It’s a delicate chess game, I know, so deep breaths today, no hysteria about the US’s UN vote, depressing and miserable as it was – but truly, I’ll die happy if President Obama works towards bringing justice to the Palestinian people in the next four years.
For me, that’s the single greatest legacy he could leave.
Stupidly, I’m heartbroken by the Obama administration’s stance today, even though we all knew it was coming.
AP: The U.S. economy grew at a faster 2.7 percent annual rate from July through September, although the strength may fade in the final months of the year.
The Commerce Department says growth in the third quarter was much better than the 2 percent rate estimated a month ago and more than twice the 1.3 percent rate logged in the April-June quarter.
The two biggest factors in the upward revision were larger gains in business stockpiles and a boost in export sales. That offset weaker consumer spending.
Economists believe growth is slowing to a rate below 2 percent in the current October-December quarter because of disruptions from Superstorm Sandy and worries about sharp tax increases and spending cuts that would occur in January without a budget deal in Washington.
Steve Benen: Initial unemployment claims spiked a few weeks ago after Hurricane Sandy slammed the Northeast, but the new figures from the Department of Labor points to a steady improvement:
Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits fell 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 393,000 in the week ended Nov. 24, the Labor Department said Thursday. Initial claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 416,000 from an original reading of 410,000, based on more complete data collected at the state level. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected claims to drop to 390,000 as the effects of Hurricane Sandy fade.
CNBC: Buyers are coming back to the housing market in ever greater numbers, as an industry index measuring contracts to purchase existing homes surged 5.2 percent in October from September.
The monthly gauge of pending home sales from the National Association of Realtors was also revised higher in September and is now up 13.2 percent from October of 2011. This is a forward looking indicator for closed sales one to two months from now.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with business leaders to discuss the actions needed to keep the economy growing and find a balanced approach to reduce the deficit, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Nov. 28, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
An angry President Obama admonishes Bo for eating Romney’s White House lunch:
E.J. Dionne: Here’s the first lesson from the early skirmishing over ways to avoid the fiscal cliff: Democrats and liberals have to stop elevating Grover Norquist, the anti-government crusader who wields his no-tax pledge as a nuclear weapon, into the role of a political Superman.
Pretending that Norquist is more powerful than he is allows Republicans to win acclaim they haven’t earned yet. Without making a single substantive concession, they get loads of praise just for saying they are willing to ignore those old pledges to Grover … kudos for an openness to compromise should be reserved for Republicans who put forward concrete proposals to raise taxes.
The corollary is that progressives should be unafraid to draw their own red lines. If you doubt that this is a good idea, just look at how effective Norquist has been.
CNN: In the final race deemed too close to call, Republican David Rouzer conceded Wednesday after a recount in the race for North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District showed incumbent Rep. Mike McIntyre won by a razor-thin margin.
…. Despite facing a newly-drawn district that appeared to have been created to end his career, McIntyre showed strong signs of life in the race and ran a competitive race in the district that skews heavily Republican. He led in fundraising over Rouzer, a state senator, and kept even with ad spending by pro-Republican outside groups and the national Republican Party. Rouzer, however, stayed off the airwaves.
The contest was considered the final unresolved House race from Election Day that could make a difference in the makeup of the 113th Congress…. McIntyre’s victory gives Democrats a net gain of eight House seats from the November election, and the next Congress will consist of 234 Republicans and 201 Democrats.