Barack Obama

burntorangereport.com

When is an empty chair not an empty chair?

A northwest Austin homeowner has cut down a nondescript folding chair hanging from a tree in his yard, after a local blog’s allegations the hanging chair was a symbolic “lynching” of President Barack Obama created a firestorm in the blogosphere.

Liberal Texas politics blog Burnt Orange Report (BOR) first reported on the chair on Wednesday. BOR editor Katherine Haenschen, who wrote that BOR was emailed the photo from a reader, wasted no time expressing her anger with the statement:

Now, one could easily argue "it's just a chair, what's the big deal? That's not racist!"

However, in light of Clint Eastwood's speech at the Republican National Convention, in which he had a largely one-sided conversation with an empty chair he pretended was Barack Obama, this imagery is now associated with the President.

The image of the chair is associated with the President. Now, lynch that chair from a tree, and you've got a pretty awful racist sentiment calling for lynching the first African-American President!

There appears to be no question that President Obama will win the lion's share of Hispanic support. But there are still very big questions to be answered about how many votes such support will translate into.

"What we know is that we don't know," says Ruy Teixeira, a political analyst at the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank.

"If you're the Obama campaign, there's cause for concern, because at least so far, [Hispanic support] is not translating into encouraging data on the turnout front," he says.

In a somber ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland a short time ago, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received the bodies of the four Americans killed in an attack on the American consulate in Libya.

"They didn't simply embrace the American ideal they lived it," Obama said.

The order to tighten security at all U.S. diplomatic posts around the globe following attacks in the Middle East may be necessary, but it will come at a cost.

There has been an enormous increase in security precautions at American embassies and consulates over the past 30 years, and the bubble that many diplomats now operate under makes it more difficult for them to interact with people in other countries, limiting their ability to gather information and promote the American "brand."

President Obama holds a Labor Day campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio, on Monday, and then flies to Louisiana to inspect the damage from Hurricane Isaac. The Toledo rally is part of a long weekend of campaigning, leading up to the Democratic National Convention, which starts Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.

The president held a rally with thousands of students at the University of Colorado over the weekend. Just five days earlier, he'd been at Colorado State. Obama is hoping to harness the cross-state rivalry between the schools in the service of his re-election campaign.

Texas Tribune

A Lubbock County judge is making headlines after suggesting that President Obama might hand over sovereignty of the United States to the United Nations, possibly igniting in a civil war. 

In an interview with Fox 34 News in Lubbock, County Judge Tom Head said that if re-elected, Obama was "going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N. Okay, what’s going to happen when that happens? I’m thinking worst case scenario here. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. We’re not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations. We’re talking Lexington-Concord take up arms and get rid of the guy."

Jacob Villanueva, Texas Tribune

new ad in toss-up state Nevada warns Hispanic voters that a vote for President Obama is a vote for the “deporter-in-chief” — an incumbent who fell short on his campaign promise to enact immigration reform.

"Since he took office, President Obama has broken up hundreds of thousands of families through a policy of massive deportations,” Alfonso Aguilar, the executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, said in a news release. “He has been hoodwinking the American people, deploring the Arizona and Georgia immigration laws as bad laws, while deporting more immigrants than any modern president.” 

The ad, paid for by the conservative nonprofit American Principles in Action, is part of a larger strategy by Republicans to challenge the perception that Democrats are friendlier toward immigrants than they are.

(Revised and updated @ 5:55 pm ET)

In an attack likely to conjure up for many President Reagan's successful use of Cadillac-driving welfare queens as an issue in presidential politics, Mitt Romney's campaign accused President Obama of using his power to weaken work requirements for welfare recipients.

The latest national security issue to figure in the presidential campaign has little to do with Iran, Afghanistan or other foreign policy challenges. Mitt Romney is instead focusing on what he and other Republicans allege is the Obama administration's record of leaking classified information for political purposes.

Genealogists at Ancestry.com have two surprises for us today: After years of studying President Obama's family tree, they have concluded that he was likely John Punch's 11th great-grandson. Punch is considered the first documented American slave.

The second surprise: The experts connected President Obama to Punch not through his African father, but through his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who was white.

In a speech from Fort Myers, Fla., President Obama said today was "a day for prayer and reflection."

The President cancelled a planned campaign event and instead addressed the mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. He asked those gathered to pause for a moment of silence to remember the victims.

"Even as we learn how this happened and who's responsible, we may never understand what leads anyone to terrorize their fellow human beings like this," Obama said. "Such violence, such evil is senseless; it's beyond reason."

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

President Barack Obama made a whirlwind trip through Texas yesterday, addressing crowds in San Antonio before holding two re-election fundraisers in Austin.

KUT News intern and photographer Filipa Rodrigues was there for President Obama’s speech at the Austin Music Hall. You can view a slideshow of her photos, posted to KUT Austin’s Flickr page.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

President Barack Obama just touched down in Austin. With so much chatter online regarding President Obama's arrival, KUT News has compiled a Storify timeline with updates and photos documenting his arrival. 

We will refresh the timeline with additional updates as they come in. 

Pete Souza

Tickets to President Barack Obama’s Austin fundraising events range from $250 to $25,000. And while his campaign expects to net millions in contributions, that’s only an appetizer compared to overall costs of the 2012 presidential campaign.

Money is the fuel that feeds political campaigns, making these fundraising stops a little like going out to eat – except with speeches and hordes of reporters following you, some of whom recently noted President Obama eats ice cream cones with a spoon.

But in the interest of keeping it weird, we looked at what Austin food this fundraising money could buy.

