President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet the family of Specialist Leslie H. Sabo, Jr., U.S. Army, outside the Oval Office prior to a Medal of Honor ceremony honoring Specialist Sabo, May 16, 2012. Pictured, from left, are: Kathleen Starkey, sister-in-law; Rose Sabo-Brown, widow; Frances Buccelli, mother-in-law. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Washington Post/AP: When Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney decried the “prairie fire” of U.S. debt Tuesday, he ignored some of the sparks that set it ablaze.
One was the Great Recession that took hold before Barack Obama became president. That landmark event went unmentioned in Romney’s speech. Another was a series of Bush-era tax cuts that Romney wants to follow with even lower rates.
Instead he laid the blame on Obama, a president who has certainly increased the nation’s eye-popping debt — but not, as Romney claimed, by nearly as much as all other presidents combined.
A look at some of Romney’s assertions and how they compare with the facts:
ROMNEY: “America counted on President Obama to rescue the economy, tame the deficit and help create jobs. Instead, he bailed out the public sector, gave billions of your dollars to the companies of his friends, and added almost as much debt as all the prior presidents combined.”
THE FACTS. Hardly. Presidents from George Washington through George W. Bush ran the national debt up to $10.62 trillion, the amount it was on the day Obama took office. Today, it is $15.67 trillion, according to the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Public Debt. So it has gone up by $5.05 trillion under Obama. That’s roughly half of the amount amassed by all the other presidents combined.
In short, the debt has gone up by about half under Obama. Under Ronald Reagan, it tripled.
Miami Herald: Welcome to FL, Mitt. Now why did Bain Capital lay off so many people in Miami?
As Mitt Romney returns to Florida on Wednesday for two days of campaigning and money-raising, Democrats are trying to ensure Floridians keep two words in mind: Dade Behring.
It’s the name of a former medical equipment manufacturer in Miami that Romney’s venture capital firm bought and then closed in the late 1990s, walking away with $242 million in profits.
“Obviously you need to make a profit to be successful,” Cindy Hewitt, Dade Behring’s former human resources officer, said Tuesday, at a Miami news conference organized by President Barack Obama’s campaign. “My concern is when businesses are used to generate wealth for a small number of people and businesses are run to the ground and the lifeblood is sucked out of it and all of their employees lose their jobs.”
The case of Dade Behring in Miami, where some 850 jobs were lost while Romney led Bain has been well-documented. But there’s a new wrinkle: The company under Bain’s leadership sought and received millions of dollars in tax breaks for creating jobs in Puerto Rico — shortly before closing its facilities, costing nearly 300 jobs.
In case anyone missed this today … it’s unmissable:
Thursday: The President will attend meetings at the White House.
Friday: PBO will deliver the opening keynote to the Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC. Later on Friday, the President will travel to Camp David for the G-8 Summit, which will address a broad range of economic, political and security issues. The President will remain overnight at Camp David.
Saturday: PBO will remain at Camp David for the G-8 Summit. Later on Saturday, the President will travel to Chicago, Illinois, where he will welcome NATO allies and partners to his hometown for the NATO Summit on May 20-21. The First Lady will travel to Chicago with the President.
A gazillion congratulations to Collegekay on her fantastic fundraising effort – and to everyone here who supported her.
The leaderboard is gone from the OFA site, but last I looked – near midnight – she was way ahead.
Collegekay, when you can, will you confirm you finished top?
Either way, you’re a winner!!
First Lady Michelle Obama with Deborah Dauman and Viacom President/CEO Philippe Dauman at Nickelodeon’s 25th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards held at Galen Center on March 31 in Los Angeles
…. greeted by host Will Smith
… congratulating singer Taylor Swift after presenting her with The Big Help award
Monday: The President will host Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada and President Felipe Calderon of Mexico for the North American Leaders’ Summit (NALS) in Washington, DC.
Tuesday: PBO will deliver remarks at the AP Luncheon during the ASNE Convention.
Wednesday: PBO will host an Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House. Christian leaders from across the country will join the President at this breakfast for a time of prayer, reflection, and celebration of Easter. Also on Wednesday, the President will sign the STOCK Act, which makes clear that Members of Congress are subject to the same insider trading laws that apply to everyone else. This was legislation the President called on Congress to pass in his 2012 State of the Union Address.
Thursday: PBO will sign the JOBS Act, which includes key initiatives the President proposed last fall to help small businesses and startups grow and create jobs.
Friday: PBO will deliver remarks at the White House Forum on Women and the Economy. Later, the President and the First Lady will mark the beginning of Passover with a Seder at the White House with friends and staff.
Steve Benen: At the most recent debate for the Republican presidential candidates, Mitt Romney wanted to show off his understanding of international affairs, and told the audience that Syria is Iran’s “key ally” and Iranians’ “route to the sea.”
Iran, of course, has 1,520 miles of its own coastline – and doesn’t share a border with Syria….
Today he has an op-ed in the Washington Post, calling for …. shaping a U.S. policy towards Iran that’s “the same as Ronald Reagan’s.”
Um, Mitt? The Reagan administration sold Iran weapons, in violation of an arms embargo, in order to help illegally finance the Contras in Nicaragua…..
President Barack Obama waves to people gathered along the motorcade route from Osawatomie High School to Osawatomie-Paola Municipal Airport in Osawatomie, Kan., Dec. 6, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Paul Krugman: One crucial thing you need to understand about political journalists is that with some honorable exceptions, they don’t know or care about actual policy …
…. Hence, the awful decision of Politico to give Paul Ryan an award as healthcare policymaker of the year.
…. what became painfully, embarrassingly clear during the debate over the Ryan plan was that Ryan is, well, incompetent …. it’s true that the plan “got everyone talking”, as Politico says – but mostly it got people talking about what a mess Ryan’s effort was.
Oh, and it was pretty clear that Ryan wasn’t being honest about his own numbers.
What’s going on here, I suppose, is that Politico is mistaking theater for policy. Ryan isn’t an important health care reformer, or even minimally competent in his attempted wonkery, but he plays a deep thinker on TV. And the people at Politico either don’t understand the difference, or they don’t care.
President Obama returns to the White House after a visit to Kansas
Steve Benen: President Obama has decided that, from now on, foreign aid decisions will take into consideration how countries treat their LGBT citizens, and he directed U.S. agencies abroad to ensure our humanitarian and diplomatic efforts “promote and protect” the rights of gays and lesbians.
…. today’s announcement marks a historic first …. It also adds to a rather extraordinary record for Obama in this area in his first three years….
…. I realize there are still a sizable number of people in the LGBT community who are unsatisfied with the pace of change, and consider President Obama someone who has ignored, and even betrayed, their interests. Some have even vowed not to lift a finger to help with the president’s re-election effort.
I suspect many social-conservative activists find this inexplicable.