No more Texas governors for president

“Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention.” - Molly Ivins
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Joe Biden looking at a mighty fine sandwich while President Obama nom nom noms.


Joe Biden looking at a mighty fine sandwich while President Obama nom nom noms.

Put aside for a moment that they are the first African-Americans to preside in the White House, or that it feels perfectly normal to see the president enjoying a hip-hop song in the Red Room before lunch, or that the First Lady has bucked convention by routinely mixing Thom Browne and Alexander McQueen with J.Crew and Target, or that Malia and Sasha’s grandma lives with them upstairs, or that the whole family texts and takes pictures of one another with their smart phones. What is truly unusual about the Obamas is that, in their own quietly determined way, they have insisted on living their lives on their terms: not as the First Family but as a family, first.
It is good politics to oppose the black guy in the White House right now
South Carolina Republican on why GOP oppose Obamacare (via think-progress)



How @whitehouse celebrates Pi Day.

This July 2012 photo captures Obama eating at Kozy Corners restaurant in Ohio. “Anyone want to try a piece of my strawberry pie?” Obama asked fellow diners. This boy said yes.

(Photo by official White House photographer Pete Souza)

Happy Pi Day! And Happy 134th Birthday, Albert Einstein!

Perfect. :)


Happy Pi Day!


(via lauraolin)


Vogue - Leading by Example: First Lady Michelle Obama

OOOH, must get this issue!!!!


President Obama trekked to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to lunch with Senate Democrats as they discuss how best to proceed on upcoming budget battles. In this White House photo taken by Pete Souza, Obama is seen waiting out a downpour on his way to the Hill on a very rainy day in Washington.

Mycroft POTUS.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday passed two measures designed to curb gun violence, and the bills are now headed to the Senate floor for a full vote. The committee postponed a vote on the most contentious measure — a proposed reinstatement of the assault weapons ban — because its sponsor, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California was not present at the committee’s meeting.

The first measure, which would expand background checks to private gun sales, passed the committee 10 to 8, with no Republican on the committee voting for its passage. Another bill, offered by Senator Barbara Boxer of California, enjoyed more bipartisan support.

That measure renewed a grant program to help schools improve their security procedures though for a 10-year period, and increased the financing to $40 million per year from $30 million. It creates a Department of Justice and Department of Education task force to develop advisory school safety guidelines. It passed 14 to 4; the nays were all Republicans.

The committee approved a measure last week that would make the practice of illegally buying a gun for someone else — known as a straw purchase — a felony, and increase penalties for the crime. The vote was significant because it attracted the support of one Republican — Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the most senior Republican on the committee — signaling that the measure may well succeed in the full Senate later this spring.

These bills, varied in their approach, represent part of President Obama’s gun safety agenda.

Gov. Cuomo wants to expand full-time pre-K education, and President Obama put support for early learning in his State of the Union address. They should both go to the library, according to advocates for using the public library as a key part of the learning process for toddlers to 4-year-olds. 


Stories to Watch: 3/8/13.

The NRA launches a new campaign to win over black voters with an African-American spokesperson from Houston, Texas who’s supposedly both an “urban gun enthusiast” and a “budding attorney” (whatever that means). “Mr. Colion Noir” puts his argument in starkly racial terms: “No one wants to fight for protection, they want the government to do it. The same government who at one point hosed us down with water, attacked us with dogs and wouldn’t allow us to eat at their restaurants and told us we couldn’t own guns when bumbling fools with sheets on their heads were riding around burning crosses on our lawns and murdering us.”

You might remember Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America joining in on a warning recently that Pres. Obama was going to send black people to take away white people’s guns. They’re trying to double-team us with race-based paranoia. They want to pit black against white and vice versa, in order to sell more guns. That’s how stupid they believe most Americans to be and that’s how soulless these dicks are. They can stop wrapping themselves in the flag now. They obviously have nothing but contempt for America.


Related: Russell Simmons is not impressed with Mr. Colion Noir. “Our community is not interested in a corporate sponsored gun group telling us what to do, when their real mission is to make more money for the corporations that line their dirty pockets with rolls of cash and silver bullets,” Simmons writes. “We’re much smarter than that and certainly can see through their motives.”

Also in “fun with racism” news: white nationalists will be featured at this year’s Crazy People’s Action Conference… just like every year. How they continue to get a pass for this in the media is beyond me. We’re not talking kinda-sorta racist-ish people here, we’re talking fullblown, Seig Heil, “Vee iss der Master Race!” types. According to the report, an organization involved in CPAC “publishes a magazine called American Renaissance and hosts conferences under the same name, promoting the theory of ‘scientific racism’ and providing a forum in which Klan members, neo-Nazis, and David Duke followers can mix it up with the intellectuals of the white-nationalist movement.” Seriously, how do they get away with this stuff?

Greg Sargent argues convincingly that Rand Paul is nothing but a headline-grabbing empty suit. I concur.

John Brennan was sworn in as CIA director today — using a copy of the Constitution, not a Bible. Let the rightwing stampede of idiotic panic out begin.

