Posts Tagged ‘fraud

03
Mar
15

A Tweet Or Two

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Continue reading ‘A Tweet Or Two’

15
Feb
15

A Tweet Or Two

This is a MUST read

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Today is the last day. Go Get Covered

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22
Nov
14

Making Sure Fraud Gets Punished? Thanks, President Obama And AG Holder

U.S. President Obama and Attorney General Holder attend the National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the Capitol in Washington

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NYT: Justice Dept. Sets Record In Penalties For Fraud

The Justice Department collected a record $24.7 billion in penalties from fraud and other cases in the 2014 fiscal year, the agency said on Wednesday, as fines against banks for financial misconduct soared. Collections from civil and criminal actions, including money collected on behalf of other agencies, was $8 billion in 2013, and $13 billion in 2012. Collections in 2014 were bolstered by multibillion-dollar payouts from JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup to resolve claims they misled investors about the quality of mortgage bonds in the run-up to the financial crisis, and include $11 billion in payments made to federal agencies or states. Payouts in the 2014 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, also include hundreds of millions of dollars in fines levied on UBS and Royal Bank of Scotland.

More here

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Barack Obama, Eric Holder

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17
Oct
14

The President’s Day

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President Barack Obama smiles after signing an executive order to improve security measures for government credit and debit cards during an event at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

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President Barack Obama signs an executive order to strengthen credit card security after explaining his administration’s plan on safeguarding American consumers and their financial security

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President Barack Obama shakes hands with the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Richard Cordray

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20
Jun
14

Rise and Shine

Parade

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Today (all times Eastern)

10:55: President Obama meets with Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand

1:0 Josh Earnest briefs the press

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Parade: The President and Michelle Obama on Work, Family, and Juggling It All

… On Monday, June 23, the President and Mrs. Obama will host a Working Families summit in Washington, D.C. to discuss the need for affordable childcare and paid family leave, raising minimum wage, and achieving equal pay for all. In an interview conducted by Parade, the Obamas opened up about their personal connection to these issues and what they hope to accomplish during their remaining time in the White House.

President Barack Obama and wife Michelle have never been your typical working stiffs. With four Ivy League degrees between them, they’ve enjoyed high incomes and strong job security. But before and during college, they each worked minimum-wage jobs. And there was a time when they felt the same kind of financial aches and marriage strains that today’s dual-income families know all too well. As a young married couple in Chicago, they were mired in student debt, juggling multiple jobs and two kids, and bickering over who did what housework. “I wouldn’t fold,” remembers the president. “I didn’t separate, and Michelle’s point was, that’s not laundry.”

More here

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TPM: Obama Administration To Extend Family Leave To Same-Sex Couples

The Obama administration announced that it would direct the Department of Labor to begin issuing regulations to extend the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to same-sex couples, according to a White House official.

After the Supreme Court’s struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act last year, Attorney General Eric Holder and other members of the administration began to reviewing relevant statutes and laws to extend federal benefits to same-sex couples. The administration said that its extension of FMLA is simply part of that process. The new regulations will clarify that an employee is eligible to take leave to care for a same-sex spouse in the instance of an illness, regardless of whether that employee lives in a state where same-sex marriage is legal.

More here

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Paul Krugman: Veterans and Zombies – The Hype Behind the Health Care Scandal

…. it’s important to understand that the Veterans Affairs scandal, while real, is being hyped out of proportion by people whose real goal is to block reform of the larger system.

…. A scandal is a scandal, and wrongdoing must be punished. But beware of people trying to use the veterans’ care scandal to derail health reform.

And here’s the thing: Health reform is working. Too many Americans still lack good insurance, and hence lack access to health care and protection from high medical costs — but not as many as last year, and next year should be better still. Health costs are still far too high, but their growth has slowed dramatically. We’re moving in the right direction, and we shouldn’t let the zombies get in our way.

Full post here

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Washington Post: Ukraine claims full control of its border with Russia

Ukraine announced Friday that it has regained full control of its border with Russia, which the government has set as an important precondition for a unilateral ceasefire in its conflict with pro-Russian separatists in the east.

The sealing off of the border, which could not be independently verified, would be significant because it would rob the rebels of an important supply route for new fighters and weapons.

The announcement that troops had recaptured the border area near the village of Izvaryne in the Luhansk region comes as President Petro Poroshenko is set to unveil the details of his 14-point peace plan.

More here

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Smartypants: The “what about me?” syndrome

For years black academics criticized the Obama administration for not targeting programs to the African American community. Obamacare didn’t count – even though it has disproportionately affected people of color. All of his talk about income inequality didn’t matter, neither did his proposal for universal pre-K. What they wanted to see were initiatives that directly (and only) affected African Americans.

Then along came the announcement about President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” program targeting boys of color. It didn’t take long for many of the same critics to go after that one because it didn’t include girls. As I see it, this is what most efforts to target a specific community will eventually face…the “what about me?” syndrome.

That’s not to say that its wrong to initiate and promote targeted programs. Sometimes they’re needed. Its more about the fact that when they are proposed, we need to remember WHY they’re targeted and – by definition – will exclude.

