Posts Tagged ‘nra



06
May
13

Rise and Shine

Two years ago: President Obama walks across the tarmac with Vice President Biden prior to departure from Fort Campbell, Ky., May 6, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

****

Today:

The President has no scheduled public events

12:45 Jay Carney’s press briefing

4:0: VP Biden meets with members of the faith community at the White House to discuss gun safety

****

Jonathan Chait: State of the Union addresses are wearying rituals, in which stitched-together lists of never-gonna-happen goals are woven into idealistic catchphrases, analyzed as rhetoric by an unqualified panel of poetry-critic-for-a-night political reporters, quickly followed by a hapless opposition-party response, and then, in almost every case, forgotten. This year, plunked into the midst of the tedium was a gigantic revelation, almost surely the most momentous news of President Obama’s second term. “I will direct my Cabinet,” he announced, “to come up with executive actions we can take now and in the future to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”

Here was a genuine bombshell. It sounded a little vague, and the president did not explain precisely what he intended to do or how he would pull it off. But a handful of environmental wonks had a fairly strong grasp of the project he had committed himself to, and they understood that it was very, very real and very, very doable. If they were to have summarized the news, the headline would have been OBAMA TO SAVE PLANET…..

More here

****

****

****

USA Today: President Obama is turning back to the jobs issue, launching a series of “Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tours” starting Thursday with an appearance in Texas.

Obama will visit growing areas “to learn what has helped them become successful and use these models of growth to encourage Congress to act,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

On Thursday, the president opens the new effort with a tour in Austin, Texas, where he will visit a high school, and speak with leaders of the city’s high-tech industries.

More here

****

****

Michael Tomasky: There Are No ‘Absolute’ Rights – Nearly every idea in the Bill of Rights comes with restrictions and limitations. To think that the Second Amendment should be any different is absurd

Every time I write a column on guns, the howl arises that I am talking about a right that is enshrined in the Constitution, buddy, and I better watch myself. The howl then transmutes into an extended harangue that this right is absolute, and no libtard fascist, whether me or the Satanesque Dianne Feinstein, is going to limit the right in any way.

The first soldier to charge across this rhetorical veld is followed by hundreds harrumphing their assent. The only problem is that it’s an ahistorical, afactual, and barbaric argument. No right is absolute. In fact, the Second Amendment arguably has fewer restrictions on it these days than many of the other first ten, and there is and should be no guarantee that things are going to stay that way. In fact, if we’re ever going to be serious about trying to stop this mass butchery that we endure every few months, they cannot.

More here

****

****

VP Biden: ….. We fell short on our first effort to pass Manchin-Toomey in the Senate, but we will not be deterred by one setback. We have an obligation to make sure that the voices of victims, not the voice of the NRA, ring the loudest in this debate.

For too long, members of Congress have been afraid to vote against the wishes of the NRA, even when the vast majority of their constituents support what the NRA opposes. That fear has become such an article of faith that even in the face of evidence to the contrary, a number of senators voted against basic background checks, against a federal gun trafficking statute and against other common-sense measures because they feared a backlash.

…. In the end, I believe we will prevail. And those who wrote off gun safety legislation last month will come to realize that moment wasn’t the end at all. It was the turning point.

Full editorial here

****

****

****

Click here to see the rest of the post

03
May
13

Rise and Shine

****

All times Eastern:

10:15 AM: The President delivers remarks at the Anthropology Museum, Mexico City (White House live)

10:30: VP Biden and Sec of State Kerry deliver remarks at the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) Memorial Plaque Ceremony at the State Department (White House live)

12:25: President Obama meets with Mexican entrepreneurs

1:25: Departs Mexico City

4:0: Arrives San Jose, Costa Rica

4:35: Meets and greets with United States Embassy personnel

5:40: The President and President Chinchilla hold a bilateral meeting

6:30: The President and President Chinchilla hold a cultural event with Costa Rican youth

7:15: Press conference

7:30: VP Biden speaks at the South Carolina Democratic Party’s 2013 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner (C-Span)

7:35: President Obama participates in a photo with Central American Integration System leaders

9:0: Central American Integration System leaders meet for a working dinner

****

Bloomberg: Employment picked up more than forecast in April and the jobless rate unexpectedly declined to a four-year low of 7.5 percent, showing the early stages of government budget cuts failed to destabilize the U.S. labor market.

Payrolls expanded by 165,000 workers last month following a revised 138,000 increase in March that was larger than first estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 90 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a 140,000 gain. Revisions to the prior two months’ reports added a total of 114,000 jobs to the employment count in February and March.

More here

****

****

Steve Benen: After the discouraging jobs report a month ago, many were eager to see the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning to see whether the jobs market would bounce back or continue to deteriorate.

