Monday, December 31, 2012

Obama Speaks on the Fiscal Cliff Dec. 31

Update 2 am New Year's Day: Senate spent all night voting and approved a fiscal cliff bill. Idiots. Boehner says the House will consider the bill. If the House passes it, IF, then it goes to Obama to sign. Marco Rubio voted against the bill. Fool. Coburn, for. More tomorrow. Happy New Year.

Update: As House republicans continue to sit on their arses and drink their bourbon eggnog, the White House and Senate repubs reached a deal. Senate will hold a New Year's Eve vote. House is probably drunk. They're definitely in the ditch.

Update: Republicans are having a mad cow. They say Obama insulted them. Wow. They are out of touch with reality. Funny stuff.

Update: Full video below. No deal - yet. Obama seemed in a good mood, considering. He'll be in DC instead of with his family until an agreement is reached. He seemed to be at once in a state of disbelief and acceptance that this is the lamest Congress ever.

Well, it's New Year's Eve. I wonder if the republicans ever stopped to think that Obama has plenty on his plate without having to deal with their shenanigans. Based on merit (this is the least productive Congress since 1940s) members of Congress should take a pay cut.

Apparently, Biden and McConnell agree on Clinton-era 39.6% top rate for people who make $400K and up and couples, $450K and up, according to @JohnHarwood. They've also agreed on: 40% tax on estates over $5 million.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Obama on Meet the Press Full Video Dec. 30

Obama looks sick and tired, yet he appears steadfast. Why do republicans think that Obama should be involved in Legislation 101? Dealing with fiscal matters is all basic stuff, stuff that republicans can't seem to wrap their heads around. That's because the republican party is better suited to overthrowing government. They've been infiltrated with tea party types that have been an awful influence on our government, primarily because they despise government.

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It's clear now that republicans are a serious mess. What the press has yet to figure out is that Obama can't overcome republicans' irrational hatred of him. Republicans have to find a way to be patriots and put the country first. Also, David Gregory is wrong. Blaming both parties when mostly one is to blame is lazy journalism. If David Brooks can admit it, so can the White House press corps: Republicans have "brain freeze" and are mostly to blame for the fiscal cliff:

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Obama Makes Statement on Fiscal Cliff Dec. 28

Update: In a nutshell, there is still the promise of something getting done. Maybe. Obama says Reid and McConnell are working on a bipartisan deal. If they can't come to an agreement, Reid will sponsor a bill on the floor for an up or down vote.

Woman Who Bought Guns for Spengler Arrested

More at the Democrat and Chronicle.

West Wing Week Dec. 28

Obama Meets With Congressional Leaders on Fiscal Cliff Dec. 28

The media is still reporting the "fiscal cliff" as though there is equal blame among democrats and republicans. Not a fact. Fact: Our government, specifically the House,  has been infiltrated with a group of tea party fringe types who would be more suited to overthrowing government. They have made progress impossible.  The media, with a few exceptions, has been incredibly lame in its reporting on the "fiscal cliff," sensationalizing it without context or substance.  

3:00 PM
The President hosts the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Congress at the White House; The Vice President also attends
Oval Office
Closed Press

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Obama Returns to DC to Deal with Obstinate Republicans

Obama's Statement on EPA's Lisa Jackson

Over the last four years, Lisa Jackson has shown an unwavering commitment to the health of our families and our children. Under her leadership, the EPA has taken sensible and important steps to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink, including implementing the first national standard for harmful mercury pollution, taking important action to combat climate change under the Clean Air Act, and playing a key role in establishing historic fuel economy standards that will save the average American family thousands of dollars at the pump, while also slashing carbon pollution. Lisa has been an important part of my team, and I want to thank her for her service in my Administration and her tireless efforts to benefit the American people. I wish her all the best wherever her future takes her.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Obamas Post-Election Interview with Barbara Walters

The full interview will be aired on Nightline tonight.

The Obamas Visit Troops in Hawaii on Christmas 2012

Visiting troops on Christmas is an annual tradition for POTUS and FLOTUS. Obama heads back to DC tonight, cutting his family time short due to republican intransigence and tomfoolery. The Obama family will remain in Hawaii through New Year's Day.

