6:00: PBO delivers remarks at a campaign event (Private Residence)
7:30: PBO delivers remarks at a campaign event (Private Residence)
Monday: The President will deliver remarks at the Building and Construction Trades Department Legislative Conference. In the afternoon, the President will welcome Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of Japan to the White House.
Tuesday and Wednesday: PBO will attend meetings at the White House.
Thursday: PBO and the First Lady will host a Cinco de Mayo reception at the White House.
Friday: PBO will attend meetings at the White House.
Saturday: PBO will travel to Columbus, Ohio and Richmond, Virginia for campaign events.
President Barack Obama talks with Anand Srinivasan, 15, in the Blue Room, Feb. 7, 2012, during the second annual White House Science Fair celebrating student winners of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) competitions from across the country. Srinivasan, a sophomore from Roswell High School in Roswell, Ga., was a finalist in the Google Science Fair for his project, which examines the use of electroencephalography (EEG) and prosthetic technology to make a more functional artificial limb. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Bloomberg: The U.S. is the closest it has been in almost 20 years to achieving energy self-sufficiency, a goal the nation has been pursuing since the 1973 Arab oil embargo triggered a recession and led to lines at gasoline stations.
Domestic oil output is the highest in eight years. The U.S. is producing so much natural gas that, where the government warned four years ago of a critical need to boost imports, it now may approve an export terminal. Methanex Corp., the world’s biggest methanol maker, said it will dismantle a factory in Chile and reassemble it in Louisiana to take advantage of low natural gas prices….
The result: The U.S. has reversed a two-decade-long decline in energy independence, increasing the proportion of demand met from domestic sources over the last six years to an estimated 81 percent through the first 10 months of 2011 … That would be the highest level since 1992.
…. The transformation, which could see the country become the world’s top energy producer by 2020, has implications for the economy and national security – boosting household incomes, jobs and government revenue; cutting the trade deficit; enhancing manufacturers’ competitiveness; and allowing greater flexibility in dealing with unrest in the Middle East.
… The last time the U.S. achieved energy independence was in 1952…. The shift to increased energy independence is also the result of government policies to depress oil demand …. Automakers have agreed to raise the fuel economy of the vehicles they sell in the U.S. to a fleetwide average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 under an agreement last year with the Obama administration.
ThinkProgress: While Catholic leaders and Republicans have distorted the Obama administration’s rule requiring employers to provide contraception at no additional cost, a majority of Americans, including a majority of Catholics, support such a requirement, according to a new poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute. The requirement garners support from 55 percent of Americans and 58 percent of Catholics, though the number is slightly lower (52 percent) for Catholic voters. As Igor Volsky reported today, many Catholic hospitals and universities already cover contraception in their health plans.
ThinkProgress: … Twenty-eight states already require organizations that offer prescription insurance to cover contraception and since 98 percent of Catholic women use birth control, many Catholic institutions offer the benefit to their employees. For instance, a Georgetown University spokesperson told ThinkProgress yesterday that employees “have access to health insurance plans offered and designed by national providers to a national pool. These plans include coverage for birth control”.
New Yorker: ….. Romney is relying on a media offensive managed by operatives who have long been at the heart of Washington’s Republican attack machine. One of the leaders of this advertising war is Larry McCarthy, a veteran media consultant best known for creating the racially charged “Willie Horton ad,” which, in 1988, helped sink Michael Dukakis, the Democratic nominee for President.
First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a tug of war with Jimmy Fallon in the Blue Room of the White House during a “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” taping for the second anniversary of the “Let’s Move!” initiative, Jan. 25. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
** NBC tonight at 12:35 am ET **
AP: The number of available jobs in the United States jumped in December to near a three-year high, supporting other data that show a brighter outlook for hiring.
Companies and governments posted 3.38 million jobs in December, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That’s up from the 3.12 million advertised in the previous month and nearly matches the three-year high reached in September. Job openings in the private sector reached the highest point in almost three and a half years.
…. The report on job openings follows Friday’s optimistic employment figures. Those showed employers added 243,000 net jobs in January, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent.
….. It generally takes one to three months for employers to fill job openings. December’s big jump in postings is likely one reason January’s jobs report was healthy. But it also suggests job growth may continue in the coming months.
Steve Benen: For months, Republican presidential candidates have been eager, if not desperate, to accuse President Obama of waging a “war on religion”….
