Posts Tagged ‘hook

16
Dec
13

Rise and Shine

On This Day – Pete Souza: “Two days after the shootings at Newtown, the President traveled to Connecticut to meet with the victims’ families and give remarks at a prayer vigil. The President spent hours greeting family members. Difficult as that was for everyone, the one moment that helped sooth the pain was when he posed for a photo with the siblings and cousins of Emilie Parker, one of the 20 children who died that day in Newtown. I see both sadness and hope in this photograph, and I know after a lot of tears that day, it meant so much to the President that everyone was able to smile for a moment in this family photo. Thanks to the Parker family for allowing us to show this photograph publicly.” Dec. 16, 2012

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Today (all times Eastern):

1:0: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

2:0: First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington

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Michael Tomasky: Why Obama’s Haters Are Worse Than Bush’s

The left’s critics of the Bush presidency are no match to today’s paranoid right, as this week’s insane innuendo – from the Hawaii plane crash to The Handshake – perfectly illustrates.

Permit me to share with you my favorite set of headlines from Thursday.

USA Today: Official who OK’d Obama birth papers dies in crash.

NPR: Hawaiian Official Who Released Obama’s Birth Certificate Dies in Plane Crash.

NBC News: Health care director who approved Obama birth certificate dies in plane crash.

And finally, National Review, and note the difference, which rests in just one word, but what a word it is: Official Who Released Obama’s Birth Certificate Dies in Mysterious Plane Crash.

Ah, of course. “Mysterious.” Well, I mean, it had to be, didn’t it?

More here

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Real tweet:

ThinkProgress

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Steve Benen: Why there’s no Republican health care plan

Where’s the Republican alternative to the Affordable Care Act? The question is generally best suited for milk cartons – it’s pretty clear GOP officials would love to “repeal” the federal health care law, but we’ve been waiting for years to know what they’d “replace” it with.

…. As for why Republicans have no rival plan, there’s no great mystery. Every credible, effective solution requires some combination of regulating the private insurance market and investing in broader coverage for consumers. There’s just no way around that, and as a result, GOP officials are left with an ideological hurdle they simply cannot clear.

And so Republicans spin their wheels, condemning a policy that they used to like – remember, the basic ACA blueprint was a conservative approach to health care reform – while pretending to have an alternative they can’t identify in earnest.

Full post here

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Crooks and Liars: When Will CNN Start Being Honest About The ACA?

Another Sunday full of talking heads concerning their empty little selves with how Politifact’s ridiculous Lie of the Year determination might hurt Democrats.

…. If only Politifact had been around when George W. Bush was lying to us about Iraq and WMD. Maybe we could have saved thousands of lives by opposing that war before they sent troops into that godforsaken place for no specific purpose other than settling the score and Dubya’s Daddy issues.

Meanwhile, our panelists completely ignore the true liars in Politifact’s lie of the year: Insurers. Once again, I urge them to read the transcript of an actual telephone call which took place in 2010 luring an insured in a grandfathered plan out of that plan and into one that wasn’t grandfathered.

More here

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ThinkProgress: Newtown Victim’s Sister: ‘It Only Takes 90 Seconds’ To Do A Background Check

One year ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a 27-year-old teacher, Victoria Leigh Soto, threw herself between her first graders and Adam Lanza, taking the bullets he meant for them. A photograph of her younger sister, Carlee, receiving the news of Vicki’s death on her cell phone quickly became a symbol of national heartbreak over the shooting.

On this week’s Fox News Sunday, Carlee Soto, 21, spoke with host Chris Wallace about that day and her newfound advocacy on gun violence. Soto expressed her frustration with the Senate’s failure to pass bipartisan background check legislation in April…

More here

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A Year Ago Today:

Pete Souza: “The President works on his Newtown speech at an auditorium in suburban Washington. Two days earlier, I had photographed him when John Brennan first briefed him on the shootings. Throughout that day, he reacted as we all did, which people witnessed when he delivered his statement a few hours later. Before we headed to Newtown for the Sunday night vigil, he went to watch his daughter Sasha, 11, at her rehearsal for the Nutcracker; he would be unable to attend her performance because of the trip to Newtown. During breaks in the rehearsal, he worked on his speech. His expression in this photograph may be subtle to the viewer, but not to me. There is emotion and resolve etched on his face, and he knew the importance of this speech for the nation.” Dec. 16, 2012

