Posts Tagged ‘steve



28
Jul
13

Rise and Shine

President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel during the National Anthem at the start of an event to mark the 60th anniversary of the suspension of the 1950-1953 Korean War at the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C. July 27

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Today:

The President has no public events scheduled

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Darlene Superville: Obama Says Korean War Veterans ‘Deserve Better’

President Barack Obama on Saturday urged Americans to take time from their “hurried lives” to listen to the heroic stories of Korean War veterans who returned to a country weary of war and deserved a better homecoming.

“Unlike the Second World War, Korea did not galvanize our country. These veterans did not return to parades,” Obama said in a speech at the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, making the 60th anniversary of the war’s end.

“Unlike Vietnam, Korea did not tear at our country. These veterans did not return to protests. For many Americans tired of war, there was it seemed a desire to forget, to move on,” Obama said.

They “deserve better,” the president said, adding that on this anniversary, “perhaps the highest tribute we can offer our veterans of Korea is to do what should have been done the day you came home.”

More here

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Obama Korea-cropped-proto-custom_28

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ThinkProgress: Growing Number Of States Are Reporting Lower Than Expected Health Care Premiums

Health premiums in Maryland’s exchanges will be “among the lowest of the 12 states that have available proposed or approved rates for comparison,” the state’s exchange — Maryland Health Connection — announced Friday. The news comes just as New York,Oregon, Montana, California, and Louisiana are also reporting lower than expected premiums.

In Maryland, a 25-year-old will be able to purchase a plan that is more comprehensive than policies currently available on the individual market for $114 per month, while a middle aged adult will have to pay approximately $260 per month for insurance. A 21-year-old non-smoker can start as low as $93 a month. Officials say they used their authority to deny rate increases to reduce the proposed premiums by “more than 50 percent.” Thirty other states have have similar authority.

More here

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GOP, is this a description of you?

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ThinkProgress: Steve King: In Private, Republicans Actually Agree With My ‘Cantaloupe-Sized Calves’

A growing number of Republicans are publicly distancing themselves from Rep. Steve King’s (R-IA) claim that many undocumented youths are drug mules with cantaloupe-sized calves, but the conservative congressman claims that GOP lawmakers are backing him in private.

During an appearance on Fox News on Saturday, King said that Republicans are in fact standing by him, but are afraid to publicly support him for fear of sparking outrage and losing their legislative leverage…..

More here

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Hunter Walker: John  Kerry: ‘This Is A Pivotal Moment For Egypt’

Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement Saturday after at least 65 people were killed and over 1,000 were injured in Egypt during clashes between security forces, armed men, and protesters demonstrating against the ouster of former President Mohammed Morsi.

Kerry said he spoke with Egypt’s Interim Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei and Interim Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy Saturday morning to express “our deep concern about the bloodshed.” He also described the situation as a “pivotal moment for Egypt” and called for an “independent and impartial inquiry into the events of the last day.”

Read the statement here

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This is the unvarnished NYT interview with President Obama. Read it. This is him in his own words.

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Click on the craigconnects link. It’s very informative

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Asawin Suebsaeng: Obama Says Ho Chi Minh Was Inspired By Founding Fathers, Conservatives Freak Out

 After a meeting with Vietnam’s president Truong Tan Sang on Thursday, President Barack Obama said the following to reporters (emphasis mine): At the conclusion of the meeting, President Sang shared with me a copy of a letter sent by Ho Chi Minh to Harry Truman. And we discussed the fact that Ho Chi Minh was actually inspired by the US Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson. Ho Chi Minh talks about his interest in cooperation with the United States. And President Sang indicated that even if it’s 67 years later, it’s good that we’re still making progress. (Ho Chi Minh was a Vietnamese communist and nationalist revolutionary leader who died in 1969. He fought alongside Allied forces during World War II, but fought American forces during the Vietnam War.)

Several conservative media outlets blasted the president on similar terms. “Obama may have just been trying to flatter his guest who was obviously eager to show that Ho was not the monster history shows him to be,” Chris Stirewalt, digital politics editor for Fox News wrote. “But his connection between the American founders and Ho shows either a massive lack of historical knowledge on the part of the president or a remarkable degree of moral flexibility.”

