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Obama’s New Campaign Message: Obama’s Old Campaign Message

Because it worked so well for them in the mid term elections, Obama has decided to revisit all the same talking points he was pushing two years ago. The only thing better, from my perspective, would be if he won and tried to force any of these policies down the nation’s throat.

Washington (CNN) — Think of President Barack Obama’s pivot from last week’s anemic job growth numbers to Monday’s populist call to lower taxes for the middle class as the political equivalent of shifting an awkward dinner party conversation to a rousing comment about the home team’s last game.

The president spoke from the East Room on Monday surrounded by a group of middle-class families standing in rapt attention as Obama spoke of “rebuilding an economy where work pays off.”

Later in the day, the president was to echo his call to extend the Bush-era cuts to those making less than $250,000 a year during interviews with local and regional television stations and at a pair of campaign events.

“Right now our top priority has to be giving middle-class families … security they deserve,” Obama said Monday to applause.

It was a decidedly more upbeat tone than on Friday, when the president was hammered over a relatively stagnant job growth rate and an unemployment rate of 8.2%.

“Obama is saying consciously, ‘I’m going to change the direction of what I’m talking about. Really, here is my strongest argument — I want people to hear that,'” said Robert Lehrman, who was a speechwriter for dozens of Democratic political figures including Vice President Al Gore and is author of “The Political Speechwriter’s Companion.”

Obama has hit the message reset button before during this campaign cycle.

Attention was diverted from a month of dismal economic news in June when he announced a temporary halt to deportation of certain young undocumented immigrants. The move knocked GOP strategists back on their heels and they scrambled to respond.

But it’s a tactic with mixed results.

Republicans immediately pounced on the president’s call on Congress to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 a year, describing it as “desperate.” Congressional Republicans pointed out that the president’s call for the tax cuts extension is not new and accused the president of trying to steer the narrative away from last week’s dismal jobs news.

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DOJ Decides It’s Not Okay To Kill American Law Enforcement

2 Years Later

Now comes the part where Eric Holder crosses his fingers and prays to Christ this makes people forget what he did.

The Justice Department unsealed an indictment Monday charging five people in connection with Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s death — a move that drew praise as well as skepticism from lawmakers laser-focused on the case.

The department, in unsealing the document, also announced a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to the arrest of four suspects who are still at large.

The developments come amid an intensifying debate over the department’s failed Fast and Furious anti-gunrunning operation. Weapons from that program were found at Terry’s murder scene — Republicans seeking documents pertaining to Fast and Furious last month escalated their probe by voting to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, praised the department Monday for its announcement but questioned the timing.

“I applaud what they’re doing, but I condemn the timing. It’s very clear that the timing has everything to do with the House of Representatives holding Eric Holder in contempt,” Issa told Fox News.

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Iran Setting Up Prive Oil Export Group To Circumvent Sanctions

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – An official says Iran has set up a private oil export group in an attempt to bypass a European ban on buying Iranian oil.

The ban is part of Western sanctions aimed at pressuring Iran over its nuclear program.

Hasan Khosrowjerdi, head of the Iranian oil products exporters union, said Monday the first contract for exporting Iran’s crude through the private sector will be signed next week.

Formation of the private group is the latest sign that the sanctions are taking a toll on Iran. The West suspects Iran is aiming to build nuclear weapons. Iran denies that.

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Obama Will Try for a One Year Extension of the Bush Tax Cuts

“(Reuters) – President Barack Obama will call for a one-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 a year, according to a White House official, seeking to spare the economy the impact of taxes going up on January 1.

Obama, a Democrat, will make the request in a 11:50 a.m. statement at the White House on Monday.

Republicans in Congress are unlikely to be swayed, as they have consistently argued that the Bush tax cuts should be extended for everyone, including higher earners.”

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Kim Jong Un Loves Himself Some Mickey Mouse

PYONGYANG, North Korea – Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh took the stage in North Korea during a concert for new leader Kim Jong Un, in an unusual performance featuring Disney characters.

Performers dressed as Minnie Mouse, Tigger and others danced and pranced as footage from “Snow White,” ”Dumbo,” ”Beauty and the Beast” and other Disney movies played on a massive backdrop, according to still photos shown on state TV.

The inclusion of characters popular in the West — particularly from the United States, North Korea’s wartime enemy — is a notable change in direction for performances in Pyongyang. Actors and actresses also showed off new wardrobes, including strapless gowns and little black dresses.

In recent years, performances such as the “Arirang” mass games featured performers dressed as panda bears in homage to North Korean ally China.

This appears to be the first time Disney characters have been included in a major performance, though Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse have been popular among children for several years. Backpacks, pencil cases and pajamas imported from China often feature Disney characters, and stories such as “Dumbo” have been translated into Korean for North Korean schoolchildren. However, it is unusual to make such images a central part of a North Korean performance and to publicize it on state TV.

