He may be utterly useless when it comes to putting forth a workable budget, but hey, at least Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is a good matchmaker! The New York Times has an article out today about the many marriages that have come about after time working in Schumer's office, and it's actually rather amusing:
Schumer staff members, put simply, like to marry each other. There have been 10 weddings so far, and two more scheduled this fall — an average of nearly one “Schumer Marriage” (his term) for each year he has spent in the Senate.
Cupid’s arrow lands where it will, but many of the couples say that Mr. Schumer, a New York Democrat, has an unusual knack for guiding its journey. He keeps close track of office romances, quotes marriage-friendly Scripture (“God to man: be fruitful and multiply”), and is known to cajole, nag, and outright pester his staff (at least those he perceives as receptive to such pestering) toward connubial bliss.
Forget Master of the Senate. This is the Yenta of the Senate.
“What’s the holdup?” the senator asks couples who are dillydallying on an engagement. “Did you get a ring yet?” Other could-be-marrieds receive a simple instruction: “Get moving!”
“He would just keep saying, ‘Let’s go already,’ ” recalled Sean Sweeney, a top Democratic strategist who began dating the woman who would become his wife when they were on Mr. Schumer’s staff in 1999. When he proposed, the senator reacted “like a sportscaster,” Mr. Sweeney said. “ ‘Goooooal!’ ”
I can't decide if this is cute, or a little too Michael Scott...
Standing behind a sign that said “Protect and Strengthen Medicare,” Paul Ryan addressed a crowd of enthusiastic seniors this morning in Florida at The Villages, the world’s largest retirement community. And standing by his side when he took the stage was none other than his 80-year-old mother Betty, a Florida resident and Medicare recipient herself:
Ryan sought to reassure seniors that his and Mitt Romney’s plans for Medicare were intended to preserve the program’s benefits for current recipients while shoring it up for future generations as well. He also hit President Obama for using Medicare as a “piggybank” for Obamacare:
“The president raised $716 billion from the Medicare program to pay for the ‘ObamaCare’ program. What’s more, in addition to that he puts a board of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats in charge of Medicare who are required to cut Medicare in ways that will led to denied care for current seniors. “
“We will end the raid of Medicare, we will restore the promise of this program and “Four million seniors are projected to lose their Medicare plans that they chose and enjoy today under this ObamaCare plan.”
“We will end the raid of Medicare, we will restore the promise of this program and we will make sure this board of bureaucrats won’t mess with my mom’s healthcare or your mom’s healthcare.”
“Medicare should not be used as a piggybank for ObamaCare. Medicare should be the promise that is made to our current seniors, period, end of story.”
He’s working to dispel the falsities that the Democrats have attempted to spread about “ending Medicare as we know it,” instead focusing on the ways his plan won’t affect current recipients, and the need for reform in order to maintain solvency. He struck a hopeful tone regarding the future of Medicare, and managed to explain an extremely complex issue in terms that were understandable.
He also managed to get a hit in at Obama for the “You didn’t build that” remark, proving that he’s a major campaign asset in terms of both his policy expertise (and explanatory finesse) as well as his ability to be an attack dog.
Notice how fired up he was about that at the end – seems like Obama’s remarks on small business ownership really hit home for him. Passion like that is great to see – he’s ready to fight!
Ross Murty built his business, and he wanted President Obama to know. So he wore this shirt while catering an event for the president:
Wearing a Romney shirt to a job for Obama? That takes some guts!
“No one from the government was there when we were sweating it, when we were building this business,” Murty said. Before him was a bank of chafing dishes filled with smoked beef brisket, pulled pork, vegetable parmesan bake and cheesy hash brown casserole provided to the White House press corps covering the president’s three-day swing across Iowa this week.
Murty, 45, a registered Republican, didn’t really have a choice with the catering job. His partner, Bret Dalton (a registered Democrat), accepted the work on Saturday while Murty was away in Chicago watching a Cubs game. Dalton volunteered for Vice President Biden’s presidential campaign in 1988, when he was a student at Iowa State University.
But that’s not why he got the contract.
“One of Obama’s lead people came into the deli Saturday morning,” Dalton said. “I didn’t even know it was for Obama until that night.”
