….. with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon ahead of the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit working dinner in Seoul on March 26
… with Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard
…. with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
… with Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev after their bilateral meeting in Seoul on March 26
President Barack Obama is briefed by Lt. Col. Yoon Bong-hee, left, as he views the DMZ from Observation Post Ouellette at Camp Bonifas, Republic of Korea, March 25, 2012. A translator assists during the briefing. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
People rally on the sidewalk as legal arguments over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act take place at the Supreme Court in Washington, March 26
Medical students show their support for President Obama’s healthcare law
Linda Door protests against President Obama’s health care plan
First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to children at the White House’s garden on March 26. The First Lady welcomed school children from across the country to join her for the fourth annual White House Kitchen Garden spring planting.
Caroline Kennedy speaking to volunteers in a field office in Florida, March 23
Hi everyone, just a few pics and videos for now, I’ll try and catch up properly with all the news tomorrow – I’m way behind!
President Barack Obama greets Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India at the start of their bilateral meeting at the ASEAN Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Nov. 18, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The BIG news!
“On Wednesday, November 23, 2011, President Obama will pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey in a ceremony in the Rose Garden. The President will celebrate the 64th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation, reflect upon the time-honored traditions of Thanksgiving, and wish American families a warm, safe, and healthy holiday. The 2011 National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate were raised on AgForte farm in Willmar, Minnesota.
“After the pardoning, the turkeys will be driven to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens. The National Thanksgiving Turkey will be on display for visitors during ‘Christmas at Mount Vernon,’ a special program through January 6. After the holidays, the National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate will live in a custom-made enclosure at Mount Vernon’s nationally recognized livestock facility.”
Steve Benen: One of the top priorities of the House Republican leadership for this Congress was passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As of this afternoon, we can add another item to the list of GOP failures …. it needed 290 votes in the lower chamber, and came up with 261.
….only four House Republicans voted against it. The majority needed roughly 50 Democrats to break ranks, but ended up with about half the necessary total. [Here’s the roll call.]
The nation dodged a bullet today. This amendment would have devastated the economy and made responses to future crises effectively impossible….
Washington Post: Despite it all, the U.S. economy has entered a strong patch.
…. following a year of one economic disappointment after another, a variety of economic indicators are pointing in a more positive direction. The question is whether the U.S. economy has built enough momentum to withstand new shocks from overseas.
On Thursday, the Commerce Department said the number of permits to build new housing units rose 10.9 percent in October, compared with the 2.4 percent gain analysts had expected, suggesting that home-building may be finally picking up. And the Labor Department said the number of people filing new claims for unemployment-insurance benefits fell last week to its lowest level since April, continuing a two-month downward trend.
NYT: Even with low approval ratings and an uncertain path to reelection, President Obama is exceeding expectations in one area: His campaign is doing far better at attracting grass-roots financial support this year than his GOP rivals or his own historic effort in 2008, according to new contribution data.
The sheer scale of small donations, totaling $56 million for Obama and his party, has surprised many Democratic strategists and fundraisers, who feared that a sour economy would make it difficult for Obama to raise money from disenchanted and cash-strapped voters.
A Washington Post analysis shows that nearly half of his campaign contributions, and a quarter of the money he has raised for the Democratic Party, has come from donors giving less than $200. That’s much higher than it was four years ago, and far beyond what the best-funded Republicans have managed.
…. “The number of small donations shows who it is that supports this president and who put him there,” said Katherine Hahn, a self-described “mom and artist” from Evergreen, Colo., who gives Obama $25 a month. “It wasn’t the powers that be so much as it was people like me.”
Glenn Kessler (Washington Post): Another lengthy presidential debate, and more bogus claims and counterclaims to check…..
Rick Perry: “I got lobbied on this issue. I got lobbied by a 31-year-old young lady who had stage-four cervical cancer. I spent a lot of time with her. She came by my office. She talked to me about this program…..”
Perry is being misleading when he discusses his controversial vaccine order. He makes it sound like he was lobbied by a cancer patient, not his former chief of staff working for a drug company, and that’s why he made his decision.
But he has the story backwards. He met Heather Burcham, a 31-year-old woman who died from cervical cancer after contracting HPV, after he signed the mandate ordering vaccinations for children.
Perry: “When we had the opportunity to sell India the upgraded F- 16s, we chose not to do that.”
Perry gets this story backwards. He may have been focused on the F-16 because it is built by Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas, but India made the decision to not buy F-16s and instead go with another military jet. It was not the U.S. choice. The Obama administration actually lobbied hard for the sale, and the aerospace firm had assured India that its F-16s would be “much more advanced” than the fighters provided to Pakistan.
Romney: “The president went about this all wrong. He went around the world and apologized for America….”.
Regarding the supposed apology, we have repeatedly called this out as a Four-Pinocchio falsehood. A careful review of all of Obama’s overseas statements found that they had been taken out of context or had been misquoted.
Bill Kristol: The Weekly Standard’s official reaction to last night’s Republican presidential debate: Yikes.
Reading the reactions of thoughtful commentators after the stage emptied, talking with conservative policy types and GOP political operatives later last evening and this morning, we know we’re not alone. Most won’t express publicly just how horrified – or at least how demoralized – they are……
The e-mails flooding into our inbox during the evening were less guarded. Early on, we received this missive from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!” ….
…. no front-runner in a presidential field has ever, we imagine, had as weak a showing as Rick Perry. It was close to a disqualifying two hours for him. And Mitt Romney remains, when all is said and done, a technocratic management consultant whose one term as governor produced Romneycare….
…. we do ask (again!), with a month left before filing deadlines: Is that all there is?
More here – but be warned, it’s right wing territory