‘Awaiting the midshipmen. Commander-in-chief trophy, Rose Garden’. Photo by PeteSouza
President Barack Obama listens as Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo speaks during a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House
President Barack Obama shakes hands with Navy linebacker Cody Peterson
US News: Obama Presents Commander-In-Chief Trophy To Navy Football Team At White House
President Barack Obama says the Navy football team not only had to overcome tough opponents to win the Commander-in-Chief trophy this year but a government shutdown as well. The military service academies had to suspend some sporting events last fall amid budget fights in Washington. But Obama says Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel intervened to make sure Navy’s match against Air Force would go on. Obama joked as he accepted his commemorative jersey that he’s going to have enough to dress a whole team. Obama says that even more impressive than their football record is the Navy team’s commitment to its country.
President Obama spends Wednesday trying to recruit new backers in his budget battles with congressional Republicans: Corporate executives.
Obama meets with members of the Business Roundtable as the White House and Congress face the prospects of a government shutdown and another standoff over the debt ceiling.
The White House says Obama will ask the business leaders to talk to congressional Republicans “to grow the economy, create jobs, and not reverse the progress we’ve made by shutting down the government or threatening to force the United States to default on the bills it has already racked up and owes.”
Steve Benen: Boehner moves closer to government shutdown
Some problems are so complex and difficult, they’re nearly impossible to solve. Avoiding a government shutdown isn’t one of them.
After his far-right members vetoed his preferred solution, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) could have very easily reached out to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), put some modest enticements on the table, and picked up plenty of votes to approve a stop-gap spending measure. The whole thing could have been wrapped up in an afternoon, and the media would have cheered Boehner for constructive, bipartisan governing.
But that’s not what the laughably weak Speaker is inclined to do….
Spandan (The People’s View): Health Reform in Action: 6 in 10 Uninsured Eligible Obamacare Premiums Under $100
Exactly zero of the right wing red-hot-siren warnings about shooting health insurance costs (“rate shock”) has panned out, but plenty of rate shock has been received on the other end of the scale – with tons of people shocked to find checks from their insurance companies in their mailboxes, rates reduced for their children with pre-existing conditions, and outrageously inexpensive rates in the state exchanges about to open in less than two weeks.
And here comes another: of the people who are eligible for either Medicaid or premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, six out of 10 Americans currently uninsured will be able to get coverage for $100 or less per month.
@Jordan44: For GOP, is yielding to this fringe viewpoint of undermining #Obamacare really worth recklessly hurting the economy?
Steve Benen: ‘This is about political cash, not political principle’
Brian Walsh, a former spokesperson for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, recently offered his take on why far-right groups like Heritage Action and the Senate Conservatives Fund keep Republican activists so riled up about the Affordable Care Act: “[T]his is about political cash, not political principle…. You see, money begets TV ads which begets even more money for these groups’ personal coffers.”
According to Walsh, who knows the internal workings of GOP politics quite well, conservative activist organizations are effectively waging a political war because political wars make for a convenient fundraising tool.
ThinkProgress: Latest Obamacare Lie Claims Doctors Will Be Forced To Ask Patients About Their Sexual History
In a New York Post op-ed, the inventor of the death panels lie, Betsy McCaughey, now claims that the Affordable Care Act is turning “doctors into government agents” by having them ask patients about their sex history. “Obamacare will question your sex life,” the headline says, and the issue has gained traction among conservatives. For example, Media Matters notes how Fox and Friends has amplified McCaughey’s argument, claiming that “doctors will be forced to ask patients about their sex life, even if it has nothing to do with the medical treatment that they are seeking at the time.”
But the questions McCaughey finds so outrageous are already routine physician practice…
Today the Obama administration declassified another FISA Court ruling. This is a big one. In it, the court ruled that the NSA collection of metadata is constitutional…..
…. Given that a headline like the one I’ve used here doesn’t attract the kind of linkbait you get from saying “The government is illegally spying on you!” it will be interesting to see how many media outlets report on this story.
Greg Sargent: GOP climate skeptics to hold hearing on climate science
Did you know House Republicans are planning a hearing on climate science for [today]? It’s true — and it should provide a useful glimpse into whether Republicans are prepared to start caring publicly about the issue, and if so, how they’ll go about doing that given the climate science denialists in their ranks.
