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Posted at  09:04 AM ET, 04/17/2012

The Washington Post

By

Despite recent signs that gas prices may be about to fall, the Obama team harbors very real fears that pain at the pump could very well deprive him of credit for the recovery. It could impose additional financial hardships on swing voters who might otherwise be inclined to accept the premise that things are improving.

So today, the White House will unveil a new proposal designed to reframe the debate. The Associated Press reports:

Under pressure to take action on rising gasoline prices, President Barack Obama wants Congress to strengthen federal supervision of oil markets, increase penalties for market manipulation and empower regulators to increase the amount of money energy traders are required to put behind their transactions.

The White House plan, which Obama was to unveil Tuesday, is more likely to draw sharp election-year distinctions with Republicans than have an immediate effect on prices at the pump. The measures seek to boost spending for Wall Street enforcement at a time when congressional Republicans are seeking to limit the reach of federal financial regulations.

Details in the link. The move seems like an effort to take hold of a gas-prices narrative that has mostly eluded the White House’s control. Previously, Obama and Dems had sought to deflect public anger over high gas prices by highlighting GOP protection of oil industry subsidies; by pointing out that Big Oil interests are pumping big money into ads attacking them; and by picking a sustained fight with the oil billionaire Koch brothers.
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February 26, 2012

Addicting Info  By-

In an interview today, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer endorsed Mitt Romney for President. And for the second time in a month, she publicly disrespected the President.

On NBC’s Meet the Press, Brewer said of Romney, ”He handles himself very very well,” she said. “But more than that he has that pro-business background.”

For Brewer, an endorsement of Romney is hardly going out on a political limb. The state’s primary is in just two days and Romney is basically a shoo-in.

Romney, on the other hand, is probably shrugging his shoulders at Brewer’s endorsement. Brewer is a polarizing figure. Arizona is an extremely conservative state, yet she enjoys just a 46% job approval rating. 84% of Democrats disapprove of Brewer and 54% of independents see the Governor in an unfavorable light. It’s doubtful that her endorsement will change the votes of many Arizonans, but if Romney becomes the eventual nominee, he might find himself having to distance himself from the woman whose number one political strength is pure, unadulterated meanness.

On the same day she endorsed Romney, Brewer turned down an invitation to a dinner at the White House. The Speaker of the House, John Boehner has also turned down state dinners.

Meanness is nothing new in today’s conservative politics. In 2008, Sarah Palin graduated the term “mean girl” from the halls of high schools everywhere to the halls of a political convention. Even before that, conservative talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh made cruel sport of everyone who isn’t white, male and conservative.

However, something has happened since 2008. The flood gates have opened. Meanness, once a political liability, has become a viable political strategy. In 2010, the State of the Union Address, once a symbol of political decorum, was interrupted by a Congressman calling the President a liar. New Jersey’s Governor, Chris Christie, is famous for his abrasive, “in your face” style of politicking. Republican debate audiences boo healthcare and cheer for death.

A certain segment of the voting public, mostly those on the far right, eat it up. It doesn’t take a psychologist to see why. Voter anger has been fueled and misdirected by FOX News, right-wing talk radio and by politicians. Rather than focus their anger at those at the top of the economic food chain, they see enemies of those who have the fewest advantages. Rather than blaming employers that strangle wages by hiring undocumented workers, they blame the workers as being competition in a tight job market. Rather than blaming the banks, they blame their neighbors. Rather than blame themselves for their crumbling families, they blame gay people, abortion and Planned Parenthood.

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MEDIAite

by Alex Alvarez | 9:21 pm, September 28th, 2011
» 181 comments Filmmaker Michael Moore, who continues his vigil at the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protest in lower Manhattan, dropped in on The Last Word to let host Lawrence O’Donnell know how things are going.

Moore kicked things off by giving a synopsis of what the protest is not about:

We’re not down here to support Senate bill 2567. We’re beyond that. They had their chance a long time ago to try and fix this. They didn’t fix it because they’re in the pocket of these people down here on Wall Street. So this is not about supporting some piece of legislation or “let’s get behind some politician.”

“It’s not about ‘policy wonkness’ or ‘Beltway bullshit,’” he continued, to the delighted soundless clapping of those around him. He also noted that he cannot believe he lives in a country where people on Wall Street haven’t had to face a single arrest while 100 peaceful protesters are arrested.

“Well, you live in a country where that kind of thing has to be protested and is being protested,” offered O’Donnell. He then turned the conversation over to a question he’d received on Twitter — a question that many have had since the protest’s inception: “I wonder if mmoore could articulate some specific, tangible goals 4 this protest, as I’ve yet 2 hear any & really would like to.” Indeed, @leenie909!

Moore said that this protest is unlike others because “there’s no membership form, there’s no one person who comes in here and says ‘Now this is our agenda and this is the way it ought to be!”

