President Obama

Does Obama’s New York trip offer a glimpse into his post-White House life?

President Obama will be headed to Lehman College in New York to launch the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, a new nonprofit that could keep him busy when he leaves the White House. (Susan Walsh/Associated Press)

THE WASHINGTON POST

He still has almost two years left in office, but the outlines of President Obama’s post-White House life might be starting to take shape.

On Monday, the president will speak at the New York City launch of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, a nonprofit that is spinning off a White House initiative that his administration began in 2014. The trip to Lehman College in the Bronx is the latest in a series of hints from the White House about the president’s future plans. Last week, word leaked that Obama’s  presidential library is headed for the South Side of Chicago. In recent months there have been signs that his elder daughter, Malia, is looking at colleges in New York City.

The president and first lady still have a while to figure out where they will settle post-presidency; although in the past, they’ve suggested that they may stay in Washington long enough to let their daughter Sasha graduate from Sidwell Friends School.

Regardless of where they land, the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance seems certain to play a large part in Obama’s post-White House life. The program began as a public-private partnership designed to help men of color who are struggling to finish high school or develop the skills to find jobs. The effort sprang, in part, from the frustration that followed the 2012  shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Since then, lethal interactions between police and black men and boys in Ferguson, Mo., New York, Cleveland and North Charleston have sparked demonstrations, outrage and riots.

The latest riots in Baltimore, following the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of police, prompted the president to call last week for some collective“soul searching” on the part of the country.

“If we really want to solve the problem, if our society really wanted to solve the problem, we could,” Obama said. “It’s just it would require everybody saying, ‘This is important, this is significant,’ and that we don’t just pay attention to these communities when a CVS burns and we don’t just pay attention when a young man gets shot or has his spine snapped.”

The My Brother’s Keeper Alliance is one element of the president’s long-term solution to the problem’s faced by minority youth and urban communities struggling with poverty and a lack of jobs. The program has attracted $300 million in funding for an effort that the president has said will continue long after he has left the White House. The alliance is similar in its broad outlines to the Clinton Global Initiative, started by former president Bill Clinton in 2005, in that it serve as a magnet for corporate and individual donations.

The alliance will focus on everything from preparations for preschool to job-training and employment programs. “Persistent gaps in employment, educational outcomes and career skills remain, barring too many youth from realizing their full potential and creating harmful social and economic costs to our nation,” wrote Broderick Johnson, the chairman of the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force.

According the White House, closing the gap between young men of color and their peers could boost the U.S.  gross domestic product by as much as $2.1 trillion.

Greg Jaffe

Survey Finds A Solid Majority Of Young Voters Want Democrats To Keep The White House

hillary-clinton-obama | attribution: none

PoliticusUSA

A survey from the Harvard University Institute of Politics contained good news for Democrats. The younger voters that were a key part of President Obama’s victories solidly want to keep a Democrat in the White House.

The survey found that Obama coalition is going to keep their support with Democrats in 2016:

Overall, young Americans prefer that a Democrat (55%) win the White House over a Republican (40%) in the 2016 race for president, a view held within the younger (18-24 year-olds – 53%: Democrat; 41%: Republican) and older (25-29 year-olds – 57%: Democrat; 39%: Republican) segments of the age-group. ‎This view is stronger among young African-Americans (87%: Democrat; 8%: Republican) and young Hispanics (68%: Democrat; 27%: Republican). A majority of young whites, however, prefer Republican White House control after 2016 (53%: Republican; 41%: Democrat).

….

Among 18-to 29- year-olds, President Obama’s job performance has improved seven percentage points over the past six months (50%: Mar. 2015; 43%: Oct. 2014). The president’s job approval also increased across all major subgroups, including among young Hispanics – rising sixteen ‎percentage points over the same time period (65%: Mar 2015; 49%: Oct. 2014). The president’s approval ratings on handling the economy (47%: Mar. 2015; 36%: Oct. 2014), health care (43%: Mar. 2015; 37%: Oct. 2014) and race relations (50%: Mar. 2015; 47%: Oct. 2014) all also increased since October. Tracking with the president, job approval of Democrats in Congress improved five percentage points (40%: Mar. 2015; 35%: Oct. 2014) since the fall, while approval of Republicans in Congress remained at 23% for the third straight IOP poll.