Yes, it is true that the United States once waged a disastrous, pointless, and horrific waragainst Ho Chi Minh and the people of Vietnam. But Obama’s comment wasn’t a gaffe or insult to American war vets. What Obama said is literally a historical fact. In September 1945, Ho Chi Minh delivered the Declaration of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in Hanoi to a crowd of nearly a million Vietnamese. Not only was the “The Star-Spangled Banner” played by a Vietnamese band during his address, but he opens his speech by quoting Thomas Jefferson.

More here

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The fantastic Sarah Slamen (@VictorianPrude). 

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A year ago today:

First lady Michelle Obama watches the women’s singles tennis match between Serena Williams of the U.S. and Jelena Jankovic of Serbia at the All England Lawn Tennis Club during the London 2012 Olympics Games, July 28

.. with Venus Williams and former gymnast Dominique Dawes

Serena Williams gives a thumbs up gesture toward her sister Venus and first lady Michelle Obama after she defeated Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic

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Have A Great Day! :D

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24
Jul
13

Rise and Shine

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All times Eastern:

10:0: The President departs the White House

12:10: Arrives Galesburg, Illinois

12:55: Delivers remarks at Knox College

3:50: Departs Galesburg en route Warrensburg, Missouri

4:40: Arrives Warrensburg

5:20: Delivers remarks at the University of Central Missouri

6:15: Departs Warrensburg

8:15: Arrives Joint Base Andrews

8:30: Arrives the White House

Detailed schedule here

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President Obama talks with Director of Speechwriting Cody Keenan in the Oval Office, July 23 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Yahoo: President Barack Obama’s speech on economic policy Wednesday will be the first in an ambitious series of six addresses laying out a sweeping vision for America’s future. The philosophy at the core of the campaign will be familiar, but there will be “aggressive new ideas.”

That’s according to Cody Keenan, the speechwriter in charge of crafting what may be Obama’s most far-reaching second-term effort to get Americans to sign on to his plans.

… Obama’s six speeches will cover education, housing, retirement security, health care, poverty and jobs, Keenan said…

“In the weeks ahead — especially when it comes to college costs, which is something he’s obsessed with — we’ll have some aggressive new ideas,” said Keenan.

More here

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Time: Why Obama Keeps Going Back to One Small Illinois College

…. Knox has a special place in the President’s heart and in American history. “It’s the place where I gave my first big speech after I had been elected to the U.S. Senate,” Obama said at a recent event in Washington. Wednesday marks his third visit – once as a Senate candidate, once as a Senator and now as commander-in-chief – adding to a long history of presidents and political figures who have left a mark on the college.

Founded in 1837 by religious missionaries who opposed slavery, Knox College was, from its beginning, a progressive institution that welcomed women and people of color. In 1858, the college was the site of the fifth of seven Lincoln-Douglas debates, where Abraham Lincoln, challenging incumbent Senator Stephan A. Douglas, debated the nature and future of slavery.

More here

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Headline of the week?

Leaders of the Republican Party are still predicting that Obamacare will be a disaster, one that will wreak havoc on American health care. Most of their allies in the media say the same thing. But a small group of conservative intellectuals has been warning that the law might not be so apocalyptical — that, with full implementation about to begin, wholesale repeal may no longer be possible…

… Once Americans can take advantage of the law’s benefits — once more low-income people become eligible for Medicaid, and once more low- and middle-income people start to get subsidies that will help them buy private insurance — taking those benefits away will be nearly impossible, particularly since Republicans still haven’t proposed an alternative that would come close to providing the same level of security.

More here

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Michael Tomasky: Don’t Repeal Any Laws, Repeal John Boehner

The speaker says Republicans should be judged on how many laws they repeal. This is unprecedented, irresponsible, and terrifying. …

It would be impossible to name the craziest thing said by a Republican so far this year….

