Tuesday morning mishmash

Hi Guys,

1. Today’s schedule:

9:30 am
The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office
Closed Press

10:15 am
The President receives the Economic Daily Briefing
Oval Office
Closed Press

12:45 pm
The President departs the White House en route Andrews Air Force Base
South Lawn
Open Press
Pre-set 12:15PM – Final Gather 12:30PM – North Doors of the Palm Room

1:05 pm
The President departs Andrews Air Force Base en route Boston, Massachusetts
Andrews Air Force Base
Travel Pool Coverage

2:10 pm
The President arrives in Boston, Massachusetts
Logan International Airport
Open Press

2:45 pm
The President visits a classroom with Melinda Gates and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
TechBoston Academy
Travel Pool Coverage

3:00 am
VP Biden meets with President Tarja Halonen of Finland.

3:15 pm
The President deliver remarks on winning the future in education
TechBoston Academy
Open Press

7:05 pm
The President delivers remarks at a DCCC fundraiser
Museum of Fine Arts
Print Pool

8:00 pm
The President departs Boston, Massachusetts
Logan International Airport
Open Press

8:55 AM
VP Biden and Dr Jill Biden arrive in Moscow, Russia.

9:20 pm
The President arrives at Andrews Air Force Base
Andrews Air Force Base
Travel Pool Coverage

9:35 pm
The President arrives at the White House
South Lawn
Open Press


2. Education month continues:

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is talking education innovation with philanthropist Melinda Gates and pitching politics to Democratic Party donors in Boston, the latest venture beyond the nation’s capital to promote his agenda and give his party a financial boost.

Obama on Tuesday will visit TechBoston Academy. The public school opened in 2002 with money from a foundation headed by Gates and her husband, Bill Gates, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft Corp.

The president also plans to address a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser.

// more


3. Recovery!

Hiring Intentions at U.S. Employers Improving

More U.S. employers said they plan to boost payrolls in the second quarter, and fewer expect to reduce headcounts, a private survey found.

Manpower Inc. (MAN), the world’s second-largest provider of temporary workers, said today that 16 percent plan to add workers in the April-June period, up from 14 percent in the first quarter. The share of those projecting workforce reductions fell to 6 percent from 10 percent.



 4. Recovery!

Confidence at U.S. Small Companies Hits Three-Year High

The National Federation of Independent Business’s optimism index climbed to 94.5, the highest since the recession began in December 2007, the Washington-based group said today in a statement. The reading compares with the average 100.7 during the previous expansion that started in November 2001.



5. Outrage of the day: The decision to resume military trials at Guantanamo. If anyone feels like telling their friendly neighborhood screamer that it was Congress blocking the closing of Guantanamo – Enjoy it. The White House fact sheet on the new executive order – Including reinforcement of the commitment to close the prison – is here.


6.  killing them softly (1).

Time: Team Obama Perfects the “Death Hug”

OK, we need a name for this. As the next election season draws near and the White House eyes the proto-presidential machinations of Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, they are increasingly engaging in a certain devious form of political sabotage. It’s premature to launch outright attacks, but the White House is clearly having a lot of fun heaping praise on parts of the Romney and Huntsman resumes.


It’s gleefully impish, a naked attempt to undermine the relationship between candidate and base, all done with a wink and a nod. The tighter they embrace the candidate, the worse it gets. As it’s going to be happening a lot, I’d like to have a succinct way to refer to it. I’m open to better ideas, but for now let’s call it the Death Hug.
7. Killing them softly (2):

Over the last few weeks, Obama and his top allies couldn’t seem to stop applauding several of the GOP’s potential 2012 contenders.

To listen to them tell it, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is a health care visionary and U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman is a loyal foot soldier of the administration.

The political calculus behind that praise is straightforward: by wrapping their arms around some of the GOP’s most credible and deep-pocketed potential challengers, Democrats undermine the party’s attempt to win over its conservative base in the primary.


President Obama and PM Julia Gillard having fun, Cont,.

113 thoughts on “Tuesday morning mishmash

  1. Good morning everyone. I’ve been away for a week and it’s nice to be back and see BWD is still doing her usual superb job of finding and posting the news of the day.

