Posts Tagged ‘suppression



25
Sep
12

Rise and Shine

GottaRegister

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10:45: Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event in Chesterfield, Virginia

(Don’t forget The View today)

1:25: President Obama departs New York City

2:35: Arrives at the White House

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NYT Editorial: Mitt Romney …. told CBS News’s “60 Minutes” that he is tied with President Obama; he has a “very effective campaign; it’s doing a very good job” …. That’s an outright denial of political reality, but Mr. Romney’s willingness to stray from the truth is at the root of what’s really going on….

To some extent, Mr. Romney’s diminishing stature is because of two recent statements that revealed his deficiencies to a newly interested audience. He falsely suggested that the Obama administration was sympathetic to the violent Muslim protests in Libya and Egypt, illustrating his ignorant and opportunistic critique of foreign policy. And he was caught on video belittling nearly half the country for an overreliance on government handouts.

These moments, though, were not fumbles or gaffes. They were entirely consistent with the dismissive attitude Mr. Romney has routinely shown toward non-Americans or the non-rich….

Mr. Romney is free to pursue this shallow, cavalier campaign for six more weeks, but he shouldn’t be surprised if voters increasingly choose not to pay attention.

Full editorial here

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BBC: America’s sixth-largest credit card issuer has agreed to pay $200m in refunds to settle accusations it misled customers into add-on services.

Discover Bank will also pay a $14m fine, after regulators said it enrolled clients in schemes such as credit monitoring, without consent.

It is the third public enforcement action taken by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

More than 3.5 million customers are to receive refunds. About two million of them will be repaid all the charges against them.

More here

Thank you amk

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22
Sep
12

Rise and Shine

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NYT Editorial: This is how voter intimidation worked in 1966: White teenagers in Americus, Ga., harassed black citizens in line to vote, and the police refused to intervene. Black plantation workers in Mississippi had to vote in plantation stores, overseen by their bosses. Black voters in Choctaw County, Ala., had to hand their ballots directly to white election officials for inspection.

This is how it works today: In an ostensible hunt for voter fraud, a Tea Party group, True the Vote, descends on a largely minority precinct and combs the registration records for the slightest misspelling or address error. It uses this information to challenge voters at the polls, and though almost every challenge is baseless, the arguments and delays frustrate those in line and reduce turnout.

The thing that’s different from the days of overt discrimination is the phony pretext of combating voter fraud. Voter identity fraud is all but nonexistent, but the assertion that it might exist is used as an excuse to reduce the political rights of minorities, the poor, students, older Americans and other groups that tend to vote Democratic.

More here

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Michael Tomasky: The release of the Romney tax returns is so amateurish that it almost offends me…..

Romney had pledged, in that ABC interview in Israel, that he’d never paid less than 13 percent to the feds. But to make that true for tax year 2011, the campaign admits that he artificially refused to take some deductions so that the rate would stay above the magic number.

But wait a second. Isn’t this the same Mitt Romney who said back in January: “I don’t think you want someone as the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes.”

In fact, it is. So he just released returns that, when stacked against his earlier statement, disqualify him for the presidency by his own lights. Amazing…..

More here

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@BarackObama

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Demonstrators hold up signs as Mitt Romney’s motorcade passes enroute to a campaign fundraiser in Hillsborough, California, September 21

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Washington Post editorial: Going with the best-defense-is-a-good-offense approach, the Romney campaign is accusing President Obama of being a — gasp! — redistributionist. In a rather pale replay of 2008’s Joe the Plumber spread-the-wealth debate, the GOP dredged up a 14-year-old video.

…. The campaign apparently thinks that voters will find “redistribution” a scary word. But does Mr. Romney really disagree with the belief that part of government’s role is, in Mr. Obama’s words, to help “make sure that everybody’s got a shot”? To tax is to redistribute. To govern is to redistribute….

