Monday: The President will welcome the BCS National Champion, the University of Alabama Crimson Tide, to the White House to honor their 15th championship and their exceptional 2012-2013 season. Later, the President will participate in an ambassador credentialing ceremony at the White House.
Tuesday: The President will hold a working lunch with Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates at the White House. Later, the President will welcome Brad Keselowski to the White House to honor his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.
Wednesday: The President will welcome the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House in celebration of the 7th Annual Soldier Ride.
Thursday and Friday: The President will attend meetings at the White House.
Saturday and Sunday: The President has no public events scheduled
See the post below for the schedule for the week ahead
President Obama pinches the cheek of Aniyha Williams, 4, as he leaves PortMiami, Friday (Miami Herald)
Completely random old video:
All this Easter Egg business reminds me of the RWNJ meme from a couple of years ago about the Obamas being arrogant (ie uppity) because they handed out autographed commemorative Easter eggs as part of the White House Easter Egg Roll. From the original post:
Laura Ingraham kicked off Fox’s Easter attack on Barack and Michelle Obama by suggesting that Obama is full of ego for handing out autographed commemorative Easter eggs …. she claimed that Laura Bush never did this:
2:55: President Obama hosts a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov of Bulgaria
4:0: Delivers remarks to the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction symposium
Paul Krugman: In the ongoing battle of the budget, President Obama has done something very cruel. Declaring that this time he won’t negotiate with himself, he has refused to lay out a proposal reflecting what he thinks Republicans want. Instead, he has demanded that Republicans themselves say, explicitly, what they want. And guess what: They can’t or won’t do it.
No, really …. And there’s a reason for this reticence. The fact is that Republican posturing on the deficit has always been a con game, a play on the innumeracy of voters and reporters. Now Mr. Obama has demanded that the G.O.P. put up or shut up — and the response is an aggrieved mumble.
Steve Benen: Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner appeared on several Sunday shows yesterday, and for the first time, made explicitly clear that higher rates on income above $250,000 is a precondition to any fiscal agreement.
…. this, in a nutshell, is why talks aren’t going anywhere. The White House has a plan on the table, which includes $1.6 trillion in new revenue, relying largely on higher rates on income above $250,000. Congressional Republicans, by their own admission, have no plan….
For those who take arithmetic seriously, the GOP approach borders on laughable….
CNN: Mitt Romney supporter Kid Rock said on Sunday that he told President Obama there are “no hard feelings” over his re-election victory. In an interview with CNN, the rock singer said he spoke with the President on Sunday at the Kennedy Center Honors event. (Video at link)
No hard feelings? Aw, that’s nice of him. 🙄
Loved what the President said to him when they met: “I’m still here.” 😎
Kathleen Geier (Washington Monthly): One of the more surprising voting trends in American politics over the past two decades is the dramatic shift of Asian Americans toward the Democratic Party. Only 31% of the Asian American electorate voted for Bill Clinton in 1992, but 73% supported Barack Obama in 2012. What accounts for this change? Working with data from the National Asian American Survey, two political scientists have some answers.
The professors reject a variety of explanations that have recently been offered. No, it’s apparently not because, as David Brooks proposed, Asian American voters are less individualistic or less antagonistic toward government than are other Americans …. Rather, there are are cluster of “push and pull” factors …. Some of the pull factors: Asian Americans like President Obama’s policies on health care, education, and the Iraq War…..
As for the “push factors”: well, the Republican’s anti-immigrant bias and its alliance with the Christian right are not doing them any favors so far as Asian Americans are concerned….
Business Insider: One month before Election Day, David Paleologos threw himself into the poll-heavy discussion of the 2012 campaign with a bold prediction.
Paleologos, the director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, said that he would no longer poll three key swing states — North Carolina, Virginia and Florida — because he was certain Republican Mitt Romney would win them.
That prediction, obviously, turned out to be horribly wrong. Romney won North Carolina, but Romney lost Virginia by nearly 4 points — and one of the biggest surprises of the election came when President Barack Obama won Florida.
…. Paleologos said that Suffolk would re-evaluate its likely voter screen ….
ABC: When Inauguration Day falls on a Sunday, the Constitution won’t wait …. The iron beams are in place jutting out over Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House.They will become the roof of the presidential reviewing stand for the second Obama inaugural next month.
