Boston.com: In 2009, as Rep. Paul D. Ryan was railing against President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package as a “wasteful spending spree,” he wrote at least four letters to Obama’s secretary of energy asking that millions of dollars from the program be granted to a pair of Wisconsin conservation groups, according to documents obtained by the Globe.
The advocacy appeared to pay off; both groups were awarded the economic recovery funds — one receiving a $20 million grant to help thousands of local businesses and homes improve their energy efficiency, agency documents show.
Ryan’s letters to the energy secretary praising the energy initiatives as he sought a portion of the funding are in sharp contrast to the House Budget Committee chairman’s image as a Tea Party favorite adamantly opposed to federal spending on such programs.
Boston.com: After seeking millions of dollars from a federal stimulus program he opposed on grounds it would not help the economy, Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan then appeared on a Boston talk radio program and denied he lobbied the Obama administration for the home state aid.
On October 28, 2010, after the Wisconsin Republican penned at least five letters to two federal departments seeking grants under the Obama administration’s economic recovery package, Ryan responded to a caller on WBZ’s Nightside with Dan Rea who asked if he sought any of the money. Ryan said that he would not vote against something “then write to the government to ask them to send us money.”
“I did not request any stimulus money,” he continued.
In response to a request from the Boston Globe, the CBS affiliate replayed the audio for a reporter on Thursday.
Ryan’s campaign spokesman, Brendan Buck, did not immediately respond to a request for comment….
March 2010: A 100-square-meter brick art tribute to U.S. President Barack Obama is unveiled in Sydney, Australia. The tribute wall was erected as a lead-up to Obama’s scheduled visit to Australia which was later cancelled
Tomorrow: The President leaves for Hawaii, stopping en route in San Diego.
Saturday: Hosts a meeting of the Trans-Pacific Partnership; attends the APEC CEO Business Summit; holds bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Nodo of Japan, President Medvedev of Russia and President Hu Jintao of China. In the evening, hosts a dinner and a cultural program for the APEC leaders in Honolulu, makes remarks. First Lady Michelle Obama will hold a farm-to-table agricultural education event at MA‘O Organic Farms in Waianae.
Sunday: Makes opening comments at the APEC Summit and attends sessions through the day; holds a press conference to wrap up the summit. In the evening meets with the Mexican President and the Canadian Prime Minister at the North American Leaders Summit. The First Lady hosts a luncheon with APEC leaders’ spouses at Kualoa Ranch.
Monday: Holds a fundraiser in the morning. That will be his only event for the day before he leaves on Tuesday morning for Canberra, Australia.
Ben Rhodes (Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications): “Now, because of the wonders of the world, the flight to Australia takes us forward a day on the clock. So we now move to Wednesday, November 16th, in terms of the schedule here. And this is Australia time.”
Check here for the transcript of Rhodes trying to talk time zones with the press, the confusion was hilarious – and I’m hopelessly confused too :oops:
Wednesday: Arrives in Australia. Has a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Gillard, the two leaders then holding a joint press conference. Attends a parliamentary dinner at the Australian Parliament House that night where he will make remarks about the U.S.-Australian relationship.
Thursday: Begins his day by laying a wreath at an Australian war memorial; meets with opposition leader Tony Abbott; addresses the Australian Parliament; visits a local primary school with PM Gillard; visits the US embassy. Leaves Canberra for Darwin. Visits a memorial to the USS Peary and lays a wreath. The President and PM Gillard together address Australian troops. That concludes the Australia portion of the visit. The President flies that night to Bali, Indonesia.
Friday: Attends a number of bilateral meetings. Meets with the Prime Minister of India and the leaders of Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia. Meets with the ASEAN nations, the 10 Southeast Asian nations. Meets with President Yudhoyono of Indonesia; attends an East Asia dinner that night.
Saturday: The East Asian Summit takes place through the day. At its conclusion the President returns to the United States.
If only Huntsman took on Romney in debates half as well as his ad people take him on in videos:
Univision: President Obama says he is confident in his ability to win over Latino voters before next year’s elections, thanks to some added help from his Republican opponents.