…. It’s indisputable that Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama have diverging views about the danger posed by increasing income inequality and the degree of redistribution in which government should engage. But the Romney campaign’s desperate, clownish portrayal of Mr. Obama does this important debate a serious disservice.

Full editorial here

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Thank you DesertFlower!

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Greenville, September 19 (Christopher Dilts for Obama for America)

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1:30 Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill campaign at a rally in Merrimack, New Hampshire

6:40: President Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event at Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee (I need to check that time, CNN’s live streaming schedule has a habit of getting these things wrong)

7:30 ET: Michelle Obama will address the Congressional Black Caucus – live on C-SPAN

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Morning everyone 😉

17
Sep
12

‘A Tale of two Courts’

ThinkProgress

Thank you Desertflower

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Coming up (All times ET and approximate – tune in early just in case):

3:0 First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at the University of Florida in Gainesville (C-Span * CNN)

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4:15: VP Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event at the Port of Burlington (CNN)

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4:20: President Obama delivers remarks at Schiller Park, Columbus (C-Span * CNN * CBS 1 * CBS 2)

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6:55: First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center

Will check links nearer the time

01
Sep
12

Rise and Shine

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Today (all times ET):

11:0: President Obama departs the White House

1:35: Arrives Des Moines, Iowa

2:20: Delivers remarks at a campaign event at Living History Farms, Urbandale, Iowa

4:25: Departs Des Moines

5:10: Arrives Sioux City, Iowa

7:30: Delivers remarks at a campaign event at Morningside College, Sioux City

9:20: Departs Sioux City

10:40: Arrives Denver

(Will double-check the schedule, not 100% sure about the times)

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Des Moines Register: Barack Obama’s election-year effort to rock the vote in Iowa continues this afternoon in Urbandale, where he’ll literally be rockin’ the suburbs.

The president’s second visit to the state this week will resemble a summer music festival, treating an outdoor crowd at Living History Farms not only to a political speech but also performances by indie band the National and alternative-rock hero Chris Cornell.

More here (thanks Dotster)

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NYT: Republicans in Texas and Florida have been in the vanguard of the pernicious, widespread efforts to suppress voting by Hispanics and blacks. Fortunately, federal courts are seeing these efforts for what they are: a variation on the racist laws that disenfranchised millions before those tactics were outlawed by the Voting Rights Act.

A three-judge panel of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on Thursday unanimously rejected Texas’s voter ID law, which required court approval to take effect. The court described the law, known as SB 14, as “the most stringent in the country.”

More here

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25
Aug
12

Rise and Shine

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McClatchy

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Charles Pierce: I was driving most of yesterday and, therefore, only got the news piecemeal of Willard Romney’s descent to previous unplumbed depths in a racist bathysphere of how own devising. I felt a little out of the loop until I was presented with the comforting familiarity of what a dipshit Mark Halperin is:

“After reading a lot of tweets, listening to some talk radio, and watching some cable TV, I can say that this Romney/birther moment is representative of the whole, horrible campaign cycle we are in. The level of vitriol and personal animus that exists on both sides over the flap is truly discouraging.”

…. Jesus, these people…

Full post here

Click here to see the rest of Rise and Shine

04
Nov
11

catching up (again)

Paris Match

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Harold Pollack (Washington Monthly): ….. Many progressives – me, for instance – worry that OWS will promote destructive alienation from the hard and sustained work of conventional politics. If a sizeable chunk of progressive youth are passive in 2012, that is the functional equivalent of a Nader candidacy.

The best way to prevent this is to find an aspect of conventional politics that can genuinely excite and move these protesters into positive action that serves their own values and long-term goals …. Perhaps earnest substantive emails about health reform should do that – given the Affordable Care Act’s impact on millions of low-income people….

Ari Berman’s fantastic reporting describes Republican efforts across the country to establish subtle (or not-so-subtle) roadblocks to hinder voting among minorities, poor people, ex-felons, and the young … This is an obvious effort to turn the 2012 electorate into an older and whiter group that resembles the 2010 electorate rather than the 2008 electorate that brought Barack Obama to the White House.

