The video mishmash

Few vide posted by the WH in recent days, all of them excellent. (As for the missing thread from last night – it’s not you, I decided to delete it. You can see those couple of Elizabeth Warren vids down here).




This is a bit old, but so very beautiful.


Tuesday morning mishmash

Hi guys,

First, have a morning laugh:

Obama Would Beat Palin in Tennessee


Now we can begin:

1. Today’s schedule:

10:30 AM
PBO receives the presidential daily briefing.
10:45 AM
VPB and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood deliver remarks on infrastructure at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
11:00 AM  
12:00 PM  
12:30 PM
Gibbs briefs the press.
1:00 PM  
2:00 PM  
2:30 PM
PBO meets with the National Policy Alliance.
3:00 PM  
4:00 PM  
4:30 PM
PBO and VPB meet with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.



2. That sell-out still taking care of the people:

WSJ: Obama Budget Proposes Broader Unemployment Taxes

President Barack Obama’s budget proposal is expected to give states a way to collect more payroll taxes from businesses, in an effort to replenish the unemployment-insurance program. The plan could cause controversy at a time when the administration is seeking to mend fences with corporate America.

The proposal would aim to restock strained state unemployment-insurance trust funds by raising the amount of wages on which companies must pay unemployment taxes to $15,000, more than double the $7,000 in place since 1983.

The plan, which would take effect in 2014, could increase payroll taxes by as much as $100 billion over a decade, according to a person involved in its construction.



3. NYT story about the real effect of the health care law and what would happen if it’s gone:

…For example, Hillary St. Pierre, a 28-year-old former registered nurse who has Hodgkin’s lymphoma, had expected to reach her insurance plan’s $2 million limit this year. Under the new law, the cap was eliminated when the policy she gets through her husband’s employer was renewed this year.

Ms. St. Pierre, who has already come close once before to losing her coverage because she had reached the plan’s maximum, says she does not know what she will do if the cap is reinstated. “I will be forced to stop treatment or to alter my treatment,” Ms. St. Pierre, who lives in Charlestown, N.H., with her husband and son, said in an e-mail. “I will find a way to continue and survive, but who is going to pay?”

As judges and lawmakers debate the fate of the new health care law, patients like Ms. St. Pierre or Alex Ell, a 22-year-old with hemophilia who lives in Portland, Ore., fear losing one of the law’s key protections. Like Ms. St. Pierre, Mr. Ell expected to reach the limits of his coverage this year if the law had not passed. In 2010, the bill for the clotting factor medicine he needs was $800,000, and his policy has a $1.5 million cap. “It is a close call,” he said.

// more



4. Winning the future and all that:

Salazar, Chu Announce Major Offshore Wind Initiatives

NORFOLK, VA – Unveiling a coordinated strategic plan to accelerate the development of offshore wind energy, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu today announced major steps forward in support of offshore wind energy in the United States, including new funding opportunities for up to $50.5 million for projects that support offshore wind energy deployment and several high priority Wind Energy Areas in the mid-Atlantic that will spur rapid, responsible development of this abundant renewable resource.  

Deployment of clean, renewable offshore wind energy will help meet the President’s goal of generating 80 percent of the Nation’s electricity from clean energy sources by 2035.



5. Didn’t you just love the knee-jerk reaction by the usual suspect to the president’s smart and brilliant speech yesterday? I wonder how many of those keyboards heroes actually bothered listening. Oh well, i guess it’s time to throw the Unions under the so-called progressive bus:

Greg Sargent: AFL-CIO: We liked Obama’s challenge to Chamber of Commerce

….My understanding is that labor officials expected Obama to repeat his insistence on more infrastructure spending — which after all isn’t that controversial, since the Chamber supports the idea in principle. But labor types didn’t expect, and were cheered by, Obama’s defense of government regulation, the emphasis on reforming the tax code so it benefits everyone, and the insistence that corporations need to ask themselves what they can do for America and its workers.



6. Expect this to go very quietly under the MSM radar:

Statement by the President on the Intent to Recognize Southern Sudan

On behalf of the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Southern Sudan for a successful and inspiring referendum in which an overwhelming majority of voters chose independence.  I am therefore pleased to announce the intention of the United States to formally recognize Southern Sudan as a sovereign, independent state in July 2011. 

After decades of conflict, the images of millions of southern Sudanese voters deciding their own future was an inspiration to the world and another step forward in Africa’s long journey toward justice and democracy.  Now, all parties have a responsibility to ensure that this historic moment of promise becomes a moment of lasting progress.  The Comprehensive Peace Agreement must be fully implemented and outstanding disputes must be resolved peacefully.  At the same time, there must be an end to attacks on civilians in Darfur and a definitive end to that conflict.    

As I pledged in September when addressing Sudanese leaders, the United States will continue to support the aspirations of all Sudanese—north and south, east and west.  We will work with the governments of Sudan and Southern Sudan to ensure a smooth and peaceful transition to independence.  For those who meet all of their obligations, there is a path to greater prosperity and normal relations with the United States, including examining Sudan’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.  And while the road ahead will be difficult, those who seek a future of dignity and peace can be assured that they will have a steady partner and friend in the United States.  



