Posts Tagged ‘steve



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!

20
Feb
13

Catching up with the Day

President Barack Obama sits on the famed Rosa Parks bus at the Henry Ford Museum following an event in Dearborn, Mich., April 18, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

This will be a beautiful day……

Washington Post: President Obama will head to the Capitol next week for the dedication of a new statue honoring civil rights icon Rosa Parks, a White House official confirmed Wednesday.

The statue – which will be the first of an African American woman to be placed in the Capitol — will be unveiled next Wednesday at 11 a.m. in Statuary Hall, the exhibition space that sits just south of the Capitol Rotunda.

More here

File photo of Rosa Parks attending ceremony where she was presented Congressional Gold Medal on Capitol Hill

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Thursday:

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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“I knew that I better keep my day job”:

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Stephanie Cutter’s Organizing for Action call tonight on gun violence prevention

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Vice President Joe Biden receives a bracelet from Paige Baitinger, wife of fallen St. Petersburg, Fla., police Sgt. Thomas Baitinger, following a Medal of Valor ceremony in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Feb. 20, 2013. The Vice President and Attorney General Eric Holder presented 18 recipients with the Medal of Valor, which is awarded to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect others from harm. Baitinger accepted the award on behalf of her husband who was killed in the line of duty in 2011. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

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Secretary of State John Kerry made his first public remarks regarding U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy Wednesday to students and faculty at the University of Virginia – see the speech here

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BobCesca.com: Obamacare is Working …. Projections for Medicare spending between 2011 and 2020 have fallen by $500 billion.

…. The Affordable Care Act is bringing down the cost of healthcare by challenging a culture of waste, not by throwing momma from the train.

See post here

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Hopefully, the full interview will be on Rachael Ray’s site soon – meanwhile, here’s a clip:

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WH.gov: First Lady Michelle Obama to Embark on National Tour Celebrating Third Anniversary of Let’s Move!

On February 27, 2013, First Lady Michelle Obama will kick off a two day nation-wide tour celebrating the third anniversary of Let’s Move!, her initiative to ensure that all our children grow up healthy and reach their full potential. The tour will showcase progress and announce new ways the country is coming together around the health of our children. Mrs. Obama will also travel to New York City this week to talk about the third anniversary of Let’s Move! on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Good Morning America and The Dr. Oz Show.

More here

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Steve Benen: …… John Boehner has a 900-word op-ed in the Wall Street Journal … devoted almost entirely to a desperate attempt to avoid blame …. Reading this breathtakingly dishonest op-ed, I can’t help but wonder about the House Speaker’s frame of mind. Either Boehner actually believes the transparent nonsense he wrote, which would mean the Speaker is alarmingly ignorant about the basics of current events, he’s deliberately trying to deceive the public, counting on Americans to be foolish enough to buy demonstrable falsehoods.

Either way, Boehner’s mendacious piece is a profound disappointment, and beneath the dignity of his office. If the Speaker is still capable of shame, he should be embarrassed to peddle such nonsense.

See full post here – Benen shreds Boehner’s op-ed, point by point

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Bloomberg: President Barack Obama enters the latest budget showdown with Congress with his highest job- approval rating in three years and public support for his economic message, while his Republican opponents’ popularity stands at a record low.

Fifty-five percent of Americans approve of Obama’s performance in office, his strongest level of support since September 2009, according to a Bloomberg National poll conducted Feb. 15-18. Only 35 percent of the country has a favorable view of the Republican Party, the lowest rating in a survey that began in September 2009. The party’s brand slipped six percentage points in the last six months, the poll shows.

More here

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ThinkProgress: Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), a former hospital CEO and ardent Obamacare critic, announced at a press conference Wednesday evening that he will accept Obamacare funding in order to expand his state’s Medicaid program for low-income Americans. The move comes after Scott secured a waiver to privatize the public insurance program.

The decision represents a marked departure from Scott’s previously held stance. Scott didn’t just initially oppose taking part in the expansion — which the Supreme Court ruled to be optional last summer — he knowingly cited wildly inaccurate figures to inflate the program’s cost to the state by 2500 percent in an effort to discredit it. He eventually dropped his estimate for the expansion by $23 billion in the face of intense media scrutiny…..

More here

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Not being, well, a drones ‘fan’ (is anyone??), I’m half reluctant to post this – one civilian death is too many. But, still, an interesting take on the issue:

William Saletan (Slate): In Defense of Drones – They’re the worst form of war, except for all the others.

“UN: Drones killed more Afghan civilians in 2012,” says the Associated Press headline. The article begins: “The number of U.S. drone strikes in Afghanistan jumped 72 percent in 2012, killing at least 16 civilians in a sharp increase from the previous year.” The message seems clear: More Afghans are dying, because drones kill civilians.

Wrong. Drones kill fewer civilians, as a percentage of total fatalities, than any other military weapon. They’re the worst form of warfare in the history of the world, except for all the others.

Start with that U.N. report. Afghan civilian casualties caused by the United States and its allies didn’t go up last year. They fell 46 percent. Specifically, civilian casualties from “aerial attacks” fell 42 percent….

Jet planes. Machine guns. Bombing. Drones aren’t the problem. Bombs are the problem.

More here

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Columbus Dispatch: President Barack Obama will deliver the commencement address at Ohio State University’s graduation ceremonies this year, the White House announced today.

The trip is his first scheduled trip to Ohio since he stopped in Columbus with singer Bruce Springsteen and rapper Jay-Z.

Commencement ceremonies are scheduled for noon on Sunday, May 5 at Ohio Stadium. This will be the largest class in university history and the first spring graduation on the semester system. About 12,000 students are expected to graduate that day.

