Saturday Open Thread

hat tip-The Obama Diary;

Terrific Official White House Pics.

President Barack Obama runs around his desk in the Oval Office with Sarah Froman, daughter of Nancy Goodman and Mike Froman, Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics, July 9, 2012.
—Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Good Morning. Enjoy this weekend with family and friends.


President Barack Obama plays with Katia Wolfsthal, daughter of departing staffer Jon Wolfsthal, Special Advisor to the Vice President for Nonproliferation, in the Oval Office, July 11, 2012.
—Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

Independence Day, July 4, 2012
—Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

The Verizon Center, Washington, D.C., July 16
—Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama laughs with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius following the official Cabinet group photo in the Grand Foyer of the White House, July 26
—Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama talks with people outside Kozy Corners restaurant in Oak Harbor, Ohio, July 5, 2012.
—-Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama blows a kiss to Oren Baer, son of Ken Baer, the departing Associate Director for Communications and Strategic Planning at OMB, during a visit to the Oval Office, July 12, 2012. Baer’s daughter, Avital, and wife, Caron Gremont, watch at left.
—Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

President Barack Obama talks with people following his visit to Rick’s Cafe in Virginia Beach, Va., July 13, 2012.
—-Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama talks with coach Geno Auriemma and members of the U.S. Women’s Olympic basketball team following their 99-67 win over Brazil at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., July 16, 2012.
—–Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama talks with LeBron James as First Lady Michelle Obama hugs Deron Williams during their greet with members of the U.S. Men’s Olympic basketball team at halftime of the game against Brazil at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., July 16, 2012.
—Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama visits with Evan McRae, a nine-year-old Make-A-Wish recipient from Brooklyn, N.Y., in the Oval Office, July 19, 2012. McRae’s mother, Gwendolyn McRae, and godmother, Darlene Harrison, accompanied him during the visit.
—-Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama signs a photograph as he greets people on the tarmac upon arrival at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans, La., July 25, 2012.
—-Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

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22 Responses to Saturday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:


    Wednesday, July 18 2012

    The most recent survey and focus groups by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Democracy Corps reveal deep opposition to the Ryan budget– and its potential to damage Mitt Romney’s candidacy if he embraces it in the coming campaign. At the outset, the Ryan budget (described in Ryan’s actual language) barely garners majority support. And voters raise serious doubts when they hear about proposed cuts—particularly to Medicare, education, and children of the working poor.

    President Obama’s lead against Romney more than doubles when the election is framed as a choice between the two candidates’ positions on the Ryan budget– particularly its impact on the most vulnerable. The President makes significant gains among key groups, including independents and voters in the Rising American Electorate (the unmarried women, youth, and minority voters who drove Obama to victory in 2008). This is an important new finding; highlighting the Ryan budget’s impact on the most vulnerable seriously weakens Romney.

    Key Findings:

    • The Ryan budget is a big target. Even described using Ryan’s own words, support for the budget barely gets majority support.

    • Mitt Romney’s embrace of the Ryan budget erodes his support in a close race. Romney’s full-fledged support of the Ryan budget opens him up to attacks on big, decisive issues.

    • Voters respond equally to three big critiques of the Ryan budget.Voters reject Ryan’s plan to allow the refundable child tax credit to expire, which would push the families of 2 million children back into poverty. Second, voters are deeply concerned about Ryan’s plan for Medicare and health care spending for seniors. Finally, voters strongly disapprove of cuts to education spending. These three facts about the Ryan budget are the most concerning to voters, especially unmarried women and Hispanic voters.

    • Concern for the most vulnerable has a ballot box impact. After hearing balanced facts about the Ryan budget and messages on both sides, we asked voters to weigh the two Presidential candidates based on their positions on the Ryan budget and its impact on the most vulnerable. Not only does focusing on the most vulnerable not hurt the President, it helps him – Obama’s margin widens to 9 points, with his vote climbing above 50 percent.