But it seems rightwing panic isn’t the only flavor. Some on the left are making a big deal about the fact that it was a draft of the Constitution without the Bill of Rights.  It’s an unintentionally apt metaphor — fodder for a clever and pointed editorial cartoon — but that’s all it is. The whole swearing in is symbolic. He hasn’t locked himself into some sort of pact and he isn’t sending a secret message. People don’t do that. Yes, he deserves a lot of criticism, but make it sane criticism. This is verging on Glenn Beck-level frootloopery, folks, and people tend to just ignore that. If you want to be heard, you want to be level-headed. If you want to be ignored, be loudly and stridently wrong.

Gun control groups got a seat at the table in the President’s push to regulate firearms, but the price was so shitty I’m a little surprised they agreed to it: they had to sit down, shut up, and accept everything the President proposed. Getting meaningful reform is likely to be a long slog — we’re not getting everything we need this go-round — so don’t make deals like this again or it could be even longer. We get the best ideas through competition, not by playing Follow the Leader.

In a reversal too long in coming, Bill Clinton — the man who signed it into law — is urging the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act. “When I signed the bill, I included a statement with the admonition that ‘enactment of this legislation should not, despite the fierce and at times divisive rhetoric surrounding it, be understood to provide an excuse for discrimination,’” the former president writes in an op-ed. “Reading those words today, I know now that, even worse than providing an excuse for discrimination, the law is itself discriminatory. It should be overturned.”

On the other side of the marriage equality debate, anti-gay crusader Peter LaBarbera gets right to the entire reason homophobes oppose same-sex relationships: they find them icky. Not a logical argument, just an emotional one. Give it all the weight it deserves.

Finally, South Dakota will soon allow guns in the classroom. And the solution to shark attacks is more sharks. Sounds like an excellent time to look into homeschooling, if you ask me.

[cartoon via McClatchy Newspapers]


Um, just FYI.

Wait until President Obama starts hiring for his presidential library. ;)


What should the President do now?

Push to repeal the sequester (a reconciliation bill in the Senate would allow repeal with 51 votes, thereby putting pressure on House Republicans), and replace it with a “Build America’s Future” Act that would close tax loopholes used by the wealthy, end corporate welfare, impose a small (1/10 of 1%) tax on financial transactions, and reduce the size of the military.

Half the revenues would be used for deficit reduction, the other half for investments in our future through education (from early-childhood through affordable higher ed), infrastructure, and basic R&D.

Also included in that bill — in order to make sure our future isn’t jeopardized by another meltdown of Wall Street — would be a resurrection of Glass-Steagall and a limit on the size of the biggest banks.

I’d make clear to the American people that they made a choice in 2012 but that right-wing House Republicans have been blocking that choice, and the only way to implement that choice is for Congress to pass the Build America’s Future Act.

If House Republicans still block it, I’d make 2014 a referendum on it and them, and do whatever I could to take back the House.

In short, the President must reframe the public debate around the future of the country and the investments we must make together in that future, rather than austerity economics. And focus on good jobs and broad-based prosperity rather than prosperity for a few and declining wages and insecurity for the many.


Stories to Watch: 3/4/13.

I find myself wondering if Antonin Scalia didn’t do the supporters of the Voting Rights Act a favor when he claimed that the right to vote was some sort of gummint giveaway to those greedy black people. His argument was so transparently racist, while being so unapologetically stupid, that you wonder if people might feel a little embarrassed to agree with him. And of course, the constant mockery of Scalia can’t be helping either. He’s literally become a joke.

Speaking of Scalia and human jokes: after hearing some compare Scalia to himself, Rush Limbaugh says the justice should be “honored” by the comparison. The man’s got an ego the size of a mountain and an intellect the size of a sunflower seed.

When it comes to marriage equality, Republicans continue to be like King Canute, trying to hold back the tide. The war is lost, the Homosexual Menace has overrun America. There’s nothing left to do but stop being so damned intolerant and crazy.

I’ve been saying for a while now that the gun regulation is most likely to be a long slog, rather than a quick victory with sweeping legislation. The comparison I’ve been using most is the long, slow-moving victory of anti-drunk driving activists against the well-funded and influential state Tavern Leagues. We need to change the culture, slowly but surely. Then regulations will follow naturally. DUI used to be a minor traffic violation — now it’s a reason for outrage. There’s no going back.

Florida offers a great example of how the GOP rebranding effort is likely to work pretty much everywhere: a GOP leader does something halfway sane to save his and his party’s hide, but the crazyassed base torpedoes it out of ideological purity, thus dooming the party to further and deeper irrelevance.

President Obama has three new nominees to fill various cabinet posts. What rightwing freakout will hold these up? Any guesses? Charges of ye olde witchery, mayhaps?

A Dominican escort says she was paid by “a lawyer who approached her and a friend” to spin a yarn involving New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez and prostitutes. “That man has in turn identified another lawyer who gave him a script for the tape and paid him to find women to fabricate the claims,” the report goes on. Did Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller set him up? Someone did — and the Caller’s been riding the phony Menendez-hooker story like a circus pony.

Finally, here’s yet more evidence that Mitch McConnell and the Kentucky GOP are scared to death of Ashley Judd.

[cartoon via Truthdig]





Obama becomes first president to walk down a bike lane on Inauguration Day.

We love President Obama, so we’ll let him off the hook this time! Congrats on your inauguration!!

Huh. Did not know that.

Get Darrell Issa on this, stat.

Ha, I remember we were joking about that on Facebook in Inauguration Day. :)


President Obama, with a few folks who will be affected by the sequester, on Saturday Night Live.