President Obama is greeted by Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy
President Obama signs some remembrances after greeting families of the victims in the mass school shooting in Roseburg, Oregon (Photo by Pete Souza)
Roseburg Mayor Larry Rich and Oregon Governor Kate Brown listen while President Barack Obama makes a statement to the press after meeting with the families of the Umpqua College shooting victims in Roseburg, Oregon
President Barack Obama and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee embrace
President Barack Obama carries a child as he greets people on the tarmac upon his arrival at King County International Airport in Seattle. President Obama is scheduled to attend a democratic fundraiser event with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. He’s is also attending fundraisers in San Francisco and Los Angeles as part of a four-day West Coast tour
President Obama meets baby Stella Hakam during his arrival at King County International Airport/Boeing Field in Seattle
President Obama with Sen. Patty Murray during a Democratic fundraiser in Seattle
President Obama talks with Director of Speechwriting Cody Keenan in the Oval Office, July 23 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Yahoo: President Barack Obama’s speech on economic policy Wednesday will be the first in an ambitious series of six addresses laying out a sweeping vision for America’s future. The philosophy at the core of the campaign will be familiar, but there will be “aggressive new ideas.”
That’s according to Cody Keenan, the speechwriter in charge of crafting what may be Obama’s most far-reaching second-term effort to get Americans to sign on to his plans.
… Obama’s six speeches will cover education, housing, retirement security, health care, poverty and jobs, Keenan said…
“In the weeks ahead — especially when it comes to college costs, which is something he’s obsessed with — we’ll have some aggressive new ideas,” said Keenan.
Time: Why Obama Keeps Going Back to One Small Illinois College
…. Knox has a special place in the President’s heart and in American history. “It’s the place where I gave my first big speech after I had been elected to the U.S. Senate,” Obama said at a recent event in Washington. Wednesday marks his third visit – once as a Senate candidate, once as a Senator and now as commander-in-chief – adding to a long history of presidents and political figures who have left a mark on the college.
Founded in 1837 by religious missionaries who opposed slavery, Knox College was, from its beginning, a progressive institution that welcomed women and people of color. In 1858, the college was the site of the fifth of seven Lincoln-Douglas debates, where Abraham Lincoln, challenging incumbent Senator Stephan A. Douglas, debated the nature and future of slavery.
Leaders of the Republican Party are still predicting that Obamacare will be a disaster, one that will wreak havoc on American health care. Most of their allies in the media say the same thing. But a small group of conservative intellectuals has been warning that the law might not be so apocalyptical — that, with full implementation about to begin, wholesale repeal may no longer be possible…
… Once Americans can take advantage of the law’s benefits — once more low-income people become eligible for Medicaid, and once more low- and middle-income people start to get subsidies that will help them buy private insurance — taking those benefits away will be nearly impossible, particularly since Republicans still haven’t proposed an alternative that would come close to providing the same level of security.
The speaker says Republicans should be judged on how many laws they repeal. This is unprecedented, irresponsible, and terrifying. …
It would be impossible to name the craziest thing said by a Republican so far this year….
New entrants arrive constantly and the competition is feral. And yet paradoxically they don’t even shock anymore. But one recent Republican remark should arrest you and deserves your contemplation: John Boehner’s statement on Face the Nation Sunday that he and his House Republicans “ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal.”
It’s not an outrageous statement in the Obama-wants-to-impose-Sharia vein, but in its way it’s more disturbing. The Republican Party now sees dysfunction as not just an unfortunate consequence of a set of historical factors, something that they might work every now and again to correct. Now, the Republican Party sees dysfunction as its mission.
Family values are a pillar of traditional Republican discourse. But as soon as it comes time to address immigration issues, all of their emphasis on family unity goes out the window, replaced by advocacy for division.
This is the logical conclusion that follows from the KIDS Act, being developed by the House of Representatives. While this House bill would legalize the status of minors brought to the United States without papers by their parents, it would be the only measure the lower house would approve to regularize the status of anyone undocumented, unlike the Senate bill that initially aspired to benefit 11 million people.
