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Did National Democrats shove aside Chellie Pingree and drag Angus King into the race for Senate to ensure he would caucus with the Democrats if he wins? Maine deserves better than smoke-filled backroom deals. http://nrsc.org
The new iPad is official, with Retina display, LTE and A5X CPU. Available March 16th
Engadget – So, what’d you have in the office pool? iPad 3, iPad 2S, iPad HD? Doesn’t matter, really. All that matters is that it’s here! This is the next generation of Apple’s iOS slate and, as usual, she’s a beaut. As was rumored this thing is packing a Retina display, potentially making this the most pixel-packed slate on the market. The 9.7-inch screen plays host to 3.1 million pixels in a 2048 x 1536 arrangement — that’s 264ppi. It’s not just a higher resolution though, the screen also boasts improved color saturation. Of course, what would a new iPad be without some updated guts. The new model has an A5X processor and quad-core graphics chip. Apple even claims its newest sliver of silicon can deliver four times the performance of a Tegra 3 — we’d say dems fightin’ words. More
Apple reveals 1080p Apple TV: $99, arrives March 16th
Engadget – It looks like we were blind-sided a little by that decidedly iPad-esque invite, because Apple has something more for us — it’s just announced the latest iteration of Apple TV and it can do 1080p video. The new UI inches slightly closer to iOS territory, with a splash of new color and a whole range of third-party apps willing to play with the new box. More
Yesterday, President Barack Obama ended his months-long press conference drought and faced the White House press corps. Unfortunately for the American people, questions on some of the biggest issues facing the country remain unanswered.
The 100-ton elephant in the room that wasn’t discussed? The economy. Though the President would like to revel in the country’s recent spate of moderate economic growth, all is not well in America. More than 8 percent of Americans remain unemployed — nearly 13 million in total. What’s more, only 63.7 percent of adult Americans are active in the labor force — the lowest amount since 1983. New jobs are being created, but not nearly enough. The current economic recovery is the slowest recovery in the post-war era. And four years after the recession started, the economy still has not replaced the jobs lost in the downturn.
So given this economic backdrop, one might think the President would be asked what he plans to do to spur growth, or three years after his much-vaunted stimulus, why is the recovery so slow? Another key question: The President once stated that raising taxes is anathema to economic recovery, and yesterday credited lower taxes on the middle class for economic growth. But he is still proposing raising taxes by two trillion dollars. How will massive tax hikes on job creators spur job growth, if helping Americans get back to work is his goal? If you wanted to hear those questions on the economy answered, you were sorely disappointed.
On a related subject, America passed a significant milestone since the President’s last press conference. It has now been well over 1,000 days since the Senate passed a budget, and meanwhile, according to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the President will not offer a plan to reform unsustainable entitlement programs. What does the President plan to do about it? The subject was not raised yesterday.
Fox News’ Ed Henry did raise an important question on the President’s position on gas prices — one of the ten questions that Heritage hoped Obama would be made to answer.
Henry asked, “Your critics will say on Capitol Hill that you want gas prices to go higher because you have said before, that will wean the American people off fossil fuels, onto renewable fuels. How do you respond to that?” While not denying that rising oil prices supports his long-term energy agenda, the President cited electoral politics as a reason he wouldn’t want gas prices to go higher this year, and claimed there’s “no silver bullet” to solve the problem. What the President didn’t address, though, is his decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline, the regulatory hurdles to more drilling and refining in the United States, and Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s insistence that it’s not his job to make gas prices more affordable.
A significant portion of the press conference yesterday was devoted to the issue of Iran and the United States’ relationship with Israel — certainly an important issue given Iran’s desperate pursuit of nuclear weapons. There were vital specifics on the issue he was not pressed on. Namely, does he regret his Administration’s hands-off approach to the Iranian Green Revolution? How can he answer for three years of failed efforts to engage with the likes of Syria and Iran, given that both are continuing to flout the international community? Why, if the President is a friend to Israel, is he pressing America’s ally to negotiate with a Palestinian authority that tolerates Hamas — a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel? And why, given these significant threats in the Middle East — and indeed around the world — is the President slashing military spending and undermining America’s ability to defend itself?
The final seminal issue that totally fell by the wayside was Obamacare’s assault on religious freedom. Under the President’s health care law, the White House mandates that virtually all religious employers, with the exception of churches, provide health care coverage for contraception — including abortion-inducing drugs — thereby trampling upon their constitutionally guaranteed free exercise of religion. Though the issue was discussed in the context of political rhetoric, the underlying question that brought this debate to the fore was ignored: Where in the Constitution does the President find the authority to issue a mandate that violates the conscience of religious organizations?
These are all vital questions that have vast implications for America’s fiscal future, its national security, and the very integrity of the rights protected under the Constitution. They are fundamental questions of the role of the federal government, the President’s ability to offer solutions to the country’s crushing fiscal crisis, and his willingness to stand by our allies in defense of their right to exist. Unfortunately, America must wait for these questions to be answered.
