Saturday, February 7, 2009

Senator Kerry SCHOOLS the Republicans on HOUSING and FORECLOSURE (Video)

AMEN. Big hypocrites in Washington, D.C., (most) of the Senate Republicans

h/t tndp (Tennessee Democratic Party)

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Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL) is running for Governor of Alabama

He needs to start NOW, we know the RED deal in Alabama.

h/t jjp

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Here go the Obamas to Camp David!! (Pictures)

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I saw this last night, Senator Vitter and his b.s. against ACORN

Senator David Vitter (R-LA) went against ACORN in his weak amendment last night, an organization that HELPED his state (Louisiana) during Hurricane Katrina, but this is about trying to save his ass for the Republican primary in 2010. In other words, really burnish those conservative credentials. Are you laughing in mockery or hypocrisy, yet?

But it took my senator, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) who schooled this fool, back to school.

h/t Congress Matters

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Please understand Twitter

Especially for national security reasons.

A congressional trip to Iraq this weekend was supposed to be a secret.

But the cat's out of the bag now, thanks to a member of the House Intelligence Committee who broke an embargo via Twitter.

A delegation led by House Minority Leader John A. Boehner , R-Ohio, arrived in Iraq earlier today, and because of Rep. Peter Hoekstra , R-Mich., the entire world -- or at least readers -- now know they're there.

"Just landed in Baghdad," messaged Hoekstra, a former chairman of the Intelligence panel and now the ranking member, who is routinely entrusted to keep some of the nation's most closely guarded secrets.

Before the delegation left Washington, they were advised to keep the trip to themselves for security reasons. A few media outlets, including Congressional Quarterly, learned about it, but agreed not to disclose anything until the delegation had left Iraq.

Nobody expected, though, that a lawmaker with such an extensive national security background would be the first to break the silence. And in such a big way.

I have a twitter account, upper right hand corner and throw my posts up to tweet for viewers, but did this congressman understand that twitter is like that lonely goldfish in the bowl? In other words, ALL EYES ON YOU. But this is the jugular:
And yet, Hoekstra, who was told not to talk about this trip, not only shared its existence on Twitter, but "included details about their itinerary in updates posted every few hours on his Twitter page."

Think he understands twitter now?


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If you did not know, Senate Agreement on the Stimulus Package


I don't like obstructionists, period. That is what the Republican Party looks like to me. Through this the Republicans nitpicked the stimulus package to death, but in the end Obama had to put them in check.

Obama has always said that he is willing to listen to new ideas, which is the problem with the Republican Party. When you have a country on the cusp of financial collapse, jobs in January lost at almost 600K, Americans out here close to teetering over the edge, why would you trot out tax cuts which did not work under the Bush Administration and think it would work now?

I just think the Republican Party is a party of stale and old ideas. This is a party of nothing new, but rinse/spin/repeat of the same old ideas we heard over 25 years ago. For me this says volumes for that party to even move forward.

Lastly, the Republicans don't care about "America First". Sure, they say do, but in the end they don't. For me, the Republican Party are like vultures, flying around to see what carcass they can pick off to use for the next election cycle.

While this county is in the worst shape since the 1930s and this economic crisis was inherited coming off the Republican Party watch, I just think they are the last ones in the room anyone should listen too when it comes to economics. It was the Republican Party that pushed this country almost over a cliff, who want to continue down that road?

With job losses soaring nationwide, Senate Democrats reached agreement with a small group of Republicans Friday night on an economic stimulus measure at the heart of President Barack Obama's plan for combatting the worst recession in decades.

"The American people want us to work together. They don't want to see us dividing along partisan lines on the most serious crisis confronting our country," said Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, one of three Republican moderates who broke ranks and pledged their votes for the bill.

Democratic leaders expressed confidence that the concessions they had made to Republicans and moderate Democrats to trim the measure had cleared the way for its passage. No final vote was expected before Monday.


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Obama to visit Indiana and Florida for stimulus push

This visit, coupled with a national news conference on Monday Night, 7PM/CST on all major channels, is all about pushing this stimulus package and making the American Public understand the sense of urgency to pass the stimulus bill.

President Barack Obama plans to participate in town hall-style meetings next week in two cities that have struggled amid the crumbling economy.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs on Friday said Obama plans to visit Elkhart, Ind., on Monday to tell residents what the roughly $900 billion stimulus plan would mean for them. Obama's original proposal was in the range of $800 billion, but the Senate's version has grown to more than $900 billion.

The president also plans a Tuesday trip to Fort Myers, Fla., to try to sell his economic recovery plan, which is being hashed over in Congress.

Indiana's Elkhart-Goshen region saw its unemployment rate soar to 15.3 percent in December.

In Florida's Fort Myers, unemployment has climbed to 10 percent.


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President Barack Obama's Weekly Radio Address, 2/7/09 (Video and Transcript)



RNC/GOP Response

White House Blog

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Obamas Date Night Pictures, Kennedy Center Alvin Ailey Performance

US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama greet the audience as they attend Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's performance entitled Fiftieth Anniversary Highlights at the Kennedy Center in Washington on February 6, 2009.