For now, it looks like the former. The U.S. economy added 165,000 jobs in April, more than expected, and overall unemployment rate dropped to 7.5%, its lowest point in four-and-a-half years. As is usually the case, there was a gap between the two major sectors – America’s private sector added 176,000 jobs last month, while spending cuts caused the public sector lose 11,000 jobs.

…. February was revised up from 268,000 jobs to 332,000, making it the single best month for job creation since 2005 (excluding temporary Census hiring). March was also revised up, from 88,000 to 138,000. In other words, as of this morning’s report, the previous two months added an additional 114,000 jobs we didn’t previously know about.

More here

****

****

****

Click here to see the rest of the post

23
Apr
13

This and That

President Obama presents the 2013 National Teacher of the Year award to Jeff Charbonneau, a high school science teacher from Zillah, Washington, during a Rose Garden event at the White House

****

Line of the day? Charles Pierce on Max Baucus: “…. the pestilential trout-mask replica from Montana…”

****

****

Steve Benen: ….. I’d like the folks holding Obama responsible [for gun reform] to consider a look at the recent past. In 2009 and 2010, the White House and Congress successfully approved the Recovery Act, a health care reform law 100 years in the making, Wall Street reform, DADT repeal, student loan reform, New START ratification, credit card reforms, and food-safety reforms. Are those inclined to blame Obama for gun reform’s failure prepared to argue that the president simply forgot how to twist arms in 2011? That he knew how to persuade lawmakers before, but the skill suddenly vanished?

Or is it more likely that congressional Republicans changed the game after the 2010 midterms?

I also believe there’s an ongoing reluctance among many to appreciate the scope of Republican radicalization. For many, especially in media, there’s an assumption that there are two major, mainstream political parties — one center-left, the other center-right — and an effective president can govern through competent bipartisan outreach.

Those assumptions are wrong….

Full post here

****

****

****

Click to see the rest of the post

22
Apr
13

Rise and Shine

President Obama reacts as Joey Hudy of Phoenix, Arizona, launches a marshmallow from his Extreme Marshmallow Cannon during the second White House Science Fair, February 7, 2012

****

Today:

12:0: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

1:35: President Obama views science fair projects, East Garden and State Dining Room

The President will host the White House Science Fair and celebrate the student winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the country. The President hosted the first-ever White House Science Fair in late 2010, fulfilling a commitment he made at the launch of his Educate to Innovate campaign to inspire students to excel in math and science. As the President noted then, “If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House. Well, if you’re a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too.”

2:25: Delivers remarks at the White House Science Fair

****

****

Steve Benen: The latest reports suggest Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is still unable to speak, due to a gunshot wound to the neck, but he’s begun to respond to questions…. while everyone involved certainly hopes these discussions produce answers, they coincide with a growing political debate, spurred on by conservative Republicans, about Tsarnaev’s legal fate….

…. It’s worth emphasizing that [Sen. Lindsey] Graham, a longtime lawyer and a member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, appears to be simply be making up legal standards as he goes along.

The Obama administration has already invoked the public-safety exception to the Miranda law, though Graham is arguing this isn’t enough …. he’s saying officials should look for al Qaeda connections for a month, in the hopes that evidence might justify the move retroactively. That Tsarnaev is an American citizen, captured on American soil, apparently doesn’t matter to Graham and his allies…..

Full post here

****

****

Click here to see the rest of the post

21
Apr
13

Rise and Shine: The Week in Images

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, April 18, on their way to Boston for a memorial service for the victims of the bombings

****

A week ago, this was the President’s schedule….

Monday: The President will welcome the BCS National Champion, the University of Alabama Crimson Tide, to the White House. Later, he will participate in an ambassador credentialing ceremony * Tuesday: The President will hold a working lunch with Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates. Later, he will welcome NASCAR’s Brad Keselowski to the White House * Wednesday: The President will welcome the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House * Thursday and Friday: The President will attend meetings at the White House

…… how things changed

****

Monday:

The White House flag lowered to half-mast after the Boston bombings

****

****

Liberal Librarian: Be Not Afraid

****

President Obama talks on the phone with FBI Director Robert Mueller to receive an update on the explosions that occurred in Boston, in the Oval Office, April 15. Seated with the President are Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough (Photo by Pete Souza)

****

Click to see the rest of the post

19
Apr
13

Rise and Shine: Toon Time

****

Today:

The President has no scheduled public appearances

12:0: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

****

****

Click to see the rest of the post

18
Apr
13

Rise and Shine

****

Today (all times ET):

8:20 AM: President Obama and Michelle Obama depart the White House

9:55: Arrive in Boston

11:0: President Obama delivers remarks at Healing Our City: An Interfaith Service dedicated to those who were wounded or killed in Monday’s bombing. Michelle Obama also attends

2:55: Depart Boston

4:30: Arrive at the White House

5:30: President Obama hosts a reception for Greek Independence Day; VP Biden also attends

****

Moms Demand Action

****

****

Gabrielle Giffords: Senators say they fear the N.R.A. and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets. The fear that those children who survived the massacre must feel every time they remember their teachers stacking them into closets and bathrooms, whispering that they loved them, so that love would be the last thing the students heard if the gunman found them.

