3:25: The President departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews
3:40: Departs Joint Base Andrews en route New York City
4:35: Arrives New York City
5:20: Delivers remarks at a campaign event (Private Residence)
8:25: Delivers remarks at a campaign event (Waldorf Astoria)
9:35: Delivers remarks at a campaign event (New Amsterdam Theatre)
11:20: Departs New York City
12:30: Arrives the White House
Tuesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House
Wednesday: Will travel to San Francisco and Los Angeles to attend campaign events. The President will spend the night in Los Angeles.
Thursday: Will travel to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for an official event. The President will return to Washington, DC in the evening.
Friday: Will welcome President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines to the White House for a bilateral meeting. Also on Friday, the President will welcome the Super Bowl XLVI Champion New York Giants to the White House.
10:05: President Obama honors 2012 National Teacher of the Year and finalists at the W.H.
10:35: Departs the W.H. for Andrews Joint Air Force Base.
10:50: Departs Andrews Air Force Base for Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
11:50: Arrives in North Carolina.
1:00: Michelle Obama delivers the keynote address at Girls Inc. of Omaha’s 12th annual lunch.
1:15: PBO delivers remarks on student loans at the University of North Carolina.
2:20: PBO is interviewed for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”
2:45: Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event in Omaha covered by a print pooler.
3:40: PBO departs North Carolina for Colorado.
6:00: Michelle Obama meets with Obama campaign volunteers from the Des Moines area.
7:10: PBO arrives in Colorado.
8:45: Delivers remarks at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
If anyone has a link to the full interview could you leave it in the comments?
Charles Pierce: Has The New York Times taken to hiring its “Public Editors” from the people waiting on hold for Mark Levin?
Readers deserve to know: Who is the real Barack Obama?
No kidding, that appeared in an actual column in the actual New York Times.
…. Barack Obama has been on the national scene for eight years. He was a candidate for the better part of two years and has been the president of the United States for the better part of three. We know about things his preacher said. We know about his uncle’s unfortunate driving history and his aunt’s time on the dole. A good portion of the Republican base — the portion that Mr. Brisbane here is begging not to write him anything hurtful anymore — believes that it knows the president is a Kenyan-born Muslim Indonesian socialist who is just waiting until his second term to round them all up, take away their guns, and give them all retroactive late-term abortions, and only Brisbanish “vetting” can stand in the way of all that.
ThinkProgress: Former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, a Republican now hoping to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), said recently that she was unfamiliar with the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the landmark anti-domestic violence legislation whose re-authorization is now stalled in the Senate.
Senate Republicans are objecting to re-upping the 1994 law, which has already been extended several times, because of amendments that would extend protections for Native American women, gay victims, and others.
A video released today by the Missouri Democratic Party shows a man asking Steelman about VAWA at a campaign event. Steelman replies, “I’m not sure what that is because I’m not serving right now.” He asks again, “you haven’t really heard about it?” And she confirms, “no, not really.”
Caitlin Legacki, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Democratic Party, told Inside Missouri Politics that the exchange “underscores how ill-equipped she is to serve in public office.”
Washington Post: Facing withering criticism from across the political spectrum and abandoned by Senate allies, House Republicans bowed to political reality Thursday and agreed to a two-month extension of a payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans.
The agreement represented a remarkable capitulation on the part of House Republicans, who had two days earlier rejected such a deal with Democrats as the kind of half-measure that their new majority was elected to thwart.
And it amounts to a Christmas gift for President Obama, who attempted to paint his Republican opponents as willing to raise taxes for millions of Americans. Such an image could have cost the party politically just as it is gearing up to try to take back the White House and the Senate in 2012.
Eugene Robinson: Finally. After a year of artful camouflage and concealment, Republicans let us glimpse the rift between establishment pragmatists and Tea Party ideologues. There may be hope for the republic after all.
…. There are only two possible reasons for House Republicans to behave the way they did. Maybe they are so blinded by ideology that they no longer care about the impact their actions might have on struggling American families. Or maybe their only guiding principle is that anything Obama supports, they oppose.
The week’s events offer a lesson for Obama, too. One reason for all the Republican angst was that public opinion has become more sensitive to issues of economic justice. This may be partly due to the Occupy protests. But I’m convinced that Obama’s fiery barnstorming in favor of his American Jobs Act has played a big role. People are hearing his message.
The president has been on the offensive. It’s no coincidence that, for the first time in quite a while, Republicans are backing up.
Steve Benen: …. the GOP leadership will, probably later today, bring the tweaked Senate agreement to the House floor, hoping to approve it by unanimous consent. If Republicans balk – and they might – Boehner will reconvene the House next week for an up-or-down vote. Since that vote would very likely pass the Senate bill, an objection today would only delay the inevitable, and extend this fiasco for a few more days.
…. perhaps one of the most striking realizations from this entire dispute is that Republicans gambled that Democrats would cave when the pressure was on – and Democrats didn’t. Arguably for the first time all year, Democrats from the White House to Capitol Hill knew they had the better hand, told Republicans that Dems wouldn’t fold this time, and sat back and watched and the GOP unraveled.
… After a year in which policymakers have moved from one hostage crisis to another, Democrats won a big one to close out the year, leaving Republicans looking awful and a weakened Speaker looking beaten.
For a party that earned a reputation for capitulating a little too often, it’ll start 2012 on the right foot.
Vice President Biden in the Des Moines Register: Mitt Romney recently laid out his plan for America. Reading about it, I thought of my dad. My dad was a hard worker. He took pride in what he did. And, like millions of Americans, that pride was put to the test when he found himself struggling to make ends meet.
