“Young voters increasingly happy with Obama”

But, but, but.. that Quinni-Panic poll!!!!!!!!!!..

A new poll of 18- to 29-year-olds by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics (IOP) found 55 percent of so-called Millennials approve of Obama’s presidency — a six-point increase over a similar IOP survey in October. His approval rating is even higher among those attending a four-year college, where 60 percent back Obama. That was a nine-point increase from the last survey.

New AP Poll: President Obama at 53%. What? No big headlines? I’m shocked!!

So there was one poll yesterday morning that had the president at 42%, and obviously it was BIG NEWS. And last night this new AP/GfK poll came out, and they got PBO at 53%, which is much more in line with almost every other poll out there. But no, this won’t be BIG NEWS.

Inside the poll there’s a lot to choose from:
Likability… 84%
Favorability… 59%
Care about people like you… 59%
Will keep America safe… 61%
Understands problems of ordinary Americans… 60

I did like this take by politicususa:

The one point that emerged from this poll is that America really, really likes Barack Obama. When asked to evaluate how well Obama understands the big issues facing America, 68% believed that he understood them at least somewhat well. 60% believed that Obama understands the problems of ordinary Americans. 61% believed that he will keep America safe, and 59% thought that he understands their problems. 57% called Obama a strong leader, and most tellingly a whopping 84% said Obama is a likable person. It is tough for a lot of people to get 84% of their friends and family to call them likable, much less the entire country.

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Yea, but he didn’t go to march in Wisconsin.

Obama threatens veto of FAA bill over labor provision

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama would veto sweeping aviation legislation if Republicans in Congress succeed in gutting a rule favorable to airline and railroad union organizing, the White House said on Wednesday.

“The administration is committed to help working Americans exercise their right to organize under a fair and free process,” the White House said in a statement on the multi-billion-dollar bill that lays out long term U.S. aviation priorities.

The centerpiece of the legislation would authorize funding of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control operations and modernization of that system.

It is under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The chamber is expected to vote this week on an amendment to remove a provision in the bill eliminating an existing rule that makes it easier for unions in the airline and railroad industries to organize.

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We should definitely fire Geithner! Because how dare he take a shitty situation and make the best out of it:

TARP investment in banks repaid with profit

The portion of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) that went to banks has now turned a profit for the federal government, the Treasury Department announced Wednesday.

After receiving $7.4 billion in TARP repayments Wednesday, the Treasury has now received $251 billion from banks participating in various bailout programs, which is good for a $6 billion profit from the $245 billion originally handed out to banks. The department now estimates that bank investments under TARP will ultimately net taxpayers roughly $20 billion in profit.

Furthermore, the Treasury estimates that all the TARP programs combined — including money doled out to banks, insurance company American International Group (AIG) and domestic auto companies — will result in “little to no cost to taxpayers.”

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Why would any sane American ever vote for GOP???

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 I mean, these people are just idiots:

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Or maybe there’s still some hope:

IT’S NOT JUST GLENN BECK: FOX News Has Lost 21% Of Its Audience This Year

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Hey, pssssst, the economy is getting much better

Market Watch:

1. The ADP employment survey released Wednesday showed 201,000 private-sector jobs were created in March, roughly in line with expectations and close to February’s growth of 208,000. This index is based on anonymous data collected by ADP, which handles the payrolls for millions of workers. The best news in the ADP report was the strong hiring at small companies and at manufacturing companies, which had the best growth in more than 10 years.

2. Big employers are laying off fewer workers, according to a count by Challenger Gray & Christmas released Wednesday. In March, these employers announced 41,528 job reductions, down 39% from a year earlier. Nearly half of the cuts were in the government sector. For the first quarter, announced job reductions were at the lowest level in 16 years.

3. Online job advertisements increased by 208,000 in March to 4.45 million, according to the Conference Board, a private research group. Online vacancies increased by more than 600,000 during the first quarter.

4. U.S. payrolls increased by 293,000 in March, according to an analysis of withheld federal tax receipts by TrimTabs Investment Research. TrimTabs says tax records show wages and salaries have risen 7.4% in the past year, compared with the 4.1% growth reported by the Commerce Department. By comparison, economists surveyed by MarketWatch are predicting a gain of 185,000 in nonfarm payrolls in Friday’s report from the BLS.

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Bloomberg:

Optimism among U.S. chief executive officers surpassed the highest level reached before the recession as more business leaders projected increased sales, investment and hiring, a survey showed.

