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Obama Accused of Israeli Leader Snub

Sep 12, 2012, 9:48 am EDT
Obama Accused of Israeli Leader Snub

In a surprising move, the White House said that President Barack Obama will not meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during Netanyahu’s visit to the United States later this month.

It’s sounding a bit like a case of “he said, he said”, too. An Israeli official told Reuters that their request for Netanyahu and Obama to meet face-to-face was flatly turned down. The White House, however, says that it was a matter of the two leaders’ schedules not lining up: Netanyahu and Obama will be attending the U.N. General Assembly in New York on different days.

Some speculate that this is fallout from tension between Obama and Netanyahu on how to deal with Iran. Israel wants the United States to set “red lines” for how far Iran’s nuclear program can go before they attempt to shut it down, possibly through military action. Israel also accuses the U.S. of being too tough on it, and not tough enough on Iran. Read 

Pizzeria Owner Faces Backlash for Obama Hug

Sep 11, 2012, 10:37 am EDT
Pizzeria Owner Faces Backlash for Obama Hug

A Florida pizza shop owner’s spontaneous bear-hug of President Barack Obama has had some unintended consequences for the business owner. The restaurateur has been facing backlash on Yelp (NYSE:YELP) from angry conservatives since the hug.

Ironically enough, Scott Van Duzer, the bear-hugging owner of Big Apple Pizza in Fort Pierce, Fla., is a Republican. That didn’t stop him from voting for Obama in 2008, nor does it seem likely to deter him from supporting the president again. Once this information got out, though, Yelpers began barraging Big Apple Pizza’s Yelp page with negative reviews and comments. This was swiftly countered by other Yelp visitors giving positive reviews and comments.

Van Duzer has been making the media rounds since his hug. He’s scheduled to appear on Anderson Cooper’s daytime talk show “Anderson Live”, and “Inside Edition” and “Good Morning America”  have been reaching out to bring him on their shows. Read 

Nicki Minaj Not Pro-Romney, Lyrics Explained

Sep 11, 2012, 9:45 am EDT
Nicki Minaj Not Pro-Romney, Lyrics Explained

Nicki Minaj has confirmed that a new song of hers that appears to endorse Mitt Romney does not, in fact, show support for the Republican candidate for president.

Many listeners felt that the song didn’t actually directly support Romney and was, in fact, either a sarcastic comment or a comment made by a character. Minaj is known for singing and rapping in the voices of many different characters in her songs. In fact, President Barack Obama went on an Orlando hip-hop radio station to support that theory. “I think she had a song on there — a little rap that said that. But she likes to play different characters, so I don’t know what’s going on there.”

Minaj later tweeted and confirmed what Obama, and many others, thought she was doing. “Ha! Thank you for understanding my creative humor & sarcasm Mr. President, the smart ones always do… *sends love & support* @barackobama.” Read 

5 Takeaways From the Conventions

Sep 10, 2012, 11:05 am EDT
5 Takeaways From the Conventions

As delegates and the media hordes leave Charlotte and workers sweep up confetti from the Time Warner Cable Arena, here are five things we’ve learned from the RNC in Tampa and the DNC. The electorate is tuning out

TV ratings are down sharply from 2008 — Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney got 30 million viewers for his acceptance speech last Thursday, a 23% decline from John McCain’s 39 million in 2008. Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan got just 22 million, a 41% drop from when the VP nominee — you may have heard of her, her name was Sarah Palin — got 37 million. Ratings for the DNC were down, too. But the Democrats won the rating and social media wars

Democrats did better on the first two nights — 26 million the first night, when Michelle Obama spoke, and 25 million for former President Bill Clinton’s barn burner of a speech. And that was without NBC, which carried the NFL’s opening game between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, which poached 20 million viewers from Bubba. Read 

Obama Fundraising Beats Romney in August

Sep 10, 2012, 9:20 am EDT
Obama Fundraising Beats Romney in August

After trailing Mitt Romney in fundraising for the past three months, President Barack Obama finally managed to top his Republican foe in raising money in August.

Obama raised $114 million in August, according to his campaign manager. Mitt Romney’s campaign raised $111 million in August, their third straight month of raising over $100 million.

It’s a drastic improvement for Obama’s campaign, which raised just $75 million in July and $71 million in June. It also comes in the month preceding the Democratic National Convention, which will certainly boost fundraising figures. Of course, the Republican National Convention didn’t happen until the end of August, so there will likely be a boost for Republicans, too, in September. Read 

DNC Convention Wrap-up: Did Dems Sales Pitch Work?

Sep 7, 2012, 3:00 pm EDT

The Democrats had three goals for their convention this week in Charlotte, NC: to defend President Obama’s record, to convince voters that the Republicans plan to take the country back to the dark days of the Bush administration, and to make the case that with four more years of Obama at the helm, we will continue to slowly work our way out of the present economic slump. I give the Dems an A+ on achieving the first two goals and a B on the final, perhaps most important goal. They also get extra-credit for showcasing veterans and patriotism.

Bill Clinton’s full-throttle defense of the Obama presidency was without question the best speech of the convention, perhaps the best speech of his entire career. He arrived to a hero’s welcome and spent 48 minutes defending the Obama administration and the Democratic agenda more generally with detailed and robust policy wonkery, infused with the Clinton charm.

That speech accomplished in less than an hour what Axelrod and the gang have been trying to achieve for more than a year: explaining just how bad the situation was on Obama’s inauguration day, assuring the public that no president could have restored the country to full employment in just 4 years and dismantling the legitimacy of the Republican plan to “double down on trickle down.” He effectively highlighted the profound lack of policy detail on display in Tampa last week and called out the GOP for rejecting a long history of compromise in favor of rank partisanship. Read 

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