Posts Tagged ‘Lawrence



17
May
13

Rise and Shine

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Today:

11:0: The President departs the White House

11:25: Arrives Baltimore, Maryland

11:35: Visits an Elementary School

1:05: Tours Ellicott Dredges (which manufactures innovative dredges and dredge equipment being sold for infrastructure projects across the country and around the world)

1:20: Delivers remarks

2:15: Visits a community center

3:0: Departs Baltimore

3:25: Arrives the White House

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Kevin Drum (Mother Jones): It’s Official: Those Bogus Email Leaks Came From Republicans

It’s not as if we didn’t know this already, but Major Garrett made it official: last week’s leaks that misquoted the Benghazi emails came directly from Republicans….

So here’s what happened. Republicans in Congress saw copies of these emails two months ago and did nothing with them. It was obvious that they showed little more than routine interagency haggling. Then someone got the bright idea of leaking two isolated tidbits and mischaracterizing them in an effort to make the State Department look bad…..

But it was typical GOP overreach. To their surprise, the White House took Republicans up on their demand to make the entire email chain public, thus making it clear to the press that they had been burned. And now reporters are letting us all know who was behind it.

More here

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Steve Benen: Whether or not an issue is a “scandal” tends to be a subjective question — one voter’s world-changing controversy may be another voter’s meaningless distraction. Indeed, the Beltway has spent a week telling the nation that the White House is engulfed in three ongoing scandals, though many of us suspect this analysis is deeply flawed.

But if we’re going to talk about real political scandals, can we at least have a conversation about Republicans lying to reporters about Benghazi?

More here

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Jeffrey Goldberg (Bloomberg): So it turns out that Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and, before a group of leading Senate Republicans decided that she was evil incarnate, a top contender to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, had nothing to do with formulating the White House’s response to the fatal attacks last year at the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

…. Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain, among others, argued for weeks that Rice was a crucial cog in a huge conspiracy to hide the facts of Benghazi from the American people….

…. I don’t expect that Graham will apologize to Rice for accusing her of engaging in an enormous conspiracy, when all she seems to have done is take the consensus of several government agencies and present it publicly. But you would hope Graham would think twice before threatening again to stop her advancement in government.

Full post here

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01
May
13

This and That

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Greg Sargent: Top liberals throw their weight behind Obama’s housing pick

The news that Obama has nominated Congressman Mel Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Administration, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is potentially a huge deal, with possible long term consequences for untold numbers of struggling homeowners — and, by extension, the health of the economy. There are two key questions to be asked about Watt, who would replace the Bush-appointed Ed DeMarco, who has been widely pilloried by liberals for refusing administration requests to allow Fannie and Freddie to offer debt relief to distressed home borrowers.

More here

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President Obama congratulates U.S. Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC) after nominating him to be the next director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency

…. with Tom Wheeler, the President’s nominee to replace the outgoing Federal Communications Commission Chairman

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Charles Pierce: Noted sprawler-across-staircases Maureen Dowd has fashioned herself another Chronic Ward of a newspaper column today on her now-regular theme of what a wimpety-wimp-wimp Barry Obama is, and why she never should have let him take her to prom instead of the hunky Andrew Shepherd from The American President who, while admittedly fictional, never would take this guff from actual human beings like John Boehner and Eric Cantor …

…. Dowd once again seems to be writing from an assisted-living facility on the far side of a world Beyond The Planet Of The Ultra-Vixens.

…. It is the president’s job to get Congress to behave? Where in Article I does that part of the job description appear? It is the job of the voters not to elect morons. It is the job of the non-morons in the congressional leadership to keep the morons from driving the entire train over a cliff. When those two checks fail, as they obviously have, it still is not the job of the president to be the country’s chief moron-wrangler. I think we are heading into the endless thicket of Dowdian Daddy Issues here again…..

