All Articles Tagged "Joe Biden"
And so, it begins.
This morning, Barack Obama was sworn in to his second term as President of the United States of America as he took the Presidential Oath. He was joined by wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha in the Blue Room at the White House for the private ceremony. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts presided over the quick swearing in.
After the ceremony, President Obama was overheard thanking his family and turned to reporters to say, “I did it!”
Vice President Joe Biden took his oath much earlier Sunday morning at the Naval Observatory.
The private ceremony is actually written into the Constitution and must take place on January 20th. The public ceremony – the big “shindig” we’re all anticipating – will be held Monday and, according to People, should attract more than 800,000 people.
Both President Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr’s bibles will be used during Monday’s public Inauguration. Singer Beyonce will be singing the National Anthem.
The weekend’s festivities have been bursting at the seams. It appears everyone is having a “ball,” including the Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball which will take place Sunday night. On Saturday night, First Lady Obama and the girls hung out at the Kids Inaugural Concert, where there were performances by Katy Perry, and Usher. Finally, the now infamous “Grits and Biscuits” party took place on Friday evening to blowout and, as usual, sellout numbers.
We look forward to hearing more about Monday’s festivities…and seeing all the photos!
Will you be attending any Inauguration 2013 functions?
As the country recovers from the horror of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, people across the country are beefing up their stockpiles, purchasing guns faster than stores can keep them in stock.
President Obama held a press conference yesterday in which he announced that new gun control proposals would be in front of Congress next month, a quick response to the horrors at Sandy Hook last week.
“The president’s pledge came as House Republicans restated their firm opposition to enacting any new limits on firearms or ammunition, setting up the possibility of a philosophical clash over the Second Amendment early in Mr. Obama’s second term,” The New York Times reports.
The plan will be developed over the next few weeks with VP Joe Biden leading a group from across multiple government agencies. Rumor has it that a ban on assault weapons and “high-capacity” ammunition magazines could be part of the proposal, the NYT says. Both sides, especially the GOP, want to take a look at changes to the mental health system, education, and other factors besides direct gun control measures as well.
Mayor Bloomberg, a longtime gun control advocate, has thrown his support behind the President’s efforts. That support will likely come with financial backing, as the billionaire mayor is known to put his money where his mouth is. And he has a history of successfully achieving his policy goals. He’s not the only politico in favor of change. Rep. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) has come out in favor of stronger regulation and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has said she will introduce gun control legislation next year. For a list of lawmakers who have changed their tune about gun regulation, click here. (Rep. Heinrich is on the list.)
At the same time, people are making a mad dash to their local gun shop to get their hands on assault rifles and armored backpacks. “A spike in gun sales is common after a mass shooting, but the Connecticut tragedy has generated record sales in many states,” BusinessWeek reports. Background checks in states like Colorado and Nevada broke records in the days after the Connecticut shooting. And Walmart says it was sold out of semi-automatic weapons in five states including Pennsylvania and Alabama. Shoppers are also turning to eBay to purchase ammunition.
Parents are taking precautions with their children, investing in armor that slips into a child’s backpack, priced at $150 to $300. However, CBS News points out, the armor is designed to stop handgun fire, not assault weapon shots. A man quoted in that story bought one for his one-year-old son. All the parents argue it’s a measure they’re willing to take if it will do anything to protect their kids.
Of course, what will really protect children and adults alike would be fewer people firing guns at other people. The National Rifle Association, which crows about the Second Amendment when anyone even mentions gun regulation or gun control, waited until Tuesday to issue a statement, available here. After expressing shock and sadness over the Sandy Hook shooting, they said,”The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.” The group is planning a press conference tomorrow in Washington and its Facebook page is back up and running (and accepting insane comments) after being shut down in the wake of the tragedy. We couldn’t find any detail about what they might be prepared to discuss, however, if you’re interested (and you should be) in the history of the NRA and how it became so politically powerful, check out this New Yorker story from April. It’s eye-opening.
On a positive note, New Jersey held its gun buyback program over the weekend in Camden, one of the state’s most troubled cities. A new record was set, with 1,137 guns turned in, beating the previous record of 700. Among the weapons returned were sawed-off shotguns, rifles used for elephant hunting, and fully automatic weapons. With $110,000 in cash and $6,000 in gift cards to hand out, the program ran out of money. The New York Post says that nearly all of the weapons will be destroyed.
