Posts Tagged ‘shrum



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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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 ;-)

18
Jan
12

rise and shine

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Washington Post: A majority of Americans believe that former President George W. Bush is more responsible than President Obama for the current economic problems in the country, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Fifty-four percent of respondents said that Bush was more to blame while 29 percent put the blame on Obama…. Independents continue to blame Bush far more than Obama for the economic troubles … 57/25 …. Heck, even one in five Republicans say Bush is more responsible than Obama for the state of the economy!

The economic blame game numbers are somewhat remarkable given that Obama is in the third year of his presidency …. We’ve written for quite some time that the longer Obama is in office (and the longer Bush is out of it), the more likely it is that blame for the economy would shift toward him. But, these numbers suggest — gasp! — we were wrong.

…. that the baseline in the economic blame game still favors Obama over Bush suggests that Republicans’ attempt to use the economy to drag the incumbent down won’t be as simple as some in the party might think.

More here

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CBS

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Buzzfeed: A document found online by BuzzFeed appears to be John McCain’s entire, 200-page opposition research file — or “book” — on Mitt Romney from 2008, the year they were bitter rivals. Segments of the book have been posted on RedState.com, but this the first time the document has been shared for public consumption in its entirety.

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Andrew Sullivan: Fox News is now waging war on the essay. I’m not surprised. Megyn Kelly has declared that I am “not a real journalist.” …. So this is an open challenge to Fox News. If you want to trash my work, have me on to defend it. Any time, Megyn. Any time. What are you afraid of?

Apart from the truth, that is.

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Nick Anderson

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LA Times: Republican voters may not have settled yet on a challenger to take on President Obama, but his reelection campaign is laying the groundwork for what could be a major television advertising buy to buttress his standing in the coming months.

Campaign officials have requested ad rates from television stations in at least 14 states, according to a strategist with a prominent political media agency, the first step they would take before deciding to purchase air time. That does not mean a buy will definitely occur this quarter, but Republicans are bracing for what they believe will be a multimillion-dollar campaign on the heels of the South Carolina GOP primary.

More here

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McClatchy

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Morning everyone ;-)

12
Jan
12

evening all

King of Bain – the 60 second version

And the 30 second version:

Greg Sargent: There seems to be widespread agreement that the half-hour documentary attacking Mitt Romney’s Bain years that was released yesterday by the pro-Gingrich Super PAC was a very effective piece of political communication. Ed Kilgore, for instance, described it as a “heat seaking missle aimed directly at the white working class id”.

But what will South Carolina voters themselves see? Will this attack translate well in the 30-second and 60-second ads based on this documentary that the Newt Super PAC ad will run in the state?

…. Rick Tyler, the GOP operative who works for Winning The Future, says the ads are part of a $3.4 million buy that includes other media. We should obviously treat that figure with serious skepticism until the money is actually spent, but if that’s true, that’s a significant buy for South Carolina.

More here

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The Week

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Robert Shrum: … what he spoke on election night in New Hampshire puts the presumptive Republican nominee at odds with the essential character of America. In a well-coiffed gentrification of the racist-tinged attack on Barack Obama as “the other” – a somehow alien and illegitimate president – Flip Romney, in full pander mode to the paranoia of the far right, arraigned the president for “tak[ing] his inspiration from the capitals of Europe” — and seeking “to turn America into a European-style entitlement society.”

…. In reality, Obama has been defending and extending the nation’s long march toward fulfilling its founding ideals. It’s Romney who, on critical economic issues, takes his inspiration from the capitals of Europe….

…. I doubt Romney will give up the xenophobia anytime soon. It plays well among primary voters who are suspicious that he’s not reliably reactionary; it’s a code-coated formula to depict Barack Obama as someone from another country, another continent, another tradition. In that sense, it’s a modulated form of “birtherism.”

Romney’s right when he says this election is about “the soul of America”. With his hostility to economic justice and the social safety net, his record in business, his desertion of the American quest for equal rights, and his embrace of floundering European economics, he would, if he ever got there, be the president of a very different and lesser United States…..

