President Barack Obama signs the America’s Promise Summit Declaration, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. From left are, John Gomperts, President and CEO, America’s Promise Alliance, Alma Powell, Chair, America’s Promise Alliance, the president, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Harris Wofford.
President Barack Obama answers a question about the performance of the Secret Service after a signing the America’s Promise Summit Declaration, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. The president said the Secret Service does “a great job.” He says he is grateful for the “sacrifices” the service performs on his behalf and on behalf of his family.
12:20: VP Biden and President Santos Speak to the press, Bogota, Colombia (Audio only at WH Live)
The Oklahoman: President Barack Obama came to Oklahoma on Sunday to comfort grieving families, laud the work of emergency responders and offer assurances that the nation stands ready to assist with recovery from last week’s deadly tornadoes.
…. He also talked with Moore School Superintendent Suzy Pierce, Shelley Jaques-McMillin, principal of Briarwood Elementary, which also was badly damaged, and several others, including Scott Lewis, who was able to get his son, Zack, out of school and into a storm shelter in the nick of time.
“He just wanted to speak to the boy and tell him how brave he was,” Moore Mayor Glenn Lewis said. “Told us everything will be OK. And he reassured us. We told him how great FEMA was and the first responders.”
…. Afterward, the president met in private at the station for about 30 minutes with several family members of the children killed at Plaza Towers.
Republicans have tested the limits of hyperbole in attacking Obamacare. You can’t really top then-Minority Leader John Boehner warning that passage of the Affordable Care Act would be “Armageddon.” Well, we’re still here.
…. There’s no doubt that this new system that requires a health care marketplace to be set up in all 50 states will be complex and onerous to put in place — especially with Republicans purposely trying to engineer a disaster. But they’ve set expectations so low that there’s a good chance Obamacare will actually impress, especially in the blue states that are taking advantage of the landmark law.
NYT: The state of the economy is far from ideal, but some very definite positives are brewing. It’s not just that we are continuing to recover from a deep recession; we are also seeing signs that America’s long-term future may be looking up, too.
The case for optimism is hardly open-and-shut. The economy’s problems include high unemployment, mediocre productivity gains and stagnant or slow-growing earnings for most income classes. Still, let’s consider five indicators that the future is starting to brighten:
Roxanne Jones: “Thank you, Mr. President, you’re not such a bad-looking guy yourself.”
That would have been my response if I were California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who finds herself in the middle of a media dustup after President Obama introduced her as: “by far the best-looking attorney general in the country,” at a fundraiser earlier this week. Harris is a beautiful woman. She’s also super intelligent and accomplished, which the president also noted. In fact, he lauded her professional merits first. So, I say take the compliment and move on. Or, if you’re slightly embarrassed by the comment, give it back and move on. President Obama’s observation is not a major offense to women around the globe. Ridiculous flaps such as this one have always made me uncomfortable with calling myself a feminist, especially if that means I have to fly into a fit each time a man makes an awkward comment about a woman.
Clearly, the president realized in hindsight that his comment didn’t go over very well, and he has apologized. But I don’t believe an apology was necessary. It’s impossible to believe that anyone could seriously call President Obama a chauvinist over this banter between friends. No matter your politics, you will have a hard time finding a president who has included women more in his agenda. What has he done for us lately? Let me recall just a few things: Appointed two female Supreme Court justices, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Appointed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. Signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which restored worker protections against pay discrimination. The bill had failed in the Senate in 2007.
Reid Epstein: President Barack Obama’s got a volunteer army — and all their marching orders come from carefully organized paid generals back at headquarters.
Obama won two terms by harnessing a grassroots movement through a tightly controlled, top-down campaign organization. Now the group formed out of Organizing for America is now bringing that approach to Organizing for Action.
It’s what differentiates OFA from other grassroots groups, and even the Democratic National Committee: they’re combining large-dollar donations and unpaid local leaders for a carefully built, lasting structure that they believe will be just as effective in supporting the president as it was in electing him.
