheduled rally in Kettering, Ohio, this morning into a “storm relief event,” and posed before piles of donated canned goods.

…. He described such donations as “the American way” …. but the real “American way” is quite different. Most disaster agencies don’t want donated goods; they need cash. And in the modern era, the most important cash comes from taking people’s tax dollars and distributing them in the form of federal aid to communities hard-hit by a disaster. Because that involves the federal government, it is tainted in the minds of Mr. Romney and his party. It is compulsory, and thus not an offering of the heart.

….. Mr. Romney ignored all questions about his plans for federal emergency management. It’s probably embarrassing to admit those plans consist largely of collecting soup cans.

Full post here

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Cagle

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29
Oct
12

Catching Up

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ThinkProgress: The federal government’s ability to respond to natural disasters, like Hurricane Sandy currently bearing down on the East Coast, would be significantly hindered under a Romney-Ryan administration.

At least three times, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have publicly demanded that the federal government only disburse disaster relief funding if Congress agreed to offsetting budget cuts elsewhere. This would hold desperately-needed disaster relief funding hostage unless Congress agreed to cuts elsewhere in the budget, an extraordinarily difficult prospect even in normal circumstances.

More here

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Romney campaign heads explode:

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Rolling Stone (Thanks Collegekay)

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Michael Tomasky: F-You Dishonesty: Romney and Jeep

There’s basic dishonesty and then there’s f-you dishonesty – dishonesty so blatant, so consciously abusive of facts that everyone knows, that it deserves a category of its own. Kato Keilin: dishonesty. O.J.: f-you dishonesty.

Romney’s new ad about Jeeps and Italy is f-you dishonest….

Full post here

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Bill Keller (NYT): The No Agenda Myth…

…. With Obama, we can anticipate that the unfinished business of universal health care and the re-regulation of the Wall Street casino will be finished. We can expect investments in education, infrastructure and innovation, followed by a gradual, balanced attack on deficits that includes higher taxes on the wealthiest …. We can expect the Pentagon, after winding down two wars, to bank a peace dividend ….. The fact that these objectives represent a continuation of his first term does not mean he is aiming low. These are ambitious goals.

If Romney is elected…. we can fairly expect a rollback of universal health care in favor of the rough marketplace, and at least a partial dismantling of regulations on banks, extractive industries and whatever other industries squeal about job-killing red tape. We can expect a lowering of the safety net, especially a retrenchment of Medicaid and a marketization of Medicare. His deficit plan will rely on draconian spending cuts and on the supply-side superstition that tax cuts automatically produce growth …. You can expect another Scalia or two on the Supreme Court, the defunding of Planned Parenthood and a social agenda aimed at appeasing the evangelical base….

There’s more, but you get the idea. Two agendas; compare and contrast…..

Full article here

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Detroit News: Chrysler Group LLC reported a net profit of $381 million for the third quarter of 2012 on Monday, up 80 percent from the $212 million profit the company reported for the same period a year ago.

It was further proof that the Auburn Hills automaker’s recovery is continuing, and should help offset the losses that its Italian parent company, Fiat SpA, is expected to announce on Tuesday.

…. Monday’s results mark the third consecutive quarter of solid profitability for the company…

…. Since emerging from bankruptcy in 2009, Chrysler has not only returned to solid profitability, but also announced investments of more than $4.5 billion in the United States and Canada, repaid its government loans in full with interest six years ahead of schedule and launched 18 new or refreshed cars and trucks.

More here

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Orlando, October 28 (Scout Tufankjian for Obama for America)

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02
Oct
12

This, That (and the Other)

OFA

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Today:

2:0: Michelle Obama speaks to grassroots supporters in Cincinnati

9:25: Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event in Seattle

CBS have the first speech in their schedule, not sure whether the second one will be shown

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Detroit News: General Motors said its September sales rose 1.5 percent to 210,245 vehicles, marking its best September since 2008.