New entrants arrive constantly and the competition is feral. And yet paradoxically they don’t even shock anymore. But one recent Republican remark should arrest you and deserves your contemplation: John Boehner’s statement on Face the Nation Sunday that he and his House Republicans “ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal.”

It’s not an outrageous statement in the Obama-wants-to-impose-Sharia vein, but in its way it’s more disturbing. The Republican Party now sees dysfunction as not just an unfortunate consequence of a set of historical factors, something that they might work every now and again to correct. Now, the Republican Party sees dysfunction as its mission.

More here

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Read Steve Benen on King here and Ed Kilgore here

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La Opinión: Cruel and Indecent

Family values are a pillar of traditional Republican discourse. But as soon as it comes time to address immigration issues, all of their emphasis on family unity goes out the window, replaced by advocacy for division.

This is the logical conclusion that follows from the KIDS Act, being developed by the House of Representatives. While this House bill would legalize the status of minors brought to the United States without papers by their parents, it would be the only measure the lower house would approve to regularize the status of anyone undocumented, unlike the Senate bill that initially aspired to benefit 11 million people.

The bill’s sponsor, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, speaking in favor of the measure, stated that this is a matter of “decency and compassion”…..

More here

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Continue reading ‘Rise and Shine’

09
Jun
13

Rise and Shine

Two years ago today, one of Pete Souza’s very great photos: “The President had attended the fourth grade closing ceremony for his daughter Sasha at her school in Bethesda, Md. As he was departing, he noticed some pre-school children peering out of a window at a child care facility adjacent to Sasha’s school so he walked over to say hello to them.”

If the Greenwald Groupies were putting a caption on the pic, it would most probably read:

‘OMG™! Illegal surveillance!’.

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President Obama talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, June 8

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Today:

PDT

10:25 AM: President Obama departs Palm Springs, CA

EDT

5:55: Arrives The White House

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ZDNet: The real story in the NSA scandal is the collapse of journalism

Summary: A bombshell story published in the Washington Post this week alleged that the NSA had enlisted nine tech giants, including Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Apple, in a massive program of online spying. Now the story is unraveling, and the Post has quietly changed key details. What went wrong?

More here

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I missed most of the news and developments yesterday, so flicked through the Twitter machine this morning to read what people were saying. And I see the Greenwald Groupies, urged on by their Dear Leader (and his personal fundraising campaign), now fear that Koch Boy will be taken out by evil Obama.

No, really.

Their fears were heightened when The Atlantic’s Steve Clemons tweeted this (and, needless to say, it was breathlessly retweeted by Greenwald):

“OMG™!!!!!!!!” was the gist of the Groupies’ reponse.

But Clemons then admitted he couldn’t actually identify the four people, and only had poor quality pics and audio (yes, he secretly recorded them, possibly illegally so, depending on that state’s laws – oh, the irony) so, not unreasonably, @BoloBoffin asked: “If you can’t identify them, how do you know they are US intel officials?”

Or, at the very least, wait until he could confirm they were intel officials before tweeting what he did? You know, journalism.

Soon after, Clemons began watering down his original tweet:

In other words, he had no clue who these people were – but his original tweet did the trick, it was RTed almost 1,000 times, got him lots of attention and earned him the love of Koch Boy and his sheeple.

If they were intel officials, did Clemons not consider the possibility that they might also be dufuses loudly talking macho crap in an airport lounge because they’re pissed off by Koch Boy’s attempts to damage intelligence gathering efforts on terrorist suspects? Or does he think they were loudly discussing in an airport lounge an actual plan to, um, ‘disappear’ Koch Boy?

Yep, this is where the Groupies are at.

Which takes us to….

Click to see the rest of the post

20
May
13

Rise and Shine

President Obama greets members of the audience following a ceremony honoring the 2012 BCS National Champion University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team at the White House, April 15 (Photo by Pete Souza). More new photos here

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Today:

12:30: Press Briefing by Jay Carney

2:10: The President holds a bilateral meeting with President Thein Sein of Burma

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President Obama holds a National Security Council meeting in the Situation Room, April 5 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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The Week Ahead:

Tuesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House

Wednesday: Will attend meetings at the White House, and in the evening, as part of their “In Performance at the White House” series, the President and the First Lady will host a concert honoring singer-songwriter Carole King, who will be awarded the 2013 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

Thursday: The President delivers a counter-terrorism speech at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.

