Monday Morning Mishmash

Hi guys,

I hope everyone had a good weekend. Let me wish a very Happy Passover to me fellow Jews, may the next year will free our minds and bodies.

1. Today’s schedule:

9:30 AM

PBO and VPB receive the presidential daily briefing.

10:00 AM  
11:00 AM  
11:30 AM

VPB meets with Director of the OMB Jack Lew, Director of the NEC Gene Sperling, and senior advisers to discuss fiscal policy.

11:45 AM

PBO meets with senior advisers.

12:00 PM

Carney briefs the press.

1:00 PM  
1:45 PM

PBO presents the Commander-in-Chief Trophy to the Air Force Academy football team.

2:00 PM

VPB meets with the leadership of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan.

3:00 PM  
3:05 PM

PBO is interviewed by KCNC Denver, WRAL Raleigh, WFAA Dallas and WTHR Indianapolis.

4:00 PM  
4:30 PM

PBO and VPB meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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2. NYT Editorial:

The New Republican Landscape

Six months after voters sent Republicans in large numbers to Congress and many statehouses, it is possible to see the full landscape of destruction that their policies would cause — much of which has already begun. If it was not clear before, it is obvious now that the party is fully engaged in a project to dismantle the foundations of the New Deal and the Great Society, and to liberate business and the rich from the inconveniences of oversight and taxes.

At first it seemed that only a few freshmen and noisy followers of the Tea Party would support the new extremism. But on Friday, nearly unanimous House Republicans showed just how far their mainstream has been dragged to the right. They approved on strict party lines the most regressive social legislation in many decades, embodied in a blueprint by the budget chairman, Paul Ryan. The vote, from which only four Republicans (and all Democrats) dissented, would have been unimaginable just eight years ago to a Republican Party that added a prescription drug benefit to Medicare.

Mr. Ryan called the vote “our generation’s defining moment,” and indeed, nothing could more clearly define the choice that will face voters next year.

His bill would end the guarantee provided by Medicare and Medicaid to the elderly and the poor, which has been provided by the federal government with society’s clear assent since 1965. The elderly, in particular, would be cut adrift by Mr. Ryan. People now under 55 would be required to pay at least $6,400 more for health care when they qualified for Medicare, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Fully two-thirds of his $4.3 trillion in budget cuts would come from low-income programs.

In addition to making “entitlement” a dirty word, the Ryan bulldozer would go much further in knocking down government programs to achieve its goals. It would cut food stamps by $127 billion, or 20 percent, over the next 10 years, almost certainly increasing hunger among the poor. It would cut Pell grants for all 9.4 million student recipients next year, removing as many as one million of them from the program altogether. It would remove more than 100,000 low-income children from Head Start, and slash job-training programs for the unemployed desperate to learn new skills.

// snip

President Obama, after staying in the shadows too long, is starting to illuminate the serious damage that Republicans are doing. Their vision, he said last week, “is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America.” Other Democrats are also beginning to stand up and reject these ideas, having been cowed for months by the electoral wave. Their newfound confidence will give voters a clearer view of this bare and pessimistic landscape.

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3. Very good one from Krugman:

Last week, President Obama offered a spirited defense of his party’s values — in effect, of the legacy of the New Deal and the Great Society. Immediately thereafter, as always happens when Democrats take a stand, the civility police came out in force. The president, we were told, was being too partisan; he needs to treat his opponents with respect; he should have lunch with them, and work out a consensus.

That’s a bad idea. Equally important, it’s an undemocratic idea.

// snip

For what it’s worth, polls suggest that the public’s priorities are nothing like those embodied in the Republican budget. Large majorities support higher, not lower, taxes on the wealthy. Large majorities — including a majority of Republicans — also oppose major changes to Medicare. Of course, the poll that matters is the one on Election Day. But that’s all the more reason to make the 2012 election a clear choice between visions.

Which brings me to those calls for a bipartisan solution. Sorry to be cynical, but right now “bipartisan” is usually code for assembling some conservative Democrats and ultraconservative Republicans — all of them with close ties to the wealthy, and many who are wealthy themselves — and having them proclaim that low taxes on high incomes and drastic cuts in social insurance are the only possible solution.

This would be a corrupt, undemocratic way to make decisions about the shape of our society even if those involved really were wise men with a deep grasp of the issues. It’s much worse when many of those at the table are the sort of people who solicit and believe the kind of policy analyses that the Heritage Foundation supplies.

So let’s not be civil. Instead, let’s have a frank discussion of our differences. In particular, if Democrats believe that Republicans are talking cruel nonsense, they should say so — and take their case to the voters.

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4. If you read only one column today, make sure it’s this one from Rick Ungar:

Obama’s Character And The Progressives Who Resent It

// snip

What did it for me in Obama’s plan to get the nation’s finances in order was that the President took his stand against the GOP effort to take away the soul of this nation while staring directly into the eyes of Rep. Paul Ryan- the architect of the document that would remake this country in the mold of third world nations where there are rich people and poor people with nobody in the middle.

Unlike the taunts, personal insults and barbs that Ryan and his companions lob at the president on a daily basis from the safety of a television studio, Obama took the route that requires character.

He did it to Ryan’s face.

The President invited the Wisconsin congressman, and a few of his congressional confederates, to attend the speech, placed them right up front and proceeded to call these people out for the hegemony they would visit on millions of Americans to benefit their wealthy political patrons with a trillion more in tax cuts.

Character.

// snip

What the speech really did was reinforce what I continue to believe is this president’s most valuable asset – character. It is a trait of Barack Obama’s that is too often forgotten by progressives and conservatives alike. While you may not always – or ever – like Barack Obama’s policies, he has shown, time and again, that his decisions reflect a willingness to do what he believes is right while taking the political hits that come with courageous decisions.

President John F. Kennedy once pointed out that being president is all about choosing between the many bad options that are available. 

This reality was never brought into sharper focus than last December when Obama elected to suffer the slings and arrows fired at him by his own supporters by swallowing hard and agreeing to the extension of the Bush tax credits.

Anyone who truly understood what was at issue in that fight- and the incredibly difficult choices available to the President – understands that Obama chose to pay the political price in order to ensure that millions of Americans who are out of work would continue to get their unemployment benefits. He was willing to take the hit from those who are supposed to be his friends so that he could protect the already suffering middle class from having to pay for the President’s political safety in the guise of the tax increases that were threatened for those who could least afford them.

That took character.

I was angry with progressives for their willingness to put someone else’s money where their mouth is.

As I wrote at the time, it’s awfully easy to demand that the President stay true to his progressive roots and go to the mats with the Republicans as you sip a fine glass of wine with your friends inside a cozy bistro. Meanwhile, as you enjoy the conversation and drinks, you don’t even notice that poor fellow outside the bar who is offering to shovel driveways to make a few bucks so he can put a cheap dinner on the table for his children. He’s the one who lost his job and, if progressives had their way, would have been cut off from the only financial lifeline he had -all so that the liberals could feel more righteous in their willingness to battle the GOP using the snow shoveler’s money-not their own.

That is not progressive behavior- that is elitist behavior.

The wine drinkers were not the ones on the President’s mind last December. It was the cold guy on the outside who was the focus of Obama’s attention-and that is precisely as it should have been.

Character.

// more awesomeness

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5. Interesting story from the NYT:

President Heads West to Sell His Deficit Plan

// snip

The 44-minute speech seemed to win over at least some leading liberal figures — a big first step toward shoring up and energizing his party’s base at the outset of a re-election campaign that will inevitably require him to play to the middle and, potentially, draw renewed ire from the left.

