Posts Tagged ‘obstruction

19
Sep
13

Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet the family of Senior Master Sergeant Roland Paramore (not pictured) aboard Air Force One prior to departure en route to New York, Sept. 19, 2011(Pete Souza)

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Today (All Times Eastern):

10:45 House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi holds her weekly briefing with members of the press (C-Span)

11:0: The President delivers remarks at a meeting of his Export Council, Eisenhower Executive Office Building

1:0: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

4:25: The President attends a DNC event, Capital Hilton Hotel (Closed Press)

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Esquire: Aliens in Their Own Nation

For the Republican Party, what began as a tactic — vilification of its opponents — became a habit that became a conviction. Its anger and distrust have become the dominant political fact of our time.

We have a problem with our Republicans. They don’t much want to govern anymore, and we can’t govern without them. This has been a long time coming, but at some point in recent years, America’s Republicans, especially elected officials but also a large part of the rank and file, stopped seeing Democrats and many other Americans as their political opponents and started viewing them instead as the enemy, a nemesis bent on destroying the country.

Certainly a significant factor underlying this phenomenon is white insecurity in a changing world, especially in the old Confederacy, in which the 21st-century Republican party has bunkered itself. But whatever the reason, given the symbiosis between the only two political parties we have allowed ourselves, this extremism endangers the governing arrangement that has held for the last century or so — and by and large worked spectacularly well…

More here

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Jamelle Bouie: The Obamacare Swindle (It’s Not What You Think)

Health-care reform isn’t going anywhere. But that hasn’t stopped Republicans from using it to raise money from gullible Tea Partiers who want it defunded.

House Republican leadership does not want a government shutdown over Obamacare, but the agitation of conservative activists might make one inevitable.

….. Conservatives must know they have nothing to gain politically from taking this stance, which raises the question: why do it? One answer, as suggested by the National Review’s Robert Costa in August, is money. Tea party organizations, he writes, “aren’t worried about the establishment’s ire. In fact, they welcome it. Business has boomed since the push to defund Obamacare caught on. Conservative activists are lighting up social media, donations are pouring in, and e-mail lists are growing.”

More here

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Carol E. Lee: Obama Administration Weighs Iran Talks At U.N.

The Obama administration is preparing for high-level meetings next week with the Iranian government on its nuclear ambitions and is open to a direct exchange between President Barack Obama and Iran’s new president, Hasan Rouhani, at the United Nations, according to senior U.S. officials.

The recent softening between Washington and Tehran gained new momentum with the release by Iran in recent days of 11 political prisoners, including a prominent human-rights lawyer freed on Wednesday. The releases were seen as a signal to Washington of a desire for better relations on the eve of Mr. Rouhani’s first visit as president to the annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly.

More here

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Greg Sargent: If We Get A Debt Ceiling Crisis, It’s Because Republican Voters Want One

If we are going to have a debt ceiling and default crisis — with all of the havoc it may well entail — it may well be because Republican voters want such a crisis, even if it causes serious economic harm. No, really. That’s what a new poll shows. The new Washington Post/ABC News poll on the debt ceiling tells us something remarkable: Among Republicans who believe that not raising the debt ceiling would cause serious harm to the economy, a majority of them wants Congress not to raise it anyway. By contrast, Americans overall see it in the opposite way.

Meanwhile, the poll also finds that 73 percent think not raising the debt limit would “cause serious harm to the U.S. economy,” versus only 22 percent who say it wouldn’t. How to explain the divergence? It turns out it’s largely driven by Republicans. By contrast, among Americans overall who say not raising it would cause serious harm, they tilt in favor of raising it by 54-35. Independents who say not raising it would cause serious harm also tilt in favor of raising it by 58-36.

More here

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Steve Benen: Bernanke Stuns With Ongoing Stimulus

One of the day’s biggest stories was also one of the day’s most pleasant surprises. The Federal Reserve postponed any retreat from its long-running stimulus campaign Wednesday, saying that it would continue to buy $85 billion a month in bonds to encourage job creation and economic growth. [...]

