Archive for February, 2012



24
Feb
12

evening all

Irish TV, February 24

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President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt of Denmark talk at the end of their bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, Feb. 24, 2012. Pictured, from left, are: Christian Kettel Thomsen, Permanent Secretary of State; Peter Taksoe-Jensen, Ambassador of Denmark to the United States; Liz Sherwood-Randall, Senior Director for European Affairs; and Bill Moeller, Director for Central European Affairs. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Link

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The Guardian: Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney’s much-heralded economic speech flopped Friday, overshadowed by a gaffe over luxury Cadillacs and his choice of an over-ambitious venue….

Romney opened himself up to derision for choosing a 70,000-seat stadium which attracted just over 1,000 people, many of them school children bussed in to help fill out the crowd, tucked into a corner of the astro-turf pitch….

The speech too turned out to be a flop …. It will be the picture of the near-empty stadium, contrasting with a much fuller one when Barack Obama was campaigning in February 2008, that will be remembered.

…. his words echoed round the empty stadium seats. He was not helped by the near-silence, winning only an occasional round of applause. At one point, having made a joke about the reluctance of children to leave home, only a handful of people in the audience laughed, an embarrassing response that the empty stadium amplified.

… In an attempt to ingratiate himself in the motor capital of America and undo some of the damage caused by a call in 2008 to let the car industry go bankrupt rather than be bailed out by the federal government, he listed cars owned by himself and his wife Ann.

He would be a president who loves cars, he said. “I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit-made automobiles. I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pick-up truck. Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually. And I used to have a Dodge truck, so I used to have all three covered.” …. It is a mistake on par with his $10,000 bet in a televised debate with Texas governor Rick Perry.

Full article here

Steve Benen

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Steve Benen: Paul Krugman argued today that Mitt Romney “is running a campaign of almost pathological dishonesty.” That need not be considered hyperbole.

Indeed, Greg Sargent added this morning that Romney’s “falsehoods and all around dissembling” may be designed to “simply wear reporters and commentators down by trafficking in them so heavily that they throw up their hands and give up on trying to track or debunk them.”

But I remain undeterred…..

Full post here

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The Week

Nick Anderson

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Thanks Linda

Front page ad on the Detroit Free Press website today

How smart is that? ;-)

24
Feb
12

how to deal with a teabagger

Don’t think I ever posted this before, it’s an ‘exchange’ between Irish politician Michael D Higgins and that Tea Party-loving hatemonger radio guy Michael Graham on Irish radio from May 2010.

Don’t miss the last 5 seconds ;-)

You can hear the full 21 minute interview here, if you’re interested.

Michael D Higgins was elected President of Ireland last year.

President Barack Obama presents a 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom to former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, Aug. 12, 2009

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Back later, chat away.

24
Feb
12

welcome ‘home’ willard

United Auto Workers union member Pat Peralta holds a sign during a protest rally against Mitt Romney, who is making a campaign stop at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan, February 24

mlive.com

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You can watch Willard’s speech in the PACKED stadium here (12:0 ET)

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Watch how those 65,000 people can barely control their excitement in anticipation of Willard’s arrival:

And watch how they erupt when he appears – Mitt Mania!

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Freep.com: It won’t be hard to fit 1,200 members of the Detroit Economic Club into 65,000-seat Ford Field for today’s speech by GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

What will be hard is making it look like Romney isn’t speaking to a nearly empty stadium.

The Romney campaign and the Economic Club think they’ve solved the problem. The guests will be seated at one end of the playing surface, roughly between the end zone and the 30-yard line, while Romney will speak from a stage in front of them.

More here

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Thanks for the Mitt pic Lamh!

24
Feb
12

rise and shine

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Comedian Bill Maher announced last night that he will donate one million dollars to President Obama’s re-election campaign.  At the end of his groundbreaking comedy special, “CrazyStupidPolitics: Live from Silicon Valley,” which streamed live on Yahoo!, Bill brought out a check, making a personal donation of one million dollars to Obama’s Super PAC, Priorities USA Action. He explained that having a country governed by Barack Obama rather than any of the Republican candidates is “worth a million dollars” and that in his own financial interests, “this is the wisest investment I think I could make.” He also encouraged other wealthy liberals to do the same and give until it hurts.