…. Gina McCarthy, the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, will be testifying. She is already something of a lightning rod, so this is legitimately a big deal: House Republicans will probably be signaling how they will respond when the EPA rolls out its new rules governing carbon emissions on new power plans, a central item on Obama’s agenda that is going to provoke a huge fight…
It’s been about three months since President Obama unveiled a fairly ambitious agenda to combat the climate crisis, and in the immediate aftermath, Republicans had very little to say about it. Indeed, Politico reported in June that GOP leaders came up with a game plan: ignore the speech, ignore global warming, and generally ignore science altogether.
ThinkProgress: Following Navy Yard Shooting, Top Donor Threatens To Withhold Donations From Democrats Who Opposed Background Checks
A philanthropist who has donated millions to gun safety causes and groups is urging donors to withhold their support from Democrats who oppose gun safety regulations, following Monday’s shooting at Washington’s Navy Yard.
“Each time large-scale gun violence strikes our country—at a workplace, a movie theater, a political rally, or most devastating of all, at a school—a public debate about gun laws ensues,” Eli Broad, who has also funded some of the Center for American Progress’ gun work, wrote in a dairy for the Daily Kos on Tuesday. “Then, Congress promises action. But every time, our elected officials fail to deliver.”
TPM: Starbucks: Please Keep Guns Out Of Our Stores
In an open letter Tuesday, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz asked customers to “no longer bring firearms” into the chain’s stores or outdoor seating areas.
Schultz wrote that it had been the company’s policy to follow local laws. In states with so-called “open carry” laws, customers were permitted to bring firearms into stores.
But that policy inadvertently thrust Starbucks into the debate over “open carry” and recent events have prompted the company to shift course. Pro-gun advocates staged a “Starbucks Appreciation Day” last month to commend the company for its position on “open carry.” Schultz wrote that those advocates “disingenuously” portrayed the company as a “champion of ‘open carry.'”
Dealbook: Inspired by Professor, Investor Makes Big Gift for Black Studies
Just over 10 years ago, the private equity mogul Glenn Hutchins was on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. With his 25th Harvard College reunion near, he was thinking about how to put some of his wealth to good use.
One afternoon, clad in a T-shirt and board shorts, he stopped at an old whaling chapel, where Henry Louis Gates Jr., the prominent professor of African and African-American studies at Harvard, was leading a symposium.
That encounter gave Mr. Hutchins his cause.
Since then, Mr. Hutchins has strengthened his connection to Mr. Gates and the Harvard program. Their bond will become stronger on Wednesday, when Mr. Hutchins is expected to announce a gift of more than $15 million to create the Hutchins Center for African and African-American Research, solidifying Harvard’s program as one of the top in its field.
Washington Post: Wendy Davis prepares to launch Texas gubernatorial bid next month
Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) is almost ready to announce her gubernatorial bid – but first she will expand her social network just a little bit more.
In an e-mail sent to her supporters Wednesday morning, Davis – who garnered national attention this summer for fighting a sweeping antiabortion bill in her state – wrote she will be “answering the question” of what’s next for her career on Oct. 3. But before making her formal announcement, she posed a question of her own: “Do you have any friends or family who would like to be among the first to know?
2:45: The President participates in an Ambassador Credentialing Ceremony, a traditional ceremony that marks the formal beginning of an Ambassador’s service in Washington
3:30: The President and Vice President meet with Secretary of Defense Hagel
* The President conducts an interview with Jose Diaz-Balart of Telemundo to discuss his plan for a Better Bargain for the Middle Class and the need for immigration reform
Excerpts of the interview will be broadcast on “Noticiero Telemundo” today at 6:30pm/5:30 central. The interview will also air in its entirety on “Enfoque con José Díaz-Balart” on Sunday, September 22 at 12pm/11am central, and will be available on Telemundo.com and on the Facebook page of “Noticiero Telemundo.”
…. details are leaking out about Alexis and they point to a disturbing history of gun violence …. Under federal law, it’s very likely that he was still able to legally posses a firearm. Permanent bans on gun ownership are only handed out to very specific groups of people including felons, domestic abusers, and the seriously mentally ill …. in nearly half of states, officials are still able to give a handgun permit to someone with a history like Alexis’s.
If reports from the scene are right, however, Alexis’s gun possession Monday was illegal no matter his gun history. News outlets indicate that Alexis had as many as three weapons, including a semi-automatic AR15. The AR15 is banned in DC.
…. One of the gun regulations President Obama proposed earlier this year would outlaw the sale of AR15s and other military-grade weapons.
