Again? Really?

Did we not see the same thing 2-3-4-5 times over the past couple of years? Every time there’s a big issue on the table, it’s always the same. Rumors after rumors from unnamed “sources”, speculations, trial balloons, “progressives” pants on fire and the sky is just about to fall.

Here’s the thing: this is no ordinary president. The fact that America didn’t get it by now, is quite amazing. This guy never played small-ball in his life and he won’t start now. Unlike the Republicans, who couldn’t care less about the deficit and it’s all just social war for them, PBO really think – and rightly so – that the huge deficit is something we need to fix. Unlike many of his predecessors, this man is a serious, responsible adult. He will not kick this down the road. He’ll try to get a big deal here, because this is who he is. Hey, people can always vote the lunatics back to power next year. We see how good it worked in 2010.

I learned few things over the past couple of years:

1. This president is and always will be held to much much higher standards than any previous president. He’s also much much better than almost any previous president.

2. This president is so far ahead of the country, it’s actually depressing.

3. This president is about solving problems and he despise righteousness or extremes.

4. This president is the greatest defender of the middle class in almost 50 years.

5. The only “source” I’m taking seriously is Barack Obama. And until I’ll hear from him, the rest is just the usual stupid outrage.

6. It’s a waste of time, health and sanity to visit those “progressives” sites. These places are full of hate, racism and poison. People who are so disingenuous that they can never say anything good about anything PBO does, are not worth taking into any account.

Which bring me to my last point: until we hear from BARACK OBAMA HIMSELF that he’s cutting benefits to Medicare and SS (as oppose to cutting waste and abuse, which are everywhere, and we know that) – please try take the panic button down a notch when you post here. I respectfully ask to NOT bring here media spins by right-wing tools, and not link to that other site (seems like I ask that every second week).

As I said, we’ve been through this a few times before, and over the past 2.5 years, Barack Obama has done nothing to justify me not trusting him. He may still do so, but until then – this site is fully behind him.

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Today’s schedule:

9:30 AM PBO and VPB receive the presidential daily briefing.

10:00 AM PBO meets with senior advisers.

11:00 AM PBO and VPB meet with Congressional Leadership.

1:00 PM Carney briefs the press.

3:35 PM PBO participates in an Ambassador Credentialing Ceremony.

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Here’s yesterday’s Twitter town hall, which went so good, the media had to change the subject quickly. People should listen to what PBO said about entitlements (not that it’ll change anything).

#AskObama at the First Ever Twitter @Townhall at the White House

Hi guys,

I hope you’re all having a good day. Don’t forget the fascinating event tomorrow. I don’t think Barack Obama can answer any question in 140 characters…:)

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Here’s a very nice story about Rufus Gifford, who is in charge of PBO money-raising machine. This guy is only 36 years old, and, he’s gay – Which proves Rachel Maddow’s point yet again…(That was a snark, just making sure :)).
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CHICAGO – By his own account, Rufus Gifford’s early life was everything you would expect of the son of a patrician New England banker. Privileged North Shore upbringing. Elite schools. In the summer, tennis on Nantucket.
But things shifted for the third child of Chad Gifford, who ran some of Boston’s biggest financial institutions, after Father’s Day weekend in 1993, when his family discovered he was gay. Rufus Gifford says now that coming out to his parents allowed him to pursue a less traditional path, launching him toward California and ensuring that he would never wear the starched shirts and gray business suits of his father.

Still, money and power have exerted a strong pull on Rufus Gifford’s career.

Just 36 years old, he is working at the center of the Democratic political universe as chief of President Obama’s fund-raising operation for his reelection bid. The post has solidified his status as one of the most prominent openly gay operatives in the country.

After he served as a successful West Coast fund-raiser for Senator John F. Kerry in 2004 and other Democrats in subsequent years, Gifford was dubbed “Obama’s Gay Goldmine’’ by a California publication during Obama’s 2008 bid for the White House.