  2. Ametia says:


  3. rikyrah says:

    Vulture/Voucher 2012, part II

    By Soonergrunt August 11th, 2012

    Subtitle: All Ayn Rand’s Demon Spawn, All The Time!

    Following on from Betty Cracker’s earlier post, and mistermix’s post below, I’d like to draw your attention to another potential killer for Romney’s campaign.

    On more than one occasion in the past, Romney has suggested doing away with the Veterans Health Administration completely and replacing it with a voucher system. He wants to completely contract out the operations of the Veterans Benefits Administration and the National Cemetary Administration. At the time he made these suggestions in public back in November, it went over like a lead balloon and he dropped it quietly. There’s a reason why. The VA’s buracracy may be a royal pain the ass for Vets, but we loves us our socialized health care system. We love it so much, we consistently call it the best in the world.

    Well, now Vets can say goodbye the the Veterans Administration and say hello to the Voucher Administration. Because there’s no better way to show Veterans that you honor them than cutting their benefits by 50% and shoving them out on the street so that you can give another tax cut to the wealth inheritors. And make no mistake. This WILL happen under a Ryan/Romney administration. And lets face it—the fact that Romney acceded to having Paul Ryan shoved down his throat to shore up relations with the base is every indication that Romney knows who’s in charge, and who will dictate policy to him. It’s a rehash of the Cheney regency all over again

  4. rikyrah says:

    This Week in God

    By Steve Benen

    Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:30 AM EDT.

    First up from the God Machine this week is an interesting twist in Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-Minn.) anti-Muslim witch-hunt in Washington. While much of the recent debate has been within the Republican Party, yesterday, for the first time, President Obama weighed in.

    In the East Room of the White House, Obama hosted the fourth Iftar Dinner of his presidency, and devoted a portion of his remarks to the larger controversy launched by far-right voices within the Republican Party

    “They are entrepreneurs and lawyers, community leaders, members of our military, and Muslim American women serving with distinction in government. And that includes a good friend, Huma Abedin, who has worked tirelessly in the White House, in the U.S. Senate, and most exhaustingly, at the State Department, where she has been nothing less than extraordinary in representing our country and the democratic values that we hold dear. [Secretary of State Hillary Clinton] has relied on her expertise, and so have I.

    “The American people owe her a debt of gratitude — because Huma is an American patriot, and an example of what we need in this country — more public servants with her sense of decency, her grace and her generosity of spirit. So, on behalf of all Americans, we thank you so much.

    “These are the faces of Islam in America. These are just a few of the Muslim Americans who strengthen our country every single day. This is the diversity that makes us Americans; the pluralism that we will never lose.”

  5. rikyrah says:

    So much for the referendum
    By Steve Benen
    Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:31 AM EDT.

    In any presidential election in which there’s an incumbent, there’s a larger fight about whether the race is a “referendum” or a “choice.” In 2012, Mitt Romney obviously wanted it to be a referendum — if you’re not satisfied with the status quo, replace President Obama with a generic Republican. The tack helps explain why the GOP candidate has been so vague on so many issues.

    As of this morning, Romney’s strategy has been thrown out the window. Paul Ryan wrote a right-wing budget plan, which redistributes wealth from the bottom up, and which guarantees voters will be presented with a very clear choice in the fall, not a referendum.

    Indeed, it’s not unreasonable to think the entire election dynamic will be turned on its ear — voters will be asked to vote, not on Obama, but on the far-right Romney-Ryan vision.

    And what is the vision crafted by a man who credits Ayn Rand for his involvement in politics? It’s one in which Medicare would be replaced with a voucher scheme; Social Security would be privatized; taxes would be cut even more for the very wealthy; and Washington would “take food from poor children, make it harder for low-income students to get a college degree, and squeeze funding for research, education, and infrastructure.”

  6. rikyrah says:

    Found this in the comments at Balloon Juice:

    TexasMango Says:

    I didn’t think God loved Barack Obama enough to give him Ryan as Mr. 1% as VP, but I now take it back. God loves Barack Obama like he loved King David in the Bible.