Last night, for the first time, President Obama took first lady Michelle Obama to sit in the president's box at the Kennedy Center -- along with daughters Malia and Sasha.

The Obamas stayed for the entire 2 1/4 -hour performance of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the center's sold-out Opera House. They were accompanied by Attorney General Eric Holder and his wife, Sharon Malone, and Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty and his wife, Michelle.


Date Night
Lynn Sweet

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Obama reversing a Bush decision on mercury pollution

While we are biting fingernails on the stimulus package, some real stuff is getting done.

President Barack Obama is abandoning a Bush administration appeal of an air pollution case, signaling that the government will embrace tougher rules to cut mercury emissions from power plants.

The case was soon to come before the Supreme Court. The Obama administration submitted papers Friday to the court asking for the case to be dismissed.

An appeals court last year rejected a Bush administration plan for regulating mercury emissions. It said the plan should not have included allowing utilities to purchase emission credits instead of actually reducing emissions.

Scientists fear mercury pollution leads to neurological problems in infants.

The power industry still has a separate petition challenging the appeals court ruling, which is unaffected by the Obama administration's action.

While the administration has signaled it is breaking with its predecessor's course on several issues, Friday's filing is the first outright reversal of a legal position taken by the Bush administration at the Supreme Court.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told reporters at a green jobs conference in Washington that the Obama administration would draft its own rules under the Clean Air Act to curb mercury emissions. She said the EPA would likely set limits on the toxic metal from power plants and other sources.

"We're better off spending all our resources making rules that will stick instead of fighting the courts on this one," Jackson said.

Environmentalists had argued that the Bush system would create "hot spots" of mercury contamination near some power plants. Seventeen states and health groups joined the lawsuit to block the regulation, and the appellate court sided with them.

In a two-page filing to the Supreme Court, Acting Solicitor General Edwin Kneedler says the EPA "has decided, consistent with the court of appeals' ruling, to develop appropriate standards to regulate power-plant admissions."


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Tonight is "Date Night" for the Obamas

I was wondering why they are leaving tomorrow and not tonight for Camp David. Now we know.

A White House aide confirms that President Obama will take the First Lady out for a date tonight to the Kennedy Center, as first reported by The Washington Post's Anne Kornblut.

The first couple, along with friends, will see an Alvin Ailey Dance Theater performance and will sit in the presidential booth.

It will be Mr. Obama’s first visit to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as president.

The Obamas have been out on the town in Washington a few times since becoming new residents – they dined at Equinox restaurant their first week in town.

Mr. Obama has said in the past that date nights are an important part of their relationship.


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Obamas going to Camp David on Saturday

The girls will love it.

President Barack Obama plans to make his first trip to the presidential retreat at Camp David this weekend.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says Obama and his family will spend Saturday night in Maryland's Catoctin Mountains. It will be Obama's first trip to the country estate as president.

Gibbs says the Obamas will leave Saturday and return on Sunday. Gibbs joked that the president was "a bit of a restless soul" who likes walking.

Temperatures in the Washington area this weekend are expected to be in the mid-50s.

President George W. Bush spent many weekends at Camp David with aides and advisers. He spent his final weekend as president there.

Obamas Camp David Pics


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Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen is being vetted for Secretary of Health and Human Services

Many on the left, will NOT LIKE Governor Bredesen. He has been blamed for destroying TennCare and this from The New Republic: was a Democratic governor who would succeed in enacting the most sweeping cuts: Phil Bredesen of Tennessee. Bredesen knew a thing or two about health care: before getting into politics, he had made his fortune by founding a company called HealthAmerica—one of the fi rst commercial HMOs to cash in on managed care during the late 1980s. This experience, plus his confi dence in his own intellectual abilities (he had a physics degree from Harvard), convinced him that he could wring new efficiencies from Tennessee’s Medicaid system, just as his HMO had generated financial savings—and hefty profits—in the private market.

A lot of what Bredesen proposed to do—such as reducing fraud by providers and recipients, and improving the use of information technology—made sense. But when those quick fixes didn’t bring the TennCare budget under control, he unveiled a more straightforward plan: he would simply slash the program. More than 100,000 people who had qualified for TennCare because they were “medically needy” would lose their coverage altogether. Those allowed to remain in the program would have to make do with more limited benefi ts. The biggest change would be in the coverage of prescription drugs. “The sad reality is that we can’t afford TennCare in its current form,” Bredesen said. “It pains me to set this process in motion, but I won’t let TennCare bankrupt our state. This is the option of last resort.

Another thought on Bredesen which should have many turn on the light bulb:
That's not the only reason Bredesen worries me, though. Another concern is characterological. He is typical of the top figures in the health industry I've met over the years: Self-made entrepreneurs a bit too convinced of their own brilliance, completely unaware that the strategies for making private insurers profitable don't help--and often hurt--the sicker, poorer people whom insurance should ideally protect. Their biggest fans are often people who know a ton about health care at the macro level, but haven't spent much time observing it on the ground--where reality is often messier than the statistics suggest.


Put Bredesen in the room, where he can offer insights. But at the helm of HHS or health care reform? Sorry, no.