It is no surprise that Hillary Clinton is running away with the Democratic nomination. Younger voters support Hillary Clinton over Elizabeth Warren 47%-11%. Clinton leads Bernie Sanders 47%-1%. No Republican candidate was able to break 10% support with younger Republicans. Ben Carson (10%), Rand Paul (8%), Jeb Bush (7%), Mike Huckabee (7%), and Scott Walker (5%) were the top five Republicans.

Many Republicans had embraced the hopeful delusion that young voters would be up for grabs without President Obama on the ballot, but it looks like the Obama coalition is holding strong and ready to support Hillary Clinton in 2016. What Republicans refuse to admit is that it is their policies that are pushing younger voters away. Republicans are wrong on immigration, same-sex marriage, women’s issues, climate change, the war on drugs, income inequality.

These are issues that matter to voters regardless of age, but on social issues, Republicans are completely out of step with younger voters. The Republican fantasy that the Obama coalition would crumble in 2016 is getting a stiff dose of reality. The 2016 election cycle is beginning with Democrats being powered by many of the demographic groups that powered President Obama to victory in 2008 and 2012.

‘Just Call Them N*ggers!’ – Black Guest Destroys CNN Host’s Racist Attitude To Baltimore Protesters (VIDEO)

Addicting Info

Burnett, who is white, begins with a strategy long employed by ‘not racists':”Look, a black person said it, so I can.”

She states that both Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and President Obama had referred to the “bad actors” as “thugs.”

You can see a flicker of recognition in Stokes’ eyes as the words land on him. This is the look that we people of color get when someone tries this tired old trick on us for the hundredth time in our lives and we’re just done with the niceties. It’s the look of a black man who is dog tired of seeing racism wrapped up in a neat bow and handed to him with a smile.

Why shouldn’t we call them thugs? Well, for one reason, they’re our kids, he points out. Burnett can’t process this. Cue mock exasperation, as Burnett says:

“But how does that justify what they did? I mean, that’s a sense of right and wrong. They know it’s wrong to steal and burn down a CVS and an old person’s home. I mean, come on.”

That’s it for Stokes. He cuts through the subtext in a way that we all really need to start doing as a matter of course, and destroys the argument altogether.

“Come on?” he retorts. “So calling them thugs — just call them n*ggers. Just call them n*ggers.”

“When you say ‘come on,’ come on what?” he added. “You wouldn’t call your a child a thug if they did something which was not what you’d expect them to do.”

Burnett is visibly taken aback by Stokes’ intervention and scrambles for a suitable response:

“I would hope I would call my son a thug if he ever did such a thing,” she shoots back, missing the point entirely.

You can watch the the clip below:

The problem with the term “thugs” is that it has begun to be used only to describe black young men. It is a code word for “n*gger.” It is a term denoting race and class, it is the new word to capture the Scary Black Man. And once someone is a thug, well, who cares what happens to them? This was spelled out brilliantly by Derrick Clifton over at Mic last year when Ferguson was the epicenter of thuggery in America (according to the white media):

There’s even  a clear implication that young black murder victims somehow deserved to die because they’re so-called thugs. It’s the logic that belies the online fundraisers for Officer Darren Wilson, with some supportive whites praising him for killing a kid that would’ve “eventually become a problem anyway.”

And it was all because of they way they looked, spoke or dressed — in other words, the color of their skin combined with the clothes they wore. The label even extends to Latino males, many of whom end up enduring similar public scrutiny, should they end up being crime victims or identified as alleged perpetrators, regardless of whether they actually participate in gangs.

And in TIME last year, John McWhorter wrote a piece entitled ‘Let’s not make Thug the new N word’, in which he also railed against the growing trend to use thug to denote poor, black men. He writes:

Whites do not perceive blacks the same way they do whites. As such, thug has quietly been recruited as the salty but suitable way of saying, “There one of them goes again.”