So far, OFA has alternated its agenda – a week on gun control, then a week on immigration, with some connection to Obama’s White House schedule. Starting next week, OFA will for the first time run concurrent national campaigns on gun control and immigration, blasting emails to supporters and holding local events
Surrounded by members of Congress, signing the Lilly Ledbetter Bill, Jan, 2009
In Defense Of Barack Obama’s Kamala Harris ‘Best Looking’ Comment
Angela Rye: I have never labeled myself as a feminist, but I wholeheartedly support the parity of the sexes particularly as it relates to justice, and fairness. The values listed are those shared very clearly by President Barack Obama—as evidenced by his words and more importantly, his actions. Let’s start with the very first piece of legislation ever signed into law by the 44th president—the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. He went on to establish the White House Council on Women and Girls. Most recently, the president signed a re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act. And remember, the president’s two appointments to the Supreme Court of the United States were also women.
The president was inspired to ensure parity in the health care system because of the challenges his motherfaced with ovarian cancer. The president lovingly called his wife the “closer” during the 2008 campaign because of the critical role she played and now, as first lady, she continues to address some of the most important policy issues of our time. The president has openly stated that his daughters have everything to do with his evolution on gay marriage. The president has a cabinet full (not just binders, but actual appointments) of women and one of his closest advisors is Valerie Jarrett, among many other key White House personnel. Needless to say, the president is influenced by women personally, professionally and politically.
Ambassador Susan Rice conducted an interview with Andrea Mitchell and she was great. She discussed North Korea, the Middle East, and Women’s Rights. She was wonderful in pushing back against Mitchell’s erroneous claims about President Obama and his white house being hostile towards women. This is a must watch interview.
For The Ideologue Left, Social Security Concern Trolling Is A Racket
The People’s View: Dejavu. Once again, both the Republican right and the inconsolable whiny Left have found common ground over just how much they hate President Obama. Neither like the president’s upcoming budget – or at least the reporting on the upcoming budget. Why not? Well, because it looks like the President is going to propose a compromise that neither side’s ideologues are going to like (surprise!).
The president’s budget, it’s being reported, will include both revenue increases by closing tax loopholes for the rich and the use of Chained CPI to calculate the cost of living adjustments under Social Security. John Boehner seems to be grasping for a drink and complaining loudly that the president is being a meanie by asking the super rich and the corporate behemoths to pay their fair share. And the Left? They can barely contain the traitor-drum:
I have explained this before. The President’s proposal would create a minimum baseline for Social Security benefits so that no one who works their whole life has to live in poverty in retirement. The minimum benefit would be above the poverty line, for the first time fulfilling the promise of Social Security to end elderly poverty and actually boosting benefits for the lowest wage workers, which the protectors of the Entitlement Status Quo are effectively against. The president’s proposal would also boost benefits at age 85, making sure the people most at risk of running out of their savings are taken care of. Let me say that again: for those in the greatest need, the president’s proposal would increase benefits.
The Left’s Math Problem: The Truth About “Cumulative” Social Security Benefits
The People’s View: Yes, yes, this will be another post on Chained CPI. But a little more dry. This is about the math. Previously, we have discussed why Chained CPI isn’t actually a cut in benefits, what different it makes in the calculations of the cost of living adjustments, and why in the context of broader reforms and progressive social investments, it’s worth doing. But what we haven’t talked about in very explicit terms is what the minor reductions in COLA will end up adding up to. The scaremongerers are very interested in exploiting this. They arevery interested in scaring people with numbers about how much they will lose.
Take the AARP’s “How much you will lose calculator,” for example. Did you know that if you are a retiree with an average $15,190 in benefit today, over the next 30 years you will lose $20,000 in benefits? Wow. Talk about catfood, right? Somebody stop that conniving bastard Obama! I mean, right?
Giving context to scary numbers: Actually, there’s a lot of funny math going on here. First, the 30-year math completely ignores that President Obama is proposing to boost benefits for the oldest beneficiaries, at age 85. But let’s play along. $20,000 out of how much? The context is to define this “cut” they are talking about with respect to currently scheduled benefits. We can use total benefits in nominal dollars under current methods of COLA. So let’s work out those numbers. Let’s use AARP’s own calculations
5:0 EST: President Obama departs West Palm Beach, Florida
7:30 EST: Arrives White House
NYT: The Obama administration is planning a decade-long scientific effort to examine the workings of the human brain and build a comprehensive map of its activity, seeking to do for the brain what the Human Genome Project did for genetics.