And some companies are taking steps to distance themselves from the gun industry. The Washington Post reports that package’s Sporting Goods will stop selling sporting rifles, at least for the moment. And investor Cerebus Capital Management, which has a stake Freedom Group, the company that manufactures Bushmaster Rifles, said that it will be selling that stake. “It is not our role to take positions, or attempt to shape or influence the gun control policy debate. . . . There are, however, actions that we as a firm can take,” Cerebus said in a statement.
The paper says that the gun industry generated $11.7 billion in sales this year. Sales have been strong since the moment President Obama took office with gun advocates nonsensically fearful that gun laws would tighten to the point where they wouldn’t be able to add to their collections.
New and stronger gun regulation is needed in this country. If Sandy Hook (and the the other recent shootings) hasn’t made that clear, then nothing will. Of course, we haven’t yet addressed all of the hundreds of millions of guns that are already in people’s homes and on the streets. A fundamental change in our gun mentality will have to be coupled with any legislative measures.
Let’s start with the obvious — Joe Biden killed it six ways to Sunday in last night’s debate. The media’s reporting on polls showing a draw, but seriously. No.
Showing that one shouldn’t underestimate Joltin’ Joe, he came armed with a “You’ve got to be kidding me” laugh, a lifetime of experience and facts. #FactsMatter was actually one of the popular hashtags of the night, and with good reason. Biden has been in the White House for the past four years, witnessing all that the Obama administration has accomplished. He has more than 30 years in Congress. And he wasn’t afraid to talk it up and call a spade a spade.
On foreign policy and military matters, he spoke plainly and with authority. Explaining the policy in Syria versus the one in Libya, he started by stating simply, “They are two completely different countries.” In other words, I understand the nuance of the dynamics across that region. It’s not a monolith. Ryan was clearly overwhelmed by the topic. On healthcare, Biden discussed the dollars and cents of what people will spend and save. On women’s issues, he made it clear that despite his religion, he believes in a woman’s right to determine what’s best for her own body.
And without letting too much time pass, he jumped all over Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comment. On MSNBC, a commentator made the point that VP Biden speaks the language of populism well, a good point. Much of the criticism of Biden comes from those who thought his laughing was over the top or downright rude. It was noticeable and maybe even a touch too much, but it didn’t overshadow his words.
So a big topic, of course, was the economy. On the issue of small business, Ryan said that letting tax cuts expire on high earners (they would remain for the middle class) would mean big trouble for job creators and VP Biden said it would only impact a small portion of small businesses (defining small businesses and those earning less than $250,000 per year, which is the vast majority). The Washington Post‘s analysis shows that both of them have a point. Ryan continued to be vague about the loopholes and tax breaks for the super-wealthy that they would cut.
Moving on, Ryan criticized the rate of economic growth the country is experiencing now and even went so far as to say joblessness is increasing, a claim that is in stark opposition to the unemployment numbers we’ve gotten over the past two weeks. And then both candidates fiercely debated about Medicare and other entitlements, going back and forth about whether the GOP side is advocating for vouchers. Here’s a good breakdown of the economic issues that were discussed. And here’s full video along with issue-by-issue clips.
Two final notes: ABC’s Martha Raddatz did a bang up job last night, gained thousands more Twitter followers as a result of her work, and launched the #MoreMartha hashtag, with people requesting that she moderate the remaining two presidential debates.
And Joe Biden may single-handedly bring back one of my favorite words: “malarkey.” The word was erased from proper parlance last year when the AP Style Guide removed it. They should rethink that.
We’ve already talked about it. President Obama had an off night the other day during the first Presidential debate. Some claim he was tired or too focused on his anniversary. President Obama said that he was just too polite. Based on President Obama’s performance and Joe Biden’s penchant for being more outspoken than a little bit, we knew that this debate was going to be a very different story. And this time we weren’t disappointed. From the opening minutes of the debate it was clear that Joe Biden did not come to play. We wanted to interact with our Facebook and Twitter followers during this debate. So here’s what they had to say throughout the night.
MN: Who is watching the debate? Vice President Joe Biden has already proven he’s going to be more forceful than President Obama. He’s just laughing at these jokers!
