President Barack Obama signs the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act while flanked by First Lady Michelle Obama, Clay Hunt’s family and friends, and members of Congress. Clay Hunt, a U.S. Marine veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, battled with post-traumatic stress disorder and took his own life at the age of 28.
President Obama presents the First Lady with a Valentine’s Day card on the State Floor of the White House before he departed on a five-day trip to California
President Barack Obama hugs Susan Selke, mother of Clay Hunt
President Barack Obama thanks former U.S. Marine Jake Wood for his introductory remarks at a signing ceremony for the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act
President Barack Obama signs legislation that will provide tax credits to help put veterans back to work during a ceremony at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. From left are, Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., Sen. Patty Murray. D-Wash., first lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, Veterans Affairs Secretary Erik Shinseki and Vice President Joe Biden
Jason Hansman (WH): Today is a historic day for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. When President Obama signs the VOW to Hire Heroes Act into law, an entire generation of new vets will be provided much-needed practical support to transition from combat to careers. As an Iraq vet I am privileged to lead the membership team at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the country’s first and largest nonpartisan organization committed to our newest veterans. And I speak for all of us when I thank the lawmakers who worked so hard together, putting aside party, to get this bill passed. We also thank the President for his leadership on the issue – for acting so quickly on this legislation and for bringing national attention to the veterans’ unemployment crisis.
Michael Walsh (National Review): ….. the WaPo’s Chris Cillizza makes the same point I made …. You may think Obama is eminently beatable, but unlike Mitt Romney, he has a solid base that is a dead-certain lock to be there for him next year ….
…. Meanwhile, “electable” Romney stays moored at around a quarter of the GOP primary electorate, and as a “frontrunner” has been happily chucked overboard for every not-Romney flavor of the month, including Bachmann, Perry, Cain, and now Mr. Newt. Head-to-head with Romney next year, Obama will sink him handily.
….. Say-Anything Mitt has no home port and is unlikely to find one beyond the generic anti-Obama vote. Which, alas, will not be big enough or motivated enough to evict Cap’n Barry from the White House bridge …. Indeed, the campaign will begin and end with this photograph:
Sorry, but that’s the truth. Say what you will about Sarah Palin, but she would have brought a super-energized base of productive taxpaying citizens with her that might have competed favorably with the Obamabots. But she broke their hearts – and damaged herself – by teasing and then not running, leaving the GOP bereft of a candidate who could match BHO II’s charisma.
What can be done at this late date, I have no idea. And neither do the Republicans.
Jonathan Chait (NY Mag): …. Here is my explanation: Liberals are dissatisfied with Obama because liberals, on the whole, are incapable of feeling satisfied with a Democratic president …. they compare Obama with an imaginary president – either an imaginary Obama or a fantasy version of a past president.
…. His single largest policy accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act, combines two sweeping goals that Democrats have tried and failed to achieve for decades. Likewise, the Recovery Act contained both short-term stimulative measures and increased public investment in infrastructure, green energy, and the like. The Dodd-Frank financial reform, while failing to end the financial industry as we know it, is certainly far from toothless, as measured by the almost fanatical determination of Wall Street and Republicans in Congress to roll it back.
Beneath these headline measures is a second tier of accomplishments carrying considerable historic weight (see article for list)
…. Of the postwar presidents, only Johnson exceeds Obama’s domestic record, and Johnson’s successes must be measured against a crushing defeat in Vietnam. Obama, by contrast, has enjoyed a string of foreign-policy successes ….
So, if Obama is the most successful liberal president since Roosevelt, that would make him a pretty great president, right?
TPM: With the help of 81 Democrats, the House passed legislation Thursday to fund the government through September and avoid a government shutdown. Fifty-nine Republicans defected from GOP leadership, leaving Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) woefully short of the necessary majority to pass the bill without Democratic help. The final vote was 260-167.
The fact that Boehner needed nearly 40 Democratic votes to pass the resolution and avoid a government shutdown was a stunning blow to his leadership, especially after he shut House Democrats out of budget negotiations and just a few days ago dismissed the need to secure any Democratic votes.
WH: Today, President Obama signed legislation that will stop a significant pay cut for doctors who treat Medicare patients from taking effect. The pay cut was called for under an old formula called the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) that governs how much doctors are paid to treat seniors on Medicare and military families enrolled in the TRICARE program.
President Obama and members of both parties agree this formula needs to be changed. Without the action the President took today, doctors who see Medicare patients and families enrolled in TRICARE would have seen their payments slashed by 23 percent.
The pay cut wouldn’t have just hurt doctors – seniors and families across America would have suffered as well. Many doctors would have simply stopped seeing Medicare patients and military families if this pay cut took effect, effectively denying patients the chance to see the doctor they know and trust.