Posts Tagged ‘achievements

28
Jul
14

Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Obama greets Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., in the Outer Oval Office, July 28, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today (all times Eastern)

11:10: President Obama participates in a town hall at the Summit of the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

(The First Lady was scheduled to deliver remarks and participate in a roundtable at the Summit, but I can’t find any time or link – will keep checking. Keep an eye on CBS)

1:0: Josh Earnest briefs the press

3:05: The President awards the 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal (see here)

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The Week Ahead

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Trevor LaFauci (The People’s View): Looking Back: An American History Lesson from the year 2034

“Today’s topic:  The Obama Years.  First off, let’s generate some background information from you, the students.  What are some things that you’ve heard or that your parents might have experienced during Barack Obama’s presidency?  Call them out and we’ll make a list on the board.”

“He helped my Dad get home from Iraq!”

“He helped my grandparents regain their lost savings!”

“He helped my mom make more money from her job!”

“He helped give rights to my Dads!”

“He helped my parents save money with their health care!”…..

“Good, so the themes I have listed here on the board are jobs, rights, health care, money, and family.  Based on your own personal responses, how do you think the country as a whole felt about President Obama?  Call out some words that you think people used when they talked about our 44th President.”

More here

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AP: President Barack Obama to rename Young Africans program for Nelson Mandela

A program designed to foster a new generation of young African leaders will be renamed after former South African President Nelson Mandela.

President Barack Obama, who has said he was one of the untold millions of people around the world who were inspired by Mandela’s life, is set to announce the name change at a town hall-style event Monday in Washington with several hundred young leaders from across sub-Saharan Africa.

The youngsters are participating in the inaugural Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, part of the broader Young African Leaders Initiative that Obama launched in 2010 to support a new generation of leadership there.

More here

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“Africa’s future belongs to its young people… We need young Africans who are standing up and making things happen not only in their own countries but around the world… We want this to be the beginning of a new partnership and create networks that will promote opportunities for years to come.”

–President Barack Obama
South Africa, June 2013

The Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. Fellowships provide outstanding young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa with the opportunity to hone their skills at a U.S. university, and with support for professional development after they return home.

More here

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David Grossman (NYT): An Israel Without Illusions

Israelis and Palestinians are imprisoned in what seems increasingly like a hermetically sealed bubble. Over the years, inside this bubble, each side has evolved sophisticated justifications for every act it commits.

Israel can rightly claim that no country in the world would abstain from responding to incessant attacks like those of Hamas, or to the threat posed by the tunnels dug from the Gaza Strip into Israel. Hamas, conversely, justifies its attacks on Israel by arguing that the Palestinians are still under occupation and that residents of Gaza are withering away under the blockade enforced by Israel.

Inside the bubble, who can fault Israelis for expecting their government to do everything it can to save children on the Nahal Oz kibbutz, or any of the other communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip, from a Hamas unit that might emerge from a hole in the ground? And what is the response to Gazans who say that the tunnels and rockets are their only remaining weapons against a powerful Israel? In this cruel and desperate bubble, both sides are right. They both obey the law of the bubble — the law of violence and war, revenge and hatred.

But the big question, as war rages on, is not about the horrors occurring every day inside the bubble, but rather it is this: How on earth can it be that we have been suffocating together inside this bubble for over a century? This question, for me, is the crux of the latest bloody cycle.

More here

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BBC: Gaza: Uneasy calm after UN ceasefire call

Sporadic attacks by both Israel and Palestinian militants have punctuated a lull in fighting after the quietest night in the 21-day conflict.

There were no Israeli air strikes overnight though they resumed in the morning after a rocket hit the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon.

Earlier the UN Security Council urged a halt to hostilities to coincide with the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

Israel launched its offensive three weeks ago after a surge in rocket fire.

More than 1,030 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 43 Israeli soldiers and two Israeli civilians have been killed. A Thai national in Israel has also died.

The Security Council called on Sunday night for an “immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza over and beyond the holiday period.

More here

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Jon Snow of Britain’s Channel 4 News on the children of Gaza

(Warning: some distressing images of injured children):

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Great Headlines of our Time:

‘Florida Lawmaker Drafts Bill To Require Every Student To Watch Documentary Explaining Why Liberals Hate America’

ThinkProgress

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Steve Benen: Congress reaches preliminary deal on veterans’ aid

As of Thursday, a pending bill to expand veterans’ benefits appeared to be just about dead. What had been a bipartisan issue had turned into yet another partisan food fight, with House Republicans rejecting multiple compromise offers and walking away from the negotiating table. The Senate Democratic caucus, led in this fight by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), was apoplectic, blasting House GOP lawmakers for killing legislation that should be approved easily.

