President Barack Obama talks with Natoma Canfield, right, and her sister, Connie Anderson, in the Oval Office, Dec. 12. The letter Canfield sent the President in 2010 hangs on the wall in the background. (Photo by Pete Souza)
Politico: The Ohio woman whose name become a rallying cry for President Obama in his fight for health care reform finally came to the White House on Wednesday to see a letter that she wrote, framed and placed on a West Wing wall outside the Oval Office. Natoma Canfield wrote to Obama in 2010 about her battle with cancer and how she could no longer afford to pay insurance premiums. He cited her letter as one of his inspirations while pushing for health care reform, called her after the Supreme Court upheld the law and met her for the first time in July this year. Obama promised at that meeting that Canfield, at right above, could come to the White House and see the letter.
7:40: President Obama delivers remarks at the Hanukkah Reception at the White House, First Lady Michelle Obama attends
ABC: Barack Obama holds a substantial advantage over John Boehner in handling budget negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff: Nearly twice as many Americans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll approve of the president’s work on the issue so far as favor the speaker’s approach.
Jonathan Bernstein: In the “elections have consequences” department, add today’s announcement by the Federal Reserve that it will not only tolerate somewhat more inflation, but will do so until unemployment drops below 6.5 percent. It’s a decision that pushes the Fed more and more in the direction of liberal economists who have supported monetary policy designed to encourage economic growth, not fight inflation.
….. the decision is a consequence of an election, but not the one we just had — it’s a consequence of the November 2008 election, which allowed Obama to appoint and a Democratic Senate to confirm members of the Fed Board of Governors; he’s now appointed six of seven, all of whom voted for today’s policy.
Greg Sargent: Republicans have long derided Elizabeth Warren for describing herself as an intellectual godmother of Occupy Wall Street. Now the intellectual godmother of Occupy Wall Street will occupy the Senate committee that oversees it.
The Senate Democratic leadership is announcing that Warren will be given a seat on the Senate Banking Committee. As Forbes put it recently, Warren’s ascent to the Senate alone was “Wall Street’s worst nightmare.” This could make that nightmare a good deal worse.
Washington Post: Military officials on Wednesday spilled details of the elaborate plans for President Obama’s second inauguration, rolling out a gym-size map to show how an army of National Guard members and active-duty personnel will contribute to the event’s pomp and manage its backstage nitty-gritty.
Strolling the 40-by-60-foot floor map with what he quipped were “God-like powers,” Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Scott Hinds demonstrated how units will be deployed from staging areas to various command posts along the Mall and the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route.
Greg Sargent: Why GOP will buckle on tax rates for rich: Doyle McManus of the Los Angeles Times has a very good overview of the situation: Republicans know that going over the cliff won’t be that damaging in the short term; they know Obama is prepared to go over it without a deal to raise tax rates on the rich; and they know they’ll have to yield sooner or later. It’s good to see more news outlets getting it right on the basic dynamic here.
Dick Armey left the deep-pocketed tea party group he helped build over a clash with a top lieutenant …. [he] received an $8 million buyout….
Remember, the tea party is a grass-roots movement, a spontaneous uprising of ordinary Americans against the snooty, coffee-drinking elite.
ThinkProgress: …. Sen-elect Elizabeth Warren, a dogged consumer advocate whose critique of Wall Street excess was a centerpiece of her campaign, will join the Senate Banking Committee. Wall Street spent boatloads of money to prevent Warren’s election, but now she will have oversight of the rules and regulations under which banks operate….
…. Several Senate candidates supported by Wall Street wound up losing. As a member of the Banking Committee, Warren will have the opportunity to stand against both the watering down of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law and new misguided efforts to reduce limits on Wall Street.
Liberal Librarian (The People’s View): …. it’s also part and parcel of the modern Republican Party: its narrow-mindedness; it’s utter lack of regard for anyone not of its circle — and often not even them; its disbelief in any kind of common humanity which binds together the world’s peoples. A convention which has been US domestic law for 22 years becomes suspect when it returns from the foreign recesses of the UN. A health care law which incorporated many once-mainstream Republican ideas becomes the greatest tyranny ever faced by the nation when translated into action by a foreign usurper.
And that’s just a taste of the international reaction to the Snow poll.
Yes, Snow won – in an avalanche.
But because it’s playing havoc with some people’s browsers – just like last year – there’ll only be the occasional sprinkle. “So what was the flippin’ point in having a snow poll,” I hear you ask. Eh, good question.
NYT Editorial: The millionaires and billionaires who gave nearly $500 million to independent groups in the race to elect Mitt Romney and other Republicans not only bet on the wrong party, they bet on the wrong tactic. They believed that an endless drumbeat of television advertisements would be enough to drive voters away from President Obama and Democratic policies.
It did not work…..
…. the biggest-spending conservative groups were trounced. American Crossroads, the super PAC founded by Karl Rove, spent $104 million in the general election, but none of its candidates won. The United States Chamber of Commerce spent $24 million backing Republicans in 15 Senate races; only two of them won. Sheldon Adelson, the casino mogul, spent $53 million on nine Republican candidates, eight of whom lost.
… A backlash against the damaging power of big money cannot come too soon.
Steve Benen: First up from the God Machine this week is a look at the 2012 presidential election, and the differences along religious lines….
….. the results among Roman Catholic voters are arguably the most electorally significant. In every recent cycle, Catholics have been considered a key swing constituency and President Obama narrowly won their support, 50% to 48%. It suggests Republicans’ efforts to focus on contraception and reproductive rights had limited success, and the Bishops’ lobbying largely fell on deaf ears.
Also note, while many on the right hoped 2012 would be the year that Jewish voters abandoned Democrats, that didn’t come close to happening. Though Obama fared slightly worse among Jewish voters as compared to 2008, he still enjoyed overwhelming support.
Deaniac (The People’s View): The Impact of A President: A Personal Reflection on Equality
Four years ago, on election day 2008, I was a poll-captain for the No on 8 campaign in California. After working day and night trying to beat back California’s attempt to ban marriage equality, election day was finally upon us, and my job was to lead my team of volunteers to speak to voters in the parking lot of the polling place about voting No on 8. The team of volunteers rotated throughout the day, in 2, 3 or 4 hour shifts. Some stayed even half a day. I was there all day. From the break of dawn before the polls opened till they closed…..
Yahoo: It was an intimate snapshot of a sweet celebration: Minutes after the networks called the 2012 presidential election for Barack Obama on Tuesday night, the Obama for America campaign posted a picture of him hugging his wife along with a simple message: “Four more years.” Within minutes, it became the most popular post in the history of Twitter and the most-liked image in the history of Facebook….
…. no one was more surprised than the woman who took the photo back in August, Scout Tufankjian….
…. The President is “so much happier and more relaxed” when he’s with his family … he and the first lady are so focused on each other. The way that they play off each other and get energy from each other… when I was shooting the president during the 2008 campaign I would watch them greet each other on stage and I used to text-message my boyfriend, now my husband: ‘Do you love me as much as Barack loves Michelle?’ and he’d be like, ‘Probably not, no’.”