Posts Tagged ‘tucson

12
Jan
14

Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Obama hugs first lady Michelle Obama after speaking at a memorial service at McKale Center on the University of Arizona campus, Jan. 12, 2011, in Tucson, Ariz

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The Week Ahead:

Monday: The President will welcome the President of Spain, Mariano Rajoy Brey, to the White House

Tuesday: The President will hold a Cabinet meeting, and in the afternoon he will welcome the 2013 NBA Champion Miami Heat to the White House to honor the team on winning their second straight championship title

Wednesday: The President will travel to Raleigh, North Carolina, for an event on the economy

Thursday: The President and First Lady will host an event at the White House on expanding college opportunity

Friday: The President will make remarks about the outcome of the review that he has led on the issue of signal intelligence

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Name: Lindsey Carmichael

Occupation: Social services, Paraolympian

Why is having health care important to you?

If I didn’t have access to health care I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like. The health care technology we have today is a blessing. The idea that we’re not sharing that with as many people as possible is crazy to me.

How did it feel to learn about the new health care options available to you?

It made me feel relieved and a little bit more in control.

Getting covered means: a piece of mind to keep living my life.

More here

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@nycjim: What Chris Christie woke up to this morning.

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Media Matters: How The Media Marketed Chris Christie’s Straight Shooter Charade

He’s been relentlessly and adoringly depicted as some sort of Straight Shooter. He’s an authentic and bipartisan Every Man, a master communicator, and that rare politician who cuts through the stagecraft and delivers hard truths.  Christie’s coverage has been a long-running, and rather extreme, case of personality trumping substance. The truth is Christie was never the Straight Shooter that political reporters and pundits made him out to be. Not even close, as I’ll detail below. Instead, the Straight Shooter story represented appealing fiction for the press. They tagged him as “authentic” and loved it when he got into yelling matches with voters.

In August of 2010, the state was shocked to discover it had narrowly missed out on $400 million worth of desperately needed education aid from the federal government because New Jersey’s application for the grant was flawed. Christie initially tried to blame the Obama administration but that claim was shown to be false. Christie’s own Education Commissioner then publicly blamed Christie for the failure to land the money. He insisted the governor, who famously feuds with the state’s teacher unions, had placed that political battle and his right-wing credentials ahead of securing the federal funds and that Christie had told him the “money was not worth it” to the state if it meant he had to cooperate with teachers. In November 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice inspector general found that while serving as U.S. attorney, Christie routinely billed taxpayers for luxury hotels on trips and failed to follow federal travel regulations.

More here

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Martin Longman: Christie Showed His Stripes As U.S. Attorney

The dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy of 2007 has been largely forgotten, but it was a very big deal at the time. It resulted in the resignations of the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, the Acting Associate Attorney General, the chief of staff for the Attorney General, the chief of staff for the Deputy Attorney General, the Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, the former acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, and the Department of Justice’s White House Liaison. It was a total disaster for the Bush administration that was the natural result of a conspiracy to deliberately politicize the Justice Department. The U.S. Attorneys who were fired were fired for insufficient partisan zeal. In some cases, they refused to open meritless voter fraud cases. In other cases, they wouldn’t open meritless investigations on Democratic politicians. In still other cases, they were actually investigating lawbreaking by Republicans.

So, one of the takeaways from the scandal was that the U.S. Attorneys who weren’tdismissed were incredibly suspect. The attorneys who were found acceptable to the Bush administration were the ones who would launch phony investigations against innocent people and who would cover up criminal activity if is was carried out by Bush’s allies. Chris Christie was a U.S. Attorney who passed that test. He was considered sufficiently corrupt (or corruptible) to remain a U.S. Attorney in Alberto Gonzales’s (and Karl Rove’s) Justice Department.

More here

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Adario Strange: 5 Hospitalized After West Virginia Water Contamination Crisis

Five people have been hospitalized following a major water-contamination crisis in West Virginia, according to local news reports. Although the exact reasons for the hospitalizations have yet to be confirmed, local reports suggest that the patients’ symptoms could have been caused by chemical contamination of the water supply. Government officials in West Virginia declared a state of emergency on Thursday in nine counties due to water contamination that has impacted over 300,000 local residents. Due to the contaminated supply, residents in the affected areas have been unable to drink tap water or use it to bathe, cook or even wash clothes for several days.

The situation reached a critical point Thursday when residents of Kanawha County reported smelling a licorice smell in the air, which was traced back to a 35,000-gallon chemical storage tank based near the Elk River. Operated by Freedom Industries, the storage tank reportedly overflowed and eventually contaminated the water supply maintained by the West Virginia American Water Co. plant, according to CNN. Freedom Industries president Gary Southern held a televised press conference Friday during which he answered questions about the accident, while sipping a bottle of Aquafina water. “At this point, Freedom Industries is still working to determine the amount of 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol, or Crude MCHM, a chemical used in processing coal, that has been released, as the first priority was safety, containment and cleanup.”

