Posts Tagged ‘norm

15
Apr
18

Listening

31
Jul
13

Rise and Shine

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Today (all times Eastern)

10:10: The President meets with the House Democratic Caucus, United States Capitol

11:25: Meets with the Senate Democratic Caucus, United States Capitol

(C-Span have live coverage listed for 11:15, but the meetings are closed so they’ll probably just show statements after)

2:10: President Obama welcomes the NCAA Champion UConn Huskies to honor the team and their 2013 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship

3:0 Congressional leaders join together for a ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (C-Span 3)

4:30: The President and VP Biden meet with Secretary of the Treasury Lew

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Steve Benen: Economic growth exceeds expectations

Going into this morning, expectations for economic growth in the second quarter — April, May, and June of this year — were quite poor, making the actual GDP report a little more encouraging.

The U.S. economy grew at a 1.7% annual rate in the second quarter, buoyed by a solid gain in consumer spending and a sharp increase in business investment, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected growth to total 1.0%.

To be sure, 1.7% GDP growth is not, by any fair measure, good news. It tells us the economy is growing, but the recovery is at best sluggish. But given the news we were expecting, 1.7% is a relatively pleasant surprise, especially since the previous quarter’s growth was revised down to 1.1%.

More here

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Bloomberg: Economy in U.S. Expands More Than Forecast on Inventories

The economy in the U.S. grew more than projected in the second quarter, reflecting an unexpected pickup in inventory building as consumer spending cooled. Growth in the previous three months was revised down.

Gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced, rose at a 1.7 percent annualized rate, after a 1.1 percent gain the prior quarter, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 1 percent advance for last quarter. Consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy, climbed 1.8 percent after increasing 2.3 percent.

Job gains and rising home prices are shoring up Americans’ confidence and lifting automobile sales and production, making it likely the U.S. will pick up once government spending cuts and tax increases pose less of a restraint. The report also showed inflation is falling further below the Federal Reserve’s goal….

More here

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Steve Benen: Reality gets in the way of far-right shutdown scheme

As a large group of Republicans push for a government shutdown over the Affordable Care Act, Norm Ornstein offered some compelling context. “You could say it’s a do-nothing Congress but that doesn’t do justice to it,” he said. “These guys are doing something, which is to destroy the economic fabric of the country by holding the functions of government hostage to a non-negotiable demand to eliminate Obamacare.”

That’s plainly true, though Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), arguably the main ringleader of the scheme, apparently believes destroying the economic fabric of the country by holding the functions of government hostage to a non-negotiable demand to eliminate Obamacare is a fine idea. As Sarah Kliff reported, however, there is a flaw in the right-wing premise…..

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Steve Benen: ATF finally poised to move forward with real leadership

Ask conservative opponents of gun reforms what they’d like to see from law enforcement, and you’ll probably get a predictable answer: we should enforce the gun laws we already have, not approve new ones. For the last several years, however, that’s been easier said than done.

Enforcement of existing gun laws generally falls under the purview of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which has lacked a permanent, Senate-confirmed leader for the last seven years, thanks to opposition from Republicans and the National Rifle Association, both of which have reflexively balked at the very idea of an ATF chief.

With this in mind, we may be poised for a breakthrough this week….

More here

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ThinkProgress: Texas Lawmakers Are Too Busy Focusing On Abortion Restrictions To Get Anything Else Done

Just over an hour after Texas legislators concluded their second special session — an extra lawmaking session they used to enact sweeping abortion restrictions — Gov. Rick Perry (R) called them back for a third one. An outstanding highway funding bill is the only item on the agenda. “When it comes to transportation, the stakes facing our state could not be higher,” the governor noted in a statement.

Perry cited that same transportation measure as one of the reasons he believed it was necessary to call the first special legislative session at the beginning of June. But instead of focusing on getting that done, the governor demonstrated a different set of priorities — adding a slew of anti-abortion provisions that were unable to advance during the state’s regular session to the docket.

More here

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Bob Cesca: Bradley Manning Lives in a Nation of Laws, and, Hero or Not, He Broke 16 of Those Laws

While fleeing from the law in Hong Kong, Edward Snowden encouraged a return to “the rule of law rather than men.” In spite of his politically incorrect usage of “men” instead of “men and women,” he’s right. Generally speaking, individual citizens shouldn’t be held above the law — least of all a soldier named Pfc. Bradley Manning who stole 720,000 classified documents and handed them over to be be indiscriminately posted for public consumption by Julian Assange’s Wikileaks.

More here

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Two years ago today:

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden shake hands in the Oval Office following a phone call with House Speaker John Boehner securing a bipartisan deal to reduce the nation’s deficit and avoid default, Sunday, July 31, 2011. (Photo by Pete Souza)

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MoooOOOooorning!

25
Jul
13

This and That

Pete Souza: Pres Obama speaking in Jacksonville, Florida

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Steve Benen: AG Holder to fight Texas on voting rights

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Voting Rights Act, Republican policymakers acted with remarkable speed – literally, less than 24 hours – to approve new voting restrictions, most notably a controversial voter-ID law.

When the Voting Rights Act was intact, changes to voting laws in the Lone Star State would need to be cleared with the Justice Department in advance of being implemented, but with the law gutted by a narrow Supreme Court majority, GOP officials in Texas assumed the Justice Department is no longer relevant, and they could do as they pleased.

The nation’s Attorney General apparently believes otherwise….

