Posts Tagged ‘sequester

29
Oct
13

Rise and Shine

On This Day: Sen. Obama and his vice presidential running mate Sen. Biden at a rally in Sunrise, Fla., Oct. 29, 2008

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Today (All Times Eastern):

11:45: President Obama meets with CEOs on Cybersecurity Framework

12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press

3:0: President Obama delivers remarks at a memorial service for former Speaker Tom Foley

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Note: The interviewer is a jack a**

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USA Today: It’s A Day Of Security And Remembrance For President Obama

On Tuesday morning, Obama meets with a group of CEOs to talk about a new kind of national security challenge: Cybersecurity….

In the afternoon, Obama travels to Capitol Hill to attend a memorial service for the late House Speaker Tom Foley, who passed away last week.

In addition, Obama has meetings today with Vice President Biden and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

More here

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A Must Read

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Detroit Free Press: Auto Sales Forecast: Buyers Back After Government Shutdown

With four days left in the month, auto dealers apparently can let out a few sighs of relief.

Auto buyers seemed to have shrugged off the government shutdown and gone back to helping to make 2013 a banner year for the auto industry, two forecasts of October auto sales suggest.

Kelley Blue Book predicts an 8% rise in auto sales in October compared to the same month last year. Edmunds.com is even more optimistic, predicting an increase of 12.7% over the same period.

More here

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Sun Times: Durbin “Stand Your Ground” Hearing Tuesday: Trayvon Martin’s Mother To Testify

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) will chair a hearing Tuesday on the controversial “stand your ground” laws that played a role in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of his killer, George Zimmerman. Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, will be testifying.

Durbin is holding the hearing in his role as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights. The hearing was originally scheduled for September…..

More here

The 10 a.m. ET hearing will be shown live on C-Span

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Syracuse.com: Obama To Campaign For Terry McAuliffe

President Barack Obama plans to campaign for Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Terry McAuliffe, on Sunday.

A spokesman for McAuliffe’s campaign said Obama will join McAuliffe at a rally in northern Virginia. No additional details were available.

Polls show McAuliffe, a native of Syracuse, is ahead of Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia race, one of two gubernatorial contests being held this year…

More here

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TIME: Password-Reset Security Glitch Fixed On Healthcare.gov

A security flaw in the original design of HealthCare.gov that could have disclosed e-mail and other account information to hackers was eliminated Monday during an overnight fix, a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokesman has told TIME.

“We are eliminating this theoretical vulnerability by preventing users from seeing the specific reset functionality when trying to reset their password,” said Brian Cook, who works for the agency that oversees the troubled website portal for federal health-insurance exchanges. There is no public evidence that these design flaws were ever exploited to compromise user accounts.

More here

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USA Today: Insurance For The Young Could Be Less Than $50 A Month

Almost half of young, single, uninsured adults in 34 states could pay $50 or less a month for insurance through the online exchanges after receiving subsidies, according to a study released by the Department of Health and Human Services Monday. The HHS study said there are 7.2 million uninsured Americans 18 to 34 in single-person households in the 34 states. Of that total, there are 2.9 million who are eligible to buy insurance on either federal or state partnership insurance marketplaces.

Of those 2.9 million young people, HHS found that 1.3 million, or 46%, could pay less than $50 a month for a bronze plan. The exchanges offer coverage from the bronze to platinum level. Bronze is the cheapest. About 1.9 million of uninsured young people in those 34 states, the study showed, could pay $100 a month or less for health insurance with the tax credits.

More here

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20 Committee: Merkel’s “Real” Cellphone Is Secure

As Germany’s “Handygate” has become a mass phenomenon bordering on hysteria, one of the strangest aspects has been the fact, which I’ve noted previously, that Chancellor Angela Merkel was using a quite insecure cellphone to conduct government business. According to numerous media reports, the cellphone in question, said to have been intercepted by NSA for years, was used by Merkel for political party affairs, and was supposed to be used only to the classification level of VS-NfD, which is roughly equivalent to the U.S. category of For Official Use Only (FOUO), in other words, not actually classified at all.

