…. not forgetting: In June 2010, Joe Williams was the first African American editor hired at Politico after an outcry erupted over the news organization’s lack of diversity …. he ‘left’ last year (Poynter)
… Disaster coordination is one of the most vital functions of “big government,” which is why Mitt Romney wants to eliminate it….
…. FEMA, created by President Jimmy Carter, was elevated to cabinet rank in the Bill Clinton administration, but was then demoted by President George W. Bush, who neglected it, subsumed it into the Department of Homeland Security, and placed it in the control of political hacks. The disaster of Hurricane Katrina was just waiting to happen.
The agency was put back in working order by President Obama, but ideology still blinds Republicans to its value. Many don’t like the idea of free aid for poor people, or they think people should pay for their bad decisions, which this week includes living on the East Coast.
Over the last two years, Congressional Republicans have forced a 43 percent reduction in the primary FEMA grants that pay for disaster preparedness ….
….. Those in Hurricane Sandy’s path are fortunate that, for now, [Romney’s] ideology has not replaced sound policy.
President Barack Obama waves from the Colonnade to visitors as they tour the White House grounds and gardens, Oct. 19, 2012. Members of the public were invited to tour the grounds as part of the 2012 White House Fall Garden Tours. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
NYT: If Mitt Romney and his vice-presidential running mate, Representative Paul Ryan, were to win next month’s election, the harm to women’s reproductive rights would extend far beyond the borders of the United States.
In this country, they would support the recriminalization of abortion with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and they would limit access to contraception and other services. But they have also promised to promote policies abroad that would affect millions of women in the world’s poorest countries, where lack of access to contraception, prenatal care and competent help at childbirth often results in serious illness and thousands of deaths yearly. And the wreckage would begin on Day 1 of a Romney administration.
….. House Republicans want to cut the nation’s investment in international family planning severely. Mr. Romney’s record of bending to suit the most extreme elements of the Republican Party suggests that he may well go along on this critical issue as well.
NYT: Three leading Democratic “super PACs” raised more money in September than in any other month this election cycle, officials said, underscoring the growing willingness of wealthy Democrats to bankroll groups whose existence they had long opposed.
Priorities USA Action, the group backing President Obama, will report raising $15.2 million in September, thanks in part to aggressive fund-raising by party leaders like former President Bill Clinton and Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago. The group has already reserved millions of dollars in advertising for the closing weeks of the campaign.
Majority PAC, which supports Senate Democrats, raised $10.4 million in September and has brought in an additional $9.7 million through mid-October, officials announced on Friday, a period during which the party’s chances of holding a majority in the chamber appeared to be improving. House Majority PAC, the Congressional Democrats’ super PAC arm, raised $5.9 million, a figure the group said it was on pace to double this month.
The Journal Times: Celia Poole was outside Memorial Hall at 4:15 a.m. Friday waiting to get inside to see first lady Michelle Obama. When the doors opened at 10:30 a.m. she was one of the first inside and she was followed by approximately 2,500 more people.
…. So many people were inside that approximately 400 people were directed to the hall’s basement, where they were told they could hear the first lady but there was no video screen to see her.
But the first lady did not ignore those supporters. Even before she went up to the main floor and started talking to the crowd there, she went downstairs.
Linetta Davis, 38, an 8th grade teacher from Milwaukee who was in the basement, said it meant a lot for Obama to go downstairs. “With all the political discussion going on right now, it’s easy to feel overlooked,” Davis said, “but for the first lady to be aware people were downstairs and to acknowledge them meant a lot.” If she had been on the fence about who to vote for, she said that would have been a turning point for her.
Wausau Daily Herald: …. The first lady appealed to the crowd — 980 people, plus 600 more in an overflow room — at Friday’s rally to vote early, when early voting starts Monday. And she asked the audience to encourage others to vote for her husband, noting that an election can be decided by just a few votes in each ward.
St Louis Post-Dispatch: Four years ago, in endorsing Democrat Barack Obama for president, we noted his intellect, his temperament and equanimity under pressure. He was unproven, but we found him to be presidential, in all that that word implies.
In that, we have not been disappointed. This is a serious man. And now he is a proven leader. He has earned a second term.
