Archive for February 1st, 2014

01
Feb
14

“Opportunity Is Who We Are”

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Frank Bruni: Obama’s Magic Three

First President Obama recognized Mary Barra, who was in the audience, noting that her childhood wasn’t a gilded one—she wasn’t born into corporate royalty. No, she got there by dint of toil and talent, a factory worker’s daughter rising to become the first female chief executive officer of General Motors. She’s the American dream personified. Then Obama recognized John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, as “the son of a barkeep.” He, too, landed far from where he began. He, too, took the kind of journey that we like to believe is uniquely possible in this country, the fabled land of opportunity.

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But it was also a lens through which the rest of the speech could be heard, and it was the lens through which all of us should be evaluating the policies and direction of our country right now. In paying tribute to Barra, Boehner and Barack Obama, the president was paying tribute to social mobility, and he was correctly defining the chance to better oneself—to travel from the circumstances of one’s birth to the circumstances of one’s merit and labor—as this country’s central and sustaining promise. It’s essential to our national identity. It’s vital to our sense of honor and purpose. It’s the foundation of an optimism that seems to be fading fast. If we let “the American dream” become a storybook phrase, a quaint and saccharine anachronism, no longer broadly evident and no longer widely believed, then we’re in desperate trouble.

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Over the next year and the ones after that, we as a country somehow need to make sure that decades from now, a president delivering his or her State of the Union can survey the spectators and see someone like Barra; can glance back and see someone like Boehner; and can look in the mirror and see someone like the man who bridged Kenya, Kansas and the White House.

More here

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01
Feb
14

Souza the Great

President Obama greets audience members after delivering remarks on infrastructure, the economy, and creating jobs by increasing exports, at the Port of New Orleans in New Orleans, La., Nov. 8, 2013

Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Ariz., Aug. 6, 2013

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama listen to the NYU Vocaholics perform in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House following a Christmas holiday reception, Dec. 6, 2012 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

First Lady Michelle Obama greets young performers with the Dance Theatre of Harlem prior to the United Nations General Assembly spouses tour and luncheon at the Harlem Studio Museum in New York, N.Y., Sept. 24, 2013. (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Greeting a family at Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) in Brooklyn, N.Y., Oct. 25, 2013

The Blue Room during a White House tour, Nov. 5, 2013

Signing autographs after delivering the keynote address at Disney’s Veterans Institute Workshop at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 14, 2013 (Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

Greeting a child in Beverly Hills, Calif., Nov. 26, 2013

Listening to the daughter of a departing U.S. Secret Service agent in the Oval Office, Oct. 28, 2013 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Continue reading ‘Souza the Great’

01
Feb
14

Rise and Shine

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wear 3-D glasses while watching a TV commercial during Super Bowl 43, Arizona Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, in the family theater of the White House on Feb. 1, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Brian Beutler: GOP’s Obamacare fiction series: Latest horror story a creation from start to finish

Republicans keep coming up with flimsy Obamacare horror stories, because they created the “victims”

A lot of people have made a lot of relevant points about “Bette” — whose Obamacare “horror story” figured prominently in the official GOP response to the State of the Union address delivered by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash: Greg Sargent notes that Bette’s story reflects the GOP’s reluctance to help constituents navigate the law, even if it means making their lives worse; Steve Benen adds that it’s a sad comment on the GOP’s Obamacare “train wreck” narrative that they have such a hard time finding horror stories that stand up to scrutiny.

These are related observations and both very true. But I think I’d take each of them one step further.

For one thing, I don’t think the epidemic of bunk Obamacare horror stories necessarily speaks to the law’s success so much as it reveals the bad-faith nature of Republican opposition — and this very opposition has in turn fed the stream of bogus horror stories that Republicans are systematically promulgating.

More here

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In case you missed it – it’s fabulous:

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Steve Benen: ‘Approximately 50 total employees’

Last summer, President Obama sat down for a lengthy interview with the New York Times, which noted that congressional Republicans talk about the Keystone XL pipeline “as a big job creator.” The president was incredulous.

“There is no evidence that that’s true,” he said. Obama noted temporary jobs would be created during the construction of the pipeline, but after that, “we’re talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 [chuckles] jobs in an economy of 150 million working people.”

Republicans were outraged. PolitiFact labeled the president’s comments “false.” But a new, comprehensive, long-awaited State Department report on the pipeline project suggests Obama’s assessment was pretty accurate.

… Note, the report is an important step in the overall process, but [the] release is an “Environmental Impact Statement,” not the final word on the project. The State Department will continue its investigation, and prepare an additional analysis that weighs Keystone’s environmental, economic, and diplomatic effects.