Except the actual story is coming into focus now and it’s a rather different one than what Berlin’s been complaining so loudly about. While Merkel has indeed had a quite vulnerable cellphone, her “real” Chancellor-Phone, as the Germans call it, is quite secure from interception.

More here

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Bloomberg: Obama Tells FBI Leaders He’ll Press Congress To Lift Budget Cuts

President Barack Obama said he will keep pressing Congress to lift across-the-board budget cuts to ease the limits they have placed on the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other critical agencies.

At the formal installation ceremony for James Comey as the seventh director of the FBI, Obama said resources for the agency have been trimmed by the automatic cuts known as sequestration even as the the FBI’s mission has been expanding to confront the threat of terrorism.

A congressional committee will meet this week to come up with a plan for taxes and spending to replace the automatic spending cuts approved in 2011. Comey said in a speech in Philadelphia last week that the budget limits mean that as many as 3,500 positions will be cut and agents will be furloughed, radio station KYW reported.

More here

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President Obama talks on the phone with Israel PM Netanyahu, in the Oval Office, Oct. 28, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Rollling Stone, November 2012 (Photo released Oct 29, 2012)

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Oct. 29, 2009 – Pete Souza: “This photo was taken about 4AM after the President made an unannounced trip to Dover Air Force Base to pay respects to fallen troops coming back from Afghanistan. After meeting privately with the families, the President walked alone up the ramp of the cargo plane carrying the 18 caskets, all draped in American flags. I could see the emotion on his face as he walked from casket to casket, leaving a Presidential coin on each. When he was done, he paused for a few minutes, head bowed in prayer. I heard him tell others later how that was the most difficult moment of his Presidency thus far. Out of respect for the families, not all of who wanted their ceremony photographed, we can’t show those pictures (but they will become part of Presidential archive).”

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On This Day:

President Obama rests his foot on a desk as he talks with Phil Schiliro, assistant to the President for legislative affairs, in the Outer Oval Office, Oct. 29, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama greets Girl Scouts prior to a signing ceremony for the Girl Scouts USA Centennial Commemorative Coin Act in the Oval Office, Oct. 29, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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27
Aug
13

Rise and Shine

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Cheerful Random Photo :D

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Today (All Times Eastern):

10:0 Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano delivers her farewell remarks at the National Press Club (C-Span)

12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press

2:0: President Obama meets with mayors on reducing youth violence (closed press)

2:45: VP Biden delivers remarks at The American Legion National Convention in Houston

4:0: First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a screening of “The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights”

7:30: President Obama and the First Lady host a reception for the March on Washington (closed press)

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Eric Eichelberger: 25 Republicans Who Supported ObamaCare Before Obama

Republicans have pulled out all the stops to kill Obamacare, the president’s landmark health care law that requires every American to purchase health insurance by 2014. There have been lawsuits; there have been bills (40 in the House so far); there has been a Supreme Court case—all aimed at rolling back a law that that the GOP says is an assault on individual liberty. Now, with only a few more months to go until the individual mandate—the requirement that we all have coverage—kicks in, Republicans are frantic; some are eventhreatening to force the United States to default on its debts if Democrats don’t agree to delay the law.

This is odd because the individual mandate, the cornerstone of Obamacare, was originally a conservative idea. It was first proposed by the Heritage Foundation in 1989. And scores of Republicans—not just Mitt Romney—have backed the idea in the past couple of decades. Here are some of the GOPers who supported Obamacare before Obama

More here

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CBS: Obama Orders Release Of Report Justifying Syria Strike

President Barack Obama called his national security team together Saturday to talk about the next move in Syria. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper led off the three-hour White House meeting with detailed analysis of the evidence about the chemical weapons attack, the disposition of victims and what the administration now believes is a near air-tight circumstantial case that the Syrian regime was behind it.

Obama ordered a declassified report be prepared for public release before any military strike commences. That report, top advisers tell CBS News, is due to be released in a day or two.

More here

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ThinkProgress: What Are The United States’ Options In Syria?

The world’s focus is currently on Syria and how the United States will respond to last week’s reports of a massive chemical weapons attack against civilians … President Obama has been meeting with his top national security advisors to come to a conclusion on how to move forward in Syria. Just over a year ago, Obama called the use of chemical weapons a violation of a “red-line” that would change U.S. calculations. With that in mind, here are details of at least three of the options that Obama has before him:

Stay The Course: Contrary to at times heated rhetoric, the United States has not exactly been sitting on its hands over the past three years with regard to Syria. So far, the U.S. has provided more than one billion dollars worth of humanitarian aid …. sticking to the current strategy of limited direct engagement has the added benefit of not introducing U.S. forces and assets directly into an unknown theater…..

Limited Strikes: ….  in the form of cruise missile strikes from naval ships or air strikes from one of the U.S. nearby military bases, aimed at taking out Syria’s remaining chemical weapons facilities and possibly other government targets….

The ‘Kosovo Model’ and No-Fly Zone: …. a lengthier air engagement, designed to break the Syrian government’s momentum and aiding in the eventual overthrow of Assad’s government….

More here

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Chicago Tribune: First Lady To Pay Tribute To Whitney Young During Civil Rights Documentary

First lady Michelle Obama, an alumna of Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago, will pay tribute to the school’s namesake Tuesday at a screening of a documentary film depicting his crusade for civil rights.

Obama will make remarks at the screening of “The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights” ….. The film chronicles Young’s civil rights battles during the  1960s and his journey from segregated Kentucky to the leadership of the National Urban League, aides to the first lady said. He lived from 1921-1971.

More here

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Jared Bernstein: Sequester Watch, #19

This week, as many students head back to school, the sequester’s Head Start cuts mean that 57,000 low-income kids will not. Wahpeton, ND illustrated Head Start spots that fell victim to the sequester with empty seats and a sign that reads “these 12 chairs represent the 12 children who will not be able to attend Head Start due to budget cuts from Sequestration.”

‘Do you see the harm in sequestration?’

Head Start programs aren’t the only area where the sequester’s impact continues to sink in — see stories on scientific research, overburdened justice systems, low-income housing, economic growth and more below.  As policymakers move into a fall season laden with budget battles, they’d do well to remember what’s at stake and consider replacing sequestration with a backloaded deficit-reduction plan balancing cuts with new revenues.

Remember what we say here at OTE — those who forget the sequester are doomed to repeat it.

More here

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TPM: Napolitano To Deliver Farewell Address Today

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is scheduled to deliver her farewell address Tuesday to reflect on the past four-and-a-half years in the Obama administration before she begins her next chapter as head of the University of California system.

The speech is expected to begin at 10 a.m. ET at the National Press Club in Washington (C-Span)

More here

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Texas Tribune: Documents Still Show No Evidence of Excrement at Abortion Debate

Documents released Monday by the Texas Department of Public Safety’s provided no new evidence that officers found one jar of urine and 18 containers of feces at the Capitol before a July 12 debate on a controversial abortion bill.

DPS released a press statement the day of the debate that said officers had discovered one jar suspected of containing urine and 18 jars suspected to contain feces. After initially resisting requests for additional information about the reported discoveries, DPS on Monday released 144 pages of documents about the alleged incident. But the documents contain no official reports of the findings, and several DPS officers said they had not seen any of the suspected items.

More here

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Mother Jones: Talib Kweli:  “We Send Young White Boys To The Army. We’re Sending Young Black Boys To The Prisons.”

MJ: What are your thoughts on the recent court ruling that New York City’s stop-and-frisk policies are tantamount to racial profiling—and the fact that Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city would appeal?

TK: He also said that if it was is his son, he might feel different. Bloomberg is a sensible guy. He’s just privileged. He’s a goddamn billionaire, and he or his family members have never had to deal with anything as remotely degrading as stop and frisk. So he has no point of reference.

MJ: New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said people in minority communities want more stop and frisk.

