Posts Tagged ‘Mark



21
Sep
12

Wow: Woodbridge

Woodbridge, Virginia, Sept 21

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See President Obama’s speech at C-Span

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President Obama poses in a batting stance prior to speaking during a campaign rally at G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia

Click here to see the rest of the post

25
Aug
12

Rise and Shine

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McClatchy

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Charles Pierce: I was driving most of yesterday and, therefore, only got the news piecemeal of Willard Romney’s descent to previous unplumbed depths in a racist bathysphere of how own devising. I felt a little out of the loop until I was presented with the comforting familiarity of what a dipshit Mark Halperin is:

“After reading a lot of tweets, listening to some talk radio, and watching some cable TV, I can say that this Romney/birther moment is representative of the whole, horrible campaign cycle we are in. The level of vitriol and personal animus that exists on both sides over the flap is truly discouraging.”

…. Jesus, these people…

Full post here

Click here to see the rest of Rise and Shine

06
Jun
12

This and That

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San Francisco International Airport

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All times Eastern:

6:15 Departs San Francisco

7:20: Arrives Los Angeles

10:15: Delivers remarks at a campaign event at Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Beverly Hills (CNN live streaming)

11:55: Delivers remarks at a campaign event at a private Residence, Beverly Hills (Print Pool only)

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People gather in a lobby of a building to catch a glimpse of President Obama where was attending a campaign event in San Francisco

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10
Feb
12

afternoon all

Steve Benen: …. It’s a safe bet the Bishops won’t be satisfied, but it’s a pretty straightforward fix: religiously-affiliated employers that don’t want to pay for contraception coverage as part of their benefits packages won’t have to, but these employees will still get the coverage because the White House will instruct insurers to pick up the costs.

…. several major stakeholders in this fight have already offered praise for the White House move. Planned Parenthood, for example, endorsed the compromise …. Similarly, EMILY’s List said it was “reassured” by the new policy, and NARAL Pro-Choice America’s statement struck a similar note.

What’s more, Sister Carol Keehan and the Catholic Health Association have also endorsed the administration’s position, which not only offers the White House some political cover, but also further isolates the Bishops…..

For the White House, having support from both the Catholic Health Association and Planned Parenthood was critical…..

Full post here

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Greg Sargent: …. the Obama team is betting that any further objections to this policy will unmask opponents primarily as hidebound foes of birth control at any costs, a politically difficult position to sustain, rather than as defenders of religious liberty. Indeed, this looks like an effort to reframe the debate to Obama’s advantage: If Team Obama has its way, the argument will now be about whether all women should have access to contraception, and not about whether these institutions are having their religious freedom impinged upon.

More here

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For those who freaked out about a major compromise with the Catholic church (eh, me):

When will I ever learn?

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Don’t miss Liberal Librarian’s first post at The People’s View – it’s predictably brilliant

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President Obama signs the Ultralight Aircraft Smuggling Prevention Act of 2012 as former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly look on. The bill was the last piece of legislation on which Giffords voted before she resigned in January, a year after she sustained a gunshot wound to the head.

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TPM

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First lady Michelle Obama high-fives the Dallas Cowboys mascot Rowdy as she arrived at the Kleberg-Rylie Recreation center in Dallas

Michelle Obama judges food, along with assistant White House chef and food initiative coordinator Sam Kass and “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio, during a taping of the TV cooking show “Top Chef” in Dallas

01
Feb
12

rise and shine

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10:45: VP Biden delivers remarks at American Seating Company’s factory in Grand Rapids, Mich.

11:00: PBO delivers remarks on the economy at the James Lee Community Center in Falls Church, Va.

5:00: Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee luncheon in Los Angeles.

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Gallup

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WSJ: The private sector added 170,000 jobs in January, in line with expectations, as small-business hiring fueled the increase …. The latest ADP report showed large businesses with 500 employees or more added just 3,000 employees in January, while medium-size businesses added 72,000 workers and small businesses, those that employ fewer than 50 workers, hired 95,000 new employees. Service-sector jobs increased by 152,000 last month, and factory jobs rose by 10,000.

More here

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The Week

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USA Today: The closer we get to the fall campaign, the more President Obama sharpens his stump speech. At a fundraiser last night in Washington ….Obama argued that the Republicans will take the economy back to where it was before the 2008 crisis, and have “the wrong vision for America.”

“Their basic argument is that if we strip out regulations, if we disregard environmental concerns, if we take away protections for consumers, if we lower taxes even further for the kind of folks who are in this room, that somehow growth and the American Dream will be restored,” Obama said.

That said, Obama warned supporters that this will be a tough election, and they can’t take anything for granted.

