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)
President Obama walks to a meeting with House Democrats on Capitol Hill, July 31
President Obama is escorted by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Assistant Democratic Party Leader Rep. James Clyburn and Vice Chairman of the Democratic Caucus Rep. Joseph Crowley at the US Capitol after concluding talks with House Democrats
USA Today: … President Obama will appear on NBC’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Tuesday as part of a western swing next week, officials said.
…. In its announcement, the Tonight Show said Obama plans “to discuss his second term concentrating on his jobs initiatives and the economy.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president’s trip will also include a housing speech in the Phoenix, Ariz., area, and a talk with troops at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Amazon: President Barack Obama: The Kindle Singles Interview
In this Kindle Singles Interview, President Barack Obama decried the “change in culture” that has changed our view of the American Dream. “There was not that window into the lifestyles of the rich and famous,” the President said. “Kids weren’t monitoring everyday what Kim Kardashian was wearing, or where Kanye West was going on vacation, and thinking that somehow that was the mark of success.” He addressed the jobs issue from a personal perspective, reflecting on how his own life might have been different had he not experienced success in politics. “I could picture myself being a good teacher,” the President mused.
In the interview, which took place on July 30, 2013, at an Amazon facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Obama discussed the increasing need for government programs that can actually make a difference. Sticking close to his standard message, he spoke frankly about the increasing polarization of American politics since the Great Recession and Republican Party intransigence over his agenda. On a personal note, he reflected that he and First Lady Michelle Obama are constantly reminding their daughters of the “slightly unreal environment that they’re in,” as children of privilege in a world constrained by unemployment and recession.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill in Washington are getting ready for a four-week break, followed by a September in which House Republicans have only scheduled nine days of work for the entire month, and they’re leaving quite a to-do list behind. Four of the 12 appropriations bills that have to pass before the end of the fiscal year are being ignored; the farm bill is stuck; immigration reform is demanding attention; and a debt-ceiling crisis looms.
There is, in other words, real work that needs to get done, and in theory, members of Congress would be scrambling right now to get as much finished as possible.