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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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.

// more

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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.

// more

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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.

// more

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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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So far ahead of everyone (Updated)

No wonder half the country hates Barack Obama. He is like a president from the year 2050, trying to govern a country stuck in 1950. This NYT front page story is just amazing:

U.S. Underwrites Internet Detour Around Censors

The Obama administration is leading a global effort to deploy “shadow” Internet and mobile phone systems that dissidents can use to undermine repressive governments that seek to silence them by censoring or shutting down telecommunications networks.

The effort includes secretive projects to create independent cellphone networks inside foreign countries, as well as one operation out of a spy novel in a fifth-floor shop on L Street in Washington, where a group of young entrepreneurs who look as if they could be in a garage band are fitting deceptively innocent-looking hardware into a prototype “Internet in a suitcase.”

Financed with a $2 million State Department grant, the suitcase could be secreted across a border and quickly set up to allow wireless communication over a wide area with a link to the global Internet.

The American effort, revealed in dozens of interviews, planning documents and classified diplomatic cables obtained by The New York Times, ranges in scale, cost and sophistication.

Some projects involve technology that the United States is developing; others pull together tools that have already been created by hackers in a so-called liberation-technology movement sweeping the globe.

The State Department, for example, is financing the creation of stealth wireless networks that would enable activists to communicate outside the reach of governments in countries like Iran, Syria and Libya, according to participants in the projects.

In one of the most ambitious efforts, United States officials say, the State Department and Pentagon have spent at least $50 million to create an independent cellphone network in Afghanistan using towers on protected military bases inside the country. It is intended to offset the Taliban’s ability to shut down the official Afghan services, seemingly at will.

//

The effort has picked up momentum since the government of President Hosni Mubarak shut down the Egyptian Internet in the last days of his rule. In recent days, the Syrian government also temporarily disabled much of that country’s Internet, which had helped protesters mobilize.

The Obama administration’s initiative is in one sense a new front in a longstanding diplomatic push to defend free speech and nurture democracy. For decades, the United States has sent radio broadcasts into autocratic countries through Voice of America and other means. More recently, Washington has supported the development of software that preserves the anonymity of users in places like China, and training for citizens who want to pass information along the government-owned Internet without getting caught.

But the latest initiative depends on creating entirely separate pathways for communication. It has brought together an improbable alliance of diplomats and military engineers, young programmers and dissidents from at least a dozen countries, many of whom variously describe the new approach as more audacious and clever and, yes, cooler.

// much much more

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And then, there’s this:

High unemployment numbers may be good for Republicans in the next election, which makes it disturbing that Republican leaders have blocked any discussion of stimulus policies that might succeed in putting people back to work.

// more

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“Under Bush, terrorists were ‘elusive’, and ‘masters of disguise’. Under President Obama, terrorists are dead”

This, from Booman, is just *this*.

Fazul Abdullah Mohammed was actually indicted in a U.S. court for his role in the African Embassy Bombings of 1998. But he didn’t turn himself in, so now he’s dead.

//

The official word is that he was killed at checkpoint by Somalian security forces. Maybe, in this case, Obama was just lucky. Who knows? I’ll take a lucky president over a bumbling one.

This is how a war on terrorists should have looked. Instead of big invading and occupying armies that chewed up our treasury, we should have methodically tracked down the people who were directly responsible and either captured them and put them on trial in normal courts or killed them if that wasn’t possible.

The geniuses around Bush left us broke with a prison we can’t close, prisoners we can’t prosecute or let go, broken countries we can’t leave, a reputation for torture, and enough resentment to last many generations.

The mess Bush left was epic. So epic.

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And this, from deaniac, is even more *this* (Please go read it all):

// snip

He’s the President who pulled us back from the brink of a full on economic disaster, whatever his detractors on either side of the political pendulum have to say about it. He is the President who revitalized the American auto industry. He’s the president who passed health care reform that that presidents and Congresses have been talking about for over a half a century. He’s the president who put common sense rules of the road back in the financial industry through the most sweeping regulatory reform since the Great Depression. He’s the president who streamlined student loans and signed into law a credit card bill of rights and women’s equal pay for women. He’s the president who more significantly expanded the rights of LGBT Americans than any before him, including repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, ensuring hospitals honor the relationships of same sex couples and offering Medicaid protections to gay couples.

He’s the president who has ended or is ending two wars. He’s the president who’s securing loose nukes and reducing nuclear warheads. Oh, and AxelFoley pointed out below in the comments, President Obama is the President who took out Osama bin Laden.

I am no historian, but I think those are among things history is likely to say about President Obama.

