Posts Tagged ‘gopshutdown

27
Sep
14

President Obama And George Clooney: Men Of Character

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Donna

Good Morning TOD

Chips/NW in honor of Mr. Clooney’s wedding today (sigh) I think a thread honoring this beautiful, handsome, charming, intelligent, big time President Obama supporter would be appropriate….

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As you wish, Donna. 🙂

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NY Mag

George Clooney has never been shy about sharing his thoughts on politics and current events. So yesterday, when we ran into him at a Peggy Siegal lunch for his new space flick Gravity, we asked the liberal-leaning actor for his thoughts about the ongoing government shutdown. He had many — on John Boehner’s grand strategy, on the “idiots” who think we don’t need government, and on Ted Cruz’s reading of Green Eggs and Ham. “People keep talking about how this has to be a great negotiation, but there isn’t any negotiating a law.

We negotiate on all these other topics, but this was put into law, and [Obama] was reelected on it. It was reaffirmed, it was passed through the Supreme Court — it’s a law. You don’t like it? Win an election. That’s how it works. That’s how the country works. But you don’t get to shut down the government because of it. That’s not how it works.” “Shutting down the government is not how you make government work. And anybody who thinks we don’t need it is an idiot.”

More here

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1280px-Barack_Obama_after_basketball_with_Don_Cheadle,_Tobey_Maguire,_and_George_Clooney

May 11, 2012 – Pete Souza: “After some early morning basketball in Los Angeles, the President talks with the players who included actors Don Cheadle, Tobey Maguire, and George Clooney, along with two of Clooney’s long-time friends. Stacy Keibler is also at right.”

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Vanity Fair

What happens in Vegas . . . doesn’t stay in Vegas when you are George Clooney and get in an argument with a hotel tycoon over President Obama. “There were 9 people at that table. . .So you can ask them. . .Steve likes to go on rants. . .HE called the president an asshole. . . that is a fact. . .I said the President was my longtime friend and then he said ‘your friend is an asshole.’ . . .At that point I told Steve that HE was an asshole and I wasn’t going to sit at his table while he was being such a jackass. And I walked out. There were obviously quite a few more adjectives and adverbs used by both of us. Those are all the facts. It had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with character.”

More here

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Vanity Fair

Steve Wynn and I have met three times, two times for dinner. That is the extent of our knowledge of one another, so I will refrain from trying to categorize him based on the little time we’ve spent together, but I will not let his version of the truth go unchallenged. He now says he didn’t call the president an ‘a——.’ That is false. He bellowed ‘I voted for the a——,’ and then called him the same thing several more times as the dinner came to an abrupt end. Again there were eight people at the table, eight witnesses. I did in turn, call him the same body part, and walked out. Again he can make up whatever story he wants, but these are the facts. He said I drank 16 shots of tequila. I didn’t drink one shot of tequila, not one. We were drinking but it was early and we still had two events to attend.

He said I live in a bubble. More of a bubble than Las Vegas? Honestly? He says I’m ‘molly coddled,’ that I’m surrounded by people who coddle me. I would suggest that Mr. Wynn look to his left and right and find anyone in his sphere that says anything but ‘yes’ to him. Emphatically. I did not attend a private boys’ school, I worked in tobacco fields and in stock rooms, and construction sites. I’ve been broke more of my life than I have been successful, and I understand the meaning of being an employee and how difficult it is to make ends meet. Steve is one of the richest men in the world and he should be congratulated for it, but he needs to take off his red sparkly dinner jacket and roll up his sleeves every once in a while and understand what most of the country is actually dealing with … or at least start with the fact that you can’t make up stories when eight people who are not on your payroll are sitting around you as witnesses.

More here

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Washington Post

Walking through Clooney’s house, Obama glimpsed at the “HOPE” poster from the 2008 campaign by Shepard Fairey and told donors: “People don’t realize that the photograph of me is actually me sitting next to George” at an event when Clooney was advocating on behalf of Darfur. “We struck up a friendship,” Obama said, and then joked, to much laughter: “This is the first time that George Clooney has actually been photo-shopped out of a picture. Never happened before, will never happen again.” Obama said Fairey did a poster for Clooney with both men on the same picture. “Why he said at the bottom ‘Dope and Hope,’ I don’t know.” More laughter. “We raised a lot of money because everybody loves George.

They like me, they love him. And rightfully so. Not only is he an unbelievable actor, but he is one of those rare individuals who is at ease with everybody. He seems to occupy a constant state of grace, and uses his extraordinary talents on behalf of something truly important.” Clooney listened intently to the president throughout, his hands folded as if in prayer and his chin resting on them. And I want to thank Clooney for letting us use his basketball court. This man has been talking smack about his basketball game ever since I’ve known him.”

More here

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At the National Press Club for ‘SAVE DARFUR: Rally to Stop Genocide’, 2006

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Interesting interview. He talks about President Obama at 35:42.

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President Barack Obama jokes with cast members of the movie “The Monuments Men” in the Diplomatic Reception Room, prior to a movie screening in the Family Theater of the White House, Feb. 18, 2014. Standing from left are: Matt Damon and his wife Luciana Damon, Grant Heslov, and George Clooney (Photo by Pete Souza)

16
Oct
13

Rise and Shine

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Today:

The President has no scheduled public events, but…..