The project, which the administration has been looking to unveil as early as March, will include federal agencies, private foundations and teams of neuroscientists and nanoscientists in a concerted effort to advance the knowledge of the brain’s billions of neurons and gain greater insights into perception, actions and, ultimately, consciousness.
Scientists with the highest hopes for the project also see it as a way to develop the technology essential to understanding diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as to find new therapies for a variety of mental illnesses.
USA Today: Republicans were quick to rebuke the Obama administration after a third clean-energy company to receive taxpayer dollars, Ener1, filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this week.
But absent from their critique of Ener1 — which was awarded a $118.5 million grant from the Department of Energy in 2009 to expand an Indianapolis manufacturing plant — has been any mention that the electric battery manufacturer was also championed by one of the GOP’s rising stars, Gov. Mitch Daniels.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Atlantic): All parties agree that Ron Paul is not, personally, racist and that he didn’t write the (newsletters) passages …. As I’ve said before, we all must make our calculus in supporting a candidate or even claiming he is “good” for the debate. But it must be an honest calculus.
If you believe that a character who would conspire to profit off of white supremacy, anti-gay bigotry, and anti-Semitism is the best vehicle for convincing the country to end the drug war, to end our romance with interventionism, to encourage serious scrutiny of state violence, at every level, then you should be honest enough to defend that proposition.
What you should not do is claim that Ron Paul “legislated” for Martin Luther King Day, or claim to have intricate knowledge of Ron Paul’s heart, and thus by the harsh accumulation of evidence, be made to look ridiculous.
Greg Sargent: The first thing you should watch this morning is this harsh new Web video from the Obama-allied Priorities USA Action. It paints a very lurid picture of “Mitt Romney’s America,” and it provides the clearest clues yet as to what kind of campaign Obama and outside groups will run against him if he’s the nominee.
Romney’s corporate background, as well as that infamous Bain picture, get top billing, and are tied to the allegation that Romney’s policies would be a boon to corporations while decimating the middle class. Obama advisers and allies intend to paint an extremely vivid and even frightening picture of what Romney’s desire to roll back Obama’s post-Bush reforms would mean for the economy, the country, and the future. Beyond his pro-corporate policies, the feeling on the Obama team is that Romney’s corporate past is an unexplored and potentially serious liability, particularly amid the intense anti-Wall Street sentiment that seems to be on the rise…..
You know how much I hate GOPolitico and how I hold my nose when I link to it – well, I’m holding my nose again because this article is worth reading: link
Quinnipiac: President Barack Obama’s job approval rating is up, from a negative 41 – 55 percent October 5, to a split today with 47 percent approving and 49 percent disapproving in a Quinnipiac University poll released today. The president has leads of 5 to 16 percentage points over likely Republican challengers.
…. “President Obama seems to be improving in voters’ eyes almost across-the-board,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “He scores big gains among the groups with whom he has had the most problems – whites and men. Women also shift from a five-point negative to a four-point positive.
….. Obama also is looking better in matchups against potential Republican nominees:
47 – 42 percent over Romney, compared to a 46 – 42 percentlead October 5;
52 – 36 percent over Perry, up from a 45 – 44 percent tie last month;
50 – 40 percent over Cain, who was not included in a matchup last month;
52 – 37 percent over Gingrich, who was not matched last month.
Most of the local channels have posted either their full interviews with the President, or clips:
Portland – KGW, NBC, Tracy Barry
Phoenix – KSAZ, Fox, John Hook (no video yet)
Denver – KUSA, NBC, Adele Arakawa
Minneapolis – WCCO, CBS, Amelia Santaniello
Houston – KTRK, ABC, Dave Ward (no video yet)
Omaha – KETV, ABC, Rob McCartney
Tampa – WTVT, Fox, Mark Wilson
Hampton Roads – WAVY, NBC, Tom Schaad
Philadelphia – WPVI, ABC, Brian Taff
Daily Beast: ….. Dorothy Rodham’s early life was difficult, and at the age of 8, when her parents divorced, she and a younger sister were sent alone by train from Chicago to Alhambra, Calif., to live with grandparents. It was not a happy home, and at 14, she left to make her way on her own, first as a mother’s helper, then after returning to Chicago, doing clerical work. There she met Hugh Rodham, a traveling salesman eight years her senior, and after a five-year courtship, they married in 1942.
