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Category: Obama's speech

New gaffe: Obama confuses Jews with janitors

President Obama spoke to the Congressional Black Caucus awards banquet over the weekend.

Those folks will stick with him in 2012, of course.

But they've been somewhat miffed in recent months that the first post-partisan president is doing too many deals with those Republicans and seeming to give in.

So, Obama needed to give the crowd some presidential love. He even brought his wife along. As with virtually all of Obama's speeches recently, the Democrat's remarks dealt with selling his jobs legislation, as if it wasn't DOA on Capitol Hill.Obama speaks to the congressional black caucus awards banquet 9-24-11

The first black president got to reminiscing about some other struggles in the past familiar to African Americans.

His 28 minutes of remarks had a strange tone to them, as if somehow Obama was equating support for his jobs program legislation with the far more important and historic civil rights movement.

He got into the usual yada-yada about rich people paying their fair share of taxes.

And then, deep into the speech, according to the White House transcript, the president said:

When you start saying, at a time when the top one-tenth of 1 percent has seen their incomes go up four or five times over the last 20 years, and folks at the bottom have seen their incomes decline -- and your response is that you want poor folks to pay more? 

Give me a break. 

If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a janitor makes me a warrior for the working class, I wear that with a badge of honor. I have no problem with that.

That's what the transcript says he said.

Now, watch the C-SPAN video below, and listen especially to the phrase "the same tax rate as a janitor..."

Here is what the president actually said, catching himself almost in time but not quite:

If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a Jew, uh, as a janitor makes me a warrior for the working class, I wear that with a badge of honor. I have no problem with that.

The president has been muffing lines all over the place recently. Last week, also peddling his jobs plan at a bridge that won't qualify, he hailed America's building of "the Intercontinental Railroad." You don't seem to hear much about these gaffes in the media for some reason.

Maybe in Saturday night's speech Obama was thinking about all those talks on Israel in New York.

Video of the president's full CBC speech, via C-SPAN, of course, is available right here.

Obama is on the West Coast now, harvesting money again and closing roads in Los Angeles after doing the same in Seattle and San Jose Sunday.

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Obama's jobs speech: Right now actually means much later

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press (Obama addresses the Congressional Black Caucus awards banquet, Sept. 24).              Video: Courtesy of C-SPAN.

New gaffe: Obama hails America's historic building of 'the Intercontinental Railroad'

Barack Obama's political rally by the Brent Spence Bridge in Ohio 9-22-11

 

"We’re the country that built the Intercontinental Railroad," Barack Obama.

That's what the president of the United States flat-out said Thursday during what was supposed to be a photo op to sell his jobs plan next to an allegedly deteriorating highway bridge.

A railroad between continents? A railroad from, say, New York City all the way across the Atlantic to France? Now, THAT would be a bridge!

It's yet another humorous gaffe by the Harvard graduate, overlooked by most media for whatever reason. Like Obama saying Abraham-Come-Lately Lincoln was the founder of the Republican Party. Or Navy corpseman. Or the Austrian language. Fifty-seven states. The president of Canada. Etc.

If you talk as much as this guy likes to talk instead of governing, if you believe you are a Real Good Talker as much as this guy does, you're gonna blow a few lines. But this many?

No doubt, we'll see a collection of Obama's Best Bombs on 'Saturday Night Live' this weekend, one right after the other. No doubt. Can you imagine the media coverage of such repeated historical ignorance if it had been the last Ivy League alum president who said it?

The Democrat had traveled to Ohio on Thursday to tout his American Jobs Act, the....

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A plaintive Obama on his job: 'I can’t do it alone'

The Obamas arrive in NYC 9-19-11 for the UN and fundraisers

An enormous gap has opened in the economic reality that most Americans inhabit and the one that their perpetually campaigning president perceives.

According to the RealClearPolitics average, nearly three-out-of-four Americans believe Barack Obama has lead the nation down the wrong track; barely one-in-five disagree.

Their gloomy perception has something to do with at least 9% unemployment for 26 of the last 28 months, with the 14 million unemployed and the 18.5 million underemployed and with the White House's own economic growth predictions revised downward.a happy Obama in NYC 9-19-11

According to the Gallup Poll, Democrat Obama's job approval is at its lowest 40% now, with a majority (52%) disapproving.

