Monday, April 30, 2012

Obama's Schedule May 1


Times are eastern.

10:30 AM
Obama and Biden receive the daily briefing.

11:00 AM
Obama meets with senior advisers.

12:00 PM
Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a fundraiser in Las Vegas.

4:30 PM
Obama and Biden meet with Panetta.

Hillary Clinton Headed to Beijing



Every time we meet with China, the issue of human rights comes up, says Obama. The US is said to be protecting a Chinese dissident who spoke out against forced abortions in China.

Newt Deficit in Search of Bailout Could Lead to Romney Endorsement


Brian Williams Talks to Obama's Team on Bin Laden Raid

The full interview airs Wednesday.

Obama's Speech at the Building and Construction Trades Conference

Obama and Japan's Prime Minister Hold Press Conference

Full video.

Obama's Schedule April 30

Times are eastern.

9:40 AM
The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office
Closed Press
10:45 AM
The President delivers remarks at the Building and Construction Trades Department Legislative Conference
Washington Hilton
Open Press
11:40 AM
The President holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Noda of Japan
Oval Office
Pool Spray at the Top
12:45 PM
The President holds a working lunch with Prime Minister Noda of Japan
Old Family Dining Room
Closed Press
2:00 PM
The President holds a press conference with Prime Minister Noda of Japan
Rose Garden
Open Press
3:00 PM
The President meets with Treasury Secretary Geithner
Oval Office
Closed Press

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Obama's Hot Mic Moment at White House Correspondents Dinner

This is Obama's full speech. One of my favorite moments was when he pointed out Romney's Harvard degrees (Romney's been trying to hide from that because that's what Romney does) and riffed on Santorum's snob remark -- two birds, one stone.



Jimmy Kimmel followed Obama:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

White House Correspondents Dinner April 28 With Obama and Kimmel

Obama's full speech. Dog socialism. Nice. Right before he spoke, Obama ran backstage and pretended he was on a hot mic. You can watch that part here.



C-SPAN will cover the event live, beginning at about 6:30 pm ET, when guests arrive. MSNBC will also have a live stream. Note, that this isn't a White House event. It's an annual scholarship fundraiser put on by White House press.
Obama will speak at about 10:20 pm ET. His speech at the dinner is usually funny. Last year he mocked birthers and Donald Trump. This year, he'll probably stick to GOP wannabes and republicans in general. He'll be followed by Jimmy Kimmel.
This live stream begins at 8 pm ET:

This year Zooey Deschanel, who's awesome, will be a guest of Bloomberg. Fox News invited Lindsay Lohan and Kim Kardashian. Of course. Chris Christie and David Axelrod will be at the same table, guests of ABC. See the guest list. Just a little Zooey (She & Him) for fun:



Biden and Gates Opposed Bin Laden Raid

Read a preview of the last days of Osama bin Laden.

Obama Speaks to Troops at Fort Stewart in Georgia

Background. Full video:

Fighter Jets Deployed Near Iran Border


As tensions continue to rise between Washington and Tehran, the White House upped the ante this month by sending a squadron of advanced U.S. fighters to Iran's doorstep.

The Air Force has reportedly begun rotating a squadron of F-22 Raptors to Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates. UAE is directly to the south of the Iranian coastline, separated by the Straits of Hormuz.

Aviation Week first reported the details of the Raptor deployments.
....
“Such deployments strengthen military-to-military relationships, promote sovereign and regional security, improve combined tactical air operations and enhance interoperability of forces, equipment and procedures," he told Aviation Week on Thursday.

If true, the Raptor deployments are only the latest instance of what could be seen as a burgeoning military buildup in the Persian Gulf region. The Hill

Romney: Borrow Money from Your Parents to Open a Business

Borrow money from your parents because everyone has parents as rich as Romney's or Jimmy John's. Out. of. touch.



More from that speech at Otterbein University in Ohio. As Romney is introduced, he looks like a pin. Yes a pin:





Good grief, he's bOOOOOOOring.



Lastly, Obama's university speech juxtaposed with Romney's. Mitt will argue that boring guys can get the job done better. Only trouble is, he's worse than boring. He appears void of the energy it takes to be president, he's too conservative, severely so, and he's out of touch with normal people.

