Posts Tagged ‘letter



16
Oct
12

Rise and Shine

@BarackObama

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All times ET

11:50: President Obama departs Williamsburg, Va.

12:00: VP Biden travels to Penn Valley, Pa., to attend the funeral services for Senator Arlen Specter

12:55: President Obama arrives in New York

2:50: Michelle Obama speaks to grassroots supporters in Chapel Hill, N.C.

9:00: The Debate

11:05: President Obama departs New York

12:15: Arrives at the White House

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Greatest website ever:

RomneyTaxPlan

Thank you Bill!

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Washington Post: Romney’s 12-million job promise has garnered a lot of attention. We became interested in this ad after a reader asked whether the campaign had provided much detail on how he would reach this total …

…. the candidate’s personal accounting for this figure in this campaign ad is based on different figures and long-range timelines stretching as long as a decade — which in two cases are based on studies that did not even evaluate Romney’s economic plan. The numbers may still add up to 12 million, but they aren’t the same thing — not by a long shot.

… Clearly, some clever campaign staffer thought it would be nice to match up poll-tested themes such as “energy independence,” “tax reform” and “cracking down on China” with actual job numbers. We just find it puzzling that Romney agreed to personally utter these words without asking more questions about the math behind them.

Read the full article here

Greg Sargent: …. Let’s recap what Kessler has discovered here. The plan that is central to Romney’s candidacy on the most important issue of this election — jobs — is a complete sham. This is every bit as bad — or worse — than Romney’s claim to have created 100,000 jobs at Bain, or his vow to cut spending by eliminating whole agencies without saying which ones, or his refusal to say how he’ll pay for his tax cuts.

This could not have come at a better time for Obama. Here is the evidence he needs to spell out as clearly as possible that Romney is peddling economic hokum to the American people. Any fair reading of the backup the Romney campaign itself supplied for his plan reveals that it is nothing but a bill of goods. Obama needs to seize on this in a big way. This should be a big story.

Oh, and by the way: Economists have evaluated Obama’s jobs plan. And they concluded it would create one to two million jobs. The bottom line is simple: One candidate has a jobs plan, and the other doesn’t.

More here

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Click to see the rest of the post

10
Oct
12

Rise and Shine

Ohio State University, Oct 9 (Larry Downing/Reuters)

Newseum

(Larry Downing/Reuters)

(Brendan Smialowski/Getty)

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OFA: Just before stepping on stage in Fairfax, Virginia, President Obama takes a minute to read a thank you letter from Lori, Ian’s mom

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(Zee News)

Leesburg Today

You can see video of Michelle Obama’s Loudoun County speech here

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Click to see the rest of the post

01
Oct
12

Ian’s Letter: “Dear Mr. President”

26
Sep
12

Heads Up: President Obama at Bowling Green State University

1:05 (approx): President Obama delivers remarks at Bowling Green State University, Ohio

C-Span * CNN * CBS 1 * CBS 2

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Enthusiasm gap? :lol:

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Later:

5:30: President Obama delivers remarks at Kent State University, Ohio

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Email from Jeremy Bird, National Field Director, Obama for America:

If you think your $5 isn’t enough to make a difference in this campaign, take a minute to read the letter below – it’s officially gone viral among campaign staff (with the sender’s permission).

The most powerful thing about making a donation is that you’re joining more than 3 million other Americans who believe ordinary people should decide this election.

It adds up. And it depends on each of us doing our part:

https://donate.barackobama.com/Sandy

Thanks, Jeremy

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Dear President Obama,

I’m writing to tell you about the $15 my family just donated to your 2012 campaign.

It was $15. That’s really all we could give.

My husband Steve is currently a student at Temple University. Since starting his degree, three years ago, we’ve been living considerably below the poverty level (I keep forgetting which percent … does it matter?). But we aren’t complaining. Two healthy daughters; dusty, well-travelled backpacks in the basement; a house full of memories — a future full of hope. We’re the lucky ones.

So — we’re currently “poor on money — rich in life” (as we like to say). It hasn’t always been like this. My husband spent most of his life doing what he loved — playing or coaching basketball. Born in SE Iowa, he was an Academic All-American and once-upon-two-good-knees-ago, the “local town hero” of his small town — after bringing home the State Championship during high school, followed by NJCAA National Championship years later as a coach. He’s a big a fan of yours by the way … as a player, father and president … not necessarily in that order.

But this really wasn’t supposed to be a letter about him.

It’s about this year’s campaign. It’s about wanting to say that $15 means something these days and deserves a moment of pause (and some words on paper) for this girl and her family of Obama fans.

