President Obama steps off Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base upon his return from Afghanistan
President Obama, standing with Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes and Communication Director Dan Pfeiffer, sings “Happy Birthday” in the press cabin on Air Force One as it flies back to Andrews Air Force Base
President Obama arrives at the White House from a summit with leaders from the Americas in Colombia, early Monday, April 16
Buzzfeed: Former Governor Mitt Romney is already offering top donors access to a special “Presidential Inaugural retreat,” planned on the assumption that he will be elected president this November.
The offer, in a fundraising email circulated by a top Georgia supporter to fellow Republicans and obtained by BuzzFeed, is one of several goodies offered to those who contribute more than $50,000 to the joint fundraising committee known as “Romney Victory”….
Those donors will be named “Founding Members” of Romney Victory and invited to a California retreat with Romney and offered “yet to be determined access at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August.”
They will also “have preferred status at the first Presidential Inaugural retreat,” the email says.
A visitor pretends to talk on a phone alongside a wax figure of US President Barack Obama on the opening day of the new Madame Tussauds exhibition in Sydney on April 16
ET: The rivalry continues! First Lady Michelle Obama and Ellen DeGeneres continued their playful trash talking after their highly publicized push-up contest.
….. Their lighthearted back-and-forth took place via satellite, as the First Lady sat in an audience of 600 military families and their daughters in Jacksonville, Florida while Ellen reached them from her studio in Burbank, California.
…. You can see their entire exchange on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Monday, April 16. Check your local listings.
James Fallows (The Atlantic): … but then he gets a chance to sing at the White House tonight, doing Sweet Home Chicago with Mick Jagger and also B.B. King?? Jeesh, talk about being the most powerful man in the world.
…. The guy does have a charm that is hard to imagine the Santorums or Romneys ever matching …. for extra enjoyment check out the shots of White House chief of staff Jacob Lew bopping in the background. A real hep cat, for sure!
AP: A surging Rick Santorum is running even with Mitt Romney atop the Republican presidential field, but neither candidate is faring well against President Barack Obama eight months before Americans vote, a new survey shows.
Obama tops 50 percent support when matched against each of the four GOP candidates and holds a significant lead over each of them, according to the Associated Press-GfK poll….
….. Obama holds an 8-point lead over Romney, 9 points over Santorum and 10 points over Gingrich or Paul…. Notably, the survey showed the president dominating among independents, a group central to Obama’s 2008 victory, whose support for him had faltered in recent months. According to the poll, 6 in 10 independents would choose Obama over any of the Republicans.
Marquette: President Barack Obama leads each of his Republican rivals in Wisconsin, according to the new Marquette Law School Poll. Obama leads former Senator Rick Santorum 51 percent to 40 percent and leads former governor Mitt Romney by 53 percent to 38 percent. In January, Obama’s lead over Romney was 48 percent to 40 percent. The president holds a 52 percent to 36 percent lead over Rep. Ron Paul and a 56 percent to 33 percent margin over former Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Charles Pierce: It should be A Very Special Episode, this Wednesday night’s season finale of the 1,329,465,771.5 Republican debates. They should invite the whole cast back, all the people who left the show for their own spinoffs, the way they brought Rhoda and Phyllis back when Mary Richards got fired at WJM. Look, here’s Herman Cain, and there’s Michele Bachmann, and there’s Rick Perry, stumbling and falling into the potato salad. And there’s the formerly invisible Jon Huntsman. Who knew he was so tall?
Steve Benen: Last week, the House Oversight Committee, led by Chairman Darrell Issa, held a one-sided hearing on contraception access, featuring an opening panel of five conservative men – and no one else. Democrats on the committee had invited a witness, Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, but Issa refused to allow her to participate.
House Dems aren’t taking “no” for an answer …. Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday that a Democratic panel will meet this week to hear testimony from just one witness: Sandra Fluke….
…. There was, however, an unexpected twist yesterday afternoon … the Republican-controlled Committee on House Administration has refused to allow the hearing to be televised ….. what is it, exactly, about Fluke’s perspective that has Republicans so concerned? The law student wants to share the story of a classmate who lost an ovary due to an ailment that could have been treated with birth control.
Today Pauline Beck will be at the White House to watch as President Obama announces proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that will affect home healthcare workers like herself. Today’s event has special significance for Pauline, because it was the day then-Senator Obama spent “in her shoes” that informed him of the important work these Americans do and the need to level the playing field so they are fairly compensated for their efforts. Take a minute to watch the video and learn her story..
Steve Benen: ….. “It’s safe to say Speaker John Boehner does not agree with President Obama’s suggestion on Tuesday that Americans are better off now than they were when he took office. “Are you kidding me?!” Boehner said loudly in response to a reporter’s question on the comment.”
…. Obviously, national conditions aren’t close to where they need to be. …. Maybe, if guys like Boehner would start passing jobs bills and stop holding the economy back on purpose, the public would start to feel like the country is on the right track again.
But for those who take reality seriously, there’s no real question as to whether the country is better off now than in January 2009:
Then the nation was hemorrhaging jobs; now it’s gaining jobs.
Then the economy was shrinking; now the economy is growing.
