President Obama holds a meeting with African American civil rights leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, February 18. Flanking the President are Attorney General Eric Holder and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett with Rev. Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network, also attending.
President Obama takes aim with a photographer’s camera backstage prior to remarks about providing mortgage payment relief for responsible homeowners at Dobson High School, Mesa, Ariz., Feb. 18, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Today (all times EST):
11:20: President Obama delivers remarks on the economy, Safeway Distribution Center, Upper Marlboro, Maryland
1:0: Jay Carney briefs the press
2:50: President Obama meets with leaders from African American civil rights groups
4:05: Meets with Secretary of Defense Hagel
5:45: Hosts a screening of The Monuments Men at the White House
The Week Ahead:
Wednesday: The President will travel to Toluca, Mexico, to participate in the North American Leaders Summit.
Thursday: Returns from Mexico and attends the Democratic Governors Association dinner.
Friday: Meets with the Democratic governors in town for the annual National Governors Association Winter Meeting to discuss his Opportunity for All agenda and the Year of Action.
At Palm Springs International Airport yesterday, looking ridiculously good.
The party that still thinks the Bush tax cuts (which resulted in the most negligible job creation in decades) and the Iraq War (which resulted in the Iraq War) both worked wants you to believe that the stimulus failed. And they’ve been making that argument since before the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act even had a chance to work.
This strategy of asserting — despite all the evidence — that the president’s first major accomplishment did not succeed was so successful in the 2010 elections that Republicans are still doing it five years later on the anniversary of the law’s signing, and few Democrats are willing to stand up for the effort that helped blunt the worst of the financial crisis.
…. beyond rescuing the economy from a greater depression, the stimulus helped remake America, as Time‘s Mike Grunwald explains in his must-read narrative of the law’s enfolding, The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era. With lots of help from Grunwald — whose most recent reflections on the law appear in “5 Years After Stimulus, Obama Says It Worked” — here are five ways the stimulus saved and remade America’s economy when we needed it most.
It seems like ages ago, but in late 2008 and early 2009, the global economic crisis had reached terrifying levels, and U.S. policymakers had to choose a direction for the nation’s future. Democrats rallied behind a stimulus package called the Recovery Act, while Republicans called for a five-year federal spending freeze.
Five years later, on the anniversary of President Obama signing the Recovery Act into law, GOP lawmakers are apparently eager to ask, “See how right we were?”
…. One of the funniest quotes I’ve seen in a while came from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who argued on the stimulus’ anniversary, “The real tragedy here is that none of this was necessary. Republicans have always been willing to work with the president on reforms.”
…. It is sad today that extremist ideologues are arguing the stimulus failed. This is very dangerous for the future. As an example, look at these absurd comments via the WSJ:
“If you recall five years ago, the notion was that if the government spent all this money—that, by the way, was borrowed—that somehow the economy would begin to grow and create jobs,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), in a video message released Monday morning. “Well, of course, it clearly failed.”
Obviously Rubio is clueless about the economy …. we should also ridicule the ideologues … Rubio’s comments are not just wrong but dangerous (if enough people believe him).
Republican animus toward the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, popularly known as the stimulus, hasn’t decreased over time. Today marks five years since President Obama signed the legislation into law, and Republicans from Marco Rubio to John Cornyn are using the anniversary to bash not only the bill but also the very idea of government spending.
It’s important to knock down these conservative claims about the stimulus, which haven’t gotten any more factually accurate over time. And it’s not just a matter of correcting the historical record — people shouldn’t be made to be afraid of proactive government intervention, which the economy undoubtedly needs more of.
Many of the things Republicans are saying today about the stimulus bill are predicated on a similar and presumably deliberate misunderstanding: that the legislation was meant to permanently fix the economy.
For many older Americans who lost jobs during the recession, the quest for health care has been one obstacle after another. They’re unwanted by employers, rejected by insurers, struggling to cover rising medical costs and praying to reach Medicare age before a health crisis.
These luckless people, most in their 50s and 60s, have emerged this month as early winners under the nation’s new health insurance system. Along with their peers who are self-employed or whose jobs do not offer insurance, they have been signing up for coverage in large numbers…
…. The affordable coverage is “an answer to a prayer really,” said Laura Ingle, a 57-year-old Houston attorney who had been denied coverage repeatedly because she has sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disease. She recently had back surgery for a painful condition that’s been bothering her for months.
….In Miami, licensed practical nurse Marie Cadet, who is 54, often works double shifts to make ends meet for herself and her 12-year-old daughter. She had been paying more than $150 a month for health insurance, with a $3,000 deductible …. After choosing a plan from the marketplace, Cadet’s monthly payment dropped to $86 a month, with the government kicking in $300. Her deductible fell to a more affordable $900.
NYT: Financier Plans Big Ad Campaign on Climate Change
A billionaire retired investor is forging plans to spend as much as $100 million during the 2014 election, seeking to pressure federal and state officials to enact climate change measures through a hard-edge campaign of attack ads against governors and lawmakers.
The donor, Tom Steyer, a Democrat who founded one of the world’s most successful hedge funds, burst onto the national political scene during last year’s elections, when he spent $11 million to help elect Terry McAuliffe governor of Virginia and millions more intervening in a Democratic congressional primary in Massachusetts. Now he is rallying other deep-pocketed donors, seeking to build a war chest that would make his political organization, NextGen Climate Action, among the largest outside groups in the country, similar in scale to the conservative political network overseen by Charles and David Koch.
I wish I could say I’ve never seen the likes of the campaign of intimidation that led to the vote against UAW representation at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Friday. But I did, as a child growing up in a Georgia textile company town in the early 1960s, where public schools began the year on Labor Day, the word “union” was not said out loud, and people still graphically remembered National Guardsmen being called out to break a strike at Callaway Mills back in 1935—the same year Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act.
I’m a little rusty on my labor law, but I’m reasonably sure that any employer who issued the sorts of threats made by Republican politicians in Tennessee (including Sen. Bob Corker, Gov. Bill Haslam, and a variety of state legislators, backed by national conservative figures like Grove Norquist) against a unionization effort would have been in blatant violation of the NLRA. But that’s what makes the incident such a travesty….
President Obama talks with Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel at an official reception in the Blue Room of the White House, Feb. 18, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama meets with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the Map Room of the White House, Feb. 18, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama is saluted by Air Force members as he waves from Air Force One prior to departing from Andrews Air Force Base en route to Denver, Colo., Feb. 18, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama looks at framed images of performers in the backstage hold at The Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, Colo., Feb. 18, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama talks with friend Mike Ramos before departing for Buckley Air Force Base in Denver, Colo., Feb. 18, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama boards Air Force One at Buckley Air Force Base in Denver, Colo., en route to Las Vegas, Nev., Feb. 18, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama waves to workers during a tour of the microprocessor manufacturing facility at Intel Corporation in Hillsboro, Ore., Feb. 18, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama talks on the phone with National Security Advisor Tom Donilon about developments in the Middle East, while backstage at Intel Corporation in Hillsboro, Ore., Feb. 18, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)