Posts Tagged ‘fiscal



13
Dec
12

Rise and Shine

President Barack Obama talks with Natoma Canfield, right, and her sister, Connie Anderson, in the Oval Office, Dec. 12. The letter Canfield sent the President in 2010 hangs on the wall in the background. (Photo by Pete Souza)

Politico: The Ohio woman whose name become a rallying cry for President Obama in his fight for health care reform finally came to the White House on Wednesday to see a letter that she wrote, framed and placed on a West Wing wall outside the Oval Office. Natoma Canfield wrote to Obama in 2010 about her battle with cancer and how she could no longer afford to pay insurance premiums. He cited her letter as one of his inspirations while pushing for health care reform, called her after the Supreme Court upheld the law and met her for the first time in July this year. Obama promised at that meeting that Canfield, at right above, could come to the White House and see the letter.

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Today:

7:40: President Obama delivers remarks at the Hanukkah Reception at the White House, First Lady Michelle Obama attends

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ABC: Barack Obama holds a substantial advantage over John Boehner in handling budget negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff: Nearly twice as many Americans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll approve of the president’s work on the issue so far as favor the speaker’s approach.

More here

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Jonathan Bernstein: In the “elections have consequences” department, add today’s announcement by the Federal Reserve that it will not only tolerate somewhat more inflation, but will do so until unemployment drops below 6.5 percent. It’s a decision that pushes the Fed more and more in the direction of liberal economists who have supported monetary policy designed to encourage economic growth, not fight inflation.

….. the decision is a consequence of an election, but not the one we just had — it’s a consequence of the November 2008 election, which allowed Obama to appoint and a Democratic Senate to confirm members of the Fed Board of Governors; he’s now appointed six of seven, all of whom voted for today’s policy.

More here

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Greg Sargent: Republicans have long derided Elizabeth Warren for describing herself as an intellectual godmother of Occupy Wall Street. Now the intellectual godmother of Occupy Wall Street will occupy the Senate committee that oversees it.

The Senate Democratic leadership is announcing that Warren will be given a seat on the Senate Banking Committee. As Forbes put it recently, Warren’s ascent to the Senate alone was “Wall Street’s worst nightmare.” This could make that nightmare a good deal worse.

More here

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Washington Post: Military officials on Wednesday spilled details of the elaborate plans for President Obama’s second inauguration, rolling out a gym-size map to show how an army of National Guard members and active-duty personnel will contribute to the event’s pomp and manage its backstage nitty-gritty.

Strolling the 40-by-60-foot floor map with what he quipped were “God-like powers,” Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Scott Hinds demonstrated how units will be deployed from staging areas to various command posts along the Mall and the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route.

More here

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This is one of Yahoo’s viral photos of the year – cracks me up every time:

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Morning everyone ;-)

10
Dec
12

Rise and Shine

Hey, it’s this photo’s birthday today: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama dance during the 2009 Nobel Banquet in the Hall of Mirrors at the Grand Hotel in Oslo, Norway, Dec. 10, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

10:50: President Obama departs the White House

12:30: Arrives in Michigan

1:35: Tours Daimler Detroit Diesel plant in Redford, Michigan

2:0: Delivers remarks

2:55: Departs Michigan

4:30: Arrives at the White House

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Detroit News: As President Barack Obama visits a Daimler AG plant in Redford Township today, the company plans to announce the investment of more than $100 million at the facility “in new technology, expanded production and jobs in the United States,” a Daimler official told The Detroit News.

The investment at Detroit Diesel — a unit of the German automaker — will add an unspecified number of new jobs to the 3-million-square-foot plant as it expands beyond diesel engines.

Detroit Diesel has 2,300 employees and builds four major engines, rear axles and 12-speed transmissions.

More here

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Washington Post: The contours of a deal to avert the year-end fiscal cliff are becoming increasingly clear. But progress has been slow, and time is running out for leaders to seal an agreement and sell it to restless lawmakers who so far have been given little information.

With hope still alive for a resolution by Christmas, President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) met Sunday at the White House, their first face-to-face meeting in nearly a month and their first one-on-one session since July 2011, when they last tried to forge a far-reaching compromise to tame the national debt.

Neither side would provide details, but White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage and Boehner spokesman Michael Steel released identical statements saying “the lines of communication remain open.”

More here

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The Atlantic: Goodbye, conciliator. Hello, Mr. Tough Love.

…. While Republicans are bemoaning the president’s intransigence in hewing fast to a position he ran and won on in 2012, they might do well to look to their own behavior in setting up this month’s epic power struggle with him – and why he feels he’s now in a strong enough position to stand firm on behalf of his agenda.

