President Obama walks toward Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Oct. 24. The President is heading on a three-day trip to the West Coast
Reuters: President Barack Obama this week will announce a series of actions to help the economy that will not require congressional approval, including an initiative to make it easier for homeowners to refinance their mortgages, according to a White House official.
…. The first of the initiatives will be unveiled during Obama’s three-day trip to western states beginning Monday. He will discuss the changes in mortgage rules at a stop in Nevada, which has one of the hardest-hit housing markets in the country.
The Obama administration has been working with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to find ways to make it easier for borrowers to switch to cheaper loans even if they have little to no equity in their homes.
…. In Denver Wednesday, Obama will announce a student loan initiative.
“The only way we can truly attack our economic challenges is with bold, bipartisan action in Congress,” White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer told The New York Times. “The president will continue to pressure Congressional Republicans to put country before party and pass the American Jobs Act, but he believes we cannot wait, so he will act where they won’t.”
Steve Benen: It’s been about five months since the White House took the extraordinary step of unveiling President Obama’s long-form birth certificate, ending the “Birther” conspiracy theory once and for all. With the questions answered, unhinged conservatives were forced to move on to other areas of nonsense.
Well, most of them, anyway:
New comments by Rick Perry in Parade magazine have revived the issue of whether the Texas governor believes that President Obama was born in the United States.
…..I suspect all of this should, in fact, be taken at face value – he had dinner with a nutty conspiracy theorist; they chatted about Trump’s silly ideas; Perry found the nonsense persuasive; and when asked about it, the governor said what he was thinking.
There’s no 11-dimensional chess here; Perry just isn’t terribly bright.
GOPolitico: President Barack Obama has a few very funny people on his side. Will Ferrell was honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center on Sunday night, and many of the comedians on the red carpet had nothing but good things to say about the president.
Ferrell said that he “most definitely” wants Obama to win another term …. he told POLITICO that Obama has faced some unprecedented challenges. “Every president has a hard job but I think his is times ten,” Ferrell said, adding that he likes that Obama “thinks before he speaks.”
…. Obama is doing a “great job,” said Tim Meadows, another former “SNL” cast member. “It’s easy for white liberals to turn their backs on Obama,” he said, complaining that many people who used to support the president have jumped ship. “I don’t like how people are so wishy-washy,” he said.
Not in the wishy-washy category: Comedian Jack Black. “There’s a lot of haters out there, but I’m not one of them,” he said, declaring: “Obama all the way.”
Thanks Tulips & Donna Dem
Irish Central: I think now would be an appropriate time to say thank you to President Barack Obama.
In comparison to his immediate predecessor his success in bringing the world’s most wanted terrorists and dictators to justice has been nothing short of remarkable.
….. Obama has rid the world of the scourge of Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and Moammar Qaddafi. And all of this was accomplished within six months: if Obama were a Republican, they’d be commissioning bronze statues by now.
You know they won’t say it now or ever, so let’s say it for them: thank you President Obama for making the world and the United States safer.
Dallas News: As Mitt Romney campaigns for the White House, his Mexican cousins and supporters in this Mormon community would like to weigh in on some of the most contentious issues of the campaign: immigration, border security and religion.
Romney has more than 20 distant relatives going back three generations and a legion of supporters living in this region where his father, George, was born – a sanctuary colony in the northern state of Chihuahua originally established by polygamists from Utah led by Mitt Romney’s great-grandfather Miles Park Romney. Mitt Romney has never set foot in the region, his relatives say, but they are closely following the campaign for the Republican nomination, sometimes a bit uncomfortably.
For one thing, Romney has said that, if elected, he’d deport illegal immigrants within 90 days, build a border fence and have enough guards to secure it … These are positions with which the Romneys south of the border don’t entirely agree.
“Let’s get real. Sealing the border is a joke, it’s senseless,” said Brandon Romney, 33, a chili farmer and the local football coach….
…. Cousin Michael Romney … is “pretty sure” he will support Mitt Romney but wants to first understand his economic plan and vision for Mexico. “I don’t really understand what his policy is,” he said. “Addressing illegal immigration and Mexico have to be top priorities.”
….Mitt Romney, as the son of an American born in Mexico, is entitled to dual citizenship under Mexican law.
…. “I certainly hope his father’s Mexican background would be a positive sign for better relations and a deeper understanding of issues between the United States and Mexico,” said Jeffrey Jones, a Mormon and former Mexican senator. “I’m disappointed that we haven’t seen that side of Mitt Romney. We need solutions by working together because the United States needs Mexico very seriously and Mexico needs the United States badly.”
