MSNBC: Over the last few weeks … Mitt Romney has argued that President Obama’s policies have made the economy worse.
Here was Romney in New Hampshire on Monday: “….He did not cause this recession, but he made it worse.”
…. at the New Hampshire debate earlier this month: “He didn’t create the recession, but he made it worse and longer.”
But at his press conference today in Allentown … Romney backtracked on the he-made-it-worse line.
When NBC producer Sue Kroll asked the former Massachusetts governor why he believes that Obama’s policies have made the economy worse – when the economy is now growing (and not shrinking like it was in 2009), when the Dow is climbing (and no longer in a free-fall like it was in ’09), and when the unemployment rate is down a full percentage point from where it was in Oct. ’09 – Romney gave this answer:
President Obama arrives to speak to workers at the Alcoa Davenport Works Factory in Bettendorf, Iowa
Des Moines Register: Alcoa officials and business leaders dismissed an assertion from … Mitt Romney that a federal labor board’s actions could threaten jobs at the Alcoa plant in Iowa. “No, we don’t see that happening,” said Alcoa spokesman Michael Belwood…
Romney said Monday that National Labor Relations Board’s actions against aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co. could result in job losses nationally and in Iowa. Boeing is accused of trying to move its Washington-based assembly line for its 787 airliner to a new nonunion factory in South Carolina as retaliation for past strikes in Washington.
Romney has complained about the federal board before, and on Monday said its decision to file a complaint against Boeing for unfair labor practices “slanted the field toward labor bosses.”
….. but the outcome of the NLRB hearing – whether it’s in favor of Boeing or against – will have no impact on this plant, the Alcoa spokesman said. Alcoa is growing, Belwood said. It has added 240 jobs since Dec. 1 and it has 60 more to fill in July and August. “The outlook is very good for the industry and for this plant.”
…. the National Labor Relations Board is an independent board and the president doesn’t control its decisions other than to appoint new members as terms expire.
….U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, a Democrat, said Romney made it sound like a final decision has been made to block Boeing from opening its South Carolina plant. The reality is, the hearing process is at its beginning stages, Braley said. “(Romney) obviously doesn’t understand how the National Labor Relations Board works.”
Steve Benen: Mitt Romney: “The Obama Administration has not been able to deal with the number one issue the country was concerned about when he became president, the economy,” Romney said. “He did not cause the recession, but he made it worse.”
Greg Sargent explained that the “made it worse” argument has been repeatedly fact-checked, and repeatedly proven false, but it doesn’t stop Romney from “cheerfully repeating the bogus claim.”
….Let me make this easy for Romney and the reporters who cover his campaign. It’s a surprisingly straightforward exercise, consisting of two short questions:
1. When Obama took office, the economy was shrinking. Now it’s growing. In what way is that “worse”?
2. When Obama took office, the economy was hemorrhaging jobs. Now it’s gaining jobs. In what way is that “worse”?
As best as I can tell, there are basically only three explanations. Romney is either lying and hoping no one will notice; he doesn’t know what “worse” means; or he considers a healthier economy worse than a deep recession.
The Atlantic: ……After lunch, the group took a walk, with Barry running ahead. A flock of Indonesian children began lobbing rocks in his direction. They ducked behind a wall and shouted racial epithets. He seemed unfazed, dancing around as though playing dodge ball “with unseen players,” [fellow American and friend Elizabeth] Bryant said. Ann [Barack Obama’s mother] did not react. Assuming she must not have understood the words, Bryant offered to intervene. “No, he’s O.K.,” Ann said. “He’s used to it.”
CNN (April, 2010): On the driveway right outside the White House briefing room, a place where President Barack Obama rarely strolls during public hours, CNN caught a rare and personal exchange between the first couple.
Flanked by Secret Service agents and personal aide Reggie Love, Obama spotted his wife near the West Wing entrance and tried to get her attention. “Hey FLOTUS,” he shouted, then added, “I was just looking for you.”
The president joked, “Stop it guys, I haven’t seen my wife in a while.”
