Posts Tagged ‘fiscal



30
Dec
12

Rise and Shine

See here for Meet the Press air times

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Steve Benen: We’ve reached the point at which the looming fiscal deadlines are so close, we can count them in hours, not days….

….. And so, we’re waiting. The respective Senate leaders will try to reach a resolution with the intention of holding a vote [Sunday]. If they succeed in crafting a plan, and it passes, Boehner has agreed to bring it to the House floor – even if most of his caucus disapproves – probably on Monday, the last possible day to act.

This is a machine with plenty of moving parts, but looking ahead, there are two main questions to keep an eye on: (1) what might the Senate plan look like? and (2) what would happen if a Senate plan doesn’t come together?

Full post here

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NYT: Never much known for restraint, Joseph R. Biden Jr. did not hold back during a presidential primary debate in 2007 when a voter asking about gun rights in a recorded video displayed a fearsome-looking semiautomatic rifle and declared, “This is my baby.”

Mr. Biden shook his head. “I tell you what, if that’s his baby, he needs help,” he said. “I think he just made an admission against self-interest. I don’t know if he’s mentally qualified to own that gun.”

….. Five years later, that same type of weapon, a Bushmaster AR-15, is at the heart of a renewed national conversation about gun laws because it was used this month by the mass killer in Newtown, Conn….

Full article here

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Sun Times: President Barack Obama is urging the Illinois General Assembly to legalize gay marriage in his home state as lawmakers are poised to take up the measure as early as this week in Springfield.

“While the president does not weigh in on every measure being considered by state legislatures, he believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect,” White House spokesman Shin Inouye told the Chicago Sun-Times on Saturday.

“As he has said, his personal view is that it’s wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry, from doing so. Were the President still in the Illinois State Legislature, he would support this measure that would treat all Illinois couples equally,” Inouye said.

More here

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From Mike Thompson’s ‘look back at 2012 in cartoons’ (here) – loved this one

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Morning everyone, could be a long day.

29
Dec
12

Rise and Shine

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Michael Tomasky: The Republicans’ Moment of Truth ….. Will McConnell and Boehner allow votes on any last-minute deal? A more emphatic way of phrasing it is, will they finally put the country ahead of their party for a change, and ahead of their party’s unaltered view that any posture toward Obama other than belligerence equals capitulation to an enemy? …. We’re going to learn a lot about the post-election Republican Party this weekend.

….. The only thing the Republicans are ready to play, as usual, is roulette, with the cocked gun against the country’s temple, unfortunately, and not their own …. Never have the priorities for survival and success of a major party’s Washington politicians been so utterly at odds with the priorities required for the country’s survival and success. These Washington Republicans represent the one-third of the country that hates government, despises Obama, and considers obstruction victory.

The rational two-thirds wants compromise, good-faith bargaining, higher taxes on the wealthy, a reasonably strong safety net, and lower defense spending. But the obstructionist one-third wants the opposite. McConnell and Boehner aren’t ideologically committed to that one-third in the way that Jim DeMint and Paul Ryan are, but so far, they have never once stood up to it for the country’s sake. We’ll find out this weekend who they really are.

Full post here

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NBC: This Sunday, David Gregory sits down exclusively with President Barack Obama. This will be Mr. Obama’s 11th appearance on Meet the Press, his second time as the commander in chief …. His most recent appearance was on Sept. 20, 2009 in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

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President Barack Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office, Dec. 28 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) speaks to a gathering outside the US Capitol to protest inaction by Congress to pass legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff, December 28

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ThinkProgress

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NYT: Republicans haven’t made it easy for the Northeast to get the $60.4 billion in aid it needs to recover from Hurricane Sandy. They have objected to the amount and tried to slash it. They have demanded that $3.4 billion of the aid for flood control be offset by spending cuts in other programs. And in the Senate, as on virtually all bills, they filibustered the aid package proposed by President Obama.

That filibuster was broken last week, allowing the Senate to pass the bill late on Friday. But it is not clear whether the House will even take up the bill in the remaining days of the session. If it does not, that will push desperately needed aid off until the next session of Congress, wasting weeks of time preparing and voting on a fresh bill…..

