“Everybody has got plenty of advice,” sighed President Obama at Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. “Maureen Dowd said I could solve all my problems if I were just more like Michael Douglas in ‘The American President.’ And I know Michael is here tonight. Michael, what’s your secret, man? Could it be that you were an actor in an Aaron Sorkin liberal fantasy? Might that have something to do with it?”
That’s it. That’s the joke. Or, perhaps more to the point, that isn’t the joke. There’s no punchline. It’s more of a straightforward rebuttal to a recent Maureen Dowd column.
(via xkcd: Congress)
Barack Obama 2013 Presidential Inauguration - Complete (by TheNewYorkTimes)
“There are two big parts of the health reform law going into effect today. One penalizes hospitals if patients are re-admitted to the hospital within one month of a visit for a condition that should have been dealt with on the first trip. The other seeks to redistribute higher Medicare payments to the hospitals that are delivering better care.
Both are part of an effort to fundamentally transform the health-care system in the United States by moving it from a system that pays for value rather than volume. If efforts like these succeed, hospitals will become more concerned with delivering higher quality health care. If they don’t, health providers will continue to earn a living the way they have for decades: By earning a fee for every service they deliver.”
“The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosted a panel discussion on the topic “how should the next American President engage the world?”
The panel focused on American influence across the globe and the rise of new global actors like China.
Foreign Policy’s David Rothkopf moderated the discussion between New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, Princeton University Professor John Ikenberry, The Brookings Institution’s Robert Kagan, and Jessica Mathews of the Carnegie Endowment.”
MARK SHIELDS: I have a different theory.
And the theory is that Mitt Romney is the first presidential candidate in — certainly in the last 35 years who wherever he campaigns does worse. And I think that’s his real problem.
I mean, for example, in Florida, his personal unfavorable rating in January was 29 percent. It went up to 35 percent in May. It’s now at 48 percent.
In Ohio, the same thing. It went from 34 percent unfavorable in January, to 37 percent in May, to 49 percent in September.
The more they see him, the less they like him. And this is a real problem. It happened to Gerald Ford, the president of the United States, in 1976 in a marvelous campaign, a great campaign.
“Mr. Obama, during a tense telephone call the evening of Feb. 1, 2011, had just told Mr. Mubarak that his speech, broadcast to hundreds of thousands of protesters in Tahrir Square in Cairo, had not gone far enough. Mr. Mubarak had to step down, the president said.
Minutes later, a grim Mr. Obama appeared before hastily summoned cameras in the Grand Foyer of the White House. The end of Mr. Mubarak’s 30-year rule, Mr. Obama said, “must begin now.” With those words, Mr. Obama upended three decades of American relations with its most stalwart ally in the Arab world, putting the weight of the United States squarely on the side of the Arab street.
It was a risky move by the American president, flying in the face of advice from elders on his staff at the State Department and at the Pentagon, who had spent decades nursing the autocratic — but staunchly pro-American — Egyptian government.”
Bill Clinton speaks at the 2012 DNC (C-SPAN) - Full Speech (by CSPAN)
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Elizabeth Warren’s Journey into Politics : The New Yorker
‘Last summer, Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard law professor, held a series of houseparties around Massachusetts to test support for a possible run for the United States Senate. At one such event, held at the Andover home of veteran Democratic activist M. J. Powell, Warren was asked if she was engaging in class warfare. She replied, “No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there, good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate.” The writer terms Warren’s speech a “rousing defense of the welfare state.” Warren was unaware she was being filmed, and footage of the speech was posted to YouTube several days later. Warren declared her candidacy for the Senate seat currently held by Republican Scott Brown. “The Warren-Brown contest has become the highest-profile, and most expensive, statewide race of the year.” Warren represents a genuine ideological challenge to Brown, and to her party as well. “Warren is neither a Clintonesque triangulator nor an Obamaesque conciliator. She is a throwback to a more combative progressive tradition, and her candidacy is a test of whether that approach can still appeal to voters.” Warren, sixty-three, has modest roots. She was married at nineteen and had her first child at twenty-two, becoming a school-teacher for special needs children before starting at Rutgers School of Law in Newark on her daughter Amelia’s second birthday. Warren has co-authored two books on bankruptcy which use “empirical research to demonstrate the precariousness of contemporary middle-class life.” In the mid-nineties, Congress decided to overhaul bankruptcy laws for the first time since 1978, and Warren was asked to be an adviser on a bankruptcy commission. This is where Warren’s real political education began. In 2008, Warren served on the panel overseeing the bank bailouts, known as TARP, where she directed “plainspoken questions” to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. “The more enemies Warren made in the capital, the more popular she became elsewhere.” The Massachusetts campaign has so far been, by contemporary standards, high-minded. Warren says the 2012 election question is “What is the role of government?”
But the most striking part of the video is Mr. Romney’s characterization of nearly half of the country. His assessment of the “47 percent” echoes a line of conservative thinking that is championed by his running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin. Mr. Ryan has long argued that nearly half of the people in America are either “dependent” or “reliant” on the federal government. Mr. Romney’s figure of 47 percent comes from the Tax Policy Center, which found that 46.4 percent of households paid no federal income tax in 2011. But most households did pay payroll taxes. Of the 18.1 percent of households that paid neither income taxes nor payroll taxes, the center found that more than half were elderly and more than a third were not elderly but had income under $20,000. Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the center, wrote in a blog post last summer that about half of those were off the rolls because they had low incomes.