Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Lady "D", is "Selling the Obama Brand"

I know some folks who don't care too much for Desiree Rogers, my opinion is still out on her, but the woman is fierce. And if she is selling the "Obama Brand", all snaps because girlfriend is doing a hell of a job doing so.

Desirée Glapion Rogers is the descendant of a Creole voodoo priestess named Marie Laveau Glapion. The first time I meet her, she welcomes me into her East Wing lair—a rhythm and blues tune plays on a white iPod, a potted white orchid perches between two windows, fresh flowers sit on a heavy wooden desk. This is a woman who never sees a wilted bloom. The 49-year-old turns on just enough Southern charm to camouflage an aura of self-assuredness typically reserved for runway models or first ladies. Wearing a crisp white shirt, black patent flats and high-waisted navy slacks that would look terrible on almost anyone else, Rogers talks about her job as White House social secretary.

If there’s one thing Desirée Rogers and Desirée Rogers’ staff want you to know—and will keep reminding you until you get it—it’s that the president and Michelle Obama plan to open up the White House and once again make it the “people’s house.” They want to create an environment where average Americans might stop by and catch the first lady serving homemade huckleberry cobbler and caramel ice cream to students, tending to the vegetable garden on the South Lawn or watching the romantic comedy “He’s Just Not That Into You” with her girlfriends. The president is, of course, meeting with foreign dignitaries. In one of the most visible roles in the Obama administration, Rogers is out to solidify the first family as one of the most memorable in presidential history, and the Ivy League–educated first lady, in particular, as the most popular mom-in-chief.

The first day I interview Rogers, I do not see the president or the first lady. What I do see is the First Lady’s Garden, green and manicured, sitting like a postcard outside Rogers’ large cheery windows. Mrs. Obama’s office is down the hall. Everywhere, pictures of the first lady hang on the walls: Here’s Mrs. O reading to schoolchildren, here she is shaking hands with voters. Mrs. O smiles widely in every picture with that my-husband-is-the-president glow that can only come when roughly 70 percent of the country approves of you.

With her direct access to the first couple and unparalleled connections to White House staff, as well as D.C. and Chicago power brokers, Rogers is considered by many to be the key to Brand Obama. She stands at the center of the careful marketing of the first family and an administration-wide effort to make the White House appear a hip and accessible abode. Mrs. Obama’s press team manages a media blitz that includes cover shots on People, Vogue and Oprah’s O magazine, among others, while Rogers controls the day-to-day development and execution of the brand. The former marketing executive must create a White House that helps Americans visualize Mr. Obama’s campaign promises of change and transparency. read all here....

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Scapegoats for Bush


Scapegoats for Bush. It is all coming out.

When you do foul shit, eventually it all comes out.

Prison guards jailed for abusing inmates at the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq are planning to appeal against their convictions on the ground that recently released CIA torture memos prove that they were scapegoats for the Bush Administration.

The photographs of prisoner abuse at the Baghdad jail in 2004 sparked worldwide outrage but the previous administration, from President Bush down, blamed the incident on a few low-ranking “bad apples” who were acting on their own.

The decision by President Obama to release the memos showed that the harsh interrogation tactics were approved and authorised at the highest levels of the White House.

Some of the guards who were convicted of abuse want to return to court and argue that the previous administration sanctioned the abuse but withheld its role from their trials.

The latest reaction to the released memos came as it emerged that the two psychologists hired by the CIA to craft the techniques that were used on terror suspects were paid $1,000 (£673) a day. Neither had carried out nor overseen an interrogation.

Twelve guards at Abu Ghraib were convicted on charges related to the abuse, which included attaching leads to naked prisoners, terrifying them with dogs, beatings and slamming them into walls. The wall-slamming was a technique authorised by Justice Department officials at the time, who also said that the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding was not considered to be torture.

Charles Gittins, a lawyer who represents Charles Graner, the ringleader of the guards who is serving a ten-year sentence, said that the memos proved his long-held contention that Graner and the other defendants, including his former lover Lynndie England, could never have invented tactics such as stress positions and the use of dogs on their own.

“Once the pictures came out, the senior officials involved in the decision-making, they knew. They knew they had to have a cover story. It was the ‘bad apples’ led by Charles Graner,” Mr Gittins told The Washington Post. read more here.....

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Democratic Senators sides with the banks and against homeowners (Video)

They did. Again, lobbying is still going strong. Again, these senators who continue to take their money, vote lock step with STATUS QUO. From Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

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President Obama's Weekly Radio Address, May 2, 2009 (Video and Transcript)

Government Actions to Address the H1N1 (Swine) Flu Virus

Republican Response

download .mp3 or .mp4 (46.9 Mb) | also available youtube | read transcript

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Friday, May 1, 2009

The Torture Clock from the Bush Administration Continues.....(Video)

From Keith Olbermann's Countdown....

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Obama to meet with Israeli and Afghan leaders next week

Obama meets with Israeli President Shimon Peres on Tuesday and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday.

