Meanwhile in the land of the only adult, only sane, only serious and only sincere man in the room

Listening to President Obama’s speech after touring Intel facility in Hillsboro, Oregon, I just felt I’m in some parallel universe. It was really surreal. Anyway,  please excuse the inflation of PBO-looking-into-a-microscope photos. You can’t blame a girl for finding them irresistible. ;)

Enjoy.

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More change you can freaking believe in

Washington Post:

The Obama administration rescinded most of a federal regulation Friday designed to protect health workers who refuse to provide care they find objectionable on personal or religious grounds.

The Health and Human Services Department eliminated nearly the entire rule put into effect by the administration of President George W. Bush during his final days in office that was widely interpreted as allowing such workers to opt out of a broad range of medical services, such as providing the emergency contraceptive Plan B, treating gay men and lesbians and prescribing birth control to single women.

The new regulation, which goes into effect in 30 days, also ensures that no federal money can be used to “support coercive or discriminatory policies or practices in violation of federal law.”

The Bush regulation, if enforced, would have cut off federal funding for thousands of entities, including state and local governments, hospitals, health plans and clinics, if they did not accommodate doctors, nurses, pharmacists or other employees who refused to participate in care they felt violated their personal, moral or religious beliefs.

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OMG! Elizabeth Warren sold-out!! The sky is fallinggggggg!

Is this hilarious or what?

Elizabeth Warren hires some bankers

A funny thing happened this morning. Normally, when the Obama administration hires someone who happens to hail from Wall Street, my Twitter stream erupts with snarky comments about how the latest move is yet one more piece of evidence that the banksters own the White House. Case in point: The decision to appoint J.P. Morgan executive William Daley as White House Chief of Staff.

But so far as I can tell, the Thursday announcement by Elizabeth Warren that she is appointing two former Wall Street bankers and a former Freddie Mac official to top positions at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau hasn’t elicited a single peep.

The appointees are Raj Date, formerly a managing director at Deutsche Bank, Elizabeth Vale, a managing director at Morgan-Stanley, and Zixta Martinez, from Freddie Mac.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the hiring’s received hearty approval from Wall Street’s premier lobbying organization.

We’ve known and worked with Elizabeth in many capacities for years,” Financial Services Roundtable Senior Vice President Scott Talbott said, adding that both Ms. Vale and Mr. Date are talented and very experienced.

 

“Building a team to develop smarter financial regulations means hiring top-notch leaders with a wide range of experiences,” announced Warren. One could easily imagine Timothy Geithner or Barack Obama saying exactly the same thing and getting mocked for it.

Maybe the reason why commentary is muted is that progressives trust Warren to do the right thing. But the more obvious lesson to draw from this is that it is very very difficult to manage the financial sector without depending on talent drawn from the belly of the beast.

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Hold the press! Krugman gives PBO a compliment!

Sure, it comes with pain, but hey, can’t be greedy:

There are three things you need to know about the current budget debate. First, it’s essentially fraudulent. Second, most people posing as deficit hawks are faking it. Third, while President Obama hasn’t fully avoided the fraudulence, he’s less bad than his opponents — and he deserves much more credit for fiscal responsibility than he’s getting.

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What would a serious approach to our fiscal problems involve? I can summarize it in seven words: health care, health care, health care, revenue.

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That’s why I say that Mr. Obama gets too little credit. He has done more to rein in long-run deficits than any previous president. And if his opponents were serious about those deficits, they’d be backing his actions and calling for more; instead, they’ve been screaming about death panels.

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Friday morning mishmash

 Hi guys,

1. Today’s schedule:

11:30 AM
PBO departs San Francisco, California en route Portland, Oregon.
12:00 PM  
1:00 PM  
1:05 PM
PBO arrives in Portland, Oregon.
1:45 PM
PBO tours semiconductor manufacturing facility.
2:00 PM  
2:25 PM
PBO views student demonstrations by Intel Science Talent Search finalists.
2:35 PM
PBO delivers remarks at Intel Corporation on education.
3:00 PM  
4:00 PM
PBO departs Portland, Oregon.
5:00 PM  
6:00 PM  
7:00 PM  
8:00 PM  
8:30 PM
PBO arrives at Andrews Air Force Base.
8:45 PM
PBO arrives at the White House.

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2. West Wing week, with some hilarious moments (especially the end).

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3. Mr. Ed Schultz, you were saying…..?

Washington Post: Obama joins Wisconsin’s budget battle, opposing Republican anti-union bill

MADISON, WIS. – President Obama thrust himself and his political operation this week into Wisconsin’s broiling budget battle, mobilizing opposition Thursday to a Republican bill that would curb public-worker benefits while planning similar action in other state capitals.

Obama accused Scott Walker, the state’s new Republican governor, of unleashing an “assault” on unions in pushing emergency legislation that would nullify collective-bargaining agreements that affect most public employees, including teachers.

The president’s political machine worked in close coordination Thursday with state and national union officials to mobilize thousands of protesters to gather in Madison and to plan similar demonstrations in other state capitals.

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4. Man, we should start sue people for copyrights. ;)

 The president’s strategy is to look like the adult in the room

Criticism of President Obama’s $3.7 trillion 2012 budget from both the left and right is a sign that it will probably find favor with independents, an expert on the influential voting bloc said.

“Independent voters believe if the far right and the far left are both upset, it’s usually a sign that someone’s doing something right,” said John Avlon, a CNN contributor and author of the book “Independent Nation: How Centrism Can Change American Politics.”

It’s a point with which Wendy Schiller, a political science professor at Brown University, agreed.

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Independents overwhelmingly favor a government divided between political parties — a factor seen in the 2010 midterm elections in which independents helped end Democrats’ control of Congress. They also have a distaste for hyperpartisanship, which has settled in Washington for decades.

But independents gave Obama a thumbs up, Avlon said, when he was willing to work with Republicans in last year’s lame-duck session of Congress to get key legislation passed.

“I think the president’s strategy is to look like the adult in the room — it has been since the elections,” said Avlon, a Daily Beast contributor. “Independent voters look forward to that. But it’s not simply a matter of playing it safe. He needs to make it clear to independents that he’s dealing with the deficit and the debt.”

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5. After electing teabaggers, looks like the good people of Pennsylvania begins to get their senses back:

President’s job approval rating up in Pennsylvania up to 51%

Voters in Pennsylvania have given President Barack Obama his the best job rating approval in nearly two years, according to a poll released Thursday morning.

In the latest Quinnipiac University poll, voters approved of the job the president is doing by 51-44 percent, his highest rating in the commonwealth since July 2009, when it was 56-33 percent.

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6. Yea, Rachel. *This* it what you should do every day. *This* is the enemy – not the man who actually assimilate the most progressive agenda in 50 years, got rid of DADT and is standing alone against the entire party of wackos.

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7. I doubt you have more than an hour to just spend watching YouTube, but this Recovery Act Cabinet meeting is just mind-blowing. The wonder things that the RA has done and that the media completely ignored…It’s really stunning.

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Friends…