TPM: When President Obama spoke to workers in Wisconsin last week, Politico accidentally made itself the story. The paper’s reporter mistook the Wisconsin state flag for the seal of a local union, and cited it as an illustration of President Obama’s pro-union bias.
Politico cleaned the egg off its face by wiping the story from the Internet. But the gaffe made the rounds among actual union officials in the state and now that the laughter’s subsided, they’ve turned it into a membership drive…..
Cognidissidence: The right wing propaganda site Politico was so eager to try to do a smear job on President Barack Obama and his visit to Milwaukee that they failed to look before they leaped and ended up landing into a pile of foolishness with both feet.
Yup, they mistook the Wisconsin state flag as being the flag of Wisconsin Local 1848.
Once they realized how stupid they looked, they deleted the post …. but thanks to the power of Google Cache, you can see it for yourself.
Donovan Slack is the ‘reporter’ who had the story on Politico about Michelle Obama buying $50,000 worth of lingerie …. but never followed it up with the admission from the English paper, that first reported it, that it was untrue.
President Barack Obama holds Arianna Holmes, 3, before taking a departure photo with members of her family in the Oval Office, Feb. 1, 2012. Arianna’s mother, Angela Holmes, is a departing Special Assistant in the International Economic Affairs office of the National Security Staff. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
President Obama holds up a book that he was given by author and keynote speaker Eric Metaxas at the National Prayer Breakfast
Steve Benen: The general trend on initial unemployment claims over the last few months has been largely encouraging, though there have been setbacks. Last week, for example, was a step in the wrong direction. This week’s report, however, was a little more heartening:
U.S. jobless claims dropped by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 367,000 in the week ended Jan. 28, the Labor Department said Thursday….
…. when these jobless claims fall below the 400,000 threshold, it’s considered evidence of an improving jobs landscape. When the number drops below 370,000, it suggests jobs are actually being created rather quickly.
Washington Post (editorial): Higher education is both crucial to America’s economic competitiveness and hard for many students and their families to afford … As President Obama quite rightly insisted in his State of the Union address, institutions of higher learning must do more to hold down their costs if college education is to remain affordable for the next generation of young people. What’s more, he’s talking about using the federal government’s financial clout to encourage cost containment.
…. he is proposing long-overdue reforms to existing formulas for distributing hundreds of millions of dollars in campus-based aid, such as Perkins loans and work-study funds. Current policy skews in favor of better-off students at relatively pricier colleges. The president wants to shift dollars in favor of schools that restrain tuition and graduate more low-income students. Meanwhile, he would establish a $1 billion fund to encourage cost-saving innovations, complemented by $55 million for research, evaluation and dissemination of the best practices….
Needless to say, a lot depends on how the president and Congress would end up defining what constitutes a good value in higher education … what’s important is that the president has put the prestige and power of his office behind this effort.
Jonathan Cohn: Romney’s political strategy here seems clear to me: He’s trying to drive a wedge between the poor and the middle class, convincing the latter that they lose out to the former when Democrats are in charge. And the strategy may work. It’s certainly helped Republicans before. But the big beneficiary of Romney’s plan to reorder fiscal priorities is not the middle class. It’s the very wealthy, who would get substantial tax benefits and who will usually be fine with weakened public services.
MSNBC: ….. presidential hopeful Rick Santorum took a hard line on Wednesday against government getting involved in offsetting the cost of drug prices. Before exiting the stage, Santorum was prodded by members of the 300-person crowd to take one last question from a young boy standing in the front row. The child asked what the candidate would do to lower the cost of medicine. But the former Pennsylvania senator said it was the cost of drugs that allowed for the innovation that keeps Americans with life-threatening illnesses alive.
“People have no problem going out and buying an iPad for $900. But paying $200 for a drug they have a problem with – that keeps you alive. Why? Because you’ve been conditioned in thinking health care is something you should get and not have to pay for. Drug companies, health care companies need to have a profitability, because if they don’t, then how are we going to regulate costs?…..”
