Archive for November 30th, 2010

30
Nov
10

picture perfect: no 33

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pretend to march to music in the Blue Room of the White House, July 4, 2010, before delivering remarks to military families during a Fourth of July celebration. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

See all the ‘Picture Perfect’ photos here

30
Nov
10

homophobe! oh, wait….

“As Commander in Chief, I have pledged to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law because it weakens our national security, diminishes our military readiness, and violates fundamental American principles of fairness and equality by preventing patriotic Americans who are gay from serving openly in our armed forces.  At the same time, as Commander in Chief, I am committed to ensuring that we understand the implications of this transition, and maintain good order and discipline within our military ranks. That is why I directed the Department of Defense earlier this year to begin preparing for a transition to a new policy.

Today’s report confirms that a strong majority of our military men and women and their families—more than two thirds—are prepared to serve alongside Americans who are openly gay and lesbian.  This report also confirms that, by every measure—from unit cohesion to recruitment and retention to family readiness—we can transition to a new policy in a responsible manner that ensures our military strength and national security. And for the first time since this law was enacted 17 years ago today, both the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have publicly endorsed ending this policy.

With our nation at war and so many Americans serving on the front lines, our troops and their families deserve the certainty that can only come when an act of Congress ends this discriminatory policy once and for all.  The House of Representatives has already passed the necessary legislation.  Today I call on the Senate to act as soon as possible so I can sign this repeal into law this year and ensure that Americans who are willing to risk their lives for their country are treated fairly and equally.  Our troops represent the virtues of selfless sacrifice and love of country that have enabled our freedoms. I am absolutely confident that they will adapt to this change and remain the best led, best trained, best equipped fighting force the world has ever known.”

Let’s be honest, the nut-job anti-Obama wing of the gay rights movement (you know, the folk who make Tea Partiers seem reasoned) is going to be hugely disappointed when DADT is, as promised, repealed – they’ll have one less reason to explain away their hatred of the President.

When DADT is repealed it will be a great day for America, it is a vile piece of legislation – justice will finally be served for the brave gay men and women in the US military.

To the Obama-hating extremists, though: Change you have to believe in, no matter how much it enrages you 😉

Link

30
Nov
10

pure gold

October, 2008

I’ll always struggle to forgive him for being a Republican, but these 7 minutes, 25 seconds were simply stunning

30
Nov
10

ah, facts are stubborn things…..

Blackwaterdog’s at it again, uplifting people with facts:

Clickety-click

30
Nov
10

red-letter day

A ribbon for World AIDS Day is seen on the North Portico of the White House in Washington on November 30, 2010

30
Nov
10

hawaii holdup

CNN: President Barack Obama is considering at least a short delay to the start of his holiday vacation in Hawaii so he can try to work out a deal with congressional Republicans on the Bush tax cuts that expire December 31, CNN has learned.

Two senior administration officials tell CNN the White House has been getting signals that the lame duck session of Congress could drag on past December 18, when the president is scheduled to depart for Hawaii.

Obama has privately said he is willing to stay in Washington until Christmas Eve if necessary to finish the contentious debate over taxes, the officials said.

While administration officials do not expect that Obama will have to stay in town until Christmas Eve, which he did last year because of health care reform, they believe there could be a delay of at least a couple of days.

30
Nov
10

grim news for the gop: the economy just won’t stop recovering

Consumer Confidence in U.S. Improves, Businesses Expand in Recovery Signs

Bloomberg (extracts): Confidence among U.S. consumers rose in November to the highest level in five months and a gauge of business activity unexpectedly climbed, signaling the recovery is taking hold heading into 2011.

Gains in spending that are giving retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. a boost during the holiday-shopping season are more likely to continue into next year as households sense that job and income prospects are improving.

Factories, which helped lead the economy out of the recession, are still bolstering the expansion. The Chicago ISM’s business barometer rose to 62.5 in November, exceeding even the highest estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Manufacturing may keep accelerating as exports grow and companies invest in new equipment, sustaining the recovery. The group’s production gauge climbed to the highest level since February 2005, and the index of new orders rose to a three-year high.

