First Lady Michelle Obama by Alexei Hay for Ladies Home Journal Dec 2013/Jan 2014
First Lady Michelle Obama by Alexei Hay for Ladies Home Journal Dec 2013/Jan 2014
Winston-Salem Journal: Americans have a clear choice between two presidential candidates with starkly different ideas for spurring the economy, providing for the health of our people, defending our interests abroad, educating our children and protecting our environment. We believe that President Barack Obama’s progress on these issues merits him a second term in the White House.
Four years ago on this page, we endorsed Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona over Obama. We wrote that we were impressed with Obama, but McCain would “bring the Iraq war to a successful conclusion, work to end American dependence on foreign oil, reduce America’s output of climate-changing gases and begin the rebuilding of our economy.”
The Democratic president has done all those things and more. He is calm under pressure and courageous in standing up for the rights of all Americans, including the poor, veterans, the elderly, women, gays and immigrants. In contrast, we’ve sometimes found it hard in the last few weeks to tell just what Obama’s challenger, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, really stands for.
…. Obama has a keen vision that he has worked hard to achieve, against considerable obstacles and often courageously. But the goal is in sight: An America respected worldwide as much for its prosperity as its defense of liberty and justice.
The Journal editorial board endorses Barack Obama for president.
Full editorial here
Thank you DesertFlower and amk
You can see last week’s brilliant endorsement from the St Louis Post-Dispatch here
Kansas City Star: Barack Obama volunteer Marilynn Wadden rang more than a dozen doorbells in her first hour canvassing a tidy neighborhood here before stopping to take stock of her progress… If the race is close here and elsewhere, the outcome may come down to how well Obama volunteers like Wadden do their jobs – compelling everyone they can to go to the polls…
…. even Republicans acknowledge that Obama has an advantage on the ground in most if not all of the most hotly contested battleground states. In Iowa alone, Obama has 67 offices to Romney’s 13.
…. Obama backers refuse to cede ground in their quest to turn out every voter they can.
Not registered to vote? Obama’s team can help. Registered but not sure about plans on Election Day? Obama’s campaign can mail you a ballot. Forget to return the ballot? Obama’s volunteers offer a reminder. Need a ride to the polls? Obama’s volunteers can drive.
Obama’s volunteers appear to be having impact. Democrats report an almost 4-to-1 advantage among voters asking for ballots by mail in Iowa.
The vigor among the ranks appears to grow as Election Day nears.
“It’s our time to go out and lace up our sneakers, put on our walking shoes,” Norma Comstock, 71, a leader in the campaign’s Sioux City office, said recently as she gave her fellow volunteers a pep talk. “This isn’t a sure thing. We’ve got to fight every day between now and Nov. 6 so President Obama can keep fighting for us.”
More here – thank you BWD
Reuters: President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are neck and neck in opinion polls, but there is one area in which the incumbent appears to have a big advantage: those who have already cast their ballots.
Obama leads Romney by 59 percent to 31 percent among early voters, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling data compiled in recent weeks.
The sample size of early voters is relatively small, but the Democrat’s margin is still well above the poll’s credibility interval – a measurement of polls’ accuracy – of 10 percentage points
Mooooooooorning everyone, it’s a beeeeeeeautiful day! Thanks to everyone for the brilliant links, so much terrific news. It’s the usual Sunday for me, a bit busy, but I’ll be dropping in and out ;-)
Mooooooorning everyone – a bit of a busy bee this morning, but will catch up asap with the news. Chat away ;-)
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will hit the trail together in Iowa next week, the campaign announced.
They’re set to make stops together on Wednesday, Aug. 15, in Dubuque and Davenport – the last two stops on the president’s three-day, seven-town tour of the Hawkeye State.
1:05: PBO delivers remarks at a campaign event in Corona Del Mar, Calif.
2:45: Departs Los Angeles, California en route San Francisco
3:30: Arrives San Francisco
5:00: Attends a campaign event
10:10: Delivers remarks at a campaign event
AP: The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell to the lowest point in almost four years last week, the latest signal that the job market is steadily improving.