This job right now, in this country is the goldfish in the bowl that everyone is looking at. Health care costs in this country is also a part of the economic problem right now. Costs do need to be reeled in, but folks need to be COVERED and I mean, yesterday.

I have a look-see on this potential Bredesen. For me, right now, too close to the insurance industry. Remember, it is the insurance industry that changed medical care for millions of Americans in this country, and not for the better.

Stay in tune.


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Obama, "Problem is getting worse, not better", Video and Transcript of Economic Advisory Board Introduction


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Obama's Economic Advisory Board

From the Office of the Press Secretary:

President Barack Obama today signed an executive order establishing the new Economic Recovery Advisory Board. Modeled on the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board created by President Dwight D. Eisenhower the Board will provide an independent voice on economic issues and will be charged with offering independent advice to the President as he formulates and implements his plans for economic recovery.

The Economic Recovery Advisory Board will provide regular briefings to the President, Vice President and their economic team. The Board will be established initially for a two-year term, after which the President will make a determination on whether to extend the work of the Board.

Members of the Board are distinguished citizens outside the government who are qualified on the basis of achievement, experience, independence, and integrity. The Board will bring a diverse set of perspectives and voices from different parts of the country and different sectors of the economy to bear in the formulation and evaluation of economic policy.

The Board will meet regularly and provide advice directly to the President on the programs to jump-start economic growth and facilitate economic stability. The Board will also focus on how the response to the short-run economic crisis is laying the groundwork for the reforms necessary for longer-run prosperity.

Names on the Board

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Paul Krugman schools Joe Scarborough of morning joe on the stimulus package (Video)

On the Edge by Paul Krugman

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Off Topic: Mother of 8, Octuplets' interview with Today Show's Ann Curry (Video)

You decide.

And a panel. You decide.

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Unemployment rate is up to 7.6%

Again, are these numbers that we can do NOTHING about?

The nation's unemployment rate rose to a higher-than-expected 7.6 percent in January as businesses shed 598,000 jobs, government data showed on Friday.

Worn down by a drawn-out recession, cost-cutting employers are laying off workers at an alarming clip and there's no end in sight.

Employers are slashing payrolls and turning to other ways to cut costs — including trimming workers' hours, freezing wages or cutting pay — to cope with shrinking appetites from customers in the United States and in other countries, which are struggling with their own economic troubles.

An avalanche of layoffs is slamming the nation from a wide swath of employers.

Caterpillar Inc., Pfizer Inc., Microsoft Corp., Estee Lauder Cos., Time Warner Cable Inc., and Sprint Nextel Corp. are among the companies slicing payrolls. Manufacturers — especially car makers — construction companies and retailers have been particularly hard hit by the recession. Talbots Inc., Liz Claiborne Inc., Macy's Inc. and Home Depot Inc. are all cutting jobs. So are Detroit's General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co.

Americans cut back sharply on spending at the end of last year, thrusting the economy into its worst backslide in a quarter-century. The tailspin could well accelerate in the current January-to-March quarter to a rate of 5 percent or more as the recession drags on into a second year and consumers and businesses burrow deeper under all the economy's negative forces.

Vanishing jobs and evaporating wealth from tanking home values, 401(k)s and other investments have forced consumers to retrench. And, in turn, companies are pulling back. It's a vicious cycle where all the economy's problems feed on each other, perpetuating a downward economic spiral.


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Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) Goes OFF on the SEC about the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme (Video)

Harry Markopolos, whistleblower on the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme goes off on the SEC, too. His opening statement and it is worth the watch, here.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Obama's Speech to the House Democrats in Williamsburg, Virginia (Video and Transcript)

President Obama tellin' them what the deal is.......

Part One

Part Two

Full Video on C-Span Junkie


Al Rodgers Pictures

h/t NWTerriD

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Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on Dick Cheney: Cheney doing the work of terrorists (Video and Transcript)


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President Obama and Air Force One (pictures)

The Commander-in-Chief, President Barack Obama arrives at Patrick Henry airport Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009 in Newport News, VA

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Leon Panetta's Opening Statement, Confirmation for CIA Director (Video)

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Obama Speaks at the Department of Energy (Video and Transcript)

He was vibrant, energetic, pushing the stimulus package, like he is on the campaign trail.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu (R) introduces U.S. President Barack Obama (L)


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Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice in the hospital for cancer surgery

Pray for Justice Ginsburg.

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hospitalized for surgery for pancreatic cancer.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has undergone surgery for pancreatic cancer, which was apparently at an early stage.

Court officials said the 75-year-old Ginsburg had surgery Thursday at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. She will remain in the hospital for seven to 10 days, said her surgeon. Dr. Murray Brennan. This was according to a release issued by the court.


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Obama Speech at National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. (Video, Transcript and Pictures)

A dozen foreign leaders attended, including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who delivered the keynote address.

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) read from Scripture, Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO) delivered a prayer for national leaders, Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) delivered a prayer for world leaders, and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) delivered the closing prayer. Casting Crowns, a Christian rock group, performed at the event.

The National Prayer Breakfast, currently co-chaired by Reps. Vern Ehlers (R-MI) and Heath Shuler (D-NC), is a yearly event held in Washington, D.C., on the first Thursday of February each year. The event has taken place since 1953 and every U.S. president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has participated in the breakfast.