Friday: Will travel to Annapolis, Maryland, to deliver the commencement address at the U.S. Naval Academy

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The White House video of President Obama’s Morehouse address yesterday – we can never see it enough:

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Forbes: With the stock market hitting new highs, some people have already forgotten about the Great Recession. Recall 2009. Things looked pretty bleak economically. But the outlook has changed dramatically in just 4 years…. the President deserves attention for how well this economy has done during his leadership.

The auto rescue plan has worked. American car manufacturers are still dominant and employing millions directly and in supplier companies. Wall Street reform has been painful but it has re-instated faith amongst investors….

…. The deficit is now only 4% of the GDP, down from over 10% at the end of Bush’s administration …. major strides in health care reform – something no other President has accomplished – has given American’s more faith in their future, and an increased willingness to invest.

… By all measures, President Obama has outperformed every modern President.

Full post here

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@bcarrz

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Jon Favreau: How Obama Handles Crisis – The handwringers and bed wetters in the D.C. punditocracy should know that Barack Obama will never be on their timeline…..

Read here

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Click here to see the rest of the post

23
Apr
13

This and That

President Obama presents the 2013 National Teacher of the Year award to Jeff Charbonneau, a high school science teacher from Zillah, Washington, during a Rose Garden event at the White House

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Line of the day? Charles Pierce on Max Baucus: “…. the pestilential trout-mask replica from Montana…”

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Steve Benen: ….. I’d like the folks holding Obama responsible [for gun reform] to consider a look at the recent past. In 2009 and 2010, the White House and Congress successfully approved the Recovery Act, a health care reform law 100 years in the making, Wall Street reform, DADT repeal, student loan reform, New START ratification, credit card reforms, and food-safety reforms. Are those inclined to blame Obama for gun reform’s failure prepared to argue that the president simply forgot how to twist arms in 2011? That he knew how to persuade lawmakers before, but the skill suddenly vanished?

Or is it more likely that congressional Republicans changed the game after the 2010 midterms?

I also believe there’s an ongoing reluctance among many to appreciate the scope of Republican radicalization. For many, especially in media, there’s an assumption that there are two major, mainstream political parties — one center-left, the other center-right — and an effective president can govern through competent bipartisan outreach.

Those assumptions are wrong….

Full post here

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14
Mar
13

Leadership Is Action

Smartypants: Why President Obama Wants A Grand Bargain

A couple of weeks ago at his press conference, President Obama called the sequester cuts that just went into effect – providing an additional $1.2 trillion in savings – “dumb.” The reason he said that is because they don’t tackle the one thing that is driving those upward spikes…health care costs.

While the Affordable Care Act was an historic step toward getting health care costs under control, there is still more that we can do to realize efficiencies, cut waste, and improve Federal health care programs. Most importantly, we can make modest adjustments to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid in a way that does not undermine the fundamental compact they represent to our nation’s seniors, children, people with disabilities, and low-income families. For this reason, the President’s Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction included proposals to save approximately $320 billion in federal health spending over the next decade. As these reforms save money, they also will strengthen these vital programs so that they are robust and healthy to serve Americans for years to come…

Read more here: http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2013/03/why-president-obama-wants-grand-bargain.html

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Steve Benen: Boehner Still Waiting For Others To Lead.

When it comes to power in Washington, John Boehner isn’t exactly a hapless schlub, at least not on paper. He’s the Speaker of the House, second in the presidential line of succession, and ostensibly the most powerful member of the legislative branch of government. He has a powerful megaphone, a sizable House majority, and the capacity to have an enormous impact on policymaking.

Left unsaid: John Boehner, despite his power and authority, isn’t leading, doesn’t want to lead, has no intention of leading, and doesn’t even know how to lead — which is precisely why he keeps waiting for the White House and Senate to do the real work while Boehner waits patiently (or as evidenced by this op-ed, perhaps not so patiently) on the sidelines.