12:30 EDT: Jay Carney briefs the press

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Steve Benen: As debt deadline nears, now what?

In an unexpected twist, the political world starts today with circumstances that look eerily similar to those from 24 hours ago: a bipartisan Senate deal is taking shape and a fractured House remains unpredictable. The point of yesterday, apparently, was to waste a day, humiliate House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), and bring the nation just a little closer to default.

After House Republicans rejected a series of desperate attempts by Boehner to make them happy, attention turned back to the Senate, which waited until after the lower chamber imploded to renew its talks. By all appearances, the basic framework of an agreement is in place.

More here

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Michael Tomasky: Senate Debt Ceiling Deal Won’t Mean This Chaos Is Over. Far From It.

Tuesday might have ended with the Senate on the cusp of a deal to avert a default, but it also featured Boehner bowing and scraping to his House crazies to come up with a competing plan that failed.

This is a sad and sickening spectacle, like nothing I’ve ever seen in my life. Not as bad as Watergate, you say? I beg to differ. However this turns out this has been in its way worse than Watergate. Watergate ultimately vindicated our system against the machinations of one sociopath. It took time, because he was a president. But even he ultimately observed democratic norms and, when cornered, did the honorable thing.

Today, we have a clavern of sociopaths who know nothing of honor, and we have no easy way to stop them. Except at the ballot box. Except that they’ve rigged that, too, with their House districts. They’ve rigged the whole game so that they light the match and then point at President Obama and shout: “Look! Fire!” And overseeing it all is House Speaker John Boehner, as of Tuesday officially the worst high-ranking elected officer in the history of the United States.

More here

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Dana Milbank: Republicans are at a dead end

Here’s how grave the House Republicans’ condition has become: They’re now in the care of a mortician.

In the early minutes of a marathon meeting of House Republicans on Tuesday morning, Rep. Steve Southerland, a funeral director from Florida, rose to suggest the lawmakers sing “Amazing Grace” — and his colleagues joined him in a rendition of the burial hymn.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,

And mortal life shall cease,

I shall possess within the veil,

A life of joy and peace.

It was an appropriate choice, for the House GOP is practicing its own form of mortuary science: It is burying both the Republican brand and America’s standing in the world.

More here

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Charles Pierce: Reign Of Morons: Apotheosis

…. A great portion of the courtier press that now expresses horror at what is going on now went gleefully along for the ride as it became inevitable. Any members of that courtier press who relished the pursuit of Bill Clinton’s penis, or conducted the absurd campaign of untruth that was waged against Al Gore between 1999 and 2000 lost the right years ago credibly to denounce conservative extremism and Republican vandalism.

That means you, Roger Simon of Politico, who was so shocked the other day to discover that racism may have afflicted the process of government since the president’s election, but who once claimed to right to make candidates like Gore “jump through hoops” for the pure hella-fun of it.

That means you, Chris Matthews, who chased the presidential dick for two years, all the way through an impeachment process that was a constitutional absurdity, but who now discovers that the campaign of destruction never truly stopped.

That means you, Andrew Sullivan, with your current existential torment over How It Came To This….

…… This means all of you who went along for the ride on torture, and on Iraq, and who hid under the bed after 9/11. This is how the power came to rest with Ted Yoho, who is a fool and a know-nothing. This is how historical inevitability is created. This is how its momentum becomes unstoppable. This is how the wreckage piles up.

Full post here

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Bob Cesca: Why Isn’t the GOP Complaining About the Deficit? Because It’s Dropping — Fast.

As we careen headlong toward the debt ceiling deadline, with the House Republicans and Speaker John Boehner in full Three-Stooges-Trying-To-Fix-The-Plumbing mode, the issue area that’s been overshadowed by the grandstanding, political props and brinksmanship is government spending itself.

The budget deficit is really the 4,000 pound gorilla in the room and the Republicans refuse to discuss anything other than the fact that employer mandate for the dreaded Affordable Care Act begins a year after the individual mandate. Yes, we’re in the middle of a showdown over the debt because of Obamacare rather than, you know, spending and fiscal responsibility.

Why aren’t they talking about the deficit? That’s easy: they can’t say anything bad about it because the Obama administration’s record on the deficit is kind of stellar.

More here

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TPM: McCain: ‘Republicans Have To Understand We Have Lost This Battle’

With the government shutdown in its third week and the United States dangerously close to the debt limit, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) urged members of his party on Tuesday to stop digging.

“It’s very, very serious,” McCain said, as quoted by the New York Times. “Republicans have to understand we have lost this battle, as I predicted weeks ago, that we would not be able to win because we were demanding something that was not achievable.”

More here

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David Cay Johnston (Al Jazeera): Tea party Republicans put dollar’s reputation at risk

Barring an accident of political brinksmanship, the United States will not default on its debts and other obligations.

Economic conditions provide exactly zero reasons to worry that the U.S. cannot service its debts. The danger in the current crisis, therefore, is not catastrophic economic collapse.

Rather, the danger is that the House’s tea party Republicans, in their zeal to block President Barack Obama’s policies, especially on health care, have damaged investors’ long-term trust in the U.S. government. And by thwarting the principle of majority rule, they have demonstrated a disrupting power that they may wield into the next decade, causing further erosion in confidence.

More here

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ThinkProgress

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ThinkProgress: Houston Chronicle Yanks Ted Cruz Endorsement

As the federal government enters its sixteenth day of shutdown and stands just hours away from defaulting on the national debt, the largest newspaper in Texas has pulled its endorsement of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). The conservative lawmaker delivered a 21-hour speech on Sep. 24, urging Senate and House Republicans to vote against any government funding measure that includes appropriations for President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, and is viewed as at least partially responsible for the current impasse.

More here

Screw them for endorsing him in the first place – they helped get the ****er elected.

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A Year Ago Today:

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On This Day:

President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden link arms and sing “We Shall Overcome” during the dedication ceremony for the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011 Joining them, from left, are: Harry Johnson, Sr.; Interior Secretary Ken Salazar; and Herman “Skip” Mason (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama says goodbye to former President George H. W. Bush and former Secretary of State James A. Baker, prior to departure from Easterwood Field landing zone, in College Station, Texas, Oct. 16, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Neighbors in West Newton, Mass., react as the President headed their way after speaking at an event next door, Oct. 16, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Morning everyone, looks like it’ll be a long day.

15
Oct
13

GOP Shutdown Update

Continue reading ‘GOP Shutdown Update’

12
Oct
13

“It’s Not Too Late To Do The Right Thing”

12
Oct
13

Chat Away

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Day One in the Oval Office, Jan. 21, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

He can’t have imagined the GOP hate and madness ahead. Can he?

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Senate Democrats are holding a press conference at 1:30 EDT – coverage continuing at C-Span

12
Oct
13

Rise and Shine

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Live coverage from Congress on C-Span

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Steve Benen: Republican support in ‘jaw-dropping’ free fall

Professional pollsters for major news organizations are notoriously cautious people who avoid hyperbole. So when Democratic pollster Peter Hart and Republican Bill McInturff conducted the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll and described the results as “jaw-dropping,” it’s worth appreciating why.

Let’s put it this way: if this poll were a campfire story, it’d leave Republicans shaking uncontrollably in their sleeping bags. The GOP wasn’t in especially good shape before, but the shutdown crisis and the threats to crash the economy on purpose have been an unmitigated disaster for the party, causing the sort of collapse in public support pollsters simply don’t see very often.

What’s the good news for Republicans in the poll? There is no good news.

More here

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Dana Milbank: Cruzification of the GOP

…. Skeptics warned from the start that it was a suicide mission for Republicans to shut down the federal government in a long-shot attempt to defund Obamacare. Now that such dire predictions have come to pass, the lawmakers who engineered the shutdown are getting the conflagration — and the martyrdom — they sought.

….. Cruz has seen his reputation take a 16-point negative turn in the national Gallup poll since June. Cruz’s partner in the rebellion, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, has seen a 20-point negative swing in his home state over the same time period.

…. Even the infamous Koch brothers, financiers of the tea party, are distancing themselves from the shutdown contretemps….

The Boston Globe recently reported that David Koch gave MIT $20 million for a child-care facility, because “I got a tear in my eye” hearing about researchers’ need for child care. Maybe the lachrymose Koch will weep for his country when he realizes the economic destruction caused by the groups he bankrolled.

Full post here

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Ed Henry walking out of yesterday’s briefing because Jay Carney didn’t call the shill for a question – and because, you know, it’s all about him:

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The People’s View: As GOP cries uncle, Obama refuses to bail them out

As the Republican plan to deprive Americans of health care by holding the government’s operations hostage and threatening default has fallen apart in the face of withering public backlash and the strength of a president who has refused to pay ransom for Congress doing its job, some Republicans are still holding out hope that the same president who they hoped to destroy will bail them out from their own quagmire and save their face. Well, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

… In the mean time, Jay Carney has re-iterated that the president will not pay a ransom simply to reopen government and pay America’s bills.

What does all this mean? The best I can tell, the president is exactly in the same position he has always been in: Republicans need to end the shutdown, stop threatening default, and then the normal process of budget negotiations can resume. Once it does resume after the GOP ends the crisis they inflicted on America, the framework, as far as the president is concerned, needs to include both long term budget savings and increased taxes from those who can afford it.

More here

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Our very own Alycee:

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Oh, these people:

ThinkProgress: Congressman: Workers Furloughed In Shutdown Should Not Get Backpay

While the House unanimously passed a bill last week to pay the 800,000 workers who have been deemed non-essential in the shutdown their lost wages once the government opens again, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) thinks they shouldn’t get paid.

At a teletown hall on Thursday, a constituent called in to say, “The people that had to work should be paid. But the people that are home watching Netflix and whatever, I’m not sure that we should be sending them checks.”

More here

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UPI: US postal worker fired for throwing away Obamacare mail

The United States Postal Service has fired a Fresno, Calif., mailman who admitted he threw away letters about “Obamacare.”

Residents of a Central Fresno apartment complex took photos of a nearby dumpster filled with mail about “Obamacare.” Witnesses saw the postal carrier discarding the mail.

“He just kept glancing over his shoulder over and over again. It was like he knew what he was doing was wrong,” said witness Jerry Dills. “It was just amazing, I looked down in there and there was a bunch of people’s addresses and right away… I knew this was absolutely wrong.”

More here

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UPI: First lady Michelle Obama welcomes Pakistani teen shot by Taliban

Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan last year, was greeted at the White House Friday by first lady Michelle Obama.

