Posts Tagged ‘rubio

13
May
14

Rise and Shine

President Obama addresses the recipients of the 2014 National Association of Police Organizations Top Cops lined up in the State Dining Room prior to a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, May 12, 2014 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today

12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press

3:0: The President awards Kyle J. White, U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor

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The Week Ahead

Wednesday: The President and the First Lady will travel to New York. While there, the President will host an event on the economy and attend DNC and DSCC events. More details will be forthcoming.

Thursday: The President and the First Lady will tour the National September 11th Memorial and Museum; the President will also deliver remarks at the dedication ceremony. Following his remarks, the President and the First Lady will return to Washington, DC.

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

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Yahoo: Turns Out Obamacare Premiums Aren’t More Expensive After All

When the cost of an employer-provided health insurance plan is compared to the cost of an Affordable Care Act plan bought on a state health insurance exchange, the ACA plan will be more affordable on average, a new analysis from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute finds. “In 2014, the premiums for health plans offered on new state exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are comparable to — and in some cases lower than — those being offered by employers with similar levels of coverage,” the analysts concluded. “The data suggest the new exchanges are competitive with the current insurance market.”

The analysis is based on employer-sponsored premiums of 156 million people in 2013. But what about all those news stories about people whose premiums had shot way up? Those were often people whose pre-ACA insurance did not meet even the most basic standards set forth by the law. “Some of the sticker shock noted among enrollees in the new exchanges is due to more comprehensive insurance coverage in the exchange plans,” the PwC analysis notes, citing research in Health Affairs. “More than half the people in the individual market had coverage below the bronze level of 60%, the lowest level in the exchanges.”

More here

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5.12.14.2

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Steve Benen: Budget Deficit On Track For Six-Year Low

It was about a year ago when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) appeared on Fox News and told viewers that Congress should be “focused on trying to deal with the ultimate problem, which is this growing deficit.” There were a couple of glaring problems with the comment. For one thing, to prioritize the deficit as the “ultimate problem” – as opposed to, say, creating jobs and reducing unemployment – is to have a fairly warped sense of urgent policy needs. For another, the deficit, in reality, is most certainly not “growing.” The U.S. government ran a big surplus in April, thanks to a flood of tax payments that helped keep the budget on track for the lowest annual deficit in six years…. Through the first seven months of the 2014 budget year, which began Oct. 1, the deficit totals $306.4 billion. That’s down 37 percent from the same period last year. The Congressional Budget Office is forecasting a deficit of $492 billion for the full budget year.

That would be the narrowest gap since 2008. To be sure, none of this should come as a surprise, at least not to the policy mainstream. In recent years, the federal government has raised taxes and cut spending – and wouldn’t you know it, when Washington takes in more while spending less, the deficit gets smaller. This is a basic budgetary truism that Republicans continue to resist. Indeed, last year, when top marginal rates increased on households making more than $400,000 a year, a variety of GOP lawmakers argued that this would likely cause the deficit to go up – as they saw it, higher taxes on the wealthy would slow growth, which would mean fewer jobs, which would mean fewer people paying income taxes, which would mean a larger deficit. It appears on this, Republicans had it backwards, which will do nothing to shake the Beltway perception of the GOP as the “fiscally responsible” party. The fact remains, however, that the annual budget deficit is on track this year to have shrunk by about $900 billion since President Obama took the oath of office.

More here

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NYT: Scientists Warn Of Rising Oceans From Polar Melt

A large section of the mighty West Antarctica ice sheet has begun falling apart and its continued melting now appears to be unstoppable, two groups of scientists reported on Monday. If the findings hold up, they suggest that the melting could destabilize neighboring parts of the ice sheet and a rise in sea level of 10 feet or more may be unavoidable in coming centuries. Global warming caused by the human-driven release of greenhouse gases has helped to destabilize the ice sheet, though other factors may also be involved, the scientists said. The rise of the sea is likely to continue to be relatively slow for the rest of the 21st century, the scientists added, but in the more distant future it may accelerate markedly, potentially throwing society into crisis. “This is really happening,” Thomas P. Wagner, who runs NASA’s programs on polar ice and helped oversee some of the research, said in an interview. “There’s nothing to stop it now. But you are still limited by the physics of how fast the ice can flow.”

The West Antarctic ice sheet sits in a bowl-shaped depression in the earth, with the base of the ice below sea level. Warm ocean water is causing the ice sitting along the rim of the bowl to thin and retreat. As the front edge of the ice pulls away from the rim and enters deeper water, it can retreat much faster than before. Those six glaciers alone could cause the ocean to rise four feet as they disappear, Dr. Rignot said, possibly within a couple of centuries. He added that their disappearance will most likely destabilize other sectors of the ice sheet, so the ultimate rise could be triple that. The effects will depend in part on how much money future governments spend to protect shorelines from a rising sea. Research published in 2012 found that a rise of less than four feet would inundate land on which some 3.7 million Americans live today. Miami, New Orleans, New York and Boston are all highly vulnerable.

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BBC: Woman To Lead UN Peacekeeping Mission For First Time In Cyprus

For the first time, a woman will command a UN peacekeeping force, after Norway’s Major General Kristin Lund was appointed to lead troops in Cyprus. Maj Gen Lund, 55, has a distinguished military career going back 34 years and including postings in Lebanon and Afghanistan, a UN statement said. She will replace China’s Major General Chao Liu on 13 August.In Cyprus, she will command 996 soldiers and police officers as well as 149 civilian staff. Maj Gen Lund was congratulated on her appointment by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at UN headquarters in New York.

