Posts Tagged ‘department



06
Feb
13

The Justice Department Memo: Some Non-Hysterical Balance

Michael Tomasky:  …. I’ve now read the DoJ white paper that justifies the killing of US citizens. It’s certainly not something that makes the breast swell with pride. But it does make me wonder what I would do in this situation, and I can’t honestly come up with easy answers. While I don’t condone what the Obama administration is doing here, I’m also suspicious of high-horse denunciations, because I think the question of whether an American forfeits his due process rights when he joins an enemy army is a complicated one.

…. There’s no doubt that a sentence like “the president has the power to order the assassination of American citizens” sounds positively despotic. However, these are people who have gone off and joined Al Qaeda. If an American citizen of German descent had gone back to heimat Germany in 1934 and joined the Nazi Party and worked his way up such that he was involved in the plotting of attacks against American soldiers, and Roosevelt had order him killed, no one would have batted an eye in 1940s America…..

…  I’ve never been a hard-line civil libertarian. My civic-republican instincts cut against that, because I feel that citizenship confers not just rights but responsibilities….. There’s always the possibility of the case where we might find out too late, and a large number of Americans could die. Presidents live with that responsibility every day. If that responsibility were mine, I can’t honestly say what I’d do, and I don’t think anyone can.

Read the full post here

06
Feb
13

Rise and Shine

Three years ago today – Pete Souza: “Another snowstorm blanketed Washington for the second time in a few days. Because it was a Saturday, I hung around the White House thinking that the President might venture out in the snow with his daughters. Here they are playing in the Rose Garden in the midst of the storm.” Feb. 6, 2010

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Today:

9:50: President Obama departs the White House

10:10: Arrives in Annapolis, Md.

10:30: Attends the Senate Democratic Issues Conference

11:30: Jay Carney briefs the press

12:25: President Obama departs Annapolis

12:45: Arrives at the White House

2:0 Will announce nomination of Sally Jewell to head the Interior Department

4:0: Secretary of State John Kerry is ceremonially sworn in by Vice President Biden in Washington

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Washington Post: President Obama on Wednesday will nominate Recreational Equipment (REI) chief executive Sally Jewell to head the Interior Department….

The choice of Jewell, who began her career as an engineer for Mobil Oil and worked as a commercial banker before heading a nearly $2 billion outdoors equipment company, represents an unconventional choice for a post usually reserved for career politicians from the West.

But while she boasts less public policy experience than other candidates who had been under consideration, Jewell, who will have to be confirmed by the Senate, has earned national recognition for her management skills and support for outdoor recreation and habitat conservation.

More here

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OFA

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ThinkProgress: Endorsements from the National Rifle Association might be doing political candidates more harm than good, according to a new poll from Public Policy Polling.

In a national survey, 39 percent of voters said that they are less likely to vote for a politician whose candidacy has garnered NRA backing. Only 26 percent believe they’re more likely to support such a candidate.

But more importantly, the number of independent voters are far less likely to see the NRA nod as a good thing: 41 percent say they’re inclined not to support a candidate who’s backed by the NRA…..

More here

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USA Today: President Obama will visit Israel this spring, though specific dates haven’t been nailed down.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama discussed the visit in a Jan. 28 phone call with newly re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

As part of the trip, Obama will also travel to the West Bank and Jordan.

More here

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Reuters: Home Depot Inc said it will hire 10,000 additional seasonal workers for its key spring selling season as it sees higher sales growth during the period.

The home-improvement retailer said it will hire 80,000 seasonal workers this year, 14 percent more than it hired last year.

More here

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Steve Benen – see here

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NYT: The flaws in the American election system are deep and widespread, extending beyond isolated voting issues in a few locations and flaring up in states rich and poor, according to a major new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

The group ranked all 50 states based on more than 15 criteria, including wait times, lost votes and problems with absentee and provisional ballots, and the order often confounds the conventional wisdom.

In 2010, for instance, Mississippi ranked last over all. But it was preceded by two surprises: New York and California.

More here

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ThinkProgress: During the November 2012 election, Black and Hispanic voters waited nearly twice as long to vote as whites, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology analysis. New York Times graphs summarizing the analysis show that white voters waited an average of 12.7 minutes, while Black and Hispanic voters waited an average of 20.2 minutes

More here

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TPM: When President Obama won in November the electorate also rendered a verdict on the priorities of the two major political parties. Democrats, most voters believe, are more concerned with the plight of the middle class than Republicans, who ran on a platform of actually lowering income taxes on wealthy Americans.

In the intervening months, Republican operatives have become practitioners of a new kind of alchemy, attempting with little success to convince voters that the right’s long-standing agenda is actually an array of policies that coincidentally meets the needs of the middle class.

Enter House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who’s hit upon a new plan. If you can’t turn lead into gold, go out and buy some gold paint.

More here

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Thank you LovelyPlains!

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NYT: Essie Mae Washington-Williams, who lived for decades with a stunning secret — that she was the interracial daughter of Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, a former segregationist who never acknowledged her publicly as his child — died Monday in a nursing home near Columbia, S.C. She was 87.

