President Obama and Sen. Edward Kennedy enter the East Room of the White House to attend a Health Care Summit with Members of Congress, March 5, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Today (all times Eastern):
10:45: President Obama departs the White House
12:05: Arrives Hartford, Connecticut
More than 150 CCSU students already lined up for Pres. Obama’s visit. It’s cold and they’ll be there for hours. pic.twitter.com/GDjWdCpQyJ
— Kent Pierce (@kentonpierce) March 5, 2014
2:30: Delivers remarks on raising the minimum wage, Central Connecticut State University
3:45: Departs Hartford
4:25: Arrives Boston
4:50: Attends a DNC fundraiser, Charles Hotel, Cambridge, Massachusetts (Closed press)
7:20: Delivers remarks and answers questions at a DNC fundraiser, Artists for Humanity EpiCenter, Boston (Print Pool for Remarks Only)
8:25: Departs Boston
10:0: Arrives White House
* First Lady Michelle Obama will participate in a conversation with Robin Roberts at the Leading Women Defined Summit, hosted by BET Networks. The discussion will be around the Affordable Care Act and a personal reflection on health and wellness. The First Lady will also visit a health center to highlight the work that hospitals, doctors and clinics are doing to educate their patients about the Affordable Care Act and how patients can get insurance.
Later This Week:
Thursday: The President will hold an event on the economy and healthcare in Washington, DC.
Friday: The President and the First Lady will travel to the Miami area for an event on expanding opportunity for all.
Like all right-thinking Americans, I’m grateful that Lindsey Graham is coaching Barack Obama on how to look tough and macho.
— M.S. Bellows, Jr. (@msbellows) March 5, 2014
BBC: Ukraine crisis: Diplomacy gathers pace ahead of talks
Diplomatic efforts to ease tensions in Ukraine are gathering pace as US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov prepare to hold crucial talks in Paris.
The US wants independent observers in the flashpoint region of Crimea and direct talks between Kiev and Moscow.
Russia is likely to call for greater representation for Ukraine’s Russian-speaking areas in the Kiev government.
Meanwhile, the EU has offered 11bn euro ($15bn; £9bn) in aid to Ukraine.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the package of loans and grants over the next couple of years is “designed to assist a committed, inclusive and reforms-oriented government” in Kiev.
Little-known fact: Hitler invaded Poland because of Benghazi.
— Matt O’Brien (@ObsoleteDogma) March 4, 2014
Stonekettle Station: Bad Reputation
That’s the concern.
Prestige. Standing. Reputation. Face.
The conflict in Ukraine teeters dangerously on the razor’s edge of self immolation.
Vladimir Putin regards his neighbors with pale icy blue eyes and toys with the idea of a reborn Russian hegemony…..
The European Union holds its collective breath and cups a trembling hand protectively over its genitals and hopes that sanity and reason will prevail – they won’t, of course, prevail, they never do, not until enough people have died, not until enough blood runs in the streets, not until enough cities have burned and enough rage has been spent … but perhaps this time it will be different. Perhaps.
Meanwhile, in America, it’s all about face.
This President actually appreciates the cost of war, and we should all be endlessly grateful for that. pic.twitter.com/BQ1JK57Zb7
— TheObamaDiary.com (@TheObamaDiary) March 5, 2014
Forbes: How The Western Press Is Getting It Terribly Wrong In Ukraine
When the pundits talk about Vladimir Putin’s offensive in Ukraine, they usually mean troops and tanks, but his greatest weapons are ,in fact, his propaganda machine and the gullible western media.
So far, he has been winning stunning victories without firing a shot. Make no mistake, Vladimir Putin cares deeply what the western public thinks and has an army of PR professionals and lobbyists to wage informational warfare, along with a network of sites including “Russia Today” and a variety of “strategy” blogs.
Amazingly, the western press in its desire to adopt what NYU Journalism professor Jay Rosen calls the view from nowhere, has been repeating many of the false assertions that Putin has promoted. Here’s a quick guide to the most egregious errors….