The White House says President Barack Obama will meet Wednesday with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to discuss their troubled region.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Friday that Obama would meet jointly and separately with the two at the White House. He said Obama looks forward to discussing with them "how we can work together to enhance our cooperation in this important part of the world."

It is nice and good that the Obama Administration is reaching out, but the real meetup in my mind is going to be the with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. Clash of the Titans, anyone?

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Obama attends a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members at the White House (Video)

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Obama: Official Justice Souter is Leaving the Supreme Court (Video)


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The Hate Game: GOP vs. Mexicans (Video)

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wounded Warrior Soldiers Ride (Video)

Today, after being introduced by Defense Secretary Gates, the President gave a few remarks on the South Lawn before kicking off the White House to Light House Wounded Warrior Soldiers Ride. The race raises public awareness of the challenges facing veterans as they recover from life-altering injuries, and it drew quite a crowd, including Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, National Security Advisor General Jim Jones, and Veterans Affairs Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs Tammy Duckworth. April 30, 2009.

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Justice David Souter to Retire from Supreme Court (Video)

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Michelle's Favorite White House Room

Courtesy of East Wing Rules

Arkansas interior designer Kaki Hockersmith worked alongside the White House Historical Association chaired by First Lady Hillary Clinton to select period wall covering and elaborate draperies that would enhance one of the most used famous Rooms of State in the White House. Hillary Clinton chose the rich sapphire colors for the drapes and upholstery. Jacqueline Kennedy worked hard to ensure the White House furniture collection included many original pieces of the Bellangé French Empire suite of furniture that are part of the salon's rich nineteenth century history. At the White House enough bergère (enclosed sides) and several fauteuil (open sided) chairs needed to fill about 120 square feet of space in an oval room. Former secretary of state and Francophile on to President, James Monroe purchased a set of eight pieces and imported the classical furniture original to the room in more here.....

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Obama's Statement on Chrysler's Bankruptcy (Video)

This was the most glorifying news conference on bankruptcy I have ever watched....

Obama's main goal was to make the public's mind safe to purchase a Chrysler automobile. We will see what happens.

Chrysler to file bankruptcy
The New Chrysler

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Elizabeth Edwards on John Edwards affair: "His affair made me vomit"

I heard that.

If I was battling cancer, went through losing a child, had kids in later 40s, worked my fingers to the bone to elevate my husband and he comes up with a mistress and a possible baby on me??? I would vomit, too.

Campaign cad John Edwards' cheating ways made his wife, Elizabeth, sick to her stomach - literally.

After the former presidential hopeful confessed his betrayal, Elizabeth Edwards writes in her new book, "I cried and screamed, I went to the bathroom and threw up."

Elizabeth, 59, who is terminally ill with cancer, speaks in far more detail than before about her husband's infidelity in her new memoir, "Resilience," due to be published May 12 by Broadway Books. A copy was obtained by the Daily News.

Despite feeling deeply deceived, Elizabeth Edwards nonetheless publicly stood by her husband's side, lending his candidacy the aura of a warm, loving family life.

But she had actually wanted him to quit the race to protect the family. Edwards admitted the hanky-panky to her days after declaring his candidacy in 2006 - almost a year before the National Enquirer reported it.

She was afraid of the destructive questions Edwards' affair with videographer Rielle Hunter would raise.

Later events proved her right. "He should not have run," she says. read more here.....


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Specter, WATCH OUT, Sestak looks better by the day to be the Democratic Nominee in Pennsylvania (Video)

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WHO: Informs countries to activate their pandemic emergency response plans due to the spread of SWINE FLU (Video)

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Vice President Joe Biden: Gaffe or Keepin' it Honest? You Decide. **UPDATE** (Video)

This is about his statement on SWINE FLU. Let's be honest, it is in pandemic mode. It is here in the United States. Folks are bringing it back from Mexico. I, personally, would not be anywhere in confinement, like an airplane. I, personally, think flights at this time should be canceled to Mexico. But that is my opinion.

Obama Administration on talking point mode in regards to Swine Flu, Video


Backtrack time, Biden clarifies his statement.
Biden's spokesperson, Elizabeth Alexander, sought to clarify Biden's remarks in a statement issued shortly after his television interview.

"The advice he is giving family members is the same advice the administration is giving to all Americans: that they should avoid unnecessary air travel to and from Mexico," she said.

"If they are sick, they should avoid airplanes and other confined public spaces, such as subways. This is the advice the vice president has given family members who are traveling by commercial airline this week," Alexander said.


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Official: Chrysler to enter bankruptcy

I know the Obama Administration will try to paint this as a "good thing", but who is going to buy anything from a company, especially a high ticket price tag as a car, when you don't know if the doors are going to close on you for good. Especially, if you need to take the car back for anything and what about your warranty on this vehicle? I said from the get, we are not going to be able to save EVERYONE. And let's not even start to think about the folks who are in retirement mode, I know they are very worried right now.