Eknoor Kaur, 3, stands with her father Guramril Singh during a candlelight vigil outside Newtown High School before an interfaith vigil with President Obama, Dec. 16

Members of the Sikh community hold a candlelight vigil outside Newtown high school

President Obama holding the granddaughter of Dawn Hochstrung, the Sandy Hook Elementary School principal who died in the shootings. Dec 16, 2012

“My mom would be SO proud to see President Obama holding her granddaughter” (@Chass63)

President Obama with Robbie Parker, father of Emilie, one of the 20 children who died in Newtown

President Obama attends a Sandy Hook interfaith vigil at Newtown High School, Dec. 16, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

People hold hands in a bar near Sandy Hook Elementary School as President Obama speaks in Newtown

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ThinkProgress: How Newtown Transformed Gun Activism

In the year since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, the American gun debate was thrust into the center of the national conversation. The horrific shooting, which left 20 children and 6 adults dead, galvanized both advocates and opponents of stricter gun regulation. 2013 saw a slew of new gun laws in virtually every state; 29 states weakened gun restrictions while 21 others and DC strengthened them. Even after a widely popular bipartisan bill to expand background checks on gun sales failed in the Senate, Newtown continues to shape the way Americans think about guns — and the way activists talk to them.

Below is a rundown of where gun activists stand one year after Newtown…

More here

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On This Day:

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers toys donated by White House staff to the Marine Corps Base Quantico Toys for Tots Campaign warehouse in Stafford, Va., Dec. 16, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

The White House and the National Christmas Tree are illuminated at dusk in Washington, D.C., Dec. 16, 2009. (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Pete Souza: “This is a photograph I’d been trying unsuccessfully to make for some time. This is looking in the back windows of the Oval Office, an unusual vantage point that only I have access to. I wanted to shoot it at dusk, so there was still a little of light remaining in the sky. He was seated at the desk for most of the call, so I waited a long time hoping he would stand up so I could see him more clearly.” Dec. 16, 2009

First Lady Michelle Obama carries a bag of toys donated by Executive Office staffers into a Toys for Tots event at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling on Dec. 16, 2011

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers toys and gifts donated by White House staff to the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots campaign at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., Dec. 16, 2011 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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MoooOOOooorning Everyone!

14
Dec
13

Remembering

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@PeteSouza

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14
Dec
13

Early Bird Chat

Morning everyone.

12
Dec
13

Rise and Shine

On This Day: A Christmas tree frames President Obama as he talks on the phone in the Oval Office, Dec. 12, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today (all times Eastern):

12:45: Jay Carney briefs the press

7:15: VP Biden delivers remarks at U.S. Global Leadership Coalition Annual Tribute Dinner

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@WhiteHouse: Holiday lights in the Rose Garden

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Steve Benen: Obamacare enrollment soars in November

About a month ago, the Obama administration released its enrollment totals for the Affordable Care Act, offering data that covered just the first month of the open-enrollment period. Given the systemic problems with healthcare.gov, the figures were expected to fall far short of projections, and they did – 106,185 consumers signed up for health insurance through an exchange in October, and only about a quarter of that total signed up by way of the federal marketplace.

The totals were vastly improved in November …. Note that the enrollment totals do not include 1.9 million Americans who have not yet selected a plan, but who’ve gone through the eligibility process. Also note, these totals include the period before the darn website got fixed.

….Whether the right wants to admit it or not, I can think of about 1.2 million reasons – and growing – why the Affordable Care Act isn’t going away.

Full post here

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Brian Beutler: How to tell which Republicans care about their constituents’ health

A new moral dilemma: Now that Healthcare.gov is working, some Republicans have a moral quandary to consider

…. Healthcare.gov is now working well enough to sign up tens of thousands of people a day. The improvement is both anecdotal and rooted in data. The administration, its allies, and insurance companies are now stepping up enrollment campaigns that were put on ice in October and November. Thousands of people whose insurers canceled their coverage, or who got stuck on Healthcare.gov last month, are now relieved to find reasonable options available on the federal exchange ahead of the Dec. 23 deadline to sign up for coverage that begins Jan. 1.

…. But if the big story is the turning tide of Healthcare.gov, the corollary is that committee Democrats don’t have to sit around playing defense against GOP attacks. They can attempt to reorient the debate around Republican efforts to discourage enrollment — particularly now that their constituents can, for the most part, actually access the law’s benefits.