Chrysler Group LLC beat analyst expectations as its September sales rose 12 percent, while Ford Motor Co. sales remained flat in September compared to the same month a year ago.

GM said passenger car sales jumped 29 percent from the same month a year ago, while sales of mini, small and compacts shot up a combined 97 percent.

….. Chrysler reported its best September sales total in five years. The Auburn Hills automaker sold 142,041 vehicles last month; September also marked the 30th consecutive month that Chrysler has experienced year-over-year sales gains.

More here

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CNNMoney: American Express will refund $85 million for what government officials called deceptive practices involving about 250,000 customers.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Monday that American Express (AXP, Fortune 500) subsidiaries illegally charged late fees, deceived customers by promising non-existent money rewards, and discriminated against new applicants over the age of 35.

“Laws were violated at all stages of the game,” said CFPB director Richard Cordray in a statement …. In addition to refunding customers, American Express will pay a $27.5 million penalty…

More here

Thanks amk

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Quinnipiac: An 18 point lead among women puts President Barack Obama ahead of Gov. Mitt Romney 49 – 45 percent among likely voters nationwide, and voters expect 54 – 28 percent that the president will win the debates, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.

…. “It is very difficult to win an election when you are getting shellacked among women,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of Quinnipiac.

More here

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04
Sep
12

Better Off? Yup.

LA Times: Consumers bought cars at a steady pace in August as the automobile industry continued to help anchor the U.S. economy.

“August continues this summer’s trend of healthy growth,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of global automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associates.

…. General Motors Co. said its U.S. sales rose 10% to 240,520 in August compared with the same month a year earlier.

Ford Motor Co. reported that sales increased 13% to 197,249 vehicles as shoppers gravitated to smaller cars.

…. Chrysler Group said its sales rose 14% to 148,472 vehicles compared with the same month a year earlier. It was the automaker’s best August sales since 2007.

More here

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ThinkProgress

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LA Times: Nationwide home prices shot up 3.8% in July, making their largest year-over-year leap since 2006…. The gain marks the fifth straight rise in the gauge, part of a positive swing following a year and a half of slumps. The last time prices rose so much was in August 2006, when they jumped 4.1%.

Prices in California bounded up 4.4%. Without distressed sales – including foreclosures and short sales – national prices were up 4.3% compared with last July.

The report, coming as a glut of house-hunters clamor after a shrinking inventory, suggests that the real estate market is “clearly seeing the light at the end of a very long tunnel,” said CoreLogic Chief Executive Anand Nallathambi in a statement.

More here

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@CharlesMBlow

30
Aug
12

Half-time in America…..

Msg from The Obama Diary: Genuine bloggers who create their own posts in support of PBO are welcome to use anything from TOD – rebloggers, who only copy others in an attempt to up their traffic, are not. eg the reblogger who treats women like this – explicit – while copying TOD posts on women’s rights. He belongs in the GOP.

Thanks again to Clint for the best ‘Four More Years!’ ad yet produced. The best bit? The last 10 seconds ;-)

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Friday:

9:30: President Obama departs the White House

11:0: VP Biden travels to Lordstown, Ohio, to deliver remarks at a campaign event at UAW Local 1714

1:30: President Obama arrives in El Paso, Texas

2:15: Participates in a roundtable discussion with service-members and military families

3:00: Delivers remarks to troops

4:10: Departs El Paso en route Joint Base Andrews

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk before having lunch on the patio outside the Oval Office, Aug. 30, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Chat away everyone …. and to those who can stomach watching the Tampa hate-fest, I salute your courage!

26
Apr
12

rise and shine

AP: Chrysler followed its strong first-quarter sales with a big profit, sending its 2009 brush with financial death farther into the rearview mirror.

The Auburn Hills, Mich., company made a net profit of $473 million, its best quarter in 13 years, mainly on the back of strong U.S. sales. From January through March, Chrysler’s sales were up 39 percent as customers bought more Ram pickups, Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs and Chrysler 200 midsize sedans.