Reads today:

Americans personally contribute $7 million to pay down national debt.

Republicans cruised to the Cayman Islands (fitting) to figure out what went wrong - Dispatch

Monday, December 24, 2012

Michelle Obama on NORAD Santa Tracker Call


Via Telephone

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, Lilli!


MRS. OBAMA: How old are you, Lilli?


MRS. OBAMA: How old are you?


MRS. OBAMA: Eleven, yeah. You sound like the mature one in the group.

LILLIANA: No. (Laughter.)

MRS. OBAMA: Okay, what’s your question?

LILLIANA: I saw the TV show when everybody was decorating the White House. About how many Christmas trees do you think that there are around the whole White House?

MRS. OBAMA: Around the entire White House we have 54 Christmas trees this year.


MRS. OBAMA: A lot, yeah. We had a lot of Christmas trees. And it’s a pretty big house, and they have trees in every part of the White House. There is a tree in the Oval Office where the President works. And there’s trees outlining all the entrances of the White House. So we have a lot of trees, so it’s very exciting. One day you have to come and visit us during the Christmas holidays because the house is really pretty. You think you could do that one year?

MRS. THOMAS: She would love—yes, she would love that.

ABIGAIL: I would, too!

MRS. OBAMA: Well, you all should come. So do you want to know where Santa is? Because I’m working with—I’m looking at the satellite right now and they told me that when they last spotted Santa he was over Italy. So now he’s in Europe, in Italy. And he’s going to be in Palermo for a few seconds, but then he’s heading to Naples, Italy. And right now, according to my sources, he’s delivered more than 3 billion gifts already. Can you believe that?

ABIGAIL: Wow! I looked at it and the numbers were rising like every millisecond.

MRS. OBAMA: They are moving so fast. It’s amazing, but that’s how fast Santa Claus is. I mean, it’s like magic what he can do. Well, you know what, guys, I hope you all have a very merry Christmas, okay? Because I can tell you guys have been good this year, haven’t you?

MRS. THOMAS: They try. (Laughter.)

MRS. OBAMA: Trying counts, right?

MRS. THOMAS: Yes, it does.

MRS. OBAMA: Trying counts.

LILLIANA: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Bye!

MRS. OBAMA: Oh, it was great talking to you guys. Try to get to bed early, okay? I know it’s hard, but try to close your eyes and get some rest.

LILLIANA: Okay, thank you!

MRS. OBAMA: All right, you guys have a merry Christmas. It was great talking to you.

CHILDREN: And a happy new year! (Laughter.)

Michelle Obama Reads Twas the Night Before Christmas 2012

Troops Celebrate Christmas in Afghanistan

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Obama Attends Inouye's Funeral Dec. 23

Update 12-23:

White House officials say President Barack Obama will attend a weekend funeral for U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye in Honolulu.

Officials say Obama does not plan to speak at the Sunday ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Inouye died on Monday and services were held in Washington on Thursday and Friday. Obama spoke at a funeral for Inouye Friday at the National Cathedral, saying Inouye was an early inspiration to show him the possibilities in life.

About 20 members of Congress are expected to attend the funeral on Sunday. AP

What Next After Newtown: A PBS Special

Obamas Arrive in Hawaii for Christmas Vacation

Obama will return to Washington next week for a fiscal cliff deal. Boehner was unable to get the fringe House republicans to even go along with his plan of raising taxes on those who make $1 million and up, therefore, Boehner will need to choose the country over his own job next week to work on a deal with Obama and democrats. It's no longer certain that he'll place country first. I'm betting he will, though.
President Barack Obama and his family have arrived in Honolulu to spend Christmas in Hawaii, where the president was born and raised.

Air Force One touched down in Honolulu minutes after midnight and the motorcade was underway to the first family's Kailua vacation home at about 12:26 a.m.

The president and the first family do not have any public scheduled events while they are in the islands, but Oahu motorists should expect unannounced delays as the presidential motorcade travels around the island.