President Barack Obama greets the 2011 Presidential Citizens Medal recipients in the Blue Room of the White House prior to a medal ceremony in the East Room, Oct. 20. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
9:30 AM President Obama signs the Korea, Panama, Colombia Free Trade Agreements and the renewal of Trade Adjustment Assistance for workers
10:30 The President attends a reception in the Rose Garden
2:30 The President honors recipients of the 2010 National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation
Andrew Sullivan: To rid the world of Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and Moammar Qaddafi within six months: if Obama were a Republican, he’d be on Mount Rushmore by now.
Ian Swanson (The Hill): Obama stands tall after the demise of Libyan strongman Gadhafi
The death of Moammar Gadhafi represents another major foreign policy victory for President Obama, who backed a months-long air campaign in Libya while facing criticism from the left and the right.
Obama stared down congressional skeptics across the political spectrum … Through it all, Obama kept his resolve.
…. On Thursday he basked in the second greatest foreign policy triumph of his administration, after the successful operation this spring that killed Osama bin Laden. Gadhafi’s death comes less than a month after the U.S. drone strike killed al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.
…. For the unwavering Obama, Thursday came the big payoff as Gadhafi’s hopes for returning to power ended in a field outside his hometown of Sirte.
…. Obama entered the Oval Office as a novice on the international stage, criticized for a naïve outlook on the world.
…. three years into his term, both the bin Laden and Libya events suggest Obama can be steely in making decisions about U.S. force, and in sticking with them.
Washington Post: Marco Rubio’s compelling family story embellishes facts, documents show
During his rise to political prominence, Sen. Marco Rubio frequently repeated a compelling version of his family’s history that had special resonance in South Florida. He was the “son of exiles,” he told audiences, Cuban Americans forced off their beloved island after “a thug,” Fidel Castro, took power.
But a review of documents – including naturalization papers and other official records – reveals that the Florida Republican’s account embellishes the facts. The documents show that Rubio’s parents came to the United States and were admitted for permanent residence more than 2 and a half years before Castro’s forces overthrew the Cuban government and took power on New Year’s Day 1959.
The supposed flight of Rubio’s parents has been at the core of the young senator’s political identity …. he mentions his parents in the second sentence of the official biography on his Senate Web site. It says that Mario and Oriales Rubio “came to America following Fidel Castro’s takeover.”….
The real story of his parents’ migration appears to be a more conventional immigrant narrative, a couple who came to the United States seeking a better life. In the year they arrived in Florida, the future Marxist dictator was in Mexico plotting a quixotic return to Cuba.
Michael Tomasky (Daily Beast): The economy needs help. The Democrats’ proposals are popular. And yet they’re dying in Congress. Why? Because the GOP hates Obama more than it loves America.
Maybe as early as Thursday night, the Senate will take its first vote on one bite-size piece of President Obama’s jobs bill, a $35 billion measure to fund the hiring of 400,000 teachers and a smaller number of cops and firefighters. It will fail. As usual not a single Republican will vote for it….
…. The Republican Party’s posture to the American people is this. Your opinion on issues like teachers and taxes doesn’t matter a whit to us … if you keep that man in the White House, we will block everything he and you want. Everything. And nothing will happen in this town for those next four years. The Republicans can’t say any of this, of course, but they don’t have to. People get it. It just sort of seeps out of them, like oil from a polluted stream.
I have trouble keeping lunch down when I read these jeremiads about how sad and mysterious it is that our institutions of government are failing. It’s not a mystery. One side wants them to fail. And there’s very little the other side can do about it, besides point it out, which the president has started doing – and now he’s the one being divisive! They’ve turned the world inside out.
LA Times: Republican-led opposition in the Senate blocked a key element of President Obama’s jobs plan – a proposal to send $35 billion to cash-strapped states to keep public school teachers, police and firefighters on the job.
The Senate voted 50-50 late Thursday, falling short of the 60 votes needed to advance. Polls have shown the proposal is among the most popular flanks of Obama’s jobs initiative.
President Obama shakes hands with Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) after he signed the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, October 8, 2010
The Hill: Democrats Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.), who voted last week to block Obama’s full jobs measure, again sided with Republicans.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), an independent who caucuses with Democrats, also said no, citing concerns about the legislation’s cost effectiveness.