— $15 is a special pizza dinner at our local pizza stop (Poppi’s in Wynnewood).
— It’s 1 1/2 tickets to see the newest film at the old-school cinema we walk our daughters to.
— It’s getting fresh fruit, instead of frozen; fresh veg, instead of canned.
— It’s tickets to the Franklin Institute in the heart of Philly. (We’ve never been.)

It’s all these things to a family like ours.

I’ve listened with curiosity, mostly frustration, as the nation debates Citizens’ United and the string of new laws that now allow the bellowing voices of private interest to drown out the sounds of tiny voices (like ours/mine). Our pebble-in-the-ocean support feels almost pointless. “Leave the campaigns to the rich,” I think to myself, “Get your daughters a pizza instead.”

But I refuse to allow new laws to stop us/me from being A PART of this campaign. After all, I will never be a “player” (in the political sense), but I still want to believe I can play a part.

Then, out of the blue, there you are — shooting a jumpshot on my (Facebook) wall — and asking for “players” to join you on your home court. I had to smile, and then I couldn’t resist. And so, I have relinquished those $15.

Please know that they count. To us. Please stay in Washington. Do, in this second term, what you were not assisted/supported to do during your first term. Get this country moving/working/hoping again.

Please continue being a champion for the middle class — I’m hoping the next pizza will be on you.

Wishes to your brave wife and beautiful daughters from another brave wife with two beautiful daughters.

All good things,

Sandy & Family, PA

(Thank you BWD)

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While you’re waiting….

Thanks Bob!

21
Sep
12

‘An Open Letter To Candidate Romney’

An Open Letter To Candidate Romney by Sara Zacharias

Dear Mitt Romney:

I saw your video.

I saw you speaking candidly and off the cuff about me. Don’t get me wrong, I know that you didn’t mention me by name or anything, but we both know you were talking about me.

When you were talking about 47% of the population that is never going to vote for you because we are “dependent victims” who lazily live on government programs like food stamps, I can’t help but take personal offense. In fact, once you decided to lump in anybody who is never going to vote for you, you weren’t just talking about me, but many people I love, and about 90% of the people I know.

My children eat because of food stamps, Mr. Romney. Now, sir, I want you to picture a Wyoming cowgirl: a mother, a fighter, a righteous, determined, God-loving woman. A Rocky Mountain Grizzly Bear Mamma that would make Sarah Palin’s makeup-wearing pit bull shudder. Picture me staring you in the eyes as I ask you, “What business have you got talking about me and mine like that?”…..

Read the full letter here

See more at the Booman Tribune

Thank you Japa

17
Aug
12

Rise and Shine

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President Obama talks on the phone with NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover team aboard Air Force One during a flight to Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, Aug. 13 (Pete Souza)

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OFA

Magnificent.

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Steve Benen: Just this morning, I noted that Mitt Romney publicly gave his word, on camera, that he would “go back and look” to let us know what tax rates he paid over the last decade. The good news is, Romney really did “go back and look,” and elaborated on the findings today.

The bad news is, his answer was horrible:

“…I did go back and look at my taxes and over the past 10 years I never paid less than 13 percent. I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that. So I paid taxes every single year. Harry Reid’s charge is totally false. I’m sure waiting for Harry to put up who it was that told him what he says they told him. I don’t believe it for a minute, by the way. But every year I’ve paid at least 13 percent and if you add in addition the amount that goes to charity, why the number gets well above 20 percent.”

Let’s walk through the top five reasons this answer is woefully unacceptable…..

Full post here

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David Simon: Can we stand back and pause a short minute to take in the spectacle of a man who wants to be President of The United States, who wants us to seriously regard him as a paragon of the American civic ideal, declaiming proudly and in public that he has paid his taxes at a third of the rate normally associated with gentlemen of his economic benefit.

Stunning.

Am I supposed to congratulate this man? Thank him for his good citizenship? Compliment him for being clever enough to arm himself with enough tax lawyers so that he could legally minimize his obligations?

Thirteen percent. The last time I paid taxes at that rate, I believe I might still have been in college. If not, it was my first couple years as a newspaper reporter.  Since then, the paychecks have been just fine, thanks, and I don’t see any reason not to pay at the rate appropriate to my earnings, given that I’m writing the check to the same government that provided the economic environment that allowed for such incomes.

I can’t get over the absurdity of this moment, honestly: Hey, I never paid less than thirteen percent. I swear. And no, you can’t examine my tax returns in any more detail. But I promise you all, my fellow American citizens, I never once slipped to single digits. I’m just not that kind of guy.

