Posts Tagged ‘Violence



03
May
13

Rise and Shine

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All times Eastern:

10:15 AM: The President delivers remarks at the Anthropology Museum, Mexico City (White House live)

10:30: VP Biden and Sec of State Kerry deliver remarks at the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) Memorial Plaque Ceremony at the State Department (White House live)

12:25: President Obama meets with Mexican entrepreneurs

1:25: Departs Mexico City

4:0: Arrives San Jose, Costa Rica

4:35: Meets and greets with United States Embassy personnel

5:40: The President and President Chinchilla hold a bilateral meeting

6:30: The President and President Chinchilla hold a cultural event with Costa Rican youth

7:15: Press conference

7:30: VP Biden speaks at the South Carolina Democratic Party’s 2013 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner (C-Span)

7:35: President Obama participates in a photo with Central American Integration System leaders

9:0: Central American Integration System leaders meet for a working dinner

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Bloomberg: Employment picked up more than forecast in April and the jobless rate unexpectedly declined to a four-year low of 7.5 percent, showing the early stages of government budget cuts failed to destabilize the U.S. labor market.

Payrolls expanded by 165,000 workers last month following a revised 138,000 increase in March that was larger than first estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 90 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a 140,000 gain. Revisions to the prior two months’ reports added a total of 114,000 jobs to the employment count in February and March.

More here

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Steve Benen: After the discouraging jobs report a month ago, many were eager to see the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning to see whether the jobs market would bounce back or continue to deteriorate.

For now, it looks like the former. The U.S. economy added 165,000 jobs in April, more than expected, and overall unemployment rate dropped to 7.5%, its lowest point in four-and-a-half years. As is usually the case, there was a gap between the two major sectors – America’s private sector added 176,000 jobs last month, while spending cuts caused the public sector lose 11,000 jobs.

…. February was revised up from 268,000 jobs to 332,000, making it the single best month for job creation since 2005 (excluding temporary Census hiring). March was also revised up, from 88,000 to 138,000. In other words, as of this morning’s report, the previous two months added an additional 114,000 jobs we didn’t previously know about.

More here

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27
Apr
13

Rise and Shine

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Today:

8:0: The President delivers remarks at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner; The First Lady attends

Tomorrow: The President has no public events scheduled

Monday: The President will deliver remarks at the National Academy of Sciences 150th Anniversary

Tuesday: As part of the Joining Forces initiative, President Obama, Vice President Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will make a significant employment announcement for veterans and military spouses. This event will take place at the White House

Wednesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House

Thursday: In the morning, the President will depart Washington, DC for his visit to Mexico and Costa Rica

Friday: In the afternoon, the President will depart Mexico for Costa Rica

Saturday: In the afternoon, the President will depart Costa Rica and return to Washington, DC

Sunday: The President will deliver the commencement address at Ohio State University. He will return to Washington, DC, later that day

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Please note: formal dress only for the WHCD, so any TODers who turn up here tonight in jeans will be thrown out.

Breaking: AMK wants to wear his pajamas, because of timezone issues – so, he has an exemption.

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ThinkProgress: 12 Programs Congress Refuses To Save From Automatic Spending Cuts

After thousands of flight delays across the country this week, the Senate voted Thursday night to give the Federal Aviation Administration the flexibility to keep the nation’s airports running smoothly … That means lawmakers will be able to fly home for recess this weekend without any delays ….. Unfortunately, though, Congress has shown no willingness to provide similar relief for the families that are being hammered by sequestration in other ways. Here are 12 programs that have experienced devastating cuts because Congress insists on cutting spending when it doesn’t need to — and that have been ignored by the same lawmakers who leaped to action as soon as their trips home were going to take a little longer:

1 Long-term unemployment, 2 Head Start, 3 Cancer treatment, 4 Health research, 5 Low-income housing, 6 Student aid, 7 Meals On Wheels, 8 Disaster relief,
9 Heating assistance, 10 Workplace safety, 11 Obamacare, 12 Child care….

See post for details

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Business Insider: his week G.E. Capital Finance announced that it would no longer finance gun purchases, becoming the latest in a string of companies that have decided to leave a large amount of money on the table rather than risk their reputations on the gun business.

It’s one of the few places where the high-profile publicity campaign in support of increased gun control has led to a real world result….