But the president sees himself as having made "a bunch of tough choices" since taking office. And as a result of his leadership, he says, "We were able to pull this economy out of a Great Depression."

Obama spoke to about five dozen supporters Monday evening. Each had paid more than $35,000 to gather with him in an eighth floor apartment on New York's Park Avenue.

The week after his party endured an embarrassing special House election loss just across the East River, Obama is in Manhattan again ostensibly to attend the United Nations General Assembly session.

But he and wife Michelle will each also squeeze Democratic fundraising into their otherwise impossible schedules.

"I could not be prouder of the choices we made," the president proclaimed about his tenure so far.

However, perhaps inadvertently, Obama also uttered a backhanded admission of failure. "Although we stabilized the economy," he said, "we’ve stabilized it at a level that’s just too high, in terms of unemployment and in terms of hardship all across America."

Shunning the role of assertive chief executive, the former state senator sounded a complaint about politics in Washington: "What has been clear over the last two and a half years is that we have not had a willing partner."

Obama said he and Republicans have "a fundamentally different vision about where America needs to go," vowing to put teachers and construction crews back to work on rebuilding America.

Predictably, Obama said, "You’re already hearing the moans and groans from the other side about how we are engaging in class warfare and we’re being too populist and this and that and the other -- all the usual scripts. I mean, it’s predictable, the news releases that come out from the other side."

But then in a plaintive closing moment, the 44th president told the group, "I can’t do it alone."

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Day No. 972: Obama unveils a deficit reduction plan

Obama's penchant for speeches sounding hollower by the word

-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here.

Photos: David Karp / Associated Press (the Obamas arrive in New York City for fundraisers and the UN session and a happy Obama).

Day No. 972: President Obama unveils a deficit reduction plan

Obama talks about the Deficit 9-19-11

"We didn’t need a rating agency to tell us that we need a balanced, long-term approach to deficit reduction. That was true last week. That was true last year. That was true the day I took office." --Barack Obama, Aug. 8, 2011.

Barack Obama took office Jan. 20, 2009. That was 972 days ago this morning, almost to the hour when he finally offered his newest full-blown deficit reduction plan. (See full Obama text below.)

Or as he put it, "Good morning, everybody. Please have a seat."

If it's Monday, the campaigning president must be issuing a new plan for something (before another $35,800 per ticket fundraiser in New York City). Last week it was his new Monday stimulus package, which was so urgent it's been delayed, as we discussed right here this morning.

Today, it was how to pay for his new stimulus package plus how to start reducing overspending and paying down the $14,000,000,000,000+ in debt that someone else is responsible for accumulating in recent years.

Here's the Washington Democrat's diagnosis:

During this past decade, profligate spending in Washington, tax cuts for multimillionaires and billionaires, the cost of two wars and the recession turned a record surplus into a yawning deficit, and that left us with a big pile of IOUs.

Everyone remembers his last deficit reduction plan in April. Back then he was determined "to shrink the deficit as a share of the economy, but not to do so so abruptly with spending cuts that would hamper growth or prevent us from helping small businesses and middle-class families get back on their feet."

Which struck many as suspiciously like not much of a shovel-ready deficit reduction program.

Now that it's autumn, it will surprise only children that the Democrat wants to increase taxes because we aren't paying enough and need more to spend. He also details impressive, large-scale cuts that include $1 trillion that we don't have and he says we won't be spending on wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

According to this line of thinking, our spouse has been informed that we'll be buying a Lamborghini (red) with the cuts we've made in not buying a corporate jet.

"This plan cuts $2 in spending for every dollar in new revenues," the president proclaimed. Reforms to....

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Late-night jokes: Secret Service responds to Facebook threats with its own

an oakland Raider Fan

As The Ticket's 73,000-plus Twitter followers and 7,200 Facebook friends/fans know, we regularly share our daily picks of the late-night jokes of interest, usually before broadcast each evening. Feel free to pass this weekly collection on to friends using the "Share" buttons above.

Conan: Big announcement today: Facebook says it's appointed a new director of privacy. His name is Dave Jenkins. He lives at 17 Oakwood Lane and his PIN number is 3153.

Leno: Someone left threatening messages on the White House Facebook page. The Secret Service takes this very seriously and warns if caught, you will be Unfriended.

Fallon: A new study finds that a mother's diet affects her baby's allergies. Which can only mean one thing: My mom ate cats.

