Salt Lake Tribune: …. From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: “Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?”
The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney’s next speech or sound bite. Politicians routinely tailor their words to suit an audience. Romney, though, is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear.
…. If this portrait of a Romney willing to say anything to get elected seems harsh, we need only revisit his branding of 47 percent of Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes….
…. our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day. The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first.
Two-year-old Sacha Marzett waits in line to attend a campaign rally with her mother Lazette Marzett and friend Catherine Ignacio at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)
Tampa Bay Times: Four years ago, Barack Obama offered an inspiring message of hope and change to an uneasy nation bogged down in two wars and facing economic collapse. The rosy idealism quickly gave way to the harsh realities of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The recovery has proven more difficult than anyone imagined. But conditions would be far worse without the president’s steady leadership. This is not the time to reverse course and return to the failed policies of the past. Without hesitation, the Tampa Bay Times recommends Barack Obama for re-election as president.
…. We wish the economic recovery was more vigorous, and we would like the president to present a sharper vision for a second term. But Obama has capably steered the nation through an incredibly difficult period at home and abroad, often with little help from Congress. The next four years will not be easy for whoever occupies the Oval Office, but Obama has been tested by harsh circumstance and proven himself worthy of a second term.
For president of the United States, the Tampa Bay Times recommends Barack Obama.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk following a meeting in the Oval Office, March 2 (Pete Souza)
A gazillion thank yous to HZ for her wonderful comment (turned-in-to-a-post today at Tien Le’s excellent suggestion) – it was a joyful, constructive, positive breath of fresh air in the middle of all today’s madness. You’re a gem, HZ.
Robert Shrum: After Mini-Mitt’s diminutive three-point Michigan “triumph,” which was a little like a Roman general being hailed for a near defeat, how important is Ohio? To put it in Santorian terms, it could be apocalypse two; once more, as in Michigan, Mitt will have to avert the sun darkening and the sky falling on his presidential campaign.
President Barack Obama is introduced by Sec. of Interior Ken Salazar before delivering remarks at a conservation event at the U.S. Dept. of Interior in Washington, March, 2
President Barack Obama walks across the South Lawn upon his return to the White House after visiting wounded service members at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland
Mitt Romney holds up a baby from the audience at a campaign rally at Cleveland State University, March 2
Rick Santorum speaks during a campaign stop at Chillicothe High School on March 2, 2012 in Chillicothe, Ohio
First Lady Michelle Obama embraces members of the Johnson C. Smith ladies’ basketball team during a “Let’s Move!” physical fitness promotion between games at the CIAA basketball tournament in Charlotte, N.C.
TOD is up and running on YouTube again after today’s little, eh, setback. Just click the YouTube logo third from the top in the right sidebar and it’ll take you to the channel. I’ll add more of the old videos over the next few days. Hey, this YouTube channel might disappear too …. if it does, well, we’ll just start up another one 😉
President Barack Obama is briefed by National Security Advisor Tom Donilon before a phone call with King Abdullah II of Jordan in the Oval Office, Jan. 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Chicago Tribune: Freddie Mac announced Friday that it was giving mortgage servicers the authority to offer up to 1 year of mortgage forbearance to unemployed homeowners who have Freddie Mac-backed mortgages.
The change, with takes effect Feb. 1, means loan servicers can offer six months of forbearance to jobless borrowers without Freddie’s approval and another six months with approval….
Fannie Mae is expected next week to announce guidelines that will align with the new ones at Freddie Mac. The expansions are the result of a directive from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
ThinkProgress: The Affordable Care Act has done very well in court so far; three of the four courts of appeals to consider it have upheld the law…..
….Today, DOJ filed its brief defending the Affordable Care Act’s insurance coverage requirement, and with one sentence the Justice Department takes the plaintiff’s silliest and most successful argument off the table ….
…. This statement, that federal efforts to directly regulate the family, general crimes or education stand on much weaker constitutional footing than the ACA, is a very big deal. It shows that DOJ recognizes the only thing that even vaguely resembles a hole in their previous legal arguments, and that they have now sewn that hole up. When one of the justices asks them “if Congress can do this, what can it not do?” they will now have a clear and well-articulated answer.
With just one sentence in its brief, DOJ took away the last few straws the ACA’s opponents were desperately grasping at.
ThinkProgress: 20-Year Ban On Uranium Mining Near The Grand Canyon | Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is expected to announce a 20-year moratorium on uranium mining in the Grand Canyon region on Monday. The ban has been under consideration for two years, with evidence showing the mining contaminates drinking water. Last year, the most anti-environment House of Representatives attempted to permit uranium mining to overrun the Grand Canyon region, after a 2009 suspension from the Department of Interior.
Washington Post: Chrysler will add 1,250 jobs at two Detroit factories next year – another sign that the once struggling automaker appears to be making a comeback.
The Jefferson North Assembly Plant will get 1,100 new workers and a third shift to help build a Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel model for North America. Another 150 workers will be added when Chrysler reopens the Conner Avenue factory to make a Street Racing Team version of the Dodge Viper muscle car.
Robert Shrum: How about that Romney landslide? It turned out that in Iowa, the Mitt did fit — by two hands worth of votes, minus the thumbs. On paid media alone, Romney spent approximately $113 per vote and Rick Santorum spent just $1.65. The Romney campaign dared, and lost while winning. If Mitt had racked up a convincing margin, he would have been on a glide path to the GOP nomination. Instead, he won by a mere eight votes…..
