Archive for January, 2013



27
Jan
13

Chat Away

Time to dust down that Chuck Todd pic again, and the caption:

That ‘I’m trying really, really, really hard to take you seriously, you dick, but you are not making it easy’ face

Chat away, back in a while.

27
Jan
13

Rise and Shine

Interview with the President at New Republic

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Sunday: The President has no public events scheduled. (7.0 ET: The President and Hillary Clinton’s 60 Minutes interview)

Monday: The President will welcome the NBA Champions Miami Heat to the White House to honor the team and their 2012 victory

Tuesday: The President will travel to Las Vegas where he will deliver remarks. He will return to Washington, DC in the evening

Wednesday and Thursday: The President will attend meetings at the White House

Friday: The President will award 12 eminent researchers the National Medal of Science and eleven extraordinary inventors the National Medal of Technology and Innovation at the White House, the highest honors bestowed by the United States Government upon scientists, engineers, and inventors

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‏@JonHusted – Read the ChirpStory

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NYT: A brand new conservative group calling itself Americans for a Strong Defense and financed by anonymous donors is running advertisements urging Democratic senators in five states to vote against Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee to be secretary of defense, saying he would make the United States “a weaker country.”

Another freshly minted and anonymously backed organization, Use Your Mandate, which presents itself as a liberal gay rights group but purchases its television time through a prominent Republican firm, is attacking Mr. Hagel as “anti-Gay,” “anti-woman” and “anti-Israel” in ads and mailers…..

More here

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AP: Thousands of people, many holding signs with names of gun violence victims and messages such as “Ban Assault Weapons Now,” joined a rally for gun control on Saturday, marching from the Capitol to the Washington Monument.

Leading the crowd were marchers with “We Are Sandy Hook” signs, paying tribute to victims of the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Washington Mayor Vincent Gray and other city officials marched alongside them. The crowd stretched for at least two blocks along Constitution Avenue.

Participants held signs reading “Gun Control Now,” “Stop NRA” and “What Would Jesus Pack?” among other messages. Other signs were simple and white, with the names of victims of gun violence.

About 100 residents from Newtown, where a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six teachers, traveled to Washington together….

More here

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March 22, 2010 – Photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama’s statement on Sen. Tom Harkin’s announcement that he would not seek re-election:

“By the time Senator Harkin finishes his fifth term, he will have represented the people of Iowa in the United States Congress for an incredible 40 years. He has served in the U.S. Senate longer than any Democrat in Iowa’s history. During his tenure, he has fought passionately to improve quality of life for Americans with disabilities and their families, to reform our education system and ensure that every American has access to affordable health care. Senator Harkin will be missed, and Michelle and I join Iowans in thanking him for his long-standing service and wish him and his wife, Ruth, all the best in the future.”

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Moooooooorning!

26
Jan
13

Five years ago today….

Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama hug after his victory rally at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center January 26, 2008 in Columbia, South Carolina. Sen. Obama is the winner of the South Carolina Democratic primary, a critical one for him, followed by Sen. Hillary Clinton with former Sen. John Edwards coming in third.

26
Jan
13

Steve Silk Hurley: Inauguration Day Mix 2013

Thank you Africatimes, love this

RNBPhilly

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Thank you LovelyPlains

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Thank you Yardarm

26
Jan
13

Busting An Inauguration Groove

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26
Jan
13

Rise and Shine

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Michael Tomasky: The GOP Plan to Steal Elections. Republicans are proposing a radical rule change in swing states – one that would have handed Romney the election. Michael Tomasky on this jaw-dropping outrage.

….. We could toss all this information onto the ever-growing “Oh, those crazy Republicans” slag heap, have a laugh, and let it go. But this is concerted and serious. Rules, laws, customs, and norms that we have all abided by for centuries (the Electoral College and the primacy of federal law) or decades (recess appointments) have simply been producing too many outcomes conservatives don’t like. Most people, and movements, would try to change themselves so that they could maybe win under the long-agreed-upon rules. But conservatives have a cleverer way. Just make new rules. You better believe things can get worse.

