Archive for August 20th, 2012

20
Aug
12

This and That

President Barack Obama samples a baked zucchini fry in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House after dropping by the Epicurious Kids’ State Dinner in the East Room, Aug. 20 (by Pete Souza)

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Tuesday:

9:15: President Obama departs the White House

10:40: Arrives in Columbus, Ohio

1:00: Delivers remarks at a campaign event at Capital University in Columbus

1:30: VP Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event at The Depot, Minneapolis

2:50: PBO departs Columbus

5:15: VP Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event at the Olmstead County Fairgrounds, Rochester, Minn.

6:55: PBO arrives in Reno, Nev.

8:00: Delivers remarks at a campaign event at Truckee Meadows Community College, Reno

9:40: Departs Reno en route Las Vegas

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Steve Benen: …. Ferguson’s new cover story marks an ignominious low for the once-great magazine, tarnishing the publication’s reputation in ways likely to do lasting, irreparable harm.

…. in the course of launching his lengthy, 3,300-word attack, Ferguson publishes a series of claims with no foundation in reality …. But there’s one problem in particular that helps capture why Ferguson’s piece represents political journalism at its most atrocious.

Ferguson argues that President Obama promised the Affordable Care Act wouldn’t add to the deficit. In reality, this is a promise Obama has kept …. In order to publish this lie, Ferguson counted up the costs, ignored the savings and receipts, and presented a bogus net total….

Making matters much, much worse, Ferguson decided to challenge Krugman’s facts with an angry response, pointing to a CBO report that he’s certain proves him right.

It doesn’t. As Dylan Byers explained, “In order to get himself out of that predicament, Ferguson decides to edit the CBO report to satisfy his own conclusions…. Ferguson cut the CBO excerpt off mid-sentence and changed the meaning entirely…. So, one more time: The Oxford-trained, Harvard-employed, Newsweek contributor Niall Ferguson just edited the CBO report to change its meaning.”

What Ferguson and Newsweek published isn’t journalism; it’s a joke.

Full post here

The Atlantic: ….. In the world as Ferguson describes it, Obama is a big-spending, weak-kneed liberal who can’t get the economy turned around. Think Jimmy Carter on steroids. But the world is not as Ferguson describes it. A fact-checked version of the world Ferguson describes reveals a completely different narrative — a muddy picture of the past four years, where Obama has sometimes cast himself as a stimulator, a deficit hawk, a health care liberal and conservative reformer all at once. And it’s a world where the economy is getting better, albeit slowly.

It would have been worthwhile for Ferguson to explain why Obama doesn’t deserve re-election in this real world we actually live in. Instead, we got an exercise in Ferguson’s specialty — counterfactual history.

More here

James Fallows: Yes, I know, you could imagine many sentences that would follow that headline. But here is what I have in mind right now: A tenured professor of history at my undergraduate alma mater has written a cover story for Daily Beast/Newsweek that is so careless and unconvincing that I wonder how he will presume to sit in judgment of the next set of student papers he has to grade.

More here

Brad DeLong: …. Fire his ass from Newsweek, and the Daily Beast. Convene a committee at Harvard to examine whether he has the moral character to teach at a university. There is a limit, somewhere. And Ferguson has gone beyond it.

Full post here

Noah Opinion: I have been known to tease a fellow blogger or two, but there is really only one writer who makes me truly mad, and that is British historian Niall Ferguson. I will explain exactly why he makes me so mad at the end of this post. First, though, I want to say a few words about Mr. Ferguson’s cover story in Newsweek magazine, entitled “Hit the Road, Barack”. I should note that it imposes a heavy psychic cost for me to do so, since it requires that I actually read Niall Ferguson. But the public duty to expose BS and promote truth and intellectual honesty overrides such selfish concerns.…. The British Empire is over, Niall. It had its day. We can debate eternally how much good it did, but now it is done, and it is not coming back. Stop trying to screw up my Republic in your doomed effort to bring it back.

Full post here (with links to other takedowns of this right wing nutjob lying scumbag)

Charles P. Pierce: I’m late to the party in regards to Niall Ferguson’s egregious cover on the weekly grocery shopper once known as Newsweek magazine ….

…. Krugman — and Jim Fallows, and Andrew Sullivan, and The Atlantic in general — are not after Ferguson because they disagree on the advisability of re-electing the president. They are after him because what he wrote was… not… true.

Full post here

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You know the most striking thing about Ferguson’s piece? He had to lie to make a case against PBO.

