Archive for May 6th, 2011

06
May
11

a week to remember

06
May
11

fort campbell

President Barack Obama greets military personnel who have recently returned from Afghanistan, May 6, at Fort Campbell, Ky.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden shake hands with the troops following the President’s remarks at Fort Campbell, Ky., May 6, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

06
May
11

mother’s day tea

First lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden at a Mother’s Day event for military-connected mothers, grandmothers, spouses and other special guests, as a part of Military Spouses Appreciation Day in the East Room of the White House, May 6

06
May
11

indianapolis (video added)

President Barack Obama emerges from backstage to speak at Allison Transmission in Indianapolis, Ind., May 6

Text of speech here

President Obama speaks to a worker during a tour of Allison Hybrid Transmission headquarters

06
May
11

up and running

President Barack Obama jogs towards well wishers after stepping off Air Force One in Indianapolis, Ind., May 6

President Obama is greeted by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels upon his arrival in Indianapolis

06
May
11

today…

Live here

Hi people, I’ll be out for most of the day but will catch up with you all later – have a blissful Friday 😉

President Obama waves to visitors as he walks towards the Marine One for a departure on the South Lawn

Col. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost: “You did good, Mr President.”

President: “Stop, stop, you’re making me blush.”

(Okay, I made that up!)

President Obama walks with Col. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost, the commander of the 89th Airlift Wing, prior to boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base as he travels to Indianapolis and Fort Campbell, Ky

06
May
11

“the biggest hiring spree in five years”

Time: Employers added more than 200,000 jobs in April for the third straight month, the biggest hiring spree in five years. But the unemployment rate rose to 9% in part because some people resumed looking for work.

…..the economy added 244,000 jobs last month. Private employers shrugged off high gas prices and created 268,000 jobs – the most since February 2006.

The gains were widespread. Retailers, factories, financial companies, education and health care and even construction companies all added jobs. Federal, state and local governments cut jobs. The data suggests businesses are confidence in the economy despite weak growth earlier this year. Still, unemployment increased slightly from the 8.8% in March. It was the first increase since November.

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MSNBC: Pivoting back to jobs… : Five days after Osama bin Laden’s death, we pivot back to the issue that will likely remain the most important one to voters come Nov. 2012: the economy. And here are the latest jobs figures for the month of April: 244,000 jobs were created (well above expectations), while the unemployment rate ticked up from 8.8% to 9.0% (which shouldn’t be surprising now that it appears more are looking for work). This is VERY good news for the Obama administration, on top of Sunday’s bin Laden news. The AP’s dispatch: “Employers added more than 200,000 jobs in April for the third straight month, the biggest hiring spree in five years. But the unemployment rate rose to 9 percent in part because some people resumed looking for work… Private employers shrugged off high gas prices and created 268,000 jobs – the most since February 2006.”

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Steve Benen: April Shows Surprisingly Strong Job Growth…. ….expectations were low for the new monthly unemployment report. Nearly every estimate suggested the job market was getting worse, and that April would show a decline from previous months, dipping to about 185,000 jobs created.

It comes as something of a relief, then, that this morning’s report didn’t just greatly exceed expectations, it’s arguably the single best month for jobs since the Great Recession began in 2007.

…The unemployment rate ticked higher, from 8.8% to 9%, but as we’ve talked about before, that’s not the most reliable gauge. Indeed, as April’s report helps demonstrate, the unemployment rate can go up when more jobs are created, and go down when fewer jobs are created. It’s just quirky that way.

The number to watch is the total number of jobs created. And in this case, the economy added 244,000 jobs in April. That’s the third highest total since the recession started …. by most measures, this is the fastest job growth Americans have seen in five years … ….this is the third good jobs report in as many months, and offers hope that the employment market is finally getting back on track.

So far in 2011, the economy has added 768,000 jobs – and that just covers four months.

….Just as encouraging, the totals from February and March were both significantly revised upwards ….. here’s the homemade chart I run on the first Friday of every month, showing monthly job losses since the start of the Great Recession. The image makes a distinction – red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration.