God.

This republic is just about over, isn’t it?

DavidSimon.com / Mediaite

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ABC: After repeated denials, Paul Ryan has admitted he requested stimulus cash even after sharply criticizing the program.

Ryan had denied doing so as recently as Wednesday, when he spoke to ABC’s Cincinnati affiliate, WCPO, in Ohio.

“I never asked for stimulus,” Mitt Romney’s new running mate said. “I don’t recall… so I really can’t comment on it. I opposed the stimulus because it doesn’t work, it didn’t work.”

Two years ago, during an interview on WBZ’s NewsRadio he was asked by a caller if he “accepted any money” into his district. Ryan said he did not.

…. But as we’ve now learned, Ryan did write letters. He did request stimulus funds.

More here

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Cagle

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Charles Pierce: The president is angry. The president is an angry man. The president is black. The president is an angry black man …. That is the four-point plan on “the economy” on which Willard Romney apparently intends to run for president for a while…..

“If you look at the ads that have been described and the divisiveness based on income, age, ethnicity and so-forth, it’s designed to bring a sense of enmity and jealousy and anger and this is not in my view what the American people want to see,” Romney said.

Ethnicity? And so forth…. If he blows that dog-whistle any louder, Seamus may return from that great roof-rack in the sky.

This should surprise absolutely nobody, because, if there’s one thing candidate Romney has demonstrated, it is that he really is quite a remarkable liar…. Asking a Republican presidential candidate to abandon race-baiting entirely is to ask for an awful lot of 13-second Republican stump speeches. Asking Willard Romney to do it is to assume that there is muck so foul that he will not immerse himself in it to be president….

…. There was nothing Romney wouldn’t do in business to make a buck. Why should we be surprised that he campaigns the same way? ….

…. Since you can count on Rafalca’s hooves the number of times in his life that Willard Romney has been in a fair fight, it’s no great shock to discover that, since he can’t fight hard, he’ll fight dirty, because winning is not something you earn. Winning is something you inherit…..

Full post here

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Cagle

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LA Times

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McClatchy: …. Paul Ryan will leave sizable footprints on the 2012 presidential race. His controversial plan to overhaul the federal budget has been the chief talking point of the campaign since Mitt Romney put him on the GOP ticket last weekend.

…. According to a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, “[Medicaid] Cutbacks might involve reduced eligibility … coverage of fewer services, lower payments to providers, or increased cost-sharing by beneficiaries – all of which would reduce access to care.”

Those cuts and the Ryan plan’s calls to repeal the Affordable Care Act would add tens of millions of low-income Americans to the ranks of the uninsured. It also would raise taxpayers’ bill for emergency room indigent care and cause an increase in private insurance rates.

…. Ryan’s plans for Medicare have caused a stir … In order to slow spending in the national health plan for seniors, Ryan would replace Medicare’s guarantee of coverage for new beneficiaries in 2023 with a flat payment to seniors known as a “voucher” or “premium support” ….

Ryan’s planned tax cuts favor the affluent. Those who earn more than $1 million annually would see an average tax cut of $265,000 and a 12.5 percent increase in after-tax income  … But at the lower end of the scale, people earning between $20,000 and $30,000 would get no tax cut …

…. All told, the Tax Policy Center said, Ryan’s tax plans would increase the deficit by $4.6 trillion over the next 10 years. His call to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for high-earning Americans would boost the deficit by an additional $5.4 trillion.

Full article here

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Cagle

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NYT Editorial: Three days after Paul Ryan became the presumptive Republican vice presidential candidate, he made a pilgrimage on Tuesday to the Las Vegas gambling palace of Sheldon Adelson, the casino tycoon who is spending more than any other donor to try to send Mr. Ryan and Mitt Romney to the White House. No reporters were allowed, perhaps because the campaign didn’t want them asking uncomfortable questions about the multiple federal investigations into the company behind Mr. Adelson’s wealth.

Those questions, though, aren’t going away, and neither are the ones about the judgment of Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan in drawing ever closer to a man whose business background should lead them to back away — fast. By not repudiating Mr. Adelson’s vow to spend as much as $100 million on their behalf, the two candidates seem more eager to keep the “super PAC” dollars flowing than to preserve the integrity of their campaign.

The issues swirling about Mr. Adelson’s business practices are not new and can hardly come as a surprise to the Romney campaign…. A careful presidential campaign would put distance between itself and a businessman like Mr. Adelson … By allowing Mr. Adelson to have such an outsize role in their race, the candidates themselves are placing a very risky bet.