But the traditional parade with its bands and floats will not march on January 20th, the day the Constitution requires the President to be sworn in. That falls on a Sunday this time so by tradition there will only be a small Sunday ceremony for the oath-taking at noon.
…. President Obama will also have to take the oath twice: At noon Jan. 20 as the Constitution requires, and again Monday at the US Capitol with the whole world watching.
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attend the Kennedy Center Honors, Dec. 5, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
5:20: The President delivers remarks at the Kennedy Center Honors Reception in the White House
7:30: The President and First Lady attend the Kennedy Center Honors
Monday: The President will host Prime Minister Boyko Borissov of Bulgaria at the White House
Tuesday: Meets with governors at the White House
Wednesday: Delivers remarks to members of the Business Roundtable and, later, delivers remarks at the 2012 Tribal Nations Conference
Thursday: The President and the First Family will attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting on the Ellipse (more here)
Friday: The President will attend meetings at the White House
The Sunday shows:
NBC’s Meet the Press: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO); Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN); Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform; Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD); Jim Cramer, CNBC; Maria Bartiromo, CNBC
CBS’ Face the Nation: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Sen. Dianne Feinstein (R-CA); Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI); Mark Zandi, Moody’s Analytics; Maya MacGuineas, Campaign to Fix the Debt; Rana Foroohar, Time; John Dickerson, CBS and Slate
ABC’s This Week: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; Rep. Tom Cole, (R-OK); Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN); Dan Senor, Council on Foreign Relations; Steven Rattner, former Lead Auto Adviser; Cokie Roberts, ABC
CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA); Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH); Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard; Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT); Susan Page, USA Today; A.B. Stoddard, The Hill
President Obama has no public events scheduled on Saturday. On Sunday, he and first lady Michelle Obama will attend the Kennedy Center Honors. They will host the honorees beforehand at a White House reception.
Kennedy Center: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced the selection of the seven individuals who will receive the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors. Recipients to be honored at the 35th annual national celebration of the arts are: bluesman Buddy Guy, actor and director Dustin Hoffman, comedian and television host David Letterman, ballerina Natalia Makarova, and rock band Led Zeppelin. While Led Zeppelin is being honored as a band, keyboardist/bassist John Paul Jones, guitarist Jimmy Page, and singer Robert Plant will each receive the Kennedy Center Honors.
Joe Klein (Time): The Republicans are, reportedly, outraged by President Obama’s opening bid in the fiscal cliff talks. Republicans always seem to be outraged. It’s getting boring. They need to step up and make a counter-offer.
…. It might have seemed “righteous” indignation when the GOP was deluding itself about representing a majority of Americans; now, it just seem puerile and petulant.
… What is difficult for the Fox talking heads to understand is this: We had an election. The President won. This gives him greater leverage than the last election we had, in 2010, when the President’s party lost…
…. the assorted Republican drama queens seem so two months ago, don’t they?
ThinkProgress: With Republicans balking at the prospect of allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for the top 2 percent of Americans, Democrats are losing patience. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Friday that the House GOP will not hold a vote on a middle-class tax bill that excludes the top income brackets, even though the Senate has already approved one.
In response, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced Friday that Democrats plan to bring the legislation to a floor vote next week no matter what. The Democrats plan to use a discharge petition, which can force a bill to the floor if it has been stuck in committee for 30 legislative days. In a new statement, Pelosi dared her Republican colleagues to reject the plan to extend tax cuts for 98 percent of the country…
Gail Collins: You undoubtedly have heard that Barack Obama invited Romney for lunch this week…. …. You’d think they could have served meat loaf. Mitt’s favorite food is meat loaf. Also, Mitt loves practical jokes, and if Obama had really wanted to get in the spirit of things, he could have had Romney arrested by the Capitol Police in the lobby.
…. The makeup meal doesn’t even have to make the loser feel better. (In 2008, Obama had John McCain over for a postelection meeting in Chicago, and you can see what a healing effect that had on McCain’s ego.) …
…. [the president] elaborated at his first postelection news conference, saying that Romney “presented some ideas during the course of the campaign that I actually agree with.”
The “actually” didn’t sound all that enthusiastic. Also, when it came time to praise his former rival, Obama said Romney “did a terrific job running the Olympics.”
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.
11:0: VP Biden attends the inaugural speech of President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico at the National Palace
11:05: PBO arrives in Philadelphia
11:45: Tours The Rodon Group manufacturing facility
12:05: Delivers remarks
2:00: Departs Philadelphia
2:55: Arrives at the White House
NYT: Timothy Geithner presented John Boehner a detailed proposal on Thursday to avert the year-end fiscal crisis with $1.6 trillion in tax increases over 10 years, $50 billion in immediate stimulus spending, home mortgage refinancing and a permanent end to Congressional control over statutory borrowing limits.
The proposal, loaded with Democratic priorities and short on detailed spending cuts, met strong Republican resistance …. the details show how far the president is ready to push House Republicans. The upfront tax increases in the proposal go beyond what Senate Democrats were able to pass earlier this year….
…. Senate Democratic leaders left their meeting with Mr. Geithner ecstatic. If the Republicans want additional spending cuts in that down payment, the onus is on them to put them on the table, said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader.
Steve Benen: President Obama had to endure some deeply unpleasant experiences with Congress over the last couple of years, but the result of the incidents taught him valuable lessons. It’s clear, especially after last year’s debt-ceiling crisis, that the president now knows exactly how to negotiate with reckless, radicalized Republicans.
…. The days of preemptive concessions and negotiating from a defensive crouch are over …. Obama is acting like a confident, re-elected president who expects congressional Republicans to start moving in his direction, not the other way around. GOP leaders aren’t accustomed to this dynamic, but it’s probably time they adapt to their new surroundings.
…. Republicans desperately want the president to negotiate with himself …. Obama clearly isn’t willing to play that game anymore.
Greg Sargent: … the White House position is that it has laid out what it wants in the way of new revenue and spending, and that it’s now up to Republicans to detail their bottom line on cuts. It’s the GOP’s turn now. This opening bid will cheer liberals – it strongly suggests the White House is willing to push Republicans very hard, in the belief that it has all the leverage.
The Daily Dolt: Humanity’s most divisive figure, Barack Hussein Obama, is set to become the first president since Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 to win over 51% of the popular vote twice. The Great Divider is currently at 50.9% of the popular vote, and his lead continues to expand as results are still being tallied.
….. now we shall commence with the childish, entirely unprofessional gloating segment of this blog post:
Suck it, Marco Rubio. Suck it, Mitch McConnell. And suck it, Reince Priebus.
11:30: President Obama delivers remarks at an event at the White House attended by “middle class Americans who would see their taxes go up if Congress fails to act”
12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press
3:0: PBO & VP Biden hold a cabinet meeting
4:45: PBO & VP Biden attend a meeting with business leaders
Steve Benen: As fiscal talks continue in Washington, Republicans are already facing several disadvantages. Not only is President Obama holding a stronger hand — with looming tax hikes, he clearly has more leverage — polls show the American mainstream more likely to blame the GOP if talks fail.
But for Republicans, it gets worse. They have fairly specific policy goals in mind, but haven’t persuaded the public at all. Consider the results of the new ABC News/Washington Post poll, which I turned into a chart.
Washington Post: The White House signaled Tuesday that it will try to marshal the momentum from President Obama’s reelection triumph into another victory at the negotiating table, launching a full-fledged public relations effort to avoid a “fiscal cliff” that could jolt the nation back toward recession.
Administration officials said Obama will hit the road this week for a campaign-style series of events with ordinary Americans, including a visit to a toy manufacturer in suburban Philadelphia on Friday. That trip and others will be aimed at increasing pressure on Congress to reach an agreement on heading off a series of automatic spending cuts and tax increases that are scheduled to begin in January.
The push comes as top Democratic and Republican leaders work to avoid a standoff on the issue, which includes debate about Obama’s insistence that tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans enacted by President George W. Bush should expire.
Greg Sargent: In another big development this morning, Rep. Tom Cole is privately urging fellow Republicans to acquiesce to Dems and extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class – then fight over the high end ones. Cole admits:
“Some people think that’s our leverage in the debate. It’s the Democrats’ leverage in the debate.”
This matters: Cole doesn’t typically break from GOP orthodoxy; it may mean GOPers really are coming to terms with who has the leverage here.
Well, the one thing you have to give the spotlight-humpers currently trying to make a meal out of the career of Susan Rice is they’re nothing if not predictable.
