Posts Tagged ‘asia

05
Dec
13

Rise and Shine

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama listen to the Seneca Valley High School Chamber Choir in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House following a holiday reception, Dec. 5, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today (All Times Eastern):

1:30: Jay Carney briefs the press

2:0: President Obama tapes an appearance on Hardball with Chris Matthews

4:10: President Obama delivers remarks at a Hanukkah reception

8:0: President Obama delivers remarks at a Hanukkah reception

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Jonathan Cohn: Healthcare.gov Is Not Amazon.com. Should We Care?

But the comparison to commercial websites should come with two very important caveats. One is an acknolwedgment of the huge, fundamental difference between what the two types of systems must do. Innovative companies like Amazon are constantly developing new, more efficient ways to sell books, clothing, and other goods. (Just check out those stories about the Amazon drones.) But they are still engaging consumers, producers and retailers in a series of relatively straightforward transactions.

Healthcare.gov, by contrast, must perform a whole series of complex transactions—taking and verifying identity and income, determining eligibility for government programs or private insurance subsidies, calculating individualized insurance prices based on that data, presenting options for consumers to buy, notifying and paying insurers, and following up with consumers after the process is done. To do that, the system must communicate with multiple government agencies, at both the federal and state levels, as well as private insurers.

If we’re going to compare the process of buying health insurance at healthcare.gov to the process of buying books at Amazon, we should also compare it to the process of buying health insurance before Obamacare came along. That wasn’t always so much fun, either.

More here

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Matthew Yglesias: Why Does The Economy Do Better Under Democrats?

They say a liberal is someone who doesn’t know how to take his own side in an argument, and the latest paper from former Clinton administration official Alan Blinder and co-author Mark Watson seems to confirm it. The paper looks at the well-established fact that GDP growth under Democratic Party presidents is more rapid than under GOP Presidents, and concludes that it’s all just a coincidence. Except they don’t mount a very strong argument for that conclusion. Consumer confidence is higher under Democrats: 25 percent. Fewer adverse oil shocks under Democrats: 12.5-25 percent. More positive TFP shocks under Democrats: 25 percent.

Unexplained: 25-37.5 percent. Lets take this in order. Consumer confidence is definitely something you could imagine the President being able to impact despite central bank independence and the separation of powers. People think of Democrats as representing majoritarian economic interests and unpopular secularism and internationalism. So when a Republican gets in, they expect America to stand tall on the world stage and stand up for core moral values but perhaps give short-shrift to the middle class. When a Democrat gets in, it’s just the opposite. So Democrats = more confidence.

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@Arapaho415

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Alex Wayne: Medicare Drug Discount Saves Elderly $8.9 Billion

The Obama administration said the U.S. health-care overhaul has saved Medicare recipients $8.9 billion so far in prescription drug costs. The savings average out to $1,209 a person, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Servicessaid today in a statement. The savings are related to a discount program on medicines created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.

The discounts apply to recipients of Medicare, the U.S. health program for the elderly and disabled, who reach a coverage gap in the program’s prescription medicine plans called the “donut hole.” The law requires drugmakers to provide a discount to people in the gap until they spend so much in a year, after which the government covers almost all the medicine costs.

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@USEmbassySeoul: Welcome to Korea, @VP Biden! Air Force 2 has just touched down. Wishing the VP a fruitful visit!

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The Atlantic: Biden’s 330-Minute Balancing Act In China

On Wednesday, fresh off a visit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Joe Biden spent five and a half hours in Beijing with Chinese President Xi Jinping over a series of meetings and dinner. The marathon diplomacy capped a delicate effort by the vice president this week to tamp down Japan’s anger over provocative Chinese actions in the East China Sea while not coming down too hard on China. So into the fray Biden has moved, counseling all parties to contribute to regional stability rather than undermining it and harming their own economic prospects and security.

