Posts Tagged ‘Mayor

09
Oct
15

The President’s Day

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Arriving in Roseburg, Oregon

President Obama is greeted by Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy

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President Obama signs some remembrances after greeting families of the victims in the mass school shooting in Roseburg, Oregon (Photo by Pete Souza)
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Roseburg Mayor Larry Rich and Oregon Governor Kate Brown listen while President Barack Obama makes a statement to the press after meeting with the families of the Umpqua College shooting victims in Roseburg, Oregon

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President Barack Obama greets a small group of people on his arrival Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, at King County Airport in Seattle. Obama was in town to attend a pair of fundraisers, following a stop Roseburg, Ore., where he visited families of victims of the shooting rampage there last week. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

President Barack Obama and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee embrace during Obama's arrival at King County International Airport in Seattle, Wash., Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. Obama is scheduled to attend a democratic fundraiser event with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. He's is also attending fundraisers in San Francisco and Los Angeles as part of a four-day West Coast tour. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee embrace

President Barack Obama carries a child as he greets people on the tarmac upon his arrival at King County International Airport in Seattle, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. Obama is scheduled to attend a democratic fundraiser event with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. He's is also attending fundraisers in San Francisco and Los Angeles as part of a four-day West Coast tour. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama carries a child as he greets people on the tarmac upon his arrival at King County International Airport in Seattle. President Obama is scheduled to attend a democratic fundraiser event with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. He’s is also attending fundraisers in San Francisco and Los Angeles as part of a four-day West Coast tour

President Obama meets baby Stella Hakam during his arrival at King County International Airport/Boeing Field in Seattle

President Barack Obama greets guests on the tarmac following his arrival at King County International Airport in Seattle, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. Obama is scheduled to attend a democratic fundraiser event with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. He's is also attending fundraisers in San Francisco and Los Angeles as part of a four-day West Coast tour. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama waves after greeting a few supporters on his arrival Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, at King County Airport in Seattle. Obama was in town to attend a pair of fundraisers, following a stop Roseburg, Ore., where he visited families of victims of the shooting rampage there last week. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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President Obama with Sen. Patty Murray during a Democratic fundraiser in Seattle

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Leaving Seattle for San Francisco

27
Aug
15

President Obama Shows Love To New Orleans

U.S. President Barack Obama is welcomed by local residents of an area reconstructed after Hurricane Katrina during a presidential visit to New Orleans, Louisiana, August 27, 2015. Obama on Thursday will highlight the "structural inequality" that hurt poor black people in New Orleans before the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, during a visit to celebrate the city's progress 10 years after the storm. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

“Where the jazz makes you cry, the funerals make you dance, and the bayou makes you believe all kinds of things.”

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President Barack Obama, accompanied by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, holds a child as he greets residents in the the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, for the 10th anniversary since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Tremé is one of the oldest black neighborhoods in America, which borders the French Quarter just north of Downtown.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Barack Obama holds a child as he greets residents in the the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans for the 10th anniversary since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Tremé is one of the oldest black neighborhoods in America

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A presidential flag on a presidential limo can be seen as President Barack Obama, greets a resident in the the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, for the 10th anniversary since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Tremé is one of the oldest black neighborhoods in America, which borders the French Quarter just north of Downtown. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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President Barack Obama greets residents in the the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, for the 10th anniversary since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Tremé is one of the oldest black neighborhoods in America, which borders the French Quarter just north of Downtown.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks during a visit to an area reconstructed after Hurricane Katrina, accompanied by New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu (L), during a presidential visit to New Orleans, Louisiana, August 27, 2015. Obama on Thursday will highlight the "structural inequality" that hurt poor black people in New Orleans before the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, during a visit to celebrate the city's progress 10 years after the storm. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

President Barack Obama with Mayor Mitch Landrieu

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President Barack Obama, accompanied by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, right, teases a shy girl as he greets residents in the the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, for the 10th anniversary since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Tremé is one of the oldest black neighborhoods in America, which borders the French Quarter just north of Downtown. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Barack Obama, accompanied by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, left, holds a young girl as he greets residents in the the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, for the 10th anniversary since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Tremé is one of the oldest black neighborhoods in America, which borders the French Quarter just north of Downtown. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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President Barack Obama, accompanied by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, third from right, greets residents in the the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, for the 10th anniversary since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Tremé is one of the oldest black neighborhoods in America, which borders the French Quarter just north of Downtown. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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U.S. President Barack Obama sits for lunch at Willie Mae's restaurant near downtown during a presidential visit to New Orleans, Louisiana, August 27, 2015. Obama on Thursday will highlight the "structural inequality" that hurt poor black people in New Orleans before the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, during a visit to celebrate the city's progress 10 years after the storm. REUTERS/Carlos Barria TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

President Barack Obama sits for lunch at Willie Mae’s restaurant with young men from My Brother’s Keeper initiative

