Saturday: The President has no public events scheduled
Sunday: The First Family will attend Christmas in Washington at the National Building Museum
Monday: The President will travel to Redford, Michigan for an event on the economy at the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant
Tuesday and Wednesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House
Thursday: The President will host a Hanukkah reception at the White House
Friday: The President will attend meetings at the White House
Business Insider: As negotiations on a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” enter the final three weeks, Republicans face a stark reality: The American public continues siding with President Barack Obama and Democrats on the issues crucial to any potential deal.
Polls taken over the past month have continually shown that a post-election bump for the President, combined with the relative unpopularity of Republicans, gives Obama a lot of leverage in the debate.
…. The kicker lies in the difference in approval ratings between Obama and Congressional Republicans. Obama’s approval rating hit an astounding 57 percent in Friday’s AP survey. Meanwhile, Congress has a 23 percent approval rating.
NYT: Fifty-eight years after it banned discrimination in public education, the Supreme Court has set the stage for the defining civil rights decision of this era — agreeing to hear two cases challenging laws that define marriage to exclude couples of the same sex. To us, and a growing number of Americans, the right course seems clear: that the justices continue the march toward real equality.
…. Public opinion is shifting on this issue as more people recognize the inherent wrong in a last bastion of official discrimination. The most important hearts and minds to be won at this point belong to the nine justices.
Washington Post: Former Florida governor Charlie Crist said late Friday night that he is now a Democrat.
The Republican governor-turned independent Senate candidate’s move was widely anticipated, especially in advance of a potential 2014 run for his old office. Crist endorsed President Obama for reelection this year and has aligned with Democrats over the last two years.
It cracked me up today to see how Byron Tau and his buddies at GOPolitico pulled any negative extracts they could find from this article. Funny how they left out this bit:
“Obama didn’t remake Washington. But his first two years stand as one of the most successful legislative periods in modern history. Among other achievements, he has saved the economy from depression, passed universal health care, and reformed Wall Street.”
Tuesday: The President will deliver his State of the Union Address at 9:00 PM EST.
Following the President’s State of the Union address, he will begin a five-state, three-day swing across the country.
Wednesday: PBO will begin his trip with an event in the Cedar Rapids area, followed by an event in the Phoenix area. He will then travel to Las Vegas where he will spend the night.
Thursday: PBO will hold events in the Las Vegas area and the Denver area before traveling to Detroit that evening where he will spend the night.
Friday: PBO will hold an event in the Detroit area before returning to Washington.
Mediaite: …. Mitt Romney’s campaign released its first television ad …. The biggest point of contention was a moment where the ad shows 2008 footage of then-Candidate Obama making fun of a quote made by one of John McCain’s aides. However, the Romney ad makes it seem like Obama is saying the quote himself. When CNN asked Romney’s team about the error, they cheerfully responded that they did it on purpose.
This appears to have really ticked some folks at the news network off as CNN just did a segment on the ad that was one of the most blistering things we’ve ever seen…..
10:30 AM President Obama pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey (Woot!)
4:20 The President, First Lady and their daughters participate in a service event
Wait, wait, don’t tell me! 2005
President Barack Obama greets members of the audience after delivering remarks on the American Jobs Act at Manchester Central High School, Manchester, N.H., Nov. 22. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama will record an interview with Jay Leno this morning – it won’t be shown until late night but NBC will release some excerpts in the afternoon
President Obama leaves Air Force One upon his arrival in Los Angeles on Monday
LA Times: President Obama opened an aggressive Western fundraising swing Monday, closing out the day in Los Angeles with an appeal to supporters to prepare for a grueling reelection effort.
At an intimate fundraising dinner in Hancock Park, Obama spoke softly to a few dozen supporters who had paid $35,800 each to greet him.
“I’ve said this before — this election will not be as sexy as the first one,” the president said. “Back then it was still fresh and new. I didn’t have any gray hair. Everybody loved the ‘Hope’ posters and all that. This time it’s — we’ve got to grind it out a little bit. We’ve got to grind it out. But the cause is the same. And my passion is the same. And my commitment is the same.”
The gathering, at the home of movie producer James Lassiter and his wife, Mai, was one of six events Obama had planned in three days of stops in Nevada, California and Colorado, as he kept up a torrid fundraising pace that is far surpassing that of the GOP presidential field.
