President Barack Obama speaks at the National League of Cities annual Congressional City Conference in Washington. Targeting stagnant wages in an otherwise improving economy, the president is calling on employers, educational institutions and local governments to ramp up training and hiring of high-technology in an effort to drive up higher-income employment
President Barack Obama hugs National League of Cities President, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker
This kick-ass moment. The audience is tired of the disrespect. This doesn’t only concern the Politico reporter, but to everyday supporters who call him “Obama.” It’s like nails on a chalkboard. He is the first two term elected African-American President. He is not “Obama” to you. He’s President Barack Obama or President Obama. If you want to shorten, then it should be POTUS or PBO. He’s more than earned that title
Steve Benen: USA Today had an item today on the IRS controversy, which seemed to reinforce much of what we already know: conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status faced unfair and unreasonable scrutiny. But deep in the article, in the 18th paragraph, USA Today added seven unexpected words: “Some liberal groups did get additional scrutiny.”
NPR: The Justice Department’s subpoena of Associated Press phone records as part of an investigation into what Attorney General Eric Holder has called “a very grave leak” to the news agency has set off a political firestorm on Capitol Hill, but there’s a lot to the AP story published a year ago that started it all.
….. as NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston reports, there’s much more to the story:
“As we understood it then and still understand it, that suicide bomber that AP refers to in its story was actually a double agent working with western intelligence agencies,” Dina says.
Although the double-agent did hand the new underwear bomb technology to U.S. officials, “they had hoped the agent could do more [and] … one consequence of the story is that this agent’s identity was blown,” she says.
Greg Mitchell: A lot of outrage, and not-so-gentle mockery, this morning over a classic Politico piece by editor Jim VandeHei and chief reporter Mike Allen complaining about President Obama manipulating the press….
So John Cook, editor of Gawker, just performed a public service by posting on Twitter every question Allen chose to ask President Bush when he did get full access back in 2008. You may remember 2008 – the economy was about to collapse and we were still in a full shooting war in Iraq …. these below catch the spirit. Keep in mind that Allen wrote today that Obama avoids Politico reporters in part because they “ask tough, unpredictable questions.”
Q: Now, Mr. President, you and the First Lady appeared on American Idol’s charity show, “Idol Gives Back.” And I wonder who do you think is going to win? Syesha, David Cook, or David Archuleta?
The President will remain in Palm City, Florida through Monday, Feb 18. No public events are scheduled
President Obama greets supporters after arriving at West Palm Beach International Airport, Feb. 15
Paul Krugman: It looks as if President Obama has successfully set a political trap over the minimum wage. Raising the minimum is very popular — even a narrow majority of Republicans are for it. But Republican leaders are opposed. And they’d like people to believe that their opposition is driven by sincere concern for workers who might lose their jobs.
Well, this isn’t likely to work…..
….. Maybe once upon a time, when Republicans were less intellectually inbred, they could have pulled off the stunt of seeming to care about the people supposedly hurt by a higher minimum wage. But I really don’t think they’re up to it at this point.
…. not forgetting: In June 2010, Joe Williams was the first African American editor hired at Politico after an outcry erupted over the news organization’s lack of diversity …. he ‘left’ last year (Poynter)
First Lady Michelle Obama at the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots campaign, which collects toys for needy children, at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, December 11
Greg Sargent: Until today, it was not certain whether Republicans would stage another showdown over the debt ceiling. They were said to be thinking about it, but reports carefully noted no decision had been made. However, Mitch McConnell today publicly confirmed that it’s on.
….. this is not an explicit declaration that Republicans will refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless they get the spending cuts they want. But it is certainly a threat to do this.
Pay close attention to how this is covered …. raising the debt ceiling is not merely giving Democrats something they want. It is averting a threat to the economy and to the whole country. Top Republicans have admitted this….
Quote of the day – Stephen Colbert: “My network contract prohibits me from taking on another full-time job. So the Senate would be perfect.”
Steve Benen: When it comes to voter-suppression techniques, Republicans generally maintain a certain pretense, at least in public. They argue that measures such as voter-ID laws aren’t about blocking Americans’ access to their own elections, but rather, about preventing imaginary fraud. The defense isn’t compelling, but GOP officials generally repeat it with a straight face.
Once in a great while, however, a Republican will slip and tell the truth…..
Reuters: President Barack Obama takes his “fiscal-cliff” campaign to the home of a family in Northern Virginia on Thursday (1:35) to illustrate the impact of letting taxes go up on the middle class….