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President Barack Obama participates in a roundtable on Hurricane Katrina at the Andrew P. Sanchez Community Center in New Orleans, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, while visiting for the 10th anniversary since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The roundtable highlighted advancements in national preparedness, showcase Gulf Coast resiliency, mark the achievements of the New Orleans community over the past 10 years with opportunities to build future resilience.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Barack Obama participates in a roundtable on Hurricane Katrina at the Andrew P. Sanchez Community Center in New Orleans

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President Barack Obama speaks during an event to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on August 27, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. President Obama spoke at the Andrew P. Sanchez & Copelin-Byrd Multi-Service Center located in the Lower 9th Ward, a largely African-American neighborhood that was one of the hardest hit by the storm

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Four young men who's lives were affected by Hurricane Katrina listen as President Barack Obama delivers remarks at Andrew P. Sanchez Community Center in New Orleans, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, for the 10th anniversary since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The young men had lunch with the president and discussed resiliency in the face of adversity. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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09
Mar
15

The President’s Day

Obama delivers remarks at the National League of Cities annual Congressional City Conference in Washington

President Barack Obama speaks at the National League of Cities annual Congressional City Conference in Washington. Targeting stagnant wages in an otherwise improving economy, the president is calling on employers, educational institutions and local governments to ramp up training and hiring of high-technology in an effort to drive up higher-income employment

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Obama delivers remarks at the National League of Cities annual Congressional City Conference in Washington

Obama arrives to deliver remarks at the National League of Cities annual Congressional City Conference in Washington

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President Barack Obama hugs National League of Cities President, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker

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This kick-ass moment. The audience is tired of the disrespect. This doesn’t only concern the Politico reporter, but to everyday supporters who call him “Obama.” It’s like nails on a chalkboard. He is the first two term elected African-American President. He is not “Obama” to you. He’s President Barack Obama or President Obama. If you want to shorten, then it should be POTUS or PBO. He’s more than earned that title

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Continue reading ‘The President’s Day’

17
Feb
15

A Tweet Or Two

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This is the perfect response to a white feminist who believes it is her right to dictate to a Black woman what she should do with her life and career. Bravo, Jessica Williams!

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Continue reading ‘A Tweet Or Two’

23
May
14

The President’s Day

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President Barack Obama shares a laugh with a patron as they get breakfast at Valois Cafeteria in Chicago

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USA Today: Obama Breakfasts At Old Chicago Favorite

It was an old home kind of Friday for President Obama. The president — and former Chicago resident — had breakfast at a favored old stomping ground, Valois Restaurant in Hyde Park. Obama, who dined with Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, ordered two eggs over medium with bacon and hash browns, and then plopped down a pair of $20 bills. “I don’t take free food,” Obama said.

It was a familiar place for Obama. A glass cabinet featured Valois coffee mugs adorned with Obama’s face, while assorted Obama clippings and photos hung on a wall. A separate menu board featured “President Obama’s favorites,” including “N.Y. steak and eggs”; two eggs with bacon or sausage; two pancakes; steak omelet; Mediterranean omelet; and an “all-vegi” egg white omelet.

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President Barack Obama waves while boarding Air Force One before leaving O’Hare International Airport in Chicago

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President Barack Obama salutes as he steps from Air Force One in Andrews Air Force Base

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President Barack Obama is escorted to Marine One helicopter from the steps of Air Force One

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President Barack Obama waves as he walks across the South Lawn of the White House following his arrival on Marine One

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President Barack Obama carries his jacket over his shoulder and whistles as he walks towards the Oval Office

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President Barack Obama signs H.R. 685 in the Oval Office. H.R. 685 is the American Fighter Aces Congressional Gold Medal Act with the presentation of a single congressional gold medal in recognition of the Aces military service. From back left are Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Va., Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Fred Dungan, American Fighter Ace, of San Clemente, Calif., Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, and Clayton Gross, of Portland, Ore., American Fighter Ace.

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White House: Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 685 and H.R. 1209

On Friday, May 23, 2014, the President signed into law: H.R. 685, the “American Fighter Aces Congressional Gold Medal Act,” which provides for the award of a single congressional gold medal to the American Fighter Aces, collectively, in recognition of their heroic military service and defense of the Nation’s freedom throughout the history of aviation warfare; and

H.R. 1209, which provides for the award of a single congressional gold medal to the World War II members of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, for outstanding heroism, valor, skill, and service to the United States in conducting the bombings of Tokyo.