The President is set to sign an executive order regarding the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, which we'll have more on later today. more from

Transcript of Barack Obama
Transcript of Tony Blair

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You know the economy is bad, when.....

an ultra rich resort for the fabulous rich and famous, goes BANKRUPT!!!!!

No shyte!!!

A Montana resort that counts Bill Gates among its members has filed for bankruptcy protection — and could be sold to a Boston firm for millions of dollars.

The exclusive Yellowstone Club would be sold for $100 million to an affiliate of CrossHarbor Capital Partners, under a deal outlined in bankruptcy court documents.

The Yellowstone Club for the ultrarich had only been partially developed when it fell more than $400 million in debt last year. The nearly 14,000-acre club near Yellowstone National Park has 340 members, including Dan Quayle and Gates.

Playground for the rich, famous and exclusive up in bankruptcy court. Ummm, does this mean the good times are not continuing to roll for them??


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Michelle Obama, Messenger-in-Chief (Video)

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United States Jobless Claim is at a record high of 626,000

Republicans in Congress, are you going to continue to be obstructionists? If so, then you don't care about your district or state getting any stimulus dollars or jobs, simple as that. Time to think outside the "tax cutting" box.

Initial jobless claims surged more than expected to 626,000 in the latest week while continuing claims set a new record, the Labor Department said Friday.

Meanwhile, U.S. non-farm productivity rose in the fourth quarter, data showed on Thursday, as companies reduced working hours to cope with a worsening economic climate.

An avalanche of layoffs across the economy continued this week. Botox maker Allergan Inc. and Time Warner Cable Inc. announced large job cuts on Wednesday. One day earlier, PNC Financial Services Group, airplane maker Hawker Beechcraft Corp., Liz Claiborne Inc., King Pharmaceuticals Inc. and military contractor and aerospace company Rockwell Collins Inc. announced layoffs, and General Motors Corp. said it will offer buyouts to all of its hourly workers.


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A look at where the stimulus dollars go, state-by-state

The Obama Administration has released a report itemizing where the stimulus dollars will go and how the money will be used to create jobs, state-by-state.

The report lists the "immediate, tangible impacts" that the package would create per state, focusing on job creation, two key tax cuts, unemployment benefits, and funding for school improvements.

According to the report, states would receive aid roughly proportionate to their size. In the country's most thinly populated state, Wyoming, for example, the report says the bill would save or create 8,000 jobs over two years and make 200,000 workers eligible for tax cuts. That means another 2.8 percent of Wyoming's working-age population would have jobs available to them, and 70 percent would be eligible for "making work pay" tax credits.

Although California has 70 times Wyoming's population, the proportions would be similar, according to the report: 2.3 percent more of the working-age population could have jobs and 69 percent would get the tax credits for workers.

The job creation numbers for the report appear to have come from January 9 employment projections done by Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein, two of the administration's economic advisers. A call to the White House press office requesting more details on where information for the analysis came from was not immediately answered.

Obama Report, State-by-State


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Hempstead school renamed to Barack Obama Elementary

The first school in the nation to be named after Obama.

Shiny gold letters now spell out the new name of a Hempstead school where students campaigned to change it to Barack Obama Elementary.

Students, teachers, parents, politicians and community leaders stood in the cold yesterday as they watched the unveiling of the new sign above the entrance of what was formerly Ludlum Elementary School.

Hours of speeches and performances preceded the moment, including a serenade by a former student and a passionate oration about the power of education by the fifth-grade debate team.

That's the team of students who, during Obama's bid for the White House, put together a mock presidential debate that inspired their classmates to request a name change.

The district's board unanimously approved the change soon after the election, making it the first school in the nation to bear Obama's name.


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Barack Obama's Op-Ed in the Washington Post, "The Action Americans Need"

This is the op-ed posted today in the Washington Post, here is part of it.

By now, it's clear to everyone that we have inherited an economic crisis as deep and dire as any since the days of the Great Depression. Millions of jobs that Americans relied on just a year ago are gone; millions more of the nest eggs families worked so hard to build have vanished. People everywhere are worried about what tomorrow will bring.

What Americans expect from Washington is action that matches the urgency they feel in their daily lives -- action that's swift, bold and wise enough for us to climb out of this crisis.

Because each day we wait to begin the work of turning our economy around, more people lose their jobs, their savings and their homes. And if nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.

That's why I feel such a sense of urgency about the recovery plan before Congress. With it, we will create or save more than 3 million jobs over the next two years, provide immediate tax relief to 95 percent of American workers, ignite spending by businesses and consumers alike, and take steps to strengthen our country for years to come.

This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending -- it's a strategy for America's long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, health care and education. And it's a strategy that will be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability, so Americans know where their tax dollars are going and how they are being spent. read the rest here

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Has Etta James lost her mind? She slams Beyonce and Barack Obama. (Audio)

Etta James, Etta James, Etta James....

I know she is a jazz legend, but is she on the drugs again? I mean, Etta has heard Beyonce sing this song in the summer, UP CLOSE and PERSONAL, she had nothing but praises for B. Now she slams Beyonce for singing her classic, "At Last" for the Obamas during the televised Neighborhood Ball. This is definitely some old school vs. new school bull crap.