…. “I don’t think it requires us to go negative in the sense of us running a bunch of ads that are false, or character assassinations,” Obama told Univision News. “It will be based on facts … We may just run clips of the Republican debates verbatim. We won’t even comment on them, we’ll just run those in a loop on Univision and Telemundo, and people can make up their own minds.”
That’s one of the strongest rebukes thus far from Obama against Republicans when it comes to their desire to chip away at his base of Latino support. And it underscores the president’s eagerness to go toe-to-toe with his GOP opponents although the beginning of the general election campaign is still months away.
…. “That’s not to say the Latino community is going to think my administration is perfect. But I think they know where my heart is and they know the kind of America that I want to see for all of our children,” he said. “The values and the vision I have is going to match up much more closely with where the Latino community wants to see the country going.”
Full article here
TPM: With Recovery Act funding running out, that old TPM favorite – the anti-stimulus Republican who takes credit for stimulus funding in their district – is becoming somewhat of a rarity. But Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH) kicked it old school on Thursday by cutting the ribbon on a new road that received millions from the same spending bill he opposed.
TPM: …. last week a Quinnipiac national poll showed the President’s approval rating rising while he led Romney nationally by five points … Five days later an NBC/WSJ poll showed the same trend, as Obama expanded his lead on the former Mass Gov. from 2 points to 6 in that poll. In both cases none of the other GOP candidates came close to the President.
…. Gallup released new data polling Obama versus a generic Republican, which for the last year has been the only hypothetical contest that Obama has consistently lost. But in this week’s matchup, Obama actually took a one point lead against the faceless Republican, a major change in Gallup’s tracking, which had the generic candidate ahead by eight points just a month ago.
It’s a sign both that Obama’s message on jobs is resonating …. It seems that as the race moves along, and a Romney-Obama matchup becomes more likely, the generic candidate is morphing into Romney. And as that happens, Obama starts to do better.
Full post here
President Barack Obama meets with senior advisors in the Oval Office, Nov. 10, 2011. Attending, from left, are: Director of Communications Dan Pfeiffer; Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett; Press Secretary Jay Carney; Senior Advisor David Plouffe; Chief of Staff Bill Daley; and Counselor to the President Pete Rouse. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
NYT: On the Senate floor and the television airwaves, Senator Mitch McConnell has lambasted the Obama administration over what he has described as its failed efforts to stimulate new jobs through clean-energy projects backed with billions of dollars in federal loans or other assistance.
But Mr. McConnell, of Kentucky, is one of several prominent Republicans who have worked to steer federal money to clean-energy projects in their home states, Energy Department documents show.
Mr. McConnell made two personal appeals in 2009, asking Energy Secretary Steven Chu to approve as much as $235 million in federal loans for a plant to build electric vehicles in Franklin, Ky. “I hope you will realize the importance of such job creation to Kentucky,” Mr. McConnell said in a July 2009 memo supporting an application from Zap Motor Manufacturing.
Federal lobbying disclosure records show that Mr. McConnell’s support for the project came after Zap Motor hired a Kentucky-based lobbyist, Robert Babbage, who has been a frequent contributor to Mr. McConnell’s campaigns and boasts on his own Internet site about his close ties to Mr. McConnell.
…. Another Republican, Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, recently asked Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to appoint an outside investigator to determine how the Department of Energy distributes clean-energy money. But in 2009, Mr. Smith wrote to Mr. Chu asking him to approve loan guarantees from stimulus money for a Texas project proposed by Tessera Solar, documents show.
Full article here
From The Week
HistoryByDay (March 2010)
That’s right, ‘progressive’ OUTRAGE! peddlers Miss BP (aka the Hamsher creature, Tea Party and Grover Norquist buddy) and Republican/Libertarian Gary Johnson’s Number One fan (aka Greenwald) paid themselves $24,000 each for “strategic consulting” from Accountability Now donations – precisely $24,000 more than they donated in 2008 and 2010 to candidates challenging “corporate-controlled incumbents”, as they promised Accountability Now would do.
And how was most of their money raised? By sending out hysterical emails to their sheeple distorting the words of President Obama, firing up the hate …. and then pleading for donations to fight this dastardly traitor.