But let’s not overlook why Bernanke came to this conclusion. There were, of course, multiple factors, but The Hill reported, “The Fed said one of the primary reasons for the decision was the fiscal fight in Washington, which it said is ‘restraining economic growth.'” The political world tends to ignore this for reasons I find endlessly frustrating, but the chairman of the Federal Reserve has repeatedly told Congress, in fairly explicit terms, that Republicans are hurting the economy. Bernanke has drawn direct, unambiguous connections between weak economic growth and the specific policies pursued by Republican lawmakers.

GOP officials ignore Bernanke because he tells them what they don’t want to hear, and many in the media ignore his assessments because Americans aren’t supposed to hear about Republican responsibility for the struggling economy.

More here

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Greg Sargent: The Conservative Alternative To ObamaCare Isn’t An Alternative To ObamaCare

So House conservatives are planning to roll out their long awaited alternative to Obamacare, some three years after they first promised to do so — and after more than three dozen votes to repeal it. The conservative alternative wouldn’t do nothing at all.

“Individuals who purchase coverage approved for sale in their state could claim a deduction of $7,500 against their income and payroll taxes, regardless of the cost of the insurance. Families could deduct $20,000.” The trouble with this, Leavitt says, is that deductions disproportionately benefit the rich. By contrast, Levitt notes, Obamacare gives low income folks subsidies in the form of tax credits, which disproportionately benefit the poor.

More here

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I love the smell of GOP infighting in the morning

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Brian Beutler: GOP Deludes Itself On Shutdown Threat

it’s easier to remember that what we’re hearing on the right is the din of 275 Republicans and thousands of movement conservatives caterwauling at each other. It’s a fascinating story. It’s genuinely newsworthy that John Boehner and company were cowed into giving Ted Cruz and his boosters on the right a vote on the doomed strategy they’ve been demanding. Assuming the defund Obamacare bill passes the House — not a given! — it’ll be extremely revealing to watch Senate Republicans figure out what to do with it, and hear what they say when it inevitably fails.

More here

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On This Day:

President Barack Obama and Burmese Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi pet Bo at the conclusion of their meeting in the Oval Office, Sept. 19, 2012. Danny Russel, Senior Director for Asian Affairs, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton watch at left (Pete Souza)

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First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to a crowd of over 6000 at Minges Coliseum on the East Carolina University campus, Sept 19, 2012

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First Lady Michelle Obama greets students from the East Durham Children’s Initiative upon arrival at Raleigh-Durham Airport in Morrisville, N.C., Sept. 19, 2012 (Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

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10
Sep
12

This and That – And More On The Enthusiasm Gap

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Michael Cohen (The Guardian): Two conventions, two Americas. Seldom has the divide been greater – Witnessing both conferences is to see anger from the Republicans and abiding hope from the Democrats

…. the philosophical and tonal divide between them has never felt broader. Quite simply, Democrats and Republicans operate in two completely distinct realms, one that is defined by an attachment to reality and one that is increasingly detached from it.

…. Republicans reside in a fantasy world where government plays no role but that of malevolence, where the free market is the salvation to all that ails this nation and where the country is locked in a Manichaean struggle between the forces of freedom and a failed, socialist interloper named Barack Obama.

…. For four decades, Republicans have relied on an undercurrent of white resentment toward social and economic change to maintain their pre-eminence in national politics. But with an African-American president and the country moving closer to “minority-majority” status, that dominance is slipping away and it feeds the sense of anger and desperation they tried to keep hidden in Tampa, but that all too often crept to the surface….

…. the contrast between the hues in Charlotte and Tampa was remarkable. The Democratic party is a party that looks like the palette of the American experience, not just in skin colour, but in class level. The Republican party (the one in the Tampa convention hall) is one that looks like Sunday brunch at a country club.