“We’re all going to have to be focused on making sure that every single day the American people understand not only where we want to take the country but also that we’re willing to fight for them,” Obama said.

More here

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Charles Pierce (Esquire): …. I’m not going to sit there and listen to (Willard Romney) …. the cosseted plutocrat son of a millionnaire auto dealer – one who is running on a platform that will make himself and everyone like him richer while warning the rest of us, as he did in his victory speech in Tampa, that “If you’re looking for cradle-to-grave help from the government, I’m not your candidate” – go and dragoon into that effort Tom Paine, who would have spat in Willard Romney’s face if he’d ever met him.

Mitt Romney is someone whose children have a trust fund totaling $100 million. His great-great-grandchildren are not ever going to have to worry about money from their cradles to their graves. Thomas Paine? I’m sorry, but there are levels of bullshit to which I will not agree to descend.

Romney won because he had the most money. And because he had the most money, enough of the Tea Party “base,” which was supposed to hate him like gum disease, decided thusly: What the hell? The important thing is to get the Muslim Kenyan Usurper Negro out of the White House, so this is the horse we have to ride…..

…. it was how Romney delivered the speech that was so revelatory. This is a rich kid who likes flogging The Help. There were just enough shit-eating, country-club grins as he delivered his rancid material to show you what the guy must have been like in those golden moments when he realized that there was more dough in wrecking a company than in investing in it.

Full article here

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David Firestone (NYT): ….. nearly half the nation now holds an unfavorable view of Mr. Romney, much higher than last year. The number is even higher among independents. If Mr. Gingrich can raise enough money to stay in the race, Mr. Romney will have to spend valuable time, resources and good will to keep countering him.

All of that subtracts from his ability to pivot to Mr. Obama, and makes his criticism of the president seem like more of the same endless negativity. Mr. Romney’s victory speech tonight was less than uplifting, suggesting the United States had sunk to “the worst of what Europe has become.” If he means the Euro crisis, it’s not even close, and he will not get very far persuading voters that Washington is turning into Athens.

He even made a crack about Mr. Obama and his “faculty lounge” colleagues who think they know better than everyone else. That sounds hollow, coming from one of the country’s best-educated elitists, and it’s precisely the wrong message for a country that knows it must improve education at all levels.

It was left to Rick Santorum, who barely competed in Florida, to express the real lesson of Florida’s knife fight, and the dangers of letting it continue. “What we’ve seen the last few weeks in Florida,” he said tonight, “is not something that is going to help us win this election.”

Full post here

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The Week

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CBS

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Morning everyone ;-)

22
Jan
12

“we can change things, for the better”

Captain Mark Kelly hugs his wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, after receiving the Legion of Merit from Vice President Joe Biden during a retirement ceremony in the Secretary of War Suite in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, in Washington, D.C., Oct. 6, 2011. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

White House

17
Jan
12

evening all (updated)

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Greg Sargent: Mark Murray reports on Twitter that the Obama campaign is out requesting rates from TV stations for a potential – and possibly very significant – ad buy. I’ve confirm that this is the case; Obama aides are requesting rates in key states, where there are millions and millions of dollars in anti-Obama ads already up on the air.

One has to wonder whether the Obama campaign is looking to do this in order to reclaim a debate that’s been largely ceded to his Republican rivals, one that will drive the election: Whether Obama succeeded or failed on the economy.

More here

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The Hill: The Obama administration has signaled to allies that it will take a more aggressive role this year in protecting homeowners from foreclosure, a posture that fits with Obama’s populist campaign stance.

Housing is poised to become a significant issue in the 2012 campaign season and President Obama’s allies acknowledge the administration’s efforts to help homeowners, while well intentioned, have fallen short.

More here

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Business Insider – Thanks Loriah

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Happy birthday, too, to The Greatest: Muhammad Ali

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Charles P. Pierce (Esquire): On Sunday evening the Republicans held the 10,000-infinity’th of their scheduled 56,675-quintuple-infinity debates, in which everybody picked on Willard Romney and Ron Paul, and in which Rick Santorum was still pretty much a dick, but he was a dick to Willard, who would have encouraged dickitude in Francis of Assisi, so there’s that. And, of course, Rick Perry said something really stupid. South Carolina really isn’t the place where you want to make loose talk about being “at war” with the federal government. Honestly, Governor Goodhair, why don’t you just go down to the harbor, throw a rock at Fort Sumter, and make it official?

And, alas, Jon Huntsman finally succumbed after his long, brave struggle against chronic invisibility. In lieu of flowers, the campaign requests that donations be sent to the Weepy Pundits Clinic, 525 Broder Lane, Centerville, USA. Chris, dude, there one big “What If…” missing from your litany there: What If The Republican Party Wasn’t Completely Insane? That really is the only one that matters…..