Well, well, well …. here we go again:
The Reid Report: Adam Green runs the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, an entity designed to automatically disgorge mass solicitation emails attacking President Obama every time the president speaks, thereby raising copious amounts of cash to … um … what do they do, exactly? Oh, right… to buy a few ads attacking President Obama and the occasional Republican.
Green and his fellow travelers on the anti-Obama left have been spoiling for a fight with the White House on entitlements, which these folks are apparently convinced Barack Obama is about to feed into a giant shredding machine …. but Green’s latest fundraising email, which landed in my in-box just after 7 p.m. on Monday (and was headlined BREAKING, even though the news it refers to happened hours earlier, at 11 a.m.) opens on an exquisitely dishonest note:
BREAKING: Obama outrage.
BREAKING: Today, in a press conference, President Obama came right out and said it: He’s pushing for benefit cuts in important programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
You and 175,000 others boldly pledged that if Obama actually cuts Medicare/Medicaid benefits, you’ll take your money and volunteering elsewhere in 2012.
Green then urges recipients to sign a pledge not to give money to the Obama campaign if he cuts Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security ….. presumably, they should give money to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee instead…
Ah yes, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee:
Wow, $725.2k of funds raised in 2010 went on “administrative costs”, $503,788 of that on “salaries and benefits” ….. oh, look:
Read ExtremeLiberal on this very issue here
Very interesting post from last year:
Workbench (2010): …. PACs have different policies regarding whether they compensate the people who run the committees. Some don’t accept one cent of donor money and devote it all to their cause, while others pay themselves salaries, travel expenses and office rent. I interviewed Darcy Burner, a former Democratic Congressional candidate from Washington state who runs the not-for-profit Progressive Congress Action Fund, to learn whether it’s common for left-wing PACs to pay themselves. “The bigger PACs require full-time staff to operate — to raise money, to vet candidates [and] to file reports,” she said. “I think the key question would be more one of whether people giving the money understand what it will be used for. … There’s a trust relationship with donors that requires some truth and transparency about how money is going to be used.”
Read the full post here
….(they) were Cliff Asness and John Cochrane. Both men have doctorate degrees in economics and are well-known in the conservative media world as die-hard proponents of the free market’s ability to right itself without government bailouts when the crisis hit in late 2008.
Asness, who ordered the wine and who, according to Feinberg was the one who said “Fuck her,” is better known as a high-profile hedge fund manager. Asness founded and runs AQR Capital, which manages an estimated $26 billion in a variety of traditional products and hedge funds, and his life story has been the subject of numerous books and articles about the rise and fall of Wall Street. He’s also grabbed headlines for being one of the most voluble opponents of President Obama’s economic policies.
ABC’s Jake Tapper ran an illuminating piece on Asness in May of 2009 after he wrote an angry open letter to Obama – “Unafraid in Greenwich, Connecticut” – in which he blasted the President’s attacks on hedge fund owners refusing to go along with his administration’s plans for Chrysler.
“Who came up with the title for the letter?” Tapper asked parenthetically in his piece. “Axelrod? Perhaps ‘Bold and on My Yacht’ was too subtle.”
….In May 2009, Asness served as a guest host on CNBC’s Squawk Box and defended the $450 million in bonuses AIG executives received, arguing that President Obama and the Congress are responsible for the economic crisis and should pay the execs the bonuses themselves…..
Campaignmoney: Asness is more than just an angry millionaire – he’s a major conservative political player.
Asness was listed as an attendee at retreats held by the billionaire conservative Koch Brothers, according to the document obtained by ThinkProgess last year. Charles and David Koch bring people together at these events to “review strategies for combating the multitude of public policies that threaten to destroy America as we know it”. In January, Ryan spoke at the Koch’s California retreat….
Steve Benen: …..Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace apparently faced some criticism from the right over this, and he apologized, telling Fox News viewers, “I messed up. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean any disrespect.” ….It’s a shame Wallace felt the need to apologize for this, because he accidentally asked a good question, even if he regrets it now.
Societal norms apparently dictate that unhinged candidates who have no business running for president be shielded from such unpleasantness, but Michele Bachmann is arguably the most ridiculous person in Washington. She proudly embraces bizarre conspiracy theories; she routinely says crazy things on national television; she pretends to grasp public policies she doesn’t understand; and her worldview is comparable to someone who’s suffered a serious head trauma. Even as the Republican Party leaps off a right-wing cliff, Bachmann stands out for unique brand of madness.
