President Barack Obama with Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, Air Force Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, and Anthony Sadler, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, to honor them for heroically subduing a gunman on a Paris-bound passenger train last month
First Lady Michelle Obama greets students at Howard Community College in Columbia, Md as part of her ‘Reach Higher’ initiative
Columbia Journalism Review: In Hollywood and the accounts of many of the nation’s leading journalists, events in Washington revolve around the president, who is thought to have virtually unlimited powers to cajole, charm, threaten, or bribe legislators into enacting his agenda. Within this framework, the success or failure of the president’s legislative agenda is typically attributed to his tactics, not contextual factors like party support in Congress.
In reality, the idea that the President can force an uncooperative Congress to do his bidding has been falsified over and over again—not just during President Obama’s administration on issues like gun control, but during previous presidencies. Even Lyndon Baines Johnson, the prototypical presidential wheeler-dealer, became far less persuasive when the national political climate changed after the 1966 midterm elections (one aide commented that by the end LBJ “couldn’t get Mother’s Day through” Congress). And yet journalists and commentators still try to defend their misguided notions of presidential power, suggesting instead that, for instance, Obama is being held back by a lack of personal charm or a failure to twist enough arms in Congress.
KRDO (Colorado Springs, CO): The first lady and Jill Biden pushed companies to continue hiring veterans and their spouses. According to the Associated Press, 1 million members of the military are expected to join the civilian workforce over the next five years. Michelle Obama said companies have hired or trained 290,000 veterans in less than two years. However, she said, there is still work to be done. Statistics show the unemployment rate among veterans is lower than non-veterans.
Jill Biden said there are initiatives in Washington working to help military spouses as well called Military Spouse Employment Partnership. “This effort has helped spouses build strong resumes, has sponsored hiring fairs and created strong resume programs. Since its launch, more than 160 Fortune 500 employers have signed on to the partnership,” said Biden. “More than 43,000 military spouses have been hired.”
Pikes Peak Workforce Center is hosting a job fair geared toward veterans May 15-17 at Pikes Peak Community College. Amthor said 100 local and national companies have already signed on. Here is a link for more information on the job fair: http://mvee.org/
Kevin Drum: President Obama said today that he believes there are some Republicans in Congress who’d like to compromise with him to enact “common sense” solutions to America’s problems. I’m sympathetic, because I agree. I don’t think that Republicans have declined to make a budget deal because Obama didn’t schmooze them enough, or because they didn’t understand what he was offering, or because Democrats haven’t framed their compromise proposals quite right. Republicans have declined to make a deal because they don’t like any of the deals Obama is willing to make. Full stop. Unfortunately, I think Ed falls into the same trap when he suggests that Obama’s dinners with senators have gone quite far enough, thankyouverymuch.
All of which gets us to the guts of the problem: most likely, nothing is going to work. But if you’re the president, you can’t say that. You can’t even act like it. You have to go out day after day after day insisting that progress is possible and deals can be made. This gets you lots of flak from fellow lefties who think it displays terminal naiveté, but what choice do you have? Obama pretty obviously understands everything that his lefty critics understand—he’s not an idiot, and this is hardly rocket science, after all—but he also understands one other thing: he can’t admit it. I imagine it’s frustrating as hell. But like it or not, presidents have to keep their chin up in public and keep trying to make things happen, even if they know perfectly well that success is unlikely. Welcome to hell.
Governor Nikki Haley speaks during a meeting of the Tea Party in Columbia Thursday night at the Statehouse. A.L. Geddings and Louise Geddings of Columbia were representative of the low turnout.
The State: The Columbia Tea Party went from Donald Trump to jilted chump after the celebrity businessman canceled his appearance at Thursday’s State House rally, and state legislators approved tax breaks and spending that the group opposed.
Trump’s decision to not enter the GOP presidential race left local Tea Party leaders stewing about the way they had been treated. But about 30 people were on hand Thursday to thank Gov. Nikki Haley, lawmakers and activists for their work to require more on-the-record Legislative votes.