Full post here

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NYT: For most of President Obama’s first term, Republicans used legislative trickery to try to prevent the functioning of two federal agencies they hate, the National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. First they would filibuster the president’s nominees ….. Then they would create fake legislative sessions for the Senate during its recess, intended solely to prevent Mr. Obama from making recess appointments as an end run.

Astonishingly, a federal appeals court upheld this strategy on Friday …. The court even broke with the presidential practice of 150 years by ruling that only vacancies arising during a narrow recess period qualify for recess appointments.

…. The situation demonstrates how dysfunctional Washington has become because of these Republican abuses….With no sign that Republicans are willing to let up on their machinations, Mr. Obama was entirely justified in using his executive power to keep federal agencies operating.

Full editorial here

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ThinkProgress: Conservatives are outraged over Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s decision to lift the ban on women in combat … CNN’s Soledad O’Brien caught one such critic [Professor Kingsley Browne] off guard …..

O’BRIEN: I’m going to read a little bit from this colonel who said this: ‘The army is not a sociological laboratory; to be effective it must be organized and trained according to the principles which will ensure success…Experiments are a danger to efficiency, discipline and morale and would result in ultimate defeat.’

BROWNE: I think that that’s true….

O’BRIEN: That was from a guy in 1941. And that argument was about not allowing black people in the military….

See video at link

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President Obama will on Friday, February 1, bestow the National Medal of Science upon 12 researchers and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation upon eleven inventors, in a ceremony at the White House. The awards are the nation’s highest in science and technology. See the list of award winners here

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Love this:

A clean-up crew wave to President Obama at the end of the parade (Stephen Crowley, New York Times)

You’ll note Crowley – a professional – failed, unlike some Inauguration photographers I could mention, to capture any actual horse manure in his image. Just saying:

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MoooOOOooOOOooorning!

25
Jan
13

“Most singular piece of partisan hackery… since Scalia picked president”

Charles Pierce: The next time I hear some lefty mooing about the president’s having let down the side on something or another, it better be about something of substance, like the Keystone XL pipeline, or I’m going to boot said lefty’s hindquarters in the general direction of the federal appeals court of the District Of Columbia, which today laid down the most singular piece of partisan hackery to come out of a court since Antonin Scalia picked the previous president.

…. This, children, is what you get when you operate politically under the theory that They’re All The Same. You get 20 or 30 years of primarily Republican judges acting primarily as Republicans, drawn from the legal chop-shops in the conservative movement bubble, and doing their partisan duty like performing seals.

David Sentelle would be the one in the center ring with the ball on his nose ….  This is a guy who thinks the NLRB itself is constitutionally illegitimate….

…. Three decades of this, and what you get are decisions like the one that was handed down today. Tell me again how it never mattered.

Full post here

Pierce at his very best, make sure you click the link.

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On a more joyous note:

Photo of the day: The President runs with new WH Chief of Staff Denis McDonough’s kids on the White House colonnade (Pete Souza)

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A short clip from 60 Minutes:

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Happy Australia Day to 99ts and all our O(z)bots!

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25
Jan
13

VC in DC

(No, this isn’t VC …. at least, I don’t think it is)

by VC

I never thought I’d see the day when I’m forced to admit that some experiences defy words. I’ll try to share, though I make no promises I can convey my inner feelings.

On Sunday, at the ‘T’ meet-up I ‘won gold’! Two tickets to a section of the action for which you had to be ‘vetted’! Who would have thunk that *I* would look forward to being patted and ‘wanded’ and having my purse pawed through? :???:

But look forward I did. Can you imagine how it feels to get a surprise gift that puts you closer to SEEing President Obama and family, VP Joe and family, Nancy Smash et al, than you had ever dreamed of being? Of being in the midst of the action even though you hate crowds? My ‘win’ brought me the experience of having a dream I never dared dream in earnest, fulfilled! I was going to the Inauguration!

(Nancy spots an old friend in Georgetown)

I went out to supper with Theo and her mom at a posh restaurant (at least for me it was) in the heart of Georgetown after meeting with the ‘T’ crowd. As alluded to earlier, I saw Nancy Smash up-close and personal. Sadly, just like some of you, she didn’t recognize me. [It must have been the little bit of makeup I tried* to add to my features. (* = don’t ask).]

