First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama hugging Kitty Casey
President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. The National Prayer Breakfast is in it’s 63rd year
President Barack Obama strikes the Heisman pose with Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry
President Barack Obama meets with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in the Oval Office. President Obama and President Santos are expected to make a bid for increased aid for Colombia and talk about “Plan Colombia,” a U.S. aid initiative started in 2000 to help combat Colombian drug cartels
President Barack Obama holds a Golden State Warriors basketball jersey presented to him during an event with the 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors
President Barack Obama jokes while demonstrating “clowning” when talking about Stephen Curry
President Barack Obama tosses up a basketball given to him by coach Geno Auriemma while honoring the 2015 NCAA Women’s Basketball Champion University of Connecticut Huskies during a ceremony in the White House. President Obama honored the Huskies for winning their third consecutive title with 10 overall
President Barack Obama shakes hands with King Felipe VI of Spain during a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office. King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia are visiting Washington
First Lady Michelle Obama and Queen Letizia
FLOTUS: Earlier today the First Lady hosted Queen Letizia of Spain for tea at the @WhiteHouse.
@CasaReal: La Primera Dama de EEUU @MichelleObama, con la Reina Letizia. Viaje Oficial a EEUU
@CasaReal: End of the meeting at the @Whitehouse: The King and Queen of Spain, US president and M. Obama
“At the annual State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol, Chuck Kennedy captured this poignant moment between the First Lady and U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg. Cory first met the President in 2009 at a D-Day ceremony in Normandy. Four months later, Cory was badly injured in Afghanistan and in a coma for three months. In early 2010, shortly after Cory came out of his coma, the President happened to be visiting patients at Walter Reed Hospital. As he walked into one of the patient’s rooms, hanging on the wall was a photo I had taken of the President and Cory in Normandy. The President then realized that he had met this badly injured Army Ranger at Normandy. Two years later, we were visiting Arizona, where Cory had gone home to further recuperate. The President asked if Cory would be able to greet him backstage. Amazingly, Cory was able to salute the President and walk across the room aided by a walker to shake hands with the President.” (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
February 4, 2014
“Members of Congress vie for the President’s attention following a meeting with the House Democratic Caucus in the East Room of the White House.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
“The President talks with some of his national security advisors before a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the situation in Ukraine. I’m sure there will be people quick to comment about his wearing casual clothes and having his feet on his coffee table. Let’s keep perspective in mind: it was a Saturday, and a President is the President whether he’s wearing a suit on a weekday or casual clothes on a weekend. And a President, any President, isn’t disrespecting the office if he puts his feet on a table or a desk; he’s just being relaxed.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
First Lady Michelle Obama follows her daughters Malia Obama and Sasha Obama, as they arrive to welcome the Official White House Christmas Tree to the White House
First Lady Michelle Obama watches as daughter Malia Obama, adjusts the collar for her sister Sasha Obama, as they walk out to welcome the Official White House Christmas Tree to the White House. This year’s White House Christmas Tree, which will be on display in the Blue Room, is an 18.5-foot Douglas Fir grown by Chris Botek, a second generation Christmas Tree Farmer from Crystal Spring Tree Farm in Lehighton, Penn. Dogs Bo Obama, left, and Sunny Obama also participated
What we missed
Marian Robinson (FLOTUS’s mother), First Lady Michelle Obama, Kathleen Biden (Hunter Biden’s wife), Maisy Biden, Sasha Obama, and a friend attend a women’s college basketball game between the Princeton Tigers and the American University Eagles at Bender Arena on November 23, 2014 in Washington, DC. The First Lady’s niece, Leslie Robinson, was playing for Princeton.
George Clooney has never been shy about sharing his thoughts on politics and current events. So yesterday, when we ran into him at a Peggy Siegal lunch for his new space flick Gravity, we asked the liberal-leaning actor for his thoughts about the ongoing government shutdown. He had many — on John Boehner’s grand strategy, on the “idiots” who think we don’t need government, and on Ted Cruz’s reading of Green Eggs and Ham. “People keep talking about how this has to be a great negotiation, but there isn’t any negotiating a law.
