Assuming no last-minute surprises, while the White House transitions the son of a Leòdhas emigrant will take the Oath and become the next POTUS in Washington D.C. today (security gates open at 6am, ceremony begins at 11:30am), as part of the 58th Presidential Inauguration (events began yesterday). Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath; the Lincoln Bible and a family bible will be used. Clarence Thomas will administer the Oath of Office to Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Many Democratic lawmakers are boycotting the inauguration; security is tight, and selfie sticks, drones and drums are not permitted. Some artists are performing at the inauguration and after events. The day after, the Women's March takes place in D.C. and many other cities and towns. Channels showing the inauguration, the 2009 and 2013 ceremonies, and Obama's 2008 victory speech.
In seven days, Donald J. Trump is due to be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America. What happens next? [more inside]
A day after the release of the declassified report on Russian hacking during the 2016 election, the New York Times is reporting this morning on the business deals of Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner. In Washington, Congressional Republicans seem to be supporting Trump's campaign promise to build a border wall between the US and Mexico, even though it seems that American taxpayers will be the ones fronting the money to pay for it. Mr. Trump, with 13 days to go before he assumes the presidency, is tweeting about the "stupid" people, or fools, would think that [having a good relationship with Russia] is bad! He will purportedly give a press conference this week, on January 11, following President Obama's Farewell Address, on January 10. A number of confirmation hearings will also take place on the 11th. [more inside]
In a first for a sitting President, Barack Obama has published a 56-page paper/commentary in the Harvard Law Review: “The President’s Role in Advancing Criminal Justice Reform” [more inside]
As Rogue One plays, the US Electoral College, despite possible rebellions and protests, votes: 304 for Donald Trump, 227 for Hillary Clinton, 3 for Colin Powell, and 1 each for Faith Spotted Eagle, Bernie Sanders, Ron Paul and John Kasich. On the squawk mortar, the former obsessive green ink letter writer tussles with POTUS #42 and gets nuclear (more), while the current POTUS restricts offshore drilling and stays a figure of hope. With the inauguration and ball less than a month away, the stage is being built while performers are still being negotiated. Retrospections and speculations on what the wounded Democratic Party and liberals do next, and who leads, abounds. Meanwhile, liberals are arming, Pence is interpreting, Estonians are worried, North Carolina is undemocratic and funding signs are ominous. [more inside]
In yet another week of "surely this...", Russia is accused of helping him win the US election to a Senator's dismay and possible retaliation, Mitt loses out to Tillerson, Rick Perry is nominated for can't remember oops, other people are nominated, and librarians and science come under attack, with net neutrality possibly next. The Electoral College is but a few days away, with lobbying, labels, opinions and angry celebrities. However, the chances of a shock are low. Elsewhere, the public vote gives Hillary a large lead with comparisons to previous elections, Louisiana voted, the 2018 midterms are underway, Barack is interviewed, contemporary capitalism, Putin's revenge, un-democracy in North Carolina, latest odds, and piñata. [more inside]
With six weeks to the inauguration of the current President-elect, the son of a Hebridean continues to make the press. Across a smorgasbord of controversy, Boeing and China and a union leader are tweet-called out, Taiwan are on the phone, Ben Carson has (awkward) a top job, Flynn jnr is out but Flynn snr stays in while Goldman Sachs is further in, Mr Coal is given the EPA, Coulter wavers, his wall may not be built after all, and conflicts of interests (one picked at random). Problems with the recent election such as interference and voter suppression (post title) (also, game) continue to be discussed while Jill et al continue with their recount battle. Elsewhere, think pieces about the Democratic party abound, and Hillary continues to stack up the votes. Also California, Biden for 2020, a large bipartisan bill heads Obama's way, some Federal bureaucrats are waiting to see what happens and a prophecy. [more inside]
The interval between the 2016 US election and inauguration of POTUS #45 continues. Donald likes an avid reader, but claims many bogus votes were cast and others believe it. Romney (previous, post title, transcript) emerges full of chocolate cake and glowing praise. The "swamp" continues to be filled, and despite 'leaving business' there are conflicts (multiple, many) of interest. There's recount news in Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin. Amongst voter suppression news (more, more, again), recent tactics arguably worked (more), Michigan is trying to pass tougher ID laws, legal issues continue in North Carolina, and the fight will be a hard and an unavoidable one. [more inside]
