Posts Tagged ‘his


Rise and Shine


Today (all times Eastern):

2:0: President Obama signs the bipartisan student loans bill, cutting student loan interest rates

3:0: Holds a press conference

4:15: Meets with Secretary of State John Kerry


Bloomberg: Is Obamacare Forcing You to Work Part-Time?

Here’s the next conservative argument against President Barack Obama’s health care law: It’s causing employers to shift full-time workers into part-time. Too bad it’s wrong…..

Read here




Greg Sargent: …. Republicans are caught in an Obamacare trap. They know proposing repeal while not offering a serious alternative is untenable. But when they do propose alternatives that would accomplish the popular parts of Obamacare, conservatives revolt, because they don’t want to sap the repeal-Obamacare drive of its energy and don’t want to legitimize an interventionist role for government. Which just highlights what Republicans are trying to obscure in the first place: the party is in the grip of an anti-Obamacare animus that has come unhinged from any normal policy considerations, and doesn’t envision a meaningfully constructive role for government in solving our health care problems.

Full post here



TPM: Poll: Hispanics Favor Democrats Over GOP By Big Margin

Hispanics in the United States, whether they were born in America or not, overwhelmingly favor the Democratic Party, according to new findings from Gallup released Thursday.

Fifty-seven percent of Hispanic immigrants born outside the U.S. said they identify with or lean toward the Democrats, while only a quarter gave the edge to the GOP…

…. President Barack Obama claimed a strong approval rating among all three groups of Hispanics, with majorities in each giving him high marks.

More here




NYT: House Majority Leader’s Quest to Soften G.O.P.’s Image Hits a Wall Within

Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House majority leader, has been trying for months to remake the image of the Republican Party, from one of uncompromising conservatism to something kinder and gentler.

It isn’t working so well.

On Wednesday, Republican leaders abruptly shelved one of the centerpieces of Mr. Cantor’s “Making Life Work” agenda — a bill to extend insurance coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions — in the face of a conservative revolt. Last month, legislation to streamline worker retraining programs barely squeaked through. In May, Republican leaders will try again with legislation, pitched as family-friendly, to allow employers to offer comp time or “flex time” instead of overtime. But it has little prospect for Senate passage.

So it has gone. Items that Mr. Cantor had hoped would change the Republican Party’s look, if not its priorities, have been ignored, have been greeted with yawns or have only worsened Republican divisions.

More here



Mediaite: …. actor Alec Baldwin is getting his own weekly show in MSNBC’s primetime lineup.

According to our source, the so far untitled show will air Fridays at 10 p.m. ET and will feature a large dose of Baldwin’s outspoken liberal politics.

More here



TPM: I’m sure many of you got a kick over the mini-implosion of Mitch McConnell’s reelection campaign yesterday, with his own campaign manager admitting that he thinks McConnell sucks and is only working for him to further the hopes of Rand Paul. It all ended up with this cringey-not-going-to-fix-the-damage picture of Mitch and his disser…

…. I’m coming around to the idea that Mitch McConnell could actually lose his reelection battle next year, through a mix of deep unpopularity, a tough and well financed primary challenger and a decent Democratic opponent. But …. McConnell’s problems at home make a government shutdown and a lot of other nonsense much more likely. Whether or not McConnell finally wins or loses is basically a secondary point. It’s what he’ll do trying to win from now until election day 2014…..

More here


Steve Benen: Rand Paul’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week

It’s probably safe to say Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has had better weeks. Just over the last few weeks he started to lose his cool on NPR when asked about a neo-confederate he co-authored a book with; he was caught making ridiculous boasts about his record on minority rights; and he repeated a bizarre conspiracy theory about George Stephanopoulos that’s already been debunked.

And then, after all of this, the Kentucky Republican sat down for a chat with Businessweek’s Josh Green….

More here



Steve Benen: Immigration reform’s odds improve – a little

It’s pretty easy to assume that fierce Republican opposition will doom comprehensive immigration reform. Indeed, for much of the summer, House GOP extremism on the issue has reinforced fears that the odds are poor.

But there’s been some gradual movement of late, and it’s given new hope to reform proponents.

More here



On this day…..

