GOP Plan: OBSTRUCT, DELAY & DEGRADE

Jim Morin

Jim Morin cartoon

Senators ask John Boehner to help block Obama recess appointments

5/25/11 Jonathan Allen – POLITICO
Senate conservatives asked House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday to try to block President Obama from making recess appointments for the remainder of his presidency.

In a letter, the group of 20 senators implored Boehner to refuse to adopt any resolution that would allow the Senate to stand in recess for more than three days.
Source: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/55723.html

As Jonathan Cohn pointed out in The New Republic, filibusters of presidential agency nominations were once very rare, happening only two times each to Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Bill Clinton had nine nominations blocked, and George W. Bush had seven. Obama is “already up to 16 blocks,” Cohn noted.

Source: http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_23678239/e-j-dionne-jr-thawing-senates-deep-freeze

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Fact Check: The Real Reasons Republicans in Congress are Blocking Richard Cordray at CFPB

Posted by Stephanie Cutter on October 06, 2011

In his press conference on October 6, the President spoke primarily about what we can do to create jobs and boost the economy right now, but he also took some time to discuss his efforts to fix the problems in our financial sector that precipitated this economic downturn:

And what we’ve seen over the last year is not only did the financial sector — with the Republican Party in Congress — fight us every inch of the way, but now you’ve got these same folks suggesting that we should roll back all those reforms and go back to the way it was before the crisis.

As he also explained, his nominee to be the first head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, former Ohio Treasurer and Attorney General Rich Cordray, is being blocked from office, noting that “Republicans have threatened not to confirm him not because of anything he’s done, but because they want to roll back the whole notion of having a consumer watchdog.”

Not surprisingly, those Republicans in Congress have looked for any excuse to avoid admitting that they are seeking to weaken these consumer protections

Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/10/06/fact-check-real-reasons-republicans-congress-are-blocking-richard-cordray-cfpb

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Senate Republicans’ Vote to Block Job Growth Through U.S. Infrastructure Development

Posted by DNC Press on Thursday, November 03, 2011

Following today’s vote by Republicans in the U.S. Senate to block legislation that would create jobs and grow the economy through the development of our nation’s infrastructure, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:

“It’s almost hard to believe: This is now the third time in a matter of weeks that Republicans in the Senate have voted in unison to block part or all of the American Jobs Act, which would create jobs and strengthen our economy. First, Republicans filibustered the President’s jobs bill in its entirety—then, when President Obama and Democrats tried to move forward with legislation that would prevent hundreds of thousands of teachers and first responders from losing their jobs, the Senate GOP shot that down, too.

“Today, they did it again—voting to block legislation that would make an immediate $50 billion investment in America’s roads and bridges and a $10 billion investment to create a bipartisan National Infrastructure Bank. This bill would create hundreds of thousands of jobs for construction.

Source: http://www.democrats.org/news/blog/dnc_chair_debbie_wasserman_schultzs_statement_on_senate_republicans_vote_to

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GOP senators block bill to put teachers, first responders back to work

Posted by Elizabeth Chan on Friday, October 21, 2011

Last night, Republican Senators stood unanimously to block the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act, a stand-alone piece of President Obama’s jobs bill that would put Americans back on the job teaching our children and keeping our communities safe.

The GOP is putting politics ahead of country yet again.

Source: http://www.democrats.org/news/blog/gop_senators_block_bill_to_put_teachers_first_responders_back_to_work

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DREAM Act dies with rejection of defense bill when Republicans blocked a defense spending bill in the Senate

9/21/2010 By SUZANNE GAMBOA- AP

WASHINGTON—The chance for hundreds of thousands of young people to legally remain in the U.S. evaporated Tuesday when Republicans blocked a defense spending bill in the Senate.

Democrats failed to get a single Republican to help them reach the 60 votes needed to move forward on the defense bill and attach the DREAM Act as an amendment. The vote was 56-43. Arkansas Democratic Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor voted with Republicans. Majority Leader Harry Reid also voted to block the bill in a procedural move that allows the defense bill to be revived later.

Source: http://bit.ly/cmoUNn

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Republicans block bill to lift military gay ban

9/21/10 By ANNE FLAHERTY, AP

WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked an effort by Democrats and the White House to lift the ban on gays from serving openly in the military, voting unanimously against advancing a major defense policy bill that included the provision.

The mostly partisan vote dealt a major blow to gay rights groups who saw the legislation as their best hope, at least in the short term, for repeal of the 17-year-old law known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Source: http://yhoo.it/9VEMT9

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House farm bill cuts food stamps by $20.5B

5/10/13 11:00 AM ET By Erik Wasson – TheHill

The chairman of the House Agriculture Committee unveiled a new farm bill [Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013 ] Friday that he said would reduce spending by $39.7 billion over the next decade compared to existing legislation.

The deeper deficit cuts endorsed by Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) are sure to please conservatives and may help get the bill through the full House.

The bill also makes deep cuts to food stamp programs, which could cost the bill support from liberals and make it more difficult to get a deal with the Senate.

Overall the bill, crafted in consultation with Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) is “vastly identical” to the bill that passed the Agriculture Committee last year, according to a senior aide.

But it reduces spending more than the earlier bill, which House leaders never let come to the floor. It would have cut $35 billion from existing spending.

Much of the bite comes from food stamp and other nutrition programs. They would be reduced by $20.5 billion, compared to $16 billion in last year’s bill.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/agriculture/298991-lucas-releases-draft-farm-bill-saving-40-billion

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Outgoing IRS Chief: Question That Sparked Scandal Was A Plant

17, 2013, 11:33 AM 823 ERIC LACH MAY – tpm

One of the oddest aspects of the IRS scandal was the way the story first came to light last Friday, when Lois Lerner, head of the IRS’ tax-exempt organizations division, apologized for inappropriate targeting of conservative groups. The apology, a major admission, was delivered in a decidedly low-profile place: in response to a question from an attendee at a panel during the American Bar Association tax section’s annual meeting in Washington D.C.

It was such an unusual place for Lerner to drop such a bombshell, many people in the room thought the question had been prearranged. Turns out, it was.

“It was a prepared Q & A,” outgoing acting IRS chief Steven Miller told Congress on Friday, in response to a question from Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).

Nunes asked Miller if the question itself, which was asked by Celia Roady, a veteran tax lawyer, was planted in advance.

“I believe we talked about that, yes,” Miller responded.

For more: http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/05/steven_miller_scandal_question_plant.php?ref=fpa

——–

Lois G. Lerner Selected as Director of IRS Exempt Organizations Division IR-2005-148,
Dec. 22, 2005 (George W Bush’s Presidency)

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114 Responses to GOP Plan: OBSTRUCT, DELAY & DEGRADE

  1. CR says:

    WH

    Friday, December 9 , 2011

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    Vice President Biden attends a campaign event in New York City.
    New York City

    1:30 PM
    White House Press Secretary Carney briefs the press.

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    Vice President Biden delivers remarks at an event honoring Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy.
    New York Historical Society Museum and Library
    Open Press

    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    • CR says:

      POTUS podium

      December 9, 2011

      WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

      1:30 PM EST
      White House Press Secretary Carney briefs the press.

      3:30 PM EST
      White House Champions of Change: Girls and Women in STEM
      On Friday, December 9th, twelve local leaders in the effort to recruit and retain girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields were honored at the White House as Champions of Change. These men and women, who include teachers, industry leaders, students, and non-profit leaders, have each taken great strides to reduce the barriers that drive many girls and women to turn away from high-paying, highly rewarding careers as the Nation’s top innovators.
      The White House

      —-

      CNN http://live.cnn.com

      8:30 AM EST
      Council on Foreign Relations: U.S. Secretary Janet Napolitano

      9:00 AM EST
      Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Talks About Military Cuts

      12:00 PM EST
      Pelosi briefing
      House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will speak with reporters on Capitol Hill. She is expected to discuss the payroll tax cut extension debate and other issues.

      12:30 PM EST
      State Department briefing
      The State Department holds its daily briefing with reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include the situations in Syria and Egypt.

      1:30 PM EST
      White House Press Secretary Carney briefs the press.

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      8:30 AM EST
      Council on Foreign Relations: U.S. Secretary Janet Napolitano http://www.c-span.org/Events/DHS-Secretary-Napolitano-Discusses-International-Partnerships/10737426164/

      9:00 AM EST
      Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Talks About Military Cuts http://www.c-span.org/Events/Joint-Chiefs-of-Staff-Chair-Talks-About-Military-Cuts/10737426147/

      12:00 PM EST
      Pelosi briefing
      House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will speak with reporters on Capitol Hill. She is expected to discuss the payroll tax cut extension debate and other issues.

      12:30 PM EST
      State Department briefing
      The State Department holds its daily briefing with reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include the situations in Syria and Egypt.

      1:30 PM EST
      White House Press Secretary Carney briefs the press.

  2. CR says:

    GOP WRONG WAY

    GOP Congress Plan: OBSTRUCT, DELAY & DEGRADE

    • CR says:

      Putting the Interests of the American People Ahead of Politics

      12/5/2011 By: Colleen Murray – treasury.gov

      Last year, Congress passed and President Obama signed historic Wall Street reforms—new rules of the road to prevent abuses, protect consumers, and promote openness, fairness and accountability across the financial system. Months later, opponents of reform are still playing politics—working to weaken these reforms by cutting proposed funding, blocking key appointments, and introducing legislation to repeal the law or simply slow the pace of implementation in the hopes of watering it down.

      Last week, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner urged opponents of reform to put the interests of the American people ahead of politics. Thursday morning, at a conference sponsored by Treasury’s Office of Financial Research and the Financial Stability Oversight Council, he said: “If the opponents of reform are successful, then we will be left with a broken, poorly designed system of financial oversight and protection, with inadequate resources to prevent and deter abuse. These are sensible and essential reforms. We are going to fight to preserve them.” He continued, “If these efforts to weaken reform are successful, then consumers will be more vulnerable to future abuse, businesses will be more vulnerable to future contractions in credit availability caused by financial mistakes, and the economy will be more vulnerable to devastating crises.”

      Secretary Geithner also met last week with the senior leadership of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—a new watchdog whose job is looking out for working families by protecting them from deceptive and unfair lending practices of mortgage brokers, payday lenders and debt collectors. This new agency cannot exercise its full authorities until a director is in place.

      For the entire article: http://www.treasury.gov/connect/blog/Pages/Putting-the-Interests-of-the-American-People-Ahead-of-Politics.aspx

    • CR says:

      GOP blocks Obama nominee to head financial agency

      12/8/11 By JIM ABRAMS | AP

      WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked President Barack Obama’s choice to head the new consumer protection agency that was designed to help curtail the excesses and abuses that led to the financial meltdown.

      Republicans presented a near-solid front in filibustering the nomination of former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The agency was an essential element of legislation enacted last year to overhaul the financial system.

      Only one Republican voted to advance the nomination. The 53-45 vote was short of the 60 needed to overcome GOP opposition.

      Obama planned to comment on the vote late Thursday morning.

      Republicans said they had no objections to Cordray, the agency’s enforcement chief. But for months they have made clear they would vote against anyone until the administration agreed to changes in an agency they contend has too much power and too little accountability.

      Democrats accused Republicans of favoring Wall Street over the consumers the agency is supposed to protect and suggested the dispute could become an issue in next year’s presidential campaign.

      “This is the first time in Senate history a party has blocked a qualified candidate solely because they disagree with the existence of the agency that’s being created by law,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

      The agency officially opened its doors in July, but under law cannot carry out its full functions until a director is in place. It can enforce existing bank regulations, but cannot issue new rules affecting nonbank entities such as payday lenders and credit card companies.

      The bureau on Wednesday did introduce a simplified two-page credit card agreement it hopes will be a model for the industry.

      Republicans, who fought passage of what is known as the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul bill last year and continue to challenge some of its provisions, say their support for the agency hinges on replacing the director with a bipartisan board of directors; subjecting the agency to the congressional appropriations process; and giving more regulatory offices power to overrule agency decisions.

      For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/gop-blocks-obama-nominee-head-financial-agency-161833201.html

      • CR says:

        Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Nominee Cordray Faces Senate Battle

        Excerpts:

        JUDY WOODRUFF: White House officials have been working to win over Republican senators in seven states, Alaska, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Nevada, Tennessee and Utah, in a bid to get Cordray confirmed.

        That remains a tall order. The administration will need the backing of 60 senators to get past a filibuster and bring the Cordray nomination to a final vote.

        And joining us now to discuss the Cordray nomination are Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, a member of the Banking Committee, and Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas.

        Thank you both for being with us.

        Sen. Brown, I’m going to start with you.

        Why is this bureau so important to have, and why is Richard Cordray the right person to lead it?

        SEN. SHERROD BROWN, D-Ohio: I probably know Richard Cordray better than any member of the Senate. I knew him when he was a state legislator, and county treasurer, and state treasurer, and attorney general, and now at the bureau.

        And he is qualified immensely — imminently qualified. And that’s what Republicans and Democrats alike, including the former Republican senator from Ohio Mike DeWine, who is now the attorney general, and others have endorsed him in both parties and banks and credit unions and all.

        This matters because we know what happened in the financial crisis and we need a consumer cop on the beat. We need somebody that is responsive, somebody that will stand up to Wall Street, somebody that will stand up for consumers. And why would we not do that and want a good, strong, independent voice representing people who have been hurt by this financial crisis?…..

        SEN. SHERROD BROWN: …

        What — this went through the whole legislative process. We needed 60 votes to pass this bill. There were all kinds of amendments that were considered. Conservative members of the Senate who don’t — who were kind of close to Wall Street and didn’t really want the Consumer Bureau had their chance to amend it, went through the whole process just two years ago. It got more than 60 votes out of 100. So it passed with strong bipartisan majorities.

