Posts Tagged ‘shrum



24
Feb
12

rise and shine

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Comedian Bill Maher announced last night that he will donate one million dollars to President Obama’s re-election campaign.  At the end of his groundbreaking comedy special, “CrazyStupidPolitics: Live from Silicon Valley,” which streamed live on Yahoo!, Bill brought out a check, making a personal donation of one million dollars to Obama’s Super PAC, Priorities USA Action. He explained that having a country governed by Barack Obama rather than any of the Republican candidates is “worth a million dollars” and that in his own financial interests, “this is the wisest investment I think I could make.” He also encouraged other wealthy liberals to do the same and give until it hurts.

More at Mediaite

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Washington Post (Editorial): Run to the extreme in the primary, move to the center in the fall: That’s expected. But moving from the cartoon world the Republican presidential candidates have constructed back into three dimensions might prove more difficult.

In their debate Wednesday night, the remaining candidates seemed to be continuing their drift from reality – the reality of a center-right electorate they propose to woo and govern, and of the complexities of the problems they promise to solve.

…. From his perch of thorough hypocrisy – Paul is a master earmarker who preserves his purity by voting against appropriations bills he knows will pass – the Texas congressman declared: “I don’t accept that form of government.”

And, of Santorum, “He is a fake.” No, what’s fake is the two-dimensional canvas they’re presenting to voters.

Full editorial here

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TPM: Mitt Romney’s got a problem. Purple Strategies released their “Purple Poll” on Thursday, data from twelve swing states … “His favorable ratings are just atrocious,” Doug Usher, a managing partner at Purple Strategies said. “You can’t be sitting on 27 percent favorability in the general,” the level Romney is at in their new numbers.

“The best thing that Mitt Romney could actually do is actually run a campaign that said something,” Bruce Haynes, one of the founding partners of Purples Strategies and a veteran of GOP campaigns, told TPM. “It’s a Seinfeld campaign. It’s a campaign about nothing….”

More here

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Robert Shrum: Mitt Romney is pandering so desperately to the far-right fringe that he’s become all but unelectable in November …. As he demonstrated in this debate, he’s so desperate to pander his way to the nomination that he’s making it increasingly worthless.

This may do for the primary – it may be essential – but it’s a disaster in the making for the fall campaign. Romney’s cynical hope has to be that his shape-shifting will convince voters he doesn’t really mean this stuff. He can pray that his character weakness is his saving grace – that his reputation for lying about his beliefs will pull him back from the edge of a gender gap that will otherwise pose an unbridgeable barrier to the White House. The longer the primaries drag on, and the more he has to profess his hostility to women’s rights, the less likely it is that he can ever convince the majority who are women to take a chance on him.

…. From Oklahoma to Ohio, which both vote on March 6, and then onto Wisconsin and across the Midwest, Romney is well behind Santorum in the polls. He will have to keep pandering – and above all, right now, he has to win Michigan.

In the Arizona debate, he may have staunched his bleeding in the primaries, but he opened his veins for November.

Full article here

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Martin Bashir: “Newt Gingrich said he’s going to take oil prices down to $2 or $2.50 – the only thing that Newt Gingrich is very skilled at doing is taking his underpants down in the form of the number of adulteries that this man commits.”

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Steve Rattner (NYT): …. As a presidential aspirant, Mr. Romney evidently hasn’t felt a need to be consistent or specific as to what should have been done to address the collapse of the auto industry starting in late 2008. But the gist is that the government should have stayed on the sidelines and allowed the companies to go through what he calls “managed bankruptcies,” financed by private capital.

That sounds like a wonderfully sensible approach – except that it’s utter fantasy. In late 2008 and early 2009, when G.M. and Chrysler had exhausted their liquidity, every scrap of private capital had fled to the sidelines.

I know this because the administration’s auto task force, for which I was the lead adviser, spoke diligently to all conceivable providers of funds, and not one had the slightest interest in financing those companies on any terms. If Mr. Romney disagrees, he should come forward with specific names of willing investors in place of empty rhetoric. I predict that he won’t be able to, because there aren’t any.

Full article here

Thanks Africa

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A source tells National Confidential that 26 American cars will be arranged by the United Auto Workers to echo Mitt Romney’s infamous “let Detroit go bankrupt” op-ed when he visits Ford Field on Friday. The cars will be on top of a parking garage right across from Ford Field where Romney will be giving a speech to the Detroit Economic Club.

