President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talk in the Green Room of the White House before hosting a Smithsonian Museum of African American History reception in the East Room, Feb. 22, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama listens during the groundbreaking ceremony of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, February 22
LA Times: Sales of previously owned homes rose 4.3% in January and inventories fell to nearly seven-year lows as lower prices, unusually warm weather and an improving economy lifted demand.
….. January sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million …. Sales rose in all four major regions, including an 8.8% pop in the West.
Job creation, mild weather, rising rents and increased household formation contributed to the sales gains, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the Realtors group. “Things are genuinely improving,” Yun said.
Steve Benen: …. It’s a safe bet the Bishops won’t be satisfied, but it’s a pretty straightforward fix: religiously-affiliated employers that don’t want to pay for contraception coverage as part of their benefits packages won’t have to, but these employees will still get the coverage because the White House will instruct insurers to pick up the costs.
…. several major stakeholders in this fight have already offered praise for the White House move. Planned Parenthood, for example, endorsed the compromise …. Similarly, EMILY’s List said it was “reassured” by the new policy, and NARAL Pro-Choice America’s statement struck a similar note.
What’s more, Sister Carol Keehan and the Catholic Health Association have also endorsed the administration’s position, which not only offers the White House some political cover, but also further isolates the Bishops…..
For the White House, having support from both the Catholic Health Association and Planned Parenthood was critical…..
Greg Sargent: …. the Obama team is betting that any further objections to this policy will unmask opponents primarily as hidebound foes of birth control at any costs, a politically difficult position to sustain, rather than as defenders of religious liberty. Indeed, this looks like an effort to reframe the debate to Obama’s advantage: If Team Obama has its way, the argument will now be about whether all women should have access to contraception, and not about whether these institutions are having their religious freedom impinged upon.
For those who freaked out about a major compromise with the Catholic church (eh, me):
When will I ever learn?
Don’t miss Liberal Librarian’s first post at The People’s View – it’s predictably brilliant
President Obama signs the Ultralight Aircraft Smuggling Prevention Act of 2012 as former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly look on. The bill was the last piece of legislation on which Giffords voted before she resigned in January, a year after she sustained a gunshot wound to the head.
First lady Michelle Obama high-fives the Dallas Cowboys mascot Rowdy as she arrived at the Kleberg-Rylie Recreation center in Dallas
Michelle Obama judges food, along with assistant White House chef and food initiative coordinator Sam Kass and “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio, during a taping of the TV cooking show “Top Chef” in Dallas
I was just reading a report on today’s Netroots gathering and I’m now wiping coffee spray from my monitor. Seriously, it was that funny.
The panel for one of today’s discussions featured – ready for this? – three ‘Nutroots’: Dan Choi, John Aravosis and Jane Hamsher. The ‘Look At Me’ brigade!
So much hate, fakery and narcissism at one table!
Choi, bless him, is still recovering from the crushing disappointment of President Obama fulfilling his promise to end DADT, a development that robbed him of his media star status – no one really wants to hear his rants any more, his 15 minutes of fame are up.
When an Organizing for America volunteer stood up and asked him to support the President in 2012, Choi ripped up an OFA flyer he had been given and threw it in the man’s face.
It renewed his hero status with the Nutroots people who pollute Netroots, though, so that was nice.
America Blog’s Aravosis? You know, the guy who’s equally devastated by the President’s record of achievement on gay rights – because his ‘Obama is a Homophobe!’ rants have just become embarrassing.
Firebaggerlake’s Hamsher? What can you say about this creature? It’s five years since she let her mask slip when she posted that photoshopped picture of Joe Lieberman as a ‘black’ man on Huffington Post, in a sneering attempt to describe his efforts to “woo African American voters”. The photo was promptly removed, and she offered a ‘sorry if you were offended’ apology. And still the professional left regard her as a progressive!
Also on the panel was immigration reform supporter Felipe Matos who attacked the President for not passing the DREAM Act. Err? Could someone let this guy know how American democracy works? Hint: the President wants the DREAM Act passed, the Senate rejected it.
“One way to ensure Democrats do not take progressive votes for granted is to stop voting for Democrats,” said Choi.
How about President Bachmann, Dan? (“We need to have profound compassion for people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life and sexual identity disorders.”) Or any of the Republican candidates?
Good luck with that.
Hey, thanks for the laughs, Nutroots!
The headline on Arianna Huffy’s site tonight …. no wonder she admires Dan so much, they’re both self-promoting right-wing fakes, posing as ‘progressives’. See you in 2012
…with California Air National Guard Capt. Kelly Smith during a Joining Forces event in Beverly Hills, California, June 13
Sun Times: Pool report from First Lady Michelle Obama’s Pasadena funder: About 500 people gathered on the ample lawn behind the Pasadena home of Ann and Robert Hamilton for a lunch-time fundraiser …The First Lady spoke for about 25 minutes….
Lena Kennedy, the co-chair of the event, introduced her as “the not-so-secret weapon of the President of the United States.”
…She began by recounting her husband’s journey to the White House, beginning with the moment he told her he wanted to run for President. ”I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the idea,” she said. “I still had some cynicism about politics, that was my hesitation.” But she said she was transformed on the campaign trail after hearing the stories of everyday Americas….
Obama then listed some of the things her husband has done in office during his first two years. “We’ve gone from an economy that was on the brink of collapse to an economy that is starting to grow again,” she said. She also mentioned healthcare reform, the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Act and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell…..
….The First Lady talked about the toll that his work had taken on her husband. “I see the sadness and worry that’s creasing his face,” she said.
She described his work ethic as tireless. “He reads every word, every memo, so he is better prepared than the people briefing him,” she said. “This man doesn’t take a day off.”
Obama said the next few years of campaigning would be difficult at times for the Obamas and their supporters. “It is not going to be easy, and it is going to be long,” she said. “Now more than ever we need you help to finish what we started.”