Mr. Obama sees an America where the common good is as important as the individual good. That is the vision on which the nation was founded. It is the vision that has seen America through its darkest days and illuminated its best days. It is the vision that underlies the president’s greatest achievement, the Affordable Care Act. Twenty years from now, it will be hard to find anyone who remembers being opposed to Obamacare.
He continues to steer the nation through the most perilous economic challenges since the Great Depression. Those who complain that unemployment remains high, or that economic growth is too slow, either do not understand the scope of the catastrophe imposed upon the nation by Wall Street and its enablers, or they are lying about it.
To expect Barack Obama to have repaired, in four years, what took 30 years to undermine, is simply absurd. He might have gotten further had he not been saddled with an opposition party, funded by plutocrats, that sneers at the word compromise. But even if Mr. Obama had had Franklin Roosevelt’s majorities, the economy would still be in peril…..
….. The question for voters is actually very simple. The nation has wrestled with it since its founding: Will this be government for the many or the few?
It turns out that Mitt Romney was right. There is class warfare being waged in the 2012 campaign. It is Mr. Romney who is waging it, not President Obama, and he’s stood the whole idea on its head.
When you think of class warfare, you probably think of inciting anger, resentment and jealousy among the have-nots against the haves. That’s what Mr. Romney has accused Mr. Obama of doing, but those charges have always been false. The truth is that Mr. Romney has been trying to incite the anger of a small slice of the richest Americans who need no government assistance but get it anyway, against the working poor, the elderly, the disabled workers and veterans, and even a significant chunk of middle-class Americans.
…. The right wing has long been whining about people who don’t pay taxes and who therefore don’t deserve a say in government. They have it exactly backward. The shame is not that those people don’t pay income taxes. The shame is how many poor people there are when the top 1 percent can amass uncountable fortunes fed by tax breaks and can donate tens of millions of dollars to political candidates to keep it that way.
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.
1:40: President Obama delivers remarks calling on Congress to stop interest rates on student loans from doubling on July 1
NYT Editorial: The political feud between the White House and Congressional Republicans has now culminated in a House oversight committee vote to cite Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. for criminal contempt. His supposed crime is failing to hand over some documents in an investigation of a botched gunrunning sting operation known as “Fast and Furious.”
The Republicans shamelessly turned what should be a routine matter into a pointless constitutional confrontation. And the White House responded as most administrations do at some point: it invoked executive privilege to make a political problem go away.
…. Mr. Issa has relished making this investigation a political fight….There was no reason the House committee and the Justice Department could not work out a deal to produce the documents requested, or some form of them. Instead, they show again that every issue, large or small, can be turned into ammunition for political combat.
TPM: Mitt Romney’s campaign asked Florida Gov. Rick Scott to downplay his state’s job growth after several press releases from the governor’s campaign and messages from the Florida Chamber of Commerce trumpeted gains for the month of May, according to Bloomberg News.
Florida’s unemployment rate dropped from 8.7 percent in April to 8.6 percent in May, though still significantly above the national rate of 8.2 percent.
A Romney adviser reportedly requested that Scott’s office say that Florida’s unemployment rate could improve faster under a Romney presidency….
The development is perhaps one of the clearest examples of the messaging predicament the Romney campaign finds itself in …. when you ask Republican governors how things are going, especially in swing states, the economic picture starts to brighten considerably…
NYT Editorial: In ruling on the constitutionality of requiring most Americans to obtain health insurance, the Supreme Court faces a central test: whether it will recognize limits on its own authority to overturn well-founded acts of Congress.
… The court has no authority under the Constitution to judge the merits or effectiveness of the health care law. That is Congress’s job.
…. If the Supreme Court hews to established law, the only question it must answer in this case is modest: Did Congress have a rational basis for concluding that the economic effects of a broken health care system warranted a national solution? The answer is incontrovertibly yes.
Greg Sargent: If you want to understand what’s really at stake in the battle over Obamacare you need to watch Mitt Romney’s appearance on Jay Leno last night.
It comes down to this: Should the federal government play any meaningful role at all in helping the millions of uninsured who can’t get coverage — particularly those with preexisting conditions?
On Leno, Romney repeated his vow to transfer health reform back to the states. But he was also repeatedly pressed to say what he would do for those with preexisting conditions if Obamacare were repealed. Without saying how, Romney replied that people with preexisting conditions should continue to get insurance — as long as they’ve been insured in the past. He refused to say what should be done about those who have never had insurance.
