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Barack Obama

WNYC News

For Hoop Dreams and Dollars, Obama Returns to NYC

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

President Barack Obama arrived in the Big Apple Wednesday evening for a basketball-related fundraiser.

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It's A Free Country ®

NBA Owners Mostly for Romney, but Ballers All About Obama

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Owners of NBA teams may have given more money to Republican election efforts this year, but the players? That’s a very different story.

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It's A Free Country ®

Map: Is Your Favorite Sports Team for Romney or Obama?

Monday, August 20, 2012

In a town with two football teams, local fans are divided. Turns out the same goes for the team owners and their politics.

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Transportation Nation

Obama Tells States "Use It or Lose It" for $470 Million in Transpo Money (CHART)

Friday, August 17, 2012

States will lose out on millions of dollars in federal highway money if they sit on the cash without putting it to immediate use, the White House said in a statement today.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is making freeing up $473 million in unspent highway earmarks for other projects  "that will create jobs and help improve transportation." The move is intended to speed the stimulus and job creation impact of federal transportation spending, much of which goes to large projects that can take years to plan and execute.

President Barack Obama said, “We’re not going to let politics stand between construction workers and good jobs repairing our roads and bridges.”

According to the DOT, $473 million in highway earmarks remain unspent from 2003-2006 appropriations (full list here). Today's authorization allows state transportation departments to take that earmarked money and use it on other highway, transit, passenger rail or port projects.

Funds not re-obligated within a state by the end of the year can go to other states in the 2013 fiscal year, hence the headline in the White House press release "Use It or Lose It" (in full below)

Top Ten States with unused earmarks:

Top Ten States with Unspent Transportation Earmark Money

Alabama $51,488,747.50
California $43,075,444.64
Texas $30,795,362.97
New York $29,031,287.86
Pennsylvania $28,536,041.90
Alaska $20,239,216.44
Massachusetts $18,933,562.00
Kentucky $17,518,853.15
Michigan $15,806,886.79
Mississippi $15,248,578.00

Full Press Release:

Obama Administration on Idle Earmark Projects: Use It or Lose It “We Can’t Wait” Action Helps States Put People to Work, Improve Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, DC – The Obama Administration today announced that it won’t allow infrastructure funds to sit idle as a result of stalled earmark projects at a time when hundreds of thousands of construction workers are looking for work. U.S Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is making over $470 million in unspent earmarks immediately available to states for projects that will create jobs and help improve transportation across the country.

“My administration will continue to do everything we can to put Americans back to work,” said President Barack Obama. “We’re not going to let politics stand between construction workers and good jobs repairing our roads and bridges.”

“We are freeing up these funds so states can get down to the business of moving transportation projects forward and putting our friends and neighbors back to work,” said Secretary LaHood.

President Obama has vowed to veto any bill that comes to his desk with earmarks and would support legislation to permanently ban earmarks. But $473 million in highway earmarks from FY2003-2006 appropriations acts remain unspent years later. Those acts contain provisions that authorize the Secretary to make the unused funds available for eligible surface transportation projects.  Effective today, state departments of transportation will have the ability to use their unspent earmarked highway funds, some of which are nearly 10 years old, on any eligible highway, transit, passenger rail, or port project.

States must identify the projects they plan to use the funds for by October 1, and must obligate them by December 31, 2012.

“Particularly in these difficult fiscal times, states will be able to put these dollars to good use,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez.  “These funds will create jobs in the short term and help bring about what President Obama called ‘an America built to last.’”

To ensure that this funding is quickly put to good use to improve our nation’s infrastructure, funds not obligated by the December 31 deadline will be proportionally redistributed in FY 2013 to states that met the deadline.

A list of available funds by state can be accessed here: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pressroom/redisfy0306earmarks.htm

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It's A Free Country ®

Map: The Biggest Presidential Campaign Donors in NYC

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Which New Yorkers have contributed the most money to the 2012 presidential race, and where are they?