Full post here

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TPM: NJ Editorial Board On Christie: Impeach Or Resign If He Knew

The editorial board for The New Jersey Star-Ledger is calling for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) to either step down or be impeached if new accusations are proven true.

The editorial board made the call in an editorial published Friday afternoon shortly after The New York Times reported that the former executive that ran the Port Authority of New Jersey and New York said he had evidence proving that the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge were directed by Christie’s administration.

“Forget about the White House in 2016. The question now is whether Gov. Chris Christie can survive as governor,” the editorial began.

More here

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Michael Tomasky: Revenge of the Nerd: Wildstein Rats Out the Boss

Remember what Chris Christie said about David Wildstein in his endless Jan. 9 press conference? No? This:

It is true that I met David in 1977 in high school. He’s a year older than me. David and I were not friends in high school. We were not even acquaintances in high school…We didn’t travel in the same circles in high school. You know, I was the class president and athlete. I don’t know what David was doing during that period of time.

I remember hearing those sentences and thinking gee, that’s not very nice–and not very smart. What if Wildstein is sitting on some goods? Is he going to be happy being dismissed as too geeky for Christie to waste his time on back in high school?

Apparently he’s not…..

More here

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Steve Benen: Wildstein lawyer: there’s evidence Christie knew

From the outset, much of Gov. Chris Christie’s bridge scandal has evolved around David Wildstein …. known as the governor’s “eyes and ears inside” the Port Authority before his resignation in December.

His last major public appearance came a few weeks ago, when he took the Fifth in response to questions about the controversy by state lawmakers investigating the scandal. It quickly became apparent that Wildstein and his attorney were looking for an immunity deal in which he would have all kinds of interesting things to say, just so long as he knew he wouldn’t be prosecuted.

But what exactly does Wildstein have to offer in exchange for immunity? According to a new letter, quite a bit.

More here

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ThinkProgress: The Bone-Chilling, Heart-Wrenching Process Of Counting The Nation’s Homeless

It was 1 a.m., three hours since I’d last felt my toes, and the four of us stood over a man who may have been dead.

“Are you okay under there?” Catherine asked the pile of blankets tucked away in a building alcove on the corner of 23rd and I St. NW in Washington, D.C. It was the type of spot where most pedestrians wouldn’t even know a homeless person was there.

He didn’t move. She asked again. No answer. She repeated a third time. Nothing.

The three of us held our breath, looking to her for some simple explanation why this wasn’t what it seemed. Maybe he was ignoring us. After all, we were uninvited guests to his makeshift home in the middle of the night….

More here

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Politicususa: First Lady Michelle Obama Shows Her Love And Admiration For Nancy Pelosi

Michelle Obama made a speech on Friday during the DNCC Women’s Luncheon held in San Francisco at the Fairmont Hotel. Prior to the First Lady speaking, folk legend Joan Baez performed to the delight of the entire audience. But, as is usually the case when she is there, the First Lady rocked the house and warmed the hearts like only she can. In her typically gracious manner, she made sure to give some real props to a true living legend of the Democratic Party, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who was also in attendance.

Almost immediately into her speech, Mrs. Obama had this to say about Nancy Pelosi….

More here

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On This Day:

President Obama holds his hand on his heart as the National Anthem is played on television in the East Garden Room of the White House prior to Super Bowl game kickoff, Arizona Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, Feb. 1, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama, Congressman Mike Doyle and his family celebrate the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 27 to 23 victory in Super Bowl XLIII. The Doyles watched the game at the White House as guests of the President, February 1, 2009

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President Obama talks with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about the preparations for the severe winter weather impacting a large part of the country during a phone call in the Oval Office, Feb. 1, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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First Lady Michelle Obama is joined by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at the future site of a Northgate Market in Inglewood, Calif., Feb. 1, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama and Ellen DeGeneres dance during a taping of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” marking the second anniversary of the “Let’s Move!” initiative, in Burbank, Calif., Feb. 1, 2012

President Obama shares a laugh with Pastor Joel Hunter, center, and Joshua DuBois, Director of the White House Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, in the Oval Office, Feb. 1, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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MoooOOOooorning – Happy Saturday!

01
Feb
14

Early Bird Chat

First Lady Michelle Obama and Ellen DeGeneres dance during a taping of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” marking the second anniversary of the “Let’s Move!” initiative, in Burbank, Calif., Feb. 1, 2012 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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MoooOOOooorning Early Birds!




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