Full post here

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Greg Sargent: Wisconsin Democrats are telling reporters that they have gathered more than one million signatures to recall Governor Scott Walker — a remarkable number that could have real ramifications for this year’s presidential race.

…. Dems need around 540,000 of those signatures to be certified as official in order for the recall of Walker to proceed. The one-million total makes that cushion pretty comfortable.

More here

John Nichols (The Nation): …. No other gubernatorial recall drive in American history has gathered the signatures of so large a proportion of the electorate. The total number of signatures submitted Tuesday represents 46 percent of the turnout in the 2010 Wisconsin gubernatorial election. That compares with 23.4 percent that signed the petitions that initiated the successful recall of California Governor Gray Davis in 2003 and 31.8 percent that signed petitions to recall North Dakota Governor Lynn Frazier in 1921.

More here

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Valerie Harper, January 2012

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I just want to offer my apologies to saintroscoe for some seriously stupid and unfair comments I directed at him/her last night. After lecturing everyone else about staying ‘civil’ in the middle of disagreements, I went and broke my own rules, pretty spectacularly.

I have blocked people recently who were obvious GOP/Firebagger trolls, or who brought nothing much more than negativity or personal abuse to the blog, and they’ll stay blocked, but saintroscoe, obviously, fits in to neither category – which is why s/he has not been blocked.

When I ranted (on and on and on….) recently about negative stuff on the blog, I never meant – even if it sounded that way – that I wanted everyone to be Little Miss Sunshine even when the news wasn’t encouraging. We can still be fiercely positive, because there’s so much to be fiercely positive about, without burying our heads in the sand (as I often do) and ignoring the challenges and papering over the setbacks.

I know a lot of you don’t want any ‘negative’ stuff here, and have complained about the place being that way recently, but we’ll just carry on trying to get the balance right, between being positive and honest.

I’ll completely understand if Saintroscoe chooses not to return – if not, I recommend you follow him/her on Twitter (link). We didn’t always agree, but I appreciated what s/he brought here, which was smart and informed commentary on the issues.

Sorry again.

09
Jan
12

evening all

President Barack Obama talks with Chief of Staff Bill Daley and Jack Lew, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, before making a statement to the press in the State Dining Room of the White House, Jan. 9, 2012. The President announced Daley’s resignation and that Lew will serve as his next chief of staff. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Mark Kelly leans on the shoulder of his wife, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, at a memorial vigil remembering the victims and survivors of the shooting that wounded Giffords, 12 others and killed six one year ago Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

NYT: The sun had fallen and a crowd had gathered on a chilly Sunday night on the mall at the University of Arizona, for the last event of a weekend commemorating the first anniversary of the mass shooting here one year ago. The vigil began with the Pledge of the Allegiance.

Led by Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

Full article here

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Reuters: Welcome to an unlikely beacon of hope for the global auto industry – Detroit.

Executives arriving this week for the Detroit auto show find a U.S. car market that has morphed from meltdown three years ago to a safe haven as concerns grow about the stability of other big economies, from Europe to China.

Analysts and executives expect 2012 U.S. auto sales to grow 4 percent to 9 percent, the third consecutive annual gain….

Full article here

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The First Lady’s schedule

Wednesday, January 11:

Richmond, Virginia

12:30: First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver remarks at a DNC luncheon in Richmond.

2:45: Mrs Obama will announce a major commitment by the country’s top medical colleges and universities to create a new generation of doctors, medical schools, and research facilities to ensure that veterans, service men and women receive the medical care that they deserve.

Prior to this announcement, the First Lady will tour the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center’s Polytrauma Unit to visit wounded warriors and veterans receiving in-patient treatment.

Charlottesville, Virginia

5:15 PM: Mrs. Obama will deliver remarks at a DNC reception

Friday, January 13:

Alexandria, Virginia

Morning: Mrs Obama will join the cast of Nickelodeon’s iCarly at a special screening of “iMeet The First Lady,” a new episode featuring the First Lady that honors America’s military children.

At the final event of the tour, Miranda Cosgrove and the iCarly cast will be joined by Mrs. Obama at Hayfield Secondary School, a school with a large number of military children. They will screen the episode, participate in iCarly’s “Random Dancing” and answer questions from the students.

Mrs. Obama will also appear in a Joining Forces PSA produced by Nickelodeon that will debut immediately following the airing of “iMeet the First Lady” on the 16th.”