The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment benefits dropped 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 348,000. It was the fourth drop in five weeks and the fewest number of claims since March 2008.
USA Today: General Motors earned its highest profit ever last year. The 103-year-old company made $7.6 billion in 2011, up 62% from 2010. Full-year revenue rose 11% to $105 billion.
ABC (Devin Dwyer): Fact Check – Obama and the Resurgence of American Manufacturing
President Obama is this week heralding the resurgence of American manufacturing as a leap toward an “economy built to last,” and a sign that he deserves a second term. …. Obama’s claim is corroborated by government statistics, which show an undeniable rebound for manufacturers during his term, both in terms of productivity and employment of American workers.
When Obama took office in January 2009, unemployment in the manufacturing sector stood at 10.9 percent and spiked to 13 percent a year later, according to the Labor Department. But in the two years since, unemployment has fallen precipitously, now holding at 8.4 percent in January 2012.
In terms of raw manufacturing jobs, the trajectory is similarly positive …. U.S. manufacturers have also increased production by 15 percent since the recession officially ended in late 2009….
New York Times (Editorial): There’s nothing like a deadline – and the prospect of acute political embarrassment – to concentrate the mind. With Congress about to go on recess, and with Republicans fearing a voter backlash, negotiators on Wednesday were putting the finishing touches on a deal to extend the payroll tax cut and federal jobless benefits through 2012.
The agreement is imperfect but sound. It will help struggling Americans and the struggling economy. It is also a political win for Democrats and President Obama, who had made extending the payroll tax cut and the jobless benefits a centerpiece of his jobs agenda. We hope that it gives them the courage to stick to that agenda if they face another round of Republican obstructionism…..
See Steve Benen here
LA Times: ….. President Obama was expected to raise a total of more than $3 million during two events at the expansive Holmby Hills estate of “The Bold and the Beautiful” producer Bradley Bell and his wife, Colleen. The outdoor event, with tickets priced at $250 and $500, featured a performance by the Foo Fighters and appearances by comedian Jack Black and actress Rashida Jones.
Obama spoke later to a more intimate gathering inside the Bells’ Spanish-style home, which about 80 supporters each paid $35,800 to attend. Among those present were George Clooney, Jim Belushi and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who on Wednesday was named chairman of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Washington Post: …. If Obama is suffering any lingering Hollywood blowback after his administration failed to get behind a pair of high-profile Internet piracy bills championed by the entertainment industry, it wasn’t apparent …. The two Tinseltown events were expected to reap more than $3 million….
“Anything we can do to help,” said Andy Spahn, a political consultant to DreamWorks chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, one of Obama’s top campaign bundlers and staunchest Hollywood supporters. “The events are sold out,” Spahn said of Wednesday’s concert and dinner at the home of Bradley and Colleen Bell, producers of “The Bold and the Beautiful.” “I expect the president to continue to enjoy strong support.”
SF Gate: …. this week, The Chronicle has learned that the Obama campaign has, for the first time, opened a new type of campaign office in San Francisco: A Technology Field Office. It is believed to be the first such type of campaign office for a presidential campaign.
“We learned from 2008 that using the talents and skills of our supporters was a key to building the most effective organization,” said Obama campaign deputy press secretary Katie Hogan. “We’re taking the next step by providing tools and space for supporters in the technology community to help the campaign extend our current tools like BarackObama.com and our mobile applications.”
…. instead of cold-calling independents, a techie who wants to help Team O can come in and help develop something new for the website, etc…..
If you want to get involved, contact email@example.com.
The Guardian: …. Obama has critics and doubters. Maya Angelou, the sage of black America, now 83, has no time for them. “I think he has done a remarkable job, knowing how much he has been opposed,” she says. “Every suggestion he makes, the Republicans en masse fight against him or don’t vote at all.”
…. “I was hoping for the best. And I think I have gotten the best from him.” What of his detractors? “Those are people who didn’t see the morass into which he stepped.”
