Posts Tagged ‘drum

03
Jul
13

This and That

President Barack Obama meets with members of his national security team to discuss the situation in Egypt, in the Situation Room of the White House, July 3 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Statement by President Barack Obama on Egypt:

As I have said since the Egyptian Revolution, the United States supports a set of core principles, including opposition to violence, protection of universal human rights, and reform that meets the legitimate aspirations of the people.  The United States does not support particular individuals or political parties, but we are committed to the democratic process and respect for the rule of law.  Since the current unrest in Egypt began, we have called on all parties to work together to address the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people, in accordance with the democratic process, and without recourse to violence or the use of force.

The United States is monitoring the very fluid situation in Egypt, and we believe that ultimately the future of Egypt can only be determined by the Egyptian people. Nevertheless, we are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsy and suspend the Egyptian constitution. I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsy and his supporters. Given today’s developments, I have also directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the Government of Egypt.

The United States continues to believe firmly that the best foundation for lasting stability in Egypt is a democratic political order with participation from all sides and all political parties —secular and religious, civilian and military. During this uncertain period, we expect the military to ensure that the rights of all Egyptian men and women are protected, including the right to peaceful assembly, due process, and free and fair trials in civilian courts.  Moreover, the goal of any political process should be a government that respects the rights of all people, majority and minority; that institutionalizes the checks and balances upon which democracy depends; and that places the interests of the people above party or faction. The voices of all those who have protested peacefully must be heard – including those who welcomed today’s developments, and those who have supported President Morsy. In the interim, I urge all sides to avoid violence and come together to ensure the lasting restoration of Egypt’s democracy.

No transition to democracy comes without difficulty, but in the end it must stay true to the will of the people. An honest, capable and representative government is what ordinary Egyptians seek and what they deserve. The longstanding partnership between the United States and Egypt is based on shared interests and values, and we will continue to work with the Egyptian people to ensure that Egypt’s transition to democracy succeeds.

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NYT: Congressional Budget Analysts Release Positive Economic Assessment of Immigration Overhaul

Congressional budget analysts on Wednesday released a positive economic assessment of the broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws that passed the Senate last week, saying that the new legislation would cut more than $800 billion from the federal deficit over the next two decades and lead to 9.6 million new legal residents in the country.

Though the Congressional Budget Office had offered in June a similar estimate of the immigration bill that was then being debated in the Senate — in a report that found the benefits of an increase in legal residents from the immigration overhaul would outweigh the costs — the new report provides an analysis of the actual bill recently passed by the Senate.

More here

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Steve Benen: Koch brothers push GOP officials to sign anti-climate pledge

The Republican Party is certainly fond of its pledges. Grover Norquist, of course, has his infamous anti-tax pledge that has interfered with federal policymaking in recent decades, and in 2011, GOP presidential candidates were pushed to endorse an anti-gay pledge from the National Organization for Marriage.

But as it turns out, there’s another pledge that’s taken root in Republican politics that’s received far less attention. The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer reports this week on the “No Climate Tax Pledge” pushed by Charles and David Koch….

More here

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Too funny….

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Atlantic Wire: The Tale of the Re-Routed Bolivian President’s Plane Is Falling Apart

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Click to see the rest of the post

30
Nov
12

This and That

A red ribbon is hung from the North Portico of the White House, Nov. 30, to mark World AIDS Day on Dec. 1. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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Michael Grunwald (Time): It’s really amazing to see political reporters dutifully passing along Republican complaints that President Obama’s opening offer in the fiscal cliff talks is just a recycled version of his old plan, when those same reporters spent the last year dutifully passing along Republican complaints that Obama had no plan….

This isn’t just cognitive dissonance. It’s irresponsible reporting. Mainstream media outlets don’t want to look partisan, so they ignore the BS hidden in plain sight, the hypocrisy and dishonesty that defines the modern Republican Party…..

…. we’re not supposed to be stenographers. As long as the media let an entire political party invent a new reality every day, it will keep on doing it. Every day.

Full post here

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David Firestone (NYT): Republicans reportedly laughed when they saw the Obama administration’s initial offer in the fiscal negotiations yesterday. The idea that President Obama might actually want to enact his campaign promises – tax hikes on the rich, modest Medicare cuts, investments in infrastructure – is apparently considered a joke to the party that has shown virtually no flexibility in the last four years.