Full post here

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David Ignatius: Obama’s relentlessly pragmatic diplomacy

This has been a year when America re-embraced diplomacy after a frustrating decade of war, displaying a relentlessly pragmatic approach that recalls the days of such deal-making secretaries of state as Henry Kissinger and James A. Baker III.

The secret diplomatic machinations have been dizzying, and sometimes disorienting. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have opened doors and created opportunities for settling intractable conflicts…..

The Iran nuclear agreement was the most striking example of the willingness to engage former adversaries…..

Israelis I talked to afterward were impressed (if not always convinced) by the dry, precise clarity of Obama’s argument for testing the Iranians

More here

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The People’s View:  As Usual, Liberals Attacking Budget Deal Miss the Long Game

Yesterday, Paul Ryan and Patty Murray announced a budget deal that eases up on the dumb sequestration, meets the House and Senate budget numbers in the middle, raises minimal revenue and avoids another government shutdown. And right on cue, ideologues on the Right and Left have begun to pounce at any hint of compromise.

John Boehner is taking flack from – and lashing out at – the right wing of activists who are incensed at the fact that House Republicans would strike any deal at all that could win President Obama’s blessing, even a qualified one. Groups like Heritage Action and Americans for Prosperity (hmm… they seem to have a funding source in common) are lobbying Republicans to scuttle the deal, crying foul at the GOP’s agreement of $45 billion in higher spending than their previous position.

But if the Right wing fanatics are good at whipping up the Republican party into a frenzy, our own ideologues have also been honing their skills of whining and short-sightedness. Yesterday, it started with Ezra Klein….

More here

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ThinkProgress: What You Need To Know About The Budget Deal

Late Tuesday night, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced that they had come to an agreement on a budget deal, ending negotiations begun as part of the agreement to re-open the government in October. The deal still has to be passed by the House and Senate and then implemented by appropriations committees by January 15. Here’s what you need to know about what’s in the Murray-Ryan agreement….

More here

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USA Today: Obama to hold moment of silence for Newtown victims

President Obama will lead a moment of silence Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

The president and first lady Michelle Obama will honor the lives of the 26 people — including 20 children — who died in the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

More here

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TPM: Biden Says His Ancestors ‘Didn’t All Come Here Legally’

Before you decry “illegal immigrants,” Joe Biden thinks you ought to check your own familial history. That’s what the vice president said Wednesday during an online forum in response to a questioner who claimed her family immigrated to the United States legally from Ireland in the 19th century.

“My great-great grandparents came escaping the famine and they didn’t all come here legally,” Biden said, as quoted by Politico. “They didn’t all come legally. And the existence of the system isn’t all truncated like it is now. I’d check your ancestry to make sure that they did come legally if that’s a concern to you.”

More here

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This might just be the greatest toon in the history of tooniness:

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On This Day:

President Obama smiles while talking with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on the phone in the Oval Office, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

The First Family at “Christmas in Washington” at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., Dec. 12, 2010

First Lady Michelle Obama and Bo, the Obama family dog, greet audience members at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Dec. 12, 2011.

President Obama walks along the Colonnade of the White House, Dec. 12, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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MoooOOOooorning!

18
Jul
13

The Time is Now

Erica Lafferty, daughter of Sandy Hook principal Dawn Hochsprung, stops at her mother’s grave on her wedding day

People: ….. “I wanted to let her know how much I missed her,” Lafferty says. “No daughter should ever have to do that on her wedding day … and I make sure she is always part of every day, like she always had been.”

…. For her bridal ensemble, Lafferty wore custom-dyed converse sneakers, something she and her mom often joked about.

“My mom always teased me because I was such a tomboy,” she says. “When I was picking out my dress, we found you could custom Converse sneakers, so she knew I had ordered them.”

Lafferty works with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, “to fight common-sense gun laws and join with others who’ve lost loved ones. I’m using my voice to make sure that things change and ensure no one else has to experience one of the most important days of their life without their mother due to gun violence.”

Full article here

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The most heartbreaking graveyard image I’ve seen since:

Both lives utterly, pointlessly wasted.

14
Jun
13

Rise and Shine

A Year Ago: First Lady Michelle Obama waits to greet President Barack Obama upon his arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport, June 14, 2012. (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

11:30: The President hosts a Father’s Day Luncheon

12:30: Press Briefing by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest

2:45: The President welcomes the WNBA Champion Indiana Fever to the White House

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The Guardian: Families of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, will mark the six-month anniversary of the tragedy on Friday by launching a nationwide bus tour designed to step up political pressure on the US senators who voted against the bill to toughen America’s gun laws.