…. “The president’s idea of a negotiation is, roll over and do what I ask,” Speaker John Boehner complained earlier this month. But Obama just solidly won reelection after a very nasty race. Why would he forgo pushing hard for his agenda right out of the gate, right after it was reaffirmed by the public?

The bottom line: The odds we go over the cliff are high if the GOP doesn’t come around. Fortunately, it sounds like Republicans are starting to get the message.

More here

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More at ThinkProgress

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Greg Sargent: Leverage remains with Dems on taxes: A new Politico poll confirms it yet again:  The public sides with Dems in the fiscal cliff fight. Sixty percent of likely voters — and 58 percent of independents — want taxes raised on those over $250,000. And there’s also this: Fifty eight percent say raising taxes on the rich won’t have a negative impact on the economy. Only 38 percent support the GOP position that it will. What this data confirms, yet again, is that Dems are the ones who hold the middle ground position in the talks.

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ThinkProgress: President Obama will “begin an all-out drive for comprehensive immigration reform, including seeking a path to citizenship” for 11 million undocumented immigrants, after Congress addresses the fiscal cliff, the Los Angeles Times reports. The revelation comes just as a top Hispanic Democrat, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), is calling on Obama to step-up his involvement on the issue and engage in discussions with lawmakers.

The Obama administration’s “social media blitz” will start in January and is expected “to tap the same organizations and unions that helped get a record number of Latino voters to reelect the president.” Cabinet secretaries and lawmakers from both parties are already holding initial meetings to iron out the details of the proposal….

More here

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Rolling Stone here

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MooooOOOooooOooooOOooorning everyone.

08
Dec
12

Rise and Shine

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Saturday: The President has no public events scheduled

Sunday: The First Family will attend Christmas in Washington at the National Building Museum

Monday: The President will travel to Redford, Michigan for an event on the economy at the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant

Tuesday and Wednesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House

Thursday: The President will host a Hanukkah reception at the White House

Friday: The President will attend meetings at the White House

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Business Insider: As negotiations on a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” enter the final three weeks, Republicans face a stark reality: The American public continues siding with President Barack Obama and Democrats on the issues crucial to any potential deal.

Polls taken over the past month have continually shown that a post-election bump for the President, combined with the relative unpopularity of Republicans, gives Obama a lot of leverage in the debate.

…. The kicker lies in the difference in approval ratings between Obama and Congressional Republicans. Obama’s approval rating hit an astounding 57 percent in Friday’s AP survey. Meanwhile, Congress has a 23 percent approval rating.

More here

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Love this!

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ThinkProgress

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NYT: Fifty-eight years after it banned discrimination in public education, the Supreme Court has set the stage for the defining civil rights decision of this era — agreeing to hear two cases challenging laws that define marriage to exclude couples of the same sex. To us, and a growing number of Americans, the right course seems clear: that the justices continue the march toward real equality.

…. Public opinion is shifting on this issue as more people recognize the inherent wrong in a last bastion of official discrimination. The most important hearts and minds to be won at this point belong to the nine justices.

Full editorial here

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Mike Thompson

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Found this yesterday and tweeted it – I’m still weepin’!

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@charliecristfl

Washington Post: Former Florida governor Charlie Crist said late Friday night that he is now a Democrat.

The Republican governor-turned independent Senate candidate’s move was widely anticipated, especially in advance of a potential 2014 run for his old office. Crist endorsed President Obama for reelection this year and has aligned with Democrats over the last two years.

More here

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A blast from the past…..

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Complete randomness:

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MooooOooooOoooooOooooorning everyone ;-)

06
Dec
12

Rise and Shine

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Reuters: President Barack Obama takes his “fiscal-cliff” campaign to the home of a family in Northern Virginia on Thursday (1:35) to illustrate the impact of letting taxes go up on the middle class….

With about three weeks remaining before steep tax hikes and budget cuts that comprise the so-called fiscal cliff are set to begin, the White House said Obama would visit the home of a family that responded to a presidential Twitter request for real-life stories about the burden of a tax increase on the middle class.

More here

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Greg Sargent: Public opinion gives Dems all the leverage: Here’s another reason Republicans may have to accept the above way out: A new Quinnipiac poll finds that Americans are solidly on the side of Obama and Democrats in this battle. Voters say by 53-36 they trust Obama and Dems more than Republicans on the fiscal cliff mess. And by 51-43, voters say Republicans won’t make a “good faith effort” to cooperate with Obama on issues important to them.