But one of our Facebook followers had an interesting viewpoint, saying that Joe Biden is able to speak candidly and aggressively because, unlike President Obama, he doesn’t have to worry about negative stereotypes being assigned to his performance.
This is very true and an interesting concept. As the president of the United States, do you think that President Obama is still living his life and running this country with the fear that unfair and racist stereotypes could cost him an election? It’s plausible but for his sake, I hope unlikely. I do honestly believe that it was an off night mixed with the fairness and diplomacy he’s tried to rule the country with.
If, for some reason you missed the debate here are some of the highlights we tweeted. Obviously, we’re President Obama supporters, so our tweets are a little skewed.
From jump Joe Biden came in attacking both Paul Ryan’s and Mitt Romney’s flip flopping and less than concrete plans.
Then when the moderator, Martha Raddatz asked about foreign policy, here’s the takeaway point Joe Biden made.
But don’t think that Joe was the only one making biting comments. Paul Ryan checked Vice President Biden with a quip no one could disagree with.
Woop! But Joe Biden wasn’t letting Paul Ryan get away with anything, he made sure to respond saying, “But I always say what I mean.” Then he had his own jab for Romney and Ryan. He made sure to mention the 47 percent and then hit him with this zinger.
Aside from Biden and Ryan we also noted that moderator Martha Raddatz was not having the same foolishness that Jim Lehrer suffered from in the first presidential debate. (Does anyone else feel sorry for Jim?) There were times when Paul Ryan was close to going over his allotted time and several times when Joe Biden was hellbent on interrupting anyone who was speaking. But for the most part Martha kept both candidates in check.
When the debate shifted to foreign policy the two Vice Presidential candidates spent a significant amount of time talking about the war in Afghanistan and the next moves.
Paul Ryan argued that he and Mitt Romney were not willing to commit to a 2014 pull out date because they didn’t know how stable the Afghan government would be without American assistance. But Biden was adamant about U.S. troops leaving to give Afghans a chance to rule their own country.
Joe Biden had a crunkness about him throughout a majority of the debate until it came to the social/moral issue of Catholicism and abortion. It would be hard for anyone to argue that Biden didn’t win on the argument of women’s rights.
Those were some of the highlights we noted. What other moments did you notice from the debates? Did you feel Biden was the clear winner or was it pretty much a draw?
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A couple of weeks ago I, along with the rest of the country, tuned in to watch the Democratic National Convention. In addition to the speeches, peeping what Michelle was wearing and the “surprise” celebrity appearances, there was one other moment that stayed with me. It was the moment where Joe Biden’s son, Joseph Biden III (Beau), nominated his father for the office of Vice President. If you just so happened to miss the moment, know that by the end of the speech when Beau called his father “his hero,” Joe was wiping away tears and so was I.
You may remember that Joe Biden has a particularly special relationship with his sons Beau and Robert. He almost lost the both of them in a car accident that claimed the lives of his wife and one year old daughter. For years, Joe was a politician and single father, raising two boys while balancing a career. He was sworn in as a senator from the side of their hospital beds and as he advanced further in his career, he developed the practice of dropping everything and leaving work when one of his sons called him.
I don’t know Joe Biden’s life or anything; but I’d argue that this tragedy forced him to step up as a father, in ways that would have never happened if this tragedy had never occurred. Which got me thinking about the number of fathers who miss out on being as involved as they could be in their child’s life; not because they’ve made a conscious decision not to be, but because our society is set up in such a way that basically tells a man the crux of being a good father is more about bringing home the proverbial bacon instead of just being there.
At work the other day, my coworker was telling me about a man she knew who had to leave work quite a bit to attend to the needs of his children. This man was married but he took the initiative to leave work for the kids. You would think this would be a non-issue since women, you know, do it all the time; but it was a problem. So much so that his boss eventually confronted him, accusing him of using his kids as an excuse to leave work.
A shame that the thought of a father leaving work for his children is so unbelievable, he’s got to be lying. Men, by society’s standards, just aren’t supposed to be that invested in the rearing of their children.
And I’m not just talking about the men in our society holding on to these beliefs. We women are guilty of this type of thinking too. Many of us followed the very public custody battle between Tameka and Usher Raymond. After the ruling, I was one of the first people claiming that Tameka had to be truly crazy not to be granted custody. But even that sentiment is insulting to fathers. Is it so hard to believe that whether Tameka is crazy or not, Usher, as a man, just might have been the better parent?
