Posts Tagged ‘control



29
May
13

Rise and Shine

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Today:

EST

12:45: Press Briefing by Jay Carney

3:55: The President departs the White House

CDT

5:0: Arrives Chicago

6:30: Attends a DCCC event, Chicago Hilton (Pool Coverage)

7:45: Attends a DCCC event (Private Residence)

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@PeteSouza

@PeteSouza

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Steve Benen: Obama is clearly the worst socialist ever

Wall Street’s major indexes soared after U.S. home prices saw their best annual rise in seven years, and consumer confidence got another boost. But even before today’s stock-market gains, President Obama is in rare company when it comes to Wall Street returns.

…. I don’t think a strong stock market is necessarily proof of a robust economy. On the contrary, I care far more about unemployment, median wages, and economic growth than Wall Street returns. But the right shouldn’t try to have it both ways – if a bear market in 2009 is, in the minds of conservatives, clear proof that Obama’s agenda is misguided and dangerous, then by the same reasoning, should we interpret soaring Wall Street indexes as proof of Obama’s genius?

Full post here

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Ed Kilgore: ….. we’re having to come to grips with the fact that about half the states appear unlikely to participate fully in the Medicaid expansion provided for in the Affordable Care Act …. that leaves quite a few (including most of the South) just flat out refusing to do anything for people with incomes under the federal poverty line. And that creates a very large “coverage gap … I’d suggest the “wingnut hole.”

Full post here

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ThinkProgress: How Obamacare Is Encouraging Employers To Cut Wasteful Spending And Promote Workers’ Health

In an effort to cut wasteful U.S. medical spending, certain employers will be scaling back expensive health plans available to their employees and encouraging workers to pursue more preventative and ongoing primary care. The move is being prompted by Obamacare provisions that encourage a more cost-sensitive and efficient approach to Americans’ health care than the status quo.

More here

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Bloomberg: The unofficial slogan for Massachusetts Democrats as they work toward a special U.S. Senate election next month is “Remember 2010.”

That was the year that political newcomer Scott Brown won the seat held for 46 years by the late Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy and became the first Republican to prevail in a Massachusetts Senate race since 1972.

…. To demonstrate the party isn’t resting on its 3-to-1 voter registration edge over Republicans, Democratic leaders are lining up behind nominee Representative Ed Markey, 66, including first lady Michelle Obama, who is set to host a fundraiser for him today in Boston. The president, who has a 67 percent approval rating in the state according to a recent poll by Suffolk University, endorsed him yesterday.

More here

But Dotster found this: First Lady Michelle Obama won’t be joining the president back home. She is scheduled to be in New York for Democratic National Committee fundraisers, including a gala for the lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities that features Jason Collins, the first openly gay active NBA player.” (Chicago Tribune) – so, not sure which is right. Both??

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@WhiteHouse

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Steve Benen: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who’s made quite a name for herself over the course of four terms in Congress, made a surprise announcement overnight: she won’t seek re-election…..

…. In recent elections, the right-wing Minnesotan eked out narrow victories — she very nearly lost last November — and recent polling suggested Bachmann would struggle to keep her seat in 2014. Quitting will save her the trouble of losing.

…. Bachmann will be missed, but mostly by the nation’s comedy writers.

Full post here

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21
May
13

This and That

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Steve Benen: We talked earlier about Oklahoma’s junior senator, Republican Tom Coburn (R), announcing last night that he will only support federal disaster relief — for his own constituents — if it’s financed by comparable spending cuts elsewhere. But what about Oklahoma’s senior senator?

Republican Sen. James Inhofe, like Coburn, has opposed emergency aid in the recent past, including voting against a relief package for victims of Hurricane Sandy. This morning, however, the conservative senator said that was “totally different”.

More here

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WH: As the Senate debates bipartisan immigration reform legislation, the President and the Vice President hosted a meeting today in the Oval Office with young immigrants, also known as DREAMers, as well as with the siblings and spouses of undocumented immigrants. The meeting was an important opportunity for the President and the Vice President to hear directly from people whose families are affected daily by our nation’s broken immigration system.