In the past, America’s role as a guarantor of security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region may have created a moral hazard problem wherein nationalist leaders could shake their fists at each other over deep historical grievances without fearing the outbreak of war. As he travels through Asia, Biden appears to be subtly breaking with that state of affairs, pushing countries in the region to not free ride on American security but rather collectively develop a more stable and resilient infrastructure to handle crises. The goal, it seems, is to not only manage conflict but also build a future of what Biden called “limitless benefits.”

More here

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TPM: At Least 1.5 Million People Enrolled In Medicaid Since Obamacare Launch

Nearly 1.5 million Americans have enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program since the state Obamacare marketplaces went live on Oct. 1, according to a new report released Tuesday. The report from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is the most comprehensive look yet at how the low-income public insurance programs are faring under the health care reform law. It covers the month of October, and CMS said that more reports would be released on a monthly basis.

The total includes both those who are newly eligible for Medicaid in states that expanded the program and those in all states who were already eligible. They were funneled to the program both through the state-based insurance marketplaces that have opened under Obamacare and other sources (applying through local government offices, etc.). Coverage for those newly eligible under the Medicaid expansion starts on Jan. 1, 2014.

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@Whitehouse

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Bloomberg: Economy In U.S. Grows At 3.6% Rate On Bigger Inventory Build

The U.S. economy expanded in the third quarter at a faster pace than initially reported, led by the biggest increase in inventories since early 1998. Gross domestic product climbed at a 3.6 percent annualized rate, up from an initial estimate of 2.8 percent and the strongest since the first quarter of 2012, Commerce department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 77 economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted a 3.1 percent gain. Another report today showed first-time claims for jobless benefits dropped by 23,000 to 298,000 last week, according to the Labor Department. Still, housing and autos remain bright spots for the economy.

Residential construction increased at a 13 percent annualized rate, compared with a previous estimate of 14.6 percent, and added 0.38 percentage point to growth, today’s figures showed. More home-construction permits were issued in October than at any time in the past five years, a sign the residential real-estate market is gaining momentum heading into 2014, according to data last week from the Commerce Department. Auto sales remain on pace for their best year since 2007. General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC led November U.S. sales gains that met or exceeded analysts’ estimates

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Lt. Col. Robert Bateman: It’s Time To Talk About Guns And The Supreme Court

A woman charged with killing a fellow Alabama fan after the end of last weekend’s Iron Bowl football game was angry that the victim and others didn’t seem upset over the Crimson Tide’s loss to archrival Auburn, said the sister of the slain woman. People, it is time to talk about guns. I am embarrassed by our Supreme Court. The people who sit on a nation’s Supreme Court as supposed to be the wisest among us. They are supposed to be the men and women who understand and speak plainly about the most difficult topics confronting our nation. Our Supreme Court, however, has been failing us, as their actions have been almost the exact opposite of this ideal.

Five of the nine members of the Supreme Court agreed that the part in the Second Amendment which talks about “A Well Regulated Militia, Being Necessary To The Security Of A Free State…” did not matter. In other words, they flunked basic high school history. The lengths to which Justice Scalia had to go in his attempt to rewrite American history and the English language are as stunning as they are egregious. In essence, what he said about the words written by the Founding Fathers was, “Yeah, they didn’t really mean what they said.” You have got to be fking kidding me. Seriously? You spent nearly 4,000 words to deny the historical reality of thirteen words? That, sir, is an embarrassingly damning indictment not just of you, but of an educational system that failed to teach history.

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Leslie H. Gelb: Obama Wins Round One On Iran

The Obama team has won the first round on the six-month agreement with Iran by a knockout. The phony, misleading, and dishonest arguments against the pact just didn’t hold up to the reality of the text. As night follows day, the mob of opponents didn’t consider surrender, not for a second. Instead, they trained their media howitzers on the future, the next and more permanent agreement, you know, the one that has yet to be negotiated. The Saudis lost most gracefully.