More here

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AP: The Obama administration is quietly considering urging the Supreme Court to overturn California’s ban on gay marriage, a step that would mark a political victory for advocates of same-sex unions and a deepening commitment by President Barack Obama to rights for gay couples.

Obama raised expectations among opponents of the Proposition 8 ban when he declared in last month’s inaugural address that gays and lesbians must be “treated like anyone else under the law.” The administration has until Feb. 28 to intervene in the case by filing a “friend of the court” brief.

More here

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@ImAngelaBassett

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08
Feb
13

Rise and Shine

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Today:

3:45: President Obama delivers remarks at the Armed Forces Farewell Tribute in honor of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Joint Base Myer-Henderson (C-Span)

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NYT: It happened a few minutes before the beginning of Jim Langevin’s junior cadet shift back in 1980 …. A bullet ricocheted off a locker and went right through the boy’s neck, severing his spinal cord.

At 16, he would never walk again and never fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer.

Now, three decades later and seven terms into his career as one of Rhode Island’s two members of the House of Representatives, Mr. Langevin, 48, is the only quadriplegic ever to serve in Congress….

For the past month, he has been on a quiet campaign to persuade his colleagues to give up their guest passes to next Tuesday’s State of the Union address by President Obama so that victims of gun violence can attend.

That way, he said, when the nation’s highest officeholders look up from the floor of the House to those watching from the gallery, they will not be able to avoid seeing the human toll that guns can exact.

More here

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Upworthy: It’s a fact so jaw-dropping it’s unbelievable — people thought it was a crazy Internet rumor until Politifact verified it. But it’s true: More Americans have died just since 1960 from gun incidents — suicides, accidents, and homicides — than died in every war in U.S. history. The deadliest war the U.S. has ever had is the war we waged against ourselves.

Politifact: Politifact: Since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, supporters and opponents of gun control have thrown out statistics to support their point of view.

Here’s one that caught our eye, offered by liberal commentator Mark Shields on the Dec. 21, 2012, edition of the PBS NewsHour.

Shields told host Judy Woodruff, “You know, Judy, the reality is – and it’s a terrible reality – since Robert Kennedy died in the Ambassador Hotel on June 4, 1968, more Americans have died from gunfire than died in … all the wars of this country’s history, from the Revolutionary through the Civil War, World War I, World War II, in those 43 years. … I mean, guns are a problem. And I think they still have to be confronted.”……

More here

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CNN: A group of four senators working behind the scenes on a bipartisan bill to expand background checks on gun sales is making significant progress, according to sources in both parties familiar with their work.

The group includes Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, who has an A rating with the National Rifle Association, Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, a long time advocate of gun rights, and Chuck Schumer, D-New York, a long time supporter of gun control.

CNN is told the legislation they are working on would effectively require background checks on private gun purchases made with non-licensed gun dealers, according to sources in both parties. That would include closing the so-called gun show loophole.

More here

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NYT: President Obama may have run his last political campaign, but that does not relieve him of his obligations to the Democratic Party.

The president, who has a vested interest in Democrats retaining their Senate majority and trying to narrow Republican control of the House, is already making plans to return to the campaign trail. He has agreed to hold at least 14 separate fund-raising events this year, a Democratic official familiar with the plans told The New York Times, characterizing it as an “aggressive schedule.”

…. Mr. Obama will appear at 10 events outside Washington: five for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and five for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He will also host one event for each committee in Washington as well as appearing at two joint fund-raising galas for House and Senate candidates.

More here

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Reuters: A rise in exports and lower imports of oil helped push the trade deficit to its narrowest point in nearly three years in December, suggesting the economy did much better in the fourth quarter than initially estimated.

The country’s trade gap narrowed to $38.5 billion during the month, the Commerce Department said on Friday. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a deficit of $46 billion.

“Trade data for December paint a reassuring and encouraging picture of the US economy at the end of last year,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.

More here

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‘President Obama has outlined his plan for fixing our broken immigration system. Add your name to stand with the President’ – here

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BuzzFeed: One of President Obama’s two nominees Thursday for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Todd M. Hughes, would become the first out gay appeals court judge in the country, if confirmed by Congress.

Hughes currently is the deputy director of the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Civil Division at the United States Department of Justice….. The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which runs the Presidential Appointments Project to support out LGBT candidates for appointments, praised the nomination.

More here

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NYT: Cardiss Collins, who reluctantly ran for a Chicago Congressional seat left vacant when her husband died in a plane crash and went on to become Illinois’s first black congresswoman, serving for nearly 25 years as a voice for racial and gender equality and expanded health care for the poor, died on Sunday in Arlington, Va. She was 81.

….. She campaigned little but easily won the primary in April and cruised through the general election in June with 92 percent of the vote. Six years later, and after some early struggles in office — she had never considered a political career before she was thrust into one — she became chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. For much of the 1980s, she was the only black woman in Congress.

More here

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TPM: Outgoing Energy Department Secretary Steven Chu, who announced his resignation last week, took to his Facebook page Thursday to make light of an article from parody news site “The Onion” alleging that he woke up next to a solar panel after a night of partying in D.C. As Chu wrote in a post on his Facebook page:

    “I just want everyone to know that my decision not to serve a second term as Energy Secretary has absolutely nothing to do with the allegations made in this week’s edition of the Onion. While I’m not going to confirm or deny the charges specifically, I will say that clean, renewable solar power is a growing source of U.S. jobs and is becoming more and more affordable, so it’s no surprise that lots of Americans are falling in love with solar.”

