Officials announced Thursday that the First Lady Michelle Obama will host the special event on Monday, Feb. 24, at 4 p.m. ET, in the Eisenhower Office Building’s South Court Auditorium. The Eisenhower Office Building houses adjoins the White House’s West Wing and provides office space for most of the executive mansion’s staff. Obama will deliver personal remarks at the screening for the TV adaptation of the Broadway revival of Horton Foote‘s play. The Trip to Bountiful, which premieres Saturday, March 8, on the cabler, is set during the final years of the Jim Crow South. The Broadway production was nominated for four Tony Awards, winning best actress in a play for Cicely Tyson.
First Lady Michelle Obama is escorted by Rose Cameron, CEO and founder of WAT-AAH!, a line of bottled water targeted to kids and teens, as they view the “Taking Back the Streets” art exhibit at the New Museum, in New York
First Lady Michelle Obama talks with Sophia Rose Stewart-Chapman, of New York’s Little Red School House, in front of a color-by-numbers mural featuring the slogan for WAT-AAH!
Artist Trey Speegle, photographs First Lady Michelle Obama as she prepares to autograph his color-by-numbers mural featuring the slogan for WAT-AAH!, a line of bottled water targeted to kids and teens, at the New Museum, in New York
First Lady Michelle Obama meets Lola Picayo, of New York’s Little Red School House, before she autographed a color-by-numbers mural featuring the slogan for WAT-AAH!
First Lady Michelle Obama hugs teacher Sara Barlow of Little Red Schoolhouse and Elisabeth Irwin High School
First Lady Michelle Obama stands with artist Trey Speegle the 8th grade children of Little Red Schoolhouse and Elisabeth Irwin High School when she visits the New Museum’s “Taking Back the Streets” exhibit, sponsored by Let Water Be Water LLC’s youth bottled water brand WAT-AAH! to support the Partnership for a Healthier America’s “Drink Up” initiative in New York City
President Obama visits a pre-kindergarten classroom at College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center in Decatur, Ga., Feb. 14
10:0: President Obama meets with President Giorgio Napolitano of Italy
11:10: Welcomes the 18 recipients of the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal
12:10: Departs the White House
1:10: Arrives Chicago
2:45: Delivers remarks at Hyde Park Academy
4:30: Departs Chicago
8:0: Arrives West Palm Beach, Florida
Washington Post: President Obama used his State of the Union address to launch a push for massively expanding pre-K and other early childhood education programs. But he was pretty vague about it. Not anymore. At 6 a.m. today, the administration released its detailed plan for early childhood education….
…. Upon opening the plan for the first time (while on the phone with me) Nobel laureate and early childhood education expert James Heckman exclaimed “Holy smokes!” in approval.
Eugene Robinson: In his bid to be remembered as a transformational leader, President Obama is following the playbook of an ideological opposite, Margaret Thatcher. First you win the argument, she used to say, then you win the vote.
Obama is gradually winning the argument about what government can and should do. His State of the Union address was an announcement of that fact — and a warning to conservatives that, to remain relevant, they will have to move beyond the premise that government is always the problem and never the solution…..
Steve Benen: Sen. John McCain, as recently as a few days ago, said he would not try to stop an up-or-down vote on Chuck Hagel’s Defense Secretary nomination. And then yesterday, he did the exact opposite.
I’m sure he’ll be coming soon to a Sunday show near you to explain his thinking, but in the meantime, take a look at what McCain told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto after the first-ever instance of a Senate minority blocking a vote on a cabinet nominee:
NYT Editorial: For the last four years, Senate Republicans have used the power of the filibuster to block legislation, bottle up nominees to courts and government departments, and strangle federal agencies, even though they are in the minority. On Thursday, they hit a new low. They successfully filibustered Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee for defense secretary, the first time a cabinet nominee for this post has been prevented from receiving an up-or-down vote.
NYT: At a high school near his own neighborhood here, President Obama on Friday will provide new details about an initiative to select 20 communities nationwide as laboratories for better coordination of federal, local, nonprofit and private-sector investments to revitalize long-distressed areas, according to administration officials.
Mr. Obama had announced his proposal to designate the so-called Promise Zones during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, but did not provide many details. As part of the effort, he also is seeking tax breaks, for capital investments in the zones and for employers who hire unemployed residents.