Rice, and acting CIA director Michael Morell, took time out of their busy schedules to go up to Capitol Hill and soothe the wounded fee-fees of John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and the inexplicable Kelly Ayotte …. who apparently has been adopted by Grumpypants and Huckleberry Closetcase because they can convince her that Susan Rice went to prom with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. So Rice and Morell give them the courtesy of a meeting that these three had no real right to demand, and this is what we get from Huckleberry when the meeting is over…..
….. This whole long con has passed now into the realm of pure McCarthyism …. No details. Nothing specific. Just John McCain, being troubled, as he has been since the country declined to make him its president…..
Steve Benen: At this point, when it comes to the political controversy surrounding the Benghazi attack, I’m no longer know what Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is complaining about. He’s raised questions, which have been answered. He’s raised theories, which have been debunked. He’s smeared Susan Rice, but he knows her only crime is sharing credible intelligence on a Sunday show.
And yesterday, the Republican senator’s descent into incoherence reached new depths.
3:40: President Obama and VP Biden meet with President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico.
Steve Benen: …. Susan Rice will head to Capitol Hill today where she’s scheduled to meet with the same Republican senators who’ve spent a few weeks trying to destroy her reputation …. it now appears Rice’s nomination to replace Hillary Clinton at the State Department is practically a foregone conclusion….
…. the White House is giving McCain, Graham, and Ayotte some special attention and a way out of their own mess. They can, in other words, come out of today’s meeting saying, “We had serious questions, and we’re glad Rice took the time to answer them.” If they then drop the filibuster threat, they’d look less ridiculous.
At least, that’s the idea. In practice, the GOP campaign against Rice has always been detached from reality, and facts from Rice and Morell may not matter, but from the administration’s perspective, it can’t hurt to try.
AP: President Barack Obama plans to make a public case this week for his strategy for dealing with the looming fiscal cliff, traveling to the Philadelphia suburbs Friday as he pressures Republicans to allow tax increases on the wealthy while extending tax cuts for families earning $250,000 or less.
The White House said Tuesday that the president intends to hold a series of events to build support for his approach to avoid across-the-board tax increases and steep spending cuts in defense and domestic programs. Obama will meet with small business owners at the White House on Tuesday and with middle-class families on Wednesday.
The president will visit the Rodon Group on 2800 Sterling Drive in Hatfield. The president’s visit will cap a week of public outreach as the White House and congressional leaders negotiate a way to avoid the tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
Steve Benen: …. as of yesterday, we appear to have reached an interesting, albeit largely symbolic, threshold:
“Call it irony or call it coincidence: Mitt Romney’s share of the popular vote in the 2012 presidential race is very likely to be 47 percent…..”
…. as things currently stand, Obama’s popular vote margin of victory is 3.43%. That’s close, to be sure, but for all the talk about the razor-thin race and the speculation that this could be the tightest national election any of us have ever seen, Obama’s 2012 victory isn’t even in the top 10 of the closest presidential elections in American history.
Eugene Robinson: Maybe the fever is breaking. Maybe the delirium is lifting. Maybe Republicans are finally asking themselves: What were we thinking when we put an absurdly unrealistic pledge to a Washington lobbyist ahead of our duty to the American people?
I said maybe. So far, the renunciations of Grover Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” amount to a trickle, not a flood….
…. Republicans who signed the pledge – and who now find themselves in a box – have only themselves to blame. To boost their own political fortunes, they lied to the voters. They pretended it was possible to provide the services that Americans need and want without collecting sufficient revenue. They sold the bogus promise of not just a free lunch, but a free breakfast and supper, too.
…. President Obama has been trying to wake Republicans from this silly, self-defeating dream for four long years. Now, perhaps, a twitching of eyelids.
Dana Milbank: President-unelect Rick Santorum made his triumphant return to the Capitol on Monday afternoon and took up a brave new cause: He is opposing disabled people.
Specifically, Santorum, joined by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), declared his wish that the Senate reject the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities….
The former presidential candidate pronounced his “grave concerns” about the treaty, which forbids discrimination against people with AIDS, who are blind, who use wheelchairs and the like. “This is a direct assault on us,” he declared at a news conference.
Lee, a tea party favorite, said he, too, has “grave concerns” about the document’s threat to American sovereignty. “I will do everything I can to block its ratification, and I have secured the signatures of 36 Republican senators, all of whom have joined with me saying that we will oppose any ratification of any treaty during this lame-duck session.”