Archive for June 24th, 2011

24
Jun
11

night everyone

President Barack Obama jokes with military personnel along a tarmac ropeline before boarding Air Force One at Pittsburgh International Airport in Pittsburgh, Pa., June 24, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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The First Lady in Africa:

Saturday – Gaborone, Botswana: Mrs. Obama is beginning her day by thanking U.S. Embassy employees and their families. Following this event, Mrs. Obama and her family are departing for a family safari.

Sunday – Gaborone, Botswana: Mrs. Obama and her family are departing Gaborone, Botswana at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport.

24
Jun
11

the jobs killer

Mitt Romney and Bill Bain in 1990

I see Romney’s campaign released a poster today (copied from a 1970’s campaign by Margaret friggin’ Thatcher) attacking the President’s jobs record …. oh Mitt, do you really want to go there?

New York Post (February 2011): ….Mitt Romney has been saying he is the man to get Americans back to work … However, the former private equity firm chief’s fortune – which has funded his political ambitions – was made on the backs of companies that ultimately collapsed, putting thousands of ordinary Americans out on the street.

That truth, if it becomes widely known, could become costly to Romney who told CNN’s Piers Morgan that “People in America want to know who can get 15 million people back to work,” implying he was that person.

Romney’s private equity firm, Bain Capital, bought companies and often increased short-term earnings so those businesses could then borrow enormous amounts of money. That borrowed money was used to pay Bain dividends. Then those businesses needed to maintain that high level of earnings to pay their debts.

….Bain and Goldman Sachs, for example, put $85 million down in a $415 million 1994 leveraged buyout of Baxter International’s medical testing division (renamed Dade Behring), which sold machines and reagents to labs … In August 2002, Dade filed for bankruptcy.

This was not an isolated case.

* Bain in 1988 put $5 million down to buy Stage Stores, and in the mid-’90s took it public, collecting $100 million from stock offerings. Stage filed for bankruptcy in 2000.

* Bain in 1992 bought American Pad & Paper (AMPAD), investing $5 million, and collected $100 million from dividends. The business filed for bankruptcy in 2000.

* Bain in 1993 invested $60 million when buying GS Industries, and received $65 million from dividends. GS filed for bankruptcy in 2001.

* Bain in 1997 invested $46 million when buying Details, and made $93 million from stock offerings. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2003.

Romney’s Bain invested 22 percent of the money it raised from 1987-95 in these five businesses, making a $578 million profit.

While I have not investigated all of Romney’s Bain investments and there may be cases where he made money and improved businesses, there’s little question he made a fortune from businesses he helped destroy.

Full article here

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Marketwatch: …. Romney was the governor of Massachusetts from January 2003 to January 2007. And during that time, according to the U.S. Labor Department, the state ranked 47th in the entire country in jobs growth. Fourth from last.

The only ones that did worse? Ohio, Michigan and Louisiana. In other words, two rustbelt states and another that lost its biggest city to a hurricane.

The Massachusetts jobs growth over that period, a pitiful 0.9%, badly lagged other high-skill, high-wage, knowledge economy states like New York (2.7%), California (4.7%) and North Carolina (7.6%). The national average: More than 5%.

….In Romney’s first year in charge, Massachusetts ranked dead last in America in jobs growth. What makes this worse for Romney is that he actually ran on a jobs platform …. he promised the voters of Massachusetts that as governor he’d use his business savvy and connections to bring new jobs to the state.

Net result: 50th out of 50 after one year, 47th after four.

24
Jun
11

‘factory production is starting to rev back up’

AP: Factory orders are picking up and the economy may soon follow.

A rise in demand for long-lasting manufactured goods in May suggests the parts shortage stemming from the Japan crises is fading. It would also support the view offered by many economists, who have suggested that the economic slowdown is temporary and that growth will strengthen this summer after six dismal months.

Still, the projected growth won’t be enough to make a noticeable dent in the unemployment rate, which was 9.1 percent last month.