Two Los Angeles gatherings Monday were celebrity-flecked, with the first including actor Will Smith and former Laker Magic Johnson. The second and larger event was at the home of actors Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas, with per-seat tickets starting at $5,000.
12:55 Delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee reception in Detroit
3:45 Discusses access to healthy food with mayors from around the country in Chicago
4:50 Delivers remarks at a Walgreens in Chicago and visits Iron Street Urban Farms with Mayor Rahm Emanuel
6:40 Delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee reception in Chicago
Today the administration will announce plans to create jobs for veterans continuing on President Barack Obama’s efforts to boost the economy through a series of executive actions.
“While we will continue to work with Congress to bring up the American Jobs Act piece-by-piece, we will increase our focus on taking executive actions that fight for the middle class because the American people simply can’t wait for the Republican Congress to act. … Today, we are announcing two new initiatives that will help create jobs for veterans at community health centers and expand opportunities for veterans to become physician assistants,” a White House official said.
The initiatives will be announced during a conference call with reporters at 10 a.m. today with Matt Flavin, director of the White House Veterans, Military Families and Wounded Warrior Task Force; HRSA administrator Mary Wakefield; and president of the National Association of Community Health Centers, Tom Van Coverden.
Steve Benen: …. Yesterday, President Obama unveiled a new, and almost certainly better, initiative as part of the White House’s “We Can’t Wait” campaign. The point to provide assistance to 1 million households, helping them refinance at today’s strikingly-low interest rates and lowering their mortgage payments.
There are, of course, concerns about the scope of the effort. It’s a modest program that won’t directly affect most of those underwater…. Still, Brian Beutler reports there are some experts who see cause for cautious optimism:
“Under the restrung HARP, I expect an additional 1.05 million [refinancings] through the end of 2012 and 1.6 million [refinancings] through the end of 2013 when the program ends,” said Moody’s top economist Mark Zandi in an email. “While HARP won’t live up to the initial expectations of 4-5 million in refinancings, the program will ultimately provide a meaningful boost to the broader economy as financially stressed households will benefit from much lower mortgage payments. It will also provide a bit of help to the housing market by forestalling some mortgage defaults.”
…. It’s a modest step, but at least it’s in the right direction. Coupled with other steps, we might even start to see some larger progress. It certainly beats watching Congress implode into an obstructionist mess.
Eugene Robinson: For the clueless or cynical diehards who deny global warming, it’s getting awfully cold out there.
The latest icy blast of reality comes from an eminent scientist whom the climate-change skeptics once lauded as one of their own. Richard Muller, a respected physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, used to dismiss alarmist climate research as being “polluted by political and activist frenzy.” Frustrated at what he considered shoddy science, Muller launched his own comprehensive study to set the record straight. Instead, the record set him straight.
“Global warming is real,” Muller wrote last week in The Wall Street Journal.
Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and the rest of the neo-Luddites who are turning the GOP into the anti-science party should pay attention.
…… It is the know-nothing politicians – not scientists – who are committing an unforgivable fraud.
Nathan Allen, the man who received the letter from the President, has posted a comment under this post – thank you Nathan.
PNJ: Writing the president a letter is like writing to Santa Claus — you really don’t expect to get a response.
Nathan Allen, 26, of Pensacola wrote a letter last year to President Barack Obama to apologize for a sign he held up in front of Obama’s motorcade as it drove into Pensacola on June 14. The president was in town to get a firsthand look at how the BP oil spill was affecting the area. The sign read: “Mr. President, Why did you wait so long?”
Allen said he didn’t think President Obama would reply to the letter …. he received the surprise of a lifetime when he opened his mailbox about four weeks ago. Inside was an envelope from the White House that held a handwritten note from the president.
“I have to say that I have seen signs a lot worse, and part of my job is to take criticism,” Obama wrote.
….Allen said several months after he made the sign, he was reading Acts 23:1-5. He said the passages led him to believe he did the wrong thing by holding up the sign. Part of the passage reads: “You shall not speak evil of the ruler of your people.”
“Right when I read that, it kind of went straight to my heart,” Allen said. “I was like, ‘Shoot, I guess that’s kind of what I did.’ Yes, I have got freedom of speech, but as a Christian I need to be respecting the leader of my people.” Allen said he prayed, and he knew the only thing he could do to make things right was to write Obama.
“I just … told him I will be praying for him instead of holding signs on the side of the road from this point forward,” Allen said.