Interviewed by the Associated Press news agency, she said she was looking forward to the challenges of her new job – maintaining the ceasefire and supporting efforts to deal with minefields, unaccounted people, property disputes and other issues. She also said she was proud to crack the glass ceiling in UN peacekeeping: “I think it’s time, and I think it’s important, that other women see that it’s possible also in the UN system to get up in the military hierarchy to become a force commander.”

More here

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Alec MacGillis: Marco Rubio Denies Climate Change While His Hometown Drowns

Marco Rubio, as you may have heard, has issued yet another blunt rejection of the whole notion of man-made climate change. “Well, yeah, I don’t agree with the notion that some are putting out there, including scientists, that somehow there are actions we can take today that would actually have an impact on what’s happening in our climate,” he said yesterday on ABC’s “This Week.” He continued: “Our climate is always changing. And what they have chosen to do is take a handful of decades of research and say that this is now evidence of a longer-term trend that’s directly and almost solely attributable to man-made activities…I don’t know of any era in world history where the climate has been stable. Climate is always evolving, and natural disasters have always existed… I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it.

That’s what I—and I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy.” For this, Rubio has been roundly ridiculed by reality-based commentators. But even their scorn seems to skip over what is perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Rubio’s evasion on climate change. It would be one thing if Rubio was trying to downplay man-made climate change if he was the senator from a state that is greatly dependent on drawing fossil fuels out of the earth and pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere—say, Oklahoma or West Virginia or North Dakota. But Rubio represents Florida, and is in fact from Miami. Which—how to say this nicely?—is in the process of drowning.

More here

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Boston Globe: Vermont Legislators Agree On $10.50 Minimum Wage By 2018

The Vermont House has agreed with the Senate to raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.50 by 2018, as lawmakers adjourned for the year. The current state minimum wage is $8.73 per hour. ‘‘Any time we can put money in the hands of Vermonters who need it most, it’s a win,’’ said Representative Tom Stevens, a Waterbury Democrat, as he presented the bill to his colleagues Friday night. ‘‘Is it enough? It’s a start.’’ Governor Peter Shumlin issued a statement praising the bill. ‘‘I will be proud to sign it,’’ he said.

The State House was filled with frenetic activity Friday and Saturday, as conference committees met on budget and tax packages for fiscal 2015 and reached deals on several other bills, including one streamlining the process for medicating mentally ill patients against their will. Majority Democrats in the House in March had passed a minimum wage increase to $10.10 an hour to take effect in January, but the Senate called for a slower approach. The House was ready to pass a compromise Thursday evening, but a printer’s error — the wrong bill on the matter had been placed in the legislative calendar — caused it to be delayed.

More here

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Morgan Whitaker: Most Americans Want Obamacare To Stay, But Tweaked: Poll

They may not love all of it, but most Americans want the president’s signature health reform policy to stay. A significant majority (61%) of Americans want the Affordable Care Act kept as-is or improved with changes, while a little more than a third (38%) want the law fully repealed or replaced, according to new polling released Sunday. A little less than half (49%) of all respondents said “make some changes” when asked what they thought Congress should do with respect to the law, according to the CNN/ORC poll. Another 12% want the law kept in place in its exact form. Among those supporting repeal, 18% said they wanted to repeal and replace the health reform law with a new law, and 20% said it should just be repealed.

Independent voters show a slightly more repeal-friendly breakdown, with 55% supporting a law in its original or improved form, and 45% supporting repeal either with or without replacement. Broken down across age groups, younger adults (ages 18-34) are most likely to support making minor changes to the law (50%). Seniors, many of whom already received health coverage from Medicare, are more likely than any other demographic to support a full repeal of the law with no replacement, at 25%. Across racial groups, nonwhites are more likely than whites to want the law kept as is or improved, 79% to 53%. While whites are slightly more likely than nonwhites to support repeal or repeal with replacement, 46% to 21%. Recent polling from Gallup found African-American and Latino Americans saw more significant decreases in the uninsured rate since the law’s health exchange open enrollment period began. The poll also finds a slight increase in the overall number of Americans who see the law as a success – a four-point jump since November 2013 from 8% to 12%.

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Jimmy Vielkind: Obama To Visit Tappan Zee Bridge As G.O.P. Convenes

President Barack Obama will visit the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project on Wednesday as part of an administration push for more infrastructure spending, a White House spokesman confirmed. Obama chose the Tappan Zee—which carries the New York State Thruway over the Hudson River, between Tarrytown and Nyack—to make a point about streamlined federal approval processes, White House spokesman Keith Maley said.

A $3.9 billion replacement structure is now under construction, spearheaded by Governor Andrew Cuomo and helped by a $1.6 billion federal loan that was approved in October. There is already visible progress on the replacement structure. “President Obama and his administration are focused every day on what we can do to expand opportunity for every American,” said Maley. “In today’s economy, that means building a first-class infrastructure that attracts first-class jobs and takes American businesses’ goods all across the world.”

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5.12.14

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Steve Benen: A Law By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

It’s been nearly a year since Jason Cherkis published it, but his health care anecdote out of Kentucky resonates because of its salience. As Cherkis reported last August, a middle-aged man in a red golf shirt shuffled up to a small folding table at the Kentucky State Fair to hear about Kynect, the state’s health benefit exchange established by the Affordable Care Act. The man liked what he heard. “This beats Obamacare I hope,” he said, apparently unaware that Kynect and Obamacare are the same thing. A year later, as NBC News’ First Read discovered, there’s a lot of this going around. When it comes to views of the new health care law, sometimes it’s all in a name. In Kentucky, our NBC-Marist poll found that 57% of registered voters have an unfavorable view of “Obamacare,” the shorthand commonly used to label the 2010 Affordable Care Act. That’s compared with only 33% who give it a thumbs up – hardly surprising in a state where the president’s approval rating hovers just above 30%.

