“President Obama Wants to Scrap $72 Billion Corporate Tax Break as Republicans Balk” (Updated with new Souza stuff)

Hi guys,

First, our money-bomb week is in full force: here and here.

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Today’s schedule:

9:50 AM PBO receives the presidential daily briefing.

10:30 AM PBO and VPB meet with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

12:30 PM Carney briefs the press.

1:35 PM PBO welcomes the MLS champion Colorado Rapids to the White House.
5:00 PM PBO and VPB meet with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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You think we’ll hear anything about from the PL?

Obama Wants to Scrap $72 Billion Corporate Tax Break as Republicans Balk

Barack Obama’s proposal to end a business tax break worth $72 billion is among the tensions the president may confront as he meets today with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in an effort to revive bipartisan talks over reducing the debt, three persons familiar with the issue say.

Ending the so-called last-in-first-out, or LIFO, provision, a method of accounting for inventory costs, was among options offered by White House officials for raising $400 billion in revenue over 10 years during seven weeks of negotiations led by Vice President Joe Biden, the people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to comment publicly.

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Few excellent things to read and SPREAD:

Obama DREAMs On

The DREAM Act is dead in Congress, but the White House is quietly moving to limit deportations of undocumented immigrants with strong ties to the US.

Hamstrung by a politically deadlocked Congress, the Obama administration is using executive authority to shape immigration policy instead. Obama’s immigration chief has advised officials to take pause before moving to deport certain undocumented immigrants who are particularly vulnerable or have strong community ties to the country—some of whom may have qualified for the DREAM Act, the bill that provides a pathway to citizenship for certain students, military veterans, and other undocumented youth that’s currently stalled in Congress.

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According to the memo, there is a range of factors that federal agents, attorneys, and other officials should consider in deciding whether or not to pursue an individual undocumented immigrant for deportation. The list of “factors to consider” includes whether they are military veterans and their families, have family ties and “contributions to the community,” act as caretakers of the infirm and disabled, are very young or very old, or are pregnant or nursing.

In addition, the Obama administration instructs federal officials to weigh the circumstances of immigrants’ arrival to the US—especially if they came as young children—and whether they’ve graduated from high school, college, or are currently pursuing higher education. The memo explicitly states that no groups of immigrants are categorically excluded from deportation if they fit these criteria. But it emphasizes the need to “warrant particular care” when it comes to particular individuals, while advising officials to target serious felons, repeat offenders, known gang members and immigration fraudsters, and those “who pose a clear risk to national security.”

Pro-immigration advocates have cheered the memo for its potential to blunt the most punitive parts of the existing immigration law through the executive branch, in the face of Congressional inaction on the issue.

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Obama shifts from consensus to instincts on key calls

The Obama administration’s top national security officials were gathered around the polished wooden table of the White House Situation Room to hear Gen. David H. Petraeus argue for a slow drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

The military needed time, he said, to secure the eastern part of the country as it had done in the south.

President Obama quickly made clear his disagreement. More important, he said, was the administration’s goal of shifting responsibility for the country’s security to the Afghan government, which would let him bring home troops.

As a senior administration official put it, “He asked everyone, if we’re serious about transition, then when? When are we going to do it?”

“Everybody came out of that meeting knowing the president wanted to go this direction,” said the official who described the scene, “even though it wasn’t the pace that Gen. Petraeus was recommending.” A week later, last Wednesday, Obama announced plans to withdraw the 33,000 “surge” troops he sent to Afghanistan.
To some who had attended the meeting, the encounter — and the president’s willingness to overrule key advisors — brought to mind another meeting four and a half months earlier.

On that occasion, Obama and his top advisors were discussing the rapidly unfolding events in Egypt. Most top administration officials had been advising the president against calling for President Hosni Mubarak to step down.

But as the discussion went along, the television monitors in the Situation Room showed an angry crowd in Cairo’s Tahrir Square yelling, “Leave! Leave! Leave!” in response to Mubarak’s televised speech refusing to resign.

Obama watched, and then told his aides, “Look, guys, this is not going to go back into the box.” The president said he would call Mubarak and tell him to step down, and he would deliver a public statement calling for a transition to begin immediately.

The decision took aides by surprise. In retrospect, it seemed a sign of things to come.

In the first two years of Obama’s presidency, his top aides had grown accustomed to a process in which Obama drew out and explored the views of his full team and searched for a consensus — decision by ballot, some called it.

