Saturday, March 31, 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

Obama Speaks at University of Vermont March 30

Full video:





Inside Obama's Campaign Headquarters 2012

The Rolling Stone also has a look:

Obama 2.0 has been quietly re-engineered from the bottom up, powered by new high-tech organizing tools designed to mobilize volunteers and target new voters more quickly and efficiently. By the start of early voting in October, the campaign expects to transform college dorms and coffeehouses across the country into 20,000 all-volunteer, fully functioning field offices. RS



Even United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are Moving to Solar

Hint. hint. Bloomberg reporter interviews UAE royal family member on why and how UAE is moving to solar power. WATCH. Meanwhile, we have republicans, who are owned by the fossil fuel industry, keeping us from progressing. Saudi Arabi is also moving to solar. Republicans are distracting us with all the climate change denying, science and technology denying. As Santorum revealed, many just think Jesus is coming for rapture, so no worries.

Diplomacy With Iran Still Possible?

West Wing Week March 30

The rundown of Obama's week:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Obama's Schedule March 30

Times are eastern.


9:55 AM
The President departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews
South Lawn
Open Press
10:10 AM
The President departs Joint Base Andrews en route Burlington, Vermont
Travel Pool Coverage
11:35 AM
The President arrives Burlington, Vermont
Burlington Air National Guard Base
Open Press
1:15 PM
The President delivers remarks at a campaign event
Burlington, Sheraton Burlington Hotel, Vermont
Print Pool
2:35 PM
The President delivers remarks at a campaign event
Burlington, University of Vermont, Vermont
Open to pre-credentialed media
3:30 PM
The President departs Burlington, Vermont en route Portland, Maine
Burlington Air National Guard Base
Open Press
4:20 PM
The President arrives Portland, Maine
Portland International Jetport
Open Press
5:15 PM
The President delivers remarks at a campaign event
Maine, Portland, Southern Maine Community College
Open to pre-credentialed media
7:20 PM
The President delivers remarks at a campaign event
Maine, Portland, Portland Museum of Art
Print Pool
8:35 PM
The President departs Portland, Maine, en route Joint Base Andrews
Portland International Jetport
Open Press
10:05 PM
The President arrives Joint Base Andrews
Travel Pool Coverage
10:20 PM
The President arrives the White House
South Lawn
Open Press

Israel Loves Iran

This made my day!
Moving over the heads of the rightwing Netanyahu government in Israel, aligned with our republicans, intent on starting a war with Iran, Israelis start a peace movement and Iranians join in. Ronny Edry started the campaign with a poster. More on Facebook. There is a threat, he said, but maybe there is another way of dealing with this threat. There's even a America loves Israel and Iran section.



Obamacare: Regulating Commerce or Creating Commerce

An excellent discussion on Obamacare with Ezra Klein on WNYC. Opponents of Obamacare are saying the law creates commerce instead of regulating commerce (considered constitutional). If SCOTUS doesn't uphold the law, it will be unprecedented.

White House Press Briefing March 29

Surprise! Senate republicans chose to support oil and gas company subsidies. Republicans have long been shills for the fossil fuel industry.

Global Warming 101

Obama Speaks on Repealing Oil Subsidies March 29

Sheldon Adelson Wants President Who Says Islamofascist With Ease

The arrogance of this man, with his anti-Obama button on his lapel, is stunning. He explains why he gave millions to Newt and why he doesn't like Romney or Santorum.
This, by the way, is what the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision gave us, megalomaniacs and their superpacs. If it weren't for Sheldon, the guy who blew up the Sands and put up the Venetian in Las Vegas, Newt would've been long gone. But it looks like it's the end of the line for Newt:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Obama's Schedule March 29

Times are eastern.

10:00 AM
The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office
Closed Press
10:45 AM
The President delivers remarks urging Congress to vote to end the billions in taxpayer dollars handed out to oil companies every year LIVE STREAM 
Rose Garden

Obama Leads Romney by Double Digits

Republicans worked really hard to drop to 35% approval, compared to democrats at 48%.