But some of that laughter may contain nervousness, because there is more going on here than just a pathway to splitting the difference. The White House made clear yesterday that it is approaching these talks from a position of responsibility, and that it actually takes seriously the notion of old-fashioned bargaining. That’s something Republicans have refused to do — and now they realize they’ve been called out.

Full post here

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TPM – more at Salon and The Atlantic

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Deaniac (The People’s View): The president is in a fighting mood. Starting today, he’s barnstorming the country, getting the American people to pressure Congress to extend the middle class tax breaks, and to do so now. Yesterday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner presented the leaders of Congress with the Administration’s opening offer. That offer is heavy on revenue, tax fairness, and Medicare savings without affecting benefits. Here’s a short summary of what the president has proposed, from leaked details.

Full post here

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Liberal Librarian (The People’s View): Yesterday’s vote in the UN on Palestine has stirred a lot of emotions on the left; I’ve taken the time to read the responses across a few blogs this morning, and for the most part they’ve been considered and judicious. So here are my two pfennigs.

When the world’s three most powerful faiths declare a piece of real estate “holy”, that causes problems of a sort not found anywhere else. To the Jews, it is the “Promised Land”, vouchsafed to them by God unto the last generation. To Muslims, it’s holy because God walked in it with the Hebrew patriarchs, whom they consider earlier prophets; and, of course, they believe Muhammad made his Night Journey to heaven from the Temple Mount. To Christians, obviously, it was the land where Jesus lived, preached, and died. The deep emotional and religious attachments are not to be disregarded.

Full post here

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Kevin Drum (Mother Jones): There’s one particular strain of Republican reaction to their election loss that’s always given me the biggest chuckle, and today Paul Waldman highlights it: the absurd proposition that Mitt Romney never forthrightly defended conservative principles….

…. For months, conservatives yelled from the rooftops about how 2012 presented the sharpest choice ever in governing philosophies …. [they] claimed that this one was truly an ideological turning point, America’s last chance to choose what kind of country we should be. But literally within hours of defeat, they turned on a dime and insisted that the American people weren’t given a real chance to decide between two competing visions. And they’ve maintained this claim despite losing the popular vote in the House, the Senate, and the presidency, and despite the fact that demographic trends very clearly spell even further trouble in the future for their hardnosed brand of social intolerance and slavish dedication to the interests of the rich.

Full post here

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Two completely random pics:

13
Mar
12

afternoon all

President Obama meets with the 2012 Intel Science Talent Search finalists in the Eisenhower Building

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Michael Tomasky on GOP Plans to Sink the Economy: Every month brings improved job news – and bleaker prospects for the Republicans in November. Which is why they’re contemplating economic sabotage as their only hope.

We’re just under eight months away from Election Day now, which means that the GOP is starting to run out of time to think up new ways to ruin the economy so that Barack Obama doesn’t get reelected …. There are three fronts – gas prices, jobs, and the budget…

….. By opposing everything Obama wanted with such ferocity; by saying all those thousands of times that he had no clue about the economy; by sending out a parade of presidential candidates, from the semi-serious to the clown posse, all of whose central criticism of Obama is that he killed the economy – in all of these ways the party has more invested in economic failure than any out-party I can remember in my lifetime. Its best hope for now is gas prices, but even they eventually get lower, usually by late summer. Beyond that, all the GOP has to rely on is Mitt Romney’s unstoppable charisma.

Full post here

Thanks Loriah

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Marketwatch: U.S. stocks rose Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index extending an advance into a fifth session, after retail sales climbed the fastest in five months in February.

“The rising sales were pretty impressive in that rising gas prices hasn’t hurt the consumer,” said Nick Raich, director of research at Key Private Bank in Cleveland …. The Commerce Department reported retail sales climbed 1.1% to $407.8 billion in February, while the prior two months were revised higher.

The upward revisions imply first-quarter economic growth could be “a bit stronger” than first estimated, noted Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG LLC in New York.

More here

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National Journal: More Americans trust President Obama than congressional Republicans to make the right decisions to bring down the price of gasoline, according to a new poll, although neither side commands a majority.

What’s more, as prices continue to rise and the specter of $5-per-gallon gas for the summer driving season looms over the political landscape, the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll shows the public slightly more supportive of the energy priorities of the Democrats and the president than those of the GOP.

