Posts Tagged ‘benen

06
Aug
13

Rise and Shine

A year ago today: President Obama greets the family of Make-A-Wish child Francisco “Paqui” Lopez Pena, outside the Oval Office, Aug. 6, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

EDT

10:10 AM The President departs the White House

MST

11:40: Arrives Phoenix, Arizona

12:10: Tours Erickson Construction

1:05: Delivers remarks at Desert Vista High School, Phoenix (4:05 EDT, White House Live)

2:10: Departs Phoenix

PDT

3:25: Arrives Los Angeles

4:30: Tapes an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”

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Bloomberg: Americans With Best Credit in Decades Drive U.S. Economy

Americans have made progress putting their finances in order and are ready to borrow again – giving the world’s largest economy another driver of spending and growth.

Household net worth soared to a record high in the first quarter, Federal Reserve data show, and the financial-obligations ratio relating consumer debt to income matched the lowest in 33 years. Consumer loans are rising, and the American Bankers Association reports the share of delinquencies on bank cards is the smallest since 1990.

“Household finances are in the best shape in decades,” said Joseph Carson, director of global economic research at AllianceBernstein … “We now have a creditworthy borrower. It’s a powerful ingredient” ….

More here

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@WhiteHouse

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Marketwatch: Home-price growth near seven-year high

Annual home-price growth in June was close to the fastest pace in seven years, as inventories of existing and new homes remained low, according to data released Tuesday.

Home prices, including distressed sales, rose 1.9% in June, and were up 11.88% from a year earlier … In May, prices were up 11.93% from the prior year, the fastest annual growth since February 2006.

Excluding short sales and other distressed properties, prices rose 1.8% in June, and were up 10.97% from the year-earlier period, reaching the fastest annual pace since February 2006.

More here

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USA Today: President Obama heads west Tuesday, to talk housing in Phoenix and the economy on a late-night talk show in Hollywood.

Obama starts in Phoenix, where he tours a home construction company and delivers a speech on housing policy.

…. After Phoenix, Obama travels to the Los Angeles area for an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where he hopes to talk about the economy in between jokes.

The president will spend the night in Los Angeles.

More here

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Steve Benen: PolitiFact finds its pants on fire

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) appeared on Fox News on Sunday, and when the discussion turned to a possible self-imposed budget crisis, the Virginia Republican said lawmakers should be “focused on trying to deal with the ultimate problem, which is this growing deficit.”

What Cantor said was the opposite of the truth – he said the nation has a “growing deficit,” when in reality, we have a shrinking deficit. We can have a discussion about whether the House Majority Leader was deliberately trying to deceive the public – Republicans have an incentive to convince the public that U.S. finances are in worse shape than they really are – or whether Cantor simply doesn’t know the basics of current events. But I’m afraid it’s either one or the other.

Unless, that is, you’re PolitiFact…..

More here

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VotingRightsMatter.com

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From The Last Word:

From Mississippi to the Ivy League: Two students reflect on their unique journeys – video here

Sister Simone schools ‘Catholic school boy’ Paul Ryan – video here

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Former baseball players in the Negro League, from left to right, Pedro Sierra, Minnie Minoso, and Ron Teasley, talk outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington following their meeting with President Obama.

USA Today: Obama praises Negro League veterans

While Major League Baseball grapples with performance enhancing drugs, President Obama and some special guests spent Monday evening talking about the old days in the Negro League.

Obama thanked Negro League veterans for helping pave the way for African-Americans in professional sports, as well as other walks of life.

….. The Negro League delegation also included a woman owner, Minnie Forbes of the old Detroit Stars.

Forbes pointed out that in the old days African-American ballplayers — and African-Americans in general — couldn’t stay in certain hotels or restaurants.

“Now,” she said, “we are able to come to the White House and see the president,” himself an African-American.

Forbes also reported that the the president gave her a kiss on the cheek — “and I’m not washing my face!”

More here

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Greg Sargent: Keep An Eye On Georgia Senate Race

A new survey from the robo-firm Public Policy Polling finds that Democrat Michelle Nunn is locked in a close battle for the Georgia Senate seat with several of the main potential GOP challengers. This — combined with the fact that the GOP primary is a crowded affair — has Dems looking at this race as a potential firewall: If Dems can somehow win in Georgia (or even Kentucky), Republicans will have to sweep four Dem incumbents out of office to take the Senate.