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The Political Carnival

Thanks Desertflower

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Cagle

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Mediaite: Speaking to Fox News’ Carl Cameron Saturday morning, Republican VP nominee Paul Ryan made the case for why he believes his foreign policy credentials are stronger than President Obama’s, emphasizing that he has been a voting member of Congress longer than the president. Ryan cited his votes in favor of the Iraq War as evidence that he has had more foreign policy experience than Obama.

“I’ve been in Congress for a number of years,” he told Cameron. “That’s more experience than Barack Obama had when he came into office.”

“I voted to send people to war,” he added.

(Seriously, that’s not from The Onion)

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Cagle

 

20
Aug
12

Dinner with Barack & Michelle

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have dinner with three winners of “Dinner with Barack and Michelle” fundraising contest at Mintwood Place in Washington, D.C.

20
Aug
12

Masterful

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Greg Sargent: In a surprise appearance before reporters at the White House just now, Obama made a striking, if perhaps long overdue, charge: He pushed back on GOP claims he’s running a dirty campaign by arguing that Romney’s entire campaign is based on flat out lies.

…. it remains the case that we are seeing nothing from the Obama side that’s anything like what Romney is attempting. Romney right now is premising one of the central arguments of his whole campaign on a complete lie. The notion that Obama “gutted” the work requirement in welfare reform has been debunked again and again by independent fact checkers and by the president who signed the law Obama supposedly gutted (see Clinton, Bill).

But Romney has now run three ads — one, two, three — making this claim. Incredibly, the Romney campaign is doing this, even though he himself said that campaigns should pull ads that are called out by fact checkers. Romney and his surrogates have repeated the welfare lie in forum after forum after forum.

…. The folks working at the big news organizations know Romney is lying with abandon. What should they do about it? I’m sympathetic to political journalists — it’s not easy to keep up with all the falsehoods, and at a certain point, the same lie told again and again loses its news value. But perhaps Obama’s comments today will prompt at least a bit of media discussion about what it means that one candidate — yes, far more than the other — is running a campaign of such epic dishonesty.

Full post here

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OFA

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Don’t miss Liberal Librarian’s post on Todd Akin here

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Greg Sargent: The national battle over Todd Akin’s comments about “legitimate rape” has shed light on a “personhood” bill, co-sponsored by Akin and Paul Ryan, called the Sanctity of Life Act. Much of the chatter today has focused on whether Ryan opposes abortion in cases of rape. The Romney campaign confirmed today that Ryan does personally oppose it, while clarifying that a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose it.

But what about the other legal implications of the bill Ryan and Akin co-sponsored? In an interview just now, Dem Rep. Louise Slaughter, one of the leading pro-choice voices in Congress, raised two startling possibilities.

“One of the questions around this legislation is, Could a rapist who impregnated a victim sue that victim if she decided not to carry that baby and to have an abortion?” Slaughter said. “Another question: Could in vitro fertilization be outlawed?”

More here

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See here

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TPM: Todd Akin’s Greatest Hits

Student Loans: In April, Akin cited a law Democrats passed in 2010 that saves billions of dollars by preventing private banks from profiting, risk free, on federally backed student loans as an example of the notion that “America has got the equivalent of stage three cancer of socialism, because the federal government is tampering in all kind of stuff it has no business tampering in.”

When offered the chance to clarify, he declined, saying “I called a spade a spade.”….

First Amendment: In June 2011, Akin told Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, that “the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God and a belief that government should replace God.”

Marital Rape: In 1991, as a state legislator, Akin questioned whether anti-marital rape legislation might be used “in a real messy divorce as a tool and a legal weapon to beat up on the husband.” He ultimately voted for the bill.

More here

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Cagle

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New Hampshire, August 18

Windham, New Hampshire, August 18

Rochester, New Hampshire, August 18

Scout Tufankjian for Obama for America

20
Aug
12

Live now: President Obama Press Briefing

White House live

CBS

20
Aug
12

Dinner Guests

First Lady Michelle Obama hugs her introducer, 12-year-old Marshall Reid from North Carolina and author of ‘Portion Size Me: A Kid-Driven Plan to a Healthier Family’

The first ever “Kids’ State Dinner” held at the White House, August 20

20
Aug
12

Kids State Dinner

Kids State Dinner at the White House …. on now:

Also on:

White House live

Let’s Move

CNN live streaming

20
Aug
12

Rise and Shine

2:25 President Obama is interviewed by regional television (from Jacksonville, Fla., Norfolk, Va. and San Diego, Cal.) and a newspaper (the Virginia-Pilot, which covers the Norfolk and Hampton Roads areas)

