Archive for February 29th, 2012

29
Feb
12

a promise kept

President Barack Obama speaks during a dinner honoring members of the Armed Forces who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn and their families at the White House

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey

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ABC

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29
Feb
12

today at gallup

29
Feb
12

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The Week

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 😉




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