More here

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Don’t miss Colbert at the end:

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Michelle Obama’s Playlist on Spotify:

People: My song with my husband: Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”

Michelle Obama: Barack and I danced to “Let’s Stay Together” at this Inauguration, and it was such a special moment for us. We had spent all day together with our family and friends at different Inaugural events, and at the end of the day the dance was really our one-on-one moment with each other. Well, each other and everyone watching on TV!

More here

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MoooOOoooOOooooorning!

27
Jan
13

60 Minutes (2007 & 2008)

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Tonight – 7.0 ET: The President and Hillary Clinton on 60 Minutes (Link to interview)

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And 2008….

26
Jan
13

Steve Silk Hurley: Inauguration Day Mix 2013

Thank you Africatimes, love this

RNBPhilly

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Thank you LovelyPlains

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Thank you Yardarm

17
Dec
12

Catching Up

Daniel Inouye 1924 – 2012

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Statement by the President on the Passing of Senator Daniel Inouye

Tonight, our country has lost a true American hero with the passing of Senator Daniel Inouye.  The second-longest serving Senator in the history of the chamber, Danny represented the people of Hawaii in Congress from the moment they joined the Union.  In Washington, he worked to strengthen our military, forge bipartisan consensus, and hold those of us in government accountable to the people we were elected to serve.  But it was his incredible bravery during World War II – including one heroic effort that cost him his arm but earned him the Medal of Honor – that made Danny not just a colleague and a mentor, but someone revered by all of us lucky enough to know him.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Inouye family.

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Ezra Klein: …. a “fiscal cliff” deal seems to be coming together … Boehner offered to let tax rates rise for income over $1 million. The White House wanted to let tax rates rise for income over $250,000. The compromise will likely be somewhere in between….

On the spending side, the Democrats’ headline concession will be accepting chained-CPI (see here), which is to say, accepting a cut to Social Security benefits…..

…. On stimulus, unemployment insurance will be extended, as will the refundable tax credits. Some amount of infrastructure spending is likely. Perversely, the payroll tax cut, one of the most stimulative policies in the fiscal cliff, will likely be allowed to lapse, which will deal a big blow to the economy…..

….. As is always the case, the negotiations could fall apart, or the deal could change. But right now, the participants sound upbeat….

More here

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Paul Krugman: It sounds as if Ezra Klein is hearing more or less the same things I’m hearing: Republicans willing to give up a lot more on tax rates, although not fully undoing the Bush tax cuts in the 250-400 range; additional tax hikes via deduction limits in a form that hits the wealthy, not the upper middle class; unemployment extension and infrastructure spending; but “chained CPI” for Social Security, which is a benefit cut.

… this contains stuff that Obama can’t get just by letting us go over the cliff: more revenue than he could get just from tax-cut expiration, unemployment and infrastructure too. But it has a cost, those benefit cuts.

Those cuts are a very bad thing, although there will supposedly be some protection for low-income seniors. But the cuts are not nearly as bad as raising the Medicare age….

…. we shouldn’t be doing benefit cuts at all; but if benefit cuts are the price of a deal that is better than no deal, much better that they involve the CPI adjustment than the retirement age….

Full post here

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President Barack Obama works with senior advisors in the Oval Office, Dec. 17. Standing, from left, are: Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs; Jeffrey Zients, Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget; and Chief of Staff Jack Lew. (Photo by Pete Souza)

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National Journal: Republicans alarmed at the apparent challenges they face in winning the White House are preparing an all-out assault on the Electoral College system in critical states, an initiative that would significantly ease the party’s path to the Oval Office.

Senior Republicans say they will try to leverage their party’s majorities in Democratic-leaning states in an effort to end the winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes. Instead, bills that will be introduced in several Democratic states would award electoral votes on a proportional basis.

….. if more reliably blue states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin were to award their electoral votes proportionally, Republicans would be able to eat into what has become a deep Democratic advantage.

All three states have given the Democratic nominee their electoral votes in each of the last six presidential elections. Now, senior Republicans in Washington are overseeing legislation in all three states to end the winner-take-all system.

More here

Charles Pierce: There is no longer any reason to believe that the Republican party has any intention of changing itself to adapt to a changing America. Every story you read to that effect is a lie. Every apparent attempt by the party to convince you that it is planning to do it is a fake. They are not planning on adapting to a changing country. What they’re planning is to change the system of presidential elections so that they never have to do so. I’m not sure it will work, but that hasn’t stopped them recently….

More here

Jonathan Bernstein: There was a lot of chatter today about National Journal’s report that national Republicans are pushing a plan to…well, there’s no other way to say it: they’re pushing a plan to rig presidential elections.

…. Fortunately, it’s unlikely that it will happen. As I’ve argued, unlike the cases in which state Republican parties have tried to strip unions of resources or engaged in gerrymanders, the incentives on this one are at cross-purposes. What’s good for the national GOP would be quite bad for Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, and probably even worse for Republican legislators and governors in those states.

More here

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E.J. Dionne: …. There was a different quality to President Obama’s response to this mass shooting, both initially and during his Sunday pilgrimage to offer comfort to the families of victims. I think I know why. It is not just that 20 young children were killed, although that would be enough.

For some months now, there have been rumblings from the administration that Obama has been unhappy with his own policy passivity in responding to the earlier mass shootings and was prepared in his second term to propose tough steps to deal with our national madness on firearms.

He spoke in Newtown in solidarity with the suffering, but pointed toward action. No, he said, we are not “doing enough to keep our children, all our children, safe.” He added: “We will have to change.”

More here

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Cagle

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Charles Pierce: ….. Too many people make too much money on guns and ammo …. Profit is what gives the NRA its real power; it lobbies less for the rights of its membership than for the right of weapons manufacturers to make a pile….

