Lots more photos here – but there are no captions, so I don’t know who most of these people are
Lots more photos here – but there are no captions, so I don’t know who most of these people are
Steve Benen is back blogging, phew! Link
11:15: First Lady Michelle Obama joins Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to announce new proposed rules regarding health care for veterans and injured service members. (CNN Live streaming)
12:15: Jay Carney briefs the press.
2:15: PBO welcomes President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia to the White House.
3:15: PBO and Michelle Obama host the Diplomatic Corps Reception.
5:30: PBO participates in an interview with YouTube and Google+ to discuss his State of the Union Address.
I never thought I’d say this: well done Jake Tapper.
In a small gathering in Midtown Manhattan on November 29th, 2007, Senator Barack Obama is asked what he would do to begin to bridge the “wealth gap” between America’s very rich and very poor:
President Barack Obama greets the 2011 Presidential Citizens Medal recipients in the Blue Room of the White House prior to a medal ceremony in the East Room, Oct. 20. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
9:30 AM President Obama signs the Korea, Panama, Colombia Free Trade Agreements and the renewal of Trade Adjustment Assistance for workers
10:30 The President attends a reception in the Rose Garden
2:30 The President honors recipients of the 2010 National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation
Andrew Sullivan: To rid the world of Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and Moammar Qaddafi within six months: if Obama were a Republican, he’d be on Mount Rushmore by now.
Ian Swanson (The Hill): Obama stands tall after the demise of Libyan strongman Gadhafi
The death of Moammar Gadhafi represents another major foreign policy victory for President Obama, who backed a months-long air campaign in Libya while facing criticism from the left and the right.
Obama stared down congressional skeptics across the political spectrum … Through it all, Obama kept his resolve.
…. On Thursday he basked in the second greatest foreign policy triumph of his administration, after the successful operation this spring that killed Osama bin Laden. Gadhafi’s death comes less than a month after the U.S. drone strike killed al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.
…. For the unwavering Obama, Thursday came the big payoff as Gadhafi’s hopes for returning to power ended in a field outside his hometown of Sirte.
…. Obama entered the Oval Office as a novice on the international stage, criticized for a naïve outlook on the world.
…. three years into his term, both the bin Laden and Libya events suggest Obama can be steely in making decisions about U.S. force, and in sticking with them.
Full article here
Jake Tapper: Have you had any difficulty discerning Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney’s precise position on the US involvement in the NATO mission in Libya?
The one consistency has been criticism of President Obama. But beyond that, he’s seemed a bit all over the Libyan map.
Position 1: Obama was weak in not doing this sooner
Position 2: (Nothing to say)
Position 3: Obama is being too aggressive
Position 4: After Gadhafi fell: Hooray! Now release the Lockerbie bomber
Position 5 – (Somewhat similar to position 1): It’s about time! The world is a better place without him!
See full post here
Washington Post: Marco Rubio’s compelling family story embellishes facts, documents show
During his rise to political prominence, Sen. Marco Rubio frequently repeated a compelling version of his family’s history that had special resonance in South Florida. He was the “son of exiles,” he told audiences, Cuban Americans forced off their beloved island after “a thug,” Fidel Castro, took power.
But a review of documents – including naturalization papers and other official records – reveals that the Florida Republican’s account embellishes the facts. The documents show that Rubio’s parents came to the United States and were admitted for permanent residence more than 2 and a half years before Castro’s forces overthrew the Cuban government and took power on New Year’s Day 1959.
The supposed flight of Rubio’s parents has been at the core of the young senator’s political identity …. he mentions his parents in the second sentence of the official biography on his Senate Web site. It says that Mario and Oriales Rubio “came to America following Fidel Castro’s takeover.”….
The real story of his parents’ migration appears to be a more conventional immigrant narrative, a couple who came to the United States seeking a better life. In the year they arrived in Florida, the future Marxist dictator was in Mexico plotting a quixotic return to Cuba.
Full article here
Michael Tomasky (Daily Beast): The economy needs help. The Democrats’ proposals are popular. And yet they’re dying in Congress. Why? Because the GOP hates Obama more than it loves America.
Maybe as early as Thursday night, the Senate will take its first vote on one bite-size piece of President Obama’s jobs bill, a $35 billion measure to fund the hiring of 400,000 teachers and a smaller number of cops and firefighters. It will fail. As usual not a single Republican will vote for it….