Not bad for a company that almost died three years ago. A government auto task force deadlocked on whether to save the company in 2009, with the tie broken by President Barack Obama.

More here

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Cagle

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Live here

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White House live

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President Obama in Iowa yesterday:

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Washington Post: President Obama will hold his first two major political rallies of the general-election campaign next weekend at colleges in Ohio and Virginia…

“Welcome to the general election,” David Axelrod, Obama’s senior campaign strategist, said on a conference call with reporters late Wednesday during which he and campaign manager Jim Messina announced the events….

The advisers made clear that the campaign will continue to draw a stark contrast between what they described as Obama’s long-standing desire to protect “that basic American compact that if you work hard you can get ahead” and Romney’s record of protecting the wealthy. They mentioned Romney’s time as Massachusetts governor, when the state ranked 47th in the country for job creation, as well as his time as a venture capitalist at Bain Capital, during which “he didn’t care about job creation but about wealth creation for himself and his partners.”

…. “We’re not the candidate who reinvents himself from week to week,” Axelrod said. “If you want that, you have to go somewhere else. This is a candidate who has a mission, and he’s going to see it through, and that is to rebuild an economy in which the middle class is thriving, in which people can get ahead, in which everybody from Main Street to Wall Street plays by the same rules and gets a fair shake.”

Obama’s rallies will take place on May 5 at Ohio State University in Columbus and at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond …. Messina said first lady Michelle Obama plans to travel with the president to both events.

More here

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E.J. Dionne: It turns out that there is at least one question on which Mitt Romney is not a flip-flopper: He has a utopian view of what an unfettered, lightly taxed market economy can achieve.

He would never put it this way, of course, but his approach looks forward by looking backward to the late 19th century, when government let market forces rip and a conservative Supreme Court swept aside as unconstitutional almost every effort to write rules for the economic game. This magical capitalism is the centerpiece of Romney’s campaign, and it may prove to be his undoing.

Here’s Romney’s problem. His best strategy is to cast President Obama as a failure because the economy has not come all the way back from the implosion of 2008 …. But Romney, unlike Clinton, is not offering a program through which government would take specific steps to solve the problems he catalogues. Instead, he is calling on voters to share his faith that our difficulties would go away if the state simply got out of the way, allowed the market do its thing and counted on the success of the successful to lift up everyone else.

More here

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Don’t miss Liberal Librarian’s latest post, ‘Why even have the First Amendment?’, at The People’s View

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Steve Benen: For several months, the general trend on initial unemployment claims has been encouraging, reaching a four-year low in late March. Today’s new report from the Department of Labor, however, is the third consecutive week of discouraging news.

…. Obviously, a few disappointing reports may be little more than a blip, but when jobless claims are expected to drop, and instead remain stuck at a four-month high, it’s concerning.

Making matters slightly worse is the realization that if conditions continue along these lines, there’s very little that can be done – Congress simply lacks the ability to pass effective economic legislation given the Republican agenda.

In terms of metrics, when jobless claims fall below the 400,000 threshold, it’s considered evidence of an improving jobs landscape, and when the number drops below 370,000, it suggests jobs are actually being created rather quickly. After a month of four consecutive reports below 370,000, we’ve now been above 380,000 for each of the last three weeks.

More here

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Thanks jmlkoskey

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Cagle

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Cagle

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Morning everyone ;-)

03
Apr
12

rise and shine

CBS Sports

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12:30: White House llive and CNN Live streaming

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TPM: Today the presidential gloves really come off.

In a Tuesday speech hosted by the Associated Press in Washington, D.C., President Obama will deliver a broadside to the House-passed Republican budget, which calls for upending Medicare and making deep cuts to domestic social programs. Obama will describe it as a dark vision for America and draw a clear contrast with his campaign themes of reducing inequality and asking the wealthy to help pay down the nation’s debt.