More here

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The Week

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Morning everyone ;-)

18
Feb
12

rise and shine

Thank you Video Queen Donna ;-)

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President Barack Obama sits in the cockpit of a 787 Dreamliner during his tour of the Boeing Plant production facility in Everett, Wash., Feb. 17, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Barack Obama arrives on the South Lawn of the White House after a three day West coast trip, early February 18

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The week ahead:

Monday: No public events.

Tuesday: The President and First Lady will invite music legends and contemporary major artists to the White House for a celebration of Blues music and in recognition of Black History Month as part of their “In Performance at the White House” series.

Wednesday: The President will deliver remarks at the construction site of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Thursday: The President will travel to Miami, Florida, to participate in an official event.

Friday: The President will host Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt of Denmark for a meeting in the Oval Office.

Thanks Meta

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John McDonough (Boston.com): I’ve written before about the Obama Administration’s breakthrough efforts to fight health care fraud and abuse. Now there’s more, $4.1 billion more.

Earlier this week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the federal government recovered $4.1 billion in taxpayer dollars from individuals and corporations attempting to steal Medicare and Medicaid payments to which they were not entitled.

What’s $4.1 billion? It is the largest amount of money ever recovered, by far, in the history of the programs since they were established in 1965. Here are the numbers from the most recent years….

More here

Thanks amk

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Robert Shrum: The unholy alliance between Catholic bishops and the GOP

Catholic leaders are self-righteously trying to infringe on the liberty of all Americans. And head-in-the-sand Republicans are cheering them on

The Episcopal Church used to be described as the Republican Party at prayer. Today’s GOP has moved far right, and suddenly the Catholic bishops are now the Republican Party in the pulpit.

For many Catholics — and I intermittently try to be part of the church I was raised in — this is a betrayal of their beliefs about the place of faith in public life….

Full post here

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The Week

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Morning everyone – will be back later ;-)

13
Feb
12

evening all

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with British Prime Minister David Cameron in the Oval Office, Feb. 13, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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ThinkProgress

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The week ahead:

Tuesday: PBO and the Vice President will meet with Vice President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China at the White House.

Wednesday: PBO will travel to Master Lock in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to continue to discuss his blueprint for an economy built to last based on American manufacturing and the importance of companies insourcing and investing in America. He will then travel to Los Angeles, California where he will attend campaign events. He will spend the night in Los Angeles.

Thursday: PBO will attend campaign events in Corona del Mar, California before traveling to San Francisco, California to attend campaign events. He will spend the night in San Francisco.

Friday: PBO will travel to the Seattle where he will continue to discuss his blueprint for an economy built to last. He will also attend campaign events in the Seattle area before returning to Washington, D.C. later in the evening.

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Business Insider

Thanks Loriah

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TPM

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PoliticalWire: Obama campaign manager Jim Messina rallied local volunteers in Arizona over the weekend by assuring them that Obama intends to compete in Arizona, according to the Arizona Republic.

Said Messina: “People said last time, ‘Oh, you can’t win Virginia,’ until we did. ‘You can’t win Florida,’ until we did. ‘You can never win North Carolina,’ until we did. And so a whole bunch of people are saying, ‘Can he win Arizona? Can he not win Arizona?’ The fact is you all are the secret weapon we have.”

The campaign will soon have four offices in the state.

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The Week

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ThinkProgress

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:lol:

Thanks Jeremy!

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Pew Research: Barack Obama now holds an eight-point lead over Mitt Romney in a general election matchup, and he has gained significant ground among independent voters. A month ago, 40% of independents said they would back Obama over Romney – today 51% say they would, while the number expressing support for Romney has slipped from 50% to 42%.

More here

Thanks Loriah

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Paul Krugman: Mitt Romney has a gift for words – self-destructive words. On Friday he did it again, telling the Conservative Political Action Conference that he was a “severely conservative governor.”

As Molly Ball of The Atlantic pointed out, Mr. Romney “described conservatism as if it were a disease.” Indeed. Mark Liberman, a linguistics professor at the University of Pennsylvania, provided a list of words that most commonly follow the adverb “severely”; the top five, in frequency of use, are disabled, depressed, ill, limited and injured.

That’s clearly not what Mr. Romney meant to convey. Yet if you look at the race for the G.O.P. presidential nomination, you have to wonder whether it was a Freudian slip. For something has clearly gone very wrong with modern American conservatism.

Full post here

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DCCC

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Thanks What is Working

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The Week

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For newcomers here – welcome! – I’ve added a new section explaining how to comment on the blog. Check the sidebar on the right. Thank you.