Yup, black President, this is what you get – Gawd Bless Amurika! pic.twitter.com/dKAIgn8QI2
— TheObamaDiary.com (@TheObamaDiary) March 5, 2014
David Ignatius: Robert Gates tells Republicans to cut back on criticizing Obama’s Ukraine policy
As the Ukraine crisis deepened, Sen. John McCain responded by criticizing President Obama’s “feckless” foreign policy, while Sen. Lindsey Graham called Obama “a weak and indecisive president [who] invites aggression.”
These sharp comments brought to mind a different time and crisis — and a different tone in foreign policy debates. This prompted me to call another prominent Republican who takes a quite different view.
…. In addition to having run the Pentagon under Republican and Democratic administrations, Gates worked at the CIA for 26 years and was one of its leading Soviet analysts. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Kremlin decision-making.
What does Gates think about the Ukraine crisis? Distilled to its essence, his message would be the same as Jackson’s: Cool it, especially when it comes to public comments.
— The Lovely Plains (@DaRiverZkind) March 4, 2014
Reuters: President Obama’s 2015 budget: Everything you need to know
In a year where many lawmakers seem more concerned with preparing for the midterm elections, much of the focus of the president’s budget is on helping the less fortunate — particularly the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. Here’s Reuters:
The budget signals a shift away from last year’s emphasis on deficit cutting to a more pronounced focus on poverty reduction, a legacy-oriented goal the president is highlighting as he faces less than three years left in office.
— Terrell Lewis (@SgBz) March 5, 2014
Jonathan Cohn: Washington is Ignoring Obama’s Budget. You Shouldn’t.
Mere hours after the White House released President Obama’s budget, Washington had reached a consensus about it: It’s “irrelevant.”
As this argument goes, the House and Senate have already agreed on a fiscal policy plan—the agreement from House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray that Congress passed in the fall. Ryan-Murray lays out the basic parameters of what the government will take in and spend, not just for 2014 but also for 2015. Neither party wants to revisit that pact. And to the extent Obama is proposing new ideas for the long term, like pouring money into early childhood education, the Republicans simply aren’t interested in passing them. That would seem to render Obama’s new budget an exercise in pure political symbolism, and maybe empty symbolism at that.
I take a different view—and not simply because I’m nerdy enough to think of reading 200-plus pages of figures and charts as an opportunity, rather than a burden….
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 5, 2014
Washington Post: Arkansas compromise Medicaid expansion stays alive
Arkansas’ first-in-the-nation plan that uses Medicaid funds to buy private insurance for the poor survived an effort to defund it Tuesday, as lawmakers gave final approval to continue a program that has extended health coverage to nearly 94,000 people.
The House voted 76-24 to reauthorize funding for the “private option” program that was approved last year as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health law. Arkansas was the first state to win federal approval for such an approach, touted as a compromise for Republican-leaning states.
The measure now heads to Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, who plans to sign it into law. The measure needed at least 75 votes in the 100-member House.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 4, 2014
On This Day:
First Lady Michelle Obama at Miriam’s Kitchen, March 5, 2009
President Obama talks with Sen. Edward Kennedy in the Green Room of the White House March 5, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama reads the newspaper in the Outer Oval Office, March 5, 2009 Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama walks towards the Oval Office, March 5, 2010, after returning to the White House from a clean energy event in Arlington, Va (Photo by Pete Souza)
First Lady Michelle Obama runs in a race as she promotes the “Let’s Move!” program, during an event with local kids and the U.S. Soccer Foundation, at City Center in Washington, D.C., March 5, 2010 (Photo by Samantha Appleton)
President Obama talks with Mona Sutphen, deputy chief of staff for policy, in the Oval Office, March 5, 2010. A bust of Abraham Lincoln is in the foreground (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama talks with Vice President Biden in the Oval Office, March 5, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama arriving at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, March 5 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Morning again everyone – a gazillion thanks to Nerdy for lots of this morning’s newsie links, and thanks to LP for links to so many of the beautiful photos in the International Women of Courage Awards post. And to LL for those Gloria Estefan videos – in time I will forgive you. /runs