While some of in the audience applauded Santorum’s tough stance against government involvement in drug prices, others protested. The mother of the child yelled out that she was going bankrupt just to pay for her child to keep breathing.
Charles P. Pierce (Esquire) read a a swooning piece about Fox ‘News’ in Politico…. he didn’t like it very much:
“Stuff in Politico That Makes Me Want to Guzzle Antifreeze…. I say only that, in my own, personal, constitutionally protected opinion, this may very well be the worst bag of pulverized, unexpurgated, beat-sweetening chickenshit in the history of American political journalism. It makes Peggy Noonan read like Thuycidides….
Charles P. Pierce (Esquire): No matter what Willard Romney said on Tuesday night, a tough primary can really damage you. If these latest PPP numbers are in any way accurate, the rockfight between Romney and N. Leroy Gingrich, Definer of Civilization’s Rules and Leader (Perhaps) of the Civilizing Forces, has pushed Romney’s unfavorability ratings in Ohio northward toward 60 percent……
….. Eighty-four percent of the respondents are white and, even with that, Romney is six points down with a 57 percent disapproval rating. He better tack like hell, is all I’m saying.
New York Times editorial: Where the Iowa caucuses illuminated the dark essence of social conservatism, the New Hampshire primary was a journey into the dingy, cramped quarters of the right wing’s economic policies.
The Republicans ritually denounced President Obama as hostile to capitalism, disdainful of individual enterprise and lacking in ideas for reviving the economy. All they had to offer were economic ideas that not only are inadequate for that purpose but were instrumental in creating the nation’s current economic problems.
…. The solution is policies that promote growth and help the middle class, not what the Republican hopefuls want. Mr. Obama said it well on Monday night: “We can’t go back to this brand of you’re-on-your-own economics.” You couldn’t tell that by listening to Mr. Romney prattle about a merit-based economy and call for lowering taxes and cutting spending.
…. The answer is not more of the same failed policies. The solution is to revive the successful ones, along with policies to stimulate the economy and stop foreclosures. Mr. Obama understands this. The Republican hopefuls are deluding themselves and trying to delude the voters.
Steve Benen: Herman Cain argued yesterday about the Republican field, “Look, these candidates have broken the Reagan’s rule from the beginning. Reagan’s 13th commandment, you know? Don’t go negative against another Republican, but they did it anyway!” I think he meant “11th”.
OFA: Get the scoop – including exclusive updates and sneak peeks – on Runway to Win, a project by fashion designers in support of Obama 2012.
CNN: Foreclosure filings and repossessions fell to their lowest level since 2007 last year.
Total filings, including default notices and bank repossessions were down 33% for the year to 2.7 million, according to RealtyTrac, the online marketer of foreclosed properties.
One in every 69 homes had at least one foreclosure filing during the year, while 804,000 homes were repossessed. That’s a significant improvement from the peaks reached in 2010 – when 1.05 million homes were repossessed – and the lowest levels seen since 2007.
Yes, I saw a pig fly today – GOPolitico (Donovan Slack) actually did some half decent journalism:
Michelle Obama was raring to help her husband promote his signature health care plan during the summer of 2009. But, according to the latest book about the first couple, “the West Wing never really took the first lady up on her offer.”
“She did a few events, but they were small and drew little coverage,” New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor wrote in “The Obamas.” …. “Her support for the initiative became a mostly private matter, the subject of long conversations between the Obamas.”
But a review of news clippings during the period covered by that chapter in the book – May through August 2009 – found that Michelle Obama was very public about her support and received extensive coverage. The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and ABC News, among others, reported on her efforts.
Kantor’s own newspaper declared in July 2009 that she had become “one of the Obama administration’s most visible surrogates on health care.”