More here

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A really powerful website: TheyDontWorkForYou.org

Thanks CarolMaeWY

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24
Apr
13

Rise and Shine

Random old Texas pic: Austin, Feb. 23, 2007

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Today:

EST

12:0: VP Biden and Dr Jill Biden attend a memorial service for Officer Sean Collier at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

12:30: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

12:45: VP Biden delivers remarks at the memorial

4:25: The President and the First Lady depart the White House

CDT

6:35: Arrive Dallas, Texas

7:35: The President delivers remarks at a DNC event; the First Lady also attends (Private Residence, Print Pool for Remarks Only)

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Steve Benen: A confluence of events appears to have created a curious new talking point on the right. With former President George W. Bush’s library set to open, and last week’s Boston Marathon bombing still very much on the public’s mind, Republican pundits see value in trying to tie the two together in the hopes of improving Bush’s reputation.

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin, for example, published this gem yesterday: “Unlike Obama’s tenure, there was no successful attack on the homeland after 9/11.”

A few hours later on Fox News, Eric Bolling echoed the sentiment.

…. When it comes to Bolling, I should note that this is an improvement from his previous stance. Two years ago, he suggested on the air that he didn’t recall 9/11 at all….

I should also note that neither Rubin nor Bolling seemed to be kidding. Their comments weren’t satirical or jokes intended to make Republicans appear silly…..

More here

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Andrew Sullivan: …… The country Bush broke is still broken. And the cost in terms of human life and tax-payers’ dollars still looms over us all. And yet some like Rubin still do not see the failure staring at them in the face. Because they cannot. Late-era neoconservatives can never admit error. They do not have the intellect for it.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: For the last couple of months, congressional Republicans were content to ignore the consequences of their sequestration policy, celebrating the deep budget cuts as a “victory.” Now that it’s causing several flight delays as the FAA begins furloughs, Republicans have suddenly discovered they don’t like the sequester after all. Indeed, they’re now blaming President Obama, suggesting some kind of conspiracy is afoot — the White House wants air travelers to suffer to make some kind of point about the value of government spending.

More here

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23
Apr
13

Rise and Shine

A year ago: President Obama tours the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., with Sara Bloomfield, museum director, and Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor, April 23, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

12:30: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

2:15: The President honors the 2013 National Teacher of the Year

2:45: Meets with the Amir of Qatar, His Highness Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani

6:30: Meets with a bipartisan group of women Senators for dinner

8:30: Vice President Biden Speaks at the Time 100 Dinner

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Peter Beinart: The rap against Barack Obama, at least on the left, has long been that he’s too cautious, too calculating, too conciliatory. Not a guy willing to take risks.

We can apologize now.

What Obama did in the four months between December’s Newtown shooting and this Wednesday’s Senate capitulation was one of the great displays of presidential guts in American history…..

…. [he] pursued gun control with a force of mind and soul that was astonishing to behold. “I never saw a president fight so hard,” remarked Sen. Barbara Boxer, “never on any issue.”

Why did he do it? In part because the Obama-as-timid meme was always a lie …. but beyond that, I suspect that once Obama saw an opportunity, he pushed gun control so hard because he simply cares more. As a community organizer, he worked and lived in the kind of communities where Americans are most often shot…

…. The gun control struggle will likely continue for decades. And this week its arc feels particularly long. But one day, a future president will look back at the last four months as the moment when Barack Obama began to make it bend.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: As the debate over new measures to prevent gun violence reached its apex, Republican lawmakers and conservative activists became surprisingly hostile towards the family members of those slain in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. If there’s one group of people who would appear to be off-limits when it comes to political pushback, one might think it’d be Newtown families, but apparently not.

What’s next, cheap shots at Gabrielle Giffords? Actually, yes…..

Full post here

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19
Apr
13

Rise and Shine: Toon Time

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Today:

The President has no scheduled public appearances

12:0: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

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13
Apr
13

This and That

One of the very loveliest photos, three years old today: First Lady Michelle Obama greets children at Children’s Place in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, April 13, 2010. (Photo by Samantha Appleton)

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The week ahead:

Monday: The President will welcome the BCS National Champion, the University of Alabama Crimson Tide, to the White House to honor their 15th championship and their exceptional 2012-2013 season. Later, the President will participate in an ambassador credentialing ceremony at the White House.

Tuesday: The President will hold a working lunch with Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates at the White House. Later, the President will welcome Brad Keselowski to the White House to honor his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.