Full article here

Thanks Ladyhawke and amk

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President Obama’s introduction at The Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida, Sept 9

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Genius:

@RafalcaRomney

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AP: Ford is adding 1,200 workers to a suburban Detroit factory to build the Fusion, a sign of confidence that the revamped sedan will be a big seller.

Ford Americas President Mark Fields told workers at the Flat Rock plant Monday that the Fusion’s market segment is growing two times faster than the rest of the U.S. auto industry. The new Fusion goes on sale this fall.

…. Ford will hire the 1,200 new workers starting next spring. It will also invest $555 million in new equipment at the plant.

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NYT

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President Obama demonstrates size of bounce received by Romney after Republican convention:

Florida, Sept. 9

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R.E.M.‘s “Losing My Religion” was used in the Fox News coverage of the Democratic National Convention last night. R.E.M. today, through its music publisher, Warner-Tamerlane Music, demanded that Fox News cease and desist from continuing its unlicensed and unauthorized use of the song. Michael Stipe said, “We have little or no respect for their puff adder brand of reportage. Our music does not belong there.”

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McClatchy

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Steve Kornacki (Salon): Barack Obama is winning …and he has been pretty much all year

The final evidence isn’t in yet, but there are strong indicators that Barack Obama received a real boost from the Democratic convention – bigger than the paltry bump Mitt Romney got out of his party’s gathering and potentially big enough to push Obama’s national lead to heights not seen since Romney emerged from the GOP primaries back in the spring.

Gallup’s daily trendline, which remained flat during and immediately after the Republican convention, has spiked in Obama’s favor over the last few days; as of Sunday afternoon, his lead was five points. He’s also pulled a few points ahead in Rasmussen’s daily poll, which has tended to be more Romney-friendly than other surveys, grabbed a four-point lead in a Reuters/Ipsos poll, and seen his job approval rating crack the 50 percent mark. A PPP poll released Sunday night also showed Obama hitting 50 percent in Ohio…..

The movement in Obama’s direction reinforces a point that many neutral campaign observers have been reluctant to make for months now: The presidential race is not, and has not been, a virtual tie – Obama is, and has been, winning.

More here

Thanks BWD

10
Sep
12

Rise and Shine

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USA Today: President Obama’s campaign raised $114 million in August, edging Mitt Romney’s haul of $111.6 million and ending the Republican’s three month winning streak in the money race.

“The key to fighting back against the special interests writing limitless checks to support Mitt Romney is growing our donor base, and we did that substantially in the month of August,” said Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign spokesman.

The $114 million in August is a big spike for Obama, who had raised only $75 million in July.

….. The new fundraising totals come right after the Republican and Democratic conventions, and at a time when Obama is taking a lead over Romney in daily tracking polls.

More here

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Click to see the rest of Rise and Shine

07
Nov
11

afternoon all

Original

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TPM: President Obama and the Democrats have succeeded at convincing voters that Republicans are trying to delay economic recovery, according to a series of recent polls.

The new data suggests that about half the country, including a majority of self-identified independents, believe that congressional Republicans are using their political power to thwart Obama’s efforts to reduce unemployment, presenting Democrats an opportunity to make this argument more explicitly as the 2012 campaign moves forward – to undercut Republicans’ claims that Obama and the Dems bear full responsibility for the economy, and to make their pattern of obstruction a real liability for them.

More here

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WH: …. On Monday morning, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a new report based on the Census Bureau’s new data which found that provisions passed as part of the Recovery Act directly lifted nearly 7 million Americans out of poverty in 2010 and reduced poverty for 32 million more. This is on top of 6 million people lifted out of poverty by these policies in 2009. And these numbers are conservative estimates that do not reflect the indirect benefits from the jobs created through these policies.

In contrast to this approach, Republicans in Congress opposed all of these measures and passed a budget that would both cut back on many of these programs and also convert them into block grants, which would prevent them from automatically expanding in hard times. Had we followed that path, many more Americans would be in poverty today.

More here

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Steve Benen: The new national Gallup poll shows where the race for the Republican presidential nomination currently stands.