  7. rikyrah says:

    I Love The Smell of Panic in the Morning

    By mistermix August 11th, 2012

    I woke up this morning to the reek of piss-pants desperation emanating from my Twitter in the form of Mitt Romney’s VP Pick, Paul Davis Ryan (and yes, it is happening, because those morons can’t keep a secret). Man, this tells us a lot about just how worried, weak, meandering, insular and politically inept the Romney campaign is.

    You don’t pick a base darling like Ryan unless you think you need to shore up the base, so the first thing this pick tells us that Mitt’s campaign is at least a little scared of stuff like this hundred page teabagger manifesto called “DUMP ROMinee – Why Tampa’s Republican Delegates must Dump Romney to Defeat Obama”, and the math demanded that they throw out red meat to the Tea Party.

    Ryan is a indication of just how unfocused and off-message Romney’s campaign has become. The core Romney pitch was supposed to be that he’s the successful CEO who’s going to run the country the way he ran Bain and the Olympics, and that he showed us what he can do as CEO of Massachusetts. After the Obama campaign and the press got through demolishing those fables, everything about them is tarnished and off-limits. So instead of putting some interesting non-politician captain of industry on the ticket, we’ve get someone who thinks he’s John Galt but who has actually spent his entire adult life in Washington DC either working for politicians or being one.

  8. rikyrah says:

    found this in the comments at Balloon Juice:

    The Thin Black Duke Says:

    Again, this moronic and disastrous decision just reinforces my belief that what’s left of the GOP brain trust has been lobotomized.
    Let me make this clear, I believe that Romney and Ryan clearly represent what the Republican party has always wanted to do to America, step by step, inch by inch.
    Problem is, they’ve been able to disguise their malicious intentions for decades with lies, smoke and mirrors and racist dog whistles. But not any more.
    No matter how loudly the GOP yells at us to not pay attention to the two sociopaths behind the curtain, it’s too late. We can finally see exactly who and what they are.
    And it’s terrifying

  9. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney’s Missing Information

    This is just an observation, based on some years covering politics and campaigns as a journalist, and then following it as an increasingly alarmed observer: there is something very odd about Mitt Romney’s campaign. Something that we haven’t seen before. That oddness is its absence. Beneath all the commercials and messaging, the campaign is a series of voids, missing information about the candidate himself, his background, and his proposals.

    I’m not suggesting Romney needs to be “vetted” to dig up secret scandalous stuff. What I mean is: even obvious, basic data that you expect from someone running for president is not there. Either Romney doesn’t want to talk about it, or it’s simply missing.

    All presidential campaigns build a message that makes the case for his or her election, and why the other guy should lose. In Romney’s case this is simple enough: the campaign is a referendum on Obama’s first term, and Romney has the business smarts and experience to set things right. But beneath the commercials and endlessly-repeated talking points, there’s always an elaborate infrastructure built up over years of running. This includes: biography points both personal and political; and detailed policies that lay out a plausible plan for governing.

    This campaign infrastructure is important for several reasons. On the simplest level, it’s a source of information for voters and the media. In theory, anybody interested can look up stuff about Mitt Romney’s background as governor of Massachusetts, his record at Bain, his proposals on health care, taxes, or his Latin America policy. On another level, all these pieces should fit together as an argument. A campaign that is well-run, everything fits together tightly: common themes are played up across all categories. They show up in what the candidate says and how he presents himself on the stump, in interviews and debates.

    But with Romney, this infrastructure is missing some critical pieces.

  10. rikyrah says:

    the pic with the lady standing there in her rollers is my favoriter. Hilarious, and I feel her. I could have been mid-shampoo and if I heard that POTUS was near….I would be standing in that parking lot, towel at my shoulders, shampoo lather on my head….LOL

  11. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  12. vitaminlover says:

    This is MY President!!!!

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