Posts Tagged ‘santorum

12
Apr
12

rise and shine

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President Obama will speak about the Buffett rule in four TV interviews today – with:

WCMH in Columbus, OH

KCRG in Cedar Rapids, IA

KMOV in St. Louis, MO

KOLO in Reno, NV

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You can see Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign speech in New Hampshire today – 12:15 PM ET – at barackobama.com/live (CNN live streaming also have it in their schedule)

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Washington Post: Whitney Tilson is a hedge fund manager and a member of Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength.

I am part of the 1 percent of the 1 percent. By that I mean that I am fortunate to be a wealthy American and I say, “It’s okay to raise my taxes.”

This morning I was at the White House supporting President Obama in his call for Congress to pass the “Buffett rule.” …. It would hit me hard….. Why am I okay with this? The answer has to do with simple math and basic fairness.

…. It’s not class warfare to say that people like me – who aren’t suffering at all in these tough economic times, who are in many cases doing the best we’ve ever done and who can easily afford to pay more in taxes with no impact on our lifestyle – should be the first to step up and make a small sacrifice.

…. I am grateful for the effective government we have in this country, which is the absolutely necessary foundation for our wonderful capitalistic economic system that has benefited me so greatly. And I’m willing to do my fair share – in fact, more than my fair share – to help rein in our deficits and put this country on a more sustainable path.

More here

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Mother Jones

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Paul Krugman: Here’s the bad news: Mitt Romney’s campaign is setting new standards in serial dishonesty. Really. He makes Bush look like a font of truth and accuracy.

Here’s the good news: reporters seem to have noticed, and – be still my beating heart – we’re starting to see reports that actually point out the distortions, rather than saying that “some Democrats” say that he isn’t being honest.

It was particularly gratifying to see the response to Romney’s ludicrous claim that Obama is anti-woman because women have lost more jobs than men since he took office. This was cherry-picking raised to the level of an Olympic sport….

….The core of Romney’s campaign strategy seems to be contempt for the news media (and the voters), the belief that he can say anything and pay no price – which was the way things worked for Bush. But maybe, just maybe, his calculation was wrong, and serial dishonesty will become, justifiably, part of the narrative.

More here

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TPM: It took tens of millions of dollars, years of preparation and three months of primary contests, but Mitt Romney is finally the GOP’s presumptive nominee. Now comes the hard part.

Romney’s first day of the general election turned into a stark reminder that Obama will be a far tougher opponent than the poorly funded, disorganized candidates he battled in the primary. Romney was outmaneuvered and forced off message throughout the day – beginning with a morning press call in which the campaign was caught flat-footed over a simple question about Romney’s position on the Lilly Ledbetter Act – overshadowing the economic message he was trying to push, with the gleeful help of an armada of professional Democratic operatives.

More here

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The Week

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See the full show here

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The Atlantic: So here is the president of the United States, enjoying canapés and small talk at Daniel, chef Daniel Boulud’s gourmet restaurant just off Park Avenue ….. “I have a question I want to ask you, Mr. President,” I venture, once I catch his attention.

“Sure,” the president says.

“Kanye or Jay-Z?”

The president smiles. “Jay-Z,” he says, as if the answer should be obvious….

“Although I like Kanye,” Obama continues, with an easy smile. “He’s a Chicago guy. Smart. He’s very talented.” He is displaying his larger awareness of the question, looking relaxed, cerebral but friendly, alive to the moment, waiting for me to get to the heart of the matter.

“Even though you called him a jackass?,” I ask.

“He is a jackass,” Obama says, in his likable and perfectly balanced modern-professorial voice. “But he’s talented.” The president gives a wink, poses for a few more pictures, and then glides away…..

More here

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A baby donkey named Demo by its owner, Silvio Carrasquilla, stands dressed as the mascot of the U.S. Democratic Party behind a poster of U.S. President Barack Obama, outside Carrasquilla’s home in Turbaco, near Cartagena, April 11. Carrasquilla, Turbaco’s former mayor who considers himself Colombia’s number one Obama fan, is sprucing up his house by painting it the red, white and blue of the U.S. flag to celebrate Obama’s arrival in Cartagena for the VI Summit of the Americas on Friday.

A Colombian Obot! :cool:

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Morning everyone ;-)

04
Apr
12

afternoon all

First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a pre-Easter celebration with military families and children at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, April 4

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President Obama signs the STOCK Act into law at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, April 4. The STOCK Act is a bipartisan bill that prevents members of Congress from trading stocks based on nonpublic information they gleaned on Capitol Hill

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The Week

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Liberal Librarian: Can we call it “fascism” now?

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The First Lady and Dr. Biden’s Joining Forces tour schedule:

Wednesday, April 11:

White House, 11:00 AM ET – Anniversary Celebration

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will honor the 20 finalists of the Joining Forces Community Challenge at the White House. The finalists will be joined by the Challenge’s notable judges, Tom Brokaw, who will deliver opening remarks, J.R. Martinez, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, USO President Sloan Gibson and Deanie Dempsey, wife of General Martin Dempsey.

University of Pennsylvania, 2:15 PM ET – Nurses Nationwide Join Forces to Support Veterans and Military Families

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will announce a major initiative by more than 150 of America’s leading nursing organizations and more than 450 nursing schools in 50 states and territories to ensure our nation’s nurses are prepared to help meet the unique health needs of service members, veterans, and their families.

New York City – The Colbert Report

First Lady Michelle Obama will appear on The Colbert Report to discuss her Joining Forces initiative.