When he found out, though, Dalton had some fun. He called up Murty, who was driving back from Chicago, and asked: “Guess who’s coming to town this week?”
“He was a little stunned,” Dalton recalled. But the two take their political disagreements in stride, and the conversation was all in good fun, both said.
“I would never say no to anybody for any reason,” Murty said. “My partner and I have different views in politics, but business is business.”
The Obama campaign had no comment on Murty's T-shirt.
Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC anchor and noted expert on suburban mothers' political priorities, offered her analysis on Mitt Romney's pick for vice president from Paul Ryan's welcome home rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin last night. It's about as intelligent and in line with middle America's values as one might expect:
So, yes, Chris Hayes did, in fact, end the clip by noting that Paul Ryan was a bad pick for average women because...progressive women's groups had emailed him, expressing their outrage that he, like nearly every Republican out there, is pro-life. After all these years, the GOP position on life issues still manages to surprise NOW and its ilk.
I suppose Paul Ryan -- who is a practicing Catholic, and adheres to the Church's teachings on abortion -- would be a terrible pick for a certain kind of woman: one in the mold of the very liberal Andrea Mitchell. But progressive women were never going to flock to the Republican ticket. By contrast, most suburban moms aren't overly focused on the abortion issue; the budget ranks much higher among their concerns, and it's not a stretch to say that women who control household financial planning might see the appeal of Paul Ryan's sensible, responsible Path to Prosperity budget. In fact, Ryan's chief issues -- such as the budget, debt reduction, and entitlement reform -- are among the top concerns of Americans at large.
So, just a pick for the base? Not so much. Yes, someone's priorities aren't in line with the American public, Andrea, but here's a hint: it's not Paul Ryan.
Michelle Obama spoke with the Tom Joyner Morning Show about the things people can do to get out the vote for her husband, and actually offered a rather insulting portrait of those who are undecided -- as well as inaccurately portraying the race as between grassroots Democrats and a handful of rich Republicans. Check out the audio clip:
The most damning passage:
"All of us know that one person in our lives -- that one knucklehead nephew that's not registered to vote. That one neighbor who's not really paying attention. That one coworker who's confused about how Barack's tax plan will benefit that individual. Those are going to be the conversations that make the difference. And in this election, we're gonna be making a choice about how we want our democracy run. You know, do we want our president selected by people rolling their sleeves up, knocking on doors, or are we gonna hand it over to a couple of people who write big checks?"
So in reality, if you disagree with the president, you're just "confused about how Barack's tax plan will benefit" you, and it's up to your friendly neighborhood Democrat coworker to enlighten you. It's like she lives in a world where reasonable people couldn't possibly disagree with her husband's approach to government -- no, they're just knuckleheads. Right.
Last night, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attended a dinner in Johannesburg, hosted by South Africa's Foreign Minister, and judging by the video, she had a great time. Watch as our highest-ranking diplomat breaks it down:
Want to play some ball with basketball legend Michael Jordan? Well, donate just $3 to Barack Obama's reelection campaign, and you and a guest have the chance to win tickets to the 2012 -- oh yes -- Obama Classic. His Royal Airness will be joined by Patrick Ewing, Carmelo Anthony, and of course, the president himself in a star-studded event intended to promote small donations to Obama's campaign, per a campaign email from OFA:
"Imagine shooting hoops" with those stars, deputy national field director Marlon Marshall wrote in an email to supporters. Other attendees include Sheryl Swoopes, Kyrie Irving, and Alonzo Mourning.
"Now stop dreaming and make it happen. You and a guest of your choice could join President Obama and some of the greatest basketball stars for a special night at the Obama Classic," Marshall wrote.
"Pitch in $3 or whatever you can, and you'll be automatically entered for a chance to win," Marshall wrote. "Hit the court with Patrick Ewing and Melo? Trade stories with the President? This is the kind of stuff your kids will tell their kids, and no one will believe it until you show them a photo."
Jordan had previously played his political cards close to his chest, reportedly saying that "Republicans buy shoes, too." So either he's just that enthusiastic for Obama, or POTUS needed to amp up his campaign's star power.