“Undoubtedly, he rediscovered his voice,” said Robert B. Reich, the chancellor’s professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley. “Hopefully, this will be his campaign voice.”

The trip, with stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Reno, Nev., is also Mr. Obama’s first since the unofficial start of his re-election campaign in Chicago last week.

// snip

Mr. Obama acknowledged as much on Thursday, speaking to 2,300 young supporters at Navy Pier in Chicago.

“I know there are times where some of you have felt frustrated because we’ve had to compromise with the Republicans on some issues,” he said. “There have been times people are frustrated because we didn’t get everything done in the first two years. There have been times where I felt the same way you do.”

But Mr. Obama implored the crowd not to lose heart, declaring that the vision of America he laid out in his fiscal speech — one in which “we are connected to one another; that I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper” — would animate his campaign and drive the debate in the 2012 election.

If Mr. Obama sticks to that message, it will cheer other Democratic constituencies, not least the labor movement. Unions were dismayed by the budget deal the White House struck with House Republicans in December to extend the Bush tax cuts, even though it also extended unemployment insurance.

But union officials said Mr. Obama won them back last week. “The rhetoric of the speech was fabulous,” said Thea Lee, the chief economist of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. “It was a strong speech; it was a principled speech.”

// more

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6. Thanks to all those who sent this wonderful and must-see short clip.

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7. I hope more and more of you are checking p m carpenter’s blog, because this guy is one of the best writers around and he should be FAMOUS!🙂

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8. Finally, can I get THIS for my birthday???!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

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154 thoughts on “Monday Morning Mishmash

  1. That cartoon is just so utterly on point, as is the Ungar piece. Excellent selection; thank you bwd.

  2. Wow, BWD! I hope you had a fab weekend! You came back with a great mishmash. Maybe Krugman is finally seeing the light.

    Can’t wait for all these townhalls etc, that the POTUS is doing. He is taking it to the people. The msm won’t report it, so He will do what he does best, take it write to the people.

    Thank you for bringing P M Carpenter to our attention! Also all the others on your wonderful blogroll.

    Good morning wonderful TOAITR family.

  3. I was up early and waiting anxiously for this daily email.
    BWD – thank you for all you do – we Obama supporters need this boost in the morning like some need caffeine!

  4. Good morning BWD & TOAITR family.

    BWD, I hope that you got some much needed rest and that you are feeling revived.

    I read Ungar’s peice last night. LOVED IT! I like the fact that he stuck around and engaged with commenters and that he defended PBO on every point.

    Dont forget that FLOTUS & SLOTUS will be on The View today.

  5. Yes, Rick Ungar spoke for the many of us pragmatic progressives. And thanks sym for the reminder for the View !

  6. Krugman is right about the negotiated compromises – look at the current Senate “Gang of Six” for the Republicans we have Saxby Shameless, Tom Coburn and Mike Crapo and for the Democrats we have Mark Warner, Kent Conrad and Dick Durbin. Coburn and Chambliss should be countered with Whitehouse and Franken.

  7. The Ryan Budget offer is so ridiculous it doesn’t deserve to be treated as serious or legitimate. I don’t care if the GOP House voted for it – that just shows how unserious and ridiculous they are, it doesn’t legitimize the proposal in any way.

  8. Good morning, BWD.Happy Passover to all that celebrate.I was blown away by the piece by Ungar! Loved that. Someone who wrote on paper what we feel, for all the world to see.Someone ought to post that everywhere:)I think I’ll save it.Telling to me how he talked about inviting Paul Ryan to the speech, so he could say it to his face. That was a lightbulb moment for me.Anyone else would have hidden behind the tv cameras and done that. Not MY President! Told him right to his lying face.Character.He has more character in his little finger than ANY of them have, at all!The bottom line is, that I trust him to do the right thing for the people.Always have.Character is something that all the pols/media have lost.Thank goodness someone is Washington is willing to stand up and make the tough choices and do the right thing.Thank you for all the posts this morning. We missed you this weekend, but, as usual, it was worth the wait!Love you, family…have a great Monday.

  9. Hi BWD. Hope you had a great week-end yourself !

    Thanks for all those links. Can’t wait for the town-halls this week. I’ll be watching on the White House Live Stream, or wait for the videos .

    I agree with you about p m carpenter. This writer needs to be discovered. His article today about Amanpour’s show is fantastic. Warning though: a bit discouraging.

  10. From those articles linked above you get two perfect descriptors of the President – character and principles. Those are two things the President has in abundance and that the republicans are sorely lacking. Greed and avarice describe today’s republicans. The choice is very, very clear and I have faith that as we get closer to the election and people begin to hear the President’s vision as opposed to that of the Republicans they will see the stark and very real differences and will fall on the side of caring for our country, supporting a strong middle class and a more fair and just society over one where only a select few thrive and the rest continue to lose ground, money and education so those few can continue to take more and more.

  11. U.S. Forest Service Funds Tree Inventory For Urban Planners

    WASHINGTON, April 13, 2011 — New research funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will help city planners make better decisions about their urban trees for a range of benefits, including energy savings and improved access to nature.

    Researchers, led by U.S. Forest Service scientists, will hire field crews to gather information on the condition of forests from approximately 1,000 sites in five western states – Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington – to compile data for a comparative study on the health of trees in urban areas. The result will be a network of permanently located plots in urbanized areas that can be monitored to obtain information on their health and resiliency.

    “This project will help city planners improve the quality of life in American cities,” said project leader John Mills of the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station’s Resource Monitoring and Assessment Program. “Urban trees are the hardest working trees in America – they beautify our neighborhoods and reduce pollution.”

    This is the first time in the Pacific states that systematic information is being collected on the health of trees in urban areas. Determining the current health and extent of specific urban forests will help forest managers better understand how urban forests adapt to climate change and other issues. Urban trees cool cities, save energy, improve air quality, strengthen local economies, reduce storm water runoff and enliven neighborhoods.

    The study supports President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative (AGO) by helping planners determine where to establish urban parks and green spaces and how to maintain them. AGO takes as its premise that the protection of our natural heritage is an objective shared by all Americans. Parks and green spaces improve a community’s economy, health, quality of life and social cohesion. In cities and towns across the country, parks can generate tourism and recreation dollars and improve investment and renewal. Time spent in nature also improves the emotional and physical well-being of children and adults alike.

    http://www.fs.fed.us/news/2011/releases/04/urban-planners.shtml

  12. It was an excellent piece because it is true. For us here, the points are obvious but for many who listen to the PL and don’t check things out very well, it is a new message. I’m glad to see more of this message making it out there finally. The way the right and the PL have framed the discussion, any defense of the President was portrayed as creepy or worshipful and therefor should be dismissed or vehemently denied so as not to appear deluded or starstruck. It is great to see people who will no longer let that stand and who are fighting back with facts and reasoned argument to push back and stand up for what they believe not because of idol worship but because of their true principles and objective reasoning. I hope we see lots more articles like this all over. The truth is on our side and we need to not let anyone intimidate us to keep us from speaking it.

  13. Happy Passover, BWD and all others who are celebrating the holiday! Thanks for the excellent mishmash this Monday morning. I am sitting watching snow (yes, snow!) outside my window feeling dreary and then I read your wonderful collection of news and opinions and I can be more relaxed about seeing snow on the ground once again (after seeing 80+ degrees just last weekend).

  14. USDA Grants Support Sustainable Bioenergy Production

    WASHINGTON, April 12, 2011 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced research grants awarded to spur production of bioenergy and biobased products that will lead to the development of sustainable regional systems and help create jobs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Director Roger Beachy made the announcement today on behalf of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack during the 16th 1890 Biennial Research Symposium in Atlanta, Georgia.