Democratic presidential candidate Vermin Supreme, who is one of more than 40 candidates who are on the New Hampshire primary ballot for U.S. president in 2012, stands outside a campaign event for Senator Rick Santorum in Manchester, New Hampshire, January 6. New Hampshire, where candidates are required to do nothing more than fill out a form and pay $1,000 to sign up, typically attracts a wide range of candidates.
Philly.com: ….. In 2005, Santorum made headlines – not all positive – for visiting the deathbed of Terri Schiavo, the woman at the center of a national right-to-die controversy.What my Philadelphia Daily News colleague John Baer later exposed was that the real reason he was in the Tampa, Fla., area was to collect money at a $250,000 fundraiser organized by executives of Outback Steakhouses, a company that shared Santorum’s passion for a low minimum wage for waitresses and other rank-and-file workers. Santorum’s efforts were also aided by his unusual mode of travel: Wal-Mart’s corporate jet. And he canceled a public meeting on Social Security reform “out of respect for the Schiavo family” even as the closed fundraisers went on.
Aimée Kligman (Examiner): … a march organized by various peace groups and political parties of Israel…delivered 25,000 people in the streets of Central Tel Aviv in support of the establishment of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders.
….The posters are worth a thousand words, especially the one showing President Barack Obama, and the words yes we ‘ken’ (ken means yes in Hebrew). Other posters in red show the year 1967 with either Hebrew or Arabic text under the year. Today, the pro-peace lobby group JStreet is jumping on the bandwagon, and offering a free Obama poster in the original English/Hebrew to all who support the US president’s vision of a two-state solution.
This show of support in Israel doesn’t come a moment too soon. Especially as critics and detractors of the President’s message distort the facts, in what they imagine to be unconditional support of Prime Minister’s Netanyahu and his position.
…An 80-year old woman, Professor Yenina Altman, came from Haifa to attend the rally. She said: ‘It’s important for me to express the desire to see the Palestinians independent. I came from Poland after my entire family perished. I had been in a ghetto and a concentration camp. I would like to have my country show respect for the Palestinians and recognize their right to an independent state just as we desired for ourselves.’
This January 2011 artist’s rendering, courtesy of Landscape Architect Ken Smith, shows an aerial view looking at Legume Plaza of the Planters Grove project in New Orleans. A grove of trees and flowers that will soon be built is anchoring hopes of transforming a down-on-its-heels New Orleans neighborhood that’s been plagued by crime and poverty.
New York City architect Smith is taking the concept of urban oases to four cities in a public-corporate project that’s won the blessing of the Obama administration. The first of the groves will be built over the next month in New Orleans. Similar groves will be planted in San Francisco, New York City and Washington, D.C.
WH: On Tuesday, the President signed a number of bills …. which help ensure Americans can enjoy clean air, safe drinking water, and healthy wildlife.
These bills will curb lead levels in water pipes, a major source of harmful lead exposure for children, and help address diesel engine pollution that is linked to serious health conditions like asthma and heart and lung disease. They also hold the Federal Government accountable for the water pollution it contributes to American communities; encourage volunteer opportunities in National Wildlife Refuges; and help conserve vulnerable shark populations. These measures are just the beginning of what we can accomplish in 2011….
The President signed the following environmental bills into law:
H.R. 81, the “Shark Conservation Act of 2010 and International Fisheries Agreement Clarification Act,” which generally prohibits the removal of shark fins at sea and amends certain laws related to international fisheries;
H.R. 4973, the “National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Improvement Act of 2010,” which reauthorizes and amends authorities relating to volunteer programs and community partnerships for national wildlife refuges;
H.R. 5809, the “Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2010,” which modifies and reauthorizes through FY 2016 the Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Program;
S. 3481, which clarifies the Federal Government’s responsibility to pay reasonable service charges to a State or local government to address stormwater pollution from Federal properties; and
S. 3874, the “Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act,” which modifies the Safe Drinking Water Act definition of “lead free” with regard to pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures
Ken Salazar (Secretary of the Interior): I am in Florida today to announce an exciting initiative to conserve working lands and wildlife habitat in the Everglades headwaters.
The Everglades rural working ranch landscapes are an important piece of our nation’s history and economy, and this initiative would work to ensure that they remain vital for our future.
The partnerships being formed would protect and improve water quality north of Lake Okeechobee and restore wetlands which are so vital to the entire Florida economy. The proposed conservation area and refuge would also protect important habitat for 88 federal and state listed species, including the Florida panther, Florida black bear, whooping crane, and Everglade snail kite.
The Fish and Wildlife Service, along with its partners, is conducting a thorough, preliminary study to establish a new National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area of approximately 150,000 acres of important environmental and cultural landscapes in the Kissimmee River Valley south of Orlando. The proposed area includes 50,000 acres for potential purchase, and an additional 100,000 acres that could be protected through conservation easements and cooperative agreements, keeping the land in private ownership.
NPR: The Obama administration plans to reverse a Bush-era policy and make millions of undeveloped acres of land once again eligible for federal wilderness protection, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Thursday.
The agency will replace the 2003 policy adopted under former Interior Secretary Gale Norton, Salazar said. That policy — derided by some as the “No More Wilderness” policy — stated that new areas could not be recommended for wilderness protection by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and opened millions of acres in the Rocky Mountain region to potential commercial development.
That policy “frankly never should have happened and was wrong in the first place,” Salazar said Thursday.
Environmental activists have been pushing for the Obama administration to restore protections for potential wilderness areas.