…. Occupy Wall Street organizers: I believe you should resonate with this issue. GOP officials are trying to disenfranchise people like you: college students with university IDs not gun permits, young people and minority urban residents who don’t drive, and so on.

Full post here

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Original video here

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President Barack Obama talks with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner during a break at the G20 Summit in Cannes, France, Nov. 4. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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The Week

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31
Oct
11

rise and shine

3:30 PM: First Lady Michelle Obama welcomes Caroline Kennedy and representatives of other first families and members of the White House Historical Association for a reception in honor of the organization’s 50th Anniversary.

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NYT: Obama Tries to Speed Response to Shortages in Vital Medicines

President Obama will issue an executive order on Monday that the administration hopes will help resolve a growing number of critical shortages of vital medicines used to treat life-threatening illnesses, among them several forms of cancer and bacterial infections.

The order offers drug manufacturers and wholesalers both a helping hand and a gloved fist in efforts to prevent or resolve shortages that have worsened greatly in recent years, endangering thousands of lives.

It instructs the F.D.A. to do three things: broaden reporting of potential shortages of certain prescription drugs; speed reviews of applications to begin or alter production of these drugs; and provide more information to the Justice Department about possible instances of collusion or price gouging.

Full article here

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Greg Sargent: ‘GOP tightening election laws across the country’

My pick for read of the morning is this very well reported Los Angeles Times piece detailing what is now an undeniable national trend: Republican legislatures and governors are making it harder for people to vote in multiple states across the country.

When you see these examples piled up in one place, as the L.A. Times has done, you get a clear sense of the national scope and potential impact of all these state-by-state initiatives.

As one expert puts it, the presidential race could hang in the balance: “These laws will have an effect on the margin on who votes. And in a state like Florida, a small difference matters. It could easily decide the outcome.”

See the LA Times report here

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Read Steve Benen here

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USA Today: A Republican lawmaker who has criticized the Department of Energy’s $529 million loan guarantee to an electric car company that is manufacturing vehicles overseas has championed U.S.-backed loans to a company headquartered in his home district that does business around the globe.

Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., has called for the House Energy and Commerce’s oversight subcommittee to investigate the DOE decision to award the loan to Fisker Automotive, which is manufacturing its first line of vehicles in Finland.

…. Murphy, however, has backed financing for the Westinghouse Electric, which owns facilities in countries including Sweden, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Spain, Germany and the Ukraine and is headquartered in Murphy’s district. In May, Murphy introduced legislation that would provide loan guarantees up to $450 million to Westinghouse for the construction of two new nuclear power plants in the United States.

…. Murphy has received more than $40,000 in contributions from Westinghouse employees and the company’s political action committee, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Murphy did not respond to a request for comment…..

Full article here

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Cain campaign up in smoke?

Steve Benen: …. So, what happens now? The Cain campaign is either lying about the candidate’s alleged misconduct or it’s not. And with the two accusers restricted by their settlement agreements from speaking, it’s possible Cain and his team feel like they can weather the storm without new details emerging. We’ll see.

But the larger political storm is just starting to brew. Cain’s reaction to direct questions yesterday – after being asked four times about the allegations, he sighed, glared at a reporter, stayed silent, and refused to respond – signaled to reporters everywhere that the Republican candidate has a real problem on his hands.

As for efforts to blame the “liberal” media, this may have some salience in GOP circles, but it’s not much of a strategy. For one thing, Politico hardly leans to the left. For another, the article was co-authored by a reporter who used to work for National Review. (Part of me wonders if it was members of the Republican establishment who leaked this, just to make Cain go away.)

What’s less clear is whether rank-and-file Republican voters will care. There’s reason to believe they won’t – the GOP has a track record of looking the other way when sexual misconduct allegations affect their own (Vitter, Clarence Thomas, et al).