Chrysler will file for bankruptcy protection after talks with creditors aimed at reducing its huge debt burden failed, officials said on Thursday.

The No. 3 U.S. automaker faces a government deadline of 11:59 p.m. Thursday to have deals in place with labor, creditors and Italian automaker Fiat. Two of the three pieces appeared to be in place. A small group of debtholders were the remaining obstacle, as they hold out for a better deal from the U.S. government.

Talks between Chrysler LLC's lenders and the Treasury Department to reduce the automaker's secured debt and keep it out of bankruptcy protection broke down early this morning, a person familiar with the talks said.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to talk about the auto industry in remarks at 12 noon EDT.

Four banks with 70 percent of Chrysler's $6.9 billion debt had agreed to erase it for $2 billion, or less than 30 cents for each dollar held. That left Chrysler's fate in the hands of about 40 hedge funds with about 30 percent of the debt.

To entice the hedge funds into going along with the banks, the government on Wednesday afternoon added $250 million to the $2 billion that the banks had settled for and gave the hedge funds a 6 p.m. deadline to work it out, two people briefed on the talks said.


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Congresswoman Virginia Foxx should be ashamed of herself the most outrageous thing said on the House floor (Video)

It is statements like this that turned many away from the Republican Party

Congresswoman, Matthew Shepard's mother was present in the House Chamber as you stated that BOLD FACE LIE. This is disgusting beyond belief. Do you know how to perform due diligence to get the damn FACTS STRAIGHT?

Matthew Shepard

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Obama's Town Hall Meeting in Arnold, MO, April 29, 2009 (Video/Transcript)


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Michelle Obama is HOT!!! (Video)

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Mexico City is SHUTTING DOWN due to Swine Flu

Talk about out of control. Pandemic. It is.

Mexico's government is suspending all nonessential activity of the federal government and private business as the number of confirmed swine flu cases jumped.

The decision came as global health authorities warned Wednesday that swine flu was threatening to bloom into a pandemic, and the virus spread farther in Europe even as the outbreak appeared to stabilize at its epicenter. A toddler who succumbed in Texas became the first death outside Mexico.

Health Secretary José Angel Córdova Villalobos announced the move to shut down most of the country’s government and economy shortly after his department reported that confirmed cases of infection with the new strain of influenza had risen. The death toll in Mexico is believed to be 160.

In addition to the deaths, the virus is believed to have sickened 2,498 people across Mexico. But only 1,311 suspected swine flu patients remained hospitalized, and a closer look at daily admissions and deaths at Mexico’s public hospitals suggests the outbreak may have peaked during three grim days last week when thousands of people complained of flu symptoms.

Health Secretary Jose Cordova said nonessential federal government offices will be closed from May 1-5. Friday is a national holiday in Mexico and many government offices are usually closed. He said all nonessential private businesses must also close for that period but essential services like transport, supermarkets, trash collection, hospital will remain open.

Cordova said at a news conference in Mexico City it was up to the heads of individual departments to determine which services were essential and which were nonessential, but he stressed that vital services like police agencies and airports would remain open, as would crucial economic services like telecommunications, pharmacies and public transportation.


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President Obama's National Press Conference (100 Days), April 29, 2009 (Video/Transcript)


Full Transcript

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Soon-to-be-Senator Al Franken is hiring staff

Good news. Because when this mess is over, he is the junior senator from Minnesota. Last hurdle the Minnesota Supreme Court and a note, Franken has won all challenges thus far and is still leading with a 300+ vote count over Norm Coleman.

Senator-elect Al Franken today announced that Drew Littman, a longtime Capitol Hill veteran, has agreed to serve as his Washington-based chief of staff.

Littman, who has advised many Senators-elect, including Franken, on the transition process, was most recently the head of his own consulting practice, Littman Associates, and an adjunct professor at American University. He began his career on Capitol Hill twenty years ago as a policy aide for then-Rep. Barbara Boxer, and has since served as a subcommittee staff director and a Senate Policy Director.

Al Franken:

"With Drew leading our team, I know that my office will be able to uphold the Minnesota tradition of excellent and responsive constituent service. With his years of experience and his expertise in helping new Senators hit the ground running, Drew has become a trusted advisor and a valuable resource as I prepare to take office. I will continue to count on him as I work with Senators from both parties and the rest of our state's fantastic delegation to serve the people of Minnesota, make progress on President Obama's agenda, and move our country forward."

Coleman has left a very sour taste with Minnesotans, he has lost, won't concede and quite frankly is just an embarrassment.


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Chuck Todd tells the reality of what Specter's departure means for the Republican Party (Video)

From morning joe, and Joe was somber this morning.....

A must read by Senator Olympia Snowe on why the Republicans did not have to lose Specter

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Obama, Biden and Specter gives a presser (Video)


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President Obama's 100 Days by White House Photographer Pete Souza (pictures)

View all the pictures here and here. Don't forget Time Magazine's 100 Days of Obama's Presidency, here. Oh and Al Rodgers, 100.



