Obama agenda: Celebrating Cordray’s confirmation

“President Obama celebrates a legislative victory Wednesday,” USA Today writes. “The president makes remarks on Tuesday's confirmation of Richard Cordray, director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”

USA Today: “While President Obama once called for an immigration bill by August, he is now acknowledging that nothing will happen until after summer. Obama told Telemundo's Denver affiliate that August ‘was originally my hope and my goal,’ but too many House Republicans are balking at the comprehensive bill the Senate passed.”

Obama also said he wants a path to citizenship included: "It does not make sense to me, if we're gonna make this once in a generation effort to finally fix the system, to leave the status of 11 million people or so unresolved, and certainly for us to have two classes of people in this country, full citizens, and people who are permanently resigned to a lower status. I think that's not who we are as Americans. That's never been our tradition."

Perry Bacon: “A day after the Trayvon Martin verdict, President Obama issued a carefully-phrased, 166-word statement expressing his sadness for the Martin family and urging ‘calm reflection’ from people angered by the decision. Senior administration aides played down the idea that the nation’s first black president would use the case as a way to start some broader dialogue on race in America. The next day, one of the administration’s other key black figures emerged publicly. And just as in 2009, when he cast America as a ‘nation of cowards’ unwilling to discuss race, or last year, when he likened Republican-sponsored voter ID laws to the Jim Crow-era, he was ready to say much more on a controversial issue that touched on race than the president. Attorney General Eric Holder effectively called for the kind of racial discussion the White House didn’t embrace.”

For all the political sunny talk about recovery after Sandy by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and President Obama, read this USA Today piece on the continued post-Sandy struggles. “Nine months have passed since that evening when Bobby and Pamela Vazquez survived the harrowing experience. Nine months of trying to loosen the vise that the storm has had on every aspect of their lives — their physical, emotional and mental state, their finances and, ultimately, their future. Nine months of battling depression, uncertainty, loss and guilt. … As summer welcomes people back to the Jersey Shore, rebuilding has been slow but steady. Yet the Vazquezes, like thousands of others who lost homes, remain in limbo. The storm caused $7.8 billion in insured commercial and residential losses in New Jersey. About 82,000 homes sustained damage, according to the state's Department of Community Affairs. Of those, 56,000 suffered major or severe damage, and of those, a little more than 40,000 were owner-occupied primary residences. The Vazquezes have been trying to rebuild their lives with no possessions, limited savings and no permanent place to live. Homeowners insurance did not cover flooding. They were paid nothing.”

(Full disclosure: The town featured is four miles from where one of your First Read authors lived.)

A National Journal poll finds 67% of people support the Keystone XL pipeline.

By the way… “An ever-expanding amount of the nation's medical records — millions of prescriptions, medical reports and appointment reminders — are now computerized and part of an ambitious electronic medical records program, the Obama administration reports,” USA Today reports. “Since the start of a 2011 program in which the government helps finance new health records systems, doctors or their assistants have filled more than 190 million prescriptions electronically, according to data provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.”

The EPA will soon be the Clinton building.