Barack Obama Has To Learn Not To Give Stuff Away For Free

This morning, we revisit the wisdom of capitulating to Republicans on contraception funding in the stimulus package. Then we move onto porn, racism and the Jonas Brothers.

Yesterday, I was reading Matt Yglesias' reaction to the news that Obama had asked House leaders to pull contraception funding from the stimulus — which boils down to, if he's going to capitulate, he ought to at least get something for it — and thought, "very true". So upon hearing the news that the funding is officially out, I was kind of annoyed to learn that the Republicans still plan to vote against the stimulus package just because it's a Democratic one. They're back to calling the Wahmbulance about how the majority party didn't consult them and hurt their feelings, as though they didn't run the House the exact same way when they were in charge. I mean, they're even adding an AMT patch on in the Senate (which is a favorite thing to do for Republicans since it staves off having to fix the AMT permanently and functions as a tax cut) and Obama went up and met with House Republicans yesterday and promised them more shit, but they just wanna make Nancy Pelosi look bad, so fuck 'em. I'm with Yglesias on this: why capitulate on contraception (or anything else, for that matter) if all it does in embolden Republicans to be bigger dicks about everything?

In better news, the Senate passed the Ledbetter Act on fair pay, so that's headed to Obama's desk and he'll have some sort of signing ceremony tomorrow, probably with Lilly Ledbetter in attendance, and it'll be a nice photo op of the first bill he signs into law. Senator Charles Grassley, meanwhile, is super curious about the porn that National Science Foundation employees are watching at work, though the rest of us already have some idea and prefer not to revisit it. Chip Saltsman, who is still running for chair of the Republican National Committee, is blaming The Media for all the backlash to his Christmas CD containing the song "Barack the Magic Negro" because, if not for the media telling us it's offensive, no one would ever, ever be offended by that. It's, like, soooo unfair that rich white guys can't go around calling African-American Presidents "Negros" and black people can say that and even the n-word and no one calls them racist.

And now that you need to rinse your brain out, go watch this video of Barack and Michelle at the Democratic Convention discussing her then-upcoming appearance on an Ellen episode that also featured the Jonas Brothers. Michelle was taking the girls as a surprise, and Barack had a bet with Malia that she would stammer if she ever met Nick. It's way cute.