Archive for October, 2011



29
Oct
11

“all i’ve got to offer is a last name that ends in a vowel”

President Obama on stage with Rep. Nancy Pelosi after delivering remarks at the National Italian American Foundation Gala in Washington. Also on stage is television journalist Maria Bartiromo

29
Oct
11

is it a bird, is it a plane….

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and the first lady’s mother Marian Robinson, offer treats to trick-or-treaters to celebrate Halloween on the North Portico of the White House

29
Oct
11

hey, welcome to the weekend

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5:45 ET: The President and First Lady welcome local children and military families to trick-or-treat at the White House

8:20 ET The President delivers remarks at the National Italian American Foundation Gala

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Oct. 31, 2010

November, 2007

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Link – thanks Donna Dem

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Best news possibly ever?

Our beloved Desertflower got a new laptop for her birthday. 😎

I am endlessly relieved, a couple of days ago she got so frustrated with her old machine she threatened to:

😆

Congratulations Desertflower!

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Sorry I haven’t been able to be around much today, will catch up properly later 😉

28
Oct
11

‘night people

Helloooo people,

Just a few things:

First, like desertflower today and amk yesterday I’ve been having major problems viewing and updating the blog, a lot of the time that Mac spinning beachball has been in my face – honest, if I had a gun I’d have shot it.

I’m using the latest version of Firefox, 7.0.1, and judging by the support section on their site it is causing huge problems for a lot of users.

And Firefox is the browser WordPress (the host of this blog) recommends we use 😦

Are there any of you Firefox 7.0.1 people out there who haven’t been having problems??

And what other browsers aren’t causing trouble at the moment?

Please share your techy expertise!

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Second, I used to be in the habit of updating the blog each day with lots and lots and lots of new posts, but reckoned that wasn’t good because (a) it disrupted the chat between you all in a thread, you kept having to move on to the new posts to try to continue your conversation, and (b) it stuffed your email inbox with TOD new-post-alerts.

So, instead, I’ve just been posting three or four new threads each day (more when big stuff is happening), and adding to each post as the day goes on. Are you okay with that? I know you don’t get ‘alerted’ when I update a post, but I just think it’s working better because it allows good, long conversations to develop in each post – but let me know what you think.

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Third, it’s probably a sign that we’re building something good together, but there’s been a very large increase in the number of Tea/Firebagger trolls trying to post abuse here recently.

Most try to comment under ‘anonymous’, but some – brilliantly! – use regulars’ names in the belief that will get their comments through. It doesn’t.

So, again, even though it’s a complete pain, please sign in when you’re commenting here, and always use a name (and stick with that name) – it doesn’t, needless to say, have to be your real name, any one will do, but just remember anonymous comments are not accepted here. Thanks.

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Speaking of, eh, anonymity.

For a whole bunch of reasons, I decided from the start not to provide personal information when I started this blog. To be honest, if it was a money-making venture I would feel obliged to give my name and (not very exciting) personal details, but it’s purely a non-profit labor of love. And always will be.

At the risk of sounding over-dramatic, you attract some seriously deranged haters when you run a pro-President Obama blog – as BWD experienced, way way worse than me. Like the guy who followed me from a ‘Dem’ site I used to frequent to wish me “head cancer” – for the sole reason that I argued the President wasn’t, actually, a homophobe. Funny, I haven’t heard from him since the repeal of DADT.

I’ve also had a few Teabagger white supremacist types send me delightful threatening messages, promising to hunt me down. Yee haw!

So, in light of the fact that I have a life and a family outside all of this, I’ve opted not to provide these Fire/Teabagers with enough personal information to allow them arrive on my doorstep, or get my phone number/personal email address, etc. Life’s just way too short.

There are personal reasons here too, which I can’t go in to, but let’s just say this blog has a few enemies.

So, I’m genuinely sorry that I don’t provide personal info when some of you seek it, I hope you understand. I won’t ever pretend to be anything I’m not, I’m just Chipsticks – your host. 😉

Thanks everyone, see you tomorrow.

28
Oct
11

catching up

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President Barack Obama shows students from Johnson College Prep in Chicago, Ill., and their principal, Dr. Garland Thomas, a model of Samuel Morse’s telegraph in the Oval Office, during their visit to the White House, Oct. 28, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Original video here

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Poor Mitt:

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Poor Jon:

Yahoo: …. In New Hampshire, where Huntsman moved his campaign headquarters a few weeks ago and where he spends most of his time, he’s polling at less than 5 percent.