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Twitter meltdown of the week:

Politico’s Ben White was in a monster, well, huff because he wasn’t included in Huffington Post’s ’32 Economics Journalists You Should Be Following On Twitter’ list. But, instead of being sensible and ignoring the OUTRAGEOUS snub, what does he do? Yep, he whinged about it endlessly on Twitter.

The tweet above caused a good giggle – talk about revealing your politics. But then, he does work for Politico.

More at BusinessInsider

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Random pic:

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Late start, but finally: MooooOOOoooooOOOooorning! More news later.

04
Dec
12

This and That

President Obama meets with members of the Governors Association Executive Committee, including Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, December 4

(Judging by other pics, PBO was looking at Scott Walker in this one …. me likes the ‘four more years’ grin)

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Wednesday:

10:50: President Obama delivers remarks to members of the Business Roundtable and answers questions

3:05: Delivers remarks at the 2012 Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of Interior

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Kevin Drum (Mother Jones): Here is PPP on their finding that 49 percent of Republicans think ACORN stole the election for Obama….

This is a modest decline, but perhaps smaller than might have been expected given that ACORN doesn’t exist anymore.

…. In other news, they found that 25 percent of Americans claim to have an opinion about the Panetta-Burns plan, which they just made up. Fun times.

More on the, eh, Panetta-Burns plan at the Washington Post

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Senate.gov

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Charles Pierce: …. the senior members of the Republican party reminded us today that, no matter how much lipstick they slather on the pig in order to fool the more credulous members of the courtier media, the heart of their party is still black and withered and smells of death and corruption.

…. This is what prevails when you scratch down beneath the pretty surface — a party so completely fking unhinged that it thinks that a treaty on the rights of disabled people is some sort of one-world plot to steal the liberty of a third-rate moron like Jim Inhofe. …. They simply do not care. Their prejudices and their paranoia must have pride of place over any help to be given to the less fortunate among us….

…. I can hardly wait for the next Beltway hummer in which Rubio is promoted as “the changing face of the Republican party.” They can’t stand up to the lunatic base because the lunatic base is all they have.

Full post here

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TPM

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Steve Benen: Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole made a rare Senate appearance this morning, sitting in a wheelchair just off the floor so that members would have to see him as they entered the chamber. Why? Because they were poised to vote on ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and Dole hoped to send a message.

It didn’t work. The Senate killed the treaty this afternoon, with a final vote of 61 to 38, which seems like a lopsided majority, but which fell short of the two-thirds necessary for ratification. Eight Republicans broke ranks and joined Democrats in support of the treaty, but the clear majority of the Senate GOP voted to block it.

Full post here

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Wey hey, one of Reuters photos of the year:

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Lines of the day ….

Charles Pierce: “Mike Huckabee …. the de-bloated god-bothering whackaloon who is occasionally mistaken for a nice guy.”

Bob Costas responds to Fox News attacks: “Sometimes The Quality Of The Thinking Of Those Who Oppose You Speaks For Itself.” (See video at Media Matters)

…. Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades said as soon as Ryan and Romney started campaigning together, during his daily calls with Romney “it was like talking to your buddy who just met a girl and is giddy.” Romney pollster Neil Newhouse said when he saw the chemistry of Ryan and Romney together, he thought, “it was like a bromance.” (Lynn Sweet)

:???:

04
Dec
12

Rise and Shine

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Today:

10:10: The President and Vice President meet with governors at the White House

1:0: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

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The President will participate on Tuesday in his first television interview since the election. Bloomberg’s White House correspondent Julianna Goldman will do the questioning. According to a preview, they will discuss the fiscal cliff and his priorities and agenda for his second term. The interview will air at 12:30 p.m. EST on Bloomberg TV. (See here)

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Paul Krugman: It goes without saying that the Republican “counteroffer” is basically fake. It calls for $800 billion in revenue from closing loopholes, but doesn’t specify a single loophole to be closed; it calls for huge spending cuts, but aside from raising the Medicare age and cutting the Social Security inflation adjustment – moves worth only around $300 billion – it doesn’t specify how these cuts are to be achieved. So it’s basically the Paul Ryan method: scribble down some numbers and pretend that you’re a budget wonk with a Serious plan.

….. for all the seniors or near-seniors who voted Republican because you thought they would protect Medicare from that bad guy Obama: you’ve been had.

Full post here

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NYT Editorial: ….. under pressure from the White House, Republicans finally released their opening position in the negotiations – a remarkably shallow one that demonstrated a lack of seriousness in negotiations, or farsightedness in policy.