By comparison, when Kentucky voters were asked to give their impression of kynect, the state exchange created as a result of the health care law, the picture was quite different. A plurality – 29% – said they have a favorable impression of kynect, compared to 22% who said they view the system unfavorably. I put together the above chart to help capture the difference, and while kynect is less well known – 27% of Kentuckians said they hadn’t heard of it, with another 21% saying they were unsure – the difference is hard to miss. It’s a timely reminder that polling on health care is tricky in this political climate. If you ask Americans whether they like “Obamacare.” in most cases, they do not. Ask them whether they support the policy provisions within the Affordable Care Act and suddenly the law looks very popular. What explains the discrepancy? Some of it’s based on lingering confusion – a lot of folks still don’t know much about the law – and some of it’s tribal, with those who hold the president in contempt rejecting the reform law, not on the merits, but because Obama signed it.

More here

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Don Lee: After Decades of Exodus, Companies Returning Production To The U.S.

In 2001, Generac Power Systems joined the wave of American companies shifting production to China. The move wiped out 400 jobs in southeast Wisconsin, but few could argue with management’s logic: Chinese companies were offering to make a key component for $100 per unit less than the cost of producing it in the U.S. Now, however, Generac has brought manufacturing of that component back to its Whitewater plant — creating about 80 jobs in this town of about ‎14,500 people. The move is part of a sea change in American manufacturing: After three decades of an exodus of production to China and other low-wage countries, companies have sharply curtailed moves abroad. Some, like Generac, have begun to return manufacturing to U.S. shores.

Although no one keeps precise statistics, the retreat from offshoring is clear from various sources, including federal data on assistance to workers hurt by overseas moves. U.S. factory payrolls have grown for four straight years, with gains totaling about 650,000 jobs. That’s a small fraction of the 6 million lost in the previous decade, but it still marks the biggest and longest stretch of manufacturing increases in a quarter century. Harry Moser, an MIT-trained engineer who tracks the inflow of jobs, estimates that last year marked the first time since the offshoring trend began that factory jobs returning to the U.S. matched the number lost, at about 40,000 each. “Offshoring and ‘re-shoring’ were roughly in balance — I call that victory,” said Moser

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On This Day

 Sen. Barack Obama stops to speak with school kids from Holy Cross as he departs after a vote on amendments to S.2284, the “Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2007,” on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 13, 2007

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President Obama walks to the podium to deliver a statement on the situation in Sri Lanka, May 13, 2009

President Obama enters the stage to give the commencement address at Arizona State University Commencement at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe Arizona May 13, 2009

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President Obama talks on the phone with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev about the final details of the START Treaty, in the Oval Office, Saturday, March 13, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron during a joint press conference in the East Room at the White House on May 13, 2013

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13
Aug
13

News of the Day

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You might recall the genius that is Scout Tufankjian dropping in to TOD a while back to praise one of my horse poo pics from the 2009 inauguration parade? Well, she clearly was inspired – have a look at her completely and utterly majestic ‘Four More Years: Obama 2012′ here – thank you BWD!

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Cape Cod Times: …. President Obama arrived at Nancy’s Restaurant and shook hands with a couple of dozen people waiting to place their order.

The presidential motorcade arrived at the Lake Avenue restaurant shortly after 1 p.m. and Obama hopped out of an SUV, undeterred by a steady rain. He was upbeat and made a point of chit-chatting with customers and restaurant employees as he made his way to the take-out counter.

“I’m just overwhelmed,” said Serena Creary of Natick. “I knew he was here (on the island), of course, but I never expected to see him.”

More here

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Brilliant news – thank you Dudette for letting us all know about this yesterday:

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Milt Shook: Why Do We Allow So Many Ex-GOP to be “Authorities” on “Real Progressives”

Look, folks; I peg my progressive roots to the age of 14, when I worked for the McGovern Campaign, but my actual roots probably precede that. My father was a union steelworker, and my mom was the daughter of a union worker, as well. I was royally pissed off at the Kent State massacre. I thought Abbie Hoffman was amazing. Spiro Agnew’s and Richard Nixon’s names were said with derision in my house as early as 1968, and I cried, at the age of ten, when Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed. To this day, Bobby Kennedy is still my idol.

I am just as liberal as anyone out there who claims to speak for the progressive cause, and I have been for pretty much my entire life. So, it really pisses me off when someone comes along and insinuates or says that I’m not a “real” progressive, because I don’t think exactly the way they do. Being liberal or progressive is about being tolerant, and about understanding that not everyone sees every issue the same way. There are a lot of moderates out there who are actually progressive, but they don’t know it, in part because some of the loudest elements of the liberal media scream at the top of their lungs, telling us all what we should believe on every issue. Because they don’t believe exactly that, they figure they’re not very progressive. The problem with this is, they may hate the right wing, but they also come to hate us, even though they probably agree with us on most things.