Washington Post: Half of all Americans now express unfavorable views of Mitt Romney, a new high for the GOP presidential hopeful in Washington Post-ABC News polling…
….. Negative impressions are up eight percentage points in the past week, nudging past the previous high …. 50 percent of all adults and 52 percent of registered voters express unfavorable opinions of Romney…
…. 53 percent of Americans hold favorable views of the president; for Romney, that number slides to 34 percent …Romney is underwater with independents: 35 percent view him favorably, 52 percent unfavorably.
TPM: A set of three new swing state polls from Quinnipiac University show President Obama leading Mitt Romney in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. His smallest lead is in Pennsylvania, where Obama holds a small three point advantage at 45 – 42, and he leads in Ohio 47 – 41. Obama leads outside the margin of error in Florida, a state which Romney has done well in previously, at 49 – 42.
“President Barack Obama is on a roll in the key swing states. If the election were today, he would carry at least two states. And if history repeats itself, that means he would be re- elected,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in a release. “The biggest reason for the president’s improving prospects probably is the economy. Roughly six in 10 voters in all three states think the economy is recovering. Moreover, voters blame the oil companies and oil-producing countries for the rise in gasoline prices and only about one in six voters blame them on President Obama.”
USA Today: The White House is again unleashing Vice President Joe Biden on the campaign trail, this time to attack Mitt Romney over manufacturing policy …. It’s the third in a series of four campaign speeches Biden is delivering on the economy. The vice president previously discussed the auto bailout in Ohio and Medicare policy in Florida, attacking Romney and other Republican candidates along the way.
Today at PCT Engineered Systems in Davenport, Iowa Biden plans to stress the 430,000 new manufacturing jobs created since January of 2010 …. The Obama campaign has released other excerpts from Biden’s speech:
“Mitt Romney has been remarkably consistent – as an individual investor, a businessman, as Governor of Massachusetts, and now as a candidate for President.
Washington Post: The Obama 2012 campaign unveiled a Barack Obama Pinterest page on Tuesday, taking advantage of the fast-growing social network by sharing images of Obama and his family, campaign supporters and paraphernalia and visuals that support administration policies.
The page, run by the Obama 2012 campaign staff, features eight “boards.” (For those of you not among the 17.8 million Pinterest users last month, boards are like folders where users categorize “pins,” or images they collect and share on the site).
Five of the boards feature lighter fare: ”Obama-inspired recipes” shows the family chili recipe and cupcakes with images of the president on them. The first family and pets wearing Obama gear get their own boards, and merchandise from the Obama campaign store is featured in another. The more substantive boards include pinned infographics on job growth and the health-care act, and another with images of people supporting or affected by the administration’s initiatives.
MTV: Michelle Obama will appear at Nickelodeon’s 25th annual Kids’ Choice Awards to present a special award to Taylor Swift. The first lady will be on hand to honor Swift with the Big Help Award, in recognition of her philanthropic efforts, including work with U.S. tornado and flood survivors. Obama herself was the recipient of the award in 2010, in recognition of her Let’s Move! Campaign…
…. The 25th annual Kids’ Choice Awards in Los Angeles air live Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on Nickelodeon.
President Barack Obama signs the prosthetic arm of Sgt. Carlos Evans, USMC, after greeting wounded warriors in the East Room during their tour of the White House, March 6, 2012. First Lady Michelle Obama first met Evans, who was injured in Afghanistan while on his fourth combat deployment, during a visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Supporters of Mitt Romney wait for his “Super Tuesday” primary election night rally to begin in Boston, Massachusetts, March 6
Washington Post: Super Tuesday confirmed anew that Mitt Romney remains the favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination, but his slow, unsteady march is coming at a steep price. As he advances toward victory in the primaries, he is losing ground in the general election.
…. Romney is in worse shape at this point in the campaign than virtually all recent previous nominees …. Demographically, his image among independent voters, the most critical swing group, is more negative now than it was when the primary battle began. He could be hurt among women. He is in trouble with Latinos, a growing part of the electorate that is tilting even more Democratic than it was four years ago….
Geographically, the numbers from several key states have been discouraging for the former Massachusetts governor. Pre-primary polls in Ohio, Virginia and Michigan showed him running behind Obama by low double digits. Ohio is a must-win for the Republican nominee in the fall, and Virginia is a state the GOP is determined to take back from the president. Republicans once thought Michigan would be a possible battleground, but at this point it isn’t.