Kantor says that she stands by her core assertions but believes her language could have been clearer. “As Robert Gibbs told me on the record, the White House was concerned about putting the first lady in the line of fire. But given the NYT story you mentioned, I could have been more precise about the media coverage,” she told POLITICO in a statement.
Reuters: Israel’s defense minister extolled what he called Barack Obama’s resolve and risk-taking on Thursday, remarks likely to help the president’s re-election bid after the Pentagon beefed up warnings to Iran over its nuclear program.
….Citing Obama’s ideologically tinged 2009 speeches in Cairo and on the occasion of winning the Nobel Peace Prize, and this month’s U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, Barak said: “Ultimately you cannot deny he has a certain degree of consistency.”
“You may not like what he does (but) you discern a man who is capable and ready to undertake the fiercest of political risks to his survival, in order to make good on what he believes in,” said Barak, who met Obama in Washington last week.
“We are asked, sometimes, whether Obama is really a soft appeaser. To that, I say: ‘Go ask Osama bin Laden.'”
Well, actually, Byron Tau has been hanging around GOPolitico for a while, but a week ago he became the boss man on their ’44’ section – you know, the bit that’s devoted to telling us the President hates Israel and the First Lady is a food fascist.
Whatever happened our beloved Julie Mason? Did she get bored with her dearest hobby at GOPolitico – counting black faces in the White House?
Any way, just to let you know, Byron has started fantastically well. Here’s most of what he expertly picked out as the big news the past week:
Not since Woodward and Bernstein has a journalist broken a story so monumental: Joe Manchin doesn’t support the President? Who knew?! Spectacular start Byron! Pulitzer stuff!
So, Byron listened to the President’s speech at Fort Bragg about the ending of the Iraq war and was moved. Moved to be stunned by the President’s failure to give a ‘love you lots’ shout-out to the man who started the war, thereby giving PBO the very lucky opportunity to end it. Breathtaking ingratitude. Keep it up Byron, you’re doing great.
Next, Byron watches the VP’s interview with Rachel Maddow and is just gobsmacked when the VP completely fails to describe the ending of a pointless war as a ‘failure’. Well spotted Byron. VPs have been impeached for less. Well, no, they haven’t, but you get the point.
Woot, only three days in to his new ’44’ job and Byron’s really hotting up! He spots an op-ed by that most principled of Blue Dogs, Dennis Cardoza, on The Hill site and almost faints with delirium as he links it for us! Byron Tau, the Walter Kronkite of our generation!
After OFA promised to send a thank you email to your GOP-supporting relatives if they annoyed you enough to donate to Obama/Biden 2012, Byron was clearly pissed after his inbox was stuffed with emails …. after his Dem-supporting aunties, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers, nieces and nephews passed on his address.
Byron didn’t have much to say about the Obama family portrait, apart from quoting a GOPolitico colleague’s revelation that Sasha’s dress cost $73.99. That much?!? Jeez, a bit uppity!
Another scoop by Byron – who knew Orrin Hatch still existed?
We’re on a roll now! Byron shares with us Alex Burns’ story about the President shamefacedly letting the American people know the Iraq war is over. Thanks so much Byron, this outrage needed to be exposed. A commendable unveiling of an ugly truth.
More brilliance. Byron’s take on that AP-GfK poll that had a gazillion different talking points, but this is the one he liked. Quite understandable too. Thanks Byron, your poll-dissecting abilities are special.
Superb Byron! It never hurts to point out the President’s Godlessness! True, Amy Sullivan didn’t ‘lament’ anything, she simply pointed out how tricky it is for a President and his family to visit a ‘public’ church – from a security and ‘fuss’ point of view – and noted (although Byron must have missed this bit when he summarised) that “more often, Obama and his family have followed the lead of the Bush family, joining the congregation at Camp David …. but staying home on Sunday mornings when in Washington”.
But, never mind – great headline!
You know, I was beginning to worry for Byron’s job security – a whole week had gone by and he hadn’t written about the President and Israel at GOPolitico. Phew, at last! Now, those of you who argue that the President didn’t “defend” his policy on Israel today, that he simply re-stated it, are just a bunch of picky Obots.