Forty-four percent of respondents trust Obama more “to make the right decisions to help bring down the price of gasoline,” versus 32 percent for Republicans in Congress….

More here

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Deaniac (The People’s View): After Washington Post/ABC News put out their poll drastically over-representing GOP and Republican leaning voters, New York Times and CBS News have come up with brand new blunders of their own on their poll released late afternoon yesterday, showing the president at an approval rating of “all time low” 41%. This poll has the most glaring, dumbfounding proof that its sample is rigged staring at you in the very front page of the poll’s crosstabs.

More here

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Jeez, I just don’t understand why the media is suddenly ignoring its favorite polling company, it’s a mystery!

Gallup

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Raw Story: The Republican fight against health care rights for women may end up hurting the party on election day, according to a new poll. A Washington Post survey released Monday found that Democrats are perceived as caring more about issues that are important to women by 25 points, 55 percent to 30 percent.

The poll also showed that a large majority of all voters support the idea that businesses should be required to cover the “full cost” of contraception for female employees. Among all voters, 61 percent supported a mandate for birth control coverage, while 35 percent did not.

As MSNBC’s Steve Benen noted, 53 percent of voters were women in 2008 … “The gender gap was pretty enormous four years ago,” Benen wrote. “Don’t be surprised if it’s even bigger in November.”

Full post here

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Steve Benen: In Arizona, Democratic Senate candidate Don Bivens released a new ad yesterday, targeting Republican Rep. Jeff Flake, and hoping to take advantage of the controversy surrounding Rush Limbaugh. It’s probably not the last 2012 spot we’ll see highlighting the right-wing radio host.

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Liberal Librarian (The People’s View): According to Rick Santorum, I’m doubly un-American.  I was born in New York City and lived there until I was 16, at which time my family moved to Los Angeles, where I’ve lived ever since.  According to Rick Santorum, I have no values.  I don’t know the worth of an honest day’s work.  I don’t know the benefits of charity (in which he engages very sparingly).  I don’t know the duties of good citizenship.  My vote shouldn’t count, because as both a New Yorker and and Angeleno, I was never exposed to rock-ribbed, middle American values.  I’m an other.  And everyone who lives in my two cities are similarly lacking in American moral fiber.

Let me tell you a bit about my America.

Full post here

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Kevin Drum (Mother Jones): In the upcoming issue of the Washington Monthly, Paul Glastris has a cover story called “The Incomplete Greatness of Barack Obama,” a headline almost guaranteed to set your teeth on edge….

….. A sidebar to Glastris’ piece lists Obama’s top 50 accomplishments …. Better to pare it down to 10 really top achievements in order to highlight how many truly major accomplishments Obama has been responsible for. So I did. Except I couldn’t get there. I cut it down to 13 and got stuck. Here they are, in the same order as the original Washington Monthly list (see post)

…. These are all big deals. Big fucking deals, to quote our vice president. Unless you’re just bound and determined to sulk in your tent while insisting that health care was a sellout and the stimulus was too small and Dodd-Frank was feeble and the mini stimuli were more like micro stimuli, there’s just no way around the fact that this is a historically colossal set of progressive accomplishments, especially in the face of a historically hostile political environment.

….. Unlike Paul Glastris, I’m not ready to start chiseling Obama’s mug on Mount Rushmore. But unless national security is pretty much your sole obsession, I really have a hard time understanding progressives who are disappointed in him. Obama has gotten more done for the progressive cause than Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, JFK, or Harry Truman – and, on balance, nearly as much as LBJ, since he doesn’t have any epic disasters to weigh down his successes. For an actual, existing human being, that’s pretty damn good.

Full post here

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Chefs Kevin Saiyasak and Jeremy Kapper harvest winter greens from the Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn of the White House, March 13

06
Feb
12

evening all

The Week

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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.

Full post here

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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.

More here

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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.

Full post here

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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.

More here

Thanks Jovie

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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…..

More here

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Haven’t posted this in a while, love it:

11
Oct
11

talk up

TPM: With President Obama’s jobs package facing a handful of Democratic defections in the Senate, the White House released a letter from 16 Democratic governors who are standing squarely behind the bill in a last-ditch lobbying blitz before the Tuesday night vote.