NYT Editorial: Long before Super Tuesday, the Republican Party had cemented itself on the distant right of American politics, with a primary campaign that has been relentlessly nasty, divisive and vapid. Barbara Bush, the former first lady, was so repelled that on Tuesday she called it the worst she’d ever seen. We feel the same way ….. the Republican candidates are so deep in the trenches of cultural and religious warfare that they aren’t offering any solutions.
The results Tuesday night did not settle the race. Republican voters will have to go on for some time choosing between a candidate, Mitt Romney, who stands for nothing except country-club capitalism, and a candidate, Rick Santorum, so blinkered by his ideology that it’s hard to imagine him considering any alternative ideas or listening to any dissenting voice.
….. There is also no space between Mr. Romney and Mr. Santorum in the way they distort reality to attack Mr. Obama for everything he says, no matter how sensible, and oppose everything he wants, no matter how necessary…..
Washington Post: Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), the two-time presidential candidate and icon of the antiwar left, suffered a bruising primary defeat Tuesday as a new Republican-drawn congressional map threatened to end the career of one of the most colorful figures in Congress.
With most attention focused on the state’s GOP presidential primary battle, and no Democratic primary for president, Kucinich was left in a low-turnout race in a newly drawn district against his once-close ally, Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio). With about 90 percent of the vote in, Kaptur led 60 to 36 percent….
Charles Pierce: ….. there remains a substantial amount of Republican voters who would rather remove their spleens with a melon baller than vote for Willard Romney for anything.
…. Is there anything else he can do to pander sufficiently to the crazoid elements in his party’s base short of immolating himself on Sarah Palin’s lawn? ….. And when, oh, when will they finally see that, even though Willard is struggling to beat the colossal dick Rick Santorum, he is still The Only Man Who Can Beat Obama? ‘Ees a puzzlement, no question.
…. As he spoke, you could see the people stealing away, huddling around the TV sets. It will go on. This time next week, Romney will be telling voters in Alabama and Mississippi what a hellhole that state was where he used to be the governor. The rubes will find this very funny. And he will know in the unsold part of his soul that he’s going to be running for president for a very long time.
TPM: Rush Limbaugh may be steering the GOP into another Democratic-friendly trap with his consistent bashing of the Chevy Volt.
America’s attempt to to one-up the Prius …became an important symbol for the administration, and thus an immediate whipping boy for Limbaugh. Right-wing pundits and Republicans have followed suit, putting them in the bewildering position of rooting against a product of American engineering and manufacturing.
….. “As for the Volt, it is emblematic of a larger problem the GOP has: the sense that they are rooting for America to fail,” Paul Begala, Democratic strategist and adviser to President Obama’s super PAC told TPM. “When a good jobs report comes out, Mitt Romney looks sad. When Clint Eastwood makes an unapologetic, patriotic Super Bowl ad for Chrysler, Karl Rove says it makes him sick. They booed a gay soldier at a GOP debate, and didn’t even want to give the President his due for ordering the mission that killed bin Laden. One wonders if they will be rooting for communist China during the summer Olympics.”
Boston.com: First Lady Michelle Obama will headline two Democratic National Committee events in Boston on Friday evening, the White House has announced …. Earlier Friday she will be in Concord, N.H., as part of her “Let’s Move!” initiative to foster healthy eating and active living. She will visit the Penacook Community Center to highlight an example of a collaborative community effort to promote health and wellness, good nutrition, and physical activity.
New York Times editorial: Where the Iowa caucuses illuminated the dark essence of social conservatism, the New Hampshire primary was a journey into the dingy, cramped quarters of the right wing’s economic policies.
The Republicans ritually denounced President Obama as hostile to capitalism, disdainful of individual enterprise and lacking in ideas for reviving the economy. All they had to offer were economic ideas that not only are inadequate for that purpose but were instrumental in creating the nation’s current economic problems.
…. The solution is policies that promote growth and help the middle class, not what the Republican hopefuls want. Mr. Obama said it well on Monday night: “We can’t go back to this brand of you’re-on-your-own economics.” You couldn’t tell that by listening to Mr. Romney prattle about a merit-based economy and call for lowering taxes and cutting spending.