Steve Benen: Two weeks from today, deep, automatic sequestration cuts will kick in, doing real damage to the nation’s economy, military, and public needs. Both Democrats and Republicans say they want to avoid that fate, but only one side seems to be doing anything about the threat.
This week, House Republican leaders, including Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), said they would do literally nothing to resolve the problem until Senate Democrats acted. It was a bizarre posture to take — the House GOP freely admits it doesn’t want to do any work at all to clean up the mess Republican helped make.
8:40: President Obama tours the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
9:45: PBO delivers remarks (WH Live, the Museum’s website and, maybe, CNN live streaming)
12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press
2:35: PBO presents the Commander-in-Chief Trophy to the Air Force Academy football team
Washington Post: President Obama will issue an executive order Monday that will allow U.S. officials for the first time to impose sanctions against foreign nationals found to have used new technologies, from cellphone tracking to Internet monitoring, to help carry out grave human rights abuses.
Social media and cellphone technology have been widely credited with helping democracy advocates organize against autocratic governments and better expose rights violations, most notably over the past year and a half in the Middle East and North Africa.
….. Obama’s executive order, which he will announce during a Monday speech at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, is an acknowledgment of those dangers and of the need to adapt American national security policy to a world being remade rapidly by technology….
NYT: One Saturday last fall, President Obama interrupted a White House strategy meeting to raise an issue not on the agenda. He declared, aides recalled, that the administration needed to more aggressively use executive power to govern in the face of Congressional obstructionism.
“We had been attempting to highlight the inability of Congress to do anything,” recalled William M. Daley, who was the White House chief of staff at the time. “The president expressed frustration, saying we have got to scour everything and push the envelope in finding things we can do on our own.”
For Mr. Obama, that meeting was a turning point …. increasingly in recent months, the administration has been seeking ways to act without Congress ….. the White House has rolled out dozens of new policies — on creating jobs for veterans, preventing drug shortages, raising fuel economy standards, curbing domestic violence and more.
Washington Post: Mitt Romney’s contemptuous attitude toward the importance of public disclosure is increasingly troubling. Whether it involves the details of his personal finances or the identity of his big fundraisers, the presumptive Republican is setting a new, low bar for transparency – one that does not augur well for how the Romney White House would conduct itself if he were elected.
First is the matter of tax returns. Mr. Romney’s campaign, belatedly and under pressure, released a single year’s worth of tax information in January along with a summary for the 2011 return. Now, with a Friday afternoon release conveniently timed for minimum news coverage a week ago, it announced that the candidate had filed for an extension….
…. Then there is the mystery of Mr. Romney’s bundlers… Bundlers play a crucial role for political candidates, collecting donations that can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars to fuel campaigns. The candidates know full well to whom they are indebted. Perhaps Mr. Romney can explain why the public isn’t entitled to the same information.
Paul Krugman: Just how stupid does Mitt Romney think we are? ….. the question was raised with particular force last week, when Mr. Romney tried to make a closed drywall factory in Ohio a symbol of the Obama administration’s economic failure. It was a symbol, all right – but not in the way he intended.
….Mr. Romney somehow failed to mention: George W. Bush, not Barack Obama, was president when the factory in question was closed. Does the Romney campaign expect Americans to blame President Obama for his predecessor’s policy failure?
Yes, it does. Mr. Romney constantly talks about job losses under Mr. Obama. Yet all of the net job loss took place in the first few months of 2009, that is, before any of the new administration’s policies had time to take effect. So the Ohio speech was a perfect illustration of the way the Romney campaign is banking on amnesia, on the hope that voters don’t remember that Mr. Obama inherited an economy that was already in free fall.
…. Mr. Romney wants you to forget that Mr. Obama has faced scorched-earth political opposition since his first day in office. Basically, the G.O.P. has blocked the administration’s efforts to the maximum extent possible, then turned around and blamed the administration for not doing enough.
Howard Kurtz (Daily Beast): Forget liberal bias. A new study reveals that the press covered Romney twice as favorably as Obama during the primaries – and declared the GOP race over weeks ago.
During the bruising Republican primaries, there was one candidate whose coverage was more relentlessly negative than the rest. In fact, he did not enjoy a single week where positive treatment by the media outweighed the negative.
His name is Barack Obama.
That is among the findings of a study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a Washington nonprofit that examined 52 key newspaper, television, radio, and Web outlets.