Aug. 9, 2011 – Pete Souza: “The President, in the process of saluting, participates in a ceremony at Dover Air Force Base for the dignified transfer of U.S. and Afghan personnel who died in Afghanistan a few days earlier. Many family members and friends of the special forces who died in this incident requested a copy of the photograph and later wrote me how much it meant to them.”




state dinner


Dinner guests:

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and her son Ned

Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory

Attorney General Eric Holder and his wife Sharon Malone

Warren Buffett and his wife Astrid

Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry, a medal of honor recipient, and his wife Ashley Petry

Sen. John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry

Sen. Charles Schumer and Iris Weinshall

Gwen Ifill and Wendell Pierce

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and his wife Katie

U.S. Congressman John Dingell and his wife Deborah

Andrew Sullivan and Aaron Tone

Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, and Shelby Bryan

Jay Carney and Claire Shipman, Senior National Correspondent for ABC

Hugh Bonneville and LuLu Williams

Golfer Rory McIlroy and guest Conor Ridge

Harvey Weinstein and Georgina Chapman

Idris Elba

George …. you know

Vice President Joe Biden with his wife Jill Biden and British Foreign Secretary William Hague



‘potus pulls another rabbit out of his hat’

Bob Cesca: The Republicans are growing a little worried about the mission they mandated to the “Super Committee” because the Obama Administration is now seeking to use that committee to pass the president’s jobs proposal.

…. what the president is asking the committee to do is to agree to even more deficit reduction, and just when I thought this administration couldn’t impress me any more with their deviousness, they pull another rabbit out of their hat.

…. In case you don’t understand – the Congressional Budget Office has scored the president’s jobs proposal as deficit-reducing beginning in 2013. This is accomplished by accounting for the closure of tax-loopholes and the revenue that will be generated by a wave of new jobs. This mean’s the “Super Committee” can include the president’s jobs proposal in their mandated mission to find over a trillion in savings over the next 10 years.

This is why the Republicans are now downplaying their expectations of the Super Committee and suggesting the committee should go small. Not big.

They’re playing catch-up to President Obama, and opposing a jobs bill and more deficit reduction at the same time may be beyond the vast, obstructionist powers of the Republicans. Their only remaining option may be to stall and do nothing…..

Full post here

Thanks Desertflower ;-)


impressive! oh…..wait

Read on:

“Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman’s presidential campaign raised $4.1 million in the nine days since he formally entered the race, though about half of the funds came from the millionaire’s own pockets, a campaign official said Thursday night. Huntsman said previously that he threw some of his own fortune into the campaign to “prime the pump” and help get it started.” (link)

So, eh, should the headline not be: “Huntsman fundraising pulls in $2 million in first nine days”?

Thanks Jovie


WSJ (May 2011): Without any fanfare, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. has taken off the table one of the chips that might have made him a formidable Republican White House hopeful right out of the gate: He will not bankroll his presidential campaign with the Huntsman fortune.

“If we were to get in the race – no self-financing,” Mr. Huntsman told reporters over the weekend in South Carolina. “Unless you can raise it legitimately, you’re not going to win.”

Thank you StR – great spot



Steve Benen: ….I can appreciate all of the reasons to take Jon Huntsman seriously as a candidate ….. but Huntsman is a moderate in an era when Republicans don’t like moderates.

Huntsman believes “health care is a right” …. He believes climate change is real and endorsed a cap-and-trade plan to address is …. He supported an individual mandate as part of health care reform … Republicans are on the opposite side of all of these issues. .. Oh, and he’s also a former member of the Obama administration who called President Obama a “remarkable leader.”

The Republican base has gone to great lengths to target so-called RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) … We’re to believe this same base will tolerate a moderate as their presidential nominee? Sure, Huntsman will start engaging in Romney-like flip-flops and try to reinvent himself. And sure, the media’s sycophantic adulation will give the guy a boost his rivals probably won’t enjoy.

But when push comes to shove, what are the chances Republican voters will nominate a former member of Obama’s team who doesn’t even want to describe himself as conservative? Strange things happen, but I’m hard pressed to imagine how anything this strange happens.

More here


According to GOPolitico, Fox News was the first to cut away from Huntsman’s ‘big’ announcement today – half way through his speech. So, they’ll treat him with as much as respect during his campaign as they do the President.


Thanks Ladyhawke


More on Huntsman at The Reid Report


Loriah just alerted me to Huntsman’s Google (Images) problem:



‘i see the sadness and worry that’s creasing his face’

…with California Air National Guard Capt. Kelly Smith during a Joining Forces event in Beverly Hills, California, June 13

Sun Times: Pool report from First Lady Michelle Obama’s Pasadena funder: About 500 people gathered on the ample lawn behind the Pasadena home of Ann and Robert Hamilton for a lunch-time fundraiser …The First Lady spoke for about 25 minutes….