“This congressional Republican budget, however, is something different altogether. It’s a Trojan Horse,” Obama plans to say, according to excerpts provided by the White House. “Disguised as deficit-reduction plan, it’s really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It’s nothing but thinly veiled Social Darwinism. It’s antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who’s willing to work for it — a place where prosperity doesn’t trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class. And by gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last — education and training; research and development — it’s a prescription for decline.”

More here

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Business Insider: Over the next eight hours, twenty automakers will report March auto sales in the U.S. Already, it appears the seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales will top all industry estimates, new data out of Business Insider shows.

First out the gate this month is Chrysler, with a better-than-expected sales gain of 34.2 percent, moving 163,381 units in March.

At that healthy gain, Business Insider estimates total U.S. SAAR will run between 15.2 million and 16.1 million. This is well above current estimates of 14.6 million units, per Bloomberg.

The last time auto sales topped an annualized pace of 15.2 million was four years ago, in February 2008.

More here

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Detroit News: Chrysler Group LLC sold 163,381 cars and trucks last month, translating into a 34 percent year-over-year increase and making March another stellar month for the Auburn Hills automaker.

Meanwhile, Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday that its auto sales were up 5 percent in March — the company’s best March in five years. And Hyundai Motor Co. said it set a new all-time record for U.S. auto sales in March, up 13 percent to 69,728 on strong sales of its fuel-efficient models.

More here

Thanks VC

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NYT: For several weeks, Mitt Romney has seized on the rising cost of gasoline to attack President Obama and his environmental aides for what Mr. Romney calls their misguided desire to see higher energy prices.

…. But Mr. Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, has in the past appeared much more open to the notion that rising energy costs could be good for the American economy. In his 2010 book, “No Apology,” Mr. Romney described a gradual increase in the cost of energy as the kind of market-based incentive that conservatives could embrace.

…. Charles Ebinger, the director of the energy security initiative at the Brookings Institution, said Mr. Romney’s openness to the benefits of higher energy prices was similar to the approach that Mr. Obama’s advisers had espoused for years.

More here

Steve Benen: ….. The main problem, as the New York Times reported today, is that Romney has already argued for the same policies he’s now against.

…. As governor, Romney also raised gas taxes — by 400% — and hired an energy advisor who opposes reduction in oil prices. Romney even pushed for more energy-efficient light bulbs, though he now opposes the idea.

Clearly, the former governor is aware of public concerns and wants to incorporate energy policy into the 2012 race, but between Romney’s Big Oil ties and his previous personas, it’s not going to be easy for him to stay coherent on the subject.

More here

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TPM: A new report by an independent government auditor concludes that implementing President Obama’s health care law as intended will make a significant dent in the long-term debt forecast.

…. it concludes that if key cost-control measures in the law, and other automatic cuts to Medicare spending baked into current law, are ignored, or overridden by Congress, the implications for the national debt are vast.

If “Obamacare” is implemented as intended, and other measures, such as automatic payment cuts to Medicare physicians, take effect, “spending on Medicare and Medicaid grows from 5 percent of GDP in 2010 to over 7 percent by 2030.”

By contrast, if Congress overrides those provisions, “spending on health care grows much more rapidly ….”

More here

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Morning everyone ;-)

05
Mar
12

catching up

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Greg Sargent: If there are reasons for President Obama to be optimistic about his reelection chances, one of them has to be this: The two key dynamics driving our politics right now are both playing in his favor. First, economic optimism continues to rise. Second, the GOP primary seems to have left likely nominee Mitt Romney with historically low standing.

The new NBC/WSJ poll finds that Obama has hit the 50 percent approval mark – his highest since Bin Laden’s death. That’s apparently driven by these findings about the economy:

Forty percent believe the economy will improve during the next year, a three-point increase from January. And looking back at the economic recession, 57 percent say that the worst is behind us, while 36 percent say the worst is still to come.

More here

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MSNBC: Just hours after President Obama described to a group of pro-Israel activists the steps he has taken and will take to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, Mitt Romney made a dire prediction about the consequences for that effort if the president is reelected.

“If Barack Obama gets re-elected, Iran will have a nuclear weapon and the world will change if that’s the case,” Romney (said) in response to a question from an eleven year-old boy…..

