Sept. 11, 2010 – Pete Souza: “We were at the Pentagon to mark the ninth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. After the formal ceremony, the President stopped to shake hands with family members of victims attending the event. Here he is holding hands with a little girl.”
Today (all times Eastern)
8:45 AM: The President, Vice President, First Lady, Dr Jill Biden and White House staff observe a moment of silence to mark the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks
9:30 AM: The President attends a September 11th Observance Ceremony at the Pentagon Memorial
12:30: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney
2:0: The President participates in a service project in the Washington, DC Area
Sept. 11, 2009: President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama gather on the South Lawn of the White House to observe a moment of silence marking the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks (Photo by Pete Souza)
USA Today: It’s a day of remembrance for President Obama and the rest of the nation.
A full dozen years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the president, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden, and wife Jill Biden gather on the South Lawn of the White House for a moment of silence.
The solemn ceremony is set for the time the first hijacked plane hit the World Trade Center in New York City.
Later in the morning, Obama attends a September 11 Observance Ceremony at the Pentagon … this afternoon, the president participates in a service project, part of the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance.
USA Today: How the Syria solution developed: The inside story
The idea of coming up with a plan to secure Syria’s chemical weapons dates back more than a year, when President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin first discussed the matter on the sidelines of an economic summit in Los Cabos, Mexico.
At the time, the two remained far apart in their views on the conflict …. but they seemed to find some common ground on the need to secure Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile, although no agreement was reached.
…. Late last week, days after announcing his desire to carry out a punitive strike on Syria, Obama was in St. Petersburg, Russia, for this year’s meeting of the G-20. There was no plan for Putin and Obama to hold formal discussions, but the two chatted informally at the tail end of the first plenary session.
The two leaders then decided to go into a corner of the room and spoke about Syria for 20 to 30 minutes…. Both leaders repeated their longstanding belief that a political solution was the only reasonable end to a civil war that has killed more than 100,000 Syrians, but they remained at odds about Assad’s role in the process.
They did, however, agree something had to be done about chemical weapons, and Putin again broached the idea about finding a path for an international agreement to remove chemical weapons from Syria, according to official.
Obama agreed it was a path worth exploring, and both leaders agreed that Kerry and Lavrov should follow up…..
Steve Benen: Turning the exceptionalism debate on its ear
For much of President Obama’s first term, when conservatives weren’t questioning President Obama’s citizenship, patriotism, or affinity for capitalism, they complained loudly and frequently about the president’s commitment to “American exceptionalism.”
After last night, the criticisms look pretty silly. Obama has not only embraced the principle, he’s now begun using it as a key part of his rationale in confronting Syria.
…. After years in which Republicans expressed exasperation over the president and his indifference towards exceptionalism — Kathleen Parker, I’m looking in your direction — Obama’s presentation to the nation at times boiled down to a simple proposition: the United States has to act because we’re the United States. It’s what we do. It’s the burden that comes with being a superpower.
We can’t look the other way, the argument goes, because America isn’t just another nation with a flag.
Sept. 11, 2011: President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet guests at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks against the United States (Photo by Pete Souza)
What’s the difference between Assad and GOP? Assad knows when he’s been beaten by Obama.
Probably the greatest musical expression of unbridled joy is the “Ode to Joy”, the fourth movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. It’s been a hell of a couple of weeks, so some versions of the Ode to take you soaring and lift your spirits.
CBS: President Obama has instructed the Justice Department to no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act….
Attorney General Eric Holder: “After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, the President has concluded that … Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, is unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the President’s determination.”
Washington Post: When she set out to her local library in North Miami to cast her vote in the presidential election last year, Desiline Victor had no way of knowing the journey would lead all the way to the White House.
On Tuesday night, Victor, a 102-year-old Haitian immigrant, will sit in the ornate House chamber as a guest of first lady Michelle Obama to listen to President Obama’s State of the Union address.
Victor voted for the president, but it was not easy. On her first visit to the polls on the morning of Oct. 28, the first day of early voting, she waited in line for three hours. Poll workers eventually advised her to come back later, and she did.
….. The whirlwind trip has taken Victor out of her element. She had to buy a coat, since a heavy winter jacket isn’t usually needed in balmy Miami. And here, she’s “Ms. Victor” instead of “Granny”….
But when she meets the president, perhaps the address may be less formal. Victor already feels a kinship with the commander in chief.
“I call him ‘my son,’ ” she says. “I feel like he is my son.”
President Barack Obama talks with Inaugural National Citizen Co-Chairs in the Oval Office, Jan. 18, 2013. Steve Kerrigan, CEO of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, listens at right. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
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…..
Marine One lands at the White House as President Barack Obama returns from a day trip to Michigan, Dec 10
9:45: The President and Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
1:00: Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney
NYT: The decline of the middle class in this country has paralleled that of the labor movement, which has been battered by the relentless efforts of business groups and Republicans to drive down wages, boost corporate profits and inflate executive salaries and bonuses. Now that campaign is on the verge of a devastating victory in Michigan, home of the modern labor movement, which could transform the state’s economy for the worse.
On Tuesday, the Republican-controlled Legislature is expected to pass a law that would allow workers to avoid paying dues to a union that represents their shop. Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, has reversed an earlier position and said he would sign the law….
….. As President Obama said on Monday, “These so-called ‘right-to-work’ laws, they don’t have to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics. What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money.”
Mr. Snyder’s turnabout shocked workers in his state, and Democratic officials have spent the last few days urging him to reconsider and prevent a needless drive to the bottom. By withholding his signature, he can ensure that Michigan remains both the birthplace and the economic foundation of middle-class security.
Greg Sargent: If anyone had doubts that President Obama would speak out against Michigan’s new “right to work” initiative, he set them to rest during an event in that state ….
…. [he] hit all the right notes. He pointed out that “right to work” laws are not about boosting the economy, but about crippling the political opposition; that they are not about freedom, but about weakening workers’ ability to organize for better pay; that unions have long played a critical role in providing a path to the middle class; and that investing in a trained, well represented work force is the way to produce a broadly shared prosperity – rather than a “race to the bottom” – that is better for the country as a whole….
Market Watch: Some bad news for Republicans trying to hold back tax increases on the wealthy as part of a fiscal cliff deal: A Politico/George Washington University Battleground Poll finds that 60% of likely American voters favor raising taxes on households making more than $250,000 a year.
That support dovetails neatly with President Barack Obama’s position – a stance that some Republicans are grudgingly coming around to….
The poll found that only 38% believe the Republicans’ argument that raising taxes on households earning more than $250,000 would hurt the economy, whereas 58% don’t buy it…..
June 11, 2011: “The top photograph shows the President having a water gun fight with his daughter Sasha on her birthday weekend at Camp David. Unbeknownst to me, David Lienemann captured a similar photo of the Vice President on the very same day.” (Official White House Photos by Pete Souza and David Lienemann)