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ICYMI: President Obama on ‘The Tonight Show’

Part 1:
http://youtu.be/wCrE8e-9wto

Part 2:
http://youtu.be/Yc6AR3daQNA

Part 3:
http://youtu.be/0L6O4BK6jCw

Part 4:
http://youtu.be/4DGk-NRd0F4

Part 5:
http://youtu.be/ZMCfxWN_X3Q

Part 6:
http://youtu.be/9DrIQiPYwy4

Read the transcript provided by the White House, after the jump…
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Fremont teen questions President Obama

My colleague Rob Dennis is writing the story on a student from Fremont’s Kennedy High School who took some time out from his advanced-placement government class today to pose a few questions to the leader of the free world.

Adam Clark, backed by some of his classmates and his teacher, Olivia Santillan, took part in a Google+ “Hangout” with the president, a virtual interview streamed live on YouTube. Here’s the archived video; the Fremont kids’ segment starts at about 30:19:

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RNC talks tough on turkey (No, not really)

This is how I imagine the Republican National Committee would do a research briefing on President Obama’s ceremonial pardoning of a turkey for Thanksgiving:

OBAMA TODAY PARDONED A HARDENED CRIMINAL AND UNREPENTANT DRUG DEALER

Obama for years has positioned himself as “tough on crime:”

    Candidate Barack Obama: “The fact is I’ve passed 150 pieces of legislation that toughened penalties for violent criminals, everything from sex offenders to domestic abusers to gang bangers. So there’s only one candidate who’s ever dealt with hardened criminals on this stage and that’s me. The other guy only talks about it and I think that’s something voters will be focused on in this election.” (Illinois U.S. Senate Debate, 10/21/04)

But today he went back on his word, issuing a pardon to the notorious Liberty M. Gallopavo of Willmar, Minn.

This miscreant has been pumped up on artificial hormones for much of his life, making him a muscle-bound menace (just look at those pecs!). His primitive brain forced him to live mainly on instinct and he soon proved himself a glutton, eating whatever he could swallow.

As he got older, he became more aggressive, often fighting with his neighbors for status and dominance; afterward he would strut away, stamping his feet, his chest thrown out, his beady little black eyes looking straight ahead. Liberty also proved to be very promiscuous, fathering and then abandoning many little ones who then went on the public dole.

Worst of all, Liberty is an unrepentant drug dealer, with a history of doping up unsuspecting families – and their innocent children! – with massive doses of L-Tryptophan. This insidious drug leaves people logy, nodding and dozing on their couches like old-time opium addicts, their eyes vacantly staring at a football game but not really seeing it.

    President Barack Obama: “So Liberty is ready for his turn in the spotlight. And after he finishes a round of cable hits and a few Sunday shows, he’s going to retire to a life of leisure at Mount Vernon — the same place where George Washington spent his golden years.” (Remarks, White House North Portico, 11/23/11)

Is Liberty the kind of hardened criminal our president should be pardoning? Does Liberty to deserve this cushy life of pastoral pleasure, sullying the hallowed ground of one of our nation’s most beloved Founding Fathers? Is this the hope and change all of Liberty’s immoral brethren can expect?

If you believe Liberty shouldn’t have had his death sentence commuted, please click here to donate to the RNC and help ensure that his kind will fry for their crimes. Or roast, at least.

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Lynn Woolsey will retire, so let the race begin

As widely expected, Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma – a paragon of progressive politics, and so a longtime burr in the saddle of conservatives near and far – announced today she’ll be retiring at the end of her current term.

Supporters heaped copious praise upon the 10-term Congresswoman today.

From Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future:

“Today’s announcement from progressive champion, Lynn Woolsey, marks the culmination of a distinguished Congressional career. For two decades Congresswoman Woolsey has worked tirelessly on behalf of America’s working class families and advocated for some of our nation’s most vulnerable and disenfranchised.”

From Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List:

“The entire EMILY’s List community thanks Representative Lynn Woolsey for her leadership and service to her district, her constituents and the state of California. We wish her the very best. Rep. Woolsey has had a remarkable career, rising from a single mother on welfare to a ten-term leader in Congress. She has been an outstanding advocate for women and families, and a leader in increasing access to higher education. With over a year left in her term, we look forward to her continued leadership. While it will be hard to fill the void left behind by Rep. Woolsey, EMILY’s List will work to keep this seat in the hands of a progressive Democratic woman.”

UPDATE @ 10:40 A.M. TUESDAY: From President Barack Obama:

“A fierce advocate for children, families and the people of the North Bay, Lynn Woolsey has never forgotten the people who sent her to Congress for nearly two decades. She is a leader on progressive causes and a fighter for working families, and we will miss her passionate voice in Congress. Michelle and I wish her well and join the people of California in thanking her for her many years of service.”

From Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont:

“Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey is a partner in many ways. I thank her for her years of service on behalf of the people of Northern California and all Americans.

“She is a valued leader of the Progressive Caucus, and a tireless voice for the most vulnerable among us. Her dedication to peace, to ending our senseless wars, to the creation of a public option, and to women and children is inspiring to Members of Congress and to her constituents alike. I look forward to working with her through the rest of this Congress and will wish her a fulfilling retirement.”

Woolsey, 73, now represents all of Marin County and most of Sonoma County, but redistricting could change all that. Woolsey fired off an angry statement earlier this month when the California Citizens Redistricting Commission’s first draft Congressional map showed her district being narrowed and elongated along the state’s North Coast to stretch all the way from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border.

Woolsey didn’t endorse anyone to succeed her, but rather said she’ll leave it to the 6th Congressional District’s voters to decide who’s best for the job. Among Democrats likely to vie to replace her are Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael; state Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa; Marin County Supervisor Susan Adams of San Rafael; and progressive activist Normon Solomon of Inverness.

Of those four, only Evans’ home would fall outside the newly drawn district according to this draft – not that living within the district is a constitutional requirement.

Read the full statement, as prepared, that Woolsey made this afternoon during a news conference at her home, after the jump…
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House members urge recess appointment

A group of 89 House members – including all but two from the Bay Area’s delegation – wrote to President Obama today urging him to make a recess appointment of Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

news conference 6-2-2011Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., held a news conference today on Capitol Hill to announce the letter as well as a petition with 250,000 signatures, collected by Progressive Change Campaign Committee and CREDO Action through online campaigns.

“Elizabeth Warren has proved to be an effective fighter who puts America first by working to protect the middle-class,” Ellison said. “Professor Warren knows that our future prosperity depends upon working for the economic interests of the overwhelming majority of our citizens. Elizabeth Warren needs to be confirmed without further delay.”

Grijalva said Warren is worth fighting for, even if it has to be a recess appointment. “Whoever heads the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be the strongest consumer watchdog in the country. That’s not a position where you can settle for second best. Elizabeth Warren is honest, you can’t question her credentials, and she’s a true advocate for families and consumers’ interests. I strongly support her and hope to see her on the job as soon as possible.”

The only Bay Area members who didn’t sign the letter are House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, and Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., explained the GOP’s opposition to confirming Warren’s appointment on “Meet the Press” this past Sunday:

Well, we’re pretty unenthusiastic about the possibility of Elizabeth Warren. We’re pretty unenthusiastic, frankly, about this new agency, and we’ve sent a letter to the president saying that some changes need to made—be made in the CFPB, the Consumer Financial Protection Board, because as it’s currently constituted, it answers to no one and, I think, could be a serious threat to our financial system.

The CFPB was created under last year’s Dodd-Frank financial reforms to ensure that consumers have the full, clear and complete information they need to choose the financial products and services — including credit cards, student loans and mortgages — that are best for them.

Read the full text of the letter, after the jump…
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Aren’t elephants supposed to have thick skins?

House Republican Leader John Boehner’s office just sent me a link to a blog item just published by The Hill regarding President Barack Obama’s speech today in Pittsburgh:

President Barack Obama is “diminishing” the U.S. presidency through his rhetoric against Republicans, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) charged Wednesday.

Boehner ripped a speech by the president in Pittsburgh this afternoon in which Obama spoke against the GOP’s economic policies, arguing they would only benefit monied and powerful interests.

“The president diminishes the Office of the President when he resorts to straw man arguments that willfully mischaracterize the views of others,” Boehner shot back this afternoon. “All of the president’s talk of post-partisanship, reaching out and finding common ground reminds us that the country deserves better than his hyper-partisan speech today.”

Obama sought in remarks at Carnegie Mellon University to portray the midterm elections as a choice between old, Republican ideas and a future led by his economic policies.

“As November approaches, leaders in the other party will campaign furiously on the same economic argument they’ve been making for decades,” he said. “Fortunately, we don’t have to look back too many years to see how it turns out. For much of the last ten years, we tried it their way.”

crying elephantThis was, however, the fifth e-mail that Boehner’s office has sent me today, all of them mounting attacks on the President and his policies: two preemptively pooh-poohing the soon-to-arrive May employment figures, which the GOP notes will be “spiked” with temporary hiring of census workers; two offering comments (Boehner’s and an economics professor’s) on the President’s speech, and this one.

That’s par for the course: Boehner’s office, the Republican National Committee and other party organs churn out release after release – “ICYMI’s” (in case you missed it), “GOP Leader Alerts,” “RNC Research Briefings” and so on – every single day attacking the President and his policies. (I got one of those “RNC Research Briefings today, too.)

That’s fine – I read ‘em all and save most of ‘em – but spare me the hypocritical crocodile tears when the President talks back. It’s like the playground bully who goes crying to the teacher when somebody finally clocks him.