    I love the praising of the few moderate type republican possible candidates by the president. That is sure to be the kiss of the death for them with republican primary voters giving us a much better chance that they will nominate someone totally unelectable to run against our president. It’s a small thing but the re-election team doesn’t overlook even small opportunities.

  2. Death Hug: the bigger story here is that cooperation with the opposition party on basic human rights will hurt a Republican’s chances in elections. Sad times for the Republican party.

  3. And it’s not just for 2012, but 2016 as well. Our president is paving the way for a like-minded Democratic candidate to take up the mantle and build up on what his administration started. He’s not leaving it to chance with any teabag-pandering “moderate” Republican to destroy all the fruits of his hard work while taking credit for it.

  4. Goodmorning family….

    Have yall seen this? I sent this to BWD. I accidently ran across it on youtube. Our president look handsome up there with the other presidents

    Here is where he recorded it for disney

  5. OOOEEEEE! Love that “Death Hug” approach! That will reap bennies for years to come:)Good morning, everyone…Have a great day.

  6. Happy Tuesday and great mishmash as usual, BWD. So I’ve got a few righteous rants in me today. The republicans and the PL have really, really gotten on my last nerve.

    I truly believe we need to be knowledgeable about these repub presidential wannabees.

    I’ll start with the republican presidential candidate that the MSM is pushing this week — Mr. Combover Donald Trump. It seems Newsweek (now run by Hillary fan and PBO hater Tina Brown) put out a poll that shows the Donald within 2 points (gasp!) of PBO. Then NBC/WSJ poll shows his favorables higher than others in the republican field (which isn’t saying much because the numbers are terrible).

    So for the MSM, this means Trump has to be contender.

    How can a man with this loudmouth’s background be considered this business wizard? First of all, he’s not a self-made man, having inherited his wealth from his daddy. Second, the man’s business holdings have gone into bankruptcy THREE times!

    Is this where he’s going to take the country?

    Third, he has the morals of…well you know. Carried on a public affair with Marla Maples and left Ivana for her. Dumped Marla for a younger model. Raised two snotty, rude kids.

    In short, not presidential material.

    Here’s a story on his bankruptcy filings.


  7. Good morning everyone. I like the Death Hug. It is sad when helping to run this country smoothly hurts the other side. I love the pictures of the President and the Prime Minister pitching the futball.
    It will be interesting to see what will happen in Madison today with the big rally.
    I also have been reading about Scott in Florida is even pissing off his own party. Buyers remorse all the way around. Have a great day!

  8. Yea, that “buyer’s remorse” didn’t take long, did it? Even here in the land of the loons, otherwise known as Arizona. Recalls underway for Gov. AND the Neo Nazi President of the Senate, Russell Pearce. What an ugly slime that man is.

  9. My second rant: I won’t link to this but Politico has a story up about Sen. Joe Manchin of West VA plans to issue a statement today blasting PBOs budget and telling him to lead (republican talking point). I’m so steamed at these so-called democrats who take every chance they can get to go against the President.

    I called Manchin’s Washington office (202) 224-3954 and told them how I felt.

    We should let him have it. Enough is enough.

  10. LOL @ “killing them softly”.

    What a difference from the deathly grip of dubya, the shrub. 🙂

  11. Every week the MSM peddles a different Republican for President, hoping it will stick. They push different polls and memes for their desired candidate. The Repub-of-the-week this week happens to be Trump. Last week it was Christie. A month ago it was Huntsman. Next week it will be someone else. They are floundering because despite MSM support, money, these candidates still do not beat President Obama. Even though they may push and publicize some unscientific skewed poll, they know what the REAL scientific polls show. And it’s BAD news for the GOP field of candidates.

  12. Sounds like he is talking outside of the Left side of his mouth to me. Who is this coward to tell anyone to lead. Not even a minute in his seat and already he was skipping votes.

  13. Huntsman leaving after less than two years might actually help President Obama in that he shrewdly moved Gary Locke from Commerce to the China Ambassadorship creating an opening for Secretary of Commerce which he can further show his pro-businss outreach by naming a CEO to the spot. With Chief-of-Staff Daley being Commerce Secretary under Clinton he’ll have both a good handle on the job, who would be a good fit for it and connections to recruit.

