The Oscar nominations were announced this morning. There will be plenty of analysis regarding good surprises and bad surprises, and I may dip my toes in later today. But the most egregious omission is the sadly not-entirely-surprising absence of Selma’s Ava DuVernay from the five contenders nominated for Best Director. To the extent that one can be “angry” about a certain filmmaker not being nominated for a major award that honors the best in filmmaking, I am angry. I am angry both because she deserved a nomination. I am angry because if the legacy of DuVernay’s Selma becomes shaped by its Oscar-season controversy, I fear that it will affect the artistic opportunities afforded to its African-American female director in a manner different than if Selma would have come under fire under the directorial lens of a white male filmmaker.
Martin Luther King, Jr., was born January 15, 1929—here after arrest, Montgomery Bus Boycott (1956): http://t.co/19SVx0eFDO
Ms. DuVernay directed one of the very best films of the year and has been lauded and celebrated accordingly for the last two months and yet she was shoved aside for at least a few contenders who were nowhere near as celebrated. There is a real chance that this terrific and towering achievement that highlights the profoundly heroic and blood-stained work of those who worked with and for Martin Luther King Jr. during the “Civil Rights Era” will be forever defined by the notion that it wasn’t nice enough to a powerful white guy in a supporting role.
Peter Nyong’o embraces sister Lupita Nyong’o after she wins the award for best actress in a supporting role for “12 Years a Slave”
Lupita Nyong’o, best supporting actress winner for her role in “12 years a Slave,” hugs the movie’s director Steve McQueen as actress Angelina Jolie and co-star and producer Brad Pitt look on at the 86th Academy Awards
10:45: The President and Vice President deliver remarks to the National Governors Association; The First Lady and Dr Biden also deliver remarks
12:45: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney
First Lady Michelle Obama announces the Best Picture Oscar to Argo live from the Diplomatic Room of the White House, Feb. 24 (Photo by Pete Souza)
NBC: A vote on President Barack Obama’s nominee to lead the Defense Department, Supreme Court arguments about the future of a key provision of the Voting Rights Act and the expected onset of automatic spending cuts known as the “sequester” mean the nation’s capital is bracing for a politically consequential week ahead.
After a weeklong recess, Congress returns to Washington with a full agenda of business that needs handling. Topping that list is an item which lawmakers are arguably unlikely to resolve over the course of the week: the sequester, about $85 billion in automatic spending cuts set to begin taking effect on Friday, the first day of March.
….. The Senate is set to vote Tuesday on final confirmation for former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to become the next defense secretary….
Also this week, the Supreme Court will hear potentially consequential oral arguments challenging a section of the historic Voting Right Acts. The justices will hear a challenge to a section of the law requiring nine states with a history of racial discrimination to seek Justice Department approval for any change in their voting procedures before those changes can take effect….
Washington Post: The White House has released state-by-state reports on some of the programs and services that would be impacted under the sequestration cuts that are scheduled to go into effect on March 1. Here is their breakdown by state and program – see here
MooOOOOooOOOOoorning! Slow getting started today, will catch up with more news later.
First lady Michelle Obama listens to President Barack Obama speak in the State Dining Room of the White House, February 26. President Obama hosted the 2012 Governors Dinner which coincides with the yearly meeting of the National Governors Association meeting in DC.
Michelle Obama and Jill Biden also deliver remarks.
The week ahead:
Tuesday: PBO will deliver remarks at the United Auto Workers conference in Washington, DC.
Wednesday: PBO and the First Lady will host a dinner at the White House to honor Armed Forces, who served in Iraq, and their families.
Thursday: PBO will travel to Nashua, New Hampshire, and deliver remarks on the economy. In the evening, the President will attend campaign events in New York City.
Friday: PBO will travel to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, to visit with wounded service members.
Ooops – this is one poll Politico will have troubling ignoring …. because it’s their own:
A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll reveals the prolonged nominating battle is taking a toll on the GOP candidates and finds the president’s standing significantly improved from late last year.
President Barack Obama’s approval rating is 53 percent, up 9 percentage points in four months. Matched up against his Republican opponents, he leads Mitt Romney by 10 points (53-43) and Rick Santorum by 11 (53-42). Even against a generic, unnamed Republican untarnished by attacks, Obama is up 5 percentage points. In November, he was tied.
USA Today: ….. Today …. President Obama meets with state executives from across the country and with political donors in Washington.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will both speak today to the National Governors Association during a meeting in the State Dining Room. Their wives, Michelle Obama and Jill Biden will also deliver remarks.
…. This afternoon, Obama and Biden will meet with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner …. Obama ends his day with a closed-door campaign fundraiser in Washington.
CBS: Mitt Romney went to the Daytona 500 NASCAR race Sunday for what should have been a chance to show he’s one of the guys. Instead, in casual conversation with an Associated Press reporter at the Florida track, he reminded people once again that he is not exactly a regular Joe.
Asked by the AP reporter if he follows NASCAR, Romney responded, “Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans. But I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners.”
Democrats and liberals quickly ridiculed the remark on Twitter. “I don’t know people who fish but I know people who own yachts,” tweeted Brad Woodhouse, communications director of the Democratic National Committee….
Donna Dem: I’m raising money on my grassroots fundraising page to help President Obama win in 2012. The President is counting on people like you and me giving what we can afford to build this campaign. Will you donate $5 today to help me try and reach my goal?