“President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama today welcomed Malala Yousafzai to the Oval Office to thank her for her inspiring and passionate work on behalf of girls education in Pakistan,” the White House said in a statement. “The United States joins with the Pakistani people and so many around the world to celebrate Malala’s courage and her determination to promote the right of all girls to attend school and realize their dreams. As the first lady has said, ‘Investing in girls’ education is the very best thing we can do, not just for our daughters and granddaughters, but for their families, their communities, and their countries.'”

“Across the globe there are girls who will one day lead nations, if only we afford them the chance to choose their own destinies,” President Obama said in his proclamation to mark the International Day of the Girl. “And on every continent, there are girls who will go on to change the world in ways we can only imagine, if only we allow them the freedom to dream.”

More here

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Media Matters: Once Again, Sunday Morning Talk Shows Are White, Male, And Conservative

In the first nine months of 2013, white men dominated the guest lists on the broadcast network Sunday shows and CNN’s State of the Union. MSNBC was the only network achieving notable diversity in its guests, particularly on Melissa Harris-Perry’s show. Republicans and conservatives are hosted significantly more on the broadcast Sunday shows than Democrats and progressives.

More here

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@NoShock: The Washington Post engages a troll for the win!!

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Another Great Twitter Exchange of our Time:

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On This Day:

President Obama greets the student finalists of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge as they enter the Oval Office, Oct. 12, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Continue reading ‘Rise and Shine’

10
Oct
13

Rise and Shine

On This Day: The President walks into a hospital room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where he presented a wounded warrior with a Purple Heart, Oct. 10, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today (all times Eastern):

12:0: Press briefing by Jay Carney

1:45: The President and Vice President meet with the Senate Democratic Caucus, State Dining Room

4:35: Meet with the House Republican Leadership, Roosevelt Room

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What it’s all about:

Washington Post: Obamacare saved my family from financial ruin

House Speaker John Boehner and his tea party friends shut down the U.S. government because of people like me. I am the mother of an insurance hog, someone who could have blown through his lifetime limit of health coverage by the time he was 14. My son has managed to survive despite seemingly insurmountable challenges, and he wears his preexisting condition like a Super Bowl ring.

Mason, now 16, was probably born with his brain tumor. We discovered it six years ago …. Mason spent most of eighth grade in the hospital. In the six months he was hospitalized, he spent 65 days in the pediatric intensive care unit. He underwent four brain surgeries. Halfway through his hospitalization, the Affordable Care Act was passed, alleviating lifetime limits on coverage and saving us from the financial abyss….

…. what is wrong with allowing us to purchase a financial safety net? What’s so un-American about that?

If I could get John Boehner and Ted Cruz I would tell them that, while they were busy trying to derail the Affordable Care Act over the past two years, Mason has again learned to walk, talk, eat and shoot a three-point basket.

Full article here

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Steve Benen: GOP sets trap, falls in, seeks way out

Just a few weeks ago, congressional Republicans had high hopes about pending showdowns in Washington. They’d target an unpopular health care law; the public would rally behind them; Democrats would splinter; Republicans would unify; and President Obama would cave. It’d be … awesome.

We now know, of course, that none of these things actually happened. Indeed, yesterday seemed to mark a turning point – Republican leaders started moving away from their “Obamacare” demands; powerhouse conservative groups publicly distanced themselves from GOP strategies; and polls pointed to a flailing and failing party.

Last week, the consensus in Republican circles seemed to be, “We can win this thing.” Yesterday, party officials transitioned to, “We need to get out of this thing.”

More here

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James Poniewozik (Time): Not “Both Sides,” Now: Why False Equivalence Matters in the Shutdown Showdown

People can argue the rights and wrongs of the showdown, but pinning the crisis on a bipartisan failure of “Congress” is a media copout

….. One party (in fact, essentially one wing of the Republican party), seeking the elimination or delay of Obamacare, precipitated a government shutdown and threatened to force a default on U.S. debt. Period. There was no corresponding threat or demand on the Democratic or White House side; having gotten the Affordable Care Act into law three years ago, they are not in the situation of saying, “Pass Obamacare or we shut ‘er down.”

That’s the situation. To accurately describe it, as news coverage should, is not to endorse an ideology. It’s not to say that Obamacare is good or bad. It’s not to say that Republicans do or don’t have good reasons to oppose it. It’s not to say that Democrats have or haven’t sought political benefit in the aftermath. But it correctly places the impetus where it belongs.

More here

See video of Lawrence O’Donnell and Carl Bernstein discussing the ‘false equivalence’ – here

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The Atlantic: False Equivalence That Leans on Public Opinion Is Still False Equivalence

…. The last few weeks have seen a sort of media-insider debate about whether journalists are wrong to blame both parties for a shutdown that seems rather obviously to be a Republican creation….

In a piece for National Journal, Ron Fournier leans on public opinion to show that, no, in fact, both Republicans and Democrats deserve a big serving of blame for the shut-down government, because Americans think they’re both to blame….

Rather than free readers from the shackles of false equivalence, this sort of argument actually solidifies the worst kind of false equivalence. It holds up the misinformation of survey respondents — whose opinions have been shaped by both-parties-are-to-blame coverage….

Public polls are a fine gauge of public opinion, but they’re not to be treated as a barometer of reality. Pretending otherwise mixes up the regurgitated misinformation of readers with the careful analysis of people who are in the business of busting misinformation.

