Tag Archives: President Barack Obama

The one sentence from President Obama’s press conference that Democrats should pay attention to

The Washington Post – Chris Cillizza

President Obama delivered a statement in the White House press briefing room touting the signup successes of the Affordable Care Act. He also took four questions from reporters — running the gamut from the situation in Ukraine to the ACA to the possibility of immigration reform. But, for Democrats running for office this November, there was one line in particular worth paying close attention to.

President Barack Obama speaks in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 17, 2014. The president spoke about health care overhaul and the situation in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Barack Obama speaks in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 17, 2014. The president spoke about health care overhaul and the situation in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Asked by Politico’s Edward Isaac-Dovere whether he would advise Democrats to campaign on Obamacare this fall, the president, eventually, said this: “I think Democrats should forcefully defend and be proud of the fact….we’re helping because of something we did.”  He added that Republicans would have to defend their continued efforts to repeal the law and then quickly pivoted back to talking about the economy, which, he insisted, was the No. 1 priority for most Americans.

Parse those statements and you get this:

1. Democrats shouldn’t run from Obamacare because there is a positive story to tell (and, left unsaid, because they can’t run away from it anyway).

2. Democrats should make sure to focus voters’ attention on Republican efforts to repeal the law and ask questions about whether the GOP has its priorities mixed up.

3. The economy is the real issue and the one on which the midterms will be won or lost by Democrats.

Now, it’s not clear how many candidates will follow Obama’s strategic advice on handling the ACA — particularly given that so many of the seats up in the Senate (Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina etc.) are in conservative leaning states where many likely voters probably don’t agree with the president’s assertion that “We can agree it’s well past time to move on as a country.”

But, make no mistake: This is President Obama laying out a strategic blueprint as to how he thinks Democrats can run and win in an electoral environment that, at least at the moment, doesn’t look great for them.

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10 things you need to know today: April 12, 2014

Pro-Russia militants barricaded themselves into the police station. 

Pro-Russia militants barricaded themselves into the police station. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

The Week

Pro-Russia militants take over a Ukrainian police station, the White House refuses a visa to Iran’s U.N. ambassador, and more

1. Pro-Russia militants seize more Ukrainian buildings
Several dozen men took over a police station in eastern Ukraine this morning, raising a Russian flag and barricading the building. Ukrainian officials claim the militants seized at least 400 handguns and 20 automatic weapons to distribute to pro-Russia protesters. The militants appear to be Ukrainian, but the headquarters takeover is the latest building seizure by Pro-Russia forces, which come in the wake of a buildup of Russian troops along Ukraine’s border. Russian President Vladimir Putin maintains those movements are part of a military training exercise. [The New York TimesReuters ]

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2. White House refuses visa to Tehran’s United Nations ambassador
In what could be an “unprecedented” move, the White House announced on Friday it will deny Iran’s pick for United Nations ambassador a visa. Citing Hamid Aboutalebi’s involvement in the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, “the selection was not viable,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said. The decision could cool still-tentative relations between the two countries, as Tehran said it plans to challenge the visa denial. [The Washington PostTIME]

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3. President Obama nominates Sylvia Mathews Burwell for health secretary
President Barack Obama nominated Sylvia Mathews Burwell, as expected, for new head of the Department of Health and Human Services on Friday. The selection followed Thursday night’s resignation by Kathleen Sebelius, who quarterbacked the Affordable Care Act rollout. The Senate unanimously confirmed Burwell last year to her post of director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Obama called her a “proven manager” and “steady hand on the wheel.” [The New York Times]

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4. NSA reportedly knew about Heartbleed bug for two years
Two anonymous sources told Bloomberg that the National Security Agency knew about the dangerous Heartbleed bug for at least two years, regularly exploiting the internet security flaw for its own intelligence gathering needs. Affecting as many as two-thirds of the world’s servers, Heartbleed left many sites considered secure open to data breaches by hackers. The NSA reportedly used those breaches to obtain passwords and other information. Both the NSA and the National Security Council issued flat denials of any prior knowledge of the bug. [BloombergTIME]

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5. Nuclear energy firm agrees to continue supplying Ukraine
Nuclear technology company Westinghouse said on Friday it would extend a 2008 contract to supply fuel for Ukraine’s nuclear reactors. Much of the country’s nuclear fuel comes from Russia, but Moscow is threatening to cut off supplies over price disputes in the fallout over Crimea’s annexation. In light of those ongoing disputes, Ukraine also said it will reach out to European countries for new natural gas sources. [The Associated PressReuters]