Wednesday: The President will welcome the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House in celebration of the 7th Annual Soldier Ride.

Thursday and Friday: The President will attend meetings at the White House.

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WH.gov

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‘Dependent on Congress doing right’

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SmartyPants: …… One of my routines is to read the news summary posted every morning on Daily Kos titled Abbreviated Pundit Roundup ….. This morning’s edition was telling. It covered the first full day of punditry since President Obama released his budget. The roundup included 5 commentaries on that topic – all focused on critiquing the inclusion of chained CPI…..

….. how about linking to:

Melissa Lazarín and Sasha Post at the Center for American Progress on President Obama’s Budget Makes Historic Investments in Young Children

Erika Eichelberger at Mother Jones on Obama Wants Mitt Romney’s Favorite Tax Break to Die

Annie Lowrey at the New York Times on A Budget Focus on Inequality

Matthew Yglesias at Slate on The Class War Has Begun: Obama is waging it against the rich. The Republicans are waging it against the poor.

And another one by Derek Thompson at the Atlantic titled The Obama Budget: Tax the Rich, Spare the Poor, Remember the Young

See links to those articles and full post here

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Chat away

11
Apr
13

News Of The Day

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Puneet Kollipara: President Barack Obama has drawn a line in the sand in his ongoing fight with budget-cutting lawmakers when it comes to future federal funding for research and development. He’s calling for reversing recent spending cuts to most sectors of R&D spending and adding new funds for many areas next year — despite tough fiscal times.

Big winners in the president’s budget include the Department of Energy, whose funding would rise 18 percent. The National Science Foundation, U.S. Geological Survey and National Institute of Standards and Technology would also see healthy increases. The Health and Human Services Department, which houses the National Institutes of Health, would see a slight increase from 2012 — again, all before accounting for inflation.

Read more here

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Next up:

2:10: President Obama Awards Chaplain Emil Kapaun the Medal of Honor

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David RothKopf: America is rightly on edge. When a man with the power to make life-or-death decisions affecting thousands of U.S. citizens recklessly shows contempt for decency and international norms of behavior, it is no wonder the American people would be both angry and fearful. When his threats are so clearly contrary to the interests of those he represents and even those who might otherwise support him, it is natural to wonder whether he has somehow become unhinged.

But Kim Jong Un is no Mitch McConnell. Because Kim, even with his nuclear weapons, is hardly likely to launch an attack on Americans anywhere given that the response would produce the instant and certain obliteration of his regime. What that means is that for all his bluster, the chubby little autocrat is very unlikely to cost one American his life. But in vowing to block any vote on even the most modest legislation to rein in America’s out-of-control gun culture, the Senate minority leader all but guarantees that the toll in America’s street-corner war will continue to rise.

Read more here

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Robert Greenstein: The news that President Obama’s new budget will propose adopting the “chained” Consumer Price Index (CPI) for cost-of-living adjustments in Social Security and other retirement programs, and annual inflation adjustments in the tax code, has intensified the debate on this issue.  Some commentators portray this proposal as a test of fiscal rectitude, arguing that the chained CPI more accurately measures inflation — period — and that if you’re opposed to it, you aren’t really serious about addressing deficits.  Others, including many progressives, strongly reject the proposal, believing it would impose serious hardship on seniors with modest incomes.

I’m not comfortable with either position. There are legitimate reasons not to adopt the chained CPI, and many people who aren’t affluent would indeed be worse off.  At the same time, fears that the chained CPI would impose severe hardship are overblown, especially if policymakers accompany it with a robust package of protections and mitigating measures for those who are very old or have low incomes.

Read more here

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CNN: A majority of Americans generally favor stricter gun control laws, and there has been a big jump in the number of Americans who say that gun policy is extremely important, according to a new national poll.

Overall, 40% of Americans say that it is extremely important for government officials to deal with gun policy this year and another 31% say it is very important. That’s substantially higher than the number of thought gun policy was important in previous years – a reflection of the amount of attention gun policy has gotten in the wake of December’s horrific shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, which left 20 young children and six adults dead.

Read more here

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Greg Sargent: This afternoon on CNN, GOP Rep. Greg Walden, the chairman of the NRCC, opened fire on Obama’s budget by claiming it is an assault on seniors. For one thing, it directly contradicts what GOP leaders themselves said earlier today. Remember, John Boehner and Eric Cantor effectively endorsed Chained CPI by claiming we should proceed with those cuts while not raising taxes. Boehner said Obama “deserves some credit” for embracing it. But now the NRCC chair is calling it an assault on seniors?

