Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny came to Washington bearing a few special gifts for President Barack Obama.
Among them, an official certificate of Irish heritage. “These are rare, as rare as the man himself,” Kenny said, presenting the document to Obama at a White House reception.
The president, without missing a beat, said: “This will have a special place of honor, alongside my birth certificate.”
First Lady Michelle Obama gestures as she pretends to pour a pint of beer alongside Fionnuala Kenny
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley performs with his Celtic rock band O’Malley’s March during a St. Patrick’s Day Reception at the White House
President Barack Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, and others applaud as Enda Kenny, Taoiseach of Ireland, is introduced during a St. Patrick’s Day lunch at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 20, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama visits the Dubliner, an Irish pub in Washington, D.C., with his Irish cousin, Henry Healy, center, and Ollie Hayes, a pub owner in Moneygall, Ireland, on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama celebrates St. Patrick’s Day at the Dubliner Irish pub in Washington, March 17
Robert Shrum (The Week): The GOP’s desperate hunt for anyone but Mitt Romney – Herman Cain unravels. Rick Perry stumbles. And Republicans keep praying that someone will rescue them from the flip-flopping Romney.
… Maybe tea is a hallucinogen; maybe the GOP is demented – and it will nominate him (Cain) anyway. If that happened, it’s certain that President Obama would win by even more then he did in 2008.
….. He’s the latest in a procession of preposterous Republican candidates who have soared across the party’s firmament … The GOP’s primary voters have been relentlessly looking for Mr. Un-Romney…..
Alan Krueger (White House): Today’s employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, but the pace of improvement is not fast enough.
Private sector payrolls increased by 104,000, and overall payroll employment rose by 80,000 in October. The unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage point to 9.0 percent, a level that remains unacceptably high.
Despite adverse shocks that have created headwinds for economic growth, the economy has added private sector jobs for 20 straight months, for a total of 2.8 million jobs over that period. We need faster economic growth to put more Americans back to work. Today’s report provides further evidence for why it is so important that Congress pass the President’s American Jobs Act ….
Timothy Egan (NYT): For a Republican Party that has spent the better part of its presidential campaign proving that most of its candidates are not smarter than a fifth grader, the real scandal around frontrunner-of-the-moment Herman Cain is not what he knows. It’s what he doesn’t know.
…. China, said Cain with his clueless urgency, is “trying to develop nuclear capability.” Anyone who is gobsmacked by this category five level of ignorance concerning a country that has had nuclear weapons for more than 45 years has not been paying attention. Cain makes Sarah Palin, with her eagle-eyed view of Russia from Alaska, sound like a Council of Foreign Relations scholar on a gasbag high.
The clowns have finally taken over the circus, and I mean this with all due respect to those who labor with painted faces and oversized shoes…..
Steve Benen: On the Senate floor yesterday afternoon, Senate Republicans killed a popular jobs bill, despite the fact that a majority of senators supported the legislation. But the public’s understanding of what transpired will be shaped by the media’s coverage…..
…. CNN’s headline, at least online, read, “Competing infrastructure spending measures fail in Senate.” Here’s the lede: “In a pair of votes aimed more at making political points than law, the Senate rejected competing Democratic and Republican proposals to boost construction of roadways and other infrastructure projects.”….
Politico’s report was even worse. The headline read, “Senate gridlock: Both parties block jobs bills.” And check out the lede: “Rival Democratic and Republican jobs bills failed in the Senate on Thursday, the latest sign of the partisan gridlock gripping Washington…..”.
No, no, a thousand times, no. This just isn’t what happened…..
Remember that deadline we kept emailing you about a couple weeks ago? Here’s what you should know about what we’ll report to the FEC tomorrow:
– In the third fundraising quarter of this year, 606,027 people donated to this campaign – even more than gave in the record-breaking previous quarter.
– Those people gave more than 766,000 total donations – 98 percent of them $250 or less, at an average amount of $56. That’s more than twice as many donations than we had at this point in the historic 2008 campaign.