I’d like to think, though, that someone here helped Byron keep his job by sending him this reminder today:
Although, we can’t be sure if he actually read it, the fella is awfully busy on Twitter:
(Note: it’s never ‘President’ or ‘Pres’, it’s ‘Obama’ – but that’s okay Byron, we understand ;-) )
And re-tweeting the Drudge Report can be very time-consuming:
But, awesome job this week Byron, you’re destined for a stellar career at GOPolitico!
Update – Byron’s very latest story:
Woot! And he even quotes Keith ‘I hate Michelle Obama so much I could cry’ Koffler in the story – you know, the guy who makes Michele Bachmann seem like Jane Fonda! Byron? You rock!
2:00: First Lady Michelle Obama visits Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling
2:10: President Obama delivers remarks at the 71st General Assembly of the Union for Reform Judaism
Thanks amk ;-)
About today’s AP-GfK poll – OMG! Doom! Gloom!
As GOPolitico told us, white people hate the President!! Real bad!
The best bit was when they quoted Ron Fournier saying the President “only won 40%” of the white seniors’ vote in 2008 and “his approval rating with them now is 41%”. Em, I was never too hot at math ….. but is that, eh, not technically an increase? :???:
Any way, not surprisingly, the economy remains the number one concern of those polled. You’ll get all the bad news everywhere today, what will be largely ignored:
* After the jobless rate fell to 8.6% last month (its lowest level since March 2009), the President’s approval rating on handling unemployment rose 5% to 45% in the poll.
* 20% say the economy got better in the past month, up from 6% two months ago (64% said it stayed the same)
* 15% said it got worse, down from 49% two months ago
* Respondents describing the economy as “very poor” fell from 43% in October to 34% in the latest poll, the lowest since May.
* 60% say the financial situation in their own household is good, up 6%
* 30% blamed the President for the economy, compared to 43% who blame Bush
* Despite the struggles with the economy, the President still beats Romney in a match-up: 47 to 46.
* The President beats the Newt 51-42.
* Among independents, it’s even better. The President beats Romney 45-41 and the Newt 54-31.
And buried in the last line in Time’s report on the poll:
“Among those with annual household incomes of $50,000 or less, Obama’s approval rating on unemployment climbed to 53 percent from 43 percent in October.
Get that? Climbed 10%.
* 60% approve of how the President is handling terrorism, 59% say he will “keep America safe”. Not bad for an appeaser, eh?
* 53% say he is a “strong leader”
* 76% say he is “likable”
There you go – the bits you won’t hear today. And hey, wait til the fella actually starts campaigning against Romgrich ;-)
OFA: Headlines over the past few weeks have shown with hard numbers how President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is helping young people and seniors. The reform allows young people to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they turn 26 and helps Medicare recipients save money on prescription drugs.
Take a look at this infographic summing up how the Affordable Care Act is impacting millions of Americans – then share it to pass on the good news:
Texas Monthly: As most readers know, every January TEXAS MONTHLY picks a Bum Steer of the Year, an honor conferred on whatever individual we feel has been responsible for the biggest screw-up, gaffe, fumble, stumble, train wreck, or humiliation of the past twelve months. This year, as the above cover makes pretty darn clear, our Bum Steer of the Year is Governor Rick Perry.
Jonathan Chait (NY Mag): With Ron Paul ascending in Iowa, winning the hearts of independents, and even the endorsement of Andrew Sullivan, it’s worth pointing something out: Ron Paul is not a kindly old libertarian who just wants everybody to be free. He’s a really creepy bigot.
…. Paul comes out of an intellectual tradition called “paleolibertarianism,” which is a version of libertarianism heavily tinged with far-right cultural views …. Paul is tied in deep and extensive ways to neo-Confederates, and somewhat less tightly to the right-wing militia movement. His newsletter, which he wrote and edited for years, was a constant organ of vile racism and homophobia ….. Fear and hatred of blacks and gays, along with a somewhat less pronounced paranoia about Jewish dual loyalty, are fundamental elements of his thinking….
