Archive for April 12th, 2011

12
Apr
11

life thru a lens

You can see the full National Geographic documentary here

12
Apr
11

buyers’ remorse …. use your brains next time, folks

Public Policy Polling: PPP’s newest national poll finds that after a little more than 3 months in charge House Republicans have fallen so far out of favor with the American public that it’s entirely possible Democrats could take control of the House back next year.

43% of voters think that House Republicans are doing a worse job now than the Democrats did, compared to only 36% who think the GOP has brought an improvement. 19% think things are about the same. 62% of voters thinking that the Republicans have either made things worse or brought no improvement to an already unpopular Congress does not bode particularly well for the party.

46% of voters say that if there was an election for Congress today they would vote Democratic, compared to only 41% who would vote Republican. That five point advantage for Democrats is only a hair below the margin Republicans won by in the national popular vote last year. A victory of that magnitude for the Democrats next year would at the very least result in the party taking back a large number of the seats it lost last year, and it could be enough to take back the outright majority…

….These poll numbers also point to the reality that Republicans taking control of the House may have been one of the best things that could possibly have happened for Obama’s reelection prospects … voters may not love Obama as once they did but they’re finding him to be more reasonable than the alternative and that means it will be hard for the GOP to knock him off next year without a top notch nominee.

One thing is very much for certain – it’s not 2010 anymore.

Political Wire: … Stunningly, independent voters now say they’d vote Democratic for the House by a 42% to 33% margin, representing a 28 point reversal in a span of just five months.

12
Apr
11

‘a healthy dose of pragmatism’

CNN, Tuesday April 12, 9pm ET/8pm CT/6pm PT

Thank you UT Austin Liberal 😉

12
Apr
11

the pizza guy

CNN: The queen of talk, the president and first lady of the United States together again. The President and Mrs. Obama will sit down with Oprah Winfrey for a taping of her talk show April 27th, a White House source confirms to CNN.

Ah, a good time for a flashback……

2006

12
Apr
11

“we’re ready to go”

More here

12
Apr
11

bloggers bite back

The Guardian: Arianna Huffington, her website and AOL were on the receiving end of a $105m lawsuit by a group of angry bloggers unhappy that she sold the Huffington Post for $315m without them being paid a penny.

The class action is led by Jonathan Tasini, a writer and trade unionist, who wrote more than 250 posts for Huffington Post on an unpaid basis until he dropped out shortly after the news and comment site was sold to AOL earlier this year.

Tasini complained that “Huffington bloggers have essentially been turned into modern day slaves on Arianna Huffington’s plantation” and said he was bringing the action because “people who create content … have to be compensated” for their efforts.

The complainant and his lawyers estimate about 9,000 people wrote for the Huffington Post on an unpaid basis – and argue that their writings helped contribute about a third of the sale value of the site, the basis of their $105m claim for compensation ….Tasini promised to wage a passionate campaign, saying he was “pissed off and angry” and that he would “picket her home” in his campaign….

More here

12
Apr
11

at your service (video added)

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr Jill Biden photographed by Brigitte Lacombe for Parade. An interview with the First Lady and Dr Biden on their new military families initiative will run in Parade magazine on Sunday, April 24

See a preview of the interview here

PARADE: Mrs. Obama, in a recent Quinnipiac poll, their so-called National Feeling Thermometer, you got the warmest rating. You got 60.1 degrees, better than any other politician, which you’re not. The President of the United States got 56.5 degrees. So what makes you so warm and fuzzy to the American people?

FIRST LADY: Well, if people feel warmth for me, that’s a good thing. You know, I think I am a warm person. It helps that I’m able to pick issues that are really authentic to me in some way, shape, or form. And I think that’s the beauty of [my and Jill’s] roles is that issues aren’t thrown at us unlike our husbands. We get to make concrete decisions about what brings us passion. And when you’re working on anything that you care deeply about, that shines through. And perhaps that’s what people are feeling, but it’s hard to… That’s one of those embarrassing things. [laughs] Why am I so lovable?

President Barack Obama talks with first lady Michelle Obama in the East Room of the White House, April 12, after an event to launch the national initiative to support and honor America’s service members and their families

12
Apr
11

multiple choice mitt

Politico: …..Former Democratic operative Matt Ortega immediately launched “Multiple Choice Mitt,” a site that juxtaposes clips of Romney making different comments about the same topics – displaying different policy positions, of course.

