President Barack Obama greets neighbors outside the home of William and Endia Eason in Cleveland, Ohio, Jan. 4, 2012
(Despite having the latest version, I can’t see these Videopress videos with Firefox any more, but I can with Safari. What’s up with Firefox?!)
NYT: For the first time in many years, manufacturing stands out as an area of strength in the American economy.
When the Labor Department reports December employment numbers on Friday, it is expected that manufacturing companies will have added jobs in two consecutive years. Until last year, there had not been a single year when manufacturing employment rose since 1997.
David Rothkopf (Foreign Policy): …. the Obama track record on many fronts is much better than the administration gives itself credit for. They could be doing much, much more to tout what is an impressive litany of successes.
While the list of those successes is long and compelling-defeating Bin Laden, getting out of Iraq, helping to oust Qaddafi, restoring our reputation internationally, resetting our international priorities to better coincide with our long term interests (the “pivot” to a focus on Asia), producing meaningful healthcare reform, producing significant financial services reforms, stopping the downward spiral in the economy and laying the foundations of recovery, etc. – let me focus on three areas that deserve much more attention and appreciation ….. ** See article **
…. the president is actually doing remarkably well in the world’s toughest job right now, and he is and has been doing so under truly extraordinarily adverse circumstances. This is one of those circumstances in which the substance is better than the PR – and it’s time for the White House’s political and communications brain trust to get out a clean sheet of paper and begin to make new and better plans for claiming the credit the Obama team deserves.
Jonathan Cohn: Should President Obama use the recess appointment power when Republicans in Congress refuse even to consider his nominees? You better believe it.
Not only are Republicans blocking Obama’s nominations at a record rate. They are doing so in order to impose their own ideological agenda and, in some cases, to undermine duly passed laws they don’t like but can’t repeal.
That’s a modern-day form of nullification … Obama would be derelict in his duties if he did not use every inch of executive branch authority to overcome it.
…. based on a series of conversations today, I think Obama was within his rights after all.
TPM: Mitt Romney’s tax plan is more complex than those of his current and erstwhile primary competitors. But in broad effect it accomplishes the conservative goal of dramatically lowering taxes on the wealthy at the expense of the lower and middle classes.
President Barack Obama walks with Col. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost, commander of the 89th Airlift Wing, before boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. The president is scheduled to deliver remarks on the economy at Shaker Heights High School in Shaker Heights, Ohio.
11:35: PBO arrives in Cleveland, Ohio.
12:05: PBO participates in a discussion with a family at a private residence.
CBS: During a Toys-for-Tots event Friday, a marine asked First Lady Michelle Obama to accompany him to the ball next November. The music drowns out the invitation but you can still see the exchange and hug.
ABC: While sorting donations at the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign, this afternoon First Lady Michelle Obama received an unusual request.
Across a pile of race cars, the Associated Press reports Lance Cpl. Aaron Leeks invited Obama to be his date for next year’s Marine Corps Ball.
The 20-year-old Marine from Maryland told the AP, Obama said “she’d love to go.”
“Actually she said I’d need to speak to her husband, too, but she said she’d love to,” Leeks said.
No word yet on whether the request has received the president’s approval. “If the president’s watching this, this might be the first he’s heard of it,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney joked at today’s daily briefing.
First Lady Michelle Obama delivers toys and gifts donated by White House staff to the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots campaign at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., Dec. 16, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
The only thing that ever disappoints me about Steve Benen is that his charts aren’t BIGGER!
Any way, he’s back after a two day break and he’s catching up on the news about the drop in unemployment (see here) – this chart shows unemployment claims going back to the beginning of 2007.
And they say the Stimulus didn’t work?
Milt Shook: There’s No Such Thing as an “Indefinite Detention Bill” and Other Pro Left Lies. (Stay to the end, and watch me expose Glenn Greenwald as a liar once again.)
Steve Benen on the NDAA: …… There’s been a fair amount of coverage this week, arguing that the bill, among things, empowers the executive branch “to throw American citizens into prison for life without charges or a trial.” Adam Serwer’s reporting shows otherwise.
This is not to say the NDAA is a good bill…. but it’s not quite as outrageous as some reports have suggested.
I had one related thought about this. President Obama has been facing quite a bit of criticism from the left over the NDAA’s provisions … if I’m making a list of those responsible for the NDAA’s most odious measures, the White House wouldn’t be on top. I’d start, obviously, with congressional Republicans whose misguided worldview intended to make the NDAA even more offensive, but it was a whole lot of congressional Democrats who went along with them.
… Regardless, the NDAA is done. Recalling a phrase I’m sure I’ve used more than once this year, it’s bad, but it could have been worse.
Alan Fitts, trip director for first lady Michelle Obama, kicks a soccer ball with Bo, the Obama family dog, as preparations are made on the South Lawn of the White House for a sports clinic for area children.