Brooks Kraft has won “Political Photo of the Year” from the The White House News Photographers Association for this image of President Barack Obama speaking in the pouring rain during a campaign rally in Glen Allen, Va. (See here)
9:35: President Obama departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews
11:30: Arrives in Decatur, Ga.
12:10: Visits a pre-kindergarten classroom at College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center
1:20: Delivers remarks at Decatur Community Recreation Center
2:40: Departs Decatur
4:25: Arrives at the White House
4:50: Participates in a “Fireside Hangout” with Google+ to discuss his State of the Union Address
WH: On Thursday, President Obama will join the latest in a series of “Fireside Hangouts” – a 21st century take on FDR’s famous radio addresses – to talk about his State of the Union Address.
During a completely virtual conversation hosted by Google, the President will answer questions from Americans across the country about the issues and policies laid out in the speech. Anyone can submit a question for the President and vote on your favorites on the White House YouTube channel
A lukewarm reception for President Obama at Centreville High School …… ;-)
Paul Krugman: … this is only for the specifics Romney has announced; he claims that he will make up for the large revenue losses under his plan (Obama gains revenue) by closing loopholes. But he refuses to say which, and the clear reality is that he’s talking through his hat. Meanwhile, Romney also proposes severe cuts in Medicaid, and his party wants big cuts in other safety-net programs.
So like it or not, we have an election in which one candidate is proposing a redistribution from the top — which is currently paying lower taxes than it has in 80 years — downward, mainly to lower-income workers, while the other is proposing a large redistribution from the poor and the middle class to the top.
So the next time someone tut-tuts about “class warfare”, remember that the class war is already happening, in real policy — with the top .01 percent on offense.
ThinkProgress: In a series of interviews yesterday, Mitt Romney maintained he would only release tax returns dating back two years…..
….On the sidelines of the National Governors Association meeting in Williamsburg, Alabama’s Republican governor, Robert Bentley, called on Romney to release all the documents requested of him.
“If you have things to hide, then maybe you’re doing things wrong,” Bentley said. “I think you ought to be willing to release everything to the American people.“
Ana Navarro, a prominent Republican strategist, has also called on Romney to release more tax returns, telling Politico “I wish he’d hurry up and release more tax returns so this distraction would go away.”
President Obama and Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson will both receive the Medal Of Distinction at Barnard College Monday:
“I am deeply moved to join with President Obama to celebrate the next generation of leaders coming up among Barnard women, and to share the Barnard Medal of Distinction with him,” said Wolfson. “And I will thank the President for doing what we elect presidents to do – showing moral leadership in standing up for freedom, fairness, and families – and for speaking in such personal terms about the journey he and so many Americans have made to understand who gay families are and why marriage matters. In explaining his change of heart, the President spoke in heartfelt words that rang true, because he described the very same journey that so many Americans – a majority now – have made.”
President Obama chats with Col. Mike Minihan while making his way to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. the President is heading to Albany to visit the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s Albany NanoTech Complex at the State University of New York and to speak on the economy.
AP: U.S. companies in March posted the highest number of job openings in nearly four years, a sign that hiring could strengthen in the coming months after slowing this spring.
The Labor Department said Tuesday that employers advertised 3.74 million job openings in March. That’s up from a revised 3.57 million in February. The March figure was the highest since July 2008, just before the financial crisis erupted that fall.
The increase in job openings suggests that weaker hiring gains in March and April could be temporary. It usually takes one to three months for employers to fill openings…..
Steve Benen: ‘With a polarized Congress already on the defensive, President Obama on Tuesday will outline a five-point “to do” list for lawmakers that packages job creation and mortgage relief ideas he has proposed before, administration officials say.
Mr. Obama will present the election-year list during a visit to a university science complex in Albany. The components of his challenge to Congress – and to the Republican-led House in particular – will be a feature of his appearances throughout the spring, aides said.’
…. Will Congress approve the list? Well, no, probably not. While these fairly non-controversial ideas might have been easy to pass in previous years, Republican filibusters and GOP control of the House probably makes any kind of economic legislation impossible. It’s not even clear if Republican lawmakers want the economy to improve before the election.
Then why bother? I suspect the point is to show the president presenting mainstream economic ideas that would have traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support, while a do-nothing Republican Congress sits on its hands…..
Charles P. Pierce (Esquire): Why Does Everybody Hate Mitt? …. I’ve cast my memory back as far as I can, and I cannot recall a major politician of either party who causes so many members of his party to spit (metaphorically, one hopes) at the simple mention of his name. And this is not a recent phenomenon. One of the few insights worthy of anyone’s time in that horrible Game Change book was the fact that, by the end of the 2008 presidential cycle, all of the other Republican candidates had come to despise Willard. (John McCain was apoplectic on the subject, even by McCain’s standards, which are considerable.) This now has seemed to transfer itself to the Republican electorate in general. Nobody likes this guy…..
On the surface, this elemental loathing seems disproportionate, even if you take into account how much of the GOP’s Jesus-jammin’ base distrusts the extended coven into which Romney was born …. Willard is something of a foof who spends all his time falling a few yards short of sincerity. He speaks a form of trust-fund English that can be off-putting. He is as utterly unprincipled as a politician can be, and he’s about as trustworthy as a puff adder… all Romney’s done is change his position on a whole host of issues, and talk like the guy who’s come to repossess the family farm…..
President Obama, flanked by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, in the Roosevelt Room, Nov 28
WH: Over the weekend, a report by the Associated Press detailed how the Affordable Care Act is dramatically reducing drug costs for seniors who hit the prescription drug coverage gap known as the donut hole. This year, seniors are benefiting from a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs in the donut hole. And the discount and other provisions in the law are saving money for seniors. As the AP reported:
The average beneficiary who falls into the coverage gap would have spent $1,504 this year on prescriptions. But thanks to discounts and other provisions in President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law, that cost fell to $901…
…. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, seniors will receive bigger discounts in the years ahead. By 2020, the donut hole will be closed completely.
And even if you don’t hit the donut hole, there’s still good news for beneficiaries with Medicare Part D. Prescription drug premiums will not rise next year, and thanks to health reform, seniors can get preventive services like mammograms and other cancer screenings for free.