New Hampshire residents aren’t even donating to his campaign. In the last quarter, Huntsman’s campaign reported just two donors in the entire state who gave a combined $1,000.

😳

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Mother Jones: This is a photo of a volunteer meeting for Elizabeth Warren, who is leading the race for the Democratic nomination to take on Sen. Scott Brown (R) in Massachusetts …. This looks more like the kind of crowd you’d see at presidential volunteer meeting late in the campaign than a rally for a Senate candidate 13 months before the general election. It sure looks like Warren has her base fired up:

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Steve Benen: ….. These days, candidates have to realize that using stock photos is inviting trouble.

Just as Rep. Denny Rehberg (R), running for the Senate in Montana, who used a nice photo of “Montana’s seniors” in a taxpayer-financed mailing who aren’t from Montana:

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More soon 😉

28
Oct
11

heads up – and chat away

12:00 PM EDT

White House Live

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Link

A message from our Fundraising Queen, Donna Dem:

TOD I’ve been challenged to get 3 donations this weekend.

So I am on the hunt for 3 different donors at $5.00 each. Can you help me out with a donation for the President’s re-election?

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See here

Hey, there are at least two dozen of you here who could that job 😉

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Hiya people, have to go out for a few hours but will catch up later – have a perfect day 😉

28
Oct
11

rise and shine – it’s friday

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AJC: Pushing a campaign to act without Congress, President Barack Obama will announce on Friday two more executive actions on the economy, both of them small steps intended to give a boost to businesses.

The moves cap a week in which Obama has sought to employ the power of his office as he struggles to make headway on his jobs bill on Capitol Hill.

Obama is directing government agencies to shorten the time it takes for federal research to turn into commercial products in the marketplace. The goal is to help startup companies and small businesses create jobs and expand their operations more quickly.

On the other front, Obama is calling for creation of a centralized online site, to be known as BusinessUSA, for companies to easily find information on federal services. The site is to be up and running within 90 days and will be designed with input from U.S. businesses.

Obama is announcing both steps in presidential memos to be released Friday morning, according to administration officials.

More here

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Washington Post: The U.S. economy grew at its fastest clip in a year during late summer as consumers and businesses shrugged off fears of a new recession, according to government data released Thursday that helped drive the stock market to its best day since August.

Investors were also cheered by overnight news that European leaders have reached an agreement on how to address their continent’s debt crisis, and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index ended the day up 3.4 percent. European markets were up even more sharply, with the German Dax index up 5.3 percent.

The agreement in Europe still has many details to be filled in, and the 2.5 percent pace of U.S. economic expansion in the third quarter isn’t enough to bring unemployment down quickly, even if it is sustained. But on both sides of the Atlantic, the news on Thursday offered a sense of relief: Maybe the world isn’t falling apart after all.

Full article here

National Journal: On the surface, it seems surprising that the U.S. economy nearly doubled its growth in the third quarter.

July brought tense debt-ceiling negotiations and threat of a government default. In August, a top credit ratings agency cut the United States’ top AAA rating. Concerns over European sovereign debt seeped into the U.S. and grew in September as the situation across the Atlantic appeared to be rapidly unraveling. Congress announced no major steps to fix the economy and the weak housing and labor markets treaded water.

But on Thursday, the Commerce Department announced that gross domestic product grew by 2.5 percent during that time, up from just 0.9 percent in the first half of the year.

While 2.5 percent GDP growth hardly signals boom times, it seems to fly in the face of those major headwinds. But economists say it reflects a gradual climb out of recession rather than a rapid shift in the country’s fortune.

…. The good news is that the third quarter shared many of the same uncertainties that are likely to shape the fourth: uncertainty over the budget and deficit, threat of a downgrade, and the European debt crisis. The economy, while hardly in fighting shape, pulled through the third quarter to eke out 2.5 percent GDP growth — which is not too shabby.

Full post here

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AP: He is the man with the mustache who takes a rebellious drag on a cigarette in the Herman Cain Internet ad gone viral …. Meet Mark Block, Cain’s unorthodox campaign manager …. a Republican strategist and tea party leader who’s left a trail of questionable campaign work behind him.

Block has been accused of voter suppression and was banned from running Wisconsin political campaigns for three years to settle accusations he coordinated a judge’s re-election campaign with a special interest group.