On Wednesday, a minority of senators gave into fear and blocked common-sense legislation that would have made it harder for criminals and people with dangerous mental illnesses to get hold of deadly firearms — a bill that could prevent future tragedies like those in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., Blacksburg, Va., and too many communities to count.

More here

****

****

Click to see the rest of the post

15
Apr
13

“Mr Invincible”

****

Thank you Linda

See What is Working for all the contact details for members of Congress

****

See here for where each member of Congress stands on guns, and their NRA rating

****

 

12
Apr
13

Rise and Shine

President Obama talks on the phone with Nicole Hockley and families of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn., in the Oval Office, April 11 (Photo by Pete Souza)

****

Today:

12:0: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

2:05: The President presents the Commander-in-Chief Trophy to the United States Naval Academy football team

****

****

NBC: For former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, gun violence is personal — so she’s going to begin her own in-person push for a new compromise to expand background checks for gun sales when she returns to Capitol Hill next week, NBC News has learned.

And the gun safety group she founded with husband, Mark Kelly, will begin making robocalls Thursday in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, looking to support the two senators who crafted the deal — an attempt to demonstrate that the organization is committed to challenging the gun lobby’s political infrastructure.

More here

****

Greg Sargent: What will John Boehner say to Gabrielle Giffords?

This has the potential to create a bit of an awkward moment for Speaker John Boehner, as he weighs whether to allow a House vote on whatever gun legislation clears the Senate.

In a few days, on April 16th, Boehner and Nancy Pelosi will be presiding over a ceremony dedicating the creation of the Gabriel Zimmerman Meeting Room in the U.S. Capitol, according to an invitation to the event that’s making the rounds. Zimmerman was the community outreach director to Giffords when he was killed in the January 2011 shooting in Arizona that almost claimed Giffords’ life.

Giffords will be attending the event….

More here

****

****

 32013-background-checks-fact-graphic-20130321195215

****

NYT: The Rugged Road for Gun Control

As families of the victims of the Newtown, Conn., massacre watched from the Senate gallery on Thursday, 68 senators, including 16 Republicans, voted to break a conservative filibuster to allow debate to begin on a bill that would expand background checks for most gun sales.

That a procedural vote was considered a breakthrough demonstrated how hard it has been to get even the most fundamental, common-sense reform of the nation’s inadequate gun laws past the gun lobby.

More here

****

****

The People’s View: Surprise! President’s Budget Has Way More New Revenue Than New Cuts

Bet you haven’t heard that one in the national media yet – certainly not on the Left’s media world still in a fit over Chained CPI. I bet here’s what you’ve heard: Obama’s revenue raisers are not enough, his spending cuts are too much, and it’s not ‘balanced’ in terms of revenues and cuts. What you’re hearing is that the president is proposing $1 trillion in cuts! Here’s what they’re not telling you: the president is merely replacing the sequester….

More here

****

Greg Sargent: The GOP’s policy nihilism

Mark April 11th, 2013, down on your calendars as the day that the GOP’s fiscal ruse was finally unmasked with total clarity: Republicans don’t actually want entitlement cuts. Or, to put it another way, they say they want entitlement cuts, but they want Dems to own them.

A few of us have been pointing this out for some time, but now it’s breaking through to the neutral press, thanks to the ongoing shenanigans between John Boehner and NRCC chair Greg Walden….

More here

****

****

ThinkProgress: In the first quarter of 2013, states have proposed 694 provisions related to a woman’s body, how she gets pregnant, or how she chooses to end that pregnancy.

A new report released on Thursday by the Guttmacher Institute takes a comprehensive look at how the War on Women has continued past the election cycle and into 2013. It shows that the new legislatures across the country are still very much dedicated to restricting sex education, availability of medication, and abortion access for women. Indeed, 47 percent of the 694 provisions were directly related to abortion….

More here

****

President Obama waits for a heavy rain to pass before crossing West Executive Avenue from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to the West Wing of the White House, March 12 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Lots more new photos here

****

MooooOOOOooorning!

08
Apr
13

Rise and Shine

Two years ago today (Photo by Pete Souza)

****

Today:

1:0: Jay Carney briefs the press

3:05: President Obama departs the White House

4:30: Arrives in Hartford, Conn.