More here

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ThinkProgress: Governor Scott Walker Accused Of ‘Criminal Scheme’

New federal court documents released Thursday reveal that Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) is the subject of a “Joe Doe” investigation. Prosecutors allege Walker was part of a “criminal scheme” to circumvent state election laws. While the courts are still mulling a motion by the dark money outside groups at the center of the allegations to stop the investigation, the facts of the case are yet another demonstration of the folly of the Supreme Court’s assumptions in the infamous Citizens United ruling.

The documents show that prosecutors believe illegal coordination occurred in the 2011 and 2012 Wisconsin Senate and Gubernatorial recall elections and that groups like the Wisconsin Club for Growth worked with Scott Walker’s campaign arm (“Friends of Scott Walker”) to arrange undisclosed spending by an array of pro-Walker tax-exempt organizations. They note that several individuals were working both for Friends of Scott Walker and Wisconsin Club for Growth at the time, and that Walker himself boasted of the coordination in an email to Karl Rove.

More here

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Esquire: Prosecutor Is Closing In on Gov. Christie

Indictments against four cronies are near certain, sources say. Only question is if David Samson, Christie’s longtime mentor, will flip.

“It’s over, it’s done, and I’m moving on.” – Chris Christie, reassuring potential donors in Utah on June 14th

Back on planet Reality, meanwhile, Paul Fishman, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, wades through the sewage of Christie’s stewardship. Two sources with intimate knowledge of the case say Fishman’s pace is quickening – he has empaneled a second grand jury, and the U.S. Justice Department has sent assistant prosecutors and FBI agents to work the case.

“What’s taking the most time,” according to one source, “is separating what’s viable from all the bad stuff they’re finding that may not be viable.”

More here

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Daily Beast: The Crash and Churn of Lawrence O’Donnell

In an exclusive interview, the MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell reveals how he survived a head-on car crash, and why afterwards he cut himself off from the negative litany of the news cycle.

“What a stupid way to die,” Lawrence O’Donnell thought to himself.

A split-second earlier, the host of MSNBC’s 10 p.m. program, The Last Word, had been gazing down at a map on his iPhone, following the progress of his taxi, a Chevy van, as he and his older brother Michael rode to dinner on the resort island of Tortola. It was around 7:45 p.m., Saturday, April 12, the start of what promised to be a lovely vacation in the British Virgin Islands with his big brother, a Boston lawyer.

The vacation didn’t happen. Instead, O’Donnell, 62, underwent a life-altering crucible that he’s still trying to make sense of, while figuring out how to explain it to viewers when he returns to his show on Monday night after two-and-a-half months off the air.

More here

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On This Day

President Obama and Vice President Biden meet with National Security Staff in the Situation Room of the White House, June 20, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama talks with Vice President Biden on the Colonnade of the White House outside the Oval Office, June 20, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and Vice President Biden meet with a bipartisan group of mayors to discuss the economy and local efforts to create jobs and spur economic growth, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, June 20, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Pueblo, June 20, 2012

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MoooOOOooorning!

09
Feb
14

Rise and Shine

First Lady Michelle Obama claps along with students as they sing during her visit to Burgess-Peterson Academy in Atlanta, Ga., Feb. 9, 2011 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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The Week Ahead:

 Sunday: The President has no public events scheduled.

Monday: The President welcomes President Hollande of France to Washington for a State Visit. They will tour Monticello, the residence of Thomas Jefferson, one of the United States’ earliest envoys to France.

Tuesday: The President and First Lady will officially welcome President Hollande with an arrival ceremony, after which the Presidents will have a bilateral meeting and press conference. That evening, the President and First Lady will host a State Dinner for President Hollande.

Wednesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House.

Thursday: The President will attend meetings at the White House.

Friday: The President will deliver remarks at the House Democratic Issues Conference in Cambridge, Maryland. Following the conference the President will depart for Rancho Mirage, California, for a meeting with His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan at Sunnylands, the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Estate.

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Bob Christie: Victory For Brewer: Judge Tosses GOP Suit Challenging Obamacare Medicaid Expansion In Arizona

A lawsuit challenging Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s Medicaid expansion plan that was filed by fellow Republicans in the state Legislature was dismissed in a ruling released Saturday, handing Brewer a major victory in her battle against conservative members of her own party.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper agreed with Brewer that the lawmakers challenging the law don’t have the right to sue, saying their argument that a hospital assessment included in House Bill 2010 that passed in June required a supermajority vote of the Legislature under Arizona’s Constitution was incorrect.

Cooper’s ruling said it is the Legislature itself that determines if a 2/3 vote is required under a voter-approved constitutional amendment called Proposition 108.

More here

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Ari Berman

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News Observer: Saturday’s Big Protest In Raleigh Reflects Mainstream Not Fringe

The protesters came to Raleigh on Saturday by bus and car and on foot. They came from various parts of North Carolina and from nearby states. They came from many places on behalf of varied causes, but they were driven by a single imperative – to stand up. There were the usual protesters – labor and civil rights supporters – and some unlikely ones, school teachers. Teachers’ jobs often involve keeping order among the unruly, but they’ve learned there is no virtue in keeping quiet about pay that’s near the lowest in the nation. To see the long ranks of protesters was to wonder how much longer North Carolina’s Republican leaders can dismiss them as a rabble, as outsiders, as “takers,” as agitators, and not see them for who they are: The People.