Records show Block has faced foreclosure on his home, a tax warrant by the Internal Revenue Service and a lawsuit for an unpaid bill. He also acknowledges he was arrested twice for drunken driving…..

Full article here

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Eugene Robinson: The hard-right conservatives who dominate the Republican Party claim to despise the redistribution of wealth, but secretly they love it – as long as the process involves depriving the poor and middle class to benefit the rich, not the other way around.

That is precisely what has been happening, as a jaw-dropping new report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office demonstrates. Three decades of trickle-down economic theory, see-no-evil deregulation and tax-cutting fervor have led to massive redistribution. Another word for what’s been happening might be theft.

Full article here

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ThinkProgress: House Republicans took the government to the brink of shutdown last spring by demanding across-the-board budget cuts to many vital programs. Instead of focusing on job creation, as Americans wanted them to, the GOP turned its attention to slashing funds for programs that funded assistance for women and children, local law enforcement, the social safety net, environmental protections, and many other programs they deemed as either too expensive or unnecessary. Worse, when challenged on why they hadn’t made the effort to tackle high unemployment, Republicans insisted that their slash-and-burn budget cuts were meant to create jobs.

….. According to a new report from the Center for American Progress’ Scott Lilly, those cuts didn’t result in the job creating boon Republicans insisted would follow. Instead, it has done just the opposite, as those cuts will result in the destruction of roughly 370,000 jobs……

Full post here

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First lady Michelle Obama visited three Florida cities on Thursday for campaign fundraisers…. “This has been a great day,” the first lady told supporters in Ft. Lauderdale. “This is my third city in one day. And I go home tonight and Barack and I get up and go to parent-teacher conference tomorrow morning.”

“Just so you know,” she said. “Just handling our business.”

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The Hill: The government’s bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac might end up costing taxpayers billions less than originally estimated, the mortgage giants’ regulator said Thursday.

In a new report, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) said the actual performance of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) had been “substantially better” than originally projected, lowering the overall bill for the bailout, a longtime sore spot with GOP lawmakers.

…. So far, Fannie and Freddie are beating bailout expectations. In the first year of projections, the GSEs actually tapped the Treasury Department for $19 billion to $73 billion less than anticipated, depending on what scenario was applied.

Full post here

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27
Oct
11

the last word…..

“If ignorance ever goes to $100 a barrel, you want to get the drilling rights on Perry’s head.”

😆

See you tomorrow 😉

27
Oct
11

good evening, people

President Obama has dinner with campaign donors and winners of the “Dinner with Barack” contest at The Liberty Tavern in the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington, Va.

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MSNBC: Medicare’s basic monthly premium will rise significantly less than expected next year, the government announced Thursday. That could pay political dividends for President Barack Obama and for Democrats struggling to win over seniors in a close election.

…. In a statement accompanying release of the Medicare premiums, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asserted that seniors have nothing to fear from the new health care law.

“The Affordable Care Act is helping to keep Medicare strong and affordable,” she said. “People with Medicare are seeing higher quality benefits, better health care choices and lower costs.”

Full post here

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Crooks and Liars: …. why in the hell does Pat Buchanan still have a job at MSNBC?

Color of Change would like to know the answer to that and ask for your signature on a petition to MSNBC (you can sign the petition here)

…..There’s no excuse for lending legitimacy and a national platform for such archaic and hateful attitudes. MSNBC has fired others for much less. Pat Buchanan needs to go.

More at Media Matters

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ThinkProgress: Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry released a tax plan this week that he and many media reports called a “20 percent flat tax.” But Perry’s new alternative tax scheme is hardly “flat”.

Leaving aside the fact that it is layered on top of the existing tax code, it establishes not one but two different tax rates: 20 percent for wages, and zero percent for investment income. Because capital gains and dividends would be sheltered from taxes under Perry’s plan, some of the wealthiest Americans would wind up paying nowhere near 20 percent overall.

In fact, billionaire Warren Buffett, who has lamented the fact that he currently pays only 11 percent of his adjusted gross income in federal income taxes, would pay as little as 0.2 percent under Perry’s plan.

Full post here

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Clever Google:

😉

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ABC: Today’s New York Times story … includes an intriguing reference to a staff memo directing those traveling in a car with Mr. Cain, “Do not speak to him unless you are spoken to.”

