President Obama reacts as Joey Hudy of Phoenix, Arizona, launches a marshmallow from his Extreme Marshmallow Cannon during the second White House Science Fair, February 7, 2012
12:0: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney
1:35: President Obama views science fair projects, East Garden and State Dining Room
The President will host the White House Science Fair and celebrate the student winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the country. The President hosted the first-ever White House Science Fair in late 2010, fulfilling a commitment he made at the launch of his Educate to Innovate campaign to inspire students to excel in math and science. As the President noted then, “If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House. Well, if you’re a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too.”
2:25: Delivers remarks at the White House Science Fair
Happy Earth Day to you.Happy Earth Day to you. Happy Earth Day, dear planet we’re destroying.Happy Earth Day to you.
Steve Benen: The latest reports suggest Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is still unable to speak, due to a gunshot wound to the neck, but he’s begun to respond to questions…. while everyone involved certainly hopes these discussions produce answers, they coincide with a growing political debate, spurred on by conservative Republicans, about Tsarnaev’s legal fate….
…. It’s worth emphasizing that [Sen. Lindsey] Graham, a longtime lawyer and a member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, appears to be simply be making up legal standards as he goes along.
The Obama administration has already invoked the public-safety exception to the Miranda law, though Graham is arguing this isn’t enough …. he’s saying officials should look for al Qaeda connections for a month, in the hopes that evidence might justify the move retroactively. That Tsarnaev is an American citizen, captured on American soil, apparently doesn’t matter to Graham and his allies…..
Puneet Kollipara: President Barack Obama has drawn a line in the sand in his ongoing fight with budget-cutting lawmakers when it comes to future federal funding for research and development. He’s calling for reversing recent spending cuts to most sectors of R&D spending and adding new funds for many areas next year — despite tough fiscal times.
Big winners in the president’s budget include the Department of Energy, whose funding would rise 18 percent. The National Science Foundation, U.S. Geological Survey and National Institute of Standards and Technology would also see healthy increases. The Health and Human Services Department, which houses the National Institutes of Health, would see a slight increase from 2012 — again, all before accounting for inflation.
2:10: President Obama Awards Chaplain Emil Kapaun the Medal of Honor
David RothKopf: America is rightly on edge. When a man with the power to make life-or-death decisions affecting thousands of U.S. citizens recklessly shows contempt for decency and international norms of behavior, it is no wonder the American people would be both angry and fearful. When his threats are so clearly contrary to the interests of those he represents and even those who might otherwise support him, it is natural to wonder whether he has somehow become unhinged.
But Kim Jong Un is no Mitch McConnell. Because Kim, even with his nuclear weapons, is hardly likely to launch an attack on Americans anywhere given that the response would produce the instant and certain obliteration of his regime. What that means is that for all his bluster, the chubby little autocrat is very unlikely to cost one American his life. But in vowing to block any vote on even the most modest legislation to rein in America’s out-of-control gun culture, the Senate minority leader all but guarantees that the toll in America’s street-corner war will continue to rise.
Robert Greenstein: The news that President Obama’s new budget will propose adopting the “chained” Consumer Price Index (CPI) for cost-of-living adjustments in Social Security and other retirement programs, and annual inflation adjustments in the tax code, has intensified the debate on this issue. Some commentators portray this proposal as a test of fiscal rectitude, arguing that the chained CPI more accurately measures inflation — period — and that if you’re opposed to it, you aren’t really serious about addressing deficits. Others, including many progressives, strongly reject the proposal, believing it would impose serious hardship on seniors with modest incomes.
I’m not comfortable with either position. There are legitimate reasons not to adopt the chained CPI, and many people who aren’t affluent would indeed be worse off. At the same time, fears that the chained CPI would impose severe hardship are overblown, especially if policymakers accompany it with a robust package of protections and mitigating measures for those who are very old or have low incomes.
CNN: A majority of Americans generally favor stricter gun control laws, and there has been a big jump in the number of Americans who say that gun policy is extremely important, according to a new national poll.
Overall, 40% of Americans say that it is extremely important for government officials to deal with gun policy this year and another 31% say it is very important. That’s substantially higher than the number of thought gun policy was important in previous years – a reflection of the amount of attention gun policy has gotten in the wake of December’s horrific shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, which left 20 young children and six adults dead.
Greg Sargent: This afternoon on CNN, GOP Rep. Greg Walden, the chairman of the NRCC, opened fire on Obama’s budget by claiming it is an assault on seniors. For one thing, it directly contradicts what GOP leaders themselves said earlier today. Remember, John Boehner and Eric Cantor effectively endorsed Chained CPI by claiming we should proceed with those cuts while not raising taxes. Boehner said Obama “deserves some credit” for embracing it. But now the NRCC chair is calling it an assault on seniors?