They simply said this step has been taken and they’ll see about the next one. The Israelis lost most tendentiously. Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu called the interim arrangement “a historic mistake.” His minions went further to say that, in retaliation, Israel might well just trash the ongoing private negotiations with the Palestinians, probably the last chance for a treaty in Obama’s tenure. More creatively, American neoconservatives and conservatives are now contending that with his first round, Obama has mortgaged America’s future security. As for Obama having lost his negotiating leverage on economic sanctions, that is pure nonsense.

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Michael Tomasky: Why Obamacare Could Help The Democrats In 2014

If some Republicans are sounding just a little bit desperate right now, I think I know why. “Obamacare is not just a broken website,” House Speaker John Boehner sputtered the other day in retreat as it emerged that the website is now working well. “This bill is fundamentally flawed.” He sure hopes he’s right about that—and by the way, Mister, it’s a law, not a bill. But I bet late at night, when he’s having that last smoke and thinking back over his day, he fears that he’s wrong and that the central Republican…“idea,” if you want to call it that, of the last three years—get rid of Obamacare—is going to look awfully stupid to a majority of Americans eight or 10 months from now. If you haven’t gone to HealthCare.gov just for kicks, I certainly recommend now that you do. Pretend that you’re from a state that didn’t create an exchange. I just did, for the first time in weeks, an hour before scribbling these sentences. I was amazed. It was lightning fast. Explanations were clear and straightforward.

Instead of bureaucratese, I encountered something I didn’t expect at all: plain English! And here’s the key thing. It gave me loads of choices. I pretended to be a 35-year-old man from Kansas with a spouse and child. Without even having to enter my fake income, the site delivered me in a split second to a page with loads of plan options. Choice. That’s what America’s about. How many options? An amazing 42, to be precise. Forty-two plans! That might be more than the number of available potato-chip flavors in America. And this is where Republicans, if they’re looking around the corner, might be freaking out.  No American who has 42 choices is going to feel like the jackboot of the state is stomping on his neck. And sometime next year, the people in the states that didn’t take Medicaid money are going to start noticing something else: that in a lot of cases, they’re going to be paying more for the same plan that a person in a participating state is paying. How’s that going to go down, Rick Perry? Mr. Speaker, light up another one. It’s going to be a long night.

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President Obama meets with National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling in the Oval Office, Dec. 4 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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On This Day:

Following the Kennedy Center Honors, President Obama receives a briefing from Jeff Bader, Senior Director for Asian Affairs, left, and National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, right, before placing a telephone call to President Hu Jintao of China in the Oval Office, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attend the Kennedy Center Honors at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama greets Elie Wiesel in the Oval Office, Dec. 5, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pose in front of the Official White House Christmas Tree in the Blue Room of the White House, Dec. 5, 2010 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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13
Oct
13

Meanwhile, The Adminstration’s Work Goes On

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo

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Continue reading ‘Meanwhile, The Adminstration’s Work Goes On’

04
Oct
13

Rise and Shine

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President Barack Obama participates in a video teleconference with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, in the Situation Room of the White House, Oct. 4, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Presidential Daily Schedule (All Times Eastern)

11:15AM: Pres. Obama and VP Biden receive the Presidential Daily Briefing

1:15PM: Press Sec. Jay Carney Briefs The Press

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ABC: President Obama Cancels Entire Asia Trip

President Obama has cancelled the rest of his trip to Asia next week, pulling out of summits in Indonesia and Brunei because of the ongoing government shutdown, the White House announced tonight.

“The president made this decision based on the difficulty in moving forward with foreign travel in the face of a shutdown, and his determination to continue pressing his case that Republicans should immediately allow a vote to reopen the government,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a written statement.

The president had planned to travel to Asia this weekend to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali, Indonesia, and the East Asia Summit in Darussalam, Brunei.

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Vicki Needham: September Job’s Report Gets Pink Slip Amid Shutdown Drama

The Labor Department says it will not release the September jobs report Friday because the government remains shutdown. “Due to the lapse in funding” the Bureau of Labor Statistics will not be issuing the report as scheduled, the department said of the delay in a statement Thursday afternoon. An alternative release date has not been scheduled.