More here

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President Barack Obama, along with Vice President Joe Biden, announces the nomination of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to replace current Secretary Shaun Donovan who was nominated to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

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White House: President Obama Nominates Julián Castro As Next HUD Secretary And Shaun Donovan As OMB Director

Today, in the White House State Dining Room, President Obama nominated San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro as the next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and current HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan to serve as the Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Mayor Castro will be an invaluable member of the Obama Administration. In five short years, Mayor Castro has made significant progress in San Antonio and put the city and its citizens on a new trajectory. He has been a leader among mayors in implementing housing and economic development programs that have tremendously benefitted the people of San Antonio. He has also built good relationships with other mayors and key partners in the Administration’s Promise Zones initiative, which spotlights San Antonio as a shining example of a city that has been revitalized over the past few years due in large part to Mayor Castro’s leadership.

President Obama also believes that Secretary Donovan will make an excellent choice as the new Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Donovan has committed his life to public service, focused on good government and smart investment. Under Donovan’s leadership, HUD helped stabilize the housing market and worked to keep responsible families in their homes. In the wake of the foreclosure crisis, Donovan reaffirmed HUD’s commitment to building strong, sustainable, inclusive neighborhoods that are connected to education and jobs and provide access to opportunity for all Americans. While at HUD, Donovan made critical investments to speed economic growth, while also offering new savings proposals and ensuring fiscal responsibility. Donovan also chaired the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, which developed a comprehensive regional plan, based on local vision for redevelopment, to guide long-term disaster recovery efforts. Donovan has a track record of using data to make good decisions and drive results. In the role, he has become a trusted advisor to the President and partner to other members of the Cabinet.

More here

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21
Aug
13

Rise and Shine

Random old pic, just in case Bo is feeling crowded these days

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Today (all times Eastern):

The President has no scheduled public events

12:45: Josh Earnest briefs the press

7:0 NYC Democratic Mayoral Primary Debate (C-Span coverage starts at 6:0)

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Get the facts – there’s now a permanent link in the sidebar on the right

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ThinkProgress: The Remarkable Slowdown In Health Care Costs Since The Passage Of Obamacare

A new survey of health care premiums for employer-sponsored health care coverage shows that health care inflation is slowing, further undermining critics’ predictions that costs would skyrocket in the aftermath of the Affordable Care Act.

…. Other reports have also uncovered a slowdown in cost increases. The number of double-digit rate increases requested by health insurers in the individual market has plummeted over the past four years and Medicare’s projected spending between 2010 and 2020 had dropped by over $500 billion. Under the new cost scenario, the entitlement program would, by 2085, make up 4 percent of the economy instead of the previously projected 7 percent.

Annual growth of medical spending has also slowed “from a high of about 8.8 percent in 2003 to an average of about 3 percent per capita from 2009 to 2011, according to data reported in January by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.”

Full post here

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Kaiser Family Foundation

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USA Today: States predict more insurance customers

Estimates from 19 states operating health insurance exchanges to help the uninsured find coverage show that at least 8.5 million will use the exchanges to buy insurance. That would far outstrip the federal government’s estimate of 7 million new customers for all 50 states under the 2010 health care law….

…. “It’s not a positive development for the Republican opponents who would like to see this fail,” said Paul Ginsburg, president of the Center for Studying Health System Change…..

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Jamelle Bouie: Anti-Obamacare Rage, Once a GOP Hit, Fizzles Despite Town Halls

Tea Party Republicans had a huge hit with their rage against Obamacare. It gave them control of the House of Representatives in 2010, fueled their anti-spending crusade in 2011, inspired the most vocal of the GOP presidential candidates, and elevated a host of right-wing politicians to the Senate, providing a national platform for the crusade against the so-called government takeover of health care.

Hits aren’t built to last, however, and after a while, this one began to fizzle … The magic has fizzled so much that some Republicans have begun to walk away from the project altogether, even as others work to turn Obamacare funding into cause for a government shutdown.

… Heritage can play as many of the old tunes as it likes. When October 1 comes, the Affordable Care Act will be there, ready to confer benefits, provide security, and begin the slow transformation of American health care.

Full post here

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TPM: Rick Perry In Talks To Accept Obamacare Funding For Elderly

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), an ardent opponent of the Affordable Care Act, is in talks with Obama administration officials to accept an estimated $100 million in care for the elderly and disabled through Obamacare….

Texas health officials are seeking to enroll in the so-called Community First Choice program available via the law’s Medicaid expansion. Perry officially declined to enroll his state in the program, saying in April that expanding the program for the poor would make Texas “hostage” to the federal government.

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Incredible….

TPM: Only One in Four Young Adults Know About Obamacare Exchanges

Only one in four young American adults are aware of the online health insurance marketplaces that will open on Oct. 1 as part of the federal health care reform law, according to a report released Wednesday.

In a survey of adults ages 19 to 29 by the non-profit nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund, just 27 percent said they knew they would be able to purchase insurance on the marketplaces, also known as exchanges, starting Oct. 1.

The young adult population has been the focal point of the Obama administration’s campaign to promote the marketplaces. The White House has said that it wants to enroll 2.7 million people ages 18 to 35 in the exchanges by next year; 7 million people in total are expected to sign up for health coverage.