  14. I guess their snarky story about the President flirting with the Austrailian PM didn’t yield much…they are desperately looking for more nontroversies…

  15. He’s going to be a sonuvabitch for the next two years as he’s up for re-election again in the regular seat cycle this time and President Obama will not do well in his State so Manchin will have to outperform Obama significantly to win.

    I really don’t have much of an issue with this. I mean Geithner basically admitted the Obama Budget was not sustainable when in front of the Senate committee. It’s an opening negotiation point – if Obama would have created a serious budget and the House GOP came in with their draconian bill the call would be to find the middle ground anyways. So President Obama comes in high knowing the GOP House will come in really low.

    Dems have 53 seats, Conrad’s vacancy will probably be a lost seat. Tester is in tough as well, so we coujld be down to 51. Then there is at least another handful of tough holds. If this is what Manchin needs to do to hold his seat then as long as he’s not nationally blasting the President but just doing so in WV, I can live with it for the time being.

  16. Guess Manchin didn’t see the polls that show PBO strong in Virginia. Putz.

  17. Yes, Trump is their flavor of the week. They know the GOP field is incredibly weak and inadequate but they keep hoping that someone, somewhere can make an exciting horse race out of the next election. So they keep throwing out new names hoping this one will catch on with the public. Seriously, Donald Trump? What are they thinking? No one even takes him seriously as a businessman, whatever makes them think people would consider him presidential material? He is a sideshow candidate. The fact that they are trying to push him as a serious contender just shows how very desperate they are for a viable republican candidate.

    The media wants another 2008 style campaign season. It was great for their ratings in a way politics hasn’t been for a generation. They want it back and they can see that it isn’t likely to happen on its own so they are pushing and pushing to find someone who can give the president at least a little challenge that they can play up. I’m afraid they are out of luck. They will be stuck with either a crazy teabagger candidate who will poll so miserably in the general election that the entire map will be blue and there won’t be any way to spin that as something to watch closely. Or they will get a boring, uncharismatic type like Romney who the American voters have been rejecting for decades, trying once again to convince voters that they really aren’t all that bad. And as long as team Obama keeps praising and hugging any republican who might stand a chance with the general electorate, you can count on the primary crowd to reject them so they never have the chance.

  18. The thing about tweaking Romney and Huntsman now is to get them to react in “primary mode”. Romney is out explaining why Romneycare is so different and how he would have NEVER made it a federal program – so in 20 months time when ACA is more popular, over 50% viewing it as favorable Romney can’t then double back and say “Romneycare is Obamacare – he stole that idea from me”.

    And if it’s somehow still seen as unfavorable, there is enough similarities that no matter how much Romney denies it, he can’t escape so it will be neutralized as an attack point to some extent.

    Huntsman will also need to separate himself from the President for the primary which will make it harder to then play the moderate should he win the primary. I can’t see Huntsman willing any of the first five primary states – Iowa and SC will go to a social conservative, NH will go Romney, Florida will be more of a mix but Huntsman will be a long shot there as well and NV will go Romney (though Huntsman could hurt Romney here).

    And should Jon Huntsman ever win the primary to get to the general he’ll never be able to escape this –

    Sarah Palin has something like 33% feeling that she’s qualified to be President. You hang this video around his neck and either he tries to squirm out of it where he’ll piss off Palin supporters or he embraces it.

  19. Such idiots. The Dems and the repubs wouldn’t fund closing Gitmo. They didn’t want the trials in the US. What was PBO supposed to do?

    These people are nuts.

  20. I’m glad to hear it. If even Arizona is starting to push back against the extreme righties that is a very good sign for the country.

  21. I prefer this gentler sobriquet since we are trying to tamp down uncivil language.

  22. You are so right, the democrats are so use to losing they don’t know what to do with a winner. Sometimes they like playing the victim. They can’t get behind our President completely like the Republicans did for GWB even when they knew he was wrong.So we have to fight with all we have to keep our Presidents back through thick and thin at all costs.

  23. I know! That’s what I’m telling them, but they’re all… Another broken promise! I’m sick of him! arghhhhhhhhh

  24. Rritz, I congratulate you on your fortitude and taking a bullet for the cause! I have found that when ugly fights break out in posterville sane folks are turned off and navigate away. Those foul birds aren’t changing anyone’s mind any more than they’re changing their own. Sites like BWD’s, with adult discussion, keep healthy dialogues going that do change minds and uplift spirits. I vote for sanity!