….. “His physical self, just being there, his photograph in the newspapers as president of the United States; that has done so much good for the spirit of the African American. We see more and more children wanting to be like President Obama, wanting to go to school.”
…. More recently, her presidential link has been via the first lady, Michelle Obama. “She’s the grand dame,” says Angelou. “I wrote her a note a few months ago because I was in a gathering. The president and his party were there, but I had to leave early. I know that’s a gaffe because no one leaves the building before the president so I wrote and apologised. I got a letter from her in her own handwriting. She said: ‘I have only one regret – that I didn’t come over and hug your neck.'”
Morning everyone ;-) I’ll catch up with more news later, see you then.
Steve Benen: While the right doesn’t seem at all pleased with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proposed solution to the debt-ceiling crisis, opposition among conservative Republicans is far from unanimous.
The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, one of the more influential pieces of Republican media real estate, got on board with the McConnell plan this morning. After several hundred words about how much the editorial page doesn’t like President Obama, the WSJ argued ….
… according to the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, a “bipartisan deal” on debt reduction would include the spending cuts Republicans want, entitlement cuts Republicans want, and the existing tax rates Republicans want. Democrats, in this “bipartisan deal,” would get nothing.
President Obama, the editorial board, “won’t go along” with this.
He’s obviously history’s greatest monster for rejecting such a “bipartisan deal”.
Full post here
The Wall Street Journal is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of Fox News’ owner Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation
Think Progress: House Minority Whip Eric Cantor has often expressed concern for how Obama administration policies are supposedly a “grave danger to America’s prosperity.” Now, the Wall Street Journal finds that Cantor actually invests in an exchange-traded fund that “takes a short position in long-dated government bonds” – effectively betting against the U.S. Treasury bonds that the government uses to fund its operations:
[Cantor] bought up to $15,000 in shares of ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury ETF last December, according to his 2009 financial disclosure statement. The exchange-traded fund takes a short position in long-dated government bonds. In effect, it is a bet against U.S. government bonds – and perhaps on inflation in the future.
If Cantor truly cares about “America’s prosperity,” one would have to wonder why he is literally betting against its financial future. The Washington Independent’s Annie Lowrey adds that “Cantor is not a very canny investor. The fund is down 31 percent this year.”
Thank you bjw2
MSNBC: …The GOP honeymoon is over: By now, you’ve probably seen the headlines from the new NBC/WSJ poll … The GOP’s fav/unfav is 30%-44%, compared with the Democratic Party’s 38%-39% score … And the number thinking the GOP proposal to overhaul Medicare is a bad idea has increased nine points since April to 31%; just 22% believe it’s a good idea….
President Obama is at 50% or higher in every region except the South …. Obama leads Romney by six points (49%-43%) in a hypothetical general-election match up, despite all the grim economic numbers in the poll. But when you look at the Obama-vs.-Romney split by region, you see Obama’s lead over Romney is even stronger when thinking about the Electoral College.
Obama is at 50% or higher against Romney in the Northeast (54%-36%), Midwest (50%-41%), and West (55%-40%). The one place that’s bolstering Romney’s numbers is in the South, where the Republican leads by a 49%-43% margin. Similarly, Obama’s overall job-approval is above 50% everywhere outside the South.
Time: NBC/WSJ poll finds President Obama leading GOP ‘12 frontrunners.
Obama 49, Romney 43
Obama 50, Pawlenty 37
National Journal: The likelihood of a war-time federal government shutdown – the first in American history – diminished dramatically on Friday night as all parties began reviewing, with the goal of approving, a broad array of cuts and a short-term bill to keep the government operating while the details are put into legislative language for full congressional action next week.
While leadership staff insist there is no deal yet, that caution belies significant progress in narrowing long-standing differences and the widening assumption in both parties that a shutdown will be averted and all that remains unknown is the precise procedural steps that will walk everyone back from the abyss.