…. Mitt Romney seems to have settled on a policy to match the attack: the Obama administration’s decision to require coverage of contraception as preventive care under the Affordable Care Act is, according to the former governor, an “attack on religious liberty”.
…. As a substantive matter, Romney’s lying. The administration’s policy already exempts churches and other houses of worship and “doesn’t require any individual or employer to violate a religious belief – it simply ensures that their employees with different beliefs have the same access to birth control as all other women.”
…. he’s not only lying; he’s also denouncing Obama for adopting a policy similar to one Romney used to support …. as governor, a previous iteration of Romney required all Massachusetts hospitals, including Catholic hospitals, to provide emergency contraception to rape victims.
USA Today: Pundits and bishops warn President Obama he could lose the white Catholic vote over requiring a contraception option for insurance plans. But Catholic women say they want birth control covered in employee health plans.
…. The Catholic bishops, backed by conservative evangelicals, say the Obama administration shouldn’t include contraception coverage as part of free preventive care options in employers’ health insurance plans …. here’s where the Catholic women come in. According to the Public Religion Research Institute poll released today:
….58% of all Catholics agree employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception. That slides down to 52% for Catholic voters, 50% for white Catholics.
… the numbers might bring pause to pundits mulling the “Catholic vote”.
Steve Benen: For months, Republican super PACs have been raising vast sums from wealthy donors …. the political world, however, hasn’t heard much from Democratic super PACs, which have raised far less money.
That will apparently soon change … Jim Messina argued overnight that the Obama campaign just doesn’t have a choice.
He added that Republican super PACS, in aggregate, are “expected to spend half a billion dollars, above and beyond what the Republican nominee and party are expected to commit to try to defeat the President.” That may sound like hyperbole, but it’s a reasonable estimate. The Koch brothers alone are prepared to spend $100 million later this year to defeat Obama.
…. Democrats had a choice: stick to principle, refuse to play by the new rules, and make defeat far more likely, or level the playing field …. The only surprise here is that anyone would be surprised by the decision.
NYT: The delicate Karl Rove said he was “frankly, offended” …. (by)…. the Chrysler ad that Clint Eastwood narrated, which many people who don’t share Mr. Rove’s political worldview thought was rather uplifting.
…. he suggested the words were dictated by “the President of the United States and his political minions,” who bailed out Detroit with taxpayer dollars. It’s just another example of “Chicago-style politics,” he said, whatever that means.
The White House said it had nothing to do with the ad, but it had a great deal to do with Detroit’s resurgence, and that’s what’s really offensive to Mr. Rove and other Republicans. They’d prefer to drown out the good news coming from the carmakers, such as these recent headlines…
Charles Pierce: …. my fellow Papists … if you all would be so kind, please shut the fk up about birth control, abortion, and this neverending madness about what ladies do with their lady parts without the pope’s permission.
….. please stop going on my television set and telling me what “the Catholic position” is on the fact that the president has told various Catholic institutions – and told them quite gently, too – that, yes, if they want all those nice juicy tax advantages, they must abide by the federal law and, in their capacities as employers, make contraceptives available to their employees under the new Affordable Care Act.
There is no “Catholic position” on this issue. There are the opinions of the clerical bureaucrats and the members of the Clan of The Red Beanie, and then there is the opinion of the overwhelming majority of Catholic laypeople, who stopped listening to anything the Vatican said on the matter of birth control back in 1965.
…. For that matter, there is no real “Catholic vote” out there to be mined, either. A breakdown of how American Catholics vote on one particular issue or another pretty much tracks with how the country in general breaks down … Catholics made up their mind on this issue long ago. They stopped listening to Rome, and to the Chancery, and most of them are much better off.
Kevin Drum: …. I guess I’m tired of religious groups operating secular enterprises (hospitals, schools), hiring people of multiple faiths, serving the general public, taking taxpayer dollars – and then claiming that deeply held religious beliefs should exempt them from public policy …. I imagine the “religious community” in the United States would be a wee bit more understanding if the Obama administration refused to condone the practice.
…. if Catholic hospitals don’t want to follow reasonable, 21st century secular rules, they need to make themselves into truly religious enterprises. In particular, they need to stop taking secular taxpayer money. As long as they do, though, they should follow the same rules as anyone else.
Josh Kraushaar (National Journal): If President Obama wins re-election, he’ll point to the last couple of weeks as a turning point. He’s sharpened his economic message, emphasized fairness for the middle class, and most importantly, he’s benefited from an economy that’s showing some signs of improvement.
