Friday, February 24, 2012

President Obama talks gas prices, energy policies — and raises lots of cash


President Barack Obama mixed presidential business with campaign fundraising in Florida, where he is attending three fundraisers and defending his energy policies in a speech at the University of Miami.

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President Obama stopped in Miami Thursday to refuel his re-election campaign with $4 million in big-donor cash and to bash Republicans for politically “licking their chops” over the high price of fuel at the pump.
“Some politicians always see this as a political opportunity. You’re shocked, I know,” Obama said to a large crowd of University of Miami students.
“Only in politics do people greet bad news so enthusiastically. You pay more, and they’re licking their chops?” Obama asked rhetorically. “And you can bet that since it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their three-point plans for $2 gas.”
Obama’s likely reference was to third-place Republican candidate Newt Gingrich, who has promised $2.50-a-gallon-gas on a “drill-here, drill now” platform.
All the Republican candidates have criticized Obama for not encouraging enough domestic fuel production and for rejecting what’s known as the “Keystone XL Pipeline,” which would deliver oil from Canada to Texas.
Obama never mentioned Keystone, but he did say that “my administration has approved dozens of new pipelines, including from Canada.”
A Pew Research Center poll showed two-thirds of Americans support the pipeline.
But the poll also showed more than half of voters support Obama’s auto bailout, which Republicans opposed and which Obama boasted of later at a Biltmore Hotel fundraiser. Obama’s stimulus program is still slightly less popular than popular, but voters are starting to like it more.
At the Biltmore Hotel fundraiser, Obama took credit for the growth in jobs, but received his loudest applause for giving the go-ahead to kill Osama bin Laden.
Obama didn’t tout his accomplishments during the UM speech, where he got the loudest applause for holding his hands in the schools trademark “U.” During the speech, the president stayed almost exclusively on the topic of oil.
The president also boasted that “under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years.”
Unmentioned by Obama: nearly all of that drilling was approved under his predecessor, President Bush.
Obama said, in the old days, he would stay and watch the Miami Heat-New York Knicks basketball matchup, but he had other things to do. Specifically, he has to raise money.
Obama hit up three high-dollar fundraisers: one at the swank Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables (tickets, which started at $500, were doubled to $1,000), another at the Pinecrest home of a top Democratic fundraiser (pictures with the president cost as much as $15,000) and a third at the Orlando home of basketball star Vince Carter (dinner plates cost up to $30,000 each).
About a dozen protesters gathered outside the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, holding homemade signs, including one that read, "Obama Marxist/Muslim Dictator."
The Miami area events fetched nearly $2 million and the Orlando dinner brought in slightly more than that.
Since Obama also spoke publicly, the lion’s share of the Florida trip — which will exceed $1 million — will be paid for by taxpayers.
Pedro Delgado, a 69-year-old retired engineer who came to Miami from Cuba 50 years ago, wore a Rick Santorum button. Delgado said he worries about the country’s education system and about the debt. "They have destroyed the dollar," he said.
The sign he carried read, "The deliberate destruction of our country by Obama and his handlers must be stopped."
Obama’s visit, the second this year, comes as the economy is showing signs of improvement along with his poll numbers. Still, most Florida polls show his approval rating under 50 percent in a state that’s still plagued by high unemployment and home-foreclosure rates.
The Republican National Committee noted that, since last year, the average price for a gallon of regular gas in Miami has risen 82 percent, to about $4 per gallon.
“President Obama promised to be a leader on energy policy when he was campaigning in 2008, but gas prices have skyrocketed since he’s been in office with most Floridians paying well above the national average,” Sharon Day, a Broward Republican and RNC co-chair, said in a written statement.
“It’s clear from President Obama’s focus on campaigning in Florida today — at both fundraising and a photo-op events,” she said, “that he’s more concerned about spending taxpayer dollars on his campaign trips than he is with saving American jobs or reducing prices at the pump.”
Republicans have also blocked some of Obama’s initiatives. Others have been failures, such as Solyndra, the bankrupt California solar firm that’s part of what Republicans call a “crony capitalism” investigation.
Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy and laid off 1,100 workers in September, had received a $535 million taxpayer-backed loan guarantee from the Obama Administration. Republicans have unearthed emails showing that some in the administration were concerned with Solyndra’s finances, but the White House pushed for the loan anyway.
But Solyndra isn’t as big a concern to the average person as the cost of gasoline. Though the economy appears to be improving, high fuel prices threaten to raise the price of groceries and home energy bills.
A national Quinnipiac poll released Thursday morning shows voters believe the economy is improving, but they don’t think Obama should be elected to a second term. Voters say that the economy has begun to recover, 54-43 percent, a 51-point shift in opinion since September 1.
But Obama gets a negative 45-49 percent job approval rating, and 50-45 percent say he does not deserve to be re-elected.
The closer it gets to election time, the worse high gas prices are for Obama, said Brad Coker, pollster with Mason Dixon Polling & Research, which conducts surveys for the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times.
“Right now, it doesn’t matter what the price of gas is today or what the unemployment rate is today for the president,” Coker said. “It’s going to start to matter in the last week of September. That’s when people will really start to pay attention."
Obama’s speech had a defensive tone to it, pointing out that developing nations such as China and India are growing and consuming more fuel. More demand equals higher prices, Obama said, suggesting he wasn’t to blame
“Just think — in five years, the number of cars on the road in China more than tripled. Nearly 10 million were added in 2010 alone,” Obama said. “Ten million cars in one year — think about how much oil that requires. And those numbers will only get bigger over time.”
Obama said he will not “cede” solar-, wind- and battery-power technology to China.
Obama drew a measure of applause for crediting the City of Miami for powering its City Hall since 2008 with alternative fuel.
Unlike in 2008, when he called on Americans to get tune-ups and inflate their tires, Obama stuck to policies that Congress should enact, such as “clean energy tax credits that will lead to more jobs and less dependence on foreign oil green-energy tax credit.”
Obama, however, also subtly raised an issue that could raise fuel prices: Eliminating tax credits for the oil industry.
“Right now, four billion of your tax dollars subsidize the oil industry every year,” he said. “These are the same oil companies that have been making record profits off the money you spend at the pump. And now they deserve another four billion dollars from us? It’s outrageous. It’s inexcusable.”
Obama repeatedly said the “phony-election year promises” were easy to make. But the long-term commitment for alternative energy will eventually make the United States energy independent.
“There are no short-term silver bullets when it comes to gas prices,” he said. “And anyone who says otherwise is just not telling the truth.”
Miami Herald reporter Patricia Mazzei and McClatchy Washington Bureau reporter Erika Bolstad contributed to this report.