“Manufacturers still have orders coming in and they have to be filled,” said Thomas Simons, an economist at Jefferies Group Inc. in New York. “There is a lot of foreign demand and a lot of business demand.”

The economy expanded at a 2.5 percent pace in the third quarter, more than initially estimated, the Commerce Department said last week. Consumer spending rose at the highest rate in almost four years and wage and salary gains were revised up for the past two quarters.

Meanwhile…..

Politico: The Congressional Budget Office has a positive prediction for the Obama administration: The government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program is seen as costing taxpayers $25 billion, which the nonpartisan group says is “substantially less” than previous estimates.

The CBO says in a new report that the costs of TARP’s transactions to the federal government are well below the $66 billion that was last estimated in August.

“Clearly, it was not apparent when the TARP was created two years ago that the cost would turn out to be this low,” the report says. “Because the financial system stabilized and then improved, the amount of funds used by the TARP was well below the $700 billion initially authorized, and the outcomes of most transactions made through the TARP were favorable for the federal government.”

The reduction in the estimated cost is attributed to a few developments, including a lower cost in assistance to AIG and the auto industry.

The CBO’s estimate is also substantially lower than the Office of Management and Budget’s latest estimate of $113 billion. The nonpartisan office says this is because “the market value of assets held by the government has increased and several recipients of TARTP funds – most notably General Motors and AIG – have significantly restructured the Treasure’s investment since May 31, 2010.”

30
Nov
10

an afternoon with the gop? uggh.

President Barack Obama speaks to the press after meeting with bi-partisan Congressional leadership

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with bipartisan Congressional leadership in the Oval Office Private Dining Room, Nov. 30, 2010. Attending the meeting, clockwise from President Obama are: Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., Majority Leader; Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Republican Leader; Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Assistant Majority Leader; Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Republican Whip; Vice President Biden, Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., Republican Whip; Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Majority Leader; Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, Republican Leader; and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

I feel ill…..

House Speaker-designate John Boehner participates in a media briefing after GOP leaders met with President Obama

Kinda reminds me of this fella:

Just sayin’

30
Nov
10

come on teabaggers, try harder!

I saw this photo posted AGAIN on a right-wing nut-job fruit-bat dip-stick website (I got lost on the interwebs):

They’re original, aren’t they? Although not as original as the non-photoshopped version of the pic – which was darkened (!!), flipped and cigarette-ized:

Museum of Hoaxes: In early 2008 the top photo began circulating online, showing Obama with a cigarette in his mouth. It is not real. The original photo (bottom) was taken by Kwame Ross on Aug. 3, 2004 while then-State Sen. Obama met with constituents at the University of Illinois while campaigning to become a U.S. Senator. An unknown hoaxer digitally added the cigarette into the photo.

Oh dear

30
Nov
10

gop? you were saying?

WH: Before and after the Affordable Care Act became law, many opponents of reform predicted that Medicare Advantage plans – a type of Medicare health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide benefits to seniors – would be severely damaged by health reform.

Today, the Washington Post (‘Medicare Advantage provision going smoothly’) looks at the reality and finds that the dire predictions were unfounded and Medicare Advantage is going strong. Under the headline “Medicare Advantage provision going smoothly” the Post reports:

“One of the most significant savings envisioned in the new health care law – limiting payments to the private health plans that cover 11 million older Americans under Medicare – is, so far, bringing little of the turbulence that the insurance industry and many Republicans predicted.”

“Whether the payment changes are warranted was a contentious subplot in the protracted debate over the legislation. Democrats argued successfully that the private plans were being overpaid and could withstand the changes. Republicans warned that such plans would raise prices, lower benefits or cause defections from the program, stranding the elderly people who rely on them.

“Early clues to the actual effects have now materialized, as elderly Americans may sign up for a health plan for 2011 during an enrollment period through the end of the year, and the warnings of swift, serious damage to the program are not borne out. Fewer health plans are available for the coming year, but the decrease is largely for reasons unrelated to the new law. Premiums have not jumped substantially, and benefits have not tended to erode.”

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and senior staff, react in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, as the House passes the health care reform bill, March 21, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)




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