5:45: Delivers remarks on common-sense measures to reduce gun violence

6:45: Departs Hartford

8:15: Arrives at the White House

****

****

ThinkProgress: Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy (D) tore into the National Rifle Association during an appearance on CNN’s State Of The Union on Sunday. The NRA this week introduced its legislative response to the massacre in Malloy’s home state. Its plan focuses on arming school staff.

Malloy specifically called out NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre for his absolute opposition to commonsense gun regulations, including the new gun law just enacted by Connecticut. After watching a clip of LaPierre mocking Connecticut’s new law, Malloy shot back, “Wayne reminds me of the clowns at the circus. They get the most attention”…..

More here

****

AP: Talks between two influential senators have emerged as the most promising route for a bipartisan breakthrough on expanding federal background checks for gun buyers, a pivotal part of President Barack Obama’s plan for combating gun violence.

One possibility being discussed by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., would involve expanding background checks to gun show sales and firearms transactions online, Senate aides said.

More here

****

****

The Hill: President Obama, Vice President Biden and first lady Michelle Obama will hold events this week designed to build momentum for a Senate gun control package as lawmakers return to Washington from the Easter recess.

The White House said that in addition to a previously announced trip by Obama on Monday to Connecticut, the first lady will travel to Chicago on Wednesday to rally for gun control measures.

… Carney also announced that Biden will appear on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday for a roundtable discussion on gun safety.

More here

****

****

NYT: The days ahead could be decisive ones for the main pieces of President Obama’s second-term agenda: long-range deficit reduction, gun safety and changes to immigration law.

…. Members of both parties say Mr. Obama faces a conundrum with his legislative approach to a deeply polarized Congress. In the past, when he has stayed aloof from legislative action, Republicans and others have accused him of a lack of leadership; when he has gotten involved, they have complained that they could not support any bill so closely identified with Mr. Obama without risking the contempt of conservative voters.

More here

As Greg Sargent said about that second paragraph: “This is another way in which the whole “Obama must lead Republicans out of their intransigence” line of punditry is just a crock.”

****

****

Steve Benen: The White House has not yet released President Obama’s new budget plan, but it’s on the on-deck circle and we have a reasonably good idea of what’s in it. As we talked about last week, the administration hopes to resolve the parties’ fiscal fight by trading entitlement “reforms” for new revenue — Democrats would accept cuts to social-insurance programs, including chained CPI for Social Security, and Republicans would accept closed tax loopholes and fewer deductions.

Republicans, who reject the idea of compromise, hate the plan. Democrats, who see no reason to cut Social Security, hate it, too. So what is the White House up to?

More here

****

The People’s View: Yes, yes, this will be another post on Chained CPI. But a little more dry. This is about the math. Previously, we have discussed why Chained CPI isn’t actually a cut in benefits, what different it makes in the calculations of the cost of living adjustments, and why in the context of broader reforms and progressive social investments, it’s worth doing. But what we haven’t talked about in very explicit terms is what the minor reductions in COLA will end up adding up to. The scaremongerers are very interested in exploiting this. They are very interested in scaring people with numbers about how much they will lose.

More here

****

A personal tribute to Margaret Thatcher:

Well, you’re not meant to speak ill of the dead, so I’ll say nothing ……

****

Charles Pierce has something to say, though:

I am going to leave the encomiums to the late Margaret Thatcher to the people who loved her best, of whom I am decidedly not one. What I remember best about her is that she pretty much invented the modern concept of the distracting Wanking Little War  ….. and that she once held this view about Nelson Mandela:

The Conservative prime minister had dismissed the ANC as “a typical terrorist organisation” and refused to back sanctions against the apartheid government, pursuing instead a policy of “constructive engagement”. South Africa was then seen as a vital ally in stemming communist expansion.

More here

****

Random old pic:

****

MooOOOOoooorning!

05
Apr
13

This and That

****

Greg Sargent: Liberals who oppose Chained CPI need to start thinking right now about how to answer this question: Which is worse, a Grand Bargain, or continued sequestration? It’s unclear to me that there is any other likely outcome. Either Republicans will decide to weather sequestration or they will agree to some kind of a deal to replace it. So liberals need a good policy answer to that question…..

Michael Tomasky: I Think Obama Is Bluffing

Steve Benen: The President, for good or ill, is once again returning to the negotiating table with pre-emptive concessions, offering cuts to Medicare and Social Security. In exchange, Obama expects Republicans to scrap the sequestration cuts and accept about $600 billion in new revenue through closed loopholes, limits on deductions, and ending tax breaks for industries like Big Oil.

Business Insider: Barack Obama’s Budget Will Contain A Massive ‘Screw You’ To Mitt Romney

Steve Benen: Sequestration takes a toll on cancer patients, Medicare… Sequestration cuts are affecting Medicare – though not as much as some other programs — and cancer clinics really are turning away thousands of patients as a result of the Republican spending cuts….

