First lady Michelle Obama watches the women’s singles tennis match between Serena Williams of the U.S. and Jelena Jankovic of Serbia at the All England Lawn Tennis Club during the London 2012 Olympics Games, July 28
.. with Venus Williams and former gymnast Dominique Dawes
Serena Williams gives a thumbs up gesture toward her sister Venus and first lady Michelle Obama after she defeated Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic
Monday: The President will participate in an Ambassador Credentialing Ceremony at the White House. In the afternoon, he will travel to New York City for campaign events and return to Washington, DC at night.
Tuesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House.
Wednesday: The President will travel to Mansfield, Ohio and Akron, Ohio for campaign events. He will return to Washington, DC at night.
Thursday: The President will travel to Orlando, Florida and Leesburg, Virginia for campaign events. He will return to Washington, DC in the evening.
Friday: The President will attend meetings at the White House.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet the family of Specialist Leslie H. Sabo, Jr., U.S. Army, outside the Oval Office prior to a Medal of Honor ceremony honoring Specialist Sabo, May 16, 2012. Pictured, from left, are: Kathleen Starkey, sister-in-law; Rose Sabo-Brown, widow; Frances Buccelli, mother-in-law. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Washington Post/AP: When Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney decried the “prairie fire” of U.S. debt Tuesday, he ignored some of the sparks that set it ablaze.
One was the Great Recession that took hold before Barack Obama became president. That landmark event went unmentioned in Romney’s speech. Another was a series of Bush-era tax cuts that Romney wants to follow with even lower rates.
Instead he laid the blame on Obama, a president who has certainly increased the nation’s eye-popping debt — but not, as Romney claimed, by nearly as much as all other presidents combined.
A look at some of Romney’s assertions and how they compare with the facts:
ROMNEY: “America counted on President Obama to rescue the economy, tame the deficit and help create jobs. Instead, he bailed out the public sector, gave billions of your dollars to the companies of his friends, and added almost as much debt as all the prior presidents combined.”
THE FACTS. Hardly. Presidents from George Washington through George W. Bush ran the national debt up to $10.62 trillion, the amount it was on the day Obama took office. Today, it is $15.67 trillion, according to the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Public Debt. So it has gone up by $5.05 trillion under Obama. That’s roughly half of the amount amassed by all the other presidents combined.
In short, the debt has gone up by about half under Obama. Under Ronald Reagan, it tripled.
Miami Herald: Welcome to FL, Mitt. Now why did Bain Capital lay off so many people in Miami?
As Mitt Romney returns to Florida on Wednesday for two days of campaigning and money-raising, Democrats are trying to ensure Floridians keep two words in mind: Dade Behring.
It’s the name of a former medical equipment manufacturer in Miami that Romney’s venture capital firm bought and then closed in the late 1990s, walking away with $242 million in profits.
“Obviously you need to make a profit to be successful,” Cindy Hewitt, Dade Behring’s former human resources officer, said Tuesday, at a Miami news conference organized by President Barack Obama’s campaign. “My concern is when businesses are used to generate wealth for a small number of people and businesses are run to the ground and the lifeblood is sucked out of it and all of their employees lose their jobs.”
The case of Dade Behring in Miami, where some 850 jobs were lost while Romney led Bain has been well-documented. But there’s a new wrinkle: The company under Bain’s leadership sought and received millions of dollars in tax breaks for creating jobs in Puerto Rico — shortly before closing its facilities, costing nearly 300 jobs.
In case anyone missed this today … it’s unmissable:
Thursday: The President will attend meetings at the White House.
Friday: PBO will deliver the opening keynote to the Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC. Later on Friday, the President will travel to Camp David for the G-8 Summit, which will address a broad range of economic, political and security issues. The President will remain overnight at Camp David.
Saturday: PBO will remain at Camp David for the G-8 Summit. Later on Saturday, the President will travel to Chicago, Illinois, where he will welcome NATO allies and partners to his hometown for the NATO Summit on May 20-21. The First Lady will travel to Chicago with the President.
Steve Benen: After three consecutive weeks of discouraging news, today’s report from the Department of Labor on initial unemployment claims pointed to a sharp improvement in the data.
Indeed, the new numbers not only reverse the discouraging trend, they’re back to the level we saw in mid-March, which is near a four-year low.