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The deal with Arlen Specter

Yes, it was a bombshell that happened yesterday. Senator Arlen Specter has crossed the line and denounced the Republican Party and joined the Democratic Party. But what does this all mean?

First, Arlen Specter as every member of congress is a politician first and foremost, don't forget that. He has read the polling numbers, saw the Obama train register people in his state at record clip, and know that it would be tough to beat former Rep. Toomey in the Republican primary. With the Republican numbers shrinking all over this country, beating Toomey would have been tough.

Enter Specter’s friend, Vice-President Joe Biden who has been working out at the Senate gym and talking to his friend to join us. Nothing hits a person like reality and the facts. The facts were that things looked grim for Biden's friend; the reality is that he likes being a senator, loves his job in Washington, DC, and wants to stay. So, Specter became a Democrat.

What does it mean? Well, deals are not brokered in the open. Specter gets the Democratic establishment behind him in the primary and most importantly the general election for fall 2010. Specter also gets President Obama to campaign for him during his campaign and the Obama machine. Did he get a chairmanship deal? No, but he has seniority and don't expect him not to get one.

Does this stink? Depend on which roses you smell. This helps the Democrats in the senate, but does not change much. Specter is a moderate. Does this help the Republicans? No. It exposes a puss on a sore that is leaking very badly now. The northeastern part of this state has NO CONGRESS MEMBERS but for the lady senators of Maine. The Republican Party is not a big umbrella, it is a narrow minded party that expects you to tow the line, damned if you have an independent streak, you must tow the line. For many moderates in the Republican Party that is difficult because if you vote for the stimulus package as Specter did, you are called every name in the book but the Son of God. That is the problem for the Republican Party. They have not expanded, they have not brought in new folk, they have not outreached to the young, have turned off the African-American vote, have repeated hate speech to the Hispanic vote, and does not like ANYONE if you are not with THEM. Sounds familiar does it? This party has shrunk to a small hard line conservative, right winged nuttery party. Specter is no fool, he bounced.

I welcome Specter. I know what this means. I know what his vote means, whether I like it or not. This means in the end that the Republican Party is nothing but a southern regional party and does not know how to communicate to the whole of the country. Right now the Republican Party is totally irrelevant.

Remember, the Democratic Party is a big tent. You only have to remember the look of the two conventions last summer. That says it all about where this country is really at and Specter got the message.

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Michelle Obama's First 100 Days (Video)

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Ed Schulz on the Republicans, ".....your party is very white....." (Video)

Yep, he went there....

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Rachel Maddow on Specter Defection to the Democratic Party (Video)

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Sebelius FINALLY confirmed Secretary of Health and Human Services

Her boss was there to hold the bible.


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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

President Obama's Remarks for "National Teachers of the Year" (Video)

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Senator Arlen Specter's Speech on Switching to the Democratic Party (Video)

This is a big one, folks.

And there are talks for other Republicans possibly crossing over to the Democratic Party, from Brian Williams, NBC News

Vice President Joe Biden's Statement

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President Obama on the phone with Senator Arlen Specter and welcoming him to the Democratic Party (Picture)

(President Barack Obama speaks by phone to Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania on
April 28, 2009 about the Senator's decision to become a member of the Democratic Party. White House Photo, Pete Souza)

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FLOTUS, Michelle Obama unveils the bust of Sojourner Truth at the U.S. Captiol Visitors Center (Pictures)

Michelle Obama says she hopes abolitionist Sojourner Truth would be proud to see a descendent of slaves as America's first black first lady.

Mrs. Obama made the comment Tuesday as she helped unveil a bust of Truth, the first black woman to be honored with a statue at the Capitol.

"I am proud to be able to stand here on this day," the first lady told the audience of mostly women.

Truth is a former slave who met with Abraham Lincoln and was an early crusader for women's right to vote and an end to slavery.

Mrs. Obama said her two young daughters will now be able to "see the face of a woman who looks like them" when they visit the nation's Capitol.

The sculpture will remain on permanent display in the Capitol Visitor Center.

A black woman in the capitol


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Senator Arlen Specter's Statement on Switching to the Democratic Party

Here is the full statement:

April 28, 2009

Statement by Senator Arlen Specter

I have been a Republican since 1966. I have been working extremely hard for the Party, for its candidates and for the ideals of a Republican Party whose tent is big enough to welcome diverse points of view. While I have been comfortable being a Republican, my Party has not defined who I am. I have taken each issue one at a time and have exercised independent judgment to do what I thought was best for Pennsylvania and the nation.

Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.

When I supported the stimulus package, I knew that it would not be popular with the Republican Party. But, I saw the stimulus as necessary to lessen the risk of a far more serious recession than we are now experiencing.

Since then, I have traveled the State, talked to Republican leaders and office-holders and my supporters and I have carefully examined public opinion. It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable. On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania.

I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary.

I am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers and have my candidacy for re-election determined in a general election.