1. Mitt Romney: 21% (up one point from October)
1. Herman Cain: 21% (up three points)
3. Newt Gingrich: 12% (up five points)
4. Rick Perry: 11% (down four points)
5. Ron Paul: 8% (no change)
6. Michele Bachmann: 3% (down two points)
7. Rick Santorum: 2% (down one point)
8. Jon Huntsman: 1% (down one point)

The development that will get the headlines, obviously, is the fact that Cain has caught up to Romney at the national level, and Gingrich’s recent bump that’s pushed Perry to fourth place.

But what I still find remarkable is Romney’s inability to put some distance between himself and the rest of the Republican field … He’s running against misfits, clowns, and con men, and Romney’s still stuck at 21%.

More here

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Reuters: President Barack Obama’s fortunes are improving slightly, although he would face a tough struggle for re-election next year if Mitt Romney were the Republican nominee, a Reuters/Ipsos poll said on Friday.

Forty-nine percent of Americans approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president, up from 47 percent in an October poll.

More here

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President Obama meets with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the White House, November 7

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Steve Benen: …. I’m not in a position to evaluate the merit of the claims against Cain. I would note, however, that (a) the number of accusers matters; (b) it seems unlikely all four are part of a coordinated, 15-year campaign organized by the media, liberals, racists, the D.C. establishment, and Rick Perry.

More here

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President Obama visits a wounded warrior for a Purple Heart presentation at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Oct. 10. (Pete Souza)

07
Nov
11

rise and shine

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LA Times: …. President Obama brings to the 2012 campaign one strategic advantage that previous Democratic presidential candidates would have envied: the money to compete everywhere.

Flush with more cash than all the Republican candidates combined, Obama’s reelection campaign envisions an electoral map every bit as expansive as that of 2008 ….. campaign officials say they are determined to use their financial clout to keep as many states as possible in play for as long as possible.

….  So Democrats are opening offices, airing TV ads and building up campaign machinery in the upper South, in Rust Belt Midwestern states and across the Southwest.

…. Obama is raising money in buckets, packing in half a dozen fundraising trips on quick sprints west. So far, he has collected $89 million, while his nearest competitor – Mitt Romney – has picked up $32 million….

…. Obama’s advisors cite population trends showing growth of the Democratic-leaning Latino population. In Virginia, for example, the state grew 13% as a whole from 2000 to 2010, but its Latino population nearly doubled. The Obama campaign also has recruited volunteers and begun to register voters in Arizona, where Latinos have gone from 25% to 30% of the population over the last decade…..

Full article here

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Michael Tomasky (Daily Beast): …. The most important and interesting poll question asked in recent memory is the one Suffolk University finally thought to ask last week …. Floridians were asked if they thought the Republicans were “intentionally stalling efforts to jumpstart the economy to insure that Barack Obama is not re-elected.” In response, 49 percent said yes, and just 39 percent said no.

…  this is a shockingly large number considering that we Americans are supposed to believe that no one in our great and celebrated system of government would ever do such a thing. But people are starting to believe it, and it will be the GOP’s worst nightmare if it gets to the point that 58 percent or so of the country agrees. Given that majorities of conservatives and Republicans will never agree with this, a number like 58 (or even 55) will mean that a substantial majority of independents think it’s true.

…. the GOP’s reputation is so low, and its image (and reality) as obstructionist so steadily solidifying, that it’s going to hang like the stink of garlic around the nominee’s neck.

…. what a beautiful thing it would be if the GOP’s obstructionism were the factor that buried its candidate next year. It’s the Democrats’ job to make sure that one year from today, as voters are doing their last-second sizing up of things, the behavior of the GOP over the last four years is one of the things they think about. If it is, Obama will win, even if the economy is ho-hum…..

Full article here

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Chris Cillizza: …… A new Washington Post-ABC News poll suggests that President Obama is narrowly getting the benefit of the doubt (on the economy) – at least, at the moment.

