Posts Tagged ‘cost

02
Feb
12

afternoon all

President Barack Obama holds Arianna Holmes, 3, before taking a departure photo with members of her family in the Oval Office, Feb. 1, 2012. Arianna’s mother, Angela Holmes, is a departing Special Assistant in the International Economic Affairs office of the National Security Staff. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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Text of the President’s remarks here

President Obama holds up a book that he was given by author and keynote speaker Eric Metaxas at the National Prayer Breakfast

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Steve Benen: The general trend on initial unemployment claims over the last few months has been largely encouraging, though there have been setbacks. Last week, for example, was a step in the wrong direction. This week’s report, however, was a little more heartening:

U.S. jobless claims dropped by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 367,000 in the week ended Jan. 28, the Labor Department said Thursday….

…. when these jobless claims fall below the 400,000 threshold, it’s considered evidence of an improving jobs landscape. When the number drops below 370,000, it suggests jobs are actually being created rather quickly.

More here

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The Week

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Washington Post (editorial): Higher education is both crucial to America’s economic competitiveness and hard for many students and their families to afford … As President Obama quite rightly insisted in his State of the Union address, institutions of higher learning must do more to hold down their costs if college education is to remain affordable for the next generation of young people. What’s more, he’s talking about using the federal government’s financial clout to encourage cost containment.

…. he is proposing long-overdue reforms to existing formulas for distributing hundreds of millions of dollars in campus-based aid, such as Perkins loans and work-study funds. Current policy skews in favor of better-off students at relatively pricier colleges. The president wants to shift dollars in favor of schools that restrain tuition and graduate more low-income students. Meanwhile, he would establish a $1 billion fund to encourage cost-saving innovations, complemented by $55 million for research, evaluation and dissemination of the best practices….

Needless to say, a lot depends on how the president and Congress would end up defining what constitutes a good value in higher education … what’s important is that the president has put the prestige and power of his office behind this effort.

More here

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Jonathan Cohn: Romney’s political strategy here seems clear to me: He’s trying to drive a wedge between the poor and the middle class, convincing the latter that they lose out to the former when Democrats are in charge. And the strategy may work. It’s certainly helped Republicans before. But the big beneficiary of Romney’s plan to reorder fiscal priorities is not the middle class. It’s the very wealthy, who would get substantial tax benefits and who will usually be fine with weakened public services.

More here

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TPM

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MSNBC: ….. presidential hopeful Rick Santorum took a hard line on Wednesday against government getting involved in offsetting the cost of drug prices. Before exiting the stage, Santorum was prodded by members of the 300-person crowd to take one last question from a young boy standing in the front row. The child asked what the candidate would do to lower the cost of medicine. But the former Pennsylvania senator said it was the cost of drugs that allowed for the innovation that keeps Americans with life-threatening illnesses alive.

“People have no problem going out and buying an iPad for $900. But paying $200 for a drug they have a problem with – that keeps you alive. Why? Because you’ve been conditioned in thinking health care is something you should get and not have to pay for. Drug companies, health care companies need to have a profitability, because if they don’t, then how are we going to regulate costs?…..”

While some of in the audience applauded Santorum’s tough stance against government involvement in drug prices, others protested. The mother of the child yelled out that she was going bankrupt just to pay for her child to keep breathing.

More here

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Charles P. Pierce (Esquire) read a a swooning piece about Fox ‘News’ in Politico…. he didn’t like it very much:

“Stuff in Politico That Makes Me Want to Guzzle Antifreeze…. I say only that, in my own, personal, constitutionally protected opinion, this may very well be the worst bag of pulverized, unexpurgated, beat-sweetening chickenshit in the history of American political journalism. It makes Peggy Noonan read like Thuycidides….

More here

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Charles P. Pierce (Esquire): No matter what Willard Romney said on Tuesday night, a tough primary can really damage you. If these latest PPP numbers are in any way accurate, the rockfight between Romney and N. Leroy Gingrich, Definer of Civilization’s Rules and Leader (Perhaps) of the Civilizing Forces, has pushed Romney’s unfavorability ratings in Ohio northward toward 60 percent……

….. Eighty-four percent of the respondents are white and, even with that, Romney is six points down with a 57 percent disapproval rating. He better tack like hell, is all I’m saying.

More here

04
Oct
11

this is a shock: the right wing hates the first lady.

MediaMatters: The axe-grinding good-government poseurs at Judicial Watch are in a twist over First Lady Michelle Obama’s June trip to Africa, calling it “a nice taxpayer-funded ‘working’ vacation.” According to documents they obtained via FOIA requests (and their own “calculations”), the trip cost taxpayers $425,000 in travel and food expenses. Their “report” has already been picked up by Drudge, and it’s being flogged by the dimmer corners of the right-wing media.

….. First, it’s ridiculous to criticize the First Lady for the travel costs of an official trip to Africa. She’s the First Lady; if she travels anywhere, it’s going to be funded with public money. She can’t exactly fly stand-by on Southwest.

