Posts Tagged ‘Giffords



03
Jul
13

This and That

President Barack Obama meets with members of his national security team to discuss the situation in Egypt, in the Situation Room of the White House, July 3 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Statement by President Barack Obama on Egypt:

As I have said since the Egyptian Revolution, the United States supports a set of core principles, including opposition to violence, protection of universal human rights, and reform that meets the legitimate aspirations of the people.  The United States does not support particular individuals or political parties, but we are committed to the democratic process and respect for the rule of law.  Since the current unrest in Egypt began, we have called on all parties to work together to address the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people, in accordance with the democratic process, and without recourse to violence or the use of force.

The United States is monitoring the very fluid situation in Egypt, and we believe that ultimately the future of Egypt can only be determined by the Egyptian people. Nevertheless, we are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsy and suspend the Egyptian constitution. I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsy and his supporters. Given today’s developments, I have also directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the Government of Egypt.

The United States continues to believe firmly that the best foundation for lasting stability in Egypt is a democratic political order with participation from all sides and all political parties —secular and religious, civilian and military. During this uncertain period, we expect the military to ensure that the rights of all Egyptian men and women are protected, including the right to peaceful assembly, due process, and free and fair trials in civilian courts.  Moreover, the goal of any political process should be a government that respects the rights of all people, majority and minority; that institutionalizes the checks and balances upon which democracy depends; and that places the interests of the people above party or faction. The voices of all those who have protested peacefully must be heard – including those who welcomed today’s developments, and those who have supported President Morsy. In the interim, I urge all sides to avoid violence and come together to ensure the lasting restoration of Egypt’s democracy.

No transition to democracy comes without difficulty, but in the end it must stay true to the will of the people. An honest, capable and representative government is what ordinary Egyptians seek and what they deserve. The longstanding partnership between the United States and Egypt is based on shared interests and values, and we will continue to work with the Egyptian people to ensure that Egypt’s transition to democracy succeeds.

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NYT: Congressional Budget Analysts Release Positive Economic Assessment of Immigration Overhaul

Congressional budget analysts on Wednesday released a positive economic assessment of the broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws that passed the Senate last week, saying that the new legislation would cut more than $800 billion from the federal deficit over the next two decades and lead to 9.6 million new legal residents in the country.

Though the Congressional Budget Office had offered in June a similar estimate of the immigration bill that was then being debated in the Senate — in a report that found the benefits of an increase in legal residents from the immigration overhaul would outweigh the costs — the new report provides an analysis of the actual bill recently passed by the Senate.

More here

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Steve Benen: Koch brothers push GOP officials to sign anti-climate pledge

The Republican Party is certainly fond of its pledges. Grover Norquist, of course, has his infamous anti-tax pledge that has interfered with federal policymaking in recent decades, and in 2011, GOP presidential candidates were pushed to endorse an anti-gay pledge from the National Organization for Marriage.

But as it turns out, there’s another pledge that’s taken root in Republican politics that’s received far less attention. The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer reports this week on the “No Climate Tax Pledge” pushed by Charles and David Koch….

More here

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Too funny….

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Atlantic Wire: The Tale of the Re-Routed Bolivian President’s Plane Is Falling Apart

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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:

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06
May
13

Rise and Shine

Two years ago: President Obama walks across the tarmac with Vice President Biden prior to departure from Fort Campbell, Ky., May 6, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

The President has no scheduled public events

12:45 Jay Carney’s press briefing

4:0: VP Biden meets with members of the faith community at the White House to discuss gun safety

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Jonathan Chait: State of the Union addresses are wearying rituals, in which stitched-together lists of never-gonna-happen goals are woven into idealistic catchphrases, analyzed as rhetoric by an unqualified panel of poetry-critic-for-a-night political reporters, quickly followed by a hapless opposition-party response, and then, in almost every case, forgotten. This year, plunked into the midst of the tedium was a gigantic revelation, almost surely the most momentous news of President Obama’s second term. “I will direct my Cabinet,” he announced, “to come up with executive actions we can take now and in the future to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”

Here was a genuine bombshell. It sounded a little vague, and the president did not explain precisely what he intended to do or how he would pull it off. But a handful of environmental wonks had a fairly strong grasp of the project he had committed himself to, and they understood that it was very, very real and very, very doable. If they were to have summarized the news, the headline would have been OBAMA TO SAVE PLANET…..

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USA Today: President Obama is turning back to the jobs issue, launching a series of “Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tours” starting Thursday with an appearance in Texas.

Obama will visit growing areas “to learn what has helped them become successful and use these models of growth to encourage Congress to act,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

On Thursday, the president opens the new effort with a tour in Austin, Texas, where he will visit a high school, and speak with leaders of the city’s high-tech industries.

More here

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Michael Tomasky: There Are No ‘Absolute’ Rights – Nearly every idea in the Bill of Rights comes with restrictions and limitations. To think that the Second Amendment should be any different is absurd

Every time I write a column on guns, the howl arises that I am talking about a right that is enshrined in the Constitution, buddy, and I better watch myself. The howl then transmutes into an extended harangue that this right is absolute, and no libtard fascist, whether me or the Satanesque Dianne Feinstein, is going to limit the right in any way.

The first soldier to charge across this rhetorical veld is followed by hundreds harrumphing their assent. The only problem is that it’s an ahistorical, afactual, and barbaric argument. No right is absolute. In fact, the Second Amendment arguably has fewer restrictions on it these days than many of the other first ten, and there is and should be no guarantee that things are going to stay that way. In fact, if we’re ever going to be serious about trying to stop this mass butchery that we endure every few months, they cannot.