We negotiate on all these other topics, but this was put into law, and [Obama] was reelected on it. It was reaffirmed, it was passed through the Supreme Court — it’s a law. You don’t like it? Win an election. That’s how it works. That’s how the country works. But you don’t get to shut down the government because of it. That’s not how it works.” “Shutting down the government is not how you make government work. And anybody who thinks we don’t need it is an idiot.”
May 11, 2012 – Pete Souza: “After some early morning basketball in Los Angeles, the President talks with the players who included actors Don Cheadle, Tobey Maguire, and George Clooney, along with two of Clooney’s long-time friends. Stacy Keibler is also at right.”
What happens in Vegas . . . doesn’t stay in Vegas when you are George Clooney and get in an argument with a hotel tycoon over President Obama. “There were 9 people at that table. . .So you can ask them. . .Steve likes to go on rants. . .HE called the president an asshole. . . that is a fact. . .I said the President was my longtime friend and then he said ‘your friend is an asshole.’ . . .At that point I told Steve that HE was an asshole and I wasn’t going to sit at his table while he was being such a jackass. And I walked out. There were obviously quite a few more adjectives and adverbs used by both of us. Those are all the facts. It had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with character.”
Steve Wynn and I have met three times, two times for dinner. That is the extent of our knowledge of one another, so I will refrain from trying to categorize him based on the little time we’ve spent together, but I will not let his version of the truth go unchallenged. He now says he didn’t call the president an ‘a——.’ That is false. He bellowed ‘I voted for the a——,’ and then called him the same thing several more times as the dinner came to an abrupt end. Again there were eight people at the table, eight witnesses. I did in turn, call him the same body part, and walked out. Again he can make up whatever story he wants, but these are the facts. He said I drank 16 shots of tequila. I didn’t drink one shot of tequila, not one. We were drinking but it was early and we still had two events to attend.
He said I live in a bubble. More of a bubble than Las Vegas? Honestly? He says I’m ‘molly coddled,’ that I’m surrounded by people who coddle me. I would suggest that Mr. Wynn look to his left and right and find anyone in his sphere that says anything but ‘yes’ to him. Emphatically. I did not attend a private boys’ school, I worked in tobacco fields and in stock rooms, and construction sites. I’ve been broke more of my life than I have been successful, and I understand the meaning of being an employee and how difficult it is to make ends meet. Steve is one of the richest men in the world and he should be congratulated for it, but he needs to take off his red sparkly dinner jacket and roll up his sleeves every once in a while and understand what most of the country is actually dealing with … or at least start with the fact that you can’t make up stories when eight people who are not on your payroll are sitting around you as witnesses.
Walking through Clooney’s house, Obama glimpsed at the “HOPE” poster from the 2008 campaign by Shepard Fairey and told donors: “People don’t realize that the photograph of me is actually me sitting next to George” at an event when Clooney was advocating on behalf of Darfur. “We struck up a friendship,” Obama said, and then joked, to much laughter: “This is the first time that George Clooney has actually been photo-shopped out of a picture. Never happened before, will never happen again.” Obama said Fairey did a poster for Clooney with both men on the same picture. “Why he said at the bottom ‘Dope and Hope,’ I don’t know.” More laughter. “We raised a lot of money because everybody loves George.
They like me, they love him. And rightfully so. Not only is he an unbelievable actor, but he is one of those rare individuals who is at ease with everybody. He seems to occupy a constant state of grace, and uses his extraordinary talents on behalf of something truly important.” Clooney listened intently to the president throughout, his hands folded as if in prayer and his chin resting on them. And I want to thank Clooney for letting us use his basketball court. This man has been talking smack about his basketball game ever since I’ve known him.”
At the National Press Club for ‘SAVE DARFUR: Rally to Stop Genocide’, 2006
Interesting interview. He talks about President Obama at 35:42.
President Barack Obama jokes with cast members of the movie “The Monuments Men” in the Diplomatic Reception Room, prior to a movie screening in the Family Theater of the White House, Feb. 18, 2014. Standing from left are: Matt Damon and his wife Luciana Damon, Grant Heslov, and George Clooney (Photo by Pete Souza)
Regarding game ops, i need to start with some background. for the first couple of years we owned the team, i didn’t much focus on game ops. then one day a light bulb went off. when digging into why our season ticket base is so small, i was told it is because we can’t get 35-55 white males and corporations to buy season tixs and they are the primary demo for season tickets around the league. when i pushed further, folks generally shrugged their shoulders. then i start looking around our arena during games and notice the following:
– it’s 70 pct black
– the cheerleaders are black
– the music is hip hop
– at the bars it’s 90 pct black
– there are few fathers and sons at the games
– we are doing after game concerts to attract more fans and the concerts are either hip hop or gospel.
