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Hello

End of the weekend quick mishmash ahead. Have a good week, everyone.

While watching his weekly address from yesterday - i could swear i heard president Obama chuckles just a little bit when talking about John Boehner' nonsense - around the 3.40 mark. But it was only after seeing that Steve Benen heard it too, that i could be sure. At the very least i'm not alone in hearing voices...:)
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And just for the fun, what the hell...
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Here's a terrific and completely ignored interview the president  gave to Elisabeth Leamy on Good Morning America, this past Friday.
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Financial reform law includes big cash incentives for whistle-blowers

The new financial reform law has what some lawyers call a secret weapon against fraud on Wall Street and in corporate America: the promise of a million-dollar jackpot to insiders who reveal an illegal scheme to the government.

Tucked in the massive bill is a provision that for the first time extends a concept long applied to government contracts to the private sector. It gives whistle-blowers a mandatory 10% — and as much as 30% — of what the government recoups in fines and settlements in financial fraud cases. These can include insider trading, false earnings reports and classic Ponzi schemes.

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This is very significant and will have an immediate impact," said Erika Kelton, a Washington lawyer who has represented whistle-blowers. "It will motivate knowledgeable insiders to step forward and tell the enforcement agencies what they know. It is the secret weapon in this massive bill."
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Obama: We're on track with plan to pull combat troops from Iraq in August

The U.S. is "ahead of schedule" with plans to wind down combat operations in Iraq and reduce the number of troops there from around 70,000 now to 50,000 by the end of August, the White House announced today.

Obama -- who met this week with Iraq commander Ray Odierno and ambassador Chris Hill -- also called on Iraq to hurry up and form a new government, according to a White House readout.

Here's that readout:

"The President met with Ambassador Chris Hill and General Ray Odierno in the Oval Office to discuss Iraq. The two officials provided an update on the status of Iraqi negotiations to form a new government, the security situation on the ground, and the drawdown of U.S. forces leading up to the end of our combat mission at the end of August.

Following Iraq's successful democratic election in the spring, the President shared his view that it is time for Iraq's leaders to exercise their constitutional responsibilities and form a government without delay. The President expressed his regret for the July 22 rocket attack on the international zone, but welcomed General Odierno's report that security incidents across Iraq remain at the lowest level since the U.S. has kept records. The President also welcomed General Odierno's report that we are ahead of schedule in executing our planned drawdown to 50,000 troops by the end of August....

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Obama Team Takes the Lead on LGBT Rights at the UN

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission is not the first group advocating to end discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity to win the right to be represented in major United Nations and other meetings - and to have to fight hard for that privilege. But after years of futile campaigning against a front of homophobic nations, otherwise skittish governments and the Vatican, IGLHRC last week found its most powerful ally in the Obama administration.

The US-based organization with a wide network of global partners was able to thwart the usual tactic of having its application put on indefinite hold in an accreditation committee when the US Mission to the UN forced an open vote on IGLHRC's application pending in the full Economic and Social Council, a bold move that could be a model for dealing with other stalemated human rights issues at the UN.

After eight years of Bush administration alliances with anti-gay (and anti-women's rights) forces at the UN, the Obama team has served notice that it is not only a supporter of gay advocacy groups but is also not afraid of a showdown on rights issues generally. The Human Rights Council should take note. It often takes American leadership to rally like-minded nations that may falter in their resolve.

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Obamas to vacation on Florida's Gulf Coast in Aug

President Barack Obama and his family are vacationing next month on the Gulf Coast, as they've urged other Americans to do to help the area's battered economy. The White House said the Obamas will visit the Florida coast on Aug. 14 and spend the weekend.

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Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
president Barack Obama holds a copy of the book "The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science That Could Save Your Life" by Ben Sherwood as he returns to the White House in Washington after playing golf at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Sunday, July 25 (AP)
(From Amazon: Sherwood, a writer for the L.A. Times, travels worldwide to gain insight from people who have survived a slew of near fatal phenomena ranging from a mountain lion attack to a Holocaust concentration camp, and interviewing an array of experts to understand the psychology, genetics and jumble of other little things that determines whether we live or die. Readers curious about their own survivor profile can take an Internet test, which is explained in the books later pages. Sherwoods assertion that survival is a way of perceiving the world around you is enlightening, as are some of the facts he uncovers: you have 90 seconds to leave a plane crash before the cabin temperature becomes unbearable; luck has more to do with personal perspective than chance. But Sherwoods balance of self-help, scientific theories and first-rate reporting is diminished by occasionally overwrought prose as well as the countless survivors stories, which can run together in a touchy-feely stream of faith and optimism).
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(July 21, 2010. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Originally posted to blackwaterdog on Sun Jul 25, 2010 at 03:33 PM PDT.

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