…. The answer is not more of the same failed policies. The solution is to revive the successful ones, along with policies to stimulate the economy and stop foreclosures. Mr. Obama understands this. The Republican hopefuls are deluding themselves and trying to delude the voters.
Steve Benen: Herman Cain argued yesterday about the Republican field, “Look, these candidates have broken the Reagan’s rule from the beginning. Reagan’s 13th commandment, you know? Don’t go negative against another Republican, but they did it anyway!” I think he meant “11th”.
OFA: Get the scoop – including exclusive updates and sneak peeks – on Runway to Win, a project by fashion designers in support of Obama 2012.
CNN: Foreclosure filings and repossessions fell to their lowest level since 2007 last year.
Total filings, including default notices and bank repossessions were down 33% for the year to 2.7 million, according to RealtyTrac, the online marketer of foreclosed properties.
One in every 69 homes had at least one foreclosure filing during the year, while 804,000 homes were repossessed. That’s a significant improvement from the peaks reached in 2010 – when 1.05 million homes were repossessed – and the lowest levels seen since 2007.
Yes, I saw a pig fly today – GOPolitico (Donovan Slack) actually did some half decent journalism:
Michelle Obama was raring to help her husband promote his signature health care plan during the summer of 2009. But, according to the latest book about the first couple, “the West Wing never really took the first lady up on her offer.”
“She did a few events, but they were small and drew little coverage,” New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor wrote in “The Obamas.” …. “Her support for the initiative became a mostly private matter, the subject of long conversations between the Obamas.”
But a review of news clippings during the period covered by that chapter in the book – May through August 2009 – found that Michelle Obama was very public about her support and received extensive coverage. The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and ABC News, among others, reported on her efforts.
Kantor’s own newspaper declared in July 2009 that she had become “one of the Obama administration’s most visible surrogates on health care.”
Kantor says that she stands by her core assertions but believes her language could have been clearer. “As Robert Gibbs told me on the record, the White House was concerned about putting the first lady in the line of fire. But given the NYT story you mentioned, I could have been more precise about the media coverage,” she told POLITICO in a statement.
Marketwatch: The U.S. economy gained 200,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate fell to 8.5%, the Labor Department said Friday.
Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast the U.S. would add 150,000 jobs last month, with the jobless rate edging up to 8.7% from an initially reported 8.6% in November.
Subtracting another decline in government jobs, the private sector boosted payrolls by 212,000. Average hourly earnings rose 0.2% last month to $23.24 and hours worked edged up to 34.4. Job gains for November and October were little changed. The U.S. created 1.64 million jobs in 2011.
Steve Benen: Mitt Romney will probably find today’s jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics very discouraging. The rest of us, though, have reason to smile.
…. when monthly job growth reaches 200,000, that’s genuinely good news, and the drop in the overall unemployment to 8.5% puts the figure at nearly a three-year low, which is also encouraging. Under the circumstances, this is one of the best jobs reports since the recession began four years ago.
Reuters: The young men in business suits, gingerly picking their way among the millwrights, machinists and pipefitters at Kansas City’s Worldwide Grinding Systems steel mill…. “They looked like a bunch of high school kids to me. A bunch of Wall Street preppies,” says Jim Linson, an electronics repairman who worked at the plant for 40 years….
Apparently they liked what they saw. Soon after, in October 1993, Bain Capital, co-founded by Mitt Romney, became majority shareholder in a steel mill that had been operating since 1888.
…. Less than a decade later, the mill was padlocked and some 750 people lost their jobs. Workers were denied the severance pay and health insurance they’d been promised, and their pension benefits were cut by as much as $400 a month…..
Paul Krugman: ….. Mr. Romney claims that Mr. Obama has been a job destroyer, while he was a job-creating businessman …. his claims about the Obama record border on dishonesty, and his claims about his own record are well across that border.
….. the president inherited an economy in free fall, and can’t be held responsible for job losses during his first few months, before any of his own policies had time to take effect. So how much of that Obama job loss took place in, say, the first half of 2009?
The answer is: more than all of it. The economy lost 3.1 million jobs between January 2009 and June 2009 and has since gained 1.2 million jobs. That’s not enough, but it’s nothing like Mr. Romney’s portrait of job destruction.