Then i start looking around at other arenas. It is completely different. Even DC with its affluent black community never has more than 15 pct black audience. Before we bought the hawks and for those couple years immediately after in an effort to make the arena look full (at the nba’s urging) thousands and thousands of tickets were being giving away, predominantly in the black community, adding to the overwhelming black audience. My theory is that the black crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough affluent black fans to build a signficant season ticket base. Please dont get me wrong. There was nothing threatening going on in the arean back then. i never felt uncomfortable, but i think southern whites simply were not comfortable being in an arena or at a bar where they were in the minority. On fan sites i would read comments about how dangerous it is around philips yet in our 9 years, i don’t know of a mugging or even a pick pocket incident. This was just racist garbage. When I hear some people saying the arena is in the wrong place I think it is code for there are too many blacks at the games. I have been open with our executive team about these concerns. I have told them I want some white cheerleaders and while i don’t care what the color of the artist is, i want the music to be music familiar to a 40 year old white guy if that’s our season tixs demo. i have also balked when every fan picked out of crowd to shoot shots in some time out contest is black.
I have even bitched that the kiss cam is too black. Gradually things have changed. My unscientific guess is that our crowd is 40 pct black now, still four to five times all other teams. And my further guess is that 40 pct still feels like 70 pet to some whites at our games. Our bars are still overwhelmingly black.This is obviously a sensitive topic, but sadly i think it is far and way the number one reason our season ticket base is so low. And many of our black fans don’t have the spendable income which explains why our f&b and merchandise sales are so low. At all white thrasher games sales were nearly triple what they are at hawks games (the extra intermission explains some of that but not all). Regardless of what time a game starts, we have the latest arriving crowd in the league. It often looks and sounds empty when the team takes the floor. In the past two years, we have created a section of rowdy college students that has been a big plus. And we do a lot of very clever stuff during time outs to entertain the crowd. Our kiss cam is better done than any in the league. We have all the same halftime acts that other arenas have but i question whether they make sense. people are on their cell phones during half time. i wonder if flashing on the scoreboard “$2 off on hot dogs during halftime tonight” just as the half ends would be a better use of our halftime dollars and make the fans happier. We do all the usual giveways and the fans are usually their loudest when our spirit crew takes the floor to give away t-shirts. It pisses me off that they will yell louder for a t-shirt then for our players. Our player intro is flat. We manufacture a lot of noise but because of the late arriving crowd and the fact that a lot of blacks dont seem to go as crazy cheering (another one of my theories) as whites, it is not great.
President Barack Obama holds up a team jersey as he hosts a ceremony honoring the WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx in the East Room at the White House. Minnesota Lynx defeated the Atlanta Dream last October to win their second WNBA title in three years.
Minnesota Lynx women’s basketball player Maya Moore, right, pretends to take notes as President Barack Obama jokes that by now Moore has her own wing in the White House, standing next to teammate Seimone Augustus, during a ceremony honoring the WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx
Minnesota Lynx women’s basketball player Maya Moore reacts at right as President Barack Obama jokes that by now she has her own wing in the White House
Josh Lederman: Obama Fetes Minnesota Lynx For Wnba Finals Win; Says Team Is A Good Example For His Daughters
President Barack Obama is praising the WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx for setting a good example for his daughters and for girls across the country. Obama is honoring the team’s victory in the WNBA Finals in a White House ceremony. He says when young women play sports, they do better in school. Obama says the Lynx had something to prove when they started the season. He says, quote, “You succeeded.”
Obama commends the team for helping students with reading and raising money for breast cancer research. Obama says he can’t remember how many times star player Maya Moore has been to the White House following victories. He’s joking that she has her own White House wing.
President Barack Obama hugs Victoria Bellucci, a 2014 graduate of Huntingtown High School in Huntingtown, Md., after she introduced Obama to speak at the White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Bellucci played four years of women’s varsity soccer where she was a team captain and an All-State selection. By the time her high school and club soccer careers ended in 2013, Bellucci had suffered five concussions. President Obama was hosting the summit with representatives of professional sports leagues, coaches, parents, young athletes, researchers and others to call attention to the issue of youth sports concussions.
