President Obama jokes with players from the Oregon State University basketball team in the Oval Office on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22. The team’s head coach is Craig Robinson, brother of First Lady Michelle Obama. (Photo by Pete Souza)
Chat away – unless your mouth is full with turkey.
Joe Biden: “Tonight the people of Ohio delivered a gigantic victory for the middle class with their overwhelming rejection of a Republican attempt to strip away collective bargaining rights. Fundamental fairness has prevailed. By standing with teachers and firefighters and cops, Ohio has sent a loud and clear message that will be heard all across the country: The middle class will no longer be trampled on. The people of Ohio are to be congratulated.”
Steve Benen: Going into Election Day 2011, the conventional wisdom said that voters would offer some clues about prevailing political attitudes and what’s to come in 2012. As the dust settles on last night’s results, if the conventional wisdom is right, Republican optimism about next year is badly misplaced.
From coast to coast, Democrats and progressive goals not only won, but in most instances, won big. Some of the highlights….
4:15: The President holds a bilateral meeting with President Silva of Portugal.
8:35 PM: Delivers remarks at the National Women’s Law Center’s annual awards dinner.
Father of the year Joe Walsh’s meltdown:
Bloomberg: The Senate President of Arizona and author of the state’s hard-line laws against illegal immigration lost a recall election seen as a bellwether on “extreme” politics.
Republican Russell Pearce, lost by 53 percent to 45 percent with all precincts reported, according to the Maricopa County Elections office. Pearce, 64, was defeated by Jerry Lewis, a Republican school administrator who has said he opposes Pearce’s enforcement-only approach to immigration policy.
“There is a deep dissatisfaction in Arizona for what is viewed as politics in the extreme,” said Earl de Berge of the Phoenix-based Behavior Research Center, a nonpartisan polling company. Pearce “symbolizes a very hard-nosed view on conservative policies.” The loss will show moderates that they can win in the state, de Berge said. “It is going to be a sea change in Arizona,” he said.
President Barack Obama greets the 2011 Presidential Citizens Medal recipients in the Blue Room of the White House prior to a medal ceremony in the East Room, Oct. 20. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
9:30 AM President Obama signs the Korea, Panama, Colombia Free Trade Agreements and the renewal of Trade Adjustment Assistance for workers
10:30 The President attends a reception in the Rose Garden
2:30 The President honors recipients of the 2010 National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation
Andrew Sullivan: To rid the world of Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and Moammar Qaddafi within six months: if Obama were a Republican, he’d be on Mount Rushmore by now.
Ian Swanson (The Hill): Obama stands tall after the demise of Libyan strongman Gadhafi
The death of Moammar Gadhafi represents another major foreign policy victory for President Obama, who backed a months-long air campaign in Libya while facing criticism from the left and the right.
Obama stared down congressional skeptics across the political spectrum … Through it all, Obama kept his resolve.
…. On Thursday he basked in the second greatest foreign policy triumph of his administration, after the successful operation this spring that killed Osama bin Laden. Gadhafi’s death comes less than a month after the U.S. drone strike killed al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.
…. For the unwavering Obama, Thursday came the big payoff as Gadhafi’s hopes for returning to power ended in a field outside his hometown of Sirte.
…. Obama entered the Oval Office as a novice on the international stage, criticized for a naïve outlook on the world.
…. three years into his term, both the bin Laden and Libya events suggest Obama can be steely in making decisions about U.S. force, and in sticking with them.
Washington Post: Marco Rubio’s compelling family story embellishes facts, documents show
During his rise to political prominence, Sen. Marco Rubio frequently repeated a compelling version of his family’s history that had special resonance in South Florida. He was the “son of exiles,” he told audiences, Cuban Americans forced off their beloved island after “a thug,” Fidel Castro, took power.
But a review of documents – including naturalization papers and other official records – reveals that the Florida Republican’s account embellishes the facts. The documents show that Rubio’s parents came to the United States and were admitted for permanent residence more than 2 and a half years before Castro’s forces overthrew the Cuban government and took power on New Year’s Day 1959.