When I was a child, he had to ask my grandfather to take care of my mom, my brother, sister and I while he moved away to find a better job in Wilmington, Del. My dad had a saying: “A job is about more than a paycheck. It’s about dignity. It’s about respect.”….
Michael Tomasky (Daily Beast): Last week, I mentioned the racism charges against Ron Paul, involving the newsletter he used to publish and some of the vile and witless statements therein….
….These are not your run-of-the-mill euphemisms. These are blatantly racist comments by, I would hope, nearly any measure. Jews and gays get their moment in the sun ….The “Special Issue on Racial Terrorism,” produced after the Los Angeles riots, offers many gems, including this advice: “I’ve urged everyone in my family to know how to use a gun in self defense. For the animals are coming.” …. It would seem, in the pages of something called the Ron Paul Political Report, that that “I” would represent, well, Ron Paul. But he denies authorship….
…. If he didn’t write those sentences, who did? Why not say? If he genuinely disagrees with the statements and truly disavows them, there could be no good reason not to name names.
… I humbly suggest that there are some matters on which there should not a statute of limitations …. Calling a group of people—identifiable only by their race “animals” belongs in that company. We lack proof that Paul did that, but at the very least we have proof that he has regarded this whole thing very casually….
Greg Sargent: The President is set to hold another event today urging the House GOP to support the Senate payroll tax extension compromise…. A White House official emails that Obama today “will be joined by Americans who would see their taxes go up if the House Republicans fail to act”.
Washington Post: House Republicans faced mounting pressure Wednesday from critics inside and outside Congress who worry that their standoff with President Obama over whether to extend a payroll tax cut could do lasting damage to the GOP.
… The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board captured the frustration among Republicans in the paper’s Wednesday editions, asking whether the GOP’s handling of the tax debate “might end up re-electing the President before the 2012 campaign even begins in earnest.”
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said the House GOP must get past the issue. “Are Republicans getting killed now in public opinion? There’s no question,” he said Wednesday on CNBC. “Both Republicans and Democrats have agreed that this is going to happen, and probably the best thing to happen now is just to get it over with.”
Marketwatch: The number of Americans filing initial claims for regular state unemployment-insurance benefits fell 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 364,000 in the week ended Dec. 17, reaching the lowest level since April 2008, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected that claims would rise to 375,000, while remaining at levels historically associated with an improving labor market.
The four-week average of initial claims – a smoother gauge than the weekly data – fell 8,000 to 380,250, the lowest level since June 2008.
Steve Benen: It’s generally wise to avoid sweeping conclusions about week-to-week changes in data like this, but when these jobless claims fall below the 400,000 threshold, it’s evidence of an improving jobs landscape. When the number drops below 370,000, it suggests jobs are actually being created rather quickly.
Michael Tomasky: President Obama has had an awful year. But thanks to the politically asinine miscalculations of House Republicans, he’s ending 2011 with a bang.
For a bunch of people who don’t believe that Barack Obama celebrates Christmas, Republicans sure are going out of their way to make sure the president has a merry one. The short-sighted stupidity of the House Republicans is hardly to be believed. The presidential nomination contest is as unsettled as ever and still features a bunch of candidates who are about as appealing to most Americans as Aunt Gladys’s fruitcake.
…. It’s all a reminder that Obama won’t be running just against a Republican candidate. He’ll be running, as he has been, against a Republican Congress. And the public is finally getting the message that they are breathing a different kind of air from the rest of us.
Paul Krugman: David Roberts reports on the EPA’s decision, finally, to regulate mercury from coal plants … it will save tens of thousands of lives every year and prevent birth defects, learning disabilities, and respiratory diseases. This is actually a much bigger issue, when it comes to saving American lives, than terrorism.
…. The point that strikes me most, however, is that this shows that it matters who holds the White House. You can complain about Obama’s lack of a strong progressive agenda, which I sometimes do, or wonder what good it is to hold the White House when the other side blocks every attempt to do good through legislation. But mercury regulation would not have happened if John McCain were president.
Elections have consequences, and this is one delayed consequence of 2008 that will make a big difference.
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….
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….
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.
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.”
Michael Webber (Chron.com): As Republican presidential candidates like Gov. Rick Perry tout their energy plans, they would do well to study our best energy president in decades: President Obama.
Advocates for the U.S. energy industry routinely say they wish President Obama would pursue pro-growth energy policies. Well, he has been, and not just for the likes of fallen green giants like Solyndra. Under Obama, the traditional U.S. energy sector is flourishing. The domestic energy sector is experiencing its largest growth since the halcyon days of the 1950s and 1960s. As importantly, we’re growing in the right directions.
For the first time in decades, we are seeing sustained increases in U.S. oil production and decreases in oil consumption, which means imports are dropping.
U.S. domestic oil production is up an incredible 14 percent since Obama took office. A few years ago we imported nearly two-thirds of our petroleum products. Today we import less than half. The reduction in imports means tens of billions of dollars now stay in our own economy.
But it’s not just oil: dry natural gas production is up 16 percent, natural gas liquids are up 26 percent, solar generation is up 14 percent and wind generation is up 59 percent. Even production of coal – supposedly the main target of Obama’s policies – is flat over that same time period. There are even headlines blaring that U.S. refining capacity is at the highest point in decades, exceeding levels achieved under recent Republican administrations. All of this growth produces royalties and taxes to address our budget challenges.
….. In light of all the bad news about partisan debt fights, maybe we can all celebrate the good news that U.S. energy policy – against all odds – is finally reaping significant rewards for all of us. Our Energy President deserves a fair share of the credit.