President Barack Obama speaks at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., about the fight against Ebola. The president is highlighting advances in research for an Ebola vaccine and pushing Congress to approve his request for $6.2 billion to confront the disease abroad and to secure against its spread in the United States
President Barack Obama tours the Vaccine Research Center with Dr. Nancy Sullivan, U.S. Secretary of HHS Sylvia Burwell, and Dr. Anthony Fauci to talk about Ebola, during a visit to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland
Four years ago: President Obama looks out the window of Marine One as it lands at the White House, May 22, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
11:0: VP Biden Gives the Commencement Address at the United States Coast Guard Academy (audio only at WH Live)
1:0 Jay Carney’s press briefing
7:25: President Obama hosts a concert honoring Gershwin Prize winner Carole King
NYT: The bipartisan immigration bill that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday has many serious hurdles ahead. It is the most serious and worthy attempt to fix immigration in a generation, but it cannot help reflecting the poisoned politics of today, with its heavy tilt toward needless border enforcement and a deficiency in equal rights.
In the most moving and wrenching moment in three weeks of committee markup, the committee’s chairman, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, sought to amend the bill to allow gay Americans to sponsor their wives and husbands for green cards. The other Democrats, including Charles Schumer of New York, implored him not to put that amendment forward, saying this measure of basic fairness would drive off Republican support and kill the entire bill. Mr. Leahy withdrew it.
With that unhappy capitulation, the bill survives, with a possible battle over same-sex marriage still to come on the Senate floor. And then the bill will need to find some path through the Republican-led House….
Jonathan Capehart: Here we go again. President Obama’s critics in the African American community are hammering him for doing nothing for black people …. this thinking drives me crazy because the president’s detractors fail to take a 360-degree view of what they are demanding from him and ignore what he’s actually done.
…. Coates’s criticism emanates from Obama’s commencement address at Morehouse College in Atlanta …. Obama spoke to the black men of Morehouse not as a distant president but as a familiar peer. He used his troubled past as a real-life example of how one’s limited circumstances are neither destiny nor a hindrance to achieving the American Dream, as they define it. He urged the graduates to not make excuses, to aim high and to give back. Yet, Coates calls this “‘convenient race-talk’ from a president who ought to know better.” Obama can’t win.
… what’s missing from most African American critiques of Obama: an appreciation for Republican resistance to his agenda. To expect the president to introduce an explicit and definable “black agenda” in a Congress filled with people who believe him to be a socialist destroying the country while illegitimately occupying the Oval Office is seriously naive.
Steve Benen: USA Today had an item today on the IRS controversy, which seemed to reinforce much of what we already know: conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status faced unfair and unreasonable scrutiny. But deep in the article, in the 18th paragraph, USA Today added seven unexpected words: “Some liberal groups did get additional scrutiny.”
NPR: The Justice Department’s subpoena of Associated Press phone records as part of an investigation into what Attorney General Eric Holder has called “a very grave leak” to the news agency has set off a political firestorm on Capitol Hill, but there’s a lot to the AP story published a year ago that started it all.
….. as NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston reports, there’s much more to the story:
“As we understood it then and still understand it, that suicide bomber that AP refers to in its story was actually a double agent working with western intelligence agencies,” Dina says.
Although the double-agent did hand the new underwear bomb technology to U.S. officials, “they had hoped the agent could do more [and] … one consequence of the story is that this agent’s identity was blown,” she says.
Andrew Sullivan: I can see no problem with the ad run by Obama on his extraordinarily ballsy decision to choose the riskiest path to get bin Laden and all the intelligence his compound contained ….. If Bush had done it, he would have jumped out of a helicopter in a jump-suit with fireworks. And it is simply true that both George W. Bush and Mitt Romney downplayed the importance of finding and bringing Osama bin Laden to justice….
….. And this was a key issue in the 2008 election …. this was a hugely successful policy opposed by McCain, opposed by Bush and opposed by Romney. No wonder they’re so upset at reality. It’s the same reaction they have when it becomes clear that Osama bin Laden was captured and killed by a president smart enough not to deploy torture, years after a bunch of thugs took over US intelligence on the orders of the panicked incompetent, Dick Cheney.
And one thing about John McCain. He actually said: “And, you know the thing about heroes, they don’t brag.” For his entire political career, McCain has done nothing but brag about his own military service, milking every last, disgusting drop for his own interests, making it the center-piece of his campaign. And he didn’t kill anyone – just crashed his plane…..
Jon Meacham: Republicans are – forgive the cliché – shocked, shocked to discover that a presidential contender is “politicizing” an important national event. In this sense, “politicizing” might be best translated as “beating us up and we don’t have anything much to say to stop it.” The ad itself raises intriguing, substantive, legitimate questions – and the ferocious, sputtering Republican reaction is proof positive that they know it, or at least suspect it.
Michael Tomasky: It couldn’t be more hilarious, watching these Republicans rend their garments over the Obama administration’s bin Laden video. Imaging the paroxysms we’d have been forced to endure if George W. Bush had iced the dreaded one is all we need to do to understand how hypocritical it all is. But what obviously gets under Republicans’ skin is not the fact of this video’s existence, but the fact that Barack Obama got him and they didn’t, which destroys their assumption of the past decade that they are “the 9/11 party.” And more than that – and this is the real story here – it’s the fact that the Democrats don’t appear to be afraid of the Republicans anymore. That, to Republicans, is what’s truly unacceptable.