  25. If the media don’t make it a horse race (in their own minds), there’s no story to tell. It’s just political popcorn.
    BWD, thank you thank you for these daily posts. I’m headed to a big grassroots event in NYC on Saturday and will make sure everyone there becomes a regular here. Your work does a heck of a lot for the cause.

  26. On the “death hug,” (I still like Jonathan Chait’s name for it “conciliatory rhetoric as ruthless strategy”) I believe its more multi-layered than many of these journalists understand:

    …this is a two-edged sword for Obama. He’d be very happy if these candidates would join him in embracing this spirit of cooperation. Anyone who’s read “The Audacity of Hope” recognizes that Obama’s main critique of our politics today is the polarization created by ideologues. A pragmatic coming together of Democrats and Republicans to actually solve problems is a big part of the “long-game” he’s playing.

    Of course the other option for these Presidential candidates is to embrace their own Party’s increasing marginalization with the Tea Partiers. That means an even longer “long-game,” but it will eventually get us to the same place.

  27. When I think of Huntsman, I think of a (Bobby)Jindalesque chant at the RNC, “Sarah! Sarah! Sarah!”

    So either way, between his backstabbing snakery or his Jindalesque Sarah-chanting, Hunstman FAILS at the presidency.

  28. I hope President Obama sharing the stage with Jeb Bush in Florida will ensure that he gets the Charlie Crist treatment in ’12 and ’16.

  29. I think that was the point of it all in FL last weekend.

    Of course, the frustrati went mad about it. But its funny to watch them be so ignorant about what it means to play real politics on a national stage.

    When I mentioned my thinking about why Obama would do an event with Jeb, one of them told me it simply elevated Jeb’s status. I replied that s/he certainly was not capable of thinking like a Tea Partier. LOL

  30. You’re exactly right lilaf1. And now I see they have the FLOTUS at the top of two polls. Are they trying to create some tension between the first couple?
    If so they are backing up the wrong tree. Unlike many men, this particular President is not threatened by powerful women. In case the MSM is forgetting President Obama once worked under his wife…He has no problem with her being ahead of him.

  31. I think it was a mutually beneficial thing. Jeb is popular in Florida, Obama will need all the help he can get in Florida. Jeb has a vested interest in seeing President Obama re-elected in 2012(assuming Jeb isn’t running, which he doesn’t appear to be), because if PBO is defeated by a non-Jeb challenger that means Jeb is locked out for 8 years and likely ends his Presidential aspirations.

    OTOH Jeb wants to be seen as non-partisan for 2016 (or at least not hyper partisan), so showing that he worked with President Obama on mutual interests while all the other Republicans were pure obstructionists and blasted away at everything and anything will go a long way in Jeb’s campaign strategy in 2016.

    So President Obama gains from this now, Jeb gains from it later. I expect we’ll here a lot more about this during the general campaign, especially in Florida where President Obama will highlight how he worked with Jeb on education issues. Then come 2016 we’ll hear how Jeb worked with President Obama even when the rest of his party was attacking him.

    Neither Jeb or Barack are dummies. Both got what they wanted out of the appearance.

  32. “The Donald?”….Really, really amusing. The American people already know more than we wish to about this guy with the permanent sneer on his face.

  33. The political climate for Republicans will have to change A LOT for Jeb to get points in 2016 for being non-partisan.

    Could happen…but its a pretty high-stakes gamble.

  34. Oh my, what a great article. They speak the truth about our MSM and it’s in the Trehan Times. Oh how ironic!

  35. Seriously?! Gary Locke as China’s Ambassador…THAT is so cool. They LOVE him over there. Love, love, love him (actually , they love his wife even more). Oh, I was already very happy today…now this. Yippee.

  36. Hilarious pictures of PBO and the PM playing a practice round of Australian footy. If you’ve never watched a match of Australian Rules Football, you must. It looks like Calvinball, but with men in short shorts.

  37. “U.S. mainstream media blackout.” That this reporting comes from Tehran news ought to signal a rallying cry for all american citizenry. Wake up, seriously boycott the msm. This would ALL their offerings.