The new report underlines the challenge that the administration faces in reaching that population….

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Michael Tomasky: Republicans Move to the Center? Nope, They’re Crazier Than Ever

If you thought the GOP would adopt more moderate positions after its 2012 debacle, you were wrong. From debate threats to defunding Obamacare and even more purges, Michael Tomasky on how the insanity’s only increasing.

If you’d asked me six months ago whether the Republican Party would manage to find a few ways to sidle back toward the center between now and 2016, I’d have said yes. But today, on the basis of evidence offered so far this year, I’d have to say a big fat no. With every passing month, the party contrives new ways to go crazier. There’s a lot of time between now and 2016, but it’s hard to watch recent events without concluding that the extreme part of the base is gaining more and more internal control.

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Continue reading ‘Rise and Shine’

19
Aug
13

Rise and Shine

Completely random old pic (Portsmouth, N.H., Sept. 7, 2012)

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Today (all times Eastern)

11:0: President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

11:45: Meets with senior advisors

12:45: Josh Earnest briefs the press

2:15: President Obama meets with independent financial regulators

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A sign along Harding Hill in West Tisbury, Massachusetts, August 18

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USA Today: Coming off a week’s vacation, President Obama deals Monday with new rules on the financial system.

Obama holds a closed-door meeting with financial regulators to discuss the impact of new laws, the White House says, including the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform bill and the Consumer Protection Act.

The guest list includes the Comptroller of the Currency, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

Also: The chairs of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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Times Tribune: Biden to join Obama in Scranton

In a rare occurrence, Vice President Joe Biden will join President Barack Obama in Scranton for the last stop on the president’s two-day bus tour promoting affordable higher education.

…. The president is scheduled to appear Friday at Lackawanna College, a school spokeswoman and the White House confirmed Friday. The school will be the last stop on a tour that takes Mr. Obama on Thursday to the University of Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y., and the State University of New York and Henninger High School in Syracuse. Hours before the Scranton stop, the president will take part in a town hall at Binghamton University.

“At each stop, the president will discuss the importance of ensuring that every American has the opportunity to achieve a quality education by reducing cost and improving the value of higher education for middle-class students and their families,” a White House official said…

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ThinkProgress: How Testicular Cancer Convinced A Former Republican Staffer To Leave His Party

Before he could realize the value of affordable health care, one Republican campaign staffer had to experience what it’s like to be without it.

Clint Murphy, who’s been involved with Republican campaigns since the 1990s, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2000 when he was 25 years old. Four years and four rounds of chemo treatment later — all of which was covered by insurance — Murphy was in remission. Insurance wasn’t a problem in his subsequent political jobs — he worked on John McCain’s election campaign in 2008 — but when he quit politics in 2010 and entered real estate, he realized just how difficult obtaining insurance with a pre-existing condition could be.

…. That’s why Murphy had this to say to his Republican friends who oppose Obamacare on Facebook last week: “When you say you’re against it, you’re saying that you don’t want people like me to have health insurance.”

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Steve Benen: Far-right ‘ready to erupt’ over health care?

President Obama’s weekly addresses tend to be pretty tame, at least as far as political rhetoric goes, but over the weekend his latest weekly message included some fairly pointed language about Republican efforts to sabotage the federal health care system.

Some congressional Republicans, Obama said, are “working hard to confuse people, and making empty promises that they’ll either shut down the health care law, or, if they don’t get their way, they’ll shut down the government…. A lot of Republicans seem to believe that if they can gum up the works and make this law fail, they’ll somehow be sticking it to me. But they’d just be sticking it to you.”

And while the White House pushes against the GOP shutdown threats, far-right activists continue to push in the opposite direction.

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Paul Krugman: One Reform, Indivisible

Recent political reporting suggests that Republican leaders are in a state of high anxiety, trapped between an angry base that still views Obamacare as the moral equivalent of slavery and the reality that health reform is the law of the land and is going to happen.

But those leaders don’t deserve any sympathy. For one thing, that irrational base is a Frankenstein monster of their own creation. Beyond that, everything I’ve seen indicates that members of the Republican elite still don’t get the basics of health reform — and that this lack of understanding is in the process of turning into a major political liability.

On the unstoppability of Obamacare: We have this system in which Congress passes laws, the president signs them, and then they go into effect. The Affordable Care Act went through this process, and there is no legitimate way for Republicans to stop it.

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Reuters: Illinois expands background checks to all gun purchases

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a gun-control measure into law on Sunday that expands background checks to cover all firearms purchases in the state, closing what he said was a loophole that exempted gun sales between private parties.

The new law also requires all gun owners to report any lost or stolen firearms to local police within 72 hours.

“Guns are a plague on too many of our communities,” Quinn, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Making sure guns do not fall into the wrong hands is critical to keeping the people of Illinois safe. This commonsense law will help our law enforcement crack down on crime and make our streets safer.”

