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Obama meeting with female advisors Jan 10
Not so subtle picture of the day from the WH (meeting Jan 10)
If you read the @Whitehouse response to the death star petition and are not in awe, I don't want to know you.
@suttnutz via TweetDeck

WH responds to petition to build the Death Star:

Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.
This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For
By Paul Shawcross

The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn't on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:

• The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We're working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
• The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
• Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?

Benenson poll it? @BBCWorld: WH rejects petition to build Death Star, saying it "does not support blowing up planets"
@ron_fournier via Twitter for iPhone

Tweeting is powerful:

How do you write an obituary for a 5-year-old? Then how do you write 19 more?
@gregorykorte via Twitter for iPhone
Greg Sargent:
In a letter to the White House signed by the four leaders that will soon be made public — and was sent over by a source — the Democrats say:

“In the event that Republicans make good on their threat by failing to act, or by moving unilaterally to pass a debt limit extension as part of an unbalanced or unreasonable legislation, we believe you must be willing to take any lawful steps to ensure that America does not break its promise and trigger a global economic crisis — without Congressional approval, if necessary.”

That’s key, because it means top Dems will support a unilateral executive resolution to the crisis even in response to a legislative solution passed by House Republicans that they deem unacceptable — such as a bill that contains a debt ceiling hike and only spending cuts.

Odds that Schumer will sink Obama's SecDef nominee Hagel: right around zero. (But idea that he might is politically useful for Schumer)
@JohnJHarwood via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Ian Reifowitz:
Racism and Obama: The dog that didn't bark (twice)

A look at the numbers shows the President's skin color was not a serious hindrance on Election Day

Prof. Reifowitz will be around in comments for questions this morning about his article.

Frank Luntz:

Congressional Republicans are currently defined as nothing more than opponents of the president and friends of the powerful. This isn’t my opinion — it’s America’s opinion. My polling firm asked voters nationwide on election night to identify who or what the GOP was fighting for. Twice as many said “the wealthy” and “big business” than “hardworking taxpayers” or “small business.”

Their image is even worse today. The congressional Republicans’ message during the “fiscal cliff” debate last month was confused and chaotic. The debt-ceiling vote next month and the budget debate after that promise more of the same — unless House and Senate Republicans stop bickering and start coordinating and talking differently.

Just saying “no” to the president has its limits. House Republicans, since they have a megaphone that Senate Republicans don’t , will continue to be diminished until they start defining and stop being defined.

Kathleen Parker:
In one remarkable incident in May 1967, as recounted in The Atlantic by UCLA law professor Adam Winkler, 24 men and six women, all armed, ascended the California capitol steps, read a proclamation about gun rights and proceeded inside — with their guns, which was legal at the time.

Needless to say, conservatives, including then-Gov. Ronald Reagan, were suddenly very, very interested in gun control. That afternoon, Reagan told reporters there was “no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.”

The degree of one’s allegiance to principle apparently depends mainly on who is holding the gun.

Gail Collins:
Maybe the national über-angst is because the last two years were really light ones for flu, and we’ve forgotten what a bad one feels like. Also, it’s possible that we’re talking about it more because there isn’t all that much going on. In other Januaries, we might have been anticipating the actions of the new Congress. This year, we know in advance that there won’t be any.

This brings me to my theory about how to calm the flu panic. We can pin everything on John Boehner, the speaker of the House.

Think about it. One of the worst side-effects of illness is the feeling of a lack of control. Your symptoms seem to descend out of nowhere. Picking somebody to hold responsible gives a little more sense of order to the universe.

“Nothing will make you feel better like finding somebody to blame,” says a new Facebook app called “Help, My Friend Gave Me the Flu.” That app, which is sponsored by a pharmaceutical company, lets you prowl through the social network looking for which of your acquaintances got symptoms before you did.

think anyone who writes abt flu for a while has had that "holy crap" moment at some point i know i did. ugh. @lindy2350 @erinbiba
@marynmck via TweetDeck

 Flu basics from my pre-pandemic 2009 series available here:
So this year, get your flu shot (you, too, health care workers!), and take your doctor's advice about medications, but don't expect 100% flu-proofing. That typically doesn't happen even when the stars are aligned and we have a good year for vaccine matching.

Originally posted to Greg Dworkin on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 04:20 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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