…. You want to eliminate the guns? Take the profit out of them. Take the fight to the people who make the weapons, not to the people who sell them or the people who buy the politicians so that selling them will be easier….

…. Too much of our entire national economy is based on violence — physical violence, emotional violence, environmental violence, economic violence — and there is too much profit to be made out of the production of violence. You want the violence to stop, break the people who are getting rich off it. Break their fortunes and you can break their power. The money comes first. It always does.

Full post here

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Cagle

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NY Mag: At 7:58 p.m. on Saturday evening, gun control’s newest advocate took to Twitter to call for stricter firearm legislation. “Nice words from POTUS on shooting tragedy,” wrote News Corp. boss Rupert Murdoch, “but how about some bold leadership action?” Around the same time at Fox News, one of Roger Ailes’s deputies was sending a very different message.

According to sources, David Clark, the executive producer in charge of Fox’s weekend coverage, gave producers instructions not to talk about gun-control policy on air. “This network is not going there,” Clark wrote one producer on Saturday night….

More here

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The NRA’s A team:

See more at the Washington Post

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Steve Benen: With gun legislation practically non-existent in recent years, it’s easy to forget that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), before he became his caucus’ leader, voted against the assault weapons ban. But in light of Friday’s violence, Reid is joining his Democratic colleagues in looking anew at possible changes.

More here

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Link

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13
Dec
12

Susan Rice

Steve Benen: It’s always a shame when a smear campaign works. Today, Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration for Secretary of State, and President Obama issued a statement acknowledging that he’s accepted her decision.

    “For two decades, Susan has proven to be an extraordinarily capable, patriotic, and passionate public servant. As my Ambassador to the United Nations, she plays an indispensable role in advancing America’s interests. Already, she has secured international support for sanctions against Iran and North Korea, worked to protect the people of Libya, helped achieve an independent South Sudan, stood up for Israel’s security and legitimacy, and served as an advocate for UN reform and the human rights of all people.

    “I am grateful that Susan will continue to serve as our Ambassador at the United Nations and a key member of my cabinet and national security team, carrying her work forward on all of these and other issues. I have every confidence that Susan has limitless capability to serve our country now and in the years to come, and know that I will continue to rely on her as an advisor and friend. While I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character, and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment to put our national interests first. The American people can be proud to have a public servant of her caliber and character representing our country.”

…. Her GOP detractors treated Rice as a partisan pawn to be eliminated, in the hopes of embarrassing the White House. The real embarrassment is the baseless smear campaign that’s unfolded over the last month — and the fact that it ultimately worked as planned.

Full post here

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Oh boy, this one hurts. No words.

11
Dec
12

Catching Up

First Lady Michelle Obama at the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots campaign, which collects toys for needy children, at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, December 11

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Greg Sargent: Until today, it was not certain whether Republicans would stage another showdown over the debt ceiling. They were said to be thinking about it, but reports carefully noted no decision had been made. However, Mitch McConnell today publicly confirmed that it’s on.

….. this is not an explicit declaration that Republicans will refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless they get the spending cuts they want. But it is certainly a threat to do this.

Pay close attention to how this is covered …. raising the debt ceiling is not merely giving Democrats something they want. It is averting a threat to the economy and to the whole country. Top Republicans have admitted this….

More here

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Quote of the day – Stephen Colbert: “My network contract prohibits me from taking on another full-time job. So the Senate would be perfect.”

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Steve Benen: When it comes to voter-suppression techniques, Republicans generally maintain a certain pretense, at least in public. They argue that measures such as voter-ID laws aren’t about blocking Americans’ access to their own elections, but rather, about preventing imaginary fraud. The defense isn’t compelling, but GOP officials generally repeat it with a straight face.

Once in a great while, however, a Republican will slip and tell the truth…..

More here

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Washington Post: Three things you should know about Rob Nabors:

Click to see the rest of the post

04
Dec
12

This and That

President Obama meets with members of the Governors Association Executive Committee, including Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, December 4

(Judging by other pics, PBO was looking at Scott Walker in this one …. me likes the ‘four more years’ grin)

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Wednesday:

10:50: President Obama delivers remarks to members of the Business Roundtable and answers questions

3:05: Delivers remarks at the 2012 Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of Interior

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Kevin Drum (Mother Jones): Here is PPP on their finding that 49 percent of Republicans think ACORN stole the election for Obama….

This is a modest decline, but perhaps smaller than might have been expected given that ACORN doesn’t exist anymore.

…. In other news, they found that 25 percent of Americans claim to have an opinion about the Panetta-Burns plan, which they just made up. Fun times.

More on the, eh, Panetta-Burns plan at the Washington Post

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Senate.gov

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Charles Pierce: …. the senior members of the Republican party reminded us today that, no matter how much lipstick they slather on the pig in order to fool the more credulous members of the courtier media, the heart of their party is still black and withered and smells of death and corruption.

…. This is what prevails when you scratch down beneath the pretty surface — a party so completely fking unhinged that it thinks that a treaty on the rights of disabled people is some sort of one-world plot to steal the liberty of a third-rate moron like Jim Inhofe. …. They simply do not care. Their prejudices and their paranoia must have pride of place over any help to be given to the less fortunate among us….

…. I can hardly wait for the next Beltway hummer in which Rubio is promoted as “the changing face of the Republican party.” They can’t stand up to the lunatic base because the lunatic base is all they have.

Full post here

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TPM

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Steve Benen: Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole made a rare Senate appearance this morning, sitting in a wheelchair just off the floor so that members would have to see him as they entered the chamber. Why? Because they were poised to vote on ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and Dole hoped to send a message.