President Barack Obama talks at the White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit. Listening is Dr. Gerard Gioia
President Barack Obama is introduced by Victoria Belluci of Huntington, Md. at the White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit. Listening are moderator Pam Oliver and Dr. Gerard Gioia
CBS: President Obama Calls For More Robust Research Into Youth Concussions
The commander-in-chief wants to know more. President Barack Obama called Thursday for more robust research into youth concussions, saying there remains deep uncertainty over both the scope of the troubling issue and the long-term impacts on young people. “We want our kids participating in sports,” Obama said as he opened a day-long summit on concussions at the White House. “As parents though, we want to keep them safe and that means we have to have better information.” The summit signaled an effort by Obama to use the power of the presidency to elevate a national conversation over youth concussions. The White House brought together representatives of professionalsports leagues, coaches, parents, young athletes, medical professionals and others for the event.
"Sports teach us about teamwork and hard work and what it takes to succeed not only on the field, but in life." —Obama #HeadsUp4Safety
Obama, an avid sports fan and father of two daughters involved in athletics, highlighted millions of dollars in pledges and other support from the National Football League, the National Institutes of Health and others to conduct research that could begin to provide answers and improve safety. Among the financial commitments is a $30 million joint research effort by the NCAA and Defense Department and an NFL commitment of $25 million over the next three years to promote youth sports safety. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that can be caused by a blow to the head, or a blow to the body powerful enough to jostle the brain around inside the skull. Nearly 250,000 kids and young adults visit hospital emergency rooms each year with brain injuries caused by sports or other recreational activity, the White House said.
President Barack Obama shakes hands with former football player Lavar Arrington, as former professional soccer player and current ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman watches
USA Today: Obama: We Need ‘Better Data’ On Sports Concussions
President Obama told a White House meeting of athletes, coaches and medical experts Thursday that there are no “solid numbers” on the extent of the concussion problem in football and other contact sports. “We’ve got to have better research, better data, better safety equipment, better protocols,” Obama said at the first White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit. While “sports are vital to this country,”
"That’s what today’s about—let’s give parents the information they need to help their kids compete safely." —President Obama #HeadsUp4Safety
Obama said, society needs to make sure that young people “are able to participate as safely as possible.” The purpose of the summit is to look for better ways to determine the severity of head injuries that could affect the brain, and how to treat them. Moreover, adults need to discourage a “suck-it-up” culture that encourages young athletes to pay through pain, Obama said.
President Barack Obama speaks at the White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit. Pictured from left to right: LaVar Arrington, former NFL linebacker; Victoria Bellucci, a high school soccer player from Huntingtown, Md.; Taylor Twellman, former professional soccer player; Gen. Ray Odierno, Chief of Staff of the United States Army; R. Dawn Comstock, who runs the national high school sports injury surveillance program called High School RIO; Gerard A Gioia, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Neuropsychology at Children’s National Medical Center, Pam Oliver, a reporter with NFL on FOX
Youth sports concussions draw Obama's attention, #NCAA and Defense Department launch $30M effort: apne.ws/1ivCnGf
Malia Obama, Sasha Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama, and Bobby Titcomb attend the Oregon State University versus University of Akron college basketball game at the Diamond Head Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu
Greetings again from Texas. I just had the opportunity to visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Clinic which is doing some great work here in Dallas to help Texans learn about their new options under the Affordable Care Act. I wanted to share the stories of a couple of these people who I met today in Dallas: Misty Parker is a 31 year-old who works with a community-oriented startup company, which does not currently offer insurance. Misty says that because of the Health Insurance Marketplace, with financial help, she was able to sign up for a Bronze plan for $38 a month. She had questions, but Misty says she was able to get answers from the call center.
I also met Amanda Waddle, who shared her and her husband Brian’s story about getting covered through the Marketplace. They both enjoy playing hockey and were concerned about what might happen if they got injured on the ice. A 26-year-old graduate student, Amanda said she couldn’t afford insurance on the private market. Brian also didn’t have coverage despite working two jobs as a waiter and a broadcast statistician for the Dallas Stars hockey team. Thanks to the choices, competition, and financial help in the Marketplace, Amanda says she and her husband were able to get covered for only $105 a month. She also signed up for a dental plan for $10 a month.
