Message left for Nelson Mandela on the wall outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria where he has been hospitalized since June 8:
“I hope you feel better. I love you so much. And I know you love me too.”
11:0: VP Biden Speaks on the Fair Labor Standards Act
1:55: The President delivers remarks on Climate Change at Georgetown University
(listed in some places as 1:35)
3:35: The President and Vice President meet with members of the Congressional Leadership, Oval Office
President Obama talks with Rob Nabors, Deputy White House Chief of Staff for Policy, center, and Miguel Rodriguez, Director of Legislative Affairs, in the Oval Office, June 24 (Photo by Pete Souza)
CBS: With little to no hope on Capitol Hill for action on climate change, President Obama on Tuesday plans to bypass Congress and move forward with executive actions designed to reduce carbon emissions.
In a speech at Georgetown University, the president will lay out what the administration is billing as a comprehensive plan built on three pillars: cutting the nation’s carbon pollution, leading global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and preparing the United States for the impacts of climate change. As part of that effort, Mr. Obama on Tuesday will sign a presidential memorandum directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to start engaging with states, the private sector and other stakeholders to set carbon pollution standards for both new and existing carbon power plants.
The president, a senior administration official said, has “made it very clear his preference would be for Congress to act.” At this point, however, he is ready to rely on the existing authorities in the executive branch.
USA Today: President Obama tries to conduct some summertime legislative business Tuesday in a meeting with congressional leaders from both parties. Among the likely topics: An immigration bill and the debate to extend a low interest student loan program set to expire on Monday.
The guest list features Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell …. Republican House Speaker John Boehner is also scheduled to attend the presidential meeting, as is House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.
If you saw the news at any point in the last month, chances are that you heard Barack Obama compared in some way to Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal. A quick and admittedly unscientific Google search on the comparisons turns up 1.7 million hits, and they are not limited to right-wing media or Republican politicians. Partisan and nonpartisan journalists across the political spectrum casually and frequently linked Obama to Nixon over and over again, this publication included.
…. the facts that have emerged over the last month, through more solid reporting and independent investigation, are proving once again that the political media’s addiction to sensationalism and snap-judgment hyperbole has contributed to a lack of serious, informed debate about issues that badly deserve it.
ThinkProgress: …. Nancy Pelosi blasted the GOP’s continued assault on reproductive rights in an exclusive interview with ThinkProgress. She noted the 20-week abortion ban was just the latest example of House Republicans’ priorities, which have included attempts to kill the Violence Against Women Act and to defund Planned Parenthood.
Though House Speaker John Boehner’s Congress has gone down in history as the least productive Congress since World War II, House Republicans have aggressively pursued anti-choice legislation in recent years. In response, Americans increasingly brand the GOP as a party of anti-woman extremists, which sunk the 2012 campaigns of several Republican candidates who were too blunt about their desires to restrict women’s access to health services. Women – even Republican lawmakers-— have fled the party.
Since Republicans took the House in 2010, Pelosi explained, Americans are beginning to understand just how far beyond abortion the GOP’s war on women reaches:
“…..They don’t believe in government…except when it comes to the bedroom.”
News Observer: More than 2500 people rally outside the North Carolina State Legislative Building on Halifax Mall Monday, June 24, 2013, prior to an act of civil disobedience opposing the Republican legislature’s agenda. About 120 activists were arrested by General Assembly and Raleigh police. About 600 have been arrested over the course of 8 “Moral Monday” demonstrations.
AP: The Internal Revenue Service’s screening of groups seeking tax-exempt status was broader and lasted longer than has been previously disclosed … Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan, top Democrat on the Ways and Means panel, said he was writing a letter to J. Russell George, the Treasury Department inspector general whose audit in May detailed IRS targeting of conservatives, asking why his report did not mention other groups that were targeted.
“The audit served as the basis and impetus for a wide range of congressional investigations and this new information shows that the foundation of those investigations is flawed in a fundamental way,” Levin said.
…. Democratic staff on Ways and Means said that they had verified that of the 298 groups seeking tax-exempt status that George’s audit had examined, some were liberal organizations – something George’s report did not mention.
Steve Benen: Stick a fork in the IRS controversy; it’s done
The good news for conservatives is that new information about the IRS controversy came to light late yesterday, which renewed coverage of the story Republicans are heavily in. The bad news for conservatives it that the revelations were the opposite of what they wanted to hear.
Dana Milbank: The most remarkable thing about the Supreme Court’s opinions announced Monday was not what the justices wrote or said. It was what Samuel Alito did …. when Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg read her dissent from the bench, Alito visibly mocked his colleague.
Ginsburg was making her argument about how the majority opinion made it easier for sexual harassment to occur in the workplace when Alito, seated immediately to Ginsburg’s left, shook his head from side to side in disagreement, rolled his eyes and looked at the ceiling.
His treatment of the 80-year-old Ginsburg, 17 years his elder and with 13 years more seniority, was a curious display of judicial intemperance….
Days earlier, I watched as he demonstrated his disdain for Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor….
Some people were having a problem viewing the video here is youtube version
At the JFK School of politics; Favreau discusses how he met then Senator Obama at the 04 DNC convention, his job interview w/ PBO the week after he was elected, fun anecdotes like his fear of flying and the process/stories on how famous PBO speeches over the last decade were created.
Washington Post: As secretary to mega-investor Warren Buffett, Debbie Bosanek is used to being in proximity to power. But the prospect of sitting with first lady Michelle Obama at tonight’s State of the Union address apparently is something different altogether. Bosanek, who’s mostly kept an under-the-radar profile despite being the poster lady for President Obama’s tax proposals, tells us she’s a tad jittery.
“I was so excited I couldn’t sleep last night,” she says.
President Barack Obama talks with Jon Favreau, Director of Speechwriting, in the Oval Office, Jan. 23, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
ABC: Unfavorable views of Mitt Romney have soared, doubts about Newt Gingrich remain widespread and Barack Obama has advanced to his highest personal popularity in more than a year — all in advance of the State of the Union address in which Obama makes his case for a second term.
Fifty-three percent of Americans in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll express a favorable opinion of Obama overall, up by 5 points from last month to the most since April 2010….. As he’s gained, Romney has stumbled badly, with unfavorable views of the recent Republican front-runner up by 15 points in just two weeks.
…. The sharpest shifts have been among independents. Unfavorable opinions of Romney have soared by 17 points in this group since Jan. 8, to 51 percent; favorable opinions have dropped by 18 points among independents in the same period, to just 23 percent. Gingrich, for his part, has lost 11 points among independents since December, to 22 percent favorability. Obama, by contrast, gets a 51 percent favorable rating from independents.
…. Obama has advanced by 12 points in favorability among moderates, to 66 percent, nearly as high as his rating from liberals, 70 percent positive.
Greg Sargent: I’m not sure the Obama campaign could have scripted this more perfectly. In a remarkable bit of good timing, President Obama is set to deliver a State of the Union speech focused on income inquality and tax unfairness on exactly the same day that Mitt Romney will reveal that he made over $40 million in the last two years — all of it taxed at a lower rate than that paid by middle class taxpayers.
Steve Benen: …. Why did Romney set up $100 million trust funds for his sons without paying any gift taxes? Were his accounts in the Caymans and in Switzerland created to avoid paying taxes? Was the closing of the Swiss account related to this IRS investigation? And given all of the questions surrounding Romney’s Bain-era work, why does the Republican candidate continue to insist he won’t disclose returns from previous years?