President Obama speaks during a news conference on Republican obstruction of Richard Cordray’s nomination to head the CFPB, Dec 8
Steve Benen: Two months after the Senate Banking Committee approved Richard Cordray as the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Senate leadership brought the nomination to the floor this morning. Republicans refused to allow a vote …. It’s hard to overstate how outrageous today’s filibuster really is.
…. It’s all part of the normalization of extortion politics. Traditionally, if the GOP wanted to alter the powers of the CFPB, it would write legislation, send it to committee, bring it to the floor, send it to the other chamber, etc. But that takes time and effort, and might not work. Instead, we see the latest in a series of GOP extortion strategies: Republicans will force Democrats to accept changes to the agency, or Republicans won’t allow the agency to meet its legal mandate…..
The President is pre-taping interviews with WISH (Indianapolis, IN), KSNV (Las Vegas, NV), WREG (Memphis, TN) and WCHS (Portland, ME) today
Steve Benen: We generally look to the first Friday of every month for new unemployment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but every Thursday morning, the Department of Labor releases a report on initial unemployment claims.
And this morning, the news is very good:
The number of people filing for state unemployment benefits for the first time fell 23,000 to the lowest level since late February, the government said Thursday. The Labor Department said claims fell to a seasonally adjusted 381,000 last week. The level of initial claims in the week ended Nov. 26 was revised up by 2,000 to 404,000.
The consensus expectations were for a slight drop, which makes the sharp drop that much more encouraging…..
Steve Benen: Politico has a piece today on Senate Democrats’ outrage over Republican obstructionism, as evidenced by Tuesday’s filibuster of judicial nominee Caitlin Halligan and today’s expected filibuster of CFPB nominee Richard Cordray. As Dems see it, GOP abuses are setting a new standard — which Democrats will take advantage of the next time they’re in the minority.
…. Republicans respond that these current tactics aren’t new, and the Politico article tells readers the GOP argument is sound.
…. This isn’t a subjective question on which the parties are entitled to different opinions. There are objective, often quantifiable, answers to the points Politico and Republicans are raising: are GOP senators “replicating” Democratic tactics? Were Dems abusing Senate rules in the Bush era to the same degree that Republicans are abusing them now?
The answer to both is “no,” and the false equivalence does little to advance the discussion.
Steve Benen: Most of the Affordable Care Act won’t take effect for a few years – and if court rulings and the 2012 elections go a certain way, it may not take effect at all – but there’s already evidence that the reform law is working.
It’s making a big difference in providing coverage for young adults; it’s providing treatment options for women like Spike Dolomite Ward; and it’s slowing the growth in Medicare spending.
It’s also, as Jonathan Cohn explained, saving seniors quite a bit of money on prescription medication…..
President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrive to speak in the South Court Auditorium on the White House, Dec. 7
President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada talk backstage at the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building following their joint press conference, Dec. 7, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
CBS: President Barack Obama will appear on “60 Minutes” in an interview with Steve Kroft to be broadcast Sunday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
Steve Kroft interviewed the president on Tuesday in Kansas after he delivered an economic speech in the small town of Osawatomie. President Obama will talk to Kroft again tomorrow at the White House for Sunday’s report.
President Barack Obama waves to people gathered along the motorcade route from Osawatomie High School to Osawatomie-Paola Municipal Airport in Osawatomie, Kan., Dec. 6, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Paul Krugman: One crucial thing you need to understand about political journalists is that with some honorable exceptions, they don’t know or care about actual policy …
…. Hence, the awful decision of Politico to give Paul Ryan an award as healthcare policymaker of the year.