The expanded background checks go into effect on January 1, 2014.

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Michael Tomasky: Julian Assange Loves Rand Paul and His ‘Very Principled Positions’

Julian Assange, who back when he roamed the earth freely used to do things like show up on the steps of St. Paul’s to protest the wrongs of capitalism, has now apparently placed his faith in the man who is arguably the capitalists’ single biggest lickspittle in Washington, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). In and of itself, this is only mildly interesting. But Assange’s admirers on the left are so seduced by his oppositionalist posture and his desire to stick it to the man (as long as the man is the government of the United States) that they seem willing to follow him off any cliff, maybe even the cliff of voting for Paul in 2016. It’s a jejune politics, and ultimately a politics of leisure. No one whose day-to-day life is materially affected by the question of who is in office has time for such silly games, and therefore, no one who purports to be in solidarity with those people should either.

… these seemingly left-wing anti-establishment types should never be trusted. These are just playtime politics, luxuries for the leisure class. If you want a real left-winger, I say stick with Marx. At least he understood that politics is chiefly about economic relations. Anyone who doesn’t understand that is sending you down blind alleys, knows little about politics to begin with, and should be shunned by anyone who claims to be anywhere on the broad left side of the spectrum.

Full post here

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Ari Berman: Time to March on Washington — Again

They carried signs that demanded “Voting Rights,” “Jobs for All” and “Decent Housing.” They protested the vigilante killing of an unarmed black teenager in the South and his killer’s acquittal. They denounced racial profiling in the country’s largest city.

This isn’t 1963 but 2013, when so many of the issues that gave rise to the March on Washington fifty years ago remain unfulfilled or under siege today. That’s why, on August 24, a broad coalition of civil rights organizations, unions, progressive groups and Democratic Party leaders will rally at the Lincoln Memorial and proceed to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial to honor the fiftieth anniversary of the march and dramatize the contemporary fight. (President Obama will participate in a separate event commemorating the official anniversary on August 28.)

The Supreme Court’s decision gutting the Voting Rights Act in late June and the acquittal of George Zimmerman less than three weeks later make this year’s march “exponentially more urgent” with respect to pressuring Congress and arousing the conscience of the nation, says Ben Jealous, president of the NAACP, a co-sponsor of the march.

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MoooOOOooorning!

12
Aug
13

Rise and Shine

Four years ago today: President Obama hugs Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient actor Sidney Poitier during the award ceremony in the East Room of the White House,  August 12, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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The Grio: Holder to call for major reform of mandatory minimum sentencing

Attorney General Eric Holder will announce in a speech today that the Department of Justice will no longer charge low-level, non-violent drug offenders with crimes that trigger mandatory minimum sentences, a major shift in American drug policy and an indication that President Obama wants to reduce the number of Americans who serve long prison sentences over drug crimes and rethink American laws that have existed for decades.

“I have mandated a modification of the Justice Department’s charging policies so that certain low-level, nonviolent drug offenders who have no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs, or cartels will no longer be charged with offenses that impose draconian mandatory minimum sentences,” Holder is expected to say Monday at a meeting in San Francisco of the American Bar Association, according to excerpts of his remarks provided to theGrio….

In effect, Holder is calling for prosecutors to charge defendants for lesser crimes than they may have actually committed, thereby allowing juries and judges more latitude in imposing sentences, instead of following mandatory minimums created by Congress that many in both parties say are now outdated.

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See SmartyPants

1:0 EST: AG Eric Holder Address the American Bar Association

C-Span

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Love this:

Michael Tomasky: Obama Is Giving Up Some Executive Power, and He’ll Still Get No Credit

Predictably, everyone is unimpressed by the measures Barack Obama has announced to bring a little ray of transparency to America’s surveillance programs …. I think it’s pretty remarkable that a president, any president, announced, without absolutely being forced to, a series of steps that relinquish some degree of executive power. Of course he’ll get no credit for that, because civil libertarians tend to be absolutists and other liberals tend to be afraid or even terrified of their wrath…

…. Obama was headed down this course before the Snowden leaks. Those began on June 5. But on May 23, he gave a speech at the National Defense University in which he foreshadowed the moves he just announced. Combine all this with John Kerry’s recent announcement that we have a plan for ending drone strikes in Pakistan, and you might have thought liberals would be cheering.

I suppose some liberals are. I am. But not civil libertarians. With them, it’s all or nothing. If you’re not signed on to the whole program, you might as well be Joe McCarthy….

…. Obama has public opinion to think about. And of course he has keeping the country safe to worry about, and no one at the ACLU is sitting in on those intel briefings and learning the things the president is learning every day about threats to the nation, and no one at the ACLU will be responsible if our wall of security is breached. Obama is responsible, and I think mere willingness of the man in that position to have this conversation, let alone take some concrete steps, does him enormous credit.

