12:45: President Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event at the Colorado State Fairgrounds (CNN/CBS live streaming)
2:50: Departs Pueblo
3:20: Arrives in Colorado Springs
4:45: Delivers remarks at a campaign event (CNN/CBS live streaming)
6:25: Departs Colorado Springs
9:45: Arrives at the White House
SacBee: The nation’s first lady is hitting the campaign trail in eastern Pennsylvania. Michelle Obama will stump for the president’s re-election on Thursday in the Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley areas.
She’ll first hold a rally in west Philadelphia at the University of the Sciences’ athletic center. She will then travel to suburban Fort Washington, where she’ll greet supporters at Upper Dublin High School, and end her trip with remarks at Moravian College in Bethlehem.
2:0 The First Lady delivers remarks at the Bobby Morgan Arena at the campus of the University of Sciences, Philadelphia
4:0 Delivers remarks at Upper Dublin High School in Fort Washington
7:10: Delivers remarks at Moravian College in Bethlehem
NYT Editorial: Mitt Romney’s campaign has hit new depths of truth-twisting with its accusation that President Obama plans to “gut welfare reform” by ending federal work requirements. The claim is blatantly false, but it says a great deal about Mr. Romney’s increasingly desperate desire to define the president as something he is not.
…. this is what happens when a flailing campaign searches for a wedge issue to gain popularity among blue-collar voters. Mr. Romney’s empty promises to magically turn around the economy are losing effectiveness, so why not vilify welfare recipients and portray the president as coddling them?
That approach was favored by an earlier generation of Republican operatives, and it helped divide the country into warring political classes. Mr. Romney, no less cynical, seems bent on repeating the past.
E.J. Dionne Jr: …. Political commentary these days is obsessed with the triviality of this campaign. Most of it is rooted in the refusal of conservatives to be candid about the implications of how their beliefs and commitments would affect the choices they would have government make — and how they differ from the president’s.
In Romney’s case, this often requires him to invent an Obama who exists only in the imagination of his ad makers. So they take Obama’s statements, clip out relevant sentences and run ads attacking some strung-together words that have a limited connection to what the president said. In the welfare ad, Romney lies outright.
But this is part of a larger pattern on the right, illustrated most tellingly by conservative rhetoric around the Affordable Care Act. In going after Obamacare, conservatives almost never talk about the specific provisions of the law. They try to drown it in anti-government rhetoric….
….Here’s your chance, conservatives. Big, bad government is forcing those nice insurance companies to give people a break. From what you say, you see this as socialism …. You cannot possibly keep this money. So stand up for those oppressed insurers and give them their rebates back!
…. I’d also be curious to know whether Romney got a rebate on his health insurance premiums courtesy of Obamacare and whether he plans to return it. But given his attitude toward disclosure, we’ll probably never find out.
Needless to say I’m not going to post it, but I just happened to see a listing for a Young Turks/Cenk Uygur video on YouTube posted two days ago, with the title ‘What If Trayvon Had Died In A Drone Strike?’ Yep, that’s the level to which the fraud has descended in his increasingly desperate campaign against the President. Uygur? **** off, you right wing piece of crap.
President Barack Obama has interview prep in the Oval Office, July 9, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Steve Benen: ….. President Obama spoke from the East Room of the White House this afternoon, making his case for extending a middle-class tax break. As was the case with Obama’s moves on immigration and marriage equality, it’s fair to say the president’s proposal is … clever.
…. Obama reminded the public of the taxes he’s already cut – “I wanted to repeat that because sometimes there’s a little misinformation out there and folks get confused about it,” he said – and highlighted the fact that trickle-down economics hasn’t worked. Obama added that the policy might look a lot different if the nation was still running a surplus.
But the meat of the pitch was making the case for extending lower tax rates for another year for those making under $250,000.
….Obama and his team don’t seem afraid of this fight in the slightest. On the contrary, they feel like they have the stronger hand — if Republicans give in and approve the president’s plan, Obama gets the political benefit; if Republicans are intransigent and fight for the rich, Obama gets the political benefit.