I deeply regret that I will be disappointing many friends and supporters. I can understand their disappointment. I am also disappointed that so many in the Party I have worked for for more than four decades do not want me to be their candidate. It is very painful on both sides. I thank specially Senators McConnell and Cornyn for their forbearance.

I am not making this decision because there are no important and interesting opportunities outside the Senate. I take on this complicated run for re-election because I am deeply concerned about the future of our country and I believe I have a significant contribution to make on many of the key issues of the day, especially medical research. NIH funding has saved or lengthened thousands of lives, including mine, and much more needs to be done. And my seniority is very important to continue to bring important projects vital to Pennsylvania's economy.
I am taking this action now because there are fewer than thirteen months to the 2010 Pennsylvania Primary and there is much to be done in preparation for that election. Upon request, I will return campaign contributions contributed during this cycle.

While each member of the Senate caucuses with his Party, what each of us hopes to accomplish is distinct from his party affiliation. The American people do not care which Party solves the problems confronting our nation. And no Senator, no matter how loyal he is to his Party, should or would put party loyalty above his duty to the state and nation.

My change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans. Unlike Senator Jeffords' switch which changed party control, I will not be an automatic 60th vote for cloture. For example, my position on Employees Free Choice (Card Check) will not change.

Whatever my party affiliation, I will continue to be guided by President Kennedy's statement that sometimes Party asks too much. When it does, I will continue my independent voting and follow my conscience on what I think is best for Pennsylvania and America.

President Obama is thrilled to have Specter join the Democratic Party

The bombshell today is Republican Senator Arlen Specter (PA) switching to the Democratic Party. And President Obama is "thrilled to have him."

White House aides said on Tuesday that they had no advanced knowledge that Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter would be switching party affiliation from Republican to Democrat. Once told, however, the president reached Specter to express his thrill at having him in the party and to offer his full support.

According to a White House aide, the president found out about the switch at 10:25 AM while in the Oval Office receiving his Economic Daily Briefing.

The president was handed a note, the aide said, that read: "Specter is announcing he is changing parties."

Seven minutes later, President Obama reached Specter to tell him, according to the aide, "You have my full support" and that we are "thrilled to have you."


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Republican Senator Arlen Specter switching to the Democratic Party (Video)

This breaks everything wide open in the senate for filibuster. Senator Specter makes 59 and Al Franken in Minnesota will make it 60.

The Republican Party left Arlen Specter, they don't like moderates, we saw this all along the northeast, the Republicans need to decide to be the Rush Limbaugh party or the middle of the road party of the people.

Veteran Republican Sen. Arlen Specter announced Tuesday that he is switching parties, a move would give Democrats a filibuster-proof 60 seats if Al Franken is seated in the Minnesota race.

"I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary," the Pennsylvania senator said in a statement.

"I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans," Specter said, adding that the "change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans."

The Fix

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No Border Closures per Secretary Napolitano, Homeland Security (Video)

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Consumer Confidence is on the swing up

This is good news for the Obama Administration, expect them to pump this up.

A private research group said Tuesday that consumer confidence soared in April amid hopeful signs that the economy is starting to stabilize.

The Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index rose 12 points to 39.2, up from a revised 26.9 in March. The reading marks the highest point since November and well surpasses economists' expectations for a level of 29.5.

The Expectations Index, which measures how shoppers feel about the economy over the next six months, skyrocketed to 49.5 from 30.2 in March.

Earlier Tuesday, a housing index showed that home prices dropped sharply in February, but for the first time in 25 months the decline was not a record -- another sign the housing crisis could be bottoming.


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The Republicans will come back? Really? When? (Video)

Again, morning joke, questioning the possible reconciliation vote on healthcare and being the real concerned troll as he is. And Joe Scarborough, people across the board want UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE. When will you get it? And getting Richard Shelby the Senator from Alabama as a dignified spokesperson who questioned Obama's birth certificate after the election, then got blasted and back pedaled? Get my drift? And remember how Bush just rammed anything he wanted through the congress and spent like a drunken sailor? Obama Administration has tried to work with the Republicans and are still trying, but the Republicans did not win the elections in 2006 or 2008, nor have they offered any common ground, except TAX CUTS. The people of this country can not wait for health care any longer, we need it now.

More whining here and here.

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President Obama honors the Women NCAA Champions from the University of Connecticut (Video)

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From the Today Show, Exclusive Photos for Obama's 100 Days as President (Video)

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Why is Sebelius' nomination being hung up in the Senate?

This is utterly ridiculous.

And this is why Obama needs to go right on with the reconciliation vote on healthcare, if he waits on 60 votes in that senate he will NEVER GET IT PASSED.

Now Napolitano, head of Homeland Security is doing a brilliant job during this crisis, but we need to have a Health and Human Services Secretary, too.

This nastiness of holding up these confirmations is kindergarten mentality at its worst. I don't remember Bush's folks being held up in his first term like this and with this Swine Flu becoming a worldwide epidemic, one would think that Sebelius would be confirmed by now. But we are talking about a senate that held Hilda Solis' confirmation up.