  38. That’s really interesting. They totally get it. Great to actually see those words in print from a non-partisan source.

  39. Here’s more news that you won’t see from the media.

    WASHINGTON, D.C.— Calling for the jailing of Wall Street bankers, protesters with National People’s Action (NPA), a progressive network of local activists from around the country, rallied outside of the Fairmont Hotel Monday morning.


    Tam Ormiston, Iowa’s deputy attorney general, soon joined the crowd outside of the hotel — which is the site of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) spring meeting — and listened to several people tell gutwrenching stories of losing their homes after being victims of predatory lending and mortgage fraud.


    Earlier in the day, NPA protestors shut down a Bank of America branch in downtown Washington, to draw attention to mortgage fraud. The protests today were part of the group’s Make Wall Street Pay campaign.


  40. I like it! It sounds like it could be a spell from Dungeons & Dragons.

  41. I was thinking that the GOP candidates have all already lost the game because not one of them has shown an ounce of leadership. A *real* leader would just move ahead and say, “To heck with it, I’m running for President, deal with it.” But no, they jockey for position, do a little dance, fiddle around. No courage what-so-ever. That’s not leadership in anyone’s book. A leader takes charge and moves forward.

  42. I want to thank you too symmetry, watched the entire ceremony and got teary eyed at the end. Extraordinary people.

  43. NPR ‘appalled’ by former exec’s comments
    By Michael Calderone

    Former NPR executive Ron Schiller slams Republicans and the tea party movement and suggests that NPR would be better off without any federal funding in a hidden-camera video released Tuesday by conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe….

    In the video, Schiller said that the current Republican Party has been “hijacked” by a group that’s “not just Islamophobic, but really xenophobic” and suggests the tea party movement is comprised of some “seriously racist, racist people.”

    Schiller said that he’s proud of NPR’s firing of Juan Williams for expressing fear of flying with people in “Muslim garb,” because it showed that “NPR stood for is a non-racist, non-bigoted, straightforward telling of the news.”


    Appalled? Why?

    Did he say anything about the tea party that was not true? Is NPR “appalled” because the executive didn’t defend the other point-of-view as being legitimate, you know, the racist, bigoted way of telling the news?

  44. Hopefruit, I caught the tail end of Larry OD last evening as I prepared to watch Rachel, and Lawrence went through all of the repug candidates and he thinks the only person who has a shot at getting the nomination.

    Pawlenty has been playing with the red meat crowd to get their votes, but I wonder if that will hurt him with more moderate voters?

  45. I so agree with you Desertflower. I hope the recall really takes root. I wish more reporting of the private prisons and their relationship to Russell Pearce would stay in the forefront. The fact that there is a drive underway at all is amazing.

  46. Sad times for all of us, when praising a political opponent’s good idea has become a tactic.

    I know, I know, it’s never been purely about finding the best ideas and getting the job done. It’s always been about tactics, it’s always been about Us and Them. And if We don’t use Our brilliant tactics on Them, then They will surely use Their evil tactics on Us.

    I just get so tired of it sometimes.

  47. That poll has to be bs. Chris Crazy, is a head of the president. Boy, I am dubious about the huge number of repugs and virtually no democrats.

  48. He is the worst of the slime brigade. Is Joe A. really going to run for Kyl’s seat?

  49. President Barack Obama has come to praise his Republican challengers – and to bury them

    Somehow, I get the impression people here miss that this is a paraphrase of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Ceasar” (act 3, scene 2):

    Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
    I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.

    Brilliant, of course: “We will bury you” – with faint praise.

  50. Having lived in W. Virginia, being a democrat is completely different than being a democrat in states like Mass. I am sure Joe is getting a lot of pressure from home to stand up to Obama.

    But, like Proud, I do not in anyway support Manchin. Even if he is reelected, I doubt he will ever be anything but a very blue dog.

    I wonder if he will ever vote on anything the democrats bring to the table?

  51. I had no idea that Locke is now going to be the ambassador. Gary is great. Go Washington State.

  52. Another broken promise. bs. How about all of the promises he made and kept? Good luck rritz.

  53. Don’t you love the fact that a reality star might end up on a GOP presidential ticket (that is, if this whole thing isn’t a classic media stunt by The Donald)? I wish that they’d get this field together because I’ve been looking forward to the GOP presidential primaries for two years.