It was all part of a tough week for the state’s Tea Party movement.…
Columbia Tea Party chairman Allen Olson expected as many as 2,000 would have attended Thursday’s rally had Trump been there. But The Donald, a favorite of many who attended the group’s Tax Day rally with U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann elected to not run and dropped the rally from his schedule.
“It was a kick in the gut, but it gives you a chance to regroup,” said Olson.
Fitsnews: Politicians, political operatives and members of the media came close to outnumbering attendees at a much-hyped Columbia, S.C. Tea Party rally starring U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley on Monday.
Only 300 people (including a horde of Palmetto political operatives) attended the event in downtown Columbia, S.C. – which is a generous estimate in our book. That attendance figure – confirmed by other media outlets – amounts to less than one-tenth the size of multiple crowds that have gathered at the S.C. State House in recent years in support of parental choice. It’s also roughly a tenth the size of the crowd that attended this same event in 2009.
Well, at least this guy enjoyed himself (although he looks a little lonely):
Hold on: I’ve just noticed this guy has a ‘McCain/Palin’ badge on his hat … will I tell him or will you? 😕
I thought maybe it was an old photo used for today’s article ….. but, eh, no:
Gov. Nikki Haley addresses a crowd gathered at the State House during a Tea Party rally, April 18
At least he found two over-taxed friends to sit with, so that was nice.
Meanwhile, you have to love the caption under this photo on The State website:
So, 300 is a “large” Tea Party crowd these days? 😆
Media Matters: Jack Cashill, author of the charmingly insane book Deconstructing Obama, claims to have unearthed yet another shocking bombshell about Barack Obama’s past. According to Cashill’s WorldNetDaily column this morning, this photo of young Barack Obama and his grandparents in New York is a forgery into which Obama has been photoshopped:
Cashill writes: “The bench is real. The grandparents are real. The wall behind them is real. Barack Obama is not. He has been conspicuously photoshopped in. Who did this and why remains as much a mystery as Obama’s extended stay in New York.” He embeds a YouTube video that claims to have uncovered the “real” photo, seen below, in which Obama is nowhere to be seen:
Actually, to say Obama is “nowhere to be seen” isn’t quite accurate, given that the young future president’s right knee is still somehow visible in the “real” photo:
So yeah: Jack Cashill is a clownish buffoon. Be sure to tell that to the hosts of Fox & Friends the next time they have him on national television. Also, drop a line to Andrew Breitbart, who is quite enamored of Cashill’s “convincing work.”
Yep, that’s the new Huffy Post recruit.
This is pure gold ‘LOL’, thank you!
Alex Pareene (Salon): So, yes, this is actually just a picture of Barack Obama’s grandparents hanging out in New York, where they did not live and where Obama was attending college, without their grandson, who was I guess secretly in Pakistan, at the time. I think that’s what has been definitively proven here. Obama was being a Marxist Muslim in Pakistan.
But unmentioned by Cashill is the single most insidious part of this deception: While Barack Obama is nowhere to be found in the unretouched version of this photo, his knee is still in between in grandparents.
What was Barack Obama’s knee doing in New York, while the rest of him was in Pakistan, and Indonesia? Dealing drugs? Why are mainstream journalists afraid to ask tough questions about the president’s detachable knee? The people have a right to know!
Washington Monthly – One of the year’s biggest national security developments actually gets overlooked. In April, at the kickoff of the Nuclear Security Summit, the Obama administration reached an agreement with the Ukrainian government on the country giving up its entire stockpile of highly enriched uranium, inherited after the fall of the Soviet Union.
For those concerned about the security of the most dangerous material on the planet, this was quite a breakthrough. What we didn’t know until last night is that the process of moving more than 110 pounds of highly enriched uranium — enough to make two nuclear bombs — was quietly completed this week.
….The result, of course, is a safer world.
…President Obama established a goal early on of securing all vulnerable nuclear material around the world within four years — a task that encompasses locking down materials in 35 countries. Less than two years later, the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration has completed its work in 19 of those countries, and D’Agostino believes the agency is on track to meet the White House’s deadline.
The political world covers quite a bit of ground, but arguably nothing is quite as important to global security as this. The developments in Ukraine are a triumph to be celebrated.