So I invite you to follow Misty’s and Amanda’s lead! You can learn about your new options online at HealthCare.gov or by phone at 1-800-318-2596/TTY 1-855-889-4325. You can also find help in your community at localhelp.healthcare.gov. You have more than three months, until the end of March to enroll in coverage for 2014. If you’d like your coverage to begin January 1st, you have until December 23 to sign up.
So here’s the key thing: Today is the last day to sign up if you want to get insurance coverage that starts in January of next year. But if you’re currently uninsured and you don’t sign up today, nothing bad happens to you. It’s just that starting on January 1 you’ll still be uninsured. You have until March to sign up and avoid paying the individual mandate fee. The main reason an uninsured person will probably want to sign up for an exchange plan is the same as the main reason that people whose employers offer work-linked insurance plans generally sign up—due to subsidies it’s a good deal in actuarial terms for most people, and even when it isn’t the sense of confidence and security (“insurance,” some might call it) offered by insurance coverage is valuable.
President Obama plans to sign up for health insurance through an Affordable Care Act exchange before the end of the day Monday, senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said. Jarrett made the announcement in an interview with April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks, apparently ahead of the White House’s planned rollout. Officials did not respond to repeated requests for confirmation. The White House first said back in 2010 that the president, who has coverage through the federal government and gets his care from White House doctors, would sign up for insurance through an exchange.
Ian Millhiser: Justice Department Calls In The Big Guns To Stop Voter Suppression
It’s difficult to exaggerate the prominence Stanford Law Professor Pam Karlan enjoys within the progressive legal community. Karlan is one of the most active members of the Supreme Court bar — among other things, she co-authored the brief that convinced the justices to strike down the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act last June. She is a former litigator for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and she is among the most widely regarded voting rights experts in the nation. So when the Justice Department revealed on Friday that Karlan would become the nation’s top voting rights attorney, it was as if Marsellus Wallace called up the many voters being disenfranchised in states like Texas and North Carolina, and told them that he’s sending The Wolf.
Karlan will take over as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Rights Division’s voting rights section. In this role, she will oversee the Justice Department’s most important challenges to voter suppression laws — including its efforts to restore federal oversight of Texas’ election law and its challenge to the nation’s worst voter suppression law in North Carolina. As a senior member of the Civil Rights Division, Karlan will work under soon-to-be Assistant Attorney General Debo Adegbile, who President Obama recently nominated as the nation’s top civil rights attorney. Like Karlan, Adegbile is himself a leading expert on voting rights law
Zack Ford: New Mexico Supreme Court: Marriage Equality Is State Law
The New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday that same-sex marriage is legal across the state, cementing it as the 17th state to offer full marriage equality to same-sex couples. The state had been a bit of an oddity, in that it had no specific prohibition nor allowance written into law, leaving marriage equality an open question. The Court noted that although some of the marriage laws stipulate gender-specific language, preventing same-sex couples would deprive them of their rights
USA Today: Utah Same-Sex Marriage Ban Back In Court
A federal judge on Monday is set to consider a request from the state of Utah to block gay weddings that have been taking place since Friday when the state’s same-sex marriage ban was overturned. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby ruled Utah’s law passed violates gay and lesbian couples’ rights under the 14th Amendment. Lawyers for the state want the ruling put on hold as they appeal the decision that has put Utah in the national spotlight because of its long-standing opposition to gay marriage. Shelby will hold a hearing on the request Monday morning. On Sunday, a federal appeals court rejected the state’s emergency request stay the ruling, saying they couldn’t rule on a stay since Shelby hasn’t acted on the motion before him.
Following Shelby’s surprising ruling Friday afternoon, gay and lesbian couples rushed to a county clerk’s office in Salt Lake City to get marriage licenses. More than 100 couples wed as others cheered them on in what became an impromptu celebration an office building about three miles from the headquarters of the Mormon church. Hundreds of couples are expected to arrive at county clerks offices early Monday morning in hopes of getting marriage licenses before a possible halt if Shelby grants the stay its request. Legal experts say that even if a stay is granted, the licenses that have already been issued will likely still be valid. For now, a state considered as one of the most conservative in the nation has joined the likes of California and New York to become the 18th state where same-sex couples can legally wed.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama react with daughters Malia Obama and Sasha Obama while attending a basketball game between Oregon State and the University of Hawaii in Honolulu on December 22, 2013
MoooOOOooorning Early-ish Birds! Running verrrry late today, but will catch up … eventually!