Greg Sargent: The economy added only 88,000 non-farm jobs in March. Could that be the beginning of sequestration? Or, alternatively, it could be wrong and could end up getting revised upwards. Indeed, January was revised upward to 148,000 jobs, and February up to 268,000. Of course, we may soon find out whether the sequester will undermine whatever recovery is underway

Steve Benen: Jobs totals stumble to 10-month low

****

****

****

Washington Post: Maryland’s already-strong gun laws will become among the strictest in the nation with a measure passed by the General Assembly Thursday, sending the bill to the Democratic governor who proposed the legislation in the aftermath of December’s massacre at a Newtown….

Business Insider: Actually, Obama Really Does Have The Support Of Gun Owners

Ronald Brownstein: Why the Culture Wars Now Favor Democrats – Gay marriage, gun control, immigration – the wedge issues now divide Republicans…

Steve Benen: And then there were four …. This morning, freshman Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) of North Dakota issued a statement endorsing marriage equality …. almost immediately after, freshman Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) of Indiana published a statement saying he, too, supports equal marriage rights for all….

Charles Pierce: Former freakishly elected senator Scott Brown has been listening to those consultants again, and is spoiling to get his leather-shorted ass kicked by another woman in another New England state….

****

****

President Obama bows his head in prayer during the Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House, April 5

****

****

Next week, there’s a major push by the White House on gun violence reform – on Monday, President Obama will speak on the issue in Hartford, CT; on Tuesday, VP Biden will host law enforcement officials at the White House; on Wednesday the First Lady will speak in Chicago on gun violence, and on Thursday VP Biden will appear on Morning Joe for a roundtable discussion on the issue. More details soon.

****

Good-looking-gate:

****

****

****

What am I missing from today?

02
Apr
13

Rise and Shine

April 1, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

****

Today:

9:55: President Obama Speaks on the BRAIN Initiative

12:0: Open for Questions: Brain Initiative (WH live)

12:05: First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks at the “42” Film Workshop (WH live)

12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press

2:10: President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore

5:35: President Obama hosts cast and crew members of the movie ’42’, a biographical film about Jackie Robinson, for a screening at the White House

8:45: Vice President Biden Speaks at the 2013 Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards

****

****

NYT: President Obama on Tuesday will announce a broad new research initiative, starting with $100 million in 2014, to invent and refine new technologies to understand the human brain….

A senior administration scientist compared the new initiative to the Human Genome Project, in that it is directed at a problem that has seemed insoluble up to now: the recording and mapping of brain circuits in action in an effort to “show how millions of brain cells interact.”

More here

****

****

Washington Post: Gun-control measures that seemed destined to become law after the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., are in jeopardy amid a fierce lobbying campaign by firearms advocates.

Despite months of negotiations, key senators have been unable to find a workable plan for near-universal background checks on gun purchases — an idea that polls show nine in 10 Americans support.

Another provision that garnered bipartisan support — making gun trafficking a federal crime — could be gutted if Republican lawmakers accept new language being circulated by the National Rifle Association.

More here

****

****

Jonathan Capehart: Dana Milbank, like so many of my other fellow pundits, is placing blame on President Obama for the “congressional inertia” that has stymied advancement of proposals to stem gun violence. What more Obama could do than he’s already done is beyond me. One look at the House of Representatives and you know that anything he wants to do or is in favor of doing is dead on arrival over there.

…. Imagine how much could get done if Obama’s consistent calls for help from the American people on gun violence were backed up by a consistent flood of calls to congressional district and Capitol Hill offices. The president has done as much as he can possibly do. With the Senate set to consider anti-gun-violence bills next week, where’s his backup?

Full post here

****

****

Greg Sargent: Every Senator who is refusing to support expanded background checks — Republican or Democrat — needs to be asked a simple question: Do you support the current background system, or do you see it as an infringement on the rights of the law-abiding?

Every one of them will answer with a Yes, because they are taking refuge behind the idea that the current law needs to be strengthened in various ways but not expanded. Once they are on record confirming they don’t view the current system as a threat to Constitutional rights, the arguments against expanding it dissolve into incoherence.

More here

****

****

Steve Benen: There are 55 members of the Senate Democratic caucus …. 47 of them have now publicly declared their support for marriage equality. The latest is Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey.

….with each similar announcement, the pressure rises on the remaining eight Senate Democrats who have not yet endorsed marriage equality: Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Bill Nelson of Florida, Tom Carper of Delaware, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana.

More here

****

Bloomberg: Chrysler Group LLC, joining U.S. automakers in fielding their most competitive cars in decades, said its March U.S. sales rose 5 percent as the Dodge Dart compact helped extend a streak of monthly gains.

