Posts Tagged ‘greg



04
Jan
12

afternoon all

Andrews Air Force Base, Jan. 4

Greg Sargent: It isn’t just Richard Cordray. Obama is also set to use recess appointments to install his picks to the National Labor Relations Board, according to White House officials and others familiar with ongoing discussions.

The move, which is arguably as important as the Cordray appointment, will ratchet up opposition from Republicans and make this an even bigger fight, since they have been attacking the NLRB regularly for its moves to streamline union elections and inform workers of their rights.

…. Obama’s move, which will help energize unions in advance of the 2012 election, is yet another sign that he is determined to circumvent GOP opposition and make government functional again by any means necessary….

More here

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ThinkProgress: Republicans have shown outrage at Obama for using his recess appointment powers with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray, and similar outrage is likely to follow the news of the NLRB appointments. But the past three Republican presidents also made recess appointments to the NLRB. Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush each made three recess appointments to the NLRB, while George W. Bush made seven such appointments.

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AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka: We commend the President for exercising his constitutional authority to ensure that crucially important agencies protecting workers and consumers are not shut down by Republican obstructionism. Working families and consumers should not pay the price for political ploys that have repeatedly undercut the enforcement of rules against Wall Street abuses and the rights of working people.

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NYT: A defiant President Barack Obama, tired of Senate Republicans stalling his nominee to lead a new consumer protection agency, put him in charge Wednesday over their opposition.

“I refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer,” the president said.

… With a director in place, Obama said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can start overseeing the mortgage companies, payday lenders, debt collectors and other financial operations often blamed for practices that helped undermine the economy.

Obama announced the move with Cordray by his side before a cheering crowd in Ohio … “Every day that we waited was another day when millions of Americans are left unprotected,” Obama.

Full article here

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TPM

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Steve Benen: This is a big, bold move by the president, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

…. It’s worth noting that I’m generally not a fan of these kinds of recess appointments …. But in this case, there’s only one sensible conclusion: Senate Republicans left Obama with no choice.

No one, not even the most unhinged Republicans, are questioning Cordray’s qualifications, and if the Senate were to vote on his nomination, it would be approved fairly easily.

But Republicans won’t allow that because they disapprove of the existence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

…. The Republican tactics on this are nothing short of madness. I’m relieved President Obama has had enough.

Full post here

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President Obama returns to the White House after a visit to Ohio

21
Nov
11

rise and shine

by hgerhard

I never expected an easy ride for this President. No doubt, he is a different kind of leader. His problem is not that he is controversial, but that he is so insistent upon values that define what is best about our traditions and our history.

How often have we heard him exclaim “that’s who we are” as Americans when speaking of the mutualism of citizenship. He will cite “E pluribus unum” to celebrate equal rights and equal opportunity as well as responsibility for one another. He will insist that we are indeed “our brother’s and our sister’s keeper”. That’s not just a phrase for him, that’s a core belief.

With that in mind, of course he will be the President of all the people all the time. He will treat all citizens with the same unfailing civility and regard, including those who do not respond in kind.

He will take pains to understand the points of view he does not share, not because he is lacking conviction, but because he will always attempt to find some common ground as a base for discussion and negotiation.

The outcome of such negotiations must always meet the test of “who we are”. Or, in the case of the arrogant dismissal of such things as the Geneva convention, he will say “that’s NOT who we are” and insist upon making our actions match our values.

There are those who dismiss this as “elitism” or as somehow ill-conceived and unrealistic, but it is this same clear evidence of character that people value most about this greatest of all Presidents. And that will prevail over all self-centered political grandstanding and furor, over envy, racism and contempt because all of those manifestations fail the test of “who we are”.

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Greg Sargent (Washington Post): Here’s why the supercommittee is failing, in one sentence: Democrats wanted the rich to pay more in taxes towards deficit reduction, and Republicans wanted the rich to pay less in taxes towards deficit reduction.

Any news outlet that doesn’t convey this basic fact to readers and viewers with total clarity is obscuring, rather than illuminating, what actually happened here.

Full article here

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Paul Begala: What’s next? The Santorum Surge? The Huntsman Hiccup? Why Newt Gingrich would be a godsend to the Democrats.

…. More likely the Gingrich surge is just the latest Republican tulip craze …. with Newt simply serving as the latest vessel for the ABR movement: Anybody But Romney.

….. like MacArthur, Newt has returned. I, for one, could not be happier – but then again, I’m a Democrat, so I have to take my political pleasures where I can find them….

