President Barack Obama fist-bumps middle-school student Adrianna Mitchell while participating in an “Hour of Code” event in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House. The event is in honor of Computer Science Education Week
President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting of the President’s Export Council at the White House. Flanking President Obama are Boeing CEO Jim McNerney and Xerox CEO Ursula Burns. The President’s Export Council advises the President on policies and programs that effects US trade performance and promote export expansion
President Barack Obama speaks about the situation in Iraq, in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. President Obama said the US will send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq, set up joint operation centers
President Barack Obama awards the Medal of Honor to retired Marine Cpl. William “Kyle” Carpenter, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Carpenter took a blow from a grenade to protect a fellow Marine in Afghanistan, sustaining major wounds including the loss of his right eye. He is the eighth living recipient to be chosen for the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan
Retired Marine Cpl. William “Kyle” Carpenter smiles as President Barack Obama speaks at a ceremony awarding Carpenter the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry
President Barack Obama greets neighbors outside the home of William and Endia Eason in Cleveland, Ohio, Jan. 4, 2012
(Despite having the latest version, I can’t see these Videopress videos with Firefox any more, but I can with Safari. What’s up with Firefox?!)
NYT: For the first time in many years, manufacturing stands out as an area of strength in the American economy.
When the Labor Department reports December employment numbers on Friday, it is expected that manufacturing companies will have added jobs in two consecutive years. Until last year, there had not been a single year when manufacturing employment rose since 1997.
David Rothkopf (Foreign Policy): …. the Obama track record on many fronts is much better than the administration gives itself credit for. They could be doing much, much more to tout what is an impressive litany of successes.
While the list of those successes is long and compelling-defeating Bin Laden, getting out of Iraq, helping to oust Qaddafi, restoring our reputation internationally, resetting our international priorities to better coincide with our long term interests (the “pivot” to a focus on Asia), producing meaningful healthcare reform, producing significant financial services reforms, stopping the downward spiral in the economy and laying the foundations of recovery, etc. – let me focus on three areas that deserve much more attention and appreciation ….. ** See article **
…. the president is actually doing remarkably well in the world’s toughest job right now, and he is and has been doing so under truly extraordinarily adverse circumstances. This is one of those circumstances in which the substance is better than the PR – and it’s time for the White House’s political and communications brain trust to get out a clean sheet of paper and begin to make new and better plans for claiming the credit the Obama team deserves.
Jonathan Cohn: Should President Obama use the recess appointment power when Republicans in Congress refuse even to consider his nominees? You better believe it.
Not only are Republicans blocking Obama’s nominations at a record rate. They are doing so in order to impose their own ideological agenda and, in some cases, to undermine duly passed laws they don’t like but can’t repeal.
That’s a modern-day form of nullification … Obama would be derelict in his duties if he did not use every inch of executive branch authority to overcome it.
…. based on a series of conversations today, I think Obama was within his rights after all.
TPM: Mitt Romney’s tax plan is more complex than those of his current and erstwhile primary competitors. But in broad effect it accomplishes the conservative goal of dramatically lowering taxes on the wealthy at the expense of the lower and middle classes.
Time: …. Admiral William McRaven speaks respectfully of Bush as Commander in Chief, saying he “made some very, very tough decisions.” About Obama, without a question to prompt him, he waxes lyrical and at length. The planning and decision-making for the bin Laden raid, he volunteers, “was really everything the American public would expect from their national leadership.”
“The President was at all times presidential,” he says. “I would contend he was the smartest guy in the room. He had leadership skills we’d expect from a guy who had 35 years in the military.”
TPM: …. in a new poll from Public Policy Polling President Obama bests former Mitt Romney 48 percent to 42 and Newt Gingrich 50 to 43 in Virginia … Only 31 percent see Gingrich favorably against 55 percent, and it’s nearly as bad for Romney at 33 – 52.
Jonathan Freedland (The Guardian): Whoever wrote the political rulebook needs to start rewriting it …. in the US Barack Obama is mired in horrible numbers – except for the ones showing him beating all-comers in the election now less than 11 months away. Even though the US economy is slumped in the doldrums, some of the country’s shrewdest commentators make a serious case that Obama could be heading for a landslide victory in 2012.