If the goal of the Democratic outrage was to force House Republicans to reconsider, the apoplexy worked. GOP lawmakers, reluctant to get blamed for killing another veterans-aid package, were shamed into renewing talks, and last night, negotiators struck a deal.

More here

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On This Day

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan, center, holds the autographed basketball given to him by President Obama following their Oval Office meeting Tuesday, July 28, 2009, to discuss the outcomes of the first U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Looking on at left is Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama bids farewell to Chinese Ministers in the Roosevelt Room of the White House after the first U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue on July 28, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama picks up his sub after meeting with five small business owners at Tastee Sub Shop in Edison, N.J., July 28, 2010. The President visited Edison to discuss the economy and urge Congress to pass support for small businesses (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama records an episode of The View at ABC Studios in New York, N.Y., July 28, 2010. Pictured, from left, are Whoopi Goldberg, Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck (Photo by Pete Souza)

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First Lady Michelle Obama watches the swimming finals and medal ceremonies at the Olympic Park Aquatics Center during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England, July 28, 2012 (Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

First Lady Michelle Obama watches the women’s singles tennis match between Serena Williams and Jelena Jankovic of Serbia at the All England Lawn Tennis Club during the London 2012 Olympics Games, July 28, 2012

.. with Venus Williams and former gymnast Dominique Dawes

Serena Williams gives a thumbs up gesture toward her sister Venus and First Lady Michelle Obama after she defeated Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic

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MoooOOOooorning!

19
Jun
14

Chat On!

First Lady Michelle Obama hugs graduate Isiah Guinyard after he was presented with a Student Achievement Award during the DC College Access Program Class of 2014 graduation celebration in Washington, June 19

28
Feb
14

Black History Month

by @NerdyWonka and @NoShock

Donna Dem’s (@NoShock) Black History Month ‘Did You Know?’ Series:

In honor of Black History Month I decided to do a “Did You Know” series for the month of February. So often we hear about well known African-Americans who have made history through the ages. In order to give a little more perspective, I wanted to share some of the back stories that are rarely ever spoken of.

Did You Know That?

Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on friend Maya Angelou’s birthday, on April 4, 1968. Angelou stopped celebrating her birthday for years afterward, and sent flowers to King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, for more than 30 years, until Coretta’s death in 2006.

Did You Know That?

Muhammad Ali, Golden Glove champion, Olympic Gold medalist, Heavy Weight boxing champion and Presidential Medal of Freedom awardee is considered one of the greatest athletes in boxing history had a penchant of being controversial and outspoken. He didn’t disappoint when he was awarded a star on the infamous Hollywood Walk of Fame. Ali didn’t want anyone “stepping on him” so of the more than 2500 stars that have been honored he is the only celebrity whose star is not located on the sidewalk. He was installed on a wall of the Kodak Theatre in true “I am the greatest” Muhammad Ali style.

Did You Know That?

Allensworth, CA is the first all-black Californian township, founded and financed by African Americans. Created by Lieutenant Colonel Allen Allensworth in 1908, the town was built with the intention of establishing a self-sufficient city where African Americans could live their lives free of racial prejudice.

It has since been designated Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.

Did You Know That?

Althea Gibson, the first AA to win a Tennis Grand Slam event, the French Open and then later Wimbledon was also a talented vocalist and saxophonist who appeared at the legendary Apollo Theater and on the Ed Sullivan show before starting her tennis career.

Did You Know That?

After the success of Negro Digest (similar to the Reader’s Digest but aimed to cover positive stories about the African-American community), publisher John H. Johnson in 1945 decided to create a magazine to showcase black achievement while also looking at current issues affecting African Americans. The first issue of his publication, Ebony, sold out in a matter of hours. The magazine has been published continually since the autumn of 1945.

Did You Know That?

Frederick Douglas, Black abolitionist, orator and writer and Moneta Sleet, the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize for his iconic photograph of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s widow, Coretta Scott King, at Dr. King’s funeral and Gregory Hines, world renowned tap dancer, choreographer, actor, singer and director all share a birthday on ♥ ♥Valentine’s Day ♥ ♥ .

Did You Know That?