  54. Not from what I’m reading. However Rep Flake has already declared and Rep Franks seems like he’ll run as well. Flake is more a libertarian whereas Franks is a social and fiscal conservative. Flake would be harder to beat in the general, but he’d be much better than Franks who will be a party line GOP vote whereas Flake will vote with Dems on some issues – he voted for DADT repeal and has come out against SB1070.

    I think Rep. Franks would win the primary if he runs. I think if the Dems find a top candidate, along with it being a presidential year Dems could have a shot at it. I’m not feeling the waiting for Gabby Giffords though – it’s almost as if they’re using her. I know she said she would have been interested in running if Kyl retired, but I believe there will be too many questions surrounding her health and don’t think she should jump into such a grinding campaign. Of course it’s up to Gabby, her family and her doctors, but I think she should return to the house in her district and be in line for McCain’s seat eventually.

  55. Oh, he sounds completely out of place and seems so unsure of himself. Yikes.

  56. I think he’ll mellow with age and job security that comes with incumbency and seniority in the Senate. He’s still better than any Republican in the seat and is important to help hold the Dem. senate majority.

  57. Here we go again…

    Reid: Senate GOP backed out of deal to vote on spending plans
    By Alexander Bolton – 03/08/11 11:31 AM ET

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) accused Republican leaders Tuesday of backing out of an agreement to hold votes on competing Republican and Democratic spending plans.

    Reid said Republican leaders agreed last week to hold up-or-down votes on the House-approved bill that would cut another $57 billion from the federal budget for 2011 as well as a Democratic proposal to shave $6.5 billion, on top of $4 billion in cuts that passed last week.


    Playing gmaes in d.c.! They should make a song out of this two step that both sides are doing!
    I do NOT blame POTUS for being cautious, every time he goes first, the GOP slams him and makes him look bad!
    But, the GOP is throwing all their stuff against the wall. Sadly!

  58. FiredUp, I can tell you are. So am I. The man stated the truth. Perhaps NPR should start being more careful as to the people they meet with.

    That O’Keefe needs to pay for some of his deplorable actions.

  59. Since Mr Matt Damon wants to trash the president everytime he prop his movie. I will boycott his movies.

  60. Wow!

    Shelby won’t budge on Federal Reserve nominee
    By Peter Schroeder – 03/08/11 12:44 PM ET

    Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) remains opposed to confirming Dr. Peter Diamond as a governor of the Federal Reserve Board despite the White House’s decision to nominate him a third time.

    Shelby, the ranking member on the Senate Banking Committee, attacked Diamond on his resume, his political viewpoints and his residency status when he appeared before the panel Tuesday. He made it clear that nothing has changed since the last time he opposed Diamond’s nomination to join the central bank.

    While he noted that Diamond is “a very accomplished academic and economist” — a view that was shared by the Nobel Prize Committee, when it awarded him its prize for economics in October — he maintained his stance that Diamond is the wrong pick for the Fed.

    “I believe that Dr. Diamond should not be confirmed,” he said.


    They are afraid of him! This is looking petty!

  61. I’m sure that video has been edited to within an inch of it’s life. O’Keefe has zero credibility.

  62. This guy is going to have to be a recess appt for one year, and then maybe he can prove his, (cough, cough), worthyness! JEESH!

  63. Indeed!

    Union partners with liberal blog to produce 2012 polling
    By Michael O’Brien – 03/08/11 11:12 AM ET

    A top union and a top liberal blog announced Tuesday that they’ll team up to sponsor polling through the 2012 elections.

    Daily Kos and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) said they will join forces to conduct issue and campaign polling in key states and races over the next two years.

    The joint poll continues an effort by Daily Kos, a premiere liberal blog founded in 2002 by Markos Moulitsas, a contributor to The Hill, to take its advocacy a step further, and provide raw political information to readers, especially on races and issues of importance to that online community.


  64. By Keith Laing
    Tampa International Airport will become the fourth U.S. airport allowed to have flights to Cuba under travel restrictions relaxed by President Obama, airport officials said Monday.