The bill’s sponsor, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, speaking in favor of the measure, stated that this is a matter of “decency and compassion”…..
A year ago …… July 16, 2012: President Obama kisses First Lady Michelle Obama for the “Kiss Cam” while attending the U.S. Men’s Olympic basketball team’s game against Brazil at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
Today (All times Eastern):
10:0 Vice President Biden will swear in Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) as the freshman Massachusetts senator at the U.S. Capitol
11:0: President Obama is interviewed by Spanish language news anchors
12:45: Press Briefing by Jay Carney
On Thursday, the First Lady, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Amy Rule, will visit Urban Alliance Chicago, a year-long career education and employment program for underserved high school seniors which enriches students’ lives through paid internships, formal training, and mentoring. The visit is part of the First Lady’s focus on youth empowerment and providing more opportunities for young people to achieve their full potential.
George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush present President Obama with a pair of socks, July 15 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Steve Benen: For three-and-a-half hours last night, nearly every member of the Senate met behind closed doors in the Old Senate Chamber to discuss a political crisis of sorts: whether the minority would continue to block President Obama’s executive-branch nominees and what the majority intended to do about it.
The meeting itself was rather odd. Senators already have a forum in which they can hold a debate — it’s called the Senate. But their usual chamber has cameras and public seating, and last night, for whatever reason, members wanted to debate in private for a candid conversation.
By all accounts, it was a constructive conversation, but there was no resolution. As I type, there are some back-channel talks underway, but barring a breakthrough, the Senate Democratic leadership intended to move forward with its “nuclear option” plans.
Eugene Robinson: Justice failed Trayvon Martin the night he was killed. We should be appalled and outraged, but perhaps not surprised, that it failed him again Saturday night, with a verdict setting his killer free. Our society considers young black men to be dangerous, interchangeable, expendable, guilty until proven innocent. This is the conversation about race that we desperately need to have — but probably, as in the past, will try our best to avoid. Jurors knew that Zimmerman was an overeager would-be cop, a self-appointed guardian of the neighborhood who carried a loaded gun. They were told that he profiled Martin — young, black, hooded sweatshirt — as a criminal. They heard that he stalked Martin despite the advice of a 911 operator; that the stalking led to a confrontation; and that, in the confrontation, Zimmerman fatally shot Martin in the chest.
If anyone wonders why African Americans feel so passionately about this case, it’s because we know that our 17-year-old sons are boys, not men. It’s because we know their adolescent bravura is just that — an imitation of manhood, not the real thing. We know how frightened our sons would be, walking home alone on a rainy night and realizing they were being followed. We know how torn they would be between a child’s fear and a child’s immature idea of manly behavior. We know how they would struggle to decide the right course of action, flight or fight. And we know that a skinny boy armed only with candy, no matter how big and bad he tries to seem, does not pose a mortal threat to a healthy adult man who outweighs him by 50 pounds and has had martial arts training (even if the lessons were mostly a waste of money). We know that the boy may well have threatened the man’s pride but likely not his life. How many murders-by-sidewalk have you heard of recently? Or ever?
So much for voter suppression. So much for the enthusiasm gap. So much for the idea that smug, self-appointed arbiters of what is genuinely “American” were going to “take back” the country, as if it had somehow been stolen.
On Tuesday, millions of voters sent a resounding message to the take-it-back crowd: You won’t. You can’t. It’s our country, too.
…. Nationwide, roughly three of every 10 voters Tuesday were minorities. African Americans chose Obama by 93 percent, Latinos by 71 percent and Asian Americans, the nation’s fastest-growing minority, by 73 percent.
….. On Tuesday, the America of today asserted itself. Four years ago, the presidential election was about Barack Obama and history. This time, it was about us — who we are as a nation — and a multihued, multicultural future.