Carter G. Woodson, the “Father of Black History“, was an African-American historian, author, journalist and University Dean. In 1926, Dr. Woodson initiated the celebration of Negro History Week, which corresponded with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1972, it was renamed Black History Week. The celebration was expanded in 1976 to include the entire month of February and today Black History Month garners support throughout the country as people of all ethnic and social backgrounds discuss the black experience.

Did You Know That?

In her early life, Coretta Scott King was as well known for her singing and violin playing as she was for her civil rights activism. The young soprano won a fellowship to the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, the city where she met future husband Martin Luther King Jr.

Did You Know That?

Rosa Parks known as “the mother of the freedom movement” because she refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus, in 1965 she moved to Detroit and worked for U.S. Representative John Conyers as a secretary and receptionist until 1988. She was a gifted speaker but would donate all of her speaking fees to charity. At the end of her life she was being financially supported by the generosity of those in her community and was the first woman to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

Continue reading ‘Black History Month’

28
Nov
13

A Thanksgiving Rise and Shine: 50 Thank Yous to the President

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50 Thank Yous to our President on this Thanksgiving

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1. Thank you for never giving up the fight for the Affordable Care Act – ‘ObamaCare’ – and bringing comprehensive health insurance to 30 million people.

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2. Thank you for expanding health coverage for over 4 million more children with the Children’s Health Insurance Authorization Act.

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3. Thank you for putting two qualified and outstanding women on the Supreme Court.

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4. Thank you for refusing to hide the cost of war, unlike your predecessor.

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5. Thank you for bringing the Iraq war to an end and bringing troops home to their families.

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6. Thank you for your courage in bringing OBL to justice when the naysayers derided and mocked you for your promise to the American people.

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7. Thank you for choosing diplomacy first with Syria and securing a deal that began the removal and destruction of chemical weapons.

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8. Thank you for pursuing diplomacy with Iran through sanctions not war and pushing for an interim deal that came to fruition after 34 years of failures.

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9. Thank you for the drawdown of the war in Afghanistan and putting an end date to combat involvement by troops.

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10. Thank you for improving America’s image abroad by stretching your hand out to allies and non-allies alike, beginning with your 2009 inaugural address and your historic Cairo speech.

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11. Thank you for the New START Treaty that reduces the overwhelming number of warheads in the world.

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12. Thank you for the Executive Order that banned torture, reversed GWB torture practices, and restored the United States in accord with the Geneva Convention.

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13. Thank you for increasing funding annually for the Veteran Affairs Department and for the new G.I. Bill which helps veterans achieve the dream of an education.

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14. Thank you for providing $4.3B in funding for 9/11 responders proving that this nation is behind them not just with words but with deeds.

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15. Thank you for having a Department of Justice that takes seriously any effort to suppress people’s right to vote.

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16. Thank you for having a diverse cabinet and administration that looks like the America of 2013 and not the 1800s.

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17. Thank you for the Claims Resolution Act which made sure African-American and Native American farmers received $4.6B for being cheated out of government loans.

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18. Thank you for doing your part to reduce the horror of gun violence by issuing regulations and rules that will, hopefully, save lives.

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19. Thank you for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act aka ‘Stimulus’ that drastically reduced unemployment and prevented the lay off of teachers, cops, firefighters, etc.

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20. Thank you for rescuing the auto industry and saving over one million jobs when everyone on all sides of the issue said it was a foolish idea.

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21. Thank you for 44 months of economic productivity and 7.8 million private sector jobs.

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22. Thank you for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which has protected and helped millions of people recover money from corrupt financial institutions.

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23. Thank you for Wall Street Reform and Credit Card Reform that put regulations in place to prevent another Great Depression and protect consumers from predatory credit card companies.

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24. Thank you for cutting taxes for hardworking middle and working class Americans through the American Recovery and Investment Act – and not the 1%.

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25. Thank you for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which helps women fight discrimination in wages and salary.

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Continue reading ‘A Thanksgiving Rise and Shine: 50 Thank Yous to the President’

22
Jul
13

Rise and Shine

A year ago: “The President hugs Stephanie Davies, who helped her friend, Allie Young, left, stay alive after she was shot during the movie theater shootings in Aurora, Colo. The President visited patients and family members affected by the shootings at the University of Colorado Hospital. Photo by Pete Souza, July 22, 2012

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The Week Ahead:

Today:

3:0: The President meets with Secretary of State Kerry

7:25: Delivers remarks at an Organizing for Action event, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Washington, DC (Open Press)

8:10: Delivers remarks and answers questions at an Organizing for Action dinner, Mandarin Oriental Hotel (Print Pool for Remarks Only)

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Tuesday: The President will welcome NCAA Champion Louisville Cardinals to the White House to honor the team and their 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship

Wednesday: He will travel to Galesburg, Illinois and Warrensburg, Missouri for events on the economy

Thursday: He will welcome President Truong Tan Sang of Vietnam to the White House. In the afternoon, the President will travel to Jacksonville, Florida for an event on the economy. On Thursday evening, he will host an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan at the White House

Friday: The President will attend meetings at the White House.