A Tank Of Gas Costs Nearly $40 More Today Than When President Obama Took Office
President On Payroll Holiday: ‘$40 Can Make All The Difference In The World’
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “We asked folks to tell what it was like — what it would be like if they lost $40 out of every one of their paychecks — because we wanted to make sure that people understood this is not just an abstract argument, this is concrete. This makes a difference in the lives of folks all across the country in very important ways… It would be $40 less for groceries to feed your kids; it would be $40 less for the medications you depend on; $40 less to cover bills and the rent; $40 less to take care of an elder parent, or to donate to a church or a charity.” (President Obama, Remarks, 2/14/12)
· OBAMA: “And that’s what this debate is all about. This is what’s at stake for millions of Americans. This is why it matters to people — it matters a heck of a lot. And I’m asking the American people to keep their stories coming. Tell us what $40 means to you.” (President Obama, Remarks, 2/14/12)
· OBAMA: “… $40 can make all the difference in the world.” (President Obama, Weekly Address, 2/11/12)
· OBAMA: “People can’t afford losing $40 … Not right now.” (President Obama, Remarks, 1/25/12)
It Now Costs An Additional $40 To Fill-Up A Minivan
For a typical 20 gallon tank like the Toyota Sienna or Dodge Grand Caravan, it now costs an extra $38.80 to fill up at the pump. (“2011 Toyota Sienna Minivan Features & Specs,” Edmunds.com, Accessed 3/7/12) ; (“2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Minivan Features & Specs,” Edmunds.com, Accessed 3/7/12)
· $3.77 per gallon: average price of gas nationwide. (“National Unleaded Average,” AAA, 3/5/12)
· $1.83 per gallon: average price of gas was when President Obama was inaugurated. (“Weekly U.S. Regular Conventional Retail Gasoline Prices,” U.S. Energy Information Administration, Accessed 2/16/12)
Q: ‘Is The Overall Goal To Get Our Price Lower?’ SEC. STEVEN CHU: ‘No’
“The Energy Department isn’t working to lower gasoline prices directly, Secretary Steven Chu said Tuesday…” (“Chu: DOE Works To Wean U.S. Off Oil, Not Lower Prices” Politico, 2/28/12)
· COMMITTEE QUESTION: “But, is the overall goal to get our price lower?” SEC. STEVEN CHU: “No, the overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil…” (U.S. House Of Representatives, Appropriations Committee, Hearing, 2/28/12)
STEVEN CHU: “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” (“Times Tough For Energy Overhaul,” The Wall Street Journal, 12/12/08)
Current Price Of Gas ‘In Europe’
Italy: $9.03 Per Gallon
UK: $8.30 Per Gallon
Germany: $8.26 Per Gallon
France: $8.27 Per Gallon
“Gingrich was the first presidential candidate to launch a Facebook timeline to inform voters about his conservative record and accomplishments,” per a forthcoming release. “Today, Newt 2012 launched the ‘Romney Record’ Facebook timeline to highlight Governor Romney’s long history of being a liberal, out-of-touch Republican.” See it here!
Note: Sounds like classic Schumer spin… trying to reassure the base that there will be money for these races.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who quarterbacked the Democratic retake of the Senate in 2006, thinks President Obama’s re-election campaign will eventually open the war chest for his party’s Senate and House campaign committees.
On Monday, POLITICO’s John Bresnahan reported that House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were rebuffed when they asked two top Obama advisers for $15 million apiece for the upcoming campaign; White House senior adviser David Plouffe, Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, and Jim Messina, who currently holds that job, reportedly said they would get much less.
“Messina and Plouffe told the two Hill leaders that there would be no cash transfers to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from OFA or the DNC, at least not before Election Day, the sources said,” Bres reported.
From the Associated Press:
(AP) — Ohio Republicans have picked a first-term state treasurer as their U.S. Senate nominee and delivered easy victories to a host of GOP congressional incumbents, including House Speaker John Boehner.
Treasurer Josh Mandel easily won a four-way Republican primary Tuesday. He will face Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown in November.
Veteran U.S. Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich were jockeying for the lead in a closely watched battle for a newly drawn congressional district linking Toledo and Cleveland along the Lake Erie shoreline. Kaptur had an 8-point lead with a quarter of the votes counted. Joseph “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher was trailing his opponent on the Republican side of the race.
Looks like Senator DeMint and the Senate Conservatives Fund are happy with the outcome:
Sen. Dean Heller is taking the road less traveled among GOP candidates: The Nevada Republican says he’s better for clean-energy interests than his chief Democratic rival.
In recent email blasts, Heller’s campaign has ripped Rep. Shelley Berkley, Heller’s likely Democratic opponent come November, for voting against several renewable-energy amendments to the GOP’s energy and infrastructure package. (Most Democrats voted against those amendments, which set aside some requirements for environmental reviews, as well as against the larger package.)
Another email from his campaign said Heller “has long fought to bring a variety of sources of renewable energy to Nevada.”
Heller’s message puts him in contrast with other Republicans, who are distancing themselves from any past support for clean energy and instead are embracing an “all of the above” message that stresses expanded domestic drilling.
Geography has a lot to do with it, some observers say.
“There is bipartisan agreement, like it or not, in Nevada that, hey, it’s sunny here a lot of the time and so we have to do something with renewables,” said Jon Ralston, a television host and political columnist for the Las Vegas Sun.
Supporting renewable energy is virtually a requirement for Nevada politicians, he added, although that can lead to sticky situations for a Republican. “Now, of course, that brings us to the question of what does that really mean that you support it? How far do you go with tax credits, tax incentives, before you get called a crony capitalist by the Republicans who love to use Solyndra as their talking point? It’s a difficult issue for Heller.”
Apple is holding its iPad-themed event on Wednesday, and you can get your full dose of the news right here.
The event takes place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in downtown San Francisco and kicks off at 10 a.m. Pacific. CNET’s Donald Bell, Jason Parker, and I will be bringing you the news live, and we’ll have live commentary from the Buzz Out Loud crew.
Tune in to the live blog here: