Posts Tagged ‘tomasky



01
May
13

This and That

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Greg Sargent: Top liberals throw their weight behind Obama’s housing pick

The news that Obama has nominated Congressman Mel Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Administration, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is potentially a huge deal, with possible long term consequences for untold numbers of struggling homeowners — and, by extension, the health of the economy. There are two key questions to be asked about Watt, who would replace the Bush-appointed Ed DeMarco, who has been widely pilloried by liberals for refusing administration requests to allow Fannie and Freddie to offer debt relief to distressed home borrowers.

More here

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President Obama congratulates U.S. Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC) after nominating him to be the next director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency

…. with Tom Wheeler, the President’s nominee to replace the outgoing Federal Communications Commission Chairman

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Charles Pierce: Noted sprawler-across-staircases Maureen Dowd has fashioned herself another Chronic Ward of a newspaper column today on her now-regular theme of what a wimpety-wimp-wimp Barry Obama is, and why she never should have let him take her to prom instead of the hunky Andrew Shepherd from The American President who, while admittedly fictional, never would take this guff from actual human beings like John Boehner and Eric Cantor …

…. Dowd once again seems to be writing from an assisted-living facility on the far side of a world Beyond The Planet Of The Ultra-Vixens.

…. It is the president’s job to get Congress to behave? Where in Article I does that part of the job description appear? It is the job of the voters not to elect morons. It is the job of the non-morons in the congressional leadership to keep the morons from driving the entire train over a cliff. When those two checks fail, as they obviously have, it still is not the job of the president to be the country’s chief moron-wrangler. I think we are heading into the endless thicket of Dowdian Daddy Issues here again…..

Full majestic post here

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14
Feb
13

Rise and Shine

Hey, what other photo would I use on this date?!

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Today:

9:35: President Obama departs the White House

11:30: Arrives in Decatur, Ga.

12:10: Visits a pre-kindergarten classroom at College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center

1:20: Delivers remarks at Decatur Community Recreation Center

2:40: Departs Decatur

4:25: Arrives at the White House

4:50: Participates in a “Fireside Hangout” with Google+ to discuss his State of the Union Address

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More here: Steve Benen

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Love this:

Michael Tomasky: …. A lot of commentators are amusing themselves by pointing out that very few of Obama’s long list of State of the Union goals are likely to make it into law while he’s in office. I say that seeing as how he’s a pretty smart man, he knows this. But he’s doing it anyway. Because he’s thinking more about history than his story, and because he understands that if he wants to be a transformational president, the change he initiates is going to have to continue well past his time – and yes, the great presidents have all thought this way.

…. Obama knows that fighting climate change and getting universal pre-school and doing something to help the working poor are big jobs, long jobs. They’re certainly not going to happen under the current legislative configuration, and they’re probably not going to happen while he’s in office ….. his play is to inch us toward those goals however he can …. He might not be the guy who’s there to sign the bill. But he’s okay with that, too.

…. If three or four of these things pass in the next four years, great, all the better. But if they pass in the eight years after he’s done, everyone will know who put them in motion. And I have little doubt Obama will be happy to share the credit with the then-sitting president, whoever she may be.

Full post here

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President Obama’s post-SOTU OFA call – thanks a million Pamela!

The sound is pretty low, so turn it up!

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NYT: President Obama’s call in his State of the Union address to “make high-quality preschool available to every single child in America” rallied advocates across the country who have long argued that inequity in education begins at a very young age.

In details that emerged early Thursday, the administration proposed that the federal government work with states to provide preschool for every 4-year-old from low- and moderate-income families. The president’s plan also calls for expanding Early Head Start, the federal program designed to prepare children from low-income families for school, to broaden quality childcare for infants and toddlers.

More here

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I’m not an Andrew Sullivan fan, but he has a pretty spectacular take-down of Rubio’s SOTU response if you’d like to read it – here

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Oh go on then, more romance:

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MoooOOOooOOOoooorning! More in a while, that was severely rushed!

06
Feb
13

The Justice Department Memo: Some Non-Hysterical Balance

Michael Tomasky:  …. I’ve now read the DoJ white paper that justifies the killing of US citizens. It’s certainly not something that makes the breast swell with pride. But it does make me wonder what I would do in this situation, and I can’t honestly come up with easy answers. While I don’t condone what the Obama administration is doing here, I’m also suspicious of high-horse denunciations, because I think the question of whether an American forfeits his due process rights when he joins an enemy army is a complicated one.

…. There’s no doubt that a sentence like “the president has the power to order the assassination of American citizens” sounds positively despotic. However, these are people who have gone off and joined Al Qaeda. If an American citizen of German descent had gone back to heimat Germany in 1934 and joined the Nazi Party and worked his way up such that he was involved in the plotting of attacks against American soldiers, and Roosevelt had order him killed, no one would have batted an eye in 1940s America…..

…  I’ve never been a hard-line civil libertarian. My civic-republican instincts cut against that, because I feel that citizenship confers not just rights but responsibilities….. There’s always the possibility of the case where we might find out too late, and a large number of Americans could die. Presidents live with that responsibility every day. If that responsibility were mine, I can’t honestly say what I’d do, and I don’t think anyone can.

Read the full post here

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

25
Nov
12

This and That

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Monday: President Obama attends meetings at the White House

Tuesday: Hosts President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico at the White House

Wednesday: Holds a Cabinet Meeting at the White House

Thursday: Meets with the 2012 Nobel Prize winners in the Oval Office

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In case you missed these articles/posts:

Washington Post: When Barack Obama published his autobiography, “Dreams From My Father,” about racial identity in 1995, he talked with his neighborhood newspaper in Illinois, the Hyde Park Citizen, about the economic disparities he had seen while exploring the world as a child and young adult.

…. That sensitivity to inequality has stuck with Obama throughout his rise in politics, from Chicago’s South Side all the way to the White House. He remains largely a pragmatist in his approach to governing. But beneath his tactical maneuvering lies a consistent and unifying principle: to use the powers of his office to shrink the growing gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else…..

Full article here

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Washington Post: Late on election night, a small melee erupted at the University of Mississippi when a group of white students frustrated by the reelection of President Obama marched outside and began shouting racial slurs at African American students. Several hundred people gathered to watch as two white students were arrested.

…. Yet even as that incident evoked ugly memories of an earlier era, Election Day in the South told a newer and more surprising story: The nation’s first black president finished more strongly in the region than any other Democratic nominee in three decades, underscoring a fresh challenge for Republicans who rely on Southern whites as their base of national support.

Obama won Virginia and Florida and narrowly missed victory in North Carolina. But he also polled as well in Georgia as any Democrat since Jimmy Carter, grabbed 44 percent of the vote in deep-red South Carolina and just under that in Mississippi — despite doing no substantive campaigning in any of those states.

Full article here

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Michael Tomasky: A new report appears to exonerate Susan Rice for public statements following the Benghazi attack. Will John McCain apologize for his reckless crusade against her? Don’t bet on it.

We don’t yet really know as a society what a person has to do to completely and utterly cancel out a record of war heroism, but we may be about to find out. If this CBS News report is even close to accurate, John McCain’s arguments of the last few weeks about Susan Rice are thrashingly demolished. He has, or should have, zero credibility now on this issue.

…. Will he stand down now from this embarrassing crusade? …. Once you’ve hopped on the Crooked Talk Express, detraining isn’t easy.

Full post here

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Campaign photos by Callie Shell:

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18
Sep
12

Rise and Shine

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Michael Tomasky: Mitt Tells Voters in Video to Drop Dead …. Sure it was a dumb move for Romney to denounce half of America. But he was just channeling today’s GOP.

…. Can he really believe this? It’s incomprehensible. And yet it’s not. This is the story conservatives have been telling themselves over and over in the Tea Party age … An inevitable consequence, I suppose, of campaigning among these people for all these years. You marinate a cherry in cheap whiskey long enough, the stink attaches.

…. It’s hard to judge the impact of this comment just yet ….. I would expect we’ll see “Obama voter — and I’m not a victim” and “I pay a higher tax rate than you, Governor!” signs at rallies by tomorrow. Indeed, the average person pays more in mere payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare (15.3 percent) than Romney paid in total taxes for the year he released his returns (13.9 percent).

I suspect an impact that’s fairly big. People on the right will blame the media. But the real culprit is the words themselves. They slander millions of hard-working Americans ….. When Romney is licking his wounds on Nov. 7, that party and movement will fire all its arrows at him. He’ll deserve a lot of them. But they will have buried him with the ignorance and rage they demanded he adopt. His chief crime will have been his weakness in failing to confront them.