7. Finally, two excellent comments from the previous thread, that i want to re-post:

From Catzmaw:

I watched him today quietly letting the air out of the business balloons they were getting ready for the Republican convention. He’s already establishing a consistent, coherent rhetorical approach. He started with the SOTU with the motto “Win the Future”. Last week he was in Green Bay and at Penn State, touring businesses and again reiterating his message, and including with it his push for infrastructure investment, tax credits for creative ideas, investment in clean energy, and revision of the tax code.

Today he extended his outreach to business, focusing on revision of the tax code and reformation of the humongous regulatory machinery of the government, but also appealing on a very basic level to their sense of future viability – noting that the current situation is unsustainable – and also to their sense of patriotism. Now, the naysayers of the site which shall not be named were out in force poo-pooing his appeal to patriotism and I would agree that the most rapacious among our business interests are not really interested in such an archaic notion; however, the CofC represents tens of thousands of businesses and has enormous influence even on businesses which are not members, and most of THOSE people DO believe in patriotism and contributing to this country’s welfare. Obama really went to town on them, talking about the public/private partnership of WWII era business and the way it responded to FDR’s call to join with him for the war effort. People forget that business was pretty mad at FDR before the war. He appealed to their sense of patriotism and industry fell in line for most of the war with only a few labor disruptions here and there.

In future I think we may hear Obama start talking about the relationship of WWII to Health Care Reform (yes, there IS one). The whole reason businesses started offering health care coverage for employees was by way of satisfying the demands of labor without actually having to raise salaries in wartime. The labor supply was very limited and they needed something to offer, so it was health care. If I were the POTUS I’d start educating the public about this fact and point out that even though we still have health care tied to employers it is no longer a ball and chain keeping people in jobs they would otherwise leave. And with the severing or at least weakening of the link between work and health care we can see a new rise in innovation and start-up companies. If you KNOW you can get health care insurance even if you leave your job, then you’re MORE, not LESS likely to strike out on your own to try that new business idea.

I hope this has all been choreographed and scripted and we will hear these themes elaborated upon and introduced in the next few months. He is presently laying the groundwork for a successful second run and for the major items which will occupy his second term: tax reform, immigration reform, streamlining of government, and education reform. He expects (especially since he’s a Constitutional lawyer) to win the health care challenges in the high court. This will force the Republicans to finally sit down and deal with him. His approach to the CofC was great today because the one thing the businesses have been whining about is uncertainty about the HCR and about taxes. The lawsuits against HCR INCREASE that uncertainty and it’s going to lead to strains between the business community. Some of them are going to get tired of the libertarian train ride with the Kochs because this constant obstructionism is hurting their business chances.

From Nathan Katungi:

What is really distressing about the so called progressive bashers of Obama is their immaturity. They are always bashing the President for being a “Corporatist.” Sadly, they forget that the United States is still a capitalist country where corporations still play a major role-and especially when it comes to employment. No president can solve the economic problems facing the country without dealing with businesses, including the giant corporations.

By the way, the other distressing thing about the PL is their ignorance of history. Strangely, they have joined the right wingers in creating mythological heroic presidents. For the right wingers the hero president is Ronald Reagan. Never mind the fact that Reagan created the largest deficit compared to the presidents before him. Never mind the fact that, in his second year in office, the unemployment was still over 10%. And, of course, never mind the fact that Reagan raised taxes to try to deal with the massive deficit.

As for the so called Progressives, their mythical heroes are FDR and LBJ. Never mind the fact that in FDR’s second year in office the unemployment rate was still over 20%. Never mind the fact that it wasn’t until his third year in office that Roosevelt was able to pass major legislations like Social Security and the Wagner Act (giving workers the right to collective bargaining with their employers) which, by the way, were severely compromised, in order to win the support of the Dixiecrats (perhaps to day’ s blue dogs). Never mind the fact that many of the commendable New Deal Programs discriminated against African Americans. And as for LBJ, people forget that LBJ’s Civil Rights successes had a great deal to do with the assassination of JFK and the massive Civil Rights protests. For Example: the monumental Civil Rights Act of 1964, signed into law by LBJ was initiated by JFK in response to the Sit-Ins and Freedom-Rides. Somehow, this context is omitted by those who try to paint Obama as weak compared to LBJ. As much as I detest the “teabaggers,” I still give them credit for their mass demonstrations (though these demonstrations may have been artificially engineered by people like Dick Armey) in opposition to the President’s policies. Unfortunately, we who call ourselves progressives were no where to be found in support of progressive legislations. sadly, the professional left turned on the president, despite the fact that he was out there fighting on our behalf, to get the best deal he could.

Personally, I am very proud of President Obama’s accomplishments, in his two years in office, despite all the hostility from both the Republicans and the self anointed progressives.