"I can't stand Beyonce! She's going to get her ass whooped," Etta screamed (via) at an event celebrating her career. The chanteuse went on to slam Barack Obama for selecting Ms. Knowles to do the honors. "You know your president, the one with the big ears -- he ain't my president -- he had that woman singing for him at his Inauguration. How dare Beyonce sing my song that I been singing forever!"

Beyonce keep it classy. No need to respond. It is apparent her anger is that she was not asked to sing. President Obama, we know your mantra, above the fray, in other words, "No Comment."

OK Magazine

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$15,000 tax break for homebuyers was approved in the Senate

The Senate voted Wednesday night to give a tax break of up to $15,000 to homebuyers in hopes of revitalizing the housing industry, a victory for Republicans eager to leave their mark on a mammoth economic stimulus bill at the heart of President Barack Obama's recovery plan.

The tax break was approved without dissent and came on a day in which Obama pushed back pointedly against Republican critics of the legislation even as he reached across party lines to consider a reduction in the spending it contains.

"Let's not make the perfect the enemy of the essential," Obama said as Senate Republicans stepped up their criticism of the bill's spending and pressed for additional tax cuts and relief for homeowners. He warned that failure to act quickly "will turn crisis into a catastrophe and guarantee a longer recession."

Democratic leaders have pledged to have legislation ready for Obama's signature by the end of next week.

While they concede privately they will have to accept some spending reductions along the way, conservative Republicans failed in their initial attempts to force deep cuts in the bill.


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Job loss for January, 522,000

Again these numbers are not improving.

he U.S. private sector shed 522,000 jobs in January, according to the ADP employment index, pointing to another hefty month of job losses when the government reports its payroll figures on Friday. The ADP index, compiled from anonymous payroll data, showed the goods-producing industries lost 243,000 jobs, while the service-producing industries lost 279,000 jobs. The ADP index covers only private-sector jobs, adding in some 10,000 government jobs created in a typical month, the report suggests nonfarm payrolls fell by about 510,000 in January. Economists now expect payrolls to fall by 525,000, the fifth straight month of at least 400,000 jobs lost.

Again, Obama White House push the JOBS BILL, and push it HARD.

h/t AMERICAblog

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Obama to address Joint Session of Congress on February 24, 2009

This is not considered the State of the Union speech, that will come next January.

President Barack Obama plans to address Congress for the first time on Feb. 24, five weeks after his inauguration.

White House officials say that Obama's speech to a joint session of the House and Senate will have the trappings of a State of the Union address, but it will not be considered one. His first State of the Union speech won't come until next January.

The speech to Congress on Feb. 24 is expected to emphasize that Obama inherited difficult situations on many fronts and that he will preside over a new dawn in Washington.


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Lord of the War, Dick Cheney comes from his undisclosed location to give terror advice (Video)

Deep from his post-vice presidential dungeon Dick Cheney is wasting no time grinding out the same ol sinister dirge on his organ... a funereal threat that the Democrats are too soft on terrorism to protect the country. Now, haven't we been in this movie before! Amb. Marc Ginsberg

Of all the people, Dick Cheney to give terror advice and to tell us another big attack is coming. Telling us that HE, Cheney is right and Obama is wrong. He is attempting anything to clean up his sorry image and very WRONG image as Vice-President of the United States. This from a man who led us into war, or led President Bush into war, in Iraq and we never found the weapons of mass destruction. This man left office with worse polling numbers than President George W. Bush. If I was a Republican, I would want Dick Cheney to go back to his undisclosed location and never, EVER come out again. "A character from Dr. Strangelove...." Indeed.

From MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews

Politico article with audio link

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Michelle Obama visits the Department of Housing and Urban Development (Video)

Michelle looks to shape role of First Lady....

NY Times

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President Obama gives fiery, bold speech before signing the SCHIP bill (Video)

Obama is using the bully pulpit. Enforcing and threatening those in congress on not acting to pass the stimulus package. Good, we need him to do this.


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Lord, do I need to become a nagging biatch about the importance of this stimulus package?

Damn, somebody does.

We get it. President Obama has been slow off the mark and the Republicans have snatched the media narrative of the stimulus package. President Obama fumbled and found out the public don't take too kindly to hypocrisy. And it takes the field negro to put it in perspective.

So Tom Daschale had to withdraw his name from consideration because of a little tax problem. I take that back. Because of a big tax problem. I know that to a guy who made over five million dollars selling himself to the highest bidder; $128,203 is not much, but to most A-merry-cans that is serious dollars. And that's what bothers me about Daschle, not that he cheated on his taxes (hell we wll would like to do that), what bothers me about the guy is that he has basically been a high powered lobbyist for the past few years. His O ness better get real. That is not change we can believe in, this looks like more of the same old inside the beltway bullshit to me. And please don't tell me that he didn't know what Daschle did for a living. He knew, and so did everyone and their momma in Washington.

