Archive for January 13th, 2014

13
Jan
14

A Tweet or Two

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13
Jan
14

Chat Away

13
Jan
14

Rise and Shine

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet 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, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

12:30: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

2:15: President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with President Mariano Rajoy Brey of Spain

The Week Ahead:

Tuesday: The President will hold a Cabinet meeting, and in the afternoon he will welcome the 2013 NBA Champion Miami Heat to the White House to honor the team on winning their second straight championship title

Wednesday: The President will travel to Raleigh, North Carolina, for an event on the economy

Thursday: The President and First Lady will host an event at the White House on expanding college opportunity

Friday: The President will make remarks about the outcome of the review that he has led on the issue of signal intelligence

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Paul Krugman: Enemies of the Poor

Suddenly it’s O.K., even mandatory, for politicians with national ambitions to talk about helping the poor. This is easy for Democrats, who can go back to being the party of F.D.R. and L.B.J. It’s much more difficult for Republicans, who are having a hard time shaking their reputation for reverse Robin-Hoodism, for being the party that takes from the poor and gives to the rich.

And the reason that reputation is so hard to shake is that it’s justified. It’s not much of an exaggeration to say that right now Republicans are doing all they can to hurt the poor, and they would have inflicted vast additional harm if they had won the 2012 election.

More here

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Greg Sargent: Republicans all over the map on jobless benefits

With a crucial Senate vote set for today on the Democratic plan to extend jobless benefits, Republicans continue to offer one reason after another for opposing the extension. At this point, their rationales are all over the place.
Oddly, though, it has fallen to a Republican Senator to reveal just how flimsy GOP reasoning on the issue has become. On Face the Nation yesterday, Marco Rubio declared that there is a “general consensus” that jobless benefits should be extended. If true, this is certainly welcome news. But note how Rubio said this….

More here

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Michael Tomasky: How Radical Becomes Normal

Under George W. Bush, the GOP never balked at extending unemployment benefits, but that was then. Their newfound intransigence on this issue proves afresh that the party has been hijacked by extremists.

So this is showdown week in Congress for extension of unemployment benefits. Frankly, it looks bleak. No, it’s not that the public is against it. In fact far from it—58 percent support the extension in a new poll. But as I’ve written a kajillion times these last few years, it unfortunately doesn’t much matter what the people think. Republicans in Congress care only about the views of the more radical half of their party. And in that same poll, Republicans opposed the extension 54-42.

More here

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CNN: Feds investigating Christie’s use of Sandy relief funds

Just days after dismissing two top advisers for their roles in the George Washington Bridge scandal, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is facing questions over the use of Superstorm Sandy relief funds.

CNN has learned that federal officials are investigating whether Christie improperly used those relief funds to produce tourism ads that starred him and his family.

More here

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ThinkProgress: Christie Allegedly Diverted Millions In Hurricane Sandy Relief Funds To Pay For TV Ads Starring Himself

The Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has opened a federal investigation into whether New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) improperly used Hurricane Sandy relief funds to produce commercials staring himself and his family ahead of his re-election campaign. Auditors will examine how the Christie administration used $25 million set aside for “a marketing campaign to promote the Jersey Shore and encourage tourism,” focusing on the bidding process to award a $4.7 million to a politically connected firm that cast Christie and his family in the Sandy ads, while “a comparable firm proposed billing the state $2.5 million for similar work” but did not include Christie in the commercials.

More here

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Steve Benen: Bridge probe set to continue, expand

The investigation into New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) bridge scandal is not open-ended. A state Assembly probe was approved last year and given the legal authority to explore the alleged misconduct, but when the legislative session ends, so too does the committee’s power to investigate further – and the session technically ends tomorrow.

In practical terms, that means state lawmakers will have to reauthorize the probe or the process will effectively come to a halt. Christie and his team have been well aware of the deadline, and by all appearances, hoped to run out the clock.

Over the weekend, however, we learned that the investigation is very likely to continue and expand.

More here

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TPM: Following the Money on Bridgegate

A couple very interesting new threads on the Bridgegate story. As I’ve mentioned, as the scope of the Bridge closure effort and the attempt to cover it up grow, payback for a small town Mayor’s Christie non-endorsement has seemed increasingly implausible as a motive. This morning Brian Murphy went on Steve Kornacki’s show to discuss a major billion dollar development project which would have been gravely impacted (perhaps scuttled altogether) by any permanent move to create a traffic choke point in Fort Lee. (There’s an important disclosure that both men have been very forthcoming about: both worked for Wildstein in former lives when Wildstein ran a NJ politics website called PolitickerNJ.com.) But before getting to that there’s another aspect of this story which I think deserves attention.

More here

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TPM: Other Jersey Mayors Say They May Have Been Punished For Not Endorsing Christie

Aides close to Chris Christie shut down lanes on the George Washington Bridge last summer, the popular theory goes, as a means of revenge against a Democratic mayor who didn’t endorse the governor for re-election. But other Democratic mayors may have received similar political payback.

Jersey City, N.J. Mayor Steve Fulop told the Wall Street Journal in a story published late Sunday that he’s been frozen out since he opted against endorsing Christie last year. The Journal reported that Christie officials offered Fulop “new access to state commissioners, who hold the purse strings for many Jersey City services” in exchange for his support.

More here

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On This Day:

Rob Robinson from the Correspondence Office walks on the Colonnade carrying a gift portrtait of Abraham Lincoln to the West Wing of the White House, Jan. 13, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Obama talks with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil to discuss response to the earthquake crisis in Haiti, as NSC Chief of Staff Denis McDonough listens, in the Oval Office, Jan. 13, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

First Lady Michelle Obama watches a performance backstage with iCarly cast members Jennette McCurdy, left, and Miranda Cosgrove and members of her staff prior to an iCarly screening at Hayfield Secondary School in Alexandria, Va., Jan. 13, 2012 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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MoooOOOooorning!

13
Jan
14

Early Bird Chat

Random Old Pic: President Obama and Vice President Biden talk with Zachary Atala, son of Dr. Anthony Atala, M.D., Director, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House, June 5, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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MoooOOOooorning Early Birds! Happy Monday!




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