AP: …. The president is holding eight fundraisers for his re-election campaign in the Los Angeles area, San Francisco and Seattle …. After departing Milwaukee, Obama was to attend two fundraisers in Los Angeles. The first is an outdoor fundraising reception at the home of soap opera producer Bradley Bell and his wife, Colleen, featuring a performance by the rock band the Foo Fighters. The campaign expects 1,000 supporters to attend, with tickets starting at $250.
Obama is also attending a dinner at Bell’s home co-hosted by actor Will Ferrell and his wife, Viveca Paulin. Eighty people are expected to attend the dinner, with tickets costing $35,800. The fundraising will benefit the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee for Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
NYT: The Obama administration will propose a $5 billion competitive grant program to encourage states to overhaul the teaching profession, federal education officials said Tuesday, using its Race to the Top school improvement competition as a model.
The new program, which needs Congressional approval, is part of President Obama’s budget proposal and expands upon a call in his State of the Union address last month to give schools more resources “to keep good teachers on the job and reward the best ones.”
National Journal: The national Pew Research Center poll confirms that President Obama, at least for now, is reassembling the coalition that powered him to his 2008 victory.
The Pew survey, closely tracking last week’s ABC News/Washington Post poll, shows that in a potential general election match-up against Mitt Romney…. Obama’s numbers now closely align with his support against McCain. Overall, the Pew survey put Obama ahead of Romney by 52 percent to 44 percent, close to his actual 53 percent to 46 percent victory over McCain.
…. Pew finds Obama attracting 89 percent of liberals, 20 percent of conservatives (each exactly his share against McCain), and 61 percent of moderates (compared to 60 percent in 2008.)….
TPM: Republicans have taken to describing President Obama’s budget as “deficits built to last” – a play on Obama’s call for an economy built to last …..The chart tells you quite starkly: Yes, Ryan’s plan also gives you… deficits built to last!
NYT: Despite the deep divide between some religious leaders and government officials over contraceptives, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll found most voters support the new federal directive that health insurance plans provide coverage for birth control.
…. 65 percent of voters in the poll said they supported the Obama administration’s requirement that health insurance plans cover the cost of birth control, and 59 percent, said the health insurance plans of religiously affiliated employers should cover the cost of birth control.
…. A majority of Catholic voters in the poll were at odds with the church’s official stance, agreeing with most other voters that religiously affiliated employers should offer health insurance that provides contraception…..
Reuters: General Electric Co plans to hire 5,000 U.S. military veterans over the next five years and to invest $580 million to expand its aviation footprint in the United States this year.
The largest U.S. conglomerate unveiled the moves ahead of a four-day meeting it is convening in Washington starting on Monday to focus on boosting the U.S. economy, which has been slow to recover from a brutal 2007-2009 recession.
USA Today: Investigators recovered a record-breaking $4.1 billion in health care fraud money during 2011, a reflection of the Obama administration’s increased focus on fighting fraud, Justice Department officials announced Tuesday.
Between 2009 and 2011, the federal government has collected $7.20 for every dollar spent on fighting fraud, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) inspector general. That’s a jump from the $5.10 for every dollar spent between 1997 and 2008, records show.
“It demonstrates that our collaborative efforts to prevent, identify and prosecute the most egregious instances of health care fraud have never been stronger,” Attorney General Eric Holder said. “Over the years, we’ve seen that as these crimes harm all of us — government agencies and programs, insurers and health care providers, and individual patients.”