…. what became painfully, embarrassingly clear during the debate over the Ryan plan was that Ryan is, well, incompetent …. it’s true that the plan “got everyone talking”, as Politico says – but mostly it got people talking about what a mess Ryan’s effort was.
Oh, and it was pretty clear that Ryan wasn’t being honest about his own numbers.
What’s going on here, I suppose, is that Politico is mistaking theater for policy. Ryan isn’t an important health care reformer, or even minimally competent in his attempted wonkery, but he plays a deep thinker on TV. And the people at Politico either don’t understand the difference, or they don’t care.
President Obama returns to the White House after a visit to Kansas
Steve Benen: President Obama has decided that, from now on, foreign aid decisions will take into consideration how countries treat their LGBT citizens, and he directed U.S. agencies abroad to ensure our humanitarian and diplomatic efforts “promote and protect” the rights of gays and lesbians.
…. today’s announcement marks a historic first …. It also adds to a rather extraordinary record for Obama in this area in his first three years….
…. I realize there are still a sizable number of people in the LGBT community who are unsatisfied with the pace of change, and consider President Obama someone who has ignored, and even betrayed, their interests. Some have even vowed not to lift a finger to help with the president’s re-election effort.
I suspect many social-conservative activists find this inexplicable.
President Barack Obama participates in a college affordability roundtable with college presidents in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 5, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
9:35 The President departs the White House
12:25 Arrives Kansas City
1:55 Delivers remarks on the economy
4:25 Departs Kansas City en route to Andrews
AP: President Barack Obama is channeling President Theodore Roosevelt, embracing a mantle of economic fairness for the nation’s middle class Tuesday that draws parallels to the progressive reformer’s calls for a “square deal” for regular Americans more than a century ago.
Obama intends to use a speech in small town Osawatomie, Kan. – where Roosevelt delivered his “New Nationalism” address in 1910 – to lay out economic themes of giving middle-class workers a fair shake and greater financial security, concepts the president will probably return to repeatedly during the 2012 campaign.
…. The president will be speaking at a high school about 50 miles southwest of Kansas City, not far from the presidential electoral prize of Missouri, which Obama narrowly lost to Republican John McCain in 2008.
Spike Dolomite Ward (LA Times): ….. I want to apologize to President Obama. But first, some background. I found out three weeks ago I have cancer. I’m 49 years old, have been married for almost 20 years and have two kids…. We’re good people, and we work hard. But we haven’t been able to afford health insurance for more than two years….
…. Fortunately for me, I’ve been saved by the federal government’s Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan, something I had never heard of before needing it. It’s part of President Obama’s healthcare plan, one of the things that has already kicked in, and it guarantees access to insurance for U.S. citizens with preexisting conditions who have been uninsured for at least six months …. for me it’s been a lifesaver – perhaps literally.
….. Which brings me to my apology. I was pretty mad at Obama before I learned about this new insurance plan. I had changed my registration from Democrat to Independent, and I had blacked out the top of the “h” on my Obama bumper sticker, so that it read, “Got nope” instead of “got hope.” I felt like he had let down the struggling middle class. My son and I had campaigned for him, but since he took office, we felt he had let us down.
So this is my public apology. I’m sorry I didn’t do enough of my own research to find out what promises the president has made good on. I’m sorry I didn’t realize that he really has stood up for me and my family, and for so many others like us. I’m getting a new bumper sticker to cover the one that says “Got nope.” It will say “ObamaCares.”
USA Today: More than 2.65 million Medicare recipients have saved more than $1.5 billion on their prescriptions this year, a $569-per-person average, while premiums have remained stable, the government plans to announce today.
That’s because of the provision of the health care law that put a 50% discount on prescription drugs in the “doughnut hole,” the gap between traditional and catastrophic coverage in the drug benefit, also known as Part D.
And, as of the end of November, more than 24 million people, or about half of those with traditional Medicare, have gone in for a free annual physical or other screening exam since the rules changed this year because of the health care law…..