But the most underplayed development are signs that the president’s approval rating is ticking upwards with the group most resistant to him, non-college educated, working-class whites. Over the last week, several surveys have suggested that Obama is gaining some ground with this group, in both national and statewide polling. If these gains stick, it’s something that should be very concerning to the Romney campaign, which is dependent on winning overwhelming support from blue-collar white voters as part of a winning GOP coalition.
…. As Buffalo Springfield once sang: “There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.” Pay very close attention to Obama’s numbers with the white working-class. The assumption was that they were hardened against the president. But there’s some fresh evidence that could be changing.
Bloomberg: President Barack Obama nominated Air Force Lieutenant General Janet Wolfenbarger to be the service’s first female four-star general and the military’s second woman to reach the highest rank.
Wolfenbarger, the Air Force’s top uniformed official for weapons development, was also nominated as commander of the Air Force’s Materiel Command, according to a Defense Department statement today. The positions are subject to Senate confirmation.
The first woman with four stars in the U.S. military, Army General Ann Dunwoody, was confirmed in 2008 and is commanding general of that service’s Materiel Command.
Obama Foodorama: Expect some hilarious Let’s Move! hijinks on Tuesday night when First Lady Michelle Obama cameos in a video segment on NBC talk show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The comic visited Mrs. Obama last week at the White House to film the outing, which will air as part of this week’s celebration of the second anniversary of the Let’s Move! campaign. Among other fitness activities, the First Lady had Fallon running up and down the historic White House stairs, he said when he announced the upcoming cameo…..
Bob Cesca: As predicted, the Keystone XL pipeline has now been officially rejected by the Obama Administration after the Republicans chose to hasten the timeline for approval with a rider inserted into legislation that extended payroll tax-cuts and unemployment benefits for 2 months.
….. [when] Speaker Boehner whines about this today … you should keep this in mind:
Environmentalists note that in December 2010, according to Boehner’s financial disclosure forms, he invested $10,000 to $50,000 each in seven firms that had a stake in Canada’s oil sands, the region that produces the oil the pipeline would transport….
350.org founder and Keystone XL protest leader, Bill McKibben, had the following reaction the news that the State Department is expected to reject the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline later this afternoon:
“Assuming that what we’re hearing is true, this isn’t just the right call, it’s the brave call. The knock on Barack Obama from many quarters has been that he’s too conciliatory. But here, in the face of a naked political threat from Big Oil to exact ‘huge political consequences,’ he’s stood up strong. This is a victory for Americans who testified in record numbers, and who demanded that science get the hearing usually reserved for big money.
Mediaite: In a preview of Wednesday’s Piers Morgan Tonight, former President Jimmy Carter surprised host Morgan with his somewhat blunt (by mainstream media standards) assessment of Newt Gingrich. Speaking of his standing ovation moment at Monday night’s debate, President Carter told Morgan “I think (Gingrich) has that subtlety of racism that I know quite well, that Gingrich knows quite well, that appeals to some people in Georgia.”
“Really?” Morgan exclaimed as Carter spoke, later adding, “That’s a pretty serious charge to level at Newt Gingrich, that he’s being racist.”
“I’m not saying he’s racist, but he knows the subtle words to use to appeal to a racist group,” Carter responded.
NYT Editorial: Preaching Division in South Carolina. By mixing falsehoods with racial condescension, Newt Gingrich brought a raucous presidential debate crowd to its feet on Monday night in South Carolina, further cheapening his reputation and that of the state Republican Party.
For months, Mr. Gingrich has made racial resentment an integral part of his platform as a conservative challenger to Mitt Romney. He has traversed the country calling President Obama “the greatest food-stamp president in American history” and presenting African-Americans with the great revelation that they should prefer paychecks to federal handouts….
The fact is that Mr. Obama has “put” no one on food stamps. People apply for food assistance, known officially as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, because they’re poor or out of work and their families are hungry. The number of people using the program, which is now at a peak, began rising with the recession, in 2007, and continued through four of the toughest years ever faced by the poor and near-poor in modern history. Mr. Obama eased the eligibility requirements as part of his stimulus program, a desperately needed measure that helped struggling families and the economy…..