Relatives of the 20 young children and six carers who were killed by a lone shooter on 14 December will begin the tour in Newtown under the banner “No More Names”. The campaign, launched by the national coalition to reduce gun violence, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, will last for 100 days and take in 25 states.

More here

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BooMan: …. when Bill Clinton compares the situation in Syria to the situation he faced in Kosovo, he’s making one of the stupidest statements that I have ever heard from him.

…. For Clinton to appear with John McCain and make comments like this is a perfect vindication of my total opposition to his wife’s candidacy for president. We cannot afford more leadership from people who think about American power in this way…..

This is what we gained when we won the presidency for Obama. A cool head.

Full post here

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13
Jun
13

Rise and Shine

President Obama greets the crowd after campaigning in support of Rep. Edward Markey at a rally in Boston, June 12

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Today:

11:40: The President meets with Congressman John Dingell (at 3:30 there will be a ceremony on Capitol Hill to honor the longest-serving member of Congress)

12:0: Newtown Action Alliance holds press conference at Capitol to mark 6 month anniversary of Sandy Hook shootings. Live on C-Span

12:15: Press Briefing by Jay Carney

5:05: The President delivers remarks at LGBT Pride Month celebration

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In case you missed this incredible photo – See Smartypants

In a protest, Renata Teodoro, right, and her mother, Gorete Borges Teodoro, who was deported in 2007, met at a Mexican border fence.

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Steve Benen: Jobless claims show unexpected improvement

Lately, just about all of the news on initial unemployment claims has been good, and the new figures out this morning were unexpectedly encouraging.

…. In terms of metrics, when jobless claims fall below the 400,000 threshold, it’s considered evidence of an improving jobs landscape, and when the number drops below 370,000, it suggests jobs are being created rather quickly. We’ve been below the 370,000 threshold 23 of the last 26 weeks, and below 350,000 in 7 of the last 10 weeks.

More here

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NY Post: In a stunning move, the Obama Administration has thrust itself into the middle of the explosive federal stop-and-frisk trial and is taking sides against the NYPD, raising the odds of a outside monitor being appointed to oversee the controversial crime-fighting program.

…. The source said that Attorney General Eric Holder’s office notified the city that it intends to file briefs in support of claims by the Center for Constitutional Rights that cops are stopping suspects on the basis of race.

More here

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Legal Times: When President Barack Obama nominated two women to a key appeals court last week, he was adding to his lead when it comes to adding women to the federal bench, according to a new study.

Obama has successfully appointed a greater percentage of women to federal judgeships than any other president in American history …. The study doesn’t include the two recent nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit—Patricia Millett and Cornelia Pillard. (Neither pick has been confirmed.)

Forty-two percent of Obama’s successful nominations have been women, according to the study. That’s well above the rates of President George W. Bush (22 percent) and President Bill Clinton (29 percent), the study found. President Obama is the first president to appoint two women to the Supreme Court.

“This administration deserves credit for working to create a federal judiciary that more closely reflects the richness and diversity of the American people,” said AFJ President Nan Aron.

More here

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NYT: Six months after the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., and with no major gun legislation on the horizon in Congress, the White House is quietly moving forward on an executive package of gun safety measures.

The package, which includes 23 executive actions announced by President Obama earlier this year, is intended to bolster the nation’s database used for background checks and make it harder for criminals and people with mental illnesses to get guns.

Among other things, the executive orders relax health care privacy regulations that some state executives say prevent them from putting the names of those Americans with mental health records into the database. The orders also give states more money to help them add data to the system and compel federal agencies to share more mental health data on workers. The goal is to add thousands of new people into the database — those with a history of mental illness, for example — who would not legally be allowed to buy a gun under current law.

More here

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Kevin Drum: …. there’s a little piece of me that admires such naked chutzpah. Issa is basically saying that it’s OK to release little pieces of the interviews that are ripped out of context to create a false impression of White House involvement, but it would be reckless to release full transcripts that pretty clearly shows the White House had nothing to do with any of this.

Who thinks up this stuff?

More here

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Bill Scher (The Week): Why conservatives can’t whitewater Obama – The Republican Noise Machine is falling on deaf ears

Twenty years ago, conservative media mavens seemed able to turn any minor flap into scandal gold …. yet today, no matter how loud conservatives scream “Benghazi,” “Solyndra,” “Fast and Furious” and even “Intim-O-Gate” (Glenn Beck’s failed attempt to brand the IRS and leak investigation controversies), President Obama glides past. His poll numbers remain relatively stable.