Lena Kennedy, the co-chair of the event, introduced her as “the not-so-secret weapon of the President of the United States.”

…She began by recounting her husband’s journey to the White House, beginning with the moment he told her he wanted to run for President.

”I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the idea,” she said. “I still had some cynicism about politics, that was my hesitation.”

 But she said she was transformed on the campaign trail after hearing the stories of everyday Americas….

Obama then listed some of the things her husband has done in office during his first two years. “We’ve gone from an economy that was on the brink of collapse to an economy that is starting to grow again,” she said.

 She also mentioned healthcare reform, the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Act and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell…..

….The First Lady talked about the toll that his work had taken on her husband. “I see the sadness and worry that’s creasing his face,” she said.

She described his work ethic as tireless. “He reads every word, every memo, so he is better prepared than the people briefing him,” she said. “This man doesn’t take a day off.”

Obama said the next few years of campaigning would be difficult at times for the Obamas and their supporters. “It is not going to be easy, and it is going to be long,” she said. “Now more than ever we need you help to finish what we started.”


“a man of his word”


‘obama’s rivals now look like lilliputians to his gulliver’

Jonathan Freedland (The UK Guardian): Last week, when Barack Obama released his birth certificate to silence those who had long questioned his American identity, he explained that he did not normally respond to such nonsense because “you know, I’ve got other things to do”. Now we know that those “other things” included meticulous planning for an event that could well transform his presidency, reshaping both the way he is seen and the foreign policy he pursues.

… the success of the operation in Abbottabad now makes Obama’s rivals look small indeed, Lilliputians chasing wild fantasies while Gulliver deals with the things that matter. He has rendered even more laughable Donald Trump’s declaration that “I feel proud of myself” for flushing out the proof of Obama’s Hawaiian birth. The president has shown what a true achievement looks like.

For, like it or not, no trophy mattered more to American public opinion … Obama’s role in slaying the dragon may not make him a national hero, but it will take a special kind of stupidity for Republicans to question his patriotism now.

The killing in Pakistan will bury another criticism, rarely articulated explicitly: the suggestion that Obama was somehow insufficiently tough, insufficiently macho, to be America’s commander-in-chief … Crude though it may be, Obama just passed that test with flying colours of red, white and blue.

He did it, though, his own way … he avoided the crass cowboy talk that was a hallmark of the previous administration: the official statement of Saddam’s capture began with the words “We got him”. Obama’s style was, by contrast, measured and steady, recalling 9/11 and speaking movingly of the images of “that September day” that the world did not see, starting with “The empty seat at the dinner table”.

From now on Obama will be viewed slightly differently at home and abroad, his coolness understood to be unflappable and poker-faced, rather than chilly and professorial. One former foreign minister who has seen the president up close believes that Bin Laden’s scalp will lead other world leaders to conclude that, to paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, “Obama may speak softly – but he carries a big stick”…

…he has scored a valuable victory, one that lifts his own standing but also arrests the gloomy, declinist mood that has gripped some in his country, convinced that American power is on the slide. He has done in two years what his predecessor failed to do in eight. But Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” banner should stay in the White House basement: al-Qaida remains, the war in Afghanistan is not over, and there is still so much more work to do.

Full article here


stay classy, brad watson

This a clip of the interview the President did yesterday with WFAA-TV of Texas

Does this Brad Watson creature usually treat Presidents with that much disrespect and contempt, if he’s ever interviewed one before, or might he have a particular problem with President Obama?

In his (written) report on the interview (here), Watson said: “After the interview, Obama pointed out that he doesn’t like an interviewer challenging his comments. “Let me finish my answers the next time we do an interview, all right?” he said.”

You can hear the exchange at the end of the interview – where does the President say “he doesn’t like an interviewer challenging his comments”? He doesn’t. Watson speaks over the start of the exchange, in which the President says “… let me finish my… questions”, then says: “Let me finish my answers the next time we do an interview, all right?”

So, Watson lied. The President did not object to his comments being challenged, only to not being extended the courtesy of the chance to finish his answers.

But Watson lies to give the impression that the President cannot handle being ‘challenged’ by hard-hitting, truth-seeking reporters of his magnificent quality. And, as we all know, the President has soooooo little experience of being challenged. :roll:

I’m just surprised Watson didn’t ask: “Where’s your birth certificate, boy?”