How to explain such a turnaround? In the United States, at least, there is one compellingly simple, two-word answer: Fox News.
…. it is Fox that is, in effect, picking the party’s nominee to face Obama next November …. If one is to flourish rather than wither in the Fox spotlight, there are several articles of faith to which one must subscribe – from refusing to believe in human-made climate change, and insisting that Christians are an embattled minority in the US, persecuted by a liberal, secular, bi-coastal elite, to believing that government regulation is always wrong, and that any attempt to tax the wealthiest people is immoral. Those who deviate are rapidly branded foreign, socialist or otherwise un-American.
….It was this process that led the former speechwriter David Frum to declare last year: “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us – and now we’re discovering we work for Fox.”
…. The extremism, anger, paranoia and sense of victimhood that Fox incubates are all unhealthy for the United States. But it’s inflicting particular damage on the Republican party, which could well lose a winnable election because of its supine relationship to a TV network. It turns out it is not liberals who should fear the Fox – it’s conservatives.
Washington Post: A President Obama impersonator brought down the house Saturday at the Republican Leadership Conference, telling a string of racially themed jokes about the president.
The impersonator, Reggie Brown, took the stage at the annual presidential cattle call to the Bruce Springsteen song “Born in the USA” – an allusion to the birther controversy.
A sampling of what followed:
• On Black History Month: “Michelle celebrates the full month. I celebrate half.”
• “My mother loved a black man,” but “she was not a Kardashian.”
• A picture was shown of Obama and the first lady when he took office. The impersonator then showed a picture of what the Obamas will look like when the president leaves office, and it was the characters of Fred Sanford and his sister-in-law, Ethel, from the show “Sanford and Son.”
• Of Tim Pawlenty’s decision not to criticize Mitt Romney at Monday’s debate: “[CNN’s] John King served him up a ball softer than Barney Frank’s backside.” (Frank is a gay member of Congress from Massachusetts.)
….Eventually, Brown was ushered offstage by the man who introduced him. Conference organizers did not immediately respond to questions about why Brown was ushered offstage or whether his jokes were approved in advance.
Thanks to Lisa for this – from GOPolitico: “Brown didn’t just limit his jokes to Obama, though. He also mocked Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith, ridiculed Newt Gingrich’s faltering campaign and suggested Tim Pawlenty needed a spinal transplant.
As Brown was preparing to make a Michele Bachmann joke, one of the conference’s officials came out to the lectern and told the comedian to leave the stage.”
So they were okay with the racist, homophobic stuff, they drew the line at him making jokes about Bachmann?
Our very own GGail contacted Reggie Brown’s agent (firstname.lastname@example.org) – this is the reply she got:
“We’ve done the same speech in Harlem for a black advocacy group that we support and they laughed. It’s called comedy and I’m sorry that you don’t understand. The press is spinning this out of control and we would appreciate support from the public rather than falling into a media trap. Reggie is being used by the media both on the right and the left so that they can score political points at his expense. Our show was nothing more than political comedy that goofed on both sides; it wad no worse than what President Obama did at his own White House Correspondence Dinner.
There’s a live BBC feed here – and occasional live streaming at CNN
President Barack Obama walks out to make a statement to reporters about tornado damage in the United States at Winfield House in London, May 24 – the President will visit Missouri on Sunday
President Obama speaks with Prince Charles as they leave Winfield House, the official residence of the United States ambassador, in Regent’s Park, London
First lady Michelle Obama with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
President Obama shakes hands with Queen Elizabeth II as first lady Michelle Obama and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, look on, at Buckingham Palace
….meeting Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate at Buckingham Palace
President Obama reviews troops with Prince Phillip during an official arrival ceremony at Buckingham Palace
The President and Mrs. Obama gave Queen Elizabeth II a collection of rare memorabilia and photographs in a handmade leather bound album that chronologically highlights her parents’ (King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) visit to the United States in 1939. As the 1939 visit was the first such trip to the United States by a reigning British monarch, this gift contains both historic and personal value.
For Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the President and Mrs. Obama gave a custom-made set of Fell Pony bits and shanks, as well as original horseshoes worn by recently retired champion carriage horse Jamaica. The Duke of Edinburgh has a keen interest in equestrian sports and specifically in carriage driving. Designed in Colorado and made in Ohio, the set includes several interchangeable bits and each shank is engraved with the Presidential Seal. A slaughterhouse rescue horse, Jamaica rose to the top of carriage horse competition and was named the 2008 United States Equestrian Federation Horse of the Year.
For The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, the President and Mrs. Obama gave a special selection of plants, seedlings and seeds from the gardens of Mount Vernon, Monticello and the South Lawn of The White House, as well as jars of honey from The White House beehive. This one-of-a-kind collection is presented in a specially handcrafted wooden box made from a Magnolia tree that fell on the grounds of The White House during the snowstorm of February 2009. Magnolia trees have been a fixture on the South Lawn of The White House since the mid-nineteenth century.
President Obama talks with the Queen during a tour of the Portrait Gallery at Buckingham Palace
AFP: Key global players Friday backed US President Barack Obama’s call for a Palestinian state including land lost in the 1967 war as Israel insisted there could be no return to “indefensible” borders.
…The diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East, which includes the European Union, the United Nations, the United States and Russia, expressed “strong support” for Obama’s statement that a Palestinian state should include land that Israel has occupied since the 1967 war.
“The Quartet agrees that moving forward on the basis of territory and security provides a foundation for Israelis and Palestinians to reach a final resolution of the conflict through serious and substantive negotiations and mutual agreement on all core issues,” it said.
…EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton “warmly welcomes President Obama’s confirmation that the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines,” a spokeswoman said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Obama’s speech was “a very important message for the Middle East peace process” and the proposal “a good path that both sides should consider”.
In London, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he supported Obama’s “clear message that the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.”
…In the Arab world, Jordan hailed the American president who it said “for the first time clearly spoke of his vision for the establishment of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders and which must enjoy autonomy.”
…Syria’s official SANA news agency said Obama’s speech offered nothing new but “reaffirmed the deep-rooted and unwavering support for Israel’s security.”
Alone in outright condemnation, Iran slammed Obama’s statement as a sign of “despair” …. Iran does not recognise Israel’s right to exist.
President Barack Obama greets William Jawando, Deputy Associate Director of Public Engagement, his wife Michele and their four-month-old daughter Alia in the Oval Office, March 9, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama meets with Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel in the Oval Office, March 4, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Chief of Staff Bill Daley and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett greet Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel in the Outer Oval Office before his meeting with President Barack Obama, March 4, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
NYT: When Rahm Emanuel was White House chief of staff, the decision about what President Obama would say in the short address he delivers via radio and the Internet each Saturday changed so often that speechwriters would wait until Friday to write.
But since William M. Daley took over two months ago and David Plouffe succeeded David Axelrod as communications chief, the decision is made early — and it sticks.
The new team Mr. Obama has assembled to run the White House is just starting to make its mark. But together Mr. Daley and Mr. Plouffe are bringing a new order and a different management style for different times, say people within the West Wing and others who deal with them. The White House is more disciplined and less personality driven, more focused on long-term strategic goals and less consumed by the daily messaging skirmishes with Republicans…
Unlike Mr. Emanuel, the idea-a-minute dynamo who would dart from floor to floor trying to control matters mundane and major, Mr. Daley, a seasoned former executive and commerce secretary in the Clinton administration, has streamlined the operation and is more likely to keep to his office, door closed, and to delegate to subordinates….
…Mr. Plouffe likewise is less available to reporters and party officials and keeps his office television turned off — to tune out the daily distractions of cable TV’s political play by play …. Plouffe … is a stoic, by-the-numbers master of organization….
President Obama walks with senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, Chief of Staff Bill Daley and Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling from the White House before giving a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce