If you didn't catch Obama or Mitt singing, you can watch both here.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Michelle Obama appears on the Ellen show.
Times are eastern.
Obama receives the presidential daily briefing.
Obama delivers remarks on the economy at the James Lee Community Center in Falls Church, Va. Live stream
Obama meets with senior advisers.
Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee luncheon in Los Angeles.
Granted, there are smart conservatives, just as there are dumb liberals, but per scientific studies, a low IQ can lead to bigotry and conservative politics, which would explain why many conservatives have no use for science. It also explains why conservatives prefer religion -- because it offers structure. It seems most of the "establishment" republicans (that includes Newt) recognize this and exploit their constituents as much and as often as possible.
As suspected, low intelligence in childhood corresponded with racism in adulthood. But the factor that explained the relationship between these two variables was political: When researchers included social conservatism in the analysis, those ideologies accounted for much of the link between brains and bias. People with lower cognitive abilities also had less contact with people of other races. "This finding is consistent with recent research demonstrating that intergroup contact is mentally challenging and cognitively draining, and consistent with findings that contact reduces prejudice," said Hodson, who along with his colleagues published these results online Jan. 5 in the journal Psychological Science.
............... "Socially conservative ideologies tend to offer structure and order," Hodson said, explaining why these beliefs might draw those with low intelligence. "Unfortunately, many of these features can also contribute to prejudice." Read more at LiveScience
Planned Parenthood's response:
The nation's leading breast-cancer charity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, is halting its partnerships with Planned Parenthood affiliates — creating a bitter rift, linked to the abortion debate, between two iconic organizations that have assisted millions of women.
The change will mean a cutoff of hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants, mainly for breast exams.
Planned Parenthood says the move results from Komen bowing to pressure from anti-abortion activists. Komen says the key reason is that Planned Parenthood is under investigation in Congress — a probe launched by a conservative Republican who was urged to act by anti-abortion groups. NPR
“We are alarmed and saddened that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation appears to have succumbed to political pressure. Our greatest desire is for Komen to reconsider this policy and recommit to the partnership on which so many women count,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Monday, January 30, 2012
Michelle Obama heads to California Tuesday and Wednesday. She'll be on the Jay Leno show Tuesday and on Ellen Wednesday.
All times are eastern.
Obama receives the presidential daily briefing.
Obama holds a cabinet meeting.
White House press briefing. Live stream
Obama meets with Secretary of Defense Panetta.
Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event.
Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event.
Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee reception in Los Angeles.
Update Feb. 9: The paper that originated the story now says none of it was true.
I didn't even know this story (published by British tabloids) was out there, until right now. Apparently, it was a publicity stunt by a lingerie shop, Agent Provocateur. I hope its business falters if it's true.
He also says Mitt eliminated Kosher food for people on Medicaid when he was governor. Can you say Dog Whistle? I was hoping Newt would've lasted a bit longer, to keep Mitt on his toes, but Newt's gone Sarah Palin. I guess I should also point out that this is coming from a guy who turned Catholic in 2009 to please his third wife, who was once his mistress. Meanwhile, Obama, the family man, will celebrate 20 years of marriage Oct. 3.
I think we've all been wondering what Juan Willams was thinking after he confronted Newt at a recent GOP debate. Well, Williams has written a column and here's an excerpt and Fox News isn't going to like it. If only more in the media would speak up.
The language of GOP racial politics is heavy on euphemisms that allow the speaker to deny any responsibility for the racial content of his message. The code words in this game are “entitlement society” — as used by Mitt Romney — and “poor work ethic” and “food stamp president” — as used by Newt Gingrich. References to a lack of respect for the “Founding Fathers” and the “Constitution” also make certain ears perk up by demonizing anyone supposedly threatening core “old-fashioned American values.”
.... Last week a passionate Republican told GOP candidate Rick Santorum: “I never refer to Obama as President Obama because legally he is not [president]. He constantly says that our Constitution is passé and he ignores it. … He is an avowed Muslim and my question is, why isn’t something being done to get him out of government? He has no legal right to be calling himself president.” Santorum did not blink. The man who recently said he meant “blah people” — when the world heard him say “black people” — as he spoke about parasitic Americans who get better lives by taking “somebody else’s money,” did not correct the assault on the truth. Instead he agreed that Obama is attacking the Constitution and said: “Well, look, I’m trying my best to get him out of office.”
..... Gingrich did not answer my question but rather threw red meat to Republicans in South Carolina, a state with a long history of racial politics. He used the same rhetorical technique of the segregationist politicians of the past: rejecting the premise of the question, attacking the media and playing to the American people’s resentment of liberal elites, minorities and poor people. The Hill
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Apparently speeches at the Alfalfa Dinner aren't traditionally filmed, but the White House released parts of Obama's speech:
And Speaker (John) Boehner, it is good to see you at the head table. I know how badly Eric Cantor wanted your seat. But, John, I want you to know: I am eager to work with members of Congress to be entertaining tonight. But if Congress is unwilling to cooperate, I will be funny without them. It is great to be here tonight, because I have about 45 more minutes on the State of the Union that I'd like to deliver tonight.
You've heard it from the pundits: "Obama is cloistered in the White House." "He's aloof." "He's in the bubble." "He's not connecting." And that's why one of my big goals this year was to get out and be among everyday, ordinary Americans -- like the men and women of the Alfalfa Club.
At least my harshest critics can agree I have a promising future -- as a Al Green impersonator.
It is great to see Jeb Bush, who is accepting a nomination for President tonight. I have to say, though, it's not fair to tease your friends like that.
I'd like to acknowledge a very good friend of mine -- Warren Buffet's secretary's boss is in the house.
We are reminded on evenings like this that for all our differences, we are bound by something greater. Sometimes we're going to disagree. We're going to do battle, politically, from time to time. That's the nature of our democracy. But let us never forget the extraordinary privilege that we share as Americans, and the responsibility that we all have, as leaders, to the continued success of this country that's made so many of our stories possible.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
It's picture day (photo credits).
Obama calls Jessica Buchanan's father to tell him the SEALs rescued his daughter
Obama in Michigan (photo apparently taken by Matt, who works at Comet)
If Mitt wants to win why in the world does he have McCain and Voight stumping for him? DESPERATE. McCain is a bitter man who lost to Obama. Voight is a radical and hateful man and has no appeal to anyone except a sliver of extremists on the right. Voight is a birther and an Alinsky pusher. He's one of those who have created an imaginary archenemy in Obama. Shame on Mitt. The GOP has lost its way.
Mr. Romney, Mr. Voight said, “is strong, honest, and wants to bring the country back to its exceptional place where we have been for hundreds of hundreds of years, until President Obama decided to follow his father’s footsteps and take us to socialism.”Here's a sampling. Now this is radical:
“We cannot afford another four years of rhetoric,” he continued. “I’m sorry to say Speaker Gingrich may fall short in many ways,” he said of Mr. Romney’s rival, Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker.
Read more at NYT
Mitt has to make up for his less than stellar conservative history:
The real reason that we should be concerned about private equity’s expanding power lies in the way these firms have become increasingly adept at using financial gimmicks to line their pockets, deriving enormous wealth not from management or investing skills but, rather, from the way the U.S. tax system works. Indeed, for an industry that’s often held up as an exemplar of free-market capitalism, private equity is surprisingly dependent on government subsidies for its profits. Financial engineering has always been central to leveraged buyouts. In a typical deal, a private-equity firm buys a company, using some of its own money and some borrowed money. It then tries to improve the performance of the acquired company, with an eye toward cashing out by selling it or taking it public. The key to this strategy is debt: the model encourages firms to borrow as much as possible, since, just as with a mortgage, the less money you put down, the bigger your potential return on investment. The rewards can be extraordinary: when Romney was at Bain, it supposedly earned eighty-eight per cent a year for its investors. But piles of debt also increase the risk that companies will go bust.