Incidentally, the previous administration’s claims of job growth always started not from Inauguration Day but from August 2003, when Bush-era employment hit its low point. By that standard, Mr. Obama could say that he has created 2.5 million jobs since February 2010.
Washington Post editorial: ….. Republicans may well be correct that Mr. Obama is playing politics with these appointments …. But so what? Both the consumer bureau and the labor relations board are agencies of the U.S. government, created by Congress, and it is inexcusable that congressional obstructionism would leave them unable to function. If Republicans don’t like the structure or purpose of either agency, they should try to alter them through legislation. Meanwhile their filibustering against qualified nominees to make political points or extort concessions from the White House cripples government and discourages good people from serving. That is the real poisonous practice, in which both parties have engaged. Until there is a de-escalation, the country will continue to pay a high price.
New York Times: Obama administration officials announced on Friday that they will propose a fix to a notorious snag in immigration law that will spare hundreds of thousands of American citizens from prolonged separations from immigrant spouses and children.
The change that immigration officials are offering would benefit United States citizens who are married to or have children who are illegal immigrants. It would correct a bureaucratic Catch-22 that those Americans now confront when their spouses or children apply to become legal permanent residents.
Greg Sargent: The first thing you should watch this morning is this harsh new Web video from the Obama-allied Priorities USA Action. It paints a very lurid picture of “Mitt Romney’s America,” and it provides the clearest clues yet as to what kind of campaign Obama and outside groups will run against him if he’s the nominee.
Romney’s corporate background, as well as that infamous Bain picture, get top billing, and are tied to the allegation that Romney’s policies would be a boon to corporations while decimating the middle class. Obama advisers and allies intend to paint an extremely vivid and even frightening picture of what Romney’s desire to roll back Obama’s post-Bush reforms would mean for the economy, the country, and the future. Beyond his pro-corporate policies, the feeling on the Obama team is that Romney’s corporate past is an unexplored and potentially serious liability, particularly amid the intense anti-Wall Street sentiment that seems to be on the rise…..
You know how much I hate GOPolitico and how I hold my nose when I link to it – well, I’m holding my nose again because this article is worth reading: link
Quinnipiac: President Barack Obama’s job approval rating is up, from a negative 41 – 55 percent October 5, to a split today with 47 percent approving and 49 percent disapproving in a Quinnipiac University poll released today. The president has leads of 5 to 16 percentage points over likely Republican challengers.
…. “President Obama seems to be improving in voters’ eyes almost across-the-board,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “He scores big gains among the groups with whom he has had the most problems – whites and men. Women also shift from a five-point negative to a four-point positive.
….. Obama also is looking better in matchups against potential Republican nominees:
47 – 42 percent over Romney, compared to a 46 – 42 percentlead October 5;
52 – 36 percent over Perry, up from a 45 – 44 percent tie last month;
50 – 40 percent over Cain, who was not included in a matchup last month;
52 – 37 percent over Gingrich, who was not matched last month.
NY Times editorial: President Obama’s announcement on Friday that the last American soldier will leave Iraq by year’s end signals a welcome end to a war that was started under false pretenses and went on far too long – killing more than 4,400 Americans and many more thousands of Iraqis and costing $1 trillion over nearly nine years.
When Mr. Obama took office, there were about 142,000 Americans fighting in Iraq. The president deserves credit for fulfilling his campaign promise to bring the conflict to a close.
…. The announcement triggered some foolish criticism from neo-conservatives – who remain shamefully unapologetic for their role in unleashing this war – accused Mr. Obama of abandoning Iraq now. Mitt Romney said Mr. Obama “unnecessarily put at risk” hard-won victories. Like most of what Mr. Romney says about national security, that was absurd. Would he have Washington ignore the desires of Iraq’s democratic government and stay in Iraq forever?
Oil-producing Iraq is a major regional actor. The United States, which has an embassy with thousands of employees in Baghdad, must remain actively engaged diplomatically, through development and economic cooperation. But Iraq will be in the hands of Iraqis, as it should be.
It was completely brilliant to see BWD post at The Only Adult In The Room yesterday, on what was a very special day. Looking forward, so much, to see her coming back in the months ahead – meanwhile, make sure you follow her on Twitter
Good to see Firebagger fraud Uygur being challenged when trying to use OWS for his own promotion. It’ll be interesting to see how much he’ll profit personally from his new PAC. As much as Hamsher and Greenwald did from theirs?