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Why Obama-Clinton 2012 Is a Great Idea

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Clinton still has huge approval ratings and even moderate Republicans, a majority of Independents and Democrats for sure think this would be an unbeatable ticket.

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It's A Free Country ®

Explainer: Did Obama 'Gut' Welfare Reform?

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

It’s totally bogus to charge President Obama with “gutting” welfare work requirements. Here's why.

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It's A Free Country ®

Explainer: Will Mitt Romney Raise Taxes on the Poor? What About Obama?

Friday, August 03, 2012

A new study finds that Mitt Romney’s partially detailed tax plan would necessarily increase the tax burden on low- and middle-income Americans while lowering tax rates for the wealthiest.

Comments [2]

It's A Free Country ®

Anna in the Swing States: Fighting for Ohio's Narrowest Margins

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

To win this state again in 2012, the Obama campaign must hold on to the advantages it gained outside the state’s traditional Democratic strongholds.

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WNYC News

As Deadline Looms, Obama Hits NYC for Campaign Funds

Monday, July 30, 2012

Both presidential campaigns are touting the importance of Tuesday’s July fundraising deadline as the race enters the last 100 days. While Mitt Romney was in Europe, President Barack Obama came to New York City Monday night for a big ticket fundraiser at a boutique hotel in the Flatiron District.  The well-heeled attendees arrived expressing enthusiasm, as well as urgency.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Democratic Party Better Late than Never - and the GOP - on Gay Marriage

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Democrats are once again proving that they lag behind their own voters.  But they are also demonstrating that they are still leagues ahead of the Republicans.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: GOP Should Welcome the Spending Cuts They Bargained For

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mandatory spending cuts are on the horizon, and the party of fiscal discipline doesn't do itself any favors by running from them.

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The Takeaway

Follow Friday: Aurora, Romney in London and the Olympics

Friday, July 27, 2012

For this week's Follow Friday, we look back on this week's news and cultural stories, including the response to the theater shooting in Aurora, Mitt Romney's foreign policy, President Obama in New Orleans and the beginning of the Olympics.

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It's A Free Country ®

In Wisconsin's Democratic Stronghold, Activists Weary but Resolved

Thursday, July 26, 2012

If there's one place you'd expect to find an enthusiasm gap for Obama supporters, it'd be in Madison. But after running into weary and cynical voters in Colorado and Iowa, Wisconsin voters sounded remarkably resolved for another contest.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: The Senate Let Bush Tax Cuts Expire and All We Got Was This Lousy Economy

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb and Independent Joe Lieberman were right to vote against President Obama's political play to allow the tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 a year to expire in a few months.

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It's A Free Country ®

Opinion: Romney Writes His International Player's Anthem All Wrong

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mitt Romney embarks on a trip to visit three countries this week, but only one port of call makes sense.

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It's A Free Country ®

Breaking Down the Romney Fundraising Advantage

Monday, July 23, 2012

For the second straight month, Mitt Romney and the Republican Party raised more money than Barack Obama and the Democrats, campaign filings released last Friday reveal.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: It's Time for the Consoler in Chief to Talk Gun Control

Monday, July 23, 2012

If it's inappropriate to talk policy after a tragedy and unnecessary to do so before one, then when exactly do we talk about the danger of guns?

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It's A Free Country ®

In Iowa, Undecided Voters Are Disappointed in Obama But Can't Commit to Romney

Monday, July 23, 2012

President Barack Obama won Iowa in 2008 by nine percentage points, but his support here is softening as his approval rating and favor with independent voters has dipped. 

The disappointed Iowa voters I met, though, aren't convinced that Mitt Romney is a viable alternative, particularly because of his wealth and his failure in their eyes to adequately address the struggling middle class.

Comments [2]

It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Obama "You Didn't Build That" Comment Incites Class Warfare

Friday, July 20, 2012

Barack Obama was taking the world's most obvious shot at Mitt Romney for being successful and when it blew up in his face it became a case of being misquote or words taken out of context.

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