More here

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Steven Pearlstein (Washington Post): In case you haven’t noticed, the economy is actually getting better. Noticeably better.

…. On Wall Street, the Dow is at its highest point in nearly four years and Nasdaq at its highest point in a decade, reflecting both record profits and renewed investor confidence. Federal and state tax revenues are beginning to come in better than projected and households are continuing to whittle down their debt, with a savings rate of 4.5 percent. There are even enough green shoots in the housing market to suggest that residential construction might contribute to GDP growth this year rather than subtract from it. Revisions of government data are now reliably up rather than down.

And yet, there are those on the Republican right and the Democratic left who have so much invested in a bad economy that they are reluctant to acknowledge any of this good news.

Full article here

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Thanks amk

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Steve Benen: Last summer, with gas prices rising, several leading Republicans came up with a curious accusation: President Obama was causing pain at the pump deliberately, as part of some undefined environmental agenda. This odd line was pushed by Haley Barbour and the Koch brothers, among others.

…. I wonder if Republicans seriously expect anyone to believe their rhetoric on this. The argument Americans are supposed to believe is that President Obama, in an election year, not only has the power to manipulate gas prices at will, but is trying to raise them – on purpose – to the dismay of consumers.

The follow-up question is rather straightforward: why on earth would Obama want to do that? It doesn’t even take much in the way of critical thinking skills to know the answer: he wouldn’t.

More here

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ABC: The federal judge who presided over Chrysler’s bankruptcy told ABC News in an exclusive interview that the ailing company could not have survived without taxpayer money.

“The record before the Court was clear that there were no other sources of lending,” said Arthur J. Gonzalez, who served as chief judge of the U.S. bankruptcy court for the Southern District of New York … “One thing is clear, without government support in one fashion or another, there were no sources of funding.”

….the new Chrysler is accelerating on the road to recovery, earning $225 million in its most profitable quarter since emerging from bankruptcy.….

And what about that taxpayer money? The company has paid back all but $1.3 billion of the $12.5 billion that Uncle Sam  loaned it under Presidents Bush and Obama.

More here

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Cagle

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Jerusalem Post: President Shimon Peres on Monday praised US President Barack Obama’s speech to the AIPAC annual policy conference, saying he had offered the maximum support for Israel that an American president could possibly offer.

Peres told Army Radio that Obama made clear that the “security of Israel is a national American interest.” He added that it would be preposterous to expect Obama to give a timetable for possible military action against Iran.

“I don’t expect someone to say when they will do this, and when they will do that, not us or them. It’s not done,” Peres stated. “He didn’t talk about dates, but he spoke about actions,” the president added.

…. The president also expressed satisfaction with Obama’s assertion that diplomacy as a means to solve the Iranian nuclear threat had not been exhausted.

More here

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Cagle

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Charles Pierce: ….. Rush Limbaugh unloads his weepy pilonoidal cyst of an intellect in this fashion on your daughter. Then, as his advertisers run screaming into the night … he finally issues a statement wherein he, essentially, apologizes for:

….. Using the word “slut,” rather than, one supposes, “trollop,” “slattern,” or “lady of the town.” …. For failing clearly to explain his deeply serious political philosophy regarding what is proper to discuss before Congress in these “very serious political times.”….

Does any of that remotely constitute an “apology” to you for what he said about your daughter? Does any of that make you more likely to trust in the good faith of anything this Viagra-sponging pillhead says in the foreseeable future? Does any of that make you less likely to kind of wish, at least in your heart of hearts, that you could perform orthopedic surgery on this guy with a Louisville Slugger?

Thought not.

More here

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Martin Luther King and his wife, Coretta Scott King leading the voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., March 1965

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ABC

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RCP: You need not look further than this critical swing state to see just how badly Mitt Romney’s vaunted campaign organization lags behind President Obama’s.

