President Barack Obama talks to Secret Service Uniformed Division officers as he walks through the magnetometer in the Northwest Gatehouse at the White House, following his visit to Blair House, Dec. 9. The President told a reporter as he exited the gatehouse, “I just wanted to see what it was like getting in here.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Pool report: Pool was out of earshot during the president’s two or three minute visit to the gate house but (radio talk show host) Bill Press was at the stakeout spot and generously passes along some color.
Obama: “I just wanted to see what it was like getting in here.”
Bill Press: “Not so easy, is it?”
Obama, patting his pockets, as if for keys or phone: “I think I beeped a couple of times.”
Afterward, Bill talked to agents:
Potus shook hands all around. Talked football, said he was Chicago Bears fan. Wanted to know how entry worked. Went through metal detector. Set it off. Guard told him he’d probably left cellphone in pocket.
2:05 The President departs the White House en route to Landover, Md.
2:15 Arrives Landover
2:30 Attends Army v Navy game with VP Biden and Jill Biden
5:25 Departs Landover
5:35 Arrives White House
A Statement by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius:
Plan B One-Step is an emergency contraceptive, sometimes referred to as the “morning after pill.” Plan B One-Step is currently labeled over the counter to women ages 17 years and older, but is sold behind the pharmacy counter. It is available by prescription only to women 16 years and younger. My decision does not change any current availability of the drug for all women.
In February 2011, Teva Women’s Health Inc. submitted to the FDA a supplemental new drug application for Plan B One-Step. This application sought to make Plan B One-Step available over the counter for all girls of reproductive age. The science has confirmed the drug to be safe and effective with appropriate use. However, the switch from prescription to over the counter for this product requires that we have enough evidence to show that those who use this medicine can understand the label and use the product appropriately. I do not believe that Teva’s application met that standard. The label comprehension and actual use studies did not contain data for all ages for which this product would be available for use.
Keith Humphreys (Washington Monthly): African-American Liberals Know How to Love Their President
Jonathan Chait’s much-discussed essay in New York magazine indicted the left for being perennially, loudly and unrealistically disappointed in Democratic Presidents. In Chait’s view, much of the left ignores the constraints on Presidential power (e.g., Congress, of which Drew Westen et al seem to be in ignorance) and doesn’t have the stomach or attention span for the slow, daily grind of governance. He also charges the left with crippling their own leaders with faithlessness and then blaming them when they are thereby forced to compromise with the other side. Chait sees these patterns as almost entirely independent of Obama, being instead a style, outlook and set of norms among liberals that goes back for decades….
All of this is true of a certain type of liberal in the U.S., but I wish Chait and Kristof had taken the time to exempt from criticism the most stalwart segment of liberal America: African-Americans. Perpetually indignant white liberals could learn a lot from them.
…. I cringe at the white, alleged liberals who call on Obama to acknowledge that his is a failed presidency. They want the first Black President in history to, effectively, announce that he is a bumbling affirmative action baby, apologize for being so uppity as to have ever assumed otherwise and resign in disgrace so that Hillary Clinton or some other qualified (i.e. white) person can lead the party…..
But all that said, my own question of why Blacks so love Obama elides the broader reality evidenced by their very high approval ratings of a white Democratic President, Bill Clinton. Blacks have a special place in the hearts for Barack Obama, but fundamentally, if you are a Democratic President, Black people in this country have your back…..
Business Insider: When President Obama makes his pitch to voters next year on why they should elect him to a second term, he’ll likely point to some version of this chart.
What the chart shows is that Obama inherited a bum economy but that, under his watch, things have begun to turn around. In the past year, the unemployment rate has dropped a full percentage point amid improving job growth….
President Obama described the daring nighttime raid on Osama bin Laden’s Pakistani compound as one of the “longest 40 minutes of my life,” giving his first detailed account Sunday of the plot to capture the world’s most wanted terrorist.
The mood inside the Situation Room was “very tense,” and it only intensified when one of the helicopters went down early on in the operation, Obama said on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”
“There were big chunks of time in which all we were doing was just waiting,” Obama said. “And it was the longest 40 minutes of my life with the possible exception of when [daughter] Sasha got meningitis when she was three months old and I was waiting for the doctor to tell me that she was all right.”
Philip Gourevitch (New Yorker): ….The astonishing raid – long and secretively planned, stealthily launched, boldly and bravely and absolutely perfectly executed – was evidence of an American capability and purpose that we have longed to feel amid all the disappointments of the past decade of war.
Under Obama’s command, the raid on bin Laden … projected a cool and fearless capability. The perfect secrecy of the operation was part of its inspiring style – the total control, even the pitch-perfect relentlessness of Obama’s speech announcing the kill. Publishing trophy photographs is antithetical to that; it’s what our enemies do.
The main argument for releasing a photograph of the punctured scalp of our enemy is that it will provide proof that bin Laden really is dead. In other words, seeing is believing. But does anyone really believe that any more? Believing is believing. People who want, or need, to believe that bin Laden wasn’t shot dead will have no difficulty believing that a picture of his cadaver is a fake, a simple propaganda trick. The release of Obama’s long-form birth certificate didn’t put an end to birtherism, so why would the release of bin Laden’s autopsy video put an end to deatherism?…
At Abu Ghraib, and in far too many theatres of our post-9/11 wars, we compounded the wound that bin Laden and Al Qaeda inflicted on us ten-years ago, with self-inflicted wounds, time and again abandoning our own best principles in the name of defending them. We stooped to fighting terror with terror, and confronting barbarism with barbarism. The assassination of bin Laden allows us to begin turning the page – but surely not if that page is printed with an official trophy photograph of his blasted head.