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Jeb finds “fear” mongering by GOP candidates “a little troubling.” Paging Rick Santorum?

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has watched the 20 Republican debates. And he doesn’t like what he sees. Unlike the candidates and some in the conservative cognescenti, Bush doesn’t seem to be on a blame-the-media jihad. He thinks the candidates have problems in and of themselves.

“I used to be a conservative and I watch these debates and I’m wondering, I don’t think I’ve changed, but it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective and that’s kind of where we are,” former Florida governor Jeb Bush said after a Thursday Dallas speech, according to Fox News reported. “I think it changes when we get to the general election. I hope.”

Bush didn’t give specifics, though his concern about the GOP’s tone over the immigration debate is longstanding. Bush also didn’t single out any candidates, but his comments tellingly follow the last debate where former Penn. Sen. Rick Santorum essentially dissed Bush’s brother’s singular education reform plan: No Child Left Behind.

More broadly, as the Washington Post points out, Santorum sounded anything but optimistic when he said: “We hear this all time -- so you cut spending, limit the government, everything will be fine. No, everything’s not going to be fine.”

Santorum, who did poorly in the debate, blamed his performance on what he said was a pro-Romney crowd. Earlier in the week, the pro-Romney Drudge Report dredged up a 2008 speech at Catholic Ave Maria University where Santorum said Satan was targeting the United States.

Right now, national polls indicate President Obama would beat any Republican candidate by a slim margin, but Romney matches up best against him. Still, as the primary drags on, Romney’s favorability ratings are slipping.
“I think it’s important for the candidates to recognize they have to appeal to primary voters, and not turn off independent voters that will be part of a winning coalition,” Bush told CBS after the Dallas speech.’

More Intrusive Demands by Republicans

Virginia Proposal Mandating Ultrasound Before Abortion Debated

Uploaded by on Feb 23, 2012
Amid rising criticism, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell changed his stance on a bill that would require women to have a transvaginal ultrasound before an abortion, noting that an abdominal ultrasound would be more appropriate. Judy Woodruff and guests discuss Virginia's proposed law and nationwide efforts to curb access to abortions.