Read more at New Yorker
Friday, January 27, 2012
Newt sparked and stalled, sparked and now he's stalling again, thanks to Romney's backers, who aren't excited to have Newt as the nominee. But Newt has his own backers, namely casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who mostly cares about Israel. Forget about bridges to the Muslim world if Newt ever became president. Newt is a kept man. Adelson, who contributed at least $10 million to Newt through a superpac, wants to buy the presidency. Adelson once said he owned the sidewalk outside of his Venetian casino (he lost that battle in court) because he wanted to keep union protesters off the sidewalk. Talk about maniacal.
In reality, there's not much difference between Newt & Mitt. Newt enriched himself by milking our government as a "historian" and Mitt enriched himself by milking our tax system. Two out of touch rich guys.
Must see video about Adelson:
The AP says it was a social call. H.W. Bush says it was a "good meeting, good meeting" with Obama.
President Barack Obama's re-election campaign is refunding the donations of five registered federal lobbyists who gave to the committee last year, OpenSecrets Blog has learned. Some of these refunds were triggered after OpenSecrets Blog brought the contributions to the campaign's attention.
The Obama campaign has pledged to refuse contributions from lobbyists, continuing a policy it set during the 2008 campaign.
Open Secrets ......
Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt told OpenSecrets Blog that refunds would be issued to all individuals who were registered lobbyists. "When we catch [a contribution] from a federal lobbyist that slips through the cracks, we immediately return the contribution," LaBolt said. "Unlike our opponents, our campaign does not accept contributions from Washington lobbyists."
See who else sat with FLOTUS during the State of the Union here.
Note the light applause after he says "we must admit we've used rhetoric that is harsh... sometimes we've been too slow in condemning that language for what it is." He says the left is using immigration for pure politics, which is so far from the truth. The truth is democrats actually care about people. The GOP's constituents is business and only business. Traditionally, republicans haven't been in favor of immigration reform because business enjoys the cheap labor.
But good luck to Marco Rubio. I commend him.
The essay by Bob Kagan begins:
Is the United States in decline, as so many seem to believe these days? Or are Americans in danger of committing pre-emptive superpower suicide out of a misplaced fear of their own declining power? A great deal depends on the answer to these questions. The present world order—characterized by an unprecedented number of democratic nations; a greater global prosperity, even with the current crisis, than the world has ever known; and a long peace among great powers—reflects American principles and preferences, and was built and preserved by American power in all its political, economic, and military dimensions. If American power declines, this world order will decline with it. It will be replaced by some other kind of order, reflecting the desires and the qualities of other world powers. Or perhaps it will simply collapse, as the European world order collapsed in the first half of the twentieth century. The belief, held by many, that even with diminished American power “the underlying foundations of the liberal international order will survive and thrive,” as the political scientist G. John Ikenberry has argued, is a pleasant illusion. American decline, if it is real, will mean a different world for everyone.The Cable says Obama's embrace of the philosophy (something he's always embraced) works against Romney, who argues that Obama is "leading from behind." What Tom Donilon talks about in this video is what Romney and Obama's foes call "leading from behind:"
Read the White House fact sheet on college affordability. Full video:
John McCain, The Bitter One (I felt the hate oozing through the wire), a Mitt surrogate now, tells NPR that Obama has made the world unsafe and that we may go to war with Iran. Just yesterday, Iran said it was ready for talks. Now, given that it's Iran, that may not mean much. But I much prefer a level-headed cool cucumber approach to foreign policy than the views of a hot-headed man who's still bitter about losing to Obama. It seems to me, the one-president-at-a-time policy ought to apply. These guys shouldn't be talking about war like it's a trip to the candy store:
"History will judge this president incredibly harshly, with disdain and scorn for his failure to come to the moral assistance of the 1.5 million Iranians that were demonstrating in the streets of Tehran," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep today. Those demonstrators, McCain said, were "crying out ... literally crying out ... 'Obama, Obama, are you with us?' ... If we had given them some moral support, it might have made some difference." Read or listen at NPR
It seems insulting to Hillary Clinton that people keep badgering her to be vice president/president because it's as if people don't see or understand how hard she works at the job she has right now. She travels the globe and her job is tough. She's probably exhausted. She's repeatedly said that one term is enough. She probably has other things she'd like to do.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Obama speaks at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. LIVE STREAM
Biden delivers remarks at the House Democratic Issues Conference in Cambridge, Md.