More here

President Obama and Vice President Biden meet with DREAMers who have received Deferred Action and U.S. citizen family members of undocumented immigrants, in the Oval Office, May 21 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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It being Gallup, you know yourself, it’s probably a 96-year high:

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In case you missed it, SmartyPants on the, well, interesting background of Stephen Jin-Woo Kim:

….. The next place a little curiosity might take you is to wonder just who this Stephen Jin-Woo Kim is. As even I was able to find out from a simple look at Wikipedia, he was an employee of a federally funded research and development center that consulted with Rumsfeld via the Defense Policy Board – which was chaired by Richard Perle. In 2008 – just before the Obama administration began – Kim went to work for the State Department. One might be curious about that…..

More here

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10
May
13

Rise and Shine

Three years ago today: President Obama, Vice President Biden and Solicitor General Elena Kagan wait in the Blue Room of the White House, May 10, 2010, prior to the President’s announcement of Kagan as his choice to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens in the Supreme Court (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

12:30: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

2:40: The President delivers a statement on the Affordable Care Act

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USA Today: President Obama turns his attention back Friday to one of his signature issues, health care. A White House event this afternoon ties implementation of the massive 2010 health care law to Mother’s Day on Sunday.

Obama will discuss the benefits of the law for women, and also ask mothers to encourage young people to sign up when insurance exchanges go on line in October.

More here

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Sun Times: President Barack Obama returns to Berlin in June – the city where he staged a triumphic speech during the 2008 election – with First Lady Michelle, the White House announced on Friday.

The June 17-19 swing will start in Belfast and move to Lough Erne in Northern Ireland for the G-8 Summit. After that the First Couple head to Berlin.

More here

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Austin Bergstrom International Airport, Austin, May 9

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Norm Ornstein (National Journal): ….. Bob Woodward has pushed the idea that Obama has failed in his fundamental leadership task – not building relationships with key congressional leaders the way Bill Clinton did….

…. No one schmoozed more or better with legislators in both parties than Clinton. How many Republican votes did it get him on his signature initial priority, an economic plan? Zero in both houses. And it took eight months to get enough Democrats to limp over the finish line. How did things work out on his health care plan? How about his impeachment in the House?

…. For Obama, we knew from the get-go that he had no Republicans willing to work with him ….. schmoozing was not going to change that.

…. it is past time to abandon selective history and wishful thinking, and realize the inherent limits of presidential power, and the very different tribal politics that Obama faces compared with his predecessors.

Full article here

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Joe Biden: The Rolling Stone Interview

The vice president on guns, global warming and why he’s “the last guy in the room” on every decision Obama makes……

“Remember, I got criticized for saying I support gay marriage …. I just decided I couldn’t be quiet about it anymore, and everybody was stunned that that’s where the public is. And I’m not stunned; it’s where the public’s been for a while. Talk to any of your kids, for God’s sake.”

Did you get blowback from the president or people in general?

“I got blowback from everybody but the president. I walked in that Monday, he had a big grin on his face, he put his arms around me and said, “Well, Joe, God love you, you say what you think.” I knew he agreed with me. It wasn’t like he was in a different place…..”

Read the interview here

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09
May
13

Rise and Shine

Random Texas-ish pic

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Today – all times Eastern:

9:55 AM: President Obama departs the White House

1:15: Arrives Austin, Texas

1:45: Tours classrooms at Manor New Technology High School

2:05: Delivers remarks

4:15: The First Lady Hosts Mother’s Day Tea

6:0: The President tours Applied Materials Inc.

5.40: Delivers remarks

6:35: Departs Austin, Texas

9:45: Arrives the White House

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Steve Benen: For the fourth consecutive week, the figures on initial unemployment claims from the Department of Labor offered unexpectedly good news:

    The number of people who applied for regular state unemployment-insurance benefits ticked down 4,000 to 323,000 in the week ending May 4, hitting the lowest level since January 2008 ….. Economists had expected initial claims to rise slightly …. The four-week average of new jobless claims fell 6,250 to 336,750, hitting the lowest level since November 2007, near the start of the recession.

More here

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Greg Sargent: One party is threatening the recovery far more than the other is – It’s been widely pointed out by liberals that much of the discussion of fiscal issues conducted by supposedly “neutral” reporters actually does take sides in a pernicious way. It often treats it as a given that near term deficit reduction is a good thing — sometimes even cheerleading for that outcome – when in fact there is an actual policy dispute over this point, with many arguing that immediate deficit reduction is destructive to the recovery, and that dealing with the deficit should be deferred until the economy is stronger.

And that’s why today’s big New York Times piece quoting a range of economists arguing that Washington’s deficit obsession has proven a drag on the recovery is so important and welcome….