Full post here

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I went over to the dark side last night to see the reaction to the Cain story – I (literally) laughed out loud when the Teabaggers claimed it was the Obama administration that leaked the story to GOPolitico.

These people just aren’t very bright. I’d imagine there’s nothing the Obama administration would love more than for Cain to win the GOP nomination – because the President wouldn’t have to break in to a sweat to win four more years.

Karl Rove, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney ….. methinks we have our suspects.

PS The single funniest comment on the dark side last night: that the allegations against Cain were “racist” and were probably invented by the “Kenyan’s” thugs. Seriously.

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Cain is even leading Perry in Texas! (See Texas Tribune)

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BBC

Crikey, an awful lot of people on this planet were born after me 😳

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President Obama will have at least three bilateral meetings while in Cannes, France, this week for the G-20, and he plans to end the week with a press conference.

On Thursday, he’ll meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and on Friday he will meet with Argentine President Cristina Kirchner.

The President’s press conference will be on Friday, before he returns to Washington.

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There are strange goings-on in the comments, be afraid.

28
Oct
11

rise and shine – it’s friday

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AJC: Pushing a campaign to act without Congress, President Barack Obama will announce on Friday two more executive actions on the economy, both of them small steps intended to give a boost to businesses.

The moves cap a week in which Obama has sought to employ the power of his office as he struggles to make headway on his jobs bill on Capitol Hill.

Obama is directing government agencies to shorten the time it takes for federal research to turn into commercial products in the marketplace. The goal is to help startup companies and small businesses create jobs and expand their operations more quickly.

On the other front, Obama is calling for creation of a centralized online site, to be known as BusinessUSA, for companies to easily find information on federal services. The site is to be up and running within 90 days and will be designed with input from U.S. businesses.

Obama is announcing both steps in presidential memos to be released Friday morning, according to administration officials.

More here

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Washington Post: The U.S. economy grew at its fastest clip in a year during late summer as consumers and businesses shrugged off fears of a new recession, according to government data released Thursday that helped drive the stock market to its best day since August.

Investors were also cheered by overnight news that European leaders have reached an agreement on how to address their continent’s debt crisis, and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index ended the day up 3.4 percent. European markets were up even more sharply, with the German Dax index up 5.3 percent.

The agreement in Europe still has many details to be filled in, and the 2.5 percent pace of U.S. economic expansion in the third quarter isn’t enough to bring unemployment down quickly, even if it is sustained. But on both sides of the Atlantic, the news on Thursday offered a sense of relief: Maybe the world isn’t falling apart after all.

Full article here

National Journal: On the surface, it seems surprising that the U.S. economy nearly doubled its growth in the third quarter.

July brought tense debt-ceiling negotiations and threat of a government default. In August, a top credit ratings agency cut the United States’ top AAA rating. Concerns over European sovereign debt seeped into the U.S. and grew in September as the situation across the Atlantic appeared to be rapidly unraveling. Congress announced no major steps to fix the economy and the weak housing and labor markets treaded water.

But on Thursday, the Commerce Department announced that gross domestic product grew by 2.5 percent during that time, up from just 0.9 percent in the first half of the year.

While 2.5 percent GDP growth hardly signals boom times, it seems to fly in the face of those major headwinds. But economists say it reflects a gradual climb out of recession rather than a rapid shift in the country’s fortune.

…. The good news is that the third quarter shared many of the same uncertainties that are likely to shape the fourth: uncertainty over the budget and deficit, threat of a downgrade, and the European debt crisis. The economy, while hardly in fighting shape, pulled through the third quarter to eke out 2.5 percent GDP growth — which is not too shabby.

Full post here

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AP: He is the man with the mustache who takes a rebellious drag on a cigarette in the Herman Cain Internet ad gone viral …. Meet Mark Block, Cain’s unorthodox campaign manager …. a Republican strategist and tea party leader who’s left a trail of questionable campaign work behind him.