It didn’t work. The Senate killed the treaty this afternoon, with a final vote of 61 to 38, which seems like a lopsided majority, but which fell short of the two-thirds necessary for ratification. Eight Republicans broke ranks and joined Democrats in support of the treaty, but the clear majority of the Senate GOP voted to block it.

Full post here

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Wey hey, one of Reuters photos of the year:

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Lines of the day ….

Charles Pierce: “Mike Huckabee …. the de-bloated god-bothering whackaloon who is occasionally mistaken for a nice guy.”

Bob Costas responds to Fox News attacks: “Sometimes The Quality Of The Thinking Of Those Who Oppose You Speaks For Itself.” (See video at Media Matters)

…. Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades said as soon as Ryan and Romney started campaigning together, during his daily calls with Romney “it was like talking to your buddy who just met a girl and is giddy.” Romney pollster Neil Newhouse said when he saw the chemistry of Ryan and Romney together, he thought, “it was like a bromance.” (Lynn Sweet)

:???:

03
Dec
12

“A Christmas wish list written by kids without access to calculators”

President Obama participates in a Twitter live question and answer session in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 3. (Pete Souza)

Read all the President’s Twitter replies today here

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Steve Benen: …. Under this proposal, Republicans would keep all of the Bush-era tax rates, but accept $800 billion in new revenue. How? Through “pro-growth tax reform that closes special-interest loopholes and deductions while lowering rates.”

From there, the GOP leaders want to cut $600 billion from Medicare and Medicaid; cut $300 billion from mandatory programs; cut $200 billion by changing the consumer price index; and then cut another $300 billion in further discretionary spending.

To call this a “counteroffer” is to strip the word of meaning … This isn’t a “counteroffer”; it’s a Christmas wish list written by kids without access to calculators.

Full post here

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Michael Tomasky: So, the House Republicans made their counter-offer today. But it’s not much of a counter-offer. Josh Barro of Bloomberg identifies three problems: 1, zero specifics; 2, what description there is of the tax numbers doesn’t add up; 3, it doesn’t really avert the fiscal cliff….

…. It’s always the same story with these people. They have these policy goals that they know are quite unpopular outside their besotted 30 percent, so they’ll never put specifics to them until the last possible second. But until then, anyone would be a fool to trust them. The only thing they really care about is cutting high-end tax rates, but they know full well that they can’t say that, so they make us all play these silly games.

…. Let’s keep remembering, folks, that they’re going through all these contortions basically so as not to raise the top tax rate 4.6 percent on taxable income above $250,000, which a little less than 2 percent of the population even has. Deeply unserious people.

Full post here

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Josh Barro (Bloomberg): House Republicans are out with their response to the President’s opening bid on the fiscal cliff, and it’s not very impressive. Here are three big problems with the letter they sent to the White House:

1. It’s not really a proposal – it’s just a set of headline numbers without specific policies….

2. The description of tax reform makes little sense…

3. The proposal does not fully avert the fiscal cliff …. it would only partly delay the implementation of austerity measures (tax increases and spending cuts) into future years when the economy is stronger.

…. The letter also says nothing about the payroll tax holiday or extended unemployment insurance benefits, both of which Republicans likely want to sunset. As such, this proposal only constitutes a partial aversion of the fiscal cliff, which would mean a drag on economic growth in 2013.

Full post here

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@AriMelber

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Erskine Bowles: While I’m flattered the Speaker would call something “the Bowles plan,” the approach outlined in the letter Speaker Boehner sent to the President does not represent the Simpson-Bowles plan, nor is it the Bowles plan. In my testimony before the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, I simply took the mid-point of the public offers put forward during the negotiations to demonstrate where I thought a deal could be reached at that time.

More here

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Dan Pfeiffer: “The Republican letter released today does not meet the test of balance. In fact, it actually promises to lower rates for the wealthy and sticks the middle class with the bill. Their plan includes nothing new and provides no details on which deductions they would eliminate, which loopholes they will close or which Medicare savings they would achieve. Independent analysts who have looked at plans like this one have concluded that middle class taxes will have to go up to pay for lower rates for millionaires and billionaires.

While the President is willing to compromise to get a significant, balanced deal and believes that compromise is readily available to Congress, he is not willing to compromise on the principles of fairness and balance that include asking the wealthiest to pay higher rates.  President Obama believes – and the American people agree – that the economy works best when it is grown from the middle out, not from the top down.  Until the Republicans in Congress are willing to get serious about asking the wealthiest to pay slightly higher tax rates, we won’t be able to achieve a significant, balanced approach to reduce our deficit our nation needs.”

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Steve Benen: If a video like this one seems familiar, it’s because this is exactly the sort of clip Obama for America routinely released in the weeks and months leading up to Election Day. Yesterday, however, the same campaign organization put this clip online for President Obama’s new fight.

…. I’m nearly as interested in its existence as I am its message …. Team Obama is hoping to approach the second term very differently from the first, and that’s especially true of dealing with Congress….

… This time, the president is taking a new negotiating posture, hosting public events outside the Beltway, and utilizing his campaign structure in the hopes of shifting public attitudes…..

Full post here

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Thanks UT

30
Nov
12

Rise and Shine

Cagle

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10:10: President Obama departs the White House

11:0: VP Biden attends the inaugural speech of President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico at the National Palace

11:05: PBO arrives in Philadelphia

11:45: Tours The Rodon Group manufacturing facility

12:05: Delivers remarks

2:00: Departs Philadelphia

2:55: Arrives at the White House

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NYT: Timothy Geithner presented John Boehner a detailed proposal on Thursday to avert the year-end fiscal crisis with $1.6 trillion in tax increases over 10 years, $50 billion in immediate stimulus spending, home mortgage refinancing and a permanent end to Congressional control over statutory borrowing limits.