Full editorial here

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Cagle

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NYT: As Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan fanned out across the country this week, glad-handing voters and donors, a smaller but no less important gathering was taking place on Capitol Hill: Mr. Romney’s transition team met on Tuesday with more than a dozen loyalists from the private and public sectors in space borrowed from a law office.

Mr. Romney’s transition team …. offers a glimpse of what might be Mr. Romney’s approach to governing, functioning much like his old private equity firm, Bain Capital. The team is assessing the government and looking for ways to make it more efficient and streamlined…..

More here

The rest of the article didn’t interest me too much –  a transition team for something that will never happen :roll: – it was just this line:

“The team also offers a glimpse of what might be Mr. Romney’s approach to governing, functioning much like his old private equity firm, Bain Capital…..”

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Davenport, Iowa, August 15 (Scout Tufankjian for OFA)

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Morning everyone ;-)

09
Jun
12

Before I Sleep….

Hi everyone, I know I said ‘see you tomorrow’ in the last post, and here I am. :???:

But before I have to run again ….

… more thanks for all the replies earlier (I haven’t had a chance to read each one yet, but I will), BWD’s post at TOAITR, and my own for-what-it’s-worth comments on that post, were always going to result in a fairly heated discussion, but I really appreciate the vast majority of you who didn’t resort to insults and just made your arguments.

Special thanks to two of my most loved bloggers, SmartyPants and Eclectablog, for their thoughts.

To those who opted for insults ….. a big fat sigh. Really woeful stuff. Comparing what you read here today – a frustrated plea for the campaign to better promote PBO’s extraordinary achievements – with Hamsher, Uygur, Greenwald and Co’s Koch-fuelled efforts to encourage their sheeple to ensure his defeat? Seriously, you see no difference?

And to the 13 ‘I’m a lurker, I’ve never commented here before, but….’ folk stuck in pending when I got back to the blog tonight …. why is it you people only ever try to emerge from lurkdom when you sense division here?? Why don’t you ever appear to offer encouragement and support in difficult times? Please, f**k right off, to FirebaggerLake, or whatever sewer you crawled out of.

As I said before, there is no end to my respect for David Axelrod and David Plouffe, and I still trust that they will get it right this year and ensure the campaign is successful.

But, yeah, and I know most of you disagree: I think they could be doing a whole lot better now, before the MSM/Romney narrative is set in stone. That’s what this frustration is all about, at the end of a completely shitty week. PBO should be 20 pts clear of that contemptible, vacuous, amoral, worthless shitbag, but thanks to the MSM – and, in my humble opinion, the feeble efforts of the campaign – it’s still too close to call. That’s just mindblowing to me.

So, no, I never ever claimed PBO isn’t doing enough, as one of you said I did. He’s done 100 times more than enough to be re-elected, comfortably. I have no words for how much I love, respect and admire him – as I keep saying, I feel blessed to be alive in his time. But I just think his campaign advocates have to be a little more fierce in their attempts to spread the story of his achievements.

We’ll agree to differ, though, we’ve had our say.

Thanks again

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The eternally lovely HZ has just started her own fundraiser for Obama/Biden 2012 – this is the link.

If you can, please contribute to this utterly inspirational woman’s fundraiser.

HZ emailed me a while ago, I just have no words for how gorgeous a human being she is.

Night everyone.

09
Jun
12

Thanks

President Obama departs the White House for Fort Belvoir, Virginia for a round of golf, June 9

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Thanks for all the comments on the last post, I’m working today so won’t have a chance to reply, but will catch up asap. Special thanks to those who argued it out, even when they disagreed; to those who read my own comments as a suggestion that PBO isn’t doing enough ….. oh boy. I think he’s done more than enough, that’s the point.

See you tomorrow.

09
Jun
12

BWD’s Open Letter

The Only Adult in the Room

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Hi everyone, we might end up throwing punches at each other over this, but please read BWD’s post.

Some of you might not like it, but think about what it’s saying: this President has achieved extraordinary things, in the face of vicious, relentless opposition – but is his campaign, so far, really doing him and those achievements justice?

Michael Tomasky: ….. the campaign isn’t telling a story. And there is a story to tell, even about the private sector. It’s a slightly more complicated story than the one Mitt Romney is telling, and more complicated means harder, but it doesn’t mean impossible. The story, in a nutshell, is this: we inherited a total disaster, things are getting better, and Romney will bring us back to disaster. The last part is the most important: putting the emphasis back on the challenger.