Conan: A Michigan man wearing a President Obama mask robbed a bank. Either that or President Obama has an exciting new plan to reduce the deficit.

Letterman: Did you hear in Brooklyn a guy found a three-foot rat! Ever hear of Gambian pouch rats? The pouch, that's where they keep their guns.

Leno: A new study says women are being more honest about their weight. Warning foa Scaler Guys: That doesn't mean YOU can be more honest about their weight. It's a one-way street.

Fallon: A South Carolina company is selling a device that tracks how many bites of food you have daily. I think we already have one. It's called your butt.

Fallon: In the last 30 years, the average homesize has increased 600 square feet. That's fitting since in the last 30 years the average person's size has increased 600 square feet.

Conan: A South Carolina man sneaked a TaserGun into an NFL game and tased somebody. The man was arrested and immediately signed by the Oakland Raiders.

Leno: Hmmm. You know that Philadelphia mint officer accused of stealing $2.4 million in coins? Well, he just paid his $50,000 bond all in nickels.

Leno: So this local porn studio is building a big underground bomb shelter for 1,500 people. Can you imagine that many poolboys, pizza guys and naughty nurses in one place?

Fallon: Researchers find that  your first decision is usually the right one. Then they were like, ‘Actually, wait, no. The second decision – THATS the right one.'

Leno: Good news for Obama. His approval overseas is very high, higher than at home. But then he's created more jobs overseas than at home.

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President Obama's job approval is now lower than his uncle's blood alcohol level

-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photos: Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press (an Oakland Raider fan); Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times.

Obama's urgent jobs plan: Right now, 'right now' means sometime next month maybe

Podium Empty at the White House

Everybody remembers the urgency of President Obama's attitude toward the awful jobs situation.

Back in early August, Obama said the jobs situation was so urgent that he was going to give another speech about it -- in a month or so, in September after his vacation on Martha's Vineyard.

And then in September the president announced he would give his major jobs speech to a joint session of Congress on Sept. 7. But he neglected to check with congressional leaders first. And they suggested the 8th. So, since it was their House, the 8th it was.

"Tonight," the president said in the first 34 of his 4,021 words to a national television audience that night, "we meet at an urgent time for our country. We continue to face an economic crisis that has left millions of our neighbors jobless, and a political crisis that has made things worse."

The speech got panned as another political campaign one with Obama announcing, in effect, that....

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Weekly remarks: Obama says Congress must pass his jobs bill; GOP's Roskam hits 'red tape factory'

Democrat president barack Obama enjoys an Oval Office phone call

President Obama's weekly remarks, as provided by the White House

I’ve spent some time lately traveling the country and talking with folks outside of Washington.  And the number one issue for the people I meet is how we can get back to a place where we’re creating good, middle-class jobs that pay well and offer some security.

That’s the idea behind the American Jobs Act. It’s a jobs bill that does two simple things: put more people back to work, and more money back in the pockets of people who are working.

This jobs bill puts construction workers back to work rebuilding our roads and bridges and modernizing our schools.

This jobs bill puts teachers back in the classroom, and keeps cops and firefighters on our streets.

This jobs bill gives tax credits to companies that hire our veterans, because if you sign up to fight for our country, the last thing you should have to do is fight for a job when you come home. 

This jobs bill connects the long-term unemployed to temporary work to keep their skills sharp while they look for a job, and it gives hundreds of thousands of young people the hope of a job next summer.

This jobs bill cuts taxes for every small business owner in America. It cuts them even....

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America's newest hero, Sgt. Dakota Meyer: How he rescued 36 guys under fire

Dakota Meyer in Afghanistan USMC

President Obama awards Medal of Honor to Sgt. Dakota Meyer, as provided by the White House

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Please be seated. Thank you, Chaplain Kibben. Good afternoon, everyone. And on behalf of Michelle and myself, welcome to the White House. 

It’s been said that “where there is a brave man, in the thickest of the fight, there is the post of honor.”  Today, we pay tribute to an American who placed himself in the thick of the fight -- again and again and again.  In so doing, he has earned our nation’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor. And we are extraordinarily proud of Sgt. Dakota Meyer.(Applause.)
    
Today is only the third time during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that a recipient of the Medal of Honor has been able to accept it in person.  And we are honored to be joined by one of the two other recipients -- Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry, who is here.  (Scroll to bottom for the story of Sgt. Petry and other Medal of Honor winners.)