As the shutdown began Tuesday, all but three of the statistical bureau’s 2,400 employees were furloughed. Without a stage, the highly-anticipated monthly report that gauges the economy could create more problems. The lack of data could further shake already unstable financial markets that are reacting to the shutdown and looming debt limit. The Dow Jones dropped below 15,000 on Thursday and lost nearly 137 points.

More here

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Texas Tribune: Wendy Davis Makes It Official, Enters Governor’s Race

State Sen. Wendy Davis, standing on the stage where she got her high school diploma more than 30 years ago, finally announced Thursday what has been anticipated, telegraphed and talked about for weeks: She is running for Texas governor.

Davis promised to be an advocate for those who feel they no longer have a voice in the halls of the Texas Capitol, to fight for more education dollars and to take on Republicans leaders who she said are listening to their campaign contributors instead of average Texans.

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Continue reading ‘Rise and Shine’

15
Sep
13

Rise and Shine

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SmartyPants: Trust Vindicated

I don’t mind being called an Obamabot that much. Just like the President decided to embrace the label “Obamacare” that was initially meant as a slam, I suspect history will vindicate that supporting this administration was the right call. What I’ve typically reacted to negatively is the idea that I blindly trust President Obama because the fact is – I have my eyes wide open and am watching a fascinating presidency unfold. Over time what has happened is that when I don’t see the whole picture yet, I’ve learned to slow down my reactions and wait until I get more information. I also remind myself of who this man is that we’ve elected twice and how he’s handled things in the past…..

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The People’s View: Liberals Without A Conscience

You may think that by ‘liberals without a conscience,’ I am talking about people on the supposed Left who laughed at, dismissed, or shrugged off the children gasping for breath from the Syrian government’s chemical attacks, and you’d be right. You may think that I am using that term to refer to elected officials who pick and choose which humanitarian catastrophes we intervene in depending on who the president is, and you’d be right. You may think that by ‘liberals without a conscience,’ I’m digging at people on the Left that have suddenly found the anarchist Rand Paul and the statist Vladimir Putin to be their concurrent heroes, and you’d be right about that, too.

I have been coming to this realization for the last four years. I’m talking about people who stand in the way of progress, loud and proud, because they argue the progress isn’t enough, or refuse to recognize it as progress at all…..

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Jim Stuart’s New Blog: We Have A Deal

On balance, most of us in the US and elsewhere have a binary view of conflict: if you win, I lose, and vice versa. And we are completely immersed in the consciousness of scarcity, resource conflict, and fear of the other. Clearly, Gandhi, Mandela and King operated from a different level of consciousness, where abundance, peacemaking, and trust were the qualities seen first, and were part of each leader’s basic operating system. Developmental psychologists call this level of consciousness integral, and tell us that less than 5% of the world has attained this consciousness level. Obama, I believe, is part of this small percentage of people who see things whole; who trust the complexity of events to reveal deep structures and patterns, not single point answers or finite solutions; who know with absolute conviction that truth is found not in resolving paradox, but living in its tensions; that flow and generative action requires letting go of ego; and that all people, at every developmental level have something important to say, even your adversaries and enemies, because the brain is not capable of 100% error….

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The People’s View: How Putin “Outsmarted” Obama: By Completely Surrendering To All Of His Demands 

In certain parts of the world wide web – whether it be the “liberal” The Nation or any of the conservative outlets – the narrative is that Russian president Vladimir Putin “outsmarted” President Obama by coming up with a peaceful solution to Syria’s use of chemical weapons.

