Posts Tagged ‘capehart

22
May
13

Rise and Shine

Four years ago: President Obama looks out the window of Marine One as it lands at the White House, May 22, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

11:0: VP Biden Gives the Commencement Address at the United States Coast Guard Academy (audio only at WH Live)

1:0 Jay Carney’s press briefing

7:25: President Obama hosts a concert honoring Gershwin Prize winner Carole King

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NYT: The bipartisan immigration bill that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday has many serious hurdles ahead. It is the most serious and worthy attempt to fix immigration in a generation, but it cannot help reflecting the poisoned politics of today, with its heavy tilt toward needless border enforcement and a deficiency in equal rights.

In the most moving and wrenching moment in three weeks of committee markup, the committee’s chairman, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, sought to amend the bill to allow gay Americans to sponsor their wives and husbands for green cards. The other Democrats, including Charles Schumer of New York, implored him not to put that amendment forward, saying this measure of basic fairness would drive off Republican support and kill the entire bill. Mr. Leahy withdrew it.

With that unhappy capitulation, the bill survives, with a possible battle over same-sex marriage still to come on the Senate floor. And then the bill will need to find some path through the Republican-led House….

More here – and see ThinkProgress

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Jonathan Capehart: Here we go again. President Obama’s critics in the African American community are hammering him for doing nothing for black people …. this thinking drives me crazy because the president’s detractors fail to take a 360-degree view of what they are demanding from him and ignore what he’s actually done.

…. Coates’s criticism emanates from Obama’s commencement address at Morehouse College in Atlanta …. Obama spoke to the black men of Morehouse not as a distant president but as a familiar peer. He used his troubled past as a real-life example of how one’s limited circumstances are neither destiny nor a hindrance to achieving the American Dream, as they define it. He urged the graduates to not make excuses, to aim high and to give back. Yet, Coates calls this “‘convenient race-talk’ from a president who ought to know better.” Obama can’t win.

… what’s missing from most African American critiques of Obama: an appreciation for Republican resistance to his agenda. To expect the president to introduce an explicit and definable “black agenda” in a Congress filled with people who believe him to be a socialist destroying the country while illegitimately occupying the Oval Office is seriously naive.

Full article here

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Click here to see the rest of the post

02
Dec
11

rise and shine

Steve Benen: There were modest expectations for the new jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and in this case, the economy met them. A net total of 120,000 jobs were created in November, which is just about what economists and analysts said would happen. The same report showed the overall unemployment rate dropping from 9% to 8.6%.

As is always the case, there was a significant gap between the private and public sectors. Businesses added 140,000 jobs last month, while budget cuts forced the public sector to shed 20,000 jobs, which continues to be a major drag on the overall employment picture.

Republican policymakers, it’s worth noting, are eager to force more public-sector layoffs, making the jobs landscape worse on purpose, while Democrats have fought to do the opposite.

Full post here

Steven Walker

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President Barack Obama shows military officials the White House Christmas Tree in the Blue Room following a meeting, Dec. 1. The 18-foot-6 inch balsam fir is decorated with holiday cards created by military children and ornaments featuring medals, badges, and patches from all of the military branches. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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White House Live

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USA Today: Later this morning, President Obama and former president Bill Clinton will take a tour of a building blocks away from the White House and announce a $4 billion initiative to improve the energy efficiency of government and private-sector buildings. Obama is scheduled to deliver remarks to reporters after the tour.

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Steve Benen: The Senate held two votes on extending a payroll tax cut for more than 160 million Americans, most of whom are middle class. As expected, Republicans killed them both. What was unexpected, though, was the vote totals on the proposals.

First up was the Democratic plan, which would have kept the payroll break in place for another year, and pay for it with a slight surtax on millionaires and billionaires. A 51-member Senate majority supported the bill, but that was far short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a GOP filibuster. It’s worth noting that one Republican, Sen. Susan Collins (R) of Maine, broke ranks and supported the Dems’ proposal….

