Four years ago: President Obama looks out the window of Marine One as it lands at the White House, May 22, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
11:0: VP Biden Gives the Commencement Address at the United States Coast Guard Academy (audio only at WH Live)
1:0 Jay Carney’s press briefing
7:25: President Obama hosts a concert honoring Gershwin Prize winner Carole King
NYT: The bipartisan immigration bill that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday has many serious hurdles ahead. It is the most serious and worthy attempt to fix immigration in a generation, but it cannot help reflecting the poisoned politics of today, with its heavy tilt toward needless border enforcement and a deficiency in equal rights.
In the most moving and wrenching moment in three weeks of committee markup, the committee’s chairman, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, sought to amend the bill to allow gay Americans to sponsor their wives and husbands for green cards. The other Democrats, including Charles Schumer of New York, implored him not to put that amendment forward, saying this measure of basic fairness would drive off Republican support and kill the entire bill. Mr. Leahy withdrew it.
With that unhappy capitulation, the bill survives, with a possible battle over same-sex marriage still to come on the Senate floor. And then the bill will need to find some path through the Republican-led House….
Jonathan Capehart: Here we go again. President Obama’s critics in the African American community are hammering him for doing nothing for black people …. this thinking drives me crazy because the president’s detractors fail to take a 360-degree view of what they are demanding from him and ignore what he’s actually done.
…. Coates’s criticism emanates from Obama’s commencement address at Morehouse College in Atlanta …. Obama spoke to the black men of Morehouse not as a distant president but as a familiar peer. He used his troubled past as a real-life example of how one’s limited circumstances are neither destiny nor a hindrance to achieving the American Dream, as they define it. He urged the graduates to not make excuses, to aim high and to give back. Yet, Coates calls this “‘convenient race-talk’ from a president who ought to know better.” Obama can’t win.
… what’s missing from most African American critiques of Obama: an appreciation for Republican resistance to his agenda. To expect the president to introduce an explicit and definable “black agenda” in a Congress filled with people who believe him to be a socialist destroying the country while illegitimately occupying the Oval Office is seriously naive.
Steve Benen: USA Today had an item today on the IRS controversy, which seemed to reinforce much of what we already know: conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status faced unfair and unreasonable scrutiny. But deep in the article, in the 18th paragraph, USA Today added seven unexpected words: “Some liberal groups did get additional scrutiny.”
NPR: The Justice Department’s subpoena of Associated Press phone records as part of an investigation into what Attorney General Eric Holder has called “a very grave leak” to the news agency has set off a political firestorm on Capitol Hill, but there’s a lot to the AP story published a year ago that started it all.
….. as NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston reports, there’s much more to the story:
“As we understood it then and still understand it, that suicide bomber that AP refers to in its story was actually a double agent working with western intelligence agencies,” Dina says.
Although the double-agent did hand the new underwear bomb technology to U.S. officials, “they had hoped the agent could do more [and] … one consequence of the story is that this agent’s identity was blown,” she says.
Well, I think I’ve just reached my level of bullshit tolerance.
At the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Barack Obama sliced and diced the assembled luminaries, depicting them as trivial ratings chasers more eager to pursue a scoop so as to drive ratings and sell more advertising, than serious practitioners of the art of journalism, plying their craft as a public trust so that free citizens in a free republic can be fully informed about the issues of the day so as to render sober decisions about their own lives.
The poster child for this frivolous “journalism” is Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, who seems to have upped her Obama-dismay to 11 over the past few weeks. The President’s take down of her article saying that he was nothing like Andrew Shepherd, fictional president in “The American President”, is a beauty to behold.
Maureen Dowd said I could solve all my problems if I were just more like Michael Douglas in “The American President”. Michael, what’s your secret, man? Could it be that you’re an actor in an Aaron Sorkin liberal fantasy?
Obama’s entire WHCD speech was a master class in telling a captive audience just how useless they were to the wider country’s problems which needed urgent solutions.
Sheila Traina, whose home was completely demolished by flooding from Hurricane Sandy in New Dorp Beach, holds a letter written by her 11 year-old granddaughter Maggie Traina to President Obama who visited victims of the storm in Staten Island, November 15
With Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Sen. Charles Schumer, greeted by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, upon their arrival at JFK International Airport