Obama for America already has more than a dozen staffers in the Buckeye State, working seven days a week. There are nine offices scattered throughout Ohio where volunteers gather every day to contact voters — and Election Day is still eight months away. And what should send a chill down Romney’s spine is that the same thing is happening in every swing state.

More here

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Extracts (Thanks Dotster)

20
Feb
12

linda’s story

AFP: In a cramped campaign office a couple of blocks from a sprawling General Motors assembly plant, Linda Koch rings the bell used to signal that a new volunteer has signed up for the fight to reelect President Barack Obama.

“Woohoo!” the triumphant Koch chirps. “She’s bringing her sister too!” …..

…..  In the month leading up to the January 31 Florida primary, the Obama campaign registered nearly as many new voters in the Sunshine State as it had in all of 2011.

Linda Koch is one of 15,000 “neighborhood team leaders” working on Obama’s ground crew. She says the most persuasive message she has is the story of why she got involved in politics for the first time a few months ago at the age of 56.

Koch was laid off from her job at a Detroit-area hospital shortly before she was diagnosed with throat cancer. Then Chrysler warned that it would go out of business without government help, putting her husband’s livelihood – and their health insurance – at risk.

“I didn’t want to die of lack of insurance,” she said. “It’s just not the way we should do things here in America – it’s not right.”

Politics came home to Koch when Obama was elected and pushed through the bailout of Chrysler and GM and landmark health care reform. Her husband’s job – and the US automotive industry – was saved. And people like Koch couldn’t be denied insurance coverage anymore because of a “pre-existing condition.”….

Full article here

15
Feb
12

evening all

Secretary of Defense Leo Panetta, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden at an event to announce a new report outlining opportunities and best practices for states to better support military spouses serving in professions with state licensure requirements at the Pentagon in Washington

More here – transcript here

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CNN

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Nate Silver: The last time I considered Barack Obama’s re-election chances in this magazine, in mid-November, things were looking pretty bleak for the president. The statistical model I used measured three key factors — a president’s approval rating, economic growth and the ideological orientation of his opponent — and taken together, they showed that Obama had become a slight underdog to win re-election.

Three months later, his position is much stronger……

Full article here

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PPP: Michigan is looking more and more like it won’t be in the swing state column this fall.  PPP’s newest poll there finds Barack Obama leading the entire Republican field by double digits.

The biggest surprise in the numbers might be how badly Obama is beating Mitt Romney- he leads him by 16 points at 54-38. That’s a major departure from PPP’s previous 3 Michigan President polls, which found Obama ahead by only 4-7 points. Romney’s seen a major decline in his personal favorability in the state over the last 6 months from 39/43 to now 29/58. His numbers have dropped across the board but the most striking shift is with independents. He’s gone from a +14 spread with them at 48/34 to a -20 one at 32/52.

More here

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Link – thanks Rikyrah

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USA Today: President Obama has outraised the top Republican presidential fundraiser in two-thirds of the country, including battleground states such as Pennsylvania and North Carolina considered crucial to his re-election prospects, a USA TODAY analysis shows.

In 19 states, Obama collected more than his four major GOP rivals combined… Obama also has a fundraising edge over Romney in all but two of a dozen swing states – Florida and Michigan, where Romney was born and his father served as governor in the 1960s.

More here

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Today:

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Thursday: PBO will attend campaign events in Corona del Mar, California before traveling to San Francisco, California to attend campaign events. He will spend the night in San Francisco.

Friday: PBO will travel to the Seattle where he will continue to discuss his blueprint for an economy built to last. He will also attend campaign events in the Seattle area before returning to Washington, D.C. later in the evening.

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The Week

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BMG: The next big prize in the GOP primaries is Michigan, one of Mitt Romney’s five home states. He’s released an ad showing him driving around in a fancy Chrysler while he talks about how much he loves Michigan, and all…..

And here’s the problem: that Chrysler that he’s driving is a 300 model, and the 300 is made in Canada…..