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National Journal: Republicans Confront Lady Problems in Congress

When the House Judiciary Committee passed a late-term abortion ban in June, Republican leaders scrambled to find a female, media-savvy legislator to bring the legislation to the floor. Their biggest problem: Not a single Republican woman was represented among the committee’s 23 Republican members. They eventually settled on Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who isn’t on the Judiciary Committee.

The episode underscored a growing problem that is worrying Republicans: Women are badly underrepresented within their party in the Congress. Only eight percent of House Republicans are women, and there are only four female Republican senators. Of the long list of potential 2016 GOP presidential contenders, there’s not a single woman.

More here

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On this day….

President Obama visits with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan in the Blue Room of the White House, prior to Kagan’s confirmation reception in the East Room, Aug. 6, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Aug. 6, 2010: The President walks newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan into the Oval Office (Photo by Pete Souza)

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MooooOOOOoooorning!

20
May
13

Rise and Shine

President Obama greets members of the audience following a ceremony honoring the 2012 BCS National Champion University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team at the White House, April 15 (Photo by Pete Souza). More new photos here

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Today:

12:30: Press Briefing by Jay Carney

2:10: The President holds a bilateral meeting with President Thein Sein of Burma

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President Obama holds a National Security Council meeting in the Situation Room, April 5 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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The Week Ahead:

Tuesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House

Wednesday: Will attend meetings at the White House, and in the evening, as part of their “In Performance at the White House” series, the President and the First Lady will host a concert honoring singer-songwriter Carole King, who will be awarded the 2013 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

Thursday: The President delivers a counter-terrorism speech at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.

Friday: Will travel to Annapolis, Maryland, to deliver the commencement address at the U.S. Naval Academy

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The White House video of President Obama’s Morehouse address yesterday – we can never see it enough:

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Forbes: With the stock market hitting new highs, some people have already forgotten about the Great Recession. Recall 2009. Things looked pretty bleak economically. But the outlook has changed dramatically in just 4 years…. the President deserves attention for how well this economy has done during his leadership.

The auto rescue plan has worked. American car manufacturers are still dominant and employing millions directly and in supplier companies. Wall Street reform has been painful but it has re-instated faith amongst investors….

…. The deficit is now only 4% of the GDP, down from over 10% at the end of Bush’s administration …. major strides in health care reform – something no other President has accomplished – has given American’s more faith in their future, and an increased willingness to invest.

… By all measures, President Obama has outperformed every modern President.

Full post here

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@bcarrz

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Jon Favreau: How Obama Handles Crisis – The handwringers and bed wetters in the D.C. punditocracy should know that Barack Obama will never be on their timeline…..

Read here

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23
Apr
13

This and That

President Obama presents the 2013 National Teacher of the Year award to Jeff Charbonneau, a high school science teacher from Zillah, Washington, during a Rose Garden event at the White House

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Line of the day? Charles Pierce on Max Baucus: “…. the pestilential trout-mask replica from Montana…”

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Steve Benen: ….. I’d like the folks holding Obama responsible [for gun reform] to consider a look at the recent past. In 2009 and 2010, the White House and Congress successfully approved the Recovery Act, a health care reform law 100 years in the making, Wall Street reform, DADT repeal, student loan reform, New START ratification, credit card reforms, and food-safety reforms. Are those inclined to blame Obama for gun reform’s failure prepared to argue that the president simply forgot how to twist arms in 2011? That he knew how to persuade lawmakers before, but the skill suddenly vanished?

Or is it more likely that congressional Republicans changed the game after the 2010 midterms?

I also believe there’s an ongoing reluctance among many to appreciate the scope of Republican radicalization. For many, especially in media, there’s an assumption that there are two major, mainstream political parties — one center-left, the other center-right — and an effective president can govern through competent bipartisan outreach.

Those assumptions are wrong….

Full post here

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14
Mar
13

Leadership Is Action

Smartypants: Why President Obama Wants A Grand Bargain

A couple of weeks ago at his press conference, President Obama called the sequester cuts that just went into effect – providing an additional $1.2 trillion in savings – “dumb.” The reason he said that is because they don’t tackle the one thing that is driving those upward spikes…health care costs.