Obama stay here may be cut shorter than usual since he leaves Washington without having a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff on Jan. 1. AP
Where we're at:

Obama's Weekly Address Dec. 22: Holiday Greetings

Friday, December 21, 2012

Obama Family Leaves for Hawaii for Christmas Vacation

Obama will have to cut his family time short due to republican pigheadedness. He'll be back in Washington next week.

26 Bells

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28 bells

Obama and Biden Speak at Daniel Inouye's Funeral

Obama's Statement on Fiscal Cliff Dec. 21

NRA: Solve Gun Violence with More Guns

Even a good person with a gun can make a very bad decision in a moment of fear. It's time for NRA's reign to end. It really is. NRA represents the gun industry, so any solution from the NRA will be biased toward boosting gun sales. NRA points the finger at music and violent video games.

Reaction to the NRA statement: Bizarre and this. Full NRA conference:

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Michelle Obama's Letter "Talking to Our Kids About Newtown"

From the White House:

Dear parents,
Like every American, Barack and I are absolutely heartbroken about the unspeakable tragedy that occurred last week in Newtown, Connecticut.  And like so many of you, our first reactions were not as a President and First Lady, but as a Mom and Dad.  We were asking ourselves, what if this had been our town, or our school, or our girls?
And we know that all across the country, it’s not just adults who are asking questions right now – our children are looking for answers as well.  Like us, they want to know, why did this happen?
Could it happen again?  And as parents, all of us can take the time to hold our kids close and talk with them about the things that truly matter: our love for them, the importance of extending that love to those affected by this tragedy, and how that love truly defines our great American community.
We can tell our kids that we’re doing everything we can to keep them safe and make sure they feel loved – and so are their teachers, coaches, faith leaders, Scout leaders and everyone else who plays a role in their lives.
We can remind them to be grateful for the educators who work every day to help them achieve their dreams – and for the first responders who risk their lives at a moment’s notice to protect ours.
We can tell them about the extraordinary people of Newtown and how they have responded to unspeakable tragedy: the educators who sprang into action; the children who carefully followed instructions and comforted each other amidst the chaos; the neighbors and faith leaders who have come together to support one another.
And finally, we can tell them that it’s our job now to stand with the people of Newtown – to pray for them and to find ways, large and small, to show them that they are not alone in their grief.  It is now up to us to carry the memory of those who were lost in our hearts and to follow their example every day, living our lives as they lived theirs – with courage, determination, hope and love.  Those are the values that give us our strength as Americans and that we return to in times of crisis – not just because they help us heal, but because they define who we are, as a people and as a nation.
May the memories of those we lost be a blessing to their families, their community and our country, and may God be with the people of Newtown as they begin the slow and painful work of healing and moving forward.
Michelle Obama

West Wing Week Dec. 21

Obama Responds to Gun Violence Petitions

The White House accepts and reviews petitions here.

Obama Nominates John Kerry as SoS Dec. 21

In full

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Obama's Schedule Dec. 21

Times are eastern:

9:30 AM
The President observes a moment of silence in honor of the victims of the Newtown shooting
White House
Closed Press
9:35 AM
The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
Closed Press
10:30 AM
The President and the Vice President deliver remarks at the funeral service for the late Senator Daniel Inouye
Washington National Cathedral
Travel Pool Coverage
1:30 PM
The President makes a personnel announcement LIVE STREAM
Roosevelt Room
Pooled Press

Obama: Time Person of the Year 2012

This and a nice photo spread.

White House Press Briefing Dec. 20

Jay Carney runs down the republican shenanigans at the top:

Obama's Schedule Dec. 20

Obama gets caught in Spidey's web

Obama visits the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Obama Speaks at the Diplomatic Corps Holiday Reception Dec. 19

In full.