So Kathleen Sebelius will get her confirmation vote as Health and Human Services secretary tomorrow in the Senate — but even with the flu outbreak, her confirmation will still have to clear a big hurdle, requiring 60 votes.

So says the office of GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell, anyway.

As you know, Senate Republicans have been filibustering Sebelius over lingering questions about her views on late-term abortions and some campaign contributions she received from an abortion doctor. Late last week, the Senate Dem leadership announced that in the face of GOP opposition, they had agreed with Republicans to bring Sebelius’ confirmation to the floor for a vote tomorrow that would indeed require the 60 votes.

The outbreak of the flu epidemic had led some Dems to hope that the GOP would drop their filibuster, which would mean the 60 vote threshold would no longer apply. And even GOP Senator Susan Collins called for the Senate to expedite her confirmation today.

But McConnell spokesperson Don Stewart tells me she’ll still have to clear the 60 vote threshold. The question is, Whose fault is this?

Stewart says that the Senate agreement last week has “locked in” the 60 vote threshold. “She’ll have her confirmation vote tomorrow,” he says, adding that “every single Democrat” agreed to that threshold.

But Jim Manley, a spokesperson for Dem Senate leader Harry Reid, says that Senate GOPers could waive the 60 vote threshold if they wanted to. “With consent it could be changed if they agreed, but as of right now I don’t see any willingness to do so on their part,” he said.

Bottom line: The filibuster over an abortion controversy is still throwing a hurdle in the way of this nomination, despite the flu epidemic.

Senate is expected to confirm Sebelius today.

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DNC TV Ad honoring Obama's First 100 Days (Video)

Foundation for Change

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Monday, April 27, 2009

GOP: Who do we blame for torture? (Video)

From Countdown with Keith Olbermann, guest Richard Wolffe

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Only 21% are sticking their chests out proudly to be Republican (Video)

From the Ed Schultz Show....

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FOX NEWS not airing Obama's Press Conference on Wednesday

Why am I not shocked?

I am not. When you are frustrated, constantly being called out, your pumping of teabaggin' ain't working, what next?

Turn the president down.

Well, everyone else will be watching.

The Fox network is sticking with its regular schedule over President Barack Obama this week.

The network is turning down the president's request to show his prime-time news conference on Wednesday. The news conference marks Obama's 100th day in office. Instead of the president, Fox viewers will see an episode of the Tim Roth drama "Lie to Me."

It's the first time a broadcast network has refused Obama's request. This will be the third prime-time news conference in Obama's presidency. ABC, CBS and NBC are airing it.


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Obama's Speech at the National Academy of Science in Washington, DC (Video and Transcript)


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Republicans stripped flu pandemic money from stimulus bill

Remember, this is not important...sigh....

Remember way back in the day, President Obama delivered his Not Really The State Of The Union address, and the GOP trotted out Future Of The Republican Party Supra-Genius Bobbly Jindal to provide a rebuttal? Well, we all had some laughs, didn't we? Mainly because Jindal was all: "They want to spend stimulus money on volcano monitoring? Why everyone knows that the Hill Witch keeps tabs on our volcanoes by floating chicken bones in her own intestinal ichor!" And then Alaska's Mount Redoubt erupted, suggesting there might be something to this "let's monitor volcanoes with government-funded science" idea.

Well, as it turns out, volcano monitoring wasn't the only worthwhile public safety program that was deemed extravagant in the stimulus package, funding for pandemic preparation was axed as well. And playing a critical role was Susan Collins -- for whom the necessity of obtaining her vote is in inverse proportion to the intelligence she shows in policy making:

Famously, Maine Senator Collins, the supposedly moderate Republican who demanded cuts in health care spending in exchange for her support of a watered-down version of the stimulus, fumed about the pandemic funding: "Does it belong in this bill? Should we have $870 million in this bill No, we should not."

When it rains, IT POURS....


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Swine Flu rises to 40 in US

If you feel sick with flu symptoms, been around ANYONE that has been to Mexico recently, go to the doctor and get checked out. I know that the U.S. don't want to close the borders to Mexico, but this may have to be done because Mexico does not have this epidemic under control, yet. And going to Mexico at this time is definitely a NO, NO.


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The Obama Image (Video)

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Obama's Blackberry (Video)

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Goodbye, Pontiac and 21,000 more jobs

The auto industry as the banking industry have made bad choices by management. The auto industry was not forward thinking enough, never thought gas prices would climb so quickly and invested heavily in SUVs. The banking industry risked their shirts in the mortgage market and got burned for their greed.

Now we see GM eliminating the Pontiac brand, for good. Along with eliminating Pontiac will be slashes in dealerships and more jobs to the tune of 21,000.

The job loss continues to climb.

General Motors Corp. announced plans to phase out its Pontiac brand and cut 21,000 U.S. factory jobs by next year -- as part of a major restructuring effort needed to get billions more in government aid.