Steve Benen: Politico will host an awards dinner tonight, honoring “Policymakers of the Year” in a variety of categories and fields. That wouldn’t be especially interesting, were it not for the news organization’s choice for “Health Care Policymaker of the Year.”
…..House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan….
…. It’s been several months since the political world debated Paul Ryan’s approach to health care in detail, so perhaps Politico has forgotten some of the more important realizations from the debate. Let’s remind the publication of the relevant details….. (see post)
To know all of this, and give this guy an award “Health Care Policymaker of the Year” anyway, is madness.
Steve Kornacki: President Obama’s remarks this afternoon captured how dramatically his posture toward congressional Republicans has changed since this summer …. he is shifting the battle to a new, more promising front: the looming expiration of payroll tax cuts.
On this subject, Republicans are increasingly nervous and divided ….. This set the stage for Obama’s appearance this afternoon, where he struck a confident tone and sought to make the GOP squirm even more. Just behind the president was a countdown clock that indicated a tax hike is just 26 days away unless action is taken. He called on Congress to “keep your word to the American people, and don’t raise taxes on them right now,” and belittled the GOP for its seemingly selective devotion to tax relief. “I know many Republicans have sworn an oath never to raise taxes as long as they live,” Obama said. “How could it be the only time there’s a catch is when it comes to raising taxes for middle-class families?”
….This is a new phenomenon in the 112th Congress: Obama and his party seem to have the upper hand – and they know it.
“We agree, of course, with former Speaker Gingrich – this is a country of people of enormous talent. Those who deliver thousands of babies like Dr. Paul and those who spend their time focusing on promoting themselves for profit. We even have those who lobby, but don’t call it such because, as they say, they can make $60,000 per speech. While those of us in the Paul camp might disagree with Newt Gingrich about whether Donald Trump is the right man to host a serious political debate, we do agree New York is a wonderful place to go at Christmas. We are sure two average Americans like Speaker Gingrich and Donald Trump will have a wonderful time picking out gifts for their wives. We suggest a place called Tiffany’s, we hear it is quite nice this time of year and given their celebrity status they can probably get special deals and $500,000 lines of credit.”
Reuters: Mitt Romney spent nearly $100,000 in state funds to replace computers in his office at the end of his term as governor of Massachusetts in 2007 as part of an unprecedented effort to keep his records secret, Reuters has learned.
…. The effort to purge the records was made a few months before Romney launched an unsuccessful campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.
… Theresa Dolan, former director of administration for the governor’s office, told Reuters that Romney’s efforts to control or wipe out records from his governorship were unprecedented.
Dolan said that in her 23 years as an aide to successive governors “no one had ever inquired about, or expressed the desire” to purchase their computer hard drives before Romney’s tenure.
LA Times: ….. Romney says his Bain experience shows he knows how to create jobs …. But a closer examination of the prospectus paints a different picture of Bain’s operation …. Bain expanded many of the companies it acquired. But like other leveraged-buyout firms, Romney and his team also maximized returns by firing workers, seeking government subsidies, and flipping companies quickly for large profits. Sometimes Bain investors gained even when companies slid into bankruptcy.
…. Four of the 10 companies Bain acquired declared bankruptcy within a few years, shedding thousands of jobs. The prospectus shows that Bain investors profited in eight of the 10 deals, including three of the four that ended in bankruptcy.
…. Bain formed GSI in the early 1990s by spending $24 million to acquire and merge steel companies with plants in Missouri, South Carolina and other states. Company managers cut jobs and benefits almost immediately. Meanwhile, Bain and other investors received management fees from GSI and a $65-million dividend in the first years after the acquisition….
Pew: A new Pew poll confirms a trend that’s been surfacing for a few weeks – with the constant changes in the GOP presidential primary race, President Obama has seen an uptick in a few key metrics, maintaining a slim lead against former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney and a larger one against other possible challengers.
