Archive for March 13th, 2014

13
Mar
14

Peace Of Mind

13
Mar
14

Irony Just Guffawed

03679544_image_982w

****

TPM: Zuckerberg Calls Obama To Discuss ‘Frustration’ With NSA Surveillance

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said on Thursday that he phoned President Obama to urge reforms to the government’s surveillance practices. “The US government should be the champion for the internet, not a threat. They need to be much more transparent about what they’re doing, or otherwise people will believe the worst,”Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. “I’ve called President Obama to express my frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future. Unfortunately, it seems like it will take a very long time for true full reform.”

More here

****

BipbyHLCQAAYoIi.jpg-large

13
Mar
14

President Obama Modernizes Overtime Protections

43f6263327955a0a4e0f6a706700c325

President Barack Obama signs a Presidential Memorandum directing Labor Secretary Tom Perez to modernize overtime protections. He is bypassing Congress and ordering changes in overtime rules so employers would required to pay millions more for extra time they put in on the job.

****

****

8684e3fc27a75b0a4e0f6a706700dc3b

cc1d5f8927ae5b0a4e0f6a706700ca2f

c8c64d1e27a85b0a4e0f6a706700b04b

50bd6c8227a45b0a4e0f6a7067002cb0

b3c0f83127985a0a4e0f6a706700f20e

2014-03-13T191106Z_248572157_GM1EA3E08T401_RTRMADP_3_USA-OBAMA

2014-03-13T185727Z_1887022913_GM1EA3E086D01_RTRMADP_3_USA-OBAMA

2014-03-13T185855Z_36945453_GM1EA3E088S01_RTRMADP_3_USA-OBAMA

2014-03-13T185146Z_1384340539_GM1EA3E07WV01_RTRMADP_3_USA-OBAMA

412f4b3327945a0a4e0f6a7067001c06

13
Mar
14

The President delivers remarks on modernizing overtime protections

****

2:20 EST: The President delivers remarks and signs a Presidential Memorandum on modernizing overtime protections

Also at White House Live

****

13
Mar
14

Chat Away

@BarackObama: Are you invincible? Find out

13
Mar
14

Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Obama leaves Capitol Hill after his closed-door meeting with House Speaker John Boehner and Republican lawmakers to discuss the budget, March 13, 2013

****

Today (all times Eastern):

1:0: Press Briefing by Jay Carney

2:20: The President delivers remarks and signs a Presidential Memorandum on modernizing overtime protections, East Room

****

****

NYT: In Alabama, College Students Take On Challenge of Health Insurance Sign-Up

Students at the University of Alabama Honors College here are encouraged to do volunteer work in the community and on campus.

For Marlan Golden, a senior, that has included being a Big Brother; running an education project for local Latinos; serving as president of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity; and, most recently, signing up people for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

For that last one, Mr. Golden, 21, has not had to leave the fraternity house. He and several other student volunteers have been spending recent afternoons signing up the kitchen help and housekeepers of Alpha Tau Omega, as well as those at other campus fraternities and sororities.

“These are people who feed us and clean up after us but have no health care,” Mr. Golden said as he and a cook sat at his laptop filling out an application …. Mr. Golden is one of about 600 student volunteers from a dozen colleges around Alabama who have been trained to help enroll people for insurance under President Obama’s signature law. They have canvassed churches, job fairs, barber shops in black neighborhoods, libraries — wherever people unlikely to have health care gather.

More here

****

****

****

The People’s View: Outside Beltway Media, Obama’s “Between Two Ferns” Appearance is a Giant Hit

While the beltway media is Truly Upset (TM) that the President of the United States went to Funny or Die to promote Healthcare.gov, in real America, the appearance seems to have worked tremendously well. Bill O’Reilly is super upset, other traditional media is crapping their pants, and the White House Press Corpse (no, I know, but is the ‘e’ really unnecessary?) bellyached about it to Press Secretary Jay Carney yesterday.

In the mean time, the president’s appearance has already had over 12 million views, sent nearly a million people to Healthcare.gov, and made traffic to Healthcare.gov jump by 40% in a single day. And to the dismay of the entire beltway media and conservative pundits, this time they did not have a story about how the flood of traffic broke website – because it didn’t! And the people who actually watch the video are overwhelmingly impressed…

More here

****

****

****

Jonathan Cohn: Obamacare Enrollment Didn’t Slow Down in February – Attention, critics: February has 28 days.

The latest Obamacare enrollment figures got a pretty lukewarm reaction on Tuesday. One reason is that the number for February was lower than the number for January, creating an impression of waning interest. Here’s the lead from the Washington Post’s account:

The pace at which Americans signed up for health plans slowed last month in the fledgling federal and state insurance marketplaces, according to new government figures showing that slightly fewer than 1 million people enrolled in February…..