I’m not sure, to be honest, if Tomasky or BWD acknowledge enough just how hard it is for the campaign to set the narrative or tell that story when the MSM is in the bag for Romney, Politico in particular – which seems to have the most amazing influence on the rest of the media when it comes to creating a narrative – has been utterly poisonous of late, the dishonesty of its ‘reporting’ simply breathtaking. (I could give a few examples from yesterday, but I’ll spare you).

Also, ‘progressive’ media frauds like Cenk Uygur and that Greenwald piece of shit, from his balcony in Rio (part-funded by Koch/CATO), have upped their anti-PBO venom to vitriolic, hysterical levels of late, in their attempts to persuade their brain-dead cheerleaders to work towards his defeat.

But, despite all that, the campaign can, surely, still do a whole lot better – specifically by making more use of its single greatest weapon: President Barack Obama. As BWD said, “when the President goes all in – like he did with marriage equality – he always wins”.

So why not forget about daft ideas like Friday’s press conference, when whatever PBO said was always going to be twisted by the media f**kwits, the same people who spent most of the week chuckling about blowjobs.

Why not bypass these fools and have, for example, PBO address the nation directly from the Oval office, and call out the opposition for what it is: economy-sabotaging traitors.

And why, as BWD said, has his stump speech hardly changed over the last few months? He’s busy running the country, what are his speech writers doing?? To me, he seems bored and uninspired delivering that speech, it’s largely, inexplicably, defensive, when it should be singing from the rooftops about his spectacular achievements. And why aren’t the endless, wonderful benefits of the Affordable Health Care for America Act being promoted in those speeches? They’re hardly mentioned. This is insane.

I know, I know, who the f**k is anyone to question the campaign’s strategy? Well, I am someone who believes PBO to be the greatest and most inspirational world leader of my lifetime, and I’m utterly petrified that he will be beaten in November by execrable right-wing forces, and their allies on the fake ‘progressive’ left, that will reverse every single one of his achievements. And I just believe that his people aren’t doing enough, so far, to positively and aggressively promote those achievements.

I don’t, for a single minute, underestimate how hard it is to get that message out, and I have endless respect for Axelrod and Plouffe, master strategists responsible for an astounding campaign last time. I’ll trust – pray – that they’ll get it right this time too. But don’t they need to get their act together, very soon?

05
Jun
12

A Letter from Lilly

Governor Romney,

It’s time to speak up.

I’m writing to ask you to stand up to your fellow Republicans, show you’re worthy of the leadership you’re asking the American people to entrust you with, and let us know where you stand on legislation that will help finally make pay equity a reality.

I’m writing you directly because so far, your leadership has been so lacking that it appears those closest to you don’t know where you stand, either.

In April, your advisers were asked whether you support the law that bears my name and empowers women to fight back when we’re cheated out of equal pay. They responded with silence.

In May, the Washington Times asked your campaign five times whether you support the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that goes further to ensure equal pay for equal work. Again, silence.

Now, in June, as Washington Republicans continue to oppose this common-sense law, you continue to hide.

Your campaign will say only that you support the concept of pay equity, but that you wouldn’t change any laws to actually enforce it. That’s like saying you’re for staying dry but wouldn’t use an umbrella in a rainstorm. Women are getting soaked, Governor Romney, and staying silent when a solution is at hand isn’t leadership—it’s an insult and a cop-out.

If the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was a step in the right direction, the Paycheck Fairness Act is a giant leap forward. The first gave us recourse to sue no matter when we learn that we’ve been paid unfairly—a right we often didn’t have until President Obama made it the first bill he signed. The second will make it easier for women to learn if they’re being discriminated against in the first place. It gives businesses incentives to do what’s right and protects workers from being fired for sharing information about their pay. It closes loopholes and makes discrimination harder to hide, which makes it harder to commit.

You talk often about your unique understanding of the economy. I’m troubled, though, that you don’t seem to understand the consequences of pay inequality. It’s not just about a paycheck and it’s not just a women’s issue—it’s a family issue. Women make just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, which adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost earnings over years of hard work. More women are becoming breadwinners in their families, and unjustly lower wages mean we have less to spend in our communities to support the economy. The overtime pay, Social Security, and pensions we earn are based on our wages, so unfair pay today hurts us now and weakens our retirement security later. I learned that lesson the hard way.

It’s 2012. Women are not worth less than men, and no one should get paid less for doing the same job just because she is a woman.

Will you stand up for women, stand up to your fellow Republicans and stand on the right side of history? Will you finally say aloud that you support efforts to stop pay discrimination before it starts? We’re listening.