TK: That’s all propaganda and it’s bullshit. No one likes to be treated like that. For him to make that statement is ignorant. What it’s saying is that because you’re poor, because you live in a neighborhood that deals with oppressed conditions, you deserve to be treated like a criminal. In our Constitution it says you have the right to live without illegal search and seizure. What else is stop and frisk? These neighborhoods are unsafe not because there’s not enough cops illegally frisking people. They’re not safe because of economic conditions. They’re not safe because of all types of things in the government that people like Bloomberg and Ray Kelly should be looking to fix instead of randomly searching kids in the hood. If you go to a college campus and you do stop and frisk, you’re going to find a lot of drugs there, too.

MJ: Do you see any connection between this debate and the one over the NSA snooping?

TK: Well, I think the biggest problem in our country is mass incarceration and the prison-industrial complex. From the Rockefeller drug laws to stand your ground to stop and frisk, all these are pointing people, especially and disproportionately black and brown people, towards the criminal-justice system. It’s depleting whole generations of people. We send young white boys to the Army, we’re sending young black boys to the prisons. And you have people at the top who don’t have to deal with any of that degradation getting rich off of this.

More of this MUST READ here

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On This Day:

President Barack Obama and family tour the Gay Head lighthouse in Aquinnah, Mass., while on vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, Aug. 27, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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20
Aug
13

Rise and Shine

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President Barack Obama has a foreign leader phone call in the Oval Office, Aug. 20, 2012. Pictured, from left, are: Chief of Staff Jack Lew; Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough; and Steve Simon, Senior Director for Middle East and North Africa. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today (All Times Eastern):

12:45PM: Josh Earnest briefs the press.

2PM: President Obama honors Super Bowl Champion Miami Dolphins and their undefeated 1972 season.

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FINAL_Movement_WaterFountains_1X

“Separate, but equal” drinking fountains in North Carolina, photographed by Elliott Erwitt in 1950.

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TIME: One Man. One March. One Speech. One Dream

Fifty years ago, 250,000 people gathered on the National Mall for the March on Washington, where Martin Luther King Jr. shared his dream for America. TIME talks to the people who helped make the march a success—from civil rights leaders to Hollywood stars—and offers exclusive, unseen images from that transformative era.

[Harry Belafonte] “At the end of the Second World War, those of us who had participated in that conflict were under the impression that if we were triumphant over fascism and the Nazis, that the men and women who returned from that conflict would be celebrated and honored by our nation. Many of us went off to that war and didn’t have the right to vote. Many of us went off to that war and didn’t have the right to participate in the American Dream. We didn’t really think about this thing as a dream until Dr. King articulated it.

More here

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Dan Hodges (UK Telegraph): Why does being a relative of Glenn Greenwald place you above the law?

Should being a relative of Glenn Greenwald place you above the law? I ask the question because many people are arguing Greenwald’s partner David Miranda should, in effect, enjoy immunity from investigation solely because his spouse writes very lengthy articles for The Guardian.

…. far from being a professional journalist working on a one of the most sensitive stories on the globe, Miranda was really just some bloke carrying something through customs for a mate …. Maybe in the excitement of his trip he’d forgotten he was carrying information that could potentially destroy the entire security apparatus of the Western world. We’ve all done it, especially if we’re rushing to get to duty free.

…. Why should David Miranda be allowed to happily saunter around carrying Britain’s most sensitive secrets simply because Glenn Greenwald is his spouse? Are we seriously saying the phrase “I’m with Greenwald” should now act as an international get-out-of-jail-free card?

It’s clear David Miranda wasn’t stopped because he was Glenn Greenwald’s partner. He was stopped because he was suspected of carrying classified information highly detrimental to the UK national interest. And if we don’t stop people because of that, who do we stop?

Full article here

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Bruce Japsen: To Help Navigate ObamaCare, United Way, Catholic Church, Others Get $67 Million

The Obama administration today awarded $67 million in grants to more than 100 organizations who have “who have volunteered to help Americans learn about the health care coverage available in the marketplace.” The announcement is part of a major public-private sector effort to educate Americans, particularly the uninsured, on their options should they seek coverage on the online exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment for individuals eligible for subsidies to buy coverage begins October 1 and runs for six months for broader coverage that begins Jan. 1, 2014.

