TPM News

Obama: Administration Are 'Fierce Advocates' For Free Market In an interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, President Obama described his administration as "fierce advocates" of the free market. "The irony is, is that on the left we are perceived as being in the pockets of big business; and then on the business side, we are perceived as being anti-business," said Obama. "You would be hard-pressed to identify a piece of legislation that we have proposed out there that, net, is not good for businesses."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the presidential daily briefing at 11:15 a.m. ET. Obama will meet with senior advisers at 12 p.m. ET. Obama will sign the economic Report of the President at 1:30 p.m. ET. Obama and Biden will meet with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner at 3 p.m. ET, and with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at 3:30 p.m. ET. Obama will meet at 4 p.m. ET with the 2009 and 2010 March of Dimes Ambassadors.

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Sarah Palin has upped her national profile in recent weeks, but a new poll shows that the extra attention hasn't done her any favors. In the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, the amount of people with a favorable view of Palin has dropped to its lowest point ever recorded by the pollster. More than 70% of respondents said she's not qualified to be president.

Palin's numbers don't improve much when just Republicans are asked to give their opinion of her, the poll found.

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Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) sent a letter last year asking the Fed to make a ruling that would have saved a New Jersey bank whose chairman gave $30,000 to the senator in the past decade, the Wall Street Journal reports.

In a statement to the Journal, Menendez said he was properly representing his constituents' interests when he asked the Fed to approve the sale of First BankAmericano to another bank.

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President Obama has been hammered all day for Bloomberg's portrayal of his sentiment about big banker bonuses in a recent interview, and the White House communications team took to the blog to hit back.

White House aides said the headline ("Obama Doesn't 'Begrudge' Bonuses for Blankfein, Dimon") "made it sound like the President brushed off the impact of bonuses and applauded the role of bankers."

Reporters asked Obama about two top business executives for JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, and the story quotes Obama as saying: "I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen. ... I, like most of the American people, don't begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free-market system."

Jen Psaki argued the headline on the Bloomberg interview "is not an accurate portrayal of where the President stands or what he said during the interview."

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As long as it's Miranda day around here: there's something in danger of being lost in all the chuckling today over Newt Gingrich's misidentification of shoebomber Richard Reid as an American citizen.

The fact is, non-citizens have the same rights under the U.S. criminal justice system as citizens. Non-citizens must be read their Miranda rights before so-called "custodial interrogation" by the police, just like anyone else.

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Fox News took advantage of today's East Coast blizzard to prove some point or other about Al Gore on Cavuto this afternoon. Guest host Eric Bolling did color commentary as a copy of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" was placed outside Fox News HQ to prove, it seems, that today's record-breaking snowfall that shut down infrastructure in at least three major cities proves that Gore's climate change warnings are without merit.

"Poor Al Gore," Bolling told viewers as the snow piled up around Gore's book on air. "We should get a camera outside his house."

Video after the jump.

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The Obama administration used the official White House blog today to criticize former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for a false claim he made last night on the Daily Show.

During the show, Gingrich attempted to defend the Bush administration for reading the Miranda rights to "shoe bomber" Richard Reid by claiming, falsely, that Reid is an American citizen. He used it in his argument that the Obama administration was wrong to Mirandize the Christmas Day bomber.

"While Mr. Gingrich is certainly entitled to his opinions, he isn't entitled to his own facts," reads the blog post, written by Macon Phillips, new media director for the White House.

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SEIU President Andy Stern says that the so-called Roadmap for America's Future--an entitlement-slashing bill written by House Republican guru Paul Ryan (R-WI)--should be a warning sign to voters that the GOP hasn't moved on from the Bush-era.

"It's hard to imagine that this is a 21st century plan," Stern told me in an interview this afternoon. "It seems like we're going back to the future."

"Particularly when George Bush inherited a surplus and drove it into a massive deficit, I'm not sure we should trust the Republican party's rehashed ideas to not just bankrupt the country in the end," Stern said.

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A new ad in Wisconsin from Republican businessman Terrence Wall, who is seeking the GOP nomination to run against Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold, is parlaying last year's boisterous town halls into an attack ad against the incumbent.

The ad uses footage of Feingold explaining his vote for the health care bill, "I thought it was a good bill for America, and particularly a good bill for Wisconsin." The announcer and on-screen text then declare: "After 28 years in politics, Russ Feingold isn't listening anymore!" The ad then shows video of angry constituents at the town halls.

The Feingold campaign was quick to respond in a press release, taking issue with the idea that Feingold "isn't listening anymore," when during his Senate tenure he has held listening sessions every year in each of Wisconsin's 72 counties. And they also go right after Wall by pointing to a story that has been dogging him in the local press -- that he has not paid any personal state income tax for 12 out of the last 15 years.

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Democrats have called on Anthem Blue Cross officials to testify about the 39 percent insurance rate hike their California customers have been told to expect this year.

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Bart Stupak will hold a Feb. 24 hearing to examine the rate hike, which the Obama administration has called "extraordinary."

Waxman and Stupak wrote a letter to Anthem parent company WellPoint's President Angela Braly, asking for her testimony and documentation about why the increases are being imposed given WellPoint's profits. Read the letter in full here.

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