…. The only way to produce the necessary revenue is to combine some limits on deductions with an end to the Bush tax cuts on the rich, and Mr. Obama, fortunately, has been adamant he will not consider any plan that does not do so. The Boehner letter, by contrast, actually advocates lowering rates, suggesting that Republicans are still clinging to the notion, rejected by voters, that was put forward by Mitt Romney.

….. Monday’s offer may simply be intended to show the most conservative Republicans that their leaders fought before the compromises to come. For everyone else, they show a party unwilling to approach the bargaining with responsibility.

Full article here

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Eugene Robinson: How dare he? President Obama, I mean: How dare he do what he promised during the campaign? How dare he insist on a “balanced approach” to fiscal policy that includes a teensy-weensy tax increase for the rich? Oh, the humanity.

…. “Right now, I would say we’re nowhere, period,” said Boehner. “We’re nowhere.”

Not true. It’s just that we’re somewhere Republicans would prefer not to be. We’re just past an election in which Obama won a second term and Democrats gained seats in both houses of Congress. And we’re nearing a “fiscal cliff” of tax increases and budget cuts that horrify Republicans more than Democrats.

… There is no guarantee that Obama will get everything he wants out of this showdown. But I’d rather be playing the president’s hand than Boehner’s.

Full article here

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From yesterday:

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This is great – thanks UT!

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Moooooorning everyone.

03
Dec
12

“A Christmas wish list written by kids without access to calculators”

President Obama participates in a Twitter live question and answer session in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 3. (Pete Souza)

Read all the President’s Twitter replies today here

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Steve Benen: …. Under this proposal, Republicans would keep all of the Bush-era tax rates, but accept $800 billion in new revenue. How? Through “pro-growth tax reform that closes special-interest loopholes and deductions while lowering rates.”

From there, the GOP leaders want to cut $600 billion from Medicare and Medicaid; cut $300 billion from mandatory programs; cut $200 billion by changing the consumer price index; and then cut another $300 billion in further discretionary spending.

To call this a “counteroffer” is to strip the word of meaning … This isn’t a “counteroffer”; it’s a Christmas wish list written by kids without access to calculators.

Full post here

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Michael Tomasky: So, the House Republicans made their counter-offer today. But it’s not much of a counter-offer. Josh Barro of Bloomberg identifies three problems: 1, zero specifics; 2, what description there is of the tax numbers doesn’t add up; 3, it doesn’t really avert the fiscal cliff….

…. It’s always the same story with these people. They have these policy goals that they know are quite unpopular outside their besotted 30 percent, so they’ll never put specifics to them until the last possible second. But until then, anyone would be a fool to trust them. The only thing they really care about is cutting high-end tax rates, but they know full well that they can’t say that, so they make us all play these silly games.

…. Let’s keep remembering, folks, that they’re going through all these contortions basically so as not to raise the top tax rate 4.6 percent on taxable income above $250,000, which a little less than 2 percent of the population even has. Deeply unserious people.

Full post here

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Josh Barro (Bloomberg): House Republicans are out with their response to the President’s opening bid on the fiscal cliff, and it’s not very impressive. Here are three big problems with the letter they sent to the White House:

1. It’s not really a proposal – it’s just a set of headline numbers without specific policies….

2. The description of tax reform makes little sense…

3. The proposal does not fully avert the fiscal cliff …. it would only partly delay the implementation of austerity measures (tax increases and spending cuts) into future years when the economy is stronger.

…. The letter also says nothing about the payroll tax holiday or extended unemployment insurance benefits, both of which Republicans likely want to sunset. As such, this proposal only constitutes a partial aversion of the fiscal cliff, which would mean a drag on economic growth in 2013.

Full post here

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@AriMelber

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Erskine Bowles: While I’m flattered the Speaker would call something “the Bowles plan,” the approach outlined in the letter Speaker Boehner sent to the President does not represent the Simpson-Bowles plan, nor is it the Bowles plan. In my testimony before the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, I simply took the mid-point of the public offers put forward during the negotiations to demonstrate where I thought a deal could be reached at that time.

More here

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Dan Pfeiffer: “The Republican letter released today does not meet the test of balance. In fact, it actually promises to lower rates for the wealthy and sticks the middle class with the bill. Their plan includes nothing new and provides no details on which deductions they would eliminate, which loopholes they will close or which Medicare savings they would achieve. Independent analysts who have looked at plans like this one have concluded that middle class taxes will have to go up to pay for lower rates for millionaires and billionaires.