Then the American automotive industry was on the verge of collapse; now it’s starting to thrive.
Then taxpayers were sending money to Wall Street; now taxpayers are being paid back.
Then Osama bin Laden was targeting Americans and our allies; now he’s dead and al Qaeda’s leadership has been decimated.
Then U.S. troops were headed into the Middle East in greater numbers; now they’re headed home with their heads held high.
Republicans, including John Boehner, drove the United States into a pretty deep ditch during the Bush/Cheney era, and conditions are still pretty ugly. That doesn’t change the simple fact that the nation is much stronger now than the day the president was inaugurated ….
AP: A third former employee considered filing a workplace complaint against Herman Cain over what she deemed aggressive and unwanted behavior when she and Cain, now a Republican presidential candidate, worked together during the late 1990s, the woman told The Associated Press on Wednesday. She said the behavior included a private invitation to his corporate apartment.
The woman said he made sexually suggestive remarks or gestures about the same time that two co-workers had settled separate harassment complaints against Cain, who was then the head of the National Restaurant Association.
Washington Post: Car buyers were out in force in October, snapping up trucks and SUVs and taking advantage of deals on Japanese cars.
U.S. car and truck sales were expected to top 1 million in October, a surprising number for a month when sales are usually slow. When adjusted for seasonal factors, that would be the best pace since the Cash for Clunkers program in August 2009.
Mediaite: In a Quinnipiac poll taken Oct. 25-31, embattled GOP juggernaut Herman Cain continued to show amazing staying power …. (but) The real news from this poll, taken before most of the fallout from Politico‘s alleged sexual harassment expose, might be that some rays of sunshine are finally hitting President Obama.
….. President Obama gained six points on his approval rating … and is now beating all Republican challengers by margins of 5-16 points. The President has seen steady progress in the polls since rolling out his American Jobs Act in September, taking it on the road, and taking the fight to the Republicans who oppose it.
Elsewhere in the poll, Democrats opened up a lead on the generic House ballot, beating Republicans 42-36, after tying them at 39 in October.
AP: Michelle Obama has presented national arts and humanities awards to 12 community-based, after-school programs, including for at-risk kids.
The programs use dance, theater, writing, music, history and other art mediums to inspire teen moms and other young people and help them reach their potential. The first lady said at a White House ceremony Wednesday that the programs show that the arts are a lifeline – not a luxury – for many of these kids.
Most of the participants graduate from high school or earn a GED and go on to college.
The 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards are presented on behalf of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in partnership with three national cultural agencies.
U.S. soldiers begin their journey home from Iraq at the al-Asad Air Base, west of Baghdad, on November 1. President Barack Obama announced on Oct. 21 that American troops would fully withdraw from Iraq by year-end.
KTRK’s Dave Ward with Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood at the White House
The President was interviewed by these local channels today:
Portland – KGW, NBC, Tracy Barr
Phoenix – KSAZ, Fox, John Hook
Denver – KUSA, NBC, Adele Arakawa
Minneapolis – WCCO, CBS, Amelia Santaniello
Houston – KTRK, ABC, Dave Ward
Omaha – KETV, ABC, Rob McCartney
Tampa – WTVT, Fox, Mark Wilson
Hampton Roads – WAVY, NBC, Tom Schaad
Philadelphia – WPVI, ABC, Brian Taff
President Barack Obama signs a proclamation to designate Ft. Monroe, in Hampton, Virginia, a National Monument, in the Oval Office, November 1. The President was joined by, from left to right, Mayor Molly Ward, Hampton, VA, Secretary Ken Salazar, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Lacy Ward, Jr. Director, Robert Russa Moton Museum, Farmville, VA
From 2004 and 2006, posted by American Bridge on YouTube today:
February 2009: Vice President Joseph Biden shares a moment with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mother Dorothy Rodham during a ceremonial swearing-in for Sec. Clinton at the State Department
Asked about the death of Hillary Clinton’s mother today, President Obama called her “a strong, determined, gifted person”. “For her to have lived the life that she did and to see her daughter succeed in the pinnacle of public service in this country, I’m sure was deeply satisfying to her.”
President Obama speaks about the passing of Dorothy Rodham, November 1
Thanks Ladyhawke – PCTC just gets better and better, it’s completey brilliant
KGO: Scott Olsen, the 25-year-old Iraq war veteran who was injured by a projectile during Tuesday’s “Occupy Oakland” demonstration, remains in fair condition.
On Saturday, a spokesperson for Highland Hospital said Olsen … had been transferred to another undisclosed hospital.
The spokesperson also said documentary filmmaker Michael Moore tried to visit Olsen on Saturday. The hospital said the family has asked for Olsen’s privacy and asked Moore not to try to visit Olsen and the hospital again.
“We have a very, very polite message to Mr. Moore: Mr. Olsen is not here,” the hospital spokesperson said, “and if you do find out where he is, the Olsen family doesn’t want you to come there either.”
As BWD put it on Twitter, what a “disgusting opportunist” Moore is. What on earth made him think that the Olsen family would want him at Scott’s bedside? Especially after they had asked for privacy? Oh boy, I used to love Michael Moore….