New York Post Mocks Obama’s Afghanistan Trip – Two schools of thought: Obama is at risk of being seen as politicizing national security. Or, any day spent talking about Osama Bin Laden, and not the economy, is a good one.
The curious resignation of Richard Grenell – The political world is buzzing over the sudden resignation of Richard Grenell, the former spokesman for John Bolton at the UN who had signed on to serve as foreign policy spokesman for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Grenell was scheduled to begin work Tuesday, May 1. Instead, he resigned before starting the job.
The news was broken Tuesday morning by Jennifer Rubin, a pro-Romney blogger at the Washington Post. The headline of Rubin’s report said the openly gay Grenell had been “hounded from [the] Romney campaign by anti-gay conservatives.” Rubin cited articles in National Review and the Daily Caller which she said “reflected the uproar by some social conservatives over the appointment.”
Some publications on the left picked up on Rubin’s report and suggested that Grenell had been driven from his job by, among others, Bryan Fischer, a top official at the social conservative American Family Association. Fischer is perhaps best known for a series of inflammatory statements about gays, Muslims, Mormons, and others. Last October, Fischer was scheduled to speak after Romney at the Values Voter summit in Washington. Knowing Fischer’s record, and already concerned by anti-Mormon comments from another attendee, Robert Jeffress, Romney decided to use his speech to condemn Fischer, although not by name.
The district is facing a potential $6.2 million deficit in the upcoming fiscal year, which amounts to approximately 7 percent of the district’s total annual expenditures of about $90 million.
Also as part of the Fiscal Stabilization Plan, board members will also vote on a 2 percent salary reduction for classified administrators, including a pay cut for the district’s assistant superintendent of personnel and its chief business official. Board members already approved the pay cuts for certificated administrators and the superintendent.
El Monte Union’s construction management company Del Terra will also present an update on projects taking place within the district.
The meeting takes place at 6 p.m. at South El Monte High School’s Professional Development Center, 1001 Durfee Ave.
Transcript: Obama hails ‘light of a new day’ in Afghanistan – Good evening from Bagram Air Base. This outpost is more than 7,000 miles from home, but for over a decade it has been close to our hearts. Because here, in Afghanistan, more than half a million of our sons and daughters have sacrificed to protect our country.
Today, I signed an historic agreement between the United States and Afghanistan that defines a new kind of relationship between our countries — a future in which Afghans are responsible for the security of their nation, and we build an equal partnership between two sovereign states; a future in which the war ends, and a new chapter begins.
Tonight, I’d like to speak to you about this transition. But first, let us remember why we came here. It was here, in Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden established a safe-haven for his terrorist organization. It was here, in Afghanistan, where al Qaeda brought new recruits, trained them, and plotted acts of terror. It was here, from within these borders, that al Qaeda launched the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 innocent men, women and children.
Restore our Future is targeting ads in Ohio ($501,000), Iowa ($395,000), Virginia ($241,000), Colorado ($299,000), Nevada ($275,000), Florida ($857,000), North Carolina ($652,000), Michigan ($452,00) and New Hampshire ($225,000), according to a GOP source that revealed the figures to Politico.
The ads will air in the period between May 3 and May 1
A Giant Leap for Richard Nixon – Imagine if President Nixon had decided to base his 1972 re-election campaign on the boast that he landed on the moon. His predecessors tried and failed for eight years. It wasn’t an easy decision–what if something went wrong? But that’s why you hire a president, to make those gutsy calls. Which path would George McGovern have taken?
That’s analogous to President Obama’s effort to campaign on the killing of Osama bin Laden. His absurd braggadocio is turning one of the few successes to occur under his leadership into a political liability.
Last week the Obama campaign released an advertisement featuring Bill Clinton (the president who actually did pass up opportunities to get bin Laden) praising Obama’s leadership and suggesting that Mitt Romney would have let bin Laden go. Nonsense, Romney replied: “Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order,” the New York Times quotes him as saying. (James Fallows, who worked in the Carter White House, grudgingly confirms Romney’s surmise.)
Blahous and Capretta: Exposing the Medicare Double Count – One of the enduring mysteries of President Obama’s health law is how its spending constraints and payroll tax hikes on high earners can be used to shore up Medicare finances and at the same time pay for a massive new entitlement program. Isn’t this double counting?
The short answer is: Yes, it is. You can’t spend the same money twice. And so, thanks to the new health law, federal deficits and debt will be hundreds of billions of dollars higher in the next decade alone.
Here’s how it works. When Congress considers legislation that alters taxes or spending related to Medicare’s Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, the changes are recorded not just on the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund’s books, but also on Congress’s “pay-as-you-go” scorecard.
These are my links for March 23rd through March 26th:
Poll: 47% disapprove of Obama health care law – As the Supreme Court embarks on three days of historic arguments over President Obama’s health care law – two years after the law was enacted – Americans remain skeptical about the legislation.
A CBS News/New York Times poll shows 47 percent of Americans disapprove of the president’s Affordable Care Act, including 30 percent who strongly disapprove. In the poll, conducted March 21-25, only 36 percent of those questioned said they support the law either somewhat or strongly.
5 things to watch in health law oral arguments – The Super Bowl for Supreme Court watchers kicks off this week as the justices hear three days of oral arguments in what could be the blockbuster case of a generation: whether President Barack Obama’s signature law overhauling the American health care system is constitutional.
The stakes couldn’t be higher for Obama, for the balance of power between the states and federal government and for the reputation of the court itself.