…. I fear the dream won’t last, alas. At some point Republicans will wise up and nominate the zillionaire layoff artist with the square jaw and the Slinky spine. But I’ve been saying that all year, and I’ve been wrong all year.

I really can’t imagine how it must pain Mitt Romney …. What does the guy have to do to win? He’s changed so many of his deeply held convictions that he’s reduced to bragging that he hasn’t changed wives or religions. Newt has changed wives and religions, and the base still likes him better than Romney….

Full post here

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Congratulations Tally!

David Beckham raises the trophy after LA Galaxy beat Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup final at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, November 20

12
Oct
11

job-killers

Greg Sargent: …. Yesterday in the Senate, Republicans – joined by two Dems – unanimously blocked passage of Obama’s jobs bill, even though a majority of the Senate wanted to act. While this was a defeat for Obama, it also gave the White House the positioning it wants for the next phase of this fight, in which Obama will now pressure Congress to take a stand on individual pieces of his plan. Which is to say, Obama will pressure Congress to reveal whether it’s willing to take any action at all at a time of nine percent unemployment and mass economic suffering and anxiety.

Meanwhile, the Republican candidates met for a debate last night, and they uniformly agreed on one thing: Government is the problem, and must be rolled back on multiple fronts if we are to have any hope of a recovery.

And so, the White House, facing certain defeat on the jobs bill, at least established a baseline for the 2012 fight, which will be all about a simple question: Can and should our public officials act to bring relief to the American people at a time of national crisis? Or should government simply move out of the way and let the private sector right itself of its own accord?

…. The media play the White House wanted: The AP headline tells the story just as the White House hoped: “Senate Republicans vote to kill Obama’s jobs bill.”

This is the positioning the White House was going for: Republicans blocked the will of the majority by killing Obama’s effort at action on unemployment, and now Obama will continue the campaign by demanding they take a stand on the bill’s individual provisions, which poll very well.

Full post here

Thanks a4alice

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19
Sep
11

reaction

Chris Cillizza (Washington Post): In a remarkable act of political gauntlet-throwing, President Obama castigated House Speaker John Boehner for his approach to reducing the country’s deficit, called on Members of Congress to do what’s “right” when it comes to debt reduction and issued a veto threat if a bill that does not meet his standards comes to his desk.

“This is not class warfare, it’s math,” Obama said in response to early Republican critiques of his proposal. At another point he said that GOP members should be “called out” for signing a pledge not to raise taxes ever.

But Obama saved his choicest words for Boehner. Obama said the Speaker had “walked away from a balanced package” during the debt-ceiling negotiations and added that Boehner’s approach to debt reduction was “not smart…it’s not right”.

…. What that means, wethinks, is that Obama has given over the idea of being the compromiser-in-chief – the prevailing sentiment of the first eight months of 2011 – in favor of taking the fight to Republicans and forcing them to respond in kind or feel the political consequences.

…. The 2012 election may still be 14 months away but the central debate on which it will pivot began in earnest this morning.

Full article here

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Greg Sargent: This has to be the clearest sign yet that Obama has taken a very sharp populist turn as he seeks to frame the contrast between the parties heading into 2012. During his remarks this morning, Obama directly responded to Republicans accusing him of “class warfare,” but rather than simply deny the charge, he made the critical point that the act of protecting tax cuts for the rich is itself class warfare, in effect positioning himself as the defender of the middle class against GOP class warriors on behalf of the wealthy.

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Don (in the comments in the thread below): Just in case anyone forgot, tomorrow is September 20, 2011, the day DADT is officially over. Is this guy for real or what, he changes the arch of justice and then just goes on about his business quietly. President Obama “gave “Boehner 98% of everything he wanted, which turned out to be ocean front property in Oklahoma. And now Boehner is in a race against time, come November Boehner has to either accept what President Obama gives him or accept what the Super-Committee gives him, which President Obama has already said he will veto if revenues are not included. And this, Professional Lefters, is how it is done.

*drops microphone, turns around and walks away*

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Steve Benen: ….. The president has operated under a set of assumptions – GOP leaders are reasonable people, willing to compromise in good faith, acting with the nation’s best interests at heart – that have always seemed rather fanciful.

With the introduction of the American Jobs Act and today’s debt-reduction plan, President Obama and his team appear to have thrown out the old playbook …. It’s about time. The White House suffered some major setbacks, but officials have apparently decided to send congressional Republicans a new message: no more Mr. Nice President.