More here

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USA Today: Starting a series of “Middle Class Jobs & Opportunity Tours,” Obama travels to Austin to visit high-tech facilities and promote his plans for education and basic research funding.

…. Among his announcements: A competition to create three “Manufacturing Innovation Institutes,” partnerships among businesses, colleges, and government to help create new manufacturing jobs. The president has asked Congress for $1 billion to create a total of 15 such institutes.

Obama will also discuss plans to require the government to make its data more easily available to business people, researchers and others.

More here

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BlueStreetJournal.com

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Bob Cesca: 13 Benghazis That Occurred on Bush’s Watch Without a Peep from Fox News

The Republican inquisition over the attacks against Americans in Benghazi has never really gone away, but it appears as though in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing and the House Oversight Committee’s Benghazi hearings this week there’s renewed psycho-histrionics over Benghazi…..

More here

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Rachel at her epic best:

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08
May
13

Rise and Shine

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)

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Today:

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

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President Barack Obama and President Park Geun-hye of the Republic of Korea, May 7. Photo: Pete Souza

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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.

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TeaPartyCat

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07
May
13

Rise and Shine

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Greg Sargent: “Senate Democrats believe that they have several new votes in favor of a bill that would expand background checks for gun buyers, after weeks in which those who opposed the legislation faced strong political backlash at home. One of these votes currently in play may be Senator Johnny Isakson, who sponsored a background check bill on the state level in Georgia. A gun control advocate who met with Senator Isakson today tells me that he said he is open to voting for Manchin-Toomey if and when it comes up again — and that he is in active talks with Senator Joe Manchin about the measure.

To be sure, this is very little grounds, by itself, for hoping for future passage of Manchin-Toomey. After all, Dems need to flip five senators to break the GOP filibuster. But it is clear that Dem leaders really do want to hold another vote, that conversations are continuing, and that a few senators may be open to changing their stance. This will only encourage the gun reform forces to keep up the pressure, which is key.

More here

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Dylan Matthews: Robert Rector and Jason Richwine of the Heritage Foundation have made a splash by releasing a paper claiming that the immigration reform bill being weighed in the U.S. Senate will cost the government $5.3 trillion. Or, more precisely, that undocumented immigrants under current law will cost the government $1 trillion, and legalizing those immigrants will increase that to $6.3 trillion. Subtract one from the other and you get the $5.3 trillion total cost estimate.

So does the Heritage estimate hold up? Not really. They make a lot of curious methodological choices that cumulatively throw the study into question. It’s likely that immigrants would pay a lot more in taxes, and need a lot less in benefits, than Heritage assumes, and that other benefits would outweigh what costs remain. the best study we have on the fiscal effects of immigration reform, from the CBO, finds the impact to be minimal or positive. But the Heritage numbers simply are not credible.

More here

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GLOBE and AFP/GETTY IMAGES

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29
Apr
13

Rise and Shine

Two years ago: President Obama shakes hands with a young girl after arriving at Miami International Airport, April 29, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

10:30: The First Lady speaks at a White House Forum on Military Credentialing and Licensing (White House live)

10:50: The President delivers remarks at the National Academy of Sciences 150th Anniversary (White House live)

12:30: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

2:10: The President makes a personnel announcement

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Tuesday: As part of the Joining Forces initiative, President Obama, Vice President Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will make a significant employment announcement for veterans and military spouses. This event will take place at the White House

Wednesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House

Thursday: In the morning, the President will depart Washington, DC for his visit to Mexico and Costa Rica

Friday: In the afternoon, the President will depart Mexico for Costa Rica

Saturday: In the afternoon, the President will depart Costa Rica and return to Washington, DC

Sunday: The President will deliver the commencement address at Ohio State University. He will return to Washington, DC, later that day

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ABC: President Obama will nominate Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx as the new Transportation secretary on Monday, a White House official said.

Foxx, who has served as mayor of Charlotte since 2009, has overseen several major infrastructure initiatives in the city and rose to prominence after bringing the Democratic National Convention to Charlotte last year.

More here

Anthony Foxx holds up his son Zachary to the microphone after being sworn in as Charlotte’s new mayor

…. with his grandmother Mary Foxx after mid-morning services at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church on August 5, 2012. Anthony was raised by his grandparents, Mary and James Foxx, Sr., who led him into politics, and his mother Laura

Mayor Foxx at the 2012 Democratic National Convention:

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AP: One of the architects of failed gun control legislation says he’s bringing it back.