    “USDA and President Obama are committed to producing clean energy right here at home, to not only break our dependence on foreign oil, but also boost rural economies,” said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. “These projects will give us the scientific information needed to support biofuel production and create co-products that will enhance the overall value of a biobased economy. This will propel us to out-educate, out-innovate and out-build in the field of renewable energy and help America win the future.”

    http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2011/04/0161.xml&navid=NEWS_RELEASE&navtype=RT&parentnav=LATEST_RELEASES&edeployment_action=retrievecontent

  15. I love the idea of by-passing the national MSM by talking to local press. They have much less of an partisan agenda and are not about putting themselves over. Talking to Denver, Dallas, Indianapolis and Raleigh to re-enforce his budget messaging in key 2012 States screams Plouffe, and is something the President should consider doing more often.

    Then the President heads to NoVa for a townhall on his budget on Tuesday, in SF on Wednesday for a Facebook sponsored Townhall, and then on Thursday he’s in Reno Nv. for another (Reno is the home base for GOP Senate candidate Dean Heller and has Heller all hot and bothered).

  16. Good – I did – lol!
    How shameful for our country isn’t it?
    And the GOP wants us to slash that even further?

    This is a defining moment in our history – this will really say what it is we stand for as a country.

    We need to come up with bumper stickers like fast – I bet all of us on this blog would be willing to buy them if someone comes up with a good slogan.

  17. After reading p m carpenter this morning, I just have to reiterate that there needs to be some action against MSM. No matter how we slice it, they have some influence. We need to find a way to push back. The WH and democrats need to find a way to push back. Now.

    I would LOVE to see somebody like Jack Lew, director of OMB, go on these shows and SCHOOL all those idiots journalists who don’t have a CLUE about economics and can’t push back against the stupidity Ryan is spewing.

    Last wednesday President Obama made the moral argument. Masterfully. But it won’t be enough. Democrats need to win the economic argument too. We have PROOF that supply side economics is a BAD idea. It DOESN’T create prosperity. We have PROOF that a strong middle-class is GOOD for THE ECONOMY.

    Americans have to be told, again and again and again, that they have to look back at their recent history and go back to what WORKED. This is an argument easy to make and that americans can understand.

  18. Didn’t like to read that my fabulous President still can’t get 50% – what is wrong with this country?!!!

  19. Regarding the NYT saying Obama took too long, I disagree. I think the speech resonates more because the GOP has shown their hand. We have proof of what they intend to do not only at the federal level but in the states as well. Its not in the abstract anymore.

  20. I would love to see Elizabeth Warren on some of those shows explaining the two budget proposals and what each of them actually mean to families in this country. She is able to teach about complex economic issues in an easy to understand but thorough way without sounding like she talking down to anyone. That’s a rare skill and she is very likable on top of that and it would make her better known to the general public who would have a much harder time accepting the republican scare memes about her and the CPA.

  21. Also, a NYT article saying that the US secretly supports funding for syrian opposition! First of all, Secretly you say? IF it is so SECERET, then why in the hell do these articles, subtly find its way to the NYT?!
    These leaks are so disturbing. All meant to undermine the POTUS!

    Sorry for the Rant.

  22. Just repeating candidate recruitment news from over the weekend –

    It looks like Christie Vilsack is going to challenge GOP jackass Steve King in Iowa. Redistricting in Iowa has King’s district down to R+3 to R+5 which is much lower from his current Demo, and the R’s in his new district will not be the fringe loon variety that has been voting for King for years. Christie is well known as the former first lady of the State, and as the wife of current Ag Secretary that might be extra juice that will win over indie and moderate GOP support. Also one would hope Republicans will see it as a chance to get rid of King, might vote for Vilsack with the idea they’d vote for the new GOP candidate in 2014.

    In Texas Senate news, Patty Murray seems to have landed a prime recruit in retired Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez. Now Dems and especially progressives will not be completely happy as Sanchez was the fall guy for the Abu Ghraib scandal, but he denied ever knowing about it and was cleared by an Army Investigation. Sanchez is about as best a candidate as the Dems could have hoped for to play well in Texas – retired high ranking military, Latino, from Southern Texas. Only other candidate that some hoped for was San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, but at 36 yrs old he likely has his sights set on the Texas Governors Mansion in three years time. As long as the DSCC can clear the deck for Sanchez, I doubt Abu Ghraib will be much of a campaign issue as as sad as it may sound, it would probably play as a net positive in Texas.

  23. First it’s Rassmussen so in any other poll, he would get over 50%. You always have to add about 5 points to the Democrats in any rassmussen poll to get an accurate result. Then that poll shows 19% who would vote for someone other than the two choices they were given or are undecided. In an actual election, there is no way that 12% of the voters go third party, so what that actually shows to me is that the republican voters (remember Pres Obama already is getting his half of the voters in this poll) don’t like the choice of their candidate. So if Trump were the actual candidate some of that number would vote for him in spite of not liking him much, some would defect and vote for Obama and some would just not vote at all. 2 out of 3 of those options up the President’s share of the vote, again making it over 50% very easily. Then add in the 5% undecided and figure about 1/2 of those break each way and that adds another 2 1/2% to the President’s total putting him now well over 50%. I actually see this as very encouraging. Remember, Trump is at the top of the Republican field for popularity and even he can’t get above 38% in a poll against the President.

  24. Not to mention he had the FY2011 budget to pass first. If he came out hard as he did before that budget passed then we surely would have had a government shutdown.

  25. I NEVER WORRY ABOUT THIS AMAZING PRESIDENT AND THE REASON I DON’T IS BECAUSE HE IS ON THE RIGHT,JUST AND TRUTHFUL SIDE OF HISTORY! GOD LOVE HIM…AND HE DOES!…:)

  26. It is interesting , when you speak about partisan agenda, that yesterday, The Daily Herald, whioch has the largets circulation in the Chicago suburbs added three new opinion columnists, stating it adds to the diversity of opinion. The three are Bill O’reilly, Michael Gerson (Bush’s former speech writer) and a local based person who states she has no p[olitical stance. So 2 conservatives and a neutral. Real diveristy.

  27. Wonderful mishmash to start the week. Thank you again and again, BWD, and a blessed Passover to you and all who celebrate it.

    I so agree about PM Carpenter. I now check him everyday. I discovered him on the blogroll here, where I’ve also found so many good people. Even though it’s mainly about Florida and I live in NY, I love reading The Reid Report.

  28. BTW: The POTUS going around the country to address the deficit is a good idea. The liberals do not want to admit it, but we need a long term debt plan, and I trust POTUS to give us one.
    Look at what the S&P just did to the US this morning, the stock market is freaking out.
    Looks like POTUS was right, NOT to ignore this problem, like Rachel said to do. Rachel said we do not have a problem and that their is no crisis. Well the S&P just downgraded the US this morning… NOT good.

    I report this news, not so happily, but, it is current events.

  29. Beautifully said, Desertflower! This President has more character than the whole Congress.

  30. Yes I notice that the MSM loves to play that game. Like on the Sunday shows they will stack a “diverse panel” with 3 very vocal and well-known Republicans and one obscure or questionable “Democrat.” They need to understand that people can see through their BS.

  31. I live in an area with only a right wing paper, they have never endorsed a Democrat for anything. They claim they are balanced in opinion because they get complaints from both the right and the left in spite of the fact that the editorial columns are about 8 conservative to 2 liberals and all the editorial cartoons are conservative. We all know that any liberal content is enough to fire up the conservatives to scream about liberal bias so having some conservatives complain is not actually a good measure of balance. It’s pretty easy to count editorials from conservatives and editorials from liberals and see just how unbalanced they are but they continue to deny it.

