You might possibly have spotted – and you might not – a shiny new blog roll link in the sidebar on the right. It’s still a work in progress, but I just thought it might be handier to have a dedicated page of links to sites we love, rather than having them half way down the page in the sidebar.
Any way, just wanted to ask you all if you have any suggestions for links I should add to the list? Non-Firebagger sites, needless to say, and whatever other newsie places you think are worth including.
Meanwhile, ginormous thanks to UT, LL and LovelyPlains for their splendiferous posts 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.”
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.
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?
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.
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.
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…
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.”
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…..
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.
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…
WH.gov: The Easter Egg Roll will take place Monday, April 1st, 7:30 AM to 6:45 PM, on the South Lawn of the White House and is focused on promoting health and wellness with the theme, “Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You!” The event will feature live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling and, of course, Easter egg rolling.
This year’s special guest is Robby Novak, better known as Kid President.
Jordin Sparks, Austin Mahone, Coco Jones, Sesame Street and The Wanted will perform on the Rockin’ Egg Roll Stage. Jessica Sanchez will sing the National Anthem. The Official Emcee of the 2013 White House Easter Egg Roll is Tommy McFly, who will introduce acts on the music stage on the ellipse. The United States Marine Corps Band will perform American classics.
Readers on the Storytime Stage will be NASCAR’s Danica Patrick, Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson, Elmo, Abby, Gordon and Rosita from Sesame Street, the full cast of Super Sprowtz, The Wanted and actress Quvenzhané Wallis.
Tuesday: The President will welcome the Prime Minister of Singapore to the White House.
Wednesday: The President will travel to the Denver area, where he will continue asking the American people to join him in calling on Congress to pass common-sense measures to reduce gun violence. He will meet with local law enforcement officials and community leaders to discuss the new measures the state has recently put in place, including closing loopholes and a background check system to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and others who should not have access to them.
Later in the day, the President will travel to San Francisco, California to attend events for the DCCC. He will remain overnight in San Francisco.
Thursday: The President will attend events for the DNC in Atherton, California. He will return to Washington, D.C. that evening.
Friday: The President will participate in the Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House.