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6. Brazilian police evict 5,000 squatters from Rio de Janeiro favela
With this summer’s World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics set in Rio de Janeiro, officials have been trying to stamp out the city’s many favelas, slums in which more than 20 percent of Rio de Janeiro’s 6.3 million residents live. On Friday, police got the go-ahead to clear one such favela that was housing 5,000 squatters. People began protesting, throwing rocks at police, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. While local media reported a calmer scene by Friday evening, it was the latest incident attracting international attention to a city struggling with concerns over whether it’s prepared to host high-level sporting events. [The Washington Post]

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7. Ohio issues new fracking regulations in wake of small earthquakes
Following a state investigation into small earthquakes deep under the Appalachians last month, Ohio issued new fracking conditions on Friday. Calling the link between injections of sand and water into the Utica Shale and the small tremors “probable,” state officials said the quakes wouldn’t have been easily felt by people, but were still cause enough for new permit conditions. “While we can never be 100 percent sure that drilling activities are connected to a seismic event, caution dictates that we take these new steps,” James Zehringer, director of Ohio’s natural resources department, said. [The Associated Press]

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8. Pope Francis asks forgiveness for priests’ sexual abuse
Speaking on Vatican Radio on Friday, Pope Francis asked forgiveness from victims of Catholic priests’ sexual abuse. The comments are being called the strongest condemnation yet of the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal. Pope Francis addressed the issue after being criticized for not dedicating enough attention to the problem, saying, “the church is aware of this damage, it is personal, moral damage carried out by men of the church, and we will not take one step backward with regards to how we will deal with this problem.” [CNNTIME]

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9. Dating app Tinder now worth $5 billion
Created just 20 months ago, the popular dating app Tinder is now worth $5 billion. The app, which syncs a Facebook profile and pings back other active profiles nearby, matches 10 million users a day. Barry Diller’s IAC, which is Tinder’s majority owner, bought another 10 percent of the company from venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya for $500 million, making Tinder’s value almost as much as its parent company. [Update: IAC CEO Sam Yagan told Forbes Tinder's $5 billion worth is "nowhere near the truth." Yagan says the firm bought a 10 percent stake for $50 million, not $500 million.] [Bloomberg]

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10. Aaron Hernandez associates charged with murder
Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace, associates of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez, were indicted on first-degree murder charges on Friday. No arraignment date has been set yet. Hernandez had previously been charged in the June 2013 slaying of Odin Lloyd, a fact Ortiz’s lawyer John Connors noted: “(Ortiz) started out having a gun (charge), then accessory after the fact, and now we’re up to first-degree murder,” Connors said. “This is absolutely crazy.” [The Boston Globe]

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Scarborough: Hillary Will Be ‘More of a Neocon’ Than the 2016 GOP Nominee

I’m inclined to take anything Joe Scarborough says with a grain of salt…but still, this one thing bothers me…a lot.

Mediaite

Morning Joe panel Wednesday morning roundly agreed that Hillary Clinton would be more hawkish on issues like Ukraine and Iran than President Barack Obama and even more hawkish than a potential 2016 Republican presidential nominee.

“Hillary is more hawkish than any of us!” former Mitt Romney foreign policy advisor Dan Senorsaid. “She just compared Putin and the Russians to Nazis.”

“Hillary is the neocon’s neocon” Scarborough said. “It’s going to be fascinating if she decides to run and gets the nomination. She will be more of a saber-rattler, more of a neocon, than probably the Republican nominee. I mean, there’s hardly been a military engagement that Hillary hasn’t been for in the past twenty years.”

“She is a traditional Democrat, who tends to be very tough on foreign policy,” Cokie Roberts said. “We’ve forgotten that in the post-Vietnam era. That was where the Democrat Party always was. And if you’ve got a Republican like Rand Paul, she’ll certainly be more out there on military might.”

“God help us,” Senor said under his breath about the potential of a Paul nomination.

Watch the clip via MSNBC

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RNC Chairman: Fewer Debates Will Strengthen Our Party

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RNC Chairman Reince Priebus | AP Photo / Ben Margot

They never listen to Priebus so he’s just blowing hot air again…

TPM News

Planned changes to the Republican Party’s presidential selection process are part of a rebuilding process that will strengthen the GOP brand and hopefully make its presidential nominee more competitive in 2016, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told California Republicans on Friday, calling the GOP’s current primary process “a complete disaster.”

Priebus said shortening the primary process by moving up the national convention at which the nominee is typically selected to June and cutting the number of debates are “not an establishment takeover. This is using your brain. Everything’s not a conspiracy.”

“I think a traveling circus of debates is insanity in this party,” Priebus told about 200 delegates. “We’re proposing to have fewer than 10, and this time around, we’re going to pick the moderators.”

Priebus is proposing to hold just 10 debates for the would-be GOP nominees in 2016, compared with the 27 held ahead of the 2012 race in which former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was eventually selected as the party’s nominee.

The chairman also touted a key victory this week in a hard-fought Florida congressional race that is seen as a possible bellwether of November midterm election. Republican David Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink in a special election Tuesday that largely turned on President Barack Obama’s health care law.

