Posts Tagged ‘gabby



06
May
13

This and That

Photo: Pete Souza

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Line of the day?

Charles Pierce: Just as Darrell Issa and his merry men are ready to engage in another round of Outrage Kabuki on the subject of Benghazi, BENGHAZI!, BENGHAZI!!, some of the air is going out of the balloon already, and the high-pitched whistling seems to have reached a frequency that can be heard at the dog’s breakfast known as Fox And Friends.

And when you’ve lost a human tack-hammer like Brian Kilmeade, it’s going to be tough to sell anyone smarter, which is, you know, like, everybody.

More here

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Jonathan Bernstein: If you’re not inside the conservative information feedback loop, you might not be aware that within that loop the Benghazi “scandal” is still going at 100 percent strength. Months after the actual incident, which was back in September. Even though no one has ever made clear exactly what terrible secret was the subject of the supposed cover-up; even though a succession of “revelations” have all turned out to be nonsense (here’s one from just last week). Doesn’t matter; discredited accusations are just forgotten and new ones are substituted.

More here

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Dan Rather: “All of these things we’ve said about what the president could do, should do, might have, could have, but the central  thing to keep in mind is his opponents — you talk about taking them out to dinner, making nice with them — these people, politically, want to  cut his heart out and throw his liver to the dogs.”

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Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on The View today:

Click to see the rest of the post

16
Apr
13

Catching Up With The Day

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Bloomberg: The Boston Marathon bombing, juxtaposed with the mass murder at Sandy Hook  …. reveals an ideological component to the way Americans assess risk. In particular, Americans’ tolerance of mayhem and death varies depending on the source of the violence.

The Wall Street Journal editorial page, for example, was quick to revisit old fears about foreign terrorism in the wake of the Boston attack…

….. The emphasis on vulnerability and the “continuing need for heightened defenses” represents one side of an existential schism running through U.S. politics, with the dividing line separating mostly, but not always, liberals from conservatives. Many Americans accept the U.S.’s 30,000 gun deaths a year as a sad but inevitable price for all-but-unfettered individual rights to gun possession. A terrorist bombing, on the other hand, signals a need for “heightened defenses,” massive security and the routine compromise of liberty….

Full post here

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Stephen Marche (at Charles Pierce’s blog): As I write this, no one has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Boston Marathon …. But this moment, before we know who did it, may be more important than when we do know.

The speculation has established three possible perpetrators: Islamic terrorists, domestic terrorists, or simple lunatics. The potential of this moment is that we can recognize that it could be any of them, that they all want the same thing, that they are, in the only way that matters, the same thing.

…. Whoever it turns out to be will incur a blame for entire groups of people — whether Muslims or American gun nuts — which are entirely accidental to their being. Let us pause, right now, and agree not to make that mistake.

Full post here

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TPM: …. Why were so many people in the media standing on pins and needles, wondering whether Obama would call what happened in Boston terrorism? …..

…. The media was listening for that word yesterday because they identified it as a potential source of a future, contrived political controversy; reporters were acting as opposition researchers for the people they cover, and identified a sin of omission….

…. most major media outlets typically distinguish terrifying violence from violent terrorism by examining motive. No political or ideological motive? Not terrorism … It’s why everyone feels comfortable calling the Unabomber a terrorist, but not the perpetrator of the Sandy Hook massacre.

Full post here

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Charles Pierce: ….. We should commend both Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis for their performance at the press conference Monday night — Patrick for slapping down that Alex Jones idiot plant, and Davis, for going out of his way, in one of the few pieces of actual information that was forthcoming at the whole press conference, to emphasize that there was no “suspect” in custody in any hospital, thereby dropping an anvil on The New York Post, which completely went to the zoo on this story yesterday afternoon. Good on both of them. And for Abdulrahman Alharbi, I hope he can still be as happy here some day as I suspect he was when Monday began.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: …. I’m reluctant to start talking about any single photo being the iconic image of the tragedy, but clearly this shot (see above), captured by Boston Globe photographer John Tlumacki, is powerful and hard to forget.

….  there are three main officers seen in the foreground of this image, and the one on our right is Javier Pagan, who is Latino, gay, and the Boston Police Department’s LGBT liaison.