Let’s make this easy for the Speaker: (1) Name one budget issue on which you and your party are prepared to compromise; (2) Name one concession you and your party are willing to accept in exchange for a related Democratic concession.

Read more here: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/03/14/17314069-boehner-still-waiting-for-others-to-lead?lite

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04
Mar
13

Rise and Shine

@VP: VP and @repjohnlewis join in the annual crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama

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Today:

10:15: President Obama makes personnel announcements (White House live * C-Span)

10:15: VP Biden delivers remarks at the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (C-Span)

11:10: The First Lady joins her first ever Google+ Hangout (White House live)

12:0: Jay Carney briefs the press

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President Obama will announce Monday he has selected Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency and MIT physics professor Ernest Moniz to head the Energy Department …. the President is also scheduled to announce he has selected Walmart Foundation President Sylvia Mathews Burwell as head of the Office of Management and Budget.

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Michael Tomasky: Why does Bob Woodward get to lie — twice! — and still be Bob Woodward? And why is it that the Republicans can be so intransigent and Barack Obama gets blamed? Michael Tomasky explains.

Woodwardgate got me reflecting on the question of Washington morality. Now yes, that’s an oxymoron if ever there was one. But surely there is some set (however bizarre) of impulses and rules that lets Bob Woodward say what he said, and Politico promote it as if it were a feud between two soap opera stars, with both walking away essentially unharmed, as they likely will …..

More important than that, there must be a set of impulses and rules that observes what has been going on in this town for the last four years, with Republicans being the most obstructionist opposition in the country’s modern history, and yet somehow contrives to blame Barack Obama for the fact that our government can’t function…..

Full post here

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Paul Krugman: Ezra Klein mans up and admits he was wrong. He had written a piece suggesting that if only Republicans knew how much Obama has been willing to offer, they might be willing to make a deal. Jonathan Chait set him straight, informing him that no matter what Obama put on the table, Republicans would find a way to say that it’s not enough. And sure enough, a Twitter exchange lets Klein watch that process in real time, as a top Republican consultant, confronted with evidence that Obama has already conceded what he said was all that was needed, keeps adding more demands.

….. the centrist pundits keep demanding that Obama offer what he has already offered, and condemn both sides equally (or even place most of the blame on Obama) for the failure to reach a deal. Again, informing them of their error wouldn’t help; their whole shtick is about blaming both sides, and they will always invent some reason why Obama just isn’t doing it right.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: Watching House Speaker John Boehner on “Meet the Press” yesterday, it was hard not to wonder about the Republican leader’s frame of mind. Given the distance between reality and his rhetoric, one question hung over the interview: does Boehner actually believe his own talking points?

For example, the Speaker insisted, “[T]here’s no plan from Senate Democrats or the White House to replace the sequester.” Host David Gregory explained that the claim is “just not true”…..

More here

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Greg Sargent: Credit where credit is due: NBC’s David Gregory did a nice job pinning down John Boehner’s evasions and falsehoods during a lengthy interview on Meet the Press yesterday.  Gregory called out Boehner for falsely claiming Dems have no plan to reduce the deficit. And Gregory didn’t let Boehner get away with suggesting Dems haven’t gotten serious about spending cuts, confronting the Speaker with the fact that they agreed to deep cuts in 2011.

But there’s still one question that I’d like to see posed to Boehner and every GOP lawmaker. It’s this: Is there any ratio of entitlement cuts to new revenues that Republicans could support, and if so, what is that ratio?

More here

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LA Times: OK, so Congress hasn’t managed to pass a budget, fix the tax code or avert the automatic spending cuts of the dreaded “sequester.”

Are they getting anything done on Capitol Hill? Yes, and you’ll probably be surprised to hear where progress is being made: gun control.

…. there is a good chance that Congress will do two things: strengthen the system of background checks on gun buyers and toughen the penalties for illegal gun trafficking. In practical terms, those measures are probably more important than an assault-weapons ban, which wouldn’t affect the millions of military-style guns already in circulation……

If Congress acts on background checks and gun trafficking but fails to pass a ban on assault weapons or ammunition clips, liberals will be disappointed. But President Obama will declare it a victory — and he’ll be right.