“By the way, people still hate Obamacare, and that helped,” he said to laughter.

Republicans are trying to catch up to the high-tech operations that Democrats used to elect Obama in both 2008 and 2012. Priebus said the GOP has an office in the San Francisco Bay Area city of San Mateo that is building a $35 million data platform to help candidates.

He said he is trying to convert the party from one that showed up “for five months once every four years,” into one that works year-round and can invest in competitive governor’s races and congressional races in every state.

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Secret Service agents with Obama at summit relieved of duty

Secret Service, United States images

When you put this news into context, those secret service agents were jeopardizing the security of the POTUS.

That’s a serious offense…

Politico

A dozen Secret Service agents with President Barack Obama at an international summit have been relieved of duty because of allegations of misconduct.

The Associated Press received an anonymous tip that the misconduct involved prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia, the site of the Summit of the Americas. A Secret Service spokesman would neither confirm nor deny the allegation.

A U.S. official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and requested anonymity, put the number of agents at 12. The agency was not releasing the number of personnel involved.

The incident threatened to overshadow Obama’s economic and trade agenda at the summit and embarrass the U.S. The White House had no comment.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan would not confirm that prostitution was involved, saying only that there had been “allegations of misconduct” made against Secret Service personnel in the Colombian port city hosting Obama and more than 30 world leaders.

Donovan said the allegations of misconduct were related to activity before the president’s arrival Friday night.

Obama was attending a leaders’ dinner Friday night at Cartagena’s historic Spanish fortress. He was due to attend summit meetings with regional leaders Saturday and Sunday.

Those involved had been sent back to their permanent place of duty and were being replaced by other agency personnel, Donovan said. The matter was turned over to the agency’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which handles the agency’s internal affairs.

“These personnel changes will not affect the comprehensive security plan that has been prepared in advance of the president’s trip,” Donovan said.

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John McCain Slips Up, Says ‘Obama Will Turn This Country Around’

It looks like the Old Senator is losing his grip on reality.  This occured yesterday.

Today he did the same thing.

The Huffington Post

While speaking at a campaign rally Thursday in support of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) mistakenly professed his faith in President Barack Obama’s ability to improve the economy.

“I am confident, with the leadership and the backing of the American people, President Obama will turn this country around,” McCain said, as seen above in  a video  from Goose Creek Patch.

McCain – who endorsed Romney on Wednesdayjust after the GOP hopeful won the Iowa Caucus by a razor-thin margin — appeared at the rally in Charleston, S.C., along with fellow Romney supporter Gov. Nikki Haley (R-S.C.).

The crowd, as well as Haley and Romney, quickly realized McCain’s error. Haley leaned in to correct McCain, grabbing his elbow.

“Excuse me, President Romney,” McCain said.

The Obama-Romney mix-up wasn’t the only awkward moment during McCain’s appearance.  According to BuzzFeed’s Zeke Miller, McCain made a comment about Clemson University’s “victories on the gridiron.”

Clemson lost the Discover Orange Bowl to West Virginia University on Wednesday night. Miller later tweeted that McCain intended the line as a joke.

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Lauren Pierce, President Of College Republicans At Texas University: Obama Assassination ‘Tempting’

This is scary and absurd, all at once…

The Huffington Post

Lauren Pierce, the president of the College Republicans at UT Austin, said on Twitter Wednesday that the idea of assassinating President Barack Obama was “tempting.”

At approximately 2:30 p.m., Pierce posted, “Y’all as tempting as it may be, don’t shoot Obama. We need him to go down in history as the WORST president we’ve EVER had! #2012.”

The tweet came hours after police arrested a man for firing shots at the White House, leaving two bullets in the executive mansion.

Pierce joked that “it must be a slow news day” after ABC News posted a story on her comment:

Pierce told ABC News that the comment was a “joke” and that the “whole [shooting incident] was stupid.” Giggling, she said that an attempted assassination would “only make the situation worse.””Insofar as she’s a representative [of the College Republicans], maybe it shouldn’t be said, but she’s made a positive statement in a way,” said Cassie Wright, the group’s vice president.

“I don’t really see anything wrong with it,” Wright added. “It’s just a personal comment, not representative of any group. Just freedom of speech, you know?”

Amid growing attention, Pierce removed the post and apologized on Twitter for her actions.

“It’s never funny to joke about such a serious matter,” she said. “I have learned a very valuable lesson.”

Lauren Pierce@laurenepierce 

Lauren Pierce
I apologize for my previous tweet. It was in poor taste and and should never have been written.
 
 
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Filed under GOP Cluelessness, GOP Hate-Mongering, GOP's Obama Derangement Syndrome, President Barack Obama

Joe Walsh To Skip Obama Jobs Speech, Calls President ‘Idiotic’

Joe Walsh is obviously projecting about his own shortcomings.  The real idiot is Joe Walsh!

This totally unprecedented  disrespect for the office of the Presidency because Barack Obama is occupying the office is absolutely absurd and says more about the GOP than about the POTUS.

The Huffington Post

House Republican Joe Walsh, a Tea Party favorite from Illinois, will not be attending President Barack Obama’s Sept. 8 jobs speech, the Chicago Tribunereports.

“I don’t see the point of being a prop for another of the president’s speeches asking for more failed stimulus spending and more subsidies for his pet projects,” he said in a statement issued Thursday.

Walsh, a member of the House Small Business Committee, will instead be hosting a small business forum in Illinois. He said he opposes Obama’s eagerness to give another major jobs speech before meeting with more constituents.

“The president needs to stop the speeches, get out of his office and away from all the White House academics and start talking to real people out there,” Walsh said. “They’re the ones who are going to create the jobs, not White House paper-pushers and bureaucrats.”

Walsh’s comments come after Obama embarked on a three-day bus tour through the Midwest to speak with citizens about jobs and the economy. Obama stopped in Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois, hosting town halls and addressing constituents’ concerns about the nation’s debt and high unemployment rate.

Walsh also criticized the president and his jobs plan earlier this week, according to the Northwest Herald. He called Obama “idiotic” while speaking to a group of voters in Illinois on August 31.

“How idiotic is this president?” Walsh said. “I don’t want to be disrespectful, but he’s going to bring forth a jobs plan next week. Think about that for a minute. He’s been in office for three years. He’s destroyed job creation systematically for three years.”

Walsh plans to return to Washington Friday morning after the speech.

 

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Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Questions Whether Race is a factor in the debt ceiling talks…does she have a point?

Discussing race in this country is such a divisive topic that most people would rather deny its existence or at least sweep it under the rug and discuss it at a later date.  In my years online, I have learned to stay away from the topic in general discussion forums.  People will attack you as being a “militant”, “prejudice”, “racist” and “anti-white” or one is “playing the race card”.  Mostly because they don’t want to talk about it.

I suspect Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee will get the same response…(See related articles, below.)

Ebony Mom Politics

We have never seen the debt ceiling issue play out like this before. We have never seen or heard talk of the United States of America defaulting on its loans, but we also have never had a black president before. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee raised this issue on the floor of Congress. I have heard several people that I know ask this same question this week. So tell me what you think is  race a factor?

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Sarah Palin Slams Michelle Obama in Racially Charged Passage From New Book

The Huffington Post - Geoffrey Dunn

In passages leaked from her forthcoming book America by Heart, Sarah Palin — the erstwhile quitter governor of Alaska, who now, by all indications, fancies herself as President of the United States — has taken another cheap shot at First Lady Michelle Obama.

In a passage on perceptions of racial inequality in the United States, Palin slams President Barack Obama, who, she asserts, “seems to believe” that “America — at least America as it currently exists — is a fundamentally unjust and unequal country.”

And then she goes after Michelle Obama:

Certainly his wife expressed this view when she said during the 2008 campaign that she had never felt proud of her country until her husband started winning elections. In retrospect, I guess this shouldn’t surprise us, since both of them spent almost two decades in the pews of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church listening to his rants against America and white people.

The passage — coming on page 26 in a chapter entitled “We, the People” — echoes remarks made by Palin on the eve of the midterm elections, at a rally in San Jose, California, at which point she mocked remarks made by Michelle Obama during the 2008 campaign: “You know, when I hear people say, or had said during the campaign that they’ve never been proud of America,” Palin spat out. “Haven’t they met anybody in uniform yet? I get tears in my eyes when I see that young man, that young woman, walking through the airport in uniform…you too… so proud to be American.”

In fact, Michelle Obama’s remarks were made (in Madison, Wisconsin, during the 2008 campaign) in a context of Americans being “unified around some basic common issues”:

What we have learned over this year is that hope is making a comeback. It is making a comeback. And let me tell you something–for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction, and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment. I’ve seen people who are hungry to be unified around some basic common issues, and it’s made me proud.

Afterwards, the First Lady further clarified her remarks by noting that she was referencing the “record number” of young voters participating in the political process in the 2008 campaign:

For the first time in my lifetime, I am seeing people rolling up their sleeves in way that I haven’t seen and really trying to figure this out, and that’s the source of pride I was talking about.

The passages from Palin’s latest book first appeared at Palingates, where several other pages from American by Heart have also been posted. Palin followed up her comments about Michelle Obama by throwing an elbow at U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, also focusing on racial overtones:

It also makes sense, then, that the man President Obama made his attorney general, Eric Holder, would call us a “nation of cowards” for failing to come to grips with what he described as the persistence of racism.

 

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