Now he spends much of his time in a Chicago office tower, home to Obama campaign headquarters. The president’s reelection hinges in substantial part on Gifford’s ability to persuade a big slice of American industry – from Wall Street’s players to Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurs – to pour as much as $1 billion into the coffers for what is expected to be the most expensive campaign in history. Obama set the record in 2008 when he raised $745 million.

“I have not slept through the night in probably two years. There’s the pressure, but also the adrenaline,’’ Gifford said in a recent interview. “I went into this knowing how difficult it would be, that we were being asked to do something that’s never been done before, and for me that’s the most exciting part of this job.’’

// You need to be registered in order to read the rest – So if anyone wants to bring the entire story here, please do.

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Meanwhile in the economy:

Loans Rebound on Best Consumer Credit Since ‘06

Michael Busick says his credit union “was shocked” to discover his credit score was 812 of a possible 850 when he applied for a $19,500 new-car loan.
The loan officer told Busick he rarely sees scores so close to perfect, said the Charlotte, North Carolina, math teacher, who added that he always pays his bills on time and doesn’t “overextend.” He got the funds in May.
The average U.S. credit score — a predictor of the likelihood lenders will be paid back — rose to 696 in May, the highest in at least four years, according to Equifax Inc., a provider of consumer-credit data. The ratio of consumer-debt payments to incomes is the lowest since 1994, and delinquencies have dropped 30 percent in two years, Federal Reserve data show.
Improving credit quality gives households the ability to lift borrowing as concerns ease about rising gasoline prices, hard-to-find jobs and falling home prices. A reacceleration in spending would belie Morgan Stanley economist Stephen Roach’s assertion that consumers will be “zombies” for years because of too much debt.

// more

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“It’s almost like they just want to cheer and feel good about themselves rather than have good legislation pass”

John Cole:

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Cuomo and the NY politicians were very carefully advancing the issue in a delicate manner, allowing this to be a vote of conscience for the Senators, free from the usual heightened levels of partisan rancor. Things were proceeding nicely, everything pointed to a win for gay rights the next night, and Obama didn’t need to do anything to “lead.” In fact, if Obama had gone up there and delivered what these clowns wanted, and gave a rousing speech claiming he had changed his mind, it would have done nothing but blown up the current negotiations. How many Republicans who were supporting the vote would have backed away, simply because Republicans could not give Obama a “win.” The vote of conscience would be gone, and it would become a partisan battle and the vote would probably have failed.

I swear, it is almost like these idiots don’t understand politics, don’t understand risk and reward, and do not understand strategic thinking. The vote was going to pass- why would Obama do anything to insert himself into the issue and possibly blow things up? Hell, I was worried that just him appearing at the fundraiser would blow things up.

It’s almost like they just want to cheer and feel good about themselves rather than have good legislation pass.

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“President Obama Wants to Scrap $72 Billion Corporate Tax Break as Republicans Balk” (Updated with new Souza stuff)

Hi guys,

First, our money-bomb week is in full force: here and here.

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Today’s schedule:

9:50 AM PBO receives the presidential daily briefing.

10:30 AM PBO and VPB meet with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

12:30 PM Carney briefs the press.

1:35 PM PBO welcomes the MLS champion Colorado Rapids to the White House.
5:00 PM PBO and VPB meet with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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You think we’ll hear anything about from the PL?

Obama Wants to Scrap $72 Billion Corporate Tax Break as Republicans Balk

Barack Obama’s proposal to end a business tax break worth $72 billion is among the tensions the president may confront as he meets today with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in an effort to revive bipartisan talks over reducing the debt, three persons familiar with the issue say.

Ending the so-called last-in-first-out, or LIFO, provision, a method of accounting for inventory costs, was among options offered by White House officials for raising $400 billion in revenue over 10 years during seven weeks of negotiations led by Vice President Joe Biden, the people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to comment publicly.

// more

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Few excellent things to read and SPREAD:

Obama DREAMs On

The DREAM Act is dead in Congress, but the White House is quietly moving to limit deportations of undocumented immigrants with strong ties to the US.