….Economists have largely blamed the sluggish stretch on high gas prices, which have come down since peaking in early May. They have also cited the impact of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which has led to supply disruptions that have hampered U.S. manufacturers.

Factory production is starting to rev back up. Durable goods orders rose 1.9 percent, the Commerce Department said. Companies stepped up requests for machinery, computers and cars, and a key category that measures future business investment rose.

It was a solid turnaround after orders fell 2.7 percent in April, at the height of the parts shortage.

More here

24
Jun
11

whoopi!

Thanks GGail

President Obama greets actress Whoopi Goldberg prior to speaking following a special fundraising performance of the Broadway musical ‘Sister Act’ on behalf of the Democratic National Committee at the Broadway Theatre in New York, June 23

24
Jun
11

the first lady in africa

Three more videos from the White House YouTube channel:

And P found this one:

24
Jun
11

carnegie mellon

Text of remarks here

President Barack Obama signs a robot after speaking at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, June 24

President Obama arrives at Andrews Air Force Base

24
Jun
11

west wing week: “the receding tide” (june 23, 2011)

24
Jun
11

later!

Have to go out for a few hours, will catch up later 😉

24
Jun
11

kinship

Reuters: ….In Africa, Michelle Obama has been welcomed as the daughter of a continent she has only visited a handful of times, and interest is high in her unique position as a black presidential spouse and leader in her own right.

….Does she feel a kinship with Africa? “Absolutely, yeah,” she said in the interview, before comparing that to the feeling she had in Moneygall, Ireland, where the president met a distant cousin in May.

“I absolutely feel that connection here. And I wasn’t surprised by it. I absolutely felt that connection in Moneygall (and was) a little more surprised by it.”

Thousands of people lined the main street of tiny Moneygall last month, welcoming the Obamas as if they were long lost relatives…. “The love, the warmth, the connection, the excitement. That was family, too. And that’s what I want my kids to understand – that your family is Granny in Kisumu, but it’s also your cousin in Moneygall. That is your history. That is really the American history.”

Audiences in Johannesburg and Cape Town found the first lady’s history and success inspiring … “As a young black woman, I see her as a role model,” said Nozi Samela, 26, in Cape Town, adding that it was Obama’s work – not necessarily her race – that generated admiration. “She has taken time to come to the communities, to see the people from the ground level, and actually talk to them, and hear what the issues they face are. I see her as a role model.”

Mamphela Ramphele, a former anti-apartheid activist who moderated Obama’s discussion with students at the university, said the first lady rose above skin color and gender. “To have someone like her who is successful in her own right and represents the transcendence of barriers of race, of class, of gender in the U.S. coming here and engaging in such a human way… that touches the hearts of ordinary people,” Ramphele said.

Full article here

Thank you CTGirl

24
Jun
11

cameron todd willingham

LA Times: Texas Gov. Rick Perry may want to run for president. So let me reintroduce you a former constituent of his, Cameron Todd Willingham. Perry oversaw the 2004 execution of Willingham, a father of three convicted for the apparent arson murder of his young daughters. Problem was, the evidence used to prove Willingham set the fire that killed his children was based on shoddy science and obsolete investigation techniques, facts that were brought to Perry’s attention before Willingham’s death. Declaring his innocence to the end, Willingham was executed 12 years after his children’s deaths.

The New Yorker published a lengthy piece in 2009 (here) detailing the whole affair, a depressing portrayal of a government more interested in self-preservation than in serving justice….

….Perry denied Willingham a stay of execution … and frustrated an investigation by the Texas Forensic Science Commission, replacing three of its members days before the board was set to discuss a report that cast serious doubt on the evidence used to send Willingham to the lethal injection gurney. The meeting was canceled.

….Texas executes far more people than any other state, so it’s understandable that Lone Star State Republicans would give their governor a pass. But a Perry candidacy might prod conservatives in less execution-friendly states (such as, say, New Hampshire, which last knotted a noose in 1939) to answer for his apparent indifference to profound injustice.

Texas let Perry off the hook; the rest of the nation may not be so forgiving.

More here (More links here about the case)




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