I had to check myself. But I know I’m not the only one holding on to these sexiest ideals. There have been times where I’ve seen women dismiss or deride the efforts of a man attempting to care for his own children. She’ll shoo him away with a “That’s not right,” or an“I’ll just do it.” Sure, I’ll admit that mothers have a bit of an advantage caring for their children, considering they lived inside of them for 9 months; but I know from intense observation of new parents, that a lot of initial learning how to raise a child comes from trial and error. Why not give the man, your man, your child’s father [presumably] that same opportunity to learn? There are so many women who wish they had a man to help them out, why not take advantage, not only for yourself but for the bonding it’ll allow him to develop with your child?
I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard women scoff after learning that so-so’s husband was a stay at home dad. Would these same women scoff this way at a mother who’d elected to stay at home? Probably not. When it’s a woman we’re more likely to acknowledge the work she has to put in to raise her children; but when it’s a man, surely he’s only a stay at home dad because he’s too lazy to work or completely incompetent as a provider. Now, I know money is important; we all have to eat, but what better way to provide for your children than to be there to make breakfast for them in the morning, to play with them during the day and to tuck them into bed at night? I guarantee you, as the child of a great father, those emotional, psychological provisions are what your child is going to remember, not the heap of toys he/she received for Christmas that one year.
We’re always begging men to step up, complaining about the prevalence of deadbeat, absentee fathers. There are plenty of them; but when there are men who are stepping up, are taking the initiative to care for their children, just like women have been and continue to do, let’s not look down on them or judge them unfairly because of it.
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A number of names have popped up recently as possible rumor mill choices of people that Mitt Romney have considered to run with him for the November election as VP. There’s been Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, crazy a** New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and now, news reports say that Romney is very much vouching for Condoleezza Rice (Dr. Rice as someone said we should point out on Facebook) to possibly run with him this year. If you were unaware, Rice was the secretary of state under the Bush administration and was the first African American female to do so. She is allegedly a frontrunner for the position according to The Drudge Report. According to ABC News, Matt Drudge, the founder of the popular news aggregation site, has connections amongst people in the Romney campaign’s circle, so he’s got the low-down.
But last time we heard, Rice was saying Oh Hell No to the concept of being Romney’s running mate, even though she is helping him raise money and supports his campaign:
“There is no way that I will do this, because it’s really not me. I know my strengths, and Gov. Romney needs to find someone who wants to run with him. I didn’t run for student council president. I don’t see myself in any way in elective office.”
But then again, that’s what everybody says before they inevitably say yes. But I’ll try and give Rice, or “Condi” as some like to call her, the benefit of the doubt.
It’s an interesting move, as Rice would be the diversity that you could say Romney’s team needs–she’s black, and she’s a woman, that could help him pull in votes with both of those demographics. However, ABC News says that a few of her political views don’t fall in line with social conservative Republicans, which could count against Romney. She wants to keep abortion legal and she is of course forever connected to the Bush era and the war, and that would be something that both Rice and Romney would have to speak on/explain to the public when the election heats up.
On top of all that, she could also come off looking like a “gimmick” according The Washington Times, something like what Sarah Palin’s crazy behind was when John McCain made the #FAIL decision to have her run on his ticket back in ’08. Either way, it would definitely make the campaign all the more interesting, especially since President Obama wants to keep Vice President Biden in place. But as Rice said, Romney truly needs to pick someone who wants the job, because if he reaches for someone just because of their name and experience and not because they want to take on the responsibility, it could backfire against him with the public, and make him an easy target for President Obama. One can only hope that Rice wouldn’t join the ticket as a VP candidate, but these days, expect the unexpected folks.
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(Black Politics On The Web) – The tea party is not a racist group, says Vice President Joe Biden, though he believes that some of those involved in the movement have expressed racist views. “Very conservative, very different views on government and a whole lot of things,” Biden said during an interview broadcast Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “But it is not a racist organization.”
(Politico) – When President Barack Obama announced in the Rose Garden last week that he had sacked Gen. Stanley McChrystal, he also made a point of telling his fractious Afghanistan team that he welcomed “debate” but would not abide “division.”The poster child for that all-for-one approach was standing directly on the president’s right: Vice President Joe Biden.