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Time: Drawing renewed attention to the economy, President Barack Obama will return this week to an Illinois college where he once spelled out a vision for an expanded and strengthened middle class as a freshman U.S. senator, long before the Great Recession would test his presidency.

The address Wednesday at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., will be the first in a new series of economic speeches that White House aides say Obama intends to deliver over the next several weeks ahead of key budget deadlines in the fall. A new fiscal year begins in October, and the government will soon hit its borrowing limit.

…. The president will also speak Wednesday at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo.

More here – and more at the NYT

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AP: Survey: Brighter U.S. Economic Outlook Boosts Hiring

Companies are increasingly confident the economy will grow at a modest pace over the next year and are hiring more, according to a survey of business economists.

Nearly one-third of the economists surveyed said their companies added jobs in the April-June quarter …. That’s the highest percentage in nearly two years. And 39 percent expect their firms will hire more in the next six months. That’s near the two-year high of 40 percent reached in the January-March quarter.

…. Optimism about future economic growth increased. Nearly three-quarters of the survey respondents forecast growth of 2.1 percent or more over the next 12 months. That’s up from two-thirds in the first quarter survey, released in April, and the most in a year.

More here

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OFA

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ThinkProgress: No, Obamacare Won’t Raise Insurance Premiums In Indiana By 72 Percent

On Friday, the Indiana Department of Insurance announced that initial rates submitted by individual health plan providers for the state’s Obamacare insurance marketplace would cost 72 percent more than currently available plans …. Gov. Mike Pence’s (R) administration was quick to use the figures to criticize the health law….

The problem is, the Department of Insurance didn’t really release “data” in the plural — it released a single data point. The $570 per month figure is the average of all of the submitted rates, including cheaper plans with less benefits (so-called “Bronze” and “Silver” level plans) as well as the more generous and expensive “Gold” and “Platinum” level plans. That’s like saying the average cost of a car in an Indiana dealership is $100,000 because it sells $20,000 Fords, $60,000 BMWs, and $220,000 Lamborghinis — technically true, but highly misleading.

More here

And see Jonathan Cohn – ‘Hoosier Hustle? Another Dubious Attack on Obamacare’

Also too – ThinkProgress: Tea Party Senator Concedes Defeat: We Won’t Be Able To Fully Repeal Obamacare

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USA Today: Vice President Biden is off on a six-day trade and diplomatic trip to India and Singapore.

…. The vice president and his wife Dr Jill Biden land Monday in New Dehli; they will travel to Mumbai later this week …. they arrive Thursday in Singapore…

… The Bidens will stop in Hawaii on their way back to the United States; they return to Washington on Sunday.

More here

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Continue reading ‘Rise and Shine’

20
Feb
12

evening all

@liberalgirl007

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Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi and Sen. Carmelo Rios unveil a bronze statue of President Barack Obama, along the “Avenue of Heroes” outside the Capitol building, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Feb. 20. Puerto Rican officials unveiled statues of Obama and former President Lyndon B. Johnson. Every sitting U.S. president who has ever visited Puerto Rico is honored with a statue, dating back to Theodore Roosevelt. Obama became the eighth when he visited in June.

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Steve Benen’s growing list of achievements by PBO’s administration on gay rights:

* announced it will not defend the constitutionality of statutes blocking same-sex military spouses from receiving marriage benefits

* successfully repealed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law

* expanded federal benefits for the same-sex partners of executive-branch employees

* signed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law

* cleared the way for hospital-visitation rights for same-sex couples

* lifted the travel/immigration ban on those with HIV/AIDS

* ordered the Federal Housing Authority to no longer consider the sexual orientation of applicants on loans

* expanded the Census to include the number of people who report being in a same-sex relationship

* directed U.S. agencies abroad to ensure our humanitarian and diplomatic efforts “promote and protect” the rights of gays and lesbians

* endorsed repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act

* stopped trying to defend DOMA against federal court challenges

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O……kay:

A carnival float depicts US President Barack Obama as Captain America during the traditional parade in Cologne, Germany, Feb. 20

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Charles P. Pierce (Esquire): ….. Having aligned itself in the mid-1960’s with the angry remnants of American apartheid, the Republican party – and the conservative “movement” which is its only real energy – is now scrambling, one state at a time, to undo the achievements of the Civil Rights Movement on the wrong side of which it decided to place itself for political advantage…..

