President Barack Obama began a two-day visit to Minneapolis on Thursday sharing cheeseburgers with a local working mother and bringing a middle-class message tailor made to aid Democrats fearful of massive losses in the upcoming election. Obama said he shares the frustrations of people who went to college, work hard, and still struggle to buy homes, pay for child care, and dig out from student loan debt. “You are the reason I ran for office,” he told a crowd of about 350 people gathered for a town hall forum near Minnehaha Falls. In his early life, he said, “I was you guys … You are the ones I am thinking about every single day.”
Obama talked about progress his administration has made curbing greenhouse gases and making college more affordable, but devoted much of his time to touting the need for a higher minimum wage and equal pay and benefits for women. Those issues resonate strongly in Minnesota, where Gov. Mark Dayton (D) and a Democratic-controlled Legislature enacted the largest minimum wage increase in state history this year and approved a menu of economic protections for women in the workplace. “The idea that they would not be paid the same or not have the same opportunities … is infuriating,” Obama said of female workers. “If you are doing the same job, you should get the same salary. Period. Full stop.”
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.
Madison.com: The massive crowd of supporters started arriving before dawn Thursday and waited in a line that stretched forever up and down UW-Madison’s hilly Observatory Drive, all waiting to see President Barack Obama’s afternoon rally and praying that skies, gray and threatening throughout the morning, wouldn’t drop rain.
…. UW police estimated the crowd at 30,000, and what looked like thousands more, all with tickets, were denied admission after officials declared the event at capacity early in the afternoon….
USA Today: President Obama’s re-election team is seeking help from Internet and on-the-ground backers to spread the word about Obama’s record in office, and to bash his Republican critics.
The purpose of the “Truth Team” is to “promote the President’s achievements, respond to attacks on his record and hold the eventual Republican nominee accountable,” said the announcement from the Obama re-election team.
The overall website – BarackObama.com/TruthTeam – includes three specialty websites: KeepingHisWord.com (devoted to Obama’s record), KeepingGOPHonest.com (attacking Republicans), and AttackWatch.com (responding to critical GOP ads).
“The sites also contain tools for sharing materials via Facebook, Twitter and email, and empowers supporters to take further action by volunteering, writing letters to the editor, sending postcards to undecided voters with information about the President’s record, and more,” said the Obama announcement.
AP: President Barack Obama wants community colleges and businesses to work together to train 2 million workers in high-growth industries, and on Monday will request $8 billion to create a fund to encourage the effort.
Obama’s plan, to be spelled out at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va., is called the “Community College to Career Fund,” the White House said. It would seek to train workers within areas such as health care, transportation and advanced manufacturing, and would be administered by the Education and Labor departments.
The proposed fund is part of a new budget Obama is sending to Congress. It aims to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade by restraining government spending and raising taxes on the wealthy. In an election year with a gridlocked Congress, nearly every aspect of the budget will face tough scrutiny.
11:00: PBO delivers remarks on his FY 2013 Budget to students at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale
1:45: PBO awards the 2011 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal. Michelle Obama also attends.
TPM: It was a long road back, but President Obama is now back in positive territory in our TPM Poll Average.
The shift comes on the heels of a completed Iraq withdrawal, a legislative win on the payroll tax cut before Christmas, and perhaps most importantly, good economic numbers in January and early February. The President’s numbers have jumped in the last few days in both Gallup and Rasmussen tracking polls as well as individual national polls.
BroadwayCarl: Many on the left have set their hair on fire over President Obama’s solution to the conflict between religious institutions, primarily the Catholic church, providing health care coverage which includes birth control to women and the teachings of the church. One would have to be in the wildest parts of Siberia to have missed this controversy, so I will not recount the drama that has unfolded.
However, once again the ubiquitous word “cave” has appeared in association with this decision. There was a time when this would infuriate me, but now I laugh at the predictability of the critical left.
Republic of Korea President Lee Myung-bak tips his Detroit Tigers baseball hat
President Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak at General Motors’ Orion Assembly Plant in Lake Orion, Michigan
President Obama is seen through a window backstage at the General Motors Lake Orion Assembly Plant in Orion Township, Mich., Oct. 14. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama returns a salute as he gets off Air Force One at Air Force Base after a day trip to Michigan
AP: U.S. consumers stepped up their spending on retail goods in September, a hopeful sign for the sluggish economy.
They spent more on autos, clothing and furniture last month to boost retail sales 1.1 percent, the Commerce Department said Friday. It was the largest gain in seven months.