…. Dorothy Rodham was a secret Democrat …. Hugh Rodham was a staunch Republican … After Hugh Rodham died in 1993, Dorothy spent much of her time at the White House, caring for Chelsea and bucking up her daughter through a minefield of policy and personal setbacks…..
WH: In 2009, President Obama challenged the Federal Government to lead by example by becoming leaner, greener and more efficient. He asked agencies and departments to become more energy efficient, reduce waste and water use, and use its purchasing power as the largest energy consumer in the U.S. economy to support more environmentally responsible products and technologies in their operations.
The GreenGov Presidential Awards celebrate extraordinary achievement in the pursuit of President Obama’s challenge. Given in six different categories, the awards honor Federal civilian and military personnel, agency teams, agency projects and facilities, and agency programs that exemplify President Obama’s charge to lead by example toward a clean energy economy.
Meet this year’s winners and learn about the award they are receiving – here
Steve Benen: …. “Last Friday, at the swanky Barley House tavern in Concord, N.H., Rick Perry took a little jab at the Occupy Wall Street crowd, referencing an amusing quote his son had sent him from a protester occupying Toronto (see video)
…..So what’s the problem? There is no “Jeremy” – the quote Perry paraphrased appeared in a satirical piece that ran in Toronto’s Globe and Mail. The piece became a chain email, Perry’s son sent it to him, and the governor failed once again to separate fact from fiction…..
TPM: A potentially huge shoe is dropping in the Herman Cain harassment scandal: one of his accusers indicated through her lawyer on Tuesday that she wants to come forward and tell her side of the story.
Joel P. Bennett, an attorney to one of the two National Restaurant Association employees who allegedly accused Cain of sexual harassment, told the Washington Post on Tuesday that his client is currently barred from speaking by a mutual non-disparagement agreement with the organization. But he says that agreement is being violated by Cain already, who has taken to the press to slam the harassment claim as “baseless,” and that she now wants to come forward and reveal herself to set the record straight.
Daily Beast: The Tea Party Pork Binge – They brought the nation to the brink of default over spending, but a Newsweek investigation shows Tea Party lawmakers grabbing billions from the government trough. Plus, view the letters submitted by the ‘Dirty Dozen.’
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the Republican leadership’s tether to the Tea Party, flutters the hearts of the government-bashing, budget-slicing faithful with his relentless attacks on runaway federal spending. To Cantor, an $8 billion high-speed rail connecting Las Vegas to Disneyland is wasteful “pork-barrel spending” ….
But away from the cameras, Cantor sometimes pulls right up to the spending trough, including the very stimulus law he panned in public. Letters obtained by Newsweek show him pressing the Transportation Department to spend nearly $3 billion in stimulus money on a high-speed-rail project – not the one he derided in Nevada, but another in his home state….
CBS: Individuals making more than $1 million a year could see an average tax cut of more than $500,000 under Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry’s complicated tax proposal, while some taxpayers at the other end of the income spectrum would see a tax hike compared to the current tax rates, according to an analysis released Monday.
Perry’s plan would also reduce federal tax revenues by hundreds of billions of dollars, forcing the government to make dramatic spending cuts – long a goal of many conservatives pushing for a smaller federal footprint…..
ABC: While President Obama hosts a global economic summit for the first time this month, the first lady will take spouses of the world’s leaders to the valley where ABC-TV’s “Lost” and the classic ”Jurassic Park” were filmed.
When the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit opens in Hawaii Nov.12, Michelle Obama will take as many as two dozen spouses to Kualoa Ranch, where the lush vistas and remote access lured the producers of Hawaii Five-0, Magnum, Fantasy Island, the film Pearl Harbor and Karate Kid, among many others.
This is the first time President Obama has played host to such a big summit – APEC is the conference of economies that ring the Pacific Basin. He chose his home state of Hawaii for two days of meetings, centered in Honolulu.
Rich Iott, second from right, in a Nazi SS Waffen uniform
Washington Jewish Week: Notorious Nazi impersonator Richard Iott, who’s also a former GOP House candidate, donated $2,400 (the maximum amount permitted) to Rep. John Boehner earlier this year via the House speaker’s political action committee, according to recent FEC filings.