        And now that it’s the law, on behalf of Wall Street, they want to weaken the rules and emasculate the agency. This is a consumer agency. They’re not going to use their power to destroy. They’re going to use their power to protect consumers and use their power to protect investors and use their power to protect taxpayers. And that’s what I want them there for….

        SEN. SHERROD BROWN: No. No, most of these regulatory bodies don’t have five-people or seven-people commissions. Some of them do; some of them don’t. So it’s far from unprecedented.

        And the — to say he has dictatorial powers, the president of United States appoints a secretary of state, a secretary of the treasury, secretary of commerce. Do they all have dictatorial powers? No, they answer to the president of the United States.

        If this Consumer Protection Bureau chief oversteps his bounds and the public’s really unhappy or even the banks think they’re being treated unfairly, they appeal to the president of the United States. And my guess is, if Rich Cordray did any of those things that they prospectively accuse him of, that he would be forced out by the president.

        So we trust — we elect the president of the United States. The election wasn’t contested. He clearly, decisively won in 2008. He ought to be able to put in this director or another director or a federal judge that used to be just a matter of course here. But now it’s 60 votes for everything.

        And we just — as Kay said, we — all we want is an up-or-down vote. Just don’t filibuster it. Let a majority of the Senate decide if Richard Cordray, who everybody says is qualified in both sides of the — both sides of the aisle, let him have an up-or-down vote. If he doesn’t get 51, that’s our problem and his problem and the president’s problem. But don’t make — don’t do a filibuster on this.

        For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/july-dec11/consumeragency_12-07.html#transcript

      • CR says:

        Barney Frank On The Future Of The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

        12/8/11 Interview by Kai Ryssdal – MarketPlace.org

        Kai Ryssdal: As was entirely expected, today Republicans in the Senate blocked the nomination of Richard Cordray to be the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Wouldn’t even let it get to an official up or down vote.

        The CFPB is the centerpiece of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that passed last year. So we called one of the guys whose name is on the thing to ask what should happen now. Democratic Congressman Barney Frank is the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee. Welcome to the broadcast.

        Barney Frank: Thank you.

        Ryssdal: Setting politics aside for just a second — we’ll get there in a minute — but what are the practical effects of the CFPB not having a confirmed director? What can’t it do?

        Frank: There are a whole set of things that cannot literally do legally. We gave the CFPB in the law the existing statutory powers to protect consumers, which apply mostly to banks, to deposit-taking institutions. We, however, wanted to get to the non-banks, and people have noted, well that’s very important because there are a lot of problems with the non-banks. So payday lenders, check cashiers, people who are in the remittance business — all of these people who do financial services who are not currently regulated by the Federal Reserve or the control of the currency — that’s the set of powers that will not be there until we get a confirmed director.

        Ryssdal: All right, so let’s get to the politics then: What does, if anything does, a compromise look to you on this?

        Frank: Well I don’t mean to be rude, but –

        Ryssdal: Go ahead.

        Frank: Since you don’t have a vote in the Senate, I really can’t negotiate with you.

        Ryssdal: But no, seriously. What does a compromise look like?

        Frank: A compromise to me is that you follow the law as passed. This is an outrageous effort by the Republican minority in the Senate to use the confirmation power in lieu of legislation. If they want to try and change the law, they can try and change the law. I think this is one that we may have to take to the American public. I don’t think the public is ready to give in to demands that the bank regulators be put back in charge of consumers, which is the major Republican demand.

        Ryssdal: So how are you going to take it to the American people? What does that mean?

        Frank: Well, the election next year. This, I think, is an issue that Republican senators who voted not to allow an up or down vote, who’ve tried to wrench the Constitution out of shape and use the filibuster as a way to undermine consumer protection rather than take it head-on legislatively — let them defend that in the election.

        Ryssdal: Do you think the president should make a recess appointment in this case?

        Frank: Oh without question. When the Republicans — remember, they didn’t reject Mr. Cordray in regards of any concern about his merits. When the Republicans say, ‘We are not going to allow the process to work, we’re not going to even consider a confirmation because we don’t like the law which sets up the agency,’ then of course a recess appointment is called for.

        Ryssdal: You’re going to campaign for Elizabeth Warren this fall, the woman who many thought would be the director of the CFPB?

        Frank: Yes. In fact, as I’ve said, I used to be the person in America most disappointed that the president didn’t appoint her, but now Scott Brown is the person most disappointed; I’m second.

        Ryssdal: Scott Brown, who took Teddy Kennedy’s seat. Last question for you, Congressman: You know, the White House knew back in May that the Republicans were not going to go for this — was there not time to compromise back then?

        Frank: No, I don’t know why you keep talking about a compromise.

        For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/barney-frank-future-consumer-financial-protection-bureau

    • CR says:

      Dems’ payroll tax cut extension goes down again in Senate

      12/08/11 By Josiah Ryan – TheHill

      Senate Republicans blocked the latest installment of President Obama’s jobs plan — a bill to extend the payroll tax cut — for the second week in a row on Thursday.

      The bill, titled the Middle Class Tax Cut Act, was shot down 50-48. It would have cut the payroll tax paid by employees to 3.1 percent from the current 4.2 percent while funding itself by imposing a surtax on millionaires.

      That legislation’s defeat, aided by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), followed the 51-49 defeat of a similar bill offered by Democrats last Thursday, which carried an extra $85 billion in costs.

      Senate leadership and the White House spent much of the week assailing Republicans over their opposition to the plan. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) sought to once again place Republicans in the awkward position of having to vote against a tax cut.

      “Republicans in Congress dismiss our plan at their own peril,” he warned on Monday.

      Democrats also decided to shrink the price tag on the legislation in hopes of attracting Republican defections and to frame the new piece of legislation as “a compromise.”

      Republicans, however, showed themselves unwilling to swallow the tax hike on the rich, and some, like Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), scoffed at the idea that it represented a serious compromise.

      For the entire article: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/198227-senate-defeats-second-rounds-of-rival-payroll-tax-cut-extension-bills

    • CR says:

      DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Statement on Senate Republicans’ Vote to Block Job Growth Through U.S. Infrastructure Development

      Posted by DNC Press on Thursday, November 03, 2011

      Following today’s vote by Republicans in the U.S. Senate to block legislation that would create jobs and grow the economy through the development of our nation’s infrastructure, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:

      “It’s almost hard to believe: This is now the third time in a matter of weeks that Republicans in the Senate have voted in unison to block part or all of the American Jobs Act, which would create jobs and strengthen our economy. First, Republicans filibustered the President’s jobs bill in its entirety—then, when President Obama and Democrats tried to move forward with legislation that would prevent hundreds of thousands of teachers and first responders from losing their jobs, the Senate GOP shot that down, too.

      “Today, they did it again—voting to block legislation that would make an immediate $50 billion investment in America’s roads and bridges and a $10 billion investment to create a bipartisan National Infrastructure Bank. This bill would create hundreds of thousands of jobs for construction workers who will rebuild our nation’s crumbling roads, bridges, rails and runways—and it would help transform our infrastructure to keep American businesses competitive in the global economy. But Republicans keep standing in the way.

      “With too many Americans looking for work and middle-class families struggling to get ahead, this is unacceptable. It’s time for Republicans in Congress to stop putting partisan politics before the needs of the American people. It’s time for them to come to the table and work with the President to pass the American Jobs Act and move our country forward.”

    • CR says:

      <br />
GOP fakes trying

      FACT CHECK: ERIC CANTOR FALSELY CLAIMS HE WANTS TO “WORK TOGETHER”

      OCT 16, 2011 dccc.org

      On Fox News Sunday this morning, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor repeatedly claimed he wanted to work with Democrats to find common ground to create jobs and improve the economy. Cantor claimed he wanted to “work together” and “set aside” differences.

      In reality, Cantor has been the House Republicans’ chief obstructionist on job creation and deficit reduction since the start of this Congress. Cantor quit bipartisan negotiations with Vice President Biden on reducing the deficit and pushed Speaker John Boehner to break off discussions with President Obama and Democrats for a grand bargain to reduce the deficit and strengthen our economy. Cantor has refused to bring to the floor President Obama’s jobs plan and Republicans have refused to pass a single bill to create jobs. It was Cantor’s brinkmanship that nearly forced the U.S. to default on its credit and helped cause the nation’s credit downgrade. Last month Cantor led the Republican effort to block disaster relief and nearly sent the government to the brink of government shutdown.

      FACT CHECK

      New York Times: Budget Talks Near Collapse as G.O.P. Leader Quits [New York Times, 6/23/11]

      Cantor’s Refusal To Compromise Helped Kill the “Grand Bargain” on Deficit Reduction

      Milbank: What Eric Cantor Wants is Power — and He is Prepared to Risk the Full Faith and Credit of the United States to Get It.

      Washington Post: Young Guns Directly Responsible for Bringing the Nation to the Brink of Default

      National Journal Said Standard & Poor’s Downgrade Explanation was a “Blast at Republicans.”

      For the entire article: http://dccc.org/newsroom/entry/fact_check_eric_cantor_falsely_claims_he_wants_to_work_together/

      • CR says:

        Getting at the Facts

        Jay Carney April 06, 2012 01:57 PM EDT

        On Tuesday, the President gave a speech in which he contrasted his vision for our economy – one where everyone pays their fair share and everyone plays by the same set of rules – with the Republican approach of giving massive tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires paid for by cuts to programs that the middle class and seniors depend on.

        Congressman Ryan and his staff has since taken issue with some of the critiques the President made about the Republican approach. We believe in backing up our facts – so here’s some further explanation of some of the core problems with the Ryan Republican Budget.

        1. The Republican budget enacts a drastic, unspecified 19 percent cut in non-defense discretionary programs that help the middle class and help our economy grow.

        2. The Republican approach would end Medicare as we know it.

        3. The Republican budget would mean 19 million Americans lose the health coverage they are already getting under current Medicaid

        For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/04/06/getting-facts

    • CR says:

      GOP senators block bill to put teachers, first responders back to work

      Posted by Elizabeth Chan on Friday, October 21, 2011

      Last night, Republican Senators stood unanimously to block the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act, a stand-alone piece of President Obama’s jobs bill that would put Americans back on the job teaching our children and keeping our communities safe.

      The GOP is putting politics ahead of country yet again. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz responded to this disappointing vote:

      “What will it take for Republicans to get serious about working with the President to create jobs and get our economy back on track? The American people have made it clear that they want Congress to act now. We can’t wait. Leading economists from across the political spectrum have said the American Jobs Act will create as many as 1.9 million jobs and prevent another recession—and they have warned that the Senate GOP’s alternative jobs proposal will do nothing to create jobs now and could actually do serious harm to the economy.

      “Our country can’t afford to keep waiting. America’s teachers and first responders continue to face uncertain futures as they do the work from which every American benefits. Middle-class families continue to struggle to make ends meet—this Senate bill and the American Jobs Act would help them get ahead. It’s time for Republicans to do the job they were elected to do and work with the President to create jobs and restore our economic security.”

      Tell your Republican senators that putting America back to work is more important than winning elections. Ask them to support the President’s American Jobs Act by calling or tweeting.

      • CR says:

        GOP WRONG WAY

        The Root of Romney’s Comfort with Lying

        Published on Jun 14, 2012 by TheBigPictureRT

        Psychiatrist DR. Justin Frank – The same man who Analyzed Presidents Bush and Obama – has analyzed Mitt Romney – and says Romney is comfortable lying, in part, because of the way he was raised in his Mormon faith. But could the reason why Romney can’t tell the truth be something much more simple – and does it make him unfit to be President.

    • CR says:

      DREAM Act dies with rejection of defense bill when Republicans blocked a defense spending bill in the Senate

      9/21/2010 By SUZANNE GAMBOA- AP

      WASHINGTON—The chance for hundreds of thousands of young people to legally remain in the U.S. evaporated Tuesday when Republicans blocked a defense spending bill in the Senate.

      Democrats failed to get a single Republican to help them reach the 60 votes needed to move forward on the defense bill and attach the DREAM Act as an amendment. The vote was 56-43. Arkansas Democratic Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor voted with Republicans. Majority Leader Harry Reid also voted to block the bill in a procedural move that allows the defense bill to be revived later.

      The DREAM Act allows young people to become legal U.S. residents after spending two years in college or the military. It applies to those who were under 16 when they arrived in the U.S., have been in the country at least five years and have a diploma from a U.S. high school or the equivalent.

      Several young people who would have benefited from the legislation watched the vote from the gallery, some wearing graduation caps and gowns. Many sat stone-faced when the vote tally was read. A young woman dressed in a gold cap and gown wiped away tears.

      Most of the young immigrants knew victory was unlikely, but in the hours before the vote they walked the hallways of a Senate office building trying to drum up support.

      “I was kind of speechless. It’s something that hurt, but we are not stopping. They only gave us a chance and more time to get even bigger,” said Diana Banderas, who graduated rom high school in May and plans to go to community college after earning the money she needs to attend.

      For the entire article: http://bit.ly/cmoUNn

    • CR says:

      Republicans block bill to lift military gay ban

      9/21/10 By ANNE FLAHERTY, AP

      WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked an effort by Democrats and the White House to lift the ban on gays from serving openly in the military, voting unanimously against advancing a major defense policy bill that included the provision.

      The mostly partisan vote dealt a major blow to gay rights groups who saw the legislation as their best hope, at least in the short term, for repeal of the 17-year-old law known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

      If Democrats lose seats in the upcoming congressional elections this fall, as many expect, repealing the ban could prove even more difficult — if not impossible — next year. With that scenario looming, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that a lame-duck session was being planned and that lifting the ban would be taken up then.

      The episode upset advocates who believe that neither President Barack Obama nor Reid did enough to see the measure through.

      “The whole thing is a political train wreck,” said Richard Socarides, a White House adviser on gay rights during the Clinton administration.