The facts are right but the interpretation is not. The months HHS has been using for tabulation don’t correspond precisely to the calendar, because of state reporting methods and where weekends fall. As it turns out, “February” is actually February 2 through March 1. That’s 28 days. “January” is actually December 29 through February 1. That’s 35 days. Plug in the numbers, and you’ll see the average daily enrollment for January was 32,744 and for February it was 33,673. As you can see in the graph, the pace actually increased a bit. Among the very few who noticed were Charles Gaba of ACASingups.net and Sy Mukherjee of ThinkProgress.

More here

****

****

****

TPM: The New Obamacare Reality Facing GOP Candidates

About 4.2 million Americans have now signed up for private health insurance under Obamacare, according to new data from the Obama administration. Each of them is part of a new reality established by the law that GOP candidates must confront in their campaigns.

As TPM has reported, Republicans and their congressional candidates are struggling to figure out what their message should be now that millions of people have gained coverage through the law. That internal battle is typified by Senate candidates like Michigan’s Terri Lynn Land and North Carolina’s Thom Tillis, who are trying to straddle the line between pushing repeal with the base while voicing some support for popular pieces of the law.

More here

****

****

****

Charles Pierce: What Democrats Should Learn From Their Loss In Florida

…. If you want to take any lesson from the election in Florida, take this one. Defend the law. Defend it on the basis of the fact that millions of people no longer face economic ruin because a member of their family might get sick. Defend the law on the basis of economic populism; marry your support for the law to an increase in the minimum wage, Elizabeth Warren’s student-loan reform, and expanded unemployment benefits. (Tie it to this excellent idea that the president announced today.) Explain, in detail, why expanding Social Security makes sense in a stalled economy. Defend the law on the basis of the fact that the Republicans have absolutely nothing to offer on the issue….

More here

****

****

Greg Sargent: Why Dems are tying Republicans to the Koch brothers

The Dem strategy of tying Republican Senate candidates to the Koch brothers continues to be portrayed simplistically, as little more than an effort to tar Republicans with the image of distant and menacing plutocrats.

But to understand what this strategy is really about, watch this new Senate Majority PAC ad that’s airing in Louisiana, tying GOP Senate candidate Bill Cassidy to the Kochs in response to Americans for Prosperity attacks on Senator Mary Landrieu:

A Dem source tells me the spot is backed by a $200,000 buy. Script….

More here – the ad:

****

ThinkProgress: Obama Will Give Workers A Boost By Making Sure More Earn Overtime Pay

Using his executive authority, President Obama will update labor regulations that dictate which workers are exempt from the requirement that their employers pay time and a half for working more than 40 hours a week, the New York Times reports.

Under current rules, workers can be classified as executive, administrative, or professional and denied overtime pay under what is known as the white-collar exemption. That means someone who oversees a clean up crew can be classified as executive and not be paid time and a half for extra work. Obama’s change would readjust the rules for which salaried employees can be blocked in this way.

It would also significantly raise the salary threshold that currently stands at $455 a week, or $23,660 a year, meaning anyone who makes more than that is exempt from overtime. That threshold hasn’t been significantly updated since 1975, allowing it to erode as inflation rose.

More here

****

@petesouza: President Obama with Ukraine PM Yatsenyuk

****

Bloomberg: Jobless Claims in U.S. Fall to Lowest Level Since November

The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to the lowest level since the end of November, a sign of further improvement in the labor market.

Jobless claims dropped by 9,000 to 315,000 in the week ended March 8, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 53 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a rise to 330,000. Continuing claims decreased for a third straight week.

More here

****

****

Washington Post: Holder will call for reduced sentences for low-level drug offenders

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Thursday will urge reduced sentences for defendants in most of the nation’s drug cases, part of his effort to cut the burgeoning U.S. prison population and reserve stiff penalties for the most violent traffickers.

Holder’s proposal, which is expected to be approved by the independent agency that sets sentencing policies for federal judges, would affect 70 percent of drug offenders in the criminal justice system, according to figures provided by Justice Department officials. It would reduce sentences by an average of nearly a year.

More here

****

****

****

A Word from Don:

Yesterday Paul Ryan called every black male that I’ve ever known, lazy. Paul Ryan, a man that could have easily been the Vice President of the United States of American. The fact that he thought it was safe enough for him to utter such hurtful and demeaning language is a testament to the poisonous environment which President Obama must navigate on a daily basis.

How do I let what Paul Ryan said about me roll off of my back? How do I get over the fact that the fifty-million people that voted for him to be Vice President more than likely don’t have a problem with him saying what he said?

I remember a long time ago listening to Dick Gregory make the statement that the reason that black men used to walk around with boom boxes on their shoulders blasting music is so that they could drown out all the negative stereotypes that were said about them.

I work in a federal prison; I’m surrounded by people that are deemed too dangerous to live in society. I like my job, I like what I do for a living, I’m paid well and I’m grateful. But now I have an anger that I don’t know what to do with.

Back in my youth I would not have had this anger because I would not have let it get bottled up, I would have released it somehow or someway. But now that I’m older and wiser it gets harder and harder to deal with the disrespect that gets directed at black men like me.