In total, GM is cutting more than 7,000 additional jobs than what it announced on Feb. 17, 500 additional dealers and closing another plant -- or 16 of its 47 U.S. manufacturing plants by 2012 -- and 13 of those plants by the end of the next year; GM hasn't named any of those plants yet.

GM launched its bond exchange offer this morning to its holders of $28 billion in unsecured debt, offering them 10 percent of the equity in the company and accrued interest -- in an effort to avoid a bankruptcy filing before the end of May.

GM said it plans to sell or close Hummer, Saab and Saturn brands by the end of this year -- faster than an earlier schedule.

"We are taking tough but necessary actions that are critical to GM's long-term viability," said Fritz Henderson, GM president and CEO. "Our responsibility is clear - to secure GM's future - and we intend to succeed. At the same time, we also understand the impact these actions will have on our employees, dealers, unions, suppliers, shareholders, bondholders, and communities, and we will do whatever we can to mitigate the effects on the extended GM team."

GM said it would cut its hourly employment by 21,000 to 40,000 in 2010 -- a 34 percent reduction, and level off at about 38,000 starting in 2011. GM plans a further decline in salaried and executive employment -- for 7,000 to 8,000 additional job cuts than what was announced in GM's Feb. 17 viability plan.

For middle class workers in the auto industry this is devastating news, but if the industry is to survive it is necessary.


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Obama cleared of Swine Flu

I wondered when the White House would release a statement, since one man that shook President Obama's hand has since died from Swine Flu not died from Swine Flu, but from another ailment.

U.S. President Barack Obama is clear of any swine flu symptoms after making a trip to Mexico this month, officials say.

Obama visited Mexico, scene of dozens of deaths attributed to a new variant of the swine flu virus, on April 16, shaking hands at one point with a Mexican archaeologist who died within 24 hours of the meeting from the swine flu outbreak, the British tabloid The Daily Mail reported.

But White House spokesman Josh Earnest indicated Sunday that Obama's health is not in danger.

"His doctors have advised him that his trip to Mexico has not put his health in any danger," Earnest told The New York Daily News.

The newspaper said administration aides have refused to say what procedures Obama's doctors have taken, such as whether he was tested for the illness or underwent any inoculations, but one unnamed aide told the Daily News, "I can tell you that the president doesn't have any symptoms, and his doctors advised that there was no need for him to be tested."


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Michelle Obama's 100 Days

While many are clicking off everything President Obama has done, implemented, plan on implementing, we cannot forget First Lady Michelle Obama.

First off, this country never had a spirited First Lady, let alone the first African-American in this position. Everything she says, wears, etc. is talked about by women around this country. Why? Because we have never had a woman who is almost like us, she dresses like us, talks like us, has a family like us, and is young like many of us.

This is what has been missing in the White House, youth and vigor. Look at all the past Presidents with the exception of Clinton and possibly Carter; they did not bring that energy that turned on a nation as the Obamas. Let's be frank, they did not, nor were these presidents in the media time that President Obama is in neither.

But no one was fascinated with a First Lady since Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis; can we remember any First Lady that had not just Washington DC talking but all across this country? No, not since Jackie Kennedy.

The 100 Days goes back to FDR days and many presidents have been measured by this metric since, it does not mean anything in the realm of things, but the media has made it a big deal. And as President Obama moves past the 100 days, FLOTUS will continue to mesmerize many worldwide. She is that popular.

Michelle Obama's first 100 days in the White House really began more than 365 days ago in Wisconsin.

Rallying an audience in Milwaukee, she said: "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country." She explained that she was proud of the people who'd gotten involved in politics, but that's not what her critics heard.

They said the comment proved she hated America. They portrayed her as the stereotypical angry black woman. Fox News Channel talked of the "terrorist fist jab" she and her husband shared the night he clinched the Democratic presidential nomination. The New Yorker, making fun of the people making fun of her, sketched Mrs. Obama on its cover in an afro and militant garb.

It was a dark time in the many months she had spent campaigning. Yet it was a teachable moment, too.

Mrs. Obama learned from her mistake.

And in the months since, she has gone from lightning rod to rock star, from the cover of The New Yorker to the cover of Vogue, from just plain fashionable to worldwide fashion icon.

She is popular as the president, maybe more. Depending on the poll, she has approval ratings in the 60s and 70s. Practically the only issue being debated these days, silly as it seems, is whether she goes sleeveless too much and for the wrong occasions.

It's not unusual for a first lady to be more popular than the president, but that usually happens further along. That it has happened so quickly for Mrs. Obama says a lot about how perceptions of her have changed.

"If you had told me a year ago that she would attain this kind of popularity I would have said, 'No way,'" said Myra Gutin, a professor at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J., who studies first ladies. "She's really reversed things in a way that no one would ever have expected."


