Posts Tagged ‘withdrawal

09
Jul
13

Rise and Shine

@vj44: Perfect day in DC for the start of the season and visit to the @whitehouse

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Today:

10:20: Live From the Kids’ State Dinner: Entrances (WH Live)

10:30: The President meets with members of the Congressional Black Caucus

10:45: White House Public Health and Climate Change Champions of Change (WH Live)

11:25: Live From the Kids’ State Dinner (WH Live)

11:55: First Lady Michelle Obama hosts the second annual Kids’ State Dinner (WH Live)

12:45: Press Briefing by Jay Carney (WH Live)

1:0: Kids State Dinner: Rachel Crow Musical Performance (WH Live)

2:0: Vice President Biden Speaks at Fire Fighter Memorial Service, Prescott Valley, Arizona (WH Live)

2:35: The President meets with Secretary of the Treasury Lew

4:30: Meets with Secretary of Defense Hagel

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President Obama meets with his Cabinet and senior officials in the Cabinet Room of the White House, July 8 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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NYT: U.S. Considers Faster Pullout in Afghanistan

Increasingly frustrated by his dealings with President Hamid Karzai, President Obama is giving serious consideration to speeding up the withdrawal of United States forces from Afghanistan and to a “zero option” that would leave no American troops there after next year, according to American and European officials.

Mr. Obama is committed to ending America’s military involvement in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, and Obama administration officials have been negotiating with Afghan officials about leaving a small “residual force” behind. But his relationship with Mr. Karzai has been slowly unraveling, and reached a new low after an effort last month by the United States to begin peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar.

Mr. Karzai promptly repudiated the talks and ended negotiations with the United States over the long-term security deal that is needed to keep American forces in Afghanistan after 2014.

More here

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Steve Benen: …. We’re left with a dynamic that the political establishment still finds difficult to fully grasp: GOP officials could make the federal health care system better and more to their liking, but they see no value in that. They’d rather sabotage it, regardless of the real-world consequences. They could help get rid of a mandate they oppose, but they’d rather keep the policy they hate in the hopes it won’t work, people will feel adverse consequences, and there will be new fodder for 30-second attack ads a year from now.

Some people pursue public service want to build things, and some pursue public service because they just want to watch things burn.

…. The most generous thing I can say about their approach is that it’s fundamentally unserious about helping anyone. The least generous thing I can say is probably inappropriate for a family-friendly blog.

Full post here

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Ezra Klein: Obamacare just got easier to implement, not harder

This hasn’t been a banner news week for Obamacare. But can it really be true, as my colleague Jennifer Rubin writes, that “Everyone now agrees: Obamacare can’t be implemented”?

Er, no.

I asked around …. Larry Levitt, vice president of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation: “….. If anything the delay removes some potential administrative complexities from the plates of the implementers……” …. Timothy Jost, a health law expert at Washington and Lee University’s School of Law, was even blunter. “Implementation just got easier rather than harder,” he said.

Well, so much for “everyone.”

As those interviews indicate, the thinking among health-care experts is closer to the precise opposite of Rubin’s bombastic headline: The Obama administration has decided to accept some bad media coverage now, and some higher costs later, in order to make Obamacare much, much simpler to implement next year…..

More here

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@KennettDems

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Steve Benen: On Friday, when he hoped no one was looking, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) approved sweeping new restrictions on reproductive rights, including a requirement that women receive a medically unnecessary ultrasound before terminating a pregnancy, and regulatory measures that would close half of the state’s abortion clinics.

The law was supposed to go into effect statewide yesterday. A federal court had other ideas…..

More here

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ThinkProgress: Sorry, Republicans, Your Own Investigation Proves No Dead People Voted In South Carolina….

South Carolina never found a single dead voter in recent elections. At least, that is the final word from the State Election Commission investigation into whether 900 people voted using a dead person’s name….

…. When Attorney General Alan Wilson demanded the original investigation, he cited “an alarming number” of cases reported by the DMV that “clearly necessitates an investigation into criminal activity.” ….