Full article here

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Addicting Info: House Republicans Give Themselves 239 Days Off, Average American Worker Only Gets 12

… even as House Republicans portray the average American as lazy bottom feeders sucking off the government teat, they have given themselves an astonishing 239 days off this year. That means they will only work 126 days during a year when the nation has a multitude of issues to deal with.

Full post here

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Washington Post: In Florida, President Obama has nominated the first openly gay black man to sit on a federal district court. In New York, he has nominated the first Asian American lesbian. And his pick for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit? The first South Asian.

Reelected with strong support from women, ethnic minorities and gays, Obama is moving quickly to change the face of the federal judiciary by the end of his second term, setting the stage for another series of drawn-out confrontations with Republicans in Congress.

More here

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MoooOOOOooorning!

27
Feb
13

Catching Up

President Barack Obama with a three-year-old relative of Rosa Parks after unveiling a statue in her honor

Reminded me of:

Flickr

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This evening:

7:30: President Obama delivers remarks at the Business Council dinner and answer questions, Park Hyatt Hotel, Washington, DC (Pooled Press for Remarks)

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TPM

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Just catching up with reaction to what Scalia said today. Absolutely stunning. More in the morning, just a few snippets:

ThinkProgress: There were audible gasps in the Supreme Court’s lawyers’ lounge, where audio of the oral argument is pumped in for members of the Supreme Court bar, when Justice Antonin Scalia offered his assessment of a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. He called it a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.”

….It should be noted that even one of Scalia’s fellow justices felt the need to call out his remark. Justice Sotomayor asked the attorney challenging the Voting Right Act whether he thought voting rights are a racial entitlement as soon as he took the podium for rebuttal.

Full post here

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Charles Pierce: …. Sotomayor, for whom this seems very, very personal, made an argument from history that discrimination is an infinitely mutable thing and that, as soon as you find a remedy for one form of it, human ingenuity will devise three new ones…..

……it was hard not to go back to Florida, and to all the people I met who were waiting in line for six and seven hours to vote because the state had deliberately enacted policies to make it more difficult. Those policies were discriminatory. The people enacting them knew exactly what they were doing. They knew who those policies were aimed at as surely as did the county registrars administering the literacy tests did back in 1965…..

Full post here

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Greg Sargent: Judging by all the early reporting on the first round of Supreme Court arguments about a key section of the Voting Rights Act, that provision may be in real peril. Conservative justices expressed sharp skepticism of the law, with much attention being paid to Antonin Scalia’s description of it as a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.”

…. all may not be lost. That’s because proponents of the Voting Rights Act are focused mainly on holding on to Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: I’m beginning to think an infectious disease is spreading in the nation’s capital. Symptoms include memory loss (forgetting everything Republicans have done in recent years), blurred vision (an inability to see obvious GOP ploys), and an uncontrollable urge to blame “both sides” for everything, even when it doesn’t make any sense.

The disease has already affected pundits like Bob Woodward, Ron Fournier, David Brooks, nearly everyone on the network Sunday shows, and today reaches the editorial board of the Washington Post. Indeed, the Post’s editors seem to have come down with an especially acute case today, as evidenced this bang-your-head-against-your-desk editorial on the sequester, which cavalierly ignores the paper’s own reporting, and demands that President Obama “lead” by somehow getting congressional Republicans to be more responsible.

Full post here

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President Barack Obama talks with Congressional leaders prior to the Rosa Parks statue unveiling ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Feb. 27, 2013. Pictured, from left, are: Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Assistant Democratic Leader Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.; Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.; House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; and House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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First lady Michelle Obama at a “Let’s Move!” event in Clinton, Miss.

