Tuesday “most masterful rope-a-dope ever seen by a president” mishmash

Hi guys,

Today’s schedule:

10:00 AM
The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office

10:30 AM
The President meets with senior advisors
Oval Office

2:15 PM
The President awards Sergeant First Class Leroy Arthur Petry, U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor; The Vice President also attends
East Room

3:15 PM
The President and the Vice President meet with Congressional Leadership
Cabinet Room

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All kinds of cool stuff:

First, obviously, this Lawrence O’Donnell long and awesome segment from last night – is not to be missed.

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Washington Post Editorial:

Mr. Obama’s debt deal advice: Give peas a chance

PERHAPS THE president’s pea-dissing will not stand him in good stead with the health-conscious, vegetable-growing first lady, but otherwise President Obama got just about everything right in his news conference Monday. Liberals should acknowledge, as he said, that progressive government depends on controlling the national debt. Conservatives should accept that achieving a deal in a divided government will require some give and take, including on revenue. And, yes, it is time for everyone involved in the budget debate to “eat our peas” — to stop talking about how hard this all is and actually get something done.

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NYT Editorial:

Ideology Trumps Economy

There is a huge gap in logic at the heart of the Republican intransigence on a debt-ceiling deal, and President Obama helped to illuminate it on Monday.
The party claims, as an article of faith, if not evidence, that the government’s growing debt is the reason for persistent unemployment and economic stagnation. And yet Republicans are spurning the president’s compromise offers to reduce that debt by trillions over the next decade because he is sensibly insisting that any deal include some increase in tax revenue.

“Where are they?” Mr. Obama asked at his news conference. “I mean, this is what they claim would be the single biggest boost to business certainty and confidence. So what’s the holdup?”

The holdup, of course, is that Republicans are far more committed to the ideological goals of cutting government and taxes than they are committed to cutting the deficit.

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Gerald F. Seib, WSJ:

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But perhaps most important, the big deal would clear the decks for Mr. Obama to focus on other pursuits, without having deficit problems constantly nipping at his heels. If he wins a second term, you can be sure he would rather think about alternative energy, education and immigration than be nicked and cut at every turn by deficit problems.

So those are the factors motivating Mr. Obama. But how would he handle a failure to get that big deal?

For starters, his talking points practically write themselves: I offered three dollars in spending cuts for every dollar in tax increases, and Republicans turned me down. Because Republican leaders wouldn’t accept any tax increases, everybody will pay more for Medicare and Social Security and get less in benefits down the road.

And ultimately Mr. Obama has one time-honored tactic at his disposal: He can use failure to run, Harry Truman-style, against a “do-nothing Congress.”

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Chris Cillizza:

Obama as dad-in-chief

President Obama took a paternalistic approach toward congressional Republicans in Monday’s press conference, using a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger tone to urge GOP leaders to get something big done on the country’s debt problems.

“It’s time to pull off the Band-Aid, [to] eat our peas,” Obama told reporters gathered in the White House briefing room for the second press conference in as many weeks focused on the onrushing Aug. 2 deadline to cut a deal on raising the nation’s debt ceiling.

Obama repeatedly emphasized that while both sides were going to have to make difficult political choices to get a debt deal done, those sort of hard decisions were part and parcel of governing. Such a compromise would convince people that “this town can do something every once in a while.”

Boil Obama’s message down and you get this: Adults sometimes have to do things that they don’t want to do. This is one of those times. So, let’s get it done.

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Obama has a leg up in this fight thanks to his ability to command the attention of the national media whenever he likes. Obama is set on turning this debt fight into a broader argument about what it takes to be a responsible adult. And it’s a fight that could well serve as the main frame of the 2012 presidential campaign.

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And, I had to bring here this comment by goblue72 over at Baloon Juice:

Healthcare reform that included largest expansion in Medicaid in several generations. ARRA Stimulus with massive spending on green initiatives. Saving the American auto industry. Two liberal broads appointed to the Supreme Court – a Jew & a Puerto Rican. Lilly Ledbetter. Ending DADT. Finding Osama bin Laden and putting a bullet in his head. He even appointed some Asian physicist nerd from BERKELEY to be in charge of our nuclear program fer chrissakes.