Respectfully,

Lilly Ledbetter

08
May
12

A Word from BWD

by Blackwaterdog

Dear President Obama,

I’d like to share a story with you:

I have two great friends who are gays. They’ve been together for 10 years. Four years ago they adopted a 10 months old baby. The only reason they got him was due to his severe illness. He didn’t have much more time to live and no one else wanted him. For more than two years I’ve seen them being the best parents any kid could hope for. They gave this baby their full, unconditional love, knowing that their time together would be very limited. Tommy died last year. All who knew him are still in deep grief. And these two guys, two of the best parents I’ve ever seen, one of the most in-love couples I’ve ever seen – they can’t get married. This is wrong on every level, on every level.

Mr. President, I understand your struggle. It’s a journey many people had to go through – myself included – and nothing can change the fact that no president comes even close to what you’ve done for gay rights in America and in the world. But, this is the final step and it’s time to take it.

I honestly don’t believe that at this point you’re still against gay marriage. Everything I know about you points to the other direction. And if the calculation is political, that’s not a good one either. Most of the country is already on the right side of this issue and the people who may not vote for you because of this, were not going to vote for you anyway.

Dear Sir, you are the greatest man I’ve seen in my life time. I’m grateful to be able to witness this greatness with my own eyes. But now you’re about to become probably the last Democrat president/presidential candidate to not run on fully supporting gay marriage. No matter how much good you did for gays, you’ll be remembered as being on the wrong side of the last big civil rights issue. Even behind the much older Joe Biden. This can’t happen to you. You are Barack Obama.

I will continue to back you no matter what: I’ll work my heart out to make sure that you’ll stay in the White House – because you are a great president and you’re our only hope against a very dangerous and scary force.  But please don’t miss this opportunity to bend that arc of moral universe just a bit more towards justice.

You are the face of hope, change and equality for an entire world.

You are Barack Obama, sir. You are Barack Obama.

12
Apr
12

beyonce

Beyonce

27
Nov
11

rise and sunday shine

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The Obama Holiday Letter: From my family to yours

On behalf of the entire Obama family, I’d like to wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday season. For us, the holidays are a chance to eat some good food, sing some holiday songs (occasionally out of tune), affirm our faith, and spend time with the family and friends who make our lives so blessed.

Over the past year, Sasha and Malia have continued to amaze Michelle and me with their steadiness and poise. One highlight was when Michelle and the girls accompanied me on my first official trip to South America as president. One evening, after a day of meetings and cultural programs, we visited the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. As we stared up at this wonder of the modern world, I knew it was a moment the girls wouldn’t soon forget, particularly since it was one of the few times I didn’t have to remind them to turn off their iPods.

…. Michelle is doing well, and has been hitting the road almost as often as I have. In April, she and Dr. Jill Biden launched a partnership called “Joining Forces” to support our nation’s military families. She even appeared on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to build a brand new house for Barbara Marshall, a 15-year Navy Veteran. And for a second year, her Let’s Move! campaign got children excited about healthy eating and exercise.

When I see Michelle standing with a proud military family, or leading kids in jumping jacks on the White House lawn, it reminds me how lucky I am to have her. People always tell me I “married up,” and I couldn’t agree more.

More here

Thanks Dotster

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In case you missed this video, which I added late to the post below, have a look. I love this fella. If you have a chance, leave a nice message for him under the video at YouTube:

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Morning everyone. Will catch up with you all later, meanwhile: chat away ;-)

21
Sep
11

‘a lifelong sentence of nagging doubt’

This morning, six retired corrections officials, including Dr. Allen Ault, retired Director of the Georgia Department of Corrections and former Warden of the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison where he oversaw executions for the state, have sent the following letter to Georgia Corrections Officials and Governor Nathan Deal asking them to urge the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to reconsider the decision they made on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 to deny Troy Davis Clemency despite concerns about his guilt.

Statement:

We write to you as former wardens and corrections officials who have had direct involvement in executions. Like few others in this country, we understand that you have a job to do in carrying out the lawful orders of the judiciary. We also understand, from our own personal experiences, the awful lifelong repercussions that come from participating in the execution of prisoners. While most of the prisoners whose executions we participated in accepted responsibility for the crimes for which they were punished, some of us have also executed prisoners who maintained their innocence until the end. It is those cases that are most haunting to an executioner.

We write to you today with the overwhelming concern that an innocent person could be executed in Georgia tonight. We know the legal process has exhausted itself in the case of Troy Anthony Davis, and yet, doubt about his guilt remains. This very fact will have an irreversible and damaging impact on your staff. Many people of significant standing share these concerns, including, notably, William Sessions, Director of the FBI under President Ronald Reagan.