    However, the local tv media (which is mostly where the President is doing these interviews) is a different story. They do much less editorializing in general and they have a broader audience than the newspaper. When the President came to this area for last year’s Race to the Top, the local tv reporters were swooning. They loved Air Force One, they loved the reception the President got, they loved the positive attention he was bringing to the area and it showed in their reporting. They tried to be professional but the joy just and excitement just came through in their voices and their body language. It’s a great way to reach out to the people and to get around the blocks that the national media puts in place about saying anything positive about the President or Democrats.

  32. I saw that article. I wonder if people really understand what that really means. This morning there was another letter to the editor in our hometown paper about how the Democrats don’t understand how the deficit is all the problem. It is discouraging how stupid people really are.

    Thank goodness for this wonderful family and for this great President. Whenever I do feel down I come to this site and read all the comments and know that I am not alone.

    Thank you everyone here!

  33. The president invites people to a town hall meeting on the economy that he’ll hold at Facebook’s headquarters …Facebook is getting all the publicity it needs from President Obama.

    The social networking company, which is rumored to be considering former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs for a communications job, will host Obama on Wednesday for a “town hall meeting” at its headquarters. Obama is flying all the way out to California to be there, and to gin up excitement for it, he recorded a 30-second video that was put up over the weekend asking people to mark it on their calendars.

    “Hi, everybody,” Obama says to open the brief clip, which is on YouTube. “I just want to take a minute to invite you to a town hall meeting on the economy that I’m holding at Facebook’s headquarters this Wednesday, April 20.”

    http://www.politico.com/politico44/perm/0411/presidential_poke_1ffee57c-bd36-47b8-9829-ca7b126e3d54.html

  34. Good morning, OAITR Family.

    And Happy Passover to you, BWD and our other Jewish family members.

    Wonderful mishmash as always. I did check out pm carpenter over the weekend and enjoyed the writing — we have a lot of great scribes and bloggers on our side, and besides smarts, they often have so much wit.

    I look forward to hearing feedback on FLOTUS’ and SLOTUS’ appearance on The View. Should be wonderful, although I don’t expect much from Bawa or Elizabeth (yuck!).

    I sense people are still frustrated by MSM. I don’t partake in “news” media consumption as I don’t care to support them in any way. Much easier on my psyche, plus I like knowing they’re not making any money off me.

    Anyway, my one consistent critique/frustration with this Administration has been their communications. I think things are improving with Plouffe and Carney on board, but the messages still need to be simplified.

    You just cannot expect these “journalists” to do investigative or even well-sourced reporting. The Administration seems to not be taking advantage of this fact. You have to (like Bushco did) basically do their job for them. Give them the talking points and dare them to report it.

    The complex thinking and investigation is being done outside of the mainstream, but those people are not making it onto network and cable news or into the press conferences. The press gaggle needs things simplified into bite sized pieces and fed to them if the work and accomplishments of PBO and Co. are to get to the masses.

    It is PBO’s way to give people the benefit of the doubt, to expect the best from them, and to try to show them (through his own thoughtfulness and intelligence) to go deeper and to think harder. However, most of these news transcriptionists don’t have the intellectual capacity or work ethic to do the work. Most aren’t that bright, can’t analyze their way out of a paper bag, and are just downright lazy. Plus they’re under 24-hour news cycle deadlines. They have to have something to say at all times even if they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.

    Time to stop expecting them to do their jobs, and just give them their scripts. Bite sized and repeatedly.

    Hope somebody who gets paid the big bucks figures this out.

    Have a great day, everyone :-)!

  35. Happy Passover to all who celebrate. I read PBO will have his annual Sedar(sp) at the WH again. I hope this is another positive and somewhat quiet week for our first family to enjoy spring break with his family. The same to all of you with kids on spring break. Thanks BWD for all you do and thanks for all those that post subjects relating to our improving economy and upcoming election.

  36. What exactly is too long, anyway? Too long for whom? It always amazes me that linear minds tend to evaluate the too long/too little,win/lose etc, as opposed to the reality of what is taking place.

  37. Heads up for fellow Chicagoeans
    A townhouse with people from the White House will be tonight at Fellowship Baptist Church at 6 pm…45th and Princeton…the discussion will be about what the admin has done for minority communities and to give the admin feedback. Michael Blake, Valerie Jarret, Danny Davis and others are supposed to be there…

  38. You bet he does!I have a feeling that will become more and more apparent as time goes on.Too bad it takes people SOOOOOOOO long to figure some things out.

  39. Agreed!She has a way about her…rather “girl next door” only kicked up a knotch…or 10:)

  40. Ungar reinforced the point of rootless_e’s diary at TPV that drew so many GG trolls out of the woodwork on yesterday. They see things from a faraway distance where they don’t have to really think about the people who are suffering in this economic downturn. This provides them the luxury of condemning everything PBO does/says and allows them to maintain their progressive “purity,” while ignoring the fact that the issues PBO is dealing with are very difficult and have real world consequences for real people. It is PBO and we pragmati who have true progressive principles and character. If I had to grade them and the president and us, the scores would be:

    PBO/Pragmati = 100

    Progressive Purists = 0

  41. K-Thug Krugman can kiss my hairy arse! Just last week he was saying he wrote the prez off! This week he’s all hugs and kisses. It’s getting pretty pathetic!

    Seems the pattern for K-Thug is to build the prez up, set the bar impossibly high (remember his call for nationalizing the banks?!), and make everyone think he is on prez’s side. When the inevitable compromises come, as they always do as part of the legislative process, he will get mileage out of bashing him.

    Screw you Krugman.

  42. Thank you, Jayne. We have far more information at our fingertips than ever before. Why is it that the majority of our “news” sources refuses to disseminate it?

  43. I am sorry I am posting an article from huffpo but it’s a good one. ROB STEIN: Why I Support the Reelection of President Barack Obama huff.to/dZxijZ

  44. I wish that author would rewrite the article with the correct data…it’s very misleading. If you read the article, bear in mind that the correct data (shown at the bottom) is that the U.S. spends 16% of its GDP on social programs.

  45. He learned how to smear someone from when he used to work in the reagan WH as a, wait for it, an economic adviser. YIKES!

  46. I’m glad people are happy with PBO’s speech, but I think those who are saying things like “finally found his voice” are missing the larger picture. The general public and the media at large have been all to willing to give the GOP the benefit of the doubt. They give them too much credit. Obama had to lay low so that the GOP could actually commit to paper their diabolical scheme to destroy our nation’s social safety net.

    If he attacked them too soon, a speech like this wouldn’t have had as much of an effect. Now he’s given a devestatiting critique of the GOP. He explained his position, and he basically dared them to pass this horrible plan. And the GOP, being as demented as they are, went out in full force and signed on to the plan. Now the public really understands how destructive these guys really are, and how close our entire way of life really is to being blown up in our faces.

    At least I hope people realize that it’s all dependent on 53 senators and one guy in the White house.

  47. Here’s the literal money quote from that article:

    Each award was made through a competitive selection process. An external peer review panel reviewed all proposals and made award decisions based on scientific merit to the best and brightest scientists across the nation.

    This is part of the new way of doing business in government. Instead of just awarding grant money like this to a district with the most influential person in Congress, the money is awarded based on merit. Bravo.

  48. The Reid Report rocks. I’m not smart enough to understand pm carpenter. Way over my head.

  49. I’m learning that the far left have no sense at all of how politics work. Even moreso, they have no understanding of timing. Timing is so important. Pretty sure I wouldn’t want the far left covering my back in a fight. They’re too undisciplined and even simple strategy eludes them. Hmmm, sounds like MoveOn, doesn’t it? AMATEURS.