…. It’s worth emphasizing that week-to-week results can vary widely, and it’s best not to read too much significance into any one report. Still, it’s generally heartening when the numbers are at least pointing in the right direction.
E.J. Dionne: We expect some hypocrisy in politics, but it was still jaw-dropping to behold Republicans accusing President Obama of politicizing the anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden. Wasn’t it just eight years ago that the GOP organized an entire presidential campaign — including the choreography of its 2004 national convention — around the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and George W. Bush’s response to them?
Obama’s opponents don’t just think we have short attention spans. They imagine we have no memories whatsoever…
…. On foreign policy, Obama has kept his 2008 promise to turn history’s page. The nation is in no mood to turn it back.
MSNBC: GM posted a profit of $1 billion in the first quarter, beating Wall Street expectations on strong demand in its key North American market.
GM also said the U.S. economy was improving and it expected its core North American results in the second and third quarters to largely match the first quarter due to scheduled downtime at its large truck plants.
James Fallows (The Atlantic): … but then he gets a chance to sing at the White House tonight, doing Sweet Home Chicago with Mick Jagger and also B.B. King?? Jeesh, talk about being the most powerful man in the world.
…. The guy does have a charm that is hard to imagine the Santorums or Romneys ever matching …. for extra enjoyment check out the shots of White House chief of staff Jacob Lew bopping in the background. A real hep cat, for sure!
AP: A surging Rick Santorum is running even with Mitt Romney atop the Republican presidential field, but neither candidate is faring well against President Barack Obama eight months before Americans vote, a new survey shows.
Obama tops 50 percent support when matched against each of the four GOP candidates and holds a significant lead over each of them, according to the Associated Press-GfK poll….
….. Obama holds an 8-point lead over Romney, 9 points over Santorum and 10 points over Gingrich or Paul…. Notably, the survey showed the president dominating among independents, a group central to Obama’s 2008 victory, whose support for him had faltered in recent months. According to the poll, 6 in 10 independents would choose Obama over any of the Republicans.
Marquette: President Barack Obama leads each of his Republican rivals in Wisconsin, according to the new Marquette Law School Poll. Obama leads former Senator Rick Santorum 51 percent to 40 percent and leads former governor Mitt Romney by 53 percent to 38 percent. In January, Obama’s lead over Romney was 48 percent to 40 percent. The president holds a 52 percent to 36 percent lead over Rep. Ron Paul and a 56 percent to 33 percent margin over former Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Charles Pierce: It should be A Very Special Episode, this Wednesday night’s season finale of the 1,329,465,771.5 Republican debates. They should invite the whole cast back, all the people who left the show for their own spinoffs, the way they brought Rhoda and Phyllis back when Mary Richards got fired at WJM. Look, here’s Herman Cain, and there’s Michele Bachmann, and there’s Rick Perry, stumbling and falling into the potato salad. And there’s the formerly invisible Jon Huntsman. Who knew he was so tall?
Steve Benen: Last week, the House Oversight Committee, led by Chairman Darrell Issa, held a one-sided hearing on contraception access, featuring an opening panel of five conservative men – and no one else. Democrats on the committee had invited a witness, Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, but Issa refused to allow her to participate.
House Dems aren’t taking “no” for an answer …. Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday that a Democratic panel will meet this week to hear testimony from just one witness: Sandra Fluke….
…. There was, however, an unexpected twist yesterday afternoon … the Republican-controlled Committee on House Administration has refused to allow the hearing to be televised ….. what is it, exactly, about Fluke’s perspective that has Republicans so concerned? The law student wants to share the story of a classmate who lost an ovary due to an ailment that could have been treated with birth control.
A visitor looks at photographs taken during fieldwork in Indonesia by S. Ann Dunham, President Barack Obama’s late mother, during an exhibition at a gallery at the East West Center on the University of Hawaii at Manoa Campus, November 9
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talk with Irish President Mary McAleese and Dr. Martin McAleese during a courtesy call in the Drawing Room at the President’s residence in Dublin, Ireland, May 23, 2011
Oh, any excuse to take a trip down this memory lane:
Today is President Mary McAleese’s last day in office – she served 14 years (14!) as Irish president.