It was unclear whether the Disney characters were officially licensed. U.S. sanctions prohibit the import of North Korean goods to the United States, but do not ban the sales of American consumer products in North Korea unless they involve officials or companies on the U.S. Treasury Department’s sanctions blacklist.

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EU Having Trouble Refilling Presidency After Juncker

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France (Reuters) – French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici poured cold water on a media report on Sunday that France and Germany could split between them the presidency of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers.

The mandate of the Eurogroup’s current chairman, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, expires at the end of the month, but officials signaled last month that his term could be extended.

Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine reported on Sunday that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande had agreed a compromise for a successor to Juncker as Eurogroup head involving a rotating chairmanship.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble would initially take over as Eurogroup chief, and Moscovici would then take over from him at mid-way point during his term, according to the report.

“I don’t know where this story is coming from. It’s not under consideration,” Moscovici told journalists on the sidelines of a conference in Aix-en-Provence, southern France.

Hollande, meanwhile, said there would be a “Franco-German” outcome to Juncker’s succession.

“We will all find a good solution once Mr. Juncker has finished his mandate – a Franco-German solution,” he told journalists on the sidelines of a meeting with Merkel in Reims, eastern France.

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Documentary: I Want the Earth Plus 5%

Cheers on what is left of your holiday weekend !

[youtube://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZ-4ElQ1ktE&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PL940EB6BEC83754A2 450 300]

“16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. “

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Brave New Rebellion

[youtube://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQRX7UdXG6w 450 300]

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UN Calls for ‘Billionaires Tax’ to Help World’s Poor

“The United Nations on Thursday called for a tax on billionaires to help raise more than $400 billion a year for poor countries.

An annual lump sum payment by the super-rich is one of a host of measures including a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, currency exchanges or financial transactions proposed in a UN report that accuses wealthy nations of breaking promises to step up aid for the less fortunate.

The annual World Economic and Social Survey says it is critical to find new ways to help the world’s poor as pledged cash fails to flow.

The report estimates that the number of people around the globe worth at least $1 billion rose to 1,226 in 2012.”

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Monti Chooses Austerity Over Tax Increases

I thought the U.K. was a perfect example of what effects austerity have. At any rate, this move is considered kicking the can down to the next government in Italy.

The next government will form within a year.

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WikiLeaks Announces Massive Release With The ‘Syria Files’: 2.4 Million Emails From Syrian Officials And Companies

“If the quarter million State Department cables that WikiLeaks heaved onto the Internet in 2010 and 2011 was a “megaleak,” the secret-spilling group may need a new word to capture the size of its latest release: 2.4 million emails from Syrian politicians, officials, and associated companies, representing one of the group’s largest document dumps yet, a collection of data the group describes as 100 times the raw size of its State Department release.

The gargantuan new release, which WikiLeaks has titled the Syria Files, was announced in an event at the London Press Club Thursday morning by Sarah Harrison, a WikiLeaks staffer and sometimes-assistant to the group’s founder Julian Assange, who remains hidden in London’s Ecuadorean embassy seeking asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning for alleged sex crimes.”

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Congress and Their Sweet Heart Deals

It comes as no surprise that money influence politics…and not always for the better. Leading up to the 2008 financial crisis we learn that Countrywide helped many a congressman with sweetheart deals that may have led to decisions of being easy on the mortgage industry.

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WSJ: Mitt Romney is John Kerry 2.0

“If Mitt Romney loses his run for the White House, a turning point will have been his decision Monday to absolve President Obama of raising taxes on the middle class. He is managing to turn the only possible silver lining in Chief Justice John Roberts’s ObamaCare salvage operation—that the mandate to buy insurance or pay a penalty is really a tax—into a second political defeat.

Appearing on MSNBC, close Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom was asked by host Chuck Todd if Mr. Romney “agrees with the president” and “believes that you shouldn’t call the tax penalty a tax, you should call it a penalty or a fee or a fine?”

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Congress Approved Transportation Funding/Student Loan Bill

Washington (CNN) — Congress gave final approval Friday to a giant transportation funding bill as part of a package that includes a measure holding down interest rates on federal student loans.

Both issues are priorities of President Barack Obama’s, and the legislation demonstrated rare bipartisan agreement in the deeply divided Congress.

The package won Senate approval with a 74-19 vote after passing the House 373-52.

Hours later, President Barack Obama signed into a law a bill that temporarily — from June 30 through July 6 — assures there will be continued funding for certain transportation projects and halts potential student loan interest rate hikes, according to a news release issued by the White House shortly after 8 p.m. Friday.

He could sign the larger legislation at a later date, presumably by the end of next week before the stopgap bill expires.

Compromises on the transportation bill and the student loan issue, as well as a third component reauthorizing national flood insurance, came in rare bipartisan agreement during the same week that House Republicans enraged Democrats by voting to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.

None of the rancor from Thursday’s contempt vote was evident Friday, as legislators involved in reaching the compromise praised the bipartisan effort.

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