President Barack Obama speaks to Nike Employees and other Oregonians at Nike Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. The President spoke about the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pacts which include the U.S. in a trade agreement with 11 other nations
President Barack Obama high-fives a little boy after his remarks on trade at Nike corporate headquarters
First Lady Michelle Obama, joined by Dr. Jill Biden speaks to an audience of mothers and children during their annual Mother’s Day Tea to honor military-connected mothers at the White House
First Lady Michelle Obama reacts as a little girl gives her a gift
BBC News: Benefits Extended To US Gay Military Spouses
US military same-sex spouses will gain all benefits open to opposite-sex spouses by 3 September, Pentagon officials have said. It includes healthcare and housing and will be open to any military member with a valid marriage certificate. The Pentagon had already extended certain privileges to same-sex couples after a ban on openly gay troops – known as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – was repealed in September 2011. But most benefits had been off-limits until the Supreme Court ruling.
“It is now the department’s policy to treat all married military personnel equally,” Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a memo on Wednesday to senior Pentagon officials. The Pentagon also stated it would allow leave for military personnel, who are stationed in a state that does not permit same-sex marriage, to travel to a jurisdiction where they can marry legally. The change will mean that homosexual troops and their spouses will also have the right to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington DC.
TPM: Peggy Noonan: Obama Should Defend Missouri Rodeo Clown (Yes Peggy, you are a RACIST)
Peggy Noonan offered a “classy” suggestion to President Barack Obama on Tuesday: go to bat for that rodeo clown in Missouri. Let me suggest a classy Obama move that might go over well. From his Vineyard vacation spot he should have the press office issue a release saying his reaction to finding out a rodeo clown was rudely spoofing him, was, “So what?” Say he loves free speech, including inevitably derision directed at him, and he does not wish for the Missouri state fair to fire the guy, and hopes those politicians (unctuously, excessively, embarrassingly) damning the clown and the crowd would pipe down and relax. This would be graceful and nice, wouldn’t it? He would never do it. He gives every sign of being a person who really believes he shouldn’t be made fun of, and if he is it’s probably racially toned, because why else would you make fun of him?
Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday denounced the violent crackdown by the Egyptian military as a “deplorable” and unnecessary escalation that represents a “serious blow” to peace and democracy.
Kerry said Egypt faced a “pivotal moment” and warned the military-appointed interim government that the “world is closely watching” how it responds. More than 100 people were killed Wednesday when the army raided camps where supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi have been protesting for the past month.
“Today’s events are deplorable, and they run counter to Egyptian aspirations for peace, inclusion and genuine democracy,” Kerry said during a 5-minute surprise appearance at the State Department’s daily press briefing. “It’s a serious blow to reconciliation and the Egyptian people’s hopes for a transition towards democracy and inclusion.” “Violence will not create a roadmap to Egypt’s future,” he said.
North Carolina Republicans passed a sweeping set of changes to the state’s election law. These measures were proposed just one week after the Court’s ruling, and were rushed through the state legislature. GOP Gov. Pat McCrory calls them “common sense” measures, designed to “ensure the integrity” of the ballot box and “provide greater equality in access to voting to North Carolinians.” And that’s true, if you rob those words of their actual meaning. The centerpiece of the law is a strict new mandate for voter identification, that’s more notable for what it bans than what it permits. Of the various forms of state-issued ID, only four are valid for voting: driver’s licenses, passports, veteran’s IDs, and tribal cards. Everything else is unacceptable. This includes college IDs, public or municipal employee IDs, ID from public-assistance agencies, and out-of-state driver’s licenses.
"Reverse" racism is nearly as big a societal problem as employees sexually harassing their bosses.
It’s no accident that those are the excluded categories. As with similar laws in other states, the restrictions target Democratic voters, from students and young people—who are more likely to rely on university-issued identification—to public employees and the poor. And of course, a large share of these voters are black and Latino. Overall, the state estimates that as many as 318,000 voters could lack (PDF) appropriate identification. Echoing many supporters of voter identification, Governor McCrory points to other activities that require photo ID: “Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID, and we should expect nothing less for the protection of our right to vote.” But voting is just that, a right, and restricting particular kinds of ID—used by particular kinds of people—without expanding access to other forms of identification is an obvious attempt to make voting hard for some and not others.