…. The Republican Party’s posture to the American people is this. Your opinion on issues like teachers and taxes doesn’t matter a whit to us … if you keep that man in the White House, we will block everything he and you want. Everything. And nothing will happen in this town for those next four years. The Republicans can’t say any of this, of course, but they don’t have to. People get it. It just sort of seeps out of them, like oil from a polluted stream.
I have trouble keeping lunch down when I read these jeremiads about how sad and mysterious it is that our institutions of government are failing. It’s not a mystery. One side wants them to fail. And there’s very little the other side can do about it, besides point it out, which the president has started doing – and now he’s the one being divisive! They’ve turned the world inside out.
Full article here
The video is glitchy, will get a better version tomorrow – but stick with it, Rachel was on fire
Nearly there, thank you so much everyone:
LA Times: Republican-led opposition in the Senate blocked a key element of President Obama’s jobs plan – a proposal to send $35 billion to cash-strapped states to keep public school teachers, police and firefighters on the job.
The Senate voted 50-50 late Thursday, falling short of the 60 votes needed to advance. Polls have shown the proposal is among the most popular flanks of Obama’s jobs initiative.
President Obama shakes hands with Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) after he signed the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, October 8, 2010
The Hill: Democrats Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.), who voted last week to block Obama’s full jobs measure, again sided with Republicans.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), an independent who caucuses with Democrats, also said no, citing concerns about the legislation’s cost effectiveness.
Contact Mark Pryor here
From two days ago:
Joan, in case you drop in, thinking of you, hope all’s well and you’re recovering from your surgery. Take care of yourself, see you soon.
The full interview will air tonight on “Nightline” at 11:35 ET.
President Obama talks on the phone as he greets people outside the Reid’s House Restaurant in Reidsville, N.C.
Pool report (thanks Jovie): …. For lunch on Tuesday, President Obama and his entourage stopped at Reid’s House Restaurant in Reidsville, N.C…..
….Outside of Reid’s, Obama emerged carrying a plastic bag stuffed with styrofoam food containers and worked the ropeline. He dispensed hugs, talked Panthers football, his shoes – and he talked to grandma.
Laketta Hussain, a 33 year-old from Eden, N.C. was on her cell phone as the president approached. Hussain told Obama she worked in weatherization and held out her phone, “My grandma says hi, too,” she told him.
“Hey grandma,” Obama said, taking the phone. He pulled it away to examine it. “This is an old style phone, though,” he said, holding it out for everyone to see. The pool report said it looked like a cordless phone. “I haven’t seen these in a while.”
“Alright. Grandma?” POTUS said, with the big phone back to his ear. Then he proceeded to talk to grandma.
“I appreciate you. How you been doing? You doing good? … OK. I’m doing good too. Except your granddaughter needs a new cell phone. She’s got one of these big old ones,” he said. “Ok. Alright. I’ll talk to you.” And he handed the phone back to Hussain, who told her grandma, “I had to do it.”
There were some excited women along the ropeline. “Oh my God,” one of them said to Obama, throwing her hands above her head. “I love you.”
“Well, you get a hug for that,” the president said. A woman he had passed by earlier with a handshake said she wanted a hug, too. “What about my hug?” she demanded.
Carl Schmuhl, 36, told Obama he works at Miller-Coors, a brewery in Eden. “You got some samples?” POTUS asked.
Briefing reporters in the pool van, White House press secretary Jay Carney confirmed the obvious – Obama is “clearly enjoying himself,” he said.
President Obama greets diners at Reid’s House Restaurant in Reidsville
President Obama visits Bluestone High School in Skipwith, Virginia
Students react after one of them asked President Obama if he knew singer Justin Bieber during his visit to Bluestone High School in Skipwith.
“Do you know Justin Bieber?” a girl standing in front of him piped up.
Mr. Obama, amused, said he does know Mr. Bieber and he’s a “very nice young man.”
“But,” he added, “I think he’s got a girlfriend.”