      Democrats included the repeal provision in a $726 billion defense policy bill, which authorizes a pay raise for the troops among other popular programs. In a deal brokered with the White House, the measure would have overturned the 1993 law banning openly gay service only after a Pentagon review and certification from the president that lifting the ban wouldn’t hurt troop morale.

      But with little time left for debate before the November ballot, the bill languished on the Senate calendar until gay rights groups, backed by pop star Lady Gaga, began an aggressive push to turn it into an election issue.

      Earlier this month a federal judge in Los Angeles declared the ban an unconstitutional violation of the due process and free speech rights of gays and lesbians. The decision was the third federal court ruling since July to assert that statutory limits on the rights of gays and lesbians were unconstitutional.

      Reid agreed to force a vote on the bill this week and limit debate, despite Republican objections. A Nevada Democrat in a tight race of his own this fall, he also pledged to use the defense bill as a vehicle for an immigration proposal that would enable young people to qualify for U.S. citizenship if they joined the military.

      Republicans alleged that Reid was using the defense bill to score political points with the Democratic base.

      “This is not a serious exercise. It’s a show,” said Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

      Democrats countered that the bill merely reflects public opinion. Recent polls suggest that a majority of Americans think the ban on gays in the military should be overturned.

      For the entire article: http://yhoo.it/9VEMT9

    • CR says:

      Senators ask John Boehner to help block Obama recess appointments

      5/25/11 By JONATHAN ALLEN – POLITICO

      Senate conservatives asked House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday to try to block President Obama from making recess appointments for the remainder of his presidency.

      In a letter, the group of 20 senators implored Boehner to refuse to adopt any resolution that would allow the Senate to stand in recess for more than three days.

      Under the Constitution, neither chamber can adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other chamber.

      The Constitution does not prescribe how many days the president must wait to make a recess appointment, but traditionally the chief executive refrains from making an appointment during a break of less than four days so that he avoids the perception that he wants to end-run the Senate confirmation process.

      Senate conservatives accused Obama of showing “indifference to the Senate’s constitutional authority, and the American people’s right to scrutinize his appointees” in the past.

      Boehner’s office is aware of the letter, and his spokesman, Michael Steel, said “we’ll take a look at it.”

      The senators cite the precedent of 2007 when the Senate, controlled by Democrats, held pro forma sessions during recesses so that President Bush could not fill vacancies in his administration with recess appointments.

      The senators wrote that Obama has appointed people in the past “whose views are so outside the mainstream” that they can’t win confirmation from the Senate and that many of them are using their power to “implement policies that destroy jobs and infringe upon the freedom of the American people.

      The first signature on the letter is that of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).

      It is not yet clear that Boehner will be speaker for the remainder of Obama’s presidency, but he could prevent long recesses through the end of the current Congress at the very least.

    • CR says:

      LIMITING VOTING RIGHTS IS FAMILIAR WORK FOR GOP

      Oct 8, 2011 By Cynthia Tucker – cynthiatucker.com

      WASHINGTON — When you are a 96-year-old, law-abiding, conscientious American citizen, you ought to be able to exercise your right to vote easily and quickly. You shouldn’t have to provide an envelope full of documents proving your identity — only to be told that you still haven’t shown that you are eligible to cast a ballot.

      Yet, that’s just what happened to Dorothy Cooper earlier this month, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Tennessee’s GOP-controlled legislature passed a strict voter ID law, so Cooper — who never learned to drive — got a ride to a state driver service center to obtain a new ID card.

      But her rent receipt, her lease, her birth certificate and her voter registration card were not enough, the newspaper reported. Because her birth certificate pronounced her “Dorothy Alexander” — her maiden name — the clerk refused to give her the credential that would allow her to vote.

      That story ought to simply be a laughable anecdote about an overzealous bureaucrat, an officious clerk who doesn’t understand the phrase “public servant.” Unfortunately, Cooper’s futile sojourn reflects an intentional Republican plan to restrict the franchise.

      Across the country, GOP-controlled state legislatures have passed measures to make voting arduous for certain citizens who have shown a marked propensity for supporting Democrats. The new laws could make casting a ballot “significantly harder” for more than 5 million eligible voters, according to a new report by New York University Law School’s Brennan Center for Justice.

      Republicans insist that they are only trying to prevent voter fraud, but that claim doesn’t hold up to cursory scrutiny. While many Americans believe the oft-repeated tale that the ballot box needs to be protected from fake voters, in-person voter fraud is virtually non-existent.

      Think about it. Have you ever heard of a fake voter showing up on Election Day claiming to be someone else? Do teens get fake IDs so they can go to the polls?

      Voter suppression has long been a useful tool for GOP operatives, who haven’t been entirely comfortable with the universal franchise. But that discomfort has blossomed into full-blown panic with the stark demographic changes evident in the 2010 Census. The GOP’s backward-looking and intolerant agenda hasn’t attracted many black or brown voters, who make up a growing share of the electorate.

      Instead of finding policies that appeal to voters of color, Republicans have turned to dirty tricks: Trying to block a few million voters who are poor or elderly or young — all groups that heavily supported President Obama in 2008.

      For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/limiting-voting-rights-familiar-gop-003210390.html

    • CR says:

      GOP WRONG WAY

      Congress Won’t Recess To Block Obama Appointments

      10/9/11 by DAVID WELNA- NPR

      Senate Republicans blocked confirmation votes on two of President Obama’s most high-profile nominees this week — one for a seat on a federal appeals court, the other to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

      Traditionally, the end-of-the-year holidays have allowed presidents to bypass Congress and give such thwarted nominees recess appointments. But an angry President Obama is quickly leaning that this might not be the case this year.

      Obama insisted, “I will not take any options off the table when it comes to getting Richard Cordray in as director of the consumer finance protection board.”

      The only way the president can make a recess appointment for Cordray is if Congress is actually in recess. And ever since late May, Congress has remained in permanent session, mainly because Republican lawmakers want to prevent any more recess appointments.

      Donald Ritchie, the Senate’s official historian, says several presidents have used a constitutional provision that allows them to convene a session of Congress.

      “But there is this other provision that says, well, if the two houses themselves can’t agree on an adjournment, the president can adjourn Congress,” Ritchie says. “It’s just that no president has ever exercised that constitutional authority.”

      For the entire article: http://www.npr.org/2011/12/09/143458518/congress-wont-recess-to-block-obama-appointments

    • CR says:

      December 12, 2011

      Statement by the Press Secretary on Partisan Obstruction of Ambassador to El Salvador

      Today a partisan group of Republicans in the Senate blocked our Ambassador to El Salvador from returning to her job, choosing instead to play politics with America’s national interests. Ambassador Aponte has served our nation with distinction over the past year, accumulating an impressive list of accomplishments that included negotiating a Partnership for Growth between the United States and El Salvador that is critical to our economic and national security interests in the region. Ambassador Aponte’s leadership on behalf of the United States has earned her the respect of all sides in El Salvador, and the trust of leaders in the United States from across the political spectrum and diverse communities. Today’s filibuster is one more example of the type of political posturing and partisanship the American people are tired of seeing in Washington. Now is not the time for playing politics, it’s time for Congress to do the right thing for the American people. Whether it’s allowing up or down votes on our representatives to the Western Hemisphere, allowing consumers to have someone looking out for their interests, or extending and expanding the payroll tax cut for the middle class, Republicans in Congress need to stop thinking about the next election and start putting the best interests of the American people first.

    • CR says:

      GOP WRONG WAY

      The ridiculous things presidential candidates want you to believe about jobs

      1/13/12 By Ezra Klein – washingtonpost

      (Graph: Ezra Klein; Data: BLS) Mitt Romney’s campaign would have you believe that every job lost over the past three years is President Obama’s fault. That includes the 820,000 jobs lost in January 2009, despite the fact that Obama didn’t become president until the 20th of the month. It includes the 726,000 jobs lost in February 2009, before any of Obama’s policies had gone into effect. It suggests Romney holds a deeply ambitious view of a president’s power to influence the labor market — – a view, as we’ll see, that’s not shared by economists who were responsible for White House economic policies in recent administrations.

      But Romney’s campaign also asks us to believe that every job created in Massachusetts while he was governor was Mitt Romney’s doing. Obama might deserve the blame for the jobs lost in every state on his watch, but George W. Bush, who was president during Romney’s governorship, gets no credit for the jobs created in Massachusetts during his administration. And Romney claims that every job created by any company that Bain Capital had a hand in should also be credited to Romney — even if the job was created long after Bain separated from the company. Heads, I created a jobs; tails, you lost one.

      For the entire article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/the-ridiculous-things-presidential-candidates-want-you-to-believe-about-jobs/2011/08/25/gIQABea8vP_blog.html

    • CR says:

      Romney would raise eligibility age for Medicare

      2/24/12 By DAVID ESPO | Associated Press – 1 hr 23 mins ago

      DETROIT (AP) — Four days before critical primary elections, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney outlined a far-reaching plan Friday to gradually delay Americans’ eligibility for Medicare as well as Social Security.

      Romney said the shift, as people live longer, is needed to steer the giant benefit programs toward economic sustainability.

      Speaking to the Detroit Economic Club — in cavernous Ford Field, where the Detroit Lions football team plays — he also made a play for primary election support in Michigan, which votes on Tuesday along with Arizona.

      Romney said previous steps to toughen government emission standards had “provided a benefit to some of the foreign automakers” at the expense of American companies. He said future changes should be worked out cooperatively between government and industry.

      Campaigning in the city where he was born, Romney described himself as “a car guy” who has a Ford Mustang and a Chevy pickup and whose wife, Ann, drives “a couple of Cadillacs.” Aides said they were model year 2007 and 2010 SRX vehicles, one each registered in Massachusetts and California.

      Romney said his proposals for Medicare and Social Security would begin in 2022, meaning no current or near-retirees would be affected. He also said he favors adjustments to curtail the growth of future benefits for the relatively well-to-do, so “lower-income seniors would receive the most generous benefits.” He had described his Social Security proposals previously.

      The two programs provide retirement and health care benefits to tens of millions of older Americans.

      Beginning in 2022, Romney said, “we will gradually increase the Medicare eligibility age by one month each year. In the long run, the eligibility ages for both programs will be indexed to longevity so that they increase only as fast as life expectancy.”

      Under current law, the age for collecting full Social Security benefits is gradually rising from 65 to 67.

      Medicare is available at age 65. In both cases, the age is set in law, and Romney’s suggestion that it be tied automatically to increases in the life expectancy of Americans would mark a major change

      For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/romney-raise-eligibility-age-medicare-220313926.html

    • CR says:

      GOP WRONG WAY

      Romney would raise eligibility age for Medicare

      2/24/12 By DAVID ESPO | Associated Press – 1 hr 23 mins ago

      DETROIT (AP) — Four days before critical primary elections, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney outlined a far-reaching plan Friday to gradually delay Americans’ eligibility for Medicare as well as Social Security.

      Romney said the shift, as people live longer, is needed to steer the giant benefit programs toward economic sustainability.

      Speaking to the Detroit Economic Club — in cavernous Ford Field, where the Detroit Lions football team plays — he also made a play for primary election support in Michigan, which votes on Tuesday along with Arizona.

      Romney said previous steps to toughen government emission standards had “provided a benefit to some of the foreign automakers” at the expense of American companies. He said future changes should be worked out cooperatively between government and industry.

      Campaigning in the city where he was born, Romney described himself as “a car guy” who has a Ford Mustang and a Chevy pickup and whose wife, Ann, drives “a couple of Cadillacs.” Aides said they were model year 2007 and 2010 SRX vehicles, one each registered in Massachusetts and California.

      Romney said his proposals for Medicare and Social Security would begin in 2022, meaning no current or near-retirees would be affected. He also said he favors adjustments to curtail the growth of future benefits for the relatively well-to-do, so “lower-income seniors would receive the most generous benefits.” He had described his Social Security proposals previously.

      The two programs provide retirement and health care benefits to tens of millions of older Americans.

      Beginning in 2022, Romney said, “we will gradually increase the Medicare eligibility age by one month each year. In the long run, the eligibility ages for both programs will be indexed to longevity so that they increase only as fast as life expectancy.”

      Under current law, the age for collecting full Social Security benefits is gradually rising from 65 to 67.

      Medicare is available at age 65. In both cases, the age is set in law, and Romney’s suggestion that it be tied automatically to increases in the life expectancy of Americans would mark a major change

      For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/romney-raise-eligibility-age-medicare-220313926.html

      • CR says:

        Romney on spending: Guns triumph over butter

        4/23/12 By Andrew Taylor – Associated Press

        WASHINGTON — Reducing government deficits Mitt Romney’s way would mean less money for health care for the poor and disabled and big cuts to nuts-and-bolts functions such as food inspection, border security and education.

        Romney also promises budget increases for the Pentagon, above those sought by some GOP defense hawks, meaning that the rest of the government would have to shrink even more. Nonmilitary programs would incur still larger cuts than those called for in the tightfisted GOP budget that the House passed last month.

        Differences over the government’s budget and spiraling deficits are among the starkest that separate Republican Romney and Democratic President Barack Obama. Obama’s budget generally avoids risk, with minimal cuts to rapidly growing health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid while socking wealthier people with tax increases. It’s all part of an effort to close trillion-dollar-plus deficits.

        Romney, by contrast, proposes broad cuts in government spending, possibly overpromising on reductions that even a Congress stuffed with conservatives might find hard to deliver.

        Estimates by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office put current government spending at $3.6 trillion, or about 23.5 percent of the gross domestic product this year, slipping to 21.8 percent by 2016.

        The math can get fuzzy. But the Romney campaign says it needs to come up with $500 billion in cuts in 2016, the target year. The GOP front-runner suggests raising the Social Security retirement age and reducing cost-of-living increases for better-off retirees.

        He generally endorses a plan by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to gradually transform Medicare from a program that directly pays hospital and doctor bills into vouchers for subsidizing future beneficiaries in buying health insurance.