More here

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VP Biden: ….. We fell short on our first effort to pass Manchin-Toomey in the Senate, but we will not be deterred by one setback. We have an obligation to make sure that the voices of victims, not the voice of the NRA, ring the loudest in this debate.

For too long, members of Congress have been afraid to vote against the wishes of the NRA, even when the vast majority of their constituents support what the NRA opposes. That fear has become such an article of faith that even in the face of evidence to the contrary, a number of senators voted against basic background checks, against a federal gun trafficking statute and against other common-sense measures because they feared a backlash.

…. In the end, I believe we will prevail. And those who wrote off gun safety legislation last month will come to realize that moment wasn’t the end at all. It was the turning point.

Full editorial here

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25
Apr
13

Rise and Shine

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Rachel Weiner: The group launched by former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, is out with its first ads criticizing senators who voted against expanded background checks for gun purchasers.

The Americans for Responsible Solutions radio spots target Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Both ads feature disappointed voters lamenting that their senator “ignored the will of the people” and opposed “common sense legislation” to “keep guns out of the hands of criminals.”

To start, it’s a buy of a couple hundred thousand dollars — not huge — but it’s a sign of what the group is planning in the wake of legislative defeat. The New Hampshire ads are running in Concord, Manchester, Keene and the Seacoast. The Kentucky ads are in Louisville and Lexington.

More here

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Melanie Hicken: GE Capital, which provides consumer financing services, had previously provided lending services to gun shops to help consumers finance firearm purchases. Earlier this year, the company sent letters to shops notifying them that the program would be terminated for future purchases.

The move was the result of “a more rigorous audit process… in light of industry changes, new legislation and tragic events that have caused widespread reexamination of policies on firearms,” GE Capital spokesman Russell Wilkerson said in an e-mail.

More here

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Reason #114,844 as to why the Obama Administration is freaking fantastic

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Jared Bernstein: Here’s a US Senator (Tom Coburn) from yesterday: “the fact is, our country is headed toward bankruptcy” (from CQ News, no link).

In fact, the fact is that this is factually incorrect.  To the contrary, according to a recent, detailed analysis by GS researchers, the budget deficit is falling faster than was expected, as the rate of spending is falling and receipts are rising.  There are, of course, growing deficits in our future, but they have everything to do with health care spending and nothing to do with bankruptcy.  Preserving current cuts–Coburn was explaining why he was blocking legislation to replace the sequester–will only make it harder to escape the current slog in which we’ve stuck for a very long time.

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Dylan Matthews: Good news for George W. Bush! His approval rating is the highest it’s been in years, just as he’s set to open his presidential library at Southern Methodist University. Forty-seven percent of Americans approve of Bush, up from 33 percent when he left office as the economy cratered.

Bad news for George W. Bush! His newfound popularity comes, as my colleague Dan Balz notes, because of “the passage of time and Bush’s relative invisibility” rather than any re-evaluation of his record. Majorities still oppose his decision to invade Iraq and disapprove of his handling of the economy.

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Jamelle Bouie: This week, George W. Bush dedicates his presidential library and re-enters public life after a long, quiet hiatus. Not that he was missed.

Most Americans have nothing but disdain for the former president. The failures of his administration—including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the bungled response to Hurricane Katrina, and the 2008 financial crisis—left him with an abysmal approval rating. And as recently as six months ago, a majority of voters viewed him as responsible for the poor economy. If, as suggested by some conservative pundits, America has graded Barack Obama on a curve, it’s almost certainly because he is still dealing with the fallout from eight years of neglect, disinterest, and incompetence.

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**Hypocrisy, thy name is GOP**

ThinkProgress: House Republicans plan to vote on a bill on Wednesday that would shift money from the portion of Obamacare that invests in prevention and use it to expand a temporary initiative that has helped individuals and families with pre-existing medical conditions obtain coverage.

More here

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Esther Yu-Hsi Lee: In the past year, housing ownership by Americans fell to 65.3 percent while ownership increased among immigrant households. But if the bipartisan immigration bill set forth by the Gang of Eight passes, that number could soon skyrocket.

The growing trend among immigrants has been to rent for a few years, then to purchase a house as a way of solidifying their American dream. While the rental market is expected to steady because of the projected upward mobility, housing ownership is expected to increase due to increased job growth. With the push for immigration reform, the ability for highly skilled immigrants to seek jobs will allow them to pay for a home, which is often viewed as the ultimate price of permanence. Immigrants make up just 16 percent of the United States population, but they are expected to make up 35.7 percent of homeowners by the year 2020.

More here

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In it’s about time news…

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Presidential Daily Schedule (All Times Eastern)

8:30AM: VP Biden receives His Majesty King Abdullah II at the Naval Observatory

11:00AM: Pres. Obama delivers remarks at the George W. Bush Presidential Center Dedication Ceremony. First Lady Michelle Obama attends. (**Network coverage begins at 10:00AM ish**)

2:00PM: VP Biden meets with gun safety advocates at the White House

3:15PM: Pres. Obama delivers remarks at Baylor University at the memorial service for the victims of the West, TX plant explosion. First Lady Michelle Obama also attends

7:10PM: Pres. Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama depart Dallas, TX enroute D.C.

9:40PM: Pres. Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive at Joint Base Andrews

9:55PM: Pres. Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive at the White House

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Random Photo From April 2012: President Barack Obama jokes with Vice President Joe Biden and Senior Advisor David Plouffe in the Outer Oval Office (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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