If that’s not serving up false equivalence, what is?

Full post here

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Charles Pierce: A Child’s Garden Of Politics

I mentioned earlier today that Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny-starver from Wisconsin, had come out with an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal in which he postulated that the Reign Of The Morons could end if only we admitted that he and Mitt Romney really had won the election – and, therefore, the right to enact their economic plan – in 2012. I also speculated that there would be at least a few nominally sane people inside the Beltway who’d buy Ryan’s latest crock of beans as the act of a statesman.

Step right up, my man Chuck Todd. And friends…..

More here

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Paul Krugman: They Can’t Handle the Truth

It’s remarkable and scary to watch Republican leaders trying to extract themselves from the box they’re in. They have now figured out that Obama won’t eviscerate health reform under threat — although their base refuses to believe it. They still can’t face the reality that Obama won’t offer any concessions, of any kind, under threat….

I would say that Cantor and Ryan seem, gradually, to be edging toward facing reality. But we don’t have much time. Can they come to grips with the failure of extortion before it’s time to shoot the hostage? I wouldn’t bet on it.

Full post here

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MooooOOOOoooorning everyone! A bunch of stuff came up yesterday so I wasn’t able to be around at all, so MASSIVE thanks to UT for keeping everything going sooooo beautifully, and to LL and Zizi for their wonderful contributions. I like you people. A lot.

This was a bit of a rushed R&S, as you might possibly have noticed, have to look after a few bits and pieces, but will catch up later in the day.

08
Oct
13

Rise and Shine

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Today:

The President has no public events scheduled

1:30 EDT: Jay Carney briefs the press

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ThinkProgress: Oklahoma Woman Tells GOP Lawmakers: Without Obamacare, ‘I Will Be Dead Before My 27th Birthday’

As the deadline approached for Congress to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government funded, Republicans refused to strike a deal unless it defunded or delayed Obamacare. Now, a week later, GOP lawmakers still seem unwilling to compromise unless they are able to dismantle some of the health reform law. One Oklahoma resident wants them to understand the human impact of that political position.

On the eve of the looming government shutdown, 26-year-old Kendall Brown published an open letter to the lawmakers who wanted to delay Obamacare for one year before agreeing to pass a funding bill. Brown didn’t mince words. “I am dying, because of the political games you are playing right now,” her op-ed began.

More here

An excerpt from the letter:

Open Letter to Lawmakers: The Human Cost

Dear lawmakers currently attempting to shut down Obamacare,

My name is Kendall Brown. I am a 26-year-old, college graduate with a full-time job…

And I am dying, because of the political games you are playing right now.

You see, I was born with Crohn’s Disease. This didn’t happen because I ate unhealthy food, or because I smoked, or because of any of the other reasons we use to victim blame sick people and justify not giving our countrymen adequate health care. I became severely ill beginning in the third grade because I won a genetic lottery that left me with a disease that would quickly drop me to 87 pounds, render me unable to walk at times, and nearly kill me twice…..

…. I don’t tell you this to make you feel sorry for me, Mr or Mrs lawmaker. I tell you this because I am tired of being reduced to a number, a statistic or, even worse, being described as a freeloader that wants to live off of the government health care teat. I tell you this because if you defund Obamacare, or delay it even for one year, as you are debating today, then this will be my last letter to you. I will be dead before my 27th birthday.

If you think that my life, and the lives of thousands of other people like me have no value, then by all means, delay the ACA. But before you do so, I’d like to invite you to hear stories from others like me, or, if you find yourself in the great state of Oklahoma, come meet me. I’d love to show you around and buy you a cup of coffee — and to introduce you to the woman you are killing.

Sincerely,

Kendall Brown

See the full letter at OKC.net

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Eugene Robinson: Obamacare is here. Get used to it.

While Republicans were throwing their silly tantrum, Obamacare became a fact. There is no turning back.

The point of no return was reached when millions of people crashed the Web sites of the new Affordable Care Act exchanges while trying to buy health insurance. Republicans can fight rear-guard battles if they want, but last Tuesday they lost the war. All they can do at this point is harm the nation — and their political prospects.

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Medicare guaranteed health care for the elderly, Medicaid for the poor. Obamacare begins to fill the remaining gaps. It will get better over time, but already — crashing Web sites and all — it’s a beautiful thing.

Full post here

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TPM: Carl Bernstein Slams Media’s ’50/50′ Shutdown Coverage: ‘This Is About The Republican Party’

Longtime journalist Carl Bernstein on Tuesday called on the press to abandon the false equivalence that’s colored much of the coverage of the government shutdown.

Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” the man who helped break the Watergate scandal said that the current budget impasse is not a two-sided matter.

“This is about the Republican Party and what it’s going to be,” Bernstein said. “Is it going to conduct a fact-based, philosophical argument in our political system or is it going to be a nihilistic, hateful, asymmetrical in terms of facts and the truth part of the party, as in Joe McCarthy?”

More here

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TPM: Harry Reid: GOP Obsession With Defunding Obamacare Is ‘Insanity’

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Saturday that Republicans’ preoccupation with defunding Obamacare amounts to “insanity.”

The Nevada Democrat explained in an interview with Esquire magazine why he recently said the Tea Party caucus is losing their minds.

“The reason I said that is that Einstein said the sign of insanity is when you do something over and over again and expect a different result,” he said. “They’ve voted forty-four times to defund Obamacare. Is that insanity? I think so.”