ObamaFoodorama

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Charles Pierce (Esquire): MANCHESTER, N.H. – Just got back to town in time to feel the entire race pivot underneath my feet. Of course, this is just a naked ploy by the Gingrich campaign to sew up the critical Unemployable Dude With A Snowmobile vote, which is not a constituency lightly overlooked in this state, although in South Carolina, political observers say, it is replaced by the Unemployable Dude With A Mullet And A Truck vote ….

:lol:

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CBS: The nominating process may officially be underway, but Republicans have yet to enthusiastically embrace a potential nominee for president – and despite the late date, most would like to see other candidates enter the race, according to a new CBS News poll.

The survey finds that 58 percent of Republican primary voters want more presidential choices, while just 37 percent say they are satisfied with the current field. The percentage of Republican primary voters that wants more choices has increased 12 percentage points since October.

More here

58%?! I think that’s what you call an ‘enthusiasm gap’.

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Charles P. Pierce (Esquire): And, suddenly, the dogwhistles have turned into air-raid sirens .. I think, maybe, it’s time for the nation to rise up and point out to the Republican party that, root and branch, it is a racist embarrassment to democracy and a blight on this nation that all the world can see…..

….there is a steady, noxious river of bile flowing through the entire Republican party, and through the conservative “movement” that empowers it …

… No, Rick, I don’t believe for a moment you meant to say something else and it came out “Blah people,” you Bible-banging coward. Nobody’s talking in code any more. It’s right out front there, for all the world to see. How dare these people? How dare their evil souls?

06
Dec
11

evening all

President Barack Obama waves to people gathered along the motorcade route from Osawatomie High School to Osawatomie-Paola Municipal Airport in Osawatomie, Kan., Dec. 6, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Paul Krugman: One crucial thing you need to understand about political journalists is that with some honorable exceptions, they don’t know or care about actual policy …

…. Hence, the awful decision of Politico to give Paul Ryan an award as healthcare policymaker of the year.

…. what became painfully, embarrassingly clear during the debate over the Ryan plan was that Ryan is, well, incompetent …. it’s true that the plan “got everyone talking”, as Politico says – but mostly it got people talking about what a mess Ryan’s effort was.

Oh, and it was pretty clear that Ryan wasn’t being honest about his own numbers.

What’s going on here, I suppose, is that Politico is mistaking theater for policy. Ryan isn’t an important health care reformer, or even minimally competent in his attempted wonkery, but he plays a deep thinker on TV. And the people at Politico either don’t understand the difference, or they don’t care.

More here

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President Obama returns to the White House after a visit to Kansas

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Steve Benen: President Obama has decided that, from now on, foreign aid decisions will take into consideration how countries treat their LGBT citizens, and he directed U.S. agencies abroad to ensure our humanitarian and diplomatic efforts “promote and protect” the rights of gays and lesbians.

…. today’s announcement marks a historic first …. It also adds to a rather extraordinary record for Obama in this area in his first three years….

…. 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 find this inexplicable.

Full post here

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Oh Willard…..

29
Nov
11

afternoon all

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Steve Benen: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie threw an odd tantrum yesterday, blasting President Obama for the failure of the congressional super-committee …. Part of the problem here is that Christie isn’t quite as smart as he thinks he is, and bombast can only go so far in covering up ignorance.

…. The president has tried every negotiating tactic that exists to get congressional Republicans to work on finding solutions. Obama has tried hands-on talks; he’s tried keeping his distance. The president has tried hard sells and soft sells, directly and indirectly. He’s made private appeals and public appeals. He’s made arguments based on policy, polls, and principles. He’s tried charm offensives, combativeness, and everything in between. He’s made partisan, bipartisan, tripartisan, and nonpartisan arguments, all in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, GOP leaders will be open to good-faith compromise.

And yet, nothing has worked. Nothing …. The New Jersey governor seems to believe a debt deal would come together if Republicans and the president simply sat down for candid conversations. Given that Obama has already tried this repeatedly, without success, anyone who believes such stupidity just hasn’t been paying close enough attention.

Full post here

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President Obama meets with Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands in the Oval Office, November 29

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I’m tempted to post this every day for the next year ;-)

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TPM

Crikey, how many more “ooops” before this idiot crawls back to Texas??

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Gen. Lloyd Austin, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, right, looks on as Vice President Joe Biden shake hands with the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey after he arrived, in Baghdad, Iraq, Nov. 29

WH: Vice President Biden has arrived in Baghdad, Iraq. While there, the Vice President will co-chair a meeting of the U.S.-Iraq Higher Coordinating Committee. He will also meet with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, President Jalal Talabani, Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, and other political leaders. The Vice President will also participate in, and give remarks at, an event to commemorate the sacrifices and accomplishments of U.S. and Iraqi troops.