So let’s review, shall we? The United States gets a full disarmament of Syria – verifiably, completely, and and transparently. Russia, which until the G-20 refused to even talk about consequences for Syria is suddenly on board. Syria can’t act fast enough to show and turn over the chemical weapons that until last week it didn’t even admit it had. Chemical weapons? What chemic… here you go! (credit: Stephanie Miller) And to boot, the United States got Russia to agree to govern this agreement under the part of the Security Council documents that covers military action, even if Russia is still putting up a front against it…..

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Michael Wines: E.P.A. Is Expected to Set Limits on Greenhouse Gas Emissions by New Power Plants

Following up on President Obama’s pledge in June to address climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency plans next week to propose the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas emissions from newly built power plants. While details of the E.P.A.’s proposal remain confidential, experts predict that it will include separate standards for carbon dioxide emissions from plants fired by natural gas and by coal. Plants using comparatively clean gas would be permitted to emit perhaps 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour, a ceiling within easy reach using modern technologies.

Coal-fired plants, meanwhile, may be allowed to emit as many as 1,400 pounds per megawatt-hour. But coal is so heavily laden with carbon that meeting even that higher limit would require operators to scrub carbon dioxide from their emissions before they reach the smokestack, and then pump it into permanent storage underground.

In his June climate action plan, Mr. Obama ordered the E.P.A. to propose new greenhouse-gas rules covering existing plants by next June, and to issue final standards by June 2015.

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Jim Kuhnhenn: Obama To Use Lehmann Anniversary To Cite Progress

President Barack Obama is marking the fifth anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse by trying to lay claim to an economic turnaround and warning Republicans against moves that he contends would risk a backslide. His message to the GOP: don’t oppose raising the nation’s debt limit, don’t threaten to close down the government in a budget fight, and don’t push to delay the health care law or starve it of federal money.

The economic emphasis, after weeks devoted to the Syrian crisis, begins coming into focus in a series of events kicked off by a Rose Garden speech Monday. The White House argues that a better capitalized and better regulated financial sector is extending more credit, fueling an economy now able to withstand headwinds such as spending cuts and tax increases.

“You can draw this straight line from the health of the financial system to the ways the financial system impacts the economy,” said Jason Furman, the chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. Obama can point to a growing economy, rising housing prices, 35 straight months of hiring, a rebounding stock market and other signs of recovery. Five years after the federal government stepped in and infused banks with $245 billion in taxpayer money to avert a financial meltdown, the government has been paid back nearly in full.

More here

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden wait with members of the economic team in the Oval Office before a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House, Sept. 15, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Daily Beast: Oh Look, There Goes The Deficit

A funny thing happened on the way to the debt-ceiling battle: a big chunk of our annual budget quietly melted away. Daniel Gross on the good news you didn’t see coming.

…. we’ve long argued that we live in a Golden Age of Deficit Reduction. The August Treasury Monthly statement, released Thursday, and a Congressional Budget Office report released earlier this week, show just how far we’ve come in the space of a year.

In August, revenues were $185 billion, up 3.4 percent from $178.9 billion in August 2012. Spending was $333 billion, down 9.7 percent from $369 billion. The result: the deficit for the month of August was $147 billion, down 22 percent from $190 billion in August 2012.

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Bo, the Obama family dog, lounges in the West Garden Room of the White House, Sept. 15, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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USA Today: Obama Travels To Asia Next Month

President Obama travels to four Asian nations for three economic summits between Oct. 6-12 … The stops are in Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines.

From the White House: “In Indonesia, he will attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders meeting … The president will then travel to Brunei for the U.S.-ASEAN Summit and the East Asia Summit (EAS) and to meet with the Sultan of Brunei….

“In Malaysia, the president will meet with Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia to highlight our growing bilateral ties with Malaysia, and will deliver the keynote address to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit…..

“The president will then travel to the Philippines, the fifth Asian treaty ally he has visited during his presidency. He will meet with President Aquino to reaffirm the strong economic, people-to-people, and security links between our two countries.”

