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.
Justice Antonin Scalia needs to resign from the Supreme Court.
…. So often, Scalia has chosen to ignore the obligation of a Supreme Court justice to be, and appear to be, impartial. He’s turned “judicial restraint” into an oxymoronic phrase. But what he did this week, when the court announced its decision on the Arizona immigration law, should be the end of the line.
…. what boggles the mind is that Scalia thought it proper to jump into this political argument. And when he went on to a broader denunciation of federal policies, he sounded just like an Arizona Senate candidate.
…. Scalia should free himself to pursue his true vocation. We can then use his resignation as an occasion for a searching debate over just how political this Supreme Court has become.
Thank you Purpleshoes LA and your 72-year-old Mom!
NYT: President Obama plans to travel to Colorado on Friday to tour areas devastated by raging wildfires, the White House said on Wednesday. One of the fires, in the foothills near Colorado Springs, has burned 24 square miles, destroyed an unknown number of homes and forced some 26,000 people to evacuate.
Mr. Obama called Gov. John Hickenlooper and Mayor Steve Bach of Colorado Springs, the state’s second-largest city, to get an update on the blaze, known as the Waldo Canyon Fire…
AP: Chrysler followed its strong first-quarter sales with a big profit, sending its 2009 brush with financial death farther into the rearview mirror.
The Auburn Hills, Mich., company made a net profit of $473 million, its best quarter in 13 years, mainly on the back of strong U.S. sales. From January through March, Chrysler’s sales were up 39 percent as customers bought more Ram pickups, Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs and Chrysler 200 midsize sedans.
Not bad for a company that almost died three years ago. A government auto task force deadlocked on whether to save the company in 2009, with the tie broken by President Barack Obama.
Washington Post: President Obama will hold his first two major political rallies of the general-election campaign next weekend at colleges in Ohio and Virginia…
“Welcome to the general election,” David Axelrod, Obama’s senior campaign strategist, said on a conference call with reporters late Wednesday during which he and campaign manager Jim Messina announced the events….
The advisers made clear that the campaign will continue to draw a stark contrast between what they described as Obama’s long-standing desire to protect “that basic American compact that if you work hard you can get ahead” and Romney’s record of protecting the wealthy. They mentioned Romney’s time as Massachusetts governor, when the state ranked 47th in the country for job creation, as well as his time as a venture capitalist at Bain Capital, during which “he didn’t care about job creation but about wealth creation for himself and his partners.”
…. “We’re not the candidate who reinvents himself from week to week,” Axelrod said. “If you want that, you have to go somewhere else. This is a candidate who has a mission, and he’s going to see it through, and that is to rebuild an economy in which the middle class is thriving, in which people can get ahead, in which everybody from Main Street to Wall Street plays by the same rules and gets a fair shake.”
Obama’s rallies will take place on May 5 at Ohio State University in Columbus and at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond …. Messina said first lady Michelle Obama plans to travel with the president to both events.
E.J. Dionne: It turns out that there is at least one question on which Mitt Romney is not a flip-flopper: He has a utopian view of what an unfettered, lightly taxed market economy can achieve.
He would never put it this way, of course, but his approach looks forward by looking backward to the late 19th century, when government let market forces rip and a conservative Supreme Court swept aside as unconstitutional almost every effort to write rules for the economic game. This magical capitalism is the centerpiece of Romney’s campaign, and it may prove to be his undoing.
Here’s Romney’s problem. His best strategy is to cast President Obama as a failure because the economy has not come all the way back from the implosion of 2008 …. But Romney, unlike Clinton, is not offering a program through which government would take specific steps to solve the problems he catalogues. Instead, he is calling on voters to share his faith that our difficulties would go away if the state simply got out of the way, allowed the market do its thing and counted on the success of the successful to lift up everyone else.
Don’t miss Liberal Librarian’s latest post, ‘Why even have the First Amendment?’, at The People’s View
Steve Benen: For several months, the general trend on initial unemployment claims has been encouraging, reaching a four-year low in late March. Today’s new report from the Department of Labor, however, is the third consecutive week of discouraging news.
…. Obviously, a few disappointing reports may be little more than a blip, but when jobless claims are expected to drop, and instead remain stuck at a four-month high, it’s concerning.
Making matters slightly worse is the realization that if conditions continue along these lines, there’s very little that can be done – Congress simply lacks the ability to pass effective economic legislation given the Republican agenda.
In terms of metrics, when jobless claims fall below the 400,000 threshold, it’s considered evidence of an improving jobs landscape, and when the number drops below 370,000, it suggests jobs are actually being created rather quickly. After a month of four consecutive reports below 370,000, we’ve now been above 380,000 for each of the last three weeks.
President Barack Obama high fives a young boy outside an event in Palm Beach Garden, Fla., April 10, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama returns to the White House after a visit to Florida, April 10
**** 10:15 AM ET: President Obama delivers a statement on the Buffett Rule ****
EJ Dionne: Conservatives are not accustomed to being on the defensive. They have long experience with attacking the evils of the left and the abuses of activist judges. They love to assail “tax-and-spend liberals” without ever discussing who should be taxed or what government money is actually spent on. They expect their progressive opponents to be wimpy and apologetic.
