As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Daily Archives: February 5, 2013, 9:59 pm

Obama Schedule || Wednesday, February 6, 2013

9:50 am || Departs White House
10:10 am || Arrives Annapolis
10:30 am || Attends the Senate Democratic Issues Conference; Westin Annapolis
12:25 pm || Departs Annapolis
12:45 pm || Arrives White House

All times Eastern except as noted
Live stream of Carney briefing at 11:30 am

Republicans Have a Good Laugh Over Obama Budget Offer

Republicans leaders today signalled they are not the least bit interested in President Obama’s proposal to temporarily put off the March 1 fiscal cliff with some spending cuts and tax increases.

In a sign the GOP plans to start playing a little rough and damn a few of the public relations torpedoes, top Republicans asserted today that Obama will not be taken seriously until he addresses spending in a somewhat more sober matter.

“I’m flabbergasted,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon told POLITICO ahead of the president’s speech. “Until he addresses the real problem, which is mandatory spending, he’s just whistling in the wind.

House Speaker John Boehner also prebutted Obama’s remarks, made early this afternoon in the White House briefing room, seeming to suggest that entitlement cuts – the only kind that can get the nation to a balanced budget – must be on the table instead of quick fixes.

“The president’s sequester should be replaced with spending cuts and reforms that will start us on the path to balancing the budget in 10 years,” he said.

Obama in his remarks prescribed a mix of tax increases and spending cuts to kick the problem down the road a little further. The president desperately wants to get budget issues off the table so he can focus on his top priority, immigration reform.

“So if Congress can’t act immediately on a bigger package, if they can’t get a bigger package done by the time the sequester is scheduled to go into effect, then I believe that they should at least pass a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms that would delay the economically damaging effects of the sequester for a few more months until Congress finds a way to replace these cuts with a smarter solution,” he said.

BTW, tax reform apparently now means tax increases in the White House lexicon.

Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, the GOP chairman of the tax writing committee, released a statement rejecting Obama’s suggestion that taxes be raised.

“Tax reform should be about making the code simpler and fairer for American families and helping employers create more jobs,” he said. “The president’s proposal is nothing more than another tax hike to pay for more Washington spending. That is not what America needs.”

Obama to Call for Fiscal Cliff Delay

President Obama will call for a small package of spending cuts and tax increases to delay going over the next fiscal cliff.

The automatic, across the board cuts were delayed from their previous due date at the beginning of this year and are now scheduled to take effect March 1.

Obama will announce his proposal during an appearance at the White House at 1:15 pm ET. I will live stream it for you. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s briefing will immediately follow Obama’s remarks.

Washington Post: Critics of Michelle’s Weight are Racist

The Washington Post today published an article by a reporter who is not a member of the editorial staff suggesting in no uncertain terms that those who criticize First Lady Michelle Obama for holding too much weight in her derriere are racist.

While opening her article by reporting an obviously insulting remark by a high school football coach, reporter Krissah Thompson goes on to write statements and include quotes indicating a general racist intent on the part of those who find Michelle to be overweight if they believe she has excess weight in her posterior.

From the article:

But what is it with Michelle Obama’s critics and the fixation with her derriere?

“We have a history in this country of white people not showing adequate respect for and devaluing the bodies of black women, and this most definitely falls in line with that,” says Ayana Byrd, the co-editor of the anthology “Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips and Other Parts . . . ”

The first lady’s critics “are reacting to the culture in which they’ve grown up or they are using it as a code to racialize Michelle Obama and remind people that she’s black,” says Andra Gillespie, an associate professor of political science at Emory University.

In her own analysis, Thompson, who covers race issues for the post, links comments about Michelle’s posterior to slavery.

The focus on this first lady’s posterior has historical antecedents. It reaches back to the imagery of Hottentot Venus, a woman from what is now South Africa whose naked body and pronounced posterior were paraded in shows throughout 19th-century Europe. On to the selling and trading of black women’s bodies through slavery.

Without question, some mentions of Michelle’s posterior are animated by racism and racial stereotyping. But the article suggests that any reference to the size of a portion of Mrs. Obama’s anatomy is racist.

The article includes no quotes or commentary that might provide balance by raising the topic of whether it is fair to discuss the first lady’s own weight as she leads a campaign to reduce the amount of fat kids are carrying around.

The piece also indicates a political bias in favor of the first lady and her agenda, calling a criticism of her Let’s Move program “the latest public rant” against low calorie lunches in schools that features “the usual protest against the federal government meddling in local business.”