Archive for May 16th, 2012

16
May
12

This and That

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet the family of Specialist Leslie H. Sabo, Jr., U.S. Army, outside the Oval Office prior to a Medal of Honor ceremony honoring Specialist Sabo, May 16, 2012. Pictured, from left, are: Kathleen Starkey, sister-in-law; Rose Sabo-Brown, widow; Frances Buccelli, mother-in-law. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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ReTweet!

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Washington Post/AP: When Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney decried the “prairie fire” of U.S. debt Tuesday, he ignored some of the sparks that set it ablaze.

One was the Great Recession that took hold before Barack Obama became president. That landmark event went unmentioned in Romney’s speech. Another was a series of Bush-era tax cuts that Romney wants to follow with even lower rates.

Instead he laid the blame on Obama, a president who has certainly increased the nation’s eye-popping debt — but not, as Romney claimed, by nearly as much as all other presidents combined.

A look at some of Romney’s assertions and how they compare with the facts:

ROMNEY: “America counted on President Obama to rescue the economy, tame the deficit and help create jobs. Instead, he bailed out the public sector, gave billions of your dollars to the companies of his friends, and added almost as much debt as all the prior presidents combined.”

THE FACTS. Hardly. Presidents from George Washington through George W. Bush ran the national debt up to $10.62 trillion, the amount it was on the day Obama took office. Today, it is $15.67 trillion, according to the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Public Debt. So it has gone up by $5.05 trillion under Obama. That’s roughly half of the amount amassed by all the other presidents combined.

In short, the debt has gone up by about half under Obama. Under Ronald Reagan, it tripled.

More here

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‘Renewing GOP vows’:

Cagle

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Miami Herald: Welcome to FL, Mitt. Now why did Bain Capital lay off so many people in Miami?

As Mitt Romney returns to Florida on Wednesday for two days of campaigning and money-raising, Democrats are trying to ensure Floridians keep two words in mind: Dade Behring.

It’s the name of a former medical equipment manufacturer in Miami that Romney’s venture capital firm bought and then closed in the late 1990s, walking away with $242 million in profits.

“Obviously you need to make a profit to be successful,” Cindy Hewitt, Dade Behring’s former human resources officer, said Tuesday, at a Miami news conference organized by President Barack Obama’s campaign. “My concern is when businesses are used to generate wealth for a small number of people and businesses are run to the ground and the lifeblood is sucked out of it and all of their employees lose their jobs.”

The case of Dade Behring in Miami, where some 850 jobs were lost while Romney led Bain has been well-documented. But there’s a new wrinkle: The company under Bain’s leadership sought and received millions of dollars in tax breaks for creating jobs in Puerto Rico — shortly before closing its facilities, costing nearly 300 jobs.

More here

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BBC

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In case anyone missed this today … it’s unmissable:

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Thursday: The President will attend meetings at the White House.

Friday: PBO will deliver the opening keynote to the Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC. Later on Friday, the President will travel to Camp David for the G-8 Summit, which will address a broad range of economic, political and security issues. The President will remain overnight at Camp David.

Saturday: PBO will remain at Camp David for the G-8 Summit. Later on Saturday, the President will travel to Chicago, Illinois, where he will welcome NATO allies and partners to his hometown for the NATO Summit on May 20-21. The First Lady will travel to Chicago with the President.

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Chat away 😉

16
May
12

A word from Japa: Sound and Fury

by Japa

Full of Sound and Fury. Signifying Nothing.

No, this post is not about Chip’s reaction to recent events on the football pitches of Europe (Chips “Oi”)

Instead, this post is about polls and the media that promotes them. There has been a lot of anguish on this site of late about this poll or that poll. Furious checking of cross-tabs, analyzing of the composition of the respondents. Incredulity that President Obama can have 50% favorability rating but be behind Romney who has a 37% favorability rating.

Folks, let’s get a grip on ourselves and relax. Both the polls and the media represent what the Bard was referring to in Macbeth. They represent “a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.”

Let’s talk about polls for a moment. It is not that they don’t have some meaning. They do. And right now they tell us more about the people doing the polling than they do about the public at large. It is largely because polling has turned into a real science over the past few decades that we can, to some degree, ignore them at this point in the campaign. Because polling is very precise, pollsters can get just about any response they want based upon how they set up the poll, based upon the respondents they choose and based upon how questions are phrased.

Polls are accurate representations of the people that are polled, nothing more, nothing less. Change who you poll, you change the results, and this can be done very precisely and accurately by the pollsters. And keep in mind that most of the most publicized polls are being paid for by the media outlets, such as ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and Fox.

Why is that important? Simply because the media has a vested interest in making sure that the upcoming election is viewed as a close race. It drives revenues and it drives viewership/readership. If you still believe that the media is composed of honest, high integrity, journalists, I am sorry to tell you that you are mistaken. Perhaps that is the way it should be, but that isn’t the way it is. That is the reality we have to deal with.

But, you may ask, why do I say that all this is a bunch of noise that doesn’t mean anything? Don’t polls become self-fulfilling prophecies? Shouldn’t we be worried by these polls?

Well, first of all, today is May 16, not November 5. People don’t really become involved in the politics of all this until after the conventions. And, believe it or not, Romney is still an unknown quantity to the vast portion of the population. Keep in mind, probably the lowest Romney can go come election time is 45%. The more important question is what his ceiling is, and polls today don’t tell us anything about that.