Thursday, April 12:

Shreveport, Louisiana, 1:15 PM CT / 2:15 PM ET – Announcing Joining Forces’ 50,000th Hire

Last August, President Obama announced a series of policies to increase veterans’ employment and asked the First Lady and Dr. Biden to lead an effort through Joining Forces to challenge the private sector to hire or train 100,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013. Well on track to exceed this goal, First Lady Michelle Obama will travel to Shreveport, Louisiana, to announce the 50,000th veteran or military spouse to have been hired by a company through the Joining Forces initiative. Mrs. Obama will visit the Kansas City Southern Railway Company, which has aggressively hired veterans in the last year because of the unique skill set that they bring to the job

Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, 6:00 PM ET – Honoring Young Women from Military Families

First Lady Michelle Obama will invite young women from military families to a celebration honoring their service to our nation as members of a military family. Mrs. Obama will deliver remarks to the high school junior and senior girls and their parents and reveal surprise guests who she invited for this special occasion.

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More here

28
Mar
12

‘sworn american enemy’?

19
Mar
12

afternoon all

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USA Today: Almost 4 million seniors saved about $2.16 billion through discounts for their prescription medications in 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services plans to announce today. This, administrators say, should help keep costs to the government down in the future.

“Before, many beneficiaries were forced to stop taking the drugs,” said Jonathan Blum, director of the Center for Medicare. “This reduces costs through better management.”

…. The 2010 health care law required a 50% discount on prescription drugs in the so-called doughnut hole, or the gap between traditional and catastrophic coverage in the Medicare drug benefit, also known as Part D. In 2012, the coverage gap is $2,930. The Affordable Care Act eliminates the doughnut hole by 2020.

The previous report, with numbers through the end of October, had shown 2.65 million Medicare recipients saved $1.5 billion on prescriptions. That rose to 3.76 million recipients by the end of December.

More here

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NYT

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Bob Cesca: The President is Crushing the Budget Deficit

See here

Thanks Desertflower

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Has Gallup taken happy pills today?

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The Hill: Senate Democrats raised more than $5.3 million in February, marking the third straight month in which they raised more than the month before.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) ended February with almost $19 million in the bank. That’s about $3.5 million more than it had one month ago, meaning the committee saved most of what it raised.

Democrats have cleared their debt and raised more than $52 million during the cycle. DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil said it was the most successful February the committee has ever had.

More here

Thanks Jovie

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Cagle

Cagle

13
Mar
12

visibly stressed president reacts to alabama and mississippi results

07
Mar
12

evening all

President Barack Obama walks across the tarmac to greet people after arriving at North Carolina Air National Guard Base in Charlotte, N.C., March 7, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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Thursday

11:00: Michelle Obama attends the 2012 International Women of Courage Awards ceremony hosted by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

3:30: PBO hosts President John Evans Atta Mills of Ghana for a meeting.

5:35: PBO and Michelle Obama have dinner with winners of a campaign contest.

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PBS: The web is abuzz today about video of a speech Barack Obama gave in 1990 at Harvard Law School defending the actions of Professor Derrick Bell ….

….. the website BuzzFeed published a clip of the speech …. it claimed the clip was “not previously available online” ….. But there’s nothing new about the clip or Obama’s role in the controversy at Harvard Law School …. it’s been online at our site and on YouTube since 2008…..

In light of today’s controversy, and Breitbart.com editors’ claims that the footage had been edited, we pulled the full archived tape. In includes not just Obama’s speech, but other footage from the rally and portions of Derrick Bell’s speech….

While BuzzFeed did not publish all of the available footage of the event they did post the entirety of what was available of Obama’s speech….. (See the link to watch the video)

More here

A clip from the original PBS documentary:

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Don’t miss Liberal Librarian’s latest post at The People’s View:

‘We are at war with Eastasia. We have always been at war with Eastasia.’

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Greg Sargent: A new national poll of Latino registered voters by Univision News/ABC/Latino Decisions has some very interesting findings that cast doubt on GOP chances of making inroads among them:

* 61% of Latinos trust Obama and Dems to make the right decisions to improve the economy, versus only 24% who pick Republicans.

* 57% of Latinos say Obama’s health reform law should be left to stand, versus 28% who support repeal.

* Romney’s favorable ratings among Latinos are upside down, at 28-41, though many are undecided.

* 72% of Latinos say that the GOP either doesn’t care about reaching out to them (45%) or is outright hostile to them (27%)…..

….. the fact that nearly three-fourths of Latinos think the GOP either doesn’t care about or is outright hostile towards them is another sign that the primary may have badly damaged any GOP hopes of making real inroads with them.

More here

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WCNC: North Carolina’s favorite son is hoping his voice will help keep President Barack Obama in the White House for another four years.

On Friday in Ballantyne, musician James Taylor appeared at a fundraiser for the Democratic National Convention with First Lady Michelle Obama…..

…. For the next few months he is on tour and on a mission to keep Barack Obama in the White House.

On Taylor’s hat, you’ll find a small pin reading “Obama 2012.” “It’s a 2012, pump up the spirit pin,” Taylor said. “I do wear it with pride. I am so, I really love this President. I love what it says about America that we were able to elect this man… and I think of him as almost uniquely honest in this political world.”