Sen. Joe Manchin on Sunday said he would re-introduce a measure that would require criminal and mental health background checks for gun buyers at shows and online. The West Virginia Democrat says that if lawmakers read the bill, they will support it.

More here

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23
Apr
13

Rise and Shine

A year ago: President Obama tours the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., with Sara Bloomfield, museum director, and Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor, April 23, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

12:30: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

2:15: The President honors the 2013 National Teacher of the Year

2:45: Meets with the Amir of Qatar, His Highness Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani

6:30: Meets with a bipartisan group of women Senators for dinner

8:30: Vice President Biden Speaks at the Time 100 Dinner

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Peter Beinart: The rap against Barack Obama, at least on the left, has long been that he’s too cautious, too calculating, too conciliatory. Not a guy willing to take risks.

We can apologize now.

What Obama did in the four months between December’s Newtown shooting and this Wednesday’s Senate capitulation was one of the great displays of presidential guts in American history…..

…. [he] pursued gun control with a force of mind and soul that was astonishing to behold. “I never saw a president fight so hard,” remarked Sen. Barbara Boxer, “never on any issue.”

Why did he do it? In part because the Obama-as-timid meme was always a lie …. but beyond that, I suspect that once Obama saw an opportunity, he pushed gun control so hard because he simply cares more. As a community organizer, he worked and lived in the kind of communities where Americans are most often shot…

…. The gun control struggle will likely continue for decades. And this week its arc feels particularly long. But one day, a future president will look back at the last four months as the moment when Barack Obama began to make it bend.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: As the debate over new measures to prevent gun violence reached its apex, Republican lawmakers and conservative activists became surprisingly hostile towards the family members of those slain in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. If there’s one group of people who would appear to be off-limits when it comes to political pushback, one might think it’d be Newtown families, but apparently not.

What’s next, cheap shots at Gabrielle Giffords? Actually, yes…..

Full post here

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18
Apr
13

“This Effort Is Not Over…”

BIF_Bi3CEAARpNq

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16
Apr
13

Catching Up With The Day

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Bloomberg: The Boston Marathon bombing, juxtaposed with the mass murder at Sandy Hook  …. reveals an ideological component to the way Americans assess risk. In particular, Americans’ tolerance of mayhem and death varies depending on the source of the violence.

The Wall Street Journal editorial page, for example, was quick to revisit old fears about foreign terrorism in the wake of the Boston attack…

….. The emphasis on vulnerability and the “continuing need for heightened defenses” represents one side of an existential schism running through U.S. politics, with the dividing line separating mostly, but not always, liberals from conservatives. Many Americans accept the U.S.’s 30,000 gun deaths a year as a sad but inevitable price for all-but-unfettered individual rights to gun possession. A terrorist bombing, on the other hand, signals a need for “heightened defenses,” massive security and the routine compromise of liberty….

Full post here

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Stephen Marche (at Charles Pierce’s blog): As I write this, no one has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Boston Marathon …. But this moment, before we know who did it, may be more important than when we do know.

The speculation has established three possible perpetrators: Islamic terrorists, domestic terrorists, or simple lunatics. The potential of this moment is that we can recognize that it could be any of them, that they all want the same thing, that they are, in the only way that matters, the same thing.

…. Whoever it turns out to be will incur a blame for entire groups of people — whether Muslims or American gun nuts — which are entirely accidental to their being. Let us pause, right now, and agree not to make that mistake.

Full post here

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TPM: …. Why were so many people in the media standing on pins and needles, wondering whether Obama would call what happened in Boston terrorism? …..

…. The media was listening for that word yesterday because they identified it as a potential source of a future, contrived political controversy; reporters were acting as opposition researchers for the people they cover, and identified a sin of omission….

…. most major media outlets typically distinguish terrifying violence from violent terrorism by examining motive. No political or ideological motive? Not terrorism … It’s why everyone feels comfortable calling the Unabomber a terrorist, but not the perpetrator of the Sandy Hook massacre.

Full post here

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Charles Pierce: ….. We should commend both Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis for their performance at the press conference Monday night — Patrick for slapping down that Alex Jones idiot plant, and Davis, for going out of his way, in one of the few pieces of actual information that was forthcoming at the whole press conference, to emphasize that there was no “suspect” in custody in any hospital, thereby dropping an anvil on The New York Post, which completely went to the zoo on this story yesterday afternoon. Good on both of them. And for Abdulrahman Alharbi, I hope he can still be as happy here some day as I suspect he was when Monday began.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: …. I’m reluctant to start talking about any single photo being the iconic image of the tragedy, but clearly this shot (see above), captured by Boston Globe photographer John Tlumacki, is powerful and hard to forget.