Supreme Court Hearings on Healthcare Day Three

And it's a wrap. SCOTUS transcripts/audio. More here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Michelle Obama Hosts Spring Planting at White House 2012

Obama's Announcement with Medvedev and Nazarbayev in Seoul



Statement:

The Presidents of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and the United States of America have committed to combat the threat of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism.

Since 2004 our three countries have been collaborating to implement a number of projects aimed at elimination of the remnants of the past nuclear testing activities within the territory of the former Semipalatinsk Test Site to bring it to a safe and secure state. The Presidents of Kazakhstan, Russia and the United States of America have personally supervised the realization of these goals.

A significant volume of work has been accomplished by now. As a result of application of modern physical and technical means the level of security at the former site has been substantially enhanced.

This work is nearly complete and we consider it a highly successful example of the trilateral cooperation representing our shared commitment to nuclear security and non-proliferation.

Background:

From 1949 through 1989, the Soviet Union conducted hundreds of underground nuclear tests and experiments at the former Semipalatinsk Test Site (STS). Located in remote eastern Kazakhstan, the STS occupies approximately 18,000 square kilometers, almost the size of New Jersey and over five times the size of the Nevada Test Site. After achieving independence, Kazakhstan partnered with the Department of Defense (DoD) Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program– with support from Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) –to eliminate legacy Soviet nuclear test infrastructure in support of nonproliferation objectives. In 2000, DoD completed itsproject to seal 181 test tunnels and 13 test shafts at STS.

In the following years, evidence of scavenging activity at STS, coupled with the increased focus on nuclear terrorism after September 11, led to an assessment that nuclear material remaining in the tunnelswas vulnerable. An unprecedented collaboration between former Soviet and U.S. weapons scientists concluded that over a dozen weapons worth of nuclear material likely remained at the site. Russia, Kazakhstan, and the United States concluded the material was vulnerable enough to require a sustained effort to secure areas of STS. Scientists and policymakers identified over 40 tunnels that posed sufficient risk to be included in the work plan. DoD’s CTR Program managed the project for the United States, with technical support from LANL.

Work crews entombed the material in special cement, pluggedand collapsed the tunnels, and resealedand concealed the tunnel portals. The special cement renderedthe nuclearmaterial inaccessible except through a large-scale, easily-observable mining and recovery effort.President Nazarbayev declared part of STS an “exclusion zone”and the U.S. partnered with Kazakhstani security forces to provide equipment and training to deter and detect intruders.

President Obama’s April 2009 announcement of a four-year nuclear international effort to secure all nuclear material led to an acceleration of the STS project and completion almost two years ahead of the originalschedule. The project, initiated in 2005, will be completed within budget, at an estimated total cost of $150 M over eight years.This trilateral effort was by far the most extensive nuclear security project at STS, although between 2002 and 2005,DoD’s CTR Programalso secured nuclear material through threesmaller-scale projects in other areas of STS.

Obama's Meeting With President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan in Seoul

Obama's Meeting With Prime Minister Gilani of Pakistan in Seoul

Romney on Jay Leno Video March 27

So, I guess you need some backstory on this if you don't already know it, otherwise it won't make any sense. Yesterday, Obama was "caught" on mic speaking to Russia's Medvedev, who Obama has a good working relationship with.
Obama made light of it today.
No one really knew what they were talking about, but Romney took the moment and tried to make hay out of it and jumped to all sorts of conclusions, which caused John Boehner to say that the President of the US shouldn't be criticized when he's overseas.
Anyway, part of Romney's ramblings was to call Russia a "geopolitical foe," whatever the heck that means, which caused Russia to say Romney's living in the past. If you ask me, he's a hack when it comes to foreign policy. As a presidential candidate you don't run around saying stuff about nations that we have good relations with. All republicans live in the past when it comes foreign policy. They don't understand that every nation isn't going to bend to our will.
Romney was in California today to raise money. He probably had time to stop off and check to see how his car elevator in his beachfront home was coming along. He's doing some expanding, tripling the size of his La Jolla home. Check out Romney's other homes.