More here

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President Obama greets Davis Marsico, 6, and other supporters upon his arrival at Charlotte Douglas International airport, March 7

WBTV

Thanks LOL

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Political Cartoons

Editorialcartoonists

The Week

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07
Mar
12

rise and shine

President Barack Obama signs the prosthetic arm of Sgt. Carlos Evans, USMC, after greeting wounded warriors in the East Room during their tour of the White House, March 6, 2012. First Lady Michelle Obama first met Evans, who was injured in Afghanistan while on his fourth combat deployment, during a visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Supporters of Mitt Romney wait for his “Super Tuesday” primary election night rally to begin in Boston, Massachusetts, March 6

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Washington Post

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Washington Post: Super Tuesday confirmed anew that Mitt Romney remains the favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination, but his slow, unsteady march is coming at a steep price. As he advances toward victory in the primaries, he is losing ground in the general election.

…. Romney is in worse shape at this point in the campaign than virtually all recent previous nominees …. Demographically, his image among independent voters, the most critical swing group, is more negative now than it was when the primary battle began. He could be hurt among women. He is in trouble with Latinos, a growing part of the electorate that is tilting even more Democratic than it was four years ago….

Geographically, the numbers from several key states have been discouraging for the former Massachusetts governor. Pre-primary polls in Ohio, Virginia and Michigan showed him running behind Obama by low double digits. Ohio is a must-win for the Republican nominee in the fall, and Virginia is a state the GOP is determined to take back from the president. Republicans once thought Michigan would be a possible battleground, but at this point it isn’t.

More here

The Week

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NYT Editorial: Long before Super Tuesday, the Republican Party had cemented itself on the distant right of American politics, with a primary campaign that has been relentlessly nasty, divisive and vapid. Barbara Bush, the former first lady, was so repelled that on Tuesday she called it the worst she’d ever seen. We feel the same way ….. the Republican candidates are so deep in the trenches of cultural and religious warfare that they aren’t offering any solutions.

The results Tuesday night did not settle the race. Republican voters will have to go on for some time choosing between a candidate, Mitt Romney, who stands for nothing except country-club capitalism, and a candidate, Rick Santorum, so blinkered by his ideology that it’s hard to imagine him considering any alternative ideas or listening to any dissenting voice.

….. There is also no space between Mr. Romney and Mr. Santorum in the way they distort reality to attack Mr. Obama for everything he says, no matter how sensible, and oppose everything he wants, no matter how necessary…..

More here

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Cagle

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Washington Post: Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), the two-time presidential candidate and icon of the antiwar left, suffered a bruising primary defeat Tuesday as a new Republican-drawn congressional map threatened to end the career of one of the most colorful figures in Congress.

With most attention focused on the state’s GOP presidential primary battle, and no Democratic primary for president, Kucinich was left in a low-turnout race in a newly drawn district against his once-close ally, Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio). With about 90 percent of the vote in, Kaptur led 60 to 36 percent….

More here

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Charles Pierce: ….. there remains a substantial amount of Republican voters who would rather remove their spleens with a melon baller than vote for Willard Romney for anything.

…. Is there anything else he can do to pander sufficiently to the crazoid elements in his party’s base short of immolating himself on Sarah Palin’s lawn? ….. And when, oh, when will they finally see that, even though Willard is struggling to beat the colossal dick Rick Santorum, he is still The Only Man Who Can Beat Obama? ‘Ees a puzzlement, no question.

…. As he spoke, you could see the people stealing away, huddling around the TV sets. It will go on. This time next week, Romney will be telling voters in Alabama and Mississippi what a hellhole that state was where he used to be the governor. The rubes will find this very funny. And he will know in the unsold part of his soul that he’s going to be running for president for a very long time.

Full post here

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TPM: Rush Limbaugh may be steering the GOP into another Democratic-friendly trap with his consistent bashing of the Chevy Volt.

America’s attempt to to one-up the Prius …became an important symbol for the administration, and thus an immediate whipping boy for Limbaugh. Right-wing pundits and Republicans have followed suit, putting them in the bewildering position of rooting against a product of American engineering and manufacturing.

….. “As for the Volt, it is emblematic of a larger problem the GOP has: the sense that they are rooting for America to fail,” Paul Begala, Democratic strategist and adviser to President Obama’s super PAC told TPM. “When a good jobs report comes out, Mitt Romney looks sad. When Clint Eastwood makes an unapologetic, patriotic Super Bowl ad for Chrysler, Karl Rove says it makes him sick. They booed a gay soldier at a GOP debate, and didn’t even want to give the President his due for ordering the mission that killed bin Laden. One wonders if they will be rooting for communist China during the summer Olympics.”

More here

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Boston.com: First Lady Michelle Obama will headline two Democratic National Committee events in Boston on Friday evening, the White House has announced …. Earlier Friday she will be in Concord, N.H., as part of her “Let’s Move!” initiative to foster healthy eating and active living. She will visit the Penacook Community Center to highlight an example of a collaborative community effort to promote health and wellness, good nutrition, and physical activity.

More here

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Morning everyone ;-)

06
Mar
12

evening all

C-Span

CNN

White House live (audio only)

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Steve Benen: At the most recent debate for the Republican presidential candidates, Mitt Romney wanted to show off his understanding of international affairs, and told the audience that Syria is Iran’s “key ally” and Iranians’ “route to the sea.”

Iran, of course, has 1,520 miles of its own coastline – and doesn’t share a border with Syria….

Today he has an op-ed in the Washington Post, calling for …. shaping a U.S. policy towards Iran that’s “the same as Ronald Reagan’s.”

Um, Mitt? The Reagan administration sold Iran weapons, in violation of an arms embargo, in order to help illegally finance the Contras in Nicaragua…..