You could not illustrate the farcical nature of the GOP position on all this more perfectly. Folks should acknowledge and call out how truly farcical and deeply unserious this really is.
Kate Sheppard: It was clear in both the lead up to and the aftermath of the November 2012 election that Republican candidates are not faring well among women voters. From Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin to Mitt Romney’s 11-point loss among women voters, it became painfully clear that the GOP has a lady problem. A new memo from a pair of liberal groups that pulls together some of the polling figures makes a strong case for paying more attention to this divide.
The memo points to the unprecedented attack on access to abortion underway in states like North Dakota and Arkansas, the 160 Republicans that voted against the Violence Against Women Act at the federal level, and the ongoing fights over both contraception coverage and cuts to the federal family planning budget.
Ed Kilgore: It’s no secret that political scientists as a tribe tend to downplay the importance of ideology and even of “issues” as active factors in American politics. Elections, they say (as an often-welcome corrective to Game Change-style overinterpretation of campaign events), are largely determined by “the fundamentals,” especially economic conditions and the identity of the party in power. Partisan attachments by voters, they often point out, are far more durable than anything you can explain by the day’s, month’s, or year’s controversies and positioning.
So it didn’t totally shock me that in a Salon piece on the “broken” nature of our political system, my esteemed friend the political scientist Jonathan Bernstein issues a disclaimer about the role that conservative ideology plays. I don’t disagree with any of those insights, but when Jonathan comes up with his list of the GOP’s bad habit, I can’t help but notice ideology would explain every single one.
Bloomberg: A rebound in homebuilding after a six-year slump should generate as many as 500,000 jobs in 2013 and 700,000 in 2014 including related services, estimates Russell Price, a senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc. in Detroit and the top forecaster of employment for the past two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
President Obama: “I am proud to honor these inspiring American innovators. They represent the ingenuity and imagination that has long made this Nation great – and they remind us of the enormous impact a few good ideas can have when these creative qualities are unleashed in an entrepreneurial environment.”
President Barack Obama greets Fermi Award recipients Dr Burton Richter, right, and his wife Laurose, and Dr Mildred S Dresselhaus, third from right, and her husband Gene, in the Oval Office, May 7. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama meets with the 2012 Intel Science Talent Search finalists in the Eisenhower Building
Michael Tomasky on GOP Plans to Sink the Economy: Every month brings improved job news – and bleaker prospects for the Republicans in November. Which is why they’re contemplating economic sabotage as their only hope.
We’re just under eight months away from Election Day now, which means that the GOP is starting to run out of time to think up new ways to ruin the economy so that Barack Obama doesn’t get reelected …. There are three fronts – gas prices, jobs, and the budget…
….. By opposing everything Obama wanted with such ferocity; by saying all those thousands of times that he had no clue about the economy; by sending out a parade of presidential candidates, from the semi-serious to the clown posse, all of whose central criticism of Obama is that he killed the economy – in all of these ways the party has more invested in economic failure than any out-party I can remember in my lifetime. Its best hope for now is gas prices, but even they eventually get lower, usually by late summer. Beyond that, all the GOP has to rely on is Mitt Romney’s unstoppable charisma.
Marketwatch: U.S. stocks rose Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index extending an advance into a fifth session, after retail sales climbed the fastest in five months in February.
“The rising sales were pretty impressive in that rising gas prices hasn’t hurt the consumer,” said Nick Raich, director of research at Key Private Bank in Cleveland …. The Commerce Department reported retail sales climbed 1.1% to $407.8 billion in February, while the prior two months were revised higher.
The upward revisions imply first-quarter economic growth could be “a bit stronger” than first estimated, noted Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG LLC in New York.
National Journal: More Americans trust President Obama than congressional Republicans to make the right decisions to bring down the price of gasoline, according to a new poll, although neither side commands a majority.
What’s more, as prices continue to rise and the specter of $5-per-gallon gas for the summer driving season looms over the political landscape, the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll shows the public slightly more supportive of the energy priorities of the Democrats and the president than those of the GOP.
Forty-four percent of respondents trust Obama more “to make the right decisions to help bring down the price of gasoline,” versus 32 percent for Republicans in Congress….
Deaniac (The People’s View): After Washington Post/ABC News put out their poll drastically over-representing GOP and Republican leaning voters, New York Times and CBS News have come up with brand new blunders of their own on their poll released late afternoon yesterday, showing the president at an approval rating of “all time low” 41%. This poll has the most glaring, dumbfounding proof that its sample is rigged staring at you in the very front page of the poll’s crosstabs.
Raw Story: The Republican fight against health care rights for women may end up hurting the party on election day, according to a new poll. A Washington Post survey released Monday found that Democrats are perceived as caring more about issues that are important to women by 25 points, 55 percent to 30 percent.