More here

 

28
Nov
11

evening all

President Barack Obama makes a statement to members of the press in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Nov. 28, 2011. The President, along with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, obscured, and President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, right, delivered remarks following a summit with leaders of the European Union to discuss issues of mutual concern. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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Coming up:

Tuesday: The President will host Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands for a meeting in the Oval Office.

Wednesday: The President will travel to Scranton, Pennsylvania where he will deliver remarks urging Congress to act to extend and expand the payroll tax cut that has given tax breaks to millions of families across the country this year. In the evening, the President will travel to New York City where he will attend campaign events.

Thursday: The First Family will attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting on the Ellipse.

Friday: The President will host the White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of the Interior and deliver remarks.

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Three RNPS images of the year, 2011:

Children from public schools in the town of Chatfield, Minnesota, help President Obama get up after he posed with them for a picture, during his bus trip to the Midwest, August 15

Better version:

First lady Michelle Obama holds the hand NASA shuttle commander Mark Kelly, the husband of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, as they listen to President Barack Obama speak at the “Together We Thrive: Tucson and America” event, January 12

President Obama plays table tennis against students with British Prime Minister David Cameron, London, May 24

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22
Nov
11

cnn demolishes romney ad: it’s ‘a new low’

Mediaite: …. Mitt Romney’s campaign released its first television ad …. The biggest point of contention was a moment where the ad shows 2008 footage of then-Candidate Obama making fun of a quote made by one of John McCain’s aides. However, the Romney ad makes it seem like Obama is saying the quote himself. When CNN asked Romney’s team about the error, they cheerfully responded that they did it on purpose.

This appears to have really ticked some folks at the news network off as CNN just did a segment on the ad that was one of the most blistering things we’ve ever seen…..

More here

Wow! CNN?!

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Tomorrow:

10:30 AM President Obama pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey (Woot!)

4:20 The President, First Lady and their daughters participate in a service event

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Wait, wait, don’t tell me! 2005

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President Barack Obama greets members of the audience after delivering remarks on the American Jobs Act at Manchester Central High School, Manchester, N.H., Nov. 22. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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12
Nov
11

i’m not making this up….

Seriously, this isn’t a joke: Halperin thought Perry was excellent tonight!!!!!

:lol:

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Just sayin’

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, and his wife Callista Gingrich speak after the debate at the Benjamin Johnson Arena, Saturday, Nov. 12

10
Nov
11

in touch

President Obama visiting Gabrielle Giffords, January 2011.

Thank you Loriah – the photo is a screen-grab from:

Original video here

Thank you Halo

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A visitor looks at photographs taken during fieldwork in Indonesia by S. Ann Dunham, President Barack Obama’s late mother, during an exhibition at a gallery at the East West Center on the University of Hawaii at Manoa Campus, November 9

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talk with Irish President Mary McAleese and Dr. Martin McAleese during a courtesy call in the Drawing Room at the President’s residence in Dublin, Ireland, May 23, 2011

Oh, any excuse to take a trip down this memory lane:

Today is President Mary McAleese’s last day in office – she served 14 years (14!) as Irish president.

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Sun Times: Today, in her keynote address to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Business Steps Up: Hiring our Heroes event, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that the International Franchise Association (IFA) which represents 1,100 franchises has committed to hiring 80,000 veterans and military spouses by 2014. 5,000 jobs of this commitment are promised to wounded warriors.

Mrs. Obama also announced that the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) – which Dr. Jill Biden helped launch at the Chamber of Commerce last summer and which includes nearly 100 companies and organizations – has committed to employ 20,000 military spouses. These organizations include companies like Microsoft, Home Depot and Citi and franchises like UPS, Guidant Financial and Data Doctors. Together, the commitment by the International Franchise Association and the Military Spouse Employment Partnership represents a commitment to hire 100,000 veterans, wounded warriors and military spouses by 2014.

More Here

First lady Michelle Obama shakes hands after speaking at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce fourth annual event on hiring military veterans, Nov. 10

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Andrew Sullivan

Thanks rikyrah

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Statement by the President on the State Department’s Keystone XL Pipeline Announcement

November 10, 2011

I support the State Department’s announcement today regarding the need to seek additional information about the Keystone XL Pipeline proposal.  Because this permit decision could affect the health and safety of the American people as well as the environment, and because a number of concerns have been raised through a public process, we should take the time to ensure that all questions are properly addressed and all the potential impacts are properly understood.