Bob Cesca: Another Gun Massacre and Another Powerful Reason for Stronger Gun Control Laws
At approximately 8 a.m. eastern time on Monday, a man named Aaron Alexis, a former reservist with the U.S. Navy, entered the Naval Sea Systems Command office building at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. and opened fire, killing 12 people and wounding 10 others. The gunman used a shotgun, a handgun and an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle to rain bullets into a crowd of people before eventually being shot and killed by police.
At 2:15 p.m., six hours after the massacre, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) tweeted the following sentiment to his followers: “Remember to keep praying for those affected by both the Navy Yard shootings and the Colorado floods.”
A noble gesture — that is if you ignore the irony that the congressman is a vocal climate crisis denier, as well as one of the NRA’s most valuable allies inside the House of Representatives with a creepy obsession with AR-15 assault rifles, say nothing of being one of the only internet trolls serving as a member of Congress.
This seems like a particularly good day to be ignoring the work of academics, doesn’t it?
Conclusions. We observed a robust correlation between higher levels of gun ownership and higher firearm homicide rates. Although we could not determine causation, we found that states with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides.
…. The results of the study may seem little more than an exercise in confirming the obvious, but that’s an exercise the country needs. It needs to have the obvious – guns kill people, health-insurance helps keep them alive, large banks are all thieves, economic oligarchy is incompatible with political democracy, Fk The Deficit….
After two Democratic state senators were defeated in Colorado recall elections last week, there was some speculation that proponents of gun-safety would begin to retreat, backing away from efforts to reduce gun violence.
After a dozen people were gunned down yesterday at the Navy Yard in D.C., there was ample evidence to the contrary.
President Obama briefly addressed the issue at the start of his speech on the economy, arguing that policymakers must “do everything that we can to try to prevent” these mass shootings. Like-minded lawmakers followed suit.
ThinkProgress: Under Obamacare, Millions Of Americans Will Pay Less Than $100 Per Month For Health Insurance
About 6.4 million Americans will be able to purchase insurance for less than $100 each month on Obamacare’s new state-level marketplaces, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services. That’s because those people will be eligible for federal subsidies that will reduce the price of purchasing a plan under the health reform law.
The Obama administration calculated the expected premiums for people buying “silver” plans, which are the second-cheapest option on the new insurance marketplaces. Even though not every marketplace has announced its premium rates yet, researchers were still able to estimate those payments based on the health law’s rule for determining subsidies.
CNBC: Priced to sell: Sweet Obamacare deals for young
Health insurance for most young adults on New York and California’s Obamacare health exchanges will cost dramatically less than what twentysomethings have said they’d be willing to spend on insurance, a new analysis finds.
The attractive prices could significantly boost enrollment in those states’ exchanges and help keep premiums low for people of all ages, said Christina LaMontagne, vice president of price-comparison site NerdWallet, which did the analysis.
Jonathan Cohn: …. the biggest news on Monday wasn’t about Obamacare’s poll numbers. It was about Obamacare’s reach. And there the news was much clearly better. In Michigan, Republican Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill that will expand the state’s Medicaid program, as Obamacare envisions. The signing was the culmination of a long, difficult effort by Synder and a bipartisan, statewide-coalition to overcome Tea Party resistance….
…. Greg Sargent got Pew to give him a breakdown of exactly which voters oppose the law so much they want officials to make it fail: Sure enough, it’s Tea Party Republicans. As Greg notes, this voting bloc is highly influential within Republican Party politics, particularly as primary voters: That goes a long way to explaining why congressional Republicans are threatening to shut down the government or allow default if Obama won’t agree to delay or defund the law.
But support for such extreme positions doesn’t extend much outside this group. Meanwhile, it turns out that many people opposed to (or at least ambivalent about) the law simply don’t know much about it….
AP: US to help Syrian forces fight chemical weapons
President Barack Obama on Monday cleared the way for the U.S. to send chemical weapons-related assistance to the Syrian opposition, as well as international organizations working inside the war-torn Middle Eastern country.
…. The White House said the non-lethal assistance could fall into three categories:
– Chemical weapons-related “personal protective” equipment to international organizations working in Syria, including the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
– Medical assistance to strengthen local Syrian health care providers’ ability to prepare for and respond to the use of chemical weapons
– Defensive chemical weapons training and protective equipment to vetted members of the Syrian opposition to protect against the use of deadly gases..