Could the affable Mr. Cain really have a “don’t-talk-to-me-unless-I-talk-to-you” policy?

Yes. He does. Really.

A top aide to Mr. Cain explains to me why.

“It’s the same policy for any Secretary of Defense or four-star general,” a senior Cain staffer explained to ABC News. “You don’t talk to them unless they talk to you, generally. Sometimes you get guests in the car and they want to talk and talk and talk, and then Mr. Cain wants to prepare for the next interview or the next speech and he’s very engaging, so it can be a distraction. After a while, he gets to the point where he doesn’t want to talk, but wants to prepare for what he’s doing next.”

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More excellent comedy from Dick Halperin today in Time. He magnificently ignored all the polls that show President Obama leading RomPerryCain in swing states, and concluded that if the election was held today he’d lose.

It’d be nice, though, if Halperin had an original thought:

Mark Halperin (today): Is President Obama on the ropes? …. The coalition that helped elect the President …. has been disbanded.

Mark Halperin (December 2010): The coalition that got Barack Obama elected President just two years ago has been shattered ….

🙄

Last year, Alex Pareene of Salon (which I seriously hate linking because it’s become Firebagger Central) did a series on “the worst columnists and cable news commentators America has to offer …. the most predictable, dishonest and just plain stupid pundits in the media.” Halperin had to settle for the runners-up prize, behind Richard Cohen. It’s worth a read again:

Alex Pareene (2010): Mark Halperin – The Drudge-loving political analyst who gets everything wrong …. his belief in the unerring political instincts of Karl Rove and the godlike omniscience of Matt Drudge ….

…. Halperin’s worst quality is actually that he is constantly wrong. He is a professional political analyst, yet he often seems to be completely, 100 percent wrong about even the horse-race aspects of politics that he specializes in. He kept promising, in 2006, that Bush’s approval ratings would once again surge past 50 percent. Remember when John McCain “suspended his campaign” to fix the economy? Mark Halperin said McCain won the week.

The book Halperin wrote …. “The Way to Win,” his preview of “the way to win” the presidential election in 2008. His advice was to emulate Karl Rove and worship Matt Drudge – the key to victory seemed to involve a lot of Matt Drudge – and the 2008 election as it actually happened made the whole book (which he co-wrote with Politico co-founder John Harris!) look utterly ridiculous.

… All we ask for is a little accountability. At the very least, Halperin’s TV chyron should read, “ALWAYS WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING.”

Repeat offenses: Obsequious relationship to power, Drudge-baiting, awfulness, self-promotion, getting everything wrong.

Representative quote: “To see what the future could look like, click here.”

(The link, posted the night before the selection of Joe Biden as Barack Obama’s running mate, led to a photo of Sen. Obama with Sen. Dick Lugar.)

Full article here

When you click that link now, you get:

Oh dear.

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Saintroscoe? I think I love you:

😆

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Marketwatch: With a little more than two trading days left in the month, it is shaping up to be the best October ever for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. And that is saying something, since the Dow has existed since 1896, 115 years ago.

As of mid-day trading on Thursday, the Dow INDU is ahead more than 11% for the month. The previous record for the month of October was held by 1982, when the Dow turned in a 10.7% return. That’s an auspicious historical precedent, since that month came very early in that decade’s spectacular bull market which, arguably, didn’t end until nearly 20 years later.

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Link

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President Barack Obama talks with Mike Froman, Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs, in the Oval Office, Oct. 27, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

27
Oct
11

chat away

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Link

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First Lady Michelle Obama escorts John Sexton Elementary School students William Porter and Breann Rouse across the tarmac at Tampa International Airport, Oct. 27

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March 2010: A 100-square-meter brick art tribute to President Barack Obama unveiled in Sydney, Australia. The tribute wall was erected as a lead-up to Obama’s visit to Australia, which was later cancelled

AFP: President Barack Obama will become the first sitting US president to visit Australia’s Northern Territory next month, the White House said on Thursday.

Obama will visit Darwin after making a previously announced address to the Australian parliament in Canberra during his one night stay in Australia, a trip that has been postponed twice under the pressure of US domestic politics.

The president’s visit on November 16 and 17 will mark the 60th anniversary of the military alliance between Australia and the United States and stress an increasing US diplomatic and military focus on the Pacific region.

Obama will travel to the Indonesian resort island of Bali following Australia for the East Asia summit and will begin his visit by hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit (APEC) in his native Hawaii.

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