Block has been accused of voter suppression and was banned from running Wisconsin political campaigns for three years to settle accusations he coordinated a judge’s re-election campaign with a special interest group.

Records show Block has faced foreclosure on his home, a tax warrant by the Internal Revenue Service and a lawsuit for an unpaid bill. He also acknowledges he was arrested twice for drunken driving…..

Full article here

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Eugene Robinson: The hard-right conservatives who dominate the Republican Party claim to despise the redistribution of wealth, but secretly they love it – as long as the process involves depriving the poor and middle class to benefit the rich, not the other way around.

That is precisely what has been happening, as a jaw-dropping new report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office demonstrates. Three decades of trickle-down economic theory, see-no-evil deregulation and tax-cutting fervor have led to massive redistribution. Another word for what’s been happening might be theft.

Full article here

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ThinkProgress: House Republicans took the government to the brink of shutdown last spring by demanding across-the-board budget cuts to many vital programs. Instead of focusing on job creation, as Americans wanted them to, the GOP turned its attention to slashing funds for programs that funded assistance for women and children, local law enforcement, the social safety net, environmental protections, and many other programs they deemed as either too expensive or unnecessary. Worse, when challenged on why they hadn’t made the effort to tackle high unemployment, Republicans insisted that their slash-and-burn budget cuts were meant to create jobs.

….. According to a new report from the Center for American Progress’ Scott Lilly, those cuts didn’t result in the job creating boon Republicans insisted would follow. Instead, it has done just the opposite, as those cuts will result in the destruction of roughly 370,000 jobs……

Full post here

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First lady Michelle Obama visited three Florida cities on Thursday for campaign fundraisers…. “This has been a great day,” the first lady told supporters in Ft. Lauderdale. “This is my third city in one day. And I go home tonight and Barack and I get up and go to parent-teacher conference tomorrow morning.”

“Just so you know,” she said. “Just handling our business.”

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The Hill: The government’s bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac might end up costing taxpayers billions less than originally estimated, the mortgage giants’ regulator said Thursday.

In a new report, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) said the actual performance of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) had been “substantially better” than originally projected, lowering the overall bill for the bailout, a longtime sore spot with GOP lawmakers.

…. So far, Fannie and Freddie are beating bailout expectations. In the first year of projections, the GSEs actually tapped the Treasury Department for $19 billion to $73 billion less than anticipated, depending on what scenario was applied.

Full post here

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27
Oct
11

rise and shine

NYT: … Despite a school of thought in Washington that Mr. Obama’s support among blacks has weakened because of the poor economy and a sense of unmet expectations, interviews and public opinion surveys show that his standing remains remarkably strong among African-Americans.

….Some believe the president will be hard-pressed to reproduce those (2008) results, with a political narrative emerging in Washington that African-Americans have begun to sour on the president. Various black leaders – including Representative Maxine Waters of California, the television host Tavis Smiley and Cornel West, a prominent professor – have criticized Mr. Obama for what they see as not doing enough for black Americans…

Outside Washington, however, the story is markedly different. Mr. Obama’s support among African-Americans appears strikingly strong, even among many who are out of work, who might be expected to complain the loudest.

In a recent Pew Research Center poll, black voters preferred Mr. Obama 95 percent to 3 percent over Mitt Romney, “which is at least the margin he got in 2008,” said Michael Dimock, associate director for research at Pew. “There’s no erosion at all.”

Even more noteworthy, less than 10 percent of black voters in a New York Times/CBS News survey taken last month said that Mr. Obama had failed to meet their expectations as president, while nearly 3 in 10 said he had exceeded expectations…

…. Sitting in a chair at the Ultimate Choice Barber Shop in Charlotte, Brian Gainey, 28, a truck driver, initially hesitated when asked if he was going to vote again for Mr. Obama. “Yes,” he said finally, adding: “I’d almost like to see someone else win though. Maybe then they’ll see how much better Obama was than whoever will come after him.”

