President Barack Obama talks with Inaugural National Citizen Co-Chairs in the Oval Office, Jan. 18, 2013. Steve Kerrigan, CEO of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, listens at right. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
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
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….
Quote of the day – Stephen Colbert: “My network contract prohibits me from taking on another full-time job. So the Senate would be perfect.”
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…..
Marine One lands at the White House as President Barack Obama returns from a day trip to Michigan, Dec 10
9:45: The President and Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
1:00: Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney
NYT: The decline of the middle class in this country has paralleled that of the labor movement, which has been battered by the relentless efforts of business groups and Republicans to drive down wages, boost corporate profits and inflate executive salaries and bonuses. Now that campaign is on the verge of a devastating victory in Michigan, home of the modern labor movement, which could transform the state’s economy for the worse.
On Tuesday, the Republican-controlled Legislature is expected to pass a law that would allow workers to avoid paying dues to a union that represents their shop. Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, has reversed an earlier position and said he would sign the law….
….. As President Obama said on Monday, “These so-called ‘right-to-work’ laws, they don’t have to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics. What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money.”
Mr. Snyder’s turnabout shocked workers in his state, and Democratic officials have spent the last few days urging him to reconsider and prevent a needless drive to the bottom. By withholding his signature, he can ensure that Michigan remains both the birthplace and the economic foundation of middle-class security.
Greg Sargent: If anyone had doubts that President Obama would speak out against Michigan’s new “right to work” initiative, he set them to rest during an event in that state ….
…. [he] hit all the right notes. He pointed out that “right to work” laws are not about boosting the economy, but about crippling the political opposition; that they are not about freedom, but about weakening workers’ ability to organize for better pay; that unions have long played a critical role in providing a path to the middle class; and that investing in a trained, well represented work force is the way to produce a broadly shared prosperity – rather than a “race to the bottom” – that is better for the country as a whole….
Market Watch: Some bad news for Republicans trying to hold back tax increases on the wealthy as part of a fiscal cliff deal: A Politico/George Washington University Battleground Poll finds that 60% of likely American voters favor raising taxes on households making more than $250,000 a year.
That support dovetails neatly with President Barack Obama’s position – a stance that some Republicans are grudgingly coming around to….
The poll found that only 38% believe the Republicans’ argument that raising taxes on households earning more than $250,000 would hurt the economy, whereas 58% don’t buy it…..
June 11, 2011: “The top photograph shows the President having a water gun fight with his daughter Sasha on her birthday weekend at Camp David. Unbeknownst to me, David Lienemann captured a similar photo of the Vice President on the very same day.” (Official White House Photos by Pete Souza and David Lienemann)