The proposal, loaded with Democratic priorities and short on detailed spending cuts, met strong Republican resistance …. the details show how far the president is ready to push House Republicans. The upfront tax increases in the proposal go beyond what Senate Democrats were able to pass earlier this year….

…. Senate Democratic leaders left their meeting with Mr. Geithner ecstatic. If the Republicans want additional spending cuts in that down payment, the onus is on them to put them on the table, said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader.

Full article here

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Steve Benen: President Obama had to endure some deeply unpleasant experiences with Congress over the last couple of years, but the result of the incidents taught him valuable lessons. It’s clear, especially after last year’s debt-ceiling crisis, that the president now knows exactly how to negotiate with reckless, radicalized Republicans.

…. The days of preemptive concessions and negotiating from a defensive crouch are over …. Obama is acting like a confident, re-elected president who expects congressional Republicans to start moving in his direction, not the other way around. GOP leaders aren’t accustomed to this dynamic, but it’s probably time they adapt to their new surroundings.

….  Republicans desperately want the president to negotiate with himself …. Obama clearly isn’t willing to play that game anymore.

Full post here

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Greg Sargent: … the White House position is that it has laid out what it wants in the way of new revenue and spending, and that it’s now up to Republicans to detail their bottom line on cuts. It’s the GOP’s turn now. This opening bid will cheer liberals – it strongly suggests the White House is willing to push Republicans very hard, in the belief that it has all the leverage.

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Cagle

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The Daily Dolt: Humanity’s most divisive figure, Barack Hussein Obama, is set to become the first president since Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 to win over 51% of the popular vote twice. The Great Divider is currently at 50.9% of the popular vote, and his lead continues to expand as results are still being tallied.

….. now we shall commence with the childish, entirely unprofessional gloating segment of this blog post:

Suck it, Marco Rubio. Suck it, Mitch McConnell. And suck it, Reince Priebus.

That is all.

Full post here

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Completely random pic:

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Mooooooorning everyone! Happy Friday:

28
Nov
12

Rise and Shine

Completely random pic

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11:30: President Obama delivers remarks at an event at the White House attended by “middle class Americans who would see their taxes go up if Congress fails to act”

12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press

3:0: PBO & VP Biden hold a cabinet meeting

4:45: PBO & VP Biden attend a meeting with business leaders

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Steve Benen: As fiscal talks continue in Washington, Republicans are already facing several disadvantages. Not only is President Obama holding a stronger hand — with looming tax hikes, he clearly has more leverage — polls show the American mainstream more likely to blame the GOP if talks fail.

But for Republicans, it gets worse. They have fairly specific policy goals in mind, but haven’t persuaded the public at all. Consider the results of the new ABC News/Washington Post poll, which I turned into a chart.

Full post here

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Cagle

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Washington Post: The White House signaled Tuesday that it will try to marshal the momentum from President Obama’s reelection triumph into another victory at the negotiating table, launching a full-fledged public relations effort to avoid a “fiscal cliff” that could jolt the nation back toward recession.

Administration officials said Obama will hit the road this week for a campaign-style series of events with ordinary Americans, including a visit to a toy manufacturer in suburban Philadelphia on Friday. That trip and others will be aimed at increasing pressure on Congress to reach an agreement on heading off a series of automatic spending cuts and tax increases that are scheduled to begin in January.

The push comes as top Democratic and Republican leaders work to avoid a standoff on the issue, which includes debate about Obama’s insistence that tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans enacted by President George W. Bush should expire.

More here

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Greg Sargent: In another big development this morning, Rep. Tom Cole is privately urging fellow Republicans to acquiesce to Dems and extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class – then fight over the high end ones. Cole admits:

“Some people think that’s our leverage in the debate. It’s the Democrats’ leverage in the debate.”

This matters: Cole doesn’t typically break from GOP orthodoxy; it may mean GOPers really are coming to terms with who has the leverage here.

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Well, the one thing you have to give the spotlight-humpers currently trying to make a meal out of the career of Susan Rice is they’re nothing if not predictable.

Rice, and acting CIA director Michael Morell, took time out of their busy schedules to go up to Capitol Hill and soothe the wounded fee-fees of John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and the inexplicable Kelly Ayotte …. who apparently has been adopted by Grumpypants and Huckleberry Closetcase because they can convince her that Susan Rice went to prom with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. So Rice and Morell give them the courtesy of a meeting that these three had no real right to demand, and this is what we get from Huckleberry when the meeting is over…..

….. This whole long con has passed now into the realm of pure McCarthyism …. No details. Nothing specific. Just John McCain, being troubled, as he has been since the country declined to make him its president…..

Full post here

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Steve Benen: At this point, when it comes to the political controversy surrounding the Benghazi attack, I’m no longer know what Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is complaining about. He’s raised questions, which have been answered. He’s raised theories, which have been debunked. He’s smeared Susan Rice, but he knows her only crime is sharing credible intelligence on a Sunday show.

And yesterday, the Republican senator’s descent into incoherence reached new depths.

Full post here

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Completely random fierce pic:

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Morning everyone!