The poll also showed that a large majority of all voters support the idea that businesses should be required to cover the “full cost” of contraception for female employees. Among all voters, 61 percent supported a mandate for birth control coverage, while 35 percent did not.
As MSNBC’s Steve Benen noted, 53 percent of voters were women in 2008 … “The gender gap was pretty enormous four years ago,” Benen wrote. “Don’t be surprised if it’s even bigger in November.”
Steve Benen: In Arizona, Democratic Senate candidate Don Bivens released a new ad yesterday, targeting Republican Rep. Jeff Flake, and hoping to take advantage of the controversy surrounding Rush Limbaugh. It’s probably not the last 2012 spot we’ll see highlighting the right-wing radio host.
Liberal Librarian (The People’s View): According to Rick Santorum, I’m doubly un-American. I was born in New York City and lived there until I was 16, at which time my family moved to Los Angeles, where I’ve lived ever since. According to Rick Santorum, I have no values. I don’t know the worth of an honest day’s work. I don’t know the benefits of charity (in which he engages very sparingly). I don’t know the duties of good citizenship. My vote shouldn’t count, because as both a New Yorker and and Angeleno, I was never exposed to rock-ribbed, middle American values. I’m an other. And everyone who lives in my two cities are similarly lacking in American moral fiber.
Kevin Drum (Mother Jones): In the upcoming issue of the Washington Monthly, Paul Glastris has a cover story called “The Incomplete Greatness of Barack Obama,” a headline almost guaranteed to set your teeth on edge….
….. A sidebar to Glastris’ piece lists Obama’s top 50 accomplishments …. Better to pare it down to 10 really top achievements in order to highlight how many truly major accomplishments Obama has been responsible for. So I did. Except I couldn’t get there. I cut it down to 13 and got stuck. Here they are, in the same order as the original Washington Monthly list (see post)
…. These are all big deals. Big fucking deals, to quote our vice president. Unless you’re just bound and determined to sulk in your tent while insisting that health care was a sellout and the stimulus was too small and Dodd-Frank was feeble and the mini stimuli were more like micro stimuli, there’s just no way around the fact that this is a historically colossal set of progressive accomplishments, especially in the face of a historically hostile political environment.
….. Unlike Paul Glastris, I’m not ready to start chiseling Obama’s mug on Mount Rushmore. But unless national security is pretty much your sole obsession, I really have a hard time understanding progressives who are disappointed in him. Obama has gotten more done for the progressive cause than Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, JFK, or Harry Truman – and, on balance, nearly as much as LBJ, since he doesn’t have any epic disasters to weigh down his successes. For an actual, existing human being, that’s pretty damn good.
Make sure you watch the video, the Science Fair clips are a hoot!
First Lady Michelle Obama greets a chef while visiting the dining facility at Little Rock Air Force Base in Little Rock, Ark., as part of a tour celebrating the second anniversary of the “Let’s Move!” initiative, Feb. 9, 2012. Little Rock Air Force Base is part of a pilot program that has enhanced food service quality, variety, and availability through new acquisition processes and redesign efforts. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)
TPM: In his 2006 Massachusetts health care law, Mitt Romney embraced a virtually identical contraception coverage mandate as President Obama recently has, experts say, and as a result expanded access to birth control for hundreds of thousands of women. And Democrats really want you to know that.
“They are practically mirror images or each other,” John McDonough, a professor of public health at Harvard, said on a conference call organized by the Democratic National Committee. “They completely reflect each other.”
NY Mag: …. The Telegraph finally admitted that their article about Michelle Obama shutting down a block of Madison Avenue so that she could go on a $50,000 “shopping spree” at Agent Provocateur with the Queen of Qatar, Sheikha Mozah, was indeed completely false. They also formally apologized for printing such total (but hilarious!) bullshit, but mostly to Sheikha Moza, not Obama – indeed, the title of the correction is “Her Highness Sheikha Moza – An Apology.”
Further to our article “First Lady’s luxury buys boost Agent Provocateur” (Jan 30), we would like to make clear that the “shopping spree” involving Her Highness Sheikha Moza and Michelle Obama that we referred to in fact never occurred, and that Her Highness has never been shopping with Mrs Obama, at Agent Provocateur or otherwise, and has never sought to have any part of New York closed off to enable her to shop undisturbed. We apologise for the distress and embarrassment this article caused.
First lady Michelle Obama at an Olive Garden Restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas
A gazillion congratulations to our beloved Liberal Librarian who has been invited by Deaniac to post at The People’s View (even though he’s a Chelsea fan) – it’s just completely brilliant news. Thrilled for you LL, looking forward to reading you, you legend ;-)
I’ve added a Video Vault section to the sidebar on the right – it’s a collection of videos of PBO from the archives, up to the 2008 election. I’ll add more soon(ish).
Speaking of the archives, this is from Harvard in 1990 – hadn’t seen it before. I like. Very, very much.