More here

And see TPM: Holder’s Move Against Texas Could Send The Voting Rights Act Back To The Supreme Court

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Steve Benen: Among voter-suppression bills, ‘This is the single worst’

Over the last few years, we’ve seen quite a few states take up new voting restrictions, immediately on the heels of Republican gains in the 2010 election cycle, so much so that the notion of a “Republican war on voting” was widely recognized and understood. After the 2012 elections, despite the failures of voter suppression, state GOP officials renewed their efforts.

But it’s probably fair to say we haven’t seen anything quite as astounding as the proposed restrictions in North Carolina. Barbara Arnwine, president of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said, “This is the single worst bill we have seen introduced since voter suppression bills began sweeping the country.”

More here

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BlackAmericaWeb: Is Anyone Black Enough for Cornel West?

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This really is beyond belief:

ThinkProgress: Ohio Plans Unspeakably Cruel Appeal Of Dying Man’s Last Wish

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President Obama tours Jacksonville port with, from left, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx; Dennis Kelly, TracPac Regional Vice President and General Manager; Ray Schleicher, CEO of the Jacksonville Port Authority, and Fred Wakefield, International Longshoreman’s Association Representative

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Text of the President’s remarks in Jacksonville today here

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President Obama talks with Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx aboard Air Force One during the flight to Jacksonville, July 25 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Norm Ornstein: The Unprecedented, Contemptible GOP Quest to Sabotage Obamacare. What the Republicans are doing now goes beyond mere hardball politics – and could hurt millions of Americans affected by health-care reform.

And from Steve Benen: None dare call it sabotage

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President Obama reaches up to touch a media microphone while talking with people along a tarmac ropeline after arriving at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., July 24 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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ThinkProgress: Washington Nationals Use Teddy Roosevelt Mascot To Promote Obamacare

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USA Today: President Obama is declaring Saturday to be Korean War Veterans Armistice Day.

“I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities that honor our distinguished Korean War veterans,” Obama said in a proclamation signed Thursday.

Obama will commemorate the event with a speech on Saturday at the Korean War memorial in Washington, D.C.

More here

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Pete Souza: Pres Obama signing photos backstage in Jacksonville

25
Jul
13

Rise and Shine

President Obama speaks about the economy during a visit to Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, July 24

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Presidential Daily Schedule (All Times Eastern)

10:15: President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with President Truong Tan Sang of Vietnam

11:30: The President departs the White House

1:25: Arrives Jacksonville, Florida

1:55: Tours the Jacksonville Port Authority

2:35: Delivers remarks

3:40: Departs Jacksonville

5:35: Arrives the White House

8:45: Hosts an Iftar dinner

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Knox College, July 24

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Steve Benen: After a whole lot of buildup from the White House, President Obama delivered one of those rare speeches that has its own name: “A Better Bargain for the Middle Class.”

… This was a very forward-thinking speech. While Republican leaders regularly present a vision of a different kind of America – one without a safety net, without access to affordable health care, without retirement security, without education, without environmental protections, without the right to organize or bargain collectively, but plenty of Ayn Rand-approved “freedom” – this was the president’s opportunity to sketch out a more progressive alternative.

…. what Obama thinks should be next is a center-left approach, built on the belief that lasting prosperity comes from an economy that rejects a top-down model in which we help the rich and wait for wealth to someday trickle down, but focuses instead on a “middle-out” model that emphasizes the middle class. (The president used the phrase “middle class” 25 times in this speech.)

If the president’s detractors have anything even remotely as compelling, I’m eager to see it.

Full post here

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Statement by the President on Student Loans

A better bargain for the middle class means making a college education available to every single American willing to work for it.  That’s why I applaud the wide bipartisan majority of Senators who passed a bill to cut rates on nearly all new federal student loans, rolling back a July 1st rate hike and saving undergraduates an average of more than $1,500 on loans they take out this year.

This compromise is a major victory for our nation’s students.  It meets the key principles I laid out from the start: it locks in low rates next year, and it doesn’t overcharge students to pay down the deficit.  I urge the House to pass this bill so that I can sign it into law right away, and I hope both parties build on this progress by taking even more steps to bring down soaring costs and keep a good education – a cornerstone of what it means to be middle class – within reach for working families.

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Norm Ornstein: The Unprecedented — and Contemptible — Attempts to Sabotage Obamacare

Doing everything possible to block the law’s implementation is not treasonous — just sharply beneath any reasonable standards of elected officials.

When Mike Lee pledges to try to shut down the government unless President Obama knuckles under and defunds Obamacare entirely, it is not news—it is par for the course for the take-no-prisoners extremist senator from Utah. When the Senate Republicans’ No. 2 and No. 3 leaders, John Cornyn and John Thune, sign on to the blackmail plan, it is news — of the most depressing variety.

I am not the only one who has written about House and Senate Republicans’ monomaniacal focus on sabotaging the implementation of Obamacare — Greg Sargent, Steve Benen, Jon Chait, Jon Bernstein, Ezra Klein, and many others have written powerful pieces. But it is now spinning out of control.

It is important to emphasize that this set of moves is simply unprecedented….

More here

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Robert Plumber, a Korean War Vet who was one of the first African-American Navy UDT divers (AKA Frogmen, the precursors to the US Navy SEALs), talks about the importance of defending Voting Rights after being arrested with Rev. Barber and dozens of others at the 12th Moral Monday action in Raleigh, North Carolina. Plumber, a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement was arrested previously with Dr. Martin Luther King.

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This is IMPORTANT. If you are a TOD Twitterer, join and help President Obama. All hands on deck for 2014:

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