More at Mediaite

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Washington Post (Editorial): Run to the extreme in the primary, move to the center in the fall: That’s expected. But moving from the cartoon world the Republican presidential candidates have constructed back into three dimensions might prove more difficult.

In their debate Wednesday night, the remaining candidates seemed to be continuing their drift from reality – the reality of a center-right electorate they propose to woo and govern, and of the complexities of the problems they promise to solve.

…. From his perch of thorough hypocrisy – Paul is a master earmarker who preserves his purity by voting against appropriations bills he knows will pass – the Texas congressman declared: “I don’t accept that form of government.”

And, of Santorum, “He is a fake.” No, what’s fake is the two-dimensional canvas they’re presenting to voters.

Full editorial here

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TPM: Mitt Romney’s got a problem. Purple Strategies released their “Purple Poll” on Thursday, data from twelve swing states … “His favorable ratings are just atrocious,” Doug Usher, a managing partner at Purple Strategies said. “You can’t be sitting on 27 percent favorability in the general,” the level Romney is at in their new numbers.

“The best thing that Mitt Romney could actually do is actually run a campaign that said something,” Bruce Haynes, one of the founding partners of Purples Strategies and a veteran of GOP campaigns, told TPM. “It’s a Seinfeld campaign. It’s a campaign about nothing….”

More here

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Robert Shrum: Mitt Romney is pandering so desperately to the far-right fringe that he’s become all but unelectable in November …. As he demonstrated in this debate, he’s so desperate to pander his way to the nomination that he’s making it increasingly worthless.

This may do for the primary – it may be essential – but it’s a disaster in the making for the fall campaign. Romney’s cynical hope has to be that his shape-shifting will convince voters he doesn’t really mean this stuff. He can pray that his character weakness is his saving grace – that his reputation for lying about his beliefs will pull him back from the edge of a gender gap that will otherwise pose an unbridgeable barrier to the White House. The longer the primaries drag on, and the more he has to profess his hostility to women’s rights, the less likely it is that he can ever convince the majority who are women to take a chance on him.

…. From Oklahoma to Ohio, which both vote on March 6, and then onto Wisconsin and across the Midwest, Romney is well behind Santorum in the polls. He will have to keep pandering – and above all, right now, he has to win Michigan.

In the Arizona debate, he may have staunched his bleeding in the primaries, but he opened his veins for November.

Full article here

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Martin Bashir: “Newt Gingrich said he’s going to take oil prices down to $2 or $2.50 – the only thing that Newt Gingrich is very skilled at doing is taking his underpants down in the form of the number of adulteries that this man commits.”

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Steve Rattner (NYT): …. As a presidential aspirant, Mr. Romney evidently hasn’t felt a need to be consistent or specific as to what should have been done to address the collapse of the auto industry starting in late 2008. But the gist is that the government should have stayed on the sidelines and allowed the companies to go through what he calls “managed bankruptcies,” financed by private capital.

That sounds like a wonderfully sensible approach – except that it’s utter fantasy. In late 2008 and early 2009, when G.M. and Chrysler had exhausted their liquidity, every scrap of private capital had fled to the sidelines.

I know this because the administration’s auto task force, for which I was the lead adviser, spoke diligently to all conceivable providers of funds, and not one had the slightest interest in financing those companies on any terms. If Mr. Romney disagrees, he should come forward with specific names of willing investors in place of empty rhetoric. I predict that he won’t be able to, because there aren’t any.

Full article here

Thanks Africa

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A source tells National Confidential that 26 American cars will be arranged by the United Auto Workers to echo Mitt Romney’s infamous “let Detroit go bankrupt” op-ed when he visits Ford Field on Friday. The cars will be on top of a parking garage right across from Ford Field where Romney will be giving a speech to the Detroit Economic Club.