Increasingly, however, that process has changed, according to a wide group of Obama’s personal friends, informal advisors and top aides interviewed during the spring. In recent months, they say, the president has been relying more heavily on his own instincts and feeling less impelled to seek accord among advisors.

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Hope still part of Obama campaign message for 2012

CHICAGO — Immediately inside President Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters is a sign counting down days to the election (507 as of Saturday ) and a poster that reads, “Respect. Empower. Include. Win.”

The words are set against familiar Obama blue but carry the feel of something from a motivational bin at Staples, a subtle reminder of the challenge facing the re-election effort taking shape on an entire floor of the Prudential building in downtown Chicago.

Voters in 2008 gravitated in waves to Obama’s promise of “hope” and “change,” transforming slogans into the powerful ethos of a movement. But Obama is an insider now — the target of Republican calls for change — and hope has been buffeted by a poor economy, spiraling national debt and relentless partisan rancor in Washington.

To persuade Americans to stick with him in 2012, an array of strategists say, Obama will have to find the right balance of past and future, emphasizing accomplishments while promising to guide the country out of a still dark time.

“At the end of the day, he’s got to talk about hope again,” said Garry South, a Democratic strategist based in California. “Not in the theoretical way he did in 2008; rather that if ‘we all pull together, there will be a better tomorrow.’ ”

Obama’s team indicates the emphasis will be along those lines, though only hints are given of an overarching theme.

“Elections are always about the future. This president has taken on some difficult issues and fights with the future in mind. We’re pressing forward here,” said David Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist.

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And how sweet is this?

Obama fulfils promise as 9/11 victim’s teen daughter meets Justin Bieber

New York, June 27: US President Barack Obama has made a 9/11 victim’s teenage daughter’s dream of meeting her heartthrob Justin Bieber come true.
For Payton Wall from New Jersey, meeting the teen music sensation was really an uplifting moment after suffering the tragic death of her father in the attacks on the Twin Towers.

Obama brightened her life by making good on his promise to set up a meeting with his ‘buddy’ Bieber, after a request from the teen at last month’s Ground Zero wreath laying ceremony.

“It was so cool. I couldn’t even believe it,” the New York Post quoted her as saying.

Wall got a private sit-down with the Canadian crooner at Macy’s in Herald Square, along with her sister Avery and best friend Madison Roberson.

They met Bieber just moments after a near-riot among fans outside the store where the singer was promoting his fragrance ‘Someday.’

“He just said ‘Hi’,” said Payton, admitting that she was more nervous being around Bieber than the president.

:)

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New Souza wonder:

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Dear Rachel Maddow, Goodbye.

We are so done. Whatever respect I still had for you has gone when you lied last night, saying that the president is against what happened in NY. Sheer lie. You’ve got a brilliant potential, but until you’ll grow up and stop undermining the most progressive president we had in decades and one of the most progressives presidents ever – I have no interest in what you have to say. Good luck appointing a Republican president and Republican congress. We’ll see how long all the things that PBO did for gay rights will stay in place.
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BTW, Remember when PBO asked David Paterson to quit so Cuomo can run and win the election? Remember the scandal-of-the-day back then? Stupid unprofessional left have no idea how politics works, and that a real civil rights change ALWAYS comes from the people in the streets, or as PBO said again and again: “Change never starts in Washington, change comes to Washington”.

Congrats, New York, congrats civil rights movement, congrats America. This is a great day.

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President Obama Extends Protections To Gay Couples Under Medicaid

Hi Guys, 

More change you can believe in, but not hear about:

The Obama administration is set on Friday to issue policy guidance to states expanding their ability to offer same-sex couples the same protections afforded to straight couples when they receive long-term care under Medicaid, the Washington Blade has learned exclusively.

Under the new guidance, dated June 10, states have the option to allow healthy partners in a same-sex relationship to keep their homes while their partners are receiving support for long-term care under Medicaid, such as care in a nursing home.

Medicaid kicks in for a beneficiary to receive care after an individual depletes virtually all of their money. To pay for the beneficiary’s expenses under Medicaid, a state could impose a lein, or take possession, of a beneficiary’s home to pay for Medicaid expenses.

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Grrrrr, it’s Politico, but this story warmed my heart to no end:

Barack Obama still sells sandwiches

Nearly a week after President Barack Obama’s unannounced visit to a Rudy’s Hot Dog joint in Toledo, Ohio, the residents of Five Points are still abuzz about the unexpected presidential visit to their neighborhood.