All the while dealing with an economic DEPRESSION, with the opposition party being composed of down-and-out neo-Confedrate traitorous scumbags and the entire corporate kleptocracy allied against him.

ALL THE WHILE PRESIDENTING WHILE BLACK. With a Muslim-y name.

Let me repeat – MoFo WON the Presidency. While Black. With a Muslim name.

But no – some white dude in his pajamas and a keyboard knows the politics better than he does.

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I had a revelation today

Barack Obama is indeed not from here. You listen to him and then you listen to the tiny-tiny people around him, and they don’t even speak the same language, nor do they share the courage, the level of integrity or the genuine desire to serve the public. You get such man in the WH once a generation, what a shame that he’s surrounded by emptiness.

This will be a very long months. :)

Meanwhile, in the world of the facts…

Private payrolls rise by 157,000 in June

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Private-sector employment rose 157,000 in June, according to Automatic Data Processing Inc.’s employment report released Thursday, in what could be a signal that the recent economic soft patch may not last long.

The headline number surprised Wall Street, coming in more than double the 70,000 increase expected by economists.

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Stars finally beginning to align for U.S. economy?

Things are finally starting to look more hopeful for the U.S. economy.

It looks like President Obama and the U.S. Congress may actually be getting down to some serious discussions on cutting the deficit and clinching an agreement to raise the Treasury’s borrowing authority by the Aug. 2 deadline. Heck, Mr. Obama is actually talking about aiming big in the talks, and will push negotiators to double their target to US$4 trillion in budget savings over 10 years.

Meanwhile, the beleagured job market is beginning to show some signs of improvement.

If the politicos can stop acting like children and actually get a debt deal and Friday’s non-farm payrolls can follow through with some job creation strength, then the rally that has been building in the market could catch some heat.

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Auto industry, seeing new life, is on hiring spree

DETROIT – Volkswagen opened a plant in Tennessee last month with 2,000 workers. Honda is hiring 1,000 in Indiana to meet demand for its best-selling Civic. General Motors is looking for 2,500 in Detroit to build the Chevy Volt.

Two years after the end of the Great Recession, the auto industry is hiring again – and much faster than the rest of the economy. As an employer, it’s growing faster than airplane manufacturers, shipbuilders, health care providers and the federal government.

The hiring spree is even more remarkable because memories of the U.S. auto industry’s near-death experience are fresh. In 2009, General Motors and Chrysler both got government bailouts and entered bankruptcy, and auto sales hit a 30-year low.

In June of that year, about 623,000 people were employed by the auto industry in the United States, the fewest since the early 1980s. Now the figure is almost 700,000, a 12 percent increase.

Sales are back up, too, and automakers are hiring by the thousands to meet increased demand.

“The buzz is incredible around here about what opportunity we’re going to get if we can build a great product,” says Ben Edwards, who went to work for Volkswagen in Chattanooga, Tenn., last year and is now a team leader on an assembly line that installs tires and seats.

Edwards was working as a general contractor until the housing market dried up. He says the pay at Volkswagen, which starts at $14.50 an hour, is fair and the benefits are generous.

Besides hiring 2,000 people itself, Volkswagen figures the plant, where it will make its new Passat, will create 9,000 spin-off jobs in the region, including 500 at auto-supplier plants that are springing up nearby.

Automakers are hiring again because car sales are rising. Americans bought 10.4 million cars and trucks in 2009 and 11.6 million in 2010. This year, they’re on track to buy 13 million or more, and auto companies are adding shifts to meet the demand.

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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.

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Ass, meet your kicker!

Okay, that press conference was sweet. And the professional left freak out over us not willing to accept their nonsense anymore is sweet. And ex-Scalia-clerk ruling health care reform constitutional is sweet.

Greg Sargent: Obama picks fight with GOP over tax cuts for the rich

The primary goal of President Obama’s presser, which just wrapped up, was obvious: He was clearly out to pick a major public fight with Republicans over tax cuts for the rich. Obama mounted a surprisingly aggressive moral case for ending high end tax cuts, casting it as a test of our society’s priorities, and argued — crucially — that anyone who fails to support ending them is fundamentally unserious about the deficit.