More here

Thanks Loriah

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President Barack Obama greets people as he arrives at Los Angeles International Airport

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07
Feb
12

afternoon all (updated)

Thank you ObamaBuilt2LastNZ!

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First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a tug of war with Jimmy Fallon in the Blue Room of the White House during a “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” taping for the second anniversary of the “Let’s Move!” initiative, Jan. 25. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

** NBC tonight at 12:35 am ET **

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AP: The number of available jobs in the United States jumped in December to near a three-year high, supporting other data that show a brighter outlook for hiring.

Companies and governments posted 3.38 million jobs in December, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That’s up from the 3.12 million advertised in the previous month and nearly matches the three-year high reached in September. Job openings in the private sector reached the highest point in almost three and a half years.

…. The report on job openings follows Friday’s optimistic employment figures. Those showed employers added 243,000 net jobs in January, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent.

….. It generally takes one to three months for employers to fill job openings. December’s big jump in postings is likely one reason January’s jobs report was healthy. But it also suggests job growth may continue in the coming months.

More here

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TPM – thanks Loriah

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Steve Benen: For months, Republican presidential candidates have been eager, if not desperate, to accuse President Obama of waging a “war on religion”….

…. Mitt Romney seems to have settled on a policy to match the attack: the Obama administration’s decision to require coverage of contraception as preventive care under the Affordable Care Act is, according to the former governor, an “attack on religious liberty”.

…. As a substantive matter, Romney’s lying. The administration’s policy already exempts churches and other houses of worship and “doesn’t require any individual or employer to violate a religious belief – it simply ensures that their employees with different beliefs have the same access to birth control as all other women.”

…. he’s not only lying; he’s also denouncing Obama for adopting a policy similar to one Romney used to support …. as governor, a previous iteration of Romney required all Massachusetts hospitals, including Catholic hospitals, to provide emergency contraception to rape victims.

More here

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Link

USA Today: Pundits and bishops warn President Obama he could lose the white Catholic vote over requiring a contraception option for insurance plans. But Catholic women say they want birth control covered in employee health plans.

…. The Catholic bishops, backed by conservative evangelicals, say the Obama administration shouldn’t include contraception coverage as part of free preventive care options in employers’ health insurance plans …. here’s where the Catholic women come in. According to the Public Religion Research Institute poll released today:

….58% of all Catholics agree employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception. That slides down to 52% for Catholic voters, 50% for white Catholics.

… the numbers might bring pause to pundits mulling the “Catholic vote”.

More here

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Steve Benen: For months, Republican super PACs have been raising vast sums from wealthy donors …. the political world, however, hasn’t heard much from Democratic super PACs, which have raised far less money.

That will apparently soon change … Jim Messina argued overnight that the Obama campaign just doesn’t have a choice.

He added that Republican super PACS, in aggregate, are “expected to spend half a billion dollars, above and beyond what the Republican nominee and party are expected to commit to try to defeat the President.” That may sound like hyperbole, but it’s a reasonable estimate. The Koch brothers alone are prepared to spend $100 million later this year to defeat Obama.

…. Democrats had a choice: stick to principle, refuse to play by the new rules, and make defeat far more likely, or level the playing field …. The only surprise here is that anyone would be surprised by the decision.

Full post here

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Thanks Mary

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NYT: The delicate Karl Rove said he was “frankly, offended” …. (by)…. the Chrysler ad that Clint Eastwood narrated, which many people who don’t share Mr. Rove’s political worldview thought was rather uplifting.

…. he suggested the words were dictated by “the President of the United States and his political minions,” who bailed out Detroit with taxpayer dollars. It’s just another example of “Chicago-style politics,” he said, whatever that means.

The White House said it had nothing to do with the ad, but it had a great deal to do with Detroit’s resurgence, and that’s what’s really offensive to Mr. Rove and other Republicans. They’d prefer to drown out the good news coming from the carmakers, such as these recent headlines…

More here

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Flashback … from 2004:

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I’m still catching up with the news – and all the comments! – after being out today, will post again soon-ish ;-)




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