The Obamas Wish the Troops Happy Holidays 2012

Obama Speaks on Gun Control Initiative Dec. 19

VPOTUS Joe Biden will head up a task force which will collect information and make recommendations on reducing gun violence. Obama will look to turn the recommendations into policy. Obama says this isn't a commission. This is a team that has a specific task. Obama expects recommendations by January. Though his remarks were brief, they were highly persuasive. Apparently, the White House press corps didn't see it that way. The press had to be prodded to ask a question about Newtown. Jake Tapper, who had that honor, asked with an insult: "where've you been?" on gun control. To which Obama responded in the way the Obama responds when he gets a disrespectful and ignorant question. The New York Times didn't miss the story that Obama is taking action.
Full video:

Obama's Schedule Dec. 19

Times are eastern.

9:30 AM
The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office
Closed Press
11:45 AM
The President delivers a statement; the Vice President also attends LIVE STREAM 
Brady Press Briefing Room 
Open Press
6:45 PM
The President delivers remarks at the Diplomatic Corps Holiday Reception 
State Department
Pooled Press

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

White House Press Briefing Dec. 18

Biden Swears in Patrick Leahy as President Pro Tempore of Senate

The position is the second highest ranking in the Senate, third in line of succession to the presidency.

Obama's Schedule Dec. 18

Times are eastern.

10:15 AM
The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office
4:35 PM
The President meets with Secretary of Defense Panetta
Oval Office

Some of the news of the day:

Dick's Sporting Goods to stop selling certain rifles.

After David Letterman's monologue, he speaks smartly on Newtown.

Richard Engel and his crew set free.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Obama's Statement on the Passing of Daniel Inouye

Inouye's last words: "Aloha."
Tonight, our country has lost a true American hero with the passing of Senator Daniel Inouye. The second-longest serving Senator in the history of the chamber, Danny represented the people of Hawaii in Congress from the moment they joined the Union. In Washington, he worked to strengthen our military, forge bipartisan consensus, and hold those of us in government accountable to the people we were elected to serve. But it was his incredible bravery during World War II – including one heroic effort that cost him his arm but earned him the Medal of Honor – that made Danny not just a colleague and a mentor, but someone revered by all of us lucky enough to know him. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Inouye family.

Obama's Statement on Japan's Election

I congratulate Liberal Democratic Party President Shinzo Abe on his party's success in the elections in Japan today. The U.S-Japan Alliance serves as the cornerstone of peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific and I look forward to working closely with the next government and the people of Japan on a range of important bilateral, regional and global issues. I also extend my appreciation to Prime Minister Noda for his many contributions to U.S.-Japan relations.

White House Press Briefing Dec. 17

Obama's Schedule Dec. 17

Obama's note to Newtown in response to football coach
Times are eastern.
Obama is also spending time with John Boehner this morning.

10:15 AM
Obama and Biden receive the presidential daily briefing.
12:30 PM
Obama and Biden meet for lunch.

Mourning at the NYSE:

Yesterday's candlelight vigil:

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Obama Speaks at Newtown High School Dec. 16

Full video (transcript):

Obama and Emilie Parker's little sisters

Some clips of the vigil:

Full vigil, part 1:

Part 2

Obama to Speak at Evening Vigil in Newtown Conn Dec. 16

Update Dec. 17: Obama's full speech and clips of the vigil are here.

No time has been announced yet.
Obama will visit privately with families of the victims and with emergency personnel who responded to the shootings. He then will then speak at an interfaith vigil at Newtown High School. ABC

Friday, December 14, 2012

Obama Speaks of Killings in Newtown Conn Dec. 14

I've been offline most of the day. What a day. Children. Who murders children?

Some thoughtful commentary by Shields and Brooks. Nothing will change until Congress gives the NRA the boot.

Obama Speaks at Hanukkah Reception 2012

West Wing Week Dec. 14

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Obama's Schedule Dec. 14

Times are eastern.

10:30 AM
Obama and Biden receive the presidential daily briefing.
12:15 PM
Obama signs H.R. 6156.
12:30 PM
White House press briefing.
2:15 PM
Michelle Obama visits the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
3:30 PM
Obama meets with Ambassador Susan Rice.