…. [This] will not prevent state Republicans from redoubling strict voter ID efforts, invigorated by the recent Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act. In fact, Wilson celebrated the decision, calling the Voting Rights Act an “extraordinary intrusion” and pledging to implement voter ID ….

More here

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ThinkProgress: Bush-Appointed Judge Slams Decision Striking Voting Rights Act — Court’s Reasoning Was ‘Made Up’

If a leading conservative scholar and former judge were now on the Supreme Court instead of Chief Justice Roberts or Justice Alito, it is likely that the Voting Right Act would remain intact.

Judge Michael McConnell was a leading conservative law professor at the time President George W. Bush named him to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in 2002 …. McConnell was also widely viewed as a possible Supreme Court nominee during the Bush Administration.

In an interview with NPR’s Nina Totenberg, McConnell has harsh words for the five conservative justices’ recent decision neutering much of the Voting Rights Act — labeling the reasoning that drove that decision “made up.”

More here

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Continue reading ‘Rise and Shine’

18
Dec
11

coming home

02
Dec
11

evening all

President Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton tour a building under construction in Washington as part of President Obama’s Better Building Initiative to promote energy efficient buildings

WH: President Obama today announced nearly $4 billion in combined federal and private sector energy upgrades to buildings over the next 2 years. These investments will save billions in energy costs, promote energy independence, and, according to independent estimates, create tens of thousands of jobs in the hard-hit construction sector.

The $4 billion investment announced today includes a $2 billion commitment, made through the issuance of a Presidential Memorandum, to energy upgrades of federal buildings using long term energy savings to pay for up-front costs, at no cost to taxpayers.

In addition, 60 CEOs, mayors, university presidents, and labor leaders today committed to invest nearly $2 billion of private capital into energy efficiency projects; and to upgrade energy performance by a minimum of 20% by 2020 in 1.6 billion square feet of office, industrial, municipal, hospital, university, community college and school buildings. This announcement builds on a commitment made by 14 partners at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in June to make energy upgrades across 300 million square feet, and to invest $500 million in private sector financing in energy efficiency projects.

More here

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Media Matters: Following breaking news that the unemployment rate dropped from 9 percent to 8.6 percent in November, Fox & Friends aired the following on-screen graphic:

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Washington Post: The U.S. military transferred control of its sprawling headquarters outside Baghdad to the Iraqi government Friday, a deeply symbolic moment that launched the final month of a nearly decade-long U.S. presence.

The last few soldiers at Camp Victory, a base that once housed 68,000 military personnel and contractors, departed early Friday afternoon. There are currently 12,000 U.S. troops left in Iraq at five bases, down from a peak of 170,000 at 500 bases in 2007, military spokesman Col. Barry Johnson said. All will be gone by the end of the year.

More here

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The Hill: Manufacturing grew for the 28th straight month and faster than it has since June, a report showed Thursday.

The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index increased to 52.7 percent in November, up from 50.8 percent in October. The index’s most recent high was 55.3 percent. Earlier in the year the sector was expanding above 60 percent each month before the economy hit a rough patch in the early summer. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

More here

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President Obama smiles for a photo with a group Marine Corps Navajo Code Talkers after delivering remarks at the White House Tribal Nations Conference, Dec. 2

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Robert Shrum: …. Mitt Romney is at heart a con man …. he would govern as he campaigns, no matter what he actually believes. That’s why the rest of us should be afraid of what Mitt Romney’s America would look like.

In Mitt Romney’s America, unemployment could escalate – or soar …. His long-term fiscal policy would shred the social safety net and devastate programs ranging from college loans to research and development and environmental protections. The wealthy would never be asked to pay their fair share by a president who would never risk alienating Grover Norquist….

Thus the “jobs” candidate could become the jobs destroyer as president – which, of course, was what he was when he dismembered companies and fired workers during his years in the private sector…

….. Medicare would be voucherized and Social Security would be privatized. Insurance companies would be free again to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions and to cancel policies as the costs of life-saving treatment mounted. Tens of millions more would be left without health insurance.