….  there are three main officers seen in the foreground of this image, and the one on our right is Javier Pagan, who is Latino, gay, and the Boston Police Department’s LGBT liaison.

His husband is a retired NYPD sergeant, who helped rescue people on September 11, 2001.

Full post here

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‘Boston Patriots’

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Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords listens as her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly speaks on Capitol Hill during a ceremony to honor Gabriel “Gabe” Zimmerman. Zimmerman was Giffords’ outreach director when he was killed in the January 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson where Giffords was wounded

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Yahoo News: Vice President Joe Biden told a former congressional aide Tuesday during a visit to the Capitol building that the Senate was just two votes short of reaching the 60-vote threshold needed to pass a gun reform bill through the chamber.

After a speech honoring Gabriel Zimmerman … Biden told former Giffords aide Pam Simon that the bill would pass and that two votes were needed.

“We will win,” Biden told Simon, who survived a gunshot wound in the shooting.

…. “We are working to get to 60, and it’s fluid,” Biden said. “I think we’re there, but it’s not unusual as you all know for people to make up their minds at the last minute.”

More here

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Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to participate in a Google+ Hangout about gun control Wednesday.

He will be joined at 2:45 p.m. by the mayors of Gary, Ind.; Baltimore, Md.; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Oak Creek, Wis., according to David Agnew, the White House director of intergovernmental affairs.

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Greg Sargent: A representative for families of the Newtown shooting victims has asked Senator Mitch McConnell to hold a meeting with them, according to sources familiar with the request. McConnell’s office initially declined the request on the basis of scheduling, a source says — and now family members are set to call McConnell and reiterate the request personally.

How will McConnell respond?

The request – if granted — would allow the families to come face to face with the primary architect of the GOP’s strategy of blocking everything Dems propose to slow the tide of gun violence. If it is denied, it would be a big story…

More here

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President Barack Obama meets with Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to discuss immigration reform, in the Oval Office, April 16, 2013. Also attending, from left, are: Rob Nabors, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy; Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the Domestic Policy Council; and Miguel Rodriguez, Director of Legislative Affairs. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Beyond belief:

The Guardian: How much unemployment did Reinhart and Rogoff’s arithmetic mistake cause? All because two famous economists whose work is used the world over to justify austerity cuts just got their sums wrong.

That’s the question millions will be asking when they see the new paper by my friends at the University of Massachusetts … They show the correct numbers tell a very different story about the relationship between debt and GDP growth than the one that Reinhart and Rogoff have been hawking.

…. This is a big deal because politicians around the world have used this finding from R&R to justify austerity measures that have slowed growth and raised unemployment….

…. If facts mattered in economic policy debates, this should be the cause for a major reassessment of the deficit reduction policies being pursued in the United States and elsewhere. It should also cause reporters to be a bit slower to accept such sweeping claims at face value.

Full article here

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Charles Pierce (on the Next New Deal story): OK, I’ve kept away from this until I’ve read enough people who know what they’re talking about to feel like I know what I’m talking about but, like, wow… I’m still not entirely sure what’s really going on, but there is nothing here to disabuse me of my long-held notion that most economists reach their conclusions by cutting up a sheep on a rock and reading the entrails.

…. And are we at all surprised that a certain zombie-eyed granny-starver of our casual acquaintance was one of the delivery mechanisms into our politics for what may be one of the great public-intellectual blunders (or worse) of the century? Why, no, we are not at all…..

More here

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ABC: First lady Michelle Obama will visit the United States Naval Academy on Wednesday before attending a bill-signing at the Maryland State House.

The first lady will be present as Gov. Martin O’Malley signs into law the Veterans Full Employment Act of 2013.

The legislation will enable veterans who apply for occupational and professional licenses in Maryland to get credit for their military training, education and experience.

More here

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Wednesday:

11:45: Jay Carney briefs the press

4:05: President Obama and VP Biden welcome the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House

6:30: President Obama meets with Democratic senators for dinner

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Decatur, Ga., Feb. 14, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

15
Apr
13

“Mr Invincible”

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Thank you Linda

See What is Working for all the contact details for members of Congress

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See here for where each member of Congress stands on guns, and their NRA rating

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