His husband is a retired NYPD sergeant, who helped rescue people on September 11, 2001.

Full post here

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‘Boston Patriots’

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Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords listens as her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly speaks on Capitol Hill during a ceremony to honor Gabriel “Gabe” Zimmerman. Zimmerman was Giffords’ outreach director when he was killed in the January 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson where Giffords was wounded

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Yahoo News: Vice President Joe Biden told a former congressional aide Tuesday during a visit to the Capitol building that the Senate was just two votes short of reaching the 60-vote threshold needed to pass a gun reform bill through the chamber.

After a speech honoring Gabriel Zimmerman … Biden told former Giffords aide Pam Simon that the bill would pass and that two votes were needed.

“We will win,” Biden told Simon, who survived a gunshot wound in the shooting.

…. “We are working to get to 60, and it’s fluid,” Biden said. “I think we’re there, but it’s not unusual as you all know for people to make up their minds at the last minute.”

More here

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Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to participate in a Google+ Hangout about gun control Wednesday.

He will be joined at 2:45 p.m. by the mayors of Gary, Ind.; Baltimore, Md.; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Oak Creek, Wis., according to David Agnew, the White House director of intergovernmental affairs.

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Greg Sargent: A representative for families of the Newtown shooting victims has asked Senator Mitch McConnell to hold a meeting with them, according to sources familiar with the request. McConnell’s office initially declined the request on the basis of scheduling, a source says — and now family members are set to call McConnell and reiterate the request personally.

How will McConnell respond?

The request – if granted — would allow the families to come face to face with the primary architect of the GOP’s strategy of blocking everything Dems propose to slow the tide of gun violence. If it is denied, it would be a big story…

More here

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President Barack Obama meets with Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to discuss immigration reform, in the Oval Office, April 16, 2013. Also attending, from left, are: Rob Nabors, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy; Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the Domestic Policy Council; and Miguel Rodriguez, Director of Legislative Affairs. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Beyond belief:

The Guardian: How much unemployment did Reinhart and Rogoff’s arithmetic mistake cause? All because two famous economists whose work is used the world over to justify austerity cuts just got their sums wrong.

That’s the question millions will be asking when they see the new paper by my friends at the University of Massachusetts … They show the correct numbers tell a very different story about the relationship between debt and GDP growth than the one that Reinhart and Rogoff have been hawking.

…. This is a big deal because politicians around the world have used this finding from R&R to justify austerity measures that have slowed growth and raised unemployment….

…. If facts mattered in economic policy debates, this should be the cause for a major reassessment of the deficit reduction policies being pursued in the United States and elsewhere. It should also cause reporters to be a bit slower to accept such sweeping claims at face value.

Full article here

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Charles Pierce (on the Next New Deal story): OK, I’ve kept away from this until I’ve read enough people who know what they’re talking about to feel like I know what I’m talking about but, like, wow… I’m still not entirely sure what’s really going on, but there is nothing here to disabuse me of my long-held notion that most economists reach their conclusions by cutting up a sheep on a rock and reading the entrails.

…. And are we at all surprised that a certain zombie-eyed granny-starver of our casual acquaintance was one of the delivery mechanisms into our politics for what may be one of the great public-intellectual blunders (or worse) of the century? Why, no, we are not at all…..

More here

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ABC: First lady Michelle Obama will visit the United States Naval Academy on Wednesday before attending a bill-signing at the Maryland State House.

The first lady will be present as Gov. Martin O’Malley signs into law the Veterans Full Employment Act of 2013.

The legislation will enable veterans who apply for occupational and professional licenses in Maryland to get credit for their military training, education and experience.

More here

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Wednesday:

11:45: Jay Carney briefs the press

4:05: President Obama and VP Biden welcome the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House

6:30: President Obama meets with Democratic senators for dinner

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Decatur, Ga., Feb. 14, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

12
Apr
13

Rise and Shine

President Obama talks on the phone with Nicole Hockley and families of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn., in the Oval Office, April 11 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

12:0: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

2:05: The President presents the Commander-in-Chief Trophy to the United States Naval Academy football team

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NBC: For former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, gun violence is personal — so she’s going to begin her own in-person push for a new compromise to expand background checks for gun sales when she returns to Capitol Hill next week, NBC News has learned.