And Mitt Romney’s America would be a narrow and bigoted place, too. He opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” He’s proposed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages. His Supreme Court nominees would tip the balance and overturn Roe v. Wade. And what about civil rights? Romney has become an immigrant-baiter who now wants to build that “danged fence” along the border. The co-chair of his Justice Advisory Committee is Robert Bork, who called the 1964 Civil Rights Act “unsurpassed ugliness”. On issues of equality, Mitt Romney’s America would look a lot like Ted Kennedy’s famous description of Robert Bork’s America, where “rigid ideology will tip the scales of justice against the kind of country [this] is and ought to be.”

….. And that’s why I hope we never have to live in Mitt Romney’s America.

Full article here

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TPM

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Steve Benen: Every single time the Huntsman campaign releases another anti-Romney video, I have the same reaction: “Hey, that’s pretty good!”

I thought that about the “pretzel” video, the flipping-toy-monkey video, the weathervane video, and this week’s “Mittstant Replay” video.

Today, via Taegan Goddard, Huntsman’s team offers another gem, this time connecting Romney’s incessant flip-flopping to his background with the Olympics. It turns out, Romney flips with all the grace of a crashing gymnast:

More from Steve Benen here

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You know the way GOPolitico is obsessed with the President and Israel and spends its days searching for polls that suggest he is struggling with the Jewish community? Well, spare a thought for them, today was a very difficult day:

27
Nov
11

change

Liz Sly is the Washington Post’s Baghdad Bureau Chief

18
Nov
11

rise and shine

President Barack Obama stands with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife Kristiani Herawati during a family photo before the East Asia Summit Gala dinner in Nusa Dua, on the island of Bali

President Obama and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono talk as Balinese dancers perform on stage at the East Asia Summit dinner

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What a beautiful difference five years makes. Just sayin':

President George W. Bush chats with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the end of the Asian-Pacific leaders meeting in Hanoi, 19 November 2006.

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President Obama speaks after announcing a commercial deal between Boeing and Indonesia’s Lion Air at a signing ceremony in Nusa Dua, on the island of Bali, Indonesia.

Boeing and Lion Air have reached agreement on the purchase of 201 Boeing 737MAX and 29 Next Generation 737ER aircraft. The order will support over 110,000 U.S. jobs at Boeing and at suppliers in 43 states. This represents one of the largest trade deals between the United States and Indonesia in history….

Boeing and Singapore Airlines have reached agreement on the purchase of eight Boeing 777-300ER widebody aircraft with a total list price value of $2.4 billion, $2 billion in U.S. export content and supporting an estimated 11,000 U.S. jobs….

More here

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THIS:

The Hill: A senior military official says U.S. forces soon will begin winding down counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan, signaling a major shift in the decade-old conflict.

U.S. forces are working to “set the conditions” for Afghan government officials and security forces to assume control of key provinces by next fall as American troops begin to exit, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos told The Hill.

More here

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NYT: Chrysler said Wednesday that it would add 1,100 jobs at a sport utility vehicle plant here as it spends $1.7 billion developing new models for its Jeep brand.

…. Chrysler is one of several carmakers adding large numbers of jobs in the United States after years of steep employment declines in the auto industry. On Thursday, Toyota is scheduled to begin production at a new plant in Mississippi that will employ about 2,000 people.

The mayor of Toledo, Mike Bell, described Chrysler’s announcement as “the equivalent of a blood transfusion” for this heavily industrial city along the Michigan border.

More here

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FactCheck: Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry and Mitt Romney both claim President Barack Obama said that “Americans are lazy.” He didn’t. To the contrary, Obama has consistently and repeatedly praised American workers as the “most productive in the world,” a bit of boosterism he has repeated dozens of times. His recent words — “we’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades” – actually referred to collective efforts to promote foreign investment in the U.S., and not to American workers or voters as individuals. Perry and Romney simply rip those words out of their context in order to mislead.

More here

Wow, some proper journalism from CBS:

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Washington Post: A think tank founded by GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich collected at least $37 million over the past eight years from major health-care companies and industry groups, offering special access to the former House speaker and other perks, according to records and interviews.

Full article here

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President Barack Obama greets soldiers following his remarks at the Royal Army Air Force Base in Darwin. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

More photos from Australia at the White House site

Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!

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And thanks to our video Queen for this, the President’s speech to the troops in Darwin:

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Morning everyone ;-)

02
Nov
11

evening all

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Steve Benen: ….. “It’s safe to say Speaker John Boehner does not agree with President Obama’s suggestion on Tuesday that Americans are better off now than they were when he took office. “Are you kidding me?!” Boehner said loudly in response to a reporter’s question on the comment.”

…. Obviously, national conditions aren’t close to where they need to be. …. Maybe, if guys like Boehner would start passing jobs bills and stop holding the economy back on purpose, the public would start to feel like the country is on the right track again.

But for those who take reality seriously, there’s no real question as to whether the country is better off now than in January 2009:

Then the nation was hemorrhaging jobs; now it’s gaining jobs.

Then the economy was shrinking; now the economy is growing.

Then the American automotive industry was on the verge of collapse; now it’s starting to thrive.

Then taxpayers were sending money to Wall Street; now taxpayers are being paid back.

Then Osama bin Laden was targeting Americans and our allies; now he’s dead and al Qaeda’s leadership has been decimated.

Then U.S. troops were headed into the Middle East in greater numbers; now they’re headed home with their heads held high.

Republicans, including John Boehner, drove the United States into a pretty deep ditch during the Bush/Cheney era, and conditions are still pretty ugly. That doesn’t change the simple fact that the nation is much stronger now than the day the president was inaugurated ….

Full post here

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The GOP’s racial confusion:

The Week

AP: A third former employee considered filing a workplace complaint against Herman Cain over what she deemed aggressive and unwanted behavior when she and Cain, now a Republican presidential candidate, worked together during the late 1990s, the woman told The Associated Press on Wednesday. She said the behavior included a private invitation to his corporate apartment.

The woman said he made sexually suggestive remarks or gestures about the same time that two co-workers had settled separate harassment complaints against Cain, who was then the head of the National Restaurant Association.

Full article here

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Washington Post: Car buyers were out in force in October, snapping up trucks and SUVs and taking advantage of deals on Japanese cars.

U.S. car and truck sales were expected to top 1 million in October, a surprising number for a month when sales are usually slow. When adjusted for seasonal factors, that would be the best pace since the Cash for Clunkers program in August 2009.

Full article here

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Mediaite: In a Quinnipiac poll taken Oct. 25-31, embattled GOP juggernaut Herman Cain continued to show amazing staying power …. (but) The real news from this poll, taken before most of the fallout from Politico‘s alleged sexual harassment expose, might be that some rays of sunshine are finally hitting President Obama.

….. President Obama gained six points on his approval rating … and is now beating all Republican challengers by margins of 5-16 points. The President has seen steady progress in the polls since rolling out his American Jobs Act in September, taking it on the road, and taking the fight to the Republicans who oppose it.

Elsewhere in the poll, Democrats opened up a lead on the generic House ballot, beating Republicans 42-36, after tying them at 39 in October.

Full post here

Also, the President is up to 45% approval with Gallup today – that’s a rise of seven points in two weeks ;-)

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Wait – Suskind said the Obama administration didn’t like women much:

Washingtonian

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White House

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AP: Michelle Obama has presented national arts and humanities awards to 12 community-based, after-school programs, including for at-risk kids.

The programs use dance, theater, writing, music, history and other art mediums to inspire teen moms and other young people and help them reach their potential. The first lady said at a White House ceremony Wednesday that the programs show that the arts are a lifeline – not a luxury – for many of these kids.

Most of the participants graduate from high school or earn a GED and go on to college.

The 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards are presented on behalf of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in partnership with three national cultural agencies.

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Gallup

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President Obama leaves Andrews Air Force Base en route to France




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