Archive for December 8th, 2010

08
Dec
10

dream big

House lawmakers on Wednesday passed legislation allowing illegal immigrant students to remain permanently and legally in the United States.

The DREAM Act — a top priority of Democrats in both Congress and the White House — was approved by a tally of 216 to 198. Eight Republicans crossed the aisle to vote in favor of the bill, while 38 Democrats voted against it.

The bill now moves to the Senate, which is expected to take up the measure Thursday morning. The proposal’s success is much less likely in the upper chamber, where a GOP filibuster will require 60 votes for passage. The Senate shot down a similar measure in 2007, and most of the opponents at the time haven’t changed their positions over the last three years.

First introduced in 2001, the House legislation extends conditional legal status for five years to those illegal aliens who:

• Were younger than 16  when they entered the country
• Have lived in the U.S. for at least five years
• Have a degree from a U.S. high school, or the equivalent

Beneficiaries can apply for an additional five years of conditional nonimmigrant status if they’ve completed at least two years of higher education or military service. Afterward, they could apply for permanent legal status.

President Obama on the House’s passage of the DREAM Act: “I congratulate the House of Representatives, Speaker Pelosi, Congressman Berman, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other congressional leaders for taking the historic step of passing the DREAM Act today with a bipartisan vote. This vote is not only the right thing to do for a group of talented young people who seek to serve a country they know as their own by continuing their education or serving in the military, but it is the right thing for the United States of America. We are enriched by their talents and the success of their efforts will contribute to our nation’s success and security. And as the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found, the DREAM Act would cut the deficit by $2.2 billion over the next 10 years. I strongly urge the U.S. Senate to also pass the DREAM Act so that I can sign it into law as soon as possible.”

08
Dec
10

sound familiar?

Democratic Presidents and the (Professional) Left

Washington Post (Ezra Klein): ….a quote from Taylor Branch’s book, “The Clinton Tapes,” which recounts a contentious interview President Clinton sat for with Rolling Stone:

[Clinton] said Rolling Stone’s founder, Jan Wenner, had come to the White House with author William Greider, a former Washington Post editor … they had agreed not to discuss NAFTA because of Greider’s implacable opposition, and the president said all went fine until Greidier brandished a photograph of a destitute-looking American to mount a sudden, dramatic attack….

Greider confronted him saying here is one of the countless poor people who looked to you for leadership – you were their last hope. Now they feel utterly disillusioned and abandoned. Can you look into this face and name one thing you have done to help? Or one principle you won’t compromise ? One cause you will uphold? One belief you would die for?

“I kind of went off on him,” the president recalled. He told Greider that he had done things already that no other president would do …but liberals paid very little attention to these things because they were bitchy and cynical about politics. They resented Clinton for respecting the votes of conservatives or the opinions of moderates. They wanted him to behave like a dictator because they didn’t really care about results in the world….

…He said he had pointed at Greider to tell him the problem is you, Bill Greider. You are a faulty citizen. You don’t mobilize or persuade, because you only worry about being doctrinaire and proud. You are betraying your own principles with self-righteousness.

Clinton took a breath. “I did everything but fart in his face,” he concluded.

So, here we go again 😉

Full article here

08
Dec
10

“relieved you didn’t win now, hillary?” “at times like these? yep”

President Barack Obama, joined at left by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, meets with his Cabinet, Dec. 8

08
Dec
10

the cabinet

President Barack Obama holds a cabinet meeting at the White House, December 8

08
Dec
10

resolution

President Barack Obama signs the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, December 8


Last month: The U.S. Senate approved a $1.15 billion measure to fund a settlement initially reached between the Agriculture Department and minority farmers more than a decade ago.

The 1997 Pigford v. Glickman case against the U.S. Agriculture Department was settled out of court 11 years ago. Under a federal judge’s terms dating to 1999, qualified farmers could receive $50,000 each to settle claims of racial bias.

Officials are still working to resolve similar discrimination lawsuits filed against the U.S. Department of Agriculture by women and Latino farmers.

The Senate also cleared – in the same piece of legislation – $3.4 billion to fund a separate settlement reached with the Department of Interior for the mishandling of a trust fund managed for Native Americans. The bill also includes settlements for four water-right lawsuits filed by Native American tribes.

Prominent members of both parties have voiced support for paying out the settlements.

08
Dec
10

mythbusters!

President Obama makes a cable television appearance tonight, delegating a special science project to the hosts of The Discovery Channel’s MythBusters.

The assignment: Could ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes really have set an invading Roman ship on fire by reflecting the sun’s rays off of mirrors?

“Figure this out and report back to me,” the President tells the hosts.

The broadcast is 9 p.m. tonight, eastern time.

08
Dec
10

the professional left do that to my mood too

🙂

08
Dec
10

witam polska!

President Obama and President Bronislaw Komorowski of Poland speak to the press after meeting in the Oval Office to discuss economic issues, the new START treaty and other topics. December 8

Hachikō? 😉

08
Dec
10

an historic day?

OFA: Developments are happening quickly today. The Senate could vote on repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and both the Senate and House could take votes on the DREAM Act before the day is out.

Now is the time to call your senators and representatives and make sure they know how important these issues are to you.