  50. The First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden are on the View. They are two dynamic women, I and I love both of them. Such beauty inside and out.
    To see that Elizabeth H’s daughter wrote Sasha and Malia saying “Your dad is a good President,” and “Your dad is a brave President,” just goes to show that even the little children “get it.”

  51. The Standard and Poors rating agency downgrade is important, because it puts focus on the question of long-term US bookkeeping, and the stark difference between PBO’s vision and Ryan’s.

    This what is labeled “a clarifying moment” and a good opportunity for PBO to further elaborate this week on last week’s speech. Taking it to the people via today’s local broadcasts, and then the townhalls will be helpful, particularly because Congress is out (are they ever in??), so PBO gets a bigger bite of the media apple.

    By the way, it is important to remember that of course the US is still rated AAA and we are not broke by any means, but the long term outlook is worrisome and will require adjustments and compromises.

  52. FLOTUS looks absolutely stunning on The View! Gorgeous! I am so proud of my First Lady!🙂

  53. Watching Michelle and Jill on The View—both look lovely and present warm and real personalities, talked about how close they are and how close their families are. Talked about raising girls, Michelle saying she saw Barack look uncomfortable and swallow nervously when he saw Malia all dressed up going out to a party for the first time. Of course they had to show the VP nodding off during Obama’s speech. Jill said he falls asleep when she is talking too. Asked Michelle about all the (unfair) attacks on her husband, and she said she concentrates on all the good and fair she sees in the American people. Elizabeth actually showed a cute thing—her daughter made cards for Malia and Sasha which said “Your dad is a good President” and “Your dad is a brave President”. So at least her daughter has heart. Elizabeth will probably be back to her regular partisan self tomorrow./
    Michelle is now talking meaningfully about military families, the entire audience is military members and their families. They are applauding and seem to be highly appreciative of their efforts.
    Elizabeth is now bringing up the controversy about McChrystal—-so back to her regular form.

  54. Good Morning all

    Wonderful mishmash as always. I agree with the comment above, the president didn’t find his voice, folks just decided it might be worth a listen instead of the tea party hysteria.

    Today I have 2 video clips from the President one on education and another on the budget. I plan to post these types of short clips daily.

    Sprinkle these little gems into the comment sections where you blog, put them on Facebook, Twitter, or email them to friends.

    Even when MSM features one of the president’s speeches they only show 30 second segments and then they often talk over the clip and tell us what he said (like they could say it better)

    Finally, following up on the discussion of local media, try placing these clips or talking points into the comment section of your local paper, I have noticed many local stories have only a few comments.

    Today’s budget video

    Obama: let’s be honest about what’s causing our debt.

    Today’s education video

    Schools need more $$ and reform

    both are on the front page
    http://www.whatisworking.com/

    There is also text that accompanies each clip so you can sprinkle talking points or Presidential quotes into the blogoshpere as well.

  55. Happy Passover, BWD and every one else who celebrates the holiday.
    Great links this morning. If any one comes close to speaking for me, it’s Unger. What an excellent column.

  56. Wow, that Rick Ungar piece was great. But did you see the comments? Rick is fighting back fauxgressives.

  57. A Blessed Day for all of the beautiful people on this site. Thank you so much, BWD for such a lovely presentation today. May all of our hearts be open to the goodness in the world and open up our lives to what is of good news, justice for the needy and poor, stability in war torn countries, courage and protection for our men and women serving us in a very difficult war. Wisdom , peace, grace, and protection for our POTUS, VPOTUS, FLOTUS, SLOTUS and the entire Cabinet and staff. We calmly life them up to God for His love and guidance to do what is kind, gentle, firm, and right. I was reading my in my quiet time this morning(my heart was heavy) and I started with Ps. 37. I take peace in knowing and having faith that our POTUS will be fine. May we all keep in our hearts wonderful and gracious love and respect for all of us who will celebrate with deep respect the Passover with our families and friends. Have a bless day all of the dear people on this site. Thank you so much.

  58. A good article from Frank Schaeffer on why he continues to support PBO . He calls out the far left and the faux conservatives.

    Excerpt:

    “Maybe there are some on the left who (besides selling anti-Obama screeds) suffer from some sort of psychological problem of denial and are unable to deal with the reality of what America has become and actually is: A place where progressive ideas are routinely crushed beneath the weight of the corporate state and entrenched bigotry. But THAT reality is where president Obama must function.”

    “And he has to bide his time. President Obama did not sell America to the cooperate oligarchy that has destroyed our democracy– the Republicans did, the lobbyists did and above all the Supreme Court did. President Obama didn’t bust the unions– Reagan did. President Obama didn’t declare war on women and minorities and immigration rights, gay rights and working men and women– the Republicans and religious right did. President Obama did not create the permanent war economy of imperial gun-toting undereducated and over-armed America– the Republicans did with the backing of American evangelicals (not to mention the neoconservative Israel lobby) who believe in God-ordained American “exceptionalism.”

    “Trying to change any or all of this will take time. It will not be achieved by one man. And our best shot at changing anything at all is to be realistic about what one president can do.”

    “The President’s critics left and right all had one thing in common: impatience laced with little-to-no sense of history.”

    http://frank-schaeffer.blogspot.com/2011/04/obama-is-now-and-will-be-great.html

  59. So that’s four – Kapanke, Hopper, Olsen, Harsdorf(unofficial), and probably a couple more will come down next week – Against Darling and Cowles. Grothman and Lazich would probably be an exercise in futility judging by the chart below.

    District 2 (R. Cowles – R) – 57.9% Prosser
    District 4 (L. Taylor – D) – 73.4% Kloppenburg
    District 6 (S. Coggs – D) – 77.5% Kloppenburg
    District 8 (A. Darling – R) – 58.8% Prosser
    District 10 (S. Harsdorf – R) – 50.5% Prosser
    District 12 (J. Holperin – D) – 55.4% Prosser
    District 14 (L. Olsen – R) – 54.7% Prosser
    District 16 (M. Miller – D) – 69.8% Kloppenburg
    District 18 (R. Hopper – R) – 52.8% Prosser
    District 20 (G. Grothman – R) – 74.3% Prosser
    District 22 (R. Wirch – D) – 51.2% Kloppenburg
    District 24 (J. Lassa – D) – 54.9% Kloppenburg
    District 26 (F. Risser – D) – 82.4% Kloppenburg
    District 28 (M. Lazich – R) – 69.6% Prosser
    District 30 (D. Hansen – D) – 50.01% Kloppenburg
    District 32 (Dan Kapanke – R) – 57.7% Kloppenburg

    Kapanke is a sitting duck, Hopper will be winnable if he stays and runs himself since he has other issues, Harsdorf seems like it’s very doable as well. Olsen, Cowles and Darling look like longer shots but close enough to win on turnout. Remember these special elections will be in the summer so anything can happen.

  60. Wasn’t mcchrystal recently recruited by PBO for some GI welfare related work ?

    Good to know FLOTUS is not discouraged by the 24×7 on her husband ?

  61. This story at CBS is a mixed bag but the headline is great (and many folks just read that part anyway)

    Labor crowd surrounds Palin’s Tea Party rally

    My favorite sign from the rally

    “Hey Walker, pull a Palin and Quit”

  62. I believe it’s the first week in May. 60 days from when the petition is registered, so all might be a little different.

  63. Thanks so much Jovie. I have worried so much about the trees in our city of Baltimore and the city’s willingness to cut and cut them down.

  64. Hey, folks. I hope everyone is doing well this week. We’re getting freaking 4 inches of snow in Michigan today which is weird even for our northern climes.