While the President is willing to compromise to get a significant, balanced deal and believes that compromise is readily available to Congress, he is not willing to compromise on the principles of fairness and balance that include asking the wealthiest to pay higher rates.  President Obama believes – and the American people agree – that the economy works best when it is grown from the middle out, not from the top down.  Until the Republicans in Congress are willing to get serious about asking the wealthiest to pay slightly higher tax rates, we won’t be able to achieve a significant, balanced approach to reduce our deficit our nation needs.”

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Steve Benen: If a video like this one seems familiar, it’s because this is exactly the sort of clip Obama for America routinely released in the weeks and months leading up to Election Day. Yesterday, however, the same campaign organization put this clip online for President Obama’s new fight.

…. I’m nearly as interested in its existence as I am its message …. Team Obama is hoping to approach the second term very differently from the first, and that’s especially true of dealing with Congress….

… This time, the president is taking a new negotiating posture, hosting public events outside the Beltway, and utilizing his campaign structure in the hopes of shifting public attitudes…..

Full post here

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Thanks UT

03
Dec
12

Rise and Shine

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Today:

12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press

2:55: President Obama hosts a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov of Bulgaria

4:0: Delivers remarks to the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction symposium

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Paul Krugman: In the ongoing battle of the budget, President Obama has done something very cruel. Declaring that this time he won’t negotiate with himself, he has refused to lay out a proposal reflecting what he thinks Republicans want. Instead, he has demanded that Republicans themselves say, explicitly, what they want. And guess what: They can’t or won’t do it.

No, really …. And there’s a reason for this reticence. The fact is that Republican posturing on the deficit has always been a con game, a play on the innumeracy of voters and reporters. Now Mr. Obama has demanded that the G.O.P. put up or shut up — and the response is an aggrieved mumble.

Full article here

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ThinkProgress

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Steve Benen: Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner appeared on several Sunday shows yesterday, and for the first time, made explicitly clear that higher rates on income above $250,000 is a precondition to any fiscal agreement.

…. this, in a nutshell, is why talks aren’t going anywhere. The White House has a plan on the table, which includes $1.6 trillion in new revenue, relying largely on higher rates on income above $250,000. Congressional Republicans, by their own admission, have no plan….

For those who take arithmetic seriously, the GOP approach borders on laughable….

Full post here

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CNN: Mitt Romney supporter Kid Rock said on Sunday that he told President Obama there are “no hard feelings” over his re-election victory. In an interview with CNN, the rock singer said he spoke with the President on Sunday at the Kennedy Center Honors event. (Video at link)

No hard feelings? Aw, that’s nice of him. :roll:

Loved what the President said to him when they met: “I’m still here.” :cool:

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Kathleen Geier (Washington Monthly): One of the more surprising voting trends in American politics over the past two decades is the dramatic shift of Asian Americans toward the Democratic Party. Only 31% of the Asian American electorate voted for Bill Clinton in 1992, but 73% supported Barack Obama in 2012. What accounts for this change? Working with data from the National Asian American Survey, two political scientists have some answers.

The professors reject a variety of explanations that have recently been offered. No, it’s apparently not because, as David Brooks proposed, Asian American voters are less individualistic or less antagonistic toward government than are other Americans …. Rather, there are are cluster of “push and pull” factors …. Some of the pull factors: Asian Americans like President Obama’s policies on health care, education, and the Iraq War…..

As for the “push factors”: well, the Republican’s anti-immigrant bias and its alliance with the Christian right are not doing them any favors so far as Asian Americans are concerned….

Full post here

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Business Insider: One month before Election Day, David Paleologos threw himself into the poll-heavy discussion of the 2012 campaign with a bold prediction.

Paleologos, the director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, said that he would no longer poll three key swing states — North Carolina, Virginia and Florida — because he was certain Republican Mitt Romney would win them.

That prediction, obviously, turned out to be horribly wrong. Romney won North Carolina, but Romney lost Virginia by nearly 4 points — and one of the biggest surprises of the election came when President Barack Obama won Florida.

…. Paleologos said that Suffolk would re-evaluate its likely voter screen ….

More here

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ABC: When Inauguration Day falls on a Sunday, the Constitution won’t wait …. The iron beams are in place jutting out over Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House.They will become the roof of the presidential reviewing stand for the second Obama inaugural next month.

But the traditional parade with its bands and floats will not march on January 20th, the day the Constitution requires the President to be sworn in. That falls on a Sunday this time so by tradition there will only be a small Sunday ceremony for the oath-taking at noon.

…. President Obama will also have to take the oath twice: At noon Jan. 20 as the Constitution requires, and again Monday at the US Capitol with the whole world watching.

More here

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Completely random pics:

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Mooooooooorning everyone.