Strom Thurmond never publicly acknowledged that he was Ms. Washington-Williams’s father.

Six months after her father died at age 100 as the longest-serving senator in history, Ms. Washington-Williams broke her silence.

“My father’s name was James Strom Thurmond,” she said at a news conference in a hotel ballroom in Columbia on Dec. 17, 2003

More here

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I hooted, in a loud snorty kind of way:

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And now that Dick Morris is leaving Fox, it’s a good time to recall what a brilliant political-predicting-pundit he was:

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MooOOOOooOOOOooorning!

01
Feb
13

Heads Up: National Medals of Science, Technology and Innovation

2:15 ET: President Obama awards the National Medals of Science and the National Medals of Technology and Innovation

White House Live * CBS * CNN

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President Obama: “I am proud to honor these inspiring American innovators. They represent the ingenuity and imagination that has long made this Nation great – and they remind us of the enormous impact a few good ideas can have when these creative qualities are unleashed in an entrepreneurial environment.”

See the list of recipients here

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All those syllables…..

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2:30 ET On her last day as Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton thanks her colleagues at the State Department

C-Span * CNN

12
Sep
12

The Choice

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Coming up:

9:10 ET: President Obama delivers remarks at the Cashman Center, Las Vegas

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks on as President Barack Obama hugs a State Department employee at the State Department where the President went to meet with staff after the killing of US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three staff members at the US Consulate building in Benghazi, Libya.

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30
Apr
12

Catching up….

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30
Apr
12

Fortunately I’m in a rental….

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30
Apr
12

Heads Up

White House live

CNN live streaming

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10:45: President Obama delivers remarks at the Building and Construction Trades Department Legislative Conference.

11:40: Holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Noda of Japan.

12:45: Holds a working lunch with PM Noda.

1:45: VP Biden attends a campaign event in Kansas City, Missouri.

2:00: PBO holds a press conference with PM Noda.

3:20: Michelle Obama speaks to Obama campaign volunteers and supporters in Colorado Springs.

4:00: Michelle Obama arrives at Albuquerque International Airport, will be greeted by service members and their families from New Mexico’s Kirtland Air Force Base.

4:30: Michelle Obama will deliver remarks at a fundraiser in Albuquerque.

5:00: Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Warrior Games.

6:00: VP Biden attends a campaign event in Munster, Indiana.

8:40: Michelle Obama will arrive at Tucson International Airport where she will be greeted by youth volunteers at Tucson Village Farm.

9:10: Michelle Obama will deliver remarks at a campaign event in Tucson.

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31
Aug
11

‘antitrust action, at last’

The Guardian: Antitrust enforcement is back in America, perhaps in a serious way. If so, it’s long overdue.

But even though the US justice department is suing to block AT&T’s buyout of T-Mobile’s US wireless operations, competition in America’s telecommunications industry is fading…..

Still, Wednesday’s legal action, filed by the department’s antitrust division, is welcome. The George W Bush administration was easily the most lax in antitrust enforcement in recent history, and the Obama administration hadn’t been significantly more ardent to protect competition…..

…. (but) the government’s complaint in this case says what most people – apart from those who stood to gain directly – already knew: The deal would reduce competition in a marketplace that is already an oligopoly.

The deal could still happen, in one of several ways …. the act of going to court, however, suggests that either AT&T wasn’t interested in dealing or that the government simply found this buyout unacceptable on its face.

…. AT&T’s lobbying efforts on behalf of this deal, and its brazen lack of regard for reality, have been epic …. the primary motive for the buyout was to reduce competition, contrary to countless statements about how this would be great for customers…

More here

28
Jun
11

‘libyan legal limbo’

Eric Posner and Adrian Vermeule (Slate): President Obama’s decision to ignore the Office of Legal Counsel’s advice about Libya has shocked and worried critics on the left and right. Yet the decision emerged from what was essentially a bureaucratic conflict – the State Department and the White House Counsel’s Office said the U.S. military intervention in Libya was permissible under the War Powers Resolution, OLC and the Department of Defense disagreed – and the uninitiated may be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss is about. Isn’t choosing among the views of his advisers what the president is supposed to do?

The president’s critics say that in important legal matters, it’s the job of OLC (which is part of the Justice Department) to weigh the competing views and issue an opinion that presidents are presumptively bound to respect ….  there is no reason that the president – the sole officer of government constitutionally required to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” – should be bound, even presumptively, by the legal views of those who are, after all, merely his servants.

… suppose that OLC does provide independent legal advice. There is nothing objectionable about a presidential decision to adopt the views of one set of legal advisers over those of another. The procedure the White House followed – hearing from legal advisers in four offices, with diverse expertise and perspectives – seems a sensible approach to decision-making. Interpreting the War Powers Resolution is not like reading a speed limit sign; the statute is riddled with ambiguities….

… A president need not have or consult any legal advisers at all ….  It is mysterious why it is controversial that a president should get to decide which, if any, of his own creatures he will deign to hear. OLC exists to serve the presidency, not the other way around.

Full article here




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