        Because Romney promises to protect current Social Security and Medicare recipients from cuts, he cannot get much savings from those programs by 2016.

        Combined, they are projected to make up about 44 percent of the budget that year. Interest costs, which cannot be touched, would make up an additional 9 percent of the budget, while Romney promises to add almost $100 billion to the Pentagon budget that year, based on his pledge that military spending reach 4 percent of GDP.

        So what’s left to cut?

        Medicaid: The program now provides health care for about 50 million mostly poor and disabled people, including nursing home care for 7 of 10 patients nationwide. Obama’s health care law sharply would sharply boost Medicaid enrollment to cover more people above the poverty line, a move that Romney promises to repeal.

        Like House Republicans, Romney promises to transform Medicaid into block grants for states and shed federal supervision of it. He would cap the program’s annual growth to inflation plus a percentage point. His campaign says the approach would unshackle states to innovate and, by the end of a decade, cut costs by more than $200 billion a year.

        Domestic agency budgets: If Social Security is mostly off the table and current Medicare beneficiaries are protected, domestic Cabinet agency budgets would take a major hit in ways that could fundamentally alter government. The future growth of those discretionary programs funded through annual appropriations bills was already cut greatly in last year’s deal to raise the government’s borrowing limit.

        At issue are these programs, just to name a few: health research; NASA; transportation; homeland security; education; food inspection; housing and heating subsidies for the poor; food aid for pregnant women; the FBI; grants to local governments; national parks; and veterans’ health care.

        Other benefit programs: Like Ryan’s budget, the Romney plan would also cut benefit programs other than Social Security and Medicare. They include food stamps, school lunches, crop subsidies, Supplemental Security Income for very poor seniors and disabled people, unemployment insurance, veterans’ pensions and refundable tax credits to the working poor.

    • CR says:

      GOP WRONG WAY

      Santorum-Savonarola comparison is fitting

      2/25/12 mercurynews

      Maureen Dowd (Opinion, Feb. 23) thinks that to compare Rick Santorum to the 15th-century moral crusader Savonarola is “too grand.” However, the comparison has merit if one imagines what a President Santorum would do — or try to do.

      Savonarola’s first act as ruler of Florence was to make sodomy a capital offense; I can certainly picture Santorum doing that. And I’m sure he would love to be able to repeat Savonarola’s “bonfire of the vanities,” banning or destroying all those things that tempt us to sensuousness and sin.

      Actually, all the leading Republican candidates for president this year seem to be reveling in a “bonfire of the sanities” — piling up and (at least mentally) destroying all sane thoughts and common sense. However, only Santorum truly bears comparison to Savonarola.

      Peter Stauffer,
      Palo Alto, CA

    • CR says:

      GOP WRONG WAY

      What Romney will take away from women

      March 01, 2012 Posted by Elizabeth Chan – democrats.org

      After yet another flip-flop—this one in record time—Mitt Romney definitively went on the record to say that “of course” he supports one of the most controversial, extreme pieces of legislation we’ve seen in generations: the amendment proposed by Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Roy Blunt to place the decision over access to contraception and preventive care squarely in the hands of a woman’s employer.

      To put it simply: Romney officially signed on to the GOP’s latest attack against women’s health.

      What’s at stake here?

      It’s not just birth control. More than 20 million American women could lose access to mammograms, pre-natal screenings, cervical cancer screenings, vaccines, domestic violence counseling, and a host of preventive services that shouldn’t be up for debate in 2012.

      The President’s Affordable Care Act gives millions of women control over their own health care. By endorsing the extreme Blunt-Rubio amendment, Romney would take it away.

    • CR says:

      Missouri GOP: “Supporting the troops” doesn’t including letting them vote

      April 18, 2012 By Nathan Thomas – dlcc

      Military personnel could become collateral damage in the latest GOP attack on voting rights – a Republican-sponsored bill in Missouri that could effectively end many military voters’ ability to vote by mail.

      The St. Louis Post-Dispatch condemned the bill, sponsored by GOP state Rep. Shane Schoeller, in a sharply-worded editorial last week:

      Schoeller not only wants to ask voters to weaken the state constitution and then disenfranchise any state voters who lack a specific form of government-issued photo identification, now he also wants to take away the right of absentee voters — including members of the armed services — to mail in their ballots.

      House Bill 2109 is horrendous for a variety of reasons. (…) The bill, for instance, gives local election boards the right to determine if your birth certificate is adequate. (Note to Hawaiians: Cancel that move to Missouri). Similarly, if you have a drivers license from a state that your local election authority doesn’t think protects citizenship enough, you might not be able to register to vote.

      The worst provision in Mr. Schoeller’s bill would take away the long-held right of Missourians who request absentee ballots to vote by mail. These folks already are registered to vote. Some of them are disabled and can’t get to the polls. Others are members of the military, stationed far from home, perhaps even overseas protecting the very right to vote that Mr. Schoeller seeks to diminish.

      For the entire article: http://www.dlcc.org/node/2445_Missouri_GOP_Voter_Suppression_Targets_Military_Voters

    • CR says:

      GOP WRONG WAY

      ‘They’re (GOP) rooting against the economy’

      By Steve Benen – Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:19 AM EDT

      After last month’s disappointing job numbers were released, and Republicans seemed a little too pleased, the Obama campaign argued that the GOP is, as Stephanie Cutter put it, is “rooting for failure.” David Axelrod accused Republicans of “high-fiving each other” when bad economic news comes out.

      On Capitol Hill, GOP leaders denied the accusations, but yesterday, Travis Waldron highlighted a clip of a Republican who was willing to be surprisingly candid on the subject.

      For those who can’t watch clips online, Rob Gray, a senior adviser on Romney’s gubernatorial campaign, was asked whether GOP lawmakers might be dragging their heels when it comes to improving the economy. Gray responded:

      “Well, I’m not buying that they’re dragging their heels. I am buying that they’re rooting against the economy somewhat because they think that, you know, the short-term pain of, you know, the next four months is much better than having additional four years of pain under Obama. They believe the government should spend less and that they have better economic ideas than the president does. So, you know, if we have to suffer between now and November to get a better president for four years, they’re all for it.”

      For more: http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/15/12238245-theyre-rooting-against-the-economy?lite

    • CR says:

      Obama’s Judicial Nominees Face Slowed Confirmation Process

      7/22/12 Nina Totenberg – npr

      We are all used to judicial nomination fights, but what has been remarkable in the Obama administration has been the molasses-like confirmation process for noncontroversial nominees, especially federal district court nominees.

      The numbers tell the story. If there is no agreement to hold a vote, it takes 60 votes to “invoke cloture” and vote up or down on a nominee. Only one of President Clinton’s district court nominees faced sufficient stalling that a cloture vote was filed to force a vote. Similarly, during the George W. Bush administration, there was only one cloture petition filed to force a vote on a district court nominee.

      But during the Obama administration, so far, there have been 21 cloture petitions filed to force votes on 21 district court judicial nominees. All of these nominees were subsequently confirmed, most of them with fewer than a half-dozen no votes.

      On Monday, the Senate is scheduled to hold a cloture vote on the nomination of Michael Shipp, a federal magistrate judge in New Jersey, nominated for a district judgeship and reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 17-to-1 vote three months ago.

      Since then, Republicans have refused to agree to a vote on his nomination. So Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed a cloture petition to force a vote. Democrats are still holding out hope that Senate Minority Leader McConnell, R-Ky., will agree to a vote, as he has when push has come to shove in some other similar cases.

      Federal district court judges are the workhorses of the federal judiciary. They are the trial judges, and they typically have heavy workloads.

      At the moment, though, those workloads are even higher than usual because of a large number of vacancies , many of them in areas of the country that are designated as judicial emergencies by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

      Even in the last few decades, as judicial nominations have became more and more the focus of partisan controversy, district court nominees remained largely immune.

      During the Obama administration, however, district court nominees, though largely uncontroversial, have been drawn into the web of partisan stalling.

      There are currently 21 federal judicial nominees pending before the Senate. Four are uncontroversial appeals court nominees reported out of committee months ago. Seventeen are district court nominees.

      The Senate is rapidly approaching the point past which it generally does not consider controversial judicial nominations. Usually, in a presidential election year, the Senate wraps up action on appellate nominations before the August recess.

      District court nominations, however, usually keep moving, in part because they are such an essential part of the nation’s legal machinery. In 2008, for instance, the Democratically controlled Senate confirmed 10 Bush district court nominees in late September.

      In the current environment, however, past is rarely prologue.

    • CR says:

      GOP WRONG WAY

      House GOP walks away from unfinished business

      Sep 17, 2012 3:09 PM EDT By Steve Benen – maddowblog

      In his weekly podcast, Mitt Romney said over the weekend that President Obama is dealing “passively” with pressing issues, including the looming automatic spending cuts and tax increases. There’s certainly some passivity on display, but I think Romney is looking at the wrong end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

      Get ready to say “adios” to the House.

      Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced Friday that the House would not hold scheduled votes the first week in October, pending the Senate vote on the continuing resolution. That means the House won’t be in session again until after the election; the next House votes are scheduled for Nov. 13.

      The House will only be in for three days [this] week; Wednesday through Friday. Likewise, the Senate is expected to cancel its October session after it passes the CR.

      In fairness, it’s not unusual for the House to wrap up early, especially in an election year, but heading home in mid-September is unusually early. And given that this Congress, arguably the worst ever, hasn’t actually done anything meaningful, and has an important list of undone tasks, it’s hard to defend Cantor’s new schedule.

      Congress’ top five pressing issues:

      5. Postal reform
      4. Violence Against Women Act
      3. Cybersecurity
      2. Farm bill and drought relief
      1. Taxes and the ‘fiscal cliff’

      For more: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/09/17/13919764-house-gop-walks-away-from-unfinished-business?lite

      • CR says:

        3 Farm Bill Extension Measures Filed In House – UPDATE: CBO Releases Score For One-Year Farm Bill Extension

        Congress has run out of time to pass new Farm Bill, says House Ag Chair Lucas; measures seek to avert a dive off the “dairy cliff,” provide drought relief to farmers…Senate Ag Chair Stabenow supports extension…
        *Update at bottom of post

        SUNDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2012 By Jerry Hagstrom Founding Editor, The Hagstrom Report

        House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., is urging passage of a one-year extension of the 2008 Farm Bill, but the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition said on Sunday that House Republican leaders had filed three different versions of an extension on Saturday night, and that each is problematic. In addition to Lucas’ One-Year Farm Bill Extension, a Temporary One-Month Farm-Bill Extension was filed, as was a One-Month Dairy-Only Extension.

        In a statement on Sunday, Lucas said the one-year bill is a result of “discussions” with House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Senate “colleagues,” but he did not say specifically that the others were backing the bill.

        “Clearly, it is no longer possible to enact a five-year Farm Bill in this Congress,” Lucas said.

        “Given this reality, the responsible thing to do–and the course of action I have long encouraged if a five-year bill was not possible is to extend the 2008 legislation for one year. This provides certainty to our producers and critical disaster assistance to those affected by record drought conditions.”

        For more: http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2012/12/3-farm-bill-extension-measures-filed-in.html

    • CR says:

      Santorum: GOP Will Never Embrace Gay Marriage

      APRIL 9, 2013 TOM KLUDT 6:28 AM EDT, TPM

      Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) said Monday that, despite calls for the party to moderate on social issues and polls that show more and more Americans embracing marriage equality, the GOP will never endorse gay nuptials and warned that such a change in positions would be “suicidal” for Republicans.

      http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/santorum-gop-will-never-embrace-marriage-equality?ref=fpa

      • CR says:

        RNC members reaffirm party’s opposition to same-sex marriage

        4/12/13 04:12 PM ET By Alexandra Jaffe – TheHill

        The Republican National Committee has reaffirmed its opposition to gay marriage with a slate of resolutions passed unanimously at its spring meeting.

        Several resolutions re-establishing the party’s official position were adopted without discussion on Friday.

        One resolution states the party’s belief that “the institution of marriage is the solid foundation upon which our society is built and in which children thrive; it is based on the relationship that only a man and a woman can form.”

        The RNC also expresses its “support for marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and as the optimum environment in which to raise healthy children for the future of America.”

        And one clause addresses the gay marriage cases currently under consideration by the Supreme Court, one concerning California’s ban on gay marriage and the other concerning the federal act that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.

        “The Republican National Committee implores the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the sanctity of marriage in its rulings on California’s Proposition 8 and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act,” the clause reads.

        Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/293657-rnc-reaffirms-opposition-to-gay-marriage

    • CR says:

      ‘We were wrong’

      Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:35 PM EDT By Steve Benen – maddowblog

      It took over 700 days, a recess appointment, and a nuclear-option showdown, but a prominent Republican senator yesterday took stock of his party’s efforts to reject Richard Cordray and nullify the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He reached an interesting conclusion.

      “Cordray was being filibustered because we don’t like the law” that created the consumer agency, said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina. “That’s not a reason to deny someone their appointment. We were wrong.”

      That’s not a phrase we often hear from politicians, especially congressional Republicans, and it’s a welcome concession. Indeed, since I made the same argument on Monday, I’m delighted by Graham’s candor.

      Perhaps, if Senate Republicans had come to this realization just a little sooner, Elizabeth Warren would be at the CFPB right now and Scott Brown would still be making Wall Street happy as a senator.

      Regardless, the question many Senate Democrats are asking right now is whether yesterday’s breakthrough — which overwhelmingly tilted in their favor — can help lay the foundation for broader progress, at least in the upper chamber. Greg Sargent reported this morning:

      Democrats plan to seize on yesterday’s events to exacerbate what they hope is a developing schism between the GOP leadership/hard right alliance and a bloc of GOP Senators who (Dems are betting) are genuinely fed up with that alliance’s continued flouting of basic governing norms. They hope to renew the push for a return to budget negotiations, with an eye towards replacing the sequester.”