Hamstrung by a politically deadlocked Congress, the Obama administration is using executive authority to shape immigration policy instead. Obama’s immigration chief has advised officials to take pause before moving to deport certain undocumented immigrants who are particularly vulnerable or have strong community ties to the country—some of whom may have qualified for the DREAM Act, the bill that provides a pathway to citizenship for certain students, military veterans, and other undocumented youth that’s currently stalled in Congress.

//

According to the memo, there is a range of factors that federal agents, attorneys, and other officials should consider in deciding whether or not to pursue an individual undocumented immigrant for deportation. The list of “factors to consider” includes whether they are military veterans and their families, have family ties and “contributions to the community,” act as caretakers of the infirm and disabled, are very young or very old, or are pregnant or nursing.

In addition, the Obama administration instructs federal officials to weigh the circumstances of immigrants’ arrival to the US—especially if they came as young children—and whether they’ve graduated from high school, college, or are currently pursuing higher education. The memo explicitly states that no groups of immigrants are categorically excluded from deportation if they fit these criteria. But it emphasizes the need to “warrant particular care” when it comes to particular individuals, while advising officials to target serious felons, repeat offenders, known gang members and immigration fraudsters, and those “who pose a clear risk to national security.”

Pro-immigration advocates have cheered the memo for its potential to blunt the most punitive parts of the existing immigration law through the executive branch, in the face of Congressional inaction on the issue.

// more

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Obama shifts from consensus to instincts on key calls

The Obama administration’s top national security officials were gathered around the polished wooden table of the White House Situation Room to hear Gen. David H. Petraeus argue for a slow drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

The military needed time, he said, to secure the eastern part of the country as it had done in the south.

President Obama quickly made clear his disagreement. More important, he said, was the administration’s goal of shifting responsibility for the country’s security to the Afghan government, which would let him bring home troops.

As a senior administration official put it, “He asked everyone, if we’re serious about transition, then when? When are we going to do it?”

“Everybody came out of that meeting knowing the president wanted to go this direction,” said the official who described the scene, “even though it wasn’t the pace that Gen. Petraeus was recommending.” A week later, last Wednesday, Obama announced plans to withdraw the 33,000 “surge” troops he sent to Afghanistan.
To some who had attended the meeting, the encounter — and the president’s willingness to overrule key advisors — brought to mind another meeting four and a half months earlier.

On that occasion, Obama and his top advisors were discussing the rapidly unfolding events in Egypt. Most top administration officials had been advising the president against calling for President Hosni Mubarak to step down.

But as the discussion went along, the television monitors in the Situation Room showed an angry crowd in Cairo’s Tahrir Square yelling, “Leave! Leave! Leave!” in response to Mubarak’s televised speech refusing to resign.

Obama watched, and then told his aides, “Look, guys, this is not going to go back into the box.” The president said he would call Mubarak and tell him to step down, and he would deliver a public statement calling for a transition to begin immediately.

The decision took aides by surprise. In retrospect, it seemed a sign of things to come.

In the first two years of Obama’s presidency, his top aides had grown accustomed to a process in which Obama drew out and explored the views of his full team and searched for a consensus — decision by ballot, some called it.

Increasingly, however, that process has changed, according to a wide group of Obama’s personal friends, informal advisors and top aides interviewed during the spring. In recent months, they say, the president has been relying more heavily on his own instincts and feeling less impelled to seek accord among advisors.

// more

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Hope still part of Obama campaign message for 2012

CHICAGO — Immediately inside President Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters is a sign counting down days to the election (507 as of Saturday ) and a poster that reads, “Respect. Empower. Include. Win.”

The words are set against familiar Obama blue but carry the feel of something from a motivational bin at Staples, a subtle reminder of the challenge facing the re-election effort taking shape on an entire floor of the Prudential building in downtown Chicago.

Voters in 2008 gravitated in waves to Obama’s promise of “hope” and “change,” transforming slogans into the powerful ethos of a movement. But Obama is an insider now — the target of Republican calls for change — and hope has been buffeted by a poor economy, spiraling national debt and relentless partisan rancor in Washington.