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CNN iReport sits down with first lady Michelle Obama to discuss the second anniversary of her Let’s Move initiative.

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Oh go on, one more time……

07
Feb
12

rise and shine

Students, from left, Gaby Dempsey, 12, Kate Murray, 13, and Mackenzie Grewell, 13, read in the Red Room of the White House after setting up their science fair exhibit, Feb. 6, 2012. The three girls, part of the Flying Monkeys First Lego League Team from Ames Middle School in Ames, Iowa, will participate in the second annual White House Science Fair with over 100 students from 45 states. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

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10:35 AM: PBO views science fair projects.

11:25 AM: PBO delivers remarks at the White House Science Fair.

White House live

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Washington Post: President Obama will use the backdrop of a White House science fair Tuesday to highlight a nationwide shortage of math and science teachers and unveil a plan to invest $100 million to help train 100,000 new educators over the next decade.

Under his proposal, Obama will ask Congress for $80 million to support new Department of Education grants for colleges that provide innovative teacher-training programs. The president also is set to announce a $22 million commitment from private companies that will support the effort, according to White House officials.

More here

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We Will Not Play by Two Sets of Rules By Jim Messina

In 2010, the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case opened the door to a new wave of so-called Super PACs—non-candidate political committees that can receive and spend unlimited money from special interests. For the first time, these committees could accept money from corporations, not just wealthy individuals.

The decision has accelerated a dangerous trend toward a political system increasingly dominated by big-money interests with disproportionate power to spend freely to influence our elections and our government…..

More here

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The Week

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Frank Schaeffer: President Obama Will Be Vindicated

As Ryan Lizza writes in the New Yorker: “Obama didn’t remake Washington. But his first two years stand as one of the most successful legislative periods in modern history. Among other achievements, he has saved the economy from depression, passed universal health care, and reformed Wall Street.”

So when are President Obama’s critics, people like Paul Krugman and Mitt Romney, going to offer President Obama an apology? Both have often loudly predicted that he made the economy worse and was putting America on the wrong economic path. Both are being proved wrong by the economic comeback we are in. I mention them not to pick on Krugman, who I respect or even on Romney (who I regard as a vapid twit bought and paid for by corporate interests) but to make a point: President Obama is going to have the last laugh on his critics, no matter what ideological spectrum they hail from.

More here

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Link

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Morning everyone, I’ll be out for a few hours but will update when I get back – until then, chat away ;-)

03
Feb
12

evening all

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Reuters: A surge in hiring in the world’s largest economy last month drove the Nasdaq to an 11-year high on Friday as optimism grew that the labor market is on a steady path to recovery.

The broad-based gains on solid trading volume also sent the Dow Jones industrial average near a four-year high….

The U.S. economy created jobs at the fastest pace in nine months in January and the unemployment rate dropped to nearly a three-year low of 8.3 percent, the government said.

“It is really hard to find something not to like in the jobs report,” said Andrew Goldberg, market strategist at JP Morgan Funds in New York. “There is genuine strength in this report with broad-based jobs creation.”

More here

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President Obama thanks Lt. Jacob Johnson, an Arlington County firefighter and U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq, for introducing him at Fire Station #5 in Arlington, Virginia

President Barack Obama poses for a picture with people in the audience following his remarks on the Veterans Job Corps at Fire Station #5 in Arlington, Va., Feb. 3, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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NYT: The comeback from bankruptcy at Chrysler hit a milestone Wednesday when the smallest of the Detroit automakers reported a $183 million profit for last year, its first full year of positive earnings since 2005.

…. Last year’s results show how far Chrysler has come since 2009, when it was taken over by Fiat as part of the bailout engineered by the Obama administration.

Its revenue for the year increased 31 percent to $55 billion, and worldwide sales of its cars and trucks grew 22 percent to 1.85 million vehicles. In the United States, its market share increased to 10.5 percent, up from 9.2 percent a year earlier.

More here

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WMUR: A new poll shows that the improving economy has also raised President Barack Obama’s standing in New Hampshire.

….Obama has seen his job approval rating nearly flip from the last Granite State Poll in October, with 51 percent now saying they like the job the president is doing, compared to 43 percent who don’t. Just 41 percent said they approved in October.

…. Obama’s improved fortunes are also reflected in head-to-head matchups against the Republican field in New Hampshire. In hypothetical matchups, Obama leads Mitt Romney by 10 points, Ron Paul by eight points, and trounces Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum by 25 and 21 points respectively.

