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BREAKING: President Obama vetoes Republican Keystone XL pipeline legislation

The first bill introduced in the U.S. Senate this session was a bill to compel the federal government to issue a permit to allow the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

This afternoon, President Obama vetoed it.

Here is his veto statement:

February 24, 2015

TO THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES:

I am returning herewith without my approval S. 1, the “Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act.” Through this bill, the United States Congress attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest.

The Presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously.

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Republicans love America — and they want to show it by taking insurance from 8.2 million working Americans

This week a somewhat abstruse debate about whether America should purposely try to antagonize 1.6 billion Muslims morphed into an impossibly stupid debate about whether the President of the United States really loves the United States.

Meanwhile, in actual news, there’s an absurd lawsuit that threatens to wreak havoc on our health care system.

The Urban Institute projects a victory in the plaintiff’s in the case of King v. Burwell that would result in 8.2 million Americans losing insurance as $340 billion in tax credits and cost-sharing reductions are eliminated over the ten years. Premiums for those buying individual coverage in the 34 affected states would rise up to 35 percent.…

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The GOP’s nightmare: Obama and Obamacare both hit new highs

After a rough year, Democrats should savor what happened on Monday February 17, 2015.

President Obama and Obamacare both hit 50 percent.

The president’s approval rating is back at 50 percent in the Gallup daily tracking poll. He hit the halfway mark for the first time since June 2013 just after his most recent State of the Union and then fell back slightly.

Buoyed by a growing economy and low gas prices — which America has little-to-no control over — Obama’s approval is now higher than Ronald Reagan’s was at this point the Reagan presidency. (Conservative Gipper Defenders argue, “Well, that’s only because the administration had been caught selling missiles to Iran to fund an illegal war.” To which I say, “That’s a defense of Reagan?”) And it’s almost 20 percent higher than George W.…

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5 ways Obama can ensure he will go down as great and not just a great-ish president

A new poll of 162 members of the American Political Science Association ranks President Obama 18th among the 43 men who have served as President of the United States.

The poll indicts itself as being an immediate relic of this historical moment by placing Obama as the second most polarizing chief executive in U.S. history, behind George W. Bush, who is ranked 35th overall. The fact is we’ve entered into the “cable news” era of the presidency. We should probably expect every current president to be seen as the most polarizing when s/he is in office. And none of them will ever be as polarizing as the man who cut taxes on the rich while starting two wars.…

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Even Fox News knows Republicans can’t take credit for the best job creation of the century

On Fox News: Friday’s jobs report was terrible news, barely worth mentioning. “So the headline is unemployment rate ticks up to 5.7″ percent,” Steve Doocy said, as he quickly wrapped up the segment.

In reality: “This might just be the most perfect payrolls report ever,” according to economist Justin Wolfers. On Twitter, he raved about the strong growth of 257,000 jobs, helpful revisions — which saw November’s gains rise to 423,000 and Decembers pick up to 329,000 — and “useful real wage growth.”

We can say now with certainty that 2014 — with 3.2 million new jobs — was the best year of employment creation this century.…

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Was Obama’s “I know ’cause I won both of ‘em” slam against the GOP during the State of the Union Address an ad lib? Oh, please.

Last night during his State of the Union Address, President Obama had some fun. You could tell he was feeling freed to be himself since he no longer has to run for office and because, frankly, despite his rhetoric otherwise, there isn’t going to be a lot of “working together” with Republicans.

In other words, he doesn’t have to fake it anymore.

The best line of the night, of course, was this one:

I have no more campaigns to run. My only agenda…

[INSULTING APPLAUSE FROM REPUBLICANS]

I know ’cause I won both of ‘em.

Republicans are pissing and moaning about being tweaked like that but, member of Congress, please.…

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Acting like the President helps — Obama’s approval hits 50%

So why did he wait until after the election?

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll is making news with President Obama at an approval ratings 50% for the first time in over a year. Other polls show his rating improving as well. Look at Gallup or Pew. It seems the rise is not just a blip in one poll but consistent across the organizations measuring presidential approval. The press has noticed and seems to be crediting an improving economy. USA Today, for example, writes, "Good economic news appears to be fueling Obama's improved ratings in a string of recent polls."
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Everything is awesome (compared to the last 14 years) — but the middle class is still dying

First they sabotage you;then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then they take credit for your economy.

Bill Clinton learned this lesson long ago. Now Mitch McConnell is trying to teach it to President Obama. In an op-ed last week, he made ridiculous claim that anticipation of a Republican Senate is in some way responsible of an economic recovery that would have taken place long ago if it weren’t for GOP-created crises that led to GOP-enforced austerity.

McConnell isn’t stupid. He turned being one of the least popular Senators in the nation into an easy re-election. He also knows forcing his opponents to rebut a ridiculous statement helps spread the idea, not dispel it.…

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Michigan Republican Party: Saving the auto industry didn’t help Michigan’s economy

The Michigan Republican Party has continued Gov. Rick Snyder’s efforts to take credit for the economic improvements that have benefited the entire country, including our state. Here in Michigan, nothing has helped fuel economic growth like the resurgence of the vehicle manufacturing sector. Upwards of 60% of Michganders work in jobs that are impacted by vehicle manufacturing and, had our domestic automakers gone out of business, our state would be in seriously bad straits.

The last thing they want is for President Obama to get any credit for that so, when he visited Michigan yesterday to tout the results of the loan program that kept Chrysler, GM, and the entire vehicle manufacturing supply chain from going under, Republicans sat on the sidelines throwing spitballs.…

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The Solyndra loan program shows government at its best

What if I told you that everything Republicans have told you about Solyndra is dangerously and embarrassingly wrong?

You’d certainly be less than shocked.

Mike Grunwald — who wrote the book on Stimulus — has been trying to explain why we need more Solyndras for years now.

The failed loan that became the code word for smearing the Obama administration’s successful efforts to prevent a greater depression during the 2012 election was part of a program that has been remarkably successful in sparking a clean energy revolution that quietly sets records for new installations every year.

The audience for people looking for good news about the Stimulus is, unfortunately for Grunwald and America, not huge.…

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