More here

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@BarackObama

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Paul Krugman: The Real Romney

Oh, my. Mother Jones has what it says is a video of Mitt Romney talking to donors; it sure looks and sounds real. And it reveals a candidate who despises half the country….

….. Actually, if you look at the facts, you learn that the great bulk of those who pay no income tax pay other taxes; also, many of the people in the no-income-tax category are (a) elderly (b) students or (c) having a bad year, having lost a job — that is, they’re people who have paid income taxes in the past and/or will pay income taxes in the future. The idea that half of Americans are just grifters is grotesque.

If this is real, it’s very, very ugly.

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NY Mag

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Jonathan Capehart: Back in February, Mitt Romney stuck his ample silver foot in his mouth when he told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, “I’m not concerned about the very poor.” He went on to say, “We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of the America, the 90, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling, and I’ll continue to take that message across the nation.”

….. That one-minute-seven-second clip lays waste to Romney’s concern “about the very heart of America, the 90, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.” Worse, it reveals it to be a lie. He couldn’t care less about them, it seems. That condescending clip shows a contempt for half the country that demands an explanation from Romney.

More here

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NYT: …. Mr. Romney is absolutely correct that about half of American households do not pay federal income tax. (He is also tapping into a now long-running vein of conservative anger at those households.) But he is missing some crucial context on why they do not pay federal income tax.

The nonpartisan and highly respected Tax Policy Center derived the 47 percent number and published an excellent analysis of it last summer.

It found that about half of the households that do not pay federal income tax do not pay it because they are simply too poor…. The other half consists of households taking advantage of tax credits and other provisions, mostly support for senior citizens and low-income working families.

Put bluntly, these are not households shirking their tax liabilities. The pool consists mostly of the poor, of relatively low-income working families and of old people.

More here

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Mediaite: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney held a surprise late-night press availability to address the maelstrom surrounding hidden camera video that surfaced …

Romney offered no apology, other than to concede that his point was “not elegantly stated,” and drew a distinction between a “political process” and what he says in front of people he knows can hear him.

Nothing Romney said at the ultra-brief presser was nearly as newsworthy as the very fact that he held it, a sign of the seismic panic this clip has caused. The campaign was already reeling from a Politico story about campaign disarray that had already dominated much of today’s news cycle. The hidden camera video, taken at a May 17 fundraiser at the home of hedge fund manager Marc Leder, is only the tip  of the iceberg. Mother Jones’ David Corn has over an hour of footage from the event, which he says he will begin rolling out “soon.”

….. The decision to hold a surprise press conference at 10 pm eastern time (Romney was speaking from California) underscores the type of damage the Romney campaign fears from this tape, but it would have helped if Romney had said something that… helped….

More here

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Cagle

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Today: The President will welcome WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx to the White House to honor the team and their 2011 WNBA Finals victory. In the afternoon, the President will travel to New York City for campaign events. While in New York City, the President will tape an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman. The President will return to the White House in the evening:

11:15: Jay Carney briefs reporters at the White House.

11:30: VP Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa, IA.

1:10: President welcomes the WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx to the White House.

3:00: VP Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event at Grinnell College in Grinnell, IA.

4:40: President Obama tapes an interview for the “Late Show with David Letterman” at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York, NY.

7:40: President Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, NY.

9:45: President Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event at the 40/40 Club in New York, NY.

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Morning everyone ;-)

17
Sep
12

Rise and Shine

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Today (all times ET):

9:45: President Obama departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews

10:0: Departs Joint Base Andrews en route Cincinnati, Ohio

11:30: Arrives in Cincinnati

12:25: PBO delivers remarks at Eden Park’s Seasongood Pavilion, Cincinnati

2:25: Departs Cincinnati en route Columbus, Ohio

3:00: Arrives in Columbus

3:0 First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at the University of Florida in Gainesville

3:15: VP Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event at the Port of Burlington

4:20: PBO delivers remarks at Schiller Park, Columbus

6:40: Departs Columbus en route Joint Base Andrew

6:55: First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center

8:05: PBO arrives at the White House

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NYT

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MoveOn

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