To persuade Americans to stick with him in 2012, an array of strategists say, Obama will have to find the right balance of past and future, emphasizing accomplishments while promising to guide the country out of a still dark time.

“At the end of the day, he’s got to talk about hope again,” said Garry South, a Democratic strategist based in California. “Not in the theoretical way he did in 2008; rather that if ‘we all pull together, there will be a better tomorrow.’ ”

Obama’s team indicates the emphasis will be along those lines, though only hints are given of an overarching theme.

“Elections are always about the future. This president has taken on some difficult issues and fights with the future in mind. We’re pressing forward here,” said David Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist.

/// more, and very interesting.

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And how sweet is this?

Obama fulfils promise as 9/11 victim’s teen daughter meets Justin Bieber

New York, June 27: US President Barack Obama has made a 9/11 victim’s teenage daughter’s dream of meeting her heartthrob Justin Bieber come true.
For Payton Wall from New Jersey, meeting the teen music sensation was really an uplifting moment after suffering the tragic death of her father in the attacks on the Twin Towers.

Obama brightened her life by making good on his promise to set up a meeting with his ‘buddy’ Bieber, after a request from the teen at last month’s Ground Zero wreath laying ceremony.

“It was so cool. I couldn’t even believe it,” the New York Post quoted her as saying.

Wall got a private sit-down with the Canadian crooner at Macy’s in Herald Square, along with her sister Avery and best friend Madison Roberson.

They met Bieber just moments after a near-riot among fans outside the store where the singer was promoting his fragrance ‘Someday.’

“He just said ‘Hi’,” said Payton, admitting that she was more nervous being around Bieber than the president.

:)

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New Souza wonder:

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Dear Rachel Maddow, Goodbye.

We are so done. Whatever respect I still had for you has gone when you lied last night, saying that the president is against what happened in NY. Sheer lie. You’ve got a brilliant potential, but until you’ll grow up and stop undermining the most progressive president we had in decades and one of the most progressives presidents ever – I have no interest in what you have to say. Good luck appointing a Republican president and Republican congress. We’ll see how long all the things that PBO did for gay rights will stay in place.
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BTW, Remember when PBO asked David Paterson to quit so Cuomo can run and win the election? Remember the scandal-of-the-day back then? Stupid unprofessional left have no idea how politics works, and that a real civil rights change ALWAYS comes from the people in the streets, or as PBO said again and again: “Change never starts in Washington, change comes to Washington”.

Congrats, New York, congrats civil rights movement, congrats America. This is a great day.

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President Obama Extends Protections To Gay Couples Under Medicaid

Hi Guys, 

More change you can believe in, but not hear about:

The Obama administration is set on Friday to issue policy guidance to states expanding their ability to offer same-sex couples the same protections afforded to straight couples when they receive long-term care under Medicaid, the Washington Blade has learned exclusively.

Under the new guidance, dated June 10, states have the option to allow healthy partners in a same-sex relationship to keep their homes while their partners are receiving support for long-term care under Medicaid, such as care in a nursing home.

Medicaid kicks in for a beneficiary to receive care after an individual depletes virtually all of their money. To pay for the beneficiary’s expenses under Medicaid, a state could impose a lein, or take possession, of a beneficiary’s home to pay for Medicaid expenses.

// more

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Grrrrr, it’s Politico, but this story warmed my heart to no end:

Barack Obama still sells sandwiches

Nearly a week after President Barack Obama’s unannounced visit to a Rudy’s Hot Dog joint in Toledo, Ohio, the residents of Five Points are still abuzz about the unexpected presidential visit to their neighborhood.

“The locals have been driving me nuts and going crazy,” said Harry Dionyssiou, whose family operates six Rudy’s diners. “Everybody wants to sit at the same table, on the same chair that the president sat in; they want to eat the same thing that he ate.”
// snip

Even after the initial hype over the president’s visit has quieted, the financial benefits for business owners are long lasting. The media spotlight can help raise a restaurant’s profile, putting a little-known local spot on the national dining landscape and turning it into a destination eatery for tourists.