You could not illustrate the farcical nature of the GOP position on all this more perfectly. Folks should acknowledge and call out how truly farcical and deeply unserious this really is.

Read more here

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Kate Sheppard: It was clear in both the lead up to and the aftermath of the November 2012 election that Republican candidates are not faring well among women voters. From Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin to Mitt Romney’s 11-point loss among women voters, it became painfully clear that the GOP has a lady problem. A new memo from a pair of liberal groups that pulls together some of the polling figures makes a strong case for paying more attention to this divide.

The memo points to the unprecedented attack on access to abortion underway in states like North Dakota and Arkansas, the 160 Republicans that voted against the Violence Against Women Act at the federal level, and the ongoing fights over both contraception coverage and cuts to the federal family planning budget.

Read more here

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Ed Kilgore: It’s no secret that political scientists as a tribe tend to downplay the importance of ideology and even of “issues” as active factors in American politics. Elections, they say (as an often-welcome corrective to Game Change-style overinterpretation of campaign events), are largely determined by “the fundamentals,” especially economic conditions and the identity of the party in power. Partisan attachments by voters, they often point out, are far more durable than anything you can explain by the day’s, month’s, or year’s controversies and positioning.

So it didn’t totally shock me that in a Salon piece on the “broken” nature of our political system, my esteemed friend the political scientist Jonathan Bernstein issues a disclaimer about the role that conservative ideology plays. I don’t disagree with any of those insights, but when Jonathan comes up with his list of the GOP’s bad habit, I can’t help but notice ideology would explain every single one.

Read more here 

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The rest of the interview can be seen here: Part 1  Part 2  Part 3

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Bloomberg: A rebound in homebuilding after a six-year slump should generate as many as 500,000 jobs in 2013 and 700,000 in 2014 including related services, estimates Russell Price, a senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc. in Detroit and the top forecaster of employment for the past two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Read more here

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11
Apr
13

Rise and Shine…

First Lady Michelle delivers a heartfelt message in Chicago

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Today:

10:15AM        THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing

11:00AM        THE PRESIDENT meets with members of the Financial Services Forum 

12:05PM         THE PRESIDENT holds a conference call with more than 100 local elected officials to discuss summer and year-round pathways to youth employment (Closed press)

2:10PM           THE PRESIDENT awards Chaplain (Captain) Emil J. Kapaun, U.S. Army,the Medal of Honor; THE FIRST LADY also attends

   2:55PM           THE PRESIDENT meets with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Briefing Schedule:

11:30AM        Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

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As politicians in Washington took a step toward tightening the nation’s gun laws Wednesday, first lady Michelle Obama sat down with Chicago high school students whose stories about violence brought her to tears.

Before the meeting began at Harper High School in West Englewood, Obama said she wanted to hear from each of the 22 students representing youth programs at the school and that she had as much time as they needed to take. She had come home to Chicago, she said, to do a lot of listening.

So for two hours, the first lady sat in the second-floor library media center, away from the news media, as students told story after story about the challenges of dodging bullets, avoiding gangs and — the thing they cannot take for granted — staying alive.

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10
Apr
13

Catching Up

“Hadiya Pendleton was me, and I was her. But I got to grow up and go to Princeton and Harvard Law School and have a career and family and the most blessed life I could ever imagine. And Hadiya? Oh, we know that story.”
First Lady Michelle Obama, April 10

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Text of remarks here

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Daily Beast: A Personal Plea for Gun Control

Spending time with the Newtown families, Joshua DuBois realized that the gun control debate isn’t about ideas or policies or politics. It’s about human beings.

See here

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ThinkProgress

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10
Apr
13

Heads Up: First Lady speaks on gun violence

(President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama look out at the Chicago skyline, June 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

First lady Michelle Obama talks about eliminating gun violence at an event with community leaders in Chicago

Starting soon – streaming is up:

CBS * CNN

10
Apr
13

Rise and Shine….

OBAMA-CARES *****

Sarah Kliff: President Obama’s budget proposal will include $235 million in funding for new mental health programs, focused initiatives to help schools detect early warning signs and train thousands of new mental health professionals.

The new budget plan will propose $130 million for programs that train teachers and other adults to help recognize early signs of mental illness, referring them to help when they detect such warnings. That includes $55 million for a new program called Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education). That will give states and local school districts grants to administer such programs, while also collecting data on how well they work.