December 31, 2010 – Statement by President Barack Obama on Removal of HEU from Ukraine: “I congratulate President Yanukovych on the recent shipment of highly enriched uranium from Ukraine for secure disposal in Russia, which advances a top priority for my administration and for global security. This action brings us all one step closer to securing all vulnerable nuclear materials, as President Yanukovych and I and 45 other world leaders pledged to do this April at the Nuclear Security Summit. The low enriched uranium and nuclear safety equipment provided to Ukraine in connection with this shipment will support Ukraine’s development of safe and secure nuclear energy. These actions represent continued Ukrainian leadership in making sure that nuclear weapons never fall into the hands of a terrorist, and working toward a world without nuclear weapons.”
MSNBC: The United States has helped Ukraine send two atomic bombs’ worth of weapons grade uranium to Russia during a secret operation over the holidays, the Obama administration confirmed Thursday on msnbc’s The Rachel Maddow Show.
The removal of more than 111 pounds of highly enriched uranium followed a pledge by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to get rid of all of his country’s highly enriched uranium by April 2012 ….The material will be blended down in Russia, rendering it useless for bomb making.
Yanukovych agreed to give up the uranium in a multinational deal announced at a nuclear security summit hosted by President Barack Obama in April.
Shipments like the one recently completed from Serbia result in permanent threat reduction because they eliminate weapons-usable nuclear material at civilian sites…. as an incentive, the United States is providing replacement low-enriched uranium that can be used for Ukraine’s research reactors.
…The removal operation involved 21 specially designed casks for the uranium to be flown on five flights from three cities … the U.S. also helped deliver some of the replacement fuel to Ukraine.
Interesting article from theNYTlast year – ‘Obama’s Youth Shaped His Nuclear-Free Vision’
In the depths of the cold war, in 1983, a senior at Columbia University wrote in a campus news magazine, Sundial, about the vision of “a nuclear free world”. He railed against discussions of “first- versus second-strike capabilities” that “suit the military-industrial interests” with their “billion-dollar erector sets,” and agitated for the elimination of global arsenals holding tens of thousands of deadly warheads.
The student was Barack Obama….
…Twenty-six years later, the author, in his new job as president of the United States, has begun pushing for new global rules, treaties and alliances that he insists can establish a nuclear-free world … no previous American president has set out a step-by-step agenda for the eventual elimination of nuclear arms.
…When he became a senator in January 2005, Mr. Obama zeroed in on arms control, an issue with little traction in the Republican-controlled Senate … he found a mentor in Senator Richard G. Lugar, Republican of Indiana, then chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a longtime star of nuclear nonproliferation efforts. Later that year, Mr. Obama asked to accompany his Republican colleague on a trip to monitor Russian efforts to scrap nuclear arms and secure atomic materials from theft or diversion.
“When we got there, he was clearly all business — a very careful listener and note taker and a serious student,” Mr. Lugar recalled.
…“I don’t think I was that unique at that time,” the president said of his Columbia days, “and I don’t think I’m that unique today in thinking that if we could put the genie back in the bottle, in some sense, that there would be less danger — not just to the United States but to people around the world.”
Thank you hgerhard for this comment and link to Global Zero:
As a long-time advocate of a “world without nuclear weapons”, I am delighted to find out about this latest action. I am so proud of our President. I remember his speech in Berlin when he first mentioned the importance of nuclear disarmament and securing all loose nuclear materials within a period of four years. Then again in Prague, he reiterated this goal and ever since becoming President, he has worked tirelessly to bring this issue to the U.N. Security Council and start negotiations with Russia and other nations. The new START Treaty is one major result of these efforts; the removal of enriched plutonium from many countries does not get the notice this important issue deserves. To bring about a “world without nuclear weapons” and eliminating materials that can be used to make new ones is the greatest gift we can pass on to our children and grandchildren. History will record that President Obama was the most instrumental leader in moving this goal closer to reality.
For more information about the world-wide movement to achieve this goal, please go towww.globalzero.org
Columbia Journalism Review: Our nomination for this week’s bogus Times trend story is in the national section under the headline, “Murmurs on Left of a Primary Challenge to Obama.” Its author, political writer and analyst Matt Bai, writes that disappointed liberals, spurred by the president’s compromise on extending the Bush era tax cuts, among other compromises and failures, are calling for—or at least “murmuring” among themselves about—a primary challenger to take on the president in the lead-up to 2012. The evidence? A trio of liberal columns. Yep, as the rule goes, “three’s a trend.”