    I haven’t been around much lately because I’ve been blogging my little liberal fingers off about the crazy happenings in Michigan since Friday. Our Governor took over Benton Harbor, a city on the shores of Lake Michigan that is 90+% African American and deep in poverty after Whirlpool pulled it’s manufacturing plant out and headed elsewhere. He basically stepped in a effectively fired their entire government. Stop by if you are interested. I’d start here:

    And so it begins. Emergency Financial Mgr. fires entire government of Benton Harbor, MI.

    There are links to two other pieces in that one. It’s pretty ugly.

    Have a great week and wish us luck here in the Great White North.

  65. Agree pretty much with your analysis. Any district that went for Prosser with less than 55-60% of the vote is vulnerable because a lot of people just tend to vote for the incumbent in those races and didn’t really understand the full signifigance of the race. The recall elections will be different. I can definitely see 3 seats flipping.

  66. Yeah, we had a little over an inch in the NW Chicago suburbs. Rotten way to start a week.

    I went over to your place this AM and read the pieces. It gets sicker and sicker over there.

    I have to wonder about the constitutionality of that law. Sounds like the ACLU is looking at it very closely.

  67. From my twitter timeline:

    RT @WestWingReport: Waiting for the White House to release the First Family’s tax returns; should be at some point today

  68. I meant to add that this west wing reporter
    strikes me as the type of guy that would go
    through the Obama family’s garbage if they
    still brought their trash cans to the curb.

  69. I forgot to mention, the NPR story only has 7 comments (I put one in, so jump on the story and say wonderful things about the President or suggest that folks join this wonderful BWD blog. The comments I read were supportive.

  70. Happy Passover, BWD!

    The first piece I read was Rick Ungar’s on “Obama’s Character … ” Oh my God. The best!

  71. Absolutely. Which is why I’m still not in 100% agreement with Krugman, although his note about Republicans playing civility police just as Dems call out their policy excesses is brilliant, perfect, 100% correct! (very excited to see a national publication thinking outside the box and noticing these patterns)

    That said, Krugman continues to fail to identify the real problem. Consensus is not a dirty word. Compromise is not a dirty word; in fact, there is no other way to politick in such a diverse country. The problem was, is, and remains a radicalized GOP with whacky ideas and a media which fails to put forth that this is not your parents’/grandparents’ Republican party. President Obama has made the choice crystal clear, he doesn’t need direction from Krugman. Krugman needs to consider realizing the high value of his media platform, and develop a discipline about calling the GOP out, even where Dems are annoying, disappointing, or pissing him off. That lack of discipline on the left media muddles the message and confuses Indies. Krugman has an unusual perch from which to clear that muddle and I hope that he doesn’t squander this opportunity.

  72. Yes, the Ungar piece was terrific.

    My thanks as well.

    I must tell you that yesterday, TPV had a humdinger of a rootless piece being trolled by GG’s buddies. It was amazing.

    People stood strong and fought. I really hate it when the frustrati get involved, but we held the fort.

    GN, as usual, was great.

  73. Thank you for this, majii. That is an excellent description of what the President inherited from his predecessors. The United States has been on the wrong track for a long time, in a way maybe from its inception, and if want to foster the kind of humanitarian mindset in our populace that we would like to see represented in our government, we must work patiently and tirelessly to encourage our fellow citizens to tolerate and cooperate with one another. There is no other path to an enlightened democracy other than enlightened citizens.

  74. Majii, I just came over and talked about it. Sorry, I did not see that you had already referred to it. It was quite an event.

    Majii, stood really tall.

  75. Frank Schaeffer has written quite the rant. His example of what Greenwald writes makes you shake your head in disbelief. I used to read Greenwald on Salon. I don’t anymore. That guy needs some help. Seriously.

  76. I can’t wait for the town halls this week.

    As I said in another thread, President Obama presented a MASTERFUL defense of the liberal vision of America last wednesday. He presented what I called a moral argument.

    I would like him to push very hard the economic argument as well. The experience of the past thirty years can be used to demonstrate very clearly the stupidity of supply-side economics.

    Simple argument: “Let’s go back to what WORKED in the past. The nineties saw the fiscal situation of America improved. Let’s go back to that. PERIOD. END OF THE STORY.”

    The moral argument is necessary to make. But make no mistake about it, the republicans will counter it by peddling the racial anxieties and resentment of the white electorate. No problem with democrats because they believe in liberal values. My concern is with independants … Because hey can be easily fooled for example by disinformation about the “voucher’s program replacing Medicare. Never underestimate the INCAPACITY of the media to inform people, especially on economic matters.

  77. I agree with you about the sorry state of journalism. I want President Obama to keep pushing the media to grow up, but the last two years have demonstrated that this is a very very difficult task.

    We are entering a fierce debate on economics, and if there’s something where the national media is COMPLETELY incompetent, it’s economics. The communication strategy has to take that unfortunate fact into account.

    Let’s not forget though that national media is doing its best to weaken President Obama’s “bully pulpit”.

  78. Just a general comment. Over the last couple of weeks, even before the speech about the deficit, we have been seeing more and more articles coming out blasting the PL and being supportive of the President. And not just from blogs such as this one and others.
    The MSM is starting to wake up and either see the disaster that the Republican vision would be for America or see that teh President can’t operate as if this is an ideal world and his wishing would make things so.
    There is still a long way to go, but I will give some slack to things such as the NYT item for saying the president was late, even though he wasn’t.
    I don’t expect 100% flattering pieces about the president, but even 75% flattering is better than what we have been seeing.

  79. To me, the problem is not about the very idea of compromise, as I can’t see how we can get anything done without it. The problem is who we’re having to negotiate with, in terms of their radicalization. This problem is created by the public not getting just how radical the GOP has become, or at least they didn’t get it previous to the election (leading to the serious case of buyer’s remorse). If the press can just let the facts lead, and stop falsely equalizing the parties with the nonstop nitpicking of President Obama, that would be invaluable IMO.

  80. Revised: No, no, Frank Schaeffer’s piece is the best! Please, everyone, if you can – help BWD make it go viral.

  81. How about bringing Jack Lew more often in the press briefings ? He did a GREAT job last week. He debunked some of Ryan’s arguments with calm and obvious knowledge.

    I think President Obama’s economic team is very very good. I would like those guys on the forefront. Tim Geithner on the Sunday shows was a good idea.

    My problem is there aren’t many REAL debates in front of the cameras. Journalists are so incompetent that they can’t push back against Ryan’s distorsions and wishful thinking. We need to see people like Geithner of Jack Lew or Austan Goldsbee DIRECTLY debating Ryan. That would be a SIGHT to see !

    SOMETHING has to be done about the flood of economic falsehoods circulating on the air waves.

  82. japa21 – I agree – anything that isn’t obviously HATE-filled is better than we’ve seen. Makes me sad, but that’s reality.

  83. I do, too, Debz. I’ve been following Frank for years – he was always on C-Span’s Book TV – but especially since he threw his full support to President Obama. Believe after his son went to war, he saw the Republican platform even more clearly (and harshly). His words are golden, since he had a few epiphanies in his life, all hard fought. And he ended up in just the right place – with us!

  84. Oh, dotster, thanks for the recap of The View. I only got to watch the last 10 minutes of it – so your comments were appreciated.

  85. The complaint that Obama doesn’t do what they agree he should do in a timely manner doesn’t hold water for me as timing is everything. PBO realizes that and times what he does after the GOP have completely put out their side of the issue so they cannot walk it back like they could if he speaks out sooner.