More here

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First Lady Michelle Obama and Darden Restaurants chef Julie Elkinton greet diners following an event at an Olive Garden restaurant in Hyattsville, Md., Sept. 15, 2011. The First Lady joined Darden Restaurants and Partnership for a Healthier America to announce the company’s committment to reduce its calorie and sodium footprints, and to provide greater choice and variety to families through changes to its kids’ menus. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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Bryce Covert: California Poised To Raise Its Minimum Wage To $10 An Hour

After a bill to raise California’s minimum wage to $9 per hour as of July 2014 and then $10 by January 2016 was approved by both houses of the California state legislature on Thursday, it now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) desk for signature. Brown voiced his support earlier in the week in a press release, saying, “This legislation is overdue and will help families that are struggling in this harsh economy.”

When voters are asked to vote on whether to raise the minimum wage, they almost always approve it with substantial majorities, as was the case in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, and Ohio in past years. Eighty percent of Americans support a national raise to $10.10 an hour, including two-thirds of Republicans.

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President Barack Obama talks with New York Times photojournalist Joao Silva in the Oval Office, Sept. 15, 2011. Silva lost both his legs when he stepped on a mine while accompanying U.S. soldiers on patrol near the town of Arghandab, in southern Afghanistan, Oct. 23, 2010, and was at the White House on assignment to photograph Dakota Meyer receiving the Medal of Honor. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

The President has no public events scheduled

3:0 EDT: VP Biden delivers remarks at Sen. Tom Harkin’s 36th Annual Steak Fry in Indianola, Iowa

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wait with Dakota Meyer in the Blue Room of the White House before the start of the Medal of Honor presentation ceremony in the East Room, Sept. 15, 2011. Meyer, then a Marine Corps Corporal, received the Medal of Honor for his actions on Sept. 8, 2009, while serving in the Kunar Province, Afghanistan. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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22
Nov
12

Rise and Shine

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NYT: President Obama skipped dessert at a long summit meeting dinner in Cambodia on Monday to rush back to his hotel suite. It was after 11:30 p.m., and his mind was on rockets in Gaza rather than Asian diplomacy. He picked up the telephone to call the Egyptian leader who is the new wild card in his Middle East calculations.

Over the course of the next 25 minutes, he and President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt hashed through ways to end the latest eruption of violence, a conversation that would lead Mr. Obama to send Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to the region. As he and Mr. Morsi talked, Mr. Obama felt they were making a connection. Three hours later, at 2:30 in the morning, they talked again.

…. The White House phone log tells part of the tale. Mr. Obama talked with Mr. Morsi three times within 24 hours and six times over the course of several days, an unusual amount of one-on-one time for a president. Mr. Obama told aides he was impressed with the Egyptian leader’s pragmatic confidence. He sensed an engineer’s precision with surprisingly little ideology. Most important, Mr. Obama told aides that he considered Mr. Morsi a straight shooter who delivered on what he promised and did not promise what he could not deliver.

Full article here

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President Obama talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel during a phone call from his hotel suite in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Nov. 19 (Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, aboard Air Force One during the flight from Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Washington, D.C., Nov. 20. National Security Advisor Tom Donilon listens at right. (Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in the Oval Office, Nov. 21. Chief of Staff Jack Lew, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, and Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough listen in the foreground. (Pete Souza)

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone

17
Nov
12

Rise and Shine

President Barack Obama jokingly mimics U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney’s “not impressed” look while greeting members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams in the Oval Office, Nov. 15, 2012. Steve Penny, USA Gymnastics President, and Savannah Vinsant laugh at left. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Washington Post: Just a year after his administration signaled it would help Burma emerge from decades of repressive military rule, President Obama will make history Monday by becoming the first U.S. president to visit the long-isolated Southeast Asian nation.

Obama’s gesture, [is] the centerpiece of a four-day trip to the region that will include stops in Thailand and Cambodia…

During his six hours in Burma, Obama is scheduled to meet separately with President Thein Sein and democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose release in 2010 following 15 years under house arrest launched her nation’s opening to the West. She has since become a member of parliament.

