President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, Natioanl Security Advisor Susan Rice, Secretary of State John Kerry and Samantha Power United States Ambassador to the United Nations, attend the “Leader’s Summit on Countering ISIL and Countering Violent Extremism” at the United Nations
First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama joins the “Let Girls Learn” Global Conversation at The Apollo Theater in New York City
Glamour’s Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive (R) led a panel discussion with Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Founder of Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project and U.N. Messenger of Peace Charlize Theron, First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama and Girl ambassador from Plan International Nurfahada during Glamour “The Power Of An Educated Girl” at The Apollo Theater
President Obama watches as Julia Pierson is sworn in as the first woman Director of the Secret Service by VP Biden in the Oval Office, March 27 (Photo: Pete Souza)
President Obama was interviewed by Univision and Telemundo today – the interviews are embargoed until 6:30PM EST
Steve Benen: After yesterday’s Supreme Court oral arguments on marriage rights and California’s Prop 8, court watchers and those on hand for the proceedings seemed reluctant to predict the outcome. It’s not just that speculation based solely on oral arguments is inherently risky, but also that real uncertainty hangs over the case.
That seems far less true 24 hours later. NBC’s Pete Williams told viewers this afternoon, “Again with the caveat, it’s always risky to predict, it does seem that there are at least five votes on the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.” Jeffrey Toobin added, “DOMA is in trouble.”
The New York Times report noted that Justice Kennedy “joined the four liberals in posing skeptical questions.”
Charles Pierce: Today, in the second half of the marriage equality twin-bill before the Supreme Court, the Defense Of Marriage Act gets its day in front of the be-robed ladies and gentlemen, and we might at last be putting the 1996 presidential campaign, and the influence of political Svengali Dick Morris, behind us. We may see the end of the era of triangulation. Yesterday, it became clear to most observers that the Court was fully prepared to punt on the case involving California’s Proposition 8, letting the issue devolve back to the states. That is not an option here. Either DOMA’s denial of over 1000 federal benefits and protections available to straight couples is constitutional or it is not. There are a number of reasons why it may not be, most of them involving such fundamental constitutional principles as equal protection of the laws, the full faith and credit clause, and the enumerated powers of the Congress. Politically, however, the law is both preposterous and obsolete.
McClatchy: President Obama will meet Thursday with mothers who want to see gun control efforts succeed, the White House says, amid questions of whether gun control legislation is lagging, some 100 days after the school shooting in Connecticut.
Obama will meet with law enforcement officials, victims of gun violence and other “stakeholders,” spokesman Josh Earnest said. The event comes as Obama’s gun violence prevention proposals have faced a series of roadblocks: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., last week announced that an assault weapons ban she championed won’t be included in the larger gun bill Democrats will introduce on the Senate floor next month.
Joe Deaser (The Hill): As a proud gun store owner, an avid outdoorsman, and a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, I know that recreational firearm use can be a safe, family-friendly activity that builds community and benefits everyone who takes part. But I also know that with our constitutional right to bear arms comes a responsibility to protect our loved ones and our neighbors from the devastating effects of gun violence.
In order to do just that, my fellow gun owners must come together to support perhaps the most logical and pragmatic gun safety measure currently under consideration in Washington: expanding the existing background check system to require criminal background checks for each and every gun sale.
Charles Pierce: Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota is rapidly moving to the top of the leader board for this year’s Al From Trophy, which the blog hands out annually to its least favorite putative Democrat. (The scramble for the cup has become frenzied since the retirement of perennial contenders Evan Bayh and Joe Lieberman, who were the Frazier and Ali of disreputable political sellouts.) Today, she pretty much told Michael Bloomberg to keep those (black) criminals in New York City in line before he spends all his (newyorkjew) money up in Jesusland to tell the people there what’s what about their shootin’ ‘arns.
…. according to the rookie senator, gun violence is not a national issue requiring national solutions, because that might inconvenience her in her increasingly ridiculous home state.
Sun-Times: First Lady Michelle Obama returns home to Chicago on April 10 to address youth violence in Chicago, marking her first local move to deal with reducing crime in her city.
According to the White House, Mrs. Obama will speak at a “Joint Luncheon Meeting: Working Together to Address Youth Violence in Chicago,” hosted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, which will include members of Chicago’s leading civic organizations: the Commercial Club, the Economic Club, the Executives’ Club, and World Business Chicago.
Steve Benen: It’s been about two weeks since Brian Beutler coined a helpful phrase: “sequestration NIMBYism.” Republicans love the sequester policy they hated as recently as last month, and think it’s terrific that these deep, mindless spending cuts have taken effect.
But they’re not at all pleased about sequestration cuts that hurt their own constituents…
Vice President Joe Biden participates in a post-game cheer with the University of Delaware’s Lady Blue Hens in their locker room after their 78-69 victory over the University of North Carolina in the 2nd round of the NCAA playoffs, at Bob Carper Arena in Newark
“I am pleased to announce that I will appoint Julia A. Pierson to be the next Director of the United States Secret Service. Over her 30 years of experience with the Secret Service, Julia has consistently exemplified the spirit and dedication the men and women of the service demonstrate every day.
….. Julia is eminently qualified to lead the agency that not only safeguards Americans at major events and secures our financial system, but also protects our leaders and our first families, including my own. Julia has had an exemplary career, and I know these experiences will guide her as she takes on this new challenge to lead the impressive men and women of this important agency.”