Full editorial here

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Business Insider: The Obama campaign’s digital operations proved to be a crucial point of success that led to the re-election of President Barack Obama in November.

Based on a sophisticated effort and larger emphasis on digital and new media, the Obama campaign engaged supporters and raised an unprecedented amount of money through its digital efforts.

How did the Obama campaign become so effective in the digital realm? Engage, an interactive digital political agency in Washington, D.C., recently published a report entitled “Inside the Cave.” It features a 93-page, step-by-step in-depth look at the secrets to the Obama digital team’s success.

We’ve collected 15 of the report’s key topics and published them here.

See here

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MoooOOoooOOOooorning everyone.

28
Dec
12

Heads Up: Statement from the President at 5:45 ET

The President will deliver a statement at 5:45 in the press briefing room at the White House

White House live

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22
Dec
12

Rise and Shine

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Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, December 22, Honolulu, Hawaii (Photos: Pool/Getty)

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Anyone worried that Bo got left behind ….. 0:38 …. :cool:

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NYT Editorial: Wayne LaPierre would have been better advised to remain wherever he had been hiding after the Newtown, Conn., massacre, rather than appear at a news conference on Friday. No one seriously believed the N.R.A. when it said it would contribute something “meaningful” to the discussion about gun violence. The organization’s very existence is predicated on the nation being torn in half over guns. Still, we were stunned by Mr. LaPierre’s mendacious, delusional, almost deranged rant.

Mr. LaPierre looked wild-eyed at times as he said the killing was the fault of the media, songwriters and singers and the people who listen to them, movie and TV scriptwriters and the people who watch their work, advocates of gun control, video game makers and video game players.

Full editorial here

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Arend Van Dam

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Charles Blow: Seriously, what was the National Rifle Association performing on Friday? I thought it was going to be a press conference. It wasn’t. I really don’t know how to describe it. A soliloquy of propaganda? A carnival of canards? A herding of scapegoats?

Wayne LaPierre, the N.R.A.’s executive vice president, blamed gun violence in general, and mass shootings in schools in particular, on everything except for the proliferation of brutally efficient, high-capacity guns and his organization’s efforts to resist virtually any restriction on people’s access to those weapons.

It was an appalling display of deflection and deception. So much smoke and so many mirrors.

Full article here

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Bob Englehart

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Eugene Robinson: Absurd, unbelievable, tragic, obscene — I grope for words to describe the National Rifle Association’s proposal for how the nation should respond to last week’s slaughter in Newtown: More guns in the schools.

The idea is so insane that as far as I’m concerned — and, I hope, as far as a still-grieving nation is concerned — the NRA has forfeited the right to be taken seriously on matters of public policy. Newtown is still burying six-year-olds and Wayne LaPierre, the organization’s chief, wants more freaking guns in the schools. Wow.

More here

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RJ Matson

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Gail Collins:  Well, the Mayans were sort of right.

The world didn’t implode when their calendar stopped on Dec. 21. But the National Rifle Association did call for putting guns in every American school in a press conference that had a sort of civilization-hits-a-dead-end feel to it.

And we learned that negotiations on averting a major economic crisis had come to a screeching halt because Speaker John Boehner lost the support of the far-right contingent of his already-pretty-damned-conservative caucus. We have seen the future, and everything involves negotiating with loony people.

Full article here

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Washington Post: The main thing that has held Republicans together philosophically is the belief in holding down taxes. Not one of them in Congress has voted for a significant increase in more than two decades.

Now that very issue is tearing the GOP apart and making it an all-but-ungovernable majority for Speaker John Boehner to lead in the House.

Disarray is a word much overused in politics. But it barely begins to describe the current state of chaos and incoherence as Republicans come to terms with electoral defeat and try to regroup against a year-end deadline to avert a fiscal crisis.

The presidential election was fought in large measure over the question of whether some Americans should pay more in taxes. Republicans lost that argument with the voters, who polls show are strongly in favor of raising rates for the wealthy. But a sizable contingent within the GOP doesn’t see it that way and is unwilling to declare defeat on a tenet that so defines them.

Full article here

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MoooOOoooOoooOooorning everyone.

