Archive for May, 2013

31
May
13

The Week Ahead

Monday: The President and the Vice President will host a National Conference on Mental Health at the White House.  The conference will bring together people from across the country to discuss how we can all work together to reduce stigma and help the millions of Americans struggling with mental health problems recognize the importance of reaching out for assistance.

Tuesday: The President will host President Sebastián Piñera of Chile at the White House.

Wednesday: The President will welcome the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens to the White House.

Thursday: The President will travel to the Charlotte area as part of his middle-class jobs and opportunity tour.  From there, he’ll travel to San José, California to attend an event for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. He will spend the night in San José.

Friday: The President will travel to Los Angeles to attend an event for the Democratic National Committee. He will then travel to Palm Springs, California to meet with President Xi Jinping of The People’s Republic of China at Sunnylands, the Walter and Leonore Annenberg estate.  He will remain overnight in Palm Springs.

Saturday: The President will wrap up his meetings with the Chinese President and then will return to Washington, D.C.

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Chat away – newsie stuff in the morning.

31
May
13

President Obama addresses tuition rates

President Obama makes a statement on student loans in the Rose Garden of the White House, May 31

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Text of remarks here

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31
May
13

Chat Away

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31
May
13

Rise and Shine

@lacasablanca: Oval Office meeting: President Obama and @sr_simone of “Nuns on the Bus” discussed #ImmigrationReform

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Today:

10:20: The President delivers remarks on student loans (White House Live)

10:50: Meets with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

12:30: Press Briefing by Jay Carney

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Yep, how things have changed…..

Washington Post (March 2006): Off the Record, Bush Makes Media Inroads …. As he defends his Iraq policy with a public campaign of speeches and a recent news conference, President Bush also has been waging a private campaign that has included off-the-record sessions with White House reporters….

One gathering, which took place Thursday in the White House residence, was an unusual gesture by Bush, who has agreed to comparatively few lengthy exchanges with reporters during his five years in office….

Last week’s session involved reporters from several prominent broadcast and print outlets, including ABC News and The Washington Post. Under the off-the-record ground rules, the journalists were barred from reporting what was discussed. White House officials said they also hoped the meetings’ mere existence would remain under wraps….

More here

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Joe Conason (National Memo): …. The notion that Barack Obama is “Nixonian” – or that his administration’s recent troubles bear any resemblance to “Watergate” – is the biggest media lie since the phony “Whitewater scandal” crested during the Clinton presidency.

…. Only in a country afflicted with chronic historical amnesia could they issue such accusations without shame or embarrassment. Only under those circumstances could the Republicans continue their fitful fabrication of a “Democratic Watergate” without fear of being laughed off the stage….

…. But certain liberals in the media have fretted loudly over Obama’s “scandals,” too …..  is it all just trumped-up hysteria? To answer those questions, it helps to remember what Nixon and his gang actually did to America – and why they were driven out of Washington and, in many cases, sent to prison….

More here

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Steve Benen: Student loans reclaim center stage ….. President Obama will deliver remarks, flanked by college students, on a subject that too often goes overlooked: student loans. With a looming interest rate hike, the president will reportedly “call on Congress to help keep college affordable for middle-class families and students by preventing student loan interest rates from doubling on July 1.”

…. House Republicans say they’ve already passed a bill on this, which is true. They also say their bill is worthwhile and consistent with White House demands, which is not true…..

More here

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SmartyPants

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Yep, austerity works so well:

Bloomberg: Euro-area unemployment increased to a record in April after the currency bloc’s recession deepened in the first quarter, increasing pressure on its leaders and the European Central Bank to spur economic growth.

The euro-area jobless rate rose to 12.2 percent from 12.1 percent in March…. to 19.38 million in April, up 95,000 from the previous month. Youth unemployment was at 24.4 percent …. Spain had the highest rate at 26.8 percent. No April data were available for Greece, which had a 27 percent rate in February.

More here

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@WhiteHouse

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31
May
13

Campaign 2012 Memories llll

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30
May
13

This and That

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Media Matters: CNN Botches Key Facts In Holder Story

Reporting that House Republicans are investigating whether Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress during his recent testimony about Justice Department seizures of communications records in connection with a national security leak investigation, CNN’s Dana Bash misstated key facts of the controversy. In so doing, CNN helped bolster the hollow claims of Republicans – wildly hyped by Fox News – that Holder may have perjured himself….

More here

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Greg Sargent: A new Quinnipiac poll finds that an overwhelming majority of Americans – 73-22 – thinks we should be placing a higher priority on the economy and unemployment than on the “scandals” gripping Washington. That includes 72 percent of independents, who are critical in midterm elections. At the same time, a variety of indicators, from rising home prices to buoyed consumer confidence to falling gas prices, suggest that the economy is improving at a stronger clip than previously anticipated.

If the recovery is strong next year, it could help Dems hold the Senate….

More here

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TPM: The White House has received more than 120 applications from health insurance plans looking to sell on the new federal health care exchange …. The success of the Affordable Care Act partially hinges on competition in order to keep premiums low, and, according to the memo, “the early signs are promising and demonstrate a significant increase in competition and an array of options for consumers everywhere.”

One out of four insurers that have applied to sell insurance in the marketplace is new to the individual insurance market and at least one new provider has been added in 75 percent of states with a federally run marketplace…..

More here

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Quote of the week? Century?

“What good is it to save the planet if humanity suffers?”

Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson at the oil giant’s annual meeting, Wednesday.