(DC, Inauguration morning)

Inauguration morning was fresh, cool, invigorating and pregnant with expectation and promise. I say fresh because the morning was ‘new’, the air sharp, and also because I left my hotel at 6:10am to meet my ‘guest’, Political Junkessa, who was going to be my partner to scout out the action. Not knowing my way around and knowing the subway stations would be busy, I arranged to meet PJ on the platform of a station common to both our routes, each of us coming to it from a different direction.

Yes, I arranged to meet someone in a subway system with which neither of us was greatly familiar, but what other option did I have? The station was a central change point but if we met on the lower level it should be simpler (so thought *I*), as the upper levels had several train lines to confuse us. I got there 15 minutes early – trains were running very fast with hardly any wait time in between – and realized the folly of my decision!

(No, VC and PJ aren’t actually in this pic, but it was the best I could find to illustrate the scene described)

Read it all here

25
Jan
13

Heads Up: President Obama Makes a Personnel Announcement

…with Denis McDonough

12:10 ET: President Obama Makes a Personnel Announcement

White House live * CNN * CBS

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25
Jan
13

Rise and Shine

President Obama talks with PM Tusk of Poland in the private residence of the White House, Sept. 17, 2009. NSC Chief of Staff Denis McDonough is in the background (Photo by Pete Souza)

Washington Post: President Obama will name deputy national security adviser Denis McDonough, a longtime trusted aide, as his new White House chief of staff Friday, officials said.

McDonough, 43, has spent the past two years as the No. 2 official in the National Security Council, helping guide some of the administration’s most high-profile decisions, including the military drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan, the response to earthquakes in Haiti and Japan and the aftermath of the terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya last fall.

Obama considers McDonough one of his “closest and most trusted advisors for nearly a decade,” a White House official said.

More here

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Today:

11:0: V.P. Biden Speaks on the Administration’s Efforts to Reduce Gun Violence (Richmond, Virginia) – White House live (audio only), CNN

12:10: President Obama makes a personnel announcement

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GOPolitico: The White House will also announce several other promotions Friday, including moving communications director Dan Pfeiffer to the job of senior adviser, and shifting deputy communications director Jennifer Palmieri into Pfeiffer’s old job. Pfeiffer’s move comes as David Plouffe, a longtime Obama political adviser, plans to leave the White House this month.

Other senior-level moves include:

Rob Nabors – Assistant to the President and Deputy White House Chief of Staff for Policy
Tony Blinken – Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor
Danielle Gray – Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary
Katy Kale – Assistant to the President for Management and Administration
Lisa Monaco – Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (upon confirmation of John Brennan as DCIA)
Miguel Rodriguez –Assistant to the President and Director of Legislative Affairs
David Simas – Assistant to the President and Deputy Senior Advisor for Communications and Strategy

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President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will give a joint interview at the White House on Friday afternoon to CBS News’ Steve Kroft, for broadcast Sunday on “60 Minutes.”

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Steve Benen: We don’t yet know exactly why Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) gave up on ambitious reforms of filibuster rules. After months of voicing support for sweeping changes, it’s possible Reid just didn’t have the votes from his own caucus to pursue bold reforms through the “constitutional option.”

Whatever the reasoning, however, it’s important that folks understand that when Reid says protecting the filibuster is necessary to keep the Senate from being like the House, he’s wrong…..

More here

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Greg Sargent: Now that the smoke has cleared from the wreckage of yesterday’s filibuster reform debacle, what’s next for those who want to fix our broken Senate? There is no denying that yesterday’s outcome was a terrible disappoint for those who still hold out hope for functional government. At the same time, there are some silver linings…..

More here

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President Obama attends a Sandy Hook interfaith vigil at Newtown High School, Dec. 16, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

NYT: The White House has decided to circumvent Capitol Hill as it concentrates its gun-control efforts on speeches and other public appearances by President Obama and Vice President Biden outside of Washington, according to officials with knowledge of the plans.

With Obama’s gun agenda dependent on centrist Democratic senators who are nervous about their reelection prospects, the administration has calculated that the president is better off helping to build a groundswell of popular support within the lawmakers’ states rather than negotiating directly with them, officials said.