Joseph E. Stiglitz (NYT): This election has rightly been characterized as one that will deeply affect the future direction of the country: Americans are being given a choice with potentially large consequences. One arena in which there are profound differences that has not been adequately debated is the future course of inequality.
…. Every other advanced country has recognized the right of everyone to access to health care, and extending access was central to President Obama’s health care reform. Romney and Ryan have criticized that reform, but have said nothing about how or whether they would ensure universal access. Most important, the macroeconomic consequences of the Romney-Ryan economic program would be devastating: growth would slow, unemployment would increase, and just as Americans would need the social protection of government more, the safety net would be weakened.
…. let no one be deceived: their tax policies will lead to even more inequality at the top, the continued hollowing out of the middle, and more poverty at the bottom. Worst of all, they will lead to a more divided society that endangers our future – our economy, our democracy and our sense of identity as a nation.
(Joseph E. Stiglitz, a winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and a former chief economist of the World Bank, is University Professor at Columbia University)
Paul Krugman: Mitt Romney has been barnstorming the country, telling voters that he has a five-point plan to restore prosperity …. Mr. Romney’s “plan” is a sham. It’s a list of things he claims will happen, with no description of the policies he would follow to make those things happen…..
Actually, if describing what you want to see happen without providing any specific policies to get us there constitutes a “plan,” I can easily come up with a one-point plan that trumps Mr. Romney any day. Here it is: Every American will have a good job with good wages. Also, a blissfully happy marriage. And a pony.
So Mr. Romney is faking it. His real plan seems to be to foster economic recovery through magic, inspiring business confidence through his personal awesomeness. But what about the man he wants to kick out of the White House?
…. Mr. Obama may not have an exciting economic plan, but, if he is re-elected, he will get to implement a health reform that is the biggest improvement in America’s safety net since Medicare. Mr. Romney doesn’t have an economic plan at all, but he is determined not just to repeal Obamacare but to impose savage cuts in Medicaid. So never mind all those bullet points. Think instead about the 45 million Americans who either will or won’t receive essential health care, depending on who wins on Nov. 6.
President Obama has his drivers license checked prior to casting his vote in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago
President Obama has a laugh when an election official’s cell phone rings …
Greeting people as he leaves a campaign office in Chicago (Brian Cassella, Chicago Tribune)
Eugene Robinson (Washington Post): This election is only tangentially a fight over policy. It is also a fight about meaning and identity – and that’s one reason voters are so polarized. It’s about who we are and who we aspire to be.
President Obama enters the final days of the campaign with a substantial lead among women – about 11 points, according to the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll – and enormous leads among Latinos and African Americans, the nation’s two largest minority groups. Mitt Romney leads among white voters, with an incredible 2-to-1 advantage among white men … it would be disingenuous to pretend not to notice the obvious cleavage between those who have long held power in this society and those who are beginning to attain it.
When Republicans vow to “take back our country,” they never say from whom. But we can guess.
…. Some of Obama’s opponents have tried to delegitimize his presidency because he doesn’t embody the America they once knew. He embodies the America of now.
Paul Krugman: …. If you’re new to this, there are two basic approaches to election analysis at this point. One is the campaign reporter style, full of impressionist reporting about who won the news cycle and who has “momentum”, whatever that means ….. The other is poll-based. And that mostly means state-level polls at this point: there are more of them, and we have an electoral-college system, not a popular-vote system.
The impressionistic style has been all about Romney on the rise, a narrative that is to a large part being fed by the Romney campaign itself. But the state-level polling doesn’t show it…..
NYT Editorial: …. For Mr. Romney, Mr. Obama’s decision to bail out the auto industry and his own rejection of it is proving to be an Electoral College challenge. Several states are also feeling the benefits of an improved economy. Obama campaign officials say that to win, Mr. Romney would have to pick off voters already committed to the president in states where Mr. Romney has never been ahead. “We think we maintain a lot more plausible pathways to 270 than Governor Romney, who we think has to essentially pull an inside straight,” said David Plouffe, the president’s chief strategist.