12:05: President Obama departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews
12:20: Departs Joint Base Andrews en route Portsmouth, New Hampshire
1:35: Arrives in Portsmouth
2:05: Delivers remarks at a campaign event at Oyster River High School (live coverage)
4:05: Departs Portsmouth en route Boston, Massachusetts
4:30: Arrives in Boston
5:10: Attends a campaign event (closed press)
7:35: Delivers remarks at a campaign event (live coverage)
9:25: Delivers remarks at a campaign event (private residence)
Tuesday: The President will travel to Atlanta and Miami to attend campaign events. He will return to Washington in the evening.
Wednesday: Will meet with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed. In the evening, the President and First Lady will host a picnic for Members of Congress at the White House.
Thursday and Friday: The President will attend meetings at the White House.
Peter Cohan (Telegram): When he was running for President in 2008, Barack Obama struck me as a gifted orator. But now that he’s running for re-election, it feels to me that the messaging power of his political opponents is like Hurricane Katrina blowing against a chipmunk’s squeal.
So I am confident that a piece of excellent news for drivers resulting from a little-noticed policy from Mr. Obama will get no attention at all from the media.
In April, I predicted that President Obama’s $52 million plan to increase the margin requirements and otherwise tighten the screws on oil speculators — who borrow huge sums to bet on the direction of oil without taking delivery — would cut oil prices by 10 percent. He’s beaten that prediction, and the lowered price of gasoline has added $78.4 billion to its consumers’ spending power.
Michael Tomasky: Democrats Should Come Out Swinging Against the Court – If the Supreme Court overturns the health-care law, Democrats will be tempted to sulk and feel sorry for themselves. But that’s the last thing they should do.
I expect, as I think most of us do, an unfriendly decision (from the Democratic point of view) on the health-care law. Can’t yet say how unfriendly; at the very least, an overturning of the individual mandate, and maybe more. Assuming that’s correct, the question immediately becomes how the president and the Democrats should respond. There’s very little they can do legislatively. But I’ll be watching for rhetoric, tone, even body language. And on those counts, they had damn well better dispense with the usual liberal woe-is-me hand-wringing and shoulder slumping and come out swinging.
They had better communicate to their base that they stand for something, it’s important to them, and they’re pissed. And if they do it the right way, they can make the Supreme Court an issue this fall in a way that might even persuade some swing voters that the court overstepped its bounds. I’d go so far as to say that an aggressive response can reset and reframe the whole health-care debate, once Americans have had their minds focused on this by a blatantly partisan court.
Jonathan Cohn: Do you care how the Supreme Court rules on health care reform this week? I don’t mean in the political sense. I mean in the personal sense — because the law’s fate is a very personal matter for many millions of Americans.
They’re the Americans who have diabetes and Crohn’s disease, cancer and hay fever. They’re the Americans who don’t have access to health benefits and the Americans who have access to health benefits but can’t afford to pay for them…..
The Affordable Care Act won’t help all of these people. But it will help an awful lot of them. In fact, it’s already starting to make a difference….
….. by and large, the Affordable Care Act seems to be working …. Will the Supreme Court stop this progress? … a decision to strike down even part of the law would have grave consequences — for the court’s legitimacy and, perhaps, the norms that make our constitutional system function. It’d also have grave consequences for the people whose employment, financial, or medical status renders them vulnerable — a group that may someday include you, if it doesn’t already.
E.J. Dionne: Any day now, the U.S. Supreme Court may make possible something that has yet to happen: an honest and complete discussion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
And if it throws out all or part of the law now popularly known as “Obamacare,” we will need a fearless conversation about how a conservative majority of the court has become a cog in a larger right-wing project to make progressive political and legislative victories impossible.
… Maybe now, supporters of the ACA will find their voices and point to the 30 million people the law would help to buy health insurance, how much assistance it gives businesses, how it creates a more rational health insurance market, how it helps those 26 and under stay on their parents’ health plans, how it protects those with pre-existing conditions. “Obamacare” isn’t about President Obama. It’s about beginning to bring an end to the scandal of a very rich nation leaving so many of its citizens without basic health coverage…..