      For more: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/07/17/19523971-we-were-wrong?lite

    • CR says:

      July 10, 2014

      Statement by the Press Secretary

      It is disappointing that Speaker Boehner and Congressional Republicans have decided to waste time and taxpayer dollars on a political stunt. At a time when Washington should be working to expand economic opportunities for the middle class, Republican leaders in Congress are playing Washington politics rather than working with the President on behalf of hardworking Americans. As the President said today, he is doing his job – lawsuit or not – and it’s time Republicans in Congress did theirs.

  3. CR says:

    Protesters to target Boehner’s office

    12/08/11 By Debbie Siegelbaum – TheHill

    More than 3,000 protesters plan to congregate at House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) office Thursday, demanding the lawmaker listen to them about the state of the economy.

    The group, organized by activist organizations including OurDC and Moveon.org, is the same one responsible for organizing sit-ins in 99 lawmakers’ offices on Tuesday, reportedly with little success.

    “After attempting to meet with their representatives, only to have the doors of Congress slammed in their faces and after taking to K Street and declaring it ’99% Street,’ the more than 3,000 unemployed men and women from around the country will converge on the Capitol today and take the fight to the spokesperson in Congress for the 1%: Speaker John Boehner,” according to a protest statement Thursday.

    Thursday morning, 50 protesters also gathered outside Boehner’s house on Capitol Hill, where Capitol Police formed a barricade to bar them from the approaching the building, the statement added.

    “These folks have traveled from across the country,” protest spokesman Mike Uehlein told The Hill Tuesday. “They’re calling on their congressional leaders to take actions on the jobs crisis.”

    Several dozen individuals also targeted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) office in the Russell Senate Office Building on Tuesday but were denied a meeting with the lawmaker.

    Capitol Police made one arrest as a result of Tuesday’s protests; an activist was detained in the Longworth House Office Building for unlawful entry, according to a Capitol Police source.

  4. CR says:

    Court to Hear Arguments on Prop. 8 Trial Footage, Recusal Issue

    12/8/11 By Andrew Harmon – advocate

    On Thursday, a federal appeals court panel in San Francisco will hear arguments on two issues in the Proposition 8 lawsuit: Whether video of the 2010 trial can be released to the public and whether Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision striking down the anti-marriage equality ballot measure should be vacated because he is gay.

    On the latter issue, U.S. district judge James Ware, who took over the case following Judge Walker’s retirement earlier this year, ruled in June against throwing out Walker’s decision. In his order, Ware wrote that it was unreasonable to presume that a judge is biased, as Prop 8 proponents assert Walker is, “solely because, as a citizen, the judge could be affected by the proceedings.”

    Prop. 8 supporters, whom the California Supreme Court ruled last month have the right under state law to defend the initiative in court after state officials declined to do so, appealed Ware’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the ninth circuit, where the case is on appeal.

    Though this may be the first time that a federal appeals court considers a motion to vacate a judgment because of a judge’s sexual orientation, observers following the case expect Ware’s ruling to stand and do not expect the U.S. Supreme Court to hear any potential appeal from antigay groups.

    Judge Ware also previously ruled that video of the 2010 trial be made public. Proposition 8 supporters have fought to keep the recordings sealed, arguing that the tapes were only to be used by Judge Walker “in preparing the findings of fact and conclusions of law” and were not intended for public dissemination.

    But Ware ruled that confidence in the judicial system requires “public access to trials and public access to the record of judicial proceedings,” and that “no compelling reasons exist for continued sealing of the digital recording of the trial.”

    Beginning at 2:30 p.m. PST, a three-judge panel for the ninth circuit will hear two hours of arguments, one hour devoted to each issue. Representing the two plaintiff couples who sued the state of California, Ted Olson will argue the video issue, along with Therese Stewart, chief deputy city attorney of San Francisco, and an attorney representing a media coalition (all three parties support making the video public). David Boies, who alongside Olson co-leads the legal team challenging Prop 8, will argue against vacating Judge Walker’s decision.

    For the entire article: http://goo.gl/Tf7kc

    • CR says:

      Appeals court skeptical of California gay marriage appeal

      12/8/11 By Dan Levine | Reuters – 2 hrs 11 mins ago

      SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court appeared skeptical on Thursday toward attempts by California gay marriage opponents to overturn a landmark court decision because the judge overseeing the case did not disclose his own long-term homosexual relationship.

      California voters banned same sex marriages in 2008 by approving the Proposition 8 ballot initiative. But last year U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco ruled the measure unconstitutional.

      Shortly after Walker retired earlier this year, he disclosed his homosexuality in the press for the first time, saying he is in a 10-year relationship with a physician.

      That led opponents of same-sex marriage to ask that Walker’s ruling be vacated. Walker’s relationship put him in the same position as the plaintiffs and should have been disclosed when he was assigned to the case, their attorneys argued.

      U.S. District Judge James Ware rejected that argument in June, and Prop 8 supporters appealed.

      A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard two hours of oral arguments on Thursday. “So a married judge could never hear a divorce?” asked Judge Michael Daly Hawkins.

      For the entire article: http://goo.gl/oibIa

      • CR says:

        Court: CA gay marriage ban is (un)constitutional

        2/7/12 Associated Press – 3 mins 47 secs ago

        SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court has declared California’s same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional, paving the way for a likely U.S. Supreme Court showdown on the voter-approved law.

        A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled 2-1 Tuesday that a lower court judge interpreted the U.S. Constitution correctly in 2010 when he declared the ban, known as Proposition 8, to be a violation of the civil rights of gays and lesbians.

        The measure, which passed with 52 percent of the vote in 2008, outlawed same-sex unions just five months after they became legal in the state.

        Lawyers for Proposition 8 sponsors and for two couples who sued to overturn the ban have said they would appeal to the Supreme Court if they did not receive a favorable ruling from the 9th Circuit.

        • CR says:

          GOP WRONG WAY

          Romney slams judges for Prop. 8 same-sex-marriage ruling

          2/07/12 By Cameron Joseph – TheHill

          GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney slammed a Tuesday appellate court ruling that would overturn California’s ban on gay marriage.

          “Today, unelected judges cast aside the will of the people of California who voted to protect traditional marriage,” he said in a Tuesday statement.

          “This decision does not end this fight, and I expect it to go to the Supreme Court. That prospect underscores the vital importance of this election and the movement to preserve our values.
          “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and, as president, I will protect traditional marriage and appoint judges who interpret the Constitution as it is written and not according to their own politics and prejudices.”

          Conservatives have expressed concerns about Romney’s record on social issues, and are suspicious he would not strongly oppose gay marriage if elected. But Romney has said he is against same-sex marriage.

          Tuesday’s ruling forces the issue back into the spotlight, and while Romney prefers to talk about economic issues, this topic provides him an opportunity to brush up on his social conservative bona fides.

  5. CR says:

    December 08, 2011

    Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States

    Attached is the Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States.

  6. CR says:

    <br />
DOD found installment lenders offered service members 782% APR for two-week installment loans<br />

    By the Numbers: 782 Percent

    Posted by Megan Slack on December 08, 2011

    Enlisted service members are often lured into easy credit offers. Installment loan companies often have offices near military bases and market their loans online exclusively to the military. The Department of Defense found that many of these installment lenders don’t disclose the cost of the loans they offer and service members sometimes pay annual rates as high as 782 percent for two-week installment loans.

    According to the Department of Defense, nearly 50 percent of enlisted service members are under the age of 25. They often lack experience in managing finances and a cushion of savings to help them through emergencies, making it more likely they might turn to a high-interest loan. Even older military members often move to new locations where they may be unfamiliar with local financial institutions and susceptible to deceptive marketing practices.

    To protect all consumers, including service members, from these types of unscrupulous financial practices, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was established as part of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that President Obama signed into law last June. President Obama has nominated Richard Cordray as Director of the Bureau, and Cordray’s confirmation by the Senate will allow CFPB to establish robust federal supervision over financial service providers such as high cost lenders and debt collectors that have never been regulated before, as well as banks and credit unions. CFPB will be able to combat practices by these financial institutions and others that harm consumers, helping our service members to avoid hidden fees and keep more money in their wallets.

    Although the Senate blocked an attempt to vote on Cordray’s nomination today, President Obama vowed not to back down from ensuring consumers–and particularly our service members–are fully protected from unfair, abusive, or deceptive practices by financial services providers.

  7. Kat 4 Obama says:

    President Obama and the Democrats: Government of, by and for the people.

    GOP: Government of, by and for the super-wealthy only.

    The choice is clear in 2012.

  8. azgrammy says:

    Hi CR… hope all is well with you in your neck of the woods!

  9. This thread is amazing CR. Thank you!

    Good morning everyohe. HOPE you all have a pleasant Friday.

    Please join me in lighting a candle for our President, First Family and the Nation.

    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO

  10. CR says:

    Obama Pushes Agenda Despite Losses On The Hill

    12/9/11 by SCOTT HORSLEY – NPR

    President Obama lost a couple of economic battles on Capitol Hill on Thursday, but he is hoping to win the political war. The president vows to keep fighting for policies he says will benefit the broad middle class.

    As Obama spoke to reporters in the White House briefing room, an electronic clock behind him ticked down the minutes, hours and days until year’s end. That’s when a payroll tax cut is due to expire, unless Congress votes to extend it.

    Economic Skirmishes

    While dueling proposals to extend the tax cut failed in the Senate on Thursday, Obama insists lawmakers keep trying as they face their own countdown to a Christmas holiday recess.

    “I do not expect Congress to go home unless the payroll tax cut is extended and unless unemployment insurance is extended. It would be wrong for families, but it would also be wrong for the economy as a whole,” he said.

    The president also promised to keep pressing to fill the top job at a new financial watchdog agency, even if he has to use a recess appointment to do so. Senate Republicans blocked his nominee Thursday. Obama says until a director is in place at the agency, it can’t police payday lenders, debt collectors or mortgage companies that aren’t tied to banks.

    “This is a big deal. About one in five people use these kinds of mechanisms to finance everything from buying a house to cashing their checks,” he said.

    For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2011/12/09/143412566/obama-pushes-agenda-despite-losses-on-the-hill

  11. CR says:

    Consumer sentiment strongest since June

    12/9/11 Reuters – 6 mins ago

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Consumer sentiment rose to its highest level in six months in early December due to signs of better labor conditions and an improving outlook on the economy.

    The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s preliminary reading on their overall index of consumer confidence climbed for a fourth straight month to 67.7. This compared with 64.1 in November and a low of 55.7 back in August.

    The early December figure exceeded the 65.5 predicted by analysts recently polled by Reuters.

    “News about recent economic developments were much more positive in early December. Reports of net job growth have increased in each of the past three months, as have assessments of current conditions in the economy,” survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement.

    Measures of consumers’ current and future assessment of economic and financial conditions also rose to their highest levels since June.

    The survey’s barometer of current economic conditions edged up to 77.9 in early December from 77.6 in November. Analysts had predicted a reading of 78.0.

    The gauge of consumer expectations jumped to 61.1 from 55.4 in November. Analysts had forecast a reading of 57.5.

    For entire article: http://goo.gl/5q8jo

  12. CR says:

    October trade gap narrows to lowest in 10 months

    12/9/11 By Doug Palmer | Reuters – 1 hr 16 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in October to its lowest in 10 months, but imports from China hit a record high, a government report showed on Friday.

    The trade gap totaled $43.5 billion, in line with a consensus estimate from analysts before the report. However, the Commerce Department revised its estimate of the September trade deficit to $44.2 billion from $43.1 billion.

    As a result, the October trade gap narrowed 1.6 percent from September, instead of widening, as most analysts expected.
    Both U.S. imports and exports declined in October, in a possible sign of weakening demand in the United States and abroad.
    However, a smaller trade deficit is positive for fourth-quarter economic growth, since it suggests more domestic demand is being met by U.S. production.

    Also, both imports and exports of capital goods set records in October, suggesting businesses are gearing up operations.
    U.S. stock index futures rose on Friday after European Union leaders agreed on measures that partially addresses the region’s crippling sovereign debt crisis. The euro rose against the dollar, while U.S. government debt yields rose.

    U.S. exports to the 27-nation EU rose 1.0 percent in October to $23.4 billion, while imports from the community increased 6.3 percent to $31.4 billion.

    For the entire article: http://goo.gl/T8lII

  13. CR says:

    Good Friday morning everyone! I HOPE that you have a good day! :)

  14. CR says:

    West Wing Week: 12/9/11 or “The Obamas of Osawatomie”

    Published on Dec 8, 2011 by whitehouse

    Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, the President gave a major address on the defining issue of our time, restoring economic security to the middle class. He also hosted former President Clinton, the Canadian Prime Minister and Startup America, honored five giants from the Art World, and urged Congress to extend the Payroll Tax Cut. That’s December 2nd to December 8th or “The Obamas of Osawatomie.”

  15. CR says:

    Upcoming Engagement Opportunities

    Posted by Francesca L. de Quesada on December 05, 2011

    Friday, December 9, 2011

    Join Jon Carson for Twitter Q&A events:

    with @ONECampaign at 12:30 p.m.

    with @DhaniJones and @bowtiecause at 3:00 p.m.

    Tune in for more events through the week at WhiteHouse.gov/Live and keep up to date with the President’s schedule.

  16. CR says:

    December 08, 2011

    We Can’t Wait: Obama Administration Announces $2 Billion in Resources to Support Job-Creating Startups

    Today, the White House announced administrative and private sector actions that will help entrepreneurs grow their businesses and create jobs by increasing their access to capital and resources. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is moving forward with launching a $1 billion Early Stage Innovation Fund, originally announced as part of Startup America, which will provide matching capital to Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs), targeting early-stage small businesses seeking private institutional capital. Today, the White House is also hosting the first board meeting of the Startup America Partnership, where board members will announce commitments from more than 50 private-sector partners to deliver over $1 billion in value – from free software to free consulting and legal services – to 100,000 startups over the next three years. The President also renewed his call for Congress to work on a bipartisan basis to develop ideas from his American Jobs Act plan that will help our small and growing businesses access capital while continuing to protect investors. Specifically, the President has called for increasing limits on “miniofferings,” allowing “crowdfunding,” and phasing in some requirements for small firms as they go public.

