TPM News

Obama: 'These Reforms Would Put An End -- Once And For All -- To Taxpayer Bailouts' In this weekend's presidential YouTube address, President Obama touted progress in the recovery of the auto industry, and also promoted his proposed reforms to the financial sector.

"In the absence of common-sense rules, Wall Street firms took enormous, irresponsible risks that imperiled our financial system - and hurt just about every sector of our economy. Some people simply forgot that behind every dollar traded or leveraged, there is family looking to buy a house, pay for an education, open a business, or save for retirement," said Obama. "That's why I went to New York City this week and addressed an audience that included leaders in the financial industry. And I once again called for reforms to hold Wall Street accountable and to protect consumers. These reforms would put an end - once and for all - to taxpayer bailouts. They would bring greater transparency to complex financial dealings. And they will empower ordinary consumers and shareholders in our financial system."

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Nevada Democrats today held a protest outside Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden's campaign office in Reno, over her suggestion that people can lower their health care costs by using the barter system with their doctor.

Lowden first suggested barter as a good way to lower health care costs two weeks ago. She spelled it out further this past Monday. "Let's change the system and talk about what the possibilities are. I'm telling you that this works," Lowden said. "You know, before we all started having health care, in the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor. They would say I'll paint your house."

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Vice President Biden predicted today that the economy will add between 100,000-200,000 jobs next month, and between 250,000-500,000 jobs per month in time thereafter.

Biden made his comments while campaigning for Mark Critz, the Democratic nominee in the May 18 special election for the House seat in Pennsylvania formerly held by the late Democratic Rep. John Murtha. "All in all we're going to be creating somewhere between 100 and 200,000 jobs next month, I predict," Biden said, according to the pool report from the Pittsburg Tribune-Review.

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Senate candidate Sue Lowden (R-NV) has been catching flak for for promoting the idea that people could barter for health care, as an alternative to health insurance. Now the local Nevada media has taken up the story, finding two local doctors who do indeed negotiate low prices or even barter transactions.

Lowden first suggested bartering would be a good way to lower health care costs two weeks ago. She has not backed down, and even spelled it out further this past Monday. "Let's change the system and talk about what the possibilities are. I'm telling you that this works," Lowden said. "You know, before we all started having health care, in the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor. They would say I'll paint your house."

And as it turns out, some doctors actually do engage in this practice.

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President Obama thoroughly scoured files of Supreme Court nominee shortlisters in 2009, and is getting his reading in now as he considers contenders for the latest vacancy.

Staff work is going on behind the scenes as chief counsel Bob Bauer and his team prepared thick documents with research on potential nominees. An official told me that staff is reaching out to "a broad cross-section" outside groups such as the American Constitution Society and other judicial advocacy organizations as a sort of listening tour. Obama also huddled with the top judiciary panel members and Senate leaders this week before starting a phone call blitz to Democrats and Republicans on the committee.

Aides say advocacy group lobbying won't influence Obama, and that he wants to drill down into his research files on his own. He likes to do such reading late at night in his White House study. He's likely to bring some material on his nominees with him to read this weekend as he vacations with his family in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina.

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We told you earlier about the tireless -- and often fruitless -- efforts of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) to find a scandal to stick to the Obama administration. Well, today he had some luck.

It's not the Pentagon Papers, but SEC inspector general David Kotz just announced on Fox News that he will launch an internal investigation into whether there was improper coordination with the White House over the recent decision to file a lawsuit against Goldman Sachs. "We need to understand what led to the decision to announce or bring the case on that day," Kotz told Neil Cavuto. "See if there was any undue influence involved and so we'll look very carefully to investigate that and see what we determine."

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Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) sent a letter to President Obama today regarding Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's signing of a controversial immigration bill. Grijalva's press release, with excerpts from the letter, is below:

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today sent a letter to President Obama calling on him to exercise his "authority to limit [federal] cooperation with Arizona officials in their enforcement of SB 1070," a bill signed into law earlier today by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer that forces local police to question anyone they "reasonably suspect" to be an illegal immigrant.

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Gov. Janice Brewer (R-AZ) this afternoon signed the controversial immigration bill passed by the state legislature.

"For weeks this legislation has been subject of vigorous debate and intense criticism, and my decision to sign was by no means made lightly," she said after signing.

"Though many people disagree, I firmly believe it represents what's best for Arizona," she added. "There's no higher priority than protecting the citizens of Arizona. We cannot sacrifice our safety to the murderous greed of drug cartels."

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The American Family Association's Bryan Fischer hasn't been shy about bashing Muslims in the military. So maybe it's no surprise that he has something to say about Rev. Franklin Graham being uninvited to the National Day of Prayer at the Pentagon after concerns were raised about Graham's earlier comments that Islam is an "evil" religion.

But Fischer really lost it this time.

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Here are the line-ups for the Sunday talk shows this weekend:

• ABC, This Week: White House Economic Adviser Austan Goolsbee, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN).

• CBS, Face The Nation: National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers.

• CNN, State Of The Union: Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

• Fox News Sunday: National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Co-Chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.

• NBC, Meet The Press: Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL).

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