Yet another TOD post that has been reblogged by Jueseppi B, despite requests that he make his own effort to support PBO rather than copying others simply to drive up his reblog’s traffic. He doesn’t take kindly to being challenged, as another woman found out: explicit. Genuine bloggers are welcome to use anything they ever see at TOD. Thanks
President Obama shakes hands with a supporter after speaking about energy and energy independence at Nashua Community College in New Hampshire
Charles Pierce: NASHUA, N.H. …. After several months of watching the Republican primary process, I can’t tell you what a cool breeze it was to watch a politician who looks at a crowd and doesn’t see a group of potential marks (Romney), a collection of your fellow Elect marching with you through the dystopic Sinai that is America (Santorum), a gaggle of goldbugs (Paul), or the class of half-bright sophomores that N. Leroy Gingrich sees every time he looks anywhere but into the mirror.
Barack Obama is not stiff. He is not bristling with unbridled id. He grins. He kids people, even the people who faint at the beginning of his speeches …. He is relaxed about the job of politics. He is the only president of the United States – real or prospective – that I’ve seen in months.
…. He talks about the challenges Americans face, but he doesn’t do it in the gloom-ridden, stalactite-festooned, minor-key funeral mass context that the Republicans talk about them. He talks in terms of “boundless ingenuity” and “unbridled optimism.”….
Bloomberg: The number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits fell to a level matching a four-year low, more evidence the labor market is healing.
Applications for unemployment insurance decreased 2,000 in the week ended Feb. 25 to 351,000, Labor Department figures showed today…..
Firing is on a downward trend as employers gain confidence in the outlook for economic growth. A smaller number of job reductions also puts those companies in place to hire additional employees as demand picks up.
Steve Benen: …. here’s the chart, showing weekly, initial unemployment claims going back to the beginning of 2007:
PPP: There might not be any state that better represents Barack Obama’s improved fortunes in the opening months of 2012 than Wisconsin. When we polled there in late October Obama’s approval was a 44/51 spread and he led Mitt Romney by only 3 points at 46-43, representing a much closer race than the state had in 2008. Now those numbers have shifted significantly, with Obama’s approval basically flipping to 52/44. And he now leads Romney 53-39, a 14 point margin that matches what he won against John McCain there.
Obama’s 14 point lead in Wisconsin matches a trend we’re seeing in both our national and state polling across the country right now: Obama/Romney is starting to look more and more like Obama/McCain, or even something more friendly to the President.
Jerusalem Post: Poll finds vast majority of Israelis against unilateral military strike on Iran, Israeli Jews prefer Obama over all republican rivals …. The survey also polled Jewish Israelis’ feelings on the US presidential race, with respondents preferring President Barack Obama to all his Republican rivals.
Ruy Teixeira (TNR): Judging from recent headlines, things are looking up for President Obama. The Republican presidential nominees have been serially embarrassing themselves; the White House communications department has successfully focused its messaging on jobs and economic fairness; and consumers are feeling ever more confident about the economy.
But it’s not just anecdotal evidence that suggests Obama’s re-election chances have improved – most of the polling data suggests the same. Obama has been running consistently ahead of his most likely challenger, Mitt Romney, in national polls – by an average of 4 points according to the Pollster.com website. Indeed, the closer you look at the numbers, the more reassuring the news: Obama, it seems, is well on his way to reconstructing the very coalition that elected him in 2008.
National Memo: In this Citizens United era of unregulated campaign cash, gay activists and donors are finding innovative ways to reward Barack Obama, who despite his equivocation on marriage equality is often lauded as the greatest friend to the LGBT community of any president in American history.
The reemergence of social issues on the presidential campaign trail, coupled with the reversal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that prevented gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, has helped Obama improve his standing with this key segment of the liberal base, a vital source of campaign funds for any Democrat running a presidential campaign.
“This kind of Republican campaign has mobilized the community like I haven’t seen since 1992,” said David Mixner, a veteran progressive strategist Newsweek once called the most powerful gay man in America. “There’s a lot at stake. I have no doubt people will be involved in some way in Super PACs. You can count on the major donors of this community doing whatever they have to do to assist in the re-election of this president.”