Full majestic post here

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24
Apr
13

Rise and Shine

Random old Texas pic: Austin, Feb. 23, 2007

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Today:

EST

12:0: VP Biden and Dr Jill Biden attend a memorial service for Officer Sean Collier at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

12:30: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

12:45: VP Biden delivers remarks at the memorial

4:25: The President and the First Lady depart the White House

CDT

6:35: Arrive Dallas, Texas

7:35: The President delivers remarks at a DNC event; the First Lady also attends (Private Residence, Print Pool for Remarks Only)

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Steve Benen: A confluence of events appears to have created a curious new talking point on the right. With former President George W. Bush’s library set to open, and last week’s Boston Marathon bombing still very much on the public’s mind, Republican pundits see value in trying to tie the two together in the hopes of improving Bush’s reputation.

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin, for example, published this gem yesterday: “Unlike Obama’s tenure, there was no successful attack on the homeland after 9/11.”

A few hours later on Fox News, Eric Bolling echoed the sentiment.

…. When it comes to Bolling, I should note that this is an improvement from his previous stance. Two years ago, he suggested on the air that he didn’t recall 9/11 at all….

I should also note that neither Rubin nor Bolling seemed to be kidding. Their comments weren’t satirical or jokes intended to make Republicans appear silly…..

More here

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Andrew Sullivan: …… The country Bush broke is still broken. And the cost in terms of human life and tax-payers’ dollars still looms over us all. And yet some like Rubin still do not see the failure staring at them in the face. Because they cannot. Late-era neoconservatives can never admit error. They do not have the intellect for it.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: For the last couple of months, congressional Republicans were content to ignore the consequences of their sequestration policy, celebrating the deep budget cuts as a “victory.” Now that it’s causing several flight delays as the FAA begins furloughs, Republicans have suddenly discovered they don’t like the sequester after all. Indeed, they’re now blaming President Obama, suggesting some kind of conspiracy is afoot — the White House wants air travelers to suffer to make some kind of point about the value of government spending.

More here

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11
Apr
13

‘The most important liberal you’ve never heard of: Frances Perkins’

Thank you to the wondrous @LiberalPhenom and the one and only VC

20
Feb
13

Rise and Shine

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Today:

President Obama will sit for interviews with eight local reporters

The First Lady will be on the Rachael Ray Show – check your listings

11:0: Secretary of State John Kerry will make his first major public address since taking the post on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville (C-Span)

12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press

1:30: VP Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder award the Medal of Valor to public safety officers who exhibited exceptional courage in the attempt to protect others from harm

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According to GOPolitico, Conan O’Brien has agreed to headline this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner (April 27)

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See here – thanks Desertflower and Ladyhawke

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Steve Benen: With just 10 days to go before brutal sequestration cuts kick in, President Obama has decided to use his bully pulpit, not just to frame the debate and show the way out of this latest manufactured crisis, but also to make his opponents look reckless and irresponsible …. The president had a fairly compelling pitch to present, which had the added benefit of being true….

…. For those who care about reality, the sequester really wasn’t Obama’s idea – it was part of the ransom paid to Republicans when GOP lawmakers held the nation hostage in 2011, threatening to crash the economy and trash the full faith and credit of the United States. Republicans took credit for the sequester and they voted for the sequester.

But as a practical matter, it doesn’t matter whose idea it was. There’s a looming threat to the nation and it kicks in next week. One side is focused on resolving the manufactured crisis with a bipartisan compromise; the other side is focused on how to win a public-relations battle, instead of focusing on fixing the problem they helped create…..

Full post here

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Bloomberg: In the spring of 1986, a grassroots organizer named Barack Obama was walking through a trash-strewn playground on Chicago’s South Side when the sound of gunshots pierced the air.

Obama ducked and glanced nervously at John Owens, an activist working for a local nonprofit, who was giving him a tour of the neighborhood’s parks. “He said: ‘You hear that? Whoa’,” Owens, recalled. “I remember thinking, ‘Well, he hasn’t been around here very long’.”