Full post here

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Truly, these people are deranged:

Next tweet will probably be: ‘Ask not what the Nobel Prize can do for Bradley Manning, ask what Bradley Manning can do for the Nobel Prize’

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Andrew Liepman (LA Times): What did Edward Snowden get wrong? Everything

Edward Snowden is now out of his limbo at Moscow’s airport, presumably ensconced in some Russian dacha, wondering what the next phase of his young life will bring. Having spent 30 years in the intelligence business, I fervently hope the food is lousy, the winter is cold, and the Internet access is awful. But I worry less about what happens to this one man and more about the damage Snowden has done — and could still do — to America’s long-term ability to strike the right balance between privacy and security.

More here

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LittleGreenFootballs: Sen. Al Franken: “I Assure You This Isn’t About Spying on the American People”

“I have a high level of confidence that it is used to protect us”

Noted far right nutjob (do I need a snark tag on that?) Sen. Al Franken says he was not surprised by the Greenwald/Snowden NSA revelations…..

More here

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Steve Benen: Steve King just can’t help himself

Democrats and other proponents of immigration reform caught another lucky break over the weekend: Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) appeared on “Meet the Press” yesterday, and just kept talking. If the progressive goal is to see reform opponents discredit themselves on the national stage, the right-wing Iowan has become the left’s most reliable ally.

Indeed, who do you think was happier to see King on the air, the DNC or the RNC?

More here

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The Root: Politics Gets Its Own Cheerios Ad – The black son of a white candidate tackles stop and frisk in a campaign ad.

Earlier this year, Cheerios generated extensive media attention — and countless racist comments online — for becoming the first major American brand to feature a mixed-race family in a television advertisement. Now, an ad for a political campaign is poised to be just as groundbreaking, and potentially controversial.

This weekend television advertisements began airing starring the teenage son of New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio. De Blasio is white, his wife, Chirlane McCray, is black, and their son, Dante, sports a sizable Afro in the ad, in which he makes the case for why he believes his father is the best candidate for mayor.

While he touches upon a number of issues, including affordable housing, the ad’s most powerful moment comes when he talks about his father’s position on stop and frisk….

More here

The ad:

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That pic again, but a bigger, shinier, lovelier version:

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On this day:

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama with Justice Sonia Sotomayor prior to a reception for the new Supreme Court Justice at the White House, on Aug. 12, 2009 (Pete Souza)

President Obama and Justice Sonia Sotomayor meet in the Oval Office prior to a reception for the new Supreme Court Justice at the White House, on Aug. 12, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

First Lady Michelle Obama and President Obama greet guests at a reception for Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients and their families, Aug. 12, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talk in the Blue Room of the White House before the start of the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony on Aug. 12, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Neighbors sing Happy Birthday to President Obama during a walk in the Hyde Park/Kenwood section of Chicago, Ill., Aug. 12, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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MoooOOOOooorning!

28
Jun
13

News Of The Day

HERO

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Oh Happy Day for Prop 8 Plaintiffs Kristin Perry and Sandy Stier as they tied the knot

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Annie-Rose Strasser: On Friday afternoon, the ninth circuit court lifted its stay on same-sex marriages in the state of California, acknowledging the Supreme Court’s opinion in Hollingsworth v Perry that supporters of anti-gay Proposition 8 did not have standing to appeal a lower court judge’s ruling that the ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The move, which came earlier than expected, allows gay and lesbian couples to begin getting married immediately.

As soon as the news came down from the ninth circuit on Friday, California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris began marrying couples — starting with Proposition 8 plaintiffs Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier

More here

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Filling out the marriage license

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Click here to see the rest of the post

01
Nov
12

This and That

Austin Straubel International Airport, Green Bay, Wisconsin, Nov 1

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In a statement, President Obama reacts to NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsing him: “I’m honored to have Mayor Bloomberg’s endorsement. I deeply respect him for his leadership in business, philanthropy and government, and appreciate the extraordinary job he’s doing right now, leading New York City through these difficult days.

“While we may not agree on every issue, Mayor Bloomberg and I agree on the most important issues of our time – that the key to a strong economy is investing in the skills and education of our people, that immigration reform is essential to an open and dynamic democracy, and that climate change is a threat to our children’s future, and we owe it to them to do something about it. Just as importantly, we agree that whether we are Democrats, Republicans, or independents, there is only one way to solve these challenges and move forward as a nation – together. I look forward to thanking him in person – but for now, he has my continued commitment that this country will stand by New York in its time of need. And New Yorkers have my word that we will recover, we will rebuild, and we will come back stronger.”

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Part of the line to see President Obama at Austin Straubel International Airport today

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You can see President Obama’s Green Bay speech at C-Span

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President Obama is handed a personal check made out to the American Red Cross

Austin Straubel International Airport, Green Bay, Wisconsin, Nov 1

(Hey everyone, the buuuuuurning question of the day: is it annoying to have the photo credits on the photos, rather than typed underneath? Whatcha think? I just reckon it makes the posts look tidier, but I’ll leave it up to YOU PEOPLE!)