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…:)

Well, Matt Damon isn’t gonna like that…(Updated)

Richard Gere gives PBO glowing review. Thanks snoopy4eva2

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One of those great little things that president does every day and no one knows:

President Obama Drops by Youth Initiative De-Brief

Yesterday afternoon, I had the privilege of leading a meeting with 10 incredible young Americans who had participated in the “100 Youth Roundtables” Initiative and came to Washington, DC for a de-brief with President Obama, his Senior Staff, and DC-based youth advocates.

The young leaders were joined by Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Nancy-Ann DeParle (Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy), Zakiya Smith (Senior Policy Advisor for Education), Macon Phillips (Director of Digital Strategy), and myself in the Roosevelt Room of the White House for a listening session on the topics that young leaders discussed in their respective roundtable sessions all over the country. The leaders briefed the White House on their conversations and solutions around jobs for young people, youth entrepreneurship, workforce development, energy & the environment, global poverty, racial & ethnic profiling, human rights, and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) policy.

Halfway through the meeting, President Obama dropped by (with Bo in tow), and after meeting everyone, took a seat and talked about a range of topics: from the economic situation to climate change, education, incarcerated youth, Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, the Social Work and Reinvestment Act, and civic engagement.

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Good one from Booman:

As I have said, and will continue to say, Michigan should be so grateful to the president for saving the automotive industry that they ought to name all their schools after him, name roads for him, and put statues of him up in all their county courthouses. I’m not kidding. John McCain would have let the whole industry go broke, including all the suppliers. In fact, that’s what all the Republican candidates for president would have done. Mitt Romney made this abundantly clear at the time by penning and editorial entitled “Let Detroit Go Broke” for the New York Times. As Romney travels through Michigan today and tomorrow, former governor Jennifer Granholm is asking potential donors to Let Mitt Romney Go Broke. That seems about right. Yet, the Upper Midwest just went through a political cycle where they chose to elect Republicans for nearly everything. This was probably the dumbest reaction I’ve ever seen, and the regret people are feeling is completely predictable.

In truth, any state that makes Chryslers, Fords, or General Motors cars should never consider voting for a Republican again. We have to convince them of this, however, as the other side continues to make their case based on revisionist history and outright lies.

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PBO’s visit to the Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, Va. to highlight the need to prepare the workforce to compete for manufacturing jobs across the country.

 

Washington Post: Some health insurance premiums are going down (Updated)

Thanks, Maritza, for this great clip:

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Repeal this:

It turns out that pigs do fly. Last month, insurer Aetna received approval from Connecticut regulators of its request to reduce premiums on individual policies by an average 10 percent, starting in September. Yes, you read that right: reduce the premium. The decrease, which affects some 15,000 consumers, will save those policyholders $259 annually, on average.

“I think it’s the shape of things to come,” Timothy Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University and a consumer representative to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, says of Aetna’s move.

Under the health-care overhaul, insurers beginning this year must spend at least 80 percent of the premium dollars they collect on medical claims or quality improvement efforts. Administrative expenses and profits are limited to 20 percent or less of what they collect. Those that don’t meet these new “medical loss ratio” standards have to refund the extra premiums collected to consumers. (In insurance lingo, medical claims paid are considered “losses.”)

// more

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Bernanke says jobs, growth will pick up after June

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Tuesday acknowledged “somewhat slower than expected growth” but said the U.S. economy will pick up in the second half of the year and inflation will moderate. “I expect hiring to pick up from last month’s pace as growth strengthens in the second half of the year,” Bernanke said in a speech to international bankers meeting in Atlanta. He said the Fed’s $600 billion bond purchase program will wind down by the end of the month and gave no hint the central bank was considering a third round of purchases. He repeated that rates will remain low for an “extended” period of time.

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Interesting Afghanistan read from Joe Klein:

/// snip

….I wouldn’t be surprised if President Obama announced a major withdrawal process that will begin with the departure of a few troops this summer (and the transition of mostly peaceful cities like Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif to Afghan government control), then begin in earnest by the end of the year, with forces down to about 50,000 a year from now and the 25,000 stabilization force by the end of 2012. The Afghan National Army ain’t the 101st Airborne, but it is strong enough, with continuing US support, to prevent a Taliban takeover of the country. That, plus the continuing covert campaign by drones and special operators, should be more than enough to protect US national interests in one of the world’s most remote places.