“The locals have been driving me nuts and going crazy,” said Harry Dionyssiou, whose family operates six Rudy’s diners. “Everybody wants to sit at the same table, on the same chair that the president sat in; they want to eat the same thing that he ate.”
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Even after the initial hype over the president’s visit has quieted, the financial benefits for business owners are long lasting. The media spotlight can help raise a restaurant’s profile, putting a little-known local spot on the national dining landscape and turning it into a destination eatery for tourists.

“We make over 1,000 po’ boys a day, and that number has really gone up since the president’s visit,” said Eileen Nix, co-owner of Parkway Bakery & Tavern in New Orleans, which the Obama family visited in August. (The first couple had shrimp po’ boys; daughters Sasha and Malia ordered hamburgers.)

David Thornton, who co-owns the Tastee Sub Shop in Edison, N.J., said business is still up 10 percent since the president stopped by his shop almost a year ago.

“We can tell that there is still sort of a buzz about it,” said Thornton, who framed a picture of Obama with a sub in his hand. “One person came in shortly after the visit and sat in every chair to make sure he sat in the same chair as the president.”

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Garrett Graff, editor of Washingtonian magazine, said the Obamas eat out “more than any other first family in recent memory. George W. Bush only rarely ventured out. Bill Clinton ate out some, but I don’t think he was as regular or at as diverse a list of places as Obama.”

Public relations experts say there is no better publicity than the “celebrity halo effect” that follows a restaurant visit from the president of the United States.

It’s huge,” said Dean Small, founder and managing partner of Synergy Restaurant Consultants. “It’s like getting an official seal from the president that says, ‘This is where I choose to eat.’”

Obama’s impromptu visits also help raise morale in communities that have struggled during the economic downturn, said Dick Eppstein, president of Toledo’s Better Business Bureau.

“Toledo is a proud city, but we’ve had a very tough time, so a presidential visit really boosts everyone’s spirits,” he said.

Nix, who was raised in New Orleans and will turn 59 next week, said Parkway Bakery & Tavern is a family business that bears the scars of her city. In 2005, two years after the restaurant opened, Nix and her brother Jay shut down the store when it was submerged in more than 6 feet of water after Hurricane Katrina swept across Louisiana. Parkway reopened in December of that year.

Just five years later, the restaurant was hit again — this time by the BP oil spill that devastated the fishing industry along the Gulf Coast. For Nix, the sight of Obama and the first lady eating New Orleans shrimp po’ boys and gumbo spoke louder than any political speech.

“The president was just one man doing his best and trying to correct problems from the past,” Nix said. “He ate the shrimp to let people know that everything will be OK.”

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OMG. One more pretty good story from Politico. Somebody over there is going to get fired soon…

Obama shows charm on campaign trail

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“If anything, loosening up on the campaign trail is even more necessary for this president than most, because he is by nature far more formal than at least his most recent predecessors, and to say that 21st-century American culture is ‘loose and informal’ is to understate the case considerably,” said Clark Ervin, who served on Obama’s transition.

“Nowadays, regrettably in my view, the last thing the average voter wants in the White House is an intellectual, and since this president is the quintessential intellectual, it’s a wonder — another wonder, his race, heritage, short stint on the public stage being others — that he was elected in the first place”.

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Fingers crossed:

Second Half 2011 U.S. Growth Rebound Intact

Slowdowns in consumer spending and employment will prove temporary, giving way to a U.S. growth rebound in the second half of 2011, economists surveyed by Bloomberg News said.

After growing at a 2.3 percent annual pace this quarter, the world’s largest economy will expand at a 3.2 percent rate from July through December, according to the median forecast of 67 economists polled from June 1 to June 8.

Rising exports, stable fuel prices, record levels of cash in company coffers and easier lending rules will be enough to overcome the damage done by one-time events like poor weather and the disaster inJapan, economists said. Nonetheless, the current slackening means Federal Reserve policy makers will wait even longer to raise interest rates next year, the survey shows.

“The economic headwinds are well known, but if you look at the tailwinds, they are still pretty strong,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts. “There are a lot of reasons to be fairly upbeat about the recovery. Growth will pick up in the second half.”

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Could this be true?

Qaddafi’s son has approached rebels to negotiate an exit from power for his father

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West Wing Week:

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Yea, a picture worth and all that…:)

“Absolutely urgent”

For those who did not see Messina’s mail:

Friend –

We’ve been working on bringing new people into the political process. That will be the story of our campaign from start to finish.