And the gun safety group she founded with husband, Mark Kelly, will begin making robocalls Thursday in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, looking to support the two senators who crafted the deal — an attempt to demonstrate that the organization is committed to challenging the gun lobby’s political infrastructure.

More here

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Greg Sargent: What will John Boehner say to Gabrielle Giffords?

This has the potential to create a bit of an awkward moment for Speaker John Boehner, as he weighs whether to allow a House vote on whatever gun legislation clears the Senate.

In a few days, on April 16th, Boehner and Nancy Pelosi will be presiding over a ceremony dedicating the creation of the Gabriel Zimmerman Meeting Room in the U.S. Capitol, according to an invitation to the event that’s making the rounds. Zimmerman was the community outreach director to Giffords when he was killed in the January 2011 shooting in Arizona that almost claimed Giffords’ life.

Giffords will be attending the event….

More here

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NYT: The Rugged Road for Gun Control

As families of the victims of the Newtown, Conn., massacre watched from the Senate gallery on Thursday, 68 senators, including 16 Republicans, voted to break a conservative filibuster to allow debate to begin on a bill that would expand background checks for most gun sales.

That a procedural vote was considered a breakthrough demonstrated how hard it has been to get even the most fundamental, common-sense reform of the nation’s inadequate gun laws past the gun lobby.

More here

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The People’s View: Surprise! President’s Budget Has Way More New Revenue Than New Cuts

Bet you haven’t heard that one in the national media yet – certainly not on the Left’s media world still in a fit over Chained CPI. I bet here’s what you’ve heard: Obama’s revenue raisers are not enough, his spending cuts are too much, and it’s not ‘balanced’ in terms of revenues and cuts. What you’re hearing is that the president is proposing $1 trillion in cuts! Here’s what they’re not telling you: the president is merely replacing the sequester….

More here

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Greg Sargent: The GOP’s policy nihilism

Mark April 11th, 2013, down on your calendars as the day that the GOP’s fiscal ruse was finally unmasked with total clarity: Republicans don’t actually want entitlement cuts. Or, to put it another way, they say they want entitlement cuts, but they want Dems to own them.

A few of us have been pointing this out for some time, but now it’s breaking through to the neutral press, thanks to the ongoing shenanigans between John Boehner and NRCC chair Greg Walden….

More here

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ThinkProgress: In the first quarter of 2013, states have proposed 694 provisions related to a woman’s body, how she gets pregnant, or how she chooses to end that pregnancy.

A new report released on Thursday by the Guttmacher Institute takes a comprehensive look at how the War on Women has continued past the election cycle and into 2013. It shows that the new legislatures across the country are still very much dedicated to restricting sex education, availability of medication, and abortion access for women. Indeed, 47 percent of the 694 provisions were directly related to abortion….

More here

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President Obama waits for a heavy rain to pass before crossing West Executive Avenue from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to the West Wing of the White House, March 12 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Lots more new photos here

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MooooOOOOooorning!

07
Mar
13

Rise and Shine

OFA

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Today:

12:0 Jay Carney briefs the press

12:30: Michelle Obama delivers remarks to winners of the Let’s Move! Communities

1:55: President Obama signs the Violence Against Women Act; the President and VP Biden deliver remarks

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Sign up!

Jim Messina (Op-ed at CNN) You can’t change Washington from the inside. President Obama was criticized for stating that simple truth during the campaign, but without Americans organizing in support of the issues they believe in, lobbyists and special interests will drive the agenda in Washington.

At this crossroads for our economy, we can’t afford business as usual. That’s why we’ve formed Organizing for Action, to ensure that the voices of the majority of Americans who voted for policies that will strengthen the middle class will be heard.

As we worked for change during the president’s first term, we saw special interests spend unprecedented amounts in an attempt to persuade Congress to vote against policies the American people voted for.

History is repeating itself…..

More here

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TPM: President Obama has invited House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan to lunch Thursday at the White House. Rep. Chris Van Hollen has also been invited…

TPM: President Obama dined with 12 Republican senators at Jefferson Hotel in Washington on Wednesday night. In attendance, per the White House:

Senators Lindsey Graham, Bob Corker, Kelly Ayotte, John McCain, Dan Coats, Tom Coburn, Richard Burr, Mike Johanns, Pat Toomey, Ron Johnson, John Hoeven and Saxby Chambliss.

