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….
Text of the President’s remarks from yesterday here (full video a couple of posts below) – every word is worth listening to over and over again, but as StR suggested, the closing few minutes were especially powerful.
Some people get it:
CNN’s Fareed Zakaria with author and historian David McCullough
Some people don’t get it – see Tally’s message to Senator Sanders:
Why aren’t you calling for anyone who signed the King Norquist pledge to RESIGN or be forced from office for sedition??? A pledge they hold higher than their oath of office and the US Constitution! If YOU, or any Dem senator had EVER signed such a pledge, the GOP would scream bloody murder and that person would be out of office within 24 hours of doing so. And yet… you are silent.
Why aren’t you calling out GOP members in Congress that the 14th Amendment clearly states “CONGRESS SHALL ENFORCE” [America to pay her bills]??? THERE IS NO CHOICE ON RAISING THE DEBT CEILING! Why aren’t you calling for removal from office those in the House who refuse to raise it for DERELICTION OF DUTY???? And yet… you are silent.
No, instead, you attack the POTUS, even when YOU KNOW VERY WELL – he has been up against RECORD filibustering, RECORD opposition, and a bunch of WELL FUNDED traitors who have held this country hostage and hate their own government and fellow countrymen so much they are WILLFULLY trying to crash the US ECONOMY.
HOW DARE YOU? YOU OF ALL PEOPLE!!!
I would never have believed it of you, but I heard it with my own ears. You are suggesting someone primary Obama.
Obama has NEVER been the problem. It’s the DEMS, who have NEVER, COLLECTIVELY, had his BACK. It’s the DEMS who have no spine, and should have been calling out the weak Congressional Members who have been bought by lobbyists, but remain silent.
If all of you HAD stood with THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHO VOTED FOR HIM, we would have gotten so much more done, and he never would have had to so much as entertain giving up the Public Option in HCR, but he KNEW he didn’t have the votes, and because of that, he was forced into negotiating with these damn terrorists in the GOP.
I get that we never had 60 votes in the Senate. But when you had the opportunity THIS SESSION to change the filibuster rules, it was OUR SIDE that was weak, and failed to do so.
It was OUR SIDE that never gave Obama the Progressive Army he needed.
TO DATE – he has NEVER stated he would put cuts to SS/Medicare/Medicade BENEFITS on the table. NOT ONCE. If I can listen and understand the words that come out of President Obama’s mouth, WHY CAN’T YOU??? He has talked about cutting other parts, like to providers (which worked before.)
Why aren’t YOU calling for the removal of the Contribution Cap on earnings so that EVERYONE pays the same percentage, including those who make over $106k a year?? WHY DON’T YOU DO THAT, INSTEAD OF ATTACKING YOUR PRESIDENT.
Let me be honest Senator, it doesn’t make Obama look weak when you say things like that. It makes YOU and the REST of the Dems look weak. And you want to know the saddest thing of all? Many of us are not surprised in the least.
My disappointment in you Senator, has shaken me to my core. I never thought YOU, of ALL PEOPLE would do anything remotely like this, ESPECIALLY at a time, IF THERE EVER WAS ONE, to have your PRESIDENT’S BACK.
NYT Editorial: For days, the White House has infuriated its Democratic allies in Congress by offering House Republicans more and more in exchange for a deal to raise the debt ceiling and prevent default. But it was never enough, and, on Friday evening, it became clear that it may never be enough. Speaker John Boehner again walked away from the “grand bargain” he had been negotiating with President Obama, leaving the country teetering on the brink of another economic collapse.
At the White House podium a few minutes later, the president radiated a righteous fury he rarely displays in public, finally placing the blame for this wholly unnecessary crisis squarely where it belongs: on Republicans who will do anything to upend his presidency and dismantle every social program they can find. “Can they say yes to anything?” he asked, noting the paradox of Republicans, who claim that financial responsibility and debt reduction are their biggest priorities, rejecting yet another deal that would have cut that debt by at least $3 trillion.
… on the eve of economic calamity, the Republicans killed an overly generous deal largely over a paltry $400 billion in deductions. Mr. Obama was willing to take considerable heat from his liberal critics over the deal, and the Republicans were not willing to do a thing to anger their Tea Party base. As the president forcefully said, there is no evidence that House Republicans are capable of making those tough decisions. If last-ditch talks beginning Saturday fail, they will have to take responsibility if the unimaginable — a government default — happens in 10 days and the checks stop going out.
