8:40 AM, Oct 21, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have made increasing the federal minimum wage one of their marquee issues during campaign appearances leading up to the 2014 elections. After pushing for an increase to $9.00/hour up through 2013, the president moved the bar up to $10.10/hour in his 2014 State of the Union Address. Now, on Monday, the White House enlisted Paul Saginaw, the co-founder of Zingerman’s Community of Businesses in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the cause. According to Saginaw, "the right to conduct business is earned by being a good corporate citizen," which, in this case, means supporting the president's minimum wage plan:
My partner, Ari Weinzweig, and I never subscribed to the conservative economic theory of Milton Friedman, that “the business of business is business.” To us, the right to conduct business is earned by being a good corporate citizen — by producing products and delivering services responsibly, hiring responsibly, generating profits responsibly, and finally, sharing profits with those who help produce them and with the wider community from which the revenues are drawn...
For more than three decades, our successful businesses have been profitable but never by underpaying our employees or withholding benefits. In fact, my 17 partners and I have always paid wages above the federal minimum and offered company-subsidized health care and paid time off.
Saginaw takes some swipes at fellow small business restaurant owners, suggesting they are reaping excessive profits by "shorting their employees", and that now is a good time to "educate 'voters' for ethical employment practices":
I hear many in the restaurant industry say raising menu prices will result in customer loss and diminished profits, but I reject that and question the scale of those profit margins, wondering if the margins are maintained by shorting their employees. Customers have voted with their pocketbooks for locally sourced, organic, and free-range products. Now is a prime time to educate “voters” for ethical employment practices as well.
While Saginaw did not target Republicans in his post, President Obama ratcheted up his attacks against "Washington Republicans" in remarks Sunday in Maryland while promoting the minimum wage increase, telling the crowd that "you know who they’re fighting for, and it ain’t you." He said the GOP is for "millionaires" and not the "folks who clean out the bedpans and folks who make the rooms":
Every time the Republican Party leaders in Washington have had to take a stand on an issue that would help the middle class, what did they say?... They said no. They said no to the minimum wage. They said no to fair pay. Think about that. How are you going to say no to fair pay? Why would you say no to women getting paid the same as men for doing the same jobs? (Applause.) Not only did they say no to helping young people refinance their student loans, they voted to change the rules so that students would pay more on their loans... The only thing they said yes to was another massive tax cut for millionaires. I know that's surprising, but that's what happened. So you know who they’re fighting for, and it ain’t you. It's not you. They’re not -- (laughter.) The same Washington Republicans who blocked a $2.85-an-hour raise for some of the hardest-working folks in America -- the folks who clean out the bedpans and folks who make the rooms and -- they made it clear, if they win, one of the first things they’ll do is change the rules so they can jam tax cuts for the wealthy through Congress one more time.
After the rally in Maryland, President Obama headed to Chicago for two more political events, a Sunday appearance with Democratic governor Pat Quinn and a Monday DNC event at a private residence. The president also cast an early ballot in the Illinois elections before flying back to Washington DC Sunday night.
6:38 AM, Oct 21, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Last night at a Democratic fundraiser in Chicago, President Obama mentioned that there are some "unpaid bills" on his desk in Chicago--which he left when moved to the White House after winning the presidential election in 2008. Here's what he said:
Admits he lives in a "bubble."7:45 AM, Oct 20, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama does not want to be a Supreme Court justice. He calls it "too monastic" for his own personality. Besides, in an interview with the New Yorker, President Obama acknowledges that he needs to get out of the "bubble" after what will be eight years as president of the United States.
6:21 PM, Oct 19, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
As President Obama tried to rally Democrats in Maryland, the crowd began to leave. "Remarks are open press, but one unusual thing that fellow veterans of campaign rallies confirm: some in the crowd started leaving as soon as Obama started speaking and by the time he was about 10 minutes in, there was a traffic jam next to the pool's tables as folks tried to exit the gym," reports the White House pool reporter.
Via the pool:
6:23 PM, Oct 18, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
On Friday, the White House announced Democratic hack Ron Klain as the point-man on the Ebola crisis. But despite his new role, which is being described as some as the Ebola czar, Klain was not in attendance at the White House meeting on Ebola on Friday.
At least 21 other White House officials, including the vice president, were either in attendance in person or via video conference. Including the White House communications director. But not
Here's the White House's readout of the meeting:
7:31 AM, Oct 15, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
While the rise of the barbarous Islamic State and the spread of the modern day plague of Ebola has many concerned about the state of civilization here on earth, some at the White House are turning their attention beyond our planet.
11:32 AM, Oct 12, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama's former defense secretary, Leon Panetta, called for a White House shake-up this morning on CBS:
8:36 PM, Oct 9, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
At a stop today in Santa Monica, President Obama was offered a job at a start-up. From the pool report:
The last person to ask a question offered POTUS a job at his start-up. POTUS said that he would have to look at what the company had to offer, like sushi lunches. "While being in sweatpants and a baseball cap sounds pretty attractive, but I’d have to check out your perks," he said.
Obama hosted a town hall style event, according to the pool report:
'My Ability To Do My Job Is Really Linked to How I Feel About What I'm Wearing'1:08 PM, Oct 9, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Clothes may not make the woman, but according to First Lady Michelle Obama, they don't hurt. Mrs.
11:24 PM, Oct 8, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
The Washington Post's Carol Leonnig has the details of yet another damaging Obama scandal:
As nearly two dozen Secret Service agents and members of the military were punished or fired following a 2012 prostitution scandal in Colombia, Obama administration officials repeatedly denied that anyone from the White House was involved.
But new details drawn from government documents and interviews show that senior White House aides were given information at the time suggesting that a prostitute was an overnight guest in the hotel room of a presidential advance-team member — yet that information was never thoroughly investigated or publicly acknowledged.
As bad as that is, it gets much worse:
'We all wear [Spanx] with pride.'3:51 PM, Oct 8, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
First Lady Michelle Obama used the White House this afternoon to host a "Fashion Education Workshop." When she addressed the various students involved in the East Room, she talked up the the importance of the industry.
1:02 PM, Oct 8, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The boss talked today on MSNBC's Morning Joe about the strategy to take out ISIS:
9:21 PM, Oct 1, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama has arrived in Chicago, where he'll spend the night before two public events in his hometown. The president did not travel with his family.
He's now dining out with top adviser Valerie Jarrett and various friends, according to the White House pool report. They're at the steak house RPM Steak, where a nice cut can cost up tp $155, according to the restaurant's website.
Here's what Obama has on tap in Chicago tomorrow, according to the White House:
8:26 PM, Oct 1, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters today that, after the Ebola case in Dallas, the Obama administration reminded border law enforcment agencies of "protocol" to deal with people that appear to have symptoms of Ebola. Earnest also said that there "are screening procedures in place at our border."
10:19 AM, Sep 21, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Vice President Joe Biden spent the weekend in Aspen at a private equity conference. That's a fact the White House tried to downplay.
This is his how Biden's official public schedule read:
Saturday, September 20, 2014