01
Nov
12

Rise and Shine

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EDT

9:20: The President departs the White House

10:35: Arrives Green Bay, Wisconsin

10:40: Delivers remarks at Austin Straubel International Airport, Green Bay

11:45: Departs Green Bay

PDT

1:15: Arrives Las Vegas

2:10: Delivers remarks at Cheyenne Sports Complex, Las Vegas

3:25: Departs Las Vegas

MDT

5:55: Arrives Denver, Colorado

7:0: Delivers remarks at Coors Events Center, Denver

8:45: Departs Denver

EDT

1:05: Arrives Columbus, Ohio where he will stay overnight

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Steve Benen: If the White House hopes to see initial unemployment claims drop just before the election, officials got their wish. The new figures from the Department of Labor – the last report before Election Day – show a move in the right direction:

Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 363,000 in the week of Oct. 21-27, keeping them in a range that indicates little change in U.S. hiring patterns over the past few months. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected claims to fall to 365,000. Initial claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 372,000 from an original reading of 369,000, based on more complete data collected at the state level, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

More here

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Cagle

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Toledo Blade: In the fi­nal few days of the pres­i­den­tial con­test, Mitt Rom­ney ev­i­dently rec­og­nizes that his op­po­si­tion to the fed­eral res­cue of Gen­eral Mo­tors and Chrysler is costing him voter sup­port he needs in Ohio and Mich­i­gan. So the Re­pub­li­can nom­i­nee is con­duct­ing an ex­er­cise in de­cep­tion about auto-in­dus­try is­sues that is re­mark­able even by the stan­dards of his cam­paign.

…. Mr. Rom­ney’s own words make clear he is no friend of the auto in­dus­try, on which Ohio re­lies for one of ev­ery eight jobs. Vot­ers in Ohio and Mich­i­gan — and the na­tion — need to re­mem­ber that.

Full editorial here

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Cagle

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NYT Editorial: When General Motors tells a presidential campaign that it is engaging in “cynical campaign politics at its worst,” that’s a pretty good signal that the campaign has crossed a red line and ought to pull back. Not Mitt Romney’s campaign. Having broadcast an outrageously deceitful ad attacking the auto bailout, the campaign ignored the howls from carmakers and came back with more.

Mr. Romney apparently plans to end his race as he began it: playing lowest-common-denominator politics, saying anything necessary to achieve power and blithely deceiving voters desperate for clarity and truth.

….. Mr. Romney is providing a grim preview of what kind of president he would be.

Full editorial here

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Cagle

Cagle

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Greg Sargent: The chatter continues this morning about GOP Governor Chris Christie’s astonishingly effusive praise of Obama’s handling of Hurricane Sandy. After they toured the damage yesterday, Christie thanked Obama for their “great working relationship” and claimed Obama “sprung into action immediately.” The day before, Christie praised Obama’s storm response as “outstanding,” adding: “He deserves my praise, and he will get it regardless of what the calendar says.”

What’s striking about this is how directly it undermines one of the central arguments Mitt Romney is making against Obama, with only five days left until Election Day … Romney has been closing out the campaign with a series of ads claiming that he will work with Democrats to get things done in Washington and arguing that Obama utterly failed to persuade Republicans to work with him….

Now Americans are being treated to images of a Republican Governor extensively praising Obama for working with him cooperatively and displaying leadership and a propensity for quick action at a time of crisis.

More here

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President Obama and Gov Christie talk with local residents at the Brigantine Beach Community Center in Brigantine, N.J., Oct. 31

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Okay, this one’s a bit unfortunate…..

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Morning everyone ;-)

27
Oct
12

Rise and Shine

OFA

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10:50: President Obama departs the White House

12:25: Arrives Nashua, New Hampshire

2:15: Delivers remarks at a campaign rally at Elm Street Middle School, Nashua

4:30: Vice President Biden, Jill and Beau Biden campaign in Lynchburg, Virginia (live on C-Span)

5:05: President Obama departs Nashua

6:45: Arrives White House

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On Wednesday, the President will travel to Cincinnati, Ohio and Akron, Ohio for campaign events. In the evening, the President and the First Lady will welcome local children and children of military families to trick-or-treat at the North Portico of the White House.

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Col. Lawrence Wilkerson:

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Paul Krugman: For a few days there the Romney campaign was boasting a lot about having Big Mo — and the press corps actually fell for it, briefly. At this point, however, the reality seems to be sinking in: if Romney has Big Mo, it looks like this:

Despite the Denver Debacle and its aftermath, state polls are showing a clear Obama lead in the electoral college, which if anything is getting a bit stronger….

Why? Jonathan Cohn singles out the auto bailout, and rightly so. I’d add, however, that the killing of Osama bin Laden mattered too …. what the auto rescue and the bin Laden strike have in common is that they were both very courageous decisions — decisions that could easily have gone wrong, that faced lots of second-guessing. You can criticize Obama for many things (and I have, and will in future), but he showed true grit when it mattered, and now seems likely to reap the reward.

Full post here

Thank you Criquet

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Truly, Steve Benen is heroic trying to keep track of all these lies

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In case you missed it:

Link

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If you can bear to see Trump’s face, make sure you look at the clip of him on Letterman (at the very start of the video)

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Thank you Meta

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Charles Blow: The saying goes: A man is known by the company he keeps. If that is true, what does the company Mitt Romney keeps say about him?

….. Sununu has apologized, somewhat, for his racial attack on Powell’s motives. But what should we make of all this?

We have a very racially divided electorate …. I worry that Sununu’s statements intentionally go beyond recognizing racial disparities and seek to exploit them.

What does that say about Romney, and what does it say about his campaign’s tactics?

Remember: A man is known by the company he keeps.

Full article here

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Maddow Blog: ‘Susan B. Anthony would be appalled’

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Mediaite: Bill Maher used his final New Rule of the night to warn voters unhappy with President Obama of the political and social consequences of the other guy winning. Maher argued that Mitt Romney winning the presidency would not just be a victory for him, but for every Republican extremist Romney has ever supported in his recent political career. Maher said Romney “may seem like a nice fella,” but he’s “a compulsive liar whose whole life is secret” and would bring too much unwanted baggage into a relationship with America.