Another $50 million in funds would go toward training masters-level mental health specialists such as psychologists, nurses and counselors who work in schools. The idea is to expand the mental health workforce to prepare for the demands of millions of Americans who will gain health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Read more here

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Carrie Dann: Blasting opponents of new gun control measures for being in a “time warp,”  Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday that a potential filibuster of pending gun legislation would be “embarrassing” for America’s reputation around the world.

“What an embarrassing thing to say,” Biden said of the stated intent of 13 senators to prevent a vote on new background check legislation.

“You’ve got leading senators of the most august legislative body in the world saying we’re not even going to talk about this tragedy that traumatized a nation and caught the attention of an entire world,” he said during remarks to law enforcement officers in Washington D.C.  “The climax of this tragedy could be that we’re not even going to get a vote?” he added. “Imagine how this makes us look.”

Read more here

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The Obama Administration’s Record On Human Trafficking Issues

White House: President Obama delivered his seminal speech on the fight to end trafficking in persons at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in September 2012.  During that speech, President Obama announced a number of new Administration commitments to combat trafficking at home and abroad. The four elements of this strategy include:

1) Preventing trafficking by raising awareness among vulnerable populations, leading by example, and educating the public and first responders;
2) Prosecuting traffickers through strengthened investigations and enforcement tools;
3) Protecting survivors through comprehensive social services, family reintegration, and immigration services; and
4) Partnering with civil society, state and local government, the private sector, and faith-based organizations to maximize resources and outcomes.

Read more here

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Washington Post: When she returns home here Wednesday to deliver a speech on gun violence, first lady Michelle Obama will be making a rare foray into the politics of the day that could presage a more activist role during her husband’s second term. “The speech is deeply personal,” said Valerie Jarrett, a senior White House adviser and close friend of the Obamas. “She will really speak from the heart as a mom, as a Chicagoan and as somebody who cares intensely about providing young people with the opportunities that they need to achieve their full potential.”

Obama will speak at a downtown fundraising luncheon for a new, $50-million public-private initiative to curb youth violence in Chicago’s neighborhoods. Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D), a former White House chief of staff, will introduce her, and an estimated 800 business executives and civic leaders plan to attend.  After her speech, Obama will visit with students and counselors at Harper High, one of Chicago’s most dangerous schools; last year, 29 current or recent Harper students were shot, eight of them fatally.

Aides said Obama was motivated to take on the gun-violence issue publicly in February when she attended the funeral of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old majorette who was shot and killed at a Chicago park just days after traveling to Washington for President Obama’s second inauguration. “The first lady, sitting in Hadiya’s funeral and seeing the grief and heartache in the community just a block away from where Hadiya was murdered and the first lady’s home, was devastated, but she was also determined to do something to prevent this from happening again,” Jarrett said. “She was determined to turn her grief into action.”

Read more here

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Senator To Newtown Families: Gun Debate Has Nothing To Do With You (Jim Inhofe wins douchebag of the year)

Igor Volsky: As the Senate prepares to take up a comprehensive gun safety bill on Thursday, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) told reporters that the coming debate will have nothing to do with the families of the victims from Newtown, Connecticut.

“See, I think it’s so unfair of the administration to hurt these families, to make them think this has something to do with them when, in fact, it doesn’t,” Inhofe said and suggested that Obama is manipulating and misinforming the families for political purposes.

Read more here

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Brian Beutler: Mitt Romney’s unfathomably large IRA was a big political liability for him in 2012.

Fortunately for other financial titans who hope to be president, it’ll be hard in the future to skirt the rules and amass such enormous, tax-deferred savings — if President Obama gets his way. A new provision in Obama’s budget “[e]nds a loophole that lets wealthy individuals circumvent contribution limits and a cumulate millions in tax-preferred retirement accounts,” according to a budget summary released by the White House. The White House is unveiling its new budget Wednesday.

A senior administration official confirmed to TPM that the provision is a fresh addition to Obama’s budget, and intended to close the loophole that allowed Romney to amass upward of $100 million in his individual retirement account. The budget also proposes ending the so-called carried-interest loopholes, that allows financial managers to pay tax on what most would consider labor income at a lower capital gains rate.