There is not really a “what did the president know” drumbeat, and no suggestion he warrants independent investigation. Calls for Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation died down following his meeting with Washington media bureau chiefs. Benghazi lightning rod Susan Rice just got a promotion, and her Republican antagonists are pledging cooperation.

What happened to the Republican Noise Machine? Here are three reasons it’s sputtering….

More here

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Mediaite: …. Stephen Colbert sent up the NSA’s expansive surveillance programs, saying, “Millions of Americans whose privacy has been invaded were shocked to learn that anything on the internet was ever private.”

“Now, I have to admit, at first I found this program to be a shocking breach of the public trust,” Colbert said of PRISM. “The intimate details I share from my Gmail account are no business of big government. They are for one purpose only: so I can get targeted ads for boner pills.”

“But then I learned that PRISM targets only foreigners!” Colbert put up a photo of the Statue of Liberty. “Evidently that torch of freedom is only for Americans. For the rest of the world, she’s holding a boom mic.”

More here – including the video

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Washington Post: The CIA’s deputy director plans to retire and will be replaced by White House lawyer and agency outsider Avril D. Haines, Director John O. Brennan said Wednesday.

Haines, who will succeed career officer Michael Morell on Aug. 9, has served for three years as President Obama’s deputy counsel in charge of national security issues and as legal adviser to the National Security Council. Although she has never worked inside the intelligence agency, “she knows more about covert action than anyone in the U.S. government outside of the CIA,” Brennan said in his first interview since becoming CIA director in March.

More here

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Steve Benen: ….. Wisconsin Republicans are poised to approve a rather remarkable piece of legislation. The state Senate, led by an enraged Senate President Mike Ellis, pushed through an anti-abortion measure that would, among other things, require women in Wisconsin to have an ultrasound before terminating an unwanted pregnancy….

…. It is a profound example of big government run amok: the bill Scott Walker intends to sign puts politics between people and their doctors, on purpose, requiring invasive medical procedures to satisfy the agenda of a right-wing culture war.

…. This is, of course, exactly the kind of right-wing agenda voters rejected in 2012, when Republicans were slammed for having launched a “war on women,” giving Democrats a crucial gender-gap advantage.

More here

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itsnotjustakin.com

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Greg Sargent: House GOP stomps all over Republican rebranding

Consider what the House GOP is up to right now. House Republicans recently passed an immigration amendment, pushed by anti-reform diehard Steve King, that would effectively mandate the deportation of the “DREAMers” who were taken to the U.S. as children. House Republicans are planning a vote next week on a measure that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, after defeating amendments that would exempt cases of rape or incest. And yesterday, House Republicans approved a version of the 2012 National Defense Reauthorization Act that contains what The Advocate calls “three controversial, antigay amendments, one of which is aimed at delaying repeal implementation of don’t ask, don’t tell.”

More here

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ThinkProgress: Connecticut is on the cusp of enacting a major new law to protect people who are homeless from discrimination.

Last week, Connecticut lawmakers passed the “Homeless Person’s Bill Of Rights” at the literal 11th hour — 11:30pm on June 5th, one half hour before the legislative session ended. The bill, SB 896, a landmark piece of legislation to protect homeless individuals’ rights, adds homeless people as a protected class who can’t be discriminated against in employment, housing, or public accommodations. It also includes protections for homeless people to move freely in public spaces, such as parks and sidewalks, without being singled out for harassment by law enforcement officers.

More here

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Headline of the Week?

‘Congressman Demands Obama Apologize To Oklahoma For Investing In Climate Change Research’

ThinkProgress

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TPM: A survey released Wednesday by a Republican-aligned pollster found Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) earning the support of nearly half of voters and claiming a decisive 12-point edge in the Massachusetts special U.S. Senate election.

The automated survey from Harper Polling showed Markey with the support of 49 percent of Massachusetts voters, while Republican businessman Gabriel Gomez trailed with 37 percent support. Harper launched in December with the intention to rival Democratic-leaning outlets such as Public Policy Polling that have long owned the automated poll market.

More here

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A year ago….

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama present a birthday cake to Assistant Usher Reggie Dickson following a Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony and dinner, June 13, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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MooooOOOOoooorning!