Numerous GOP and Democratic sources on and off Capitol Hill tell National Journal that the outline of the deal is as follows: up to $39 billion in cuts from the 2010 budget, $514 billion in spending for the defense budget covering the remainder of this fiscal year, a GOP agreement to abandon controversial policy riders dealing with Planned Parenthood and the EPA, and an agreement to pass a “bridge” continuing resolution late Friday night to keep the government operating while the deal is written in bill form.
MSNBC: President Obama’s approval rating in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll stands at 49 percent, up one point from the last survey … “With the exception of that January bump-up [after the Tucson shootings], it’s the best job rating he’s received since May 2010,” said Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart.
Libya, rising gas prices, the threat of a Government shutdown, etc ….. and still his approval rises to 49. Doomed I say!
Politcususa: One of the little nuggets to be found in the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll is the level of support that the American people expressed for Obama’s decision to leave GITMO open. 67% of Americans approved of leaving Guantanamo Bay open, and only 29% disapproved.
…Americans were asked to rank their support for some recent decisions made by President Obama … the results were a little surprising. The most popular decision that Obama made was to allow offshore drilling to resume. 71% of respondents approved and only 29% disapproved. The second most popular decision Obama made was to leave GITMO open …. The third most popular decision was the no fly zone over Libya. 66% approved and 30% disapproved. 58% approved of Obama’s proposed domestic spending freeze … The only recent decision that Obama has made that was unpopular … was his decision to continue the war in Afghanistan….
These are not the poll numbers of an unpopular or untrusted president. A large majority of Americans agreed with this president on four of his five decisions … they seem to trust Obama’s decision making and his judgment.
The real stunner here for progressives is how widely supported Obama’s decision to keep GITMO open is. Progressives including Rachel Maddow have been filleting Obama for his decision to keep the prison open for weeks, but it turns out that these critics are in the minority….
The data from this poll is a dose of hard reality for progressives who like to think of themselves as Obama’s base. The truth is that they are all small part of Obama’s base … there is an entire bloc of Americans who don’t follow the progressive movement but came out en mass to elect Barack Obama in 2008. These people are the Obama Democrats, and they are in many ways separate from the progressive movement.
…Progressives make up anywhere from 25%-29% of Americans … the Tea Party is supported by about 29% of America. As painful as this might be for progressives to realize, the reality is that your movement is about on par with the Tea Party in terms of support and self-described identification.
Progressives and Tea Partiers and over represented in the Internet discussion and both place a premium on purity. If one were to only read the progressive Internet discussion about Obama, you would come away thinking that he is doomed one termer, when the big picture reveals that Obama is in a good position to be reelected in 2012.
…Obama is the President of the United States and if he made decisions based on what the progressives wanted, his decisions would be unpopular with about 2/3 of the country … when progressive bash Obama’s recent decisions are they really upset at this president, or are they upset that more Americans don’t agree with them? …
Full article here
National Journal: …In the latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor poll 49 percent of those polled said they approved of President Obama’s performance as president, and 44 percent disapproved. … that approval rating is the highest the poll has recorded for him since September 2009.
And beneath the top-line number were some other encouraging signs for the president. In particular, independents who said they approved of his performance (47 percent) exceeded those who said they disapproved (43 percent); that is the first time more independents approved than disapproved of Obama’s performance in a Heartland survey since September 2009.
Another positive trend for the White House is worth watching: The fire of intense opposition to Obama seems to be cooling. In last August’s survey, 39 percent of those polled said they strongly disapproved of his job performance …. that number declined to 30 percent in the latest survey.
Full article here
PPP: Our Presidential numbers in Ohio provide further evidence that the state has swung back toward the Democrats since the November election. Barack Obama now has narrowly positive approval numbers in the state at 47% giving him good marks to 46% who are unhappy with the job he’s doing. And he leads his top prospective Republican opponents for next year by margins ranging from 6 to 16 points.
This is the first time in six PPP surveys of Ohio since June 2009 that Obama’s had more voters approving of him than disapproving.
