Greg Mitchell: A lot of outrage, and not-so-gentle mockery, this morning over a classic Politico piece by editor Jim VandeHei and chief reporter Mike Allen complaining about President Obama manipulating the press….
So John Cook, editor of Gawker, just performed a public service by posting on Twitter every question Allen chose to ask President Bush when he did get full access back in 2008. You may remember 2008 – the economy was about to collapse and we were still in a full shooting war in Iraq …. these below catch the spirit. Keep in mind that Allen wrote today that Obama avoids Politico reporters in part because they “ask tough, unpredictable questions.”
Q: Now, Mr. President, you and the First Lady appeared on American Idol’s charity show, “Idol Gives Back.” And I wonder who do you think is going to win? Syesha, David Cook, or David Archuleta?
Brooks Kraft has won “Political Photo of the Year” from the The White House News Photographers Association for this image of President Barack Obama speaking in the pouring rain during a campaign rally in Glen Allen, Va. (See here)
9:35: President Obama departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews
11:30: Arrives in Decatur, Ga.
12:10: Visits a pre-kindergarten classroom at College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center
1:20: Delivers remarks at Decatur Community Recreation Center
2:40: Departs Decatur
4:25: Arrives at the White House
4:50: Participates in a “Fireside Hangout” with Google+ to discuss his State of the Union Address
WH: On Thursday, President Obama will join the latest in a series of “Fireside Hangouts” – a 21st century take on FDR’s famous radio addresses – to talk about his State of the Union Address.
During a completely virtual conversation hosted by Google, the President will answer questions from Americans across the country about the issues and policies laid out in the speech. Anyone can submit a question for the President and vote on your favorites on the White House YouTube channel
President Barack Obama waves to people gathered along the motorcade route from Osawatomie High School to Osawatomie-Paola Municipal Airport in Osawatomie, Kan., Dec. 6, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Paul Krugman: One crucial thing you need to understand about political journalists is that with some honorable exceptions, they don’t know or care about actual policy …
…. Hence, the awful decision of Politico to give Paul Ryan an award as healthcare policymaker of the year.
…. what became painfully, embarrassingly clear during the debate over the Ryan plan was that Ryan is, well, incompetent …. it’s true that the plan “got everyone talking”, as Politico says – but mostly it got people talking about what a mess Ryan’s effort was.
Oh, and it was pretty clear that Ryan wasn’t being honest about his own numbers.
What’s going on here, I suppose, is that Politico is mistaking theater for policy. Ryan isn’t an important health care reformer, or even minimally competent in his attempted wonkery, but he plays a deep thinker on TV. And the people at Politico either don’t understand the difference, or they don’t care.
President Obama returns to the White House after a visit to Kansas
Steve Benen: President Obama has decided that, from now on, foreign aid decisions will take into consideration how countries treat their LGBT citizens, and he directed U.S. agencies abroad to ensure our humanitarian and diplomatic efforts “promote and protect” the rights of gays and lesbians.
…. today’s announcement marks a historic first …. It also adds to a rather extraordinary record for Obama in this area in his first three years….
…. I realize there are still a sizable number of people in the LGBT community who are unsatisfied with the pace of change, and consider President Obama someone who has ignored, and even betrayed, their interests. Some have even vowed not to lift a finger to help with the president’s re-election effort.
I suspect many social-conservative activists find this inexplicable.
This morning, six retired corrections officials, including Dr. Allen Ault, retired Director of the Georgia Department of Corrections and former Warden of the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison where he oversaw executions for the state, have sent the following letter to Georgia Corrections Officials and Governor Nathan Deal asking them to urge the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to reconsider the decision they made on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 to deny Troy Davis Clemency despite concerns about his guilt.
We write to you as former wardens and corrections officials who have had direct involvement in executions. Like few others in this country, we understand that you have a job to do in carrying out the lawful orders of the judiciary. We also understand, from our own personal experiences, the awful lifelong repercussions that come from participating in the execution of prisoners. While most of the prisoners whose executions we participated in accepted responsibility for the crimes for which they were punished, some of us have also executed prisoners who maintained their innocence until the end. It is those cases that are most haunting to an executioner.