I know his O ness is like Superman to a lot of people, but he better be careful, there is a lot of kryptonite in Washington. The rethugs couldn't stop Tim Geither from getting confirmed, but they were going to be dammed if they went down without a fight with Daschle. There is too much at stake with this department, we are talking about health care here. This one was going to get really ugly, and that is the last thing his O ness wants. He is still busy trying to play nice and "change the tone in Washington". Funny, I don't think the rethugs and the press got the memo.

Now Obama is fighting for his stimulus package. A package that is in the senate and if we are to vote, at this time, would not pass. It is time for a reality check.

The Republicans have enjoyed the media narrative game, but now we need to get on with it. Robert Gibbs is right, without this stimulus package 5 million jobs will disappear.
"Continuing the policies that got us where we are today is not a recipe for getting us where we need to be tomorrow," spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.

The laying down of numerical markers -- Gibbs also predicted that Friday would bring news of more steep job losses -- is one of the more direct pleas the Obama administration has made in support of its stimulus package.

"Our failure to do something in size and scope commensurate with the challenges we have at hand, will find ourselves worse off than we are now," Gibbs concluded.

The only number that should worry every single person in this country is the unemployment number. That number is going up folks, not down. This is the bullet that we need to shoot to those opposing this stimulus bill. This bill must be about creating and preserving JOBS. We need to go out there and sell this JOBS BILL, explain line by freakin' line why this will stimulate the economy and how it will create jobs.

We are not winning the perception now. Sorry, we are not. And it is kind of weird that we have the Republicans who are the worst since Nixon was kicked out of office, taking the high road and being appalled at the amount of this bill. This coming from ram it through the congress, Republicans who were lock step with Bush and Co. and put us in the dire straights we are in!!!

Democrats get the message back and get in lock step order. Shut that Republican noise up!! Remind the public how we got there and why we need to get on with this. This is a JOBS BILL and must be pushed forward as so. Forget trying to get Republicans on board, who will never be on board anyway and work with those who want this JOBS BILL passed.

Lastly, I can not write this enough. People are hurting, angry at this government, skeptical, but want something done. We have too many Americans on the cusp of disaster in this country and needed help, yesterday. Obama and Company need to put fuel in the jet and get out here to the people and tell them DIRECTLY what impact it will have to their lives and explain the DISASTER of what will happen if this bill is not passed.

Let's get on with this and get on with it NOW.

Great diary on Daily Kos for what we can do to help save this JOBS BILL.

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Obama Administration canceling 77 drilling leases near Utah parks

Hot off the wire.....

A Bush administration decision that sparked hot controversy in Utah has been turned topsy-turvy by the Obama Administration.

New Interior Secretary Ken Salazar this afternoon canceled 77 oil and gas leases in Utah. In a news release, he said oil and gas supplies need to be developed responsibly to help reduce dependence on foreign oil, but it must be done in a thoughtful, balanced way that protects signature landscapes and cultural resources.

The 77 parcels, which are the subject of a temporary restraining order, were part of a Dec. 19, 2008 lease sale offering 130 parcels in three areas in northeastern Utah. The parcels total about 130,225 acres and are in the vicinity of two national parks and Dinosaur National Monument.

Salazar said, "We will take a fresh look at these 77 parcels and at the adequacy of the environmental review and analysis that led to their being offered for oil and gas development. I am also concerned that there was inadequate consultation with other agencies, including the National Park Service."

Environmental groups and actor Robert Redford have been fighting the lease auction that was announced on Election Day. They believe some of the land in question is too close to national parks and monuments.

Robert Redford talking about this back in December, 2008


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Harry Markopolos, Whistleblower on Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme, prepared testimony and video of his opening statement (Video)

Prepared Testimony

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Obama limits CEOs salaries from bailout banks and the stimulus package (Video and Transcript)

President Barack Obama is trying to pivot BACK to his stimulus package. A package, in which the Obama White House has allowed the wilderness Republicans to nitpick, exploits the obvious pork and defines the package as a spending package instead of a jobs package.

I watched Roland Martin last night on CNN who said openly what I have been thinking privately, that the Obama White House has done a horrible job in selling this stimulus package to the public. I agree. This is not the campaign when we were spinning our heels on the SLOWNESS in the response by the Obama Campaign. This is 2009 and President Obama and his White House need to shift out of casual mode and get in the trenches with this stimulus package.

Why is this important? Because as of RIGHT NOW, Obama does not have the numbers in the senate to pass this bill. Obama also should have read the house bill, LINE BY LINE and removed all that pork or perception of pork, out of that bill. This bill should be about JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, the creation of jobs and then get out there and explain to the public why each item in that bill will infuse the economy and create jobs.

This did not happen. The Daschle debacle woke everyone up over at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Campaigning for change and not showing change in your administration is called being a hypocrite. I am glad Obama went on all the major networks and said, "I screwed up." He did because the buck stops at the Oval Office. Now it is time to clean it up, pivot and get this stimulus package PASSED.

Lastly, the Republicans, most of the ones on the Hill in Washington, DC, don't care about this stimulus package passing. They have made their point that they are going to be obstructionists and will do anything to NOT HELP. This means, they do not care about President Obama coming to the Hill and listening to them. Their minds are made up. Bi-partisanship can only go so far. If the other side continues to give you the flip, what are you to do? As President Obama evoked in his statement, he reminded those in congress what the people voted for on November 4th. Now, President Obama must move forward and past the Republicans. You cannot continue to talk to a door closed in your face, because that is just what the Republicans have done. The Obama White House has allowed them in their wilderness to drive home their message on the stimulus package. Bad move. Time to highjack the message BACK and I mean quick, fast and in a hurry. Or we are going to be stuck with a bunch of 1980s style tax cuts which will do NOTHING for jobs. We did not vote for this.

And the bailed out fat cats on Wall Street? This needed to happen, YESTERDAY.


Political Animal

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Whistleblower in Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme Testifies to Congress, Live Streaming

Harry Markopolos testifies before the House Financial subcommittee that his warnings in 2000 to the Securities and Exchange Commission about Bernie Madoff. And Markopolos' opening statement was SCATHING towards the SEC.

Link for live streaming

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Governor Charlie Crist (R-FL), "Obama is my guy, NOW" (Video)

The Republicans Governors around this country need this stimulus money to get their folk back to work. They are backing Barack Obama, as Governor Crist states on Hardball with Chris Matthews.

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Obama Administration reigning in the "fat cats", CEOs at these bailout banks

Lady Claire, that is Senator Claire McCaskill was on point when she went OFF on these bailout banks CEOs taking taxpayers monies and still spending it like "champagne and caviar".

Now reality is setting in. Obama was outraged at the lavish and excessive spending of these bailout out banks CEOs, these are the same bandits that ran to congress in September on the brink of full destruction; it was these same men who ran their banks irresponsibly to the ground but wanted a bailout.

We know what happened to the first half of the bailout money to these banks, NOTHING. They sat on the money, paid themselves bonuses, patted themselves on the back for getting the bailout money, have not eased the credit crunch and continue with tax payer’s money with the attitude as business as usual.

Now the Obama Administration is moving to cap these CEOs pay, as long as they come groveling to us, the taxpayers for bailout money.
President Barack Obama wants to impose a $500,000 pay cap on executives whose firms receive government financial rescue funds, a dramatic intervention into corporate governance in the midst of financial crisis.

The new restrictions, described by an administration official familiar with the new rules, are to be announced Wednesday morning at the White House. The steps set the stage for the administration's unveiling next week of a new framework for spending the money that remains in the $700 billion financial rescue fund.

"If the taxpayers are helping you, then you've got certain responsibilities to not be living high on the hog," President Barack Obama said Tuesday.

The move comes amid a national outcry over extravagant bonuses for executives heading companies seeking taxpayer dollars to remain solvent.

Call it the maximum wage for some high-earners.

Wow, maximum wage, but that is the reality. Folk in these high positions are there to become multi-millionaires, billionaires not a 150K a year guy. That is how they roll on Wall Street.

This move is one in the right direction. Why? Well, if the bailout banks CEOs don't like it, don't take the money and use your brains and resources to get YOURSELVES out of the hole that you PUT YOURSELVES in. Simple as that. These CEOs can whine, cry, get pissed to high heaven but the perception and the American Public don't care. There are too many folk out on the limb in this country, many losing their jobs, lost their savings/401Ks, losing their homes, can't afford to send their kids to college, and struggling to survive daily. There is no sympathy for these bailout banks CEOs and their continual business as usual attitude, when their own organizations are giving out pink slips in the thousands to their own employees.

At this point, these bailout banks can cry me a river; there is no one to willing to save you if you are not willing to save yourselves.


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David Plouffe, Obama Campaign Manager, Gets a Book Deal

A seven-figure book deal. Yes, this is one book that I do want to read, like millions of others.

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe has agreed to a seven-figure deal to write a book about last year's presidential election.

"The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama's Historic Victory" will be published by Viking next fall.

According to a statement issued Wednesday by Viking, the book will offer a unique, high-level account, including "the deliberations about whether to run against long odds, the epic primary battle with Hillary Clinton, the drama of the general election campaign against John McCain and the strategic roads taken — and not taken ... The book will also detail the business lessons to be learned from the formation and the functioning of an unprecedented $1 billion start-up — use of technology, crisis management, grass roots, and personnel management."

Viking is an imprint of Penguin Group (USA).

Interest was strong for Plouffe's book. The Obama campaign not only raised the most money ever for a presidential election — some $750 million — but is widely credited for being among the most sophisticated and well organized. Plouffe's literary representative, Washington attorney Robert Barnett, told The Associated Press that 17 imprints (some within the same publishing house) competed for the book.


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Campbell Brown asks the hard questions to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (Video)

This man is/was a disgrace and destroyed the Justice Department. He was a complete, joke.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Obama Presidency: Day 15 (Video)

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Blago on David Letterman, "Why are you here?" (Video and Transcript)


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Obama: 'I screwed up' in Daschle withdrawal (Video, CBS Transcript)

Obama interview with Brian Williams, NBC News.


