President Barack Obama signs a Presidential Memorandum directing Labor Secretary Tom Perez to modernize overtime protections. He is bypassing Congress and ordering changes in overtime rules so employers would required to pay millions more for extra time they put in on the job.
The Atlantic: The president of the United States reflects on what Abraham Lincoln means to him, and to America.
By Barack Obama
Lincoln is a president I turn to often. From time to time, I’ll walk over to the Lincoln Bedroom and reread the handwritten Gettysburg Address encased in glass, or reflect on the Emancipation Proclamation, which hangs in the Oval Office, or pull a volume of his writings from the library in search of lessons to draw.
Always thoughtful, always eloquent, Lincoln’s writings speak to me as they speak to so many Americans, reminding us what is best about ourselves and the Union he saved: that though we may have our differences, we are one people, and we are one nation, united by a common creed.
Charles Pierce: By now, everybody’s seen the America’s At Halftime commercial, featuring Clint Eastwood…. The general feeling is that the ad itself was a kind of endorsement of the president’s re-election bid, what with its emphasis on the recovery of the auto industry, which Willard Romney opposed in favor of letting the major automakers go bankrupt.
… The president can’t run on “It’s Morning In America.” He’d look foolish. He can, however, credibly run on the notion that the sky is getting a little brighter in the east. By contrast, more than a few people have noted that the Republicans in general, and Willard in particular, seem interested in running on “It’s Apocalypse In America,” gloomily drooping around the country as the people to whom they’re talking try desperately to feel optimistic again…..
TPM: Out of the three officials who met President Obama on an airport tarmac near Phoenix earlier this week, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is now the only one who has characterized the president as anything other than cordial.
In numerous TV and radio interviews since the meeting, Brewer has said the president was “tense to say the least” and took issue with a book she wrote last year. She said Obama walked away from her while she was in mid-sentence and even told one Phoenix television station she felt “a little bit threatened” by the encounter.
But Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, who was standing just feet away from the president and the governor on Wednesday during their now-infamous encounter, told TPM that Obama seemed calm the whole time.
“He wasn’t tense at all,” Stanton said on Friday. “The guy’s a pro.”
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden take their seats as they hold a roundtable meeting on Insourcing American Jobs, Jan. 11, in the Old Executive Office Building on the White House campus
… with US Trade Representative Ron Kirk
CNN has the 6:50 speech in their live streaming schedule …. but it’s down for 4:50. Confused!
Just to repeat one of the, eh, ‘house rules’ I mentioned recently: I HUGELY appreciate you letting us know about posts at other blogs and various news sites in the comments here, it’s a completely invaluable service for us all.
But! Please only include very short extracts from the posts – the aim should always be to give a taster of the post that sends the reader to the author’s blog, otherwise we’re effectively stealing their work.
So, please don’t include any more than 2 or 3 paragraphs (2 if it’s a short post), and always include the link at the end. Thanks.
Actress Angelina Jolie is seen in the Oval Office of the White House, Jan. 11, during a meeting with President Barack Obama
According to a White House aide, “President Obama spoke with Ms. Jolie about her work to raise the profile of preventing mass atrocities and combating sexual violence against women.” Brad Pitt also visited.
President Barack Obama waves as he leaves the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, for Chicago
Another of those ‘rules’ I mentioned last week:
99.9% of you are civil to each other, even if you don’t always agree, and that’s the way I want it here. By all means, battle away with anyone you disagree with, but no personal abuse, okay? Not welcome here. And no personal call-outs …. I’ve deleted more than a few in the last week or two.
Okay, I’ve already started a crackdown on this, any one who has, or continues to, ignore appeals to stop personal attacks on other visitors here is gone from the blog. Sorry, I don’t want that stuff here.
President Barack Obama says goodbye to students lining a second floor hallway at the Yeadon Regional Head Start Center in Yeadon, Pa., Nov. 8, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
ABC: President Obama holds leads over the top three Republican presidential candidates in a new national poll conducted by Latino Decisions for Univision, with the president enjoying far wider advantages among Latino voters, an area of strength that could ultimately prove crucial come next year’s election.
…. Among registered voters nationwide, Obama holds the largest lead over Perry at 10 percent, with his edge over Romney at 9 percent. Cain, meanwhile, is within 6 percent of the president.
Among registered Latino voters in the 21 most Latino-heavy states, Obama’s advantage is far greater, exceeding two-to-one margins in every case. The president is up 65 percent to 22 percent on Cain, 67 percent to 24 percent on Romney and 68 percent to 21 percent on Perry…..
Greg Sargent: As you may have heard, Republicans on the supercommittee are privately offering Dems what they’re calling a big concession: They will agree to hundreds of billions in new revenues through an overhaul of the tax code in exchange for making the Bush tax cuts permanent.