More here

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Missed this video the other day:

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ThinkProgress: Seven Big Companies Working To Help Americans Sign Up For Obamacare

Now that Obamacare’s new insurance marketplaces are open to the public, some uninsured Americans are eager to sign up. However, many others likely remain confused about their options under health reform, particularly as Obamacare continues to get caught in the political crossfire. In order to bridge the education gap about the health law, advocates are ramping up their enrollment efforts in creative ways. For instance, you can now text ENROLL to Planned Parenthood to receive information about health reform.

But nonprofit and government groups can’t do it all on their own. Here are seven large companies that are currently joining in on the effort and helping to spread the word about the new insurance options available under Obamacare:

See here

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Washington Post Editorial: The House GOP has nothing to show for its government shutdown

What have House Republicans managed to accomplish in a week of government shutdown?

Damage the livelihood of millions of Americans? Check. Government secretaries, food-truck operators, cleaners who work in motels near national parks: They’re all hurting.

Waste billions of taxpayer dollars? Check….

Interfere with key government operations? Check….

Rattle the markets, slow an economy in recovery, interrupt potentially lifesaving research at the National Institutes of Health? Check, check and check.

Derail the hated Obamacare? Ch . . . — oh, no, wait a minute…..

Full editorial here

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Link to Lawrence O’Donnell last night on the GOP’s attempts to ‘shut down the Presidency’: See here

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Liberal Librarian: The party of fear and the politics of Armageddon

I was looking through my personal library this past weekend, lost in my thoughts as to how we’ve come to this present pass in American politics, and came across a book I haven’t read in 20 years, but have clung to. The Party of Fear: The American Far Right from Nativism to the Militia Movement by David H. Bennett, was published in 1988 and revised in 1995. It makes for grim reading.

It’s a sad truism of the United States that we as a people are ahistorical. We have no memory of what happened last week, much less in the last century. If we were to remember our history, we might be better prepared for when it invariably rears its head again, the passions and bigotries of the past roaring out of the dark id of the American psyche. We fight the same battles over, because the causes of those battles are never fully addressed.

More here

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ThinkProgress: The Complete Guide To The Rise Of The Debt Ceiling Truthers

With just days to go until the nation hits the debt ceiling on October 17th, a growing chorus of Republican lawmakers have begun dismissing the dangers of national default, insisting that the government can continue paying interest on its debt and fund the most critical programs.

Economists have dismissed this prioritization scheme as chaotic and unworkable, warning that the United States would be “unable to pay between 40 to 45 percent of the 80 million payments it makes every month.” If the debt ceiling is not increased, the credit markets would freeze, the value of the dollar would plummet, interest rates would skyrocket, and a global recession would ensue.

But the so-called debt ceiling truthers, who swept into power after the 2010 midterm elections and, to the surprise of GOP leaders, took over the debt ceiling debate, continue to deny this reality. Below is a brief timeline showing how they rose to power and prominence within the Republican party…..

More here

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Charles Pierce: Where Are The Gutsy Republicans?

You’ll forgive me if, at the moment, I decline to believe that we will be saved from the Reign Of The Morons by unicorns, the Easter Bunny, or reasonable Republicans in either house of Congress who would gladly vote with the Democrats, if only evil castrato Speaker John Boehner would allow them to do it. You will also forgive me if, at the moment, I decline to believe in mermaids, the Pooka McPhillimey, or fed-up plutocrats who can find a sucker to primary Tea Party congresscritters from what passes for The Left in the Republican party these days.

… The Reign Of The Morons is many things, but one of its most obvious causes is a complete failure of political courage within the Republican party. It isn’t simply a matter of the party’s having created a monster that it can no longer control – although that’s undeniable part of it – it also is the fact that the party lacks a substantial center of power that even is willing to risk trying. Say what you will about Victor Frankenstein. He chased his creation to the ends of the earth. Where are the Republicans who are willing to ride the ice floe?

Full post here

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Steve Benen: Shutdown takes its toll on congressional GOP

As the deadline neared for the nation’s first-ever war-time government shutdown, the consensus was that congressional Republicans, already unpopular, would feel the brunt of the public backlash. So far, those expectations were correct.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll released yesterday found widespread dissatisfaction across the board, but Americans’ attitudes towards Republicans are especially brutal.

While approval for President Obama and congressional Democrats ticked higher in the wake of the government shutdown, approval for congressional Republicans dropped to a woeful 24%. Just as important, GOP lawmakers, who shut down the government exactly one week ago, have seen their disapproval ratings soar to 70%. A majority of Americans, 51%, now say they “strongly” disapprove of the nation’s far-right party.

More here

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Bob Cesca: The GOP Debt Ceiling Strategy: Lies, Grabassery and Default Denialism

The Republican Party’s geyser-like misinformation campaign regarding the government shutdown, accompanied by continued misinformation about the Affordable Care Act and the debt ceiling, has been almost too powerful to follow as it whizzes by.

The latest line, which appears to have convinced a majority of Republican voters, is that nothing will happen if the debt limit isn’t raised, least of all a default. As I pointed out yesterday, this is complete nonsense. We’ve heard this before in the form of denying the climate crisis in the face of almost unanimous scientific consensus. In this case, dozens of experts are forecasting the worst possible consequences if the House GOP doesn’t perform what was formerly a very customary task, devoid of melodrama or hostage-taking.