While book-reading president-elect Donald continues to tweet and finally speaks with the New York Times, he also generates news: property in Argentina, conflict of interests and the foreign Emoluments Clause, Foundation tax returns, NASA funding, New York protection costs and disruption, flip-flopping, the Climate Accord, a musical, ending the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and not attempting to prosecute Hillary. New appointments include DeVos as education secretary and Haley as U.N. ambassador, with Michael Flynn tapped as national security advisor. Beyond Trump Tower, the results in three states may be challengeable or challenged, and in the ongoing count, Hillary's popular vote lead exceeds two million (live spreadsheet). [more inside]
A week since the post-truth 2016 US elections and Donald is attempting team selection with Reince Priebus becoming the Chief of Staff (Onion), while Steve Bannon is the Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor and Jeff Sessions could be the Attorney General. Election result analysis continues, including Barack's reaction, rural voters and insiders, as does consideration of the approaching 2018 mid-terms. Post-election, hate crimes have increased and a tally is being kept, while Black Lives Matter issues a statement. There are issues with fake news, and with vote counting in Arizona and Supreme Court control in North Carolina. Meanwhile, down ballot election results bring good news for liberals, Twitter does something, and voters swap media bubbles. Relevant events in the near future include the minority House elections, the Trump University litigation trial (maybe), the Louisiana Senate race runoff, the Electoral College vote and probable climate collapse. [more inside]
Rev. William Barber’s Moral Message Moving Forward, a post-election press call ( Youtube, 45 min audio only. Barber previously ) covers a lot of ground, built around his observation that the “…victory has been heralded as an unprecedented political upheaval. But we must understand history and know that the reactionary wave that swept across America this past Tuesday is not an anomaly in our history. It is instead an all too familiar pattern in the long struggle for American reconstruction.” [more inside]
The 2016 US election is over and most of the results are in. Barring incident, Barack Obama (#44) will hand over to Donald Trump (#45) at noon on January 20th 2017; transition activities are underway. Following a relentless campaign, Hillary Clinton conceded and called for unity. The Republican Party has also secured the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as electing more governors. Voter suppression during the election continues to be an issue. Reaction to Trump's victory has ranged from protests to shock, and there are many questions about what he will do in office regarding issues such as Obamacare. Some are drawing parallels between the election result and Brexit. The press is also contemplating the future of the Democratic Party and their road ahead. [more inside]
Today, the United States of America will - hopefully - determine its 45th President and 48th Vice President. Going into election day, Hillary Clinton holds a poll lead [YouGov][Time] over Donald Trump. Early voting has been busy, and voting has concluded in three New Hampshire towns. In addition to the presidency, there are elections for the Senate and the House and lots of local ballots - discuss in the "Senators, Representatives, and Referenda" thread. Polling stations close at various times, subject to queues and court orders. It is unclear when a result is likely; blanket coverage includes TV networks, the New York Times, Guardian, BuzzFeed on Twitter, YouTube and the BBC, though many say Pantsuit Nation is where it's at. [more inside]
574 days since Hillary declared she would run, and 2 days left for the frontrunner and all of us till election day. While the world watches e.g. [Guardian] [RTE] [Denmark] [Russia] [Sweden (lonely)] and [France], analyses, reacts, or organizes election parties [Australia] [New Zealand], the polls bounce around but generally favor Hillary, the UK bookies, other odds and an increasingly angry Nate also still favor Hillary, and Politico only sees three narrow paths to victory for Donald. Meanwhile, the Democrats get the vote out, it's not been the best of years for Trump's New Jersey chum (also November 10th 2015), there are fears of an election "cyber attack", political phrases are becoming fatigued, celebrity social media remains divided, Mr Kaine duets with Mr Bongiovi, and Hillary and Donald (in Reno) near the end. [more inside]
Just six days left before the election. Rebounding from FBI Director Comey's resumption of the email investigation (previously), Hillary has been galvanizing her base, while Trump has adopted an unusual strategy of encouraging people to change their vote. [more inside]
Eleven days to go. Since last time, Donald announced his first 100 days of actions, but still dislikes Jeb and John, while Hillary considers Texas and (post-birthday) speaks with Michelle (post title from speech) in North Carolina, early voting is happening, and Barack has nice approval ratings (though not everywhere). In the polls, 538 reckons Donald needs a sweep of swing states, GOP "insiders" think there are secret Trump voters, another release shows ties in Georgia and Iowa, and in perhaps less reliable data, Donald has a huge lead. While social media rages and schools have concerns about being polling stations, Wikileaks continues to drip-feed mundane emails, the FBI writes a vague letter about other emails (rebuttal), Colin Powell declares for Hillary, a 'Victory Bus' tours (gallery), Evan and Mindy continue to draw support across Utah, and therapists and patients describe election stress. [more inside]