More here

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Members of the American Israel Policy Affairs Committee listen to Mitt Romney address the annual policy conference via satellite link at the Washington Convention Center March 6

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Newt Gingrich Falls Asleep on Screen, Asks for Panel’s Questions, But No Panel Exists:

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Editorial Cartoonists

The Week

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05
Mar
12

afternoon all

Supporters of President Obama stand outside a campaign stop by Mitt Romney in Youngstown, Ohio, March 5

“Autoworkers can’t trust Romney”, Youngstown, Ohio

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Text of remarks

President Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, March, 5, in the Oval Office

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David Firestone (NYT): Iran represents one of the world’s most grave foreign policy challenges, but don’t look for much gravity in the speeches to American Israel Public Affairs Committee this week by the top three Republican presidential candidates. There will be plenty of empty fist-shaking and ridicule of President Obama at the pro-Israel lobbying group, but not a single new thought for preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

…. Romney, Santorum and Gingrich have consistently been at their most dangerous when discussing the Middle East, combining a simplistic bellicosity toward the Islamic world with a reflexive agreement with the Israeli right….

….. On Sunday, in his speech to Aipac, Mr. Obama made clear that he will not accept a nuclear-armed Iran, and is prepared to use military force to prevent it if necessary. But he said he prefers the route of diplomacy, and regrets the “loose talk of war”…

….Mr. Santorum bizarrely suggested recently that the Obama administration is helping Iran develop a weapon by leaking Israel’s plans for an attack … The administration would rather let Iran go nuclear than give up its oil, he charged.

That’s too ridiculous to even bother refuting, but it’s hardly out of line with a Republican field that has responded to the globe’s most serious issues with precarious posturing.

Full post here

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Don’t miss:

SmartyPants

Thanks VC

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Well…. the camera never lies:

Miamisburg, Ohio, March 5

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02
Mar
12

evening all

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk following a meeting in the Oval Office, March 2 (Pete Souza)

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A gazillion thank yous to HZ for her wonderful comment (turned-in-to-a-post today at Tien Le’s excellent suggestion) – it was a joyful, constructive, positive breath of fresh air in the middle of all today’s madness. You’re a gem, HZ.

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ThinkProgress

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Don’t miss:

The Atlantic

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Robert Shrum: After Mini-Mitt’s diminutive three-point Michigan “triumph,” which was a little like a Roman general being hailed for a near defeat, how important is Ohio? To put it in Santorian terms, it could be apocalypse two; once more, as in Michigan, Mitt will have to avert the sun darkening and the sky falling on his presidential campaign.

Full article here

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OFA

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Thank you Jenny

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The Week

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President Barack Obama is introduced by Sec. of Interior Ken Salazar before delivering remarks at a conservation event at the U.S. Dept. of Interior in Washington, March, 2

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President Barack Obama walks across the South Lawn upon his return to the White House after visiting wounded service members at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland

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Mitt Romney holds up a baby from the audience at a campaign rally at Cleveland State University, March 2

Just sayin’

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Rick Mania:

Rick Santorum speaks during a campaign stop at Chillicothe High School on March 2, 2012 in Chillicothe, Ohio

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First Lady Michelle Obama embraces members of the Johnson C. Smith ladies’ basketball team during a “Let’s Move!” physical fitness promotion between games at the CIAA basketball tournament in Charlotte, N.C.

Thanks CTGirl

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TOD is up and running on YouTube again after today’s little, eh, setback. Just click the YouTube logo third from the top in the right sidebar and it’ll take you to the channel. I’ll add more of the old videos over the next few days. Hey, this YouTube channel might disappear too …. if it does, well, we’ll just start up another one ;-)

01
Mar
12

afternoon all

President Obama shakes hands with a supporter after speaking about energy and energy independence at Nashua Community College in New Hampshire

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Charles Pierce: NASHUA, N.H. …. After several months of watching the Republican primary process, I can’t tell you what a cool breeze it was to watch a politician who looks at a crowd and doesn’t see a group of potential marks (Romney), a collection of your fellow Elect marching with you through the dystopic Sinai that is America (Santorum), a gaggle of goldbugs (Paul), or the class of half-bright sophomores that N. Leroy Gingrich sees every time he looks anywhere but into the mirror.

Barack Obama is not stiff. He is not bristling with unbridled id. He grins. He kids people, even the people who faint at the beginning of his speeches …. He is relaxed about the job of politics. He is the only president of the United States – real or prospective – that I’ve seen in months.

…. He talks about the challenges Americans face, but he doesn’t do it in the gloom-ridden, stalactite-festooned, minor-key funeral mass context that the Republicans talk about them. He talks in terms of “boundless ingenuity” and “unbridled optimism.”….

More here

Woot, even the ever-grumpy and ever-brilliant Charles Pierce sounds happy today!

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More here

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Bloomberg: The number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits fell to a level matching a four-year low, more evidence the labor market is healing.

Applications for unemployment insurance decreased 2,000 in the week ended Feb. 25 to 351,000, Labor Department figures showed today…..

Firing is on a downward trend as employers gain confidence in the outlook for economic growth. A smaller number of job reductions also puts those companies in place to hire additional employees as demand picks up.