More here

Continue reading ‘News of the Day’

15
Feb
13

Rise and Shine

President Obama visits a pre-kindergarten classroom at College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center in Decatur, Ga., Feb. 14

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Today:

EST

10:0: President Obama meets with President Giorgio Napolitano of Italy

11:10: Welcomes the 18 recipients of the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal

12:10: Departs the White House

CT

1:10: Arrives Chicago

2:45: Delivers remarks at Hyde Park Academy

4:30: Departs Chicago

EST

8:0: Arrives West Palm Beach, Florida

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Washington Post: President Obama used his State of the Union address to launch a push for massively expanding pre-K and other early childhood education programs. But he was pretty vague about it. Not anymore. At 6 a.m. today, the administration released its detailed plan for early childhood education….

…. Upon opening the plan for the first time (while on the phone with me) Nobel laureate and early childhood education expert James Heckman exclaimed “Holy smokes!” in approval.

More here

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Eugene Robinson: In his bid to be remembered as a transformational leader, President Obama is following the playbook of an ideological opposite, Margaret Thatcher. First you win the argument, she used to say, then you win the vote.

Obama is gradually winning the argument about what government can and should do. His State of the Union address was an announcement of that fact — and a warning to conservatives that, to remain relevant, they will have to move beyond the premise that government is always the problem and never the solution…..

Full article here

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Steve Benen: Sen. John McCain, as recently as a few days ago, said he would not try to stop an up-or-down vote on Chuck Hagel’s Defense Secretary nomination. And then yesterday, he did the exact opposite.

I’m sure he’ll be coming soon to a Sunday show near you to explain his thinking, but in the meantime, take a look at what McCain told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto after the first-ever instance of a Senate minority blocking a vote on a cabinet nominee:

More here

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NYT Editorial: For the last four years, Senate Republicans have used the power of the filibuster to block legislation, bottle up nominees to courts and government departments, and strangle federal agencies, even though they are in the minority. On Thursday, they hit a new low. They successfully filibustered Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee for defense secretary, the first time a cabinet nominee for this post has been prevented from receiving an up-or-down vote.

More here

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NYT: At a high school near his own neighborhood here, President Obama on Friday will provide new details about an initiative to select 20 communities nationwide as laboratories for better coordination of federal, local, nonprofit and private-sector investments to revitalize long-distressed areas, according to administration officials.

Mr. Obama had announced his proposal to designate the so-called Promise Zones during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, but did not provide many details. As part of the effort, he also is seeking tax breaks, for capital investments in the zones and for employers who hire unemployed residents.

More here

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Steve Benen: Two weeks from today, deep, automatic sequestration cuts will kick in, doing real damage to the nation’s economy, military, and public needs. Both Democrats and Republicans say they want to avoid that fate, but only one side seems to be doing anything about the threat.

This week, House Republican leaders, including Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), said they would do literally nothing to resolve the problem until Senate Democrats acted. It was a bizarre posture to take — the House GOP freely admits it doesn’t want to do any work at all to clean up the mess Republican helped make.

More here

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One more time (well, until the next time – probably later today):

President Obama gets a hug from a child at College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center, in Decatur, Ga., Feb 14

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At last, moooOOOooorning! That was a rush job, I’m sure I’m missing lots of stuff, but will catch up later.

13
Feb
13

This and That

President Obama talks with Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton and Nathaniel Pendleton Sr., following the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Feb. 12, 2013. Mr.and Mrs. Pendleton, whose 15-year-old daughter Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed last month in Chicago, were guests in the First Lady’s box at the speech

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President Obama signs two copies of his State of the Union address in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House before departing for the U.S. Capitol, D.C., Feb. 12

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President Obama waits with Sergeants at Arms and Members of Congress before entering the House Chamber to deliver the State of the Union address. Standing with the President are, from left: Paul Irving, House Sergeant at Arms: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.; Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif; and Terrance Gainer, Senate Sergeant at Arms

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President Obama and Vice President Biden look toward the guests in the First Lay’s box at the State of the Union

All photos by Pete Souza – more here

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Sun Times: President Barack Obama will speak at the Hyde Park Academy on Friday, returning home to push his second-term economic agenda and curbs on gun violence just a few blocks from his Kenwood home – and not far from where 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was gunned down on Jan. 29.

Obama makes the afternoon trip at the school, 6220 S. Stony Island Ave., as the last of a three-city swing to bolster the plans he discussed in his Tuesday night State of the Union Address. Today Obama is in Asheville, N.C. and tomorrow he is in the Atlanta area.

More here

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Boston.com: This image provided by Vogue shows former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., left, with her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, during a photo shoot at their home in Tucson, Ariz. The image and accompanying article by John Powers will be published in the March 2013 issue of Vogue

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President Obama arrives to speak at the Linamar factory in Asheville, N.C., Feb 13

President Barack Obama listens to Jeffrey Brower and Dwayne Moore explain the machining of the axle components made for Caterpillar’s large mining trucks during a tour of the Linamar Corporation auto-parts plant in Arden, North Carolina, Feb. 13 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Steve Benen: The available research shows that no cabinet nominee has ever faced a filibuster. This week, however, as Chuck Hagel’s Defense Secretary nomination reaches the Senate floor, a new level of Republican obstructionism may very well be reached.

    “We’re going to require a 60-vote threshold,” [Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma] told [Josh Rogin] ….    [Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas] told The Cable, “There is a 60-vote threshold for every nomination.”

Well, no, actually there isn’t. Cornyn has been in the Senate for 11 years, and I have a strong hunch he knows that “every nomination” doesn’t have to clear a “60-vote threshold,” and many haven’t. Why Cornyn is comfortable saying the opposite is anyone’s guess.

More here

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Earlier today:

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According to GOPolitico, President Obama will ‘vacation’ over the weekend in West Palm Beach – The White House says he will leave Friday and he has no public events scheduled during the trip.