The final decision should be guided by an open, transparent process that is informed by the best available science and the voices of the American people.  At the same time, my administration will build on the unprecedented progress we’ve made towards strengthening our nation’s energy security, from responsibly expanding domestic oil and gas production to nearly doubling the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks, to continued progress in the development of a clean energy economy.

02
Nov
11

evening all

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Steve Benen: ….. “It’s safe to say Speaker John Boehner does not agree with President Obama’s suggestion on Tuesday that Americans are better off now than they were when he took office. “Are you kidding me?!” Boehner said loudly in response to a reporter’s question on the comment.”

…. Obviously, national conditions aren’t close to where they need to be. …. Maybe, if guys like Boehner would start passing jobs bills and stop holding the economy back on purpose, the public would start to feel like the country is on the right track again.

But for those who take reality seriously, there’s no real question as to whether the country is better off now than in January 2009:

Then the nation was hemorrhaging jobs; now it’s gaining jobs.

Then the economy was shrinking; now the economy is growing.

Then the American automotive industry was on the verge of collapse; now it’s starting to thrive.

Then taxpayers were sending money to Wall Street; now taxpayers are being paid back.

Then Osama bin Laden was targeting Americans and our allies; now he’s dead and al Qaeda’s leadership has been decimated.

Then U.S. troops were headed into the Middle East in greater numbers; now they’re headed home with their heads held high.

Republicans, including John Boehner, drove the United States into a pretty deep ditch during the Bush/Cheney era, and conditions are still pretty ugly. That doesn’t change the simple fact that the nation is much stronger now than the day the president was inaugurated ….

Full post here

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The GOP’s racial confusion:

The Week

AP: A third former employee considered filing a workplace complaint against Herman Cain over what she deemed aggressive and unwanted behavior when she and Cain, now a Republican presidential candidate, worked together during the late 1990s, the woman told The Associated Press on Wednesday. She said the behavior included a private invitation to his corporate apartment.

The woman said he made sexually suggestive remarks or gestures about the same time that two co-workers had settled separate harassment complaints against Cain, who was then the head of the National Restaurant Association.

Full article here

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Washington Post: Car buyers were out in force in October, snapping up trucks and SUVs and taking advantage of deals on Japanese cars.

U.S. car and truck sales were expected to top 1 million in October, a surprising number for a month when sales are usually slow. When adjusted for seasonal factors, that would be the best pace since the Cash for Clunkers program in August 2009.

Full article here

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Mediaite: In a Quinnipiac poll taken Oct. 25-31, embattled GOP juggernaut Herman Cain continued to show amazing staying power …. (but) The real news from this poll, taken before most of the fallout from Politico‘s alleged sexual harassment expose, might be that some rays of sunshine are finally hitting President Obama.

….. President Obama gained six points on his approval rating … and is now beating all Republican challengers by margins of 5-16 points. The President has seen steady progress in the polls since rolling out his American Jobs Act in September, taking it on the road, and taking the fight to the Republicans who oppose it.

Elsewhere in the poll, Democrats opened up a lead on the generic House ballot, beating Republicans 42-36, after tying them at 39 in October.

Full post here

Also, the President is up to 45% approval with Gallup today – that’s a rise of seven points in two weeks ;-)

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Wait – Suskind said the Obama administration didn’t like women much:

Washingtonian

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White House

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AP: Michelle Obama has presented national arts and humanities awards to 12 community-based, after-school programs, including for at-risk kids.

The programs use dance, theater, writing, music, history and other art mediums to inspire teen moms and other young people and help them reach their potential. The first lady said at a White House ceremony Wednesday that the programs show that the arts are a lifeline – not a luxury – for many of these kids.

Most of the participants graduate from high school or earn a GED and go on to college.

The 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards are presented on behalf of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in partnership with three national cultural agencies.

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Gallup

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President Obama leaves Andrews Air Force Base en route to France

02
Nov
11

“if they don’t act, i will”

President Obama speaks in front of the Key Bridge, which spans Arlington, Va. and Washington, urging Congress to pass the infrastructure piece of the American Jobs Act.

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Text of First Lady’s remarks at a DNC event in New Orleans

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White House live

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Many thanks to AJ for this – I posted the President’s 2004 Convention speech in the new speeches’ section here and AJ let me know about this video of the reaction at the time of the PBS panel (Mark Shields, David Brooks and Richard Norton Smith):

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Oh dear:

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MSNBC: U.S. private-sector employers added 110,000 jobs in October, beating economists’ expectations, a report by a payrolls processor showed Wednesday.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 101,000 jobs. September’s private payrolls were revised up to an increase of 116,000 from the previously reported 91,000.