We write to you today with the overwhelming concern that an innocent person could be executed in Georgia tonight. We know the legal process has exhausted itself in the case of Troy Anthony Davis, and yet, doubt about his guilt remains. This very fact will have an irreversible and damaging impact on your staff. Many people of significant standing share these concerns, including, notably, William Sessions, Director of the FBI under President Ronald Reagan.
Living with the nightmares is something that we know from experience. No one has the right to ask a public servant to take on a lifelong sentence of nagging doubt, and for some of us, shame and guilt. Should our justice system be causing so much harm to so many people when there is an alternative?
We urge you to ask the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to reconsider their decision. Should that fail, we urge you to unburden yourselves and your staff from the pain of participating in such a questionable execution to the extent possible by allowing any personnel so inclined to opt-out of activities related to the execution of Troy Anthony Davis. Further, we urge you to provide appropriate counseling to personnel who do choose to perform their job functions related to the execution. If we may be of assistance to you moving forward, please do not hesitate to call upon any of us.
Respectfully and collegially,
Allen Ault – Retired Warden, Georgia Diagnostic & Classifications Prison
Terry Collins – Retired Director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
Ron McAndrew – Retired Warden, Florida State Prison
Dennis O’Neill – Retired Warden, Florida State Prison
Reginald Wilkinson – Retired Director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
Jeanne Woodford – Retired Warden, San Quentin State Prison
Governor Nikki Haley speaks during a meeting of the Tea Party in Columbia Thursday night at the Statehouse. A.L. Geddings and Louise Geddings of Columbia were representative of the low turnout.
The State: The Columbia Tea Party went from Donald Trump to jilted chump after the celebrity businessman canceled his appearance at Thursday’s State House rally, and state legislators approved tax breaks and spending that the group opposed.
Trump’s decision to not enter the GOP presidential race left local Tea Party leaders stewing about the way they had been treated. But about 30 people were on hand Thursday to thank Gov. Nikki Haley, lawmakers and activists for their work to require more on-the-record Legislative votes.
It was all part of a tough week for the state’s Tea Party movement.…
Columbia Tea Party chairman Allen Olson expected as many as 2,000 would have attended Thursday’s rally had Trump been there. But The Donald, a favorite of many who attended the group’s Tax Day rally with U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann elected to not run and dropped the rally from his schedule.
“It was a kick in the gut, but it gives you a chance to regroup,” said Olson.
The Boston Globe: President Obama paid a quick but rewarding visit to Boston yesterday, rallying supporters at a pair of fund-raisers to energize a Democratic stronghold and bolster his campaign coffers … Obama addressed a crowd of 900 at the Boston Center for the Arts in the South End before dining with big-money benefactors at the Brookline home of advertising executive Jack Connors Jr.
The evening event, which couples paid $35,800 to attend, was expected to raise more than $2 million, part of an aggressive fund-raising drive since Obama formally launched his reelection campaign last month. With its deep reservoir of Democratic donors, Massachusetts will probably play a major role in the party’s fund-raising efforts.
On Tremont Street, where hundreds waited in a cold rain in hopes of a glimpse of the president at the arts center, support for Obama was unconditional…..
…Before Obama spoke, Boston Celtics star Ray Allen likened the Obama campaign to a sports team that needed a focused effort to succeed. “Our colors are red, white, and blue. Our coach is Obama,’’ he said.
…Outside the fund-raiser, the small crowds that huddled under the trees to stay dry were surprised to learn that the president’s motorcade had arrived early, beating them to the spot.
“I’m in the doghouse,’’ said Jeremy Kindall, who brought his two young daughters to see Obama. “We’re going to send him a picture and say ‘Sorry we missed you.’ ’’ Hannah, age 8, however, sounded more than sorry. “Well, I was really, really, really, really excited until we found out we missed him,’’ she said. “Then I was pretty much entirely disappointed.’’ :lol: