Posts Tagged ‘consumer



04
Feb
13

Rise and Shine

Three years ago today: A bronze bust of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is visible in the foreground as President Obama meets with senior advisors in the Oval Office, Feb. 4, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today (All times EST):

10:15: President Obama departs the White House

11:15: VP Biden and Dr Jill Biden arrive in London

1:00: President Obama arrives in Minneapolis

1:30 Participates in a discussion with local leaders and law enforcement officials (Pool spray at the top)

2:30 Delivers remarks on a comprehensive set of ideas to reduce gun violence (Live coverage)

3:35 Departs Minneapolis, Minnesota

5:45 Arrives Joint Base Andrews

6:0 Arrives the White House

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The week ahead:

Tuesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House

Wednesday: Attends the Democratic Senate Caucus Retreat in Annapolis, Maryland

Thursday: Delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. In the afternoon, the President will travel to Leesburg, VA to deliver remarks at the House Democratic Issues Conference

Friday: Attends meetings at the White House

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Steve Benen: Last night, if you were watching the Super Bowl you saw a rather powerful ad on gun policy  …. The spot, sponsored by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, urges policymakers to approve a universal background check, and features “America, the Beautiful” against the backdrop of young children.

About 12 hours earlier, Americans could see theNRA’s Wayne LaPierre on “Fox News Sunday,” making a very different kind of argument: “I make the same thing during the campaign, when he said to people I will not take away your rifle, shotgun, handgun. They leafletted the country with flyers like this, ‘Obama is not going to take your gun, Obama is going to protect gun rights.’ And, now, he’s trying to take away all three.”

…..  therein lies the problem: the policy debate has become increasingly strained because one of the most influential lobbying groups in Washington relies on arguments based on evidence the organization has simply made up…..

Full post here

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Josh Marshall (TPM): I just found out that last September the NRA published an official list of gun enemies including the ADA, AMA, ADL, Mel Brooks, Chaka Khan and hundreds of other domestic gun enemies…..

The following organizations have lent monetary, grassroots or some other type of direct support to anti-gun organizations. In many instances, these organizations lent their name in support of specific campaigns to pass anti-gun legislation such as the March 1995 HCI “Campaign to Protect Sane Gun Laws.” Many of these organizations were listed as “Campaign Partners,” for having pledged to fight any efforts to repeal the Brady Act and the Clinton “assault weapons” ban. All have officially endorsed anti-gun positions.

More here

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Michael Tomasky: The Strangest NRA Story Yet – The fact that the NRA was keeping a list of its foes isn’t all that bizarre. But the list itself is positively loony — yet more evidence of just how nuts the NRA is

One of the sure markers of the paranoid mind is the urge to keep lists. In particular, lists of enemies, subversives, no-goodniks ….  It virtually goes without saying that the keepers of such lists are always the bullies who survive by fomenting hatred and making sure that their constituents stay in a state of constant agitation. And so it was no surprise to learn over the weekend that the NRA has a little list of 497 people and organizations who are in some way, shape, or form anti-gun. It makes for hilarious reading, although it’s sort of frightening to think about the demented minds of the people who assembled it.

More here

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Paul Krugman: ….. There was, however, one piece of the reform that was a shining example of how to do it right: the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a stand-alone agency with its own funding, charged with protecting consumers against financial fraud and abuse. And sure enough, Senate Republicans are going all out in an attempt to kill that bureau.

….. Right now, all the media focus is on the obvious hot issues — immigration, guns, the sequester, and so on. But let’s try not to let this one fall through the cracks: just four years after runaway bankers brought the world economy to its knees, Senate Republicans are using every means at their disposal, violating all the usual norms of politics in the process, in an attempt to give the bankers a chance to do it all over again.

Full article here

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Steve Benen: Long-time viewers of The Rachel Maddow Show may recall the “Geek Week” segments aired in May 2010, which included an interview with Energy Secretary Steven Chu. (The segment also noted why At Least I Am A Nerd.com still redirects to the show’s video player.)

Nearly three years later, we’ve learned that Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, will leave his post in President Obama’s second term, stepping down from the Department of Energy later this month. With this in mind, it’s worth pausing to appreciate the significance of Chu’s first-term efforts, which haven’t generated front-page news, but which carry extraordinary significance…..

More here

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Morning!

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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25
Sep
12

Rise and Shine

GottaRegister

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10:45: Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event in Chesterfield, Virginia

(Don’t forget The View today)

1:25: President Obama departs New York City

2:35: Arrives at the White House

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NYT Editorial: Mitt Romney …. told CBS News’s “60 Minutes” that he is tied with President Obama; he has a “very effective campaign; it’s doing a very good job” …. That’s an outright denial of political reality, but Mr. Romney’s willingness to stray from the truth is at the root of what’s really going on….

To some extent, Mr. Romney’s diminishing stature is because of two recent statements that revealed his deficiencies to a newly interested audience. He falsely suggested that the Obama administration was sympathetic to the violent Muslim protests in Libya and Egypt, illustrating his ignorant and opportunistic critique of foreign policy. And he was caught on video belittling nearly half the country for an overreliance on government handouts.

These moments, though, were not fumbles or gaffes. They were entirely consistent with the dismissive attitude Mr. Romney has routinely shown toward non-Americans or the non-rich….

Mr. Romney is free to pursue this shallow, cavalier campaign for six more weeks, but he shouldn’t be surprised if voters increasingly choose not to pay attention.

Full editorial here

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BBC: America’s sixth-largest credit card issuer has agreed to pay $200m in refunds to settle accusations it misled customers into add-on services.

Discover Bank will also pay a $14m fine, after regulators said it enrolled clients in schemes such as credit monitoring, without consent.

It is the third public enforcement action taken by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

More than 3.5 million customers are to receive refunds. About two million of them will be repaid all the charges against them.

More here

Thank you amk

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28
Feb
12

afternoon all

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Greg Sargent: In a speech to the United Auto Workers just now, Obama defended his decision to bail out the auto industry, lacing into Mitt Romney with withering derision. But this speech was about more than the auto-bailout. It was Obama’s case for reelection.

This speech constituted Obama’s most ambitious effort yet to weave his defense of the auto rescue into the larger contrast he will try to draw between his vision and the “you’re on your own” ideology he will accuse Republicans of representing.

…. today’s speech was important: It revealed that the alternate reality Romney has been functioning in throughout the GOP primary is soon going to give way to another reality entirely, a general election reality — and Romney, presuming he will be the nominee, will soon collide with it.

More here

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TPM

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The American Prospect

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Michael Tomasky: Ideological rigidity and Obama hatred led Republicans to reject the auto bailout. Now they’re doubling down on their opposition – and surrendering Michigan in the general election.

Michiganders, take pride: your 2012 primary will go down in American political history as perhaps the single most eye-popping case ever of a party’s demands on its candidates during the primary fight reducing its chance of winning the state in November from something not far from half to near zero. This is especially true if Rick Santorum manages to pull the upset and go on to be the nominee; Barack Obama’s campaign wouldn’t have to spend one thin dime in Michigan and would still win by at least 15 points. But it’s true also if unfavorite son Mitt Romney manages to win. Horse-race polls that once showed a tough battle between the two now project an Obama blowout.

More here

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The People’s View

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Business Insider: U.S. consumer confidence in February surged to 70.8. Economists were expecting the measure to rise to just 63.0 from January’s reading of 61.1…..

More here

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Grist

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President Barack Obama signs an Executive Order entitled “Establishment of the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center,” in the Oval Office, Feb. 28, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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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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 ;-)

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




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