President Barack Obama gestures to lipstick marks on his collar – the aunt of American Idol runner-up Jessica Sanchez kissed the president’s collar and left the lipstick marks just before he gave his remarks at an Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month event
Monday: The President will welcome President Thein Sein of Myanmar to the White House. Since President Obama’s historic trip to Rangoon last November, the United States has continued to advocate for continued progress on reform by President Thein Sein’s government, in close cooperation with Aung San Suu Kyi, civil society leaders, and the international community.
Tuesday: Will attend meetings at the White House.
Wednesday: Will attend meetings at the White House, and in the evening, as part of their “In Performance at the White House” series, the President and the First Lady will host a concert honoring singer-songwriter Carole King, who will be awarded the 2013 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
Thursday: Will attend meetings at the White House.
Friday: Will travel to Annapolis, Maryland, to deliver the commencement address at the U.S. Naval Academy.
This week started with Three! Huge! Scandals! It ends with #umbrellagate. Well played, Mr. President. Well played.
Media Matters: ABC News & The Whitewater Tactics At The Center Of The Scandal Machine
…. ABC’s flawed reporting on the emails, based on selective leaks, has led to questions about reporter Jonathan Karl’s future, vividly demonstrating the consequences of this type of press manipulation. But whether fellow journalists – and viewers – will demand accountability from Karl remains to be seen.
It’s the Whitewater experience, which GOP leaders are reportedly skittish of repeating, that provides a blueprint for accountability over this type of press manipulation.
…. Will the media, which once again saw one of their own get burned by relying on selective leaks in furtherance of a hunting of a president, demand accountability this time?
The more you look at this report, the more (literally) incredible it is – and thrown in, for good measure, edits of Jay Carney (from 0:18) to make him look like a bumbling fool. Truly, Fox out-Foxed by ABC.
….. ABC News, if you ask me, has had a worse week than Obama, not that as many people are paying attention. But consider. CNN and Jake Tapper got the actual emails, proving beyond a doubt that ABC and Karl were wrong. And on CBS, Scott Pelley and Major Garrett took the unheard of step of basically calling news gatherers at a fellow network liars.
…. The record up to today suggests that the government is a good measure more trustworthy than ABC News–and, don’t forget, than whoever it was (surely a GOP source of some kind) who lied to Karl in the first place.
Mediaite: Does Jon Karl Have The Juice To Survive Benghazi Email Controversy?
….. Even the best reporter can get played by a source with an ax to grind, but by presenting that source’s misinformation as a series of direct quotes from emails that the source made up, Jonathan Karl bought and paid for the consequences, and so did ABC News. They both owe their viewers, and this White House, an apology.
Steve Benen: Yesterday’s news from the Congressional Budget Office on the shrinking deficit came as something of a shock to those who pay attention to such things. We knew the budget deficit was getting smaller, but we didn’t realize just how quickly the perceived problem was vanishing — we’re now looking at over $400 billion in deficit reduction in just one year, and about $800 billion in deficit reduction since President Obama took office.
There are several important angles to this, but perhaps the most politically salient one is the way in which the shrinking deficit leaves Republican talking points in tatters. GOP arguments about President Obama’s fiscal recklessness now look absurd….
Washington Post: The budget deals of the past two years and a recovering economy are rapidly mopping up the tide of red ink that swept over Washington after the 2007 recession.
After four years of budget deficits in excess of $1 trillion, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office forecast Tuesday that this year’s deficit will plummet to $642 billion….
That’s $200 billion lower than the CBO forecast in February. Analysts attributed the sunnier outlook to higher-than-expected tax revenue and about $95 billion in higher payments from mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are profiting from a recovering housing market.
The forecast puts the nation on track for its smallest deficit since 2008, before the recession hit in full force.
NYT: …. many economists are cautioning that the deficit is coming down too fast, too soon. “It’s good news for the budget deficit and bad news for the jobs deficit,” said Jared Bernstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-of-center research group in Washington. “I’m more worried about the latter.”
Steve Benen: …. As Josh Marshall explained, “…. Karl’s follow on piece is entitled ‘More Details on Benghazi Talking Points Emerge’ but the substance is, ‘How the Story Changes When I Realize the Notes I Was Using Weren’t Reliable.’ The answer here is that Karl pretty clearly got burned by his source. But he at least seriously singed himself by making it really, really look like he was looking at the emails themselves when he wasn’t.”
Right. ABC’s Karl originally told his audience that he’d “obtained” White House materials, when in fact he’d seen summaries, apparently provided by a Republican staffer on Capitol Hill, which we now know were misleading. Karl received unreliable information, and seems to have been incomplete in how he characterized his direct knowledge of the information…..
Steve Benen must be the politest man on planet earth: “Karl received unreliable information, and seems to have been incomplete in how he characterized his direct knowledge of the information”. In other words, he lied!
Nothing makes media lazier than “scandal.” Then they lean on adjectives instead of facts. #readthelaw
USA Today: The Benghazi hearings are drawing intense interest in Washington.
In the rest of the country, not so much.
A new poll by the Pew Research Center says only 44% of Americans are paying attention to congressional hearings on administration actions surrounding the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi, Libya.
That number is “virtually unchanged from late January when Hillary Clinton testified,” Pew reported. “Last October, 61% said they were following the early stages of the investigation at least fairly closely.”
Imagine if 4,094 Americans were killed in #Benghazi. That’s the number killed by guns since Newtown. Only conspiracy is between GOP and NRA
NYT: The 37th time won’t be the charm. But House Republicans are charging forward anyway this week on a vote to repeal President Obama’s signature health care overhaul, which will put the number of times they have tried to eliminate, defund or curtail the law past the three-dozen mark.
…. Three dozen is a lot for a bill that currently has no prayer of becoming law. But the figure 37 actually understates the amount of time Republicans have devoted to litigating and trying to dismantle the president’s biggest legislative accomplishment.
The repeal vote, which is likely to occur Thursday, will be at least the 43rd day since Republicans took over the House that they have devoted time to voting on the issue.
To put that in perspective, they have held votes on only 281 days since taking power in January 2011…
That means that since 2011, Republicans have spent no less than 15 percent of their time on the House floor on repeal in some way.
Yahoo: House Democrats will begin making robocalls to voters in 10 congressional districts Wednesday that target Republican lawmakers who support a new effort to repeal the 2010 federal health care law.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is paying for the calls, which according to a script obtained by Yahoo News, will warn voters that Republicans support putting “insurance companies back in charge of your health care.”
“The Republican Congress is scheduled to vote tomorrow to put insurance companies back in charge of your health care and repeal vital consumer protections and benefits that you’ve earned,” the voice on the call will say. “And your Congressman might be part of the problem. Tell [your congressman] to stand up for middle class families here in California—and don’t help the Republican Congress give insurance companies more control over your life.”
Bloomberg: The Internal Revenue Service, under pressure after admitting it targeted anti-tax Tea Party groups for scrutiny in recent years, also had its eye on at least three Democratic-leaning organizations seeking nonprofit status.
One of those groups, Emerge America, saw its tax-exempt status denied, forcing it to disclose its donors and pay some taxes. None of the Republican groups have said their applications were rejected.
Progress Texas, another of the organizations, faced the same lines of questioning as the Tea Party groups from the same IRS office that issued letters to the Republican-friendly applicants. A third group, Clean Elections Texas, which supports public funding of campaigns, also received IRS inquiries.