The awards include:  $300,000 to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium;  the University of Arkansas, which will get more than $770,000; the Archdiocese of Mobile Alabama, which will get $20,000; the nation’s largest Catholic hospital and health system, Ascension Health, was awarded more than $160,000, and various United Way organizations across the country.

More here

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Amanda Terkel: Head Start Cut Services For More Than 57,000 Children Due To Sequestration

Head Start, the federal pre-K education service for low-income families, has eliminated services for more than 57,000 children in the coming school year as a result of the federal budget reductions known as sequestration. The cuts include a shorter school year and shorter school days, as well as laying off or reducing the pay for more than 18,000 employees nationwide. Others eliminated medical and dental screenings and bus routes.

Head Start is best known for providing preschool to low-income students, but it supplies many of its 960,000 children with two hot meals a day, transportation to and from school and basic medical care. When these services are eliminated, it also affects parents, who often must find difficult-to-afford day care services or take off days of work to tend to their children. HHS data says that Head Start will have administered 1,342,015 fewer days of service nationwide because of sequestration cuts.

More here

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NPR: You Ask, We Answer: More Of Your Questions About The Affordable Care Act

The Oct. 1 launch of the new health insurance exchanges is now less than two months away, and people are starting to pay attention to the changes these new marketplaces may bring to the nation’s health care system. We know it’s confusing, so we’re spending part of the summer and fall answering at least some of your questions about the law. You can see earlier pieces in our series here and here.

Today we’re answering questions regarding two of the more frequent topics raised: student health plans and possible penalties for failing to obtain health insurance.

More here

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On This Day:

First Lady Michelle Obama and guests watch Big Time Rush perform during the Kids’ State Dinner in the East Room of the White House, Aug. 20, 2012 (Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

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President Barack Obama samples a baked zucchini fry in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House after dropping by the East Room for the Kids’ State Dinner, Aug. 20, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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27
Apr
13

Rise and Shine

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Today:

8:0: The President delivers remarks at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner; The First Lady attends

Tomorrow: The President has no public events scheduled

Monday: The President will deliver remarks at the National Academy of Sciences 150th Anniversary

Tuesday: As part of the Joining Forces initiative, President Obama, Vice President Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will make a significant employment announcement for veterans and military spouses. This event will take place at the White House

Wednesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House

Thursday: In the morning, the President will depart Washington, DC for his visit to Mexico and Costa Rica

Friday: In the afternoon, the President will depart Mexico for Costa Rica

Saturday: In the afternoon, the President will depart Costa Rica and return to Washington, DC

Sunday: The President will deliver the commencement address at Ohio State University. He will return to Washington, DC, later that day

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Please note: formal dress only for the WHCD, so any TODers who turn up here tonight in jeans will be thrown out.

Breaking: AMK wants to wear his pajamas, because of timezone issues – so, he has an exemption.

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ThinkProgress: 12 Programs Congress Refuses To Save From Automatic Spending Cuts

After thousands of flight delays across the country this week, the Senate voted Thursday night to give the Federal Aviation Administration the flexibility to keep the nation’s airports running smoothly … That means lawmakers will be able to fly home for recess this weekend without any delays ….. Unfortunately, though, Congress has shown no willingness to provide similar relief for the families that are being hammered by sequestration in other ways. Here are 12 programs that have experienced devastating cuts because Congress insists on cutting spending when it doesn’t need to — and that have been ignored by the same lawmakers who leaped to action as soon as their trips home were going to take a little longer:

1 Long-term unemployment, 2 Head Start, 3 Cancer treatment, 4 Health research, 5 Low-income housing, 6 Student aid, 7 Meals On Wheels, 8 Disaster relief,
9 Heating assistance, 10 Workplace safety, 11 Obamacare, 12 Child care….

See post for details

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Business Insider: his week G.E. Capital Finance announced that it would no longer finance gun purchases, becoming the latest in a string of companies that have decided to leave a large amount of money on the table rather than risk their reputations on the gun business.

It’s one of the few places where the high-profile publicity campaign in support of increased gun control has led to a real world result….