Secondly, studies have shown that polls can affect and influence people. In fact, they may influence maybe ½ of 1% of people. And that is a pretty minute number. But what polls can do is inspire people or depress people. And that is what we need to focus on.

Let ask you a question. If you see, going into late October that President Obama is down 1-2% in the polls (and remember those polls are more important) are you going to be more determined or less determined to get out there and get people to the polls? The answer, I hope, is obvious. We already know that the Democrats this year have the higher enthusiasm level. Being down a couple points is likely to increase that enthusiasm. At the same time, being up a couple points is not likely to dampen the enthusiasm.

For Republicans, the exact opposite is the case. If they see Romney losing by a couple points, they are more likely to write him off and not be as enthused to get out there, specially since he has virtually no ground game. And if he is up by a couple points, they are more likely to few it as a done deal and not push themselves to get to the polls. Of course, this can change depending on local races and if there are special issues on the ballot.

Should we be worried? No, not now. Concerned, perhaps. But let us use these polls to our advantage. Like I said, what polls can tell you is how specific groups of people feel about the race. Find out those groups that are not as strong for the President. Target them, convince them and then get them to the voting booth come November. Some of course are beyond redemption. But not all.

Let us not waste energy or put money into dentists’ wallets by doing too much gnashing of teeth. As I have mentioned before, fear can debilitate if we let it. Let’s step back and use the information these polls give us, not panic or scream in anguish if a poll doesn’t show the results we want to see. Let us work to prove these polls really do, right now, signify nothing and that the media is telling a tale full of sound and fury but little substance.

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Links to Japa’s other posts here

16
May
12

Medal of Honor … and more

President Obama awards posthumously the Medal of Honor to Rose Mary Sabo-Brown, widow of Specialist Leslie H. Sabo, Jr

Fellow soldiers from the same unit as Army Specialist Leslie Sabo Jr. cry as President Obama presents Rose Mary Sabo-Brown the Medal of Honor posthumously to her husband for his actions in Cambodia in May 1970

President Obama and First lady Michelle Obama hug Rose Mary Sabo-Brown after she received the Medal of Honor posthumously for her husband, Army Specialist Leslie Sabo Jr

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16
May
12

Heads up: President Obama awards Medal of Honor (3:10 ET)

White House live

CNN live streaming

16
May
12

Letters to the President: The Dreams of Our Daughters

16
May
12

Hungry?

President Obama holds up a hoagie sandwich at Taylor Gourmet after holding a roundtable discussion with small business owners at the restaurant in Washington, DC, May 16

President Obama’s signed receipts sit at the counter

16
May
12

“What More Do We Want This Man To Do For Us, Honest To God”

If you have any problems with the video you can see it at Mediaite – from 2:0 in

16
May
12

Rise and Shine

President Barack Obama greets people in the audience at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service, an annual ceremony honoring law enforcement who were killed in the line of duty, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., May 15. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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NYT: President Obama and the Democrats raised $43.6 million in April, adding to the president’s edge over his rival, Mitt Romney, even as money continues to pour in to outside groups ahead of the fall campaign.

The $43.6 million is a slight dip from March, when Mr. Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee raised a combined $53 million. But it does not count several large fund-raisers — including one in Hollywood that reportedly raised $15 million — that took place in early May.

More here

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ThinkProgress

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USA Today: Vice President Biden will deliver a blistering attack on Mitt Romney’s business career in a speech to be delivered later today in Youngstown, Ohio.

…. “He thinks that because he spent his career as a ‘businessman,’ he has the experience to run the economy,” Biden plans to say. “In the 1990s, there was a steel mill in Kansas City, Missouri. It had been in business since 1888. Then Romney and his partners bought the company. Eight years later it went bankrupt.”

The vice president goes on to tell the story of GST Steel, one of the companies taken over by Bain Capital that didn’t fare as well as, say, Staples or Sports Authority.

It’s the same company the Obama campaign will feature tonight in a two-minute campaign ad airing briefly in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Colorado and Iowa.

More here

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Cagle

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TPM: A new Quinnipiac poll shows that President Barack Obama is a strong favorite to win New Jersey in November — even when he is matched up against the Garden State’s popular governor.

In the statewide poll of registered voters, Obama bests presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, 49 percent to 39 percent.  For a state that has voted Democratic in the past five presidential elections, that is not necessarily surprising.  But the poll gets intriguing when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie enters the equation. When Quinnipiac asked voters to decide between the incumbent ticket of Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and a Republican ticket of Romney and Christie, the president’s team still comes out on top — 50 percent to 42 percent.

More here

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Cagle

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ThinkProgress: The White House has issued a veto threat should the House version of the Violence Against Women Act reach the President’s desk.

In a statement, the administration said that the House version of the bill is unacceptable. Sponsored Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL), the House version removes the protections for marginalized communities, stripping out provisions that were passed in the Senate version of the bill.

More here

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Cagle

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10:30: President Obama holds a roundtable discussion with small business owners and SBA Administrator Karen Mills.

11:30: Meets for lunch with Congressional Leadership.

12:00: VP Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event in Youngstown, Ohio.

1:10: Jay Carney briefs the press.

3:10: PBO awards Specialist Leslie H. Sabo, Jr., U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor; Michelle Obama also attends.

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Morning everyone 😉




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