Obama departs Michigan en route to Joint Base Andrews.
Obama arrives at Joint Base Andrews.
Obama departs Joint Base Andrews en route to Cambridge, Md.
Obama speaks at the Democratic Issues Conference. LIVE STREAM
Obama arrives at the White House.
Obama and Biden meet with Secretary of State Clinton.
Obama speaks at a campaign event.
Obama's diplomacy and sanctions paying off?
Iran is ready to revive talks with the U.S. and other world powers, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday, but suggested that Tehran's foes will have to make compromises to prevent negotiations from again collapsing in stalemate.
Iran's insistence that it will never give up uranium enrichment — the process that makes material for reactors as well as weapons — scuttled negotiations a year ago and still looms as a potential deal breaker even as tougher Western sanctions target Iran's critical oil exports. ABC
"Romney campaign officials said Monday that a trustee handles the investments and that Romney had no role in choosing or managing them."Mitt can't have it both ways. I've said it before, being a rich guy -- without even working -- isn't a qualification for being president. Read more at Deseret News.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Times are eastern.
Biden speaks in Rochester, N.H.
Obama speaks at UPS Las Vegas South. Live Stream
Obama departs Las Vegas en route to Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.
Obama arrives at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.
FLOTUS will appear on the Jay Leno show on Tuesday and Ellen on Wednesday. She will also speak at a couple of fundraisers.
The SEALs are kicking some major butt. They freed two aid workers and killed nine pirates.
Published at 1:15 a.m. ET: WASHINGTON -- In a daring nighttime raid Tuesday, U.S. Navy SEALs rescued two hostages, including one American, who were being held by kidnappers in Somalia, U.S. officials tell NBC News.Watch Obama congratulate Leon Panetta.
American Jessica Buchanan, 32, and a 60-year-old Dane, Poul Thisted, were working for a Danish relief organization in northern Somalia when they were kidnapped last October. U.S. officials described their kidnappers as heavily armed common criminals with no known ties to any organized militant group.
According to the U.S. officials, two teams of Navy SEALs landed by helicopter near the compound where the two hostages were being held. Read on
Obama's statement last night:
On Monday, I authorized an operation to rescue Jessica Buchanan, an American citizen who was kidnapped and held against her will for three months in Somalia. Thanks to the extraordinary courage and capabilities of our Special Operations Forces, yesterday Jessica Buchanan was rescued and she is on her way home. As Commander-in-Chief, I could not be prouder of the troops who carried out this mission, and the dedicated professionals who supported their efforts. Jessica Buchanan was selflessly serving her fellow human beings when she was taken hostage by criminals and pirates who showed no regard for her health and well-being. Last night I spoke with Jessica Buchanan’s father and told him that all Americans have Jessica in our thoughts and prayers, and give thanks that she will soon be reunited with her family. The United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will spare no effort to secure the safety of our citizens and to bring their captors to justice. This is yet another message to the world that the United States of America will stand strongly against any threats to our people.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Obama departs the White House en route to Joint Base Andrews.
Obama departs Joint Base Andrews en route to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Obama arrives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Obama tours Conveyor Engineering & Manufacturing.
Obama speaks at Conveyor Engineering & Manufacturing. Live Stream
Obama departs Cedar Rapids, Iowa en route to Phoenix, Ariz.
Obama arrives in Phoenix, Ariz.
Obama delivers remarks at Intel Ocotillo Campus. Live Stream
Obama departs Phoenix, Ariz. en route to Las Vegas, Nevada.
Obama arrives in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Great video of Obama's accomplishments. It does, however, leave out healthcare. Republicans criticized the affordable healthcare act to the point where democrats didn't even want to talk about it anymore. But as more people reap the benefits as different parts of the law kick in, healthcare might one day be seen as Obama's greatest achievement.
See Mitt and Newt's original tax documents here.