Full article here

Steve Benen: Private-Sector Job Market Improves, Reaches Five-Year High…… The private sector added 268,000 jobs, marking the 14th consecutive month of private-sector growth.

….The 268,000 total not only beat expectations, it’s a genuinely good number ….. April’s private-sector numbers were the single best Americans have seen since the Great Recession began in 2007. What’s more, the combined data from February and March shows easily the best three-month stretch in the last five years.

….here is a different homemade chart, showing monthly job losses/gains in the private sector since the start of the Great Recession…

06
May
11

morning everyone

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Rachael makes the same great point as Jonathan Freedland in the UK Guardian earlier this week: “…One former foreign minister who has seen the president up close believes that Bin Laden’s scalp will lead other world leaders to conclude that, to paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, “Obama may speak softly – but he carries a big stick”…”

Thank you Dorothy 😉

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Michael Tomasky (The Daily Beast): Ground Zero’s Politics Are Over – Obama’s low-key appearance at the Twin Towers site today has finally neutralized the area blatantly politicized by the GOP.

Without saying a single word, but in the simple act of showing up … silently laying a wreath, and respectfully speaking with dress-uniformed officers flanking him, Barack Obama managed to neutralize what has arguably been the most potent piece of Republican iconography of the last decade: its total political ownership of 9/11, and of Ground Zero itself.

….Starting today, they can’t use it anymore. How it must grate their cheese that it was Barack Obama – crypto-Kenyan, effete urbanite, paller-around-with-terrorists – who turned these tables! What’s been playing out in the four days since the killing of Osama bin Laden – the Republican insistence that Bush deserves credit too, the claim that torture must be given its due, and all the rest – is equivalent to, and about as charming as, a bully’s incredulity that a smaller but nimbler foe has bested him.

….Today’s appearance by Obama simply provides the symbolic capstone. It’s no wonder that Bush snappishly sees today’s event, according to a New York Daily News story, as an Obama “victory lap.” Ground Zero was his. Now it’s not. (Imagine the ceremonial orgiastics we’d probably be enduring right now if Bush or John McCain had brought OBL to justice.)

Full article here

Thank you LoriahR

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I know we’ve all had enough of yesterday’s man, Donald Chump, but LoriahR sent me a link to a really powerful piece by Etan Thomas on the CNN site:

Donald Trump’s most recent challenge to President Barack Obama took me back to my collegiate years at Syracuse University. I had studied for two weeks straight for a calculus class, harder than I had ever studied in my life. After I completed my exam, I was confident that all my hard work had paid off.

But the next day, my professor greeted me with accusations of cheating, saying three-fourths of the class had flunked. How could I possibly have managed to get a B minus without cheating?….

….The president should not have to prove anything to anyone. Yet, he has handled every unmerited insult with nothing but grace and class. He has risen above every act of insolence, and proved them all wrong….

….It is a sad situation that a man who has earned a degree from Columbia University, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, has been elected as president of the United States and received a Nobel Peace Prize has to continuously prove himself as a man worthy of respect. He simply shouldn’t have to.

Full piece here

Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Atlantic): ….What many white people fail to realize is that though Barack Obama and his family are unique to them, they are deeply familiar to black people. …we do live next door to them … We went to church and played in summer leagues with people like them. I went to college with people like them. This is not to slight Barack Obama’s truly remarkable story, nor the indispensable labor of the people who raised him…..

To see that country manifested in the White House is the sort of boon that you can’t really attach to statistics. But for those of us who are waging the fight against a crippling cynicism, who are urging our children on, who visit schools and begin our addresses with, “I remember when I was just like you,” the First Family is perhaps the greatest weapon in our arsenal.

….when broad sections of this country foolishly follow a carnival barker in the ugly tradition of attacking black citizenship rights, when pundits shriek that Obama’s successes are simply the result of the misguided largess of white people, they undermine our most intimate war. They undermine the notion that someone familiar to that kid on the corner could legitimately reach the highest levels of the country, that someone like that kid’s Aunt could be the First Lady. They undermine this country’s social contract, and the “hard work pays” message of my parents. And to that we object.