White House Press Briefing Dec. 13

Susan Rice Withdraws from Secretary of State Consideration

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Obama's statement:

Today, I spoke to Ambassador Susan Rice, and accepted her decision to remove her name from consideration for Secretary of State. For two decades, Susan has proven to be an extraordinarily capable, patriotic, and passionate public servant. As my Ambassador to the United Nations, she plays an indispensable role in advancing America’s interests. Already, she has secured international support for sanctions against Iran and North Korea, worked to protect the people of Libya, helped achieve an independent South Sudan, stood up for Israel’s security and legitimacy, and served as an advocate for UN reform and the human rights of all people. I am grateful that Susan will continue to serve as our Ambassador at the United Nations and a key member of my cabinet and national security team, carrying her work forward on all of these and other issues. I have every confidence that Susan has limitless capability to serve our country now and in the years to come, and know that I will continue to rely on her as an advisor and friend. While I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character, and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment to put our national interests first. The American people can be proud to have a public servant of her caliber and character representing our country.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Obama's Schedule Dec. 13

Times are eastern.

9:45 AM
Obama and Biden receive the presidential daily briefing.
1:00 PM
White House press briefing.
7:40 PM
Obama delivers remarks at the Hanukkah Reception; the Michelle Obama attends. Live stream.

Obama Meets with Natoma Canfield

Obama, Natoma (r) and her sister, Connie

Natoma helped inspire Obama to keep fighting for healthcare reform. Read her letter that hangs on the White House wall.

Louis C.K. on Obama

It's nice to hear people say swell things about POTUS, given the rubbish.

White House Press Briefing Dec. 12

NSC's Vietor on North Korea’s Missile Launch

From the White House:

North Korea’s launch today—using ballistic missile technology despite express prohibitions by United Nations Security Council resolutions—is a highly provocative act that threatens regional security, directly violates United Nations Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874, contravenes North Korea’s international obligations, and undermines the global non-proliferation regime.  This action is yet another example of North Korea’s pattern of irresponsible behavior.  The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and fully committed to the security of our allies in the region. Given this current threat to regional security, the United States will strengthen and increase our close coordination with allies and partners.

On April 16, 2012, the United Nations Security Council expressed its “determination to take action accordingly in the event of a further [North Korean] launch.”  In the hours and days ahead, the United States will work with its Six-Party partners, the United Nations Security Council, and other UN member states to pursue appropriate action.  The international community must work in a concerted fashion to send North Korea a clear message that its violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions have consequences.  The international community continues to insist that North Korea live up to its commitments, adhere to its international obligations, and deal peacefully with its neighbors.

North Korea is only further isolating itself by engaging in such provocative acts.  Devoting scarce resources to the development of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons has not brought it security and acceptance by the international community—and never will.  North Korea will only truly strengthen itself by abiding by international norms, living up to its commitments and international obligations, and working to feed its citizens, to educate its children, and to win the trust of its neighbors.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Obama's Schedule Dec. 12

White House is on Pinterest
Times are eastern.

9:45 AM
Obama and Biden receive the presidential daily briefing.
12:00 PM
Obama holds a conference call with a bipartisan group of mayors and community leaders.
12:30 PM
White House press briefing.

Obama Recognizes Syrian Regime Opposition

Obama's full interview with Barbara WaWa is Friday, ABC.

Michelle Obama Stops by Toys for Tots Drive Dec. 11

White House Press Briefing Dec. 11

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Obama's Schedule Dec. 10

Times are eastern.

9:45 AM
The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office
Closed Press
10:50 AM
The President departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews
South Lawn
Press Information
11:05 AM
The President departs Joint Base Andrews
Press Information
12:30 PM
The President arrives Michigan
Metro-Wayne County Airport
Press Information
1:35 PM
The President tours Daimler Detroit Diesel plant
Daimler Detroit Diesel Plant, Michigan, Redford
Press Information
2:00 PM
The President delivers remarks
Daimler Detroit Diesel Plant, Michigan, Redford
Open Press
2:55 PM
The President departs Michigan
Metro-Wayne County Airport
Open Press
4:15 PM
The President arrives Joint Base Andrews
Press Information
4:30 PM
The President arrives the White House
South Lawn
Open Press