More here

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On This Day:

Oct 8, 2009: VP Biden and Jacqueline’s new best friend, Valerie Jarrett, leave the Economic Daily Briefing in the Oval Office (Pete Souza)

Oct 8, 2009: President Obama, along with members of Congress and Cabinet secretaries, jockeys for a rebound during a basketball game on the White House court (Pete Souza)

Oct 8, 2012: President Obama views a portrait of César Chávez before the César E. Chávez National Monument dedication ceremony in Keene, Calif. (Pete Souza)

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MooooOOOOoooorning!

05
Oct
13

Rise and Shine

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The Week Ahead

Who knows?

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AP: Text of Obama’s exclusive interview

Q: There is a lot that I want to ask you about the government shutdown and foreign policy, but I wanted to start with health care. The signature element of your health care law went online this week, and the interest seems to have really exceeded expectations, but there were some serious glitches with the online systems. And our reporting shows that the number of people who actually managed to sign up for insurance in the states using the federal system was in the single digits. How many people have actually signed up for insurance this week?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I don’t have the numbers yet. What we know is that, as you indicated, the interest way exceeded expectations and that’s the good news. It shows that people really need and want affordable health care. And the product is a really good one. It turns out that choice and competition work. So what’s happened is you’ve got private insurers who have bid to get into this system to offer affordable health care at significantly lower prices than anybody could buy in the individual market, because basically they’re now part of a big group.

And it is true that what’s happened is the website got overwhelmed by the volume. And folks are working around the clock and have been systematically reducing the wait times, but we are confident that over the course of the six months – because it’s important to remember people have six months to sign up – that we are going to probably exceed what anybody expected in terms of the amount of interest that people have.

More here

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NYMag: George Clooney Explains the Shutdown

…. we asked the liberal-leaning actor for his thoughts about the ongoing government shutdown. He had many — on John Boehner’s grand strategy, on the “idiots” who think we don’t need government, and on Ted Cruz’s reading of Green Eggs and Ham.

“People keep talking about how this has to be a great negotiation, but there isn’t any negotiating a law. We negotiate on all these other topics, but this was put into law, and [Obama] was reelected on it. It was reaffirmed, it was passed through the Supreme Court — it’s a law. You don’t like it? Win an election. That’s how it works…..”

…. “Shutting down the government is not how you make government work. And anybody who thinks we don’t need it is an idiot.”

More here

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I think we linked this already, but it’s so good it can’t be linked enough:

Kurt Eichenwald: The Truth About Obamacare and How It Solves the Suffering of the Insured

Last week, I wrote a lengthy piece to refute the Republican lies about Obamacare. This week, I am going to write about some of the truths.

… Normally, I would start this discussion by providing chapter-and-verse details about the 47 million men, women, and children who now have the opportunity to obtain health insurance, to live longer and healthier lives, to avoid needless bankruptcies. But, in what to me is one of the saddest developments in our nation’s history, that reality is irrelevant to ardent Obamacare opponents.

Words like “takers” and “slackers” are thrown at the uninsured, as if they have brought their pre-existing conditions, jobs without benefits, or low-paying positions on themselves…..

…. I don’t expect to persuade the people who really believe all the malarkey about death panels and socialism. They have been lied to for so long that I think it will take years before they will be able to understand how badly they have been used. But, hopefully, there are those who want to know why Obamacare exists and what the point of it is. And when you know the truth, you will understand that — for all of its imperfections — Obamacare is an essential step toward healing the deeply sick American health-care system.

Full article here

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ThinkProgress: How A Rand Paul Republican From Alabama Learned To Love Obamacare

Joshua Pittman is a 31-year-old self-employed videographer from Montgomery, Alabama. A libertarian Republican who voted for Ron Paul in 2012 and believes that Sen. Rand Paul is the future of the GOP …. But on Tuesday morning, Pittman logged on to HealthCare.gov and after some initial glitches and delays, successfully enrolled in a Bronze-level Obamacare health insurance plan….

Though he initially supported repealing the law, Pittman became curious about Obamacare in the days and weeks before it launched …. Asked what he liked, Pittman highlighted its prohibition against denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, noting that he wouldn’t be able to find coverage without it….

… Pittman doesn’t believe that Obamacare is perfect, but says Republicans in Congress should stop trying to repeal the law and give it a chance to work. “As a Republican, I think [the GOP’s repeal effort] is childish and I think this is the wrong way to lead… it’s babyish and I think as a party it just reflects negatively upon us,” he explains.

Full post here

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The Perpetual Campaign: My Obamacare Experience… And Why The Shutdown Was Never About Obamacare

…. I currently pay $348 per month for health insurance, with a $1500 deductible. For a plan with the same level of coverage, I will now pay $297 per month, with a $1000 deductible. This will save me $1100 on health care in 2014. That’s $1100 that I will spend on something other than health care, money that will stimulate the economy. That money did not come from other taxpayers. The savings came as a result of setting up an exchange that would allow everyone to access group buying power.

…. the reason insurers can no longer discriminate against me for my pre-existing condition is because of the individual mandate. If there were no mandate forcing healthy people into the risk pool, then everyone would simply wait until they were sick to get insurance, and the entire insurance system would collapse.