The supposed flight of Rubio’s parents has been at the core of the young senator’s political identity …. he mentions his parents in the second sentence of the official biography on his Senate Web site. It says that Mario and Oriales Rubio “came to America following Fidel Castro’s takeover.”….
The real story of his parents’ migration appears to be a more conventional immigrant narrative, a couple who came to the United States seeking a better life. In the year they arrived in Florida, the future Marxist dictator was in Mexico plotting a quixotic return to Cuba.
Michael Tomasky (Daily Beast): The economy needs help. The Democrats’ proposals are popular. And yet they’re dying in Congress. Why? Because the GOP hates Obama more than it loves America.
Maybe as early as Thursday night, the Senate will take its first vote on one bite-size piece of President Obama’s jobs bill, a $35 billion measure to fund the hiring of 400,000 teachers and a smaller number of cops and firefighters. It will fail. As usual not a single Republican will vote for it….
…. The Republican Party’s posture to the American people is this. Your opinion on issues like teachers and taxes doesn’t matter a whit to us … if you keep that man in the White House, we will block everything he and you want. Everything. And nothing will happen in this town for those next four years. The Republicans can’t say any of this, of course, but they don’t have to. People get it. It just sort of seeps out of them, like oil from a polluted stream.
I have trouble keeping lunch down when I read these jeremiads about how sad and mysterious it is that our institutions of government are failing. It’s not a mystery. One side wants them to fail. And there’s very little the other side can do about it, besides point it out, which the president has started doing – and now he’s the one being divisive! They’ve turned the world inside out.
LA Times: Republican-led opposition in the Senate blocked a key element of President Obama’s jobs plan – a proposal to send $35 billion to cash-strapped states to keep public school teachers, police and firefighters on the job.
The Senate voted 50-50 late Thursday, falling short of the 60 votes needed to advance. Polls have shown the proposal is among the most popular flanks of Obama’s jobs initiative.
President Obama shakes hands with Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) after he signed the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, October 8, 2010
The Hill: Democrats Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.), who voted last week to block Obama’s full jobs measure, again sided with Republicans.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), an independent who caucuses with Democrats, also said no, citing concerns about the legislation’s cost effectiveness.
Keith Humphreys (Washington Monthly): …. the Obamas have a magic about them as a couple to which most people respond positively. If you go to any event where the Obamas are standing next to each other, turn around and look at the crowd and you will see many people – especially women – smiling.
…. Last week a friend and I were reminiscing about a White House holiday party that we both attended. My friend jumped up from his chair and asked “Did you notice how differently he stands when Michelle is next to him? He then mimicked the President perfectly, standing stiffly and intoning “Here I am the boring, aloof, professor alone at the lectern”. Then, shifting his feet as if he were mid-strut, throwing back his shoulders and smiling broadly he said “And here I am with this incredibly fabulous babe that I got to marry me – oh yeah!”.
That’s the truth of it. When the President is with his wife, his humanity comes out in a way that it often does not in other circumstances. The facade of the distant academic cracks open, revealing that skinny, accessible and idealistic young man who is still happily ensorcelled by his brilliant companion. And at that moment, many people in our cynical, brutal and heartless electoral process pause for a moment and remember that Barack Obama is a human being, and they like him.
The Hill: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he will schedule a vote to proceed to a $35 billion jobs bill on Friday. “We’re going to make sure there’s a vote on our bill this week,” Reid said.
The $35 billion measure would direct federal funds to states to prevent layoffs of teachers, police officers and firefighters.
Democrats estimate the legislation will save or create 400,000 jobs. Most of the funding, $30 billion, would go to teachers. First responders would get $5 billion.
It would be paid for by a 0.5 percent tax increase on income over $1 million.