More here

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BBC: BP Loses Bid Over Gulf Oil Payouts

BP has lost an appeal to cancel the terms of its multi-billion-dollar settlement with businesses over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster. A US federal appeals court on Saturday upheld the terms of the original 2012 settlement. The UK oil giant has supported compensation for businesses harmed by the disaster.

But it argued that the terms of the existing deal meant that some huge sums were being paid for false claims. In 2012, BP agreed to make payments to those who suffered economic losses as a result of the disaster aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which triggered the worst offshore oil spill in US history. The blast killed 11 workers and released an estimated four million barrels of oil into the gulf.

More here

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The Economist: He May Be Getting Somewhere, After All

FEW believed that John Kerry, the American secretary of state, would manage to haul the Israelis and Palestinians back into the negotiating room, let alone get them to discuss anything of substance. Yet six months since talks began, he may be able to present, within weeks, a “framework agreement”, after which final details must be hammered out. Diplomats who had mocked his dogged prophetic conviction now sound shocked by his progress. Rejectionists on both sides who quietly presumed that the process would collapse under its own weight now express alarm. Consternation and confusion are visible on the faces of some ministers in Binyamin Netanyahu’s Israeli government.

Mr Kerry’s methodical midwifery may be paying off. His team of 120, including four generals, has almost as great a command of detail as do the Israelis and Palestinians. He hugs the foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, a former firebrand who vilified Palestinians and was cordially detested by them in return, whereas his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, used to shun him. Mr Lieberman nowadays praises Mr Kerry for bringing peace closer than ever, and has turned the ten naysayers in his party’s parliamentary bloc into yes men. Yair Lapid, the finance minister, has come out strongly in favour, bringing onside his 19 parliamentarians, the second-biggest party in the 120-strong Knesset. Mr Kerry’s people have also courted the black-hatted Haredim, or ultra-Orthodox. All told, he has overseen a remarkable turnaround. After the election at the beginning of last year, a narrow majority in the Knesset would have shied from a negotiated two-state solution. Now, according to insiders, its members stand 85-35 or so in its favour.

More here

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Jonathan Chait: That Awkward Moment When Republicans Have To Hurt The Poor Before They Can Love Them

“Poverty,” reports the New York Times, “is suddenly the subject of bipartisan embrace.” Before poor people get too excited about this new development, some clarification may be in order. The parties are not embracing a shared program to alleviate poverty, nor even the goal of doing something at all about poverty anytime soon. There is merely shared agreement to discuss poverty as a subject. What hasn’t changed is the general shape of the Republican economic agenda in either the long run or the short run. Republicans agree that government takes too much from the rich and gives too much to the non-rich, and its domestic agenda is constructed largely as a corrective to what Republicans see as excessive redistribution.

Republicans also believe that nothing about the immediate labor market requires any changes to their general economic policies. (That is, they don’t believe high unemployment justifies temporarily relaxing their opposition to deficit spending or to worry less about coddling the unemployed.) The near-term agenda remains completely unaltered. Republicans remain unified in their desire to cut food stamps and end emergency unemployment benefits unless offset by other cuts to domestic spending. Nearly all support ongoing state-based campaigns to deny Medicaid coverage to uninsured people too poor to qualify for tax credits to buy private insurance.

More here

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Chris Geidner: Obama Administration To Recognize Utah Same-Sex Couples’ Marriages

The federal government will recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who married in Utah in recent weeks, the Justice Department announced Friday. Approximately 1,360 same-sex couples married between Dec. 20, 2013 — when U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby found the state’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages to be unconstitutional — and this Monday, when the Supreme Court put new marriages of same-sex couples on hold pending the state’s appeal of Shelby’s ruling.

In a video released by the Justice Department on Friday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced, “I am confirming today that, for purposes of federal law, these marriages will be recognized as lawful and considered eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages.” Specifically, he noted, “In the days ahead, we will continue to coordinate across the federal government to ensure the timely provision of every federal benefit to which Utah couples and couples throughout the country are entitled — regardless of whether they are in same-sex or opposite-sex marriages.”

More here

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Let’s Enroll Texas

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On This Day:

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06
Mar
13

Gabby Giffords: “Fight, fight, fight.”

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AP: Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returned to the scene of the horrific shooting that wounded her and killed six people two years ago, urging senators Wednesday to pass background checks for gun purchases in her first public event at the site since the rampage.