Excellent!

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Still catching up with the news, was out the last couple of hours – what did I miss?!

13
Feb
13

Rise and Shine

Text of the address here

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Today:

9:35: The President departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews

11:0: First Lady Michelle Obama Hosts an Interactive Student Workshop with the Cast and Crew of the Film Beasts of the Southern Wild

11:10: The President arrives Asheville, North Carolina

11:35: Tours Linamar North Carolina Factory

12:0: Delivers remarks

1:25: Departs Asheville

2:55: Arrives the White House

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Steve Benen: Every State of the Union address carries its own contextual significance. President Obama’s 2011 speech was the first after his party lost the House, and observers were eager to see how he’d adapt to a changed landscape. His 2012 address came against a backdrop of his re-election campaign.

But last night was the first SOTU of Obama’s second term, and it offered the president an opportunity to present a new way forward. The address also served as something of a book-end speech – Obama delivered an ambitious inaugural address just three weeks ago, articulating a broad vision of collective action, and last night was a chance to start filling in the principled gaps with policy specifics.

So what did we learn? That the president with arguably the most consequential first term in generations doesn’t intend to rest on his laurels….

Read post here

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Greg Sargent: Obama’s Inaugural Address laid out an expansive progressive agenda that was focused heavily on civil rights and rooted in the founding values of the country. His State of the Union speech was Chapter Two of this story. It laid out a progressive economic blueprint that was focused heavily on nuts-and-bolts policy ideas and rooted in a much more basic call for economic fairness, shared sacrifice in bringing down the deficit, and aggressive government action to help struggling Americans gain access to the middle class.

Obama — having been lifted to reelection by an ascendant majority coalition of minorities, young voters, and college educated whites, mostly women — gave very little ideological ground to his opponents. His speech built on the Inaugural address in the sense that it continued to reshape the conversation around the priorities of these core groups — only with a more direct focus on the economy.

Full post here

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A word from DonnaDem4Obama

After watching that fascinating State of the Union Address last night I am more inspired than ever to help push President Obama’s agenda through this Congress.

Our very own superstar TODer CollegeKay had the honor of being at the White House last night for the WH Chat. How incredible is that???

There is so much talent on display here at TOD each and everyday. You have no idea how far your reach is to people who never post but they watch and they learn. PBO has decided with great confidence to put his faith in us. He is counting on the coalition that was built in the 2012 election to make it happen. It’s going to be up to us to pressure this congress into “having a vote” on his policies. And not just in making a phone call to Congress (although it starts with that) but by also using the social skills that each of you exhibit here everyday to spread the word and to get our friends, family and Internet associates engaged in doing the same.

Do you remember the excitement and passion you felt about voting for PBO? You couldn’t wait to share with family and friends that you were being a part of history. That same excitement will be needed in order to pass his policies. It does no good for the public to complain about the economy, jobs, climate change, gun control and immigration if they plan to sit on their hands and just “hope” that PBO and Congress get it done.

Consider picking a topic that you feel passionate about and drive it home. Beat us over the head with it each and everyday. Your leadership on the topic will influence others to become engaged and before you know it you will have an army of supporters out there helping you to push the topic. You have more power than you can imagine. Join OFA and then take it to twitter, facebook and the blogs and Lets. Get. It. Done!

OFA

Have a great O’Day Everyone!!

Donna

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Click here to see the rest of the post

12
Feb
13

The Rubio Gulp

Deserved a whole post of its own.

26
Apr
12

evening all

Human warmth ….. watch and learn, Romney

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TPM: A lesser-known but important provision in “Obamacare” that regulates how health insurance companies spend their money is yielding benefits for consumers, a new study finds.

By this August, insurers are projected to send consumers a total of $1.3 billion in rebates, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis released Thursday – $541 million to large employers, $377 million to small businesses and $426 million to people with their own insurance plans.

The rebates are the result of a rule in the Affordable Care Act that requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent or 85 percent of premium earnings on health care – as opposed to marketing and administrative activities – or otherwise provide rebates to their consumers.

More here

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Steve Benen: Joe Weisenthal published a pretty remarkable chart today noting economic growth in the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe over the last nine years….

…. Once President Obama took office and the Recovery Act/stimulus began putting capital back into the economy, the U.S. economy began growing again. In the U.K., the economy started to improve, right up until British officials began implementing an austerity agenda – at which point the national economy stagnated and slipped back into a recession.

Obama rejected austerity, and as a result, American growth, while fragile and insufficient, is easily outpacing Europe’s and UK’s, where austerity measures have ruled the day.

….When David Cameron’s austerity policies began, Republicans were not only certain they would work, they pleaded with American policymakers to follow the Tories’ lead …. The remarkable thing is, Republicans aren’t the least bit chastened by the track record of failure.

More here

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President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will visit Fort Stewart Friday …. The event will not be open to the general public according to the White House.

No other details were available except that the president and first lady will “meet with troops, veterans and military families”.

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President Obama has announced 13 new recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom:

Madeleine Albright, John Doar, Bob Dylan, William Foege, John Glenn, Gordon Hirabayashi, Dolores Huerta, Jan Karski, Juliette Gordon Low, Toni Morrison, Shimon Peres, John Paul Stevens, Pat Summitt.