… with Rachael Ray

More in the morning

22
Feb
13

Rise and Shine

Four years ago – President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama dance while the band Earth, Wind and Fire performs at the Governors Ball in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 22, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

11:0: President Obama and VP Biden attend the Democratic Governors Association Meeting (Closed press)

11:30: Jay Carney briefs the press

12:15: President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan; VP Biden also attends

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Steve Benen: …. it’s puzzling that David Brooks based his entire column today on an easily-checked error. The conservative pundit insists President Obama “declines to come up with a proposal to address” next week’s sequester mess, adding, “The president hasn’t actually come up with a proposal to avert sequestration.”

I’ll never understand how conservative media personalities get factual claims like this so very wrong. If Brooks doesn’t like Obama’s sequester alternative, fine; he can write a column explaining his concerns. But why pretend the president’s detailed, already published plan, built on mutual concessions from both sides, doesn’t exist?

Full post here

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Jonathan Chait: ….. David Brooks today devotes his column to upholding the known truths of BipartisanThink. He lashes out at the obstinacy of the Republican Party and its refusal to compromise on the deficit. But he has to balance it out by asserting that President Obama, too, lacks any such plan….

….. This is demonstrably false. Whatever you think about the substantive merits of Obama’s plan, it does exist. Obama has a proposal to replace sequestration with long-term deficit reduction that includes a mix of entitlement spending cuts and higher revenue. He talks about it all the time…..

Full post here

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Greg Sargent: ….. some questions for the “blame it on both sides” crowd: ….. What more, if anything, could Obama actually do to win cooperation from today’s Republican Party on averting the sequester, short of giving in to the GOP demand that we replace it only with spending cuts? Republicans say no compromise to avert the sequester is acceptable. That’s not an exaggeration: It’s the party’s explicit, publicly stated position. What more specifically could Obama do to change this, short of accepting the GOP’s terms? If the answer is “nothing,” then why are both sides equally to blame?

Full post here

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NYT: President Obama is just seven days away from the first significant test of his second term as deep spending cuts loom, yet inside the White House a clear sense of confidence stands in contrast to the air of crisis that surrounded previous fiscal showdowns with Republicans.

The confrontation holds peril for both the president and Republicans. But for now, Mr. Obama believes he is acting from a greater position of strength, advisers say, pointing to several recent polls that show he holds an upper hand in the budget debate.

More here

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Read Steve Benen here

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NYT: Under pressure from the health care industry and consumer advocates, seven Republican governors are cautiously moving to expand Medicaid, giving an unexpected boost to President Obama’s plan to insure some 30 million more Americans.

The Supreme Court ruled last year that expanding Medicaid to include many more low-income people was an option under the new federal health care law, not a requirement, tossing the decision to the states and touching off battles in many capitols.

More here

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Read the stories here

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TPM: Vice President Biden told an audience Thursday in Connecticut that things have changed in the gun violence debate — the politician who has to worry now is the one who votes against new regulations on firearms purchases, rather than the one who votes for them.

That’s a big change in the conventional wisdom, which has long held that taking on the gun rights lobby is at best risky and at worst suicidal. But Biden’s not the only one saying it — Democrats are gearing up to make support for gun control a key plank in their 2014 platform.

More here

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OFA

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Read Stonekettle Station’s brilliant post on John McCain here (Thanks 99ts)

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Charles Pierce: It looks like the long slog of Chuck Hagel toward the corner office of the Pentagon …. may be coming to a successful conclusion. However, this will not happen until Huckleberry Closetcase and his followers have their say about this whole sad episode…again.

…. All 15 of the signatories to this appeal to bipartisanship are Republicans. They include some of the dimmest lights in the entire chandelier ….. Of course, the number of signatories jumps to 25 if you count all the phantoms hiding under Lindsey Graham’s divan. Many of whom appear to speak to him in Farsi.

Full post here

“Huckleberry Closetcase”? I wept.

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@TeaPartyCat

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@AriBerman

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TPM: How The Voting Rights Act, Now In Danger, Came To Pass And Shaped History

On March 15, 1965, a week after Alabama state troopers brutally attacked civil rights protesters in Selma, President Lyndon Johnson delivered a stirring speech to a joint session of Congress introducing a bill to end voter discrimination against blacks.