Given this, of course response hosts should ask whether she’s a serious person. Bachmann doesn’t deserve deference; she deserves ridicule. I thought “are you a flake” was actually a rather polite way of asking a legitimate question about an unqualified candidate.
Full post (and full video) here
LA Times: Rep. Michele Bachmann has been propelled into the 2012 presidential contest in part by her insistent calls to reduce federal spending….
But she and her family have benefited personally from government aid, an examination of her record and finances shows. A counseling clinic run by her husband has received nearly $30,000 from the state of Minnesota in the last five years, money that in part came from the federal government. A family farm in Wisconsin, in which the congresswoman is a partner, received nearly $260,000 in federal farm subsidies.
And she has sought to keep federal money flowing to her constituents. After publicly criticizing the Obama administration’s stimulus program, Bachmann requested stimulus funds to support projects in her district….
….despite her broadsides against “socialized medicine,” Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, applied for public funds for his counseling clinic, Bachmann & Associates. Since 2006, he has received nearly $30,000, according to Minnesota state records…
Michele Bachmann lists the Lake Elmo, Minn.-based clinic – which aims to provide “quality Christian counseling in a sensitive, loving environment,” according to its website – as one of her assets on her financial disclosure forms.
Another of Bachmann’s assets – a family farm owned by her late father-in-law, Paul Bachmann – received nearly $260,000 in federal money between 1995 and 2008, largely from corn and dairy subsidies …. Paul Bachmann died in May 2009, but the congresswoman retains a partnership in the farm.
Bachmann said in December that the subsidies went to her in-laws and she never received “one penny” from the farm, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. However, in financial disclosure forms, she reported receiving between $32,503 and $105,000 in income from the farm, at minimum, between 2006 and 2009.
AP: ..…Examining 24 of her statements, Politifact.com, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking service found just one to be fully true and 17 to be false (seven of them “pants on fire” false)….. A look at some of her recent statements and how they compare with the facts:
BACHMANN: “The farm is my father-in-law’s farm. It’s not my husband and my farm. It’s my father-in-law’s farm. And my husband and I have never gotten a penny of money from the farm.” — On “Fox News Sunday.”
THE FACTS: In personal financial disclosure reports required annually from members of Congress, Bachmann reported that she holds an interest in a family farm in Independence, Wis., with her share worth between $100,000 and $250,000…..
BACHMANN: “Overnight we are hearing that potentially 10 to 30,000 people could have been killed in the strike.” — Criticizing Obama in May for the “foolish” U.S. intervention in Libya, and citing what she said were reports of a civilian death toll from a NATO strike as high as 30,000.
THE FACTS: The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Gene Cretz, said in late April that U.S. officials have seen reports that 10,000 to 30,000 people may have died in Moammar Gadhafi’s crackdown on protesters and the fighting between rebels and pro-government forces, but it is hard to know if that is true. He was speaking about all casualties of the conflict; no one has attributed such a death toll to NATO bombing alone, much less to a single strike.
BACHMANN: “It’s ironic and sad that the president released all of the oil from the strategic oil reserve. … There’s only a limited amount of oil that we have in the strategic oil reserve. It’s there for emergencies.” — On CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
THE FACTS: Obama did not empty all the oil from the strategic reserve, as Bachmann said. He approved the release of 30 million barrels, about 4 percent of the 727 million barrels stored in salt caverns along the Texas and Louisiana coasts….
BACHMANN: “One. That’s the number of new drilling permits under the Obama administration since they came into office.” — Comment to a conservative conference in Iowa in March.
THE FACTS: The Obama administration issued more than 200 new drilling permits before the Gulf oil spill alone. Over the past year, since new safety standards were imposed, the administration has issued more than 60 shallow-water drilling permits. Since the deep water moratorium was lifted in October, nine new wells have been approved.
So, before I called it a night I was practicing that quadruple forward flip I did at the White House the other day….
….and just having one last look at that completely random photo…
….and then my email went “Ding!” and I saw this……
You know who you are, you bundle of loveliness ;-)
Thank you so much!
