Posts Tagged ‘progress

03
Dec
13

Have we gotten any better?

Channing Kennedy unearthed a little tidbit from 1982, in which President Ronald Reagan’s spokesperson Larry Speakes is asked about the disease which had been recently declared an epidemic by the CDC: AIDS. Amid much laughter from Mr. Speakes and the White House Press Corps, all parties participate in a callous back and forth on what the Reagan Administration’s position was on the new disease.

One part of the dialogue stuck out to me:

Q: Does the President, does anybody in the White House know about this epidemic, Larry?
MR. SPEAKES: I don’t think so. I don’t think there’s been any—
Q: Nobody knows?
MR. SPEAKES: There has been no personal experience here, Lester.
Q: No, I mean, I thought you were keeping—
MR. SPEAKES: I checked thoroughly with Dr. Ruge this morning and he’s had no—(laughter)—no patients suffering from AIDS or whatever it is.

“There has been no personal experience here.”

No one in the White House, or among the White House Press Corps, knew anyone who was afflicted with AIDS. It hadn’t touched them. And the concerns of a despised minority reaping what they had sown were not their concerns.

Continue reading ‘Have we gotten any better?’

07
Feb
12

afternoon all (updated)

Thank you ObamaBuilt2LastNZ!

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First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a tug of war with Jimmy Fallon in the Blue Room of the White House during a “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” taping for the second anniversary of the “Let’s Move!” initiative, Jan. 25. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

** NBC tonight at 12:35 am ET **

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AP: The number of available jobs in the United States jumped in December to near a three-year high, supporting other data that show a brighter outlook for hiring.

Companies and governments posted 3.38 million jobs in December, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That’s up from the 3.12 million advertised in the previous month and nearly matches the three-year high reached in September. Job openings in the private sector reached the highest point in almost three and a half years.

…. The report on job openings follows Friday’s optimistic employment figures. Those showed employers added 243,000 net jobs in January, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent.

….. It generally takes one to three months for employers to fill job openings. December’s big jump in postings is likely one reason January’s jobs report was healthy. But it also suggests job growth may continue in the coming months.

More here

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TPM – thanks Loriah

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Steve Benen: For months, Republican presidential candidates have been eager, if not desperate, to accuse President Obama of waging a “war on religion”….

…. Mitt Romney seems to have settled on a policy to match the attack: the Obama administration’s decision to require coverage of contraception as preventive care under the Affordable Care Act is, according to the former governor, an “attack on religious liberty”.

…. As a substantive matter, Romney’s lying. The administration’s policy already exempts churches and other houses of worship and “doesn’t require any individual or employer to violate a religious belief – it simply ensures that their employees with different beliefs have the same access to birth control as all other women.”

…. he’s not only lying; he’s also denouncing Obama for adopting a policy similar to one Romney used to support …. as governor, a previous iteration of Romney required all Massachusetts hospitals, including Catholic hospitals, to provide emergency contraception to rape victims.

More here

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Link

USA Today: Pundits and bishops warn President Obama he could lose the white Catholic vote over requiring a contraception option for insurance plans. But Catholic women say they want birth control covered in employee health plans.

…. The Catholic bishops, backed by conservative evangelicals, say the Obama administration shouldn’t include contraception coverage as part of free preventive care options in employers’ health insurance plans …. here’s where the Catholic women come in. According to the Public Religion Research Institute poll released today:

….58% of all Catholics agree employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception. That slides down to 52% for Catholic voters, 50% for white Catholics.

… the numbers might bring pause to pundits mulling the “Catholic vote”.

More here

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Steve Benen: For months, Republican super PACs have been raising vast sums from wealthy donors …. the political world, however, hasn’t heard much from Democratic super PACs, which have raised far less money.

That will apparently soon change … Jim Messina argued overnight that the Obama campaign just doesn’t have a choice.

He added that Republican super PACS, in aggregate, are “expected to spend half a billion dollars, above and beyond what the Republican nominee and party are expected to commit to try to defeat the President.” That may sound like hyperbole, but it’s a reasonable estimate. The Koch brothers alone are prepared to spend $100 million later this year to defeat Obama.

…. Democrats had a choice: stick to principle, refuse to play by the new rules, and make defeat far more likely, or level the playing field …. The only surprise here is that anyone would be surprised by the decision.

Full post here

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Thanks Mary

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NYT: The delicate Karl Rove said he was “frankly, offended” …. (by)…. the Chrysler ad that Clint Eastwood narrated, which many people who don’t share Mr. Rove’s political worldview thought was rather uplifting.

…. he suggested the words were dictated by “the President of the United States and his political minions,” who bailed out Detroit with taxpayer dollars. It’s just another example of “Chicago-style politics,” he said, whatever that means.

The White House said it had nothing to do with the ad, but it had a great deal to do with Detroit’s resurgence, and that’s what’s really offensive to Mr. Rove and other Republicans. They’d prefer to drown out the good news coming from the carmakers, such as these recent headlines…

More here

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Flashback … from 2004:

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I’m still catching up with the news – and all the comments! – after being out today, will post again soon-ish ;-)

13
Dec
11

rise and shine

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10:30: The President is interviewed by regional television outlets.