Auto sales rose 3.6 percent to drive the overall increase. Still, excluding that category, sales gained a solid 0.6 percent.
The government also revised the August figures to show a 0.3 percent increase, up from its initial report of no gain.
Stocks rose after the release of the report, which is the government’s first look at consumer spending each month. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 87 points in afternoon trading. Broader indexes also rose.
A separate Commerce report showed that businesses added to their stockpiles for a 20th consecutive month in August while sales rose for a third straight month. The increase suggests businesses were confident enough in the economy to keep stocking their shelves.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood feigns being a blocking back for President Barack Obama as he arrives backstage to meet with GOP House leaders, January 2010
AP: Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the most prominent Republican in President Barack Obama’s administration, accused GOP House members Friday of putting their hope for the president to fail ahead of working toward solving the nation’s problems.
Responding to a question about why it was so difficult to get big infrastructure projects built right now, LaHood told a transportation conference that “some people don’t want Obama to be successful.”
“A big percentage of the Republicans that were elected this time came here to do zero, and that’s what they’ve done,” he said. Those lawmakers, he said, have obstructed other people who are trying to get things done.
…. “Here we are almost 12 months from the election and there are some people in Congress – look there are probably 40 people, 40 Republicans, elected to the House to come here to do nothing,” Lahood said. “That’s why they felt they were elected.”
…. “When I was elected in `94 we had a very reform-minded class, 82 new people, but they came here to do something, to solve problems,” he said. “Almost always in the past when people have run for Congress, they ran for Congress on the opportunity to help solve the problems of America.”
Paul Krugman: Reading the transcript of Tuesday’s Republican debate on the economy is, for anyone who has actually been following economic events these past few years, like falling down a rabbit hole. Suddenly, you find yourself in a fantasy world where nothing looks or behaves the way it does in real life.
And since economic policy has to deal with the world we live in, not the fantasy world of the G.O.P.’s imagination, the prospect that one of these people may well be our next president is, frankly, terrifying.
…. the G.O.P. has responded to the crisis not by rethinking its dogma but by adopting an even cruder version of that dogma, becoming a caricature of itself. During the debate, the hosts played a clip of Ronald Reagan calling for increased revenue; today, no politician hoping to get anywhere in Reagan’s party would dare say such a thing.
It’s a terrible thing when an individual loses his or her grip on reality. But it’s much worse when the same thing happens to a whole political party, one that already has the power to block anything the president proposes — and which may soon control the whole government.
Greg Sargent: By now you may have heard about that 78-year-old grandmother who is fully against Ohio’s new push to roll back collective bargaining rights for public employees – but who had her words brazenly torn out of context and put into an ad advocating for the measure.
The tale has gone national. And now the story is about to get even bigger: The grandma is set to appear in a pro-union ad denouncing the anti-union forces as “desperate” for stealing her words. This will likely earn much more attention to a fight which is now being viewed nationally as yet another major referendum on whether the right will succeed in breaking labor in the industrial heartland.
Could this blunder by the anti-union forces be decisive? Labor hopes so….
Washington Post: As a result of stimulus spending and increased funding through the 2010 health-care law, the number of clinicians participating in a federal program to expand access to care in under-served communities has nearly tripled in the past three years.
About 10,000 doctors, nurses and other providers now participate in the National Health Service Corps, the highest number since the program was established in 1972….Officials estimated that the corps is serving about 10.5 million patients.
Norbrook’s Blog: …. other people have examined Accountability Now, which Jane and Glenn Greenwald launched with great fanfare a few years ago. Ostensibly it was to recruit progressive candidates, but it seemed to end up putting money into Jane and Glenn’s pockets:
Accountability Now collected $113,695 in donations during 2009, as it reported to the FEC, and spent $169,992 that year on nine consultants … including Hamsher ($24,000) and PAC cofounder Glenn Greenwald ($24,000)….
But it’s not Jane’s only PAC. Although most of the scrutiny has been on Accountability Now, when you look at FDL Action PAC’s FEC summary, you see something very interesting:
Fire Dog Lake: $90,063 …. Commonsense Media: $9,920
Hmm… it looks like there’s about $100K of “synergy” going on ….
…. recently Jane had a little blow-up, right after OFA announced what the President had raised (“a staggering $47 million in the past three months”)….
FDL Action’s fundraising wasn’t quite as good:
No wonder she’s pissed! Apparently all the previous donors have been thoroughly shorn, and new sheep aren’t lining up….
Norbrook’s post is brilliantly timely in light of Hamsher and Dan Choi’s arrests today outside the White House (along with another 60 or so people who actually do care about the environment – but you won’t hear much about them). They were staging a laudable (in my humble opinion) demonstration urging President Obama to block a proposed pipeline that would bring oil from Canada’s oil sands projects to Gulf Coast refineries (the Keystone XL pipeline).
Choi tweeted this yesterday:
Okay, so now that he can’t attack the President any more on gay rights issues – without looking even sillier than usual – he’s discovered (true, somewhat belatedly) that he really, really cares about the planet. And if caring about it so much sees him end up in jail, thereby getting him some attention again (when, really, most had forgotten he existed), then that’s a cross he’d, um, have to bear. Mission accomplished, well done Dan.
Well, you have to admire her purity on this one. She is so passionate and utterly sincere about the blocking of the Keystone XL pipeline she would never, ever have anything to do with anyone who supported it, right?
…..Hillary Clinton’s State Department is holding up the Canadian-American Keystone XL pipeline … unnecessarily inhibiting billions in economic activity and hundreds of thousands of jobs from being created, the State Department is preventing a much-needed regional stimulus. Click here to tell the State Department to get out of the way of America’s job creators and issue the Keystone XL pipeline building permit!
Americans for Tax Reform
Ah yes, Hamsher’s old buddy, the ‘tax pledge’ guy who makes Rick Perry seems like Mao Tse Tung, the one she collaborated with in opposition to President Obama (and his then Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel).
What? She can partner the lovely Grover on one issue, it doesn’t mean she agrees with him on everything?
Of course! Just like she can team up with President Obama when … oh, never mind.
Any way, those of you who might suggest that this….
…. might have had something to do with Hamsher’s heartfelt concerns about the Keystone XL pipeline – and you can be sure she lies awake at night worrying about it … even though she has a hard-hitting interview with Cenk Uygur the next day (“Jane, you’re, like, soooooooo great!” “I know Cenk – but you are too!”) …. shame on you.
Yes, she has been jailed, and she may well claim she was waterboarded while she was in there, and that will raise her sinking profile, and may even attract a few more dollars to her struggling PAC, but ….. shame on you.
Ooooops, $$$$$ are creating a strain between the Firebaggers.
John Aravosis has started selling these t-shirts on his “I HATE OBAMA SO MUCH I CAN’T EVEN FIND THE WORDS ” blog:
….and that’s made Hamsher’s peeps very, very angry:
Oh noes, the Firebaggers are eating each other alive …. after all, there are only so many $$$$ to go around 😉
A second PS:
Credit must go to Aravosis, having picked only white male models for the t-shirts he’s being trying to sell so far…
….. he chose a ‘non-white’ man for his ‘Proud Firebagger’ offering. Jeez, if he added a woman to the line-up we might even accuse him of being inclusive.
Thank you Tien Le for the link to Norbrook’s post 😉
‘Obama’ sneaks up on unsuspecting babies and tries to indoctrinate them with his brand of Hitlerism
After entering seriously ugly Firedogfake/Glenn GreenBeck cyberspace territory today to read up on a bunch of stuff, including Firedogfake’s threats to Eclectablog (see here), what struck me most was the seething hatred of Barack Obama the man, never mind Barack Obama the President.
I sometimes enter Teabagger territory just to entertain myself with their spectacular stupidity, but honestly, even there you’d struggle to find the same levels of hatred that you get from Firedogfake, Glenn GreenBeck and the like.
We are talking foaming-at-the-mouth hatred here.
Here’s an example.
On May 18 of this year this was posted at Jane Hamsher’s Firedogfake:
It’s now July 18th and that post – about the need for “Afro-Americans” to enter an “education program” – is still on FDL.
Hamsher owns FDL, so she owns this post – so spare us all the excuse that it was only written by one of FDL’s diarists. If Hamsher found an entry on the site that was critical of her, she’d have it deleted in a blink of an eye.
But a post about the need for “Afro-Americans” to enter an “education program” is, evidently, perfectly fine.
Truly, this is as ugly as it can get.
Let’s cut the crap and call it for what it is: Hamsher and her FDL sheeple are race-baiting scum.
If they weren’t, an FDL post calling for “Afro-Americans” to be entered in an “education program” would have been deleted.
But it’s still there.
The more anonymous threats I get from Hamsherbots, the more I’ll post about her – and that’s a promise 😉
Unlike Hamsher, I don’t – and never, ever will – ask for or accept donations.
If anyone has a few dollars to spare, I will ask them to contribute to Obama/Biden 2012.
Some of us aren’t in it for the money or attention – truly, we’re just not that desperate.