Barack Obama and Doris Kearns Goodwin: The Ultimate Exit Interview [Vanity Fair] As his two-term presidency draws to a close, Barack Obama is looking back—at the legacies of his predecessors, as well as his own—and forward, to the freedom of life after the White House. In a wide-ranging conversation with one of the nation’s foremost presidential historians, he talks about his ambitions, frustrations, and the decisions that still haunt him.
President Obama's Summer Reading List [The Guardian] The White House released [whitehouse.gov] Barack Obama’s summer reading list on Friday as the first family vacationed in Martha’s Vineyard. It’s a mix of prize-winning novels and the memoir of a surfer who spent much of his childhood in Hawaii, something the president can appreciate. [Previously.] [more inside]
SL Glamour. "This Is What a Feminist Looks Like" by Barack Obama
A very nice collection of 55 photos taken by White House photographer Peter Souza. "Since 2009, Souza has compiled an annual “Year in Photos” gallery; a collection of 75-100 of his favorite photos from the previous 12 months. I went through all of the albums and have compiled 55 highlights. "
Sanders endorses Clinton. Trump rebukes Ginsberg. RNC prepares for their convention in Cleveland. Pundits debate the best VP choice for Trump.
Based on findings from experiments in political science, BuzzFeed News has designed what should be a powerful get-out-the-vote message. With less than a month before the Democrats get their convention started in Philadelphia, speculation on Secretary Clinton's running mate is rampant, and "Bernie Sanders [said] he is prepared for a floor fight at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia if the party doesn’t take more progressive stances on trade, the minimum wage, climate change and other issues in its platform." [more inside]
Tomorrow's primary in Washington, D.C. will mark the final presidential primary of 2016. Then, Secretary Clinton and Sen. Sanders are set to meet Tuesday night. [more inside]
With 694 delegates up for grabs between five primaries and a caucus, it has been widely predicted that Secretary Clinton would surpass the 2383 delegate threshold needed to clinch the democratic presidential nomination today. Jumping the gun, The Associated Press is reporting that, by their count, Clinton has already reached this number. Senator Sanders' campaign has condemned the media for its "rush to judgement" and the Clinton campaign has simply said "we still have work to do". [more inside]
With only six months left in the all-too-brief election campaign, three candidates from the Democratic and Republican parties remain. In the red corner, Donald has vanquished Ben, Bobby, Carly, Chris, George, Jeb, Jim, John, Lindsey, Marco, Mike, Rand, Rick, the other Rick, Scott, and Ted. In the blue corner, Bernie and Hillary have vanquished Jim, Lawrence, Lincoln and Martin. However, there is pessimism about whether Donald can win the general, with bookmaker odds stabilizing and keeping Hillary as the clear favorite. Elsewhere, Sarah doesn't like Paul, Lindsey is glad he isn't in Area 51, Gary Johnson "could" become POTUS, and Jeb sort-of returns. Meanwhile, Bernie collects more delegates in Washington state, while Hillary wins the Guam caucus. And, on the island of his mother's birth, war has broken out between rival facebook groups for and against Donald. [more inside]
Harry and Liz are flicking through some pictures from the Invictus Games when Harry gets a call from Michelle. You'll never guess what happens next... [In tweet]
President Obama Weighs His Economic Legacy by Andrew Ross Sorkin [The New York Times] Eight years after the financial crisis, unemployment is at 5 percent, deficits are down and G.D.P. is growing. Why do so many voters feel left behind? The president has a theory. [more inside]
With less than 200 days before deciding who will be POTUS #45, five states hold primaries today: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Following the problems with voting in New York, hopefully there won't be so many this week, although location limitations do not bode well. Since the New York primaries, Ted has cut a deal with John but thinks the convention will be contested, people are eyeing Bernie's email address book, Donald buys a ticket to Seattle but gets his historical election facts wrong while encouraging an academic discipline, John corners the astronaut demographic, Hillary rejects a non-endorsement, Joe is focusing on the Senate, and the new first rule of Abe Club is that there is no more Abe Club. [more inside]
An older man (Barack Obama, POTUS) provides a promising younger man (NBA MVP Steph Curry) some life lessons (YouTube). President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. This lighthearted promotion encourages participation in the program. Perhaps Obama's influence will persuade Steph to set aside distractions and complete his college degree.