    “Today, we’re announcing $2 billion in public and private resources to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Now it’s time for Congress to do its part. It was encouraging to see members of both parties in the House come together to pass legislation that will help small businesses get ahead, and I’m calling on the Senate to do the same. But America’s small businesses can’t wait for these important tools to grow and hire faster,” said President Obama.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/08/we-can-t-wait-obama-administration-announces-2-billion-resources-support

  17. CR says:

    Reid says House payroll tax cut dead in Senate

    12/9/11 AP – 47 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says his chamber won’t approve a House Republican bill extending the payroll tax cut that also clears the way for construction of a controversial oil pipeline.
    House Republicans put the final touches on the payroll tax measure Friday. It would also give the Obama administration two months to grant permits needed for work on the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would run from Canada to Texas.

    The pipeline is opposed by environmental groups but favored by business and some unions. Obama has threatened to kill the bill if opens the door for the pipeline to be built.

    In a statement, Reid said if the House approves the payroll tax bill with pipeline language, they’d be wasting time “because it will not pass the Senate.”

  18. CR says:

    1:00 PM EST
    Vice President Biden attends a campaign event.
    New York City

  19. CR says:

    We Want to Hear from You on Quora: Announcing the Startup
    America Policy Challenge

    Posted by Kori Schulman on December 09, 2011

    Yesterday, the White House announced $2 billion in public and private resources to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. In the spirit of open and participatory government, we also announced the Startup America Policy Challenge. We’re calling on entrepreneurs and the broader public to share their ideas on how to accelerate entrepreneurial innovation in the areas of healthcare, energy and education. Aneesh Chopra, US Chief Technology Officer, kicked off the challenge in a post on Quora and asked a few questions to get the dialogue going.

    Read Aneesh’s post below and participate in the challenge by sharing your ideas on Quora:

    Startup America is President Obama’s initiative to celebrate, promote, and inspire high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. We’re working to expand access to private sector capital, accelerate the time it takes to get technologies from lab-to-market, and promote mentorship and entrepreneurship education.

    We’re also working to reduce barriers for entrepreneurs. I was part of an eight-city listening tour earlier this year, where top Obama Administration officials heard ideas from over 1,000 entrepreneurs across the country about how we can make government work better for startups. The tour helped lead to recenthigh-skill immigration reforms and a new initiative to help reduce student loan burdens —relevant to startup founders who are living cheap and pouring every dollar into their big idea.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/12/09/we-want-hear-you-quora-announcing-startup-america-policy-challenge

  20. CR says:

    Gen. Dempsey outlines ‘significant,’ but not ‘bold’ cuts to budget plan

    By John T. Bennett – 12/09/11

    The budget plan the Pentagon will send Congress in February will be “significant” but not “bold” in enacting the first tranche of a $350 billion spending cut, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said Friday.

    That spending cut will span a decade, and senior defense officials have said the first $260 billion in cuts will be included in a five-year spending plan that will accompany the Pentagon’s 2013 budget request.

    The 2013-2017 spending plan “will be significant” in terms of changes to things like personnel, hardware programs, research and development, maintenance and other accounts, Dempsey said at an Atlantic Council-sponsored forum.

    “It will not be incremental,” the chairman said, “nor something I would describe as bold.”

    His comments came days after Assistant Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford said his service has been able to keep its hardware modernization programs intact as it absorbed its portion of the $350 billion cut. The Marines trimmed over 15,000 troops and is reducing “capacity” elsewhere, he said.

    Some pro-military lawmakers from both political parties have expressed worries that the reduced funding — rather than strategy — would drive all Pentagon decisions.

    But Dempsey said Defense officials have avoided that scenario.

    “Strategy is a little bit in the lead” of fiscal factors in the decision-making process, he said.

    The approach taken in building the slimmer 2013 budget has been to “re-balance” the force after a decade at war, while ensuring it is not “a one-trick pony,” Dempsey said.

    For the entire article: http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/budget-approriations/198413-gen-dempsey-outlines-significant-but-not-bold-spending-cuts

  21. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Some good Washington news…

    From thestatecolumn.com:

    Rick Larsen Hails More Than $216 Million in Funding to Spur Small Business

    Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, (Dec. 6) hailed an announcement by the U.S. Department of Treasury that Washington state will lend more than $216 million to small businesses, thanks to a federal grant. The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funding of $19.7 million will leverage an additional $197 million in private funds, to help small businesses grow and create jobs across the state….

    The SSBCI was created by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which Larsen supported. The grant, which will be administered by the Washington Department of Commerce, will leverage at least $10 for every $1 in federal funding….

    http://bit.ly/tUXxtu

  22. CR says:

    The Dodd-Frank news you don’t hear: It’s moving forward

    12/09/2011 Posted by Sarah Kliff – washingtonpost

    A lot of coverage of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law focuses on what isn’t happening: How the White House can’t get a head for its Consumer Financial Protection Bureau through Congress in the face of Republican opposition, how the law could become more vulnerable with the retirement of one of its architects, Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank. Just this morning, as Suzy reports, former FDIC chair Shelia Bair called for part of the law to be scrapped altogether.

    But, quietly, parts of the law are indeed moving forward, albeit with few headlines and little fanfare. This very morning, a new Dodd-Frank office got underway with work to reform one of the country’s most complex regulatory systems: insurance regulation.

    The Federal Insurance Office was created by Dodd-Frank to bring a more national voice to how we oversee insurance. Until now, a federal agency to focus on insurance regulation just didn’t exist.

    “Despite the sector’s size and important,” said deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin, “the federal government had no central repository for comprehensive insurance expertise.”

    The new office doesn’t make many headlines; you won’t see many mentions outside of some trade journals. But industries understand its important: The FIO drew a standing-room-only crowd to its first ever meeting at Treasury this morning. And at that meeting, insurance executives asked the Dodd-Frank agency to bring more federal regulation into their industry — not exactly an everyday affair in Washington.

    For the entire article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/the-dodd-frank-news-you-dont-hear-its-moving-forward/2011/12/09/gIQABo7IiO_blog.html

  23. CR says:

    Obama’s luck holds with GOP contenders

    12/5/11 By Richard Cohen – washingtonpost

    It is said that when Napoleon was asked what qualities he looked for in his generals, he responded, “Just one — that they be lucky.” This is a quality President Barack Obama has in abundance — just look at the mess Republicans have made of their presidential race. Things turn out for Obama. They always have and it seems they always will.

    Shall we start with the latest unemployment numbers? At 8.6 percent, the jobless rate is lower than it has been in two and a half years and is heading in the right direction. Lots of people are still out of work and they will continue to be because the problem is structural, but the economy is improving and there is nearly a year until the presidential election — time for a new reality to overcome the old perception. Amazingly, the U.S. is about to become a net exporter of petroleum products. The last time this happened was 1949, which was 12 years before Obama was born. Talk about luck!

    Two of the great American auto companies have survived their close call with going belly-up and now are making money. Along with the financial system, they were saved by government programs that Republicans characterize as pretty close to neo-Stalinist. Call them what you may, they worked. Jobs were saved. You got a problem with that?

    The war in Iraq, George W. Bush’s stimulus program, is coming to an end, and the war in Afghanistan is winding down. Osama bin Laden is dead, his ranks vastly reduced by drones.

    And while the Middle East policy has been something of a mess, even the Israelis have come around on Obama: A majority now have a favorable view of him. Mazel tov!

    Some of this is the vagaries of fortune and some the bounty of good policy. Obama’s most astounding bit of good luck is the motley crew of opponents the Republican Party has coughed up. It is amazing that in a country of 312 million people, many of them literate, the political opposition consists of ignoramuses, dimwits, contrarians, Christian jihadists and, now, two men so hollow that a moral principle would make a rattling sound inside them. I am talking of course of Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. (I don’t know how to categorize Jon Huntsman and neither, it seems, does the Republican Party.)

    For the entire article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/obamas-luck-holds-with-gop-contenders/2011/12/05/gIQALx6qXO_story.html

  24. CR says:

    Now Streaming…

    3:30 PM EST
    White House Champions of Change: Girls and Women in STEM
    On Friday, December 9th, twelve local leaders in the effort to recruit and retain girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields were honored at the White House as Champions of Change. These men and women, who include teachers, industry leaders, students, and non-profit leaders, have each taken great strides to reduce the barriers that drive many girls and women to turn away from high-paying, highly rewarding careers as the Nation’s top innovators.
    The White House

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

  25. CR says:

    Will Extending the Payroll Tax Cut Affect Social Security? No.

    Posted by Jon Carson on December 09, 2011

    Lately, many Americans have asked me if the payroll tax cut will affect Social Security. The answer is simply no.

    The payroll tax cut has given tax breaks to millions of families across the country this year, providing a boost to their pocketbooks. Extending it would ensure that taxes do not go up for nearly 160 million hardworking Americans on January 1st — an increase of $1,000 for the typical household.

    While more money stays in workers’ paychecks, the law specifies that Social Security receive every dollar it would have gotten even without the payroll tax cut. This happens by automatically transferring resources from the government’s general coffers to the Social Security Trust Fund. And indeed, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration has confirmed that the payroll tax cut would have no impact on the Trust Fund.

    The President believes that Social Security is a sacred compact, that in return for a lifetime of hard work, America’s seniors will have a chance to retire with dignity. We have an obligation to keep that promise and safeguard and strengthen Social Security for seniors, people with disabilities and all Americans, both now and in the future.

    The President also believes in the need to spur economic growth. The payroll tax cut will generate growth and put people back to work.

  26. CR says:

    IT’S UP

    12/9/11 POLITICO44

    House Republicans post their version of the payroll tax cut extension, unemployment insurance extension and Keystone XL pipeline approval bill, clearing the way for a vote early next week. Bill details here.

    • CR says:

      CBO: GOP bill adds $25.3 billion to deficit

      12/09/11 By Erik Wasson – TheHill

      The House payroll tax bill will add $25.3 billion to the federal deficit over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

      The bill, which extends the payroll tax and federal unemployment benefits for one year, would add $166.8 billion to the deficit for fiscal year 2012. Much of those costs would be offset over the 10-year period through other provisions in the bill.

      The House GOP bill also includes the “doc fix” provision preventing a cut to physician payments under Medicare that Congress routinely puts off.

      The CBO estimate could be a problem for GOP leaders, who already face resistance from members who do not want to extend the payroll tax cut, a top priority for President Obama.

      The Republican Study Committee budget guru Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) said he wanted to see the bill be deficit neutral in the first year.

      The House could vote on the bill as soon as Tuesday.

      The GOP bill would not add to the deficit if it is assumed that Congress would prevent the cut in physician payments. CBO also did an analysis that includes this assumption in the baseline. Under that analysis, it projects the GOP bill would cut $4 billion from the deficit.
      Democrats are alleging that the GOP tried to game the system by directing CBO to use the alternative baseline and by including other scorekeeping instructions.

      A Democratic aide said despite these efforts the GOP’s bill violates budget rules known as “cutgo” that the House adopted at the beginning of this Congress.

      Cutgo specifies that spending must be offset only by spending cuts not by revenue increases. The payroll tax holiday counts as spending since money is spent from the Treasury to pay into Social Security, which otherwise loses funds from the payroll tax break.

      It also specifies that a bill must not add to the deficit in the 5-year and 10-year budget windows.

      According to CBO, the bill increases spending by $34 billion in the first five years and this is a cutgo violation, a Democratic aide explained.

      For the entire article: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/domestic-taxes/198455-cbo-projects-gop-bill-would-add-253-billion-to-deficit

  27. CR says:

    Social Security

    Will Extending the Payroll Tax Cut Affect Social Security? No.

    Posted by Jon Carson on December 09, 2011

    Lately, many Americans have asked me if the payroll tax cut will affect Social Security. The answer is simply no.

    The payroll tax cut has given tax breaks to millions of families across the country this year, providing a boost to their pocketbooks. Extending it would ensure that taxes do not go up for nearly 160 million hardworking Americans on January 1st — an increase of $1,000 for the typical household.

    While more money stays in workers’ paychecks, the law specifies that Social Security receive every dollar it would have gotten even without the payroll tax cut. This happens by automatically transferring resources from the government’s general coffers to the Social Security Trust Fund. And indeed, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration has confirmed that the payroll tax cut would have no impact on the Trust Fund.

    The President believes that Social Security is a sacred compact, that in return for a lifetime of hard work, America’s seniors will have a chance to retire with dignity. We have an obligation to keep that promise and safeguard and strengthen Social Security for seniors, people with disabilities and all Americans, both now and in the future.

    The President also believes in the need to spur economic growth. The payroll tax cut will generate growth and put people back to work.

  28. CR says:

    7:00 PM EST
    Vice President Biden delivers remarks at an event honoring Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy.

  29. CR says:

    WH

    Saturday, December 10, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    2:05 PM
    President Obama departs the White House en route to Landover, Md.

    2:15 PM
    President Obama arrives in Landover, Md.

    2:30 PM
    President Obama, Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will attend the 112th Army-Navy Football Game

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    5:25 PM
    President Obama departs Landover, Md., en route to the White House.

    5:35 PM
    President Obama arrives at the White House.

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  30. CR says:

    2011 Nobel Peace Prize
    The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize is awarded jointly to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work”.

