Four years ago today: “A temporary White House staffer, Carlton Philadelphia, brought his family to the Oval Office for a farewell photo with President Obama. Carlton’s son softly told the President he had just gotten a haircut like President Obama, and asked if he could feel the President’s head to see if it felt the same as his.” May 8, 2009. (Photo by Pete Souza)
10:15: VP Biden attends President Park Geun-hye of the Republic of Korea’s address to a Joint Session of Congress
12:0: VP Biden delivers remarks at the 43rd Annual Washington Conference on the Americas at the Department of State
12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press
2:25: President Obama meets with electric utility CEOs and their trade associations
5:30: Meets with a group of Asian American and Pacific Islanders national leaders
6:30: Has dinner with members of the House Democratic Leadership at the Jefferson Hotel
7:45: VP Biden delivers keynote remarks at the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies’ 19th Annual Gala Awards Dinner
President Barack Obama and President Park Geun-hye of the Republic of Korea, May 7. Photo: Pete Souza
USA Today: …. The president starts this afternoon at the Energy Department, where he meets with electric utility CEOs and trade associations to talk about preparations for the upcoming hurricane season….
Later, Obama and Vice President Biden discuss budget issues with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.
Then comes a presidential meeting with a group of Asian American and Pacific Islanders national leaders. The agenda includes Obama’s efforts to win a major immigration bill and the ongoing implementation of the health care bill.
Obama caps his day with another congressional dinner, this one with House Democratic leaders. The dinner at a hotel in downtown Washington features House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Cal., and some of her colleagues: Steny Hoyer, James Clyburn, Xavier Becerra, Joe Crowley, Chris Van Hollen, Rosa DeLauro, Rob Andrew, Steve Israel, and Mike Thompson.
President Barack Obama greets Jack Hoffman, 7, of Atkinson, Neb., in the Oval Office, April 29. Hoffman, who is battling pediatric brain cancer, gained national attention after he ran for a 69-yard touchdown during a Nebraska Cornhuskers spring football game. Hoffman holds a football that the President signed for him. (Photo by Pete Souza)
HuskerInsider: So what does a 7-year-old pediatric brain cancer patient do after thrilling 60,000 fans at Nebraska’s Spring Football Game, plus nearly 8 million YouTube viewers, with an inspiring 69-yard touchdown run? After throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at Saturday’s nationally televised Nebraska-Michigan softball game in Lincoln, Jack flew to Washington D.C. with his dad, Andy, mom, Bri and sisters Ava 5, and Reese, 2.
On Sunday, the Hoffmans took in the sights of our Nation’s Capital in advance of a Monday noontime scheduled visit with President Barack Obama at the White House. “We were thrilled to get invited, and we hope it all comes off,” Andy Hoffman, Jack’s dad, said Sunday night.
AP: Blocked by Congress from expanding gun sale background checks, President Barack Obama is turning to actions within his own power to keep people from buying a gun who are prohibited for mental health reasons.
Federal law bans certain mentally ill people from purchasing firearms, but not all states are providing data to stop the prohibited sales to the FBI’s background check system. A federal review last year found 17 states contributed fewer than 10 mental health records to the database, meaning many deemed by a judge to be a danger still could have access to guns.
The Obama administration was starting a process Friday aimed at removing barriers in health privacy laws that prevent some states from reporting information to the background check system…
In this photo provided by the Hern family, first lady Michelle Obama visits with Aaron Hern, his parents Alan and Katherine, and sister Abby, all of Martinez, Calif., at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, April 18. Aaron Hern, 11, was among those injured by one of the bomb blasts near the Boston Marathon finish line
President Obama meets with Boston Athletic Association volunteers after attend the “Healing Our City: An Interfaith Service” at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross
TPM: A teenager said he is scared to go outside after he was portrayed on the Internet and on the front page of the New York Post as connected to the deadly Boston Marathon bombings.
Photos of Salah Eddin Barhoum, 17, and friend Yassine Zaime were posted on websites whose users have been scouring marathon finish line photos for suspects. The two were also on the Post’s front Thursday with the headline: “Bag men: Feds seek these two pictured at Boston Marathon.”
Reuters: The Boy Scouts of America called to end a long-standing ban on openly gay members, a spokesman said on Friday, but the organization’s board must still vote in May on whether to ratify the resolution.
If the vote is approved, “no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone,” Deron Smith, the organization’s spokesman, told Reuters.
9:55: President Obama Speaks on the BRAIN Initiative
12:0: Open for Questions: Brain Initiative (WH live)
12:05: First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks at the “42” Film Workshop (WH live)
12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press
2:10: President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore
5:35: President Obama hosts cast and crew members of the movie ’42’, a biographical film about Jackie Robinson, for a screening at the White House
8:45: Vice President Biden Speaks at the 2013 Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards
NYT: President Obama on Tuesday will announce a broad new research initiative, starting with $100 million in 2014, to invent and refine new technologies to understand the human brain….