Perry photo, Gage Skidmore; Holder photo Dept. of Justice

Governor Rick Perry used President Barack Obama’s Texas campaign swing to attack the Obama administration’s Attorney General, Eric Holder.  

Gov. Perry’s comments are directed towards Attorney General Holder’s comment last week regarding Voter ID initiatives in several states, Texas included. During a NAACP conference in Houston, Holder referred called voter ID laws “poll taxes,” arguing the laws disproportionally disenfranchise poor and minority voters.

"Perhaps while the President is visiting Texas, he can take a break from big-dollar fundraisers to disavow his Attorney General's offensive and incendiary comments regarding our common-sense voter identification law,” Gov. Perry said in a statement.

President Obama may have disappointed the NAACP by appearing only via brief video message Thursday at the civil rights group's annual gathering — especially after Mitt Romney had personally taken the stage a day earlier.

But sending in Vice President Biden to stir things up, just 24 hours after Romney was booed while delivering a conservative message meant to resonate beyond the walls of the Houston convention center, seemed to work out just fine for Obama.

President Obama began a two-day bus tour of swing states Ohio and Pennsylvania on Thursday and spent part of the time campaigning on his bailout of U.S. automakers.

"My experience has been in saving the American auto industry. And as long as I'm president that's what I'm going to be doing, waking up every single day thinking about how we can create more jobs for your families," Obama said at a rally in Maumee, Ohio.

People's Community Clinic

An Austin health clinic is getting $650,000 from the federal government as part of the Obama Administration’s health care overhaul.

People’s Community Clinic is one of more than 200 clinics nationwide to receive money. People’s Community Clinic is using the money to expand access for patients by creating more clinic space.

“Every day there are people who call who would like appointments who we can’t see. And so this is an opportunity to make sure that we have more capacity to meet more of the needs in our community,” said Regina Rogoff, People’s Community Clinic CEO.

Early indications suggest President Obama has a majority of voters on his side with his decision to defer deportation proceedings for young illegal immigrants who meet certain conditions.

President Obama's decision to stop deporting young, otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants could help rebuild his support among electorally important Latinos after 18 months of futile efforts, some activists said Friday.

"There is overwhelming support for the protection of these children, as there is in the rest of the country. I think this could have an energizing effect on Latino voters," says Clarissa Martinez del Castro, director of immigration and national campaigns for National Council of La Raza.

President Obama's announcement Friday that he is using his executive authority to defer deportation proceedings for young immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally but meet certain requirements was just the latest example of the president's use of his power to act without Congress on policy issues.

Caleb Bryant Miller, Texas Tribune

The Obama administration announced Friday that, effective immediately, it will begin issuing work permits and grant relief from deportation to certain illegal immigrants brought to the country before they were 16 years old and are currently younger than 30.

Flickr user qbac07, flickr.com/30816404@N04

The Obama Administration announced sweeping changes to immigration enforcement policy today: effective immediately, young, undocumented residents of the U.S. with clean backgrounds “will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings.”

The announcement comes from U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization,” the statement continues.

Criticism of the Obama administration's deportation policies continues to pour in as previously supportive groups called the latest government effort a failure.

Immigrant advocates on Monday condemned the administration's recent findings that a policy designed to reduce the deportations of otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants has had almost no effect.

Ben Philpott, KUT News

Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst – a candidate for the U.S. Senate – seemed to be taken off guard today when he was confronted during his speech with shouts from "birthers," people who believe Barack Obama has fooled the nation into electing a foreign national as United States president.

The speech didn’t start well for Dewhurst – an establishment Republican candidate locked in a bitter runoff race with tea party favorite Ted Cruz. People began booing him as he started his speech. Or maybe they were chanting “Cruz.” Or maybe, as Governor Perry suggested after an event yesterday, they were simply chanting, “Dew!” for Dewhurst.

Whatever it was, others in the audience shushed the jeers, and Dewhurst delivered a red meat speech that appeared to be well-received.

President Obama used the White House press briefing room this morning to again make the case that Congress — and in particular the Republican-controlled House — needs to take up more of his ideas about how to boost job growth.

He also said it's "offensive" to suggest "my White House" may have leaked some secrets to gain political advantage.

We updated with highlights, so hit your "refresh" button to be sure you're seeing our latest.

Update at 12:15 p.m. ET. Romney Says Obama Is 'Out Of Touch':

A new Obama campaign ad says the Massachusetts economy actually fared poorly during Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's four years as governor, challenging the notion that Romney knows how to fix the nation's ailing economy.

The ad says that between 2003 and 2007, Massachusetts had one of the worst economic records in the country, lost 40,000 manufacturing jobs at "a rate twice the national average, and fell to 47th in job creation."

Former President Bill Clinton and President Obama used to have a famously rocky relationship. But the days when Clinton tried to help his wife, now secretary of state, defeat Obama in the 2008 primaries are ancient history.

Former Clinton strategist Carter Eskew says the ex-president is almost always an asset for Obama.

In this space earlier this month, I wrote about whether President Obama would face a backlash from African-Americans for his endorsement of same-sex marriage. (He hasn't.) I made mention of a random field experiment in which 285 black people in Cook County, Ill., were polled about gay marriage.

We haven't even yet reached the summer before the general election and already the cowpie is hitting the fan.

Actually, it was President Obama who on Thursday rhetorically hit Mitt Romney, the all-but-official Republican presidential nominee. Obama went all barnyard on Romney, accusing the former Massachusetts governor of not only lying about his presidential record but Romney's as well. It was, according to those following the president's re-election campaign, his toughest attack yet on Romney.

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