The Business Roundtable’s economic outlook index increased to 113 in the first quarter, the highest point since records began in 2002, from 101 in the previous three months, the Washington-based group said today. Readings greater than 50 coincide with an economic expansion. The previous peak was 104 in the first three months of 2005.

“Companies have given strong signals about their willingness to expand,” Ivan G. Seidenberg, chairman of the Business Roundtable and chief executive officer of New York- based Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), said in a press conference. “As we keep a steady flow of capital investment, we’ll certainly see sales forecasts go up, and as we do that we’ll start to see hiring.”

None of the 142 CEOs surveyed said they expected a decline in sales in the next six months, and 92 percent projected an increase, paving the way for more hiring and investment in equipment. A gain in capital spending plans points to further strength in manufacturing, the industry that’s propelled the economic expansion.

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“This data is pointing to a turnaround in labor-market conditions,” Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers LLC in St. Louis, which produces the report in conjunction with ADP, said in a conference call with reporters. “It’s pretty clear that employment now has in fact accelerated. Equally encouraging is the breadth of the strength.”

Projections of the 34 economists polled by Bloomberg ranged from gains of 171,000 to 295,000.

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I know, it’s just a bone he gives to gays because he needs their money or something…

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal Moves Forward. Gay Men and Women Will Serve Openly This Year

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President Obama’s fascinating speech about America’s future energy security:

Thomas Friedman: “I am proud of my president, worried about him, and just praying that he’s lucky”

That’s a very good, sober and real piece from Friedman:

There is an old saying in the Middle East that a camel is a horse that was designed by a committee. That thought came to my mind as I listened to President Obama trying to explain the intervention of America and its allies in Libya — and I don’t say that as criticism. I say it with empathy. This is really hard stuff, and it’s just the beginning.

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Welcome to the Middle East of 2011! You want the truth about it? You can’t handle the truth. The truth is that it’s a dangerous, violent, hope-filled and potentially hugely positive or explosive mess — fraught with moral and political ambiguities. We have to build democracy in the Middle East we’ve got, not the one we want — and this is the one we’ve got.

That’s why I am proud of my president, really worried about him, and just praying that he’s lucky.

Unlike all of us in the armchairs, the president had to choose, and I found the way he spelled out his core argument on Monday sincere: “Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And, as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.”

I am glad we have a president who sees America that way. That argument cannot just be shrugged off, especially when confronting a dictator like Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. But, at the same time, I believe that it is naïve to think that we can be humanitarians only from the air — and now we just hand the situation off to NATO, as if it were Asean and we were not the backbone of the NATO military alliance, and we’re done.

I don’t know Libya, but my gut tells me that any kind of decent outcome there will require boots on the ground — either as military help for the rebels to oust Qaddafi as we want, or as post-Qaddafi peacekeepers and referees between tribes and factions to help with any transition to democracy. Those boots cannot be ours. We absolutely cannot afford it — whether in terms of money, manpower, energy or attention. But I am deeply dubious that our allies can or will handle it without us, either. And if the fight there turns ugly, or stalemates, people will be calling for our humanitarian help again. You bomb it, you own it.

Which is why, most of all, I hope President Obama is lucky. I hope Qaddafi’s regime collapses like a sand castle, that the Libyan opposition turns out to be decent and united and that they require just a bare minimum of international help to get on their feet. Then U.S. prestige will be enhanced and this humanitarian mission will have both saved lives and helped to lock another Arab state into the democratic camp.

Dear Lord, please make President Obama lucky.

Wednesday morning mishmash

Hi guys,

1. Today’s schedule:

10:00 AM PBO and VPB receive the presidential daily briefing.
11:00 AM  
11:15 AM VPB meets with Director of the OMB Jack Lew, Director of the NEC Gene Sperling, and senior advisers to discuss the budget
11:20 AM PBO delivers a speech on his plan for America’s energy security.
12:00 PM  
12:30 PM PBO and VPB meet for lunch.
1:00 PM Carney briefs the press.
2:00 PM  
3:00 PM  
4:00 PM  
4:25 PM PBO meets with senior advisers.
5:00 PM VPB meets with British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

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2. Recovery!

Private sector adds 201,000 jobs in March

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3. More selling out.

Obama to call for cut of oil imports by a third

President Obama will lay out a broad energy plan Wednesday aimed at cutting the country’s foreign oil imports by one-third over the next decade.