He also added that there were a whole variety of Americans participating (even “Ron Paul people”), and that they had strength in numbers:

This is our country. We’re the majority. The majority. We’re the majority. Never forget that, that the people who work for a living in this country, we are the people. Not the people up here who are taking people’s pensions and their bank accounts and ruining it and destroying their lives. They are not running this country anymore. They think they are, but that’s gonna come to an end right now.

Have a look at the video, via MSNBC. And please take note of the “Fox News camera person” behind Moore:

source: MEDIAite

Video credits: thesecretstore

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Olbermann calls out media hypocrisy on ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protest

RawStory posted 09.21.11

By Eric W. Dolan

Keith Olbermann pointed out Wednesday night on Countdown that the major newspapers had been ignoring the five-day-long “Occupy Wall Street” protests, but would have scrambled to cover a similar-sized tea party protest.

“Why isn’t any major news outlet covering this?” he asked. “If that’s a tea party protest in front of Wall Street about Ben Bernanke putting stimulus funds into it, it’s the lead story on every network news cast. How is that disconnect possible in this country today with so many different outlets and so many different ways of transmitting news?”

His guest, author Will Bunch, suggested the disconnect was caused in part by the news networks being out of touch with the pain of the 25 million Americans who are unemployed.

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Environment News

WASHINGTON, DC, August 29, 2011 (ENS) – NASA climatologist Dr. James Hansen was arrested today in front of the White House where he was demonstrating in opposition to the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline that would bring thick crude oil from Alberta to refineries in Oklahoma and Texas. Dr. Hansen heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City and is a climate research scientist at the Earth Institute, Columbia University.

Arrests are continuing at the White House, where about 140 people gathered on the sidewalk as part of a two-week long sit-in to protest TransCanada’s proposed 1,700 mile pipeline.
Dr. James Hansen is arrested protesting the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline in front of the White House, August 29, 2011 (Photo by Ben Powless)

The protest has led to the arrest of 521 people since August 20, when protestors began the Tar Sands Action sit-in at the White House. The protest will continue until September 3.

Because the proposed pipeline would cross the United States-Canada border, a Presidential Permit issued by the U.S. State Department is required for the project to proceed. The protestors are demanding that President Barack Obama decline to issue a permit for the pipeline because of the environmental damage it would cause.

The rest of the story
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The White House Blog

Posted by Kori Schulman on July 17, 2011

Yesterday morning President Obama met with His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama in the Map Room of the White House. Here’s the statement from the Press Secretary on their meeting:

The President reiterated his strong support for the preservation of the unique religious, cultural, and linguistic traditions of Tibet and the Tibetan people throughout the world. He underscored the importance of the protection of human rights of Tibetans in China. The President commended the Dalai Lama’s commitment to nonviolence and dialogue with China and his pursuit of the “Middle Way” approach. Reiterating the U.S. policy that Tibet is a part of the People’s Republic of China and the United States does not support independence for Tibet, the President stressed that he encourages direct dialogue to resolve long-standing differences and that a dialogue that produces results would be positive for China and Tibetans. The President stressed the importance he attaches to building a U.S.-China cooperative partnership. The Dalai Lama stated that he is not seeking independence for Tibet and hopes that dialogue between his representatives and the Chinese government can soon resume.


The strange thing about all this is that the Dalai Lama met with John Boehner, and that an unscheduled meeting, in the White House, with the president, took place in the Map Room. There was no press allowed, and only one photograph, with no video coverage. The Dalai Lama exited through the back door.


This might be seen as a personal affront to the Republicans and those globalists of the suit and tie club who are concerned by formalities, but the Dalai Lama is hip. In fact he mentioned in his Message of Peace that he was not concerned by formalities. Come to think of it, at my house, real friends enter and exit through the back door…G:

The illustrious John Boehner and his friend Nancy
 

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Rawstory

By Reuters
Saturday, July 16th, 2011

WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) – China accused the United States on Saturday of “grossly” interfering in its internal affairs and damaging relations after President Barack Obama met exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at the White House.

Obama met the Nobel Prize laureate for some 45 minutes, praising him for embracing non-violence while reiterating that the United States did not support independence for Tibet.

China, which accuses the Dalai Lama of being a separatist who supports the use of violence to set up an independent Tibet, said Obama’s meeting had had a “baneful” impact.

“Such an act has grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs, hurt the feelings of Chinese people and damaged the Sino-American relations,” Xinhua quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu as saying in a written statement.

“We demand the U.S. side to seriously consider China’s stance, immediately adopt measures to wipe out the baneful impact, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs and cease to connive and support anti-China separatist forces that seek ‘Tibet independence’,” Ma said in the statement.

The Dalai Lama denies China’s accusations, saying he wants a peaceful transition to autonomy for the remote Himalayan region, which China has ruled with an iron fist since 1950, when Chinese troops marched in.

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