…. The new playbook is predicated on more realistic expectations: Republicans are going to say no to everything anyway …. What are the major concessions Obama has included in his economic plan? There aren’t any; that’s the point….

….. It took a while, but President Obama seems to have decided to break out of the box Republicans have spent years trying to weld shut. Between the American Jobs Act and today’s debt-reduction plan, the White House appears more invested in presenting what should pass, and less concerned about what might pass.

It’s the difference between following and leading.

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Andrew Sullivan: Every single poll shows that the American public overwhelmingly supports higher taxes on the wealthy as part of a package to cut the deficit. The margins are staggering: the NYT poll shows a majority of 74 – 21; even Rasmussen shows a majority of 56 – 34. What the president proposed this morning is simply where the American people are at. If he keeps at it, if he turns his administration into a permanent campaign for structural fiscal reform, I don’t see how he loses the argument.

Full post here

10
Aug
11

‘get the message’

Greg Sargent: SEIU is launching a $1.5 million campaign, including TV and radio ads and direct mail, that’s designed to shift the conversation to jobs, and away from austerity, in six key swing states where unemployment is running very high.

The campaign, an SEIU official tells me, is meant to counteract ads being run by high profile conservative groups that are pushing an austerity agenda among voters who are struggling economically – and will pressure House Republicans to prioritize job creation over tax breaks for corporations and the rich.

…the TV spot will run in Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and Virginia….

More here

20
Jun
11

when a prediction isn’t a prediction

Greg Sargent (Washington Post): Under heavy pressure from Democrats and some reporters, McKinsey and Company has finally released the methdology of its study finding that many businesses are likely to drop insurance for employees as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

…..what’s immediately of interest is that in its statement, McKinsey repeatedly concedes that the study should not be seen as a predictor of future behavior. While McKinsey says it stands by the study’s methodology, the statement repeatedly stresses its lack of predictive value. This seems like a way of dealing with the fact that many other studies – unlike McKinsey – found that there would be minimal impact on employer-sponsored insurance.

….people might have thought the study was intended to be predictive because its initial headline was:

‘How US health care reform will affect employee benefits’

….I wonder how many of the news orgs that covered this study as a prediction will now cover the concession that it wasn’t intended to be a prediction.

More here

More from the White House and Steve Benen

16
Jun
11

‘dems dropping bombs on mckinsey’

Greg Sargent: Yet another interesting turn in the case of the mystery health care study … the consulting firm McKinsey and Company recently released a study that – unlike other studies – found that larger numbers of employers plan to drop insurance for workers because of the Affordable Care Act. Despite multiple requests from the White House, Congressional Dems, and news outlets, the company is refusing to release key details about the study’s methodology that would enable us to evaluate its integrity.

…Ironically, the author of an Urban Institute study used by the White House to refute the McKinsey report is none other than McKinsey’s own Bowen Garrett, the chief economist at their Center for U.S. Health System Reform. In his Urban Institute paper, Garrett dismantles “claims that the ACA would cause major declines in [employer-sponsored health insurance],” calling them, “greatly exaggerated.”

Wait, you mean McKinsey published a study claiming 30% of employers will drop employee coverage, in direct contradiction to the expressed position of one of their head health honchos?

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Update from Greg Sargent: Wow. Dems are very quickly ratcheting up the pressure on McKinsey and Company – meaning it’s likely that we’ll see an increase in media scrutiny of the company’s continuing refusal to cough up the methodology of its now-controversial study on the Affordable Care Act.

In a very big development, Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus has written a detailed letter spelling out 13 very specific questions about how the study’s methodology was conducted …

I’m also told that three – count ‘em, three – House committees will send a letter today to McKinsey making the same request.

…This constitutes real pressure, and underscores how high the stakes have become for Democrats, now that Republicans have been regularly citing the study as a weapon against the health law.

Read full post here

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Paul Krugman: …. when the McKinsey alleged study made headlines, the firm was pressed to explain how the study was conducted. And it has refused to answer.

It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the study was embarrassingly bad – maybe it was a skewed sample, maybe the questions were leading, maybe there was no real data at all. Whatever.

The important thing is that this must not stand. You can’t enter the political debate with strong claims about what the evidence says, then refuse to produce that evidence.

And it’s especially bad when the media give your claims lots of attention, while barely covering the furor over the refusal to explain where those claims come from.

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You can see the original post about the study here




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