NYT Editorial: After Gov. Rick Scott of Florida thoughtlessly rejected $2.4 billion in federal aid for a high-speed rail line, he claimed last month that he was doing a huge favor for the national Treasury, which he expected would give away the money in tax cuts. That was nonsense, of course; Mr. Scott was really doing a favor for train passengers in the Northeast, Midwest and California, which were given $2 billion of his money on Monday for better service.
Florida voters might want to think about that decision as they sit in traffic jams, burning up $4-a-gallon gasoline. In fact, some of them clearly have thought about it because Mr. Scott now has some of the worst approval ratings of a Florida official in the last decade.
He has joined other newly elected Republican governors so rigidly opposed to the Obama administration that they are willing to harm their states to score points. The result is a crazy quilt of state relationships with Washington, stitched more with ideology than reason.
None of the money in Monday’s announcement will be going to Wisconsin, for example, where Gov. Scott Walker has also decided that his strapped state could do without rail improvements and the construction jobs that go with them. Nor will it go to Ohio, where Gov. John Kasich preferred rejectionism to the improvement of rail service among the state’s largest cities, which could have produced 16,000 jobs.
Instead, it will go to 15 states that have more farsighted leadership, who understand the important role federal dollars can play in stimulating the economy, moving people quickly from place to place and reducing tailpipe emissions. Some of those states are led by Republicans…
….Refusenik Republicans glorify shopworn principles like smaller government and states’ rights. They will have to defend them to their voters when the public hears the passenger trains whistling from the next state over.
Full editorial here
Washington Post: The Treasury Department team had been working nonstop on a plan to freeze Libyan assets in U.S. banks, hoping they might snare $100 million or more and prevent Moammar Gaddafi from tapping it as he unleashed deadly attacks against protesters who wanted him gone.
Now, at 2:22 Friday afternoon, Feb. 25, an e-mail arrived from a Treasury official with startling news. Their $100 million estimate was off — orders of magnitude off. The e-mail said there was in “excess of $29.7 Billion — yes, that’s a B.” And most of the money was at one bank.
It was a piece of extraordinary good fortune for the Obama administration at a crucial moment in the efforts to address the bizarre and deadly events unfolding in Libya.
Never before had U.S. officials so quickly launched economic sanctions affecting so many assets of a targeted country.
The frenetic 72 hours leading up to the Executive Order 13566 illustrate how a process of identifying and freezing assets — something that customarily has taken weeks or months — has become one of the first tactical tools to employ in the midst of fast-breaking crises.
It also shows that government officials have learned from other recent economic sanction efforts, including against Iran and North Korea. Instead of being a secondary measure, as in the past, economic sanctions have become a centerpiece of national security policy.
Full article here
Thank you so much for this link, Majii – the article is absolutely fascinating, and shows just how damn smart the Obama administration is.
CBS: Dozens of Republicans who strongly touted their opposition to the 2009 Recovery Act have nonetheless quietly made requests for stimulus money, according to a report by the Center for Public Integrity.
The report finds that leading members of Congress — including Rep. Pete Sessions, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, former presidential candidates John McCain and Ron Paul, and Tea Party favorites Michele Bachmann and Sen. Scott Brown – have discreetly requested stimulus funds despite their public opposition to the initiative.
Sessions, a Texas Republican, has repeatedly decried the law as a “trillion dollar spending spree” that was “more about stimulating the government and rewarding political allies than growing the economy and creating jobs.” But in February of 2010, Sessions wrote to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood urging him to allocate $81 million in stimulus money for a project in an affluent Texas suburb, according to the report.
In his letter of request, Sessions changed his tone regarding the potential usefulness of stimulus aid in relieving recession-related hardships. “Carrollton’s project will create jobs, stimulate the economy, improve regional mobility and reduce pollution,” he wrote.
Conservative advocacy groups that oppose the Recovery Act have expressed their dismay at news of the discrepancy between rhetoric and reality on the part of some lawmakers.
“The GOP should not be taking this money and spending it regardless of where it came from,” Rob Gaudet, national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots, said to the Center for Public Integrity. “They should be fighting against it with every fiber of their elected beings.”