****

****

ThinkProgress: African-American Congresswoman Slams Paul Ryan For Racially Charged Comments

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, fired back at House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) for claiming that poverty is caused by men in “our inner cities” who are “not even thinking about working.” His comments “are a thinly veiled racial attack and cannot be tolerated,” Lee said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “Let’s be clear, when Mr. Ryan says ‘inner city,’ when he says, ‘culture,’ these are simply code words for what he really means: ‘black.’”

More here

****

****

Steve Benen:  Paul Ryan still struggling on poverty

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) went out of his way in recent months to express an interest in poverty, even touring several parts of the country as part of a fact-finding mission. It’s unclear, however, what kind of lessons the congressman learned from the experience.

For example, Ryan published an audit, of sorts, criticizing federal efforts to combat poverty, but the Republican was soon accused of misrepresenting much of the research he cited in his report. Soon after, Ryan suggested low-income children who rely on the school-lunch program aren’t treasured the way wealthier children are, relying on an anecdote that wasn’t true anyway.

The Wisconsin lawmaker continues to dig deeper….

More here

****

****

TPM: The Clusterf*ck Of Candidates Who Might Replace Jan Brewer

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) announced Wednesday that she would not seek a third term in office, ending a tenure that included falsely very publicly wagging her finger in President Barack Obama’s face (to the delight of tea partiers everywhere) to later bucking Arizona conservatives and pushing to expand Medicaid through Obamacare. It’s been an interesting tenure but, as Brewer said, “there does come a time to pass the torch of leadership.”

Fortunately, the Arizona gubernatorial field has its share of interesting characters that could succeed Brewer. Polling has also shown a wide open field. Here’s a guide to the crowded field of candidates running to be the next governor of Arizona….

More here

****

****

Media Matters: Meet Brandon Ambrosino, Homophobes’ Favorite Gay Writer And Vox’s Newest Hire

Ezra Klein’s much-hyped news and policy site, Vox.com, has hired Brandon Ambrosino – a gay man who has made a name for himself by suggesting that being gay is a choice and whitewashing anti-gay bigotry and discrimination.

Vox, the news and policy site headed by Ezra Klein, announced on March 12 that Ambrosino had been hired as a writing fellow:

Klein’s new venture – announced to considerable fanfare in January – will provide Ambrosino a formidable platform as the go-to gay writer for anti-gay conservatives seeking to legitimize their homophobia.

More here

****

****

Oh my…..

Mediaite: Oklahoma Fox Station Cut Only Mention of Evolution From Cosmos

When Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey premiered on Fox last Sunday, it was the first time in decades that a show dedicated to science was appearing on prime time on a major network…..

The show’s host, Neil deGrasse Tyson waited until the last ten minutes of the show’s premiere to bring up the theory of evolution. But just before he described how humans “stood up and parted ways from” our ancestors, viewers in Oklahoma City were treated to sharp mid-scene cutaway to a local news promo. After about 15 seconds, when Tyson had finished talking about the human transition to “standing on two feet,” the station returned to the show.

Accidental coincidence? Or deliberate effort by that Oklahoma station to scrub evolution from Cosmos’ premiere? Take a look at both versions of the scene and see what you think….

More here

****

Sometimes – only sometimes – I LOVE the internet:

****

****

On This Day:

March 13, 2000 – you can see the full show here

****

President Obama has a briefing with a staff member prior to a phone call in the Oval Office, March 13, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

****

President Obama talks on the phone with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev about the final details of the START Treaty, in the Oval Office, Saturday, March 13, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

****

President Obama speaks to the 2012 Intel Science Talent Search finalists in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C. on March 13, 2012

President Obama delivers a statement announcing new efforts to enforce fair trade rights with China, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington on March 13, 2012. Obama was joined by Commerce Secretary John Bryson (L) and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

President Obama talks with Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom aboard Marine One en route to Joint Base Andrews, Md., before traveling on to Dayton, Ohio, March 13, 2012. Press Secretary Jay Carney is seated at right (Photo by Pete Souza)

First Lady Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron, wife of Prime Minister David Cameron, attend a mini-Olympics with local area school children at American University in Washington, D.C. on March 13, 2012

President Obama talks with students during game one of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament “First Four” at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio, March 13, 2012. The President watched Mississippi Valley State take on Western Kentucky with Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, right, and Trip Director Marvin Nicholson, center. (Photo by Pete Souza)

****

President Obama drops by a meeting with the Business Roundtable CEO Committee in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House, March 13, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

The President talks with House Speaker John Boehner after the President participated in a Q&A with the House Republican Conference at the U.S. Capitol, March 13, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

****

MoooOOOooorning!




@BarackObama

@WhiteHouse

@FLOTUS

@blog44

@PeteSouza

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

@TheObamaDiary

@NerdyWonka

@DaRiverZkind

@Lib_Librarian

@amk4obama

@zizii2

@Our4thEstate

Categories

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 27,864,182 hits

WH Flickr

P102414PS-0492

P093014PS-0758

P080414PS-0073

P080414PS-0299

P080514LJ-0109

P080514PS-0515

P080514PS-0621

P080514CK-0099

P080514PS-1046

P080514PS-1173

More Photos