… the Teahadists will scream about losing our freedoms, but as best as I can tell, the only freedoms I’m losing here are the freedom to be in pain and the freedom to overpay for health insurance.

Sorry, Senator Cruz, but contrary to what you wailed no fewer than 100 times during the course of your 21-hour fake filibuster/ideological hissy fit… Obamacare is working, chief.

Full post here

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EgbertoWillies: Even In Texas The Republican Caricature Of Obamacare Is Meeting Reality

Texas Governor Rick Perry has been one of the biggest obstructionists to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in Texas along with the entire Republican Party nationally. Inasmuch as Texas is the state with the highest rate of uninsured citizens he refused Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid. For those with pre-existing condition in Texas who were either in the high priced high risk Texas insurance pool or were uninsured because of the cost of these high risk pools, Obamacare comes to the rescue even here in Texas.

Must-read: here

And more (thank yoooou GlobalCitizenLinda for the link!):

EgbertoWillies: GOP Biggest Fear Occurring – Republicans Loving Obamacare

Anyone wondering why the Right Wing Tea Party Republicans are in a frenzy, one need only see what is happening now that the reality of the Affordable Care Act is emerging. The lies they told are coming back to bite them.

They are attempting to discourage young American citizens from going to the exchanges by telling them Obamacare will either be too expensive or an intrusion from the government. Good things are happening however. Inasmuch as the Right Wing is being outright destructive with the nation’s economy in the attempt to derail Obamacare, empirical and factual data is proven to be a hindrance to their obstructionist tactics.

The State Health Bureaucracy in Texas is actually promoting Obamacare. That is a feat in its own right. On October 1st, the Obamacare health exchange servers were overwhelmed because of the inordinately large number of people accessing it.

More here

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Paul Krugman: Reform Turns Real

…. It’s long been clear that the great fear of the Republican Party was not that health reform would fail, but that it would succeed. And developments since Tuesday, when the exchanges on which individuals will buy health insurance opened for business, strongly suggest that their worst fears will indeed be realized: This thing is going to work.

…. the glitches of October won’t matter in the long run. But why are they actually encouraging? Because they appear, for the most part, to be the result of the sheer volume of traffic, which has been much heavier than expected. And this means that one big worry of Obamacare supporters — that not enough people knew about the program, so that many eligible Americans would fail to sign up — is receding fast.

….. Obamacare is off to a good start, with even the bad news being really good news for the program’s future. We’re not quite there yet, but more and more, it looks as if health reform is here to stay.

Full article here

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Timothy Egan: Wrong Side of History

Sarah Palin finally got her death panels — a direct blow from the Republican House. In shutting down the government, leaving 800,000 people without a paycheck and draining the economy of $300 million a day, the Party of Madness also took away last-chance cancer trials for children at the National Institutes of Health.

And now that the pain that was dismissed as a trifle on Monday, a “slimdown” according to the chuckleheads at Fox News, is revealed as tragic by mid-week, the very radicals who caused the havoc are trying to say it’s not their fault.

It’s too late. They flunked hostage-taking. About 30 or so Republicans in the House, bunkered in gerrymandered districts while breathing the oxygen of delusion, are now part of a cast of miscreants who have stood firmly on the wrong side of history. The headline, today and 50 years from now, will be the same: Republicans closed the government to keep millions of their fellow Americans from getting affordable health care.

More here

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Baltimore Sun: Congress: Do your job

Our view: There is no room to ‘negotiate’ when extremists take the federal government hostage — and threaten to do the same to the economy

With the shutdown dragging along and no discernible progress coming out of Wednesday’s meeting between President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders, Republicans bemoaned the Democrats’ unwillingness to negotiate. They’ll negotiate with the president of Iran, was the common GOP talking point, but they won’t talk to us.

Actually, the more appropriate comparison might have been that President Obama didn’t negotiate with foreign terrorists out to hurt the country, and he isn’t rewarding similar tactics back home. California Rep. George Miller, a Democrat, may have gone too far when he recently referred to the tea party attack on Obamacare as a “jihad” on the House floor, but not by too much.

More here

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Greg Sargent: Dems move to force Republicans to reopen the government

House Democratic leaders believe they have hit on a new way to potentially force House Republican leaders into allowing a vote on a “clean CR” funding the government without any defunding of Obamacare attached.

At last count, as many as two dozen House Republicans appear prepared to vote for a clean CR. With Democrats included, that means a majority of the House of Representatives would vote right now to reopen the government. But the House GOP leadership won’t allow such a vote.

Dems have hit on a way to use a “discharge petition,” which forces a House vote if a majority of Representatives signs it, to try to force the issue. Previously, it was thought this could not work, because a discharge petition takes 30 legislative days to ripen, so if this were tried with the clean CR that passed the Senate, this couldn’t bear fruit until some time in November.

But now House Democrats say they have found a previously filed bill to use as a discharge petition — one that would fund the government at sequester levels.

More here

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On This Day:

Oct. 5, 2012: President Obama has his picture taken with a patron at the West Side Market in Cleveland, Ohio (Pete Souza)

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Oct. 5, 2010: President Obama waits in the Green Room before being introduced at the White House Summit on Community Colleges (Pete Souza)

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Oct. 5, 2011: First Lady Michelle Obama greets USO honorees and their families in the Vermeil Room of the White House (Photo by Samantha Appleton)

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MoooOOOooorning – Happy Saturday!




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