Chris Weigant: The Huffington Post ran an article today titled “Gov. Martin O’Malley Urges Dems To Focus More On Romney’s Governing Record, Less On Bain.” In it, the governor of Maryland makes the following case:
“I think a point that needs to be emphasized was that in easier times when he [Romney] was governor of a pretty innovative state, Massachusetts ranked 47th out of 50 [in job creation],” he said. “You contrast that to the tougher times we have now, under Governor Deval Patrick’s leadership, Massachusetts is 5th in the nation.”
O’Malley makes a good point. President Obama’s re-election team should heed it …. the real issue to put before the voters is what Mitt Romney did after he left the private sector for politics.
The State Column: Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman was reportedly bitten by a goat during his latest campaign trip to New Hampshire…..
“As Jon Huntsman stumped in New Hampshire this weekend, trying to give voters a taste of what a Huntsman presidency would be like, a local goat named Izak quite literally got a taste of the former Utah governor when he nibbled on his knee at an event in Dover”….
….. Speaking Monday, Mr. Huntsman joked about the incident, saying he hopes the goat is not an indicator of things to come.
“He took a bite out of my kneecap,” Mr. Huntsman said “Is there a better indicator in the state of New Hampshire than how well you do with the goat
Thanks Hopefruit :lol:
Jimmy Kimmel will host next year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner (April 28) – they sure make these announcements early :???:
Dorothy Rodham, the mother of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has died at 92. Clinton had canceled a trip to London and Istanbul to stay with her mother, who had become ill.
Rodham died shortly after midnight, the Clinton family said in a statement.
“Her story was a quintessentially American one, largely because she wrote it herself,” the statement said. “She overcame abandonment and hardship as a young girl to become the remarkable woman she was – a warm, generous and strong woman; an intellectual; a woman who told a great joke and always got the joke; an extraordinary friend and, most of all, a loving wife, mother and grandmother.”
Gallup: Herman Cain is the only candidate whose Positive Intensity Score has increased in comparison to Gallup’s initial measurement earlier this year. In fact, each of the eight candidates Gallup tracks began with scores in the double digits, but now only three remain in that range.
Ted Sorensen (May 8, 1928 – October 31, 2010)
But this guy knew JFK better, right? ……
Huge thanks to Rock (@Tigerfists88) for this video and the other ones he posted in the comments
1:30 Tours General Motors Orion Assembly with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak
1:50 President Obama and President Lee deliver remarks
3:40 Departs Michigan
5:20 Arrives at the White House
For all I know, that headline could read: “Rick Perry Rocks!” But hopefully it doesn’t :?
AP: Barack Obama once contemplated what it would be like to take his two daughters to the National Mall to see a monument to Martin Luther King Jr.
“I know that one of my daughters will ask, perhaps my youngest, will ask, “Daddy, why is this monument here? What did this man do?” Obama, then a senator representing Illinois, said during a 2006 groundbreaking ceremony for the memorial to the civil rights pioneer.
Five years have passed since Obama reflected on those questions. The young senator is now president, and the King memorial is complete, having opened to the public in August. And Obama will get his chance to take daughters Malia and Sasha to the monument Sunday for the dedication ceremony, during which the country’s first black president will be a featured speaker.
…. Obama will speak in front of a 30-foot sculpture of King, arms crossed, looking out into the horizon. The civil rights leader appears to emerge from a stone extracted from a mountain. The design was inspired by a line from the famous 1963 “Dream” speech delivered during the March on Washington in 1963: “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”
….When Obama imagined years ago taking his daughters to see the King monument, he couldn’t have known he would do so as president. But he said when the monument was complete, he would tell his daughters “that this man gave his life serving others. I will tell them that this man tried to love somebody. I will tell them that because he did these things, they live today with the freedom God intended, their citizenship unquestioned, their dreams unbounded.”
Jonathan Capehart: And now let’s turn our attention to the controversy surrounding Teamsters chief James Hoffa and his remarks preceding President Obama’s Labor Day speech in Detroit. The indignation from Tea Party members and others is just a bit much. I would say those in glass house shouldn’t throw stones, but that wouldn’t be fair to Hoffa now that I know exactly what he said.
… Tea Party folks and others ready to clobber Hoffa, unions, progressives, “the left” somehow didn’t hear him say, “Everybody here’s gotta vote.” While his language was salty, Hoffa put the emphasis where it belonged, the ballot box. The only way for labor to end what it sees as the “war on workers” is for labor to vote the Tea Party out of office. And I have no quarrel with that.