More here

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The Week

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Morning everyone ;-)

23
Feb
12

evening all

People reach out to grasp hands with President Obama after he spoke at the University of Miami, February 23

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Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Fla

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First Lady Michelle Obama views The Slave Pen exhibit while touring the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, Feb. 23. Pictured, from left, are: Dina Bailey, Associate Curator of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center; Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory; Verna Williams; and Allison Singleton. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

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Friday:

11:15 AM: PBO attends the Democratic Governors’ Association meeting.

3:00 PM: PBO holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt of Denmark.

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More photos from Miami:

Denver Post

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ThinkProgress

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Greg Sargent: It’s becoming clearer and clearer that the auto bailout will be central to Campaign 2012’s argument over government and the economy, and Pew Research releases some striking numbers….

The latest national survey …finds that 56% say the loans the government made to GM and Chrysler were mostly good for the economy, while 38% say the loans to the automakers were mostly bad for the economy.

Opinion about the auto loans has reversed since October 2009. At that time, just 37% said the loans were mostly good for the economy while 54% expressed negative views…..

…. independents think the auto bailout was good for the economy by a wide margin, 54-40. Even moderate/liberal Republicans agree, 57-39. And Pew tells me that non-college-degree whites – a key swing constituency that will be pivotal in the Rust Belt states – also agree, 51-40.

More here

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Mother Jones

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ThinkProgress: Earlier this month, the nation was barraged with media coverage of the Catholic Bishops’ opposition to regulations promulgated under the Affordable Care Act protecting working women’s access to contraception. The loudness of the bishops’ complaints ….  easily could have conveyed the misimpression that churches and other religious groups are at odds with the Affordable Care Act.

On Friday, however, a broad coalition of religious organizations filed an amicus brief supporting the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion that should give the lie to any claim that the faith community opposes the ACA …. the brief’s signatories include a wide range of Catholic groups….

More here

Thanks Loriah

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ThinkProgress: As further proof that conservative efforts to paint President Obama as the enemy of religion are a red herring, nearly two dozen leading Catholic nuns filed a brief in the Supreme Court last week supporting the president’s signature legislative accomplishment. The Catholic sisters who joined the brief include the leaders of many prominent religious orders providing health care and other services to the needy…

More here

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Full interview here

Thanks CTGirl

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Thanks Edwina

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The Clowns:

Esquire

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Get your iPhone case – now!

23
Feb
12

pete souza & chuck kennedy? magic.

…. with St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman after welcoming the team to the White House to honor their 2011 World Series victory, Jan. 17

….. greeting neighbors outside the home of William and Endia Eason in Cleveland, Ohio, Jan. 4

….  during the flight on Marine One to Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill., Jan. 11

….. greeting Tuskeegee Airmen in the East Garden Room of the White House prior to a screening of the film “Red Tails” in the Family Theater, Jan. 13

….. watching a performance backstage with iCarly cast members prior to an iCarly screening at Hayfield Secondary School in Alexandria, Va., Jan. 13

Jan. 27

… boarding Marine One for departure from Cambridge-Dorchester Airport in Cambridge, Md., Jan. 27

First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a potato sack race with Jimmy Fallon in the East Room of the White House, Jan. 25

…. signing items for Make-A-Wish child Rafael Mullet during a visit in the Oval Office, Jan. 25

….. with students at Parklawn Elementary School in Alexandria, Va., Jan. 25

…. hugging Rep. Gabrielle Giffords before delivering the State of the Union address, Jan. 24

How did I miss these, they were posted on Flickr a week ago :???:

More photos here

23
Feb
12

university of miami (updated)

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The University of Miami, February 23

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Touring the Industrial Assessment Center at the University of Miami

23
Feb
12

miami heat …. fired up

23
Feb
12

florida flyer

An unidentified guest holds up a poster of President Barack Obama as Superman as they watch him depart on Marine One helicopter on the South Lawn at the White House as he travels to Florida.




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