…. What was just as interesting was the next vote, when the Senate considered the GOP alternative, which would also keep the payroll break in place, but pay for it largely through a pay freeze on federal workers …. it was rejected 78 to 20, with more than half of Republicans opposed. Yep, most Republican senators opposed their own party’s legislation….

Full post here

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Spiegel: The US Republican race is dominated by ignorance, lies and scandals. The current crop of candidates have shown such a basic lack of knowledge that they make George W. Bush look like Einstein. The Grand Old Party is ruining the entire country’s reputation.

Africa is a country. In Libya, the Taliban reigns. Muslims are terrorists; most immigrants are criminal; all Occupy protesters are dirty. And women who feel sexually harassed – well, they shouldn’t make such a big deal about it.

Welcome to the wonderful world of the US Republicans. Or rather, to the twisted world of what they call their presidential campaigns. For months now, they’ve been traipsing around the country with their traveling circus, from one debate to the next, one scandal to another, putting themselves forward for what’s still the most powerful job in the world.

As it turns out, there are no limits to how far they will stoop.

Full article here

Thanks JER

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Sacbee: President Barack Obama, who is a fervent basketball fan, will get his NBA fix next month but his campaign will have to postpone the Obama Classic fundraiser that was to feature more than two dozen professional basketball stars.

The campaign on Thursday notified ticket holders the Dec. 12 event would now be held in the summer.

The fundraising all-star game was planned while a lockout put the NBA season in jeopardy, and top players had committed to play. But team owners and players reached an agreement and games are set to begin on Christmas Day.

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Washington Post: There’s little doubt President Barack Obama has won high esteem among Native Americans by breaking through a logjam of inaction on issues that matter to them.

The Obama administration this week unveiled sweeping changes to federal tribal-land leasing rules that had not been touched in 50 years. Obama nominated a Native American to the federal bench, signed a law renewing the Indian Health Care Act and settled a tribal royalties lawsuit that had dragged over three administrations.

…. Obama on Friday speaks for the third time with the nation’s 565 tribal leaders in Washington….  Obama has gone beyond lip service, said Bill John Baker, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, and “backed up his words with actions that have made a positive impact on the lives of Native people.”

…. Jacqueline Johnson Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians and an Alaska native, said native peoples’ enthusiasm for Obama goes deeper. Obama has embraced Native American tribal sovereignty preserved in the Constitution, court decisions and treaty agreements and made that the foundation for his administration’s dealings with tribes, Pata said.

…. “I think we have made strides under the Obama administration the likes of which tribes have not seen for 30 years,” said Stacy Bohlen, executive director of the National Indian Health Board…..

Full article here

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Jonathan Capehart: …. GOP hopeful Newt Gingrich defended his stance against certain child labor laws during a campaign stop in Iowa Thursday, saying that children born into poverty aren’t accustomed to working unless it involves crime.

“Really poor children, in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works so they have no habit of showing up on Monday,” Gingrich claimed. “They have no habit of staying all day, they have no habit of I do this and you give me cash unless it is illegal,” he added.

….. Gingrich’s blanket condemnation of “really poor children, in really poor neighborhoods” is unbelievably disgusting. And it’s disrespectful of the overwhelming majority of those children and their families who live their lives with far more integrity and far less cash than Gingrich ever will.

Full post here

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In case you missed them, lots more photos from last night’s Christmas concert here

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Morning everyone ;-)

30
Jul
11

‘all presidents should be so loved’

Jonathan Capehart (Washington Post): …. I want to dispute Peggy Noonan’s assertion that “nobody loves Obama” ….  she didn’t talk to my ex, Giuseppe, an Italian who came to this country to pursue the American Dream and fell head over heels for Barack Obama in 2007 …. Giuseppe has become my Obama barometer. If the president loses Giuseppe, he’s sunk.