The report, which is jointly developed with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, gives some hope ahead of the release of the key U.S. jobs report from the government, which is due Friday morning and forecast to show the economy created 95,000 jobs last month.

Full post here

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Don’t forget – Michelle Obama hosts the PCAH’s National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards at 2:30 – White House Live

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Have to go out for a few hours, will catch up later ;-)

31
Oct
11

a ghoulishly good afternoon

Nick Anderson

Thanks Loriah ;-)

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MSNBC: NBC News has confirmed that one woman received a settlement from the National Restaurant Association after complaining about inappropriate sexual conduct by Herman Cain.

NBC News is not disclosing the name of the woman nor characterizing who she is. Cain denied the allegations, saying on FOX this morning he was “falsely accused.” “I have never sexually harassed anyone, anyone,” he said, “and absolutely, these are false accusations.”

Despite being the chief executive officer of the National Restaurant Association, he said he was unaware of any settlement with the accusers, though he didn’t deny it. “If the restaurant association did a settlement, I wasn’t even aware of it,” he claimed, “and I hope it wasn’t for much. If there was a settlement, it was handled by some of the other officers at the restaurant association.”

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TPM: On Fox News this afternoon, Herman Cain dismissed the Politico story dogging his campaign this week in the strongest possible terms. There’s only one problem with his story of how the Politico piece came to be: his chief of staff blew a large hole in it already.

On Fox, Cain said that Politico came to him with two anonymous tales of sexual harassment settlements reached while he was the head of the National Restaurant Association. And that’s why he didn’t respond to Politico’s request for comment.

….. That line of reasoning is fine, as far as it goes, except Cain neglected to mention one thing …. his Chief of Staff and famous smoker Mark Block confirmed to TPM that Politico’s reporting of the events was accurate.

…. So Cain’s strong words to Fox are already being found to be less-than-true. That’s not a good sign for a campaign trying to put a tough story behind it.

Full post here

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Nick Anderson

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Greg Sargent: ‘Calling BS on GOP ideas for job creation”

As you regulars know, I’ve been stamping my feet for some time now about big news orgs that amplify the GOP’s claim to having a “jobs plan” without asking independent experts whether Republican fiscal prescriptions would actually … create jobs.

So kudos to the Associated Press for weighing in with a bracing analysis that calls BS on the GOP’s ideas for job creation, though this one is focused on the 2012 GOP presidential candidates:

Key proposals from the Republican presidential candidates might make for good campaign fodder. But independent analyses raise serious questions about those plans and their ability to cure the nation’s ills in two vital areas, the economy and housing.….

More here

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President Barack Obama signs an executive order, to head off drug shortages and to prevent price gouging, in the Oval Office, October 31. In attendance was Pharmacy Manager for perioperative services Bonnie Frawley (L), Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (2nd L), Jay Cuetara (2nd R), a 49-year-old cancer patient who lives in San Francisco, CA, and FDA Commissioner Peggy Hamburg (R).

See the NYT and the White House site

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Daniel Bice (JS Online): Herman Cain’s two top campaign aides ran a private Wisconsin-based corporation that helped the GOP presidential candidate get his fledgling campaign off the ground by originally footing the bill for tens of thousands of dollars in expenses ….. something that might breach federal tax and campaign law, according to sources and documents.

….. Election law experts say the transactions raise a host of questions for the private organization, which billed itself as a tax-exempt nonprofit, and the Cain team. “If the records accurately reflect what occurred, this is way out of bounds,” said a Washington, D.C.-based election lawyer….

Michael Maistelman, a Wisconsin campaign attorney, agreed. “The number of questionable and possibly illegal transactions conducted on behalf of Herman Cain is staggering” ….

Full article here

Steve Benen: This looks awfully bad for Team Cain. The report points to evidence that two of Cain’s top aides set up a now-defunct non-profit entity that illegally financed the campaign, effectively helping it get off the ground. There’s nothing in FEC filings to suggest the campaign ever paid Prosperity USA back for the substantial funds it spent on Cain’s behalf.

Full post here

28
Oct
11

rise and shine – it’s friday

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AJC: Pushing a campaign to act without Congress, President Barack Obama will announce on Friday two more executive actions on the economy, both of them small steps intended to give a boost to businesses.

The moves cap a week in which Obama has sought to employ the power of his office as he struggles to make headway on his jobs bill on Capitol Hill.

Obama is directing government agencies to shorten the time it takes for federal research to turn into commercial products in the marketplace. The goal is to help startup companies and small businesses create jobs and expand their operations more quickly.

On the other front, Obama is calling for creation of a centralized online site, to be known as BusinessUSA, for companies to easily find information on federal services. The site is to be up and running within 90 days and will be designed with input from U.S. businesses.