The March 1st round of voting in US primaries and caucuses is today. Since 1988, no candidate has won his party’s nomination without winning Super Tuesday. With early voting and absentee voting already happening, the people of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia will turn out for both Republicans and Democrats. Republicans in Alaska will hold caucuses, as will Democrats in Colorado. Democrats in American Samoa also nominate. On the Republican side, with 661 delegates to be allocated today, Donald Trump currently holds the delegate lead. On the Democrat side, with 865 delegates to be delegated today, Hillary Clinton currently holds the delegate lead. (A more visual delegate tracker) The actual POTUS election odds continue to make Hillary the favorite, from Donald with the rest at long odds. Politico has more information on today, as does the Wall Street Journal and 538. With variable weather for voters, Nate Silver being cautious about assumptions and Obama's surprise endorsement of Trump, it's all to play for.
"For 3 year old Clark Reynolds, Thursday began like most others." Janell Ross on Pete Souza's photograph of Obama and his "little visitor." [more inside]
Obama as Literary Critic by Edward Mendelson [The New York Review of Books]
“Recently, while writing an essay on T.S. Eliot for The New York Review, I read or reread the work of many earlier critics, and was impressed most by two of them. One was Frank Kermode, who was ninety when he wrote, in 2010, one of his greatest essays, “Eliot and the Shudder,” [London Review of Books] a breathtakingly wide-ranging and sharply-focused piece about Eliot’s unique response to the common experience of shuddering. The other was a twenty-two-year-old college senior named Barack Obama, who wrote about Eliot in a letter to his girlfriend, Alexandra McNear, when she had been assigned to write a paper on The Waste Land for a college course.”[more inside]
Comedians in cars getting coffee. A great episode, 1963 Corvette Stingray. Oh, yeah...and the POTUS.
Guardian: Scott Walker 2016 presidential campaign in crisis after plunge in polls. BBC: Scott Walker drops out of US 2016 presidential race. New York Times: Scott Walker Said to Be Quitting Presidential Race. Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel: Campaign woes prompt Scott Walker to drop out of race. The Onion: Aides Rush On Stage To Rotate Scott Walker Back To Direction Of Audience.
Mark Lawson Unpacks President Obama's Summer Reading Picks [The Guardian]
Barack Obama has reached the stage of his administration when plans are being made for the construction in Chicago of the Presidential library that former American leaders get to set up in their memory. But, before that, he – or his aides – have also had to think about a smaller library: the shelf of books that the American people are told their leader plans to read on his summer vacation.[more inside]
President Obama’s Letter to the Editor [New York Times]
For the cover story of our Aug. 2 issue, Jim Rutenberg wrote about efforts over the last 50 years to dismantle the protections in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 [previously], the landmark piece of legislation that cleared barriers between black voters and the ballot. The story surveyed a broad sweep of history and characters, from United States Chief Justice John Roberts to ordinary citizens like 94-year-old Rosanell Eaton, a plaintiff in the current North Carolina case arguing to repeal voting restrictions enacted in 2013. The magazine received an unusual volume of responses to this article, most notably from President Barack Obama.
