President Obama takes questions during a meeting with the National Governors Association
President Barack Obama talks with Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vt., center, chair of the Democratic Governors Association, and Gov. Mike Spence, R-Ind., after a meeting with the NGA in the State Dining Room of the White House, Feb. 25, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Official portrait of Vice President Joe Biden in his West Wing Office at the White House, Jan. 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Grrrr, got no newsie bits posted today, will try to make up for it in the morning – I have a seriously monster huuuuuge amount of catching up to do.
Vice President Joe Biden hugs his wife Jill Biden before speaking at the National Education Association convention at the Washington Convention Center on July 3
ABC: …. Vice President Joe Biden today warned the nation’s public school teachers that they are “under full blown assault” from Mitt Romney and the Republican Party.
“Gov. Romney and his allies in the Congress, their plan for public education in America is to let the states use Title One dollars to boost enrollment in private schools,” Biden told a crowd of more than 15,000 delegates at the National Education Association convention in Washington.
“I’m not looking for boos,” he told the crowd, which was reacting to mention of Romney. “I think we should just have a straight honest to God talk about the difference between… how President Obama and I view education and how our Republican colleagues today view it.”
…. Citing the House Republican budget, Biden said a President Romney would gut investments in public education and lead to more teacher layoffs. He hit Romney for recent comments opposing additional federal aid to states to boost teacher hiring and claims that smaller class sizes don’t matter in student success.
“If you really want to know how fundamentally out of touch he is with what made you choose your profession go to his website,” Biden said. “Here’s what he says about you, and I’m quoting. ‘When your cause in life,’ referring to you… ‘is preventing parents from having a meaningful choice, or children from having a real chance, then you’re on the wrong side.’ That’s what he thinks of you. Pretty astounding,” Biden said.
“Your cause in life is preventing parents from seeing their children have an opportunity to dream? Your cause in life is preventing children from having a real chance? Is he serious? He is though,” he added. “I believe he means what he says. I can’t think of a candidate for president who has made such a direct assault on such an honorable profession.”
USA Today: Auto sales are growing so fast that Detroit can barely keep up.
Three years after the U.S. auto industry nearly collapsed, sales of cars and trucks are surging. Sales could exceed 14 million this year, above last year’s 12.8 million.
The result: Carmakers are adding shifts and hiring thousands of workers around the country. Carmakers and parts companies added more than 38,000 jobs last year, reaching a total of 717,000. And automakers have announced plans to add another 13,000 this year, mostly on night shifts.
…. the surge in hiring bolsters the argument of those who supported the federal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler in 2008…..
Washington Post: …. Rick Perry, whose bid for the White House depends heavily on support from religious conservatives, finds himself confronting an issue that is a flash point for that part of his base: his attempt to order schoolgirls to take a vaccine that would protect them against a sexually transmitted virus.
The uproar over the Gardasil vaccine – manufactured by Merck, a major Perry campaign donor – knocked the candidate off-stride during a Republican debate Monday night ….
Perry bristled at accusations from Michele Bachmann that he had pushed the vaccine in 2007 at the bidding of Merck, a Perry donor that also employed a former aide to the governor as a lobbyist.
“It was a $5,000 contribution that I had received from them,” Perry said. “I raise about $30 million. And if you’re saying that I can be bought for $5,000, I’m offended.”
But campaign disclosure records portray a much deeper financial connection with Merck than Perry’s remarks suggest.
His gubernatorial campaigns, for example, have received nearly $30,000 from the drugmaker since 2000, most of that before he issued his vaccine mandate, which was overturned by the Texas legislature.
Merck and its subsidiaries have also given more than $380,000 to the Republican Governors Association (RGA) since 2006, the year that Perry began to play a prominent role in the Washington-based group…
Perry served as chairman of the RGA in 2008 and again this year, until he decided to run for president. The group also ranks among the governor’s biggest donors, giving his campaign at least $4 million over the past five years….
…. One of Perry’s closest confidantes, his former chief of staff Mike Toomey, was then working as an Austin-based lobbyist for Merck, which was in the midst of a multimillion-dollar campaign to persuade states to make the vaccine mandatory.
Toomey, who has declined requests for comment, has since helped found Make Us Great Again, a pro-Perry super PAC that can accept unlimited donations from corporations and wealthy donors. The group plans to raise as much as $55 million to help Perry compete for the GOP nomination, according to media reports.
Justin Elliott (Salon): Here’s an interesting tidbit from Rick Perry’s past to keep an eye on. In the mid-1990s, the presidential candidate owned stock in a video rental store chain whose hardcore porn offerings drew the ire of conservative groups, according to a 2006 report on a liberal Texas blog. That item was resurrected by several liberal web sites this week.
Burnt Orange Report, a site founded by a Democratic activist, reported in 2006 that Perry’s 1995 financial disclosure showed he owned between $5,000 and $10,000 in stock in the company Movie Gallery. He was at the time state commissioner of agriculture.
Why is that significant? Because the now-defunct Movie Gallery, once a competitor to Blockbuster, was known for offering XXX porn rentals along with conventional Hollywood fare….
Ironically, it was the social conservative crusaders at the American Family Association – the very group that helped organize Perry’s stadium prayer rally this month – who spent years on an anti-porn campaign targeting Movie Gallery….
…. Perry’s stock holdings were put in a blind trust in 1996, so what he has owned since that year is not publicly known ….1995 was a long time ago, but never underestimate how intensely social conservatives in places like Iowa abhor porn… it’s not beyond the realm of imagination that it could become a real headache…..
CNN: A year earlier than usual, the nation’s largest teachers union on Monday endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election in 2012.
The National Education Association, which represents 3.2 million teachers and administrators, approved the recommendation from its political action committee at its annual meeting in Chicago.
Obama “shares our vision for a stronger America,” NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said in a statement issued by the group. “He has never wavered from talking about the importance of education or his dedication to a vibrant middle class.”
….The NEA statement said the organization usually waits until the summer of an election year to endorse a candidate. This year, it did so earlier than normal “in order to provide early and strong support to help ensure the election of a candidate who is on the side of students and working families.”