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Sorry I'm a little late tonight. Here's some Obama news.
First, President Obama announced government meat purchases of about $170 Million to help farmers struck by drought:
The purchase of as much as $100 million of pork, $50 million of chicken, and $10 million each of lamb and catfish come on top of $30 million in assistance announced last week. Farmers and ranchers are struggling with the worst combination of heat and dryness since the 1950s, the administration said.Second, the addition of Paul Ryan to the Republican ticket has opened up not only attacks on the Ryan Budget but also a clear attack on the Republican House that is extremely unpopular with Americans. We saw "Give-Em Hell" Barack smacking Romney/Ryan hard today in Iowa.
Obama said he also directed the Defense Department to speed up purchases and hold the meat for later use. The buying will help farmers, and the government will get a better price on products than if they were bought later, he said.
“We’ll freeze it for later -- but we’ve got a lot of freezers,” Obama told supporters in Council Bluffs as he kicked off a three-day visit to Iowa, a swing state that is also the country’s leading producer of pork, soybeans, corn and ethanol. “That will help ranchers, you know, who are going through tough times right now.”
Right now folks here in Iowa and across the heartland are suffering from one of the worst droughts in 50 years. Farmers and ranchers depend on a good crop season to pay the bills and put a roof over their heads, and I know that things are tough right now. The best way to help these states is for leaders in Congress to pass a farm bill that not only helps farmers and ranchers respond to natural disasters, but also makes necessary reforms and gives them some long-term certainty.TPM: Obama Casts Ryan As Face Of Do-Nothing Congress
But right now, too many members of Congress are blocking that bill from becoming law. Now, I’m told Governor Romney’s new running mate might be around Iowa these next few days. And he’s one of those leaders of Congress standing in the way. So if you happen to see Congressman Ryan, tell him how important this farm bill is to Iowa and our rural communities. It’s time to put politics aside and pass it right away.
Third, more from the Council Bluffs Iowa speech:
What’s holding us back right now is Washington politics.Transcript Editors
THE PRESIDENT: You’ve got folks on the other side who think "compromise" is a dirty word, and whose main idea is to go back to the same old top-down economics that got us into this mess in the first place.
This weekend, my opponent, Mr. Romney, chose as his running mate the ideological leader of the Republicans in Congress. And I've got to tell you, I know Congressman Ryan. He's a good man, he's a family man. He is an articulate spokesman for Governor Romney’s vision. But the problem is that vision is one that I fundamentally disagree with. (Applause.)
Governor Romney and his allies in Congress, they think that if we just get rid of more regulations on big corporations and give more tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, if we end Medicare as we know it, make it a voucher system, then somehow this is all going to lead to jobs and prosperity for everybody.
AUDIENCE: Booo --
THE PRESIDENT: The centerpiece of Mr. Romney’s entire economic plan is a new $5 trillion tax cut, a lot of it going to the very wealthiest Americans.
AUDIENCE: Booo --
THE PRESIDENT: Last week, an independent study -- not by me, but by independent economists -- said that Governor Romney's plan would actually raise taxes on middle-class families with children by an average of $2,000 apiece.
AUDIENCE: Booo --
THE PRESIDENT: Now, this wouldn't be done -- not to reduce the deficit. It's not going to be done to create jobs or put folks back to work rebuilding our roads or bridges or schools. This is you guys paying an extra $2,000 to give another $250,000 tax cut to folks who are making more than $3 million a year.
THE PRESIDENT: Does this sound familiar to you? They have tried to sell us this trickle-down theory before. And guess what -- every time it's been tried it has not worked. It did not work then; it won’t work now. It won't create jobs. It won't lower our deficit. It is not a plan to move our economy forward. We do not need more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans -- we need tax relief for working families. (Applause.)
You need tax relief -- folks who are trying to raise kids and keep them healthy and put a roof over their heads and send them to college. And that’s the choice in this election. That’s the reason I’m running again.
Finally, President Obama calls the Mars Rover team at NASA:
"If in fact you do make contact with martians, please let me know right away," joked Obama between his trademark stammers, some awkward silences and a self-promotional winning-the-future speech. "Because uh... I've got a lot of other things on my plate, but I suspect that that will go to the top of the list. Even if they're just microbes, it will be pretty exciting."LA Weekly
He also took the time to recognize Bobak Ferdowski, the Internet's all-time favorite land astronaut:
"I understand there's a special mohawk guy that's working on the mission?" said the president. "You know, he seems to have been one of the many stars of the show last Sunday night. And I in the past thought about getting a mohawk myself. My team keeps on discouraging me. Now that he's received marriage proposals and thousands of new Twitter followers, I think that I'm going to go back to my team and see if it makes sense."
Obligatory giggles from the control room only egged him on.
"It does sound like NASA has come a long way from the white shirt, dark-rimmed glasses and the pocketbook," said Obama. "You guys are a little cooler than you used to be."
That's the Obama news for tonight. Fired Up and Ready to Go!
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