Living with the nightmares is something that we know from experience. No one has the right to ask a public servant to take on a lifelong sentence of nagging doubt, and for some of us, shame and guilt. Should our justice system be causing so much harm to so many people when there is an alternative?

We urge you to ask the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to reconsider their decision. Should that fail, we urge  you to unburden yourselves and your staff from the pain of participating in such a questionable execution to the extent possible  by allowing any personnel so inclined to opt-out of activities related to the execution of Troy Anthony Davis. Further, we urge you to provide appropriate counseling to personnel who do choose to perform their job functions related to the execution. If we may be of assistance to you moving forward, please do not hesitate to call upon any of us.

Respectfully and collegially,

Allen Ault – Retired Warden, Georgia Diagnostic & Classifications Prison
Terry Collins – Retired Director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
Ron McAndrew – Retired Warden, Florida State Prison
Dennis O’Neill – Retired Warden, Florida State Prison
Reginald Wilkinson – Retired Director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
Jeanne Woodford – Retired Warden, San Quentin State Prison

12
Sep
11

an open letter

White House (link includes text of the American Jobs Act)

07
Sep
11

‘my apologies, mr president…’

Bluffton Today: President Obama. Greetings, sir. I come to you with a humble heart and mind….

I come to you now with an apology, because I have, like so many others in our nation, taken the last 30 months off from a civil discourse while waiting for you to deliver the message of hope on your own. Yes sir, so many of us have stood by and watched the GOP resist everything you promised to try and deliver, while your own party did little to publicly fight for the same agenda. I think most of us were hanging on to nothing more than the hope, sir. We forgot that we all must work together to achieve the ends.

…. We watched, or ignored, a vitriolic rhetoric, now fueled by million-dollar special interest groups and those still in denial of our natural process of working to form a more perfect union, that had begun well before you won the election….

I cannot answer for anyone but me, Mr. President. I can pledge however, that from this moment going forward, I will not just stand and wait for orders or results before I make a contribution that I already know is mine to make …. Yes, Mr. President. You’ve done what you promised. Now, it’s time for the American people to deliver. I am ready, and I am in.

Semper,

Kent Fletcher

Full ‘letter’ here

Thank you GoBrooklyn

24
Jul
11

‘we the people are with you, mr president’

Dear Mr President,

As you well know, President Lincoln had these words for the US Congress in 1865:

The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, and more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes…. corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high
places will follow, and the money powers of the country will endeavor to prolong it’s reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”

What irony that the Republic’s first black President is the person called upon to defend everything that our Founder’s crafted and that 235 years of patriots have strived to achieve.

What irony that the Republic’s first black President now confronts the ‘party of Lincoln’ as it unabashedly strives to do what Jefferson Davis and his treasonous bandits failed to accomplish during their attempt to not just preserve enslavement but render the Republic a defunct democracy and, thereby, comprehensively deny the inalienable rights of each person irrespective of the color of their skin, their personal faith, their economic status.

Yes, President Obama, it comes to this moment that a non-white American citizen, a multi-cultural, empathetic, brilliant human being, a community organizer and eloquent statesman, a scholar and an internationally recognized champion of all that is the essence of the human spirit – it comes to you to lead America from the brink of the most concerted, vastly funded onslaught of all that our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution represent.

You have millions of your fellow citizens standing with you. No poll. No analysis. No pundit. No one can obscure for you the fact that WE THE PEOPLE are with you, Mr. President.

If we now face the 21st Century equivalent of January 1861, if we now face the 21st Century equivalent of April 12, 1861, Mr President, millions of Americans stand with you to preserve the Republic from the totally obvious threat by the very, very few ultra-wealthy, and ironically yet again, the under-educated, fear-driven, pitiful bigoted few whom enabled the destruction of the ‘party of Lincoln’ and replaced it with a pack of treasonous barbarians too inept to realize that in serving their ultra-wealthy, skillfully manipulative masters they are witless slaves – at least the slaves Lincoln and the Republic were trying to free knew they were slave. Oh, the irony.

Yes.We.Can. … DO.More.Together!

Bob

****

Sent by Bob to President Obama via the White House online form

19
Jul
11

a terrific tuesday

President Barack Obama talks with Counsel to the President Kathryn Ruemmler in the Oval Office, July 19, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

****

Steve Benen: I don’t have high hopes for the legislation – the House majority is still the House majority – but the Obama White House’s support for the Respect For Marriage Act is the latest in a series of encouraging steps on civil rights….