But right now there’s a concerted effort being made in states from New Hampshire to North Carolina to Ohio to make sure fewer people vote in 2012.

Here’s how they’re doing it: In some crucial battleground states, more than 50 percent of ballots are cast as part of early voting, which makes voting an easier and more flexible process. In 2008, a third of voters nationwide cast their votes before Election Day.

These voters tend to be working families and young people, and a whole lot of them voted for Barack Obama — in some states providing our margin of victory.

So Republican-controlled legislatures are cutting the amount of time people have to vote early, restricting when and how organizations like ours can register new voters, and making the voting process itself more difficult by requiring new types of identification, which lower-income voters are less likely to have.

They’re doing this because they have cynically concluded that they do better when fewer people vote.

That’s the opposite of the kind of politics we believe in, and of the kind of campaign we want to run.

So when we talk about the work this campaign will do to bring new people into the political process — registering new voters, training new volunteers, building an organization — it’s not just the right thing to do. It’s absolutely urgent.

Help us protect the right to vote for all. Join this campaign today:

Protect The Vote

Thanks,

Jim Messina

Campaign Manager
Obama for America

P.S. — You’re going to be hearing a lot more about this. For more information on systematic voter suppression efforts, read this New York Timeseditorial from over the weekend.

We aren’t funded by Washington lobbyists or corporate interests. We rely on donations from people like you. You should donate today.

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If anyone feel like donating today, you can do it through The Only Adult page or in any other way. Please, donate if you can. 

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Sunday Morning Group Therapy :)

Hi guys,

So the last couple of weeks were probably only a sample of the craziness we’re looking at over the next 17 months. I doubt any of us can even get close to PBO’s level of calmness and ability to ignore all the white noise – But we should probably try or we’ll go crazy. Since I’m the least qualified person to give advice on steadiness, I’m opening this thread to you. Do discuss. I even brought two hot men to join the conversation. :)

Have a great Sunday.

“The big lie that Obama can’t lead is crumbling”

Wonderful column by Walter Rodgers:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it,” instructed the Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, “people will eventually come to believe it.”
For 2-1/2 years, the big lie repeated about President Obama has been that he’s not a real leader. Responsible critics called him diffident, spineless, and rudderless. Irresponsible critics called him a socialist, a Muslim, and not an American. Now, even after his brilliant planning and direction of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, detractors are complaining that he didn’t have the guts to release photos of Mr. bin Laden’s corpse.

Some of this maligning simply reflects the same savage partisan attacks leveled against every president (except Ronald Reagan) since Watergate. Some of it reflects darker bigotry toward Mr. Obama. But it also shows our outdated and wrongheaded notions of leadership.

American culture mistakenly prizes bravado and arrogance as sure signs of leadership. Public showmanship – like donning a flight suit in front of a “Mission Accomplished” banner – is easy. Quiet, cool, competence that gets results – like pulling together an international coalition to protect civilians in Libya in record time – is hard.

It’s a bias we learn as kids. Our history books lionize war heroes, yet are often silent about the diplomats who prevented conflict.

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Let’s recall the herculean tasks Obama has already accomplished:

He stabilized the worst economy since the Great Depression. Though unemployment remains stubborn, the stock market is basically back to where it was before the global economic meltdown. His stimulus bill kept America humming and saved hundreds of thousands of jobs, while his rescue of General Motors saved an industrial icon.
His administration kept thousands of over-extended Americans from losing their homes by laboring mightily to forestall foreclosures.
In spite of ferocious opposition, he passed long-overdue reforms of our health-care system that had eluded the reach of many past presidents.
He signed into law a bold package of regulations to boost consumer protection and restrain Wall Street’s greed.
He negotiated a historic nuclear-arms reduction treaty with Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev.
Forgetting these and other accomplishments, the public has regrettably bought into the corrosive and dishonest campaign to degrade Obama. Goebbels-style nihilism that rejects anything Obama does as odious remains a powerful narrative.

The good news is that Obama’s shrewd and calculated management of the hunt for bin Laden shows how hollow these critiques are.

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Good taste is another facet of leadership. Contrast the way the Bush administration orchestrated a public trial and execution of Saddam Hussein, turning it into a vulgar spectacle, with Obama’s shrewd refusal to publish photos of bin Laden’s body. His announcement of bin Laden’s death was restrained and sober, not at all celebratory – the right note to conclude a sensitive military operation. Obama’s later visit to ground zero was a fitting bookend to a sad chapter in United States history.