It is time that this veiled method of attributing uniquely scary or aggressive behavior to one racial group is called out wherever it occurs. White people riot all the time. It seldom gets coverage, they are not called ‘thugs,’ and it is never associated with their whiteness. It is right Carl Stokes blew up, and expect to see more of the same until this racist trope is done with.

Featured image via YouTube

10 things you need to know today: April 28, 2015

Chip Somodevila/Getty Images

The Week

1.Maryland governor declares state of emergency after riots erupt in Baltimore
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) declared a state of emergency and sent the National Guard to Baltimore on Monday to quell rioting that broke out after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died last week after suffering a spinal cord injury in police custody. Fifteen police officers were injured, six seriously, as city police were overwhelmed by rioters hurling rocks and bottles. One officer said a looted mall looked “like a war zone.”

Source: The New York Times

2.Loretta Lynch sworn in as attorney general
Loretta Lynch was sworn in as U.S. attorney general on Monday, replacing Eric Holder after a long-delayed confirmation vote. Lynch is the 83rd person to serve in the post, and the first African-American woman. Lynch said her confirmation showed that “we can do anything.” She pledged fairness, saying, “We can restore trust and faith both in our laws and in those of us who enforce them.” Vice President Joe Biden swore in Lynch, whom President Obama nominated in November, saying it was “about time” she got the chance to get to work.

Source: The Washington Post

3.Nepal earthquake toll rises past 4,400
The death toll from Saturday’s 7.9-magnitude earthquake in Nepal rose above 4,400 on Monday. A United Nations spokesman said more than 1.4 million survivors were in need of food and other assistance. Foreign aid has begun arriving, but locals, still rattled by frequent aftershocks, expressed frustration over the speed of the response by their government. The director of neighboring India’s National Disaster Response Force said rescuing survivors and recovering the bodies of the dead could take weeks.

Source: CNN, Fox News

4.Apple beats expectations on surging iPhone sales
Tech giant Apple on Monday reported $58 billion in revenue and a $13.6 billion profit for the second quarter of the year, easily beating Wall Street’s projections. The staggering three-month profit was a 33 percent increase from the same quarter one year ago, when Apple netted $10.2 billion. Surging iPhone sales contributed to much of the growth. Apple sold 61.2 million smartphones for the quarter, far more than the 43.7 million iPhones it sold during the same period last year.

Source: The New York Times, Re/Code

5.Tsarnaev lawyers ask jurors to spare him the death penalty
Defense lawyers on Monday urged jurors to spare convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev the death penalty, saying he was led into the terrorist plot by his late older brother, Tamerlan. The defense team painted the older Tsarnaev brother as the mastermind behind the deadly 2013 attack. Defense attorney David I. Bruck showed the jury of a photo of a Colorado super-max prison where Tsarnaev might wind up serving a life sentence. “He goes there and he’s forgotten… no martyrdom,” Bruck said.

Source: Los Angeles Times

6.Colorado movie-theater massacre trial opens
Colorado’s cinema massacre trial began on Monday, with prosecutors saying suspect James Holmes’ life was falling apart and he “tried to murder a theater full of people to make himself feel better.” Public defender Daniel King conceded that Holmes barged into a midnightshowing of the The Dark Knight Rises and opened fire, killing 12 people and wounding 70, but said he had no control over his actions because he was suffering from schizophrenia.

Source: Reuters

7.South Korean court increases ferry captain’s sentence to life in prison
A South Korean appeals court sentenced the captain of the capsized ferry Sewol to life in prison on Tuesday, increasing his sentence from 36 years after convicting him of “murder through willful negligence.” The ship tipped over a year ago, killing 300 people, most of them high school students. An inquiry found that the vessel was carrying twice the legal limit of cargo. A lower court in November had convicted the captain, Lee June-seok, of negligence and abandoning passengers, but acquitted him on murder charges.

Source: The Guardian, The New York Times

8.Teacher tackles student who allegedly fired shots at Washington school
A teacher at a Washington state high school tackled a student who fired a shot into the gym floor and another into the cafeteria ceiling on Monday. The 16-year-old suspect, a student at North Thurston High School, reportedly was armed with a revolver. Police said the teacher, Brady Olson, was “heroic,” but Olson said he just instinctively ran to the sound of the gunshot. “I reacted in a way that any other teacher would react,” he said.