A photo and poster of President Barack Obama hang on a door as Obama 2012 campaign volunteer Daniel Hertlein exits following the grand opening of the Georgia Democratic Party’s new headquarters, Oct. 19, in Atlanta. Democratic National Committee chairwoman and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz says her party isn’t conceding any corner of the country in the 2012 presidential election. She says there is a growing groundswell of Democratic momentum in the state and region, bolstered by the area’s changing demographics.
Was ‘Dick’ Halperin’s Time Page hacked today by an impartial reporter – or does even he realize his relentless negative reporting on the President has become a little embarrassing?
Presumably he’ll be back to normal soon.
President Obama, on his return to the White House from his tour of North Carolina and Virginia, tells members of the media that the pumpkins he bought will be driven to Washington
President Obama opens a door to the West Wing for National Security Council Senior Director for Europe Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall after returning to the White House
Here’s the woot!
Thank you, thank you, thank you, you very, very kind people – that figure is, well, crazy!
I know these are seriously tough times for so many of you, so I honestly do hate asking, but if you’re able, could you help me celebrate by contributing $5, or whatever you can, to The Obama Diary Obama/Biden 2012 fundraising page at OFA (here)? Whenever you can. Thanks everyone.
The Drive for Five!
The incomparable Donna Dem will always be TOD’s fundraising Queen, and in future I’ll use her OFA page for our fundraising drives, this is just to celebrate that 5 million.
Thanks again everyone for your support and company, love ya.
So, Republicans love executions (even of the innocent), they cheer the death of people without health insurance, they despise gay soldiers, and now they reckon the unemployed should blame themselves ….. wow.
Just recently one of this blog’s very best friends, Majii, told us that her “dear brother”, who lived with her, was very ill, but she was hopeful that he would get better.
So sorry to pass this on, but Majii contacted me today to say that she lost her beloved brother last night.
His condition worsened while she was at her last surviving uncle’s funeral in Alabama. She and her daughter are heartbroken.
Majii: “I wanted to let you and the community know what is going on since I will not be posting any comments this week. Thanks for the support you and the community members have given me over the last few months.”
Love and strength to you and your daughter, Majii, may your brother rest in peace.
BBC: Barack Obama and his wife Michelle will visit the UK on their first official state visit in May. US presidents who have met the Queen have mostly stayed in London, but where else in the UK might the Obamas travel?
The Obamas’ planned visit to the UK in May is their second trip to the country, but the first as official guests of the British Royal Family.
Since the turn of the 20th Century, 11 American presidents have made the trip across the Atlantic. Most have stayed in London, visiting Buckingham Palace, Downing Street and other sights on the diplomatic tourist trail.
….President Obama might consider a trip to Bracknell where his half sister Auma used to live and, it is thought, his step mother Kezia still does. A short train ride from London, the commuter town might not be an obvious choice for a world leader, but Mr Obama has already made a trip to the area. Before he became president he attended his former brother-in-law’s stag do in nearby Wokingham…..
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet the Green family after the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25. John and Roxanna Green are the parents of eleven-year-old Dallas and the late Christina Taylor, the nine-year-old girl killed when a gunman opened fire on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson earlier this month. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
BBC: The crew on board the International Space Station (ISS) have paused in silence for six people killed in a shooting in Arizona which left US congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, seriously wounded.
The ISS Commander, Scott Kelly, who is Ms Giffords’ brother-in-law led a tribute to the victims. Ms Giffords’ husband, Mark Kelly, is also an astronaut.
“As I look out the window, I see a very beautiful planet that seems very inviting and peaceful. Unfortunately, it is not. These days, we are constantly reminded of the unspeakable acts of violence and damage we can inflict upon one another, not just with our actions but also with our irresponsible words. We are better than this. We must do better.”
White House YouTube Channel: The President speaks to the nation about job numbers, monitors the oil leak in the gulf of Mexico, says goodbye to the spring interns, gives the commencement address at Hampton University, swears in his Intelligence Advisory Board, welcomes the President of Afghanistan, congratulates PM David Cameron, visits Buffalo NY and much more.