  86. Can it be? I’m almost feeling *two weeks in a row* of happy times for Democrats! It’s usually such a struggle … but things seem to be falling into place just beautifully last week and this week, thanks to our great chess-master President!

    Can we go for a third?

    Ahhhh.

  87. I am reading this behind the thread so am just posting what I think after posts I read. Now that I have caught up a little I see this post about timing being a lot like what I posted above. I think Timing is Everything! Not my own brilliant saying but I have found it is a truism. I think PBO operates with timing in mind. If he would jump right in first with what he believes and satisfy those who say he waits too long his words would have no effect. PBO waits until the GOP have totally gotten their message out there and it is too difficult to walk it back when they realize people do not like what they are saying before his message his putforth. Therefore PBO’s words are paid more attention to and seem much more reasonable than the Republican’s message. Yes, timing is part of the political genious our President operates from.

  88. I have been following him since the “08 campaign. His epiphanies have been hard fought. I supposed that is why his words have such meaning.

  89. I agree about Krugman. While I appreciate him backing the President and calling out the republicans this time, I have seen him all too often lose his perspective and lay fault at the wrong door. With the current GOP being filled with radicals who do not hesitate to not only be uncivil in regards to the President but who also have publicly stated over and over that they will not compromise it is required for journalists and pundits to point out how unusual and unsustainable such a party is. That is where they need to keep the focus, especially those like Krugman who claim to represent the left in this country.

  90. Focus is precisely right; you’re spot on.

    And I have to also emphasize again, credit where credit is due: rarely have I see a media analysis which just tells it like it is with how these games are played. Civility police is just spot-on! I remember thinking when Ryan was putting out the hurt feelings story and Morning Joe ran with it, “pul-lease.” We’re talking about the destruction of the US social safety net and they’re talking about “President Obama wasn’t nice to me and said my plan was icky.” Baloney. So on that, Mr. Krugman knocked it out of the park and I hope that other media people see what he said and think about these distractions and games in form of “civility” policing.

  91. That’s an interesting insight. While I very much so credit Krugman for noting that the GOP runs a civility racket, you’re correct in that he set a no-compromise standard which is going to be impossible to meet. I take him with a grain of salt at this point.

  92. Just loved the Ungar Piece. I choked up while reading it. It captured the essence of this great, thinking,compassionate man.

    Character…yes that’s it in a nutshell.

    Thanks for the mishmash BWD…you keep us sane.

  93. He made a lot less money last year than he did in 2009. I think he made 7 million in 2009 (from book sales and a new book deal I believe). Interesting.

  94. WiW; I commented on your blog that if you’d like to test drive theprogressweekly for your video, please feel free (if you write a comment, I can add you as an author).

    That goes for anyone who wants to be involved as a co-author in this project. Thanks!

    http://theprogressweekly.wordpress.com/

  95. I’m sorry. This was too hilarious to pass up.

    4. Conservatives Angry White House Ignores Porn

    A group of lawmakers and conservative activists says the administration needs to start paying more attention to adult pornography. In a little-noticed move, Attorney General Eric Holder closed down the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force, a unit set up during the Bush administration to combat obscenity. It was set up due to pressure from conservatives about the proliferation of pornographic images on the Internet and never really had much success, but critics insist the move is a perfect example of how the White House has turned a blind eye to the issue. The Justice Department insists it is not giving up, but concedes that its priority involves child pornography since the multibillion dollar industry is now ubiquitous. Although the law against obscene material that violates community standards is still in full effect, it’s much more difficult to find a jury these days that would be shocked by pornographic images that don’t involve children. Under pressure from conservatives, the Bush administration created the task force to ensure that at least some obscenity cases not involving children were pursued. But even as it aggressively sought cases it mostly ended up pursuing small industry players, reports Politico. Lawyers for the adult industry praised the move to shut down the task force. “It just seems like, finally, the Department of Justice has caught up with the rest of the nation,” one lawyer said.

  96. Ya dun good too, Dorothy! We stand for what we believe and no body gets away with trolling TPV, not on our watch!

    What happened yesterday just tells me how powerful our diarists are. They stand strong when certain people want them to go be quiet and sit this out. I think we may expect more of this but we are ready, willing and very able to take them on. Armed with facts and dangerous to trolls!

  97. So, shutting down a useless division, which undoubtedly saves money, is now bad and conservatives want more money spent on something that doesn’t work. That is a riot.

  98. Exactly, “truth is on our side” and we need to speak out loud and clear.

  99. I think most children naturally lean towards the liberal world view before they are brainwashed into conservatism. Nature has a liberal bias and people without an agenda tend to see things the way they are intended to be seen – through the eyes of nature.

  100. The Tennessee Valley Authority agreed to close 18 coal-fired generators and install as much as $5 billion in pollution controls to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations in Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee.

    The settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency and the states requires TVA to install equipment targeting nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide, which create acid rain, the TVA said today in a statement. The authority, created in 1933 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, will invest $350 million in clean-energy projects and pay $10 million in civil penalties

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-14/tennessee-valley-authority-to-spend-up-to-5-bln-on-pollution.html

  101. Thanks for sharing that Jovie. We have had a big thing going here about urban tree planting. Of course the Repugnants don’t want it but our environmentalists not only pointed out most all you said but also had some numbers about how Summer temps could be reduced if we had more shade.

  102. She most certainly does! Wish I could be half the woman that she is..but I’m going to keep trying!

    FLOTUS – 10
    hopefruit2 – 4
    🙂🙂

  103. You should fire off your own LTE in rebuttal. I never used to write LTE’s but now I’m doing at least one per week. I’m tired of the bs I read in my local rag so I’m fired up and fighting back!

  104. Yup, I’m all for incremental change, as long as it’s in the right direction.

  105. I found Barbara negative and offensive throughout the show. She needs to retire. Other than her – I thought it was a great show and highlighted something near and dear to the First Lady’s heart and something all of us should be concerned with.

  106. More pro-President Obama on the web from George Lakoff. It also includes info on winning independents to our side in the 2012 budget deal:

    Excerpt:

    “President Obama, in the same speech, laid the groundwork for another crucial national discussion: systems thinking, which has shown up in public discourse mainly in the form of “systemic risk” of the sort that led to the global economic meltdown. The president brought up systems thinking implicitly, at the center of his budget proposal. He observed repeatedly that budget deficits and “spending” do not occur in isolation. The choice of what to cut and what to keep is a matter of factors external to the budget per se. Long-term prosperity, economic recovery, and job creation, he argued, depend up maintaining “investments” — investments in infrastructure (roads, bridges, long-distance rail), education, scientific research, renewable energy, and so on. The maintenance of American values, he argued, is outside of the budget in itself, but is at the heart of the argument about what to cut. The fact is that the rich have gotten rich because of the government — direct corporate subsidies, access to publicly-owned resources, access to government research, favorable trade agreements, roads and other means of transportation, education that provides educated workers, tax loopholes, and innumerable government resources are taken advantage of by the rich, but paid for by all of us. What is called a ”tax break” for the rich is actually a redistribution of wealth from the poor and middle class—whose incomes have gone down—to those who have considerably more money than they need, money they have made because of tax investments by the rest of America.”

    /snip/

    “It is rare that a presidential speech provides such opportunities for Democrats, whether in office or not. The President has made overt the moral system that lies behind every progressive position on every issue. He has done it with near perfection. He went on offense, not defense. He didn’t use conservative language tied to conservative ideas. He correctly tied his moral vision to the American moral vision and the very idea of American democracy — and patriotism. He used systems thinking throughout. He tied every part of his budget proposal to the American moral vision. And he showed clearly how the Republican budget rejected those American moral ideals in every case. It was not merely high political art. It is a model to be studied and followed.”

    http://georgelakoff.com/2011/04/17/obama-returns-to-his-moral-vision-democrats-read-carefully/

  107. WASHINGTON– On Tuesday, April 19, 2011, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will be joined by the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Richard K. Sullivan Jr. and Cape Wind Associates Vice President Dennis Duffy to make an announcement in Boston regarding the Cape Wind offshore wind energy project.