You can contact the channel here or at or on 214-748-9631

There’s also an email address on the site for Watson ( but I’m not sure there’s much point in contacting him directly – it would probably get lost in the avalanche of congratulations from Teabaggers.


The President also did interviews yesterday with WRAL Raleigh (see here – thank you Donna), WTHR Indianapolis and KCNC Denver.


‘why obama is taking his time deciding what to do about Libya’

Fred Kaplan (Slate): Is President Obama dithering over Libya? In the past week or so, a diverse array of commentators — Republican hawks, the usual neocons, and some normally gun-shy Democrats, including Sen. John Kerry — has called on Obama to take action now. Some have charged Obama with queasiness or lack of principles for not charging the ramparts from the get-go. But one can imagine several very good reasons for the president’s … let’s call it caution.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have been outspokenly leery of military options. Some scoff at their hesitation, and it is true that, for the past 40 years, U.S. military leaders have tended, more than many of their civilian bosses, to warn of war’s risks. The thing is, they often do know what they’re talking about.

Take the most popular proposal on the table, the imposition of a no-fly zone over at least parts of Libya, to prevent Moammar Qaddafi’s pilots from bombing or strafing the rebels fighting for his overthrow. As Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the JCS chairman, have said, a no-fly zone is no small matter. It is, for one thing, an act of war and therefore prompts the question: Do you really want to get into this? Do you want to get into another war in another Muslim country in the Middle East?

Leon Wieseltier recently wrote in the New Republic, “I do not see a Middle East rising up in anger at the prospect of American intervention.” Oh, really. Where did we last see that degree of blitheness?

Full article here


the ease with which they lie ….. part 25,275

The Raw Story: Fox News has been making a lot of hay about one of their reporters allegedly being “punched” by a protester in Madison, Wisconsin. Turns out, that didn’t happen.

Mike Tobin, reporting from amid the massive demonstration on Friday, claimed that one of the protesters “punched” him in the arm. In another broadcast, he claimed a man threatened to break his neck.

In both cases, supporting evidence for these claims was not broadcast — yet still, Tobin’s reports have been widely cited across conservative blogs that seem eager to depict union workers as hateful and violent.

What’s worse, Tobin’s allegation that he was assaulted might have slipped past without rebuttal were it not for a camera-equipped bystander, who captured the scene.

Turns out, someone merely touched his shoulder, as evidenced in the video below. The incident he claimed was a “punch” could instead be described as a pat, at most.

More here


egyptian revolution caught president by surprise! oh yeah?

NYT: President Obama ordered his advisers last August to produce a secret report on unrest in the Arab world, which concluded that without sweeping political changes, countries from Bahrain to Yemen were ripe for popular revolt, administration officials said Wednesday.

Mr. Obama’s order, known as a Presidential Study Directive, identified likely flashpoints, most notably Egypt, and solicited proposals for how the administration could push for political change in countries with autocratic rulers who are also valuable allies of the United States, these officials said.

The 18-page classified report, they said, grapples with a problem that has bedeviled the White House’s approach toward Egypt and other countries in recent days: how to balance American strategic interests and the desire to avert broader instability against the democratic demands of the protesters.

…Officials said Mr. Obama’s support for the crowds in Tahrir Square in Cairo, even if it followed some mixed signals by his administration, reflected his belief that there was a greater risk in not pushing for changes because Arab leaders would have to resort to ever more brutal methods to keep the lid on dissent.

“There’s no question Egypt was very much on the mind of the president,” said a senior official who helped draft the report …. “You had all the unknowns created by Egypt’s succession picture — and Egypt is the anchor of the region.”

Read full article here


Let’s just look again at an extract from Niall Ferguson’s article in Newsweek:

“I can think of no more damning indictment of the administration’s strategic thinking than this: It never once considered a scenario in which Mubarak faced a popular revolt. Yet the very essence of rigorous strategic thinking is to devise such a scenario and to think through the best responses to them, preferably two or three moves ahead of actual or potential adversaries. It is only by doing these things—ranking priorities and gaming scenarios—that a coherent foreign policy can be made. The Israelis have been hard at work doing this. All the president and his NSC team seem to have done is to draft touchy-feely speeches like the one he delivered in Cairo early in his presidency.”


but, but, but: they said he was losing his base?

CBS News poll, February 15 – click for PDF here



NPR, 2006

Thank you globalcitizenlinda!









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