Columbia Journalism Review: In Hollywood and the accounts of many of the nation’s leading journalists, events in Washington revolve around the president, who is thought to have virtually unlimited powers to cajole, charm, threaten, or bribe legislators into enacting his agenda. Within this framework, the success or failure of the president’s legislative agenda is typically attributed to his tactics, not contextual factors like party support in Congress.
In reality, the idea that the President can force an uncooperative Congress to do his bidding has been falsified over and over again—not just during President Obama’s administration on issues like gun control, but during previous presidencies. Even Lyndon Baines Johnson, the prototypical presidential wheeler-dealer, became far less persuasive when the national political climate changed after the 1966 midterm elections (one aide commented that by the end LBJ “couldn’t get Mother’s Day through” Congress). And yet journalists and commentators still try to defend their misguided notions of presidential power, suggesting instead that, for instance, Obama is being held back by a lack of personal charm or a failure to twist enough arms in Congress.
KRDO (Colorado Springs, CO): The first lady and Jill Biden pushed companies to continue hiring veterans and their spouses. According to the Associated Press, 1 million members of the military are expected to join the civilian workforce over the next five years. Michelle Obama said companies have hired or trained 290,000 veterans in less than two years. However, she said, there is still work to be done. Statistics show the unemployment rate among veterans is lower than non-veterans.
Jill Biden said there are initiatives in Washington working to help military spouses as well called Military Spouse Employment Partnership. ”This effort has helped spouses build strong resumes, has sponsored hiring fairs and created strong resume programs. Since its launch, more than 160 Fortune 500 employers have signed on to the partnership,” said Biden. “More than 43,000 military spouses have been hired.”
Pikes Peak Workforce Center is hosting a job fair geared toward veterans May 15-17 at Pikes Peak Community College. Amthor said 100 local and national companies have already signed on. Here is a link for more information on the job fair: http://mvee.org/
Kevin Drum: President Obama said today that he believes there are some Republicans in Congress who’d like to compromise with him to enact “common sense” solutions to America’s problems. I’m sympathetic, because I agree. I don’t think that Republicans have declined to make a budget deal because Obama didn’t schmooze them enough, or because they didn’t understand what he was offering, or because Democrats haven’t framed their compromise proposals quite right. Republicans have declined to make a deal because they don’t like any of the deals Obama is willing to make. Full stop. Unfortunately, I think Ed falls into the same trap when he suggests that Obama’s dinners with senators have gone quite far enough, thankyouverymuch.
All of which gets us to the guts of the problem: most likely, nothing is going to work. But if you’re the president, you can’t say that. You can’t even act like it. You have to go out day after day after day insisting that progress is possible and deals can be made. This gets you lots of flak from fellow lefties who think it displays terminal naiveté, but what choice do you have? Obama pretty obviously understands everything that his lefty critics understand—he’s not an idiot, and this is hardly rocket science, after all—but he also understands one other thing: he can’t admit it. I imagine it’s frustrating as hell. But like it or not, presidents have to keep their chin up in public and keep trying to make things happen, even if they know perfectly well that success is unlikely. Welcome to hell.
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
The White House flag lowered to half-mast after the Boston bombings
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)
This week’s address is delivered by Francine Wheeler, whose six year old son, Ben, was murdered alongside nineteen other children and six educators in Newtown, Connecticut, four months ago. Now, Francine — joined by her husband David — is asking the American people to help prevent this type of tragedy from happening to more families like hers.
President Obama Delivers remarks in Hartford, CT on Gun reform
The Harvard Law Review, generally considered the most prestigious in the country, elected the first black president in its 104-year history today. The job is considered the highest student position at Harvard Law School.
The new president of the Review is Barack Obama, a 28-year-old graduate of Columbia University who spent four years heading a community development program for poor blacks on Chicago’s South Side before enrolling in law school. His late father, Barack Obama, was a finance minister in Kenya and his mother, Ann Dunham, is an American anthropologist now doing fieldwork in Indonesia. Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii.
”The fact that I’ve been elected shows a lot of progress,” Mr. Obama said today in an interview. ”It’s encouraging.
”But it’s important that stories like mine aren’t used to say that everything is O.K. for blacks. You have to remember that for every one of me, there are hundreds or thousands of black students with at least equal talent who don’t get a chance,” he said, alluding to poverty or growing up in a drug environment.
….. Professors and students at the law school reacted cautiously to Mr. Obama’s selection. ”For better or for worse, people will view it as historically significant,” said Prof. Randall Kennedy, who teaches contracts and race relations law. ”But I hope it won’t overwhelm this individual student’s achievement.”
LA Times (March, 1990): Barack Obama stares silently at a wall of fading black-and-white photographs in the muggy second-floor offices of the Harvard Law Review. He lingers over one row of solemn faces, his predecessors of 40 years ago. All are men. All are dressed in dark-colored suits and ties. All are white.
It is a sobering moment for Obama, 28, who in February became the first black to be elected president in the 102-year history of the prestigious student-run law journal.
The post, considered the highest honor a student can attain at Harvard Law School, almost always leads to a coveted clerkship with the U.S. Supreme Court after graduation and a lucrative offer from the law firm of one’s choice.
Yet Obama, who has gone deep into debt to meet the $25,000-a-year cost of a Harvard Law School education, has left many in disbelief by asserting that he wants neither.
“One of the luxuries of going to Harvard Law School is it means you can take risks in your life …. You can try to do things to improve society and still land on your feet. That’s what a Harvard education should buy – enough confidence and security to pursue your dreams and give something back.”
After graduation next year, Obama says he probably will spend two years at a corporate law firm, then look for community work. Down the road, he plans to run for public office…..