Sales for Chrysler climbed to 171,606 cars and light trucks from 163,381 a year earlier …. The automaker set sales records with its Dodge Dart, Avenger, Challenger and Chrysler 200 cars as well as its Ram pickups.

Chrysler’s U.S. vehicle sales have increased 36 consecutive months, the longest stretch in the company’s records that date back to 1985…

More here

Marketwatch: …. Ford’s newest vehicles – Fusion and Escape – set all-time monthly sales records in March, driving Ford’s best U.S. sales results since May 2007.

“Customers are buying our all-new Fusion and Escape in record numbers, and we are working harder than ever to keep pace with demand for these fuel-efficient vehicles,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “Full-size pickup demand continues gaining momentum, outperforming the industry for the third consecutive month.”

More here

****

****

Charles Pierce: The Selling Of Rand Paul

The selling of Senator Aqua Buddha continues apace. Time now has joined the parade, explaining that junior is peddling a superior brand of more easily digestible horsepucky than his old man peddled, and that makes all the difference….

…. Seriously, the filibuster failed, and was “electrifying” only to those people who dropped a fan in the bathtub while listening to it….

There is no question that Aqua Buddha is a superior tap-dancer to his father, but ….. you nod along for five minutes and, at the 5:00:01 mark, you hear something that’s so nakedly opportunistic  — Benghazi, BENGHAZI, BENGHAZI! — that you wonder if you’ve accidentally wandered into Sunday dinner at the Romneys…..

Full post here

****

****

Jonathan Chait: Will Obama’s Majority Survive?

Since November, the prospective death of the Republican coalition has hovered over American politics, and the autopsy has gained renewed attention in light of the debates over gay marriage and immigration, both of which split the GOP from rising chunks of the electorate. I’m an advocate of the theory, first put forward a decade ago by Ruy Teixeira and John Judis, that the electorate is forming a natural Democratic majority. The Republican Party appears to be caught in a double bind, in which the electorate is growingly progressively less white, and even younger white voters hold less conservative views than older ones. What’s more, evidence suggests that voters maintain the partisan allegiances they form at a young age. The picture looks grim for the GOP.

More here

****

March 3, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

NYT: Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, is likely to be the next United States ambassador to Japan, according to people familiar with the appointment process.

The vetting of Ms. Kennedy by the White House is almost complete, and an appointment could be announced in the coming weeks, along with the names of several other choices for important diplomatic posts…

More here

****

****

****

@whitehouse

****

MoooOOOOoooorning!

28
Mar
13

Rise and Shine

****

Today:

11:40: President Obama delivers remarks on common-sense measures to protect children from gun violence; VP Biden also attends

12:30: Press Briefing by Josh Earnest

2:10: The President welcomes President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Joyce Banda of Malawi, and Prime Minister José Maria Pereira Neves of Cape Verde to the White House

****

www.demandaction.org

****

Michael Tomasky: Matters look bleak indeed when 50 senators vote for a measure requiring that any bill changing gun laws get a two-thirds majority. Nothing else, not taxes, not anything (except some internal Senate rules), requires a two-thirds vote. That 50 senators voted this way — including six Democrats — shows what a collection of cowards and lickspittles these people are on the issue. If the NRA said gun bills should only be passed after sundown on Tuesdays between Columbus Day and the Ascension of Abdul Baha, they’d rush in with amendments stipulating that it also had to be raining. And yet, there is still a chance — yes, even with the assault-weapons ban dead — that the Senate at least will pass some fairly decent legislation. The NRA can still lose here. It’s important that you know this. They don’t want you to.

More here

****

****

Steve Benen: The steady and heartening progress we saw earlier in the year on initial unemployment claims appears to have hit a discouraging bump:

The number of people applying for new unemployment-insurance benefits rose 16,000 to 357,000 in the week ended March 23, reaching the highest level since mid-February, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday….

It’s hard to tell just yet, but it’s worth watching in the coming weeks whether (and how much) congressional Republicans’ sequestration cuts are responsible for pushing these numbers higher.

More here

****

Steve Benen: A couple of months ago, we talked about a preliminary report showing the U.S. economy shrunk slightly in the last three months of 2012. Today, that figure received its second and final revision, and though it’s hardly great news, the economy at least fared better than previously believed.

….. without the “unusually large drop in government spending,” economic growth would have been significantly stronger.

It’s with this news in mind that congressional Republicans are arguing that the nation will benefit if they slash public investments further and take additional capital out of the economy.

More here

****

Jonathan Bernstein: Here’s how myths get started. Over the weekend, Alyene Senger at Heritage ran an item called “Obamacare at Three Years: Increasing Cost Estimates.”….

…. she has a chart showing estimated new costs rising from $898 billion in March 2010 to $1.6 trillion in February 2013…..

