President Barack Obama talks with Counsel to the President Kathryn Ruemmler in the Oval Office, July 19, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Steve Benen: I don’t have high hopes for the legislation – the House majority is still the House majority – but the Obama White House’s support for the Respect For Marriage Act is the latest in a series of encouraging steps on civil rights….
…. it’s a heartening piece that fits into a larger mosaic. After two-and-a-half years, President Obama has successfully repealed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law; expanded federal benefits for the same-sex partners of executive-branch employees; signed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law; cleared the way for hospital-visitation rights for same-sex couples; lifted the travel/immigration ban on those with HIV/AIDS; ordered the Federal Housing Authority to no longer consider the sexual orientation of applicants on loans; expanded the Census to include the number of people who report being in a same-sex relationship; and hired more openly gay officials than any administration in history…….
….I realize there are still a sizable number of people in the LGBT community who are unsatisfied with the pace of change, and consider President Obama someone who has ignored, and even betrayed, their interests. Some have even vowed not to lift a finger to help with the president’s re-election effort.
I suspect many social-conservative activists, furious with the steps Obama has already taken to advance civil rights for the LGBT community, must find this inexplicable.
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Even GreenBeck is waving a white flag, abandoning his ‘Obama is a homophobe!’ hysteria. You can almost sense his despondency:
President Obama walks to the podium to give an update on the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations at the White House, July 19
Washington Post: Virtually all health insurance plans could soon be required to offer female patients free coverage of prescription birth control, breast-pump rentals, counseling for domestic violence, and annual wellness exams and HIV tests as a result of recommendations released Tuesday by an independent advisory panel of health experts.
The health-care law adopted last year directed the Obama administration to draw up a list of preventive services for women that all new health plans must cover without deductibles or co-payments. While the guidelines suggested Tuesday by a committee of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine are not binding, the panel conducted its year-long review at the request of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Full article here
MSNBC: …. most Americans want their political leaders to compromise rather stand their ground, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
…. nearly six in 10 favor President Barack Obama’s proposal to lower the federal deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years by cutting federal spending, raising tax revenue from the wealthy and reducing some Medicare spending.
By comparison, only about a third of respondents prefer the House Republican proposal to reduce the deficit by $2.5 trillion over 10 years through cutting spending alone and not raising additional revenues.
….. As far as the differing approaches to raise the debt ceiling, 58 percent favor Obama’s approach to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years by cutting spending, increasing revenue through taxing the wealthy and lowering Medicare’s spending. Meanwhile, 36 percent support the House Republican proposal to reduce the deficit by $2.5 trillion through only spending cuts.
The poll also makes clear that the public is more open to raising taxes to balance the budget than it is making cuts and changes to entitlement programs.
Sixty-two percent support raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy if that’s the only way to get a debt-ceiling agreement in Congress. But 52 percent say they oppose making changes and cuts in Social Security and Medicare if that’s the only way to get an agreement.
…. Obama leads former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by seven points in a hypothetical 2012 general-election match up, 48 percent to 41 percent. And he leads Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., by 15 points, 50 percent to 35 percent.
ABC: ….By a wide 59-26 percent, the public sees congressional Republicans as more concerned than Obama with protecting the economic interests of Wall Street financial institutions, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds. Americans even more broadly, by 67-24 percent, put the GOP ahead when it comes to looking out for the interests of large business corporations.
The tables turn – albeit with much narrower margins – on other measures. Obama leads the GOP by 18 points in looking out for middle-class Americans, 53-35 percent. He also has a 10-point advantage, 47-37 percent, as being more concerned with the economic interests of “you and your family.” And he leads by 9 points, 48-39 percent, on protecting small businesses.
The president’s advantage on small businesses is particularly notable, given the GOP’s efforts to portray his policies as damaging to small-business job creation. While Republicans are fully aboard, independents, the linchpin of national politics, say by 46-39 percent that Obama cares more than GOP leaders about the economic interests of small businesses, a fairly close call but with a tilt in the president’s direction.
This poll finds that Obama also leads among independents by 19 points on aiding the middle class, 52-33 percent, and by 11 points as caring more about the economic interests of and “you and your family.”
lodinews: James Henderson was so dismayed that his class lacked enough pencils and paper that he wrote to someone he felt could do something about it.
His principal at Leroy Nichols Elementary School? No.
The Lodi Unified School District board? Too small a government.
Maybe the governor? Still not big enough.
James went straight to the President of the United States of America – and President Barack Obama wrote back.
….In his letter, Henderson told President Obama that he didn’t see how the government could continue to cut education funding when they lacked even the basics.
“I told him they were spending a lot more money on other things than school supplies,” Henderson said. “He told me people like me could change the country.”
The student thinks that could be the case if he puts his mind to it and follows his goals, he said, adding that receiving Obama’s letter was a great honor.
Full article here
What a waste of a foam pie: