Posts Tagged ‘new



27
Jul
13

The NYT Interview

NYT: Obama Says Income Gap Is Fraying U.S. Social Fabric

In a week when he tried to focus attention on the struggles of the middle class, President Obama said in an interview that he was worried that years of widening income inequality and the lingering effects of the financial crisis had frayed the country’s social fabric and undermined Americans’ belief in opportunity.

“If the economy is growing, everybody feels invested,” President Obama said in an interview last week in Galesburg, Ill. “Everybody feels as if we’re rolling in the same direction.”

Upward mobility, Mr. Obama said in a 40-minute interview with The New York Times, “was part and parcel of who we were as Americans.”

“And that’s what’s been eroding over the last 20, 30 years, well before the financial crisis,” he added.

“If we don’t do anything, then growth will be slower than it should be. Unemployment will not go down as fast as it should. Income inequality will continue to rise,” he said. “That’s not a future that we should accept.”….

More here

23
Jul
13

The Day in Images

First Lady Michelle Obama hugs Naomi Bouie, 5, during her visit to Sterling Farms Grocery Store in Marrero, La

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@BarackObama A Louisville salute for the 2013 NCAA men’s basketball champion @UofLCardinals

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Bunk!!!!!!!

First Lady Michelle Obama talks with Wendell Pierce at Sterling Farms grocery store in Marrero. She visited the grocery story to continue highlighting a theme of healthy food access after she addressed the 2013 National Council of La Raza Conference at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Pierce serves on the board of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and opened the grocery store to expand the healthy, affordable options available in a neighborhood affected by Hurricane Katrina.

See video here

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….. a hug from Beasts of the Southern Wild actor Dwight Henry at Sterling Farms grocery store

…. Naomi Bouie, a 5-year-old Uptown resident wearing her blue Princess Jasmine costume modeled after the character from the animated movie Aladdin, gave Obama a prolonged hug as she continued greeting other shoppers.

Naomi’s mother and grandmother said afterward that they told her about Obama’s health and fitness campaign, which is called, Let’s Move!, and that the girl dutifully told the first lady that she loves broccoli….

More here

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….. embracing NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía

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Text of the First Lady’s remarks to the National Council of La Raza here

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….. greeting the crowd at the 2013 National Council of La Raza Conference

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Continue reading ‘The Day in Images’

23
Jul
13

The First Lady at the NCLR Conference

12:30 EDT: First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at the 2013 NCLR Annual Conference in New Orleans

Any trouble with the live streaming video, click here – not sure if CBS will stream the speech, they’re very busy showing live coverage of the front door of the Royal baby hospital in London 😕

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Next up:

2:10 EDT: President Obama Honors the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions the Louisville Cardinals

White House Live

22
Jul
13

Pictures Perfect

President Obama and British PM Cameron visit Enniskillen Primary School in Northern Ireland, June 17

…. talking with housekeeping staff outside of a lodge at the Lough Erne Resort during the G8 Summit in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, June 17

….. holding six-month-old Talia Neufeld, daughter of departing staff member Adam Neufeld, in the Oval Office, June 14

@DCPlod: Wait, how the hell did Obama get the Royal Baby before it’s been born?

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…… on Gorée Island, Senegal, June 27

….. looking out the “Door of No Return” during a tour of the Maison des Esclaves Museum on Gorée Island, Senegal, June 27

Continue reading ‘Pictures Perfect’

17
Jul
13

Rise and Shine

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Today (all times Eastern)

10:50: The President delivers a statement on the confirmation of Richard Cordray as the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

12:45: Press Briefing by Jay Carney

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NYT: Individuals buying health insurance on their own will see their premiums tumble next year in New York State as changes under the federal health care law take effect, state officials are to announce on Wednesday.

State insurance regulators say they have approved rates for 2014 that are at least 50 percent lower on average than those currently available in New York. Beginning in October, individuals in New York City who now pay $1,000 a month or more for coverage will be able to shop for health insurance for as little as $308 monthly. With federal subsidies, the cost will be even lower.

Supporters of the new health care law, the Affordable Care Act, credited the drop in rates to the online purchasing exchanges the law created, which they say are spurring competition among insurers that are anticipating an influx of new customers. The law requires that an exchange be started in every state.

“Health insurance has suddenly become affordable in New York,” said Elisabeth Benjamin, vice president for health initiatives with the Community Service Society of New York. “It’s not bargain-basement prices, but we’re going from Bergdorf’s to Filene’s here.”

“The extraordinary decline in New York’s insurance rates for individual consumers demonstrates the profound promise of the Affordable Care Act,” she added.

More here

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AG Eric Holder: “So Trayvon’s death last spring caused me to sit down to have a conversation with my own 15-year-old son, like my dad did with me. This was a father-son tradition I hoped would not need to be handed down. But as a father who loves his son and who is more knowing in the ways of the world, I had to do this to protect my boy. I am his father, and it is my responsibility, not to burden him with the baggage of eras long gone, but to make him aware of the world that he must still confront. This is a sad reality in a nation that is changing for the better in so many ways.”

Full NAACP speech from yesterday (transcript here):

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Michael Tomasky: Reid Crushes McConnell

…. Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell struck a deal, abetted apparently by John McCain, that averted the invocation of the nuclear option by Reid and the Democrats. Reid got just about everything he wanted. The Senate is going to pass through all seven nominees that Reid brought up in this skirmish….

…. About as clear a win for one party over another as we’ve seen in a long time. Why did it happen? Because everyone in the room knew that the Democrats had the 51 votes to change the rules. Stand together or fall apart, as the old cliche goes. It’s true. It’s still pathetic that it had to come to this for the president to fill his cabinet (and sub-cabinet), but it goes to show that holding the line as a group works.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: …. Will what transpired in the Senate yesterday actually, you know, matter? …. The cautious answer is that it’s evidence of incremental progress, the results of which will have a real-world impact on the lives of real people.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, for example, looks out for consumers against predatory excesses from the financial industry. As Sen. Elizabeth Warren told Chris Hayes last night, in light of yesterday’s deal and Richard Cordray’s confirmation, “We know this agency is here to stay. No more clouds over what it legally is entitled to do. No more attacks that say maybe we’re going to be able to undercut it in this way or weaken it in that way. We’ve got a full-fledged watchdog. The one we fought for, and [Cordray] is going to be there to fight for us.”

…. I’ve heard plenty of criticisms of yesterday’s agreement, and detractors have raised fair concerns … But in today’s environment, incremental progress is still progress, and there’s ample reason to believe yesterday’s deal moves the ball forward.

Full post here

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McClatchy: Congress revisits Voting Rights Act

Congress is taking the first steps toward bringing back pre-clearance of voting laws under the Voting Rights Act this week, as activists express tempered optimism in lawmakers’ willingness and ability to act.

The U.S. Supreme Court last month tossed out the Voting Rights Act’s formula that determined which jurisdictions must submit their voting law changes to the federal government before enacting them. The 5-4 ruling did not get rid of pre-clearance altogether but said Congress must come up with an updated standard to enforce it rather than the 1965 version that covered Georgia and other Deep South states with a history of overt discrimination.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will kick off the congressional response with a hearing Wednesday featuring Congress’ civil rights conscience: Atlanta Democratic U.S. Rep. John Lewis.

More here

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Michael Tomasky: …. the narrative about the IRS targeting Obama’s enemies has been thoroughly debunked….

The IRS “scandal,” lately dormant, is returning soon to cable-news channel near you: Tomorrow, Russell George, the Treasury Department inspector general who produced the original report at Darrell Issa’s request, is going back before Issa’s committee, and this time he’s in for some pretty serious grilling from Democrats. The evidence is now even more preponderant than it already was that there was absolutely no political agenda in the IRS’s review of 501(c)(4) applications. In fact, evidence is mounting that if anyone was behaving politically here, it was George — and, of course, Issa and the other Republicans who launched into their baseless tirades about “enemies lists” and other such nonsense.

…. what about the mainstream media that swallowed whole from the Republican-conservative spoon, running huge headlines and ominous editorials, all those breathy stories that got nearly half the American public believing, on the basis of zero hard evidence, that the White House was involved here? It’s not in the nature of the beast to run huge headlines saying “No Scandal Here.” But it should be in the beast’s nature to take a much harder look at Issa, George, and the other perpetuators of this non-story. And it should start tomorrow, when George testifies.

Full post here

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Reuters: President Barack Obama on Tuesday for the first time admitted that it was unlikely that the Republican-led House of Representatives would pass sweeping immigration reforms before lawmakers left Washington for a month-long break in August.

In television interviews taped with four Spanish-language newscasts, Obama said he thinks many Republicans need more time to grapple with concerns about border security and the changing demographics of America.

…. Obama has insisted that reforms must include the path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. “It does not make sense to me, if we’re going to make this once-in-a-generation effort to finally fix the system, to leave the status of 11 million people or so unresolved,” he told Telemundo’s Denver affiliate.

Many House Republicans oppose that measure, calling it “amnesty” for people who have broken existing immigration laws. But Obama said ignoring the problem would resign undocumented immigrants to “a lower status.” “I think that’s not who we are as Americans,” he said.

More here

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Wendy Davis and San Antonio mayor Julián Castro (left) and his twin brother, Congressman Joaquín Castro, in Austin on July 7, 2013

Texas Monthly: The Life and Death (and Life?) of the Party

Democrats once ruled Texas. Then came five decades of steady decline. Can Wendy Davis, the Castro brothers, and Team Obama’s vaunted field operation return their party to power? And if they can’t, can anyone?

“Somebody has to step up,” Wendy Davis observed one evening in late May over drinks at the bar of the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin. “As long as the Democrats continue to buy into the same bullshit that some of the Republicans are saying — ‘Oh no, it’s Texas, it’s hopeless’ — and continue to act like it won’t happen for six, eight, twelve, sixteen years from now, that perpetuates the problem.”

“So are you going to run for statewide office?” I asked.

Her green eyes sparkled. “One day, someday,” she said coyly.

One day, someday, about a month later, on the morning of June 25, the petite fifty-year-old Democratic state senator from Fort Worth fixed herself a single boiled egg for breakfast. It would be her only meal of the day. She slipped on a pair of pink tennis shoes, headed over to the Capitol, and stepped up……

More here

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President Obama hosted members of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority at the White House on Tuesday as the group gather in Washington for their annual convention. The Oval Office meeting marked the 100th anniversary of the African-American sorority and the 51st anniversary of its convention. Obama met with members including the sorority’s president, Cynthia Butler-McIntyre.

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@petesouza: Pres Obama with make-a-wish visitor Suhail Zaveri, 14, and his family in the Oval Office

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CBS: Cuban and U.S. officials will hold the first migration talks between the two nations since 2011 in Washington on Wednesday. Analysts believe both countries have a strong interest in getting them off the ground again.

…. The Bush Administration broke off these twice-yearly talks, along with taking other measures such as severely restricting the rights of Cuban Americans to travel back to the island – limiting them to only one visit every three years.

President Obama reestablished the rights of Cuban Americans to visit their homeland as much as they want and resumed the talks, only to break them off over the detention and jailing of U.S. contractor Alan Gross, which the State Department has repeatedly said remains a major obstacle to any improvement in relations between the two neighboring countries.

More here

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Morning!

16
Jul
13

This and That

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NYT: Health Insurance Within Reach

Ever since Marci Lieber, a part-time social worker in Brooklyn, learned she was pregnant, she and her husband have been scrambling to find health insurance. But insurers consider pregnancy a pre-existing condition, and won’t sell anyone a new policy that covers it.

That changes on Jan. 1, 2014, when insurers will no longer be permitted to deny coverage of pre-existing conditions — and all Americans will be required to have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Ms. Lieber, 37, hopes to purchase a policy through New York State’s new health exchange as early as this October.

Just in time: the baby is due Jan. 25…..

More here

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The Daily Beast: Texas’s Unwanted-Baby Boom

Between the state’s anti-abortion bill, its move to defund contraception providers, and its war on sex education, experts predict tens of thousands of unplanned pregnancies next year.

The war on women is a nationwide phenomenon, but nowhere are women in more danger of having their reproductive health undermined at every turn than in Texas. Under the leadership of Gov. Rick Perry and a Republican Party completely in the thrall of the religious right, Christian fundamentalists have launched a three-pronged attack on the well-being of women of the state….

More here

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@daddylonglegs01

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ThinkProgress: In a piece that contains the telling (even in context) line “I am a racist,” longtime Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen employed a mishmash of poorly explained statistics and bafflingly ignorant mathematical reasoning to argue that Trayvon Martin was “understandably suspected because he was black” — that is, Americans should assume any young black men they meet are criminals.

More here

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Continue reading ‘This and That’

28
Jun
13

News Of The Day

HERO

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Oh Happy Day for Prop 8 Plaintiffs Kristin Perry and Sandy Stier as they tied the knot

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Annie-Rose Strasser: On Friday afternoon, the ninth circuit court lifted its stay on same-sex marriages in the state of California, acknowledging the Supreme Court’s opinion in Hollingsworth v Perry that supporters of anti-gay Proposition 8 did not have standing to appeal a lower court judge’s ruling that the ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The move, which came earlier than expected, allows gay and lesbian couples to begin getting married immediately.

As soon as the news came down from the ninth circuit on Friday, California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris began marrying couples — starting with Proposition 8 plaintiffs Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier

More here

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Filling out the marriage license

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Click here to see the rest of the post

01
Jun
13

The Week in Review

Monday

President Obama hugs a relative of a family member buried at section 60 in Arlington Cemetery, where many members of the military killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried, Memorial Day, May 27

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The President and First Lady visit Section 60

Memorial Day Commemorated At Arlington National Cemetery

Click to see the rest of the post

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

Click to see the rest of the post

28
May
13

Greetings from Asbury Park

President Obama holds a stuffed bear alongside New Jersey Governor Chris Christie after playing an arcade game along the boardwalk as they view rebuilding efforts following last year’s Hurricane Sandy

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