Archive for April 10th, 2013

10
Apr
13

One of the two great american art forms: musicals

Gene Kelly and Oscar Levant skewering and loving European music.


Where Stephen Sondheim became Stephen Sondheim.


Rodgers and Hammerstein.


Chat away for the rest of the evening.

10
Apr
13

‘Put points on the board faster than Plutocrats can take them away’

by Zizi

The one thing the Professional Left (PL) and their Emoprog cohort don’t seem to realize about Pres Obama is that unlike them he KNOWS the depth of nihilistic destruction that the GOP and their corporate backers are prepared to unleash on this country.

Emos have no clue what the stakes are, being stuck as they are on the eras of FDR & LBJ. The Conservative movement has evolved into a more powerful malignant force since their defeats in the 1930s & 1960s. It is a force that continues to destroy whether their minions hold political power or NOT. Destructive force is easier to deploy than constructive building which liberals-Democrats try to do. Our societal building task is harder, less understood and prone to being demagogued by the conservative retrogressives. The PL is oblivious to the asymmetrical nature of our struggle.

We don’t have the institutional structures to fight the plutocrats mano-a-mano on their turf. We don’t! We can only fight them using guerrilla strategies & tactics. No amount of Bully pulpiting or screaming “progressive chants”, or “twisting arms a la LBJ” is gonna dent the power of the wingnuts’ backers. Those are the facts. They have the power and money and nihilistic bent to destroy us all without batting an eye.

The PL-Emos don’t realize that the $32 Trillion that the plutocrats have stashed in tax havens means that THEY DON’T CARE what happens to this country and the people in it. NADA. Unlike the barons of the gilded age who were at least propelled by some sense of nationalism, today’s plutocrats feel no allegiance to this country. It is only a place to exploit for $$$, and feudalize us against our will.

Click to see the rest of the post

10
Apr
13

Catching Up

“Hadiya Pendleton was me, and I was her. But I got to grow up and go to Princeton and Harvard Law School and have a career and family and the most blessed life I could ever imagine. And Hadiya? Oh, we know that story.”
First Lady Michelle Obama, April 10

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Text of remarks here

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Daily Beast: A Personal Plea for Gun Control

Spending time with the Newtown families, Joshua DuBois realized that the gun control debate isn’t about ideas or policies or politics. It’s about human beings.

See here

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ThinkProgress

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Click to see the rest of the post

10
Apr
13

In a different country, kabuki wouldn’t be necessary

President Obama released his 2014 budget today.

For the past few days, we’ve been treated to an explosion on the Left over proposals for savings in Social Security and Medicare. Pres. Obama has been excoriated as a Democrat In Name Only, wanting to put grandma on cat food, and in at least one blog’s comments as a “gelding”.

I’m not going to go into the particulars on the budget. You can do a search on Google and find plenty of ammunition to support whichever side you’re on. (I recommend this blog post for a rather thorough explanation on the budget.)

Pres. Obama’s budget is, in part, a good-faith offer to the GOP. He’s taking John Boehner and Paul Ryan at their words that they don’t want to destroy Social Security and Medicare, but to “reform” them. Obama’s budget does that, while preserving both programs, and even enhancing them by setting a minimum benefit above the poverty line, and upping the benefits for seniors once they reach the age of 85. He achieves savings in Medicare by cutting wasteful payments to providers and drug companies; and, of course, the PPACA has provisions in it which help ensure Medicare’s solvency. If Boehner, Ryan, and Eric Cantor were sincere in their stated purposes to “save” Social Security and Medicare, they would accept Obama’s offer, or at least negotiate based on it.

Of course, they’re not. Boehner dismissed the budget blueprint after it was leaked as too little, too late. Paul Ryan is on record as saying that there is no room for compromise. The GOP leadership and rank and file is united as a bloc against the budget.

Continue reading ‘In a different country, kabuki wouldn’t be necessary’

10
Apr
13

Heads Up: First Lady speaks on gun violence

(President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama look out at the Chicago skyline, June 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

First lady Michelle Obama talks about eliminating gun violence at an event with community leaders in Chicago

Starting soon – streaming is up:

CBS * CNN

10
Apr
13

Budget Briefing

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12:30 EST: Briefing on President Obama’s FY 2014 Budget:

Also at White House live

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See WH.gov for information on the budget

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763 gazillion thanks to UT for this morning’s terrrrrrrRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrific Rise and Shine – still getting some work done (that should have been done, you know, yesterday), back in a while with some newsie things.

10
Apr
13

Rise and Shine….

OBAMA-CARES *****

Sarah Kliff: President Obama’s budget proposal will include $235 million in funding for new mental health programs, focused initiatives to help schools detect early warning signs and train thousands of new mental health professionals.

The new budget plan will propose $130 million for programs that train teachers and other adults to help recognize early signs of mental illness, referring them to help when they detect such warnings. That includes $55 million for a new program called Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education). That will give states and local school districts grants to administer such programs, while also collecting data on how well they work.