…. Maher also warned about the “fresh can of nuts” in Congress with wildly anti-scientific beliefs that would have more free reign under a Republican administration. Maher said that a Republican in the White House would mean the return of “Bible-thumping bullshit” in government.

More here (video at the link)

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Las Vegas, Oct 26 – report and more photos at the Las Vegas Sun. C-Span will have the video of the speech some time today – see here

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:cool:

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Cagle

McClatchy

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Moooooooorning everyone! Will catch up with emails today, I’m waaaaaaay behind.

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PS:

19
Oct
12

This and That

Salt Lake Tribune: …. From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: “Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?”

The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney’s next speech or sound bite. Politicians routinely tailor their words to suit an audience. Romney, though, is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear.

…. If this portrait of a Romney willing to say anything to get elected seems harsh, we need only revisit his branding of 47 percent of Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes….

…. our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day. The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first.

Full endorsement here

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Two-year-old Sacha Marzett waits in line to attend a campaign rally with her mother Lazette Marzett and friend Catherine Ignacio at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

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Tampa Bay Times: Four years ago, Barack Obama offered an inspiring message of hope and change to an uneasy nation bogged down in two wars and facing economic collapse. The rosy idealism quickly gave way to the harsh realities of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The recovery has proven more difficult than anyone imagined. But conditions would be far worse without the president’s steady leadership. This is not the time to reverse course and return to the failed policies of the past. Without hesitation, the Tampa Bay Times recommends Barack Obama for re-election as president.

…. We wish the economic recovery was more vigorous, and we would like the president to present a sharper vision for a second term. But Obama has capably steered the nation through an incredibly difficult period at home and abroad, often with little help from Congress. The next four years will not be easy for whoever occupies the Oval Office, but Obama has been tested by harsh circumstance and proven himself worthy of a second term.

For president of the United States, the Tampa Bay Times recommends Barack Obama.

Full endorsement here

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George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

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Click to see the rest of the post

13
Oct
12

Rise and Shine

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NYT Editorial: … From the beginning of his run for the Republican nomination, Mr. Romney has offered to transfigure himself into any shape desired by an audience in order to achieve power. In front of massed crowds or on television, he can sound sunny and inclusive, radiating a feel-good centrism. His “severely conservative” policies and disdain for much of the country are reserved for partisans, donors and the harsh ideologues who clutter his party’s base. This polarity is often described as “flip-flopping,” but the word is too mild to describe opposing positions that are simultaneously held.

…. He hasn’t abandoned or flip-flopped from the severe positions that won him the Republican nomination; they remain at the core of his campaign … All he’s doing is slapping whitewash on his platform. The immoderation of his policies, used to win favor with a hard-right party, cannot be disguised.

…. There isn’t really a Moderate Mitt; what is on display now is better described as Convenient Mitt. Anyone willing to advocate extremism to raise money and win primaries is likely to do the same to stay in office.

Full editorial here

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OFA

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You can see VP Biden’s speech in Wisconsin yesterday at C-Span

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Cagle

Cagle

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Read Steve Benen here

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ThinkProgress

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USA Today: Bruce Springsteen once said he wouldn’t perform during the 2012 presidential campaign.

The Boss has changed his mind.

President Obama’s campaign said today that Springsteen will appear along with ex-President Bill Clinton at a pro-Obama rally Thursday in Parma, Ohio.

More here

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Happy Saturday everyone ;-)

05
Oct
12

This, That and the Other

@OFA_VA: Some of these folks have been out here since 9PM last night. Excited? We think so.

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AP

George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, Oct 5

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Paul Krugman: …. Today’s full-scale freakout over a decent jobs report is a sight to behold …. it’s ridiculous to imagine that the Obama administration could arrange (on short notice, no less) to cook the jobs numbers. The sheer logistics would be impossible, plus these are civil servants who have to live under both parties.

…. The thing is, although such antics are funny in a way, they’re also menacing. By attacking anyone who presents awkward facts, the right exerts an intimidating effect. It won’t get the BLS to retract today’s jobs report, but it might bully news organizations into avoiding objective economic analysis, and maybe even into blurring their reporting right now.

So this is crazy and stupid; but it’s also scary.

More here

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Steve Benen: The death of a talking point

If I had a nickel for every time Mitt Romney has said the unemployment rate has been above 8% throughout the Obama presidency, I’d have, well, nearly as much money as Mitt Romney.

Today, however, the talking point died. The unemployment rate fell unexpectedly, dropping from 8.1% to 7.8%.

Full post here

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Cagle

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BuzzFeed

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BuzzFeed: Romney Misstates Reason For Unemployment Rate Drop:

“The reason it’s come down this year is primarily due to the fact that more and more people have just stopped looking for work.”

But the labor force has actually grown since the start of the year….

More here

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Greg Sargent: Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his vice presidential nominee has drawn national attention to Ryan’s Medicare plan. One measure of this: Rob Zerban, the Democrat challenging Ryan for his House seat in Wisconsin, has been able to raise some $770,000 for his race — outraising Ryan himself.

According to the Zerban campaign, 84 percent of his contributions come from outside Wisconsin, underscoring the intensity of feeling among Democrats nationally towards Ryan and his plan.

In this context, the new ad that Zerban is set to run against Ryan is worth watching….

More here

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Scout Tufankjian for Obama for America

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Next:

2:30: President Obama delivers remarks at Cleveland State University in Ohio

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