– Together, Obama for America and the DNC raised more than $70 million. And it all happened during a summer when the President was focused on doing the job he was elected to do – a summer when we had to cancel a series of fundraising events and ask everyone to dig a little deeper.
If I could sum up this last quarter in a few words: Supporters like you came through.
Here’s even bigger news: Right now, 982,967 people have donated to this campaign. We’re within striking distance of 1 million donors.
…. Thanks for all you did to get us here. I’m excited for what’s ahead, and I hope you’ll take part in the push to 1 million grassroots donors today.
Match someone’s pledge, double your impact, and become part of the first million today:
President Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak shake hands during their joint news conference in the East Room at the White House
NYT Editorial: It was all predicted, but the unanimous decision by Senate Republicans on Tuesday to filibuster and thus kill President Obama’s jobs bill was still a breathtaking act of economic vandalism. There are 14 million people out of work, wages are falling, poverty is rising, and a second recession may be blowing in, but not a single Republican would even allow debate on a sound plan to cut middle-class taxes and increase public-works spending.
…. The Republicans offer no actual economic plans, only tired slogans about cutting regulations and spending, and ending health care reform…. Their lack of serious ideas was on full display in both the Senate and the presidential debate on Tuesday night in New Hampshire. The debate was ostensibly about the economy, but when the freshest and most-talked-about idea is Herman Cain’s ridiculous “9-9-9” tax plan, it is clear that the economy they were debating is not the one Americans are forced to live in…..
The other candidates were no less vacuous. Mitt Romney offered an ash heap of used ideas … Rick Perry, when he could be stirred to speak, vowed to somehow put 1.2 million people to work in the energy industry, as if the whole country were Texas and drills could pop up on every block.
Republican candidates fear the Tea Party too much to acknowledge that economists are solidly behind government intervention to awaken growth …. But at least the record is increasingly clear who is advocating real ideas and who is selling an empty vessel.
First Lady Michelle Obama and South Korea’s First Lady Kim Yoon-Ok arrive to watch a musical performance during a visit to Annandale High School
Greg Sargent: The public really likes the Obama jobs policies that the GOP blocked: The internals of the NBC/WSJ poll are now up online. Check out this bit:
The jobs bill would cut the payroll tax rate, fund new road construction, continue to extend unemployment benefits, and give tax credits to companies who hire and train long-term unemployed workers. The plan would be paid for by increasing taxes on the wealthy and increasing taxes on businesses by closing some corporate tax loopholes. Do you favor or oppose this plan?
The Herald (Ireland): The eighth cousin of Barack Obama has received a personalised present from the US President – as a thank you for the reception on his visit to Moneygall.
Henry Healy, affectionately known as ‘Henry the Eighth’, was given a leather-bound notebook – with the Presidential seal and signatures of Obama and his wife Michelle – by US embassy staff last week.
The accountant met Obama when he visited Moneygall, his ancestral Irish home, on his trip here in May.
A delighted Henry said: “The embassy staff brought it down to me last week. I’ll be keeping it and I won’t be writing in it. I still even have the wrapping paper it came in and it’s something I’ll treasure for many years to come.”
Moneygall publican Ollie Hayes received two silver goblets from the President, as well as gold cufflinks from the US advance team.
Henry also celebrated Independence Day in style yesterday, when he was invited to the US Ambassador’s residence to join in the celebrations there.
Washington Post: CNN’s senior White House correspondent Ed Henry has jumped ship and is now chief White House correspondent for Fox News Channel.
Henry’s hiring is part of additional changes in FNC’s Washington bureau, the cable news network announced Monday. Wendell Goler and Mike Emanuel, who had shared White House responsibilities, have received new assignments.
…Henry’s move is the latest defection of on-air talent from CNN to FNC since January; that’s when John Roberts, who was at the time the latest in a revolving door of CNN “American Morning” co-anchors to be removed from the gig, joined FNC as a national correspondent.