More here

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A really powerful website: TheyDontWorkForYou.org

Thanks CarolMaeWY

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26
Apr
13

Rise and Shine

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama return to the White House after their Texas visit, April 25

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Today:

11:20: The President delivers remarks at the Planned Parenthood Gala

11:30: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

1:55: The President holds a bilateral meeting with His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan

3:0: Meets with U.S. business leaders with a significant presence in Mexico and Central America in advance of his trip to the region

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The Guardian (UK): Obama is right to be cautious over Syria’s possible use of sarin – but then? The debacle of the Bush administration’s rush to judgment over Saddam Hussein’s ‘WMD’ shows why the US is in a quandary

The circumstances are familiar. The US is pointing to evidence that a despotic Arab regime has used weapons of mass destruction (WMD). But with the caution and caveats of its letter to Congress, the Obama administration is seeking to demonstrate this is not a repeat of the Iraq debacle.

…. There are no easy options and no road maps. Iraq showed what not to do in the absence of proof. It provides no lessons on what to do if the evidence does eventually become overwhelming.

Full article here

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Steve Benen: At first blush, one might look at the new report on the strength of the U.S. economy and consider it good news. After all, the economy is, in fact, growing, and it expanded in the first quarter of 2013 at a much faster pace than the last three months of 2012. Overall, the nation has seen 14 consecutive quarters of economic growth, starting in mid-2009, when President Obama’s Recovery Act helped put the nation on stronger footing.

But the closer one looks at the details, the more discouraging the new figures appear…

More here

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Dallas, April 25 – Photo by Pete Souza

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24
Apr
13

Rise and Shine

Random old Texas pic: Austin, Feb. 23, 2007

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Today:

EST

12:0: VP Biden and Dr Jill Biden attend a memorial service for Officer Sean Collier at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

12:30: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

12:45: VP Biden delivers remarks at the memorial

4:25: The President and the First Lady depart the White House

CDT

6:35: Arrive Dallas, Texas

7:35: The President delivers remarks at a DNC event; the First Lady also attends (Private Residence, Print Pool for Remarks Only)

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Steve Benen: A confluence of events appears to have created a curious new talking point on the right. With former President George W. Bush’s library set to open, and last week’s Boston Marathon bombing still very much on the public’s mind, Republican pundits see value in trying to tie the two together in the hopes of improving Bush’s reputation.

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin, for example, published this gem yesterday: “Unlike Obama’s tenure, there was no successful attack on the homeland after 9/11.”

A few hours later on Fox News, Eric Bolling echoed the sentiment.

…. When it comes to Bolling, I should note that this is an improvement from his previous stance. Two years ago, he suggested on the air that he didn’t recall 9/11 at all….

I should also note that neither Rubin nor Bolling seemed to be kidding. Their comments weren’t satirical or jokes intended to make Republicans appear silly…..

More here

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Andrew Sullivan: …… The country Bush broke is still broken. And the cost in terms of human life and tax-payers’ dollars still looms over us all. And yet some like Rubin still do not see the failure staring at them in the face. Because they cannot. Late-era neoconservatives can never admit error. They do not have the intellect for it.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: For the last couple of months, congressional Republicans were content to ignore the consequences of their sequestration policy, celebrating the deep budget cuts as a “victory.” Now that it’s causing several flight delays as the FAA begins furloughs, Republicans have suddenly discovered they don’t like the sequester after all. Indeed, they’re now blaming President Obama, suggesting some kind of conspiracy is afoot — the White House wants air travelers to suffer to make some kind of point about the value of government spending.

More here

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18
Mar
13

Rise and Shine

Hey, Happy Birthday to two of my fave Pete Souza pics – President Obama with Senior Advisor David Axelrod following an event at the Costa Mesa Town Hall at OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, Calif., March 18, 2009

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The Week Ahead:

Today: At 11:40 President Obama will announce his intent to nominate Thomas Perez as Labor Secretary. In the afternoon, he will deliver remarks at the Women’s History Month Reception in the East Room (4:40). The First Lady will also attend

Tuesday: In the morning, the President will meet Taoiseach Enda Kenny of Ireland in the Oval Office, and subsequently he will attend the traditional St Patrick’s Day lunch at the U.S. Capitol. During the day, the president will also greet First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Northern Ireland at the White House.