DeGette Talks War on Women with Reverend Sharpton

Uploaded by on Feb 24, 2012
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) joins Al Sharpton on MSNBC to talk about the GOP assault on women's health. DeGette is co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, and a long-time advocate for a woman's access to affordable health care. She and the Reverend discuss the dangerous personhood amendments being advanced in several states across the country and the all-out assault on comprehensive women's health happening at the federal level.

Virginia's Transvaginal Ultrasound Anti-Abortion Law

Uploaded by on Feb 16, 2012
Virginia has proposed legislation on the docket that would make transvaginal ultrasounds required without the woman's consent. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian discuss the proposed law. Like this video if you are pro-choice.

Miami Republican consultant: I talked to President Obama about immigration.

Democratic consultant: You shouldn't be publicizing that conversation.

Two well known Miami political consultants got into a tiff on Spanish-language radio Friday over a conversation one of them had with President Barack Obama when he attended a fundraiser Thursday at the Biltmore Hotel.
Ana Navarro, a Republican, told WQBA-AM (1140) host Bernadette Pardo by phone that she had spoken to Obama for a few minutes Thursday about immigration reform. Navarro, who worked for John McCain in 2008, said Obama appeared relaxed and confident and joked he wanted her vote. She said she asked him why his administration has not advocated more strongly for Congress to change the country's immigration laws.
That prompted Democrat Freddy Balsera, who was on the other line, to accuse Navarro of making it seem as though she was calling out Obama on immigration after "intercepting" him and taking advantage of her relationship with Gene Prescott. Prescott, president of the company that operates the Biltmore, is Navarro's beau. The exchange turned heated, with Navarro and Balsera talking over each other until Pardo, the host, cut them off with a commercial break.
After the break, Pardo let Navarro and then Balsera speak separately about Obama's visit. Navarro said she did not "intercept" the president; the Secret Service had approved her presence (a fact she marveled at, saying in other countries, a vocal critic from the opposing party would likely not be allowed in the same room as the president). And she suggested Balsera was upset because he had not been a part of the conversation.
Balsera, for his part, said he hosted a luncheon for Hispanic donors that Obama attended before his speech at the fundraiser and praised the president's approach on energy, which Obama talked about earlier Thursday at the University of Miami. Balsera, who has advised Obama on Hispanic issues, later told The Miami Herald that Navarro should not have shared her conversation with the president on the radio.
"I think it is highly unethical and highly inappropriate for her to go out and report to the media her private conversation with the president," he said, especially given her party affiliation and relationship to Prescott, he added.
Countered Navarro: "I'm not going to react to Freddy Balsera. He means nothing to me. I would think that the White House would not be unhappy about a Republican like me saying positive things about the president on the radio."

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Senate Republican Agenda

Feb 8, 2012

U.S. Senate | Ohio Clock

Senate Republicans spoke to reporters about their legislative agenda. Much of the briefing was focused on the Obama administration ruling on a provision of the 2010 health care law that requires church-affiliated employers to cover contraceptives and other preventive services in their health insurance plans.

Leave our Vagina's alone....Don't touch !!!!!!

SHAME SHAME SHAME Virginia Legislature

Maddow: Republicans Probing Vaginas As Part Of Full Assault On Women's Reproductive Rights

Uploaded by on Feb 18, 2012
Clip from recent Rachel Maddow show where Rachel highlights efforts by Republicans to probe women's vaginas as part of their full assault on women's reproductive rights and health. The Virginia legislature has passed a measure requiring a medically unnecessary, internally invasive ultrasound probe of women's vaginas as a precondition to exercising their Constitutional right to an abortion. Ultra-conservative VA Governor Bob Mcdonnel is expected to sign the bill.

Rachel Maddow GOP now targets Birth control

Uploaded by on Jun 9, 2011

From Divinity33372

Uploader Comments (nelliediddle)

So Republican's say they hate big government but they don't mind them being in your bedroom and telling people how to act!! Somehow to these wing nuts healthcare is no business of the governments but birth control is!

Rachel Maddow exposes extreme Republican hypocrisy on abortion (May 19th, 2011)

Uploaded by on May 19, 2011
The Republican party hates big government and hates red tape... except when they're talking about abortion, at which point government should be right in your doctor's office and over-legislation is totally okay. All across America, a woman's right to make decisions about her own body is under attack, and Rachel Maddow isn't letting it slip by under the radar. From the May 19th, 2011 edition of The Rachel Maddow Show.