    Information on Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Nobel Lecture
    Information on Leymah Gbowee’s Nobel Lecture
    Information on Tawakkol Karman’s Nobel Lecture
    Information on the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony

    • CR says:

      3 women accept Nobel Peace Prize

      12/10/11 By BJOERN H. AMLAND and LOUISE NORDSTROM | AP – 43 mins ago

      OSLO, Norway (AP) — Three women who fought injustice, dictatorship and sexual violence in Liberia and Yemen accepted the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize on Saturday, calling on repressed women worldwide to rise up against male supremacy.

      “My sisters, my daughters, my friends — find your voice,” Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said after collecting her Nobel diploma and medal at a ceremony in Oslo.

      Sirleaf, Africa’s first democratically elected female president, shared the award with women’s rights campaigner Leymah Gbowee, also from Liberia, and Tawakkul Karman, a female icon of the protest movement in Yemen.

      By selecting Karman, the prize committee recognized the Arab Spring movement that has toppled autocratic leaders in North Africa and the Middle East. Praising Karman’s struggle against Yemen’s regime, Nobel committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland also sent a message to Syria’s leader Bashar Assad, whose crackdown on rebels has killed more than 4,000 people according to U.N. estimates.

      “No dictator can in the long run find shelter from this wind of history,” Jagland said. “President Assad in Syria will not be able to resist the people’s demand for freedom of human rights.”

      Karman is the first Arab woman to win the prize and at 32 the youngest peace laureate ever. A journalist and founder of the human rights group Women Journalists without Chains, she also is a member of the Islamic party Islah.

      For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/3-women-accept-nobel-peace-prize-124201887.html

  31. CR says:

    December 08, 2011
    President Obama Announces Presidential Delegation to Argentina to Attend the Inauguration of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

    President Barack Obama today announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation to Buenos Aires, Argentina to attend the Inauguration of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on December 10, 2011.

    The Honorable Hilda L. Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor, will lead the delegation.

    Members of the Presidential Delegation:

    The Honorable Vilma S. Martinez, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Argentina

    Mr. Daniel Restrepo, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs, National Security Staff

  32. CR says:

    December 08, 2011

    President to Honor Troops Returning from Iraq at Fort Bragg; Attend 112th Army-Navy Football Game

    WASHINGTON, DC – On Saturday, December 10, President Obama, Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will attend the 112th edition of the annual Army vs. Navy football game at FedEx Field. More information regarding their attendance will be released when it becomes available.

    In addition, on Wednesday, December 14th, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will travel to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina where they will deliver remarks to troops. As we definitively end America’s war in Iraq this month, the President wanted to speak directly to the troops at Ft. Bragg and to members of the Armed Forces and their families everywhere. The President will speak about the enormous sacrifices and achievements of the brave Americans who served in the Iraq War, and he will speak about the extraordinary milestone of bringing the war in Iraq to an end. Like many other military installations across this nation, during the war in Iraq, service members from Ft. Bragg – and their families – have provided remarkable service to our country through their deployments to Iraq. More details regarding their visit to Ft. Bragg will be released when they are available.

    ——-

    For information on the 112th Army-Navy Football Game http://armynavygame.com/

  33. CR says:

    1 in 5 Americans 65+ y/o were victims of a financial scam

    By the Numbers: 1 in 5

    Posted by Megan Slack on December 09, 2011

    One out of every five Americans over the age of 65 has reported being a victim of a financial scam. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will help put an end to the kind of unscrupulous financial practices that target our senior citizens.

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created as part of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to protect all consumers, especially the most vulnerable groups, from abusive and scam-ridden tactics. In addition to regulating large banks financial industries like those whose unchecked risk-taking and shady practices led to the financial crisis, CFPB will establish and enforce rules that ensure other types of services like payday lenders, mortgage lenders, and debt collectors don’t build their businesses around taking advantage of consumers.

    President Obama has nominated Richard Cordray to direct CFPB. His confirmation will allow the bureau to exercise its full authority and protect borrowers from unfair, deceptive or abusive financial practices, regardless of the type of bank, business or industry that uses them. Republicans in the Senate, however, refused to even vote on Cordray’s nomination this week, leaving Americans at risk of falling prey to many of the harmful practices that contributed to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

  34. CR says:

    WEEKLY ADDRESS: Ensuring a Fair Shot for the Middle Class

    Remarks of President Barack Obama
    As Prepared for Delivery
    The White House

    Saturday, December 10, 2011

    Today, America faces a make-or-break moment for the middle class.

    After the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, some still want to return to the same policies that got us into this mess. They’re the same policies that have stacked the deck against working Americans for too long. They’re part of a philosophy that says we’re better off when everyone is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.

    But I have a different vision. I believe that we are greater together than we are on our own. I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone engages in fair play.

    To ensure fair play, last year, we passed the toughest financial reform in generations.

    See, for too long, the rules weren’t the same on Wall Street as they were on Main Street. Risky bets were made with other people’s money. Some folks made a lot of money taking advantage of consumers. It was wrong. And this irresponsible behavior on the part of some contributed to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

    So this financial reform refocuses the financial sector on what’s really important: getting capital to entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses, and financing to millions of families who want to buy a house or send their kids to college.

    A key part of that was putting in place the first-ever consumer watchdog – someone whose job it is to protect American families from being taken advantage of by mortgage lenders, payday lenders, and debt collectors.

    Tens of millions of Americans use these services. Protecting them from unscrupulous practices is an important job. And that’s why I nominated Richard Cordray to serve as the head of this consumer watchdog agency.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/10/weekly-address-ensuring-fair-shot-middle-class

    • Kat 4 Obama says:

      The President’s weekly address is something I have loved since he started it. It’s part of the openness of this President and his White House, who have provided more information than I thought possible for anyone who wants to press a key on the keyboard and read/watch/listen to it.

  35. CR says:

    GOP WRONG WAY

    21 reasons Newt Gingrich won’t be the Republican nominee for president

    12/09/2011 Posted by Ezra Klein – washingtonpost

    (Winslow Townson – AP) Perhaps I should say a bit more about why I’m so certain Newt Gingrich will not be the Republican nominee for president. Let’s put it this way: To believe Republicans will choose Gingrich, you have to believe they will choose someone who:

    - previously supported a cap-and-trade plan to reduce carbon emissions, and even filmed a commercial alongside Nancy Pelosi to that effect;

    - previously supported a health-care plan with an individual mandate;

    - proposed blasting North Korea with — wait for it — lasers;

    - took $1.6 million from Freddie Mac;

    - began the campaign with six figures in debt to Tiffany’s;

    - carried on an extramarital affair with a House staffer 20-years his junior during the Clinton impeachment trial (they’re now married);

    - tried to explain away said extramarital affair by saying, “There’s no question at times in my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate”;

    - scribbled a note describing himself as an “Advocate of civilization, defender of civilization, teacher of the rules of civilization, arouser of those who form civilization, organizer of the pro-civilization activists, and leader ‘possibly’ of the civilizing forces”;

    - worked for ethanol and pharmaceutical interests;

    - supported the TARP bailout;

    - is loathed by almost every conservative thought leader writing today;

    - and by most every member of the Republican and libertarian/conservative political establishments;

    - called Paul Ryan’s budget “right-wing social engineering” and then, two days later, said, “The budget vote is one that I’m happy to say I would have voted for…So, let me say on the record: Any ad which quotes what I said Sunday is a falsehood”;

    - called for “a massive new program to build a permanent lunar colony to exploit the Moon’s resources”;

    - called child labor laws “truly stupid”;

    - suggested that “a mirror system in space could provide the light equivalent of many full moons so that there would be no need for nighttime lighting of the highways”;

    - said that “most profound insight I have read in the last six years about Barack Obama” is that “[Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]”;

    - was fined $300,000 by the House Ethics Committee for offering “incomplete, unreliable, and inaccurate” information during an investigation of a for-profit college course he developed while serving in Congress;

    - helped the GOP lose the 1995 government-shutdown showdown by saying that “part of why you ended up with us sending down a tougher continuing resolution” was that he didn’t get good enough seats on Air Force One;

    - was a dues-paying member of the Sierra Club;

    - supported the 1989 Global Warming Prevention Act, which included a provision encouraging the U.N. to work to control population growth through, among other methods, family-planning services;

    And I don’t believe Republicans will choose someone like that.

    For the entire article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/21-reasons-newt-gingrich-wont-be-the-republican-nominee-for-president/2011/08/25/gIQA9m5kiO_blog.html

    • Kat 4 Obama says:

      Mirrors in space?! I hadn’t heard of that one.

    • CR says:

      GOP WRONG WAY

      Exclusive: Gingrich Lacks Moral Character to Be President, Ex-Wife Says

      1/19/12 By BRIAN ROSS and RHONDA SCHWARTZ | ABC News – 9 mins ago

      Newt Gingrich lacks the moral character to serve as President, his second ex-wife Marianne told ABC News, saying his campaign positions on the sanctity of marriage and the importance of family values do not square with what she saw during their 18 years of marriage.

      In her first television interview since the 1999 divorce, to be broadcast tonight on Nightline, Marianne Gingrich, a self-described conservative Republican, said she is coming forward now so voters can know what she knows about Gingrich.

      In her most provocative comments, the ex-Mrs. Gingrich said Newt sought an “open marriage” arrangement so he could have a mistress and a wife.

      She said when Gingrich admitted to a six-year affair with a Congressional aide, he asked her if she would share him with the other woman, Callista, who is now married to Gingrich.

      “And I just stared at him and he said, ‘Callista doesn’t care what I do,’” Marianne Gingrich told ABC News. “He wanted an open marriage and I refused.”

      Marianne described her “shock” at Gingrich’s behavior, including how she says she learned he conducted his affair with Callista “in my bedroom in our apartment in Washington.”

      “He always called me at night,” she recalled, “and always ended with ‘I love you.’ Well, she was listening.”

      All this happened, she said, during the same time Gingrich condemned President Bill Clinton for his lack of moral leadership.

      She said Newt moved for the divorce just months after she had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, with her then-husband present.

      “He also was advised by the doctor when I was sitting there that I was not to be under stress. He knew,” she said.

      Gingrich divorced his first wife, Jackie, as she was being treated for cancer. His relationship with Marianne began while he was still married to Jackie but in divorce proceedings, Marianne said.

      There was no immediate comment from Gingrich on his ex-wife’s allegations. Gingrich has said during the campaign he has “no relationship” with Marianne.

      While she had been quoted earlier as saying she could end his career, Marianne Gingrich defended Newt’s ethics while he served in Congress and came under several ethics investigations.

      “At the time, I believed him to be ethical,” she said in the interview.

      The former Mrs. Gingrich says Newt began to plan a run for President at the time of the divorce and told her that Callista “was going to help him become President.”

      In a statement to ABC News provided by the campaign, Gingrich’s two daughters from his first marriage said, “The failure of a marriage is a terrible and emotional experience for everyone involved.”

      The daughters, Kathy Lubbers and Jackie Cushman said they would not say anything negative about Marianne and said their father “regrets any pain he may have caused in the past to people he loves.”

      Marianne Gingrich said Newt has never expressed any such regrets or apologized to her.

      Full interview tonight on ABC News’ Nightline at 11:35 p.m. ET.

  36. Good morning CR and everyone. HOPE you all have an enjoyable Saturday.

    Please bless and protect our beloved President, First Family and the Nation.

    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO

  37. CR says:

    Obama Yes WE Can

    Post of the day: 25 reasons to re-elect Obama

    10/5/11 blogs.roanoke.com

    Note from Dan: Richard J. Beason submitted this as a comment on the “7 reasons why Herman Cain’s tax plan would never fly,” and it’s worth highlighting rather than getting buried there.

    Why re-elect Obama?

    1. He has lowered individual taxes and business taxes.

    2. He has given you a chance at being able to have afford health insurance as promised and at great political cost- including those who have pre-existing conditions and those in school up to age 26. He has taken the doughnut hole out of Part-D. He has made provisions for all to have health insurance to eliminate the need for most medicaid coverage.

    3. He has led through the greatest recession we have had since the Great Depression including saving our banking system, providing unemployment and health insurance for the unemployed, kept our school teachers, police, fire, and rescue workers employed

    4. Established new regulations to prevent the Banks from sending us into another recession

    5. Killed Osama

    6. Killed Alwiki

    7. Ended and ending Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

    8. Help liberate Libya

    9. Dealt with recalcitrant GOP House to keep government running

    10. Increased education loans and took them away from the banks to better control

    11. Successfully cleaned up the BP Gulf Oil Spill and collected the cost from BP

    12. Managed the many natuaral disasters with praise form all parties

    13. Kept terror from our shores

    14. Dealth with the Arab Spring without taking us into another War

    15. Controlled the commodities market through increasing the margin requirments thus keeping oil pricesin check as well as gold and silver prices from going into a bubble

    16. Dealt with China’s currency issues to keep our Exports moving

    17. Dealt with the European Debt crisis

    18. Extended health care for children

    19. Dealing with the Housing Crisis and holding banks in line on foreclosures

    20. Established an energy policy including help for green energy industry

    21. Re-set the energy department to clean up the mismanagement of oil companies and coal safety

    22. Supported our Veterans through improved medical care, equipment, supplies and help for spouses and income taxation for Veterans and their spouses

    23. Improved roads and public transportation and is establishing better rail transportation

    24. Improved federal aviation policies

    25. Improved our Nation’s infrastructure

    And many more. If nothing more than Dealing with the Recession and the banks, Health Care Reform, taking care of terrorists, ending the war in Iraq and reducing the war in Afghanistan and Libya, and cleaning the Gulf would be plenty of reason to vote for him.

    All have been in spite of strong opposition by the GOP and some in his own party. Obama has been most successful in spite of the GOPs efforts to stop him.