To Lemar Foster Jr., 48, a barber at Ultimate Choice, the Obama family epitomizes a bigger cultural change. …. “ … having the Obamas in the White House?” he asked. “Yeah, I’m very proud. And I’m definitely voting for him again.”

Full article here

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Bloomberg: President Barack Obama’s “tsunami” of new government regulations looks more like a summer swell.

Obama’s White House has approved fewer regulations than his predecessor George W. Bush at this same point in their tenures, and the estimated costs of those rules haven’t reached the annual peak set in fiscal 1992 under Bush’s father, according to government data reviewed by Bloomberg News.

…. The scope of government regulation has emerged as a major issue in the 2012 presidential race and on Capitol Hill. Republican presidential candidates have accused Obama of stifling job creation by imposing rules on businesses, and House Republicans have vowed to rein in proposed regulations on everything from the environment to health care to banking.

….. Obama’s White House approved 613 federal rules during the first 33 months of his term, 4.7 percent fewer than the 643 cleared by President George W. Bush’s administration in the same time frame….

Full article here

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Today:

12:00 PM: Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee luncheon in Jacksonville, Florida

3:10 PM: President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Petr Necas of the Czech Republic

3:30 PM: Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a DNC reception in Tampa, Florida

5:05 PM: The President greets city and municipal leaders from across the country

6:45 PM: The President has dinner with winners of a campaign contest

7:00 PM: Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a DNC reception in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

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Robert Shrum: Critics berate the president for taking his inspiring new progressive message to the American people. But it’s the critics who ought to be ashamed

The president must be doing something right. He’s now getting advice (from all the wrong quarters) that he ought to stop standing up for the people, not the privileged. Of course, such arguments largely rest on pre-cast assumptions and self-serving calculations.

…. New York Times columnist David Brooks, on the other hand, sounds agonized and genuinely disappointed as he mourns Obama’s passage from compromising to fighting for progressive values….. Brooks contends that instead of fighting such battles, Obama should “champion a Grand Bargain strategy.” When he did just that this summer during the debt-ceiling fight, the Republicans wouldn’t meet the president even a quarter of the way….

…. So fight on, Mr. President. You’re renewing your voice and your vision, and America is beginning to hear you again as it did in 2008….

As long as you keep fighting, the critics will keep complaining. Every time they do, think of Harry Truman in 1948, written off, facing a “do-nothing Congress,” assailed for class warfare, but clear in purpose and in principle. And think of what he promised as he came to the podium of a weary and worried Democratic convention: We “will win this election and make these Republicans like it — don’t you forget that…The reason is the Democratic Party is the people’s party, and the Republican Party is the party of special interest, and it always has been and always will be.”….

Full article here

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Steve Benen: By most measures, the third quarter – July through September – wasn’t pretty. The Eurozone crisis intensified; the debt-ceiling scandal rattled investors; and Republican intransigence generated a downgrade in U.S. debt. Talk of a “double-dip” recession was ubiquitous.

But as it turns out, the U.S. economy muddled through anyway. The Commerce Department released its report this morning showing that the nation’s gross domestic product rose at 2.5% annual rate in the third quarter. It’s the strongest economic growth in a year, and a marked improvement over the anemic growth we saw in the first two quarters (January through June).

Indeed, economic growth in the third quarter was nearly double the rate seen in the previous quarter.

That said, it’s important to note that 2.5% GDP growth is hardly great news. It’s a clear improvement relative to the first half of 2011, but as Neil Irwin put it, we’re still dealing with “the diminished economic expectations of the post-crisis age.”….

I mention this in part because, while faster economic growth is encouraging, policymakers and pundits would be making a tragic mistake if they saw today’s numbers as an excuse for inaction….

Full post here

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Gallup

Thanks VC




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