More here

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Steve Benen: …. here’s the chart, showing weekly, initial unemployment claims going back to the beginning of 2007:

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PPP: There might not be any state that better represents Barack Obama’s improved fortunes in the opening months of 2012 than Wisconsin. When we polled there in late October Obama’s approval was a 44/51 spread and he led Mitt Romney by only 3 points at 46-43, representing a much closer race than the state had in 2008. Now those numbers have shifted significantly, with Obama’s approval basically flipping to 52/44. And he now leads Romney 53-39, a 14 point margin that matches what he won against John McCain there.

Obama’s 14 point lead in Wisconsin matches a trend we’re seeing in both our national and state polling across the country right now: Obama/Romney is starting to look more and more like Obama/McCain, or even something more friendly to the President.

More here

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The Atlantic

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Jerusalem Post: Poll finds vast majority of Israelis against unilateral military strike on Iran, Israeli Jews prefer Obama over all republican rivals …. The survey also polled Jewish Israelis’ feelings on the US presidential race, with respondents preferring President Barack Obama to all his Republican rivals.

More here

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Buy a mug today in honor of the Sheriff ;-)

OFA

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Our Founding Elitists:

ET’s Right Turn:

The Week

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Ruy Teixeira (TNR): Judging from recent headlines, things are looking up for President Obama. The Republican presidential nominees have been serially embarrassing themselves; the White House communications department has successfully focused its messaging on jobs and economic fairness; and consumers are feeling ever more confident about the economy.

But it’s not just anecdotal evidence that suggests Obama’s re-election chances have improved – most of the polling data suggests the same. Obama has been running consistently ahead of his most likely challenger, Mitt Romney, in national polls – by an average of 4 points according to the Pollster.com website. Indeed, the closer you look at the numbers, the more reassuring the news: Obama, it seems, is well on his way to reconstructing the very coalition that elected him in 2008.

More here

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National Memo: In this Citizens United era of unregulated campaign cash, gay activists and donors are finding innovative ways to reward Barack Obama, who despite his equivocation on marriage equality is often lauded as the greatest friend to the LGBT community of any president in American history.

The reemergence of social issues on the presidential campaign trail, coupled with the reversal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that prevented gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, has helped Obama improve his standing with this key segment of the liberal base, a vital source of campaign funds for any Democrat running a presidential campaign.

“This kind of Republican campaign has mobilized the community like I haven’t seen since 1992,” said David Mixner, a veteran progressive strategist Newsweek once called the most powerful gay man in America. “There’s a lot at stake. I have no doubt people will be involved in some way in Super PACs. You can count on the major donors of this community doing whatever they have to do to assist in the re-election of this president.”

More here

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01
Mar
12

rise and shine

First Lady Michelle Obama is photographed with a guest during the Department of Defense dinner in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 29, 2012. The President and First Lady hosted the dinner to honor members of the Armed Forces who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn, and members of their families. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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BusinessInsider

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Foreign Policy: Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie’s recent article in Foreign Policy urges the Republican presidential aspirants to attack President Barack Obama more vigorously on his national security record. It’s a debate that the president and Democrats should welcome.

At the outset, leave aside the source of the counsel — listening to top aides to President George W. Bush proffer advice on foreign policy is a bit like hearing Mrs. O’Leary and her cow lecture about urban planning, after they’ve burned down Chicago.

The real problem with their advice is that it badly misreads both the president’s record and how the public assesses it. Americans may be sharply polarized on many issues, but they are relatively aligned on their confidence in Obama as commander in chief.

More here

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Bill Simmons: Welcome to the White House. Very proud to have the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, on the B.S. Report. This is your first podcast?

President Barack Obama: This is — well, I used to have my own podcast.

BS: What?

Obama: When I was U.S. Senator I was way ahead of the curve on the podcast thing.

BS: Really?

Obama: So, yes. I mean, I don’t think it had as many listeners as you.

BS: What was this podcast called?

Obama: I really don’t remember. [Laughter.] “A Podcast with Barack Obama.” Something like that. It was a catchy name.

More here

Thanks BWD

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The Week

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NYT Editorial: Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum fought each other to nearly a draw in the Michigan primary and may actually have to split its delegates, but together they may have lost Michigan for their party by running campaigns that were completely disconnected from the lives of middle-class voters and pushed ever farther to the right margins of American politics.

…. If they listened to Mr. Obama’s fiery speech to the United Auto Workers on Tuesday, however, they heard a very different set of priorities: using government action to bring an entire industry back to life, raising taxes on the rich to avoid cutting programs for the poor, keeping insurance companies from cutting off the sick.

“Since when are hard-working men and women who are putting in a hard day’s work every day – since when are they special interests?” the president asked, addressing the contempt for labor demonstrated by the candidates and several Republican governors in the Midwest. The answer explains why Mr. Obama was up by 18 points over Mr. Romney in a recent Michigan poll, and why Republican leaders are worried about their presidential field.

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USA Today: President Obama has a big advantage over any of his potential Republican rivals when it comes to issues involving health care and Medicare, a new poll shows.

The survey, taken by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, shows that 58% of Americans trust Obama to make the right decisions on the 2010 health care law and on Medicare. By contrast, only 43% trust his closest Republican rivals on those issues.

More here

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Dana Milbank: TAMPA, Aug. 30, 2012. Fellow Republicans, as I stand here tonight to accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States, I feel like a million bucks. Actually, I feel as if I am worth between 150 and about 200 some-odd million dollars. It is difficult to say with certainty because some of it is in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Luxembourg and a Swiss bank account.

