TPM News


Conservative pundits and parents are outraged over President Obama's address to students nationwide, claiming they're scared the president will indoctrinate their children with socialist dogma. Here, evidence the president began his plot as early as February.

Newscom/CNP




The First Lady gets in on the scheme, reading The Moon Over Star to a second-grade class with her husband.

Newscom/CNP




Obama greets young children on the White House lawn during the Easter Egg Roll.

Newscom/2009 Black Star




The president mimics the monsters from Where The Wild Things Are.

Newscom/2009 Black Star




In his prepared remarks, Obama tells students to work hard, set goals for themselves and persevere in the face of obstacles.

Newscom/Sipa Press




Sasha and Malia read to kids with their parents.

Newscom/2009 Black Star




Michelle Obama teaches students to plant their own fruits and vegetables.

Newscom/Sipa Press




The First Lady zeroes in at a student at Ferebee Hope Elementary School in D.C.

Newscom/PRNewsFoto




Obama greets graduates at Notre Dame after receiving an honorary degree.

Newscom/UPI




Greeting students at Mapleton Expeditionary School in Colorado.

Newscom/The Denver Post




Obama's signature in a Wisconsin high school, telling future students to "Dream big dreams!"

White House/Pete Souza




Obama addresses the Year Up program, a training program for urban students which includes corporate apprenticeships and educational stipends.

Newscom/UPI




At a barbecue in June. In his speech, Obama will tell students, "I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don't let us down - don't let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it."

Newscom/Sipa Press




Obama greets Math Counts students at the White House. Read TPMDC's full coverage of the school speech hullabaloo.

White House/Pete Souza

Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer appeared on CNN today, and accused the White House of changing the content of President Obama's stay-in-school speech in the wake of conservative outrage at political indoctrination -- outrage that he was instrumental in mobilizing, by the way -- and that the original would have been much more politically-oriented.

"Clearly last week there was a plan with the Department of Education," said Greer. "When you ask students to write a letter to the President on, how we can help you with your new ideas, Mr. President, that is leading the students in an effort to push the President's agenda. Now that the White House got their hand in the cookie jar caught, they changed everything, they redid the lesson plans, they released the text, and tomorrow he's gonna give a speech that every president should have an opportunity to give."

Read More →

It's become clear that as President Obama delivers his speech on staying in school, a whole lot of schools won't be showing it.

As we noted before, some local groups are organizing in favor of the speech, and opposing school officials who have decided not to show it. Most schools are doing the sensible thing and allowing parents who object to their kids seeing a speech by that evil socialist dictator to opt out. But some aren't showing it at all.

Here's just a small sampling of some more schools and school districts that won't be showing the speech, available after the jump.

Read More →

Conservatives have spent the last week whipping themselves into a frenzy over President Obama's speech tomorrow in which he will indoctrinate the nation's schoolchildren using the instruments of mass media.

As it turns out, Obama's speech will be pretty anodyne. But one vocal critic of Obama's plans, has long been involved in an effort to actually indoctrinate students -- through the state-sanctioned textbooks they study all year.

Meet David Bradley, Republican member of the Texas State Board of Education from Beaumont.

Read More →

Florida Republican Party chairman Jim Greer, who made waves last week when he sent out a press release attacking President Obama's stay-in-school message, is now expressing his approval of the pre-released text, ABC News reports. In fact, he'll even let his own kids watch it -- but he stands by his earlier criticism.

"It's a good speech," said Greer. "It encourages kids to stay in school and the importance of education and I think that's what a president should do when they're gonna talk to students across the country."

Here's what Greer first said last week:

"As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology. The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the President justify his plans for government-run health care, banks, and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs, and racking up more debt than any other President, is not only infuriating, but goes against beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power."

Read More →

Former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II (D-MA) announced today that he will not run for the Senate seat held by his late uncle, Ted Kennedy.

"Given all that my uncle accomplished, it was only natural to consider getting back involved in public office, and I appreciate all the calls of support and friendship that have poured in," said Kennedy, in his official statement.

But, he later added this detailed praise of his current job at the Citizens Energy Corporation: "Our efforts cover a broad array of the challenges facing this country - to heat the homes of the poor, install energy-savings technologies to cut costs for homeowners and businesses, build wind farms throughout the United States and Canada to lessen our dependence on foreign oil, and construct transmission lines to carry new sources of renewable energy."

This is quite interesting, after the Boston Globe just ran an article that predicted potential difficulties for Kennedy over this very same project -- due to its extensive connections to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs today fired back at right-wing critics who have attacked President Obama's upcoming stay-in-school speech. From today's press gaggle:

"I think it's a sad, sad day that the political back and forth has intruded on anyone speaking to schoolchildren and teachers and parents about the responsibilities that they have as we enter a new school year. If one kid in one school hears one message and goes from being a D student to a C student, then the speech is worth it. If one kid decides not to drop out of school, then the speech is worth it. Right now nearly three in 10 kids in school will not walk across a stage and get a high school diploma. If anybody thinks that's the recipe for long-term economic growth, I've got news for them.

Read More →

Few have commented this Labor Day on Sen. Max Baucus' health care reform bill, which does not include a public option.

But it's fairly clear that the bill won't win the support of reform groups, many of whom see the public option as a necessary element of reform. Asked for comment, the reform campaign Health Care for America Now referred me to letters they sent Friday to Baucus, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and President Obama demanding that the Finance Committee pass a bill with a strong public option.

"Despite literally months of continuous outreach and effort by you in the Senate Finance Committee, the response of the Republican leadership has been to obstruct progress on achieving our shared goals," the letter to Baucus reads.

Across the four other congressional committees that have already acted on comprehensive health care legislation, a consistent outline has emerged.
It is now time the Finance Committee, and then the full Senate, move forward with a bill that contains...a strong public option...national (not a separate plan in every state), publicly operated and accountable, available on day one across the nation, and have the authority to establish payment rates that balance the dual goals of guaranteeing broad accessto providers and ensuring affordability.


Baucus, of course, didn't follow through.

You can read all three letters at this link. They were delivered Friday, amid news reports that the White House might deliver Congress a bill of its own, and that Baucus was finally ready to circulate a draft of his legislation.

A voice of sanity is now emerging on the right over President Obama's stay-in-school speech tomorrow: Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich put up this Twitter post this afternoon, after the White House released the text of the speech:

Just read President Obamas speech to students.white House posted it. it is a good speech and will be good for students to hear


And he followed it up with this:

Remember that Presidents Reagan and Bush also talked to students nationwide. As long as it is non political and pro education it is good


Gingrich also appeared yesterday on Fox News Sunday, and spoke out in favor of the speech.

During his speech now at the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic, President Obama just got in an ad-libbed jab at the right-wingers who are speaking out against his back-to-school speech.

Obama said he was for "an America that commits to education, because the countries that out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow. And the best jobs will go to the best-educated. So we got to do a better job educating our sons and our daughters."

He then deviated from the prepared remarks -- and the crowd cheered quite passionately along with it: "And yes, I'm gonna have something to say tomorrow to our children, telling them to stay in school and work hard, 'cause that's the right message to send."

After the extended cheering quieted down a bit, Obama let out a brief laugh, and continued with his remarks.

TPMLivewire