Giffords, who is still recovering from her injuries, spoke fewer than 20 words in the parking lot of the Safeway grocery store in her hometown of Tucson in a brief but emotional call for stricter gun control measures.

“Be bold. Be courageous,” Giffords said. “Please support background checks.”

More here

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Gabrielle Giffords listens to a speaker Wednesday as an emotional husband Mark Kelly hugs her during a return to the site of a shooting in Tucson, Ariz., that left her critically wounded

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08
Jan
12

a year ago….

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords talked with President Barack Obama on Sunday, the one-year anniversary of a southern Arizona shooting rampage that left her and 12 others wounded and six people dead.

The congresswoman will be among those marking the somber occasion by attending a vigil Sunday night on University of Arizona’s campus, one of several such memorial events in recent days.

…. Obama called Giffords on Sunday “to offer his support” and say that she, other shooting victims and the Tucson community are “in their daily thoughts and prayers,” the White House said in a statement.

“The president expressed amazement at the courage and determination Rep. Giffords has shown along her incredible road to recovery, calling her an inspiration to his family and Americans across the country,” the statement added.

More here

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28
Nov
11

evening all

President Barack Obama makes a statement to members of the press in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Nov. 28, 2011. The President, along with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, obscured, and President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, right, delivered remarks following a summit with leaders of the European Union to discuss issues of mutual concern. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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Coming up:

Tuesday: The President will host Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands for a meeting in the Oval Office.

Wednesday: The President will travel to Scranton, Pennsylvania where he will deliver remarks urging Congress to act to extend and expand the payroll tax cut that has given tax breaks to millions of families across the country this year. In the evening, the President will travel to New York City where he will attend campaign events.

Thursday: The First Family will attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting on the Ellipse.

Friday: The President will host the White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of the Interior and deliver remarks.

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Three RNPS images of the year, 2011:

Children from public schools in the town of Chatfield, Minnesota, help President Obama get up after he posed with them for a picture, during his bus trip to the Midwest, August 15

Better version:

First lady Michelle Obama holds the hand NASA shuttle commander Mark Kelly, the husband of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, as they listen to President Barack Obama speak at the “Together We Thrive: Tucson and America” event, January 12

President Obama plays table tennis against students with British Prime Minister David Cameron, London, May 24

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28
Apr
11

there is *always* hope. night everyone.

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Tomorrow, the President and First Lady will sit with Gabrielle Giffords as they watch the launch of Endeavour with her husband Mark Kelly on board. There is always hope.

Night everyone, see you tomorrow

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Friday:

8:30 AM The first family departs the White House

10:50 AM Arrives in Alabama

11:10 AM President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama view the damage in Alabama, as well as meeting with Governor Bentley, state and local officials and families affected by the storms

12:45 PM The first family departs Alabama

2:10 PM: Arrives in Cape Canaveral, Florida

2:45 PM The first family tours the orbiter processing facility

3:30 PM: …views the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour

5:40 PM President Obama arrives in Miami, Florida

6:55 PM: ….delivers the Miami Dade College commencement address

9:05 PM … departs Miami

11:30 PM … arrives at the White House

17
Feb
11

in memory

President Barack Obama signs the John M. Roll United States Courthouse Bill in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on February 17. The bill will name a new federal courthouse in Yuma, Arizona, after slain federal Judge John M. Roll who died in last month’s shooting in Tucson. The President was joined by members of Roll’s family, members of the Arizona Congressional delegation, and members of his cabinet.

06
Feb
11

fight the hate

Humbled! The blog was infested by creatures from that well known hate group, the Arizona Tea Party, today.

The target of their hatred? No, not President Obama this time, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. eg:

These delightful hatemongers are upping their campaign to destroy Sheriff Dupnik, so show the wonderful man some love:

Fight the Teabag hate and leave a supportive message here

24
Jan
11

‘resurgent obama sets sights on centre ground’

The Guardian: Less than three months ago, Barack Obama was being declared a political corpse as his opponents seized control of the lower house of Congress and suggested that he would be president in name only.

But buttressed by a rapid turnaround in the polls, Obama will use his annual state of the union address tomorrow to position himself as the voice of the centre, appealing for his political opponents to find common ground in the face of the Republicans’ declared policy of obstructionism.

The president’s approval rating has risen back to about 50%, a much quicker rebound than either Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan managed following midterm defeats in Congressional elections – and both went on to win re-election comfortably.

The polls show that the president scored points, particularly among independent voters, for compromising with the outgoing Congress on extending tax cuts for the wealthy and showing he could deliver results with a burst of legislation that lifted the bar on gay people in the military and won approval of a nuclear missile treaty with Russia.