Fifty percent of those tested agreed with the statement that Obama is “making a good faith effort to deal with the country’s economic problems, but the Republicans in Congress are playing politics by blocking his proposals and programs” while 44 percent said that the president had not “provided leadership on the economy, and he is just blaming the Republicans in Congress as an excuse for not doing his job”.

…. In a bit of a boost for Obama, 54 percent of independents – that most coveted of voting blocs – said he was making an effort on the economy while 40 percent said he had not led as required on the issue.

…. It’s why the president has signed a series of executive orders aimed at unilateral action on the economy under the “We Can’t Wait” mantra, and focused more and more in his public speeches on Republicans’ unwillingness to back plans and programs that they had supported in past years.

These latest numbers suggest he is winning that argument – albeit narrowly…..

Full article here

23
Oct
11

coming up (chat away)

Monday: The President will travel to Las Vegas to make remarks on the American Jobs Act. He will also participate in a campaign event while in Las Vegas. In the evening, the President will participate in campaign events in Los Angeles and spend the night there.

Tuesday: The President will tape an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” before departing for San Francisco. In San Francisco, the President will participate in a campaign event. In the afternoon the President will travel to Denver and participate in campaign events. He will spend Tuesday night in Denver.

Wednesday: The President will deliver remarks on the American Jobs Act in Denver. That afternoon, the President will return to Washington, D.C.

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Psst, you might not read this anywhere, but in the space of a week the President’s approval has gone up six with Gallup (to 44), and his disapproval has gone down seven (to 47) – a swing of 13 points. In one week. And that was before he announced the Iraq war was over.

I know, sensible people ignore these things, but we’re always told about the bad polls, so I thought I’d pass on the encouraging news ;-)

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Clarence Page (Chicago tribune): How important is it to have presidential candidates who, when talking about Libya, know where Libya is?

Rep. Michele Bachmann accidentally raised that question last week during the Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas …. “The president, he put us in Libya,” she complained. “He is now putting us in Africa.”

…. Bachmann’s flub would not be a big deal if it didn’t appear amid a Republican field infected with a nose-thumbing strain of willful ignorance about the rest of the world.

This was evidenced recently, for example, by Herman Cain …. “When they ask me who is the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan, I’m going to say, you know, I don’t know,” he remarked in an interview…

For the record, if he meant the Republic of Uzbekistan, that former part of the Soviet Union has been an important ally in America’s actions in neighboring Afghanistan….

…. A recurring theme of this pre-election year has been the search for “the grown-up in the room”. As Moammar Gadhafi’s death vindicates President Obama’s Libya policy, his persistent critics are looking more like munchkins. I mean no disrespect to munchkins, by the way, wherever they may be on the map.

Full article here

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LA Times: Why is Barack Obama’s presidency a tale of two situations?

On the foreign-policy front, the administration has had a string of successes: Osama bin Laden killed; major Al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen killed; and this week, of course, Moammar Kadafi killed. And on Friday, the president announced that all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by year’s end.

An unpopular war will be officially over for us soon. Terrorists and terrorist groups that threaten us are dead or on the run. Libya’s longtime strongman has been overthrown, thanks in part to Obama’s policy that had the U.S. and NATO working together.

But here’s a question: If Obama has been so successful in foreign policy, why has he been so unsuccessful on domestic issues?

…. domestically the problem is that Obama’s opponents have turned criticism into obstructionism. Unlike his foreign policies, Obama’s efforts to fix the economy have been thwarted at every turn by Republicans. Take the president’s jobs bill …. Republicans won’t even agree to spend $35 billion on teachers, police and firefighters ….

The bottom line? It’s wrong to say the president’s domestic policies haven’t worked when those policies haven’t even been given the chance to work.

Abroad, Obama has been allowed to set policy, and those policies have been given time to work. And, for the most part, they have.

Perhaps if Republicans gave the president that same leeway on domestic policy, we might be winning some battles at home, too.

Full article here

Thanks Layhawke and bjw2

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Link to NYT article

Thanks Marlz

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Eclectablog

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