Archive for January 14th, 2011

14
Jan
11

support

President Barack Obama, along with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, former President Bill Clinton, and Richard Holbrooke’s wife Kati Marton, watch from backstage as a slide show of pictures are displayed during a funeral service for Holbrooke at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Jan. 14, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

14
Jan
11

hey everyone

I was out and about for most of the day so I’m only catching up with everything now. Thank you for all the comments and emails, really appreciate them – I’ll reply to all those emails by tomorrow, promise.

Another thing: I was wondering why we had so many new (and rather lovely) visitors today. I should have guessed who sent you here: thank you Blackwaterdog (writer of the finest blog in cyberspace, The Only Adult In The Room) 😉

This is our traditional welcome to new visitors, it’s sole purpose is to make you smile:

Thanks everyone!

14
Jan
11

tribute

White House video:

President Obama attends a funeral service for U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke at the Kennedy Center, Washington, January 14

C-Span has the full two-hour video of the service on its site – here

14
Jan
11

progress

The Guardian (UK): Barack Obama has eased America’s long-standing embargo on Cuba, allowing many Americans to travel there for the first time and increasing the amounts that they can invest in the island.

Other changes announced by the president will allow all US international airports to accept flights to and from Cuba; at present, chartered flights are restricted to Miami and a handful of other airports. The moves represent an important step to rapprochement between the US and Cuba.

….The changes reverse stricter measures imposed by George Bush, who courted the anti-Castro Cuban-Amerian vote in Florida in 2000 and again in 2004, and come on top of those Obama made in 2009 that helped reunite divided Cuban families, improved communication between the countries and helped humanitarian aid to the island.

Full article here

14
Jan
11

the best medicine

Jan. 14

14
Jan
11

courtesy call

President Barack Obama meets with Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari in the Oval Office, Jan. 14. Zardari traveled to Washington to attend a memorial service for Ambassador Richard Holbrooke who died in December while serving as Obama’s senior envoy to the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

14
Jan
11

change

14
Jan
11

momentum

Financial Times: US retail sales surged last year at the strongest pace since 1999, as consumers shook off their fears of recession and started spending again amid tepid inflation … Commerce department figures on Friday showed that total sales in 2010 were up 6.8 per cent from 2009, marking the sharpest such increase in more than a decade.

…Retail sales are a big part of consumer spending, which accounts for the bulk of economic output in the US. Last year’s rise offers hope that consumers will be able to help fuel the economic recovery, in spite of stubbornly high unemployment.

“Clear and sustained evidence of renewed life in household spending since July indicates that the market pessimism this summer had very little lasting impact on consumer activity,” said Michael Woolfolk, strategist at BNY Mellon Global Markets. “Not only did US consumers hit the holiday shopping season in full stride this year, but the recent tax stimulus plan ensures that the momentum will carry over into 2011.”

Full article here

Bloomberg: Sales at U.S. retailers rose in December for a sixth consecutive month, capping the biggest one-year gain in more than a decade … sales advanced 6.7 percent in 2010, the most since an 8.2 percent jump in 1999.

Analysts this month boosted 2011 forecasts for household spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy, as tax cuts and an improving job market put more money in Americans’ pockets. Ford Motor Co. and Dollar General Corp. are among companies planning to increase payrolls this year, pointing to gains in employment that may accelerate the recovery.

Consumers are “feeling that the worst is definitely behind them,” said David Semmens, a U.S. economist at Standard Chartered Bank in New York …. “The first quarter should definitely receive a boost in consumer spending from the fiscal stimulus and the improvement in hiring.”

….Ford said Jan. 10 it plans to hire more than 7,000 workers in the next two years … the Dearborn, Michigan-based company will hire 4,000 factory workers and 750 engineers this year and add 2,500 hourly workers next year… Other companies are boosting their payrolls. Dollar General, the biggest of the U.S. dollar discount stores, said Jan. 3 it plans to add 6,000 jobs as it opens 625 more stores in fiscal 2011.

Full article here

14
Jan
11

richard holbrooke

President Obama and Vice President Biden will attend a memorial service for Richard Holbrooke today – the President will deliver remarks (3.0 EST)

 

14
Jan
11

** speechless **




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