Honestly, I haven’t made this up – a Ron Paul-supporting freak actually thought it was good news that the former KKK guy endorsed the nutjob!
Jonathan Bernstein: I have to say: If I were running Mitt Romney’s campaign, I’d much prefer reporters going on today about a mini-flap involving one of Mitt’s sons going birther and then apologizing than have them reporting on the Santorum surge.
….in the long run (or perhaps even by Tuesday) this particular incident will be long forgotten, it still can’t hurt Romney with Tea Partiers to hint that his camp is on the same page with them culturally.
Of course, I’m not hinting, nor am I voicing any suspicion, that the Romney camp would actually do something like this on purpose.
Reuters: New U.S. claims for jobless benefits rose last week but the underlying trend pointed to an improving labor market, while regional factory data showed the economy gaining momentum as the year ended.
The growth picture was brightened by other data on Thursday showing pending sales of previously owned homes jumped to a 1-1/2 year high in November, adding to signs of a tentative recovery in the housing market.
Indications the economy was wrapping up the year on a much firmer footing than had been previously anticipated leaves it better positioned to deal with headwinds from the festering debt crisis in Europe and fiscal tightening at home.
OFA: Yesterday, four Republicans in the New Hampshire State House allowed a hearing requested by Orly Taitz, the notorious dentist-lawyer-birther who wants President Obama officially removed from the state’s primary ballot.
So in honor of conspiracy theorists everywhere, we’re re-releasing the campaign’s limited-edition “Made in the USA” mugs.
There’s clearly nothing we can do to satisfy this crowd – or anyone else who insists on wasting time and energy on nonsense like this.
But when it starts to make your head hurt, I’ve found the best remedy is to have some tea in my “Made in the USA” mug.
**** Thanks to ChristiMtl for the link to Emilia’s post on Chris Matthews (here) – she says it all. ****
Tommy Christopher (Mediaite): Michael Moore Goes The Full Wingnut On President Obama Over Occupy ‘Crackdown’
This week began with a series of raids on Occupy movement encampments across the country … Filmmaker Michael Moore responded by accusing President Obama, via Twitter, of giving the “green light” for the raids. It’s just the latest in a series of unhinged attacks, on the President, by Moore….
…. At the time he made the accusation, there was absolutely no evidence to support it … The whole thing is so tin-foil ridiculous….What’s truly mystifying, though, is Michael Moore’s desperation to attack President Obama …. it’s rare that a liberal outpaces the most rabid of right-wing fabricators to do so.
…. this is just the culmination of a series of unhinged anti-Obama attacks by Moore … Perhaps most tellingly, though, he appeared on The View in September to express his “disappointment” with President Obama by saying, “Bill Maher had a good answer when he said that Obama was half white and half black. He said I went to the polls and I voted for the black guy and what we got was the white guy.”
…. A blogger at AngryBlackLady.com notes Moore’s curious obsession with “the white vote” in a talk he gave earlier this month. He told the crowd, “The only reason Obama won was because of 18 to 29 year olds,” and went on to explain that this was the only age group in which a majority of whites voted for Barack Obama….
….. It’s time that Michael Moore, and some of the others who are disillusioned with President Obama, think about what role his race plays in the ways in which they criticize him.
After all, Onyango ‘Omar’ Obama, the guy arrested last week in Massachusetts for allegedly ‘operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol’ and who was allegedly not legally in the United States, is the son of ….. deep breath, let’s get this right ….. the President’s grandfather’s third wife (the President’s father was born to his grandfather’s second wife).
In other words, Onyango and the President are almost one, they are so close.
Yeah, yeah, it’s true, George W – and not his step-uncle – had his very own drink driving conviction and was an alien too (he hailed from Planet Chump), but that’s different.
Needless to say, this is the lead story on GOPolitico’s section on the President.
It’s interesting, this is the photo of Onyango Obama released by the Framingham police, a standard mug shot:
This is what GOPolitico has done to the photo:
Why did they do that? Did they think a grainy black and white close-up would make the man look …… sinister?