/// More and worth the read

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Nice, hopeful story:

Industry clusters help foster innovation, job growth

CLEVELAND — Alex Nudelman, a strapping 49-year-old, confidently pushes buttons on a computer-controlled milling machine and suggests it’s ready to sculpt a small piece of metal.
His instructor stops him, noting Nudelman has not programmed in all the tools needed to shape the metal block.
A journeyman autoworker who was laid off in 2009, Nudelman is taking a community college class here so he can work on the more sophisticated gear powering the region’s growing cluster of medical device makers. If all goes well, he may soon be churning out spinal implants instead of seat brackets.

//

Emerging industry centers include electric-car batteries in Michigan, clean energy in Colorado and robotics in Pittsburgh. In clean energy alone, 20 regional non-profits have sprung up around the USA in the past three years to coordinate funding and product-launching efforts among companies, universities, entrepreneurs and state agencies.
Now, the federal government is stepping in. President Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget proposes a competition to identify 20 potential clusters that would receive a share of $2.5 billion in financial incentives. A separate program involving 16 U.S. agencies aims to advance existing industry hubs. With a report Friday showing job growth slowing, officials say funding for innovation is needed to expand payrolls.

// more

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I really couldn’t care less of Anthony ‘Barack Obama is no values’ guy Weiner, but the media’ hypocrisy is just staggering.

Booman:

Hey, listen, if you are a member of the elite media, like you are Chuck Todd or Bob Schieffer or Jake Tapper or George Will, please take a moment to pop over to Memeorandum and check out the reaction of various media outlets to the Anthony Weiner scandal. Now, after you’ve done that, I want you to come back here and answer me this: why didn’t you assholes treat David Vitter or, especially, John Ensign this way?
Why did David Vitter have an easy time getting reelected without having to listen to you guys question his morals 24 hours a day? And why wasn’t John Ensign run out of the village on a rail for making a mess of the place? Aren’t senators more than four times as powerful as congressmen? Isn’t it a juicer story when the sex-scandal involves hypocrisy as well as lying?

Personally, I don’t care about Rep. Weiner. I like his attitude, but I’m not much for yapping dogs. Earlier this week he went on the Rachel Maddow Show and lied to my face for fifteen straight minutes. I have no use for the guy. I hope he goes away never to be heard from again. But I don’t want to hear weeks and weeks of breathless speculation about the political career and personal morals of a backbencher who has no leadership position, no important committee chairs, no clout of any kind, and no bearing on the big issues facing the country.

You left Ensign alone. You left Vitter alone. Hell, you barely even reported it when Ensign resigned. But for weeks you’ve been hounding a comparative nobody. Why?

Are you puppets controlled by Andrew Breitbart, Matt Drudge, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh? Do you have minds of your own?

// more and terrific.

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“600,000 young adults have taken advantage of healthcare reform” (Updated)

Some pretty cool stuff:

Repeal this: 

Some 600,000 young adults have taken advantage of a healthcare reform provision allowing them to stay on their parents’ insurance policies, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Fund.

The liberal think tank said young adults are increasingly delaying care because they can’t afford it and praised the healthcare law’s coverage expansion.

Close to half of all currently uninsured people between 19 and 29 will gain coverage under Medicaid once it expands in 2014, the report says. About one-third will be eligible for subsidies to buy private insurance through a newly created health exchange.

“To ensure a more stable future for graduates and their families, it is critical that federal and state policymakers continue implementing all provisions of the Affordable Care Act over the next three years,” the Commonwealth Fund said.

// more

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 Take some time and watch this  VP Biden‘s speech. It’s just terrific. The stuff he said about PBO is so wonderful, it almost brought me to tears.  (Start around the 20:00 mark).

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The Independentreview of PBO’s extraordinary speech yesterday:

In a spirit of unyielding optimism neatly combined with a message of hard-headed pragmatism, Barack Obama has insisted that the time for American and European leadership “is now” in spite of the rise of new global superpowers. He was the first United States president to address MPs and peers in Westminster Hall and received a standing ovation before he began his speech, which covered issues such as foreign policy, economic development and international security.

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A reader writes to Sullivan:

It is in reality a Republican line of PR right now, so unless in a few months we see the number of Jewish supporters drop precipitously we have NO idea what is really going on in the background except for the stories being shopped by the WSJ and Commentary about Obama’s Jewish doom. Really, you’re repeating these stories without skepticism when there is an agenda there? Why not write about the countless Jews who after seeing Netanyahu insult their president on US soil are actually more and more supportive of a Palestinian state than they were before. While this is anecdotal I can tell you that people of my generation–30-45–are disgusted and ready to throw in the towel on Israel, and I’m a hard-core Zionist who lived in Israel, speaks Hebrew and lost friends to terrorist attacks.

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