Obama’s inspiring speech in the wake of the Tucson shootings also stood in stark contrast to Sarah Palin’s self-serving attempt to justify the often violent political rhetoric on the right….

Full article here

17
Jan
11

leadership

Washington Post: Americans overwhelmingly describe the tone of political discourse in the country as negative, verging on angry, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, but more than half say that the culture did not contribute to the shootings in Tucson that killed six people and wounded 13…

Evaluations of President Obama’s handling of the Jan. 8 tragedy are highly positive across the political spectrum (78 percent), with nearly eight in 10 giving him high marks for his response to the incident. Even 71 percent of Republicans say they approve of his leadership following the shootings.

….In contrast to glowing reviews for the president, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin draws more negative than positive evaluations of the way she has handled the tragedy. About 30 percent give her positive marks while nearly half – 46 percent – disapprove of her actions…

Full article here

16
Jan
11

‘no one listened to gabrielle giffords’

I’ve been avoiding reading Frank Rich lately because some of his recent articles drove me bonkers, but thank you so much to Jennifer for letting me know about this one. I just posted extracts below – you can read the complete article at the link. I’ve been amazed the past week by how many commentators – and not just fruitloops on Fox ‘News’ – decided we could just dismiss what happened in Arizona as the work of a ‘mad man’ and not even consider that the inflammatory anti-Government hate-filled rhetoric of the right and the atmosphere it has created could have influenced his instability in any way, or tipped him over the edge. He had, after all, one hugely significant thing in common with the Tea Party and their like, he hated Government and was utterly paranoid about it. And he had that right wing insanity swirling all around his troubled head. How on earth could he have been immune to it? Any way, Frank Rich makes the argument briiliantly – thanks again Jennifer.

 

Frank Rich (NYT): …If we learn nothing from this tragedy, we are back where we started. And where we started was with two years of accelerating political violence…that struck fear into many, not the least of whom was Gabrielle Giffords.

…Did Loughner see Palin’s own most notorious contribution to the rancorous tone — her March 2010 Web graphic targeting Congressional districts? We have no idea — nor does it matter. But Giffords did. Her reaction to it — captured in an interview she did back then with Chuck Todd of MSNBC — was the most recycled, if least understood, video of last week.

…Giffords said that Palin had put the “crosshairs of a gun sight over our district,” adding that “when people do that, they’ve got to realize there’s consequences to that action.” … (she said) that colleagues who had been in the House “20, 30 years” had never seen vitriol this bad. … Few wanted to see what Giffords saw — that the vandalism and death threats were the latest consequences of a tide of ugly insurrectionism that had been rising since the final weeks of the 2008 campaign and that had threatened to turn violent from the start.

…Since Obama’s ascension, we’ve seen repeated incidents of political violence … he said, correctly, on Wednesday that “a simple lack of civility” didn’t cause the Tucson tragedy. It didn’t cause these other incidents either. What did inform the earlier violence — including the vandalism at Giffords’s office — was an antigovernment radicalism as rabid on the right now as it was on the left in the late 1960s. That Loughner was likely insane, with no coherent ideological agenda, does not mean that a climate of antigovernment hysteria has no effect on him or other crazed loners out there….

…What’s more disturbing is what Republican and conservative leaders have not said. Their continuing silence during two years of simmering violence has been chilling.

Full article here

14
Jan
11

‘girl’s death hits home for obama’

Helene Cooper (New York Times): President Obama is not known for showing a surplus of emotion in public, but toward the end of his speech at the University of Arizona, he paused for 51 seconds and appeared to gather himself.

….9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green’s death was an emotional punch to the gut for so many people across the country. Among them … is the president himself, whose younger daughter, Sasha, was born three months before Christina.

“I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it,” Mr. Obama had just said. “All of us – we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.”

And then he stopped. After 10 seconds, he looked to his right. After 20 seconds, he took a deep breath. After 30 seconds, he started blinking. Then his jaw tightened. Finally, after 51 seconds of silence, he began to speak again, describing a book published after Sept. 11, 2001 – the day Christina was born – that included her picture and simple wishes for a child’s life, including one inscription that read “I hope you jump in rain puddles.”

It was a stark moment for Mr. Obama, both as a president and as a father … he made no explicit mention of either Sasha or her older sister, Malia. But they have been on his mind as he has grappled with how to respond to the shootings…. the president, friends said, was initially hesitant about calling Christina’s parents after the shootings, saying that if it had happened to his daughters, he would not be capable of talking to anyone. He eventually did call the Greens … and then met with them before his speech.

..on Wednesday night, Mr. Obama’s perspective as a parent came through, propelling him to what is likely to be remembered as the one of the most soaring moments of his presidency.

Full article here

13
Jan
11

reflections




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