Those pathways exist because millions of voters still harbor doubts about Mitt Romney. He has apparently decided that in the final days of the campaign, he will do little to dispel them.
Washington Post: …. this is an interesting case in which Mitt Romney has taken two moments from the third presidential debate – both of which were faulted by fact checkers – and turned them into television ads. In both cases, Romney also misspoke, making his statements even less accurate. The campaign commercial for the “apology tour” selectively snips out Romney’s errors, but apparently it was impossible to clean up Romney’s error on the size of the Navy.
…. The net effect is to suggest Obama made those supposed apologies to Arabs, without actually saying so, because that would be incorrect. But even careful editing still does not fix the basic problem in the first place – there was no apology tour.
This ad also repeats the criticism that Obama has never visited Israel. As we have noted, only four of the last 11 presidents visited Israel during their presidency — and only two visited in their first term…
For doubling down on claims that have been repeatedly called out by fact checkers, even to the point of editing out the candidate’s misstatements, the Romney campaign earns Four Pinocchios.
Adam Serwer (Mother Jones): GOP’s Benghazi Smoking Gun Goes Up in Smoke …. When a set of State Department emails were released Wednesday, one reporting that a local Islamist militia had claimed responsibility for the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including the US ambassador to Libya, conservatives thought they had the smoking gun that the Obama administration had lied about what had occurred.
…. There’s only one problem — well, actually, there are many, but one big one: The email appears to have been incorrect…..
….. in the future it’s a good idea to remember that just because someone posts something on Facebook, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. Even better: Just because someone said someone posted something on Facebook doesn’t mean it’s true. Even if you really, really want it to be.
10:45: Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event in Chesterfield, Virginia
(Don’t forget The View today)
1:25: President Obama departs New York City
2:35: Arrives at the White House
NYT Editorial: Mitt Romney …. told CBS News’s “60 Minutes” that he is tied with President Obama; he has a “very effective campaign; it’s doing a very good job” …. That’s an outright denial of political reality, but Mr. Romney’s willingness to stray from the truth is at the root of what’s really going on….
To some extent, Mr. Romney’s diminishing stature is because of two recent statements that revealed his deficiencies to a newly interested audience. He falsely suggested that the Obama administration was sympathetic to the violent Muslim protests in Libya and Egypt, illustrating his ignorant and opportunistic critique of foreign policy. And he was caught on video belittling nearly half the country for an overreliance on government handouts.
These moments, though, were not fumbles or gaffes. They were entirely consistent with the dismissive attitude Mr. Romney has routinely shown toward non-Americans or the non-rich….
Mr. Romney is free to pursue this shallow, cavalier campaign for six more weeks, but he shouldn’t be surprised if voters increasingly choose not to pay attention.
Tuesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House and two campaign events at the W Hotel in Washington DC.
Wednesday: Will travel to Denver and Grand Junction, Colorado for campaign events.
Thursday: Will travel to Pueblo and Colorado Springs, Colorado for campaign events.
Friday: Will attend meetings at the White House.
Eugene Robinson: Mitt Romney’s defiant secrecy about his personal finances looks like a cross Republicans will have to bear all the way to Election Day. To put it mildly, the burden seems to chafe.
Apoplexy is not the tone politicians generally seek to project. Yet there was GOP chief Reince Priebus on ABC’s “This Week,” calling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a “dirty liar” for his claim about how little Romney may have paid in taxes….
It was a coordinated Sunday morning display of righteous indignation …. But in making such a show of denouncing Dirty Harry’s foul calumny, all Republicans succeeded in doing was draw attention to Romney’s stubborn refusal to release more than a year’s worth of tax returns ….
Reid was a boxer in his youth, and what he did to Romney was the equivalent of a head butt. ….If he is being as cynical and mendacious as Republicans charge, Romney could demolish the majority leader’s credibility — and put the whole issue to rest — with a single phone call instructing his accountant to release the returns….