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A friend, a center-right voter, told me recently, “The reason I voted for Obama is because he has no hatred in him.” In another era of divisive bitterness, Lincoln preached, “[w]ith malice toward none, with charity toward all.” It’s worth noting how closely Obama’s philosophy of leadership approaches that.

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Joe Conason:

From Wisconsin to Florida, Strong Winds of Political Remorse

Still spinning in the vortex of the May 24 tornado in New York’s 26th Congressional District, Republican leaders insist that Democrat Kathy Hochul’s upset victory on their party’s turf was meaningless. They say that Republican nominee Jane Corwin lost because of her own weak campaign, or the presence of a big-spending “tea party” candidate on a third ballot line, or just about anything except the Republican scheme to slash Medicare—which became the dominant topic of debate during the special election’s final weeks.

Yet there are signals not only from upstate New York but around the nation that the Republicans face surging discontent, as voters learn what they intend when they attain power. With a majority in the House of Representatives, they have devised a budget plan that would help nobody except the wealthiest taxpayers, while devastating the nation’s health insurance programs, physical infrastructure and environment.

With most of the nation’s statehouses under Republican control, they have inflicted harsh cutbacks in education, health care and public safety, while assailing every public employee, from teachers to firefighters and cops.

Evidently, the people do not approve of these assaults on the standard of living of the American middle class.

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So much for Obama hates the gayz and the gayz hates Obama…..

Major gay-rights group backs Obama for second term

The nation’s largest gay-rights groups endorsed President Obama for reelection, praising him for historic accomplishments for the LGBT community.
From signature achievements like passage of the law to end ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ to administrative changes throughout government, President Obama has done more to improve the lives of LGBT people than any President in history,” the group said. “The following is a compilation of many of the actions taken by the Administration on LGBT issues.”

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And here is the looooong list of the Obama Administration Policy & Legislative Advancements on behalf of LGBT

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West Wing Week:

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If anyone still didn’t see this awesome event in Dublin….


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President Obama Would Veto Defense Bill Over Gitmo, Endless ‘War On Terror’ Provisions, And Anti DADT Language In Defense Bill

I know the Greenwalds of the world are going to praise PBO for vetoing an extension of his power.Yea, right.

The Reid Report:

The administration also objects to provisions Republicans want to insert into the defense bill that would require DADT certification to be expanded to include the heads of each of the military branches, and a provision that would apply the Defense of Marriage Act to all Department of Defense regulations — effectively making it impossible for gay troops to receive marriage-like benefits, even after repeal.

The ACLU seem to be very impressed too:

Wow! Late this afternoon, the Obama White House threatened to VETO the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) bill that the House of Representatives is debating and voting on this week, if it includes a new law for worldwide war without end, or any of the bad Guantánamo detention and limitation of prosecution provisions that Chairman Buck McKeon of the House Armed Services Committee slipped into the bill.

The statement is the strongest and most principled stand the White House has taken on these kinds of provisions. The Obama administration is saying no to the proposed worldwide war law. A veto threat is a very big deal. The president is making clear where he stands, and is backing it up with his veto pen, if Congress doesn’t fix the bill

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PBO will address the British Parliament at 10:30 ET.

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You’re welcome, Ireland :)

Obama’s visit may have been worth $200 million to Ireland

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some Pete Souza stuff from Ireland

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Seriously, give yourself these 30 minutes

President Obama’s speech today in Dublin:

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For me, the 0:47 mark of this short clip is what Barack Obama all about. Look at this emotional woman, and see what he’s doing:

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I totally and shamelessly stole this comment from some other side. I just had to, because it always better to let someone else do the screaming (and some cursing) – especially when the screaming (and some cursing) is so righteous:

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How fucking STUPID are we in this country???

The response the President received in Ireland is typical. The REST OF THE WORLD sees his greatness. But here? Not so much. And I’m not just talking about Repubs/Tea party/Wingnuts.

Don’t people GET what he’s up against??? Racist fuckwads. Dummies who can’t read their tax statements. ‘Get your hands off my Medicare!’ And whiny Democrats who seemingly don’t remember what happened between Jan.20 2001-Jan.20 2009!

HE IS PLAYING THE CARDS HE’S BEEN DEALT AND HE’S DOING THE BEST THAT HE CAN! And I know typing in all cap means that you’re shouting. Well guess what? I AM SHOUTING!!!!!

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