“Mitt Romney is not even an empty suit. He’s a Ken doll without the lifelike realism. The man will – literally – say anything to placate the audience before him.”

Visit the site here – it’s superb!

Ooops …. Mitt is having internet trouble with right-wingers too – here’s conservative Boston radio host Michael Graham’s site:

12
Apr
11

tour of duty

First lady Michelle Obama plans today to kick off a national initiative highlighting the special needs of wounded military members and their families. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will unveil the initiative at the White House before embarking on a two-day tour of medical facilities and family support centers in Texas, North Carolina, Colorado and Ohio.

…White House officials said the San Antonio stop will include a private meeting between Obama, Biden and wounded military members and their families … .After the San Antonio visit, Obama is scheduled to travel to Denver and participate in a more celebratory event at Coors Field, with a baseball game between the Colorado Rockies and the New York Mets. Singer Jessica Simpson is expected to perform, and the U.S. Air Force Academy baseball team will practice with military children attending the game.

Officials said the first lady will officially launch the initiative at noon today in a White House ceremony to thank businesses, philanthropists and government groups for what they have done to support veterans.

Obama and Biden will travel to Camp Lejeune, N.C., to highlight Operation Shower, a nonprofit organization that hosts baby showers for military families experiencing deployments or high-stress situations. The White House delegation will meet with special guest Martha Stewart and bring gifts for 40 pregnant women whose husbands are service members.

The two-day tour by the first lady will end Thursday in Columbus, Ohio, where Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers and Elmo from the Sesame Street Muppets will take part in a concert-style event honoring National Guard members and their families.

More here

Live here

12
Apr
11

he gave away everything! oh, wait….

AP: Details of last week’s hard-won agreement to avoid a government shutdown and cut federal spending by $38 billion were released Tuesday morning. They reveal that the budget cuts, while historic, were significantly eased by pruning money left over from previous years, using accounting sleight of hand and going after programs President Barack Obama had targeted anyway.

Such moves permitted Obama to save favorite programs – Pell grants for poor college students, health research and “Race to the Top” aid for public schools, among others – from Republican knives.

..As a result of the legerdemain, Obama was able to reverse many of the cuts passed by House Republicans in February when the chamber approved a bill slashing this year’s budget by more than $60 billion. In doing so, the White House protected favorites like the Head Start early learning program, while maintaining the maximum Pell grant of $5,550 and funding for Obama’s “Race to the Top” initiative that provides grants to better-performing schools.

Instead, the cuts that actually will make it into law are far tamer, including cuts to earmarks, unspent census money, leftover federal construction funding, and $2.5 billion from the most recent renewal of highway programs that can’t be spent because of restrictions set by other legislation. Another $3.5 billion comes from unused spending authority from a program providing health care to children of lower-income families.

…conservatives are upset that most conservative policy “riders” added by Republicans were dropped from the legislation in the course of the talks.

The White House rejected GOP attempts to block the EPA’s ability to issue global warming rules and other reversals of environmental regulations. Obama also forced Republicans to drop an effort to cut off Planned Parenthood from federal funding, as well as GOP moves to stop implementation of Obama’s overhauls of health care and Wall Street regulation.

The administration also thwarted a GOP attempt to block new rules governing the Internet, as well as a National Rifle Association-backed attempt to neuter a little-noticed initiative aimed at catching people running guns to Mexican drug lords by having regulators gather information on batch purchases of rifles and shotguns.

More here

****

Steve Benen: Today is the first day we’ve been able to get a good look at exactly what spending cuts are included in the new budget deal. We’ve been working with the larger, top-line numbers since late last week, but without a sense of what the specific cuts are going to be.

….does this mean the actual budget cuts won’t be quite as brutal as we thought when the deal was struck on Friday night? Actually, yes, that’s pretty much what it means. The AP’s report echoes this point.

..It turns out, a lot of the cuts related to money that wasn’t going to be spent (leftover Census money, for example), eliminating programs that were set to expire, and not repeating expenditures intended to be one-time infusions anyway.

Maybe it’s time to revisit the assumption that the Obama White House got rolled.

More here




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