Statement from the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden:
Yesterday our son Beau underwent a successful procedure. He is in great shape and is going to be discharged tomorrow and heading home to Delaware. He will follow up with his local physicians in the coming weeks.
FACT: In the 250 days since Newtown, more than 7,000 Americans have been killed by gun violence. #WhatWillItTake for Congress to act?
A few months ago, conservative senators felt the need to kill a popular, bipartisan proposal on firearm background checks, and relied primarily on a single talking point: the proposal might lead to a firearm database. The very idea of some kind of national gun registry was so offensive to the right that the legislation had to die at the hands of a Republican filibuster.
It didn’t matter that the bipartisan bill had no such database. It didn’t matter that the bipartisan bill explicitly made the creation of such a registry a felony. All that mattered was that conservatives had a lie they liked, and which they used to great effect.
Four months later, Steve Friess reports that a massive, secret database of gun owners exists after all. But it wasn’t built by the Justice Department or the Department of Homeland Security; it was compiled without gun owners’ consent by the National Rifle Association.
ThinkProgress: The Worst Thing In That Maureen Dowd Column Isn’t Actually Her Misquote Of Bill DeBlasio’s Wife
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd is taking a lot of very justified heat for a column about New York City mayoral candidate Bill DeBlasio and his wife Chirlane McCray, in which she appears to have distorted a quotation of McCray’s to imply that McCray is impugning rival Democratic candidate Christine Quinn for being a lesbian.
…. Dowd is now suggesting that a noisy coffee shop obscured her audio recording, and she ended up relying on what turn out to have been bad-quality notes for the quotation….
…. as bad as Dowd’s quoting malpractice is, and as frivolous as the overall column is, these problems aren’t actually the worst part of the column. That would be the way Dowd describes McCray’s sexual orientation, and places it in a context of Sexuality and the New York Mayoral Race….
Two years ago today, one of Pete Souza’s very great photos: “The President had attended the fourth grade closing ceremony for his daughter Sasha at her school in Bethesda, Md. As he was departing, he noticed some pre-school children peering out of a window at a child care facility adjacent to Sasha’s school so he walked over to say hello to them.”
If the Greenwald Groupies were putting a caption on the pic, it would most probably read:
‘OMG™! Illegal surveillance!’.
President Obama talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, June 8
10:25 AM: President Obama departs Palm Springs, CA
ZDNet: The real story in the NSA scandal is the collapse of journalism
Summary: A bombshell story published in the Washington Post this week alleged that the NSA had enlisted nine tech giants, including Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Apple, in a massive program of online spying. Now the story is unraveling, and the Post has quietly changed key details. What went wrong?
I missed most of the news and developments yesterday, so flicked through the Twitter machine this morning to read what people were saying. And I see the Greenwald Groupies, urged on by their Dear Leader (and his personal fundraising campaign), now fear that Koch Boy will be taken out by evil Obama.
Their fears were heightened when The Atlantic’s Steve Clemons tweeted this (and, needless to say, it was breathlessly retweeted by Greenwald):
In Dulles UAL lounge listening to 4 US intel officials saying loudly leaker & reporter on #NSA stuff should be disappearedrecorded a bit
“OMG™!!!!!!!!” was the gist of the Groupies’ reponse.
But Clemons then admitted he couldn’t actually identify the four people, and only had poor quality pics and audio (yes, he secretly recorded them, possibly illegally so, depending on that state’s laws – oh, the irony) so, not unreasonably, @BoloBoffin asked: “If you can’t identify them, how do you know they are US intel officials?”
Or, at the very least, wait until he could confirm they were intel officials before tweeting what he did? You know, journalism.
Soon after, Clemons began watering down his original tweet:
@billbindc other possibilities are that they could be top intel guys at private firms (see INSA dinner list) who were former intel staff
In other words, he had no clue who these people were – but his original tweet did the trick, it was RTed almost 1,000 times, got him lots of attention and earned him the love of Koch Boy and his sheeple.
If they were intel officials, did Clemons not consider the possibility that they might also be dufuses loudly talking macho crap in an airport lounge because they’re pissed off by Koch Boy’s attempts to damage intelligence gathering efforts on terrorist suspects? Or does he think they were loudly discussing in an airport lounge an actual plan to, um, ‘disappear’ Koch Boy?
Brian Beutler: The least surprising news of the week is that getting dressed down at the White House correspondents dinner did nothing to persuade Maureen Dowd and other opinion makers that their fantastical depictions of presidential power are actually puerile and lazy. Less than a month after Republicans rejected Obama’s budget — Chained CPI and all — gauzy platitudes about leadership are back in vogue.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, Jake Sherman reports that the very people Obama’s supposed to “lead” to a budget deal (or a deal on anything) are perhaps more dysfunctional and reactionary than at any point since they came to power.
TPM: President Obama is set to nominate Penny Pritzker as his administration’s next commerce secretary and Michael Froman as U.S. trade representative, according to a White House official. Obama is scheduled to announce the nominations at 10 a.m. ET Thursday at the White House before leaving for Mexico.
Michael Tomasky: I don’t mind being called an Obamabot. I mean, I’ve written a few columns about the guy that were brutal, toughing than anything Dowd’s written, especially at the time of the debt ceiling fiasco. But I understand the game, and it doesn’t bother me.
I have something I wish to make crystal clear, however. If it seems to you (I mean you, pumpkinface!) that I’m always excusing Obama, you’re misreading me. I am instead seeking to cast blame where it properly belongs. And that is almost always the Republican Party. I’ve said all this a jillion times before, but it is simply not a mainstream political party in the traditional American sense. It is a radical oppositionalist faction, way beyond the normal American parameters both in terms of ideology and tactics. And that needs to be pointed out, unfortunately, again and again and again.
Well, I think I’ve just reached my level of bullshit tolerance.
At the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Barack Obama sliced and diced the assembled luminaries, depicting them as trivial ratings chasers more eager to pursue a scoop so as to drive ratings and sell more advertising, than serious practitioners of the art of journalism, plying their craft as a public trust so that free citizens in a free republic can be fully informed about the issues of the day so as to render sober decisions about their own lives.
The poster child for this frivolous “journalism” is Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, who seems to have upped her Obama-dismay to 11 over the past few weeks. The President’s take down of her article saying that he was nothing like Andrew Shepherd, fictional president in “The American President”, is a beauty to behold.
Maureen Dowd said I could solve all my problems if I were just more like Michael Douglas in “The American President”. Michael, what’s your secret, man? Could it be that you’re an actor in an Aaron Sorkin liberal fantasy?
Obama’s entire WHCD speech was a master class in telling a captive audience just how useless they were to the wider country’s problems which needed urgent solutions.