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Chris Cillizza: Obama the confrontational

President Obama had a simple message for congressional Republicans in a press conference Wednesday: Stand up and lead.

Obama, often in harsh and stark terms, condemned the approach that House and Senate Republicans have adopted in the final stretch of the negotiations surrounding the increase in the nation’s debt limit.

“They’re in one week, they’re out one week,” said Obama of Congress. “And then they’re saying Obama needs to step in. I’ve been here.”

He repeatedly challenged Republicans to make compromises in order to adopt a truly “balanced approach” to the debt deal; “Call me naive, but my expectation is leaders are going to lead,” he said.

Obama’s confrontational approach toward Congress extended beyond the debt negotiations — seeping into answers he gave on job creation, the broader economy and Libya.

On each issue, Obama cast himself as the adult in the room and Congress as an irresponsible child — unwilling to sacrifice their desire to score political points for the good of the country.

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politicususa: Obama Seizes The Bully Pulpit And Tells Congress To Do Their Job

Obama described the debt ceiling deadline as, “The yellow light is flashing but it hasn’t been a red light yet. . . . By August 2, we run out of tools to make sure that all our bills are paid.” If the U.S. defaults, “the consequences for the U.S. economy will be significant and unpredictable.”

The president hinted that his two daughters have a better work ethic than Congress, “Malia and Sasha generally finish their homework a day ahead of time. . . . They’re not pulling all nighters. They’re 13 and 10. You know, Congress can do the same thing. If you know you’ve got to do something, just do it.” Obama then contrasted his schedule with that of Congress, “I’m here. I’ve been dealing with Afghanistan, the debt crisis, Greece. I’m here. Congress is in one week, out the next.”

Obama then delivered the money quote of the press conference, “We have meetings and discussions and … [then] they decide they’re not happy with the fact that at some point you have to make a choice. They all step back and say — ‘The president needs to get this done.’ At a certain point they need to do their job.” Obama then hinted that Congress might be kept in session until they actually do their jobs.

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And, if you didn’t read Andrew Sullivan’s excellent defense of PBO’s gay rights record and work, you should.

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Heads-Up: President Obama in Puerto Rico (And a big mishmash)

Live cover of the president short and historic visit to Puerto Rico here and here and here.

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All kinds of this and that:

The second half – and this time quite enjoyable - of PBO’s Today Show interview.

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2012: Dems’ redistricting advantage

“In January, I estimated in this space that redistricting would be close to a wash, with neither party making major gains, but with Republicans solidifying many of their unexpected 2010 gains,” Stu Rothenberg writes in Roll Call. “With redistricting completed in only a few states but the writing on the wall in many others, it now appears that Democrats — not the GOP — will make a small, single-digit gain from redistricting when the process finally is complete.”

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U.S. households lower debt, boost wealth

U.S. households shed debt and grew their collective wealth by $943 billion in the first quarter, laying the groundwork for stronger consumer spending that could allay fears of a prolonged economic soft patch.

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Jobs prospects improve in most economies

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hiring prospects for the coming quarter have improved in most large economies from three months ago, while holding steady in the United States, according to a quarterly survey of employers by ManpowerGroup Inc.

After two or more years of making do with minimal staff levels, employers are seeing enough demand for their products and services that they now need to start adding jobs, Manpower found. Fewer employers are sitting on the fence.

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Google creates $280-million solar power fund

In a move that could boost solar energy use in homes, Google Inc. is creating a $280-million fund to help finance rooftop installations.

The Internet search giant, an avid investor in renewable energy technologies, said the deal with SolarCity, a solar panel installation company based in San Mateo, Calif., is the largest green investment it has ever made.

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Women, Minorities Make Gains in Senior Government Jobs

The number of women and minorities in senior-level jobs increased in fiscal 2010, according to a new report from the Office of Personnel Management.
Women represented 31.2 percent of senior-level positions in fiscal 2010, up from 30.4 percent in fiscal 2009; blacks made up 6.7 percent of the top government jobs in 2010, an increase from 6.4 percent in 2009. The proportion of women and minorities in General Schedule grades 13 through 15 increased by 7.9 percent and 9.4 percent, respectively. Overall, though, the number of women employed last year dropped slightly from 2009, from 44.2 percent to 43.9 percent.

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