    Tampa (TPA) will join Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Miami International Airport (MIA) as the only airports with charter flights to the island, which had been a banned destination for almost 50 years.

    Obama recently moved to allow some groups to travel to Cuba, though he did not reverse the entire ban on tourists. Passengers to Cuba have to have close relatives on the island or prove they are traveling for school or religious purposes.


  65. You never cease to amaze me in terms of the breath of your knowledge. Franks is scary. I think someone should put him on sanity meds.

    For Arizona, Flake does seem reasonable.

  66. And as a Minnesotan, I can vouch that he is another charge it to the credit card Republican….additionally he is soooooo Borinnnngggg!

  67. “How much of a selloutprostitutionwhore is the corporatist in the WH? Press #1 for ‘he’s atrocious,’ Press #2 for ‘no liberal in her or his right mind wouldn’t support a third party purity candidate…'”

    LOL, so in other news, they need that union money and boots on the ground for the continued gambit to make Markos “FLOTUS was classless” Moulitsas a major player in politics.

    I just have to say, SEIU doesn’t need blogs. Unions scored a coupe working with college and high school students, and grassroots liberals in Wisconsin to produce an opinion-changing event. Dkos doen’t have that much to bring to the table IMHO, as Arkansas should have proven.

  68. Terrible move by the SEIU, shrewd move by Markos though. I don’t know why the SEIU couldn’t just commission the polling themselves. I’m not a big fan of automated polling either.

    If I was commissioning the polling, I’d follow around Rasmussen early when he tries to gimmick results to create a storyline for Fox to run with.

  69. Today, the Department announced that a research team at our BioEnergy Science Center achieved yet another advance in the drive toward next generation biofuels: using a microbe to convert plant matter directly into isobutanol. Isobutanol can be burned in regular car engines with a heat value higher than ethanol and similar to gasoline. This is part of a broad portfolio of work the Department is doing to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil and create new economic opportunities for rural America.

    This announcement is yet another sign of the rapid progress we are making in developing the next generation of biofuels that can help reduce our oil dependence. This is a perfect example of the promising opportunity we have to create a major new industry based on bio-material such as wheat and rice straw, corn stover, lumber wastes, and plants specifically developed for bio-fuel production that require far less fertilizer and other energy inputs. But we must continue with an aggressive research and development effort.

    America’s oil dependence — which leaves hardworking families at the mercy of global oil markets — won’t be solved overnight. But the remarkable advance of science and biotechnology in the past decade puts us on the precipice of a revolution in biofuels. In fact, biotechnologies, and the biological sciences that provide the underlying foundation, are some of the most rapidly developing areas in science and technology today – and the United States is leading the way. In the coming years, we can expect dramatic breakthroughs that will allow us to produce the clean energy we need right here at home. We need to act aggressively to seize this opportunity and win the future.


    Nice! Now, you will all notice that if this was the BUSH administration, he would have eight press confernces on this issue and achievement!
    But, POTUS never toots his own horn, thus, a minimum amount of people, knows about any of the good stuff!

  70. Couldn’t agree more. DKos is just jumping on a bandwagon. They can’t deliver activists on the ground, the political strategies there are sketchy at best (“purify” the party and take the gavel out of Pelosi’s hands) and SEIU has adequate funding. Unions poured $10M into Arkansas (I supported that primary challenge myself to be clear, but this was a netroots commandeering of union resources with poor results).

    What exactly does DKos bring to the table, and why exactly does the SEIU need a polling contract with PPP? In addition, DKos is not a place that unions need to get dragged into associating with—the demographics there are pretty bad, really not diverse and matching the tea parties.

    “This partnership helps our members continue their efforts to improve the lives of workers and their families and create a more just and humane society,” SEIU National Political Director Brandon Davis said.


    No, darling, this partnership helps Moulitsas build up his influence at the expense of your resources. I find it curious that Davis, who IIRC is black himself, would ally his union with a space which is 93% white, less than 4% black, and has almost nothing in common with the real prerogatives of average Americans. I wonder if any of Davis’ higher ups is looking into how this money is being spent, and whether a DKos/PPP contract is really worth the money, when they could be making hay about this Wisconsin situation and forming some real strategic alliances with people who have nothing to do with blogs and are turned off by the stridency.