….. The shift is driven by the fact that people do not want black people, or poor people, or Democrats in general, to vote. This was obvious from the voter cadging in Florida in 2000, and in the mischief with the voting machine placements in Ohio in 2004. It was energized recently by the fact that black people and poor people helped elect a black person president, and a substantial portion of the Republican party and its conservative base found that to be an illegitimate outcome and has worked ever since his inauguration to delegitimize him on the grounds that he is a black man who was elected and is, therefore, not really president.

Full post here

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SmartyPants: One of the things that concerns me as we watch the Republicans revert to their old culture wars against women, people of color, gays & lesbians, poor people, unions, etc. is that we will all divide again into our camps to defend our root causes and forget the bigger picture that binds us. Other than fear, the right’s most effective weapon against us is division.

What will keep us united is to always remember the big picture of what’s happening. As I’ve been saying, keeping an eye on the forest means recognizing that the old white male heterosexual patriarchy is dying and the Republican Party is in chaos. What we can expect is that the old beast is going to strike out at anything it perceives as a threat and therefore the cause of its demise.

Full post here

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Carter Eskew (Washington Post): I was thinking of taking today off, but Rick Santorum wouldn’t let me.

Rick Santorum went and said another stupid thing. “The Earth is not the objective,” he told “Face The Nation.” “Man is the objective. And, I think a lot of radical environmentalists have it upside down.”

I think he says these things not because he is, in fact, stupid, but because he is angry, and anger fuels his supporters.

More here

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Go to OFA for the interactive graphic

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Ed Kilgore: A good deal of the excitement over the recent contraception coverage mandate has resulted from the hopes of Republicans, and the fears of some Catholic liberals, that the controversy could prove to be a “wedge issue” that would drive significant numbers of Catholic voters into the GOP column in November.

The assumption behind such scenarios, of course, is that there is a self-conscious “Catholic vote” that operates independently of the rest of the electorate, and that can be moved by the pronouncements of Catholic religious leaders.

My latest column for The New Republic examines this assumption, and finds it uncompelling in several respects: Catholic voters are remarkably similar to all voters in their partisan inclinations; they do not have any overall inclination to follow the Church hierarchy on hot-button cultural issues; and in fact, they are not responding differently from other Americans to the contraception coverage mandate controversy. “The Catholic Vote” looks just like America.

More here

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Tuesday: 11:35 AM – PBO hosts a payroll tax cut event, VP Biden also attends.

The President and First Lady will invite music legends and contemporary major artists to the White House for a celebration of Blues music and in recognition of Black History Month as part of their “In Performance at the White House” series.

Wednesday: The President will deliver remarks at the construction site of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Thursday: The President will travel to the University of Miami to continue to discuss his blueprint for an economy built to last.

Friday: The President will host Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt of Denmark for a meeting in the Oval Office.

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Reverend Keith A. Gordon: Blues fans, circle Monday, February 27th, 2012 on your calendars, ’cause we’re going to paint the White House blue! The Emmy Award-winning PBS series In Performance At The White House is going to document a historic celebration of the blues with a taping of a February 21st concert to be held in the East Room of the White House, the event hosted by President and Mrs. Obama in recognition of Black History Month.

In Performance At The White House program host Taraji P. Henson will oversee the concert, which will feature performances by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, B.B. King, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Gary Clark, Jr., Keb’ Mo’, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, Shemekia Copeland, Warren Haynes, and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. Stax Records legend Booker T. Jones will serve as the concert’s music director and bandleader.

….. The concert will be streamed live (from 7:20) on the White House, Public Broadcasting, and Black Public Media websites….

27
Jan
12

afternoon all

President Barack Obama is introduced by Representative John Larson, Chairman of the Democratic House Caucus, at the House Democratic Issues Conference in Cambridge, Maryland, January 27

Intro:

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PurpleLauren2

Thanks amk

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TPM: Out of the three officials who met President Obama on an airport tarmac near Phoenix earlier this week, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is now the only one who has characterized the president as anything other than cordial.