More here

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ThinkProgress: …. The Romney campaign organized a conference call today with three of Romney’s foreign policy advisers to push back (against VP Biden’s foreign policy speech). During the call, Romney adviser Ambassador Pierre Prosper attacked President Obama for dealing with Russia, albeit using geographical terms from the Cold War era:

PROSPER: ….. The United States abandoned its missile defense sites in Poland and Czechoslovakia….

Aside from the fact that “Czechoslovakia” broke up into the Czech Republic and Slovakia nearly 20 years ago, the Obama administration never “abandoned” missile defense sites because they were never there to begin with….

More here

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Michael Tomasky: It seems clear that the main issue Mitt Romney is going to use to try to reestablish himself as a moderate is immigration …. Can Romney, who staked out an immigration position during the primaries that left him sounding like Pat Buchanan, really pull this off? My bet: He’ll be smooth, he’ll do almost everything right, he’ll say all the right things — and he’ll end up with something very much like the 31 percent of the Latino vote John McCain got, maybe two or three points more, tops. The reason is simple: Romney, like his party, is just too white.

…. There is no signal, at least yet, that Rubio would make a whit of difference. Last weekend, a poll came out in which 1,000-plus Latinos were asked about Obama-Biden matchups against Romney-Rubio, and Romney paired with various other Hispanic Republicans ….. in Florida, Obama did better among Latinos against Romney with Rubio on the ticket, suggesting that maybe to know him isn’t to love him.

More here

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NYT: The group Americans for Prosperity just went up with a $6.1 million ad buy in swing states that accuses the Obama administration of squandering American taxpayer dollars on green energy projects, asserting that some of the money actually went to foreign entities….

In making the general assertion that “billions of taxpayer dollars spent on green energy went to jobs in foreign countries,” the ad cites as evidence $1.2 billion that went “to a solar company that’s building a plant in Mexico.” In fact, the company involved in the plant, SunPower, said that the $1.2 billion federal loan guarantee was for its solar ranch in California….

The ad also says that the Obama administration sent “half a billion to an electric car company that created hundreds of jobs in Finland.” …. Loans under the agency’s alternative vehicle program went to Fisker Automotive, an American electric car company based in California that has facilities in Finland, as well as China and Germany. The agency provided $169 million for engineering and tooling work, all carried out in the United States….

More here

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Six weeks later, I still can’t see this video enough:

Background to the video here

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Twitter

Thanks Dotster

26
Oct
11

‘night people

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Thursday:

12:00 PM: Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee luncheon in Jacksonville, Florida

3:10 PM: President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Petr Necas of the Czech Republic

3:30 PM: Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a DNC reception in Tampa, Florida

5:05 PM: The President greets city and municipal leaders from across the country

6:45 PM: The President has dinner with winners of a campaign contest

7:00 PM: Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a DNC reception in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

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Andrew Sabl: I’ve been reading a lot about Occupy Wall Street. Last Saturday, I visited Zuccotti Park and took a look for myself. I think it’s time we recognized a clear but complex set of truths.

The demands of Occupy Wall Street are both valid and popular; Democrats and Progressives of all tendencies should endorse them. The people actually occupying Wall Street are total flakes….

…. There is no other way to put it. They are ….. fanatics: sincere (in fact, prone to worship, cloyingly and off-puttingly, a cult of sincerity) and often eloquent, but opposed in principle to anything that might give them any power: alliances, membership lists, the authority to endorse….

Here the contrast with the civil rights movement could not be starker. SCLC, CORE, and SNCC marches, freedom rides, and sit-ins always had a clear target: the Jim Crow laws and practices that the protestors were decrying …. With a view to actually getting what they wanted, they gathered as many allies as humanly possible …. In contrast, OWS proudly calls itself a “post-political movement representing something far greater than failed party politics”.

…. Well, they might not need politicians, but the people whose interests they claim to represent sure do. I’m all for construing politics broadly, to include union campaigns and grassroots organizing as well as the corridors of power. But OWS doesn’t like union or grassroots politics any more than the legislative kind. There’s a fine line between participatory democracy and collective narcissism. OWS has not only crossed it but made it a rampart, and they’re standing on the wrong side.

Full post here

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Robert Parry: A curious feature of the American Left is its resistance to recognize its own successes. So, even as President Barack Obama is bringing the eight-year U.S. occupation of Iraq to an end, some on the Left refuse to celebrate.

…. It appears that some don’t want to accept that the anti-war movement has won a hard-fought victory and that Obama’s election was a factor. It’s almost as if the fact that something has been achieved through the deeply flawed U.S. political system threatens a preferred political analysis, which holds that nothing good can happen.

… one only has to think about what the U.S. approach toward Iraq would have been under a President John McCain or even a President Hillary Clinton.

…. Obama’s election marked a significant turning point in the difficult struggle to bring this ill-begotten war to a close. It shows how anti-war dissent and electoral politics can combine – however imperfectly – to get results. Achieving an outcome may take time and surely is frustrating, but victories can be won.

… By refusing to recognize the value of Obama’s election as, in part, an expression of the nation’s anti-war sentiments, the Left could veer off into a rejection of electoral politics altogether – arguing there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between Obama and, say, Mitt Romney or Rick Perry, either of whom would restore the neocons to their place of preeminence in U.S. foreign policy.

…. some on the American Left operate under what might be called “the vanity of perfectionism,” the notion that what’s most important is to have the “perfect” analysis even if its consequences are destructive to mankind.

… what might reverse the course of history would be Obama’s electoral defeat in 2012. Republican front-runners, including Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, have made clear that they would again pursue a muscular neocon agenda with higher military spending and insistence on U.S. global dominance.