Their issues include labor conditions, pay for public employees, environmental protections, voting rights, fair taxation, help for the unemployed, gay rights, abortion rights and civil rights. But another of their issues is one they hold in common: They feel they are not being heard. And the deafness of the state’s political powers is deliberate. Legislative leaders and the governor can’t hear above the sound of the corporate money that steers their agenda. And even if they could, they wouldn’t listen. The people in the streets holding signs and chanting are not people they consider “the mainstream” or “real Americans.”

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Bloomberg: U.S. To Add New Legal Protections For Same-Sex Couples

Same-sex married couples will receive many of the same federal legal protections and benefits as their opposite-sex counterparts under Justice Department guidelines to be issued Feb. 10, Attorney General Eric Holder said. The moves will affect procedures in U.S. courtrooms and the aid provided surviving spouses of slain law officers, among other matters. The policy will “formally instruct all Justice Department employees to give lawful same-sex marriages full and equal recognition, to the greatest extent possible under the law,” Holder said in remarks

The change will apply to same-sex couples residing in states where such marriages are not recognized. It also represents the first time the Justice Department has officially interpreted the words “spouse” and “marriage” in federal laws it enforces to apply to same-sex couples. “As attorney general, I will not let this department be simply a bystander during this important moment in history,” Holder said. Under the policy, the Justice Department will recognize that same sex couples are entitled to the same rights as their opposite-sex counterparts in civil and criminal cases, according to Holder. As a result, Holder said, federal prosecutors won’t object if a same-sex spouse declines to provide testimony that might incriminate his or her partner.

More here

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Tampa Bay Times: State Blocks Use Of UF Student Union As Early Voting Center

Election supervisors and the League of Women Voters have a new complaint with Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature over early voting. After years of complaints by supervisors who struggled with historically long lines at the polls in 2012, lawmakers last year expanded the list of early voting sites to include fairgronds, civic centers, courthouses, county commission buildings, stadiums, convention centers and government-owned community centers. But when the city of Gainesville — which is heavily Democratic — asked if it could use the University of Florida student union for early voting in next month’s municipal elections, the state said no.

“I’m very upset about this,” said Polk County Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards, president of a statewide supervisors’ group. “I just can’t understand why they feel the need to be so restrictive about where people are allowed to vote … This is strategic. They’re worried about young people voting.” The union, named for former UF President J. Wayne Reitz, is used as a regular voting precinct in county, state and national elections. About 50,000 students attend UF, and the city said the request to use the Reitz Union for early voting came from a group of students. With the UF student union now off limits, the city plans to use two early voting sites for the March 11 election, assistant city attorney Nicolle Shalley said. One is about 1.5 miles away and the other about three miles away

More here

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William Launder: AOL Chief Reverses Changes To Benefits Policy

AOL Inc.’s Chief Executive Tim Armstrong said Saturday the company would reverse a recent change to its employee 401(k) policy and he apologized for remarks used to explain the rationale for the initial change in the benefits policy. The company had recently moved to a policy in which employees get an annual lump sum 401(k) contribution from AOL at the end of the year, rather than matching contributions each pay period.

On Thursday, Mr. Armstrong had caused a stir with employees and on social media when he said that care for two staffers’ “distressed babies” in 2012 cost the company about $1 million each. He used that example to help explain the rationale for changing the 401(k) policy. Mr. Armstrong was accused of using the infants as cover for the unpopular policy change and was criticized for singling out the two mothers.

More here

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IAEA: IAEA And Iran Joint Media Statement In Connection With Implementation Of Framework For Cooperation

Following talks between IAEA and Iranian experts in Tehran, the two sides today released the following joint statement: On 8 and 9 February 2014, the Agency and the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran) held constructive technical meetings within the Framework for Cooperation that was agreed between the parties last November. During the meetings, the two sides reviewed progress on the implementation of the six initial practical measures that were agreed three months ago. Iran has taken the initial practical measures that were foreseen.

Iran and the Agency reached agreement on seven practical measures to be implemented by Iran by 15 May 2014. The agreed measures are: Providing mutually agreed relevant information and managed access to the Saghand mine in Yazd; Providing mutually agreed relevant information and managed access to the Ardakan concentration plant; Submission of an updated Design Information Questionnaire (DIQ) for the IR-40 Reactor; Taking steps to agree with the Agency on the conclusion of a Safeguards Approach for the IR-40 Reactor

More here

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Shorter Greenwald and Snowden: President Obama is a TYRANT!

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Tom Boggioni: Missouri Governor Facing Impeachment Over Order Allowing Same-Sex Marriage Tax Returns

A member of the Missouri House of Representatives has filed articles of impeachment against Governor Jay Nixon (D) for ordering Missouri’s Department of Revenue to accept joint tax returns filed by same-sex couples who have been legally married in other states. According to Missourinet, Representative Nick Marshall (R-Parkville) has filed two articles of impeachment charging that Gov. Nixon issued an executive order that is a “direct violation” of Missouri’s Constitution.