In numerous TV and radio interviews since the meeting, Brewer has said the president was “tense to say the least” and took issue with a book she wrote last year. She said Obama walked away from her while she was in mid-sentence and even told one Phoenix television station she felt “a little bit threatened” by the encounter.

But Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, who was standing just feet away from the president and the governor on Wednesday during their now-infamous encounter, told TPM that Obama seemed calm the whole time.

“He wasn’t tense at all,” Stanton said on Friday. “The guy’s a pro.”

More here

Thanks Liberal Librarian

23
Jan
12

rise and shine

White House: On Monday, January 30, the President will join a special Google+ Hangout from the West Wing. He’ll be answering several of the most popular questions that have been submitted through YouTube, and some of the people who submitted questions will even be invited to join the President in the Hangout and take part in the live conversation.

Do you have a question for President Obama? Here’s how you can participate:

Starting today through January 28th, you can visit the White House YouTube channel to submit your questions and vote on your favorites.

Tomorrow, watch the State of the Union live at 9:00 p.m. EST on YouTube.com/whitehouse or on WhiteHouse.gov/sotu

More here

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Paul Krugman: How goes the state of the union? Well, the state of the economy remains terrible. Three years after President Obama’s inauguration and two and a half years since the official end of the recession, unemployment remains painfully high.

But there are reasons to think that we’re finally on the (slow) road to better times. And we wouldn’t be on that road if Mr. Obama had given in to Republican demands that he slash spending, or the Federal Reserve had given in to Republican demands that it tighten money.

Why am I letting a bit of optimism break through the clouds? Recent economic data have been a bit better, but we’ve already had several false dawns on that front. More important, there’s evidence that the two great problems at the root of our slump — the housing bust and excessive private debt — are finally easing.

….if this year’s election brings the wrong ideology to power, America’s nascent recovery might well be snuffed out.

More here

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From Steve Benen:

INGRAHAM: You’ve also noted that there are signs of improvement on the horizon in the economy. How do you answer the president’s argument that the economy is getting better in a general election campaign if you yourself are saying it’s getting better?

ROMNEY: Well, of course it’s getting better. The economy always gets better after a recession, there is always a recovery. […]

INGRAHAM: Isn’t it a hard argument to make if you’re saying, like, OK, he inherited this recession, he took a bunch of steps to try to turn the economy around, and now, we’re seeing more jobs, but vote against him anyway? Isn’t that a hard argument to make? Is that a stark enough contrast?

ROMNEY: Have you got a better one, Laura? It just happens to be the truth.

More here

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John Heilemann (NY Mag): ….. If Gingrich wins Florida, the Republican Establishment is going to have a meltdown that makes Three Mile Island look like a marshmallow roast. Why? Because the Establishment will be staring down the barrel of two utterly unpalatable choices. On the one hand, Gingrich’s national favorable-unfavorable ratings of 26.5 and 58.6 percent, respectively make him not just unelectable against Obama but also mean that he would likely be a ten-ton millstone around the necks of down-ballot Republican candidates across the country. And on the other, Romney will have shown in two successive contests—one in a bellwether Republican state, the other in a key swing state—an inability to beat his deeply unpopular rival. If this scenario unfolds, the sound of GOP grandees whispering calls for a white knight, be it Indiana governor Mitch Daniels (who, conveniently, is delivering the Republican response to Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night) or Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan or even Jeb Bush, will be deafening.

More here

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Nick Anderson

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Fareed Zakaria (CNN): …. President Obama entered the Oval Office with the United States deeply unpopular around the world, with vast commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, with difficult relations with many countries and a large part of the world feeling that it had been ignored by an America obsessed by the “War on Terror.”

Obama was determined to pare down America’s commitments and its military footprint and to regain goodwill and trust abroad. For the most part, he has done so….

If the war against al Qaeda is the most visible and dramatic success story, the most significant long-term success might be in Asia, where Obama has pivoted …. He did so carefully and skillfully so that Asia countries saw it as a response to their requests rather than an unilateral assertion of American power….

All in all, it’s a pretty strong record. Which is why you actually don’t hear Republicans talking much about foreign policy on the campaign trail.

More here

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Greg Sargent: Romney to bombard Gingrich with scorched earth attacks: The big news this morning is that the Romney campaign — stung by Newt Gingrich’s big South Carolina win — is prepared to unleash a white-hot series of assaults on the (again) surging challenger. One of these, apparently, will be a continued demand that Gingrich release the ethics probe that got him bounced from Congress — even though the probe has already been released.

More here

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TPM

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McClatchy

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Morning everyone ;-)




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