Obama is announcing both steps in presidential memos to be released Friday morning, according to administration officials.

More here

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Washington Post: The U.S. economy grew at its fastest clip in a year during late summer as consumers and businesses shrugged off fears of a new recession, according to government data released Thursday that helped drive the stock market to its best day since August.

Investors were also cheered by overnight news that European leaders have reached an agreement on how to address their continent’s debt crisis, and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index ended the day up 3.4 percent. European markets were up even more sharply, with the German Dax index up 5.3 percent.

The agreement in Europe still has many details to be filled in, and the 2.5 percent pace of U.S. economic expansion in the third quarter isn’t enough to bring unemployment down quickly, even if it is sustained. But on both sides of the Atlantic, the news on Thursday offered a sense of relief: Maybe the world isn’t falling apart after all.

Full article here

National Journal: On the surface, it seems surprising that the U.S. economy nearly doubled its growth in the third quarter.

July brought tense debt-ceiling negotiations and threat of a government default. In August, a top credit ratings agency cut the United States’ top AAA rating. Concerns over European sovereign debt seeped into the U.S. and grew in September as the situation across the Atlantic appeared to be rapidly unraveling. Congress announced no major steps to fix the economy and the weak housing and labor markets treaded water.

But on Thursday, the Commerce Department announced that gross domestic product grew by 2.5 percent during that time, up from just 0.9 percent in the first half of the year.

While 2.5 percent GDP growth hardly signals boom times, it seems to fly in the face of those major headwinds. But economists say it reflects a gradual climb out of recession rather than a rapid shift in the country’s fortune.

…. The good news is that the third quarter shared many of the same uncertainties that are likely to shape the fourth: uncertainty over the budget and deficit, threat of a downgrade, and the European debt crisis. The economy, while hardly in fighting shape, pulled through the third quarter to eke out 2.5 percent GDP growth — which is not too shabby.

Full post here

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AP: He is the man with the mustache who takes a rebellious drag on a cigarette in the Herman Cain Internet ad gone viral …. Meet Mark Block, Cain’s unorthodox campaign manager …. a Republican strategist and tea party leader who’s left a trail of questionable campaign work behind him.

Block has been accused of voter suppression and was banned from running Wisconsin political campaigns for three years to settle accusations he coordinated a judge’s re-election campaign with a special interest group.

Records show Block has faced foreclosure on his home, a tax warrant by the Internal Revenue Service and a lawsuit for an unpaid bill. He also acknowledges he was arrested twice for drunken driving…..

Full article here

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Eugene Robinson: The hard-right conservatives who dominate the Republican Party claim to despise the redistribution of wealth, but secretly they love it – as long as the process involves depriving the poor and middle class to benefit the rich, not the other way around.

That is precisely what has been happening, as a jaw-dropping new report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office demonstrates. Three decades of trickle-down economic theory, see-no-evil deregulation and tax-cutting fervor have led to massive redistribution. Another word for what’s been happening might be theft.

Full article here

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ThinkProgress: House Republicans took the government to the brink of shutdown last spring by demanding across-the-board budget cuts to many vital programs. Instead of focusing on job creation, as Americans wanted them to, the GOP turned its attention to slashing funds for programs that funded assistance for women and children, local law enforcement, the social safety net, environmental protections, and many other programs they deemed as either too expensive or unnecessary. Worse, when challenged on why they hadn’t made the effort to tackle high unemployment, Republicans insisted that their slash-and-burn budget cuts were meant to create jobs.

….. According to a new report from the Center for American Progress’ Scott Lilly, those cuts didn’t result in the job creating boon Republicans insisted would follow. Instead, it has done just the opposite, as those cuts will result in the destruction of roughly 370,000 jobs……

Full post here

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First lady Michelle Obama visited three Florida cities on Thursday for campaign fundraisers…. “This has been a great day,” the first lady told supporters in Ft. Lauderdale. “This is my third city in one day. And I go home tonight and Barack and I get up and go to parent-teacher conference tomorrow morning.”

“Just so you know,” she said. “Just handling our business.”

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The Hill: The government’s bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac might end up costing taxpayers billions less than originally estimated, the mortgage giants’ regulator said Thursday.

In a new report, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) said the actual performance of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) had been “substantially better” than originally projected, lowering the overall bill for the bailout, a longtime sore spot with GOP lawmakers.

…. So far, Fannie and Freddie are beating bailout expectations. In the first year of projections, the GSEs actually tapped the Treasury Department for $19 billion to $73 billion less than anticipated, depending on what scenario was applied.

Full post here

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