Further, Marshall says Nixon “misstates and misrepresents the meaning and requirements under Missouri’s constitutional and statutory law and thereby misleads the citizens of this state.” In November of last year, Gov. Nixon issued an executive order stating that Missouri must accept such joint returns because Missouri’s tax code is tied directly to the federal government, and the state requires married couples who file joint returns to also file state taxes jointly. The office of Attorney General Chris Koster (D) has stated that Nixon’s order appears to comply with Missouri law.

More here

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Kyle Balluck: NJ Newspaper: Christie Endorsement Regrettable

The Star Ledger “blew” its fall endorsement of Gov. Chris Christie’s (R-N.J.) reelection campaign, a member of the Newark, N.J., newspaper’s editorial board wrote on Sunday. “An endorsement is not a love embrace. It is a choice between two flawed human beings. And the winner is often the less bad option. But yes, we blew this one,” Tom Moran wrote.

“Yes, we knew Christie was a bully,” he added. “But we didn’t know his crew was crazy enough to put people’s lives at risk in Fort Lee as a means to pressure the mayor. We didn’t know he would use Hurricane Sandy aid as a political slush fund. And we certainly didn’t know that Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer was sitting on a credible charge of extortion by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.”

More here

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TIME: 2014 Midterm Elections: NRCC Websites Not What They Seem

Hardball politics and campaign trickery are as American as apple pie, but even in that rough and tumble world, some rules apply. A new Republican fundraising tactic reminiscent of “spoofing” telemarketing scams has some asking where the line is these days between clever campaigning and fraud. At first glance, AnnKirkpatrick.com looks like any normal campaign website. A big picture of the smiling Arizona Democrat stands next to a “Kirkpatrick For Congress” banner above a fat “DONATE” button, all in the same colors as those used by the real website for Kirkpatrick, who’s fighting to keep her House seat. Read closer and the text of the site reveals lines like “Kirkpatrick is a huge embarrassment to Arizona,”

but anyone who didn’t bother to read the site closely (or who couldn’t due to bad eyesight) before trying to make a donation to Kirkpatrick’s campaign would find that they’d just contributed to the coffers of the National Republican Congressional Committee—the House GOP’s campaign arm backing Kirkpatrick’s opponent. Annkirkpatrick.com is one of a series of websites (TIME has found 16, so far) the NRCC has set up that are clearly designed to trick the viewer—at least at first—into thinking they’re on a legitimate campaign website. In at least one instance, reported by the Tampa Bay Times on Monday, a Florida doctor accidentally donated to the NRCC through a spoofed website for Democrat Alex Sink (that site has since been taken down and the NRCC gave the doctor his money back).

More here

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Joe Conason: Deficit Of Truth: What Republicans Hope You Don’t Know And Never Find Out

Listening to Republicans in Congress wailing incessantly about our spendthrift culture raises a nagging question: What would they do, besides talking, if they actually wanted to reduce federal deficits and, eventually, the national debt? First, they would admit that President Obama’s policies, including health care reform, have already reduced deficits sharply, as promised. Second, they would desist from their hostage-taking tactics over the debt ceiling, which have only damaged America’s economy and international prestige. And then they would finally admit that basic investment and job creation, rather than cutting food stamps, represent the best way to reduce both deficits and debt, indeed the only way — through economic growth.

Fortunately for those Republicans and sadly for everyone else, the American public has little comprehension of current fiscal realities. Most people don’t even know that the deficit is shrinking rather than growing. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, it is Republican voters, misinformed by Fox News, who most fervently and consistently insist on these mistaken ideas, with 85 percent telling pollsters that the deficit has increased. Less than a third of Democrats gave that answer. But nearly 60 percent of independent voters agree with the Republicans on that question

More here

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Washington Post: We Hit The Debt Ceiling Today. These Charts Show When We Could Default

Today, for the fourth time in three years, the nation will hit the federal debt limit, launching a mad rush to raise the legal cap on borrowing or risk an unprecedented default. The Treasury Department now will deploy “extraordinary measures” — effectively, accounting techniques — to buy time before the government is at risk of running out of cash to meet all of daily obligations. The Treasury says it can’t promise to meet all obligations past late February, and as shown in this chart, based on data from Nancy Vanden Houten of Stone & McCarthy Research Associates, the administration definitely won’t be able to make it past the first two weeks of March.