6:15: The President and First Lady have dinner with winners of a campaign contest

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White House live

CNN streaming

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Eclectablog

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Daily Beast (August 11): Paul Ryan’s Extreme Abortion Views …. on abortion and women’s health care, there isn’t much daylight between Ryan and, say, Michele Bachmann ….. He believes ending a pregnancy should be illegal even when it results from rape or incest, or endangers a woman’s health….. More here

TPM (August 19): Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign : “Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement. A Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape”

NYT

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JSOnline: Odious remarks by GOP Missouri Senate candidate Cong. Todd Akin about how few pregnancies result from “legitimate rape” have done more than outrage people across the country and doom Akin’s bid to move up from the House.

It motivated the Romney campaign – already trailing among women voters in recent polls – to distance itself from Akin by assuring voters that Romney and Paul Ryan should they win in November, would not oppose raped women’s access to abortion.

“Governor Romney and Congressman (Paul) Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape,” Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said.

You’d probably say that sounds reasonable and humane – except it was just three days ago that PolitiFact devoted a lot of space to this issue and found that while Romney backed abortions in cases of incest and rape, Ryan did not.

…. I think this will be a huge issue in the campaign. I don’t see how Romney and Ryan can sell this to the base, which will see it as a Ryan sellout or forced surrender ordered by Romney – a former moderate whom the base has never embraced.

…. Ryan’s roll out – embarrassed and side-tracked last week over his duplicity in blasting the Obama stimulus while soliciting its funds, then conceding his denials about the funding solicitations were indeed inaccurate – is unraveling more quickly than Sarah Palin’s.

Full post here

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Michael Tomasky: Todd Akin did not come up with this idea of “legitimate rape” on his own …. it’s been floating around in the mite-infested right-wing air since the 1980s….

…. If you’ve been reading about this since yesterday, you’ve probably come across the figure of 32,000 pregnancies per year in the United States that result from rape….

I have to say that number astonished and sickened me …. I read elsewhere that 1,870 women are raped every day in the land of the free. Do the math. The numbers check out. Holy crap. That’s like war. We’re living amidst a war. And what does Akin propose to do about it – and, for that matter, Paul Ryan?

…. Michelle Goldberg was on this case in January 2011, writing about HR 3, the bill that sought to make a distinction between “forcible rape” and “statutory rape” …. Two of the original cosponsors? Akin and Ryan.

Will this remark put Ryan on the spot? It damn well better. How many of those 1,870 women raped every day does he think weren’t really raped?

Full post here

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Washington Post editorial: …. Mitt Romney promises to lower everyone’s income tax rate without reducing revenue. This sounds terrific. Why didn’t we think of it sooner?

Mr. Romney says that he can achieve this seemingly magical result by “broadening the base” for income tax collection. This, too, sounds great. In principle, everyone favors “broadening the base,” also known as closing loopholes. But everyone favors closing someone else’s loopholes: those of oil companies, say, or of plutocrats who park their money in the Cayman Islands.

…. Recently the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center showed that Mr. Romney’s plan would by necessity help the rich and hurt the middle class …. Romney took strong issue with this conclusion. “They made garbage assumptions and they reached a garbage conclusion,” he said….

…. If these are “garbage assumptions,” why doesn’t Mr. Romney let us in on his own?….

In reality, his principles are mutually exclusive: You can’t simultaneously lower tax rates, take in as much money as before and protect the middle class …. It’s reasonable to assume that his cuts would, as did President Bush’s, worsen the nation’s deficit.

Until he’s willing to explain how he would avoid such a result, he has little standing to criticize Mr. Obama’s fiscal shortcomings.

Full editorial here

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Paul Krugman: Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate led to a wave of pundit accolades. Now, declared writer after writer, we’re going to have a real debate about the nation’s fiscal future. This was predictable: never mind the Tea Party, Mr. Ryan’s true constituency is the commentariat, which years ago decided that he was the Honest, Serious Conservative, whose proposals deserve respect even if you don’t like him.

But he isn’t and they don’t. Ryanomics is and always has been a con game, although to be fair, it has become even more of a con since Mr. Ryan joined the ticket.

…. The question now is whether Mr. Ryan’s undeserved reputation for honesty and fiscal responsibility can survive his participation in a deeply dishonest and irresponsible presidential campaign.

…. So will the choice of Mr. Ryan mean a serious campaign? No, because Mr. Ryan isn’t a serious man — he just plays one on TV.

Full article here

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Morning everyone 😉




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