More here

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The Week

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Robert Shrum: …. So it’s Romney in 2012, despite glaring weaknesses revealed in the primaries, from his animatronic awkwardness to his plutocratic profile. The latter has been a product not just of attacks from his opponents — and the attacks will be unremitting in the general election — but of gaffes that are in reality self-revelations of his actual character and conviction. When he slips the confines of his canned answers, when an off-message moment or question deflects him from toeing his adviser’s carefully formulated tropes, he tends to shift from Ken Doll to Gordon Gekko.

…. For other candidates, the verbal miscue is an episode; for him, it’s an epidemic – offering $10,000 bets, saying foreclosures should run their course, claiming he feared getting a pink slip, explaining that $400,000 isn’t much money, announcing that he likes to fire people. (And at that, Romney has had a lot of practice.) He blithered about releasing his tax returns, then released only two years — and will face intensifying scrutiny about off-shore tax havens and whether he paid any tax, or almost none, in years we haven’t seen, like 2008 and 2009.

….Romney not only looks like the face of the Republican establishment; by his own words and deeds, he has become the face of unfairness in America, a profile in numbness and indifference.

…. What will Mitt Malaprop say next? Stay tuned.

Full article here

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Nick Anderson

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Steve Benen: Several weeks ago, I launched a Friday afternoon feature, highlighting the most offensive Mitt Romney falsehoods of the week. I was off last week, but let’s get it started again.

1. Romney claimed President Obama “went before the United Nations” and “said nothing about thousands of rockets being rained in on Israel from the Gaza Strip.”

True or false? The claim isn’t even close to being right.

2. Romney said Democrats “passed Dodd-Frank,” which “has made it almost impossible for community banks.”

True or false? He’s has said this before, and it’s still completely untrue.

More here

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OFA

31
Jan
12

rise and shine

Bloomberg: From northern Michigan’s iron mines to Pennsylvania’s natural-gas fields, the industrial heartland of America is humming with jobs again as a region once left for dead recovers faster than the rest of the U.S. ….. The economies of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania have improved faster than that of the U.S. since the recession’s depth in April 2009 …. Michigan is expected to lead all 50 states during the next six months….

…. from Detroit and Pittsburgh to Peoria, Illinois, and the town of Mellen in Wisconsin’s Penokee Hills, employers plan to add jobs and facilities ….  Improvement in unemployment, which dropped 19% in Ohio and 29% in Michigan from April 2009 through the end of last year, is a key driver for the Midwest recovery …. The recovery isn’t just about autos and shale – it’s all sorts of related industries, said Steve Steinour, Huntington Bancshares Inc.’s chief executive officer. “We’re seeing now a revival that no one had expected in this sort of time frame”…

…. Michigan gained 66,000 jobs in 2011 ….. It was the first gain in the state since the turn of the century….. “We’ve always heard this Rust Belt thing about our region, even just a few years ago,” said Steinour, speaking of the disparaging image of closed factories and declining industry. “But you don’t hear it so much now, and we might not have to hear it much in the future.”

Full article here

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ABC: President Obama was expected to visit the Washington Auto Show on Tuesday, giving him another forum to talk about GM and Chrysler, along with the administration’s attention to manufacturers and efforts to boost fuel efficiency standards…..

More here

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Link

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Robert Shrum: …. lost in this year’s bloviating combat over the Reagan banner is another reality that will at first rile and finally infuriate Republicans as the opportunistic Romney runs and then stumbles toward a November showdown with Barack Obama. For on the evidence of history, it’s likely that Obama will be the Reagan of 2012.

The one is certainly not the ideological heir of the other. But this president is beginning to travel a path along an emerging political landscape that parallels Reagan’s in potentially decisive ways.

….. Obama, like Reagan before him, offers an overarching theme that resonates with the distinctive mood of his re-election year …. he has trumpeted his own overarching summons to an America “where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.” …. the narrative can be summed up – and the president has done so – in the “Buffet Rule”…. It connects as well to Mitt Romney …..  Romney is the face of the Republican establishment – and he’s becoming the face of unfairness in America ….

….. in the politics of 2012, Gingrich isn’t the Gipper, and Romney isn’t Ronnie. It’s the other guy, the Democrat who in 2008 presciently – and controversially – praised President Reagan for “chang[ing] the trajectory of America.” He did so amid the winds of an economic storm that finally and slowly cleared. So, in his own landmark achievements, has Barack Obama – and this election year, the trajectory is turning for him as it once did for Ronald Reagan.

