President Barack Obama stands with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during the transfer of remains ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Sept. 14, marking the return to the United States of the remains of the four Americans killed in Benghazi, Libya (Pete Souza)
President Obama talks with Mario Orosa, a native Ohioan, before dinner at the Smith Commons Dining Room and Public House in Washington, DC, on October 12, 2012. Orosa was one of the three winners of the final “Dinner with Barack” fundraising contest. The winners are Kimberley Cathey, Mario Orosa and Joe Laliberte (UPI/Pete Marovich)
St Louis Post-Dispatch: Four years ago, in endorsing Democrat Barack Obama for president, we noted his intellect, his temperament and equanimity under pressure. He was unproven, but we found him to be presidential, in all that that word implies.
In that, we have not been disappointed. This is a serious man. And now he is a proven leader. He has earned a second term.
Mr. Obama sees an America where the common good is as important as the individual good. That is the vision on which the nation was founded. It is the vision that has seen America through its darkest days and illuminated its best days. It is the vision that underlies the president’s greatest achievement, the Affordable Care Act. Twenty years from now, it will be hard to find anyone who remembers being opposed to Obamacare.
He continues to steer the nation through the most perilous economic challenges since the Great Depression. Those who complain that unemployment remains high, or that economic growth is too slow, either do not understand the scope of the catastrophe imposed upon the nation by Wall Street and its enablers, or they are lying about it.
To expect Barack Obama to have repaired, in four years, what took 30 years to undermine, is simply absurd. He might have gotten further had he not been saddled with an opposition party, funded by plutocrats, that sneers at the word compromise. But even if Mr. Obama had had Franklin Roosevelt’s majorities, the economy would still be in peril…..
….. The question for voters is actually very simple. The nation has wrestled with it since its founding: Will this be government for the many or the few?
President Obama speaks during a news conference on Republican obstruction of Richard Cordray’s nomination to head the CFPB, Dec 8
Steve Benen: Two months after the Senate Banking Committee approved Richard Cordray as the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Senate leadership brought the nomination to the floor this morning. Republicans refused to allow a vote …. It’s hard to overstate how outrageous today’s filibuster really is.
…. It’s all part of the normalization of extortion politics. Traditionally, if the GOP wanted to alter the powers of the CFPB, it would write legislation, send it to committee, bring it to the floor, send it to the other chamber, etc. But that takes time and effort, and might not work. Instead, we see the latest in a series of GOP extortion strategies: Republicans will force Democrats to accept changes to the agency, or Republicans won’t allow the agency to meet its legal mandate…..
The President is pre-taping interviews with WISH (Indianapolis, IN), KSNV (Las Vegas, NV), WREG (Memphis, TN) and WCHS (Portland, ME) today
Steve Benen: We generally look to the first Friday of every month for new unemployment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but every Thursday morning, the Department of Labor releases a report on initial unemployment claims.
And this morning, the news is very good:
The number of people filing for state unemployment benefits for the first time fell 23,000 to the lowest level since late February, the government said Thursday. The Labor Department said claims fell to a seasonally adjusted 381,000 last week. The level of initial claims in the week ended Nov. 26 was revised up by 2,000 to 404,000.
The consensus expectations were for a slight drop, which makes the sharp drop that much more encouraging…..
Steve Benen: Politico has a piece today on Senate Democrats’ outrage over Republican obstructionism, as evidenced by Tuesday’s filibuster of judicial nominee Caitlin Halligan and today’s expected filibuster of CFPB nominee Richard Cordray. As Dems see it, GOP abuses are setting a new standard — which Democrats will take advantage of the next time they’re in the minority.
…. Republicans respond that these current tactics aren’t new, and the Politico article tells readers the GOP argument is sound.
…. This isn’t a subjective question on which the parties are entitled to different opinions. There are objective, often quantifiable, answers to the points Politico and Republicans are raising: are GOP senators “replicating” Democratic tactics? Were Dems abusing Senate rules in the Bush era to the same degree that Republicans are abusing them now?
The answer to both is “no,” and the false equivalence does little to advance the discussion.
Steve Benen: Most of the Affordable Care Act won’t take effect for a few years – and if court rulings and the 2012 elections go a certain way, it may not take effect at all – but there’s already evidence that the reform law is working.
It’s making a big difference in providing coverage for young adults; it’s providing treatment options for women like Spike Dolomite Ward; and it’s slowing the growth in Medicare spending.
It’s also, as Jonathan Cohn explained, saving seniors quite a bit of money on prescription medication…..
President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrive to speak in the South Court Auditorium on the White House, Dec. 7
President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada talk backstage at the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building following their joint press conference, Dec. 7, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
CBS: President Barack Obama will appear on “60 Minutes” in an interview with Steve Kroft to be broadcast Sunday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
Steve Kroft interviewed the president on Tuesday in Kansas after he delivered an economic speech in the small town of Osawatomie. President Obama will talk to Kroft again tomorrow at the White House for Sunday’s report.
President Barack Obama stands with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife Kristiani Herawati during a family photo before the East Asia Summit Gala dinner in Nusa Dua, on the island of Bali
President Obama and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono talk as Balinese dancers perform on stage at the East Asia Summit dinner
What a beautiful difference five years makes. Just sayin’:
President George W. Bush chats with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the end of the Asian-Pacific leaders meeting in Hanoi, 19 November 2006.
President Obama speaks after announcing a commercial deal between Boeing and Indonesia’s Lion Air at a signing ceremony in Nusa Dua, on the island of Bali, Indonesia.