The chart is important, because it’s easily exportable. So David Frum today ran an item which was just the chart; the only thing Frum added was a one-sentence introduction, “The estimated costs of Obamacare keep rising.”

I haven’t looked, but I’m sure the chart will get plenty of play.

Except…it’s entirely phony

More here

****

****

Charles Blow: Witnessing a historic moment is such an odd and exhilarating thing. It is hard to register the full scope of it because you are chest deep in it.

That is how I feel about the gay-marriage arguments made before the Supreme Court on Tuesday and Wednesday.

However the court rules on California’s Proposition 8 and the federal government’s Defense of Marriage Act, there is no denying that something historic has just happened: an aggrieved group has taken a stand and given voice once again to the American — and indeed Democratic — ideals of justice and fairness and freedom.

More here

****

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto meets with President Obama at the White House, November 2012

Statement by the Press Secretary: President Obama will travel to Mexico and Costa Rica May 2-4….

In Mexico, the President looks forward to meeting with President Peña Nieto and welcomes the opportunity to discuss ways to deepen our economic and commercial partnership and further our engagement on the broad array of bilateral, regional, and global issues that connect our two countries.

In Costa Rica, the President looks forward to the opportunity to meet with President Chinchilla as well as heads of state of the other Central American countries and the Dominican Republic, whom President Chinchilla has offered to host

More here

****

MooooOOOOooorning!

25
Mar
13

Rise and Shine

****

Today:

11:30: President Obama delivers remarks at a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members and civilians (White House live)

****

****

12:10: Designates five new national monuments in a signing ceremony with VP Biden and Sec. Salazar

1:0: Josh Earnest briefs the press (White House live)

6:30: President Obama and Michelle Obama mark the beginning of Passover with a Seder at the White House

****

****

The rest of the week:

Tuesday: The President will welcome the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and the Major League Soccer champion LA Galaxy to the White House

Wednesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House

Thursday: The President will welcome President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Joyce Banda of Malawi, and Prime Minister José Maria Pereira Neves of Cape Verde to the White House

Friday: The President will travel to Miami, Florida for an event on the economy

****

****

BuzzFeed: President Barack Obama is ready to hit the road on a new campaign-style public relations trip, hoping to breathe new life into the push for stronger gun control laws.

…. A White House official said people should expect to see Obama travel outside DC to bolster his insistence that gun control measures “deserve a vote” in Congress.

Obama will have help. Over the coming two-week congressional recess, representatives of the Brady Campaign and Mike Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns tell BuzzFeed they’re gearing up for major campaigns aimed at ginning up votes for gun control….

More here

****

****

Greg Sargent: Over the weekend, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York announced that he would spend $12 million on ads pressuring a number of Senators in 13 states to support Obama’s gun reforms. The NRA has vowed to respond on the air, meaning the battle over guns will intensify in the states as Congress remains on recess for the next two weeks.

Bloomberg’s ads — which focus largely on the proposal to expand background checks — will target a number of GOP Senators. But the more interesting dimension to this is that they will also target red state Dems: Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mary Landrieu of Lousiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

So where are these red state Dems on expanding background checks?

More here

****

****

Senator Richard Blumenthal (ThinkProgress): NRA leadership demonstrated yet again last week just how low they are willing to go in their unconscionable effort to block any and all common sense, life saving gun violence legislation. Their most recent repugnant tactic—repeated robo calls to Newtown families—mocks and betrays the courage and compassion demonstrated by the Newtown community just barely three months after one of the world’s most horrific acts of gun violence seized 26 beautiful and heroic young lives.

More here

****

****

NYT: Organizing for Action, the political group that grew out of President Obama’s successful re-election campaign machinery, will jump into the immigration debate this week with an aggressive online effort to highlight the personal stories of immigrants.

The group has collected 7,000 stories from supporters, some of whom entered the country illegally or were brought as young children by their parents. Organizers say they will distribute the stories using Twitter, Facebook and blogs beginning this week.

The idea, officials with the group said, is to demonstrate support for efforts in Congress to overhaul immigration laws in ways that would provide 11 million illegal immigrants with a path to citizenship.

More here

****

****

NYT Editorial: Republican leaders in Congress regularly denounce the 2010 Affordable Care Act and vow to block money to carry it out or even to repeal it. Those political attacks ignore the considerable benefits delivered to millions of people since the law’s enactment three years ago Saturday. The main elements of the law do not kick in until Jan. 1, 2014, when many millions of uninsured people will gain coverage. Yet it has already thrown a lifeline to people at high risk of losing insurance or being uninsured, including young adults and people with chronic health problems, and it has made a start toward reforming the costly, dysfunctional American health care system.

More here

****

****

****

TPM: The Supreme Court is poised to hear two blockbuster cases on gay rights this week, with historic implications for a cause that is advancing politically at lightning speed.