Full article here

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TPM: If a speech Thursday morning by one of his top economists is any indication, President Barack Obama is going all in with the 2012 re-election message of stemming the rise in income inequality and reforming a system that’s increasingly perceived to be rigged in favor of the rich.

White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Krueger rattled off a flurry of statistics illustrating the rise of inequality and its connection to the shrinking middle class. He blamed it on economic policies tilted to favor top earners – including income tax reforms (presumably during the Bush era) and the “drastic cut in the estate tax.”

He also argued that implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans are eager to repeal, will help reduce the disparities.

It’s a message that bore an uncanny resemblance to the “Teddy Roosevelt” speech President Obama delivered in early December, which was interpreted by many as laying out the grounds for his re-election campaign …. Romney has taken to decrying this message as the “politics of envy” and “class warfare” …. Krueger’s speech Thursday makes clear that that’s a fight the White House is happy to have.

Full post here

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The Week

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Our old GOPolitico friend Byron Tau got very excited today about the date on that DoJ memo on recess appointments. Read and learn Byron:

Mother Jones: ….. The opinion itself is dated January 6, two days after the appointments were announced – but that doesn’t mean the opinion was sought retroactively. “It is common, especially where time is of the essence, to give legal advice prior to a formal written opinion,” says Marty Lederman, a former attorney with the Office of Legal Counsel. “It takes time to produce an opinion with this level of detail.”

Young Byron then updated his post with this: White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters in the briefing that the DoJ memo was based on advice given by the president’s Office of Legal Counsel. “The opinion was rendered verbally prior to the date of the opinion itself,” Carney said, explaining the discrepancy. “The opinion was based on the advice provided by OLC”

Discrepancy? :lol: Byron? Quit while you’re that far behind behind.

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Full video here

“This is typical Barack, saying something he shouldn’t”:

06
Jan
12

evening all

President Barack Obama is briefed by National Security Advisor Tom Donilon before a phone call with King Abdullah II of Jordan in the Oval Office, Jan. 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Chicago Tribune: Freddie Mac announced Friday that it was giving mortgage servicers the authority to offer up to 1 year of mortgage forbearance to unemployed homeowners who have Freddie Mac-backed mortgages.

The change, with takes effect Feb. 1, means loan servicers can offer six months of forbearance to jobless borrowers without Freddie’s approval and another six months with approval….

Fannie Mae is expected next week to announce guidelines that will align with the new ones at Freddie Mac. The expansions are the result of a directive from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

More here

Thanks forus50

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ThinkProgress: The Affordable Care Act has done very well in court so far; three of the four courts of appeals to consider it have upheld the law…..

….Today, DOJ filed its brief defending the Affordable Care Act’s insurance coverage requirement, and with one sentence the Justice Department takes the plaintiff’s silliest and most successful argument off the table ….

…. This statement, that federal efforts to directly regulate the family, general crimes or education stand on much weaker constitutional footing than the ACA, is a very big deal. It shows that DOJ recognizes the only thing that even vaguely resembles a hole in their previous legal arguments, and that they have now sewn that hole up. When one of the justices asks them “if Congress can do this, what can it not do?” they will now have a clear and well-articulated answer.

With just one sentence in its brief, DOJ took away the last few straws the ACA’s opponents were desperately grasping at.

Full post here

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ThinkProgress: 20-Year Ban On Uranium Mining Near The Grand Canyon | Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is expected to announce a 20-year moratorium on uranium mining in the Grand Canyon region on Monday. The ban has been under consideration for two years, with evidence showing the mining contaminates drinking water. Last year, the most anti-environment House of Representatives attempted to permit uranium mining to overrun the Grand Canyon region, after a 2009 suspension from the Department of Interior.

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Washington Post: Chrysler will add 1,250 jobs at two Detroit factories next year – another sign that the once struggling automaker appears to be making a comeback.

The Jefferson North Assembly Plant will get 1,100 new workers and a third shift to help build a Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel model for North America. Another 150 workers will be added when Chrysler reopens the Conner Avenue factory to make a Street Racing Team version of the Dodge Viper muscle car.