Indeed, Jordan joins the ranks of Sarah Jessica Parker, Eva Longoria, George Clooney, John Legend, and Anna Wintour, among many other Hollywood types, who have either pledged support for Obama or held fundraisers for him this year. This particular iteration is modeled after previous events, where small donations buy average Americans the chance to spend an evening hobknobbing with the stars. The Huffington Post reports that these drives have been rather successful, with George Clooney's dinner bringing in $15 million total, when coupled with the price of the $40,000 tickets. We'll see if this push, which has a little more of a populist feel to it than dinner with Hollywood elite, can top that total.
Harry Reid’s smeartastic, possibly-maybe-this-is-a-fact-but-maybe-it-isn’t allegation that Mitt Romney committed major tax evasion for a decade finally seem to have jarred the White House. In a press conference today, embattled press secretary Jay Carney attempted to put some space between Senate Majority Leader Reid and President Obama, although Carney wouldn’t go so far as to outright condemn Reid.
The best he could offer was that Harry Reid “speaks for himself,” and, "I think the President is focused on -- and you hear him say this every day -- issues that matter to the American people," which, as RealClearPolitics said, suggests “that Reid's accusation is not an issue that matters.”
Watch Carney try to weasel his way out of the tough questions:
Of course, as Guy noted this weekend, Reid’s alleged source is the White House itself. So perhaps Obama himself won’t talk about this issue because “he doesn’t think it matters,” but that doesn’t mean someone on his team fed these lies to Reid’s people. And, conveniently, Carney took the opportunity to reiterate that Obama wants Romney to release his tax returns: “The issue here is one of transparency, and, again, as the president sees it, in regards to his candidacy, one, it is an important tradition.”
So really, despite Carney lame attempts to dissociate Reid’s remarks from the president, it seems that Team Obama isn’t too terribly upset that the tax return conversation is still happening. They just don’t necessarily want to be the ones keeping it in the headlines with sensational, factually dubious claims, and are happy to pass on the dirty work to a guy who is so unpopular he might not run for reelection in 2016.
Class, class, class.
I warned you all that I love the Olympics (maybe a little too much), but this is a story worth sharing. While American Sanya Richards-Ross was accepting the gold medal for winning the 400-meter dash, Usain Bolt, the amazingly fast Jamaican man who won the 100-meter dash, was giving an interview. And instead of continuing to talk over the Star-Spangled Banner, he turned around, pointed at the flag, and indicated to the reporter that he would like to watch in silence. Watch:
So cool. As much as I love watching the USA take the gold in as many events as possible, that is what the Olympics are all about: sportsmanship and respect. Congrats to both Richards-Ross and the aptly-named Bolt!
While no one expects them to be best of friends, at the very least, Americans like to feel as though political opponents like Mitt Romney and Barack Obama can disagree while maintaining a level respect and decorum. This election, however, is different.
In his new e-book, Obama's Last Stand, POLITICO reporter Glenn Thrush examines the president's competitive nature and divulges that his personal feelings about past GOP candidates were nothing compared to the hatred he apparently harbors for Mitt Romney.
“One factor made the 2012 grind bearable and at times even fun for Obama: he began campaign preparations feeling neutral about Romney, but like the former governor’s GOP opponents in 2008 and 2012, he quickly developed a genuine disdain for the main. That scorn stoked Obama’s competitive fire, got his head in the game, which came as a relief to some Obama aides who had seen his interest flag when he didn’t feel motivated to crush the opposition. Obama, a person close to him told me, didn’t even feel this strongly about conservative, combative House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the Hill Republican he disliked the most. At least Cantor stood for something, he’d say.
“When he talked about Romney, aides picked up a level of anger he never had for Clinton or McCain, even after Sarah Palin was picked as his running mate. ‘There was a baseline of respect for John McCain. The president always thought he was an honorable man and a war hero,’ said a longtime Obama adviser. ‘That doesn’t hold true for Romney. He was no g--d----- war hero.’”
Intense anger toward Romney might explain some of Obama's recent missteps, such as the "You didn't built that" flap. Perhaps, as Thrush seems to indicate, Obama's strong feelings could drive him to compete hard enough for victory -- or perhaps they'll instead force his hand, causing him to damage his own bid for reelection even more.
Report: Boehner Won't Bring Immigration Bill to the Floor Without Majority of Republicans On Board | Guy Benson