11:25: The President delivers remarks at a campaign event.

12:45 Jay Carney briefs the press.

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Michael Tomasky: Could Obama Be Headed for a Landslide?

Obama’s approval rating is soft, but new polls of South Carolina and Florida show him ahead of Gingrich and Romney. Michael Tomasky asks: could the GOP be headed for disaster?

How can Barack Obama, as this new NBC/Marist poll has it, be beating Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney in South Carolina, of all places? …. Is it conceivable that 10 months and three weeks from now, Obama could actually win the state? If it happens, we will know that the Republicans are headed off the cliff. And that is precisely where we should all hope they go.

…. now let’s look at the Florida numbers from the NBC/Marist poll. There Obama is beating both Romney and Gingrich by outside the margin of error. He leads Romney 48-41 and Gingrich 51-39.

…. if Obama holds Florida, he can afford to lose Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Nevada, New Mexico, and either Michigan or Pennsylvania, and still rack up a winning 270 electoral votes. But of course, if he’s winning Florida, he’s likely not losing any of those other states, with the exception of Indiana….

Ten months and three weeks is a long, long time. But today’s poll suggests that a wipeout of such proportions is not unimaginable….

Full post here

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Washington Post: Against the backdrop of a tightening Republican presidential contest, much of the hierarchy of President Obama’s campaign is decamping from Chicago to Washington on Tuesday for a high-profile debriefing on the the state of the president’s reelection effort.

…. At the top of the list is an erratic Republican presidential field roiled by the ascent of Newt Gingrich, whom the Democrats view as a weak challenger to the president. They also take some credit for the Gingrich surge, because it appears to have partly been a result of a devastating video attack on Mitt Romney produced by Obama’s longtime admaker.

A speech by Obama last week in Kansas – a searing attack on GOP economic policies – was hailed by one liberal critic as the “most important economic speech of his presidency.” This week, Obama is celebrating the end of the U.S. war in Iraq, making good on one of this central campaign promises. Even the unemployment rate has dipped.

….. senior Obama advisers and supporters are cautiously pointing to signs that perhaps the president’s fortunes have turned a corner. Among their favorites: the laundry list of politically tricky statements that front-runners Romney and Gingrich have made during the Republican race….

Full article here

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Politifact

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NY Daily News: Julianne Moore didn’t bring her research on Sarah Palin home with her ….. the flame-haired actress told us she “read every single thing” she could about the Grizzly Mama and “watched every interview” in order to prepare for her role as the former Alaska governor in next spring’s HBO mini-series, “Game Change.”

But when we asked Moore if she’d developed a newfound respect for Palin after delving deeper into her life, the actress, 51, raised an eyebrow and sighed deeply. “No,” she said quietly.

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Rudy Giuliani to Piers Morgan: “My gut tells me right now as I look at it that Gingrich might actually be the stronger candidate, because I think he can make a broader connection than Mitt Romney to those Reagan Democrats…You won’t have this barrier of possible elitism that I think Obama could exploit pretty effectively.”

Poor Mitt :lol:

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Morning everyone ;-)

06
Oct
11

wrap-up

President Barack Obama talks with staff in Senior Advisor David Plouffe’s West Wing office at the White House, Oct. 6, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Jonathan Cohn (The New Republic): Remember when President Obama wouldn’t even utter the word “Republican”? Those days are long gone. And maybe, just maybe, the change in rhetoric is starting to pay off.

We’re now into week four of the administration’s campaign to promote its jobs proposal. And instead of dialing down the pressure, Obama has been dialing it up….

…. A new ABC-Washington Post poll suggests that, so far, Obama’s campaign is working …. public support for the elements of his jobs bill is high. And, more important, Obama has opened up a substantial gap with the Republicans over which party voters trust more to handle “job creation.”

… whether or not the Democrats have every single member in line is less important than whether they have 50 votes to pass it – because if they have the 50 votes, then the obstacle to enactment won’t be Democrats. It will be Republicans….

And that ought to matter to the voters. Everybody assumes Obama is campaigning hard for his jobs plan primarily to make a point to the voters about who stands for what, in advance of the 2012 elections. That’s probably true. But he’s adopted this posture because Republicans refuse to compromise. And if Republicans start to pay a political price for holding up popular legislation, there’s still a chance they will relent – and pass legislation before the year is done….

Full post here

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Based on Symmetry’s brilliant twitpic here (Thanks Meta)

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Business Week: Railroads shipments are the highest in almost three years, helping to defy concerns about a double-dip recession.

Total rail volumes averaged 381,831 carloads in August, the most since October 2008 … these shipments represent the bulk of materials for industrial production, so rising volumes show the economy is still growing…

… since reporting quarterly earnings in July, the three largest U.S. railroads haven’t given any indication of a sharp decline in demand similar to 2008 and 2009, when volumes fell as much as 24 percent on an annual basis.