  71. And the unions lobby ed shultz!~ That is thier guy!~ Only problem is, they target this President and not the republicans, thus weakening him, which puts him in a weaker position to do battle wtih the, wait for it, republicans!

    Self destructive Unions!

  72. We’ll see if they can muster the numbers to recall these bozos. Pearce can only be recalled with voters from his Mesa district.Crazy Jan gets the state to recall her. Hope this catches on like wildfire….the craziness in this state can make you shake your head and ask,” WTH are these people thinking?” They have NO IDEA how their lives COULD be better…fear seems to rule the day here…status quo and stagnant is ok with these people. Mind boogling.

  73. And it’s hilarious to see Gooper poobahs fretting about the Dems interfering with their primaries by complimenting Romney, Huntsman and others.

  74. Totally agree…we’ll see. People need to WAKE UP!This state could be so incredible if the right people were in charge. It’s beautiful…on the outside. On the inside, not so much. Sad.

  75. I’m an SEIU member. I think I’ll fire off an email to them expressing my concern — and the reasons for it — about their alliance with DKos.

  76. Dear God. I hope not.I don’t think so…the man thinks he’s a rock star now…gets lots of press because he makes SURE he does…the egomaniac that he is, calls the press AHEAD of time to say he’s got something else stupid and racist to say…and they come swarming.Wouldn’t get that being one of 435.

  77. That’s my issue too. DKos is extremely divisive and has members who literally mimic the teaparties. 4% black=a space which is extremely uncomfortable for African Americans. I just think that dkos has no real activism, no real boots on the ground, and they are just so desperately looking for a grassroots outlet for these purity politics. DKos and FDL pulled this stuff in Arkansas too in terms of promising unions the world, yet when the rubber met the road, unions were left holding the bag with $10M in expenditures with little help from the netroots. I’m just saying that this guy at the SEIU needs to be very careful in terms of partnering with that crew.

  78. As they are wont to say, “Politics is a contact sport”. Welcome to the big leagues, GOP. PBO is a Cy Young winner and and MVP; you just promoted from the minors to fill in temporarily.

  79. That’s a good idea, LL! If anything, they at the very least should be warned about getting dragged into divisive purity bs; dkos is just not edited that well in terms of long term strategic thinking which has a chance in heck of working, or even consistently good analysis.

  80. Speaking of Wisconsin, here is a link that I got from some of my relatives in Wisconsin.

  81. This is an excellent point. Doing the right thing for the people is the exact opposite of what Republicans want. Cater to the corporations, take food from the mouths of babes, force women to bear the children of people who have raped them, eliminate education funding – you’ve got the vote of Republicans. Help people? Give them care? Clothe them? Feed them? Send them to school? Pursue peace, not war? Create jobs, opportunities for investment and new industries? Save the auto industry? You are an evil person, and don’t deserve another term.

    Republicans are a very confused bunch. Romney’s not the only one who has twisted himself into a pretzel tryin get votes from the bigoted/ignorant/racist/uninformed/hateful tea party folks. There’s a ton of them out there. And most of them call themselves “Christians” and “real Americans”. It’s a real shame.

  82. He can “stand up to” the President with legitimate grievances or alternatives. He doesn’t have to use right wing talking points, which only serve to destruct, not to achieve anything positive. If he’s got a better plan that won’t hurt the people – many of whom live in his state and are uninformed, under educated and disadvantaged – then why doesn’t he present that plan? Instead of letting the people of his state continue to be abused by mining companies and such.

  83. I certainly hope so. I can’t bear the thought of another Bush in the White House. They’ve done enough damage.

  84. Indeed – there’s nothing to be appalled with or by – he simply told the truth. The facts support his statements. I would challenge anyone (including Randy Rhodes, who continually insists there’s no racism against President Obama), to refute his claims. My esteem of NPR has just gone up 1000%. Finally! Someone speaks the truth.

  85. I can’t take Reid seriously anymore about Senate tactics. Ever since they balked at changing the Senate rules. I can understand being wary, in case they lose power in the future, but to virtually do nothing at all… that’s unacceptable.

  86. I’m boycotting, too. I really did want to watch his new movie this weekend, but couldn’t bring myself to support his work, when he can’t support the President’s work.

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