… the Democratic governors who signed onto the letter to House and Senate leaders are urging Congress to swiftly pass the American Jobs Act…

…. The signers include: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, California Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr., New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. John P. deJongh, Jr., Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, Washington, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin.

Democratic governors not signing the letter are:

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (Contact)

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (Contact)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (Contact)

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (Contact)

Democratic Senators who could oppose the bill Tuesday night include:

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (ContactTwitter)

and

Montana Sen. Jon Tester (Contact)

Full post here

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Steve Benen: The Senate will take up the American Jobs Act tonight, and no one needs a crystal ball to know the bill won’t come close to getting 60 votes. But let’s take a moment to mention exactly what will be voted on tonight.

This is not a vote on final passage of the bill. It’s not even a cloture vote to end debate so that there can be a vote on final passage. Tonight, rather, is on the motion to proceed…..

In effect, what the Senate will vote on tonight is whether they can have a debate on the jobs bill. That’s all this is, a vote to allow a discussion. Republicans will, of course, filibuster the motion to proceed….

When members of the Democratic caucus – Ben Nelson, Joe Manchin, and Joe Lieberman – vote with Republicans tonight, they’re not only rejecting a credible jobs bill, they’re also rejecting an opportunity to talk about a credible jobs bill. Republicans and conservative Dems are, as a practical matter, saying that the notion of even debating the American Jobs Act is so offensive, they can’t even allow members to begin the discussion…..

Full post here

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Kevin Drum (Mother Jones): Greg Sargent rounds up reaction to the possibility that “moderate” Senate Democrats will sink Obama’s jobs bill:

Obama has done what skittish Senate Dems and their aides asked him to do – he has waged a public campaign to build support for his proposals. Have we already forgotten that only a few short months ago, the papers were filled with quotes from anonymous Dems complaining that Obama had failed to (a) focus on jobs; and (b) use the bully pulpit to rally public support for job-creation proposals?

By any measure, Obama has addressed those complaints. As ABC News polling director Gary Langer put it the other day, Obama proved that “it’s possible to move the bar” when it comes to public opinion on jobs. And yet, now that Dems have finally made that pivot to jobs and are finally fighting it out on turf favorable to themselves; now that Obama has shown it’s possible to move public opinion in the direction of his proposals, despite his low approval numbers; and now that Obama and Dem leaders are hoping to use GOP opposition to the jobs bill to cast the GOP as the number one enemy of progress on the economy, a handful of moderate Dems are still prepared to help Republicans muddy those waters.

It is truly astonishing. Finally, Democrats have a chance to demonstrate a sharp, clear, popular difference with Republicans, and even then they can’t manage to stand together and look like an actual governing party….

…. Even on a purely symbolic bill (since the House isn’t going to pass it anyway), Democrats can’t manage to get their act together. What a bunch of morons.

Full post here

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President Obama speaks at a campaign fundraising event in Orlando, Florida, October 12

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President Obama sits down for a beer with unemployed construction workers at The Harp and Celt Irish Bar in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 11

13News

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President Obama’s statement on the Senate’s vote Tuesday on his proposed American Jobs Act:

“Tonight, a majority of United States Senators voted to advance the American Jobs Act. But even though this bill contains the kind of proposals Republicans have supported in the past, their party obstructed the Senate from moving forward on this jobs bill.

“Tonight’s vote is by no means the end of this fight. Independent economists have said that the American Jobs Act would grow the economy and lead to nearly two million jobs, which is why the majority of the American people support these bipartisan, common-sense proposals. And we will now work with Senator Reid to make sure that the individual proposals in this jobs bill get a vote as soon as possible.

“In the coming days, Members of Congress will have to take a stand on whether they believe we should put teachers, construction workers, police officers and firefighters back on the job. They’ll get a vote on whether they believe we should cut taxes for small business owners and middle-class Americans, or whether we should protect tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.

“With each vote, Members of Congress can either explain to their constituents why they’re against common-sense, bipartisan proposals to create jobs, or they can listen to the overwhelming majority of American people who are crying out for action. Because with so many Americans out of work and so many families struggling, we can’t take “no” for an answer. Ultimately, the American people won’t take “no” for an answer. It’s time for Congress to meet their responsibility, put their party politics aside and take action on jobs right now.”




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