….. Obama will meet with Thailand’s prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, and in Cambodia he will attend a gathering of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and participate in this year’s East Asia Summit to discuss security issues. The president is also expected to meet privately with several foreign leaders, including Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

More here

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President Obama walks to Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base – the President is traveling to Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia

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Bangkok, Thailand, Nov. 17

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Michael Tomasky: The Nonexistent Case Against Susan Rice Crumbles

Peter King admitted on CNN that David Petraeus, in his Hill briefing, the one John McCain couldn’t be bothered to attend because he was holding a press conference denouncing the administration for withholding information, gave Susan Rice the green light to say what she said on those TV appearances on that fateful day.

…. the agency approved Rice’s talking points. So she wasn’t lying or spinning. So says Peter King, no ideological or partisan doormat on these matters, I think you would agree.

…. Rice maybe should or should not be secretary of state, but she sure shouldn’t be disqualified on the basis of these flimsy and silly allegations, and King’s admission helps clear her plate.

Full post here

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Cagle

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A most excellent White House petition:

BuzzFeed

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Cagle

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Video of the week?

Thank you JamilaJP! (Forward to 11:30 for Romney’s concession speech)

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Mooooooorning everyone!

22
Nov
11

afternoon all

Jon Taplin (TPM): Barack Obama learned a political trick from Muhammad Ali called Rope a Dope. For you youngsters, this refers to the epic Rumble in the Jungle Heavyweight fight against George Foreman in 1974….

Last summer during the debt ceiling hostage crisis, Obama appeared to be the loser, but yesterday Republicans woke up to the reality that they lost Big Time – that we were going to get $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions, with 50% of the cuts coming from the military and none of the cuts from Social Security and Medicare. The Congressional water carriers for the Military Industrial Complex are in a panic.

…. So why aren’t progressives celebrating this morning? Got me … If you had suggested to me last spring that a Republican House would pass a bill cutting $600 billion from the Pentagon budget over ten years, I would have called you crazy. But that is just what happened.

So there is only one election that matters a year from now. And that is that President Obama will be reelected and able to keep his veto threat….

This is an amazing victory and all we have to do to hold on to it is reelect the President.

Full post here

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The Hill: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said Tuesday that President Obama’s 2009 stimulus package continues to benefit the struggling economy.

…. By CBO’s numbers, the $800 billion stimulus added up to 0.9 million jobs in 2009, 3.3 million jobs in 2010 and 2.6 million jobs in 2011. As the effects of the stimulus wind down, Obama has been pushing Congress to enact a $447 billion jobs bill that includes infrastructure spending and tax cuts.

Full article here

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Steve Benen: Romney’s willingness to lie to voters raises important questions about his integrity, but the question now becomes whether television stations will participate in the lie by airing a spot that’s proven to be deceptive.

More here

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Steve Benen: President Obama’s week-long trip to Asia didn’t generate a lot of attention from the domestic media, and based on Walter Russell Mead’s description, that’s a real shame. Americans have every reason to be pleased with the results of the president’s successful efforts:

The cascade of statements, deployments, agreements and announcements from the United States and its regional associates in the last week has to be one of the most unpleasant shocks for China’s leadership – ever …. Rarely has a great power been so provoked and affronted. Rarely have so many red lines been crossed. Rarely has so much face been lost, so fast…. [I]t was as decisive a diplomatic victory as anyone is likely to see. Congratulations should go to President Obama and his national security team.

…. I suspect the number of Americans who’ll vote in 2012 based on foreign policy can meet in a broom closet, but it’s getting tougher for even the harshest White House critics to deny President Obama’s impressive record on foreign policy…..

Full post here

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In case you missed….

20
Nov
11

home run

President Barack Obama steps off Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base as he returns from a nine-day trip to the Asia Pacific early Sunday, Nov. 20

Back at the White House

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Will be back later today, have a perfect Sunday ;-)




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