First Lady Michelle Obama participates in the “Pit Crew Challenge” station during an event with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition on the South Lawn of the White House, May 9, 2011. The First Lady visited seven activity stations during the event, which helped promote both the Let’s Move! and Joining Forces initiatives. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
MediaLife: “60 Minutes” landed a big scoop with President Barack Obama’s first interview after the killing of Osama bin Laden, and it delivered a big audience.
“Minutes” averaged 13.8 million total viewers at 7 p.m. last night, according to Nielsen overnights, up 29 percent over the 10.7 million who tuned in last week.
The interview was easily Sunday night’s most-watched show on broadcast, with the No. 2 program, ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” drawing about 4 million fewer viewers.
There have been endlessly frustrating problems with the OFA site since I started ‘The Obama Diary’ fundraising effort for Obama/Biden 2012 yesterday, lots of you have had trouble with the link – I’ve contacted OFA to let them know about the problems, but the automated reply said it could be a “few weeks” before they get back to me. Insane – people want to donate to the campaign and they can’t!
Any way, thank you so much to those who persevered and helped bring the total up to $830 today, just $170 short of the target. If any of you could manage $10 or more to bring it to $1,000 that would be great, but absolutely no worries if you’re not in a position to donate – as I said before, these are really difficult times for many of you.
President Obama made this statement to mark the 63rd anniversary (according to the Jewish calendar) of the founding of the state of Israel:
“Sixty-three years ago, when Israel declared its independence, the dream of a state for the Jewish people in their historic homeland was finally realized. On that same day, the United States became the first country in the world to recognize the State of Israel.
As Israelis celebrate their hard-won independence, it gives me great pleasure to extend the best wishes of the American people to the people of Israel and to honor their remarkable achievements over the past six decades. Our two nations share a unique and unbreakable bond of friendship that is anchored in common interests and shared values, and the United States’ unwavering commitment to Israel’s security.
I have every confidence that the strong relationship between our countries will grow deeper with each passing year. This is a period of profound change in the Middle East and North Africa, as people across the region courageously pursue the path of dignity and self-governance. Just as I know that Israel will always be one of our closest allies, I believe that the region can be more peaceful and prosperous when its people are able to fulfill their legitimate aspirations.
We will continue our efforts with Israel and others in the region to achieve a comprehensive peace, including a two-state solution, and to working together toward a future of peace, security and dignity for the people of Israel and all the people of the region. I offer my best wishes to President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the people of Israel as they celebrate their 63rd Independence Day. “
GOPolitico: Rick Perry has declined the White House’s request that he greet President Obama when Air Force One lands in Texas on Tuesday, the Republican governor’s office says.
“We did try to arrange something with the White House,” said Lucy Nashed, a spokeswoman for Perry. “They asked us if we wanted to meet him out on the tarmac in El Paso, but we weren’t able to work anything out, based on the fact that it’s probably going to be a 10-minute greeting.”
CBS: “60 Minutes” producer Maria Gavrilovic takes us back to 2007 when she just was “the new girl” at CBS, and President Obama the longshot candidate. Those were very early days for Obama, and his campaign looked far from promising. Only a small handful of reporters were traveling with him at the time, and for Gavrilovic, it wasn’t exactly the plum assignment that a frontrunner candidate like Hillary Clinton was.
….Gavrilovic reminds us of a controversial campaign promise, made four years ago, when Obama gave a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations. On August 1, 2007, the candidate said, “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.”
His Democratic opponents – including Clinton – subsequently attacked him for being naïve and inexperienced in matters of foreign policy. The dust-up lasted for weeks, recalls Gavrilovic.
Gavrilovic, who helped produce this week’s Obama episode for “60 Minutes,” connects the dots between the killing of bin Laden and a four-year-old campaign pledge that got Candidate Obama in hot water.
The original, better quality video can be seen here
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.
BBC: The crew on board the International Space Station (ISS) have paused in silence for six people killed in a shooting in Arizona which left US congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, seriously wounded.
The ISS Commander, Scott Kelly, who is Ms Giffords’ brother-in-law led a tribute to the victims. Ms Giffords’ husband, Mark Kelly, is also an astronaut.
“As I look out the window, I see a very beautiful planet that seems very inviting and peaceful. Unfortunately, it is not. These days, we are constantly reminded of the unspeakable acts of violence and damage we can inflict upon one another, not just with our actions but also with our irresponsible words. We are better than this. We must do better.”