…. Were the health-care law to be eviscerated, those who battled so hard on its behalf might draw at least bittersweet comfort from what could be called the Joni Mitchell Rule, named after the folk singer who instructed us that “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”
Bloomberg: The U.S. Supreme Court should uphold a law requiring most Americans to have health insurance if the justices follow legal precedent, according to 19 of 21 constitutional law professors who ventured an opinion on the most-anticipated ruling in years.
Only eight of them predicted the court would do so.
“The precedent makes this a very easy case,” said Christina Whitman, a University of Michigan law professor. “But the oral argument indicated that the more conservative justices are striving to find a way to strike down the mandate.”
…. There was broad agreement that the ruling, barely four months before November’s presidential election, has the potential to hurt the Supreme Court’s reputation as an impartial institution.
Eighteen of the 21 professors said the court’s credibility will be damaged if the insurance requirement – which passed Congress without a single Republican vote – is ruled unconstitutional by a 5-4 majority of justices appointed by Republican presidents.
Steve Benen: Earlier this year, when Texas Gov. Rick Perry was still a presidential candidate, he took aim at Mitt Romney’s controversial private-sector background. Perry told voters, “There is something inherently wrong when getting rich off failure and sticking it to someone else is how you do your business.”
…. In several instances, even when Romney’s firm drove companies into bankruptcy, and even when Bain’s own investors lost, Romney made millions, thanks to fees he charged the companies has they spiraled towards collapse. Taking risks may be a key element to successful capitalism, but this Republican created a system in which risk taking wasn’t necessary.
As far as the election is concerned, Romney is telling voters this background helps prove his qualifications for the presidency. I still haven’t the foggiest idea why.
CNN: Mitt Romney’s overall favorable ratings have dropped, while Rick Santorum’s standing has jumped among Republicans, according to a new national survey.
…. In the new survey, 54% of Republicans said they hold a favorable opinion of Romney, while 67% said the same in January. Among all Americans, 34% described the candidate as likable, down from 41% last month.
…. only one presidential candidate in the race has a national favorable rating above the 50% mark: President Barack Obama.
Among all Americans, Obama received positive reviews from 53%, with the poll suggesting he may have grown more popular in recent months.
Bob Cesca: Regular people are donating to the president’s re-election campaign in record numbers:
According to an analysis by The Huffington Post, the Obama reelection campaign committee, Obama for America, pulled in at least 45 percent of its contributions from donors giving less than $200 during each of the fundraising quarters it was active in 2011…..
This is another strong indicator that the anti-Obama smearfest on the left is out of touch with the rest of the American left…..
Wednesday: PBO will travel to Master Lock in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to continue to discuss his blueprint for an economy built to last based on American manufacturing and the importance of companies insourcing and investing in America. He will then travel to Los Angeles, California where he will attend campaign events. He will spend the night in Los Angeles.
Thursday: PBO will attend campaign events in Corona del Mar, California before traveling to San Francisco, California to attend campaign events. He will spend the night in San Francisco.
Friday: PBO will travel to the Seattle where he will continue to discuss his blueprint for an economy built to last. He will also attend campaign events in the Seattle area before returning to Washington, D.C. later in the evening.
From left, Chief of Staff Jack Lew, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling and U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke confer as President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Vice President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China in the Oval Office, Feb. 14, 2012. Kurt Campbell, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs; Mike Froman, Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics; and Lael Brainard, Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, are also pictured. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
ABC: For Jenna Lyons, Michelle Obama has been the best endorsement J. Crew has ever received …. (her) penchant for J. Crew clothing has been “the most incredible gift that keeps on giving.” Not only did the company see a “huge lift” in business, Lyons credited Obama, 48, with creating a special bond with customers.