… So, the question now is whether the American Left will learn from these past experiences and recognize that – as difficult and as imperfect as it was – the movement to get the United States out of Iraq succeeded.

Full article here

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Woot! Love how Matthews mashes the GOPolitico guy:

TampaBay.com: On May 18, 1956, Mario and Oriales Rubio walked into the American Consulate in Havana and applied for immigrant visas. The form asked how long they intended to stay in the United States.

“Permanently,” Mr. Rubio answered.

Nine days later, the couple boarded a National Airlines flight to Miami, where a relative awaited.

So began a journey that seems as ordinary as any immigrant story, but decades later served as the foundation of an extraordinary and moving narrative told repeatedly by their third child as he became one of the most powerful politicians in Florida and then a national figure.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has come under fire for incorrectly linking his parents to the Cubans who fled Fidel Castro beginning in 1959. He insists they are exiles nonetheless and angrily denounced the suggestion he misled for political gain.

…. But the visa documents cast clearer divisions between his parents, who came for economic reasons, and the Cubans who scrambled to leave their homeland but thought they could soon return. And the documents come to light amid new discrepancies since Rubio’s time line came under scrutiny last week.

Full article here

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CBS: …. President Obama on Wednesday announced a series of new measures aimed at easing the burden of debt on students struggling to repay their federal college loans.

….Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., lauded Mr. Obama for his plan and said the president was “right to give these students a way to pay these loans off quicker”. “These loans can be phenomenally expensive,” he said, and argued that borrowers who get buried in debt “never get their foot out of the bucket. That’s not a fair way to get started”.

Robert Shireman, former Deputy Undersecretary at the Department of Education and a chief consultant at the education-oriented California Competes program, said the administration’s plan would increase confidence among students about their post-graduate prospects.

“It means people can go to college and use federal loans and have confidence that it’s not going to drive them to bad personal situations,” he said.

The Obama administration has said that 1.6 million Americans will benefit from the lower monthly payments, and upwards of 6 million can take advantage of the loan consolidations, which will lower interest rates by up to 0.5 percent. Most of those affected will be current students or recent borrowers whose income is sufficiently low upon entering the workforce that monthly payments are a significant financial burden.

Full article here

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Happy Diwali:

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See you tomorrow ;-)

24
Oct
11

rise and shine

President Obama walks toward Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Oct. 24. The President is heading on a three-day trip to the West Coast

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Reuters: President Barack Obama this week will announce a series of actions to help the economy that will not require congressional approval, including an initiative to make it easier for homeowners to refinance their mortgages, according to a White House official.

…. The first of the initiatives will be unveiled during Obama’s three-day trip to western states beginning Monday. He will discuss the changes in mortgage rules at a stop in Nevada, which has one of the hardest-hit housing markets in the country.

The Obama administration has been working with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to find ways to make it easier for borrowers to switch to cheaper loans even if they have little to no equity in their homes.

…. In Denver Wednesday, Obama will announce a student loan initiative.

“The only way we can truly attack our economic challenges is with bold, bipartisan action in Congress,” White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer told The New York Times. “The president will continue to pressure Congressional Republicans to put country before party and pass the American Jobs Act, but he believes we cannot wait, so he will act where they won’t.”

Full article here

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Steve Benen: It’s been about five months since the White House took the extraordinary step of unveiling President Obama’s long-form birth certificate, ending the “Birther” conspiracy theory once and for all. With the questions answered, unhinged conservatives were forced to move on to other areas of nonsense.

Well, most of them, anyway:

New comments by Rick Perry in Parade magazine have revived the issue of whether the Texas governor believes that President Obama was born in the United States.

…..I suspect all of this should, in fact, be taken at face value – he had dinner with a nutty conspiracy theorist; they chatted about Trump’s silly ideas; Perry found the nonsense persuasive; and when asked about it, the governor said what he was thinking.

There’s no 11-dimensional chess here; Perry just isn’t terribly bright.

Full post here

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GOPolitico: President Barack Obama has a few very funny people on his side. Will Ferrell was honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center on Sunday night, and many of the comedians on the red carpet had nothing but good things to say about the president.

Ferrell said that he “most definitely” wants Obama to win another term …. he told POLITICO that Obama has faced some unprecedented challenges. “Every president has a hard job but I think his is times ten,” Ferrell said, adding that he likes that Obama “thinks before he speaks.”

…. Obama is doing a “great job,” said Tim Meadows, another former “SNL” cast member. “It’s easy for white liberals to turn their backs on Obama,” he said, complaining that many people who used to support the president have jumped ship. “I don’t like how people are so wishy-washy,” he said.

Not in the wishy-washy category: Comedian Jack Black.  “There’s a lot of haters out there, but I’m not one of them,” he said, declaring: “Obama all the way.”

Thanks Tulips & Donna Dem

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Irish Central: I think now would be an appropriate time to say thank you to President Barack Obama.

In comparison to his immediate predecessor his success in bringing the world’s most wanted terrorists and dictators to justice has been nothing short of remarkable.

….. Obama has rid the world of the scourge of Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and Moammar Qaddafi. And all of this was accomplished within six months: if Obama were a Republican, they’d be commissioning bronze statues by now.

You know they won’t say it now or ever, so let’s say it for them: thank you President Obama for making the world and the United States safer.

Full post here

Thank you globalcitizenlinda

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Dallas News: As Mitt Romney campaigns for the White House, his Mexican cousins and supporters in this Mormon community would like to weigh in on some of the most contentious issues of the campaign: immigration, border security and religion.