I would point out something else -- of all the Medal of Honor recipients in recent decades, Dakota is also one of the youngest. He’s 23 years old. And he performed the extraordinary actions for which he is being recognized today when he was just 21 years old.

Despite all this, I have to say Dakota is one of the most down-to-earth guys that you will ever meet. In fact, when my staff first tried to arrange the phone call so I could tell him that I’d approved this medal, Dakota was at work, at his new civilian job, on a construction site. 

 

He felt he couldn’t take the call right then, because he said, “If I don’t work, I don’t....

 

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Late-night jokes: Obama vows to double August's job growth of zero

Button Obama Keeping My Job is my Job 1As The Ticket's 73,000-plus Twitter followers and 7,200 Facebook friends/fans know, we regularly share our daily picks of the late-night jokes of interest, usually before broadcast each night. Feel free to pass this weekly collection on to friends using the "Share" buttons above.

Letterman: Wasn't Labor Day great, folks? Labor Day is now that time of year when Americans take three days off from looking for work.

Fallon: President Obama is refusing to give specifics about his jobs plan because he wants people to tune in on Thursday. That’s not how you handle the economy -– that’s how you handle the ‘American Idol’ results show. 'I have a plan that could put millions back to work. You’ll find out more…after the break.'

Leno: President Obama's jobs speech was tonight: A guy whose job nobody approves of giving a speech about jobs that don't exist to people who don't have any jobs.

Fallon: President Obama's $447-billion spending plan is called the American Jobs Act. It would have had a cooler name, but the name guy was laid off six months ago.

Leno: President Obama gives his big speech this week on job growth. How many of you think it will be a really short speech?

Leno: President Obama named his new $447-billion legislation the American Jobs Act. Better than the original name, the Save My Ass Act.

Letterman: Don't forget, folks, tomorrow is take your son or daughter with you to the Unemployment Office Day.

Leno: A new L.A. Times poll says 75% of Californians think the country is headed in the wrong direction. It's so bad that 60% of Californians are thinking about returning to Mexico.
Obama awaits a white house cue
Fallon: The Libyan rebels are claiming that they have Moammar Kadafi trapped within a 40-mile radius. Or as that’s also known, not trapped.

Letterman: Autumn's in the air. You can tell it's fall because that’s when the networks begin collecting nuts for their reality shows.

Leno: Government statistics show the U.S. economy created zero jobs in August. President Obama now says he's confident this month he can double that.

Conan: The L.A. Dodgers may be bought by Chinese investors. So, good news for America: Finally, something China is not going to win at!

Conan: Did you hear this? A new report says the U.S. Postal Service could go out of business this winter. On the bright side, the Post Office won't get that report in the mail for another two years.

Leno: The government says there are now 3 million fewer U.S. smokers than five years ago. Mainly due to a condition known as being dead.

Leno: The NFL season kicks off Thursday night right here on NBC. We are all very excited. The game will be on right after the season finale of President Obama.

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961 days in, Obama sick and tired of his own dawdling on job creation

President Obama's job approval is now lower than uncle's blood alcohol level

-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photo: Los Angeles Times illustration by Andrew Malcolm; Pete Souza / White House.

Obama jobs speech tops the NFL (but, then, it was only the Packers)

    Barack-Obama-Joe-Biden-John-Boehner-jobs-speech-joint-session-

President Obama's speech Thursday on jobs to a joint session of Congress failed to outscore the TV ratings for his announcement of the killing of Osama bin Laden in May but did improve on his recent speeches on Libya and Iraq.

And his 4,102 words also outpaced the NFL kickoff that came right after them.

The speech -- which included 17 variations on a demand that Congress pass a jobs bill that hasn't been rendered into legislative text yet -- was carried live from 5-6 p.m. Pacific time on 11 channels: ABC, AZA, CBS, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, CNBC, CNN, FBN, FNC and MSNBC.

Among the cable newsers, Fox News did the best.

Here are the box scores from Nielsen Co. ...

        Nielsen-obama-speeches-jobs

Broken down by cable networks, Fox News came first with close to 3.4 million (826,000 in the target Adults 25-54 demographic); CNN second, with just north of 1.8 million (645,000 in A25-54); and MSNBC third, with just over 1.6 million (430,000 in the demo).

By way of contrast, the president's first address to a joint session of Congress on....

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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