With about three weeks remaining before steep tax hikes and budget cuts that comprise the so-called fiscal cliff are set to begin, the White House said Obama would visit the home of a family that responded to a presidential Twitter request for real-life stories about the burden of a tax increase on the middle class.
Greg Sargent: Public opinion gives Dems all the leverage: Here’s another reason Republicans may have to accept the above way out: A new Quinnipiac poll finds that Americans are solidly on the side of Obama and Democrats in this battle. Voters say by 53-36 they trust Obama and Dems more than Republicans on the fiscal cliff mess. And by 51-43, voters say Republicans won’t make a “good faith effort” to cooperate with Obama on issues important to them.
Twitter meltdown of the week:
Politico’s Ben White was in a monster, well, huff because he wasn’t included in Huffington Post’s ’32 Economics Journalists You Should Be Following On Twitter’ list. But, instead of being sensible and ignoring the OUTRAGEOUS snub, what does he do? Yep, he whinged about it endlessly on Twitter.
The tweet above caused a good giggle – talk about revealing your politics. But then, he does work for Politico.
A red ribbon is hung from the North Portico of the White House, Nov. 30, to mark World AIDS Day on Dec. 1. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
Michael Grunwald (Time): It’s really amazing to see political reporters dutifully passing along Republican complaints that President Obama’s opening offer in the fiscal cliff talks is just a recycled version of his old plan, when those same reporters spent the last year dutifully passing along Republican complaints that Obama had no plan….
This isn’t just cognitive dissonance. It’s irresponsible reporting. Mainstream media outlets don’t want to look partisan, so they ignore the BS hidden in plain sight, the hypocrisy and dishonesty that defines the modern Republican Party…..
…. we’re not supposed to be stenographers. As long as the media let an entire political party invent a new reality every day, it will keep on doing it. Every day.
David Firestone (NYT): Republicans reportedly laughed when they saw the Obama administration’s initial offer in the fiscal negotiations yesterday. The idea that President Obama might actually want to enact his campaign promises – tax hikes on the rich, modest Medicare cuts, investments in infrastructure – is apparently considered a joke to the party that has shown virtually no flexibility in the last four years.
But some of that laughter may contain nervousness, because there is more going on here than just a pathway to splitting the difference. The White House made clear yesterday that it is approaching these talks from a position of responsibility, and that it actually takes seriously the notion of old-fashioned bargaining. That’s something Republicans have refused to do — and now they realize they’ve been called out.
Deaniac (The People’s View): The president is in a fighting mood. Starting today, he’s barnstorming the country, getting the American people to pressure Congress to extend the middle class tax breaks, and to do so now. Yesterday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner presented the leaders of Congress with the Administration’s opening offer. That offer is heavy on revenue, tax fairness, and Medicare savings without affecting benefits. Here’s a short summary of what the president has proposed, from leaked details.
Liberal Librarian (The People’s View): Yesterday’s vote in the UN on Palestine has stirred a lot of emotions on the left; I’ve taken the time to read the responses across a few blogs this morning, and for the most part they’ve been considered and judicious. So here are my two pfennigs.
When the world’s three most powerful faiths declare a piece of real estate “holy”, that causes problems of a sort not found anywhere else. To the Jews, it is the “Promised Land”, vouchsafed to them by God unto the last generation. To Muslims, it’s holy because God walked in it with the Hebrew patriarchs, whom they consider earlier prophets; and, of course, they believe Muhammad made his Night Journey to heaven from the Temple Mount. To Christians, obviously, it was the land where Jesus lived, preached, and died. The deep emotional and religious attachments are not to be disregarded.
Kevin Drum (Mother Jones): There’s one particular strain of Republican reaction to their election loss that’s always given me the biggest chuckle, and today Paul Waldman highlights it: the absurd proposition that Mitt Romney never forthrightly defended conservative principles….
…. For months, conservatives yelled from the rooftops about how 2012 presented the sharpest choice ever in governing philosophies …. [they] claimed that this one was truly an ideological turning point, America’s last chance to choose what kind of country we should be. But literally within hours of defeat, they turned on a dime and insisted that the American people weren’t given a real chance to decide between two competing visions. And they’ve maintained this claim despite losing the popular vote in the House, the Senate, and the presidency, and despite the fact that demographic trends very clearly spell even further trouble in the future for their hardnosed brand of social intolerance and slavish dedication to the interests of the rich.