The president’s three-year stretch as a community organizer in an impoverished section of Chicago gave him a first-hand look at how gun violence affects a community. He’s now drawing upon that experience, and the solutions he saw then, as he crafts a second-term agenda in which gun control finally has political momentum after the Dec. 14 shootings at a Connecticut school…..

See here – Thanks Squarepeg

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ThinkProgress: The Supreme Court’s election-buying decision in Citizens United v FEC enabled wealthy corporations to spend unlimited money to change the course of American elections, and a subsequent lower court decision gave the green light to super PACs funded by unlimited donations from millionaires, billionaires and corporations. Yesterday, the Supreme Court announced it would hear another case — brought by none other than the Republican National Committee — that would go even further towards transforming American democracy into the Wild West.

More here

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See here

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Washington Post: Since November, President Obama has been promising to do something about extremely long voting lines and other shameful Election Day lapses. Last week, he began to make good on his pledge, unveiling “a nonpartisan commission to improve the voting experience in America,” headed by Bob Bauer and Benjamin Ginsburg, the lawyers for Mr. Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaigns, respectively.

….. critics are already attacking the idea. Conservatives question why the federal government needs to get more involved with voting. Voting-rights activists wonder why the president needs a commission when he could champion any of the sensible reform proposals already sitting in Congress.

But the commission is a good idea, for at least two reasons.

More here

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Steve Benen: I suspect most folks have, at least once, accidentally mistaken satirical news for real news. But Spencer Ackerman’s report on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s misstep is a doozy.

    On November 14, 2012, Mitch McConnell wrote to Elizabeth King, the Pentagon’s congressional liaison, with a an unusually credulous query. “I am writing on behalf of a constituent who has contacted me regarding Guantanamo Bay prisoners receiving Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits,” McConnell wrote in a letter acquired by Danger Room. “I would appreciate your review and response to my constituent’s concerns.”

…… the United States government is not providing GI Bill benefits to detainees at the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay. What McConnell forwarded to the Pentagon was a satirical piece, published by a terrific online humor outlet. Picture The Onion with a sole focus on the military.

More here

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Raw Story: A Republican state representative in Alabama says that her bill to force new restrictions on abortion clinics is necessary because the fetus is “the largest organ in a body.”

…. “When a physician removes a child from a woman, that is the largest organ in a body,” Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin declared. “That’s a big thing. That’s a big surgery. You don’t have any other organs in your body that are bigger than that.”

…. “My liver, heart, and skin are all very excited that we are now giving organs personhood rights, although the latter is slightly upset about losing out on its ‘largest organ in the human body’ rep,” Jezebel’s Katie J.M. Baker wrote on Monday.

More here

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Charles Pierce: ….. Scott Brown took to the local Fox affiliate to explain the bizarre episode in which he got into a Twittery wrangle that ended up with former senator McDreamy exclaiming, “Bqhatevwr!” .. which caused more than a few people to wonder whether or not he was a bit sockless at the time. His explanation for what happened is quite remarkable in its sub-plausibility….

….. I am not buying the pocket-tweet explanation if, for no other reason, than believing that whole colloquy was an accident would require you to believe that McDreamy was sliding down the back of a stegosaurus for that many accidental keystrokes to have occurred.

Whatever, dude.

Full post here

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MooooOOoooorning!

19
Feb
13

Rise and Shine

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Today:

10:45 President Obama will call on Congress to avert the automatic spending cuts coming next week

3:30: VP Biden participates in a Facebook Town Hall on gun violence

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President Obama returning to the White House, Feb 18

USA Today: President Obama will urge congressional Republicans to avoid automatic budget cuts next month by appearing Tuesday with a group of emergency responders who might have to absorb some of those cuts.

The group of emergency responders who will stand beside Obama at 10:45 a.m. are “the kinds of working Americans whose jobs are on the line if Congressional Republicans fail to compromise on a balanced solution,” said an addition to the White House schedule.