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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Portrait of a President with WH Photographer, Pete Souza (Video)

Time Magazine: Obama's 100 Days Photos

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Vice-President Joe Biden on 60 Minutes (Video and Transcript)


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Face the Nation, CBS, April 26, 2009 (Video)

Bob Schieffer got both sides of the torture investigation debate from Sen. John Mccain and Sen. Patrick Leahy; Bob Woodward and Tina Brown dissect Obama's 100 days and the President and his dog.

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GPS: Fareed Zakaria, CNN, Panel on Obama's 100 Days as President (Video)

Historians Jon Meacham, Walter Isaacson, and Peggy Noonan discuss Obama's first 100 days in office.

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Meet the Press, April 26, 2009 (Video and Transcript)

Two Sunday Exclusives! White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs weighs in on President Obama's first 100 days in office and the escalating debate over torture. Then Jordan's King Abdullah II joins us to discuss his meeting with President Obama; prospects for peace in the Middle East; the fight against terrorism and the global economy. Plus, insights and analysis on the first 100 days with two Pulitzer Prize winners: the newly awarded Jon Meacham of Newsweek magazine and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.


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Government officials have declared a public health emergency in connection with the swine flu outbreak that has killed dozens in Mexico and sickened 20 in the U.S., said the nation’s director of Homeland Security Sunday.

Secretary Janet Napolitano also said border agents have been directed to begin passive surveillance of travelers from affected countries, with instructions to isolate anyone who appears actively ill with suspected influenza.

The number of cases confirmed in the United States by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now 20, including eight New York City high school students. Other cases are in Ohio, California, Texas and Kansas. Patients have ranged in age from 7 to 54. read more here....


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Obama's Approval Ratings Are Solid.....BUT.....

The "but" is the country's view on releasing the torture memos and the possibility of what may come...

Barack Obama's performance in the first 100 days of his presidency draws strong public approval in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, but there is decidedly less support for his recent decision to release previously secret government memos on the interrogation of terrorism suspects, an initiative that reveals deep partisan fissures.

Overall, the public is about evenly divided on the questions of whether torture is justifiable in terrorism cases and whether there should be official inquiries into any past illegality involving the treatment of terrorism suspects. About half of all Americans, and 52 percent of independents, said there are circumstances in which the United States should consider employing torture against such suspects.

I expected this. I was a wee kid when Watergate was going on and my parents were fixed to the television, devouring all information from the newspapers. The same is going on, but many are getting their information from the internet and unfortunately some cable news shows.

Barack Obama has a third press conference this week, expect a full disclosure of his position and that of the White House. From there the numbers will shake out one way or the other in the torture matter and possibly prosecution matter of the former Bush Administration.

I believe firmly that this should be dealt with, but remember, Obama is not on that page as many on the left. He released the memos because it was the right thing to do, going after these folks is another matter. He does not want to do it, believes it will be a distraction for the largest hurdle healthcare, and wants to move forward not to play in the mud about what the Bush Administration did. Do I like this analysis? NO, but get ready because that is his position, and I believed AG Eric Holder will have the final say on all this mess.

Now to the poll...
Obama's overall rating remains high, with 69 percent of Americans approving of his job performance. He gets solid marks for his handling of the economy, maintaining a better-than-2-to-1 advantage over congressional Republicans on the issue. Majorities said that Obama has exceeded their expectations in his first three months in office, has accomplished big things and has kept his main campaign promises. Further, public optimism about the economy and the country's direction also remain on the rise since his election, even as few think his major economic initiatives have moved the needle on the nation's flagging economy, their communities or their finances.

This is solid, but I knew the handling of the auto makers would show a negative. We are talking about an institution in this country, one that afforded many lower to middle class Americans to elevate their children and send them to college. If he does not handle the car industry right, he is going to have major problems down the road. You can't lash out at Wall Street with no repercussions, when their greed put this country in the position it is in. You can not glorify the auto industry who has made one disastrous decision after another. We either save the industry or let it go. The same with the banking industry. Can't have it both ways in the end.
But Obama receives less glowing reviews on his handling of the burgeoning federal budget deficit and on immigration issues, where he is at the 50 percent mark, and he gets a negative rating on how he has dealt with the big U.S. automakers.

And finally, Obama gets cred for trying to ease the partisan divide in Washington, though he has not been successful, it is the trying that the public understands. The Republicans could learn some lessons here, their numbers continue in the toilet.
Six in 10 Americans said Obama has kept most of his major campaign assurances, although most said he has not reduced the amount of political partisanship in Washington, as he had pledged to do. At the same time, 90 percent said he is willing to listen to different points of view, and close to two-thirds, 63 percent, said he has brought needed change to Washington.

About three-quarters of Americans see Obama as a "strong leader," as "honest and trustworthy," as empathetic and as someone who can be trusted in a crisis. Six in 10 said he is in sync with their values, and nearly as many rate him a good commander in chief.

Overall, Obama's approval rating is 69 percent. Damn good starting out of the gate.

All the data of the WAPO/ABC POLL is here.

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