Archive for December 22nd, 2011

22
Dec
11

just sayin’

November, 2007

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Funny, the President said the same thing to John Boehner today:

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President Barack Obama talks with Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, in the Oval Office, Dec. 22, 2011. Nabors informed President Obama that a bipartisan agreement was reached to extend the payroll tax cut. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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22
Dec
11

deal

Aw bless, Politico’s not happy 😥

House Republicans caved to President Barack Obama’s demand for a two-month payroll tax cut extension, ending an impasse that threatened to raise taxes on 160 million Americans.

The capitulation came fast Thursday afternoon as House Republicans found themselves increasingly isolated in insisting that a full one-year extension was the only solution to the year-end crisis. The end of this debate will also come quickly – the House and Senate are expected to clear the legislation on a voice vote Friday morning.

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😉

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President Obama:

“For the past several weeks, I’ve stated consistently that it was critical that Congress not go home without preventing a tax increase on 160 million working Americans. Today, I congratulate members of Congress for ending the partisan stalemate by reaching an agreement that meets that test.

“Because of this agreement, every working American will keep his or her tax cut – about $1,000 for the average family.  That’s about $40 in every paycheck.  Vital unemployment insurance will continue for millions of Americans who are looking for work. And when Congress returns, I urge them to keep working to reach an agreement that will extend this tax cut and unemployment insurance for all of 2012 without drama or delay.

“This is good news, just in time for the holidays. This is the right thing to do to strengthen our families, grow our economy, and create new jobs.  This is real money that will make a real difference in people’s lives.  And I want to thank every American who raised your voice to remind folks in this town what this debate was all about.  It was about you. And today, your voices made all the difference.”

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Now, get yourself to Hawaii Mr President:

President Barack Obama plays golf at the Kaneohe Klipper Marine Golf Course in Oahu, Hawaii, Dec. 26, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

22
Dec
11

an early heads up – chat away

White House live

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Link

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Reuters: Israel’s defense minister extolled what he called Barack Obama’s resolve and risk-taking on Thursday, remarks likely to help the president’s re-election bid after the Pentagon beefed up warnings to Iran over its nuclear program.

….Citing Obama’s ideologically tinged 2009 speeches in Cairo and on the occasion of winning the Nobel Peace Prize, and this month’s U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, Barak said: “Ultimately you cannot deny he has a certain degree of consistency.”

“You may not like what he does (but) you discern a man who is capable and ready to undertake the fiercest of political risks to his survival, in order to make good on what he believes in,” said Barak, who met Obama in Washington last week.

“We are asked, sometimes, whether Obama is really a soft appeaser. To that, I say: ‘Go ask Osama bin Laden.'”

More here

22
Dec
11

‘beautiful, smart and funny’

ABC: President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama in an exclusive pre-Christmas interview with ABC News’ Barbara Walters revealed personal insights about themselves and their relationship as they approach their 20th wedding anniversary next fall. The full interview can be seen during a “20/20” holiday special on Friday, Dec. 23, 10 p.m. ET on ABC stations.

What’s the biggest misconception about you?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Me being detached, or Spock-like, or very analytical. People who know me know that I am a softie. I mean, stuff can choke me up very easily. The challenge for me is that in this job I think a lot of times the press or how you come off on TV people want you to be very demonstrative in your emotions. And if you’re not sort of showing it in a very theatrical way, then somehow it doesn’t translate over the screen.

MICHELLE OBAMA: Someone said that there’s a perception out there that I feel confined or trapped in some way. To the extent that people have that perception, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I feel very blessed in this role.

What three words would you each use to describe the other?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Beautiful, smart and funny.

MICHELLE OBAMA: Smart, sportsman, and father.

What is your biggest peeve about each other?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Oh, I don’t have one.

MICHELLE OBAMA: My list is too long. 😆

If you were to die and come back as a person as a thing, what would you want it to be?

MICHELLE OBAMA: I would want to be Bo. He’s got a great life. He’s got it good. Not a dog. But Bo.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, Barbara, I’m going to take a pass on this one.

More here

22
Dec
11

rise and shine

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White House live

Greg Sargent: The President is set to hold another event today urging the House GOP to support the Senate payroll tax extension compromise…. A White House official emails that Obama today “will be joined by Americans who would see their taxes go up if the House Republicans fail to act”.

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Washington Post: House Republicans faced mounting pressure Wednesday from critics inside and outside Congress who worry that their standoff with President Obama over whether to extend a payroll tax cut could do lasting damage to the GOP.

… The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board captured the frustration among Republicans in the paper’s Wednesday editions, asking whether the GOP’s handling of the tax debate “might end up re-electing the President before the 2012 campaign even begins in earnest.”

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said the House GOP must get past the issue. “Are Republicans getting killed now in public opinion? There’s no question,” he said Wednesday on CNBC. “Both Republicans and Democrats have agreed that this is going to happen, and probably the best thing to happen now is just to get it over with.”

More here

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Marketwatch: The number of Americans filing initial claims for regular state unemployment-insurance benefits fell 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 364,000 in the week ended Dec. 17, reaching the lowest level since April 2008, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected that claims would rise to 375,000, while remaining at levels historically associated with an improving labor market.

The four-week average of initial claims – a smoother gauge than the weekly data – fell 8,000 to 380,250, the lowest level since June 2008.

More here

Steve Benen: It’s generally wise to avoid sweeping conclusions about week-to-week changes in data like this, but when these jobless claims fall below the 400,000 threshold, it’s evidence of an improving jobs landscape. When the number drops below 370,000, it suggests jobs are actually being created rather quickly.

More here

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Michael Tomasky: President Obama has had an awful year. But thanks to the politically asinine miscalculations of House Republicans, he’s ending 2011 with a bang.

For a bunch of people who don’t believe that Barack Obama celebrates Christmas, Republicans sure are going out of their way to make sure the president has a merry one. The short-sighted stupidity of the House Republicans is hardly to be believed. The presidential nomination contest is as unsettled as ever and still features a bunch of candidates who are about as appealing to most Americans as Aunt Gladys’s fruitcake.

…. It’s all a reminder that Obama won’t be running just against a Republican candidate. He’ll be running, as he has been, against a Republican Congress. And the public is finally getting the message that they are breathing a different kind of air from the rest of us.

More here

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Paul Krugman: David Roberts reports on the EPA’s decision, finally, to regulate mercury from coal plants … it will save tens of thousands of lives every year and prevent birth defects, learning disabilities, and respiratory diseases. This is actually a much bigger issue, when it comes to saving American lives, than terrorism.

…. The point that strikes me most, however, is that this shows that it matters who holds the White House. You can complain about Obama’s lack of a strong progressive agenda, which I sometimes do, or wonder what good it is to hold the White House when the other side blocks every attempt to do good through legislation. But mercury regulation would not have happened if John McCain were president.

Elections have consequences, and this is one delayed consequence of 2008 that will make a big difference.

Full post here

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Morning everyone 😉




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