Full article here

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TPM (thanks Loriah)

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Thanks rikyrah

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Richard Cohen (Washington Post): On Saturday night, at precisely 9:19 and 30 seconds, my iPhone, my iPad, my computer and, for all I know, my toaster were informed that Herman Cain had endorsed Newt Gingrich ….. it was just additional evidence that the Republican Party has become a circus: One clown endorsed another.

…..  This has been an exceedingly silly political season … But it has also been a sad one. The Republican establishment acts as if this season’s goon squad of presidential candidates has come out of nowhere, an act of God …. it has only itself to blame. For too long it has been mute in the face of a belligerent anti-intellectualism, pretending that knowledge and experience do not matter and that Washington is a condition and not a mere city. The endorsement of Gingrich by Cain was not a bulletin. It was a feeble blip on a scope. The GOP is brain-dead.

Full article here

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That’s the person, not the continent :???:

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Morning everyone ;-)

19
Jan
12

rise and shine

Reuters – New applications for unemployment benefits dropped to a near four-year low last week, a government report on Thursday showed, pointing to continued improvement in the labor market.

The Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 50,000 to 352,000, the lowest level since April 2008 and the biggest drop since September 2005…..

More here

Steve Benen: The general trend on initial unemployment claims over the last two months has been largely encouraging, though there have been setbacks. Last week, for example, was a step in the wrong direction. This week’s report, however, was a very pleasant surprise. Initial claims not only dropped sharply, they fell to a level unseen in nearly four years.

More here

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Today:

9:15: PBO departs the White House

11:40: Arrives in Orlando

12:35: Delivers remarks

2:15: Departs Orlando

4:30: Arrives in New York City

5:30: Delivers remarks at a campaign event (Daniel Restaurant, Print Pool)

6:30: Delivers remarks at a campaign event (Daniel Restaurant, Print Pool)

7:50: Delivers remarks at a campaign event (Private Residence, Print Pool)

9:25: Delivers remarks at a campaign event (Apollo Theatre, Pooled for TV)

11:05: Departs New York en route to Joint Base Andrews

12:20 Arrives at the White House

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ThinkProgress

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Charles Pierce: ….. The decision by the Obama administration to scuttle (for the moment) the Keystone XL pipeline for good already has been responsible for the birthing of many public cows among the president’s Republican opponents……

This was an act of authentic political courage. The Republicans have turned the pipeline into an idiotic campaign litmus test and hung a ridiculously short deadline on the approval process, a deadline that nobody directly affected by the project thought was in any way adequate….

More here

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Sun Times: President Obama’s top strategist, David Axelrod, is launching an Institute of Politics at his alma mater, the University of Chicago, to create bipartisan programs bringing big names in politics to campus and internships for students.

“If years from now I run across young people who have participated in this Institute who are now writers and staffers and yes, candidates, we’ll have done our job well,” Axelrod said in a conference call on Wednesday.

The U. of C. institute will be largely modeled on Harvard University’s Institute of Politics….

More here

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The Week

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Steve Benen: With Mitt Romney still refusing to release his tax returns, we can only speculate as to why he’s so afraid of disclosure. The widely held assumption has been that the Republican frontrunner is embarrassed by his “15% problem” …. But that’s not the only thing Romney’s returns might show. Reuters’ Sam Youngman reported on a related issue:

His vast fortune is invested in dozens of funds linked to Bain Capital ….. Several Bain funds have offshore connections and take advantage of tax breaks used only by the U.S. financial elite…..

It’s worth clarifying that no one has accused Romney of doing anything illegal … But it doesn’t exactly help paint a picture of Romney as a “man of the people”…..

Full post here

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TPM: Turns out Mitt Romney wasn’t the first GOP candidate in 35 years to take Iowa and New Hampshire. In fact, the certification of Iowa caucus votes conducted by the state GOP shows Rick Santorum likely won – by 34 votes, though officials are officially calling it a “split decision.”

More here

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In case you missed it last night:

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January 17, 2012. President Barack Obama unexpectedly runs into Michelle on her birthday in the basement of the White House.

Though official duties filled much of the day, Tuesday was also Michelle Obama’s 48th birthday. As the president returned to the West Wing in the evening, he unexpectedly met the First Lady. “Obama gave her several kisses and wished her a happy birthday then walked off,” Morris says. “It was the highlight of the day for me—something you can’t plan for as a photographer. It was the most interesting photograph for me of the day by far.”

Time (more photos at the link)

Thanks aamom

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Spring. In. Step:
President Obama walks towards Marine One before his trip to Florida and New York, January 19
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Morning everyone ;-)




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