Boeing and Lion Air have reached agreement on the purchase of 201 Boeing 737MAX and 29 Next Generation 737ER aircraft. The order will support over 110,000 U.S. jobs at Boeing and at suppliers in 43 states. This represents one of the largest trade deals between the United States and Indonesia in history….
Boeing and Singapore Airlines have reached agreement on the purchase of eight Boeing 777-300ER widebody aircraft with a total list price value of $2.4 billion, $2 billion in U.S. export content and supporting an estimated 11,000 U.S. jobs….
The Hill: A senior military official says U.S. forces soon will begin winding down counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan, signaling a major shift in the decade-old conflict.
U.S. forces are working to “set the conditions” for Afghan government officials and security forces to assume control of key provinces by next fall as American troops begin to exit, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos told The Hill.
NYT: Chrysler said Wednesday that it would add 1,100 jobs at a sport utility vehicle plant here as it spends $1.7 billion developing new models for its Jeep brand.
…. Chrysler is one of several carmakers adding large numbers of jobs in the United States after years of steep employment declines in the auto industry. On Thursday, Toyota is scheduled to begin production at a new plant in Mississippi that will employ about 2,000 people.
The mayor of Toledo, Mike Bell, described Chrysler’s announcement as “the equivalent of a blood transfusion” for this heavily industrial city along the Michigan border.
FactCheck: Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry and Mitt Romney both claim President Barack Obama said that “Americans are lazy.” He didn’t. To the contrary, Obama has consistently and repeatedly praised American workers as the “most productive in the world,” a bit of boosterism he has repeated dozens of times. His recent words — “we’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades” – actually referred to collective efforts to promote foreign investment in the U.S., and not to American workers or voters as individuals. Perry and Romney simply rip those words out of their context in order to mislead.
Washington Post: A think tank founded by GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich collected at least $37 million over the past eight years from major health-care companies and industry groups, offering special access to the former House speaker and other perks, according to records and interviews.
NYT: For several months now, Reggie Love has been living two lives. Some days he is a part-time student at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, pursuing a master’s in business administration. On others he continues his role as personal aide, shadow, caretaker, basketball buddy and roving diplomat for the president of United States.
Recently his juggling act – White House work by day, statistics homework by night – proved too much, and Mr. Love, 30, made what friends and colleagues called a painful decision to leave the president’s side. His schedule had become so packed that “when he would describe it to you, you’d want to go to sleep,” said Arun Chaudhary, until recently the White House videographer.
The Guardian: “I think all of us felt very bad for him,” says Michele Bachmann to Greta Van Susteren. Sympathy from Michele Bachmann? That’s got to hurt.
The Guardian: Cain just referred to Nancy Pelosi, the then Speaker of the House, as “Princess Nancy”. He really does have a problem with women, doesn’t he?
The Guardian: Now that Newt Gingrich has moved from single digit poll figures around 14% and a third-place slot, maybe he will come under more media scrutiny.
Interesting when he was asked about his role with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whose reckless lending was the catalyst for the slump. Although Gingrich is a critic of government involvement and a champion of cutting regulation……
….. he worked as a consultant for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, taking $300,000 in fees.
Many or all of the consultants were employed to block government regulation. How’s Gingrich square this? He claimed tonight he had advised them to stop handing mortgages to people with poor credit ratings and they had ignored his advice. Anyone around in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at the time that can corroborate this version?
President Obama at the National Women’s Law Center’s Annual Awards dinner in Washington, Nov. 9
ThinkProgress: After canceling a speech on income inequality last week at the University of Pennsylvania after learning it would be open to the public, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor spoke today at the University of Michigan. It was clear why he had avoided the public previously, as 99 Percent Movement protesters stood silently during the speech while other audience members responded vocally to Cantor’s statements.
President Barack Obama sat down for a “Tonight Show” appearance with Jay Leno Tuesday, answering questions about everything from Moamar Ghadafi’s death to the war in Iraq, approval ratings and the current round of GOP debates.
In brief excerpts released by NBC some eight hours before the show was due to air, Obama appeared to draw the biggest laugh when, in response to a question about whether he was watching the Republican debates, he replied, “I’m going to wait until everybody’s voted off the island. Once they narrow it down to one or two, I’ll start paying attention.”
Obama received a standing ovation from the audience when he walked onstage for his fourth appearance on the Leno show, and his second as president.
with NBC producer Michelle Tasoff
Bryan Branly: After the show, I was lucky enough to be introduced to the President backstage. Jay told the President (referring to me), “That’s how you looked in college!” The President said, “Afros are hard work Jay.” I wish all you who follow these blogs could have been with me. It was a day to remember!
President Obama addresses U.S. troops during his visit to Baghdad, April 7, 2009
Boston Globe: From a wooden perch 20 feet above the sun-bleached sand of central Iraq, Lieutenant Colonel Brian Formy-Duval is helping direct the most complex spring cleaning in American military history.
A snaking, exhaust-spewing caravan of flatbeds and tractor-trailers, coiling around 34 acres of dirt and dust, sputters and brakes and starts again in a slow-moving dance toward cargo that has been collected from US bases across Iraq … Formy-Duval is funneling the accumulation of eight years of war toward Kuwait and beyond.
…All remaining US troops are scheduled to leave Iraq by Dec. 31 … they are nearly all restricted to their bases as the end of the mission approaches, but those facilities are constantly shrinking. Joint Base Balad, which once held 50,000 troops and civilian workers, is now about one-third the size. From a high of 500 US bases in Iraq in 2007, only 66 remain.
…Christopher Sullivan, a civilian from Carlisle who works for the Defense Department, gazes around the base he has called home and looked ahead to the end. “I’m not going to be sentimental about Iraq or anything,’’ Sullivan says. “When the end comes here, it will be me and a suitcase.’’