Archive for May, 2011

31
May
11

wednesday

President Barack Obama talks with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and John Bryson in the Ground Floor Corridor of the Residence at the White House, May 31, 2011. The President nominated Bryson to replace Secretary Locke, who was nominated to serve as Ambassador to China. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

See you tomorrow 😉

31
May
11

oh dear, oh dear….

Steve Benen: Jon Huntsman certainly isn’t the only Republican presidential candidate who supported an individual health care mandate. He is, apparently, the only one who persists in fudging the truth about it.

Two weeks ago, Huntsman and his team assured reporters that the former governor did not back a mandate as part of his reform package in Utah, adding that Huntsman’s record on health care reform stands in stark contrast to the measures backed by President Obama and Mitt Romney.

There’s ample evidence that Huntsman just wasn’t telling the truth, and that as governor, he threw his support to a reform package that included a mandate. Today, a conservative blog moves the ball forward with a video clip from 2007.

Full post here

Verum Serum: In light of this clip, you have to love the headline from the Salt Lake Tribune piece (May 23): “Huntsman considered health care mandate for Utah, some say”. Some? I have to say it really was not that difficult to dig up this clip and there was even a reporter from the Tribune at the press conference. Is it really too much to expect local media to look through their own archives and report accurately on questions of national significance like this? It seems to me that Huntsman’s support for the mandate would have been common knowledge amongst the reporters assigned to cover the governor in this timeframe, and I suspect this wasn’t the only time he was questioned about this.

Full post here

***

I see Huntsman has written an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (where else?) and he’s worried about America becoming a “declining power”. He doesn’t mention the President once, though – but then, he’s a “remarkable leader”, isn’t he? 😉

MSNBC (April 2011)

****

PM Carpenter: For Huntsman, a new low – This is pathetic. Just pathetic. More evidence that no low is too unthinkably low when it comes to “getting right” with 2012’s increasingly isolated pseudoconservatives.

….”the two living Republicans” the congenitally moderate Jon Huntsman says he “most admires” are – ready ? – Paul Ryan and Mike Huckabee….

Mr. Ambassador, by selling your soul now you’re only creating your own demons for 2016; they’ll come back to haunt you at the most inopportune time – that is, when the GOP has rendered the likes of Ryan-Huckabee scurrility to the flaky, untouchable margins of third-party Tea Partyism.

Full post here

Thanks Betsey

31
May
11

** sigh **

Are the Teabaggers designing Halperin’s graphics now? Real classy. 🙄

Update: Interesting – the graphic now appears to have been removed from the site (well, I can’t see it anyway). The new headline story? Yep, you guessed it, it’s about the half-termer meeting the Chump.

31
May
11

sunshine

Dublin, May 2011

See this Flickr account for some great photos from Dublin last week … like the one above 😉

31
May
11

twitteriffic

Larger image here

Irish Central: President Obama’s visit to Ireland, and more importantly his famous visit to Ollie Hayes’s pub in Moneygall to enjoy a pint of Guinness, along with the thousands of people who tweeted about the President’s visit, inspired a Wicklow businessman to create this piece of art.

Alan O’Flaherty … created a one off image of Obama made from approximately 1,000 Twitter avatars of users who tweeted on May 23rd … the poster is entitled “Is Féidir Linn” (“Yes We Can”) .. “It’s made up of 1,000 photographs of people who tweeted about the visit on the day. I got the idea of making the image after seeing something similar done when Obama was first elected president.”

31
May
11

stay classy, cnn

Media Matters: Proving once again that there’s no standard by which many mainstream media outlets are willing to hold sloppy propagandist Andrew Breitbart, CNN this afternoon invited the discredited blogger on the air to discuss the Rep. Anthony Weiner (NY- D) Twitter story.

Conveniently setting aside the fact that virtually every attack campaign that Breitbart has launched in recent years has collapsed under the weight of modest scrutiny, CNN presented the fatuous blogger as some sort of expert who could walk people through the Weiner story, which he’s been hyping for days. (The whole right-wing blogosphere launched itself into a creepy tizzy over the holiday weekend regarding the story.)

The invite was odd because last summer CNN’s Anderson Cooper helped debunk Breitbart’s shoddy Shirley Sherrod attack and announced the clips of Sherrod that Breitbart posted online “were clearly edited to deceive and slander Miss Sherrod.” Cooper added that Breitbart’s behavior was “a classic example of what is wrong with our national discourse.”

Full article here

31
May
11

introducing….

President Barack Obama shakes hands with John Bryson, his nominee to be Commerce Secretary, May 31

Steve Benen: ….Up until a few hours ago, I’d never heard of Bryson, so I can’t speak with any confidence to the quality of the nomination. That said, the Center for American Progress seems pleased, as do a variety of folks I’ve talked to this morning involved with climate activism, who consider Bryson one of the good guys.

What I found most interesting, though, wasn’t the White House’s announcement, but rather, the reaction from the Senate Republican leader.

“Shortly before Obama announced Bryson’s nomination, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office reiterated Republicans’ threat to block all administration nominations until the president acts on pending trade deals with Panama, Colombia and South Korea.”

Our entire political process has been reduced to a series of hostage stand-offs. McConnell …. wanted to remind everyone that unless the GOP gets what it wants on some trade measures, Republicans won’t allow a vote on Bryson’s nomination anyway. It doesn’t matter if he’s qualified or not. American governance has never worked this way; it wasn’t designed to work this way; and it can’t work this way.