Currently, Talamantes is a special education teacher at Margaret Heath Elementary School in Baldwin Park. Talamantas was selected out of nine possible candidates.
In early February former board member John Tran resigned from office, do to allegations of soliciting and accepting more than $10,000 in bribes from a developer. Yesterday morning, Tran appearing in U.S Central District Court, pleaded guilty to bribing a developer who had intentions of building a mixed-use office and residential project in Rosemead. Awaiting his August 6th sentencing, Tran may face up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
According to sources, the El Monte Union High School District is happy to have Mrs. Maria-Elena Talamantes as a colleague and looks forward in helping their students throughout the district.
Governor 13.3% – Jerry Brown – It’s hard to believe now, but Jerry Brown once ran for President as a reformer who favored a flat tax with a 13% top federal rate. That was 1992. Nowadays in his second stint as Governor, he’s running to give California alone a higher top income-tax rate.
The incredible shifting Governor recently agreed to adjust his November ballot initiative to include an even higher top tax rate. Previously he favored an increase to 12.3% from 10.3% today. But the government-unions that live off tax revenues had threatened to sponsor their own ballot measure raising the top rate even higher.
The Governor feared that divided support might doom both. So he and the unions agreed to back only one initiative with a top rate of 13.3%. The measure would also raise the state sales tax by a quarter of a percentage point to 7.5%, or more than 9% including the sales tax in some cities. Oh, and instead of lasting five years, the income-tax increase would last for seven.
L.A. jobless rate is unchanged at 11.8%, but payrolls are up – February’s 11.8 percent rate is still very high – nearly a full percentage higher than California’s jobless rate of 10.9 percent (also unchanged from January). The U.S. unemployment rate in February was 8.3 percent. Somewhat better news: the separate payroll survey shows that L.A. gained 28,900 jobs in February; in all of California, the increase was 4,000.
The social networking company is also threatening legal action.
An Associated Press story this week documented cases of job applicants who are being asked, at the interview table, to reveal their Facebook passwords so their prospective employers can check their backgrounds.
In a post on Friday, Facebook’s chief privacy officer cautions that if an employer discovers that a job applicant is a member of a protected group, the employer may open itself up to claims of discrimination if it doesn’t hire that person.
“If you are a Facebook user, you should never have to share your password,” Erin Egan wrote.
Physicians are gloomy about health reform – Fully 60% of respondents believe that health care reform will negatively affect patient care. Comments included “too much interference with patient care”, “without private practice, quality of patient care or choices for patients goes away,” and “physicians have no input/control in providing care.”
These are my links for March 15th through March 22nd:
Romney advisor says his conservatism can be erased – Ever since he launched his first bid for the presidency over five years ago, critics have argued that Mitt Romney’s conservative positions aren’t sincere, and that he would start to abandon them once he was no longer trying to appeal to the Republican primary electorate. I just never expected one of his chief campaign staffers to openly admit it. Yet feeling cocky after Mitt Romney’s strong victory in Illinois, top advisor Eric Fehrnstrom did just that.
Here’s the stunning exchange on CNN (via Greg Sargent):
HOST: Is there a concern that Santorum and Gingrich might force the governor to tack so far to the right it would hurt him with moderate voters in the general election?
FEHRNSTROM: Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.
‘Etch A Sketch’ Latest Gaffe From Romney Campaign – For a candidate who has spent months battling the title of “flip-flopper,” perhaps the last thing he would want associated with his name is an Etch A Sketch, those do-over drawing boards that let you shake your scribbles away with the flick of a wrist.
Unfortunately Mitt Romney won’t be able to shake away this comparison any time soon. When his campaign spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom was asked this morning on CNN how the GOP frontrunner would make the pivot to the general election, Fehrnstrom compared Romney’s primary campaign to an Etch A Sketch, a gaffe that spread like wildfire to Romney’s rival’s stump speeches.
“It is time to get behind the nominee,” Bush told the Tribune-Review on Wednesday during a visit to Pittsburgh. “And it is time for the country to focus on the most important thing, which is to elect a president who will create a climate for high growth and job-creating abilities for our country.”
Bush called for the Republican Party to unite behind the former Massachusetts governor, who won the Illinois primary this week with 46.7 percent of the vote to 35 percent for Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania.
GOP strategist Bruce Haynes said the Bush endorsement is worth a lot to the Romney campaign.
“It’s literally the sound of the referee’s whistle calling the game to an end,” Haynes said.
Santorum, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas have declared that they will remain in the race until the Republican National Convention in August in Tampa.
Putting Gov. Bob McDonnell on the ticket as the GOP vice-presidential nominee does not help the Republicans carry the state, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. In a matchup of President Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden against Romney and McDonnell, the Democrats win 50 – 43 percent.
Obama wins head to head against other Republican contenders:
54 – 35 percent over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; 49 – 40 percent over former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum; 49 – 39 percent over Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul.
Supporters of Mr. Hatch turned up in strong numbers at some packed Republican caucus meetings around the state, where delegates were elected to next month’s state party convention.
And here in Utah County, a deeply conservative area in the backyard of Brigham Young University, and hotbed of anti-Hatch sentiment, some prominent opponents of the senator failed to win delegate seats.
“It’s going to be a very good night for Hatch,” said Dave Hansen, Mr. Hatch’s campaign manager.
A local election board ruled Thursday that the six-term senator has abandoned his Indiana home and cannot cast a ballot in the state he represents. The Indiana Republican is up for re-election this year and faces a conservative challenger in the state’s May 8 primary.