More here

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The Week

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Robert Shrum: How about that Romney landslide? It turned out that in Iowa, the Mitt did fit — by two hands worth of votes, minus the thumbs. On paid media alone, Romney spent approximately $113 per vote and Rick Santorum spent just $1.65. The Romney campaign dared, and lost while winning. If Mitt had racked up a convincing margin, he would have been on a glide path to the GOP nomination. Instead, he won by a mere eight votes…..

Full article here

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Em…..

Democratic presidential candidate Vermin Supreme, who is one of more than 40 candidates who are on the New Hampshire primary ballot for U.S. president in 2012, stands outside a campaign event for Senator Rick Santorum in Manchester, New Hampshire, January 6. New Hampshire, where candidates are required to do nothing more than fill out a form and pay $1,000 to sign up, typically attracts a wide range of candidates.

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Philly.com: ….. In 2005, Santorum made headlines – not all positive – for visiting the deathbed of Terri Schiavo, the woman at the center of a national right-to-die controversy.What my Philadelphia Daily News colleague John Baer later exposed was that the real reason he was in the Tampa, Fla., area was to collect money at a $250,000 fundraiser organized by executives of Outback Steakhouses, a company that shared Santorum’s passion for a low minimum wage for waitresses and other rank-and-file workers. Santorum’s efforts were also aided by his unusual mode of travel: Wal-Mart’s corporate jet. And he canceled a public meeting on Social Security reform “out of respect for the Schiavo family”  even as the closed fundraisers went on.

Full article here

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OFA: President Obama broke bread today with Scott, Valarie, Kathie, and Bill, the four winners of #DinnerWithBarack

02
Dec
11

evening all

President Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton tour a building under construction in Washington as part of President Obama’s Better Building Initiative to promote energy efficient buildings

WH: President Obama today announced nearly $4 billion in combined federal and private sector energy upgrades to buildings over the next 2 years. These investments will save billions in energy costs, promote energy independence, and, according to independent estimates, create tens of thousands of jobs in the hard-hit construction sector.

The $4 billion investment announced today includes a $2 billion commitment, made through the issuance of a Presidential Memorandum, to energy upgrades of federal buildings using long term energy savings to pay for up-front costs, at no cost to taxpayers.

In addition, 60 CEOs, mayors, university presidents, and labor leaders today committed to invest nearly $2 billion of private capital into energy efficiency projects; and to upgrade energy performance by a minimum of 20% by 2020 in 1.6 billion square feet of office, industrial, municipal, hospital, university, community college and school buildings. This announcement builds on a commitment made by 14 partners at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in June to make energy upgrades across 300 million square feet, and to invest $500 million in private sector financing in energy efficiency projects.

More here

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Media Matters: Following breaking news that the unemployment rate dropped from 9 percent to 8.6 percent in November, Fox & Friends aired the following on-screen graphic:

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Washington Post: The U.S. military transferred control of its sprawling headquarters outside Baghdad to the Iraqi government Friday, a deeply symbolic moment that launched the final month of a nearly decade-long U.S. presence.

The last few soldiers at Camp Victory, a base that once housed 68,000 military personnel and contractors, departed early Friday afternoon. There are currently 12,000 U.S. troops left in Iraq at five bases, down from a peak of 170,000 at 500 bases in 2007, military spokesman Col. Barry Johnson said. All will be gone by the end of the year.

More here

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The Hill: Manufacturing grew for the 28th straight month and faster than it has since June, a report showed Thursday.

The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index increased to 52.7 percent in November, up from 50.8 percent in October. The index’s most recent high was 55.3 percent. Earlier in the year the sector was expanding above 60 percent each month before the economy hit a rough patch in the early summer. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

More here

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President Obama smiles for a photo with a group Marine Corps Navajo Code Talkers after delivering remarks at the White House Tribal Nations Conference, Dec. 2

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Robert Shrum: …. Mitt Romney is at heart a con man …. he would govern as he campaigns, no matter what he actually believes. That’s why the rest of us should be afraid of what Mitt Romney’s America would look like.