While delivering the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the South Carolina state senator and pastor who was among those killed at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston last week, Barack Obama sang Amazing Grace (C-Span). From in the congregation. [more inside]
As we approach the final 500 days to the 2016 US presidential election, and with a smorgasbord of POTUS wannabes, John Ellis Bush has revealed, through the medium of the Twitter, his campaign logo. A day before the bid of "Veto Corleone" is launched in Florida, and a day after Hillary Clinton formally launched her campaign through a rally and smalltown networking, Jeb is the betting favorite to be the Republican candidate, with strong showings for Marco Rubio and Scott Walker. He's also raised a bit of money; however, this hasn't been spent on a completely new logo (also here and here and here and possibly here). Parodies are also starting, as are enhancements. Despite this, Hillary remains the clear favorite to be the next POTUS, with George Clooney a 150/1 outsider at several bookmakers).
Hillary Rodham Clinton has announced (via a YouTube video and emails to supporters) she is running for the position of nominee on the Democratic Party ticket for the 2016 US Presidential Election. Her campaign website. Will she win the Democratic candidacy? Bookmakers currently say "very likely". And the presidency itself? "50/50". [more inside]
President Obama posted a Facebook video today, and will formally announce tomorrow in Tennessee a plan to provide any American student with good grades two years of community college, for free. Tennessee is the president's last stop on his pre-State of the Union tour. [more inside]
Joan Quigley has passed away on Tuesday at the age of 87. Brought on as an advisor in response to the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, she had been in contact with the First Lady up to three times a day via private lines set up for her at the White House and Camp David. The President is said to have asked his wife "What does Joan say?" habitually. Donald Regan, Chief of Staff in the Reagan White House, wrote that "Virtually every major move and decision the Reagans made during my time as White House chief of staff was cleared in advance with (Quigley)". She was an astrologer.
The United States Secret Service finds itself deep in turmoil, with Director Julia Pierson resigning this week after an increasingly alarming series of security failures and oversights in the agency's role protecting the President of the United States. Pierson had been widely criticized for scaling back security around the White House, during international summits, and a recent visit to Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. She startled supervisors with her view that the Secret Service needed "to be more like Disney World. We need to be more friendly, inviting." (multiple WaPo links) [more inside]
(Lawrence) Ari Fleischer is the former White House Press Secretary for U.S. President George W. Bush, from January 2001 to July 2003. 13 years on from 9/11, Ari is tweeting the events of that day from his notes (start). [more inside]
I have lived many of the questions that have become central to our national discourse since 1998. How far should we allow the government into our bedrooms? How do we reconcile the right to privacy with the need to expose sexual indiscretion? How do we guard against an overzealous government demanding our private data and information? And, most important to me personally, how do we cope with the shame game as it’s played in the Internet Age? - Monica Lewinsky for Vanity Fair
The US is a little closer to a popular vote for president. Governor Cuomo added New York State to the National Popular Vote interstate compact. [more inside]
U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia has ruled that Texas' ban on the recognition of marriage equality is unconstitutional. The ruling comes days after the launch of Freedom To Marry's Southern Campaign, and almost a week after a judge in Illinois ruled that gay and lesbian couples there had the right to marry immediately, rather than June 1, as the legislature had previously passed. The Texas ruling has been stayed pending appeal.
"The world is made of people: I get this. Our republic only works if we know our leaders are fallible humans. I disagree with the U.S. government about plenty. None of this kept me from experiencing immediate, full-on, feverish anxiety."
In a week which also marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK, the Gettysburg Address was delivered by Abraham Lincoln, 16th President, 150 years ago today. Mitch Rapoport narrates an animated version. [more inside]
"It's his charm. It's his gift. It's his political liability, and it's part of an American conundrum. We beg for authenticity, and then when we get it, oh man, it's hilarious. [Vice President Joe] Biden can be fantastic when he's on his game. At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, his speech got higher Nielsen ratings than either Bill Clinton's or Obama's. He killed the debate against Ryan, pumped air back into a campaign deflated after Obama's miserable first performance against Romney. Watching those performances, it's almost impossible to see him as a person once crippled by speech."
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