The cases to be heard on Tuesday and Wednesday involve the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which bars married same sex couples from receiving federal benefits.

By the end of June, nine justices will either advance the cause of gay rights, set it back, or punt on the larger questions, as support for gay equality in various forms rises in the polls.

More here

****

****

BWD linked to this on Twitter, ‘The 50 Most Perfectly Timed Photos Ever’, including the one above – have a look, some of them are amazing. See here

****

Three years ago: President Obama greets Barack Stroud at the University of Iowa Field House in Iowa City, March 25, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

They’re long-time pals:

December, 2007

April, 2012

****

MooooOOOOOoooorning (again).

06
Mar
13

Rise and Shine

Sign up!

****

Today:

The President has no scheduled public appearances

12:0: Jay Carney briefs the press

****

USA Today: Rain, snow, and heavy winds have forced a change in President Obama’s schedule for Wednesday: No Alabama football. The Crimson Tide, prepared to celebrate their third national championship in four years with another White House ceremony, canceled their flight from Tuscaloosa on Tuesday because of bad weather. Instead, Obama will have a string of private meetings while riding out the storm today.

****

Reuters: Private employers added 198,000 jobs in February, the biggest increase in a year and another sign of improvement in the labor market, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 170,000 jobs. January’s private payrolls were revised up to an increase of 215,000 from the previously reported 192,000.

****

TPM: President Obama will hold a signing ceremony Thursday for the Violence Against Women Act, which recently passed Congress. He and Vice President Joe Biden, the original author of VAWA in 1994, will make remarks.

They’ll be joined, according to the White House, “by women’s organizations, law enforcement officials, tribal leaders, survivors, advocates and members of Congress.”

****

****

Jonathan Chait: Michael J. Boskin – former George W. Bush economic adviser, Hoover Institute fellow, and staunch advocate of conservative anti-tax doctrine – appears today, as is his wont, in The Wall Street Journal op-ed pages to warn that the Democratic president’s economic policies will lead us to misery.

If you are an investor, Boskin’s doomsaying is a sure sign of a coming bull market. Four years ago, Boskin penned a Journal op-ed whose thesis was captured in the headline, “Obama’s Radicalism Is Killing The Dow.” That was the signal for the Dow to go on a tear, doubling over the next four years…..

One might suppose that Boskin has simply suffered a single unfortunate coincidence. In fact, his career is a mighty testament to the power of enduring, invincible wrongness…..

Full post here

****

****

NYT: With Republican leaders in Congress forswearing budget negotiations over new revenues, President Obama has begun reaching around them to Republican lawmakers with a history of willingness to cut bipartisan deals.

Mr. Obama has invited about a dozen Republican senators out to dinner on Wednesday night, after speaking with several of them by phone in recent days, according to people familiar with the invitation. And next week, according to those people and others who did not want to be identified, he will make a rare foray to Capitol Hill to meet separately with the Republican and Democratic caucuses in both the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House.

More here

****

****

****

Washington Post: Some of the gun lobby’s strongest allies are breaking with the National Rifle Association to support proposals that would expand background checks for private firearm sales.

In behind-the-scenes talks with congressional staff members and others, gunmakers, dealers and other Second Amendment advocates have offered support for more instant criminal background checks, buoying the hopes of gun-control supporters, including President Obama, who has put a top priority on extending criminal checks to private sales.

More here

****

****

****

USA Today: President Obama’s trip to Israel this month is just about set except for one big thing: A new Israeli government. Israel’s Channel 10 is reporting that Obama’s trip may be pushed back if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is unable to form a new coalition government by March 16.

More here

****

See here for full infographic – and more here

****

TPM: A number of Republican senators Tuesday either didn’t know or wouldn’t say if they consider the Voting Rights Act to be constitutional, even though many of them voted to reauthorize it in 2006 and the Supreme Court is currently considering whether to invalidate a key section of it.

As they entered and exited weekly party luncheons Tuesday afternoon …. Every one of them dodged the questions, some more artfully than others.

“Uh,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, before a long, awkward pause, “I haven’t even thought about it.” He laughed and said, “I’ll leave that to the courts….”

More here

****

****

Make sure you add the Pragmatic Pundit to your daily reading – it’s the blog of our TOD friend FayPax. It’s in the blogroll on the right if you ever need to find the link

****

Missed this yesterday:

The First Lady’s interview on Univision’s Primer Impacto airs today – check your listings

****

MoooOOooooOOorning!




@POTUS

@BarackObama

@WhiteHouse

@FLOTUS

@blog44

@PeteSouza

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

@TheObamaDiary

@NerdyWonka

@Lib_Librarian

@Our4thEstate

@DaRiverZkind

@zizii2

RSS White House.gov

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Categories

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 34,101,025 hits
February 2016
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
29