5:20: Attends the closing ceremony of the G-20 Summit
5:45: Holds a bilateral meeting with President Hu of China
7:30: Holds a press conference
8:40: Departs Los Cabos, Mexico
TPM: A majority of voters agreed with President Obama’s decision to halt deportation of young undocumented immigrants, according to a new Bloomberg Poll out Tuesday … 64 percent of likely voters agree with the new policy, while just 30 percent disagreed.
Along party lines, only Republicans disagreed the move, with 56 percent of likely GOP voters opposed to the policy. Close to 9 in 10 Democrats (86 percent) liked the move. A large majority of independents, 66 percent, backed the decision, while just 26 percent opposed it.
…. Yesterday, a Latino Decisions poll showed that enthusiasm for Obama among Latino voters jumped significantly after the announcement.
President Obama showed last week that it’s possible to find a reasonable, humane solution for at least 800,000 young people who were illegally brought into this country as children. All you need is a moral compass and a heart.
Seems to me that Obama’s unilateral decision to let these non-citizens remain here without fear of deportation should have quieted critics who bray and whine about a supposed lack of bold presidential leadership. It didn’t, of course.
Where is Mitt Romney on all of this, you ask? Excellent question…..
…. It’s tiresome having to spend so much time trying to figure out what Romney really believes. If anything, I mean.
Steve Benen: After three consecutive weeks of discouraging news, today’s report from the Department of Labor on initial unemployment claims pointed to a sharp improvement in the data.
Indeed, the new numbers not only reverse the discouraging trend, they’re back to the level we saw in mid-March, which is near a four-year low.
…. It’s worth emphasizing that week-to-week results can vary widely, and it’s best not to read too much significance into any one report. Still, it’s generally heartening when the numbers are at least pointing in the right direction.
E.J. Dionne: We expect some hypocrisy in politics, but it was still jaw-dropping to behold Republicans accusing President Obama of politicizing the anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden. Wasn’t it just eight years ago that the GOP organized an entire presidential campaign — including the choreography of its 2004 national convention — around the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and George W. Bush’s response to them?
Obama’s opponents don’t just think we have short attention spans. They imagine we have no memories whatsoever…
…. On foreign policy, Obama has kept his 2008 promise to turn history’s page. The nation is in no mood to turn it back.
MSNBC: GM posted a profit of $1 billion in the first quarter, beating Wall Street expectations on strong demand in its key North American market.
GM also said the U.S. economy was improving and it expected its core North American results in the second and third quarters to largely match the first quarter due to scheduled downtime at its large truck plants.
….. with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon ahead of the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit working dinner in Seoul on March 26
… with Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard
…. with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
… with Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev after their bilateral meeting in Seoul on March 26
President Barack Obama is briefed by Lt. Col. Yoon Bong-hee, left, as he views the DMZ from Observation Post Ouellette at Camp Bonifas, Republic of Korea, March 25, 2012. A translator assists during the briefing. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
People rally on the sidewalk as legal arguments over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act take place at the Supreme Court in Washington, March 26
Medical students show their support for President Obama’s healthcare law
Linda Door protests against President Obama’s health care plan 🙄
First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to children at the White House’s garden on March 26. The First Lady welcomed school children from across the country to join her for the fourth annual White House Kitchen Garden spring planting.
Caroline Kennedy speaking to volunteers in a field office in Florida, March 23
Hi everyone, just a few pics and videos for now, I’ll try and catch up properly with all the news tomorrow – I’m way behind!
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.
President Obama talks to Margaret Heron after laying a wreath at the memorial of the USS Peary in Darwin. Margaret Heron was 11 at the time of the Darwin bombing by Japanese aircraft which resulted in the sinking of the Peary, a Clemson-class destroyer, on February 19, 1942
President Obama hugs survivor Mary Lee who was 9 at the time of the Darwin bombing by Japanese aircraft which also resulted in the sinking of the Peary
At the Royal Army Air Force Base in Darwin
Arriving in Bali, Indonesia:
President Barack Obama waves to people in the gallery after addressing the Australian Parliament in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, Nov.17, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Reuters: New U.S. claims for jobless benefits hit a seven-month low last week, while permits for future home construction rebounded strongly last month, bolstering views the economy was gaining traction.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday, from 393,000 the prior week. Economists had forecast claims rising to 395,000.
Separately, permits for residential construction rose 10.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 653,000 last month, the Commerce Department said. However, new home construction fell 0.3 percent to annual rate of 628,000 units.
….. “The U.S. economy continues to show signs of strong momentum. The improvement in claims underscores that the gains in labor market activity over the past few months are being sustained,” said Millan Mulraine, a senior macro strategist at TD Securities in New York.
….. On the margins of the President’s trip, trade transactions were announced or showcased, exceeding $25 billion in total value (and an additional $14 billion in potential value) and supporting an estimated 127,000 U.S. jobs ….. Notable examples include:
• Boeing 737s to Indonesia: The Boeing Company and Lion Air have reached agreement on the purchase of 201 Boeing 737MAX and 29 Next Generation 737ER aircraft. The President will join a signing ceremony between the representatives of Boeing and Lion Air on November 18 …. 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 777s to Singapore: The Boeing Company 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…..
• GE Engines to Indonesia: GE is signing a contract to sell 50 CFM56 engines to Garuda Airlines of Indonesia, for $1.3 billion. This deal will represent $650 million in U.S. export content and support close to an estimated 5,000 U.S. jobs at GE’s plants in Ohio and North Carolina and at suppliers across the nation.
• Sikorsky Helicopters to Brunei: Sikorsky has been selected by the Brunei Ministry of Defense to supply 12 Blackhawk S-70i helicopters …. The value of the deal is $325 million, with $200 million in U.S. export content supporting an estimated 1,100 U.S jobs……