09
Jun
13

‘After Newtown shooting, mourning parents enter into the lonely quiet’

A booster seat, once used regularly by 7-year-old Daniel Barden, remains in the family van. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

This is journalism:

Eli Saslow (Washington Post): They had promised to try everything, so Mark Barden went down into the basement to begin another project in memory of Daniel. The families of Sandy Hook Elementary were collaborating on a Mother’s Day card, which would be produced by a marketing firm and mailed to hundreds of politicians across the country. “A difference-maker,” the organizers had called it. Maybe if Mark could find the most arresting photo of his 7-year-old son, people would be compelled to act.

It hardly mattered that what Mark and his wife, Jackie, really wanted was to ignore Mother’s Day altogether, to stay in their pajamas with their two surviving children, turn off their phones and reward themselves for making it through another day with a glass of Irish whiskey neat.

“Our purpose now is to force people to remember,” Mark said, so down he went into his office to sift through 1,700 photos of the family they had been.

….  Mark turned on his computer and began looking for the right picture. “Something lighthearted,” he said. “Something sweet.” He had been sitting in the same chair Dec. 14, when he received an automated call about a Code Red Alert, and much of the basement had been preserved in that moment. Nobody had touched the foosball table, because Daniel had been the last to play. His books and toy trains sat in their familiar piles, gathering dust. The basement had always been Daniel’s space, and some days Mark believed he could still smell him here, just in from playing outside, all grassy and muddy.

Now it was Daniel’s face staring back at him on the computer screen, alit in an orange glow as he blew out seven candles on a birthday cake in September…..

Read the complete article here

After their children leave for school, Mark and Jackie walk back up the driveway to their house, back to the emptiness. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

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Click to see the rest of the post

13
May
13

Rise and Shine

(London, May 2011)

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Today:

10:0: President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Britain’s Prime Minister Cameron

11:15: The President and PM Cameron hold a joint press conference

White House live * C-Span

1:55: The President departs the White House

3:05: Arrives New York City

4:30: Delivers remarks at a DNC event (Private Residence)

6:05: Delivers remarks at a DNC event (Private Residence)

8:40: Delivers remarks at a DCCC/DSCC event (The Waldorf Astoria Hotel)

10:0: Departs New York City

11:05: Arrives the White House

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Most ‘amusing’ headline of the morning ….. “may be asked” ….. may? He’ll be asked about nothing else – because, you know, nothing else matters :roll:

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The week ahead:

Tuesday: The President attends meetings at the White House

Wednesday: Delivers remarks at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service, an annual ceremony honoring law enforcement who were killed in the line of duty in the previous year

Thursday: Welcomes Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey to the White House for meetings and a working dinner

Friday: Travels to Baltimore, Maryland in his second Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour

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ThinkProgress: Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a Republican who was appointed to the position by George W. Bush, told CBS News on Saturday that he would have handled the situation in Benghazi the same way that the Obama administration did last September.

During an interview that aired on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday morning, Gates defended the administration’s reaction to the attacks in Libya and dismissed many of the criticisms leveled by his fellow Republicans as “cartoonish”….

More here – and see Steve Benen too

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Steve Benen: There were several oddities about the House Oversight Committee’s Benghazi hearing last week, but one of the unanswered questions related to Chairman Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif.) choice of witnesses. Yesterday, on “Meet the Press,” this grew even more problematic.

The hearing was supposed to be about the committee getting more answers about the attack, but Issa chose not to invite former Ambassador Thomas Pickering, a veteran diplomat from the Reagan and Bush administrations, who helped oversee the independent investigation into the events in Benghazi. If the goal was to get more information, why not ask Pickering to appear?

More here

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Addicting Info: 10 Examples Of Why The Republican ‘Benghazi’ Talking Point Is Hypocritical

At this point it’s well-established there was no wrongdoing by President Barack Obama or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when it came to the response to the terror strike in Benghazi that Fox News and conservatives around the nation have been trying to use to score political points against the high-profile Democratic leaders.

Unfortunately for Republicans, the fact that they have pushed so hard when there was no “scandal” shows that they were only out to use Benghazi for the political ammunition. Here’s even more proof, with 10 examples of other things that Republicans didn’t seem nearly so upset about or interested in investigating….