“We make over 1,000 po’ boys a day, and that number has really gone up since the president’s visit,” said Eileen Nix, co-owner of Parkway Bakery & Tavern in New Orleans, which the Obama family visited in August. (The first couple had shrimp po’ boys; daughters Sasha and Malia ordered hamburgers.)

David Thornton, who co-owns the Tastee Sub Shop in Edison, N.J., said business is still up 10 percent since the president stopped by his shop almost a year ago.

“We can tell that there is still sort of a buzz about it,” said Thornton, who framed a picture of Obama with a sub in his hand. “One person came in shortly after the visit and sat in every chair to make sure he sat in the same chair as the president.”

//

Garrett Graff, editor of Washingtonian magazine, said the Obamas eat out “more than any other first family in recent memory. George W. Bush only rarely ventured out. Bill Clinton ate out some, but I don’t think he was as regular or at as diverse a list of places as Obama.”

Public relations experts say there is no better publicity than the “celebrity halo effect” that follows a restaurant visit from the president of the United States.

It’s huge,” said Dean Small, founder and managing partner of Synergy Restaurant Consultants. “It’s like getting an official seal from the president that says, ‘This is where I choose to eat.’”

Obama’s impromptu visits also help raise morale in communities that have struggled during the economic downturn, said Dick Eppstein, president of Toledo’s Better Business Bureau.

“Toledo is a proud city, but we’ve had a very tough time, so a presidential visit really boosts everyone’s spirits,” he said.

Nix, who was raised in New Orleans and will turn 59 next week, said Parkway Bakery & Tavern is a family business that bears the scars of her city. In 2005, two years after the restaurant opened, Nix and her brother Jay shut down the store when it was submerged in more than 6 feet of water after Hurricane Katrina swept across Louisiana. Parkway reopened in December of that year.

Just five years later, the restaurant was hit again — this time by the BP oil spill that devastated the fishing industry along the Gulf Coast. For Nix, the sight of Obama and the first lady eating New Orleans shrimp po’ boys and gumbo spoke louder than any political speech.

“The president was just one man doing his best and trying to correct problems from the past,” Nix said. “He ate the shrimp to let people know that everything will be OK.”

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OMG. One more pretty good story from Politico. Somebody over there is going to get fired soon…

Obama shows charm on campaign trail

// snip

“If anything, loosening up on the campaign trail is even more necessary for this president than most, because he is by nature far more formal than at least his most recent predecessors, and to say that 21st-century American culture is ‘loose and informal’ is to understate the case considerably,” said Clark Ervin, who served on Obama’s transition.

“Nowadays, regrettably in my view, the last thing the average voter wants in the White House is an intellectual, and since this president is the quintessential intellectual, it’s a wonder — another wonder, his race, heritage, short stint on the public stage being others — that he was elected in the first place”.

// more

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Fingers crossed:

Second Half 2011 U.S. Growth Rebound Intact

Slowdowns in consumer spending and employment will prove temporary, giving way to a U.S. growth rebound in the second half of 2011, economists surveyed by Bloomberg News said.

After growing at a 2.3 percent annual pace this quarter, the world’s largest economy will expand at a 3.2 percent rate from July through December, according to the median forecast of 67 economists polled from June 1 to June 8.

Rising exports, stable fuel prices, record levels of cash in company coffers and easier lending rules will be enough to overcome the damage done by one-time events like poor weather and the disaster inJapan, economists said. Nonetheless, the current slackening means Federal Reserve policy makers will wait even longer to raise interest rates next year, the survey shows.

“The economic headwinds are well known, but if you look at the tailwinds, they are still pretty strong,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts. “There are a lot of reasons to be fairly upbeat about the recovery. Growth will pick up in the second half.”

// more optimism

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Could this be true?

Qaddafi’s son has approached rebels to negotiate an exit from power for his father

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West Wing Week:

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Yea, a picture worth and all that…:)