Archive for February 8th, 2012

08
Feb
12

evening all

ABC: President Obama “reinforced” his stance on the controversial contraception mandate while speaking at the Democrats’ annual retreat at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. today, Senate Democrats said.

Following President Obama’s speech at the retreat, a small group of Senate Democrats, mostly women, left the retreat early in order to hold a news conference on Capitol Hill to counter the Republicans’ news conference today at which they called for the mandate to be overturned.

Democrats said they will “fight strongly” to keep the mandate in place …. “It’s time to tell Republicans ‘mind your own business,’” said Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. ”Ideology should never be used to block women from getting the care they need to lead healthier lives.

More here

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Michelle Goldberg (Daily Beast): Mitt Romney has been railing again the Obama administration’s refusal to exempt Catholic-affiliated institutions like hospitals and universities from its mandate that health insurance cover contraception …. Perhaps no one told him that such rules were in place in Massachusetts the entire time he was governor, because as far as I’ve been able to tell, he never raised a word of objection then.

…. many Catholic institutions are already operating in states that require contraceptive coverage, such as New York and California. Such laws are on the books in 28 states, and only eight of them exempt Catholic hospitals and universities. Nowhere has the Catholic Church shut down in response.

…. Nationwide, major Catholic universities including Fordham, Georgetown, and DePaul all offer birth-control coverage. So does Dignity Health, until recently known as Catholic Healthcare West, the fifth-largest health system in the country. In Massachusetts, the six former Caritas Christi Catholic hospitals, which were recently acquired by Steward Health Care System, all complied with the state law.

…. The Obama administration, then, was acting in line with several longstanding state and federal precedents when it issued these new regulations, something that’s been totally obscured amid all the caterwauling we’ve heard in response….

Full post here

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Michael Tomasky (Daily Beast): Seriously? He lost to Santorum? …. At this point, it’s fair to start questioning how Romney can really unite this party behind him eventually and make people enthusiastic about him. It sure doesn’t look, on the evidence of last night, like he’ll seriously be able to compete with Obama in Colorado or Minnesota. Even Missouri, which Obama lost by 0.1 percent last time, looks problematic for him right now.

But the Romney contests to watch in some ways aren’t against Obama or Santorum or Newt Gingrich, but against himself and against history – his numbers, and the overall turnout numbers, from last time. If he doesn’t show impressively in Arizona and Michigan on Feb. 28, GOP power brokers are really going to start wondering what they’ve bought into.

More here

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USA Today: President Obama will sign the last piece of legislation sponsored by former representative Gabrielle Giffords on Friday, the White House announced today.

The Arizona Democrat and her husband, Mark Kelly, as well as Vice President Biden will be on hand in the Oval Office for the signing. The legislation gives law enforcement greater authority to combat drug trafficking between the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders.

The bill was the last piece of legislation that Giffords voted on before she resigned on Jan. 25 …

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with members of the national security team on Afghanistan and Pakistan, in the Situation Room of the White House, Feb. 8, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Sun Times: First Lady Michelle Obama to embark on three day national tour celebrating second anniversary of Let’s Move!

Thursday: Des Moines, Iowa / Little Rock, Arkansas / Fort Worth, Texas

Friday: Dallas, Texas / Homestead, Florida / Orlando, Florida

Saturday: Longwood, Florida / Orlando, Florida

More here

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08
Feb
12

for our friends here…..

In case you missed BWD’s comment last night, she was involved in a car crash a few days ago – it was a horrible experience that has left her badly shaken. I know BWD loves this video, so this is for her – look after yourself, get strong soon friend.

Love, too, to QuietObserver whose Dad is battling ill-health, as are Fred and HZ. And Sam UK, this is a tough time for you too, we’re thinking of you.

08
Feb
12

catching up

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Steve Benen: …. The Romney camp will very likely spin the results as a momentary setback, little more than a speed bump on the road to Tampa. That may even prove to be true. But given Santorum’s clean sweep yesterday, Romney will now be forced to confront something he’d desperately hoped to avoid: doubt.

Romney’s been able to convince party officials and activists to overlook his weaknesses as a candidate – his flip-flops, his layoff-driven riches, his out-of-touch gaffes – because he was their inevitable nominee. But after Santorum’s hat trick, Republicans are likely to pause and consider just how strong a candidate Romney really is. Those aren’t the kind of questions the former governor wanted to hear at this stage in the process, and he may not like the answers.

The road to the GOP nomination just got a little longer.

Full post here

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Greg Sargent: They don’t like him. They really don’t like him.

…. The loss of Colorado, which should have been a lock for Romney, is particularly interesting: The state will be key in the general election…

…. I continue to wonder whether Romney’s weaknesses as a general election candidate have been papered over by the far more glaring weaknesses of his rivals. Republicans may look at yesterday’s results and see that paper peeling back a bit.

More here

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TPM

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Kevin Drum: President Obama has publicly condemned the Citizens United decision and has publicly opposed the role of Super PACs in campaign finance. Recently, though, he signed off on a plan to actively support Priorities USA Action….

Is this hypocritical of Obama? For the thousandth time, no, no, no. The playing field is the playing field, and once a public policy has been legally put in place you’d be a sap not to play by the same rules as everyone else….

More here

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The Week

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Charles Pierce: Yesterday on the blog, we discussed the appearance on my man Chuck Todd’s Daily Rundown program of a certain George Weigel, alleged Catholic public intellectual and full-time fluffer of the Clan of The Red Beanie.

…. In arguing for the existence of some mythical “Catholic backlash” to the Obama administration’s decision to require that contraception be included in any health plans sanctioned under the Affordable Care Act, Weigel said the following:

“This has struck a tribal nerve in Catholicism. The Catholic Church has been beaten up over the last 10 or 11 years and I think Catholics are tired of the government and others beating up on the church.”

Holy mother of god, to coin a phrase …. The Church has been “beaten up” over the last 10 or 12 years because, at its highest possible echelons, it functioned as an international conspiracy to obstruct justice regarding the crime of sexual assault … Most Catholics I know don’t believe the Church has taken a beating over the last decade; in fact, they believe a lot of ermined layabouts haven’t gotten half of what they deserve.

More here

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;-)

08
Feb
12

rise and shine

Morning everyone. I’m verrrrrrrrrrry late getting started today, give me an hour and I’ll catch up ;-)




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