Spandan (The People’s View): Obama on GOP’s Economic Hostage Taking: Don’t Even Think About It
The president spoke [yesterday] on the economy and the upcoming budget battles in Congress. Marking the fifth anniversary of the economic crash of 2008, President Obama spoke of the hard work he and his administration has done to pull the economy back from the brink of another Great Depression – from a rescue of the financial sector to the revival of the American auto industry, restoring confidence in the banking system and creating nearly 7.5 million jobs in the last three-and-a-half years. But he commanded the stage with a serious, “you’re pissing me off” look on his face and one clear, unequivocal message: The President does not negotiate with economic terrorists.
Jonathan Weisman: Amid Revolt Over Fiscal ‘Gimmicks,’ Options Dwindle for G.O.P.
First came the “supercommittee,” tasked in 2011 with finding a bipartisan deficit reduction plan but doomed to fail. Then came the “McConnell plan,” a way for Congress to raise the government’s debt limit without actually voting to do so. And in January there was “no budget, no pay,” a measure coupled with the last debt ceiling increase to deny paychecks to lawmakers if they did not pass a budget…..
For three years, Congressional leaders have relied on tactical maneuvers, sleights of hand and sheer gimmickry to move the nation from one fiscal crisis to the next — with little strategy to deal with the actual problems at hand….
President Obama joined the fray Monday, castigating Republicans for the latest budget crisis but “hoping that a light bulb goes off.”
…. Since taking control of the House of Representatives in 2011, a coterie of Republicans has challenged this informal approach. Their belief is that the absence of cooperation should lead not to stalemate but to the president bending to their will. That assumption implies a delegitimization of the presidency that Obama has come to understand, belatedly, that he can’t accept.
The Republican Establishment is trying to coax the crisis-mongers out of their fervor. Today The Wall Street Journal editorial page assails Republicans who insist on shutting down the government unless President Obama agrees to destroy his own health-care reform, a fantastical demand. “Kamikaze missions rarely turn out well, least of all for the pilots,” the Journal warns.
…. Establishment Republicans are trying to talk their base out of extreme measures without addressing their deeper belief that House Republicans are entitled to extract concessions from the president, via threat, without compromising at all.
Steve Benen: Crusade against Texas clinics based on bogus claims
Texas Gov. Rick Perry and his Republican allies in the state legislature launched an aggressive legislative campaign against reproductive rights over the summer, including measures intended to close the vast majority of clinics where reproductive services are provided.
Proponents of the policies said the measures were necessary in order to protect public safety. Becca Aaronson reports in the Texas Tribune this week that the arguments are plainly contradicted by the facts…..
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama console Paul and Janet Monti, parents of Army Sgt. 1st. Class Jared C. Monti in the Blue Room following a Medal of Honor ceremony in the East Room of the White House on Sept. 17, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
A young boy listens to President Barack Obama as he delivers remarks at a rally on health insurance reform at the Comcast Center, University of Maryland in College Park, Md., on Sept. 17, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Columbine came and went. We mourned, we vowed never again, we resolved to be a better nation. But it wasn’t enough.
Ft. Hood came and went. We mourned, we vowed “Terror won’t win”, we resolved to learn the lessons imparted. But it wasn’t enough.
Gabby Giffords will never be the same, and members from both sides of the aisle heaped praise on her. It wasn’t enough.
Newtown scarred us as nothing had before. Twenty innocent children mowed down in a mix of easy access to weapons of war, mental illness, and a society at war with itself. We wept, we beat our chests, we vowed to honor their memories. It, too, wasn’t enough, the words of resolve as evaporating steam.
Eight thousand have died at the end of a bullet since Newtown. All of them loved by someone, all of them precious to someone’s heart. Their deaths weren’t enough.
And now, another shooting, this time on a military base. And I will say it right here: it won’t be enough.
First Lady Michelle Obama visits Savoy School, one of eight schools selected last year for The Turnaround Arts Initiative at the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, May 24
Text of the First Lady’s remarks at Savoy Elementary School here
President Obama signs a bill in the Oval Office designating the Congressional Gold Medal to commemorate the four young girls killed during the 1963 bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, as (L-R) Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, Birmingham Mayor William Bell, Dr Sharon Malone Holder, Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep Terri Sewell (D-AL), Thelma Pippen McNair, mother of Denise McNair, Lisa McNair, sister of Denise McNair, Dianne Braddock, sister of Carole Robertson, Rev Arthur Price, Jr, pastor 16th Street Baptist Church, and former U.S. Attorney Gordon Douglas Jones look on. The medal, the highest Congressional civilian honor, was given posthumously to Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Denise McNair who died September 15, 1963 when a bomb planted by white supremacists exploded exploded at the church