Sitting with FLOTUS tonight:
The guests include San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro; Laurene Powell Jobs, the founder and chair of Emerson Collective and widow of Steve Jobs; Mark Kelly, astronaut and husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords; Adam Rapp, who underwent cancer treatment after benefiting from health care reforms; and Colonel Ginger Wallace, an Air Force intelligence officer who benefited from the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Warren Buffett's secretary Debbie Bosanek will also be in the first lady's box. Read the whole list
Monday, January 23, 2012
Since Mitt Romney lied in tonight's debate about Obama's space policy (he's probably just ignorant of Obama's space policy) here is the 14-page policy report from the White House. The GOP candidates don't know anything about Obama except for what they made up in their own imaginations. While we're at it, here is an outline of Obama's foreign policy, since they didn't seem to know much about that either. And Obama didn't cancel a military drill with Israel, as Newt asserted. And Newt lied about balance budgets.
Here's the speech (transcript) Obama gave on NASA policy:
Read Obama's Cuba policy here and here. Here he is talking about Cuba:
I rarely use the word stupid to describe people, but here we go, 2008 all over again. What's worse is Santorum, the guy who professes his Christian morals, doesn't even challenge the idiot. He says it isn't his job. If he can't even do the right and moral thing in that situation, how can he run a country? At least John McCain corrected fools who insisted Obama was a foreign terrorist. That is what they mean, after all. What is she talking about? Obama says the Constitution is passe? Where do these people come from? Santorum is an official scumbag in my book.
Here's how McCain handled it:
As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right. While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue- no matter what our views, we must stay united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant woman and mothers, reduce the need for abortion, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption. And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.
President Obama will host Prime Minister Mario Monti of Italy at the White House on Thursday, February 9th. Italy and the United States are close NATO allies, and coordinate continuously on a full range of regional and global priorities. The two leaders will discuss the comprehensive steps the Italian government is taking to restore market confidence and reinvigorate growth through structural reforms, as well as the prospect of an expansion of Europe’s financial firewall. Italy is also a founding member of NATO and the President appreciates Italy’s important contributions to international security, within Europe and beyond, including its continuing leadership in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. President Obama looks forward to consulting with Prime Minister Monti about preparations for the 2012 G8 and NATO Summits that the United States will host in Chicago, as well as discussing developments in the Middle East and North Africa.
Mitt is releasing his tax returns tomorrow, after the GOP debate and the day of the State of the Union. Warren Buffett says Mitt's 15% tax rate is a policy failure.
A new long read by Ryan Lizza at the New Yorker. Lizza makes at least two key points: 1) Since Obama took office, republican propaganda has worked to paint Obama as “polarizing” and they've succeeded 2) The left expected a director of change and instead they got a facilitator of change:
Obama was not exaggerating the toxic battle that has poisoned the culture of Washington. In the past four decades, the two political parties have become more internally homogeneous and ideologically distant. In “The Audacity of Hope,” Obama wrote longingly about American politics in the mid-twentieth century, when both parties had liberal and conservative wings that allowed centrist coalitions to form. Today, almost all liberals are Democrats and almost all conservatives are Republicans. In Washington, the center has virtually vanished. According to the political scientists Keith T. Poole and Howard Rosenthal, who have devised a widely used system to measure the ideology of members of Congress, when Obama took office there was no ideological overlap between the two parties. In the House, the most conservative Democrat, Bobby Bright, of Alabama, was farther to the left than the most liberal Republican, Joseph Cao, of Louisiana. The same was true in the Senate, where the most conservative Democrat, Ben Nelson, of Nebraska, was farther to the left than the most liberal Republican, Olympia Snowe, of Maine. According to Poole and Rosenthal’s data, both the House and the Senate are more polarized today than at any time since the eighteen-nineties.
It would be hard for any President to reverse this decades-long political trend, which began when segregationist Democrats in the South—Dixiecrats like Strom Thurmond—left the Party and became Republicans. Congress is polarized largely because Americans live in communities of like-minded people who elect more ideological representatives. Obama’s rhetoric about a nation of common purpose and values no longer fits this country: there really is a red America and a blue America.
Polarization also has affected the two parties differently.
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. Read more at the New Yorker