While the Affordable Care Act was an historic step toward getting health care costs under control, there is still more that we can do to realize efficiencies, cut waste, and improve Federal health care programs. Most importantly, we can make modest adjustments to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid in a way that does not undermine the fundamental compact they represent to our nation’s seniors, children, people with disabilities, and low-income families. For this reason, the President’s Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction included proposals to save approximately $320 billion in federal health spending over the next decade. As these reforms save money, they also will strengthen these vital programs so that they are robust and healthy to serve Americans for years to come…

Read more here: http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2013/03/why-president-obama-wants-grand-bargain.html

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Steve Benen: Boehner Still Waiting For Others To Lead.

When it comes to power in Washington, John Boehner isn’t exactly a hapless schlub, at least not on paper. He’s the Speaker of the House, second in the presidential line of succession, and ostensibly the most powerful member of the legislative branch of government. He has a powerful megaphone, a sizable House majority, and the capacity to have an enormous impact on policymaking.

Left unsaid: John Boehner, despite his power and authority, isn’t leading, doesn’t want to lead, has no intention of leading, and doesn’t even know how to lead — which is precisely why he keeps waiting for the White House and Senate to do the real work while Boehner waits patiently (or as evidenced by this op-ed, perhaps not so patiently) on the sidelines.

Let’s make this easy for the Speaker: (1) Name one budget issue on which you and your party are prepared to compromise; (2) Name one concession you and your party are willing to accept in exchange for a related Democratic concession.

Read more here: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/03/14/17314069-boehner-still-waiting-for-others-to-lead?lite

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04
Mar
13

Rise and Shine

@VP: VP and @repjohnlewis join in the annual crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama

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Today:

10:15: President Obama makes personnel announcements (White House live * C-Span)

10:15: VP Biden delivers remarks at the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (C-Span)

11:10: The First Lady joins her first ever Google+ Hangout (White House live)

12:0: Jay Carney briefs the press

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President Obama will announce Monday he has selected Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency and MIT physics professor Ernest Moniz to head the Energy Department …. the President is also scheduled to announce he has selected Walmart Foundation President Sylvia Mathews Burwell as head of the Office of Management and Budget.

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Michael Tomasky: Why does Bob Woodward get to lie — twice! — and still be Bob Woodward? And why is it that the Republicans can be so intransigent and Barack Obama gets blamed? Michael Tomasky explains.

Woodwardgate got me reflecting on the question of Washington morality. Now yes, that’s an oxymoron if ever there was one. But surely there is some set (however bizarre) of impulses and rules that lets Bob Woodward say what he said, and Politico promote it as if it were a feud between two soap opera stars, with both walking away essentially unharmed, as they likely will …..

More important than that, there must be a set of impulses and rules that observes what has been going on in this town for the last four years, with Republicans being the most obstructionist opposition in the country’s modern history, and yet somehow contrives to blame Barack Obama for the fact that our government can’t function…..

Full post here

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Paul Krugman: Ezra Klein mans up and admits he was wrong. He had written a piece suggesting that if only Republicans knew how much Obama has been willing to offer, they might be willing to make a deal. Jonathan Chait set him straight, informing him that no matter what Obama put on the table, Republicans would find a way to say that it’s not enough. And sure enough, a Twitter exchange lets Klein watch that process in real time, as a top Republican consultant, confronted with evidence that Obama has already conceded what he said was all that was needed, keeps adding more demands.

….. the centrist pundits keep demanding that Obama offer what he has already offered, and condemn both sides equally (or even place most of the blame on Obama) for the failure to reach a deal. Again, informing them of their error wouldn’t help; their whole shtick is about blaming both sides, and they will always invent some reason why Obama just isn’t doing it right.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: Watching House Speaker John Boehner on “Meet the Press” yesterday, it was hard not to wonder about the Republican leader’s frame of mind. Given the distance between reality and his rhetoric, one question hung over the interview: does Boehner actually believe his own talking points?

For example, the Speaker insisted, “[T]here’s no plan from Senate Democrats or the White House to replace the sequester.” Host David Gregory explained that the claim is “just not true”…..

More here

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Greg Sargent: Credit where credit is due: NBC’s David Gregory did a nice job pinning down John Boehner’s evasions and falsehoods during a lengthy interview on Meet the Press yesterday.  Gregory called out Boehner for falsely claiming Dems have no plan to reduce the deficit. And Gregory didn’t let Boehner get away with suggesting Dems haven’t gotten serious about spending cuts, confronting the Speaker with the fact that they agreed to deep cuts in 2011.

But there’s still one question that I’d like to see posed to Boehner and every GOP lawmaker. It’s this: Is there any ratio of entitlement cuts to new revenues that Republicans could support, and if so, what is that ratio?