In Mitt Romney’s America, unemployment could escalate – or soar …. His long-term fiscal policy would shred the social safety net and devastate programs ranging from college loans to research and development and environmental protections. The wealthy would never be asked to pay their fair share by a president who would never risk alienating Grover Norquist….

Thus the “jobs” candidate could become the jobs destroyer as president – which, of course, was what he was when he dismembered companies and fired workers during his years in the private sector…

….. Medicare would be voucherized and Social Security would be privatized. Insurance companies would be free again to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions and to cancel policies as the costs of life-saving treatment mounted. Tens of millions more would be left without health insurance.

And Mitt Romney’s America would be a narrow and bigoted place, too. He opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” He’s proposed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages. His Supreme Court nominees would tip the balance and overturn Roe v. Wade. And what about civil rights? Romney has become an immigrant-baiter who now wants to build that “danged fence” along the border. The co-chair of his Justice Advisory Committee is Robert Bork, who called the 1964 Civil Rights Act “unsurpassed ugliness”. On issues of equality, Mitt Romney’s America would look a lot like Ted Kennedy’s famous description of Robert Bork’s America, where “rigid ideology will tip the scales of justice against the kind of country [this] is and ought to be.”

….. And that’s why I hope we never have to live in Mitt Romney’s America.

Full article here

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TPM

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Steve Benen: Every single time the Huntsman campaign releases another anti-Romney video, I have the same reaction: “Hey, that’s pretty good!”

I thought that about the “pretzel” video, the flipping-toy-monkey video, the weathervane video, and this week’s “Mittstant Replay” video.

Today, via Taegan Goddard, Huntsman’s team offers another gem, this time connecting Romney’s incessant flip-flopping to his background with the Olympics. It turns out, Romney flips with all the grace of a crashing gymnast:

More from Steve Benen here

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You know the way GOPolitico is obsessed with the President and Israel and spends its days searching for polls that suggest he is struggling with the Jewish community? Well, spare a thought for them, today was a very difficult day:

21
Nov
11

afternoon all, part 2

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Andrew Sullivan: The one thing I noticed in my continental run-around this past week is just how mad liberals are at Obama. I remain as baffled by this anger as I am by Republican contempt for the guy. New York magazine has two superb essays that sum up my own feelings on both sides pretty perfectly – by Jon Chait and David Frum. Chait notes how systemic and eternal liberal disenchantment is, and how congenitally useless Democrats are in rallying round a leader, even one who has achieved so much in such a short time.

Many Dems even now think Clinton was more successful in fighting the GOP in his first term than Obama has been. (Memo to the left: universal healthcare was achieved under Obama). But much of this is the usual Democratic limpness and whininess. If George Bush had taken out Osama bin Laden, wiped out al Qaeda’s leadership and gathered a treasure trove of real intelligence by a daring raid, he’d be on Mount Rushmore by now. If he’d done the equivalent on the right of universal healthcare, he’d be the second coming of Reagan. But Obama and liberals? If I hear one more gripe about single payer from someone in their fifties with a ponytail, I’ll scream.

… I remain unrepentant in my support for this president, a man who has accomplished more in the face of a more hostile environment in his first three years than any president since Johnson. I wish more reasonable Dems and a few moderate Republicans will soon have the courage to say so.

Full post here

Thank you eveingeorgia

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First lady Michelle Obama delivers opening remarks during a student music program in the State Dining Room

From left: Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett and Darius Rucker

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WooOOOooot! Congratulations BWD ;-)

Link

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Robert Shrum: …. In a New York Times blog post titled “Decision 2013,” Emory University psychology professor Drew Westen offers strong opinions about the shortcomings of a president “tied up in knots of indecision” ….

…. It is a scathing indictment from someone who plainly feels his counsel and wisdom have been scorned. It is also a stunning repudiation of Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s insistence that people are entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.

