Archive for May, 2013



30
May
13

Rise and Shine

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President Barack Obama greets Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and ceremony participants backstage before the signing of the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012 in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, May 30, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Tom Kludt: An overwhelming majority of Americans said that the economy and unemployment should take precedence over the Congressional investigations into the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups, the Justice Department’s subpoena of Associated Press phone records and last year’s deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University released Thursday.

The poll found that 73 percent of American voters nationwide believe that dealing with the economy and unemployment should be a higher priority than the investigations. Fewer than a quarter of Americans — 22 percent — believe that the investigations should be the higher priority.

More here

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Washington Post: President Obama plans to nominate James B. Comey, a former senior Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration, to replace Robert S. Mueller III as FBI director, according to two people with knowledge of the selection process. Comey was famously involved in a 2004 hospital-room confrontation with White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and the president’s chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr. The two White House officials were attempting to persuade Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, who was recovering from emergency surgery to remove his gallbladder, to reauthorize a controversial warrantless domestic eavesdropping program.

Comey, who was acting attorney general in Ashcroft’s absence, had refused to agree to extend the program. When he learned that the White House was attempting to go around him and get the ill Ashcroft to sign off on an extension, Comey rushed to George Washington University Medical Center, arriving just before Gonzales and Card. Comey explained to Ashcroft what was happening and, when the White House officials arrived, the attorney general raised himself up and said he never should have authorized the program. He gestured at Comey and said, “There is the attorney general,” according to an account by former Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman.

More here

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James Comey

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Steve Benen: Comey isn’t exactly your typical Republican. We are, after all, talking about a Republican attorney who balked at the legality of the Bush/Cheney warrantless wiretap program, signed a legal brief endorsing marriage equality, believes terrorist suspects should be tried in America’s criminal-justice system, and even endorsed Eric Holder’s Attorney General nomination in 2009. For some of the rabid partisans on Capitol Hill, I suspect Comey will be seen as a RINO (Republican In Name Only).

But there’s one other angle that’s worth thinking about as the process unfolds: if Obama had any reason to worry about ongoing investigations casting the White House in a negative light, the president would not have chosen a Republican with a history of independence to lead the FBI. On the contrary, if Obama were the least bit concerned about the so-called “scandals,” he’d be eager to do the opposite — choosing a Democratic ally for the FBI. With this in mind, by selecting Comey, the president not only sends a bipartisan signal, but also one of great confidence.

More here

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29
May
13

Night Owl Chat – Laura Mvula Live

I discovered Ms. Mvula right here on TOD, and have since become enchanted with her. And as I read her Wikipedia entry, I grew even more impressed: she’s director of two choirs in Birmingham, England, as well as graduating with a degree in composition from the Birmingham Conservatoire. Not your typical pop star. So, to ease the stresses of the day, some Laura Mvula.

“Green Garden”

Continue reading ‘Night Owl Chat – Laura Mvula Live’

29
May
13

President Obama in Chicago

(The last six minutes, missed the start)

29
May
13

‘You came from some place else’

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Back in a bit, chat away

29
May
13

Woooooooooot!

****** Ireland beat England 1-1 ******

That’s Shane Long: Legend.

(1-1’s a draw?! Hush)

95,256 gazillion thanks to LP for the very excellent previous post, back in a while, just tied up a little:

Chat away!

29
May
13

On the road w/ SOS Kerry

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Behind the Scenes

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SOS Kerry on the way to Rome

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Munching on Italian cookies

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Sharing Daps with Italian Amb. Thorton

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Participating in Quartet ME Talks with PM Blair

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29
May
13

Chat Away

President Obama greets children on the South Lawn of the White House after returning from the Jersey Shore, May 28. The children had earlier helped harvest vegetables in the First Lady’s White House garden. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

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Chat away!

29
May
13

Rise and Shine

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Today:

EST

12:45: Press Briefing by Jay Carney

3:55: The President departs the White House

CDT

5:0: Arrives Chicago

6:30: Attends a DCCC event, Chicago Hilton (Pool Coverage)

7:45: Attends a DCCC event (Private Residence)

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@PeteSouza

@PeteSouza

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Steve Benen: Obama is clearly the worst socialist ever

Wall Street’s major indexes soared after U.S. home prices saw their best annual rise in seven years, and consumer confidence got another boost. But even before today’s stock-market gains, President Obama is in rare company when it comes to Wall Street returns.

…. I don’t think a strong stock market is necessarily proof of a robust economy. On the contrary, I care far more about unemployment, median wages, and economic growth than Wall Street returns. But the right shouldn’t try to have it both ways – if a bear market in 2009 is, in the minds of conservatives, clear proof that Obama’s agenda is misguided and dangerous, then by the same reasoning, should we interpret soaring Wall Street indexes as proof of Obama’s genius?

Full post here

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Ed Kilgore: ….. we’re having to come to grips with the fact that about half the states appear unlikely to participate fully in the Medicaid expansion provided for in the Affordable Care Act …. that leaves quite a few (including most of the South) just flat out refusing to do anything for people with incomes under the federal poverty line. And that creates a very large “coverage gap … I’d suggest the “wingnut hole.”

Full post here

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ThinkProgress: How Obamacare Is Encouraging Employers To Cut Wasteful Spending And Promote Workers’ Health

In an effort to cut wasteful U.S. medical spending, certain employers will be scaling back expensive health plans available to their employees and encouraging workers to pursue more preventative and ongoing primary care. The move is being prompted by Obamacare provisions that encourage a more cost-sensitive and efficient approach to Americans’ health care than the status quo.

More here

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Bloomberg: The unofficial slogan for Massachusetts Democrats as they work toward a special U.S. Senate election next month is “Remember 2010.”

That was the year that political newcomer Scott Brown won the seat held for 46 years by the late Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy and became the first Republican to prevail in a Massachusetts Senate race since 1972.

…. To demonstrate the party isn’t resting on its 3-to-1 voter registration edge over Republicans, Democratic leaders are lining up behind nominee Representative Ed Markey, 66, including first lady Michelle Obama, who is set to host a fundraiser for him today in Boston. The president, who has a 67 percent approval rating in the state according to a recent poll by Suffolk University, endorsed him yesterday.

More here

But Dotster found this: First Lady Michelle Obama won’t be joining the president back home. She is scheduled to be in New York for Democratic National Committee fundraisers, including a gala for the lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities that features Jason Collins, the first openly gay active NBA player.” (Chicago Tribune) – so, not sure which is right. Both??

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@WhiteHouse

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Steve Benen: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who’s made quite a name for herself over the course of four terms in Congress, made a surprise announcement overnight: she won’t seek re-election…..

…. In recent elections, the right-wing Minnesotan eked out narrow victories — she very nearly lost last November — and recent polling suggested Bachmann would struggle to keep her seat in 2014. Quitting will save her the trouble of losing.

…. Bachmann will be missed, but mostly by the nation’s comedy writers.

Full post here

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28
May
13

Lipstick-gate

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President Barack Obama gestures to lipstick marks on his collar – the aunt of American Idol runner-up Jessica Sanchez kissed the president’s collar and left the lipstick marks just before he gave his remarks at an Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month event

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Slow-motion:

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28
May
13

Garden Party

First lady Michelle Obama offers a sniff of fennel to a student from Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Technology Academy in Knox County, Tennessee, while harvesting and cooking vegetables from the White House Kitchen Garden. The first lady was joined by students from Somerville, Massachusettes, Knox County, Tennessee, Milton, Vermont, Washington, DC and Union Beach and Ship Bottom, New Jersey.

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