Romney has more than 20 distant relatives going back three generations and a legion of supporters living in this region where his father, George, was born – a sanctuary colony in the northern state of Chihuahua originally established by polygamists from Utah led by Mitt Romney’s great-grandfather Miles Park Romney. Mitt Romney has never set foot in the region, his relatives say, but they are closely following the campaign for the Republican nomination, sometimes a bit uncomfortably.

For one thing, Romney has said that, if elected, he’d deport illegal immigrants within 90 days, build a border fence and have enough guards to secure it … These are positions with which the Romneys south of the border don’t entirely agree.

“Let’s get real. Sealing the border is a joke, it’s senseless,” said Brandon Romney, 33, a chili farmer and the local football coach….

…. Cousin Michael Romney … is “pretty sure” he will support Mitt Romney but wants to first understand his economic plan and vision for Mexico. “I don’t really understand what his policy is,” he said. “Addressing illegal immigration and Mexico have to be top priorities.”

….Mitt Romney, as the son of an American born in Mexico, is entitled to dual citizenship under Mexican law.

…. “I certainly hope his father’s Mexican background would be a positive sign for better relations and a deeper understanding of issues between the United States and Mexico,” said Jeffrey Jones, a Mormon and former Mexican senator. “I’m disappointed that we haven’t seen that side of Mitt Romney. We need solutions by working together because the United States needs Mexico very seriously and Mexico needs the United States badly.”

Full article here

Thank you proudmemberofglobalzero

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Just found a YouTube video of Patrick Murphy’s appearance on Hardball last week (my video wasn’t great) – worth listening to him again:

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iVillage

Thanks Meta

23
Oct
11

rise and (sunday) shine

This cover is five years old today :shock:

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TampaBay.com: President Barack Obama’s campaign last week announced that more than 1 million people had contributed to his re-election effort, a milestone that it said was well ahead of four years ago.

All told, the campaign has raised more than $90 million (not including what he has raised for the Democratic Party) and officials stress the number of grass roots, low-dollar donors, noting that the average donation is less than $60.

…. Florida bundlers have raised at least $4.5 million for the Obama campaign directly and for the Democratic National Committee….

“Basically since we announced the re-election campaign in April, we’ve gotten the old band back together, along with some new players who helped out a little four years ago and want to do more, or new people who want to get involved,” said Florida finance chairman Kirk Wagar, a lawyer in Coconut Grove.

…. “They’re saying, ‘I’m getting sick and tired of listening to the tea party when this president has done what he said he was going to do, and he’s done a lot,’ ” Wagar said.

Unlike the Republican presidential contenders, who have raised more than $80 million, Obama’s campaign releases the names of its top bundlers and ranges of what each brought in.

Full article here

Thanks Jovie

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Before:

After:

Rubio’s website

Alan Colmes: After the Washington Post story that Florida Senator Marco Rubio had some facts wrong in his retelling of his family’s history, he has updated his Senate web page biography.

“Rubio frequently repeated a compelling version of his family’s history that had special resonance in South Florida. He was the “son of exiles,” he told audiences, Cuban Americans forced off their beloved island after “a thug,” Fidel Castro, took power.

But a review of documents reveals that the Florida Republican’s account embellishes the facts. The documents show that Rubio’s parents came to the United States and were admitted for permanent residence more than two-and-a-half years before Castro’s forces overthrew the Cuban government and took power on New Year’s Day 1959.”

Rubio aggressively challenged the Post story, but changed his bio, nevertheless.

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Link

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You people are beyond great – thank you so much for helping reach the target (link), appreciate it endlessly.

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on ‘Meet the Press':

“Let me begin by saying that President Obama has passed with flying colors every leadership challenge. I mean, look at what he has done. I mean, just to name a few things …. we were looking for bin Laden for 10 years. It was under President Obama’s leadership that he was finally eliminated.

“Libya … with the kind of smart leadership that the president showed, demonstrating that American leadership was essential, but it was important to try to bring others into a coalition of efforts. And the objective was achieved keeping the promise to withdraw from Iraq, but not leave Iraq – by having a robust security and training mission accompanied by a very large diplomatic presence. I could go on and on. I think this president has demonstrated that …. it’s important to have someone at the helm of our country who understands how to manage what is an incredibly complex world now.”

“Yes, we have a lot of threats, but we also have opportunities. And I think President Obama has grasped that and has performed extraordinarily well. I think Americans are going to want to know that they have a steady, experienced, smart hand on the tiller of the ship of state, and there’s no doubt that that’s Barack Obama.”

Link

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For old time’s sake ;-)

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The President’s statement in response to the latest developments in Libya:

“On behalf of the American people, I congratulate the people of Libya on today’s historic declaration of liberation. After four decades of brutal dictatorship and eight months of deadly conflict, the Libyan people can now celebrate their freedom and the beginning of a new era of promise.

Now that the fighting in Libya has reached an end, the Transitional National Council (TNC) must turn its attention to the political transition ahead. We look forward to working with the TNC and an empowered transitional government as they prepare for the country’s first free and fair elections.

The Libyan authorities should also continue living up to their commitments to respect human rights, begin a national reconciliation process, secure weapons and dangerous materials, and bring together armed groups under a unified civilian leadership. As they take these steps, the United States will continue our close cooperation with our international partners and the UN Support Mission in Libya to help advance a stable, democratic transition.”

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People wait in line outside a polling station in Tunis. President Barack Obama congratulated Tunisians Sunday on casting ballots in their country’s first election since the revolt that started the Arab Spring, calling it “an important step forward.”

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Thanks Kasai :lol:




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