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Cagle

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Cagle

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I’ll be back with a heads-up for the Las Vegas speech near the time

26
Jun
12

Atlanta

President Obama at the Varsity restaurant in Atlanta

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…. greeted by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, June 26

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Coming up:

1:25: President Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel, Atlanta

CBS live streaming

CNN live streaming

18
Apr
12

ohio

President Obama shakes hands with Lorain County Community College student Bronson Harwood after speaking at the college in Elyria, Ohio

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…. greeted by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson as he steps off of Air Force One at Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport

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…. holding a roundtable discussion at Lorain County Community College in Elyria

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President Obama speaks about job training at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio

10
Apr
12

palm beach

President Obama greets residents waiting for him as he arrives for a campaign event in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla

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…. greeted by Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla, Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla, and West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio

Palm Beach International Airport

09
Mar
12

virginia

 

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President Obama leaving the White House before traveling to Prince George, Va., and Houston, Texas

Andrews Air Force Base

… greeted by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell upon arriving at Richmond International Airport

… greeted by Richmond, Va. Mayor Dwight C. Jones, center, and Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va

… at Richmond International Airport in Virginia

…. touring the Rolls-Royce Crosspointe facility in Prince George

“I did not run for this office just to get us back to where we were. I ran for this office to get us where we need to be.”

01
Feb
12

afternoon all

First lady Michelle Obama is joined by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at the future site of a Northgate Market in Inglewood, Calif., Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012. Michelle Obama says the proposed new supermarket in the middle of a blue-collar Hispanic neighborhood in Southern California is an example of how the effort to bring healthy foods to low-income communities is paying off.

AP: First lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday said the campaign to bring healthy food to all Americans is happening neighborhood by neighborhood.

Standing in a vacant Southern California store set to be refurbished and reopened this summer, Obama lauded efforts to bring large grocery retailers to inner-city areas that traditional supermarket chains spurn.

…. Obama, who is on the second day of her two-day visit to the Los Angeles area, made the stop in the blue-collar, largely Hispanic neighborhood as part of her “Let’s Move!” campaign to boost healthy food and fitness.

Part of the campaign includes promoting initiatives such as the $264 million California FreshWorks Fund, which finances grocery businesses willing to open in urban areas.

…. After the Inglewood event, Obama was scheduled to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and to deliver a luncheon speech at the Democratic National Committee.

Full article here

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Washington Post: U.S. factories grew in January at the fastest pace in seven months, boosted by a rise in new orders. And builders ended a poor year for construction by spending more on homes and projects for the fifth straight month.

The reports bolster other data showing the U.S. economy started the year strong.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Wednesday that its manufacturing index rose last month to 54.1 from 53.1 in December. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.

Consumers are buying more cars and trucks, while businesses ordered more machinery and other equipment. That has driven manufacturing, which expanded for the 30th straight month.

Both new orders and order backlogs rose to nine-month highs. Increasing order backlogs suggest manufacturers are lacking the capacity to meet demand. That could mean more growth in production and employment in the near future, economists said.

Export orders also rose, a sign that U.S. manufacturers haven’t yet been affected by Europe’s slowing economy.

“This is a very encouraging report on manufacturing activity that shows particular strength in leading indicators,” said John Ryding, an economist at RDQ Economics.

Full article here

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Gallup

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Steve Benen: For campaign watchers, Florida’s Republican presidential primary was the big draw yesterday, but there was another noteworthy race on the other side of the country: a U.S. House special election in Oregon’s 1st congressional district.

Just two weeks ago, the National Republican Congressional Committee took an interest in the race, airing attack ads against Democratic candidate Suzanne Bonamici. The GOP candidate, Rob Cornilles, even released an internal poll showing him trailing by only four points.

Yesterday, however, it became clear Republicans were chasing a mirage.

Democrat Suzanne Bonamici swept to victory Tuesday in Oregon’s 1st Congressional District, continuing her party’s nearly four-decade-long hold on the seat covering the northwestern corner of the state. With the bulk of ballots counted, Bonamici was defeating Republican Rob Cornilles by about 15 percentage points…..

Full post here

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President Barack Obama at the James Lee Community Center in Falls Church, Virginia, February 1

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TPM

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Forgot to post this yesterday:

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TPM: The Obama administration announced Wednesday that the Medicare Advantage program, which allows seniors to receive health coverage through a private insurer, is enjoying lower costs and more customers as a result of the health care reform law.

More here

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Yahoo: If you watched President Obama’s Google+ hangout Monday night, you saw two interesting exchanges between the president and Jennifer Wedel, a 29-year-old Texas mother of two.

It turns out that Wedel’s digital meeting convinced her to vote for Obama in this year’s presidential election – despite her support for the GOP.