  38. CR says:

    Good Saturday morning everyone! I HOPE that you have a good day! :)

  39. CR says:

    2:30 PM EST
    President Obama, Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will attend the 112th Army-Navy Football Game

    • CR says:

      POTUS at the 112th Army Navy game

      President Barack Obama visits with Navy Midshipmen in the stands in the first half of the 112th edition of the annual Army vs. Navy NCAA college football game at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

    • CR says:

      Army-Navy Game 2011: President Barack Obama Expected To Attend

      Dec 10, 2011 by Mike Prada • dc.sbnation

      With the Army-Navy Game happening on Saturday at FedEx Field right outside of Washington D.C., it’s not a surprise that some very important people will be in attendance. Specifically, we’re talking about President Barack Obama. As Joseph White of the Associated Press reports, the midfield suite has been fitted with a security glass, which indicates Obama is coming.

      Obama is expected to be joined by his family and the family of Vice President Joe Biden in the suite, according to White. White reports that it’s the first time the active president has attended FedEx Field, which is kind of amazing considering it’s been over a decade. George H.W. Bush was in attendance for a Redskins game in 2002, but he was obviously not the active president then.

  40. CR says:

    Ohio Democrats hope 2012 ballot measure will help Obama

    12/10/11 By Kim Palmer | Reuters – 2 hrs 3 mins ago

    CLEVELAND (Reuters) – A referendum issue which Ohio Democrats hope could help President Barack Obama’s chances of winning the battleground state will appear on the November 2012 ballot.

    On Friday, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted certified that enough signatures were collected to put legislation dealing with voting procedures up for approval by voters next November.
    The law’s implementation is on hold unless the voters decide to keep it, so it will not be in effect during the 2012 presidential election.

    The law passed by the Republican-led Ohio Legislature includes new restrictions on early and absentee voting which opponents said will make voting harder for working and low-income people, who are seen as more likely to vote Democrat. The law would shorten Ohio’s early voting period by two weeks and eliminate all early on-site voting the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before an election.

    “These are the three most important days leading up to election day,” said Seth Bringman, spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party. He said many Ohio voters in urban areas will vote early to avoid long lines on election day.

    Proponents of the bill say it will make voting consistent throughout all of Ohio’s 88 counties, which now have discretion on when and how to run elections including whether to send out absentee ballots. The new law would prohibit the mailing of unsolicited absentee ballots, a practice which Republicans say unfairly favors urban districts.

    The bill would also not require poll workers to inform voters that they were voting at the wrong precinct, causing the vote to be invalid.

    The law, passed in June, was delayed during last month’s election while petitions were being gathered. In that election, Democrats won a referendum victory when voters rejected a law that would have limited collective bargaining for public worker unions.

    The Ohio voting law is one of a number of Republican-sponsored state bills this year that Democrats said were aimed at reducing Democratic turn-out on election day. Some Ohio lawmakers also had unsuccessfully tried to pass a law requiring that voters show photo identification.

    Ohio, after widespread complaints about voting problems in the state during the 2004 presidential election, changed its election laws to make it easier to cast absentee ballots and vote early.

    Bringman noted that the current Ohio voting laws that allow early voting in person and by absentee ballot were enacted in 2005 by a Republican legislature and governor, “They were the ones who put these rules in place when they were in power,” Bringman said.

    According to the Ohio Secretary of State, 307,358 signatures were collected and turned into the Secretary of State’s office in November. Opponents of the law needed 231,150 signatures, or six percent of the total vote cast for Governor in 2010.

  41. CR says:

    WH

    Sunday, December 11 , 2011

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing
    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    6:25 PM
    President Obama Speaks at Christmas in Washington
    Audio Only
    Washington, DC

    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    • CR says:

      POTUS podium

      December 11, 2011

      WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

      6:25 PM EST
      President Obama Speaks at Christmas in Washington
      Washington, DC (Audio Only)

      —-

      CNN http://live.cnn.com

      2:00 PM EST
      The Nobel Peace Prize Concert
      David Gray, Jill Scott, Evanescence and Sugarland perform at a concert honoring the three winners of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

      6:30 PM EST
      CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute
      See what the top 10 CNN Heroes and celebrity guests will be wearing as they walk the red carpet at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles leading up to the CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute show.

      8:00 PM EST
      CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute Backstage
      CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta brings you live interviews during the show from backstage at the CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute that you will see no where else. Dr. Gupta will also be taking your questions via Twitter @sanjayguptacnn.

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      11:00 AM EST
      70th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor
      Join American History TV for a special look at the December 7, 1941, Japanese attack on American military forces at Pearl Harbor — the day that President Franklin D. Roosevelt said would “live in infamy.” There will be first-person accounts from servicemen and civilians, a tour of the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, and archival footage of the attack and its devastating aftermath. Topics will include how the nation learned about the attack and how the nation and President Roosevelt responded.

      Throughout the day there will be highlights from a conference convened the previous weekend by the National Park Service at Pearl Harbor.
      http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/49025-1

      11:59 AM EST
      Live Call-In & Interview with Daniel Martinez

      2:00 PM EST
      Live Call-In & Interview with Craig Symonds

      4:00 PM EST
      Live Call-In & Interview with Craig Shirley

  42. CR says:

    Sunday talk show tip sheet

    12/9/11 By ZACK HALE – TheHill

    (Democrat excerpts only)

    Five Republican presidential contenders make the rounds on this Sunday’s television talk shows, now less than a month before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses.

    In the evening, President Barack Obama is interviewed by Steve Kroft on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

    Fox also has Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). NBC also has Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), as well as Iowa’s Republican governor, Terry Branstad on its political roundtable.

    CBS’s also has Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa). And CNN also has former Republican Reps. Bob Walker of Pennsylvania and Tom Davis of Virginia; former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn; former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu – and Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, who’s facing huge cuts throughout the financially strapped postal service.

    On Bloomberg TV, “Political Capital” hosts Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee….

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/70220.html

  43. CR says:

    Christmas In Washington

    Christmas in Washington

    Christmas in Washington is an annual Christmas television special that currently airs on the U.S. TNT network.

    One of two annual holiday specials produced by George Stevens, Jr. (the other being the Kennedy Center Honors), the variety show first aired in 1981 on NBC before moving to its current home on TNT in 1998. Recorded in Washington, D.C. at the National Building Museum, on the second Sunday of each December before being re-edited for later broadcast, Christmas in Washington is a one-hour concert featuring artists from musical genres. Each guest perform at least one solo, but the marquee performer usually has one or two more songs. The show also has at least one guest from the world of opera. Each of the musical performances are backed by a full orchestra and chorus. The show’s finale consists of a medley performed by all the musical guests before the attendees-of-honor, the President of the United States and the First Lady, make a closing statement.

    12/11/11 6:25 PM EST
    President Obama Speaks at Christmas in Washington
    Washington, DC (Audio Only)

    President Obama’s remarks to be aired on December 16 at 8PM EST on TNT

    For more information http://www.tnt.tv/christmasinwashington/

  44. CR says:

    Landmark Deal Approved At Climate Conference

    12/10/11 by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A U.N. climate conference reached a hard-fought agreement Sunday on a complex and far-reaching program meant to set a new course for the global fight against climate change for the coming decades.

    The 194-party conference agreed to start negotiations on a new accord that would put all countries under the same legal regime enforcing commitments to control greenhouse gases. It would take effect by 2020 at the latest.

    The deal also set up the bodies that will collect, govern and distribute tens of billions of dollars a year for poor countries. Other documents in the package lay out rules for monitoring and verifying emissions reductions, protecting forests, transferring clean technologies to developing countries and scores of technical issues.

    Currently, only industrial countries have legally binding emissions targets under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Those commitments expire next year, but they will be extended for another five years under the accord adopted Sunday.

    The proposed Durban Platform offered answers to problems that have bedeviled global warming negotiations for years about sharing the responsibility for controlling carbon emissions and helping the world’s poorest and most climate-vulnerable nations cope with changing forces of nature.

    The United States was a reluctant supporter, concerned about agreeing to join an international climate system that likely would find much opposition in the U.S. Congress.

    “This is a very significant package. None of us likes everything in it. Believe me, there is plenty the United States is not thrilled about,” said U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern. But the package captured important advances that would be undone if it is rejected, he told the delegates.

    For the entire article: http://www.npr.org/2011/12/10/143516356/landmark-deal-approved-at-climate-conference

  45. CR says:

    Good Sunday morning everyone! I HOPE that you have a good day! :)

  46. Good morning CR and everyone. HOPE you all have a terrific Sunday. I am off to church. My 7 year old grandson is singing a solo in the Christmas program at church this morning. I am so excited!

    Please join me in lighting a candle for our beloved President, First Family and the Nation.

    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO

    • CR says:

      Good Sunday morning and thank you Jackie! How exciting for you and your grandson; good luck to him!

    • Kat 4 Obama says:

      Done! 22 now.

      Lovely that you will see/hear your grandson singing today, Jackie!

  47. CR says:

    Congress May Be Tied To The Hill For Holidays

    12/11/11 David Welna and Audie Cornish – NPR

    Summary: As the holiday season heads into full swing, Congress remains in full gridlock with payroll tax cuts and emergency unemployment insurance benefits set to expire. NPR’s David Welna joins host Audie Cornish to talk about the many bills still on the table.

    For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2011/12/11/143532065/congress-may-be-tied-to-the-hill-for-holidays

  48. CR says:

    Arguing Over A Tax Cut Nobody Notices

    12/11/11 by JEFF BRADY – NPR

    Congress and the White House continue to debate the future of a 2-percent payroll tax cut that expires at the end of the year. While both Republicans and Democrats appear interested in extending the break, party leaders have been squabbling over details.

    Democrats blocked a Republican proposal to tie an extension to speeding up approval of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline.

    Republicans, in turn, blocked a Democratic effort to pay for an extension by increasing taxes on people who earn more than $1 million a year. That tax cut cost the government about $105 billion in Social Security tax revenue last year.

    Meanwhile, President Barack Obama vows to delay year-end vacations for himself and lawmakers if a deal isn’t reached first.

    While policy-makers spend a lot of time hashing out their differences, many Americans say they didn’t even know there was an extra 2 percent in their paychecks last year.

    “I honestly did not notice it, but I’m glad it’s there” says Kyle Congdon, a student at Arcadia University just outside Philadelphia.

    The payroll tax cut was worth about $1,000 to a family earning the median income of just over $50,000 a year. The cut was designed to put more money in people’s paychecks, so they’ll spend more and boost the economy, but whether that has worked isn’t clear.

    For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2011/12/11/143457524/the-tax-cut-nobody-notices

  49. CR says:

    Now Streaming..

    6:25 PM EST
    President Obama Speaks at Christmas in Washington
    Washington, DC (Audio Only)

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    • CR says:

      December 11, 2011

      Remarks by the President at “Christmas in Washington”

      National Building Museum
      Washington, D.C.

      7:31 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Good evening. Thank you. Thank you. Everybody, please, have a seat.

      Good evening, everybody. I just want to start by thanking all the folks who have joined us at the National Building Museum. Let’s give it up for our host, who also happens to be the host of the best late night show on TBS, Conan O’Brien. (Laughter and applause.) And I want to thank all the spectacular artists and choirs and glee clubs who have made this such a spectacular evening. Please give them a big round of applause. (Applause.)

      I want to congratulate 30 years of “Christmas in Washington.” It’s always such an extraordinary honor to be a part of this event because it benefits such a special place –- the Children’s National Medical Center. For so many children and their parents, the work that they do to save lives and improve care is nothing short of a miracle. And that’s fitting, because this is the season to celebrate miracles.

      This is the season to celebrate the story of how, more than two thousand years ago, a child was born to two faithful travelers who could find rest only in a stable, among cattle and sheep. He was no ordinary child. He was the manifestation of God’s love. And every year we celebrate His birth because the story of Jesus Christ changed the world. For me, and for millions of Americans, His story has filled our hearts and inspired our lives. It moves us to love one another; to help and serve those less fortunate; to forgive; to draw close to our families; to be grateful for all that has been given to us; to keep faith; and to hold on to an enduring hope in humanity.

      Service to others. Compassion to all. Treating others as we wish ourselves to be treated. Those values aren’t just at the center of Christianity; those are values that are shared by all faiths. So tonight let us all rededicate ourselves to each other. And, in that spirit, from my family to yours, happy holidays. Merry Christmas. God bless you all, and God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)

      END
      7:34 P.M. EST

    • CR says:

      Obama, family attend ‘Christmas in Washington’

      12/12/11 By STACY A. ANDERSON | AP – 2 hrs 35 mins ago

      WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obamas celebrated the holiday season with musical stars Justin Bieber, Cee Lo Green, Jennifer Hudson, Victoria Justice and the Band Perry at the 30th annual “Christmas in Washington” concert Sunday night.

      President Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, daughters Malia and Sasha, and mother-in-law Marian Robinson attended the concert to benefit the Children’s National Medical Center.

      The concert of Christmas carols and songs— which took place at the National Building Museum— was hosted by comedian Conan O’Brien.
      In honor of the “season to celebrate miracles,” Obama spoke about the story of Jesus’ birth during his brief remarks to the crowd.

      He said the story of Jesus Christ has changed the world by teaching basic values such as loving one another, helping and serving the less fortunate, forgiving, drawing closer to family, being grateful and keeping faith.

      “Those are values that are shared by all faiths,” Obama said. “So tonight let us all rededicate ourselves to each other, and in that spirit, from my family to yours: Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, God bless you all, and God bless the United States of America.”

      Before the concert, the Obamas greeted patients of the children’s medical center dressed as elves and presented them with a basket of children’s books. Obama playfully struggled to lift the basket and asked the elves to help him place it under a Christmas tree.

      Other entertainers included the United States Naval Academy Glee Club, Washington Youth Choir, American Family Choir, United States Army Band Herald Trumpets, Ian Fraser and the Christmas in Washington Orchestra.
      The concert will air Friday on TNT.

  50. CR says:

    *********************
    THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “ Pres. Obama’s Jobs Plan vs GOP Jobs Plan”
    **********************

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