In the evening, the President and first lady will host a reception to celebrate their fifth St Patrick’s Day at the White House.

Later in the evening, the President will depart for Israel.

Wednesday: The President will have separate meetings with Israeli President Peres and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. He will also hold a joint press conference with Netanyahu.

Thursday: The President will meet with President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and will tour a youth development center with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Fayyad. Later in the day, the President will deliver a speech to the Israeli people at the Jerusalem International Convention Center. He will also hold a joint press conference with Abbas.

Friday: The President with meet with King Abdullah II of Jordan and later will hold a joint press conference with Abdullah.

Saturday: The President will return to Washington, DC.

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Independent (UK): Two senior Iraqi politicians told Western intelligence that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction on the eve of the 2003 invasion – but their warnings were ignored …

Vital intelligence used to justify the invasion of Iraq 10 years ago was based on “fabrication” and “wishful thinking”, the BBC Panorama documentary claims. While information from highly placed Iraqis was dismissed as unimportant if it indicated that Hussein did not have WMD, tip offs from low-ranking Iraqis were eagerly lapped up if they reinforced what George W Bush and Tony Blair wanted to hear, it is claimed.

More here

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Paul Krugman: Ten years ago, America invaded Iraq; somehow, our political class decided that we should respond to a terrorist attack by making war on a regime that, however vile, had nothing to do with that attack.

Some voices warned that we were making a terrible mistake — that the case for war was weak and possibly fraudulent, and that far from yielding the promised easy victory, the venture was all too likely to end in costly grief. And those warnings were, of course, right.

There were, it turned out, no weapons of mass destruction; it was obvious in retrospect that the Bush administration deliberately misled the nation into war. And the war — having cost thousands of American lives and scores of thousands of Iraqi lives, having imposed financial costs vastly higher than the war’s boosters predicted — left America weaker, not stronger, and ended up creating an Iraqi regime that is closer to Tehran than it is to Washington.

So did our political elite and our news media learn from this experience? It sure doesn’t look like it…..

More here

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Washington Post: President Obama will formally nominate assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas E. Perez as the next labor secretary on Monday, White House officials said, marking the first Latino selection to Obama’s second-term Cabinet.

Perez, 51, a first-generation Dominican American, is a former Montgomery County Council member who has overseen the civil rights division in the Justice Department since 2009. If confirmed, he would replace Hilda Solis, who resigned in January.

More here

Mother Jones

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Steve Benen: Last week, President Obama sat down with George Stephanopoulos, and when the discussion turned to the national debt, the president shared a simple fact: “We don’t have an immediate crisis.”

For reasons unclear, the comment was not well received by Republicans and many in the media, with some suggesting a bipartisan debt-reduction agreement may be dependent, at least in part, on Obama saying the opposite.

But then a funny thing happened. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled his budget plan, and it also conceded there is no immediate debt crisis. Yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner made the same concession to Martha Raddatz…..

More here

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Greg Sargent: GOP officials, unwilling to concede anything in new revenues to reach a compromise that would replace the sequester, have taken to claiming that the sequester is a “victory” for them, since they wanted spending cuts all along. But is being the party of austerity-only-and-forever really a sustainable long term position?

A Republican pollster is now warning his fellow Republicans that it isn’t…..

More here

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They’re eating each other alive, part 975:

Business Insider: Republican strategist Karl Rove took a big swipe back at former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Sunday, a day after Palin mocked him during a rousing speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

…. “I appreciate her encouragement that I ought to go home to Texas and run for office,” Rove said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“I would be enthused if I ran for office to have her support ….. if I did run for office and win, I would serve out my term and I wouldn’t leave office midterm.”

More here

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This sight always makes me queasy, to be honest :???:

@WhiteHouse

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MoooOOOOooorning!

* You know all those emails I promised to reply to ages ago? Just starting now :oops:

* Again, a gazillion thanks to all our new TOD posters …. legends, all of them! Will be emailing them too, mainly in an effort to bully them in to carrying on posting.

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@BarackObama




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