…. it’s a heartening piece that fits into a larger mosaic. After two-and-a-half years, President Obama has successfully repealed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law; expanded federal benefits for the same-sex partners of executive-branch employees; signed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law; cleared the way for hospital-visitation rights for same-sex couples; lifted the travel/immigration ban on those with HIV/AIDS; ordered the Federal Housing Authority to no longer consider the sexual orientation of applicants on loans; expanded the Census to include the number of people who report being in a same-sex relationship; and hired more openly gay officials than any administration in history…….

….I realize there are still a sizable number of people in the LGBT community who are unsatisfied with the pace of change, and consider President Obama someone who has ignored, and even betrayed, their interests. Some have even vowed not to lift a finger to help with the president’s re-election effort.

I suspect many social-conservative activists, furious with the steps Obama has already taken to advance civil rights for the LGBT community, must find this inexplicable.

Full post here

****

Even GreenBeck is waving a white flag, abandoning his ‘Obama is a homophobe!’ hysteria. You can almost sense his despondency:

****

President Obama walks to the podium to give an update on the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations at the White House, July 19

****

Washington Post: Virtually all health insurance plans could soon be required to offer female patients free coverage of prescription birth control, breast-pump rentals, counseling for domestic violence, and annual wellness exams and HIV tests as a result of recommendations released Tuesday by an independent advisory panel of health experts.

The health-care law adopted last year directed the Obama administration to draw up a list of preventive services for women that all new health plans must cover without deductibles or co-payments. While the guidelines suggested Tuesday by a committee of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine are not binding, the panel conducted its year-long review at the request of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Full article here

****

****

MSNBC: …. most Americans want their political leaders to compromise rather stand their ground, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

…. nearly six in 10 favor President Barack Obama’s proposal to lower the federal deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years by cutting federal spending, raising tax revenue from the wealthy and reducing some Medicare spending.

By comparison, only about a third of respondents prefer the House Republican proposal to reduce the deficit by $2.5 trillion over 10 years through cutting spending alone and not raising additional revenues.

….. As far as the differing approaches to raise the debt ceiling, 58 percent favor Obama’s approach to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years by cutting spending, increasing revenue through taxing the wealthy and lowering Medicare’s spending. Meanwhile, 36 percent support the House Republican proposal to reduce the deficit by $2.5 trillion through only spending cuts.

The poll also makes clear that the public is more open to raising taxes to balance the budget than it is making cuts and changes to entitlement programs.

Sixty-two percent support raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy if that’s the only way to get a debt-ceiling agreement in Congress. But 52 percent say they oppose making changes and cuts in Social Security and Medicare if that’s the only way to get an agreement.

…. Obama leads former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by seven points in a hypothetical 2012 general-election match up, 48 percent to 41 percent. And he leads Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., by 15 points, 50 percent to 35 percent.

More here

ABC: ….By a wide 59-26 percent, the public sees congressional Republicans as more concerned than Obama with protecting the economic interests of Wall Street financial institutions, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds. Americans even more broadly, by 67-24 percent, put the GOP ahead when it comes to looking out for the interests of large business corporations.

The tables turn – albeit with much narrower margins – on other measures. Obama leads the GOP by 18 points in looking out for middle-class Americans, 53-35 percent. He also has a 10-point advantage, 47-37 percent, as being more concerned with the economic interests of “you and your family.” And he leads by 9 points, 48-39 percent, on protecting small businesses.

The president’s advantage on small businesses is particularly notable, given the GOP’s efforts to portray his policies as damaging to small-business job creation. While Republicans are fully aboard, independents, the linchpin of national politics, say by 46-39 percent that Obama cares more than GOP leaders about the economic interests of small businesses, a fairly close call but with a tilt in the president’s direction.

This poll finds that Obama also leads among independents by 19 points on aiding the middle class, 52-33 percent, and by 11 points as caring more about the economic interests of and “you and your family.”

More here

****

lodinews: James Henderson was so dismayed that his class lacked enough pencils and paper that he wrote to someone he felt could do something about it.

His principal at Leroy Nichols Elementary School? No.

The Lodi Unified School District board? Too small a government.

Maybe the governor? Still not big enough.

James went straight to the President of the United States of America – and President Barack Obama wrote back.

….In his letter, Henderson told President Obama that he didn’t see how the government could continue to cut education funding when they lacked even the basics.

“I told him they were spending a lot more money on other things than school supplies,” Henderson said. “He told me people like me could change the country.”

The student thinks that could be the case if he puts his mind to it and follows his goals, he said, adding that receiving Obama’s letter was a great honor.

Full article here

****

What a waste of a foam pie:




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