It is particularly meaningful to accept your nomination in Florida, a state where so many of my friends own so many things. The Miami Dolphins. The Orlando Magic. The Jacksonville Jaguars. The Doral country club. In fact, I have great friends who own some of Florida’s finest hotels, resorts, yachts and most valuable tracts of real estate, from Palm Beach to Naples.

To reach this day, I feel as if I have lived the American Dream. I grew up on the real streets of America, in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. My father, a public servant, scrimped and saved enough of his earnings as CEO of American Motors to send me to the Cranbrook prep school, France and Harvard Business School…..

More here

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

12:05 PM: Arrives Nashua, New Hampshire

12:45 PM: Tours Nashua Community College

1:30 PM: Delivers remarks

3:00 PM: Departs Nashua, New Hampshire en route New York City

4:00 PM: Arrives New York City

4:55 PM: Delivers remarks at a campaign event

6:05 PM: Delivers remarks at a campaign event

8:20 PM: Delivers remarks at a campaign event

9:25 PM: Delivers remarks at a campaign event

11:10 PM: Departs New York City

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The Week

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Thanks Meta!

Morning everyone ;-)

29
Feb
12

toon time

politicalcartoons

The Week

Cagle

Cartoon Politics

29
Feb
12

rise and shine

Bloomberg: The U.S. economy expanded more than forecast in the fourth quarter as companies rebuilt inventories in anticipation of growing demand. Gross domestic product climbed at a revised 3 percent annual rate, the most since the second quarter of 2010 …

Income gains in the second half of 2011 were stronger than previously reported as employment growth accelerated, which may set the stage for a pickup in consumer spending that accounts for about 70 percent of the economy…..

“The U.S. economy looks decent,” Drew Matus, senior U.S. economist at UBS Securities LLC, said before the report. “There are certainly risks out there, but it looks better than what people are giving it credit for. The combination of job growth and credit creation and better spending numbers all seem to be feeding off themselves.”

More here

Business Insider: New data out of the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows the U.S. economy expanded at a much faster pace than originally reported, jumping 20 basis points to 3.0 percent.

Economists polled by Bloomberg forecast no change from the first reading of 2.8 percent, and more than 35 percent predicted a further revision lower.

More here

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Reuters: The United States said on Wednesday that North Korea had agreed to implement a moratorium on nuclear tests, long-range missile launches and nuclear activities including enrichment at its Yongbyon nuclear complex and to allow U.N. nuclear watchdog inspectors in to ensure compliance.

The State Department said that the United States in return had agreed to finalize details of a proposed food aid package and to take other steps to improve bilateral ties.

“The United States still has profound concerns regarding North Korean behavior across a wide range of areas, but today’s announcement reflects important, if limited, progress in addressing some of these,” a State Department statement said.

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iVillage: …. First Lady Michelle Obama will announce today that the American Society of Travel Agents, the largest travel agency association in the world, is committed to hiring 3,000 veterans and military spouses by 2014, iVillage has learned exclusively.

“This commitment means that thousands of our heroes can build meaningful careers and provide for their families,” said Mrs. Obama. “And we’re especially excited that many of these jobs are tailor-made for our military spouses, who can keep their job as they move to new duty stations around the country and the world.”

The companies who have pledged to hire veterans and military spouses include Enterprise Holdings, Avis Budget, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Hertz Corporation, American Express Consumer Travel Network, and Orbitz Worldwide.

More here

Thanks Hopefruit

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Jonathan Cohn: Did Mitt Romney win the Michigan primary? Or did he merely survive it? That really depends on your perspective … Romney succeeded, but the exit polls suggested a familiar class divide. Romney won among voters who attended at least some college and those making more than $100,000 a year. But he lost among voters who attended no college and among those making less than $100,000 a year.

…. In a Republican primary, or at least this Republican primary, you can prevail by losing among all voters making less than $100,000. But it’s tougher in the general election … Romney has to win over at least some middle class votes to win in November. And he’s shown very little ability to do that.

More here

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Steve Benen: …. It’s easy to forget, but as recently as three months ago, Romney led Rick Santorum in Michigan by 32 points…. What’s more, Romney outspent Santorum in Michigan – a state where Romney was born and where his father was governor – by nearly a two-to-one margin.

And Romney still only beat Santorum by three points. The sports cliche “a win is a win” is being bandied about, but so is the phrase “winning ugly.” Only Mitt Romney can win two major contests and reclaim the momentum in the race, and somehow look worse anyway.

More here

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Ezra Klein: … after outspending his opponent by 2-1, Mitt Romney managed to win his home state by four points. That’s a win. But it’s a win that makes Romney look weak, not strong.

…. If Romney won in a way that made him look weak, Santorum lost in a way that made him look strong. It’s not the sort of a result that leads an overperforming longshot to drop out of the race.

…. independent voters will continue to see a side of Romney they don’t much like. You can argue that Michigan produced three kinds of winners last night. Romney, who didn’t lose. Santorum, who almost won. And the Obama campaign, which gets to sit back and watch this primary go on for that much longer.

More here

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Harold Meyerson: The longer the Republican presidential contest drags on, the more uncomfortable Mitt Romney seems around blue-collar Americans, and the more antagonistic Rick Santorum seems toward America’s professionals, current and aspiring, and their ideals. This does not portend Republican success in November. Romney’s victories in Arizona and Michigan on Tuesday do not alter this dynamic.

Romney’s stabs at seeming a regular guy have provided the most painful moments of his campaign. How to come off as a car buff in Michigan? Mention your wife’s Cadillacs. How to be a good ol’ boy at Daytona? Say you’re friends with some of the race car owners. Not since Richard Nixon has a national political leader appeared so excruciatingly ill at ease with the simplest public encounters.