West Wing Week April 27

Obama Announces 13 Presidential Medal of Freedom Awards



Obama and Sen. John Glenn 
The awards will be presented late spring. From the WH:

Madeleine Albright
From 1997 to 2001, under President William J. Clinton, Albright served as the 64th United States Secretary of State, the first woman to hold that position.  During her tenure, she worked to enlarge NATO and helped lead the Alliance’s campaign against terror and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, pursued peace in the Middle East and Africa, sought to reduce the dangerous spread of nuclear weapons, and was a champion of democracy, human rights, and good governance across the globe.  From 1993 to 1997, she was America’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.  Since leaving office, she founded the Albright Stonebridge Group and Albright Capital Management, returned to teaching at Georgetown University, and authored five books.  Albright chairs the National Democratic Institute and is President of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.

John Doar
Doar was a legendary public servant and leader of federal efforts to protect and enforce civil rights during the 1960s.  He served as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.  In that capacity, he was instrumental during many major civil rights crises, including singlehandedly preventing a riot in Jackson, Mississippi, following the funeral of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evars in 1963.  Doar brought notable civil rights cases, including obtaining convictions for the 1964 killings of three civil rights workers in Neshoba County, Mississippi, and leading the effort to enforce the right to vote and implement the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  He later served as Special Counsel to the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary as it investigated the Watergate scandal and considered articles of impeachment against President Nixon.  Doar continues to practice law at Doar Rieck Kaley & Mack in New York.

Bob Dylan
One of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century, Dylan released his first album in 1962.  Known for his rich and poetic lyrics, his work had considerable influence on the civil rights movement of the 1960s and has had significant impact on American culture over the past five decades.  He has won 11 Grammys, including a lifetime achievement award.  He was named a Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Art et des Lettres and has received a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation.  Dylan was awarded the 2009 National Medal of Arts.  He has written more than 600 songs, and his songs have been recorded more than 3,000 times by other artists.  He continues recording and touring around the world today.

William Foege
A physician and epidemiologist, Foege helped lead the successful campaign to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s.  He was appointed Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1977 and, with colleagues, founded the Task Force for Child Survival in 1984.  Foege became Executive Director of The Carter Center in 1986 and continues to serve the organization as a Senior Fellow.  He helped shape the global health work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and remains a champion of a wide array of issues, including child survival and development, injury prevention, and preventative medicine.  Foege’s leadership has contributed significantly to increased awareness and action on global health issues, and his enthusiasm, energy, and effectiveness in these endeavors have inspired a generation of leaders in public health.

John Glenn
Glenn is a former United States Marine Corps pilot, astronaut, and United States Senator.  In 1962, he was the third American in space and the first American to orbit the Earth.  After retiring from the Marine Corps, Glenn was elected to the U.S. Senate in Ohio in 1974. He was an architect and sponsor of the 1978 Nonproliferation Act and served as Chairman of the Senate Government Affairs committee from 1987 until 1995.  In 1998, Glenn became the oldest person to visit space at the age of 77. He retired from the Senate in 1999. Glenn is a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal and the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

Gordon Hirabayashi
Hirabayashi openly defied the forced relocation and internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.  As an undergraduate at the University of Washington, he refused the order to report for evacuation to an internment camp, instead turning himself in to the FBI to assert his belief that these practices were racially discriminatory.  Consequently, he was convicted by a U.S. Federal District Court in Seattle of defying the exclusion order and violating curfew.  Hirabayashi appealed his conviction all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled against him in 1943.  Following World War II and his time in prison, Hirabayashi obtained his doctoral degree in sociology and became a professor.  In 1987, his conviction was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Hirabayashi died on January 2, 2012.

Dolores Huerta
Huerta is a civil rights, workers, and women’s advocate. With Cesar Chavez, she co-founded the National Farmworkers Association in 1962, which later became the United Farm Workers of America.  Huerta has served as a community activist and a political organizer, and was influential in securing the passage of California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975, and disability insurance for farmworkers in California.  In 2002, she founded the Dolores Huerta Foundation, an organization dedicated to developing community organizers and national leaders.  In 1998, President Clinton awarded her the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights.

Jan Karski
Karski served as an officer in the Polish Underground during World War II and carried among the first eye-witness accounts of the Holocaust to the world.  He worked as a courier, entering the Warsaw ghetto and the Nazi Izbica transit camp, where he saw first-hand the atrocities occurring under Nazi occupation.  Karski later traveled to London to meet with the Polish government-in-exile and with British government officials.  He subsequently traveled to the United States and met with President Roosevelt.  Karski published Story of a Secret State, earned a Ph.D at Georgetown University, and became a professor at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.  Born in 1914, Karski became a U.S. citizen in 1954 and died in 2000.