For if they will not take as legitimate a magna cum laude from their highest institutions, if they will not accept a man who tells black kids to cut off the video games and study, who accedes to their absurd requests one week, and slays their demons the next, who will they accept? Who among us would they ever believe?

Full article here

Thank you Meta

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Andrew Romano and Daniel Klaidman (Newsweek): ….the most obvious effect of Abbottabad is that it vindicates the president’s approach to the war on terrorism, and removes from the Republican arsenal the argument that he is a weak, naive, bumbling humanitarian. It is difficult to imagine the 2012 contenders questioning Obama’s commander-in-chief chops, as Republicans have done to Democrats for decades, and were hoping to do again. Why? Because that particular line of inquiry now gives the president a priceless opportunity to remind voters that he accomplished in two years what George W. Bush was unable to accomplish in eight. As rebuttals go, it’s a good one.

Less obvious is the fact that Abbottabad might also vindicate Obama’s broader approach to presidential leadership, which has always emphasized calculating, technocratic, goal-oriented tenacity over “Mission Accomplished” theatrics.

The problem with the Obama-Carter comparisons, which have been regurgitated by 2012 hopefuls such as Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty in recent months, is that they overlook the real-world results of Obama’s supposedly knock-kneed management: universal health care, Wall Street reform, a depression-averting stimulus package, the end of the Iraq War, and now, bin Laden’s head.

As much as Pawlenty & Co. might disagree with Obama’s policies, it’s hard to deny that the president has a knack for getting (most of) what he wants …. “The way Obama made this decision was very similar to way he makes domestic decisions,” says historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. “Gathering the info, talking it out, then making the most rational call.”

Full article here

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New York Post: A few months ago, 14-year-old Payton Wall, who lost her father on 9/11, bared her grief in a 1,500-word letter to President Obama. “I never thought he’d respond,” Payton said yesterday, after she was embraced by the president at Ground Zero following the wreath-laying ceremony. “I was so shocked when the White House called! It was all a dream come true.”

In the letter, which the Rumson, NJ, teen said is “too personal” to share with the public, she told Obama about her father, Glen Wall, who was an executive at Cantor Fitzgerald when terrorists attacked the Twin Towers.

On Monday, the day after Osama bin Laden was killed by Navy SEALs, the president was given his daily handful of letters from Americans to read, and Payton’s stood out, White House officials said.

…The next day, the White House called her mother, Diane – who didn’t even know Payton had written the letter, officials said. Obama invited Payton, her mother and her sister, Avery, to yesterday’s ceremony. Payton spent days practicing a strong handshake, but in the end Obama gave her a presidential bear hug.

Full article here

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NY Daily News: Christopher Cannizzaro was still in diapers when his firefighter father was killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11. And Thursday the 10-year-old wanted President Obama to know his daddy died a hero.

“I was talking to him about my dad and my necklace,” said the Staten Island fifth-grader, showing a small medallion with a photo of his father, Firefighter Brian Cannizzaro, in uniform in front of an American flag. “Then he said, ‘I feel bad for your dad.’ He was being really open to me about everything,” said Christopher, who greeted Obama with a fist bump.

The boy gave Obama a prayer card with his dad’s picture and the President put it in his pocket. “He said, ‘Thank you, it was truly an honor to receive this from you,'” Christopher said. “It made me feel great; it meant the world to me that he was talking to me.”

The 6-foot-1 leader of the free world stared the pint-size kid in the eyes and solicited his opinion about a subject that has captured the attention of the world. “He asked how I felt about Osama Bin Laden being dead,” the boy said. “I said he could have done something a little less harsh to him, but it was nice to just know that after what happened to my dad, this guy was killed, too.”….

(This made me smile: “I said he could have done something a little less harsh to him, but it was nice to just know that after what happened to my dad, this guy was killed, too.” Sweet.)

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