…. The fact that he won’t — even when continued secrecy clearly hurts the campaign, if only by diverting attention from other issues Romney would rather be talking about — clearly means there’s something embarrassing, inappropriate or just plain ugly in there.
You don’t need a secret source to tell you that. Common sense will do.
David Firestone (NYT): For the last four years, Republican lawmakers around the country have diligently tried to eliminate early-voting periods, which give people a chance to vote at their convenience. The reason is simple: early voting was wildly popular in 2008 – comprising a third of the vote – and many of the people who took advantage of it voted for Barack Obama.
More than half of Florida’s early voters in 2008 were Democrats, and many black voters went right from their church pews to the ballot box on the Sunday before Election Day. That’s why the state’s Republicans severely restricted the practice last year, and specifically banned voting on that final Sunday. Similar restrictions were also passed in Georgia, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Ohio, part of a movement to restrict voting that includes tough voter ID requirements.
Now, the Obama campaign’s attempt to fight the measure in Ohio has led to one of the lower moments of this year’s presidential campaign. The state legislature cut back on the early voting period, and banned it in the three days prior to Election Day. (Even though 93,000 Ohioans voted in those three days in 2008.) An exception, however, was made for military personnel, who tend to lean Republican.
The Obama campaign and the Ohio Democratic Party filed a lawsuit last month in federal court, saying the practice violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The lawsuit asked the court to restore to everyone the right to vote in the last three days.
Then, in an extraordinary lie, Mr. Romney issued a statement Saturday turning the lawsuit around to accuse Democrats of trying to end early voting for the military….The lawsuit does nothing of the kind…..
President Barack Obama, accompanied by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and Vice President Joe Biden, salutes as he departs the White House en route to Arlington National Cemetery, Dec. 12, 2011. The President and Prime Minister participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. An interpreter, center, walks with the group. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Don’t miss our good friend Tien’s brilliant post at The People’s View – here
Eugene Robinson: I guess I was wrong. I thought Republicans surely would have come to their senses by now. Instead, they seem to be rushing deeper into madness.
With less than a month to go before the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney, the candidate shown by polls to have the best chance of defeating President Obama, evidently remains unacceptable to most of his party. He has spent the summer and fall playing second fiddle to a series of unconvincing “front-runners” who fade into the shadows once their shortcomings become obvious.
The latest is Newt Gingrich, a man with more baggage than Louis Vuitton – and the taste for fine jewelry of Louis XIV, judging by his Tiffany’s bill. Be honest: Is there anybody out there who believes Gingrich would make it through a general-election campaign against Obama without self-destructing? I didn’t think so.
The first lady announced in an email Monday that her October bid to break the record for the most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period succeeded. Mrs. Obama says 300,265 people participated, shattering the old record.
In order to achieve her goal, Mrs. Obama led about 400 elementary and middle-school students from Washington in jumping jacks on the South Lawn of the White House. Other jumping jacks events were held around the world on Oct. 11.
The effort was organized by National Geographic Kids magazine in support of the first lady’s Let’s Move! initiative to promote physical fitness and healthy eating for children.
CBS: Republican presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich – who has acknowledged marital infidelity in the past – pledged in a written statement to an Iowa social conservative group to “uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others.”
First Lady Michelle Obama waits with Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg in the Green Room of the White House before making remarks to the White House Historical Association, Oct. 31. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
This is excellent:
GOPolitico: Anchors from nine local television affiliates will spend a day behind the scenes at the White House on Tuesday, meeting with top officials and getting brief individual interviews with President Obama before broadcasting evening newscasts from the South Lawn.
“Live from the White House” is a 21st-century update to the “radio row” tradition, which brought talk-show hosts to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to interview West Wing officials going from microphone to microphone during their drive-time shows.
The White House is building risers on the South Lawn for the evening newscasts, which are being spread out by time zones – three from the East, two from Central, one from Mountain and two from Pacific.