More here

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On This Day:

Just a few hours after returning from the town hall in Elkhart, Ind., President Obama is introduced at his first prime-time press conference at the White House, Feb. 9, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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First Lady Michelle Obama hugs student Tammy Nguyen in the Red Room of the White House before an event announcing a campaign to combat the rapidly growing problem of childhood obesity while Tiki Barber checks his notes before they take the stage, Feb. 9, 2010 (Photo by Samantha Appleton)

After delivering remarks at the daily press briefing, President Obama smiles as he walks past Press Assistant Priya Singh through the Lower Press Office of the White House en route to the Oval Office, Feb. 9, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Pete Souza: “During a spirited bi-partisan Congressional leadership meeting, both the President and House Minority Leader (soon to be Speaker of the House) John Boehner speak at the same time.” Feb. 9, 2010

President Obama, the First Family, Vice President Joe Biden and others in the audience applaud Joan Baez after her singing “We Shall Overcome” at the “In Performance At The White House: A Celebration Of Music From The Civil Rights Movement” concert in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 9, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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First Lady Michelle Obama at Burgess-Peterson Academy, Feb 9, 2011

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First Lady Michelle Obama arrives at Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, Arkansas to highlight the military’s efforts to improve the nutrition of food served, Feb 9, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama kicks off a nationwide tour celebrating the second anniversary of “Lets”s Move”, Des Moines, February 9, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama at a “Let’s Move” event attended by over 10,000 youths at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines

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04
Oct
12

Rise and Shine

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12:05: President Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event at Sloan’s Lake Park, Denver

1:35: Departs Denver

2:15: Vice President Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, IA

3:35: President Obama arrives in Madison, Wis.

4:40: Delivers remarks at a campaign event at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

6:05: Departs Madison

8:05: Arrives at the White House

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NYT: Mitt Romney repeatedly questioned President Obama’s honesty at Wednesday night’s debate …. but he made a number of misleading statements himself on the size of the federal deficits, taxes, Medicare and health care……

Doubling the Deficit: Mr. Romney said Mr. Obama had doubled the deficit. That is not true….

Green Energy: Mr. Romney said that half the companies backed by the president’s green energy stimulus program have gone out of business. That is a gross overstatement. Of nearly three dozen recipients of loans under the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program, only three are currently in bankruptcy…..

The $716 Billion Cut From Medicare: Mr. Obama first brought up Mr. Romney’s frequent criticism that the president cut $716 billion from Medicare, by saying the cost savings were from reduced payments to insurance companies and other health care providers. But Mr. Romney repeated the claim, suggesting that the $716 billion in Medicare reductions would indeed come from current beneficiaries.

While fact-checkers have repeatedly debunked this claim, it remains a standard attack line for Mr. Romney…..

Full article here

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Bob Cesca

Thanks DesertFlower

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ThinkProgress

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LA Times: Mitt Romney repeated a number of erroneous claims during Wednesday’s debate about President Obama’s healthcare law, including that it relies on a board that will decide “what kind of treatment” patients can get.

This is a myth advanced repeatedly by critics of the Affordable Care Act and debunked consistently by independent fact-checkers.

…. The panel of independent experts is empowered to suggest cuts to how much the federal government pays healthcare providers … but is explicitly prohibited from cutting benefits for people on Medicare.

Full article here

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Facebook (Thanks Susan)

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03
Oct
12

Rise and Shine

What a journey…..

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More clips below

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Today:

12:0: President Bill Clinton campaigns for President Obama at the University of New Hampshire at Durham

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

2:25: President Obama departs Henderson, Nevada

3:55: Arrives in Denver

9:0: The Debate

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Bloomberg: Companies added more workers than projected in September, evidence the labor market may be perking up, a private report based on payrolls showed.

The 162,000 increase in employment followed a revised 189,000 jump in August. The median forecast of 38 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a 140,000 advance.

More here

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Flying over a Romney rally at Wings of the Rockies Air and Space Museum, October 1

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Click here to see the rest of the post

28
Sep
12

This and That

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, in the Oval Office, Sept. 28, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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See the full speech at C-Span

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Student Rose Daugherty introduces first lady Michelle Obama at the University of Northern Iowa, Sept. 28

C-Span will have Michelle Obama’s Appleton speech soon

Text of University of Northern Iowa speech here

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Uh oh…..

CBS

See the longer version here – from around 7:0 minutes

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“We have to take care of each other, that’s what it’s about this November.”

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Cagle

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We’ve already seen this, but hey, once wasn’t enough:

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Cagle

18
Feb
12

rise and shine

Thank you Video Queen Donna ;-)

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President Barack Obama sits in the cockpit of a 787 Dreamliner during his tour of the Boeing Plant production facility in Everett, Wash., Feb. 17, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Barack Obama arrives on the South Lawn of the White House after a three day West coast trip, early February 18

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The week ahead:

Monday: No public events.

Tuesday: The President and First Lady will invite music legends and contemporary major artists to the White House for a celebration of Blues music and in recognition of Black History Month as part of their “In Performance at the White House” series.

Wednesday: The President will deliver remarks at the construction site of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Thursday: The President will travel to Miami, Florida, to participate in an official event.

Friday: The President will host Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt of Denmark for a meeting in the Oval Office.

Thanks Meta

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John McDonough (Boston.com): I’ve written before about the Obama Administration’s breakthrough efforts to fight health care fraud and abuse. Now there’s more, $4.1 billion more.

Earlier this week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the federal government recovered $4.1 billion in taxpayer dollars from individuals and corporations attempting to steal Medicare and Medicaid payments to which they were not entitled.

