President Barack Obama receives an update from officials via video teleconference on the ongoing response to Hurricane Sandy, in the Situation Room of the White House, Oct. 30, 2012. Pictured, from left, are: John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Tony Blinken, National Security Advisor to the Vice President; David Agnew, Director for Intergovernmental Affairs; Alyssa Mastromonaco, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations; and Chief of Staff Jack Lew. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Steve Benen: After three consecutive weeks of discouraging news, today’s report from the Department of Labor on initial unemployment claims pointed to a sharp improvement in the data.
Indeed, the new numbers not only reverse the discouraging trend, they’re back to the level we saw in mid-March, which is near a four-year low.
…. It’s worth emphasizing that week-to-week results can vary widely, and it’s best not to read too much significance into any one report. Still, it’s generally heartening when the numbers are at least pointing in the right direction.
E.J. Dionne: We expect some hypocrisy in politics, but it was still jaw-dropping to behold Republicans accusing President Obama of politicizing the anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden. Wasn’t it just eight years ago that the GOP organized an entire presidential campaign — including the choreography of its 2004 national convention — around the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and George W. Bush’s response to them?
Obama’s opponents don’t just think we have short attention spans. They imagine we have no memories whatsoever…
…. On foreign policy, Obama has kept his 2008 promise to turn history’s page. The nation is in no mood to turn it back.
MSNBC: GM posted a profit of $1 billion in the first quarter, beating Wall Street expectations on strong demand in its key North American market.
GM also said the U.S. economy was improving and it expected its core North American results in the second and third quarters to largely match the first quarter due to scheduled downtime at its large truck plants.
President Barack Obama receives an update on Hurricane Irene in the Situation Room of the White House, August 27, 2011.
Clockwise from left, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood; Richard Reed, Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security; Nick Shapiro, senior policy advisor to John Brennan; John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security; and Chief of Staff BIll Daley. Onscreen are FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Joing by phone are Vice President Joe Biden, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Energy Secretary Steven Chu. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The President convened a video teleconference at 10:30AM this morning in the White House Situation Room so that he could receive an update on the impact of Hurricane Irene.
Vice President Biden, Chief of Staff Daley, DHS Secretary Napolitano, Treasury Secretary Geithner, Transportation Secretary LaHood, Energy Secretary Chu, FEMA Administrator Fugate, Homeland Security Advisor Brennan and other senior White House officials participated in the call.
The President was updated on the response and recovery efforts that are currently underway in coordination with state and local officials as well as the status of critical energy and transportation infrastructure in areas that have been impacted as well as areas that continue to be impacted by this storm.
He was updated on FEMA’s support to state and local partners as important damage assessments begin in areas where the storm has passed.
The President asked Secretary Napolitano and Administrator Fugate to continue to be in touch with Governors and local leadership up and down the East Coast. The President directed that all federal efforts on response and recovery operations underway continue, and he will reconvene the team this evening.
Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate said Sunday that federal, state and local governments are working together better in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
“We’ve learned to really work as one team, not as separate levels of government, and to put everything together early before the storm hits,” Fugate said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“I think the big [lesson] — and this is one Congress recognized and passed the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act – was that we shouldn’t have to wait until a state is overwhelmed to begin getting ready, that we should be able to go in before the governor’s made a request, have supplies ready, have our teams in the state and work as one team, not waiting for damages to occur and that formal request to come,” Fugate said.
Jezebel: Ultra Orthodox Hasidic newspaper Der Tzitung is telling its readers like it isn’t – by editing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from the now-iconic Bin Laden raid Situation Room photo. Oy vey.
The religious paper never publishes pictures of women, as they could be considered “sexually suggestive.” Apparently the presence of a woman, any woman, being all womanly and sexy all over the United States’ counterterrorism efforts was too much for the editors of Der Tzitung to handle.
…Audrey Thomason, the counterterrorism analyst seen peeking out from behind another onlooker in the back of the original photo, was also airbrushed away, due to all of the sexy man-tempting that her very presence in a photograph would do.
CBS: Brooklyn-based Hasidic newspaper Der Zeitung has apologized for publishing an iconic photograph of President Obama and his national security team with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security team member Audrey Tomason photoshopped out.
….Der Zeitung has now released a statement saying that “we should not have published the altered picture, and we have conveyed our regrets and apologies to the White House and to the State Department”….
…The newspaper offered kind words for Clinton and said it respects all government officials, but that religious considerations prevent it from showing images of women.
“In accord with our religious beliefs, we do not publish photos of women, which in no way relegates them to a lower status. Publishing a newspaper is a big responsibility, and our policies are guided by a Rabbinical Board. Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention. We apologize if this was seen as offensive.”