More here

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Jamelle Bouie: Over at the Washington Post, Chris Cillizza chides President Obama for “crying wolf” on sequestration…. There’s no doubt the White House indulged in hyperbole during the debate over sequestration. But Cillizza is exaggerating the degree to which Obama’s rhetoric was overheated or overhyped…..

…. Sequester furloughs have already begun for some federal workers, and communities that rely on military bases and federal spending will see real hardship. Over time, if sequestration is allowed to run its course, more and more Americans will feel the consequences of sudden austerity.

Private forecasting firm Macroeconomic Advisers estimates “sequestration would cost roughly 700,000 jobs …. Did Obama cry wolf on the sequester? No. And besides, it’s only been five days. We’ll see the effects of sequestration as time passes, and they won’t be good.

Full post here

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NYT Editorial: Unable to stop the sequester’s job-killing spending cuts, President Obama now says he wants to move past the endless wars of budget attrition. Though he still wants a long-term deficit deal, he said last week, it is time to turn to immigration, gun control, universal preschool, a higher minimum wage and voting reform.

But Republicans are not going to allow that pivot. Most are unalterably opposed to all of those initiatives, and want to keep their focus on cutting domestic programs and fighting off tax increases…. Paul Ryan will soon unveil his caucus’s 2014 budget, which will start to make good on the party’s ruinous plan to balance the budget in 10 years…..

Republicans are hoping to wear down their opposition with these eternal battles. But their proposals are too dangerous to allow that to happen.

Full editorial here

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Steve Benen: Maybe you agree with Sen. Rand Paul’s civil liberties arguments; maybe you don’t. Perhaps you see him as an ideal messenger for his message; perhaps you notice that he’s a strange conspiracy theorist who talks a little too often about Hitler and believes civil liberties end when a woman wants control of her own reproductive freedoms.

….. as Paul’s allies grew throughout the day, it was hard not to wonder whether at least some of his new-found friends endorsed him on the substance or whether “Stand with Rand” had become a temporary fad on the right, driven by Republicans who were simply happy to see President Obama’s national security agenda facing criticism, even if they happen to agree with President Obama’s national security agenda.

…. There’s room for a real debate about the balance between civil liberties and national security, and if Paul helps spark that conversation, I’d be delighted. But I’ll be eager to know just how much yesterday’s spectacle changed minds and how much of it was about putting on a show.

Full post here

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Will Femia (Maddow Blog): While Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s remarks during oral arguments in the Voting Rights Act case left some of us scratching our heads about where he came up with the “perpetuation of racial entitlement” argument, Chad Flanders, an assistant professor of law at Saint Louis University School of Law, has an idea, tracing the phrase to a 1979 paper by then-professor Scalia…..

More here

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ThinkProgress: Meet 34 Corporations That Help Inflate The NRA’s Membership

….. A recent NRA promotion invited people to join at a discounted $25 rate. In addition to receiving an official membership card, a subscription to an association magazine, and free gun insurance, new members received a $25 gift card for Bass Pro Shops, making the membership essentially free.

In addition to those incentives, members of the NRA and its business alliance receive a bevy of other discounts courtesy of the Association’s corporate affiliates. National and local companies provide discounts on everything from car rentals to identity theft protection. The companies get listed on the NRA’s site as corporate partners and can promote themselves as “NRA endorsed.” And, in some cases, the NRA gets a percentage of the profits.

Among the companies are….

See here

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ThinkProgress: As the 10th anniversary of President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq approaches, the body charged with overseeing Iraq’s reconstruction has issued its final report, capping a tale of spending far too much money for very little results.

Appointed in Oct. 2004, over a year into War in Iraq, the Special Inspector-General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) was charged with being a watchdog over the use of funds provided for rebuilding the Iraqi state after the downfall of Saddam Hussein. Those reconstruction and stabilization efforts wound up costing nearly $60 billion — or about $15 million per day — with up to $10 billion of that amount wasted, according to SIGIR Stuart Bowen.

The examples provided of fraud and abuse of the system are staggering both in number and nature….

More here

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MooOOOooOOOoooorning!




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