Read more here

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It’s Wednesday; let “one of America’s best known Al Green impersonators” serenade you. :D

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All Times Eastern

10:00AM: Pres. Obama and VP Biden receive the presidential daily briefing

10:00AM: Dr. Jill Biden meets with George Washington University student veterans and faculty

11:00AM: Pres. Obama delivers a statement in the Rose Garden

11:15AM: Pres. Obama meets with senior advisors

12:30PM: Pres. Obama and VP Biden meet for lunch

12:30PM: OMB Acting Director Jeffrey Zients discusses Pres. Obama’s FY 2014 Budget at a news conference

3:35PM: Pres. Obama and VP Biden meet with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew

6:30PM: Pres. Obama hosts Republican Senators for dinner

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Photo of the day by Pete Souza: Pres. Obama and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough walk along the South Lawn of the White House.

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Morning, Bonjour, Buenos Días, Buon Giorno, Maith Ar Maidin, Guten Morgen, Bom Dia. :D

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09
Apr
13

This and That

Musicians Mavis Staples and Justin Timberlake listen to first lady Michelle Obama during a Memphis Soul music workshop in the State Dining Room of the White House, April 9

Musicians Samuel Moore, Mavis Staples and Justin Timberlake

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Coming up:

2:0: Vice President Biden Speaks at a Law Enforcement Event at the White House

7:30: The President and First Lady host a concert celebrating Memphis Soul music as part of their “In Performance at the White House” series

Both on White House live

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Senator Tim Kaine: Nearly four months after the horrific Newtown shootings, the Senate is poised to do something that hasn’t been done for a long time in Congress – actually have a meaningful floor debate on reducing gun violence. Some senators and lobbyists are trying to make sure that no vote can take place. This should outrage the strong majority of American citizens who believe in reasonable gun rules to protect public safety.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and 11 other senators have promised to filibuster any discussion of gun safety rules. Instead of just voting against restrictions they don’t like, they are trying to block any vote whatsoever….

…. There are those who believe the National Rifle Association and its allies are so powerful that no legislation will pass. But the power of the organization’s leadership is vastly overrated. I’ve run three statewide races in the NRA’s home state. Its leadership campaigned vigorously against me each time, spending nearly $800,000 against me in my 2012 Senate race. I won all my races anyway.

Full Op-ed here

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Steve Benen: I’ve long believed we can learn a lot about politicians by how they conduct their campaigns. Candidates who are honest and above board before the election tend to be honest and above board after the votes are tallied. Those who choose to be dishonest and sleazy during the race are often less than forthright once in office.

And if this adage is true, we’re learning some unsettling things about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell…

More here

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Greg Sargent: …. The suggestion by the McConnell campaign that Mother Jones engaged in “Watergate-style tactics to bug campaign headquarters” is intriguing; it constitutes a suggestion that Mother Jones broke the law. To my knowledge, the McConnell campaign didn’t provide CNN with any evidence of this. (The Mother Jones story only says that a “recording” of the strategy session “was obtained by Mother Jones.”) It’s a serious charge, and if it were made without evidence by the campaign of the Senate minority leader — perhaps the most powerful Republican elected official the country — it’s a big deal.

More here

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The People’s View: How Obama is Vastly Expanding the Social Safety Net

Since late last week, we have been fed a steady diet of grandma on catfood and the eeeebil Obama that is trying to make that happen. As usual, focusing on the method of inflation adjustment (that isn’t simply applicable to Social Security but all of government), our venerable Leftist talking heads are missing the forest for the trees. Well, more like they’re missing the forest for the branches. While people are howling at a revised method of calculating inflation, they are completely missing broader perspective on how this president is devising a more expansive social safety net.

So let’s get some perspective. This president has expanded the social safety net in more broadly than anyone since the passage of Social Security – through health care reform, through expanding children’s health insurance, through student aid expansion and through Medicare reforms. Let’s talk about those.

More here

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Thanks Donna

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NYT: David Axelrod, the political strategist behind the rise of President Obama, has signed with Penguin Press to write a memoir, the publisher said Tuesday morning. Release is slated for fall 2014.

More here

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Yikes:

Independent (UK): Lady Thatcher’s death could propel The Wizard Of Oz track “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead” to the top of the charts.

Those who saw her death as a cause for celebration have prompted a download surge for the track.

Within 24 hours of the former Prime Minister’s death, the song had risen to number 9 in the iTunes best-sellers chart. It reached number 2 on the Amazon singles download chart.

More here

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February 2016
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