Marines salute President Obama as he arrives by helicopter at Chicago O’Hare International Airport to board Air Force One for his departure to Joplin
President Obama exits Air Force One on his arrival at Joplin Regional Airport
…. greeted by Missouri Gov Jay Nixon
…. greeted by Joplin Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean
Washington Post: President Obama will address Joplin High School’s graduating seniors in southwest Missouri late Monday, marking the one-year anniversary of the devastating tornado that destroyed an enormous path through the city and claimed 160 lives.
It was graduation night on May 22, 2011, too, when Joplin High School and more than 7,500 other buildings were destroyed by what has proven to be among the deadliest and costliest tornadoes in United States history….
….. Obama is expected to commemorate the losses as well as celebrate the success of the recovery effort so far in Joplin, where a temporary high school was set up at a local mall in time for the start of the 2011-12 school year.
Greg Sargent: If there are reasons for President Obama to be optimistic about his reelection chances, one of them has to be this: The two key dynamics driving our politics right now are both playing in his favor. First, economic optimism continues to rise. Second, the GOP primary seems to have left likely nominee Mitt Romney with historically low standing.
The new NBC/WSJ poll finds that Obama has hit the 50 percent approval mark – his highest since Bin Laden’s death. That’s apparently driven by these findings about the economy:
Forty percent believe the economy will improve during the next year, a three-point increase from January. And looking back at the economic recession, 57 percent say that the worst is behind us, while 36 percent say the worst is still to come.
MSNBC: Just hours after President Obama described to a group of pro-Israel activists the steps he has taken and will take to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, Mitt Romney made a dire prediction about the consequences for that effort if the president is reelected.
“If Barack Obama gets re-elected, Iran will have a nuclear weapon and the world will change if that’s the case,” Romney (said) in response to a question from an eleven year-old boy…..
Steven Pearlstein (Washington Post): In case you haven’t noticed, the economy is actually getting better. Noticeably better.
…. On Wall Street, the Dow is at its highest point in nearly four years and Nasdaq at its highest point in a decade, reflecting both record profits and renewed investor confidence. Federal and state tax revenues are beginning to come in better than projected and households are continuing to whittle down their debt, with a savings rate of 4.5 percent. There are even enough green shoots in the housing market to suggest that residential construction might contribute to GDP growth this year rather than subtract from it. Revisions of government data are now reliably up rather than down.
And yet, there are those on the Republican right and the Democratic left who have so much invested in a bad economy that they are reluctant to acknowledge any of this good news.
Steve Benen: Last summer, with gas prices rising, several leading Republicans came up with a curious accusation: President Obama was causing pain at the pump deliberately, as part of some undefined environmental agenda. This odd line was pushed by Haley Barbour and the Koch brothers, among others.
…. I wonder if Republicans seriously expect anyone to believe their rhetoric on this. The argument Americans are supposed to believe is that President Obama, in an election year, not only has the power to manipulate gas prices at will, but is trying to raise them – on purpose – to the dismay of consumers.
The follow-up question is rather straightforward: why on earth would Obama want to do that? It doesn’t even take much in the way of critical thinking skills to know the answer: he wouldn’t.
ABC: The federal judge who presided over Chrysler’s bankruptcy told ABC News in an exclusive interview that the ailing company could not have survived without taxpayer money.
“The record before the Court was clear that there were no other sources of lending,” said Arthur J. Gonzalez, who served as chief judge of the U.S. bankruptcy court for the Southern District of New York … “One thing is clear, without government support in one fashion or another, there were no sources of funding.”
….the new Chrysler is accelerating on the road to recovery, earning $225 million in its most profitable quarter since emerging from bankruptcy.….
And what about that taxpayer money? The company has paid back all but $1.3 billion of the $12.5 billion that Uncle Sam loaned it under Presidents Bush and Obama.
Jerusalem Post: President Shimon Peres on Monday praised US President Barack Obama’s speech to the AIPAC annual policy conference, saying he had offered the maximum support for Israel that an American president could possibly offer.
Peres told Army Radio that Obama made clear that the “security of Israel is a national American interest.” He added that it would be preposterous to expect Obama to give a timetable for possible military action against Iran.
“I don’t expect someone to say when they will do this, and when they will do that, not us or them. It’s not done,” Peres stated. “He didn’t talk about dates, but he spoke about actions,” the president added.
…. The president also expressed satisfaction with Obama’s assertion that diplomacy as a means to solve the Iranian nuclear threat had not been exhausted.
Charles Pierce: ….. Rush Limbaugh unloads his weepy pilonoidal cyst of an intellect in this fashion on your daughter. Then, as his advertisers run screaming into the night … he finally issues a statement wherein he, essentially, apologizes for:
….. Using the word “slut,” rather than, one supposes, “trollop,” “slattern,” or “lady of the town.” …. For failing clearly to explain his deeply serious political philosophy regarding what is proper to discuss before Congress in these “very serious political times.”….
Does any of that remotely constitute an “apology” to you for what he said about your daughter? Does any of that make you more likely to trust in the good faith of anything this Viagra-sponging pillhead says in the foreseeable future? Does any of that make you less likely to kind of wish, at least in your heart of hearts, that you could perform orthopedic surgery on this guy with a Louisville Slugger?
RCP: You need not look further than this critical swing state to see just how badly Mitt Romney’s vaunted campaign organization lags behind President Obama’s.
Obama for America already has more than a dozen staffers in the Buckeye State, working seven days a week. There are nine offices scattered throughout Ohio where volunteers gather every day to contact voters — and Election Day is still eight months away. And what should send a chill down Romney’s spine is that the same thing is happening in every swing state.
1:50 PM Visits with those in the community effected by last week’s tornadoes
3:0 PM Delivers brief remarks at a memorial service held by local clergy and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon
4:30 PM Departs Missouri
7:0 PM Arrives at the White House
President Obama leaves the White House for a visit to tornado devastated Joplin
Kansas City Star: When President Barack Obama arrives in Joplin today, he will find a quintessential small American city splintered and stunned. People who have witnessed both say the destruction of neighborhoods in the path of last Sunday’s tornado is akin to the aftermath of a nuclear weapon.
But the president will also find a city picking itself up, caring for its citizens, comforting its bereaved and planning for a future that looks much different than it did one week ago.
A massive outpouring of public and private support has sustained Joplin. And as the president arrives in town, it is worth considering the role of government at multiple levels in responding to the crisis.
A pernicious story line, recited on talk radio, in state legislatures and in some quarters of Washington, says that government can’t do anything right. Government is the problem, Ronald Reagan famously said. And a vast political and business alliance works furiously to make his declaration a self-fulfilling prophecy by underfunding vital programs and disparaging public employees.
But when disaster strikes, we expect government to work. We need it to work. Last week, it did…..
Morning everyone. I won’t have a chance to post again until later today, so see you all then. I’ve also fallen way behind with replies to emails and comments, but I hope to catch up today too – sorry for the delay! Have a great day