30
Nov
12

This and That

A red ribbon is hung from the North Portico of the White House, Nov. 30, to mark World AIDS Day on Dec. 1. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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Michael Grunwald (Time): It’s really amazing to see political reporters dutifully passing along Republican complaints that President Obama’s opening offer in the fiscal cliff talks is just a recycled version of his old plan, when those same reporters spent the last year dutifully passing along Republican complaints that Obama had no plan….

This isn’t just cognitive dissonance. It’s irresponsible reporting. Mainstream media outlets don’t want to look partisan, so they ignore the BS hidden in plain sight, the hypocrisy and dishonesty that defines the modern Republican Party…..

…. we’re not supposed to be stenographers. As long as the media let an entire political party invent a new reality every day, it will keep on doing it. Every day.

Full post here

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David Firestone (NYT): Republicans reportedly laughed when they saw the Obama administration’s initial offer in the fiscal negotiations yesterday. The idea that President Obama might actually want to enact his campaign promises – tax hikes on the rich, modest Medicare cuts, investments in infrastructure – is apparently considered a joke to the party that has shown virtually no flexibility in the last four years.

But some of that laughter may contain nervousness, because there is more going on here than just a pathway to splitting the difference. The White House made clear yesterday that it is approaching these talks from a position of responsibility, and that it actually takes seriously the notion of old-fashioned bargaining. That’s something Republicans have refused to do — and now they realize they’ve been called out.

Full post here

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TPM – more at Salon and The Atlantic

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Deaniac (The People’s View): The president is in a fighting mood. Starting today, he’s barnstorming the country, getting the American people to pressure Congress to extend the middle class tax breaks, and to do so now. Yesterday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner presented the leaders of Congress with the Administration’s opening offer. That offer is heavy on revenue, tax fairness, and Medicare savings without affecting benefits. Here’s a short summary of what the president has proposed, from leaked details.

Full post here

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Liberal Librarian (The People’s View): Yesterday’s vote in the UN on Palestine has stirred a lot of emotions on the left; I’ve taken the time to read the responses across a few blogs this morning, and for the most part they’ve been considered and judicious. So here are my two pfennigs.

When the world’s three most powerful faiths declare a piece of real estate “holy”, that causes problems of a sort not found anywhere else. To the Jews, it is the “Promised Land”, vouchsafed to them by God unto the last generation. To Muslims, it’s holy because God walked in it with the Hebrew patriarchs, whom they consider earlier prophets; and, of course, they believe Muhammad made his Night Journey to heaven from the Temple Mount. To Christians, obviously, it was the land where Jesus lived, preached, and died. The deep emotional and religious attachments are not to be disregarded.

Full post here

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Kevin Drum (Mother Jones): There’s one particular strain of Republican reaction to their election loss that’s always given me the biggest chuckle, and today Paul Waldman highlights it: the absurd proposition that Mitt Romney never forthrightly defended conservative principles….

…. For months, conservatives yelled from the rooftops about how 2012 presented the sharpest choice ever in governing philosophies …. [they] claimed that this one was truly an ideological turning point, America’s last chance to choose what kind of country we should be. But literally within hours of defeat, they turned on a dime and insisted that the American people weren’t given a real chance to decide between two competing visions. And they’ve maintained this claim despite losing the popular vote in the House, the Senate, and the presidency, and despite the fact that demographic trends very clearly spell even further trouble in the future for their hardnosed brand of social intolerance and slavish dedication to the interests of the rich.

Full post here

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Two completely random pics:

30
Nov
12

Rise and Shine

Cagle

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10:10: President Obama departs the White House

11:0: VP Biden attends the inaugural speech of President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico at the National Palace

11:05: PBO arrives in Philadelphia

11:45: Tours The Rodon Group manufacturing facility

12:05: Delivers remarks

2:00: Departs Philadelphia

2:55: Arrives at the White House

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NYT: Timothy Geithner presented John Boehner a detailed proposal on Thursday to avert the year-end fiscal crisis with $1.6 trillion in tax increases over 10 years, $50 billion in immediate stimulus spending, home mortgage refinancing and a permanent end to Congressional control over statutory borrowing limits.

The proposal, loaded with Democratic priorities and short on detailed spending cuts, met strong Republican resistance …. the details show how far the president is ready to push House Republicans. The upfront tax increases in the proposal go beyond what Senate Democrats were able to pass earlier this year….

…. Senate Democratic leaders left their meeting with Mr. Geithner ecstatic. If the Republicans want additional spending cuts in that down payment, the onus is on them to put them on the table, said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader.