What’s $4.1 billion? It is the largest amount of money ever recovered, by far, in the history of the programs since they were established in 1965. Here are the numbers from the most recent years….

More here

Thanks amk

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Robert Shrum: The unholy alliance between Catholic bishops and the GOP

Catholic leaders are self-righteously trying to infringe on the liberty of all Americans. And head-in-the-sand Republicans are cheering them on

The Episcopal Church used to be described as the Republican Party at prayer. Today’s GOP has moved far right, and suddenly the Catholic bishops are now the Republican Party in the pulpit.

For many Catholics — and I intermittently try to be part of the church I was raised in — this is a betrayal of their beliefs about the place of faith in public life….

Full post here

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The Week

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Morning everyone – will be back later ;-)

15
Feb
12

rise and shine

10:30: PBO departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews

10:45: Departs Joint Base Andrews en route Milwaukee, Wis.

12:35: Arrives Milwaukee, Wis.

1:00: Tours Master Lock

1:40: Delivers remarks at Master Lock

3:05: Departs Milwaukee, Wis. en route Los Angeles, Calif.

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TPM

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AP: …. The president is holding eight fundraisers for his re-election campaign in the Los Angeles area, San Francisco and Seattle …. After departing Milwaukee, Obama was to attend two fundraisers in Los Angeles. The first is an outdoor fundraising reception at the home of soap opera producer Bradley Bell and his wife, Colleen, featuring a performance by the rock band the Foo Fighters. The campaign expects 1,000 supporters to attend, with tickets starting at $250.

Obama is also attending a dinner at Bell’s home co-hosted by actor Will Ferrell and his wife, Viveca Paulin. Eighty people are expected to attend the dinner, with tickets costing $35,800. The fundraising will benefit the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee for Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

More here

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NYT: The Obama administration will propose a $5 billion competitive grant program to encourage states to overhaul the teaching profession, federal education officials said Tuesday, using its Race to the Top school improvement competition as a model.

The new program, which needs Congressional approval, is part of President Obama’s budget proposal and expands upon a call in his State of the Union address last month to give schools more resources “to keep good teachers on the job and reward the best ones.”

More here

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National Journal: The national Pew Research Center poll confirms that President Obama, at least for now, is reassembling the coalition that powered him to his 2008 victory.

The Pew survey, closely tracking last week’s ABC News/Washington Post poll, shows that in a potential general election match-up against Mitt Romney…. Obama’s numbers now closely align with his support against McCain. Overall, the Pew survey put Obama ahead of Romney by 52 percent to 44 percent, close to his actual 53 percent to 46 percent victory over McCain.

…. Pew finds Obama attracting 89 percent of liberals, 20 percent of conservatives (each exactly his share against McCain), and 61 percent of moderates (compared to 60 percent in 2008.)….

More here

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TPM: Republicans have taken to describing President Obama’s budget as “deficits built to last” – a play on Obama’s call for an economy built to last …..The chart tells you quite starkly: Yes, Ryan’s plan also gives you… deficits built to last!

More here

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NYT: Despite the deep divide between some religious leaders and government officials over contraceptives, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll found most voters support the new federal directive that health insurance plans provide coverage for birth control.

…. 65 percent of voters in the poll said they supported the Obama administration’s requirement that health insurance plans cover the cost of birth control, and 59 percent, said the health insurance plans of religiously affiliated employers should cover the cost of birth control.

…. A majority of Catholic voters in the poll were at odds with the church’s official stance, agreeing with most other voters that religiously affiliated employers should offer health insurance that provides contraception…..

More here

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Reuters: General Electric Co plans to hire 5,000 U.S. military veterans over the next five years and to invest $580 million to expand its aviation footprint in the United States this year.

The largest U.S. conglomerate unveiled the moves ahead of a four-day meeting it is convening in Washington starting on Monday to focus on boosting the U.S. economy, which has been slow to recover from a brutal 2007-2009 recession.

More here

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USA Today: Investigators recovered a record-breaking $4.1 billion in health care fraud money during 2011, a reflection of the Obama administration’s increased focus on fighting fraud, Justice Department officials announced Tuesday.

Between 2009 and 2011, the federal government has collected $7.20 for every dollar spent on fighting fraud, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) inspector general. That’s a jump from the $5.10 for every dollar spent between 1997 and 2008, records show.

“It demonstrates that our collaborative efforts to prevent, identify and prosecute the most egregious instances of health care fraud have never been stronger,” Attorney General Eric Holder said. “Over the years, we’ve seen that as these crimes harm all of us — government agencies and programs, insurers and health care providers, and individual patients.”

More here

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Morning everyone ;-)

30
Jan
12

evening all

If it wasn’t for vcprez on Saturday most of us would never have known about our friend Kasai’s amazing talent ….. she was way too shy to tell us!

Treat yourself, have a look at KasaiCreations and RedBubble (where you can buy cards, prints and posters of Kasai’s work), they’re simply stunning.

Kasai on Twitter

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Tuesday:

2:00: VP Biden attends a campaign event in Fort Worth, Texas.