See full post here

31
May
11

tuesday

July 22, 2010 – Pete Souza: “It’s always fun to observe how the President interacts with little kids, in this case the very shy daughter of Sen. Jack Reed who had brought his family by for an Oval Office visit.”

****

Washington Post: Six months after Republicans alarmed Democrats with a midterm election wave, President Barack Obama has shaken off the jitters and found his political footing despite sluggish economic growth and deep public anxiety about the direction of the country.

The White House now displays an air of confidence, bolstered in part by achievements such as the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. commandos and the financial success of an auto industry that Obama bailed out over the objections of many.

Obama is also benefiting from the absence of negatives. The economy, while lethargic, is growing. The private sector is creating jobs. Natural disasters, while deadly and plentiful, have not developed into governmental crises. Skyrocketing gas prices, which fed the public’s economic fears, are now subsiding. And the GOP’s signature budget plan, ambitious in its spending reductions, has lost its luster with the public.

“It is likely he will be re-elected, in my opinion,” veteran Republican pollster Wes Anderson says.

….Obama’s inner circle, always wary of sounding too self-assured, is not hiding its optimism. “I would rather be us than them,” said one of the president’s top political advisers, David Axelrod.

Pollster Andrew Kohut of the nonpartisan Pew Research Center compared Obama’s place in 2011 to President Ronald Reagan’s at a similar point during his first term, more than a year before he won re-election in 1984. “They both came from an ideological wing of the party and they are perceived that way. Both were hit with real bad economies and the public turned on them,” Kohut said. “Right now, Obama’s ahead of where Reagan was in ‘83.”

Full article here

****

CNN: President Barack Obama’s performance on national security and international affairs and his image as a strong leader appear to be behind his rising approval rating, according to new national poll conducted as the president was on an overseas visit to four countries.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday indicates that Obama’s approval rating among Americans stands at 54 percent, with 45 percent saying they disapprove of the job he’s doing as president. Obama’s approval rating appears to have steadily risen in the past two months, from 48 percent in early April to 52 percent in early May and the current mark of 54 percent.

****

Reuters: After Barack Obama put it on the map by downing a gulp of Guinness, residents of the U.S. president’s tiny ancestral home of Moneygall have spent the past week greeting busloads of tourists. “It’s still all happening. We’re still buzzing,” said Moneygall resident Marian Healy, whose son Henry welcomed his distant cousin Barack to the sleepy village during the president’s day trip to Ireland last week.

“There was a busload of Japanese tourists this morning and there were Americans here earlier too, looking for Henry to have his photograph taken with them.” 😆

…Obama’s morale-boosting stop-off, together with Queen Elizabeth’s historic state visit just days earlier, have given Irish tourism a boost it desperately needed after three years of recession saw revenues and visitors drop by about a third.

Full article here

****

President Obama has no public events on his schedule for Tuesday.

31
May
11

‘the abyss of reactionary sloganeering’

Michael Tomasky (Daily Beast): Liberals are tempted to rejoice in Palin’s candidacy. But as Michael Tomasky argues, we should all dread the effect of her torrent of lies and demagoguery on our politics.

…. Like most liberals, I’m happy to sit back and watch the multi-car pileup in the Republican Party that she will inevitably induce. But… I’d actually prefer never having to think about her again, and I preemptively lament the corrosive effect her unvarying diet of lies and demagoguery will have on our politics. The Republican primary will likely set up in such a way that she’ll be able to pull the field, and the party, hard to the right, and while that will be fine for Barack Obama come Election Day, it will help cripple any attempt to do anything constructive afterward.

….So this is where we’re headed, if she runs, down into this abyss of reactionary sloganeering. And while she may not be the nominee, she’s likely to have a huge impact on the race … It’s a crucial point here that all the leading candidates have histories of apostasy: Mitt Romney on health care, Tim Pawlenty on carbon and the environment, Jon Huntsman on having worked for Obama (and even now Newt Gingrich, having thundered against Paul Ryan’s budget). Palin will tear into them, and they’ll probably be loath to tear back, because they want her voters after she drops out.

….she should be able to set the terms of discourse by saying outrageous things and then watching as reporters ask the others whether they agree with her, and they say, out of mortal fear of the base, yes I do.

These other candidates will be like that poor protagonist in District 9 – mysterious Palin fluid will spray onto their faces and the infection will inevitably hit them. As I said, that will be fun to watch. But the fluid might someday splash on the rest of us, too … I ache for the day she retires there permanently.

Full article here

(I usually avoid posting any articles about the poisonous half-termer – and I know most of you hate even seeing her name mentioned here – but I reckoned Michael Tomasky’s piece was worth reading)

****

Meanwhile, I just saw this line on Time: “On CNBC, Texas Rep. Ron Paul says he no longer feels like a Republican outsider, difference is “night and day” compared to previous run.” That says it all about the current GOP.

30
May
11

memorial day

President Obama lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arlington National Cemetery, May 30

..with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen

First lady Michelle Obama greets Bob and Elizabeth Dole

President Obama place a challenge coin on the grave of a fallen soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

***

This made me laugh – there’s not a single mention of the President of the United States’ address at Arlington on Halperin’s page, instead the lead story is about…… the Flip-Flopper releasing a statement on Memorial Day 🙄

Comical.




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