President Obama greets people who waiting along the bus route in Brodnax, Virginia
BBC: US-born radical Islamist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a key al-Qaeda leader, has been killed in Yemen, the country’s defence ministry said. Unnamed US officials confirmed the reports, but have not provided details. Awlaki, of Yemeni descent, has been on the run in Yemen since December 2007. The US had named him a “specially designated global terrorist” for his alleged role in a number of attacks and US President Barack Obama is said to have personally ordered his killing. More here
Jake Tapper: The list of senior terrorists killed during the Obama presidency is fairly extensive:
Osama bin Laden in May …. Anwar al-Awlaki today …. Earlier this month al Qaeda’s chief of Pakistan operations, Abu Hafs al-Shahri …. In August, ‘Atiyah ‘Abd al-Rahman, the deputy leader of al Qaeda…
In June, one of the group’s most dangerous commanders, Ilyas Kashmiri … In Yemen that same month, AQAP senior operatives Ammar al-Wa’ili, Abu Ali al-Harithi, and Ali Saleh Farhan ….. In Somalia, Al-Qa’ida in East Africa (AQEA) senior leader Harun Fazul….
…. Going back to August 2009, Tehrik e-Taliban Pakistan leader Baitullah Mahsud was killed in Pakistan …. In September of that month, Jemayah Islamiya operational planner Noordin Muhammad Top was killed in Indonesia, and AQEA planner Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan was killed in Somalia .. Then in December 2009 in Pakistan, al Qaeda operational commanders Saleh al-Somali and ‘Abdallah Sa’id were killed.
In February 2010, in Pakistan, Taliban deputy and military commander Abdul Ghani Beradar was captured; Haqqani network commander Muhammad Haqqani was killed; and Lashkar-e Jhangvi leader Qari Zafar was killed …. In March 2010, al Qaeda operative Hussein al-Yemeni was killed in Pakistan, while senior Jemayah Islamiya operative Dulmatin was killed during a raid in Indonesia.
In April 2010, al Qaeda in Iraq leaders Abu Ayyub al-Masri and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi were killed …. In May, al Qaeda’s number three commander, Sheik Saeed al-Masri was killed …. In June 2010 in Pakistan, al Qaeda commander Hamza al-Jawfi was killed.
Remember when Rudy Giuliani warned that electing Barack Obama would mean that the U.S. played defense, not offense, against the terrorists?
If this is defense, what does offense look like?
Marc Ambinder (The Atlantic): A few months after Barack Obama took office, CIA analysts monitoring the Middle East received an unusual request from the National Security Council. The president had appreciated the in-depth country profiles the intelligence community had prepared for him to read. But there was something missing. The white papers all assessed what various groups within each country didn’t like about the United States – but there was very little about what they admired. So that’s what Obama wanted to know: What do Yemenis, Qataris and Egyptians like about the U.S.?
The answer, in the case of Egypt, was the American education system. The competition for visas to study inside the U.S., particularly among those with a bent toward the hard sciences, was fierce. And it was considered a point of pride for a family member to brag about his brother studying overseas.
The National Security Council and the State Department turned this nugget of insight into policy: Obama would expand the number of educational visas available to qualified Egyptian students. The State Department would increase its direct outreach to Egyptians; it would hold entrepreneurship and science summits, and would convene gatherings of Egyptians to meet with visiting American scientists. As the White House’s focus turned to Egypt late last week, the aspirations of young Egyptians were very much on the president’s mind … After Tunisia, the intelligence community, the diplomatic community and the White House all anticipated that protests would spread …. Egypt was simply the most logical candidate for unrest….
Full article here
BWD posted this article on The Only Adult In The Room – and if you read it you’ll see why ‘The Only Adult In The Room’ is so appropriate. It’s absolutely fascinating, a real insight in to how the President is dealing with this crisis as carefully and thoughtfully as possible.
Meanwhile, the media bleats cluelessly, completely ignorant of just how delicate this situation is, or how far-reaching the consequences might be in the Middle East. Unless the President announces he’s nuking Mubarak and/or the Muslim Brotherhood they’ll conclude he’s not being pro-active enough. Aw, sounds, like they’re lonesome for Bush.
Did you hear them whinging today at Robert Gibbs’ press conference? The President isn’t being made available to them to answer questions on how he’s responding to the crisis! So, the most critical thing here – more critical than the future of Egypt! – is that the President reveal to Jake Tapper, Chuck Todd and their buddies the nature of the careful work being done behind the scenes? Right.