Juliette Gordon Low
Born in 1860, Low founded the Girl Scouts in 1912.  The organization strives to teach girls self-reliance and resourcefulness.  It also encourages girls to seek fulfillment in the professional world and to become active citizens in their communities.  Since 1912, the Girl Scouts has grown into the largest educational organization for girls and has had over 50 million members.  Low died in 1927.  This year, the Girl Scouts celebrate their 100th Anniversary, calling 2012 “The Year of the Girl.”

Toni Morrison
One of our nation’s most celebrated novelists, Morrison is renowned for works such as Song of Solomon, Jazz, and Beloved, for which she won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988.  When she became the first African American woman to win a Nobel Prize in 1993, Morrison’s citation captured her as an author “who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality.”  She created the Princeton Atelier at Princeton University to convene artists and students.  Morrison continues to write today.

Shimon Peres
An ardent advocate for Israel's security and for peace, Shimon Peres was elected the ninth President of Israel in 2007.  First elected to the Knesset in 1959, he has served in a variety of positions throughout the Israeli government, including in twelve Cabinets as Foreign Minister, Minister of Defense, and Minister of Transport and Communications.  Peres served as Prime Minister from 1984-1986 and 1995-1996.  Along with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and then-PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, Peres won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize for his work as Foreign Minister during the Middle East peace talks that led to the Oslo Accords. Through his life and work, he has strengthened the unbreakable bonds between Israel and the United States.

John Paul Stevens
Stevens served as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1975 to 2010, when he retired as the third longest-serving Justice in the Court’s history.  Known for his independent, pragmatic and rigorous approach to judging, Justice Stevens and his work have left a lasting imprint on the law in areas such as civil rights, the First Amendment, the death penalty, administrative law, and the separation of powers.  He was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Gerald Ford, and previously served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  Stevens is a veteran of World War II, in which he served as a naval intelligence officer and was awarded the Bronze Star.

Pat Summitt
In addition to accomplishing an outstanding career as the all-time winningest leader among all NCAA basketball coaches, Summitt has taken the University of Tennessee to more Final Four appearances than any other coach and has the second best record of NCAA Championships in basketball.  She has received numerous awards, including being named Naismith Women’s Collegiate Coach of the Century.  Off the court, she has been a spokesperson against Alzheimer's.  The Pat Summitt Foundation will make grants to nonprofits to provide education and awareness, support to patients and families, and research to prevent, cure and ultimately eradicate early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type.

US Shifts Troops from Okinawa to Other Pacific Locations

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Romney Puts Hard Right Bork in Charge of Justice Committee

You gotta sometimes wonder if Mitt wants to be president at all.

That led Mr. Bork to be on the wrong side of many settled legal issues: he opposed broad protection for free speech; he questioned the constitutional right to privacy; he once opposed integration of public accommodations by the 1964 Civil Rights Act, calling it “unsurpassed ugliness.” Even after a confirmation conversion, his views on civil rights were decidedly unfavorable to minorities.

After his defeat for being outside the mainstream, he resigned his federal judgeship and became a polemicist for ultraconservative ideas. Whether Mr. Romney picked Mr. Bork for his legal views, to arouse the right wing or both, the choice is disturbing. More at the NYT

Obama's Schedule April 27

Times are eastern.

9:05 AM
The President and the First Lady depart the White House en route Joint Base Andrews
South Lawn
Open Press
9:20 AM
The President and the First Lady depart Joint Base Andrews en route Fort Stewart, Hinesville, Georgia
Travel Pool Coverage
10:55 AM
The President and the First Lady arrive in Hinesville, Georgia
Hunter Army Airfield
Open Press
12:35 PM
The President delivers remarks to troops, veterans and military families; the First Lady delivers introductory remarks
Third Infantry Headquarters
Open to pre-credentialed media
2:05 PM
The President departs Georgia en route Washington, DC
Hunter Army Airfield
Open Press
3:45 PM
The President arrives the White House
South Lawn
Open Press
4:55 PM
The President attends a campaign event
Washington Convention Center
Open to pre-credentialed media
6:10 PM
The President attends a campaign event
Private Residence
Print Pool

White House Press Briefing April 26

Michelle Obama on Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day Video

31 Republican Men Vote Against Violence Against Women Act

See their smiling faces here. 
The act passed the Senate despite their vote.
Read about the act here. 

Obama's Interview in the Rolling Stone

I like the way Obama distinguishes republican people and republican politicians. Big difference.  
Let's talk about the campaign. Given all we've heard about and learned during the GOP primaries, what's your take on the state of the Republican Party, and what do you think they stand for?
First of all, I think it's important to distinguish between Republican politicians and people around the country who consider themselves Republicans. I don't think there's been a huge change in the country. If you talk to a lot of Republicans, they'd like to see us balance the budget, but in a balanced way. A lot of them are concerned about jobs and economic growth and favor market-based solutions, but they don't think we should be getting rid of every regulation on the books. There are a lot of Republican voters out there who are frustrated with Wall Street and think that they acted irresponsibly and should be held to account, so they don't want to roll back regulations on Wall Street.

But what's happened, I think, in the Republican caucus in Congress, and what clearly happened with respect to Republican candidates, was a shift to an agenda that is far out of the mainstream – and, in fact, is contrary to a lot of Republican precepts. I said recently that Ronald Reagan couldn't get through a Republican primary today, and I genuinely think that's true. You have every candidate onstage during one of the primary debates rejecting a deficit-reduction plan that involved $10 in cuts for every $1 of revenue increases. You have a Republican front-runner who rejects the Dream Act, which would help young people who, through no fault of their own, are undocumented, but who have, for all intents and purposes, been raised as Americans. You've got a Republican Congress whose centerpiece, when it comes to economic development, is getting rid of the Environmental Protection Agency. Read more

Mitt Romney Lies Edition 4

I especially loathe the lie republicans tell about Iran. They see only one path -- military action. Marco Rubio, vp wannabe, even thinks we should strike unilaterally. Obama has always said, the policy on Iran is to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, not manage a nuclear Iran. Obama's got tough sanctions in place, which have been ramping up since last year. The only thing republicans are afraid of is Obama's success, because a recovering economy and foreign policy that works, means republicans won't be in the White House for another four more years, at least. Since Obama took office, republicans made ousting Obama their single goal. They should not be rewarded, in any way, for bad behavior.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Obama's Schedule April 26


Times are eastern.

10:30 AM
Obama receives the presidential daily briefing.

11:00 AM
Michelle Obama meets with children of Executive Office employees at the White House’s annual Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

4:30 PM
Obama meets with Biden.

Rubio Wants War With Iran Right Now

This is the guy the GOP is holding up as possible VP for Romney. This kind of foreign policy -- unilateral strikes -- doesn't work in the modern world anymore. Furthermore, Obama has provided all kinds of leadership on Iran. Republicans wouldn't know that though. They live in an alternate universe.

Potential Republican vice presidential candidate Marco Rubio on Wednesday said a unilateral “military solution,” from the United States may be needed to stop Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb.

Rubio, a freshman Senator for Florida, said in a speech in Washington that it was imperative that the United States not “stand on the sidelines” of a simmering Middle East, but instead provide leadership to resolve global crises. Raw story
Here's Rubio's vice presidential audition. With the exception of wanting to rush solo strikes against Iran, a lot of what he says is already in place under Obama:

Birther Marine Booted After Calling Obama The Enemy

Update April 26: Stein appears to have a bit of remorse, maybe even the hope of changing his ways.

“If he was in front of me right now, I would salute him, say, ‘Yes, Mr. President, No, Mr. President,’ and when I walked away, I would still disagree with his policies. But those are two separate things.”
Or maybe not.

 Birther Marine and tea party member, Gary Stein, gets an "other than honorable" discharge. Dick Armey's FreedomWorks was helping to defend Stein, who was fighting the boot.
Quite frankly, he's fortunate. He should have been dishonorably discharged. Anyway, he'll lose his benefits, which means he'll probably become the next Fox News contributor.




Stein writes this on his facebook page:
Illegal immigration is a big deal to the left because it's a source of voters. The Democrats are losing voters. They have to replace them. They're aborting voters. Literally! They are aborting their own future voters. They need new voters.
I wish he could surround himself with decent people who could let him know that there are people who see people as people. Immigrants are part of the democratic party because democrats welcome people of all stripes. Democrats see the value in diversity. Democrats see nuance and complexity. Republicans prefer people to be white and Christian. Republicans see in black and white.
Furthermore, democrats aren't losing voters. In 2008, there were more registered democrats than republicans. Also, republicans have abortions too, probably in equal numbers, because it really isn't a political thing. Republicans are only hypocritical and sanctimonious about abortion. If they really wanted to reduce abortion, they'd attack the problem in a much different way. They'd advocate for adoption and help teen mothers and fathers. But republicans only use abortion to assert moral superiority.
It would also be nice if folks could argue using reason. His statement is full of hate and emotion and nothing more