President Obama, VP Biden and and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano at a ceremony to honor the 2012 National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) TOP COPS award winners in the Rose Garden of the White House
Chancellor Harold Martin and first lady Michelle Obama chat at the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Commencement in Greensboro, NC. Michelle Obama was honored with a Doctorate in Humanities.
Brad Plumer (Washington Post): There’s quite a bit of good news – and very little bad – in February’s jobs report …. The U.S. economy added 227,000 jobs last month …. And there were even more encouraging signs in the data revisions for previous months…..
Some of the broader indicators are encouraging, too …. There are also some reasons to think this recovery can sustain itself through 2012. Ever since the recession ended in mid-2009, the U.S. private sector has been consistently hiring workers. It’s just that the public sector has been hemorrhaging employees – around 500,000 government layoffs since Obama took office. But that trend finally appears to be winding down…..
The U.S. economy is still in a large hole. Right now, we’re adding around 250,000 jobs per month. If that trend keeps up, it’s enough to get us to 8 percent unemployment by election day. That would bode well for President Obama’s reelection chances. But 8 percent unemployment is still unnervingly high …. but, for now, the economy looks to be in decent shape. As Justin Wolfers sums it up, “Let’s call it a recovery.”
WSJ: New York City employers in January added the highest number of jobs in a single month in 23 years, according to new figures released Thursday.
Some 31,200 jobs were added in the month, according to a seasonally adjusted analysis of new state Labor Department figures.
“It is an understatement to say that these gains exceeded all expectations,” said Barbara Byrne Denham, chief economist with the real-estate services firm Eastern Consolidated, who conducted the analysis.
Paul Krugman never fails to amuse. Here he is today, trying – through gritted teeth – to sound pleased about the jobs’ news:
“OK, definitely a better jobs report than we have become used to. And terrific news for Obama; another six months of news like this and he’ll be in very good shape for reelection.
But still, this was just equivalent to an average month during the Clinton years. And we’re still a long way from full employment.”
(1) Full employment is, usually, defined as 3% unemployment …. so, you have to go back to Eisenhower in 1956 for ‘full employment’ in America. That, then, is the shiny new standard Krugman is holding PBO to. Seriously, you couldn’t make this stuff up.
(2) Does Krugman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, truly forget the state of the economy when PBO came to power? Or is he just, eh, forgetful about the facts?
(3) Will Krugman ever find it in his heart to forgive PBO for beating Hillary Clinton to the nomination?
Hillary has. Maybe it’s time for Krugman to move on?
President Barack Obama talks on the phone with President-elect Vladimir Putin of Russia while aboard Air Force One en route to Richmond, Va., March 9, 2012. Alice Wells, Senior Director for Russian Affairs, is seated at right. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama speaks at a campaign event at Minute Maid Park, Houston, March 9:
First lady Michelle Obama gets hugs from a pre-schooler at the Penacook Community Center, March 9, in Concord, N.H.
NYT: The fragile gains Republicans had been making among female voters have been erased, a shift that has coincided with what has become a national shouting match over reproductive issues, potentially handing President Obama and the Democrats an enormous advantage this fall.
In the 2010 congressional midterm elections, Republican candidates ran evenly with Democrats among women, a break with long-established trends. That was a major reason the GOP regained control of the House.
Now, female voters appear to be swinging back to Democrats …. When the Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey asked last summer which party should control Congress, a slim 46-42 percent plurality of women said it should be the Democrats.
But in a survey released Monday, compiling polling since the beginning of the year, that figure had widened considerably to a 15-point advantage for the Democrats
Steve Benen: …. It’s a safe bet the Bishops won’t be satisfied, but it’s a pretty straightforward fix: religiously-affiliated employers that don’t want to pay for contraception coverage as part of their benefits packages won’t have to, but these employees will still get the coverage because the White House will instruct insurers to pick up the costs.
…. several major stakeholders in this fight have already offered praise for the White House move. Planned Parenthood, for example, endorsed the compromise …. Similarly, EMILY’s List said it was “reassured” by the new policy, and NARAL Pro-Choice America’s statement struck a similar note.
What’s more, Sister Carol Keehan and the Catholic Health Association have also endorsed the administration’s position, which not only offers the White House some political cover, but also further isolates the Bishops…..
For the White House, having support from both the Catholic Health Association and Planned Parenthood was critical…..
Greg Sargent: …. the Obama team is betting that any further objections to this policy will unmask opponents primarily as hidebound foes of birth control at any costs, a politically difficult position to sustain, rather than as defenders of religious liberty. Indeed, this looks like an effort to reframe the debate to Obama’s advantage: If Team Obama has its way, the argument will now be about whether all women should have access to contraception, and not about whether these institutions are having their religious freedom impinged upon.
For those who freaked out about a major compromise with the Catholic church (eh, me):
When will I ever learn?
Don’t miss Liberal Librarian’s first post at The People’s View – it’s predictably brilliant
President Obama signs the Ultralight Aircraft Smuggling Prevention Act of 2012 as former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly look on. The bill was the last piece of legislation on which Giffords voted before she resigned in January, a year after she sustained a gunshot wound to the head.
First lady Michelle Obama high-fives the Dallas Cowboys mascot Rowdy as she arrived at the Kleberg-Rylie Recreation center in Dallas
Michelle Obama judges food, along with assistant White House chef and food initiative coordinator Sam Kass and “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio, during a taping of the TV cooking show “Top Chef” in Dallas