More here

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LA Times: OK, so Congress hasn’t managed to pass a budget, fix the tax code or avert the automatic spending cuts of the dreaded “sequester.”

Are they getting anything done on Capitol Hill? Yes, and you’ll probably be surprised to hear where progress is being made: gun control.

…. there is a good chance that Congress will do two things: strengthen the system of background checks on gun buyers and toughen the penalties for illegal gun trafficking. In practical terms, those measures are probably more important than an assault-weapons ban, which wouldn’t affect the millions of military-style guns already in circulation……

If Congress acts on background checks and gun trafficking but fails to pass a ban on assault weapons or ammunition clips, liberals will be disappointed. But President Obama will declare it a victory — and he’ll be right.

Full article here

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Addicting Info: House Republicans Give Themselves 239 Days Off, Average American Worker Only Gets 12

… even as House Republicans portray the average American as lazy bottom feeders sucking off the government teat, they have given themselves an astonishing 239 days off this year. That means they will only work 126 days during a year when the nation has a multitude of issues to deal with.

Full post here

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Washington Post: In Florida, President Obama has nominated the first openly gay black man to sit on a federal district court. In New York, he has nominated the first Asian American lesbian. And his pick for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit? The first South Asian.

Reelected with strong support from women, ethnic minorities and gays, Obama is moving quickly to change the face of the federal judiciary by the end of his second term, setting the stage for another series of drawn-out confrontations with Republicans in Congress.

More here

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MoooOOOOooorning!

27
Feb
13

Catching Up

President Barack Obama with a three-year-old relative of Rosa Parks after unveiling a statue in her honor

Reminded me of:

Flickr

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This evening:

7:30: President Obama delivers remarks at the Business Council dinner and answer questions, Park Hyatt Hotel, Washington, DC (Pooled Press for Remarks)

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TPM

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Just catching up with reaction to what Scalia said today. Absolutely stunning. More in the morning, just a few snippets:

ThinkProgress: There were audible gasps in the Supreme Court’s lawyers’ lounge, where audio of the oral argument is pumped in for members of the Supreme Court bar, when Justice Antonin Scalia offered his assessment of a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. He called it a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.”

….It should be noted that even one of Scalia’s fellow justices felt the need to call out his remark. Justice Sotomayor asked the attorney challenging the Voting Right Act whether he thought voting rights are a racial entitlement as soon as he took the podium for rebuttal.

Full post here

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Charles Pierce: …. Sotomayor, for whom this seems very, very personal, made an argument from history that discrimination is an infinitely mutable thing and that, as soon as you find a remedy for one form of it, human ingenuity will devise three new ones…..

……it was hard not to go back to Florida, and to all the people I met who were waiting in line for six and seven hours to vote because the state had deliberately enacted policies to make it more difficult. Those policies were discriminatory. The people enacting them knew exactly what they were doing. They knew who those policies were aimed at as surely as did the county registrars administering the literacy tests did back in 1965…..

Full post here

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Greg Sargent: Judging by all the early reporting on the first round of Supreme Court arguments about a key section of the Voting Rights Act, that provision may be in real peril. Conservative justices expressed sharp skepticism of the law, with much attention being paid to Antonin Scalia’s description of it as a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.”

…. all may not be lost. That’s because proponents of the Voting Rights Act are focused mainly on holding on to Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: I’m beginning to think an infectious disease is spreading in the nation’s capital. Symptoms include memory loss (forgetting everything Republicans have done in recent years), blurred vision (an inability to see obvious GOP ploys), and an uncontrollable urge to blame “both sides” for everything, even when it doesn’t make any sense.

The disease has already affected pundits like Bob Woodward, Ron Fournier, David Brooks, nearly everyone on the network Sunday shows, and today reaches the editorial board of the Washington Post. Indeed, the Post’s editors seem to have come down with an especially acute case today, as evidenced this bang-your-head-against-your-desk editorial on the sequester, which cavalierly ignores the paper’s own reporting, and demands that President Obama “lead” by somehow getting congressional Republicans to be more responsible.

Full post here

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President Barack Obama talks with Congressional leaders prior to the Rosa Parks statue unveiling ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Feb. 27, 2013. Pictured, from left, are: Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Assistant Democratic Leader Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.; Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.; House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; and House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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First lady Michelle Obama at a “Let’s Move!” event in Clinton, Miss.

… with Rachael Ray

More in the morning




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