…. Westen launches an overall indictment of the president’s character – Obama is a president frozen in the ice of his own intellect, too logical, too rational, too disconnected from emotions …. the portrayal here of Obama is far removed from reality.

Ask Osama bin Laden if the president is indecisive. As for delay, health care reform was delayed for a century – and Obama passed it. The economy continues to be troubled, but Obama saved it from disaster … Financial reform, student loan reform, credit card reform, the greatest infrastructure investment in a generation – the list goes on. These are not the markers of indecision and delay. Nor is something else progressive critics thought Obama could never achieve. It was Bill Clinton, who famously felt our pain, who inflicted plenty of it by signing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” into law. It was Obama who repealed it with a masterful sense of timing and a cool and rational approach to the Pentagon.

That is a hallmark of his presidency. An effective president can’t be just a partisan, appealing solely to the base. But Obama has delivered more progressive change than anyone at anytime since the 1960s. He hasn’t, as Westen writes, “just run out the clock.” He’s moved history ahead….

Full article here

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04
Nov
11

catching up

Political Humor

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Robert Shrum (The Week): The GOP’s desperate hunt for anyone but Mitt Romney – Herman Cain unravels. Rick Perry stumbles. And Republicans keep praying that someone will rescue them from the flip-flopping Romney.

… Maybe tea is a hallucinogen; maybe the GOP is demented – and it will nominate him (Cain) anyway. If that happened, it’s certain that President Obama would win by even more then he did in 2008.

….. He’s the latest in a procession of preposterous Republican candidates who have soared across the party’s firmament … The GOP’s primary voters have been relentlessly looking for Mr. Un-Romney…..

Full article here

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Alan Krueger (White House): Today’s employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, but the pace of improvement is not fast enough.

Private sector payrolls increased by 104,000, and overall payroll employment rose by 80,000 in October. The unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage point to 9.0 percent, a level that remains unacceptably high.

Despite adverse shocks that have created headwinds for economic growth, the economy has added private sector jobs for 20 straight months, for a total of 2.8 million jobs over that period. We need faster economic growth to put more Americans back to work. Today’s report provides further evidence for why it is so important that Congress pass the President’s American Jobs Act ….

More here

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Timothy Egan (NYT): For a Republican Party that has spent the better part of its presidential campaign proving that most of its candidates are not smarter than a fifth grader, the real scandal around frontrunner-of-the-moment Herman Cain is not what he knows. It’s what he doesn’t know.

…. China, said Cain with his clueless urgency, is “trying to develop nuclear capability.” Anyone who is gobsmacked by this category five level of ignorance concerning a country that has had nuclear weapons for more than 45 years has not been paying attention. Cain makes Sarah Palin, with her eagle-eyed view of Russia from Alaska, sound like a Council of Foreign Relations scholar on a gasbag high.

The clowns have finally taken over the circus, and I mean this with all due respect to those who labor with painted faces and oversized shoes…..

Full article here

Thanks Dorothy

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Steve Benen: On the Senate floor yesterday afternoon, Senate Republicans killed a popular jobs bill, despite the fact that a majority of senators supported the legislation. But the public’s understanding of what transpired will be shaped by the media’s coverage…..

…. CNN’s headline, at least online, read, “Competing infrastructure spending measures fail in Senate.” Here’s the lede: “In a pair of votes aimed more at making political points than law, the Senate rejected competing Democratic and Republican proposals to boost construction of roadways and other infrastructure projects.”….

Politico’s report was even worse. The headline read, “Senate gridlock: Both parties block jobs bills.” And check out the lede: “Rival Democratic and Republican jobs bills failed in the Senate on Thursday, the latest sign of the partisan gridlock gripping Washington…..”.

No, no, a thousand times, no. This just isn’t what happened…..

Full post here

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Long may he, eh, rain:

Cannes, Nov 4

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I forgot to post our Friday tune – thanks for the reminder WIW ;-)

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Don’t miss Extreme Liberal’s post:

Here

Thanks ChristiMtl

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Follow Henry on Twitter – here

Thanks Meta ;-)

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