The anchors will get to ask White House press secretary Jay Carney a question during the daily press briefing; have lunch with senior adviser David Plouffe; interview a White House staffer from each station’s home market; get an on-camera tour with a White House curator; and tour the White House kitchen garden with Sam Kass, White House assistant chef and policy adviser.
The ringmaster is Josh Earnest, principal deputy White House press secretary, who said the mission is “to increase interest and raise the profile of the president’s efforts to strengthen the economy and create jobs in local communities across the country, and explain to Americans how their communities will benefit from the president’s agenda.”
The stations and their anchors will be from Portland, Ore. (KGW, NBC, Tracy Barr); Phoenix (KSAZ, Fox, John Hook); Denver (KUSA, NBC, Adele Arakawa); Minneapolis (WCCO, CBS, Amelia Santaniello); Houston (KTRK, ABC, Dave Ward); Omaha (KETV, ABC, Rob McCartney); Tampa (WTVT, Fox, Mark Wilson); Hampton Roads (WAVY, NBC, Tom Schaad); and Philadelphia (WPVI, ABC, Brian Taff). A 10th participant will be Nikole Killion, representing Hearst stations.
“The highlight of the day will be an opportunity to briefly interview the President from the Cabinet Room about the American Jobs Act,” Earnest said. “The anchors will also interview Cabinet secretaries … about how the bipartisan proposals included in the president’s American Jobs Act would create jobs in their community and put money in the pocket of every single American worker and small business owner.”
Also tomorrow: The President has a ceremony at which he’ll sign a proclamation – which the White House will identify later tonight … discusses legislative strategy with House Democratic Leaders ….. welcomes the crew of the final space shuttle mission to the Oval Office ….. The First Lady holds a Let’s Move event for children In New Orleans and does fundraisers in New Orleans and Houston …. On Wednesday the President will push for $60 billion in new spending in an 11:25 am ET speech in front of the Key Bridge at Georgetown’s Waterfront Park in Washington, DC.
AP: President Barack Obama is in excellent health and tobacco free, his doctor said Monday in the results of the president’s second physical exam since taking office.
In the two-page report released by the White House, Dr. Jeffrey C. Kuhlman also said Obama is physically active, eats a healthy diet, stays at a healthy weight, and on occasion drinks alcohol in moderation.
“The president is in excellent health and ‘fit for duty’,” Kuhlman wrote. “All clinical data indicate he will remain so for the duration of his presidency.”
….. The president is 6-foot-1 and weighs 181.3 pounds, according to the report. His blood pressure was recorded at 107 over 71, up from 105 over 62 in February 2010, but still well within the normal range.
…. The president also has “periodic physical therapy” to deal with recurrent upper right back pain, and he had benign skin tags removed from his neck.
Eugene Robinson: Responding to his insurgent campaign’s first crisis, Herman Cain was upbeat and defiant. “To quote my chief of staff and all the people around this country, ‘Let Herman be Herman,’ ” he said Monday. “And Herman is gonna stay Herman.”
I was afraid of that.
Cain’s policy positions range from the ignorant to the unworkable to the just plain goofy – and yet he is running first or second in most polls for the Republican presidential nomination. He trumpets his utter lack of government experience as a selling point and boasts of not knowing foreign leaders’ names. If through some bizarre series of events he were actually elected president, the result would surely be an unmitigated disaster.
It’s not yet clear whether this remote possibility has been made even more unlikely by reports that Cain faced allegations of sexual harassment from two female employees when he headed the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.
…. He needs to answer more questions about the alleged harassment …. I hope he does, because we’re running out of bandwidth. Cain’s famous “9-9-9” tax plan would be ruinous. He wants to privatize Social Security. He believes that “extensive foreign policy experience” is not something a president needs, since when he was named chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza, “I had never made a pizza – but I learned.”
So many reasons to oppose this loopy candidacy, so little time.