So imagine the shock when President Obama decided last week to speak plainly about what a Supreme Court decision throwing out the health-care law would mean, and then landed straight shots against the Mitt Romney-supported Paul Ryan budget as “a Trojan horse,” “an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country,” and “thinly veiled social Darwinism.”
….. Romney pronounced himself appalled …. yet could neither defend the cuts nor deny the president’s list of particulars, based as they were on reasonable assumptions. When it came to the Ryan budget, Romney wanted to fuzz things up. But, as Obama likes to point out, math is math.
And when Obama went after the right’s willingness to use the power of the Supreme Court for ideological purposes, conservatives were aghast – and never mind that conservatives have been castigating activist judges since at least the 1968 presidential campaign….
Paul Krugman: Oh, boy. It turns out that the WaPo featured on its front page a report by Charles Blahous of the (yes, Koch-funded) Mercatus Center – although the Post describes him as a Medicare trustee, giving the impression that this is somehow an official document – claiming that the Affordable Care Act will actually increase the deficit. Jonathan Chait does the honors…..
….. this is basically a sick joke that doesn’t pass the laugh test. Unfortunately, it seems that some news organizations don’t have mandatory laugh-testing.
Steve Benen: ….. The problem, which the Post article didn’t mention, is that Blahous’ research falls apart under scrutiny. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Paul N. Van de Water easily dismissed the Republican’s report.
…. I can appreciate the fact that these budget figures can seem complex, but certainly a guy who worked on entitlement policy for Bush/Cheney should understand the basics here, and the basics tell us that Obama’s health care law helps lower the national debt. Whether the right finds this inconvenient or not is irrelevant.
ET can exclusively reveal that George Clooney is hosting a fundraiser for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign – but there’s one thing he won’t do to help the president.
Clooney tells ET, “I’m proud to do whatever I can to support the President… as long as no one asks me to sing.”
… Clooney will host the president and about 150 supporters at the event on May 10 at his home in Los Angeles, California …. tickets will run $40,000 each, with proceeds going to the Obama Victory fund, a joint fundraising committee of Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties.
Steve Benen: The general trend on initial unemployment claims over the last few months has been largely encouraging, despite occasional setbacks, and most analysts expected this morning’s report to show a modest uptick in filings.
The good news is, that didn’t happen. In fact, initial jobless claims reached a four-year low last week, and the new totals were unchanged this week.
Greg Sargent: At yesterday’s debate, Mitt Romney and the other candidates went all in on birth control – sorry, “religious liberty” – in blasting President Obama over the contraception controversy…. But some new polling out this morning from Quinnipiac illustrates the risk Republicans are taking with this latest reprise of the culture wars:
President Obama recently announced an adjustment to the administration’s health-care rule regarding religiously affiliated employers providing birth control coverage to female employees. Women will still be guaranteed coverage for birth control without any out-of-pocket cost, but will have to seek the coverage directly from their insurance companies if their employers object to birth control on religious grounds. Do you approve or disapprove of President Obama’s decision?
Steve Benen: …… Romney added that Obama is “requiring the Catholic Church to provide for its employees and its various enterprises health care insurance that would include birth control, sterilization and the morning-after pill. Unbelievable.”
It is, in fact, literally “unbelievable,” since that’s not at all what the administration is doing.
It was painful enough to have so much of the debate focus on opposition to birth control, but Romney’s dishonesty managed to make a mind-numbing discussion even worse.
Ronald Brownstein (National Journal): ….. Some of Romney’s answers could come back to haunt him, not in the primary but in a general election, if he gets that far.
At a time when some Republicans are already concerned that he has narrowed his potential support among Latinos with an unflinching embrace of conservative positions on immigration (like “self-deportation”), Romney doubled down by insisting that on “day one” as president he would drop the federal legal challenge to Arizona’s tough state statute against illegal immigration.
And on the same day that an NBC/Marist poll already showed Romney trailing President Obama by 18 percentage points in Michigan, a state Republicans once hoped to contest this fall, Romney likewise doubled down on his criticism of the auto rescue engineered by Bush and Obama – and sprinkled in some especially sharp rhetoric against the United Auto Workers union for good measure.
E.J. Dionne: They say that President Obama is a Muslim, but if he isn’t, he’s a secularist who is waging war on religion. On some days he’s a Nazi, but on most others he’s merely a socialist….
Whatever our president is, he is never allowed to be a garden-variety American who plays basketball and golf, has a remarkably old-fashioned family life and, in the manner we regularly recommend to our kids, got ahead by getting a good education.
Please forgive this outburst. It’s simply astonishing that a man in his fourth year as our president continues to be the object of the most extraordinary paranoid fantasies … And now that the economy is improving, short-circuiting easy criticisms, Obama’s adversaries are reheating all the old tropes and cliches and slanders.
….. As for Obama as a socialist, ponder two numbers: 13,005, which the Dow Jones average hit this week, up from a low point of 6,547 in March 2009. Some socialist.
We are blessed with the freedom to say whatever we want about our president. But those who cast Obama as something other than one of us don’t understand him and don’t understand what it means to be American.