6:30: VP Biden attends a campaign event in DeKalb, Texas.

7:15: PBO delivers remarks at a campaign event.

9:10: PBO delivers remarks at a campaign event.

11:00: First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a DNC reception in Los Angeles.

Michelle Obama appears on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”.

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In case you missed…

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Chief of Staff Jack Lew briefs President Barack Obama during Lew’s first senior advisors meeting as chief of staff in the Oval Office, Jan. 30, 2012. Participating in the meeting are, from left: Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett; Lew; Senior Advisor David Plouffe; Counsel to the President Kathryn Ruemmler; Director of Communications Dan Pfeiffer; Counselor to the President Pete Rouse: Press Secretary Jay Carney; Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs; Nancy-Ann DeParle, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy; Alyssa Mastromonaco, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations; and Bruce Reed, Chief of Staff to the Vice President. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Sun Times: While the attention is on the Tuesday Republican primary here, the Obama 2012 re-election team has been organizing in this state for months and already has 11 Florida offices.

…. Here are highlights of the Chicago-based Obama campaign on-the-ground organizing in the Sunshine state:

• 194 State of the Union Watch Parties ranging from Key West all the way to Pensacola.

• Held nearly 3,000 trainings, planning sessions, house parties, and phone banks.

• Held 4,500+ one-on-one meetings.

• Opened 11 campaign offices across the state, including in Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

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In November, Romney was rated somewhat or very negatively by 22 percent of independents.

In December, Romney was rated somewhat or very negatively by 29 percent of independents.

And in the new poll, Romney was rated somewhat or very negatively by 42 percent of independents — 20 points higher than two months ago.

Also: In November, Romney was beating Obama 47-34 among those voters. Now the numbers are upside down: Obama is beating Romney 44-36.

More here

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The Week

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Thinkprogress

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The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first act President Obama signed, fulfilling a campaign pledge.

The Act amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

It gave legal support to Lilly Ledbetter’s 1998 equal-pay lawsuit – a lawsuit that the Supreme Court ruled against in 2007, by a 5-4 majority.

Lilly Ledbetter’s case had been largely ignored until then, but the decision made it “a rallying issue for the left … in their attempt to persuade the public that the Supreme Court was moving too far to the right”. (See more here)

The bill was re-introduced in Congress in January 2009. It passed in the House of Representatives with 247 votes in support and 171 against. The vote was nearly perfectly split along party lines…. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act passed the Senate, 61-36, on January 22, 2009.

President Obama had long championed this bill and Lilly Ledbetter’s cause and by signing it into law ensured that women like Lilly Ledbetter and other victims of pay discrimination could effectively challenge unequal pay.

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By the way, here’s how professional left darling Cenk “Obama is a moron” Uygur (the pure ‘progressive’ who’s only 41, but ….. is a ‘former’ Republican whose hero was Reagan, who voted for George HW Bush and Bob Dole, who opposed affirmative action, was anti-choice on the abortion issue, supported Clarence Thomas, had a serious problem with feminism, attended Federalist Society meetings (an organization of conservatives and libertarians co-founded by the charming Robert Bork) and, to this day, is an Armenian Genocide denier – and opposed PBO from almost his first day in office and called on Democrats to vote against him in this year’s Iowa primary …. PBO got 98.5% of the vote, so that worked well) described The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act:

“Eventually the Democrats had a 60 seat majority in the Senate, they were unstoppable. And what did we get? Lilly Ledbetter. If you don’t know, that’s a minor bill that passed in the beginning of the administration … it’s a good bill, that’s why I bring it up … about women being entitled to equal pay. God bless. Incredibly easy victory.”

A “minor” bill?

Ooops, Uygur’s inner Republican slipped out. He should try telling Lilly Ledbetter it’s a “minor” bill.

Read Hoos Left on this fraud, fantastic: “A failed corporate lawyer and neocon with an enhanced opinion of himself and an ego as fat as his broad ass.”

PS Uygur is so progressive, he followed Jane Hamsher and Glenn Greenwald’s lead by setting up a PAC pleading for donations for causes he, um, passionately believes in. And as Hamsher and Greenwald could tell you, these PACs can be very profitable ;-)

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First Lady Michelle Obama shows NFL PLAY 60 Super Kid James Gale, 11, historical photos from previous administrations on display in the Booksellers Area during a National Football League (NFL) taping in the East Wing of the White House, Jan. 30, 2012. At right is James’ mother Lisa Gale. The taping will air during the Super Bowl, Feb. 5, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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Link

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Spare a thought for GOP Rasmussen, something has gone horribly wrong with their polls:

51% with Rasmussen?! That means PBO must be about 76%! Thanks Loriah.

03
Jan
12

catching up

Boston.com: Members of Congress of both parties often complain about fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid (M&M), usually charging that the President is not doing enough to keep bad guys from stealing money from these vital programs.

Guess what? Thanks to provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA/ObamaCare) and to an unprecedented effort by the Obama Administration, more progress has been made in the past three years to combat health care fraud and abuse than ever before.