Call your members of Congress and ask them to vote for the DREAM Act.
Call your senators and ask them to vote to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.

The DREAM Act would provide a path to citizenship for hardworking and talented undocumented youth by going to college or serving in the military. Amongst many others, it is supported by the Department of Defense, the Department of National Security and the Department of Education.

Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the law that bans gay men and women from serving openly in the military, is the right thing to do. Such a move is supported by a majority of the American people and was endorsed by the recent Department of Defense report.

With votes on these two fundamental issues happening possibly as early as today Congress needs to know how important it is that they vote the right way.

Ask your senators to vote for repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” here.
Ask your members of Congress to vote for the DREAM Act here.

08
Dec
10

matt? oooops

Columbia Journalism Review: Our nomination for this week’s bogus Times trend story is in the national section under the headline, “Murmurs on Left of a Primary Challenge to Obama.” Its author, political writer and analyst Matt Bai, writes that disappointed liberals, spurred by the president’s compromise on extending the Bush era tax cuts, among other compromises and failures, are calling for—or at least “murmuring” among themselves about—a primary challenger to take on the president in the lead-up to 2012. The evidence? A trio of liberal columns. Yep, as the rule goes, “three’s a trend.”

….And that’s pretty much all that’s offered to support the rather sensational headline and a lede which claims the latest compromise “is bound to intensify a debate that has been bubbling up on liberal blogs and e-mail lists in recent weeks—whether or not the president who embodied ‘hope and change’ in 2008 should face a primary challenge in 2012.” Well, after an uncritical reading of this article, maybe.

Full article here

Salon (Alex Pareene): Matt Bai has written — and the New York Times has published! — the most pointless piece of fantastical political “analysis” since … the last Matt Bai piece, I guess. The idea is that there is serious talk among liberals of supporting a primary challenge against Barack Obama, and the only problem with the otherwise flawless story is that that it is not true, and so it is a gigantic waste of everyone’s time.

While Matt Bai and his editors would certainly welcome a serious primary campaign against the president, because it would be fun to report on, the fact is that Bai has built this entire piece around some blog posts. You know you’re reading a really great piece of professional political analysis when the thesis is refuted in the first sentence of the second paragraph. “The idea seems to have little momentum for now,” Bai explains, but then for some reason he continued writing instead of shutting down his MacBook Air and going outside for a nice walk or something….

….As Steve Kornacki explained this morning, Barack Obama’s coalition still loves him and he’s in fine shape for reelection.

Of course, Matt Bai is not a complete idiot. He knows full well that a credible primary challenge from the left is very unlikely. He just wrote this piece because he thinks it would be totally awesome if that did happen. It is like a writer for the Times Science section turning in a piece headlined, “Maybe aliens will give us Warp Drive technology next year, that would be cool.” Save it for your Tumblr, Matt.

🙂

Full article here

Washington Independent: Recently, political memes have surfaced that do not have much basis in reality.

Matt Bai of the New York Times sees “murmurs” of a primary challenge against President Obama after he cut a deal with congressional Republicans to extend the tax cuts for the wealthy for two years in exchange for a 13-month unemployment extension, a payroll tax cut and other tax breaks designed to stimulate job growth.

As angry as some liberals are, there isn’t a lot of there there — the article quotes two Huffington Post blogs, a Washington Post op-ed and the head of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, who said he isn’t advocating a primary challenge.

Massachusetts Rep. Mike Capuano said he “may or may not” support Barack Obama’s reelection, but he’s not known for holding his tongue. Moreover, Rep. Alcee Hastings (Fla.) said the same thing over the summer. It’s just talk.

Meanwhile, President Obama has an 80 percent approval rating among self-identified liberals, and liberal icons like Sen. Russ Feingold (Wis.) and Howard Dean have unequivocally said they won’t challenge him.

Full article here

CBS: A column in the New York Times today headlined “Murmurs of Primary Challenge to Obama” is generating buzz about whether the president could face a serious challenge from within his own party in his reelection bid in 2012.

The reality, however, is that such a challenge is extremely unlikely.

…there is a difference between the liberal blogosphere and pundit class – what White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs calls the “professional left” – and the liberal base overall. According to the latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll, 90 percent of blacks still approve of the president, as do 82 percent of Democrats and 79 percent of liberals. It would seem to be very difficult to mount a successful challenge from the left in light of these numbers.

Add to that the fact that there is no plausible and interested challenger out there – no figure like Ted Kennedy, who challenged (and weakened) Jimmy Carter. Howard Dean and Russ Feingold, perhaps the two most viable options, say they aren’t doing it; Dean said he “is absolutely, categorically not running in 2012,” while Feingold’s spokesman said the Wisconsin Democrat “has no interest in challenging President Obama in 2012.” Rep. Dennis Kucinich has also ruled out a run.

Indeed, the Times column is pretty thin on evidence that there is momentum building for a primary challenge: It points to Michael Lerner, the editor of Tikkun magazine, former Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. confident Clarence B. Jones and American Prospect co-editor Robert Kuttner. With all due respect to these men, that does not constitute a groundswell of support for a primary challenge.

…despite the juicy Times headline – Mr. Obama doesn’t seem to have much to worry about.

Full article here




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