Pew’s numbers shows that the President’s approval rating, which has been consistently underwater during a difficult summer in Washington, is now even at 46 percent. It also shows that his favorability rating, a point of particular strength for him, continues to be positive. 52 percent of those Americans polled holds him in a positive light, versus 45 percent who see him unfavorably.
Steve Benen: President Obama told business leaders at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that U.S. policymakers have been “a little bit lazy” when it comes to attracting businesses to American soil. Republicans have taken this line and said the president called Americans “lazy.” They’re lying.
It’s been pleasantly surprised by the number of news outlets who’ve been willing to tell the public the truth…. And then there’s Politico, which ran a 1,300 word piece that emphasized Republicans’ use of the out-of-context quote, while downplaying the relevant detail: Republicans are misleading the public.
…. What matters, according to the cynical Politico article, is the way in which the GOP is exploiting an opportunity, not whether that exploitation is accurate, fair, or advancing the public debate. That’s just not how quality political journalism is supposed to work…..
Alec MacGillis (TNR): …. As a news reporter, one has a choice. One can do what NBC’s Mark Murray, Time’s Michael Scherer, or the New York Times’ Richard Oppel all did yesterday and today, which is to declare Republicans’ exploitation of Obama’s line as blatantly out of context and unfair.
Or one can do what Politico did, which is to write a full story headlined “Obama’s ‘lazy’ remark catches fire,” which reports, in a tone of barely suppressed glee, that Republicans have been handed a gift….
…. let’s be clear: this sort of story is why people hate Washington, and why they can’t stand us political reporters. The story is a purveyor of the worst sort of lazy – yes, lazy – cynicism.
Mediaite: Earlier today, we brought you the hard-to-believe story that Texas Gov. Rick Perry sent a letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, challenging her to a debate on Monday. Pelosi’s response quickly underscored the problem with Perry’s challenge when she tweeted her response: “Re: Gov. Perry–Monday I’ll be in Portland. Later visiting labs in CA. That’s 2. I can’t remember the 3rd thing.”
President Obama during a press conference at the conclusion of the APEC Summit in Kapolei, Hawaii, Nov. 13
Star Advertiser: President Barack Obama on Sunday declared the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit a success that will strengthen the U.S. economy, and he expressed gratitude to his hometown for hosting representatives from the 21 APEC nations.
…. “Usually when Michelle and I and our daughters come back to visit, it’s just one president, and this time we brought 21. So thank you so much for the incredible graciousness of the people of Hawaii – and their patience, because I know that traffic got tied up a little bit.”
… while APEC took a toll on Oahu drivers, the meetings produced substantial results that will help strengthen relations throughout the Asia-Pacific, increase trade and help create jobs for Americans while promoting “green growth,” Obama said…..
Today: The President holds a fundraiser in the morning. That will be his only event for the day before he leaves tomorrow morning for Canberra, Australia.
President Barack Obama and other leaders wait to move to the site of the official Family Photo at the APEC summit in Honolulu, Hawaii, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011. From left: His Royal Highness Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah; Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of Japan; President Obama; President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia; Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Washington Post: The Obama administration will announce Monday as much as $1 billion in funding to hire, train and deploy health-care workers, part of the White House’s broader “We Can’t Wait” agenda to bolster the economy after President Obama’s jobs bill stalled in Congress. Grants can go to doctors, community groups, local government and other organizations that work with patients in federal health-care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid…..
EJ Dionne: ….. Cain and his defenders have settled on a strategy to rally conservatives by assailing the “liberal media” and “the Democrat machine.” Politico ran the first stories about the allegations, and to argue that Politico is “liberal” requires an extraordinary leap of the imagination. Most liberals see Politico as leaning over backward to give conservatives more than their share of journalistic spin.
…. that so many other members of a movement theoretically devoted to traditional values on sexual matters would eagerly jump into this mess on Cain’s side speaks volumes about its condition …. where’s the outrage about a conservatism that is losing both its intellectual moorings and its moral compass?