…. When Obama appeared on “The Tonight Show” in 2008 and told Jay Leno that her yellow sweater, skirt and blouse were a “J.Crew ensemble,” the company’s stock went up 8.2 percent. In 2011, Business Insider credited her with contributing to one of the most successful re-branding campaigns ever…
Greg Sargent: Despite birth control controversy, Obama suffers no erosion among Catholics
Since the birth control controversy broke, it has been an article of faith among even some neutral commentators that the battle would cause Obama to lose crucial support among Catholic swing voters.
But Gallup has performed a new analysis of its tracking data that should complicate this assertion: It finds that Obama has suffered no meaningful downturn in recent days among that consistuency, even among church-going Catholics.
Charles Pierce: …. my fellow Papists … if you all would be so kind, please shut the fk up about birth control, abortion, and this neverending madness about what ladies do with their lady parts without the pope’s permission.
….. please stop going on my television set and telling me what “the Catholic position” is on the fact that the president has told various Catholic institutions – and told them quite gently, too – that, yes, if they want all those nice juicy tax advantages, they must abide by the federal law and, in their capacities as employers, make contraceptives available to their employees under the new Affordable Care Act.
There is no “Catholic position” on this issue. There are the opinions of the clerical bureaucrats and the members of the Clan of The Red Beanie, and then there is the opinion of the overwhelming majority of Catholic laypeople, who stopped listening to anything the Vatican said on the matter of birth control back in 1965.
…. For that matter, there is no real “Catholic vote” out there to be mined, either. A breakdown of how American Catholics vote on one particular issue or another pretty much tracks with how the country in general breaks down … Catholics made up their mind on this issue long ago. They stopped listening to Rome, and to the Chancery, and most of them are much better off.
Kevin Drum: …. I guess I’m tired of religious groups operating secular enterprises (hospitals, schools), hiring people of multiple faiths, serving the general public, taking taxpayer dollars – and then claiming that deeply held religious beliefs should exempt them from public policy …. I imagine the “religious community” in the United States would be a wee bit more understanding if the Obama administration refused to condone the practice.
…. if Catholic hospitals don’t want to follow reasonable, 21st century secular rules, they need to make themselves into truly religious enterprises. In particular, they need to stop taking secular taxpayer money. As long as they do, though, they should follow the same rules as anyone else.
Josh Kraushaar (National Journal): If President Obama wins re-election, he’ll point to the last couple of weeks as a turning point. He’s sharpened his economic message, emphasized fairness for the middle class, and most importantly, he’s benefited from an economy that’s showing some signs of improvement.
But the most underplayed development are signs that the president’s approval rating is ticking upwards with the group most resistant to him, non-college educated, working-class whites. Over the last week, several surveys have suggested that Obama is gaining some ground with this group, in both national and statewide polling. If these gains stick, it’s something that should be very concerning to the Romney campaign, which is dependent on winning overwhelming support from blue-collar white voters as part of a winning GOP coalition.
…. As Buffalo Springfield once sang: “There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.” Pay very close attention to Obama’s numbers with the white working-class. The assumption was that they were hardened against the president. But there’s some fresh evidence that could be changing.
Bloomberg: President Barack Obama nominated Air Force Lieutenant General Janet Wolfenbarger to be the service’s first female four-star general and the military’s second woman to reach the highest rank.
Wolfenbarger, the Air Force’s top uniformed official for weapons development, was also nominated as commander of the Air Force’s Materiel Command, according to a Defense Department statement today. The positions are subject to Senate confirmation.
The first woman with four stars in the U.S. military, Army General Ann Dunwoody, was confirmed in 2008 and is commanding general of that service’s Materiel Command.
Obama Foodorama: Expect some hilarious Let’s Move! hijinks on Tuesday night when First Lady Michelle Obama cameos in a video segment on NBC talk show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The comic visited Mrs. Obama last week at the White House to film the outing, which will air as part of this week’s celebration of the second anniversary of the Let’s Move! campaign. Among other fitness activities, the First Lady had Fallon running up and down the historic White House stairs, he said when he announced the upcoming cameo…..