More here

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Michael Tomasky: Whose “idea” was the sequester, and why should it matter? My Twitter feed these last couple of weeks has been overflowing with people going beyond the usual “communist” and “idiot” name-calling that I get every day and throwing the occasional “liar” in there because I “withhold” the information that the sequester was the Obama administration’s idea. Very well, consider that nugget hereby unwithheld. Let’s grant that this is true. But it’s true only because the Republicans were holding a gun to the administration’s head—and besides, the Republicans immediately voted for it. In any case the important thing now is that outside of Fox News land, it’s an unimportant fact whose “idea” it was. The Republicans are partial owners of this idea, and as the party that now wants the cuts to kick in, they deserve to – and will – bear more responsibility for the negative impacts.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: Over the weekend, USA Today published the leaked blueprint of the White House’s comprehensive immigration reform plan, built around an eight-year pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), demonstrating the kind of devotion to serious policymaking we’ve come to expect over his brief career, immediately condemned the unfinished plan he had not yet seen.

Full post here

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Deaniac (The People’s View): So, after USA Today reported on a White House draft legislation on immigration reform – something the president has always said he would do in the event Congress follows its usual path of doing nothing – Republicans began melting down faster than wax in a lit candle. Suddenly after months of complaining that the president won’t put his own plan out to deal with the debt, Republicans are seething that the president has his own plan on immigration.

Sen. Hydration, I mean Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida accused the White House proposal of following some sort of failed path even though he wouldn’t say just what in the White House draft he disagreed with……

Full post here

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Comment on YouTube by ‘Jack194343′: Before Mississippi could ratify the amendment, they had to learn how to read the amendment. That only took 147 years. Wait until they discover addition. That will knock their socks off. Imagine, not having to count by their fingers. What a leap forward that will be. But first, they have to learn to count to ten, so they know how many fingers they have. First things first, you know.

:shock:

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Join Organizing for Action’s Stephanie Cutter and other supporters online at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time this Wednesday for a policy briefing on gun violence prevention – see here

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The First Lady will be on the Rachael Ray Show tomorrow

Rev Al cracked me up at the end!

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MoooOOoooOOOoorning!

29
Jan
13

Rise and Shine

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with law enforcement officials to discuss policies the President put forward last month that would reduce gun violence in communities across America, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Jan. 28 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

9:20: President Obama departs the White House

2:25: Arrives Las Vegas

2:55: Delivers remarks on immigration at Del Sol High School

5:00: Departs Las Vegas

9:20: Arrives at the White House

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Washington Post: The Obama administration has developed its own proposals for immigration reform that are more liberal than a separate bipartisan effort in the Senate, including a quicker path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, people with knowledge of the proposals said.

President Obama is expected to provide some details of the White House plans during a Tuesday appearance in Las Vegas, where he will call for broad changes to the nation’s immigration laws. The speech will kick off a public push by the administration in support of the broadest overhaul of immigration law in nearly three decades.

More here

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Atlantic Wire: The gay community seemed to gasp in unison on Monday afternoon when the Senate revealed a much anticipated immigration plan that did not, in the end, include same-sex couples. But according to multiple reports Monday night, this is just the beginning: President Obama will include same-sex couples in the proposals of a major policy speech on immigration in Las Vegas on Tuesday afternoon that will seek to build on “momentum” from Congress for broad reform.

More here

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Steve Benen: After a bipartisan group of eight senators unveiled their proposal for comprehensive immigration reform, most proponents of improving the status quo, including President Obama and his team, were delighted. All eyes, however, quickly turned to House Republicans, who’ve long opposed reform and are in a position to kill it in this Congress.

More here

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Liberal Librarian: So, the news of the day is that a bipartisan group of senators have a plan for comprehensive immigration reform. That’s all to the well and good. This country needs a sensible immigration policy that allows for the legalization of those undocumented immigrants already in the country, and for a rational method for immigrants to come in legally.

Now, don’t be mistaken: this Damascene conversion on the part of a few Republican senators is due more to the stranglehold that the Democratic Party has on immigrant voters, rather than to any true change of heart that maybe it would be a good idea to decriminalize 11 million US residents.