More here

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In case you missed it: ‘Republicans raising money off Benghazi effort’ (Washington Post)

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Michael Cohen in The Guardian

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30
Apr
13

This and That

President Obama & the First Lady backstage in the Green Room before today’s Joining Forces event. Photo by Pete Souza

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Michael Tomasky: Well, we learned something new about what’s going on in wingnut land. Apparently, you see, there are four–no; make that at least four!–diplomatic officials who are in possession of vital information about Benghazi: the department’s (er, Hillary’s) refusal to increase security in the months before the attack; the diplo security forces (er, Hillary’s) failure to respond to the attack in the most forceful way; and finally, the administration’s (er, Hillary’s) cover-up and lies in the aftermath.

Ed Henry asked about this right off the bat, injecting a dose of Breitbartism into the proceedings. Like everyone else in America who tries not to patronize the fever swamps, I went “huh?” Then I Googled it and got this Fox News piece laying out the whole vast conspiracy:

More here

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Here’s the press conference again:

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That ‘Honest, I’m trying *reeeeeeally* hard to take you seriously’ look

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21
Apr
13

Rise and Shine: The Week in Images

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, April 18, on their way to Boston for a memorial service for the victims of the bombings

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A week ago, this was the President’s schedule….

Monday: The President will welcome the BCS National Champion, the University of Alabama Crimson Tide, to the White House. Later, he will participate in an ambassador credentialing ceremony * Tuesday: The President will hold a working lunch with Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates. Later, he will welcome NASCAR’s Brad Keselowski to the White House * Wednesday: The President will welcome the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House * Thursday and Friday: The President will attend meetings at the White House

…… how things changed

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Monday:

The White House flag lowered to half-mast after the Boston bombings

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Liberal Librarian: Be Not Afraid

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President Obama talks on the phone with FBI Director Robert Mueller to receive an update on the explosions that occurred in Boston, in the Oval Office, April 15. Seated with the President are Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Click to see the rest of the post

17
Apr
13

“….we are going to get this right, the memories of these children demand it”

President Obama embraces Nicole Hockley, who lost a son in the Sandy Hook shootings, after he delivered a statement on the Senate’s failure to pass a measure to expanded gun background checks

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Text of remarks here

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… with the Newtown families before the Rose Garden statement (Photo: Pete Souza)

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17
Apr
13

President Obama’s statement on Senate vote

Text of the remarks here

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16
Apr
13

Catching Up With The Day

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Bloomberg: The Boston Marathon bombing, juxtaposed with the mass murder at Sandy Hook  …. reveals an ideological component to the way Americans assess risk. In particular, Americans’ tolerance of mayhem and death varies depending on the source of the violence.

The Wall Street Journal editorial page, for example, was quick to revisit old fears about foreign terrorism in the wake of the Boston attack…

….. The emphasis on vulnerability and the “continuing need for heightened defenses” represents one side of an existential schism running through U.S. politics, with the dividing line separating mostly, but not always, liberals from conservatives. Many Americans accept the U.S.’s 30,000 gun deaths a year as a sad but inevitable price for all-but-unfettered individual rights to gun possession. A terrorist bombing, on the other hand, signals a need for “heightened defenses,” massive security and the routine compromise of liberty….

Full post here

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Stephen Marche (at Charles Pierce’s blog): As I write this, no one has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Boston Marathon …. But this moment, before we know who did it, may be more important than when we do know.

The speculation has established three possible perpetrators: Islamic terrorists, domestic terrorists, or simple lunatics. The potential of this moment is that we can recognize that it could be any of them, that they all want the same thing, that they are, in the only way that matters, the same thing.

…. Whoever it turns out to be will incur a blame for entire groups of people — whether Muslims or American gun nuts — which are entirely accidental to their being. Let us pause, right now, and agree not to make that mistake.

Full post here

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TPM: …. Why were so many people in the media standing on pins and needles, wondering whether Obama would call what happened in Boston terrorism? …..

…. The media was listening for that word yesterday because they identified it as a potential source of a future, contrived political controversy; reporters were acting as opposition researchers for the people they cover, and identified a sin of omission….

…. most major media outlets typically distinguish terrifying violence from violent terrorism by examining motive. No political or ideological motive? Not terrorism … It’s why everyone feels comfortable calling the Unabomber a terrorist, but not the perpetrator of the Sandy Hook massacre.