A senior administration scientist compared the new initiative to the Human Genome Project, in that it is directed at a problem that has seemed insoluble up to now: the recording and mapping of brain circuits in action in an effort to “show how millions of brain cells interact.”
Washington Post: Gun-control measures that seemed destined to become law after the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., are in jeopardy amid a fierce lobbying campaign by firearms advocates.
Despite months of negotiations, key senators have been unable to find a workable plan for near-universal background checks on gun purchases — an idea that polls show nine in 10 Americans support.
Another provision that garnered bipartisan support — making gun trafficking a federal crime — could be gutted if Republican lawmakers accept new language being circulated by the National Rifle Association.
Jonathan Capehart: Dana Milbank, like so many of my other fellow pundits, is placing blame on President Obama for the “congressional inertia” that has stymied advancement of proposals to stem gun violence. What more Obama could do than he’s already done is beyond me. One look at the House of Representatives and you know that anything he wants to do or is in favor of doing is dead on arrival over there.
…. Imagine how much could get done if Obama’s consistent calls for help from the American people on gun violence were backed up by a consistent flood of calls to congressional district and Capitol Hill offices. The president has done as much as he can possibly do. With the Senate set to consider anti-gun-violence bills next week, where’s his backup?
Greg Sargent: Every Senator who is refusing to support expanded background checks — Republican or Democrat — needs to be asked a simple question: Do you support the current background system, or do you see it as an infringement on the rights of the law-abiding?
Every one of them will answer with a Yes, because they are taking refuge behind the idea that the current law needs to be strengthened in various ways but not expanded. Once they are on record confirming they don’t view the current system as a threat to Constitutional rights, the arguments against expanding it dissolve into incoherence.
Steve Benen: There are 55 members of the Senate Democratic caucus …. 47 of them have now publicly declared their support for marriage equality. The latest is Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey.
….with each similar announcement, the pressure rises on the remaining eight Senate Democrats who have not yet endorsed marriage equality: Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Bill Nelson of Florida, Tom Carper of Delaware, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana.
Bloomberg: Chrysler Group LLC, joining U.S. automakers in fielding their most competitive cars in decades, said its March U.S. sales rose 5 percent as the Dodge Dart compact helped extend a streak of monthly gains.
Sales for Chrysler climbed to 171,606 cars and light trucks from 163,381 a year earlier …. The automaker set sales records with its Dodge Dart, Avenger, Challenger and Chrysler 200 cars as well as its Ram pickups.
Chrysler’s U.S. vehicle sales have increased 36 consecutive months, the longest stretch in the company’s records that date back to 1985…
Marketwatch: …. Ford’s newest vehicles – Fusion and Escape – set all-time monthly sales records in March, driving Ford’s best U.S. sales results since May 2007.
“Customers are buying our all-new Fusion and Escape in record numbers, and we are working harder than ever to keep pace with demand for these fuel-efficient vehicles,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “Full-size pickup demand continues gaining momentum, outperforming the industry for the third consecutive month.”
The selling of Senator Aqua Buddha continues apace. Time now has joined the parade, explaining that junior is peddling a superior brand of more easily digestible horsepucky than his old man peddled, and that makes all the difference….
…. Seriously, the filibuster failed, and was “electrifying” only to those people who dropped a fan in the bathtub while listening to it….
There is no question that Aqua Buddha is a superior tap-dancer to his father, but ….. you nod along for five minutes and, at the 5:00:01 mark, you hear something that’s so nakedly opportunistic — Benghazi, BENGHAZI, BENGHAZI! — that you wonder if you’ve accidentally wandered into Sunday dinner at the Romneys…..
Since November, the prospective death of the Republican coalition has hovered over American politics, and the autopsy has gained renewed attention in light of the debates over gay marriage and immigration, both of which split the GOP from rising chunks of the electorate. I’m an advocate of the theory, first put forward a decade ago by Ruy Teixeira and John Judis, that the electorate is forming a natural Democratic majority. The Republican Party appears to be caught in a double bind, in which the electorate is growingly progressively less white, and even younger white voters hold less conservative views than older ones. What’s more, evidence suggests that voters maintain the partisan allegiances they form at a young age. The picture looks grim for the GOP.
NYT: Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, is likely to be the next United States ambassador to Japan, according to people familiar with the appointment process.
The vetting of Ms. Kennedy by the White House is almost complete, and an appointment could be announced in the coming weeks, along with the names of several other choices for important diplomatic posts…