Full post here

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ThinkProgress

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Washington Post: The nation’s housing market is surging again after years of historic declines, and the unique forces powering its return could last well into 2013.

The number of homes for sale is at its lowest level since before the recession, sparking competition among buyers that has led to 10 straight months of price increases. The volume of activity is the highest since 2007.

Builders broke ground in December on the most new housing developments in four years. And interest rates on mortgages are expected to remain near all-time lows through much of the year, galvanizing once-skeptical buyers.

More here

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President Obama hugs Donna Vanzant, the owner of North Point Marina, as he tours damage from Hurricane Sandy in Brigantine, N.J., Oct. 31, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Steve Benen: It’s taken far longer than it should have, but federal aid for areas affected by Hurricane Sandy is finally on the way.

…. it’s worth pausing to note the partisan split on Sandy relief – in the Senate, 36 Senate Republicans, including members representing coastal states like Florida, Texas, Alabama, and the Carolinas, voted against the federal aid. Or put another way, 80% of Senate Republicans opposed post-Sandy relief …. 78% of House Republicans voted against the emergency assistance.

….. it is now effectively the standard position of congressional Republicans to reject disaster relief unless the funding is offset by other spending cuts. So long, compassionate conservatism, we hardly knew you.

Full post here

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TPM: The Senate is fast-tracking its reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act to a floor vote expected by next week, two Democratic aides tell TPM.

But House Republican leaders remain silent on how they intend to proceed, which suggests that there has not been a breakthrough since last year, when the bill fell prey to the House GOP’s resistance to expand coverage to gays, illegal immigrants and Native Americans who have suffered domestic abuse.

More here

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Business Week: Last week campaign disclosure reports revealed that Hillary Clinton had finally retired the debt from her 2008 presidential campaign—with a little help from the guy who beat her, Barack Obama. Clinton’s debt once totaled more than $20 million, although it had dwindled to about $250,000 by last year. That’s when a team of top Obama donors decided to surprise Clinton, and thank her for her loyal service, by raising enough money to pay off her bills. As secretary of state, she was forbidden from political fundraising.

More here

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Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a Republican member of the Cabinet, feigns being a blocking back for President Barack Obama as he arrives backstage to meet with GOP House leaders before speaking to their issues conference at the Renaissance Baltimore Harbor Place Hotel in Baltimore, Md., Jan. 29, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

AP: Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the only Republican still left in President Barack Obama’s first-term Cabinet, says he plans to leave the Obama administration.

…. LaHood says he will not run for public office in his home state of Illinois, saying he believes “you should go out while they’re applauding.”

More here

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… with Darren Criss

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Morning!

04
Jan
13

Rise and Shine

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Time: U.S. employers added 155,000 jobs in December, a steady gain that shows hiring held up during tense fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington …. The solid job growth wasn’t enough to push down the unemployment rate, which stayed 7.8 percent last month….

…. Robust hiring in manufacturing and construction fueled the December gains. Construction firms added 30,000 jobs, the most in 15 months… Layoffs are declining, and the number of people who sought unemployment aid in the past month is near a four-year low.

The once-battered housing market is recovering. Companies ordered more long-lasting manufactured goods in November, a sign they are investing more in equipment and software. And Americans spent more in November. Consumer spending drives nearly 70 percent of economic growth.

Manufacturing is getting a boost from the best auto sales in five years. Car sales jumped 13 percent in 2012 to 14.5 million. And Americans spent more at the tail end of the holiday shopping season, boosting overall sales that had slumped earlier in the crucial two-month period.

Full post here

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Hilarious:

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President Obama at Island Snow, a shaved ice shop, on January 3 in Kailua, Hawaii

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Forgot to post this a couple of days ago:

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NY Mag: Newtown, Conn. has had its share of somber visits from dignitaries in the weeks since the tragedy there, but a planned Friday visit by former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords is especially significant …. She’ll attend an event with no press access in a private house, and meet with families of the victims…

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MooooOOOoooOOOooooorning everyone




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