Second, the South Africa safari was paid for with the Obama’s private funds. What’s more, in taking her daughters on safari in Africa, Mrs. Obama was following in the footsteps of her predecessor. (Read here about Laura Bush and her daughters’ safari in Africa)

(A quick peek at Judicial Watch’s press release archive doesn’t turn up any outraged denunciations of Laura Bush’s safari-going ways.)

…. to say that the trip “was as much an opportunity for the Obama family and friends to go on a safari as it was a trip intended to advance the administration’s agenda in Africa” is absurd. The six-day trip was dominated by official events and meetings with world leaders…..

…. Judicial Watch doesn’t really explain how a meeting with Nelson Mandela constitutes “tourism.” Also, the other events Judicial Watch considers “tourism” – visits to museums and historical landmarks – are standard fare for visiting dignitaries. Laura Bush, during the same Africa trip noted above, toured museums and memorials dedicated to victims of apartheid and genocide…..

Full post here

Soweto, June 22

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ABC:  ….. The White House says a number of assertions made by conservative government watchdog Judicial Watch are in error:

The group calculated that the use of the C-32A aircraft cost taxpayers $424,142 (34.8 flight hours x $12,188 per hour).

“The number stated is misconstrued and out of context,” says a senior White House official. “The hourly rate is not the marginal cost of operating the plane – it is an accounting figure that prices in a number of fixed costs from maintaining the Air Force fleet for this kind of plane over a year. For example, it includes estimated replacement parts, depreciation, repairs, and costs that would have been incurred regardless of this flight.”

Judicial Watch says that Sasha and Malia Obama are listed as “Senior Staff.” Not true, says the White House.

“The Obama daughters were not listed as Senior Staff – that only designates the area of the plane where they were seated,” says the official. “The Air Force categorizes the passengers by compartment on the plane.”

…. The senior White House official says that private safari “was designated as a private event and paid for personally.”…. “It was an official trip with a 5-7 official events each day,” the official says.

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FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA’S VISIT TO SOUTH AFRICA AND BOTSWANA

TUESDAY, JUNE 21 – PRETORIA & JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

Mrs. Obama began her day by traveling to Pretoria where she met with President Zuma’s wife, Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma …..  she then attended a reception with South African leaders organized by the U.S. Embassy … She then visited the Nelson Mandela Foundation, meeting with Graca Machel, Former First Lady of Mozambique, and wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela. She also met with former President Mandela, before touring the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22 – JOHANNESBURG & CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Mrs. Obama visited Regina Mundi Church in Soweto, where she delivered the keynote address to a U.S.-sponsored Young African Women Leaders Forum. She then visited the Hector Pieterson Memorial, honoring the twelve year-old boy who protested apartheid and was shot and killed by apartheid government police. In the afternoon, Mrs Obama attended two sessions of a forum of Young African Women Leaders. Mrs. Obama completed her visit to Johannesburg by leading the final group of forum participants in a community service project.

THURSDAY, JUNE 23 – CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Mrs. Obama began her day in Cape Town by thanking United States Consulate employees and their families. She then visited Robben Island – where former President Mandela was held for 18 of the 27 years he was imprisoned. She then delivered remarks and took questions from students at the University of Cape Town. She then visited the Cape Town Soccer Stadium where she met with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and organizations dedicated to combating HIV/AIDS in South Africa.

FRIDAY, JUNE 24 – CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA & GABORONE, BOTSWANA

Mrs. Obama visited the Botswana Baylor Children’s Clinic Center of Excellence’s Teen Club that was assembled to teach leadership among teens and encourage young people to teach others about HIV/AIDS. Mrs. Obama joined Teen Club members in a service project. She then had a meeting with President Ian Khama.

SATURDAY, JUNE 25 – GABORONE, BOTSWANA

Mrs. Obama began her day by thanking U.S. Embassy employees and their families. Following this event, Mrs. Obama and her family departed for private family safari events.

SUNDAY, JUNE 26 – GABORONE, BOTSWANA

Mrs. Obama and her family left Botswana to return to the United States.

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But this trip was okay:

Laura Bush in Cape Town, South Africa, July 12, 2005

July 2005: After a safari weekend, Laura Bush stepped out of a dusty SUV with her twin daughters on Monday to serve as a goodwill ambassador in Africa for President Bush.

The first lady’s whirl through South Africa, Tanzania and Rwanda this week comes on the heels of a Scotland summit where British Prime Minister Tony Blair made alleviating Africa’s mass suffering the top agenda item for Bush and leaders of other wealthy countries.

Mrs. Bush and her 23-year-old daughters, Barbara and Jenna, spent the weekend at the Madikwe Game Reserve on the South African-Botswana border….

The first lady’s staff asked photographers to refrain from shooting the twins as they boarded the plane in Gaborone, Botswana, for the flight to Cape Town, on grounds that they were not part of the official delegation.

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In 2010 Judicial Watch released its list of ‘Washington’s ten Most Corrupt Politicians’ – the list included President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Rahm Emanuel, Jesse Jackson, Jr, Barney Frank, Barbara Boxer and Maxine Waters.

It didn’t, for example, include Darrell Issa.

:roll:

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What can we conclude from all of this?

Well, two things:

(1) Laura Bush is a Republican and she’s white.

(2) Michelle Obama is a Democrat and she’s black.

That’s all, really.




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