    The announcement will be made at 10:30AM EDT news conference at Pier 1 in the Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston National Historical Park.

    Cape Wind is a proposed wind turbine facility to be located in federal waters 4.7 miles offshore Cape Cod, Massachusetts. An array of 130 generators would be sited on 25 square miles of Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound and produce up to 468 megawatts of power.

    WHO: Ken Salazar, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary
    Richard K. Sullivan Jr., MA Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs
    Dennis Duffy, Vice President, Cape Wind Associates

    WHAT: Cape Wind project announcement
    WHEN: Tuesday, April 19, 2011; 10:30AM EDT

    WHERE: Pier 1
    Charlestown Navy Yard
    Boston National Historical Par
    Boston, MA 02129-4543.

    MEDIA: Credentialed media are invited to attend the announcement.

    NOTE: If it is raining, the event will be held at the Commandant’s House, Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston National Historical Park, Boston, MA 02129-4543.

    Dept Of Interior-

  108. Saw your diaries. Keep your ears warm and stay hot with your writing. You are doing good, young man. My heart is really with you. Wish I could do more than just cheer you on from the sidelines. I’m sending you some sunshine from here in AZ ♥

  109. April 11, 2011

    DOE Finalizes $1.6 Billion Loan Guarantee for BrightSource Energy Inc.
    California Complex Expected to Create Approximately 1,000 Jobs and Avoid Over 640,000 Tons of Carbon Pollution Annually

    Washington D.C. – Announced this afternoon via Twitter.com/energy, the U.S. Department of Energy finalized $1.6 billion in loan guarantees to support the Ivanpah Solar Energy Generating System, three related utility-scale concentrated solar power plants. The Recovery Act funded project, sponsored by BrightSource Energy, Inc., will be located on federally-owned land in the Mojave Desert in southeastern California, near the Nevada border, and will be one of the world’s largest concentrated solar power complexes. BrightSource estimates the project will create approximately 1,000 construction jobs and 86 operations and maintenance jobs.

    “Today’s announcement is creating over 1,000 jobs in California while laying the foundation for thousands more clean energy jobs across the country in the future,” said Secretary Chu. “Through the loan program we are supporting some of the largest, most innovative clean energy projects in the world, and those investments are helping us to out-compete and out-innovate our global competitors to win the future.”

    http://www.energy.gov/news/10262.htm

  110. Thanks to Recovery Act funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) is making thousands of revealing, beautiful, and informative cell images and videos accessible worldwide to anyone with an Internet connection.

    From black-and-white historical cell images to video of an amoeba trying hard to ingest a mutant yeast cell, The Cell: An Image Library™ offers a carefully curated, searchable, annotated selection of images, videos, and animations of cell functions and interactions. While ASCB has long held the development of the library as a goal in its efforts to aid the scientific community and educators, its realization was impossible until the Society was awarded a Recovery Act grant for $2.5 million through the NIH. The grant enabled the Society to hire the necessary staff and consultants.

    http://www.hhs.gov/recovery/programs/cellsaidresearchers.html

  111. Statement of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on Chicago’s New Education Team and Proposed Reforms in Illinois
    April 18, 2011

    Contact: Press Office, (202) 401-1576, press@ed.gov

    “I want to commend Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel for choosing a diverse and outstanding team to lead the Chicago Public Schools and take education reform forward. Like many schools districts, Chicago faces considerable educational and budgetary challenges, but the people announced today bring tremendous experience, knowledge and commitment to the job. I look forward to working closely with them in the months and years ahead to improve student outcomes and keep reform on track.

    I am equally enthusiastic about the groundbreaking reforms under consideration by the Illinois legislature. While states all across America are wrestling with difficult and complex educational issues from teacher evaluation and staffing to compensation and tenure, Illinois has steadily and effectively built consensus for real and meaningful change among all of the key stakeholders, and set a national example of constructive collaboration for other states to follow. By getting everyone involved, from state and local officials to teacher unions and advocacy groups, Illinois offers its parents and taxpayers the very real promise of better student outcomes, and I am very hopeful that these proposals become law.”

    Dept of Education-

  112. President Obama will meet with Panama’s president for the first time next week, the White House announced after U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said his office had completed “preparatory work” on a trade deal.

    “I am pleased to report to you that the Office of the United States Trade Representative has completed its preparatory work on the Agreement and stands ready to begin technical discussions with Members of Congress on the draft implementing bill and draft Statement of Administrative Action,” Kirk said in a letter to the Senate Committee on Finance and the House Committee on Ways and Means.

    http://www.politico.com/politico44/perm/0411/trade_deal_nears_d16823a6-36aa-4626-bb22-d81f3a6b8d61.html

  113. A while ago, one of you great people linked to a culinary blog authored by a member of the bwd family; does anyone remember that address?

  114. Boehner hired a $5M a year lawyer to defend the Government’s side in DOMA cases.

  115. I saw Lakoff in person at a Los Angeles ALOUD event and he was pretty impressive.

  116. As a Chicagoan, Rahm is such a breath of fresh air, after that bumbling crook Daley. You forget that a Chicago mayor can actually string together a coherent sentence, much less coherent ideas.

    Rahm has rolled up his sleeves and gotten to work.

  117. “Consensus is not a dirty word. Compromise is not a dirty word; in fact, there is no other way to politick in such a diverse country.”

    Very well said GN! This country, from its inception, has pretty much operated on the basis of compromises. The U.S. Constitution was based on compromise as were most of the New Deal and Great society policies. I am not for compromise at any cost, but I am for compromise if it means moving a progressive agenda forward. Unger’s article was really spot-on. I wish more people were exposed to his kind of sober journalism.

  118. I wanted to second you in praising Dorothy for standing strong against the people they unleashed against the post by our fearless rootless. I also wanted to commend you for standing just as strong as as Dorothy and GN, and Bobfr and others. TPV, like BWD’s sight, is really one strong fact based community. Posts by Deaniac, rootless, and TiMT and others, are so thorough, and well grounded in reality, that the only thing trolls can do is manufacture silly outrages to attack them. As you so ably said, TPV is: “Armed with facts and dangerous to trolls!”

  119. Very well said lilaf1! I totally agree with you that we must speak the truth even if it means upsetting the self-anointed leaders of the progressives who falsely claim to represent the base. Hopefully, as more and more pragmatic progressives begin to push back, against the toxic negativity put out by the PL and “frustrati,” more Americans will begin to distinguish the difference between truth and lies about the President.

  120. Wonderful comment desertflower. I am thankful we have this good man as our president. I am equally thankful that we have this wonderful person, BWD, who has inspired, and brought together, such a wonderful gathering of enlightened and reality based people.

  121. There is no doubt that Donald Trump is very offensive. But Rasmussen was equally offensive by his snarky remark about Obama not being able to get 50% against the Donald. First I don’t care about his biased polls because I doubt their accuracy. Second, I’ve not seen him write the same narrative with respect to congressional Republicans who are doing so horribly in the polls.

  122. Yup, and to dismiss that truism is just mistaken. So while I do credit Krugman very highly for noting that the GOP, a group of people who are hardly civil, uses civility complaints to mask policy buffoonery, Krugman’s logic with respect to compromise falls short and runs counter to the manner in which progress is made in this country.

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