The first lady, who seemed poised to deliver an affectionate greeting, was thwarted when the president said, “Let’s not do this in front of the cameras.”
Instead they held hands and walked together into the West Wing like a married couple that had not seen each other since one of them made a quick jaunt to Prague to sign a new nuclear arms treaty.
MSNBC: As the debate raged in Washington over a budget to keep the government from shutting down, the issue of abortion funding was consistently in the spotlight.
….when Boehner asked for the elimination of funds for Title X – spending for women’s health and family planning organizations that also provide abortion services – the aide said the president flatly refused.
The President replied, “Nope. Zero.”
Boehner continued to push to discuss the funds, the aide recalled.
The President repeated: “Nope. Zero.”
“‘John, this is it,'” the aide described the president as saying. “‘This is it, John.”
There was a long pause as no one spoke in the Oval Office.
The Planned Parenthood issue was resolved that Thursday night.
Today, we are filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign.
We’re doing this now because the politics we believe in does not start with expensive TV ads or extravaganzas, but with you — with people organizing block-by-block, talking to neighbors, co-workers, and friends. And that kind of campaign takes time to build.
So even though I’m focused on the job you elected me to do, and the race may not reach full speed for a year or more, the work of laying the foundation for our campaign must start today.
We’ve always known that lasting change wouldn’t come quickly or easily. It never does. But as my administration and folks across the country fight to protect the progress we’ve made — and make more — we also need to begin mobilizing for 2012, long before the time comes for me to begin campaigning in earnest.
As we take this step, I’d like to share a video that features some folks like you who are helping to lead the way on this journey. Please take a moment to watch:
In the coming days, supporters like you will begin forging a new organization that we’ll build together in cities and towns across the country. And I’ll need you to help shape our plan as we create a campaign that’s farther reaching, more focused, and more innovative than anything we’ve built before.
We’ll start by doing something unprecedented: coordinating millions of one-on-one conversations between supporters across every single state, reconnecting old friends, inspiring new ones to join the cause, and readying ourselves for next year’s fight.
This will be my final campaign, at least as a candidate. But the cause of making a lasting difference for our families, our communities, and our country has never been about one person. And it will succeed only if we work together.
There will be much more to come as the race unfolds. Today, simply let us know you’re in to help us begin, and then spread the word:
A boy looks out as mourners pray during the funeral of a rebel killed by forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in Benghazi, March 22
John Judis (The New Republic): ….I looked at various blogs and websites that air opinion on the left. With some notable exceptions (like Juan Cole), all I have found is opposition to the Obama administration’s decision to intervene in Libya.
So I ask myself, would these opponents of U.S. intervention (as part of U.N. Security Council approved action), have preferred:
(1) That gangs of mercenaries, financed by the country’s oil wealth, conduct a bloodbath against Muammar Qaddafi’s many opponents?
(2) That Qaddafi himself, wounded, enraged, embittered, and still in power, retain control of an important source of the world’s oil supply, particularly for Europe, and be able to spend the wealth he derives from it to sow discord in the region?
(3) And that the movement toward democratization in the Arab world – which has spread from Tunisia to Bahrain, and now includes such unlikely locales as Syria – be dealt an enormous setback through the survival of one of region’s most notorious autocrats?
If you answer “Who cares?” to each of these, I have no counter-arguments to offer, but if you worry about two or three of these prospects, then I think you have to reconsider whether Barack Obama did the right thing in lending American support to this intervention.
…Should Obama, as some critics have charged, have gone to Congress for a war powers resolution? I am not sure there was time for a full-scale debate…
…isn’t Obama repeating the same mistakes that George W. Bush did when he invaded Iraq in order to oust a despot? There’s a big difference between then and now: The United States is supporting an active revolt; it is preventing carnage; and it is encouraging real, rather than imagined, democratic movements across the region. These are all reasons why, even at this late date, and with uncertain prospects, it made sense to intervene.
The song, ‘God damn you’re beautiful’, is by Chester See – you can see his own video here – I posted this video on YouTube in early 2009 … one of the comments read: “I am Chester See and I approve this message.” Yep, it was the singer of the song. Love him ;-)