Another $50 million in funds would go toward training masters-level mental health specialists such as psychologists, nurses and counselors who work in schools. The idea is to expand the mental health workforce to prepare for the demands of millions of Americans who will gain health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Read more here

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Carrie Dann: Blasting opponents of new gun control measures for being in a “time warp,”  Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday that a potential filibuster of pending gun legislation would be “embarrassing” for America’s reputation around the world.

“What an embarrassing thing to say,” Biden said of the stated intent of 13 senators to prevent a vote on new background check legislation.

“You’ve got leading senators of the most august legislative body in the world saying we’re not even going to talk about this tragedy that traumatized a nation and caught the attention of an entire world,” he said during remarks to law enforcement officers in Washington D.C.  “The climax of this tragedy could be that we’re not even going to get a vote?” he added. “Imagine how this makes us look.”

Read more here

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The Obama Administration’s Record On Human Trafficking Issues

White House: President Obama delivered his seminal speech on the fight to end trafficking in persons at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in September 2012.  During that speech, President Obama announced a number of new Administration commitments to combat trafficking at home and abroad. The four elements of this strategy include:

1) Preventing trafficking by raising awareness among vulnerable populations, leading by example, and educating the public and first responders;
2) Prosecuting traffickers through strengthened investigations and enforcement tools;
3) Protecting survivors through comprehensive social services, family reintegration, and immigration services; and
4) Partnering with civil society, state and local government, the private sector, and faith-based organizations to maximize resources and outcomes.

Read more here

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Washington Post: When she returns home here Wednesday to deliver a speech on gun violence, first lady Michelle Obama will be making a rare foray into the politics of the day that could presage a more activist role during her husband’s second term. “The speech is deeply personal,” said Valerie Jarrett, a senior White House adviser and close friend of the Obamas. “She will really speak from the heart as a mom, as a Chicagoan and as somebody who cares intensely about providing young people with the opportunities that they need to achieve their full potential.”

Obama will speak at a downtown fundraising luncheon for a new, $50-million public-private initiative to curb youth violence in Chicago’s neighborhoods. Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D), a former White House chief of staff, will introduce her, and an estimated 800 business executives and civic leaders plan to attend.  After her speech, Obama will visit with students and counselors at Harper High, one of Chicago’s most dangerous schools; last year, 29 current or recent Harper students were shot, eight of them fatally.

Aides said Obama was motivated to take on the gun-violence issue publicly in February when she attended the funeral of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old majorette who was shot and killed at a Chicago park just days after traveling to Washington for President Obama’s second inauguration. “The first lady, sitting in Hadiya’s funeral and seeing the grief and heartache in the community just a block away from where Hadiya was murdered and the first lady’s home, was devastated, but she was also determined to do something to prevent this from happening again,” Jarrett said. “She was determined to turn her grief into action.”

Read more here

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Senator To Newtown Families: Gun Debate Has Nothing To Do With You (Jim Inhofe wins douchebag of the year)

Igor Volsky: As the Senate prepares to take up a comprehensive gun safety bill on Thursday, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) told reporters that the coming debate will have nothing to do with the families of the victims from Newtown, Connecticut.

“See, I think it’s so unfair of the administration to hurt these families, to make them think this has something to do with them when, in fact, it doesn’t,” Inhofe said and suggested that Obama is manipulating and misinforming the families for political purposes.

Read more here

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Brian Beutler: Mitt Romney’s unfathomably large IRA was a big political liability for him in 2012.

Fortunately for other financial titans who hope to be president, it’ll be hard in the future to skirt the rules and amass such enormous, tax-deferred savings — if President Obama gets his way. A new provision in Obama’s budget “[e]nds a loophole that lets wealthy individuals circumvent contribution limits and a cumulate millions in tax-preferred retirement accounts,” according to a budget summary released by the White House. The White House is unveiling its new budget Wednesday.

A senior administration official confirmed to TPM that the provision is a fresh addition to Obama’s budget, and intended to close the loophole that allowed Romney to amass upward of $100 million in his individual retirement account. The budget also proposes ending the so-called carried-interest loopholes, that allows financial managers to pay tax on what most would consider labor income at a lower capital gains rate.

Read more here

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It’s Wednesday; let “one of America’s best known Al Green impersonators” serenade you. 😀

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All Times Eastern

10:00AM: Pres. Obama and VP Biden receive the presidential daily briefing

10:00AM: Dr. Jill Biden meets with George Washington University student veterans and faculty

11:00AM: Pres. Obama delivers a statement in the Rose Garden

11:15AM: Pres. Obama meets with senior advisors

12:30PM: Pres. Obama and VP Biden meet for lunch

12:30PM: OMB Acting Director Jeffrey Zients discusses Pres. Obama’s FY 2014 Budget at a news conference

3:35PM: Pres. Obama and VP Biden meet with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew

6:30PM: Pres. Obama hosts Republican Senators for dinner

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Photo of the day by Pete Souza: Pres. Obama and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough walk along the South Lawn of the White House.

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Morning, Bonjour, Buenos Días, Buon Giorno, Maith Ar Maidin, Guten Morgen, Bom Dia. 😀

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