Supreme Court Hearings on Healthcare Law Day Two

Read the transcript and hear the audio at SCOTUS.

I'd also like to point out that political reporters shouldn't be covering the SCOTUS hearings. This is not a political issue and most political reporters don't have the legal mind to understand the arguments. The substance of the hearings is being diluted with cheap talk.

Obama Speaks at Nuclear Security Summit March 27

Interestingly, after Romney went off on a tangent yesterday, John Boehner says people shouldn't criticize the president while he's overseas. I kind of like that respectful talk. It's respectful of the president, the office and the nation. Other than that, we don't need the republican path of engaging nations. We don't need Mitt calling Russia a "geopolitical foe." What's that supposed to mean anyway?

There's a ton of background and fact sheets at WhiteHouse.gov on the Nuclear Security Summit, if you're so inclined. It's stuff you're not likely to see in the news.

White House Press Briefing in Seoul March 27

Lead Plaintiff Against Obamacare Filed Bankruptcy With Medical Bills

We, the taxpayer, shouldn't be mandated to pay for this woman and others who file for bankruptcy because they can't pay their medical bills. But we all pay for her and plenty of others in our taxes or in higher insurance premiums.
The Obamacare mandate would be fair. It would insure most everyone, and more healthy people in the insurance pool means insurance premium costs would eventually decline. Mary Brown apparently bought into the tea party bunk -- that health insurance is an affront to liberty. Meanwhile, paying for Brown's (and others who file bankruptcy with unpaid medical bills) debt harms the rest of us.

Mary Brown, a 56-year-old Florida woman who owned a small auto repair shop but had no health insurance, became the lead plaintiff challenging President Obama's healthcare law because she was passionate about the issue.

Brown "doesn't have insurance. She doesn't want to pay for it. And she doesn't want the government to tell her she has to have it," said Karen Harned, a lawyer for the National Federation of Independent Business. Brown is a plaintiff in the federation's case, which the Supreme Court plans to hear later this month. But court records reveal that Brown and her husband filed for bankruptcy last fall with $4,500 in unpaid medical bills. Those bills could change Brown from a symbol of proud independence into an example of exactly the problem the healthcare law was intended to address. LA Times

Monday, March 26, 2012

Romney Making Foes Out of Countries

Romney is an amateur.
He's reacting to Obama's comments "caught" on mic. I would've figured republicans would've been mad because Obama was presuming he'd win re-election. But noooo. Romney's trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. Frankly, I don't get the beef at all.
Neither does Obama, who teased about it later today.
It also should be noted that Obama's been working hard to establish a working relationship with Russia. He doesn't need some hack coming in and making up stuff. If we get a republican president we'll be back to "axis of evil" crap.


Obama's reaction to the hot mic: 

World Leaders Hug at Nuclear Security Summit

I couldn't resist pointing out the hugging. Thanks to PBS for covering the summit properly.

Obama's Schedule March 27

Times are eastern.

1:30 AM
The President attends a second plenary session
Local Event Time: 
2:30PM KST
Coex Center
Travel Pool Coverage
4:00 AM
The President holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani of Pakistan
Local Event Time: 
5:00PM KST
Coex Center
Pool Spray at the Top
5:30 AM
The President departs Seoul, Republic of Korea
Local Event Time: 
6:50PM KST
Osan Air Base
Open Press
9:40 PM
The President arrives Washington, DC
Joint Base Andrews
Travel Pool Coverage
9:55 PM
The President arrives the White House
South Lawn
Open Press

11:00 AM
Michelle Obama participates in the 2012 National Cherry Blossom Festival’s Centennial Tree Planting Ceremony.

12:00 PM
Michelle Obama meets with the spouses of the military's senior enlisted leaders.