Transcript from CBS News

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DL Hughley, "A man can take us to war and lie and we don't do a damn thing about that" (Video)

AMEN, D.L......talks about Blago impeachment

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President Obama and the First Lady read to D.C. Second Graders (Video)


Capital City Public Charter School
Washington, D.C.
February 3, 2009

THE PRESIDENT: Well, listen, you guys, you've been terrific. Thank you so much for your hospitality --

MRS. OBAMA: -- your good questions.

THE PRESIDENT: -- your excellent questions.

MRS. OBAMA: -- your outstanding listening skills.

THE PRESIDENT: You're excellent listeners. And the reason we came to visit, A, we wanted to get out of the White House; B, we wanted to see you guys; but C, the other thing we wanted to tell everybody is that this kind of innovative school, the outstanding work that's being done here by the entire staff, and the parents who are so active and involved, is an example of how all our schools should be.

And what I've asked Arne Duncan to do is to make sure that he works as hard as he can over the next several years to make sure that we're reforming our schools, that we're rewarding innovation the way that it's taking place here, that we're encouraging parents to be involved, that we're raising standards for all children so that everybody can learn -- especially things like math and science that are going to be so important for the jobs of the future.

And so we're very proud of what's been accomplished at this school and we want to make sure that we're duplicating that success all across the country. So nothing is going to be more important than this. And the recovery and reinvestment act that we've put forward will provide billions of dollars to build schools and help with school construction. It will provide money to train teachers, especially in subjects like math and science that are so critical. And it will also give Secretary Duncan the resources he needs to reward excellent, innovative schools. And so we think it's really important for the country that we get that bill passed.

But thank you so much, everybody. Appreciate you.

MRS. OBAMA: Thank you, guys. This was fun. (Applause.)

Washington Post

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Obama announces Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) for Commerce Secretary (Video and Transcript)

And the replacement or placeholder for Gregg's seat is Bonnie Newman. A former Chief of Staff for Gregg. It is understood that this is just a 2 year tenure. The announcement from Governor Lynch of New Hampshire.



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Daschle had to go

I still remember the blazing headline by Huffington Post, "Driving Mr. Daschle."

That summed it up for me.

Tom Daschle was or is just a rich D.C. type who helped Barack Obama. Sure, Obama owes him immensely, but at what cost?

You don't have a car and driver from a "political ally" for three years, then know about this possible impediment since June, but just recently let it surface for nothing. And for the record, who knows anyone giving anything for free without getting something for it, especially in politics?

The money? Getting 2 million from a lobbyist firm? But not a lobbyist, while married to one? Is the smell test passing, yet? That is the problem, it did not.

And while not technically a lobbyist, "Daschle, in fact, made millions of dollars since he left government doing stuff that looks, smells and tastes a lot like lobbying — work that led to the taxes flap that forced him to apologize to his former colleagues on Monday for what he called a 'completely inadvertent' mistake," Scherer writes.

And this from the New York Times:
During almost two years on the campaign trail, Barack Obama vowed to slay the demons of Washington, bar lobbyists from his administration and usher in what he would later call in his Inaugural Address a “new era of responsibility.” What he did not talk much about were the asterisks.

The exceptions that went unmentioned now include a pair of cabinet nominees who did not pay all of their taxes. Then there is the lobbyist for a military contractor who is now slated to become the No. 2 official in the Pentagon. And there are the others brought into government from the influence industry even if not formally registered as lobbyists.

Many people voted for Barack Obama for NOT BUSINESS as usual. Yes, Daschle is needed, badly, but when Nancy Killefer withdrew today for her tax issues and it was LESS than Geithner, this is embarrassing. Obama has called for a new era for responsibility, this includes those working for the government and around him must do so as well. This also means that Obama needs to stop taking the hypocrite pills, because the Daschle fiasco has made him look just like that.

We needed Daschle and I am sure he will be a strong adviser for Obama, but in the end his behavior or lack of responsibility was the thing that took him down. While we need to get the stimulus package passed, this is nothing or has been nothing but a distraction.

Again, rich folks and taxes or lack of paying them. When we joes and joesettas have to pay or don't pay the tax man, he is after us like "you know what", but rich folk, another story.

Lastly, youtube can be a biatch. Here an ad that sums it up for Tom Daschle.

White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, Transcript on Daschle

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Vanity Fair: The Obama Era Begins (Pictures)

We are off and running....The Cabinet

From left: TOM DASCHLE, secretary-designate of health and human services; ERIC SHINSEKI, secretary of veterans affairs; RAY LaHOOD, secretary of transportation; HILDA SOLIS, secretary-designate of labor; TOM VILSACK, secretary of agriculture; JANET NAPOLITANO, secretary of homeland security; TIMOTHY GEITHNER, secretary of treasury.

From left: ERIC HOLDER JR., attorney general; ARNE DUNCAN, secretary of education; SUSAN RICE, ambassador to the United Nations; STEVEN CHU, secretary of energy; KEN SALAZAR, secretary of the interior.

From left: SHAUN DONOVAN, secretary of housing and urban development; ROBERT GATES, secretary of defense; HILLARY CLINTON, secretary of state.

More Obama Team photos, here.

The story, here, Can Obama's New Team Make Government Cool Again?, by Maureen Orth and Can Desiree Rogers Make Washington Fun Again?

Below, Maureen Orth on morning joe talking about this piece.

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