…. Afterwards, Wedel, who described herself as a “good Republican,” is now planning to vote for Obama in this year’s presidential election.

“I didn’t vote for him four years ago. But I have been so disappointed with the presidential race. I haven’t seen anybody who would have been a good replacement. I know how Obama is now. I know how he rolls. So I’d probably vote him back in,” said Wedel in an interview with The Atlantic. “I (feel) like I know him a little more,” Wedel said. “There was a connection. He should definitely do this with more people…..”

….. for those who watched the event, a slightly odd moment near the end might have jumped out. During that personal question round, Wedel asked Obama if he would do a little jig. Obama demurred. What was that about? It’s a YouTube meme thing, explained Wedel. An extremely popular video on the site is a minute-and-a-half clip of then-candidate Obama shaking it on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” back in 2007; one version has 12 million hits and counting.

“It’s so funny,” said Wedel. “You’ve got to watch it.”

More here

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Thanks nintendowii10

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Make sure you don’t miss Liberal Librarian’s post below

26
Jan
12

colorado

President Barack Obama greets service members before speaking at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.

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President Obama shakes hands with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock as he arrives at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora

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President Obama departs from Buckley Air Force Base

25
Jan
12

‘night everyone

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ABC: …“I don’t pay hardly any payroll taxes,” Buffett said. “Gov. Romney hardly pays any payroll taxes, Newt Gingrich hardly pays any payroll taxes. Debbie pays lots of payroll taxes.”

He lashed out at assertions from many Republican leaders that the “Buffett rule” is class warfare.

“If this is a war, my side has the nuclear bomb,” Buffett said. “We have K Street. … We have Wall Street. Debbie doesn’t have anybody. I want a government that is responsive to the people who got the short straw in life.”

Full post here

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Thursday:

11:00: VP Biden delivers remarks in Rochester, N.H.

1:00: PBO delivers remarks at UPS Las Vegas South.

3:05: PBO departs Las Vegas en route to Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.

4:35: PBO arrives at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.

5:30: PBO delivers remarks.

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President Obama is greeted by Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman upon his arrival at Las Vegas Airport, Nevada, January 25

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The Week

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You can never see this enough ;-) (From the Digitocalypse YouTube channel)

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‘Night everyone, see you tomorow ;-)

25
Oct
11

chat away

President Barack Obama and Jay Leno joke backstage before taping the Tonight Show (Pete Souza)

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San Francisco tonight – no sound until 8 seconds in :oops:

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The First Lady in Detroit – photos from Anne Savage Photography via Eclectablog

Thanks Hopefruit ;-)

Loved this one from Anne Savage:

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First Lady Michelle Obama with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at a South Side Walgreens today in Chicago

Chicago Tribune – Read the text of the First Lady’s remarks here – thanks Jovie

First lady Michelle Obama holds up a worm from a compost pile as she visits Iron Street Urban Farm

First Lady Michelle Obama and Mayor Rahm Emanuel greet Newt Gingrich in Chicago

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Denver Post: A new statewide poll released today to coincide with President Obama’s trip to Colorado shows the first-term Democrat is more popular than any of his major GOP presidential challengers, particularly among unaffiliated voters and Hispanics, two crucial groups.

…. “At this point in the presidential race, President Obama is running against himself,” Project New West president Jill Hanauer said today. “At the same time, the Republican field is not reaching a majority of Coloradans due to their extreme views in very centrist state where voters vote for the person not the party and the policy vision, not a political ideology.”

…. PNW’s poll showed that 49% of likely Colorado voters view the President in a positive light, compared with 45% who have a negative opinion of him. Comparatively, Mitt Romney has a 40/38 favorable/unfavorable rating, and Rick Perry is underwater with a 29/38 rating.

Importantly, the President is even more popular with unaffiliated voters, who constitute a crucial 29% of the Colorado electorate. 54 percent of unaffiliated voters have positive feelings about the president, compared with 37% who view him negatively. Romney (38/37) and Perry (24/33) have similar ratings among Unaffiliateds as they do with the broader electorate.

The President also remains popular with Hispanic voters, who made up roughly 12% of the Colorado electorate in 2010. Obama has a 59/36 approval/disapproval rating among Colorado Hispanics, compared to 31/35 for Romney and 28/39 for Perry.

Full post here

Thanks Marlz

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Go to Political Correction to see an enlarged version of the graphic – ‘A Timeline Of GOP Economic Sabotage’. Thank you BWD.

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OMG! Ex-pat GG briefly left Brazil to visit America for an appearance on Maddow to promote his shiny new book! Awesome! It was a complete love-in – Rachel even wrote the huggy blurb on the back of the book! And she nodded knowingly when he went on about the elites who rule America (but she ran out of time before she could ask him about the Koch brothers and GG’s work for their CATO Institute).

Buy the book now!




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