21
Dec
12

What a day

President Barack Obama pauses during a meeting to observe a moment of silence in the Oval Office at 9:30 a.m. in remembrance of the 20 children and six adults killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown. Joining the President, from left, are: Director of Communications Dan Pfeiffer; Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett; Chief of Staff Jack Lew; and Pete Rouse, Counselor to the President. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Mother Jones (painful to read, but powerful reporting)

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Charles Pierce: The National Rifle Association held a press conference today at which it was determined that there would be no questions asked or answered, but the organization made it quite clear that they would be open to media questions next week, between Christmas and New Year’s. Then they trotted out Wayne LaPierre, who had bats flying out of both ears.

….. For all the hopeful rhetoric expended over the past week about how this might actually be a “tipping point” for the NRA, the organization is as dead set against rational gun laws as it was a week ago Friday.

… They have their plan, and its about more guns, period … Now we know where everybody stands. Clarity is a wonderful thing … [they] made it implicitly clear that they will fight any legislation that comes before the Congress as regards gun control, and that it will work (as always) to undermine the enforcement of that legislation should it become law. The country should realize all of that and move on ahead without them.

Full post here

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Alec MacGillis (TNR): For two decades now, the legend of the National Rifle Association has grown in Washington. They were the most feared lobby of all, as influential and professionally run as the AARP or AIPAC but with the literal firepower behind them to enhance the aura of intimidation. They could get just about everything they wanted…..

But this cloak of power was stripped away today at NRA honcho Wayne LaPierre’s press conference on the Newtown shootings, revealing the NRA as a lobby with no clothes, or at least nothing but a holster strapped to the ankle …. this was the first time many in Washington and across the country had actually focused squarely on him and his organization in a long time, and this newfound focus, combined with the post-Newtown context in which LaPierre was speaking, was enough to make the NRA seem utterly, surreally amateurish and out of touch. You could all but hear the question rising around Washington: We’ve been letting ourselves be led around by these guys?

Full post here

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Adam Serwer (Mother Jones): ….. LaPierre did not note that Columbine High School had an armed guard when two students went on a murderous shooting rampage there in 1999, and that Virginia Tech had an armed police force with its own SWAT team equivalent when one of its students killed 33 people in 2007.

Full post here

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In an open letter to parents, First Lady Michelle Obama offers some ideas for discussing the tragedy in Newtown with children and young people:

Dear parents,

Like every American, Barack and I are absolutely heartbroken about the unspeakable tragedy that occurred last week in Newtown, Connecticut.  And like so many of you, our first reactions were not as a President and First Lady, but as a Mom and Dad.  We were asking ourselves, what if this had been our town, or our school, or our girls?

And we know that all across the country, it’s not just adults who are asking questions right now – our children are looking for answers as well.  Like us, they want to know, why did this happen?

Could it happen again?  And as parents, all of us can take the time to hold our kids close and talk with them about the things that truly matter: our love for them, the importance of extending that love to those affected by this tragedy, and how that love truly defines our great American community.

Read the rest of the letter here

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Charles Pierce: … Kerry is a good, safe choice for the job. He has made an entire Senate career out of taking on foreign-policy issues that nobody else – except Gary Hart – ever wanted to touch …. Here’s a bit on that from a profile I did back in 2004 (see post)…..

….. This is a man who knows where the bodies have been buried for the past 30 years ….  if you’re casting about for a Democratic Secretary Of State from his generation of Democratic politicians, Kerry is the natural choice, even if you find the way he came to be nominated, through the slandering of Susan Rice, distasteful, as I do.

…. the key is the Swift Boats. If some senator brings it up and if the courtier press doesn’t emphasize at every moment that everything that was said about John Kerry and Vietnam in the 2004 presidential campaign was a lie and an embarrassment to American politics and the American media, then we have on our hands yet another case of journalistic malpractice, and we have had enough of those, thank you.

Full post here

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Text of the President’s remarks

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Meanwhile…..

Steve Benen: There’s been quite a bit of economic news this week, and nearly all of it is quite good. Today, for example, we saw very encouraging news on consumer spending, personal income, orders of durable goods, and national jobless rates. The news comes on the heels of revised GDP data, which was also heartening.

In each case, the numbers aren’t just good, they’re better than nearly anyone expected…..

Full post here

21
Dec
12

The President’s statement on the ‘fiscal cliff’




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