…. Earlier this month, CSX’s Chief Financial Officer Oscar Munoz said he isn’t concerned about “any kind of overarching sort of dire circumstances around the corner,” as there is still a “general level of optimism” among customers and suppliers.

“Sure, things have moderated, but there is no one in that near state of panic that we saw certainly in late ‘08 and ‘09,” Munoz said….

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Greg Sargent (Washington Post): John Boehner has a new line he’s trying out to justify the Republican House’s rejection of Barack Obama’s jobs bill: “We’re legislating. He’s campaigning. It’s very disappointing.”

Huh? Really?

… legislating? The House of Representatives? The 112th Congress? Hard to believe that Boehner could say that one without bursting out laughing. The current House has done hardly any legislating at all. They could barely pass a bill to keep the government’s lights on back in the spring, and they almost send the nation into default in the summer…..

And outside of that there’s … well, almost nothing. As Obama pointed out today, there is no Republican initiative that can meaningfully be called a jobs bill…

…. The key here is that real legislating requires compromise, especially during times of divided government. And House Republicans have no intention of compromising with either the Senate or with Barack Obama … Even now, if Boehner really offered to deal on jobs, I don’t think anyone doubts that Obama would hop off the campaign trail and try to work something out. But there will be no legislating, because the House isn’t going to do it.

No matter what talking points John Boehner might trot out.

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About one thousand people gather and form a large ’99%’ in the middle of Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC, October 6

Thanks nintendowii10

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Perry and Bachmann finally talk some, err, sense:

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GOPolitico’s race-baiter supreme, Julie Mason – get over it Julie, your President is black ;-) – had yet another pitiful dig at the President today for not mentioning, when he hosted the Texas A&M University women’s championship basketball team at the White House, that her beloved Rick Perry attended the college. Maybe Julie missed her buddy Knoller’s tweet…..

The President invited Perry to the White House?! See, that’s what you call class, Julie – you should try and acquire some one day ;-)

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

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The photo I love more than any:

Forty years after their silent protest at the 1968 Olympics, Gold Medalist Tommie Smith hugs Bronze Medalist John Carlos, and their wives Delois Smith and Charlene Carlos after Barack Obama is officially sworn in as the President of the United States. (Boston Globe/Stan Grossfeld)

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Night everyone ;-)

20
Sep
11

pants on fire….

You know, Arianna should really tell her buddy to stop telling fibs.

16
Sep
11

solyndra

ThinkProgress: It’s often claimed that the Solyndra loan guarantee was “rushed through” by the Obama Administration for political reasons. In fact, the Solyndra loan guarantee was a multi-year process that the Bush Administration launched in 2007.

You’d never know from the media coverage that the Bush team tried to conditionally approve the Solyndra loan just before President Obama took office…..

Because one of the Solyndra investors is funded by George Kaiser – a man who donated money to the Obama campaign – the loan guarantee has been attacked as being political in nature.

What critics don’t mention is that one of the earliest and largest investors, Madrone Capital Partners, is funded by the family that started Wal-Mart, the Waltons. The Waltons have donated millions of dollars to Republican candidates over the years.

…. the media has decided on a narrative that matches right-wing talking points but not the facts….

… To set the record straight, Climate Progress is publishing this timeline – verified by Department of Energy officials – that shows how the loan guarantee came together under both administrations. In fact, rather than rushing the loan for Solyndra through, the Obama Administration restructured the original Bush-era deal to further protect the taxpayers’ investment (See timeline at the link)

What critics fail to mention is that the Solyndra deal is more than three years old, started under the Bush Administration, which tried to conditionally approve the loan right before Obama took office. Rather than “pushing funds out the door too quickly,” the Obama Administration restructured the original loan when it came into office to further protect the taxpayers’ investment.

Full post here

08
Jul
11

‘a new conversation’

Karen Greenberg (Daily Beast): … The Obama administration’s decision to try Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, a Somali national accused of terrorism, in federal court is the beginning of a new conversation…..

With the Warsame decision, the Obama administration has taken its first steps to create a post-Guantanamo world. Warsame was not brought to Gitmo; he was not hidden in a prison in Afghanistan. Since the prison at Guantanamo opened in January 2002, Warsame is essentially the first high-value foreign terror suspect to be rounded up abroad and brought into U.S. custody.

This is a welcome and long-overdue step. And, in many ways, it is the first realization of the president’s promise at the outset of his presidency to close Guantanamo….

With the transfer of Warsame nearly 10 years after 9/11, the Obama administration has done what the Bush administration should have done when it opened Guantanamo in January 2002. Instead of side-stepping the law and its procedures and standards, it has firmly embraced the American legal system and its courts as a viable tool in its arsenal against captured terrorism suspects.

… It is good news that Guantanamo may no longer be open for business. But this is only a first step in creating a sustainable system to replace the U.S. detention policy that has defined the war on terror.

Full article here

07
Jul
11

‘dual loyalty’

Thank you JER – and thanks for the C-Span links to the Center for American Progress/’Rebuild the Dream’ discussions here and here




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