On This Day: President Obama meets with Denis McDonough, NSC Chief of Staff, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, N.Y., Sept. 23, 2009 (Pete Souza)
Today (all times Eastern):
11:25: The President and First Lady depart the White House
12:35: Arrive New York City
1:45: The President holds a bilateral meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
3:0: Holds a Civil Society Roundtable
5:20: Meets with USUN Mission employees and their families
8:50: The President and First Lady attend a reception for visiting Heads of State and Government
Later this week:
Tuesday: The President will deliver remarks to the U.N. General Assembly. The First Lady will attend. Later in the day, the President will attend the Clinton Global Initiative, where he and President Clinton will engage in a conversation about the benefits and future of health care reform in America and access to quality health care around the globe. In the evening, the President will attend an event for the DNC before returning with the First Lady to the White House.
Wednesday and Thursday: The President will attend meetings at the White House.
Friday: The President will welcome Prime Minister Singh of India to the White House for a bilateral meeting.
Through the joy & victory, the pain & grief, the racism & partisanship, I support my POTUS, who has given everything to better this nation.
Steve Benen: Obama reminds GOP: U.S. is ‘not a deadbeat nation’
President Obama’s weekly addresses are generally rather laid back and non-confrontational, so it was all the more striking to see the president use the platform to warn Americans about the looming Republican-imposed crises, while chastising the GOP lawmakers themselves.
…. In case that was too subtle, Obama also called House Speaker John Boehner to tell him the White House will not negotiate if congressional Republicans hold the nation hostage again.
Boehner’s office told reporters it was “a brief call,” which certainly makes sense. How long could it take for a president to say he won’t negotiate with those threatening to hurt Americans on purpose?
The gang at Media Matters has done a great job demonstrating how a faked-up Fox News “Special Report” on the food stamp program, starring a surfer straight from Moocher Central Casting, is having real-world consequences for the millions of people who depend on the SNAP program to eat everyday.
…. And this is what is really goddamn dangerous about what my man Chuck Todd said the other day. (Chuck’s feeling a bit put upon these days. Tough.) According to Chuck’s notion of what his job is, when conservative politicians latch onto a phony Fox News story in order to make policy, it is the job of the Democrats – or, perhaps, of the SNAP recipients themselves, who have, as we know, virtually unlimited access to the airwaves – to correct the arrant bullshit. Or, when politicians of both parties latch onto a phony “scandal” in the SSI program, it is the job of the embattled people running the program – or, perhaps, of Marcus Stephens’s parents, both of whom were, of course, important newspaper columnists of the day – to get out the truth. Chuck’s just the messenger. Thus does the oligarchy tell stories to itself.
Spandan (The People’s View): Drama Aside, It’s OVER for Republicans on Defunding Obamacare
It was amusing to see the drama play out on today’s Sunday morning TV shows. Needless to say, I enjoy few things more than seeing Republicans tying themselves into knots trying to insist that they don’t want to shut down the government unless they can defund the Affordable Care, and attaching its defunding to the bill to keep the government running was just… I don’t know, being cute, I guess. But for all the huffing and puffing from the Republicans and for all the pretense of “countdown to shutdown” from the media, the fight is over. Even Rand Paul (following his Tea Party nutty buddy Ted Cruz), has given up.
The scarecrow, tin woodsman and cowardly lion had more brains, heart and courage than most of the GOP.
— john miller (@deaconmill) September 23, 2013
Michael Tomasky: John Boehner Is Letting GOP Extremists Hold the Government Hostage
How could he allow the spending bill defunding Obamacare to reach the House floor? He’s not even trying to stand up to the GOP’s hostage-takers — and he’s easily the worst speaker in modern history.
Here are the two questions that really matter this week as we head toward a possible government shutdown. How many Republicans in the House really would consider a shutdown some kind of victory? And what is John Boehner prepared to do about them? Whatever the answer to the first question, the answer to the second is almost sure to be “not much.” Boehner is easily the worst House speaker in modern history. Far from being the figure of perverse sympathy that some suggest, he embodies exactly what’s wrong with the GOP — mainstream conservatism’s total capitulation to the extremists. He’s a disgrace.