Full post here

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Charles Pierce: ….. We should commend both Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis for their performance at the press conference Monday night — Patrick for slapping down that Alex Jones idiot plant, and Davis, for going out of his way, in one of the few pieces of actual information that was forthcoming at the whole press conference, to emphasize that there was no “suspect” in custody in any hospital, thereby dropping an anvil on The New York Post, which completely went to the zoo on this story yesterday afternoon. Good on both of them. And for Abdulrahman Alharbi, I hope he can still be as happy here some day as I suspect he was when Monday began.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: …. I’m reluctant to start talking about any single photo being the iconic image of the tragedy, but clearly this shot (see above), captured by Boston Globe photographer John Tlumacki, is powerful and hard to forget.

….  there are three main officers seen in the foreground of this image, and the one on our right is Javier Pagan, who is Latino, gay, and the Boston Police Department’s LGBT liaison.

His husband is a retired NYPD sergeant, who helped rescue people on September 11, 2001.

Full post here

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‘Boston Patriots’

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Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords listens as her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly speaks on Capitol Hill during a ceremony to honor Gabriel “Gabe” Zimmerman. Zimmerman was Giffords’ outreach director when he was killed in the January 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson where Giffords was wounded

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Yahoo News: Vice President Joe Biden told a former congressional aide Tuesday during a visit to the Capitol building that the Senate was just two votes short of reaching the 60-vote threshold needed to pass a gun reform bill through the chamber.

After a speech honoring Gabriel Zimmerman … Biden told former Giffords aide Pam Simon that the bill would pass and that two votes were needed.

“We will win,” Biden told Simon, who survived a gunshot wound in the shooting.

…. “We are working to get to 60, and it’s fluid,” Biden said. “I think we’re there, but it’s not unusual as you all know for people to make up their minds at the last minute.”

More here

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Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to participate in a Google+ Hangout about gun control Wednesday.

He will be joined at 2:45 p.m. by the mayors of Gary, Ind.; Baltimore, Md.; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Oak Creek, Wis., according to David Agnew, the White House director of intergovernmental affairs.

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Greg Sargent: A representative for families of the Newtown shooting victims has asked Senator Mitch McConnell to hold a meeting with them, according to sources familiar with the request. McConnell’s office initially declined the request on the basis of scheduling, a source says — and now family members are set to call McConnell and reiterate the request personally.

How will McConnell respond?

The request – if granted — would allow the families to come face to face with the primary architect of the GOP’s strategy of blocking everything Dems propose to slow the tide of gun violence. If it is denied, it would be a big story…

More here

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President Barack Obama meets with Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to discuss immigration reform, in the Oval Office, April 16, 2013. Also attending, from left, are: Rob Nabors, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy; Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the Domestic Policy Council; and Miguel Rodriguez, Director of Legislative Affairs. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Beyond belief:

The Guardian: How much unemployment did Reinhart and Rogoff’s arithmetic mistake cause? All because two famous economists whose work is used the world over to justify austerity cuts just got their sums wrong.

That’s the question millions will be asking when they see the new paper by my friends at the University of Massachusetts … They show the correct numbers tell a very different story about the relationship between debt and GDP growth than the one that Reinhart and Rogoff have been hawking.

…. This is a big deal because politicians around the world have used this finding from R&R to justify austerity measures that have slowed growth and raised unemployment….

…. If facts mattered in economic policy debates, this should be the cause for a major reassessment of the deficit reduction policies being pursued in the United States and elsewhere. It should also cause reporters to be a bit slower to accept such sweeping claims at face value.

Full article here

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Charles Pierce (on the Next New Deal story): OK, I’ve kept away from this until I’ve read enough people who know what they’re talking about to feel like I know what I’m talking about but, like, wow… I’m still not entirely sure what’s really going on, but there is nothing here to disabuse me of my long-held notion that most economists reach their conclusions by cutting up a sheep on a rock and reading the entrails.

…. And are we at all surprised that a certain zombie-eyed granny-starver of our casual acquaintance was one of the delivery mechanisms into our politics for what may be one of the great public-intellectual blunders (or worse) of the century? Why, no, we are not at all…..

More here

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ABC: First lady Michelle Obama will visit the United States Naval Academy on Wednesday before attending a bill-signing at the Maryland State House.

The first lady will be present as Gov. Martin O’Malley signs into law the Veterans Full Employment Act of 2013.

The legislation will enable veterans who apply for occupational and professional licenses in Maryland to get credit for their military training, education and experience.

More here

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Wednesday:

11:45: Jay Carney briefs the press

4:05: President Obama and VP Biden welcome the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House

6:30: President Obama meets with Democratic senators for dinner

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Decatur, Ga., Feb. 14, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)




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