The law that it gave birth to, the Voting Rights Act, now hangs in the balance, with oral arguments next week before the Supreme Court. Five conservative justices are skeptical that a centerpiece of the nearly-half-century-old law is constitutional.

More here

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ThinkProgress: Rep. K. Michael “Mike” Conaway (R-TX) has been among the most vocal critics of federal spending, claiming that massive cuts would actually create more jobs. But as he publicly pushed to stop “wasteful government spending,” he privately lobbied the National Park Service to turn the childhood home of former President George W. Bush into a National Park.

More here

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Four years ago – President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama dance while the band Earth, Wind and Fire performs at the Governors Ball in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 22, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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MoooOOoooOOooorning!

21
Feb
13

Rise and Shine

A year ago: “Egged on by B.B. King, at right, the President joins in singing ‘Sweet Home Chicago’ during the ‘In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues’ concert in the East Room. Participants include, from left: Troy ‘Trombone Shorty’ Andrews, Jeff Beck, Derek Trucks, B.B. King, and Gary Clark, Jr.” Feb. 21, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

11:25: President Obama records radio interviews with Al Sharpton, Joe Madison and Yolanda Adams

12:30: VP Biden delivers remarks at a conference on gun violence at Western Connecticut State University

1:0: Jay Carney briefs the press

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Steve Benen: A new Bloomberg National Poll shows President Obama’s approval rating reaching a three-year high and public approval of Republicans reaching a three-year low. The same poll found that a plurality of Americans blame the congressional GOP, not Democrats, for “what’s wrong in Washington.”

And an interesting twist, the Bloomberg poll results aren’t the worst polling results for Republicans this morning. That prize goes to a new USA Today/Pew Research Center Poll, which suggests Americans just aren’t buying what Republicans are selling…..

Full post here

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In case you missed the link in the previous post, read Steve Benen shredding Boehner’s op-ed, point by point, here

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USA Today: President Obama’s new grass-roots advocacy group will target more than a dozen members of Congress with online ads this week for failing to voice support for his plan to expand background checks to all gun buyers….

The advertising push is part of a national day of action planned Friday by Obama’s backers to rally support for background checks. It will mark the first large-scale test of Organizing for Action’s ability to mobilize the president’s army of 2.2 million campaign volunteers to press for legislative change.

More here

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Truly, he’s the host with the most – Bo with Debi Chard of Live5 (Charleston) yesterday:

You can see the Live5 interview here – and KITV, KFOR, WCVB and CBS Baltimore (thank you Lovely Plains for all the links)

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TPM: Lost in the political fight between President Obama and Marco Rubio, is that the White House’s leaked bill is the first new proposal from anyone involved in negotiations that actually specifies its path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Given that the details of legalization are one of the most contentious issues in the process, it’s worth taking a look at what they came up with. Here are some of the highlights from the section detailing the new path to citizenship, which are part of a broader draft that also includes border security provisions and new restrictions on employers to prevent them from hiring undocumented workers.

More here

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Charles Pierce: Legend!

Charles Pierce: Things In Politico That Make Me Want To Guzzle Antifreeze, Part The Infinity

Good Christ, what does it take? A silver fking bullet?

What will it possibly take to get our courtier press to stop taking seriously the latest pronouncement from the Sinai of his own ego emitted by N. Leroy Gingrich, Definer of Civilization’s Rules And Leader (perhaps) Of The Civilizing Forces? When will they all collapse from the effort it takes to keep his Macy Parade-caliber megalomania aloft?

See here

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ThinkProgress: It’s been nearly a year since George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old on his way back to his father’s townhouse. In the weeks following the shooting, the story captured the nation’s attention, culminating with Zimmerman being charged with second-degree murder last April.

But as the story has receded from the headlines, the legal case has plodded along and the trial is likely to be completed this summer. Here’s what you may have missed….

See here

Thanks PrettyFoot

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I howled:

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Three years ago:

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama dance together during the Governors Ball in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 21, 2010. (Photo by Pete Souza)

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MooOOOooOOOoorning!




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