More here

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JeffersonObama

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The Week

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12:00: PBO and VP Biden meet for lunch with Congressional Leadership.

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Morning everyone ;-)

28
Feb
12

afternoon all

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Greg Sargent: In a speech to the United Auto Workers just now, Obama defended his decision to bail out the auto industry, lacing into Mitt Romney with withering derision. But this speech was about more than the auto-bailout. It was Obama’s case for reelection.

This speech constituted Obama’s most ambitious effort yet to weave his defense of the auto rescue into the larger contrast he will try to draw between his vision and the “you’re on your own” ideology he will accuse Republicans of representing.

…. today’s speech was important: It revealed that the alternate reality Romney has been functioning in throughout the GOP primary is soon going to give way to another reality entirely, a general election reality — and Romney, presuming he will be the nominee, will soon collide with it.

More here

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TPM

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The American Prospect

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Michael Tomasky: Ideological rigidity and Obama hatred led Republicans to reject the auto bailout. Now they’re doubling down on their opposition – and surrendering Michigan in the general election.

Michiganders, take pride: your 2012 primary will go down in American political history as perhaps the single most eye-popping case ever of a party’s demands on its candidates during the primary fight reducing its chance of winning the state in November from something not far from half to near zero. This is especially true if Rick Santorum manages to pull the upset and go on to be the nominee; Barack Obama’s campaign wouldn’t have to spend one thin dime in Michigan and would still win by at least 15 points. But it’s true also if unfavorite son Mitt Romney manages to win. Horse-race polls that once showed a tough battle between the two now project an Obama blowout.

More here

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The People’s View

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Business Insider: U.S. consumer confidence in February surged to 70.8. Economists were expecting the measure to rise to just 63.0 from January’s reading of 61.1…..

More here

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Grist

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More here

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President Barack Obama signs an Executive Order entitled “Establishment of the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center,” in the Oval Office, Feb. 28, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

28
Feb
12

rise and shine

11:30 AM: PBO delivers remarks at the United Auto Workers conference at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park.

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AP: It’s looking like President Barack Obama may be back in the good graces of women. His support dropped among this critical constituency just before the new year began and the presidential campaign got under way in earnest. But his standing with female voters is strengthening, polls show, as the economy improves and social issues, including birth control, become a bigger part of the nation’s political discourse.

…. Among women, his approval ratings on handling the economy and unemployment have jumped by 10 percentage points since December…. An AP-GfK poll conducted Feb. 16-20 showed that on overall approval Obama has gained 10 percentage points among women since December, from 43 percent to 53 percent…

Women also are the reason behind Obama’s lead over Republican hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum: In one-on-one matchups, Obama beats Romney 54 percent to 41 percent and tops Santorum 56 percent to 40 percent among women, but virtually ties each Republican among men….

More here

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Richard Cohen (Washington Post): Mullah Rick has spoken.

He wants religion returned to “the public square,” is opposed to contraception, premarital sex and abortion under any circumstances, wants children educated in what amounts to little red schoolhouses and called President Obama a “snob” for extolling college or some other kind of post-high school education. This is not a political platform. It’s a fatwa.

More here

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Mediaite: Monday night, Stephen Colbert turned his gaze upon the impending Michigan primary, bringing up a some recent statements by Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum and digging a little deeper into their meanings.

Colbert began with Romney, who spoke last week at Ford Field in front of tens of thousands of empty seats. “Yeah, there were a lot of empty seats,” Colbert said, “but the important thing is Mitt really connected with those empty seats by also being plastic and uncomfortable.”

More here (see video at the link)

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USA Today: President Obama is creating a new agency to challenge what officials see as unfair trade practices, including those by China.

“The President believes that we can’t wait to crack down on unfair trade violations and ensure a level playing field for American workers,” says a White House statement.

Later this morning, the president will sign an executive order creating an Interagency Trade Enforcement Center.

More here

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Morning everyone ;-)

27
Feb
12

evening all

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden talk outside the State Dining Room before addressing the National Governors Association annual meeting at the White House, Feb. 27, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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Tuesday: PBO will deliver remarks at the United Auto Workers conference in Washington, DC.

Wednesday: PBO and the First Lady will host a dinner at the White House to honor Armed Forces, who served in Iraq, and their families.

Thursday: PBO will travel to Nashua, New Hampshire, and deliver remarks on the economy. In the evening, the President will attend campaign events in New York City.

Friday: PBO will travel to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, to visit with wounded service members.

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Toronto Star: When Mitt Romney regaled a Michigan audience this week with childhood memories of a landmark moment in Detroit history, it was a rare instance of emotional candour.

And, perhaps, an even rarer example of time travel.

Romney recalled he was “probably 4 or something like that” the day of the Golden Jubilee, when three-quarters of a million people gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the American automobile.

“My dad had a job being the grandmaster. They painted Woodward Ave. with gold paint,” Romney told a rapt Tea Party audience in the village of Milford Thursday night, reliving a moment of American industrial glory.

The Golden Jubilee described so vividly by Romney …. took place June 1, 1946 – fully nine months before Romney was born…..

More here

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Slate: …. In January, workers in the manufacturing sector worked an average of 41.9 hours per week. That same figure was reached for a few months during the winter of 1997-1998, but the last time it was actually higher than that was July of 1945 when America’s factories were working overtime to fight and win World War II….