Remember that deadline we kept emailing you about a couple weeks ago? Here’s what you should know about what we’ll report to the FEC tomorrow:
– In the third fundraising quarter of this year, 606,027 people donated to this campaign – even more than gave in the record-breaking previous quarter.
– Those people gave more than 766,000 total donations – 98 percent of them $250 or less, at an average amount of $56. That’s more than twice as many donations than we had at this point in the historic 2008 campaign.
– Together, Obama for America and the DNC raised more than $70 million. And it all happened during a summer when the President was focused on doing the job he was elected to do – a summer when we had to cancel a series of fundraising events and ask everyone to dig a little deeper.
If I could sum up this last quarter in a few words: Supporters like you came through.
Here’s even bigger news: Right now, 982,967 people have donated to this campaign. We’re within striking distance of 1 million donors.
…. Thanks for all you did to get us here. I’m excited for what’s ahead, and I hope you’ll take part in the push to 1 million grassroots donors today.
Match someone’s pledge, double your impact, and become part of the first million today:
President Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak shake hands during their joint news conference in the East Room at the White House
NYT Editorial: It was all predicted, but the unanimous decision by Senate Republicans on Tuesday to filibuster and thus kill President Obama’s jobs bill was still a breathtaking act of economic vandalism. There are 14 million people out of work, wages are falling, poverty is rising, and a second recession may be blowing in, but not a single Republican would even allow debate on a sound plan to cut middle-class taxes and increase public-works spending.
…. The Republicans offer no actual economic plans, only tired slogans about cutting regulations and spending, and ending health care reform…. Their lack of serious ideas was on full display in both the Senate and the presidential debate on Tuesday night in New Hampshire. The debate was ostensibly about the economy, but when the freshest and most-talked-about idea is Herman Cain’s ridiculous “9-9-9” tax plan, it is clear that the economy they were debating is not the one Americans are forced to live in…..
The other candidates were no less vacuous. Mitt Romney offered an ash heap of used ideas … Rick Perry, when he could be stirred to speak, vowed to somehow put 1.2 million people to work in the energy industry, as if the whole country were Texas and drills could pop up on every block.
Republican candidates fear the Tea Party too much to acknowledge that economists are solidly behind government intervention to awaken growth …. But at least the record is increasingly clear who is advocating real ideas and who is selling an empty vessel.
First Lady Michelle Obama and South Korea’s First Lady Kim Yoon-Ok arrive to watch a musical performance during a visit to Annandale High School
Greg Sargent: The public really likes the Obama jobs policies that the GOP blocked: The internals of the NBC/WSJ poll are now up online. Check out this bit:
The jobs bill would cut the payroll tax rate, fund new road construction, continue to extend unemployment benefits, and give tax credits to companies who hire and train long-term unemployed workers. The plan would be paid for by increasing taxes on the wealthy and increasing taxes on businesses by closing some corporate tax loopholes. Do you favor or oppose this plan?
Bloomberg editorial: How exactly, according to Republicans, is President Barack Obama supposed to have caused the current economic malaise and high unemployment?
…. With remarkable unanimity, Republican leaders in Congress and the party’s presidential candidates have parroted a one-word explanation: “uncertainty”. While many political tropes are abused on a bipartisan basis the “uncertainty” lament is a largely Republican creation.
… there is no evidence that uncertainty has increased during the Obama presidency, or that, if it has, the president’s policies are responsible for it….
The charge of “creating uncertainty” is a way to blame Obama for the U.S.’s economic trials without having to explain the connection. In fact, if anyone in the political world is responsible for creating uncertainty, it is the Republicans. Look at last month’s debt-ceiling imbroglio, which left the world wondering whether the United States would even honor its debts – something that was never uncertain before. The decision to turn a routine vote to raise the debt ceiling into a high-stakes game of chicken was made by the Republican House leadership.
… In the campaign to be the party’s presidential nominee, candidates like Perry and Bachmann claim that Social Security is unconstitutional or that vaccines cause mental retardation. Would they really follow through on some of their wilder positions? If any of the top-tier Republican candidates is elected president – even Romney, who promises to repeal health-care reform on day one – we might all look back with longing on the calm, restful environment of the Obama administration.