Archive for December 8th, 2011

08
Dec
11

hanukkah

President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Bidenat at a Hanukkah reception at the White House, December 8

08
Dec
11

catching up

President Obama speaks during a news conference on Republican obstruction of Richard Cordray’s nomination to head the CFPB, Dec 8

Steve Benen: Two months after the Senate Banking Committee approved Richard Cordray as the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Senate leadership brought the nomination to the floor this morning. Republicans refused to allow a vote …. It’s hard to overstate how outrageous today’s filibuster really is.

…. It’s all part of the normalization of extortion politics. Traditionally, if the GOP wanted to alter the powers of the CFPB, it would write legislation, send it to committee, bring it to the floor, send it to the other chamber, etc. But that takes time and effort, and might not work. Instead, we see the latest in a series of GOP extortion strategies: Republicans will force Democrats to accept changes to the agency, or Republicans won’t allow the agency to meet its legal mandate…..

More here

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Washington Post

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The President is pre-taping interviews with WISH (Indianapolis, IN), KSNV (Las Vegas, NV), WREG (Memphis, TN) and WCHS (Portland, ME) today

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Steve Benen: We generally look to the first Friday of every month for new unemployment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but every Thursday morning, the Department of Labor releases a report on initial unemployment claims.

And this morning, the news is very good:

The number of people filing for state unemployment benefits for the first time fell 23,000 to the lowest level since late February, the government said Thursday. The Labor Department said claims fell to a seasonally adjusted 381,000 last week. The level of initial claims in the week ended Nov. 26 was revised up by 2,000 to 404,000.

The consensus expectations were for a slight drop, which makes the sharp drop that much more encouraging…..

More here

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You can never see this enough:

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Steve Benen: Politico has a piece today on Senate Democrats’ outrage over Republican obstructionism, as evidenced by Tuesday’s filibuster of judicial nominee Caitlin Halligan and today’s expected filibuster of CFPB nominee Richard Cordray. As Dems see it, GOP abuses are setting a new standard — which Democrats will take advantage of the next time they’re in the minority.

…. Republicans respond that these current tactics aren’t new, and the Politico article tells readers the GOP argument is sound.

…. This isn’t a subjective question on which the parties are entitled to different opinions. There are objective, often quantifiable, answers to the points Politico and Republicans are raising: are GOP senators “replicating” Democratic tactics? Were Dems abusing Senate rules in the Bush era to the same degree that Republicans are abusing them now?

The answer to both is “no,” and the false equivalence does little to advance the discussion.

More here

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Oh Willard…..

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Steve Benen: Most of the Affordable Care Act won’t take effect for a few years – and if court rulings and the 2012 elections go a certain way, it may not take effect at all – but there’s already evidence that the reform law is working.

It’s making a big difference in providing coverage for young adults; it’s providing treatment options for women like Spike Dolomite Ward; and it’s slowing the growth in Medicare spending.

It’s also, as Jonathan Cohn explained, saving seniors quite a bit of money on prescription medication…..

More here

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Boston Herald

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TPM

😕

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President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrive to speak in the South Court Auditorium on the White House, Dec. 7

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada talk backstage at the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building following their joint press conference, Dec. 7, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Rolling Stone

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TPM: Details of Stephen Colbert’s “South Carolina Serious, Classy Republican Debate” are becoming more clear. Kind of…

“It’s happening, we’re doing it, we’ve set the date in stone, sometime in January,” Colbert said. “It’s going to be on Animal Planet. They haven’t returned my call yet.”

More here (plus video)

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CBS: President Barack Obama will appear on “60 Minutes” in an interview with Steve Kroft to be broadcast Sunday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Steve Kroft interviewed the president on Tuesday in Kansas after he delivered an economic speech in the small town of Osawatomie. President Obama will talk to Kroft again tomorrow at the White House for Sunday’s report.

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08
Dec
11

heads up

The President is to make a statement on Republican obstruction of Richard Cordray’s nomination to head the CFPB

White House live

08
Dec
11

rise and shine

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Reuters: New claims for unemployment benefits dropped to a nine-month low last week, a government report showed on Thursday, suggesting the labor market recovery was gaining momentum.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 381,000, the Labor Department said, the lowest since late February. That was below economists’ expectations for a fall to 395,000.

The report, coming on the heels of data last week showing a rise in hiring and a sharp drop in the unemployment rate to 8.6 percent in November, pointed to some healing in a sector that has been the Achilles heel of the economy’s recovery.

More here

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Morning everyone 😉

I’m 24 hours behind the news, sorry I didn’t get to catch up yesterday. Hoping to resume normal-ish service today, give me a little while and I’ll get there!




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