We’re at the point, in other words, where just to sustain current levels of output American factories are going to need to start adding workers.

More here

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Change You Can Believe In:

Yahoo: Five months after the military’s ban on openly gay service expired, a photo of a young gay Marine’s homecoming kiss has gone viral. Nearly 15,000 people have liked the picture on Facebook, which was posted in a group for gay Marines on Saturday.

The Marine, Brandon Morgan, posted a response on his Facebook wall according to the JoeMyGod blog. “To everyone who has responded in a positive way. My partner and I want to say thank you. Dalan, the giant in the photo, can’t believe how many shares and likes we have gotten on this. We didn’t do this to get famous,or something like that we did this cause after 3 deployments and four years knowing each other, we finally told each other how we felt,” Morgan wrote.

More here

Thanks Bob and Lisa

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ThinkProgress: An article in The Hill today describing the results of a new poll inaccurately reports that voters want “a lower tax bill” for wealthy individuals and businesses. If anything, the poll shows the opposite.

In tax policy, it’s critical to distinguish between marginal tax rates and effective tax rates … The Hill article fails to sort out this very basic distinction, then proceeds to make a number of apples-to-oranges comparisons that paint a misleading picture of what wealthy people and corporations are paying in taxes now and what people want them to pay.

….. Having repeatedly confused marginal and effective rates, the article misinterprets the poll results to conclude that people want “a lower tax bill” for individuals and corporations….

….Here’s a better explanation: Voters understand what The Hill does not – that wealthy people and corporations actually pay taxes at much lower rates than the top marginal rates on the books. And when asked what they think the “most appropriate” rates should be, a majority of people cite rates that are higher than what the wealthy and corporations are actually paying now.

More here

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Washington Post (Editorial): At a time of record debts and deficits, the two leading Republican presidential candidates are proposing a path on taxes and spending likely to add trillions more. That’s the sobering conclusion of the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), whose board includes six Republican former lawmakers with expertise in budget issues, three Republican former heads of the Congressional Budget Office, and two former Office of Management and Budget directors under Republican presidents.

Full article here

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NY Mag: Of the various expressions of right-wing hysteria that have flowered over the past three years –  goldbuggery, birtherism, death panels at home and imaginary apology tours by President Obama abroad – perhaps the strain that has taken deepest root within mainstream Republican circles is the terror that the achievements of the Obama administration may be irreversible, and that the time remaining to stop permanent nightfall is dwindling away.

… The GOP has reason to be scared. Obama’s election was the vindication of a prediction made several years before…. that demographic and political trends were converging in such a way as to form a ­natural-majority coalition for Democrats.

… if they lose their bid to unseat Obama, they will have mortgaged their future for nothing at all. And over the last several months, it has appeared increasingly likely that the party’s great all-or-nothing bet may land, ultimately, on nothing. In which case, the Republicans will have turned an unfavorable outlook into a truly bleak one in a fit of panic. The deepest effect of Obama’s election upon the Republicans’ psyche has been to make them truly fear, for the first time since before Ronald Reagan, that the future is against them.

Full article here

Thanks Loriah

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The Week

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Anti-Romney Robocall From “Democrats For Santorum”:

:roll:

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Yikes, I can’t remember who posted this today – whoever you are, thank you!

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Nick Anderson

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Thanks Symmetry!!!

24
Feb
12

evening all

Irish TV, February 24

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President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt of Denmark talk at the end of their bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, Feb. 24, 2012. Pictured, from left, are: Christian Kettel Thomsen, Permanent Secretary of State; Peter Taksoe-Jensen, Ambassador of Denmark to the United States; Liz Sherwood-Randall, Senior Director for European Affairs; and Bill Moeller, Director for Central European Affairs. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Link

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The Guardian: Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney’s much-heralded economic speech flopped Friday, overshadowed by a gaffe over luxury Cadillacs and his choice of an over-ambitious venue….

Romney opened himself up to derision for choosing a 70,000-seat stadium which attracted just over 1,000 people, many of them school children bussed in to help fill out the crowd, tucked into a corner of the astro-turf pitch….

The speech too turned out to be a flop …. It will be the picture of the near-empty stadium, contrasting with a much fuller one when Barack Obama was campaigning in February 2008, that will be remembered.

…. his words echoed round the empty stadium seats. He was not helped by the near-silence, winning only an occasional round of applause. At one point, having made a joke about the reluctance of children to leave home, only a handful of people in the audience laughed, an embarrassing response that the empty stadium amplified.

… In an attempt to ingratiate himself in the motor capital of America and undo some of the damage caused by a call in 2008 to let the car industry go bankrupt rather than be bailed out by the federal government, he listed cars owned by himself and his wife Ann.

He would be a president who loves cars, he said. “I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit-made automobiles. I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pick-up truck. Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually. And I used to have a Dodge truck, so I used to have all three covered.” …. It is a mistake on par with his $10,000 bet in a televised debate with Texas governor Rick Perry.

Full article here

Steve Benen

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Steve Benen: Paul Krugman argued today that Mitt Romney “is running a campaign of almost pathological dishonesty.” That need not be considered hyperbole.

Indeed, Greg Sargent added this morning that Romney’s “falsehoods and all around dissembling” may be designed to “simply wear reporters and commentators down by trafficking in them so heavily that they throw up their hands and give up on trying to track or debunk them.”

But I remain undeterred…..

Full post here

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The Week

Nick Anderson

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Thanks Linda

Front page ad on the Detroit Free Press website today

How smart is that? ;-)




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