A senior Senate Democratic aide directly familiar with the discussions tells me that as part of that tax rate overhaul, Republicans are also pushing to drop the highest end tax rate down to 28 percent.
ABC: Michelle Obama told high school students taking part in a mentoring program at Georgetown University on Tuesday that being married to the president can be scary at times, because he makes the family get out of its comfort zone.
The first lady urged students not to let fear guide them after a student asked about being worried about going away to college.
“I mean this is scary,” she said. “Shoot, being married to Barack Obama? He’s got big plans. He’s always pushing us beyond our comfort zones, and I’m dragged along going, ‘What’s he doing now? No, not this.'”
David Nakamura (Washington Post): President Obama would fund his $447 billion plan to create jobs largely by raising taxes on wealthier families, White House aides said Monday after the president again called on Congress to support the package.
… Aides revealed for the first time that the plan will include limits on itemized deductions for individuals who earn more than $200,000 a year and families that earn more than $250,000.
Eliminating those deductions will bring in an additional $400 billion in revenue, said Jack Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget.
The administration also is recommending closing oil and gas loopholes and changing the depreciation rules for corporate airplanes. All of the new rules, which would take effect in 2013, would bring in an estimated total of $467 billion, more than enough to pay for the president’s jobs bill, Lew said during the White House’s daily press briefing Monday.
Obama has proposed similar tax hikes on the wealthy in the past, but they were rejected by Congress.
…. The President is scheduled to visit a high school in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday and to travel to the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina on Friday to tout the plan.
Steve Benen: …. the Obama administration’s approach to financing is heartening – there’s been all kinds of scuttlebutt about the White House proposing regressive policies to pay for the jobs bill, and the rumors were wrong. The president and his team are pushing the better – and incidentally, more popular – financing option.
And the more the GOP opposes this approach, the more Obama will pose the options the way he did on Thursday night:
“Should we keep tax loopholes for oil companies? Or should we use that money to give small business owners a tax credit when they hire new workers? Because we can’t afford to do both.
Should we keep tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires? Or should we put teachers back to work so our kids can graduate ready for college and good jobs? Right now, we can’t afford to do both.
….These are real choices that we’ve got to make. And I’m pretty sure I know what most Americans would choose. It’s not even close. And it’s time for us to do what’s right for our future.”
Steve Benen: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is already struggling badly to claim credibility on job creation. It makes problems like these that much more embarrassing:
As misery goes, Ryan King appears to be pretty deep in it in the new Mitt Romney video that slams President Barack Obama’s economic stewardship through the story of a struggling, seemingly unemployed college graduate.“Frustration is the big word,” Ryan says as somber music plays and hard-scrabble images roll by of Midland, Mich. “…. because of the economy and the way it is, there are so many people that are looking for jobs, at the same time my hands are tied, how can I get experience if no one is going to hire me in?”
….there’s a subtle problem with the new attack ad … Ryan King isn’t unemployed at all.
Though the commercial features King saying he “can’t get a job,” it turns out the young man is a recent graduate of a public university (Republicans want to cut higher-ed funding, too), and actually got a job shortly before appearing in the attack ad.
….there’s more to his background than that. As Greg Sargent noted, “In 2009, King was identified in the local press as the vice treasurer for the Midland County Young Republicans. He seems to have been a local Republican activist since; his Facebook page shows him partying away at the 2011 state GOP convention.”
….If Romney’s best example of a struggling Michigander is a fully employed graduate of a public university, doesn’t that make Obama’s record look better, not worse?
Motley Moose: So I received an email from my friend and President Barack Obama this morning. He has announced his intention to pursue another term as presiding executive of that circus of dysfunctional acrimony that passes for the US government. I was immediately reminded of the headline in The Onion on the morning following his election: “Black Man Given Worst Job in the World.”
I have supported Obama since the primaries. But I can no longer do so. What kind of nut job would ask for a second helping of what he’s received? I have come to question his sanity. Do we really want a pathological masochist with his “finger on the button” to “answer the 3AM call?”
But all jokes aside, if Obama sees this as the moment to begin to mobilize supporters and activists, it seems the right time for us to start discussing the particular challenges that lie ahead …. how do we get this deranged fool of a president another 4 years of insults, misery and frustration?
The Onion (2008): Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job – African-American man Barack Obama, 47, was given the least-desirable job in the entire country Tuesday when he was elected president of the United States of America. In his new high-stress, low-reward position, Obama will be charged with such tasks as completely overhauling the nation’s broken-down economy, repairing the crumbling infrastructure, and generally having to please more than 300 million Americans and cater to their every whim on a daily basis. As part of his duties, the black man will have to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind. The job comes with such intense scrutiny and so certain a guarantee of failure that only one other person even bothered applying for it. Said scholar and activist Mark L. Denton, “It just goes to show you that, in this country, a black man still can’t catch a break.”