Iott came to prominence late last year when it was revealed that the one-time candidate in Ohio apparently spent his weekends prancing around in a Nazi SS Waffen uniform, reenacting battles….
…. given what we know about Iott’s pastime, should a leader like Boehner keep the contribution? …. I asked the speaker’s office for comment and was told, well, nothing ….The National Jewish Democratic Council called on Boehner to give back Iott’s money this afternoon.
Steve Benen: At an event in North Carolina yesterday, President Obama talked up the next phase in the fight over job creation. We knew Dems would start to move on individual provisions within the American Jobs Act, and yesterday, we learned which component would go first.
…. “So this week I’m going to ask members of Congress to vote on one component of the plan, which is whether we should put hundreds of thousands of teachers back in the classroom, and cops back on the street, and firefighters back to work….”
…. Why are Dems pursuing this first? It may have something to do with the idea’s overwhelming popularity – A whopping 75% supported the measure in a CNN poll …. even 63% of Republicans approve of the spending.
…. the total number of Republican lawmakers in either chamber willing to support the teachers/first responders jobs bill – or even allow a vote on the bill – is currently zero, despite overwhelming support from the American mainstream.
Greg Sargent: ‘Moderate’ Dems may break with Obama on pieces of jobs bill: With the Senate set to vote on pieces of the jobs bill, Senators Ben Nelson and Jon Tester, both of whom voted against the overall proposal, may actually vote against the $35 billion in state aid to avert teacher and first-responder layoffs.
Their objection: The tax hikes on the rich that are supported by big majorities, including among independents and moderates. As always, these “moderates” and “centrists” are not willing to support economic solutions that actually are moderate and centrist – and as a result, they may give more ammo to Republicans to claim that opposition to Obama’s proposals is “bipartisan.”
McClatchy: Even as protests over its political influence grow louder, Wall Street is one of the leading sources of money so far in the 2012 race for the White House. Not surprisingly, the biggest beneficiary has been Republican hopeful Mitt Romney…
…. Romney has attracted $7.5 million from the financial community … That’s nearly twice as much as President Barack Obama has received from it, and almost a quarter of the $32 million that Romney’s campaign has taken in overall.
…. Romney is the top recipient of campaign cash from employees of the five biggest Wall Street banks. Goldman Sachs gave the most — $352,200…. The other banks were Morgan Stanley ($184,800), Bank of America ($112,500), JP Morgan Chase & Co. ($107,250) and Citigroup Inc. ($56,550).
A spokesman for the Romney campaign could not be reached for comment.
… Obama had raised about $3.9 million in Wall Street contributions as of the end of September (just over 4 percent of his overall haul so far of $89 million, which dwarfs the GOP field).
Deaniac (The People’s View): It’s kind of funny when you think about it, but silver-pen David Sirota thinks he’s got a better grip on race than the founding director of the Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South at Tulane University, Melissa Harris-Perry.
After Professor Harris-Perry’s piece in The Nation chiding white Leftist electoral racism of double standards against a black president received acclaim and attention, Sirota, a renowned fantasy-land pretend-Leftist, decided that he was going to take on Professor Harris Perry, by being too cute by half.
Sirota’s argument, on the surface, is that the elite white Leftist class – who overlap with the Professional Left about 90% – is really mad at the president not out of some double standard they set for a black president, but on the basis of policy. Or as David calls it, policy betrayals. Clever. Because we have never seen the attempt to hide denial of race-privilege behind a thin veil of policy criticism ever before, right?
…. the first African American president is not treated with the same level of respect by the white Leftist elite, nor do his accomplishments enjoy among them the same praise had those same accomplishments come from a white president. And this part of the thesis, unfortunately, is not at all difficult to prove, either: See post for detailed examples
… The racist undertone is also present in the latent expectation that once you have elected a black president, he needs to be a magician and magically begin a utopia according to your likings …. The truth of liberal white elitism and racism is based on true observations, and is not much better than that from the Republicans: that the black guy, who’s working day and night to keep the car from slipping back into the ditch and move forward is not pushing it hard enough or the right way, and so on and so forth.