More here

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NYT: The White House delivered a strong message to Wall Street on Thursday, taking the unusual step of choosing two former prosecutors as top financial regulators.

But translating that message into action will not be easy, given the complexities of the market and Wall Street’s aggressive nature.

At a short White House ceremony, President Obama named Mary Jo White, the first female United States attorney in Manhattan, to run the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Obama also renominated Richard Cordray as the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a position he has held for the last year under a temporary recess appointment without Senate approval.

With the appointments, the president showed a renewed resolve to hold Wall Street accountable for wrongdoing, extolling his candidates’ records as prosecutors.

More here

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President  Obama greets a local resident on Main Street in Moneygall, Ireland, May 23, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Irish Examiner: The US President is to be immortalised in the birthplace of his ancestors with the Barack Obama Plaza in Moneygall, Co Offaly.

Around €6m is being invested in the plaza by Supermac’s founder Pat McDonagh, to commemorate the visit by the President and his wife Michelle in 2011.

It will also see the establishment of the Barack Obama Community Facility, where exhibitions of historic and current material marking the relationship between Moneygall and the United States will go on display.

This is the single biggest investment on the Offaly/Tipperary border region in decades and will bring 60 new jobs to the area, as well as 75 jobs during the construction phase.

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Morning!

24
Jan
13

West Wing Week: “Behind the Scenes: Inauguration 2013”

24
Jan
13

This and That

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Bo, the Obama family dog, plays in the snow in the Rose Garden of the White House, Jan. 24 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Helloooooooo everyone – how are you all doing? I still haven’t replied to recent emails …. but tomorrow, hopefully. :???:

24
Jan
13

Heads Up: ‘A Fireside Hangout with VP Biden’

Also at:

White House live

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Next:

2:30: President Obama will announce the nomination of Mary Jo White to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission

White House live

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24
Jan
13

Snow White

@petesouza: ‘Snow! The view from outside the Oval Office’

Back later, chat away

24
Jan
13

Rise and Shine

President Obama meets with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in the Oval Office, Jan. 23 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

10:45: The President and Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing

1:45: VP Biden participates in a live Google+ Hangout about gun violence

2:30: President Obama will announce the nomination of Mary Jo White to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission

4:35: The President meets with Secretary of State Clinton

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Business Insider: Initial jobless claims have crushed expectations. They have fallen to lowest level since January 2008, falling to 330K. This is well below expectations of 355K ….

Amazing news – more later

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I haven’t had a chance yet to read much on the Inaugural speech, but I liked this column:

Harold Meyerson: “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change we seek,” candidate Barack Obama said in 2008 … in the aftermath of Obama’s 2012 reelection and his second inaugural address, his 2008 remarks seem less a statement of self-absorption than one of prophecy. There is an Obama majority in American politics, symbolized by Monday’s throng on the Mall, whose existence is both the consequence of profound changes to our nation’s composition and values and the cause of changes yet to come.

…. His speech reclaimed U.S. history from the misrepresentations of both constitutional originalists and libertarian fantasists….

…. The Obama Majority – its existence and mobilization – is what enabled the president to deliver so ideological an address …. secure in the knowledge that the nation’s minorities had joined with other liberal constituencies to form a new governing coalition, he voiced their demands to ensure equality and to preserve and expand the government’s efforts to meet the nation’s challenges. As he left the stage, he stopped and turned to marvel at the crowd, at the new American majority they represented. They were the ones he, and we, were waiting for.

Full article here

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Morning everyone. Another teeny (miserable) Rise and Shine, but I’m hoping to finally:???: – keep my promise to catch up some time today, just trying to finish off some work. So, chat away, and I’ll see ya in a bit.

23
Jan
13

Sealed with a Kiss

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23
Jan
13

Keep chattin’….

HellooooOOoooOOOooo! I’m almost done – about four hours early :cool: – with today’s work, so I’ll be back in a while. Meanwhile, keep chattin’.

23
Jan
13

Chat Away

Morning everyone! I’ll be back later today and will catch up with everything, until then – chat away.




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