Giuseppe remains firmly in the president’s corner. I asked him to read Noonan’s op-ed and to send me his reaction. Read it for yourself.

Don’t believe her!
    I LOVE the guy, and I LOVE the family.
    Instinctively. I connect to him like I have never connected with any politician EVER before . . . here or in Italy.
    The man could be my friend. He speaks my language, he is smart, he is funny. I could hang out with him any time. I feel I would talk to him or share my life with him like he was you, or Marques, or Willie, or Maurice or ada!
    I guess Noonan doesn’t know nobody like us! Or more simply she is just practicing the most popular sport among conservatives. . . . which is ganging up on him . . . cause he is too smart, real and genuine in a way that they could never be .. . .because they live in another reality, one that is shrinking up around them.
    It’s time for these people to start realizing that this country and this world do not revolve around them and that they DEFINITELY are NOT the future of this country! And what they believe in and want will matter less and less, it’s just a matter of time.

Giuseppe watched Obama slog through politically debilitating events such as health care, the gulf oil spill, the battle to end “don’t ask don’t tell” – and now this debt-ceiling fight that has the United States staring at default or downgrade or both for the first time in history. And his faith in the man has not wavered one bit.

All presidents should have such “grim support” or be so loved.

Full article here

Thanks Proud ;-)

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Here’s another excellent piece from Capehart this week:

The headline of Jackie Calmes’s “White House Memo” today in the New York Times is a source of great consternation and agitation for me. “President on Sidelines in Critical Battle Over Debt Ceiling” reflects the Beltway meme that President Obama is invisible in this epic fight over raising the debt ceiling. That he was pushed off the stage by Congress to get this done. As the chatter in the echo chamber reinforced itself, folks glossed over or forgot that the president ordered Congress to come up with a plan.

At a dramatic, post-market-close news conference at the White House Friday, Obama announced that the grand bargain he and Speaker John Boehner had been working on for weeks had collapsed. Clearly exasperated, the president issued a command to Congress…..

…. Obama can’t win, it seems. Calmes writes today, “Mr. Obama is in danger of seeming a spectator at one of the most critical moments of his presidency.” Yet, last week Peggy Noonan declared, “It is time for the president to get out of the way.” Obama is not perfect. Watching how he goes about governing is akin to riding in the front seat of a roller coaster without a lap bar. But at no point do I ever think he’s disengaged or been invisible.

As we saw with the killing of Osama bin Laden, the ending of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and even the secret talks between Obama and Boehner over a big deal on the debt ceiling, this president by and large eschews theatrics for getting stuff done. And this drives people crazy.

For better or worse, we have a president who firmly believes that Congress is a co-equal branch of government. Just as the Founders envisioned….

If by Tuesday, Aug. 2, Congress has not passed a bill or if it has put forth one the president can’t sign, it will be incumbent upon him to take control to save the nation’s economy, assuming lasting damage hasn’t already been done. And if or when he does, there better not be a complaint from anyone.

Full article here

09
Dec
10

‘blow-torched by the left’

Washington Post (Jonathan Capehart): As someone who frequently catches more hell from liberal Democrats than from conservative Republicans, I am completely sympathetic to President Obama’s exasperation at the “sanctimonious”  folks in his party who cling to “unrealistic” “purist position[s].” He was at his best yesterday when he pushed back against the cranky critics in his own party.

You know that saying that we’re harshest towards the ones we love most? Well, for the last two years, Obama has been blow-torched by the left as the expectations of hope and change smacked up against the reality of governing. I completely understand the frustration and anger. But there are some on the left who view compromise as total abandonment.

The president barely got to day 100 in his administration before his commitment to gay rights was called into serious question. During the health-care reform debate, the left was none too pleased because Obama junked the public option when he determined that the overall effort would fail if he insisted on pushing it. And now the revolt  over the Bush tax cut compromise….

….this is the first time that I can recall that Obama has given to the left as good as he’s gotten from the left on national television. And I loved every minute of it.




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