….And that’s pretty much all that’s offered to support the rather sensational headline and a lede which claims the latest compromise “is bound to intensify a debate that has been bubbling up on liberal blogs and e-mail lists in recent weeks—whether or not the president who embodied ‘hope and change’ in 2008 should face a primary challenge in 2012.” Well, after an uncritical reading of this article, maybe.
Salon (Alex Pareene): Matt Bai has written — and the New York Times has published! — the most pointless piece of fantastical political “analysis” since … the last Matt Bai piece, I guess. The idea is that there is serious talk among liberals of supporting a primary challenge against Barack Obama, and the only problem with the otherwise flawless story is that that it is not true, and so it is a gigantic waste of everyone’s time.
While Matt Bai and his editors would certainly welcome a serious primary campaign against the president, because it would be fun to report on, the fact is that Bai has built this entire piece around some blog posts. You know you’re reading a really great piece of professional political analysis when the thesis is refuted in the first sentence of the second paragraph. “The idea seems to have little momentum for now,” Bai explains, but then for some reason he continued writing instead of shutting down his MacBook Air and going outside for a nice walk or something….
….As Steve Kornacki explained this morning, Barack Obama’s coalition still loves him and he’s in fine shape for reelection.
Of course, Matt Bai is not a complete idiot. He knows full well that a credible primary challenge from the left is very unlikely. He just wrote this piece because he thinks it would be totally awesome if that did happen. It is like a writer for the Times Science section turning in a piece headlined, “Maybe aliens will give us Warp Drive technology next year, that would be cool.” Save it for your Tumblr, Matt.
Matt Bai of the New York Times sees “murmurs” of a primary challenge against President Obama after he cut a deal with congressional Republicans to extend the tax cuts for the wealthy for two years in exchange for a 13-month unemployment extension, a payroll tax cut and other tax breaks designed to stimulate job growth.
As angry as some liberals are, there isn’t a lot of there there — the article quotes two Huffington Post blogs, a Washington Post op-ed and the head of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, who said he isn’t advocating a primary challenge.
Massachusetts Rep. Mike Capuano said he “may or may not” support Barack Obama’s reelection, but he’s not known for holding his tongue. Moreover, Rep. Alcee Hastings (Fla.) said the same thing over the summer. It’s just talk.
Meanwhile, President Obama has an 80 percent approval rating among self-identified liberals, and liberal icons like Sen. Russ Feingold (Wis.) and Howard Dean have unequivocally said they won’t challenge him.
CBS: A column in the New York Times today headlined “Murmurs of Primary Challenge to Obama” is generating buzz about whether the president could face a serious challenge from within his own party in his reelection bid in 2012.
The reality, however, is that such a challenge is extremely unlikely.
…there is a difference between the liberal blogosphere and pundit class – what White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs calls the “professional left” – and the liberal base overall. According to the latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll, 90 percent of blacks still approve of the president, as do 82 percent of Democrats and 79 percent of liberals. It would seem to be very difficult to mount a successful challenge from the left in light of these numbers.
Add to that the fact that there is no plausible and interested challenger out there – no figure like Ted Kennedy, who challenged (and weakened) Jimmy Carter. Howard Dean and Russ Feingold, perhaps the two most viable options, say they aren’t doing it; Dean said he “is absolutely, categorically not running in 2012,” while Feingold’s spokesman said the Wisconsin Democrat “has no interest in challenging President Obama in 2012.” Rep. Dennis Kucinich has also ruled out a run.
Indeed, the Times column is pretty thin on evidence that there is momentum building for a primary challenge: It points to Michael Lerner, the editor of Tikkun magazine, former Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. confident Clarence B. Jones and American Prospect co-editor Robert Kuttner. With all due respect to these men, that does not constitute a groundswell of support for a primary challenge.
…despite the juicy Times headline – Mr. Obama doesn’t seem to have much to worry about.