Full article here

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Steve Benen: President Obama had to endure some deeply unpleasant experiences with Congress over the last couple of years, but the result of the incidents taught him valuable lessons. It’s clear, especially after last year’s debt-ceiling crisis, that the president now knows exactly how to negotiate with reckless, radicalized Republicans.

…. The days of preemptive concessions and negotiating from a defensive crouch are over …. Obama is acting like a confident, re-elected president who expects congressional Republicans to start moving in his direction, not the other way around. GOP leaders aren’t accustomed to this dynamic, but it’s probably time they adapt to their new surroundings.

….  Republicans desperately want the president to negotiate with himself …. Obama clearly isn’t willing to play that game anymore.

Full post here

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Greg Sargent: … the White House position is that it has laid out what it wants in the way of new revenue and spending, and that it’s now up to Republicans to detail their bottom line on cuts. It’s the GOP’s turn now. This opening bid will cheer liberals – it strongly suggests the White House is willing to push Republicans very hard, in the belief that it has all the leverage.

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Cagle

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The Daily Dolt: Humanity’s most divisive figure, Barack Hussein Obama, is set to become the first president since Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 to win over 51% of the popular vote twice. The Great Divider is currently at 50.9% of the popular vote, and his lead continues to expand as results are still being tallied.

….. now we shall commence with the childish, entirely unprofessional gloating segment of this blog post:

Suck it, Marco Rubio. Suck it, Mitch McConnell. And suck it, Reince Priebus.

That is all.

Full post here

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Completely random pic:

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Mooooooorning everyone! Happy Friday:

27
Nov
12

Rise and Shine

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Today:

3:40: President Obama and VP Biden meet with President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico.

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Steve Benen: …. Susan Rice will head to Capitol Hill today where she’s scheduled to meet with the same Republican senators who’ve spent a few weeks trying to destroy her reputation …. it now appears Rice’s nomination to replace Hillary Clinton at the State Department is practically a foregone conclusion….

….  the White House is giving McCain, Graham, and Ayotte some special attention and a way out of their own mess. They can, in other words, come out of today’s meeting saying, “We had serious questions, and we’re glad Rice took the time to answer them.” If they then drop the filibuster threat, they’d look less ridiculous.

At least, that’s the idea. In practice, the GOP campaign against Rice has always been detached from reality, and facts from Rice and Morell may not matter, but from the administration’s perspective, it can’t hurt to try.

Full post here

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AP: President Barack Obama plans to make a public case this week for his strategy for dealing with the looming fiscal cliff, traveling to the Philadelphia suburbs Friday as he pressures Republicans to allow tax increases on the wealthy while extending tax cuts for families earning $250,000 or less.

The White House said Tuesday that the president intends to hold a series of events to build support for his approach to avoid across-the-board tax increases and steep spending cuts in defense and domestic programs. Obama will meet with small business owners at the White House on Tuesday and with middle-class families on Wednesday.

The president will visit the Rodon Group on 2800 Sterling Drive in Hatfield. The president’s visit will cap a week of public outreach as the White House and congressional leaders negotiate a way to avoid the tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.

More here

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Steve Benen: …. as of yesterday, we appear to have reached an interesting, albeit largely symbolic, threshold:

“Call it irony or call it coincidence: Mitt Romney’s share of the popular vote in the 2012 presidential race is very likely to be 47 percent…..”

….  as things currently stand, Obama’s popular vote margin of victory is 3.43%. That’s close, to be sure, but for all the talk about the razor-thin race and the speculation that this could be the tightest national election any of us have ever seen, Obama’s 2012 victory isn’t even in the top 10 of the closest presidential elections in American history.

More here

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In case you missed….

More at ThinkProgress

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Eugene Robinson: Maybe the fever is breaking. Maybe the delirium is lifting. Maybe Republicans are finally asking themselves: What were we thinking when we put an absurdly unrealistic pledge to a Washington lobbyist ahead of our duty to the American people?

I said maybe. So far, the renunciations of Grover Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” amount to a trickle, not a flood….

…. Republicans who signed the pledge – and who now find themselves in a box – have only themselves to blame. To boost their own political fortunes, they lied to the voters. They pretended it was possible to provide the services that Americans need and want without collecting sufficient revenue. They sold the bogus promise of not just a free lunch, but a free breakfast and supper, too.

…. President Obama has been trying to wake Republicans from this silly, self-defeating dream for four long years. Now, perhaps, a twitching of eyelids.

Full article here

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Daily Beast

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Oh boy, these people…..

Dana Milbank: President-unelect Rick Santorum made his triumphant return to the Capitol on Monday afternoon and took up a brave new cause: He is opposing disabled people.