The plan comes amid increasing pressure to address high gas prices and concern about the country’s reliance on Middle Eastern and North African oil, particularly given the political unrest in the region

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4. One can only imagine the celebration we’s see from the previous administration after something like this:

Senior al-Qaida operative wanted over 2002 Bali nightclub bombings been arrested

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5. Perfecting the union:

Obama names 2 more Indo-Americans to key posts

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama , who already has over two dozen Indian Americans serving in top jobs in his administration, has named two more from the community, Deepa Gupta and Nisha Desai Biswal, to key posts.

While Gupta has been named as a member of National Council on the Arts, Biswal, currently Assistant Administrator for Asia at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), will in addition serve on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

“I am grateful these accomplished men and women have agreed to join this Administration, and I’m confident they will serve ably in these important roles,” Obama said in naming Gupta and Biswal along with seven others. “I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years.”

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“This is what we said we wanted just two years ago”

Josh Greenman, NY Daily News:

Beware the clarity trap: Obama makes effective, principled case for U.S. involvement in Libya

Just a few years ago, we had a President who valued clarity so dearly that he labeled three utterly different countries, presenting drastically different security problems, an “axis of evil.” Didn’t really make sense, but lumping them together was catchy and, at least as far as it went, clear.

So, yes, everyone knew precisely where George W. Bush stood. That’s a big part of why he beat John Kerry in 2004; the chronically cautious senator got tagged as impossibly indecisive.

Barack Obama isn’t an all-or-nothing kind of commander in chief or an all-or-nothing kind of man. He gambled in pushing health care reform, but in his bones he’s a cautious leader who overcomplicates where others oversimplify. He turns bumper stickers into dissertations, not the other way around.

Those who are grousing about that fact now should count their blessings – and remember the alternative. This is what we said we wanted just two years ago, after eight years of Bush foreign policy impulsiveness, when offered a McCain-Palin ticket that promised more gut-driven decision-making. We wanted more candid discussion of risks and benefits. More sharing of responsibilities with allies. We wanted a President to think twice before playing Braveheart. Didn’t we?

But now, in the first major test of a crisis rearing its head on his watch, many have derided Obama’s approach as the professor’s way of war. So the pundits were craving clarity Monday night when he took the stage at the National Defense University in Washington, clamoring for something like an Obama Doctrine, a few snappy sentences that encapsulate his foreign policy, a formula where you plug in the variables and get your answer each and every time.

It didn’t happen. It was never going to happen. Nor should it have happened.

In typically Obamastic fashion, he rejected the arguments of those who suggested we should have allowed a humanitarian disaster to unfold while the world watched (that would have “been a betrayal of who we are”), and similarly dismantled the arguments of those who want a more aggressive, expansive, expensive campaign.

Did America dither when it should have acted, as many neoconservatives have insisted? No; as Daniel Foster, a writer on the conservative National Review Online, acknowledged, “POTUS landed at least one clean punch on his critics” when he soundly rejected that claim and said: “In just one month, the United States has worked with our international partners to mobilize a broad coalition, secure an international mandate to protect civilians, stop an advancing army, prevent a massacre and establish a no-fly zone with our allies and partners. To lend some perspective on how rapidly this military and diplomatic response came together, when people were being brutalized in Bosnia in the 1990s, it took the international community more than a year to intervene with air power to protect civilians.”

To a skeptic like me, Obama made an effective and principled case.

But what about answering those broad questions to deliver that elusive “clarity” going forward? When will we as a nation lead, and when  will we support others? What, if anything, will we do in other countries where the fires are raging? Do we have a completely independent standard for intervention, or are future conflicts dependent in part on the convenience of military action and the approval of Europe and the Arab League?

The answers never came. And I for one couldn’t care less. Easy doctrines give us false comfort in an insanely complex world.

Disagree with the military action in Libya, by all means. I’m not sold. Our military is already overextended, and protesters are being suppressed from Yemen to Bahrain to Syria, which are all more critical to our national security. Congress wasn’t sufficiently consulted. We don’t know whether or how we’ll bring Moammar Khadafy down, and it’s possible we only postponed, rather than prevented, a slaughter. We know very little about the rebels, and apart from broadly lionizing the Libyan people, Obama shed no light Monday night on why they’re bound to be better than the devil we know.

This isn’t necessarily a brilliant war.

But don’t criticize the President because he’s failed some facile and arbitrary standard of perfect clarity. That would be, to paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson, the hobgoblin of a nation that hasn’t learned its lesson.

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People walk past the Cloud Gate sculpture aka ‘The Bean’ as One Prudential Plaza towers is seen over the north end of Millennium Park on March 28, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The building will house President Obamas campaign headquarters for the 2012 presidential race.:

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