Business Insider: Here’s Why 2 Democrats Voted To Defund Obamacare, And Why 1 Republican Voted Against
There wasn’t much surprise in the House of Representatives’ vote to avoid a government shutdown while stripping all discretionary funding for the Affordable Care Act. But three Congressmen did buck party lines in the vote. One Republican voted against the bill, and two Democrats voted in favor of it.
Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.) was the lone Republican to vote against the bill (four Republicans did not vote). But his objection didn’t really relate to Obamacare. He voted no because he opposes continuing resolutions, stopgap bills like this one that fund the whole government for a period of months….
…. The two Democrats who defied most of their party were Reps. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) and Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.). They both represent conservative districts and voted against the Affordable Care Act when it first passed in 2010.
…. as a procedural matter, Cruz wants Senate Republicans to get behind him and vote, in near-complete unanimity, to filibuster the House bill they want to pass. Cruz will tell Reid and Senate Democratic leaders, “We’ll continue to block the bill we support until you agree to let us filibuster your amendments.”
…. This plan could work if Senate Republicans were united around the idea …. but there’s no evidence this is likely to happen. On the contrary, quite a few GOP senators – none of whom actually likes Cruz – consider the whole scheme kind of silly and want Cruz to just go away. (Over the weekend, Republicans even started sending opposition research to Fox News about the junior senator from Texas.)
…. Ten days ago, I predicted there was a 65% chance of a shutdown. Today, I’d put that number at 40%.
In case you missed it, here’s the link – lots more on Obamacare through the week
Spandan (The People’s View): Ezra Klein vs Facts on “Liberal Distrust” of Barack Obama
This morning, Ezra Klein of Washington Post penned a column for his Wonkblog that was severely lacking in wonkiness and showed off the political wet spots behind his ears. He talks about how Larry Summers “lost” his nomination to head the Fed – a nomination that was never made – because liberals writ-large don’t trust President Obama on financial reform. Klein declares that Summers “really lost because he was a stand-in for Obama.” Talk about admitting to having Obama Derangement Syndrome….
If you believe the following, you are probably suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome (ODS):
If Obama said it, it’s a lie. When it’s proven to be the truth, he got lucky – because it’s just a crazy coincidence that his lie turned out to be the truth after all. If he knew it was the truth, he would never have said it in the first place.
If Obama makes a speech about a specific issue, he’s just spewing pretty words. If Obama doesn’t speak on a specific issue, he’s trying to hide something. Or he should have spoken about something else entirely, because when he gets specific about one issue, that means he’s ignoring all of the really important issues he should be speaking about – those issues being whatever it was he didn’t mention….
With the departure of Michele Bachmann from the World’s Greatest Legislative Body, we have inaugurated a new semi-weekly regular feature in which we study the possible successor to la Bachmann as Royal Regent of the Crazy People. (Louie Gohmert is, of course, emperor for life.)
Seeing as how yesterday was Talk Like A Pirate Day, why not pop in to see Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida. Ted has decided to get tough with Speaker Boehner, which means that, when he looks in the mirror, Ted sees the warm steady gaze of history looking back at him, and he is so transfixed that he doesn’t even notice that his eyeballs are spinning in opposite directions……
Spandan (The People’s View): First Syria, Now Iran: A Fair but Resolute President at the Center of Diplomatic Triumphs
This weekend brings us two pieces of huge news on President Obama’s diplomatic success in the middle east: Syria has complied with the first deadline in the US-Russia agreement to rid it of all its chemical weapons, and Iran is moving towards dismantling its nuclear program. News broke today that the international organization monitoring chemical weapons has received, on time, Syria’s disclosures of chemical weapons…..
…. These aren’t accidents of history. These aren’t just luck. These are the results of a president who truly believes in the power of our ideas and not just the power of our weapons, in the fairness of our diplomacy and not just the might of our military. These are the results of the world recognizing in Barack Obama not just a messenger of peace but an activist for it.
President Obama blocks a shot while playing basketball with personal aide Reggie Love at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York, N.Y., where the President was attending the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 23, 2009 (Pete Souza)