Source: NBC News

9. Families of Bali Nine say final farewells as executions loom
Relatives said their final goodbyes on Tuesday to nine heroin smugglers scheduled to be executed in Indonesia at midnight. Jakarta rejected last-ditch calls for clemency for the so-called Bali Nine, eight foreigners and an Indonesian man. The alleged ringleaders — Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan — are from Australia, and supporters in that country held vigils in several cities. Sukumaran’s sister, Brintha Sukumaran, begged Indonesian President Joko Widodo to call off the executions. “Please don’t take my brother from me,” she said.

Source: Reuters, The Sydney Morning Herald

10.Award-winning actress Jayne Meadows dies at 95
Emmy-nominated actress Jayne Meadows died Sunday of natural causes in California. She was 95. Meadows often teamed up with her husband, the late TV host Steve Allen. She also performed on Broadway and in movies, and was a regular panelist on I’ve Got a Secret. She also won the Susan B. Anthony Award for her one-woman show, Powerful Women in History. She also was the sister of the late Audrey Meadows, who starred as Alice Kramden on The Honeymooners.

Source: The Associated Press

10 things you need to know today: April 26, 2015

Omar Havana / Getty Images

The Week

1.Death toll in Nepal earthquake climbs above 2,200
At least 2,263 people are dead and nearly 6,000 are injured afterSaturday’s catastrophic earthquake in Nepal. A powerful 7.8 magnitude quake and a series of violent aftershocks — one an estimated 6.7 magnitude rumbling on Sunday — rocked the mountain nation, destroying historic buildings and buckling infrastructure. Thousands of people squatted in the streets after the first seismic activity, either because the quake leveled their homes or because it made them too afraid to go back indoors. The earthquake also triggered a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest that killed at least 18 people while injuring or trapping dozens more.

Source: The New York Times, CNN

2.12 arrested during Freddie Gray protest in Baltimore
Baltimore police on Saturday arrested 12 people after a dwindling protest over the police custody death of Freddie Gray descended into violence. An estimated 2,000 people marched peaceably for hours before a small splinter group began hurling rocks and scuffling with police. Protesters also tangled with bystanders and police outside Camden Yards during a game between the Orioles and Red Sox, prompting the city to ask fans to remain inside the venue until authorities cleared the scene. “I am profoundly disappointed to see the violence in our city this evening,” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.

Source: The Washington Post, Reuters

3.Russian hackers obtained some Obama emails
Russian hackers infiltrated a White House computer system last year and scooped up some of President Obama’s emails, according to The New York Times. Citing senior sources informed of the incident, the Timesreported the hackers accessed internal email archives and were able to see some messages the president sent and received. However, they did not hack the more tightly guarded servers for Obama’s Blackberry and other classified material, nor did they gain direct access to the president’s email account.

Source: The New York Times

4.NBC finds more Brian Williams embellishments
An internal review of NBC anchorman Brian Williams’ reporting has found several more alleged exaggerations, according to multiple reports.The New York Times on Friday reported NBC found a half-dozen such instances; CNN and The Washington Post later upped the tally to 10 and 11, respectively. In February, NBC suspended Williams as it launched an investigation following his apology for embellishing details of his wartime reporting from Iraq. When completed, the investigation is expected to form the basis of NBC’s decision to keep or cut ties with Williams.

Source: CNN, The New York Times

5.Obama ribs press, politicians at annual White House gala
President Obama came to the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner on Saturday with plenty of barbs about Washington lawmakers and the reporters who cover them. Noting that host Cecily Strong plays a CNN anchor on Saturday Night Live, Obama quipped that it was “surprising because usually the only people impersonating journalists are journalists on CNN.” And addressing Dick Cheney’s recent media tour in which the former vice president lambasted Obama, the president said the feeling was mutual. “He thinks I’m the worst president of his lifetime,” Obama said, “which is interesting because I think Dick Cheney is the worst president of my lifetime.”

Source: ABC

6.GOP presidential hopefuls court evangelicals in Iowa
Nine declared or potential Republican presidential candidates descended on Iowa on Saturday in hopes of wooing evangelical voters at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition summit. Representing a range of experience and political positions, the presidential hopefuls tailored their messages to fit the religious tenor of the evening. “There is a liberal fascism that is going after Christian believers,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) warned.

Source: The Hill, The Des Moines Register

7.Fighting intensifies in Yemen despite call for ceasefire
A Saudi-led coalition upped its offensive against Yemen’s Shiite Houthi rebels on Sunday, bombing targets around the country including some sites in the capital Sanaa. The strikes came less than one week after Saudi Arabia announced an end to its monthlong combat operation. On Friday, the United Nations estimated that fighting in Yemen has killed 550 civilians in the past month.

Source: The Associated Press

8.Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder rumored to eye 2016 bid
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) is raising eyebrows about a potential White House bid after dining this weekend with GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson while in Las Vegas for the Republican Jewish Coalition meeting. “It was my clear impression from my conversation with him that he is running,” former senator and current RJC board member Norm Coleman said. Earlier this month, The Associated Press reported the governor’s allies quietly established a fund allowing him to engage in potential proto-campaign activities.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

9. Golden State Warriors sweep into second round of NBA playoffs
The Golden State Warriors on Saturday completed a four-game sweep of the New Orleans Pelicans to advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs. Owners of the best record in basketball during the regular season, they are the first team to clear round one. On Sunday, the Washington Wizards, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Houston Rockets can cap their own sweeps and advance to join Golden State in the next round.

Source: Sports Illustrated

10.Judge rules Pink concert not tantamount to child abuse
A New Jersey judge has ruled that a mother who brought her daughter to a concert by the pop artist Pink is not guilty of poor parenting. The mother’s decision “did not subject the child to any unreasonable risk of harm, or compromise [her] health, safety or welfare,” Superior Court Judge Lawrence R. Jones wrote. The case arose after the mother’s ex-husband filed a complaint alleging child abuse for exposing his daughter to Pink’s ostensibly “sexually suggestive themes and dance performances” and “lyrical profanities.”

Source: NJ.com, Rolling Stone

Russian Hackers Read Obama’s Unclassified Emails, Officials Say

Emails that President Obama sent and received were breached last year, senior officials said. Credit Zach Gibson/The New York Times

The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Some of President Obama’s email correspondence was swept up by Russian hackers last year in a breach of the White House’s unclassified computer system that was far more intrusive and worrisome than has been publicly acknowledged, according to senior American officials briefed on the investigation.

The hackers, who also got deeply into the State Department’s unclassified system, do not appear to have penetrated closely guarded servers that control the message traffic from Mr. Obama’s BlackBerry, which he or an aide carries constantly.

But they obtained access to the email archives of people inside the White House, and perhaps some outside, with whom Mr. Obama regularly communicated. From those accounts, they reached emails that the president had sent and received, according to officials briefed on the investigation.

White House officials said that no classified networks had been compromised, and that the hackers had collected no classified information. Many senior officials have two computers in their offices, one operating on a highly secure classified network and another connected to the outside world for unclassified communications.

But officials have conceded that the unclassified system routinely contains much information that is considered highly sensitive: schedules, email exchanges with ambassadors and diplomats, discussions of pending personnel moves and legislation, and, inevitably, some debate about policy.

Officials did not disclose the number of Mr. Obama’s emails that were harvested by hackers, nor the sensitivity of their content. The president’s email account itself does not appear to have been hacked. Aides say that most of Mr. Obama’s classified briefings — such as the morning Presidential Daily Brief — are delivered orally or on paper (sometimes supplemented by an iPad system connected to classified networks) and that they are usually confined to the Oval Office or the Situation Room.

Still, the fact that Mr. Obama’s communications were among those hit by the hackers — who are presumed to be linked to the Russian government, if not working for it — has been one of the most closely held findings of the inquiry. Senior White House officials have known for months about the depth of the intrusion.

“This has been one of the most sophisticated actors we’ve seen,” said one senior American official briefed on the investigation.

Continue reading here…

Obama Outsmarts Republicans With Planned Executive Action To Raise Wages For Millions

The timing is perfect.  The POTUS knows that the GOP can’t stop his action because the working poor that do vote for them (sadly, against their own economic interest) will have second thoughts because as the old “adage” says “money talks and bull—-walks”.

PoliticusUSA

President Obama has outsmarted Congressional Republican obstructionists with a planned executive action that will raise the wages of millions of American workers.

Bloomberg reported:

President Barack Obama is preparing to do what the U.S. economic recovery has been slow to accomplish: raise the wages of millions of Americans.

His administration is drafting new rules on who qualifies for overtime compensation, forcing more businesses to pay time-and-a-half after 40 hours of work. Many employees now earning as little as $23,660 a year — below the federal poverty line for a family of four — aren’t entitled to overtime pay because they are considered managers.

Millions of workers in the service sector have been victimized for years by the tactic of being labeled a manager, but not receiving [commensurate] pay for the position. By not paying managers overtime, corporate giants can keep wages artificially low. With a stroke of President Obama’s pen, millions of workers will be paid for the extra hours that they are currently working for free.

Managers at fast food restaurants like McDonalds and retail stores often work 50-70 hours a week for a salary that leaves them below the federal poverty line. One of the fastest ways to rebuild the middle-class is to make sure that the system is fair, and workers are being paid for the hours that they are working. The executive action won’t apply to all managers, just those who are earning under a defined amount. Some officials at the Department of Labor want the limit to be set at $51,000. Democratic Senators are urging the President to go as high as $56,680.

Republicans are breaking out their widely debunked claims that raising wages kill jobs, but the change will be very popular with workers and provide an immediate boost to the economy. President Obama and his pen are going to make things better for millions of Americans.

If businesses counter Obama’s move by hiring fewer managers, they will play into Democratic hands by feeding the growing movement for higher wages. Either way, businesses will end up paying their workers a more livable wage.

The basic issue behind this executive action is fairness. Workers deserve to be paid either a salary that reflects their hours or compensation for the actual hours that they are working. With one stroke of his pen, President Obama will outsmart his Republican opponents and deliver a victory for millions of workers.

GOP Delays Benghazi Report Until 2016 Proving It’s All About Politics, Not Those Who Died

Addicting Info

If only the GOP was this adamant about getting to the bottom of the tragedy on 9/11/01, but wait… that was under Republican leadership, and Bush was instead made a hero. It’s always about politicizing tragedies to their favor. Always.

Republicans have no shame. None whatsoever. When the September 11 attacks happened, on American soil mind you, we were told that we were attacked… because we just were, and Republicans didn’t blame President Bush and his administration – even though they did ignore intelligence that said attacks were imminent.

However, when the attacks on an American embassy in Benghazi, Libya, occurred on 9/11/12, well that was obviously the fault of President Obama and Hillary Clinton. And godammit! Republicans are going to make sure they drag out and politicize the deaths of four Americans as long as they can in an effort to derail Clinton’s attempt at becoming the next President of the United States.

They don’t give a rat’s ass that the father of United States ambassador Christopher Stephens, who perished in the attack in Benghazi, asked that his son’s death not be politicized. Or the fact that 20 committee events and hearings have been held regarding the events on that fateful day, even committees run by House Republicans, debunking theories that there was any wrongdoing on the part of the Obama administration. They will not let the matter rest until they can use it to keep Clinton out of the Oval Office. At least that’s their hope.

Now, the new House Benghazi committee is delaying their supposed “new” report until 2016 — months before the presidential election where Clinton will undoubtedly be the Democratic nominee. And who are they blaming for this delay?? The White House, of course.

The committee spokesman, Jamal Ware, told Bloomberg News in a statement:

“Factors beyond the committee’s control, including witness availability, compliance with documents requests, the granting of security clearances and accreditations—all of which are controlled by the Executive branch—could continue to impact the timing of the inquiry’s conclusion.”

Mmmhmm, yeah. That’s it. Never mind the countless other hearings and investigations that have already happened. This dead horse hasn’t only been kicked, but it’s been sent to the glue factory and is now being used to hold together the last semblance of an argument the Republicans have. It’s pathetic… and it’s continuing to prevent the families of the dead to grieve properly.

Of course, chairman of the U.S. House Select Committee on Benghazi, Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC), denies that this delay has anything to do with the upcoming election, saying:

“Secretary Clinton’s decision to seek the presidency of the United States does not and will not impact the work of the committee.”

Hahahahaha (hold on, need to breathe) hahahahaha! Did he say that with a straight face?

I’m sure it’s just happenstance that the release of the report will magically coincide with the presidential election. Totally.

What will likely happen, because it’s happened with every other Benghazi report, is that the Obama administration will be cleared of any wrongdoing, and this entire charade of an investigation to bury the former Secretary of State will be able to be used to her advantage.

These Republicans are pathetic and morally bankrupt when it comes to politicizing tragedy. It’s clear they don’t care about getting to the bottom of what happened, because that’s already occurred. And if they did, they’d be more focused on going after the people who attacked us, just like with 9/11/01. They only care about hurting Clinton’s chance at the presidency, and that is the God’s honest truth.

AUTHOR:

Obama Approval Soars: President Is Now More Popular Than Bush and Equal To Reagan

obama-thumbs-up

attribution: none

This probably doesn’t set well with the GOP who planned to sabotage his presidency from day one

Politicus USA

Thanks to a growing economy President Obama’s approval rating has reached its highest level since May of 2013. Obama is now more popular than George W. Bush, and as popular as Ronald Reagan was at the same point in their second terms.

According to the latest CNN/ORC poll, the Obama resurgence is being fueled by the growing economy. Fifty-two percent of respondents called the U.S. economy very or somewhat good while 48% said the economy was very or somewhat poor. The President’s approval rating has increased with 18-29-year-olds (57%), women (51%), Democrats (88%), and liberal Democrats (97%).

The news gets even better for Obama when his approval rating is stacked up against the previous three two-term presidents. With the exception of Bill Clinton, President Obama is faring better than or equal to the most recent two-term presidents.

Here is the approval rating for the last four two-term presidents in April of their seventh year in office:

Obama approval rating

CNN provided some context for the Bush, Clinton and Reagan approval ratings:

At this point in his presidency, Bill Clinton held a 60% approval rating following his impeachment trial over the Monica Lewinsky scandal, largely buoyed by a strong economy. George W. Bush posted a 36% approval rating in April 2007, buffeted by the war in Iraq despite mostly positive reviews of the economy.

And the spring of Ronald Reagan’s seventh year in office saw him earning a 48% approval rating from the public, a rating that was just beginning to recover from the Iran-Contra affair and didn’t get any boost from a tepid economic climate.

Many supporters of the President will view his increasing approval numbers as Obama finally getting credit for the economic turnaround after pulling the country back from the brink of a potential depression when he took office, but these numbers could foreshadow a Democratic strong point in 2016. If the economy keeps growing, Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, will be able to run on maintaining and expanding the Obama economy.

Republicans are arguing that a Clinton win would equal an Obama third term, but what if the American people like where the nation is heading under Obama? The Republican attack could backfire and actually make the case for electing Hillary Clinton. President Obama has held Democrats together, and he is on the upswing.

His critics tried their best to destroy him, but President Obama is not only surviving, but he is also growing stronger.

10 things you need to know today: April 22, 2015

(AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

The Week

1.Saudi Arabia announces end to air campaign to focus on political solution in Yemen
A Saudi-led coalition is ending its “Decisive Storm” air campaign against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen to focus on finding a political solution to the crisis, Saudi Arabia announced Tuesday. Despite the announcement, airstrikes resumed early Wednesday when rebels launched an attack on a government military brigade. Saudi officials said Yemen’s Western-backed president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, had requested an end to the strikes, and Iran said halting the campaign would mark a “step forward” toward reaching a political solution.

Source: Daily Star, CNN

2.DEA chief is stepping down
Michele Leonhart, administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, is retiring next month, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Tuesday. Holder called Leonhart, who has held the top job for eight years, a “trailblazer for equality” and a “good friend.” Her retirement comes after a DEA scandal in which agents in Colombia allegedly attended drug cartel-hosted parties with prostitutes. Leonhart also opposed President Obama’s decision to let states move ahead with easing their marijuana policies.

Source: The New York Times

3.Senate schedules long-delayed confirmation vote for Loretta Lynch
The Senate on Tuesday announced an agreement to move ahead on a stalled human trafficking bill, resolving an impasse that has delayed a confirmation vote on attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch. The Senate scheduled a confirmation vote for Thursday morning on Lynch, whom President Obama nominated in November to replace Attorney General Eric Holder. Democrats had filibustered the trafficking bill due to language restricting abortions, and Republicans had responded by delaying a confirmation vote for Lynch.

Source: The Associated Press, The New York Times

4.Justice Department starts civil rights investigation of Freddie Gray’s death
The Justice Department announced Tuesday that it was launching a civil rights investigation into the death of a black man, Freddie Gray, whose spinal cord was broken while in the custody of Baltimore police. Members of Maryland’s congressional delegation had called for the inquiry, saying that the family of Gray, 25, and the community “deserve to know what happened to him while he was in police custody,” the members wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder. “We need answers.”

Source: USA Today

5.France stops alleged terrorist plot against churches
French police have foiled a terrorist plot to attack “one or two churches,” France’s interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, said Wednesday. A 24-year-old computer science student and Islamist extremist known to security forces was arrested in connection with the death of a Frenchwoman, 32-year-old Aurelie Chatelain, and police discovered several military weapons in his car and at his home. The man, an Algerian national, reportedly was arrested after shooting himself by accident and calling for an ambulance.

Source: USA Today, BBC News

6.Auschwitz bookkeeper goes on trial in Germany
The 93-year-old former bookkeeper at Aushwitz, ex-SS sergeant Oskar Groening, went on trial in Germany on Tuesday, accused of being an accessory in the murder of 300,000 people at the Nazi death camp. Groening’s duties included collecting the belongings of thousands of Jews arriving by train, many of whom were sent directly to the gas chambers. Groening, who has spoken publicly about Auschwitz to counter Holocaust deniers, told the court he shared “morally in the guilt,” but he has said he is legally innocent because he never killed anyone.

Source: MSNBC

7.Europe charges Gazprom with violating antitrust rules
European Union antitrust regulators on Wednesday charged Russia’s Gazprom, the world’s biggest producer of natural gas, with abusing its dominance to manipulate prices and the flow of gas to European customers. The move is likely to increase tensions between Europe and Moscow, already strained over the crisis in Ukraine. Europe gets a third of its gas from Russia, which has used its control over prices to reward and penalize countries depending on their relations with the Kremlin.

Source: CNN, The New York Times

8.ISIS leader al-Baghdadi reportedly “seriously wounded”
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been seriously wounded in an airstrike, The Guardian reported Tuesday, citing sources in Iraq. His wounds, sustained in mid-March, were described as initially life threatening. Al-Baghdadi has slowly recovered, although he has not been able to resume “day-to-day control of the organization,” an anonymous source said. The ISIS leader reportedly was injured along the Syrian border.

Source: The Guardian

9. Taliban vows to ramp up attacks as weather warms
The Taliban on Wednesday announced that they were launching an annual spring offensive in Afghanistan. The Islamist militant group, which ruled the country until U.S.-backed Afghan forces ousted it in 2001 following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, said it would increase attacks on government targets and foreign embassies starting Friday. “If the foreign occupiers really want to relieve themselves from this nuisance of fighting, they should immediately withdraw,” the Taliban said in a statement.

Source: Reuters

10.Oklahoma concedes link between energy drilling and earthquakes
A new Oklahoma Geological Survey report says it is “very likely” that most of a dramatic increase in earthquakes in the state has been triggered by oil and gas companies injecting wastewater into deep underground disposal wells. There were 585 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater in Oklahoma last year, up from 109 in 2013 and fewer than two a year before 2008. The report was endorsed by Gov. Mary Fallin (R), who as late as last fall dismissed the connection as speculation requiring further study.

Source: NBC News