There is but you have to wait in line 9 hours to get it // Rand Paul: No ‘evidence’ blacks prevented from voting wapo.st/19tBrDf
Indeed, the other provisions of the law make it plain that this was the intent. Governor McCrory’s “common sense” initiative bans paid voter-registration drives, removes a week from the early voting period (which was a popular option for black voters in 2008 and 2012), eliminates straight-ticket voting, repeals out-of-precinct voting, repeals a mandate for high-school voter-registration drives (again, because Republicans don’t want young people participating), eliminates flexibility in early-voting hours, and makes it more difficult for precincts to designate additional voting sites for the elderly or voters with disabilities. We’re only 50 years removed from Jim Crow, and history has a strong grasp. Yes, we have an African-American president. But we also have deep-seated racial inequality. To think we’ve overcome this—to think it no longer matters for the present—is worse than ignorant, it’s naive.
President Obama, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron and Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev listen to Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel during the start of the first working session of the G8 Summit at Camp David
First Lady Michelle Obama gives a tour of the White House to (from left) Laureen Harper (wife of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen), Elsa Monti (wife of Italian PM Mario), Valerie Trierweiler (partner of French President Francois Hollande), Geertrui Windels (wife of European Union President Herman Van Rompuy) and Hitomi Noda (wife of Japanese PM Yoshihiko)
From right: First Lady Michelle Obama, Hitomi Noda, wife of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, and Valerie Trierweiler, partner of French President Francois Hollande, listen to the White House curator
Valerie Trierweiler (R), companion of France’s President Francois Hollande
From left: The White House curator, Valerie Trierweiler and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s wife Hitomi
Secretary of Defense Leo Panetta, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden at an event to announce a new report outlining opportunities and best practices for states to better support military spouses serving in professions with state licensure requirements at the Pentagon in Washington
Nate Silver: The last time I considered Barack Obama’s re-election chances in this magazine, in mid-November, things were looking pretty bleak for the president. The statistical model I used measured three key factors — a president’s approval rating, economic growth and the ideological orientation of his opponent — and taken together, they showed that Obama had become a slight underdog to win re-election.
Three months later, his position is much stronger……
PPP: Michigan is looking more and more like it won’t be in the swing state column this fall. PPP’s newest poll there finds Barack Obama leading the entire Republican field by double digits.
The biggest surprise in the numbers might be how badly Obama is beating Mitt Romney- he leads him by 16 points at 54-38. That’s a major departure from PPP’s previous 3 Michigan President polls, which found Obama ahead by only 4-7 points. Romney’s seen a major decline in his personal favorability in the state over the last 6 months from 39/43 to now 29/58. His numbers have dropped across the board but the most striking shift is with independents. He’s gone from a +14 spread with them at 48/34 to a -20 one at 32/52.
USA Today: President Obama has outraised the top Republican presidential fundraiser in two-thirds of the country, including battleground states such as Pennsylvania and North Carolina considered crucial to his re-election prospects, a USA TODAY analysis shows.
In 19 states, Obama collected more than his four major GOP rivals combined… Obama also has a fundraising edge over Romney in all but two of a dozen swing states – Florida and Michigan, where Romney was born and his father served as governor in the 1960s.
Thursday: PBO will attend campaign events in Corona del Mar, California before traveling to San Francisco, California to attend campaign events. He will spend the night in San Francisco.
Friday: PBO will travel to the Seattle where he will continue to discuss his blueprint for an economy built to last. He will also attend campaign events in the Seattle area before returning to Washington, D.C. later in the evening.
BMG: The next big prize in the GOP primaries is Michigan, one of Mitt Romney’s five home states. He’s released an ad showing him driving around in a fancy Chrysler while he talks about how much he loves Michigan, and all…..
And here’s the problem: that Chrysler that he’s driving is a 300 model, and the 300 is made in Canada…..
Tim Mathieson, partner of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, shows the First Lady his cowboy boots. The First Lady is hosting a luncheon, serving all organic food from MA’O organic farm, for spouses of the APEC leaders at Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii
…. greeting Vietnam’s First Lady Mai Thi Hanh
…. greeting Indonesia’s first lady Kristiani Herawati
…. greeting Korean first lady Kim Yoon-ok
…. with Laureen Harper, spouse of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
First Lady Michelle Obama with the Honolulu Boys Choir
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper walks with President Obama following the first plenary session of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Kapolei, Hawaii