Full article here

More from Steve Benen here

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Four years ago:

Mitch Stewart (from email): People have been sending around two videos here at headquarters this morning, and I thought you’d want to see them, too. This first one was posted to YouTube almost exactly four years ago. It’s Barack Obama’s “closing argument” to Iowans the night before the caucuses in 2008.

It’s pretty incredible to see candidate Obama talk about what President Obama ultimately did. He makes four specific promises – on reforming health care, making college more affordable, ending the war in Iraq, and putting us on the path to energy independence – all of which today, four years later, are promises kept.

The second video is from yesterday – posted by the New York Times reporters on the ground in Iowa. It’s a sneak peek into the “the best-organized presidential campaign in Iowa.” Spoiler alert: It’s not Mitt Romney. Or Ron Paul. Or Rick Santorum.

Both these videos are pretty near and dear to my heart. I was the campaign’s Iowa caucus director in 2008, and I know how hard people are working there right now, opponent or no opponent:

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13
Dec
11

carole king …. and more

MSNBC

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Washington Post: The White House says a more aggressive effort to nab deceptive government contractors and deceitful Medicare recipients is paying off – to the tune of billions of dollars.

The Obama administration plans to announce Tuesday that the Justice Department recovered more than $5.6 billion in fraud committed against the government in fiscal 2011. Almost $3.4 billion of the funds came in civil fraud recoveries, with more than $2.2 billion tied to criminal fraud, according to administration officials familiar with the announcement who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

The announcement is tied to a Cabinet-level meeting to be held Tuesday regarding plans to cut wasteful government spending across federal agencies and departments.

Full article here

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Another promise kept

Thank you Meta

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Bloomberg: U.S. economic data are outperforming expectations by the most in nine months, a trend Federal Reserve officials may incorporate into their policy statement tomorrow.

The Citigroup Economic Surprise Index, a daily measure of whether economic data is better or worse than economists’ projections, improved to 85.7 on Dec. 2, the highest since March 9, after the Labor Department reported an unexpected drop in the jobless rate….

“Most of the economists are missing the underlying strength” in the world’s largest economy, said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors. The Fed will “modestly upgrade the economic outlook but change little else.”

November unemployment at the lowest level in more than two years and manufacturing running at the fastest pace in five months are among data that may dissuade Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and fellow central bankers from pursuing a third-round of large scale asset purchases. At the same time, the Fed may still see “significant downside risks” for the economy as Europe’s financial crisis evolves.

More here

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Business Insider: It didn’t get much attention, but this morning the latest NFIB small business optimism survey came in stronger than expected, as more and more corporations see good sales and decent business conditions on the way.

This is important, in part, since small businesses have been rather negative on the economy, even while large companies have reported record earnings.

More here

Thanks Loriah

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Chicago Sun Times: President Barack Obama’s top strategist, David Axelrod, predicted much more scrutiny of GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich, citing the “homespun wisdom” of Ald. Dick Mell (33rd) as he compared Gingrich to a monkey on a pole exposing his butt.

“…. Last week you all left him for dead at the checkout counter at Tiffany’s and now he’s back, a lion in winter,” Axelrod quipped. “That’s L-I-O-N by the way, I don’t want to stir up any trouble here.”

…. “In certain ways [Gingrich] fits the role for this, because as we pointed out earlier in the week he is the original tea partier. You know, he brought that kind of politics to Congress in the early 90s, he led three government shut downs in order to try and roll back environmental protection…roll back the Department of Education and education programs, he wanted to cut Medicare, he wanted to give more tax cuts to the wealthy. He was really a forerunner of what we see today.”

“I told my colleagues yesterday a bit of homespun wisdom that I got from an alderman in Chicago some years ago when one of his …colleagues wanted to run for higher office and he was really dubious. He said:

“Just remember the higher a monkey climbs on a pole, the more you can see his butt.”

So, you know, the Speaker is very high on the pole right now and we’ll see how people like the view.”

Full article here

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President Obama arrives to speak at a campaign event in Washington, Dec. 13

“If you stay steady, we’re going to win this thing …. This is going to be tough. But, I just want to remind all of you that you didn’t decide to support Barack Hussein Obama because it would be easy.”

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Washington Jewish Week: When flames swept through Israel’s Carmel Forest last year, destroying dozens of homes and lives, President Barack Obama didn’t hesitate to help, said Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the U.S….

…. Netanyahu directed his ambassador to, “Quick, go ask President Obama for help.”

That’s when Oren entered the White House and asked to see the president. “I told him the situation and without hesitation, President Obama turned to one of his aides and said, ‘get Israel whatever it needs. Now,’” Oren recalled.

….”America has 11 fire-fighting planes; the next morning, 8 of them took off for Israel, along with a team of fire-fighting commandos.” “Later that night,” Oren continued, “I learned, that the President left the Hanukkah reception and flew secretly to Afghanistan. Upon arriving, he called Washington and the first question he asked, ‘Has Israel gotten its planes?’”…..

Full article here

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29
Nov
11

rise and shine

Morning everyone ;-)

I won’t be able to catch up for a couple of hours, but chat away and I’ll see ya soon.

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