White House Press Secretary Jay Carney responded to a plea from a group of sixth graders who had their tour of the presidential residence canceled due to the so-called “sequester” cuts in a press briefing this afternoon. Mr. Carney described the situation as “extremely unfortunate,” but unavoidable due to the $85 billion in automatic budget cuts that took effect March 1 after lawmwakers were unable to reach a deficit reduction deal.
“The President and the First Lady have throughout the time that they’ve been here made extraordinary efforts to make this the people’s house, and it is extremely unfortunate that we have a situation like the sequester that compels the kinds of tradeoffs and decisions that this represents,” Mr. Carney said. “The fact is the Secret Service, like other agencies of government, is affected by the sequester. And the Secret Service presented options that ranged from canceling tours to potential furloughs and cuts in overtime. And in order to allow the Secret Service to best fulfill its core mission, the White House made the decision that we would, unfortunately, have to temporarily suspend these tours.” Read More
A group of sixth graders from St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Waverly, Iowa has turned to the internet to save their school trip to the White House. The children were scheduled to tour the White House on March 16, but their visit was cancelled yesterday along with all other tours of the presidential residence due to “staffing reductions” caused by the so-called “sequester” budget cuts that took effect last Friday after lawmakers failed to make a deficit reduction deal. In an effort to muster support and salvage their trip, the school posted a brief video on Facebook featuring a plea from the children.
“The White House is our house, please let us visit!” the sixth graders say in the clip. Read More
If their administrations could be summed by Instagram alone, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor Andrew Cuomo would be a fascinating study in contrasts. And one of the two top Empire State politicians is clearly much more at home on the popular photo sharing site. Read More
President Obama’s Kenyan Brother Believes He’s Been a Victim of Possible Voter Fraud and ‘Racist’ Press Coverage
Abong’o Malik Obama wants to have a career in politics like his half-brother, President Barack Obama. However, hours after the polls closed in Kenya’s elections last night, Mr. Obama said he wasn’t sure whether his bid to be governor of Siaya County was a success and he is concerned the election results may have been tampered with. He’s also extremely angry about tabloid coverage of his campaign.
“It’s impossible to tell at this time, the whole system crashed,” Mr. Obama told Politicker when we called him Tuesday morning to inquire about the election. “We have no idea, it’s still hanging out there, and I myself am extremely disappointed and there is a high risk that the results may be manipulated.” Read More
The news that former presidential candidate Herman Cain joined Fox News as a contributor last month got some negative reviews from media pundits and one Breitbart.com writer believes the criticism of Mr. Cain is racist and comparable to the violence inflicted on African-American protesters during the Civil Rights movement. In an article that appeared Friday on “Big Journalism,” the media section of the conservative web network started by the late Andrew Breitbart, writer John Nolte compared members of the “media establishment” who have criticized Mr. Cain to infamous Alabama lawman Eugene “Bull” Connor, who notoriously ordered fire hoses and police dogs to be used against anti-Jim Crow protesters.
“No one is claiming Herman Cain is perfect, but there is no question he is currently being singled out as the sexualized clownish idiot based solely on the color of his skin. This is what the left and elite media always do to those who ‘don’t know their place,’” Mr. Nolte wrote. “In the segregated South, racist whites (almost all of them Democrats) used the exact same tactics to keep blacks from obtaining political power. The only difference is that today “Bull” Connor (another Democrat) is the media establishment, the dogs are the likes of Chuck Todd, Joe Scarborough, and Howard Kurtz, and the fire hose is The Narrative.” Read More
NRCC Says Obama’s Priorities Include ‘Martian Menus,’ ‘Robotic Squirrels’ and ‘Scaring American Families’
With the $85 billion in automatic so-called “sequester” budget cuts set to take affect tomorrow, the National Republican Congressional Committee has released a series of press releases blaming the situation on President Barack Obama’s fondness for “martian menus” and “robotic squirrels.” According to the NRCC, President Obama and House Democrats are more interested in funding wasteful programs and “scaring American families” than protecting the country from the impending, drastic cuts, so they highlighted a series of initiatives, including plans to develop food for astronauts and funding for a “Robosquirrel” used to research rattlesnake behavior. Several versions of the NRCC statement were released pairing President Barack Obama with different Democratic members of Congress.
“Most Americans will never get to order off the ‘Mars Menu’ that their taxpayer dollars are funding, but instead of cutting wasteful programs like that one, President Obama and Jim Himes are allowing cuts to important programs and services,” NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek said in the statement targeting Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes. “Rather than trying to scare Americans, Obama and Himes should agree to responsible cuts to wasteful Washington spending.” Read More
As the old saying goes, politics makes strange bedfellows, and that is certainly true in this year’s mayoral election. One dark-horse candidate is being backed by an alliance made from an odd coupling of religious Jews and Evangelical Christian Latinos to support his socially conservative yet resolutely Democratic agenda. In a city—and a mayoral race—where even Republicans tend to be socially liberal, a religious, right-wing Democrat is certainly a novelty. But Pastor Erick Salgado would like to be more than that. Mr. Salgado, who lives in Staten Island and claims his Iglesia Jovenes Cristianos, or Churdch of the Young Christians, now has “around twenty” congregations “in the New York area,” said Jews and Christians with conservative religious beliefs have been denied “the respect that they deserve” from the city’s dominant political party.
“We are Democrats; we don’t want to do this in another party, we want to do this here in this one,” he explained to Politicker when we spoke with him last week in a small campaign office a few blocks from one of his churches in Bath Beach Read More
Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind has been at the center of a firestorm since Politicker revealed he wore a “black basketball player” costume consisting of an afro wig, brown face paint, an orange jersey and sunglasses to a Purim party at his home Sunday. At first, Mr. Hikind fiercely defended himself against criticism before penning a “heartfelt and sincere apology” on his website this morning. Though the incident and Mr. Hikind’s initial response generated harsh headlines around the world and provoked critical statements from other politicians, several insiders we spoke with insisted Mr. Hikind was spared from a stronger reaction because of the unique power he wields on the local political scene.
One local political insider noted this isn’t the first time Mr. Hikind has courted controversy without facing lasting repercussions. In 2011, Mr. Hikind was one of the most vocal Democrats opposed to New York’s legalization of gay marriage. He bucked his party again this year when he suggested Jewish support for President Barack Obama was a “disease.”
“Can you imagine if somebody else had said that? What does that even mean, right?” the insider said of Mr. Hikind’s comments on the presidential election. “People are not willing to stand up to him. Internally, everyone realizes he’s a dirtbag, we’re just not going to say that because that’s the game we play.” Read More