The key to his improved standing is that the base has rallied around him. Where only 71% of Democrats expressed approval of him on that poll, 84% of Democrats do now. The first couple years of the Obama administration featured a lot of Democrats fighting with each other – now that they’ve sort of unified around a common enemy in the form of John Kasich it seems to be leading to a more united party up and down the line.
…Obama leads all of the top Republicans in the state by margins greater than his 4 point win over John McCain in 2008. Mitt Romney is the most competitive, trailing Obama by 6 points at 46-40. After him it’s Mike Huckabee trailing by 7 at 48-41, Newt Gingrich down 12 at 50-38, and Sarah Palin at a 16 point advantage, 52-36 … our national poll yesterday also found Gingrich with worse favorability numbers than Palin, it’s kind of hard to imagine his last couple of weeks could have been much more of a disaster.
….Ohio joins Virginia and Colorado as states PPP has polled since the beginning of February that George W. Bush won in both 2000 and 2004 where Obama now leads all of his prospective opponents for next year by at least 6 points. There’s no way Republicans can win the White House back if that continues to be the case.
Full article here
by (our very own!) Joan Katherine Shaw
Luck is half the game. It’s no good having it and being incapable of using it. On the other hand, great striving may come to naught without luck. My sense is that President Barack Obama is a lucky man. – Roger Cohen
Mr. Cohen, Obama is not just lucky, he is an example of the Great Man theory
Why is it luck that President Obama surrounds himself with advisors he carefully chose – a hydra headed advance guard with the expertise and intelligence and, best of all, contacts throughout the world, to see what’s coming in a year, two years, more?
Like FDR did in the 1930s, Obama acts as a sponge, soaking up the information culled from this advance guard. He orders and categorizes it, and then, after one helluva lot of cogitation, he acts on it.
Leaders of countries have always been faced with explosive situations, both at home and abroad, and they have not always been “lucky,” because they’ve not always acted intelligently while meeting them. Think of Vietnam, for instance – who in the world thought up the “domino theory” anyway? Eisenhower did, followed by Nixon who galloped off with it, complete with drafted soldiers.
Result? The domino theory resulted in the deaths of untold numbers of Vietnamese and American troops, not to mention the Vietnamese civilians caught up in it. Finally, the term was quietly put away and forgotten.
Then there’s the Cold War, a term coined by Bernard Baruch, a long-time advisor to presidents from Woodrow Wilson to Harry Truman. The term was picked up by the press through columnist Walter Lippmann and that’s all we heard for decades, killing millions in proxy wars backed by the US versus the USSR, stretching from the Korean War to wars in Southeast Asia and beyond.
We’ve all read, I’m sure, that Reagan “broke up the Soviet Union,” though what actually broke up the Soviet Union was exhaustion bred from too many wars, too many states pulled into their orbit. But it was as early as the late seventies that historians and analysts foretold the Soviet Union’s break up.
In fact, if any one person “broke up the Soviet Union” it was Mikhail Gorbachev who tried to stop his county’s economic freefall with his Perestroika and Glasnost. The reward he received was a Soviet jail and exile, in that order but, by 1991, the USSR was no more and all the dead were still dead, and for nothing.
Okay, say President Obama is “lucky” to be facing so many disasters all at once, including the revolutionary fervor spreading through the Middle East. Suppose he followed the advice of most of the far Left and all of the Right and went into the Middle East with guns blazing? Certainly there were more of the Hawks urging war than there were of his advisors. And even among his close advisors there might well have been some who counseled intervention.
But while he was still a US senator Obama said that he wasn’t against all wars. He was against dumb wars. And intervention in Tunisia and Egypt would have been dumb and Barack Obama is not dumb.
In fact I have always thought that Barack Obama is a real life example of the Great Man theory – that in times of need, a Great Man would arise and, further, that his actions would be impossible without the social conditions built before his lifetime.
The theory fits President Obama. It took more than a confluence of good genes to give our president the brilliant brain and good sense and empathy he has. I agree with the posters here that Obama is blessed, except to add that we are infinitely more blessed to have him.
Visit Joan’s blog here