See Steve Benen

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Jonathan Chait: Pete Wehner, former Minister of Propaganda for the Bush administration, sees the excitement of the Obama scandals receding, and he knows just how to explain this. Not a lack of evidence to date that anybody in the administration has done anything wrong. It’s media bias ….. Yeah, that sounds right….

Full post here

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USA Today: The pro-Obama group Organizing for Action will hold 39 “founders events” across the country this weekend as part of an effort to build separate state chapters.

“OFA supporters, volunteers, campaign alumni and donors will come together to discuss what OFA has already accomplished as well as our goals and the path forward,” said an announcement from the group….

The Illinois State Founders Summit will be held Friday and Saturday in Obama’s hometown of Chicago, and will feature remarks by OFA Chairman Jim Messina and Executive Director Jon Carson.

They plan to discuss “how OFA plans how to continue to ensure the American people’s voices are heard by lawmakers as we fight to tip the scales of power back to the American people and away from the special interests to advance the issues the American people voted for in November,” said the statement.

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Oh dear:

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30
May
13

The Mask Slips

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30
May
13

Newsflash Media! You Are The Problem

Main Stream Media LIES

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SmartyPants: It’s obvious that with the advent of the internet as well as other technologies, both the printed press and television news are struggling to find a fiscal model that works. Surely everyone knows that it won’t be long before the paper media is dead. And finding a way to make money off of internet publications via advertising and subscriptions has proven to be a challenge. The major networks still run evening news shows, but I’m not sure anyone is watching. And their morning installments are more gossip tabloids than anything resembling real news.

Cable networks are struggling too. Fox seems to have found a stable “geezer crowd” that is loyal. But its hard to imagine how they continue that business model into the future. And we’re learning that CNN and MSNBC are struggling to find their footing recently. In often hair-brained attempts to deal with all that, the media has faltered with everything from exploitative reporting following the Boston marathon bombing to the hysteria of being taken in by the lies of Jonathan Karl and ABC News.

The only group in politics that the American public thinks less of than Republicans these days is the media.

More of this fabulous commentary here

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usa-obama

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Gene Lyons: Judging by the caterwauling of many in the national media, you’d think Orwell’s Big Brother had taken over the White House. The Justice Department’s issuance of subpoenas to press organizations to find out who in the government had leaked classified information to the Associated Press and to Fox News reporter James Rosen has First Amendment purists in an uproar. The way some of them carry on, you’d think the light of freedom had been extinguished.

Over on Fox News, they’re accusing Attorney General Eric Holder of perjury because he told Congress the DOJ wouldn’t prosecute journalists for publishing information, but did sign off on a subpoena arguing that Rosen might have violated the Espionage Act. Earth to Fox News: as anybody who’s read two John Le Carre novels understands, journalists (or people posing as journalists) have worked as spies and agents provocateur since the invention of newspapers. A press ID isn’t a universal “Get Out of Jail Free” card. Besides, Rosen’s not being prosecuted. The DOJ is using his emails urging a State Department source to “expose muddle-headed foreign policy” by turning over classified intelligence about North Korea’s Stalinist dictatorship to prosecute the alleged leaker.

My own experience of Washington journalism has persuaded me that the actual practices of news organizations bear little relationship to the high-minded rhetoric they employ whenever their prerogatives are threatened. Forced to choose, I’d sooner trust my rights and freedoms to an independent judiciary.

More here

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30
May
13

Tyler Perry recalls President Obama’s words

Chat away, will catch up with today’s newsie stuff later – thank you again to the miiiIIIIIIIiiighty UT and LovelyPlains for today’s mega posts!

30
May
13

James B. Comey….a man of integrity

President Obama is planning to nominate for Dept. A.G. Comey to become FBI director

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WASHINGTON — President Obama plans to nominate James B. Comey, a former hedge fund executive who served as a senior Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, to replace Robert S. Mueller III as the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to two people with knowledge of theBy choosing Mr. Comey, a Republican, Mr. Obama made a strong statement about bipartisanship at a time when he faces renewed criticism from Republicans in Congress and has had difficulty winning confirmation of some important nominees. At the same time, Mr. Comey’s role in one of the most dramatic episodes of the Bush administration — in which he refused to acquiesce to White House aides and reauthorize a program for eavesdropping without warrants when he was serving as acting attorney general — should make him an acceptable choice to Democrats.

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On the night of March 10, 2004, as Attorney General John D. Ashcroft lay ill in an intensive-care unit, his deputy, James B. Comey, received an urgent call.

White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales and President Bush’s chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., were on their way to the hospital to persuade Ashcroft to reauthorize Bush’s domestic surveillance program, which the Justice Department had just determined was illegal.

In vivid testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, Comey said he alerted FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III and raced, sirens blaring, to join Ashcroft in his hospital room, arriving minutes before Gonzales and Card. Ashcroft, summoning the strength to lift his head and speak, refused to sign the papers they had brought. Gonzales and Card, who had never acknowledged Comey’s presence in the room, turned and left.

The sickbed visit was the start of a dramatic showdown between the White House and the Justice Department in early 2004 that, according to Comey, was resolved only when Bush overruled Gonzales and Card. But that was not before Ashcroft, Comey, Mueller and their aides prepared a mass resignation, Comey said. The domestic spying by the National Security Agency continued for several weeks without Justice approval, he said.

“I was angry,” Comey testified. “I thought I just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man, who did not have the powers of the attorney general because they had been transferred to me.”

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After that episode  the acting A.G. prepared a resignation letter to be delivered to President Bush:

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