Specifically, Santorum, joined by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), declared his wish that the Senate reject the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities….

The former presidential candidate pronounced his “grave concerns” about the treaty, which forbids discrimination against people with AIDS, who are blind, who use wheelchairs and the like. “This is a direct assault on us,” he declared at a news conference.

Lee, a tea party favorite, said he, too, has “grave concerns” about the document’s threat to American sovereignty. “I will do everything I can to block its ratification, and I have secured the signatures of 36 Republican senators, all of whom have joined with me saying that we will oppose any ratification of any treaty during this lame-duck session.”

More here

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Thanks Forus! Full video here

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Completely random pic:

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More completely random (old) pics:

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In other news, from The Onion:

According to BuzzFeed, China’s Communist Party newspaper, People’s Daily, has congratulated the North Korean leader on being named ‘the sexiest man alive’. :???:

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Get your victory magnet here!

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Mooooooooooorning everyone.

26
Nov
12

Ready?

Nick Anderson

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Chat away.

26
Nov
12

Rise and Shine

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Matthew Yglesias: Obama’s 2010 Lame Duck Tax Deal Was a Triumph, Not A Sellout …. David Corn has an interesting piece (see below) pushing back on the myth of the Obama cave-in, but I’d go further – the deal was a triumph …

….. Obama secured a deal that extended the middle class tax cuts, extended UI benefits, created a stimulative payroll tax holiday, cleared the legislative decks for Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal and the passage of the New START arms control treated, and in exchange he gave up nothing of any real substance ….  now he gets to play that leverage from a somewhat stronger economic and political context. It’s totally solid legislative dealmaking, and not any kind of cave-in or surrender.

Full post here

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David Corn (Mother Jones):  ….. Obama didn’t wave the white flag in 2010. He turned a face-off over the Bush tax cuts into an opportunity to enact a second stimulus that he otherwise could not get past Senate Republicans. His failure at that time was not that he mustered insufficient mettle; he failed to convey to the world that he had ju-jitsued the GOPers.

….  no one ought to forget that Obama, a progressive in his policy preferences, remains a pragmatist. What happened two years ago is not an indication that Obama is likely to yield in the new face-off, but that he will be assessing the political dynamics in gridlocked Washington and be willing to bargain hard for a good deal with true benefits. That’s not caving in. It’s governing.

Full post here

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NYT: When Tea Party activists swamped town hall-style meetings about health care in the summer of 2009, President Obama’s army of campaign volunteers largely stayed away ….. now, Mr. Obama is seizing a second chance to keep his election-year supporters animated.

With lawmakers scheduled to return to work on Monday to begin intense discussions before a looming fiscal deadline, Mr. Obama’s aides are trying to harness the passions that returned him to the White House, hoping to pressure Republicans in Congress to accept tax increases on the wealthy. The president’s strategists are turning first to the millions of e-mail addresses assembled by the campaign and the White House.

Already, supporters are being asked to record YouTube videos of themselves talking about the importance of raising taxes on the rich. Aides said those videos would be shared on Facebook and Twitter and would be forwarded to centrist Democrats, as well as to mainstream Republicans, who they hope will break with their Tea Party colleagues.

More here

More from Steve Benen here

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Click here to see the rest of the post

27
Apr
11

enough’s enough

Anne E. Kornblut (Washington Post): After his major address on the deficit two weeks ago, President Obama sat down for an interview with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos expecting a conversation about fiscal issues.

Instead, Obama faced repeated questions about the controversy surrounding his place of birth … the interview added to the growing sense within the White House that the mainstream media was perpetuating a dangerous myth.

Obama had grown incredulous at the overall debate. He had watched as even Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan had been sucked into the discussion of his birthplace, aides said … on April 19, in a meeting with White House counsel Bob Bauer, the president asked about the feasibility of getting his long-form birth certificate at last …..Last week, it was Obama who made the call to proceed. “He was the driving force,” the official said.

…the process began early in the week of April 18, after Obama raised the subject. White House counsel Bauer reviewed the legal steps necessary to obtain the long-form document, which is not routinely released by authorities in Hawaii …..When administration officials released the paperwork on Wednesday morning shortly after 9 a.m., it came as a shock to the political establishment….

….Aides acknowledged that there would have been a potential upside to keeping the obviously outrageous myth alive. “He did that despite the fact that it probably was…probably in his long-term political interests to allow this birther debate to dominate discussion in the Republican Party for months to come,” Pfeiffer said. “But he thought even though it might have been good politics, he thought it was bad for the country. And so he asked counsel to look into this.”

Full article here

16
Apr
11

morning everyone




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