Sun Times: Today, in her keynote address to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Business Steps Up: Hiring our Heroes event, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that the International Franchise Association (IFA) which represents 1,100 franchises has committed to hiring 80,000 veterans and military spouses by 2014. 5,000 jobs of this commitment are promised to wounded warriors.
Mrs. Obama also announced that the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) – which Dr. Jill Biden helped launch at the Chamber of Commerce last summer and which includes nearly 100 companies and organizations – has committed to employ 20,000 military spouses. These organizations include companies like Microsoft, Home Depot and Citi and franchises like UPS, Guidant Financial and Data Doctors. Together, the commitment by the International Franchise Association and the Military Spouse Employment Partnership represents a commitment to hire 100,000 veterans, wounded warriors and military spouses by 2014.
Statement by the President on the State Department’s Keystone XL Pipeline Announcement
November 10, 2011
I support the State Department’s announcement today regarding the need to seek additional information about the Keystone XL Pipeline proposal. Because this permit decision could affect the health and safety of the American people as well as the environment, and because a number of concerns have been raised through a public process, we should take the time to ensure that all questions are properly addressed and all the potential impacts are properly understood.
The final decision should be guided by an open, transparent process that is informed by the best available science and the voices of the American people. At the same time, my administration will build on the unprecedented progress we’ve made towards strengthening our nation’s energy security, from responsibly expanding domestic oil and gas production to nearly doubling the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks, to continued progress in the development of a clean energy economy.
E.J. Dionne: “The tide of war is receding,” President Obama said today. He’s right to withdraw our troops from Iraq by the end of the year.
I am sure some longtime supporters of the war will criticize him for pulling out too quickly. But as Obama pointed out, we have been at war in Iraq for nine years. The situation there will never present a perfect time for withdrawal…
… It was appropriate that Obama made this announcement immediately in the wake of Moammar Gaddafi’s death. It’s worth noting that our intervention in Libya, which did not place U.S. forces on the ground, was not only successful but also left the United States far more popular among the Libyan people. Gaddafi would not have fallen without outside intervention, but he was ultimately brought down by the Libyans themselves. Is this not a far better model for democratization?
…. “The United States is moving forward from a position of strength,” Obama said today. The truth is we will be stronger for ending an intervention in Iraq that has cost us so much in lives, injuries and money. On this matter, at least, we really have “turned the page” that Obama spoke about so often in his campaign.
Andrew Sullivan: ….. if you’d told me in January 2009 that the banks would pay us back the entire bailout and then some, that the auto companies would actually turn around with government help and be a major engine of recovery, that there would be continuous job growth since 2009, however insufficient, after the worst demand collapse since the 1930s, that bin Laden would be dead, Egypt transitioning to democracy, al Qaeda all but decimated as a global threat, and civil rights for gays expanding more rapidly than at any time in history … well I would be expecting a triumphant re-election campaign.
But we are where we are – and the economic pain is real and the president must take his lumps. The good news for those of us who still back Obama and hope for his re-election is that even with all this positive record essentially dismissed and little of it capitalized on politically, Obama is still neck and neck with any likely opponent. And he is his own best messager.
At some point, he needs to shuck off the restraint, and tell the actual story of the last three years – against the fantastic and self-serving lies and delusions we keep hearing in Republican debates and Beltway chatter. If he does it with panache, he won’t need a jumpsuit onto an aircraft carrier. And many of his missions may even be accomplished.
ESPN: “We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr. We appreciate his contributions over the past years. The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue.”
Thank ESPN on Twitter – Monday Night Football’s PR guy here
USA Today: ESPN has dropped Hank Williams Jr. from opening Monday Night Football tonight after Williams controversial comments today about President Obama.
….. Williams, perhaps best known for his “are you ready for some football?” lead-in to ESPN’s Monday Night Football, Monday compared this summer’s so-called golf summit between Obama and House Speaker John Boehner as “one of the biggest political mistakes ever.”
As Williams put it on Fox News’ Fox & Friends: “It would be like Hitler playing golf with Benjamin Netanyahu.”
When asked on Fox to explain his analogy, Williams said Obama and Vice-President Biden are “the enemy.”
It still isn’t clear if ESPN have just dropped the creep from tonight’s show – or completely. Keep tweeting, let them know what you think ;-)